View Poll Results: Last two years beginning of a downward slide for Public Sector Unions?

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  • Yes, their power has waxed and now it shall wane.

    44 60.27%
  • Unions will respond and their power will grow.

    14 19.18%
  • It depends on November.

    15 20.55%
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Thread: Beginning of the End for Public Unions?

  1. #1231
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    Re: Beginning of the End for Public Unions?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    yes. When you increase the cost of production (whether through unionization of the labor force, increased burden of governance, or whatever), you increase the price, thereby lowering demand. "what the market will bear" is a wide range. At 8 dollars, it will simply want more than at 16. There is a price at which demand becomes effectively nil (or low enough that you are unable to sell enough to stay in business), at which point you have moved "beyond what it will bear". But it's not as if the market will purchase 1 million blueberry muffins at 50 cents a piece, and zero at 75. Competition generally forces all profit margins within a relatively tight range within the same good or service; when you increase the cost of production, you simply move the top and bottom price/margin up in dollars.
    Oh, I'll grant "competition" does tend to make prices cluster but cost of production has little to do with where those clusters fall. What you're saying might work for two fruit stand owners just down the block from each other but it works for damn little else.


    But assuming the manufacturer refuses to take less profit, which is cheaper? Spending an extra $0.50 on a given item because labor costs are higher - or spending an extra $0.50 in taxes to compensate underpaid workers?

    Many conservatives go on and on about taxes and welfare and never bother to question why people need welfare. They always argue it's sloth but we both know that, for most people getting assistance, that's just not true.
    Last edited by MoSurveyor; 06-21-12 at 11:06 AM.
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  2. #1232
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    Re: Beginning of the End for Public Unions?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    Oh, I'll grant "competition" does tend to make prices cluster but cost of production has little to do with where those clusters fall. What you're saying might work for two fruit stand owners just down the block from each other but it works for damn little else.


    But assuming the manufacturer refuses to take less profit, which is cheaper? Spending an extra $0.50 on a given item because labor costs are higher - or spending an extra $0.50 in taxes to compensate underpaid workers?

    Many conservatives go on and on about taxes and welfare and never bother to question why people need welfare. They always argue it's sloth but we both know that, for most people getting assistance, that's just not true.
    I though tthis might be on point:

    Unions will reduce a company’s profits somewhat, because they get higher wages for workers. But economists have found that unionization has a minimal impact on growth and employment. Six of the 10 states with the highest unemployment have right-to-work laws in place. North Carolina, which has the lowest unionization rate in the country, 1.8 percent, also has the sixth highest unemployment, 10 percent.

    Anti-Union Laws in Indiana and Arizona - NYTimes.com

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

  3. #1233
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    Re: Beginning of the End for Public Unions?

    Dang, these public sector unions just canít get a break!

    Knox v. Service Employees Intíl Union, Local 1000 : SCOTUSblog

    Plain English Issue: Whether a state can require its employees to pay a special union fee that will be spent for political purposes without first giving the employees information about the fee and a chance to object to it.

    Details on todayís opinions : SCOTUSblog

    By a vote of seven to two, the Court reversed the decision of the Ninth Circuit and remanded the case for further consideration. It held that the case is not moot; five members of the Court further held that the First Amendment does not allow a public-sector union to require objecting non-members to pay a special fee for the purposes of financing the unionís political and ideological activities.

  4. #1234
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    Re: Beginning of the End for Public Unions?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post

    No, you are confusing "capitalism" with "corporatism". Too Big To Fail isn't a Capitalist dogma, it's a Corporatist one.
    Maybe so. To be clear, I'm not entirely opposed to capitalism. At its most primal element (namely trade) it is purely human expression. On the other hand, the licensing of fractal banking privilege to a core elite is really just a throwback to feudalism and the same ol' hierarchy of oppression and the corruption it invariably entails. Corporatism is the inevitable political product of capitalism. There is no point in denying this.

    the labor theory of value?!? this would be the one that even Lenin eventually had to abandon as not taking into effect the necessary value added of capital?
    Who said anything about value? We are talking about production, no? The worker creates the product. The capital just sits in somebody's vault, as idle and physically unproductive as it always is. Yes, this is a fact of pure science: Money is an inanimate object.

    Of course, Marx was dead wrong when he defined "value" in terms of the amount of human energy expended in the creation of a product. History is replete with examples of "White Elephants." Why Marx failed to comprehend the fact that value cannot be defined by any precise and consistent human measure is beyond me. Perhaps, he was high on laudanum.

    "Value," like Beauty, and Quality, and Justice, is one of those mercurial and ultimately indefinable human aesthetics. Value can only be fleetingly ascertained on the free market because it is a function of human desire.

    That being said, "value" and the physical phenomenon of production are two entirely different things. DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW OR SHOULD I EXPLAIN IT TO YOU USING MUPPETS IN ORDER TO HOLD YOUR ATTENTION???

    But okay, I'll bite. If a robot builds a car, and an overseer makes sure the Robot doesn't break down, which entity is building the car?
    The overseer (at least until the Robot is endowed with some sort of silicon limbic system and accompanying software inducing him to exclaim by his own independent impulses and subjective experience, "I suffer, therefore I am.")

    yup. we called it "feudalism".
    Yup, and we're doing it again.

    the Industrial Revolution.
    No, the Industrial Revolution is gauged between 1750 and 1850. Try again.

    Fascinating. Are you suggesting that people on the farms were exploiting themselves? Or is it just that you see "labor" and think "exploitation!".
    Are you suggesting that Old MacDonald, at any time in human history, did all the farm labor on an industrial size farm all by himself? Could you really be that unacquainted with the enormous toils of agriculture?

    actually the assumptions in that thought model are pretty basic. the Japanese auto makers were able to enter into and take massive swathes of the American market share because they were producing a superior product which they were able to make for less than their UAW American Competitors.
    Actually, you are not getting it all. Without the UAW, and labor unions in general, there would have been no consumer base in America for Toyota to drawn from. Therefore, there would have been no Toyota car company in America and your brother would be unemployed.

    The rise of the American Middle Class really began with the independent tradesmen and farmers of the 18th century. The rise of the modern industrial-age middle class really began in the 1920's. The UAW was founded in 1935.
    The rise of the industrial middle class was concomitant with the rise of industrial labor unions. Believe it or not, this manifestation is both logical and observable. It is really very simple: The more people were paid, the more they were able to buy. You are fond of graphs. Go check the graphs comparing the earnings of industrial workers between 1850 and 1950 and the emergence of the "consumer based economy." You will notice a conspicuous relationship.

    That is unfortunately incorrect. Unions are not responsible for the defeat of Communism; containment was.
    Were it not for the unions and the higher wages they were able to obtain for their members, there would have been no containment. Communism would have swept over America like a rabid inferno. You do not know your history. That much is more than obvious.

    Sadly not so much. Thanks to our unionized educational system, costs have skyrocketed while quality has - at best - flatlined.
    Costs have skyrocketed because schools are being built at twice the fair market value. The costs of textbooks, desks, and school computers has mysteriously quadrupled. The graft associated between our public schools and their contracts with private sector is so outrageous that if anyone ever took a good look at it they might just pass out from shock. All the while, the average gullible American dunderhead is being distracted and disinformed by upper-class nabob reports that it is the middle class teachers who are to blame for the high cost of education. NEVERMIND THAT THE UPPER CLASS NABOBS HOLDING PUBLIC SCHOOL CONTRACTS ARE SHAMELESSLY RIPPING OFF THE MIDDLE CLASS TAXPAYER WITH THEIR GROSS OVERCHARGES TO STATE AND MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT!!! IT IS THE MIDDLE CLASS TEACHER THAT IS THE VILLAIN, RIGHT???

    You're so gullible you make me want to vomit.

    Well hell, let's raise the minimum wage to $1 bn a year, and we can all be rich!
    Hell with that. Let's kill the unions and toss out the 13th Amendment. Then some of us can own slaves and live like royalty off the sweat and tears of everyone else, at least until we finally revisit that most bitter lesson of history: where there is no fair wage, there is a dying economy; and thus a dying society.

    When you artificially increase the price of a product or service, you lower the demand. This works the same for labor as it does with anything else - which means that when you artificially increase the cost of hiring workers, you ensure that fewer workers will be hired. What is the purchasing power of the unemployed?
    And when you decrease the cost of labor by allowed to forcibly pay less than a fair market wage, you ultimately lower the demand by killing the purchasing power of the very people to whom you are ultimately trying to sell.

    Don't you get it?
    It's like you're dreaming of Gorgonzola when it's clearly Brie time, baby. Step into my office.

  5. #1235
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    Re: Beginning of the End for Public Unions?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    Oh, I'll grant "competition" does tend to make prices cluster but cost of production has little to do with where those clusters fall
    incorrect - the cost of production tends to be similar for all surviving producers; which is what allows that clustered price range. those able to suddenly dramatically lower their price of production will snatch up market share by being able to lower prices below what their competitors can maintain until they make the same improvements.

    But assuming the manufacturer refuses to take less profit, which is cheaper? Spending an extra $0.50 on a given item because labor costs are higher - or spending an extra $0.50 in taxes to compensate underpaid workers?
    Not at all equitable. Lower cost of production will not necessitate me spending the exact same amount subsidizing workers.

    Many conservatives go on and on about taxes and welfare and never bother to question why people need welfare
    that is incorrect. conservatives have considered at length why people need welfare, and how to work on fixing that.

  6. #1236
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    Re: Beginning of the End for Public Unions?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    - the cost of production tends to be similar for all surviving producers; which is what allows that clustered price range.
    Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    those able to suddenly dramatically lower their price of production will snatch up market share by being able to lower prices below what their competitors can maintain until they make the same improvements.
    Reducing the cost is no guarantee a company will lower the price. If they reduce cost by, say, $1 per widget, they most likely will not lower prices by $1 per widget. They'll still take their slide rules and figure out the optimal price. That may even come out to be the same as it was before their costs were lowered. Their profit will still be higher than their competition.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Not at all equitable. Lower cost of production will not necessitate me spending the exact same amount subsidizing workers.
    If workers make less money they will also be spending less at the store. The money to sustain demand has to come from somewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    that is incorrect. conservatives have considered at length why people need welfare, and how to work on fixing that.
    Then considering Welfare's 50 years history - not counting the decades of dying poor before welfare - I'd say they're doing a bang-up job!

    Don't you find it an amazing coincidence that Welfare was passed just as American companies started moving jobs overseas?
    Last edited by MoSurveyor; 06-22-12 at 01:23 AM.
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    Life goes on within you and without you. -Harrison
    Hear the echoes of the centuries, Power isn't all that money buys. -Peart
    After you learn quantum mechanics you're never really the same again. -Weinberg

  7. #1237
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    Re: Beginning of the End for Public Unions?

    Apparently some Downer-Ism at AFSCME.


    “Our success or failure will mark a turning point not only for our union but for the entire labor movement,” Lee Saunders, the new AFSCME president, told his members. Attendees noted how few changes in labor law they had been able to get through Congress since President Obama’s election. Union members in San Diego and San Jose, two cities that voted heavily for Obama in 2008, mourned the overwhelming passage this month of ballot measures in those cities curbing public-sector pension benefits: In both, two-thirds of voters approved the measures. Hanging over the crowd was the crushing loss unions experienced in Wisconsin three weeks ago, when GOP governor Scott Walker won 38 percent of the votes of union members and apparently carried a majority of private-sector-union members.

    But even as AFSCME delegates convened in Los Angeles, they received word of yet another blow. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a case out of California that if a union wants to make a special demand from members for political activity in addition to its regular fees, it must give them ample notice so they can ask for their money back. But the court, in an opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, went further and indicated the union must also make its fee assessment opt-in instead of opt-out...

    The court stated its belief that “the general rule — individuals should not be compelled to subsidize private groups or private speech — should prevail.” Epps interprets all this to mean that the court is sending a clear message to Young and the National Right to Work organization: “Bring us a case and we will void the agency shop altogether.”..

    After Governor Walker ended mandatory collection of union dues for public-sector workers last year, AFSCME’s Local 24 in Madison, which represented 22,300 Wisconsin state workers, saw its membership shrink by two-thirds, to 7,100. Similarly, the American Federation of Teachers has lost 6,000 of its 17,000 members. Small wonder: Teachers’-union dues in Wisconsin range from a hefty $700 a year up to more than $1,000.

    That kind of shift explains why the unions fought Walker’s reforms so bitterly — they viewed it as a matter of life and death for their political machines. Similarly, you can expect a titanic battle this November in California, where a ballot measure going by the title of Stop Special Interest Money Now has qualified for the ballot. It would prohibit both corporations and unions from collecting political contributions from employees through payroll deduction unless annual written consent is given...

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