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  • #31
    Re: May 2011

    Originally posted by Flux View Post
    How does any other thread on this forum spin out of control? Opposing viewpoints will always clash, and it's the nature of the beast. I mean christ..we are having our 200th drum versus sectional war in one of the other threads.
    201!!! Get it right!!!


    J.C.

    Comment


    • #32
      Re: May 2011

      Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
      201!!! Get it right!!!


      J.C.
      Like you...I don't do nearly the drain cleaning some guys do here, and as long as the drain is open and clean, that's all I care about. lol

      But it's like Ford versus Chevy regarding Drums versus sectionals.

      I think I'm going to go over and parachute in on that thread.

      Comment


      • #33
        Re: May 2011

        Originally posted by Flux View Post
        Opinion eh? I guess your TV didn't work while the protests went on in Wisconsin. The 7.5 million estimate to repair and clean-up the mess from those hooligans destruction of the capitol. I guess that's an opinion as well huh?

        If you want to have a discussion with facts only when it comes to Unions Frank...I'm game. I don't think it's possible for you to have that discussion though, because the truth clearly bothers you. I guess the Philadelphia school district ( Teachers Union) being $629 million in the hole is an ignorant opinion as well huh? How dare I speak like that...that's hate speech!!! I mean you act like I'm making this up and expressing an opinion. Come on Frank...let's go through the years and go over all of the fraud, and corruption the Unions committed. I'll tell you what...I'm willing to bet if we listed all the good things the Unions did compared to the bad things, the bad side of that list would dwarf the good side...what do you say?

        Glenn Beck said it best when he said.."The Truth has no agenda". Why are you so afraid of the truth Frank?
        Your thinking is really twisted, I'll bet you would be one of those hooligans if you were a state union worker with a family and the bums at top decided to break your union! What we are both posting are our opinions based on our life experience. Unions are made up of people so there will be criminals among them same as any other profession, politicians and clergy included! Teachers all over the country are taking a hit by folks who think they earn too much and don't care about the kids. Do those who criticize know what it's like to teach? Folks don't become teachers to become wealthy and I think they are deserving of more money and a heck of a lot more respect. Funny how you want to be treated with respect and paid well for the work you do but it's okay to insult teachers and solve your budget problems by taking from them. I suppose Philadelphia has not lost tax paying businesses and jobs ? Take off your blinders, all the states are in hot water because they have lost too much tax revenue. Here in CT they are about to layoff 6,500 state workers because the Unions refused to the governor's concessions. I applaud their decision, never go backwards especially since these politicians have no plan to grow the economy with tax paying businesses and jobs. I predict these morons republican and democrat who are trying to break the Unions with concessions and layoffs will have to keep laying off in the future because without tax revenue they can't run their states! Weaken a workers income wheter he or she is a Union memeber or not and you will feel the effects with more inflation, lower property values and a trickle down to local businesses as these consumers have less spending power. Can't you use some foresight and see that your profession wil suffer from a weakened consumer base? We need to pay workers well and give them good benefits so they can care for their families. We don't need to spend trillions on foreign wars funded by communists and paid for in death and disability of our brave young Americans! Lastly I watch glen beck and he is an a-s clown, pandering to folks who can't connect the dots for themselves. I also watch Bill O'Reilly, in my opinion he is a lot more fair and balanced. Flux, it is unfortunate people like you could not have the Union experience that I had it would give you a whole different perspective. My bottom line is you either want to support working Americans raising families and sharing with the community (yourself included), or you want to insult working Americans, support the growth of a communist country and help our economy and standard of living go down the tubes. Since there is nothing more to be said on my part, I'll let you have the last word.

        Comment


        • #34
          Re: May 2011

          Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
          How'd it get to this?

          I just thought it was nice that someone was making an effort towards getting good recognition towards some occupations that have had less positive attention directed towards them over the past several years.


          J.C.
          J.C., it is a good thread and video. I wanted folks to think about the difficulties facing trades and skilled labor today. When we start to break down the economics behind the nice story we open up the can of worms. We do have different opinions based on our individual experiences, and that leads to disagreement. I have the utmost respect for folks who work hard and I have contempt for those who try to steal from them. I respect Flux as a hardworking business and family man, but I strongly disagree with his take on Unions and why our state's economies are in such trouble. Frank

          Comment


          • #35
            Re: May 2011

            Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
            Your thinking is really twisted, I'll bet you would be one of those hooligans if you were a state union worker with a family and the bums at top decided to break your union! What we are both posting are our opinions based on our life experience. Unions are made up of people so there will be criminals among them same as any other profession, politicians and clergy included! Teachers all over the country are taking a hit by folks who think they earn too much and don't care about the kids. Do those who criticize know what it's like to teach? Folks don't become teachers to become wealthy and I think they are deserving of more money and a heck of a lot more respect. Funny how you want to be treated with respect and paid well for the work you do but it's okay to insult teachers and solve your budget problems by taking from them. I suppose Philadelphia has not lost tax paying businesses and jobs ? Take off your blinders, all the states are in hot water because they have lost too much tax revenue. Here in CT they are about to layoff 6,500 state workers because the Unions refused to the governor's concessions. I applaud their decision, never go backwards especially since these politicians have no plan to grow the economy with tax paying businesses and jobs. I predict these morons republican and democrat who are trying to break the Unions with concessions and layoffs will have to keep laying off in the future because without tax revenue they can't run their states! Weaken a workers income wheter he or she is a Union memeber or not and you will feel the effects with more inflation, lower property values and a trickle down to local businesses as these consumers have less spending power. Can't you use some foresight and see that your profession wil suffer from a weakened consumer base? We need to pay workers well and give them good benefits so they can care for their families. We don't need to spend trillions on foreign wars funded by communists and paid for in death and disability of our brave young Americans! Lastly I watch glen beck and he is an a-s clown, pandering to folks who can't connect the dots for themselves. I also watch Bill O'Reilly, in my opinion he is a lot more fair and balanced. Flux, it is unfortunate people like you could not have the Union experience that I had it would give you a whole different perspective. My bottom line is you either want to support working Americans raising families and sharing with the community (yourself included), or you want to insult working Americans, support the growth of a communist country and help our economy and standard of living go down the tubes. Since there is nothing more to be said on my part, I'll let you have the last word.
            Frank, someone wanted to get me into the pipe fitters Union and the local Plumbers union.

            The Plumbers Union was really hard after me and our family business, but in the end it just wasn't for me for many reasons, and some of it was Political. If I'm going to work for a Union, I want to feel as though I have a "say" like the man standing next to me has the same equal say as I do. The only other benefit I saw with the Union, that I won't have being self employed is..a killer retirement plan, but I'm ok with that. But some of my theories were confirmed when my best buddy went into the Plumbing Union here in Philly. Here is a guy who is a staunch conservative, and he had to keep his mouth shut because the Unions are Pro Democrat, and he feared losing his job over it. That's not right Frank...we shouldn't live in fear in this country. When I go to work every day I want to feel as though I have my dignity still intact when I come home at the end of the day, and I didn't feel the Union was the best place for me personally regarding that.
            My blinders have been off for many years regarding the Unions, and they are NOT the only working American's in this country. When I see Obama talking about jobs...he always says "bridges and roads, and green energy jobs etc". Who exactly is Obama talking too when he says that? He's talking to the Unions...well what about those in this country that are not Union? Does he not care about the non-union people?

            We both simply don't see eye to eye on Unions and we never will either. I don't need an organization to represent me and my interests to speak on my behalf, as I can do that on my own without a Union Boss. As John Gotti would say..."I'm the Boss of this family".

            Comment


            • #36
              Re: May 2011

              And just everyday things that were passed on from father to son for generations are now not done.
              Unfortunatley part of this is not even knowing your father due to so many broken homes in todays society.
              "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
              John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

              Comment


              • #37
                Re: May 2011

                Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
                Unfortunatley part of this is not even knowing your father due to so many broken homes in todays society.
                Sad but true Bob. Unfortunately I know too many married folks who have divorced and even for the Dads who try to stay involved with their children it's not the same as living together. Some of these divorces were very bitter and the Dads are not involved with their children at all aside from child support. I feel bad for the children at graduation or some other hall mark event in their lives with no Dad present. Not too much is the way it used to be including marriage, what a mess!

                Comment


                • #38
                  Re: May 2011

                  erm. this thread went all sorts of places

                  First; I'm a huge fan of Mike Rowe. He's a smart guy and very talented in a lot of ways.

                  Second; I am a member of the generation you're bitching about. piss off. We were force-fed a BS line about going to college if we want to be anything in life. A college education costs more than my first house did, I paid my way until I realized it was a waste of time and resources. A chance offer to be a plumbers helper nearly 10 years ago now, and the ripe old age of 19 gave me everything college could and more. Guess what? No debt. Now you've got college educated adults with no skills and no job prospects. and they Cannot afford to take an $8 an hour job with their student loans now due, have to have a place to live, and they sure as hell don't want to have to move back in with their parents. Oh they also have to be able to get to their hypothetical job each day, Now they either have a car payment, or they buy something without payments, and get to try to keep it on the road. Consider that when you complain that these kids want to start at a decent wage without knowing anything.

                  Third; Unions have outlived their usefulness, Because they have become a political machine rather than a means of protecting the well being of it's members. They gained too much power and become a corrupt institution, let them die.

                  Fourth; Those illegals that are stealing work from you? someone is hiring them, if you want to turn those Unions back into something other than a relic how about lobbying for better enforcement of immigration and tax laws.


                  I think i'm done for the moment, I just saw enough biased opinion and vitriol that I thought I'd toss my own into the hat.
                  No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Re: May 2011

                    The US hosts foreign auto plants owned by Honda, Toyota, Mtsubishi, Subaru-Isuzu, Nissan, BMW and Mercedes. No foreign auto assembly plants are unionized. They workers control the issue, and they have not supported unionization. This is despite the reputation that some of these employers, particularly the Japanese, have for being very demanding employers.

                    NUMMI, the joint venture assembly plant between Toyota and GM, was unionized, but recently folded. That plant was not far from here. Those people - lots of people - lost their jobs. The city and state lost tax revenue. Was it due to the union? I don't know. I think the union didn't help.

                    The foreign-owned plants are making money. We all know about the problems GM and Chrysler have had. Certainly the problems have been significantly due to mismanagement and poor product roadmaps. But it's also true that pension funds and healthcare benefits demanded by unions caused a good portion of the financial problems faced by the US automakers.

                    If the workers in the foreign owned plants don't want unions, why exactly would we think that unions are needed? Laws protecting the employees right to unionize are on the books. Workers could organize if they felt it was in their best interest, but they're not doing so.

                    It's not always about the contract. Unions tend to like to compartmentalize jobs and establish turf boundaries. You have to be a certain union class to operate certain equipment or do certain tasks. That's inconsistent with modern factory operations, which rely on versatility and flexibility of the the workforce.

                    I don't want to get into the emotional arguments, but it seems to me that here in 2011, unions are an impediment to job creation and another argument for offshoring production. I have a conceptual problem with the idea that a company can invest hundreds of millions in a factory, then be forced to negotiate with a group that has established a monopoly on the labor needed to operate the factory. Monopolies distort supply and demand, because they give a very big stick to the holder of the monopoly. This is a problem, no? If the union makes an unreasonable demand, is the company not between a rock and a hard place? This has happened to US companies many times and I see no reason why it wouldn't happen again.

                    Seems to me to make more sense for the the (labor) supply and (company) demand to work freely to establish the going rates for labor. If workers can get a better deal down the road, shouldn't they just head down the road? If companies want to retain their workers, shouldn't they have to improve pay and benefits? So, as I see it, at this point Unions are in essence a monopoly on labor that distorts supply and demand and thus is not really in the best interests of the economy.

                    Just my opinion, based on supply and demand.
                    Last edited by Andy_M; 07-13-2011, 01:17 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Re: May 2011

                      No emotional argument from this strong Union supporter. I think if we are going to apply supply and demand to the conversation the slave wages of the third world will always win out even against our minimum wages. While we are discussing factory operations and things that impede operations and profits, lets factor in the absense of worker safety in the form of our government's OSHA, and environmental protectional (The EPA) both of which are nonexistent elsewhere. To be truly competitive we must be willing to pay our workers the same or less than their third world counterparts, we must also be willing to throw worker safety and environmental protection out the window. I say this without emotion, just what I believe supply and demand warrants if we are to compete. In response to the comment of Unions becoming a political machine, if Unions did not back political candidates and use the same tools as corporations the end which we are about to experience would have come a lot sooner in my opinion.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Re: May 2011

                        Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                        No emotional argument from this strong Union supporter. I think if we are going to apply supply and demand to the conversation the slave wages of the third world will always win out even against our minimum wages. While we are discussing factory operations and things that impede operations and profits, lets factor in the absense of worker safety in the form of our government's OSHA, and environmental protectional (The EPA) both of which are nonexistent elsewhere. To be truly competitive we must be willing to pay our workers the same or less than their third world counterparts, we must also be willing to throw worker safety and environmental protection out the window. I say this without emotion, just what I believe supply and demand warrants if we are to compete. In response to the comment of Unions becoming a political machine, if Unions did not back political candidates and use the same tools as corporations the end which we are about to experience would have come a lot sooner in my opinion.
                        We've discussed this before. Wages are a piece of the pie, but a small piece. Almost all consumer goods are mass produced in highly automated factories. The labor content per product is minimal. Assume that foreign labor is free, and US labor is $24 per hour. A typical product like a laptop or TV is largely produced on automated lines, and has maybe 10 or 15 minutes of labor (and that's a generous estimate) for assembly and test. 15 minutes of time at US rates is about $6. That $6 at cost becomes $12 at sell. The thing sells for hundreds. $12 of difference in price of a laptop or TV is just not the reason the US is uncompetitive.

                        Here are some more things to think about. The US was a net exporter of goods through 1970. At that time, the labor content of products was much higher, since factories were not nearly as highly automated. So if labor costs are the driver, how is it that the US was competitive back then with higher labor content of the product, but can't be today with much more automation and much lower labor content?

                        Focusing on labor costs is looking at the wrong thing. You will reach the conclusion that the US can never compete. That's just dead dead dead wrong. If it was right, all those auto makers wouldn't be coming to the US to build plants.

                        So why do they come here? There are many reasons. The first and probably most important is that the US offers a readily available, high quality, productive workforce. It's worth the wage. In a modern automated factory, people do things that the machines can't do well or efficiently. Those tend to be the difficult things, awkward things that are not economically automated, or the inspection steps. For all of these things, the quality of the workforce is critical. The US offers that. Cars are one of the product where the US consumer DOES demand quality. You aren't going to get the level required in China. It's an illustration of JoePolvino's point regarding quality.

                        It is also not true that we would have to throw environment or safety "out the window". EPA and OSHA currently ridiculously over-regulate. Bureaucrats strive to have zero polluition and 100% safety. That's never going to happen, and any attempt to make it happen simply contributes to making the US uncompetitive. We have to be realists. Nothing can be made perfectly safe. Getting out of bed isn't perfectly safe. Nothing can have zero effect on the environment. Cow farts have serious impact on the environment. There is a point of diminishing return. The goal is to get to a cost-effective level that makes sense, but we've gone to a point of unrealistic overkill.

                        To be competitive we do NOT have to offer low wages like Asia or totally disregard safety and environment like Asia. We merely have to offer an overall competitive package. The US has HUGE advantages in many areas. We have a MUCH better workforce at all levels. We have MANY more highly educated people and the educational means to abilty to crank out scientists and engineers in quantities that other countries cannot approach. That's why they send their students here! We have outstanding ability to provide logistics to any corner of the country. We AVOID massive transportation charges to get goods and here. We have by far the best variety of nearly every type of industrial material or supply that ANY industry could want, at our fingertips. These things are huge advantages. We don't have to forsake EPA and OSHA... our strengths in other areas mean that we can have reasonable environmental and safety rules and STILL be competitive. The key is REASONABLE. We are not reasonable today, not only with respect ot EPA and OSHA over-regulatin but also with respect to other laws dealing with accounting, reporting, employees, health care obligations of employers, payroll taxes, etc.

                        The US was a net exporter through 1970. Even though we had higher wages, safety regs, environmental regs, etc. Since then, the regulatory burden has exploded. And what has it accomplished? Sure the US factory is extremely safe and extremely green. Except for the little detail that there are very few of them left.

                        Wouldn't it make more sense to take the Pareto approach? You can get 80% of the benefit with 20% of the cost? There are those that don't understand that there are economic limits and that no one can afford perfection. They want to spend 80% of the money chasing the last 20% of the benefit. All they really accomplish is pushing our economy to other countries. IMO, it's the overkill and extremism that is killing the US.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Re: May 2011

                          Originally posted by TheMaster
                          Union workers are overpaid and IMO generally lazy.
                          I needed a good laugh, thanks.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Re: May 2011

                            Andy, I guess we will not agree on this although i do enjoy the exchange of opinions and information. Frank

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Re: May 2011

                              Originally posted by TheMaster
                              You think a guy installing bumpers on pickup trucks are worth 40 bucks an hour to just show up for work? I bet they do get mad when they lose that job and hafta work for what they are really worth.
                              Unless you have worked one of those mindless, lazy jobs how the heck would you know what they are worth? I worked with a guy who worked the GM plant in tarrytown ny. He installed rack and pinion assemblies all day long. I think if you asked him what his job was like compared to yours he would have a similar response to what you said about the guy installing bumpers. You are a master plumber and have a high opinion of yourself, your skill and work ethic, but you show disrespect to others who may work a much more difficult, dangerous or punishing job. I think you would do well to watch some episodes of "Dirty Jobs", host Mike gains a new respect for every job he tries. I am not really upset by your posts, clearly you are not worth the effort. Frank

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Re: May 2011

                                Originally posted by TheMaster
                                This has nothign to do with disrepect or respect. It has everything to do with not paying a guy twice what he is worth because the union makes you.
                                We disagree, I say it has everything to do with respect, compassion, understanding, the character trait to be humble enough to do your job well and still be open to the idea that others may be as good at their jobs and work as hard or harder. The Unions won wages and benefits through collective bargaining, contracts that were agreed to by management and Union membership alike. Here in CT the governor is threatening to layoff 6,500 state Union workers after they voted down his 1 billion dollar concession pan. I applaud them for their courage to stand their ground and not back down. Wages and benefits in my Union were hard fought and agreed to over forty years of strikes and lockouts. I am proud to be American and before I would insult Unions or Union workers, I'd take a hard look at the folks who destroyed America. The ones who shipped their business operations to mexico and communist china for a bit more profit. The legislators on both sides who looked the other way over the last forty years as businesses and job left America. The legislators on both sides who swore under oath to uphold the laws of the land but did nothing to secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws. The difference between you and I is not that one of us worked harder, more difficult jobs or that one of us earned more. I have a basic respect for Americans who work and contribute to the tax base, all Americans Union and nonUnion. You have no problem insulting folks who work jobs that might be too much for you, but because you have not done that work you have a underlying lack of respect and appreciation. We need the guy who puts on the bumper and we need him to make a good salary so he can pay his mortgage, afford an American made car, send his children to college if they so choose. We don't need illegals, CEO's who swindle stockholders and outsource jobs, legislators who send our brave young Americans off to get killed or wounded fighting wars funded by communist china!!! Like I said we disagree, and I truly do respect tradesmen. Stop making it a one way street. Frank

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