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Should we celebrate Cesar Chavez?

Is Cesar Chavez someone we should celebrate?

  • Yes

    Votes: 5 35.7%
  • No

    Votes: 5 35.7%
  • Jimmy Hoffa

    Votes: 4 28.6%

  • Total voters
    14

phattonez

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In case you don't know who he is (I'm just not sure how popular he was outside of California), he was a union organizer for the UFW (United Farm Workers) who tried to raise wages for migrant farm workers. The UFW doesn't do much anymore; they've pretty much sunk into obscurity. The famous work of the UFW, at its height, were the boycotts and strikes.

In 1970, the boycott finally forced the grape growers to sign with UFW: five years later, Chavez reached his peak of seeming success when his newly-elected ally, Governor Jerry Brown, pushed through the Agricultural Labor Relations Act, for the first time, compelling collective bargaining in agriculture.

. . .

The low wage of migrant farm workers is not a sign that they are "exploited" (whatever that term may mean), but precisely that they are low-skilled and easily replaceable. And anyone who is inclined to weep about their "exploitation" should ask himself why in the world these workers emigrate seasonally from Mexico to the United States to take these jobs. The answer is that it's all relative: what are "low wages" and miserable living conditions for Americans, are high wages and palatial conditions for Mexicans--or, rather, for those unskilled Mexicans who choose to make the trek each season.

. . .

As the pseudonymous free-market economist "Angus Black" admonished liberals at the time of the grape boycott: if you really want to improve the lot of grape workers, don't boycott grapes; on the contrary, eat as many grapes as you can stand, and tell your friends to do the same. This will raise the consumer demand for grapes, and increase both the employment and the wages of grape workers.

Emphasis added mine

From Making Economic Sense by Murray Rothbard.

I'd also like to add the commentary that by pushing these wages up as he tried to do, Cesar Chavez effectively limited the number of jobs available. So while he was trying to help those who were picking grapes up in California, who knows what misery he brought upon those still south of the border who were no longer allowed due to union practices (you have to keep our labor if you're going to keep wages up). If you think migrant farm wages are bad, imagine not even being able to earn that!
 

phattonez

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peepnklown

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I would say; as a private affair, YOUR CHOICE.
I would say; as a public (state or federal/national) celebration, NO.
 

1069

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I dunno; we sure celebrate the hell out of him here in Texas.


:shrug:
 
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I'd also like to add the commentary that by pushing these wages up as he tried to do, Cesar Chavez effectively limited the number of jobs available. So while he was trying to help those who were picking grapes up in California, who knows what misery he brought upon those still south of the border who were no longer allowed due to union practices (you have to keep our labor if you're going to keep wages up). If you think migrant farm wages are bad, imagine not even being able to earn that!
Don't know; don't care.
 

phattonez

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Don't know; don't care.

You don't care about people losing out on the potential wage that they could have gotten so that a privileged group can get more?
 
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You don't care about people losing out on the potential wage that they could have gotten so that a privileged group can get more?
Not if they're south of the border, no.

Cesar Chavez was a great American.
 

phattonez

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Not if they're south of the border, no.

Cesar Chavez was a great American.

What's the difference between an American and someone outside of the country, except for the mere area where they live?
 

Ikari

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I don't think we really need any national holiday for the man or anything. People can celebrate as they see fit though. IN the end, I think he moved for something he truly believed in and that's fine and dandy. We can sit here and say that it hurts others and this or that; but that's not to say that there couldn't be a real problem. We have lots of health and safety laws now for business....too many in fact. But one cannot argue that there wasn't a time when some regulation was necessary; when work conditions were so poor and so dangerous that someone had to step in and try to make things better. Does this limit the work force? Not always, when taken to extremes it will. But it can also inspire innovation as well. New machines to do things faster, cheaper, better. New techniques to streamline production means and thus make the ultimate product cheaper. Devices for safety. Innovation makes the world go around. Without it,. we stagnate. It'd be slow death.
 

phattonez

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People worked in unsafe conditions because it was better than the alternative.
 

Ikari

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People worked in unsafe conditions because it was better than the alternative.

That they did. However, we learned that the option of "Be maimed and then starve to death when you are fired or starve to death right now" wasn't a valid choice which we were going to accept and we implemented protections against that. And it brought with it many innovations. If you have slave labor and a large labor market; you'll stifle innovation.
 

phattonez

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That they did. However, we learned that the option of "Be maimed and then starve to death when you are fired or starve to death right now" wasn't a valid choice which we were going to accept and we implemented protections against that. And it brought with it many innovations. If you have slave labor and a large labor market; you'll stifle innovation.

If safer jobs were available, then why wouldn't people take those jobs? Your argument really depends on a position that it was basically a monopoly market, and that wasn't the case at all.

All other things being equal, what is the result if you force companies to provide safer working conditions?
 

phattonez

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A slippery slope to socialism thats what!

Lower wages and higher prices is what I was looking for (or lower employment if wages can't be dropped).
 

Ikari

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If safer jobs were available, then why wouldn't people take those jobs? Your argument really depends on a position that it was basically a monopoly market, and that wasn't the case at all.

No, this is incorrect. It's the other way around. There was saturation of labor market. Meaning that there were more people looking for jobs than jobs to be had. The way your method works is only if the opposite is true. There were no safer jobs available because there were no regulations for safer jobs and if anyone bitched, they could be thrown out and you take the next guy in line. Same if someone got hurt. There is no incentive to create safe work conditions when the labor pool is so large compared to the number of available jobs. In fact, there is incentive NOT to do it. Because making something safer is inherently going to cost more money up front. In a strictly capitalist sense, a company wouldn't take that short term loss to make a safer work conditions when they could be making more money and facing no repercussions for doing so. Which is why we then use government force against the companies to install some amount of work safety measurements.

All other things being equal, what is the result if you force companies to provide safer working conditions?

Short term: Safer work conditions. Long term: More innovation and cheaper products.
 

samsmart

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Because he knew it would bring down wages for migrant farm workers most likely. Like I said, he didn't care about the plight that his programs incurred on those south of the border, he had his special group that he was going to help and didn't care who it hurt.

Yeah, but you could argue that the agribusinesses whose labor he unionized didn't care about the plight their businesses incurred to their own employees, and yet we still celebrate businesses and commerce in this country.
 

phattonez

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A Mexican has his own country to worry about. I have no interest or solidarity with a Mexican.

A Mexican is a person. Would you be fine if we were all well fed while the people in all the other countries were dying of some flesh-eating virus?
 

phattonez

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Yeah, but you could argue that the agribusinesses whose labor he unionized didn't care about the plight their businesses incurred to their own employees, and yet we still celebrate businesses and commerce in this country.

Businesses don't care. That's why they offer the lowest wage they can. Unfortunately for them competition is a reality and so workers will go where they see the greatest potential benefit. If they can't find a grape-picking job where they can get paid $100 an hour then the labor probably isn't worth that much.
 

phattonez

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No, this is incorrect. It's the other way around. There was saturation of labor market. Meaning that there were more people looking for jobs than jobs to be had.

What kind of libertarian believes this? People are paid by according to their marginal productivity. There is no such thing as a fixed number of jobs. The Luddite Fallcy lost popularity long ago.

The way your method works is only if the opposite is true. There were no safer jobs available because there were no regulations for safer jobs and if anyone bitched, they could be thrown out and you take the next guy in line. Same if someone got hurt. There is no incentive to create safe work conditions when the labor pool is so large compared to the number of available jobs. In fact, there is incentive NOT to do it. Because making something safer is inherently going to cost more money up front. In a strictly capitalist sense, a company wouldn't take that short term loss to make a safer work conditions when they could be making more money and facing no repercussions for doing so. Which is why we then use government force against the companies to install some amount of work safety measurements.

This all assumes no competition! Are you trying to tell me that there was no competition?

Short term: Safer work conditions. Long term: More innovation and cheaper products.

More regulation creates cheaper products? How do you figure?
 
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A Mexican is a person. Would you be fine if we were all well fed while the people in all the other countries were dying of some flesh-eating virus?
I'd be for helping them as long as we didn't have to break our own bank to do it, or risk spreading the disease here.

A Mexican may be a person, but they aren't a person I have much interest in.
 

phattonez

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I'd be for helping them as long as we didn't have to break our own bank to do it, or risk spreading the disease here.

A Mexican may be a person, but they aren't a person I have much interest in.

And what is the fundamental difference between an American and Mexican exept for where they live? What makes an American inherently worth more to you?
 

Ikari

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What kind of libertarian believes this? People are paid by according to their marginal productivity. There is no such thing as a fixed number of jobs. The Luddite Fallcy lost popularity long ago.

This is measured reality. I don't know where you believe infinite jobs come from, but it doesn't happen. There were lines of workers looking for jobs, there was a much greater demand for jobs than actual jobs available. In fact, everything runs a bit on this principle which is why there is unemployment. In the real job there are not infinity jobs. The number of jobs is finite, as is the number of people available for the work force. Thus you can count. How many jobs are there. How many people are looking for jobs. Which number is bigger. Before a lot of the regulation, particularly during eras such as the Industrial Revolution, there was a saturation of the labor market. There were well more people looking for jobs than jobs available. This is measured fact.

This all assumes no competition! Are you trying to tell me that there was no competition?

No, this is incorrect. It does not assume no competition. It assumes a finite number of jobs. Which is true. Less you want to show me where the infinite jobs are at.

More regulation creates cheaper products? How do you figure?

Innovation. Much like the Ford's Assembly Line made for cheaper products due to standardization of parts and increased efficiency of creation. Long term is that regulation causes innovation. Instead of paying a ton of people to pick strawberrys, you make a machine. The machine becomes much cheaper and efficient. But there's initial investment, which is why it is the long term effect. If you can pay a ton of people piss poor wages to work the fields, there's no incentive to hire the engineer to make a machine. Slave labor stifles innovation. Without innovation there is stagnation. Stagnation is slow death.
 

phattonez

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This is measured reality. I don't know where you believe infinite jobs come from, but it doesn't happen. There were lines of workers looking for jobs, there was a much greater demand for jobs than actual jobs available. In fact, everything runs a bit on this principle which is why there is unemployment. In the real job there are not infinity jobs. The number of jobs is finite, as is the number of people available for the work force. Thus you can count. How many jobs are there. How many people are looking for jobs. Which number is bigger. Before a lot of the regulation, particularly during eras such as the Industrial Revolution, there was a saturation of the labor market. There were well more people looking for jobs than jobs available. This is measured fact.

Lump of labour fallacy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

No, this is incorrect. It does not assume no competition. It assumes a finite number of jobs. Which is true. Less you want to show me where the infinite jobs are at.

Lump of labour fallacy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Innovation. Much like the Ford's Assembly Line made for cheaper products due to standardization of parts and increased efficiency of creation. Long term is that regulation causes innovation. Instead of paying a ton of people to pick strawberrys, you make a machine. The machine becomes much cheaper and efficient. But there's initial investment, which is why it is the long term effect. If you can pay a ton of people piss poor wages to work the fields, there's no incentive to hire the engineer to make a machine. Slave labor stifles innovation. Without innovation there is stagnation. Stagnation is slow death.

Innovation at what cost? Goldenboy makes this argument all the time of minimum wage allowing for capital investment. That's great, but it also creates current misery by forcing people out of work. Is that a good tradeoff? Of course not! If it was so good, then companies would have done it before the introduction of the minimum wage.
 
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