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Doug Kasey On Labor Unions

Tyler Durden's picture


Doug Casey of Casey Research is interviewed by Louis James on the topic of Labor Unions

Contrarian investor and free-market thinker Doug Casey doesn’t mince his words. That’s why he is a sought-after speaker at investment conferences – not only for his spot-on investment advice but for his no-holds-barred views of the markets, economy, and politics. In light of the recent events in Wisconsin, here are his musings on labor unions.

L: Doug, we recently talked about turmoil arising from the clash between labor unions clinging to wages from the fat years and bankrupt governments facing lean-year budgets. You saw that as a sign of more imminent chaos – a warning worth giving – but we didn't really get into the subject of labor unions themselves. Knowing your philosophical bent, I'd bet your views on them might surprise many people…

Doug: My take is that there's nothing inherently wrong with unions, as long as they are voluntary associations of people – they're just associations working in certain trades or in certain places. It's natural. Sure, why not?

But there are problems with the way unions exist in reality today, particularly when membership is made mandatory. That's a violation of the human right to work. When you can't work unless you join the union, and union membership is limited – often to people with political connections or family relations with union officials – it's clear that the union is not a defender of the little guy, but a kind of protection racket. It's a fraud.

That doesn't just harm the individual worker who may wish to enter a unionized field; it has broad economic consequences. When only union members can work, the union can set wages at whatever level they want. That makes the product or service in question more expensive for everyone in society. In other words, unions don't help the average working man – they only help those who can get into the unions. They hurt everybody else: non-union workers, employers, and consumers at large. And it gives union bosses extraordinary power.

L: Always a dangerous thing. As a matter of principle, whenever unions get politicians to write their wishes into law, what they do ceases to be collective bargaining and becomes naked coercion. And of course the politicians pander to the big unions; unions are big blocks of voters. How could it be otherwise?

But Doug, you're the capitalist's capitalist, the world's most unabashed defender of wealth accumulation – aren't you supposed to hate labor unions? Don't you risk being kicked out of the cigar club for The Evil Exploiters of the Masses?

First off, there's no way I'm giving up my cigars – especially those from Cuba. But how could I object to voluntary associations of people? If unions were more like the Lions Club or Rotary Club – both of which simply encourage people to get together and act in unison – I'd have no beef with any of them. But the fact of the matter is that labor unions, guilds, and so forth are not truly voluntary associations. And that's entirely apart from the corruption that the union movement is riddled with – not just in the U.S., but everywhere in the world.

The good news, however, is that coercive unions are on the way out. They're anachronisms. They're leftovers from the time when people were like interchangeable parts in the giant factories they worked in. People were so replaceable that one person was little better or worse than another – because they were basically biological robots. In the early industrial era, labor was in oversupply, society was poor, and conditions were harsh everywhere. It's understandable why workers felt they had to band together for self-protection. But the industrial era is gone. The assembly line with thousands of workers is totally outmoded. In the global information age, trying to extort high wages for manual labor is pointless. Soon robots will be doing almost everything, then nanomachines will replace the robots. People will only be doing work that requires thought, judgment, and individuality. Those aren't things that can be unionized.

L: I've long thought that Big Labor was a rational market response to Big Business, a lot of which relied on rote behaviors back then. If you were just one little guy on the assembly line and your supervisor didn't like you, what chance did you stand without the backing and solidarity of your fellow laborers? Unfortunately, huge industrial concerns were highly vulnerable to sabotage – it's hard, for example, to police thousands of miles of railroad tracks.

I believe that weakness in the soft underbelly of tight-fisted business owners proved too tempting a target for many workers. And that sort of thuggery prompted management to hire thugs as well, to intimidate workers. I can't really say who started it, but tit for tat brutalized the whole dialogue – and both sides scrambled to secure politicians in a sort of labor-relations arms race. "Labor" and "management" have been at odds – sometimes violent odds – ever since. It's no surprise to me that Marx and Engels, products of the early industrial era, saw everything in terms of class conflict.

Absent government coercion to be used as a weapon by one side or the other, organized labor and management would have worked out their differences in a very different way. If one union bargained collectively for a high wage for their members, another union could bargain for a lower wage for their members and get the jobs. Or the company could decide to hire non-union employees and take on the extra burden of dealing with each employee individually. It would be a normal market process that would discover the right price for reliable labor at any given time and place.

As with so many things, it's the state and its coercive power that's the problem, not the unions. Nor management.

Doug: Exactly. It was also a time in history when society was changing from an agricultural base to an industrial one, so of course there was turmoil. Just like today.

Suppose some Mexicans or Salvadorans living in Detroit got together today and formed a union for Hispanic people and offered to build cars for half the wages the current unions are getting. They could even allow non-Hispanics to join the union – to try to defuse the inevitable accusation of racism – but the deal would be that you join to get steady work in exchange for willingness to work cheap. Would the mouthpieces of Big Labor stand up to defend them? I doubt it.


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Mon, 03/07/2011 - 20:55 | 1028133 PeterSchump
PeterSchump's picture

We have two rackets, the corporate protection racket and the union protection racket.  They are both equally and inherently evil.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 21:10 | 1028160 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

PeterS: nay, that's three rackets, gotta' add the statist racket that feeds the U.S. "civil service" racketz that are on evidence e.g. WI and OH and soon to be coming to a location near <most of us> {not presuming where u come from, but, well, great pair on your icon}.

- Ned

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 21:13 | 1028171 samsara
samsara's picture

About as black and white as Democorp and Republicorp.


Tue, 03/08/2011 - 03:32 | 1028486 DavidPierre
DavidPierre's picture

Then there is the Dug Kasey PUMP and DUMP newsletter(s)!

I hope some wild ass Gauchos over run his lastest scam...

 Argentinian Gated-Community Hideout for Rich MoFos 

...And they mount his pompous head on a bloody pike.


Tue, 03/08/2011 - 05:19 | 1028975 CH1
CH1's picture

Dude, they're developing property. That's evil?

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 03:08 | 1028921 Hacksaw
Hacksaw's picture

Not even close. I never knew a union to off shore it's member's jobs.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 07:25 | 1029020 Slartibartfast
Slartibartfast's picture

Unions almost became redundant, but then big corp. greed heads like the Koch Bros. et al reminded everyone why they're necessary. Face it, corporations would bring back slavery tomorrow if they could. There was enough state legislated worker protection in place, but then the lobbyists went to work and queered the deal. If the Koch Bros. don't like unions, they only have themselves to blame. Every lobbyist dollar they spent undermining labour protections breathed new life into unions, proving once again that Greed Has No Off Switch.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 20:56 | 1028134 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

Public unions are non-sensical.

Not only isn't there a presence of an exploitative capitalist but the government's goal should be to provide as many services as inexpensively as possible, while the goal of labor unions is to maximize compensation and minimize work.


The union bots can keep howling to the contrary but it doesn't change the above.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 07:53 | 1029037 snowball777
snowball777's picture

"We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combination of masters, though frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labour above their actual rate" - Adam Smith

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 09:27 | 1029211 RKDS
RKDS's picture

Public unions are non-sensical.

Not only isn't there a presence of an exploitative capitalist

Yeah, corporate lobbyists totally don't infest the government and write its laws...

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 20:56 | 1028135 Orly
Orly's picture

"...the union is not a defender of the little guy, but a kind of protection racket. It's a fraud."


Give that man the blue ribbon!

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:47 | 1028501 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Totally. It is well known, I think anyways, that unions go their start with longshoremen. A notorious industry on both sides of the coin. And the organizers were all mafioso. And the opressors were smuggling all kinds of contra-band (drugs/things/people).

So, the birth of the Union movement was infected with the criminal mind.

TO expect an apple tree to grow from an orange seed is to be delusional.

Unions have become criminal looking because they had criminal roots.

For a while back there, when a big boost was needed to get the consumption climbing straight up, collective bargaining etc. were used to mollify workers. But the men that stood for them? 

Remember the quick and ugly death of the One page union agreement at Saturn Motors? 


Tue, 03/08/2011 - 03:21 | 1028923 DavidPierre
DavidPierre's picture


There aint no Mafia in the good ol USSA.


 FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover attempts to block the formation of the Kefauver Committee which is intended to investigate organized crime in the U.S.

 Hoover repeatedly tells committee members that he knows nothing about the Mafia.

In fact, Hoover and his lover, FBI Assistant Director Clyde Tolson, are long time associates and frequent guests of leading American Mafiosi and receive lucrative "tips" on fixed horse races from their gangster friends.

Heavily censored documents in Senator Kefauver's FBI file will show that Hoover collected material on the senator, clearly for the purpose of blackmail or smearing him. Hoover refuses to provide FBI protection to Committee witnesses, even after two are murdered.

Even when the Kefauver Committee determines, despite J. Edna's protests, that the Mafia does exist and is doing big business in the U.S., Hoover, predictably, does nothing.

 Fraud artist, unindicted criminal, conspicuous WWII non-combatant and and homosexual transvestite cum FBI Director J. Edna Hoover hires cute little Clydie Tolson as an FBI agent-in-training.

Within a year, J. Edna is insisting that her new squeeze be included on White House invitation lists.

By 1930, Clydie is miraculously promoted all the way from agent-in-training to Assistant Director of the FBI, J. Edna's right hand man, as it were.

 Tolson will remain in that position and be the gay-bashing Hoover's lover until J. Edna's long overdue death in 1972.

Although Hoover's homosexuality is well-known, his much propagandized and completely fictitious public persona is dead butch and, as part of the cover up and because he is a nasty old queen, Hoover persecutes homosexuals and other "sex deviates" relentlessly.

J. Edna makes rather ironic public statements about hunting for "sex deviates in government service" and orders FBI agents to "penetrate" homosexual rights groups across the U.S., collecting the names of members, photographing demonstrations and recording speeches.

The FBI's criminal spying on American citizens attempting to practice their theoretical rights of free speech and freedom of assembly will go on for at least twenty three years.

Hoover repeatedly uses homosexuality, real or fictitious, as a smear tactic against those who dare to speak out against his endless abuse of power or in order to discredit people of whom he disapproves.

In addition, the threat of exposure for real or imagined homosexuality is a powerful blackmail tool in Hoover's arsenal although doubtless there are other things in his arsenal.

Hoover will misuse his position as FBI Director for half a century to persecute, oppress and blackmail homosexuals and to blackmail heterosexuals with the threat of being smeared as homosexual.

Among Hoover's victims-to-be are Franklin Roosevelt's Undersecretary of State, Sumner Welles, who will be entrapped in an engineered homosexual liaison and forced to resign.

Hoover will also use the homosexual smear tactic in attempts to discredit Martin Luther King, Adlai Stevenson and three of Richard "Tricky Dick" Nixon's gang of criminal thugs, for whom it is hard to feel sorry.

But the darkest side to Hoover's hidden homosexuality and predilection for wearing ladies' clothing is that it lays him wide open, no pun intended, to blackmail. The Mafia, CIA Director, Nazi shyster and Rockefeller minion Allen Dulles and others are quick to take advantage.

A photograph of the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation performing fellatio on the Assistant Director of the FBI ends up in the hands of Mafia kingpin Meyer Lanksy.

 Possession of the photo ensures complete freedom of operation for the Mafia in the United States during almost forty years of Hoover's tenure.

Hoover will repeatedly stymie and block investigations into the mob and claim that the Mafia simply does not exist.

"No one who is a sex deviate
will ever be appointed to the FBI."
J. Edna Hoover
Homosexual transvestite and FBI Director

"I regret to say that we of the FBI
are powerless to act
in cases of oral-genital intimacy

unless it has, in some way,
obstructed interstate commerce."
  J. Edna Hoover
"J. Edna gave great Hoover."   Clydie Tolson
J. Edna's main squeeze and Assistant FBI Director


"That old cocksucker...." Richard "Tricky Dick" Nixon
(This might have been just about the only thing Tricky Dick ever said which wasn't a lie.)


So just forget all that shit about the Mafia and Unions! No such thing... another   CuntSpiracy Theory!
Tue, 03/08/2011 - 07:33 | 1029025 Slartibartfast
Slartibartfast's picture

Unions didn't start in America. Hate to break it to you, but their history goes back much further. Guilds and Trade Associations trace their history back to the middle ages. Unions became necessary because working conditions were inhuman. The fact they got hijacked by organized crime is merely a US sideshow in the big story. Big business never raised its head and said 'unions are run by criminals'; instead, they just cut deals with the criminals running the unions.

What's amazing is how short our memories are...there are guys still alive who remember 'the company store', and other outright usury tactics where workers were cornered into working for essentially nothing. Think it's all about 'class'? Well, it is...welcome to economics.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 07:52 | 1029034 snowball777
snowball777's picture


Those short memories are no mere accident.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 05:19 | 1028976 CH1
CH1's picture

Totally. I have stories I could tell...

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 21:02 | 1028147 anythingispossible
anythingispossible's picture

Is it Doug Casey or Kasey?

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:38 | 1028355 xPat
xPat's picture

Stay tuned for the next article, "Tieler Durdin on Speling"...


Tue, 03/08/2011 - 05:21 | 1028978 CH1
CH1's picture


Tue, 03/08/2011 - 07:55 | 1029038 snowball777
snowball777's picture in "I'm gonna Casey this joint and see if there's anything valuable and easy to fence."

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 21:02 | 1028148 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

Make sure Max Keiser reads this. He's supporting that Public Service Union is Wisconsin.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:46 | 1028376 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

Yes but Max Kieser is just trying to have all the rioters on his side, I don't blame him. Deep down, he knows unions are a joke.

Max wants revolt, where ever he can find it. He was in Lebanon recently, trying to start a riot there.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 21:13 | 1028152 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

Unions are fucking pointless.

We have OSHA, Federal Minimum Wage, Workers Compensation, Disability Insurance all these fuckin' Federal laws to protect the workers rights and these pieces of shit call their critics "Hitler" and "Satan"

Fuck off shit turds. Welcome to the real world where you have to work for your shit.

Suck my balls you evil pricks. What did the bond holders get for lending you money? Fucked in the ass. AND YOU STILL MAKE SHITTY CARS,2933,472304,00.html

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 21:17 | 1028191 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

They had all this stuff in the 19th century when unions didn't exist too.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 08:06 | 1029048 snowball777
snowball777's picture

FAIL. Google Knights of Labour, ignorant.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 16:13 | 1030602 Almost Solvent
Almost Solvent's picture

My sarcasm detector is failing.

First, I thought Bob was being sarcastic.

Then, I figured Bobby was being sarcastic.

Then, I Googled Knights of Labour and now I have a sarcastic headache.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 21:51 | 1028262 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Wow. Tell us more about your balls and fucking.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:02 | 1028282 trav7777
trav7777's picture

fuck you.

Let's see you condemn the management that fires workers to pad their own bonuses.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:12 | 1028300 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

I condemn management for not disemboweling the UAW with a rusty spoon.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:20 | 1028444 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

there really is no point in explaining the truth to folks like this - the country is eating itself alive in search of growth and profits and the people against unions want it all to go back to slave labor anyway.. they enjoy seeing half the world starve to death.

eventually, Americans will be so jaded that any country can invade us and there will be no will to fight..  fight for what?? 



Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:29 | 1028455 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture me where I said anything about slave labor.

Seeing as you won't be able to, please allow me to retort - don't put words in my mouth scum bag.

I work for a large company that doesn't allow unions and guess what? I love my fucking job. If my job was a woman I would make love to it for days on end (and no, it's not financial services)

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 02:12 | 1028880 Henry Hub
Henry Hub's picture

I'm very glad you enjoy your job at Wall-Mart. They certainly appreciate a happy worker. And one of these day they are going to raise your hourly rate above $7.25 an hour. It's going to happen real soon now. And you certainly don't need a union, no sir! You hang in there now.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 05:22 | 1028980 CH1
CH1's picture

Nice try, HH. Unions are pigs - I've known many of them. Their promise to you is to be better thugs than the other chumps. Period.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 08:06 | 1029047 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Do you love it enough to work for half your salary? How about a quarter?

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:47 | 1028499 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

r u serious?  the unions are gorging at the public trough in hard times and you accuse those who suggest they should back off a few steps of imposing slavery?  where does this left wing demagoguery come from?

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 00:09 | 1028583 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

It comes from his shit knot.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:26 | 1028329 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Let's see you condemn the management that fires workers to pad their own bonuses."


Or grants themselves stock options after layoffs.

And I remain anti-public sector unions.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 00:11 | 1028591 Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

So, as a business owner, I shouldn't have the right to hire and fire anyone I choose, but workers should have the right to quit whenever they want and go work for someone else for more money? Fuck you. High turnover rates cost employers money. Most employers want to retain skilled workers, not fire them, asshole.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 03:23 | 1028929 Hacksaw
Hacksaw's picture

Where is your business and what is the name of your business. I want to be sure not to throw any business your way.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 08:00 | 1029041 snowball777
snowball777's picture

 "Most employers want to retain skilled workers..."

 "...and go work for someone else for more money?"


I think you just answered your own question, Hoss. If you want skilled workers, but don't want to pay them what they're worth on the labor market, then fuck YOU.

Wed, 03/09/2011 - 10:55 | 1032866 4ndy
4ndy's picture


Tue, 03/08/2011 - 08:09 | 1029053 snowball777
snowball777's picture

So let me get this straight...we shouldn't protect workers, but should protect people who invest poorly?

Did the people making the cars fuck up GM, or was it the financial wing, GMAC, sidling up to the securitization and usury trough?

Know your enemy, fool.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 09:33 | 1029229 NumberNone
NumberNone's picture

You got it right SB.  I personally could give a shit about unions, just like any other organization that becomes institutionalized corruption seeps in and the original intent for their formation just becomes running cover for graft.

But right now unions have become the magician's favorite distraction right now.  Country crashing financially because of the greed of the financial institutions and the ass raping they've handed the country...but they get to lie in the shadows and cover their tracks with trillions of dollars from The Bernank.  Hardly a peep from the public. 

Elected officials sucked up every dollar from the ponzi bubble then spent five.  Now that the shit has hit the fan, time to parade out everyone's favorite whipping boy the unions. Unions provide public displays, unlikeable people, and a message that most American's can understand and hate...guaranteed wages above minimum wage and retirements guaranteed for life.  The average American caveman will stare and scratch his ass over a discussion of derivatives and housing bubble...but put up on the tv some union illiterate that screams about how unfairly they are treated then remind American caveman that this union puke gets to retire before sixty suddenly you've got the masses divided. 

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 21:06 | 1028154 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

It's the life cycle of these things. It started with workers standing up for better conditions and often paying with their lives. It became another bureaucratic organization that now simply works to justify its own existence.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 21:11 | 1028165 GottaBKiddn
GottaBKiddn's picture

Totally one-sided and uninsightful post, and the comments went downhill from there.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:55 | 1028398 SRV - ES339
SRV - ES339's picture

Weasel words... very disappointed in ZH for posting this as a serious piece of journalism, it is not, this guy is a shill, nothing more.

So unions should give workers a choice in a union shop... maybe we should make income tax voluntary as well, I'm sure the majority would do their civic duty and pay up... give me a freakin break.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:15 | 1028439 Cistercian
Cistercian's picture

 One word to google: Matewan

  I am descended from coal miners and steel mill workers.Before the Unions, a lot of people died on the job.While some Unions became very corrupt, the reasons they started should not be forgotten.

 I support the Miners and the Steel Mill workers...strongly.It's in my blood.


Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:35 | 1028472 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

most people who talk smack about unions do not know that the majority just want a steady job to raise a family and do all the happy horseshit that the morning news and schools and holidays point you towards.. none of them get rich.   


That's like saying all the bank tellers are living like Dimon - sure there are some creeps out there abusing the system.  So take them out, not the system

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:42 | 1028487 SRV - ES339
SRV - ES339's picture

Very true Cistercian... as business person, I have lots of problems with how unions function (sometimes they're almost as bad as But it's so sad to see the union demonizing from the right (like this piece) has turned so many who benefit so much from the union movement, against them.

And good for you, for remembering where you came from!

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 08:02 | 1029044 snowball777
snowball777's picture



Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:40 | 1028483 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Hey SRV, the income tax SHOULD be voluntary. The fact that is mandatory means that the State has first claim to your labor, which means-- by definition-- that you are a slave to the state.

Of course, it figures that you support the tyranny of the income tax, just as you support the t yranny of forcing workers to pay union dues-- another form of slavery.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:50 | 1028507 SRV - ES339
SRV - ES339's picture

Brilliant comment from the thoroughly brainwashed... no taxes to fund common services... back to the good old Wild West "pardner".

BTW, hate to break it too you, but it really wasn't like the movies you know... I figure a wimp like you would last about a week... and sorry, mom wouldn't have a basement for you to hang in either!

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:58 | 1028544 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Hey moron-- where did I say I was opposed to taxes?

Excise taxes are just fine, and supported the Federal Government for over a century.

Quit putting words in my mouth, asshole.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 08:03 | 1029046 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Is 'the state' preventing you from immigrating elsewhere? Don't like the value proposition? Then cop a walk!

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 13:11 | 1029990 TheEternalTriangle
TheEternalTriangle's picture

Unfortunately a US passport doesn't grant you a work permit for the rest of the world. You might be able to leave the US but the rest of the world might not want to have you...

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 00:15 | 1028614 robywire
robywire's picture do get that slaves don't get a choice.  Don't you?

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 21:13 | 1028172 Shameful
Shameful's picture

He's right about needing juice to get let in.  Best friend's brother can't get an apprenticeship in IL, even though his dad is a second generation union man and wants to apprentice him.  Nothing like a guild system to limit labor and opportunity.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 08:09 | 1029054 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Does working for next to nothing (see Foxconn) 'limit labor'?

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 11:48 | 1029657 Cistercian
Cistercian's picture

 Oh come on, they provide nets to catch the workers that throw themselves from the dormitories where the workers are imprisoned...I mean thoughtfully housed.

 On second thought, never-mind.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 21:15 | 1028178 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

I agree with his general opinion on labor unions. I would also add that they are given an upper hand by law. For example, autoworkers across GM, Ford and Chrysler can cooperate to try and control the cost of labor. Traditionally, they picked one of the U.S. automakers to strike every three years. However, if GM, Ford and Chrysler work together on the opposite side it is called collusion and restraint of trade...or simple price fixing and is illegal. Now, if one is legal, the other should be, as well.

Next, public unions should be outlawed everywhere. If the unions drive GM under (as they did) with bad deals and mediocre work there is some balance. However, public unions have access to all the wealth in the country through taxes and the State can never go under. They also have massive coercive power. Imagine if your police, fire, teachers and go on strike. Imagine if the cops take careful notes on the tag numbers of Tea Party or other tax protesters. Imagine if the fire dept. happens to be slow to your burning home. Imagine if DMV keeps losing everyone's paperwork...and so on. Public unions are corrupt and corrupting and have the power of the State behind them. As I like to say about goverment unions is that unrestrained "public servants will make the public their servants" through unlimited taxing ability.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 21:21 | 1028201 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Unions much like CEO's in their present forms are out of control. Both seek way too much compensation for the amount of work they put into companies/government agencies.

Unions have to be able to reach an agreement where the executives don't get everything, the company is still profitable, and the unions are properly compensated. That being said, I don't think it will happen in my life time and I'm not that old either.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:10 | 1028294 Acting Man
Acting Man's picture

I agree that it won't happen in our lifetime.  There is going to be a tipping point soon for our society, but unfortunately I see the statists gaining power after it is said and done.  A heavy dose of Econ 101 would have been dealt to both the CEOs and unions had TBTF not been allowed to enter our lexicon.  Corruption and theft on both sides was given the Federal seal of approval with the bailouts.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:06 | 1028289 trav7777
trav7777's picture

JFC, I can't pretend to have any patience with you people anymore.

Do you REALLY believe it was UNION labor on the line floor that made the corporate decisions that made GM into a failure?

Did UNION labor drive GMAC's financing debacle?

The biggest myth out there is that it is LABOR's fault, when the blame lies SQUARELY with the people who MADE the decisions in failed companies- MANAGEMENT.

Management designed those cars, decided what products to release, implemented marketing failures and greenlighted shit.

And wtf happens when GM goes BK?  Management gets RETAINED and bonused like in every other fucking failure TBTF BK company while the rank-and-file gets told fuck you.

I will generally agree on public sector unions, whose employees don't need protections, but I shit you not that if you put performance bonuses in higher-ups in government, you'd see the same bullshit as in the private sector.

Management owns the politicians and they now form an interlocking directorate with union management.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:53 | 1028393 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

Management was pushing as much sales as possible to pay for their huge overhead which is THE UNION MACHINE.

Bob Lutz-"Hey wagoner, how are we going to cover our union obligations ?"

Wagoner-"sell more cars ! lease, finance whatever !"

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 00:02 | 1028553 trav7777
trav7777's picture

which is why UNIONIZED VW, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Daimler, BMW all collapsed too.  Right.  Effin idiot

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 00:09 | 1028580 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

Oh its that simple right ??

Unless every car company, the world over, collapses at the same time, then unions must be great.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 01:39 | 1028824 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

Deny, deny, deny.


No it wasn't unions- it was the particular union known as the UAW.


The more experienced oldest car maker union  in the country that continually produces shit, crap product instead of the inverse which should obviously be the case.


They are outcompeted by alien non union automakers in TENN and ALA with lesser educated workforces earning a fraction of the competition.


Makes no fukking sense at all unless one concludes the UAW is actually regressive which it obviously happens to be.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 03:38 | 1028942 Hacksaw
Hacksaw's picture

Well, why didn't Ford go broke and need a bail out then? Last I checked they have the same UAW union that GM has.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:43 | 1028493 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

trav, don't be an ass. The unions worked hand-in-hand with management to drive GM into the ground. They needed each other to loot the company; each one justified the other's existence, and they did a magnificent job not only destroying the company, but inflicting maximum damage on shareholders, bondholders, and taxpayers.

Wonderful things happen when management and unions work together!

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 02:14 | 1028882 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

Management must ultimately take the blame as they cut the deals and make the big decisions. They chose to field crappy cars and listen to assholes from finance who didn't even like cars instead of engineers. However, it's not management that does the bad welds, screws up the wiring harnesses and comes in on Monday with a hangover...well, maybe the hangover. I owned a Dodge Omni at one of the crappiest cars ever made. I thought it would blow up at about 11k miles and I traded it in early and lost my ass. One of many American autos I bought and traded in my early days. I was all-American. I never buy American, now. I had engineering friends who worked on projects in car companies. I have other friends who manage plants that produce cardboard for shipping. They will tell you in a heartbeat about unions and why it is hell working with them. It's all about what they won't do and under what conditions they will do much of anything without massive compensation and constant intervention by the union. My friends who managed both union and nonunion will tell you that they actually got better work and in the end treated the nonunion employees better because they were not so damn hostile and open to adaptation. One of my brothers was a union steward. I know very well what I am talking about.

I have no problem with unions in concept...employees banding together to discuss issues with management. That's theory. Reality is they are a branch of the Democratic party, are run by bosses that are for themselves in a ruthless seniority system and are routinely corrupted. When I lived in the NE, there was hardly a week go by without a union prosecution or corruption story.

I told my union brother that businesses would stand in line to get union employees if they actually had higher work standards, better work, less conditional and were cooperative, not to mention huge perks like replacement workers available immediately if one is sick, absent or hung over. He told me that that would make them more like an employment agency. And the problem is???

You know communism-socialism-collectivism always work wonderfully in theory, too. You should see all the theoretical utopian societies they've created...with union labor to boot!

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 08:34 | 1029057 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture


Good god we actually agree on something else...the necessary role of organized labor....

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 09:29 | 1029221 trav7777
trav7777's picture

with our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy


why are you surprised we would agree on other things?  I don't generally make a habit of being wrong lol

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 09:49 | 1029263 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture


Nor do I....

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 21:19 | 1028193 samsara
samsara's picture

 "It's understandable why workers felt they had to band together for self-protection. But the industrial era is gone.

The assembly line with thousands of workers is totally outmoded. In the global information age, trying to extort high wages for manual labor is pointless. Soon robots will be doing almost everything, then nanomachines will replace the robots. People will only be doing work that requires thought, judgment, and individuality. Those aren't things that can be unionized."

He does a good job showing the transition of Pre to full industrial era and the need for unions(remember those 8 year olds in the factories) but then completely looses it by projecting a future with Robots and Nanomachines...

Perpetural Growth being the base paradigm.


If you understand the transistion from Ag. to Industry Rev.  Try to picture how it will grow backwards. 



Mon, 03/07/2011 - 21:25 | 1028212 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

If the government reverted back to the original Constitution, I would try like hell to run a small farm and live on my own.

Farm life>Corporate life.

Of course the grass is always greener...

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:44 | 1028373 Jasper M
Jasper M's picture


You might want to look into uranium hydride. Or Thorium. Or Polywells. Cheap energy is the future. DEEPLY sorry if this contradicts you Faith. 

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:57 | 1028402 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

Agree with you too.

The world is flooded with natural gas and nuclear energy is basically infanite.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 09:32 | 1029224 trav7777
trav7777's picture

yes, totally

you are infantile, BTW.

fissile materials are far from limitless

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:53 | 1028399 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

Agree, typical western gold bug. Doesn't understand freegold.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 21:43 | 1028242 Zina
Zina's picture

Oh, unions are so bad... Good old times in the 19th century, before the unions, when people worked 60 hours per week, and there were no such things as "weekend" and "holidays".

Well... At least the corporations think those were good old times... Their employees were slaves... Great time..

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:00 | 1028279 Acting Man
Acting Man's picture

You have to be aware of the circumstances surrounding the period you're talking about.  People moved en masse into cities to find work and took factory jobs, working 60+ hour weeks.  Do you think farmers worked 40 hour weeks back then, or today for that matter?  You speak of employees as slaves, but the last quarter of the 19th century saw an enormous amount of people come out of poverty and build wealth.  This period was defined by its lack of government regulation, lower government spending and sound money.  The propaganda and dogma unions spread, extolling themselves as the saviors of the laborer are complete nonsense.  The very people they claim to help are hurt the most by the unemployment help cause.  They make it unprofitable for companies to hire more people, turning many into the arms of the state, much closer to slavery than a 60hr work week.  The "slavery" you speak of can be walked away from at any time.  If this is the case, what is your definition of slavery?

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:08 | 1028292 trav7777
trav7777's picture

fucking starve then while the Astors who own you build yet another palace.

Unions built the middle class- what the fuck, you think management paid all those fat salaries because they WANTED to?

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:16 | 1028296 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

WWII was the engine that built the middle class shit head.

Ya know what the unions did?

Look at Detroit; a unions wet dream.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:49 | 1028388 trav7777
trav7777's picture

World war fucking 2?

WTF did WW2 do for the middle class except get them chopped up in europe and the Pacific?

And they returned to the US with what, the ability to fire an M1?  WTF use was that?

The oligarchs did NOT part with their 7 day work weeks, sweatshops, and child laborers by CHOICE, you dig?  Management didn't AGREE to a 25:1 CEO to worker pay ratio!  Where the hell you think that came from, what...was management during that time suddenly SO GENEROUS that they did something they've bent over backwards to REVERSE ever since?

Detroit...right...MANAGEMENT that produced shit like the Pinto and Edsel is never to blame, eh, bootlicker?

Show me where unions decided what cars to build or to steer the car company into a ponzi finance business. 

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:57 | 1028401 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

WTF did WW2 do for the middle class except get them chopped up in europe and the Pacific?

Every industrialzed nations manufacturing was destroyed from relentless bombing. There was a lot of infrastructure destroyed as well, like rail lines, roads, shipping ports, etc....except...wait for it....the U.S

The U.S was left with the only infrastructure and manufacturing base capable of rebuilding the world.


Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:43 | 1028491 trav7777
trav7777's picture

another idiotic position, great.

No, every other industrialized nation's manufacturing base was not completely destroyed and wtf did US workers have to do with "reconstruction"?  THEY worked in THEIR factories, our laborers did not suddenly have access to greater job opportunities.  Toyota, Mercedes, Braun, Krupps, Mitsubishi...all still existed and they retooled with indigenous labor.

We certainly had products to sell but why not just IMPORT a bunch of starving germans to do the work?  UNIONS.

You clowns should look at germany or japan...unionized along with quality products.  In fact, most of Europe is unionized and the sky hasn't fallen.

Perhaps looking at corrupt management and banker classes always looking for cheaper pseudoslaves to arb would be a wiser use of your time.  If you think the benevolence of management is why the CEO:worker pay ratio compressed postwar, then you are really terminally dumb.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:48 | 1028502 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

you are either a troll, or just unbelievably ignorant.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 00:03 | 1028559 trav7777
trav7777's picture

you are either stupid or a moron

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 00:16 | 1028613 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

In fact, most of Europe is unionized and the sky hasn't fallen.


lol...ok you must be joking. You got me good there. You know practically all of Europe is insolvent right?

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 01:44 | 1028833 trav7777
trav7777's picture

who isn't?

BMW ain't.  Daimler ain't.  Toyota ain't.

They all have union labor.

the reason everyone is insolvent, idiot, is not because of labor, it is because of management..or did you forget who just stole trillions from the Treasury?

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 01:47 | 1028840 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

Union bots are great.

Europe is broke as hell.


The states with the highest union membership also have the highest unemployment rates.


Temp agencies are booming which graphically show that the cost and regulatory burden of hiring full time employees is at least 30% over market value since the temp agencies take a 30% cut.


Talented skilled workers are treasured moreso than ever by corporations. The problem seems to be with the workforce actually acquiring or being taught unique talent and skills.

deny, deny, deny.


One would have to be on LSfukkingD to start a labor intensive business in the US. Takes 10 people to just deal with the paperwork and bullshit associated with hiring the 11th.


Tue, 03/08/2011 - 08:21 | 1029066 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Belgium: 41% union membership, 8.7% UE

Italy: 53% union membership, 8.2% UE

Spain: 6% union membership, 20.3% UE

Ireland: 8% union membership, 13.9% UE

I'm sorry, were you trying to make a false conclusion?

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 09:35 | 1029236 trav7777
trav7777's picture

blame government and their diversity mandates.

Europe may be "broke," but union companies in Europe (and Japan) most certainly are not broke.  Germany isn't broke.

I find it amazing that ZH commenters RAIL till blue in the face about shit like 911 conspiracies and how evil the plutocrat banksters are, yet here they are condeming the ONE lever the little people have to jew any money out of either of those

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:24 | 1028322 Acting Man
Acting Man's picture

It has nothing to do with wanting to or not.  A market wage for a given job is set when an entreprneur (evil business owner) offers an amount of money for it and a person (in most cases a number of people) accept that amount.  Its all subjective valuation and both sides are better off.  The middle class was well established before unionization of industry took place.  Upward mobility was easier due to lower levels of taxation, government regulation and other barriers to entry.  Try starting and running a business today.  It would be a safe bet to say just about all of the union fan boys on this site have never done so, nor will ever do so.  Your opinion would turn very quickly.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:40 | 1028479 trav7777
trav7777's picture

hey, man, feel free to rewrite history as it suits your absurd argument.

Due to immigration abundance, reality has never jibed with your revisionist view, but have it anyway

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 00:07 | 1028571 SRV - ES339
SRV - ES339's picture

What a pompous, arrogant ass... I was a partner in, and President, of a mid size aerospace facility, and couldn't disagree with you more.

A winning business model respects and cares for their most valuable resource... the workforce! Unfortunately, most (like yours I assume from your astute comments) do not, and have themselves to blame for whatever issues they have resulting from unionisation. NO Honda or Toyota facilities are unionized... they have a winning (not whining) model.

The middle class was well established before unionization of industry took place

Absolute BS... what are you on?

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 02:23 | 1028888 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

They are in Japan and BMW is here. However, they have a much better and more cooperative relationship, in general. Their labor costs for most the 80's and 90's were actually higher and they had to contend with tariffs and shipping costs, as well. Yet, they gobbled up market share each year. People will pay more for better stuff.

Unions and management are both to blame. Look at most every unionized industry in America (except government) and they are constantly in financial trouble and declining. It's the nonunion producers in any industry that are surviving or doing well.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 02:28 | 1028897 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture

you think management paid all those fat salaries because they WANTED to?

Obviously not, but it doesn't matter now, we're in a collapsing economy, those fat salaries/wages can't be afforded anymore, the money just isn't there, and no, execuutives aren't going to give up their pay/bonues.  Don't like it?  Fine, go on strike, management will  shut down the plant and take the operation overseas where there aren't any unions.

Smart people realize the union game is over and make other arrangements.

Dumb people refuse to recognzie the union game is over, don't make other arrangements, which is fine, hope they enjoy living on the street. 

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 09:38 | 1029247 trav7777
trav7777's picture

good thing the management game ain't over huh?  They can still count on a bailout to pad their own bonuses.

We serfs can find joy in watching them in their castles or gather around the group TV in our favelas and watch the "stars" on television.  Maybe there's a new reality series in this called American Torch where we let a serf on TV for 15 minutes before lighting them on fire.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 03:49 | 1028946 Hacksaw
Hacksaw's picture

Now trav, you know those robber barrons were just a bunch of nice guys. If you wouldn't sell your land to the rail road they'd just shoot you and take it. Real nice fellows.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 21:49 | 1028258 randomstranger
randomstranger's picture

I am a unionized employee.  Where I live, people still stand in rememberance once a year for the people in our towns who were killed for trying to unionize.  We do this because our grandfathers, your so call "shit turds", went down into coal mines when they were ten.  Yeah the good ol days when families were slaves to a company store. Our memory of just how happy big biz is to fuck us over is fresh and clear.  Unions are only as good as the people voting in them. 

"The truth is the nation is "awash" in cash. It has just "been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers" to the banks and the "uber-rich." America's wealth is so concentrated that 400 "obscenely rich" people now have as much money as "half of all Americans combined." Yet these elites have managed to avoid a full-fledged revolt — until now." 

Don't for a second think that the people who actually work for a living, instead of stealing for one, are going to go down easy.  Wisconsin seems like a very nice place.  I hear that some of the states are not doing so well despite the "money will trickle down" plan the rich decided to implement... with everyone's best interest in mind of course. Good luck America.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:43 | 1028351 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

The Federal government has replaced the need for unions on almost every level. What do you think OSHA and all the other Federal backed departments do? I mean for christ sakes, if you work more then 40 hours in a week you get double overtime as mandated by the government! 

You don't honestly think if unions were stripped of power that 10 year olds would be forced into coal mines do you? What time period do you think we are living in? You talk like Carnegie is on the verge of sending in the Pinkertons to massacre workers.

And when the Union FORCES you to join to get a job, and FORCES you to pay, just to be able to work how is that not oppressive? Furthermore, you have no say what happens with the money taken from you. The Union heads do whatever they want regardless of the welfare of union members as long as their comp. is preserved. Look at Wisconsin...1,500 teachers are about the get axed and I don't see the Union Heads doing shit about it. I hope those 1,500 union members feel swell about the union dues they were forced to pay just to be able to work.

Furthermore, look at almost everything involving unions and you'll find it broke or in shambles. The auto industry is broke, the states with unions are broke, everything involving a union is broke. How is that good?

The problem is everyone wants to be compensated like a Chief and it doesn't work like that.


Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:51 | 1028513 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Exactly. When someone else has a coercive first claim on your labor (in this case, forced union dues are the first claim in question), then you are a slave to that someone.

It really is just that simple. Most idiots think that the War Between The States was fought to free the slaves-- what unbelievable nonsense. Thanks to the income tax, union dues, medicare taxes, and a whole host of parasitic taxes, there are 10x more slaves in the US than existed before 1865.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 08:25 | 1029076 snowball777
snowball777's picture does OSHA help the dead miners in WV when the mine owner pays for his slap on the wrist and continues on with unsafe mining practices anyway?

Do you think that the labor protections sprung up ex nihilo?

And, yes, mining companies like the International Coal Group most certainly would exploit anyone and everyone they could in the pursuit of profit.

Guess who isn't broke, asshole.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 09:57 | 1029282 RKDS
RKDS's picture

The Federal government has replaced the need for unions on almost every level.

Yeah, let's all rely on the hated federal government; what could possibly go wrong?

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:00 | 1028265 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

When you can't work unless you join the union, and union membership is limited – often to people with political connections or family relations with union officials – it's clear that the union is not a defender of the little guy, but a kind of protection racket. It's a fraud.

Sounds exactly like the admissions processes to the "best" schools and employment opportunities at our most "prestigious" firms & think tanks.  It's all a crooked racket perpetuated to support group think, the two party system, fragmenting society and setting one group against another so the beasts can feed.  If you're gonna blast Doug, don't pick just one side of the coin pal or you're acting like a kid at the supermarket checkout bitching about not getting your candy from those that sign your check.  Are you really a beast supporter Doug or does it just look that way?

I can hire one-half of the working class to kill the other half - Jay Gould

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 21:59 | 1028278 Andy Lewis
Andy Lewis's picture

Fuck off, plutocrat filth.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:14 | 1028304 trav7777
trav7777's picture

Fuck people who hate the institutions of unions.

Unions are the paragon of FREE MARKET CAPITALISM.

The corporations we now have masquerading as unions are kind of an abomination.  Management PREFERS Chinese slave labor because...this means MORE PROFITS FOR MANAGEMENT.

For every higher-paid worker fired, that means a bigger bonus for a manager.  And the numbers of people who will BOOTLICK these pieces of shit is amazing.

Doesn't it occur to you idiots that these same managers are the ones who BOUGHT our politicians and ARE the banksters?  You complain about the oligarchy yet shit on every single vehicle to make collective bargaining power.

WTF, you think you and your stupid AR15 have the juice to go head to head with one of the plutocrats?  You and your buried canned fuckin ham and your stupid farm?  The top 400 could grind 1000 of you up into dust and feed you to one of their racehorses and get off scot free...they will TAKE your fuckin farm, your silver, and your fkin canned ham from your "cold, dead hands" because they are stronger than you are.

If an oligarch wants to move your job to China in order to make his own paycheck larger there is nothing YOU alone can do about it.

They sold you propaganda and you bought it hook, line, and sinker.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:28 | 1028332 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Since you like labor unions do you think it's okay to form a Taxpayers Union, call it the International Brotherhood of Taxpayers or IBT?  This union will protest living wages for government employees, protest against strikes by public workers, support sympathetic politicians, and generally go on strike to cripple government whenever they don't like the amount of tax they have to pay.  It would make for a fine balance against our current system. 

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:37 | 1028350 trav7777
trav7777's picture

sure...we are supposed to have a We the People government...the IBT sounds like a new one

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:52 | 1028392 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture


And would the head of the union vote for higher taxes or higher wages?

Don't you see the conflict of interest? That's why it's against the law for Federal employees to unionize. It's also why states with strong public unions are in the fucking shitter with high taxes/layoffs and States with no (public) unions are doing fine.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 00:19 | 1028608 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

Get a clue you clueless citizen!!

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union representing 600,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide and overseas. Workers in virtually all functions of government at every federal agency depend upon AFGE for legal representation, legislative advocacy, technical expertise and informational services.

NOTE: It's not the only union that represents federal workers.

Back to the supposed meat of your comment.  Meat that any vegan would know for what it is...

As opposed to crop supports, pharma support, mage defense establishment, home mortgage breaks, millions of pages to the tax code, TBTF WIC cheese and all the like?

Wake up and either slam it all or be the funk fakin' bitch you appear to be

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 00:20 | 1028630 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

I'm 100% against all that shit.

I'm also against TARP, and all the other bullshit.

I am 100% against the welfare state. This article happens to be about unions. If it was about TARP I would slam it as well.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 00:24 | 1028643 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

Got links to support your proposition that it's illegal for all federal employees to organize?  Or are you a shout from the gaping hole on the side of your neck kinda citizen?

If you're gonna slam, slam it all or you're playing favorites.  My exact call to the author who has a history of selective vision.  By supporting that you are in essence making a liar out of yourself

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 00:24 | 1028648 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

I'm 100% against all that shit.

I'm also against TARP, and all the other bullshit.

I am 100% against the welfare state. This article happens to be about unions. If it was about TARP I would slam it as well.

From the most recent ZH article:

by bob_dabolina
on Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:22


I think the bankers and the politicians involved in this bullshit should be forced to sit in front of the capitol in stocks, and get seamen filled pies thrown at them by every single American.

Just line 'em up.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 08:29 | 1029083 snowball777
snowball777's picture

They're called the "Americans for Job Security", idiot.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:40 | 1028482 Bob
Bob's picture

Well said, Trav.  It ain't so complicated as people like to pretend.  Problem is that blindness can be so intensely motivated that people will fight for it as if their lives depend on it.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 00:11 | 1028594 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

Bob, for many their vocation is to deny others their pursuit of same.  Fact remains that the whole mess is rotten to the core.  We once again find ourselves back at Holoween

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 03:05 | 1028919 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture

<chuckling>  I'm starting to enjoy these rants trav, good belly laugh from this one :)

If an oligarch wants to move your job to China in order to make his own paycheck larger there is nothing YOU alone can do about it.

And pray tell what your union could do about it?

Let me guess: 0

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 04:44 | 1028959 Hacksaw
Hacksaw's picture

Are you saying that if the workers had enough leverage with congress that they could get, let's say a "if you don't make it here you can't sell it here" law, that wouldn't stop a company from shipping jobs to China?

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:31 | 1028337 siliconvalleyboy
siliconvalleyboy's picture

Get a life Doug. He uses all this sophisticated language to basically say that we should neuter the rights of the working class. I dont count CEOs and IBs as workers, they ae basically "skimming" of the work of everyone else. The working class needs the ability to unionize and fight-back the CEOs and Bankers. The amount of money that the CEOs/IBs can throw at changing laws to favor them is astounding and here we have a guy like doug talking about preventing others from doing the same. The situation being discussed is very simple, if the big guys can do it, maybe 1000 little guys can have the "power" of 1 big guy. The endcase of this not working is whats happening in Libya, Egypt etc. Americans are in a stupor and brainwashed by the "low tax" lobby, they will wake up soon enough....

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:58 | 1028404 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

Get a life socialist.

He is not against unions, read it again.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:42 | 1028490 Bob
Bob's picture

Give it a critical reading and you see what's going on between the lines.  He's a hustler pretending to be driven by conscience. 

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:57 | 1028531 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

No, he believes in the principles of voluntary association, and is against coercion.In other words the principles that this country were founded upon... but were unfortunately abandoned in 1913.

Since you love communism, I'd suggest you'd move to Cuba, but you don't really have to. Communism is doing just fine right here in the good 'ol USA thanks to doucebags like you.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 00:18 | 1028620 Bob
Bob's picture

It may be, Mr. McCarthy, that it is the preponderance of people with only one foot in reality who are the biggest liability this nation bears at this point. 

Enjoy that Havana.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 04:44 | 1028961 Hacksaw
Hacksaw's picture

Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me, moron.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:37 | 1028345 gwar5
gwar5's picture

People have a right to work and shouldn't be forced into a union to put food on the table. Unions are the top 8 out of ten money contributors to politicians. They're trying to buy their way to prosperity instead of helping businesses work their way to prosperity. And they're the biggest contributors despite the fact that only 15% of labor in the US is union.

The first thing the UAW at GM did when they took control was go to the supplier unions and tell them they needed to take a 40% pay cut. Something they were unwilling to do themselves to save GM in the first place. When the numbers looked good, they did their IPO.

Foreign car companies making autos in the USA are more competitive because they are non-unionized. 

Unions are trying to unionize us to death and out of the global market place to save themselves. Just another squid.  

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:43 | 1028364 trav7777
trav7777's picture


GM failed as a car company because of decisions management made, cars they approved, product line decisions, nevermind the GMAC debacle.  Was GMAC a union decision?


Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:01 | 1028412 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

You misguided socialist...

GM failed as a car company because of stress on management to sell cars to satisfy their union obligations.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:49 | 1028508 trav7777
trav7777's picture

ROTFL...when has MANAGEMENT ever gotten a paycut?

Have you ever had a job where the entire company is in a raise freeze and yet management still hikes bonuses?

GM's union labor was NOT at fault for the atrocious decisions of management.  Idiot, it occur to you that jap, german, french, and italian carmakers are ALL union?

WTF, you bootlickers for the oligarchs make me laugh out loud.

And I am a socialist??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Unions are capitalist institutions, dipshit.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 00:23 | 1028646 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

Evidently the most atrocious decisions GM ever made where dealing with the unions. 

You sure feel sorry for the piss tanks making $50 an hour to sit in parks and drink jack daniels all day.


Tue, 03/08/2011 - 04:52 | 1028964 Hacksaw
Hacksaw's picture

Wrong again yenius, GM failed because they priced themselves out of business trying to satisfy the "funds" who held most of their stocks and the big shots who had all the stock options.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:14 | 1028433 Long-John-Silver
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They sold 281 Chevy Volts in Febuary. GM stock has fallen below the IPO price. GM is fail again.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:43 | 1028363 Jasper M
Jasper M's picture

I find Mr. Kasey's opinions very balanced, realistic, and constructive.

But doubtless Leo will not approve.

I was non-union my entire working life, mostly temping. I walked away from bad jobs, and got myself promoted in good ones. The only 'security' you have, or really need, is competence. All my personal experience w/ unions was their thugs trying to intimidate me into joining, so you'll understand my suspicion of the model. 

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 22:43 | 1028366 jkruffin
jkruffin's picture

Being a Union member myself, I have to say that not all unions are equal, and that is where the problem with unions arise. They are not a racket, anymore than any other business or entity in this country.

The biggest problem with Unions, as it stands, is the trump card used to stop work. In my union, and since we provide critical services to the government hospital, we have a no work stoppage clause. With the no stoppage clause, it really cuts down on the power a union has, by A TON!  There is nothing wrong with picketing, just do it on your off time, not while you should be working and getting paid.

The good things unions do are protect benefits, wages, etc..., and protects people against ethics violations and unfair labor practices companies use everyday on their employees.

As long as negotiations are done in good faith, on both sides of the table, then there is no complaint from either side.  The problems come in when unions like the UAW and other huge unions try to use there work stoppage Trump card to get what they want.There are very few times, if any, that these congolmerate unions didn't use or threaten stoppage of work to get what they wanted. The company more times than not has to give in at some point financially, and that is what causes price increases more times than not.

Don't stop unions, don't bash unions, just make it where they can't have work stoppage and 95% of the problems disappear. We have no problems negotiating with our company. Do we get everything we want?  NO, but we can usually give up something to get something in a trade off of sorts, and so on. And YES, there are times we don't get what we want no matter what, and there are times we do get it. We do this by continuing to perform our jobs and not causing the company financial problems or possible loss of contracts.

Unions are not the problem, its the people running the unions, not the working members of it. Those running the unions are no different than the greedy CEO's of the banks and car companies.  Just check how much those in leadership positions of the union make, and you will see it.


Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:13 | 1028432 treemagnet
treemagnet's picture

Just read your bullshit after posting - you work for a gov't org. where absolutely nobody is looking out for the publics interest.  The negotiator is your buddy's uncle.  He'll grant whatever, whenever and bind the public to pay for your demands.  I'm self employed - there's like 8 laws making it illegal for me to talk/share/agree with competitors regarding pricing (including your employer, the public!).  Why is whats fair to and for you gotta come outta other peoples pockets?  You're like fucking wolves hunting in packs preying on the old and sick prey.  You're never satisfied with your contracts.  Like a little brat in a candy store screaming for more...get more, scream more.  You unions don't even know whats fair anymore, except mores better than before.  "Feather bedding" is what they called it in the 40's, not its called lazy, sloppy, can't make it in the real world on their own, losers club.  Harsh? fuck you, I get fired and hired with every job.  You're like a fucking zoo animal whose every need is attended to by kind hearted attendents.  Meanwhile, you look down on whats gotta happen to make my world turn.  However, I've noticed that each and every one of you loser fucking union assholes turns into a little capitalist when it comes to spending your ill begotten booty.  The money's gone fools, the jig is up and you're just don't know it yet.  And yeah, just so we're all clear, I don't care for unions. 

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:54 | 1028527 sellstop
sellstop's picture


Did you ever vote? Do you remember voting for your representation? I do.

And a no strike clause? That is when you work without a contract for years. That is when you have a union in name only. What does an employee have to deprive an employer of? HIS LABOR!! That is all.


Tue, 03/08/2011 - 11:52 | 1029684 jkruffin
jkruffin's picture

As I said, all unions are not equal. Not every union is trying to suck the blood out of companies, government, or the people. The ones responsible for this are tied to the biggest corporations paying out the billions in bonuses. FACT!

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:18 | 1028408 treemagnet
treemagnet's picture

What if everyone joined a union - wheres the advantage?  Its a "us vs. them - fuck 'em" program....pure, plain, and simple.  Unions only go after the high fixed cost organizations - not the least of which is gov't.  Another lengthy article that arrives at what is known to all non-union members.  My only comfort is that the end is nigh for members - the moneys gone, promises made were just promises - like promises made under the bleachers in high school during "the big game".  I'm self employed.  If I grant myself massive raises and benefits every year, then walk into my wife's office and say what the fuck woman.....wheres my money....what'ya think shes gonna say that the look on her face does not already say?

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 04:59 | 1028967 Hacksaw
Hacksaw's picture

Tell the truth now, it may be "us against them", but the elites started this war. Don't get your panties all in a wad because the other side is waking up and starting to fight back.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 11:31 | 1029595 treemagnet
treemagnet's picture

First, the only thing that gets me wound up is union stuff.  That said, the elites are no doubt the root of the problem, but the power grab in the name of all that is America pro-union bullshit is just too much.  You missed my point, so here it is again, public unions are against the publics best interests - the public has no vested interest at the table.  These contracts are the most difficult to break and exemplify the "ratchet effect" by not allowing for downturns, recessions, and depressions.  

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:07 | 1028422 billwilson
billwilson's picture

Not crazy about unions, especially accountants, lawyers, doctors and dentists and... all the professionals run unions, they just don't call them that. They restrict membership and try to enforce minimum fees.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:18 | 1028442 Upswaller
Upswaller's picture

Yeah, I can't wait to have the plumba do a root canal on me.  Why go to the guy with the fancy letters after his name?

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:08 | 1028423 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

no one discusses the primary issue - its all about union management using member dues to bribe politicians

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:52 | 1028519 trav7777
trav7777's picture

that's a problem, i agree 100%

but why is union management doing that?  For favors for themselves.

Unions need to burn because their management forms an interlocking directorate now with corporate management.  Same private schools, same country clubs, same revolving doors. 

They use unions like management uses corporations, as their own personal Disneylands

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 03:30 | 1028933 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture

It wouldn't matter if union mgmt were saints.  In this economy those high wages/benefits can't be afforded anymore, plus there's too much overseas competition, at least in manufacturing, I disagree with that overseas competition but there's nothing I can do about it, our traitorous government wants to wipe out the middle class for some reason, I don't know why, unions will die along with the rest of the middle class, common sense.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 08:33 | 1029088 snowball777
snowball777's picture

That yellow dog won't hunt.

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 02:31 | 1028898 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

You're onto part of a bigger truth here. It is about government's ability to offer favors to anyone because of it's tentacles into everything. This is where Wall Street fat cats with bailouts and public or private unions with favors like union shop and card check all meet. They all meet at the trough of government favors...right next to the farmer getting his subsidy, the sugar industry's protective tariffs on and so on. The genius of the Constitution as orginally written is that the Feds had minimal power absent amendments. No power is no power to grant favors and thus corrupt and be corrupted. Didn't last long.

Mon, 03/07/2011 - 23:37 | 1028465 Bob
Bob's picture

Let me get this straight: A Wall Street "investor" waxes philosophical about human rights.

Human Rights??

There's something to be said for an outsider perspective, I suppose, but really--is there another sector of humanity (loosely defined) that more callously and routinely tramples human beings with ne're a thought of the damage they do?

You gotta be shitting me. 

Watch Wall Street, the movie.  It's an accurate reminder of what happened to private labor unions back in the good old greenmail hay days.  If you were kicking then, you know it's true. 

Human rights?  I'm gonna take a shower and try to scrub off the slime of this charade of conscience. 

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