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Old 03-03-2018, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia/South Jersey area
2,288 posts, read 1,041,997 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troyfan View Post
When you buy food, clothes, housing, etc. There are no excess profits or rents in those and most private industries.
Of course there is. Companies have growth objectives. Private or public they need to show a profit and usually its a ridiculously high profit margin.
No one goes into business to "break even".
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Old 03-03-2018, 09:28 AM
 
Location: la la land
27,229 posts, read 11,375,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troyfan View Post
So they are similar? You're not saying anything where they're different.

Yes, it's someone says this, someone says that. Except everyone says the same thing.

My post was in relation to public employee unions. In the real private sector, which excludes utilities, it might be different. But in the public sector, the example of my father-in-law's brother is not anomalous. The cops around here act like frat boys. The teachers' union defends incompetents. Firemen are seen more often in the supermarket (to which they drive their firetrucks) than at fires.
I belonged to public sector unions for 30 years and while I can't speak for all of them I can tell you that the ones I belonged to did not support employees who broke the law or were guilty of consistently poor performance or incompetence. What they did was ensure that all employees were afforded due process, that they had a hearing and were able to present evidence and call in witnesses. Without a union you can be accused of anything, you have no right to defend yourself or prove that the allegations are false. Why any right thinking person in the US does not support having someone who can advocate for you and represent you in salary negotiations is just mind boggling, but I guess it proves that “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” is really true.
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Old 03-03-2018, 09:40 AM
 
Location: la la land
27,229 posts, read 11,375,700 times
Reputation: 19290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Troyfan View Post
When you buy food, clothes, housing, etc. There are no excess profits or rents in those and most private industries.
Well you are part right, there are no excess profits because no company ever gets enough profit, profit is their goal. When's the last time you heard a CEO say "oh my we have excess profit"?

Excess profits are one of the reasons we have wage stagnation, instead of increasing workers wages with profit that exceeds the opportunity cost of doing business, companies sock it away or buy back their own stock. It would seem that you have completely misunderstood the rent hypothesis; this might help you get a better idea of what it actually is:

The Rent Hypothesis
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:19 AM
 
3,730 posts, read 1,671,952 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sleepy View Post
Well you are part right, there are no excess profits because no company ever gets enough profit, profit is their goal. When's the last time you heard a CEO say "oh my we have excess profit"?

Excess profits are one of the reasons we have wage stagnation, instead of increasing workers wages with profit that exceeds the opportunity cost of doing business, companies sock it away or buy back their own stock. It would seem that you have completely misunderstood the rent hypothesis; this might help you get a better idea of what it actually is:

The Rent Hypothesis
"It is, more rigorously, a payment for a resource in excess of its opportunity cost, one that instead reflects market power."

To quote from your monopoly article.

A $4,000,000 basketball player earns about $3,990,000 in rent because his next best employment opportunity is probably $10,000.

Actually, I used rent wrong. I forget what it is that describes a situation where there is only 1 supplier for an input. But whatever it is, that what a union is.

An excess profit is the amount above what is needed to attract and keep capital in a business or industry. If an industry doesn't make enough profit, it ceases to exist. Investors will put there money somewhere else. Some form of monopoly or oligopoly is needed for excess profits to exist over long periods.

GM, Ford, Chrysler after WWII, US and Bethlehem Steel after WWII. These had excess profits. But they had unions to spread it around. Excess profit made higher wages possible. When Honda and Toyota broke the oligopoly, there went the excess profits and the higher wages went with it.

Every business wants higher profits. But not many get them because of competition. Profits go up, they go down. Companies come and go. Look at the big companies today vs. 50 years ago. Actually, many small businesses don't want more profits. Many locally owned businesses are happy to make a certain profit and let it go at that.
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:33 AM
 
3,730 posts, read 1,671,952 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza61nyc View Post
Of course there is. Companies have growth objectives. Private or public they need to show a profit and usually its a ridiculously high profit margin.
No one goes into business to "break even".
What profit margin? ROE I would say is the closest. Some companies have high ROE's but more don't. Sears and Roebuck used to and Montgomery Ward before them. IBM used to, so did Xerox and Kodak.

If a business has a ridiculously high ROE, it's because it's industry is underinvested in. A company is making a hot product in the absence of competition and can charge what it wants. When more companies enter, they will drive the price and ROE down. Like Nucor did to US Steel, Toyota to GM.

Or until a new industry replaces the old one, like railroads did to canals or trucks did to railroads. Or like digital cameras did to the old kind.
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
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The union heyday was 1940-69. People forget that unions were not all that powerful before.

The most heavily unionized industries were the legacy manufacturers from WWII. WWII is what enabled unions to become so strong in the manufacturing sector because the government had to see to it that work was not disrupted for the war effort. That the U.S. manufacturing capacity was 50% of Earth's capacity afterward kept them strong for another 25 years. Then the Marshall Plan's effects kicked in by the 1970s. Also the oil shock in 1973 that made the auto & related industries not so profitable.

The general consensus of labor historians is that private sector unions declined because they were essentially 2nd layers of management by the 1970s. They were redundant at that point.

Read any labor history and you'll find that the union bosses had extraordinary power to manage personnel. The most famous movie that portrays that is "On the Waterfront."

Public sector unions do not manage. They mediate & negotiate. You won't find an AFT rep making decisions on whether Ms. Smith will teach 3rd or 5th grade. Those decisions are made by principals and school boards. The union has simply negotiated on the teachers' behalf for health insurance, salary, etc...

It's a myth that public sector unions protect the incompetent. The incompetent can easily be fired if administrators document said incompetence.
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Old 03-03-2018, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,794 posts, read 13,589,390 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57;51204584

It's a myth that public sector unions protect the incompetent. The incompetent can [I
easily [/i]be fired if administrators document said incompetence.
It's not a myth in my state (WA). A few years ago a worker at a juvenile detention facility was faced with a bunch of issues--inappropriate touching of inmates, past criminal history, etc.
Local News | DSHS dilemma: Can it fire ex-con? | Seattle Times Newspaper


Quote:
Anthony Akridge worked as a counselor at Echo Glen juvenile-detention center, but now he's paid to stay at home while state administrators figure out whether to fire him or find him another state job.
In 1999, Akridge pleaded guilty to beating his girlfriend and fleeing from police. But he kept his job.
Officials at Echo Glen learned then that Akridge was a felon with a long criminal history. But he still kept his job.
Last year, several teenage girls at Echo Glen in Snoqualmie alleged that he touched them and made rude sexual comments. Even that didn't get Akridge fired.

There are many such cases; I happen to remember this one because I wrote a letter to the editor about it. The agency head at the time said that getting rid of a bad employee was a "hellacious process."
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Old 03-03-2018, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,794 posts, read 13,589,390 times
Reputation: 7921
The problem with public sector unions is that contracts are a negotiation between the union, and people who report to the politicos whom the union probably helped elect. In other words, the two sides have common interests rather than opposing. This is how they end up with contracts that destroy accountability. Disciplinary process is part of any union CBA.
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Old 03-04-2018, 01:35 AM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,242 posts, read 3,400,294 times
Reputation: 8783
Quote:
Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
It's not a myth in my state (WA). A few years ago a worker at a juvenile detention facility was faced with a bunch of issues--inappropriate touching of inmates, past criminal history, etc.
Local News | DSHS dilemma: Can it fire ex-con? | Seattle Times Newspaper





There are many such cases; I happen to remember this one because I wrote a letter to the editor about it. The agency head at the time said that getting rid of a bad employee was a "hellacious process."
Whenever I hear something like that it's very likely to be lazy administrators.

By the way, that article is from 2001. 17 years ago.

Edit: So the guy, Akridge, actually was fired in 2002 and lost his appeal. He appealed again in 2003 and was granted a partial ruling that the state had to pay him for 60 days and do what they could to "find him a new position" that he met the qualifications for because they had not done so for 30 days when they fired him which was proper procedure. http://community.seattletimes.nwsour...=dshsfelons24m

It's not much different from severance.

Akridge's name disappears from the record after that as far as I can tell. Not sure whether he got a new state position or not. Probably not or the reporter on this beat would have covered it.

That was a legal issue, not a union issue. The rest of the ruling was that 9 others got that 60 days pay too. The law would not have mattered for Akridge because what got him fired were the guilty plea on domestic abuse and the harassment of his co-worker.

The union's involvement was that they opposed the background check law that was passed to weed out ex-convicts from state employment. Their argument was that it could be used to fire people for old and irrelevant convictions. Obviously their opposition was impotent, because it passed the legislature over their objection. It was a Democrat that sponsored the legislation, no less.

Last edited by redguard57; 03-04-2018 at 02:19 AM..
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Old 03-04-2018, 01:37 AM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,242 posts, read 3,400,294 times
Reputation: 8783
Quote:
Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
The problem with public sector unions is that contracts are a negotiation between the union, and people who report to the politicos whom the union probably helped elect. In other words, the two sides have common interests rather than opposing. This is how they end up with contracts that destroy accountability. Disciplinary process is part of any union CBA.
No, they are not. They are contracts between the workers in question and the administration of whatever agency. All the politicians do is set the size of the pool of money.
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