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Speaking of Unions

phattonez

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Murray Rothbard said:
These privileges have been enshrined in federal law — especially in the Wagner-Taft-Hartley Act, passed originally in 1935, and the Norris-LaGuardia Act of 1931. The latter prohibits the courts from issuing injunctions in cases of imminent union violence; the former compels employers to bargain "in good faith" with any union that wins the votes of the majority of a work unit arbitrarily denned by the federal government — and also prohibits employers from discriminating against union organizers. It was only after the Wagner Act — and its predecessor, the NIRA in 1933 — that labor unions were able to become a powerful force in American life. It was then that unions skyrocketed from something like five percent to over twenty percent of the labor force. Furthermore, local and state laws often protect unions from being sued, and they place restrictions on the employers' hiring of strikebreaking labor; and police are often instructed not to interfere in the use of violence against strikebreakers by union pickets. Take away these special privileges and immunities, and labor unions would sink back to their previous negligible role in the American economy.

For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto - Murray N. Rothbard - - Mises Institute

Does anyone think that unions would have been a significant force in this country had it not been for the special privileges afforded them?
 

rathi

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Do you think corporations would have the power they do today if special privileges weren't afforded to them? Unions and corporations are both groups who use their special powers and superior organization to grab as large a share of the pie as possible. Ideally, they balance each other out to create a stable profitable system. In reality, that is rarely the case. Even with the problems that both groups cause, there are still vital parts of the modern economy.
 

phattonez

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Umm, right. I realize that corporations also get special privileges, but so do unions. Unions were just not a major force in this country until they got special privileges.
 
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Those acts were fought for tooth and nail, and were actually compromises to let the revolutionary pressure at the time escape. The collaboration of union leaders with the state is a very effective method of defusing a potentially revolutionary situation. This has historically been proven true. Look at France today, for example.

These acts, BTW, were written for that very purpose: to give union bureaucrats further privileges at the expense of the rank and file.

Unions were just not a major force in this country until they got special privileges.

Uhm, the most active period of worker struggles in the US was in the 10's-30's, before this was passed. And yes, they were a major force - major enough to have these acts passed because of the threat they possessed to the contemporary order.
 
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rathi

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Umm, right. I realize that corporations also get special privileges, but so do unions. Unions were just not a major force in this country until they got special privileges.

And? Corporations weren't so popular until limited liability showed up either. It isn't exactly surprising that people would form groups after those groups are given incentives. It should be noted however, that labor laws were created because they were vitally needed at the time. Throwing the unions a bone was needed to ease tensions that otherwise threatened to unbalance the system.
 

phattonez

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Those acts were fought for tooth and nail, and were actually compromises to let the revolutionary pressure at the time escape. The collaboration of union leaders with the state is a very effective method of defusing a potentially revolutionary situation. This has historically been proven true. Look at France today, for example.

These acts, BTW, were written for that very purpose: to give union bureaucrats further privileges at the expense of the rank and file.



Uhm, the most active period of worker struggles in the US was in the 10's-30's, before this was passed. And yes, they were a major force - major enough to have these acts passed because of the threat they possessed to the contemporary order.

Then why did they have such low numbers joined?
 

phattonez

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And? Corporations weren't so popular until limited liability showed up either. It isn't exactly surprising that people would form groups after those groups are given incentives. It should be noted however, that labor laws were created because they were vitally needed at the time. Throwing the unions a bone was needed to ease tensions that otherwise threatened to unbalance the system.

Is appeasement the best solution to a problem?
 

Simon W. Moon

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Is appeasement the best solution to a problem?
Appeasement? Appeasing the American people? Is that some sort of a bad thing?
Perhaps there're some things you don't know about labor history in the US.

What unions were and what they have become are two different things.
 

phattonez

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Appeasement? Appeasing the American people? Is that some sort of a bad thing?
Perhaps there're some things you don't know about labor history in the US.

What unions were and what they have become are two different things.

It wasn't the American people. Such a low percentage of the US population joined in a union, and you say that unions were the American people?
 

21stcentury

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No one would even notice labor unions if the division of wealth weren't so far out of whack. This coming from a conservative.
 

phattonez

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No one would even notice labor unions if the division of wealth weren't so far out of whack. This coming from a conservative.

Wealth isn't divided. It is earned and the people who earn it then decide what to do with it. There is no distribution.
 

Simon W. Moon

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It wasn't the American people. Such a low percentage of the US population joined in a union, and you say that unions were the American people?
What percentage of industrial workers joined unions? IIRC, during the time period in question, most of the country were residing in rural areas.
Were they Americans in these unions or foreigners?
 

rathi

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Is appeasement the best solution to a problem?

Of course. The cost of unions is a small price to pay for stability. Failing to do so is what leads to communist revolutions.

Wealth isn't divided. It is earned and the people who earn it then decide what to do with it. There is no distribution.

Only if you live in a fantasy land where nobody gains wealth through coercion. Corporations and powerful individuals can game the system just like unions can.
 

TurtleDude

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No one would even notice labor unions if the division of wealth weren't so far out of whack. This coming from a conservative.

winners win losers don't

Federer and Nadal have won more grand slam titles than the rest of the world combined over the last 6 years.
 

TurtleDude

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Of course. The cost of unions is a small price to pay for stability. Failing to do so is what leads to communist revolutions.



Only if you live in a fantasy land where nobody gains wealth through coercion. Corporations and powerful individuals can game the system just like unions can.

a communist revolution would have lasted about a week in the USA

and after it was over there would have been no more communists
 

rathi

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a communist revolution would have lasted about a week in the USA

and after it was over there would have been no more communists

Countries far more ruthless and brutal than the U.S. have tried and failed to suppress communism with violence and persecution. The proven method is to improve the quality of life for workers to remove the motivation to revolt. Bismark proved that point quite well when he consistently failed to subdue radical elements he created health and accident insurance for workers.
 
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I'd actually engage you in discussion, phatty, and destroy your silly points, but I've done so so many times that I've just found that it's pointless; you just stop posting and I feel like I've wasted my time.

Anyways, if you or anyone else is legitimately interested in the power of the militant labor struggles leading up to these acts, and their effects, I would recommend the groundbreaking work Labor's Giant Step by Art Preis. It's one of the most extensive and indepth accounts of the labor actions of those decades, from someone with firsthand experience.
 

21stcentury

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Wealth isn't divided. It is earned and the people who earn it then decide what to do with it. There is no distribution.

The division (noun) of wealth has nothing to do with the distibution (verb) of wealth. The fact that CEOs and executives in most corporations earn more than 10x the pay of their middle management and lesser employees is testimonial to their lack of forethought for the future. The larger the division (noun) of wealth becomes between the top and the bottom of the pay scales, the more chance socialism and communism get to take root in America.

I mean, the "Too Big to Fail" bailout money should have been enough for people to recognize that the top executives in the US are much more accurately described as thieves than they are to being called "earners".

My statement still stands that no one would even notice labor unions, or pensions were the division of wealth not such a huge ratio between the upper and middle classes.
 

Hoplite

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Unions were just not a major force in this country until they got special privileges.

Then why did they have such low numbers joined?
I dont know where you're getting your data (I'd love to see it, BTW), but you need to check again.

Unions and union members fought and died for recognition and protection from the federal government. I'd hardly call that "getting special privileges", early labor unions were recognized and protected by the federal government because they earned it.
 
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