Surprise! President Obama Opposes Michigan's Right-to-Work Effort

President Obama came to Michigan to talk about his plan to put the country on a permanent path to fiscal ruin avert the fiscal cliff and took the opportunity to slam the state’s Right-to-Work law bill–if all goes well, insha allah­­–will be signed into law in less than 24 hours. Both the House and the Senate approved separate bills last week that will be reconciled and put to another vote tomorrow– and the final bill will be sent to Governor Snyder who has vowed to sign it immediately. But Obama lambasted the effort to make Michigan the 24th right-to-work state in the country. He said, reports the Business Insider:

“What we shouldn't be doing is try to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions...We don't want a race to the bottom." 

Right-to-work laws "have nothing to do with economics" and "have everything to do with politics."

Obama should know what he is talking about given all the forcibly extracted membership dues the unions funnel into the Democratic Party. This year, unions pumped a whopping–and I don’t use the term lightly–$400 million to re-elect  him and other Democratic legislators.

But if you want to know the lengths that unions will go to support Democrats, consider what the American Federation of State, Country and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) did in 2010 to arrange $87.5 million to help Democrats hang on to the Congress. Not only did it empty out $16 million from its emergency account–it actually took a $2 million loan, according to the Wall Street Journal.

This isn’t crazy if you consider the potential payoff. In the 2009 stimulus and other legislation, the WSJ noted, Democratic lawmakers sent more than $160 billion in federal cash to states, aimed in large part at preventing public-sector layoffs. “If Republicans running under the banner of limited government win in November, they aren't likely to support extending such aid to states.”

So, yes, RTW laws are about politics–it is about the politics of how unions use memberhsip dues to extract sweet deals for themselves at taxpayers' expense.

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  • pmains||

    How much of that $400 million came from unions that would be affected by this bill?

  • PapayaSF||

    Since only police and firefighters are exempted, I'd guess most of it.

  • pmains||

    I'm pretty sure that $400M comes from unions nationwide. Almost half of the states are RTW states, and Michigan is more unionized than most, so I would expect losing Michigan (or most of it) would have a disproportionate effect and deal a huge blow to the Democratic Party.

  • R C Dean||

    What we shouldn't be doing is try to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions

    And you know what? There's no difference between open and closed shops when it comes to the right to bargain for better wages and working conditions. Federal law on organizing a union and collective bargaining is the same for both.

  • BarryD||

    He meant your rights to be forced to pay union dues.

    Where would Hostess workers be today, without their union? They'd be working for peanuts in unbearable conditions, and we all know it!

  • Moderate L||

    Hostess is a bad example to use if you want to vilify unions. 30+ years without updating their brand despite falling sales. Repeated decreases in wages and benefits while executive salaries and bonuses continued to increase. The use of employee pension funds to continue day to day operations with no reduction in executive pay or benefits, then when the union says, "Enough, no more, they blame the fall of the company on the union.

    I am far from a fan of the modern labor union, and an unapologetic opponent public unions, but Hostess was not killed by it's unions. It was killed by greed and incompetence.

  • ||

    but Hostess was not killed by it's unions

    When you're running a labor union, and you're in negotiations with management, and management flat out tells you that if you don't get rid of retarded work rules that impede productivity and cut wages, that the company will go under and everyone will lose their job, and the labor union bosses know this is not a bluff, and they fucking refuse to budge anyway?

    Then the labor unions delivered the coup de grace to all their member's jobs.

  • ||

    I read that Wonderbread and Twinkies were't allowed to be delivered on the same trucks, thanks to union rules, doubling distribution costs. I don't doubt the incompetence of Hostess' management, but there's no way the union doesn't also take the blame.

  • BarryD||

    Are you sure that wasn't something about Kosher rules?

    Seems I knew some Orthodox types who had different refrigerators for Wonder and Twinkies. Or something. It's a little cloudy.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I have a different refrigerator for some things.

  • Hopfiend||

    My hops, grain, and yeast have their own refrigerator.

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    And the driver wasn't allowed to load his own truck at the dock, nor unload his own truck at the store, and the person who unloaded the truck couldn't ride in the same truck!

    All real-life examples have problems. General Grant held slaves after they had been taken to Petersburg and Richmond -- after the Emancipation Proclamation. General Lee remitted the slaves willed into his control as soon as he was legally able -- before the Emancipation Proclamation.

    My favorite Civil War fact: The number of Blacks from Indiana who joined the Army for the North actually exceeded the total number of Blacks living in Indiana at the time. More than every man, woman and child! Check the two statistics, it's true. Oddly enough, it's also not an error.

  • PapayaSF||

    So many blacks went to Indiana to join the Army, or what?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Moderate L,

    Hostess is a bad example to use if you want to vilify unions. 30+ years without updating their brand despite falling sales.


    Really? Pray tell, do you think they would have the wherewithal to invest in new product research and production if it weren't for those hefty pensions and union-created logistical problems.

  • The_Choctaw||

    Gosh, I know, those pensions, those things that allow people to retire without having to eat catfood, argh! I hate them so much!!!

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    I know, it makes you wonder how the millions and millions of retirees who don't have pensions manage to survive.

  • BarryD||

    I never said or implied that Hostess was killed by their unions.

    The point was that the union didn't secure high-paying, good jobs for its members, because the company sucked -- much like the companies in Michigan.

  • BarryD||

    (This does not, of course, mean that the unions didn't contribute to the suck, in either case. Clearly they did.)

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Only a union shop could lose money selling Twinkies. Twinkies!

  • BarryD||

    No shit. I mean, what could they cost to produce? And they have a shelf life measured in centuries, so distribution couldn't be more efficient.

    OTOH, there is that whole demand thing, which Obama and Krugman think is a myth promulgated by Austrian economists... I strongly suspect that Twinkies haven't been selling as well as they did back when we were landing men on the Moon.

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    The shelf life of a Twinkie is 25 days. High sugar content and no dairy content are most of the reason for it being that long.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Hostess cream seems to start tasting a little funky after a while. I had some stale hohos where it was like the cream absorbed color and ingredients from the chocolate bread part.

  • BarryD||

    If I'm drunk enough to eat Hohos, I can't tell.

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    A buddy in college used to buy Twinkies, keep them for a couple months past the due date, and offer to do a week's homework for anybody who would eat both the Twinkies in the pack. A lot of people attempted it but he only did one girl's homework one week. I still think she gave him a counter-offer.

  • Draft Tulpa 2016||

    There's a box of Twinkies in that grocery store. Not just any box of Twinkies, the last box of Twinkies that anyone will enjoy in the whole universe. Believe it or not, Twinkies have an expiration date. Some day very soon, Life's little Twinkie gauge is gonna go... empty.

  • ||

    And Obama ran on a thinly disguised platform of handouts to public sector unions - given all the rhetoric about "cops, teachers, and firefighters".

    I don't recall Clinton ever being this blatantly in bed with the unions.

  • BarryD||

    What disguise are you talking about?

  • tarran||

    Clinton wasn't; he refused to help out the parasitic USWA when its hosts started going bankrupt in the face of Chinese and Brazilian competition.

    Which is why the unions went out for George "W" Bush, who then gave them the import tariffs they'd been whining for. In general the only way Republicans win the presidency is when they whore themselves out to the old rust-belt unions as Reagan and W did.

  • BarryD||

    This might be changing...

  • Chris Mallory||

    Not winning the Rust Belt Blue Collar White vote is what cost Romney the election. Not his "failure" to do even more pandering to the 3rd world invaders than he did. The Blue Collar White vote stayed at home for the most part, faced with two candidates equally hostile to them and traditional America.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Xenophobic troll is xenophobic.

  • Spiny Norman||

    I don't recall Clinton ever being this blatantly in bed with the unions.

    That's only because there's no White House intern union.

  • BarryD||

    It also depends on what the meaning of "blatantly" is.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I don't recall Clinton ever being this blatantly in bed with the unions.

    You're right Hazel. I grew up in a Chrysler town in Indiana, and obviously the UAW was a big presence around town. But it was an organization that supported Chrysler workers, Little League, the High School yearbook, etc.

    But I went to visit my parents two years ago, and my Dad and I were driving past the UAW hall, and I noticed that the County Democrat HQ was now located in the lower level of the UAW Meeting Hall. According to my Dad, the UAW invited them there before the 2008 elections, and apparently the Democrat Party is quite happy with the arrangement. The unions and the Party have now melded.

  • BarryD||

    "But it was an organization that supported Chrysler workers, Little League, the High School yearbook, etc."

    "__ ______ started a program in which he provided a daily milk portions to Chicago school children, in order to fight rickets (a disease that softens bones), and also opened many soup kitchens for the poor and homeless during the Great Depression."

  • pmains||

    Al Capone, yes? I seem to recall that anecdote was in, "How to Win Friends and Influence People."

  • Draft Tulpa 2016||

    Hitler?

  • The_Choctaw||

    "the Democrat Party"

    You made a typo there, its actually called "The Democratic Party". You look dumb.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    And you look pissy and pedantic.

  • califernian||

    "Right to work" laws target the wrong kinds of unions (private sector) and furthermore violate libertarian principles.

    "Right to work" laws recruit the force of government to intercede and prevent two private parties from entering into an agreement : namely the employer and the union.

    If the employer is willing to accept the limited labor pool of the union in exchange for reliable work force and part of the bargain is that they will not hire any non-union members, that is essentially the basics of unionization.

    Right to work is the wrong way to solve the fact that public employee unions run the government budget committees.

  • ||

    Since when are union employees reliable?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Mad Scientist,

    Since when are union employees reliable?


    He jsut threw a red herring in there to give his vapid argument a little bit of color.

  • ||

    The "is willing to accept" part was funny enough but the "reliable work force" bit was gold!

  • widget||

    I have few complaints regarding the reliability of IBEW union workers who work for private companies. Just sayin' since I work with these folk on a regular basis. They're on Lombardi time, 15 minutes early. Their workmanship ranges from just OK to excellent. They ignore their boss when he tells them to 'slap it together'. They do it right instead. I also work with IBEW members, on public sector jobs, who are also government workers. That's another story. If the electrician worked for a contractor for 10 or 15 years he's usually OK. But if he got that government job without this experience, he's gonna be a menace.

  • ||

    I have absolutely no doubt that there are many many union employees out there who work hard and do a great job. There are other union employees whose skills are completely inadequate for their jobs, yet they remain in place. My dad works at a plant with a union electrician who happens to be illiterate. The guy re-wired a $100,000 backup generator based on a schematic he couldn't read and the thing fried itself when it was switched on. By all accounts he's a nice guy and tried his best, but I wouldn't call his work reliable. My problem with unions is that they protect their worst members at the expense of their best members. The guys who work hard and do a great job don't need a union. They guys who destroy company assets absolutely do.

  • widget||

    My dad works at a plant with a union electrician who happens to be illiterate. The guy re-wired a $100,000 backup generator based on a schematic he couldn't read and the thing fried itself when it was switched on.

    Just about all electricians are illiterate, but they can read a wiring diagram, something most literate people can't. Engineers are supposed to be somewhat literate. They are supposed to be able to draw a wiring diagram after reading the damned instructions. You told me nothing.

  • Scotticus Finch||

    Just about all electricians are illiterate

    That's absurd.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Califernian,

    "Right to work" laws recruit the force of government to intercede[...]


    RTW actually serve as a counterbalance to an ACTUAL show of force and violation of contractual agreements, in the form of the Wagner Act.

    If the employer is willing to accept the limited labor pool of the union in exchange for reliable work force and part of the bargain is that they will not hire any non-union members, that is essentially the basics of unionization.


    Not while the Wagner Act is still in the books.

  • califernian||

    two wrongs and all that...

    The correct and moral approach to government power used to the advantage of unions is to UNDO that arrangement, not to immorally utilize government force as a 'counterbalance'

  • BarryD||

    Not true. There's a reason we have a Federal system. That's a big part of it.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The correct and moral approach to government power used to the advantage of unions is to UNDO that arrangement, not to immorally utilize government force as a 'counterbalance'

    I agree.

    The best approach is to repeal all labor laws and get the fucking government out of the business of business. Allow workers and employers to decide whether they want unions or not.

  • BarryD||

    No.

    A closed shop is a situation where two parties (one a collective) enter into an agreement that binds a third, completely unrepresented, party, indefinitely.

    No way in hell is that libertarian.

  • Calidissident||

    In a free market, prospective employees do not have any right to a specific job, nor are they entitled to specific working conditions that aren't agreed to by both parties. If they don't want to join the union, they can look elsewhere for employment. It's the employers decision to offer the terms of employment, and the prospective employee is free to refuse, counter, or accept. Few businesses would voluntarily choose to be closed-shops, but it would occasionally happen.

    As I've said, given the unfree nature of the current labor market, I'm ok with RTW laws

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    No.

    A closed shop is a situation where two parties (one a collective) enter into an agreement that binds a third, completely unrepresented, party, indefinitely.

    No way in hell is that libertarian.

    By that standard, a marriage is not libertarian. You have permanently banned all third-party men and women from sleeping with you and/or your spouse.

  • ||

    RTW laws mean that unions aren't supposed to (there are ways around that sometimes) steal money for union dues without worker consent. Sounds libertarian-ish to me.

  • ||

    It's not theft when you voluntarily agree to it as a condition of employment. If the owner of a business wants a union only shop that's his choice just as it is his choice to be union free. As OM points out though we are nowhere near a free market situation like that.

  • ||

    It is theft when it's forced on all parties by the government on behalf of the unions.

  • ||

    It is theft when it's forced on all parties by the government on behalf of the unions.

    But it isn't...

  • ||

    And yet it is.... When the company isn't allowed to hire people without requiring them to pay union dues, and non-union employees are forced to pay union dues as a government-mandated condition of employment, it is most DEFINITELY forced on all parties by the government. That the unions are in favor of that force doesn't change it.

    If you're claiming the current situation doesn't use government force for these things, I have to ask what world you think you're living in?

  • ||

    That is not what right to work laws are about. Agency shop agreements are between the employer and the union. There is no federal or state requirement anywhere that forces employers to have an agency shop. Can you give an example?

  • BarryD||

    ""Right to work" laws recruit the force of government to intercede and prevent two private parties from entering into an agreement : namely the employer and the union."

    Bullshit.

    The government intercedes in non-RTW states, because unions are given the power to prevent people from freely working for employers. Unions control employment.

    Individuals lose their right to enter into an agreement.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    ""Right to work" laws target the wrong kinds of unions (private sector) and furthermore violate libertarian principles."

    Mandatory labor negotiation laws also violate libertarian principles. I'll take right to work as a hostile gesture against bargaining laws.

  • ||

    Name one company that wanted to bargain with a unionized labor force with a guarantee that they could never seek other labor sources.

  • NL_||

    Is it really a bargain if one party holds a monopoly on the good being purchased? Seems like they should call them Collective Extortion Agreements. If GM had a legal right to stop anybody from buying non-GM cars, we'd consider it a corrupt grant of monopoly to powerful supporters. Somehow when the UAW has a legal right to stop GM from buying non-UAW labor, that's supposed to be a blow for progress and integrity instead of a corrupt grant of monopoly.

    The union thing helps union workers, but it helps them less the more OTHER companies are unionized. The ideal balance of unionization, from the perspective of average members, is enough unions to stay politically entrenched but not so many unions that everything is more expensive. In other words, it's best for union members for them to stay protected but be able to buy cheaper products from non-union companies. None of them seem to behave this way, probably because they've settled on the unrealistic premise that unions are an unalloyed good that harm nobody except greedy capitalists.

  • BarryD||

    "The union thing helps union workers"

    For a while, perhaps.

    The union thing helps union bosses, and the politicians they own. Workers forced to join, in order to hold jobs, are powerless sources of revenue for both.

  • R C Dean||

    "Right to work" laws target the wrong kinds of unions (private sector)

    Not necessarily. They can target either or both.

    furthermore violate libertarian principles.

    Depends, really, on where you think the state is intervening in the free associating and contracting of the employment relationship, and whether a RTW law increases that intervention or increases the economic freedom of employees and/or employers.

    If you think that, under current US labor law, the entire union/employer relationship is a product of state intervention (as in, it wouldn't happen at all in a free labor market), then there's a case to be made that RTW laws actually pare back the restrictions on freedom of association/contracting created by these state-created relationships.

  • T o n y||

    The question depends on whether libertarian principles actually exist, or whether libertarianism is defined by its overwhelming tendency to favor whatever the corporate executives want no matter what it means in terms of government involvement or actual liberty.

    Unfortunately it's government intervention all the way down. Forget about limited liability. What about the ability to do business at all? Every step from idea to successful entrepreneurial endeavor is helped along by the taxpayer. Management has no more a natural right to make a profit than workers have to unionize. Both are (or at least should) be protected by law.

    You guys--you especially--just twist logic however it needs to be twisted to favor management. So here you are defending government intervention to correct some perceived antimarket imbalance. That imbalance being management aren't completely allowed to be absolute totalitarians like nature intended.

  • ||

    Hey, RC! Tony's here to tell you what you really believe!

  • Calidissident||

    How many examples of corrupt "pro-business" practices by government (often supported by Tony and his ilk) that libertarians oppose need to be shown on this website before Tony gets a clue? By and large, big business executives do not want a free market

  • Hopfiend||

    Dude is impervious to logic. The objects of his fellation are just as pro business as his opponents. He is just too caught up in the cult of personality to recognize it.

  • T o n y||

    So tell me what being anti-union (but not anti-incorporation) has to do with being pro-free market.

  • Calidissident||

    Someone can be pro-free market and have a positive, negative, or neutral view of unions. People who support the free market support freedom of contract, which means that employers have the freedom to hire whomever they want, provided the employee is working voluntarily of course. If they don't want to hire union labor, that's their right. Workers have the right to unionize, but they don't have the right to be employed. If the employer decides that hiring non-union labor is worth the cost of the temporary strike, or permanent firing, of the union labor, then that's his right. In a free market, the employer and union would also be free to agree that all new employees join the union. Free market people generally support RTW laws as a compromise given other labor law in existence that favors unions

  • T o n y||

    A view that can only be held if you accept all the laws favoring corporations as a given.

  • ||

    False and a non-sequitur.

  • ||

    Every step from idea to successful entrepreneurial endeavor is helped along by the taxpayer.

    This is rank bullshit. When my grandmother started her concealed-carry holster business, did she get any government help? No. It's absolutely terrible that there's so many opportunities to grab taxpayer dollars, but nowhere near everything is helped along by government favors.

    Both are (or at least should) be protected by law.

    Translation: unions should be able to use government force to make companies deal with them.

  • General Butt Naked||

    When my grandmother started her concealed-carry holster business, did she get any government help? No.

    I disagree. The government was benevolent to let gunwingnutz carry in public. Without that benevolence she would have no business!

    /dipshit

  • mad libertarian guy||

    When my grandmother started her concealed-carry holster business, did she get any government help?

    Unfortunately, the way the left frames this issue, the answer is always yes.

    Do those holsters travel on government roads? Did she receive a government education? The list goes on, but the way the statists would have us think about the issue, it is impossible for any of us to do anything at all without government "help", even if government makes it illegal to compete with a government service that we must use.

    They break your leg, crowd out private crutch providers, give you crutches, then never fail to inform you how reliant you are on government. And if youre a libertarian, never fail to not only tell us how reliant we ACTUALLY are on government, but call us hypocrites for using our government crutches.

    ROADZ!!!

  • T o n y||

    In this case I think government should step out of the way and let unions and management make the deal they want to make.

    It's not unions using government force to gain an advantage in right-to-work legislation, it's their opponents.

    It's okay to be against special interests but just be consistent about it and realize who actually has more leverage with government.

  • Calidissident||

    Tony, will you be consistent in opposing other laws that give unions an advantage?

  • T o n y||

    Considering the state of unions, it is unfathomable that unions are "favored" relative to business.

  • ||

    So cronyism for people you like is fair, cronyism for people you don't like is unfair favorable treatment. Got it.

  • Calidissident||

    And that could only be due too evil favors for corporations? It has nothing to do with economic competition or the fact that labor unions will naturally be less present in a modern service-based economy than an early industrial one?

  • ||

    In this case I think government should step out of the way and let unions and management make the deal they want to make.

    They should start by repealing the NLRB.

    It's not unions using government force to gain an advantage in right-to-work legislation, it's their opponents.

    As it stands now, government coerces all parties. It just has more short-term benefits for unions.

    It's okay to be against special interests but just be consistent about it and realize who actually has more leverage with government.

    The rich and powerful, which despite all your moaning still includes unions. They're busy trying to retain their spot.

  • Brian D||

    In this case I think government should step out of the way and let unions and management make the deal they want to make.

    Unless, say, an airplane manufacturer wants to open a new production plant in a right-to-work state. Then the government can and should step in and tell those greedy CEOs they can't.

    /Chony

  • ||

    You guys--you especially--just twist logic however it needs to be twisted to favor management.

    OR we don't want business arrangements backed by coercion. Like how unionization is right now. In a free market, a union would probably be the employee equivalent of a corporation. As it is, it's a government-enforced monopolization of labor in a particular workplace. RTW legislation isn't perfect, it would be better if it also repealed mandatory representation by the unions, but it's a damn sight better than the de facto closed shop system we have now.

    So here you are defending government intervention to correct some perceived antimarket imbalance.

    What RTW legislation really does is block part of the NLRB: specifically the part forcing non-union employees to pay the union in their workplace dues. This is good, but not enough. I'm hopeful that someday the NLRB's other provisions can be blocked as well, but right now it's just dues.

  • T o n y||

    The thing government is restricting in RTW laws is the freedom of employers and employees to make a certain kind of arrangement. It's practically social engineering you're advocating. Who are you to say companies and unions can't make mandatory union membership part of the deal? What the fuck business is it of yours, libertarian?

  • Tman||

    " the freedom of employers and employees to make a certain kind of arrangement."

    So when a Union makes me - let's say at 14 years old working part time at a grocery store- pay 10% of my paycheck to a Union which will provide me with precisely zero benefits, where is the freedom for the employee?

    Why do you support Union sit suppression of worker freedoms?

    You are correct in that libertarians are advocating for individual rights, but you confuse it with social engineering because you're an idiot.

    IT IS my business that there be freedom for employees, namely myself. I want everyone to have the same rights as me.

    What the fuck do you want?

  • ||

    As I mentioned below, government is abrogating freedom of contract with or without the NLRB, but forcing employees to give a union money as a condition of employment is the worse of the two.

    That you rail against one coercion but not the other, while decrying my preference because it's not pro-union, is just more of the same bullshit you always spew.

  • T o n y||

    I'm not the one with the fucking inviolable first principles of freedom!

  • ||

    I'm not the one with principles!

    FIFY

  • R C Dean||

    Shorter Tony:

    You didn't build that.

    Management has no more a natural right to make a profit than workers have to unionize.

    I would argue that both sides do indeed have a right to free association, to property, to voluntary contract, and to the fruits of these, to the extent they are all based on free choice.

    However, under our current system, there are few to no union contracts that are voluntarily entered into by both sides. From a libertarian perspective, a contract that has been imposed on one party is not an embodiment of these rights, and so any terms of that contract (such as a closed shop clause) are more like violations of these rights.

    I'm just not seeing how law says a fundamentally illegitimate contract cannot contain certain terms is a big problem for freedom or libertarianism.

  • T o n y||

    No one is being forced to work at places with these types of contracts. That would be your excuse for any abuse of management I could bring up.

  • ||

    People are being forced to give money in order to keep employment at these places. It's not part of a contract between the employer and the union, it's union-backed government coercion to fill union coffers. You're such a shill.

  • T o n y||

    There's a right to "keep employment"?

  • ||

    There's a right for parties to make their own contracts with each other without the government forcing them to do something else on behalf of yet another party. Are you really this stupid, or are you just this bad at passing bullshit off as roses?

  • ||

    Darius, can you give a real example of the government forcing an employer to have an agency shop?

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 12.10.12 @ 6:01PM |#
    'The question depends on how many lies and misdirections I can get into one post.'

    Yes, shithead, got it.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Hey T o n y, aka Stephen Dipshit, fuck mandatory bargaining laws. Shove that glorious union fist up your gaping asshole.

  • ||

    Translation:

    We protect your rights by law, therefore, you don't have any. We own you, because we protect your rights to not be owned!

  • ||

    If someone can point out to me a company that would like to have an agreement with a union making all the company's workers de facto union members, regardless of desire to join the union, and I will admit that RTW legislation is wronging them. Absent that, I have to call Califernian's argument out as silly.

    The ideal solution would be to repeal the NLRB, but try and get the unions behind THAT one. It would be better for them overall, but they're still under the illusion they can get away with mandatory dues in exchange for mandatory representation. Sadly for them, RTW legislation only addresses the former, and their only chance at coming out a winner (repealing the NLRB) would be seen as worse than RTW legislation, due to the unions' desire to maintain de facto closed shops and their delusional belief that they can beat back the RTW wave.

  • califernian||

    In a free market certain firms absolutely would choose to take a union's deal over the disruption of production.

    In fact, many unions operate more or less freely this way. They will blacklist a shop if they go non-union and that shop can't get labor from the union hall unless they pay the union a big fine.

    This is all handled privately between the bargaining parties. Many trade unions operate this way.

    There is nothing unlibertarian about supporting the rights of these parties to agree to operate however they want to operate.

  • Tman||

    In a free market certain firms absolutely would choose to take a union's deal over the disruption of production.

    Or they would just move production to an area that isn't going to prevent them from producing.

    Which is exactly what's happening to Michigan right now.

  • califernian||

    That's exactly right. So a union bargaining with a firm would only be able to bargain so much before the cost to the firm is higher than the cost of moving elsewhere or replacing the union.

    The union, in a pure form, is a collective bargaining unit and has a value proposition to offer the firm. The firm can choose to accept or reject the value proposition.

    The federal government has totally screwed this up entirely with forceful laws that favor unions (such as the cardcheck laws).

    In an pure bargaining situation, whatever portion of the workforce desired to be in a union would strike and if they had enough members they could even require closed-shop status from the firm as part of their terms.

    The firm could take it or leave it but make no mistake there IS a price that is worth paying to avoid the disruption of production. It's perfectly fair and right for the union to bargain around that price.

  • BarryD||

    "In an pure bargaining situation, whatever portion of the workforce desired to be in a union would strike"

    How is this different in Right to Work states?

    "if they had enough members they could even require closed-shop status from the firm as part of their terms."

    This would never happen in the real world, without government coercion on behalf of unions, except in a few extremely rare industries where unions are an integral part of maintaining highly-skilled workforces.

  • califernian||

    This would never happen in the real world, without government coercion on behalf of unions, except in a few extremely rare industries where unions are an integral part of maintaining highly-skilled workforces.

    Untrue. This happens all the time with skilled labor trade unions. It's not that rare.

    You asked. How is this different in Right to Work states?

    The right to work laws state that a firm *cannot* agree to close-shop terms. This is ridiculous.

  • BarryD||

    The firm and the union cannot enter a contract that binds an unrepresented THIRD PARTY. Someone who might want a job with that employer in the future is bound by a contract to which he/she is not a party.

    This violates the fundamental principle of self-ownership, and this is about as libertarian as the institution of slavery is.

  • Drake||

    califernian - The only examples I can think of are the German Guild-style and Japanese company unions that take an interest in their business, not the traditional adversarial relationship.

  • Tman||

    califernian,

    I think you are arguing the "perfect" idea of a Union vs. the current reality. I agree with you that yes, "in pure form" a Union exists to collectively bargain for workers rights that improve the lives of the workers.

    But this is not the world in which we live. I worked at "Stop 'N' Shop" (a grocery chain) in Massachusetts when I was 14 in the produce department part time. I was FORCED to join the Union which effectively cut my pay by about 10%, and offered ZERO benefits for a part time school kid.

    THIS is what Unions have come to represent today, to protect the salaries of a few at the cost of the many.

  • califernian||

    a Union exists to collectively bargain for workers rights that improve the lives of the workers.

    That's not what I said.

    I said the union and the firm are freely entering into an agreement whereby the union agrees to work under certain terms for a certain period and the firm agrees to only hire the union workers.

    I understand the many ways that the governmetn has advantaged unions unfairly, most notably card-check, but closed-shop status is not a violation of anyone's freedom of association.

    Of course, a shop could hire non-union and hope the union doesn't have the balls to walk or have other means to address (usually fines). But RTW says the firm CANNOT, under any circumstances, agree to become a closed shop that employs the union.

    Not freedom. Even if you dont' like unions and even if they do currently benefit from other immoral interventions by govt.

  • Tman||

    the union and the firm are freely entering into an agreement whereby the union agrees to work under certain terms for a certain period and the firm agrees to only hire the union workers.

    Your use of the term "freely" is without merit. The reason Michigan is passing this law is precisely because Unions are preventing companies from hiring non-Union workers, and this is causing businesses to leave the states, mostly to neighboring RTW states.

    To argue that the government is "forcing" companies NOT to hire Union workers by passing RTW laws is the dumbest argument I've heard on this subject. Not only is it nor true, but it's ridiculous on its face.

    Tell me, where do you find these companies who would be much happier remaining a closed Union-run shop?

  • califernian||

    Are you saying I can't run a non-union business in Michigan? I don't know as much about Michigan as I do about California but in California there are tons of closed-shop union employers who choose to agree to the union terms, and they compete freely with non-union shops in the same industries.

  • Tman||

    in California there are tons of closed-shop union employers who choose to agree to the union terms-

    -because California isn't a RTW state.

    they compete freely with non-union shops in the same industries.

    So you're saying that these companies would prefer to pay the Union costs rather than not? That makes no sense at all.

  • califernian||

    It has nothing to do with what the companies "prefer".

    The union bargains for access to their labor pool and part of the terms is that the firm who gets access to the labor pool cannot hire elsewhere. Believe it or not firms agree to this, freely.

    The firm can reject the union's terms and get labor from other sources. Many firms take this option, freely.

    Back to your point about Michigan, are you saying the state government will legally prevent me from running a non-union business in Michigan? It's possible but I find that hard to believe.

  • Tman||

    The firm can reject the union's terms and get labor from other sources. Many firms take this option, freely.

    This word "freely", I don't think it means what you think it means.

    For instance, yes, Sony Pictures could technically hire non-union workers to make their movies, but the Unions have made that next to impossible in California for this to happen. They DON'T "freely" have a choice to hire non-Union workers. Sure, Unions have less of a stranglehold in other industries, but good luck finding a non-union film crew in LA to film your high budget movie.

    are you saying the state government will legally prevent me from running a non-union business in Michigan?

    No, what I'm saying is that Michigan a RTW law, which you apparently have very little understanding of if that's what you think I was saying.

  • califernian||

    I think you are conflating the difference between a union having the upper hand (such as the LA film -related unions) and use government force.

    You're right, good opening a non-SAG film studio but that's none of my business or yours.

    I am surprised you would suggest use of force to break up this deal between SAG and the studios. What is your justification?

  • Tman||

    I am surprised you would suggest use of force to break up this deal between SAG and the studios. What is your justification?

    A.)It doesn't "break up" this deal. RTW laws don't prevent companies from hiring Unions. What they do is prevent Unions from forcing workers to join the Union if they want to work for a company.

    B.) This isn't a "deal" between SAG and the Film industry. It's the only option available to the film industry. It's not "free" and it sure as hell isn't a "deal".

    The over all problem is that Unions have forced certain companies (like GM, for instance) to accept labor costs well beyond what they can afford because the Union makes the labor the only game in town. Other states that don't have a labor force monopolized by the Union don't have this problem so the businesses decided to move operations there in order to find better "deals" than what they had available in non-RTW states.

    Michigan had no choice thanks to the Unions fucking over all of the available producers.

  • califernian||

    you Said The reason Michigan is passing this law is precisely because Unions are preventing companies from hiring non-Union workers, and this is causing businesses to leave the states, mostly to neighboring RTW states.

    How are the unions preventing a shop from operating with non-union labor other than by witholding their labor pool from the firm?

  • califernian||

    PS: that's a serious question. I may be unaware of some other use of force in place but I suspect that solution is to undo that rather than implement more forceful government intervention into union/employer bargaining process.

  • Tman||

    How are the unions preventing a shop from operating with non-union labor other than by witholding their labor pool from the firm?

    The unions are preventing a shop from operating with non-union labor by witholding their labor pool from the firm, and also physically denying other individuals from working at said firms. Firms that then realize the "great deal" they have with the unions is bankrupting the company, so they move to a place where the workers are cheaper.

    This has already happened to Detroit over the last twenty years. It's already too late to stop that train from crashing, but the state legislators are hoping this restores some sanity.

    Still won't matter though. Even another multi-billion dollar gift from Tax payers can't save GM at this point, and once again Union management will end up screwing over the vast majority of their members whilst floating to the ground in their golden parachute.

    Side note, did you see this?

    Spotlight on big paychecks at Fannie and Freddie, again Top 90 employees got $92 million in pay last year

    This shit just writes itself a this point.

  • ||

    There is nothing unlibertarian about supporting the rights of these parties to agree to operate however they want to operate.

    From that perspective having RTW legislation isn't any worse than not having it.

    Without RTW, employees are forced to give the union dues regardless of what the employer and employee want, because all parties are forced into this arrangement by government-backed unionization.

    With RTW, employees are not forced to give the union dues, but the employer can't have it as a condition of employment either, regardless of what the employer and the union want.

    Both ways abrogate freedom of contract, no-RTW isn't somehow superior to RTW in that way. Since that is the case, I side with RTW since that fixes the most grievous issue: forcing people to pay money to the union as a condition of employment.

  • R C Dean||

    And let's not forget:

    RTW laws do not impinge in any way on an individual's right to associate/contract with the union as a member.

    If any restriction on these rights is imposed by RTW laws, it is on the contract between the employer and the union.

    And I submit that its pretty silly to complain about state interference in that relationship, given our current situation.

    Unions asked for, and got, heavy government involvement in that relationship. So its a little hard for them to now complain about how that involvement is crimping their style.

  • R C Dean||

    Would a RTW law have any application to a non-union shop that chooses to use the union hiring hall for staffing?

    I really don't know.

    It seems that the unions would still be free to try and negotiate exclusive dealing arrangements with non-union shops, though, as my impression is that RTW laws apply to the unionized shops.

  • OldMexican||

    “What we shouldn't be doing is try to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions...We don't want a race to the bottom."


    When he says "we don't want a race to the bottom," he is really talking about Union contributions to the DNC.

    Right-to-work laws "have nothing to do with economics" and "have everything to do with politics."


    Well, his platitudes have nothing to do with economics... at all.

  • califernian||

    On this we agree. His argument is based on fear of undermining union power, for the sake of union power.

    My position is based on whether or not Right To Work laws are morally correct to someone who opposes the initiation of force on freely acting parties.

    Right to Work laws fail this test, even if it is true that unions currently benefit from immoral initiation of force by government in other ways.

  • BarryD||

    Right to Work laws do not prevent the formation of unions, nor do they prevent collective bargaining.

    The ban coercion BY unions, to force would-be workers to join and pay the union for the privilege of working, and to be bound by contracts agreed to by others, instead of themselves.

  • califernian||

    I don't think you understand the RTW laws. They prevent the union from bargaining for closed shop status with an employer. Yes, if you want to work for that employer and the employer has agreed to the union terms of being a closed-shop then you must join the union to get the job. This is in fact not a violation of anyone's freedom of association.

    What violates it is the government telling the firm it cannot agree to those conditions. WTF?

  • califernian||

    I am fully aware that the firm is under duress to deal with the union on unfavorable terms in the first place, but two wrongs and all that....

    the libertarian solution is NOT more coercion.

  • BarryD||

    Government force used to protect the rights of individuals from violations by large, powerful groups is completely appropriate.

    Individuals have rights. Unions don't. Groups only have rights insofar as they are made up of VOLUNTARY associations of individuals. One person has the right to refuse to join a union under any circumstance, and any employer has the right to hire that person. Government force can be used, legitimately, to protect these rights.

  • califernian||

    Of course the employer has the right to hire that person. Right to work laws don't address that because the employer has already agreed with the union not to hire that person.

    The firm can accept the union's terms or not. Why is this so hard to understand?

    The government now steps in and uses FORCE to disallow the firm and the union from being a closed shop.

    Do you really think this is right?

  • BarryD||

    Absolutely that is right! Unions do not have any natural rights that supersede the rights of individuals. Government exists to protect the rights of individuals.

  • BarryD||

    And by the way, the union, or a group of employees, has the power in our system, to completely control who gets hired and fired, and all the work rules. All it has to to is buy the company.

    There are employee-owned companies. A number of them have been quite successful.

    The question is whether a union can take control of the resources owned by another, without having to pay for them, by the use of force.

    An agreement with a union is not a contract, by the usual definition. Contracts signed under duress are not legally valid.

    But unions are free to buy companies if they want to. The UAW could have bought GM, had it wanted to. But why buy the cow when you can get the milk by force?

  • califernian||

    You're getting a little off topic.

    The situation is quite simple.

    Union collectively bargains with firm for employement terms and those terms include the firm agreeing to hire only works from that union.

    Firm agrees to the terms.

    RTW laws make this illegal. It's a completely corrupt use of force and im' astonished to see all these posters who are supposedly libertarian abandon their principles just because the unions happen to be despicable (and they generally are, i agree).

  • Hopfiend||

    Why are the rights of the group (in the union) superior to the individual that doesn't wish to belong to the union in your view?

  • califernian||

    The individual has no right to a job from the employer.

    If the employer agrees to the unions' terms I have no right to use force to disallow the terms of that agreement. It's not that hard to understand.

  • Calidissident||

    califernian, I agree with your point, but current federal law already tilts the balance towards unions, so I'm not opposed to state level laws that seek to counteract that. Ideally, I would like to see the Wagner Act and the NLRB repealed, and then there would be no need for RTW laws

  • califernian||

    Still not right and still violates libertarian principles. How can any of ever expect to build towards a freer world if even libertarians can so easily justify immoral use of force? I find this whole conversation depressing.

    It's the equivalent of "free speech for me but not for thee" from the libertarian side of contract law.

  • Hopfiend||

    But the union has a right to coerce the individual? Seems odd to me.

  • califernian||

    How is the union coercing the individual?
    The union and the firm agree to a deal where the firm won't hire non-union workers.

    The individual can work somewhere else or join the union. The firm can agree to the union's deal or hire the non-union workers only.

    No one is forced in any of these cases.

  • Hopfiend||

    Sounds just a whole lot like the "marriage equality already exists because all men can marry women" argument.

  • Calidissident||

    califernian, you're still talking from the perspective of a free labor market that doesn't actually exist in reality

  • An0nB0t||

    That's the point. Califernian passes the Rothbardian purity test that never supports increased state interference in two-party negotiations, counterbalances be damned.

  • Calidissident||

    I don't think it increases state interference, but rather changes the nature of it

  • BarryD||

    It's not off-topic at all.

    RTW laws make it illegal for unions to bind NON-MEMBERS who MIGHT want to work for an employer at some time in the future, to a contract to which they were not a party.

    This is not freedom of contract. This is freedom to exercise power over random individuals.

  • BarryD||

    The government protecting a property owner from extortion by violent racketeers is not an inappropriate use of coercion.

  • califernian||

    Of course because the racketeers are initiating force. The monopoly on force is used to prevent the initiation of force by the racketeers. Libertarian principles satisfied.

  • BarryD||

    A strike is an act of extortion. To extend that power to bind individuals who do not yet work for an employer is grossly immoral and not remotely libertarian. This ain't that complicated.

  • Calidissident||

    I think what califernian is saying (and correct me if I'm wrong) is a) employers have the right to agree with the union on insisting that a prospective employee join the union as a condition of employment b) They are free to stop this policy, though the union can respond by striking and c) the company can respond by firing the workers or temporarily replacing them. However, some companies may decide that the costs of doing this are not worth breaking the agreement to hire only union members.

    Of course this is all in a free market. I'm ok with RTW given existing labor law

  • OldMexican||

    Re: califernian,

    What violates it is the government telling the firm it cannot agree to those conditions. WTF?


    Unless an employer suddenly developed an irrational aversion to money and profits, the possibility of such an agreement is very remote, making such prohibition irrelevant.

  • califernian||

    Untrue. many closed-shop firms exist even though they don't have to agree to be closed shop. California is full of them.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: califernian,

    Untrue. [M]any closed-shop firms exist even though they don't have to agree to be closed shop. California is full of them.


    For instance?

    Besides, if they don't have to agree to be closed-shop, then the conclusion would be that some of them are closed-shop by mandate or coercion, would it not?

  • califernian||

    For instance?

    Besides, if they don't have to agree to be closed-shop, then the conclusion would be that some of them are closed-shop by mandate or coercion, would it not?

    No. Perhaps I'm not making myself clear.

    For a specific example look at how skilled trade unions in california work. No construction companies are forced by any state laws to go union.

    The trade unions bargain solely on the strength of the quality of their labor pool (believe it or not). If a shop hires non-union the union will black list the shop and the hall won't do business with the shop.

  • Draft Tulpa 2016||

    many closed-shop firms exist even though they don't have to agree to be closed shop. California is full of them.

    And those arrangements wouldn't be affected by RTW laws.

  • BarryD||

    Beyond that, the employer actually owns the company, and can profit or lose from it. The union doesn't own anything. Apart from government force used on behalf of unions, a union would not be in a position to bargain at all, because it doesn't own the company, nor can it own its members (though in non-RTW states, it effectively does own a piece of them).

  • califernian||

    Beyond that, the employer actually owns the company, and can profit or lose from it. The union doesn't own anything.

    What does that have anything to do with whether not it's ok to use force to disallow the terms of an agreement between the employer and the union?

  • BarryD||

    These terms BIND THIRD PARTIES.

    It's not that difficult. RTW limits the agreements to those who actually make them. Can you really be that dense?

  • Draft Tulpa 2016||

    They don't bind third parties at all.

    Most defense contractors have contracts with their "customer" saying that they can't hire illegal drug users. Does that bind third parties?

  • ||

    "Most defense contractors have contracts with their "customer" saying that they can't hire illegal drug users. Does that bind third parties?"

    Defense contracting "customers" already have zero-tolerance policies and enforce that provision without prejudice. In your scenario, no third party exists.

  • Draft Tulpa 2016||

    I'm referring to someone who may seek employment from the DC.

  • ||

    I'm referring to someone who may seek employment from the DC

    This needs clarification, then:

    "Most defense contractors have contracts with their "customer" saying that they can't hire illegal drug users. Does that bind third parties?"

    Are you referring to employees of defense contractors or potential employees of the presumed U.S. military branches of service?

  • ||

    At any rate, it's not a good comparison. With closed-shops, you're pretty much 'joining' the union and gaining employment immediately. There is no "we noticed you're not part of the union, so we're going to terminate you".

    With your scenario, an employee retains employment until the employer's drug policy is violated.

    Seems a bit absurd to claim that employees that violate their terms of employment are some aggrieved "third party".

  • BarryD||

    Yes, but it's irrelevant to the discussion.

    Furthermore, I don't think a lot of people would suggest that this is an example of libertarianism in action, either.

  • ||

    I'm assuming that's directed at tulpa.

  • Draft Tulpa 2016||

    What violates it is the government telling the firm it cannot agree to those conditions. WTF?

    Why would any imaginable firm want to agree to those conditions? The freedom lost is the kind which would never be exercised or desired in the first place, while the freedom gained is significant.

  • ||

    Right-to-work laws "have nothing to do with economics" and "have everything to do with politics."

    Did he really say this with a straight face?

  • T o n y||

    You weren't aware that the entire reason the anti-union movement exists is to get Republicans elected to public office?

  • Calidissident||

    Remove the word "anti" and change "Republicans" to "Democrats" and it's just as true

  • T o n y||

    When the day comes that your average worker has gained relatively too much leverage with government and the perhaps 1/10th the decadent lifestyle of their CEOs, we can worry about their political power.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    When the day comes that your average worker has gained relatively too much leverage with government and the perhaps 1/10th the decadent lifestyle of their CEOs, we can worry about their political power.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Bell_scandal

  • Calidissident||

    I love how "anti-union" = billionaire CEO and "union" = average worker. We all know only CEO's are anti-union, and only average joes in the union benefit. There sure ain't no fatcats in those unions, right?

  • T o n y||

    As I've explained before, it's billionaire CEOs who are anti-union and they're so rich they can buy propaganda to influence stupid people into agreeing with them, not least with the peddling of pseudo-philosophies of politics that claim to morally justify their every whim.

  • Draft Tulpa 2016||

    So your opponents are either liars, idiots, or corrupt.

    Don't you think that's too easy, Tony?

  • T o n y||

    What's the fourth alternative when you're not right?

  • T o n y||

    A nicer word for idiot?

  • Draft Tulpa 2016||

    You broke it down into corrupt CEOs and stupid people they influence, so really there are only two options you gave us. I was presenting your philosophy as more nuanced than it really is. Sorry.

  • Calidissident||

    You are such a dishonest hack Tony. I could just as easily say only union bosses and a small number of workers benefit from unions, and they use populist propaganda to convince a bunch of idiots that they're right, morally and economically. And I love the implication that libertarianism is just a philosophy made up by paid hacks of CEOs.

  • iggy||

    He is incapable of actually arguing with our philosophy so he makes claims about our beliefs that are provably untrue. Honestly, Tony claiming that we want all the money to go to CEOs is so totally contrary to any of our actual arguments that it barely warrants a response.

  • DrAwkward||

    It's rich, elitist 'progressives' who are pro-union.

    Where I live in NC most working class people want nothing to do with unions.

    Meanwhile there has been a steady influx of refugees coming here from IL, MI, PA etc. for a better standard of living, NOT the other way around.

    A real mystery, huh Tony?

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 12.10.12 @ 6:03PM |#
    'You weren't aware that I can't post without lying?"

    Yes, shithead, we got it.

  • Tman||

    Sadly yes, and it's even more hilarious considering the reason Michigan brought this up in the first place is because Unions are killing the state economy, as other RTW work states are sucking businesses away from Michigan.

    The ENTIRE FUCKING REASON for the RTW law in Michigan is because of the economy.

  • BarryD||

    The state economy is pretty much already dead. Take away the ripoff of the American taxpayer (not to mention bond holders et al.) and Michigan would be visibly dead.

  • Almanian.||

    Um, as a resident, I will suggest that Michigan IS visibly dead. Although Up North™ is still fucking gorgeous.

  • Draft Tulpa 2016||

    Michigan lived before Henry Ford did his thing...why can't it live again?

  • Almanian.||

    Nah - the entire reason is PAYBACK, BITCHES! for the unions backing the recent ballot initiative.

    This is a straight up political cock punch, richly deserved by the recipients.

    If it helps the economy - BONUS!

  • XM||

    This is great news for small businesses who use Latino independent contractors (a more human term for undocumented workers).

    Illegal immigrants and the GOP - powerful allies against union interests. If the union guys say bad things about illegal immigrants, we'll call them racists.

  • Calidissident||

    Unions don't exactly have a racism-free history.

    Oh, and the horror of allowing people the freedom to hire

  • iggy||

    I was reading Devil in the White City and almost started laughing when Union thugs attacked a bunch of Italian immigrants for 'taking work' from good Amurican's.

    My Marxist history teacher in high school sort of left that part out.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Eventually, the union became Italians.

  • Sevo||

    iggy| 12.10.12 @ 7:26PM |#
    "I was reading Devil in the White City and almost started laughing when Union thugs attacked a bunch of Italian immigrants for 'taking work' from good Amurican's."

    Read "Meet You in Hell" on the Homestead strike, commonly held up as an icon of how 'capital exploited the workers!'.
    It's written by someone who shares no sympathy for capitalists, but lets his honesty get in the way.
    The strike was called by the high-paid workers; they threatened and bullied to lower-paid workers to comply, and the supposed 'massacre' by the Pinkertons was a thug riot by the union keeping the Pinkertons from occupying the plant.
    In short, it is the *opposite* of the myth the stinking unions have been promoting for years.

  • Sevo||

    XM| 12.10.12 @ 5:53PM |#
    ..."If the union guys say bad things about illegal immigrants, we'll call them racists."....

    Not required. Unions are blatant racists regardless of what "we'll" call them.

  • JeremyR||

    The problem is, too much labor and not enough jobs.

    It's a classic supply and demand issue, and with the open borders crowd in both parties (drive by big business) pushing for more immigration of unskilled people, there's no upward pressure on wages.

    So unions have to create one by artificially trying to limit the labor supply

  • Calidissident||

    Closed border people are the ones who support artificial restrictions. The problems is regulations, labor laws, taxes, spending, debt, the Fed, and all the other government burdens on business, not immigrants

  • Draft Tulpa 2016||

    The fundamental problem is the welfare state, which drives illegal immigration both directly (by offering goodies to illegales) and indirectly (by encouraging US citizens to stay home rather than working).

  • Calidissident||

    I agree it's part of it, but laws like the minimum wage (which means they can pay less than that to people here illegally, and citizens and legal residents can't legally offer to work at that same or lower rate), labor laws that restrict hiring and firing freedom, all the other regulations that burden business, which ultimately limits their ability to create jobs, and all the other things the government does that has the same effect, all contribute to massive unemployment. The welfare state is certainly a part of that, but far from the whole story

  • BarryD||

    Only for people without particularly valuable skills...

  • waaminn||

    Ok now there is a dude that clearly knows what time it is. Wow.

    www.Got-Anonz.tk

  • Almanian.||

    I know, right! I love you, AnonBot.

  • Sevo||

    “What we shouldn't be doing is try to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions"

    "We"; we can presume a turd in his pocket?
    No one is "taking away" anything other than legal coercion, but then expecting anything other than lies from this twit is a waste of time.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    The question [if Right to Work laws violate libertarian principles] depends on whether libertarian principles actually exist,


    Of course the question depends on whether libertarian principles exist or not.

    or whether libertarianism is defined by its overwhelming tendency to favor whatever the corporate executives want [...]


    No, the question only depends on whether libertarian principles exist or not, as you posited before. This other conditional is incongruent to the question being posited, as it has nothing to do with libertarian principles but with preferences [i.e. favoring.]

    What about the ability to do business at all? Every step from idea to successful entrepreneurial endeavor is helped along by the taxpayer.


    You mean that non-taxpayers do not help at all? Do you mean only taxpayers can be customers, or investors, or sellers of capital goods? And what does that have to do with unions?

    Management has no more a natural right to make a profit than workers have to unionize. Both are (or at least should) be protected by law.


    The conclusion is a non sequitur. There's no relationship between the assertion than profits and unionization are not natural rights, and the conclusion that they should be protected by law.

    Tony, you have a penchant for illogical and irrational thinking. Are you taking your meds?

  • Sevo||

    OM, I missed this pile of steaming shit:
    "Management has no more a natural right to make a profit than workers have to unionize. Both are (or at least should) be protected by law."

    Shithead, OM called you on it; why didn't you compare both to 'purple sideways' at the same time? You could easily continue what passes 'logic' in that word salad.

  • An0nB0t||

    Such cruelty to dear Teeny, who merely proposed the revolutionary idea that profit-making be declared a civil and natural right irrespective of the wishes of second parties whose participation in the process is pivotal.

    Certainly no reasonable person would contend that making a profit or successfully unionizing is dependent on negotiations with a second party.

  • T o n y||

    I didn't really have a question about whether libertarian principles exist. If they do, they break down. But they don't. They're Republican party received wisdom trying to flesh out their propagandistic buzzword "freedom"--universally in the service of the elite classes.

    The point about taxpayers is that nobody would be able to make a profit and have it protected without government protecting the right to do so. If your company is large enough where unionization would be relevant, then it's getting plenty of government handouts in concrete and abstract ways. Nothing wrong with that. But if you allow for that then you have to allow for equally conjured rights for workers. After all, working is the environment most people live in.

    There's no relationship between the assertion than profits and unionization are not natural rights, and the conclusion that they should be protected by law.

    One does not necessarily follow the other, but since the first is true of every right (that is, all rights are constructs), then it has no relevance to the second claim, anymore than the existence of Santa Claus does.

  • iggy||

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! You really are a hack. You change your values based entirely on who is in office and come here to tell us we have no principles. You are the worst kind of vile, self-aggrandizing scum, a human being who thinks the only important choice in life is which Democratic politician you should blow first, and then you come here and try to claim that Libertarians don't have principles?

    Given that the most common argument I hear against libertarians is that we're too slavish to our principles and that our thinking is too black and white in regards to our principles, it's fairly obvious that you have no clue what you're talking about and just grasp at the first insult you can think up.

    Of all the criticisms you can make towards Libertarians 'unprincipled' clearly is not one of them. If anything, we tend to go a bit too far in the other direction and sometimes choose our principles over pragmatism. But that's literally the opposite of what you're arguing.

  • Calidissident||

    "The point about taxpayers is that nobody would be able to make a profit and have it protected without government protecting the right to do so."

    Why does this only go one way? If you're going to argue this, then how could union workers peacefully work, and keep what they earn, without government protecting them? How is that an unfair advantage for the business? And do businesses and business owners not pay taxes?

  • iggy||

    It's an absurd argument. He legitimately believes that, since a minimum level of government is necessary to create a stable environment for business, that justifies ALL government intervention, regardless of the impact the additional regulation has on business.

    By his logic, since I need to drink water in order to not die, surely the best thing for me to do would be to submerge myself in a lake for an hour. If some water is good, then ALL THE WATER must be better!

  • T o n y||

    Most people spend most of their waking hours working for someone else. That is their environment. I believe in government stepping in to correct for injustices and harm in the environment people live in. You guys aren't doing anything but arguing for maximum power on the behalf of management and minimum power on behalf of workers, then slapping a bumper sticker that reads "freedom" on the arrangement.

  • ||

    That's a lie.

  • Calidissident||

    This post doesn't answer my question at all. Not a surprise coming from you. All we're asking for is that people be free to make voluntary agreements without the government telling them what they can and can't do.

  • ||

    The point about taxpayers is that nobody would be able to make a profit and have it protected without government protecting the right to do so. If your company is large enough where unionization would be relevant, then it's getting plenty of government handouts in concrete and abstract ways. Nothing wrong with that. But if you allow for that then you have to allow for equally conjured rights for workers.

    Government institutions protect rights.
    So the government really owns you and you have no rights.

    I protect your property rights, so I shoudl be able to take your property whenever the majority says so.

    Government enforces the rules. So government has the right to rearrange the rules whewnever it deems it politically expedient.

  • T o n y||

    A good government is one that is accountable to the people. I realize it's universally conceived as some kind of alien force here.

    However you want to view it, that doesn't make rights fairies real.

  • ||

    So rights don't exist, but government should be accountable. How is government accountable if we don't have the right to government accountability?

    I'm pretty sure an eight year old could spot the contradiction there, Tony-san.

  • Almanian.||

    As a certified Labor Relations Guy (AKA "labelayshun man" in plant-ese) working every day for the past...mmm..17 years or so with one union or another in the once-great State of Gitchigoomie (as well as Ohio for a couple assmts), I cannot begin to tell you the mixed emotions this law is engendering.

    Right now I'm back and forth between glee and joy, and other times it's schadenfreude and reveling in the pain of the unions. It is both delicious and exquisite, and they brought it on themselves (particularly the UAW) by pushing the recent ballot initiative. Hoist on their own petard, as it were. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Fuck you guys!

    It is a glorious day in Michigan when Snyder signs this bill.

    FORWARD!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I stopped at McDonalds this afternoon, because I was fucking starving, and I didn't feel like fixing anything to eat at home. It was about one-thirty or two o'clock, and most of the time I was the only customer there.

    Three or four employees clocked out and left while I was there. Why? Because there is no reason for them to be standing around scratching their asses on the clock while business is dead.

    "So what?" you ask.

    THIS IS WHY THE MAJORITY OF FOOD SERVICE EMPLOYEES ARE NOT EMPLOYED FULL TIME.

    Fuck everybody who thinks unionizing these people would be a benefit to anybody but the union.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I was at a McDonald's recently that was not busy, but not completely derelict in the later evening. Shit they were serving was expired all over place, or people were waiting for like twenty minutes in the parking lot because they didn't prepare enough buns and such. While I was waiting a bunch of people came in to complain about waiting too long or not getting the correct items in their bag. This was a franchise store in hick country. Fuck that McDonald's.

  • JeremyR||

    That's pretty much the case where I live. There's a McDonalds, a Taco Bell, and a Hardees.

    The first two are extremely busy, the last is not

    If people wanted better service, they'd take their money to Hardees. But people just have to eat at McDonald's for some reason.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I eat at McDonald's because I can afford to eat of their Million Dollar Menu.

  • ||

    what the fuck did you just do to my brain?

  • Generic Stranger||

    Shit they were serving was expired all over place, or people were waiting for like twenty minutes in the parking lot because they didn't prepare enough buns and such.

    That's going to be a problem whenever you're off peak hours. It's damn near impossible to predict rushes (except for the standard breakfast, lunch and dinner rushes), so figuring out how much food to keep on hand is a problem. Too much, and you end up either tossing a lot of food (which is expensive) or letting it sit past its expiration point (meat can only be kept in the holding bins for somewhere between 30 and 90 minutes). Too little and people have to wait while you make new stuff. Personally, I'd rather wait a while for fresh stuff rather than eat the stuff they've had sitting in the holding bins for several hours, but that's just me...

  • Sevo||

    califernian| 12.10.12 @ 7:20PM |#
    ..."For a specific example look at how skilled trade unions in california work. No construction companies are forced by any state laws to go union."...

    Ever hear of "Director's General Prevailing Wage Determinations"
    http://www.dir.ca.gov/OPRL/dpr.....nation.htm
    Lies? Stupidity? Sarc? You decide.

  • The Derider||

    Reading this thread I conclude that most libertarians hate unions more than they like gays.

    Because they're willing to use the state to attack the former (right to work) but not to help the latter (gay marriage).

    Remember, consistency is only important when you're attacking liberals for inconsistency.

  • Libertarius||

    It's not inconsistency; it's not giving a fuck. Seriously, maybe 2-3% of the country is gay and I'm supposed to give that as much headspace as economic freedom? Big picture, little sister.

  • T o n y||

    The only reason your philosophy claims any legitimacy is its reliance on consistent principle.

    If you're selective about freedom then why are you here?

  • Draft Tulpa 2016||

    The only reason your philosophy claims any legitimacy is its reliance on consistent principle.

    Bullshit.

    Why does the left's philosophy claim any legitimacy, btw? Other than might makes right.

  • T o n y||

    Depends on to whom you're referring when you say "the left." My core concern is maximizing individual human well-being. Accept or reject it. It's just a moral axiom. Funny thing is it's probably the same as yours. You just don't know how to get there.

  • Calidissident||

    "My core concern is maximizing individual human well-being. Accept or reject it. It's just a moral axiom. Funny thing is it's probably the same as yours."

    Given that you're talking to Tulpa, that's probably true

  • Draft Tulpa 2016||

    You just don't know how to get there.

    How do we get there, Tony? I hope your answer doesn't just recite talking points that have been most faithfully put into practice in places like the USSR, North Korea, and Detroit.

  • DrAwkward||

    Your core concern is maximizing individual human well-being. Well how awesome for you! If only everyone shared your highly evolved intentions we could all be millionaires by now.

    Seriously, all businesses should have to pay workers a million dollars a year. No worker should ever be fired, it's just not Fair! Or move a factory! Or make a profit, who says anyone has a right to make those?!

    Good fucking Christ, when did everyone adopt the nuanced worldview of a 12 year old girl with downs syndrome? Tony do you have any experience in the working world? Or do you even believe your own retarded arguments??

  • DrAwkward||

    Your core concern is to come off as a self-righteous douche?

    The issue at hand is actual outcomes, not 'look at how fondly I seem to regard the little guy.'

  • iggy||

    Hello, my name is Tony! I assume all of my ideas will work to the betterment of mankind, and if you disagree with me it is only because you've been bought off by corporate CEOs! I use pretentious sentences like 'It's just a moral axiom' and 'You just don't know how to get there' in spite of the fact that I myself am completely without morals and have no clue what effects my beliefs will have on the economic fate of this country! Bow before me, Peasants!

  • ||

    My core concern is maximizing individual human well-being.

    I thought libertarians are supposed to be the ones with childish ideas...

    The idea that maximizing human well-being (as defined by some megalomaniac like Tony) is a moral axiom has long been debunked by basic philosophy (trolley dilemna), history (USSR), and comic books (Watchmen).

  • T o n y||

    So... let's just take what we can get our grubby hands on and let the world burn after we've had our fun?

    Nobody said it would ever be achieved.

  • ||

    So... let's just take what we can get our grubby hands on and let the world burn after we've had our fun?

    Not that that scenario bears any resemblance to what we're talking about, but you seem to be saying that deliberately fucking up humanity in pursuit of an unreachable goal is better.

    So... go fuck yourself?

  • ||

    Nobody said it would ever be achieved.

    The problem isn't really that it can't be achieved. The problem is what you do to pursue that goal. Logical thinking and past experience prove that doing what you want us to do doesn't work or help us.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    My core concern is maximizing individual human well-being.


    I am so relieved that you know me so intimately to know what my "well-being" is. You not only know all of my wants and needs, but you know how to attend to them, while at the same time attending to the other 7 billion people on the planet.

    So enlightened!

  • DrAwkward||

    If you were consistent you would admit that you'd like every city in America to turn into Detroit.
    No one will have to flee when every other place is just as bad!

  • Libertarius||

    I'm not selective about freedom; I support gay marriage.

    But at the same time, I don't give two shits about gay marriage because it's a marginal issue which has been blown out of proportion by leftist bums like you (who also don't give a shit about gay marriage beyond its utility as a means to get gullible people to vote for free shit politicians).

  • Draft Tulpa 2016||

    The state is already helping the former (NLRB, rewriting bankruptcy rules, funneling federal workers' pay into their coffers, giving them audiences at the White House and on Capitol hill that no other org gets, etc etc etc).

  • Calidissident||

    I'd say most libertarians are supportive of gay marriage. There is a lively debate here whenever the subject comes up, but it's far from unanimous, and there are plenty of libertarians that don't post on reason.com

  • widget||

    Well I'm ambivalent about gay marriage and unions, if that helps prove your point. All those in favor of gay unions, raise their hands. All those who don't care, carry on.

  • Libertarius||

    There is no such thing as a right to work. There is only the social obligation to support loafers, malingerers, and the third world parasites pouring across your borders and devouring your country (which the libtards have intimidated you into ignoring on the threat of being called racist or "nativist" lol)

    --Professor of Dialectical Obozoism

  • widget||

    There is no such thing as a right to work.

    That's no such as right to a job, but you most certainly have the right to work. Would you like play poker with me sometime, Libertarius?

  • Libertarius||

    No. Gambling is for fools who think making money is a game of chance, who have no respect for money and what it takes to make it, who never had any money in the first place.

  • widget||

    I wouldn't be gambling while playing poker with you.

  • Calidissident||

    "the third world parasites pouring across your borders and devouring your country"

    with rhetoric such as this, it's so surprising that you get called a racist or nativist

  • Libertarius||

    The Tonys of the world have you by the throat and you don't even know it!

  • ||

    Scary!

  • ||

    The problem is that we think the "third world parasites" should have to get a permission slip from the government before they are allowed to get a job.

    As a matter of actual public policy, we're more worried baout them "stealing job" than we are about them consuming welfare.

  • ||

    Libertarians should generally not support these "right to work" laws. There is no reason why a private employer should not be able to only hire union workers, or fire those who don't pay union dues.

  • Brian D||

    Fortunately, under RTW, an employer can still choose to only hire union workers, the union just can't force any worker to pay dues if the employer decided to hire outside of the union. A union could hire a worker and pay to have that person sit around waiting for a contracted employer to need the labor that individual can provide.

  • ||

    How would a union force the worker to pay dues? If the employer agrees to not employ people who don't pay dues to the union, that isn't force.

  • Stephdumas||

    I spotted this article from Breitbart where it mentionned then this RTW fight in Michigan is bigger then Wisconsin
    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-G.....-Wisconsin

  • ||

    I generally agree that it would be better to repeal the labor laws than pass RTW laws at the state level. However, I don't think it is inconsistent to support RTW laws in an environment where unions are being officially protected, as under current law.

    Let's take the gay marriage issue as an analogy. The doctrinaire libertarian position is that government should get out of the marriage business entirely. However, given that that isn't going to happen any time soon, as long as we're going to have laws that recognize marriage, it's more libertarian to support the right of gays to marry as well.

    Should we be working to deinstitutionalize marriage? Sure. Just as we should be working to repeal federal labor law.

    But what is the most immediate path to a more libertarian result for people in general? What actually acheives more freedom for more people in the near term? Clearly, allowing workers to opt out of dues gives them more freedom, and allowing gays to marry gives them more freedom.

    It's not inconsistent with libertarianism to support the near-term freedom enhancing position even if it isn't the ideal solution.

  • T o n y||

    Can you name a single policy you support that happens to favor the little guy over the rich guy? That is, that "punishes" the latter in favor of the former, for the sake of freedom?

    Because the contortions you guys are coming up with to support blatantly anti-libertarian RTW laws are quite something to behold.

    At least on climate science you guys never claimed scientific facts were necessary for your worldview. But certainly government not needlessly coercing businesses and workers is.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Can you name a single policy you support that happens to favor the little guy over the rich guy?


    A) There's one right there in the post: supporting the rights of gays to get married. The combined wealth of the country's homosexuals is surely less than the combined wealth of gay marriage opponents.

    B) Are you saying the UAW isn't rich?

  • ||

    Maybe if you could think in bigger terms than favoring the poor or favoring the rich you would see the problem with this critique. Freedom doesn't necessarily favor or disfavor anyone.

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/12.....nt_3425715

  • ||

    Let's look at an example: Do laws outlawing thefts disfavor thieves (and favor non-thieves)?

    If not, then the idea that libertarianism favor certain groups is false.

    If so, then who a policy favors or disfavors is clearly a bad way of judging if the policy itself is good.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    "Little" guy? Are you claiming the UAW is not rich?

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