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Old 02-06-2013, 11:23 AM
 
4 posts, read 2,199 times
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Pretty interesting piece I just read. Weird/interesting take on progressivism.

The author argues that labor's decline reflects US decline in civic engagement/strong neighborhoods and communities. Quotes Douthat form the Times.

Thoughts?


http://www.mndaily.com/blogs/economy/2013/02/04/labor-decline
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:59 AM
 
4,130 posts, read 3,847,497 times
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You can argue it either way, but he has not supplied any proof that his assertions are true.

I can say the oppisite as well with the "general labor jobs" the author puts out there, with the same amount of proof and logical assertions. They are jobs that don't pay extremely well so keeping an eye out where the best paid positions are, and being ready to move, is of large importance. The jobs are at the whim of the customers interest in the industry, market, or even economy because they are easy to idle. Labor jobs also don't pay extremely well, so it's easy to get behind.

What the author sees as "labor jobs" should be saying that secure, well paying benefitted jobs (labor or not) lead to strong communities...and that is easy to see. After World War 2 those were labor jobs because the worlds infrastructure was devistated, but as other countries rebuilt and acquired capital those jobs were no longer the same. This started in the 1960's and has progressing through today.

The world has moved on. Continuing to complaining and crying about how things were in some nostalgic period isn't going to help anyone. Time moves on, and you can keep up with the times or get ground down under it's weight.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:20 PM
 
7,371 posts, read 4,623,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBuckley View Post
Pretty interesting piece I just read. Weird/interesting take on progressivism.

The author argues that labor's decline reflects US decline in civic engagement/strong neighborhoods and communities. Quotes Douthat form the Times.

Thoughts?


http://www.mndaily.com/blogs/economy/2013/02/04/labor-decline
I think labor's decline is a function of its success. The problem with activist movements is that people become emotionally and financially invested in the movement itself rather than staying focused on the goals. We now have sufficient labor laws that a labor movement isn't necessary. The people in the right-to-work states get along just fine. Any benefit they would get from a labor union is far outweighed by the dues they'd be forced to pay. They already have a safe workplace, a 401k plan, medical insurance, paid vacation, overtime, etc. They simply don't need a labor union.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Colorado
1,969 posts, read 1,977,489 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBuckley View Post
Pretty interesting piece I just read. Weird/interesting take on progressivism.

The author argues that labor's decline reflects US decline in civic engagement/strong neighborhoods and communities. Quotes Douthat form the Times.

Thoughts?


http://www.mndaily.com/blogs/economy/2013/02/04/labor-decline
Voting for Republicans since 1980 has moved the country to plutocracy. Our fearless captains of industry have outsourced many good union jobs and will continue to do so because their only value is money and themselves. Obama did nothing to support the Employee Free Choice Act and didn't do much to combat plutocrat governors and the Kochs in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan. He did act to save union jobs at the auto plants, so that's something. Until we can get a liberal president and some progressive senators I think we will continue to fossilize as a plutocracy.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:46 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,199 times
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Originally Posted by artisan4 View Post
Voting for Republicans since 1980 has moved the country to plutocracy. Our fearless captains of industry have outsourced many good union jobs and will continue to do so because their only value is money and themselves. Obama did nothing to support the Employee Free Choice Act and didn't do much to combat plutocrat governors and the Kochs in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan. He did act to save union jobs at the auto plants, so that's something. Until we can get a liberal president and some progressive senators I think we will continue to fossilize as a plutocracy.
I think that kind of goes along with what the author is saying. The modern liberal movement, the one headed by Pres Obama, seems to have no place for labor. I mean, after his 2nd inaugural address, people joked that "Obama came out of the closet as a liberal" yet not once did he specifically mention unions/etc. What does that tell you about the future of liberalism in America?
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Colorado
1,969 posts, read 1,977,489 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBuckley View Post
I think that kind of goes along with what the author is saying. The modern liberal movement, the one headed by Pres Obama, seems to have no place for labor. I mean, after his 2nd inaugural address, people joked that "Obama came out of the closet as a liberal" yet not once did he specifically mention unions/etc. What does that tell you about the future of liberalism in America?
When I compared him to Kucinich in the initial debates, it was clear Obama was a moderate Republican in the vein of Nixon/Dole etc. (assuming you can think of them as 'moderates', which is kind of a stretch). I didn't want him to be the nominee in 2008 since he promotes the 'free-market'/neo-liberal BS.

Yes, calling him a liberal is a joke; same with Clinton.

It is pretty amazing how the US has regressed almost to the pre-New Deal era. Most Americans want to keep Social Security and Medicare, and believe everyone should have health care, etc. but the White House, House and Senate don't seem to care. Maybe I am underestimating them.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:48 AM
 
4 posts, read 2,199 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artisan4 View Post
When I compared him to Kucinich in the initial debates, it was clear Obama was a moderate Republican in the vein of Nixon/Dole etc. (assuming you can think of them as 'moderates', which is kind of a stretch). I didn't want him to be the nominee in 2008 since he promotes the 'free-market'/neo-liberal BS.

Yes, calling him a liberal is a joke; same with Clinton.

It is pretty amazing how the US has regressed almost to the pre-New Deal era. Most Americans want to keep Social Security and Medicare, and believe everyone should have health care, etc. but the White House, House and Senate don't seem to care. Maybe I am underestimating them.

Seems like your definition of liberal is pretty extreme. Just because you believe in things like business and free markets mean's you're not a liberal? Obama obviously supports a strong role for the federal government to provide social safety nets and provide infrastructure and investments. While I do agree most of Obama's legislative accomplishments have been pretty moderate, I think Obama's worldview at least is largely one that endorses liberalism.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Colorado
1,969 posts, read 1,977,489 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBuckley View Post
Seems like your definition of liberal is pretty extreme. Just because you believe in things like business and free markets mean's you're not a liberal? Obama obviously supports a strong role for the federal government to provide social safety nets and provide infrastructure and investments. While I do agree most of Obama's legislative accomplishments have been pretty moderate, I think Obama's worldview at least is largely one that endorses liberalism.
I think he is clearly a moderate Republican in terms of ideology, as he has said himself. For example, he wouldn't even consider single-payer health care, and gave up quickly on the public option. He didn't fight for the Employee Free Choice Act. If you'll recall, his pal Rahm referred to progressives as 'retarded'. He has also expressed willingness to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid:

Will Obama Agree to Entitlement Cuts? He Already Has - NYTimes.com

'Mr. Obama wasn’t willing to go quite that far. But in his counteroffer a few days later, he agreed to squeeze $250 billion from Medicare in the next 10 years, with $800 billion more in the decade after that. He was willing to cut $110 billion more from Medicaid in the short term. And while Mr. Obama rejected raising the retirement age, he did acquiesce to changing the Social Security formula so that benefits would grow at a slower rate.'

Allowing health care to be driven by greed is not the way to run it. It causes people to die. Now, those on the right have a more callous view of the value of human life, certainly, and obviously the right has been in control since 1981. The ACA does force insurance companies to accept people with pre-existing conditions and they can't be as ruthless as before, though in my experience they are still working hard at it.

He is better than the alternative but he is not a liberal in any way.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:03 AM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
8,367 posts, read 8,564,209 times
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Dunno that Obama doesn't care that much about Labor and unions anymore, as they've simply become a declining force in national politics, and certainly less relevant to the new global economy. Like him or not, Obama is quite the internationalist and global policy wonk, not unlike Clinton and Gore. Many observers have noted that while he pays attention to the Middle East and the ''old World'', he also rightly recognizes that Asia is emerging as the 21st century powerhouse... with lotsa hi-tech and lotsa cheap labor! And if that's gonna be where the action is, then part of the dilemma is how to get the American labor market, often still stuck in the 20th century, to be able to compete.

I personally think the wave of the future is continuous education and training, but unfortunately a very large chunk of the labor market here is part of a culture that doesn't take kindly to that idea. Just look at all the anger here already within the low-end of the labor market, over the competition from ''illegals'', most of whom are really only taking the low-skilled jobs! And yet we wanna get our folks to compete internationally?!!

Last edited by mateo45; 02-08-2013 at 11:18 AM..
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