Unions are being demonized in some cases for conditions thay did not create. The collapse of our manufacturing base was caused by the creation of a global economy, by making China a “Most Favored Trading Nation” thus eliminating tariffs and trade barriers, by NAFTA, and other such legislation AS WELL AS by foreign students taking more than 50% of our graduate and professional level degrees in math and sciences. The’ve been doing so for decades.
Yes, the unions long ago created unrealistic entitlements. But the companies went along with them. Times were good. Money was flowing.
Teachers unions and tenure have proved to be a detriment to education in my opinion. But, then that subject would be a very lengthy thread indeed.
IMHO it’s a mistake to equate the loss of our manufacturing base to overseas on a philosophy of profit over quality. Our quality history is cluttered with way, way too many examples of poor quality made right here in the U.S. and beaten badly in the marketplace by superior quality made elsewhere.
The problem is far more complex than can be explained with simple statements of within the capacities of a simple forum thread.
My very first move “If I was King”,credit default swaps will again be made illegal, (as they were in the early 1900’s). Look at the makeup of the Gov,then look at the makeup of the Federal Reserve, these guys are all switching places like a session of musical chairs. As detailed in “Rules for Radicals” it is all about the haves and have nots?
very few Americans know what a credit default swap is. A great many wouldn’t understand the concept if it were explained to them. But as long as this country continues to look at Wall St graphs to measure well being and ignores the decline of working families we will continue in the decline toward third world status.
At the Federal level, lower paid skilled jobs have comparable pay and better benefits. But you hit the ceiling fast. Program managers for multi-billion dollar projects are paid about half of what their counterparts are paid in industry - even on the same program.
It’s my opinion that Americans would have revolted against our government long ago if we weren’t so darned lazy about it.
I’ve been recruited to work in the federal level as a Software Engineer. There are many jobs for my skill level in the Federal and State levels…And their pay is pitiful. No thank you.
Good Points MB…
One point I brought up a few times here…about UAW. Many people complain about how GM is paying these astronomical amounts to benefits for their retired workers. I think 1/3 of the money in every car sold goes toward these benefits…What gets me peeved is the Talk-Show mouths (mainly conservative) who keep saying how this is all the Unions fault…and it’s really the UAW that took GM down…which is total BOGUS…10 years ago GM was making RECORD PROFITS…All they had to do was divert 2% of their profits to shore up the pension plans and they NEVER would have been in the mess with pensions. But NOOO…can’t do that…we need to give our executives bonuses (how about a few hundred MILLIOIN) in bonuses that year…Some high level executives over $5m a year in bonuses.
If I were king, first I’d dismantle corporate laws as we know them and do away with the present corporate form. Then I’d get rid of unions. Then I’d get rid of any government larger than about the city/county size. The massive multinational corporation has to go first. As long as we’re stuck with them, as far as I’m concerned we have no choice but to have giant unions and giant states. And the giant corporations came first. Both big labor and big government grew directly out of the activities of big business largely as reactions to them.
Its bigness that sucks. Corporation, state, union - all of it. Its massive concentration of power in the hands of a few. Its why I can’t handle the right - all that pretending that big government is the problem. Of course it is - one part of the problem. But power was sucked from the people long before government got big. The first moves toward a “big” government, and many of the continuing moves toward the same actually come from the people trying to protect themselves from some other juggernaut.
What are their living expenses?
“My very first move “If I was King”,credit default swaps will again be made illegal, (as they were in the early 1900’s).”
Good thing you’re not king then, as CDS’s were not invented until the 1990’s, so they couldn’t have been illegal in the early 1900’s.
“Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history… the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom ? Lucifer.”
- Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals
There have been many kings and pawns, Barons and serfs. “Serfdom is the socio-economic status of unfree peasants under feudalism, and specifically relates to Manorialism. It was a condition of bondage or modified slavery which developed primarily during the High Middle Ages in Europe. Serfdom was the enforced labour of serfs on the fields of landowners, in return for protection and the right to work on their leased fields.”
There has always been a division of classes, my thought was there was a goal in the Constitution to eliminate those boundaries, but one has to remember many signers of the declaration of independence were slave owners. The writers gave us the opportunity to eliminate class division, but putting it into practice takes more than thoughts or idealism but active participation in the process.
This whole unsettling debacle in Wisconsin is just more evidence of the “divide and conquer” strategy that one of our political parties has developed into a fine art. The end-point of their game is to further increase the disparity between “the haves” and “the have nots”, and it certainly does appear that they are winning. If anyone has not become aware of how the middle-class and the poor have held onto less and less of the nation’s wealth over the past decade or so, then I would suggest that you start looking for better sources of news coverage.
In case you think that my comments are those of a wild-eyed radical, please think again. I hold large numbers of shares in a fairly long list of corporations, and I derive a decent income from those holdings. However, I would gladly accept a lower rate of return in exchange for reducing the disparity between the super-wealthy and the middle class.
All of that being said, here is a little parable for you to consider:
A CEO, a Tea Party activist, and a public employee were seated around a table.
On the table, there was a plate with one dozen freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies.
The CEO picked up eleven of the cookies, leaving one on the plate.
The CEO turned to the Tea Bagger and said ?Be careful, that public employee going to want a piece of your cookie".
Think about it.
I won’t bore people on this forum with my political views; I’ll simply state my experience with unions. I haul steel. It takes me to many steel mills, warehouses, and service centers. Some are union, most aren’t. I dread going to the union shops. A load or unload can take most of the day, yet the non-union shops can do the same job in less than an hour, sometimes just a few minutes. Often, I’ve sat at a union shop through TWO shift changes, waiting to load a trailer. The attitudes of the union employees is almost universally negative, and getting the job done seems to not even be on the agenda. I am not alone on this; most drivers avoid union shops for the same reasons. The union backers constantly ask others to support their cause so they can make a living wage, but where is the union worker’s support for the rest of us to make a living? It’s no where to be found as they turn 15 minute breaks into hour-long naps and hide in the breakrooms while truckers sit and wait . . .wait . . . and wait, and management pulls their hair out in frustration. I don’t know what caused these situations to get so out of hand, but I certainly can’t support the union cause. I’ve seen what unions represent today, and it sure isn’t progress.
If we continue to sell bonds to China to fund our special porkbarrel projects and to bail out large voter blocks that get themselves into financial trouble, all on the premise that we’ll cover the bonds with projected future revenues, none of this will matter anyway.
We’re trying to dig ourselves out of a huge hole by digging faster and harder.
It sounds like you’re saying that a lot of the union employees you deal with consider the union to be their real employer.
“If we continue to sell bonds to China to fund our special porkbarrel projects and to bail out large voter blocks that get themselves into financial trouble, all on the premise that we’ll cover the bonds with projected future revenues, none of this will matter anyway.”
I sense sarcasm. But the deal works well for both sides at this point. They have excess dollars from the trade imbalance, and we have US bonds for sale. Dollars are gleefully accepted in this transaction. I think that it’s risky business, since we have to pay interest on the bonds regularly. As interest payments become a larger part of the federal budget, real work will be an ever smaller part of the budget. That is the biggest issue with loans.
Of all the recent political issues I find this one to be very hard to be firmly on one side or the other. If it is presented as a simple union busting effort, count me out. If it is presented as a way to save some money, count me in. If I must join hands with the Tea Party, please cut off my hands. This is a really tough one to take a stand on one way or the other.
Is that copyrighted or am I free to copy and paste? Thanks for the smile.
As far as Wisconsin is concerned, money seems to have nothing to do with it. The union concession to save money for the state had already been made. As 7 of the top ten contributors are corporations and only three are unions, it’s an obvious political move to empower corporations who now can give unlimited donations to politicians. Their “bribes” and promises of bribes are now bearing fruit.
How these two related situations are not obvious to everyone is beyond me. We saw it in our state where corporate donations to our Republican governor elect and state reps. candidates overwhelmed the campaign funds of other candidates. First move once in office was to make unions inconsequential. Dahhhh ! No genius had to figure this one out. Second third and forth moves all had to do with removing certain corporate tax obligations and loosening environmental regulations.
It’s just the beginning and out of the “box”. Don’t expect this onslaught to turn around soon.
I’d never thought of it that way, but you’re right. That’s absolutely how it appears. Forget the boss, forget the task at hand; the union is who I answer to.