New at Reason

Kerry Howley, who doesn't have a crush on Obama, looks at the candidate's problem with distinguishing trade from treason.

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  • ||

    Ahem!

    Your timing is magnificent!

  • Dave in VA||

    "...equivocating palaver..."

    beautiful turn of phrase for the senator.

  • ||

    I had the Audacity to Hope that Obama was a different kind of candidate. Episodes like this (and others, e.g., Rezko) reinforce the niggling suspicion I have that he is your run of the mill party politician.

    A Clinton/Obama ticket would seem the lesser evil (after Ron Paul is washed out) that is electable. But this bush league sniping and increasingly, his wrong-headed approach to the issues, makes that less likely.

  • ed||

    Imagine what the Nazis and Leni Riefenstahl might have done with YouTube. It has become the world's central propaganda depository.

  • ||

    Pig Mannix,

    One wonders whether employers in South Africa during Apartheid were able to jump through similar hoops in order to get a work permit for a black employee.

    Thank goodness we live in such an enlightened country!

  • ||

    To whip up hysteria about outsourcing is to pit American against American; the Americans who benefit from lower prices, increased productivity, and job creation, against those whose jobs are lost to more efficient producers.

    Ah, the classic battle between those who benefit from a situation and those who are adversely affected by it.

    It appears that the latter group is not allowed to have any politican address their concerns, beyond "Sorry you're losing your house, but think of the net gains for others!"

  • ||

    Kerry, give your head a shake. Have you ever been fired (especially after years of loyal service)? Would you describe that as a "peaceful" experience? Probably not. Yet you brand statements that point that out as "hateful". Sort of what one can expect from an idealogue funded by corporations that benefit the most from this.

    Just like peace, almost everyone is in favor of trade, but it depends on what terms.

  • ||

    And it's certainly interesting how if the government harms an individual on behalf of the common good it's considered around here a gross violation of morality and justice, but if a business harms an individual then suddenly the common good is the most important thing and the individual just needs to shut up about it.

  • ||

    Ah, the classic battle between those who benefit from a situation and those who are adversely affected by it.

    Is the situation that there are a good number of jobs that could be done by people elsewhere in the world, but companies are cowed by demagogic grandstanding into keeping them in the hands of overqualified Americans, making everyone in the US poorer?

    I sure hope more politicians address the concerns of those hurt by that situation!

  • ||

    Have you ever been fired (especially after years of loyal service)? Would you describe that as a "peaceful" experience? Probably not.

    I'm not Kerry but:
    Nope, never been fired. However i have had plenty of experiences that not "peaceful". The girl in the learther jumpsuit, Kaohsiung, being just one example. That does not equal violence. Any private school or home schooled 3rd grader could tell you that.

  • ||

    And it's certainly interesting how if the government harms an individual on behalf of the common good it's considered around here a gross violation of morality and justice, . . .

    The rules of government are enforced by people that carry guns and occasionally kill innocent persons.

    . . . but if a business harms an individual then suddenly the common good is the most important thing and the individual just needs to shut up about it.

    A business that terminates a contract (employment or otherwise) with an individual is not harming that individual (even if the individual suffers some loss due to the termination of the contract).

    This has been pointed out to you many times, yet you continue to misrepresent the libertarian point of view. Your act is getting stale.

  • ||

    Dan T,

    I find it interesting that you characterize not providing someone a benefit (ie employment) as "harming" that person.

    Have you considered the ramifications of this position?

  • ||

    JsubD: That reflects the third grader's level of sophistication when looking at the situation. You don't have to punch a person in the nose to harm them. That's why corporate executives demand hefty severance provisions in their contracts (which they deny to the peons). They're not protcting themselves from non-vilence you know.

  • ||

    Are you guys really arguing that losing one's source of income is not harmful?

    It may be the kind of harm that's legal, incidental, and occasionally necessary in a market economy, but if losing one's job was not a bad thing I doubt the whole outsourcing issue would be an issue...

  • ||

    Have you ever been fired (especially after years of loyal service)? Would you describe that as a "peaceful" experience? Probably not.

    Yes, it was devastating. I was married and had two kids during the depth of the recession in the early 80's. I had no clue how I was going to survive the situation.

    Yet you brand statements that point that out as "hateful". Sort of what one can expect from an idealogue funded by corporations that benefit the most from this.

    I can't fully understand your comment here.

    As devastating as it was for me, my former employer was under no real obligation to worry about the consequences to me for letting me go. My employer's only responsibility to was to making his business successful.

    I understood that then, and I understand that now. Do you understand that?

  • ||

    Are you guys really arguing that losing one's source of income is not harmful?

    Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes.

    Firing someone is in no way equivalent to stealing money from someone.

    Losing your source of income is certainly "bad" for the individual involved.

    But the employer is not "harming" the individual by firing them anymore that someone quitting and leaving the employer at a critical time in a project.

    Ending a voluntary association cannot be construed as being "harm" in the same way that violence, theft, or fraud is.

  • Brian||

    Treason and xenophobia? Brushing up for a permanent Fox News position?

    Here is where we seem to be headed, so he actually isn't far off in his estimation. Can you say, backlash?

  • ||

    Are you guys really arguing that losing one's source of income is not harmful?

    It's painful, sure, but it's not a valid argument about outsourcing, etc.

    Would it be any less painful if the job was lost because the company went out of business? Or if the company relocated to another US state (for whatever reason)?

    Unless you actually have a contract that says you get lifetime employment (rather rare birds, I would think), then you can lose your job for any of a multitude of reasons. It isn't a 'rights' issue.

    Outsourcing and offshoring are valid tools in the business toolbox. Yes, they have been misused from time to time, but that ultimately hurts the business in question as well.

    The benefits of a global economy outweigh the disadvantages, even if there is some dislocation along the path.

  • ||

    So Brian, what are you doing to protect yourself given the current trends towards globalization?

    Or are you expecting us to take care of you either through charity or mandatory contributions through the government?

  • Brian||

    Carrick,

    Since I can't afford to get a master's degree maybe I'll become a hit-man.

  • ||

    Since I can't afford to get a master's degree maybe I'll become a hit-man.

    Since you've shown enough intelligence and initiative to see it coming, it is you responsibility to find some way to protect yourself.

    My wife and I just turned 50 this year. She is about to enter a part-time, evening MBA program. It will be inconvenient and will take 3-4 years to complete. But it will help to ensure our situation.

    You get to choose your future. You can't expect someone else to freeze the economy so that your little world stays static until you retire.

  • ed||

    Whenever I see a Dan T. post my brain goes "la-la-la-la-la-la-la!" and my eyes go out of focus.
    Then I wake up in a tub full of ice. Weird.

  • ||

    Kerry, what I understand is this: Employers often play a one-sided game with their workers in which the employee owes complete loyalty to the firm, but not the other way around. Where employees must be fair with the boss (or risk being fired and not being able to have good references) while the company can act in bad faith with the only recourse being the disruption of going somewhere else. And trust me, if you mention any problems with a previous company, usually its assumed the problem is with you. Naturally employers like it this way (recreational abuse of subordinates is often a perk of a manager's job) but I think its a sucker's arrangement.

  • ||

    So Bill, perhaps you should start your own business and run the way it should be run. Then you can put those bad employers out of business.

  • Brian||

    Carrick,

    I don't need someone telling me what my responsibilities are, nor do I need someone talking down to me. What's convenient for you may not be convenient for someone else.

    My point was that what Obabma is saying is probably resonating with a lot of Americans. Don't blame me for the backlash.

  • ||

    "Have you ever been fired (especially after years of loyal service)? Would you describe that as a "peaceful" experience? Probably not."

    Yeah, I was fired once because the assistant manager at the Sizzler where I worked walked into the back room where a bunch of us were passing a joint -- and I was the one holding the joint when the door opened.

    The guy wasn't a jerk about it. He didn't call the cops. He just canned me, and nobody else, even though he certainly had cause to fire the lot of us.

    A little stressful? Yes. Peaceful? Yes, considering how it could have gone down. Loyal service? Which part of "passing a joint during work hours" are you missing?

  • ||

    If I had billions in venture capital backing me.

  • ||

    My point was that what Obabma is saying is probably resonating with a lot of Americans. Don't blame me for the backlash.

    I fear politicians when they play to the ignorant masses. This leads to government intervention which directly leads to loss of freedom for someone in order to "protect" someone else.

    I don't care whether the subject is morality, economics, health care, or whatever. The government does almost nothing better than the real-world can do it.

    It was more than inconvenient for my wife and I to both attend college and raise two kids in near poverty after I lost my job in the early 80's. So, I get really frustrated with people that say it would be too disruptive to change what they are doing in the short term to provide a better life for themselve in the long term.

    If you don't want people to talk down to you, then act like a grown-up and take responsibility for your own long-term health and well-being.

  • ||

    JH- That wasn't my definition of loyal service.

    Carrick- Sometimes fraud IS involved when an employer fails to honor promises made if they're not in writing, and even if they are, imagine what suing a former employer will do for future job prospects.

  • Brian||

    The government does almost nothing better than the real-world can do it.

    If you don't want people to talk down to you, then act like a grown-up and take responsibility for your own long-term health and well-being.


    Are you arguing with yourself, quoting libertarian viewpoints for fun, or just expressing your elite knowledge? Perhaps just attacking me for disagreeing with your oh so elite view-point?

    You better be sure you know who the ignorant masses are before you say anything else.

  • ||

    Carrick- Sometimes fraud IS involved when an employer fails to honor promises made if they're not in writing, and even if they are, imagine what suing a former employer will do for future job prospects.

    Then you are talking about a wrongful termination which should result in a lawsuit.

    Don't mix this case in with the normal ebb and flow of business hiring and firing.

  • ||

    Perhaps just attacking me for disagreeing with your oh so elite view-point?

    No I am criticizing you for having enough brains to recognize the situation and then whine about not being able to afford a masters degree.

    Dude, do a quick cost/benefit analysis and compare the future value of your current income stream to the value of getting your masters.

  • ||

    Bill Pope -- My point was, people get fired for all kinds of reasons, loyal service or not. Do we really want the government to be telling employers that they need permission to fire someone? Because going down that road leads to entrepreneurs being unwilling to hire people in the first place. Do we really want to make employment contracts say something like "you have the right to this job in perpetuity unless you do something like set fire to the boss' desk and put out the fire by pissing on it?"

  • ||

    I'm baffled by the "employers owe me something for years of service" meme still being perpetrated in this day and age. The only thing the employer owes you is your salary and bennies as agreed to at the time of employment. The writing was on the wall in the 1980s that 'lifetime employment and a nice pension' at one company was coming to an end. I recently turned 40, and of the handful of folks I still keep in touch with from the high school daze, only one is still at the same company he started with.

  • ||

    I think this article was rather mistitled. Allen's Maccaca comment was underlaid with straight out racism, while Obama's press release (at least what Howley cites, I did not read that thing all the way through so I will admit I'm wrong if you can cite something worse than Howley did) simply implied that having a US candidate with strong financial ties to ANOTHER NATION is maybe not so peachy. That's hardly equivalent.
    "I'm baffled by the "employers owe me something for years of service" meme still being perpetrated in this day and age. The only thing the employer owes you is your salary and bennies as agreed to at the time of employment."
    Well, employers drone on and on about what employers "owe" their companies (they make fun of this in Office Space), and then can them at a moment's notice. I have the RIGHT to make dates and stand them up, yes, but it still makes me a first class dick. And many employers work alongside employees, have company picnics with them, talk with them everyday, make them come to mandatory meetings every day and exhort them to "give 100% and think of the company first", and then can them the second times get tough. That's being a dick. You guys are so happily brainwashed libs (corporations fund the think tanks, think tanks write the books and mags, and you read them and learn to equate liberty=corporate interests) that you think they not only have the right to do this, but that its a great thing and fine manners to boot. Get bent.

  • stuartl||

    Are you guys really arguing that losing one's source of income is not harmful?

    I worked at a company that lost a major customer of about 5 years. The CEO of the company complained about the customer and suggested that we never should have done business with them. I bit my tongue and did not mention that he would have jumped at the opportunity to sign up the customer for a 5-year contract at the quantities of product and money involved.

    Employment is the same way, you can look at it as having received money for service over an extended period or you can look at it being taken away. In reality, you have no right to permanent employment and your company has no right to expect you to work under conditions you don't like. If you suspect your employer is dishonest with employees -- get the hell out!

    BTW, this was not the only time I realized that the CEO was a little dim, his attitude of entitlement was one of the reasons the customer left. I quit shortly afterwards. The company is nearly gone (due to the CEO, not my leaving).

  • ||

    Hear, hear Ken. About time someone told the truth to hardcore libertarians!

  • ||

    Look, businesses are going to jump onto bandwagons like outsourcing, because if they don't, they'll be killed by their competitors that do (unless they can compete on other grounds besides price, like quality of service). And if we get crazy protectionist and try to protect American jobs, then we'll simply lose out in the long run to foreign corporations without such restrictions.

    I've been laid off twice in the last four years due to corporate acquisitions, so I know all too well how heartless and disloyal a company can be to its workforce. But demands on businesses to perform are extreme, and it's not a bunch of guys in top hats making the demands. Not them alone, anyway. And for those of you who think government regulation is the answer, let me just suggest that a lot of our woes come from government and big businesses being in bed with one another. Many regulations exist to create barriers to entry for smaller businesses--try starting a new bank or insurance company without lots of capital and purchased connections some time.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "The writing was on the wall in the 1980s that 'lifetime employment and a nice pension' at one company was coming to an end."

    Yes indeed.

    People who think the paternalistic corporation where everybody has a secure job for life is supposed to be the norm and what's going on now is an abberation don't know anything about history or economics and have got it exactly backwards.

    The paternalistic corporation was the abberation - not the norm. It was an abberation caused by the fact that after WW2 - large parts of the developed world had been bombed out of comptetive capability and US corporations therefore had no meaningfull competition for a nice stretch of years. That situation allowed them to become paternalistic but the situatation has changed now and that abberation is no more.

  • ||

    Furthermore, as the welfare state and the consequent taxes increased in those post-war years, both companies and employees found it more fruitful to make more and more of the compensation tax-free as benefits rather than taxed as salary. This helped ossify the relationship between employer and employee. But it also locked in far-future commitments such as pensions that were based on unreasonably optimistic growth paths that no longer exist.

    This 1950s model is simply a bad way to do business all around. And it was largely due to government interference in the employer-employee relationship. We need less of that, not more.

  • ||

    One niggling detail. The Macaca moment" was entirely brought to you by the media and the Dem party. All the Senator was doing was making up a word (he thought) as in "hey, look at doodyhead". Doea anyone really believe that George Allen knew that a "macaca" was a genus of monkeys? Or that northern Frenchmen use the word to describe some Africans from (I think) Guyana?
    Perpetuating this type of attitude is hardly what I expect from Reason.

  • ||

    "This 1950s model is simply a bad way to do business all around. And it was largely due to government interference in the employer-employee relationship."
    Yeah, the 1950's were such a horrible time, all that soaring home ownership, college education, technological innovation, rising incomes. And with government interference into the employee-employer relationship (second only to the marital relationship in libertarians hearts)! The HORROR, the HORROR! You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

  • ||

    Good heavens!

    Watching the video of "Obamagirl" just gave me an oboner.

  • ||

    @MikeP

    One wonders whether employers in South Africa during Apartheid were able to jump through similar hoops in order to get a work permit for a black employee.

    WTF does Apartheid have to do with American corporations bringing in H1-B workers using skeevy, if not downright fraudulent, tactics?

    If this was a matter of American workers competing with foreign nationals head to head over who was providing the better value dollar for the dollar, there wouldn't be as much of a ground for complaint. But that's not the case. The case is that American workers are being excluded from competing preemptively. You call that free minds and free markets?

    Where are the Waving Hankies of Reason to yell "discrimination! fascism! racism! nationalism! [a-zA-Z]*ism!" to that?

    @ed

    Imagine what the Nazis and Leni Riefenstahl might have done with YouTube. It has become the world's central propaganda depository.

    In this case, the "propaganda" was culled from footage on the website of the law firm engaged in this activity (since removed).

    So challenging corporations engaged in shifty employment practices is now of a piece with the Nazis and Leni Riefenstahl, South Africa and Apartheid?

    For once, words fail me.

    The paternalistic corporation was the abberation - not the norm. It was an abberation caused by the fact that after WW2 - large parts of the developed world had been bombed out of comptetive capability and US corporations therefore had no meaningfull competition for a nice stretch of years. That situation allowed them to become paternalistic but the situatation has changed now and that abberation is no more.

    Now wait a minute! Who are now our competitors now that the developed world has rebuilt? You're saying European corporations and European labor laws are less paternalistic than ours are?!

    What color is the sky on your home planet?

  • ||

    Pig Mannix,

    Do you not know that it is illegal to hire a foreign worker in the US unless he has a visa -- in the example from your movie an H-1B? Do you not know that there are a number of discriminatory provisions in the requirements for giving a foreign worker an H-1B? In fact, the employment market that these workers must compete in is anything but free.

    If the company wanted to hire an American citizen for a position, they wouldn't need lawyers detailing how to make sure they cast a wide enough net for competing applicants to be within the law. They would just hire him.

    WTF does Apartheid have to do with American corporations bringing in H1-B workers using skeevy, if not downright fraudulent, tactics?

    I would have thought it rather obvious. The government has defined who is a legal worker and who needs a special permit to work. I suggested that lawyers in Apartheid South Africa probably did not have the legal latitude to correct the discriminatory injustice that lawyers in the US have today. I'm glad to see that the US is a little more enlightened.

  • ||

    Ken says: "Yeah, the 1950's were such a horrible time, all that soaring home ownership, college education, technological innovation, rising incomes."

    You mean the 1950's where median income was much lower, segregation was the norm in the Deep South, hardcore porn was Playboy, color TVs were for the wealthy, women were stuck at home, labor unions were about a quarter of the non-gov labor force, young men were subject to the draft, and "libertarian websites on the Internet via personal computers" contained four concepts that essentially didn't exist? I grew up in the 60s, and every decade since then has gotten better and better. Funny that someone who considers himself a "progressive" longs for such a regressive past.

  • ||

    I guess that no one should ever break up with Dan T. You'd be violating his rights to have a boy/girlfriend.

  • ||

    Would you describe that as a "peaceful" experience?

    Did you read the article? Can you really consider committing a murderous spree to be comparable to firing someone? Are you really suggesting that an employer commits an egregious ethical or legal crime by dismissing an employee?

  • ||

    Did anyone else note that Stevo won the thread?

  • ||

    Perpetuating this type of attitude is hardly what I expect from Reason.

    I think that it was pretty firmly established that Allen got "macaca" this from his Algerian relatives.

    Good try with the "nonsense word" angle, but that doesn't really pass the smell test. He was in one of the most uber-white parts of rural Virginia and he just happens to pull out a foreign term that is used to refer to "darker" people to describe the only dark skinned person present. Oh yeah, and he made disparaging assumptions about the guy's origin.

  • ||

    Ahh, jh, but what kind of progressive would I be if I did not point out that the 1950's were simply superior to the decades that came before it, not after. The 50's are dumpy compared to now, but it was a time of unprecedented rise in a good chunk of the populations living standards. I actually am not sure what kind of progressive I make, since I believe in markets (though with restrictions), am fervently opposed to affirmative action and gerrymandering and am for gun rights.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Now wait a minute! Who are now our competitors now that the developed world has rebuilt? You're saying European corporations and European labor laws are less paternalistic than ours are?!"

    Nice try at setting up a strawman positon. I didn't say anything about who our competitors are now - I pointed out that we didn't have any after WW2 because they'd all been bombed out.

    Our current competitors are all over the world and include former developed countries that were knocked out by WW2 - such as Japan which most certainly is one of our competitors today. They also include countries that are developing now particularly in Asia - such as China and South Korea.

    I will also point out that corporations are much more multinatinal in nature as to who they are selling to now than in times past. McDonalds, Coca Cola, Procter and Gamble and many other corporations are getting increasingly significant percentages of their sales overseas. The United States is far less of a closed economic market for than it was in times past. The market for products, commodities, labor and capital are far more globally interconnected than ever before.

  • lunchstealer||

    Ken, I think that makes you a liberalpublican, or a conservacrat. Or a liberaltariative.

  • Quiet_Desperation||

    "I had the *AUDACITY* to Hope that Obama was a different kind of candidate."

    You misspelled naivete. :)

  • ||

    ...and fine manners to boot. Get bent.

    The irony is delicious.

  • ||

    Chuckles, You probably have to understand irony to enjoy it. The "fine manners" was a comment directed at how its not enough for libs to say that its allowable for companies to dump people after decades of service, but actually laudable and, well, "fine manners." I wasn't castigating libs for not having any manners, but stating that anyone who thinks that (dumping a colleague after decades of working together) is an example of fine manners can, well, get bent.

  • ||

    Show me where any libertoid that comments on here regularly has alluded to the termination of employment, by either employer or employee, as having anything to do with manners, and I'll eat my hat.

    The nuance that you obviously missed in my comment, was that by critiquing someone else's "manners", you automatically assume a superior position. And then telling them to "get bent", shows that you, in fact, have no position to critique from.

    Cheers.

  • ||

    My "libertarians for Hillary" bumpersticker looks less and less embarrassing. Anyone else want one?

  • ||

    I'm a life long registered Democrat who is a long time member of "REASON" and consider my self an independent thinker. I would NEVER VOTE FOR HILLARY & BILL who are definately OVER THE HILL. Who needs that two for one again? And by way who is KERRY?

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