I am sure that if you watch or read news reports you have been subject to the attacks on labor unions…..they have been blamed for every bad economic trend in this country……from expensive cars to problems in the schools to voter fraud to….well pick an issue and some mental midget will blame it on unions……..and all the misinformation has been used by red states to want to make their states right-to-work states (anyone who thinks that is a good idea then Google Mississippi stats)…….
If you work for a living then unions have help get you should horrible things as…….8 hour day, overtime, 40 hour week…..workmen’s comp……on and on……..
Union membership is at a 97-year low in America, with just 11.3% of workers belonging to one. Because you’re probably not one of them, you probably don’t care about this low point—but you should, writes Eric Liu in Time. Not only do unions lift wages for their members, they also lift wages for the rest of us “by creating a higher prevailing wage,” Liu writes. “The presence of unions sets off a wage race to the top. Their absence sets off a race to the bottom.” But most Americans don’t see it that way—rather, many see unions “as special interests seeking special privileges, often on the taxpayer’s dime.” But consider this: Workers in unions are making a better wage, and are thus less likely to rely on government assistance. “The weakness of labor is everyone’s problem—and its revival everyone’s opportunity.” Click for Liu’s full column.
Before someone thinks they have me pegged….let me say….while I believe that unions have done more good than harm….I do not like the bureaucratic structure….to my thinking the head of a union should make only 20% more than its highest paid member….but as long as we have this sort of set up….unions will be nothing more than expensive lobbyists…..
I realize that most Americans will buy into the BS spread about unions….all I can say is all that wanted to be a right-to-work state…….welcome to low ages and crap jobs……and then it may be too late to remedy the situation…….what’s the old saying, “crap in, crap out”……
This could be just about anything….there is a wide array of issues that neither candidate wants to talk about……we know that both Obama and Romney say they will create jobs only if they are elected…….we know that taxes are too high in one camp and too low in another…….we know that Obama sucks and Romney is a liar………the spin is so thick that it borders on propaganda….well it is propaganda but we Americans cannot call it for what it is……but there is one issue that both candidates have been unwilling to talk about……..can you name that elusive issue? (Pause he for thought…….oh who am I kidding voters do not want to think that is why we have the two pathetic candidates that we have)……okay the forgotten issue is…..(drum roll please)……..the stagnant income….yes for all the progress and all the hoopla on Wall Street, income is not moving at all…..Corporate biggies are doing marvelous but the rest of us mere mortals are stuck in limbo with worse than modest increases in wages that is quickly ate up by those inflationary things that are not counted as inflation…..like gas….food…….etc.
Newser) – The economy has taken center stage in the race for the White House, but amid the chatter about government spending and taxes, the New York Timesthinks one subject that hits close to home for many poor and middle-class Americans has been largely left out: the long-term stagnation of income. For the first time since the Depression, median family income has decreased over a decade, and though both candidates acknowledge the problem, they rarely touch on the true catalysts behind it—automation, globalization, and education. All are complex issues that can’t be “quickly remedied through legislation,” writes David Leonhardt.
Often, politicians place the blame for falling wages on flashpoint issues such as immigration, but what’s going on is far larger in scope, writes Leonhardt. Pessimism abounds because no quick fixes are in sight, though “maybe the biggest reason for optimism is that there is still a strong argument that both globalization and automation help the economy in the long run,” he writes. It just happens to be painful in the interim. Click to read Leonhardt’s full piece.
With about 10 days left before we decide who will lead the country…….the most important issue is still unexplained…..why?
It is election time and we have both parties screaming about cuts and which part of the government needs to be cut and why…..the GOP wants to cut everything but the military, regardless who is screwed by those cuts and the Dems want to cut the military and do not care about the consequences of massive cuts…..the truth of the matter is that we, as a country, will be cutting and cutting deeply…..the only question is who will pay the ultimate price of those cuts?
And now the Speaker of the House has fired the first shot on the national debt thing and promised that it will be another messy year of racing to mics to throw out the talking points….everyone will get their chance at the mic and the one liners and the people slowly suffer and unfortunately they do it in silence…….
But cuts, any cuts, will have consequences as pointed out on the website of Dirty Hippie……
A government budget cut is like a huge tax increase on regular people because it increases what each of us pays for the things government does — or forces us to go without. This is because cuts in government spending don’t actually cut the costor the need for those things, they just shift those costs onto the larger economy. But because these shifts attack the economy-of-scale, transparency, integrity and public-good management that government provides, they almost always increase the costs and harms to the larger economy.
- As government health care is cut (or not provided in the first place) each of us must take on those costs on our own, and as demonstrated, pay up to seven times what the same care would/could have cost.
- As infrastructure maintenance and modernization is cut, our economy becomes less competitive, unemployment increases and our wages and spending power fall.
- As spending on education is cut, our costs of educating ourselves and our kids increase. College costs soar. And the overall education level of our people will decrease, making our country less competitive in the world.
- As environmental regulation and enforcement is cut the costs of the resulting health problems and cleanups increase and our quality-of-life will decrease.
- As enforcement of labor laws is cut, our wages and protections fall.
- As etc. is cut, the costs of etc. are shifted to the larger economy, and the total costs of accomplishing etc. actually increase.
As budgets are cut, the costs are increased and shifted to the larger economy.
After the election we will find out who will pay the price for the decisions made in Congress over the last 40 years ……will it be the people or will it be the sector that has gotten all the benefits in those 40 years? My money is on the people……and the government will not even use Vaseline to make it less painful.
Many of us ‘liberals’ have been bitching that the Congress has done nothing to create jobs and after all that is the single most important election issue that got many of these people elected and sent to Washington….and since they have been in the capital they have offered up bills on everything from re-naming post offices to contraception to …..just about everything but JOBS……and now there is a Jobs bill headed to the president for his signature…..that is right….you heard correctly…..a new jobs bill waiting for the prez to put his John Hancock on the dotted line……..SURPRISE!
So how much have you heard about this bill?
A rare bi-partisan bill? Well it is election time and they do not want to be beat to death about doing nothing to create jobs……the truth is this bill does more to help businesses than it does to create many jobs…..as always the financial side of the argument won out and the people needing more and more jobs lose….yet again……
The House on Tuesday signed off on the final version of the package, aimed at helping small businesses and startups more easily raise capital by loosening various Securities and Exchange Commission regulations.
“The bipartisan JOBS Act represents an increasingly rare legislative victory in Washington where both sides seized the opportunity to work together, improved the bill and passed it with strong bipartisan support,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a statement.
Politico is reporting……Senators tweaked the package to include an extra layer of restrictions on crowdfunding, which allows companies to raise smaller amounts of money from more people without subjecting them to SEC rules.
The JOBS Act is a collection of six measures that its backers say would make it easier for companies to go public more quickly and raise money. (and here is who the politicians are protecting….NOT YOU!)
For instance, it allows more shareholders to invest in companies without triggering SEC regulations. Other components allow small businesses to use ads to solicit investors and permit more companies making public offerings to opt out of SEC rules.
The bill, soon to be a law, has done very little for the middle class….it has made it easier for companies to raise money……you kinda like Apple…..and how many new jobs does their IPO create? Once again we see that the people we elect spend all their time and energy working for businesses and not the people that voted them into office….this will not create enough jobs to give validity to the title of the bill…….How much more pathetic can these baboons become?
I will pause here for the people to shake their heads and laugh out loud…..we working stiffs are so SCREWED!
College of Political Knowledge
If you are an old fart as I am the term “domino theory” brings back the good old days of the ‘war on communism’….but it has a different meaning today……at least to my way of thinking…..
Just what is the ‘domino theory’? Thanx to encyclopedia.com for the breakdown……..
The domino theory was articulated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in an April 7, 1954, news conference in which he worried that if communism remained unchecked, the free world might endure “the ‘falling domino’ principle. [In that case] you have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly. So you have the beginning of a disintegration [of democratic countries] that would have profound influences”. According to that principle, a change in one country will “spill over,” setting in motion the political transformation of an entire region.
Of particular concern to American leaders at that time was the ongoing crisis in southeastern Asia, where the loss of Vietnam could be expected to lead to eventual Communist domination of Thailand, Indonesia, and perhaps New Zealand and Australia (Gaddis 1982). The application of the domino theory, however, was not limited to southeastern Asia. The growing momentum of communism and the falling of dominoes animated national security debates over American policies toward Western Europe and Latin America as well. After the Eisenhower administration, the Democratic administrations of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson continued to believe that setbacks in southeastern Asia in general and Vietnam in particular would have dire consequences.
Fears of dominoes falling were based primarily on two mutually reinforcing concerns. The first was that if the United States failed to support an ally against Communist agitation, Communist movements in neighboring countries and their Soviet and Chinese sponsors would be emboldened. Communist success would breed success, and failure to stem the tide early would push countries out of the American orbit, with disastrous long term consequences. Second, that perception of threat was amplified by concerns that the inability of an American-sponsored government to suppress domestic insurgents or outside provocateurs would signal that the United States could not be counted on as a reliable alliance partner. In that case the insecurities of allied countries and the demonstrated inability or unwillingness of the United States to help overcome them would lead countries to pull away from the United States. On both counts American decision makers feared that seemingly small reverses in peripheral countries ultimately would lead to a massive redistribution of cold war power as country after country fell to Communist pressure.
Although the rhetoric of falling dominoes most often was used to articulate the dangers from the unchecked spread of Soviet expansion, some noted that dominoes might be induced to fall the other way as well. Soon after the end of the World War II (1939–1945) conservatives in the Truman administration advocated “rolling back” Soviet advances in Europe. Although the lexicon of falling dominoes had not been coined yet, the basic logic was the same: It was hoped that American successes would demonstrate the power of the West and the poverty of the Soviet alternative. If that policy was successful, it was hoped that it might set into motion a counterdomino effect in which European Soviet-styled authoritarian regimes were felled by a mix of domestic and Western pressure. The Soviets’ continued de facto and then de jure domination of Central and Eastern Europe frustrated those early reactionary impulses to roll back the postwar status quo. Thereafter, the world’s dominoes were seen as leaning against the United States from the 1950s through the 1970s.
Sorry about the long dissertation on the subject but it was necessary…..
Now that the stage has been set……the idea of the domino theory is rearing its ugly face….yet again….this time it is the whole right to work thing…….and now that Repubs have control of most of the states the attacks on labor is beginning its final push before it is too late……
Most Southern states have been right to work for decades and the Repubs have seen that it has worked well for the elimination of unions nd organized labor…..and now the states in the rust belt that have changed government to the GOP the attacks have begun…..Indiana is the most visible for now but it will continue…..when one falls the next one will be in the sights of the GOP…..watch Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois…..and so on…..and now Utah is joining the war on the workers…..
Utah’s measure was introduced by Republican Rep. Keith Grover, who did not return a call seeking comment. However, he denied during an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune last week that he was influenced by what was happening in other states.
And all the rhetoric will be that it will create jobs….and it does….but they are low wage jobs with little to no benefits……The truth, however, is that the misnamed “right-to-work” legislation–better known to its opponents as the “right-to-work-for-less”–will have a devastating financial hit on working-class Hoosiers if it becomes law.
In the last couple of months I have seen an up take on a post I had from several years ago on the subject of “right to work”….I am guessing that the renewed interest in this subject is because of so many Repub controlled states are trying to introduce this concept into their states……
First, a horrible idea for working people…..I say this because I live in a right to work state…..and this does nothing to help the worker….it brings low wage jobs, less benefits if any, in my state unemployment is 10.5%, so it is not a job creator, no matter what lies your politicians tell you….all it does is make businesses more profitable and less responsible…….the one that comes to mind most readily is Indiana and its attempts to kill labor.
A website, Right To Work Is Bad, has an excellent breakdown……
So-called “Right-to-Work” legislation is a slick slogan designed to trick people into believing that it protects a worker’s right to a job. Nothing could be further from the truth. So-called “Right-to-Work” legislation assures no worker a job, protects no worker against employer bias or retaliation, and undermines living wages and fair benefits.
A “Right-to-Work” law is redundant, lowers wages and benefits for all workers, and destroys the tax base for local communities. When real facts are taken into account, it is not economic development strategy driving this issue. Rather, it is an extreme, outdated, partisan agenda.
The real problem with a “Right-to-Work” law and its special-interest supporters is that in their zest and zeal to hurt unions, they hurt non-union workers as well.
“Right-to-Work” laws represent destructive economic development policy guided by extreme partisan politics. The goal should be to raise the standard of living for working families, not lower it.
Working families deserve better than an antiquated law designed to raise corporate profits and lower worker wages and benefits.
My state has been one of the poorest states since the beginning…..right to work has done NOTHING to change that…..it is a cute and slick slogan but it will not make a workers life any easier….if anything it will assist them further into poverty…….if you want low paying jobs then by all means support the lie of “right to work”.
To ALL WORKERS……fight any attempt to impose the “right to work” lie on the workers of your state….DO NOT let your state become another Mississippi!
College of Political Knowledge
As my loyal readers know that I try to make complex issues and theories more easily absorbed by the average person….for it is my belief that if it cannot be understood there is NO way that it will ever be changed…..I started off with a post about alienation of workers from the dream that is truly American (will be posted soon)….then I realized that without a grasp of the workings of capitalism there would be a difficult time understanding what is meant by alienation…..
There are conditions for capitalism and it is explained well by Alan Woods and Rob Sewell……
Today, modern production is concentrated in the hands of giant companies. Unilever, ICI, Fords, British Petroleum, are some examples of the firms which dominate our lives. Although it is true that small businesses do exist, they really represent the production of the past and not the present. Modern production is essentially a mass, large-scale business.
At present, 200 top companies together with 35 banks and finance houses control the British economy, and account for 85 per cent of output. This development has come about over the past few hundred years through ruthless competition, crisis and war. At the time when the classical economists predicted free trade in the future, Marx explained the development of monopoly from competition as the weaker firms went to the wall. Monopoly capitalism grew out of and abolished free competition.
At first sight, it looks as if goods and things are produced mainly for people’s needs. Obviously every society has to do this. But under capitalism, goods are not merely produced to satisfy someone’s want or need, but primarily for sale. That is the paramount function of capitalist industry.
The capitalist process of production requires the existence of certain conditions. Firstly, the existence of a large class of property-less workers who are obliged to sell themselves piece-meal in order to live. Thus the Tory conception of a “property owning democracy” is an absurdity under capitalism, because if the mass of the population owned sufficient property to be self-sufficient, the capitalists would not find the workers to produce their profits. Secondly, the means of production must be concentrated in the hands of the capitalists. Over the centuries, the peasants and those who owned their own means of subsistence were ruthlessly crushed and their means of life appropriated by the capitalists and landlords. They in turn hire the workers to work these means of production and produce surplus value.
Capitalism! No man, including Adam Smith, thought it was a permanent state for the economy….but it has been resilient and very adaptable ……not so surprising when you understand the concept of….GREED! And that greed breeds alienation…….and that is the next post……
A friend of Info Ink, Terrance of Sibboleth (go to blogroll and enjoy his site) who lives in Michigan…this post is for him and the state in which he lives…..
Michigan should not adopt a right-to-work law in an attempt to address its economic challenges, a new Economic Policy Institute paper finds. In ‘Right to work’: The wrong answer for Michigan’s economy.
Sadly, this is not about a person sacred right to a job, but rather the state of employment in the Southern states, most notably…….A couple of years a go I did a post on the “right to work” and it has been getting a bit of traffic on it recently….the comments that I have gotten seem to show that not many people realize what the “right to work” really means…..
Let me help with the assistance of the Economic Policy Institute…..
Right-to-work (RTW) laws make it illegal for employees and employers to negotiate a union contract that requires all employees who benefit from the contract to pay their fair share of the costs of negotiating it. RTW laws are designed to undermine unions’ bargaining strength, and their primary focus is the manufacturing industry. Currently, 22 states have RTW laws.
RTW laws have no impact on the performance of state economies. Seven of the 10 highest-unemployment states are states with RTW laws, including Nevada and Florida, which have unemployment rates higher than Michigan’s unemployment rate of 10.5%, and South Carolina, which also has an unemployment rate of 10.5%. Factors other than RTW laws, such as major industries and climate, shape states’ economies.
RTW laws lower wages for union and non-union workers by an average of $1,500 a year and decrease the likelihood employees will get health insurance or pensions through their jobs. By lowering compensation, they have the indirect effect of undermining consumer spending, which threatens economic growth. For every $1 million in wage cuts to workers, $850,000 less is spent in the economy, which translates into a loss of six jobs.
RTW is not something that looks out for the working people of a state….it does however that the corporations want it…….it does nothing to expand the services that the state has promised to give to the residents…..it does nothing to increase the quality of life for the residents…..it does however give politicians a great source of income from the corporations that the states favor…..
If you like the idea of RTW…then by all means check out my state, Mississippi….there is NOTHING good that has come out of RTW….low wages, bad health care, poor education….to mention only a few….and then after checking it out….tell the politicians in your state just what you think of RTW!