Democrats & Liberals Archives

More Evidence the TEA Party GOP is Out of Touch

Just 23 different polls by a handful of outlets say higher taxes should be part of any solution to reduce the deficit. Don’t tell the TEA Party. They say we’re taxed enough already. Meanwhile tax revenues haven’t been this low since literally 1950. A jobless recovery and lower taxes on the wealthiest Americans have seen to that.

Bruce Bartlett brings us this news. Support for tax increases is 60% or above in every poll or an average of 65%.

What has always baffled me about the TEA Party is how they claimed to represent mainstream Americans against a big government that no longer represented them. Many TEA Party members I know still say the majority of Americans are TEA Party People. This is false of course. They are correct however that the government didn't represent them. At the time you didn't find much support for their radical and unrealistic agenda in Congress. Of course now the GOP caucus is chock full of nuts in Congress. Recently that's only hurt their cause in the eye of the public.

Still the GOP is rallying their troops to stay strong on the no increased taxes front. Their obsession with making our debt a massive issue while at the same time putting smart solutions off limits to please the TEA Party is not going unnoticed by the public. Support for Democrats in Congress has climbed over the last few weeks as support for the GOP has declined. Meanwhile Obama still beats every big name Republican in head to head matchups including Representative Bachmann. The GOP is clearly doing itself no favor by drawing a line in the sand on the wrong side of an issue the public is firmly behind.

Lately I've seen sentiment from random conservative comments around the web that the GOP is just doing it's job by representing it's people including the TEA Party. I guess they mean we shouldn't fault the Republicans for their actions since their actions were what their voters wanted. We shouldn't fault them for bringing us to the brink of default and causing the gridlock that was ultimately the major factor in the downgrade of our credit. In the end though we've elected these individuals not to give us everything we want but to lead based on the facts and to weigh the ramifications of their actions. There is no excuse for what the GOP did. Falling back on the voters as an excuse for horrible leadership is about as pathetic as it gets.

Meanwhile we inch closer to a second recession. We have solutions to boost our economy but of course they're off limits thanks to the TEA Party GOP. We can't increase unemployment, food stamps, or give aid to the states to keep workers on. We for sure can't give another round of stimulus for infrastructure projects. The GOP will however allow us to cut our spending and keep taxes low on the rich and continue to protect and reward the very same people hurt least in the recession. Thanks, GOP. Thanks, TEA Party.

Posted by Adam Ducker at August 11, 2011 9:42 AM
Comments
Comment #327450

Another good question is why are we ignoring the rare opportunity to borrow money at a negative real interest rate?

Posted by: Warped Reality at August 11, 2011 11:53 AM
Comment #327451

Holy crap!
You mean a poll shows people want to tax others so that they can keep what they feel they are entitled to?
Who would have thunk it.

Posted by: kctim at August 11, 2011 12:22 PM
Comment #327452

Adam,

“Their obsession with making our debt a massive issue while at the same time putting smart solutions off limits to please the TEA Party is not going unnoticed by the public.”

It seems strange that for years we heard the whining, bitching and moaning that we shouldn’t pass legislation based on the what the minority thinks yet now it’s a good thing for the country.

Note to Tea Party, if you want to cut something, cut subsidies to corporations.

They’re not hiring anybody anyway.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at August 11, 2011 12:27 PM
Comment #327456

The debt is an issue, and should be.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least until repeated rewarding failure, FOR-SALE, corrupt, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d,a,n at August 11, 2011 2:01 PM
Comment #327457

Adam writes; “Falling back on the voters as an excuse for horrible leadership is about as pathetic as it gets.”

I agree, take obama for example.

Adam also writes; “We for sure can’t give another round of stimulus for infrastructure projects.”

That’s correct, and why should we spend billions more for just another obama special interest group…unions and their members?

A simple google search by me revealed 210,000 listings under the heading…”project labor agreements” for federal construction projects.” Following are just two of many…

“Federal Government-Mandated Project Labor Agreements: President Obama’s Executive Order 13502 Encourages PLAs on Federal Construction Projects Costing More Than $25 million

On February 6, 2009, President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13502, which repeals Executive Order 13202 and encourages federal agencies to require PLAs on federal and federally funded construction projects in excess of $25 million. Executive Order 13202 had prohibited federal agencies and recipients of federal financial assistance from requiring wasteful and discriminatory union-only PLAs on federal and federally funded construction projects. Construction contracts subject to union-only PLAs are usually awarded to unionized contractors and their all-union workforces.


On March 13, 2010, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council released the final rule to implement President Obama’s Executive Order 13502. The release of this final rule represents the culmination of a process that began in July 2009 with the FAR Council’s release of a proposed rule to implement the content of Executive Order 13502 into federal procurement regulations.

Even before the release of the final rule to implement Executive Order 13502, the Obama Administration signaled its desire for federal agencies to begin mandating PLAs. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on July 10 issued a policy memorandum encouraging federal agencies to consider utilizing PLAs on a project-by-project basis and require PLAs in “appropriate circumstances.” This memorandum came in advance of the FAR Council’s proposed rule implementing Executive Order 13502.

Between 2001 and 2008, Executive Order 13202 ensured that at least $147.1 billion worth of federal construction projects was bid without discriminatory and wasteful government-mandated PLAs. The actual value of construction projects protected by Executive Order 13202 is exponentially larger, as the above figure does not include local construction spending that received federal funding or assistance protected by the executive order. Free and open competition saved American taxpayers an estimated 10 percent to 20 percent on federal construction spending and provided women, minorities and other qualified craft professionals the opportunity to work in their communities.”

http://www.abc.org/Government_Affairs/Issues/ABC_Priority_Issues/Project_Labor_Agreements.aspx

Here’s a quote from obama’s executive order regarding “project labor agreements”.

“(e) The term “project labor agreement” as used in this order means a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement with one or more labor organizations that establishes the terms and conditions of employment for a specific construction project and is an agreement described in 29 U.S.C. 158(f).”

and…

“(b) If an executive agency determines under subsection (a) that the use of a project labor agreement will satisfy the criteria in clauses (i) and (ii) of that subsection, the agency may, if appropriate, require that every contractor or subcontractor on the project agree, for that project, to negotiate or become a party to a project labor agreement with one or more appropriate labor organizations.”

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/ExecutiveOrderUseofProjectLaborAgreementsforFederalConstructionProjects/

The White House goes to great lengths to portray this as somehow beneficial to the nation for safety reasons and speedy results. This is nonsense of course as most people know that non-union workers are just as competent as union workers. Many in the construction trades are required to meet licensing requirements in their state. Does a union member with a license necessarily have greater skills and job dedication than a non-union license holder?

The president, thru this executive order, clearly shows his radical agenda of providing jobs only for those who contribute to his reelection by union votes and union money.

In addition, PLA’s which require union affiliation increases the cost of federal projects. An additional cost of 10% to 20% translates into fewer jobs for all. If one can employ 100 people at $30 per hour, one could also employ 150 people at $20 per hour.

The next time you listen to obama touting federal construction jobs as a way to increase employment you will now understand why this is so important to him…and not necessarily, to the nation. He spends every taxpayers dollars to employ his special interest group.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 11, 2011 2:11 PM
Comment #327459

The jobless recovery - of course you mean the Obama economic plan.

Obama massive spending didn’t work. This is still the Obama economy. It will be the Obama recovery until Obama goes. After that, we might have a real recovery, which includes more jobs.

Posted by: C&J at August 11, 2011 3:19 PM
Comment #327460


Adam, I think you are on to something. Romney was jeered, by a Republican crowd at an event in Iowa when he said ‘corporations are people to.’

Don’t raise taxes, cut benefits because corporations are people to.

A Democrat ringer in the crowd ask why Romney was including Social Security and Medicare in his deficit reduction talk when they aren’t a part of the deficit.

That is a question Democrats should be asking their politicians. They should also be asking their politicians why they are hiding behind a cut entitlements committee.

Posted by: jlw at August 11, 2011 4:19 PM
Comment #327464

C&J-
You should know about jobless recoveries, the Bush Administration was full of them. Your economic policies essentially flatlined hiring for the rest of the decade, creating fewer jobs than any President, even Carter.

Our problem is, we have folks whose first instinct when faced with a national level economic downturn is to force millions of Americans to tighten their belts.

Royal Flush-
You like that little piece of special interest propaganda, don’t you! That’s the second place you’ve posted it.

kctim-
They’re already taxed themselves for it, and in fact it’s one of the biggest taxes they pay, in its proportion of their paycheck.

It’s counterfactual to insist that those who pay these taxes year in and year out aren’t contributing to the system they take out of eventually, and contributing a great deal.

And really, isn’t this supposed to be the way we balance things fiscally? The desire for a program against the costs of the program out of pocket in taxes?

The Governments always going to make decisions about how taxpayer money is spent. Our Democracy works on the notion that taxpayers are competent to decide what is and is not worth our public funds, and how much they want to pay.

If anything, what we are getting here is a lesson in two things: first, the fact that people actually want some of that thing you call big government, and second, the fact that when people want it, and its politically difficult to cut the spending, taxes are the compromise that allows us to avoid deficits. Few people run around with sparklers in their hand and giddy laughter when they pay their taxes, but it’s what we do when we want a certain amount of government, and we don’t want that amount of debt to fund it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 11, 2011 5:07 PM
Comment #327468

SD writes; “Royal Flush-
You like that little piece of special interest propaganda, don’t you! That’s the second place you’ve posted it.”

Yup…I do like it. Perhaps you will answer my “propaganda” on this blog better that the feeble attempt you provided on the other blog.

I do have a question for “Mr. Facts”. Since the quotes I provided were from a link to the White House, what part of that was “propaganda”?

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 11, 2011 5:33 PM
Comment #327470


“This is nonsense of course as most know that non-union workers are just as capable and union workers.”

That statement is what is nonsense.

I spent 30 years in the construction trades, half union, half non-union. As a union worker, I had to exhibit journeyman skills to be considered a journeyman. As a non-union worker, The only thing I had to prove was that I could make money for the owners.

I have never worked for a non-union company that had an apprentice program. With non-union, it is on the job training. As a non-union worker, I was constantly required to train new employees on the job, and we were constantly hiring new workers, sometimes on every job.

There are non-union workers that are just as competent as union workers, those that stick with it, but they are usually receiving pay and benefits comparable to union workers or they join a union at the first opportunity.

Construction is dangerous and physically demanding. In high rise construction, the number of people who try it and decide to do something else is about 9 out of ten new hires. For 7 of those 9, just looking up is enough to convince them to get back in their car and drive off. The other two usually have to be pried loose from the iron to get them down.

For those that think that non-union workers are just as capable overall, I can take you on a tour of some of the buildings I have helped build. Then you can compare the quality for yourself rather than relying on a conservative talking point.

Posted by: jlw at August 11, 2011 5:38 PM
Comment #327472

SD wrote; “And really, isn’t this supposed to be the way we balance things fiscally? The desire for a program against the costs of the program out of pocket in taxes.”

I can’t believe that such an experienced and savvy writer would leave himself open to be clubbed over the head with what he wrote.

If he is referring to entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security, it is obvious that payroll taxes are not sufficient to pay for them and his party would like just a few taxpayers to fund the deficit. The liberal philosophy can be summed up as…”out of the pocket of the few will come the sustenance for all”.

If he is talking about social spending on the poor, it is obvious that they pay no income taxes.

We all have desires and some of us even pay from our own pocket to satisfy them. What additional desires of the American public would SD like those who still pay income taxes to fund?

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 11, 2011 5:50 PM
Comment #327475
In addition, PLA’s which require union affiliation increases the cost of federal projects. An additional cost of 10% to 20% translates into fewer jobs for all.

How so Royal? If contractors are paying Davis Bacon wages then that is usually union scale. On any construction project you have only certain amounts of workers in each trade regardless of the wages paid. So in reality you wouldn’t employ anymore workers with the lower wages. The costs would be the same the difference is the Construction company keeps the wages not paid to those actually working on the project.

It is like hiring 9 mothers so you can have a baby in one month instead of 1 mother taking 9 months to have a baby. Sounds good but doesn’t work.

If one can employ 100 people at $30 per hour, one could also employ 150 people at $20 per hour.

Or 3000 people at a dollar an hour but what would you get for the price. These guys are skilled tradesmen and earn the wages they receive why try to cheat them out of their earnings?

These PDA’a sound smart to me, Royal. It keeps the American worker from competing with Chinese companies using slave labor to build these building’s.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 11, 2011 6:00 PM
Comment #327478

As for taxes, the current tax system is regressive in many cases (i.e. favoring the wealthy such that they pay a smaller percentage of their total income to taxes than the majority of people in teh middle income group), and needs to be reformed and simplified, with the elimination of all tax loop holes (including the home mortgage interest deduction).

For example, while I pay between 25%-to-30% in total federal taxes (federal income tax, Medicare, and Social Security taxes), Warren Buffet paid 17.7% on $46 Million, and at one point in time, even Warren Buffet did not believe that is fair (source: tusb.stanford.edu/2007/07/warren_buffet_has_a_lower_tax.html)

Tax reform, along with steps to reduce (or eliminate) these 10 major abuses would go a long way to helping the majority of U.S. citizens.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least until repeated rewarding failure, FOR-SALE, corrupt, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 11, 2011 6:13 PM
Comment #327480

jlw called my statement about the competence of union versus non-union workers nonsense. He justifies this by citing his personal work experience. Wow, I am impressed, what a tremendous argument.

j2t2 writes; “On any construction project you have only certain amounts of workers in each trade regardless of the wages paid.”

Please try to keep up. If congress authorizes $800 billion in construction projects, is it just possible that the money will fund more projects and employ more people if wages are $20 per hour rather than $30 per hour?

He goes on to imply that non-union workers are not as skilled. Hmmm, I wonder what j2t2 knows that foreign owned automobile manufacturers in the US who employ non-union members don’t know.

Both jlw and j2t2 believe it is proper to expect the American taxpayer to shell out more money to have government funded projects run only by unions rather than run by the lowest competent bidder.

I would ask both of them if this logic applies in the cities and states where they reside. Are only unions allowed to bid on your city and state projects? If not, why not?

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 11, 2011 6:28 PM
Comment #327481

These PDA’a sound smart to me, Royal. It keeps the American worker from competing with Chinese companies using slave labor to build these building’s.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 11, 2011 06:00

What an interesting comment. Please explain in greater detail.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 11, 2011 6:30 PM
Comment #327482

Royal Flush:

On taking President Obama for example I guess I’m not following.

As for PLA’s they’re a recommendation not a requirement. This is less about Obama and more of a general policy Democratic presidents have reversed course on after Republican presidents changed the policy two times in a row.

Last time I checked union members were normal people too. Or do wages for union members spend differently in the economy than non-union member wages? It’s clear why these projects would cost more given the nature of what a PLA is designed to do. It’s not supposed to give you the best price, after all.

On the other hand, how many stimulus contracts were for $25 million+ large-scale construction projects anyway? It’s an interesting question I’ll have to try and answer later today.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at August 11, 2011 6:31 PM
Comment #327483

Adam writes; “There is no excuse for what the GOP did. Falling back on the voters as an excuse for horrible leadership is about as pathetic as it gets.”

I responded…”I agree, take obama for example.”

Adam asked for a explanation. obama is a horrible leader and the voters placed him in office. It is the same logic as you are using. And, both your statement and mine make no sense. The voters are always responsible for those they elect.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 11, 2011 6:47 PM
Comment #327485

I was a contractor until I retired last year. My crew and I would install network cabling and fiber optics for computers and telephone systems for mid to large sized corporations and government agencies.

A few years ago we did a project for the US Army Corp Of Engineers in West Virginia. One of the sites we went to was a new lock and dam. It was a union job site and all the construction workers had to belong to a union. We got by that requirement by agreeing to work within union rules and agreeing to use their union employees for all support work. One morning I left the motel a little late and waited till I got to the site to put my work boots on. I pulled up to the site, got out of my truck and opened the back to get my boots and hard hat. A shop steward approached me and told me in no uncertain terms that I was management and as such I wasn’t allowed to get anything out of my truck, even personal safty gear. I had to call one of my crew over and have them retrieve my boots and hard hat for me. When we started to test the fiber optic cable, we used an OTDR tester. No on on site had been trained to use this $20,000 tester (at the time) except me. Since I was management, I wasn’t allowed to use it. We finally agreeed after about 2 hours of negotiations that I would use the tester but I would have to have 2 of their union workers stand over me and watch. It was such a waste.

Posted by: tdobson at August 11, 2011 6:58 PM
Comment #327488

Thanks for your story tdobson.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 11, 2011 7:16 PM
Comment #327493

I used to work at General Dynamics F-16 plant in the Data Systems Division on a robotic system.

There was an automated retrieval system that picked billets of alloy metal from bins and sent them to a robotic arm for mounting and machining.

One day, I was testing the automated retrieval system.
However, I was a salaried, exempt employee.
So, I had to tell the union worker every key to press.
It was excruciatingly slow and unproductive.

Well, we were almost finished (after 3 hours for something that should only have take 30 minutes), when the 15-minute break buzzer sounded. I asked the union worker if I could finish the test, and he said he would file a “grievance” against me if I did.

On another occasion, I had a grievance filed against me for moving a portable (lunch-kit type) computer myself.

And on another occasion, I had a secretary file a grievance against me for printing a letter myself on the office dot-matrix printer. It was her job to take my print-out and the re-type it on a type-write.

That is the sort of crap that unions do.
There are lots and lots of ridiculous stories like that.

I’ve never belonged to a union.

Unions had a good purpose at one time, rallying for safer work conditions, anti-child labor laws, etc.

But today, they are losing leverage, because there worst enemy today is cheaper labor overseas, or cheap imported labor (illegal aliens and a LOT of green-card and H1B visa workers by the droves).

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least until repeated rewarding failure, FOR-SALE, corrupt, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 11, 2011 8:03 PM
Comment #327494

Thanks for your story d.a.n.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 11, 2011 8:09 PM
Comment #327495

Royal Flush:

I for the most part agree that voters are responsible for those they elect except for the fact that who I vote for doesn’t always win. My point goes another direction though than you seem to be taking it. Just because voters elect a politician for one agenda does not mean the politician can justify passing parts of that agenda that may be harmful to the public.

The majority of America supports increasing taxes to pay down the debt. The case can be made that it is bad but I disagree and think the evidence goes the other way.

Don’t take me the wrong way. I’m not suggesting it needs to be done because Americans support it. I’m suggesting it needs to be done because it’s good policy and a failure to do it may be met with backlash from a public that supports that policy. I still fall back on the ability of a politician to lead based on his or her best judgement more than simply doing everything your constituents want.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at August 11, 2011 8:10 PM
Comment #327497

I know you are trying to do your thing against the Tea Party group. Let us try this out tho. The one who the left so staunchly defend was at Dover AFB when the dead service men arrived 19 of the 30 families desired to have no media and no pixes. So Barry put the word out. But there are pixes only they show Barry with a half a salute. This was nothing but a photo op for Barry.

To add insult to injury. October next year a hollywood movie will be released about how Barry got Bin Laden. Of course this has nothing to do with the election. The left wouldn’t stoop that low would they. Only the naive would believe that.

How in the world do you people on the left defend those two incidents? One happened and one going to happen.

Third item. People setting up campaign strategy said that Obama is going to kill Romney. I thought those “civilized” people thought that the word kill in that context was not going to be done.

Just one more lie. They do pile up just like the tower of Babel.

Posted by: tom humes at August 11, 2011 8:11 PM
Comment #327499

I have told my story before on WB on why I don’t trust unions.

I was in my early 20’s and worked in a factory that UAW Local 5 represented. This was in the early 60’s in northern IN. My friend worked there also. We both worked the night shift. We would to to lunch together from time to time. On one occasion I was told by my union steward that I could not got to lunch with a black person. The next time I would be fired. I was naive and just laughed. A couple of weeks later I went to lunch with my friend and when I return I was expelled from UAW Local 5 and therefore fired from my job.

Unions are for the working man, huh? Ya, when pigs fly.

Posted by: tom humes at August 11, 2011 8:18 PM
Comment #327501

I have a suggestion for all liberals who believe in higher taxes; just sit down with your checkbook and start writing checks in the care of “obama’s stash”, and mail them to the WH. It’s legal and everyone would then believe liberals are compassionate people, instead of what we now think; that they are corrupt, thieving, race baiting crooks.

Posted by: Conservativethinker at August 11, 2011 8:27 PM
Comment #327502

Tom Humes, are you saying the union leadership was racist? But that was in the 60’s, and everyone knows that democrats in the 60’s were really the conservative republicans of today and the republicans of the 60’s are really liberal democrats of today. I have heard SD explain this many times. The old southern democrats who were racists were really republicans in disguise….well, except for Robert Byrd (Grand Popaw of the KKK), he was a democrat in the 60’s and still a democrat when the wheeled him into the Senate in the 21st century. Then we have Lyndon Johnson, who was a racist democrat in the 60’s and was still a racist democrat when he left the WH.

“I’ll have those n*ggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”

— Lyndon B. Johnson to two governors on Air Force One according Ronald Kessler’s Book, “Inside The White House”


“Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.”

— Former Klansman and current US Senator Robert Byrd, a man who is referred to by many Democrats as the “conscience of the Senate”, in a letter written in 1944, after he quit the KKK.

“I am a former kleagle of the Ku Klux Klan in Raleigh County and the adjoining counties of the state …. The Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia …. It is necessary that the order be promoted immediately and in every state of the Union. Will you please inform me as to the possibilities of rebuilding the Klan in the Realm of W. Va …. I hope that you will find it convenient to answer my letter in regards to future possibilities.”

— Former Klansman and current US Senator Robert Byrd, a man who is referred to by many Democrats as the “conscience of the Senate”, in a letter written in 1946, after he quit the KKK.

We’re on a roll here:

“I think one man is just as good as another so long as he’s not a n*gger or a Chinaman. Uncle Will says that the Lord made a White man from dust, a nigger from mud, then He threw up what was left and it came down a Chinaman. He does hate Chinese and Japs. So do I. It is race prejudice, I guess. But I am strongly of the opinion Negroes ought to be in Africa, Yellow men in Asia and White men in Europe and America.”

-Harry Truman (1911) in a letter to his future wife Bess

Let’s throw in one more from the former “1st Lady” (now that’s an oxymoron):

“You f*cking Jew b@stard.” — Hillary Clinton to political operative Paul Fray. This was revealed in “State of a Union: Inside the Complex Marriage of Bill and Hillary Clinton” and has been verified by Paul Fray and three witnesses.


All of these former democrats of the 60’s are now….wait a minute….their still democrats or died democrats.

Posted by: Conservativethinker at August 11, 2011 8:51 PM
Comment #327509

I think it is rather obvious that the recipients of welfare, unlimited unemployment benefits, and other similar “dole” do not like anyone who recognizes it for what it is.

Sure, some unemployment compensation is OK.
But 1-to-3 years?

Rest assured … the majority of the wealthy have exactly what they designed.

In 1967, the wealthiest 1% owned 20% of all wealth in the U.S.

Today, in 2011, the weathiest 1% now own over 40% of all wealth.

  • Over 40% of all weatlh in U.S. is owned by a tiny 1% of wealthiest of 312 Million U.S. Population:
  • 045.0% +—————————————-
  • 042.5% +—o————————————
  • 040.0% +-o-o—————————-o-o- (over 40% owned by 1% of wealthiest)
  • 037.5% +o—-o————————o——-
  • 035.0% +——-o———————o———
  • 032.5% +———o——o—o——-o———
  • 030.0% +———-o—o——o—-o———-
  • 027.5% +————o———o—-o———-
  • 025.0% +————————o—o———-
  • 022.5% +————————o-o————
  • 020.0% +————————-o————-
  • 017.5% +—————————————-
  • 015.0% +—————————————-
  • ————1—1—1—1—1—1—1—1—2—2
  • ————9—9—9—9—9—9—9—9—0—0
  • ————2—3—4—5—6—7—8—9—0—1
  • ————0—0—0—0—0—0—0—0—0—0 YEAR


There are 10 major reasons for this.

But, there are extremist leftists and extremist rightists that do not want to admit their roles in this disaster. BOTH are guilty. BOTH are pathetic.

There is no doubt that many are gaming the system.

And that is low-life, because there are some who are truly needy who will go without due to these greedy abuses.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least until repeatedly rewarding failure, FOR-SALE, corrupt, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 11, 2011 9:35 PM
Comment #327510

The point of unions and “its my job” mentality …… would create lower unemployment because everyone has “thier” job to do…. why would FULL employment be a bad thing?… let alone people complaining about union wages…. we all deserve wages that arent just over poverty.

If you want the USA to be great….. pay someone a living wage so we have afford that “inexpensive” 30k Domestic car…. FORD did it back in the day…. and gooosh… it created DEMEND…. supply side economics doesnt work…. it never TRICKLES down….. well… it does… on your head.

Posted by: Michael at August 11, 2011 10:05 PM
Comment #327512

Royal Flush-
You first post a special interest group’s point of view, then post the policy. Are you really trying to argue that the opinion of the first is not meant to color the interpretation of the second?

Also, I notice you turn right around and say that Obama’s doing this simply because it feeds an interest group that makes campaign contributions to him.

Are you saying Obama doesn’t have genuine sympathies for the labor movement?

As for entitlements, again, you just turn to the issue of the rich paying more, and act like suddenly, they’re paying everything, and the rest of us are just mooching off of them. The proposal that’s popular with my people, to give an example of this, is to lift the cap on payroll taxes, so those who earn more pay the same rate as those who earn less.

If that’s what counts as dumping everything on the few, then you’re entitled to your opinion despite the inaccuracies of your counting.

You know, if you look at the statistics, the folks who make the most money these days are the last people who deserve pity, who can claim themselves as victims. In fact, a great deal of government spending went to making sure they didn’t lose their shirts over their own mistakes.

Now, it was worth it, if only to save our economy. But as a price, you know what I demand? That there be the kind of law and order in their industry necessary to keep these outrageous bailouts from having to happen again. Not wishful thinking, nor the naive belief that letting them profit without constraint would besprinkle the masses with jobs, but good, common sense rules to prevent the kind of shady and corrupt practices that distorted the market from happening again.

Ah, but since that would put a constraint on somebody’s ability to profit, you’d call it socialism. Well, I call it capitalism that can survive in the real world. It’s hardly a coincidence that within ten years of much of this deregulation, things went to hell. Those laws were put in place for a reason, on account of bitter experience. Unfortunately, with the Republicans, we get refresher courses time and again with the bitter experience of having the markets fail to police themselves.

And with their ability to keep wages growing so people are relying on cash and not debt.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 11, 2011 10:33 PM
Comment #327517

adam


“It’s clear why these projects would cost more given the nature of what a PLA is designed to do. It’s not supposed to give you the best price, after all.”


gov’t should provide the best possible service at the lowest possible cost. it should give taxpayers the best bang for thier buck. if that means non union contractors get most of the work then so be it.

Posted by: dbs at August 12, 2011 5:06 AM
Comment #327520

Conservatives are so easy to anger these days. Even the most insignificant statement can set off their tempers. If you want to enrage a conservative, I suggest saying the following:

1. A Socialist wrote the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. Jesus healed the sick and helped the poor, for free.
3. Joseph McCarthy was an un-American, witch hunting sissy.
4. Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee were traitors.
5. The South lost the Civil War, get over it.
6. The Founding Fathers were liberals.
7. Fascism is a right-wing trait.
8. Sarah Palin is an ugly cow (said to conservative males).
9. The Earth is round.
10. Reagan raised taxes eleven times as President.
11. Reagan legalized abortion as Governor of California.
12. Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency.
13. Ronald Reagan supported gun control.
14. Global warming is real.
15. Republicans hate illegal immigrants, unless they need their lawns mowed or their houses cleaned.
16. The military is a government-run institution, so why do Republicans approve the defense budget?
17. The Cold War is over and the Soviet Union no longer exists.
18. Paying taxes is patriotic.
19. Republicans: Peddling the same failed economic policies since 1880.
20. The Republican Party began as a liberal party.
21. The Presidents’ full name is Barack Hussein Obama and he was born in the United States of America.
22. George W. Bush held hands with the King of Saudi Arabia.
23. President Obama saved the American auto industry, while Republicans wanted to destroy it.
24. Hate is not a Christian virtue.
25. Jesus was a liberal.
26. Republicans spend MORE money than Democrats.
27. Tea parties are for little girls.
28. Public schools educate all children; private schools are for indoctrinating children.
29. The Constitution is the law, NOT the Bible.
30. Sharia law doesn’t exist in America.
31. The President is NOT a Muslim.
32. Corporations are NOT people. People are people.
33. Fox News isn’t real news, it’s just a racist, sexist, hateful, right-wing propaganda machine.
34. The Federal Reserve was a Republican idea.
35. Women are equal citizens who deserve equal rights.
36. Women control their own bodies.
37. Abortion is a relevant medical procedure, just ask Rick Santorum.
38. Please use spell check.
39. It’s “pundit”, not “pundint”.
40. Social Security is solvent through 2038.
41. Health care is a right, not a product.
42. Roe v. Wade was a bipartisan ruling made by a conservative leaning Supreme Court.
43. G.O.P also stands for Gross Old Perverts.
44. The donkey shouldn’t be the Democratic mascot because Republicans are the real jackasses.
45. Barack Obama ordered the killing of Osama Bin Laden. It took him two and half years to do what Bush couldn’t do in eight.
46. Waterboarding IS torture.
47. 9/11 happened on George W. Bush’s watch, therefore he did NOT keep America safe.
48. Republicans invaded Iraq for oil, so Iraq should be allowed to invade Texas to get it back.
49. Separation of church and state is in the Constitution, it’s called the First Amendment.
50. Muslims are protected by the Constitution, just as much as Christians.

Posted by: Michael at August 12, 2011 7:33 AM
Comment #327522

Dbs: “…it should give taxpayers the best bang for thier buck. if that means non union contractors get most of the work then so be it.”

It’s not that a PLA costs more simply to cost more. It’s that there is supposed to be designed into a PLA certain benefits and predictability while also employing members of the local community. This doesn’t automatically mean it costs more but it certainly has in some examples.

You talk about bang for your buck but if you were taking bids for construction on your home are you going to take the very cheapest bid or are you going to weigh cost and quality at the same time?

Posted by: Adam Ducker at August 12, 2011 8:43 AM
Comment #327524

SD
I was pointing out the loaded question, not questioning the peoples desire to be dependent. And of course the people want what was taken from them, most do.

I just find it interesting how people word and read polls so that they get the outcome they desire.
These polls say people want higher taxes but when you look at them, they want higher taxes on people besides themselves.
The HCR polls show the majority wanted government run health care, but when you look at them, not even half of that majority was willing to pay for it.

“Our Democracy works on the notion that taxpayers are competent to decide what is and is not worth our public funds, and how much they want to pay”

To bad ALL taxpayers are not included in that notion. Instead we now have a mob rules mentality when it comes to who pays and what we pay for. A mentality brought about by use of class warfare, guilt and fear.

Posted by: kctim at August 12, 2011 9:07 AM
Comment #327526

Royal Flush:

After looking through the data on reported stimulus projects I find the following interesting facts:

* There are 56,194 records for contracts awarded under the ARRA for the amount of $42,494,125,199.

* About 55,885 have specific dollar amounts on record and account for $42,325,877,579.

* Only 177 projects are large enough for Executive Order 13502 to apply or 0.32%.

* The projects under $25 million account for $30,397,973,549 of the $42 billion for contracts or 71.8% of the total money.

The vast majority of contracts and contracting dollars spent under ARRA do not fall under the definition of a $25 million or more “large-scale construction project” that Executive Order 13502 is focused on.

You have to deny that fact to suggest more stimulus would just be more support for unions as far as Executive Order 13502 is concerned.

You can see the data here if you have Excel.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at August 12, 2011 9:42 AM
Comment #327527
Both jlw and j2t2 believe it is proper to expect the American taxpayer to shell out more money to have government funded projects run only by unions rather than run by the lowest competent bidder.

Let me explain this with personal observations Royal. I was involved with a project down in Georgia years ago that was a good old boy non union project. There was a lot of masonry work and of course it was done by a nonunion contractor using local nonunion help. By the time it was done the coarse line was off by 2 inches or so. very obvious, very poor workmanship, the worst I’ve seen. Having been involved in many such projects over the years and on union projects in many states this never would have happened. The project was months late and the quality throughout was typical of this masonry work.

So who got the best deal for their money the people of Georgia with a poorly built but cheaper facility or the people of California with a 100 year building of high quality? Most of the times “low bid” is a euphemism for “forgetting something”. I know I worked low bid projects for many years. I had union and nonunion subs and worked with union and nonunion GC’s.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 12, 2011 10:56 AM
Comment #327528

BTW Royal the unions don’t run the projects. The projects are run by Architects, Construction management companies, General Contractors and such.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 12, 2011 11:11 AM
Comment #327531
What an interesting comment. Please explain in greater detail.

Royal, Without these agreements a contractor can bring in labor from anywhere. With a PDA they use local skilled trades to do the work. So if a Chinese contractor wanted to bid on the job they would still have to use local help from the hall not imported labor.

http://www.chinalawblog.com/2011/06/chinese_built_us_rail_system_tell_me_how_does_it_feel.html

Back in the good old days,Royal, it was American companies bringing in cheap Chinese labor to the country for use on construction projects. These PDA’s prevent American companies from doing that.

http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/historyonline/china1.cfm

Also, remember these PDA’s apply to larger projects. Many non union contractors cannot get qualified workers for a larger scale project and resort to untrained workers to do the job.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 12, 2011 1:25 PM
Comment #327534

j2t2,

“Many non union contractors cannot get qualified workers for a larger scale project and resort to untrained workers to do the job.”

Can you provide evidence of this?
List one example and I will list a qualified company or person capable of doing the task.

Posted by: tdobson at August 12, 2011 1:33 PM
Comment #327535

Re: Union workers vs. Non Union workers — good posts jlw and j2t2!

John Locke:

All wealth is the product of labor.

Thomas Jefferson:

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned — this is the sum of good government.

Rev. Martin Luther King:

“The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress. Out of its bold struggles, economic and social reform gave birth to unemployment insurance, old-age pensions, government relief for the destitute and, above all, new wage levels that meant not mere survival but a tolerable life. The captains of industry did not lead this transformation; they resisted it until they were overcome. When in the thirties the wave of union organization crested over the nation, it carried to secure shores not only itself but the whole society.”
“History is a great teacher. Now everyone knows that the labor movement did not diminish the strength of the nation but enlarged it. By raising the living standards of millions, labor miraculously created a market for industry and lifted the whole nation to undreamed of levels of production. Those who attack labor forget these simple truths, but history remembers them.”

Molly Ivins:

“Although it is true that only about 20 percent of American workers are in unions, that 20 percent sets the standards across the board in salaries, benefits and working conditions. If you are making a decent salary in a non-union company, you owe that to the unions. One thing that corporations do not do is give out money out of the goodness of their hearts.”

A. Phillip Randolph:

The essence of trade unionism is social uplift. The labor movement has been the haven for the dispossessed, the despised, the neglected, the downtrodden, the poor.

Adam Smith:

Labour was the first price, the original purchase money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased.

Clarence Darrow:

“With all their faults, trade unions have done more for humanity than any other organization of men that ever existed. They have done more for decency, for honesty, for education, for the betterment of the race, for the developing of character in man, than any other association of men.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower:

Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of their right to join the union of their choice.

Abraham Lincoln:

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
The strongest bond of human sympathy outside the family relation should be one uniting working people of all nations and tongues and kindreds.
All that serves labor serves the nation. All that harms is treason. If a man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool. There is no America without labor, and to fleece the one is to rob the other.
Posted by: Adrienne at August 12, 2011 1:50 PM
Comment #327539

SD asks me…”Are you saying Obama doesn’t have genuine sympathies for the labor movement?”

Frankly SD, I don’t know what his genuine sympathies are, do you? Can you read his mind? I do know that his executive order regarding PLA’s is discriminatory. He shows favoritism for union workers over non-union workers. Can you refute that?

Clearly, his policy employs fewer people by demanding union involvement in federally funded construction projects. This is the exact opposite of his publicly stated goal of employing more Americans. Since this is provable by simple arithmetic, one can logically conclude that employment is not his ultimate goal, but rather, to show favoritism to those who support him. That my friend (oops, there I go again calling you friend when you have told me that is inappropriate) is clearly not part of a president’s job description.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 12, 2011 2:36 PM
Comment #327544


Adrienne, the conservatives will have to add a few prominent Americans to their list of traitors.

Conservatives are just confused, they have been propagandized into believing that patriotism towards ones country and patriotism towards capital are one and the same thing. This causes their patriotism towards capital to override their patriotism of country without them really realizing it, or they are prioritizing.

As we see, the Republican argument is about the cost of labor. For them, a union contractor must be a bigger traitor than Benedict Arnold, possibly as big a traitor as Obama.

Without capital, labor will go about the business of growing food and gathering resources to provided for their families.

Without labor, capital does not exist.


Tea party associates in Florida want NASA’s tax funded projects shut down and all the money directed into one NASA project devoted to creating a privately owned space program.

Now what would that be called, socialism? Fascism?

Posted by: jlw at August 12, 2011 3:28 PM
Comment #327546
List one example and I will list a qualified company or person capable of doing the task.

The first project that came to my mind is DIA. Denver International Airport.

Tdobson, I am drawing from my experience in an industry related to yours. Like I said previously I was involved in both union and nonunion projects over the years. Subbing both union and nonunion electrical contractors. Working under both union and nonunion general contractors. You no doubt will find exceptions to the rule but it is of little difference if your argument is hiring the competent low bid contractor. The nonunion contractor hires unqualified help when labor is tight. They do not train to the standards of the unions. That has been my experience over the course of years. That is not to say there are not qualified nonunion contractors and good nonunion tradesmen, there are. There are also bad union tradesmen and contractors. But as a group the unions have the best help, IMHO.

Your experiences with unions, as related above, differ somewhat from mine in that I have also been involved with installing and terminating fiber cabling for life safety, security and communications systems. Your OTDR scenario should have been resolved with you doing the work or a union tech with the right qualifications and training doing the work. I have never seen a case where 2 guys were required to work with a nonunion guy.


I had a union electrical contractor terminating fiber, but the cost to do so was nearing $80/pt.. I pulled that scope of work from them and hired a contractor that specialized in fiber. Of course the BA showed up to demand an answer. We went over the costs and that was that. No problems. I did donate some tailings of the spools for the local to get their guys up to speed on fiber terminations.

I notice how all the anti unions conservatives have that one special “incident” that has forever turned them against all unions all the time. I guess I wonder is this high standard applied to all others in their lives? Have you turned against golf because some golf courses discriminated against blacks or Jews? Have you railed against the church for the atrocities they have committed over the centuries?
I know it sounds absurd, doesn’t it? But it is either hypocrisy or absurdness isn’t it?

Posted by: j2t2 at August 12, 2011 3:43 PM
Comment #327548

j2t2 wrote; “I notice how all the anti unions conservatives have that one special “incident” that has forever turned them against all unions all the time. I guess I wonder is this high standard applied to all others in their lives?”

I don’t believe I have written anything that could be construed as anti-union. The experiences described by others who have worked on construction sites are interesting, but do not prove that union contractors are more entitled to federal government contracts than non union contractors.

What I am seeking is an explanation, other than political, to explain obama’s executive order. Can anyone provide the unbiased and scientific study showing that obama’s conclusions about superior union worker skill are correct?

I asked previously if anyone could explain why non-union auto manufacturers in the US, with foreign ownership, would intentionally employ less skilled workers in their plants. If their workers do not have the same skill level as unionized plants, would it not show up in their product? Why would we purchase their automobiles if we knew they were manufactured by less skilled workers? Wouldn’t there be some evidence of the lower skilled work force by now in the form of more accidents and less public acceptance of their product?

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 12, 2011 4:07 PM
Comment #327549

j2t2,

You said “Many non union contractors cannot get qualified workers for a larger scale project and resort to untrained workers to do the job.”

I challanged you. I don’t know of any industry where union workers are any better trained or qualified that non union workers. I’m not saying nonunion workers are any better trained or qualified. What I am saying is that having a union card don’t give anyone any unique skills. I was trained on fiber optics at the AT&T fiber optic factory in Norcross Ga. It cost $2800 for a 2 week course. In that training course there were union and non union students. We all got the same training. It’s the same in all industries that I’m aware of.

Posted by: tdobson at August 12, 2011 4:36 PM
Comment #327550

adam

“You talk about bang for your buck but if you were taking bids for construction on your home are you going to take the very cheapest bid or are you going to weigh cost and quality at the same time?”


rule of thumb is generally that you don’t go with the cheapest bid nor the highest, but look towards the center and compare qualifications, and references. union doesn’t necessarily mean the best, and cheapest doesn’t necessarily mean the best value.

i said gov’t should provide the best bang for the buck when spending tax payer money. that should take precedence over favoring union as opposed to non union workers, or visa versa.

Posted by: dbs at August 12, 2011 4:38 PM
Comment #327551

j2t2,

I’m not anti union. I won’t join one because I would rather negotiate for myself than have someone else do it for me. I’ll stand on my own merits. If you want to belong to a union, that is your choice. I don’t think unions should get special treatment however.

Posted by: tdobson at August 12, 2011 4:40 PM
Comment #327554

Dbs: “…that should take precedence over favoring union as opposed to non union workers, or visa versa.”

I agree with what you’re saying. I just don’t agree with folks that think a PLA means it automatically costs more without an increase in quality. I’m unconvinced one way or another on the subject. There’s a little too much noise for me to get a clear handle on what is true and not true.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at August 12, 2011 5:29 PM
Comment #327557

Adam wrote; ” I just don’t agree with folks that think a PLA means it automatically costs more without an increase in quality.”

I don’t believe we are talking just cost here Adam…but fairness. Our labor force is the most valuable resource America has. All who are qualified for the job should have equal access to jobs resulting from government spending (taxpayer dollars) on construction projects. The executive order on PLA’s doesn’t allow that.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 12, 2011 5:46 PM
Comment #327562

Royal Flush:

All debate about the quality of PLA aside, please tell me how that EO factors into you not wanting more stimulus spending. Did you see my comment about the number of stimulus contracts that fall under the EO?

Posted by: Adam Ducker at August 12, 2011 6:20 PM
Comment #327563

jlw:

Tea party associates in Florida want NASA’s tax funded projects shut down and all the money directed into one NASA project devoted to creating a privately owned space program.

Now what would that be called, socialism? Fascism?

I hadn’t heard about this. Hmmm. It might be sort of socialist if all the residents of Florida wanted to collectively own the space program… You know, kind of like the people in Alaska all collect dividends from the Trans Alaska Pipeline? But wait, since they’re tea partiers I’m going to guess that they would never, ever want it to be owned in any kind of collective sense.
If it’s going to turn into a privately owned company that would definitely be fascist, in my view. Especially if the new private owner has no intention of first paying back to the US Treasury every single dime of tax money that has ever been invested into the NASA program.

tdobson:

I’m not anti union. I won’t join one because I would rather negotiate for myself than have someone else do it for me. I’ll stand on my own merits.

Hilarious. And standing on your “own merits” generally means you’ll negotiate a salary that will fall just below what the going union rate of pay is at present. Thus, becoming a bloodsucker undermining the concept of what a skilled worker should earn and also undermining the wages and benefits and thus the quality of life of everyone who works. This is all anti-union people have ever done — and it has deeply hurt all of the American workforce.

If you want to belong to a union, that is your choice. I don’t think unions should get special treatment however.

Solidarity amongst workers is the only way not to become a slave, and this is why smart, hard working people always want to belong to a union. Do away with unions, bust unions, and watch as the value of your work and the quality of your life falls directly into the toilet.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 12, 2011 6:26 PM
Comment #327567

Adam asks…”All debate about the quality of PLA aside, please tell me how that EO factors into you not wanting more stimulus spending.”

Adam, any new stimulus spent on construction is under the PLA executive order. It will primarily go to unions and leave out other qualified laborers.

Investigations into the last stimulus program revealed how much these jobs actually cost. In some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent for each job created. I don’t want to fund such graft with my tax money. Do you? Would you expect any new job stimulus to be any different than the last one? If so, why?

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 12, 2011 6:57 PM
Comment #327571

Adrianne,

“Hilarious. And standing on your “own merits” generally means you’ll negotiate a salary that will fall just below what the going union rate of pay is at present”

That’s funny, Adrianne, especially since you have no idea how I negotiate my worth. Let me explaine how I usually work. Usually I will bid a job that for example calls for terminating 72 strands of fiber on both ends. That is 144 total strands. A union worker will normally work by the hour and might take two days to complete the task. I will bid it as a package that pays maybe one and three quarters the amount the union worker would charge. I am confident that I can do the work in one and a half days, thus I will make more per hour than the union worker. THAT is standing on my merit.

“Thus, becoming a bloodsucker undermining the concept of what a skilled worker should earn and also undermining the wages and benefits and thus the quality of life of everyone who works”

Wromg again Adrianne. I am the one who determines what I (a skilled worker with over 40 years of experience) should earn. If a union worker can’t match my pay, then maybe they should work a little harder or give up a few breaks to lower their costs.

“Solidarity amongst workers is the only way not to become a slave,”

When an orginization tells me who to work for, how much to charge, when and how long to work, I feel like a slave.

“and this is why smart, hard working people always want to belong to a union.”

If you want to join a union and have them dictate your life and pay them to do so, then by all means don’t let me stop you. As for me, as I said…I’ll stand on my merits.

Posted by: tdobson at August 12, 2011 7:10 PM
Comment #327579

tdobson, I’m going to stand on what I said.
Because I know damn well that your pay would be a hell of lot lower if a union didn’t exist. Union standards for your job are what you are making yourself compete against, and you are admitting that you have to speed up and work a lot harder and actually deny yourself things like break intervals (all are health and safety issues).

Posted by: Adrienne at August 12, 2011 7:46 PM
Comment #327582

Excellent and reasoned answer tdobson. We need more American workers just like you. You are proud of the work you perform, can compete successfully on merit and skill, and don’t require a babysitter. It is men and women with your work ethic and dedication, given individual freedom by government, who built America the great.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 12, 2011 7:56 PM
Comment #327592

Royal Flush: “Adam, any new stimulus spent on construction is under the PLA executive order.”

Only large projects over $25 million in price. There are very few projects of that nature to go around. Over 88% of the contracts under ARRA were for $1 million or fewer dollars and 99.68% were under $25 million. It’s safe to say that like the ARRA, another round of infrastructure spending would consist of thousands of contracts for small jobs that scatter job creation throughout the country.

“Investigations into the last stimulus program revealed how much these jobs actually cost.”

The reports I’ve seen use simplistic math and draw illogical conclusions that discount many factors about the spending cost. I’d like to see the investigations you’ve seen.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at August 12, 2011 10:52 PM
Comment #327594

Royal Flush-
Clearly, you want me to buy a lot of your assumptions at face value. Obviously, you haven’t done the work to convince me of anything.

If I can’t read his mind, neither can you, so whatever opinions we might form cannot be validated.

Why should I have to refute your opinion of his intentions?

I do know that he’s the most pro-labor president in a couple generations, so that’s a suitable explanation for things, as far as I’m concerned. If you had an otherwise anti-labor candidate or incumbent who all of a sudden had a light on the road to Damascus moment, then I might consider that they were bought of, or buying votes. But Obama’s sympathies with labor have been clear all along, obvious all along.

So your explanation- well, it just seems to me to be one more example of right-wing assaults on a strength, trying to make pro-labor sentiments an example of corruption, and then turning around and making those reassuring self-help group comments to those who helpfully recall and spread stories that make unions sound bad.

Speaking of which, you said nothing you said could be construed as anti-union, yet you cite an organization that is quite plainly and quite famously an anti-union organization, and later go on to say:

You are proud of the work you perform, can compete successfully on merit and skill, and don’t require a babysitter. It is men and women with your work ethic and dedication, given individual freedom by government, who built America the great.

When complementing your fellow right-wing commentor on his non-union operation.

Why are you doing that? It seems strange that you would proudly proclaim it one moment, then the next deny it.

I think the truth is, you want to sound like you’re pro-worker, even as you push for the diminishment of their rights, their wages, and their other compensation for the jobs they do. That’s where your savings are going to come from, don’t you know? You can’t employ more people with the same amount of money, unless they take a pay cut. But you’re not really arguing about where the negotiations with the unions should end up, you and other are arguing for getting rid of them, treating them like something obsolete and unnecessary, now that… Well, now that we’re once again assuming that management and capital are on the side of the worker, and wouldn’t do anything like… Well, ship their jobs overseas, make them work additional hours doing their former co-workers jobs, rename their positions to make them ineligible for overtime, cut corners on safety and health issues, etc.

Either your argument is very naive at its core, or it expects its audience to be naive, or at the very least ignorant or unconscious of the implications of what’s being asked of them.

Your argument at the end of the day is that more people would be employed if it weren’t for unions keeping wages up. That’s fine only if you consider wages in the first transfer. Once you realize, though, that less disposable income among millions of Americans means less business being done, and people unemployed on that account, then you see that’s no way out of it.

Besides, we’ve tried your experiment, seen more and more jobs go to non-union employers, seen folks ruthlessly surpress wages and benefits increase, seen Wall Street repeatedly target payrolls and paychecks as a way to, supposedly, spread the wealth more evenly among many.

So what did we get for that?

An economy overwhelmed with debt.

See, this is the way it works: you pile on more things for people to pay, then tell them to get more things with less money. So what do they do? They finance it. Like the government, when people need things, and they don’t have the money, they borrow. And they borrow much of this at very high interest. These debts, inflated as they are, unpayable as they often are, become a target for Wall Street derivatives traders, who securitize the debts (the more inflated the better), and make wagers on which ones will turn up good or bad. This makes so much money for them, that they make a whole cottage industry out of them.

But of course, one source of debt everybody was betting on was Real Estate, and they had those mortgage mills running as fast as they could to provide the overinflated feedstock.

But that only worked, really, as long as home values kept on going up, because otherwise, a lot of people would start losing their shirts, and the uncertainties would grow about the value of those assets and the derivatives based on them.

We’re in the position we’re in because your party wanted to have people behave like they had the disposable income that comes with higher wages, without the costs of the higher wages. You wanted the economic growth across the country, without the costs of having it across the income range.

You naively believe that if capitalists share less, capitalism will triumph. But labor and its rewards are necessary to make things work like this. Only when people feel that they get the rewards that match the tasks that they’re set to, will you see them turn towards the center.

Otherwise, all that’s really happening, even when you win, is that you’re building up pressure that’s going to work against your ideal system. Republicans are succeeding at making socialism look better than it really should.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 13, 2011 12:29 AM
Comment #327597
A union worker will normally work by the hour and might take two days to complete the task. I will bid it as a package that pays maybe one and three quarters the amount the union worker would charge. I am confident that I can do the work in one and a half days, thus I will make more per hour than the union worker. THAT is standing on my merit.


tdobson you are comparing apples to oranges. Either you are the company not the worker or you are taking the risk from the company that actually bid the job. You must be including your costs for the insurances bonds and other overhead items in your bid as well as any warranty associated with the work. The union worker wages do not include these items.

But then if you bid 1.75 the amount of the union worker then you didn’t get the job on a low bid project right?

The real comparison is what you pay your workers. Do they get the OH&P as well as the labor rate for doing the work?

I am the one who determines what I (a skilled worker with over 40 years of experience) should earn. If a union worker can’t match my pay, then maybe they should work a little harder or give up a few breaks to lower their costs.

While you might be the one to determine what you should earn are you the one that determines what you do earn? When you pay all the costs of doing business plus the extra work of bidding the job and all the associated paperwork do you include that in the 1.5 days you speak of? As far as what you earn it is determined as much by the other bidders as well as yourself. You don’t include risk and many other items in your comparison, a bit devious if you ask me.


When an orginization tells me who to work for, how much to charge, when and how long to work, I feel like a slave.

tdobson, The only difference in your apples to oranges comparisons is you are the owner and the worker your slave to those you bid to because they dictate when you work as much as any union worker. Who you kidding here? Try not connectorizing this fiber on a project with LD’s and see who the slave is. As the business owner you signed a contract and are responsible as a worker your not.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 13, 2011 3:05 AM
Comment #327600

j2t2,

“tdobson you are comparing apples to oranges. Either you are the company not the worker or you are taking the risk from the company that actually bid the job. You must be including your costs for the insurances bonds and other overhead items in your bid as well as any warranty associated with the work. The union worker wages do not include these items.”

No j2t2, I’m comparing apples to apples. In my case (I am retired now) I was the company and a worker. When needed I would hire a crew to help. Of course I included the cost of insurance and other overhead items, however, the cost of these things normally were less than my union counterparts because of the size of my company. You are correct in that the union worker wages do not include these items. As a contractor, that helped me make more money and bid the jobs cheaper.

“But then if you bid 1.75 the amount of the union worker then you didn’t get the job on a low bid project right?”

Perhaps I stated this badly. I could bid the job at apprx 1.75 of the amount that the company that the union worker workes for. And yes on many occasions I was the low bidder. When I wasn’t the low bidder, the one who won the bid was non union also.

“The real comparison is what you pay your workers. Do they get the OH&P as well as the labor rate for doing the work?”

I paid my workers what we (the worker and I) agreed was a fair compensation for the work they were doing.

“While you might be the one to determine what you should earn are you the one that determines what you do earn? When you pay all the costs of doing business plus the extra work of bidding the job and all the associated paperwork do you include that in the 1.5 days you speak of? As far as what you earn it is determined as much by the other bidders as well as yourself. You don’t include risk and many other items in your comparison, a bit devious if you ask me.”

What you say is true, these are the costs of doing business and I didn’t always make what I think I should. Sometimes I made less and sometimes I made more. I remember one project where the GC offered me $25 per connector and he bought the connectors. I wired 6 hospitals with appx 300 connectors in each. I made a lot of money on that job.
It is true that there are risks involved in working for yourself. That is why the rewards are greater than working for someone else if you are good enough to do it. Thus my comment that I stand on my merits.

“tdobson, The only difference in your apples to oranges comparisons is you are the owner and the worker your slave to those you bid to because they dictate when you work as much as any union worker.”

I never punched a time clock, never had a schedule on when to break, or for how long. Never had someone else tell me when or how long to take for lunch and never had anyone dictating the length of my work day. I was always given a completion date and it was my responsibility to meet that date.

” Who you kidding here? Try not connectorizing this fiber on a project with LD’s and see who the slave is. As the business owner you signed a contract and are responsible as a worker your not.”

That’s the key j2t2, I signed the contract, not my boss or salesman. I made the commitment to do the job. A company rep didn’t commit ME to do the job.There is a BIG difference in signing a contract and being a slave. Signing the contract was always an option for me.


Posted by: tdobson at August 13, 2011 7:13 AM
Comment #327601

Like I said, j2t2,

If you want to belong to a union, then by all means join one. I’ll take my chances and stand on my own merits. If I’m good enough I’ll come out better. If I’m not, then I’ll come out worse, however, the choice will be MINE.

Posted by: tdobson at August 13, 2011 7:16 AM
Comment #327607

Tdobson. Then your comparison was apples to oranges. You are comparing your wages as an owner of a business to the wages of the union tech. Yet the real apples to apples comparison is those you hired wages and the union wages on which you remain vague.

I paid my workers what we (the worker and I) agreed was a fair compensation for the work they were doing.

But did you pay them the same wages that included the OH&P you made? if not then they didn’t make as much as the union workers you claim you made more than.

There is a BIG difference in signing a contract and being a slave. Signing the contract was always an option for me.

Just as there is a big difference between being a union tradesman and a slave Tdobson. BTW did those you hired also have the same freedoms? No time clock or schedule, they could show up whenever they pleased work for a bit then head out at will? Take a three hour lunch, if they choose, and then come back to work if they chose to stay after the site was shut down for the night?

I don’t know of any industry where union workers are any better trained or qualified that non union workers. I’m not saying nonunion workers are any better trained or qualified.

It’s been my experience that nonunion electrical contractors hired off the street and put less than qualified electricians to work on projects when good help was scarce.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 13, 2011 9:22 AM
Comment #327625

SD wrote; “I do know that he’s the most pro-labor president in a couple generations, so that’s a suitable explanation for things, as far as I’m concerned.”

How very convenient that SD uses the word “labor” in this context instead of “union labor”. There is nothing “pro-labor” in obama’s executive order regarding PLA’s. It is pro union labor.

obama’s position and yours are indefensible if one is talking about labor. It makes perfect sense if one is talking about union labor.

If that is true, then one can logically conclude that obama is getting some additional benefit by favoring union labor over all laborers. I can define that benefit. You can only deny it.

I don’t understand why this truth is so difficult to admit. Oh, wait, I do know. Since most of SD’s comments regarding how the American pie is sliced up contain such words as “only fair” and “just” and “right”, he can’t use such words when it comes to a president who, by executive order, thrashes these very same concepts.

I could appreciate SD’s comments better if he were just truthful and said, the president favors unions because they are necessary for his reelection. I won’t be holding my breath for that kind of honesty.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 13, 2011 2:02 PM
Comment #327643

Royal Flush:

I wouldn’t lecture on honesty until you have addressed the fact that the executive order you’re so concerned with deals only with large construction contracts of $25 million and above. The only change is that now on large scale projects the government can make a choice to require a PLA or not when before they could not decide one way or another.

If this whole PLA thing was just a favor to unions as you keep arguing then wouldn’t Obama take it a little further than saying the government may or may not decide to use a PLA on less than 2 out of every 1000 government contracts? I’m just not understanding how this executive order proves anything.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at August 13, 2011 7:54 PM
Comment #327653

Royal Flush-
If splitting hairs that finely makes you think you have a good argument, by all means, do so. I don’t think most readers, though, would think that I meant to equivocate on Obama’s support for organized labor.

But of course, you would have us accept your argument implicitly that encouraging union labor is bad for labor in general, as some sort of basic, given fact.

Nope, you’re not that lucky, and I’m not that stupid.

You claim to have some exclusive grasp on the truth. Well, I’m sorry, but I think you’re wrong on several matters, and no amount of high horse mounting will change my mind.

As for your allegations that Obama is simply helping labor to get re-elected? Are you suggesting he abandon them? Please. You’re just not that comfortable with the idea of those you dislike having their chance to petition their government. Sorry, you don’t get to withhold power from those you dislike, this is a Democracy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 14, 2011 12:13 AM
Comment #327742

I guess Royal Flush isn’t that interested in honesty after all.

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Comment #330881

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