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What"s This Problem The Right WingWith Unions?

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Balladeer
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25 posted 02-23-2011 07:32 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Since 1990, labor unions have contributed over $667 million in election campaigns in the United States, of which $614 million or 92 percent went to support Democratic candidates. In 2008, unions spent $74.5 million in campaign contributions, with $68.3 million going to the Democratic Party. Already, unions have contributed $6.5 million to the 2010 elections, and $6 million has gone to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C.

In the $787 billion stimulus spending bill passed in February, $90 billion has been earmarked to help cover the tax shortfalls in state and local government budgets due to the economic recession. Most of this money will be used to maintain or increase jobs at these levels of government, since those in political office are apparently unwilling to reduce expenditures and cut public payrolls in the face of decreased tax revenues.

This is no doubt related to $38 million dollars that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union has contributed to Democratic Party campaigns since 1990, with nearly $2.6 million being given during the 2008 election. Public sector unions as a whole have given around $160 million to Democratic candidates between 1990 and 2008, with donations of $6 million in 2008.

The Obama Administration has also said that it wishes to make greater federal funding for education a priority during the years ahead, and has shown no willingness to support school choice in the form of vouchers. This is hardly unrelated to campaign donations of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers which since 1990 have contributed more than $50 million to support Democratic candidates running for office. Both unions have been strong supporters of increased federal aid to public schools and have strongly opposed school voucher programs.

The majority party now in control of both houses of Congress and in the White House owes something to those who helped them achieve political power. Unions have been stalwart supporters of the Democratic Party, as the table, below, of the leading union donors to political campaigns clearly demonstrates. The policies and spending programs being implemented are partly the thanks to those who have made the current Democratic majority possible.

http://www.aier.org/research/briefs/1550-obama-thanks-his-friends-government-spending-and-union-support

I suggest you read that article, Bob, and look at the chart at the end. While you're at it, check out this chart.. http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

This is why I say that Obama may be having some sleepless nights. The unions have overwhelmingly supported the Democrats. They are expecting backup and payment for services rendered.

Making a point that 7 out of ten top supporters of  republicans are corporations, I would take as being complimentary to the republican party. Business and productivity made this country the greatest, richest and most powerful country in the world. If producers support republicans and those who do not produce (unions) support democrats, I'd say that's pretty telling.

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26 posted 02-23-2011 07:52 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

As far as your comments are concerned, Bob, I repeat that one has to look at the percentages. I doubt that slave labor plays much of a role in American business, although that's a personal issue, I suppose. I remember when Seinfeld broke up due to contract disputes and Jason Alexander (making over a million per episode) uttered his memorable statement, "I'm tired of working for slave wages."

I also see no problem with individual unions over national ones. We may agree to disagree on that one.

I looked for an answer to wondering why it is necessary to force workers to join a union and, although you touched on it, I didn't see a definitive answer there. Yes, the company voted on whether to join a union or not but, after implementation, the individual has no choice. Why is that right? Shouldn't individuals be allowed to choose? Especially if they are going to have to donate their money into it? The unions have tried to go one step further by having open votes, which would target any nay voters for harassment. Do you deny that would happen?

These are all signs to me that unions are little more than organized crime using intimidation and strongarm tactics on it's members and the companies, both.

They donate almost exclusively to democrats. One could surmise that their money goes there because they know democrats can be bought much easier. One can argue that ALL politicians can be bought and they wouldn't get much of an arguments from me....but their money DOES go to the democrats.
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27 posted 02-24-2011 12:08 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Since 1990, labor unions have contributed over $667 million in election campaigns in the United States, of which $614 million or 92 percent went to support Democratic candidates.

So are you against campaign contributions, Mike? Or just those to the Democratic party? We both know, I think, that the Republicans almost always bring in more contributions than the Democrats.

quote:
Making a point that 7 out of ten top supporters of  republicans are corporations, I would take as being complimentary to the republican party. Business and productivity made this country the greatest, richest and most powerful country in the world.

One might argue, Mike, that the big corporations would be helpless without a work force. Doesn't matter much, though, because it isn't the big corporations that have made America rich and powerful. That has always been the role of small business.

More importantly, of course, most people don't want to think of the country as being run by elitists. "Of the people, by the people, for the people" still has meaning for many, I think.

quote:
I looked for an answer to wondering why it is necessary to force workers to join a union and, although you touched on it, I didn't see a definitive answer there. Yes, the company voted on whether to join a union or not but, after implementation, the individual has no choice. Why is that right?

One might ask the same question about taxes, Mike. Or about unnecessary wars. It's funny how voting and democracy and stuff like that works. I think part of the problem in this country right now is what I would call the Sour Grapes Fringe. They're content to exercise their vote only so long as it gets them what they want. When it doesn't, they try to circumvent the vote and turn democracy into a con game. You don't seem to approve of the Democrats doing that in Wisconsin, Mike, so I'm a little surprised you would advocate essentially the same thing here. The workers made their bed. Now they have to sleep in it.

In my opinion, there's absolutely nothing wrong with unions or collective bargaining. Just as there's nothing wrong with charging a fair price for a service or product. Both, I believe, should be governed by a free market system. However, both are also too easily tainted by government interference. When prices are dictated by legislative decree, rather than supply and demand, things almost inevitably get out of whack. You want to put a brake on the construction industry? Rent control will do it every time. Similarly, when unions gain the bulk of their power from government mandates, things are going to get out of whack.

Unions have to be regulated by the government if collective bargaining is to have any bite. When unions are supported by the government, however, the bite too easily becomes lethal. If we are going to condone epic battles between labor and management, we can't give all the legal weapons to just one side.

The only thing wrong with unions is government. Workers should have the right to organize. It should NOT, however, be too easy, nor should they expect to win every battle just because government says they should. Collective bargaining is a right, not an entitlement.
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28 posted 02-24-2011 10:12 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

So are you against campaign contributions, Mike? Or just those to the Democratic party? We both know, I think, that the Republicans almost always bring in more contributions than the Democrats.

True enough and very telling. Democrats get their money from the unions and republicans get theirs (more) from non-unions. What does that tell you?

One might argue, Mike, that the big corporations would be helpless without a work force.

It's like the chicken and the egg. Corporations can't survive without a work force and the work force can't survive without them. Reminds me of the current football squabble. Players complain that they need a bigger slice of the pie. The average player makes 800,000. per year. They argue that the average playing life span of a player in the NFL is 3 1/2 years. DOing the math, that comes down to almost three million....and the player would only be in his late 20's at retirement. The average worker making 50,000 per year would have to work 60 years to equal that. True, if it were not for the players, the owners would make nothing. If not for the owners, the players would be playing sandlot ball before heading off to work the night shift somewhere. This is a union in action.

One might ask the same question about taxes, Mike. Or about unnecessary wars.

I'm afraid I find that a weak comparison, Ron. So what happens if the majority of the workers vote and decide that every employee must buy and wear a new shirt to work every day. Is that the same democracy in action?

Unions have to be regulated by the government if collective bargaining is to have any bite. When unions are supported by the government, however, the bite too easily becomes lethal. If we are going to condone epic battles between labor and management, we can't give all the legal weapons to just one side.

The only thing wrong with unions is government. Workers should have the right to organize. It should NOT, however, be too easy, nor should they expect to win every battle just because government says they should. Collective bargaining is a right, not an entitlement.


Amen to that!!!...andthat's exactly what we have going on now. The unions ARE being supported by the government, as evidenced in my previous comment and by the actions of the administration with regards to supplying and supporting the union protesters, who are claiming that collective bargaining is an entitlement. No, they should not be expected to win every battle, but they do expect it when their tens of millions go to a candidate and he steps up to the plate with the power of the office behind him. When it doesn't happen, they strike, cause as much mayhem as possible and, if they are congressmen, they run out of town and hide in hotels.
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29 posted 02-24-2011 09:36 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

For those of you denying the press is biased, how do you account for this?

By RICH NOYES AND SCOTT WHITLOCK
From the Media Research Center
Loud protests by Wisconsin public employee unions against a budget reform proposal from new Governor Scott Walker have drawn considerable national network news attention since Thursday, the day Democratic state senators fled the state in a last-ditch gambit to prevent the bill from becoming law. A story-by-story analysis by the Media Research Center shows the Wisconsin protests are a perfect case study in the media's longstanding double standard favoring left-wing causes while demonstrating much more hostility to the Tea Party and conservative protests.

Last March, as thousands protested on Capitol Hill in the days before the passage of ObamaCare, CBS's Nancy Cordes slammed it as "a weekend filled with incivility," while World News anchor Diane Sawyer painted the Tea Party as a violent gang, with "protesters roaming Washington, some of them increasingly emotional, yelling slurs and epithets." In August 2009, ABC anchor Charles Gibson complained how "protesters brought pictures of President Obama with a Hitler-style mustache to a town hall meeting," failing to mention that the signs were produced by Lyndon LaRouche's wacky fringe movement, not the Tea Party or conservatives.

Over the past several days, the liberal demonstrations in Wisconsin (bolstered by the national Democratic Party and President Obama's Organizing for America group) have included signs just as inflammatory as the ones that bothered the networks during the health care debate, including several showing Governor Scott Walker as Adolph Hitler. Others have likened Walker to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin ("Scott Stalin") and recently deposed Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak ("Walker = Mubarak").
Another protest sign drew a cross-hairs over a picture of Governor Walker's head, with the caption "Don't Retreat, Reload; Repeal Walker" — an obvious parallel to a Facebook map posted by Sarah Palin last year, although that much-criticized graphic placed the target sights on maps of congressional districts, not any politician's face.

Yet none of these signs in the hands of liberal protesters have drawn the slightest complaint from network journalists. MRC analysts examined all 53 ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news stories, segments and anchor briefs on the Wisconsin protests from Thursday, February 17 (when they first drew major national coverage) through Monday, February 21. While eight of the 53 stories (15%) visually displayed one or more of the signs described above, none elicited a single remark from the network correspondents.

When it comes to the Tea Party, network correspondents seem to enjoy playing "civility cop," emphasizing a few radical and inflammatory signs in ways that imply that the entire cause is extreme. Radical and inflammatory signs were easily found at the Wisconsin protests, but the networks uttered not one peep of disapproval — overwhelming evidence of a double standard that should embarrass any network journalist who still purports to be fair and balanced.
Mr. Noyes is the MRC's Research Director. Mr. Whitlock is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527487037757045 76162502077564930.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_RIGHTBelowPepperandSalt
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30 posted 02-25-2011 12:07 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     I'm unsure of the connection about media bias and this thread.  I find the media biased as well, though differently, and I believe we've written about that in other threads, somewhat productively.

     The problem the right has with Unions is historical and goes way way back, well before the current media setup was established.  Near as I can tell, I in particular, have never said that unions were perfect, nor have I said that corporations were all evil.  Nor would I.  Whatever the feeling of the public about Unions in general, they do seem to feel that Unions have the right to organize and bargain collectively.  Public opinion doesn't define truth, and there are times when there can be a great divide between facts and public opinion as well, but public opinion does currently favor collective bargaining.  I suspect that the news media are taking their cue from that.

     Yes, they should be more objective, and over time they will tend to cover more sides of the story.  See how the coverage on Acorn changed over time when it became clear that the widely published and publicized videos had been altered and pejoratively edited.  It was too late for Acorn, I guess, but there was some semblance of balance restored to objectivity in reporting over time.  The same thing occurred with the Iraqi War hysteria, which died way down as elements of the truth came out about how the war was orchestrated and played out.

     I don't know that you'll find such evening out on the extremes in the political press, but in the center, there does seem to be some effort made to be even-handed over time.

     I would, however, like to get back to the theme of the thread as soon as possible, however, though I'm certain that there could be some excellent responses made to this new topic.  Why not try to limit that just a bit and get back to topic as soon as comfort and reason permit?  Or try another thread with the bias of the press as an express theme, if that proves too difficult?
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31 posted 02-25-2011 09:31 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Actually, Bob,  you are correct. Blaming it on being late at night and my tiredness, I posted it on this thread instead of the other one we are also discussing, dealing with  the strike, the democrats running away, the response of the president, defending unions, the actions of the DNC bussing in their army of supporters, etc. I apologize.

I can see by your response, however, that it would be a waste of time posting it even there, because I doubt anyone on the left would even acknowledge it is happening, even as documented as it is. That's to be expected.

The funny thing is that I'm sure, as I believe many people are, that if this were a situation  of republicans walking out in a similar bill that the democrats were trying to pass, coverage would be completely different and we would be seeing the same type of coverage, accusations, and condemnations, and one-sidedness the press gave the tea party rallies.

Funny how that works, right?  


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32 posted 02-25-2011 12:10 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
True enough and very telling. Democrats get their money from the unions and republicans get theirs (more) from non-unions. What does that tell you?

It might suggest the Democrats represent the people, Mike, and the Republicans don't. I don't know, what does it tell you?

quote:
For those of you denying the press is biased, how do you account for this?

You should, perhaps, ask yourself the same question again, Mike. If one considers that "the press" is generally intelligent and well educated, what does their bias suggest about Democrats and Republicans? What does that tell you?

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33 posted 02-25-2011 08:56 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




     Mistakes in posting can happen to anybody, Mike.

quote:


I can see by your response, however, that it would be a waste of time posting it even there, because I doubt anyone on the left would even acknowledge it is happening, even as documented as it is. That's to be expected.



     You might have difficulty drawing such conclusions from my response, since my response was to say that your posting was out of context.  It was, because of an understandable mistake.

     Had your response been in context, I would not have been able to say that.  I was not censorious, I simply asked that we get back to the subject of The Right's relationship with Unions, and what the problem is that the Right seems to have with not only Unions but, as becomes more apparent as this Wisconsin imbroglio goes on, the concept of collective bargaining as well.  I was and remain puzzled and curious about that, and time away from that discussion leaves me that way.

     My usual tack when presented with the limits of my understanding is to ask the people who seem to know more about it than I do.  My Right Wing friends are those people here.

     Should you ask me to defend the sorts of fools who make comments suggesting "second amendment solutions" to ordinary democratic problems, I would not be able to do it.  I regard them as very unpleasant people from the violent fringe of whichever wing of the political spectrum they claim to represent.  If they are Left Wing fools, then that makes them no more appealing to me than Right Wing fools.  The Skinheads and the SDS are more or less cut from the same cloth as far as I'm concerned.  Nor do I recall actually saying that violence is a good way of problem solving in a democratic society.

     I still believe that's true.  I believe that true for right wing or left wing people and pretty much for everybody else as well.  

     Why you would suggest that I would think otherwise is something I do not understand.

     Sometime, in another place and at another time, you might consider explaining that to me.

     In the meantime, I'm all ears about the problem The Right Wing seems to have with unions.


quote:

The funny thing is that I'm sure, as I believe many people are, that if this were a situation  of republicans walking out in a similar bill that the democrats were trying to pass, coverage would be completely different and we would be seeing the same type of coverage, accusations, and condemnations, and one-sidedness the press gave the tea party rallies.



     I don't know.  I'm not very good about predicting hypothetical situations and what my potential hypothetical reaction might be to them should they actually ever happen.  I wasn't even very good in predicting what I'd do about Y2k, and I'm also completely up in the air about how I'm going to deal with the end of the world in 2012, when the Mayan calendar runs out.

     If you catch me then, I'll be able to give you a much better informed response.

     My understanding of the way that journalism generally runs, at least in the political center and in the parts of the press that aren't identified by pretty much everybody as organs of a political party, is one I laid out above.  Briefly, I think they go with what seems the hottest news and with the most jazzy point of view in the short run, and then they even things out with reportage over the long run.  You might find some differences in "The Nation" on the Left and with "The National Review" on the Right, both of which have a point of view to get across.  But with the majority of the Great Papers, I think they generally follow the pattern I describe.  Those of us who are partisans of the Left or the Right tend to get upset with them for not consistently following our own point of view and call them biased from time to time.  Over time, though, I think they even out.

     Who owns the paper will make a difference over long periods of time, of course. With tv news, the differences tend to be more stark.

     We can talk about this at greater length in another place, at another time, when the discussion is not about Unions and The Right and how The Right doesn't seem to have any sympathy for them at all.
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34 posted 02-25-2011 09:35 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

It might suggest the Democrats represent the people, Mike, and the Republicans don't. I don't know, what does it tell you?

Exactly the opposite. The money goes where the union leaders want it to go, not necessarily all of the members of the union. The non-union money goes to the Republicans.

If one considers that "the press" is generally intelligent and well educated, what does their bias suggest about Democrats and Republicans? What does that tell you?

Their bias suuggests that reporting the news is not their priority. Their bias tells me that their main priority is to mold public opinion, Don't forget Ellsworth Toohey, Ron. We have a lot of them today.

Peraonally, I'm glad that they have made their bias so obvious even they can't hide it.
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35 posted 02-26-2011 03:20 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
The money goes where the union leaders want it to go, not necessarily all of the members of the union.

All of the members of the union, Mike? I doubt that would be a reasonable expectation for any issue in any large group of people. On the other hand, those union leaders you cite were elected by the majority of those members, weren't they?

quote:
Peraonally, I'm glad that they have made their bias so obvious even they can't hide it.

Everyone is biased, Mike. Except you and me, of course.

The question isn't whether someone is biased, but rather whether their bias is informed and well reasoned. Would you suggest that all or most members of the media are stupid? Or poorly educated?
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36 posted 02-26-2011 12:49 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I don't see where education enters into it at all. Ted Bundy was brilliant...so what?

ANyone who doesn's see unfair prejudice in the network news has an ostrich in their family tree. No, I don't agree that news agencies should be biased. I believe they should give a fair account of what they report on. I'm not referring to the talk shows, be it Maddow or Limbaugh. I'm referring to the actual news programs.

If one is going to report and give information on Hitler signs at a tea party rally and ignore, wthout comment, Hitler signs at a union rally in Wisconsin, that's prejudice, not fair news reporting.

I can only smile to think of how different the coverage would be if the republicans were the ones to run off to Chicago to avoid a vote...or what if Bush were the one to ban offshore drilling, putting thousands out of work and done nothing to boost domestic oil production...or what if Bush were the one to ignore federal laws, which Obama has recently done twice?  If the republicans had shut the press and the democrats out of the final touch-up on the health care bill, can you imagine how the network news would have covered it, screaming of the unfairness? Ron, there are more examples than I can list here and I'm sure you have seen them, too. If you prefer not to acknowledge them, that's fine, but  they exist in spades.

On the other hand, those union leaders you cite were elected by the majority of those members, weren't they?

Yes, they were. So? The people in the union have no say as to which party their dues are going to. Whoever is elected is going to favor the democrats in most cases, whether the individual members want it that way or not. It's a stacked deck.

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37 posted 02-26-2011 03:52 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     And whomever the stockholders elect to the board of directors of BP or most other large corporations will likely do what management recommends, regardless of what the actual individual stockholders want.  There are reasons for this, and good ones, and for many corporations this makes a lot of sense.  In BP, for example, there are an enormous number of pensioners who need a large and ongoing return on investment.  BP gives it to them.  The board of BP knows what their stockholders will hold them accountable for delivering, and if the board doesn't deliver, another board will.

     This is complicated by the large number of large-shareholders who have substantial holdings, but it's still true.  Why would you assume that Unions in this sort of situation are different?  You see and accept the rules of capitalism working well in one part of the economy, and you seem to believe that they don't work in another part of the marketplace, the labor sector of the market.

     Your thinking suggests that you believe that there are two different models at work here, Capitalism and something else, in governing the labor market, when it is most likely that the rules of Capitalism, as well as we understand them at least, function in the labor side of the equation as well.

     You are essentially saying that you don't believe that Capitalism runs the marketplace as a whole.

     I am essentially disputing you on that.  Labor is a market as well, and you are trying to regulate one side of the marketplace without being willing to regulate the other.  Regulation of labor, good: Regulation of Management, bad.

     Yet both are parts of the same marketplace, which Republican ideology says should not be interfered with.

     Now I think there's more to the subject than that, but we haven't even gotten to this point in the discussion.  We're dithering about whether or not newspapers and television treat the Republicans correctly.

     Democrats frequently feel the same way, by the way, about the media, and point to situations where the Republicans seem to have gotten a free ride.  The persecution of ACORN, for example; or the events leading up to the invasion of Iraq.

     So what?  Either way, so what?

     Are you suggesting that news isn't a market as well?  You don't make that mistake when you crow about the number of listeners the Right wing media has?  You speak about how the Right Wing has obliterated left wing market share at those times.  Why aren't you using the same method of thinking now, when you believe that the press isn't on your side.  Now it's some sort of deep conspiracy instead of the working of the marketplace for news.  Instead of looking at the economics of what's going on, you use fiction as an example, Ellsworth Toohey, for goodness sake, in the middle of the granddaddy of  all conspiracy novels.

     Why not look at it as the working of the marketplace?  What's wrong with the model that Capitalism sets forward when it comes to describing a situation that doesn't go your way?  

     Your way of looking at things, through the lens of the market, is one that's handy when the market is going your way.  Then you abandon it when in fact the same model seems to make good sense in describing times when the market goes against you as well.

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38 posted 02-26-2011 04:30 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

When I crow, Bob? When things don't go my way? You are using a lot of "you's" in an accusatory manner. Please address the issues and not the poster with personal innuendos. Thank you.
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39 posted 02-26-2011 04:59 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

quote:
You are using a lot of "you's"



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40 posted 02-26-2011 05:56 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

If I were from New York, I could say "youse"
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     I was addressing the issue.

     This is a derogatory personal innuendo:

quote:
  Post # 32, this thread.

I can see by your response, however, that it would be a waste of time posting it even there, because I doubt anyone on the left would even acknowledge it is happening, even as documented as it is. That's to be expected.




     My comments were about inconsistencies in the thinking on the right about labor as a commodity, which is very much on the subject.  I also mentioned the press and news as a commodity and as a market.

     Your response was in fact an attack on my person and an attempt to shut down this point of view.  At no point do I see a response to the salient points raised in my posting, which was addressed to holes in the argument presented by the right wing.  The right wing treats capital as a protected commodity and generally insists that there be a free market there, but frequently balks at saying the same about labor, and attempts to regulate labor and the market in labor.

     What's the problem the Right Wing has with this?  It seems a very straightforward economic analysis of the issue.  Why should there be regulation of labor and a minimum regulation of management?  This is a contradiction of the free market ideology professed by many if not most Republicans?


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42 posted 02-26-2011 10:40 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I've made no personal derrogatory remarks aimed directly at you, Bob.

Goodnight, sir. Time to go outside and crow
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43 posted 02-27-2011 02:25 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Perhaps I am the only one to think The Right Wing is inconsistent in it's thinking about this.  If there are others who have thoughts about the difficulties the Right seems to have with Unions, I'd be interested in hearing what they are.

     I for one am quite struck with how the events in Wisconsin have been turning out.  

     Of course, I was surprised by the degree of the victories that the Right was able to rack up in the 2010 elections, especially on the state level in many places; and I see these attacks on Unions and the right to organize as an outgrowth of this.
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44 posted 02-27-2011 08:40 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Well, Bob, as Obama is fond of saying, "elections have consequences" and "we won".

But I don't see that some of the Republican governors are trying to eliminate collective bargaining and bust the unions, as the unions, the state controlled media and Obama are framing it. To my view they are trying to reform the scope of collective bargaining so that local governments can live within their budgets.

Of course I suppose that the governors could take a lesson from Obama's style of "ruling" and just issue Executive Orders for anything they want, bypassing the legislature.


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45 posted 02-27-2011 06:23 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


quote:



But I don't see that some of the Republican governors are trying to eliminate collective bargaining and bust the unions, as the unions, the state controlled media and Obama are framing it. To my view they are trying to reform the scope of collective bargaining so that local governments can live within their budgets.




     If the media is state controlled, Denise, the State is doing a pretty shabby job.  Folks disagree with the policies of the state almost everywhere, including in the major newspapers.  Even I disagree with some of the policies of the State, and I'm a Democrat.

     I believe that, if folks want to live within their budgets, then we ought to repeal the tax cuts on the very very very very very rich and stop piling up interest payments on the money we borrow to pay for them.  That money goes out of the country, in large part.  

     In the case of Wisconsin, the Unions aren't asking for more money or more benefits; they've taken money issues off the table.  The issue is purely right to organize, and the Republicans are trying to undermine it.  The cause of the difficulty in budgets is not the Unions, it's the recession and the slowdown in economic activity, and the large numbers of people out of work.  

     Were it purely a matter of budgets, that could be solved by negotiation with the unions about temporary give-backs.  In fact, the unions in Wisconsin have already made those concessions.  Governor Walker is trying to get legislation through that undermines the right to collective bargaining, however, and that is not something aimed at solving a temporary budget problem of uncertain duration and degree.  It is an attempt to undermine the very right of labor to negotiate on somewhat equal footing with management.

     Their attempt "to reform the scope of collective bargaining" is to eliminate it.  It has no affect on the state budget that I can see.  It does, however, reflect a long term Right Wing agenda item, to break the Unions.
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46 posted 02-28-2011 06:10 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

The unique problem with public sector employee unions is that historically both sides of the negotiating table make deals that benefit each other for which the taxpayers are given the bill.
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47 posted 02-28-2011 07:44 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Denise, you are absolutely right. Leftists seem to be downplaying the differences between private and public sector unions. Even Geourge Meany, past head of the AFL-CIO called the public sector unions "impossible".

Fact: President Obama is the boss of a civil work force that numbers up to two million (excluding postal workers and uniformed military). Fact: Those federal workers cannot bargain for wages or benefits. Fact: Washington, D.C. is, in the purest sense, a “right to work zone.” Federal employees are not compelled to join a union, nor to pay union dues. Fact: Neither Mr. Obama, nor the prior Democratic majority, ever acted to give their union chums a better federal deal.

In 1978, Democratic President Jimmy Carter, backed by a Democratic Congress, passed the Civil Service Reform Act. Washington had already established its General Schedule (GS) classification and pay system for workers. The 1978 bill went further, focused as it was on worker accountability and performance. It severely proscribed the issues over which employees could bargain, as well as prohibited compulsory union support.

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/02/28/obama-to-governors-stop-vilifying-public-employees
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48 posted 02-28-2011 09:08 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I can speak of my time in a public sector Union, AFSCME, while working as a psychiatric aid in Massachusetts.  During my time there, Dukakis was elected governor.  The union has previous negotiated a series of cost of living increases with, I think it was Sargeant, the previous governor.  This was in a time of an economic downturn and there was a lot of inflation as well.  The cost of living was going up much more rapidly than the raises provided for, and the new Governor refused to honor the cost of living increases already negotiated.  As a single guy, I felt the pinch seriously, but my situation was really nothing compared to the situation the married folks were in.

     After several years, the contract was re-negotiated but the Union was not able to get the full cost of living increases we were owed under the previous contract, and in effect we took a serious salary cut so Governor Dukakis could look tough to the voters.  The man lost my vote for future gubinatorial elections and I gave it only grudgingly during his presidential run.

     It is situations such as this that make public unions necessary.  If there had been nobody to stand up to the Man, he wouldn't have budged in his negotiations and we wouldn't have had much choice.  He'd already done this happily for several years in violation of the contract before negotiation time came around.  He had no reason to do differently unless forced.

     Did the voters lose?

     I don't think so.  For one thing, I was a voter, too.  So were my fellow workers.  For another, they didn't actually end up paying any extra real money; it was a time of inflation and the value of that money was declining.  In fact, in the end, they paid less, probably, than they did before.  As part of the "austerity measures," staffing levels were cut back.  This resulted in more dangerous working conditions not only for mental health workers, but also for police and firefighters, and for less protection all the way around.  More crime, more craziness and more physical injuries not only of staff but of patients and prisoners and folks with developmental disabilities.  I got injured and was out for six months because there wasn't enough staff to help do a restraint and seclusion safely.  I still have problems with that injury years later.

     The state tried to refuse me payment for the time I was out.  This is the sort of thing that management tends to do from time to time, and I had to pay a portion of my settlement in lawyer's fees.  The Union was angry at me for not walking out on strike in support when they went on strike to pressure the governor.  They weren't particularly thrilled with me, either.  It would have been nice to have had more protection and to have been in a more rational situation all around.

     I don't and didn't see that the tax-payers suffered in any of this.  

     I do see that everybody behaved imperfectly.

     I do see, in agreement with part of what Denise says, that the Union and the State tried to negotiate to benefit each other.  They both have good reason to be able to talk to each other with a fair amount of reasonability.  The Union, in this case, gave back, and settled for less of a cost of living increase that had originally been negotiated.  The overall cost was still a gain for the tax-payers in terms of savings; it was a tough time, and that was uncomfortable but appropriate for the Union.  There are other times when things work out better for the members.
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49 posted 02-28-2011 09:39 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     Attempts to portray Unions as monolithic are probably misleading.  They have disagreements all the time.  Some of them are more serious than others.  That George Meany didn't think public service unions were a good idea isn't any shock.  After all, when did George Meany go out of the Union business, and when did he die.  What year is it now?

     It's entirely possible that 50 year old quotes wouldn't exactly describe what's going on now in the forefront on Union thinking, and more than they would describe what's going on in the forefront of Republican thinking.

     Is President Obama's position on Federal Unions exactly what I would want it to be?  No, it isn't.  I'd need to do some extra research myself to find out about that in detail but I'm not particularly sure I need to.  My feeling is that Unions should have more general support among the administration than they actually do have.  I have mentioned before that I believe in many ways President Obama is "Republican Lite," so I am no more shocked by this than I am about some of his other civil Rights positions.  And no more fond it it, unless I can have it sufficiently explained to me to overcome my discomfort.  

     I'm only surprised that The Right Wing doesn't support him in his position there, since it is more in the direction they're comfortable with than appears to be his position on Unions in State and other government institutions.

     Perhaps my Right Wing Friends could tell me if His position on Federal Unions isn't something they're far more comfortable with than I am, for example.  I'd be interested in seeing support for collective bargaining in at least some of those jobs that My Right Wing Friends seem seem comfortable in excoriating President Obama about.  But of course, I'd have to know more, and in the absence of detail I can't be absolutely sure.

     He is certainly very clear about his dislike of the notion of stripping collective bargaining power from public sector Unions that already have it.  Such as those in Wisconsin.  While I'd want more from him about Federal employees, I think, I'm fairly happy with the stand that he's taking on State Unions, and I support that.  I'd have to be an idiot to support everything he or any President does, regardless of their political party, and here my support is mixed.

     My Right Wing Friends seem angry with him for his support of state unions and also angry at him for what they see as his relative lack of support of Federal unions. Yes, you can have it both ways, because that's reality for you; but to me it simply appears to be a lack of a position on the Right to Bargain Collectively by my Right Wing Pals.

     Call me silly.

 
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