Litmus test

by Russ Roberts on September 6, 2011

in Politics

Watch this video. (HT: Drudge) It gives me the creeps. The desperation and viciousness is palpable. But there are surely millions of fine people, some of them my friends and neighbors who will find it inspiring. Such is the nature of politics. This is going to be the ugliest political campaign of my lifetime.

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{ 94 comments }

Mogden September 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Proud to be a barbarian.

Arthur Felter September 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Holy crap… I didn’t know that by not being in a labor union I didn’t have a right to exist!

Methinks1776 September 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Class warfare at its most literal.

He doesn’t give me the creeps. He gives me the yawns. You can tell he’s all worked up, but his delivery is so lame, it’s hard to take him seriously. I’ve seen much scarier speeches from much scarier people.

Jack Costello September 6, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Wearing Ralph Lauren while inciting class hatred certainly makes him look pretty ridiculous. That said, it is a sad world in which the US vice president is prepared to describe his political opponents as ‘barbarians’.
And here I thought my opinion of him couldn’t get any lower after he effectively endorsed (if only temporarily) the Chinese regime’s one-child policy.

rbd September 6, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Imagine if the Honorable Jo Byedim were a republican.

Methinks1776 September 6, 2011 at 8:33 pm

The turned up collar is a nice touch. Very country club.

Jim September 6, 2011 at 9:04 pm

The Vice President called the Tea Party folks terrorists.

If a conservative or libertarian called the labor unions that word, the MSM would smear their careers and attempt their removal from office.

Methinks1776 September 6, 2011 at 9:29 pm

If you call Obama’s policies fascist based on increased government control he wants and passed into law or if you call him a socialist for wanting to “spread the wealth around” and for foisting socialized medicine on the population, you are being incendiary. And a racist.

However, when Democraps call Bush “Hitler” or people who exercise their constitutional rights to participate in government “terrorists”, it’s totally normal. And it is. It’s totally normal for thugs like Obama and his idiot VP.

Invisible Backhand September 6, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Democraps call Bush “Hitler”

From zero to hypocrisy in just 4 words. That’s nearing the theoretical limit.

Greg Webb September 6, 2011 at 10:48 pm

That’s exactly right, Methinks1776. It’s hate speech if Republicans criticize the idiotic left, but free speech for any Democrat clown to say any hateful idiotic thing that he wants to. Now that’s hypocrisy!

Fred September 7, 2011 at 8:27 am

What do you expect from people who somehow believe that government can simultaneously punish theft while being an agency of wealth redistribution?

Tolerance means you tolerate whatever they do and they don’t have to tolerate you.
Inclusiveness means you must include them while they exclude you.
Equality means you must treat them as equals while they treat you with contempt.

Their entire belief system is a series of contradictions.

Methinks1776 September 7, 2011 at 10:50 am

Not as equals, Fred, for that would mean treating them like the peasants we are.

They expect to be treated like the exalted elites they consider themselves to be. They are nobles. Feudal Lords. We are the peasants who owe the crown tribute.

Their entire belief system is rather old fashioned.

Dan H September 6, 2011 at 9:00 pm

This creeping class warfare is particularly unsettling. I’ve never seen anything like it in my short lifetime.

Perhaps future Mrs. Dan H said it best. She and I were watching the news a few months back and she saw all the signs from the Wisconsin protests that had the “Solidarity fist”. She was startled by this sight, and she turned to me slightly choked up and said “Do these people even know what they are advocating? Do they know what THAT stands for? It’s those kind of people that sent my grandfather to Siberia to die a miserable death”.

Greg Webb September 6, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Dan H, they know what it means. The goal is to intimidate people into giving in to the left’s looting of the taxpayers.

Fred September 7, 2011 at 9:20 am

These people would confiscate your possessions and send you to your death if they thought they could get away with it.
Join the collective or die.

Earick Ward September 7, 2011 at 10:55 am

Dan H. (and future Mrs Dan H.)

Bravo for your perception, and respects to the plight of Mrs H.’s grandfather.

We have never not known freedom and liberty in America. It saddens me that these “class -warfare miscreants” are gaining traction with a large segment of the American people. As you know (from experience), and as Cafe Hayak participants know, through study and reason, collectivism is a failure. Economic failure. Failure of Liberty. We MUST make a better case for Capitalism and the “merits” of Capitalism, before we too, are sent ot the gulag.

Methinks1776 September 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Here’s the problem, Earick:

You tell everyone how great capitalism is. Freedom to come to your own private arrangements, the opportunity to work to better your life, etc. As long as you’re willing to work, the sky’s the limit.

The other side tells them they can get all the same stuff for free by sitting on their ass – getting up only to vote for the politician who promises to go steal it from “other” people you’ve been conditioned to hate.

Which do you think the products of the American public school system will go for?

The whole country is moving closer to being a giant Gulag. So far the changes are subtle. Americans can no longer open bank accounts in foreign countries (Swiss banks would still do it if you deposited several million, but they will no longer open accounts for any sum). No matter where you live on the planet, the U.S. taxes you, so long as you are a U.S. citizen. Renunciation of citizenship is up to you officially, but the reality is that the U.S. has to agree to let you go. If it does, it imposes an exit tax (like the Soviet Union) and if you’re wealthy, the U.S. government usually retaliates by banning you from the country for good (it doesn’t have to, but it does – again, like the USSR). The U.S. can spy on you (just like the USSR) and confiscation of private property is on the rise. If you do not pay tribute to the state, you lose your freedom. This is by no means a complete list. The U.S. is not yet a hard tyranny like the Soviet Union, but it’s fast becoming a soft tyranny and moving not in the direction of Western Europe, but in the direction of a totalitarian state.

Wow September 9, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Wow, hyperbole much?

“We have never not known freedom and liberty in America.”? If “we” means upperclass white men, then perhaps, though not even them entirely. But what about slaves? What about women? What about poor irishmen, chinese immigrants, etc, etc.

Has America been a great nation, using capitalism to help raise the standard of living tremendously for everyone? Absolutely. But don’t pretend that capitalism or America have been perfect beacons of freedom and liberty. Don’t pretend that people who toil away a low end jobs haven’t been given the short end of the stick. Don’t pretend that collective bargaining is ipso facto thuggery. We live in a world of grey. Don’t pretend it to be otherwise.

erp September 6, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Class warfare is all they have left.

kyle8 September 6, 2011 at 7:59 pm

well to be fair they also have the race card, but that one has been so overplayed it is almost worthless anymore.

Jim September 7, 2011 at 2:49 am

Class warfare is all they have.

There. I fixed for ya.

It is the most simplistic, and childlike view of the world, easily understood even by children and actors (in years gone by we called them court jesters).

It does not matter which particular strain of it is instituted; subtle creeping socialism, fascism, communism, or a dictatorship. It means and ends the same.

Speedmaster September 6, 2011 at 6:49 pm

That is some very scary business. My grandfather was an independent milkman. He passed at 86 2 years ago. He told me stories (40s-60s) of how the union thugs would intimidate him on his route at 6am, pour kerosene all over the milk bottles on his truck, bully his family etc. Make no mistakes about what these people are. Thuggery at its core.

John Papola September 6, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Hmmm…. maybe the VP should share this little graph with his people:
http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

It appears that his Jimmy Hoffa team and their men at arms has been winning the battle of buying politicians by a landslide.

Invisible Backhand September 6, 2011 at 7:49 pm

The top donor on that list is $55 M over 21 years.

The top donor on this list is $770 M over 13 years:

http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?indexType=s

Speaking of donations John, how much did your ‘Fight of the Century’ videos cost and who paid for them?

Chucklehead September 6, 2011 at 7:59 pm

These list match the one from Rent Seekers Anonymous.
http://amzn.to/qvSHZo

kyle8 September 6, 2011 at 8:01 pm

why would that matter to you a-hole? He didn’t use the government to steal the cost of production.

Steve_0 September 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm

I paid for them. Seriously.
Proudly.

Seth September 6, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Me too.

Richard Stands September 7, 2011 at 12:35 am

Me too.

warrior9504 September 7, 2011 at 10:27 am

me too! one of the greatest donations I have made in a while!

John Papola September 6, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Our videos were expensive and virtually all of the money went to the hard-working, talented people who came on board to make them a success. That’s what voluntary society promotes: cooperation, community and collective efforts. That’s why it’s common to say “every business is a people business”, because it is.

You aren’t entitled to know who donated money to our project for the sake of your ad hominem logic. What matters is that the writing was driven solely by Russ and I working to be most honest and fair than virtually every keynesian critic of Austrian economics I have ever seen in my entire life, which is why we’ve been treated so nicely by NPR, the BBC and Fox News alike.

Our videos aren’t stealing your money to give it to cronies in a dark room. Our videos are what you call “the private provision of public goods” and there are teachers all over this country using them to get their students excited about learning economics for the first time.

As for your link, it only reinforces why concentrating monopoly control over the economy in one DC target is such a socially destructive enterprise. Your list is a list of anti-market parasites looking to gain advantage. Mr. Obama sure loves much of this gang. He’s cut deals for the AMA, GE, big Phrma, the Realtors, The war machine, etc like a true public-choice style self-interest political agent.

Worse, though, is the fact that the progressive fantasy of entitled “independent” technocracy actually empowered your list of rent-seekers even more. Tallying up that list of lobbying contributions represents a nice example of the dead-weight loss from the keynesians, corporatist administrative state. And, no, the answer to this is not restricting freedom of association and expression. Those are liberal values worthy of being the very first amendment.

Invisible Backhand September 7, 2011 at 11:17 am

You were trying to show the unions/left were the big donors and I demolished it.

“You aren’t entitled to know who donated money to our project”

“Please make a tax-deductible contribution today…”
http://econstories.tv/donate/

But the IRS is.

“Our videos aren’t stealing your money”

Your not paying taxes while I do. How self reliant of you.

As for your economic opinions, I think you said it best yourself in your forbes blog post:

“Fear not, Roger. I have no formal economics training whatsoever. ;)

John Papola September 6, 2011 at 11:51 pm

All that said, your link IS a good rebuttal insofar as it shows how much money corporations have dumped into the political process. What neither shows, I believe is the state-level, where the public sector unions surely play a large role. Larger than these corporations? I doubt it. But who knows.

Methinks1776 September 7, 2011 at 12:01 am

They don’t have to be larger, John. They can be just large enough to put taxpayers on the hook and bankrupt whole states.

Seth September 7, 2011 at 11:32 am

I’m glad to see we agree on something.

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Russ, Don or any of the core commenters with similar views on this blog suggest that business managers are pure capitalists and do not seek to purchase the political coercion of government to gain advantage on competition and reduce choices of consumers.

In fact, just the opposite. That is often cited as a key reason, since early classical liberal days, for limiting government power. Special interests looking for rent-seeking come in all stripes – for-profit enterprises, labor unions, trade groups, charitable organizations, licensing bureaus, religious groups and so forth. All of these are made up of the exact same thing — people seeking to serve their own interests. In a private market they seek their own self interests by providing things that other folks find enough value in to purchase. In government, they seek to serve their own self-interest by limiting what choices individuals can make.

Jeffrey Ellis September 6, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Ewwww. It gives me the creeps too.

Mikenshmirtz September 6, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Would someone please bury Hoffa already? In an undisclosed location, of course.

Corey September 6, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Whenever I get depressed about politics I find that the ending speech from The Great Dictator always cheers me up. It restores my hope we human beings always do the right thing and eventually learn from our mistakes. We don’t always learn as quickly as we should but the long term trend is inspiring none the less.

It’s telling that my favorite inspirational speech comes not from a politician but from an actor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcvjoWOwnn4

vikingvista September 7, 2011 at 2:19 am

What is inspiring to me is how well Americans treat one another in their one-on-one private interactions. Of course, they can be absolute monsters via their government agents. If that disconnect can ever be breached, I hold out great hope for the future.

JCE September 6, 2011 at 7:26 pm

well, according to this (former) GOP staffer, the assault on the middle class is very real
http://www.truth-out.org/goodbye-all-reflections-gop-operative-who-left-cult/1314907779

Invisible Backhand September 6, 2011 at 7:41 pm

I don’t think you’ll gain much traction here JCE, all these people around here who aren’t conservatives are very conservative.

Dan H September 6, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Why, hello new troll! Glad you found this site!

If you had an ounce of philosophical knowledge – and read anything on this site – you would realize that there are very few republican sympathizers on here.

Now go on upstairs and go to bed. Your mom says it’s past your bedtime. Oh, and she says the September rent is past due too.

Methinks1776 September 6, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Old troll. Usually he’s here to bitch about Don’s and Russ’ opinion of Saint Keynes.

Dan H September 6, 2011 at 9:06 pm

My 13 years of Catholic school taught me that in order to be canonized a saint, there have to be two miracles attributed to the deceased figure. What were Keynes’ two miracles?

Oh, I know! Miracle #1: He was able to convince people that he was smart! Miracle #2: After his policies were a complete failure and brought about the Great Depression (as opposed to it just being a recession), he was able to magically erase his mark from all grade school history books to this day!

Invisible Backhand September 6, 2011 at 9:39 pm

“After his policies were a complete failure and brought about the Great Depression”

If you’re going to make stuff up, make it something that isn’t so easily checkable:

The Roaring Twenties were an era dominated by Republican presidents: Warren Harding (1920-1923), Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929) and Herbert Hoover (1929-1933). Under their conservative economic philosophy of laissez-faire (“leave it alone”), markets were allowed to operate without government interference. Taxes and regulation were slashed dramatically, monopolies were allowed to form, and inequality of wealth and income reached record levels. The country was on the conservative’s preferred gold standard, and the Federal Reserve was not allowed to significantly change the money supply.

The fact that the Great Depression began in 1929, then, on the Republicans’ watch, is a great embarrassment to conservative economists. Many try to blame the worsening of the Depression on Hoover, for supposedly betraying the laissez-faire ideology. As the time line in the next section will show, however, almost all of Hoover’s government action occurred during his last year in office, long after the worst of the Depression had hit. In fact, he was voted out of office for doing “too little too late.”

The Other Tim September 6, 2011 at 9:52 pm

You have an interesting definition of “check” if you think a quotation from a clearly sympathetic author stating more or less that he just doesn’t agree with the laissez faire interpretation of the 20′s is an authority.

Methinks1776 September 6, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Oh, Other Tim, by now you should already know that by “check” he means trot out aggressive assertions, half-baked lies and moronic slogans.

Ken September 7, 2011 at 1:11 am

IB,

Hoover disavowed laissez-faire, but I guess doing a simple google search is beyond your capability. Keep up the sayings of ignorance! We all need a good laugh now and then.

Regards,
Ken

kyle8 September 7, 2011 at 6:47 am

Maybe if you had some real history books you wouldn’t be so ignorant. Hoover was not Laissez Faire, in fact nearly every thing done in the New Deal was first done by Hoover on a smaller scale. And they only made things worse.

Chucklehead September 6, 2011 at 8:57 pm

A assault on unions is not the same as a assault on the middle class.3 of 4 middle class workers are not union.
The unions have destroyed every industry that they have touched. Since they are now mostly left in government, we can sit by and watch them destroy our nation, or call them out for the charlatans they are.
Unions , like government are leaches. Each has used every excuse to destroy wealth and the productivity that improves the lives of the rest of us.

Methinks1776 September 6, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Also, an assault on unions is not the same thing as an assault on labour.

I’ve always found it weird that people who despise corporations and rail against corporate privilege love unions. It takes a special kind of blindness.

Michael September 6, 2011 at 7:31 pm

There are more non union workers in the private sector,yet somehow this minority special interest group is going to do what? Force those choosing not to be union into a union? What exactly is this war against the majority of the country going to do?

jorod September 6, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Sieg Heil!

Kirby September 6, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Look at this:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-poll-economy-20110906,0,7074574.story

Even when the study finds that DEMOCRATS dislike the results of their OWN initiatives, it is the fault of the republicans framing the situation incorrectly.

Dan H September 6, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!

Methinks1776 September 6, 2011 at 8:56 pm

which reminds me of a much scarier and much smarter revolutionary who inflicted very similar speeches on this very same topic and who was also a bloodthirsty revolutionary.

“Now we have the opportunity to carry out a resolute offensive against the kulaks, break their resistance, eliminate them as a class and replace their production with the production of kolkhozy and sovkhozy.”

V.I. Lenin demonizing the Kulaks (Russian peasants who managed to become wealthy). When the Kulaks fought back against Lenin’s ruthlessness, Lenin issued his hanging orders:

“Comrades! The insurrection of five kulak districts should be pitilessly suppressed. The interests of the whole revolution require this because ‘the last decisive battle’ with the kulaks is now under way everywhere. An example must be demonstrated.
1. Hang (and make sure that the hanging takes place in full view of the people) no fewer than one hundred known landlords, rich men, bloodsuckers.
2. Publish their names.
3. Seize all their grain from them.
4. Designate hostages in accordance with yesterday’s telegram.
Do it in such a fashion that for hundreds of kilometres around the people might see, tremble, know, shout: “they are strangling, and will strangle to death, the bloodsucking kulaks”.
Telegraph receipt and implementation.
Yours, Lenin.
Find some truly hard people”

How dare the Kulaks rebel against theft of their property.

Invisible Backhand September 6, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Существует не фанатик, как новообращенных.

Methinks1776 September 6, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Your translator failed. Again.

But then, failure is your defining characteristic.

Dan H September 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Cto ti imeeshi vvidu, ne ponyal???

Methinks1776 September 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm

konechno net, Dan. Ne razy v sovei neschatnii i vonuchii zhizni. Eta, moi dorogoi, blistyashi predmet – ne donoshenaya tvar. On degenerat samii nastoyashii. Vot takih na tom sveti s fonarikam iskat.

Don Boudreaux September 6, 2011 at 11:47 pm

My thoughts exactly! ;-)

Methinks1776 September 7, 2011 at 12:05 am

I suspected we might be in agreement :)

Dan H September 7, 2011 at 8:31 am

Nevidemyi mozg doljen poumneti ctob doiti hotyab do urovnya tupih.

jcpederson September 8, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Help a guy out here – translate.google.com let me down today..

jorod September 6, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Seriously, the unions have the power to tax like a government.

Nick September 6, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Seems like mindless political banter to me…..the guy has always been a blowhard.

Eric Hosemann September 6, 2011 at 8:36 pm

“You’re the only ones keeping the barbarians IN the gates.” So true Joe, so true.

rbd September 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm

One would think that (federal) government employees wouldn’t feel the need to unionize, being that their employer is the purveyor of all things good and decent. Yet, public sector unions are the only growing class of unions these days.

Hmmmmmmm.

Steve_0 September 6, 2011 at 10:11 pm

BRILLIANT POINT.

Seth September 6, 2011 at 10:59 pm

They’re unionized against the voters.

Methinks1776 September 6, 2011 at 11:13 pm

bingo.

T Rich September 8, 2011 at 10:57 am

Seth’s excellent point has probably never dawned on those (brain dead people) that support the public sector unions. Even FDR recognized that public unions were a terrible idea.

Seriously, if the original purpose of a union was to protect laborers from exploitation, danger, etc., by the greedy capitalist, who/what are public sector unions organizing in opposition to? The public, that’s who.

Jim September 6, 2011 at 9:10 pm

What is scary is the level of vitriol and the government has not even been rolled back yet. Was this speech before or after his speech at Solyndra?

I would like to spend some time with Mr. Biden. No way does anyone get to be Vice President and actually be as intellectually challenged as he sounds.

kyle8 September 7, 2011 at 6:53 am

Not true, not true at all. He was always a very very stupid man. He plagiarized speeches because he couldn’t think of anything himself. He got elected over and over again because he did the bidding of certain financial interests, and the unions.

In fact he was elected, and he was chosen VP precisely because he cannot think for himself.

Jim September 7, 2011 at 9:11 am

I had not considered he may have been a union choice, which would explain a lot. Read this Clarice Feldman article on the fraud that is Trumka, who she knows personally:

Obama’s administration has also taken unprecedented, perhaps even illegal, steps to cater to Trumka’s insatiable demands for ever more union privileges, including a $60 billion dollar tax break under the ObamaCare waivers from ObamaCare ‘s provisions; an unprecedented NLRB drive to prevent Boeing from moving some of its operations to another state which more favorable labor conditions; the buy up with tax dollars of failing auto companies to save the UAW benefits at the expense of share holders.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/08/will_the_democrats_trump_trumka.html
Articles: Will the Democrats Trump Trumka

As of November, a new federal law will force companies to publically post union access and balloting rules in their workplaces.

Despite all this and daily access to the President, Trumka and the unions are now threatening Dems with running their own competing politicians. They feel they have not received enough for their hard work in the last election.

The work of a class society never ends:)

Nickolaus September 6, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Hey it’s that guy who isn’t gonna be Vice President anymore regardless of the outcome of the next election!

Harrison September 6, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Wouldn’t it be nice if Republicans actually “declared war” on unions? No candidate is advocating repealing the National Labor Relations Act (or its even worse cousin, Title VII).

That would be a platform I could get behind.

Invisible Backhand September 6, 2011 at 9:43 pm

You might want to run that Title VII bit past Methinks1776 first.

Ken September 7, 2011 at 1:02 am

“This is going to be the ugliest political campaign of my lifetime.”

This is undoubtedly not true.

Regards,
Ken

Jim September 7, 2011 at 2:51 am

Well, it could be, until the next one.

NotSure September 7, 2011 at 6:01 am

Like someone already mentioned here, the unions are not the majority of workers, so they can not even hide behind the “will of the people” excuse. People like Invisible Backhand always like to ignore this very simple fact.

Randy September 7, 2011 at 6:36 am

The “unions” are not workers. They are political organizations.

Randy September 7, 2011 at 6:47 am

To clarify, that that those who join political organizations also sometimes earn a living by creating something of real value does not make their political behavior anything other than political behavior.

yet another Dave September 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Would it be more accurate to say unions are corporations whose entire purpose is rent seeking via the political process?

Randy September 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Perhaps, but I see rent seeking as the entire purpose of any political process, so I figure that my terms are sufficient.

yet another Dave September 7, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Good point. I do like throwing in the word corporation because of all the anti-corporation rhetoric of many union supporters, though.

whotrustedus September 7, 2011 at 9:13 am

While flipping channels last nite, I spent a few minutes with The Ed Show on MSNBC. As Russ suggests, Ed was inspired by this speech and a related one from Hoffa. Ed interviewed Hoffa with more of the same. The union’s effort to link their members to the “middle class” is very clever. that said, hope most of the rest of us who are not in unions and have to deal with the inefficiencies brought on on by unions, particularly public sector unions, can see through that.

kyle8 September 7, 2011 at 9:23 am

Unions have favorable ratings only slightly higher than congress

Brian September 7, 2011 at 9:38 am

Nothing whips up a crowd like an existential crisis.

Thomas A. Coss September 7, 2011 at 11:34 am

The desperate cry of a dying ideology, Joe Biden and John Kerry would fit in comfortably along with Andropov waving at the annual military parade in red square. This stuff no-longer works, we have the internet along with citizens paying attention; just no match.

Kevin September 7, 2011 at 4:30 pm

I don’t understand how labor unions are supposed to be the guard, the protectors, of the middle class.

Labor unions exist to restrict supply, forcing wage prices to rise for their members. Higher labor costs result in lower employment in that sector. So if all sectors were unionized, it stands to reason that the forcibly higher wages would result in net lower employment.

So the idea that unions are the protectors of middle class employment is laughable when, at higher rates of penetration, union proliferation would result in lower employment!

Holding skills and equipment constant, they can have higher individual wages or higher employment in their sector. Not both.

whotrustedus September 7, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Agree completely. But it is really the only marketing angle that they have. They know they only represent a small percentage of the working population. But it they can fool some of the rest of us by suggesting they are defending the “middle class”, they can garner a bit more support for their rent seeking.

Bill September 7, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Make no mistake, unions are thugs, always have been and always will be. But, a funny story to go with this post:

My father was a meat cutter and is now retired.

About 25 years ago he was working when some union thugs came in and wanted the store’s meat workers to join the union. My dad being the manager of the department said no thank you, we’re happy here. The store treats us really well, we get good pay and good time off.

The union thugs said they would give him a day to consider their offer and would return the next day. They said if he wanted to make it easy he would accept their offer when they return.

The next day came and sure enough the thugs came. My dad once again declined. The union thugs said they wanted to discuss it outside with him since my dad didn’t know what was best for him and his workers. My dad said sure, and asked them to wait a minute. Now, my dad isn’t want you would call a hulking mass of muscle. But….

He called out a guy known as “Big Dave” who was in the cooler grinding meat.

Big Dave comes out, all 6’4″ and 300 pounds of him, with another guy just slightly smaller than him who was stacking boxes of beef and pork that easily weigh 80 to 100lbs. My dad said, “OK, we’re ready to talk. Let’s go.”

The union thugs backed down and said he would be sorry for his decision.

They never appeared in the store again.

Methinks1776 September 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Great story!

Union thugs just recently shot the owner of a non-union electrical company in Ohio. This was after they terrorized him and vandalized his property for a while.

But, it’s YOU who is the barbarian.

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