Ornery.org
  Front Page   |   About Ornery.org   |   World Watch   |   Guest Essays   |   Contact Us

The Ornery American Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » The US Budget Deficit Explained using Jack Daniels (Page 2)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   
Author Topic: The US Budget Deficit Explained using Jack Daniels
AI Wessex
Member
Member # 6653

 - posted      Profile for AI Wessex   Email AI Wessex   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The laws that guard the public welfare generally work well, and they took decades upon decades to put in place. They cost everyone equally through taxes and protect everyone equally (in theory). If we start rolling them back, we become a nation of segregated economic classes, where many have to live with unsafe housing, unsafe streets, underserved medical needs and who are disproportionately uneducated. This mass of unhappy people would naturally resent those of us in the gentrified class who could afford to buy those services and protections.

The current mostly Republican initiatives would roll back "progress" to the levels of the mid-1800's by disenfranchising workers by gutting unions and rolling back funding of essential state and federal programs. Of course, that doesn't include the segment of religious Conservatives who think that isn't nearly far enough back.

[ March 07, 2011, 01:34 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

Posts: 8393 | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
edgmatt
Member
Member # 6449

 - posted      Profile for edgmatt   Email edgmatt       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
TheDeamon - There is a reason why some of the "traditional essential services" were rolled into the purview of public services and paid for by the government rather than the individual directly.

It was because they determined that in a highly urban environment it would be a bad practice to have a Fire Department that wouldn't respond to a fire emergency because the person at that address(or the entire neighborhood) didn't pay their "fire suppression services fee" so they'd allow that neighborhood to simply burn down instead.

and...

quote:
AI Wessex - The laws that guard the public welfare generally work well, and they took decades upon decades to put in place. They cost everyone equally through taxes and protect everyone equally (in theory). If we start rolling them back, we become a nation of segregated economic classes, where many have to live with unsafe housing, unsafe streets, underserved medical needs and who are disproportionately uneducated. This mass of unhappy people would naturally resent those of us in the gentrified class who could afford to buy those services and protections.
To be clear, I am not advocating rolling back these things. I was simply pointing out the cost we pay to have these things, specifically that these programs tend to be immune to downturns in the economies. If left alone, that immunity has the potential to do further damage to the economy.

I like my fire dept, I like my police dept., I like the fact that we have public schools for exactly the reasons both of you just stated. I like (well, I don't mind) paying taxes to support those things.

What I don't like is the adamant refusal from people who work in these sectors and their supporters, to compromise on pay or contracts or the like when the economy goes bad. The money that used to be there to pay them is no longer there, but the response is to cross their arms, stick their fingers in their ears and refuse to sacrifice even an iota of anything. If it were just having to deal with that childishness, I would be fine. However, this mentality hurts the country as a whole.

Look at what's happened. Instead of the country coming together to help fix the economy, which would be to the benefit of the public sector as well as the private sector, it has become an "Us vs. Them" mentality. Unions are bad and business who pay taxes to support them are good, or Unions are good and politicians who want to take anything from them are bad. The lines are drawn, and each side is ready to do battle.

All of this only hurts all of us more, and instead of working together, people who are willing to make sacrifices, people who have made sacrifices willing or no, are told that the 'other side' will be retaining their pay, benefits, jobs and pensions, and any questioning about that will be met with outrage and bitterness. How is this helpful?

Posts: 1439 | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DonaldD
Member
Member # 1052

 - posted      Profile for DonaldD   Email DonaldD   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Do you think that public sector employees were unaware of this tendency when they chose their public sector job over a private sector one, and if not, do you think that this 'predictability' in their long term employment was not already factored into their basic salaries (by both them, their employers as well as the competition in the private sector)?
Posts: 10751 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
What I don't like is the adamant refusal from people who work in these sectors and their supporters, to compromise on pay or contracts or the like when the economy goes bad.
I don't think I've seen an "adamant refusal" of this sort from the public sector in my lifetime.
Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PSRT
Member
Member # 6454

 - posted      Profile for PSRT   Email PSRT   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
What I don't like is the adamant refusal from people who work in these sectors and their supporters, to compromise on pay or contracts or the like when the economy goes bad.
I have compromised on these things in every contract negotiation that has occurred with my unions in my professional career.

In the case in Wisconsin, literally the only concession that the unions have not made is to abandon their right to collectively bargain. They have agreed to take every financial cut that Walker wishes to make in their contract.

So I have to ask you, what the heck are you talking about?

Posts: 2152 | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
What I don't like is the adamant refusal from people who work in these sectors and their supporters, to compromise on pay or contracts or the like when the economy goes bad.
Expect that that's outright false- in the Wisconsin case they already agreed two three years of a pay freeze, followed by significant pay cuts, despite the further economic damage that doing those inflicts if the cost of living doesn't at least match those trends.

But it makes no sense, when the private sector is being force to sacrifice to protect the wealth of a small privileged class, to force the public sector and all the services that our economy depends on to be functional at all to suffer to help pad that bottom line instead of taking one the tougher fight of going after the ones that are hoarding money as if it were wealth rather than keeping it moving.

Cutting public sector pay isn't going to fix the problem; it isn't going to create a single private sector job, increase pay for private sector workers, or create a single extra dollar of revenue. You're right that the argument creates a distracting us vs. them argument, but that's the whole reason for trying to propose the cuts in the first place- to trump up a false issue, creating resentment and strife so that nothing gets done to actually fix the problems. Force the people who are doing them most work to actually fix the problem to spend time and effort defending their ability to do that work at all.

http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2011020717/miller-picking-poor-kids-isnt-tough
quote:
All morning long people have been talking about ‘tough cuts’ –it’s not tough to take money away from a poor child. It’s not tough to kick a child out of Head Start. You want to do something tough? Take away tax breaks from the hedge fund managers that don’t’ deserve it… Make the oil companies pay the royalties that the taxpayers of this country are owed. That’s tough. You know why? ‘cause they can fight back. Head Start parents don’t get to fight back very much. Poor children don’t get to fight back very much

Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
edgmatt
Member
Member # 6449

 - posted      Profile for edgmatt   Email edgmatt       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's certainly true that I don't like adamant refusal, I can guarantee you that.

If your pointing out that there hasn't been adamant refusal by these people and their supporters, we can debate that.

Example A which has a link in it leading to more of the same.

quote:
Challenging the Wisconsin governor's anti-union measures and service cuts, and also concessions offered by public sector union leaders, thousands of protesters joined a jazz funeral march to the Madison statehouse.
Example B.

quote:
Working people did not create the recession or the budgetary crisis facing federal, state and local governments, and there can be no more concessions, period."
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:

The money is there. We simply need to take it away from the people hoarding it.

It seems to me, rather, that we as a society should recognize that these services are actually essential services and simply suck it up and pay for them, taking more away from useless bankers if we have to.

There's plenty of the "I'm not budging, so there" mentality on both sides, just Google 'no compromise' and you'll get plenty of links to places where politicians refuse to budge too.

Donald -

quote:

Do you think that public sector employees were unaware of this tendency when they chose their public sector job over a private sector one, and if not, do you think that this 'predictability' in their long term employment was not already factored into their basic salaries (by both them, their employers as well as the competition in the private sector)?

Not at all. I don't blame any of the employees for taking a well paying job when the money was there to pay them. I am blaming them for sticking their head in the sand and demanding the same pay/benefits todaywhen the financial situation of the country has completely changed since the time they were hired.

All that factoring in determining their salaries was based on factors at that time. The mistake was made in not providing some sort of outlet in the contract to allow their salaries to be lowered (for example) if the economic atmosphere changed drastically.

But who would do such a thing? Why would any politician put something in a contract that will hurt him politically and not help him at all? Why not promise something that he won't be responsible for and won't hurt him financially if things go bad?

Posts: 1439 | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
There's plenty of the "I'm not budging, so there" mentality on both sides...
Sorry, I'm not seeing it. Yeah, I'd rather that we actually take money away from the robber barons who've purchased our government than from the people providing essential services -- but to say that the people providing essential services haven't agreed to cuts just because they've expressed this desire is, I think, not exactly fair.
Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Greg Davidson
Member
Member # 3377

 - posted      Profile for Greg Davidson   Email Greg Davidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
TheDaemon
quote:
Yes, it is misleading that they're quite possibly comparing a (senior) Food Service Worker in one of the highest COLA areas in the country against some generic food service worker elsewhere but I could believe their government employee example does exist.
I am concerned with this media approach as a form of propaganda - start with false and misleading data to create a seed of an idea, then make the case in an extreme way, and then leave people who want to seem fair-minded saying "Well, there might be some truth in what they say..."

An alternate view, which has been true in my direct experience, is that federal civil servants always are paid less than their private sector counterparts (those with equivalent skills/experience), by an amount that ranges from ~15% to 500%+. And if that is the truth, those who push false propaganda are actively harming all who want to address this issue fairly and on the merits.

[ March 07, 2011, 11:25 PM: Message edited by: Greg Davidson ]

Posts: 4178 | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DonaldD
Member
Member # 1052

 - posted      Profile for DonaldD   Email DonaldD   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
All that factoring in determining their salaries was based on factors at that time. The mistake was made in not providing some sort of outlet in the contract to allow their salaries to be lowered (for example) if the economic atmosphere changed drastically.
I wasn't alluding to the contract, but to the market. Why should this particular market (employment) be different from all other markets that factor in future value?
Posts: 10751 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TheDeamon
Member
Member # 551

 - posted      Profile for TheDeamon   Email TheDeamon   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
The current mostly Republican initiatives would roll back "progress" to the levels of the mid-1800's by disenfranchising workers by gutting unions and rolling back funding of essential state and federal programs. Of course, that doesn't include the segment of religious Conservatives who think that isn't nearly far enough back.

Oh really? I understand that one of the reforms that the Governor of Wisconsin wants to make is turn Wisconsin into a "right to work" state. So I can imagine why the Unions would be crying foul over that one, can't have their Trust-creating laws removed from the books. Of course, I'm saying this as a resident of a right to work state, and with military experience dealing with Union Labor in shipyards, and at the ammo facilities we pulled into to onload/offload our stuff before heading to/back from the shipyards.

Not terribly impressed with many of the things that Unions make happen, as it seems to work out that it invariably protects the worst workers, and penalizes the ones with initiative. Knowing other people in other parts of the country(where "right to work" is a myth), unions are often some of the biggest obstructions tech companies in particular have to contend with(Electricians for cable runs in particular).

Both sides, the Unions and the Employers are jerks and opportunists. However, in many parts of the country, the Unions hold a deck that is heavily loaded in their favor. Leveling that playing field isn't a crime, the Unions need to have competition just like everybody else.

Posts: 505 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheDeamon:
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
The current mostly Republican initiatives would roll back "progress" to the levels of the mid-1800's by disenfranchising workers by gutting unions and rolling back funding of essential state and federal programs. Of course, that doesn't include the segment of religious Conservatives who think that isn't nearly far enough back.

Oh really? I understand that one of the reforms that the Governor of Wisconsin wants to make is turn Wisconsin into a "right to work" state.

Yes, that's what he means by rolling things back to the 1800's, since "Right to Work" is essentially doubletalk for "Right to Exploit", since it turns a blind eye to the tactics that can then be applied to suppress wages in favor of profits when rationing out available work.

quote:
So I can imagine why the Unions would be crying foul over that one, can't have their Trust-creating laws removed from the books.
In the absence of full employment other measures to more universally protect the baseline price and availability of labor to ensure that it is profitable for workers, unions are the only way to even begin to equalize power so that fair negotiations can take place. Without them, companies naturally collude to use basic survival and the limited demand for work to be done as leverage to coerce people to work at a loss.

quote:
Not terribly impressed with many of the things that Unions make happen, as it seems to work out that it invariably protects the worst workers, and penalizes the ones with initiative.

In the same way that a group travelling through a desert would frown upon someone who took the initiative to drink as much water as possible.; your description is only meaningful if there are more employment opportunities than there are people who need work. Before the laws that use unions to help equalize power can be relaxed, ones that properly enforce employer responsibility and basic cost of living support need to be fully in place, or else we drop directly into the pathological economic equilibrium that characterized the late 1800's and early 1900's before we gave unions the power they needed to negotiate on equal terms and create a large middle class.

Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
flydye
Member
Member # 6554

 - posted      Profile for flydye   Email flydye       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, when I hear about 6 hour work days, two full months off, Gold Plated Pensions, Medical Benefits to not die for, and the almost absolute inability to be fired no matter how lousy a job I do, I immediately think of exploitation.

It's practically a coal mining factory town, Pyr...

Posts: 702 | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Well, when I hear about 6 hour work days, two full months off, Gold Plated Pensions, Medical Benefits to not die for, and the almost absolute inability to be fired no matter how lousy a job I do, I immediately think of exploitation.
Well, yeah, it's understandable why you'd be wrong if you believed someone lying to you.
Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AI Wessex
Member
Member # 6653

 - posted      Profile for AI Wessex   Email AI Wessex   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
NYC just tried to implement a "crash tax", which would charge motorists a "fee" when police come to the scene of a traffic accident. A non-injury accident with an emergency team response would cost the motorists a combined(or individual?) $365, for example.

Cash-strapped cities can pick up some spare change here because you'd report the accident and pay the fee, right? We already don't report accidents to avoid insurance premium increases.

Something definitely is rotten when we pay taxes for government and *then* have to pay fees to access the services those taxes provide. Republicans tend to say the solution is to cut the cost of the government that provides the services, and cut the taxes at the same time. If there are non-essential services that can be streamlined or eliminated, fine. But cutting the number of teachers and their salaries, laying off firemen and police, cutting back on health care by closing public hospitals and reducing Medicaid and other social services only weakens government and society as a whole.

I can't really understand why people think that is such a good idea in a democratic society. Our system of government is based on the collective welfare. I adamantly opposed the war in Iraq, but I paid federal taxes that were spent on it anyway. If you supported the war, you're welcome. I don't have kids in school any longer, but I pay my state income and local property taxes anyway. If your kids are still in school, you're welcome. My house isn't burning, but I oppose laying off firemen anyway. If your house was saved from burning down, you're welcome. Happy to help.

Scaling back government benefits those at the high end of the economic scale who don't need help and don't want to pay taxes so that others can receive the help they don't need. So why do people who make less than those people push to eliminate the very support infrastructure that benefits themselves and the majority of citizens who are like them?

[ March 08, 2011, 08:50 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

Posts: 8393 | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Greg Davidson
Member
Member # 3377

 - posted      Profile for Greg Davidson   Email Greg Davidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think that the analogy to the 1800's is incorrect, because even if collective bargaining rights were eliminated, there is a great deal of federal legislation that prohibits practices from 100 years or more (environmental safety and health, minimum wage, prohibition of discrimination, rules concerning a 40 hour week and overtime, etc.). So the governor's move is one about adjusting relative levels of power.

But if it were right to change laws and break contracts to respond to the economic crisis, then it is irresponsible and borderline irrational to make those changes not to the people who were responsible for the economic collapse, but instead to a class of people almost unrelated to the root cause of the economic collapse.

Posts: 4178 | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by flydye:
Well, when I hear about 6 hour work days, two full months off, Gold Plated Pensions, Medical Benefits to not die for, and the almost absolute inability to be fired no matter how lousy a job I do, I immediately think of exploitation.

So, union employees get reasonable working conditions, and leisure time, retirement security and proper health care- pretty much what should be the bare minimum standard across the board, but with a couple of hyperbolic adjective you try to cast the baseline for a strong middle class as something bad.
Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 6161

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
I think that the analogy to the 1800's is incorrect, because even if collective bargaining rights were eliminated, there is a great deal of federal legislation that prohibits practices from 100 years or more (environmental safety and health, minimum wage, prohibition of discrimination, rules concerning a 40 hour week and overtime, etc.). So the governor's move is one about adjusting relative levels of power.


You realize that we have that legislation because of unions, right? What makes you think that we will keep those laws without the unions?
Posts: 2635 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TheDeamon
Member
Member # 551

 - posted      Profile for TheDeamon   Email TheDeamon   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by flydye:
Well, when I hear about 6 hour work days, two full months off, Gold Plated Pensions, Medical Benefits to not die for, and the almost absolute inability to be fired no matter how lousy a job I do, I immediately think of exploitation.

So, union employees get reasonable working conditions, and leisure time, retirement security and proper health care- pretty much what should be the bare minimum standard across the board, but with a couple of hyperbolic adjective you try to cast the baseline for a strong middle class as something bad.
I think you missed something in his example. Let me help:

quote:
and the almost absolute inability to be fired no matter how lousy a job I do

Posts: 505 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TheDeamon
Member
Member # 551

 - posted      Profile for TheDeamon   Email TheDeamon   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
I think that the analogy to the 1800's is incorrect, because even if collective bargaining rights were eliminated, there is a great deal of federal legislation that prohibits practices from 100 years or more (environmental safety and health, minimum wage, prohibition of discrimination, rules concerning a 40 hour week and overtime, etc.). So the governor's move is one about adjusting relative levels of power.


You realize that we have that legislation because of unions, right? What makes you think that we will keep those laws without the unions?
I don't think any of are saying that many of the historical achievements of the Unions were not commendable, and defending those achievements is important. However, I do believe that many Unions over-extended themselves as well, and are now as a general rule of thumb, as corrupt or more-so than the companies "their people" work for.

I think many of the Union organizers of the 19th century would be completely aghast at what their labor movements have now allowed people to get away with. It was about being properly compensated for work done. It wasn't about bilking the employer for "my entitlements" with the minimum amount of effort required.

Also, I personally know people with experience inside unions where they've been put under rather extensive pressure to work slower than they are capable of doing because 1) They didn't want the other union workers to look bad, and 2) They "needed" to drag the work out to maximize the amount of pay they were getting for performing the job(so the work would last longer).

That isn't protecting workers rights, it's protecting the workers collective ability to milk the employer of every penny they can. It is about running a wage labor racket enforced by state and federal laws, not ensuring employee rights.

[ March 08, 2011, 12:38 PM: Message edited by: TheDeamon ]

Posts: 505 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No, I skipped it because it's partially a false assertion grounded mostly in pretending that having to clearly prove a cause for firing someone rather than simply being able to arbitrarily dismiss them is making it "almost impossible". It's also mis-perception of the current need to ration labor, and partially a failure of the employer to properly assess the employee's strengths and provide proper training and placement.

Terminating employment should have a strong set of checks on it and a bit of a cost associated with it to ensure that the employer is taking their full responsibility to the employee in question and, especially, not putting shareholders and total profits at a higher priority than the workers.

Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Also, I personally know people with experience inside unions where they've been put under rather extensive pressure to work slower than they are capable of doing because 1) They didn't want the other union workers to look bad, and 2) They "needed" to drag the work out to maximize the amount of pay they were getting for performing the job(so the work would last longer).

It's less than optimal, but given the need to ration labor, would you prefer the alternative of ensuring companies shorten overall working hours and raise pay to make up the difference so that everyone can share in the benefits of such productivity hikes?

Given out level of technological advancement, it is far past time that we updated the work week by cutting it to 35 or 30 hours while still ensuring that earnings remain roughly equal on the balance. That would take care of the problem in the right way, rather than simply serving to push more people into unemployment.

Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AI Wessex
Member
Member # 6653

 - posted      Profile for AI Wessex   Email AI Wessex   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"Also, I personally know people with experience inside unions where they've been put under rather extensive pressure to work slower than they are capable of doing because..."

...and of course workers who are not unionized never do this, right? Um, not right. Sometimes they shirk their responsibilities just because nobody's looking or their boss is a jerk and they don't have anyone to complain to. I've seen plenty of this kind of behavior, too. You are picking on a common facet of human behavior and attributing it to the group of which they are members. By extension this is how all Muslims become radicals and potential terrorists because some are.

Non-unionized workers don't have to answer to a union for their professional qualifications and don't have to keep their skills current. Is that good?

Posts: 8393 | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cherrypoptart
Member
Member # 3942

 - posted      Profile for cherrypoptart     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If enough non-union workers do this to a company the company will eventually go bankrupt and those workers will lose their pensions.

What happens when union workers bankrupt a government?

Posts: 7675 | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AI Wessex
Member
Member # 6653

 - posted      Profile for AI Wessex   Email AI Wessex   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What happens when non-unionized workers do this, or are you saying that those workers never actually act this way? Bear in mind that there are far more non-union workers as unionized ones, so it only takes a fraction of them to cause as much harm as unionized ones. Do non-union workers work harder?

In my experience, the "best" workers are professionals (software developers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc.) and small business operators, nearly all of whom put in extra hours off the job to get the work done that there isn't time in the "normal" work day to finish. Most of them have professional standards to maintain and are compensated for their skills and expertise in the marketplace. Their work ethic comes for free.

Unions help to guarantee uniform work skills and best-practices in the work environment. How do non-union workers do this?

[ March 08, 2011, 01:28 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

Posts: 8393 | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
If enough non-union workers do this to a company the company will eventually go bankrupt and those workers will lose their pensions.


Pensions are a separate fund, one that's usually sheltered from bankruptcy proceedings.

The statement is true if anyone does it without a clear idea of what the baseline revenue from their labor is- that just points to the need for unions to help manage the rationing properly through informed negotiations rather than trying to handle it piecemeal and, most likely, without a clear idea of what the overall financial parameters are.

quote:
What happens when union workers bankrupt a government?
Bankrupt has no meaningful definition for a government that manages it's own currency.
Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 6161

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheDeamon:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
I think that the analogy to the 1800's is incorrect, because even if collective bargaining rights were eliminated, there is a great deal of federal legislation that prohibits practices from 100 years or more (environmental safety and health, minimum wage, prohibition of discrimination, rules concerning a 40 hour week and overtime, etc.). So the governor's move is one about adjusting relative levels of power.


You realize that we have that legislation because of unions, right? What makes you think that we will keep those laws without the unions?
I don't think any of are saying that many of the historical achievements of the Unions were not commendable, and defending those achievements is important. However, I do believe that many Unions over-extended themselves as well, and are now as a general rule of thumb, as corrupt or more-so than the companies "their people" work for.

I think many of the Union organizers of the 19th century would be completely aghast at what their labor movements have now allowed people to get away with. It was about being properly compensated for work done. It wasn't about bilking the employer for "my entitlements" with the minimum amount of effort required.


It isn't only historical protections. I don't have to belong to a union because there are unions. The unions set a standard for behavior to employees, safety, reasonable hours and wages that extends to non-union jobs.
Posts: 2635 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
flydye
Member
Member # 6554

 - posted      Profile for flydye   Email flydye       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Unions were designed to stop people working extraordinary hours in unsafe conditions at a pittance. To compare yesteryears smelters, truckers and mine workers to today's public school teachers is extraordinary.

And while the unions of yesteryear made the federal government aware of the problems, the federal government MADE THE CHANGES to stop the worst of those practices.

Instead, we are talking about public sector unions gaming the electoral process in just as egregious a fashion as anything the private sector is accused of for their own profit. Pyr, you can lie if you want, they want money and they want power. Or are unions full of martians?

I suppose I invented rubber rooms. That's it...

I belong to an industry that has unionized and non unionized labor. And let me say that the unions do jack and **** for the non unionized guys, screaming instead that we're the problem and wishing we'd go away. Well...so much for workers united. Could they use their muscle to help the non-union guys? Probably. But why should they? They got theirs...

[ March 08, 2011, 04:41 PM: Message edited by: flydye ]

Posts: 702 | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Unions were designed to stop people working extraordinary hours in unsafe conditions at a pittance. To compare smelters, truckers and mine workers to today's unionized employees is extraordinary.
Today's unionized workers include smelters, truckers, and miners. Of course, one of the most deadly industrial accidents in American history happened to a bunch of seamstresses in an office building.

quote:
I belong to an industry that has unionized and non unionized labor. And let me say that the unions do jack and **** for the non unionized guys...
Do they know you're one of the non-unionized guys? Because maybe that's a factor.

[ March 08, 2011, 04:41 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
flydye
Member
Member # 6554

 - posted      Profile for flydye   Email flydye       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
They know. But it isn't about me...and I've seen the unions (along with a truly craptacular management) eviserate a bunch of companies.
Posts: 702 | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 99

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, that's the thing: unions can only eviscerate a company if that company has craptacular management. And since a company with craptacular management is going to wind up eviscerating itself, and not every union even tries (or wants) to eviscerate a company, it seems to me that we should be railing against management.
Posts: 22935 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 6161

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
flydye, what makes you think that the Federal (or State) governments can't or won't CHANGE THINGS BACK? Are you unaware that corporations (who can buy politicians) are pushing for deregulation all the time? Not like those laws are written in stone.

[ March 08, 2011, 05:17 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

Posts: 2635 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
edgmatt
Member
Member # 6449

 - posted      Profile for edgmatt   Email edgmatt       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Right, but then the politician who attempts to change things back has to go through what the Governor of Wisconsin is going through.

Laws aren't written in stone, but when a law provides something to a group of people, it's extremely difficult to get that law removed. The backlash is immense.

Posts: 1439 | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Greg Davidson
Member
Member # 3377

 - posted      Profile for Greg Davidson   Email Greg Davidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There are both good and bad people in unions, as there are in non-Union jobs and in management. The arrogant and ignorant Wall Street-types who were most responsible for the economic collapse were not union employees.

By the way, kmbboots, it's so nice to be criticized from the left, it happens so rarely to me [Smile] Elimination of collective bargaining rights would tilt the balance further towards management, but the slippery slope argument does not guarantee an outcome where all of the reforms of the past 100 years would be repealed. Nevertheless, I do agree with action to better balance the power between management and employees (ie; a pro-union position in the case of Wisconsin), if only because America (and all other countries) are stronger when egregious differences in power relationships are mitigated.

Posts: 4178 | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LetterRip
Member
Member # 310

 - posted      Profile for LetterRip   Email LetterRip   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
While I don't like the elimination of collective bargaining, I think that there are a number of things unions should be prevented from bargaining for/against

1) Efficiency gains - our ports are far less efficient than they could be because the unions have blocked implementing automation

2) Addressing individual concerns - unions prevent management from directly addressing the issues of a single employee, instead everything has to go through the union.

3) Essentially disallowing merit based pay and basing pay primarily on longevity in the union. Pay and benefits should be derived from benefit generated to the corporation or employer, not on metrics that are largely irrelevant.

4) Provide a mechanism to get rid of the worst employees - really awful employees really are too difficult to get rid of with unions in many ways.

Posts: 8287 | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Instead, we are talking about public sector unions gaming the electoral process in just as egregious a fashion as anything the private sector is accused of for their own profit. Pyr, you can lie if you want, they want money and they want power. Or are unions full of martians?
They're full of the middle class. When they bargain or advocate for something that advances them, they implicitly advance average workers as a whole.

quote:
I belong to an industry that has unionized and non unionized labor. And let me say that the unions do jack and **** for the non unionized guys, screaming instead that we're the problem and wishing we'd go away.
Oh, and your salary, benefits, and working conditions? None of those are higher than they would be otherwise because you company is competing with the unions for your direct services? The better a deal the unions get, the better a deal you get as a payoff to try to keep you out of a union.
Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
1) Efficiency gains - our ports are far less efficient than they could be because the unions have blocked implementing automation
This one in particular is mostly a matter of coming to a sure agreement that such improvements won't lead to compensation and employment cuts- that workers with share in the profits from moving to such systems rather than becoming a casualty to them. At the very least, we've got to make sure that companies that do make improvements that further reduce the availability of work in a given field are fully responsible for training and finding new, equivalent positions for displaced workers; the cost of layoffs needs to be significantly increased to prevent them from being abused as much as they currently are.
Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 6161

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
There are both good and bad people in unions, as there are in non-Union jobs and in management. The arrogant and ignorant Wall Street-types who were most responsible for the economic collapse were not union employees.

By the way, kmbboots, it's so nice to be criticized from the left, it happens so rarely to me [Smile] Elimination of collective bargaining rights would tilt the balance further towards management, but the slippery slope argument does not guarantee an outcome where all of the reforms of the past 100 years would be repealed. Nevertheless, I do agree with action to better balance the power between management and employees (ie; a pro-union position in the case of Wisconsin), if only because America (and all other countries) are stronger when egregious differences in power relationships are mitigated.

I wasn't so much criticising as patching a bit of a hole. [Wink] I agree with this post entirely.
Posts: 2635 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 6161

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
flydye, what makes you think that the Federal (or State) governments can't or won't CHANGE THINGS BACK? Are you unaware that corporations (who can buy politicians) are pushing for deregulation all the time? Not like those laws are written in stone.

For example:

http://www.stlbeacon.org/voices/blogs/political-blogs/beacon-backroom/108187-cunningham-defends-proposal-to-change-child-labor-laws

Not putting them back into the mines as yet, but it's a start.

[ March 11, 2011, 10:33 AM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

Posts: 2635 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TheDeamon
Member
Member # 551

 - posted      Profile for TheDeamon   Email TheDeamon   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
It's less than optimal, but given the need to ration labor, would you prefer the alternative of ensuring companies shorten overall working hours and raise pay to make up the difference so that everyone can share in the benefits of such productivity hikes?

Who decided there is a need to ration labor? I'm of the view it is the employers call on that, not the employees. Of course, I guess having had occasion to work at a place where the employer did have a reason to "ration" work out, as the goal was "steady state" employment rather than going through a series of dips and spikes on working hours and pay the hourly workers saw as a result would lead to them asking their employees to do things a certain way. As it then minimized disruptions in the production process and allows them to better keep their in house expertise in house rather than looking for employment elsewhere because they can't get reliable hours/pay.

However, when you have an employer request that a particular task be completed ASAP, and the "union boss" then comes over and instructs you to continue working at the "ration rate" instead, there is a definite disconnect in play and abuse of the employer in progress.

[ March 18, 2011, 01:59 AM: Message edited by: TheDeamon ]

Posts: 505 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Ornery.org Front Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1