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Old 12-13-2012, 07:34 AM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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In defense of unions.

The goings on in Michigan have taken some time for me to process, what with a lame duck majority of Michigan Republicans busting the only real leverage unions had in one of the biggest union states in America. There's been a heated debate over it the past couple weeks, albeit not on this forum, and tempers have flown off the handle as fistfights have broken out on the steps of the capital in Lansing.

Makes sense, it's a really heated issue, and I see both sides of it. One one hand you have people whose wellbeing has been supported and improved by unions -- those people are going to be intensely passionate about what happens. On the other hand, you have people who believe unions are unfairly leveraged bully organizations attempting to soak a company's profits dry.

I see both sides of the issue, but I'm pro-union. I see how they are often derided and dismissed on this forum so I think it's time to take at least one post to properly characterize what unions are all about and to flesh out why they are such a positive thing.

There are many different kinds of unions, so I am not offering a defense of any one particular union, but I think all unions benefit from the below arguments:

1. A union is democratic capitalism at work.

Our capitalist society encourages everybody to work hard, earn skills, and maximize those skills for your own personal gain. That harnessing this capacity to improve your life will drive progress in society, spark innovation and improve overall quality of life.

Well, that's what every union under the sun is. A group of people have acquired a set of skills, be it to build something, teach something or serve something, and they've decided to maximize their gain from those skills by banding together and negotiating with those who employ them.

Conservatives typically argue that the wealthy are virtuous, because they are able to find advantages in the market that play to their favor. They often argue in favor of huge bonuses that are frequently untied to any accomplishments for people who run companies, because that's what the free market has designated as their worth. That's exactly what unions are all about. They find an advantage in their market that plays to their favor, and attempt to maximize their benefit.

2. They fight inequality.

Now, whether you like the result or not of those negotiations, as an outside observer, is irrelevent to capitalism. What matters is that a worker should earn his or her leverage and then play it in the market for their advantage. Busting unions is an affirmative action to keep the masses of middle class workers from exploiting the advantages of capitalism, while further enabling the wealthy to benefit. Which brings me to my next point.

Inequality is not inherently bad, but there is an inequality epidemic in this country. We are at a historic point of inequality where, primarily though tax policy, the wealthy retain more and more of their wealth leaving the rest of pie in smaller and smaller slices to be divided up amongst a growing population of middle- and lower-class folks.

Unions were an effective check on this trend for large swaths of society, but they've been systematically busted in about half the country's states in various ways, leaving employees only able to negotiate in small packs or individually -- which, as if I need to tell you, is almost always a negatory position. Busting unions hurts the middle class, and further entrenches more wealth at the top.

3. They are the lone agency for middle class workers.

And that's my next point, really. Even if you dislike unions, you can agree with me on two things:

(a.) The wealthier you are, the better represented you are in terms of lobbying and interest groups. There are any number of interest groups that fight specifically on the behalf of people who have more resources, run businesses, are wealthy. The poor have always been underrepresented, there is no Big Poverty influencing the actions of Washington, DC, or any statehouse for that matter.

If there were ever a Big Middle Class, however, it's unions. That's Point (b.).

(b.) There is no more effective organization specifically geared at representing the interests of middle and lower class workers than unions. Which of course is the real reason why employers, who otherwise would face only nominal opposition in their ability to raise money and influence politics, despise them so much.

Unions are incredibly effective at raising funds and turning out political participation among their members. If they were to be wiped from existence -- what existing organization could possibly take their place?

America is America because of middle class workers. Broader than that: a healthy middle class is critical to any society's ability to thrive. Take unions away, or at least largely defang them, and you risk a political system with hardly any serious support for the most important element of society.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:33 AM   #16
HonestChieffan HonestChieffan is offline
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Are you aware of how the free rider problem is a legit back breaker for unions?

Pretty bad for the economy on a grander scale. Ponder that
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:51 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Are you aware of how the free rider problem is a legit back breaker for unions?
I'm aware that giving workers a choice about whether or not to buy into the union reduces the power of the union. I don't think that changes anything though. Your argument had a huge flaw in that you claimed that union membership was voluntary when in reality, in non right to work states, it's coerced.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:58 AM   #18
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Giving workers a choice increases the workers freedom. And It expands the available work availability by removing the coercive power of a union over the employer. In the end the winner is the worker, the loser is the union power organization.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:07 AM   #19
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I am still waiting for the very first day this poster starts a thread that isn't promoting libtardedness.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:15 AM   #20
King_Chief_Fan King_Chief_Fan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Are you aware of how the free rider problem is a legit back breaker for unions?
as it well should be........union corruptness and the way they mishandle union pensions is reason enough for people to remain non-union.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:16 AM   #21
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I am still waiting for the very first day this poster starts a thread that isn't promoting libtardedness.
you won't live that long
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:18 AM   #22
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In my experience, the hard working union guy is not really very hard working. They have no fear of losing their job, they don't get raises based on merit, and they are very concerned with what everybody else makes. They also believe they are entitled to everything and that if you don't support the union (ie, the democrat party) you hate workers and are some kind of elite pig and an enemy.

True story. I'm at a party one night having a few beers and I get into a conversation with a big pro union guy. His uncle is the head of one of the unions in town. After expounding the virtues of the unions and telling me what an idiot I am, he relates a story his uncle, the great union man told him. His uncle said "You know being a real man means standing in a pile of shit sometimes, and the shit keeps getting deeper and the real man holds his head up and no matter how much shit you throw at him, he can just take it. That's a real man. That's a union man." My response:

"I think a real man pulls himself out of the big pile of shit".

We changed the subject.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:21 AM   #23
Iowanian Iowanian is offline
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The union man continue to stand on the pile of shit because he's an operator and they're waiting on a laborer to remove the shit.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:23 AM   #24
InChiefsHell InChiefsHell is offline
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The union man continue to stand on the pile of shit because he's an operator and they're waiting on a laborer to remove the shit.
That's no shit.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:53 AM   #25
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Nice dissertation on the protection racket.

Of course, I have to be careful and not hang around Steve Crowder when I talk. I don't want to get beaten by thugs who don't want their turf reduced.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:57 AM   #26
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you won't live that long
, indeed.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:38 AM   #27
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I was in a job where I had to be a member of a union once. I noticed right away that there was a lot of malice between the workers and management. The management would try to take advantage of the union workers at every opportunity. I thought, "Thank goodness there's a union to protect me from these ridiculous managers!"

One of the managers decided he didn't like me, mainly because I was more highly educated than him, and I think he saw me as a threat to his job. He got me fired, breaking/ignoring at least 3 different "rules" that were meant to protect me. The union filed a grievance, and guess what happened?

Nothing.

The company ignored the grievance, I stayed fired, and nothing ever came of it. Now I'm wondering what the point of the union was.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:39 AM   #28
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Are you aware of how the free rider problem is a legit back breaker for our country.
Fixed this for you since the democrats like freebies.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:39 AM   #29
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Now I'm wondering what the point of the union was.
To take your money and build a huge political power base.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:29 PM   #30
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If unions add value they should easily survive a right to work law.
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