Labor

It's Funny Because It's True

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one union, but only one

Maryland, like most states, would like businesses to open up shop within its borders. So the state put up a nice little website with all the great things about doing business in Maryland.

An educated workforce! Low taxes! Rolling hills! And very low union membership. Err, whoops? Did we say that last part out loud?

The "Choose Maryland" site said Maryland has a "quality workforce … key to achieving corporate goals" and pointed out that private-sector union membership in Maryland is below the national average and that between 1990 and 2001, unions won representation rights for only 1 percent of the total new firms.

Naturally, hilarity ensues and everyone has to apologize for stating the obvious.

Of course, touting low union membership is unacceptable. But a little South-bashing never hurt anyone:

"Outraged e-mails are flying across the state's entire labor movement," Maryland Politics Watch's Adam Pagnucco wrote. "We cannot believe that rhetoric typical of Georgia and Oklahoma would be sanctioned at any level inside the [Gov. Martin] O'Malley administration."

More reason on unions here.

NEXT: Ann Coulter on the Roots of the Financial "Meltdown": "Former frat boys and pinko professors"

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  1. Is it really “South-bashing” for a Marylander to insult Georgia and Oklahoma? Especially if counting Oklahoma as a Southern state can only be done by adopting standards so broad as to include Maryland? Then you’d just have someone in one Southern state insulting two other Southern states. If Maryland isn’t Southern, then neither is Oklahoma, so you’d just have someone in a non-Southern state insulting two states, one Southern and one non-Southern.

    Strictly speaking, Maryland has a greater claim to Southern-hood than Oklahoma. The North had to send in troops to keep Maryland from seceding. Oklahoma wasn’t even a state at all during the Civil War.

  2. Workers form unions when they feel that management is mistreating them. Assuming no one is intimidating workers to keep them from unionizing, a lack of unions indicates good management-labor relationships. Why not point that out.

  3. Too bad we still have the teacher’s unions.

  4. “Yay! We’re unionized!”

    “Yeah, bub, but the government heavies are here. With guns.”

    “I know! You know who else has guns? The MOB! Let’s ask them for help!”

    [Sigh.]

  5. Workers form unions when they feel that management is mistreating them.

    No. Workers form unions when the managements gives them too much free time. If the workers were worked into the ground they wouldn’t have the time and energy to do stupid things.

  6. The labor issue is going to be big this election – the EFCA is on the floor and this election may determine whether or not people will continue to have a right to a private ballot on whether or not their workplace organizes. I’ve been trying to get statements from politicians in New Hampshire about the issue, but they are.. uh… unwilling to talk about it. Video evidence here
    and here

  7. Mad Max is right – I’m from the South and Oklahoma ain’t in that club.

    Josh – I have taught in Ohio where the lovely State Teachers Retirement Fund automatically enrolls you and then takes a chunk of your paycheck each month. The number of hoops you have to jump through to gert it (if you move, change jobs, etc) is incredible.

  8. “I wore an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. Now this was a yellow onion. They didn’t have white onions because of the war.”

  9. Not to mention that Maryland, even today, has a state song which expresses Confederate sympathies:

    http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/01glance/html/symbols/song.html

    Oklahoma’s state song doesn’t even mention the Civil War (the song is from some kind of musical, whose name escapes me right now):

    http://www.travelok.com/about/index.asp#07

  10. Is there actually anything good about Maryland? I lived in Baltimore while I was at Johns Hopkins and that city sucks eggs.

  11. If Maryland isn’t Southern, then neither is Oklahoma,

    Yes, but Maryland is very proud to be a blue state and they put their (ugly-ass) flag on EVERYTHING so that they don’t get mistaken for Virginians (VA being a pure red state until this decade.)

    It’s a very similar phemonenon to Canadians wearing maple leafed garb everywhere when travelling abroad so that people don’t mistake them for Americans.

    Anyone who didn’t want to be run by the every whim of Baltimore has a short move to get to PA or VA. Thus their pride in their Marylanditudiness.

  12. Richard Upton Pickman,

    Lovecraft says you were from Boston. Or did you move South after your, uh, change of life?

  13. dude there’s only room for 1 Lovecraft character in these parts.

  14. Max – Yeah, much increased mobility since I left the oppressive confines of New England.

    Randolph – Sorry.

  15. Anyone who didn’t want to be run by the every whim of Baltimore has a short move to get to PA or VA. Thus their pride in their Marylanditudiness.

    Sorry, Damar, no one in (the Great State of) Maryland has to do anything that Balmer says/does, considering that Annapolis is the state capitol.

    (full disclosure: can you guess where I live? P.S. Hint #2: MD’s flag is beautiful! P.P.S Hint #3: Virginia Sucks!)

  16. It’s ok, Pickman, you nasty ghoul-to-be.

  17. Did MD remove those statements from their website already? I can’t find them.

  18. I don’t see how rolling hills are an advantage either, they can get pretty steep and it isn’t so pleasant if you like to walk everywhere.

  19. Epi–No. Not even when considering crabs. It pretty much sucks all around.

    Full disclosure: I’ve lived as an inmate of the Free State for most of my life.

  20. Episiarch,
    Judging the entire state by it armpit? On a person, unavoidable; in a state, very avoidable.

  21. Sorry, Damar, no one in (the Great State of) Maryland has to do anything that Balmer says/does, considering that Annapolis is the state capitol.

    I think it was a reference to political power in terms of voter strength, not where the government is based out of. Just like how Michigan is at the whim of Detroit, even though the capital is Lansing.

  22. Epi and JW,

    So one of you lived in Balmer and the other in prison? Sorry gents, then you haven’t the information for a legitimate opinion on the whole of Maryland. You could certainly offer up some pretty damning examples of why Baltimore sucks or why the Prison system sucks. However, One could say the same things about Pittsburgh or Detroit (albeit those are bigger cities) as one could say about Baltimore. Further, I would venture a guess that being in prison sucks everywhere, right?

    Fuck it, I’m going sailing this weekend.

    (thank you anomdebus for saying all this more succinctly than I did)

  23. Epi-11:47 am

    Not one of my favorite places..but, how about Camden Yards? For some of us, Camden Yards is Fenway Park South.

  24. Wait, ‘O Christmas Tree’ has Confederate sympathies?

  25. As others have pointed out, Maryland is in the South.

  26. “Wait, ‘O Christmas Tree’ has Confederate sympathies?”

    We’re talking Bible Belt, dude.

    Up North, it’s “O seasonal deciduous plant, O seasonal deciduous plant, how I do long to hug thee”

    Just kidding, Yankees.

  27. I’ve lived in Maryland for 32 of 35 years, moving all the way from Howard County, to Baltimore, to Montgomery County. Wasn’t really planned that way, but… hey.

    Baltimore is no longer the population center, but they still run things, and probably always will, even though MoCo (thanks to the federal teat and 1 million persons) drives our state’s economy now.

    It’s changed a bit, but if you ever ride out I-68 into the west, or go south of Route 50 on the Eastern Shore, you’ll discover a lot of like, Appalachian, deep-south-type mentalities, and probably the ads are trying to lure more jobs into Hagerstown, Cumberland, et al (former manufacturing cities that saw their only growth hopes on becoming 90-mile-away suburbs of the DC Metro area… a plan that doesn’t work with $4 gas).

    Say what you will about MD, pound for pound it still has more secret driving routes you can take into Virginia for cheap cartons of cigarettes than just about any other state in the union.

    So, that’s something.

  28. We cannot believe that rhetoric typical of Georgia and Oklahoma would be sanctioned at any level inside the [Gov. Martin] O’Malley administration.

    That is hilarious.

    Say what you will about MD, pound for pound it still has more secret driving routes you can take into Virginia for cheap cartons of cigarettes than just about any other state in the union.

    I don’t know about “secret”, that doggone Potomac River tends to get in the way a lot.

    Wouldn’t it be a hoot to send a bunch of emails to the econ development wonk asking “So, how is MD’s union membership?”

  29. Imagine my surprise after moving down here that Delaware is technically “the south”.. Aw shucks!

    And as both DE and MD are not right-to-work states, both are screwed as far as maintaining let alone attracting new industrial investment. Chrysler’s plant is closing, probably gonna be sold to the Univ of DE for a parking lot or something. GM’s last products in Newport DE (Saturn Sky/Pontiac Solstice) are being consolidated into KY or TE (both right-to-work states IIRC), with no replacement product planned.

    DE has 2 underutilized auto plants that would be GREAT for Toyota or Honda to come and build hybrid cars in, plenty of skilled workers… But DE is not a right-to-work state. YOU LOSE! GOOD DAY SIR!!

    But then again, I forgot… BRAC will SAVE EVERYONE!!!!!!

  30. The actual quote, I believe, is this:

    Private sector union membership is 6.0 percent of the workforce, which is lower than many Northeast and Midwest states. Maryland also boasts a workforce with a strong work ethic and sense of community that contributes to the state’s historically stable labor-management relations.

    It’s still here for as long as it lasts.

  31. BRAC will SAVE EVERYONE!!!!!!

    Base Realignment And Closure? That BRAC, or another one? Sorry to be ignorant on DE, but what the hell does that have to do with anything?

  32. BRAC is all they talk about in MD (at least the eastern shore), and the jobs it’s supposed to bring as bases, facilities and contracts in other states consolidate into MD. IIRC several bases in NJ are due for closure, transferring a number of their personnel and tasks to MD.

    There’s a real bit of something there, but MD has pinned an awful lot of hopes on it.. Methinks it’s a bubble…

  33. Episiarch,
    Judging the entire state by it armpit? On a person, unavoidable; in a state, very avoidable.

    If metro Baltimore is the armpit, what do you call the Eastern Shore?

  34. The only good things about MD are the seafood and the fact that you’re within driving distance of Delaware, so you can avoid paying sales tax on major retail purchases, which also happens to be the only good thing about Delaware.


  35. I don’t know about “secret”, that doggone Potomac River tends to get in the way a lot.

    Yep, that’s why they’re called “secret…” and it’s Loudoun County that’ll sometimes have Marlboro/Camels for $20 a carton.

  36. If metro Baltimore is the armpit, what do you call the Eastern Shore

    The flabby, barbed-wire-tattooed, upper arm.


  37. If metro Baltimore is the armpit, what do you call the Eastern Shore?

    A shithouse.

  38. I’ve got nothing against unions. They’re just another organization like the Rotary, Elk’s Lodge or the Sunday Morning Objectivist Worship Group. If all my employees want collective bargaining for wages, then fine, I’ll give theme lowest common denominator wages. And if they all walk out on strike, I’ll go hire some new employees. No problem.

  39. Methinks it’s a bubble…

    Methinks it’s Mikulski. As moonbat leftist that she generally is, she tends to be quite cutthroat on bringing fed money to the scene. Shameless as Byrd but lesser known.

  40. Yep, that’s why they’re called “secret…” and it’s Loudoun County that’ll sometimes have Marlboro/Camels for $20 a carton.

    Unless you’re driving an old military duck and have access to some of the old fords, you’re either on 495, US 15, MD 17, or taking a ferry to go to Loudoun. Not too much secret there.

    Besides, it’s much cheaper in general down in the Smyth Co area (pronounced “Smith” for those who aren’t from ’round there)

  41. O’Malley’s election and tax hikes have productive Marylanders leaving the state in droves. The economy prospers in spite of the state government’s best efforts to destroy it; DC’s federal jobs aren’t going anywhere. The private sector locates in Virginia. Just look at the direction of beltway traffic during rush hour.

  42. So one of you lived in Balmer and the other in prison?

    Um, Kool, that was a metaphor.

    I’ve lived in Maryland since 1975. It sucks donkey balls.

  43. It sucks donkey balls.

    One wonders about expressed preferences..

  44. Unless you’re driving an old military duck and have access to some of the old fords, you’re either on 495, US 15, MD 17, or taking a ferry to go to Loudoun. Not too much secret there.

    U.S. 340 says hi.

    Besides, it’s much cheaper in general down in the Smyth Co area (pronounced “Smith” for those who aren’t from ’round there).

    Umm, I-81 goes east after Roanoke for a reason. And unless they’re $5 a carton in Smythe, we’re not making this work with gas.

  45. West, West after Roanoke!

    Go west young man…

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