Monday, February 28, 2011

Cannabalism in America

I posted a silly picture yesterday, but despite the comical nature of it, the comment section soon turned to politics. The Wisconsin union fight was the most noted topic. Then I got an email from an old friend asking about my opinion on the organized labor controversy. You want the short answer to the organized labor controversy?

The Super Rich are eating America.

No matter what you think of Mother Jones, the statistics in "Eleven Charts that Explain Everything that's wrong with America" all come from bullet-proof sources.

The top one-hundredth of one percent (of Americans) ... make an average of $27 million per household. The average income for the bottom 90 percent of us? $31,244--Mother Jones

For all you righties smugly nodding to yourselves as Gov. Scott Walker kneels on the necks of teachers and publicly fellates the Koch brothers, you are simple pawns.

The Super Rich love it when one working class man is pitted against another working class man. They love abortion rights and gun control, to be sure. Those keep us infighting a-plenty. But this new union controversy is the grand daddy of middle class civil war.

This is not a fight about left and right. It is a fight whereby the Super Rich are further enslaving and cannibalizing the rest of America. Whether you're a blood red rightie veteran or a midnight blue leftie tenured teacher, they will eat you.

Anybody remember the phrase United We Stand?

Now then, will you be fighting the terrible beast as he sinks his teeth into your entrails or will you be waving an American flag?

* * *

109 comments:

Bill said...

Simple pawns? Are simple pawns those Americans that go about their lives, working hard and thinking; "why should people working at the DMV make 30% more than me, a nurse practioner?"? Or are simple pawns those people not showing up for work, chanting childish slogans, giving a big chunk of their, tax payer funded, pay to the union bosses who use it to elect Dems to keep the scam going?

Bill said...

A possible pawn:
http://bit.ly/erZB99

Al the Retired Army Guy said...

Enslaved. Pawn. Funny, but it doesn't feel like it to me.

Al
TRAG

The Rev said...

Ask not what this country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. I think that says it all.

Mrs. C said...

So the Koch brothers and their ilk obfiscating reality in order to continue to schlepp America's wealth into off-shore accounts doesn't feel like slavery to you? Then you must be a "house Negro" as my friend field puts it.

VideoDude said...

Wall Street Bankers and Corporations make record profits in 2010. Rich get big Federal tax cuts. But the working class has to suffer and pay the bills.

The workers in Wisconsin have already made the financial concessions, but that is not enough. It is all about Union busting.

What happend to all the talk about jobs. Nov. 2 The Teapublicans said it was ALL ABOUT JOBS!!!! I haven't heard anyone talk about jobs in three months!

Tony Rugare said...

Great post! Before long we'll be back in the 19th century. Unions have their problems but so does the aristocracy.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

Ask not what this country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

Fuck you, country. I want my share before I do shit for you. I don't ask for much. Just cover my Playboy subscription for the rest of my life. ;)

Great post! Before long we'll be back in the 19th century. Unions have their problems but so does the aristocracy.

I'm thinking torches, pitchforks, storming palaces and beheading people. YES!!!!!

Rory L. Aronsky said...

So the Koch brothers and their ilk obfiscating reality in order to continue to schlepp America's wealth into off-shore accounts doesn't feel like slavery to you?

Which reminds me, I've never seen one governor suck cock so professionally. He must have learned it early on.

Mrs. C said...

I woulda said "obfuscating," but along with sucking, I think there's more than a little fisting going on...(Sometimes typos play to our intent, don't you find? ;-})

VideoDude said...

Here is Scott Walker getting punked on the phone. He thinks he is talking to David Koch.

This the transcript:

http://host.madison.com/wsj/article_531276b6-3f6a-11e0-b288-001cc4c002e0.html

Rory L. Aronsky said...

Oh I know the transcript by heart:

"Don't worry. I'll suck you off harder this time. You'll think I'm more powerful than the vacuum cleaner you use every morning."

Once Known as The Badger said...

Great post, Erin. This fight is so important. The Koch brothers, a pair of the smarmiest people in the country. You're remark about using guns and abortion to keep the infighting going is spot on. They don't really care about those things, they're just the cake they give away to those of us who think these things are important, while they go after all the money and power.

Erin O'Brien said...

Wow. Y'all are way ahead of me.

Someone said that yes, there are problems with unions and I wholly agree with that. Let the debates, negotiations, disagreements, and concessions (on both sides) live on and on.

Unions make concessions all the time. Teachers in Parma, Ohio, now pay 20 percent of their medical--on par with many private employee plans.

But President Koch & Co. don't want any concessions or negotiations. They just want more power--absolute power, which is why they're trying to bust the unions. So they pick an easy target (teachers, whose unions are riddled with problems) and "muscle" the point with other middle class Americans who are idiotically diving in to the fray.

The Right is winning, folks. They've been winning for 30 years. Our disgusting income disparity is proof positive. The Super Rich felt a bit threatened by Obama, so they doubled down on the rhetoric and Obama has crumpled at the knees (and damn if I didn't have faith in that guy).

When will the "center right" American people see through this sham? When 50 percent of the income is going to one percent of the people? 75 percent?

Probably never. They'll be happily sniffing at the feet of the Super Rich, scrounging at scraps in their ragged Sarah Palin tee shirts and crumpled 3-corner hats.

Leslie Morgan said...

I was a union rep for many years. I learned on about my second day that you motivate people with only two things. Greed and fear. You feed fear by playing to ignorance. the righties know that, too, of course. READ some of the comments of middle class people who consistently, rabidly vote against their own best interests! Watch them cower and suck it up. Tighten their belts a little. Make do.

The Super Rich are not only going to eat us, they're going to digest us and shit us out. It's not going to be pretty.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

So far, in this discussion, those on the left (or with seemingly left leaning sentiments, anyway) have offered these insightful tidbits:

Noun: Pawn.
Adjective: Enslaved.
Descriptions: "I've never seen one governor suck cock so professionally."

"I woulda said "obfuscating," but along with sucking, I think there's more than a little fisting going on...(Sometimes typos play to our intent, don't you find? ;-})"

"Ask not what this country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

Fuck you, country. I want my share before I do shit for you. I don't ask for much. Just cover my Playboy subscription for the rest of my life. ;)

Great post! Before long we'll be back in the 19th century. Unions have their problems but so does the aristocracy.

I'm thinking torches, pitchforks, storming palaces and beheading people. YES!!!!!"

"Oh I know the transcript by heart:

"Don't worry. I'll suck you off harder this time. You'll think I'm more powerful than the vacuum cleaner you use every morning."

Constructive dialogue? You make the call.

Al
TRAG

Anonymous said...

Hmmm let me think about this,, the US is number one in education thanks to the cooperation and support of the Unions for the past 50 years. Is this a true or false statement? Make excuses for continued Union representation in government agencies, whine among yourselves.




James Old Guy

Erin O'Brien said...

Everyone here is welcome to rant, Al. As you know, ranting may or may not make for constructive dialogue.

That said, you're point is well taken.

Erin O'Brien said...

No one here is denying there's problems with education and within any number of teachers' unions, JOG. That's not the point of the post.

Al, please add JOG's "whine" to your list of "constructive dialog" vocabulary items.

Leslie Morgan said...

All unions have problems and most of them acknowledge that they do. Shall we abolish them? I'm thinking not.

I'd submit that people at both ends of the spectrum claim "Those other guys won't engage in constructive dialog!" because neither side is committed to constructive dialog at all. Everyone simply wants to have what the need. We're all embittered. When we're not pissed off.

Erin O'Brien said...

Waiting for Superman was a pretty interesting documentary regarding our education problems. The film didn't have a lot of love for teachers' unions despite maintaining a leftie feel to it.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

I'd submit that people at both ends of the spectrum claim "Those other guys won't engage in constructive dialog!" because neither side is committed to constructive dialog at all.

That's not constructive dialogue! You're not a constructive person at all, you weenie! ;)

Leslie Morgan said...

Ha, Rory! I'm not a wienie, either. In fact, I am damned spectacular at swingin' a bat and smokin' a cigar in the name of the good cause. Good speech maker, too. But I'm twice your age (more, actually), have more miles on me for the good cause than the law allows and I'm freaking sick of almost all of it. Now I just want what's "right" (to coin a phrase), damn it, and not to talk any more. Tonight I'll put on my estrogen patch and tomorrow I'll appear as un-wienie as you'd like and as constructive as others may wish. But I'll still know what I know behind the June Cleaver smile.

Erin O'Brien said...

... I'll put on my estrogen patch ...

GAWD did that crack me up!

Leslie Morgan said...

Oh, Erin, you know how I get! Since I do need the patch tonight, getting into the rant has been kind of cathartic. I haven't done it here in awhile. I FEEL like behaving objectionably. Maybe I'll go lead a march or something.

Anonymous said...

Hmm ok more to the point and all those nice graphs,,7 of the top 10 richest congress critters are democrats. Face it, both parties are crooks, just depends on which lie you choose to believe.



James Old Guy

Once Known as The Badger said...

This is all well and good, but during the course of this, the gap between the super rich and the rest of is continued to grow. Why? Because you've all fallen for their divide and conquer strategy. They (the rich) love it when we bicker and fight and look for the ways we're different rather than the ways we're alike. We're all alike in that (unless you're one of *them*, which I doubt) they're getting richer while we are getting less and less, and what's worse, it takes more and more hours of work to get this "less". Fewer vacations are taken, fewer visits to the doctor, less leisure time, more work, greater productivity for a paycheck that buys less and less. Get a grip. This isn't about all those lame issues the right wing media feed you. Those are give aways. The Koch brothers really don't care about gun rights, abortion, gays, right wing, left wing, any of that. They care about money. Your money. My money. They want it all.

Anonymous said...

Didn't see this in the collective wisdom: for many years states underfunded pension plans.

alphadog said...

Look to your government for who benefits the most by keeping the middle class divided and enslaved.
Democrats and Republicans both are so deep in the pockets of big business that the distinction blurs. So long as we continue to enable the two party system to lumber along, conducting business as usual, casting token scraps of legislation and feel good moments to the supporting cast, we will remain in this age of endarkenment.
To paraphrase Billy Beck, we will not be voting ourselves out of this mess.

philbilly said...

"Hmm ok more to the point and all those nice graphs,,7 of the top 10 richest congress critters are democrats. Face it, both parties are crooks, just depends on which lie you choose to believe."

DingDingDing, we have a winner...

"Now then, will you be fighting the terrible beast as he sinks his teeth into your entrails or will you be waving an American flag?"

I shall be itemizing, amortizing, deducting, depreciating, sheltering in irrevocable trusts, indemnifying, building out my IP, trusting damn few, hiring even fewer, going armed, using Loctite, giving away nothing I have learned without due compensation, swilling cheap beer, chasing skirts, laughing loudly, cursing louder. And waving an American flag.

Bill said...

Daddy? Why aren't we rich? Because those righties are stupid and keep giving their money to the super rich and not sharing it with us. If they weren't so mean and stupid we'd be rich too honey. Now go outside and see if my welfare check is in the mail. Do you know what time Mommy's coming home from work? I'm hungry.

Anonymous said...

Something cataclysmic is about to happen. James Old Guy and I agree on something:

"Face it, both parties are crooks, just depends on which lie you choose to believe."

It seems to me a system based on creating surplus value-"profit"-by exploiting every flaw of human nature to create a winning edge in the market place is inherently corrupt. I think there needs to be a different system, not based on who has the most 'stuff." Until then I just wish people would be honest and quit paying lip service to concepts like "fair play." The Mother Jones charts are useful. A 12th might have been the graphic illustration of the demographics of the U.S. prison population. Such a graphic would illustrate at least 2 points. The U.S. is neither free nor fair.

RJ

Rory L. Aronsky said...

Ha, Rory! I'm not a wienie, either. In fact, I am damned spectacular at swingin' a bat and smokin' a cigar in the name of the good cause. Good speech maker, too. But I'm twice your age (more, actually), have more miles on me for the good cause than the law allows and I'm freaking sick of almost all of it.

You're the type of person that I look to as a hero, Leslie, the kind of solid toughness that I want to embody one day. Thank you for treading a path I'll proudly follow. I hope for better days like anyone does, but I know that for the battles, you've got to be ready. :)

Rory L. Aronsky said...

trusting damn few.....chasing skirts, laughing loudly, cursing louder.

I'll join you, and I don't mind having to earn trust. :)

Bill said...

88% of "working" Americans do NOT belong to a union. Who appointed the union bosses as representatives of the "working" class? Most of us do not want our tax dollars used to pay union dues (public employee unions) so they can be used to elect politicians who keep the union scam going.

Leslie Morgan said...

I'm not a hero by any definition. Not even very special. Just another fire-in-the-belly true believer who feels that the weary load is getting heavier than ever. It's good to know there are good people coming up to replace the old, tired dogs.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

I'm not a hero by any definition. Not even very special. Just another fire-in-the-belly true believer who feels that the weary load is getting heavier than ever.

Leslie, a hero doesn't always have to be THAT definition. Not all my heroes come from Mount Olympus, per se.

Bill said...

The best teachers I know of, here in the SF Bay Area, are in the private, usually Catholic, schools and they do not belong to unions and they get paid less. Most of the Catholic High Schools send a huge majority of their students on to college. The union has zero to do with quality education.

Leslie: What's this dreary load, getting heavier, you speak of?

Al the Retired Army Guy said...

My hero? My Mother, Josephine, who bore nine children and did a damned goo job of raising them. All five sons have college educations (without a lot of government aid, I might add), one sister is a lawyer, another a bank officer, another a legal secretary. My sister Michelle has talent in singing, acting and dancing well beyond my capacity for such endeavors.

Well done, Jo.

Al
TRAG

Anonymous said...

"Who appointed the union bosses as representatives of the "working" class?"-Bill

By their nature organization leaders become spokes people for their membership. It's not really a difficult concept.

Union contributions to working people:
5 day work week
8 hour day
child labor laws
minimum wage
OSHA

You wanna see what unregulated capitalist workplaces looked like google Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.

I love how unions have been demonized by the "Right." Ronald Reagan was President of The US from 1/81-1/89. Contrary to popular opinion he did not end "The Cold War' or "Tear Down The Wall" without some help. Including:
"Solidarity", the first non-communist party-controlled trade union in a Warsaw Pact country. In September 1981 Solidarity's first national congress elected Lech Wałęsa as a president and adopted a republican program, the "Self-governing Republic". The Polish government attempted to destroy the union with the martial law of 1981 and several years of repression, but in the end it had to start negotiating with the union. Walesa was a darling of "The West." Unions. Yes.

RJ

Rory L. Aronsky said...

Al, that is not a hero. That is Saint Josephine.

Erin O'Brien said...

I give up trying to keep up with you people.

For the record, some of Bill's comments are getting auto-spammed. I am NOT going to make obnoxious comments about the fact that it's ONLY Bill with this problem, but everyone should note that it is ONLY Bill. (Just typing that will--of course--probably expand the trouble to all commenters).

Your humble hostess is working with the IT department here at the Offices of Erin O'Brien in order to fix the problem, but frankly, it's very likely the work of a gremlin, with which the Offices of Erin O'Brien has a lot of trouble.

Senor Kaboom said...

Rich: getting richer
Poor: getting poorer
Proof: provided by EOB
Republican party manifesto: keeping it that way
Those who don't see this and keep voting for them: blind
History lesson: France, late 18th century

Bill said...

Erin: Thanks

RJ: As usual, you take part of my comment, pretend to be addressing it but just change the subject with an example of your knowledge of, in this case, Poland.

Kaboom: The comparison to 18th century France is laughable.

Bill said...

Louis Farrakhan agrees with some of you:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/this-is-the-day-of-your-doom-farrakhan-says-mideast-uprisings-will-come-to-americas-door/

tomH said...

As a frequent reader of EOB, I was wondering when this "discussion" would break out. As one who is also the spouse of a Lakewood Schools teacher, who is now, for the first time in 19 years contemplating a career move, I feel compelled to comment.
The coordinated, national attacks on Unions, which are wholly and completely a tactic of FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity and other soft $$$ front groups, will succeed in tearing the already frayed fabric of the middle class apart.
And the saddest, most unrelentingly tragic component of that rip is the laughter from the distance which the "super rich" are guffawing while otherwise decent, middle to upper middle class white people do their dirty work.
I respect the rights and responsibilities of all commentors here and elsewhere, but ultimately, I wonder, are those folks you constantly shill for ever going to write on a blog, hold up a sign or even lift a finger for you?

Erin O'Brien said...

Welcome Tom H. Now EVERYONE DIG WHAT I'M ABOUT TO SAY.

No doubt our system is riddled with corruption on both sides of the aisle. But y'all know damn well the Super Rich are 99.9 percent card carrying Repubs. Take Soros, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet out of the equation and the percentage gets even higher.

The Super Rich know that if you really want to fuck the little guy, you've got to ride an elephant and feed him pure gold.

CODE ORANGE NEWS ALERT: If the lefties had been winning any part of the ideological war over the past 30 years, we wouldn't have this filthy income discrepancy.

Bonus tip: Anyone who doesn't believe in Third World America is welcome to CLE for a dazzling tour of the Fleet Avenue neighborhood. The Super Rich are sucking the marrow from our bones, people.

VideoDude said...

Nov. 2, 2010 The Teapublicans: "It's all about Jobs." Nov. 3: "We need tax cuts for the rich"(You know, the Tax Cuts Bush started, the ones that took our budget surplus and turned it into a deficit) Jan 1: "Union Busting".

The Teapublicans to the American working class: Let's party like it's 1899!


No one has mentioned jobs in months. If the Teapublicans keep the economy bad and unemployment high, then that is their best hope to get rid of Pres. Obama. Like Mitch McConnell said last year, " Our Number one priority is to make Pres. Obama a one term president". Not jobs, the deficit, or the economy!

The Teapublican Party, wholly owned subsidiary of the Koch Brothers!

Bill said...

Tom H. I can lift a finger for myself, hold my own sign, pretty much speak for myself. The problem of the left? Wishing or expecting someone elst to do that, and other things, for them.

VideoDude said...

Take away the jobs with incentives to send them overseas. Crash the economy so 1,000's are out of work, then blame the unemployed and for being lazy and stupid.

When informed that proposed Teapub tax cuts could cost 100,000's of jobs. Mr Boner's answer: "SO be it!"

How much more evidence do you need?


Every economist, left and right, has said the worst thing we could do for the economy is cut budgets and spending. Teapublicans have their road back to the White house...Keep the economy bad and unemployment high and blame it all onh the evil Libs! Thagt is all they can do, they have no answers.

Bill said...

Videodude: You think public empoyee unions solve this? The tools are those non union libs doing the bidding for 12% of the population getting fatter pay and benefits than the rest of the working class.

VideoDude said...

Bill,

If the Teapublicans really cared about the economy, budget and job growth, why don't they cut their own salaries and benefits?

No the unions won't solve this, Bill. It's about rights! It's called workers rights. How does busting the unions solve these problems? It doesn't. But the Teapublicans have all us us arguing about Unions, instead of the importnat issues! I would rather be a "TOOL" for the rights of the workers then a "TOOL" for the Koch brothers backed Teapublican Party!

The WI Unions gave in to the demands of the Gov., but that wasn't enough. Again I ask, How does collective bargaining hurt the economy? If it does, is its imapct as bad as tax cuts and tax incentives to send jobs overseas!

Where are the Jobs, Mr. Boner!

VideoDude said...

On 9/12/01 they were hereos. Now they are evil Unionists. So much for "United We Stand".

Bill said...

Videodude: I have rights. I've never belonged to a union. Union members aren't evil. Public employees should not have the right to stike. As a business owner I used to hire union members. I had to in order to get jobs in SF. The workers are ok. The union management were thugs. An opinion from the real world.

Vince said...

Yeah, but I'll bet ya you've yet to get to the stage where mortgage tax relief is greater than the dole.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

"Welcome Tom H. Now EVERYONE DIG WHAT I'M ABOUT TO SAY.

No doubt our system is riddled with corruption on both sides of the aisle. But y'all know damn well the Super Rich are 99.9 percent card carrying Repubs. Take Soros, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet out of the equation and the percentage gets even higher.

The Super Rich know that if you really want to fuck the little guy, you've got to ride an elephant and feed him pure gold.

CODE ORANGE NEWS ALERT: If the lefties had been winning any part of the ideological war over the past 30 years, we wouldn't have this filthy income discrepancy.

Bonus tip: Anyone who doesn't believe in Third World America is welcome to CLE for a dazzling tour of the Fleet Avenue neighborhood. The Super Rich are sucking the marrow from our bones, people."

99.9% Card Carrying Republicans?

Check this out, from 2006, Yes, it's the National Review, but the author cites data from a non-profit, non-partisan organization.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/219081/party-rich/peter-schweizer

A Google search also turned up numerous articles that noted that the Democrats/Liberals outspent the Republicans in the last elections (and have been doing so increasingly in recent years). My search also provided numerous links to articles showing that the the richest places in the Union overwhelmingly elect Democrats.

The truth is there are rich on both sides of the coin, period. I'm going to continue to look for better data, but I think the assertion that 99.9% of the rich is a specious argument if my initial research is any indication. We'll see, I guess.

Al
TRAG

Erin O'Brien said...

Um, Al? The link you reference is from 2006.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

Erin,

I noted the date in my initial post.

My research turned up lots of information, from as long ago as 2003 up to the present day stating that the Democrats outspent Republicans during recent elections, and that the richest areas in America tend to elect Democrats rather than Republicans. Here are a few examples ...

http://www.aolnews.com/2010/10/29/opinion-which-is-the-party-of-the-rich/

http://jammiewearingfool.blogspot.com/2010/08/shhh-rich-democrats-are-getting-richer.html

http://www.americandaily.com/article/165

http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2008/10/13/the-rich-support-mccain-the-super-rich-support-obama/

http://www.heritage.org/research/commentary/2007/11/democrats-wake-up-to-being-the-party-of-the-rich

http://www.slate.com/id/2175725/

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1929579/posts

http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/democrats-party-rich

Al
TRAG

sleepydog said...

Well,
Let's not delude ourselves that the unions are fighting for all of us. The unions are fighting for no one but the unions, because the primary purpose of a union is to keep the union going. The union doesn't care about the gap between rich and poor, as my experience has borne out, because the unions seem to have no problem with the gap between a union employee making $25-30 to do a job (unskilled labor) and a non-union employee doing the same job down the road making minimum wage. When I was working in Detroit I couldn't get a job in a union shop because I wasn't in the union, but you couldn't get into the union unless you had a job in a union shop. So basically, f*** you if you're not in their little club and you just have to fend for yourself. So forgive me if I don't see it as simply as the rich vs. the poor or us vs. them, because unions have staked out their pissing grounds and they are fighting their own battles for themselves, not for the rest of us.

Bill the Wrenchbender said...

I've worked construction jobs alongside Union members, and got paid prevailing wage, even though I didn't belong to that Union.
I'm no expert on this subject, but it looks like the Union-busting is essentially a big "Fuck You" to Democrats as they get support from them. That, and Walker doing what he is most likely being paid handsomely for by the Koch bros.
Sounds like the Koch-suckers in office here in Ohio are going to do the same thing, what a surprise.
Just an opinion from a working class laborer ;)

Anonymous said...

Yo Bill,

Waaaaaay down here. You asked who appointed the union bosses representatives of working people and I gave my opinion about that.

Then I spoke to the general content of the thread by pointing out what I consider to be positive union contributions to U.S. workday culture.

Then I pointed out that Unions, now demonized by most identified as the "Right" embraced Solidarity during the Presidency of The Iconic Ronald Reagan.

These are seperate issues. I'm really sorry you can't comprehend parallel trains of thought. Now that I've clarified it for you why don't you counter the content instead of engaging in ad hominem attacks on my narrative technique.

RJ

alphadog said...

Has it occurred to any of you union supporters that the union is stripping you of your rights as an individual? Taking away your right to negotiate your own wage/working conditions, denying you, in the form of dues, to donate to the candidate of your choice?
I'm pretty damn good at what I do and I'll be damned if I'll let some self serving "negotiator" dictate to me how much I'm worth.
I have a great deal of respect for the apprenticeship programs that most of the trades have in place. But when to be a "brother" means you're expected to vote a certain way, support a certain candidate, not work because 50.001% of the members don't like the contract being offered, I call bullshit.

Bill said...

RJ: Yeah. I must have missed that. Nice job.

The Rev said...

1978
Jimmy Carter
Civil Service Reform act

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

Just found this:

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php?order=A

Note that the AFSCME and NEA are in the top ten in terms of money spent. I wonder where they get all that money from .....

Al
TRAG

P.S. The Open Society Institute, among others, funds this organization, which, as far as I can tell is relatively non-partisan, but I need to do a bit more research on it. There is some good stuff here - check it out.

Bill said...

Can you imagine? Los Angeles spends $30,000 per student per year? That's just hard to wrap your brain around. We really do need a voucher system.

Erin O'Brien said...

Them’s all purty links, Al, particularly the last one, but they don’t really prove anything about the political leanings of the uber rich population. Don’t feel bad, I looked and couldn’t find any either, but I still believe that Super Rich are mostly ideological righties. Maybe I’m wrong.

Erin O'Brien said...

Here’s the simple fact: Globalization is like water finding it’s own level, most notably with labor and standards of living. Mubarek leaves Egypt and the Egyptian people float a tiny bit above the $2 a-day lifestyle. Walker busts unions in WI and the American people sink a tiny bit closer down to it. Unions are like a dam protecting the American middle class standard of living.

Can anyone deny that the private unions are a mere shadow of what they were in the 1970s? Now just look around: you’ve got dual-income households filled with people up to their ass in debt. America sure as hell didn’t look that way in 1950.

Go ahead. Bust what’s left of the unions and watch income disparity get even worse.

Bill said...

The union is failing in the United States for the same reason Socialism is failing in Europe. That is because when you run out of other peoples money, you have a problem. We, in California, are totally broke because ass hole pandering politicians caved to every union demand and now we don't have other peoples money (read taxpapers) to continue to fund the fat benefits and salaries.

Erin O'Brien said...

Dearest Bill,

Asshole is one word.

Bill said...

Thanks Erin. What do you expect. I went to a high school that hired non union teachers. Assholes!

Here's another example of union greed: http://bit.ly/euhlI7

VideoDude said...

I ask again! What the nhell does collective bargaining have to do with budget cuts? Are the Teapubs afraid of having to negotiate i9n good faith? They keep saying evewryone must sacrifice! Why don't they cut their own salaries and benefits? Final question: How does cutting the budget and spending create jobs?

But here we are, debating the pros and cons of Unions, instead of taking care of the real problem. The Teapublican "tools" have to find someone to blame. They sure as hell can't blame Bush/Cheney or the bankers!

Bill said...

VideoDude: Public employee's should not have the right to bargain collectively. Only a few states, either very liberal or formerly very liberal, like WI, have stupidly given them that right. With a little luck, other Governers will will have the balls to follow Walker and we can get back to reality. Unions, in general, take away the individual's motivation to "do better", work harder, stand out.

VideoDude said...

Well,

Since your answer didn't answer any of my questions...AGAIN! What does collective bargaining have to do with UNEMPLOYMENT(JOBS), Budget Deficits and spending?

It wasn't the government employees who caused this mess (Except, of course, the elected ones)!

The average Wall Street Banker got 180,000 + in bonuses last year. The averaqge teacher in WI gets $48,000 per year.

Mr. Walker, where are the jobs?
Mr. Boehner, Where are the jobs?
Mr. Kasich, where are the jobs?

Bill said...

VideoDude:

It has almost nothing to do with jobs. Want to get rich? Don't join a union where you will receive exactly the same as everyone else. Want to make a name for yourself? Don't join a union where you will be the same as everyone else. If you can do the job of a Wall Street banker, get your MBA in business and go to work for a financial company and work your way up. A teacher works 9 months a year. It's a choice. I've never known of a teacher who became one because he/she thought they were going to earn $200k. You want to get along to go along? Join a union. Can't work at Safeway unless you join the union? Work for another store. It's not that complicated. Yes, this is about busting the unions. Good. Why do you care what someone else makes?

Erin O'Brien said...

Dear Bill: Congratulations on making the most ridiculous comment of the day. Love, Erin.

Bill said...

Thanks Erin. But, gee; I just read my comment and I think it's just brilliant. It's also accurate.

alphadog said...

Dear Erin,
Bill actually makes the most lucid comment of the day:

"It has almost nothing to do with jobs. Want to get rich? Don't join a union where you will receive exactly the same as everyone else. Want to make a name for yourself? Don't join a union where you will be the same as everyone else".

I say again, unions strip the individual of his right to be an individual. If one finds himself to be so mediocre or uninspired to break forth on his own, by all means join a union where you will be taken care of to the tune of someone else's idea of what you're worth. If you lack the initiative, the drive , the independence to be your own person by all means hook up with those who share your collective attitude.
But if you believe in your worth as an individual, your talent, your independent capability, your value not just to an employer but to your self, I don't see the attraction.

Anonymous said...

I can't care how much self esteem one has it is easier for an individual to negotiate a contract if one has the support of 1000's of others who will walk off the job if one gets fucked over.
How does an individual negotiate a fair contract with the State of Wisconsin, California, New York, etc. There is power in numbers. It has nothing to do with self esteem or rugged individuality.

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

Some people, gentlemen, are more driven to teach than to become rich.

Someone else's idea of what you're worth? I don't know many people in the private sector who tell their boss how much money they'd like to make and get it.

When you work for someone else, you take what he pays you and work under the conditions he offers. Some bosses are more reasonable than others. Some are generous. Some are assholes.

Union members also vote on contracts-a classic example of democratic process. What private sector non union employees get to do that?

And dare I add that every union, non union, public and private sector employee chose their career and can change it any time.

Erin O'Brien said...

And gents? You're officially in the minority.

Poll shows support for organized labor CBS News.

60% oppose taking away some collective bargaining rights of public employee unions.

33% favor

56% oppose cutting pay or benefits of public employees to reduce state budget deficits.

37% favor.

There's more similar stats in the New York Times.

Go listen to Warren Olney or Dan Carlin on this issue. They peel back the bullshit and show who's really to blame in the state budget game--shyster politicians who promised too much and played Santa when times were good, and the Feds, who are dumping more and more on the states as they face their own budget problems.

Erin O'Brien said...

Olney's show on this topic.

And what Carlin has to say.

Anonymous said...

Thought experiment: How long do you think guest workers would be anathema to "The Right" if the entire work force of the US staged a general strike?

RJ

Bill said...

Ha! The entire work force of the US is not going to stage anything. Most of us are not trying to "bring it all down man!" I wish every fucking union would go on strike. Let's see how long it would take to replace them with the unemployed non union, talent. About a nano second. I've been working since I was 12. I'm confident that my opinion is based on fact and real world situations.

Anonymous said...

If-Hypothetical. Nonresponsive sir.

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

FULL DISCLOSURE MOMENT.

I looked up "anathema."

alphadog said...

"Poll shows support for organized labor CBS News."
Thank you Erin for providing a non-slanted and unbiased poll from the ever so fair and even handed CBS news.
RJ,
Why would the entire workforce of the US stage a strike? And to what end?
Yours sir was an emotional statement and I have come to expect better from you.

Bill said...

RJ: I feel like I'm arguing with the professor. Cut me a break!

Erin O'Brien said...

Alph: Then read it in the NYT (from my link above):

Americans oppose weakening the bargaining rights of public employee unions by a margin of nearly two to one: 60 percent to 33 percent. While a slim majority of Republicans favored taking away some bargaining rights, they were outnumbered by large majorities of Democrats and independents who said they opposed weakening them.

Those surveyed said they opposed, 56 percent to 37 percent, cutting the pay or benefits of public employees to reduce deficits, breaking down along similar party lines. A majority of respondents who have no union members living in their households opposed both cuts in pay or benefits and taking away the collective bargaining rights of public employees.

Anonymous said...

It would be disrespectful to give you a break Bill. Only liberals need a helping hand.

RJ

Bill said...

lol. quite true!

philbilly said...

Soon enough this reality and the costs of energy and water will be all that really matters:

$

I am refurbishing and upgrading all my machines in anticipation of the "Buy American" boom that is coming. Also may have found an abandoned site with a rail siding for making algae under license.

When I helped rebuild a giant machine at Chrysler's Twinsburg Stamping Facility some years ago, one that had finally burned wildly due to decades of deferred maintenance, the union boys tried continually to sabotage us, really crazy shit. Some were also drunk at 6am.

But as independent free thinkers, angry lads who were paid only for our successes, driving our battered Toyota trucks, we outwitted them every time and brought the machine back on line. While the dinosaur leviathans, union and management, fought each other to the death, their factories and cars turned into shit. F'em both, and adios, suckas.

The new way is employee owned bidness, believe it.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

Erin,

"Them’s all purty links, Al, particularly the last one, but they don’t really prove anything about the political leanings of the uber rich population. Don’t feel bad, I looked and couldn’t find any either, but I still believe that Super Rich are mostly ideological righties. Maybe I’m wrong."

They don't? That places like Connecticut and New York (two of our most rich states by income) elect Democrats consistently isn't proof?

You are, of course, free to believe whatever you wish (BTW, I'm not suggesting you "need" to, or "have" to). We are still a free country. But I thought the links I provided at least cast some doubt on your assertion that 99.9% of the super rich are Republicans. Apparently, I was wrong.

The great thing about beating one's head against the wall is that it feels so good when one stops. I'm at that point now, and this is my last post in this thread.

Al
TRAG

Bill said...

Al: I'm still pounding. A little vicadin works wonders.

Philbilly: Trying to find something to argue, with you, about. No luck. Right on!

Erin O'Brien said...

You can't argue with Phil because he nails everything in detail instead of gassing on with vague and meaningless generalities.

That Chrysler facility closed last year, no? Bet those drunk six ay-emers are either dead or close to it.

Remember Danny Green?

My point is that I've been in CLE my whole life and Phil, you're points are well taken. I remember that shit. It was bad shit and it's one of the reasons that plant is closed (and free-market ideology reigned).

There's plenty of problems with the Union model, but the ones you cite were hella more prevalent "some years ago" (one detail you didn't nail--why?).

Drug tests. Lay-offs. Liabilities. Shrinking budgets. There's a whole world between the 70's style Rust Belt Union thug and a Wisconsin second grade teacher.

Now then, make no mistake--when it's time to pick kickball teams, I call Phil.

Al, your links mostly show labor organizations giving to leftie candidates. That money comes from a collective source--including the pocket of my second grade teacher's.

Erin O'Brien said...

Meanwhile, back in Ohio, the GOP smashes cops, firefighters and teachers alike, drastically reducing collective bargaining rights for all of them.

Much harsher than the WI legislation, the Ohio bill will also effect 350,000 workers vs 175,000 in WI.

Go America!

Bill said...

Here's another vague and meaningless generality: Ohio voters hired the GOP to try to stop the liberal insanity and the decay. Go America!

Bill said...

If that's too vague, google the election results.

VideoDude said...

First of all, the election, according to the Teapublicans Nov. 2, was about jobs. NOT UNION BUSTING!!!!

Bill said...

Well. I guess there will be some other consequences. Do you think the "teapublicans" will be voted out next time? If so, will the libs bring back all the things that the "teapulicans" had the balls to get rid of?

VideoDude said...

You mean like workers rights!

So the fact they lied to get elected means nothing to you?

I don't understand, when corporations, Republican Tax Incentives, and Wall Street Bankers caused this messs, But it is all the fault of the public workers, you know, police, fireman, teachers, nurses, etc.

By the way, when did firefighters and police stop being heroes and becamre villains. Anyone here remember 9/11.

It is an out and out lie that public sector employees make more than private sector. That is total and utter BS! (Unless you include the salaries of the over paid elected officials)

The republican answer to preparing us for the future: cut education!

VideoDude said...

Faux News Poll: 48% Of WI likely voters support Gov. Walker! That's a minority! Even Faux News can't hide the truth!

Bill said...

Dude: It's NOT the fault of union workers. It's the fault of the whimp ass politicians willing to sell their souls to get elected. Politicians lie? That's not exactly a news flash. Regarding the poll: I would love to see a politician do what's right, without regard to some poll, without regard for the next election. One can hope.

VideoDude said...

Polls show the will of the people. So you would rather politicians not listen to the people. Just the Koch brothers!

If the politicians did what was right without regard for the next election. They would raise taxes, right now, increase spending, and get this economy going. End the tax incentives for Corporations to send jobs overseas. End Tax subsidies to the Oil Companies.

Bill said...

Yes. Polls do show opinion but polls show the spin of the pollster too! Elections show the will of the people.

VideoDude said...

Are you saying that Faux News is spinning its poll? A right wing media outlet spinning a poll against the right wing! HUH?????

The arguments have run out, obviously! I AM DONE!

Anonymous said...

Philbilly:

"The new way is employee owned bidness, believe it."

We have a winner. However PB I don't think having the means of production owned by the workers is a particularly new idea.

RJ

Kirk Jusko said...

Amen, sister.

philbilly said...

Erin, the time I spent at Chrysler was mid-90's. I did not realize at that time I was watching the end of traditional American manufacturing as I traveled from steel plants to foundries to assembly plants as an automation tech.
I also didn't point out that a very strong Black middle class arose near that plant from the jobs and good wages. Since 2000, 44,000 manufacturing plants have been shuttered in the US.
Increases in productivity from automation and employee sophistication should translate into higher quality, and lower costs, i.e., competiveness in the global markets ensuring job and wealth creation. Hasn't happened. Just a short-sighted battle for the 19th century-modeled piece of a pie.

I am not fundamentally opposed to unions. I think they are most effective when the work is by necessity physically demanding and/or dangerous,e.g., cops and firefighters, or the workforce is fungible, meaning anyone with basic skills and a back can do the work. This latter group are historically the most at risk for exploitation.

At the point when a discrete labor pool becomes sophisticated via technology and contractual participation in standards organizatins,like ISO, and the members are squarely in the middle class, employee stock ownership and prfessional societies make more sense to me.

In my view, the potential greed of the corporate owners are often just replaced by corrupt union leadership, which historically has also been frequently infused with organized crime.

Killing the goose that lays the golden egg, donchyaknow.