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Old 2011-08-10, 15:59   Link #1
Sugetsu
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(US) The anti Union legislation and the consequences for the future of the US.

I wanted to post this message in the News stories thread but I consider that I might possibly derail it with my strong points of view which are most likely going to be matched against other people's strong beliefs.

I believe the following news have devastating consequences for the country and it is only the beginning of its downfall: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44075969...more_politics/

Honestly, I don't see what's so good about this victory. Unions are one of the main channels by which democrats vote, and democrats are usually the lower class and minorities, Unions are also the way by which a worker can stand up to the big man and demand some dignity and humane working conditions.

As it stands now, this is just the beginning, we live in the post citizens united era in which, corporate money floods the coffers all politicians who support them. The repercussions of this defeat are potentially castrosphic for the country because it strips the rights of workers to unite and collective bargain, something that 3rd world country sweatshops dream to be able to do. I am not exaggerating when I see the US turning into another China, when it comes to having the top 5% having all the money and power and the other 95%, living in 3rd world poverty.

This ruling is also another step in the voter suppression process, which of course started with fox news and its Acorn "scandal". For those who don't know, Rupert Murhdoch's network blamed the election of Obama as the result of Acorn stealing the election by claiming that it was rampant with voter fraud. This was the beginning of a crusade by the GOP to "regulate" the means by which democrats would go to vote, Acorn, one of the most effective entities at reaching democrat voters with the help of Union founding, was quickly crushed by Fox and its affiliates. Now more than 30 states in the country are trying to pass anti "voter fraud" legislation by demanding that everyone who wishes to vote must register in advance and bring an state issued ID with them, of course there are millions of citizens who for one reason or another don't have a drivers license, such as ex convicts or disabled people, too bad for them. The most incredible thing is that the claims of voter fraud occurring all over the country are baseless, because the statistics show that it only happens in 0.4% of cases or less.

Corporations are trying to de-fund unions all over the country for a number of reasons; one of them, as stated above, is voter suppression so that democrats will most likely stay at home when the time to vote comes, therefore increasing the chances of GOP candidates. Out of the 10 most influential sources of political funding, only 3 of those are unions and also the only significant source of financing for democratic candidates, the other 7 are republican leaning organizations.

Another reason for the corporate de-funding of Unions is in order to increase cheap labor in the US, and most importantly to take away the right to a minimum wage, which results in massive corporate profits, and the "unintended" consequence of widening the gap between rich and poor.

I suggest everyone take a good luck at the post 9/11 U.S.A and try to connect the dots:

- Massive tax breaks for the rich which began with the now famous Bush tax cuts.
- The citizens united supreme court ruling in which campaign donations are not longer limited and can be anonymous.
- The defunding of Unions.
- "Voter fraud" regulation throughout the most of the country.
- The privatization of health care.
- The defunding of social security and efforts to privatize it.
- The efforts to defund medic care for elderly citizens.
- The efforts to defund and privatize the education system.

Where is all this leading to? Am I exaggerating to think that the US might end up looking like a 3rd world country, where the top 5% have it all, the middle class is just a minority, and most people are poor and illiterate?

There is a war against the middle class in this country waged by Corporations and their hunger for cheap labor. Am I the only who sees it?

PS. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if there was foul play in the defeat of the recall elections in Wisconsin. There were thousands of people volunteering all over the state to overturn the GOP stranglehold, as well as conservatives and independents alike who wanted to restore their rights to collective bargain. After all, there was a lot at stake for the direction of the state and the country.

Regardless of what you think, I believe we can agree one thing for sure: This country is more divided now than it ever was before. So much for the "United" States of America.
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Old 2011-08-10, 16:09   Link #2
Vexx
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You might take a look at the writings and talks of Thom Hartmann. I'm not going to dissect your post (I feel like there are some misleading simplifications in it) but to some extent - I think we are heading for a "Mexican model" with a very small group of people controlling 99% of the wealth while 99% are left to pummel each other for scraps. It pits what is left of the middle class against the poor while the real problem is upstairs having tea and crumpets. Not just in the US but in Britain and a few other countries as well.

I think many unions are just as corrupt as the corporates... but in history, the *concept* of unions is the only thing that got the majority of people out of the despair of the "robber baron" era of the 1890s (along with the Teddy Roosevelt populism smackdowns). Corporations, especially the transnational ones, are simply the new form of the robber barons with the added bonus for them of a corporation being a curtain behind which they extract wealth from and exploit a community.
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Old 2011-08-10, 16:16   Link #3
Sugetsu
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Quote:
Democracy Died First in Wisconsin – Long Live the Oligarchs
Damn you Thom Hartmann! Here I was trying to come up with a colorful title for this thread =(
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Old 2011-08-10, 16:29   Link #4
Ithekro
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1. The modern Union is evil as all getout. They serve the Union coffers first, workers second...at best. First clause is that you will pay dues. They tend to lose the workers money (especially during strikes) and even cause problems for anyone that doen't want to be in their Union.

2. State ID is a State ID. A Drivers Licease is a form of State ID, but not the only kind. I know plenty of people that don't have drivers licease that have State IDs because most times one uses a credit card or write a check, the cashier requests ID. Some because they can't afford a car, and others because they don't need a car (generally people that live in large cities that have reasonable public transportation).

3. Can't really comment all the much on anything else, though wasn't this all about government unions and not the public unions (teamsters, carpenters unions, steel workers and the like)
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Old 2011-08-10, 16:40   Link #5
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Yes because public employee union members need protection from those evil rich and corporations... oh wait. They dont have to deal with the ups and downs of the economy as the rest of us middle class private sector people, whos' taxes pay for their way of of life... It is not just the rich that pay their salaries, it is every single tax payer. God I hope California grows some cajones and follows Wisconsin's direction...
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Old 2011-08-10, 17:21   Link #6
Vexx
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I agree unions of public employees are a special case... but I'm not certain completely destroying them is a good idea because firefighters, police, and such often have the best view of whether they're being used and equipped properly or not. There needs to be *some* kind of feedback to keep their overseers and elected idiots on track.
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Old 2011-08-10, 17:35   Link #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinstrife View Post
Yes because public employee union members need protection from those evil rich and corporations... oh wait. They dont have to deal with the ups and downs of the economy as the rest of us middle class private sector people, whos' taxes pay for their way of of life... It is not just the rich that pay their salaries, it is every single tax payer. God I hope California grows some cajones and follows Wisconsin's direction...
And have a civil defence service that of India? Or arm your own policemen with WWII Lee Enfields?
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Old 2011-08-10, 18:03   Link #8
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Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
And have a civil defence service that of India? Or arm your own policemen with WWII Lee Enfields?
What ignorant bable are you talking about now? Oh sorry. i forgot. You rely on the government to take care of you. Even though the Supreme Court has already ruled that the Police are not required to protect you.
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Old 2011-08-10, 18:10   Link #9
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Police need unions to provide lawyers to protect against anyone caught with DUI or whatever and have plenty of money to hire an elite lawyer for a lawsuit. Believe me, in America its a very real possibility, and most LE employees don't make close to what some lawsuit-happy people do. And by the way, it's extremely ignorant to say that state and local employees aren't affected by the ups and downs of the economy.
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Old 2011-08-10, 18:14   Link #10
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Originally Posted by justinstrife View Post
What ignorant bable are you talking about now? Oh sorry. i forgot. You rely on the government to take care of you. Even though the Supreme Court has already ruled that the Police are not required to protect you.
No need to get personal.
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Old 2011-08-10, 18:14   Link #11
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It's important for workers to be able to collectively bargain. However there comes a stage where that collective bargaining can become the bargaining of a cartel. EG all truckdrivers in a state refuse to do work for less then 10$ a mile, when the going rate should really be $5, and they intimidate anyone who undercuts them. (Note, I don't know how truckers are paid... just an example).

However, without unions the owners can basically play a divide and rule game. Workers need forums to express their opinions. Personally I think in a well run company, unions shouldn't be necessary.
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Old 2011-08-10, 18:15   Link #12
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What future?
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Old 2011-08-10, 18:17   Link #13
Asuras
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
It's important for workers to be able to collectively bargain. However there comes a stage where that collective bargaining can become the bargaining of a cartel. EG all truckdrivers in a state refuse to do work for less then 10$ a mile, when the going rate should really be $5, and they intimidate anyone who undercuts them. (Note, I don't know how truckers are paid... just an example).

However, without unions the owners can basically play a divide and rule game. Workers need forums to express their opinions. Personally I think in a well run company, unions shouldn't be necessary.
I agree, though "well-run" companies aren't necessarily a dime a dozen, hence the reason for unions. It'd be nice if companies put their interest in both gain and support of their employees, but the world isn't such a nice place.
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Old 2011-08-10, 18:33   Link #14
Vexx
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Some companies, the workers would be much better off if the employer treated them like their "hard assets" (e.g., equipment, machinery, etc). There's a reason for some kind of employee representation and it hasn't gone away.

My grandfather was a petroleum refinery specialist... he firmly believed that employees should own their companies - not just the "here's a $1 share, now you're an owner" BS... but the real thing you see too rarely.
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Old 2011-08-11, 13:01   Link #15
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No need to get personal.
I think justinstrife just wants some recognition for his working his ass off. I can understand his anger to a certain degree, since there will be always people who cheat the system and inevitably a part of your taxes is used to support such leechers (whether these leechers are poor or mega rich doesn't matter).

While I can understand his sentiment (his sense of equity and fairness is basically uncompromising and egocentric), I also understand, that the system won't get any better if I or him also start to leech the system. I rather prefer a happy leecher than a rioting/criminal leecher.

Additionaly I think that there are not so much leechers as we like to believe there are. Typically social security and similar programs are cut at a rate where most people have enough "motivation" to work for a better living. And I wouldn't want to deny such people their chance to actually reach that goal. On the other side of the spectrum there are the super wealthy leechers, those are few by definition of wealth distribution.
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Old 2011-08-11, 13:06   Link #16
Vexx
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Most people, as members of social groups, *like* to be useful. They don't want a *pointless* job (cog in a corporate behemoth) and they like someone to appreciate their efforts. There's always going to a grasshopper or two in any group but most people like to be productive and appreciated.

The "I'm an island" delusion of self-sufficiency is the other end of the spectrum from the grasshopper and no better. They have the "me, mine, no share" selfishness down to being just as much a load on the social group as the grasshopper - because they're extracting from the community without helping to maintain it.
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Old 2011-08-11, 13:20   Link #17
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That does seem to be a favorite meme on the right as of late. The whole Randian "rugged individualism" they like to emphasize.
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Old 2011-08-11, 14:19   Link #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinstrife View Post
What ignorant bable are you talking about now? Oh sorry. i forgot. You rely on the government to take care of you. Even though the Supreme Court has already ruled that the Police are not required to protect you.
You rely on the government to take care of you, too. You rely on it for electricity, water, cheap food (farm subsidies), highway and infrastructure. You went to school, right? If you went to primary school and a state university, the government provided your education as well. You rely on police, fire, military protection from foreign aggression. I could go on for hours detailing all of the services and security that your taxes buy you, but of course you'd never admit that you're getting the better part of the fucking deal.

Pot. Kettle. Black.
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Old 2011-08-11, 17:07   Link #19
Ithekro
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Do remember that most of those could be provided by the State governments rather than the Federal government. Some are even provided by even lesser governments effectively. About the only one that must be provided by the Federal government is military protection due to the removal of state militias as the main form of protection.

That would still be taxes at work, just it would be paid for at a different level.

Though I think some of those are technically corperate run utilities rather than governement agencies.
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Old 2011-08-11, 17:14   Link #20
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
My grandfather was a petroleum refinery specialist... he firmly believed that employees should own their companies - not just the "here's a $1 share, now you're an owner" BS... but the real thing you see too rarely.
I totally agree with him. But it is difficult to convert companies to run in this kind of way. I have friends working for a cooperative company, where they get shares and increase of say for every year they work for them. The good thing about this kind of organistions it that the staff looks out for the company, promote it services and treat equipment with care.
But this kind of organisation style is only possible because it was laid out to work and expand in this way, since it founding. A cooperative style organisation is probably the future if you want to start a new business and want to keep the work staff happy, but it is really hard to convert large existing organiation to operate in this way, especially if you have a lot of different departments.
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