the wisdom of the past.

Discussion in 'Economy' started by Skull Pilot, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Platinum Member

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    I just came across a book written in the late 1950s about unions of all things.

    After participating in many discussions regarding unions, the corruption and coercion perpetrated by unions, the bailing out of unions at taxpayer expense, the false claims that unions have only the best interests of their members and indeed the entire work force whether they be union or not etc, I found this old book.

    http://www.mises.org/books/powerunlimited.pdf

    Now I know none of you will read all 300 plus pages but chapter one brings up issues that are wholly relevant to today's economic situation.

    Coercion marks the beginning and corruption the conclusion of the march of union power observable in the McClellan Record. The process begins with the use of compulsion to secure members. Thereafter new and different coercive devices are used to bind the unwilling employees to the union. After a union has learned the usefulness of coercion in increasing membership, it falls into the habit of using even more in disputes with employers.

    Some trade union leaders hold that any employer who resists their demands is an "enemy of the labor movement" who must be taught a lesson, and, if he continues to resist, must be exterminated. If employees themselves refuse to
    acquiesce in strikes, if, instead, they exercise their right to continue working during strikes, they are considered traitors, against whom brutal reprisals are not only permissible but praiseworthy.


    I have seen the attitude among members here that unions are justified in abolishing secret ballots and are in favor of the sign here now version of union recruiting even if it means those not wanting to join a union are coerced and threatened. I mean after all, who wouldn't want to be forced to pay union dues that are used for posh dinners and political whoring around?

    The question remains, are unions justified their thuggery and violence?

    When a traditional union gets higher wages by violently preventing employers from operating with workers who are willing to take less money, the public as a whole is the victim of unlawful extortion. The cost of living goes up. Fewer people can afford to buy the goods at the higher prices. Therefore there is less demand for those goods, and soon some of the workers must be laid off. Unemployment is the necessary result when unions insist on higher wages than the market will bear. They, not businessmen, have thrown people-their own members at that-out of work.

    Isn't this exactly what happened with the UAW? The union is directly responsible for the uncompetitiveness of US auto companies but the deny this fervently. Somehow it is the government's fault, or the fault of the company. Surely an organization that does nothing but fight for the rights of its members is not at fault is it?

    Now we are being called on to bail out the unions. NOT the auto companies, the unions. Certainly those auto companies could run at a profit if they were allowed to hire people who would work under a different contract than that of union rule. But unions would rather see a company fail and see it's members out of work first.

    And all the while unions have their members duped into thinking that their unions are looking out for them.

    I am reminded of a quote

    What luck for rulers that men do not think

    who do you think said that? Adolph Hitler. Now does Hitler's infamy make the message wrong? Of course not.

    The point cannot be emphasized enough. The harm done by criminals masquerading as union officials is enormous and filled with the most ominous signs for the future of society. But it is still less than that produced by the power of the traditional unions. They daily coerce and brutally attack workers who decline to join or refuse to participate in strikes. They throw out of work hundreds of thousands of men because of their artificially inflated wage costs. They create irresistible inflationary pressures and compound the evil by encouraging costly and destructive deficit-spending by governments. Through the use of legal and political special privileges, they tie up entire industries into tight monopolies and cartels which abuse the public and threaten the destruction of the free and competitive economy which has always been the American ideal.

    Unions do not want a free competitive economy do they? Their actions do not support a free competitive economy. Saddling the taxpayers with more deficit spending and higher taxes does not support a free competitive economy does it?

    This is the panorama of union power. Traditional unions have secured for themselves special privileges which vest in them unlimited power. This power, like any other unlimited power, can only be abused, and it is abused. Violence and economic coercion by themselves create socially harmful conditions, the consequences of which are infinite and unpredictable.
    Besides, they exert a magnetic force, drawing to the trade unions some of the worst types of criminals, who find there an environment which suits them. The combination is a destructive force which no society can long survive: on the one hand, abuse of the citizenry and impairment of peaceful, progressive, productive activity; on the other hand, dissolution of the moral and political structure. In the special privileges of coercion and compulsion
    which unions have gained, there breeds a rotten growth which corrupts the whole moral and political structure of society.


    That those so quick to decry corporate and government corruption are also willing to turn a blind eye to the deep seated corruption of unions reveals a dichotomy in reason of the worst kind.
     
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  2. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    Historical propaganda - quaint!
     
  3. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Platinum Member

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    historical yes, propaganda, no. There is no expiration date on truth.
     
  4. Paulie
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    Paulie Platinum Member

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    Is that your knee jerk reaction to an opposing point of view, or did you actually accomodate Skull and read this? I bet I know the answer.
     
  5. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    On what? :lol: That's a fucking opinion bucko!

    Jeez oh and by the way it's 2009 now :lol:
     
  6. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    It's actually gentle mockery. I mean it's quaint for you von Mises fans to come along and quote from an economic school that might be a big deal in your minds but has no contemporary relevance or influence outside of your circles :lol:

    As if I'd bother to treat that stuff seriously. Perfect competition theory - fine in a textbook, falls apart in the real world.
     
  7. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Platinum Member

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    so everything that has been said in the past is worthless?

    There are absolutely no parallels to today's failure of the US auto industry to the ancient manuscript from 50 years ago?

    Seems like that opinion was true no?

    but if you think it's not true then please tell us all who is at fault for the failure of the auto industry.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
  8. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Todays failure of the US Auto companies rests with the vastly overpaid and under achieving management. As far as compulsion and unions, the company goons have a killed and beaten a far greater amount of people than union members ever have. When there is violence associated with unions, it is invariably started by the company. From West Virginia to Colorado, the companies have never pulled back from using fire and guns on those that would dare demand a fair wage for their labor.
     
  9. Old Rocks
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    April 20, 1914

    The date April 20, 1914 will forever be a day of infamy for American
    workers. On that day, 20 innocent men, women and children were killed
    in the Ludlow Massacre. The coal miners in Colorado and other western
    states had been trying to join the UMWA for many years. They were
    bitterly opposed by the coal operators, led by the Colorado Fuel and Iron
    Company.

    Upon striking, the miners and their families had been evicted from their
    company-owned houses and had set up a tent colony on public
    property. The massacre occurred in a carefully planned attack on the
    tent colony by Colorado militiamen, coal company guards, and thugs
    hired as private detectives and strike breakers. They shot and burned to
    death 20 people, including a dozen women and small children. Later
    investigations revealed that kerosine had intentionally been poured on
    the tents to set them ablaze. The miners had dug foxholes in the tents so
    the women and children could avoid the bullets that randomly were
    shot through the tent colony by company thugs. The women and children
    were found huddled together at the bottoms of their tents.

    The Baldwin Felts Detective Agency had been brought in to suppress the
    Colorado miners. They brought with them an armored car mounted with
    a machine gun--the Death Special-- that roamed the area spraying
    bullets. The day of the massacre, the miners were celebrating Greek
    Easter. At 10:00 AM the militia ringed the camp and began firing into the
    tents upon a signal from the commander, Lt. Karl E. Lindenfelter. Not one
    of the perpetrators of the slaughter were ever punished, but scores of
    miners and their leaders were arrested and black-balled from the coal
    industry.

    A monument erected by the UMWA stands today in Ludlow, Colorado in
    remembrance of the brave and innocent souls who died for freedom and
    human dignity.

    The Ludlow Massacre
     
  10. Old Rocks
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    1919 - West Virginia Coal Fields
    In 1901 a more vigorous effort to organize the miners of West Virginia succeeded in the forming of 80 locals, with approximately 5,000 members. In 1902 a State miners’ convention was held at Hunington, which was attended by representatives of the ‘mountain whites’ and Negro workers. In the strike that followed, 16,000 miners quit work in the Kanawha, New River, and Norfolk and western districts in the down-State area. Injunctions were issued as fast as new strikes were called, so that the strikers, blocked by the courts and militiamen, finally agreed to a compromise settlement. Only in the small area in the Kanawha field did the union gain recognition.

    Efforts of the national union to organize the rest of West Virginia were unsuccessful. The operators, in order to compete with Northern fields for Northern coal markets, reduced their production costs, the chief item of which the wages of the miners; and the drive against unions was intensified. By a decision based on an old common-law provision, the miners were deprived of the right to organize, and the worker who wanted a job had to sign away his right to join a union. Private armed guards were employed by the operators in increasing numbers; deputy sheriffs, commissioned by the country officers, were paid by the companies.

    1919 - West Virginia Coal Fields
    In 1901 a more vigorous effort to organize the miners of West Virginia succeeded in the forming of 80 locals, with approximately 5,000 members. In 1902 a State miners’ convention was held at Hunington, which was attended by representatives of the ‘mountain whites’ and Negro workers. In the strike that followed, 16,000 miners quit work in the Kanawha, New River, and Norfolk and western districts in the down-State area. Injunctions were issued as fast as new strikes were called, so that the strikers, blocked by the courts and militiamen, finally agreed to a compromise settlement. Only in the small area in the Kanawha field did the union gain recognition.

    Efforts of the national union to organize the rest of West Virginia were unsuccessful. The operators, in order to compete with Northern fields for Northern coal markets, reduced their production costs, the chief item of which the wages of the miners; and the drive against unions was intensified. By a decision based on an old common-law provision, the miners were deprived of the right to organize, and the worker who wanted a job had to sign away his right to join a union. Private armed guards were employed by the operators in increasing numbers; deputy sheriffs, commissioned by the country officers, were paid by the companies.
    1919 - West Virginia Coal Fields
    In 1901 a more vigorous effort to organize the miners of West Virginia succeeded in the forming of 80 locals, with approximately 5,000 members. In 1902 a State miners’ convention was held at Hunington, which was attended by representatives of the ‘mountain whites’ and Negro workers. In the strike that followed, 16,000 miners quit work in the Kanawha, New River, and Norfolk and western districts in the down-State area. Injunctions were issued as fast as new strikes were called, so that the strikers, blocked by the courts and militiamen, finally agreed to a compromise settlement. Only in the small area in the Kanawha field did the union gain recognition.

    Efforts of the national union to organize the rest of West Virginia were unsuccessful. The operators, in order to compete with Northern fields for Northern coal markets, reduced their production costs, the chief item of which the wages of the miners; and the drive against unions was intensified. By a decision based on an old common-law provision, the miners were deprived of the right to organize, and the worker who wanted a job had to sign away his right to join a union. Private armed guards were employed by the operators in increasing numbers; deputy sheriffs, commissioned by the country officers, were paid by the companies.

    1919 - West Virginia Coal Fields
     

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