Both cited articles from "The New Republic" were pro-union polemics and propaganda. I was particularly amused by the reference to "employer manipulation" of NLRB sponsored elections
Blatham just accused you of "fascile rejections", and this is one. There's a lot of actual hard facts out there about this subject, from which the TNR articles sample some illustrations. I reread them now, and barring a rhetorical flourish at the beginning and end, they are, if anything, wonky, fleshing out existing policies and how they are now implemented, manipulated or abused.
manipulate NLRB-sponsored elections. The second article cited a study of 400 union election campaigns in manufacturing plants in 1998 and 1999 that showed that 25% of employers involved fired at least one worker for union activity. The article also cited a specific case where a judge determined that a company used 36 different illegal tactics to block unionization at its plant.
A research report
from the Center for Economic and Policy Research that was linked in on the thread found "a steep rise in the 2000s relative to the last half of the 1990s in illegal firings of pro-union workers". A rise that resulted in an about one-in-seven chance for union organizers and activists to be illegally fired while trying to organize unions at their place of work.
A report on the Chicago area
, also linked in in the thread, reinforced those findings: it found that 30% of employers faced with organizing campaigns fire pro-union workers, 49% of them threaten to close a worksite when workers try to form a union when only 2% actually do, and 91% force employees to attend one-on-one anti-union meetings with their supervisors.
Companies follow the advice of people like Employee Relations Consultant Philip Wilson
(page linked in on the thread) to hold at least five "captive audience meetings", where employees are obliged to attend meetings where the horrible dangers of unionising are spelled out - even as unions are refused to even talk to part of the personnel.
In theory, the NLRB is supposed to bar such employer harassment. In practice, it is ineffectual, and the penalties for violating labor laws are relatively meaningless. In practice, under Bush's appointees, the NLRB has consistently sided with employers, and refused to penalise companies that violated the National Labor Relations Act. It even ruled in favour of the company cited above that a judge had found to have used 36 different illegal tactics to block unionization.
Whenever a related case came up, the NRLB under Bush has stripped people of even the relative protection its supervision of union elections provides. It helped blocked the right to organise temporary, subcontracted or apprentice workers. And disabled janitors? No right to unionise. Nurses who in the course of their work set schedules for other nurses? No right to unionise, because they are now judged to be "supervisors" - never mind that they have little or no control over wages and workplace conditions.
The latter ruling is the one that the first article in the thread calls "the biggest victory" for business at the Bush-era NRLB yet. Why? Because it strips everyone who performs even minor supervisory roles - software programmers who serve as team leaders, nurses who have aides, scientists who have lab assistants - of the right to unionise. As the article points out, "the decision could prevent as many as eight million workers .. from joining unions."
Note: for 60 years, the NLRB interpreted the legislation one way; now, the Bush appointees depart from this long-standing reading in order to forbid up to 8 million people from unionising.
About 40% of public employees in the USA do not have the right to organize a legally established union, says Wikipedia
. That is stunning. I bet there are few if any democratic, Western countries that deny so many of their citizens the right to join a union.
I do regret not keeping up that other thread, but the detail is there for those who want to see. Now you prefer to brush away all such detailed enough info as above as mere "polemics and propaganda" as long as it is found in articles from left-leaning magazines (and mind you, it's not like The New Republic has been particularly leftwing the last decade or so - they endorsed Lieberman in the Democratic 04 primaries for pete's sake. The Daily Kos it is not.) But yes, since you wont find labor issues coverage in headline coverage anymore, that neatly inoculates you from learning about the very things you brush away as non-existing because you dont see it around you yourself.
It must be a neat way of creating a self-confirming universe, where a wearily cast eye sees only what reinfoirces one's own long-standing beliefs. But instructive it can not be, which must be why after a few years, your posts do indeed start to sound like an "endless regrinding of the same old arguments". You are certainly far more kind and articulate than your fellow conservatives here, but in the end many of your posts can be summarised in pretty much the same way as theirs: liberals bad, conservatism good, Europe loathsome, Hillary dangerous, any errors on our side minor and corrigeable, critics misguided and deluded. There's not really a lot more there there than that in these boilerplate answers: detail is missing, there's just the sweeping ideological overview, and nothing much else.
Cyclo, whom you rebuked for having "a lot to learn" still, is often less sophisticated in wording in his arguments than you are, but at least he is still hungry for new information, for discovering new things, new perspectives, and God forbid, even things he might have been wrong about and could still change course on. Asherman, however erudite he is on some topics, is at the other end of the scale in his stultified ideological rigor. You are certainly a lot more likable and companionable, but how much of a difference is there still, really?