Originally posted by MRuss
*UNIONS are largely responsible for the outsourcing of labor to foreign countries.
*Unions crippled the auto industry with exorbitant wages, benefits and self-serving union bosses.
*It is difficult to fire incompetent workers and reward ones who perform exceptionally well. This can distort incentives in the labor market.
*Unions have declined largely because they have become less relevant in a global economy...
*Unions have negotiated benefits in excess of company profits so much so that the airlines have had to declare bankruptcy and divest themselves of
their pension obligations in order to stay in business.
*Unions, through these ridiculously high wages for unskilled labor, exacerbate the demand for illegal alien labor.
MRuss, I didn't quote you in entirety, but I think you made some legitimate points that the thread seems to be ignoring, so far.
Here's the problem with making seemingly "true" statements, in a vacuum: Context
What is the relevant context here? Over the past few decades, as this issue has developed, what has been going on in the background?
Well, we have a huge shift in immigration laws in the 1960's, along with a cultural shift, along with a civil rights movement. Hmmm. Seems like a
lot. The '70's saw this chaos multiply, and trash the economy, as oil began to be used as the weapon of choice against the world. And the Wall
came crashing down in the '80's. A major shift in the international environment, leading to an "opening of the marketplace", leading to what we
call "globalization" today.
Obviously, we would have a very skewed vision of the world if we chose to lay most negative American business changes, solely at the feet of labor
unions, wouldn't you think?
Are unions "less relevant" in a global economy? Well sure they are, but wouldn't it be nice if someone realized that the "global economy" isn't
such a Utopia, especially now that we have the benefit of seeing how it's playing out? Isn't there a bigger question here?
Is there a "demand" for illegal alien labor? Of course! Is it really the fault of labor unions, or could it be that no one wants to deal with the
"impossible" border? Going deeper, could the fact that US and other intelligence agencies, who fund much of their operations through pushing drugs,
could this be one of the reasons that Mexico can never quite get out from under drug-lord oppression? "If" Mexico could somehow stop this massive
subversion, would their economy finally improve, perhaps enough to reduce the incentive to go anywhere they can earn money, since the opportunities
aren't exactly as available in their own nation, still officially considered in"revolution" by the State Dept.?
OR, could it be that unions are in fact a very bad thing? Well, YES, they could be, but for what reasons exactly? Could it be more because organized
crime has traditionally been given this turf to control? Does not the Mafia work hand-in-glove with the CIA?
To clear the air, lest I be accused of being too this, or too that, I personally see more harm than good to workers from unions. And it does
introduce another level of "power" (which is always abused) into the already difficult environment.
HOWEVER, "if" there were no unions, things would almost certainly get very bad for for the "slave class".
Allow me a digression here to explain. Since nothing is occurring in a vacuum, this is yet one more element we must introduce to get a better handle
on this situation.
There IS a slave class, I realize that it sounds inflammatory, but at least here I highly approve of the OP's use of the term.
Most people understand that there are peoples in other nations, such as China, and India, who probably should be considered "slaves", more or less,
considering their so-called "pay", and inability to find an alternative. And yet, we not only have such a class in most of the developed nations,
but some of these nations actually have policies in place to ensure that these slaves can seldom rise higher, generation, after generation.
In the USA, a severely class-segregated public school system plays an important role in keeping people "in their place". Theoretically, the black
person from Harlem has the same opportunity as the white person living in Manhattan, who both may attend their local public schools. But as we know,
one of these two is far more likely to end up flipping burgers, or sweeping floors. Some of this may be cultural, I wouldn't want to derail the
thread with all that, but the point is that the way things are set up now, we aren't likely to run out of burger flippers any time soon.
These "economically disadvantaged" people still must eat, and they are therefore always going to be easy prey for those who can literally "get
away" with paying them as little as possible.
SO, economically speaking, we have supply (of low paid workers), and demand (companies who must obey the economic imperative to make a profit).
These are indisputable facts, IMHO. And yet, when someone points out that 80% of people who work at Walmart are on government assistance, food
stamps, etc., no one seems to make the connection that Walmart is benefiting from that welfare! Is this even close to true "capitalism"?
Earlier I mentioned that things would get worse for this slave class, without unions, in spite of the fact that corrupt mafia infested unions are
"If" this constructive threat of an added layer of cost and complexity did not exist, then there would be very little to check an abuse that would
eventually tend to go just as far as it does in nations like India, and China, make no mistake. But as it is, this "threat" is there, and as a
result, unions perform this function for society, even when they have failed to measure up to their original intent.
In this environment, the luckiest workers are the ones who pay no dues, and yet still benefit from higher unskilled wages that would never have been
offered, if the labor market hadn't been forced to factor-in the "competition", the companies who have unions to deal with.
Sorry for such a long reply, but this issue is far from being as simple as pointing fingers at republicrats.