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Thread: How to Kill a Union,,,in 3 Easy Steps.

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    Re: How to Kill a Union,,,in 3 Easy Steps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    This, I more or less agree with.



    Then they have no labor, and scabs are only temporary.

    Remember, though, that a monopoly, in practice, need not control 100% of the market.




    That certainly depends on the situation. Unions have been, on many occasions, in a position to make ridiculous demands and force industries to take them. The UAW is a pretty good example.

    The monopolistic power of unions is recognized in Section 8(b) of the National Labor Relations Act, which lists unfair practices on the part of unions.
    Sure if unions go on strike then the company is without labor and scabs are only temporary. However, the workers also go without work. Presumably they too could find some other temporary job. However, a strike is costly for both agents, which gives both of them bargaining power in setting the price. The fact that some unions have won extremely favorable terms from firms, does not mean that unions, generally defined, are unilateral price setters. Moreover, unions do not have an incentive to under supply their labor in the same way that monopolies have an incentive to under supply their products. It is the incentive to under supply production that causes dead weight loss and prevents monopolies from achieving an efficient outcome.

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    Re: How to Kill a Union,,,in 3 Easy Steps.

    Quote Originally Posted by angrycarpenter View Post
    So we are just screwed because our workers insist on a higher standard of living than Malaysia?
    Maybe. I didn't create the conditions; I'm only pointing out what's what.

    is that your answer? Do we just expect too much being a worker in the richest country in the world?
    No one is entitled to any standard of living, and changing conditions necessitate . . . change. Much as our products face stiff competition in the global market, so does our labor. Do you actually think labor is exempt? That would be the mark of a fool.

    Everyone wants "globalization," but there are many who refuse to accept its full implications.
    “Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives, and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charles Manson.”-- Bernadine Dohrn

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    Re: How to Kill a Union,,,in 3 Easy Steps.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimboJ View Post
    Sure if unions go on strike then the company is without labor and scabs are only temporary. However, the workers also go without work. Presumably they too could find some other temporary job. However, a strike is costly for both agents, which gives both of them bargaining power in setting the price. The fact that some unions have won extremely favorable terms from firms, does not mean that unions, generally defined, are unilateral price setters. Moreover, unions do not have an incentive to under supply their labor in the same way that monopolies have an incentive to under supply their products. It is the incentive to under supply production that causes dead weight loss and prevents monopolies from achieving an efficient outcome.
    It's that if people want to buy, they have only one source from which to do it, which gives the monopoly undue power. They don't need to undersupply to exercise monopolistic power; that's but one tool.
    “Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives, and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charles Manson.”-- Bernadine Dohrn

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    Re: How to Kill a Union,,,in 3 Easy Steps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    It's that if people want to buy, they have only one source from which to do it, which gives the monopoly undue power. They don't need to undersupply to exercise monopolistic power; that's but one tool.
    Sorry I don't know what you are referring to when you say "It's that if people want to buy...."

    I agree that agents do not need to under-supply production to exercise monopoly power. However, typically folks think that monopolies are inefficient because they have incentives to under-supply production. For example, say that a monopolist knew how much each person was willing to pay for a product and they could charge each person according to their preferences. One might say that the resulting allocation is unfair, but it would not be inefficient because there would not be any dead weight loss. Now why would it be unfair? Its unfair because the monopolist gets to capture all of the surplus from the sales. However, this is a question of distribution not efficiency.

    Since labor unions do not have an incentive to under supply labor they do not introduce dead weight loss. So unions aren't "bad" in the sense of causing the same inefficiencies as monopolists. However, their bargaining strength does affect the distribution of profits. To say that this effect is bad is a normative judgment and depends upon your interests as well as your philosophical predispositions.

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    Re: How to Kill a Union,,,in 3 Easy Steps.

    Why do you think I consider a monopolistic entity bad because of "inefficiency"? Or solely because of it?
    “Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives, and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charles Manson.”-- Bernadine Dohrn

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    Re: How to Kill a Union,,,in 3 Easy Steps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    Maybe. I didn't create the conditions; I'm only pointing out what's what.



    No one is entitled to any standard of living, and changing conditions necessitate . . . change. Much as our products face stiff competition in the global market, so does our labor. Do you actually think labor is exempt? That would be the mark of a fool.

    Everyone wants "globalization," but there are many who refuse to accept its full implications.
    Everyone does not want globalization but stockholders think it is pretty cool. "Free trade" is a direct assault on workers all over the world and the governments that would protect them. The proponents of this profit above all else approach to business have been trying to kill the very idea that unionization is beneficial to a local or national economy. The idea of a group of workers having any power over how business is done is repugnant and I despair at the number of Americans who share this belief.

    Karl Marx predicted a time when so much wealth would be concentrated in so few hands that democracy becomes meaningless and the rich will have the power to overrule the will of any number of ordinary citizens, in other words the collapse of western democratic civilization into an oligarchy. I am not even close to being a communist but he may have been right on that one.

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    Re: How to Kill a Union,,,in 3 Easy Steps.

    Quote Originally Posted by angrycarpenter View Post
    Everyone does not want globalization but stockholders think it is pretty cool. "Free trade" is a direct assault on workers all over the world and the governments that would protect them. The proponents of this profit above all else approach to business have been trying to kill the very idea that unionization is beneficial to a local or national economy. The idea of a group of workers having any power over how business is done is repugnant and I despair at the number of Americans who share this belief.

    Karl Marx predicted a time when so much wealth would be concentrated in so few hands that democracy becomes meaningless and the rich will have the power to overrule the will of any number of ordinary citizens, in other words the collapse of western democratic civilization into an oligarchy. I am not even close to being a communist but he may have been right on that one.
    You can whine about it and assign whatever motivations you like, but it is what it is. A trade war will not bring jobs back.
    “Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives, and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charles Manson.”-- Bernadine Dohrn

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    Re: How to Kill a Union,,,in 3 Easy Steps.

    If you want to know how to kill a union, follow Walmart's example.

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    Re: How to Kill a Union,,,in 3 Easy Steps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    Why do you think I consider a monopolistic entity bad because of "inefficiency"? Or solely because of it?
    I don't know. Why do you think monopolies are bad? I guess if your answer is that you think monopolies are bad "solely because of it," I would push you to be a bit more specific. If you are merely concerned that monopolistic powers affect distribution, then this is an normative position. You would be in fact saying that the firm owner or the shareholders should get a larger share of the profit, than they get when they have to bargain collectively with workers. You would also be saying what workers should get a lower share of the profit, than they could otherwise get with a union. Someone else may legitimately think otherwise. From this answer we cannot simply conclude that protecting collective bargaining rights is bad.

    Please note that I am not conceding that unions are monopolies in the traditional definition. However, I am arguing that even if one assumes that they are, we cannot necessarily say that their monopolistic power is bad without making a normative judgment. That is, this judgment requires a particular conception of justice that is contestable. We don't need this normative judgment to say that a monopoly over some commodity is bad.

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    Re: How to Kill a Union,,,in 3 Easy Steps.

    I think monopolies are bad because they stifle competition.
    “Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives, and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charles Manson.”-- Bernadine Dohrn

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