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A Conservative Speaks Up For Unions

PoliticalChic

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1. Many posts from the Right attack unions, as though they are the enemy of business and the free market

2. By conservative, I mean those who favor individualism, free markets, and limited constitutional government, and that the people are the best judges of what is right, and opportune.

3. The enemy of the above is the belief that big government infused with beneficent, all knowing experts and technocrats will lead all to ‘the promised land,’ to dole out ‘social justice.’

4. In the current shorthand, let's call this capitalism versus Marxism.

a. Marxism rested on the assumption that the condition of the working classes would grow ever worse under capitalism, that there would be but two classes: one small and rich, the other vast and increasingly impoverished, and revolution would be the anodyne that would result in the “common good.” But by the early 20th century, it was clear that this assumption was completely wrong! Under capitalism, the standard of living of all was improving: prices falling, incomes rising, health and sanitation improving, lengthening of life spans, diets becoming more varied, the new jobs created in industry paid more than most could make in agriculture, housing improved, and middle class industrialists and business owners displaced nobility and gentry as heroes.
https://www.hillsdale.edu/news/imprimis/archive/issue.asp?year=2007&month=05






5. But, the reality is that capitalist theory fell short as the size and complexity of the society increased. While capitalism is provably the best way to raise every level of society…it still left many behind for a multitude or reasons not related to the theory itself. Orthodox capitalist theory recognized only one kind of social control: competiton….modern society imposed social control rather than the automatic regulation of the ‘invisible hand.’ Thus the shift from self-regulation through economics to self-regulation through politics.

6. The adjustment of orthodox capitalist theory that blunted the threat of Marxist revolution is what Theodore Lowi, in “The End of Liberalism,” describes this way:

‘Today, the public policy is based on an amalgam of capitalism, statism, and interest-group liberalism. Both capitalist and Marxist analysis ignore the fact that there are a number of institution other than the state in an industrial civilization, because there are so very many interests, and organizations which represent those interests, and are willing to use power to attain same. Thus, any explanation of modern society requires a pluralist theory which posits many sources of power and control other than the state. Marxism is based on the idea of a unitary society, of a few homogenized classes. This is not possible in the contemporary culture.

a. By its nature, government in a democracy cannot act in a unitary manner: there are too many special interests that must be accommodated. In "Demosclerosis:: The Silent Killer of American Government," Jonathan Rauch points out that 7 out of 10 Americans belong to an interest group, and one out of four belong to at least four!




7. Unions represent one of the interest group assemblies. They serve a valuable function, as do all interest groups, a safety valve for dissatisfaction and unhappiness. Without this safety valve, other, less desirable avenues of redress outside of the political might be availed: the revolution that Marx predicted.


8. I know that demands of unions are seen by many on the Right as deleterious, and disruptive. But, in business, the organization has the ability to judge the cost of not giving in to demands, and deciding in its own best interest.

a. Why is this not true for society? It is our elected representatives who rush to say “Aye” to union demands. So…who is at fault?

b. Laws should be designed to hold officials responsible for the results of their actions. They should not be immune from liability….beyond the time in office. In fact, they should be required to carry indemnity insurance that remains in effect long after terms in office, as costs don’t always show up in a timely manner.

c. Or....the political party of the office-holder may be held responsible.



9. Unions, and even excessive ‘demands’ are covered by the words of the 1st amendment: “no laws… interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

If unions are the problem.....aren't political parties even more so?
 

Mad Scientist

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Unions have a purpose, but when they start running the business, problems arise.

It's like the Military. It serves a purpose when it defends America and the Constitution but when it gets so large and powerful that it thinks it doesn't have to listen to Congress or the American people, well that's a problem.

But some people think the Military, like the Unions, can do no wrong.
 

Freemason9

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Nice topic, PC, and well presented. I have always supported unions--although I am in management, and I would not belong to one. Unions are (1) a balance to the lawlessness of capitalism, and (2) represent the embodiment of a democratic society. As Smith noted, capitalism can only succeed if it is well-regulated; and, in this era of diminishing federal presence as a protector of labor, we rely on unions because government has become the enemy of labor.

When unions are gone, we will see the rise of outright fascism.
 

OohPooPahDoo

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Unions have a purpose, but when they start running the business, problems arise.

It's like the Military. It serves a purpose when it defends America and the Constitution but when it gets so large and powerful that it thinks it doesn't have to listen to Congress or the American people, well that's a problem.

But some people think the Military, like the Unions, can do no wrong.

Unions do not run businesses.
 
OP
PoliticalChic

PoliticalChic

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Unions have a purpose, but when they start running the business, problems arise.

It's like the Military. It serves a purpose when it defends America and the Constitution but when it gets so large and powerful that it thinks it doesn't have to listen to Congress or the American people, well that's a problem.

But some people think the Military, like the Unions, can do no wrong.

Unions do not run businesses.


Any truth to the rumor that you actually got something right once?



"It's been a long time since American devotees of Marx (Karl, not Groucho) have had much to cheer about. But with the bankruptcy filings of General Motors and Chrysler, and the transfer of stock ownership from the firms' long-suffering shareholders to the government and unions, communists of the world can rejoice. The workers are now, finally, significant owners of the means of production. The United Auto Workers control about 65 percent of Chrysler and 17.5 percent of General Motors."
How the UAW's new ownership stake in GM and Chrysler will defang the union. - Slate Magazine



Obama owns 26%
 

eflatminor

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I have no problem with voluntary unions forming at private businesses.

I have a huge problem with public sector unions...as did FDR.
 
OP
PoliticalChic

PoliticalChic

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I have no problem with voluntary unions forming at private businesses.

I have a huge problem with public sector unions...as did FDR.

Why?

A strong President with vision knew how to handle a union.....President Reagan.
 

eflatminor

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I have no problem with voluntary unions forming at private businesses.

I have a huge problem with public sector unions...as did FDR.

Why?

A strong President with vision knew how to handle a union.....President Reagan.

Because I have no problem with any consensual and VOLUNTARY activity between adults. If you want to form a group, a gang, or a union, that's fine as along as you don't unnecessarily hurt others or take what doesn't belong to you.

Public sector unions are not only not voluntary, they "negotiate" on the same side of the table. They bargain with the very politicians their contributions put in office! That's not fair to taxpayer that foots the bill for both of them.

Reagan was dealing with a public sector union. He was right to fire them.
 

Freemason9

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I have no problem with voluntary unions forming at private businesses.

I have a huge problem with public sector unions...as did FDR.

Why?

A strong President with vision knew how to handle a union.....President Reagan.

Ronald Reagan was an actor, not a president.

Public sector unions do not function well. They contribute money and resources to political candidates; those candidates are elected; once elected, the politicians repay the public sector unions through favorable labor contracts; the unions use their new funds to buy more politicians--and the new politicians sign off on even better union contracts.

Hence, you have monstrous and unfunded pension plans for police and firefighters.
 

oldfart

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5. But, the reality is that capitalist theory fell short as the size and complexity of the society increased. While capitalism is provably the best way to raise every level of society…it still left many behind for a multitude or reasons not related to the theory itself. Orthodox capitalist theory recognized only one kind of social control: competiton….modern society imposed social control rather than the automatic regulation of the ‘invisible hand.’ Thus the shift from self-regulation through economics to self-regulation through politics.

First, I don't think there's much support for "capitalism is provably the best way to raise every level of society" unless you have a shifting definition of capitalism.

"Orthodox capitalist theory" has three gigantic fatal flaws, all of which can be overcome, but only with decidedly non-capitalistic solutions.

1. It assumes "perfectly competitive markets" and breaks down substantially, both in theory and in practice, when there is significant monopolist or monopsonistic power, including the most common industry structure, oligopoly. Economies of scale make many industries "natural monopolies".

2. Markets do a poor job of handling externalities either positive or negative. Therefore they overproduce harmful effects and underproduce beneficial ones.

3. Markets are good for efficiency regardless of the object of the system. Thus capitalism is a great system for a war economy or a fascist dictatorship. It has a lot more trouble (as does a command economy) in producing a decent humane society.

Now as I said, all of these problems can be overcome, sometimes using market methods like cap and trade, but each of these solutions requires societal or governmental intervention in the market system.

No modern society comes close to unfettered capitalism as was seen in Britain during the Industrial Revolution. That's a good thing. Few people want to return to that type of society or those conditions. Eighteenth century Europe is not exactly a good role model for an industrial society, no matter how good Enlightenment thinkers sound.
 

eflatminor

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"Orthodox capitalist theory" has three gigantic fatal flaws, all of which can be overcome, but only with decidedly non-capitalistic solutions.

Good gawd, another central planner wannbe who's just SURE he knows what's best for everyone else. :cuckoo:
 
OP
PoliticalChic

PoliticalChic

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5. But, the reality is that capitalist theory fell short as the size and complexity of the society increased. While capitalism is provably the best way to raise every level of society…it still left many behind for a multitude or reasons not related to the theory itself. Orthodox capitalist theory recognized only one kind of social control: competiton….modern society imposed social control rather than the automatic regulation of the ‘invisible hand.’ Thus the shift from self-regulation through economics to self-regulation through politics.

First, I don't think there's much support for "capitalism is provably the best way to raise every level of society" unless you have a shifting definition of capitalism.

"Orthodox capitalist theory" has three gigantic fatal flaws, all of which can be overcome, but only with decidedly non-capitalistic solutions.

1. It assumes "perfectly competitive markets" and breaks down substantially, both in theory and in practice, when there is significant monopolist or monopsonistic power, including the most common industry structure, oligopoly. Economies of scale make many industries "natural monopolies".

2. Markets do a poor job of handling externalities either positive or negative. Therefore they overproduce harmful effects and underproduce beneficial ones.

3. Markets are good for efficiency regardless of the object of the system. Thus capitalism is a great system for a war economy or a fascist dictatorship. It has a lot more trouble (as does a command economy) in producing a decent humane society.

Now as I said, all of these problems can be overcome, sometimes using market methods like cap and trade, but each of these solutions requires societal or governmental intervention in the market system.

No modern society comes close to unfettered capitalism as was seen in Britain during the Industrial Revolution. That's a good thing. Few people want to return to that type of society or those conditions. Eighteenth century Europe is not exactly a good role model for an industrial society, no matter how good Enlightenment thinkers sound.

"In spite of all the evidence that points to the free market as the most efficient system, we continue down a road that is bearing out the prophecy of De Tocqueville, a Frenchman who came here …years ago. He was attracted by the miracle that was America. [H]e came here and he looked at everything he could see in our country trying to find the secret of our success, and then went back and wrote a book about it. Even then,… he saw signs prompting him to warn us that if we weren't constantly on guard, we would find ourselves covered by a network of regulations controlling every activity. He said if that came to pass we would one day find ourselves a nation of timid animals with government the shepherd. Was De Tocqueville right? Well, today we are covered by tens of thousands of regulations to which we add about 25,000 new ones each year."
Hillsdale College - Imprimis Issue



You came to the right place.....you may learn some history and some economics.
 
OP
PoliticalChic

PoliticalChic

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I have no problem with voluntary unions forming at private businesses.

I have a huge problem with public sector unions...as did FDR.

Why?

A strong President with vision knew how to handle a union.....President Reagan.

Ronald Reagan was an actor, not a president.

Public sector unions do not function well. They contribute money and resources to political candidates; those candidates are elected; once elected, the politicians repay the public sector unions through favorable labor contracts; the unions use their new funds to buy more politicians--and the new politicians sign off on even better union contracts.

Hence, you have monstrous and unfunded pension plans for police and firefighters.


"Ronald Reagan was an actor, not a president."
If that's the case, we should only elect actors.



1. Reagan's near-trillion-dollar bulge in defense spending transformed the global balance of power in favor of capitalism. Spurring a stock-market, energy, venture-capital, real-estate and employment boom, the Reagan tax-rate cuts and other pro-enterprise policies added some $17 trillion to America's private-sector assets, dwarfing the trillion-dollar rise in public-sector deficits and creating 45 million net new jobs at rising wages and salaries.

2. Ultimately the Reagan boom would raise private-sector assets by another $60 trillion over 20 years, not halting until 2007. Under the Obama administration, for the first time since the 1970s, the U.S. economy is suffering capital flight. For the first time ever, as economist David Malpass has reported, it is experiencing a net emigration of high-technology talent.
George Gilder: The Real Reagan Lesson for Romney-Ryan - WSJ.com


3. Ronald Reagan, though dismissed by Europeans as a second-rate actor and fondler of cue cards, possessed that magic faculty that separates run-of-the mill politicos from history-molding leaders. "I didn't understand", recalls Time's Joe Klein, "how truly monumental, and morally important, Reagan's anti-communism was until I visited the Soviet Union in 1987." He continues with a seemingly trivial vignette. Attending the Bolshoi Ballet, he was nudged by his minder: "'Ronald Reagan. Evil empire', he whispered with dramatic intensity and shot a glance toward his lap where he had hidden two enthusiastic thumbs up. 'Yes!'"
When an American president manages to pluck the soul strings of those who have been raised to fear and despise what he represents, he surely deserves the honorific 'great.'
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2751/is_77/ai_n6353166/pg_6/?tag=content;col1
 

Wiseacre

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I believe in the right to work, to decide whether or not I want to support a union and pay dues. I also think the monies going towards political contributions should be separate from other uses, and an employee should be able to decide not to pay for the political contributions. Doesn't matter if it's a public or private union, each employee should have the choices.
 
OP
PoliticalChic

PoliticalChic

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I believe in the right to work, to decide whether or not I want to support a union and pay dues. I also think the monies going towards political contributions should be separate from other uses, and an employee should be able to decide not to pay for the political contributions. Doesn't matter if it's a public or private union, each employee should have the choices.

Already done, Wisey.....


"In 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Communications Workers v. Beck1 that workers who are forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment may not be required to pay dues beyond those necessary for collective bargaining purposes. They also are entitled (if they so choose) to a refund of any portion of these dues that is used by their union for political purposes."
The Worker Paycheck Fairness Act: Ending the Involuntary Use of Union Dues
 

EdwardBaiamonte

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1.
9. Unions, and even excessive ‘demands’ are covered by the words of the 1st amendment: “no laws… interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

If unions are the problem.....aren't political parties even more so?

unions are anti capitalist, anti American, and anti wealth. Yes, anyone can peacefully assemble but cant force business to recognise them, bargain with them, and not fire them, at least according to the Constitution.

Unions merely raise prices so make everyone else poorer for their higher wages. There is no net gain, and in fact a huge huge loss as they have driven about 30 million jobs off shore.
 
OP
PoliticalChic

PoliticalChic

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1.
9. Unions, and even excessive ‘demands’ are covered by the words of the 1st amendment: “no laws… interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

If unions are the problem.....aren't political parties even more so?

unions are anti capitalist, anti American, and anti wealth. Yes, anyone can peacefully assemble but cant force business to recognise them, bargain with them, and not fire them, at least according to the Constitution.

Unions merely raise prices so make everyone else poorer for their higher wages. There is no net gain, and in fact a huge huge loss as they have driven about 30 million jobs off shore.


"...force business to recognise them, bargain with them, and not fire them,..."

I believe that, essentially...the OP is explaining that unions obviate force being used.....



I imagine the outcomes would be far more stark if workers had no voice at all.....

....don't you?
 

Skull Pilot

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I don't think anyone should be able to walk off a job and not be fired.

Sorry but if you go on strike, you should lose your job
 

Rshermr

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Interesting. This post tends to show why PC is, indeed, a con tool. The third point, which says:
3. Ronald Reagan, though dismissed by Europeans as a second-rate actor and fondler of cue cards, possessed that magic faculty that separates run-of-the mill politicos from history-molding leaders. "I didn't understand", recalls Time's Joe Klein, "how truly monumental, and morally important,
Reagan's anti-communism was until I visited the Soviet Union in 1987." He continues with a seemingly trivial vignette. Attending the Bolshoi Ballet, he was nudged by his minder: "'Ronald Reagan. Evil empire', he whispered with dramatic intensity and shot a glance toward his lap where he had hidden two enthusiastic thumbs up. 'Yes!'"
When an American president manages to pluck the soul strings of those who have been raised to fear and despise what he represents, he surely deserves the honorific 'great.'

Now, this third point of PC really shows the fact that she truly worships Ronald. Those cons who worship Ronald tend to work at rewriting his exploits. So, maybe we should check her statements. I know that PC says she never lies. But some of what she has said in this post seem just a little dishonest.

PC says:
Reagan's near-trillion-dollar bulge in defense spending transformed the global balance of power in favor of capitalism.
Nice to know that PC believes in deficit spending. However, I have no idea what this sentence is based on. Oddly, there is no link.
PC SAYS:
Spurring a stock-market, energy, venture-capital, real-estate and employment boom, the Reagan tax-rate cuts and other pro-enterprise policies added some $17 trillion to America's private-sector assets, dwarfing the trillion-dollar rise in public-sector deficits
Again, PC, nice of you to admit that deficit spending helped. BUT, you kind of have things mixed up and you left out some things. For instance, from a time line point of view, the first thing that happened were the tax cuts you mentioned in your list of accomplishments. In Feb '81 reagan passed his huge tax decrease. You would remember, if you were old enough, how hard we were sold on the advantages of this tax decrease. Increasing gov revenue, reducing the deficit and most importantly, reducing unemployment from the relatively high 7.5% when he took office. So, 19 months later, the unemployment rate had gone up continually to an all time high since the great depression of 10.8% . The unemployment rate has never reached that point since. And gov revenues were way down. AND the deficit was GROWING FAST.
So, by late '82, the reagan admin new they had to act, and quickly. So, of course, PC would like us to remember the tax decrease, but that happened BEFORE and is widely believed by economists to have caused the problems that he was now facing. So, what did Reagan do. More supply side economics?? Another tax decrease?? Why, no, he borrowed and borrowed and borrowed. More than all the presidents before him combined. Tripled the national debt. And he increased taxes. Eleven, yes 11, times. And he used the revenue generated to spend in stimulative ways to fix the economy.
Just wanted to remind you of these facts, PC, cause I am sure they just slipped your mind.
then PC said:
and creating 45 million net new jobs
Wow. That would have been great, if it were true. It would be twice as many as Clinton, if true. Problem is, it is a lie. Really, PC. Not sure how you could have missed this one. According to the folks who keep these stats, the Reagan admin saw the creation of 16.1 million jobs. Which would make him number four among presidents since the 1950's, in jobs created per year. After Clinton, Carter, and Johnson. Just a little ahead of nixon.
Your second point, regarding technology, is great. You took quotes from George Gilder. A true con, without doubt. Far be it from PC to use any impartial sources. PC uses a source who has been and adviser to two republican us presidents and currently to Romney. Nice job, PC. Stay away from anything impartial.

Unemployment rate by month and year
Historical Unemployment Rates in the United States

Surplusses and deficits by year
Historical Unemployment Rates in the United States

Jobs created by president
U.S. Presidents from Which Party Create More Jobs - Democratic or Republican?
 
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Dante

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1. Many posts from the Right attack unions, as though they are the enemy of business and the free market

2. By conservative, I mean those who favor individualism, free markets, and limited constitutional government, and that the people are the best judges of what is right, and opportune.

3. The enemy of the above is the belief that big government infused with beneficent, all knowing experts and technocrats will lead all to ‘the promised land,’ to dole out ‘social justice.’

4. In the current shorthand, let's call this capitalism versus Marxism.

1. true

2. When states rights conservatives attack the Constitution they attack 'the people' as a nation. Conservatives often go against the people. It's a myth that they are for the people and others are not.

3. Another myth.

4. Let us not.
 

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