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  • #46
    Re: Egypt at Home!

    Yep, they are all tuckin' tail..
    ''Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" Benjamin Franklin

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    • #47
      Re: Egypt at Home!

      Originally posted by Andy_M View Post
      Many people are quick to point out that we don't have a free market in the US. They're unfortunately more right than wrong in many cases. But at the same time they want the Government to regulate this, outlaw that, make everything fair, ensure everyone gets thier fair share - whatever that is.

      None of that is the point of Government. Government is not about making things fair or making sure everyone is taken care of, and never was.

      In fact, the free market system depends on things being unfair. This creates the motivation for people to make choices and decisions. If you don't like the deal you get from an employer, find another job. If you can't find another job that's better, move to a different area or change occupations. It's your problem. It's not the Government's problem.

      Unions are not good or bad. What is bad is any law that favors unions or discriminates against them. It is impossible to make a law that doesn't do one or the other, so Gov't should stay out of it. If people want to unionize, great. If an employer wants to bring in non-union labor, great. It's called a free market. Anything else is market manipulation.G ov't's role is just the opposite - to make sure that there is no laws that favor either side. That's "the pursuit of happiness" bit in the Constitution. They allow you to pursue... they don't provide the car and a driver to take you!

      When the Gov't makes any laws that muck with the this, they've failed in their job. The Constitution was explicitly designed to protect the free market. Our Gov't, heavily influenced by external forces, has instituted regulations and laws in virtually every area of life. None of this is within the scope of the Constitution.

      No one would argue that there is no need for regulation. Where free market forces push in the wrong direction, there must be regulation. For example, no firm or person should be allowed to dump toxic chemicals into the storm drain. But when there is a free market system that will naturally self regulate, the Gov't should stay away.

      The result of all this is what we have today. I think the actual cost of all Government in the US (Federal, State and local) is probably around $6.5T. The GDP is about $14T. So Gov't, which is a BURDEN on the economy, represents about 46% of our total economy.

      This isn't a little problem.

      The Government needs to back waaaaay off of most of the things they are involved in, and they need to do it now. I fully support those few politicians that are trying to do this.

      There's literally no more time to entertain insane pensions, teacher's tenure, or any other nonsense that distorts the free market. The Federal Gov't is broke. They can't borrow enough to cover their expenses, that's why the Fed is now the largest holder of Gov't debt instruments. Most of the states are in severe financial trouble. There are those that think MORE Gov't is the answer. It's not!! It's the problem.
      Andy, I agree in part with what you said but disagree that government is not instrumental in making things fair or right. Government through the passage of laws and establishment of certain agencies eliminated a lot of work place abuse. You may find making things right or fair inconsequential, but those are the things that separate us from countries where freedom and rights mean nothing.

      When you work your butt off for an employer for a number of years, you should not have to choose between harassment, abuse, cutbacks, downgrades or any other whim and unemployment! Just my opinion.

      I know what it's like to have a new boss show up out of the blue and try to change things. After working with two man teams pulling cable through manholes, a new boss wanted us to do it with three men. I looked him in the face and said no way, it is dangerous and it would have been a dangerous and stupid thing to do. Without a strong Union that boss would have had things his way and the risk of someone getting hurt would have been very high, thankfully he backed down when pushed. I have many similar stories of foremen and upper management deciding to assert their own ideas over the accepted and agreed practices.

      Changing the subject, why is is okay for just about every other country to enforce their borders and protect their economy through trade limits and tarrifs, but our government can't ? That's why I have a big problem at the mention of "free trade and fair trade and open markets", if those terms do not apply for our exports they are misleading and false.

      What do you think our land, water and air would be like if there were no government regulations? Problem is the lack of reason and common sense applied to all these areas, environment, labor, business, etc.

      The right to seek compensation through the courts is right and just, but it got all distorted and out of hand with worthless, baseless lawsuits and astronomical settlements. How about criminal cases? Defendants deserve legal representation, but defending criminals and winning cases became a science to the point of the guilty walking away unpunished.

      I agree that things must change and they must change in many areas of our society and fast! I won't go through my laundry list, but reducing pensions and renegotiating salaries and contracts are part of the equation. Reduce government too and cut government spending. Stop further government debt and take away the credit addiction. Maybe the USA can't buy off foreign leaders or fight wars for a while? My point is that if we are to come out of this free fall, it will take a combination of actions that will displease our legislators and citizens alike. Maybe it's time to get more oil in the gulf and other places that are off limits, pollute some land and air? I don't think we have time for green technology and the clock is ticking. Will our society grind to a halt at the hands of others? What responsibility or part are we willing to accept in our demise?

      Comment


      • #48
        Re: Egypt at Home!

        Government regulation is necessary when free market forces apply pressure in the wrong direction. Pollution is a great example. If there were no laws, free market pressure would tend to cause people to pollute more, dump toxics improperly, etc. There is no free market force that tends to mitigate in favor of societal interest. So yes, there are cases where regulation is needed. The problem is in the huge majority of cases where free market forces steer in a good direction, but where Gov't decides to "help".

        I don't think that the job situation needs help from Gov't. Freedom and rights do not mean that the Government should protect you from your employer! Freedom and rights mean that you have the freedom to get another job if you don't like the one you've got. If your boss tells you to do something that isn't safe, you have the right and freedom to talk to the next level boss, and the right to refuse to do the unsafe procedure. If that means you get fired, then so be it. The company will suffer because they'll have to hire someone new and train them, and that is a very large expense. Meanwhile, you can find another job with a company that is better-run, and help them succeed. However, the Gov't has no Constitutional right or duty to interfere and tell a private company that an employee's way to do something, or a Union's way for that matter, must be heeded. As I mentioned in my post, I have no problem with Unions. I do however have a problem with Gov't getting in the middle, one way or the other.

        I also don't agree at all that Gov't regulation has made the workplace right, fair or free from abuse. First of all, I don't even know what that means. "Right", "fair" and "abuse" are all subjective terms. Laws and regulations don't do well in dealing with subjective terms. They do well at enforcing some brainless bureaucrat's notion of what is "right" or "fair". I think most people would rather decide that for themselves. I also think that common sense and profit motive overall -- that is, the free market -- will naturally lead to a stable relationship between labor and management. Will it always make every employee happy? Will there never be instances of unfairness? Of course not. However, well-run companies value their employees not because it is the law, but because a good workforce is a valuable asset that makes a lot of money. Doesn't that sound like a more reliable way to promote a good workplace environment as compared to poorly designed laws from DC? If a company doesn't get that, and doesn't treat their employees reasonably and competitively, then that company should and will fail. That's free market. I've been on both sides, and in management for quite a long time now, and honestly I see nothing from Government that has helped the workplace.

        What I do see is that the cost of compliance for the crushing load of Gov't regulations makes companies leave. And who exactly does that help?

        I think it's possible for the US to be competitive once again in the global economy. We have many advantages, including the highest skilled and best educated overall workforce in the world. We have the economic resources (at least we do now, for a little while longer). We need Govt to get out of the way, and to get back to the (few) things that they are actually supposed to be doing. If that steps on the toes of the public service unions, then that's what has to happen.

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        • #49
          Re: Egypt at Home!

          Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
          When you work your butt off for an employer for a number of years, you should not have to choose between harassment, abuse, cutbacks, downgrades or any other whim and unemployment! Just my opinion.
          I don't think the amount of time you work for the employer really matters. If at the end of some finite time period, let's say a year so that performance pay, etc. are included, you aren't coming out even you should move on to somewhere you can get a better deal.

          After I put in my 40 hours a week, my company owes me my paycheck and that is it. I don't owe them anything either, and can go somewhere else if I find somewhere better. As long as I've been working [admittedly a short period of time], there has never been long-term commitment on either the employers or employees part. I think most people my age tend to think the same way, that they owe nothing to the company and think the company will discard them when it becomes convenient.

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          • #50
            Re: Egypt at Home!

            " If your boss tells you to do something that isn't safe, you have the right and freedom to talk to the next level boss, and the right to refuse to do the unsafe procedure. If that means you get fired, then so be it. The company will suffer because they'll have to hire someone new and train them, and that is a very large expense. Meanwhile, you can find another job with a company that is better-run, and help them succeed".

            Sorry Andy, the above may make sense to you but Union folks did not fight for years to make the work place safe only to get fired and find another job when some jerk decides to change the rules. In my life, you sacrifice to make things safe, and "Fair" and you don't get fired or find another job. You don't walk away and let the next person to do the job be at risk. If more folks had the security of a strong Union behind them, lives would be saved. I wonder how many unsafe trucks would not be on the road, how many accidents due to unsafe equipment and machinery would be avoided if folks were not scared to put their foot down and force their boss to do the right and fair thing?

            Knowing what is right or fair may be up for debate, but most reasonable folks just know. Aside from making workers and the general public safe, doing the right and fair thing means paying folks for the time they work, and promoting them when they have done a proper job. Human nature allows for too many abuses in the absense of a powerful deterent. Doing a good job, doing the right thing should never result in having to leave and find another job.

            I want our society to survive, our country to rebound, but I don't want us to lose our humanity, dignity, and hard fought way of life in the process. Heck, if we must become a third world nation and treat our labor force like their straw hut mud dwellers I rather throw the towel in now!
            Last edited by Frankiarmz; 02-23-2011, 01:05 AM.

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            • #51
              Re: Egypt at Home!

              Originally posted by cpw View Post
              I don't think the amount of time you work for the employer really matters. If at the end of some finite time period, let's say a year so that performance pay, etc. are included, you aren't coming out even you should move on to somewhere you can get a better deal.

              After I put in my 40 hours a week, my company owes me my paycheck and that is it. I don't owe them anything either, and can go somewhere else if I find somewhere better. As long as I've been working [admittedly a short period of time], there has never been long-term commitment on either the employers or employees part. I think most people my age tend to think the same way, that they owe nothing to the company and think the company will discard them when it becomes convenient.
              Charles, folks like yourself have skills that are easily transferable to another job. There are millions of folks who work at jobs where their skills are job specific and their pay scale is acheived over years of working for the same employer. Do you really not understand how much of our work force operates? I live in a neighborhood of white collar workers, they work at a job for a couple of years, keep their resumes up to date and move around. That is not how most other workers and jobs function. Utilities such as New York Tel and Con Ed, employ tens of thousands of people whose salaries increase over time on the job. Those employers count on a dedicated work force, they could not function with folks dropping in and out. I learned how to operate at least five different trucks that were job specific, not to mention all the other job skills that took years to learn.

              Charles, perhaps you would have a different perspective if you worked some of the jobs I am thinking about. Utility lineman, splicer, repairman, central office switchman. Those jobs exist by the thousands, and they are not the kind of jobs from which you just get up and find elsewhere. Those are the kind of jobs where you get dirty and your back and body suffer with time. You don't go on another job interview with a written resume but with a list of body parts that don't work quite the same anymore. I suggest you take some time and really watch those guys who clear the downed trees, or spend hours on utility poles, imagine doing that kind of work for twenty years, now do you really think that's the same as working in an office environment? Do you really think those folks can move from employer to employer as you can? Seriously Charles, for a very bright man I think you have not thought beyond your situation in this instance.

              Comment


              • #52
                Re: Egypt at Home!

                Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post

                If more folks had the security of a strong Union behind them, lives would be saved. I wonder how many unsafe trucks would not be on the road, how many accidents due to unsafe equipment and machinery would be avoided if folks were not scared to put their foot down and force their boss to do the right and fair thing?
                Does the Union cure diseases for Plumbers as well, since we work around so much bacteria and germs?

                1 call to OSHA will take care of the safety aspect of things. Don't need a Union for when simple common sense should be practiced on a daily basis.

                I have job security..and financial security in my life, because I'm paying for it all myself without the need of a Union or taxpayer.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Re: Egypt at Home!

                  Originally posted by Flux View Post
                  Does the Union cure diseases for Plumbers as well, since we work around so much bacteria and germs?

                  1 call to OSHA will take care of the safety aspect of things. Don't need a Union for when simple common sense should be practiced on a daily basis.

                  I have job security..and financial security in my life, because I'm paying for it all myself without the need of a Union or taxpayer.
                  Well good for you, that's great. Now if you can see beyond yourself and your situation you will understand the need for Unions by millions of workers who are not you. If not, the there's no point in going any further. Funny thing about common sense, not as common as you might think.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Re: Egypt at Home!

                    Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                    Well good for you, that's great. Now if you can see beyond yourself and your situation you will understand the need for Unions by millions of workers who are not you. If not, the there's no point in going any further. Funny thing about common sense, not as common as you might think.
                    No offense, but I really don't care about anyone else except for family and friends. I don't care if you or anyone else is taken care of financially, because to be quite honest..you and everyone else wouldn't care about me financially either. Let's at least be honest about that..because if people did care about one another financially, most of our problems in this country would be a mute point.

                    But I do care where my tax dollars go and spent towards, and the fleecing the Unions have been doing for years, is coming to an end as has got to stop. The Unions have gotten greedy, and has strong-armed the American taxpayer for a very long time now. Hearing that Unions are getting "waivers" from the new Healthcare law tells you and everyone else what?

                    It's been LONG overdue for Unions to start paying in more to their benefits as the states simply can't afford it anymore. But it never had to be this way...and I don't blame you or the average Union worker...I blame the higher ups.

                    Modest cost of living raises, getting rid of tenure and rewarding the good employees, and paying your fair share of YOUR benefits...we wouldn't be in this mess.

                    Keeping the Collective Bargaining only puts us right back in this mess. The Unions like to use the word "deserve"...well I deserve to make $300.00 for just walking in the door to a customers home...fair enough?

                    Either abolish the Unions...or knock them down and start over with strict guidelines.

                    That's my opinion.

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                    • #55
                      And now,

                      A fat kid jumps in a pool





                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKitvyywkG8
                      Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                      • #56
                        Re: Egypt at Home!

                        First They came... - Pastor Martin Niemoller
                        First they came for the communists,
                        and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

                        Then they came for the trade unionists,
                        and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

                        Then they came for the Jews,
                        and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

                        Then they came for me
                        and there was no one left to speak out for me.

                        History teaches us that apathy leads to bad things. Assuming you have a safe and secure life is only an assumption, fact is that moment to moment things can change.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Re: Egypt at Home!

                          Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                          ...folks like yourself have skills that are easily transferable to another job. There are millions of folks who work at jobs where their skills are job specific and their pay scale is acheived over years of working for the same employer. Do you really not understand how much of our work force operates?
                          Frank, I appreciate that you feel quite passionate about unions. However, I respectfully disagree with some of your comments.

                          I think that perhaps you are discounting the level of investment that very many, if not most jobs, require in terms of developing industry- and company-specific skills. Nearly every job involves very large investment on the part of the worker to learn the specifics of any industry or company. It is really no different whether you are pulling wire, or coding, or designing products, and yes it does take years to become fully versed. For example, I spent many years in defense contracting. In order to transition to commercial product development, I had to take a step back and learn an entirely new game. There is very little similarity in the design of a multi-million dollar weapon system, designed to operate to extreme levels of reliability in battlefield conditions, and of which only a handful are made, as compared to a consumer gadget produced for a few bucks in quantities of many thousands per month, that lives in someone's home, is a throw-away, and has no life or death consequences if it fails. There is even less similarilty in how you conduct the projects between the two. Do you really believe that such jobs are more transportable than the ones you're familiar with? Again,with due respect, I don't think you understand.

                          Again, I emphasize that I have no problem with unions - only with Gov't rules that enforce union rights at the expense of employer rights to run their business as they see fit and hire whoever they like. The union seeks to monopolize labor. Monopolies are not legal for business, why are they legal for unions?

                          On the other hand, unions often serve to protect employees and methods that don't deserve to be protected. In my mind, a great example is teacher's tenure. I've heard the arguments and honestly, they are all self-serving baloney. The teachers union doesn't want their members to be accountable for their job performance, that's the bottom line. Well, it seems to me that it's about time the gravy train runs out. Good teachers will have nothing to worry about. Poor teachers should worry. I see no problems with that.

                          By the way, years ago I was a Teamster. As far as I'm concerned, the dues never bought me a thing of value. My dad was in the CWA for his entire life, working in a machine shop. He never had any use for unions, either. Not saying your experience isn't valid... just pointing out that it's not a universally held opinion, even among members.

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                          • #58
                            Re: Egypt at Home!

                            Andy, my opinions and experience with Unions is mine alone and I don't expect everyone to share them. I understand you and others either have had a bad experience with Unions or disliking them for any number of reason. I simply want to share my thoughts. Regarding what was said about leaving a job if you don't like it, I find that insulting and unrealistic. If you read my earlier post, you would at least consider that the jobs I mentioned are not the sort of jobs where folks can get up and find again, nor are they expected. Those big employers, the Unions, government and even customers understand how the system works. A single worker such as yourself or white collar workers such as Charles live and work with a different understanding of what is expected by your employer and what you are "entitled" to in return. I have no problem with us having different lives, and opinions, I do find it frustrating when folks think their way of life and work is the only way. This is not a one size fits all world, and personal bitterness or misunderstanding towards Unions does not allow for all the good they do for millions.

                            I believe in workers rights and protection, things like seniority represent a sort of respect for one's elders in my mind. I share what I think is the frustration and upset most reasonable folks find with teachers and tenure. I don't agree that tenure should keep a bad teacher in front of a classroom. That situation contradicts my Union thinking and I have no defense or good answer. Our economy has lead to some folks becoming teachers because they had the educational requirements although they lacked the skills and desire to teach.

                            I am glad we can have this discussion and I'm glad something is being done reign in unrealistic salaries and pensions which add to the burden of troubled states. I would like to see the same upset and effort put towards righting other wrongs that got us in this mess. The out of control spending, the mounting debt, the bad legislation, the broken economic behavior that encouraged and allowed the loss of so many jobs. In my mind there is no simple solution to our problems although a lot of folks would like to think that. If you cut jobs and reduce wages, you must expect a loss of services and a reduction in the amount of money consumers can spend on other things including the purchase, repair and upgrade of homes.

                            Andy, I do care and I do understand that contrary to what some folks think we are all in this life somehow connected. Fixing our problems will take a lot of change and hardship, I hope it is accomplished with a common sense approach and not hate, ignorance or fear. I think we share a common goal of concern for our country and that should bring us together as a people more than divide us because of our differences.
                            Last edited by Frankiarmz; 02-23-2011, 09:26 AM.

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                            • #59
                              Re: Egypt at Home!

                              Frank,

                              I would expect that my employer puts just as much in training as your employer. I would like to be able to count on my employer, but honestly I know that if someone else can do my job cheaper or better, they'll be in and I'll be out.

                              I don't think it is any different for a lineman. If Verizon can figure out a way to do something better, change the process, or get people to do it cheaper, they will. The only people a company has any fiduciary responsibility for are their shareholders.

                              The working man, white collar or blue collar, has no value to a company beyond what they can do. Once that value erodes, they won't take care of you. They might like to say they will, but I don't think it is true. Anything they do that is "extra" is really just to retain talent, because for the moment it is useful.

                              If a company doesn't care about you, why should you care about the company?

                              Charles

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                              • #60
                                Re: Egypt at Home!

                                Frank, I'm also glad that we can discuss differing opinions.

                                I think most people would prefer that workplaces be "fair" (as they define it anyway) and so forth. I think most would prefer that employers not do things that repress labor. I also think that most employers would be pleased if they consistently got a dollar's worth of output for every dollar they pay.

                                But the world isn't perfect. We both recognize that.

                                I think the difference comes down to who should deal with the specific instances of imperfection. Unions are one way of representing labor to management. If workers want to unionize, why not? As long as they can't force employers or limit their freedom to run their businesses, I am ok with it.

                                Government intervention is a different animal. Government has no business mucking with private industry, nor does the Constitution grant them the authority.

                                You mentioned in an earlier post, "You may find making things right or fair inconsequential, but those are the things that separate us from countries where freedom and rights mean nothing." I disagree completely. What separates us from other nations (or used to) is freedom from Gov't intervention. A government that imposes its will and notions of what "should" be on the private sector isn't any different than socialism, communism, fascism, or any other sort of state control. The entire point of the US, from the very beginning, was entirely based on government staying the hell out of people's lives and businesses. This is why the United States revolted against GB in the first place. Those in the colonies thought they could do better without the King, his rules and his taxes. And they were right.

                                I believe that people need to control their destiny. That means make their own choices, fight their own battles, and pay for thier own mistakes. The United States is really a Cinderella story in that the success of that approach surprised the entire world. It seems quite clear to me that when the US Gov't decided that it knew best and needed to "control" society, things started downhill. Today, we have a Gov't that represents 46% of the economy. Nothing... absolutely NOTHING... is going well. The currency is in the toilet. We face unsustainable debt. We fight wars that the population doesn't support. We buy commodities from people that have vowed to kill us. And the rest of the world is either laughing at us or angry with us for our behavior. Government has created social security, medicare, welfare, and a raft of other entitlements that are bankrupting us. They subsidize certain industries, even though some of those report billions in profits. And Gov't regulations and insane laws have caused not only a rise in imports, but have caused US companies to abandon the US and gone offshore to make their goods. None of this is good. None of it.

                                As I see it, you can't carve out a portion of this behavior and declare that it's ok, righteous, humane, or whatever. Every special interest does precisely that. You either favor a return to free market principles, or you don't. If you don't, then you support special interest politics. Laws that preferentially support unions over non-union workers and/or the Constitutional right s of business to run things as they see fit are, like it or not, a special interest.

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