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Thread: The Essence of Trickle Down

  1. #1

    Default The Essence of Trickle Down

    The Supremes will weigh in on a little dispute.
    Union fees: why on earth should anyone pay those?
    I mean unions (unlike corporations) aren't even real people.

    http://business.financialpost.com/pm...-sector-unions

    Having failed to make unions illegal, this is the next best thing.
    Ja-mata TosaInu

  2. #2
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    On the narrow issue of whether unions can take your money for a service you don't want to me the answer is clearly "no" - in the same way any other company can not just help itself to my money and tell me it is offering a service. Leave that sort of theft to the State!

    Unions are even in their deeply flawed state a necessary evil. In an ideal world there would be some system of audit to ensure the leadership are not just bought by the company they represent the workers of.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    It is a little ironic that you can make that statement:

    No, they should not have any resources to do what they do: Yes, they should exist.

    Most union members I know wouldn't have it any other way; better pay, health, dental maybe even a retirement program.
    The bloody history of how we got to a point where many don't see them as necessary is lost in time.
    Looking at how labor is treated where unions do not exist, tells me little has really changed.
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  4. #4
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Quote Originally Posted by HopAlongBunny View Post
    It is a little ironic that you can make that statement:

    No, they should not have any resources to do what they do: Yes, they should exist.

    Most union members I know wouldn't have it any other way; better pay, health, dental maybe even a retirement program.
    The bloody history of how we got to a point where many don't see them as necessary is lost in time.
    Looking at how labor is treated where unions do not exist, tells me little has really changed.
    They should have the resources from those who agreed to receive the service. Otherwise why should they do a good job? They can take the money - even when the person doesn't want it taken. Again, leave that to the State.

    I am well aware of how bad things were before unions. And certainly in Europe much of what Unions fought for is now codified in Law which does make them a lot less relevant: the work environment I have is covered by Health and Safety laws, not the agitation of the work-site union. They still have relevance, but deaths in factories,, shipyards and mines is not a common occurrence.

    The bosses of unions are mainly concerned about themselves, as is to be expected - in the UK they'll easily take home over £100k for what is a much easier job than those who they represent. But hopefully they do in the meantime do something to help those who pay them beyond the potted statements every time there are job losses.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
    If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.
    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

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  5. #5

    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    I agree with most of what you say.
    There are good unions/bad unions; even within the same union, representation of different parts can lead to variable outcomes.
    If there was a way to do away with unions and maintain the same voice for labor, I don't think many would object.
    The problem, is people
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  6. #6
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Quote Originally Posted by HopAlongBunny View Post
    I agree with most of what you say.
    There are good unions/bad unions; even within the same union, representation of different parts can lead to variable outcomes.
    If there was a way to do away with unions and maintain the same voice for labor, I don't think many would object.
    The problem, is people
    American unions are, all too often, out of step with their members needs. They are voluntary in most places. If you join, you agree to pay the dues.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

  7. #7

    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Indefinite wildcat strike in West Virginia.

    ALL public school teachers have walked out, rejecting negotiated concessions to the union.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    They should have the resources from those who agreed to receive the service. Otherwise why should they do a good job? They can take the money - even when the person doesn't want it taken. Again, leave that to the State.

    I am well aware of how bad things were before unions. And certainly in Europe much of what Unions fought for is now codified in Law which does make them a lot less relevant: the work environment I have is covered by Health and Safety laws, not the agitation of the work-site union. They still have relevance, but deaths in factories,, shipyards and mines is not a common occurrence.

    The bosses of unions are mainly concerned about themselves, as is to be expected - in the UK they'll easily take home over £100k for what is a much easier job than those who they represent. But hopefully they do in the meantime do something to help those who pay them beyond the potted statements every time there are job losses.

    How do you prevent the free rider issue?
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

  9. #9
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    On some issues you can't - such as Health and Safety. Others such as pay negotiations would only be available for unions under collective bargaining.

    But it is for the Unions to demonstrate value.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
    If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.
    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

  10. #10

    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Indefinite wildcat strike in West Virginia.

    ALL public school teachers have walked out, rejecting negotiated concessions to the union.
    It continues.

    http://wvde.state.wv.us/closings/at-a-glance

    Vitiate Man.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    How do you prevent the free rider issue?
    In a right-to-work you cannot prevent this, save by "guilting" those who benefit freely into joining.

    In a closed-shop it is not an issue. Though closed-shops in our past have been part of the reason for the migration to the "Sun Belt."
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I chuckled as this is a website usually used for seeing if your county is taking the day off for snow.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

  13. #13

    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Teachers might be getting ready for the long haul after Virginia Senate bounces pay raise:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-w...-idUSKCN1GE0AH

    It seems there is "no money" for raises, shouldn't we be talking about tax-cuts?":

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/h...b0a0ba4ad3513b

    It's just enough to make one lose faith in the "lower taxes and they will come" religion of the Right
    Ja-mata TosaInu

  14. #14

    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    More interesting aspect to me is that in an age of withered "Big" Labor and co-opted union bureaucracy it's a rare example (since the 1970s) of small-d democratic mass action... in action, folks.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    More interesting aspect to me is that in an age of withered "Big" Labor and co-opted union bureaucracy it's a rare example (since the 1970s) of small-d democratic mass action... in action, folks.
    True enough. Most locals won't take on the international like that.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

  16. #16
    Ni dieu ni maître! Senior Member a completely inoffensive name's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    On some issues you can't - such as Health and Safety. Others such as pay negotiations would only be available for unions under collective bargaining.

    But it is for the Unions to demonstrate value.

    Tell me why is it more legitimate to enjoy the rewards of other's hard work (the benefits of being in a union defended industry), for free rather than forcing them to pay for a service that they are in fact using?

    I have a suspicion it is simply a knee jerk reaction to an abstract notion of 'taxation without representation' without the self-awareness that your representation is, in practice, not contingent on whether your name is on the official roster or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    In a right-to-work you cannot prevent this, save by "guilting" those who benefit freely into joining.

    In a closed-shop it is not an issue. Though closed-shops in our past have been part of the reason for the migration to the "Sun Belt."
    Well we currently do have a solution in place, the thread is about the potential repeal of it...
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

  17. #17
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    Tell me why is it more legitimate to enjoy the rewards of other's hard work (the benefits of being in a union defended industry), for free rather than forcing them to pay for a service that they are in fact using?

    I have a suspicion it is simply a knee jerk reaction to an abstract notion of 'taxation without representation' without the self-awareness that your representation is, in practice, not contingent on whether your name is on the official roster or not.
    A service they are in fact using? There is no evidence that they are using it - and given the Unions get the money regardless of what they do, there is no incentive for them to do anything useful.

    You appear blinded by the belief that Unions give value to all and appear to require no evidence to support this. I am still waiting to have some evidence of what use they provide and why this can not be limited to those that pay their dues.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
    If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.
    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

  18. #18
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    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    A service they are in fact using? There is no evidence that they are using it - and given the Unions get the money regardless of what they do, there is no incentive for them to do anything useful.

    You appear blinded by the belief that Unions give value to all and appear to require no evidence to support this. I am still waiting to have some evidence of what use they provide and why this can not be limited to those that pay their dues.

    I'm just posing a question. Your response to my original question, how do you stop the free rider problem was "On some issues you can't. Others such as pay negotiations would only be available for unions under collective bargaining."

    So I am following up to the first sentence by saying that for those issues which you can't, why would we accept the first scenario I gave (acceptance of free riding) over the second (compelling compensation). Unless you mean that it is actually impossible to compel a reasonable compensation for certain benefits...

    For the second sentence:
    I'm not an economist, I don't pretend to know the ins and outs, but these are my 8pm thoughts...

    With a market where the non union workers are not covered by pay negotiations, and both types of workers are able to freely compete for jobs, there is an incentive to push towards more non-union and fewer union members since the union workers price themselves higher than the non-participants. My previous thought should be more elaborated/clarified to state that non-union employees are the very least 'indirectly benefiting' since even if the terms of the collective bargaining do not directly apply to them, they have the ability to undercut a large portion of their competition for jobs by pricing themselves lower. The pressure for those in the union would be to either leave the union to be more competitive in the field, or the union would need to lower its demands (kind of defeats the purpose of the union if you end up making the same as the non-union member though). I have no pretense that the companies would be anything but ruthless in exploiting this in a manner similar to how Western European manufacturing jobs have largely moved overseas over the past 30 years. If we call that trend analogous to what we would see in a completely open shop, the current globalization trend seems to be that the equilibrium is heavily skewed towards those who price themselves very low and agrees with the 'race to the bottom' argument.

    If we enacted some sort of policy of closed shops only, it would be (I think) a violation of an individual's right to associate. I am not so much a lover of Unions that I believe people must be compelled to join an organization that may have different political priorities than themselves for a job.

    My point of view in all of this is in agreement to what you have said yourself earlier. That unions are the lesser or necessary evil when it comes to certain problems regarding labor wages, and is the closest to a free market solution for maintaining living wages. In a market where we could have:
    A. Open shop
    B. 'Union Fee' shop
    C. Closed shop

    B seems most palatable to me. If that means compelling non-union members to pay the fee, then I can accept that over the alternatives (depressed wages, infringement of rights).

    I am not even convinced of what I just wrote here, and I have my own issues I could bring up to undermine by own argument but I don't see how the enrichment of a relatively few, lazy union bosses is less tolerable than the concerns I have brought up here.

    I haven't spent this much time typing out an org reply in a while and I am now wondering why I ever thought I had the intelligence to write anything close to correct.
    Last edited by a completely inoffensive name; 03-06-2018 at 06:13.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

  19. #19

    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    It's hard for me to decipher the constitutionality itself of the question, which is the one thing that matters in the case above, but I have a suspicion that it would be plausible to weaken the precedent at least somewhat.

    On the other hand perhaps it presents a fresh opportunity, a backfire on conservative intentions. If unions aren't concentrated, practices fortressed, leadership locked in and co-opted by default, then perhaps we could see a new wave of radical grassroots unionist activity as unions compete to extract as much as possible from employers. Certainly laws against collective bargaining or striking should then prove little obstacle at the point where millions walk out in general solidarity across the country in rolling strikes. Modern communication venues, including crowdfunding, create interesting opportunities for activism.

    Of course, there might be no forthcoming replacement for legacy unions, in which case an unfavorable decision would further cripple labor power across the country. Employers might be poised to wield the law pro-actively to crush the fragmentary nascent union activity before it can coalesce around a cohesive movement. That's how they smashed unionism in its prime in the 1970-1980s, really, where the biggest and most entrenched industrial unions were hit first and hardest. If you bring someone to their knees in their full strength, is it really more of a challenge to cut them down as they're trying to stand?




    Thinking: Economic organization of labor is a capitalist principle. Political organization of labor is a socialist principle.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 03-06-2018 at 07:13.
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  20. #20
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    ...Thinking: Economic organization of labor is a capitalist principle. Political organization of labor is a socialist principle.
    And both, at their extreme interpretations, are dehumanizing.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

  22. #22

    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    And both, at their extreme interpretations, are dehumanizing.
    No, let me elaborate. Collective bargaining of workers is not just compatible with the "free market, it is a free-market principle; it's just the voluntary association of market agents cooperating to increase the value of a shared asset, I.e their labor. Yet at the same time, without overwhelming resistance the employers and capital owners in the market cannot tolerate labor association as a threat to their own interests. To advocate for the market clout of labor, political unions are called upon to counterbalance the political influence of organized capital. But successful political advocacy seems to require that political unions treat labor as a distinct class rather than a collection of individual workers (otherwise the union looks more like a retail Rewards membership). Treating labor as a distinct class usually, though not by definition, entails a rejection of capitalist class or even property- linked privileges.

    In short, old-school anti-capitalist struggle (political labor) relies on the capture of a fundamentally-capitalist structure (economic labor) that is in equilibrium laissez-faire capitalism basically suppressed.

    It's like a paradox, see? Maybe you could even call it... dialectical?

    Genuine question.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    West Virginia teachers and school staff wildcat strike ends after over a week on signing of 5% pay increase for ALL state employees; long-term grievances of tax policy, insurance premiums, and general education system troubles deferred

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-...306-story.html
    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2018/03/w...reement-budget

    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2018/03/w...to-work-unions
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  24. #24
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Now they're wasting 5% more taxpayer money for feeding their families with products from the private industry.


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  25. #25
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    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    No, let me elaborate. Collective bargaining of workers is not just compatible with the "free market, it is a free-market principle; it's just the voluntary association of market agents cooperating to increase the value of a shared asset, I.e their labor. Yet at the same time, without overwhelming resistance the employers and capital owners in the market cannot tolerate labor association as a threat to their own interests. To advocate for the market clout of labor, political unions are called upon to counterbalance the political influence of organized capital. But successful political advocacy seems to require that political unions treat labor as a distinct class rather than a collection of individual workers (otherwise the union looks more like a retail Rewards membership). Treating labor as a distinct class usually, though not by definition, entails a rejection of capitalist class or even property- linked privileges.

    In short, old-school anti-capitalist struggle (political labor) relies on the capture of a fundamentally-capitalist structure (economic labor) that is in equilibrium laissez-faire capitalism basically suppressed.

    It's like a paradox, see? Maybe you could even call it... dialectical?

    Genuine question.
    Dialectics presumes that thesis and antithesis yield to synthesis. What we have is an ongoing seesaw, not an integration.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

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  26. #26

    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Dialectics presumes that thesis and antithesis yield to synthesis. What we have is an ongoing seesaw, not an integration.
    I guess Taft-Hartley* and union shops would be the synthesis of labor unrest being de-radicalized and bureaucratically channeled, higher wages and high-level arbitration for less disruption. The Janus decision could be what breaks the synthesis and gets things swirling again. Certainly noteworthy that West Virginia is one of the more advanced "right-to-work" regimes in the country, with no collective bargaining or right to strike by public workers.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 03-07-2018 at 21:56.
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  27. #27

    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Thinking: Economic organization of labor is a capitalist principle. Political organization of labor is a socialist principle.
    To get synthesis as opposed to Seamus's seesaw perhaps you need something outside of the dialectic.
    What or who that could possibly be is open to speculation.
    Ja-mata TosaInu

  28. #28

    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Remember those school employees' strikes in several states earlier in the year? Mostly in red states?

    Labor mobilization is real.

    Six more incumbent Republican state House members in Oklahoma lost their jobs Tuesday, and all six voted against a tax hike used to fund a teacher pay raise.

    The tax hike on fuel, cigarettes and energy production was used to pay for an average teacher pay raise of $6,100 annually, the first salary increase in a decade. But 19 House Republicans voted against it, and many of them are paying for it at the ballot box.

    Of the 19 House Republicans who voted against the tax hike, eight have now been defeated. Seven others decided not to run. Only four have advanced to the general election.
    Why contain it? S'cool.

    Meanwhile, Missouri rejected "right-to-work" in a plebiscite.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 09-10-2018 at 07:33.
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  29. #29

    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Remember those strikes, the ones continuing to spread this year?

    Teachers and school workers almost single-handedly made 2018 the biggest strike year since 1986, at nearly half a million participants.

    Now, it kind of blows the out of us if India can have more than a hundred million striking every couple of years - in the same strike - but this is certainly a return to form for the US. Union leaders fomenting a general strike toward the climax of the shutdown last month was also encouraging.




    EDIT: Longer historical view. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, between 1947 and 1980 most years had more than 1 or 2 million striking total. Also, note the range in overall stoppages. Long way to go.


    Last edited by Montmorency; 02-15-2019 at 02:01.
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  30. #30
    Toh-GAH-koo-reh Member Togakure's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Essence of Trickle Down

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    How do you prevent the free rider issue?
    State of California civil servants must pay a "fair share" fee--significantly less than full membership, but still an expense. In my personal experience this didn't work out so well. When I had major issues I went to the union to see if they could help. They went through the motions but in the end were essentially effectless. I got the "well, you should have joined us." Union administrators and members of course do not view "fair share" payers in the same light--not by a long shot. It was a very frustrating and disappointing experience.

    Edit: heh, sorry. I'm grossly out of practice "foruming." Neglected to notice the dates this thread spans. Not quite a necro, but long past relevancy.
    Last edited by Togakure; 02-20-2019 at 21:05.
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