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LadyX
Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:31:56 PM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
1ball wrote:


I agree. The violation of the rights of workers and employees to freedom of association, while producing temporary benefits in a closed system, raised costs and screwed future generations. I'm glad I don't have kids.


laughing8 Me too. One of you is plenty!


But let me ask you: in your opinion, what do you think would have been preferable to the formation of the unions in those times, given the predatory pay scales and dangerous work conditions?
1ball
Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012 1:02:37 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/13/2011
Posts: 970
Location: United States
LadyX wrote:
But let me ask you: in your opinion, what do you think would have been preferable to the formation of the unions in those times, given the predatory pay scales and dangerous work conditions?


People who were concerned for worker safety should have boycotted products and helped injured employees and the families of killed employees to sue employers. The federal government's role should have remained one of protecting individual rights, not creating group rights that violated individual rights.

People who felt the pay was "predatory" were mistaken. There is no right to a minimum standard of living based on hours worked. Low skilled and unskilled labor can't reasonably expect to command high pay because they have so much competition in the labor market. They abused the power of government to create first closed-shops and then, when that became a disaster, they fell back to union-shop states versus right-to-work states. The Great Lakes states, having the tremendous advantage of lake shipping, were quite happy to export all the additional labor costs of remaining union-shop states to the purchasers of cars, steel, and coal to consumers in other states. Since they had a monopoly on supply, the political will to become right-to-work states didn't exist. They also hid the costs of bloated state governments in the price of products. Basically all consumers of products from the area subsidized the people of the Great Lakes states. Those states are now paying the price, and they have been since import cars became attractive to so many consumers, especially those at the low end of the economic ladder.


My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
LadyX
Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:23:26 PM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
1ball wrote:


People who were concerned for worker safety should have boycotted products and helped injured employees and the families of killed employees to sue employers.


This rationale might hold water now, but certainly not back then, though as an apologist for whatever lowers taxes and strips regulations, you'd never concede that. Nevertheless, you're smart enough to know that the means to spread community awareness weren't in place, and "word of mouth" doesn't count. Consumer boycotting of railroads, coal, and steel weren't feasible in the first place, nor did the mass media exist to give wide voice to individuals or non-moneyed groups.

Quote:

People who felt the pay was "predatory" were mistaken.


Tell that to the coal miners who either put up with the almost-nothing they got, or their families starved because they got fired. There weren't 3 other coal mines nearby with different, more benevolent, owners there to take him in and put competitive pressure on the other mining company. They could've paid much more and not harmed their business model. How do we know this? Because when the wages were raised, the companies miraculously stayed afloat.

But, I know, I know, that's heresy according to the The Gospel of Whatever the Fuck Our Wealthy Feel like Doing, but it's only you individualist folks that subscribe to nonsense like "it's the workers' fault that their conditions and pay were so bad in the 1800s."
Rembacher
Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:26:28 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/16/2008
Posts: 1,106
1ball wrote:


People who felt the pay was "predatory" were mistaken. There is no right to a minimum standard of living based on hours worked. Low skilled and unskilled labor can't reasonably expect to command high pay because they have so much competition in the labor market. They abused the power of government to create first closed-shops and then, when that became a disaster, they fell back to union-shop states versus right-to-work states. The Great Lakes states, having the tremendous advantage of lake shipping, were quite happy to export all the additional labor costs of remaining union-shop states to the purchasers of cars, steel, and coal to consumers in other states. Since they had a monopoly on supply, the political will to become right-to-work states didn't exist. They also hid the costs of bloated state governments in the price of products. Basically all consumers of products from the area subsidized the people of the Great Lakes states. Those states are now paying the price, and they have been since import cars became attractive to so many consumers, especially those at the low end of the economic ladder.


What about company towns? Unions were essential in fighting back against situations where a company owned the entire town. Workers were allowed to buy groceries on credit against their paycheques, and due to the monopoly the company had, would often end up owing the company on payday. How is that not predatory? Without unions, we'd probably still be in that mess.
1ball
Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:33:56 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/13/2011
Posts: 970
Location: United States
1ball wrote:People who were concerned for worker safety should have boycotted products and helped injured employees and the families of killed employees to sue employers.


LadyX wrote:
the means to spread community awareness weren't in place, and "word of mouth" doesn't count.


Yellow journalists, radio and telephones were around when the Wagner Act was passed.

Quote:
Consumer boycotting of railroads, coal, and steel weren't feasible in the first place,


Rail travel and autos were boycottable.

Quote:
nor did the mass media exist to give wide voice to individuals or non-moneyed groups.


Bullshit.

Quote:People who felt the pay was "predatory" were mistaken.

Quote:
Tell that to the


...whoever. They don't have the authority to dictate their pay when they can be easily replaced by some other laborer willing to work.

Quote:
coal miners who either put up with the almost-nothing they got, or their families starved because they got fired. There weren't 3 other coal mines nearby with different, more benevolent, owners there to take him in and put competitive pressure on the other mining company. They could've paid much more and not harmed their business model. How do we know this? Because when the wages were raised, the companies miraculously stayed afloat.


Somebody else paid, probably through higher coal prices.


My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
1ball
Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:43:09 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/13/2011
Posts: 970
Location: United States
Rembacher wrote:
What about company towns? Unions were essential in fighting back against situations where a company owned the entire town. Workers were allowed to buy groceries on credit against their paycheques, and due to the monopoly the company had, would often end up owing the company on payday. How is that not predatory? Without unions, we'd probably still be in that mess.


If anybody's rights were violated, the government had a role. Choosing to require both workers and employers to associate with a union, creating a group right for union members, is a violation of the right to freedom of association. If a union won't exist without a government requirement that workers can't negotiate directly with employers, then that union is a violation and investors can morally claim self-defense when abandoning the economy (not that they need a moral justification).


My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
LadyX
Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012 10:54:17 PM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
Quote:
People who were concerned for worker safety should have boycotted products and helped injured employees and the families of killed employees to sue employers.

Rail travel and autos were boycottable.


laughing9 That's a good one, 1ball! Yes, it's totally reasonable to expect all travel and commerce to shut down due to a coal magnate's employee abuse. But seriously, your might-makes-right logic here is faulty, that you need a majority of random people to act in order for an injustice to be worth dealing with.


Quote:

Yellow journalists, radio and telephones were around when the Wagner Act was passed.


Yes they were, but media wasn't nearly as immersive as it is now. Either way, an expectation of public, might-makes-right outrage to rule on whether employers are abusing their responsibilities is a faulty one.

Quote:

Bullshit.

Cursing doesn't make the point about 21st century media saturation as an effective player in labor condition awareness any less valid.

Quote:

...whoever. They don't have the authority to dictate their pay when they can be easily replaced by some other laborer willing to work.


They have a right to basic dignity- which, ordinarily is a priority for individualists. Well, when it doesn't stand in the way of strong-arming the working class for personal gain, that is.

Quote:

Somebody else paid, probably through higher coal prices.


I'm sure prices came up some, whatever. If 19th-Century Butthurt Price Hikes haven't crippled the economy by now, I think we're in the clear on that move. To whatever extent it happened, it was a worthwhile means to the end of a particularly nasty streak of corporatism that ran rampant here until the Wagner Act, as well as increased Federal regulations on pay and work conditions.

Quote:
If anybody's rights were violated,

LOL. Yes. If this alleged widespread abuse of working class laborers occurred at all. laughing8 It might be a labor-union conspiracy theory.

Quote:
the government had a role. Choosing to require both workers and employers to associate with a union, creating a group right for union members, is a violation of the right to freedom of association. If a union won't exist without a government requirement that workers can't negotiate directly with employers, then that union is a violation and investors can morally claim self-defense when abandoning the economy (not that they need a moral justification).


Unions were necessary because individuals were literally at the mercy of the employer. This is often still the case, by the way. It's a free-market individualist fantasy that some produce worker or checkout clerk at Wal-Mart stands a chance at "negotiating with his employer" in any effective way. I do, though, agree that not every modern-day union is necessary the way they once were. But none of what you say above addresses the fundamental onerous conditions that brought the Wagner Act to reality.

People don't hate the idea of powerful companies. People only hate the abuses that can and do happen within them. In wacky individualist-land, we should all stop organizing, stop questioning, and trust that those with power will be fair to those with no power. That's not a reasonable expectation based on human nature, nor has it ever been the case anywhere power and money have been consolidated the way they are in the US today. Therefore, that's an insane expectation, but predictable from those that represent the interests of the very people who have the power to abuse. The fact that the most selfish among our most wealthy, in addition to the fox crowd and the dogmatic individualists, disagree with me proves my point.

"Oh no, c'mon. Trust us. If you'll just stop calling us on our bullshit, we'll be completely fair. The only way to get more from us is to ask for less. No, really. Just trust us. The less you expect, the more you'll get."

Or take really good psychotropic drugs, within which you can build an alternate reality whereby you become wealthy. Or, maybe, our working class can go seek credit they can't get based on collatoral they don't have. Or, go start a hotel corporation in their garage, right? happy8 Maybe, someday, that business gets big enough for your employees to resent you for building a gaudy house after threatening them with the loss of their job based on partisan politics. Oh, what a personal achievement that would be.
oldrascal
Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 3:33:34 AM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 7/6/2012
Posts: 44
Location: Right here, United States
First point; As mediator, Xuani, you have allowed this thread to veer way off the original into left field and over the fence. Not that I haven't enjoyed the back and forth, but it isn't anywhere near the start.
Second point; There certainly was worker exploitation in the past, and probably still is in some instances, and I believe unions did help to alleviate that. But forced unionism serves neither the worker or management.
Third point; When I was still operating my non-union company, I had to sometimes remind a worker that the job they held was not created for them to make money, it was created for me to make money. If they were willing to do the work for the amount of money I was willing to pay, that was a silent contract between us. Some people may look upon that as worker exploitation, but without that agreement neither the worker or I would benefit.
She
Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 7:15:29 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 3/24/2010
Posts: 2,160
Location: Europe
oldrascal wrote:
First point; As mediator, Xuani, you have allowed this thread to veer way off the original into left field and over the fence. Not that I haven't enjoyed the back and forth, but it isn't anywhere near the start.


I think that you (or anyone else who had that desire) could brought it back to original topic, is not impossible. Personally I love when conversation develops. As long as everyone is enjoying themselves, and it seems that they were doing just that.

I thought that mediators are here to reminds us to respect rules of the house and not to dictate how and where conversation will progress ?
1ball
Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 8:30:38 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/13/2011
Posts: 970
Location: United States
LadyX wrote:
Yes, it's totally reasonable to expect all travel and commerce to shut down due to a coal magnate's employee abuse.


Everything you're saying hinges on your definition of abuse. Abuse occurs when the government exercises authority to violate the rights of people. Abuse does not occur when an employer pays somebody what the employee agrees to work for.

Quote:
But seriously, your might-makes-right logic here is faulty, that you need a majority of random people to act in order for an injustice to be worth dealing with.


Nobody said anything about a majority. It only needs to be enough people to show a drop in profit.

Quote:
Yes they were, but media wasn't nearly as immersive as it is now.


Irrelevant

Quote:
Either way, an expectation of public, might-makes-right outrage to rule on whether employers are abusing their responsibilities is a faulty one.


If you can't get enough people to stage an effective boycott, then your definition of abuse is suspect.

Quote:
Cursing doesn't make the point about 21st century media saturation as an effective player in labor condition awareness any less valid.


21st century media saturation is irrelevant.

Quote:
They have a right to basic dignity,


No, they have a right to refuse the terms an employer offers.

Quote:
I'm sure prices came up some, whatever.


It's called inflation.

Quote:
If 19th-Century Butthurt Price Hikes haven't crippled the economy by now, I think we're in the clear on that move.


Translation: We appear to have gotten away with this abuse of authority, so let's go for more.

Quote:
Unions were necessary because individuals were literally at the mercy of the employer.


The issue is about forced unionization via government policy.

Quote:
It's a free-market individualist fantasy that some produce worker or checkout clerk at Wal-Mart stands a chance at "negotiating with his employer" in any effective way.


To hold the employer accountable for the fact that the employee needs a job is a violation of the employer's right to freedom of association. If the employees want to unionize in a right-to-work state (and face the consequences) let them. Union-shop states deserve the loss of jobs that results from violating the right to freedom of association.

Quote:
People don't hate the idea of powerful companies. People only hate the abuses that can and do happen within them.


Abuse vs. employee greed. Regardless of how you see it, you hurt yourself by using government to correct it. You asked me what I would do and I told you. It wasn't tried because collectivists succeeded in subverting the government and now they're paying the price.

Quote:
In wacky individualist-land, we should all stop organizing, stop questioning, and trust that those with power will be fair to those with no power.


Fair? You think the results of dictating to the market are fair? Well I agree with that, after the unintended consequences become felt. You abuse government authority, you trigger a right to self-defense, you cause job losses and capital flight, and your chickennnnssssss, come home to roost.



My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
LadyX
Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 8:41:21 AM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
@1ball: You continue to ignore the realities of labor conditions in the 1800's which lead to the formation of unions along with the Wagner Act, seeking Clinton-esque parsing of terms such as 'abuse' to distract from what you know to have occurred back then. If you dispute this or are simply ignorant, I'll give you the same advice you've given others here: pick up a history book and educate yourself.

As far as fairness goes, I know it's a foreign concept for you which offends your "get off my lawn" sensibilities, so when you're met with it, all you can do is divert to some other point I've made, distort it, and ask me if I think it's fair. happy8 The imaginary free market apparently drives all of your values, and that's something I'm glad we don't have in common. It's been an enjoyable peek into your mind, though.
LadyX
Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 8:50:21 AM

Rank: Artistic Tart

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,827
Quote:

First point; As mediator, Xuani, you have allowed this thread to veer way off the original into left field and over the fence. Not that I haven't enjoyed the back and forth, but it isn't anywhere near the start.
Second point; There certainly was worker exploitation in the past, and probably still is in some instances, and I believe unions did help to alleviate that. But forced unionism serves neither the worker or management.
Third point; When I was still operating my non-union company, I had to sometimes remind a worker that the job they held was not created for them to make money, it was created for me to make money. If they were willing to do the work for the amount of money I was willing to pay, that was a silent contract between us. Some people may look upon that as worker exploitation, but without that agreement neither the worker or I would benefit.




You're absolutely right, Oldrascal. We tend to be free-flowing and laissez-faire around here, but it is your thread after all. Allow me to re-set it:



Romney is a good guy that helps people, says this man. How much might personal accounts of a candidates personality sway you when electing leaders, and in particular, Romney?
1ball
Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 9:13:19 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/13/2011
Posts: 970
Location: United States
LadyX wrote:
@1ball: You continue to ignore the realities of labor conditions in the 1800's which lead to the formation of unions


You continue to ignore the fact that I don't have a problem with unions. Workers have a right to form unions and a right to strike and employers have a right to lock workers out when there isn't a contract in place. What you continue to ignore is that other solutions were not tried, because everybody turned to the government and looked for a collectivist solution and now we are paying a price for that.

Quote:
As far as fairness goes, I know it's a foreign concept for you which offends your "get off my lawn" sensibilities, so when you're met with it, all you can do is divert to some other point I've made, distort it, and ask me if I think it's fair. happy8 The imaginary free market apparently drives all of your values, and that's something I'm glad we don't have in common. It's been an enjoyable peek into your mind, though.


Dictating "fairness" through government policy brings pain onto those who do it. Ignoring that, climbing onto a high horse, and demonizing those who point it out is not a solution to that pain.


My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
ByronLord
Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 9:50:54 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 11/14/2010
Posts: 753
Location: Massachusetts, United States
TransitionalMan wrote:
I really don't care about Mitt's jeans, but in truth he is the biggest liar I've ever seen in 40 years of following elections, and he represents a party which has left the reality train far behind. I have to wonder if there is a single lie that man won't tell, and what will happen if he really is elected.

Hey, he doesn't always lie.

He seemed to be telling the truth when he thought he was talking to his fellow billionaires.

ByronLord
Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 10:00:48 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 11/14/2010
Posts: 753
Location: Massachusetts, United States
1ball wrote:


Of course he couldn't make it obvious that he was giving ownership of the company directly to his UAW cronies. But who does this "health care trust for the UAW" benefit? Not the old shareholders who owned the company. Not the taxpayers of the US. The UAW members. The settlement preserved their health care benefits and their jobs at the expense of shareholders, who mostly got nada. Had the process not been violated by his dictatorial intervention, shareholders would have gotten something and the UAW would have gotten much less, as it should be in a country where rule of law, limits on government and protection of individual rights are in place.

GM and Chrysler were BANKRUPT. In a bankruptcy the shareholders are last in line as creditors.

The companies went under because they owed more in deferred benefits than they could pay. Which was in part because they had been goosing their numbers for years by underfunding the pension plan but mostly because of the explosion in health care costs.

As a businessman the last thing I want to have to worry about is my employees health care. It sucks up an inordinate amount of C-suite time. Far worse than government regulation. I have no idea why anyone thinks the current scheme is good for any business other than the insurers and drug companies.

1ball
Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 8:48:18 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/13/2011
Posts: 970
Location: United States
ByronLord wrote:
I have no idea why anyone thinks the current scheme is good for any business other than the insurers and drug companies.


By "the current scheme", do you mean Obamacare? The reform we need is to go in the opposite direction, away from federal intervention in the healthcare market. Let states handle contract law.


My latest story is too hot to publish. My most recent story before that is Even Stranger In Lust
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