Wisconson - sign of more to come?

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soulsurfersteph
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PS

PS - I would not want to be forced to join a union that gave a portion of my dues to *either* major political party. I don't like either major political party, and I would love to see the two-headed beast starved to death!

FWIW, the only party I have given to in the past is the Democrats. I donated to Hillary's campaign and bought a Hillary shirt. Never donated to a Republican. Since Hillary, I have woken up to both major parties being horribly corrupt and awful and would like to see both of them go down. So don't take my previous comment as putting all the blame on the Democrats! 

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Unions broke the first rule....

SteveW,

Did you even read the article?  The Republican author says "the governor is not really owning up to his ambition to smash the political power of public employees' unions to smithereens."  Seems far more balanced than most of the info posted here.  And look, we have a whole new thread to discuss the latest unbiased, propaganda free, facts from Michael Moore.  Give me a break.

It looks to me like the biggest problem with the unions is that they broke the first rule of the American ( crony capitalist ) system.  They only gave to one party.  Don't they know they have to pay protection money to both crime families or else they are going to take some pain when their patron's fall out of power.  The corporations certainly know that.  My guess is that the unions will soon enough.

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Unions broke the first rule....

goes211 wrote:

SteveW,

It looks to me like the biggest problem with the unions is that they broke the first rule of the American ( crony capitalist ) system.  They only gave to one party.  Don't they know they have to pay protection money to both crime families or else they are going to take some pain when their patron's fall out of power.  The corporations certainly know that.  My guess is that the unions will soon enough.

LOL. Brilliant observation!

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Time and time again

goes211 wrote:

SteveW,

Did you even read the article?

Yes, it focuses on how unions operate and how they can become corrupted.

goes211 wrote:

It looks to me like the biggest problem with the unions is that they broke the first rule of the American ( crony capitalist ) system.  They only gave to one party.  Don't they know they have to pay protection money to both crime families or else they are going to take some pain when their patron's fall out of power.  The corporations certainly know that.  My guess is that the unions will soon enough.

Interesting observation, but don't the corporations run both parties while the unions continue to falsely believe that the Democrats are the party of the working folks?

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Blaming big Government!

You have to step back to see the big picture to really understand what the problem is with government and it is not because of it's size but the lack of revenue going into the the treasury verses what is coming out. If people want all the the services without raising taxes when inflation is eating into government funds is not going to cut it.If wages for those that pay taxes have not gone up with inflation then that means more shortages of funds going into the puplic purse.Giving tax breaks to the top ten percent is causing less funds from going into the public purse as well.With medicaid and medicare forking out huge sums for outrageous inflated cost is eating the public funds as well.How about subcidized projects that usally do nothing but make those receiving them rich and drain the government again.Most of these so called subcidies are call corporate welfare and what is sad is if they don't get them they threaten to off shore there manufacturing and do it regaurdless.

It seems to me I could go on about who is sucking the treasury dry and I never even mentioned the Military Industrial Complex and the best the Republicans can do is go after the only ones the really put into it and then are told they don't deserve it even after putting more into it without a substancial increase in there wages over the last thirty five years.Then you look at those that are taking from it more now then ever and how wealthy there all are an how less they put back in the treasury makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time.

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Not so balanced take on public sector unions...

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Michigan Bill sounds kind of scary!

Although I have don't have a big problem with what happened in Wisconsin, this sounds much more scary to me.

Michigan bill would impose "financial martial law"

Posted by Stephanie Condon

Michigan lawmakers are on the verge of approving a bill that would enable the governor to appoint "emergency managers" -- officials with unilateral power to make sweeping changes to cities facing financial troubles.

Under the legislation, the Michigan Messenger reports, the governor could declare a "financial emergency" in towns or school districts. He could then appoint a manager to fire local elected officials, break contracts, seize and sell assets, eliminate services - and even eliminate whole cities or school districts without any public input.

...

"It takes every decision in a city or school district and puts it in the hands of the manager, from when the streets get plowed to who plows them and how much they are paid," said Mark Gaffney, president of the Michigan State AFL-CIO. "This is a takeover by the right wing and it's an assault on democracy like I've never seen."

U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat who represents Detroit, said in a statement that in a given city, the governor's new "financial czar" could "force a municipality into bankruptcy, a power that will surely be used to extract further concessions from hardworking public sector workers."

He said the legislation raises "serious constitutional concerns." On top of that, he said, allowing an "emergency manager" to dissolve locally elected bodies "implicitly targets minority communities that are disproportionately impacted by the economic downturn, without providing meaningful support for improved economic opportunity."

...

As the "emergency manager" bill nears final passage, state lawmakers are also considering Snyder's proposed budget, which would cut spending on schools, universities, prisons and communities, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Snyder has also proposed eliminating $1.7 billion in tax breaks for individuals while cutting $1.8 billion in taxes for businesses to spur job growth. Much of the $1.7 billion in new tax revenue would be "coming from retirees, senior citizens and the working poor," the Free Press wrote in an editorial.

This is the first I have heard of this but if this is not partisan BS, I find this very troubling.

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Where are the small-"c" conservatives on this?

Basically, the governor gets to cut funding for local governments and school districts, putting them further in dire financial straits.

Then based on the financial emergency he has created, he can then declare these towns, cities, and school districts to be in financial emergeny and can appoint a person or corporation to take over, fire elected officials, and sell off assets to whomever, for whatever price desired by that person or corporation. (This smacks of all those Bush, Jr.-era no-bid contracts and corporate giveaways of taxpayer money , but at a state and local level.)

There is no capable opposition because the Republicans swept the state legislature and governor's seat. Odd, because this is something small-"c" conservatives should be up in arms about.

Poet

goes211 wrote:

Although I have don't have a big problem with what happened in Wisconsin, this sounds much more scary to me.

Michigan bill would impose "financial martial law"

Posted by Stephanie Condon

Michigan lawmakers are on the verge of approving a bill that would enable the governor to appoint "emergency managers" -- officials with unilateral power to make sweeping changes to cities facing financial troubles.

Under the legislation, the Michigan Messenger reports, the governor could declare a "financial emergency" in towns or school districts. He could then appoint a manager to fire local elected officials, break contracts, seize and sell assets, eliminate services - and even eliminate whole cities or school districts without any public input.

...

"It takes every decision in a city or school district and puts it in the hands of the manager, from when the streets get plowed to who plows them and how much they are paid," said Mark Gaffney, president of the Michigan State AFL-CIO. "This is a takeover by the right wing and it's an assault on democracy like I've never seen."

U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat who represents Detroit, said in a statement that in a given city, the governor's new "financial czar" could "force a municipality into bankruptcy, a power that will surely be used to extract further concessions from hardworking public sector workers."

He said the legislation raises "serious constitutional concerns." On top of that, he said, allowing an "emergency manager" to dissolve locally elected bodies "implicitly targets minority communities that are disproportionately impacted by the economic downturn, without providing meaningful support for improved economic opportunity."

...

As the "emergency manager" bill nears final passage, state lawmakers are also considering Snyder's proposed budget, which would cut spending on schools, universities, prisons and communities, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Snyder has also proposed eliminating $1.7 billion in tax breaks for individuals while cutting $1.8 billion in taxes for businesses to spur job growth. Much of the $1.7 billion in new tax revenue would be "coming from retirees, senior citizens and the working poor," the Free Press wrote in an editorial.

This is the first I have heard of this but if this is not partisan BS, I find this very troubling.

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an update: the courts in WI intervened

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin judge issued a temporary restraining order Friday blocking the state’s new and contentious collective bargaining law from taking effect, raising the possibility that the Legislature may have to vote again to pass the bill. Read  more.

The voters have spoken. The courts could care less. Business as usual. And please don't tell me that the union members were promised their salaries, benefits, etc. I was promised my social security and I'm not going to get it, either. Life stinks for everyone at the moment. Union members are not immune.

As to the recent actions of governor of Michigan? I visited Michigan for a week a year ago. I started at the Detroit Airport  and drove to Ann Arbor to see a friend of mine (freelance science writer making $43K a year) . Her husband is a computer guy, making $45K a year. They both work hard and are not in a union. There are plenty of "working class" people who are not union members who need those services the MI governor is trying to save. Breadwinners and their dependents who are not in unions are still "working families." The level of nearly slanderous rhetoric in this debate is sometimes breath taking. I wish they'd stop the "protect working families" line, simply because it implies those in unions do not work.

My friend and I drove to a writing retreat in the lower middle of the state. On the way back we drive through the suburbs of Detroit, and the former vactionland for local families. Ghost towns. If they have two bankrupted adjacent communities that can combine serivices and still maintain some semblance of services, then that is all to the good. Drastic times call for drastic measures.

It kils me that the WI unions would rather see their fellow workers laid off than keep thier jobs and take cuts to their standard of living like everyone else.

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meanwhile, in Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Troopers forcibly carried out seven union supporters from the Tennessee’s legislative office complex on Tuesday after their protest disrupted a Senate committee hearing.

(Image: WTVF)

The disruption occurred after hundreds of labor supporters gathered for a midday protest near the Capitol to denounce a bill to strip teachers of their collective bargaining rights. The seven arrested were among those who stood up during the hearing and began chants about “union busting” by the Legislature.   Read More

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Financial Martial Law ???

What are these people talking about ?

All this means is that the public employees that serve the people and are paid by the people are going to get the same deal as the people.

Why would it be any other way ?  I have a job.  I work at the whim of senior management.  I could be fired any second for any reason or no reason.  i pay 600 a month for my family's medical insurance.  I have 401k but all monies that go in it I have to put in it - period.  I have to sign a paper every year that says I agree that if a girl goes to HR and makes basically any accusation against me that i will be fired instantly - period.  No questions asked. No investigation is promised, no nothing.  If I do not sign the paper I will be fired on the spot and we are clearly told so by legal and HR people standing there watching us sign the papers.  Typical American job.  I work like 50 to 60 hours a week with no overtime pay.

So what are these people talking about.  It is not financial martial law, it is called welcome to America.

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Ohh...

dshields wrote:

What are these people talking about ?

All this means is that the public employees that serve the people and are paid by the people are going to get the same deal as the people.

Why would it be any other way ?  I have a job.  I work at the whim of senior management.  I could be fired any second for any reason or no reason.  i pay 600 a month for my family's medical insurance.  I have 401k but all monies that go in it I have to put in it - period.  I have to sign a paper every year that says I agree that if a girl goes to HR and makes basically any accusation against me that i will be fired instantly - period.  No questions asked. No investigation is promised, no nothing.  If I do not sign the paper I will be fired on the spot and we are clearly told so by legal and HR people standing there watching us sign the papers.  Typical American job.  I work like 50 to 60 hours a week with no overtime pay.

So what are these people talking about.  It is not financial martial law, it is called welcome to America.

Dshields

Well, if you don't like these "typical American job" conditions which don't sound fair at all, maybe you should consider organizing a union... Wink

Poet

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RE:Poet

I was going to post something similar to this last night, but thought to myself, "There is no way it sinks in or does anything at all beneficial"

My job sucks, so yours should too. Is that the argument? Really?!

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You are close

Rihter wrote:

My job sucks, so yours should too. Is that the argument? Really?!

Not quite but close. 

Who are the public service unions employers?  Why should employers (taxpayers) support unions getting a better deal than they have themselves?  I would love to see everyone be able to support a family on one income, but as a taxpayer I don't support a privileged few getting above market wages, at my expense. 

Once again I can see why union workers should support unions.  It is in their own best interest.  I just don't see why they think non-union workers should support them.  What is their upside?

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nope

Rihter wrote:

I was going to post something similar to this last night, but thought to myself, "There is no way it sinks in or does anything at all beneficial"

My job sucks, so yours should too. Is that the argument? Really?!

That is not the argument.  The argument is that public employees are not a privileged elite.  They should and will get the same deal the rest of America gets.  The government(s) uses force to extract part of our incomes from us to support a privileged elite ?  I don't think so.  If I have 10 dollars I can only pay 10 dollars.  Trying to extract 15 dollars out of me to support a privileged elite will simply not work.  And, it is not going to happen.  America is experiencing a forced reduction in the standard of living.  It hit the private sector first.  Now it is hitting the public sector.  Apparently there is nothing that can be done about it - it is just the way it is.  If someone used to make 40 dollars an hour and that job was outsourced to some 3rd world place and now they make 10 dollars an hour at Home Depot they take a real beating and end up with a greatly reduced standard of living.  Now we are going to use the taxing authority of the government to forcibly extract part of their 10 dollars an hour and give it to a privileged elite with free medial and paid for pensions ?  I don't think so.

Keep watching.  It is very easy to predict what is going to happen.  Politicians run the government.  The people vote for the politicians.  The pubic sector exists to serve the people.  It is not a statist tyranny.  The public sector can not pay what they do not have.  Inbound revenue in to the public sector is being reduced as the standard of living goes down.  The people who work for the public sector will also experience a reduction in the standard of living.  2 + 2 = 4 no matter how bad we wished it did not.

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So the jobs suck and you wonder why?

goes211 wrote:

Rihter wrote:

My job sucks, so yours should too. Is that the argument? Really?!

Not quite but close. 

Who are the public service unions employers?  Why should employers (taxpayers) support unions getting a better deal than they have themselves?  I would love to see everyone be able to support a family on one income, but as a taxpayer I don't support a privileged few getting above market wages, at my expense. 

Once again I can see why union workers should support unions.  It is in their own best interest.  I just don't see why they think non-union workers should support them.  What is their upside?

I don't get why you can't seem to connect the dots, the reason these non union jobs suck now more than ever is related to the drop in union membership. It's been the plan for years, make the unions the scapegoat for every issue, because unions were the only unified force against exploitation of workers. How people cannot make this connection is beyond me. When the last union is crushed a new scapegoat such as minimum wage will be created. After that you'll all then be set against one another for whatever scraps you are offered.

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Astonished

I really have a hard time understanding the logic behind Public vs. Private workers argument. Positioning two sectors of the same financial class (the middle) against one another is horrible for our social fabric.

I'll submit public workers make, on average, more than the private for the same job. Although, they also have to have higher qualifications to get that same level job. http://tax.com/taxcom/taxblog.nsf/Permalink/UBEN-8EQP7F?OpenDocument

Quote:

" The study shows that public sector workers who are lawyers, executives, managers, software engineers -- that is to say, occupations requiring a lot of education and training -- tend to make less than private sector workers. For example, state and local government lawyers on average earn 49 percent less than lawyers working for private business, data from the 2000 Census publicly available microdata sample files shows.

On the other hand, low-skill jobs where government workers tend to be in unions make more. For example, janitors in 2000 made $21,000 if public employees, $16,250 if private. Library clerks averaged $11,500 as public employees to $8,300 in the private sector. However, childcare workers made more in the private sector ($10,200) than in government jobs ($9,800)."


As far as Private taxpayers being the employer of private workers, that is weak argument at best. They pay taxes as well, so does that make them their own employers?! The public sector delivers a fair value for dollars spent. If you feel they don't, then help vote, design, or structure systems into existence that deliver more value for dollars spent, rather than stripping away dollars for services that the whole of the community is built on.

If there's fluff, unnecessary redundancy, or waste in the various budgets across the country than cut it out. I would argue that a teachers compensation package does not fit in any of those categories. If the value isn't there than rework the education system, not the ability of the educators to survive economically.

On another note. The whole debate is most likely to prove pointless in the long run. I don't see any of the existing public or private institutions being able to sustain their current economic structures in light of the 3 E's bearing down on them. The reason I argue for the workers, regardless of their sector, is the principle behind it. I firmly feel that the larger the middle class in a society, the better. Inequality will tear apart any social structure. Whether it's the extreme Elite, or the extreme Poor, severe stratification of the economic classes will tear apart our collective ability to traverse the crisis that we are faced with.

The elite don't really need an advocate. They can hire one, and do in the form of lobbyists. The poor on the other hand, or as we call them today "the middle class", do need an advocate no matter what form it comes in. Unions, community organizers, philanthropists, Non-Profits, or any other entity that supports the common person is always going to appeal to me. It also cuts the other way. Anyone who opposes the common person, or the organizations that support them, is going to provoke me.

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Unions

Useyerloaf wrote:

I don't get why you can't seem to connect the dots, the reason these non union jobs suck now more than ever is related to the drop in union membership. It's been the plan for years, make the unions the scapegoat for every issue, because unions were the only unified force against exploitation of workers. How people cannot make this connection is beyond me. When the last union is crushed a new scapegoat such as minimum wage will be created. After that you'll all then be set against one another for whatever scraps you are offered.

Correlation does not equal causality.  There are many factors that have lead to the decline in unions and the decline of the American worker.  Some of them might be shared but many are not.  Some of the largest unions priced themselves out of existence like the UAW.  Most others have been hurt by globalization, but that has also affected many non-union workers.  Just like most of the rest of our problems, there are many causes, and few obvious solutions.

Unions are certainly not "scapegoats for every issue" nor will they be our salvation.  They are just another issue that will serve to divide the masses, much like religion, abortion, race, ...

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Public vs. Private

Rihter wrote:

As far as Private taxpayers being the employer of private workers, that is weak argument at best. They pay taxes as well, so does that make them their own employers?! The public sector delivers a fair value for dollars spent. If you feel they don't, then help vote, design, or structure systems into existence that deliver more value for dollars spent, rather than stripping away dollars for services that the whole of the community is built on.

I strongly disagree.  Yes, middle class union members pay taxes but it is a case of concentrated benefits vs. dispersed costs.  A small portion of each union members taxes goes to pay for themselves, but they are far less sensitive to those taxes than to their own benefits.  How would a public union member feel about taxes being raised 2% on everyone so that union members can get 15% raises?  Do you think that they would think that they would be outraged by this tax increase?

To think otherwise would be like saying we should not criticise a Wall St CEO because he pays his taxes, ignoring the disproportionate benefits his class of financiers get from government largess.  I realize that this is a silly comparison because an individual union members don't get nearly as sweet of a deal as what Wall St. gets.

What really bothers me about public unions is what is, what are the controls?  If private sector unions take too much, they can threaten their own livelihood, just as the UAW did to the Big Three (granted the unions were not the only problem).  How are for public unions controlled?  Public unions can elect politicians that grant them rights and benefits from the public till.  Now that anti-union politicians are elected, somehow they are not allowed to restrict or remove any of those benefits?   It seems strange that benefits can be granted by one set of political supporters but it is nearly criminal for their opponents to try and take any of them away?

I don't live in Wisconsin and I don't know if these public unions are overpaid but if they are, how exactly can they be controlled except by politicians doing exactly what they are doing right now?  In this case the Democrats have acted like spoiled children on a playground.  When they started to lose they tried to take the ball and go home.

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re:Goes211

Goes,

Your whole last post basically states how your "bothered" by publics unions, how you believe "Democrats are acting like spoiled children", and at the same time ignore the rest of my post.

Did you quote me just to make your point about how much you dislike public unions and democrats?

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Why did I quote you?

Rihter wrote:

Goes,

Your whole last post basically states how your "bothered" by publics unions, how you believe "Democrats are acting like spoiled children", and at the same time ignore the rest of my post.

Did you quote me just to make your point about how much you dislike public unions and democrats?

Rihter,

I quoted and bolded the part of your post that I disagreed with.  I then went about explaining why I disagree.  You are free to disagree with my arguments but I doubt that I am the only one that thinks this way.

As for the rest of your post...

Rihter wrote:

If there's fluff, unnecessary redundancy, or waste in the various budgets across the country than cut it out. I would argue that a teachers compensation package does not fit in any of those categories. If the value isn't there than rework the education system, not the ability of the educators to survive economically.

Good luck trying to reform our education system.  The teachers unions will fight tooth and nail to maintain the status quo.  I want teachers to survive economically, after all both my parents were teachers, I just think that they need to provide a service at market prices.  If there are a lot of people that want to teach and the number of jobs is limited, the value of their labor will be low.  If there are few that are good at teaching, and society starts valuing education and creates a lot of education jobs, teachers will do quite well. 

There is no doubt that no one should miss out on some sort of education solely based upon cost, but I don't support monopolies, be they public or private.  Monopolies are not sensitive to cost in the way that other industry is and therefore they need to operate under different rules or lose their monopoly status.

If there was a proper market for education, where public schools actually had to compete against private schools, I would have no problems with teachers unions.

Rihter wrote:

On another note. The whole debate is most likely to prove pointless in the long run. I don't see any of the existing public or private institutions being able to sustain their current economic structures in light of the 3 E's bearing down on them. The reason I argue for the workers, regardless of their sector, is the principle behind it. I firmly feel that the larger the middle class in a society, the better. Inequality will tear apart any social structure. Whether it's the extreme Elite, or the extreme Poor, severe stratification of the economic classes will tear apart our collective ability to traverse the crisis that we are faced with.

I largely agree with this paragraph with one exception.  While I think inequality is probably a symptom of the problem, I don't think it is inequality itself that will tear apart a social structure.  I think it is injustice that will destroy a social structure.

I personally don't have a problem with others having more or less than I have as long as that difference was gained in a just maner.  It does not bother me that Kobe Bryant makes $25 million a year.  He can drive around in a Bugatti Veyron and live in a mansion in Beverly Hills for all I care.  If this bothers you, it is probably jealousy.  He is doing something that few others can do ( and I certainly NEVER could ) and he is probably generating far more value than $25 million for the league.  What he chooses to do with that wealth is not my concern. 

Now if a banker is making that same money using leverage and free money from the banking cartel, privatizing gains and socializing loses, I have a serious problem with this.  The difference is not the inequality, it is the injustice.

Rihter wrote:

The elite don't really need an advocate. They can hire one, and do in the form of lobbyists. The poor on the other hand, or as we call them today "the middle class", do need an advocate no matter what form it comes in. Unions, community organizers, philanthropists, Non-Profits, or any other entity that supports the common person is always going to appeal to me. It also cuts the other way. Anyone who opposes the common person, or the organizations that support them, is going to provoke me.

For me it is not so black and white.  I support those on the lower end against injustice, not inequality.  If those on the lower end choose to use injustice to gain equality, I can not support them.

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Useyerloaf
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unions

goes211 wrote:

Useyerloaf wrote:

I don't get why you can't seem to connect the dots, the reason these non union jobs suck now more than ever is related to the drop in union membership. It's been the plan for years, make the unions the scapegoat for every issue, because unions were the only unified force against exploitation of workers. How people cannot make this connection is beyond me. When the last union is crushed a new scapegoat such as minimum wage will be created. After that you'll all then be set against one another for whatever scraps you are offered.

Correlation does not equal causality.  There are many factors that have lead to the decline in unions and the decline of the American worker.  Some of them might be shared but many are not.  Some of the largest unions priced themselves out of existence like the UAW.  Most others have been hurt by globalization, but that has also affected many non-union workers.  Just like most of the rest of our problems, there are many causes, and few obvious solutions.

Unions are certainly not "scapegoats for every issue" nor will they be our salvation.  They are just another issue that will serve to divide the masses, much like religion, abortion, race, ...

"Correlation does not equal causality"  seems to be a blanket defense to very obvious truths . The UAW did not price themselves out of job, the cars they were building were in the same range as the imports. The product they were building, which they had no hand in designing or developing, was deemed inferior to imports so people stopped buying them. The Auto industry went down because of an inferior product, not unions.  Mark my words, now the unions are going under, minimum wage and workplace protection will be next.

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re:Goes211

Thank You. That is a good response.

First point. The amount of people agreeing, or disagreeing, with either of us doesn't add any weight to the argument. Just more opinions.

Point two. Teachers in a free market system absent of public monopoly. Have at it. "Little House on the Prairie" system. Freelance educators trying to find a market for their services. Countries all over the world educate their people with a comparable system. I don't for one second believe it will drive down the cost. However, I do believe it would improve the education for those that can afford to pay for it . I would ask if you have any examples of a successful private k-12 education system, that serves the general public, in a industrialized western culture?

Point three. You implying I'm jealous of Kobe is insulting. Really I wasn't even factoring Kobe into the "Elite". I also don't think wealth is the be all, end all of equality. Tracing the root of his compensation is basic. He has a brand that appeals to a market. Your example of the banks is more in line with what I meant by "inequality". You may choose to frame it differently by calling it "justice", but the end result is the same.

I'm all for free market solutions, but I view it as an unrealistic goal similar to "pure communism". Neither is ever going to exist the way it is drawn up in the text books. After Japan's nightmare, do you really want to test an unregulated nuclear market?! (rhetorical to make a point)

When I refer to equality, I'm not talking about  equal access to stuff or property. I'm talking about equal access to inalienable rights. When money is the tool that grants access to your "rights" (Citizens United for example) justice, equality, liberty, etc... are all tossed out the window. I thought, as a country, we were passed the days when only property owners were allowed to vote. That is the equality I'm referring to. Let me preempt the everyone can vote argument by stating the following. If, and I say IF, you believe an individual and a corporation have an equal voice in a post-Citizens United system, than you are naive. There are several other low hanging examples, but I would ask that you apply the previous example to to any of your choosing using this as a guiding principle. What do you consider a basic right, and does money grant an unfair advantage to accessing that right? If you are OK with that unfair advantage, then you and I are never going to see eye to eye on anything.

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docmims
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 17 2009
Posts: 644
Suppose we pay teachers, say

Suppose we pay teachers, say 1000000 dollars a year (thats a million dollars to those of you like me were educated in public schools).  Would we have better teachers assuming seniority rules like most unions?

Could we solve the deficit by taxing those evil rich teachers 90 percent of their income?  Keep in mind they get their income from taxes in the first place.  (Actually we could solve the problem by raising their salary to 1 million dollars and taxing them 96 percent giving them the illusion of being rich while keeping 40k a year!)

Do not take my comments as a solution to the problem, but I am a rich teamster.

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goes211
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Posts: 1110
Three points revisited

Rihter wrote:

Thank You. That is a good response.

First point. The amount of people agreeing, or disagreeing, with either of us doesn't add any weight to the argument. Just more opinions.

Point two. Teachers in a free market system absent of public monopoly. Have at it. "Little House on the Prairie" system. Freelance educators trying to find a market for their services. Countries all over the world educate their people with a comparable system. I don't for one second believe it will drive down the cost. However, I do believe it would improve the education for those that can afford to pay for it . I would ask if you have any examples of a successful private k-12 education system, that serves the general public, in a industrialized western culture?

Point three. You implying I'm jealous of Kobe is insulting. Really I wasn't even factoring Kobe into the "Elite". I also don't think wealth is the be all, end all of equality. Tracing the root of his compensation is basic. He has a brand that appeals to a market. Your example of the banks is more in line with what I meant by "inequality". You may choose to frame it differently by calling it "justice", but the end result is the same.

I'm all for free market solutions, but I view it as an unrealistic goal similar to "pure communism". Neither is ever going to exist the way it is drawn up in the text books. After Japan's nightmare, do you really want to test an unregulated nuclear market?! (rhetorical to make a point)

When I refer to equality, I'm not talking about  equal access to stuff or property. I'm talking about equal access to inalienable rights. When money is the tool that grants access to your "rights" (Citizens United for example) justice, equality, liberty, etc... are all tossed out the window. I thought, as a country, we were passed the days when only property owners were allowed to vote. That is the equality I'm referring to. Let me preempt the everyone can vote argument by stating the following. If, and I say IF, you believe an individual and a corporation have an equal voice in a post-Citizens United system, than you are naive. There are several other low hanging examples, but I would ask that you apply the previous example to to any of your choosing using this as a guiding principle. What do you consider a basic right, and does money grant an unfair advantage to accessing that right? If you are OK with that unfair advantage, then you and I are never going to see eye to eye on anything.

First Point. I did not say I was correct simply because others believe as I do.  Opinions are like ___holes, everybody's got one.  I thought I laid out a reasonable argument and you are free to disagree.

Point Two.  Check out Stossel's "Stupid in America".  I can't figure out how to embed the starting time into the link.   The part to consider begins at 17:15.

Point Three.  I did not say that you were jealous of Kobe.  Please check again at what I said.  What I said was  "IF this bothers you, it is probably jealousy".  What I was pointing out is that we have a very unequal outcome ( Kobe $25+ million a year, me quite a bit less ) but I am not bothered by this.  Once again, It is not the inequality, it is the injustice.  Some people on the far left might disagree and believe that any inequality of outcome is unacceptable.  Some on the far right may believe that the banker exists within a system that can be legally manipulated (privatizing gains and socializing loses) and therefore his actions are acceptable.  It is my opinion that the majority of people are somewhere inbetween and that it is not the inequality that is the problem but how fair or just was the system that allowed the inequallity to occur.

The bolded section of your response is most interesting.  It is possible that we have less disagreement than it first seemed.  I would have to know more about what you consider an "unfair advantage".

Rihter's picture
Rihter
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 27 2010
Posts: 77
Unfair advantage

Unfair advantage. I'll stick to the original example.

- Publicly traded corporations that funnel money to politicians to push there agendas > you or I sending money to our guys on the stump

dshields's picture
dshields
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 24 2009
Posts: 599
life

I watched the school video.  Once you start it is hard to stop.  Yep - one section of the video was about Kansas City when I used to live there.  It was amazing what happened.  A Federal judge decided that the inner city black schools had very poor standardized test results compared to the suburb schools because they were not funded as will..  They started confiscating part of the property taxes from the suburbs and giving it to the inner city schools.  They spent 2 billion dollars in just a few years and the test scores are even worse than they were before the spending started.  It is shocking.  In the meantime, a bunch of people took it to the supreme court and it turned out to be unconstitutional to take people's property taxes and redistribute them willy nilly.  There are many examples of school failures with huge funding.  It is not about money.  It is about people.  Kansas City is a terrible place.  It is a huge city jammed full of trash.  It is the meth capital of the world.  There is so much crime the police are simply over whelmed.  Stealing is a way of life.  Back to schools -

If you do not know who you Dad is, and your Mom doesn't work and just gets wasted every day, and nobody makes you do anything then you go bad.  it is not money, it is not the school, I am not even sure it is the teachers (although they hold some responsibility for sure), it is the people.  The parents and the system.  We were not allowed to misbehave in school.  If you were disruptive you were removed.  Your parents were called to come pick you up.  If you were disruptive a few times you were permanently removed.  The entire standard has been lowered.  Liberalism is directly at fault here.  Permissive views have allowed discipline to go off the rails and now we are in trouble.

Kids in other countries are not smarter than our kids.  Our kids are just not required to perform.  A massive (and growing) welfare state has applied liberal ethics to our kids and now practically every civilized country in earth has better schools than we do.

We need a crack down on useless teachers, schools, and school discipline in general.  The unions just keep demanding more and more money with less and less results.  The unions are keeping us from finding and removing the poor teachers.  Yet another reason we need to remove unions from the government.

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Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1840
Re-Defining The Labels To Demonize With Libel

dshields wrote:

Liberalism is directly at fault here.  Permissive views have allowed discipline to go off the rails and now we are in trouble.

A massive (and growing) welfare state has applied liberal ethics to our kids and now practically every civilized country in earth has better schools than we do.

See what I mean? You don't like it when "normal" becomes "right wing". I don't like it when stuff even I don't support becomes "liberal".

Poet

Rihter's picture
Rihter
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 27 2010
Posts: 77
injected ideology

Poet wrote:

dshields wrote:

Liberalism is directly at fault here.  Permissive views have allowed discipline to go off the rails and now we are in trouble.

A massive (and growing) welfare state has applied liberal ethics to our kids and now practically every civilized country in earth has better schools than we do.

See what I mean? You don't like it when "normal" becomes "right wing". I don't like it when stuff even I don't support becomes "liberal".

Poet

I was reading Dshields post all the way up until he broadly accused Liberalism for being the cause. Then I picked up on, and agreed with your statement Poet.

There seems to be a reoccurring theme of injecting ideology into an example to score points in these debates.

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1840
Polarity

Rihter wrote:

Poet wrote:

dshields wrote:

Liberalism is directly at fault here.  Permissive views have allowed discipline to go off the rails and now we are in trouble.

A massive (and growing) welfare state has applied liberal ethics to our kids and now practically every civilized country in earth has better schools than we do.

See what I mean? You don't like it when "normal" becomes "right wing". I don't like it when stuff even I don't support becomes "liberal".

Poet

I was reading Dshields post all the way up until he broadly accused Liberalism for being the cause. Then I picked up on, and agreed with your statement Poet.

There seems to be a reoccurring theme of injecting ideology into an example to score points in these debates.

Rihter

And Dshields is one of the nicer and more civil gentlemen out there. I actually feel I could have a real conversation with him.

The vitriol and sheer hatred and false labeling coming out of talk radio (yes, I do sometimes listen to Rush Limbaugh and I've watched some Glenn Beck and occasionally have read and heard what Palin and Coulter have had to say) and on some of those web sites is just sickening. You end up having to read through a lot of ideological stuff just because for many years (and I'll date myself by saying I used to be on Y2K sites) most of the prep folks and 2nd Amendment folks (of which I am one) have tended to be more to the right than the mainstream.

Are the media personalities and web sites talking to the majority of Americans (like me) who are in the middle - or just to themselves and the uninformed to build up the hate and misinformation, y'know what I mean? They don't realize that they're not attracting converts so much as radicalizing the choir while turning away new recruits. I bet you some of them wouldn't dare watch Jon Stewart or Rachel Maddow at length. Their minds juat aren't open enough to take an honest look at both sides.

Poet

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