Minimum wage, in a way even the most stupid can understand.

The concept of a living wage and a minimum wage are universally accepted on the left as great ideas. That they do not work in the real world and produce serious consequences is ignored. But now we have an example that is too easy to ignore:

The catchy Subway sandwich shop jingle involving a variety of foot-long sandwiches available for $5 doesn’t apply in San Francisco. The sandwich-making chain stopped selling the five-dollar footlongs in San Francisco due to the “high cost of doing business,” according to SF Weekly.

Signs posted at Subway sandwich shops sadly inform San Francisco patrons — we hear Willie Brown is a big fan — that “all SUBWAY Restaurants in SF County DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN Subway National $5.00 Promotions,” according to the newspaper.

Customers can still buy the sub of the month for $5, according to an employee at Subway on Market and Castro streets. Apparently, the city’s new minimum wage, raised to $10.24 as of Jan. 1, make $5 footlongs an impossible business model.

Unless you want tuna fish, which is the sub of the month. Yum.

I guess it is Karmic justice that this happens in one of the biggest liberal bastions in this country, and definitely not a coincidence, but I doubt the left will get the lesson.

It’s simple really: when government forces employers to pay too much for labor, especially labor that can be performed by a monkey because it requires no serious skills or abilities, the customer bears the brunt of that coerced transaction. The price of everything goes up, often by far more than whatever the jacked up minimum wage supposedly added to the pocket of the person making it.

Seriously, if the minimum wage/living wage concept worked, we could just make sure everyone was paid $60K or more a year for a 40 hour week, couldn’t we? Of course that $60K would not do much good, because it can’t happen in a vacuum. Once you force employers to pay out that much, they have to adjust their business model. For one, it means that less people will be employed, as employers adjust to accommodate this new burden, and then the employers will have no recourse but to jack up prices to make up the balance. And contrary to the belief collectivists have that otherpeople should just do things for the satisfaction of helping out, private sector owners will still need to make a profit too.

Only idiots that are totally disconnected from reality believe that all employers should be like government and provide non-profit make-work jobs that pay a living wage to everyone. That government can only do what it does now because it is taking a whole lot of money away from those that actually are being productive and actually have to make a profit to justify the effort to the owners, and that they constantly are trying to take more to feed the ravenous unproductive machine, gets ignored.

Seriously, is it so hard to understand that if everyone making at least $60K a year, the cost of living adjustment needed to accommodate this burden, suddenly makes the necessities that used to cost $X a month, now cost $10X? Don’t even start on luxury items. This logic is not that hard to work through.

I guess San Franers can now envy the rest of us for being able to get them $5 footlongs, while those of us that understand economics and the way the world works can laugh at their stupid move to have such a ridiculously high minimum wage. The fact is that someone ALWAYS pays for the free stuff the collectivists believe they are due.

Comments are closed.

  1. TxAg94

    It won’t surprise me if the city runs Subway out of town, either because they are “racist”, or whatever label they can apply, or by trying to legislate businesses into keeping prices low despite rising costs.

    People have a RIGHT to cheap sandwiches, I’m sure.

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  2. Mook

    A couple of years ago I was visiting San Francisco back when Burger King was running a $1 double cheeseburger special – the BKs there in SF weren’t participating in that dollar special. Probably for same reason why Subway can’t offer $5 sandwiches in SF. It’s the utopian mindset that believes they can legislate “fairness”. All the negative unintended consequences resulting from their ‘fairness’ actions are dismissed or blamed on “greed” on the part of the business

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  3. Poosh

    To play devil’s advocate, is it really right that a man who works a shop and sells maybe 20/30 $5.00 an hour receive $10 for his work? How much are the suits making? Could they not take a slight drop in their salaries to raise the salaries of the minions, instead?

    Of course it may be a cruelty to work for a pathetic $10 an hour, but the benefits are far greater than the alternatives. And no one owes you a job. And minimum wage is actually anti-progressive and will damage you, if you’re a low skilled worker, etc. We all know the arguments.

    I have heard of so-called studies showing minimum wages do not actually damage businesses, but I’ve had my suspicions about them.

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  4. Poosh

    I suppose the question might be, when Subway etc, expands and earns more profit – do the workers ever get a small pay rise?

    Even then, you could argue that denies others in other places a job.

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  5. Mook

    To play devil’s advocate, is it really right that a man who works a shop and sells maybe 20/30 $5.00 an hour receive $10 for his work? How much are the suits making? Could they not take a slight drop in their salaries to raise the salaries of the minions, instead?

    I realize you’re playing devil’s advocate, but people’s work is worth what it’s worth.. Making the “suits” take a pay cut assumes or infers that they are overpaid for their contribution.. when they may be already undercompensated for their contribution or paid about right relative to their worth.

    It’s useful to consider sports as an analogy. If the star player has to take a pay cut because it’s not “fair” for the less talented players to make so much less, then the star will leave and go to another team willing to pay him what he’s worth, leaving Team Utopia with a losing squad. Same situation in business. The market is the “least imperfect” means to determine job worth, since millions of people and businesses are voting with their own dollars.

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  6. Mook

    I suppose the question might be, when Subway etc, expands and earns more profit – do the workers ever get a small pay rise?

    If they’re worth it, yes, if they’re not worth it, no. If the employee has valuable job skills and/or is considered reliable, then other employers will be willing to pay the employee what he’s worth. That’s generally how it works.. although it doesn’t always work exactly like that because some employees are overpaid relative to their contribution while others are underpaid

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  7. Seattle Outcast

    One of the common lefty talking points about companies like Walmart not paying as well as Costco comes into play here. Costco pays really well for retail – good benefits, good hours, etc, and they promote from within, providing a great career track for their employees that start off near the bottom of the food chain with little experience. Also, the local hamburger chain, Dick’s, operates in a similar manner (student aid, 401k, etc).

    The local papers wonder why nobody else does the same, conveniently ignoring that these two companies are cherry picking the job pool for exceptional workers by offering premium paychecks. They pay better because the average burger flipper and shelf-stocker doesn’t have what it takes to keep a job at those places. They flat out expect more of their employees, and if they can’t deliver that, they find themself looking for another job. One with lower pay.

    Oddly enough, it has never occurred to Seattle’s editorial pages that giving people more money does not automatically make them a more productive worker.

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  8. Poosh

    IMO, though I think a great deal of working hours etc for most jobs are a sort of cruelty, however, they are small sacrifice for what we get in return. Because most of us are working a great deal of time for not an immense amount of money, because of this, and the system we’re in, a vast array of items and products, and services, are available for very low prices (and they would not be low under a different system). This is a very acceptable level of living given the limits of the current level of human progress.

    However, I would say, to this story, people could argue that that’s fine that the $5 sub is gone, if that means the workers get a little more cash in their hand?

    In regard to SO’s point, more people would be in a position to try and gain experience and prove themselves, for those jobs, IF there was NO minimum wage.

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  9. Mook

    However, I would say, to this story, people could argue that that’s fine that the $5 sub is gone, if that means the workers get a little more cash in their hand?

    “Some” workers get more cash in their hand at at the expense of others. Whenever utopians use govt coercian to distort markets, the negative consequences always outweight the benefits. Those workers who happen to benefit with higher artificially inflated salary cause other workers to pay more for goods and services, while causing employers to hire less employees than they would otherwise… and in some cases, move out of the city or state. Texas passed California in number of Fortune 1000 companies headquartered a few years back, and Californians suffered as a result of those lost opportunities. You can’t force or legislate “fairness” without having more severe offsetting negatives

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  10. Kimpost

    I’m not sure that the US pro-sports analogy is spot on, with the semi-socialist salary caps and all. Some people in Europe envy your system, because it forces more competitive leagues.

    I think that there’s a place for minimum wage laws. You should be able to make some kind of a living from a full time job. I put minimum wage laws into the same category as other work related laws regulating working hours, heavy lifting, safety equipment etc. I’m always willing to debate the level of those regulations, but the free market can’t be totally free, IMO. Perhaps SF has set the barr too high? I’m not going to decide that on the basis of a $5 sub, though.

    On a side note we actually don’t have minimum wage laws in Sweden, but that’s because we have voluntary agreements between unions and employees instead, which in turn spill over on the non-unionized.

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  11. Mook

    You should be able to make some kind of a living from a full time job

    Define “living wage”. And why should someone else be forced to pay more for goods and services and others be forced to lose opportunities in order to artificially inflate the salary of some others? And why should there be restrictions on “heavy lifting” if some jobs require it? Employers are already incentivized to have a safe work environment without stifling govt regulations dictating how much break time or work hours. If a valuable employee doesn’t like the job environment, he is free to move elsewhere.

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  12. Kimpost

    Defining a living wage isn’t math. It’s always going to be arbitrary. I think that the best a society can do is to discuss it and set it accordingly.

    I realize that hard core libertarians won’t agree with me, but I believe that some regulations are necessary. It’s easy to say that you can leave if you don’t like it, but people actually need jobs, and they aren’t always on the shelf.

    Capitalism, in my opinion, is just as utopian as socialism. Neither works, which is why we have chosen to set up our respective societies as mixed systems. “Regulated capitalism” might not be the correct term for it, but I’m sure you get what I mean.

    Hot! Thumb up 2

  13. Mook

    Capitalism, in my opinion, is just as utopian as socialism. Neither works

    Where has capitalism not “worked” in comparison with socialism? The purest capitalism I’ve seen last century was Hong Kong. Through near pure capitalism with no natural resources other than the people themselves, they pulled themselves to a high standard of living from a low one in a relatively short time span. Socialism has no comparable track record

    The idea to “mix” socialism with capitalism is a poisonous idea IMO. Because it impedes freedom, imposing costly “fairness” legislation that hurts so many more. I believe we need laws, particularly contract enforcement and property rights laws, but beyond that, govt. almost always does more harm than they do good when regulating and restricting business.

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  14. Kimpost

    But not even Honk Kong is un-regulated. They have all kinds of work laws regulating hours, vacation, age, environment, etc. No-where near pure capitalism, IMO.

    You’re not going to get me to defending socialism. I just said that I don’t think that it would work.

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  15. Mook

    But not even Honk Kong is un-regulated. They have all kinds of work laws regulating hours, vacation, age, environment, etc. No-where near pure capitalism, IMO.

    That’s now, after China took them over, and they’re no longer growing like they were as a result. When they made their dramatic rise in their standard of living, which was the time frame before China took control, those work rules were not in effect so your evidence doesn’t apply at all. Back then, it was nearly pure capitalism. More here http://tinyurl.com/2ayvwuo

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  16. AlexInCT *

    To play devil’s advocate, is it really right that a man who works a shop and sells maybe 20/30 $5.00 an hour receive $10 for his work? How much are the suits making? Could they not take a slight drop in their salaries to raise the salaries of the minions, instead?

    Based on the guy that owns the subway in my town, a friend, I can tell you that I know he is barely making enough to eek out a decent living for him and his family, and he does so doing 65-80 hour work weeks. The guy doesn’t do vacations, is missing out on his kids growing up, and is a major contributor to the town in whatever free time he has left.

    That his employees don’t make more money isn’t a function of him being greedy, but the labor they deliver not being worth a lot. Frankly I find the minimum wage in CT to be ridiculously high for someone that puts together sandwiches. Like I pointed out: I can probably teach a monkey to do that kind of job. You might consider it to be cruel work, but reality is that the majority of people are not qualified or able to do anything of real value, further depressing the value of whatever they can do due to the large pool you can draw from. We would all love to be CEOs, spend our time doing fun things, then raking in the big cash, but we are not all cut out or qualified to do it. That’s why they get paid more.

    The best way to ensure everyone gets paid a decent wage or a lot is something that’s totally anathema to the social justice types that feel they have to control to enforce their belief of what’s fair. Look at Europe with its chronic 20% unemployment amongst the young if you need proof of that. Reality is that the best guarantor of high wages is a hot economy. When the economy is so hot that employers have to pay employees more to attract them, even when the job is a shitty low skills one, they get more money. A hot economy unfortunately only happens when the people that own businesses are not being over regulated by the government controlled fairness police and are allowed to make big profits.

    I do not work to make money for other people: I do it to make money for me and my family. That’s reality. Distort my ability to do that, out of whatever noble or otherwise sense of needing to institute social justice, and I will adjust my behavior to avoid your penalties. That’s human nature.

    You can’t force or legislate “fairness” without having more severe offsetting negatives

    Never will stop the people that think the greatest injustice is that the universe isn’t fair and by fair I mean a collectivist supporting hell hole that allows many of them to get something for nothing. It’s the whole misery loves company thing, and that’s the root of the whole “social justice” concept. It’s better to have everyone poor and miserable than to allow some to be really well off. Fucking idiotic.

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  17. AlexInCT *

    I’m not sure that the US pro-sports analogy is spot on, with the semi-socialist salary caps and all. Some people in Europe envy your system, because it forces more competitive leagues.

    While our cap system prevents the teams with the most money/income from gathering all the best players in one place – and that’s no guarantee they will win all the time as the NY Yankees can tell you – the ability to pay huge salaries to individuals still exists and is the norm. Big money is still spent on big players. The cap system just serves to preven one or a couple of teams with the big bucks because of their market from getting ALL the big players.

    And I say that the European tax system more than adequately overwhelms the totally socialist salary cap, Kimpost. The big player in the US will have about 40-50% of his income siphoned off by government, depending on their accountants, while the ones in Europe will pay somewhere between 70-90% of their income, and then with the injustice that the teams with the most money can still get most if not all the best players.

    Heck, maybe your soccer system needs a salary cap system as well. :) It sure seems more just.

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  18. AlexInCT *

    I realize that hard core libertarians won’t agree with me, but I believe that some regulations are necessary.

    You are seriously not making the case that anyone that says we currently have way too much regulation is asking that we do away with it all are you? I mean, shit, who wants anarchy? I certainly do not. Pointing out that the current level of regulation is insane, that it doesn’t do anything they promise it was supposed to do, and that it is strangling any chance of real economic growth doesn’t mean I want a system where we just shoot it out and the last man standing wins. I understand that some regulations will be needed. I just believe that the number of regulations and the scope they cover should be limited. Basic protections and rights to ownership. None of the social justice nonsense. In fact the economies of the west started their snowball rolling down the hill effect when this social justice nonsense became the primary driver behind regulation.

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  19. Kimpost

    That’s now, after China took them over, and they’re no longer growing like they were as a result. When they made their dramatic rise in their standard of living, which was the time frame before China took control, those work rules were not in effect so your evidence doesn’t apply at all. Back then, it was nearly pure capitalism. More here http://tinyurl.com/2ayvwuo

    I think my point still stands. The Employment Ordnance of HK was enacted in 1968. The regulations are more comprehensive now, but it never was unregulated.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that you really want less regulation generally speaking, rather than no regulation?

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  20. Kimpost

    You are seriously not making the case that anyone that says we currently have way too much regulation is asking that we do away with it all are you? I mean, shit, who wants anarchy? I certainly do not.

    I wouldn’t normally suggest that, but it seems to be the position Mook has been taking. I contend that we all want to live under some form of regulated capitalism, but where we disagree on degree.

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  21. Kimpost

    While our cap system prevents the teams with the most money/income from gathering all the best players in one place – and that’s no guarantee they will win all the time as the NY Yankees can tell you – the ability to pay huge salaries to individuals still exists and is the norm. Big money is still spent on big players. The cap system just serves to preven one or a couple of teams with the big bucks because of their market from getting ALL the big players.

    And I say that the European tax system more than adequately overwhelms the totally socialist salary cap, Kimpost. The big player in the US will have about 40-50% of his income siphoned off by government, depending on their accountants, while the ones in Europe will pay somewhere between 70-90% of their income, and then with the injustice that the teams with the most money can still get most if not all the best players.

    Christ, do you really think that European top athletes pay high taxes? Boy, you don’t know how crony capitalism works. ;)

    In order for Spain, for instance, to get the best soccer players they have special tax codes for athletes/artists. Many countries have similar rules.

    Heck, maybe your soccer system needs a salary cap system as well. :) It sure seems more just.

    I know, but since my favorite team (Manchester United) is one of the richer ones, I’m reluctant to lobby for a rule change. They win a lot! :)

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  22. Mook

    I think my point still stands. The Employment Ordnance of HK was enacted in 1968. The regulations are more comprehensive now, but it never was unregulated.

    HK regulations in 1968 and now are day and night, yet you insist that your point “still stands”. Back then, no minimum wage laws, no paternity leave, no work rules, less bureaucratic red tape, and no compulsory pension, to name but a few differences. Not comparable. Furthermore, HKs standard of living was the fastest rising in the world prior to 1968.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that you really want less regulation generally speaking, rather than no regulation?

    As I’ve already stated, I believe in enforcement of laws, particularly contract law and enforcement of private property rights laws. Other than that, precious few regulations.. minimum wage laws and regulation of hours workd, to name two, do much more harm than good. Having a system of laws is a grand canyon of difference than a “mix of socialism with capitalism”

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  23. Mook

    I wouldn’t normally suggest that, but it seems to be the position Mook has been taking

    Given what I already wrote prior to you making that post, you are intentionally mischaracterizing my position.. probably because your own position is so weak .

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  24. Kimpost

    I think we are arguing semantics. You want way less regulations than me, but you do want some. The difference between you and me in this regard is a matter of degree, as far as I’m concerned.

    The Economist article was excellent, by the way. I think it supports both of us. ;)

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  25. Mook

    You want way less regulations than me, but you do want some.

    You argue for a mix of socialism with capitalism. I have argued for a system of laws (no stealing, cheating, murdering, etc) with precious few regulations. That’s a huge difference that I don’t think can be explained simply by a disagreement over “semantics”. It seems like a much larger philosophical difference than what you suggest.

    No arguing that HK’s economic growth during its near pure capitalism phase was much larger than it’s current state after signifiance increases in regulation and taxes. I’m not sure how that supports your position, given that the regulatory burdens have come with a significant economic cost

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  26. Kimpost

    I don’t think that “near pure” ever was as near as you think it was. The differences between you and me are large, but they aren’t as large as socialism vs capitalism. I too regard myself as a free market guy. It seems to me that most free prospering societies tend to widen their societal safety nets as time goes by. Perhaps that’s just as much part of human nature as the desire for personal success is?

    You cant ascribe all economic growth in HK to extreme freedom. HK was, and still is, a special place. That, plus it’s easier to grow when you start low. Having 10-12% growth in GDP per year (over time) just isn’t possible in the US or Sweden.

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  27. Mook

    I don’t think that “near pure” ever was as near as you think it was

    If that’s the case, then you should be able to name some significant burdonsome regulations back then. What were they? Name them please. There were no minimum wage laws, no laws on # of hours worked, no workplace rules, no affirmative action hiring laws, no compulsory pension requirement, paperwork was so minimal that businesses could open same day, etc. That’s damn near pure capitalism

    What is your specific justification in saying that HK was far from pure capitalism at that time?

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  28. Mook

    Having 10-12% growth in GDP per year (over time) just isn’t possible in the US or Sweden.

    That’s simply an unsupported opinion. Neither you nor I know how much economic growth potential could be experienced if govt. regulatory and taxation burdens and govt. spending relative to GDP more closely resembled HK in the 1960’s

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  29. Kimpost

    This might not be semantics to you, but it is to me. It has become a silly game of defining what “close to pure” really is. I seriously think that we’ve made our points, let’s just allow for people to breath.

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  30. AlexInCT *

    Christ, do you really think that European top athletes pay high taxes? Boy, you don’t know how crony capitalism works. ;)

    Oh, I very familiar with it. man. The last 3 years have provided a plethora of examples. Not that there aren’t many others from before, but it has been especially virulent these last 3 years. I really do not like it, no matter who it comes from, because the consumer always is the one that pays through the nose for it. BTW, I thought the Europeans had abandoned crony capitalism completely in their pursuit of a social model. I guess I stand corrected.

    In order for Spain, for instance, to get the best soccer players they have special tax codes for athletes/artists. Many countries have similar rules.

    See that’s just wrong. why does that 600 plus page constitution you guys in the EU have allow something as unjust as this? LYNCHING!

    All kidding aside, are athletes the only ones that get these kinds of breaks?

    I know, but since my favorite team (Manchester United) is one of the richer ones, I’m reluctant to lobby for a rule change. They win a lot! :)

    At least you are honest about it. What do you believe the people with favorite teams that aren’t as well off think about this? Or are they apathetic or reserved because they could someday be fans of a rich team and then this works in their favor?

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  31. Kimpost

    It varies between countries. Europe basically has different tax rules in different countries, which then are weighted against EU trade law that prohibits states from providing unfair trade advantages. This particular mess isn’t easily handled at EU level. It basically is what it is. Athletes and artists usually get away with paying just an artist tax. But, there are of course other complicated tax breaks in abundance here, just like you have in the US. Green energy tax breaks, rural area deployment tax breaks, countries/cities/regions who give up free land or even give money to large corporations to locate into their areas (Google just got a few million, and free land to locate in northern Sweden). And let’s not talk about farm subsidies, brrrr… This shit happens all the time.

    So no, our social model isn’t all that moral.

    When it comes to soccer, I was mostly kidding. I am a soccer purist and I am a bit sickened by the extreme financial doping the industry has endured over the last 20 years. I’m for some kind of restrictions, even if that would mean less Manchester United dominance. A salary cap, like the one’s you have in your pro leagues, have been discussed here, bit it was rejected as going too far by the powerful teams.

    A compromise called UEFA Financial Fair Play is being implemented now. This will at least prevent teams from spending more money than they actually earn. Rich Russian and Saudi oligarchs have made a habit of buying teams here, pumping billions into them annually, at great loss, just for personal amusement. And FC Barcelona and Real Madrid have been cuddled by the Spanish government, and their local communities. Financial Fair Play will put an end to that, supposedly. Personally, I think they’ll find loopholes.

    P.S. I found no official Financial Fair Play article on Wikipedia. Just a user entry. Strange for such a big thing. Just wanted to report on that anomaly.

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  32. Section8

    On a side note we actually don’t have minimum wage laws in Sweden, but that’s because we have voluntary agreements between unions and employees instead, which in turn spill over on the non-unionized.

    This isn’t a bad idea really. While I don’t think the government should back unions to give them an upper hand any more than it should back Corporations (wishful thinking these days), I see room for unions as part of a healthy capitalist system. After all, you are selling your labor, and why can’t it be done as a group, but unions like any other entity need checks and balances too, and to not get too greedy, just as some companies do.

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  33. Seattle Outcast

    I see room for unions as part of a healthy capitalist system

    Perhaps a century ago, before they were completely taken over by criminals…

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  34. Section8

    Perhaps a century ago, before they were completely taken over by criminals…

    Well I agree there. It just needs to be structured differently is all. Now how that can be done I don’t know. Maybe more of a service, where you can pick a union, and opt in and out. Kind of like competing companies. They do a better job, they’ll get more clients. Of course then that would promote the idea of looting each company because who wouldn’t want to make a million dollars pushing papers? But there is some good behind them. No one wants to work 80 hours a week for 3 bucks an hour either, and if someone can get away with looting their workers, they’ll may do it. Not everyone, I believe many businesses have integrity, but there are others that don’t. It’s even more complicated now as cheap labor is everywhere outside the US, even at the white collar level now.

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  35. Mook

    No one wants to work 80 hours a week for 3 bucks an hour either, and if someone can get away with looting their workers, they’ll may do it.

    Well if they have skills, say an engineer or attorney or draftsman or pipefitter, or even a waiter.. they would not have to work for anywhere near $3 hour unless they wanted to do so for charity or unless they are a worthless piece of shit. In the job market, you’re worth what someone is willing to pay you. Don’t like your salary? Then improve your job skills and/or change jobs. Unions too often employ violence and intimidation to extort inflated salaries for their ranks, far more than what they could ever earn for themselves in the free market, all at the expense of others. For the most part, union members get overpaid by their union screwing everyone else.

    Supply and demand works against employers too. Drafting/designers in the plant design industry (chemical plants, refineries, offshore) with 10 yrs experience with zero college are commonly making $100k+. I’ve seen examples of $250k/year including overtime from non-degreed designers. Do a job search on plant designers with 10 yrs experience (still a young age) who have skills using Intergraph or Aveva plant design software. There’s not enough supply to meet the demand.. all that with no union arm twisting required. I’ve read that roughnecks working oil and gas wells are making $80k+ with less than 5 yrs experience. The oil and gas booms in the Dakotas, PA, and OH are driving up demand. Again, great wages without unions. Too many people buy the lie/myth that without unions, good wages would never be paid. That’s verifiable bullshit

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  36. Mississippi Yankee

    Try terminating a union employee for poor job performance, much less for doing something wrong.

    Now try that same action when a lazy or bad teacher is evolved. Be prepared to hit an unmovable object.

    Right after bureaucrats, NEA rep and anything in purple will be secondary target once the revolution starts.

    /of course I’m only jesting/

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  37. Mook

    The mentality in which unions inculcate is appalling. I did a seminar in 2010 for professional engineers at ConEd in NYC. We had to work around their union mandated breaks the entire session interrupting the sessions repeatedly. It was unbelievable… but as unbelievable as it was with the engineers, no doubt the work environment is FAR worse with the blue collar ranks. Of course, average Joe’s pay for this union extravagence with higher utility bills. But unions are so “noble” right? Only looking out the working man.. what bullshit

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  38. Section8

    Don’t like your salary? Then improve your job skills and/or change jobs. Unions too often employ violence and intimidation to extort inflated salaries for their ranks, far more than what they could ever earn for themselves in the free market, all at the expense of others. For the most part, union members get overpaid by their union screwing everyone else.

    I’m not going to deny there aren’t some serious problems with how unions are structured here, made even worse if backed by the government to force membership, etc, but tell me if I’m working at a low paying job for 3 bucks an hour 80 hours a week because I don’t have much skill, when am I going to find the time to become an attorney, engineer, etc? Now don’t get me wrong, over the years the government has made it much harder to get out of that cycle, for example, if I just wanted to start peddling goods in the neighborhood, I’d probably get raided if I didn’t cough up thousands of dollars in permits, etc, but fact is there will always be a minimum wage, whether it’s forced upon by government, or set by corporations, or set by corporations with agreements with the working force. Since people sell their labor, they should have the right to do it as a group if they choose. They should not be forced into doing so, but they should have that right. I’d take that over government mandates any day.

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  39. hist_ed

    but tell me if I’m working at a low paying job for 3 bucks an hour 80 hours a week because I don’t have much skill, when am I going to find the time to become an attorney, engineer, etc?

    Just by working that schedule for 6 months or so you have demonstrated that you are a more valuable employee than most of your (hypothetical) unskilled peers. When that next supervosor job opens up, you might be in the running for it.

    Most employers give raises to people who stick around and work well. If they don’t, then other employers will want to hire unskilled employees who are hard workers.

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