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DavidNH
02-12-2006, 15:36
The Europeans get 3-4 even 5 weeks or six weeks of vacation time a year. It's their right by law and they all expect it. We americans get two weeks, in many cases 3 weeks after 5 years steady employment. But most don't even use all the time they do get (I realize school teachers get more but I am referring to the majority of american employees not one group). Many Americans in the corporate world take only one week or less off a year. ONE WEEK! ONe stinkin week of vacation off a year! even after working full time often over 40 hours a year..they still only take or get ONE week a year!

It seems in fact that most americans don't protest this and dont seem to mind. In actual fact we have no legislated right to a vacation at all..it is up to the company we work for. Yes one can always leave and go elsewhere but many people cant just pick up and go for many reasons.

How do you guys feel about all this? and why are we as a nation so complacent and more interested in how much we make rather than the quality of life we can obtain?

I would think one could be happier making 20 grand a year at a company that treats the worker well..than making 100,000 a year where you are practically a slave to the company (in sense that one is working all the time no matter where he is.

Why is there no movent to make 3 weeks paid vaction mandatory? hey.. we COULD do it, most other countries have.

I want to make a living. But I want to have a life as well.


David

saimyoji
02-12-2006, 15:50
Spoken like a true lib. Ever heard of something called CAPITALISM? Its your CHOICE to work for someone that only gives you a week a year. You don't like it? FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO!! Go to Europe if you think they've got it good. Don't you DARE go making laws telling employers how much time off they must give employees. This is extreme gov't control, otherwise known as the first step to facism.

YOU ******* NAZI!!

That should get this thread started off well....:bse

Seeker
02-12-2006, 16:31
saimyoji- i'm assuming you're deliberately stoking the fire, which is ok... i've seen you post for awhile, and the nazi comment seems a little extreme... hope david doesn't take it personally...

i've lived in a few places around america, and in europe too... one thing i like about americans, non-trash ones anyway, is our work ethic... we like to work... we started a nation out of rebellion against taxes that took our hard earned money. we moved west to be able to keep the fruits of our own labor. we still work harder than any other nation's people and enjoy a higher standard of living because of this work ethic...

sure, other nations have better education systems. other nations have a right to health care. other nations have better roads and rail systems (ok, only germany...but you get the point)... but they all come at a tremendous cost in taxes... over 60% in some of europe. i for one am not willing to give the government more money... when i lived in TN, the local schools sucked... so i sent my kids to a private school... those who couldn't afford it home schooled. there's lots of that here in LA, where the schools suck and there are also no decent private schools... i don't have a solution to health care... i can tell you that i have relatives in the german system, and they feel our system is better when it comes to the latest treatments... ask any US soldier about the quality of his 'free' medical coverage... my own wife lost an overy to a misdiagnosis by a military PA, our only medical coverage at the time due to a lack of qualified doctorsl... canadian doctors move here to make more money... illinois ob-gyns are being driven from that state in droves due to the nations highest awards in malpractice lawsuits... they have to worry about a child from when they deliver it until it turns either 18 or 21, i forget which, but it's crap... no one should have to live with that... the only folks making money on that are the lawyers...

why do so many people from around the world want to come here? it's still the land of opportunity... and as long as we value our freedoms, our right to work, and our morality, we'll be ok... GM is so close to bankruptcy it's not funny... yet their union workers have a lot of guarantees that are costing that company money... years ago, people saw a rich company... they're being bled white... chrysler was saved by a mercedes buyout... toyota is kicking all of their butts, even though they're not selling cheaper cars... they sell more because they make a better product, and the workers can have an impact on the production process... most workers feel they have 'entitlements' or 'rights' to things like healthcare, vacation, and more for less... i've owned a business with 16 employees... it's a nightmare... i now work for a defense contractor... i pay for my health insurance. i accrue 3 weeks vacation a year. i am required to do unpaid overtime, roughly one or two weekends a month... i knew this when i accepted the job... if i need an extra week off, i'll save my $$ and ask for a leave of absence... or i can go work for another company... this is still america, and i still have the ability to be as rich or poor as i like... all depends on how hard i want to work...

too many people want it all, but don't want to work for it, either in school, getting the experience needed to get to the next level, or just in their everyday job performance... and they want it all by age 30... i knew one of the nephews of the owner/ceo of one of the nations largest clothing retailers... he worked in the finance dep't somewhere... had a masters degree and was about 28 years old... told me he was burned out... he lived in a large house in a wealthy neighborhood, there were 2 BMWs parked in his garage, he had no kids, his wife worked for the same company, and he worked about 60 hours a week... ***! half the US army works longer than that, and does it for 20 years... and won't have half the retirement he will... but he's crying about how hard he has to work...

ok, enough... you get my point... you're not entitled to anything in this life but life, liberty, and the right to do whatever it is that makes you happy... anything you get it on you to get... including time off work...

weary
02-12-2006, 16:41
Spoken like a true lib. Ever heard of something called CAPITALISM? Its your CHOICE to work for someone that only gives you a week a year. You don't like it? FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO!! Go to Europe if you think they've got it good. Don't you DARE go making laws telling employers how much time off they must give employees. This is extreme gov't control, otherwise known as the first step to facism.
Well, an easier solution is to form a union, though the union at the newspaper where I worked was always a bit teed off at me for working more than the required 37.5 hours. And always coming back from my vacations with a free story.

Not that the paper appreciated these things either. They thought of me as sort of an uncontrolable loose cannon that they had to put up with. My theory was that if they left me alone, I'd leave them alone.

Weary

DavidNH
02-12-2006, 16:52
Spoken like a true lib. Ever heard of something called CAPITALISM? Its your CHOICE to work for someone that only gives you a week a year. You don't like it? FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO!! Go to Europe if you think they've got it good. Don't you DARE go making laws telling employers how much time off they must give employees. This is extreme gov't control, otherwise known as the first step to facism.

YOU ******* NAZI!!

That should get this thread started off well....:bse

That is an unbelievably IMMATURE response. WHo the hell our you to tell me not to compalin.

For the record I get now more than a week.
Obviously you are a cold hearted mean person. hey ya dont like America then leave. With that attitude we would still have slavery and still have segregation and still have lots of sweat houses.


And yes..I think We DO need laws ...
but i wont waste any more time on you!

David

weary
02-12-2006, 17:06
...GM is so close to bankruptcy it's not funny... yet their union workers have a lot of guarantees that are costing that company money... years ago, people saw a rich company... they're being bled white... chrysler was saved by a mercedes buyout... toyota is kicking all of their butts, even though they're not selling cheaper cars... they sell more because they make a better product, and the workers can have an impact on the production process... most workers feel they have 'entitlements' or 'rights' to things like healthcare, vacation, and more for less...
I had made similar comments once while interviewing the works manager at one of the nation's most successful shipbuilding companies (incidentally, heavily unionized). His reply: "Production is a function of management."

DavidNH
02-12-2006, 17:19
perhaps workers should not be given health insurance, or paid holidays or safe working conditions. Afterall thats government regulations. And why should we respect mothers who have a family to take care of. Perhaps we should get rid of the family medical leave act. If a worker needs time off to care for a sick family member or is sick..thats money to the company.

You see.. It is not all about how much money you produce.. a certain amount of decency goes a long way to towards making a productive society.

it is unbelievable the small mindedness of some people.

As for if i dont like it why not leave..well you cant always just leave! And the european union gives work just for its citizens..not for everyone.

Seeker and weary.. at least you guys are reasonable enough that we can carry on a conversation. Samyoji is beyond words.

David

lobster
02-12-2006, 17:21
The Europeans get paid during those vacations also? Didn't France last year reduce the number of weeks of paid vacation?

The liberal(Socialist or whatever they are called) methods are proving to be a failure so the US ways are looking better and better to other countries.

saimyoji
02-12-2006, 17:25
I love it when libs lose their sense of humor.

I'd make a crack about lack of fries in your happy meal, but I think someone beat me to it.

1st rule of internet use: in any inflamatory topic someone is bound to toss the nazi card...but if they call you a lib first its obvious sarcasm.

For the record I get now more than a week.

Congratulations.

Obviously you are a cold hearted mean person.

Hey, thats mean!

hey ya dont like America then leave. With that attitude we would still have slavery and still have segregation and still have lots of sweat houses.

Nah, I don't like those things either. They don't represent what America is. America was not founded on the principle of "Every man created equal, unless you are black or young." It did take some time to make sure those things were corrected. I don't own slaves, nor do I need them....

Why do you want to force your employer to give you a certain amount of days off? Are you lazy? Can you not find a job that satisfies you? I'm seriously concerned about your motivation to REQUIRE mandatory vacation....What if I don't want to take a vacation?

My response was meant as pure reactive ***** stirring. Your reaction is very telling though. I'm especially impressed about your vacation time. Try this: go to your boss and tell him if he doesn't give you more time off you'll quit. If he agrees you'll know the meaning of capitalism. If you get fired, you'll still know the meaning of capitalism.

Now, would you like fries with that?:banana:banana:banana:banana

Where was that sense of humor thread?


Seeker: Brilliant post. I agree with all but one point. Having lived in Japan for many years I have to say that the train system there cannot be beat. Our train system is pathetic compared to theirs (alot has to do with the size of the country). Japan's roads leave much to be desired, but the driving age is 20, licensing/insurance costs are obscene (virtually eliminating entertainment driving by kids) and gas prices are 4X ours, reducing the number of cars on the road. This doesn't eliminate traffic much, but does to some extent.

saimyoji
02-12-2006, 17:35
As for if i dont like it why not leave..well you cant always just leave! And the european union gives work just for its citizens..not for everyone.

Seeker and weary.. at least you guys are reasonable enough that we can carry on a conversation. Samyoji is beyond words.

I never said "If you don't like it leave." I said "If you think its better over there, go there." There is a huge difference. I know you'll disagree, but ..oh well.

As for your talking points: You are sill trying to tell corporation how to run their business. How is this going to improve their businesses? What you should be arguing is why Americans continue to support big businesses that squash small time businesses, like Walmart. Why do we support the large chain stores than ruin small town businesses? Why don't you spend a little more so that those small businesses can make a little more, so they can afford to pay their employees a decent wage and still turn a competitive profit?

What you should be asking is why do we pay people NOT to work? Look at the welfare system in this country....It encourages people to stay at home, watch Jerry Springer, smoke crack and still afford the Merceded.

You're worried about vacation time? There are some SERIOUS issues out there, I suggest you find one and work in that instead.

I want to make a living. But I want to have a life as well.

You want a life? I agree, you need one.

Fries with that?

awol
02-12-2006, 17:37
I just came off Springer in the snow. What did I say to my boss before I left? I GOING HIKING!! If {and thats a big if} he said no I would of explained capitalism to him. He , of course, said see you when you get back...P>S> I have 5 inches of snow in the back of my truck:banana

saimyoji
02-12-2006, 17:40
Davey:

I somehow left this out of my original post. Sorry about that.

http://www.fortliberty.org/patriotic-humor/patriotic-pictures/how-about-a-nice-cup-of-shut-the-****-up.jpg

DavidNH
02-12-2006, 17:43
I never said "If you don't like it leave." I said "If you think its better over there, go there." There is a huge difference. I know you'll disagree, but ..oh well.

As for your talking points: You are sill trying to tell corporation how to run their business. How is this going to improve their businesses? What you should be arguing is why Americans continue to support big businesses that squash small time businesses, like Walmart. Why do we support the large chain stores than ruin small town businesses? Why don't you spend a little more so that those small businesses can make a little more, so they can afford to pay their employees a decent wage and still turn a competitive profit?

What you should be asking is why do we pay people NOT to work? Look at the welfare system in this country....It encourages people to stay at home, watch Jerry Springer, smoke crack and still afford the Merceded.

You're worried about vacation time? There are some SERIOUS issues out there, I suggest you find one and work in that instead.

I want to make a living. But I want to have a life as well.

You want a life? I agree, you need one.

Fries with that?

Congratulations! you've officially made it on to my ignore list. Only the second person to do so!

saimyoji
02-12-2006, 17:50
Congratulations! you've officially made it on to my ignore list. Only the second person to do so!

Great.

"I'm offended by someone who disagreed with me so I'm going to hide my head in the sand."

This is the attitude that allowed the nazis to spread throughout Europe. And you call me immature? I'll never agree that one should be ignored, but I will agree that you are ignorant. May I ask whose honor I share?

weary
02-12-2006, 18:24
saimyoji. You're not dumb. But you do seem to be more into Conservative slogans than original thinking.

smokymtnsteve
02-12-2006, 18:26
Amerikans don't deserve any paid vacation...:clap

saimyoji
02-12-2006, 19:03
saimyoji. You're not dumb. But you do seem to be more into Conservative slogans than original thinking.

OK, Please quote them. I'll not deny I lean towards the conservative.

I really tend to be apolitical. I take issue with issues not with 'sides.'

I think its important to recognize that my original post (#2) was meant entirely to 'stir the pot."

The whole NAZI thing was a parody of a commonly known internet flame tactic that people who have nothing to say use to 'stoke the fire.' Congratulations to all for recognizing it for what it is....Appologies to those that are non-knowing of this.

Almost There
02-12-2006, 19:32
I say repeal the child labor laws! What America needs is zero gov't intervention and a return of big trusts and monopolies!!!

Come on, Capitalism, I teach Economics guys and I can tell you we do not have true capitalism. This assumes everyone plays by the same rules...and some of our corporations are too large for that to happen. Adam Smith was a ahead of his time, but he couldn't of envisioned the world today with megacorporations, zero intervention=monopolies, and monopolies are bad for any economy and every consumer. As for vacations...people do need more, just look at the commercials on tv for all of the medications for depression to erectile dysfunction. You think this is normal? Should there be more gov't intervention? I don't know about that one. But here is a question for my Nazi loving friend...Should the gov't pull out of regulating the power industry? You wanna pay another $100 bucks a month for gas heating? Sometimes gov't intervention is needed. My hope is companies come to the realization that vacation is good for loyal employees one day. Probably a pipe dream, but hey I get 8 weeks in the summer...unless I have coaching clinics, or coursework for a masters degree which is encouraged strongly by my district...who doesn't reimburse as many companies do. Once again I could have gone for the gold ring in the corporate world, in fact I did for awhile, but I didn't like it, so slowed down, took less money, and more time off...and I will be hiking the entire month of June....SUCKERS!!!

soad
02-12-2006, 19:52
That is an unbelievably IMMATURE response. WHo the hell our you to tell me not to compalin.

For the record I get now more than a week.
Obviously you are a cold hearted mean person. hey ya dont like America then leave. With that attitude we would still have slavery and still have segregation and still have lots of sweat houses.


And yes..I think We DO need laws ...
but i wont waste any more time on you!

David

Right on David, Right on!

neo
02-12-2006, 19:54
i get 4 weeks a year 9 holidays and 12 sick days,every 3 rd week i get 4 off days in a row,i take 3 days off with that,so i can have a lot of mini vactions a year:cool: neo

irritable_badger
02-12-2006, 20:00
All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind. - Aristotle

Fairly intelligent words. Americans (I am one) are, as a rule, greedy. Having done six years of work in a little less than three years, and making a ton of money doing it, I realized my life was slipping by. No time for that, gotta live while you're here.

No matter how much you make, it's just short of being enough. I know alot of people will scoff at that but you will find something to spend all the money on and the next thing you know you need more! The cars take more gas, the homes cost more to maintain, the real-property requires large amounts of cash to keep. It's all a trick.

You can work all day every day, every week, of every year and drive home in a 4WD school bus or European luxury sedan, eat the best of food, drink the best booze, and sleep on 3000 thread count linens and be a miserable bas*#rd. In fact most of the people who have all these things are bas&*rds. They didn't start that way but greed got the better of them. In a few years they realize that their lives are slipping away but they are trapped, so they get mean. What most people consider "freedom from finances" is actually imprisionment by society.

It's all about priorities. Do you want the BIG lifestyle, or do you want a BIG life. They are not the same thing. I don't think most Americans know the difference.

irritable_badger
02-12-2006, 20:09
Of couse this only applies to people who don't truly enjoy the game of commerce. I do know a few and they seem like satisfied people, but it's just not for me.

There is nothing wrong with making a s*%t ton of money; but it should be done doing something you love/enjoy. Most people "make the sacrifices" in a place/job they don't like hoping it will pay off. Not really good for the soul or the wallet. Ask most (not all, but most) truly wealthy people and they got there doing something the enjoyed (overall).

Fewer sacrifices = fewer anti-depressants.

weary
02-12-2006, 20:26
OK, Please quote them. I'll not deny I lean towards the conservative. I really tend to be apolitical. I take issue with issues not with 'sides.' .
But one has to understand issues. Issues are complex. Never one side or the other. You have yet to post anything that suggests a realization of that truth.

Weary

Tractor
02-12-2006, 20:34
I get 4 weeks+, paid, off per year but the job sucks. Could have a "better" job with two weeks or less. I like to hike. Need to negotiate on time off, paid or otherwise, on the next gig. "Vacation days" are a bit relative though. Two weeks off with 40 hour work weeks, vs. four weeks off with 60 hour work weeks............. hmmmm?

saimyoji
02-12-2006, 20:54
But one has to understand issues. Issues are complex. Never one side or the other. You have yet to post anything that suggests a realization of that truth.

Weary

What are you saying? Please say something that makes sense to me. Do you want me to take a stand on a particular issue? Why? The purpose of my post was not to be political, but rather to expose David as biased.

A realization of that truth? I don't think I'm smart enough to debate with you. Please help me.

Topcat
02-12-2006, 20:59
Neo, I get 4 weeks a year as well. that is one of the advantages of sticking with the same company for a period of time that many people dont get to enjoy any more. Problem is, it is hard to use all the days.

corentin
02-12-2006, 21:06
I just started a my job in October and I get 4 weeks a year....course I'm a nurse . The good news for me is that there is a shortage of approximately 175,000 nurses in this country so I can work anywhere I want to , anytime. The bad news for everyone is , if they nationalize health care here, the huge lack of healthcare staff in this country means you will most likely become more ill if you should be so unfortunate as to need health care.
I have never been able to figure out what people think will actually happen to our healtcare if the already stressed system is nationalized. Free health care for all...what a noble fantasy.

irritable_badger
02-12-2006, 21:11
Why would healthcare get any worse? It's already so screwed by insurance and government subsidizations People can't pay for it now and the "care" is questionable in effect and intent. I don't know what else could go really wrong. We may as well let the tax dollars we already pay take care of healthcare.

corentin
02-12-2006, 21:21
why should I have to pay for the smokers, the obese, the ignorant idiots who abuse first their health and then the system? The government should not subsidize health care at all, it only leads to further disaster. Like the freaking medicaid morons. Yesterday I took care of a 1 month old uninsured baby who was dying of starvation because her white trash "mother" couldn't be bothered to stop smoking and feed her baby. Will free health care improve the ignorant or make their lives better? I am so sick of the nasty entitled people who come in, expect everything, and return absolutely nothing to the system. why should we pay to keep them alive when they won't even help themselves?

Cookerhiker
02-12-2006, 21:26
Spoken like a true lib. Ever heard of something called CAPITALISM? Its your CHOICE to work for someone that only gives you a week a year. You don't like it? FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO!! Go to Europe if you think they've got it good. Don't you DARE go making laws telling employers how much time off they must give employees. This is extreme gov't control, otherwise known as the first step to facism.

YOU ******* NAZI!!

That should get this thread started off well....:bse

Facism?! Don't you mean communism/Marxism?

Yes, as other posters have noted, let's move beyond vacation. Let's abolish laws governing child labor, workmans compensation, mimimum wage, workplace safety, environmental protection, and all those other pesky interferences with business's unfettered right to do what ever they want. Let's return to the Gilded Age - isn't that what the powers that be in Washington - Rove, Cheney, Norquist, DeLay, etc. are striving for through their lackey Bush? Let's continue the race to the bottom so that rather than holding Europeans like Germany and Scandinavia as role models, we may emulate those Third World countries where 5% of the population own 90% of the wealth. Hey maybe if we attain this soon, the Cuyoga River will catch fire again in our lifetime and we can kill Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes once and for all.

And of course within a generation of this paradise you aspire for, there will no longer be an Appalachian Trail and certainly no National Parks or other public lands, all vestiges of socialism.

weary
02-12-2006, 21:26
What are you saying? Please say something that makes sense to me. Do you want me to take a stand on a particular issue? Why? The purpose of my post was not to be political, but rather to expose David as biased.
A realization of that truth? I don't think I'm smart enough to debate with you. Please help me.
What I would like you to do is to post something, anything, that suggests you know something about any issue. Slogan-based responses, again and again, suggest to me that you are bright and glib, but have little or no understanding of anything important.

Weary

Lone Wolf
02-12-2006, 21:27
The Europeans get 3-4 even 5 weeks or six weeks of vacation time a year. It's their right by law and they all expect it. We americans get two weeks, in many cases 3 weeks after 5 years steady employment. But most don't even use all the time they do get (I realize school teachers get more but I am referring to the majority of american employees not one group). Many Americans in the corporate world take only one week or less off a year. ONE WEEK! ONe stinkin week of vacation off a year! even after working full time often over 40 hours a year..they still only take or get ONE week a year!

It seems in fact that most americans don't protest this and dont seem to mind. In actual fact we have no legislated right to a vacation at all..it is up to the company we work for. Yes one can always leave and go elsewhere but many people cant just pick up and go for many reasons.

How do you guys feel about all this? and why are we as a nation so complacent and more interested in how much we make rather than the quality of life we can obtain?

I would think one could be happier making 20 grand a year at a company that treats the worker well..than making 100,000 a year where you are practically a slave to the company (in sense that one is working all the time no matter where he is.

Why is there no movent to make 3 weeks paid vaction mandatory? hey.. we COULD do it, most other countries have.

I want to make a living. But I want to have a life as well.


David
Why didn't you post this s**t in the non-AT forum? It doesn't belong here. Whining about vacation. Boo Hoo.

irritable_badger
02-12-2006, 21:28
It seems to me that a "care" giving system would take care of all persons, no matter the cause of their problem. When I see a tragedy, especially caused by stupidity, I may comment internally, but I still give care to that person. Our current system does not.

Your argument is also core to the issue of old people who can't afford their healthcare. If the system was nationalized the expense would be equalized across the population. As opposed to an exisiting system that can "take care" of a rich fat smoking alcoholic with no regard for his health but can't seem to find enough "care" to keep life-long taxpayers in medicine and proper medical care.

corentin
02-12-2006, 21:35
I am a professional, I provide care to the best of my ability to all I care for, that's my job. Including even poor smoking alcoholics (like the 27 year old this week that with no liver or pancreatic function left.....). I rage against the attitude of entitlement in the system, it helps no one to hand them anything free continously. It destroys their character, hope, and reason to get out of bed and make something of themselves.

weary
02-12-2006, 21:38
why should I have to pay for the smokers, the obese, the ignorant idiots who abuse first their health and then the system? The government should not subsidize health care at all, it only leads to further disaster. Like the freaking medicaid morons. Yesterday I took care of a 1 month old uninsured baby who was dying of starvation because her white trash "mother" couldn't be bothered to stop smoking and feed her baby. Will free health care improve the ignorant or make their lives better? I am so sick of the nasty entitled people who come in, expect everything, and return absolutely nothing to the system. why should we pay to keep them alive when they won't even help themselves?
Corentin: Tell me why you think that America has the most expensive health care system in the world, but ranks among the lowest among industrialized nations in the survival of infant births, longevity....etc.

Has it crossed your mind that we as a country may be doing something wrong? If so what do you suppose it might be. Perhaps we are dumber than other nations. But if so, why are we the world's leader, other than in health matters.

Weary

irritable_badger
02-12-2006, 21:39
The best of your ability or the best of current policy? Not accusing you at all; but the system. It seems that the ability of the system is directly related to policy; what is currently allowed (i.e. most profitable) not caring for anyone, just the bottom line.

weary
02-12-2006, 21:41
Why didn't you post this s**t in the non-AT forum? It doesn't belong here. Whining about vacation. Boo Hoo.
Tell us, Lone Wolf, how many hours a week do you work for how many weeks of vacation a year.

Kerosene
02-12-2006, 21:47
Let's not get into healthcare on this thread...that's even more complex an issue than vacation time (and there's little chance of U.S. healthcare being nationalized anytime soon).

No one has noted that those countries that legislate vacation time (namely Germany and France) are the same ones that are significantly lag the global economy.

I have a job as a senior IT executive for a global information services company with responsibility for the healthcare sector. It's not easy, it takes a lot of time, I'm pretty well compensated, a lot is expected of me, it's hard to take the 22 days of vacation I get each year, etc. That said, I've worked hard to balance the demands of my career with the needs of my family and my psyche. I work out regularly, I still play competitive soccer at a relatively ripe old age, I'm home for dinner with family more often than not, I get out to hike and ski each year, I sing and read for pleasure, and I live well within my means, saving most of my income for retirement when I hope to hike a number of the other trails in the U.S. It doesn't work well all the time, and it's certainly not for everyone, but I've made it work for me.

You'll note from my bio that I didn't do much of any backpacking for 20 years after I graduated from college due to the demands of career, advanced education, family, house, etc. All in all it's been a good trade-off even with the stress, and there are certainly times when I wish I was just a programmer again, but every job has it's share of stress and it's how you respond to it that determines where you end up.

shades of blue
02-12-2006, 21:48
I hate the entitlement attitude also...but think on this. You presented one side of the equation....and an accurate side at that...but what about the millions of working poor who can't afford adequate health care. Their companies can't afford to help them with group coverage because of outrageous prices. They can't afford perscriptions and can't go to the doctor for preventative care. As I teacher my health care is paid for, although it sucks in general....but it is still a benefit. I have no idea if a nationalized health care system would work. I do think the current system is broken though. You don't think we should have to pay for the people who don't take care of themselves....but we already do. Hospitals pass along the cost of doing business for the people who go to emergency rooms because they can't afford to go to a doctor to take care of a normal illness.

I don't blame you for being mad....but think about the working poor.

Lone Wolf
02-12-2006, 21:50
Tell us, Lone Wolf, how many hours a week do you work for how many weeks of vacation a year.
I haven't worked for a pay check going on 8 years now. Every day is a Saturday and every meal is a banquet.:)

corentin
02-12-2006, 21:52
I got off my original pupose, sorry for the soap box. Too frustrated from my past week of seeing some heartbreaking stuff.

My main point is: be a nurse! nurses are needed and scheduling flexibility will let you hike all the time if you want to! It's the perfect profession for hiking happiness!:)

irritable_badger
02-12-2006, 21:52
Part of the overall cost of the system is directly related to the fact that the "policies" of insurance companies and other entities, require multinational IS for healthcare. I am positive your job is hard and much is expected, but why does the system require this? Why can't the care givers (the system) not care about people as more than they care about making profit from others suffering? More care, less policy/profit means = less crap.

irritable_badger
02-12-2006, 21:55
I don't think is so much of a blind entitlement issue, I think it is probably an "I already pay for so much of a system I don't use, why can't my health be in there too?" issue.

irritable_badger
02-12-2006, 22:01
It's their right by law


David

Isn't that contradictory? Just kidding. :)

Whistler
02-12-2006, 22:10
Mandated vacation is a horrible idea. We don't need laws to compel people to rest, nor do we need laws to compel employers to offer it. Here's an idea: how about individuals talking it over and coming to contractual terms that they both find benefitical? Wild concept, I know.

Mandating employers to give a higher-than-market-rate vacation is just like limiting hours per work day. In other words, it's a limit on the production of goods and services [which is the whole point of markets, anway]. All things remaining the same, an artificial ceiling on a good or service will make that good or service more scarce, thus more expensive. Mandated vacations [just like minimum wages or other mandated employment perks] increase the cost of labor. When the cost of labor increases, businesses consume less labor--that is, they hire fewer people, or cut hours, or cut wages, or cut benefits, or some combination.

Don't forget that most employers aren't MegaCorps--they're small businesses with not too many employees. They need every advantage they can get, and mandated vacation makes a much higher impact on their business than it would for the larger corporations. Kind of like how Wal-Mart was pushing to raise the minimum wage. They're huge, they can absorb those costs, but Mom and Pop cannot. Just another way to use law as a bludgeon for your competition. Monopolies can only exist with government aid.

To look at it from whole different perspective, the vacation laws also reduce the bargaining power of the individual employee. Just like saying that construction companies aren't allowed to bid less than $XXX.XX for a certain job, this prevents all interested potential employees from outbidding each other for positions. In other words, you lose freedom to contract as you see fit. And if you are less skilled or less experienced, you need every edge you can get to win a job. If you are legally banned from working more than 48 weeks a year, and your labor-skills aren't worth that much, you are much less likely to be hired. Or, if you are hired, it's more likely to be in sub-legal black markets with poorer conditions all around.

Yes, I want more vacation. But that doesn't mean that everyone does. And it doesn't mean that it's the best decision for everyone in all places and times.
-Mark

stupe
02-12-2006, 22:26
More vacation time like the Europeans have? That's crazy. It starts with three weeks vacation, then before you know it, we'd have national health care, legalized prostitution, we'd be allowed to smoke cigarettes in public buildings, buy pot in cafes, take two hour lunches, drink wine every night with dinner.....wait a minute

weary
02-12-2006, 22:40
Mandated vacation is a horrible idea. We don't need laws to compel people to rest, nor do we need laws to compel employers to offer it. Here's an idea: how about individuals talking it over and coming to contractual terms that they both find benefitical? Wild concept, I know.
....
Not really. Even better, how about groups of employees talking it over with employers and coming to "contractual terms that they both find benefical?"

We used to call such things unions. The benefit, of course, as I'm sure you have noticed, is that a group of employees are more likely to be persuasive. There are few of us so good that we can't be replaced. But a group -- five or six -- a few hundred, thousand... perhaps even an entire workplace. That would allow a balanced discussion with equal assets on the line.

Weary

DavidNH
02-12-2006, 22:50
well so much for the land of the free. More like the land of the overworked and overfed.

I could say a lot more on this now..but I am a bit too tired right to get into it.

let me leave you with one example:

a single parent works full time 40--45 hours per week. Company gives 15 days paid time of. Worker is sick 5 days. down to 10 days time off. Time off for necessary family activities, doctor visits etc. might be down to five days off. For the whole year. sonner or later it is gonna wear on the person and productivity will decrease.

David

Whistler
02-12-2006, 23:25
Unions are dying off, thankfully. They set themselves up as arch-enemies of employers. The result is not just anti-competitive [for the company], but inherently anti-consumer. Like I said earlier: markets exist only for consumption of goods and services, anything from medicine to food to education to beer and baseball games. Unions are anti-consumer, seeking to work less or earn more [meaning fewer services, more expensive goods, etc]. Anyone who is willing to strike does not have the customer in mind. Scabs, on the other hand, are great.


a single parent works full time 40--45 hours per week. Company gives 15 days paid time of. Worker is sick 5 days. down to 10 days time off. Time off for necessary family activities, doctor visits etc. might be down to five days off. For the whole year. sonner or later it is gonna wear on the person and productivity will decrease.
At the point that productivity decreases, employers will need to adjust, or witness their employees seek work elsewhere. The counter-argument is that "it's like that everywhere." Perhaps. But we all have choices. To return to the single parent with a full-time job. Sure, we can apply some policies to make life easier for that person and those similarly situated. But the cost will come to bear on everyone else. You cannot tax a nation equally.

It seems like part of our trade-off is that we may have less vacation time than Europeans, but real wages are comparably higher, and we have access to more, better, and cheaper material conveniences, e.g. television, deodorant, 2500sqf houses, larger wardrobes, whatever. We've spent our productivity on goods rather than leisure time. I don't think that's necessarily for the better for all people, but it's what we have chosen [generally speaking]. And choosing is the whole point. If you want different or better, go earn it.

-Mark

Almost There
02-13-2006, 00:09
Whistler I would love to ask you this question when you have worked 10 or 20 years. Unions came into being because individuals would raise concerns and be fired for it. Mine workers would get their hands mangled or legs blown off and be fired for it, wasn't the employers problem, the employee knew the risks, etc, etc. Here's the thing, you really think company owners are more altruistic today? Come on, all we have to do is look at AIG or Enron to show the truth of this. CEO's will still screw employees, they just do it differently today. CYA baby! Some, few owners will look out for their employees and do what is right. Most however will not. Example: When I was in commerical flooring sales in Chicago I could hope to earn a commission of 10-20% on my net sales, so sell 2 million in flooring I should make at least 200k commission. Moved to Atlanta to teach, was forced to go back to sales for a brief period for a big company down here out of NC. Anyways, they gave me a base of 34K with a potential bonus of 4k...then they tell me my quota is 1.6k in sales. The first is the example of a good employer looking out for his employees, the second is of a greedy one where a board is looking out for their self interests and bonuses. Thank God I got back into teaching, I make more teaching and coaching then I would have if I had sold 2 million worth of product. I agree government mandate isn't necessarily the answer, but the problem is the group think of society. America=stuff makes you successful, if you don't have stuff then you aren't successful. We don't know how to relax, we think we have to keep moving. As for throwing out the historical American work ethic...Over 70% of our society is now in a service industry of some kind and we are running trade deficits with our largest trading partners...we spend too much money on what we don't need with money we don't have. Last year was the first year in our country's history where Americans spent more money than they made or saved. We don't know the meaning of self control, just ask the fat 8 year old eating that double quarter pounder.

BTW, Lone Wolf what are you doing tomorrow morning?:D

smokymtnsteve
02-13-2006, 00:33
why should I have to pay for the smokers, the obese, the ignorant idiots who abuse first their health and then the system? The government should not subsidize health care at all, it only leads to further disaster. Like the freaking medicaid morons. Yesterday I took care of a 1 month old uninsured baby who was dying of starvation because her white trash "mother" couldn't be bothered to stop smoking and feed her baby. Will free health care improve the ignorant or make their lives better? I am so sick of the nasty entitled people who come in, expect everything, and return absolutely nothing to the system. why should we pay to keep them alive when they won't even help themselves?

perhaps becauseome are some of them were victims of crime and were injuried and became disabled??

perhaps because some of them are innocent children??

perhaps because some are mentally ill???

Whistler
02-13-2006, 00:39
Almost There--I agree with you completely on: lack of American self-control; obscene personal debt; rampant materialism.

I don't see anything wrong with firing anyone who complains. Stupid? Bad business? Yes and yes. I don't think owners are more altruistic today than in the past. Nor should they be. Their first job is to satisfy customers by sustaining the company. Part of that sustenance of course, is good employee relations. But that doesn't make it the most important. Enron and AIG are obvious, tired exceptions. Their downfall is proof that markets work. Numbers can't be hidden indefinitely [unless we're referring to government pyramid schemes]. In any MegaCorp, I'll show you the laws that make its dominance possible.

As for miners getting their hands blown off... Hopefully you understand that I don't want that for people. But on the market the pay will be commensurate with the risk. The choice is always there.

As for trade deficits, I see it as a non-issue [but only to the extent that it is backed by real savings, or solid earnings potential, and not risky debt spending or inflationary]. I have a trade deficit with my local Kroger, but they get my cash in return. My employer has a "service deficit" with me, but I get their cash in return. Mutual trade for mutual benefit. No biggie, as long as we can front the cash. The problem, and I think you may agree, is that we're not fronting the cash. As for a service/production imbalance, that doesn't worry me either. That's just comparative advantage. We're better at service than goods. We and the rest of the planet are better off when we do what we do most productively.

-Mark

corentin
02-13-2006, 00:39
So? Being a victim equals entitlement? Plus, the goverment already threw a lot of mentally ill on the streets, the ACLU said it violated their rights to keep them in hospitals

corentin
02-13-2006, 00:41
what about my right to keep the fruit of my own labor and time? I already will spend seven years of my life working solely for social programs, why do I owe them?

squirrel bait
02-13-2006, 01:24
16 weeks vacation per year (taken all at once). Paid. To get this I help cook 350-450 to order breakfasts per morning the rest of the year. No complaints, love it. Pay for my own insurance, so what. Worked for a shipyard after the Navy as a crane operator, good pay, insurance, four weeks vacation after ten years, hated it. Change your situation is what I say, it's all possible and it's all good.

Tha Wookie
02-13-2006, 01:40
Yes, it is amazing how complacent the common American has become. Sometimes i think that as long as many of us are kept extremely fat and happy we will take just about anything from the system.

The 40 hour workweek is a law. Our federal holidays are laws too. We can change them. We can fight to regain the lives, not just of our own (as most of us are hikers, i.e. "the choir"), but of those whom we love and wisha better life.

The simple fact is that to afford health care, and the basic standard of living, many of us are left little option but the type of job that seems to have gotten this thread going.

How is it that we can have the most complex road and interstate system in the world, but not have health care for all Americans?

When we get health care, the worker will be able to dictate more of their time to live life for themselves, not the fat cats.

stupe
02-13-2006, 02:03
Unions are dying off, thankfully. They set themselves up as arch-enemies of employers. The result is not just anti-competitive [for the company], but inherently anti-consumer. Like I said earlier: markets exist only for consumption of goods and services, anything from medicine to food to education to beer and baseball games. Unions are anti-consumer, seeking to work less or earn more [meaning fewer services, more expensive goods, etc]. Anyone who is willing to strike does not have the customer in mind. Scabs, on the other hand, are great.
-Mark

Have to respectfully disagree with some of your statements. I'm not sure if Unions are dying off, I think things have just changed in organized labor, like things have in the business world. Labor has to change reactively to business, so they always lag a little behind. Maybe that explains the constant conflict.

I'm not sure either that Unions are "arch-enemies" of employers. Most businesses coexist with their organized employees. It's not very common to hear of a business going bankrupt because they had an organized workforce. But I think you can find in a web search lots of stories of Unions making concessions to management. True?
You say that markets exist only for consumption of goods and services. But markets serve economic and social functions too. You say that Unions only want "to work less" and " earn more" ? Do you honestly expect people to want to work more and earn less?
I agree with your statement that unions don't have the customer in mind when they strike. But that also goes for those scabs that you think are so "great ". It would be naive to think that anybody crosses picket lines because they're worried about the customers. They are looking out for their self interest, like management and everybody else is.
People sometimes lose their homes in a strike, it's serious business and can't be explained by stereotypes and generalizations.

stupe
02-13-2006, 02:20
what about my right to keep the fruit of my own labor and time? I already will spend seven years of my life working solely for social programs, why do I owe them?

Because you might one day lose your job and your health, and need a social program. It's like protection. It's the fundamental role of our government.

corentin
02-13-2006, 02:30
no, that is the role of family and community. I take care of those in my community. They take care of me. Simple , and no paperwork.
Government is not to act in the role of parent. It is there to protect borders, maintain military, enforce laws. It is not to interfere with my rights of liberty.

weary
02-13-2006, 09:21
Unions are dying off, thankfully. They set themselves up as arch-enemies of employers. The result is not just anti-competitive [for the company], but inherently anti-consumer. Like I said earlier: markets exist only for consumption of goods and services, anything from medicine to food to education to beer and baseball games. Unions are anti-consumer, seeking to work less or earn more [meaning fewer services, more expensive goods, etc]. Anyone who is willing to strike does not have the customer in mind. Scabs, on the other hand, are great.....
Consumers can only consume -- and drive the American economy -- if they have money to buy things with. America became the most prosperous country in the world because unions gave workers decent wages.

We have now chosen an alternative route, essentially following the South American pattern, a few wealthy families and a vast underclass. It'll be interesting to see what this does to America in the coming decades.

By the way Whistler, your analysis of unions is total nonsense, at least as it applies to the three or four that I have been a member of.

Weary

Almost There
02-13-2006, 09:57
Weary,

Look at some of these guys ages, if they went to college that would mean they've been working what...one year, two years tops??? The other question is what do they do for a living. Life experience needs to hit them a little longer for them to understand some of this. Textbooks and news are great things but nothing equals real world experience.

Have any of you been fired with zero warning because a manager was covering his butt for a deal he screwed up? Unions can protect you and they deman due process. Why is it, we expect due process when it comes to the federal government, but then some of you state companies can do whatever they want. Keep in mind sometimes middle management goes after people for personal reasons or a CYA mentality. Due process protects this. Employers should be able to fire people but first there should be some warning that you aren't carrying your weight...some documentation. In states such as Georgia this is not necessary, people get fired for the way they walk down the hallway. Of course, we couch this as a "Right To Work" State. What makes it a right to work. Oh yeah because I have the right to quit at anytime I want to. Don't I have that right anyways? It's simply a way of saying companies can fire without warning, and you the employee have no recourse. This is a fine theory assuming people only get fired for not doing their jobs...but we know that is not always the case.

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 09:58
Unions lost their effectivness after the Federal Government took a real interest in on the job safety for employees. When Unions were focused on safety, and not dollars, they played a positive role in American society.

Unions may very well be the biggest threat to American business today. Union members face the same challenges as any other non-Union employees (long hours, hard work, questionable pay, asked to perform tasks that aren't in the job description, etc...) Except when Union people don't want to work they just walk out on the job; if non-Union employees walked out they wouldn't be walking back in. Union employees use the threat of a strike to force pay/compensation issues and get out of as much work as possible. This very effective threat drives up the cost of everything for the entire country. What is the biggest driving force behind the US shift to overseas production and international outsourcing? Employee wages and compensation. The Unions are driving mega-manufacturers overseas and once the large scale infrastructure is in place the small manufacturers will follow. By attempting to "rise above" the average non-Union employee, Union members are quickly destroying the blue-collar economy of America. I'm not sure what they are going to do when nothing with their "job code" is available anymore 'cause "they can't do anything not in their job description".

Scabs are a positive, long-term, influence on the American economy. Unions must be managed to maximize the beneifts to the average US citizen. Scabs are the best option currently available for Union management. Now it's illegal (you loose Federal contract options) for a company to utilize Scabs, how is that fair to anyone? (Our tax dollars enforcing Union/corporate rules???) The next step in Union management will see more long term closings of facilities and factories and instant and permanant replacment of striking employees. If you don't go to work you don't have a job. Everyone in American knows that, except Unions....

Tim Rich
02-13-2006, 10:06
I say repeal the child labor laws! What America needs is zero gov't intervention and a return of big trusts and monopolies!!!

Come on, Capitalism, I teach Economics guys and I can tell you we do not have true capitalism. This assumes everyone plays by the same rules...and some of our corporations are too large for that to happen. Adam Smith was a ahead of his time, but he couldn't of envisioned the world today with megacorporations, zero intervention=monopolies, and monopolies are bad for any economy and every consumer. As for vacations...people do need more, just look at the commercials on tv for all of the medications for depression to erectile dysfunction. You think this is normal? Should there be more gov't intervention? I don't know about that one. But here is a question for my Nazi loving friend...Should the gov't pull out of regulating the power industry? You wanna pay another $100 bucks a month for gas heating? Sometimes gov't intervention is needed. My hope is companies come to the realization that vacation is good for loyal employees one day. Probably a pipe dream, but hey I get 8 weeks in the summer...unless I have coaching clinics, or coursework for a masters degree which is encouraged strongly by my district...who doesn't reimburse as many companies do. Once again I could have gone for the gold ring in the corporate world, in fact I did for awhile, but I didn't like it, so slowed down, took less money, and more time off...and I will be hiking the entire month of June....SUCKERS!!!

I hope you're not teaching your kids that economics (or capitalism) works only because of government intervention. There have been monopolies and near-monopolies well before our current day, some who were responsible in their actions (ALCOA) and some who may have used extra "leverage" to attain or maintain their advantage (Standard Oil - although they weren't all bad).

True monopolies occur with the assistance of government, not in the absence of market regulation. Many times government intervention is necessary to justify something that wouldn't make economic sense alone, such as the introduction of western railroads and most utilities.

Market dominance is gained through price and efficiencies. Walmart is better at this than other discounters, so they are dominant - now. Kmart took out a number of big players (discounters and department stores) through their efficiencies. If a company becomes coercive in its pricing or lax in its services, competitors will gain a foothold.

As for paying more for natural gas, the Georgia deregulation has been a debacle, not because market forces are at work, but because the legacy monopolies (Atlanta Gas Light) were given sweetheart deals for "delivery". It's hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube in deregulating utilities.

Back to the original topic of vacation time, many companies do realize the value of their employees, just as many employees recognize, and value, what companies offer them. I see pharmaceutical advertisements as a sign of a free economy, by the way, not of society's cry for help.

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 10:07
It's called "At Will Employment"; being able to fire someone for no "reason".

It's the way everything should be run. Employees are not entitled to work. They are given a job by an employer and if an employer deems it fit to take away that job it is their right. It is not the fault of the employeer that people choose to have a bunch of children, buy expensive cars and homes with big payments. Because you will lose what you have (borrowed from the bank usually) does not entitle anyone to work. If you want job security work for the government. Want to feel comfortable about your finances, make reasonable purchases and set reasonable goals. You should be on your toes 100% of the time and make yourself too valuable for a manager to fire to "cover up his own mistake". If you truly are of enough value you will not lose your job due to circumstances like this. Value in the workplace comes from how much you further the ends of your employer, how you make things better for them, how you make them more money. Value had absolutely nothing to do with how long you have been on the job or how good your annual review is.

Tim Rich
02-13-2006, 10:16
Yes, it is amazing how complacent the common American has become. Sometimes i think that as long as many of us are kept extremely fat and happy we will take just about anything from the system.

The 40 hour workweek is a law. Our federal holidays are laws too. We can change them. We can fight to regain the lives, not just of our own (as most of us are hikers, i.e. "the choir"), but of those whom we love and wisha better life.

The simple fact is that to afford health care, and the basic standard of living, many of us are left little option but the type of job that seems to have gotten this thread going.

How is it that we can have the most complex road and interstate system in the world, but not have health care for all Americans?

When we get health care, the worker will be able to dictate more of their time to live life for themselves, not the fat cats.

When you say "when we get health care", it seems that should rather read "when we are GIVEN health care". There's no free lunch. Work for what you want and don't leave it to the gummint to give it to you off the backs of others. The fantasy of the young hiker wandering the countryside, never providing for his present (healthcare) or his future (retirement) reeks of "the world owes me a living".

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 10:19
When you say "when we get health care", it seems that should rather read "when we are GIVEN health care". There's no free lunch. Work for what you want and don't leave it to the gummint to give it to you off the backs of others. The fantasy of the young hiker wandering the countryside, never providing for his present (healthcare) or his future (retirement) reeks of "the world owes me a living".

You say "GIVEN"? What do our tax dollars already pay for? Why can't they pay for healthcare. You were "given" your education. You were "given the street/highway infrastructure". All of these things are "given" through taxation. Why can't your healthcare be "given" to you as well?

Tim Rich
02-13-2006, 10:24
You say "GIVEN"? What do our tax dollars already pay for? Why can't they pay for healthcare. You were "given" your education. You were "given the street/highway infrastructure". All of these things are "given" through taxation. Why can't your healthcare be "given" to you as well?

Why can't the government do everything for us? Just let it be the nanny state? No, government is to protect our liberties and rights. There is no right to health insurance. Earn money and pay for your healthcare yourself. Government intervention will not make it more efficient, it will simply bankrupt our nation.

Almost There
02-13-2006, 10:27
It's called "At Will Employment"; being able to fire someone for no "reason".

It's the way everything should be run. Employees are not entitled to work. They are given a job by an employer and if an employer deems it fit to take away that job it is their right. It is not the fault of the employeer that people choose to have a bunch of children, buy expensive cars and homes with big payments.

I used to feel much the same way as you, but certain experiences have changed my views. You are also wrong as far as what Georgia terms itself. Here it is called "Right to Work". You would believe that the employer should have all of the power, and that is simply not how the world works. BTW unless you are in sales the value of you to the company is a subjective measure determined by that person above you who in fact may be a poor employee. BTW it is the job of every government to try and ensure that there are quality jobs available to their citizenry. It is this reaosn that America is such a stable country. As for your other comments about it not being the fault of the employer that people "have a bunch of children, buy expensive cars, and homes with big payments" Who the hell are you talking about? I'm talking about the people who barely get buy, who might own a house and might not. I'm not talking about the guy pulling down 100K+ living in a half a million house that he can't afford. The average American family today has less than two children per household and often waits till they are older. You don't see a problem with the fact that in our Grandfathers day, mom could stay home, your aveage mortgage was a weeks pay. Now adjusting for inflation, etc. You're average responsible American will spend two weeks pay on a mortgage payment, and many moms have to work. Is it our fault as Americans that companies outsource jobs, or that inflation has risen so drastically over the last fifty years?

I'm curious Irritable, what do you do for a living? BTW I am a teacher..now, and yes I agree that the gov't provides solid job security. BTW I have worked for my father's small company and a Fortune 300 company in the past. Teaching for me was a no brainer, I like doing it, it is the least stressful of the three jobs I have had...and it affords me more time to go out and hike!

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 10:29
Why can't the government do everything for us? Just let it be the nanny state? No, government is to protect our liberties and rights. There is no right to health insurance. Earn money and pay for your healthcare yourself. Government intervention will not make it more efficient, it will simply bankrupt our nation.

Why then does the government pay for the enforcement of corporate rules? Why then does the governemnt subsize the telecom structure you are using to read this forum? America has already become a "nanny state". It should provide basic services, just as citizens are expected to provide basic taxes.

corentin
02-13-2006, 10:31
So if you are traveling north and discover you are hiking south instead of north, do you speed up, because "oh well, I'm already headed the wrong way anyway" ?

Tha Wookie
02-13-2006, 10:36
When you say "when we get health care", it seems that should rather read "when we are GIVEN health care". There's no free lunch. Work for what you want and don't leave it to the gummint to give it to you off the backs of others. The fantasy of the young hiker wandering the countryside, never providing for his present (healthcare) or his future (retirement) reeks of "the world owes me a living".

I never said it was free. Look at all the roads sprawling across America. Are those free? No. We pay for them in local, state, and federal taxes. Are they for the "better good of society"? Well that's highly debatable.

Now look at health care -the very basic care of our lives. It is also the insurance that so many people seek through work contracts because it is so expensive to afford on one's own.

How do you justify trillions on roads when we don't have health care?

When are we going to catch up to the other developed countries in this regard?

Until then, we will continue to be the most overworked country on the planet. And productivity will continue to suffer because of it.

Almost There
02-13-2006, 10:37
People, must affect change, not the government, if people want more vacation then they need to band together to affect change by their employers. As for Gov't some intervention is necessary due to the size of the economy today. Some of you put forth the idea that a truly free market will lead to perfect competition. But like perfect communism there is no such thing...because of greed. Folks look at the history of the world...it has never been a good thing for a country when the gap between wealthy and poor widens. This generally tends to mean that the middle class is shrinking. Countries with good economic growth that will be sustained usually see their middle class grow. We need to ask ourselves why is our middle class shrinking/the gap between rich and poor is growing? BTW I don't believe in gov't provided healthcare, it hasn't worked well for anyone anywhere. Ask the guy in Britain on the waiting list for a CTScan after a tumor was discovered...5 months later he gets the scan only to confirm what could have been done 5 months before in America where he might have lived had it been caught earlier. BTW a real story by someone my wife knows personally.

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 10:38
I used to feel much the same way as you, but certain experiences have changed my views. You are also wrong as far as what Georgia terms itself. Here it is called "Right to Work". You would believe that the employer should have all of the power, and that is simply not how the world works. BTW unless you are in sales the value of you to the company is a subjective measure determined by that person above you who in fact may be a poor employee. BTW it is the job of every government to try and ensure that there are quality jobs available to their citizenry. It is this reaosn that America is such a stable country. As for your other comments about it not being the fault of the employer that people "have a bunch of children, buy expensive cars, and homes with big payments" Who the hell are you talking about? I'm talking about the people who barely get buy, who might own a house and might not. I'm not talking about the guy pulling down 100K+ living in a half a million house that he can't afford. The average American family today has less than two children per household and often waits till they are older. You don't see a problem with the fact that in our Grandfathers day, mom could stay home, your aveage mortgage was a weeks pay. Now adjusting for inflation, etc. You're average responsible American will spend two weeks pay on a mortgage payment, and many moms have to work. Is it our fault as Americans that companies outsource jobs, or that inflation has risen so drastically over the last fifty years?

I'm curious Irritable, what do you do for a living? BTW I am a teacher..now, and yes I agree that the gov't provides solid job security. BTW I have worked for my father's small company and a Fortune 300 company in the past. Teaching for me was a no brainer, I like doing it, it is the least stressful of the three jobs I have had...and it affords me more time to go out and hike!

If your value to a company is subjective there is already a problem. It is not up to the company to see your value, it is up to you to prove your value, through whatever means necessary. That is a truly competitive enviornment. You exceed every expectation, you outperform the person "above" you.

When I look at the house my grandparents lived in that cost the one weeks salary, it is plainly evident why modern houses cost two weeks salary. Vinyl siding is more expensive than wood; you don't have to paint/maintain it, central heat & air feels nice but it costs more. The list goes on and on. My grandparents were happy with wood fireplace and an electric fan in the summer. People who won't be happy with these things and demand the maximum amount of comfort are not "barely getting by".

What do you think drives inflation, it ain't Allen Greenspan and it ain't magic. It's increases in minimum wage, governemnt enforced corporate/union rules, and healthcare costs. (mostly)

I do contract technology management and reorganizations for a living.

Tim Rich
02-13-2006, 10:38
Why then does the government pay for the enforcement of corporate rules? Why then does the governemnt subsize the telecom structure you are using to read this forum? America has already become a "nanny state". It should provide basic services, just as citizens are expected to provide basic taxes.

If you want the government to provide you with health care, "basic taxes" won't begin to cover it. AND you'd lose any freedom to determine the timing, quality and provider of your health services.

Dependency comes at a price.

Whistler
02-13-2006, 10:46
Consumers can only consume -- and drive the American economy -- if they have money to buy things with. America became the most prosperous country in the world because unions gave workers decent wages.
Spending does not drive an economy. Savings do. Ignoring the effects of other policies or developments, those 'decent wages' came a cost of more expensive goods and services for every other person.


By the way Whistler, your analysis of unions is total nonsense, at least as it applies to the three or four that I have been a member of.
I'd be interested in hearing your experiences, Weary. From my perspective, I still see unions as a source of group-think, and occasional violence against employers' property and non-union employees. Then there's the idea that union pay will tend to most benefit the least productive of the lot, while those who could truly excel and earn more outside the union contract are held back. That's not a good way to compete, long-term.

-Mark

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 10:46
If you want the government to provide you with health care, "basic taxes" won't begin to cover it. AND you'd lose any freedom to determine the timing, quality and provider of your health services.

Dependency comes at a price.

Dependency? What part of your life is really independant now? That's a toughy but think about it. Nothing in your life today would be the same if it wan't dependent on some govt supplied service/infrastructure.

Do you really think freedom in with your current healthcare provider is a long term thing? It's not economically viable for this to continue, even in the medium term. As soon as healthcare companies mature (business/industry wise) and they have milked all the profit they can from the system they are going to be screaming for regulation and nationalization. The beneifts people see from independant care and insurance are a function of profit. When those profits begin to slide (as they must do in any money based system) those beneifts are gone. Why not go ahead and get the system moving towards nationalization since it's going that way anyway?

Goon
02-13-2006, 10:48
I know a guy who made a deal with his boss: he took a pay cut in exchange for more vacation time to go hiking. You could try that too.

I get 4 weeks a year, with up to 7 saved which is where I am now. I definitely don't take enough time off, but a buddy just sent me an email wanting to take a week off to go backpacking somewhere soon. :clap

Whistler
02-13-2006, 10:51
Some of you put forth the idea that a truly free market will lead to perfect competition.
I espouse free markets, but agree that 'perfect competition' is nonsense.
-Mark

rickb
02-13-2006, 10:55
Buy insurance, pay bills. Get sick. Real sick. Loose job but continue paying for COBRA. Don't get better. Doctor wants to get you a new liver. Cobra expires. Try to renew insuarance. Fail. Sell house to pay for liver. Come up short by $100K. Die.

Working poor really get screwed (Nickle and Dimed is a great read for those who havew forgotten) but I think that the health care system has failed a buch of us hard working-planning-saving types as well.

But I could be wrong. I honetly don't know if you can get a new liver on credit these days. If so, substitute the word "go bankrupt" for "die" in the first paragraph.

corentin
02-13-2006, 10:57
Go bankrupt would be more correct. Isn't it amazing hat you can get on credit these days?

Tim Rich
02-13-2006, 10:59
Dependency? What part of your life is really independant now? That's a toughy but think about it. Nothing in your life today would be the same if it wan't dependent on some govt supplied service/infrastructure.

Do you really think freedom in with your current healthcare provider is a long term thing? It's not economically viable for this to continue, even in the medium term. As soon as healthcare companies mature (business/industry wise) and they have milked all the profit they can from the system they are going to be screaming for regulation and nationalization. The beneifts people see from independant care and insurance are a function of profit. When those profits begin to slide (as they must do in any money based system) those beneifts are gone. Why not go ahead and get the system moving towards nationalization since it's going that way anyway?

You can't reasonably equate independence with an absolute separation from government, and it's equally unrealistic to suggest that because my street's paved the government should clothe, feed and shelter me.

If you think the end to all industry life cycles is or should be government operation, I really can't respond to that.

You want absolute government care (and control) and I don't. Choose your candidates and I'll choose mine.

Whistler
02-13-2006, 11:13
Look at some of these guys ages, if they went to college that would mean they've been working what...one year, two years tops??? The other question is what do they do for a living. Life experience needs to hit them a little longer for them to understand some of this. Textbooks and news are great things but nothing equals real world experience.
You're right in that I haven't been working at a single, full-time job for too long, but have worked in some capacity for about a decade. I'll also admit that I have a sweet job right now, and it's a very good situation. Never been fired either. But that's really irrelevant to economic knowledge, which is where I'm coming from. I can have knowledge independent of personal experience of a situation. I'm not talking about testimonials, or how I *feel* about certain situations. That's important, too, but maybe that's where our lines are crossing.


Keep in mind sometimes middle management goes after people for personal reasons or a CYA mentality. Due process protects this. Employers should be able to fire people but first there should be some warning that you aren't carrying your weight...some documentation. In states such as Georgia this is not necessary, people get fired for the way they walk down the hallway.
I'm not sure why you need due process if you have no property in the matter. You're only entitled to pay earned for work completed. Beyond that, nothing. Such an arbitrary dismissal would be unfortunate, but I don't understand why you would want to continue to work for that kind of company/ supervisor.
-Mark

sparky2000
02-13-2006, 11:17
Lok close at the Amish. They don't wear shoes all the time! Shouldn't laws be passed to teach them bettest ways?

corentin
02-13-2006, 11:22
No, but they might benefit from some basic genetic instruction about what happens when you produce children with blood relatives

stupe
02-13-2006, 11:54
no, that is the role of family and community. I take care of those in my community. They take care of me. Simple , and no paperwork.
Government is not to act in the role of parent. It is there to protect borders, maintain military, enforce laws. It is not to interfere with my rights of liberty.

So? Being a victim equals entitlement? Plus, the goverment already threw a lot of mentally ill on the streets, the ACLU said it violated their rights to keep them in hospitals


When you have a flood, are you and your neighbors going to go out in boats and save everybody? I think we found out recently that we can't always count on that.
I didn't say government is to be a parent, I said it's fundamental role was to protect you. Protecting borders, maintaining the military, and enforcing laws is just a part of it. The reason you can't opt out of paying for social programs is the same reason the bank insists you carry fire insurance til your mortgage is paid off - you think it's impossible for your house to burn, but the bank knows better.
The system doesn't interfere with your "rights of liberty", it enables you to have those rights.
The ACLU having the mentally ill thrown out in the streets must have created a great inconvenience for you and your neighbors. I mean, having to put up all those homeless mental patients in their spare bedrooms. Is that what happened, or did the government wind up taking care of them?

corentin
02-13-2006, 12:01
Last I heard, from the nurses I worked with who used to work in mental hospitals, most of them died on the street or were returned to communities that couldn't properly absorb them.
wasn't everyone complaining about what a rotton job the government did after Katrina? And wasn't a lot of the best help volunteer?

lobster
02-13-2006, 12:30
Solution to all:

1. Existence of Unions perfectly legal.
2. Scabs perfectly legal.
3. Free healthcare for all with expensive surgeries only approved after a consultation of doctors thus prioritizing who gets what first based on how you came down with your condition. Thus, an alcoholic may not get a medical procedure before somebody who didn't bring the condition on themselves. Of course, you can use your own money if you want the surgery earlier!
4. No IRS, but a federal sales tax to cover all military, social expenses.
5. No limits on gun ownership! I should be able to shoot somebody trying to break into my house or robbing me on the street.
6. No 40 hour per week law. If you think your employer is forcing you to work too many hours, quit and get another job.
7. No minimum wage.
8. No taxes on selling a used vehicle or home or boat, etc.

corentin
02-13-2006, 12:35
How does it benefit me to have what I have earned taken from me and given to those who have done nothing to earn it except be born? How is it not infringing on others for money to be extorted from them to support those who will not help themselves?
in truth, I don't have a problem with the government caring for the mentally ill, for children, for those struck by disaster. I think all those things speak to larger community and societal issues. Caring for the unable benifits society. It shows that the society values all who live in it.
I have a huge problem with generations of people who live off the system and return nothing at all to it. what good is it doing them to give everything and expect nothing from them? I do not have the legal right to tell an unfit person not to breed children they can't care for but I have a legal obligation to pay to care for those children and parents. How is that just? The government should not randomly govern morality and freedoms.
I give my time, effort, and money to care for those in need in my community near and at large. why should I care for able bodied people who refuse to care for themselves or their own? by what right do they have claim to my life?

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 12:38
How does it benefit me to have what I have earned taken from me and given to those who have done nothing to earn it except be born? How is it not infringing on others for money to be extorted from them to support those who will not help themselves?
in truth, I don't have a problem with the government caring for the mentally ill, for children, for those struck by disaster. I think all those things speak to larger community and societal issues. Caring for the unable benifits society. It shows that the society values all who live in it.
I have a huge problem with generations of people who live off the system and return nothing at all to it. what good is it doing them to give everything and expect nothing from them? I do not have the legal right to tell an unfit person not to breed children they can't care for but I have a legal obligation to pay to care for those children and parents. How is that just? The government should not randomly govern morality and freedoms.
I give my time, effort, and money to care for those in need in my community near and at large. why should I care for able bodied people who refuse to care for themselves or their own? by what right do they have claim to my life?
"We The People"

Includes everyone.

lobster
02-13-2006, 12:42
Also,

9. Cash incentives for women to be permanently "fixed". I'm thinking of poor folk who have kids just for the sake of having nothing better to do and then Joe Public ends up bringing them up (money wise).

10. A $500 cash reward for the reporting and eventual deportation of illegal aliens! Note, a $100 nonrefundable fee for each person you report will be charged so as frivolous charges will cost you in the wallet. The funny thing is is that other illegals or new legal immigrants who are likely to be poor will be the ones most likely to report the illegals. These are the folks that they have to compete with for jobs.

corentin
02-13-2006, 12:43
so nobody has a problem if I quit working and let the state support me? I'm definitely one of the people. And work can be such a drag.....

" A government that robs Peter to pay Paul....will always have the support of Paul"

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 12:46
Go ahead and quit your job. Even if you are supported by the system you still cost the taxpayer than someone in prison for possession of marijuana.

Yeah on #9 from Lobster. Pay women to be fixed.

corentin
02-13-2006, 12:47
don't blame me for the poor pothead in prison....I'm a libertarian.:)

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 12:52
don't blame me for the poor pothead in prison....I'm a libertarian.:)

Libertarians are the best thing going.

weary
02-13-2006, 12:57
Unions lost their effectivness after the Federal Government took a real interest in on the job safety for employees. When Unions were focused on safety, and not dollars, they played a positive role in American society.

Unions may very well be the biggest threat to American business today. Union members face the same challenges as any other non-Union employees (long hours, hard work, questionable pay, asked to perform tasks that aren't in the job description, etc...) Except when Union people don't want to work they just walk out on the job; if non-Union employees walked out they wouldn't be walking back in. Union employees use the threat of a strike to force pay/compensation issues and get out of as much work as possible. This very effective threat drives up the cost of everything for the entire country. What is the biggest driving force behind the US shift to overseas production and international outsourcing? Employee wages and compensation. The Unions are driving mega-manufacturers overseas and once the large scale infrastructure is in place the small manufacturers will follow. By attempting to "rise above" the average non-Union employee, Union members are quickly destroying the blue-collar economy of America. I'm not sure what they are going to do when nothing with their "job code" is available anymore 'cause "they can't do anything not in their job description".

Scabs are a positive, long-term, influence on the American economy. Unions must be managed to maximize the beneifts to the average US citizen. Scabs are the best option currently available for Union management. Now it's illegal (you loose Federal contract options) for a company to utilize Scabs, how is that fair to anyone? (Our tax dollars enforcing Union/corporate rules???) The next step in Union management will see more long term closings of facilities and factories and instant and permanant replacment of striking employees. If you don't go to work you don't have a job. Everyone in American knows that, except Unions....
Your "facts" are mostly wrong, making your analysis nonsense. I served on the executive committee of a local Newspaper Guild for two decades. We were a better newspaper because the guild kept management excesses under control. All Maine newspapers, union or not, benefited and continue to benefit from the Union's effort. The existence of a strong newspaper union forced other Maine newspapers to pay decent wages and thus attract competent employees, a benefit brought on in part because of management's the irrational fear of unions.

Weary

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 13:02
Your "facts" are mostly wrong, making your analysis nonsense. I served on the executive committee of a local Newspaper Guild for two decades. We were a better newspaper because the guild kept management excesses under control. All Maine newspapers, union or not, benefited and continue to benefit from the Union's effort. The existence of a strong newspaper union forced other Maine newspapers to pay decent wages and thus attract competent employees, a benefit brought on in part because of management's the irrational fear of unions.

Weary

So you are in fact proving that Unions drive up the cost of goods to the consumer. Thanks.

mweinstone
02-13-2006, 13:10
if you dont want to give to the poor. and you will miss out on the joys of giving.it is better to give than to receive.its better to be a footstool in heaven than a king here on earth.their is no greater love than one who willingly gives up his life to save a stranger.

JoeHiker
02-13-2006, 14:09
All Maine newspapers, union or not, benefited and continue to benefit from the Union's effort. The existence of a strong newspaper union forced other Maine newspapers to pay decent wages and thus attract competent employees, a benefit brought on in part because of management's the irrational fear of unions.
Weary

I don't want to discount positive effects you union had on the people who worked for your paper, but this is a little to Rebecca-of-Sunnybrook-Farm-ish for me. I hope you realize you sound like a propaganda broadsheet for the union itself.

I wonder if the other papers agree they benefited from your union or just had to pay more money to the same people.

JoeHiker
02-13-2006, 14:14
if you dont want to give to the poor. and you will miss out on the joys of giving.it is better to give than to receive.its better to be a footstool in heaven than a king here on earth.their is no greater love than one who willingly gives up his life to save a stranger.

Except of course, if you are an atheist, the whole footstool thing is irrelevant.

Personally I don't see how giving up my life to save a stranger is any "greater love" than giving it up to save someone I know. But that's just me.

Gray Blazer
02-13-2006, 14:21
Thanks for the new word. Be a teacher like me. We have lots of time off, no pay, just lots of time off.

weary
02-13-2006, 14:24
I don't want to discount positive effects you union had on the people who worked for your paper, but this is a little to Rebecca-of-Sunnybrook-Farm-ish for me. I hope you realize you sound like a propaganda broadsheet for the union itself.

I wonder if the other papers agree they benefited from your union or just had to pay more money to the same people.
Just trying to keep the debate honest. The ignorance of the anti-union posters is pretty appalling.

Union or non union newpaper reporting outside of a few stars in the major cities is a pretty low wage profession, and as a result good journalists are hard to find. Non Union papers rarely meet the wage scales of union papers but they stay close enough to discourage union organizing efforts for the most part.

Sadly quite a few good journalists quit newspapering for PR jobs. A lot also seem to end up in law school (the required talents are quite similar.) And a few failed lawyers end up with careers in newspapers.

Weary

stupe
02-13-2006, 14:36
Last I heard, from the nurses I worked with who used to work in mental hospitals, most of them died on the street or were returned to communities that couldn't properly absorb them.
wasn't everyone complaining about what a rotton job the government did after Katrina? And wasn't a lot of the best help volunteer?


Think about what you posted. It's untrue. Most of the released mentally ill died on the street? Of course they didn't.

The communities couldn't properly absorb them? I thought you said that was the job of family and community. The flaw in your plan is that family and community can't and won't take care of them.

As poor a job as the government did during and after Katrina, "everybody" isn't complaining about it. I don't mean to take anything away from volunteers, but it's naive to think a disaster of that scope could be handled by volunteers alone.

If you want to go back to the good old days when people slaved six or seven days a week and starved anyway, and unfortunate, old, or disabled people could only beg or die in some church poorhouse, thats fine with me. I would rather pay high taxes ( actually low taxes, when you compare them to some other democratic countries ) and not have to live in the dark ages.

I sincerely hope that you enjoy good mental and physical health, and steady employment, so you never have to use those social programs you dislike so much.

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 14:36
The ignorance of the anti-union posters is pretty appalling.
What about the Non-Union side of things. It seems that most of the people who are pro-Union only like it because it made them more money than non-Union workers. Of course they like making more than they should (i.e. what non-Union people doing the same job make) but it is fairly shortsighted to think that making more does not drive up the cost of the products; injuring non-Union (the average) workers and the average citizen. This is (simplified) how inflation starts/grows:

workers want more money, wages go up
companies lose money due to increased employee costs
company charges more for product to compensate
worker needs more money to cover increased product cost
wages go up

(repeat until system fails)

stupe
02-13-2006, 14:44
Just trying to keep the debate honest. The ignorance of the anti-union posters is pretty appalling.

Thanks, Weary. It's always appalling when working people who enjoy all the benefits that organized labor fought for over the years display an authority worshipping, peasant mentality.
If they think Unions are unneccesary, I suggest they go visit a few of those coal mines in West Virginia, or try to buy a home and raise a family on a WalMart salary.

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 14:47
Thanks, Weary. It's always appalling when working people who enjoy all the benefits that organized labor fought for over the years display an authority worshipping, peasant mentality.
If they think Unions are unneccesary, I suggest they go visit a few of those coal mines in West Virginia, or try to buy a home and raise a family on a WalMart salary.

Your employer is not responsible for your home, you are. Many people find that the homes they can afford on their "Wal-Mart" salary are not as nice as they would like. The correct answer here is to find a better paying job/lower your expectations. It is not to force an employer to give you more money so you can have the things you can't afford on your current salary. See above post about how inflation works.

corentin
02-13-2006, 15:03
Stupe :
in truth, I don't have a problem with the government caring for the mentally ill, for children, for those struck by disaster. I think all those things speak to larger community and societal issues. Caring for the unable benifits society. It shows that the society values all who live in it.
I have a huge problem with generations of people who live off the system and return nothing at all to it.
Very few people or countries have found a good answer to caring for the mentally ill. Allow them to choose not to take meds, live on the street, and potentially be a danger to others or restrict their freedom, make them medicate, and not allow them to endanger themselves or others. If you have seen a state that handled the 80's shut down of mental hospitals well, I would be glad to hear about it. The sickest died or were incarcerated, the ones who truly could not fend. The government protected their right to self exterminate but not much else.

Almost There
02-13-2006, 15:20
Actually if unions bring about more competent workers then although prices might go up, you the consumer get a more quality product. Of course, with the Wal-Mart mentality of many Americans today...Cheaper=Better. An informed buyer knows the difference. Unions helped to make this country great in the years following WWII. Whether you agree or not, it allowed factory workers to purchase homes and send children to college. While company costs went up...so did consumer buying power allowing companies to sell more goods thereby making the same or more money. Our problem today, if you want to call it a problem is that we are living too long.

If you want to talk about entitlement, what about Board of Directors who's company shows a loss or who decides to layoff workers...and then decides to grant themselves bonuses for the year. The phrasing "**** rolls downhill" comes to mind. Some say get another job, but what if we are dealing with essentially a geographic monopoly where said worker would have to move far from home for the job. Some of you I would love to ask you some of these questions ten years from now when you are married with children, I have a feeling your views will change to a degree on this matter.

I guess here is the crux some of us believe that we are born with certain inalienable rights...but companies don't have to agree with the law of the land or the ideas behind it...only the gov't does. I say if we want our country to be great that we all should live by these ideals. The question is how far do you go. If you start compelling then you have already lost.

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 15:25
Unions did most certainly help America grow to the point where it is today, the performend a great service I won't argue that at all. But they are sort of like bias-ply tires; sure they work, but they are dangerous as h&*l to the overall experience.

A Board of Directors decision to lay off people and give themselves raises is just, that a Board of Directors Decision. The average employee has no right or business second guessing the Board. If they disagree with the Board then they need to get their own seat, or find a different company to work for. Holding the American people and economy hostage is not a good option.

shades of blue
02-13-2006, 15:46
badger...
Just from curosity...are you like a CEO of a fortune 500 company or what? It's not a question of whether a company has the ability to lay off workers, then grant themselves a hefty bonus. The question is to where is the check for the company execs? The CEO's certainly didn't earn the bonus according to market forces. Perhaps their company even fails...like enron...but they've covered their a$$ and it doesn't hurt them. That is morally wrong, and if our country does that as a whole, we will go the way of the Romans.
I don't think Unions are the end all answer to all questions....but I do think management needs someone to "keep them honest". If not, our country can not survive.

I've worked hard my entire life, I have a Bachelor and a Master's degree in education. I work two jobs to support myself and my soon to be blended family. Is it too much to ask that I have good health care and basic services? I pay a ton of taxes, I do my work, I've gotten a good education. I'm not buying that because I don't work in Congress, or am not a CEO of a huge company that I don't deserve adequate health care.

Almost There
02-13-2006, 15:48
In other words Irritable it is ok for the Board to be greedy and look out for their self interests. However, if a union does it they're holding the American people hostage??? Do you really believe this??? What about the stockholders of the company? If a company loses money shouldn't the leaders take responsibility. What happened to the captain going down with the ship??? According to you if they choose to fly away in luxury leaving the sailors to sink then thats ok, their decision.

BTW I am curious...being someone in his twenties...what do you do for a living...and how long have you been doing it?

BTW, hate to tell you but your belief system is why the south is almost dead last in almost every category of education, and can't get out of it. The attitude of wanting the world but wanting to give nothing to get it. Yes, I work in one of the wealthiest school districts in the south and I see the disparity every day.

People don't want to pay property taxes to improve their schools or local municipalities, but in Georgia's case the state will pay for people to go to college on a Hope Scholarship regardless of family income...but yet I work in a school with peeling paint on the walls, etc. because the district doesn't have the money to fix it immediately. Why in a district where schools should be equal throughout do the wealthier areas of the county have better supplies and equipment...because the soccer moms bitch and moan when their kids don't have the best because they're home to do so. Whereas my disadvantaged students parents both work one or two jobs and don't have time to do some of these things. District managment should look out for every student, not just the students of well to do parents...and yes this is an attitude that can pervade into the private sector.

weary
02-13-2006, 15:58
Unions did most certainly help America grow to the point where it is today, the performend a great service I won't argue that at all. But they are sort of like bias-ply tires; sure they work, but they are dangerous as h&*l to the overall experience.

A Board of Directors decision to lay off people and give themselves raises is just, that a Board of Directors Decision. The average employee has no right or business second guessing the Board. If they disagree with the Board then they need to get their own seat, or find a different company to work for. Holding the American people and economy hostage is not a good option.
This is so absurd that it would be funny, if so many didn't agree. On a fundamental level, wages paid are what keeps the economy alive and prosperous. It's what allows people to buy the goods and services of the economy.

More importantly, corporations are made up of people with ideas and money joining together to earn a profit and to maximize their living standards and prosperity. Why is this a proper activity, but it is not proper for their employees to similarly join together to sell their skills and working hours to maximize their living standards and prosperity?

There is no logic in claiming one is good; the other evil.

Weary

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 16:04
In other words Irritable it is ok for the Board to be greedy and look out for their self interests. However, if a union does it they're holding the American people hostage??? Do you really believe this??? What about the stockholders of the company? If a company loses money shouldn't the leaders take responsibility. What happened to the captain going down with the ship??? According to you if they choose to fly away in luxury leaving the sailors to sink then thats ok, their decision.

BTW I am curious...being someone in his twenties...what do you do for a living...and how long have you been doing it?

BTW, hate to tell you but your belief system is why the south is almost dead last in almost every category of education, and can't get out of it. The attitude of wanting the world but wanting to give nothing to get it. Yes, I work in one of the wealthiest school districts in the south and I see the disparity every day.

People don't want to pay property taxes to improve their schools or local municipalities, but in Georgia's case the state will pay for people to go to college on a Hope Scholarship regardless of family income...but yet I work in a school with peeling paint on the walls, etc. because the district doesn't have the money to fix it immediately. Why in a district where schools should be equal throughout do the wealthier areas of the county have better supplies and equipment...because the soccer moms bitch and moan when their kids don't have the best because they're home to do so. Whereas my disadvantaged students parents both work one or two jobs and don't have time to do some of these things. District managment should look out for every student, not just the students of well to do parents...and yes this is an attitude that can pervade into the private sector.
Any decision a Board makes only effects the employees that choose to work for that company. On the other hand, a Union has the ability to hold the entire country hostage because they do not want to work. A Board decision is a private intra-company decision. A Union "action" effects the world at large, not just the lives of the workers. (who to reinforce, choose to work there). Same for stockholders (who are the "check" on the Board), they chose to purchase a stock, they were not promised anything, it is up to the shareholder to make decisions on the company. If they lose, that is the game they played. If they don't like a Board decision, they have the option to purchase enough shares to have a valid say. If a company looses money that's too bad, the tradeoff is that if a company makes money you stand to gain quite a bit.

(Business is a game which many employees fail/refuse to realize. If you stake your wellbeing on a game being played by others, do you really expect sunshine and roses everyday?)

The reason why so many people were hurt during such things as Enron (outside of real stockholders, not employees) is because they are not happy with a much more stable (but less grossing) public retirment system. They want big bucks on their retirement savings but they don't want risk. If you want a big return you have to expect risks. It is strange that people want big return but no risk. I wonder what they believe they are owed?

To answer your questions, for a living I do contract technology management and reorganizations. I have been in tech management for eight years and reorganization for two years.

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 16:09
It's not really a belief system. It is a view I have developed after several years of helping companies reorganize after they have been forced into protection, largely due to employee issues. It's hard for me to believe some of the things that go on in any big company, but I deal with the reality of the situation. When all the crying and bit&^ing are over, the math makes it very easy to track where a company got into financial trouble. Employees are 95% of the near or at the top of the list.

weary
02-13-2006, 16:15
....To answer your questions, for a living I do contract technology management and reorganizations. I have been in tech management for eight years and reorganization for two years.
Just a bit of advice. You so far have shown no understanding of unions. I would suggest you learn a bit before giving advice.

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 16:16
badger...
Just from curosity...are you like a CEO of a fortune 500 company or what? It's not a question of whether a company has the ability to lay off workers, then grant themselves a hefty bonus. The question is to where is the check for the company execs? The CEO's certainly didn't earn the bonus according to market forces. Perhaps their company even fails...like enron...but they've covered their a$$ and it doesn't hurt them. That is morally wrong, and if our country does that as a whole, we will go the way of the Romans.
I don't think Unions are the end all answer to all questions....but I do think management needs someone to "keep them honest". If not, our country can not survive.

I've worked hard my entire life, I have a Bachelor and a Master's degree in education. I work two jobs to support myself and my soon to be blended family. Is it too much to ask that I have good health care and basic services? I pay a ton of taxes, I do my work, I've gotten a good education. I'm not buying that because I don't work in Congress, or am not a CEO of a huge company that I don't deserve adequate health care.

I am a huge supporter of public healthcare (see the last 5 or 6 pages of posts) but I am against Unions.

lobster
02-13-2006, 16:18
A company can do whatever it wants with the money it makes as far as I am concerned. It is absolutely no business of the peons how much the CEO makes.

weary
02-13-2006, 16:19
It's not really a belief system. It is a view I have developed after several years of helping companies reorganize after they have been forced into protection, largely due to employee issues. It's hard for me to believe some of the things that go on in any big company, but I deal with the reality of the situation. When all the crying and bit&^ing are over, the math makes it very easy to track where a company got into financial trouble. Employees are 95% of the near or at the top of the list.
What you foget is that managing and contracting with employees are the primary responsibility of management. If management entered into unwise contracts with employees the employees are not to blame. Management in my experience holds most of the cards in these negotiations.

Weary

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 16:19
Just a bit of advice. You so far have shown no understanding of unions. I would suggest you learn a bit before giving advice.

I understand what they do to the market. I am not interested in the individual's benefits. That is the core issue. If more people were less self-interested the market as a whole would work better. Unions emphasize self-interest, not market interest.

BTW, my entire family is Union (locomotive and electrical) and they don't agree with me either. But then again, I've never been held back by a "system" or "middle management". I have always gone over, under, around, or through them if I saw something that needed to be done. If everyone adopted this attitude it would be a better place. (work and life in general)

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 16:20
A company can do whatever it wants with the money it makes as far as I am concerned. It is absolutely no business of the peons how much the CEO makes.
Peons isn't the term I would have used but I agree. The employees need to concentrate on their job, not the job's of others.

Almost There
02-13-2006, 16:23
That's right we'll all go to the job tree if we don't like our job and pick a new one. Badger the funny thing is both you and Whistler are contractual employees, or better put...self-employed. I respect you both for that, but I beg to disagree on the matter of unions holding the nation hostage...it's amazing how companies can find money for things when they are forced to look for it. So it might mean that this CEO only takes a 2 million bonus vs. a 4 million bonus. Big Deal!!!

corentin
02-13-2006, 16:24
Or it may mean that they move overseas where the employees are less bothersome

Tim Rich
02-13-2006, 16:31
A company can do whatever it wants with the money it makes as far as I am concerned. It is absolutely no business of the peons how much the CEO makes.

Sounds like peons envy :D

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 16:33
Your job/career is your decision. If you are unable to go to the "job tree and pick a new one" that is your problem. I can't see why you can't go pick another job...

I do contract work because I got tired of working for a big company. Plus I get paid more (based on time vs income) and have a really dyanmic schedule (i.e. one that allows me to hike the AT this year (wow an AT related reference :))

So what if a company can find more money. Just because a company has extra funds does not entitle the employees to any of it. An employee does their job and gets their paycheck. It ends there. The minute they accept a paycheck they agree to abide by the chain of command in the organization. If they are low on that chain it is their responsibility and opportunity to get higher on the chain where they can change the things they are unhappy with.

the goat
02-13-2006, 16:37
but I beg to disagree on the matter of unions holding the nation hostage...it's amazing how companies can find money for things when they are forced to look for it. So it might mean that this CEO only takes a 2 million bonus vs. a 4 million bonus. Big Deal!!!

is a certain internegator in the teachers' union?:D

rickb
02-13-2006, 16:45
Here's the way I like to think of it," founder and CEO John Mackey once said. "The union is like having herpes. It doesn't kill you, but it¹s unpleasant and inconvenient and it stops a lot of people from becoming your lover" (Business and Society Review, 6/22/92).

-- John Mackey

Founder and CEO of Whole Foods Markets
AT Thru hiker

stupe
02-13-2006, 16:47
Your employer is not responsible for your home, you are. Many people find that the homes they can afford on their "Wal-Mart" salary are not as nice as they would like. The correct answer here is to find a better paying job/lower your expectations. It is not to force an employer to give you more money so you can have the things you can't afford on your current salary. See above post about how inflation works.
Who said an employer is responsible for anything but their bottom line? I sure didn't. But finding a better paying job isn't the only alternative. I don't care if a rich businessman lives in a mansion and eats caviar, but when he does this while taxes pay for his employees healthcare, or his employees go broke paying for it themselves, something needs regulating.
That's a little different from forcing "an employer to give you more money so you can have the things you can't afford on your current salary". You are trying to make it sound like all Union members are simply motivated by greed. You can't qualify that, it's possible that some of them just want to make a living.
Do you know why professional athletes demand such big salaries? It's because they know the owners can afford to pay those salaries.
The NYC Transit Workers knew that when they went on strike recently. Our Mayor and the local tabloids painted the strikers as greedy criminals, but didn't mention the issue of the Transit Authority having a multi million dollar surplus, or that they spent none of it on capital improvements, none on safety for riders and workers, ( They just started putting up security cameras this year! ) or that they broke the law by trying to bully the Union into making their workers pay more for their own health care. Yup, it's illegal to even bring it to the table. They got away with it because the Transit Authority's head is a political crony of our Governor. They had lunch together, while 12 million people had to walk to work.

The health care issue would have saved the Transit Authority 20 million dollars over the next three years. Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? But it was less than the cost of the three days of police overtime the strike neccesitated.
The last time the Transit Authority raised the fare, it was discovered that they had a $300 million surplus. Is that any way to run a railroad?
When Verizon threatened to strike about three years ago, the management wanted to cut employees health care, too. Verizon has $67 billion a year in revenues. Verizon had cut their employee rolls, but increased their rates. Verizon gave their executives $13 million in bonuses, and the CEO’s of Verizon and GTE got stock estimated at $56 million dollars.
One of the things the Union won was making Verizon rehire 150 technicians they had fired the week before Christmas. Verizon, the last time I checked, was still in business.

If you still think Unions are purely "bad" and our capitalist system is purely "good", I don't expect to change your mind. But at least consider some grey areas. This country is capable of providing living wages and affordable health care for everybody, without any executives or business owners going broke.
I read your above post on how you think inflation works. That's not how it works.

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 16:53
Who said an employer is responsible for anything but their bottom line? I sure didn't. But finding a better paying job isn't the only alternative. I don't care if a rich businessman lives in a mansion and eats caviar, but when he does this while taxes pay for his employees healthcare, or his employees go broke paying for it themselves, something needs regulating.
That's a little different from forcing "an employer to give you more money so you can have the things you can't afford on your current salary". You are trying to make it sound like all Union members are simply motivated by greed. You can't qualify that, it's possible that some of them just want to make a living.
Do you know why professional athletes demand such big salaries? It's because they know the owners can afford to pay those salaries.
The NYC Transit Workers knew that when they went on strike recently. Our Mayor and the local tabloids painted the strikers as greedy criminals, but didn't mention the issue of the Transit Authority having a multi million dollar surplus, or that they spent none of it on capital improvements, none on safety for riders and workers, ( They just started putting up security cameras this year! ) or that they broke the law by trying to bully the Union into making their workers pay more for their own health care. Yup, it's illegal to even bring it to the table. They got away with it because the Transit Authority's head is a political crony of our Governor. They had lunch together, while 12 million people had to walk to work.

The health care issue would have saved the Transit Authority 20 million dollars over the next three years. Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? But it was less than the cost of the three days of police overtime the strike neccesitated.
The last time the Transit Authority raised the fare, it was discovered that they had a $300 million surplus. Is that any way to run a railroad?
When Verizon threatened to strike about three years ago, the management wanted to cut employees health care, too. Verizon has $67 billion a year in revenues. Verizon had cut their employee rolls, but increased their rates. Verizon gave their executives $13 million in bonuses, and the CEO’s of Verizon and GTE got stock estimated at $56 million dollars.
One of the things the Union won was making Verizon rehire 150 technicians they had fired the week before Christmas. Verizon, the last time I checked, was still in business.

If you still think Unions are purely "bad" and our capitalist system is purely "good", I don't expect to change your mind. But at least consider some grey areas. This country is capable of providing living wages and affordable health care for everybody, without any executives or business owners going broke.
I read your above post on how you think inflation works. That's not how it works.


If a Union member "just wants to make a living" why are they out there on the picket line. Why aren't they in their doing their job?

No my explaination of inflation was overly simple but that is the core of inflation. Money doesn't change value all by itself.

Why should an employee at (TA, Verizon, anyone) get anything other than what they agreed to on their paycheck? Just because a company is making a ton of money does not mean the employees get the extra.

I do agree that there must be a happy medium where healtcare can be provided. Although I don't think it's an executive salary issue. If you took away all the money that everyone in executive management made it would come no where close to covering the cost of healthcare.

weary
02-13-2006, 16:54
Or it may mean that they move overseas where the employees are less bothersome
And once it all moves overseas and Americans no longer have the means to buy the goods and services, they can sell their goods and services overseas at prices those low wage, unbothersome people can afford to pay.

You are right. We are engaged in a spiral to the bottom that will make a relatively few very rich, but the world -- and expecially this country -- much poorer. I think of it as the South American syndrome. A few rich; many poor; unstable governments; a gradual realization that it isn't working -- that unions are good, not evil.

Weary

corentin
02-13-2006, 16:58
That is pretty generalized statement. I would say that sometimes strikes are necessary, sometimes they are unreasonable. They should always be legal. Unions cannot be generalized into all bad or good anymore then people can. They serve a purpose in our economy. Sometimes it works well, sometimes it fails.

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 16:59
Unions are not evil, the concept is outdated.

Bias-Ply.

corentin
02-13-2006, 17:05
No it's not. If an employer chooses to behave badly, employees should have the option to organize and strike. The employer has the option to meet demands or find alternate employees. If they are truly a good employer they either will not have striking employees or they will be able to hire new ones readily.

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 17:17
No it's not. If an employer chooses to behave badly, employees should have the option to organize and strike. The employer has the option to meet demands or find alternate employees. If they are truly a good employer they either will not have striking employees or they will be able to hire new ones readily.
Behave badly by whose standards? The employees? It is not for the employees to decide if a company is behaving badly. That is for the market to decide. If they are behaving badly the market will fix the issue. Checks and balances on this level do not involve the employees.

Question? Name me ten (10) Union actions since 1975 that do not involve increased wages, reduced hours, or increased benefits. Let's see what Unions really want.

corentin
02-13-2006, 17:23
The only union I would have reason to follow would be a nurses union and the last few strikes I heard of had a lot to do with patient to nurse ratios and mandatory overtime. Not wages/benefits but definitely reduced hours. I don't belong to a union now but I can see where they can be a check on the system. In this case, a consumer might not know how bad the situation was until it killed him.

stupe
02-13-2006, 17:40
Stupe :
Very few people or countries have found a good answer to caring for the mentally ill. Allow them to choose not to take meds, live on the street, and potentially be a danger to others or restrict their freedom, make them medicate, and not allow them to endanger themselves or others. If you have seen a state that handled the 80's shut down of mental hospitals well, I would be glad to hear about it. The sickest died or were incarcerated, the ones who truly could not fend. The government protected their right to self exterminate but not much else.
You're missing the rational and reasons behind our freedom. Everybody has the right to refuse medication or treatment. Of course there's a down side to this; people choose not to take meds, they get sicker, and they die or hurt others. It's crazy, but you wouldn't want to live in a country where you didn't have that right. So in the USA, it takes a court order to confine or force treatment or medication on people. Sorry, but the only alternative is a system like China's, where homosexuals get imprisoned and "treated" with electical shocks.
Every state handled the release of mental patients with various degrees of success, it's another generalization on your part that they all handled it poorly and all the patients died or were incarcerated. As I recall, it was a lawsuit, instigated partly by the ACLU, and triggered by Geraldo Rivera, that closed Willowbrook State School in NY and got hundreds of people out of wards and into group homes, vocational programs, etc. I have first hand experience with Willowbrook starting from when I was ten, but I won't bore you with it. Maybe you could Google Willowbrook State School, and that would be the example of a state handling a shut down well. You said you'd be glad to hear of one.

stupe
02-13-2006, 18:09
If a Union member "just wants to make a living" why are they out there on the picket line. Why aren't they in their doing their job?

No my explaination of inflation was overly simple but that is the core of inflation. Money doesn't change value all by itself.

Why should an employee at (TA, Verizon, anyone) get anything other than what they agreed to on their paycheck? Just because a company is making a ton of money does not mean the employees get the extra.

I do agree that there must be a happy medium where healtcare can be provided. Although I don't think it's an executive salary issue. If you took away all the money that everyone in executive management made it would come no where close to covering the cost of healthcare.

Jeeze, your first paragraph sounds like Ebeneezer Scrooge. Nobody's on a picket line for fun.
Your explaination of inflation wasn't overly simple, it was just plain wrong. Inflation depends on amounts of money in circulation, overissue of credit, and demand outstripping supply, making prices go up. Giving people a living wage has little to do with it.
TA and Verizon employees did not expect anything other than what they already had. Management in both cases tried to cut their health care. An employee would have to be crazy ( or unrepresented by a Union) to allow that. It's agreeing to a pay cut.
I'm glad we agree that there should be a happy medium where healthcare can be provided. Unfortunately, when I look at sky high executive and CEO pay and bonuses, I see a good way to pay for it. You can bet the stockholders are going to see it that way, too. And I disagree that it wouldn't come close to covering the cost of healthcare. We are talking millions and millions of dollars. Dennis Kozlowski's shower curtain alone could have paid health care costs for several TYCO employees.

Seeker
02-13-2006, 18:14
What you foget is that managing and contracting with employees are the primary responsibility of management. If management entered into unwise contracts with employees the employees are not to blame. Management in my experience holds most of the cards in these negotiations.

Weary

weary,

i agree with you on many hiking issues, and love what you're doing in maine for future generations... but i must disagree with you here. if it's a local union, one factory and one set of managers, your logic holds. i'm talking about something like the United Auto Workers, who own an entire industry... Ford (i think) is cutting 30k jobs or something like that, but must continue to pay its workers until the end of the labor agreement, which is about 3 years off. Ford didn't make the deal that's currently killing them... another manufacturer made it, and the union forced it on Ford when their contracts were up for rebid... at the time, it was acceptible, if barely, but not one they would have negotiated if another company hadn't already set the precedent. then the economy changed, and it is now killing them.

according to my source on the story (NPR) the average auto industry worker makes about 62K a year, his insurance is fully paid, he gets a significant pension, and overall, costs the company about 100K... i can account for about half of the missing money through insurance and pension... but where's the difference? it doesn't make economic sense...

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 18:30
Jeeze, your first paragraph sounds like Ebeneezer Scrooge. Nobody's on a picket line for fun.
Your explaination of inflation wasn't overly simple, it was just plain wrong. Inflation depends on amounts of money in circulation, overissue of credit, and demand outstripping supply, making prices go up. Giving people a living wage has little to do with it.
TA and Verizon employees did not expect anything other than what they already had. Management in both cases tried to cut their health care. An employee would have to be crazy ( or unrepresented by a Union) to allow that. It's agreeing to a pay cut.
I'm glad we agree that there should be a happy medium where healthcare can be provided. Unfortunately, when I look at sky high executive and CEO pay and bonuses, I see a good way to pay for it. You can bet the stockholders are going to see it that way, too. And I disagree that it wouldn't come close to covering the cost of healthcare. We are talking millions and millions of dollars. Dennis Kozlowski's shower curtain alone could have paid health care costs for several TYCO employees.
Healthcare is a multibillion dollar industry. The total of executive management pay and bonuses multiplied 25 times could not cover the cost.

Inflation caused by wage increases is called "Built-In Inflation", check it out, very informative stuff, also look into the "price/wage spiral'.

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 18:35
Jeeze, your first paragraph sounds like Ebeneezer Scrooge. Nobody's on a picket line for fun.
Your explaination of inflation wasn't overly simple, it was just plain wrong. Inflation depends on amounts of money in circulation, overissue of credit, and demand outstripping supply, making prices go up. Giving people a living wage has little to do with it.
TA and Verizon employees did not expect anything other than what they already had. Management in both cases tried to cut their health care. An employee would have to be crazy ( or unrepresented by a Union) to allow that. It's agreeing to a pay cut.
I'm glad we agree that there should be a happy medium where healthcare can be provided. Unfortunately, when I look at sky high executive and CEO pay and bonuses, I see a good way to pay for it. You can bet the stockholders are going to see it that way, too. And I disagree that it wouldn't come close to covering the cost of healthcare. We are talking millions and millions of dollars. Dennis Kozlowski's shower curtain alone could have paid health care costs for several TYCO employees.
If they are on the picket line they want more than "just make a living". Employees need to be doing their jobs, not marching around.

I have yet to see anyone find me any post 1975 examples of a Union action that does not have a major monetary cause.

smokymtnsteve
02-13-2006, 18:36
what about my right to keep the fruit of my own labor and time? I already will spend seven years of my life working solely for social programs, why do I owe them?

maybe you'll get lucky and someone will shoot or stab U and you'll be injuried very badly...so U can't work, and you'll contract a deadly blood-borne disease..then U can suffer without help...

why do U complain???Just change the name and the story could be about U.

tlbj6142
02-13-2006, 18:49
I didn't read the whole thread, just the opening message....

I work for a company that gave everyone 4 weeks of vacation starting their first day. And, there was no limit to the amount of carry over. By the end of the 2nd or 3rd year, we had so many folks with 10+ weeks of vacation due that the policy was changed to something more traditional. 2 weeks for a couple of years, 3 weeks until year 6 and a max limit of 1.75 times your annual rate.

We had to change the policy, because all of the unused vacation became a finacial libability to the company (we were/are a startup). To this day, many folks take very little vacation (I use about every day). The only reason some folks take vacation now is because they have reached their max.

I grew-up with a family that took vacations, but many of these folks did not. So, for the most part they don't know "how" to take a vacation. Its really sad.

I also think there is this atitude in america that if you take a vacation you are "lazy". As I often get that feeling (not from my boss) from other workers who do not. Though many of these same workers are the ones who "work late" every night playing PS2 (we have a PS2 at work) while telling their wives (and 4 kids) they "need" to be at work.

smokymtnsteve
02-13-2006, 18:52
Also,

9. Cash incentives for women to be permanently "fixed". I'm thinking of poor folk who have kids just for the sake of having nothing better to do and then Joe Public ends up bringing them up (money wise).


I agree lobster,,but why just women??...cash/educational incentives for everyone who agrees to voluntary sterilization,,,not just the poor!

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 18:53
I agree lobster,,but why just women??...cash/educational incentives for everyone who agrees to voluntary sterilization,,,not just the poor!

Excellent call.

stupe
02-13-2006, 19:01
Behave badly by whose standards? The employees? It is not for the employees to decide if a company is behaving badly. That is for the market to decide. If they are behaving badly the market will fix the issue. Checks and balances on this level do not involve the employees.

Question? Name me ten (10) Union actions since 1975 that do not involve increased wages, reduced hours, or increased benefits. Let's see what Unions really want.
The market deciding if a company is behaving badly is a horrible idea. Already, we've seen how the market demand for cheap coal led to 17 miners dying needlessly. Think about what you say.
You've already got two examples of Union actions that didn't have anything to do with increased wages, reduced hours, or increased benefits. The TWU and CWA workers ( NY Transit and Verizon ) acted to keep present benefits, not increase them. I can't be bothered looking up eight more things that you could see for yourself (if you wanted to ) in a quick web search.
Both Union's members have mandatory overtime clauses in their contracts, and neither has to my knowlege ever demanded to reduce their hours.



Healthcare is a multibillion dollar industry. The total of executive management pay and bonuses multiplied 25 times could not cover the cost.
Inflation caused by wage increases is called "Built-In Inflation", check it out, very informative stuff, also look into the "price/wage spiral'.



Not my argument. Health care is a form of insurance. We're not talking about tapping executive pay and bonuses to foot the whole bill, just pay the premiums, or a share of the premiums. Many employers share the cost of premiums with their employees.
Built in inflation has a component of employers passing on increased costs to consumers, but you conveniently left out half of the story....that it begins with workers trying to keep their wages up with prices. The price/wage spiral is a vicious circle that hurts the workers as much as the employers.

smokymtnsteve
02-13-2006, 19:05
The only union I would have reason to follow would be a nurses union and the last few strikes I heard of had a lot to do with patient to nurse ratios and mandatory overtime. Not wages/benefits but definitely reduced hours. I don't belong to a union and theion now but I can see where they can be a check on the system. In this case, a consumer might not know how bad the situation was until it killed him.


mandatory overtime???? there is NO such thing,,In amerika U cannot be forced to work at all, nevertheless mandatory overtime...

just refuse and then go to the magical JOB TREE!

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 19:06
The market deciding if a company is behaving badly is a horrible idea. Already, we've seen how the market demand for cheap coal led to 17 miners dying needlessly. Think about what you say.
You've already got two examples of Union actions that didn't have anything to do with increased wages, reduced hours, or increased benefits. The TWU and CWA workers ( NY Transit and Verizon ) acted to keep present benefits, not increase them. I can't be bothered looking up eight more things that you could see for yourself (if you wanted to ) in a quick web search.
Both Union's members have mandatory overtime clauses in their contracts, and neither has to my knowlege ever demanded to reduce their hours.



Not my argument. Health care is a form of insurance. We're not talking about tapping executive pay and bonuses to foot the whole bill, just pay the premiums, or a share of the premiums. Many employers share the cost of premiums with their employees.
Built in inflation has a component of employers passing on increased costs to consumers, but you conveniently left out half of the story....that it begins with workers trying to keep their wages up with prices. The price/wage spiral is a vicious circle that hurts the workers as much as the employers.

Both of those Union actions involved pay increases for healthcare reduction. Read the formal complaints. They also wanted more pay in general. The info is public look it up.

If you're too busy to look up the other examples that's fine. Try it sometime when your bored.

What is the primary cause of price increases? Wage increases.

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 19:11
mandatory overtime???? there is NO such thing,,In amerika U cannot be forced to work at all, nevertheless mandatory overtime...

just refuse and then go to the magical JOB TREE!

Actually mandatory overtime is a very real thing. The only thing open to debate is if the hourly wage increases if an employee exceeds 40hrs in a week. Some companies require a 48hr week but do not pay overtime (time and a half, etc...) for the other 8hrs, but this is a subject of much debate on the state and federal levels. Since the employee agreed to it is it OK not to pay overtime? I don't think so but who am I....

smokymtnsteve
02-13-2006, 19:20
Actually mandatory overtime is a very real thing. The only thing open to debate is if the hourly wage increases if an employee exceeds 40hrs in a week. Some companies require a 48hr week but do not pay overtime (time and a half, etc...) for the other 8hrs, but this is a subject of much debate on the state and federal levels. Since the employee agreed to it is it OK not to pay overtime? I don't think so but who am I....

no badger,,NO ONE can force U to work overtime...

folks work overtime because they choose too...

they work for a company because they choose too.

again NO ONE is forcing them to work at all..nevertheless mandatory overtime.

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 19:22
no badger,,NO ONE can force U to work overtime...

folks work overtime because they choose too...

they work for a company because they choose too.

again NO ONE is forcing them to work at all..nevertheless mandatory overtime.

You are correct in the sense that they can't force you to work mandatory overtime; but they can terminate your employment for refusing to do so. It's more along the lines of agressive bargaining I guess.

smokymtnsteve
02-13-2006, 19:28
You are correct in the sense that they can't force you to work mandatory overtime; but they can terminate your employment for refusing to do so. It's more along the lines of agressive bargaining I guess.


ah but the liberterians here and the free marketer..all say that if U are valuable enough to your employer that U will mot be fired.

if ur skill is needed enough to "demand" overtime..then U should be able to demand whatever it is worth.

of course I'm the devils advocate..and the liberterains are naive and stoopid...as no one can really fight and win agianst goliath.

WAL MART WILL CRUSH u!

stupe
02-13-2006, 19:33
You are correct in the sense that they can't force you to work mandatory overtime; but they can terminate your employment for refusing to do so. It's more along the lines of agressive bargaining I guess.
Have to agree with IB on this one. If a Union signs a contract with management and agrees to mandatory overtime, mandatory overtime it is, or it's grounds for discipline, maybe even dismissal.
SMS thinks everybody has the right to work whenever and where ever one pleases, but that doesn't work in practice when you have a mortgage, car payments, college tuition for the kids, etc.

smokymtnsteve
02-13-2006, 19:37
Have to agree with IB on this one. If a Union signs a contract with management and agrees to mandatory overtime, mandatory overtime it is, or it's grounds for discipline, maybe even dismissal.
SMS thinks everybody has the right to work whenever and where ever one pleases, but that doesn't work in practice when you have a mortgage, car payments, college tuition for the kids, etc.

No..I did not say that...I don't think U have the right to work at all. never the less where ever and when ever U choose.

also NO ONE forces U to have a mortage, a car payment, nor did anyone force U to have kids or send them to colledge

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 19:41
ah but the liberterians here and the free marketer..all say that if U are valuable enough to your employer that U will mot be fired.

if ur skill is needed enough to "demand" overtime..then U should be able to demand whatever it is worth.

of course I'm the devils advocate..and the liberterains are naive and stoopid...as no one can really fight and win agianst goliath.

WAL MART WILL CRUSH u!

Part of your value (skill) is how much of your personal life you are willing to give to the company. Being willing to do the mandatory overtime makes you move valuable than the employee who won't.

My skills are fairly specialized and my value is considerable, but I have not worked 40hr weeks since I was 19, last year my shortest week was 57hrs and that was because I had the flu. It's part of it if you want the BIG life, but don't want to get it riding on the shoulders of others (i.e. Unions). I have recently altered my life quite a bit as I realize I don't want that life, I am willing to make some sacrifices in order to live, not just work, while I am here. If it means no central heat and air or fancy car so be it, that's part of it too.

This entire discussion is more of a generalized intellecutal exercise. I agree with a lot of what everyone has to say. It's very informative to get feedback from the hiking (outdoors) community, as I like to think I am of a somewhat similar mindset. I just ended up on a weird career path. I really hope no one got/is too irritated.

lobster
02-13-2006, 19:56
Smoky,

"I agree lobster,,but why just women??...cash/educational incentives for everyone who agrees to voluntary sterilization,,,not just the poor!"

I agree with that!

DavidNH
02-13-2006, 20:16
Some general comments on what has been posted here:

first..don't tell me there is no such thing as mandatory overtime. I work now for a company where if you don't work 10 percent over time you get fired. That is mandatory overtime. I am sure it is worse in other places. I bet there are loads of workers across the country who work over time not because they want to but because they are forced to.

Unions. Unions are the only protection any workers have. Walmart goes to all lengths to keep its workers from forming any union. And they have perhaps the worst benefits of any american company. Yes the stuff is cheap. But it is cheep due to its predatory practices (that's another thread).

Vacation.. I am very surprised hardly anyone here cares about having paid time off to relax, to be sick, to renew himself mentally. I know from my own vacations I have come back far more rested and willing to produce.

I never suggested that we should have France's 6 weeks vacation --though that would be nice. I am simply trying to suggest that being a country with some of the least amount of vaction time offered to its workers is not something to be proud of. Yeah you can get buy all sorts of stuff because you have money but what about a decent quality of life?

It seems everytime there is a proprosal or suggestion to raise the minimum wage or help workers get better heal coverage (or get health insurance at all), or bette working conditions or more leave time.. there are always the same types of people who complain. It will hurt business. yet it doesn't!

And yes..you can always leave the company. but what if the other companies all have the same policies?

Finally..Are we truly a free country when yes we can partition the government but the employer can do what ever it wants to us?

David

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 20:20
Some general comments on what has been posted here:

first..don't tell me there is no such thing as mandatory overtime. I work now for a company where if you don't work 10 percent over time you get fired. That is mandatory overtime. I am sure it is worse in other places. I bet there are loads of workers across the country who work over time not because they want to but because they are forced to.

Unions. Unions are the only protection any workers have. Walmart goes to all lengths to keep its workers from forming any union. And they have perhaps the worst benefits of any american company. Yes the stuff is cheap. But it is cheep due to its predatory practices (that's another thread).

Vacation.. I am very surprised hardly anyone here cares about having paid time off to relax, to be sick, to renew himself mentally. I know from my own vacations I have come back far more rested and willing to produce.

I never suggested that we should have France's 6 weeks vacation --though that would be nice. I am simply trying to suggest that being a country with some of the least amount of vaction time offered to its workers is not something to be proud of. Yeah you can get buy all sorts of stuff because you have money but what about a decent quality of life?

It seems everytime there is a proprosal or suggestion to raise the minimum wage or help workers get better heal coverage (or get health insurance at all), or bette working conditions or more leave time.. there are always the same types of people who complain. It will hurt business. yet it doesn't!

And yes..you can always leave the company. but what if the other companies all have the same policies?

Finally..Are we truly a free country when yes we can partition the government but the employer can do what ever it wants to us?

David

Increased wages increase inflation. The extra wages have to come from somewhere.

A free country has little to do with a free-market. In our country the free-market allows employers decide how best to run their companies. Since all companies since the beginning of time have eventually failed, the open/free system is the best way to find something that works long term.

Almost There
02-13-2006, 20:55
First,

Goat I do not belong to the teacher's union, it has almost zero power in Georgia and does almost nothing for us. Badger, increased wages rarely cause inflation, generally wages in past are based on success of company. Supply and demand determine rising costs of goods in a free market. Less supply...higher prices as demand goes up. More goods and price goes down to sell the supply. You keep talking of what workers agree to work for, so why can't a union get together to better bargain for a better deal. If workers are the backbone of a company and their efforts equal profits for a company and said company is making more money through their efforts then why can't they ask for more money? You seem to think it's ok to negotiate on an individual basis, but that isn't how this country works. Think of our political system, does a congressman listen to your issues alone...probably not but if we get together as a group and address our issue we are likely to see our needs met. It's that simple. But thats right it's ok for companies to make more...just not their employees. Let's bring back serfdom!!!

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 21:02
First,

Goat I do not belong to the teacher's union, it has almost zero power in Georgia and does almost nothing for us. Badger, increased wages rarely cause inflation, generally wages in past are based on success of company. Supply and demand determine rising costs of goods in a free market. Less supply...higher prices as demand goes up. More goods and price goes down to sell the supply. You keep talking of what workers agree to work for, so why can't a union get together to better bargain for a better deal. If workers are the backbone of a company and their efforts equal profits for a company and said company is making more money through their efforts then why can't they ask for more money? You seem to think it's ok to negotiate on an individual basis, but that isn't how this country works. Think of our political system, does a congressman listen to your issues alone...probably not but if we get together as a group and address our issue we are likely to see our needs met. It's that simple. But thats right it's ok for companies to make more...just not their employees. Let's bring back serfdom!!!

The workers are not the backbone of a company. That is a common misconception. Management is the backbone of a company, workers are more like fingers or hands; you can cut them off but you can also get them replaced. Managment works out all the issues and complexities that allow the workers to have a job to begin with. The attitude of American workers that they are somehow responsible for the success of a company is a big part of what's wrong with consumer prices today. American's value their skills too highly. You can get someone from any other country to do most of the jobs that American Unions seek to "protect". Why do you think the jobs are going overseas? The work can be done by anyone, anywhere.


Ah serfdom...The beginning of it all. Too bad it didn't work. The idea is so nice.

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 21:06
First,

Goat I do not belong to the teacher's union, it has almost zero power in Georgia and does almost nothing for us. Badger, increased wages rarely cause inflation, generally wages in past are based on success of company. Supply and demand determine rising costs of goods in a free market. Less supply...higher prices as demand goes up. More goods and price goes down to sell the supply. You keep talking of what workers agree to work for, so why can't a union get together to better bargain for a better deal. If workers are the backbone of a company and their efforts equal profits for a company and said company is making more money through their efforts then why can't they ask for more money? You seem to think it's ok to negotiate on an individual basis, but that isn't how this country works. Think of our political system, does a congressman listen to your issues alone...probably not but if we get together as a group and address our issue we are likely to see our needs met. It's that simple. But thats right it's ok for companies to make more...just not their employees. Let's bring back serfdom!!!

It's also a misconception that people think business should work like the gov. American business is a fairly free-market. It is not designed for democracy. If someone wants to make money they must deal with the way the system works. Business does not work for them, they work for the business.

shades of blue
02-13-2006, 21:21
;)

I agree that we as individuals are free to make choices. I work in a position that allows me 8 weeks of freedom in the summer (after I spent the first 7 or so getting advanced degrees and such). I don't make as much money as my brother (CEO of his own start up company which is doing great!) but I have a lot more freedom. That's ok by me.
I disagree with your thoughts that the American worker is basically a tool without any meaning and that it's management who is uber important. Yes, management shows you "where to throw the ball", but if you don't have the quarterback who has the skill....your coach is useless. Skilled labor is the body of the machine, the management is supposed to be the brain. Where is the body without a brain? Where is the brain without a body. If the brain doesn't take care of its body...then it's screwed. So.....don't give me the bulls$$$ that employees should get on their knees and kiss the feet of management and just be thankful to God they make enough money to buy balogna. I will also say that employees should work hard to find a better place for themselves. The two go together...imho.

BTW....I've been wanting to throw that irritable bowel...I mean badger thing out for a while. It's a joke, don't take it personal.

Peace! :D

Skidsteer
02-13-2006, 21:22
“An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools”

I much preferred your other signature but readily admit I'm enough of a fool to get drunk with you.;) I am enjoying your posts. Very brave. Or something.

shades of blue
02-13-2006, 21:26
When the gov't intervenes to save the auto industry, air industry, steel tariffs....oil industry....when they get into trouble.....

Market forces would've/should've killed these industries long ago...but that isn't in the national best interest. So....if papa gov't can save the big companies and their companies CEO's AND they still get their big bonuses...surely the "peon" should get some trickle down economic windfall....wouldnya think?

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 21:29
;)

I agree that we as individuals are free to make choices. I work in a position that allows me 8 weeks of freedom in the summer (after I spent the first 7 or so getting advanced degrees and such). I don't make as much money as my brother (CEO of his own start up company which is doing great!) but I have a lot more freedom. That's ok by me.
I disagree with your thoughts that the American worker is basically a tool without any meaning and that it's management who is uber important. Yes, management shows you "where to throw the ball", but if you don't have the quarterback who has the skill....your coach is useless. Skilled labor is the body of the machine, the management is supposed to be the brain. Where is the body without a brain? Where is the brain without a body. If the brain doesn't take care of its body...then it's screwed. So.....don't give me the bulls$$$ that employees should get on their knees and kiss the feet of management and just be thankful to God they make enough money to buy balogna. I will also say that employees should work hard to find a better place for themselves. The two go together...imho.

BTW....I've been wanting to throw that irritable bowel...I mean badger thing out for a while. It's a joke, don't take it personal.

Peace! :D

I didn't say that the workers had no meaning. They do make a company function. What I did say (or tried to say) was the the worker can be replaced fairly easily. Most jobs that require a Union are easy to train and can be accomplished by most any human with an average skillset; skilled labor is fairly easy to replace. The Unions know this too, that is why it sometimes gets ugly when people cross picket lines. They know that the guy going in there can do just as good of a job, plus he is willing to do it for what the company offers. Employees should not kiss a$$ by any means. They should show up for work and do their job.

That's cool in the irritable_bowel. I get it all the time. And I thought I found such an original name...:)

Blue Jay
02-13-2006, 21:35
Unions are dying off, thankfully.

And so is the middle class around the world. Soon it will only be the rich and the corporate slave, working 60-80 hour weeks for minimum wage. Clearly that the world most of you want and it's the world you will get.

Blue Jay
02-13-2006, 21:41
I do contract technology management and reorganizations for a living.

In other words you are a head chopper. No wonder you have the cut throat mentality to justify your lack of a heart.

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 21:41
And so is the middle class around the world. Soon it will only be the rich and the corporate slave, working 60-80 hour weeks for minimum wage. Clearly that the world most of you want and it's the world you will get.

How will Unions prevent the middle class from dying? They are largely responsible for the jobs leaving the US. Wouldn't it be more productive if the middle class figured out how to make their jobs better (good ideas, effeciencies, etc...) if they fixed a problem at work when they saw it, instead of waiting on someone else to fix it?

Oh yeah, I forgot Union workers "can't" do anything not in their job description. Oh well. Say hello to the United States. Enjoy it while you can.

Blue Jay
02-13-2006, 21:50
Ah serfdom...The beginning of it all. Too bad it didn't work. The idea is so nice.

If surfdom does not work, why are you pushing it.

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 21:52
In other words you are a head chopper. No wonder you have the cut throat mentality to justify your lack of a heart.

No I am not a head chopper. I am a problem solver. I have certainly dismissed employees but I never go into a job with the intent of firing people. I refuse jobs like that. I have a huge heart. It makes me upset everytime I have to do something "hard" for my job. "Chopping heads" is my last option and 75% of the time I can fix the problem(s) with no one loosing their jobs. Almost every case of me "chopping a head" has been due to people who thought they would step outside the chain of command. I have no sympathy for an employee who will not do as told. I have never personally, nor as part of a project, asked anyone to do anything unreasonable. In fact on multiple occasions I have done their "new" job for them so that they could see how much better it really was. However, if they refuse, they get the fastest escort out of a building they will ever have.

I do have a lot of sympathy for American businesses. "The top" is a crappy place to be. Most of the complaints and points I have seen made on this thread are nice, but they just don't work in med/large business. Try running even a small business (40-200 people) and see how fast the CEO's should share mentatlity fades. I know most won't agree becasue they have never seen it but alot of CEO's deserve everything they get, possibly even more. Like I said, try it. Get out there, start your own business, give up your life, fight every step of the way, lose a lot of what you ever had (personal wise, not money), run scared of payroll every week. I think the results would be interesting.

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 21:53
If surfdom does not work, why are you pushing it.

That was sarcasm. I thought it was funny. In review I guess it wasn't.

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 22:01
In other words you are a head chopper. No wonder you have the cut throat mentality to justify your lack of a heart.

I realize this is the Internet and it's silly when people get bent out of shape in a "virtual world" but the comment about my lack of heart just sucks. That really hurts.

I often get jobs simply because I do have a heart and what has to be done is going to be hard and I am a good person to call to make it as easy as possible. I am really sorry if some of my comments have offended some people but I thought we were all having the same fun and entertaining debate. Nothing that is said here is going to matter to the rest of the world, it won't chagne anything. But it does make us all think, which is good. It's been going on for over a day now and I have gone from 40 something posts total to over 100 due to this debate; I thought it was fun...

stupe
02-13-2006, 22:02
Both of those Union actions involved pay increases for healthcare reduction. Read the formal complaints. They also wanted more pay in general. The info is public look it up.

If you're too busy to look up the other examples that's fine. Try it sometime when your bored.

What is the primary cause of price increases? Wage increases.
The NY Transit contract is still in arbitration. The negotiations, as far as I can tell, never included "pay increases for health care reduction". What would be the point of increasing pay just to reduce health care? Neither side would gain anything from that.
I don't know what you mean by "formal complaints". If you mean a contract, there isn't one yet.
Maybe you meant pay increases tied to productivity increases? That has been a feature of labor contracts between NYC and all it's civil service unions for the last two decades, it makes sense, and it sounds like a fair deal to me. All of our mayors say the same. Not one of them has commented that Union transit workers wages have caused transit fares to go up.
A raise tied to productivity increase was given to the CWA workers in 2000, and afterwards Verizon announced that they were very pleased with the deal. They didn't mention that it would lead to higher rates.
Even if I grant that wage increases to some degree cause inflation ( I don't, and I note that you are now saying price increases rather than inflation ), I still say blaming it all on greedy Unions is simplistic.

It's hard to fathom that you really believe a Union worker making 45 thousand a year is responsible for driving up prices, but an exec who gets that amount as a bonus isn't.

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 22:08
The NY Transit contract is still in arbitration. The negotiations, as far as I can tell, never included "pay increases for health care reduction". What would be the point of increasing pay just to reduce health care? Neither side would gain anything from that.
I don't know what you mean by "formal complaints". If you mean a contract, there isn't one yet.
Maybe you meant pay increases tied to productivity increases? That has been a feature of labor contracts between NYC and all it's civil service unions for the last two decades, it makes sense, and it sounds like a fair deal to me. All of our mayors say the same. Not one of them has commented that Union transit workers wages have caused transit fares to go up.
A raise tied to productivity increase was given to the CWA workers in 2000, and afterwards Verizon announced that they were very pleased with the deal. They didn't mention that it would lead to higher rates.
Even if I grant that wage increases to some degree cause inflation ( I don't, and I note that you are now saying price increases rather than inflation ), I still say blaming it all on greedy Unions is simplistic.

It's hard to fathom that you really believe a Union worker making 45 thousand a year is responsible for driving up prices, but an exec who gets that amount as a bonus isn't.

Prices and inflation aka cost of living are compeltely tied together, they are almost the same things. If not the same the most certainly a nasty cause/effect.

If it was just one Union worker it would not matter, but how many transit employees are there? How many CEO's are there? In addition NYT and Verizon are farily localized. Look at Unions like the electrical, pipefitting, steel workers, locomotive, automotive, & teamsters; increasing wages on this scale has a national effect. The sheer numbers blow away the tiny dent that a CEO's compensation makes.

weary
02-13-2006, 23:20
How will Unions prevent the middle class from dying? They are largely responsible for the jobs leaving the US. Wouldn't it be more productive if the middle class figured out how to make their jobs better (good ideas, effeciencies, etc...) if they fixed a problem at work when they saw it, instead of waiting on someone else to fix it?

Oh yeah, I forgot Union workers "can't" do anything not in their job description. Oh well. Say hello to the United States. Enjoy it while you can.
There's hardly an accurate thought in this badger post. It's all undocumented speculation, mostly pretty silly speculation. There are no unions at McDonald's but they are still trying to export their drive up windows people to India -- as does union-free LL Bean with its ordering and information phones.

Corporations by definition are institutions driven by profits. They follow the bucks and for the lazy executives, the innovating leaders. The crap about union workers being prohibited from doing things not in their job descriptions has been dying for decades. Maine's largest employer in one of the most unionized industries got rid of the practice 15 years ago -- though it is gradually coming back. Not because of union pressure, but because the savings were never realized, and in some cases resulted in higher costs among the most highly skilled trades.

Weary

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 23:22
There's hardly an accurate thought in this badger post. It's all undocumented speculation, mostly pretty silly speculation. There are no unions at McDonald's but they are still trying to export their drive up windows people to India -- as does union-free LL Bean with its ordering and information phones.

Corporations by definition are institutions driven by profits. They follow the bucks and for the lazy executives, the innovating leaders. The crap about union workers being prohibited from doing things not in their job descriptions has been dying for decades. Maine's largest employer in one of the most unionized industries got rid of the practice 15 years ago -- though it is gradually coming back. Not because of union pressure, but because the savings were never realized, and in some cases resulted in higher costs among the most highly skilled trades.



Weary

How many people live and work in Maine?

stupe
02-13-2006, 23:22
Prices and inflation aka cost of living are compeltely tied together, they are almost the same things. If not the same the most certainly a nasty cause/effect.

If it was just one Union worker it would not matter, but how many transit employees are there? How many CEO's are there? In addition NYT and Verizon are farily localized. Look at Unions like the electrical, pipefitting, steel workers, locomotive, automotive, & teamsters; increasing wages on this scale has a national effect. The sheer numbers blow away the tiny dent that a CEO's compensation makes.
Prices and inflation are not "also known as" cost of living. They aren't "almost the same thing", they are three different things.
You didn't address my statements that paying Union wages to transit and communication workers doesn't result in higher transit fares or higher phone bills.
Just for fun, consider this. Last year, gas prices rose higher than they have in decades. Who do you think is to blame for that? Do you think it's the sheer numbers of five dollar an hour guys who pump the gas blowing away the tiny dent of a dozen oil execs making millions in bonuses?

irritable_badger
02-13-2006, 23:26
Prices and inflation are not "also known as" cost of living. They aren't "almost the same thing", they are three different things.
You didn't address my statements that paying Union wages to transit and communication workers doesn't result in higher transit fares or higher phone bills.
Just for fun, consider this. Last year, gas prices rose higher than they have in decades. Who do you think is to blame for that? Do you think it's the sheer numbers of five dollar an hour guys who pump the gas blowing away the tiny dent of a dozen oil execs making millions in bonuses?

They don't make millions of dollars in bonuses if so many people don't buy their product. If their company is making that much money off their product it is the "fault" of the consumer; and the right of the execs to the reap benefits of developing such a sought after product.

Almost There
02-13-2006, 23:44
Badger,

If a CEO makes over a mil base salary and receives 56 mil in stock options. How many workers can you pay with that. BTW my grandfather owned his own company, my uncle owns his own and my father owns his own. I am well aware of what it takes to start up a company as I was management for my father for almost four years. We used both union and non union labor shops depending on the project. If you negotiate for a better deal, nothing wrong with that. BTW now that you explained your job I understand why you side with management...you work for them, and sorry to disagree but I personally don't see their job as that difficult and I have done some of the same things they do. You don't hire more workers than you can afford, and you have to see the big picture. The problem is some companies try to ramp up too fast. The Dot Com boom of the 90s is the perfect example of this. "Management" running companies that had no clue what they were doing. These were guys and gals who knew computers and got lucky with an idea...and wa la they were management...but they had no idea how to manage money. We used to do work for some of these companies properties...after they fell apart, the finishes in their offices were unbelievable, wasteful spending...by management!!! Being a football coach I equate a staff of coaches to management. We set the gameplan...train the players as to what to do. We can call the plays but on gameday if they don't execute...we lose. The problem is are you agressive or cautious. Sometimes companies agree to certain contracts not seeing a possible rainy day, then when they want to scale back...it hurts the worker. Sorry man but rich folk don't understand the common folk...they can't because our problems are not their problems, and I will consent the vice versa. You give too much credit to management however, and not enough to the worker. It's the same mentality that said we weren't smart enough to elect our senators or the president when the constitution was written. It's a great idea that the benevolent CEO will look out for his worker bees, much like a king looking out for his vassals, but in todays world this doesn't happen as much because companies have grown so big. We aren't people, but rather numbers. I do agree that many can be replaced, but what about loyalty, according to you the only loyalty workers should possess is blind loyalty. I do agree that when at work you do your work. Praise is not necessary because praise is your paycheck. At the same time you can't expect a raise unless you ask for it.

In Georgia the last 3 years teachers have recieved, zero raise, 2% raise, and another 2% raise, at the same time cost of living goes up and our health care premiums went up. Worse than most corporate employees get. What happens...Georgia is losing teachers, you get what you pay for. Now the state is going to give us a 4% raise(election year!) but that still doesn't put us where we were ranked in pay amongst US educators 4 years ago, we have fallen several back. Is the money bad...for teachers it's still in the top half of the country, but it could be better, but that gets into the screwed up way the state doles out education dollars, thats another topic entirely. The point is for us as teachers in the state or negotiations are our vote, so you can bet where I will most likely be voting next time, and it won't be for the guy that promised to make our lives better in 2002. Oh yeah, and when I worked for Nextel, and I was struggling with a deal, my brilliant manager kept asking me what the problem was and what could she do to help me...I don't know...your the manager. I knew what the problem was but it wasn't acceptable to managements way of thinking at the time. See when they had been in sales cellular saturation had not hit yet and so everyone was measured by new customers. I sold to C level execs only, and still they held to this idea of new customers, it was obvious to most of us major/corporate account managers that the market had to turn to customer satisfaction/retention as that is where the company really makes money...I left the company because I did not feel the company was moving in the right direction fast enough and I wasn't going to stick around and see my "experimental" position elimated. In the end they eventually changed the nature of the position...about a year later...they made it more about customer satisfaction/retention. Would I have still had my job...maybe...maybe not, but I needed to be responsible to my family first. The point is decisions don't get made quickly in a large corporate environment...but **** does roll down hill...and when you're towards the bottom...BTW I still think it was a great company to work for...unless you were in sales.

weary
02-13-2006, 23:44
weary,

i agree with you on many hiking issues, and love what you're doing in maine for future generations... but i must disagree with you here. if it's a local union, one factory and one set of managers, your logic holds. i'm talking about something like the United Auto Workers, who own an entire industry... Ford (i think) is cutting 30k jobs or something like that, but must continue to pay its workers until the end of the labor agreement, which is about 3 years off. Ford didn't make the deal that's currently killing them... another manufacturer made it, and the union forced it on Ford when their contracts were up for rebid... at the time, it was acceptible, if barely, but not one they would have negotiated if another company hadn't already set the precedent. then the economy changed, and it is now killing them.

according to my source on the story (NPR) the average auto industry worker makes about 62K a year, his insurance is fully paid, he gets a significant pension, and overall, costs the company about 100K... i can account for about half of the missing money through insurance and pension... but where's the difference? it doesn't make economic sense...
No one forced Ford to follow the lead of another company. It was a management decision -- a decision made more difficult by the GM or whoever's precident, but not bound by it.

But it was clearly a management decision based on what they thought best at the time. That's the nature of decisions. Some work out. Some prove to be a mistake.

WEary

Almost There
02-13-2006, 23:55
Badger...gasoline is an inelastic product...your comment that if people don't buy it, then they don't make the money is erudite at best. People will pay because they need it. Gas prices go up but Exxon posts bigger 3rd quarter earnings than most fortune 100 companies do in a year, but we needed to pay more because they would've been losing money? This is the workers fault...sorry dude, but people knew they could get away with it, and this is why there is regulatory action in our country. See it is managements job to make the most money possible, heck their bonuses are usually based off of it, but so too is it the workers job to get the most for their services they can...and if they can't then they should go elsewhere, but if they can...then they should. See I understand what you do, and yes it is always one of the first places to look...employee salaries and benefits, it's one of the easiest places to cut "fat". BTW companies don't just go overseas because of wages, startup is cheaper, sometimes there are huge tax incentives and sometimes gov't regulations including environmental ones are much more lax. All of these things equal more money for the corporation. BTW higher salaries are asked for due to higher costs of living here...and we're not talking about wants but needs, there is a difference. Don't buy a home you say? Rent, well then where do you live? Oh that's right Tennessee. Well I used to live in the Chicago metro area. Where you won't find a house for less than about 200k these days. Rent should run you at least 800 a month for a one bedroom in an average apartment. Now lets look at other needs...unless you would have us, "living in a van down by the river!"

Almost There
02-13-2006, 23:59
See the auto manufacturers never thought they would have enact this clause so they agreed to it, but they started losing money domestically, because management didn't become innovative enough. The workers followed their lead and are now out of a job. Granted they still get paid for awhile, but it wasn't because they weren't doing their job. It was because the higher ups didn't do enough of the little things to stay competitive with foreign manufacturers. If they decide on a design that isn't gonna sell, is it the workers fault consumers don't buy it? I say good for them...they have income while they try and find a new job. Management was stupid because they couldn't see a day where this clause might actually come into play.

Deerleg
02-14-2006, 00:07
[quote=Kerosene] That said, I've worked hard to balance the demands of my career with the needs of my family and my psyche. I work out regularly, I still play competitive soccer at a relatively ripe old age, I'm home for dinner with family more often than not, I get out to hike and ski each year, I sing and read for pleasure, and I live well within my means, saving most of my income for retirement when I hope to hike a number of the other trails in the U.S. It doesn't work well all the time, and it's certainly not for everyone, but I've made it work for me.

:clap We must be twins!
Well said. Its all about striking the balance not just all about me.

smokymtnsteve
02-14-2006, 00:59
How will Unions prevent the middle class from dying? They are largely responsible for the jobs leaving the US. Wouldn't it be more productive if the middle class figured out how to make their jobs better (good ideas, effeciencies, etc...) if they fixed a problem at work when they saw it, instead of waiting on someone else to fix it?

Oh yeah, I forgot Union workers "can't" do anything not in their job description. Oh well. Say hello to the United States. Enjoy it while you can.\

oh so U think that the worker should do the brains work also..
that management was the genius and the master,,,

now the worker must not only do his job but fix management probelms also.

smokymtnsteve
02-14-2006, 01:05
How many people live and work in Maine?

all of them:sun

corentin
02-14-2006, 01:27
that closed Willowbrook State School in NY and got hundreds of people out of wards and into group homes, vocational programs, etc
Stupe : yay for new york then. What happened in Michigan was that they put many people in group homes and told the caregivers they could not lock the doors. People with the mentalities of three year olds do not have real good safety awareness or awareness of others, bad things happened . Freedom from any kind of restraint for them can also mean freedom to be raped, murdered, and generally exploited.
Their is also a difference between someone who is able to be functional or a least not a threat to society and someone so ill they will never be able to care for themselves on a significant level. I highly doubt you would want to care for someone who regularly paints the surrounding area with their own feces. Or how about the guy that liked to stomp other patients to death for fun? He did not have the ability to realize he was wrong so it wasn't his fault but how would you like to be in an open enviroment with him?
Smoky Mtn Steve : why do people find it so unreasonable that I don't want to pay for completely able bodied people who don't want to work? Do not tell they are not out there, I met many of them when I worked for hospice. In my area there are several families who have spent the last few generations, and will spend the next few on various forms of state aid. I feel absolutely no responsibility to them , they are parasites on the system and steal from people who truly could benefit from aid. The state has basically destroyed these families , robbing them of any reason to try and contribute anything to their own lives.

irritable_badger
02-14-2006, 01:30
\

oh so U think that the worker should do the brains work also..
that management was the genius and the master,,,

now the worker must not only do his job but fix management probelms also.

Absolutely workers should do the jobs of management as well. If they would do it (I am convinced the average worker is capable of performing successfully in management) there would be much less need for "middle management" and a significant cost savings to everyone. That is how you get increased wages, you take away cost from an employer. In a game that is based on bottom line, why would anyone expect to be rewarded for not improving that bottom line? Just showing up for work (senority) does not entitle anyone to more money. They must have a financial impact for the company for them to justify increased pay.

The average worker should step up and perform and destroy middle management :jump

corentin
02-14-2006, 01:31
You're missing the rational and reasons behind our freedom. Everybody has the right to refuse medication or treatment. Of course there's a down side to this; people choose not to take meds, they get sicker, and they die or hurt others. It's crazy, but you wouldn't want to live in a country where you didn't have that right.

In other words, everybody has a right to do what they want and I have the right to pay for it?

irritable_badger
02-14-2006, 01:33
In other words, everybody has a right to do what they want and I have the right to pay for it?

Yes but doesn't that give you the same right to do whatever you want? Just because what you want to do is cheaper should not matter. It'll all come out in the wash. :)

corentin
02-14-2006, 01:38
Actually , I guess I agree with that. At this point I have started to make plans to work less as a nurse, lower my standard of living, have more of my time to myself , and keep more of what I earn . It is not beneficial to me after a point to be productive . I would rather have time then money, and the things I love do not cost that much comparatively . Better to follow my joy then worry about what others are doing/not doing.

irritable_badger
02-14-2006, 01:44
Actually , I guess I agree with that. At this point I have started to make plans to work less as a nurse, lower my standard of living, have more of my time to myself , and keep more of what I earn . It is not beneficial to me after a point to be productive . I would rather have time then money, and the things I love do not cost that much comparatively . Better to follow my joy then worry about what others are doing/not doing.

Must be happy! I agree completely. Happy first = lower financial requirements
(unless happiness = an exotic car, swedish bikini model, and a big coke habit, then you're going to need a lot of $$$)

I truly wish more people were really happy in their jobs. So many feel "trapped" in a place they loath. It would probably better for the economy if everyone could do what they truly enjoyed.

warren doyle
02-14-2006, 09:37
Interesting thread topic.
As a first generation college student from a working class background, and an avid amateur hiker/dancer since my late teens, I knew I would have to compromise my ideals more in order to increase my income than to control my spending/expenses. So I chose, and focused on, the latter. It has been a wonderful challenge, similar to a long distance hike, to be able to have one foot in the 'practical' state and one foot in the 'ideal' state without becoming trapped in either one.
One must live within what feels meaningful to them. For myself, what is meaningful means that I live a life of 'practical poverty' to be able to keep and practice my ideals.
I take pride that I have never had to quit a job, or lose a job, to do my eight thru-hikes and six section-hikes; along with being a father to two children who will be a junior and a senior in college next year.

weary
02-14-2006, 10:13
Absolutely workers should do the jobs of management as well. If they would do it (I am convinced the average worker is capable of performing successfully in management) there would be much less need for "middle management" and a significant cost savings to everyone. That is how you get increased wages, you take away cost from an employer. In a game that is based on bottom line, why would anyone expect to be rewarded for not improving that bottom line? Just showing up for work (senority) does not entitle anyone to more money. They must have a financial impact for the company for them to justify increased pay.
The average worker should step up and perform and destroy middle management :jump
After 23 years of offering free advice to management, I decided it best to retire before they fired me.

Weary

lobster
02-14-2006, 11:32
You must have been one irritating employee!

weary
02-14-2006, 12:23
You must have been one irritating employee!
Well, I was certainly that, but also quite lucky. Our managing editor once called a meeting between reporters and key editors to discuss how to improve the papers. I worked the state desk at the time, the lowest editing rung. I used the meeting to criticize the entire state desk operation. The managing editor got so angry at me that he walked out of the meeting.

Luckily before that happened we had discussed whether to replace the education specialist who had resigned six months earlier. The editor had wondered whether different specialists were needed in those early 70s days and suggested an "environmental" specialist.

The next day I applied to be that specialist and after a week of silence was chosen. It was a dream job, since no other newspaper in New England had such a post at the time. The job was whatever I defined it as.

I reported on whatever struck me as interesting and that included a few canoe trips down wild rivers and hiking a lot of trails. The newspaper guild wasn't always happy. How does one fit a 10-day trip on a wild river into a 37.5 hour work week. I wasn't going to press the issue with talk of overtime or compensory days off.

It was a good 20 years and a few good things happened. Some may call it arrogance, but I suspect the wild St. John river would now be a huge perch pond had I not been reporting. I also like to take credit for the Bigelow and Mahoosuc Preserves and the related recovery of 400,000 acres of long forgotten public lands. A lot of people helped an awful lot. But without my reporting I doubt if they would have even known that these were something to work on.

Unfortunately, newspaper staffs change quite rapidly. I didn't fit the image the new managing editor had for reporters. He never knew where I was or what I was working on. He was of the new school of journalism that says editors and reporters should take part in lengthy story conferences where editors could direct us on how to cover things the editors knew nothing about. The difficulty was that I rarely really knew whether a story was worth writing until I had investigated it for a week or so.

Management always has the upper hand in these things. That editor destroyed the careers of several good people by gathering a paper trail of alleged offenses, sufficient to overwhelm the Guild's objections. When I sensed a paper trail was underway for me, I took advantage of a "buyout" to leave a couple of months shy of my 62nd birthday.

I still work. It's just that I no longer get paid. But it still is nice to see an occasional accomplishment -- a few wild preserves in a coastal Maine fishing and tourist town; the top of Abraham and some of the slopes of Saddleback adjacent to the Appalachian Trail.

Everyone can share in the latter. Just open www.matlt.org and make a donation.

Weary

stupe
02-14-2006, 12:29
In other words, everybody has a right to do what they want and I have the right to pay for it?


No, everybody does not have the right to do what they want. There are limits to your freedom, just like there are limits on the govenment's - they don't have the right to declare you insane and confine or force medication on you. ( they used to, maybe that's how the mental hospitals got so full in the 80's )
At least they can't do it without due process of law, which is another right that your taxes pay for.
Don't feel bad. I have no kids, but part of my taxes go for schools. I have no car, but part of my taxes pay for roads. If I want to live here, I have to help feed the kitty.

smokymtnsteve
02-14-2006, 15:11
Absolutely workers should do the jobs of management as well. If they would do it (I am convinced the average worker is capable of performing successfully in management) there would be much less need for "middle management" and a significant cost savings to everyone. That is how you get increased wages, you take away cost from an employer. In a game that is based on bottom line, why would anyone expect to be rewarded for not improving that bottom line? Just showing up for work (senority) does not entitle anyone to more money. They must have a financial impact for the company for them to justify increased pay.

The average worker should step up and perform and destroy middle management :jump

already have..management is parasite,,,,CEO r parasites...

ARise ye prisoners of starvation a better world is in birth.

smokymtnsteve
02-14-2006, 15:15
Actually , I guess I agree with that. At this point I have started to make plans to work less as a nurse, lower my standard of living, have more of my time to myself , and keep more of what I earn . It is not beneficial to me after a point to be productive . I would rather have time then money, and the things I love do not cost that much comparatively . Better to follow my joy then worry about what others are doing/not doing.

don't wanna pay taxes for WAR for W...

earn less, pay less % taxes, use less resources, live below tax line.