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Old 09-05-2013, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,652 posts, read 16,315,863 times
Reputation: 6797

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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Northerner View Post
Just wondering. The cities can't possibly be as liberal as I see on CD or in the Star Tribune.

Can they?
Frequent forum posters (at least at many sites) tend to be more liberal and irreligious than the general population, and I would bet the same thing is true of newspaper columnists.

If you look at the area as the same that produced Michelle Bachmann, I'd bet you'd have a different view.

The "Twins" themselves - as in Minneapolis and St. Paul proper - much like most the rest of the urban areas in the United States are. Part of this has to do with the higher minority composition of the Twin Cities proper, another has to do with what kind of people cities tend to attract.

If you go out further into the 'burbs though, like Lakeville and Andover - still bona-fide parts of the greater Twin Cities metro - you'll find a lot of people who believe in the traditional definition of marriage, lower taxes, gun rights, that abortion is wrong, etc. - in fact, in some communities, these may be the norms as far as opinions go. After all, Michelle Bachmann's congressional district spanned much of the northern suburbs and exurbs of the Twin Cities.
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:33 AM
 
1,816 posts, read 2,720,865 times
Reputation: 773
The Star Tribune has a legacy as a liberal paper, but it really doesn't have much bite anymore. And the paper does feature conservatives like Katherine Kersten as a columnist (of course, she'd prefer to write nonsensical articles on how loving our dogs is the crumbling of our moral fiber, but I digress). The Strib is pro business, pro downtown, and finally getting a bit more pro urban. Yes, they generally support Democrats in the editorials, but most of their stuff in the rest of the paper is local coverage (seems less partisan) or AP stuff.

And there are plenty of conservative commenters on their website. If you go to then PiPress, you'll see it's almost exclusively conservatives who own the comments. Those comments are by far the most anti-liberal, anti-Minneapolis/West Metro, pro-suburban, etc that I've ever read.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:03 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
413 posts, read 474,387 times
Reputation: 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Northerner View Post
There is no escaping the liberal faction that have infiltrated this nation.
By infiltrate do you mean 'been a fundamental part of the social fabric since the Industrial revolution'? Or do you mean somehow crossed the border w/ canadian 'coyotes'. You do know America was 'infiltrated' with both Anarchist and Communist parties as part of everyday politics at the turn of the 20th century, right? If you're shaking your head now you'd be surprised at the coalition that brought you child labor laws and overtime pay...
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:29 AM
 
4,176 posts, read 4,256,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wushuliu View Post
If you're shaking your head now you'd be surprised at the coalition that brought you child labor laws and overtime pay...
Both of which are objectionable because they hurt the bottom line of the 1%.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Leaving, California
479 posts, read 723,663 times
Reputation: 722
Quote:
Originally Posted by wushuliu View Post
If you're shaking your head now you'd be surprised at the coalition that brought you child labor laws and overtime pay...
Industrial workers unionized for self-protection, and exactly like the civil rights movement, they took action in a very challenging environment. (Take a look at history, and you'll see that at various times, they've even called out the military during union activism.) But that's the history of any mass movement for change here in the United States. (Name your movement: women's suffrage, trade unionism, civil rights, gay marriage, what have you.)

However, history is written by the winners, which is why those early unions are considered heroic. At the time, they were highly focused on Marxist/Leninist visions of the proletarian revolution, and it's only the bloodthirsty excesses of the primary Marxist/Leninist power blocs that led to their political erosion here in the States. (Google "Cultural Revolution in China" and "Gulag Archipelago" some time.)

Remember that there are two sides to every story. The laws against child labor also worked to prevent low-cost competition. The 40-hour week also ensured that more union workers had to be hired for shift work. So yeah, they helped move us along a timeline to progress, but they also helped themselves.

Moreover, today's unions are a totally different thing than the unions of the 20s and 30s, in the same way that today's workplaces are totally different. I think it's unfortunate that there were so many union corruption scandals (they still haven't found Jimmy Hoffa).

Having said that, I'm a fan of unions in the heavy industries (mining, construction, metals, and the like), because those jobs can be unbelievably hazardous and can have extremely dangerous long-term ill effects. My Dad died of leukemia (which is primarily attributed to benzene poisoning), most likely due to his time working at the GM plant in Arlington TX. I'm not one of those people who reflexively attack unions, and especially for skilled trades, I feel unions represent one of the best ways for some people to ensure that they're going to get a shot at the middle class.

On the other hand, I'm really not a fan of public sector unions. The whole point of a union was to protect workers from rapacious capitalists who would take advantage of vulnerable workers whenever possible. However, government workers are... wait for it... working for us. The government is hardly a greedy for-profit enterprise, so public sector unions strike me as an attempt by the old union organizations to gain power and money at public expense. And I'd be a lot happier with teachers' unions if they established professional standards for their specialty, focused the education system on improving student outcomes, adopted more dynamic learning practices, and stopped political action on topics that don't directly relate to the classroom experience.

Did you know that the largest union of graduate student workers is part of the AFL-CIO? Really. So union reps step up and defend the rights of coal miners working in unbelievable conditions, and art history majors who sometimes have to cope with a lukewarm latte or pull an all-nighter to grade papers because they were like, totally into that guy playing sitar music at the hookah lounge.

If someone is really pro-union out there, I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm just observing that we're in an information-age society. Check out how many IT unions there are. How many unions of programmers. How many unions are there at Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, Cisco...? Information-age work isn't where unions thrive.
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Old 09-14-2013, 04:38 PM
 
1,453 posts, read 1,401,489 times
Reputation: 1881
Honestly I grew up about 2.5 hours north of minneapolis and only after I left did I learn Minnesota is liberal. It's not the kind of liberal you really notice as say Seattle. I swear it goes behind that Minnesota nice mentality. The liberal leanings do benefit the state in many ways in my opinion (I.e.- great schools, Nice parks) I wouldn't not move somewhere because of political beliefs, you'll always find someone on the other side.
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Old 09-14-2013, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Leaving, California
479 posts, read 723,663 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minntoaz View Post
The liberal leanings do benefit the state in many ways in my opinion (I.e.- great schools, Nice parks)
That's really the key takeaway. I've done a ton of research, and from what I can tell, one reason the Minneapolis community works is the interconnectedness of the community.

Purely my opinion, but I wouldn't declare it the victory of liberal public policy, or the downfall of conservatism, but rather that there's a massive advantage in practical public policy, progressive and tolerant social structures, and a system where public funding provides a wide range of benefits.

Too often, shrill political types focus on the letter next to a candidate's name, rather than whether that candidate is an effective public servant. Voting is a two-way street: they earn my vote, I cast it.
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Old 09-14-2013, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities
5,815 posts, read 6,427,067 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WriterDude View Post
That's really the key takeaway. I've done a ton of research, and from what I can tell, one reason the Minneapolis community works is the interconnectedness of the community.

Purely my opinion, but I wouldn't declare it the victory of liberal public policy, or the downfall of conservatism, but rather that there's a massive advantage in practical public policy, progressive and tolerant social structures, and a system where public funding provides a wide range of benefits.

Too often, shrill political types focus on the letter next to a candidate's name, rather than whether that candidate is an effective public servant. Voting is a two-way street: they earn my vote, I cast it.
We have a very interesting governance structure here in Minneapolis. There is plenty of top down planning at the state and regional level (Met Council), yet there is also a strong measure of grassroots involvement through formalized neighborhood government, complete with set boundary lines, boards, and money to spend.

City government can be very unfocused on local issues and devote time to green roofs etc., yet every time I contact my council member or a city office, they treat like their highest priority.

It's expensive to fund all of this but it does seem to work.
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:06 PM
 
643 posts, read 926,292 times
Reputation: 469
Quote:
Originally Posted by WriterDude View Post

Did you know that the largest union of graduate student workers is part of the AFL-CIO? Really. So union reps step up and defend the rights of coal miners working in unbelievable conditions, and art history majors who sometimes have to cope with a lukewarm latte or pull an all-nighter to grade papers because they were like, totally into that guy playing sitar music at the hookah lounge.

If someone is really pro-union out there, I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm just observing that we're in an information-age society. Check out how many IT unions there are. How many unions of programmers. How many unions are there at Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, Cisco...? Information-age work isn't where unions thrive.
Of course not. Why would you be interested in striking when you are pulling in 6 figures and getting at least 2 meals a day free? Free laundry services? What are you going to collectively bargain for?

I'm sorry that you think all graduate students have a such a cushy life. You should probably try to meet some students and find out more information. Make sure to speak to both domestic and international students.
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:03 PM
 
Location: Leaving, California
479 posts, read 723,663 times
Reputation: 722
Quote:
Originally Posted by dravogadro View Post
Of course not. Why would you be interested in striking when you are pulling in 6 figures and getting at least 2 meals a day free? Free laundry services? What are you going to collectively bargain for?
I'm not disagreeing with you. However, in my experience, unions have an inherently conflict-focused relationship with capital that assumes exploitation. That conflict creates a complicated environment for real innovation. That's the primary reason I think unions don't work in high tech. (Heh, sorry, little joke there.)

I'm completely friendly to the idea of unions in industries where labor is transactional. Want to mobilize McDonald's workers, or Wal-Mart workers? Feel free. I believe that if those companies unionized, there might be unanticipated negative consequences, but I wouldn't object. I'm open to the discussion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dravogadro View Post
I'm sorry that you think all graduate students have a such a cushy life. You should probably try to meet some students and find out more information. Make sure to speak to both domestic and international students.
You misread my post, and used a snotty "I'm sorry" in your response, so I'll clarify. I don't think all graduate students have a cushy anything. As a graduate student myself, I have some insight into their challenges. I have also spoken with domestic and international students, and you're right; they offer excellent insights. Then again, I encourage humility and an open mind when engaging with people who can improve one's understanding, and I know not everyone chooses that path.

My point was to draw attention to the extraordinary difference between graduate student workers and, say, longshoremen or workers in a steel mill. The parallel point is that unions are all about mediating the relationship between labor and capital, as I mentioned above. Education, while institutional, isn't "capital" per se. Or to say it even more plainly, with nobody trying to exploit them for profit, why do graduate student workers need collective bargaining?
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