Friday, May 3, 2013

What Are Right To Work Laws?

The most propagandized people are probably the people that don't recognize that they are propagandized.  They think they see propaganda for what it is, oblivious to how they have been manipulated.

I know I'm deceived and misled in ways that I don't even know.  But it feels good to sometimes make a discovery and break at least a little of the manipulation.  A few months back I learned, thanks to Noam Chomsky, that right to work laws were not what I thought they were.  I heard him say it but could hardly believe it, and wanted to check.  I have done that and yeah, it looks like he's right.  Here's one source.  Economist Dean Baker explains.  It's not what you think it is.

Most people think that it means you have a right to work for a company outside the union.  You can't be compelled to join the union.  Wrong.  You already have a right to work outside the union.  Any company can hire anybody that's not part of the union.  So what do right to work laws do?

What they do is compel unions to represent workers even if workers don't pay dues.  Whatever benefits the union successfully negotiates, workers are entitled to them as well as other benefits the union offers.  But instead of paying for this service, right to work laws compel the unions to provide it without compensation.  And it's not just the negotiated compensation benefits.  If a worker has a dispute with the employer the union is obligated to represent that employee even if he doesn't pay union dues.  He can't be treated differently than a union paying member.  The union must work without compensation, kind of like slavery.

That's not very free market, is it?  You'd think Republicans would allow a union or any organization to charge a fee for the service they provide, and anyone can opt in or out freely.  But it doesn't work that way.  It's free markets and tough love for you, the poor, the regular people.  For the owners, the richest in the world, it's nanny state.


Chad said...

Your right - now the unions get to enjoy the free loader situation. Its funny - when I or people on the Right get ticked off about all the free loaders we are some kind of animals, but suddenly now a free loader within the precious union structure is off limits - mmmm.

Unfortunately Mr. Baker and your kind of general thinking has a lot to do with why Unions are in so much trouble to begin with. The union stopped doing what it was designed to do - like all organizations that get power/have money tend to do - it got greedy, it got political and because it got involved in things outside its standard charter it got targeted and now is on the endangered species list - but it must be said this was nearly all self inflicted.

Here is a well written view from the other side.

I've said it before and many business owners I speak too say the same thing - we don't hate Unions, we hate what unions have become. I have sat through a dozen mediations at our mill - union v.s. management and frankly I am not the least bit shocked at why unions are dying so rapidly. I had no skin in the game, but the arguments made by the union and the various topics for the grievance was embarrassing for the union.

I grew up in a Union family, heard the absurd stories and I seen first hand how my brother was able to take 55 days off per year and not get fired.

We have big shoulder and we are used to be blamed for everything so by all means say its our fault, but what would be better than that is to gut the entire Union and start over. Its about damn time that the Union has to fight for memberships - which means they really need to offer a valuable service now.

They need to get out of the political landscape and begin to work WITH Management/Ownership instead of against them. Self police the membership - a guy is on drugs - fire his azz, comes in late habitually - gone, does poor/shabby work - see ya then when there is a real injustice getting management to listen would be easy.

Put pen to paper - stats to show that when profits were down the UNION trimmed that fat to stay lean and keep the company healthy.

Its time for a rebirth of the union and to admit the previous strategy is a complete failure.

Jon said...

Yeah, but notice, I'm not the one that says nobody should free load. In other words, some people are compelled to give more and others less. That's my belief.

So for instance a handicap person is going to free load. That's OK for me. Some people should give so others can receive. So I pay some taxes and handicap people get SS. I'm OK with that.

But that doesn't mean it's right to just compel any business to give away their service for free. I'm not saying Starbucks should have to give free coffee to poor people, or Ford should have to give out free cars. I don't single out specific industries and make them work for free. That's outrageous. But that's what's happening here.

You are the one that says freeloading is a problem. You object to it. But apparently you don't really. You only object when it's applied to one side, not the other. You single out certain businesses, like unions, and you say they have to work without compensation. Not the company you work for. Only unions.

People like Ron Paul, who say people should be allowed to charge whatever they want for the services they provide without being compelled by the government to alter or reduce their price, he's the one pushing laws to compel unions to work without compensation. You are the same apparently. So the difference between you and me is I'm principled.

By the way, I read somewhere and I'm not exactly sure if it's true, but I read that union dues aren't actually used to elect any Democrat. Union dues can be used in politics, but the range of issues is restricted, purely for addressing union related issues like the right to collectively bargain. Unions often do support Democrats, but not with union dues. They have Political Action Committee's, so that means union members are free to contribute to a union PAC which may support Democrats and have positions on social issues, but union dues are not used for that purpose.

Like I said, I just read that somewhere a while back, but don't recall where. It may be the truth, but I'm not 100% sure.

Chad said...

What an interesting use of the word compelled, it sounds better than taken, forced, taxed or siezed yet it is the same thing.

Actually on your side here - no arguements that I think the Union should try to exclude representation of the non paying members. Then they should work extremely hard to rebuild their horrible image in hopes to gain more members back. But at the same time it does bring a good sized smile on my face that they are in this position - for years they have forced management and ownership to eat shit and die - nice to see they have a plate full of their own to eat now.

Like the mill I mentioned, the good workers that actually do work can't get raises because of the union so they slow down and when they slow down they miss bonus benchmarks in efficiency - a bar set by the union FYI. When they miss the bonus bar for the month with a week to go - productivity tanks every time. So what has happened is the hard workers no longer want to be in a union - it holds them back from a bigger paycheck, raises and advancements within the company. These jerks off actually voted down (by 1 vote) the ability to earn a bonus based on individual benchmarks hit/met. That's today's union and exactly why it is dying.

Jon said...

Good, you oppose right to work laws. It's amazing how effective the propaganda is. When people actually understand what it does even hard core right wingers like you oppose.

But one additional comment on your prior post. You say unions have been a failure. The most prosperous countries in the world have strong unions, like Germany. All of the richest nations in the world have a strong union history. Japan, S Korea, the US. In the US the period of highest union membership was the period of the most rapid economic growth. There has been an aggressive attack on unions since their peak, which really accelerated post 1980. What has happened? Economic growth has stalled. Wages are flat to declining. Working hours are increasing. Health care costs exploding, one financial crisis after the other. Union membership is as low as it has been since the 20's and our economy is a shambles. Unemployment still sky high. It's the worst it's been, and the high union period was the best it ever was, and union countries are the best in the world and non union the worst. So you can just sit there and talk about a few anecdotes of what happens where you work, as if that demonstrates something about the whole economy. If you ever take a look outside that world you see a different picture.

Chad said...

I am 100% for right to work laws - I simply said it is the right of the union to push back to exclude paying for non members is all.

Lived with Union BS for nearly my whole life - brothers, uncles (big family) friends and now work - the sampling is large enough and repeatable enough for me to claim this as a fact. My brother - by himself - outlines everything wrong with unions.

You can try to rope a pig and call a goat - but it is still a pig. I could argue successfully that unions have cost 10 times the number of jobs it has created or saved. Taking jobs overseas to avoid unions was a better and more cost effective option. Now we see and can read that RTW states unemployment numbers are lower, cost of living lower, yearly pay up and the states are growing that deploy the RTW option. Heavy - union driven states - well those stats don't lie either. Unemployment up, earning down, the states themselves a disaster. Your right we should look at stats.

Chad said...

Does a study by George Mason Univ pass?

They did a study when adjusting wages for cost of living they found workers in Right to Work states have about $2,300 more to spend than workers in forced-unionism states. Not only more purchasing power, but more likely to have health insurance as well.

How about Dr. Barry Poulsen (probably a right wing nut job) from the University of Colorado. He did a similar study. He found that there was a $4,300 advantage in Right to Work states for purchasing power for workers who were in Right to Work states versus states that allowed forced unionism.

In fact - the percentage of workers covered by healthcare increase dramatically in Right to Work states and decrease in states that don't have Right to Work.

The Washington Times called it straight forward - the top 5 states with the lowest unemployment levels - all RTW. The top 5 with the highest unemployment - all Forced Unionism States. Since Michigan came on board I suspect those stats have changes some, but give it time.

CNBC ranked the states by business climate - wouldn't ya know it the top 5 states were all RTW - gosh that is interesting.

Jon said...

I am 100% for right to work laws - I simply said it is the right of the union to push back to exclude paying for non members is all.

Chad, did you read the post you are commenting on? Right to work laws REQUIRE unions to INCLUDE non paying members and represent them. If you think unions should be allowed to EXCLUDE non paying members then you oppose right to work laws.

Chad said...

Did you read my comment - I would support them fighting that portion of the law. Like I also said, BUT it also puts a smile on my face that is part of the law to a degree.

I love the new law - it gives Michigan a fighting chance to rebound, but I hate free loaders so I would challenge that single portion if I was a union big guy. They'll probably lose that fight so back to my other point - best be time for the union heads to improve their product to keep membership up and rebuild their image. Or and this is what I am hoping for - a new union all together is born from the ashes.

Jon said...

Did you read my comment - I would support them fighting that portion of the law.

It's not a portion of the law. This is what the law does. That's all it does. Require unions to represent people that don't pay. That's all it is. So if you oppose this aspect of it you oppose the whole thing.

Chad said...

It's not the first line of the law.

Right-to-work law is a statute in the United States that prohibits union security agreements, or agreements between labor unions and employers, that govern the extent to which an established union can require employees' membership, payment of union dues, or fees as a condition of employment, either before or after hiring.

Then comes the subset of - o and by the way when you negotiate for one, you negotiate for all regardless if they are a paying member or not.

As a matter of "principal" as you stated, I would fight against that second part, but I love the first section of the law.

Chad said...

Clearly the portion of the all coverage part was pay back for years - the smile I mentioned.

Examinator said...

Chad is being naive again.
Pursuant to your previous post the ted video.
This law in and of its self has nothing to do with "free loaders as such"
It's real purpose is to break unions in general by denying them funding period. i.e. why pay for something you can get for free?
Additionally the Businesses also want to eliminate Unions as DNC donors in elections thus giving them the winning money hand in the elections. note Union prominence as donors.
Then consider how the Republican side is trying to eliminate/exclude Democrat voters with ALEC written laws under the guise of (near) non existent voter fraud. Sorry but I don’t believe in leopards changing spots rather simply changing strategy,

Sadly either Chad doesn't understand negotiations very well or he’s being a wee bit disingenuous. Chad “sitting in “having no skin in the negotiations? You’d have to be an arbitrator And you are reincarnated Gandhi? yer right! Making/serving the coffee perhaps?
No offence Chad, but you don't strike me as a person who shaves his legs in order to distract the opposition negotiators. In short, you were there as part of management team. If you weren’t any of them you wouldn't have been there.

Unions always go in with "ambit" claims i.e. ridiculous ones as throw away (staw man/ red herring) claims, something to justify a negotiation and horse trade away. The trick is to get them to put ALL their claims on the table THEN negotiate from there. Like Chad I’ve heard some absolute Bull Shit ones… ones I had difficulty holding a straight face at. The real claims come later once they feel they’re in a serious negotiation. I’ve even gone to the urinal and a low man unionist has come in and in conversation a face saving compromise was suggested. One the union couldn’t suggest officially but if WE suggested it, they would ‘reluctantly’ agree to it. It came to pass and that ended a 4 day knock em down drag em out very heated negotiation.

Looking at it from the union perspective their existence is predicated on getting ‘improvements’ for the members. If they didn’t push the envelope the members would wonder why they are paying their dues. It is this that the law is trying to undermine.

Examinator said...

Part 2
Where is the difference between that and management trying to save on the biggest recurrent cost on the balance sheet? Which the business is under pressure to do for the share holders. Ask your self how happy would the share holders be if the business gave the same profit year in year out, it’d simply wither and die. Investors always want more. Can you imagine giving different % dividends based on the number of shares? Why shouldn’t the employee who has one product his labor want more to be more efficient/flexible less secure etc?

In the examples Chad gave I’d suggest poor or inflexible negotiations. I’ve been there and dealt with the issue in other ways. One was a bonus sweepstakes for a family holidays in Hawaii… it didn’t need union sanction as it was an extra over and above and everyone could enter. We knew who were going to be the winners … we asked them what prize they thought would work, up front. The outcome was that we got a tough contract out before time and the extra production paid for the holidays and a booze up at a local hotel for all the rest and their partners (Applied psychology). Clearly there was a bit more to it but I get paid for ideas.
PS the profit on the contract meant that the shareholders got a bigger dividend too.
Are there bad unions or bad unionists? About the same as bad employers and lousy management!

Jon said...

Chad, you got that definition from Wikipedia. At Wikipedia the part that says "union security agreement" is a hotlink. The law limits "union security agreements". Click that link and see what that means. It is the union’s ability to collect dues from all members that benefit from the contract it has negotiated, which is an effort that can be very costly. That link goes on to discuss the "free rider problem" wherein people could in theory benefit from something negotiated on their behalf, but then fail to contribute to the cost of that negotiation, which has the effect of destroying the union.

Union security agreements in some countries do include a requirement to join a union as a condition of employment. That is, an employer can negotiate an agreement with a union that states that all working people must be part of the union and pay dues, so if you quit the union you are also quitting your job. But if you go back to the right to work section of Wikipedia you see that in the US that is illegal and has been since 1947.

So yeah, actually what I said is in the first line of the definition you offered. This is all right-to-work laws do. They create a free rider problem, giving people the ability to take the union negotiated agreement without paying for the cost of negotiating it. And also compelling the union to represent you in a dispute even if you don’t pay dues.

So now will you say you oppose right to work laws? That's all they do is create free riders. You can already work for anyone outside a union contract. Right to work means you enjoy the benefit of work others have done, they have to provide it, but you don't have to pay.

HispanicPundit said...

A better way to put it is that 'right to work laws' remove the state from taking sides.

Outside of right to work laws, unions can basically use state power to force it's rules on workers who are not in favor of the union (like my father, who is FORCED to be part of the union he despises).

I'm surprised you didn't know this Jon. This is yet further evidence that when you were a Republican, you weren't a very knowledgeable one.

Jon said...

HP, did you read anything here? It's like I write "I used to think 2+2 is 3, but I recently learned it's 4." Then you come in and say "I'm surprised you didn't know this, Jon, but 2+2 is 3. I guess you were never a right winger." No, I was under the same false impression you currently are.

I mean, it's possible I'm misunderstanding what I'm reading. Maybe it is as I originally understood it. Maybe there are shops that require membership in the union as a condition of employment. But if that's true you don't say I "was never a right winger". What you say is my prior understanding was correct and I'm misreading my sources now. What this says to me is you basically have no understanding of my post or the prior comments. Please read and grasp the content before commenting. That's not much to ask.

But like I say (if you had read) look up "Right to work" on Wikipedia and read up on Taft-Hartley. A "closed shop" meaning a shop that requires union membership as a condition of employment, has been illegal in the US since 1947. So that would suggest that what's happening to your Dad is illegal or maybe he doesn't really know the rules.

My belief though is that if you were right and non right to work states can have a closed shop, I'd still think the government has no business getting involved. If a union and an employer freely negotiate a contract that requires union membership as a condition of employment, then if you support free markets you allow that. That's a free contract. The employer didn't have to sign it. But if he did sign it he needs to stick with it, and all workers have to agree to it as a condition of employment. I have no problem with it. It's interesting that the so called defenders of free contracts object. People like your heroes that think employers should be allowed to demand sexual favors. It's a free exchange. You can take it or leave it. But they rush in with the nanny state when the state can be used to the advantage of the rich owners and against poorer people.

But in any case, it looks like that's not the issue. The government already forbids a "closed shop". So to me it looks like you are a typical ignorant right winger. You're surprised that I "didn't know" a false claim. You've obviously failed to grasp what I've even said, but I won't say I'm surprised.

Examinator said...

Business, (the faux right) have the clear hypercritical view of "freedom of choice”, in that it should only work one way... theirs, where they benefit! As I pointed out in my previous missive what the unions are trying to do is the exact mirror image of business ...using the EXACT same principals and business model. The only real difference is in who the share holders are.

Who hasn't worked for a company and or manager who they detested some of their practices? As the God’s and my wife knows I have!
It is clear from what HP says neither he nor his dad actually took stock to think the issues through. There is NO perfect company or union in which everyone is completely happy, have you ever been to a public share holders meeting where everyone was happy…I haven’t.
Jon is emphatically correct in his conclusions about the unions being forced to accept free loaders is wrong it is the mirror image of Chad's Bludgers (Aussie term for those who don't pull their weight or pay their way).

Businesses are made up of people who aren't always fair, reasonable or non exploitive (sexual favors, discrimination, victimization or just plain objectionable) to mention a few. Unions being made up of the same (range of variations in people) have the exact same flaws as businesses and over all in the same proportions. It is only willful partisan (emotional selfish) blindness that could conclude otherwise.

In that case I agree whole heartedly with Jon, that the legislation is |WRONG in principal.
I went into the real reasoning WHY and its real purpose in my previous comment …it is simply trying to tilt/distort the playing field businesses’ way. By definition it is anti the principals of Capitalism.

Examinator said...

If I understand you correctly the Capitalism principal being attacked with this piece legislation is the most fundamental one is that of a level playing field... the same rules for both side(competitors). In essence business is attempting create an anti trust situation ... remove a competitor "unions" by means of government legislative intervention.

I define businesses as "Faux" Right wing in that the original political definition used by the rest of the world is that "right" = nationalist.
Originally capitalism was predicated on that... specifically the nationalist principal would preclude a capitalist from moving manufacturing from it's home country.(see "the Wealth of Nations" "THE REAL ONE NOT THE IDOLISED ONE"(Chomsky).

Corporations are now multinational and will move their base to where it suits the corporation not the country they go to extraordinary lengths to hide or avoid ANY tax.

In short the link with nationalism and corporations is a matter of convenience rather than commitment. That doesn't mean that they won't use the emotion of it to manipulate the public for advantage. e.g Haliburton, Murdoch and News Corp et al.
They trade on the association rather than their practice.

Jon said...

Interesting HP that you say your poor father is FORCED to be part of a union. He's got no choice. But what about the young pretty line worker that management says must have sex with her old big fat manager or she's fired. For you she wasn't FORCED to have sex. She had a choice. She could leave the job. Why is it now that you understand that your Dad is being FORCED? He can't quit? Probably you suddenly understand that if your choice is to walk away from a job and you go hungry or you stay on the job and act in ways you don't prefer, this means you really aren't free to walk away. You are forced. Force rhetoric you invoke when it helps the rich, but not for the poor. For the poor like the sweat shop worker your language changes.

I want to point out that what I'm saying is your Dad is free to work for the company outside the union, but not under the union contract in a non right to work state. So if the contract says 1-these are the conditions of employment for union members and 2-the union is responsible for performing tasks A, B, and C, then if your Dad wants to do tasks A, B, and C he would need to be part of the union. But if he doesn't want to be part of the union that's fine, but he would have to do other tasks. The issue here is the right wing wants people to be able to work UNDER THE UNION CONTRACT without paying dues. All the negotiating about what the union's tasks will be, how they will be treated, what they will be paid. That all requires a lot of work, and what these laws do is say you get the benefit of that work without enduring the cost.

So we see how the arguments shift when we are talking about bending the rules for the rich. Normally contracts are sacrosanct. Government shouldn't get involved. But here you want the government to void a contract because that will help the owners. Normally people get freedom of association. That's why country clubs can exclude minorities or homosexuals. But not now. Not for the union. The union has to accept what are in a sense scabs, their most hated type of people. For the Boy Scouts conservatives want them to be allowed to exclude gays. But the rules shift here because we're helping the rich. It's free markets and tough for the poor and government intervention ending freedom of association for the rich. Also corporate welfare. Oil subsidies, defense contracts, banker bail outs. Conservatives figure out ways to justify it. Smaller amounts for the poor violate free markets.

I fear you will reply with a brilliant "yawn" and there's no way to reply to that.

Chad said...

JC - your quite the elitist aren't you? Do you seriously believe that a union's existence stop your out dated and irrelevant in today's world sex situation?

Let's have a discussion with my mom, two of my aunt's and 4 of my parents friends who are women that worked in union shops (automotive) and lets talk to them aout who carried out sexual misconduct practices Jon. It's the F'ing workers protected by your precious union - the most corrupt boys club in the world. These women filed 15 sexual harassment claims between them - none resulted in firing these pigs. It took (in one case) the courts to intervene. The union swept it all under the table - boys being boys so I will see your pathetic mangt sex story and raise you a real life far more common story. Your still living in the 70's and 80's. FYI Jon cell phones have cameras, hell most offices now have cameras running 24/7 and there are very few if any closed door meetings any longer. I just read your story to my wife (management in a non union fortune 500 company) and she laughed then said never at my company - men are scared to breathe on a women in fear of a harassment suit especially the men in power, no closed door meetings unless another women (admin) is present - never. The number of inter office relationships are tiny - its frowned upon. She said maybe your story happens in 3rd world countries, but not here with any real volume. Ding, ding ding.

I suspect if you did some real investigation on this you'll. Absolutely find that your precious union bosses are the dirt bags - the stories my union family and friends have told about union bosses sounds close to your storyline.

For your last paragraph it's a yawner simply because your not willing to let all contract be without gov't and now your ticked when the Right makes deals that help the Right inside the rules the Left created. We are forced to do certain things and swallow hard just to play the game - at least we hold our noses while we play.

For the Left its all good until the law is used against them. No free loaders yells the Left, but for all else it's okay. No subsidies for big oil, but we'll waste billions on what we want, but there is nothing to see over here.

The Boy Scouts? These are private clubs sir with a charter and in their case a religous undertone - a standard of individual they would like to represent them. If the gays want to do something then they can create the 'Almost Boy Scouts of America'. Another words the Left love to ruin any group that has a old school foundation, but it is okay to have scholarships for only blacks. Its okay to have a gay pride day/org or it's fine to have Planned Parenthood to kill babies or to allow 14 year olds to go without parent supervision to get morning after pills. Whatever it takes to kill God, family, freedom and individualism right?

Jon said...

Chad, you're unfamiliar with the context of the "screw me or you're fired" discussion HP and I have had. You say "maybe in third world countries." We're talking specifically about third world countries. HP argues that it's OK because it's a free contract. Why are free contracts fine when it helps the rich, but not fine when it helps the poor? In the case of the union he wants to bring in the nanny state and void a free contract suddenly, but not for a woman that is forced to give blow jobs to fat hideous rapist types. Why the double standard?

As far as union abuse, I don't doubt your claim. It's irrelevant to the discussion here. Check the title of the post. "What Are Right to Work Laws." I've got the sources. I even went to your Wiki and proved that according to your source I'm right and you're wrong. You're apparently running away from your prior claims, now instead trying to talk about unrelated union abuses. Let's save it for another thread and stay on topic here. This is not about whether unions are good or bad. This is simply about what the right to work laws actually are. They are laws that compel unions to include scabs within them, those scabs taking the benefits of the work created by the union, but able to take that work for free. That's what these laws are.

I'm not making a claim about the Boy Scouts doing the right thing or the wrong thing. I'm simply pointing out that on the right the arguments change when they can be used against them. Boy Scouts get freedom of association. OK, why shouldn't unions likewise have freedom of association? Because the right is unprincipled.

The left doesn't yell "No free loaders." I already told you in this thread I think free loading is OK sometimes. You are the one that says "No free loaders" and yet you are requiring the union to admit free loaders. You are unprincipled. Your arguments about free loaders are only invoked to help the rich. When they are invoked to help the poor, like widows and the handicap on Social Security, that's when you object to free loaders. Kind of the opposite of what normal people think of when they think about what is right and wrong. Subjecting the poor to free loaders, but not the rich? That's backwards.

HispanicPundit said...


Yes, my father works at the ports. There, you HAVE TO BE part of the union or you cant work there. No, ifs ands or butts. This is common at many factories and union run companies in California. If the employer wanted to negotiate with an employee outside of union contract, he is PROHIBITED! And the unions use state power to gain such monopoly. Its sickening.

My dad has 30+ years with the union. Has HIGH seniority, gets all the perks that SHOULD make him love said union...but he still hates it. Says its for lazy people. Is sickened by how it protects the lazy and punishes the hard working.

I thought you lived in a pro-union state...and you really didnt know this? Do you have ANY contact with the truly poor Jon, outside of the books and youtube videos you watch? This is poor people 101. But then again maybe its a unique to California thing? I'm open to that, havent studied other states enough.

Anyway, you also write:

Interesting HP that you say your poor father is FORCED to be part of a union. He's got no choice. But what about the young pretty line worker that management says must have sex with her old big fat manager or she's fired. For you she wasn't FORCED to have sex. She had a choice. She could leave the job. Why is it now that you understand that your Dad is being FORCED? He can't quit?

The difference here, of course, is that unions are NOT part of the company, but an outside entity. A better analogy to union FORCING would be like government regulators forcing you to do certain things. They have monopoly power. So in such circumstances 'forcing' is more apt.

If you are a carpenter, for example, and you piss off the carpenters union, chances are that all your other job options are ended as well. You cant, usually, be a carpenter without the carpenters union approval because of their power.

My refusal to support the stronger term 'force' implies competition. If in my job, as an engineer, a boss requests such absurd actions, I could always quit and go to the next company...not so when its the union (or general monopolies) doing the forcing.

With that said, I hope it goes without saying that this doesnt mean I condone the act. My point here, is like your points when you defend the civil liberties of purported terrorists: Laws against such things tend to a) make the situation worse, b) violate civil liberties, and c) often solved through the free market anyway.

But I find them insulting just like anybody else.

Chad said...

Well then Jon - by your own admission you must then approve of the RTW law then. So I will yield and say I hate it (when I really love it) and you must support it (some pay for most for the greater social good).

Spin it how you wish - the law allows a person to choose to have their money taken for a union or not. It also gives the State the best chance to survive and prosper.

You brought of the Boys Scouts.

Jez-us-crimney - back to 3rd world crap. Again the existence of a union in Ethiopia, bangledesh or whatever country your dragging into this conversation would not exclude that from happening. Obviously you hate Sharia Law then so your anti-Muslim? If you don't like rape and slavery then you must be a big anti-Muslim (Sharia) supporter right?

Why that double standard Jon?

BTW - removing the morality of the situation for a second. Having sex in the dirt of Africa with a boss to feed her family or to have a better life is a choice - a contract if you will yes. And if you read closely your ideas help to keep these types of things alive. You want workers to unite and over price their labor in 3rd world countiries which will eliminate good paying (for their skill and situation) jobs making the managers more powerful to do such acts.

Chad said...

Didn't the Taft-Hartley law already include non union members?

Examinator said...

do you really believe "scew me or screw you" doesn't happen in America?

Jesus on a pogo stick on a pogo stick mate ! You really do miss a lot! It's way put way more subtly these days. How about the odd friendly grope grope and if she complains well her work is over scrutinised?
Or the Boss that screams, abuses, insults people personally and when someone complains their job is made redundant (restructured)and when a reference is sort it is delivered more in nuance... enough to make re employment nigh on impossible.

Like the woodsman said "there are more than one way to skin a pole cat".

Examinator said...

the old adage "One swallow doesn't mean spring" applies
Long shore men and tuckers aren't all unions any more than Enron= all corporations.

And yes in every tale there are two sides. i.e. some US ports are among the most efficient in the world and some the equipment is... well..dubious. This applies to mines too.

Jon said...

HP, what the Wiki says is a closed shop became illegal in 1947, but that only applied to employers covered under the Wagner Act. Looks like the ports don't fall under it (government, railway, and airline were excluded).

For people that work for ordinary corporations right to work simply compels unions to provide services for free. I've mentioned that my father in law is President of a farm labor union that operates in North Carolina, which is a right to work state. So it's a big struggle for him because he legally is required to represent people that won't pay.

If you Google "right to work" and "liberterian" you find that there's strenuous opposition to right to work laws, including from Milton Friedman, on the grounds that it's government interference in a free contract. Apparently von Mises kind of abandoned principle on this point saying the Wagner Act tipped the scales towards labor so you have to fight fire with fire. But he was countered by other liberterians that pointed out (rightly in my mind) that if the government is doing any scale tipping it's in favor of capital and against labor be creating the corporation and the concentrated power there that leads to such an imbalance in bargaining power. On balance it looks like most liberterians oppose, but that's just me scanning Google.

Like I said, your talk of "I can't believe you didn't understand this before" actually makes no sense in this context, but I think you like to hear yourself say it, so carry on.

Paul said...

HP -

I say this somewhat in jest, somewhat serious -

My dad has 30+ years with the union. Has HIGH seniority, gets all the perks that SHOULD make him love said union...but he still hates it. Says its for lazy people. Is sickened by how it protects the lazy and punishes the hard working.

Ok, fair enough -

My refusal to support the stronger term 'force' implies competition. If in my job, as an engineer, a boss requests such absurd actions, I could always quit and go to the next company...

Why didn't (or doesn't) your dad move a few hundred miles inland (here to AZ, either Tucson or Phoenix). Then he wouldn't have to be part of a union?

HispanicPundit said...


This just isn't the case with ports. My ex-gf's dad works at a bread factory that you had to be union or couldnt work there (unless you were management). Same with my aunt, who works for a telecom company. Same with grocery cant work unless you union (again, excluding management). I could give more examples.

In each case, being part of the union is a requirement...if not, you cant get a job there. Granted, they have now started allowing tiered employees - some work with traditional contracts, some with new modified contracts - but they all have to pay union dues. And they use state power to enforce it (city workers even use the government payroll to deduct union dues).

So I stand by my earlier claim...atleast here in California.

HispanicPundit said...


Good point. And I dont disagree in general.

Certainly we agree that the less options one has, the more the term 'forced' applies. The more options, the less.

Paul said...

HP -

Is there an idealized situation/scenario where you would be in favor of a union.

I mean, forget for a moment, how they currently exist or act (in the US). If you had a do-over button is there an idealized scenario where you would be supportive.

For what its worth - I am not well versed on intircacies of labor laws but for this question assume that I come from a viewpoint that unions do need bakcing of laws to make them viable - in any meaningful sense.

Jon said...

HP, what do you make of this:

That link offers several sources that support my claim, which is that in non right to work states you can't be forced to join a union to do the work. What we're talking about here is people that want to labor under the contract negotiated by the union, but they don't want to pay the cost of that negotiation. In non right to work states a person can still labor under that contract and he will be charged by the union the cost of negotiating that contract, not full union dues, and he need not join the union. What the right to work law does, and as far as I can see this is pretty much all it does, or maybe you could say it's the main thing it does, is it gives a worker a right to labor under that union negotiated contract and the right to receive all services offered by the union, but he does not have to pay dues or even the portion of the dues that reflect the services provided by the union.

HispanicPundit said...


I generally have no problem with 'free market type' unions - where the state pretty much stays out of the equation, contract, etc.

I still think they are generally a bad idea for workers AS A WHOLE (as opposed to JUST union members), but whatever - its their right to do so and I would support their right.

If your question is more fundamental, and you are asking can I see a scenario where unions are good for the OVERALL workforce? That's a harder question to answer. Without thinking about it in too much detail, my kind of off the cuff answer, is that unions are probably a good thing in jobs we want to go away completely - and be replaced by machines. Think about coal mining jobs that are fundamentally unhealthy for human beings. Unions, long term, create such a situation.

HispanicPundit said...


Did a few google searches of my own. Here is how the right to work laws help:

In the 26 states that haven’t passed Right To Work laws, employees working under a “union shop” contract must either join the union and pay dues, or decide not to join the union and be forced to pay an “agency fee” (which is usually just slightly less than full dues). For employees in the 24 states with Right To Work laws, they are not required to pay either fee. (emphasis added)

Link here.

Since "agency fees" are mostly the same cost of union dues, and you are legally prohibited from negotiating your own employment terms with the company (negotiation has to be via union representatives), you have little to no incentive to opt out of union membership (no benefits, various costs). In practice, this is essentially the same as 'union membership required'.

California unions routinely use this to their favor. Here is an example of the Verizon union (where my aunt works) prohibiting a Verizon employee from a different state working on the California location for lack of union membership. Only after legal action, did they back down.

Chad said...

HP already hit what I was going to say - you can choose to not join the union (not RTW States) but you still have to pay Agency Fees - your paying (forced) one way or another.

Here is what I want to know. Can the individual who does not want to be in the Union negotiate for their own wages with Management? Another words - without the union reps can an individual not paying dues approach and negotiate his/her labor directly with Management with the union?

I am 99.9% sure that answer is no - another words the individual does not have the right to negotiate their own wages so that basically undermines your entire arguement here. If they (unions) are going to take over that responsibiity from an individual to negotiate all wages/conditions, but the individual does not want that (obviously by opting out of paying the dues) then I have to say that I am in full argreement with the law. I no longer see it as free loading situation any longer. The unions take over that responsibility whether an individual wants it or not. Until a non union member has the ability to go in and negotiate their individual wages I am solid with this law.

I talk to union members all the time who complain about certain below average workers making as much or more than they do - yet they do all the work. That is what is happening at the mill - you got half the guys who are terrible workers all 100% for union ways and the other half of the guys who do 75% of the work at the mill making less, working to the togher jobs, doing them faster and better who's pay is held back by those other guys.

What about those workers - what does the union do for them? Thank them for doing more work than the guy next to him for less and with little to no chance of earning more unless the collective earns more?

I am okay with this because I feel like those who actually do opt out will most likely be the above average workers who have been held back by the bad workers. In those cases they are paying their dues because they are being held back by the union.

Jon said...

Just for the record HP, your "Union Facts" website is a secretive corporate front group of dubious credibility. The same group runs the "Employment Policy Institute" which is an effort at deception, trying to get people to confuse them with the respected "Economic Policy Institute". These are people that specialize in deception.

But, we can see we're making progress. According to your own quote it is not necessary to join the union in order to work in a non right to work state. If you work under the union contract but don't want to join you still have to pay fees, which, let's just say for the sake of argument is the equivalent of dues. This is to help with the cost associated with negotiating the contract and representing you in a dispute. But you don't have to be part of the union to do the work.

Your Verizon story further verifies my claim. Sure, the union may have tried to compel someone to join, but the law is not on their side, so the threat of legal action ended it. You legally cannot be compelled to join the union to do the work, so right to work laws don't change that fact. This has been the case for decades.

Now we have this additional claim of yours that says you are legally prevented from negotiating your own employment terms. This is really the crux of the matter, and what I'm saying is yes, you can negotiate a contract with an employer outside the union.

Here's Noam Chomsky explaining:

Take what happened in Michigan the other day, the so-called “right to work” law. The “right to work” conception is straight out of Orwell. The bills have absolutely nothing to do with right to work. If an individual person wants to make a personal contract with General Motors they can do it. Like you can make a contract with General Motors and say, “I’ll be your slave.” OK, they’ll make the contract with you. But if you want to work for General Motors and get the benefits of a union contract—and there are benefits—that’s why most workers want to join unions—there are real benefits: wages, working conditions, safety, pensions, all kinds of stuff—if you want to get those benefits and not pay for it, that’s what the so-called “right to work” laws are for. It’s really “right to scrounge” laws, but the propaganda is so strong that I haven’t seen a word in the press about this. It’s all “right to work.” And that sounds nice—that’s why I say it is right out of Orwell. You know, why shouldn’t people have a right to work? Should they have a right to scrounge? No, they shouldn’t have a right to scrounge. But that’s what these laws are about. And it’s been effective. There’s no doubt that it’s been effective. I mean, the union leadership has contributed to it as well in many ways. But nevertheless, it’s very effective propaganda and it’s led to blow after blow against working people and solidarity.

Chad said...

What are you talking about Jon? Non Union members can not bargin with management.

Exclusive Representation A majority of the workers in a bargaining unit must designate a representative with the sole or exclusive right to represent them in negotiations with the employer's representative (29 U.S.C.A. § 159[a]). The employer is not required to bargain with an unauthorized representative (§ 158[a][5]). Once a valid representative has been selected, even workers who do not belong to the union are bound by the collective bargaining agreement and cannot negotiate individual contracts with the employer (J. I. Case Co. v. NLRB, 321 U.S. 332, 64 S. Ct. 576, 88 L. Ed. 762 [1944]). As a corollary, the employer may not extend different terms to any workers in the bargaining unit, even if those terms are more favorable, unless the collective bargaining agreement contemplates flexible terms (Emporium Capwell Co. v. Western Addition Community Organization, 420 U.S. 50, 95 S. Ct. 977, 43 L. Ed. 2d 12 [1975]).

Where can a non union member negotiate their individual contract outside the collective bargaining practice?

Chad said...

Ahh a quote from your closet capitalist Noam Chumsky.

What business did he ever start and run again to qualify him to speak about economics? He charges what $12k per speaking engagement to vilify the rich and continue to promote class warfare. Meanwhile he went to Boston visited Palmer and Dodge (the evil law firm) and creates a trust to protect his money from Uncle Sam. Redistribute all the Rich's money just not his of course.

He also made sure to profit on America's greatest tragedy - he is a war lover apparently - after 9/11 he raised his rates from $9k to $12k because he suddenly got more popular to the Left.

Then the guy tells drug companies they have no intellectual rights to the products they make, but try downloading a Chomsky writing of any kind and he'll sue your azz off for not paying. In fact if you want to breath the same air as Chumsky after a session where he charges $15 per head it costs people another $35 just to be in the same room to hear himself speak.

Talk about people (person) who specializes in deception - your hero is at the top of that list Jon.

Chad said...

Whenever you go Chumsky On us, I always enjoy a laugh reading his top 200 lies just to remind me who he is besides being a Capitalist at every turn - BTW has he ever donated anything, creates a charity or helped anyone?

HispanicPundit said...

What does it mean to say, on paper, that you can abstain from joining a union if it gives you essentially no benefits? Okay, now you don't have to go to their stupid picnics....but you didn't have to go as a union member either!

It's in name only. And seriously man, walk into any union run grocery store here in Cali...the fact that they can refuse to join the union AND/OR negotiate their own contract would be VERY surprising to them. I know you think you got me here, but my version of the facts represents on the ground realities.

I'll let Chad carry the torch from here on...

Examinator said...

Chad and others
I'd like to thank you for your post about Chomsky "Lies" it makes a fascinating read... on how NOT to write a well researched attack.
To be honest I've only researched 8 of his points at random. So as to not tax your self admitted limited attention span I'll cut to the chase.

In fact I found 7 time error and 12 contextual errors in his references to the 8 zingers examined. And 5 of his claims were taken out of context to what Chomsky was saying at the time.

The second CRITICAL error in his list is that he has supplies no base figures for comparison.
Thirdly on two his points the figures actually proved Chomsky's point that the e RATE of those deaths mention did decrease and even faster once Starlin died 1950's. To be sure it was no picnic but when one considers the rate of increase in hegemonic states of the USA have increased since WW2
The point is he argues like you ….Starts with a conclusion GOES FACT SHOPPING.

One can suggest one needs to look at the brutal killings in EAST Timor40% of the population , Columbia? , Nicaragua?, India 50k in Bopal , West Papua 30k, Vietnam ? , Thailand?, Laos ?, Korea, Isreal 300k+ Iran under the Shar est 50k, Iraq /Iran was funded by the US in this give or take (6million in that one), And in how many other middle eastern Despotic regimes. And I didn't bother with Africa.

In short this list is questionable at best

Jon said...

Chad, haven't we already discussed all these points about Chomsky, including my rebuttal to the Bogdanor article here:

It's actually one of my top traffic posts. Check it out.

Now, regarding exclusive representation, I think it's really saying what I'm saying. You have to distinguish between being in the union and being a member of the bargaining unit. You can opt of the union and still be in the bargaining unit. That way you get all the benefits of collective bargaining, but you don't pay. You free load. Once you are in the bargaining unit, yeah, you have to accept that the union represents you, and likewise an employer can't negotiate with you separately. I'll quote your source:

As a corollary, the employer may not extend different terms to any workers in the bargaining unit, even if those terms are more favorable,

But, not only do you not have to be in the union, you don't have to be in the bargaining unit. You can negotiate your own contract if you are outside the bargaining unit. Of course people don't want to do that too much because the bargaining unit produces some nice benefits. Good working conditions, pay, etc. But nothing is stopping you from stepping outside the bargaining unit and negotiating your own contract.

See for instance this link, which is a .ppt presentation.

There are all kinds of rules that in fact REQUIRE people to be outside the bargaining unit. So obviously if in some cases an employee is REQUIRED to be outside the bargaining unit, then it is possible to negotiate a contract outside the bargaining unit.

Chomsky's point holds. You want to negotiate with GM and be their slave, go ahead. If you want to receive the benefits created by union representation and yet you don't want to pay for it, that's what right to work laws accomplish for you.

Jon said...

What does it mean to say, on paper, that you can abstain from joining a union if it gives you essentially no benefits? Okay, now you don't have to go to their stupid picnics....but you didn't have to go as a union member either!

Well, in addition to the picnics you get the overtime pay, weekends off, an independent review board if your termination isn't fair, pensions, decent salary. They're getting all those things thanks to tough work. Negotiating a contract with a corporation often isn't easy since they have all the power. Without a union it's like they have infinite resources and you have nothing, so your negotiating strength is weak. That's why union workers for so long were able to enjoy a decent, middle class life. But to achieve that unions need some revenue, so they say if you're going to get the benefits you should pay. And if you don't want the benefits, fine. Go negotiate with the employer by yourself and see how that works out for you. What's wrong with that? If you don't want what the union has to offer, then just walk away. But that's not what these laws do. They compel the union to provide the service for free. That's what "right to work" means.

Chad said...

JC - I do recall that blog article and I recall thinking (as I am now) wow you must love this closet capitalist a lot to take that much time to actually confirm Bogdanor was pretty spot on. If you read your responses - either it was out of context, the source Chum referenced was wrong so therefore he did not lie or Chum was wrong, but didn't lie. You put a lot of time in doing that and frankly it reads like a mother who sticks up for her bully son at the school board meeting. What your review certainly did not do is prove Bogdanor as a hack of any kind. He actually comes across as far more informed than Big brain Chum actually.

Back to your sillyness - what your attempting to say to all of us is that the Union - all Unions across this great country have non paying members in a position to have a voice in the collective bargining process. You found the admendment that allows it to happen sure did, but IT IS NOT HAPPENING SIR. There are NO non paying members invited to the bargining table at GM at FORD at anywhere sir.

I love your analogy it speaks to your thinking. Non Paying Union Member = Slave to GM. Paying Union Member = Freedom through collective bargining when in actually Paying Union Member = Slave to the Union.

Just like your view on society sir - the winners in a union format are the lazy, the unproductive members within the group. A union's ultimate goal (like socialism) is to not have a super star. Or to enslave the super stars talent for the improvement of the group. They breed and promote being just above average.

So really what Chum was saying is that your either a slave to GM or your a slave to the Union. I think that is probably true when they can only sell unskilled labor and they suck at it. A person who is skilled and offers value will never be a slave to anyone - they will be able to sell their abilities to the highest bidder or demand more for what they do.

Jon said...

There are NO non paying members invited to the bargining table at GM at FORD at anywhere sir.

I don't think I said non paying members are at the bargaining table. I mean, maybe they are, I don't know. Usually it's like HP pointed out. If you are not in the union but you work under the union contract you still can be charged what is called an "agency fee". His corporate front group source says that fee is nearly the same as union dues, I've seen from other sources it's not that high, but in any case, it may be true that in a non RTW state everyone represented by the union pays at least some fee even if they aren't part of the union.

What I happen to think is that if you want to go negotiate a contract with GM or whoever and you don't want to pay the union a fee to represent you then what you should do is go negotiate for yourself. If you want to be a slave, go for it. That doesn't mean that everyone that negotiates for themselves (that's what I did) is a slave. It just means basically right now the law allows you to do that if you want. Not technically a slave of course, what I mean is you can negotiate some poor terms for yourself if you like. Go ahead. You can do that in a non right to work state, assuming you aren't dealing with certain industries that were excluded from Wagner Act restrictions. So GM, Ford, Hostess, whatever. The law in a non RTW state permits that. So what exactly do RTW laws do?

They create free riders. The union has to provide you a service and you don't have to pay. Why would any self respecting liberterian support that? They wouldn't, and in fact they usually don't. But if you are going to support it you need to admit you really aren't for free markets and small government. You basically want to do whatever it takes to make the rich richer and the poor poorer, and you'll go with big government when it suits you and nullify free markets when it suits you. Classic hypocrite that Jesus spoke about so often.

The rest of your comments are off topic, so I'm not addressing them.

Chad said...

So anyone who thinks the Union is simply laying in the very bed they built must then also denounce their free market beliefs?

I think of it more like a game of chess - sacrifice a pawn to take the bishop. The plan of attack was brilliant actually - know the limits to get the job done and inflict a little damage in the process. BTW what are the numbers - what percentage of members are opting out at this point? I thought the biggest problems for these big unions in RTW states was the competition from new companies opening as non union shops since the business environment tends to improve. I don't recall seeing or hearing a drastic decline or opt out at the union shops in RTW states. But what I do continue reading frequently is how states that went to RTW have all enjoyed an economic turn around. We'll see what happens in Michigan now - if Michigan rebounds it would be a HUGE feather in the RTW march.

I understand the distain from the big picture view your feeling. It's gotta really suck that the Right leaning, Conservative, RTW states are prospering, growing and flourishing in this horrible environment. While the Big Liberal States are dying slow deaths, taxing their citizens to their max while people and business leave at a steady pace.

Examinator said...

Not that my thoughts matter but I think the conversation has missed the point.
In truth it's all about power and fair use of it . Unions good bad or indifferent are there to balance the power (otherwise unchecked) of the capitalist's proxy MANAGEMENT. And if that means (ab)usinging its power to increase that profit so be it. In the reality of balance sheets the largest recurring costs are those covered by wages, benefits and conditions (safety) followed by environmental. Therefore it makes Capitalist sense to minimise them, eliminate if possible. Assuming employer some how have a natural largess to its workers, the nation (society) is simply a nonsense. History/ current news is full of proof . Only the least objective on the right (sic)(read myopic Capitalist) suggest that a business has ANY other purpose other than to make as much money it can for its shareholders.
Capitalism was based on the flawed notions that nationalism would moderate their excesses and a level playing field would ensure it. Sadly neither is factually or objectively so.
What most partisan conversations deliberately ignore is that THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF SOCIETIES IS MUTUAL BENEFIT. A corollary of all of the above means MUTUAL benefit can't exist if there isn't EQUITABLE (not necessarily equal) (there are naturally transient or conditional variations in power between people... everyone the same is fanciful on innumerable reasons not least biologically) power.

Clearly this leaves us with two options The first is for workers to organise (Unions). Here the reality is that UNIONS cant match the money (power/influence) of the gapitalists.
This invariably means that the second a government which by democratic assent it's duty is to moderate excesses (of either as indicated by democratic assent) with it's primary mandate in mind i.e. the mutual benefit of the people. Clearly this includes the capitalists through their utilities (businesses/corporations) and the workers through their Unions.

The reality of life is that there is no absolute good or Bad (binary) options, it invariably come down to the lessor of evils (individual right and the interests of the MOST minimising the (number of losers aka PEOPLE ). From the perspective of the wealthy and those who benefit or perceive they benefit from siding with the most powerful (capital) this is interpolated as freedom (sic) and government *equity(ising) *(sic) it is depicted (erroneous) as “nanny state” or “Big Brother” when in reality it is simply the assented to government ATTEMPTING TO FULFILL IT'S MANDATE.
That simply means that the government minimising the number of workers working at a disadvantage to the others in the same “unionised” shop.

The fact that some work places aren't unionised gives testimony to government NOT taking sides merely ensuring equity.
As previously stated the RTW laws are simply a round about way to break unions by means other than by level playing field tactics (simply offering more money, conditions and letting the workers FREELY CHOOSE)

The Australian conservatives (sic) tried to enforce contracts over unionism (work choices [sic] pushed by mining corps ) i.e. Sign away your rights conditions for a contract of marginally more money or you don't work here.... no Unions. ( no choice). My point is that if left to the Corporations the same long term loss and safety risk WILL happen in the US.

They got decimated at the polls the sitting PM lost his seat only the 2nd time in Aust History. And the other was in WW1.

Examinator said...

The crux of my concern with The so called "right" is that they ignore the POINT of Societies either believing in non existing human attitudes
They are simply selfishly myopic i.e. People should be like me or to hell with them.
Much of what is "called" liberal (sic) in the USA is neither it is just trying to meet the MANDATE of Society.

LEFT actually relates to the structure of a government where all people are EQUAL including in power Equally a logical an equal impossibility/nonsense as true capitalism.
In truth the people who continue this misinterpretation do so usually out of ignorance victims to the myopic spin of those in power's self interest.

Jon said...

I think of it more like a game of chess - sacrifice a pawn to take the bishop.

Yeah, I think this is good because we understand each other, and really maybe we sort of have a point of agreement. You say you support small government and free markets. But you'll bend the rules to achieve a greater good. You obviously think unions are bad for an overall economy, so really your end goal is a healthy economy, and if that means violating contracts, free markets, and big government this is what you do. I understand that. Actually I think that's a good principle to work with. But then recognize what your real principle is. A healthy economy. Not small government. Not free markets. We want a good economy, because as Ex mentions above we're not really here to maximize profits for shareholders. What we want is a well functioning society. If that means big government, then fine.

What I think is happening though is I think the government intervention that you tend not to focus on is the government intervention that helps the rich. So a corporation is a great tool for the rich. It allows them to pool their resources and then use their collective strength to drive hard bargains on wages, lobby Congress, etc. Corporations don't exist without the state. They are a state created institution. Without a state they don't exist. What the Wagner Act did was it created some room for unions to counterbalance that corporate strength. These are both government interventions. One that helps the rich and another that helps the working class. What RTW does is it creates a free rider problem. That of course weakens the working class side and strengthens the corporate side. Do you really think that today corporations don't have enough power and working people have too much? Take a look at the environmental devastation in China, Latin America, and Africa. That's a visual presentation of corporate power.

Unions make it possible for working people to enjoy a larger share of the revenue generated. Take a look at this chart of union participation as contrasted with the share of income going to the top 10%.

I would suggest to you that strengthening unions is the best thing you can do for an economy. The reason is because it puts a larger share of the income into the pockets of the poor. They spend money and this spurs the economy. That's why the economy in the US performed much better in the 50's, 60's, and 70's then it has in the 30 years since then. That's why today our economy is struggling. The rich have more than ever today and yet the rebound that you seem to expect from creating a better business climate hasn't materialized. The Dow is setting records, we have record profits. And sky high unemployment. Youth unemployment that will create a future crisis.

But like I say, I'm glad your focus is on the greater good rather then some sort of theoretical ideal of limited government and free markets. What matters is what works. If unions actually harmed economies I'd be in agreement with you and happy that they are weakened by RTW laws. The fact is they don't though. We know that from nearly universal experience over the last 60 years from countries all across the globe.

Examinator said...

I differ from you on two (nuanced but important) ways:
Firstly I don't think it's a matter of strengthening unions rather repealing the RTW legislation as it is simply a regressive political ploy to prevent the equitable ( no necessarily equal but fair) i.e. by ELIMINATING a competitor, as described by me earlier,

The clear issue here is that the government has been corrupted by unfair and unreasonable power by the interests of the minority of *people* (wealthy capitalists).

consequently many unions have become quasi personal power bases (like corporations) and as such the institution has become more important that the people (at Large) interest.
In capitalism there is a natural cycle from start up (high ideals... through to cash cow ...low input...low ideals.) Competition and Equitable outcomes for the workers or the public is no longer its primary goal … competitors , uncontrolled innovation must be eliminated by *any * ( read anti competitive) means. (see “me to” patent manipulation... copy right to 99years etc and prohibitive clauses to engender Vertical marketing e.g. Monsanto and “Round up”). Personal power base (e.g. Koch Bros) and ever increasing profit to maintain it's existence at all cost.
See Walmart from a business based on empowering its workforce (and making a profit) to now where its focus is on more and more profit and de-empowering the workforce).

I'd suggest that the same process is at play in unions and as such their original high ideal objective has now been replaced by their own existence (personal power and constant demands) at all costs. And yes Chad , sometimes anti competitive actions.

In truth the models for BOTH corporations and unions are beyond their 17 th-19 th century ideas/ thinking .

Solution I'd suggest is A VARIATION on the Scandinavian enterprise based union (no room for power base building.)
Corporations in the same industry have to empower workers or they'll go to opposition[capitalism 101] and government has final say *in conflict* . Government has ultimate power over corporations and Unions. Taxation on say Oil is 40% and has been that for 40 + years and as the Norwegian minister for mines and energy says ….”industry complains etc but they are still there and making profits.” and the workers rarely strike for more than a week. They also have some of the safest working environments laws in the world.
The problem with America generally is it drinks its own Kool aid.... it rarely looks beyond its own borders for ideas …. there is an underlying conviction that America is No 1 and therefore their systems on every
thing are the best all they need is tweeking . And nothing else will work. This is palpably NONSENSE.
Most countries borrow ideas from others and tweek them for the local environment. See universal Pharmaceutical health care, Firearm control, abortions, industrial relations, environmental controls, cohabitation of religion and secular government … and the list goes on.

BTW I am NOT pushing Australia as a Nirvana it simply isn't but it does look beyond its own navel.
I write on some 20 sites around the world and I am disappointed by the American obsession with its self as being the be all and end of the world... Chad's myopic indifference to all things not HIS ENVIRONMENT or Country is point in fact . This type of thinking tends to make America what it is a target (rightly or wrongly) for every malcontent elsewhere. The fear of Terrorism is way more (unjustly) intense in USA than anywhere else. Consider the Sth Koreans/ Taiwanese … now they have real reason to be paranoid. US loses/ lost 100 times more people in car accidents and 2000 times more people each year than in 911.
Don't under estimate the background effect this has on the people.

Chad said...

"What RTW does is it creates a free rider problem."

You don't like this so you agree we sold shut off the "free riders" outside the union as well? Now we are on the same page brother. Until there is not 49% not paying income taxes, 13 million illegals sucking trillions, "free" healthcare and millions on food stamps I really can not take our argument on this subject very serious sir.

I've said it many times on your blog - many many times - I am not anti Union, in fact I do see a valuable place for unions that stick to their charter. A highly disciplined and business supportive group that creates value for management and ownership.

I normally don't read Ex's post, but thinking it was JC I read a previous post about some BS about society.

#1 - where is said contract I signed to society?

And more importantly what does the contract say in regards to what I get out of the deal?

I pay my debt and more to society. Taxes are taken from me to pay my actually debt to society, I take care of my responsibilities, I do not not take without paying or working and I am generous in other areas. I only have two kids because frankly the burden to have 3 financially scare my wife and I.

What are the free loaders and a'holes who don't give a crap about their responsibilities doing to uphold their end of their contract? Your posts make absolutely no sense - at least JC has points - yours are like the ramblings of a mad man. If there is a contract to society then those not living up to that would be what - punished, imprisoned or maybe eliminated? I am living up to my end so what are you going to do to those who are not?

The idea that I somehow owe some other person something is ludicrous a best. Why because they breath the same air? I help people outside of the heavy tax burden - heavy heavy tax burden to society we already feel - when will the rest of the world live up to the same so called contract then?

Jon said...

You don't like this so you agree we sold shut off the "free riders" outside the union as well?

Holy shit, Chad, this is now the third time I've said I DO NOT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH FREE RIDERS. I mean seriously, is your brain just not working here? I don't even know what to say at this point.

I mean, I can say it again if that helps, though I'm not sure it will. Some people should free ride. And when they free ride I obviously don't think they should do it primarily on the backs of the poor. They should free ride on my back more than they should on the backs of working class people, like people in unions. I can afford to help them and I'm happy to do it. Not that I'm rich or as rich as you, but I'm good enough and don't need to acquire more, more, more.

A funny thing I can tell you on a related note. I'm in the process of refinancing my home, which will save me a few bucks of course because interest rates are ridiculous right now. Having some problems with it related to the appraisal, which could prevent my refinance, so last night I'm kind of irritated about it knowing it's going to cost me if it doesn't work out. My boy says to me kind of randomly "Dad, what would you want that would make you happy right now?" So I'm thinking about it and I realize, not much. I have to remember that saving some money doesn't actually make any difference to me in terms of my happiness. I don't care about cars, the latest touch screen ultrabooks, whatever you might come up with. What I do like is time, so if I save money I know that means I more quickly reach savings milestones that could conceivably allow me to retire, so yeah, I'd take piles of money. A refi gets my house paid off more quickly, so that would be great, but in terms of my immediate needs I really don't need anything. In addition to the fact that I don't need anything I also have income left over that I can save. I really am living like a king. Many people never have this good of a lifestyle. Kings of the past lack modern technological advances I enjoy. I'm really living better than a king in a lot of ways, when you consider kings of the past.

So while I'm not rich I have so much. I'm certainly willing to allow some people to free ride off some of the blessings I've enjoyed because so many Americans are nowhere close. Yeah, some should free ride, and when they do they don't do it on the backs of unions. They do it on the backs of people that have much more than they need, like you and me. And of course our riches are nothing compared to the ultra rich in the US, so yeah, I support some free riding on the backs of the ultra rich and not on the backs of the poor, handicap, or working class.

Even though as you may know I don't think the ultra rich earn their own riches. They take the productive contributions of others via private property requirements enforced by the state (once again it's nanny state for the rich and free markets for the poor). So in my view if you tax the rich you aren't free riding off them because they are already free riding off Bangladeshi sweatshop workers buring up in factories getting paid 18 cents a day. But that's a separate discussion.

Chad said...

I heard yeah boss - just don't agree with ya. Without the so called rich to give the Bangy people a job - they would starve or worse. Those workers - they appreciate the money - to you it's not enough - for them it puts food on the table. Have you looked up the average income in Bang-le-wherever? Where do the factory workers rank? Are saying that working conditions for other workers not producing for the USA is better?

If unions didn't drive work overseas there would be more work here, but then again the workers here just don't know how to work. They'd rather be on the tit of their neighbor. Discussion for another time.

Rich? What is the definition of rich exactly? We get one single life to live on this earth - when I get up, do the work, make the effort - I am going to live it to the fulliest without reservation or apology.

Generally speaking - I am a really happy guy nearly everyday. I do not need a specific thing to make me happy because I love life. With the said - there are levels of happiness. You've brain washed yourself in saying that you need very little to make you happy - I say congrats, but also BS.

We are taking a weekend off mainly because of bad weather - we are sitting around watching some idiot box catching up on shows we taped from weeks ago. This is great and I am enjoying the heck out of the day cause I enjoy my family, but compared to last week (camping/Kentucky Derby Party) there is no comparison. Part of life is to enjoy and to take advantage of things - new adventures and activities and we plan on doing as much as we can for as long as we can.

Examinator said...

Contract Law: concepts(101)

To have a contract you must have clear OFFER and ACCEPTANCE.

Under the fact that you ACTIVELY live in the USA (ANY GOVERNMENT SERVICE) is considered as Active ACCEPTANCE OF THE IMPLIED CONTRACT OF THE COUNTRY.( contrary to your understanding that includes any service that has Government assistance i.e. Electricity, roads, water etc)
By this you have accepted the rules of the country... To reject the contract you do as I have Migrated and renounced my US citizenship in favor of Australian. To do I had to apply for and accept (sign) a contract (citizenship)

**Read any first year law book on contract law and principal**
Under that contract you are agreeing to abide by the laws and conditions of the US
The constitution mean that you have the right to disagree and to campaign for a law or conditions change BUT You are OBLIGED TO HONOR THOSE LAWS OR suffer the consequences.
Without that concept the government wouldn't have the moral/legal justification to enforce laws.(By being an AMERICAN YOU are legally accepting the "responsibilities" i.e. Military conscription.

Examinator said...

Chad's brain isn't working! He doesn't WANT to think from any position but his own. Too much scotch Perhaps?

He in his clear racist attitudes [Without the so called rich to give the "Bangy people" (racist/disrespectful) a job - they would starve or worse] Really?

1. he doesn't understand that it is His brand of capitalism that defines wealth .
2 He doesn't understand that it is centralised Capitalism is causing the population concentration in cities ...urban poverty et al in the cities.
3. clearly he has difficult with moral cause and effect.
i.e.US companies have no moral responsibility to ensure their goods aren't being produced under ILLEGAL conditions.
I seem to remember the US being upset with a British Bank over libor rates... essentially the same principal... creating, encouraging Illegal activities in the US in the name of amoral profits to UK.

["Those workers - they "appreciate"(?) the money"] That is the moral equivalent to saying " at least southern Slavery kept the poor blacks employed and fed"
[" - to you it's not enough - for them it puts food on the table."] Um No!

[" Have you looked up the average income in *Bang-le-wherever?* (racist,
I wonder how he would feel if he/ his attitude and US cits were referred to as "septic tanks" ["full of shit" derogatory rhyming slang for Yank arrogance ?"

[" Where do the factory workers rank? Are saying that working conditions for other workers not producing for the USA is better?"] straw man, distraction.
Some one should ask Chad " what about the Unemployed Americans ?"
Clearly in his mind American workers should be prepared to work for Bangladesh wage rates or to him Bangladeshis are sub American humans and deserve to live is appalling conditions 'because it's what they're used to' (sic and sick) ( C18th White superiority racist attitudes?) .
Or In his mind Christian ethics of "brothers keeper" only applies to those Americans HE feels match his Patronising (elitist)criteria.
He simply doesn't realize that his words ooze with palpable unchristian hypocrisy and prejudice.
I don't think he's a bad person per se...just doesn't think what he says through to what it may mean to others.

Chad said...

Being called a racist is a badge of honor now a days - its the defacto response whenever a progressive or liberal loses thier footing on arguements. It's easy and rolls off the tongue - racist, hater, non-Christian and hypocrisy, but it's been over played so often and it's completely lost any effect. Even our black/other race/religious friends - oh yeah we have several - laugh about the use so I hope your not expecting too much from what amounts to a bunch of white noise, but I hope you feel better none the less. If your a conservative and your not eventually called a racist or any of those other things you mentioned then your really not doing a very good job arguing.

Jon said...

Regarding your statement that I'm deluding myself about money and happiness, don't take me the wrong way. I'd be thrilled to hit the lotto. I prefer a big raise at work. I like doing fun things, like traveling. I'm not saying I don't enjoy the things money can bring. It's just I'm not at the level where I have to stress about money because people are hungry or bills aren't paid. More money is good for me, but for someone that's hungry more money is REALLY good. They need it more than me. Some free riding is OK for me.

You want to go to the derby, drive your RV, and all that. In your mind you work hard and deserve it, so even though a hungry person would enjoy another $100 more than you it doesn't matter because you worked hard and he didn't. But I don't think you acknowledge how much of your success is gifts from others, like public transit, automation techniques developed by the government used in your industry, computers. The very kinds of gifts given to us are the same kinds of gifts I think should be offered to others that haven't had similar breaks.

Your idea, with RTW legislation, is not only that you shouldn't have to contribute to free riders, you're going to compel the poor, like factory workers in a union, to do the providing, providing that you and I and other rich people are in a better position to do. It's like you say free riders are bad, but if anybody should shoulder the burden it should be the handicap, blind, and deaf. They have a hard enough time providing for themselves, and they should be further forced to provide for other poor people. There's what our disagreement amounts to. You want to increase the load on the poor, and I say that since you and I and others that are even more rich don't have a load at all, if anybody should pick up slack it's us.

Chad said...

Believe me when I say some free riding is okay for me too - although I prefer to use the term hand up.

Where we differ considerably about 'help' is that I want the hand up to be extremely limited in scope and come with strings attached. Your happy to ignore the root of the problem, continue throwing money at it as the monster grows and grows.

The idea that the blind, deaf and handicapped will not be taken care of is really very silly. Those are the individuals who should be most pissed about the recipient class of people - they don't have a choice and in most cases my guess is that they work 10 times harder at life. If it were up to me - that group and our military members would never have to worry about a meal, medicine, a roof over their head - ever so please bury that garbage once and for all. Your better than that and you know its not true anyhow.

Hey - my taxes, my parents taxes are used for all those things you mentioned JC. It is not as if I have not paid into it, my parents did not pay into and my grandparents avoided paying into those things and suddenly we are using them. Actually it is opposite - our money and good majority of tax payers money is taken and used for things we will never ever use. For those things created by government then improved dramatically by the private market to become something that I use today - well I would say thank God we got a little return on our investment at least.

I am very well aware that someone else - somewhere in the world - could use far more than I ever could give. What I choose to do and how I choose to 'help' society (outside any direct charity) is to be a consumer of products. When I spend money it circulates and those who actually do want to work - continue to work.

When you think about your idea - the minimalist idea - you have yet to admit to me the extreme ramifications on the global economy that would cause. You talk about a total collapse - lets take 1 example only - automobiles. Lets pretend that 300 + Americans suddenly believed like you do and in 2014 no new cars were sold. 16 million units taken out of the market - total collapse.

You have the luxury of saving all of your cash for retirement (and not donate to your causes), to ride around in an old vehicle and to curse those who choose to spend their cash on trival items when someone else may be hungry. Valid point to a degree, but I at the same time it would be far worse in the world if we didn't spend.

Examinator said...

I thought you didn't read my comments! As YOU stated !So which statement is true? clearly you do lie for effect. ;-P

I said the REMARKS were racist and or elitist. Context is clearly a foreign word to you.(and your friends?)

Yet again Chad you still refuse to understand that I am NOT a liberal(sic) nor am I your version of a conservative.

I also note you don't offer comment when you are wrong or expressing BS.
Come on Prove me wrong about Contract law give me Chapter and verse! If I'm wrong I'll apologise... You simply CAN'T prove me wrong or admit when you're wrong.

Like the book says "being wrong is no shame refusing to learn from it is."

Jon said...

Chad, I'm planning to do a post soon on giving away money to the poor with no strings attached. Looking forward to your comments and maybe continuing this discussion there. It again centers on this difference we have. It just makes sense to you that if you give handouts people slack off, abuse the privilege. What's happened is we've had some recent expiraments. You can guess how it turned out and whether your fears were realized.

I'm hoping you continue with the trend you reveal here. You abandon principles and allow free riders if it serves a greater good. I'd like to see you do the same on welfare. If your theoretical concepts don't hold up to the actual data, would you consider altering your strategy?

Chad said...

A person would be forced to at least alter/amend their thinking if there is unskewed data to support a particular claim.

I am willing to put my foot in the bear trap here - sounds like you already are ready to spring data of somekind on me so I am game.

Jonathan said...


Here's an interesting story relevant to the topic of giving money to the poor, nay, increasing amounts of money the more the poor make, and the economic rationale behind said action.

Examinator said...

Like all programs there is a good side and a bad side.... those who (ab)use the system and those who simply give for the sake of giving.

I.e. at some marginal rates it's in the interests of some people to give a portion away in order to avoid a higher rate.
There are those who make a 'charitable' gift of say $200000 getting a tax credit then the charity loans the benefactor say $150K at no interest. the numbers work out that the 'benefactor' actually pays no tax but has the use of the money.
There are issues with giving money to "tax free" organizations to get this break but the donation is really a tax free Political donation.
Keep in mind too a lot of that money isn't “charity for the poor “ so to speak but often for sporting clubs, church buildings jets for leaders etc.
My argument is that money making sporting clubs aren't charity they are self serving discretionary activities (perks). Particularly if there are still poor who haven't got food , somewhere reasonable to live access to equitable opportunities or say health care

That are a "few" wrinkles I've seen . there are a lot more and of course they are more complex.

The true benefit to the poor is nothing like the numbers in the article.

in reality more often that not the 'gift' is really simply advertising dressed up as charity.

To me true charity is as in the 'bible' and just about every other religious book/dogma I can think of done anonymously and for charity sake.... not to get advertising or to "buy" public accolades.

But that is just me. Capitalists would deny the religious responsibility and seek worldly benefits.

For example My mom is by her church expected to tithe and they tick the people's names off … a bit like having your name and amount you put in the offerings plate ticked against you name. The psychological pressure (mind game) is immense. I would argue that isn't charity rather bullying (guilt or peer pressure marketing).

BY the way this ISN'T liberal or liberalism .

Jonathan said...


Which article are you referring to? My link is in reference to a government tax break that incentives the poor to work more which in turn gives them a larger tax refund. Unlike previous programs where the more you make, the less the poor get back, which actually decentivizes people to work more, this plan encourages people to work more with cash money which some interesting upsides...

Examinator said...

Um I give up ?! ;-(
I have no idea what I was on about on this one ! As my son puts it The little red brain train went walkabout
Clearly I was reading something else entirely ( the gods know what)
It appears I was on about how the rich fiddle their tax by "giving?" to Non profit organizations.
What it has to do with the article? nothing, zip, narder, boopkiss.
Much apologies.

Anyway as *part* of the solution it's fine .
A few points though, doesn't this fly in the face of your treasured view of User pays.... why should the tax payer pay out of their tax to 'subsidise' business's crappy wages? Surely under 101 Capitalism. Logic would dictate that employer should pay the real cost of an employee.
The real problem there is business can get away without paying the true cost by externalising some or much of it to the state( people)...because the playing field is tilted their way. The need for jobs is clearly higher than the supply (basic supply and demand).
The issue is that the cheap exploitable labor O/Seas is distorting the equation.
It is here I'd point out that in the REAL capitalism (as writ) the capitalist would be so nationalistic they'd not export the means of production (Jobs) long term good/self interest.

The hard core reality is that business as it is today i.e. the consumer market will follow to where the jobs are.(any doubts look at Spain 25% unemployed 60% youth unemployment and their economy is a basket case)
Common sense should tell America that if the people don't have jobs they don't have $ to buy things.
Off shoring of job is a short term profit option. Capitalists don't care.

The corollary of this is as the Working tax base shrinks Those that have jobs will have to bare more of the cost of the unemployed.

As for encouraging working more meh That depends on if the work is available and increasingly it isn't.