The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees

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The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees

The labor market in the US economy has changed radically since the 1970's.  It is interesting how it has transformed.  I do not agree with the direction the unions are moving.  These changes do not benefit America in general or help with the current economic situation.

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/09/the-new-face-of-the-uni...

 

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees

Nice article. I believe that public unions should be illegal.  Noone represents the taxpayer at the bargaining table. The elected officials know who backs them financially and will further the agenda of the unions so that they will receive that voting block in the next election. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure the game out.

Well, you say, just vote those officials out.  My question to you would be, "Have you ever worked to acconplish that?"  I have. It is damn near impossible.

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees
dshields wrote:

The labor market in the US economy has changed radically since the 1970's.  It is interesting how it has transformed.  I do not agree with the direction the unions are moving.  These changes do not benefit America in general or help with the current economic situation.

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/09/the-new-face-of-the-uni...

 

As less than 13% of the working population belong to Unions, I can't see what all the fuss is about. Union participation has been in decline since the 1970's. Unions have become the newest manifestation of blame, along with illegal immigrants and gay marriage.

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees

markm - yes and i believe that you are correct.  government labor unions should be illegal - it is just that simple.

diogenknees - i see your point but the trend is for more government unions and more pressure to increase taxes against the private sector.  taxes need to be reduced along with a corresponding reduction in government.  much of the cost of government is basically a tax on society.  now, some of that is necessary to be able to maintain a civil society, but a fair amount of the government we have today could be reduced and people allowed to keep more of the money they work for to take care of their families, college for their children, retirement, etc..  the amount of revenue the government (federal, state, and local) takes from business and the people is staggering.  there are one or more taxes on basically every single thing and the government is its various forms is constantly searching for more things to tax.  it is not right.  it is excessive and getting worse.  with the dems holding both houses of congress and the white house, the future looks bleak for cuts in federal government spending.  i live in new jersey and our new governor chris christie is doing a splendid job and exceeding expectations.  we need more politicians like christie at all levels of government.  mark levin's book "liberty and tyranny" takes an in depth look at the size, cost, and nature of government.  while i will admit he is somewhat of an extremest, i find his writings fresh and interesting and he is definitely on the right track.  the government is on an unprecedented out of control spending spree which is causing real damage to the country.  government unions are pushing for ever more spending - not good.

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees
Diogenknees wrote:

Union participation has been in decline since the 1970's.

Not public unions. Participation in on the rise there. Let's not mix the two. They are completely different animals and my gripe is with public unions. They should be illegal.

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees
dshields wrote:

markm - yes and i believe that you are correct.  government labor unions should be illegal - it is just that simple.

diogenknees - i see your point but the trend is for more government unions and more pressure to increase taxes against the private sector.  taxes need to be reduced along with a corresponding reduction in government.  much of the cost of government is basically a tax on society.  now, some of that is necessary to be able to maintain a civil society, but a fair amount of the government we have today could be reduced and people allowed to keep more of the money they work for to take care of their families, college for their children, retirement, etc..  the amount of revenue the government (federal, state, and local) takes from business and the people is staggering.  there are one or more taxes on basically every single thing and the government is its various forms is constantly searching for more things to tax.  it is not right.  it is excessive and getting worse.  with the dems holding both houses of congress and the white house, the future looks bleak for cuts in federal government spending.  i live in new jersey and our new governor chris christie is doing a splendid job and exceeding expectations.  we need more politicians like christie at all levels of government.  mark levin's book "liberty and tyranny" takes an in depth look at the size, cost, and nature of government.  while i will admit he is somewhat of an extremest, i find his writings fresh and interesting and he is definitely on the right track.  the government is on an unprecedented out of control spending spree which is causing real damage to the country.  government unions are pushing for ever more spending - not good.

 

Unions are not the problem, many public sector workers are already on furloughs, made wage concessions or both. Spending $720,000,000 dollars a day on war is the problem.

You might want to look at the charts regarding government debt before you cry on the democrats. Republican fiscal superiority is a myth, they're no better than the Democrats

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees

diogenkness - i completely agree on that - the war(s) are definitely putting us in a bad way.  the iraq war may be closing out but the afghanistan war spending is increasing rapidly.  and, it is all debt spending.  no good will come from that.

on the political parties - in the past it has generally been a matter of degree.  remember, congress has been basically controlled by dems for the last six years or so.  your graph omits that (just has presidents names) and congress initiates all spending bills.  shame on bush jr for not applying the veto more often.  i do not know why he did not.  the new crop of repubs are going to do better i hope.  at least until they get absorbed by the DC culture.  remember, the freshman class of repubs took no PAC money in the 1994 elections.  in 1996 they took just as much PAC money as the rest of them.  so, i suppose i am pinning my hopes on the new class of repubs and that maybe they will do a better job.  they talk like they just might.  every once in a while things do change.  in the recent movie "the day the earth stood still" the nobel dude told the alien that humans only evolve when on the precipice of disaster - only then do they find the will to change.  the current crop of dems do not see the state we are in.  they seem totoally disconnected from the people they are supposed to represent.  the repubs seem to see it,  or at least some of it, and they appear to be committed to try to do something about the out of control spending before it is too late.  it may actually already be to late but any effort in the direction of controlling government and returning the people's money and liberty back to them just can't be a bad thing.

 

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees

I'm also firmly in the camp that govt. employees should not be allowed to unionize - the tax payer abuses occurring are obvious in the form of outlandish benefits not common in the private sector.  It should be noted that at state and local levels many elected officials are beginning to push back at the unions in small and large (cities declaring bankruptcy to escape contracts) ways.  We have an odd mix of players developing - the taxpayers are fighting city hall to avoid further tax increases, the unions that want more, more, more and the "govt.".  More often we are now seeing the taxpayers "fighting" both the unions and the elected, the unions fighting the elected and the elected fighting both unions and the tax payer.  In most of these cases the unions aren't winning.  So yes voting can have some influence on a more local basis.

I think if more people actually read their local budgets (required by law to be published in local papers for most) they would uncover the ludicrous cost of the five star health benefits and the even more egregious tax payer contributions to their pension plans.  The common "excuse" for these high salary/benefit packages is to obtain the "best" and "brightest" govt employees.  I hardly see any evidence of that occurring.  We seem to only hire the laziest and dumbest public service employees.

Most of the excess growth in govt occurred at the state and local levels over the last two decades, so we as taxpayers have a better shot at reeling that back in now that revenues are sucking pond water.  The federal govt - well that may take some revolutionary thinking to correct the errors of our ways.

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees

A few weeks ago while driving through a quiet suburban area, on the sidewalk there was an open coffin on stands. Looking inside the propped-up lid as I went by, a motionless human figure was visible inside. I couldn't tell whether it was a mannequin or a corpse in transit. One person was in the vicinity, but there was no explanation of what was going on.

A few days later, a sign was added to the coffin to indicate that it was part of a union organizing campaign. They want to organize the workers of the country club behind the hedges. Then they added a giant inflatable rat, with a 'SHAME' sign. Here's a similar one, in front of an NYC construction site:

The rat is pretty effective as an attention-getter. Whereas the coffin is much more questionable -- they could well be presiding over their own funeral! Another failure of communication is that I still don't know which union is behind the country club organizing campaign.

Taxpayers need their own inflatable totem animal for protests. 'Jackal government' comes to mind ... Cool

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees
dshields wrote:

diogenkness - i completely agree on that - the war(s) are definitely putting us in a bad way.  the iraq war may be closing out but the afghanistan war spending is increasing rapidly.  and, it is all debt spending.  no good will come from that.

on the political parties - in the past it has generally been a matter of degree.  remember, congress has been basically controlled by dems for the last six years or so.  your graph omits that (just has presidents names) and congress initiates all spending bills.  shame on bush jr for not applying the veto more often.  i do not know why he did not.  the new crop of repubs are going to do better i hope.  at least until they get absorbed by the DC culture.  remember, the freshman class of repubs took no PAC money in the 1994 elections.  in 1996 they took just as much PAC money as the rest of them.  so, i suppose i am pinning my hopes on the new class of repubs and that maybe they will do a better job.  they talk like they just might.  every once in a while things do change.  in the recent movie "the day the earth stood still" the nobel dude told the alien that humans only evolve when on the precipice of disaster - only then do they find the will to change.  the current crop of dems do not see the state we are in.  they seem totoally disconnected from the people they are supposed to represent.  the repubs seem to see it,  or at least some of it, and they appear to be committed to try to do something about the out of control spending before it is too late.  it may actually already be to late but any effort in the direction of controlling government and returning the people's money and liberty back to them just can't be a bad thing.

 

The republicans under bush had almost 8 years of total control of the governmentat all levels and did nothing about the debt, and during the that whole period screamed about the ten commandments in public buildings, Terri Shivo, stem cells and gay marriage. Neither party  is blameless, but the Democrats make no bones about their agenda, where as the Republicans are always going on about fiscal responsibility and do the complete opposite. The "New Crop" is the same as the old crop, as 90 % of incumbents get relected every election cycle

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees
machinehead wrote:

A few weeks ago while driving through a quiet suburban area, on the sidewalk there was an open coffin on stands. Looking inside the propped-up lid as I went by, a motionless human figure was visible inside. I couldn't tell whether it was a mannequin or a corpse in transit. One person was in the vicinity, but there was no explanation of what was going on.

A few days later, a sign was added to the coffin to indicate that it was part of a union organizing campaign. They want to organize the workers of the country club behind the hedges. Then they added a giant inflatable rat, with a 'SHAME' sign. Here's a similar one, in front of an NYC construction site:

The rat is pretty effective as an attention-getter. Whereas the coffin is much more questionable -- they could well be presiding over their own funeral! Another failure of communication is that I still don't know which union is behind the country club organizing campaign.

Taxpayers need their own inflatable totem animal for protests. 'Jackal government' comes to mind ... Cool

 

What the taypayers need is to pull their craniums out of their anal spincters. Numbering less than 7% of the nation's total workforce, public sector union workers are not the problem. Attacking the unions is just another diversion, it's used all the time there's some major scandal is uncovered, EG. " Billions disappear in Iraq" is quickly replaced with "Porn Princess joins Dancing with the Stars", " stem cells research an abomination", or "gay marriage ruins America". Wake up people.

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees
Diogenknees wrote:

What the taypayers need is to pull their craniums out of their anal spincters. Numbering less than 7% of the nation's total workforce, public sector union workers are not the problem. Attacking the unions is just another diversion, it's used all the time there's some major scandal is uncovered, EG. " Billions disappear in Iraq" is quickly replaced with "Porn Princess joins Dancing with the Stars", " stem cells research an abomination", or "gay marriage ruins America". Wake up people.

Gee are you a card carrying public union employee? Laughing

Perhaps it isn't so much an issue at the federal level, but beleive me it is a huge problem at the state and local level.  It will be the primary driver of municipal defaults and bankruptcies.  At this point there isn't a real allowance for a state to declare bankruptcy, though some should.  If the state and local governments are to survive and sufficiently "downsize" to providing the true necessary functions, the unions have to go.  The largest union in the nation I beleive are the teachers who constantly whine about being underpaid even though most only work 9 months a year and have benefits most can only dream about.  I have to wonder since public pay levels are easy to find, why would you study for 4 years to get your certificate and then bitch about the pay you should have known about before you even started your education?  University pay has been further driven by the "free" student loans creating a false demand causing tuition to rise to the stratosphere way beyond the garden variety inflation rates.

Mish writes extensively on the union problem. Here's just one example.  

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/06/public-union-parasite...

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees
Diogenknees wrote:

What the taypayers need is to pull their craniums out of their anal spincters. Numbering less than 7% of the nation's total workforce, public sector union workers are not the problem. Attacking the unions is just another diversion, it's used all the time there's some major scandal is uncovered, EG. " Billions disappear in Iraq" is quickly replaced with "Porn Princess joins Dancing with the Stars", " stem cells research an abomination", or "gay marriage ruins America". Wake up people.

My post said nothing about public sector unions; it's an observation on the publicity techniques of a private-sector trade union.

I'd agree that public-sector unions can't be made the sole scapegoat, when there are plenty of other egregious 'jackal government' practices.

That's not to say that I don't butt heads with public-sector unions. Most eastern states don't have I&R (initiative and referendum). When I&R was on the front burner in this area 20 years ago, public sector unions -- especially the teachers union -- were at the forefront of public opposition. They feared, probably accurately, that taxpayers would use I&R to place curbs on property taxes, which fund the public schools. To protect their interests, public sector unions preferred to curb grassroots democratic participation instead. That definitely stoked my ire against them.

I know several teachers who have moved away from this area because they can't abide the confiscatory property taxes -- a sad case of fouling their own nests.

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees

As near as I can tell, the end game agenda in mainstream politics and contemporary economics is destruction of anything that impinges upon unregulated capitalism. Period.

And this means random and widespread attacks on even minor league contributors in the scorched earth nuke ‘em all mentality of the extreme right wing funded Heritage Foundation and their ilk.

So given this subtext, I am prone to hold my nose and reject assertions such as eliminating labor unions, even public sector unions, on principle, to try and cling on to anything resembling a vestige of defense against this onslaught. Unless of course one thinks this (unregulated capitalism) is desirable, in which case a refresher course on the track record of Friedman free market policies of the ‘70’s through today may well be beneficial. 

And given the outrageous state of wealth distribution (by income and by net worth) in the US, I’d submit that although there are disconcerting reports regarding abuses and costs in some union environments, I’d gladly address these in a world we did not have 90% of the US populations’ family income below $32,000/yr - and declining.

One has to wonder what kind of skewed priority system is afoot when something this large and egregious is deleted from the political agenda, and a (comparatively) minor trifle such as union wages are instead the focus.

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees
yobob1 wrote:
Diogenknees wrote:

What the taypayers need is to pull their craniums out of their anal spincters. Numbering less than 7% of the nation's total workforce, public sector union workers are not the problem. Attacking the unions is just another diversion, it's used all the time there's some major scandal is uncovered, EG. " Billions disappear in Iraq" is quickly replaced with "Porn Princess joins Dancing with the Stars", " stem cells research an abomination", or "gay marriage ruins America". Wake up people.

Gee are you a card carrying public union employee? Laughing

Perhaps it isn't so much an issue at the federal level, but beleive me it is a huge problem at the state and local level.  It will be the primary driver of municipal defaults and bankruptcies.  At this point there isn't a real allowance for a state to declare bankruptcy, though some should.  If the state and local governments are to survive and sufficiently "downsize" to providing the true necessary functions, the unions have to go.  The largest union in the nation I beleive are the teachers who constantly whine about being underpaid even though most only work 9 months a year and have benefits most can only dream about.  I have to wonder since public pay levels are easy to find, why would you study for 4 years to get your certificate and then bitch about the pay you should have known about before you even started your education?  University pay has been further driven by the "free" student loans creating a false demand causing tuition to rise to the stratosphere way beyond the garden variety inflation rates.

Mish writes extensively on the union problem. Here's just one example.  

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/06/public-union-parasite...

 

I've been self employed for most of my life, never belonged to a union, but I've worked in places that treated workers like slaves that could have used one. Every state I've read about that's been hard hit has had union workers make concessions, been furloughed etc.

To me it sounds like a lot of sour grapes in some cases, everybody gets mad because maybe Johnny at 18 made better choices than they did. He decided he would like to have some job security and good pay, so he joined the union, became a fireman , policeman, public works etc. Now he's 55, paid taxes at a higher bracket than average for almost 40 years and it's his fault the Feds or State is in debt? It's pure bull and I'm suprised anyone here that thinks outside the box is falling for it. The problem is much further upstream and they don't want you to realise it.

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees

Fair wages and benefits for government employees lessen the risk of corruption and help to ensure the impartial civil service upon which democracy depends.  In many countries where government officials do not enjoy a living wage, job security, and the promise of adequate retirement income bribery, corruption and abuse of power are a significant problem.

In Canada, our public service is an employer of choice and does aim to attract the best and brightest.  It is designed to do so, and its recruitment campaigns specifically target highly educated, creative people  who could earn significantly more in the private sector but choose the public service in order to serve their country.  I do not view these people as a drain, but as an investment.  We have an incredible challenge in front of us, and we will need our best and brightest to guide our nation through the treacherous waters that lie ahead.  Offering them job security and putting rules in place to protect them against abuse of power  will help ensure a strong policy voice that does not bow to political interests and lobby groups.

Bluenoser

 

 

 

 

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees

Unions or no unions, we have far too many government employees and their compensation packages were often far too generous.  That being said, the problems extend both up and down the wealth hierarchy, from the very top to the very bottom.  While there's little question about the commonality of greed at the very top (and please don't anyone start up again about those "generous" billionaire faux philanthropists) but being poor doesn't preclude being greedy.  I lived in a ghetto area for a couple of years and saw plenty of greed among the very poorest.  Greed is a function of the character of the individual, not their income level, age, gender, race, ethnicity, or religion.

I've been self employeed most of my working life but I have also worked in union settings and have been a card carrying union member (out of necessity rather than desire).  Unions served a definite purpose at one time but too many union members began using their membership as an excuse for not providing a fair day's work for a fair day's wages.  The power of unions in the U.S. grew until it became excessive and now their power is on the wane. 

What should be interesting is the potential for unions to form and develop in the emerging market nations.  Everything is cyclical.   

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees
Diogenknees wrote:

The republicans under bush had almost 8 years of total control of the governmentat all levels and did nothing about the debt, and during the that whole period screamed about the ten commandments in public buildings, Terri Shivo, stem cells and gay marriage. Neither party  is blameless, but the Democrats make no bones about their agenda, where as the Republicans are always going on about fiscal responsibility and do the complete opposite. The "New Crop" is the same as the old crop, as 90 % of incumbents get relected every election cycle

The Dems took control of Congress after the elections of 06. Also, there would have been no Iraq War had they not supported it. 

At least Americans on the right know that the Republican party needs to be taken back by the people and purged of the big spenders...whereas most American Democrats are still blithely going along with whatever propaganda the Democratic party feeds them....thinking that Republicans are the big enemy while ignoring the corruption in their own house.

Meanwhile, the unions have been co-opted by the Democratic party and are sent out to do its bidding. I.e., harassing people at tea party rallies.

The corporate, corrupt Democratic party lays claim to "workers" and then abuses them by using them to push their agenda...which, by the way, is not really "out in the open" but hidden, as they say they are for one thing but are really for another.

Please do not take my criticism of the Democrats as support for the Republicans. But the Democrats are in power NOW and are the ones who are accelerating the destruction of America that GW Bush set in motion.

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees

   I am not sure my husband is required to pay union dues but in his job you would be crazy not to.  Every Time things change it is not for the better and their protection is less and less  but things could be a whole lot worse without them .   Running the trains just has so many risks involved ... I tell you we have so much insurance to cover being sewed or loosing job from a simple mistake of running a red light , being hit with tornado  or derail with hazardous waste on board , to running over someone who decided to park their car on the tracks .     The rise in pay has not gone up in very many years .  It used to be a fairly good paying job that was worth the risks ...   now it is a job we have too much time invested in and still not much better one out here in the blue collar ( overalls )  labor force.  

   We complain and worry and cuss the griever  but what would we do without the union ?   Not sure how it would work out.... Not sure we want to find out . Retirement is only 8 years away  and I am not so sure the Govt. has not been borrowing from the till  just as from Soc.sec .

  FM  

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees

For me the most relevant chart is the one that shows private employment tumbling and government employment growing since the recession.  It shows most explicitly the intertwined interdependency between corporations and government.  It is basically impossible to shrink government without a culture shift happening among corporations where growth and profit margin are no longer the end goals.  Growth forever is not possible and corporations don't yet seem to know this.  And there are examples where companies can do well without lay-offs and I personally know several examples that prove this is not social darwinism -- the laziest stupidist workers are not only the ones getting laid off.

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees
ao wrote:

What should be interesting is the potential for unions to form and develop in the emerging market nations.  Everything is cyclical.   

The history of unionized labor attempts in emerging markets has a horrific track record. There are but two ways to signal an act of war to the US Multi-Nationals, the first, nationalize key industries, and second, initiate large scale labor unions.

At the hands of Milton Friedman’s’ so called “Chicago Boys” here is a brief recounting of Chile. 

Social consequences

The economic policies espoused by the Chicago Boys and implemented by the junta initially caused several economic indicators to decline for Chile's lower classes.[10] Between 1970 and 1989 , there were large cuts to incomes and social services. Wages decreased by 8%.[11] Family allowances in 1989 were 28% of what they had been in 1970 and the budgets for education, health and housing had dropped by over 20% on average.[11][12] The massive increases in military spending and cuts in funding to public services coincided with falling wages and steady rises in unemployment, which averaged 26% during the worldwide economic slump of 1982–1985 [13] and eventually peaked at 30%.

In 1990, the LOCE act on education initiated the dismantlement of public education.[14] According to economist Manuel Riesco:

"Overall, the impact of Neoliberal policies has reduced the total proportion of students in both public and private institutions in relation to the entire population, from 30 per cent in 1974 down to 25 per cent in 1990, and up only to 27 per cent today. If falling birth rates have made it possible today to attain full coverage at primary and secondary levels, the country has fallen seriously behind at tertiary level, where coverage, although now growing, is still only 32 per cent of the age group. The figure was twice as much in neighboring Argentina and Uruguay, and even higher in developed countries—South Korea attaining a record 98 per cent coverage. Significantly, tertiary education for the upper-income fifth of the Chilean population, many of whom study in the new private universities, also reaches above 70 per cent."[14]

The junta relied on the middle class, the oligarchy, huge foreign corporations, and foreign loans to maintain itself.[15] Under Pinochet, funding of military and internal defense spending rose 120% from 1974 to 1979. Citation for both of these claims covered under Remmer, 1989--> Due to the reduction in public spending, tens of thousands of employees were fired from other state-sector jobs.[16] The oligarchy recovered most of its lost industrial and agricultural holdings, for the junta sold to private buyers most of the industries expropriated by Allende's Popular Unity government.

Financial conglomerates became major beneficiaries of the liberalized economy and the flood of foreign bank loans. Large foreign banks reinstated the credit cycle, as the Junta saw that the basic state obligations, such as resuming payment of principal and interest installments, were honored. International lending organizations such as the World Bank, the IMF, and the Inter-American Development Bank lent vast sums anew.[11] Many foreign multinational corporations such as International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT), Dow Chemical, and Firestone, all expropriated by Allende, returned to Chile.[11]

 

Is it me or does any of this stuff seem eerily familiar?

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Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees
ao wrote:

Unions or no unions, we have far too many government employees and their compensation packages were often far too generous.  That being said, the problems extend both up and down the wealth hierarchy, from the very top to the very bottom.  While there's little question about the commonality of greed at the very top (and please don't anyone start up again about those "generous" billionaire faux philanthropists) but being poor doesn't preclude being greedy.  I lived in a ghetto area for a couple of years and saw plenty of greed among the very poorest.  Greed is a function of the character of the individual, not their income level, age, gender, race, ethnicity, or religion.

I've been self employeed most of my working life but I have also worked in union settings and have been a card carrying union member (out of necessity rather than desire).  Unions served a definite purpose at one time but too many union members began using their membership as an excuse for not providing a fair day's work for a fair day's wages.  The power of unions in the U.S. grew until it became excessive and now their power is on the wane. 

What should be interesting is the potential for unions to form and develop in the emerging market nations.  Everything is cyclical.   

 

Unlikely to happen, as big chunks of the emerging markets are run by offshored multinationals who moved there to avoid unions in the first place.

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees
Diogenknees wrote:
ao wrote:

Unions or no unions, we have far too many government employees and their compensation packages were often far too generous.  That being said, the problems extend both up and down the wealth hierarchy, from the very top to the very bottom.  While there's little question about the commonality of greed at the very top (and please don't anyone start up again about those "generous" billionaire faux philanthropists) but being poor doesn't preclude being greedy.  I lived in a ghetto area for a couple of years and saw plenty of greed among the very poorest.  Greed is a function of the character of the individual, not their income level, age, gender, race, ethnicity, or religion.

I've been self employeed most of my working life but I have also worked in union settings and have been a card carrying union member (out of necessity rather than desire).  Unions served a definite purpose at one time but too many union members began using their membership as an excuse for not providing a fair day's work for a fair day's wages.  The power of unions in the U.S. grew until it became excessive and now their power is on the wane. 

What should be interesting is the potential for unions to form and develop in the emerging market nations.  Everything is cyclical.   

 

Unlikely to happen, as big chunks of the emerging markets are run by offshored multinationals who moved there to avoid unions in the first place.

Which is why it presents ripe territory for future union organizers.

Diogenknees's picture
Diogenknees
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 25 2010
Posts: 109
Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees
ao wrote:
Diogenknees wrote:
ao wrote:

Unions or no unions, we have far too many government employees and their compensation packages were often far too generous.  That being said, the problems extend both up and down the wealth hierarchy, from the very top to the very bottom.  While there's little question about the commonality of greed at the very top (and please don't anyone start up again about those "generous" billionaire faux philanthropists) but being poor doesn't preclude being greedy.  I lived in a ghetto area for a couple of years and saw plenty of greed among the very poorest.  Greed is a function of the character of the individual, not their income level, age, gender, race, ethnicity, or religion.

I've been self employeed most of my working life but I have also worked in union settings and have been a card carrying union member (out of necessity rather than desire).  Unions served a definite purpose at one time but too many union members began using their membership as an excuse for not providing a fair day's work for a fair day's wages.  The power of unions in the U.S. grew until it became excessive and now their power is on the wane. 

What should be interesting is the potential for unions to form and develop in the emerging market nations.  Everything is cyclical.   

 

Unlikely to happen, as big chunks of the emerging markets are run by offshored multinationals who moved there to avoid unions in the first place.

Which is why it presents ripe territory for future union organizers.

Union organizers in emerging countries tend to wind up as fertilizer. In some, such as Chile, the USA was part of union suppression.

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees
Diogenknees wrote:
ao wrote:
Diogenknees wrote:
ao wrote:

Unions or no unions, we have far too many government employees and their compensation packages were often far too generous.  That being said, the problems extend both up and down the wealth hierarchy, from the very top to the very bottom.  While there's little question about the commonality of greed at the very top (and please don't anyone start up again about those "generous" billionaire faux philanthropists) but being poor doesn't preclude being greedy.  I lived in a ghetto area for a couple of years and saw plenty of greed among the very poorest.  Greed is a function of the character of the individual, not their income level, age, gender, race, ethnicity, or religion.

I've been self employeed most of my working life but I have also worked in union settings and have been a card carrying union member (out of necessity rather than desire).  Unions served a definite purpose at one time but too many union members began using their membership as an excuse for not providing a fair day's work for a fair day's wages.  The power of unions in the U.S. grew until it became excessive and now their power is on the wane. 

What should be interesting is the potential for unions to form and develop in the emerging market nations.  Everything is cyclical.   

 

Unlikely to happen, as big chunks of the emerging markets are run by offshored multinationals who moved there to avoid unions in the first place.

Which is why it presents ripe territory for future union organizers.

Union organizers in emerging countries tend to wind up as fertilizer. In some, such as Chile, the USA was part of union suppression.

The USA tried union suppression here too as did the large corporations.  It succeeded ... for a while ... and then ultimately failed.  I have a hard time imagining that quasi-slave labor will forever accept their oppressed condition.  Union organization is a civilized way of addressing the situation.  Revolutions are a bit more messy.  History shows both of them are options that have been utilized in the past and will undoubtedly be used again in the future.

dshields's picture
dshields
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 24 2009
Posts: 599
Re: The New Face Of The Union Movement: Government Employees

resurrecting the government employee union thread.  this is a very big deal here in new jersey and is making things very difficult for christie to get the state budget under control.  this is directly related to whether the fed gov will be asked top bail out states.  i found the data presented to be surprising.  the entire unions are taking over the governments thing just slipped up on me when i was not looking...

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