51
   

AMERICAN CONSERVATISM IN 2008 AND BEYOND

 
 
georgeob1
 
  0  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2012 05:31 pm
@reasoning logic,
reasoning logic wrote:

Quote:
Neither. However, I haven't observed either of the alternatives you cited.


Could it because you have the Right stuff along with a few other stuff?

http://www.ocdonline.com/articlephillipson6.php


No. You can read the earlier posts yourself and note the absence of the qualities in question.

Ate you familiar with the term "projection: often used in psychology?
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2012 05:35 pm
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:

Well they surely haven't convinced you. However you aren't everyone. What about the folks in Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan (please keep in mind the recent results of the referendum in Michigan),?


There was a referendum regarding Right-to-Work in Michigan? Here I thought that their legislature passed a bill and the governor signed it.

I note you left OH off the list, where the right-wing legislature and governor did exactly what was done in Michigan and were summarily slapped down by the populace for doing so.

Needless to say, I don't think that they necessarily represent the will of their population. We'll find out soon enough, as supporters of unions in Michigan are already gathering signatures for a Statutory Initiative, which will force a re-vote in the Legislature on it (which will fail) and then place it on the 2014 ballot.

Cycloptichorn
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2012 05:38 pm
@georgeob1,
Quote:
Ate you familiar with the term "projection: often used in psychology?


I have a problem eating or digesting many psychological explanations but I do realize that some psychologist are sociopaths. If you would like to go into detail about projection I am all ears.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2012 05:54 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
No. There was instead a referendum in Michigan proposed by the unions, calling for an amendment of the state constitution protecting the current status of union contracts, and thereby taking the issue out of the Legislature's hands. It failed by a substantial margin. I left Ohio out precisely because the RTW legislation was overturned in a fairly close vote in a similar referendum. Do you fault my methods here?

The UAW is indeed threatening continued action on the matter, but so far their prospects don't look any better than they did in Wisconsin a year ago. Michigan is hurting economically and is, outside of Detroit, traditionally a Republican state. Given the sad history of Detroit governance under Mayor Coleman Young and the earlier activities of Mayor Kwame Kennedy, and the current state of dissary in the city (despite the good efforts of its rather impressive current mayor Bing) , Detroit is not a very potent or respected example of good governance, and it's political stroke in the state (along with its population) is greatly diminished (indeed the city employee unions are preventing a negotiated solution to the city's disastrous financial situation - and that doesn't help either).

I think RTW is here to stay in Michigan.
georgeob1
 
  0  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2012 06:05 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:

Bold words from someone either unable or unwilling to support their argument with evidence, instead relying entirely upon polemic instead of debate, selective editing, factual errors and assertion to drive one's point.
Cycloptichorn
Bold word too from one whose earlier web citations have proven to come from union lobbying organizatioins and not the" objective sources" you claimed.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2012 06:16 pm
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:

Bold words from someone either unable or unwilling to support their argument with evidence, instead relying entirely upon polemic instead of debate, selective editing, factual errors and assertion to drive one's point.
Cycloptichorn
Bold word too from one whose earlier web citations have proven to come from union lobbying organizatioins and not the" objective sources" you claimed.


Attacking the messenger doesn't disprove the data provided. For that to happen, you'd have to present competing data that was more compelling. And I think we both know that that's not going to happen. I also didn't use the words 'objective sources' at all.

In the very post you mention, I specifically said:

Quote:
I'm sure other studies could find different results, but we shouldn't pretend that it's a cut-and-dry case of correlation. And it's a fact that wages and benefits are lower in so-called 'right to work' states:


The fact that the EPI is a union-affiliated policy organization doesn't disprove their analysis of BLS data regarding wages and benefits. Similarly, a study someone presents from AEI or Heritage isn't automatically false just because it comes from a GOP shop. It's just one more data point to take into consideration when forming an opinion.

Cycloptichorn
georgeob1
 
  0  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2012 06:23 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:

georgeob1 wrote:

I don't think that freedom from coercion is a small price. You may be more of a sheep than I, but that is your problem.


You say 'freedom of coercion' as if coercion isn't exactly what you support. You just disagree as to who should have the right to do the coercing. You want to have the right to be the one DOING the coercing and to have the law bar others from doing so.

Cycloptichorn


No, not at all. I would support unionization arising from a secret vote of the employees after a period of deliberation. Unfortunately the unions and their paid Political hacks in the Congress, led by Nanci Pelosi, wish to forbid such secret votes (likely knowing that unions almost always lose in secret ballots).

Unions depend on thuggery and coersion inall their organizing efforts. Understandably too, for the stakes are very high - if they win they get a perpetual annuity equal to about 1.5% of the pretax wages of all represented employees, plus paid no work jobs for the employees of the union local. And they don't even have to submit invoices for payment. The employer is required to prededuct the dues from employee wages and wire them to the union's bank account each payday. It's a great racket. Even the Mafia had to do its own collecting.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2012 06:26 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:

The fact that the EPI is a union-affiliated policy organization doesn't disprove their analysis of BLS data regarding wages and benefits. Similarly, a study someone presents from AEI or Heritage isn't automatically false just because it comes from a GOP shop. It's just one more data point to take into consideration when forming an opinion.

Cycloptichorn


Does that mean you will accept any materials I post here from the National Association of Manufacturers or the National Chamber of Commerce as factual ? Exactly as you did with yours from a Union financed Washington lobbying organization and the Teachers Union.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2012 06:28 pm
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:

georgeob1 wrote:

I don't think that freedom from coercion is a small price. You may be more of a sheep than I, but that is your problem.


You say 'freedom of coercion' as if coercion isn't exactly what you support. You just disagree as to who should have the right to do the coercing. You want to have the right to be the one DOING the coercing and to have the law bar others from doing so.

Cycloptichorn


No, not at all. I would support unionization arising from a secret vote of the employees after a period of deliberation. Unfortunately the unions and their paid Political hacks in the Congress, led by Nanci Pelosi, wish to forbid such secret votes (likely knowing that unions almost always lose in secret ballots).


I could have swore that during our conversations about 'snap elections' you were solidly against them. Did I remember that incorrectly?

Quote:
Unions depend on thuggery and coersion inall their organizing efforts. Understandably too, for the stakes are very high - if they win they get a perpetual annuity equal to about 1.5% of the pretax wages of all represented employees, plus paid no work jobs for the employees of the union local. And they don't even have to submit invoices for payment. The employer is required to prededuct the dues from employee wages and wire them to the union's bank account each payday. It's a great racket. Even the Mafis had to do its own collecting.


While there is some truth to this (pejorative terms aside), it ignores the fact that the unions do turn around and provide their members with significant protections, including higher wages and safer work environments than those who have no union to protect them.

Unions vary in quality just as much as management of companies do: some unions are ran by good people who work hard to protect their members and maintain good relations with their employers, some are ran by crooks who are skimming graft for themselves. You seem to believe, however, that none of the former exist and almost all of organized unions are ran by the latter. Why is this? In no other situation in life do we find such a balance to be true... would it be fair for me to characterize all corporate management as soulless, greed-driven scumbags who'd **** their employees over for a half-point rise in their stock? I doubt you'd agree with that, and I certainly don't believe it's true. But you seem to believe the converse about unions and their leadership. It isn't balanced and makes it more difficult for others to accept your position.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2012 06:32 pm
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:

The fact that the EPI is a union-affiliated policy organization doesn't disprove their analysis of BLS data regarding wages and benefits. Similarly, a study someone presents from AEI or Heritage isn't automatically false just because it comes from a GOP shop. It's just one more data point to take into consideration when forming an opinion.

Cycloptichorn


Does that mean you will accept any materials I post here from the National Association of Manufacturers or the National Chamber of Commerce as factual ? Exactly as you did with yours from a Union financed Washington lobbying organization and the Teachers Union.


George, I would die of happiness if you were to post materials from any source at all. Seriously.

You don't have to accept things put forward by shops with an ideological bent as the gospel truth, only acknowledge that there are a variety of opinions on the matter and the truth may lie somewhat in the middle of what either side says - as typically is the case in life.

Cycloptichorn
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2012 07:41 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
George

Please "post materials from any source at all."

Please.

If you do we all win.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2012 09:04 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I disagree; the truth is the truth, and must be refuted by some facts or evidence for it not to be true.

Just because any source posted in support of an issue may be open to question, doesn't mean it's not true until it is refuted by other credible or reliable source(s). It's not necessarily "somewhere in the middle."
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  0  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2012 10:39 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
http://nilrr.org/

http://www.mackinac.org/4399

http://www.mackinac.org/4399


I don't put much faith in dueling links, preferring to think for myself based on experience and observation. I also note that media matters and other progressive institutions have been very quick to flood cyberspace with repetitive denunciations of the recent action in Michigam, piously asserting that "the only effect of RTW laws is a reduction in wages". This defies not only observable facts but also elementary econommic observation and theory. Perhaps they should explain that to Boeing, Toyota, Volvo and others, which now invest only in RTW atates.

However, to please those anguished souls who desperately wand SOME links and who assert they will be guided only by sweet reason and the desire to find the agreeable middle ground, here are a few.

Please note that I offered Cyclo a reasoned critique of the acadenic paper he posted fro the Hofstra University Professor, but have had as yet no response other than histrionics.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2012 11:09 pm
@georgeob1,
You wrote,
Quote:
This defies not only observable facts but also elementary econommic observation and theory.


What elementary economic theory would that be?
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 11:19 am
@georgeob1,
Now, that's more like it! It's not about having 'dueling links,' it's about having supporting evidence and argumentation for one's position. It's just more interesting than endless assertion.

Let's take a look at your criticisms of the Hofstra paper:

Quote:
The first reference from Prefessor Stevens of Hoffstra University was the most interesting. He performed a multivariate statistical analysis, based on variables he selected, (I would choose them differently) to assess the estimated differences between wage and benefit and employment rates in Right to Work States and others, finding that, in view of the clearly more favorable business climates (his statement) in RTW states the measured benefits of these laws, where they occurred, are not due to the RTW laws themselves, but rather to the business climate prevailing in these states. I found that very remarkable in that it was a sweeping indictment of the results of his own analysis which did indeed, as you noted, find some benefits associated with RTW laws. He also used other factors outside the domain of his analysis, including the net greater population movements into RTW states and relative education levels to further discount the measured benefits. Remarkable contradictions both in that he fails to address just what might be behind the net immigration and how average educational levels might affest competition for jobs might affest his calculated results. This in an academic paper promising rigorous accuracy, but these folks are like that and they often have an agenda too.


I guess I would start by saying that the fact that the guy looked at a variety of different factors surrounding RTW states and came to a different conclusion than you did doesn't necessarily mean his paper isn't accurate, or is driven by an agenda. I'll note that the factual points the study finds -

- average employment rates are higher in right-to-work versus non-right-towork states,
- average per capita income is lower in right-to-work relative to non-rightto-
work states,
- there is no significant difference in average wages/salaries between rightto-
work and non-right-to-work states,
- average proprietors’ income is higher in right-to-work relative to non-rightto-work states,
- there is no significant difference in average real state GDP growth rates
between right-to-work and non-right-to-work states -

- Are not challenged by you. The last point especially disproves claims you had made to the contrary.

The important variables in that study - which I believe correlate well with real-world experience - are the level of farm vs. non-farm workers and the average educational levels involved. I don't believe there's any evidence that immigration to RTW states has increased DUE to the RTW status; while UE is slightly lower in those states, it's not significantly lower. What's far more likely is that immigration has increased due to: 1, the heavy concentration of RTW states in the South, which have seen the bulk of both legal and illegal immigration in the last three decades; 2, the relatively low cost of living in those states (which I will get to in a second), and 3, growing numbers of retirees who move from the north to the south simply for the fact that it's much warmer in that part of the country.

When there are equally compelling arguments showing probable reasons behind increases in immigration to states that don't match up with your preferred hypothesis, it's usually a good sign that the case you are making isn't exactly rock-solid.

In terms of educational levels, the author of that study does make a good point that states with lower levels of education will undoubtedly employ less skilled workers and pay lower wages. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "... how average educational levels might affest competition for jobs might affest his calculated results."

The truth is that, in terms of educational attainment (measured by completion of the smallest possible degree past high school), the bottom 10 states are ALL right-to-work states. In fact, only three of the states that currently have RTW laws are outside of the bottom 25 states - Virginia, Utah and Kansas. This isn't an advertisement for these states - it's a bad thing for these states. However, from a businessman's point of view, it does mean that there are much larger pools of unskilled labor, which can be had for a lower wage. You seem to see this as an advantage for the states, but it isn't. It's only an advantage for those who are looking to find a way to increase their profits.

And indeed, the author of that study did find that while salaries and wages were lower for workers in RTW states, profits for owners were higher. You can see why I would say in my original post that, from a businessman's point of view, RTW states make sense, but it's not a positive thing for those working there.

Re: cost of living, the prime driver of cost-of-living in areas is desirability. New York City and the Bay Area don't have such high property values and cost-of-living due to the factors surrounding their business laws or development, but instead because so many people desire to live there due to environmental and social reasons. Cost of living in RTW states is much lower primarily because they are located in Southern areas that have little environmental or social reasons to live there; they are hot as hell in the Summer, cold in the Winter, and there's very little of social or cultural significance going on - these states tend to be heavily rural and lack large population centers, which give rise to such things.

This low cost of living, along with the warmer climates, tend to be attractive to retiring seniors; this inflates the immigration statistics for these states considerably. Their geographic location and low cost of living, along with heavy emphasis on rural commerce, provide a natural home for many immigrants to this country as well. None of this has anything to do with RTW at all, and therefore, I can't find your criticisms of the above piece to be trenchant.

One factor that we haven't discussed much is how these states - who are almost exclusively ran by Republicans - use a variety of incentives and sweeteners to attract business.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/us/how-local-taxpayers-bankroll-corporations.html?_r=0

The truth is that the 'pro-business' Republican party is more than happy to hand out tax exemptions, tax breaks, and even financing packages to help companies expand into their states. These essentially represent a taxpayer subsidy of business, and yes, it's concentrated mostly in RTW states. Why would Toyota open a plant in CA, when - irrespective of their labor costs - there's a city in Mississippi that is willing to grant them hundreds of millions of dollars in tax exemptions for doing so?

RTW is simply one factor amongst many that determine whether or not companies start or locate their businesses there. It's foolish to claim that a state moving to RTW will automatically lead to an influx of new business or investment; there simply is no evidence showing that this is true at all. And while RTW laws may benefit owners of companies, there is no evidence that they benefit those who work for those companies, who will indeed be facing a life of lower wages, lower benefits, and less job protection than those in states without RTW laws - even if you're not working in a union environment in those states.

I'll address the substance of the links you posted here in a little while. But, isn't this more interesting than simply repeating the same tropes at one another ad infinitum?

Cycloptichorn
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 12:43 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I think you hit the nail head with educational level, farm/non-farm, and average per capita income levels.

In today's business climate, it's more difficult for young people to find a job. Those with the right kind of college education can start at above average salaries and benefits. Farming is a seasonal job-maker, while non-farm can be a little bit more steady with higher demands in retail during the xmas shopping season. Per capita income levels vary a great deal from pocket to pocket, but especially on the east and west coasts like NY, Washington DC, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

With the higher per capita income also includes the higher cost of living - especially in housing, health care, and food.



0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 04:58 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
You posited that a main driver for net immigration to RTW & Southern states is retired folks seeking low tax rates. That's likely a factor, but, except for Florida, remains a very arguable point. You certainly have not demonstrated that this is a large factor for (say) Texas or Tennissee, or Indiana. There is instead lots of anecdotal evidence suggesting that job availability is a more significant factor in attracting immigration to these states.

Secondly, If you consult a map of RTW states you will quickly notice that many of them are not in the south at all. Indeed now with Indiana, Michigan and (partly) Wisconsin there is a decidedly Midwest industrial flavor to the list.

I'll readily agree that historical economic development in the South lagged that in the north by a wide margin, and that this led to competitive factors that ultimately attracted business investment. These included low cost of living, lower taxes and lower prevailing wage rates - all of which are attractive to business. The influx of new industries in these states tended to raise average incomes and improve the economic health of the communities involved. Indeed the movement of industries is a built in process which tends over time to reduce or smooth over differences in economic development and prosperity in different regions. First Taiwan & Singapore and then Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and now China lifted themselves out of poverty this way. It's a good thing, not a bad one. Never mind that unions and progressives claim it is an act of disloyal greed. It is the real process by which poor people ascend the economic ladder.

I have the impression that you believe these differences are a static or permanent thing. They are not. History amply shows us the trajectories of formerly lean, highly productive societies to self-indulgent, corrupt, ineffective ones . It is a trajectory involving successive creation and destruction, rise and fall. Labor unions seek to resist the effects of these inexorable trends by creating contractural barriers to change (in both working methods and pay). It is basically a doomed process in that businesses end up shutting down or moving as the costs of resistence worsen. People and businesses need to continuously adapt to changing conditions and demand. Unions resist changes in procedures and methods, preferring to assure their members of a "secure, permanent job, free of the stresses of change". That is an illusory (and harmful) goal in the real world. As the workers of Hostess products found in their second bankrupcy and final liquidation, when the lifeboat sinks, everyone gets wet.

There are many reasons why investments in new industrial plants by U.S. and foreign manufacturers have been concentrated in the south and in RTW states for the past several decades. One of them is the special exemptions offered them by both Republican and Democrat state officials to which you referred, but there are many more significant ones including; lower taxes, lower cost of living and prevailing wage rates and less local government interference in the operations of businesses (California is the opposite extreme in most of these areas). Rich states can afford higher costs and taxes, but you shouldn't be surprised that excesses in these areas also produce effects that reduce economic competitivenese and ultimately reduce net wealth.

However, the really big factor missing in your analysis is that private sector union membership is largely dead or dying in this country - even in the absence of spreading RTW states. Private sector union membership has been declining for three decades. RTW laws had very little role in this decline. Instead it was the unions themselves that did it by hastening the departure and decline of the industries they infected, and by the relatively poor success they have seen in orgsanizing in private sector businesses (the sheep don't sign up so readily anymore). Organizing is much easier in the public sector - you just have to pay off or support the election of willing government officials and it is done by administrative action, without all that messy persuading of employees or, even better, without risky elections among them. Today public sector union membership is far greater than private, and, unlike private sector unionization, is growing. As a direct result, the real issue today for RTW laws is breaking the nefarious linls between public employee unions and the legislators in their employ which has several states (California prominently included) in very precarious financial straits. This, for examplw was the central issue in Wisconsin and a very prominent one in Indiana.

Economically we can survive the loss of heavily unionized textile manufacturing, steelmaking, etc. - albeit with sometimes painful adjustments., However we can't afford the financial collapse of state governments. Here Illinois and California are among the most vulnerable and unstable, and for them this is chiefly the work of public employee unions. A similar story can be told about teacher's unions nationally.

My own experience with unions amply illustrated that the chief damage they did to business success was not so much in their demands for wages and benefits (unions only demand, they never request) but rather in the very destructive paralysis they introduced into operations through the silly seniority procedures and detailed "work rules" they cherish so much. They were a very serious hindrance (often impossible to change) to innovation or improvement in any form. In my case I refused outright to agree to any extention of these things in CBAs, but what I inherited was bad enough. (I got away with it only because we also maneuvered the unions into a frightening situation (for them): otherwise it would have been a serious fight. The building trades unions are less obnoxious in this area than the metal trades, but that is because they operate chiefly to limit the supply of qualified workers and thereby get a monopolistic boost to their wages. Good for them: bad for those who buy their services - and illegal for businesses.


cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 06:47 pm
@georgeob1,
I think it's difficult to generalize about unions vs non-union shops, because we can find both pros and cons about both. To the extent that some unions discourage increasing efficiency only ends up hurting themselves, and I would agree they should not survive. It's important for all companies to increase efficiency and quality any way they can.

Some companies in the US are now realizing that the higher cost of production in China makes the production in our country more competitive. Many are high value added products, and even Apple is planning to produce MACs in the US.
0 Replies
 
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 07:21 pm
@georgeob1,
I briefly read what you said but I was surprised that you seem to see some things that I agree with. Yes unions have become corrupt but so has corporations. Not all unions nor all corporations.

I think that the unions are the grunts or intellectually challenged seeing things that are not moral and trying to address them but what would you expect from a labor class who does not study or at least find an interest in moral philosophy? I would not expect it to be much different than a corporation who does the same, they will both destroy themselves.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 10:59 pm
@reasoning logic,
I don't think that the human nature of those on either side varies by much. Moreover, I'm not sure that contemporary education adds much to one's understanting of morality or moral philosophy. It has also been my experience that perspectives and behaviors on these matters vary more by individual than education or class.

In this case I think the primary difference between corporations and unions is that unions operate in local monopolies: they have no competitors, no alternative against which to judge them or the effects they have on the working environment they influence. They last forever. Whereas companies go out of business all the time: few last more than a generation or two. More creative or efficient competitors are always threatening to take their place. For companies it's a matter of efficiency, creativity and adaptability, ... or death. It shouldn't surprise anyone that, in these conditions, unions behave in such self-serving, shortsighted, and irresponsible ways.

Once unions were a necessity in forcing needed workplace reforms, but now most of these reforms are codified in law and part of our social fabric. Unions today are parasites that produce nothing but move from host to host.
 

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