Someone please explain how the working class has a chance . . .

to improve their financial condition without strong labor union. Yes, a very small percentage will fall into something that jumps them to the top but the average person isn't going to talk himself into a raise on his own.

I've been thinking about this for years. I can't think of any system in which the top 10% will NOT accumulate 90% of the assets unless there is a union demanding that the workers get most of the benefits of increased production efficiency.

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Go Small

Someone please explain how the working class has a chance to improve their financial condition without strong labor union.

Start a small business and buy your factors of production (and your personal consumption goods and services) from the most efficient (typically non-unionized) suppliers.

This is what I saw growing up in rural (now suburbanized) eastern Virginia where there was a tradition and legal structure against working class unions. High school drop-outs would start auto repair shops, beauty parlors, retail stores, or construction companies. The successful ones had large homes, fancy cars, RVs, and boats by the time their children entered college.

Of course, if you accept the premise that you have to put your life in the care of large, monolithic organizations, then you are probably correct that you need to have a seat at the table. When policies are being negotiated between union bosses, corporate owners, and regulators in Washington, then the union member can rest well at night knowing that the portion of his wage he is forking over in union dues (as well as the portion to company pension and the portion in taxes) guarantees that his interests are being looked after in those smoke filled rooms.

OK, but

very few people have the ability to run a business. The last few years are a clear indication that many people can't even handle their pay check and credit cards.

Less than 30% of new businesses last 10 years.

Freedom is the answer

very few people have the ability to run a business

Then they sit on the couch and reap the benefits of others competing to serve their needs better.

There will be those who try to take advantage of these people's lack of ability.

If you are truly concerned about those with a lack of business acumen, you should try to figure out how you can cooperate with them so you can simultaneously fulfill your goals in life and assist them with their goals:

  • Offer them employment on better terms than they have currently.
  • Offer classes in business skills.
  • Offer a product to make it easier for them to run a business.
  • Offer to bargain with their employer on their behalf for a better wage.

If you want to exploit these people and don't mind causing them harm, then use violence to stop them from taking advantage of such goods or services. Force them to belong to your union/company/government and to spend their lives meeting your goals rather than their own.

Then they sit on the couch

Then they sit on the couch and reap the benefits of others competing to serve their needs better.

Jeffery Tucker elaborates.

I don't have any business skills.

I am thankful that I worked for the City of Seattle for 30 years and have been retired for the last 15. All my kids are doing OK but it is a new world out there and I worry about the grandkids.

For the first 6000 years of human history 80% of the population lived in poverty. A large middle class is a post WW2 phenomenon and I think we are regressing to the norm.

The large middle class was because of cheap abundant oil

not because of unions. Unions do not assure a middle class. They are extortionists. I admit that they were important initially to correct some wrongs, but like any bureaucracy, they outlived their usefulness and assumed an ever greater role in leaching.

Back to the role of abundant oil. It allowed the transition from agrarian to industrial society. That facilitated the middle class. The service economy does not support a large middle class. Small business dominate the service industry and to the extent they are profitable, the profits accrue to the owners. Pretty much like traditional capitalism.

We are reverting to the mean, but peak oil is the cause.

but peak oil is the

but peak oil is the cause.

AHAHAHA! Damn, you had me going but that punch line was killer.

OK, whatever the reason

things are not looking good for most people. see

(another site on which to argue)

I agree things are looking

I agree things are looking very bad for people. But labor unions are the path of Detroit, and it will take us to the burned out husk endpoint of Detroit.

Did unions kill D-Town? When

Did unions kill D-Town?

When you legislate away the free-market and introduce something as insidious as NAFTA it is not surprising to see manufacturing move overseas. Unions didn't help, but it is a bit of an oversimplification to hook your thumb over your shoulder and say "Unions did it".

Nafta concerns the whole US.

Nafta concerns the whole US. But Detroit and not another city is a burned out husk. This suggests looking to local causes.

I can see what you are

I can see what you are saying, but the rust belt in general is a burned out husk of what it used to be. Detroit, AFAIK, was a city whose only thing going for it was heavy manufacturing and industry. All the other business in that city existed to support industry and its workers, that seems local enough to me.

Hong Kong now has a minimum wage

So US wages come down another ten bucks and Chinese wages rise ten bucks. Soon there is a world wide parity of labor wages and no labor unions. Then what happens?????????

Either one of two things

Either one of two things:

  1. Willing buyers and willing sellers negotiate freely for the goods and services produced, and the price mechanism reveals the balance between laborers and consumers, or
  2. Violence is used to fix a price different than the market reveals, and the consequences of this violence propagate like ripples in a pond to corrupt society in uncountable ways.

or manufacturing and contracts go to the country . . .

with the best business (profit) climate for international corps.

Door Number 2

The fact that the US is an unfavorable/unprofitable manufacturing climate is a consequence of federal, state, and local mandates fixing minimum wages, retirement funds, health care benefits, payroll taxes, regulatory standards and union membership.

OK, seems that way

In other words, all other things being equal, the jobs will most always go to the countries with the worst standard of living for the working class. The post WW2 growth of the middle class was a freak bubble.

How the SEIU 'Helps' the Workers

From Angelo M. Codevilla in "America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution" (page 3):

Similarly, modern labor unions are ever less bunches of workers banding together and ever more bundled under the aegis of an organization chosen jointly by employers and government. Prototypical is the Service Employees International Union, which grew spectacularly by persuading managers of government agencies as well as of publicly funded private entities that placing their employees in the SEIU would relieve them of responsibility. Not by being elected by workers' secret ballots did the SEIU conquer workplace after workplace, but rather by such deals, or by the union presenting what it claims are cards from workers approving of representation. The union gets 2 percent of the workers' pay, which it recycles as contributions to the Democratic Party, which it recycles in greater power over public employees. The union's leadership is part of the ruling class's beating heart.

The point is that a doctor, a building contractor, a janitor, or a schoolteacher counts in today's America insofar as he is part of the hierarchy of a sector organization affiliated with the ruling class. Less and less do such persons count as voters.