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It's not called greed if corporations do it. It sounds like I'm being sarcastic but I'm not. They're supposed to want more money and power to make money - it's what they do.

I'd rather we stop adding moralistic terms to a desire for more cash on both sides.

Why can't we make ethical judgments? You look at the devastation GM caused in Flint, MI by outsourcing their labour to Mexico, while they were still turning a profit, and you tell me that one can't make an ethical judgment about that?

The problem ultimately is an economic system that is broken. It's highly unstable and concentrates wealth into the hands of the relatively few. No one wants to talk about that. Capitalism would be dead if the government hadn't jumped in back in the 30s, namely with FDR's new deal and later with Beveridge in the UK. This new era of "advanced" capitalism, which has a state controlled social safety-net to mitigate the inherent problems in the system, is completely unsustainable. Considering that the government had to spend to get us out of the Depression in the 1930s--the "let the market sort it out" approach made things worse--we're locked in a downward spiral that was exasperated by our current obsession with Reagonomics coupled with globalism and free-trade:

Increased Foreign Investment/Decreased Domestic Investment ---> Increased Unemployment

Increased Unemployment ---> Increased Social Problems (ie, poverty, crime, etc.)

Increased Social Problems ---> Increased Demand for Social Services

Increased Demand for Social Services ---> Increased Taxation

Increased Taxation ---> Decreased Domestic Investment/Increased Foreign Investment

Of course companies are profit seeking, but the problem is that they're leaving social devastation in their wake. With less people working, there's less people paying taxes and that increasingly puts the burden on businesses and those with more capital to right keep society from degrading so far that their capital comes under attack from a society with nothing left to lose.

Nobody wants to take a serious look at the economic system. We cannot have a serious discussion about the limitations of capitalism because the discourse deteriorates into nonsensical hyperbole and mccarthyist hysteria. Yet the root of the problems for all other spheres--political, community, personal--is a direct reflection of the inherent inefficiencies of our economic system.

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GM was not still turning a profit. They were in serious financial trouble. It was that outsourcing that turned things around for them.

You're wrong, but it might be because you're confusing GM with Chrysler. GM was turning a profit in the billions and wanted to turn an even bigger profit, so they moved their plants to places where labour was cheaper. In the process devastating communities in the United States because an already profitable company wanted to be more profitable. They also moved parts manufacturing out of their plants to external suppliers, which allowed them to be more flexible with their costs down the road. GM was not in serious financial trouble in the 80s.

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GM was not still turning a profit. They were in serious financial trouble. It was that outsourcing that turned things around for them.

Outsourceing to Mexico starter 10 years before the stock market crashed and put GM in trouble. (Actually it was GMAC, GM's financial arm that was dabbling in those underwater mortgages that hurt them). In fact when GM received its bailout the financial burden in terms of labour was only around 12% of their overall liability.

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Why can't we make ethical judgments? You look at the devastation GM caused in Flint, MI by outsourcing their labour to Mexico, while they were still turning a profit, and you tell me that one can't make an ethical judgment about that?

Corporations are supposed to make money. That's all there is to it. There's no reason to expect that they would do anything except that.

If there are negative effects to their behavior, then we have policy to modify the behavior. The appeal to morality is am emotive argument that often ignores their prime directive.

The problem ultimately is an economic system that is broken. It's highly unstable and concentrates wealth into the hands of the relatively few. No one wants to talk about that. Capitalism would be dead if the government hadn't jumped in back in the 30s, namely with FDR's new deal and later with Beveridge in the UK. This new era of "advanced" capitalism, which has a state controlled social safety-net to mitigate the inherent problems in the system, is completely unsustainable. Considering that the government had to spend to get us out of the Depression in the 1930s--the "let the market sort it out" approach made things worse--we're locked in a downward spiral that was exasperated by our current obsession with Reagonomics coupled with globalism and free-trade:

Increased Foreign Investment/Decreased Domestic Investment ---> Increased Unemployment

Increased Unemployment ---> Increased Social Problems (ie, poverty, crime, etc.)

Increased Social Problems ---> Increased Demand for Social Services

Increased Demand for Social Services ---> Increased Taxation

Increased Taxation ---> Decreased Domestic Investment/Increased Foreign Investment

Of course companies are profit seeking, but the problem is that they're leaving social devastation in their wake. With less people working, there's less people paying taxes and that increasingly puts the burden on businesses and those with more capital to right keep society from degrading so far that their capital comes under attack from a society with nothing left to lose.

There are also positive effects, many of them, in the new economy.

I agree that the system needs to be modified to reflect the new reality but the fact is that more money is being made. If people vote for a system that moves money out of their pockets then they get what they deserve. They won't make that mistake forever though.

Nobody wants to take a serious look at the economic system. We cannot have a serious discussion about the limitations of capitalism because the discourse deteriorates into nonsensical hyperbole and mccarthyist hysteria. Yet the root of the problems for all other spheres--political, community, personal--is a direct reflection of the inherent inefficiencies of our economic system.

Hysteria is another example of an emotional argument. Every side switches their argument from the principled viewpoint to the pragmatic viewpoint as it suits them. We all do it, but we need to watch where and when that happens so that we don't get fooled by such arguments.

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If there are negative effects to their behavior, then we have policy to modify the behavior.

I agree that the system needs to be modified to reflect the new reality

This is just the thing. The problem is that the system needs to constantly be modified because it is constantly collapsing. We repeat these crises over and over again. It has become so obfuscated that instead of taking a long hard look at our economic system (that's a huge taboo), we've gone from companies taking responsibility to the government taking responsibility to the more troublesome recent development of blaming communities and individuals. We can't actually get at the root of the problem.
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This is just the thing. The problem is that the system needs to constantly be modified because it is constantly collapsing. We repeat these crises over and over again. It has become so obfuscated that instead of taking a long hard look at our economic system (that's a huge taboo), we've gone from companies taking responsibility to the government taking responsibility to the more troublesome recent development of blaming communities and individuals. We can't actually get at the root of the problem.

Root of the problem: too many people, not enough resources.

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Here's some interesting stats on unions by occupation in the United States for 2010-2011

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.t03.htm

Top 3

Local Government

Education, Training, and Libraries

Protective Services

Bottom 3

Finance and Insurance

Food Services/Bartending

Agriculture

Edited by cybercoma
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http://www.torontosun.com/2012/02/01/holyday-to-ferguson-lets-talk

I love how the Union says it's willing to bargain when basically anything short of the same agreement as the 2009 one with a 3 year wage freeze tacked on is greeted with a resounding NO!

I think, if anything, this mayor has a mandate to try and make the contracts it signs with its workers a little more equitable to the good majority of taxpayers that pay their wages.

Shifts cannot be changed to alternate hours and workers moved to another location -- as demands require -- without a laborious union process. If not enough notice is given, employees are entitled to be paid 1 1/2 times for working a revised shift.

Shift premiums of more than $1 per hour are paid for those employees who work the afternoon or evening shifts both weekdays and on weekends.

Then there’s the elaborate bumping provisions dictating that a permanent employee who displaces one in a more junior position must be paid the more senior wage rate for three years -- five if the employee is nearing retirement.

These kind of entitlements are unheard of in the private sector and which the city wants addressed.

We're not even talking Overtime here, we're talking about changing shifts to areas where more demand is needed an they get paid more for that? That's insane!

Edited by Boges
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It's called a lockout.

Not really.

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1125812--city-of-toronto-s-threatening-final-offer-rejected-by-union?bn=1

“We were told to take it or leave it — this would be the city’s final offer, 48 hours before their own arbitrary deadline.”

The Star reported last month that the Mayor Rob Ford administration was considering the tactic to goad workers to settle or strike over untenable new working conditions, letting the city avoid the stigma of a lockout.

Ferguson called the city a bully but said CUPE negotiators, who have agreed to more than 40 of the city’s proposals, will remain at the table through the weekend trying to reach a deal.

Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, who observed the CUPE news conference, said it appears that, if there is a work stoppage, it will be the city’s fault.

The former professional negotiator said tabling new demands shortly before a deadline is bad-faith bargaining.

It appears what the City has done is to dictate terms so if the workers will be forced to accept terms or they'll have to strike. I'm not a labour lawyer so I don't even know if this tactic is legal.

Should be very interesting to see how this story develops.

BTW if anyone remembers the 2009 Strike this is pretty much what Ferguson did to David Miller. He said if a deal wasn't met by a certain Sunday deadline he'd leave the table. David Miller folded like a cheap tent.

It's kind of fresh of him calling this a bully tactic.

Edited by Boges
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