Regulation

The New New Deal

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Are you flirting with the idea of voting for Barack Obama? Already in the Yes, We Must camp? Then one thing you might want to consider is checking in on what various Democrats have planned for the pending Restoration. For instance, Michael "Vietnam: The Necessary War" Lind is arguing in Salon (annoying ad to skip) for a "Newer Deal," in which Democrats who are seeking a "lasting supermajority" eject the social liberalism and "liberaltarianism" of the "McGovernite" Democratic era of Carter and Clinton and failure, and re-embrace Franklin Roosevelt's "It's the New Deal, Stupid" approach. Some excerpts:

The Roosevelt Party ran on economic issues, and didn't care whether voters were in favor of sex or against it on principle as long as they supported the New Deal. […]

Nobody ever asked FDR or Harry Truman or John F. Kennedy or Lyndon Johnson their views on contraception, or abortion, or censorship. […]

[A]lmost all of the policy proposals that excite the American public are exactly the sort of old-fashioned, "paleoliberal" spending programs or systems of government regulation that are supposed to be obsolete in this era of privatization, deregulation and free-market globalization, according to neoliberals and libertarians. Bill Clinton to the contrary, the public clearly does not think that "the era of big government is over." […]

[A]cross the country there are lots of potential Democratic congressional and senatorial candidates who would like to move to Washington—and might be able to, if social conservatives were welcomed to a big-tent party defined almost exclusively by economic liberalism. […]

A big reason that the Democrats won back Congress in 2006 and are likely to keep it in 2008 is nominating and electing socially conservative economic populists like Heath Shuler. More progress. But to create an updated version of the New Deal, the Democrats have to treat economically liberal social conservatives as equal partners, with their own spokesmen and leadership roles in the party, not just as a handful of swing voters brought on reluctantly at the last moment. Conversely, Rubin Democrats and other economic conservatives should be invited to join Grover Norquist and the Club for Growth in a free-market deficit hawk party, which no doubt would prove to be as ineffectual and isolated as the Herbert Hoover Republicans during the New Deal era.

David Weigel has been chronicling the Democrats' repudiation of free-market Clintonism, plans for union-expanding "card check," and growing hostility to free trade.

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  1. Communism: Change You Can Believe In.

    Blarg. Voting straight LP, I guess, even though I mailed them my membership card.

  2. socially conservative economic populists like Heath Shuler

    There’s so much failure packed into that sentence, I’m surprised it hasn’t collapsed into a singularity.

  3. Social conservatives aren’t going to jump ship for a few extra government dollars. They see the Democratic party as a threat to religious freedom, and rightly so. The hate speech laws that the Democrats are pushing will put off people who want to hear their bible preached without government interference.

  4. Warty,

    I think you missed the obvious simile:

    There’s so much failure packed into that sentence, I’m surprised it hasn’t collapsed into a singularity. its been returned for 6 like a Shuler wounded duck.

  5. It is so painfully wrong to equate small “l” liberalism with Big Government.

    If Socialism is such a winner, why can’t they use the word?

  6. Free health care, affordable child care,unlimited family leave at full pay.
    Slavery reparations checks will really get this economy restarted.As will all the extra spending when a woman earns that extra $.27 that men get.

  7. It seems to me that if the DP went this way and the GOP got caught up fighting for their “socially conservative base”, then the door would open up for the LP or something like it as a legitimate major party.

    So here’s to the Heath Shulers of the New New Deal Dems-good luck fitting all those idiots under one tent!

  8. That is the exact opposite of what the democrats should do (since I really distrust most current conservatives real belief in fiscal conservatism, I’m still hoping the democrats can hold a major libertarian faction).

  9. They see the Democratic party as a threat to religious freedom, and rightly so.

    That made me giggle. At first I thought about keeping the giggle inside, but it was impossible to suppress.

    Yes, please show me how the Democrats are going to take away the religious freedom of 85% percent of the heaviest-armed population outside Iraq.

  10. then the door would open up for the LP or something like it as a legitimate major party

    That would require people voting for a third party. Ain’t gonna happen.

  11. Nobody ever asked FDR or Harry Truman or John F. Kennedy or Lyndon Johnson their views on contraception, or abortion

    I think probably somebody was interested in JFK’s views on contraception and/or abortion.

  12. After a little reflection, I think this is great. The Democrats need to take back Dixie, since Dixie is what made Team R so loathsome. Then, by some leap of magic, Team R will become a party of Coolidges and Tafts again. Soon after that, I’ll get a pony.

  13. If Socialism is such a winner, why can’t they use the word?

    They are in denial. They just want to adopt their policies while denying.

    On a different note, there are times where I get a little disappointed when free market capitalism gets solely blamed for something that is far more complex (e.g.: Great Depression, subprime mortgage). But I guess it is because mercantilism is popular. After all, it has a nationalist flavor to it.

  14. Pundit’s fallacy: The economic portion of socialism is important to me, so it must be important to everyone else.

    Lind should try selling the message of compromise with social conservatives in the Bay Area or Boston to see what kind of reception it gets before he advocates building a strategy around it.

  15. Social conservatives care about freedom (religious and otherwise) for themselves and no one else. There are plenty of reasons to be nervous about Democratic majorities in Congress and in the White House. But loss of religious freedom is hardly one of them.

  16. Keynesian =/= Socialist

    Two different economic schools. Two different times. Not all that friendly to one another, I might add.

    Is it so fucking hard to *stick to the established, meaningful definitions for fucking words*?

  17. Actually, if the big “D” Democrats openly employed this strategy, we would be a lot more likely to have a 3rd major party, but it wouldn’t be the libertarians. It would be the disaffected former Democrats who actually cared about stuff instead of just wanting populism.

  18. ed | August 15, 2008, 11:03am | #
    Nobody ever asked FDR or Harry Truman or John F. Kennedy or Lyndon Johnson their views on contraception, or abortion

    I think probably somebody was interested in JFK’s views on contraception and/or abortion.

    Perhaps somebody did, but it’s not likely any reporter did. Roe v Wade wouldn’t come around for a decade after his death. And while Griswold was only two years away, JFK was a notorious catholic. His views were presumably well known. Although it would have been appropriate to ask him what he thought the law should be regardless of his personal convictions.

  19. there are times where I get a little disappointed when free market capitalism gets solely blamed for something that is far more complex

    What Elemenope said. Plus, some sectors of the economy will undoubtedly be kept relatively free. All the better to act as scapegoats for the failure of Keynesian policies.

  20. As a lifetime casual Washington Redskins fan, the rise of Heath Shuler in politics really depresses me. For those who don’t follow sports, Heath Shuler was a star quarterback from Tennessee taken near the top of the first round in the mid 1990s by the Washington Redskins.

    Heath Shuler was an unbelievable natural athlete. He could run really well for a quarterback. He had a cannon of an arm. He was big and was very coordinated enabling him to pass acurately on the run.

    So why isn’t Heath Shuler just ending the prime of his career as an NFL quarterback rather than in Congress? First, Heath hurt his foot after being traded to New Orleans after failing in Washington ending his career. But, that just speeded up his inevitable exit from the NFL. Heath was dumb as a post and couldn’t learn the plays. Had it not been for sports writers’ racist attitudes that all white athletes must be smart and unathletic and all black athletes must be natural athletes and dumb, Heath would have been portrayed as what he was; a dumb jock. I will never forget reading in the Washington Post the summer before his third year about how then coach Norv Turner felt that Heath had made significant progress in learning the playbook in the off season. This was year three and he was still just learning the plays.

    Too dumb to be a quarterback but smart enough and crooked enough to be a Congressman.

  21. JFK was a notorious catholic. His views were presumably well known

    I was referring to his habit of banging 10-15 escorts a month at the White House, a behavior well known but covered up by the adoring press corps.

  22. Economically liberal and socially conservative == the anti-libertarian.

    I’m going to turn my home into a compound and wait out the next 20 years.

  23. The convergence of social conservatism and economic liberalism is really scary. If the Democrats ever got over abortion, someone like Huckabe could really do some damage as a Democratic nominee. He could combine all of the nannystate control and santimony of both parties.

  24. The convergence of social conservatism and economic liberalism is really scary.

    I agree, but honestly I am more afraid of this coming out from a “moderate” republican than a democrat. I’ve seen a few articles about the children of the christian right leaning more populist, and that scares me.

  25. I seem to remember David Koresh was pretty well armed. And if you don’t think hate crime legislation will force preachers to temper their sermons on homosexuality you haven’t been paying attention.

  26. Please, please do this, Democrats. Then your party can tear itself apart just like the GOP is doing.

  27. ed,

    Damn, I really should have picked up on that. Color me chagrined.

  28. John its not just abortion, Democrats just dislike evangelicals for cultural reasons. Thats why they will elect Bob Casey but someone like Huckabee would have no shot. Its more cultural than anything.

    BTW, haven’t we had the convergence of social conservatism and economic liberalism for the past seven years? NCLB, “faith based” initiatives, Medicare Part D, record government spending, and on and on? I think we’re already there.

  29. Koresh’s case had little to do with freedom of religion, and HE DIDN’T HAVE COMMON CAUSE with the 85%.

    And I doubt very highly that Hate Crime leg. that can reach into a private pulpit would survive five minutes in any federal court.

    Even one staffed by (OMGWTF!) Democrats.

  30. Anyway still no way in hell I want McCain to win. I’ll take populist BS over a war with Russia.

  31. Every baseball team – whether their record is at .300 or .800 – has strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes, teams will trade away their strength (say, a veteran pitcher who competes for the Cy Young, for example) to shore up its weaknesses (a lack of power out of the middle infield).

    This would seem to be a better idea for the team with a .300 record than an .800 record. If a team is doing that well, then its strengths are obviously more substantial than its weaknesses.

    Just another in a long string of articles about how appealing to the author’s own ideological preferences is, through some bizarre coincidence, also the politically smart thing to do.

  32. “And if you don’t think hate crime legislation will force preachers to temper their sermons on homosexuality you haven’t been paying attention.”

    Unless of course those preachers are Muslim. At some point the Evangelicals are going to claim the benefits of multiculturalism and claim the same rights the radical Muslims have. Granted the liberals hate Christians and look at Muslims as an exotic species to be tolerated, but I am not sure the Evangelicals might not get away with it. You don’t think the liberals wouldn’t throw the gays who don’t live on the coasts over the side in order to get real power? I think they would.

  33. And if you don’t think hate crime legislation will force preachers to temper their sermons on homosexuality… then you know enough about hate crime laws to understand that they involve sentencing enhancements for felony assaults.

    Dude, what does your reverend DO in that pulpit?

  34. The number of Muslims in this country is so small as a % of the population, and so secularized (seriously, compare a Pakistani American to one in Britain), that I could probably count on my hands the number of “radical” mosques in the United States.

  35. “BTW, haven’t we had the convergence of social conservatism and economic liberalism for the past seven years? NCLB, “faith based” initiatives, Medicare Part D, record government spending, and on and on? I think we’re already there.”

    There has been. You also have to remember that the mainline Protestant Churches, as opposed to the evangelicals, are the worst sort of nanny state leftists imaginable. To give an example, Reverend Jeremiah Wright is the darling of the national governing body of the United Church of Christ. The National Council of Churches loves to play grab ass with Castro. The left has completely infiltrated the leadership of the mainline Protestant movement. That is one of the reasons why the Evangelical churches are able to attract members; there are lots of people who are fed up with the liberalism of the mainline Protestant churches but refuse to be Catholic and they have no where else to go.

  36. Joe, I think he meant “hate speech” laws.

  37. LOL, We have McSame on one hand, and Obama on the other. No doubt Obama is the lesser of the two evils. In all honesty I still cannot believe there is anyone with an ounce of common sense actually considering McSame.

    JT
    http://www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com

  38. Jim McDish, seriously, what the fuck is your problem?

  39. “then you know enough about hate crime laws to understand that they involve sentencing enhancements for felony assaults.”

    It is more than that. It is discrimination laws. If it is illegal to descriminate against gays, how does a church deny gays the right to join? The answer is that a church is not a public accomodation, but you can change that definition easy enough. We are a long ways away from it, but you can very easily legislate your way to making certain kinds of speech illegal.

  40. It’s not “union expanding card check” it’s “union break your kneecaps if you don’t vote for them card check”

    After arguing for so long for anonymous voting, amazing how some want to eliminate it if people don’t vote their way.

  41. Thanks BDB. And joe, I only go to church when my mother-in-law forces me to, at gunpoint.

  42. LOL, We have McSame on one hand, and Obama on the other. No doubt Obama is the lesser of the two evils. In all honesty I still cannot believe there is anyone with an ounce of common sense actually considering McSame.

    die

  43. Every baseball team – whether their record is at .300 or .800 – has strengths and weaknesses.

    Joe, are you trying to explain things in terms that *I* would understand?

    A side note, with metaphorical implications that elude me now: There is no such thing as a .300 or .800 baseball team.

  44. “After arguing for so long for anonymous voting, amazing how some want to eliminate it if people don’t vote their way.”

    Asking for an ID or a police care driving by a polling place three towns over disenfranchises minority voters. But, taking away the anonomous vote has no effect whatsoever on the fairness of union votes. No, none at all.

  45. The convergence of social conservatism and economic liberalism is really scary.

    See “New Labour” in Britain for an overseas version of this.

  46. BDB,

    I think he doesn’t know the difference. For example, someone who knows the difference would realize that hate speech laws don’t actually exist in this country.

    John,

    The answer is that a church is not a public accomodation There’s that, but even more significant is the fact that churches have first amendment guarantees that allow them to do all sorts of things that a bar owner or software company couldn’t get away with.

    If a church can show that its discrimination is part of its religious practice of docrtine, that’s the ballgame right there.

  47. Of course they don’t exist now, joe, but I wouldn’t put it past a Democratic Congress with a super majority and President Obama to make laws like that.

  48. Lou Dobbs for President!!

  49. BDB,

    Democratic legislatures with supermajorities and left-wing governors in places like California, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maryland have never passed hate speech laws, so I find it extremely unlikely that a less-liberal Democratic majority Congress would do so.

  50. You’re right about that, and really I fear the return of the Fairness Doctrine as the most likely restriction on free speech we will get with a Democratic government.

  51. Didn’t support for hate speech laws go out of style sometime in the late 90s?

  52. Thanks again BDB. Anyway, joe, If America wants to be more like England and Canada we sure as hell will have hate speech laws soon enough. Haven’t you read about all the ridicolousness going on with our northern neighbor. Free press meet the Hate Speech Commission.

  53. This is my absolute worst nightmare from a Democratic Congress:

    –Return of the Fairness Doctrine
    –Rolling back of free trade agreements
    –End to right to work laws
    –“Humanitarian” intervention in the Sudan
    –Massive tax increases (esp. pay roll tax to “save” Socialist Security)
    –A return to mid-20th Century regulatory practices
    –“Universal” (read: government run and rationed) health care
    –Banning of hand guns

    Worst Nightmare Scenario for John McCain:
    –World War III

    So, yeah.

  54. The reason nobody every asked FDR, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, or Lyndon Johnson their views on abortion or contraception is that back in those days, nobody really thought this was any of the federal government’s business. The liberal insistence on turning every social issue into a federal civil right issue, to be decided by federal judges instead of voters or legislators, is what “wedged” working-class voters away from the Dems and over to the GOP.

  55. Obviously, the key to Democratic success is to repudiate the strategy of the only elected, two-term Democratic president since FDR in favor of the policies of Joe Lieberman.

  56. I just googled “hate speech legislation”. Apparently there are quite a few religious organizations concerned about it. But I’m sure they’d all overlook it if we could get a more socialist economy.

  57. James Ard,

    Indeed I have read about Canada’s lovable HRCs. Egad.

    What I have not read is any defense of that idea from Democrats, while I’ve seen quite a bit of denunciation. The Democratic Party really is quite a bit to the right of the left parties in Canada and Europe.

    But, while the reality of Democratic support for such laws is questionable, I do concur that the concern by some churches and political groups is very real, and could be a real barrier to their support for Democrats.

  58. So this guy is suggesting that Democrats who are economic liberals should tolerate/embrace social conservatives for the sake of advancing their economic liberal agenda, on the heels of at least a decade of social conservatives in the Republican party tolerating/embracing economic liberals in order to advance their social conservative agenda.

    I think I’m going to go slit my wrists.

  59. The liberal insistence on turning every social issue into a federal civil right issue, to be decided by federal judges instead of voters or legislators, is what “wedged” working-class voters away from the Dems and over to the GOP.

    Liberals only did that in response, generally, to right-wing yokums who believed that they could use the long arm of the law to ban anything they found to be dangerous or gross.

    At which point, ironically, those issues *did* become civil rights issues.

    Fun thought experiment:

    Let’s say someone passes a law banning cream in coffee. There is no intrinsic speech element to putting cream in one’s coffee. But then, when it is illegal, the act of putting cream in one’s coffee becomes a protest. Ergo, it *becomes* political symbolic speech.

    I love the Ouroborus. I love it *sooooo* much.

  60. “Worst Nightmare Scenario for John McCain:
    –World War III”

    Yeah, because no Democrat ever got us into a war or anything. There is also no chance that Obama might try to be more Cathlic than the pope to prove he is not weak. No none at all.

  61. Should anything that receives federal funding be subject to federal law? So if there were a law that says you can’t discriminate against someone due to religion, handicap, sex, orientation, etc. then anything that receives federal funding wouldn’t be able to discriminate either?

    To go along with the people who think churches will get in trouble for discriminating against gays–what about churches that “discriminate” against women by not allowing them leadership positions. No one is threatening those churches for their “discrimination”. People need to stop crying about the sky falling.

  62. John-

    McCain’s psycho response to Russia scared me out of ever voting for him. Sorry.

    Yeah, Obama might get us in a war. But McCain almost openly admits he would like a war. The guys is jonesing for a fight.

  63. “Worst Nightmare Scenario for John McCain:
    –World War III”

    Why don’t we add from your other list:
    –Rolling back of free trade agreements
    –Massive tax debt increases (esp. pay roll tax to “save” Socialist Security)

    and also:
    –National service requirements/reinstatement of some sort of draft
    –Having to hear the condescending term “My friends” a million and one times

  64. “It’s not “union expanding card check” it’s “union break your kneecaps if you don’t vote for them card check””

    Under the proposal any force or fraudulent tactics would be, as they currently are, illegal. You mean peer pressure vitiates a knowing consent? That’s hilarious from a libertarian.

    Under the proposed change every employee would be free to not sign an authorization card to the full libertarian extent…

  65. Mr. Nice Guy, I think the objection is more to unions expanding their power as quasi-government agencies than to unions existing. At least that’s my concern.

  66. I like McCain, he’s shown a great deal of integrity standing up to the loonies in his party. I do worry about his saber rattling though.

  67. Zoltan, it isn’t that I think the sky is falling, I hate churches and think they should pay taxes. But to think fundies will vote Democrat for economic reasons is poppycock.

  68. Nigel
    I feel you, but the authorization cards vs. secret ballots issue is not imo implicated in that. Either way the NRLA will still exist.

  69. What I find amazing is how the actual position of the Democratic Party i/r/t war has grown increasingly dovish since 2003-2003, while the Republican despiction of their position has changed to depict them as increasingly hawkish (at least on odd numbered days).

    When 42% of the Democrats in Congress supported the AUMF (inlcuding the Senate Majority Leader and House Speaker), National Review ran a piece about how the country could not be trusted to people so unserious as to have a sizeable minority that didn’t want to invade Iraq. Where, oh where are the tough Scoop Jackson/Truman/Kennedy/Johnson Democrats?

    Now that 0.5% of them support that war, while their presidential nominee is someone who was against it from the start, I always hear about how indistinguishable the two parties are. Don’t you know Lyndon Johnson was a Democrat?

  70. How many times on H&R do we have news about, say, a private entity that resorts to drug testing or censors something, and the more right wing libertarians hurry to note “no rights are violated, the person tested is free to say no to the testing and work elsewhere or is free to say what he wants though his boss is free to fire him.”

    Under the authorization card proposal every employee will be free to say “no” to unions that ask them to sign. Totally free.

    Mention unions and suddenly these guys are all about non-force and fraud coercion as something we need act against…Remind me of that when I argue for legislation to combat economic or social coercion!

  71. Under the proposed change every employee would be free to not sign an authorization card to the full libertarian extent…

    …and then mysteriously start losing friends and hours and pay increases after the union takes over.

    Fortunately, If the vote is in doubt and they do use “peer pressure” whether from within the shop or from a local legitimate businessmen’s social club, the victim can always yell “but this is illegal!”

    Unless his jaw is mysteriously broken.

  72. “start losing friends”

    oh noes! They’ll lose friends!

    Like I said, remind me that such horrors should determine policy the next time we are arguing that social and economic coercon should not determine, say, regulatory policy.

    “Unless his jaw is mysteriously broken.”
    Of course this is illegal now and will be under the proposed law.

  73. I admit that I don’t understand what is up with the “card check” or Employee Free Choice Act. It doesn’t sound so horrible to me, except that I’m lost for why we need an act or some body that oversees labor relations. Why not just allow workers in any given work environment to determine if they want a union and how they will collectively bargain their own way? Why must we either encourrage or discourrage it?

  74. Under the proposal any force or fraudulent tactics would be, as they currently are, illegal.

    But the best way we know of to mitigate/prevent these effects from occurring in any sort of election environment is *SECRET BALLOTS*!

    Card-check is an invitation for unions to try to harass people *more than they already do*. Harassment being *illegal* has never really stopped it from happening before, has it?

  75. reinmoose
    From what I can remember from school the NLRA and NLRB we created to foster “harmony in industrial relations” by having the government administer, to same degree, labor-management relations. At the time union-management fights were often getting “out of hand” and the proposed goal of the Wagner act was to address that.

    The unions seem to have made peace with that act, though the at ties their hands in ways as well as employers (for example prohibiting secondary boycotts or recognitional picketing unles they apply for certification of the union).

    Perhaps unions would do well without the NLRB, but many folks were concerned it would be messy.

  76. A great deal of harrassment by the employers has been well documented in study after study under the secret ballot regime, which is why the authorization card proposal has been floated.

    As I said, “harrassment” such as “will you sign the card” is not wrong, and anything stronger than that is and still will be illegal, so what’s the prob?

  77. A side note, with metaphorical implications that elude me now: There is no such thing as a .300….baseball team.

    But the Nationals sure are trying…..

  78. Perhaps unions would do well without the NLRB, but many folks were concerned it would be messy.

    Irrelevant? In order for that to be a valid argument for the existence of a regulatory body, you have to reach the conclusion that unions are an inherently good thing. The fact that they have to make rules that make it increasingly easier for unions to get and maintain power over their would-be members implies that not everyone agrees that unions are inherently good.

  79. MNG,

    The sort of people involved in unions are ruffians. You know, people who might have worn plaid shirts and given wedgies to, say, D&D Players.

    Very, very scary people. Big hands, calluses. They’ll punch you in the head just as soon as look at you. Booga booga.

    Harassment being *illegal* has never really stopped it from happening before, has it? So we can now dispense with the “but it is illegal for employers to fire and harrass people in the runup to an election” argument against card-check, then, and acknowledge that there is a legitimate reason – allowing workers to unionize without being harrassed, fired, and threatened by management – to want to change how certification works so as to remove the weeks-long period during which employers can bully workers who signed their cards into changing their minds.

    OK then.

  80. “You want to be in the union, dontcha, kid? I’ll put you down. Keep workin’.”

  81. stupid keyboard

  82. I thought all union members listened to working-man anthems, got into fights at the bar closest to their mill, and were proud when watching their sons on TV after saving the prime minister of Micronesia

  83. That’s Malaysia, Reinmoose.

  84. “You want to be in the union, dontcha, kid? I’ll put you down. Keep workin’.”

    You can’t “put someone down.” They need to sign the card.

  85. Why don’t we just go ahead and call Lind’s new agglomeration the “Godwin Party.”

    At least it would give me something to oppose wholeheartedly.

  86. “Soft Stalinism” rises again from the left, and who is surprised?

  87. You know, people who might have worn plaid shirts and given wedgies to, say, D&D Players.

    I am a (reformed) D&D player, and as I type this I am wearing a plaid shirt.

    Put that in your (heavily regulated) pipe and smoke it! (But not around anyone who might sneeze.)

  88. McCain’s psycho response to Russia scared me out of ever voting for him.

    What did he say that was psycho? I’ll need a quote, not a paraphrase, thanks.

    I admit that I don’t understand what is up with the “card check” or Employee Free Choice Act.

    It says that a company can be unionized without anything you would recognize as an election or secret ballots, if the union can get enough cards signed in face-to-face meetings with employees. The company may not even know a unionizing campaign is going on until its over.

    joe, do you give any credence at all to the concerns about fairness or abuse that effectively eliminating secret ballots from union elections might have?

  89. Let’s say someone passes a law banning cream in coffee. There is no intrinsic speech element to putting cream in one’s coffee. But then, when it is illegal, the act of putting cream in one’s coffee becomes a protest. Ergo, it *becomes* political symbolic speech.
    No, by that logic it is poltical speech for me to rob banks to protest the laws against robbing banks.

    There were laws against abortion, and contraception, and adultery, and sodomy going back to colonial times. At some point, liberals decided that these were federal civil rights issues that were going be solved not by passing new laws but by filing lawsuits. This makes control of the federal judiciary a presidential campaign issue, which is what Michael Lind is so upset about. If liberals would leave Georgia and Alabama free to pass whatever laws on abortion they want, abortion wouldn’t be an issue in presidential elections.

  90. RC,

    I can see the downside. I think a creative solution – maybe having people turn in their cards to some third party? – would be best.

    I think the rather elitist smears about union guys being goons and criminals are greatly overblown, but it would best to find some way to eliminate the question entirely, in an “avoid even the appearance of impropriety” sense.


  91. –National service requirements/reinstatement of some sort of draft

    Obama supports this at least as much as McCain.

  92. Because more Union members means all those jobs from China will come back!! I mean look at how great the Union heavy Rust Belt is doing!!! There are no jobs leaving there and going to right to work states. None. Nothing says economic recovery and expansion like more Unions!!!

    Hey and when our barely making it company gets slapped with a Union vote there is NO CHANCE it will close or simply move offshore. No way, Unions fix all that!! That is why Detroit is a great place to live!!

    Unions!!!!!

  93. No, by that logic it is poltical speech for me to rob banks to protest the laws against robbing banks.

    Sure, if this logic existed in a vacuum and wasn’t situated within our current framework of law. Once it is, I’m sure even you can figure out the *startlingly unbelievably obvious* differences between putting cream in coffee and robbing a fucking bank.

  94. “Are you flirting with the idea of voting for Barack Obama?”

    I already felt up the tits of the idea of voting for Barack Obama.

  95. The company may not even know a unionizing campaign is going on until its over. Uh…so?

    Do you fret about corporations forming partnerships with other corporations without their employees knowing what’s going on until it’s over?

    That sounds an awful lot like an admission that the reason you oppose card check is because the employer might not have the chance to interfere with the workers’ decisions.

  96. “The fact that they have to make rules that make it increasingly easier for unions to get and maintain power over their would-be members implies that not everyone agrees that unions are inherently good.”

    I guess some people vote against unions because they think they are bad, but a ton of people do so because they are scared (scared of losing their job, scared of their boss, etc).

    I thought I argued in my last post that while the unions that exist now seem to think NLRA is a good thing there can be an argument that it disfavors unions with different mindsets (by prohibiting the union tactics I mentioned above).

    RC-Are you willing to give any credence to the problems (that have been empirically demonstrated in study after study) with the current system of union certification that joe mentioned?

  97. “Nothing says economic recovery and expansion like more Unions!!!”

    Yeah, like the economic hell that was the period following the growth of unions 1940-1960’s…

    I don’t think most union guys think the union will keep any jobs from going international. They think unions help them bargain for the usual things in a job, like better benefits, pay, more holidays off paid, etc.

  98. I can see the downside. I think a creative solution – maybe having people turn in their cards to some third party? – would be best.

    I’ve got one! We’ll have the employees go into these little booths and make a mark on a piece of paper. Then they deposit the paper in a slot and exit the booth. We could even have some sort of federal agency, let’s call it the National Labor Relations Board, oversee the process and count those pieces of paper.

    I know it’s radical, outside the box thinking idea, but I personally believe we should give it a shot. I think that this would keep the evil emploters from coercing or even retaliating against those who wanted a union, because they wouldnb’t know how each employee voted.

  99. “Yeah, like the economic hell that was the period following the growth of unions 1940-1960’s…”

    Yes the post war years when our only chief competitor at the time, Europe, was either rebuilding itself, or under Communism.

    What happened at end of the 1960s??? Oh I know I know!!!! Manufacturing jobs went to Japan as soon as the Japanese got their quality control up and could do it for cheaper. Even with tariffs it was cheaper to make things in Japan. Union heavy US could not even hope to compete, and didn’t and US manufacturing has never returned. Unions would rather drive a company out of business than give in. How is the Union helping the worker when they kill the company and there are no more jobs??

    Yes Union heavy US industry does GREAT when there is no one else in the world to compete with. You are absolutely correct.

  100. The company may not even know a unionizing campaign is going on until its over. Uh…so?

    So, the employees will be asked to make a very important decision, without getting the company’s side?

    And the company will be forced into a new contract without any notice or opportunity to be heard? And, unlike an employee who’s company gets acquired, with very limited ability to exit the unwanted relationship?

    I guess, why have any kind of election at all?

    Still, with card check, you are disenfranchising workers as well. After all, the union only needs to get 50% plus one of the cards signed – the rest of the workers in that bargaining unit get no say at all, not even the cold comfort of a no vote. Is that OK, too?

  101. Or, let’s try this from the opposite side.

    Why not let the company have card check for union decertification?

    If card check is the way to bring unions in, why isn’t it just as good a way to get them out?

  102. like the economic hell that was the period following the growth of unions 1940-1960’s

    Wasn’t “the period following the growth of unions 1940-1960’s” (namely, the ’70s) the era of stagflation? “economic hell” might be a little strong, but not much.

  103. “And the company will be forced into a new contract without any notice or opportunity to be heard? And, unlike an employee who’s company gets acquired, with very limited ability to exit the unwanted relationship?”

    What are you talking about? The company is, and would not be under the proposal, forced into any contract with anyone. They are forced to bargain. And they are not forced to accept jack.

    Also, the employer can exit the relationship, they can close up shop and open up somewhere else (this is what employees that exit relationships have to do mind you).

    “Still, with card check, you are disenfranchising workers as well.” Actually you are enfranchising them as it makes all workers interests more likely to have a stronger voice.

    And this works both ways: yes the union can enter into a collective bargaining agreement that covers all workers, but it also must bargain for and act to protect, the good of all workers, even those who do not join.

  104. Regarding my previous,

    And we since know that only employers would ever threaten someone, the bold proposal above should spur union formation nationwide.

  105. “I’ve got one! We’ll have the employees go into these little booths and make a mark on a piece of paper.” That’s been tried, and study after study concludes that it fosters an environment of bullying and harrassment and unfair labor practices (violations of the NLRA) by employers. The incentives are all there for the employers to do that.

    On the flip side: PEER PRESSURE, OH NOES!

  106. Yes J sub D, unions, like employers, sometimes engage in illegal conduct. They should be prosecuted for this when they do. No one though is proposing otherwise. We are proposing that unions be able to “gasp” approach an employee and ask them to indicate their support for unionization by signing a card.

  107. Economically liberal and socially conservative? He’s talking about retaking the South from the GOP.

  108. The 1960’s (LBJ, Kennedy) were a heavily unionized time and the economy did great.

    In the 1970’s (Nixon, Ford) union power was undercut, and yes, the economy sucked.

    Next.

  109. We are proposing that unions be able to “gasp” approach an employee and ask them to indicate their support for unionization by signing a card.

    You are proposing taking away the right to a secret ballot, allowing for coercion of people who would not support a union if they could vote on it in private.

    If you support this, logically you should support making all elections non-private. Let’s make every one of your votes a matter of public record that anyone could look up. Surely no one will retaliate against you for casting the “wrong” vote, yeah? Nothing could possibly go wrong.

  110. As a libertarian, I oppose any involvement of govt in labor disputes. Unions should be free to pressure workers to join, and employers should likewise be free to pressure workers not to join (as long as they stop short of using force or fraud, of course).

    If govt must stick its finger in the pie of labor disputes, it should maintain a level playing field. If steps are taken to prevent employers from pressuring workers not to join, steps should be taken to prevent pressure from the union as well.

  111. prole
    Plenty of coercion, that is even currently illegal, has been documented to go on under the elections regime in unionization. This is why the card authorization idea was floated in the first place. So it could very well lessen coercion. All with the small cost of subjecting people to, OH NOES PEER PRESSURE!

    Union elections are disanalagous to general political elections (can one side in a general election make you watch their campaign ads 8 hours a day while barring the other side from speaking?).

    But since you are into analogies today, do you think we should have government look into ways to protect people from all kinds of decisions they are faced with where peer pressure could come down on them if they choose a certain way?

  112. What we really need are enforcable international labor standards. YEAH!

  113. “If steps are taken to prevent employers from pressuring workers not to join, steps should be taken to prevent pressure from the union as well.”

    So Occam, during a unionization campaign you would support requiring equal access by union reps to union employees? Because, you know, we want to keep that playing field level.

  114. But since you are into analogies today, do you think we should have government look into ways to protect people from all kinds of decisions they are faced with where peer pressure could come down on them if they choose a certain way?

    And do you think “people didn’t really WANT to vote against ballot initiative 459A, they were just scared not to. This is why it is important that we proceed with the initiative regardless!” is a valid way to judge the results of elections?

  115. “people didn’t really WANT to [sign an authorization card] against ballot initiative 459A, they were just scared not to”

    You don’t see how easy that is to turn around on ya? It’s because usually its the libertarian arguing that peer pressure isn’t “really” coercion.

  116. Only force and fraud are.

    This bill retains force and fraud in the conduct of union certification as violations of the law.

    Nuff said.

  117. umm… I’m not arguing that peer pressure is coercion. Remember, earlier I said that I didn’t think the government should be involved at all, and that individual union organization efforts should use whatever method they deem worthy – but the government should not back them up on it and enforce the results of vote if the other workers have not obligated themselves to any kind of agreement.

  118. I trust that J sub D would have addressed the issue of employer harrassment in the period between card signings and the vote if he could in his 2:03 comment, but he didn’t.

    So, I’m drawing my own conclusion.

  119. I love watching union fundies fall all over themselves explaining why a secret ballot on an emotional volatile issue is a bad thing.

    Amazingly enough, they are blind to their own hypocrisy. Or bald faced liars.

  120. “but the government should not back them up on it and enforce the results of vote if the other workers have not obligated themselves to any kind of agreement.”

    Agreed. If a majority of the workers have not obligated themselves to any kind of agreement by signing authorization cards then the government should not in any way compel the employer to bargain with the union.

  121. Mr. Idiot Guy has convinced me: we need to allow employer harrssment during union organizing drives, because employees don’t really understand their interests. Really, when people are threatened with losing their jobs, have their hours cut, and are targeted for discinipline because they are known to support the union, it’s for the their own good.

    Little known fact: in addition to wearing plaid shirts and giving wedgies, people who join unions are remarkably child-like.

  122. joe, you ignorant buffoon,

    The employees get a secret ballot. Any employer threats, harrassment or intimidation, like union organizers threats, harrassment and intimidation are rendered irrelevant by that.

    So what is it joe?
    Blind? Or a liar?

  123. then the government should not in any way compel the employer to bargain with the union.

    I wasn’t aware that you could be compelled to bargain with anyone – can’t you just not agree to their terms and make a “take what you have or leave” scenerio? Also, someone familiarize me – in non-public unions, are you required to have them bargain on your behalf even if you didn’t vote for the union? Can you bargain with the employer one-on-one even if everyone else wants to join a union?

  124. So, the employees will be asked to make a very important decision, without getting the company’s side? Ohnoes! Workers who don’t ask for “the company’s side” won’t get it! I’m skeered.

    And the company will be forced into a new contract without any notice or opportunity to be heard? Uh, no, the employees joining a union is not “forcing the company into a contract.” That comes later – and the company is quite capable of bargaining from its side of the table and informing employees about the negotiations at that time. BTW, how is one “forced into a contract,” anyway?

  125. What did he [McCain] say that was psycho? I’ll need a quote, not a paraphrase

    He said, “We are all gorgeous.”
    I know, it makes no sense at all.

  126. Why not let the company have card check for union decertification?

    Probably because companies don’t decertify unions.

  127. “I love watching union fundies fall all over themselves explaining why a secret ballot on an emotional volatile issue is a bad thing.”

    And I love watching libertarian fundies go on and on about how force and fraud are the only things that can ever hamper liberty and then when it comes to the authorization card debate they go “OH NOES, PEER PRESSURE”

  128. Reinmoose
    The company is only forced to “bargain in good faith” about certain mandatory terms with a certified union.

    I think the contract that is collectively bargained for sets a floor which you cannot contract under, but you can contract for more (professional athletes do this).

  129. The company is only forced to “bargain in good faith” about certain mandatory terms with a certified union.

    I think the contract that is collectively bargained for sets a floor which you cannot contract under, but you can contract for more (professional athletes do this).

    See now, all of this is wrong
    If you really want to reach optimum results, just let people bargain how they will. If there are enough employees in a big enough company, they’ll be more intimidated by the threat of strike. If it’s a smaller or less important company, they won’t care as much – but then again, it also means that you have more economic diversity in the first place and you don’t need to worry so much about “OMG The corporations are going to oppress all the working people!”

  130. Not a single one of the stories on the page J sub D links to at 2:17 is about union organizers putting pressure on workers.

    Literally, not one of them.

    I love watching union fundies fall all over themselves explaining why a secret ballot on an emotional volatile issue is a bad thing.

    Not a single person has argued this. Literally, not one. I’ve actually said precisely the opposite, that I’d prefer a creative solution that allowed for keeping card-signings secret.

    The employees get a secret ballot. Any employer threats, harrassment or intimidation, like union organizers threats, harrassment and intimidation are rendered irrelevant by that.

    Perhaps you would do better to limit your comments to subjects with which you have a passing familiarity. Here, let me school you a little:

    Under current law, in between the submission of signed cards and the election, the employer has several weeks or months during which it 1) gets to see the cards and 2) has the entire workforce as a captive audience. They can target individuals who signed the cards, they can threaten widespread retribution. They don’t have to wait until after the election to engage in harassment and retribution, genius.

    Neither ignorant. Nor lying. I just have a basic understanding of the issue that you have such strong, uninformed feelings about.

  131. Reinmoose,

    On bargaining, the only time an employer is “required” to bargain only with the union, and not with individual employees, is when the union and the employer sign a contract which obligates the employer to do so.

  132. On bargaining, the only time an employer is “required” to bargain only with the union, and not with individual employees, is when the union and the employer sign a contract which obligates the employer to do so.

    I see – very good then.

  133. 1) gets to see the cards

    True

    and 2) has the entire workforce as a captive audience.

    False. Workers aren’t locked in the workplace, and employers are not permitted to listen in on conversations between employees.

    They can target individuals who signed the cards, they can threaten widespread retribution.

    False. That’s an egregious NLRA violation. Enforcement may be an issue, but that’s true of coming to your car and finding your windows busted out by union goons also.

    They don’t have to wait until after the election to engage in harassment and retribution, genius.

    The problem is they have no way of knowing how you’re going to vote — and thus where to direct retribution and harassment.

    Neither ignorant. Nor lying. I just have a basic understanding of the issue that you have such strong, uninformed feelings about.

    False

  134. So-called “right to work” laws, Reinmoose, forbid corporations and unions from drawing up contracts that include that stipulation.

  135. Oh, I see. Virginia is a “right to work” State, yeah? I feel like this is the case because my sister worked there for some time. Those laws are some kind of f’ed up.

  136. So Occam, during a unionization campaign you would support requiring equal access by union reps to union employees? Because, you know, we want to keep that playing field level.

    Well, I oppose govt being involved at all…but if involvement is going to take place, that’s something to consider. You have to keep in mind, though, that union organizers have only one purpose for interaction with employees, while management has to interact for reasons other than to oppose unionization (you know, running the business and such). Equal time would be excessive, but union organizers should be guaranteed some access.

  137. False. does not follow from Workers aren’t locked in the workplace, and employers are not permitted to listen in on conversations between employees.

    So they are physically capable of doing something – walking off the job, leaving a mandatory propaganda session – that will get them fired. Nice double-standard – peer pressure from your coworkers is pressure, but having the loss of your job dangled over your head isn’t. Sure, that makes sense.

    False. That’s an egregious NLRA violation. Which must mean it doesn’t happen. This isn’t a matter of opinon; it happens.

    The problem is they have no way of knowing how you’re going to vote — and thus where to direct retribution and harassment.? 1. They do if you signed a union card. 2. They can simply threaten the entire workforce in the unusual circumstance that the organizers are unknowns. This happens a lot – mandatory “educational” sessions during work hourse full of threats.

  138. False. That’s an egregious NLRA violation. Which must mean it doesn’t happen. This isn’t a matter of opinon; it happens.

    “Enforcement may be an issue, but that’s true of coming to your car and finding your windows busted out by union goons also.”

    Sound familiar? That’s the part of my comment you chopped off. That tactic usually works better when my post is way upthread, fyi.

    If “but that’s illegal!” works as a fig leaf for union intimidation, you can’t say it doesn’t apply to management intimidation.

  139. And it bears mentioning that an employer who fires pro-union employees during a unionization battle is much more likely to be punished for it than a thug who busts up an anti-union employee’s car in the parking lot.

  140. Sound familiar? Yes, and it is just as irrelevant now as when I ignorned it before.

    That an unenforceable law exists on the books is of no interest to me, and of no relevance to the question of whether They can target individuals who signed the cards, they can threaten widespread retribution., which you described as False. It is not false, it is true, the existence of that law notwithsanding. Employers CAN and DO engage in that behavior. You said that statement was false, and you are incorrect.

    If “but that’s illegal!” works as a fig leaf for union intimidation, you can’t say it doesn’t apply to management intimidation. Uh, hello? Remember me, joe? I’m the guy who acknowledged that point when RC raised it, and said it would be best for there to be some creative solution which maintained inviduals workers’ anonymity in the card-check process?

    And it bears mentioning that an employer who fires pro-union employees during a unionization battle is much more likely to be punished for it than a thug who busts up an anti-union employee’s car in the parking lot. Actually, there was just such a case this week. An employee who was fired for union organizing got a judgement from the NLRB. Two years after he was fired, and the drive failed. Yippee.

  141. I’m the guy who acknowledged that point when RC raised it, and said it would be best for there to be some creative solution which maintained inviduals workers’ anonymity in the card-check process?

    I don’t see how such a solution could exist, but even if it did, wouldn’t that undercut your argument that employers will know who to intimidate by looking at the cards?

  142. And you didn’t say that management intimidation just happened, you said that “Under the law…They can target individuals who signed the cards, they can threaten widespread retribution.” You implied that it is legal for them to do such things.

  143. Let’s call these people what they are: communists.

    I wish this coward himself would show up at my door demanding more of my money.

  144. I don’t see how such a solution could exist, Aw, after you gave it so much thought to try and come up with a solution? Shucks!

    …but even if it did, wouldn’t that undercut your argument that employers will know who to intimidate by looking at the cards? No. If there was some third party collecting the cards without management’s knowledge, management could neither see who signed the cards, not have several weeks to wage a campaign before they’re signed to intimidate people.

    And you didn’t say that management intimidation just happened, you said that “Under the law…They can target individuals who signed the cards, they can threaten widespread retribution.” You implied that it is legal for them to do such things. I think there’s a little mix-up here. I wrote this:

    Under current law, in between the submission of signed cards and the election, the employer has several weeks or months during which it 1) gets to see the cards and 2) has the entire workforce as a captive audience. They can target individuals who signed the cards, they can threaten widespread retribution.

    “Under currrent law…” is supposed to apply only to the observation that there are several weeks between turning the cards and holding the election. The part about what the employer can do during that period is just an observation about what happens on the ground.

    I could have written that sentence more clearly. I see where I left the wrong impression. No, no, I’m not saying that the law authorizes those things, just that the law creates a situation in which such abuses happen.

  145. joe,

    I didn’t say a solution was impossible, I said that I didn’t see how it could be done. You have to admit it would be quite difficult in practice. In any case, there’s no need for you to be a smartass about it.

    I’d agree that if such a system were possible, that would be a good idea to replace the current card system to initiate a union drive. But this would also mean that the employer would be limited to scattershot threats rather than directed ones in practice*, which would be risky as they could backfire by turning employees to the union side.

    *I say in practice because either kind of threat is already illegal.

  146. I just find it fascinating that joe thinks an open campaign, being monitored closely by both sides, ending in a secret ballot, is more likely to be abused than a secret campaign, waged by one side, only, in one-on-one meetings.

    I think its laughable.

    And that he has no problem with unionizing a workplace without giving every affected employee an opportunity to have a say.

    What are you talking about? The company is, and would not be under the proposal, forced into any contract with anyone. They are forced to bargain. And they are not forced to accept jack.

    Point taken.

    Also, the employer can exit the relationship, they can close up shop and open up somewhere else (this is what employees that exit relationships have to do mind you).

    Its not quite so easy, of course, once you get to know a little about plant closing laws and so forth. But still, the point is that the company is forced, unilaterally and without its consent, into a relationship that it cannot exit except at great cost. All on the basis of an election it was not allowed to participate in.

    Why not let the company have card check for union decertification?

    Probably because companies don’t decertify unions.

    The employees can vote to have the union thrown out, just like they vote to have them brought in, joe. It happens.

    So, if card check is good enough for one side, why isn’t it good enough for the other?

  147. Keynesian =/= Socialist

    Socialism had socialist advisers while Keynesianims had socialist advisers who called themselves Keynesian.

  148. joe,

    I didn’t say a solution was impossible, I said that I didn’t see how it could be done. You have to admit it would be quite difficult in practice. In any case, there’s no need for you to be a smartass about it.

    HA!

  149. Socialism had socialist advisers while Keynesianims had socialist advisers who called themselves Keynesian.

    God, I hope you don’t teach history. Or economics.

    Or, really, anything.

  150. The reason nobody every asked FDR, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, or Lyndon Johnson their views on abortion or contraception is that back in those days, nobody really thought this was any of the federal government’s business.

    Partly right, partly wrong. Contraception was at least partly a federal issue because of the drug & medical device question; some even questioned whether articles for birth control could legally be licensed by FDA.

    The real story is that during the lifetimes of 2 out of 3 of the above, what today are considered the principal “social issues” weren’t even matters of public controversy at all, at the local, state, or federal level. Toward the end of that period, censorship (mostly local, to some degree federal via the Post Office) of sexy & scatologic works came into question, but otherwise there was such broad consensus against freedom on today’s social issues that they weren’t even considered worthy or important matters of discussion when it came to public policy. And it wasn’t only federal courts that changed that status quo, although they played an important part.

    The big “social issue” (practically the only one) in those days was race segregation and discrimination, and we’ve pretty well moved on from that. Racial issues still come up, but not segregation & discrimination of the races.

    And Matt, there are plenty of baseball teams at .300 or .800, just not in the majors.

  151. If you support this, logically you should support making all elections non-private. Let’s make every one of your votes a matter of public record that anyone could look up. Surely no one will retaliate against you for casting the “wrong” vote, yeah? Nothing could possibly go wrong.

    Democrats are working on this as well, with a push for “no excuses” absentee ballots — which are inherently non-secret. If these practices become commonplace, then it will be simple for machine pols to verify votes are being cast the right way or, say, domineering husbands to make sure their wives are voting properly (or just vote for them).

    And Labor unions seem to love mail-in voting:

    http://blog.aflcio.org/2008/08/05/vote-by-mail-new-mexico

    You don’t think they’d ever stoop to ‘helping’ their members fill out their ballots, do you?

  152. Yes J sub D, unions, like employers, sometimes engage in illegal conduct. They should be prosecuted for this when they do. No one though is proposing otherwise.” – Mr. Nice Guy

    What you are proposing is clearly identifying those worker’s who oppose unionizing to the organizers who may be tempted to use extraordinary methods of persuasion. Prosecuting the offenders after the fact does not really help the guy who got intimidated or worse.

    “We are proposing that unions be able to “gasp” approach an employee and ask them to indicate their support for unionization by signing a card.”- Mr. Nice Guy

    Unons can do this now, that is how a unionization vote is called for. What exactly is your problem with keeping such a vote secret?

    What seems to be the problem for the unions are that they losing the subsequent vote. For some reason the worker’s signing the petition cards end up not voting for the union. The do one thing when they know the union organizer will know what their answer will be, they do another when the organizer will not? Could it be they are making a rational assessment of what is likey to happen to them if they vote “no” and the unionist knows it?

  153. joe- I think you are wrong about exclusivity:

    “A majority of the workers in a bargaining unit must designate a representative with the sole or exclusive right to represent them in negotiations with the employer’s representative (29 U.S.C.A. ? 159(a)). The employer is not required to bargain with an unauthorized representative (? 158(a)(5)). Once a valid representative has been selected, even workers who do not belong to the union are bound by the collective bargaining agreement and cannot negotiate individual contracts with the employer (J. I. Case Co. v. NLRB, 321 U.S. 332, 64 S. Ct. 576, 88 L. Ed. 762 [1944]). As a corollary, the employer may not extend different terms to any workers in the bargaining unit, even if those terms are more favorable, unless the collective bargaining agreement contemplates flexible terms (Emporium Capwell Co. v. Western Addition Community Organization, 420 U.S. 50, 95 S. Ct. 977, 43 L. Ed. 2d 12 [1975]).”

  154. ‘…said it would be best for there to be some creative solution which maintained inviduals workers’ anonymity in the card-check process?’ – joe

    That’s good of you, joe. That’s also not an option currently on the table.

    Between the choices available: changing to a non-anonymous card-check or maintaning the status quo and having secret ballots, which do you prefer?

  155. People keep confusing union elections with elections where you vote for people for political office. As I noted upthread this analogy is simply misplaced.

    If general elections were like union elections you’d be required to watch Obama ads for an hour twice a day for the two weeks before the election while McCain supporters would be arrested if they came on the property to speak to you and the voting place would be your local Democratic Party HQ.

    You guys literally don’t know much about the NLRA and how it works. You just hear “elections” and think, hey, our general elections are secret ballot, so why do union supporters knock this?

    So you keep getting comments like this:
    “Unons can do this now, that is how a unionization vote is called for. What exactly is your problem with keeping such a vote secret? ”

    When people like joe and I answered this question many times already:
    “Under current law, in between the submission of signed cards and the election, the employer has several weeks or months during which it 1) gets to see the cards and 2) has the entire workforce as a captive audience. They can target individuals who signed the cards, they can threaten widespread retribution.” joe

    “Plenty of coercion, that is even currently illegal, has been documented to go on under the elections regime in unionization. This is why the card authorization idea was floated in the first place.” Me

    “”I’ve got one! We’ll have the employees go into these little booths and make a mark on a piece of paper.” That’s been tried, and study after study concludes that it fosters an environment of bullying and harrassment and unfair labor practices (violations of the NLRA) by employers. The incentives are all there for the employers to do that.” Me

    As I’ve said before, what’s your libertarian problem with the authorization cards? There’s no force or fraud being allowed, so whats up? Peer pressure, OH NOES! You guys crack me up.

  156. “Between the choices available: changing to a non-anonymous card-check or maintaning the status quo and having secret ballots, which do you prefer?”

    The former for me. The right granted to employees to self organize by the NLRA has been demonstrated time and time again in academic studies (by economists, law profs, sociologists) to be stymied by the current regime. The playing field starts lopsided, the employer has incentives to target union activity in illegal ways (as the only remedy is reinstantment or back pay but if they beat the union they save much $), and empirical studies verify this occurs.

    Without ANY FORCE OR FRAUD that could be complained of by a libertarian (the last I checked “peer pressure” was not a form of force or fraud recognized by libertarian theory, please argue to the contrary if needed, I’d LOVE to see that level of mental gymnastics) time after time unions will have vast support from cards, then there will ba a massive campaign from the employer to defeat certification, one that includes NLRA violations, and then the union loses. It has been documented over and over.

    Why don’t you start with some modesty: if you don’t know the provisions of the NLRA and how the NLRB works, then maybe you should hesitate before tossing such strong opinions out there on the subject….

  157. “There’s no force or fraud being allowed, so whats up? Peer pressure, OH NOES! You guys crack me up.”

    The employer’s intimidation tactics are illegal, no? So there’s no force or fraud there either. Having to go meeting and listen to the employer’s anti-union propaganda? OH NOES!

    I am not saying that some employers do notuse bad tactics to fight an unionizing effort in their workplaces. I am saying that card-check is a bad solution whatever problem there is and opens up the workers to union intimidation.

  158. “…time after time unions will have vast support from cards, then there will ba a massive campaign from the employer to defeat certification, one that includes NLRA violations, and then the union loses.”

    Does it occur to you that the workers may not be that interested in the union in the first place and may signing the card to get the union organizer off his back? Or that he may be perfectly willing to see the thing come to a vote but be personnally against unionization? A majority of people signing the cards does necessarily mean a majority want the union.

  159. I just find it fascinating that joe thinks an open campaign, being monitored closely by both sides, ending in a secret ballot, is more likely to be abused than a secret campaign, waged by one side, only, in one-on-one meetings.

    Why, exactly, is management a “side” in a decision by workers whether or not to organize as a union? Wouldn’t pro-union workers be one side and anti-union workers be the other?

    Employers are OUTside this decision-making process, and don’t rightfully have any role to play at all in whether employees organize as a union. Once again, RC tips his hand – this isn’t about protecting workers on one side of the question, it’s about the so-called-right of management to be involved in their employees’ decision how and whether to exercise their right of free association.

    MJ,

    Of the choices currently on the table, I prefer the one that minimizes the involvement of employers in the private decision-making of their employees.

    Does it occur to you that the workers may not be that interested in the union in the first place and may signing the card to get the union organizer off his back? Actually, as MNG has indicated, studies have shown that campaigns that involve employer interference like that have considerably lower success rates than those with no employer interference, so no, it can’t really be said that losing union votes are entirely the consequence of the employees’ free choice, and that the very expensive, carefully organized anti-union campaigns that have created such a profitable niche market for certain lawyers and consultants have no effect on the outcome.

  160. Having to go meeting and listen to the employer’s anti-union propaganda? OH NOES!

    I imagine the threat of being fired and blackballed is much easier to laugh off when it happens to someone else. And no, threatening closings and firings is not illegal for employers, as long as they don’t come right out and say they will fire people who support the union, as they can hide behind “we’ll need to downsize” while making their intent perfectly clear.

  161. Employers are OUTside this decision-making process, and don’t rightfully have any role to play at all in whether employees organize as a union.

    If the employers have no role to play, then union organizers from outside the workplace have no role to play either.

  162. And no, threatening closings and firings is not illegal for employers, as long as they don’t come right out and say they will fire people who support the union, as they can hide behind “we’ll need to downsize” while making their intent perfectly clear.

    Dude, you’re making things up as you go along. NLRA forbids changing the terms of employment or even threatening to do so during a unionization drive.

  163. You guys literally don’t know much about the NLRA and how it works.

    Some of us, yes. Those of us who do (raises hand) you ignore.

    When people like joe and I answered this question many times already:
    “Under current law, in between the submission of signed cards and the election, the employer has several weeks or months during which it 1) gets to see the cards and 2) has the entire workforce as a captive audience. They can target individuals who signed the cards, they can threaten widespread retribution.” joe

    joe admitted above that the law does not allow retribution or threats thereof. As for the fact that enforcing the law in this area is problematic, that’s true of union intimidation tactics too — a point that’s been brought up several times but you unsurprisingly ignore.

  164. The playing field starts lopsided, the employer has incentives to target union activity in illegal ways (as the only remedy is reinstantment or back pay but if they beat the union they save much $), and empirical studies verify this occurs.

    Unions target anti-union employees in various ways, and have even less reason to fear punishment. You’re not getting reimbursement in a year or two or a thousand when you find your tires slashed, windows smashed when you get to your car after your shift.

  165. If the employers have no role to play, then union organizers from outside the workplace have no role to play either.

    you forgot “…unless they are invited in by the employees.” Then you would have a true statement.

    NLRA forbids changing the terms of employment or even threatening to do so during a unionization drive. Yes, but it does not forbid making predictions about the workplace’s future, or scrounging around to find reasons to fire union organizers “for cause,” even if the cause has never been used to justify a firing before.

    BTW, your posts are getting increasingly inaccurate, personal, and whiney.

  166. Those of us who do (raises hand) you ignore.

    I’ve written about a dozen replies to you, and said I’d like to see a solution that takes that possibility into account.

    You’re simply pretending that any answer other than the one you wish to hear is a non-answer.

  167. “Of the choices currently on the table, I prefer the one that minimizes the involvement of employers in the private decision-making of their employees.”-joe

    Well, I prefer the one that minimizes the involvement of the employer and the union on in the private decision making of workers. Eliminating the secret ballot cuts down on the the influence of the former while greatly expanding the influence of the latter. Yes, the current system is imperfect, but the one Obama and the Dems favor is even more imperfect.

    Furthermore, organizing a union fundamentally changes the nature of the employer/employee relationship to a default adversarial one. As and analogy, Insisting that you have your lawyer present when speaking to your wife kind of sours the relationship. You may have justifiable reasons for doing so, but she definitely has a reasonable interest in convincing you not to take that course of action.

    “I imagine the threat of being fired and blackballed is much easier to laugh off when it happens to someone else.”-joe

    joe, I realize you suffer from the standard liberal handicap of having no discernable sense of humor, but I find it difficult to believe you missed that I was mocking Mr. Nice Guy’s casual dismissal of union intimidation as mere “peer pressure”.

  168. BTW, your posts are getting increasingly inaccurate, personal, and whiney.

    In that case, they must be becoming mirrors.

    I’ve written about a dozen replies to you, and said I’d like to see a solution that takes that possibility into account.

    I wasn’t responding to you with this comment, but MNG, who suddenly stopped responding to me when he saw he couldn’t pull the wool over my nose…and then complained that everyone was making arguments that I wasn’t making.

    But it is intriguing that you think the prevention of union intimidation must wait for some creative idea far in the future, but something has to be done about management pressure ******RIGHT NOW**********!!!!!!!.

  169. you forgot “…unless they are invited in by the employees.” Then you would have a true statement.

    So if one employee asks once to hear the management’s side of the story, they’re then legitimately involved through the whole process, in your opinion?

  170. “If the employers have no role to play, then union organizers from outside the workplace have no role to play either.”

    The law currently allows employers to ban non-employee union reps from the worksite in nearly all cases. I though you said you knew the NLRA?

    “You’re not getting reimbursement in a year or two or a thousand when you find your tires slashed, windows smashed when you get to your car after your shift.” Sigh, all that is currently and still will be illegal. We might as well ban handguns because some people will use them badly (in fact its even worse because the possible intimidation is more removed from the authorization card issue).

    “Does it occur to you that the workers may not be that interested in the union in the first place and may signing the card to get the union organizer off his back?”

    You’re saying he signs the card even though he thinks the union will be a horrible thing, just because of peer pressure? Wow, you guys accuse liberals of being patronizing…We have to protect those poor machinists from people not sitting with them at lunch!

    “I was mocking Mr. Nice Guy’s casual dismissal of union intimidation as mere “peer pressure”.”

    That’s all this would allow, mere peer pressure. Anything rising to a threat of force or fraud would still be illegal. BTW-even under the current election preference authorization card drives usually occur, with the peer pressure, and are not illegal, they just do not always result in union recognition and the employee refusal to recognize a majority showing does not constitute an unfair labor practice (but they can warrant a bargaining order under the Gissell precedent). But you know the NLRA so you knew that, huh?

  171. BTW Occam
    joe and I are not libertarians. We are free to recognize forms of coercion that are not “force or fraud” as moral ills to be remedied by government. It’s what seperates us from libertarians (what seperates conservatives is they actually rely on social and economic coercion to limit freedomand bolster tradition and authority). But it’s libertarians who keep telling us that non-force and fraud forms of coercion, i.e., economic or social distress, are not worthy of protections and that people in such situations should “get over it,” how “everyone is free to resist that” etc.,. But not in this case it seems. Now all of a sudden, OH NOES, PEER PRESSURE!

    Non-libertarians are free to recognize the social pressure on workers from unions and the economic pressure on workers from the employer as things that rival force or fraud, and we are free to make the argument that the latter pressure is more of a danger to the free choice of workers on whether to organize or not.

    I don’t see how you’re free to argue that “peer pressure” is some mighty force all of a sudden. Everyone here, including yourself, just talks about how you can foresee the peer pressure from unions turning into something worse (actual force or fraud) and we should protect against it before it turns into that. Ironically though, it is this very reasoning that leads liberals to support government intervention in labor management relations in the first place: the NLRA was passed to head off labor management disputes that might “get our of hand” and threaten the regular flow of commerce as well as order, because it “could” lead to or foster that.

    Youre “one simple principle” makes you guys impotent in this argument.

  172. People keep confusing union elections with elections where you vote for people for political office. As I noted upthread this analogy is simply misplaced.

    Union elections are far more important that political elections–in union elections, the results have a far more pervasive effect on an individual’s life than political elections, and an individual’s vote is far more likely to tip the balance. So a clean election is even more critical in union elections.

    The reason we have secret ballots in political elections rather than non-secret ballots combined with laws against bribery and intimidation is that it is FAR more effective to make it structurally impossible for abuses to occur than to try to deter and redress them with laws and enforcement that are, at best, partially effective.

    I believe that Democrats support card check for the same reason they support vote-by-mail — namely that they are in favor of politics where group pressure can be brought to bear on individual choices. Bottom line — they are collectivists, and non-secret voting is completely consistent with that.

  173. Sigh, all that is currently and still will be illegal. We might as well ban handguns because some people will use them badly (in fact its even worse because the possible intimidation is more removed from the authorization card issue).

    For the umpteenth time, firing pro-union employees during a unionization drive is already illegal, as is threatening to retaliate against them. Yet you and joe don’t think mere illegality is enough — there have to be other procedures in place to prevent such abuse.

    So you can’t honestly come out and say, well, sure union goons vandalize people’s cars and stuff, but that’s illegal, so never mind!

    The one simple principle of libertarianism is already violated by govt sticking its nose into workplace labor disputes. As I said before, I’d favor allowing union advocates to pressure workers, AND management to choose not to deal with the union.

    But since it looks like the govt is going to force employers to deal with unions after some process involving the workers, the libertarian position is already by the boards. Still, at the very least the govt involvement should have some semblance of even-handedness. That’s not really a libertarian position per se, but more of a “not a union hack” position.

  174. “For the umpteenth time, firing pro-union employees during a unionization drive is already illegal, as is threatening to retaliate against them.”

    And or the umpteenth time, the studies show that the incentives that the NLRA and NLRB currently provide to protect employees from employers during a unionization drive simply do not outweigh the incentives to the employers of committing the infractions and defeating the drive. If union goons break windows or jaws they go to jail while if employers fire or otherwise violate the NLRB they are forced to resinstate and make with back pay. Therefore, conceptually the employers will just use the election period to comitt unfair labor practices and empiricaly that is what is found…

    It’s just one of those many, many areas where there is not a “level playing field” in unionization elections, and that break for the employer (for one example, the employer can bar union reps from the place of employment while he can use as much company time as he sees fit to subject employees to anti-union speech). Having some break the union’s way is how the NLRB tries for “fairness.” Analogizing to a political election and how fairness if created there is just inapt, for the reasons I’ve noted above.

    By your own professed principle you fall: you claim that you don’t want the government sticking its nose in these matters at all, fine. You claim that if it is going to then it should be even handed. Fine. But I see you and other libertarians worked up to defeat what you see as a violation of evenhandedness (certification via authorization cards, which I don’t concede as a violation of evendhandedness) yet where is the libertarian outcry to provide equal access to union reps to employees during election periods? If it is indeed the even handedness bothering you, then why no outcry there?

    On this subject you demonstrated how little you know about labor law:

    “You have to keep in mind, though, that union organizers have only one purpose for interaction with employees, while management has to interact for reasons other than to oppose unionization (you know, running the business and such). Equal time would be excessive, but union organizers should be guaranteed some access.”

    No one in labor law debates has to my mind put forward an argument that union reps get time equal to the amount management has in managing workers. The “equal access” debate has only been about giving union reps time equal to the amount of time management uses to engage in anti-union speech. To your credit, you acknowledged that is proper above.

  175. “I believe that Democrats support card check for the same reason they support vote-by-mail — namely that they are in favor of politics where group pressure can be brought to bear on individual choices.”

    Funny given the charge thrown out up thread that Democrats were really hypocrites because they favor less group pressure in political elections (by opposing compelling ID at the polls for example) but more group pressure in union elections. Goes to show that bias will grope around to find what it thinks are the arguments it needs to justify itself…

  176. Mr. NIce Guy,

    A large part of your argument rests on the notion that because certain forms of persuasion unions are known to use are illegal they therefore don’t matter and cannot be used as argument against card check. Simultaneously, you argue that certain forms of persuasion employers are known to use are illegal and matter a great deal and can be used as argument for card check. How you can hold these two views simultaneously without being a gibbering idiot is beyond me.

    I am against card check because it appears, on its face, to be a system ready made for abuse by the unions. I think the problem that it solves is a problem for unions not for workers, and frankly I don’t give a damn about Big Labor’s problems.

  177. 90% of the people who voted for FDR didn’t do it because of and New Deal platform. His votes came for two reasons: 1) His opponent was the chap on duty when the economy crashed, and more importantly 2) Everyone knew he was a wet.

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