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Labor unions betray actual progressive priniciples


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Labor unionism, according to the BLS, is far and away most concentrated in the state and municipal governmental sector, followed by public education and public utilities.  Maximum success of public sector unions requires maximum upward pressure on public sector budgets.  State and municipal public sector budgets need to balance on average (unlike the Federal budget, which does not need to balance on average because the United States is monetarily sovereign).  So where does the money come from to balance those non-federal public sector budgets?

 

It comes from taxes, rates and fees that are, relative to federal income taxes, regressive.  Exhibit A:  https://itep.org/whopays/

 

States and municipalities rely heavily on sales and excise taxes, for example, which have a disproportionate tax burden on the lowest income families.  Conservatives often call this "fair" because the rate is the same for everyone, but the economic consensus is that the progressivity or regressivity of a given tax is measured according to what proportion of income the tax consumes.  Conservatives don't like that angle, but that's just the way it is.  By any objective standard of measure, consumption and excise taxes that are so relied upon for funding state and municipal and other public sector budgets are regressive, at least relative to virtually any other example of taxation.

 

Labor unions routinely pivot away from this by invoking unrelated generic rhetoric about corporations and "the rich."  Anything that does not flatter unions seems to be always characterized as "an attack" that is bankrolled by "the rich and corporations and the Koch Brothers," for example.  This rhetoric is an attempt to create diversion away from the fact that unions' bread and butter is now the state and municipal public sector, which is funded disproportionately by taxes and rates that make it considerably harder on middle and lower income Americans.

 

Another foundational tenet of progressivism is to welcome change and adaptation to new paradigms and ways of doing business.  Union seniority clauses are not compatible with this.  The emphasis on seniority built into collective bargaining agreements has contributed to a greying of the government workforce (Exhibit B - https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2017/09/27/aging-government-workforce-analysis-000525) and decreased both the attractiveness and availability of public sector jobs to the millennial generation.  So seniority and tenure policies are the #1 most obvious contributor to why millennial union membership is dismally low by all measures despite the fact that millennials view unions very, very favorably (Exhibit C - https://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/10/26/why-millenials-love-unions-but-dont-actually-join.aspx.  It is not a progressive principle to cling to a 1950s notion of a 30-year career followed by retirement with full pension benefits for life.  That isn't the way of the world even now, much less in the future.  But this emphasis on seniority preference clauses and LIFO-based layoff policies that unions fight relentlessly for is based in the belief that it still does, can and should exist.  It doesn't though.  Millennials and future generations will not have 30-year careers doing the same job like that.

 

So despite the auto-alliance between liberals, Democrats and labor unions, unfortunately labor unions are backward-focused and generally cause a regressive effect on those not in unions and not in the labor force.  Unions seem to be reminiscing fondly on the post-World War II economic boom, attributing virtually all of the economic glory of those decades to themselves, and deluding themselves and others into thinking that only through unionism can that economic glory be re-experienced.  We have to be forward-thinking and be looking for a new paradigm, not trying to replicate the anomalous conditions of 70 years ago by believing a concentrated, moderately privileged group of unionized public sector employees will rebuild the middle class and raise the tide that lifts all boats. 

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3 minutes ago, Neomalthusian said:

Labor unionism, according to the BLS, is far and away most concentrated in the state and municipal governmental sector, followed by public education and public utilities.  Maximum success of public sector unions requires maximum upward pressure on public sector budgets.  State and municipal public sector budgets need to balance on average (unlike the Federal budget, which does not need to balance on average because the United States is monetarily sovereign).  So where does the money come from to balance those non-federal public sector budgets?

 

It comes from taxes, rates and fees that are, relative to federal income taxes, regressive.  Exhibit A:  https://itep.org/whopays/

 

States and municipalities rely heavily on sales and excise taxes, for example, which have a disproportionate tax burden on the lowest income families.  Conservatives often call this "fair" because the rate is the same for everyone, but the economic consensus is that the progressivity or regressivity of a given tax is measured according to what proportion of income the tax consumes.  Conservatives don't like that angle, but that's just the way it is.  By any objective standard of measure, consumption and excise taxes that are so relied upon for funding state and municipal and other public sector budgets are regressive, at least relative to virtually any other example of taxation.

 

Labor unions routinely pivot away from this by invoking unrelated generic rhetoric about corporations and "the rich."  Anything that does not flatter unions seems to be always characterized as "an attack" that is bankrolled by "the rich and corporations and the Koch Brothers," for example.  This rhetoric is an attempt to create diversion away from the fact that unions' bread and butter is now the state and municipal public sector, which is funded disproportionately by taxes and rates that make it considerably harder on middle and lower income Americans.

 

Another foundational tenet of progressivism is to welcome change and adaptation to new paradigms and ways of doing business.  Union seniority clauses are not compatible with this.  The emphasis on seniority built into collective bargaining agreements has contributed to a greying of the government workforce (Exhibit B - https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2017/09/27/aging-government-workforce-analysis-000525) and decreased both the attractiveness and availability of public sector jobs to the millennial generation.  So seniority and tenure policies are the #1 most obvious contributor to why millennial union membership is dismally low by all measures despite the fact that millennials view unions very, very favorably (Exhibit C - https://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/10/26/why-millenials-love-unions-but-dont-actually-join.aspx.  It is not a progressive principle to cling to a 1950s notion of a 30-year career followed by retirement with full pension benefits for life.  That isn't the way of the world even now, much less in the future.  But this emphasis on seniority preference clauses and LIFO-based layoff policies that unions fight relentlessly for is based in the belief that it still does, can and should exist.  It doesn't though.  Millennials and future generations will not have 30-year careers doing the same job like that.

 

So despite the auto-alliance between liberals, Democrats and labor unions, unfortunately labor unions are backward-focused and generally cause a regressive effect on those not in unions and not in the labor force.  Unions seem to be reminiscing fondly on the post-World War II economic boom, attributing virtually all of the economic glory of those decades to themselves, and deluding themselves and others into thinking that only through unionism can that economic glory be re-experienced.  We have to be forward-thinking and be looking for a new paradigm, not trying to replicate the anomalous conditions of 70 years ago by believing a concentrated, moderately privileged group of unionized public sector employees will rebuild the middle class and raise the tide that lifts all boats. 

This is rightwing propaganda - not responsible analysis. 

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5 minutes ago, RussianDisinformation said:

 

Stop lying. You are a pro shill. 

 

Don't be upset that I call some of your contributions uninformed paranoia.  Can't the fact that we agree about UHC be enough to bring us together?

 

8 minutes ago, Scout said:

 

Show me where any of them claimed your OP. 

 

They didn't.  The thread title is my claim.  The citations were support for the observations I was making.

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43 minutes ago, Neomalthusian said:

Labor unionism, according to the BLS, is far and away most concentrated in the state and municipal governmental sector, followed by public education and public utilities.  Maximum success of public sector unions requires maximum upward pressure on public sector budgets.  State and municipal public sector budgets need to balance on average (unlike the Federal budget, which does not need to balance on average because the United States is monetarily sovereign).  So where does the money come from to balance those non-federal public sector budgets?

 

It comes from taxes, rates and fees that are, relative to federal income taxes, regressive.  Exhibit A:  https://itep.org/whopays/

 

States and municipalities rely heavily on sales and excise taxes, for example, which have a disproportionate tax burden on the lowest income families.  Conservatives often call this "fair" because the rate is the same for everyone, but the economic consensus is that the progressivity or regressivity of a given tax is measured according to what proportion of income the tax consumes.  Conservatives don't like that angle, but that's just the way it is.  By any objective standard of measure, consumption and excise taxes that are so relied upon for funding state and municipal and other public sector budgets are regressive, at least relative to virtually any other example of taxation.

 

Labor unions routinely pivot away from this by invoking unrelated generic rhetoric about corporations and "the rich."  Anything that does not flatter unions seems to be always characterized as "an attack" that is bankrolled by "the rich and corporations and the Koch Brothers," for example.  This rhetoric is an attempt to create diversion away from the fact that unions' bread and butter is now the state and municipal public sector, which is funded disproportionately by taxes and rates that make it considerably harder on middle and lower income Americans.

 

Another foundational tenet of progressivism is to welcome change and adaptation to new paradigms and ways of doing business.  Union seniority clauses are not compatible with this.  The emphasis on seniority built into collective bargaining agreements has contributed to a greying of the government workforce (Exhibit B - https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2017/09/27/aging-government-workforce-analysis-000525) and decreased both the attractiveness and availability of public sector jobs to the millennial generation.  So seniority and tenure policies are the #1 most obvious contributor to why millennial union membership is dismally low by all measures despite the fact that millennials view unions very, very favorably (Exhibit C - https://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/10/26/why-millenials-love-unions-but-dont-actually-join.aspx.  It is not a progressive principle to cling to a 1950s notion of a 30-year career followed by retirement with full pension benefits for life.  That isn't the way of the world even now, much less in the future.  But this emphasis on seniority preference clauses and LIFO-based layoff policies that unions fight relentlessly for is based in the belief that it still does, can and should exist.  It doesn't though.  Millennials and future generations will not have 30-year careers doing the same job like that.

 

So despite the auto-alliance between liberals, Democrats and labor unions, unfortunately labor unions are backward-focused and generally cause a regressive effect on those not in unions and not in the labor force.  Unions seem to be reminiscing fondly on the post-World War II economic boom, attributing virtually all of the economic glory of those decades to themselves, and deluding themselves and others into thinking that only through unionism can that economic glory be re-experienced.  We have to be forward-thinking and be looking for a new paradigm, not trying to replicate the anomalous conditions of 70 years ago by believing a concentrated, moderately privileged group of unionized public sector employees will rebuild the middle class and raise the tide that lifts all boats. 

 

You are too objective for this forum, it seems.

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Did you know that some researchers believe those with higher IQs are attracted to liberalism because they are more open-minded re doing things differently than in the past?

They are open to finding new methods  and don't do things just because they have always done things "that way". 

I find this very intriguing because I have frequently mulled over why people are soooo set in their ways/can't accept change as easily as me. 

Turns out that they can't help it. 

:rolleyes: 

 

 

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But a lot of the 'unions' you are describing can't even legally strike so their portrayal as carrying a lot of weight is just bogus.  (Missouri NEA members have no right to strike, for example.)

 

Time to walk dawg....brb

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20 minutes ago, Scout said:

That is not a word I would use re that article. 

 

It wasn't an article, it was my commentary.  Some observations were completely objective and supported by evidence.  Other parts were admittedly subjective/opinion.   

 

21 minutes ago, RollingRock said:

Agreed.  Labor unions are sometimes the only thing that gives the working class leverage when it comes to decent wages and benefits.  I'm all for labor unions.

 

Of course unions have leverage.  It derives from exclusivity privileges they have to sell certain types of labor.  Even economists who view unions favorably acknowledge that they function as cartels, and the reason for their existence is to create contractual restrictions on available supply in order to insulate that labor from market competition and increase the price.  That's the whole point, and it's not like it's a dirty little secret or anything.  Everyone acknowledges it.

 

But unions represent such a minority of for-profit sector labor that they cannot possibly redistribute economic rents anymore.  What we require now is more effective government standards, regulation and policy concerning 1) public sector employment compensation, and 2) better provision for social welfare to those outside the full-time workforce.  Just because some don't, won't, or can't work, or no one wants to buy the skills they offer, doesn't mean they should suffer a horrible existence.  That requires adequate social welfare provision.

 

22 minutes ago, RussianDisinformation said:

You defended the biggest killer and thief in the the US. the health care industry so screw you liar.

 

So emotional.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Scout said:

But a lot of the 'unions' you are describing can't even legally strike so their portrayal as carrying a lot of weight is just bogus.  (Missouri NEA members have no right to strike, for example.)

 

Time to walk dawg....brb

 

You're right, at least partially, but usually the illegality of a strike is associated with a corresponding entitlement to eventual arbitration.  For example, in my state, what we call PERA Class 1 employees (public safety, hospital, corrections, 911 dispatch and emergency service) can't strike, but therefore they're entitled to binding arbitration.  Those in Class 2 or 3 can lawfully strike, but therefore are not entitled to arbitration, binding or otherwise.  Unions are known to be huge proponents of arbitration.  The IBEW for example comes right out and declares in its "Constitution" that it wants to resolve every single dispute with an employer by arbitration if at all possible.  That's pretty audacious and litigious, wouldn't you say?

 

Whether by striking or by arbitration, it's not bogus to say they carry tremendous weight in the state and municipal governmental sectors, public education, and public utilities.  Of course they do.

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19 minutes ago, Scout said:

Did you know that some researchers believe those with higher IQs are attracted to liberalism because they are more open-minded re doing things differently than in the past?

They are open to finding new methods  and don't do things just because they have always done things "that way". 

I find this very intriguing because I have frequently mulled over why people are soooo set in their ways/can't accept change as easily as me. 

Turns out that they can't help it. 

:rolleyes: 

 

I've noticed quite a bit of fascination around here already on the whole IQ thing and the idea that one political orientation is inherently dumber than the other.  I don't think that really leads anywhere.

 

But... conservatism and the GOP have definitely put themselves at direct odds with empirical evidence, mostly by decades-long pandering to the religious factions of their voting base.  Over time this has caused dramatic political polarization of education, especially higher education, and even some measurable differences in intelligence testing between liberals and conservatives.  It's a little bit interesting, but still, doesn't really get us anywhere.  You're not going to recruit conservatives from the GOP by insinuating they have low IQs.

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1 hour ago, Neomalthusian said:

Labor unionism,

 

 

Labor unions routinely pivot away from this by invoking unrelated generic rhetoric about corporations and "the rich."  Anything that does not flatter unions seems to be always characterized as "an attack" that is bankrolled by "the rich and corporations and the Koch Brothers," for example.  This rhetoric is an attempt to create diversion away from the fact that unions' bread and butter is now the state and municipal public sector, which is funded disproportionately by taxes and rates that make it considerably harder on middle and lower income Americans.

 

So you are saying that the rich and Corporations are not paying their fair share, thus putting the burden on the middle and lower income Americans. So make them pay more taxes.

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5 minutes ago, Neomalthusian said:

 

I've noticed quite a bit of fascination around here already on the whole IQ thing and the idea that one political orientation is inherently dumber than the other.  I don't think that really leads anywhere.

 

But... conservatism and the GOP have definitely put themselves at direct odds with empirical evidence, mostly by decades-long pandering to the religious factions of their voting base.  Over time this has caused dramatic political polarization of education, especially higher education, and even some measurable differences in intelligence testing between liberals and conservatives.  It's a little bit interesting, but still, doesn't really get us anywhere.  You're not going to recruit conservatives from the GOP by insinuating they have low IQs.

You will find that this lower IQ idea originates from one of our known racists.

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17 minutes ago, Neomalthusian said:

But unions represent such a minority of for-profit sector labor that they cannot possibly redistribute economic rents anymore.  What we require now is more effective government standards, regulation and policy concerning 1) public sector employment compensation, and 2) better provision for social welfare to those outside the full-time workforce.  Just because some don't, won't, or can't work, or no one wants to buy the skills they offer, doesn't mean they should suffer a horrible existence.  That requires adequate social welfare provision.

 

Oooops!  For some reason I thought you were a conservative....  :D   My bad. 

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2 minutes ago, shintao said:

You will find that this lower IQ idea originates from one of our known racists.

 

Ok.  Pretty weak thing to focus on.

 

Just now, shintao said:

So you are saying that the rich and Corporations are not paying their fair share, thus putting the burden on the middle and lower income Americans. So make them pay more taxes.

 

I don't know why you're trying to twist that out of the segment you quoted, but it actually demonstrates what I was saying about the uncomfortable pivot toward corporations when someone starts talking about the pressure public sector unions' seek to put on public sector budgets.

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19 minutes ago, Neomalthusian said:

 

I've noticed quite a bit of fascination around here already on the whole IQ thing and the idea that one political orientation is inherently dumber than the other.  I don't think that really leads anywhere.

 

But... conservatism and the GOP have definitely put themselves at direct odds with empirical evidence, mostly by decades-long pandering to the religious factions of their voting base.  Over time this has caused dramatic political polarization of education, especially higher education, and even some measurable differences in intelligence testing between liberals and conservatives.  It's a little bit interesting, but still, doesn't really get us anywhere.  You're not going to recruit conservatives from the GOP by insinuating they have low IQs.

 

I've only noticed it in the last day or two (Pete posted a bogus-according-to-Snopes article that started circulating over 2-1/2 years ago that conservatives had a higher average IQ than libs.)   Pete is the aforementioned racist who normally likes to post stats about black vs. white average IQ (as though it makes his IQ of 71 any less bleak).  :D 

 

I don't want to recruit ANY conservative, but independents are fine.   Too much baggage comes with the label 'conservative'. 

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1 minute ago, Neomalthusian said:

 

I've already convinced one person in the LO sub-forum that I am.  Some people think anti-unionism and liberalism are 100% mutually exclusive.

Perhaps the same ones that think liberals never own guns. 

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