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Collective bargaining no longer a right?
Posted: 17 February 2011 04:34 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Wisconsin Protests: State Police Pursue Democratic Lawmakers Boycotting Vote.  Oh that Republican Gov’ner Scott Walker.

[ Edited: 17 February 2011 05:47 PM by jump_in_the_pit ]
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Posted: 17 February 2011 06:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 17 February 2011 04:34 PM

Wisconsin Protests: State Police Pursue Democratic Lawmakers Boycotting Vote.  Oh that Republican Gov’ner Scott Walker.

I suppose it’s better that some younger teachers lose their jobs then anyone with seniority to not get a raise this year and actually have to help pay part of their health care costs. I mean who cares if the kids suffer with less money for supplies and more crowded classrooms as long as workers in the public sector get to take more tax dollars home for themselves?

I haven’t had a raise in 5 years and my health care premiums go up every year. Sorry no sympathy from me. The economy is down and everyone is going to have to sacrifice a little, no exceptions.

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Posted: 17 February 2011 06:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Preventing collective bargaining is about far more than blocking raises.  It gives school administration the right to do anything they want to any specific teacher.

By the way, it appears that the state police have been unsuccessful in finding any Democratic legislators.  There is the idea that they aren’t bothering searching for them because they feel their union would be one of the next to have their collective bargaining rights taken away.

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Posted: 18 February 2011 09:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Occam. - 17 February 2011 06:35 PM

Preventing collective bargaining is about far more than blocking raises.  It gives school administration the right to do anything they want to any specific teacher.

By the way, it appears that the state police have been unsuccessful in finding any Democratic legislators.  There is the idea that they aren’t bothering searching for them because they feel their union would be one of the next to have their collective bargaining rights taken away.

Occam

It’s difficult to find out exactly what is being proposed. What I’ve read though is that it limits the amount the union can bargain to increase wages to some cost of living index. Otherwise it prevents the union of forcing members to pay dues and requires an annual vote to keep the union in force.

So limiting wage increases and giving union members a choice about whether to support the union or not. What else?

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Posted: 18 February 2011 04:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Koch brothers and Wisconsin:

http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/02/wisconsin-scott-walker-koch-brothers

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Posted: 18 February 2011 04:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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The republicans are only making collective bargaining illegal if your wealth is measured in your physical and intellectual abilities, (labor).  If your wealth is measured in inherited capital they are completely opposed to limiting your power to organize with others like you, (corporations).

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Posted: 18 February 2011 05:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Jeciron - 18 February 2011 04:21 PM

The republicans are only making collective bargaining illegal if your wealth is measured in your physical and intellectual abilities, (labor).  If your wealth is measured in inherited capital they are completely opposed to limiting your power to organize with others like you, (corporations).

Collective bargaining can’t be made illegal. There is a Federal Act which protects the rights of workers to unionize.

If this is the understanding you’ve gotten from the media it’s I suppose expected. I’m finding a lot of hyperbole and little real information.

Yes labor and business are always at odds. The pendulum swing back and forth between who’s has a upper-hand. Both are equally capable of abusing the political power they wield.

Once achieving power they fight to keep it. Business, Labor, Government. All individuals, all human all as likely to take advantage and abuse power. People support one group of people they don’t really know to hold power or another based on some ideology that may not even apply to the situation.

There is no right here, just clashing political thugs who don’t care who gets hurt as long as they can either retain or gain more power.

The media is crap that does nothing but defiles our political system. From the Bible to the internet, it’s all crap. Unfortunate that it becomes exceedingly easy to dehumanize people you never have to meet.

Sorry, mind not my little rant.

Root for your team and revile the opponents. It’s what we do.

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Posted: 18 February 2011 07:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I believe the Federal Act applies only to federal employees.  They can’t impose that on state governments.

The problem is that the general rule of negotiations is the more powerful party will always win.  Prior to unions, the employees got only the minimum the bosses were willing to give them to keep them working.  Unions and collective bargaining levelled the playing field.  Making unions impotent will return the workers in the U.S. to a century and a half ago.

A Republican Congressman has already said that one of the main reasons for the high unemployement now is the minimum wage because it allows overseas workers to compete successfully.  What he thinks we need to do is get rid of the minimum wage so employers will offer the jobs to U.S. workers.  He didn’t say they’d do it at the $2.00 a day the overseas workers are getting.

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Posted: 18 February 2011 07:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I don’t think I really humanized anything in my statement, and I certainly didn’t mean to dehumanize anyone.  While I admit that I often find my viewpoints align with the liberal or progressive factions, (but not always), I intended to make a point about the perception of what constitutes wealth and the privileges associated with it, especially in regard to the union vs. corporation issue.  I didn’t intend to demonize or dehumanize anyone.  By the way I’ve never had the opportunity to join a union, but I do own some stock.

You’re right that I don’t understand the subtleties of Federal vs. State law, especially regarding labor.  I hope our elected officials do! That’s why I’m pretty fond of the idea of a Republic, where we elect wise individuals who are supposed to engage in learned debate and make decisions for us rather than a Democracy where we would be governed by the emotions and ignorance of the majority.  I hope it’s working.  It’s makes me pretty uncomfortable when I suspect that I’m smarter than either my physician or my legislator.

I agree with you that the media is crap.  I think it’s always been crap, probably from the very beginning.  Perhaps the best we can hope for is a whole lot of scrappy, noisy, independent outlets each championing their own biased viewpoints.  At least we might have access to a broad range information and facts, to which we can apply our honed skeptical faculties and try to make good judgments.  Here in the States our media is becoming very monolithic.  I don’t like the idea that a handful of people get to decide what information I have access to.

And the pendulum does swing.  I’d just like it to swing somewhere between FDR and Reagan, rather than from Tzar Nicholas to Stalin.

Of course we root for our team and revile our opponents. We’re just a bunch of apes. (Sorry, if that’s dehumanizing.)  When we figure out how to remain uncorrupted by power I’m not sure we’ll be homo sapiens any longer. 


Wow!  I’m way off topic.  Sorry.

[ Edited: 18 February 2011 07:38 PM by Jeciron ]
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Posted: 18 February 2011 07:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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The problem, Jeciron, is that we do NOT have a democracy.  We have a republic.  It’s just that democracy is such a nice word that all the polticians use it so people think we do.  If that were the case, each of us would be voting on every local state and federal bill that ever came up.  We DO elect people who are supposed to be knowledgeable and to speak for us.  Unfortunately, there are quite a few problems:  1) People are not educated enough to recognize which of the candidates will represent them best, 2) The candidate with the most money for political advertisements usually convinces enough voters to win, and they have been bought by their largest money contributors, 3) Candidates who have the best political writers and can give the best snow jobs win whether or not they are intelligent, ethical, or have the best interests of the voters in mind.

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Posted: 19 February 2011 12:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Ben Franklin was asked after the Constitutional convention about what sort of government they had created.  His reply was to the effect, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”  When asked if it would work he replied that it would until people figured out how to make money with it.  It might have been someone like Twain or Ambrose Bierce who said something like “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for any other”.  (I’m really bad at remembering quotes and way to lazy to look them up and source them, someone please correct me if I’ve screwed these up.)

I like the idea of republican government, in theory.  I know I don’t have time or the intelligence to study and make good decisions about each of the myriad of issues that affect us as a society.  While I don’t pretend to believe that the government as it stands isn’t corrupt and compromised I also believe that compromise is the best we’re going to get.  The best political decision probably should please no one completely. Unfortunately, we’re not educated, or maybe just not wired in a way that we can happily accept a half full glass as the best solution possible, and I suspect that good government and unchallengeable principles are mutually exclusive.

It all comes down to trying to find a way to “live the good life” doesn’t it?.  Union members, stockholders; progressives, conservatives; believers, skeptics, at our best we’re all just trying to figure out how to live well.  It’s just so easy to see what benefits us as individuals as “good” and anything that seems to compromise our goals as “evil”.  Should you and I be allowed to get together and ask the boss to give both of us a raise?  Isn’t that collective bargaining at it’s simplest?  Shouldn’t you and I be allowed to pool our resources and hire someone to build a road or a bridge.  Isn’t that a simple corporation?  Yet from these simple beginnings we end up with Jimmy Hoffa and robber barons. 

I don’t pretend to have a lot of answers.  Remember, I’m the guy who’s too lazy to look up quotes and kind of likes the idea of a republic.  On a day to day basis I just try to remind myself not to let my religion, (or lack of it), or my politics get in the way of my humanity.

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Posted: 19 February 2011 04:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I think it was Winston Churchill.

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Posted: 20 February 2011 11:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Jeciron - 19 February 2011 12:53 AM

Ben Franklin was asked after the Constitutional convention about what sort of government they had created.  His reply was to the effect, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”  When asked if it would work he replied that it would until people figured out how to make money with it.

Ben Franklin said the first part but not the second part.  Perhaps you are thinking of the following:

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”

—Attributed to Alexander Tytler, but authorship actually unknown.

With that quote in mind, here are some facts about the current situation:

Unions still could represent workers but could not seek pay increases above those pegged to the Consumer Price Index unless approved by a public referendum. Unions also could not force employees to pay dues and would have to hold annual votes to stay organized.

Source.

The average salary for an MPS teacher is $56,500. When fringe benefits are factored in, the annual compensation will be $100,005 in 2011.

Source.

That’s more than double the average per capita income in the same area which is $19,092.

MPS graduation rate is 68%.  The state of Wisconsin has a 90% graduation rate.  Only 41% of Grade 10 students at MPS are proficient/advanced at reading.  And a dismal 28% are proficient/advanced at math. 

So with the “Tytler” quote in mind, the teacher’s unions have figured out they can take taxpayer money while churning out more than half of their students who are poor at reading and math.  All this while their state faces a financial crisis.  But none of that matters.  As long as the unions can get more and more taxpayer money for themselves.  Teacher’s unions don’t care about the financial collapse of their state - for which they are partially to blame.  And teacher’s unions don’t care one bit about the students.  Teacher’s unions care about the kids in the same way the Catholic church cares about kids!

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Posted: 20 February 2011 12:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Let’s face it. Slavery is the ideal expression of unbridled capitalism.
A 20% unemployment is very good for business. It depresses wages. People will work long hard hours at very little pay to keep their job, lest they be replaced with the waive of a hand.
IMO this is the reason why we don’t address the “cheap labor” of illegal immigration. Remember the Chavez labor movement and its attempted suppression?

[ Edited: 20 February 2011 12:31 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 20 February 2011 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Write4U - 20 February 2011 12:26 PM

Let’s face it. Slavery is the ideal expression of unbridled capitalism.

I’ll leave it to others to point out your logical fallacy.

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There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.

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Posted: 20 February 2011 01:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Rocinante - 20 February 2011 12:50 PM
Write4U - 20 February 2011 12:26 PM

Let’s face it. Slavery is the ideal expression of unbridled capitalism.

I’ll leave it to others to point out your logical fallacy.

You are assuming a level playing field.  Wrongggggg…..

Capitalism is a sophisticated form of “law of the jungle”

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