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The right-to-work bill in Michigan awaiting Governor Snyder's signature won't have any impact on...

The right-to-work bill in Michigan awaiting Governor Snyder's signature won't have any impact on the bottom line of the Big Three anytime soon, but could pull at the thread of the organized labor movement in the state, according to analysts. With the unions able to flex their muscles with the Detroit automakers historically, the question now centers on if future labor negotiations could be influenced, if even just a shade?
Comments (87)
  • Terry330
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    All right to work states have increases in food stamps-Medicaid-public housing-non taxpayers-broken families,etc. But it makes the top 2% even wealthier.
    10 Dec 2012, 03:35 PM Reply Like
  • jerryu44
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    Last time I checked Tennessee a right to work state had a lower unemployment rate than the national average and compared to Ohio and Michigan, well actually there is no comparison. Its easy to make false statements isn't it? There is, in my opinion, a place for unions when companies try to take advantage of employees, but to put the force of government behind the unions to force people to join the unions has resulted in disaster for those states that have done so.
    10 Dec 2012, 04:36 PM Reply Like
  • jhorenka
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    Not true Terry. Keep drinking the union Kool-Aid...
    11 Dec 2012, 01:43 AM Reply Like
  • acesfull
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    Jerry, unions would be fine if they confined their issues to their immediate workplace. But they seem to think they have some kind of social ideology to pursue and use their union dues to promote it. So now, we have what can be normally described as liberal or socialist movement that trumps local union matters. And they use union dues to influence politicians to follow their social movement, not to mention reaping great rewards for the union itself. I don't know why that has to be, but that is what happens. It all becomes money and power that transcends the workplace. And they want to stick a fist in your face to prove their point. That's just the way it is.
    11 Dec 2012, 11:46 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
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    Lets see.... As of October unemployment in Tenn is 8.2%, Ohio is 6.9, Mich is 9.1. One out of two ain't bad.
    11 Dec 2012, 12:20 PM Reply Like
  • jerryu44
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    Well damned if you ain't right. Stills right to work state that have lower UE rate that the Natl. average and lower than many union states flies in the face of the class warfare argument of Terry330.
    11 Dec 2012, 03:36 PM Reply Like
  • nite71
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    No doubt! We saw more fists from union thugs today in Michigan.
    12 Dec 2012, 02:16 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
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    Terry330 didn't say anything about unemployment rate and he's correct. A lot of jobs that don't provide a living wage doesn't seem like a great result to me.
    12 Dec 2012, 12:07 PM Reply Like
  • Vipertom
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    If the unions could add some value, it would be a different story. As it is, they wage war with the companies that employ them, they demean the human spirit by saying all union workers are equal, so lets determine who gets promoted by how long they were in the union, etc. etc. They force the workers to "contribute" to the welfare of the union bosses. There once was a need (in the 1930's) for unions, but now they are long past their time. Good riddance.
    10 Dec 2012, 03:37 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
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    The NY Times says these are the perfectly responsible rules before thr Republican midnight raid. Union adds value, you join and get better benefits. You get better company deal, no need to join the union. What's wrong with this?

     

    "Business leaders say workers should not be forced to join a union against their will, but, in fact, workers in Michigan can already opt out of a union. If they benefit from the better wages and benefits negotiated by a union, however, they are required to pay dues or fees, preventing the free riders that would inevitably leave unions without resources."
    11 Dec 2012, 10:33 PM Reply Like
  • youngman442002
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    If union fees become voluntary..that will change things...
    10 Dec 2012, 03:41 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
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    Youngman, you're right. Why should I contribute to the cost of improved benefits if I could get them and keep the money? No doubt you also feel satisfaction with getting a free ride. This is why unions will suffer and big business will gain even more control over our lives.
    12 Dec 2012, 12:12 PM Reply Like
  • LoganSix
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    Why don't unions create businesses? If they know what is the proper way to run a business, then they should take their members and create a competing business.

     

    Do union members complain that the union leaders make more than they do? If they are just a representative of the union, they should be working along side the other members and making the same amount.
    12 Dec 2012, 12:33 PM Reply Like
  • acesfull
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    What about public employees such as teachers, general services, fire & police? Can they opt out of paying union dues in michigan?
    10 Dec 2012, 04:09 PM Reply Like
  • jerryu44
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    Public employees should never be allowed to form a union.
    10 Dec 2012, 04:38 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
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    Right on! Why should people who may risk their lives for us or spend 30 hours a week with our children have any say in their work conditions, salaries, benefits etc. If they could get a real job, they would.
    10 Dec 2012, 07:19 PM Reply Like
  • jhorenka
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    Fire and police are exempt in Michigan...
    11 Dec 2012, 01:43 AM Reply Like
  • jhorenka
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    In Michigan the police and firemen are exempt. And why should the tax payers put up with union bosses sitting down with career politicians, voted in by union dues, and divvy up our tax dollars. The free markets and city budgets will determine a fair salary for teachers. We need private and charter schools and vouchers...
    11 Dec 2012, 01:44 AM Reply Like
  • mikemarxs
    , contributor
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    Like the United States of America is a union.
    Public employees are not slaves, they work for a living, just like in the private sector. The unions negotiate working conditions and wages for their members. Would workers do better if they negotiated individually for themselves, begging for crumbs?
    11 Dec 2012, 03:11 AM Reply Like
  • LoganSix
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    @Mortbert If they don't like the job, get another one. But the reason public unions should be outlawed is that they can't vote for their own raises, regardless of their efforts.

     

    Look at the horrible graduation and illiteracy rates of Michigan, especially in Detroit, then argue that public unions work.
    11 Dec 2012, 12:18 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
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    LoganSix, I'm not sure I follow what you are saying. Are unions, or specifically teacher unions, responsible for the poor academic results in this country... Or in Michigan? I live in MA and we have teacher unions and some of the best academic results in the WORLD. Teacher unions are only a small part of the problem concerning our declining level of education... which continues after formal schooling. People don't seem interested in knowing much.

     

    I agree if you are saying that we have a lot of open jobs available but do not have adequately trained candidates.

     

    As far as wages are concerned; people work for employers, not unions. If you are doing well your boss will/may promote you. Then you can benefit from the improved package the union has negotiated on your behalf.
    11 Dec 2012, 12:47 PM Reply Like
  • Tusc
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    Police and Fire are exempt
    11 Dec 2012, 12:51 PM Reply Like
  • Tusc
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    Public Unions get to elect their bosses,when there is no adversarial relationship, then they get what they want, and the taxpayer foots the bill. If your a government worker , good for you, but bad for everyone else.It has lead to greedy grabs for salary and benefits, that far outpace the private sector.Look at the budgets for Ca.,Ill., etc.Unfunded pension liabilities that will fall on the taxpayer are ultimately going to crush unions. Fix it now before it's too late.
    11 Dec 2012, 12:59 PM Reply Like
  • LoganSix
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    I will say that teachers unions in Michigan are directly responsible for the poor education results for that state. Teacher unions do push for certain standards across the nation, they affect more than unionized states.

     

    Let's just put it out there. 89% of jobs are not unionized. Those people manage to get raises and negotiate with their bosses without the need of someone else. In fact, there are a lot of non-union jobs where people make really good money because they are paid and rewarded for their good effort.

     

    Some truck driver refusing to deliver ho-ho's with twinkies does not increase my income, only my expenses.
    11 Dec 2012, 01:08 PM Reply Like
  • jerryu44
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    Well you asked the question, heres the answer. Because public employees exist on the taxpayers dime. They then use their higher wages and union dues to support politicians who will grant them even higher wages, retirement benefits and the taxpayers are hit for even higher taxes to pay for these exorbitant wages and benefits.
    11 Dec 2012, 03:41 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
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    Why should CEOs and their boards divvy up mult-million dollar bonuses even when they don't meet thir objectives? Answer, because you'll blaim it on the union bosses.
    12 Dec 2012, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • jerryu44
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    Your right CEO's and boards should be held to high standards and they are not because they scratch each others back. But that don't make it right for Public sector unions to hold up the taxpayers. If it was up to me a lot of the CEO's and board members would be going to jail for ripping off these companies. Running a company into the ground and then collecting 50 or a hundred million dollars is obscene.
    12 Dec 2012, 08:04 PM Reply Like
  • shawnpaulbpoike
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    The Union's have outlived their usefulness now it is time to take back our Country the US of A.
    10 Dec 2012, 04:16 PM Reply Like
  • Terry330
    , contributor
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    Fact:

     

    “Right to Work” Laws Don’t Improve Living Standards – Unions Improve Living Standards

     

    Overall, union members earn 28 percent ($198) more per week than nonunion workers. Hispanic union members earn 50 percent ($258) more each week than nonunion Hispanics and African Americans earn 29 percent ($168) more each week if they are union members.
    10 Dec 2012, 05:22 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
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    Please don't confuse our anti-union brothers with facts. Have you noticed the data on how the reduction in union membership tracks the loss of income in the middle class?
    10 Dec 2012, 06:46 PM Reply Like
  • jhorenka
    , contributor
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    Mortbert - All the unions have to do is offer a product that the workers actually want. Pretty simple. There is something inherently wrong with billions of $$ of union dues go to Democrat politicians. It's over for the unions in Michigan as we have known them. RTW goes into effect Jan 1, 2013 for some union workers. April 1st for all of them. Get over it. Had the unions not pulled their Proposition 2 bulls*** and stabbed the Governor and a lot of other Reps in the back we wouldn't be having this discussion.
    11 Dec 2012, 01:40 AM Reply Like
  • gmmpa
    , contributor
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    Please... How much more do union members earn when their companies go out of business? Detroit is just full of good higher paying jobs. If the work environment and living standards in Detroit is so good because of Unions why has there been a 50% decline on population between 1960 and now?
    11 Dec 2012, 02:59 AM Reply Like
  • youngman442002
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    How much is that Twinkie union employee earning this week...???
    11 Dec 2012, 10:11 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
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    Do you really want to tally the number unemployed due to unions messing up versus the millions of jobs sent overseas for slave-cheap labor?

     

    If money is to be made, Twinkles shall rise again. (With lower pay and fewer benefits for workers.)
    11 Dec 2012, 10:38 AM Reply Like
  • LoganSix
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    When inflation is factored in, the workers that Henry Ford employed before unions made more per hour than current union workers.

     

    Minimum wages actually cause prices to go up, which lowers living standards. Where the union has improved the standard of living is in countries that now make what union shops wouldn't make at the marketable wage.
    11 Dec 2012, 12:22 PM Reply Like
  • fredoq
    , contributor
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    So Terry330, who provides the statistics that you tout. It couldn't be the union, could it. In order to be accepted as fact the information must be provided by an unbiased source and one that has nothing to gain from the statistic being provided.
    11 Dec 2012, 12:33 PM Reply Like
  • jerryu44
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    Then how do you explain detroit.
    11 Dec 2012, 03:56 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
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    Firedog, which unbiased source shall we use? Suggest one or two that you trust.... Like Fox Noise.
    12 Dec 2012, 12:43 PM Reply Like
  • fredoq
    , contributor
    Comments (31) | Send Message
     
    Mortbert, here are some examples: http://bit.ly/QVttsq
    http://1.usa.gov/TPkshM

     

    and if you have a copy of the most recent AARP mag there is some interesting data. Enjoy.
    12 Dec 2012, 01:18 PM Reply Like
  • LoganSix
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    Do you really want to tally the number unemployed due to unions messing up versus the millions of jobs sent overseas for slave-cheap labor?

     

    Aren't you talking about the same jobs?
    12 Dec 2012, 02:12 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
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    Jhorenka, seven of the ten biggest contributors to political races are financed by corporate and billionaire sources. They tend to support Republican candidates. The only three Democratic sources left are unions, many of whom raise this money via voluntary (though I'm sure "strongly encouraged") contributions. If I were a Republican and wanted a clearer advantage (since more $ seems to equal more wins), I sure would like to do what I could to be rid of those pesky working class folks (after I've done all I could to implement voter suppression).

     

    I'm sure that what the unions offer and fight for - livable wages: clean, safe working conditions: retirement benefits - are what workers actually want. Otherwise every worker finds that they work for Walmart-like companies that would rather close than allow unions. Did you know that six of the richest 400 are Waltons?

     

    BTW, not only did the governor manage the hurt unions, but he also threw in a reduction of health care benefits for women. Great guy.
    12 Dec 2012, 02:15 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
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    LoganSix has it right. Good old Henry Ford was one smart businessman. As you remember he knew his workers had to earn enough to afford his product or he wouldn't make out so well. Doing this effectively quashed the need or desire for his workers to organize. Win-win.
    Seems the message has been lost on the current crop of corporate big wigs who want it all.

     

    I'm not sure I follow how earning a poverty level salary makes prices go up but I'll take your word for it. Seems to me if I earn more, my standard of living should go up. Got some data for me?

     

    Maybe the problem isn't the guy on the assembly line or the cop or the teacher who all pour their earning back into the economy so that they can live.
    12 Dec 2012, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • LoganSix
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    @Mortbert

     

    Okay. So, it cost $.45 to make a burger and you sell it for $.50 to cover the cost of your 10 employees, who you pay $1.00/hr and other expenses. You pay $1.00/h because they have no skills and you find plenty of people who want a job at that rate. Then a politician comes in and says that you must pay $5.00/ h. Now you have a decision do you 1) Raise the price of your burgers 2) Some how increase your sales by 5x 3) Reduce the number of employees

     

    Well, if you raise the price, then the cost of living for all of your customers just went up. If you reduce your employees, not only does their standard of living go down, so does your customers, who were used to having quicker service for the same price.

     

    BTW, when was the last time you pulled into a gas station and had multiple attendants check your tires, your oil, wiper fluids and wash your windows while they pumped your gas?
    12 Dec 2012, 03:11 PM Reply Like
  • jerryu44
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    Yes they improve living standards for their members and to hell with everyone else.
    12 Dec 2012, 08:06 PM Reply Like
  • jerryu44
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    The purpose of a business is to make money for its owners not to provide employment for its employees. If a business cannot make a reasonable rate of return on the investment made in time and money, it is going to fail and its employees are going to be looking for new jobs. Usually poorer jobs. My wife has relatives who worked for Buick in Flint Michigan. Her Uncle used to tell us stories about how if Management pissed the workers off they would sabotage the cars by putting coke bottles in the door wells to make a thumping noise. And how they would come to work do the number of pieces of work they were assigned in about an hour then go home and get payed for a full days work. They destroyed their own industry. The Japs took over the lead in the automobile industry by making far superior products.
    12 Dec 2012, 08:16 PM Reply Like
  • jerryu44
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    Fox is a conservative biased station but they don't lie and make stuff up like the liberal stations.
    12 Dec 2012, 08:19 PM Reply Like
  • jerryu44
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    Your statement is totally false. There are just as many millionaires and billionaires that support liberal causes as conservative. Probably more. The include not only all the liberal tv media including every station except Fox, but also practically all of Hollywood and all of the multimillion dollar black athletes and most white athletes.
    Also just as many corporations donate to the demoncrats and to the republicans.
    12 Dec 2012, 08:26 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
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    LoganSix re: Jobs lost due to union activity vs jobs lost because company wanted cheep labor to increase profits with no union problems and few workplace standards to comply with.

     

    No they are not the same jobs. They are totally separate. I'll bet the second group is millions larger than the first.
    12 Dec 2012, 09:38 PM Reply Like
  • LoganSix
    , contributor
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    @Mortbert
    They are the same jobs. Sure, some jobs lost were due to environmental regulations, but any product that has the main cost as labor that can be done cheaper elsewhere, is the fault of the unions for that job leaving.
    12 Dec 2012, 10:10 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
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    LoganSix re: min wage example.
    If the min wage is $1.00/hr. and you are paying $1 then no pol has a right to tell you to raise you min to $2 and you have option 4 - ignore the fool. If the state or Fed raises the rate to $2, then everyone in your business has the same problem. The field is still level.

     

    My old Costco example... 4 years of service and you earn about $20/hr. with benefits. Costo is doing fine financially. Your buddy doing a similar job at Walmart makes $7 - 8 without benefits. Why doesn't you buddy just quit and go to Costco? I leave you to answer the question.
    12 Dec 2012, 10:56 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Some facts for 2012 from the FEC reported in WSJ:

     

    "Even among PACs - the favored means of delivering funds by labor unions - business has a more than 3-to-1 fundraising advantage. In soft money, the ratio is nearly 17-to-1.

     

    An important caveat must be added to these figures: "business" contributions from individuals are based on the donor's occupation/employer. Since nearly everyone works for someone, and since union affiliation is not listed on FEC reports, totals for business are somewhat overstated, while labor is understated. Still, the base of large individual donors is predominantly made up of business executives and professionals. Contributions under $200 are not included in these numbers, as they are not itemized."

     

    What numbers are reported on Fox... Or they just assertions?
    12 Dec 2012, 10:59 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
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    Fredog. Good sources but couldn't find figures for RTW states. Thanks
    12 Dec 2012, 11:03 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
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    Jerrtu44
    Fox is consistently rated the most biased, lowest information content of all "news" services. It is literally the the propaganda arm of the Republican Party. Look at their cast of talking heads and management. I know when I tune in, and i do, I'll be hearing the party line 7/24. Live dangerously and at least try PBS, CNN or MSNBC.
    12 Dec 2012, 11:15 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
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    LoganSix, how do you do that @ stuff?
    So only union jobs are shipped overseas... Hum, show me.
    I know Delphi was taken over by "venture capitalists". They employed over 100000 in this country. They blackmailed Uncle Sam to assume billions in pension benefits they hadn't funded so that they would stay in business and allow GM, etc. to get out of bankruptcy (which was cheaper than duplicating the parts supply chain). They then proceeded to eliminate 25000 union jobs and ship almost all the jobs to China.
    BTW Mitt made a bundle on the deal.
    12 Dec 2012, 11:27 PM Reply Like
  • LoganSix
    , contributor
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    "LoganSix re: min wage example.
    If the min wage is $1.00/hr. and you are paying $1 then no pol has a right to tell you to raise you min to $2"

     

    @Mortbert How old are you? You do know that the minimum wage dictated by the federal and state governments is a relatively new thing, right?

     

    The federal minimum wage for covered nonexempt employees is $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009

     

    If you can't grasp this simple idea that the government, by forcing a minimum wage, inflates costs and reduces the standard of living, then there is no hope in explaining to you why unions cause labor jobs to go overseas.
    13 Dec 2012, 07:56 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    LoganSix
    I know that you are citing the last Increase in minimum wages.
    I'm old enough to have seen Bob Feller pitch against the Yankees and that there was a minimum wage law back then. I'm not to sure what you "know" but here are some historic facts that might not agree with you wealth of knowledge.

     

    "The minimum wage was first instituted in Australia and New Zealand in the 1890s in response to frequent, bitter strikes and was adopted by Massachusetts in 1912 to cover women and children. With voters seeking a bulwark against the Great Depression, wage-hour legislation was an issue in the 1936 Presidential race. On the campaign trail, a young girl handed a note to one of Franklin Roosevelt's aides asking for help: "I wish you could do something to help us girls," it read. "Up to a few months ago we were getting our minimum pay of $11 a week...Today the 200 of us girls have been cut down to $4 and $5 and $6 a week."

     

    Roosevelt rode back into office in part on a promise to seek a constitutional way of protecting workers; in 1923, the Supreme Court had struck down a Washington, D.C., minimum-wage law, finding it impeded a worker's right to set his own price for his labor. The first federal minimum-wage law, the Fair Labor Standards Act, passed in 1938, with a 25-cent-per-hour wage floor and a 44-hour workweek ceiling for most employees. (It also banned child labor.) Outside of Social Security, said Roosevelt, the law was "the most far-sighted program for the benefit of workers ever adopted." Wages must ensure a "minimum standard of living necessary for health, efficiency and general well-being," the act stipulated, "without substantially curtailing employment.""

     

    Read more: http://ti.me/Sivm4g

     

    You are probably a lot smarter than me but the history I've had read to me suggests that labor will get the lowest wages the bosses can pay without a revolution.
    13 Dec 2012, 10:56 AM Reply Like
  • LoganSix
    , contributor
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    @Mortbert Did you learn from what you posted that a girl asked FDR for help and he eliminated her job?
    13 Dec 2012, 11:24 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    LoganSix
    No, I didn't learn that FDR eliminated her job. Where did you glean that bit of wisdom?

     

    I think your point is that the sooner we compete, wage wise, with third world nations and China, then we will be better off. 90% of income gains are now going to the top income levels in this country, and you think the bottom 98% are doing too damn well. More power to you that you can get along on a couple of dollars a day but that doesn't cut it for me.
    13 Dec 2012, 01:10 PM Reply Like
  • fredoq
    , contributor
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    Mortbert, per the December 2012 AARP Bulletin on page 38 listing states household median incomes for 2011. Michigan was 45,981. 12 of the now 24 RTW states had higher household median income in this data that was sourced by U.S. Census Bureau. The 12 RTW states were Ariz 46,709, Ga 46,007, Iowa 49,427, Kansas 48,964, Neb 50,296, Nev 48,927, N.D. 51,704, S.D. 48,321, Texas 49,392, Utah 55,869, Va 61,882, and Wyo 56,322. The other 11 come in with Miss. lowest at 36,919 and Fla. at 44,299. My comments are unbiased and based solely on factual data, and by the way, under the watchful eye of the Obama administration.
    13 Dec 2012, 01:28 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Fredog, I've never said that RTW states had lower median incomes than other states... at this point. What is the income trend in RTW states? Nationally, the loss of union jobs, which surely will occur under RTW, correlates very highly with lower median income over the last 30 years. Lets look at the data over time.

     

    The median income in Michigan would undoubtedly be much lower if Prez hadn't bailed the auto makers out... agreed?
    13 Dec 2012, 11:50 PM Reply Like
  • LoganSix
    , contributor
    Comments (290) | Send Message
     
    @Mortbert

     

    "a young girl handed a note to one of Franklin Roosevelt's aides asking for help"
    The result. Minimum wage and no child labor. What do you think a "young girl" is?

     

    I doubt that you'll understand that wealth is an increasing pie. The rich do not take from the poor to get wealthier. Wealth creation increases the size of the pie and allows more people to have some.
    14 Dec 2012, 08:22 AM Reply Like
  • fredoq
    , contributor
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    Mortbert, first off agreed. Secondly, Prez Bush started the bailouts and Prez Obama finished them up. Thirdly, I won't dispute your 30 year trend as I know it is true, having been gainfully employed 1965 thru 2008. In the late 1960's when I got out of service all employers in Michigan paid good wages due to the high density of union shops. Non union shops had to pay a good wage(equiv to union shop) to obtain a good workforce. That is not true today. The problem today is not unionized private sector employees but the 37% of public sector employees that are unionized with tight contracts that are bankrupting local and state government. But I digress.
    14 Dec 2012, 02:44 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
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    LoganSix. re: Wealth Inequatily.
    Wrong. Wrong. Wrong! Spend five minutes looking at the numbers on how the wealth has moved to the top 1% over the last five years until, at this point, the top 400 ( top 0.1%) have 1.7 trillion in assets. The 6 Waltons all inherited their money as did Steve Jobs wife. Not many wealth creators, a lot of financial manipulators.

     

    I give you Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglit:

     

    By JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ | 6/11/12 9:39 PM EDT
    "America’s growing inequality is likely to play an important role in this election — and rightly so. Americans see that something is happening to our society: We have become increasingly divided. We may all be in the same boat — but some are traveling steerage and others first class.

     

    Inequality is now far higher than just 30 years ago. The top 1 percent today gets around 20 percent of the nation’s income — twice what it did two decades ago. The top 0.1 percent’s share has almost tripled. Disparities in wealth are even greater.

     

    Some on the right argue that this is the politics of envy. They say what matters is not the share of the pie — but the size of the slice. But inequality, especially of the U.S. variety, is bad for growth. The country grew faster in the decades after World War II — when it was also growing together, with all groups seeing increases in income. But those at the bottom were growing the most.

     

    By comparison, growth since 1980 has been slower, as the share of the bottom and middle has diminished. That means that those in the middle, ordinary Americans who work for a living, let alone those at the bottom, are getting a smaller slice of a pie that is smaller than if we had continued growing as we did postwar. The net result is disheartening: Most Americans are worse off today than they were 15 years ago.

     

    Some on the right also assert that those at the top deserve their higher incomes. They earned it, conservatives say. Their riches were due to their greater contribution to society, from which all benefit.

     

    I wish that were true — but it’s not. Those at the top aren’t the true innovators — people who provided the intellectual foundations of the computer, for example, or the Internet. Or those who invented the transistor or the laser; or, like James Watson and Francis Crick, who unraveled the genetic code laying the foundations of so much of modern medicine.

     

    Much of the top-most wealth instead comes because of successful “rent seeking.” Economists use the term “rents” for income derived from owning an asset, rather than from effort. “Rent seeking” refers to attempts to garner a larger share of the economic pie, rather than making the pie larger.

     

    Monopolists, for example, gain their wealth through restricting production — which makes the size of the pie smaller. When we look at divided societies abroad, like so many of the dysfunctional oil-rich countries, we diagnose their problem as an infliction of excessive rent seeking — too much of society’s resources go to attempts to grab a larger share of the oil wealth, too little to expanding the economy. What we don’t realize is the extent to which the United States, too, has become a rent-seeking society."

     

    Read more: http://politi.co/Rwy7yM
    15 Dec 2012, 07:56 PM Reply Like
  • LoganSix
    , contributor
    Comments (290) | Send Message
     
    @Mortbert Are there more millionaires now, than before?

     

    All you have to do is look at what is defined as "poor" today. Years ago, the rich bought a box that would store food for longer periods of time without the need of bringing in chunks of ice, it is called a refrigerator. Because the rich had the extra money to purchase these items, they were built, refined and made cheaper. Now, 99% of all households have at least one refrigerator. Other items, like phones, televisions, computers, cars, watches, etc... also went the same route. Also, when the rich buy specialty items, like boats, many craftsmen are given jobs that a poor person wouldn't give them. That is until, government levies a luxury tax that puts buying boats out of the range of middle income makers, then in return makes 1,000s of craftsmen unemployed. (Bush Sr. did this)

     

    How many arguments do you want to lose?

     

    Al Gore and Barrack Obama both got Nobel prizes. One for lying and the other for doing nothing. I don't put any credence into that prize, which is now purely political.
    16 Dec 2012, 11:02 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    LoganSix, I don't believe I've lost an argument yet. We have different opinions... and mine are backed by data.

     

    First this great quote I found:

     

    Abraham Lincoln:
    “Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

     

    The the rich usually build their wealth by melding ideas and labor with market needs. A product only available to the rich is usually a market failure (yeah, I've heard of Rolls Royce). Folks knew about root cellars and other cool spots to keep food long before Joe Gotbucks decided he needed and could afford an "icebox". Products make it when they reach a price point where there is a mass market... like the HP desktop print and in a few years 3D printers. If we depended on the rich consumer we'd all be broke. The demand from the bottom 98% is the driver for business.

     

    The "luxury tax" is just that. If a tax is added to a million dollar yacht, a private jet, or a Lamborghini it will not effect my buying decision... nor will it bother Bill Gates. It costs no jobs.

     

    Bush senior and Reagan recognized that they needed additional revenue and they did what needed to be done for the good of the country, unlike current conservatives ideologes.

     

    The Nobel winners in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Paul Krugman will be hurt by your skepticism.

     

    Your turn.
    17 Dec 2012, 01:32 PM Reply Like
  • LoganSix
    , contributor
    Comments (290) | Send Message
     
    @Mortbert Would you like to go back to the discussion on how minimum wages reduces the standard of living by offering less service or the same price or similar service or a higher price?

     

    I live in NC. Millionaires weren't the only ones buying boats in the 90s. Hundreds of small ship building companies shut down after the luxury tax was implemented because it put the boats just out of range of a lot of buyers. 1,000s lost jobs.

     

    Reagan lowered effective tax rates, which increased tax revenue. JFK also reduce income taxes, which increased tax revenue. You can't increase tax revenue beyond 20% of GDP. Current spending is at 25% of GDP.

     

    Paul Krugman is a loon. Or do you honestly believe that sending an alien invasion to break all the windows will help the economy? Don't answer that. The person whose window was broken now has to pay an expense for maintenance instead of investment towards increasing wealth.
    18 Dec 2012, 08:59 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    LoganSix
    Before going back to why the minimum wage needs to be raised, lets look at some real data:

     

    "We examined data from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center that computes the nation’s tax revenues as a percentage of its Gross Domestic Product -- the total of all goods and services produced.

     

    When Reagan took office in 1981, federal taxes were 19.6 percent of GDP, the highest level since World War II. That figure dropped to 17.3 percent during his first term and rose to 18.2 percent at the end of his second term.

     

    For comparison, federal tax revenues for this fiscal year are estimated at 15.8 percent of GDP."

     

    Krugman correctly predicted that slashing government spending during a recession would not help a national economy - it would hurt. England and other European economies have proved him right.

     

    The luxury boat tax is 10% over $100,000 dollars. That effected about 10 to 12,000 boat sales in a 700,000 sales market. I think the recession cost more jobs.
    18 Dec 2012, 02:11 PM Reply Like
  • LoganSix
    , contributor
    Comments (290) | Send Message
     
    Canada proves Krugman wrong.
    The Roaring 20s proves Krugman wrong.

     

    "Within eight months after the change in the law took effect, Viking Yachts, the largest U.S. yacht manufacturer, laid off 1,140 of its 1,400 employees and closed one of its two manufacturing plants. Before it was all over, Viking Yachts was down to 68 employees. In the first year, one-third of U.S. yacht-building companies stopped production, and according to a report by the congressional Joint Economic Committee, the industry lost 7,600 jobs. When it was over, 25,000 workers had lost their jobs building yachts, and 75,000 more jobs were lost in companies that supplied yacht parts and material."
    http://bit.ly/RCjSZf
    18 Dec 2012, 03:05 PM Reply Like
  • aaabondpro
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    Right To Work really means Workers Have No Rights.
    If you don't believe that, try working for a private employer in Florida where you're treated like dirt and repeatedly reminded that the slightest infraction of Company Rules will result in your immediate termination.
    10 Dec 2012, 08:31 PM Reply Like
  • jhorenka
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
     
    The worker then can go work somewhere else, or they can form a union. RTW does not abolish unions it gives the workers the freedom to choose. Had the unions not taken union dues from Republican/conservative employees and given them to Democrat politicians we wouldn't be having this discussion.
    11 Dec 2012, 01:38 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Right. Unions supporting the party of the middle class is wrong. Those non-Republican workers in large companies who earn profits for the companies that then are deverted into Repubican PACs and campaign committees is the American way. Corporate control of willing politians is really helping you. I'm happy you worry about the welfare or the richest famililies and don't mind donating to their support. You will be donating even more in the future.

     

    Read what workers in right to work states, and even local Republican union people, are saying and you will see how wonderful the free market is going to be for labor in Michigan. As they say, "Be careful what you wish for. You may get it."
    11 Dec 2012, 10:18 AM Reply Like
  • nite71
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    Good companies today realize that in order to keep the best workers, they must be treat those workers right. Are there bad companies out there? Yes. Sounds like you work for one. If it's that bad, take your skills elsewhere. If your skills are valuable to the company, maybe they'll change their tune before you go. Remember, it's the company's "job", not yours. They have the right to fill "your" job as they see fit.

     

    We are all salesmen in the end. We all have a set of skills to sell. Some skills are more valuable versus others. That's a big problem with the unions today. Regardless of the kool-aid they feed their members, we are not all equal when it comes to job skills, determination, etc... Unions have outlived their usefulness. They breed inefficiency and laziness throughout a large portion of the member base. It will be their downfall.
    11 Dec 2012, 10:21 AM Reply Like
  • jerryu44
    , contributor
    Comments (111) | Send Message
     
    You mean the party of homosexuals. baby killers, communist, illegal immigrants, atheist, and anti-christian bigots.
    11 Dec 2012, 03:51 PM Reply Like
  • jerryu44
    , contributor
    Comments (111) | Send Message
     
    The democratic party is not the party of the middle class it is the party of the underclass. It is not the party of the workers it is the party of the welfare takers. The democratic party is pure evil. They have murdered approx 50 million babies. They promote homosexuality, radical feminism, communism, atheism and welfareism.
    12 Dec 2012, 08:34 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Jerryu44 on the Democratic Party.

     

    Your sentiments are beneath comment.
    15 Dec 2012, 08:03 PM Reply Like
  • thayes41
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    It is difficult for the unions to act in the light of day today, unlike 30 to 40 years ago. The unions today are all about obtaining maxium dollars from employers and members. They do very little to understand thier industry and what future training thier members might need to keep it competive in the world. They spend the money on elections. This why they have lost ground in the private sector and put many political subdivisions in bankruptsey. They may spend enought to get thier person elected, but when he vote for whatever they want the load gets too heavy for the average american.
    11 Dec 2012, 04:09 AM Reply Like
  • greengirl64
    , contributor
    Comments (224) | Send Message
     
    It is an outrage, a blow against democracy and the unions that helped defeat Mitt Romney. No public notice, no debate, Gov. Rick Snyder pulled a bait-and-switch (he did not run on right-to-work).
    11 Dec 2012, 02:17 PM Reply Like
  • fredoq
    , contributor
    Comments (31) | Send Message
     
    No public notice, no debate, no public vote. Sounds kinda like the no smoking thingy that excluded all indian casinos as well as non indian detroit casinos. I think it was Gov. Jennifer Granholm. No one that I know got to vote on that and I don't remember making it a part of her platform.
    12 Dec 2012, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • LoganSix
    , contributor
    Comments (290) | Send Message
     
    No public notice, no debate

     

    So, the union ballot item that was voted down and started this whole thing wasn't notice enough?
    12 Dec 2012, 02:25 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Hey Fredog, sounds like big $ can get to any politician. That's why I believe elections should be publicly financed. Then Pols would not be confused about who they work for any we wouldn't be arguing about which crook was better for us.
    12 Dec 2012, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • jerryu44
    , contributor
    Comments (111) | Send Message
     
    Yeah it also sounds like obamacare we have to pass it to see whats in it. How can people be so stupid. Don't worry about the fiscal cliff. Obama care will indeed change this nation, it will bring it to its knees.
    12 Dec 2012, 08:36 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Jerryu44 I gather that you do not or, hoping you have a long healthy life, will NOT use Medicare. You really don't believe it's costing you big bucks because the poor, uninsured in this country have to run to very high cost emergency rooms that can't receive payment from them but, thankfully, must supply care.

     

    It isn't rocket science to know that if everyone contributes something to health insurance, even the young and low risk, then all will not have to worry about care when they need it. It also could mean that our large companies wouldn't have to bear the cost of healthcare in their overhead... Which is a major advantage of our foreign competitors.

     

    Maybe you listen to Fox Noise a little too much.
    12 Dec 2012, 10:00 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    That's absolutely right... And NO hearings or public comments. This is the definition of "power politics".
    13 Dec 2012, 10:59 AM Reply Like
  • Tom Sr
    , contributor
    Comments (198) | Send Message
     
    Interesting mortbert.

     

    "the poor, uninsured in this country have to run to very high cost emergency rooms that can't receive payment from them but, thankfully, must supply care." Help me understand how those who can't pay will suddenly be able to pay. Obamagic?

     

    Everyone should be able to get health care - suspect nearly all agree on that. It's how to finance the system that is difficult and taking money from doctors and providers isn't a good answer IMO. There isn't enough money to be gained by expecting the "evil, you didn't build that 1%" to pay for it either. That's just a disgusting South Chicago style political strategy to get elected. The anger generated from it is like a cancer.

     

    We all are going to have to pay more (those that can) so expect your cost including taxes to go up. I'm not really opposed to an increase in my current -roughly 20% - rate but some need to be more honest. If someone really could not pay anything before Obamacare it's not logic to think they can after Obamacare takes effect. Costwise, there would be much more to be gained if everyone tried to live a more healthy lifestyle - diet, exercise, reduce smoking etc.

     

    I don't like FOX or CNN and MSNBC is a joke. Bloomberg seems to be more balanced and informative.
    16 Dec 2012, 11:10 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Tom Sr
    As long as we start out with the premise that "Everyone should be able to get health care" we can work out the details on how to achieve the goal.

     

    You are also absolutely right when you say the poor who can't afford insurance without Obamacare will not be able to pay when The Affordable Care Act is implemented.

     

    Emergency room care for the uninsured is paid for by the rest of us. By higher premiums on the insured and by inflated charges for facilities and services to compensate for "bad debt". I hear its costing each of us about $1000 a year. It's not funded by taking money from doctors and providers.

     

    The rest of the advanced world solves the problem by "universal health insurance". Everyone that can pay something contributes. Obamacare doesn't go this far. Often the money is collected by government but, in some case, private insurers actually run the system. It's like Medicare in that everyone is in and that you choose your doctor, hospital, and make your own medical decisions. On the other extreme is the Brits socialist system (which is like the VA) where you show up at hospital for "free" care and are assigned a doctor whose only duty is to provide the best care. Meanwhile our cost per patient care is twice that of the next most advanced nation and our quality of results is about 16th.

     

    Recommendation -If you haven't seen it, view Moores' documentary "Sicko".

     

    I completely agree with encouraging everyone to live a healthier life style. I saw the light in my 30s when several friends and work associates began to drop. This led to 30 years of jogging. The problem is getting people's attention!
    17 Dec 2012, 02:53 PM Reply Like
  • jerryu44
    , contributor
    Comments (111) | Send Message
     
    The democratic party evil, period.
    11 Dec 2012, 03:53 PM Reply Like
  • fredoq
    , contributor
    Comments (31) | Send Message
     
    This will be my last post on this subject. There are pros and cons to all subjects worthy of discussion. This forum proves there is a huge divide in this country between the extreme opinions of both liberals and conservatives. The middle ground holds the solution with concessions to be made on both sides. There is room for unionism and room for freedom to choose. As Rodney King said "Can't we all just get along".
    17 Dec 2012, 02:42 PM Reply Like
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