Meanwhile In Lansing, Michigan...

Tyler Durden's picture

Hours ago, the US labor union movement was dealt another crushing blow (the most recent being the recent liquidation of Hostess which left thousands of workers cold and unemployed just in time for Thanksgiving) when the Michigan legislature gave final approval to "right-to-work" restrictions on public sector unions in a state considered a stronghold of organized labor. In the meantime, over 10,000 protesters had gathered outside the legislature, chanted in the gallery, and generally expressed their displeasure quite vocally with this development that further set back labor in its endless fight against capital. As Reuters reports, "the House passed the measure making membership and payment of union dues voluntary for public sector employees such as teachers by a 58-51 vote.  The only government workers excluded would be police and fire unions. The Senate approved the same bill last week so it will now go to Republican Governor Rick Snyder, who has promised to sign it into law."

Incidentally, these same workers would be better advised to direct their anger at Chairman Bernanke who has done everything in his power in the past several years to shift the balance of power far more in benefit of capital courtesy of ZIRP and zero cost of capital, which allows companies to cut as many workers as needed in order to pursue the almight bottom line dollar, while extracting unprecedented productivity gains out of those still employed, as workers no longer can fall back on savings and are forced to accept any labor conditions in a New Normal world in which living paycheck to paycheck is becoming the norm for most, and thus giving employers all the leverage.

But that is a philosophical debate for a different place. But for now, here are two short clips to serve as a harbinger of what may and most likely will happen in the US as labor unions are stripped of even more power in the coming months and years, showcasing their reluctance to go gentle into that good night. This is how close the US is from violence at any one moment.

Luckily, nobody was seriously hurt this time.

Has the Syntagma riotcam finally crossed the Atlantic?

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Opinionated Ass's picture

I think warlocks are worse than werewolves too.

Cursive's picture

@Opinionated Ass

The worst thing I can think of is that America has allowed a certain group of people to create an economy that is, for lack of a better description, based on the Monopoly board game.

NidStyles's picture

I thought that was the point of those Anti-Trust suits back in the day. Didn't some hick Neo-Con get elected for being a "Trust Buster"?

Opinionated Ass's picture

Monopolies only exist with government approval.

Ghordius's picture

monopolies thrives after they have successfully captured or neutralized any response from society, including governmental intervention

fixed for you

Opinionated Ass's picture

How do you "neutralize any response from society" without government on your side? Could the bankers have a monopoly on counterfeiting money without the Federal Reserve Act?

Oops, I see your avatar is a fiat currency symbol. Sorry if I offend with my example.

Ghordius's picture

you have it backward. first you have to convince society that you are doing great things. then you can capture society's governmental arm that could stop you, and then you eliminate or incorporate all competitors

worked this way for the Robber Barons and their ilk since ages - look at the history of railways, for example

banks? the same. first you have great returns for the masses. then you have a scare in 1907. then you convince society that you are the good wizards of that dangerous stuff. then you band together with those who think the world ought not to belong to europeans alone

then you destroy the balance between states and federation, with directly elected senators

then, and only then you set up the FED, a benign institution at first, with gold backed money

then you partecipate in a world war and finally you are the top dog of the world with an unlimited credit card, as long as you are willing to wage eternal war, though

should you have too little war abroad you can of course wage war "on something else"

anyway, my point is that you have to convince society first, or you can't coopt "the government"

Opinionated Ass's picture

If government did not have a monopoly on the use of violence within a given territory...what would be the point of coopting it?

I see you did conceed that government (after being coopted) is indeed required for monopolies to exist. Thank you.

Ghordius's picture

too dogmatic and too focused on "government". too much simplistic propaganda in it

it's society that allows you to do what you do, in good or bad, but particularly in all "big"

look at Egypt. the prez is the government. but society is undecided about it

and the "monopoly on violence" is mostly standing on the side, both army and police

Opinionated Ass's picture

"it's society that allows you to do what you do" in "you didn't build that, society did it"? I think I'm starting to get you Fiatman.

Ghordius's picture

urgh... reversal to simple electoral memes? I'm actually talking about "do" things like monopolies

but yes, you are bound by what your society thinks is taboo or not

prove the opposite, if you can

suteibu's picture

Well, let's see....the unions and the government jointly operate the education system.  How many generations with this set-up do you think it would take before "society" started to think like those two groups?  Do you want to know how to turn an entire society into "sheep?"  There you go.

Ghordius's picture

my avatar? well, it's about how fiat money should be - it's a long story and it boils down to gold and paper being both useful as currencies - depending how you use them

you can nail people on crosses of gold or you can burn them in paper hells but you can also avoid those two extremes with reasonable policies

akak's picture


my avatar? well, it's about how fiat money should be

Then you would be much better served by this one:


Ghordius's picture

nah, only a few scratches, yet

and no loss of Ireland or Greece, yet, and who would have thought so by reading in ZH?

the fun begins when the central banks have to reverse gear, and we are not there, yet

and of course the crack-up booms, but this is again a different story

btw did you notice that the FED is stashing FX? for the first time since the British Pound ruled?

what is FX for a CB? ammo

Opinionated Ass's picture

Gold = ammo, FX = toilet paper.


There, fixed it for you.

Ghordius's picture

don't tell the Chinese! what would happen if they would sell their FX stash?

but yes, eventually it might escalate to gold, agreed. it usually does

Opinionated Ass's picture

Ghordius, you seem dazzled by the bright colors of fiat paper and "special FX"...let's walk through this: China sells USD and buys Euros, China sells Yen and buys USD...pick any FX transaction you like. Even if they dump every single FX reserve and buy gold, this would simply increase the amount of fiat toilet paper needed to buy one ounce of real money.

How does any of this change the value of gold exactly?

Ghordius's picture

let's put it this way: I save. In gold. physical and non-leveraged

Opinionated Ass's picture

How about this: let people be free to use paper currency if they want,  and let them be free to use gold currency if they want.

Fiat currency involves forcing people to use paper. You don't agree with initiating violence, do you? Oh wait, yes you do: you believe in democracy aka mob rule, where the winners get to force the losers to obey their laws.

My preference is a world with strong private property rights and for-profit arbitration courts to settle disputes. Government is fine provided they also submit to the decisions of these private courts and obeying government edicts is completely voluntary for the people.

I'm afraid democracy, that you like so much, has been a sham foisted on the people who didn't like monarchy and its dual standard of law for the king vs his subjects. We still have a dual standard of law. Democractically elected public officials are allowed to do what you or I would go to jail for doing -- with public courts deciding if what public officials do is ok or not. Try holding up a rich guy at gunpoint and handing out the loot to the homeless to test this duality for yourself.

Ghordius's picture

my problem with your statement is that it flows from a US perspective we continental europeans simply don't have

we had real, hard-ass dictatorships and world wars on our territory but we did not have a "gold confiscation", for example

our fascist governments of old took a lot of freedoms, but never imposed a currency

in fact, if you research you'll find that we have a couple of private currencies in the eurozone (and Switzerland) that would be forbidden in the US

we also have a different appreciation of "democracy" and "peace" because we have stark memories of how life is without them

further, our legal system is seriously different from yours and the Brit's and so also our understanding of "government"

and we had much, much more revolutions - something that makes our governments more gentle and considerate vs us

Opinionated Ass's picture

How gentle is your government when you pay your taxes in something other than Euros? Are they gentle when they come and evict you and your family from your house? Soft truncheons like the riot police in Spain use?

Just curious.

Ghordius's picture

you can't compare the whole issue of taxes and tax-tokens (aka fiat money) with those scenes.

look more closely, they were isolating and grabbing stone-throwers out of the crowd

the whole demonstration has to be seen in context

"gentler" would be more exact. acet has written it better than me

Acet's picture

I would say that the experience of revolution and of dictatorship doesn't directly makes the governments more gentle, rather it makes the people more alert to abuses by governments and more prone to squash them.

Here's an example:

- In the UK I once saw a pamphlet from the police saying for people to report to the police if they saw their neighbours put suspicious things in their trash cans. Also, the other day a judge forbid the showing of a program on the BBC which showed the London riots in a fair light (from the point of view of all sides, including the rioters).

Neither of these things would ever happen in Portugal: both are far too close to the kind of things that were done during the time of the Fascist dictatorship to keep people down (i.e. neighbours reporting on neigbhours and censorship of anything that didn't follow party lines). Politicians would be the targets of rotten eggs in the face and huge demonstrations if they tried any of these. In the UK: not a whimper was heard.

The difference, I believe, is because the UK has not been under occupation or a dictatorship for centuries now.

Vendetta's picture

and they have gotten that approval

Opinionated Ass's picture

So you think democracy is a sham too. Cheers.

Ghordius's picture

every democracy in any country in any age? no

Opinionated Ass's picture

Cursive. You wrote "non-workers that cripple our economy".


How do you feel about entrepreneurs that take risks with their savings starting a widget factory...and paying their workers up front before the first widget is sold? Are entrepreneurs "non-workers"? DISCLAIMER: Yes, this is my "are you a commie?" test.

Vendetta's picture

the bulk of widget makers are in china and india and a plethora of other countries in southeast asia ...  just saying.

HoaX's picture

Divide and conquer would sure be what the guys at the top would love to happen.

At least Unions still have the balls to go on the street instead of preaching revolution from their comfy armchair like most prepper-pricks on this site. No one should be forced to join them but as much as is wrong with them that alone makes it worth it imho.

Now bring it with your downvotes bitchez.

NidStyles's picture

Being a violent thug is not a revolution. Revolutions imply a change taking place. Replacing one band of criminal thugs with another band of criminal thugs is not a change.


Being a Non-Aggressor of others and understanding economics is a change from the status quo. Hence the Prepper-Pricks that you seem to despise so on this site being the actual revolutionaries you wish you were.


Some day you armchair revolutionaries will learn to use a dictionary too. Maybe after that you will learn to use that mass in your skull too.

HoaX's picture

What do dictionaries have to do with it? Besides being heavy objects perfectly suitable to throw at someones face?

seek's picture

Particularly in this case. The union is not fighting for revolution -- they're fighting to maintain the status quo. e.g. continued forced paid membership.

There is not enough money to sustain this status quo, there will be a reset.

Vendetta's picture

the status quo like what used to be the American Dream ... I agree except the reset has been ongoing for some time and is a process .. not an event in the future.  That event in the future is a currency/debt/whatever collapse of some sort.

Alasdair's picture

Pensions are not about a desire to "live for free," and they are not bonuses or perks.  They are negotiated as future compensation in exchange for lower wages.  In essence, it's asking the employer to do the saving for them.  But more importantly, they are part of the entire compensation package, and it's to the benefit of management when people forget this.  Is it unreasonable to expect to receive your pension after accepting the lower wages?

Thisson's picture

Except that they don't actually receive lower compensation.  Public union employees are paid more than comparable private sector employees due to their conspiring with politicians against the taxpayers.

Alasdair's picture

I meant lower compared to what they would otherwise get.  That unionized employees are paid better than non-union employees is evidence of the leverage provided by collective bargaining.  Why should it be OK for the companies to organize and create a united front in labor negotiations, but employees must go it alone?

blunderdog's picture

In the USA, I think it's "unreasonable" to expect anyone to ever treat you fairly or negotiate a contract in good faith.

That sorta shit just doesn't happen here.  The "square deal" was replaced with the "worthless promise" quite awhile ago.

Now if you'll please just sign here, we can give you all the gold in the kingdom...

Cursive's picture



Incidentally, these same workers would be better advised to direct their anger at Chairman Bernanke who has done everything in his power in the past several years to shift the balance of power far more in benefit of capital courtesy of ZIRP and zero cost of capital, which allows companies to cut as many workers as needed in order to pursue the almight bottom line dollar, while extracting unprecedented productivity gains out of those still employed, as workers no longer can fall back on savings and are forced to accept any labor conditions in a New Normal world in which living paycheck to paycheck is becoming the norm for most, and thus giving employers all the leverage.

But that is a philosophical debate for a different place. 




Preach it, TD!  This is THE problem for anyone who cares.  Sadly, most people cannot grasp this concept.  The rent seekers (bankers) are the filthy squatters on our economy.  They create nothing, but have usurped the wealth of this nation.  The unions want something different?  Have them tell Obama to arrest the bankers.  Yeah, I know, I'm laughing as I type that, knowing that it ain't gonna happen.


tickhound's picture

Good efforts on this thread, Cursive.

But I'll tell ya, if it isn't already obvious....

Divided and Conquered... like taking candy from a baby.

karzai_luver's picture

The concept that can't be grasped(it seems)  is that when the union "thugs" don't roll over and "beg" for the priviledge to suck banker cock then the statist thugs(former and current mil-police-fire- the ones being paid by the banker/gvt scum to protect same) are called on to enforce the laws which were written to protect the statist loving banker/thugs and their leach fuck toadies.


Blood will be needed and blood it shall be.


Let's Roll , bitchez!


For the short-bus crowd, when one takes on any level of gvt they are taking on the bernank and his ilk.




karzai_luver's picture


Nothing comes from the top down in the manner you wish , are you just a shill for some banker/cunt?


The only way anything like you SAY you want gets done is when some banker fears violence is coming his way and biz maybe hurt.


If you are waiting for gvt to move out of some sense of fairness or morality then you do not understand anything about the history of this country.


Fear is a great motivator for change both at the bottom and the top!


Vendetta's picture

I beg to differ to coin a silly phrase .. the bankers create bullshit unpayable debts, they bribe politicians to commit economic treason against their own nation, they finance wars and make huge profits from it and float over to the winners side to destroy their nation over time,  just think of all the monetary inflation they hid behind the offshoring of productive industry in the country under the guise of 'cheap products'  ... so they do create stuff ... like suffering, bankruptcy, death, taxes, infrastructure decay and decay of the pride, joy and hopes of entire nations' workforce.. but I'm repeating myself

F. Bastiat's picture

The domestic marxist insurrection, fomented by the likes of Andrew Stern, Richard Trumka, and Frank Marshall Davis, Jr. should be put down with force.

The MI governor should be ready to immediate activiate the MI national guard, the citizens' militia, and be ready to counter marxist violence with overwhelming militia force.

Marxists are primitives. Force is the only language they understand. Make them pay.

NidStyles's picture

I think that stopping the welfare flowing would do more good. No need to be violent with them, just stop paying them and watch them do what happened in LA. They tore apart their own communities, not someone else's.

F. Bastiat's picture

Well, they started it. An eye for an eye.  Folks tend to forget that collectivism *is* violence. That's the only point of it.

karzai_luver's picture

Nothing worth having is gotten without force , it only differs in the method.



Vendetta's picture

national guard to put down those damned workers and bankers laugh their asses off .. riiight

notadouche's picture

Union bosses are just as corrupt and bribeabe as any coporate exec and washington douchebag.  When you worship at the altar of Hoffa.... Well really what else needs to be said.  No one is killing a union they are just not forcing someone to join a union.  If unions are so great everyone would want to join them and they won't die off.  They operate as if it's still the 1920's and never evolved.  I'm from a family of union folks and the way they got screwed by their union bosses and yet continued to do as they were told and just took it was mind boggling.  The nepotism in the unions were maybe the most disgusting.  So when is a union not a union.  Well when the union is led by thieves and crooks that look out for themselves and not their members meanwhile brainwashing their members into believing they are working in their best interest.