The Gross National Debt

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Communism alive and well in the US

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Actually for longer than that.

com·mu·nism/ˈkämyəˌnizəm/

Noun: A political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs.

Now a fun family board game!
Short version? Everyone owns everything. No private ownership. You get what you need and there are no rich people, no poor people.

If you are a student of human nature, as I am, you immediately realize something VERY important. If the society intends to meet all my needs, then I don't have to do ANYTHING. I can lay on the ground and I will be fed and cared for.

You may also notice something else. If everyone owns everything, then no one is responsible when something breaks or needs repair.

If you are also like me and a very determined student of human nature, you'll notice something else.

Communism sounds a lot like modern unions.

I am not criticizing communism. I am also not criticizing unions, yet.
OK now I am criticizing unions.
 (And Masa, this is one of those blogs which could see me arrested and put in jail for a LONG time in other countries.)

It's quite likely you've not heard about the growing furor over Boeing's decision to set up a plane manufacturing plant in S. Carolina. The company plans to make three 787 DreamLiners a month at the plant. It also plans to make the plane in Washington State.
Sounds like a guy on a pogo stick. Boeing Boeing Boeing.

Boeing's HQ is in Washington State. The union there has asked for, and received, federal intervention in Boeing's decision to set up a new plant in S.C. The union is saying the new plant is in retaliation for previous Boeing employee strikes.

Boeing says it is just an expansion, besides which it will not reduce the workforce in Washington. And Boeing added another 2,000 jobs in Washington.

The S.C. plant is not unionized. S. Carolina is also a right-to-work state, meaning it's more difficult to fire someone in S.C. than it is in Georgia. In Georgia you can fire someone without reason. In S.C. you gotta have a reason. Admittedly finding a reason will take an intelligent person only a few seconds.

Federal law allows employees to form unions and prevents companies from retaliating for joining a union. The Boeing unions have invoked provisions of these laws to call for the federal intervention.

There is a LOT more to this story than what bit I'm giving you here. But the basic information is this:
MO MONEY!

Boeing, a private company, is trying to expand. It's trying to make a profit. It's made a decision to maximize profits. It has not harmed the union, cut its workforce or damaged the economy in Washington State. It has boosted the economy of S. Carolina and improved the workforce there.

The union has taken offense to this and invoked a federal law to block the new plant in S. Carolina.

From my seat in S. Georgia, the union is trying to tell Boeing corporate execs how to run  the company. In this case, they are telling Boeing what to do at the expense of folks in S. Carolina.

Sounds like communism, walks like communism, talks like communism. Betcha it ain't a duck.

Lemme add to this, airline companies have increasingly shifted routine maintenance and inspections to S. America. Why? Lower labor costs, less headaches with employees. Unions have, of course, bitched about this. But the maintenance and inspections are done by independent companies with which the airlines contract, so there's little unions can do.

Unions started out as a way to protect workers from unsafe workplaces and unsafe labor practices. They have morphed into money-hungry conglomerates which compete with private industry for dollars. Safety and employee rights take a back seat to the Root of Evil. The root of evil is not money, in case you are wondering.

YMMV. And I could agree with you, if you disagree with me. But then we'd both be wrong.

4 comments:

  1. Brutal AntipathyJune 14, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, with slight variation depending on which translation you use. Translations aside, the union in question is certainly subscribing to the teachings of Karl while sounding like Groucho.

    --B.A.

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  2. I know absolutely nothing about the example of the Boeing employees vs. the company. However, you must realize the underlying contradiction in your argument here. You criticize the Boeing union for "trying to tell the Boeing corporate execs how to run the company." Certainly, no one knows better than these executives how to maximize profit. At the same time, no one knows how to better improve working conditions than the employees themselves. (The negation of this fact by corporations is arguable more dangerous than the intervention of unions, IMHO). Each class knows what they do best.

    On a side note, if unions have "morphed into money-hungry conglomerates," where do you think they learned it from?

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  3. Unless something completely went over my head here, there is nothing in Ben's post regarding the Washington union trying to make working conditions better. The Washington union, despite having an additional 2k jobs, wants to keep Boeing solely there, instead of spreading the "wealth" of jobs. Only one problem. The union does not own Boeing. Boeing earns Boeing. And yes, I'm fully aware that without the workers (and the union) that Boeing cannot make their product... but it is wrong of the Washington union to keep the jobs to themselves, instead of opening up the prospects for people in other areas. It is downright selfish.

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Hi. I welcome lively debate. Attack the argument. Go after a person in the thread, your comments will not be posted.