Organized Labor: Still Statist Thugs After All These Years

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After graduating law school, I began my practice with a firm in New Orleans in the late 1970s, and I was soon sent to Puerto Rico, a hotbed of union activity. I got my first taste of fighting unions there, and I learned they played for keeps when another labor lawyer was shot outside his hotel.

After leaving that firm and beginning my own in the early 80s, I found myself working in San Juan in 1986 just a few months before Escudero Aponte, a hotel worker and Teamsters’ member angry over the contract offered by management, torched a pile of furniture on the ground floor of the Dupont Plaza Hotel. Ninety-seven people died that New Year’s Eve, most burned beyond recognition, and 140 more were injured, many severely. Aponte is still in Federal prison. Two of his co-conspirators were freed during the past decade.

The union, of course, denied any involvement.

Three years later, in 1989, I was back on the island working for an oil storage terminal in Ponce, when things again got out of hand. We were challenging an attempt to organize a company’s employees by an island union, one known less for its representational capabilities and more for its violence. A floating-top tank of pure distillate on the mountainside leading was torched as we sat in the offices below. It took the U.S. Coast Guard nine hours with firefighting helicopters to extinguish the blaze. Had the tank exploded, we would have all been vaporized.

As with the Dupont Plaza, that union also denied any involvement.

During those years, the operative pressure exerted by unions in Puerto Rico wasn’t the strike. It was fire.

I still recall that night. I was sitting in the bar at the Ponce Holiday Inn swilling Wild Turkey on someone else’s tab. And I was not alone. After the Dupont Plaza burned, I never worked in Puerto Rico again without a bodyguard, and his name was Diego. I remember sitting at that bar and looking around the room. Dimly lit. Dozens of people. Motion. Laughter.

I caught Diego’s attention. He was standing at the door. He walked over, and I motioned him to sit down and have a drink with me. He declined. He always declined.

“Diego, I have a question. With you standing over there and me sitting here, it would seem to me that any one of these people,” I motioned broadly, “could walk up and blow my head off before you could do a thing.”

“Yes, sir,” he responded, no hesitation, “that is correct.”

“Then why are you here?” I asked, a bit incredulous, hoping for a different response with a surprise ending that would result in my brains not being splattered all over the mirror behind the bar.

“Mr. Karger,” he replied matter-of-factly, “no one can stop you from being killed. No one can stop anyone from being killed. What I can do is make sure anyone who kills you dies in this bar, tonight. That would act as a deterrent.”

I went from someone worth protecting to someone else’s deterrent. I have remembered that event and that conversation vividly ever since and it changed me.

The human dynamic I saw in Puerto Rico (and one that I have seen hundreds of times since) can be summed up as follows: Individuals act differently than groups of individuals.

I didn’t know Aponte, but I will bet he had a family and friends and others who loved him. I would go so far as to say that had I met Aponte one-on-one that we could have had a drink and chatted amiably. We might even have been able to work out whatever problem he had with his wages and benefits before he and his union buddies, stoked up on collective power and anger, decided to burn down an entire hotel full of people.

To the same end, I might have known the employee who attempted to incinerate the thousands of individuals who would have died had that distillate tank exploded. And I will bet that if I had known him, I would have been shocked that he was capable of climbing that tank and torching it. And he probably wasn’t capable of doing it. Not alone. And as with Aponte, he didn’t act alone.

In both cases, individuals became a group that became a mob, and the psychology changed. In both cases, it was a government-sanctioned collective, a labor union, that stoked these people to violence — perhaps not directly or intentionally, but simply as the result of being collectivized and empowered by government to do what they could not do, or would not do, as individuals.

Since the New Deal of the 1930s, employers have not been free to deal with their employees as individuals, at least not when a majority of those employees want to be dealt with as a collective. The act of recognizing a union was a voluntary one until government waved the flag of democracy and legislated that every employee in any workplace, no matter how much they objected, would be governed by the will of the majority. Indeed, to this day, if a majority of employees in an appropriate bargaining unit want to be represented by a union, the minority is represented by that union, too, regardless of their individual desires to the contrary. Their wages, hours and working conditions cannot be negotiated with each as individuals. Rather, they are slotted into the collective by their job classification and their seniority; and each is treated like all the rest. The superstars are treated like the also-rans and vice versa. And, while fire is rarely the weapon of choice in modernity, the group, the collective, the mob, still justifies its tyranny, its oppression, because it is a majority.

The fundamental assumption of democracy, that the majority should by right control the minority, is so rarely questioned that the organized violence behind the empowerment of a group is glorified, even while the same actions, if taken individually, would result in the seizure of one’s property, imprisonment, even death.

Hans Hermann Hoppe observed that “democracy has nothing to do with freedom. Democracy is a soft variant of communism, and rarely in the history of ideas has it been taken to be anything else.” He was right in substance, but in the history of ideas the tyranny of the majority is no longer questioned seriously outside a relatively small circle of anarchists.

Today, instead of fire, the government-sponsored labor collective is empowered in its refusal to work, i.e., the strike. Yet in today’s economy where most strikes have little effect (since hiring new employees, temporarily or even permanently, is not difficult), unions have given up on that, too. Now, the corporate campaign, which devolves into a war of public relations agencies, the boycott and even trespassing, are the sanctioned methods labor collectives use to bring economic pressure on employers to give a group of individuals the same wages and benefits, regardless of individual merit.

Unions today strike and trespass rather than burn and beat, but they are not different than those of 30 years ago. It is the same pig, different lipstick. There is a quantitative, but not qualitative, difference. Today, as union leaders work behind the scenes to consolidate their own power at the tops of these organizations, they pander to corporate America using promises like “working together” and “labor-management partnerships,” all of which are nonsense, a disingenuous elevation of language over substance.

Unions cater to the lowest common denominator of employees, those who need to be protected from the results of substandard work and misconduct; and they can and will take as much as possible today from an employer, even if it means the ultimate death of the host. Remember the Twinkie?

A handful of industries seems to be impervious to market forces, mostly industries that have government-sanctioned carve-outs within the economy that allow them to live with market-defying wage and productivity disparities. For now. But, as Detroit learned when the Japanese showed up in the 70s, these protected industries are one step away from extinction — or, like Detroit, one step away from being owned and controlled by government, their benefactor-turned-master. Their high-sounding desire to “work together” with organized labor is another phrase for surrender.

In reality, the workplace is a zero-sum game. The pie doesn’t expand just because it is split differently. The capitalist wants to pay the minimum required to get the labor he needs. The worker wants the most possible. There is nothing wrong with that. Left alone, the employers that provide the most will attract the best. And as soon as they are not competitive, they will lose the best to other employers who have their fingers on the pulse of the market.

For many years, government has assumed the role of arbiter of outcomes in the workplace, just as it has in banking and certain industries. It establishes minimum wages without respect to market forces. It mandates certain levels of benefits. It decides the standards that can be used for hiring and firing. It enables collectives that not only permit, but encourage, the tyranny of the majority and the oppression of those individuals who would rather negotiate compensation and benefits based on merit, talent and performance. Government substitutes its judgment for that of the market. And its fat finger on the scale of the labor market has resulted in uncompetitive practices, increased costs, unemployment, recession, malinvestment, strikes, boycotts, trespass and, lest I forget, fire.

–Jim Karger

[Editor's Note: When mega rich hedge fund manager John Paulsen flirted with the idea of moving to Puerto Rico because of favorable changes in the tax laws (he's since changed his mind in light of media attention), Jim Karger told us that he'd never move to Puerto Rico under any circumstances. Given his experience there, we understand why. Karger himself resides in beautiful San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (and helps interested The Dollar Vigilante subscribers relocate there). And TDV offers citizenship programs in other wonderful Caribbean and Latin American countries, the kind of places that would make great, even permanent, escape hatches as things get worse in the United States. Learn more here.]

Jim Karger

is a lawyer, and frequent contributor to The Dollar Vigilante, who has represented American businesses against incursions by government and labor unions for 30 years. In 2001, he left Dallas and moved to San Miguel de Allende in the high desert of central Mexico where he sought and found a freer and simpler life for him and his wife, Kelly, and their 10 dogs. He is TDV's San Miguel de Allende concierge and his website is found at www.crediblyconnect.com.

  • Jeremy Leochner

    Its a tough issue. On the one hand Unions like all organizations can be corrupted by too much power. Rule of the majority can do great harm. At the same time Unions serve a vital function. They provide ordinary workers resources that they themselves could never muster. They allow workers to not be taken advantage of by employers. In the early days of the Unions the government often was their biggest enemy. Corporations would call in government forces to crush strikes and union protests. Even Theodore Roosevelt who dedicated himself to fighting big business still brought the hammer down on workers when he felt it was necessary. I believe that Unions like all organizations must be regulated and monitored. But I do not begrudge them in being a little over zealous in their desire to serve their members. The issue of Unions is not one of Unions versus Business. Its a challenge to find what is best for worker and employer. Workers deserve compensation for their services. And I think it reasonable that sustained and quality work performance merits certain benefits and privileges. But of course people cannot get everything they want. The thing to remember is there isn’t a bad guy and a good guy in this issue. Neither the Unions nor the Business owners are good guys or bad guys. And organized labor is not equal to statist thug.

    • CongressWorksForUs

      You’re full of it. My kid works a minimum wage job at a unionized grocery store. She gets zero benefits from being a union member. She gets the least amount of hours because of her being one of the more recent employees, has no benefits because she is not full time, but pays the same dues as the butcher making $50k a year.

      Please tell me how in any universe she is benefiting from this particularly scummy union?

      • Robert Smith

        “Please tell me how in any universe she is benefiting from this particularly scummy union?”
        One needs to WORK their way up through the ranks. What? Did you expect her to get paid $50,000 on her first day?
        This universe deals with reality. What color is the sky on your world?
        Rob

        • rb

          No Rob. He did not say anything about that. Point made was the union does not reprisent this worker or provide any of the benefits of being in the union but feels the need to pocket the same dues from her check that a full time employee making much more and receiving more money pays. A union truly interested in the people it reprisents as opposed to its pocket book would make the dues structure somewhat more equitable. Possibly by charging a member accoding to their wage.

        • Raven58

          Work her/his way up? How by having senority? Try moving your way up do to your abilities and not because you were there before her/him.
          I know that is a rare concept to be promoted because of your ability in a union shop.

      • Jeremy Leochner

        I do not think she is Congressworksforus. I never said all Unions are good. I am simply saying that a bad Union or one with a bad rep does not mean all Unions should be condemned. It sounds like the union your daughter is in should monitored and regulated. Its procedures should be changed and its representation looked at.

    • JThaddeustoad

      It is not really that tough of an issue…. What is tough not withstanding corruption is understanding FREE ENTERPRISE the government has no business in business its primary responsibility is to protect us and our freedom,thats it !…. The unions served a purpose at the turn of 19th century,NOT any More…. They are forcing business offshore and destroying productivity…. The crime is the government involvement for the purpose of vote getting…. The kids better wake up and put an end to this nonsense or believe me there will be nothing for them …

      • Chester

        Unions aren’t forcing business anywhere. Special tax breaks and actual monetary assistance in “building trade connections” has moved more business off shore than any union. If such moves were NOT supported by the government via tax breaks and the like, how many companies would have shipped all their labor overseas, yet kept corporate headquarters here in the US? Better take a good look at what goes on when unions are forced out of the workplace, not by workers’ votes, but by company and government edicts. Lots of workers with broken heads and near no pay for high skill jobs is one of the big results. Study a bit of history, then take a look at what is going on right here in the US. Unions are not half the problem they are made out to be, especially when you figure most of the low pay jobs without union protection remain low pay, and don’t dare ask for a raise.

        • Capitalist at Birth

          Ignorance is bliss.

        • alpha-lemming

          Oh but unions HAVE forced out many companies. My case study involves a beautiful BEAUTIFUL mid-western city…. Decatur IL.. In the 70s, home to numerous world-class companies…. Borg-Warner, Caterpillar, Firestone, ADM, Staley, just to name a few. It was clean, high percentage of home-ownership and std. of living, most owned new cars and rec vehicles and had a thriving service industry to support/cater to a very good level of disposable income. Enter the unions…. take take take and strike strike strike. At its heighth, entry-level broom pushers were making in excess of $15/hr… (call me old fashioned, but THAT is a skill-set not worthy of that pay-grade)….. IN THE 70s !!! Actually had an acquaintance come to me in a panic because contract negotiation time was approaching and… get this…. actual quote… “I don’t know what we’re going to strike for this year”. Profit became impossible in this atmosphere. ALL of the businesses (minus a couple… i.e. ADM to support the surrounding agri-business) pulled up stakes and moved to friendlier climes. Today??? Nearly the whole city made up of boarded-up, burned-out buildings, rampant gang presence, nightly drive-by shootings…. makes Detroit look like Disneyland!!! Don’t tell me how benign unions are.

        • Raven58

          Can you guys ever tell the truth… 1st Please tell us one tax loophole that allows or gives a tax break to off-shoring his company? This is a falacy that your union thug brothers have been spreading to gin up support. If what you said is true (which it isn’t) I know of no business that would remain in the U.S. if they could be paid by the government to leave and then go and make money in another country.
          You guys need your heads examined, maybe that is why union’s have such a bad reputation as this clearly proves your ignorance.

      • Jeremy Leochner

        JThaddeus Free Enterprise with no government regulation lead to the great depression and the great recession. The problem with a completely free enterprise is the flip side of the boom which is the bust. When a major monopoly tanks it takes down others with it. It isn’t simply survival of the fittest, best company gets most customers. Its a game with no rules where cheating goes on and where good companies are abandoned because they don’t have the same connections. The Unions did achieve great things and they were desperately needed in the 19th century. But they are still needed so that we don’t slip back into those old policies. Companies for decades now have tried to find ways to ship jobs over seas and cut peoples hours. Heck look at those business owners like Papa John who outright threatened to fire employees simply if Obama was reelected. Its one thing to cut costs. Its another to disregard employees and make petty political statements. Unions are needed as a check on such business owners. Our country is a Republic. It is based on checks and balances. That same system needs to apply to business. Unions are a check on business. In the same way that Congress cannot be allowed to simply ask the President if it would be okay if he did not pass that executive order so a Union cannot simply be allowed to ask for benefits. Congress has the power to check the President. There in lies the system to prevent too much power from being gained by one group. Like wise Unions need to have the power to check business owners from abusing, neglecting or otherwise taking advantage of their employees. That is where things like Collective Bargaining come in. They can as you say “force” business owners to come to the negotiating table. Its a way to talk without resorting to strikes or work slowdowns or other costly measures. Acting on behalf of workers is not simply some cynical strategy for the sake of votes or prestige. There is a genuine cause in helping American workers. When the Unions first came into being they were accused of the same things you are saying. Heck worse things were said of them. But it was their actions that allowed workers basic freedoms. It allowed workers to be paid in actual money instead of company scrip. It allowed them to not be afraid of dying on the job and simply having their body flung on their door step. Without Unions would such extremes come back. Of course not. But abuses would happen. Wages could be lowered at an employers whims. Benefits could be cut. Hours reduced and jobs shipped out of country. The workers could protest. But without Unions that would have to act alone or some how create a thrown together organization to fight back. But if Unions are considered useless such organizations would be labelled Unions and condemned. I believe Unions like all organizations need to be regulated. But Unions need to be judged one at a time. They need to recognized as a useful organization. As much as we need to worry about business so we need to worry about workers. Karl Marx wanted Unions to rise up and take over from the business owners. People in the pundit sphere often act like they want Unions gone. I want to choose a middle ground. Where Unions have the freedom to act on behalf of their members but are still kept within reasonable regulations. If a Union is too powerful it should be curbed. But while I support regulating Unions I do not support getting rid of them.

    • rb

      Well put. There has to be middle ground but both sides need to want to find it. I was a union member for 20 years in a right to work shop because most of time it was a good thing. However I must disagree with your final statement about organized labor not being equal to a status thug. They have crossed that line in many places and become just that under the current administration. Just ask Boeing for starters.

      • Jeremy Leochner

        Some may have RB. But that does not mean organized labor itself is bad. People associate Unions in and of themselves with communism and statism. But they are not the same.

  • Ron r

    I wonder who he thinks us worse lawyers or unions??

    • Ried

      To answer your question, YES. Lawyers and Unions are worse!

      Each is a two edged sword. They can cut both ways. Used carefully and with skill, lawyers and unions can and have been useful in the USA. It is when lawyers and unions are mis-used that they become dangerous to the health of the USA.

  • KG

    I’ve been a union member for almost 20 years. The only violence i have ever seen is when a NON-UNION carpenter attacked one of our organizers. Now, I want to ask you, bombing innocent civilians in the middle of the night is OK, but fighting for your right to be represented on the job, to collectively bargain, to demand safe working conditions, fair wages, and the right to actually enjoy life – that’s evil?

    When the powerless wish to change their lot, usually violence is a part of that. Unfortunately, the “humaness” comes out. Now, it will be OK to kill someone if they try to take my food when the “apocalypse” happens, but it’s NOT ok for a powerless line worker who is tire of being abused to break some windows?

    • Vigilant

      KG says, “Now, it will be OK to kill someone if they try to take my food when the “apocalypse” happens, but it’s NOT ok for a powerless line worker who is tire [sic] of being abused to break some windows?”
      You’re damned right. If you think that it’s all right to gratuitously destroy private property without punishment, then you have no business living in civilized society. Nor, apparently, do you believe that the Constitution applies to you or your ilk.

      • Chester

        vigilant, and you do need the double ee after that, will grant that “gratuitous destruction of private property” is never a good thing, but it has been known to happen to union members by non-union thugs hired to break a union as well as to management refusing to allow any discussion concerning union formation. Study your history instead of just jumping on the bandwagon of “unions bad, management good.”

    • rendarsmith


      You’ve never seen union members get violent? Really? REALLY?

    • TheTruthHurtsAsWell

      Sad attempt… You are one person working in one job… Hardly representative of unions at large… http://nrtwc.org/hobbs-act-loophole-legitimizes-union-violence/

    • JThaddeustoad

      Safe working conditions,equal wages …. Why would anybody want to apply their trade in an environment that is not safe and are under paid….. QUIT ! Go where your talent is appreciated instead of trying to dictate using the government and a union….

      • Chester

        Quit and be blackballed from working anywhere withing five hundred miles in your area of expertise. Might wonder why you complain about using a union and the government when for many years the government was as violently anti-union as any company owner.

        • Capirtlast at Birth

          Unions are organized crime.

    • Beberoni

      I guess you have never been on the sites we have had to share, where our gangboxes are broken into, pipes cut, van tires punctured, and scab painted on the sides of vans. Guys told to not come back. I guess as long as they are bleeding, thats ok with you. They cant take the competition, so they use force, and thats wrong. Oh, and by the way, our guys make more than their union counterparts, once you figure in paid vacations, paid holidays, company vehicle and gas card, and oh yeah, the boss knows your name, your wife and kids name, and cares about how they are doing. Thats priceless.

      • KG

        There is no “competition”. Ill put the skill and training of any union member next to a typical non-union worker. Most non-union guys learned a few tricks from their boss, and then they think their qualified.
        I’m an electrician. Member of the IBEW. The most qualified electricians on the planet. A five year apprenticeship, with 8000 hours of OJT. Then I have to take a test. It’s only then I earn the title “Journeyman.” Most non-union guys drive a taxi or work in a shoe store before they became the “associate” at their shop.

        A word about the vandalism at your job site. I can guarantee you that the guys who did that were NOT sanctioned by the union. In the “old days”, you used to hear “Turn em’ or bun em'”. Which used to be the only way you could get a contractors attention. However, how about those Iraqi workers killed in the middle of the night by stealth bombers? How about all of those Afghan children killed by “collateral damage? Or the people who have to work 40-50 hours a week just to eat? You see, you want to accuse “liberals” of being prone to violence, however, the Conservatives have a lot of blood on their hands as well. Think about that.

        • Raven58

          I would put any non-union worker against any 10 of your union workers and I would win hands down.

          non-union workers have a reputation to up hold and maintain as you union slugs only care about is what you can rape the company out of.
          Been there and seen the destruction of a union shop.

    • coal miner1

      KG,good for you.I have been a member of United Mine workrs for forty three years,now retired with a good healthy pension and confortable living.Scabs,unite you have everything to lose as well as your back bone.Scab is another word for coward.Jack London said scabs are the lowest scum on earth.They are traitors to their own people.This Karger character is what we don’t need in this country.

    • coal miner1

      http://www.wslc.org/whyjoin.htm

      Albert Einstein, Time magazine’s … he was a founding member of the Princeton Federation of Teachers Local 552, signing its charter in 1938. …

      • raven58

        Wow, you know he was a manic depressed person.

    • Raven58

      First off, you are lying about a non-union carpenter broke crap as they have to much pride in what they do for a living. Secondly, You have every right to belong to a union, church of your choosing or club that may suit you, but when you clowns force someone who does not want to be a part of your little boys club that is forcing someone to do something they do not wish to par-take in.
      Get the picture. If someone said because of the collective we decided you have to pay dues (forced) to us for what we want to do and you have no say in it as it will automatically come out of your paycheck, I am sure you would be saying it is okay then, Right.
      Moron’s like you need to get a reality check. Forced unionization should be illegal.

    • Frank Kahn

      You write:

      “I’ve been a union member for almost
      20 years. The only violence i have ever seen is when a NON-UNION
      carpenter attacked one of our organizers.”

      The fact that you, personally, have not witnessed the violence of Unions does not indicate the lack thereof.

      “Now, I want to ask you,
      bombing innocent civilians in the middle of the night is OK,”

      Unqualified question, who bombed innocent civilians, and why?

      “but fighting for your right to be represented on the job, to collectively
      bargain, to demand safe working conditions, fair wages, and the right to
      actually enjoy life – that’s evil?”

      Your personal opinion of the definition of these 3 things is needed to clarify the question. What unsafe working condition did you personally get saved from by the actions of your union? What do you THINK is FAIR wages? If I can’t afford to buy the car you make, because of your extremely UNFAIR wages, is that FAIR to me? Is it FAIR that your GROSSLY INFLATED wages allow you to take your kids to Disney World, while I can only afford to eat noodles and bread for dinner? Is it FAIR that the unreasonably inflated cost of manufacturing (employee wages) has forced companies to seek manufacturing in third world countries? Although you have the right to enjoy life, the level of enjoyment you THINK YOU DESERVE is not our OBLIGATION TO PAY.

      IS IT EVIL? I AM NOT SUPPOSED TO JUDGE YOU SO I WILL JUST ASK YOU IF YOU BELIEVE THAT GREED (UNIONS AND THEIR MINIONS) IS GOOD OR BAD.

      “When the powerless wish to change their lot, usually violence is a
      part of that. Unfortunately, the “humaness” comes out.”

      Normally, I would not call you stupid, but this sentence is stupid. What the hell are you trying to say here?

      “Now, it will be OK to kill someone if they try to take my food when the “apocalypse” happens,”

      Actually, it is hoped that a simple show of force will be sufficient to deter the thieves without the actual use of deadly force.

      “but it’s NOT ok for a powerless line worker who is tire of being abused to break some windows?”

      NOPE, IT IS NOT OKAY FOR ANYONE TO USE VIOLENCE TO GET WHAT THEY WANT. IF THE LINE WORKER FEELS ABUSED, HE SHOULD LEAVE. DONT TRY TO BLAME HIS MISFORTUNE ON EVERYONE ELSE AND TAKE THE LAW INTO HIS OWN HANDS.

  • wavesofgrain

    This is a great article. Unions have lost their usefulness. For every grievance, there are government regulations and departments to cover them. They should be abolished in the public sector. The taxpayers have become slaves of the public sector.

    • Liberty Lover

      There is a widespread perception, based on a flawed understanding of history, that unions were once a necessary force to balance the “power” of employers. But no US employer has ever had the right to compel any person to work for him. Advances in working conditions widely credited to unions would have emerged inevitably through competion for the best workers. Minimum wage, perhaps the most frequently cited contribution of unions, was actually racist in its origins, intended to prevent blacks from competing on price for jobs; in reality, this has been a detriment to economic growth and to the universe of those desiring work.

      • Capitalist at Birth

        Great facts.

      • Jeff

        “There is a widespread perception, based on a flawed understanding of history, that unions were once a necessary force to balance the “power” of employers. But no US employer has ever had the right to compel any person to work for him. Advances in working conditions widely credited to unions would have emerged inevitably through competion for the best workers. Minimum wage, perhaps the most frequently cited contribution of unions, was actually racist in its origins, intended to prevent blacks from competing on price for jobs; in reality, this has been a detriment to economic growth and to the universe of those desiring work.”

        LL:

        I know you’re an incorrigible right winger and lackeys like KK will lap up everything you say (He’s the male version of Elaine.), but really, your pretense at intellectual detachment is not convincing anyone. The union movement is responsible for most of the advances in workers’ rights, safe working conditions, the 8 hour day, the 40 hour week, and many other advances your acolytes probably think were handed down on Mt. Sinai. Union workers bled and died for every one of them. To say these things would have happened anyway is the ultimate in smug, self-satisfied detachment. Integration may have happened without the Civil Rights Movement, too, but eventually can be an awfully long time. Several generations of American workers were able to live a middle class lifestyle because of the labor movement.

        Do you really think labor laws and labor safety laws were written just because somebody felt like writing them? They were written because of widespread abuses by employers. Remember the Triangle Shirt Waist Factory fire? Ever see the documentary “Harlan County USA”? Prior to coal mining regulations brought about through the bloody UMW fights with Big Coal, thousands of miners died in preventable “accidents.” Now, that number is way down and it’s considered a tragedy when a miner dies. In the old days, it wasn’t even news. You think advances like that are automatic? You don’t think regulation has real consequences for workers? Rand Paul doesn’t. He’s against mine worker regulations. Like you, he thinks the mines will compete for workers. It’s not the real world.

        I know you’ll immediately dismiss me as a union member. I’m not and never have been nor was anyone in my family. But I recognize the value of workers being able to organize.

        • Liberty Lover

          Society has paid a very heavy price because naive utopians such as yourself believe that a rapacious private sector run by devils can be reformed and perfected through the regulatory efforts of those “angels” who seek power in government. Long work weeks and child labor, whether in factories or farms, were the inevitable consequence of life in a free, relatively primitive economy. Do you really believe that we’d be working in similar circumstances today if not for the efforts of unions? The poor have been punished the most by the “benevolence” of elitists such as you. You never have offered your explanation for the realtiy that “poverty” leves, as officially definied, are worse now than they were when progressives initiated their “war on poverty” five decades ago.
          I don’t contend that every government regulation is bad, but I do contend that the cost of creating a regulatory behemoth that needs daily to come out with new regulations in order to justify the existence of those pathetic and overpaid government jobs is far out of proportion to the often questionable benefits obtained. With an effectively operating judicial system, there are free-market solutions to worker issues that would be much more cost-effective than the bloated bureaucracy we now endure.
          I don’t dismiss you as a union member. That would require an unwarranted assumption on my part. I do dismiss you as an intellectually dishonest person who pursues personal education not with objectivity but rather with the objective of becoming more skilled at defending his chosen ideology. As I’ve sugested to you before, read Friedman, Sowell, Hayek, Hazlitt, Mises with an open mind and become an educated man.

          • Jeff

            “I don’t contend that every government regulation is bad, but I do contend that the cost of creating a regulatory behemoth that needs daily to come out with new regulations in order to justify the existence of those pathetic and overpaid government jobs is far out of proportion to the often questionable benefits obtained. With an effectively operating judicial system, there are free-market solutions to worker issues that would be much more cost-effective than the bloated bureaucracy we now endure. ”

            LL:

            I’ve heard this before from you and others that the judicial system can handle the problem, whether it’s environmental degradation or problems in the workplace. For a conservative, you have a mighty healthy respect for the courts. First of all, in order for the courts to act, there has to be a standard put in place by Congress. That means regulation. So the courts should be the method of enforcement rather than EPA or OSHA? That’s an absurd suggestion. Let’s let factories and mines operate in whatever slipshod manner they choose, then let the courts sort it out after the fact? Isn’t an ounce of prevention better than a pound of cure? I can’t believe you actually believe what you’re suggesting.

            Intellectual dishonesty? I’d say you’ve clearly chosen sides and have made your peace with Absolute Intellectual Dishonesty on the Republican side of the aisle. I know, you’re not a Republican; you just vote for them.

            The problem with the “pure” free market economists you cite is they don’t live in the real world. They tend to advocate policies that favor one sector of the economy over others, and they don’t take account of the lives of real people. The economy is to serve people; not vice versa. Government “regulation” serves to even out boom and bust business cycles. For 55 years following FDR’s New Deal, we had no real banking crises. Is that a bad thing because Milton Friedman disapproved? As soon as the Friedmanites and the Deregulatory Zealots were able to overturn Glass-Steagall (The prime movers were 3 Republican Senators led by Phil Gramm.), we nearly had a replay of 1929 with George W. Hoover. Now, maybe in the long run, it would all even out. The booms, the busts. But people live in the short run, and while the bankers don’t really get hurt in the busts, the rest of us do. Maybe that’s OK with you in the name of some economic religion, but to most people, a little more safety goes a long way.

            BTW: We still have sweat shops but not nearly as many as we used to have. Do you really think we don’t have employers now who would replay the Triangle situation and endanger the lives of their workers in the name of profit? Didn’t it just happen in India? Maybe we still need some regulations to keep workers safe. I know Milton Friedman and Hayek are spinning in their graves, but perhaps the rest of us can live a bit longer because of it.

          • Liberty Lover

            It would take a book, perhaps two or three, to deal with all of your erroneous understandings of a free-market economy and America’s economic history. Others smarter than I have done that job, which is why I’ve cited them as possible mentors for you.

            I have indeed chosen sides. I choose to side with those committed to a society grounded in individual liberty and responsibility.

            I grew up in a conservative GOP family even though my father was (perforce) a unionized teacher in a despicably corrupt Chicago (an appropriate birthplace for the corrupt Obama political machine). He antagonized administrators and union leaders equally, both of whom threatened him. My parents were not too conservative to invite blacks (we called them negroes then) into our lily-white community and to join the NAACP (as did I in my teens).

            My choice to become a liberal in my late teens and early 20s might have been an act of rebellion, but emotionally I have always rooted for the underdog (ignorantly at first, more percceptively now). Most liberals never move beyond that pathetically naive devotion to an emotional liberalism; I did.

            Forced to choose between the evils of Republicans and Democrats, I tend to favor Republicans though I vote for Libertarians when possible.

            You can’t imagine a world of limited government and a devotion to personal liberty and responsibility, Jeff, which is why you contend that free-market economists don’t live in “the real world.” They are and have been disgusted with the real world that has predominated throughout history; they champion a more ideal (but always imperfect) world grounded in individual liberty and responsibility. Unfortunately, the founding of the United States constituted an apotheosis of political philosophy; it has been downhill ever since.

            My support is for the judicial system envisioned by the Founding Fathers, one devoted to the Constitution. It’s not surprising that the degradation of Constitutional principles by two bodies of government has been accompanied by degradation of the third body also.

            America has prospered despite the moronic policies of FDR which turned a normal (and inevitable) cyclical downturn into the worst and longest depression in US history. Even now, we are building toward a comparable economic disaster as Obama and Bernanke irresponsibly exacerbate the long-term problem for the sake of their short-term objectives.

          • Jeff

            “You can’t imagine a world of limited government and a devotion to personal liberty and responsibility, Jeff, which is why you contend that free-market economists don’t live in “the real world.” They are and have been disgusted with the real world that has predominated throughout history; they champion a more ideal (but always imperfect) world grounded in individual liberty and responsibility. Unfortunately, the founding of the United States constituted an apotheosis of political philosophy; it has been downhill ever since.”

            LL:

            I can definitely imagine it. I’ve read the history and seen what happens in countries without a social safety net. I know you’re more intelligent than some who think if we got rid of all government that somehow we’d be better off, but I don’t know that your prescription is all that different. Were we really better off in the 19th Century than we are now? There was no government to smooth the rough edges of life. Most people were poor. You worked to survive. If you couldn’t work, you died. Retirement was for the wealthy only. The New Deal changed all that and gave the ordinary working man a measure of dignity so at 65 he could retire and not be destitute. Medicare insured he could have medical care. Do you really want to return to an age where workers had no rights and where the sick and old depended on private charity or died?

            Why do you think even the conservative parties in Canada and Western Europe embrace their socialized healthcare systems? Are they committed Marxists looking to do away with private property and liberty? Hardly. They simply recognize that some things are the province of the private sector and some of the public. It is an entirely juvenile notion that the private sector can handle everything. Some things are uniquely public and should remain so. A private insurer adding 20% or more to the cost of healthcare would be as unthinkable to even a Tory as would the idea of the Government setting up an electronics firm to compete with Apple or Samsung.

          • Liberty Lover

            Why do “conservatives” “embrace” socialized healthcare systems? Why do they pay homage to a dictatorial and incompetent FDR? Most do so because they are victims of an inept education system and lack a valid understanding of history. Some do it because they are intellectual whores in search of power, confronting an ignorant, mis-educated electorate. I’d guess that fewer than 5% of the electorate could articulate the intellectual and moral case for free-market capitalism, and that would include 0% of Democrats. That’s the real world in which we live and I don’t see things improving until disaster has revealed (once again) the tragic ends of socialism.

            The government doesn’t produce wealth, and it “gives” people nothing that it has not first stolen from the producers of society. We can argue about whether Social Security is an embarrassing welfare system or a collossal Ponzi scheme that has earned the most pathetic investment returns imaginable within the most prosperous economy the world has ever known. Chile has shown how to run a successful safety net for retirees. Anyone who follows nationalized healthcare closely can see the inevitable degradation of services. What is not arguable is the reality that both Social Security and Medicare/Obamacare are on paths to failure, and Obama and his ilk don’t have the balls to address the problem in a responsible manner.

            The ONLY social service that is undeniably the province of government is protection of the country and its citizens from threats to their liberties. Instead, government has become the greatest threat to those liberties.

            I will concede that most Americans are not willing to see fellow citizens suffer the consequences of their bad choices…..not as long as they think rescue services are provided “free” by various government entities. Private charities would do a better job by far of dealing responsibly with such problems.

            It’s impossible to prove a counterfactual, but anyone who has studied history with an open mind should conclude that America would be a much richer country today if not forced to operate under patronizing socialist principles toward which democracy has degenerated over time. No group has been hurt more by such foolishness than the poor, and no racial group has been hurt worse than blacks through the unintended consequeces of big-hearted, soft-headed legislation favored by people like you, Jeff.

          • Jeff

            It is ironic that one of your many acolytes, Capitalist At Birth, lauds your posts with the comment “great facts” because rarely, if ever, do you offer any. You start with the premise that unfettered, unregulated capitalism is the best possible system and you conclude that any system under which capitalism is regulated or restrained is, therefore, deficient. Like Plato arguing from the “ideal,” you never have to get your hands dirty with reality. In theory, the “invisible hand” operates to set prices and move capital from enterprise to enterprise, but in the real world, enterprises grow large enough to set prices and to monopolize or set up cartels to control supply. If you think you can run the world by reading Elementary Economics For Wingnuts, you’re even more naive than a 15 year old discovering Marx (or Ayn Rand for that matter) for the first time.

            There’s a reason we have a mixed economy and a social contract. I know you righties like to pretend there’s no such thing as society when it comes to economics although you can usually re-invent the concept when it comes to controlling people’s behavior. I know, I know, you’re a libertarian, but you vote for Republicans who cater to social conservatives who are anything but libertarian. We live in a society in which individuals have rights, but those rights are not absolute as other people also have rights. The gun owner’s rights may have to suffer in a big city, and the capitalist’s belief that every penny he makes is his may have to bend to the necessity of supporting societal institutions.

            I know you are great and wise and have invested your money so well that no economic catastrophe can harm you. You will never need Social Security or Medicare just like you never were so weak as to need unemployment benefits, worker’s comp benefits, or even a public school education. But we’re not all so perfect, and we have decided (Sorry, you weren’t specifically consulted.) that in this country, we will not have people running around poor and starving like in India and some other third world countries. I know how much that decision pains you although I don’t get the feeling that you, unlike many on these blogs, read Dickens so you can revel in the hardships.

            We’ve moved on and unless you’d like to step over poor people outside your gates, I suggest we maintain a semblance of a social contract even if it runs counter to the writings of your favorite economists. We may not all be Keynesians, but most of us are human.

          • Liberty Lover

            I believe you are uneducable, Jeff. I believe the reason is that you are on the payroll of the DNC or perhaps even the Executive branch like a lot of other leaches. I know you are not of an age to be retired, yet you spend hours every day and night posting left-wing nonsense (though yours is somewhat more polished than most) on a blog intended to let libertarians and conservatives come together to share their thoughts. You couldn’t possibly be a conscientious worker for any entity other than one devoted to a campaign of leftist propaganda.
            I really don’t believe you are so stupid you can’t distinguish between a premise and a conclusion. My belief that the free market works better than any other economic system has been the result of considerable study and research. Actually, the logic ought to be compelling even for someone like you. The more free a society is, the more prosperous it will be. This has been demonstrated repeatedly throughout history. You ignorant fools on the left think you can somehow achieve all the prosperity of capitalism while placing shackles on it at every turn. In case you haven’t noticed, socialism and collectivism are failing everywhere. The Russians and Chinese leadership remain totalitarians at heart, but they have at least done the analysis finally and are pushing grudgingly in the direction of greater freedom. Chile is now the most prosperous economy in South America because it is now the most free.
            As even a beginning student of economics understands, when you subsidize something you get more of it, and when you tax it you get less. Uncle Sam subsidizes sloth and irresponsibility. It penalizes initiative and success.
            You repeat endlessly that you and your soft-headed Democrats won’t allow people to live in poverty, yet you have ignored my repeated invitation to explain why poverty levels are higher today than five decades ago when an ignorant LBJ initiated his War on Poverty. In truth, there are tens of thousands of government workers who live off of the impoverished….and they would not have it any other way! Democrats seduce the poor into a pathetic state of dependence. The old slaves had to work hard on the plantation to survive. The new slaves need only vote Democratic.

          • Jeff

            Again, you are so full of generalities and homilies, they’re actually coming out of your ears. No, I do not work for the DNC any more than you are Romney’s chauffeur. Give an example of how business has been unnecessarily shackled. Are there regulations that have outlived their usefulness? Of course. But for you to categorically state that every regulation “shackles” business is pure right wing fantasy. Give some examples. I’m sure you like to know that your food has been inspected and probably doesn’t contain arsenic or salmonella. I know you don’t care about worker safety because you’re not a worker (I learned that from Saxby Chambliss.), but thankfully, you’re not a dictator. Environmental regulations – I’m sure you think they’re too shackling too. They don’t have too many of those in China, but they don’t have much fresh air there, either.

            Every society has to determine the proper balance between guns and butter and between pure profit potential and regulations for the benefit of the society as a whole. You could say the 1933 Securities Act “shackled” the securities industry. Or, you could say it rescued the industry by getting rid of the hucksters and inside traders. Yes, we still have them, but hopefully they are the exception rather than the rule. Had you been around pontificating in the 30s, you’d have said those Acts were socialism, blah, blah, blah.

          • Liberty Lover

            And you are full of disingenuity, living by lies, half-truths and distortions (just like the man at the top of your Democratic party). I’m less concerned with the precise name of the organization that signs your paycheck than with the evidence suggesting you are compensated for “contributing” to this blog (and perhaps others devoted to conservative and libertarian principles) by some entity for whom the ideas embraced by this blog are anathema. You are a political flack, Jeff, an articulate Democratic flack.
            It is impossible in this world to prevent bad things from happening. We can reduce the probabilities through free-market responses to bad publicity or through some new set of government regulations. Every time something bad happens, some pathetic politician sees an opportunity to make a name for himself by demanding some new regulation to “make sure it never happens again,.” Even if the government regulation reduces the chances more than the free-market response that would have prevailed, It’s necessary to ask “at what cost?”
            I never said every government regulation shackles business (as you dishonestly state), but the accumulation of regulations, many of them absurd in terms of cost-effectiveness, definitely have made it difficult for businesses to grow and provide jobs. Obamacare is a collossal example where we’ve seen only the tip of the iceberg of unanticipated negative consequences.
            I’d venture to say there are fewer scoundrels in the business world, where natural corrective forces apply some sort of discipline, than there are in government where the miscreants routinely exempt themselves from the laws that apply to others.

          • Jeff

            I have really tried to avoid insulting you, but you are an unmitigated gasbag. All that verbiage and name-calling and still not a single specific fact, allegation, or recommendation. You can attack me all day, and you do, but you can’t name a regulation that is strangling the economy. I’m sorry if my presence here threatens your place as one of the few who can compose a coherent paragraph, but your calling me a liar because I disagree with you only exposes the shallowness of your thought process.

            So, had you been in power when the Triangle Fire killed all those young, immigrant Jewish women, you would have thrown up your hands and said, “Bad stuff happens”? God forbid the government should tell a private sweat shop owner how to run his business. We don’t need no stinkin’ fire codes, man!

          • Liberty Lover

            Again, the lies and distortions. I cited Obamacare as the most collossal shackle on business, a shackle from which Obama exempted his union cronies. Not a day goes by in which one or more businessmen (including doctors) cite Obamacare as a serious economic hindrance. You aren’t a liar because you disagree with me, Jeff; you are a liar because you lie and distort in the process of disagreeing with me.
            Is your silence on the question of whether you are paid by some politically oriented entity to post your articulate but fundamentally foolish comments on this board tacit acknowledgment that you are indeed a Democratic flack?
            When logic fails, tug at the heartstrings of tragic events to make your point. The businessmen in your world don’t care if their factory burns down and kills most of their workers. Workers and factories are replaceable.

          • Jeff

            You are completely full of it. Those tragic events are what triggered both the union movement and the resulting regulations. For you to ignore the history leading to the regulations you deride as unnecessary is the ultimate in intellectual dishonesty.

          • Liberty Lover

            I well understand the historical cause and effect you cite here. I also understand that emotionally based responses to tragic events can lead to pernicious long-term consequences. We’ve gone full circle here, back to the basic issue of liberals thinking with their hearts and conservatives thinking with their heads. I’ve outgrown my 20s “liberalism,” Jeff; you your ilk have not, and the poor especially are bearing a heavy burden from your lack of intellectual maturity.
            I now take your repeated silence on the subject as an admission that you are a Democratic flack paid to post left-wing comments on this site. I do give you credit for not telling an outright lie on the matter as Mr. Alinsky would surely have advised you to do.

          • Jeff

            I know the whole story – Alinsky, Trotsky, Stalin, Hitler. So, if regulations are passed in response to real people being hurt by business practices we, as a society, deem harmful, that’s thinking with your heart and not your head. So, regulations to force mine owners to not kill their workers are all heart and no head? Securities regulations to prevent fraud are all heart and no head? I’m beginning to think you have neither head nor heart. And your personal attacks have greatly reduced any respect I may have had for your seemingly intelligent defense of what I consider an indefensible position. I’d like to know one regulation on business you DON’T consider “shackling” or counter-productive.

          • Liberty Lover

            So, because I hurt your feelings, may have embarrassed you, may have exposed the fact that you are paid to make comments on this site, the logic of my arguments is thereby discredited? It really is all about emotion with you, Jeff.
            Admitting you are a paid Democratic flack doesn’t inherently invalidate your arguments, Jeff. I will emphatically assert that I receive no compensation for my comments here beyond the intellectual satisfaction of exposing the dishonesty and lack of insight among statists like you. Can you honestly do the same?
            I understand that regulation may be preferred to class-action suits in protecting the quality of the air that I breathe and the water that I drink. I also understand that such regulations can be carried to extremes, and regulations that materially increase the costs of the goods I and others buy because of ridiculously costly rules based on someone’s questionable (fraudulent?) worries about global warming have very adverse consequences to the economy.

          • Jeff

            You have not hurt my feelings in the slightest. I’ve been called worse by people whose opinions matter. But I find your insistence that I’m being paid to oppose your opinions laughable. If you know of someone who will pay me, please let me know. It’s your arrogance I find so amusing, as if your 19th Century economic theories are going to bring down Obama and somebody is paying me to stop you. You do have your delusions, don’t you?

            You still haven’t mentioned a single regulation you DON’T consider counterproductive except the basics of clean air and clean water. But you immediately go the “extremes” language which tells me that, like all Repugs, any time there’s to be any balancing between economic arguments and ecological arguments, the LL thumb will be on the scale just like Fat Tony’s at the butcher shop. I think your questionable (fraudulent?) worries about the economy will have very adverse consequences to the environment.

            Fifty years from now, no one will give a hoot about the deficit in 2013 or about Exxon’s profits, or even the unemployment numbers. They will care about the fact we did nothing to forestall the effects of climate change. Your grandkids will call themselves Oxygen Lovers.

          • Liberty Lover

            You are clever, Jeff. You find my insistence that you are being paid to post here laughable, but you won’t deny it and the weight of the evidence points in that direction. You invite me to give you the name of someone who would pay you to post such tripe when you obviously already know the name of such an entity. It would not surprise me in the least if you are being paid with taxpayer money by the Obama Administration which fears an internet that is less subject to manipulation than the adoring mainstream media. (No, I do not believe that you were hired specifically to oppose MY comments on this board.)
            The dumbed-down electorate isn’t nearly smart enough to appreciate the enduring wisdom of those 18th and19th century philosophers and economists who unchained Prometheus through the American Revolution. Obama prevailed despite the efforts of liberty lovers like me, and I fully understand that I am blowin’ into a very powerful wind that has much more damage to do before it exhausts itself through economic calamity. Miine is PURELY a labor of love, Jeff.

          • Jeff

            What are you – the writer of bad movie scripts? The ones where the working girl asks the guy if he’s a cop because urban legend has it if he says he isn’t, he can’t arrest her? No, I am not being paid to post here. You’re not going to tell my Mom now, are you?

            They say Paul Ryan is a stupid person’s idea of how a smart person sounds. I’d say that pretty well sums up my feelings about your little lectures.

          • Liberty Lover

            I figured that if I goaded you long enough you’d get around to more fully embodying the principles of Alinsky. If you’d made the simple assertion from the start, it might have had some credibility.
            Inasmuch as you’ve complimented me on my intelligence several times, I’ll pass on the temptation to call you a stupid person based on your latest insult. Instead, I’ll compliment you on doing your job well. Whoever is paying you to post here is getting decent value for their money (except to the extent that taxpayers may be the source of your funding). Can’t say the same about Flashy and KGB and most of the others if they are on the same payroll.

          • Jeff

            Unlike you, I haven’t read Alinsky, but from what I gather, much of his advice (He was a tactician; not an ideologie.) could be boiled down to “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Now, explain to me who in contemporary American politics better personifies the Alinsky brand than Newt Gingrich, the man who made his name a household staple among you wingnuts? Maybe Freud knew something, huh?

          • Liberty Lover

            So you managed to come up with Alinsky’s devious tactics on your own? Congratulations, Jeff. Even so, I am surprised he wasn’t required reading for your job. I’m not a huge fan of Newt and Callista (you can’t get one without the other these days), but Newt can’t hold a candle to your boss when it comes to personifying the Alinsky brand. And Newt deserves the lion’s share of the credit for the economic boom that you and yours like to credit to Bill Clinton.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.samuels.127 Jeff

            I’m sick of your idiotic name-calling. No, I don’t work for Alinsky, Trotsky, Stalin, Chavez, ACORN or any other Tea Party boogie man. I actually thought you had a bit of an intellect, but you’re just like Elaine and Alondra. If I want to discuss nonsense, I’d much rather do it with my teenaged son.

          • Liberty Lover

            Not long ago, Mr. Livingston provided a partial compliation of your nastiness on this site, Jeff. He did so after you pleaded with him, like a pathetic spoiled brat, to enforce the double standard of the left that permits only you and your ilk to use name-calling in debate.

            Elaine is a sweet woman whose only offense was to disagree with you and comment on how mean-spirited you are. She admitted she isn’t the greatest intellect in the world. You subjected her to endless name-calling and ridicule. You truly are a very mean-spirited person. In your latest post, you subject even your son to your venomous fangs, suggesting he talks nonsense (like father, like son; I feel sorry for the poor boy).

            Unlike you, I don’t change my opinion of a person’s intellect based on my emotions from day to day. I have respected your intellect from day one, despite the fact that your overall message is fundamentally foolish. I have called you willfully uneducable because you have chosen sides based on emotion and refuse to apply your fine intellect to an objective analysis of history. Elaine does see the “big picture,” while you and your ilk do not.
            You are evidently instructed, consistent with Alinsky tactics, to always get the last word in any exchange. If so, then you should be prepared for a lot more “nonsense” from me as you persist in a campagin of dishonesty, distortion and ridicule.
            P.S. This reply is somewhat belated because my spam filter was somehow able to figure out that the message to which I’m responding was from you.

          • Right Brain Thinker

            I didn’t even bother looking at this article when it first appeared, since the idea of union members being “statist thugs” was so ludicrous. I have only now just looked at it and the comments and have come upon the fascinating exchange between Jeff and Liberty Lover. Fifteen (+) screens of comments without a single interruption from the mindless! (except for Cap at Birth early on). That may be a record for PLD.

            And the exchange was generally quite “literate”, as well, with a give and take of many well stated opinions, and those opinions were well supported as well, at least in Jeff’s case. The discussion did deteriorate at several points—-some simple ebb and flow, I guess, but most of the “deterioration” was caused by LL’s shifting of tactics as he flipped through HIS “talking points for right wing trolls” binder and used every tactic under the sun that he could find there against Jeff. Jeff probably is “younger” and more “passionate”, and LL speaks so that he appears “older” and rather more dispassionate, as a professional shill should and would.

            Very slick operator, our LL—-he is definitely NOT functionally illiterate. He uses big words and big sentences, and even knows where to put commas. Sad to say that he does appear to be “willfully ignorant”, though. Perhaps he needs the troll job so badly that he is able to overcome any self-loathing he may feel at spreading such lies, but it appears that is not so—-that he DOES believe his horsepucky and enjoys repeating it—-that definitely makes him “willfully ignorant”.

            He is not a low level operative as many on PLD appear to be. He is a apparently a “big gun”, who is smart enough that his employers can rely on him to skillfully present “big” arguments. And he HAS earned his pay by running down the entire checklist of right wing talking points. To point out just a few of the more obvious (paraphrased)

            1) Minimum wage is bad

            2) The private sector is never “rapacious”

            3) Regulation is bad

            4) An unfettered free market is good

            5) Read the closed-minded with an open mind in order to be educated

            6) I am a friend to black people

            7) Use “freedom” and “individual liberty” often, but don’t define

            8) FDR was a moron

            9) Our education system stinks

            10) Socialism is bad

            11) WalMart is good (for the poor especially).

            12) It’s folks on the left who spew venom

            13) PLD is a “club” for libertarians-conservatives and no one else

            14) Anyone who points out the fallacies of the PLD “group think” is a shill

            15) Democrats caused poverty

            16) Obamacare is bad

            And the final PROOF that LL is a professional.

            Multiple ALINSKY references! NOBODY talks about Alinsky except those who are reading from a right wing “script”. And multiple “Jeff is a troll” accusations. LL senses “victory” and keeps beating away on that, as any good propagandist would.

            LL said, “I’ll let others judge who ends up looking silly in this exchange. I believe you get paid to employ the tactics of Alinsky to this forum”.

            I’m an “other”, LL, and my considered judgment is that YOU are the one employing “Alinsky tactics”. You don’t look particularly “silly” because you are so talented, but you have overdone it here—-your ego and hubris got the better or you when you said to yourself “I can destroy this kid” and set about to do it You should have just beat up on him a little and moved on rather than put it all out there in such a closely compacted form—-you have exposed yourself and won Jeff’s arguments for him in so doing.

            I will close with a quote from Jeff—-it’s a good summation.

            “You are an unmitigated gasbag. All that verbiage and name-calling and still not a single specific fact, allegation, or recommendation. I’m sorry if my presence here threatens your place as one of the few who can compose a coherent paragraph, but your calling me (names) because I disagree with you only exposes the shallowness of your thought process”.

          • Liberty Lover

            Perhaps I should have inserted “objective” before “others”; you hardly qualify. Might try using the other half of your brain occasionally. Glad you enjoyed the exchange.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.samuels.127 Jeff

            Thank you. I suppose I’m a bit younger than LL, but I just turned 59, so I’m definitely old enough to vote.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.samuels.127 Jeff

            That “sweet” woman compared me to Hitler because I disagree with her. If that’s the kind of person you feel good having on your side, more power to you. BTW, did you happen to notice the object lesson the good people of Texas just gave us? They don’t believe in regulating businesses? Maybe they should start, particularly the inherently dangerous ones. Or is that a bad idea because Alinsky may have agreed?

          • Liberty Lover

            The investigation of the tragic explosion in TX has barely begun, but you just know the cause has to be an excess of freedom because it happened in Texas. You are certain that some reckless capitalist who doesn’t give a damn about people was willling to risk blowing up a town…..AND his business….rather than take prudent actions to prevent such a tragedy. And you just know that some wise and uncorruptible regulator would have been able to prevent this because it’s been proven throughout history that tragic accidents don’t occur in highly regulated blue states.

            This horrible accident will not stop the flight of productive people from highly regulated California to the much more free state of Texas.

          • Jeff

            If you think your opinions are so important that someone would pay me to make you look silly, then I guess you’re truly delusional.

          • Liberty Lover

            I’ll let others judge who ends up looking silly in this exchange. I believe you get paid to employ the tactics of Alinsky to this forum: lie, distort, ridicule, ignore points you can’t rebut. But you still can’t bring yourself to deny outright that you get paid to post here.

          • Liberty Lover

            Yes, most of us are human. And when you think of humans in the private sector, all of the hateful words in your vocabulary come to the fore. When you think of humans in government, all of the noble adjectives come to your mind. That is such a simple-minded and biased view of the world. You really do get your history from Dickens and Lewis.
            Wal-mart has done more good for the poor than any dozen government agencies you care to cite (which really isn’t saying much when you realize that government has raped the poor well beyond the “dreams” of those evil-minded capitalists).

          • Jeff

            I don’t think I’ve used any hateful words at all. It is simply a fact that unregulated capitalism tends to go off the tracks. The simple model posited by Adam Smith where no producer or supplier can influence price simply ain’t the real world. If we still lived in the Jeffersonian world of small farmers and shopkeepers, we would need a lot less regulation of business than we do. Business people are not evil and I think it is quite juvenile for you to impute such motives to me. But if you leave your life savings unguarded, I can guarantee they’ll be gone. I don’t know who will take the money or what per cent of people would take it, but it is guaranteed someone will. I don’t need to say anyone is evil to make that observation.

            As for WalMart, they have helped the poor by providing low prices although there are other places one can buy goods cheaply. I wouldn’t give WalMart a pass because they have also devastated many small towns by underselling the local merchants, thereby creating many more poor people. Also, they are a rather horrible employer. One of the contributors to these blogs, Mac, has worked at the corporate level for WalMart and knows far more about their business practices than I do.

            The issue is not really WalMart’s behavior. I think the morality of its owners leaves much to be desired, but that’s just my personal opinion. What do the Walton kids do with all that money, anyway? I’m sure they do some charitable work but nowhere near what they could. The problem is one of social policy. Walmart, like any other capitalist, wants to maximize profit. That is not evil; in fact, it is a requirement or the Board could be sued by the shareholders. But we, cities, states, and the feds, do not need to be enablers. Companies have one role and government another. If government is there just to help WalMart maximize its profits, then it doesn’t really have much function.

            You really needn’t stoop to the level of some of your conservative brethren. It is possible for people as intelligent as you (or even moreso) to disagree with you. My concern in these blogs is with people who really don’t know anything.

          • Liberty Lover

            No employee of WalMart works there except by an exercise of free choice. I don’t need to know someone who works at the highest levels of the company but who fails to understand that most basic reality. As long as applicants for jobs at WalMart exceed openings by a ratio of ten to one, I know the company has got to be doing things right, not by your standards, Jeff, but by the standards of a competitive market for workers.

          • Jeff

            Yes, if it exists, it must be doing everything correctly. Hegel, right? Unfortunately, “fee choice” isn’t always what it appears to be. If Walmart destroys the economy of a small town by putting the local merchants out of business, Walmart becomes one of the few places to work. People aren’t quite as mobile as widgets, so they go to work there. They can’t work full time so they can’t get benefits. I do my part by avoiding shopping there when I can. Again, the fault is not with WalMart but with the towns who invite them to come in and devastate the economy.

          • Liberty Lover

            Screw Hegel! Government exists and it’s doing almost nothing right! In a free market, continued existence is indeed proof of doing most things right.

            So what does Walmart do when they achieve monopoly power in a small town, Jeff? They mark up prices by 30%, confirming your views of capitalism, right?

            I’ll bet you’d have been carrying a picket sign against Edison’s new invention that put the nation’s whalers out of business. And Ford’s unconscionable efforts that wrecked the economy of those who made horseshoes and buggy whips. Creative destruction is an essential feature of economic progress, Jeff. Learn something about it before offering your views of Walmart.

          • Jeff

            You clearly didn’t read what I posted. I said WalMart is not to blame for the decisions of local towns to allow them in to destroy local commerce. If you see WalMart destroying the economies of towns as the equivalent of the automobile putting buggy whip manufacturers out of business, I pity you. Again, WalMart is just doing its thing by maximizing profits. I do think their labor policies stink and if given a choice, I’ll pick Target or Costco or anybody else over WalMart. I think the company is basically dishonest, but they’re not running for Town Preacher, either. Their advertising is full of American flags, but they’d manufacture in a North Korean prison for an extra price point. Unlike you, I am fully capable of maintaining two opposing ideas in my head simultaneously.

          • Liberty Lover

            We finally found an area of agreement, but tell me: is it a personal attack on you if I agree you have demonstrated an ability to hold two mutually exclusive contradictory ideas in your head?

          • Jeff

            I believe the burden of proof falls on you to prove they are mutually exclusive like the concept of intelligence in the W Administration.

          • Liberty Lover

            I’ll call you as my first witness, Jeff; you did concede the point.

          • Jeff

            Perhaps if you read something a bit more contemporary than Adam Smith, you’d recognize an obvious reference to F. Scott Fitzgerald. The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see things as hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.

            I am able to recognize that a company like WalMart, being driven to maximize profits may, even inadvertently, do things that are not in the public good. It is not necessarily up to WalMart to mend its ways for the public good. That is the province of the public sector. You needn’t villify someone to think his behavior is counter to the common good. I’m sure even you might agree in the “right” circumstance. Didn’t WalMart get in trouble a few years ago when a cleaning crew of all undocumented workers got locked in one of their stores? I’m sure you were incensed about the undocumented workers; I’m less certain you were upset about them being locked in and subject to death in a fire.

          • Liberty Lover

            And because F. Scott Fitzgerald said it, it must be true, right? I did recognize the famous quote, btw.
            Recognizing that reality is complex and that no person or entity is either all good or all bad does not constitute holding two opposing ideas in mind at the same time.
            Let’s put WalMart out of business because some worker made the mistake of locking 5 workers (legal or otherwise) in a store to face the one-in-a-billion chance that WalMart’s fire alarm and sprinkler system did not function properly in confronting a very unlikely fire and the workers burned to death. Talk about “silly” comments!
            It’s not up to you and your fellow elites to decide whether or not WalMart serves the “public good.” It’s up to the many millions of customers who shop there, the tens of thousands of people who work there, and the armies of bureaucrats who enforce the laws (goaded constantly by WalMart’s unenlightened critics) to determine whether or not the company serves the public good.

          • Jeff

            Who said anything about putting anyone out of business? If you think paying workers a living wage, treating them fairly, etc., will put them out of business, you’re not living in reality. All I’m saying is a company of WalMart’s size should be able to operate without tricking its employees by only allowing them to work enough hours so they don’t qualify for benefits. Those employees end up becoming dependent on public assistance (food stamps, Medicade, etc) even though they are “gainfully” employed. Yes, it’s everyone’s business.

          • Liberty Lover

            Frankly, it was difficult to know what point you were trying to make with your silly little horror storiy about five workers trapped in a WalMart (you could probably earn more writing scripts for horror flicks). You clearly believe that elites around the world should deny WalMart the opportunity to “destroy local communities,” which is effectively the same as putting them out of business. As long as WalMart is not breaking the laws in fulfilling its mission to bring consumers the lowest prices, they should be left alone. The company has no obligation whatsoever to pay more than is necessary to obtain a competent work force while complying with applicable laws.

          • Jeff

            “As long as WalMart is not breaking the laws in fulfilling its mission to bring consumers the lowest prices, they should be left alone”

            But who determines what the law is? I’m not suggesting they be prosecuted or closed down. I’m merely pointing out the negative aspects of their operations. What is to be done about it is another matter entirely. Most likely nothing will be done as money buys influence and power.

          • Liberty Lover

            “the negative aspects of their operations” in your elitist opinion. I’m guessing that the laws impacting WalMart’s operations would fill a few volumes, and the regulations by bureaucrats interpreting those laws would fill up several more volumes. You’d like to shackle the company even more than existing laws do. Most of us on this site believe that the vast network of these laws and regulations has a very damaging impact on productivity and economic growth. And no matter what you believe, people care a lot about the overall economy as it impacts their individual standard of living.
            You will undoubtedly ask me what regulations I would eliminate, and then you would come up with some isolated abuse to justify each particular regulation, but rarely are the long-term costs of such regulations entered into the equation, nor is the possibility of regulatory abuse through selective enforcement of the laws and regulations (you probably believe that, government workers being altruistic souls like you, the possibility of abuse is negligible).

          • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.samuels.127 Jeff

            Don’t you have some minimum wage employees to abuse? In the time you spend spewing your right wing venom, a man of your obvious superiority could have written the definitive history of the labor movement (as told by Glenn Beck) or created labor-saving devices eliminating the need for poor people altogether. Or maybe you could be a WalMart greeter. Your talents are clearly wasted here.

          • Liberty Lover

            That must keep you awake at night, the idea that some development might eliminate poverty and thus the Democratic voting base. As for venom, there is much more to be found on the left of the debate than on the right, and your Democratic fangs are out spewing it on a daily basis. I’m sure there are better uses for your talents also, such as manning the picket line outside your local Walmart.

    • coal miner1

      Wrong,what bout the coal mines.

  • Flashy

    Hmm..the virulent anti labor, anti working man attorney spouts trash and lives in Mexico where poverty abounds, Mr. Livingston touts foreign countries to move to.

    Don’t let the door hit your brains on the way out.

    Instead of working for solutions, if the anti union extremists can’t trash and enslave the working man, the people who made this Nation great…they leave to where they can.

    • JThaddeustoad

      The working man made this nation great NOT ANY UNION… that serves the agenda of the organizers and politicians….There was a time when we built the best cars,appliances and durable goods, that was because an entrenpenuer was a free spirit and did not have to bend to the wishes of some LOUT who is putting a dent in the payroll and hides behind the union… I was a working man and a union member,not because I wanted to be,I was forced…As a result I started my own business and NOBODY has a JOB and no body works for me they work with me…. In the office was a sign that simply said “THERE ARE NO JOBS HERE…. ONLY WORK”

      • Flashy

        Hmmm…the time when this nation reached its zenith in terms of Middle Class wealth, in terms of quality product, in terms of social harmony…was also the time when we had the highest union membership. Coincidence? ya think?

        This is not to say there aren’t major issues with unions…there are. just as there are with Big Business. With the growth of one overall AFL-CIO, it has turned Big labor into a corporate model. With the numbers in members, it cannot and will not represent the individual and the small workforce.

        The purpose and need for organized labor has not changed. We see that every day in examining the wealth disparity in this nation. What has changed is the knowledge and the ongoing attacks with the aid of the ignorant which has weakened the ideals of unions…and this has been enforced by the monopoly of the AFL-CIO. Big Business and anti working man is winning this battle…for now. For it has joined with the big unions and usurped the ability of a smaller organized movement to exist and thus represent the worker fully.

        • Raven58

          hmmmm, the cost of goods sold also spiked during those years, union’s you think?

          • Flashy

            No doubt. because hey ability of the labor movement to increase the wealth of the Middle Class…more people having more money to spend and adding to the overall demand for goods. The more people having more disposable income, the higher the demand, and the marketplace works by adjusting prices accordingly. Wow…what a concept eh?

      • Chester

        The times you refer to also happen to be when our unions were at their peak of strength. Then, employees were encouraged to find ways to improve a product, and rewarded for helping do so. Now, if an employee offers a suggestion that might save the company some money, the suggestion is co-opted and the employee is, as often as not, “rewarded” by being shown the nearest exit and invited to never come back to that company.

        • coal miner1

          Tell it to the miners in Wesrt Virginia who lpst their lives.

          • Raven58

            Wow, we have to go back 70 years to make your point. Well, here is a little information for your low information brow. OSHA, Tort Laws, just to name a few that prevent or to the best of there ability these kind of things.
            While you are at it please tell us how being in a union help those Oil Derek drillers in the gulf a couple of years ago? What happened did the union chief fall asleep.

  • slickzip

    AMEN very good article , unions are nothing but gansters and need to be wiped out of histroy for ever ,,,,,,,,

  • FreedomFighter

    Death and disorder follow socialist/Progressive/communists everywhere they go…and if they stay stagnation and rot insue.

    Just look at whats happening in America with our socialist leadership, stagnation,rot, and increasing turmoil.

    Laus Deo

    Semper FI

    • KENYAN KRUSHER

      The NLRB is supposed to be impartial & settle disputes between labor & management…it is not, it is loaded with progressive socialists & despite a court striking down Obama’s illegal recess picks on NLRB, they are still making decisions & arbitrating against employers, though technically, they do not have a legal quorum to do so…..Unions are thugs, but worse are our govt. thugs…this administrations lawlessness is frightening & unparalleled in modern times! A corrupt Chicago-style cabal on the Potomac!

      • Jeff

        KKK:

        Still slingin’ it, eh? No thugs were ever employed by management? Remember the great Henry Ford? He was known for a lot more than the assembly line, the Model T, the $5.00 wage, and “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” His right hand man at The Rouge was a glorified thug who had wannabe union members beaten and killed. Guess who has more money to hire thugs – companies or unions. You guys are anti-union because it’s who you are. I’m sure if you see cops beating strikers, your gut reaction is “they deserve it.” I’m sure your grandfather is very proud.

        • Raven58

          Tell the truth for a change. Henry Ford, hired his thugs in response to the union thugs burning or damaging his stuff. Sort of like any one else who happens to come upon someone destroying there own property. But, you are pro-union and that is a mental illness you have to live with. And to answer your last question, YES. I love it when you union thugs get your heads bashed in.

          • Jeff

            I am neither a union member nor a thug of any kind. You, however, are an ignoramus who understands nothing of our history. Do you like the 8 hour day? The 40 hour week? The concept of weekends? A living wage? When a union negotiates a higher wage for its members, other workers tend to make more as well. Enlightened employers recognize the value in this process. Those interested only in maximizing short-term profits do not.

        • Kenyan Krusher

          HAHAHA!!! We are talking about modern times, Jeff, not 100 years ago!! The pendulum has swung & it is the unions wielding the cudgel!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Jeff

            You’re dreaming. Because of the nature of business in this country, the movement of manufacturing either offshore or to the South, and the changes in labor laws brought about by Republicans, union membership is way down. I think it’s something like 7% now as opposed to maybe 40% in the 50s and 60s. And if you want to discuss the history of the labor movement, you have to understand what happened 100 years ago. If you want to blame everything on the unions, I’m sure no one will be able to stop you, but few who know anything will pay much attention.

        • Vigilant

          “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion?” A proven anti-Semitic forgery and hoax.

          • Jeff

            Obviously, but it IS one of the things for which Henry Ford is known.

  • CTConservative47

    Anyone should have the right to join a union, but NO ONE should be compelled to join one against his or her will. The passage of the National Labor Relations Act in 1936 violated a fundamental human right, the right of association, which all means the right NOT to associate. All the evils of organizd labor in America–and elsewhere–are a consequence of that fundamental violation of the right of association. The NLRA is an anachronism of a bygone era–the Great Depresison.

    The dramatic decline in union membership in the private sector–now less than 7.8%–is a stark reminder that the vast majority of workers have no use for unions, and certainly not for the coercive and thug tactics.

    In recent years, the only growth in union membership has been in the public sector. But unlike workers in the private sector, who want, or should want, business to thrive, public sector union members have a vested interest in growing government because a growing government has greater power to rape the taxpayers and give unionized workers what they want in terms of higher salaries and benefits, as well as six-figure salaries to more union operatives. The unholy alliance between organized labor and the Democrat Party is operating like a cancer on the body politic, putting governments at all levels on the path to insolvency (and many in a state of insolvency). This cancer is fed by forced union dues that finance a gigantic corupt conflict of interest. In other words, Democrat politicians, who should be serving the public interest are, instead, serving the interests of those who financed their campaigns. In matters not what an individual union member’s politics are, his or her dues will be used almost exclusively to support big government Democrat candidates driving our country to bankruptcy.

    And if you want to comprehend the political and economic illiteracy of union activitists (who comprise a dominant segment of delegates), one has only watch Peter Schiff’s visit to the Democrat National Convention where self-identified union member delegates uniformly agreed with Schiff (who was baiting them) that corporate profits should be abolished. Go to:

    THIS is the modern labor union movement.

    • rendarsmith

      WELL SAID!!

    • NC

      ct, WHAT BENEFIT DO THE WORKERS GET FROM THE CLOSE ALLIANCE OF THE RNC AND THE NATIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE? MANAGEMENT CAN MEET AND AGREE BUT LABOR CAN’T MEET AND AGREE?

      ALL VILLIANS COME FROM LABOR????? HOW MANY CROOKED WHITE COLLAR PEOPLE GO TO PRISON EACH YEAR FOR FRAUD AGAINST THE WORKERS?

      REMEMBER THE SAVINGS AND LOAN SCANDAL?? COST THE GOVERNMENT MORE MONEY THAN THE STIMULUS PROGRAMS!! HOW MANY UNION BOSSES WERE IN THAT RIP OFF??

      WOULD YOU BUY AN AUTOMOBILE ASSEMBLED IN THE BOARD ROOM???
      NO GROUP IS PERFECT! IF YOU CAN BELIEVE THE “GOOD BOOK” JESUS’S GROUP OF 13 CONTAINED DOUBTERS AND A TRAITOR!!!

      • Beberoni

        I wouldnt buy one off the assembly line of GM either, especially from a Monday run. And you know exactly what I am talking about now, dont you?

      • Joel0903

        No, I wouldn’t buy an automobile assembled in the board room (I presume you mean by board members). However, I would buy an automobile sold by Toyota, a Japanese company, before buying one sold by GM, a company owned by the US government. My Toyota is more likely to have been created by US workers than the GM vehicle. It’s also more likely to have been created by workers in a RTW state than the GM vehicle (if it was built in America in the first place, and not in Mexico). Almost all of the Toyotas sold in America today were built in Tennessee. Most of the parts in the car were built buy suppliers in America. The same isn’t true of GM. Most of their parts come from overseas, and an increasing number of the cars sold in the US from GM are built in the Mexico plant.

        We don’t require people to be perfect. Oh, and most white collar criminals that go to prison, do not go to prison for fraud against the workers. They, by far, go to prison for fraud against their shareholders or the banks that lend them money (which may or may not be shareholders in the company). A percentage of these “white collar criminals” committing fraud or other malfeasance are union reps, you know.

    • wavesofgrain

      Well said, CTConservative!!! Amen!!!

  • Liberty Lover

    Collectivism breeds mediocrity always and everywhere, whether at the macroscopic societal level or the microscopic level of a labor union or commune. In a union, it’s not the best that gravitate to the top but the most ruthless and unreasonable. It would be wrong to deny employees the freedom to form a union, but it is also wrong to deny an employer the freedom to refuse to deal with a union.

    • Joel0903

      The main problems with collectivism are that it presumes that
      1 – everyone truly is equal and
      2 – that everyone will work equally for the good of the collective. These ideas are both antithesis to how societies actually function. Small collectives can come closer to this ideal if the members have the same goals and pursue them with the same vigor for the good of the whole (the goal). The larger the collective grows, however, the more likely that more and more of the individuals will work at different levels, and have different goals, leading to more of a disparity of work being put in versus gain being taken out. This is human nature, and it is the major flaw in the theories behind collectivism in government.

      • Liberty Lover

        You are exactly right, Joel. It can truly be said that the greatest evil in the world today is belief in the perfectibility of human nature.

        • Jeff

          It is precisely because humans are imperfect, selfish, often uncharitable, and often just plain wrong that we need regulations to restrain the power of business. I take it you still remember 2008. If your theory of unrestrained capitalism is to just let the banks get so large and so greedy and so irresponsible that they implode with bad investments, that’s fine, but what about the impact on the rest of us? Every regulation of business was put in place because of an abuse brought about by human imperfection. If you want to argue a given regulation has outlived its utility, go right ahead. But this idea that leaving imperfect beings with enormous economic power free to wreak havoc on the country would be a good thing are the ones willing to bet on the perfectibility of people like Jamie Dymon and the former Governor of New Jersey. They may be wealthy beyond even your dreams of avarice, but they can still make “mistakes” costing beaucoup billions.

      • KG

        It’s not that “1 – everyone truly is equal”. We are all different. However, we are all “human”. And, as such, all humans need to be respected, if not for their “character” or “moral bearing” but for the mere fact of being human.
        You probably look at Black humans as “inferior”, when the fact of their Humanity is never considered. That’s how good christian people could own slaves, because they were not considered human.
        And so it goes for most workers in America. That guy you bought a taco from Taco Bell Is less of a human than you, right? I mean, you are so smart and intelligent that you will never have to serve tacos to anyone, right?
        That’s what Unions are for – to remind people that the humans who do the dirty work for you deserve the same respect.

  • jimzandensky

    Rare to hear: democracy is soft Communism. And so true. Exactly the reason our Founders chose a republican form; the People remain sovereign.

    • Joel0903

      From a definition standpoint, democracy and communism are the same thing. Maybe that’s why so many of the 60s hippies became Communists. They couldn’t accept that the communism (commune-ism) they were practicing, or saw as the ideal form of society, was not at all related to life in the Soviet Union, Cuba, and China. There’s nothing wrong with being a true democracy (or a true communist country – remember it’s the same thing), except that it cannot work in practice either way. In a democracy, every person votes on everything. Nothing would ever get done. Even as far back as ancient Rome, their government was a republican government, not a democracy. The last working true democracy on a large scale for the period was in Athens (via the Assembly), 2400 years ago. Only about 30,000 people in Athens were allowed to participate in the democracy there (male citizens who had completed military training, no women, foreigners, or slaves).

      All of the so-called Communist countries have been, without fail, dictatorships to one degree or another. The term Communist used by those governments has never been more than propaganda.

      • jimzandensky

        And in the end, everyone is equally miserable, as demonstrated every where it has been tried or forced. Look in any direction of the compass; they are relentless, insatiable.

  • Peter Barney

    Unions are bad all the way around.

    • James

      Nonsense- some unions are bad and some have done very well and have contributed to the creation of the American middle class. Ask coal miners what it was like before unions. Are you so naive as to believe that most corporations have the welfare of their workers at heart? Please…

      • Raven58

        Are you that naive to think that your union’s have your best interest at heart? Try forced union dues to feed the pig.

  • DavidL

    The author of this article, Jim karger, is a member of a strong and powerful union himself. It’s called the American Bar Association. Another strong and powerful union is the American Medical Association. So is the NRA. There is nothing wrong with union as long as it is lawful and not corrupt. Let us remember that the greatest UNION in the history of the modern world is the United States of America.

  • coal miner1

    Kager,Have you ever work in a scab coal mines? You know what hapen to those coal miners while back in West Virginia, it was scab.It was labor unions that overthrew the communist governmet in Poland. Labor unions stand for freedom,communist dread them.There were two things Lenin was scared to death of, labor unions and freedom of speech.He said conservatives are among the most stupidest people in the world .He also said they would sell them the rope to hang themselves with.Ronald (Turn Coat) Reagan prove that point.He sold out to China.Look what they are doing now,Lenin’s prediction came true.We sold them the rope,thanks to your hero,Ronald (Union Busting )Reagan, China will in a few years will over take us.Any comments?

    • Deerinwater

      Ronnie was a democrat on a new riding mow ~ got a little on the uppity side once his pockets were well lined. ~ Ronnie really didn’t know what he was doing but enjoyed some success none the less with poker playing ability and personal charm. I don’t think Ronnie would like what he’d see of he looked in on the GOP today.

      And yea, ~The article is attempting to instill fear of organized labor. ~~ as Unions are a source of DNC funding. ~~ That makes them seen as an enemy and valid target to any right wing agenda. ~ purely as a matter of fact.

      If you will notice ~ the claim is that the violence is “a response to a contract offered by management” ~~ yea ! Right! ~ if you believe that is the sum of it ~ that brought forth such a strong reaction ~ you are not a very worldly bright person and probably need to avoid “Venture Capitalism” all together.

  • Deerinwater

    Saber rattling and Labor bashing. ~ Clearly, things can get out of hand. Bad behavior is hard to justify ~ regardless of your stance.

    But I ask, ~ what does these events have to do with the USA?

    ~ Hot Blooded Latins are notorious for pushing the boundaries of civility. ~ They thinking has always centered around the notion, ~ “you have much and I have little so it’s fair that you share with me.” A basic primitive tribal understanding of survival. ~ They were thinking along those lines before the word “Communist” was ever heard by the human ear. ~

    Where it be organized or disorganized ~ criminal behavior is criminal behavior.

    Organized Labor seems to be the most common thread as today the GOP attempt to mute the voice of Common Labor to where they have no voice and no representation. Yet we see that Business interest is organized and it’s voice is heard from the US Chamber of Commerce building as well as many other places of importance.

    This attempt to defund the DNC to increase the appeal and effectiveness of the RNC ~ is going to blow up in your face. ~Once again the RNC shots it’s own foot.

    Why not attempt to elevate yourselves by the quality of your own merits ~ rather then this constant attempt to bring your opposition down?

    You have got Crossroads, Crossroad GPS, you got Cpac, you have the most wealthy Americans writing you blank checks ~~ you only lack a good candidate with a genuine and sincere message to sell. ~

    I really don’t believe a worthy candidate of quality and integrity ~ would put up with all the GOP bull$hit and that is exactly why you can’t find one.

    You can’t sell a bad track record ~ so rather then improve the quality of your produce ~ you offer us grisly stories of accounts in far away places ~ and the evils of “organized labor” ~~in some feeble hope that a bad track might be found more appealing? ~~ I believe this kind of thinking is ignoring the elephant in the room.

  • mark

    Smearing all unions and their members as thugs and organized crime dupes is the typical tactic of corporations and big business. They take documented evidence of violence and corruption from a few unions and some union members and then apply them unjustly to condemn the entire movement. This is very similar to those who take documented cases of corruption and malfeasance in American businesses and businessmen and use this to castigate all American capitalist operations as corrupt, crooked, and exploitative. Or those who use documented cases of racism among some conservatives and libetarians and then use these to unjustly condemn the vast majority of perfectly legitimate members of both groups. Such simplistic tactics only work among the uneducated and the easily fooled, who ludicrously accept that the proven gulit of one group or one individual can be applied to all groups and all individuals. Some U.S. Vietnam veterans committed atrocities in that war therefore every U.S. soldier who served in Vietnam is a war criminal. Please. But it must be admitted that such absurd reductionism has its appeal among the ideologically biased and that authors on this site and those on many Left-wing sites use similar logical fallacies over and over again to stigmitized entire groups and movements that they disagree with.

  • Beberoni

    Having worked in organized labor unions for 13 years, I can tell you that the are as horrible as you can ever imagine with the crap they do to the very companies that pay them good wages. Its pretty appalling the things I have seen there, and I am sure glad I got out of them some 16 years ago. They are not a good thing for the people starting out in them, or for the companies they hold hostage. I know, I have been on both sides of the fence. I was out, then in, and now out again, and I wont ever go back unless I absolutely have to. They may have served a purpose in the beginning, but just like anything else, once you get a large amount of money, corruption soon follows, and that is where they are at. Its legal gangdom, thats all it is.

    • Speedy

      Took the money didn’t you?

  • http://cowboybyte.com/ Alondra

    The PROPHETIC warning was sent by Via e-mail in April 2008 FROM Kenya:

    Thanks for sending out an alert about Obama.
    We are living and working in Kenya for almost twelve years now and know his family (tribe) well. They are the ones who were behind the recent Presidential election CHAOS here. Thousands of people have been displaced by election violence (over 350,000) and I don’t know the last count of the DEAD.

    Obama under “friends of Obama” gave almost a MILLION DOLLARS to the opposition campaign who just happened to be HIS COUSIN Raila Odinga, who is a socialist trained in east Germany. He has been trying to BRING Kenya DOWN for years and the last president threw him in PRISON for trying to subvert this country! December
    27th elections brought cries from ODM (Odinga Camp) of rigged election.

    Obama and Raila SPEAK DAILY. As we watch Obama rise in the US we are sure that whatever happens, HE WILL USE THE SAME TACTIC, crying rigged election if he doesn’t win and possibly cause a RACE WAR in America.

    What we would like you to know is what the American press has been keeping a DIRTY SECRET Obama IS a Muslim and he IS a RACIST and this is a fulfillment of the 911 threat that was just the beginning. Jihad is the only true Muslim way.

    We have been working with them for 20 years this July! He IS NOT an American as we know it. Please encourage your friends and associates not to be taken in by those that are promoting him. It is WORLD WIDE JIHAD. All our friends in Europe are very disturbed by the Muslim infiltration into their countries. By the way, HIS TRUE NAME is Barak Hussein Muhammed Obama. Won’t that sound sweet to our enemies as they swear him in on the Koran!

    God Bless you.

    Pray for us here in Kenya. We are still fighting for our nation to withstand the same kind of assault that every nation, including America, is fighting. TAKEOVER FROM the OUTSIDE to fit the NEW WORLD ORDER. As believers, this means WE WILL BE the FIRST TARGETS. Here in Kenya, not one mosque was burned down, but hundreds of CHURCHES WERE BURNED DOWN, some WITH PEOPLE in them, BURNED ALIVE.

    Jesus Christ is our peace but the new world order of Globalism has infiltrated the church and confused believers into thinking that they can compromise and survive. (Jimmy Carter?) It won’t be so. I will send you a newsletter we sent out in February documenting in a more cohesive manner what I’ve tried to say in a few paragraphs.

    Love, Celeste
    Celeste and Loren Davis

    P.S. This is a plan for America: @ 1:10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEZKIBZ_Vpo

    • http://cowboybyte.com/ Alondra

      “LET’S MAKE IT A LITTLE HARDER FOR OUR KIDS TO GET GUNNED DOWN.” – barack hussein muhammed obama, speech at Hartford, CT, April 8, 2013

    • Deerinwater

      “Obama under “friends of Obama” gave almost a MILLION DOLLARS to the opposition campaign who just happened to be HIS COUSIN Raila Odinga, who is a socialist trained in east Germany.”

      Oh really ~???Link?

      • http://cowboybyte.com/ Alondra

        The Kenyan Fraud’s team “obama organizing for America” created Cyber Army thru DHS and developed the massive DISINFORMATION campaign to attack Conservative Anti-obama sites, Christians, all those, who oppose the Kenyan FRAUD’s agenda/policies.

        Thru DHS they hired 3575 cyber ‘warriors’ a.k.a. paid shills to use an Internet as a MISINFORMATION tool to attack opposition. They are going
        after pro-Constitution, pro-guns, pro-lifers, pro-God’s marriage, Christian
        “bigots” and “homophobes”, etc. Their task is to vilify & nullify “false”
        information. Their goal is to destroy all American & Conservative VALUES.
        (Aren’t you ONE OF THEM, Darwan?)

        This is already happening. According to the source they put this into the play 2 days after inauguration.

        Each person of those 3575 people involved in this project, are creating multiple online identities. So 3575 would turn into 35 thousands and
        more, who would launch FULL TIME attacks on each and every one who is opposing the Charlatan’s agenda.

      • http://cowboybyte.com/ Alondra

        Move your butt and Google.

      • Bob666

        Yo Darwin,

        You should know better than to expect anything that could be
        construed as a fact from Her Porkness.

    • Bob666

      Mega YAWN!!!!!!!!

  • Dave

    OK people… First thing… Compared to the corporate thugs… the unions are saints.
    Now lets say, the unions are no more like many of you here would like to see.
    Who is left on Capital Hill to lobby for working people? Anyone have a snappy answer?
    So the corporations will have a bigger hand in Congress to change the laws for who’s benefit? Anyone have a thought there?
    Wages, working conditions, safety, trade for the people of this country will all be negatively affected. So while some applaud the destruction of Unions and claim that their usefulness has passed, I disagree. Now it is the time for unions to go international to act as a counterbalance to corporate thugs and leeches who are right now, bleeding this country dry.
    Corporations in this country pay an actual tax rate of 12% on avg, nominal rate is 35% but that is a BS number with all the loopholes available to business. Big Business and their execs are coddled by DC and the true class warfare is what the wealthy are doing and they have been winning since the 1980’s. Working people’s wages have stagnated due in large part to the decline in the power of unions. Today, Union membership makes up 7% of the entire workforce. their power is paultry compared to corp America.
    So as the middle class’s real economic power has declined in the last 30 years. You can thank the lobbying efforts of Corp America for that. If you support the demise of the unions, Corp America will say thanks as they take more benefits from you and get you worse working conditions.

    • Raven58

      hahahaha, and who do you think passed all of those tax loop-holes? Just the Republican’s? Wow, dumb ass people in this world.
      All of these are passed by the same legislators that come knocking on your door for your vote every 4 years (2 for the Representatives) and you run on down the street to elect them and then they turn around and vote these tax breaks in for themselves. And your union boss ie: Dickhead Trumpka is doing the same thing to you as those legislators are doing to you but they tell you it is not them and you believe it. Wake the hell up already.

      • Dave

        Where do I single out the GOP? Dumb azz is right and its staring you right in the mirror. Both parties are to blame because both parties recieve tons more corp money than union money. So it is you who needs a reading and comprehension lesson. You whine about Unions bosses… Unions bosses were not the ones deregulating credit rules, allowing monopolies to come back etc. Unions bosses have much farther to go before they can even touch the fascists in Corp America.

  • coal miner1

    teamsternation.blogspot.com/2011/09/this-is-what-we-union-thugs…

    Sep 20, 2011 · … Albert Einstein belonged to Local 552 of the American Federation of Teachers. … winners were union men, including former Poland President …

    • coal miner1

      http://www.wslc.org/whyjoin.htm

      Albert Einstein, Time magazine’s … he was a founding member of the Princeton Federation of Teachers Local 552, signing its charter in 1938.

  • http://cowboybyte.com/ Alondra

    General Boykin and 700 special op officers demand to speak with Benghazi survivors and special committee. If Congress does not comply, will they seek charges against the WH and Congress for treason?

    “Signers of the letter believe the House Select Committee should look into a number of issues, including the lack of military response to the events in Benghazi, if any non-military assistance was provided during the attack; the number U.S. personnel who were injured in Benghazi; the current locations of survivors; the names of the individuals in the White House Situation Room (WHSR) during the entire 8-hour period of the attacks and was a senior US military officer present.”

    “As veterans from all aspects of Special Operations, we have no doubt that there’s a lot more to what happened in Benghazi than President Obama and his Administration are letting on. From the very beginning, he has attempted to MISLEAD and OUTRIGHT LIED to the American people about why the attack on September 11th, 2012 happened, how it happened, and what our government did or did not do to save the lives of our patriots abroad”

    “The representatives from the retired military community want “a full accounting of the events of September 11, 2012,” adding that the, “American public be fully informed regarding this egregious terrorist attack on US diplomatic personnel and facilities. We owe that truth to the American people and the families of the fallen.”

    • Bob666

      Yawn!!!!!!

  • ridge runner

    All the puke minded morons are the lap rats of the demorat party. When idoits claim unions were needed in decades ago. Most of the simple minded idoits had at the best one skill, and couldn’t negoiate any thing for them selves. Only trouble is the same pee brained stupidity goes on in the beltway, eitherr Congress , President, or the SCOTUS. A sewer of degreed theorists who produce nothing but costs greatlt.

    • Jeff

      [comment has been removed]

      • Jeff Samuels

        Bob:
        What are the standards here? All my deleted comment did was make fun of Ridge Runner’s spelling of “idiot.” Every time he posts anything, it’s full of vile name calling. Is the bar lowered for the less than sane? I’ve noticed some others who do nothing but name call and their posts are rarely disturbed. I try to stay substantive, but when I see posts as nonsensical as those of RR and a few others, I can’t help but engage them. Surely you are aware that some of the people who agree with you are completely nuts.

        • Deerinwater

          Hmm? Not knowing what your comment was, ~ I cannot judge Jeff. ~ While Ridgerunner’s flaming comments does incite and beg for an equal response. You need to think twice about doing so.

          Ridgerunner is displaying to ALL America the kind of character that he is and what he is willing to openly support. His postures himself as a beacon to attract and aspire too with his comments.

          So far, ~ this flaming and outspoken behavior that crosses the line of civility has been most polarizing and a huge asset to his opposition. Ridgerunner cry’s out from a wasteland of political wilderness where being the loudest is confused with a majority.

          Do not interfere with your enemy as it goes about destroying itself. Ridgerunner does not need any help in defining himself and what he is and what he wants.

          The last thing most American’s wants, ~ is to see are Happy Ridgerunner’s, as they push the boundaries of their 1st Amendment rights with flaming comments and disregard.

          The ridgerunners among us ~ we tune out and turn off and thank them for their generous unintended support.

          “Don’t ever wrestle with a pig! You will only both get dirty and he loves it! ”

          John Mc Cain

  • Dave

    When is this site going to do a story about how Haliburton made 29 billion dollars off the Iraq war? Oh I forgot… That isn’t the conservative narrative that gets put forward here. The evils of Unions that comprise all of 7% of the entire US workforce… They are bad.
    The sheep are so easily taken to the slaughter.

  • Jerry

    Here is a great book to read written in the 1930’s .The Old Boat rocker. You would think it was written today.

  • ChuckS123

    Teh workplace doesn’t have to be zero-sum. Unless the marketplace is really messed up, the free enterprise system generally increases productivity, making more for everyone. Productivity is generally hurt if the government messes businesses up with excess taxes and/or regulations. And/or unions mess them up with excess wages, benefits, and/or work rules.

  • Doug

    I met a Ford Motor Co union steward the other day and he seemed pretty dumb and parroted the union/socialistic mantras. And thinking about who are Ford union workers as well as union workers other places, these are people that do tasks that don’t take a great deal of brain power, like screwing a part on to an assembly over and over for hours. So many of these people are influenced by the mantras, the brainwashing from the unions. This steward kept calling me “brother” and I realized that is part of brainwashing the masses into believing the union is all for them.

    I worked in a place that was union and non-union both, union people having the jobs about anyone could do and non-union people having the jobs that took education. The union people claimed that the union did nothing for them. But I was non-union and at one point the director told me he could so anything to me he wanted as I was non-union and he pretty much was correct. So my opinion is that unions can be a good thing, but many times become a bad thing. The union steward I met said he could sum up all of the discussion with the word “greed”. I told him that both the management and the union have this problem of greed.