Archive for the ‘Unions’ Category

From the New Yorker:

For decades, business owners have resisted higher minimum wages by arguing that they destroy jobs, particularly for young people. At some theoretical level, high minimum wages will distort job creation, but the best empirical evidence from the past decade is aligned with common sense: a minimum wage drawn somewhat above the poverty line helps those who work full time to live decently, without having a significant impact on other job seekers or on total employment.

Except it’s wrong, ignores the loss of jobs that are never created and the subsiziding impact of welfare and low-income benefits that also siphon funds away from job creation and into government redistribution.

I’ll let Orphe Divounguy explain it again:

(For example, a study of pairs of neighboring counties with differing minimum pay found that higher wages had no adverse effect on restaurant jobs.)

Of course, he doesn’t cite the study, the amount of difference in pay, or an analysis of what jobs were lost, not created, or where these counties were.

Even so, a federal minimum wage of ten dollars or more will not solve inequality. It will not stop runaway executive pay or alter the winner-take-all forces at work in the global economy.

And here we see the true intentions.  The objective is to make equality of outcomes.  The ideology is a belief that executive pay is “runaway” and that the economy is a “winner-take-all” scenario, rather than one of mutual cooperation for benefit.  Apparently the New Yorker’s Steve Coll doesn’t understand where pencils come from.

Coll continues:

Yet it will bring millions of Americans closer to the levels of economic security and disposable income that they knew before the housing bubble burst.

No, it won’t.  It will artificially increase wages, which will then result in employers increasing their expenses to customers.  There will be a transfer of wealth from the many to the few.  There will be a visible result of a handful of people with minimum wage jobs making more money, but it will result in a less visible loss of wages by everyone who uses those services, by employers whose payrolls will be adjusted in favor of old employees versus new ones – meaning jobs that would be created will not be created, and it will result in overall economic loss.

Coll starts his piece by talking about increases in wages for baggage handlers at SeaTac airport, where the minimum wage was bumped from $10/hour to $15/hour by a ballot initiative.  Businesses spent money pushing against it, and Coll celebrates that leftists emerged triumphant, that the “grassroots left, which seemed scattered and demoralized after the Occupy movement fizzled, has revived itself this year—with help from union money and professional canvassers—by rallying voters around the argument that anyone who works full time ought not to be at risk of poverty”.

Union money was sent in by union people who can now look forward to extracting union dues from those $15/hour workers at a higher amount than when they were $10/hour workers.  Professional canvassers are leftist marxist agitators and professional shit-stirring revolutionary groups who serve no function but to create conflict that they exploit for their own personal profit.  The businesses involved opposed it as best they could, but the leftists in Seattle & Tacoma voted for it.

What that means is that the expenses against the airport have gone up, and they’ll have to come up with something to balance it out.  That may mean layoffs, it may mean no new hires, but most likely it will mean increased rates and fees to customers.  The customer is hurt at the expense of the visible aid to the fictional oppressed proletariat.

…life on fifteen thousand a year is barely plausible anymore, even in the low-cost rural areas of the Deep South and the Midwest. National Republican leaders are out of touch with the electorate on this as on much else, and they are too wary of Tea Party dissent to challenge their party’s current orthodoxies of fiscal austerity and free-market purity.

Life on $15,000 per year is not something that someone manages alone.  First off, there are massive government handouts to those of that low income group; second, as Orphe explained, a lot of times, those workers are entry-level workers just getting started – like teenagers.

The Tea Party is composed of people who understand how economics work – that you can’t just arbitrarily say “we’ll make your employer pay you more” without that money coming from somewhere.  Again, Margaret Thatcher’s famous quote comes to mind:

thatcher socialism

Coll finishes with this bleeding heart plea:

The case for a strong minimum wage has always been, in part, civic and moral. Minimum wages do not create new “entitlement” programs or otherwise enjoin the country’s sterile debates about the value of government. They are designed to insure that the dignity of work includes true economic independence for all who embrace it.

The case for strong minimum wage laws has been couched in some people’s idea of what other people are entitled to.  If you pay the neighbor kid $5 to mow your lawn, it’s not moral for the neighborhood to tell you that you MUST pay him $20.  The result will be that the neighbor kid goes without the $5 and you mow your own lawn.  There’s nothing moral about dictating to people how much a worker has to sell his labor for or how much an employer has to pay for that employee’s labor – because it destroys entry-level jobs and harms the community.

The tut-tutting busybody who wants to put the government’s gun to someone’s head and make them do what they feel should be done is not moral.

Minimum wage laws inflict an entitlement by force.  The dignity of work comes from what people put into it – and earning a paycheck, not having the government hold a gun to your employer’s head – leaving you either paid more than you’re worth or unemployed entirely.

There is no “true economic independence” for a $10/hour job, a $15/hour job.  Idle rich and trust fund babies have “true economic independence” – and even they can lose it if economies change.  Economic independence comes from having one’s own skills that are marketable in different job environments.

If Coll and clowns who publish his Marxist drivel want to provide “dignity” and “true economic independence”, why not mandate a $100/hour minimum wage?  If people made $8000 every two weeks, they’d be doing pretty well.  Why not a $1000/hour minimum wage?  Or a $10,000/hour minimum wage?  You could work for a day and pay off student loans and buy a new car all in one.

If he’s got intellect greater than that of a grapefruit, he’d respond with “but businesses can’t afford to pay $10,000/hour.”  And just the same, they can’t afford to pay any other artificial minimum wage without modifying their business model.  Some businesses could handle $10,000/hour minimum wages, but it would harm them severely and result in cutting many employees, hiring no more employees, and passing costs off to customers.  Some businesses can handle a bump to $15/hour minimum wages, but it will harm them as well, it will harm future employment, and the business will pass costs off to their customers.

He wonders why the Midwest and South have a lower cost of living – and that is due in no small part to not having to deal with wage inflation – those costs are passed on to businesses, which pass them back on to us.

-

Update: Some leftist union organizers have decided to stage strikes for higher fast food wages across the country.  When they get the government to force their employers to pay them $15/hour, they’ll find that those businesses can’t stay open because no one wants to pay $17 for a Whopper or $13 for a Big Mac.  They won’t be able to afford the Taco Grande meals they make.

The fast-food effort is backed by the Service Employees International Union and is also demanding that restaurants allow workers to unionize without the threat of retaliation.

It’s like I should just write “the usual suspects are at it again”.

Beating a dead horse – if they’re not worth the pay, they’re not worth the pay.  That’s not a measure of their value as a human being, just their respective value in their chosen job.   Demanding more wages because you’ve chosen to make an entry-level job a career is a problem with the individual’s ambition and drive and desire to sit on the bottom rung of the economic ladder, not a question of whether their employer is a greedy robber baron capitalist pig-dog.

Just connecting some dots.

From Weekly Standard, the IRS commissioner doesn’t think it’s illegal to use the force of government to target those political enemies:

http://youtu.be/7b6U6TJzPWw

Via the Jawa Report, the interesting part is that the IRS is unionized, and heavily supports Democrats:

You best not be a ‘shadowy conservative group’ cuz they really don’t like you if you are.

Where do the anti-sequester, federal government workers-turned-protestors work? They work at the Internal Revenue Service–and they are unionized.

And here’s the really interesting part, via Breitbart:

Obama Met With IRS Union Boss Day Before Tea Party Targeting Began

The White House Visitors Log reveals that President Barack Obama met with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) union boss Colleen Kelley on March 31, 2010—the day before the Inspector General’s report says the IRS began its scheme to target tea party and conservative groups.

Furthermore, Obama appointed Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), to the Federal Salary Council whose job is to recommend pay raises for IRS and other federal employees one week after Obama and Democrats suffered historic midterm losses in 2010.  Two years later, Kelley’s 150,000-member union had raised $580,412, 94% of which went to Democratic federal candidates. The group also strongly backed Obama’s reelection.

From TheMentalRecession:

Hudson city Alderman, Dave Marston, has found himself in a bit of hot water after an e-mail exchange that saw him refer to Second Amendment supporters as “gun-toting Tea Party psychotards”, implying that all gun supporters are “unemployed”, threatened to “beat you barbarians back”, and tosses in a Nazi reference for good measure.

A woman who was organizing protests against the Orwellian-named NY SAFE ACT, Ms. Joanna Johnson-Smith, wrote that she’d be attending a protest rally, and noted the overwhelming opposition to the act by pretty much everyone everywhere except the Ruling Class in NY.

Let’s just let the Alderman speak for himself:

    Dear Joanna Johnson-Smith,

Its really neat that all you gun toting tea party psychotards are so interested in the goings on of our little City, even though I find it amazing that you don’t have any other pressing issues before you in New Lebanon. On the other hand, I guess its not surprising, considering you ideologues aren’t interested in actual policy, but rather grandstanding on mythical narratives of victimization.

Two things: The only spit here is the white stuff frothing on the ends of that rotten little mouth of yours from which you spew this hateful ignorant trash. And a donkeys behind? The rabid ignorance of the fringe is best illustrated by its sad metaphors, I mean seriously, thank you for the laughs.

By all means, come on down, we’ll be happy to beat you barbarians back with the clubs of reason & responsibility, radical lunatics that you are. And say, a quick ProTip, since you’re the “organizer” for unemployed guns nuts USA. Next time you think these unhinged rants will change the mind of anyone who has even a modicum of intelligence, you might instead just go back down into your basement & watch another episode of wheel-of-fortune. It’ll certainly be just as effective. Remember: there are millions of Eagle Scout God Worshiping Patriots who find you & your radical ilk as disgraceful to American Democracy as the Brown Shirt jackboots you act like. I happen to be just one of them. Good Luck.

Best Regards,
David Marston

NY Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, already noteworth for exposing the Democrat’s confiscation agenda, has the entire email exchange hosted here.

Contrast that exchange with the one of Wyoming Representative Hans Hunt with a rabid leftist.  Hunt is responding to someone new from out of state who demands that he comply with the newcomer’s demands – the same newcomers are demanding the ideas they ran from in other states be implemented in a new state.  They’re trying to move in and impose unwanted restrictions on the natives who elected Hunt to preserve their liberties, and also on the newcomers who moved to assimilate to the cultural virtues they embrace.  Marston is insulting natives to his own state – residents who don’t like how their government is changing for it’s own ends, and who are trying to stop it as their own representatives don’t represent them.

Hunt is representing the people who elected him.  Marston is dictating to them.  Hunt is firm but fed up, Marston is just an asshole.

MenRec:

On a side note, Marston was the candidate of choice for the SEIU this past election - the same SEIU that recently tried to organize a pro-gun control rally in Albany by teaming up with Obama’s campaign arm, and paying protesters to attend.

Update: Rally was postponed.  There was a huge influx of 2A supporters who started going after them on Facebook and registering for seats and free meals.  Protesters for citizens’ rights don’t get free rides paid for by BarackObama.com/Organizing for America, but they decided to use the political machine to their advantage, stymying it for now.

seiu lobbying for gun control ny 130224 postponed facebook

Update 2: The NY Post was given other reasons by SEIU for why it was cancelled… which don’t quite jive with the story on FB.

From Organizing For Action, aka MyBarackObama.com:

ALBANY LOBBYING FOR “NY SAFE ACT” (Day of Action)

Governor Cuomo and our legislature passed the “NY SAFE ACT.” It will reduce gun violence in our state. Predictably, it is under attack by the National Rifle Association and allied groups. :::We are joining with the SEIU 1199 to lobby in Albany. This free bus trip will last from 8:00 to 4:30 with breakfast and lunch included. Meet up at 250 S Clinton St. Park in the M Lot at the corner of W Fayette and S Clinton Sts. (Parking in that lot may be validated. No sure yet.) Show your determination to keep our excellent new law!:::You must call this number to get a seat on the free bus. 315-424-1743 Ext 110 Ask for Nekeia:::Also sign up here.

Time:

Thursday, February 28, 2013 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Host:
Jayne H

Location:
1199 SEIU Office (Syracuse, NY)
250 S Clinton St.
Syracuse, NY 13202

Directions:
Please google 250 S CLinton St, Syracuse, 13202

Screenshot here:

seiu lobbying for gun control ny 130224

Freepers are wondering if this is even legal.

The NY SAFE Act is detailed here at American Thinker as “the rape of the Second Amendment”.  Keep in mind this is the same act that NY State Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin exposed as part of a confiscation scheme, and the same law that was rushed through in the dark of night so quickly that even NY cops are violating the law by carrying their service weapons.  The anti-rights forces so hate that citizens have rights that they didn’t even stop to carve out an exception for the state’s enforcers.

For a quick summary/recap of NY SAFE from when it first reared its tyrannical head, this is what the bill covers:

The text of the New York bill can be found here.  But a quick summary would be this on ammo:

  • All ammunition purchases have to be through an FFL
  • Ban on internet ammunition purchase
  • Background checks for all ammo purchases
  • All sales of ammo to be reported to police

And this on guns:

  • Ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds made before 1994
  • Ban on magazines that can hold more than 7 rounds
  • “Grandfathered” 10 round magazines cannot be loaded with more than 7 rounds – or face charges
  • Registration for all “assault weapons”
  • Registration for all handguns
  • Registration required every five years
  • Mental health reporting which is to be checked against a non-existent database on citizens
  • One-feature test for “assault weapons” (no detachable magazines, no pistol grips, no threaded barrels – as written includes adjustable choke shotguns)
  • Bushmaster AR banned by name

Also, “assault weapon” possession in NY is now a Class B felony.  Possession of an actual machinegun is only a third degree Class D felony.  An evil scary non-machinegun can get you 25 years.  A real machinegun can get you 7.

This draconian near-total ban (and it’s only a step to a total ban) is being supported by the President’s “Organizing For Action” perpetual campaign machine and the SEIU with their professional agitators.

The president’s own apparatus is actively lobbying to destroy the Constitutionally-enumerated natural right to keep and bear arms; almost as if we now have an institutional revolutionary party.  Sounds familiar.

First off, congratulations to Michigan for allowing citizens to own their own labor and not be forced by law and coercion to join a union.

Congrats to Democrats and union supporters for acting like the moron goons we all know you are:

I’ve heard the point made in the last few days, though, that the thuggery is not just endemic to unions, but important to them.  When there are real threats put out there, people understand that they really mean it.  Though “it”, as always, is merely preserving their racket, while painting a picture of cackling mustachioed robber barons whipping child slave labor, and the idea that it was unions and not the free market that created the wholly subjective “living wage”.

It’s interesting to read the leftist point of view on this topic.  From HuffPo:

LANSING, Mich. — Over the chants of thousands of angry protesters, Republican lawmakers made Michigan a right-to-work state Tuesday, dealing a devastating and once-unthinkable defeat to organized labor in a place that has been a bastion of the movement for generations.

The GOP-dominated House ignored Democrats’ pleas to delay the final passage and instead approved two bills with the same ruthless efficiency that the Senate showed last week. One measure dealt with private-sector workers, the other with government employees. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signed them both within hours, calling them “pro-worker and pro-Michigan.”

“This is about freedom, fairness and equality,” House Speaker Jase Bolger said during the floor debate. “These are basic American rights – rights that should unite us.”

After the vote, he said, Michigan’s future “has never been brighter, because workers are free.”

The state where the United Auto Workers was founded and labor has long been a political titan will join 23 others with right-to-work laws, which ban requirements that nonunion employees pay unions for negotiating contracts and other services.

Supporters say the laws give workers more choice and support economic growth, but critics insist the real intent is to weaken organized labor by encouraging workers to “freeload” by withholding money unions need to bargain effectively.

Protesters in the Capitol gallery chanted “Shame on you!” as the measures were adopted. Union backers clogged the hallways and grounds shouting “No justice, no peace.” And Democrats warned that hard feelings over the legislation and Republicans’ refusal to hold committee hearings or allow a statewide referendum would be long lasting.

Emphasis obviously added.  They wouldn’t just go out and say “Republicans bad, they hate workers, Democrats good, they love workers, and scabs are evil scum”.  Because, y’know, there’s nothing more democratic than getting forced by government to pay to an organization you don’t want to belong to, just for the priviledge of owning your own work.

But as always, unions aren’t about helping workers, they’re about pitting one group of workers against another group of workers.

Now, if you do happen to be a union guy, or a union girl (though they don’t like women or blacks or hispanics or chinese or ______  minority depending on the shop, and used unions to keep shops closed to non-white males, but I digress…), you’ll note that they said the problem is it will allow non-union workers to not have money stolen out of their pockets to pay for union negotiation.  Thing is, a company probably doesn’t have to hire somebody at the union rate if they aren’t a union member.  Also, union member dues don’t go to negotiation (except when they’re busy killing tire plants and bakeries) so much, and as visibly, as they go here.  Note that these are the top all-time donors, and unions are all boxed in blue.  Notice that their support goes overwhelmingly, if not absolutely, to Democrats:

union heavy hitters open secrets 1

union heavy hitters open secrets 2

Now if you go back and really look at the list, you’ll see that not only do unions make up over a third of the list there, they contribute almost exclusively to Democrats, and when you look at other “heavy hitters” that donate, they aren’t split anywhere near the way the unions are.  The most “even” distribution of union support is a split of 75% Dem, 17% Rep.

Of course Democrats will be mad about this.  If people don’t have to pay dues each month to support Democrats, they might have to turn to some of their other overwhelmingly powerful political action committees to get elected rather than just pick the pockets of voters while blaming Republicans for the failures the Democrats cause – The Curley Effect again.

Hostess Shrugged

Posted: November 16, 2012 by ShortTimer in Economic freedom, Economics, Jobs, Unions

Hostess is dead.  Good job, unions.  6000 Bakers union members just killed 18000 jobs.

Irving, TX – November 16, 2012 – Hostess Brands Inc. today announced that it is winding down operations and has filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking permission to close its business and sell its assets, including its iconic brands and facilities. Bakery operations have been suspended at all plants. Delivery of products will continue and Hostess Brands retail stores will remain open for several days in order to sell already-baked products.

The Board of Directors authorized the wind down of Hostess Brands to preserve and maximize the value of the estate after one of the Company’s largest unions, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), initiated a nationwide strike that crippled the Company’s ability to produce and deliver products at multiple facilities.

Various news outlets were reporting losses due to the strike being near $10 million, and Hostess had already taken a $15 million dollar hit since September in restructuring.

Really this can be laid at the foot of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM).  Hell, even the horrifically corrupt thuggish criminal enterprise known as the Teamsters union was negotiating with Hostess to keep the union members’ jobs and keep Hostess open.  From the Teamsters’ website:

On Friday, Nov. 9, the BCTGM began to strike at some Hostess production facilities without notice to the Teamsters despite assurances they would not proceed with job actions without contacting the Teamsters Union. This unannounced action put Teamster members in the difficult position of facing picket lines without knowing their right to honor such a line without being disciplined.

As is our longstanding tradition, Teamster members by and large are honoring Bakery Worker picket lines when encountered and complying with their contractual obligations when not encountering picket lines. The BCTGM leaders are putting Teamster members in a horrible position – asking them to support a strike that will put them out of a job when they haven’t even asked all their members to go on strike.

That strike is now on the verge of forcing the company to liquidate – it is difficult for Teamster members to believe that is what the BCTGM Hostess members ultimately wanted to accomplish when they went out on strike.

Mary Katherine Ham over at HotAir notes there were other issues Hostess was facing, as well as the fact that the Teamsters really had come to a compromise and got screwed by the Bakers.

There’s much discussion of how big names like the Twinkie will be purchased by other companies (Mexican super-bakery Grupo Bimbo being one) but there will no doubt be legal wrangling as the Bakers union goes after the crumbs of Hostess that are being sold off, as well as some spurious claim to ownership of the Hostess bakeries and some interference by the NLRB like Boeing was subjected to.

Much has been made of how Hostess was mismanaged by different hedge funds and capital groups.  The communist propagandists over at DailyKos are blaming “teh evil Wall Street banksters” and AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka is blaming Romney:

What’s happening with Hostess Brands is a microcosm of what’s wrong with America, as Bain-style Wall Street vultures make themselves rich by making America poor. Crony capitalism and consistently poor management drove Hostess into the ground, but its workers are paying the price. These workers, who consistently make great products Americans love and have offered multiple concessions, want their company to succeed. They have bravely taken a stand against the corporate race-to-the-bottom. And now they and their communities are suffering the tragedy of a needless layoff. This is wrong. It has to stop. It’s wrecking America.

Except it was “Bain-style Wall Street vultures” who’d been putting their own capital and resources into Hostess since 2001 in an effort to save the company.  They kept dumping money into it thinking it could work.  Even the Teamsters (I can’t stress what a big deal that is) saw the writing on the wall for the company and compromised for the sake of saving the goose that lays the golden eggs (or golden snack cakes).  Both the Teamsters and Hostess came together to make the company work.

The Bakers Union is who is ultimately at fault.  Accusing capital investors who were dumping money into Hostess for nearly a decade to save it, providing jobs in the meantime, as the culprit in this is the kind of knee-jerk garbage expected to be spewed by some thug propagandist.  Again, even the Teamsters knew that was bull, and knew that wages and salaries are part of a company’s expenses – and that the strike would hurt the company and ultimately themselves.  When the TEAMSTERS (have I stressed this enough?) know that a strike costing the company almost $10 million in a week is going to hurt both the management and workers in a time of recession, perhaps that should be a clue.

Trumka’s right.  The layoff was needless.  But that’s at the foot of his union stooges, not at the fault of Hostess, or the unions (even the teamsters) who do understand that expenditures above income means failure for the company and the workers – who are one and the same.

Here’s a list of bakery closures, just to help put those 18,000 jobs into perspective.

  • Birmingham, AL: Closed
  • Anchorage, AK: Closed
  • Los Angeles, CA (Hostess): Closed
  • Los Angeles, CA (Dolly): Closed
  • Oakland, CA: Closed
  • Sacramento, CA: Closed
  • Denver, CO: Closed
  • Jacksonville, FL: Closed
  • Orlando, FL: Closed
  • Columbus, GA: Closed
  • Hodgkins, IL: Closed
  • Peoria, IL: Closed
  • Schiller Park, IL: Closed
  • Columbus, IN: Closed
  • Indianapolis, IN: Closed
  • Waterloo, IA: Closed
  • Emporia, KS: Closed
  • Lenexa, KS: Closed
  • Alexandria, LA: Closed
  • Biddeford, ME: Closed
  • Boonville, MO: Closed
  • St. Louis, MO: Closed
  • Billings, MT: Closed
  • Henderson, NV: Closed
  • Wayne, NJ: Closed
  • Rocky Mount, NC: Closed
  • Cincinnati, OH: Closed
  • Defiance, OH: Closed
  • Northwood, OH: Closed
  • Tulsa, OK: Closed
  • Philadelphia, PA: Closed
  • Knoxville, TN: Closed
  • Memphis, TN: Closed
  • Ogden, UT: Closed
  • Salt Lake City, UT: Closed
  • Seattle, WA: Closed

Interdasting:

I thought this seemed bogus, and with a quick google search for “ceo vs average worker pay chart”, I found that the Tampa Bay Times PolitiFact looked at it and ruled it false.  As I went back to the lefty site, a commenter had bothered to do a 5-second search and find the same thing.

Hell, even the filthy lazy plundering looters at the corrupt mob AFL-CIO don’t say 475:1.

Hmmm…

Meanwhile, Think Progress (clearly a reich-wing rethugliKKKan site), has this:

Companies listed on Japan’s stock exchanges paid their chief executives an average of $580,000 in salary and other compensation last fiscal year, PWC estimates, about 16 times more than the typical Japanese worker. Average CEO pay at the 3,000 largest U.S. companies is $3.5 million, including stock options and bonuses, according to the Corporate Library, a research group.

So average CEO pay in the US is $3.5 million with bonuses.  Of course, the AFL-CIO says it’s over $12 million.  Sure, there’s a year difference between the numbers, but the AFL-CIO says this, too:

The ratio of CEO-to-worker pay between CEOs of the S&P 500 Index companies and U.S. workers widened to 380 times in 2011 from 343 times in 2010.

Oh, so it didn’t really go from $3.5 to $12 million, because that would be going to something over 1200 times “average worker” pay.  More numbers at Warren “Tax My Competitors And Use Government As A Barrier To Competition So I Stay Rich” Buffet’s Heritage Institute site say that average pay is less, but the multiple is more, and so on.

The Ratio of Average CEO and Worker Pay in the US

2004: 431-to-1 (Av CEO-$11.8 million/Worker-$27,460)
2003: 301-to-1
1990: 107-to-1
Source: United for a Fair Economy and Institute for Policy Studies

Their “source” sounds sketchy, but even that doesn’t jive with other numbers.

Meanwhile, here’s another stat worth looking at:

• Average NFL player salary: $1.9 million

• Median NFL player salary: $770,000

• Average NFL career length: 3.5 years

Unfair, huh?  How about this:

That title belongs to Lady Gaga, who led the pack with a staggering $90 million total boosted by strong album sales, endorsements and an extremely lucrative world tour.

Oh, sure, she employs a lot of people who make her records, record her songs, run her concerts and concert venues, who distribute her merchandise, mix, record, and produce her albums, promote, advertise, and publicize her media, but just because she employs a bunch of people and keeps food on their tables and helps them out like an evil CEO of LadyGagaInc., of course she’s okay.  It’s just those evil CEOs with their greed and their business suits.

What about this guy, who earned $63 million in 2010, more than five times the “average” CEO pay of $12 million, and oppresses the workers below him who slave away in his slave factories to produce crap to force on the masses.  He’s evil, right?

Look at that evil rich oppressor of the working people who made $63 million dollars.  He’s like 5 times worse than any other CEO.

Meanwhile, at the arch-reich-wing rethugliKKKan World Socialist Web Site:

In 2010, the salaries of the members of the boards of the 30 biggest German companies rose by 18 percent. On average, the members of the boards of these companies listed in the DAX share index earned €2.7 million a year.

So by the 12:1 chart, is the average German worker earning €225,000?

And from the Wall Street Journal, a bigger number:

Chief executives of Germany’s largest companies took home 14% more direct pay in 2011 than the year earlier, but still earn less on average than their European and U.S. peers, according to a report by Towers Watson released Tuesday.

The chief executives studied earned €5.5 million ($7.2 million) on average in 2011, slightly below the average €5.8 million of a Stoxx Europe 50 chief executive, and far behind what managers across the Atlantic are earning. The report examined direct pay rather than total compensation.

So if it’s 12:1, then the average German worker makes €458,333 per year?  Oh, and note this was CEO pay in Germany without compensation, while the US figures from AFL-CIO included compensation, stock options, and a host of other benefits as “income”.

Though the World Socialists have a very interesting story to tell about why German CEO pay is so high:

The main responsibility for this development lies with the trade unions, which helped to organise these attacks on the working class and have suppressed any systematic resistance against them.

In Germany, wage agreements were kept low with the active support of the unions. With extended periods of tenure, many wage settlements fell under the inflation level. The same union officials who demanded wage sacrifices and restraint on the part of workers voted on the supervisory boards in favour of gigantic increases in income for board members—i.e., including themselves.

They’re all morons who view the economy as zero-sum, but it’s interesting to see they blame their own socialist appendages.

And finally, to curb this huge load of BS, a story from USA Today:

Despite the rapid rise in average CEO pay in Europe, 2005 figures from Washington, D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute indicate that top executives remain somewhat closer in pay to ordinary workers than do their U.S. counterparts. The ratio of average CEO pay to that of factory workers in various countries:
Ratio of CEO to factory worker pay

  • Belgium———-18-to-1
  • France————23-to-1
  • Germany———20-to-1
  • Italy—————26-to-1
  • Netherlands——18-to-1
  • Spain————-17-to-1
  • Sweden———–19-to-1
  • Switzerland——-19-to-1
  • U.K.—————32-to-1
  • USA—————39-to-1

Well, going back to those first numbers, if US CEO pay is 475 times what the average salary is, and the average CEO makes $12.5 million (accordin to AFL CIO), the average worker makes about $26,000.  Sounds right, when you consider minimum wage workers, teenagers, entry level workers, part-time workers, etc.

Except here the EPI says CEO pay was 262 times what the factory worker makes, and the average worker made $41K.  And the average CEO made about $11 million.  So CEO pay went up a million, while the average working wage went down… because it was calculated differently and is no longer full-time factory workers.

And the numbers for other nations were purely fabricated to make US businesses look bad, evil, and unfair.

So what do we ultimately learn?  Figures lie, liars figure, propaganda is as convincing as a bullshit chart.  CEOs like Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, and some NFL players with their own businesses – end up employing more people in their business.  They make money for other people, and for themselves.  They’re not taking from anyone.  No one can force you to buy a Jay-Z album or a Seattle Seahawks jersey.  They’re providing goods and services.  They’re keeping themselves profitable, keeping their business, themselves, and their employees afloat.  CEOs do the same thing.

CEOs get stupid perks like “golden parachutes” and $1 paychecks, but $10,000,000 bonuses for performance as incentives, and as ways to dodge increasingly higher taxes on them.  When wealth is targeted for confiscation, people try to keep from having it taken away.  Works if it’s the IRS agent or the Sheriff of Nottingham.  Now, on the other hand, CEOs and certain favored businesses with pull also get favors and money straight from government just to keep them afloat – like GM in order to placate unions, Solyndra to make magic energy, and AIG to spin straw into gold.  When it’s given to them by the government, it’s good or bad depending if it’s a Republican (corporate welfare) or Democrat (investing in the future) doing it.  It’s never just plain old cronyism and buying votes with taxpayer money.

But anyhow, tables with no attribution posted on the internet in an effort to stir up crap are often worth investigating.  Sometimes the internet posts its source material and doesn’t lie, though.

Milton Friedman on economics, the free market, individual choice, and the labor market.

One of the first things to consider is something that was mentioned waaay back here (on the old site):

Minimum wages hurt the worker.  They protect politicians, who can say “I’m giving you a raise” while they spend employers’ money.  Except what’s missed is that those employers may have wanted to create more jobs, rather than a few expensive ones.  Second and third order effects, broken windows, etc.

One thing that Milton Friedman misses in his analysis of illegal immigration is that there is also a question of nationality involved.  In the case of large demographic groups moving that aren’t identifying with their new nation, especially for a melting pot nation like the US, it results in Balkanization.  People coming to a new nation who start by violating its laws, or who only come for work, don’t really care about the host nation – they have no loyalty and do not identify with their new nation.  They aren’t citizens of the US as a nation-state, they are simply illegal aliens.  The welfare state aspect is part of a reason for rejection of illegal immigration, but there is much more, including that it is sometimes part of an action by other nations against the US, such as Mexico’s vehement support of its own criminal citizens against US authorities and Mexico’s quest for remittance income, or the ideas of greater Aztlan reconquista.  (Of course there’s more than just illegal immigration from Mexico and the Americas, but that’s a very large part.)

With regards to unions, there’s the important note that unions just pit workers against another group of workers.  They’re a guild, an organization that demands you pay them in order to sell your own wages.  In the case of public sector unions, they pit employees of the taxpayers (government employees) against taxpaying citizens.  Andrew Klavan went over this a while ago.

But we could go on about how the unions screwed over bondholders in the bailouts, how the unions were politically bailed out by Democrats when GM and Chrysler went down, how the unions protect criminals in their midst, and so on, but the unions are really only there to protect themselves – against anyone else.  Again, Buggy Whip Manufacturers’ Local 554.

>Trouble Maker SignImage by friedmanlynn via Flickr

For those of you who don’t know I am a member of a private sector union because I have to be in order to work for the railroad I am currently employed with. A day or so ago I spoke with a friend of mine in regards to an email he had received from one of our union representatives.

The email was entitled, “Don’t Let Our Enemies Turn Back the Clock.” The emails concern was the actions taking place in Wisconsin and other states. In these respective state legislatures along with republican governors are taking actions to break a never ending cycle of public sector unions donating vast sums of money to get democrats elected, in turn the democrats reward these public sector unions with unsustainable commitments in the form of union contracts.

Here at the Patriot Perspective we have explained through several articles the difference between public and private sector unions and how public sector unions in “union states” have the unique ability to affect the tax rates at both the state and local level. Couple that with states like Wisconsin and Michigan whose debt is out of control and one can see why those governments are doing everything they can to reduce their spending and deficits. Does the law itself end collective bargaining for most public sector employees? Yes. Does it force state workers to take an 8% cut in benefits? Yes. Is that really going to destroy someones livelihood? Hardly.

Back to the letter.

“Don’t let our enemies turn back the clock. Why are many union (not going to share the name of my union) members participating across America in rallies opposing attacks on collective bargaining rights? Why have we created the Collective Bargaining Defense Fund to assist our union brothers and sisters? Because we know that those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it. We know that if right wing extremist succeed in busting public sector unions, their next target is airline, bus, and railroad labor unions.”

I would really like to know here exactly how they know that the government is going to target these private sector unions? My experience so far with a private sector union has been dismal. 120 dollars a month for little to no representation. I have to be a member or I cannot be employed by the railroad. How’s that for freedom? Most of the time it seems as if the union and the company aren’t really at odds with each other. But oh well.

“The history of working men and women in America — before we fought for and won the right to join a union, engage in collective bargaining and have grievances resolved by a neutral party — was a bleak history of low wages, few if any benefits, unsafe working conditions, and arbitrary discipline and discrimination on the job.”

Largely at the time they are speaking of all those conditions did exist but not anymore, and personally it is hard to see how these folks rationalize that the clock would indeed be turned back to those same conditions in the 21st century. But as I said early I wish I had the right to NOT join a union, and in my industry collective bargaining usually results what the company wants anyway. However, I had an engineer tell me once that he thought he always got better contracts when Republicans were in office. Talk about irony if you are a hard core democrat union guy.

“Let’s take a short trip back to the times before workplace democracy. Before labor laws and worker rights, courts considered any combination of workers seeking wage increases and/or improved working conditions as a criminal conspiracy, punishable by fine and imprisonment. Picketing an employer — by even one picket — was considered by courts an unlawful restraint of trade. Workers typically put in a 12 hour day, six days a week, with no overtime pay, no paid vacations, no employer-provided healthcare insurance, no process for worker grievances to be heard and no compensation for on-the-job injuries.”

Workplace democracy usually means workplace socialism, spreading the work around or in my case keeping the board stacked so others can make money too. Usually those combinations of workers seeking those increases did things they weren’t supposed to do. Like blackball fellow employees who couldn’t afford to strike and crossed the picket line. Or workers would sabotage or deface company property to get their points across. A lot like those spoiled children up in Wisconsin at the state capital recently. Yes the days might have been long and hard back then with little to no compensated time off and guess what it is the exact same way today. I am on call 24/7 with no set off days, pretty much on duty for 12 hours at a time. Sure I have personal time and vacation days that are compensated but due to some of the recent legislation like the rail safety bill of 2008 which the unions backed so they could get more union dues because it would force the railroads to hire more people, that I rarely get time off unless I call in sick. The only problem is the railroads have been exceptionally slow on hiring and training, so we are constantly undermanned with a decent portion of train service employees on federal rest that they have to take at the behest of the Federal Railroad administration thanks to the union I am a member of.

The letter goes on to give more of the same concerning the plight of workers and then begins it close:

“Turn back the clock? Never. We will not go away. We will never forget. Together, in solidarity, we can and will win this fight and emerge stronger then ever.”

Living in the past instead of looking to the future. We will be a nuisance and cause trouble like we did in Wisconsin. We like to co-opt 9/11 slogans to look patriotic. If we can get the workers of the United Sates to unite we can live in socialist harmony the rest of our lives. That about sums up the rest of the letter.

Not once do these people recognize the difference between public and private sector unions. The railroad unions deal with a private company and not the federal government unless they are trying to get legislation passed, which they almost always are. The private sector unions do not affect other citizens tax rates in the state or county in which you live. It is a given that the railroad was brutally tough on its employees in the late 19th and early to mid 20th century. A lot of that act has been dealt with. What I want to know is how is the state of Wisconsin brutally tough on its union employees. The trash collectors, the clerks etc? Do they really have it that hard? Are they struggling for raises just to make ends meet? I seriously doubt it.

Folks, continue to do your research, check every bit of information you come across, there are those out there how what you to cast aside reason and feel just for the sake of feeling and abdicating any form of thinking. Don’t cast aside reason hold it tight. Check your facts and do not succumb to the call for the abdication of thought.

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H/T Theo Spark. From Pajamas Media.