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A response to Covert

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by JR4, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. JR4

    JR4 In the Starting Line-up PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Since your response could perhaps lead to a Political discussion I moved
    my response to the PATsFans.com Political forum.

    Interesting screen name, Covet , like covert operations? :)

    Yes in todays world, England of course, trade unions and socialism are
    linked politically.

    I was involved in the establisment of a Union in my early years. As far
    as the people who started that union there was no political agenda. Now
    the Organized Union that we contacted to help us with the task may
    have had a politcal adgenda but the people did not. That union was
    a result of unfair pratices by management.

    So Left wing or Socialism had really no part with that union and from my
    school days I always thought of socialism as a method of governing a
    country.

    Anyway, your statement caused me to wonder about the two so I did
    a little research.
    In England and the US, Unions actually came before socialism. In fact
    in the early days in England, Socialism opposed Trade Unions.
    As time went on those concepts became politically linked and the results is
    what you have today.

    The NFL Players Association is not socialistic structure nor is any of it's
    demands a basis for assuming it is socialism.
    The use of the word "socialism" in the post of that thread that first used the
    word socialism was not appropriate and was only used for effect.
  2. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    American unions have never been socialist, and have been more based on guilds, rather some communist ideal where workers controls the wheels of production. The reason our Labor Day is in September, rather than on May 17, is because our union leaders did not want the American labor movement to be associated with communism. Although there have certainly been some socialist labor leaders in America, they are the exception. The labor movement, like the majority of blue collar union members, is not left wing, but they believe they have as much right to fight for increased wages, as management has to fight for increased profits or Chambers of Commerce have to fight for less government regulation of business. The American labor movement has been very much a part of our capitalist system, and many economists have argued that the labor movement, by fighting for improved wages and benefits, has done our economy a lot of good by forcing businesses to be more innovative and by putting more money into people's hands.
  3. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Unions once pioneered better working conditions and fairer treatment of workers.
    Unfortunately, today's unions are fat cat jobs for union officials and focus their efforts on work rules that inhibit productivity, make deadbeats all but impossible to fire and cost workers jobs as they drive companies into bankrupcy. Fortunately, unins and their membership are in decline, that is everywhere but in the public sector as govt continues to grow out of control as pols strive to secure votes for re-election.
  4. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As a former union member and official one of my concerns before I retired was that the newer workers were not stepping up to take the reigns, unfortunately blood was shed to achieve what we did. The new folk made back door deals, did not use the union unless they were in deep crap. Much of what we gained was just taken for granted, and some after a while started to realize that what was being done by management was against their best interest. I suspect the trade unions will stay strong, however the service unions will acquiesce to the demands of government and big business to just get along.
  5. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Pissah, unions are less necessary today because people are fairly content, and many employers have found it in their interest to treat workers well (stock options, extra vacatoin, daycare, etc.). In other countries, workers have continued to fight for more. Thus, in much of Europe, workers have shorter work weeks, more vacation, more rights, better benefits, and excellent productivity (like in France). It's unfortunate that the American worker is already content. If they were not, they could get more from their employers. Even today, the average union worker earns more than the average nonunion worker, and they have far far better retirement plans than those of us who are invested in 401(K) plans.
  6. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think you're stuck in the past regarding union pensions and Europe. Europe is on a sharp decline in relative standard of living. The working class cannot support the welfare state's unbridled growth. Year after year, European GDP growth is consistently far outpaced by the US's growth and emerging economies, q.v. Asia.

    In a world economy, the post WWII pension largess and advantage for US workers has dwindled. Those jobs have and are moving overseas. Your static dream of a socialist paradise continues to fly in the face of the realities of a world economy.
  7. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    When I lived in Sweden in the early 90s, people were predicting the Swedish economy would collapse because of his socialist nature. But, that turned out to be just the wishful thinking of the naysayers. The fact is, even with high taxes, my standard of living was higher in Sweden than here because the streets are safe, the city is incredibly clean, and the quality standards are far higher. I don't know how you factor those things in. The welfare state is doing just fine and the only people who say otherwise are those who want to scare the American worker into believing things can't be better. They've been saying the same thing for at least 50 years, and I guess you feel for it.

    If you want a more objective look as to how people live, here's a good link:

    http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/8Comparison.htm

    You'll see our nation has its share of strengths, but its not nearly as strong and good as it could be.

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