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Labor in America – What is the future?

  1. Jul 26, 2005 #1
    "Teamsters, SEIU split from AFL-CIO"
    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/8682415/

    "This Would Be A Very Painful Divorce"
    http://cc.msnscache.com/cache.aspx?q=2118733539359&lang=en-US&FORM=CVRE2

    "Democrats alarmed by labor rift; AFL-CIO president bitter, calls move by breakaway unions a `grievous insult'"
    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/8712926/

    I believe Americans are getting fed up with the lack of interest in their well being, whether it is unfair trade agreements, illegal immigration, loss of pensions, corporate corruption, and add to that Bush’s push for privatization of Social Security.

    If I were a foreign adversary who wanted to destroy America, I would be in favor of all the things above, as well as dividing America, engaging in a long war(s) of attrition, and removing democracy in any way I could--be it the Patriot Act, or suppressing the “free” press, etc. (I wonder who Bush really works for).

    The question in my mind is not so much the effects of union splits, but why. Union membership has dropped from something like 35% down to 8%, and it seems labor wants to regain power again. Perhaps we are seeing the beginning of revolt as it were, and hopefully this will carry through to a changing of the guard at the election polls in 2006 and 2008. Maybe this is good, not bad.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 26, 2005 #2
    Perhaps America will fall into a major recession and take most of the rest of the world with her. It might not be such a bad thing you know....

    Regards
     
  4. Jul 26, 2005 #3

    Pengwuino

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    Why would there be an effect at the election polls in the way you say? The AFL-CIO is one of the democrat icons in this country and is nearing the extreme of the left. A breakoff surely doesnt mean people are going even deeper into the left-wing ideology! I mean these people are workers, not savage ideological animals.
     
  5. Jul 26, 2005 #4

    Astronuc

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    Staff: Mentor

    except for the needless suffering and premature deaths. :frown:
     
  6. Jul 26, 2005 #5

    Astronuc

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    Just curious, and certainly no offense, but how does one qualify this statement. What is meant by "nearing the extreme left"?

    I think most union workers simply want fair pay for an honest day of hard work.

    Or am I being naive? Which is entirely possible. :rolleyes:
     
  7. Jul 26, 2005 #6

    Pengwuino

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    The AFL-CIO representatives are nearing the extreme left. And actually, it is naive to think they woudl want fair pay for an honest day of hard work. You join a union to get more and more just like you do when you join any political organization. The NRA doesnt want reasonable and fair gun laws, they want less and less. Environmentalists dont want reasonable environmental laws, they want entire industries destroyed.

    What group with a reasonable agenda ever gets a voice in washington ;)
     
  8. Jul 26, 2005 #7
    Not all suffering and death is needless.....
     
  9. Jul 26, 2005 #8
    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
    Yeah, and most bushies just want to make the world a better place for everyone.

    :rolleyes:
     
  10. Jul 26, 2005 #9
    Why do you suppose it is so hard for companies like GM to compete in the global market place?
     
  11. Jul 26, 2005 #10
    Well master townsend. please explain to us uninitiated why this is necessary then? or beneficial?
     
  12. Jul 26, 2005 #11
    :confused: I'm confused, GM is doing fine in the global market.
     
  13. Jul 26, 2005 #12

    Art

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    Simple - GM in the USA do not have a technological advantage over their competitors and so their competitors in low wage economies have a competitive advantage over them as they can pay their workers and suppliers a fraction of the cost an american worker could afford to live on at even the most basic level.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2005
  14. Jul 26, 2005 #13
    Exactly....

    America cannot compete in the global economy because of things like labor unions that keep the price of labor at an artificially imposed value. If the US economy were to completely collapse then perhaps we could undue the damage that has been done by things like the New Deal.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2005
  15. Jul 26, 2005 #14

    I say it would be beneficial because as of right now people believe that the government is there to protect them from poverty. As long as people rely on the government to maintain their standard of living they can afford to play such dangerous games like inflating the price of labor. Not only that but knowing that you can collect unemployment and welfare means that people are less concerned about keeping a job or even working to their full potential.

    My favorite analogy for the economy is the forest fire.

    If a forest fire burns down a bunch of trees in the woods alot plant and animals are going to die. Some people think this is a needless thing-but by preventing the occasional forest fire we set ourselves up for massive fires the cause much more aggregate damage than would have been caused otherwise.

    It is for that reason that I think it is long over due for the US fall into a major economic recession. Once the fire starts it will be impossible to put out...we will just have to let it burn out. After that new life will have a chance to start and maybe we will learn from the mistakes of our past.
     
  16. Jul 26, 2005 #15

    Art

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    I'm sorry but that is nonsense. If low labour rates were the key to economic success then countries such as Mexico and all of sub-Saharan Africa would be economic power houses.

    The way high wage economies gain a competitive advantage is not by driving down wages but by increasing value to the customer and by being innovative in their production processes to increase productivity. The problem with big, old companies such as GM is they are too set in their ways to make the fundamental changes they need to in the way they do business.

    A quintessential example is Dell computers. Michael Dell came up with the simple idea of only building computers to order and shipping direct to the end customers cutting out all the non-value added activity in between. The result is despite most of Dell's computers being made in high wage economies sales have continued to grow at a phenomenal rate at the cost of his competition in what is one of the tightest commodity priced items in the world.
     
  17. Jul 26, 2005 #16
    :biggrin: Bet you five bucks the anarchists come out on top in the next revolution.
     
  18. Jul 26, 2005 #17
    I never said it was key...but it is a factor.

    Do you have any idea how much GM has to pay out in pensions? That is a cost that no amount of innovation will reduce. That is a product of labor unions.


    I didn't know Mr. Dell came up the idea...I actually thought it was the guy who started Gateway 2000.

    The difference is that Dell is a new company and I don't think they have fight much with high powered labor unions. If they were an old company they would have a lot more problems. The initial cost of labor in America is nothing compared to the total cost of labor. I can't blame companies for wanting to out source as much as possible.
     
  19. Jul 26, 2005 #18
    There won't be another successful revolution smurf.....The world is way past that point.
     
  20. Jul 26, 2005 #19
    At least they make life hard for the big guys to give small businesses a better chance.
     
  21. Jul 26, 2005 #20
    Ah, not a "history repeats it's self" guy?
     
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