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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
ffa1234
01:02 PM on 03/20/2011
Better a wounded sound than no sound at all.
12:43 PM on 03/20/2011
--"even if it means raising taxes for everyone else to pay for it."

So...union employees don't pay taxes, and suffer from tax increases just like everyone else?

Secondly, conservatives ARE increasing taxes--in Michigan, certainly--just not on the people who could most afford it. For those folks, taxes are being cut by $1.8 billion. This is "shared" sacrifice?

Thirdly, I'm with Waltfl -- since when have big banks and businesses been anything BUT bullies to those with less power? Wall Street wrote off the American economy years ago.

Now it's just a casino, leveraging "emerging markets," like China, where labor can be bought for 39 cents an hour. China has almost 2 billion people (and a centralized communist government to keep them in line).

So on the one hand the conservatives cry "socialism," and "communism," and "centralized government," while, on the other, lavishly supporting the rise (and military expansion) of the only self-described communist country left on Earth?

And then THEY say "think of your children and grandchildren?" The same people who can't think more than a fiscal quarter into the future? (THEIR grandchildrens' Ivy League educations are all taken care of, by the way).

I guess selective blindness works as long as you don't have to deal with the consequences (and the rich don't--they cause the problem, and the middle class has to deal with the consequences, without any control or tools to do so, while the rich get even richer).
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01:45 PM on 03/20/2011
"Thirdly, I'm with Waltfl -- since when have big banks and businesses been anything BUT bullies to those with less power? Wall Street wrote off the American economy years ago."

Why limit it to Big Banks?
Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Agriculture, Wal-Mart -  they all pursue the same policies.

Right now I make my money trading stocks.  
Big businesses have had record profits on declining sales. 

How does a company do that?
Write off the bottom of the Middle Class, raise prices on the stuff they do sell, cut back on expected sales and production, and squeeze their workers.

The very antithesis of "Supply Side Economics"
Hear that from Right Wing Biased Corporate Owned Media?
I do not think so.
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bassface49
2010 NEVER AGAIN! VOTE WITH A FRIEND!!
02:52 PM on 03/20/2011
The American Worker is being told they are in direct competition with 'slave labor' and not accepting that is UN-American. The GOP has issued 'knee-pads' to their governors and the Koch Bros are making the 'rounds'.....FnF
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dubbleplusgood
Occupy Your Brain
12:35 PM on 03/20/2011
"Now that trend is meeting the budget crunch in state after state,"
"Conservatives see this as an opportunity to show that public-sector unions simply spend dues to elect Democratic lawmakers with the goal of boosting government workers' wages and benefits, even if it means raising taxes for everyone else to pay for it."

1. There is no budget crunch but the one created by endless tax cuts for businesses.
2. Who said taxes need to be raised on everyone? It's the businesses, as in BIG BUSINESSES, that have received handout after handout and tax break after tax break. The wealthiest 2% of the country have seen their wealth increase exponentially at the same time their taxes go down exponentially. But none of it has trickled down because voodoo reaganomics don't work.

This article is filled with Republican talking points as if they were fact. The reality is there have been sustained protests both within and outside of the state capitol building for several weeks now. Other states have seen protests as well. There were 100,000 protesters attending a rally just last week. This article is nothing but a hit piece.
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bassface49
2010 NEVER AGAIN! VOTE WITH A FRIEND!!
04:56 PM on 03/20/2011
Now tell everyone you know...FnF
07:07 PM on 03/20/2011
Fanned & faved dubble!
12:18 PM on 03/20/2011
Unions = Negotiating Power. It's the free market working for workers. We should all want to see strong Unions. They help set market wage levels for non-Union workers as well.

Strong Unions = Higher Wages for All Workers. Weak Unions = Lower Wages for All Workers. The

The Middle Class seems to have foregotten these basic economic realities. Company Executives have not. If we don't claim our proper wages, it goes right into the executive bonus pool.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Onion Man
Campaigning against pants since 1982.Vive la toge!
12:24 PM on 03/20/2011
Spot on Qmark. We don't even need to address the mechanisms if people will just remember the truth of the results.
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01:23 PM on 03/20/2011
good luck with that.
12:11 PM on 03/20/2011
unions aren't about people anymore....they are about money and politics. until they go back to their fundemental roots, they will not be taken serious anymore. my dad was in a union for 36 years but I would never join one now. representing people has become a burden and a cost to unions. they are just looking for those dues.
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01:11 PM on 03/20/2011
And what do they do with the dues?

The natural thing to do with the dues is build a larger organization.
And they cannot do that unless they deliver goods.

The power is with the owners.
There is a whole industry built on union busting.
And almost nothing to support union building.

Think about the stagnation of wages over the last 30 years.
And the decline of unions.
And ask yourself what is in store for the future.

If you think wages will come back on their own.
Then you believe in Free Lunch.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
ChiGuy
Just an earthbound misfit, I
11:53 AM on 03/20/2011
I am not, nor have I never been a member of a labor/trade union. But even I can see that they will only endure so much degradation at the hands of conservatives before they will begin to take actions like ramping up political activities much higher than in previous years, and possible work slow-downs or outright stoppages.

And I, for one, would support them 100%.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Onion Man
Campaigning against pants since 1982.Vive la toge!
11:51 AM on 03/20/2011
Apparently p.end.ing is a dirt_word here at alpha oscar lima.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
heroine addict
habitual goddess worship
11:58 AM on 03/20/2011
Onion Man, I'm curious. Do you feel that Labor as it exists today can survive without fundamental changes? It's not a question for me that Labor is important. Its value is undeniable, but do you feel that the current model is viable?
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Onion Man
Campaigning against pants since 1982.Vive la toge!
12:12 PM on 03/20/2011
No. I don't think labor can continue using either current model.

Non-union shops and workers work against their own best interest and actively allow organized industry to push down the price of labor. Neoclassical, supply side, economics has infiltrated our culture in such a way that most workers don't realize that they provide a needed service to business and not the other way around.

Some unions make unreasonable demands during contract negotiations which leaves a toxic taste in the mouths of management. When a union does receive advantageous deals in bargaining, not even outrageous deals, management concerns quickly spread the word that 'union bosses' and other anti-labor buzzwords are 'raising prices' among the non-union workers, many of which are prone to become jealous about the fair deal had by some and the raw deal given to labor by non-union businesses.

I attribute the problem largely to poor education in economics as part of our k-12 system, really poor standards and performance across the board in our k-12 system. There is nothing so complicated about neoclassical economics that it could not be taught in the 4th or 5th grade, and nothing so complex about Keynesian economics that it couldn't be taught shortly afterward. If more people could understand both supply and demand side economics, it would be more clear that the low unionization rate is bad for labor and bad for industry, and there would be fewer unions that make unreasonable demands.

It's about equilibrium.
11:38 AM on 03/20/2011
Without unions, the near extinct middle class will become so. It is not just wages, it is respect that is earned for a hard days work, loyalty to the employer, an opportunity to fight against wrongful disciplinary actions and firing. It is being able to support a family. It is about better training in the trade unions and the puvlic sector. It is about giving back to your community to those people who need help. Public employees pay is not the match of private industry and, in many cases where the public work has been privatized, the new employers pay minimum wage with few or no benefits and the turnover is extreme because very few people want to work under conditions where they are underpaid ASD have no protections. If your city or county or state wants loyalty and committment from people who are on the public payroll and those who are your neighbors and support your community, organized and cooperative labor is the best way.
11:37 AM on 03/20/2011
'their facts'
11:35 AM on 03/20/2011
HP should get there facts straight before placing AN ERRONEOUS STORY on their website.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
heroine addict
habitual goddess worship
11:29 AM on 03/20/2011
Through various types of activism i've worked with to our local unions in Colorado for years. However, almost always to aid the unions in their cause, not getting their help back for unrelated issues. The problem I think is that the unions used to understand more how interconnected they are with the community. I've never had a job with any real benefits, let alone those unions enjoy. Now I'm struggling too hard to just keep food on my table to pitch that I don't have to lose sleep over someone's 401k. Unions today are like nature preserves. As a young person I see so few around today that I know I'm not likely to ever be in one, though their value for the working class is undeniable. Labor has come a long way since the Wobblies, but I think it will have to transform itself at it's core to survive.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
heroine addict
habitual goddess worship
11:35 AM on 03/20/2011
Whoops, my mobile device has once again nuked my spelling. That should have been:

"I'm struggling too hard to just keep food on my table to lose sleep over someone's 401K."

Man, I hate how that sounds but it's the sad truth. Sigh.
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01:16 PM on 03/20/2011
I think you may be right.
Unions are fighting a defensive battle, not the offensive one they need.

They need to educate the people.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Onion Man
Campaigning against pants since 1982.Vive la toge!
11:25 AM on 03/20/2011
Good morning unioneros, looks like rain, bleh.

Slightly OT, just got around to reading the rest of this month's Onion, www.recalltherepublican8.com got a shout out from Dan Savage. This bodes well. We need more celebrity to lend their clout to the labor movement, Dan is a great start.
HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
getoffmyside
Paradigms Shift.
12:01 PM on 03/20/2011
Hey OM. This is not from any news source. Heard from friends that some state R's are viewing Scooter as toxic. Also did you see Rep. Sean Duffy distancing himself from the Fitzgeralds little trip to DC to get their good dog bone?
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Onion Man
Campaigning against pants since 1982.Vive la toge!
12:18 PM on 03/20/2011
I didn't see the DC trip, I had family obligations all of yesterday, but I've been getting the same feeling from different radio clips and discussions with my conservative friends and (sic) family. Nearly all of them have at least come around to the opinion that Walker is unreasonable and not behaving like an adult anymore. At least one of them (the most conservative with a little c) agrees with me that Walker has done more damage to the republican brand than Nixon, Ronnie, and W combined.

When a lifetime Republican is ordering Recall Walker outfits for his infant son, you know that Walker has become toxic to conservatives.
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nfatt1
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
11:12 AM on 03/20/2011
This is what happens when business is able to accumulate grossly excessive profits.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
1776 or 1984
IT'S AN EMPIRE, NOT A REPUBLIC!
11:01 AM on 03/20/2011
I re-wrote the for-profit Pravda's section....

Labor Movement Roars Again, But The Circus Masters Are Whipping It Harder Than Ever

"If you're a labor sympathizer wondering why unions got weak, pick your poison."...

==========================

"The destruction of unions in the private sector mirrored the push to exploiting workers and the environmen­­t in poor countries and the shift of remaining US factories to former s/ave states.

Corporatio­­ns’ were emboldened by Reagan’s radical firing of 11,000 striking air traffic controller­­s in 1981. Reagan’s act, on behalf of his corporate-m­­asters, demonstrat­­ed that the monied elite can exploit workers both abroad and in America.

"The monied elite and their political/­­CEO shock troops now smell the b/ood in the water," Chicago lawyer Thomas Geoghegan wrote in his ode to the f a c i s t movement – something of a warning for unions and regular workers who dare question the corporate order.

In the mid-1970s, when miners challenged mine bosses’ failure to fix dangerous working conditions­­, they stopped working while in danger.

The mine bosses’ selfish insistence on the status quo idled steel plants that were starved of fuel and caused rolling brownouts in New York City.

Americans sharply felt the effects and knew that sacrificin­­g safety and American’s electricit­­y for bosses' selfish gains was madness."
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
1776 or 1984
IT'S AN EMPIRE, NOT A REPUBLIC!
11:09 AM on 03/20/2011
....so the poison was neo-colonialism abroad and f a s c i s m at home.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
getumall
Independent political and sports pundit
10:04 AM on 03/20/2011
Without a thriving middle class, America (as we have known it for the past forty or fifty years) is dead!
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
ChristianEcon.com
"The Lord abhors dishonest scales."--Proverbs 11.1
10:49 AM on 03/20/2011
But with the weakening of unionization and free-market globalization finding cheaper labor overseas, America's even more alive for rightwing ideology's idle rich beneficiaries. More wealth for them, at a cheaper price, the more the middle class declines. It's all a matter of perspective, eh?
11:28 AM on 03/20/2011
The middle class was killed by high taxes.

Welcome to hoax and chains.
11:44 AM on 03/20/2011
Starting with Ronald Reagan and continuing through GWB who started many unsuccessful campaigns against the middle class, including 2 wars that were not paid for and cost us Trillios and thousands of our finest. First time in our history, the rich were given a tax giveaway during wartime! Learn your history and you will see the vasr majority of our deficit and job loss has come under Republican takeovers. No more!
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Onion Man
Campaigning against pants since 1982.Vive la toge!
11:46 AM on 03/20/2011
What high taxes? Our taxes, even in Wisconsin, are stupifyingly low.