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Labor Unions: The New, Old SuperPACs?

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Much has been said about the evil crony capitalism inflicted upon America as a result of PAC, SuperPACs, corporate donations, and just general bribery on behalf of America's corporations in broad terms, and Wall Street in narrow (and Private Equity firms in uber-narrow) terms. But is there an even bigger destabilizing force of "cronyness" in America? According to the WSJ, there well may be: labor unions.

Yes: those same entities that are so critical for Obama's reelection campaign that the president abrogated property rights and overturned the entire bankruptcy process in the case of GM and Chrysler, to benefit various forms of organized labor at the expense of evil, evil bondholders (represented on occasion by such even more evil entities as little old grandmas whose retirement money had been invested in GM bonds), appear to have a far greater impact in bribe-facilitated decision-making than previously thought.

To wit: "Organized labor spends about four times as much on politics and lobbying as generally thought, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis, a finding that shines a light on an aspect of labor's political activity that has often been overlooked." Because what labor unions lose in amount of money, they more than make up for in size: "This kind of spending, which is on the rise, has enabled the largest unions to maintain and in some cases increase their clout in Washington and state capitals, even though unionized workers make up a declining share of the workforce. The result is that labor could be a stronger counterweight than commonly realized to "super PACs" that today raise millions from wealthy donors, in many cases to support Republican candidates and causes." Which of course is to be expected: because there are two sides to every story, and nature generally keeps a balance (no matter how much central planners try to avoid a mean reversion), and just as two Koch Brothers can spend tens of millions of their agenda, so can tens of millions of unionized workers spend $1 each to further their particular political mission.

Just how big is Union clout? Big.

The usual measure of unions' clout encompasses chiefly what they spend supporting federal candidates through their political-action committees, which are funded with voluntary contributions, and lobbying Washington, which is a cost borne by the unions' own coffers. These kinds of spending, which unions report to the Federal Election Commission and to Congress, totaled $1.1 billion from 2005 through 2011, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

 

The unions' reports to the Labor Department capture an additional $3.3 billion that unions spent over the same period on political activity.

 

The costs reported to the Labor Department range from polling fees, to money spent persuading union members to vote a certain way, to bratwursts to feed Wisconsin workers protesting at the state capitol last year. Much of this kind of spending comes not from members' contributions to a PAC but directly from unions' dues-funded coffers. There is no requirement that unions report all of this kind of spending to the Federal Election Commission, or FEC.

 

"We have always known that much of [unions'] influence comes from their political mobilization, but we have never been able to put a number on it," said Bob Biersack, a longtime FEC official who is now with the Center for Responsive Politics. "They are a human force in the political process, but a lot of that falls outside the kind of spending that needs to be disclosed to the FEC."

 

Laurence E. Gold, counsel to the AFL-CIO, said the Labor Department reports show that "unions by law are the most transparent institutions about their electoral spending."

Apparently not. And not only are unions great at hiding just how much money they spend, they are very good at spending at just the right times:

How does union spending compare to, say, SuperPacs:

Comparisons with corporate political spending aren't easy to make. Some corporate political spending, such as donations to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's political wing, doesn't need to be disclosed. What does have to be disclosed can't be found in a single database or two, as is the case with unions.

 

Another difference is that companies use their political money differently than unions do, spending a far larger share of it on lobbying, while not undertaking anything equivalent to unions' drives to persuade members to vote as the leadership dictates.

 

Corporations and their employees also tend to spread their donations fairly evenly between the two major parties, unlike unions, which overwhelmingly assist Democrats. In 2008, Democrats received 55% of the $2 billion contributed by corporate PACs and company employees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Labor unions were responsible for $75 million in political donations, with 92% going to Democrats.

 

Unlike super PACs, which cannot directly support campaigns, corporate PACs give money from employees to candidates.

So why do Unions spend?

Unions spend millions of dollars yearly paying teams of political hands to contact members, educating them about election issues and trying to make sure they vote for union-endorsed candidates.

 

Such activities are central to unions' political power: The proportion of members who vote as the leadership prefers has ranged from 68% to 74% over the past decade at AFL-CIO-affiliated unions, according to statistics from the labor federation.

 

But much of unions' spending on this effort—involving internal communication with members—doesn't have to be reported to the FEC. It does, however, have to be reported to the Labor Department.

 

The reports to the Labor Department also take in a broader swath of political activity by including spending on campaigns that aren't federal, such as for state legislatures and governors.

 

The Labor Department data show about 3,000 local unions, their national parents and labor federations reporting at least some spending on politics and lobbying each year since 2005. Just 35 unions accounted for more than half of it, according to the Journal's analysis.

Wonder why Government Motors happened? Here's why

Among the unions and labor federations, the five largest now devote greater portions of their budgets to politics and elections than they did in 2005, when the Labor Department first began tracking such spending. Politics and lobbying accounted for 13% of their total spending during the 2005-2006 election season. By the 2009-2010 cycle, this had risen to 16%.

The bottom line is that just as corporate spending relies on one centralized source of cash, so, on the other side of the spectrum, we have decentralized "bribing" by a very unlikely source. But bribing nonetheless. Which is actually the whole point: money is money, and it is fungible, and as we pointed out previously, the IRR for bribing a politician is the highest of any possible investment. Whether this money comes from corporations, or unions, is irrelevant. But ist most certainly comes from both.

And this finding is something that all those who decry corporatism as the only source of crony capitalism in America will certainly have to get comfortable with.

And as a reminder...

Presenting The Greatest ROI Opportunity Ever

The dream of virtually anyone who has ever traded even one share of stock has always been to generate above market returns, also known as alpha, preferably in a long-term horizon. Why? Because those who manage to return 30%, 20% even 10% above the S&P over the long run, become, all else equal (expert networks and collocated flow-frontrunning HFT boxes aside), legendary investors in the eyes of the general public, which brings the ancillary benefits of fame and fortune (usually in the form of 2 and 20). This is the ultimate goal of everyone who works on Wall Street. Yet, ironically, what most don't realize, is that these returns, or Returns On Investment (ROI), are absolutely meaningless when put side by side next to something few think about when considering investment returns.

Namely lobbying.

Because it is the ROIs for various forms of lobbying the put the compounded long-term returns of the market to absolute shame. As the following infographic demonstrates, ROIs on various lobbying efforts range from a whopping 5,900% (oil subsidies) to a gargantuan 77,500% (pharmaceuticals).

How are these mingboggling returns possible? Simple - because they appeal to the weakest link: the most corrupt, bribable, and infinitely greedy unit of modern society known as 'the politician'.

Yet who benefits from these tremendous arbitrage opportunities? Not you and I, that is for certain.

No - it is the faceless corporations - the IBM Stellar Sphere, the Microsoft Galaxy, Planet Starbucks - which are truly in the control nexus of modern society, and which, precisely courtesy of these lobbying "efforts", in which modest investments generate fantastic returns allowing the status quo to further entrench itself, take advantage of this biggest weakness of modern "developed" society to make the rich much richer (a/k/a that increasingly thinner sliver of society known as investors), who are the sole beneficiaries of this "Amazing ROI" - the stock market is merely one grand (and lately broken, and very much manipulated) distraction, to give everyone the impression the playing field is level.

 

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Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:25 | 2603443 surf0766
surf0766's picture

Amerika !

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:26 | 2603616 ndotken
ndotken's picture

i dont know who to hate most ... Wall St banksters ... Uncle Ben the puppet ... government employees suckin on the teet ... corporate fatcats ... or the politicians that pander to all of them for $$$ ... but i'm fuckin sick and tired of workin my ass of every day and ending the day with nothing to show for it because all those greedy bastards want their cut ... it's a fucking mafia-style shakedown is what it is ... fuck em all

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 18:42 | 2603864 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Then work under the table, prep for living off-grid and keep your assets as gold, silver, food, water, fuel, etc., in multiple locations. No one gets a cut of what they can't see you have or ever had. And make sure you have "boating accidents" if anyone figures out you had/have something of value (e.g. gold or silver).

 

Boating accidents, bitchez

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 04:02 | 2605137 critical tinkerer
critical tinkerer's picture

Your workers are your customers too

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:27 | 2603451 MrBoompi
MrBoompi's picture

Unions have clout?  What a bunch of shit.  LMFAO  When was this drivel written, 30 years ago?

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:30 | 2603459 Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden's picture

3 minutes to read the whole article? Fast read! Perhaps you will clock in even faster when we discuss prejudice and bias.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:39 | 2603488 MrBoompi
MrBoompi's picture

Yes, 3 minutes to read the entire article.  I'm not pro- or anti-labor union, but we've seen union membership drop from 38% to about 8%, and we've witnessed a successful assault on what remains of them.  If they are indeed so "large and powerful", it seems the results don't quite support this prejudice and bias on your part.

The decline of unions mirrors the decline in wages and benefits.  The decline in unions, wages, and benefits also happens to have an inverse realtionship with wealth disparity and corporate profits.  But by all means, let's just do away with unions altogether, because god forbid labor play an active part in their own fucking lives.

 

 

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:45 | 2603508 Gringo Viejo
Gringo Viejo's picture

Boompi: You're not only a troll but a transparent fucking liar as well. Fuck you AND your comrades!

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:00 | 2603546 MillionDollarBonus_
MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

One of the reasons we need unions is because of the threat of small businesses competing with both respected corporations AND government institutions. For example, consider the threat that smaller taxi companies pose to public transport: if left unregulated, taxi companies could literally destroy the jobs of millions of public sector workers in the cities like New York and San Francisco. Consider another example - industrial scale agriculture companies have to compete with a myriad of smaller ranchers and farmers who threaten the livelihoods of their workers. Thanks to tireless lobbying by strong labour unions, the government finally agreed to enact sensible health and safety regulations that barred smaller incompetent farmers from competing. I could go on and on. Labour unions serve an important purpose to workers at large institutions by lobbying for good regulations which keep incompetent competitors out of the market. The threat of small businesses destroying jobs at larger corporations is not something people want to talk about, but it is a reality; and unions are working day and night with the government to protect their workers from this threat.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:05 | 2603555 Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

Those workers who think unions will protect their interest are idiots.

 

Adding unions is just adding one more layer of politics and executive thiefs over an onion of bullshit.

 

Union officials are yet another group making something of someone else, and handsomely too. Unions here in Australia have in several recent cases devolved into crime families, where the union thugs steal everything.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:29 | 2603627 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

Precisely why I shredded my card.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:07 | 2603562 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

MDB ought to get many UP arrows (because he clearly took longer than 3 minutes to read the entire article)...

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:07 | 2603568 FL_Conservative
FL_Conservative's picture

My "lack of policy" beats your "policy" 24/7/365.  As if government has any fucking answers.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:14 | 2603586 ThaBigPerm
ThaBigPerm's picture

:0/

MDB, the trick to good devil's-advocate trolling is that it at least appears you believe what you post. You're usually good at that.  This one = fail.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:54 | 2603698 Sauk Leader
Sauk Leader's picture

 "labour?" Is that "Million Dollar Bonus" Canadian? Or Pound Sterling? We changed our spelling decades ago buddy, to hard to learn to read the queens english....

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:59 | 2603712 gatorengineer
gatorengineer's picture

Well Trolled MDB, Well Trolled.......

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 18:09 | 2603738 Aghast in Midlothian
Aghast in Midlothian's picture

Is this satire?  We need unions to keep small businesses out of the market? Really? 

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 18:37 | 2603843 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Yes, MDB is Troll-Satire.

Anyone worth their salt as an investor, libertarian and/or economist knows that unions, without government interference, are an evolution of the free market and belong in the free market until no one wants to be part of one because there's no economic benefit to it for all the parties involved.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 19:47 | 2604080 Ookspay
Ookspay's picture

I see what you're doing here, I like it. Illustrate absurdity by being absurd, nice.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 22:52 | 2604613 neidermeyer
neidermeyer's picture

In my city there isn't much in the way of union strength ,,, however to go back to the taxi analogy there is only one real taxi company where I am ,, operating under multiple names ,, and it is the only company allowed to win any contracts at any taxi stand in the city... it's all about money and influence whether it's a taxi empire or the brotherhood of Electrical workers... and the main thing bought is regulations that block newcomers ... I could easily put 10 taxi's on the street and compete with good service against the established giant but I would be relegated to only serve the undesirable parts of the city and starved out.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 19:22 | 2604008 dougngen
dougngen's picture

Bar from competing you say comrade???? Lol

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 07:14 | 2605263 Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

 

 

As a small business owner, that comes from a family of small business owners, that lives in a city literally built bY small business owners,

GO FUCK YOURSELF, ASSHOLE.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:51 | 2603527 Henry Hub
Henry Hub's picture

The Union movement is this country has been completely castrated over the last thirty years. And they want to pretend that they are a match for the corporate super-pacs.
What a sad joke!

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:30 | 2603631 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

And a big hearty fuck you to Ronnie RayGun.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 00:46 | 2604944 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

RayGun was the beginning of the end for ALL unions. Back then they at least kept the abuses in check somewhat. Triangle shirtwaist fire anyone? Guess at least 10 of you worship him as some demi-god & admire how he threw the mentally ill out onto the streets only to end up in jail & prison. Ur tax dollars at work. Kinda ironic with alzheimers & all woodn't ya say? 

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:44 | 2603677 Sauk Leader
Sauk Leader's picture

They are a match. Do SuperPacs bus people into the polling booth? Yes, they are a dying breed, mainly because they have priced themselves out of the market and now have to resort to desperate tactics to keep the extortion going.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 07:20 | 2605285 Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

Really? Come to Philadelphia. The unions send people out into the lower class neigborhoods on election day and give people "walking around money".

"Hey buddy, here's 20 bucks from your friedly neighborhood union and Democratic Party supporter. Did you know today is election day? Be sure to stop by the voting booth before you go see the crack dealer."

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:01 | 2603549 TMT
TMT's picture

Please show me the causual relationship between the decline of unions and the decline in wages and benefits?

From the article:


These kinds of spending, which unions report to the Federal Election Commission and to Congress, totaled $1.1 billion from 2005 through 2011, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

The unions' reports to the Labor Department capture an additional $3.3 billion that unions spent over the same period on political activity.

 


It appears those billions of dollars would have been better spent on higher wages, versus political payola.  Essentially, the unions are, in part, responsible for their members' low wages.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:24 | 2603612 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

drivel much?  so when your union boogie man is gone will you finally open your eyes to the real reason for lowered wages?  Globalization

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:31 | 2603635 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

>>>>>>>It appears those billions of dollars would have been better spent on higher wages, versus political payola.  Essentially, the unions are, in part, responsible for their members' low wages.

 

Yes, because the sluts are in bed with the corporations.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 19:34 | 2604050 valkyrie99
valkyrie99's picture

I'd call it more an approaching -1 correlation then causational, but as per your order http://truth-out.org/news/item/10246-inequality-rises-as-union-numbers-decline

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:05 | 2603559 FL_Conservative
FL_Conservative's picture

Yep, no bias here. LOL!

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:09 | 2603575 U6 Alabamian
U6 Alabamian's picture

8%?  Then we still have work to do.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:29 | 2603626 gaoptimize
gaoptimize's picture

I have no sympathy for unions lobbying to destroy the educational opportunities and quality available to my children.  I will call you out with the facts at every possible opportunity.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/romneys-education-speech--text/2012/05/23/gJQAUAtpkU_blog.html

 

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:59 | 2603709 terryfuckwit
terryfuckwit's picture

fair point... we have the very rich paying the very rich(MSM) to convince the middle classes that the poor are to blame for our current crrisis. I would hope ZH never succumb to this inverted reality and yes some union behaviour is tantamount to cronyism of the worst kind... but keep things in perspective..jump in a time machine if you really really want to know what life was like pre unions.....

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 23:19 | 2604696 Ookspay
Ookspay's picture

I don't hear anyone in the MSM blaming the poor for anything. Quite the opposite they keep blaming the rich; the very people who have the skills to create and manage companies who create jobs.

The demands of unions coupled with government regulation and taxation have chased jobs and job creators offshore.

Obama has added 135,000 government jobs in 3 years, they will not be there to help business be more competitive I assure you. They will be there to tie our hands with needless regulation, arbitrary and punitive auditing, then finally with excessive taxation.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 19:25 | 2603997 dougngen
dougngen's picture

As a former 20 year union member (IAFF) I quit when I realized my name and my money was being used against me!! (Firefighters for Obama) What a joke!! Fortunatly, I live in a right to work state that allows me to quit the communist er... union organization. The local is fine, the international... criminals all. Thank God for Scott Walker and people that insist on real freedom! 

The unions have gotten out of control and public workers should NEVER be pitted against the taxpayer!! Public sector unions and their cronies have to go!!!

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:43 | 2603498 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

the day walmart or mcdonald's unionize this argument might hold sway. the unions are tiny and dying. it is the billionaires who are perverting markets, corrupting the political process, brainwashing the masses, oppressing the poor etc..

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:35 | 2603648 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Thanks buzz... (+1)

There's been a strange infiltration of idiots on ZH lately... f_s is glad to read on old voice chime in...

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:45 | 2603510 Crack-up Boom
Crack-up Boom's picture

Why read when you can skim?  Why invest when you can bribe?

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:55 | 2603537 tmosley
tmosley's picture

tl;dr, bitchez.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:26 | 2603618 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

Not that my opting out of PAC $ in 1981 made a whit of difference, but there's no way in west hell with 6-7% of this country in a unionized workforce can keep up with the likes of the DC chamber of commerce & the Kock (sic) bros. Might need to factor in right to work states. Total BS.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:40 | 2603668 Rearranging Dec...
Rearranging Deckchairs's picture

You may have missed some key language in the article:

"The reports to the Labor Department also take in a broader swath of political activity by including spending on campaigns that aren't federal, such as for state legislatures and governors."

 

On a Federal level you may be correct. However, on a state and local level the public employee unions have huge influence in blue states and municipalities.  Why else do you think California, New York, Illinois etc are bankrupt? Why do you think cities in California are going bankrupt? 

 

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 20:45 | 2604208 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

$4 billion over 7 years ? 550 million a year. Divided by 50 states $10 million a year, divided by what 1,000 local elections per state? Not much.

 

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 01:17 | 2604990 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

I don't think city employees are the reason for the turmoil in Bell, CA. 

Regardless, I protested ANY of my dues going to ANY PAC contributions & got pro-rated rebates on said dues. There was a 3 week window in which to send certified mail to protest political contributions in order to get that portion of dues refunded. Never voted a straight ticket in my life, nor did I feel it right for the union to use my money for PAC's. Now there's no point in even voting because it's two horns on the same goat. I was further dismayed when I found out that the president of the local contracted out the waxing of the union hall floors to his family at a cost of $10K. They were also buying 1st class airfair tickets to conventions, then exchanged them for coach & pocketing the difference. They became as corrupt as their masters. On the other hand, had it not been for them, no 40 hr. work weeks, livable wages, safety regulations, etc. 

As one can see from MEE, worker safety protections are non-existent. There's a billion Chinese to take ur place. 

Public employees may have influence, but I'm a bit more inclined to be prejudiced against the banksters when it comes to municipal bankruptcy.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/taibbi-on-imus-how-m...

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 18:45 | 2603883 InjuredThales
InjuredThales's picture

A) Why would you use [sic] in a context where you are not quoting someone else's error?  Are you just a pretentious douchebag?

B) You seem very upset that someone would suggest unions use member money to influence the political process and have been extremely successful in doing so.

C) This article ignores the main way that unionized individuals impact the political process: the so-called 'education' system.

i) Teachers are unionized government employees.  I wonder what their bias is.  I also wonder if, as human beings, they capitalize on their soapboxes to beat the living shit out of that dead horse of an ideology they have going on, in order to effect the kind of change we all can believe in.

ii) University professors are largely unionized pseudo-government employees. I wonder what their bias is. I also wonder if, as human beings, they capitalize on their soapboxes to beat the living shit out of that dead horse of an ideology they have going on, in order to effect the kind of change we all can believe in.

iii) Neither of the above likes the idea of competition or destruction of their way of life

D) What the hell does 'might need to factor in right to work states' even mean?

E) Why do all you lefty wingnuts hate the Koch brothers so much?  Oh yeah, successful, intellectual entrepreneurs who are willing to put their money where their mouths are when it comes to free markets.  Sure they are buying regulators, but so is everyone else.  Sometimes the only way to play fair is to cheat.  The Koch brothers have done more for humanity than 6 billion of you would in 100 lifetimes.  They have actual skills and insight. You have none.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 21:32 | 2604354 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

The Koch brothers have done more to humanity than 6 billion of you would in 100 lifetimes.

Fixed it for you.

They have no productive skills. They have money, and they use it buy influence. Wakey wakey.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 23:26 | 2604715 Ookspay
Ookspay's picture

Dear God Geekgirl, you have become a cliche. Try to create an original thought and not just gargle the luke warm socialist cum!

Fri, 07/13/2012 - 23:00 | 2604863 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

Based on the evidence (I am an empiricist, not an ideologue), I think history is going to be extraordinarily harsh on those two. And on Murdoch. These people are sociopaths of the highest order. I can hardly believe I'm getting pushback here, but then again, I always did think you were a spook, and I would also hardly be surprised if the Koch's have put together a ZH disinfo team to skew the discussion here in their favor.

That is to say, in case it isn't already clear: I don't fucking care what you think.

My position is not a matter of any ism, it's basic fact. Things that can't be denied. Like CO2 concentrations rising, in large part because of coal fired PPs. Like funding climate-change disinfo groups. Like trying to crush the public unions first in Wisconsin, and then (presumably) the rest of the country. Like listening-in illegally on people's cell phone calls. These people are utterly a disgrace, IMO, of course.

I'm amazed that some people latch onto an ideology and just get completely blinded to what is right in front of their eyes.

I don't think I'm the one gargling cum.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 19:42 | 2608265 InjuredThales
InjuredThales's picture

David Koch: BSc Eng., MSc Chem Eng.

Charles Koch: BSc Eng., MSc Mech Eng., MSc Chem. Eng.

Sorry what fucking skills do you have, internet troll?  You don't have 1/2 the IQ needed to even complete one of those degrees. I can't wait for your next comment about how easy those disciplines are.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 19:42 | 2608266 InjuredThales
InjuredThales's picture

David Koch: BSc Eng., MSc Chem Eng.

Charles Koch: BSc Eng., MSc Mech Eng., MSc Chem. Eng.

Sorry what fucking skills do you have, internet troll?  You don't have 1/2 the IQ needed to even complete one of those degrees. I can't wait for your next comment about how easy those disciplines are.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 03:38 | 2615028 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

BSEE, MSEE, and another graduate degree. I think you might want to take another guess at my IQ, FUCKHEAD.

More to my point: when was the last time you think they actually got their hands dirty? Ever?

We had a joke back when I was in engineering school. It went Lim (Engineering) as GPA--> 0 = Business.

Edit: Oh, and over 20 years of experience doing actual, in the trenches design work, now competing globally and doing quite well.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 18:56 | 2603915 InjuredThales
InjuredThales's picture

Tyler, 

I know why you are accommodating of these left-wing pro-union wingnuts: you believe in providing individuals a forum where they can grind their particular axes.  Just know that many people on this site can't distinguish between the regulatory-state enabled crony capitalism in this country, and freedom. To them, 'free markets' and 'laissez faire' are words endowed with no meaning, other than as extendable appendages to the sticks they use to beat down debate. So for them, the Bush years = 'laissez faire' and trickle-down economics = 'free markets'.  In their world, only cant is in force.  Meaning is pointless. There is no argument, no debate, only 'he who yells loudest and profanes most wins'. 

This was a site dedicated to understanding markets better, and it is being overrun by people who don't even believe such a thing should exist.

The barbarians are at the gates.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 23:42 | 2604775 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

Since money = speech, I'd say the loudest voices are the ones spending the most money and moreso, the people who actually own the media outlets. And that is not the unions.

In fact, sociopaths like Murdoch and the Koch's are practically hysterical in making the claim that unions are killing the country. But how that can be, when according to CHS, the bottom 90% had a -1% "increase" in their wages since 1970, while the top 0.1% saw an increase of 385%?

Gee, the math doesn't seem to add up there, if the unions are in fact the cause of this great calamity.

One thing seems clear: with every victory the wealthy have over those without political power, they take another step towards their own demise. I would have thought they would be smart enough to see the dangers of their own outsized "success," given so much of it is based upon bribery, nepotism, and general crony behavior, but it would seem Lord Acton was correct. Nevertheless, this sort of problem with the wealthy taking everything has been dealt with by the people before. We know the remedy.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 19:54 | 2608286 InjuredThales
InjuredThales's picture

Money = speech? Nice one. Money = influence: yes.  Money =/speech.

Great job conflating Murdoch and the Koch brothers.  Shows you don't know jack shit and are just burning the same straw men/bugbears as the rest of your lefty pals.

Please cite your psychological expertise in diagnosing the Koch brothers as sociopaths. Would love to get a little more depth on that evaluation that isn't purely subjective drivel. 

What did you think would happen when leverage was applied to human beings with admittedly stratified abilities? Of course we have increasing stratification of income.  Marx predicted as much in 1848 - you are just catching on now? There's no fucking mystery here.  What is joe schmoe with IQ 90 got to offer compared to someone with 145, 180 or 200 IQ?  In terms of creative power and insight, IQ might as well be a log scale.  It's sad that genetics dealt people a bad hand, but there's no sense agonizing over it.

Yes, those past revolutions really worked to everyone's benefit didn't they?  100 million common people died in the revolutions you think took out the elite?  It's the poor schmucks caught in the middle that take it in each of your inglorious revolutions.  Do you think the 25 million or so who died in Soviet Russia were the elites?  That's quite the sizable 1%.  What about China where 30 million plus died?  Still elites?  How did that French Revolution work out for yah?  I seem to remember a certain individual seizing control and launching the first global war, leading to deaths of millions.  You think the Fronde were the elites, or that the revolution didn't devour its own?

Some remedy. You are a juvenile with no sense of history.

Fri, 07/13/2012 - 22:31 | 2615084 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

I doubt it's worth my time to respond to you, since either you are profoundly suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, or you are a paid sockpuppet.

But for the sake of argument, I've spent around thirty years studying human psychology independently, which probably won't be good enough for you since I'm not an "authority." Nonetheless, one of the more useful sources applicable to the question of whether or not the Koch brothers are sociopaths is Robert Altemeyer's book The Authoritarians. I suggest you take a good look at the behavior patterns of social dominators, which he talks about at length, and associates with the most politically and economically powerful people in the country.

You can go on defending the Kochs, but in my best estimation, they are profoundly sick people completely lacking in empathy, the sine qua non of sociopathy.

As for your repeated mentions of IQ, I think it is telling of your point of view (one of intellectual arrogance), and I think there is a strong argument to be made that much of the "creative power" of the "smart" people is actually not a net benefit to society, but a detriment. Just look at all those smart fuckers in finance. You think they're a net benefit to society? That is to say, I think "high intelligence" along with its concordant hubris and failure to recognize anything sacred in this world, is at the heart of a spiritual failure that will lead to a cultural failure, which will lead to an economic and political failure. I don't see any other possible outcome.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:51 | 2603518 vintageyz
vintageyz's picture

Boompi, it would seem the point is missed that unions play the same game in the special interest category.  This, while calling wolf that corporations and big money are the only ones influencing votes.  Clout enough to carry Obama to the presidency.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:04 | 2603552 i_call_you_my_base
i_call_you_my_base's picture

Fair enough, but do you agree with the below?:

Much has been said about the evil crony capitalism inflicted upon America as a result of PAC, SuperPACs, corporate donations, and just general bribery on behalf of America's corporations in broad terms, and Wall Street in narrow (and Private Equity firms in uber-narrow) terms. But is there an even bigger destabilizing force of "cronyness" in America? According to the WSJ, there well may be: labor unions.

So labor unions are the archetype of cronyness in the US, superior in cronyness to the MIC, Agribusiness, and the Finance industry? Seriously, this statement is absurd.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:25 | 2603617 Marginal Call
Marginal Call's picture

Well, as you can see 8% of the population managed to cobble together 80 million for the last election.  Which is a large number for sure.  But it's a number that can be and is exceeded by a single donor in their opposition.  

 

It seems to me the Tylers spend enough time destroying the WSJ that they should know just how credible that source is, especially when the claim is outlandish.  

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:34 | 2603644 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

WTF owns the WSJ? nuff said.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 18:21 | 2603780 terryfuckwit
terryfuckwit's picture

absolutely..... first time i have given Tyler a down arrow

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:50 | 2603524 hellas4life
hellas4life's picture

Most Americans take it as fact that manufacturing jobs have decreased over the past 30 years. However, that is not fully accurate. Chart 1 shows manufacturing employment for union and non-union workers. Unionized manufacturing jobs fell by 75 percent between 1977 and 2008. Non-union manufacturing employment increased by 6 percent over that time. In the aggregate, only unionized manufacturing jobs have disappeared from the economy. As a result, collective bargaining coverage fell from 38 percent of manufacturing workers to 12 percent over those years.

Manufacturing jobs have fallen in both sectors since 2000, but non-union workers have fared much better: 38 percent of unionized manufacturing jobs have disappeared since 2000, compared to 18 percent of non-union jobs.

 

http://freemarketmojo.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/b2275_chart1_11.gif

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:08 | 2603572 AmCockerSpaniel
AmCockerSpaniel's picture

FREE TRADE!  Ya; The unions have clout.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:32 | 2603637 Rearranging Dec...
Rearranging Deckchairs's picture

Maybe Trade Unions have lost a lot of clout in the last thirty years but the public employee unions have not!!! How else do you explain why California, Illinois etc etc and many of their municipalities are insolvent and perpetually run deficits??? The Prison Guards Union gets away with murder in California and the Department of Water and Power gets away with murder in LA. You trying to tell me that's not because of their  power???

You can check out PensionTsunami.com if you don't believe me.

 

 

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:59 | 2603710 batterycharged
batterycharged's picture

"The WSJ has determined that UNIONS are the most evil lobbying entity on the planet"

 

SHOCKING!  What next, the WSJ will determine the Heritage Foundation is actually Jesus reincarnate?  SHOCKING!

 

YAWN. Labor has no fucking say in gov't. Just ask the police and firemen making $7/hr in Scranton, PA.  But Murdoch won't be happy until we're back to the days of Charles Dickens!!

Nice source there buddy. Maybe you can cite Fox News next.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 19:02 | 2603942 Gringo Viejo
Gringo Viejo's picture

Suggest all union proponents read Steinbeck's "In Dubious Battle."

He was a socialist. Wake up you lame fucks!

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 19:28 | 2604023 terryfuckwit
terryfuckwit's picture

suggest you read Germinal by Emile Zola. after that head up the rockies for 2 months on your own... then come back and talk about lame fucks...

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 21:51 | 2604113 Ookspay
Ookspay's picture

When a cash strapped local police department MUST pay unionized city mechanics $150 for a cruisers oil change that can be had for $29 at Jiffy, yeah unions have clout!

Unions are anathema to free markets; they do not allow the cost of labor to be subject to the undeniable law of supply and demand. Not to mention the law of natural selection.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 01:27 | 2605010 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

Can hardly see why "They must pay" as everything is contracted out these days. 

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:29 | 2603456 Its_the_economy...
Its_the_economy_stupid's picture

Been in health care for 27 years. Watched as the pharmy's ginned up the need for pain drugs w funded studies in the late 80 thru the mid 90's. Now watching the funding of studies for ongoing childhood med routines. Be careful how much poison you detox daily for "your health".

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:30 | 2603462 i_call_you_my_base
i_call_you_my_base's picture

So labor is winning, I didn't realize.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:31 | 2603464 Gringo Viejo
Gringo Viejo's picture

You'll have to excuse me but I love shouting this.................

PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS ARE A CONTRADICTION IN TERMS! IF THE TAXPAYER'S NOT PAYING YOU ENOUGH MONEY>>>>GO OUT IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND COMPETE FOR IT! 'YA FUCKIN" HUMPS!

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:19 | 2603596 SemperFord
SemperFord's picture

Who the hell would junk you?

Customs agents make over 100K a year as most cops in Los Angeles and for what? They cost working people/businesses money! You ever try getting the IRS to correct an issue when you need a refund or even when you owe money? Good luck! I am 3-5 years from leaving this country unless something changes but I view the majority of Americans as the people we see on peopleofwalmart.com so sadly positive "Change" is not expected.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:32 | 2603471 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Send in the Pinkertons!

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:34 | 2603474 Rainman
Rainman's picture

So let me get this straight. If I'm not a member of a union and I'm not a member of the super rich, that means I am the meal. Is that about right ?

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:38 | 2603483 chunga
chunga's picture

I think so.

Even if you were in a union, the bossman would be trying to screw you too.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:43 | 2603497 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

If you sit down at a card game and you don't know who 'the mark' is...

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:37 | 2603480 johnnymustardseed
johnnymustardseed's picture

No bias from Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal. He will not be content till he rules the world.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:44 | 2603501 hellas4life
hellas4life's picture

indeed

 

according to a Wall Street Journal analysis

 

source please

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 19:30 | 2604030 TMT
TMT's picture

The numbers in the article were sourced.  Check out the sources, then get back to us.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:40 | 2603491 Roland99
Roland99's picture

And compared to the Kochs of the world??

From the left and from the right, our gov't is bought and paid-for and influenced and squeezed and cajoled and wheedled and....

 

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:36 | 2603652 knightowl77
knightowl77's picture

Kochs Kochs Kochs....There are Billionaires on BOTH sides...

 

Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, George Soros et al and they have more influence than the Koch Bros

 

Really kind of inventing boogeymen????

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:43 | 2603495 hellas4life
hellas4life's picture

"two Koch Brothers can spend tens of millions of their agenda, so can tens of millions of unionized workers spend $1 each to further their particular political mission."

 

well when 400 people have more wealth than the bottom 150 million, this isn't really true

 

campaign donations by industry

 

http://xkcd.com/980/huge/#x=-7504&y=-6880&z=5

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:50 | 2603526 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

Unions support Dems. Dems have no problem with flooding the country with illegals for votes (Repubs are no better as they like slave and unregulated labor). So why would a union member want to donate his cash to those scum?

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 08:08 | 2605326 Bob
Bob's picture

That's the real question, it seems to me.  Obviously the money isn't buying jack shit.  Funny, you'd think forming a Labor Party were beyond their means. 

One would think the US political system itself were not open and free to competition!

We are not the USSR . . . R we?

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 16:53 | 2603532 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

who cares about fucking unions........its the PUBLIC unions who are the takers we need to focus on and put an end to

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:04 | 2603553 lizzy36
lizzy36's picture

Just one thing Koch brothers going to spend $400 MILLION on 2012 elections alone.

Two people going to outspend all the unions combined. 

I am not an union lover. I find them undemocratic, and prone to corruption. 

That said, Citizens United and IRR on lobbying has given all entites the legal "freedom" to bribe. So have at her.

But lets be clear here...This is BRIBERY. And elections are merely auctions. 

Democracy and capitalism will be something we will tell out grandkids about....like john hughes. 

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:38 | 2603663 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

>>>>>>But lets be clear here...This is BRIBERY. And elections are merely auctions. 

And that is it in a nutshell.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:38 | 2603664 knightowl77
knightowl77's picture

SEIU alone will spend more than that

How much will George Soros and Warren Buffet spend?

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 21:39 | 2604370 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

The SEIU is going to get every one of their 2.1 million members to cough up $190 each just for the election?

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:07 | 2603570 grey7beard
grey7beard's picture

Yeah, I'm guilty of forming an opinion in less than three minutes.  IMO, this was a much better country when we had strong unions and weak banks.  My best customers were old union guys.  They didn't mind spending money and didn't begrudge me making a buck on my labor.  Well paid workers are good for the economy.  My worst customers were the wealthy, especially those who inherited the wealth.  The resented any profit I might make and spent most of their effort trying to make sure they dominated me financially.  Unions, what's left of them, may need to be reformed, but they are not the enemy.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:35 | 2603645 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

the reason the people in power stay there is that most of the masses can't even comprehend what you just stated.  They need simple 'hate those guys'   mottos

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 19:41 | 2604063 InjuredThales
InjuredThales's picture

"Well paid workers are good for the economy". How insightful!  Now all we need to do to get out of this rut we are in is pay people more!

If you legitimately think that the aggregation of arbitrarily selected actions in an arbitrarily selected zone provides meaningful information, and that this aggregate shall be called 'the economy' and it will be as simple as ABC, 123, do re mi, bump the wages/aggregate demand and all will be well...well, then you are like most people. And I'm not paying you any sort of compliment.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 19:48 | 2604085 grey7beard
grey7beard's picture

>> And I'm not paying you any sort of compliment.

No problem bro, I wouldn't accept one from your ilk anyway.  It's pretty simple, if less money was filtered to the top there would be more money for the folks in the middle.  Exporting our manufacturing to lower labor producers didn't reduce the price of products it only enriched the already rich.  Good luck (and that's no compliment to you either).

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 04:00 | 2605134 critical tinkerer
critical tinkerer's picture

workers are customers too

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 19:41 | 2604065 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Banks and unions are merely 2 different related forms of criminal enterprise.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:11 | 2603579 Henry Hub
Henry Hub's picture

Probably the most interesting part of the article is the last part on the ROI of lobbying. It kind of put the lie to the fairy tail that business just wants to get the government off it back so it can down to the task of creating new jobs, etc. Actually business wants big government working in its favor and pays billions on lobbying to get it done. But, I never realized how successful lobbying is. This is an eye opener!

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:14 | 2603583 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

hey...if you can't trust the Wall Street Journal to provide accurate factual information about labor unions...who can you trust?

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:22 | 2603597 Rearranging Dec...
Rearranging Deckchairs's picture

Yeah well this just confirms what I have been saying for a long time. By in large the GOP represents the large multi-nationals and ofcourse the bankers. The democrats represent the unions and of course the bankers. No one represents the regular middle class taxpayer!

I would support a constitutional amendment that Unions and Corporations are not people and as such should not have the right to make any kind of political contributions or engage lobbyists. Of course the constitution is no longer followed or respected by the government so I am not sure what good it would do. If the individuals who work for or are members of those entities want to make limited political contributions I have no problem with that.

 

 

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:20 | 2603598 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Hi everybody. I just thought I'd pop in because I knew this article would stir up some pretty good commentary.And I was right, you all haven't let me down. Please proceed with the carnage. I will tally the damage by the number of green vs the number of red arrows.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:29 | 2603605 chunga
chunga's picture

I have known quite a few skilled union tradesmen over the years and they were mostly very hard workers.

Most of the public sector union folks I know are either retired at a ridiculously early age or are now on disability as a result of some type of "heroics" in the line of "duty".

Despite these disabilities they all manage to stay quite active in recreation like golfing, fishing, bowling...

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:24 | 2603613 el Gallinazo
el Gallinazo's picture

"But is there an even bigger destabilizing force of "cronyness" in America? According to the WSJ, there well may be: labor unions."  

 

Tylers,

Hopefully you got your copy of the WJS before Rupert wiped his ass with it.  That's why Rupert bought it.  Private sector labor unions are in their death rattles.  Not splitting labor unions between public and private sector makes the entire article chickenshit.  The public sector unions have many abuses to the body politic, but to compare them to the financial sector is ludicrous.


Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:50 | 2603693 potlatch
potlatch's picture

$$ boyz love that smell, Gallinazo.  It reminds them of their first kiss.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 19:09 | 2603964 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

ZH is often if not usually extraordinary in pointing out the flaws in our system.

This is not one of those times.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 19:24 | 2604016 TMT
TMT's picture

I think you missed the point of the article.  ZH was simply showing how the unions, just like the financial sector and other large corporations, engage in pay-to-play.  Elections are paid for by those with a vested interest in the outcome.  Once their guy is sworn in, they get paid back for their campaign contributions (eg the GM bailout).

Take a deep breath and read the article again.  If you are anti corruption, this article should make your blood boil.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:31 | 2603636 Antifaschistische
Antifaschistische's picture

My unsolicited opinion regarding PACs and Lobbyists, etc.

If it can't vote, it should not be able to contribute to a political campaign.  Banks, Oil Companies, PharmCo's, Telcos, foreigners, George Soros, Sheiks, Unions, Columbian Drug Lords etc...ALL banned from being able to contribute because THEY CANT VOTE!!

Only real voters (that is what our pseudo virtuous system is theoretically built upon) can contribute.  This alone would solve many problems including incumbent advantage.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:42 | 2603671 knightowl77
knightowl77's picture

+1 only registered voters should be able to contribute to any campaign....or at least eligible to be registered....If you or it can't vote, you shouldn't contribute

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 19:03 | 2603925 smiler03
smiler03's picture

Campaigns should be financed by government only, and at a very low amount. The same rate for any candidate, to accept donations should be illegal. A level playing field is required. Something drastic is required to destroy the US red/blue monopoly.

And the moon is made of platinum.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 19:11 | 2603972 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

So if you are a business and you are paying a huge percentage of the taxes, you can have no proportional say in those tax laws? Business owners are a voting minority and as such should be protected from discrimination by the constitution regarding the relief of their personal property. Its just crazy that we want to tax business anyway, in that any business that can survive has to include the cost of their taxes into everything they sell, or they are out of business. Taxing business is just another way of government taxing us and it seems so many of the bright posters here don't even know it. Big corporations are able to avoid the bulk of taxes (as they must if they are to compete internationally) and the rest of business takes it up the ass. If they are lucky enough to survive, the rest of us get stuck paying for the Preparation H.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:35 | 2603647 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Leave those beefeating union workers alone. We're going to need them during the revolution.

Arrest the banksters and crooked politicians. Repudiate their debt. Then you can worry about attacking the middle class.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:48 | 2603690 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

+1 That was funny and concise. Well said.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:40 | 2603667 duncangraper
duncangraper's picture

People are missing the point.  Labor heads do about as much for their members as CEO's do for their stockholders.  Not much.

Whether unions are good or evil is a seperate matter.  The point is that's a whole lot of cabbage thrown at the small, ruling group.

That's how your government works; straight cash homie. That's it.

If the people lose freedoms, get shafted, etc, it's because they haven't paid their overlords enough.

If enough people truly understood this, then maybe the will to start over will be born.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 18:02 | 2603723 lizzy36
lizzy36's picture

This is true.

Regardless of bias of WSJ piece, the point is the democrats are often painted as the "holier than thou" party when it comes to raising money. The point is they aren't. 

Both parties have puppet masters. Both are beholden to their puppet masters. Both are tasked with the inevitable "quid pro quo" taking all this money.

Unions and their purpose in American society (both public and private sector) is another discussion.

Perhaps we shouldn't be looking at the matter in a relative way (koch brothers vs. unions). Perhaps what we should be looking at is Romney and Obama will spend $1 Billion this cycle delinating the 1% difference between them. Perhaps we should be asking if there is not a better use of proceeds for $1 Billion.  

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 00:07 | 2604841 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

debt money begets greed with no remorse - those at the front of the money creation do not suffer less value from inflation..  they LOOK for money pits and if none are around, they will create them

 

everything else is just noise at the kiddie table

 

 

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:42 | 2603670 JR
JR's picture

Big labor and Big Banks share a common interest: they both seek to transfer the wealth of Americans to their own pockets. And it is a fallacy that unions only profit under Democrat administrations. As a matter of fact, unions are part of the banking cartel Keynesian model; it's all about getting American taxpayer money into the spending arena from tunnels and bridges to school gymnasiums, teachers salaries, public employee benefits, etc. The money flows one direction, from the American citizen to the pockets of the special interests.

As an example of cronyism and its effect on government/business, research has been done on the companies that Timothy Geithner worked with and had connections with prior to his appointment as treasury secretary. Matthew Mitchell, senior research fellow at George Mason University, said in an interview on Eugene (Oregon) KWRO this morning that research shows that all prior Geithner-connected companies after his treasury appointment had “larger than normal profits.”

The host noted: And that was right away wasn’t it? Mitchell said, yes.

Mitchell, whose research focuses on cronyism and the connections of government and lobbyists in his latest article out this past July 8 on “The Pathology of  Privilege: The Economic Consequences of Government Favoritism,” also said that their research shows that companies that receive federal stimulus or bailouts are less efficient in their competitive practices than others.

Commented the host: And that's because they expected to be reimbursed for any losses,right? And Mitchell said yes, they take greater risk.

Companies that expect to have to compete, said Mitchell, realize they need to give their customers the best product they can give – that’s how they compete. Companies with government privileges, on the other hand, don’t pay any attention to that; that’s not a priority with them.

http://mercatus.org/matthew-mitchell

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:47 | 2603687 potlatch
potlatch's picture

I live in a union town in a neighborhood with morkers in them from union jobs, and the only people who can afford to have a beer with me at the local corner pub, are union workers.  SO you know, I have a "bias" I am sure, Mr.  Durden.  Analyze all you want: what else would have created my blue-collar, home-ownership neghborhood and wages for college, swimming pools, and maybe even a boat for the summer?

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 19:16 | 2603984 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

The only people with money in a Union town are Union members? Who would have thunk it! I thought that was the whole point of unions, that nobody can compete with them. Isn't that why FDR granted them immunity from anti monopoly laws?

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 17:59 | 2603711 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

They have us arguing over bread crumbs as they walk away with the bakery.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 18:46 | 2603888 terryfuckwit
terryfuckwit's picture

Even Mervyn King stood up at trade union conference and stated categorically "we cannot blame you this time". Shame and disgrace on Tylers for peddling this bollucks.....Is it what you americans call doing a "Rand"

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 19:09 | 2603958 Bob
Bob's picture

It's "going Galt," and they're doing it fulltime, all the time as the Lords of their own minds, I'll thank you to remember. 

Going Galt

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 19:41 | 2604066 terryfuckwit
terryfuckwit's picture

thanks but i meant rand paul.. as in now working for romneys blame the poor party...

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 18:48 | 2603835 g
g's picture

It is public sector unions that need to be abolished. I am fine with unions in the private sector because they have to compete with non-unionized businesses. There is no check and balances for public sector unions.

Government should return to the principle of getting the most bang for the buck with our tax dollars, unions do not facilitate this at all, in fact unions pensions and benefits are clearly a leading cause of the poor state of finances of many states and municipalities.

Let us also consider that unions do not operate to the benefit of their workers, they operate with a political agenda, futhermore, I observe that they lobby politicians pretty hard.

The real purpose of labor unions was to advocate for workers rights, we have laws for that now, and there is definetly a precedent set in favor of the laborer. Unions served their purpose back in the day and deserve a lot of credit for the labor laws and practices we have in place today. That time however has come and gone.

 

What purpose do unions serve? Oh I can answer that, thats right, they are just another lobby/corporation whose votes can be bought.

 

It also seems to me that they interfere in areas they have no business meddling in, private business. Boeing is a great example. It is Boeing's choice and right, to build and operate plants where they see fit, they are a private enterprise after all. I digress though.

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 01:38 | 2605019 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

>>>>>>There is no check and balances for public sector unions.

I spy with my failing eyes that any sort of checks & balances, anywhere disappeared decades ago. Well, except checking on ur bank accts, phone calls, email, books u check out of the library, etc.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 18:41 | 2603861 Henry Hub
Henry Hub's picture

"When the poor cheer for the rich."

It’s tantamount to the chicken population of the United States naming Colonel Sanders its “Man of the Year.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/07/10/when-the-poor-cheer-for-the-rich/

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 19:44 | 2604073 ATG
ATG's picture

Bravo to WSJ and TD/ZH for posting this real politique,

which kept us away from certain manufacturers until now, 

when we uncovered one targeting 119%:

http://richcash8tradeblog.blogspot.com/

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 19:46 | 2604077 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

In the words of Big Bird: fuck Fuck FUCK PUBLIC unions.

Disagree? You can be robbed all you want, end the public unions, if you love them so much, cut them a fat check like a good sheep.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 22:33 | 2604123 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

I'm not pro-or-anti labor union, but we've seen union membership drop from 38% to about 8%.

I thought it was more around 16%.  Either way, it has been a pretty big drop, that has accompanied some pretty impressive income and wage decline.

If Labor Unions are a SuperPAC.........then they are a pretty shitty one.

Yet again, I know the right wing folks can't stand unions much; a whole much ado about the "Freedom of Assembly" thing that always makes rich folks get nervous.

TBH, that's what really this is all about, the whole union vs non-union argument that has been orchistrated for us. 

TPTB are using powerful influencial corportized unions, which are almost a genus of organism at this point: a teacher's union is different than a policeman's union, which is different than a SEIU union, which is defintely different than the MLBPA and sports "unions" (more like "trade associations")......as a crutch to get the working people of America at each others' throat, especially since unions have the whole Communist-ty feel and TPTB can't get dumb 'Ole White America, who is slowly realizing they are either a) underpaid or b) probably paid too much, to hate itself enough.  Mix in some folks who over leveraged themselves in debt, and of course a left wing political thug or two, and you got yourself a good 'ole fashioned political sword fighting contest.

Then using said stupid political arguments over who-gets-what-amount-of-little green pieces of paper that's been left for the proletariat to scrum over. Pick up pieces, blame groups of people, make those remaining feel a sense of accomplishment while things aroudn them get shittier.

Then finally, TPTB can get the whole pesky "Freedom of Assembly" thing out of the way.  

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 08:16 | 2605372 Bob
Bob's picture

+1  Youre greenie button is inoperative on this post.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 20:59 | 2604237 Rastamon
Rastamon's picture

 

 

 

 

Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism

#10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated

Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 22:36 | 2604554 Bob
Bob's picture

Hmm, did "fairness" itself become the object of mockery?

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 00:15 | 2604869 JR
JR's picture

“Working men, keeping faith with the sacred tradition of Jefferson and Jackson…being independent producers, exploiting no one’s labor but their own, were engaged in mortal combat with the banks and monopolies and middlemen, who, unproductive themselves, grew fat and powerful on the labor of others.”  Albert Fried, Except To Walk Free.

Workingmen--you and I--are individually weak, and only become powerful and independent self-reliant producers when banded together for self-defense.

The conditions that fostered the labor movement in the 1860s arose from the greed of the money monopoly and its government and academic sycophants setting the price of labor.  Unions rose, but through greed and corruption and collusion with corporate bosses in the 20th Century, fell, particularly when they began to espouse State Socialism to deliberately alienate the membership of patriotic working men.

Again, today, as in 1860, the individual craftsman, artisan and professional face a money monopoly setting the rate for his labor.  Labor costs too high: move the plant to Mexico.  Engineers getting too expensive for Apple and Bill Gates: get thousands from China and India  to drive the rate down.

American workers—the producers-- must win back their political power from the amassed power of the Fed which is working in close alliance with government to favor only the money elite and the favored insiders (bankers, multinationals, and unionized public employees…), shielding non-producing capital and imposing the burden of government on the wealth-producing individual.

Ultimately, if successful, this alliance will reduce workingmen everywhere to a state of practical servitude.

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 23:21 | 2604704 LucasATX
LucasATX's picture

What about all the back-end payola from corporate america? Chris Dodd is pulling down well over $1M per year as the Chairman of MPAA. Somebody tell me what the fuck he knows about motion pictures? Politicians make shit on the front end (from corp/unions/whatever) - the back end lobbying/book deals/speaker fees/access fees is where the money really is. Unions are politically active and corrupt. Shocking! The Wall Street Journal is reporting this! Shocking!

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 01:50 | 2605029 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

Yes, why blame the top 1% and their political lackeys when we can blame workers' organizations?  It's these damn unions that have crashed the economy, started the wars, etc.

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