[FoRK] US auto manufacturers commit suicide by SUV (who could
POSSIBLY have forseen $2.15/gal gasoline?)
Stephen D. Williams
Thu Jun 23 15:05:44 PDT 2005
Matt Jensen wrote:
>Quoting Adam L Beberg <beberg at mithral.com>:
>>The unions won the battle, but in 5 years (or much less) every last one
>>of them will be unemployed, so they lost the war.
>>Very very hard to feel sorry for them. This happens every single time,
>>but unions keep forming anyway.
>I don't quite get this "every single time" argument. Are you saying working
>conditions are worse now than they would have been without the last 120 years
>of the labor movement?
>Assuming for the moment all of your claims about costs, it seems the real
>problem for U.S. workers is not that they're asking too much, but that workers
>elsewhere aren't asking enough. Sure, Indian and Chinese workers currently
>don't *need* to ask for much to have a living standard high above their
>countrymen. But in the long view of world history, that's a low goal, sort of
>like saying that Gitmo is not *as bad* as a Soviet labor camp.
>Without organized labor, economics is a race to the bottom. With organization,
>a floor is raised. Globalization means that labor now has to organize
>globally. There may be great disruption along the way, but I do think that it
>is where we will end up, many decades from now, because it is more civilized
>than a race to the bottom, and social forces will push for it. Cautiously
>optimistic about the very long term,
I agree with this, AS LONG AS you have free practice of entrepreneurial
competition, allowing an "owner" and small-business employees to work
below the union-recognized floor. This competition is needed both for
large corporations that generally have benefits of scale and labor
unions. Although this doesn't help for large-scale-only businesses (oil
industry, auto), it is valuable competitive pressure for both industry
and unions in general.
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Stephen D. Williams 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 20147-4622 AIM: sdw
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