Wednesday, February 09, 2011

This just struck me funny

Detroit Daily News
by James Hoffa

James Hoffa.

Maybe it's just me :-)

Anyway, he's right.  At least the headline is.  There's nothning wrong with unions per se.  What's wrong is when unions and the government conspire and make policy that unfairly protects or rewards unions.


tim said...

Yea but what unions do to people, turn them into self serving pricks, is an American ill.

I know, I’ve seen it, my brother is in a union. He went from being a hard working SOB to “if it’s against the union rules I’m not gonn’a do it”, me, me, me BS. Never thinking about the company’s side of the situation, of his job being a privilege instead of some misconceived “right”.

Guess who was the first one to get laid off went things slowed down?

Since it took him almost two years to find another job, I wonder if (I don’t talk to him, but that’s another story) he’s changed his tune?

Unions served their purpose, many years ago, - workers rights. There’s a reason there are only a small minority of union workers anymore - unions are not needed. Show me an industry with union labor and I’ll show ya’ an industry that is corrupt, in disarray, in decline/obsolete and/or bankrupting their employers.

Think of the state labor force and the problems most states have financially (I live in NY, I could on ALL day). One word - unions.

Let me put it another way, to emphasize my point. My property taxes are 53% compared to what I pay for my mortgage. 53 fucking percent! I realize there are variables I haven’t given so you don’t have whole picture…15 yr. mortgage, but 10% down…it’s a small, modest house, well under 100k…but you get the jist. Highest taxes in the country and this isn’t Manhattan, it’s 600 miles from there.

Now I realize that’s not all unions fault, NY has the highest social welfare programs in the nation…but union wages and their pensions are the root cause. Example, NY pays the highest for education in the country (with the worst graduation rate just to make it really suck). Why? One guess…

OK, rant over.

philmon said...

There are many things wrong with the country. But the biggest is the sense of entitlement.

Unions are square in the middle of this -- because they have gotten laws set up to make it so that they don't have to compete, in certain industries, with a regular Joe who needs a job to make his house payment and take care of his kids.

Collective bargaining? I'm good with it. Start a Union, collect dues, make rules, get contracts. Fine, fine.

Get laws passed that make it impossible for someone to compete for your contract? Nope. Not in my country. It is rather third worldly, if you ask me.

I'll go so far as to say that the behavior of Unions is bad, and they also perpetuate the sense of entitlement in certain people. They are not the whole problem.

They are a part of the problem. Not the original idea of Unions - but the coercive tactics they use (both physical and "legal").

I got in an argument with a union dude somewhere on the net over the last few months, and he actually argued that if it weren't for unions, nobody would have any idea what to pay people.

Seriously! Since Unions determine "Union Scale" and many companies base their "non-union" scale on that, his argument boiled down to -- those companies would just have to throw up their hands about what to pay people if Unions disappeared.

Odd planet they live on.

mkfreeberg said...

What I find interesting is he affixes the "class warfare" label to the other side, while engaging in precisely that. He is what he calls others.

Can we sum up this attitude into a statement that will fit on a bumper sticker? "Those robber barons are just looking to blame someone for something everybody knows is their fault!"

Or something.

philmon said...

Or how 'bout

"Me rubber
You glue
Words bounce off me
And stick to you."
? ;-)

Gagdad Bob's stirring my imagination as to the origin and nature of projection. Interesting stuff.

Severian said...

I have two beefs with unions:

1) like all bureaucracies, they spend the first ten minutes of their collective existence actually attempting to serve whatever purpose they were created to do... then they begin to exist entirely for the perpetuation of the bureaucracy. Anyone who thinks that the UAW or, God help us, the teachers' unions (don't get me started) exist for anyone or anything other than the job security of union paper-pushers should be required to wear a helmet at all times and ride a short schoolbus.

2) Yet somehow, people get this impression that unions are some kind of Platonic good. The grad students at my school are in the process of pricing themselves out of a job because of it. The union is Good, you see, and therefore the Union must do stuff, even when "doing stuff" reminds the powers that be --who are facing a budget crunch -- that adjuncts don't have a union but actually do have PhDs. But....but....but.... we took a stand on college merchandise being made by Indonesian sweatshops!!! Hooray for the union!!!!

I like basic history (it's why I'm a conservative), and a quick glance at it shows pretty definitively that the exact point an American industry hit the skids is the very moment it unionized its shops. We used to have a steel industry, American cars used to be the envy of the world, and our public school system --seriously -- used to be top notch. But hey, at least substitute PE coaches in upstate New York make $78,000 for four weeks' work and have full medical and dental....

philmon said...

Your words cut like a razor to the heart of the issue, Sev.