Save money. Live better. Say goodbye America.

If I asked someone to give me an example of an anti-union company, what example do you think they would give? Probably Walmart, right? Yeah me too. They have never held back on their feelings of Unions and there destruction on Capitalism, and America. But I want you to look past a few things.

Yes Sam Walton may have been anti-union. In his 1992 autobiography he wrote, “I have always felt strongly that we don’t need unions at Walmart… . The partnership we have at Walmart — which includes profit sharing, incentive bonuses, discount stock purchase plans, and a genuine effort to involve the associates in the business so we can pull together — works better for both sides than any situation I know of involving unions.”  But it’s not all bad. Did you know that the average wage of a Walmart employee is $11.75/hr averaging out to an annual salary of $20,774. Of course the national average hourly wage is reported to be $12.04/hr. And maybe Michael Duke’s (Walmart CEO) salary in 2009 was just under $20,000,000. But at least it’s higher than the minimum wage that the POTUS is proposing. Sure Mr Duke makes more in one hour than a lot of his employees make in a year. But at least the Walmart employees qualify for some sort of food assistance program. And if they do not know how to complete the proper forms, that’s okay too. Some lovely employee in the Human Resources department is trained to help them file.

But it’s not all bad news. At least the Walton family donates a huge chunk of their vast fortune. Take into consideration this. Warren Buffett whose net worth is estimated at $47 Billion donates 78% of his wealth to charity. Bill Gates whose net worth is estimated at $53 billion donates 48% of his wealth to charity. The Walton family whose net worth is estimated at $83.6 Billion donates a WHOPPING,,,,,,,,,,,,,,2% of their wealth to charity.

But are these really the big issues? Or is there something even bigger and more devastating? To the middle class? To prosperity? Maybe Capitalism? Or something even bigger! I would like you to read an excerpt from a great book written by Charles Fishman. It is entitled “The Walmart effect

What does the squeeze look like at Wal-Mart? It is usually thoroughly rational, sometimes devastatingly so.

John Mariotti is a veteran of the consumer-products world–he spent nine years as president of Huffy Bicycle Co., a division of Huffy Corp., and is now chairman of World Kitchen, the company that sells Oxo, Revere, Corning, and Ekco brand housewares.

He could not be clearer on his opinion about Wal-Mart: It’s a great company, and a great company to do business with. “Wal-Mart has done more good for America by several thousand orders of magnitude than they’ve done bad,” Mariotti says. “They have raised the bar, and raised the bar for everybody.”

Mariotti describes one episode from Huffy’s relationship with Wal-Mart. It’s a tale he tells to illustrate an admiring point he makes about the retailer. “They demand you do what you say you are going to do.” But it’s also a classic example of the damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t Wal-Mart squeeze. When Mariotti was at Huffy throughout the 1980s, the company sold a range of bikes to Wal-Mart, 20 or so models, in a spread of prices and profitability. It was a leading manufacturer of bikes in the United States, in places like Ponca City, Oklahoma; Celina, Ohio; and Farmington, Missouri.

One year, Huffy had committed to supply Wal-Mart with an entry-level, thin-margin bike–as many as Wal-Mart needed. Sales of the low-end bike took off. “I woke up May 1”–the heart of the bike production cycle for the summer–“and I needed 900,000 bikes,” he says. “My factories could only run 450,000.” As it happened, that same year, Huffy’s fancier, more-profitable bikes were doing well, too, at Wal-Mart and other places. Huffy found itself in a bind.

With other retailers, perhaps, Mariotti might have sat down, renegotiated, tried to talk his way out of the corner. Not with Wal-Mart. “I made the deal up front with them,” he says. “I knew how high was up. I was duty-bound to supply my customer.” So he did something extraordinary. To free up production in order to make Wal-Mart’s cheap bikes, he gave the designs for four of his higher-end, higher-margin products to rival manufacturers. “I conceded business to my competitors, because I just ran out of capacity,” he says. Huffy didn’t just relinquish profits to keep Wal-Mart happy–it handed those profits to its competition. “Wal-Mart didn’t tell me what to do,” Mariotti says. “They didn’t have to.” The retailer, he adds, “is tough as nails. But they give you a chance to compete. If you can’t compete, that’s your problem.”

In the years since Mariotti left Huffy, the bike maker’s relationship with Wal-Mart has been vital (though Huffy Corp. has lost money in three out of the last five years). It is the number-three seller of bikes in the United States. And Wal-Mart is the number-one retailer of bikes. But here’s one last statistic about bicycles: Roughly 98% are now imported from places such as China, Mexico, and Taiwan. Huffy made its last bike in the United States in 1999.

Here is one more you should read.

As Mariotti says, Wal-Mart is tough as nails. But not every supplier agrees that the toughness is always accompanied by fairness. The Lovable Company was founded in 1926 by the grandfather of Frank Garson II, who was Lovable’s last president. It did business with Wal-Mart, Garson says, from the earliest days of founder Sam Walton’s first store in Bentonville, Arkansas. Lovable made bras and lingerie, supplying retailers that also included Sears and Victoria’s Secret. At one point, it was the sixth-largest maker of intimate apparel in the United States, with 700 employees in this country and another 2,000 at eight factories in Central America.

Eventually Wal-Mart became Lovable’s biggest customer. “Wal-Mart has a big pencil,” says Garson. “They have such awesome purchasing power that they write their own ticket. If they don’t like your prices, they’ll go vertical and do it themselves–or they’ll find someone that will meet their terms.”

In the summer of 1995, Garson asserts, Wal-Mart did just that. “They had awarded us a contract, and in their wisdom, they changed the terms so dramatically that they really reneged.” Garson, still worried about litigation, won’t provide details. “But when you lose a customer that size, they are irreplaceable.”

Lovable was already feeling intense cost pressure. Less than three years after Wal-Mart pulled its business, in its 72nd year, Lovable closed. “They leave a lot to be desired in the way they treat people,” says Garson. “Their actions to pulverize people are unnecessary. Wal-Mart chewed us up and spit us out.”

So as we spend the rest of the year and  beyond discussing Unions, I want you to ask yourself one question. Is Walmart really anti-union? Or would it be safe to say that they are Anti-American. After all,  80% of Walmart’s suppliers are in China which leads to 12% of China’s exports going to Walmart.

And the most ironic part is that Sam Walton built this empire and left it to the Walton family, all within the shores of The UNITED States of America.

Advertisements

42 thoughts on “Save money. Live better. Say goodbye America.

  1. Is Walmart really anti-union? Or would it be safe to say that they are Anti-American?

    Is it either-or or can it be both?

    1. It by humble opinion Walmart is both. But I think it is most important that people understand how detrimental Walmart is to our economy as a whole.

      1. JOB, have you thought that perhaps unionism is passe? Can a service
        economy foster the development of unions? Will a new organization
        develope that can level the playing field among workers and
        corporations>

        1. How do you envision such a ‘new organization?’ Do you think that corporations are looking forward to ‘level the playing field between them and the peons? Tell me, tapping into your historical memory, when in history did corporate leaders give a rat’s ass about their workers?

          1. At the moment, M_R, I am only asking a question. My point is that if unions are passe in the U.S., what or will replace them for worker protection and livlihood. Of course, corporations will not level the playing
            field. While not perfect, my friend, Henry Ford, when he established car
            making in Dearborn did pay his workers more than a living wage. He paid
            higher than the othe corporations in the area…

            1. I wouldn’t raise Henry Ford onto a pedestal of devotion. He was a ruthless big-businessman who didn’t give a damn about his workers until they began to unionize.

              1. “I wouldn’t raise Henry Ford onto a pedestal of devotion. ” And, did I
                say I was? I said: “While not perfect, my friend, Henry Ford, when he established carmaking in Dearborn, did pay his workers more than a living wage. He paid higher than the othe corporations in the area…” In no way does that quote suggest that I am putting “Ford onto a pedestal…” I am only providing historical fact. You know, there is a point where the reactionary Right and the radical Left both start believing that history is a pack of lies. If the Left is moving into this mythical area, there is little
                chance of making the necessary true reforms. Moreover, the union movement in the automobile industry began in the 1930s. The Henry
                Ford mentioned in my comment was the Ford of the 1910s. I believe Ford paid the unheard of wage of $0.25c an hour for that time period.(as an
                aside, do you remember the living wage you received when you were 16 at the fruit shop?) I worked at a neighborhood mom and pop grocery for, I believe, $0.95c per hour!

                1. ” While not perfect, my friend, Henry Ford, when he established car
                  making in Dearborn did pay his workers more than a living wage. He paid
                  higher than the other corporations in the area.”

                  You are correct UTF. In 1914 Ford came up with the $5 workday. Other companies in the area paid their labor force an average of $2.37 a day. So Ford pretty much doubled that pay. He came up with the idea that better pay would mean less turn around and the best mechanics in Detroit working for him, which is what happened. He also implemented this “Lavish” pay so that his employees could afford his automobiles.
                  However, Ford was very Anti-Union and intrusive in his employees lives. For instance, Employees had to qualify for this extravagant pay which Ford called “Profit Sharing”. The high wages were offered to employees who had worked at the company for six months or more and conducted their lives in a manner of which Ford’s “Social Department” approved. They frowned on heavy drinking, gambling, and what might today be called “deadbeat dads”. The Social Department used 50 investigators, plus support staff, to maintain employee standards. As far as the anti-union sentiment on Ford’s part, the most famous incident in U.S. history was this……http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Battle_of_the_Overpass.

                  Today we see different Anti-Union tactics. Especially from our own elected officials. But as I said below, Unionism is not passe, and we need it just as much now as we did in the Industrial age. Just for different reasons.

                  1. I appreciate your more balanced approach, JOB, than what M_R suggested. What you describe is incentive pay, and that may be some of the new paradigm that possible could occur. If a person came in drunk or high, that is a person jeopardizing the work quality and the safety of
                    themselves and others. A person not showing up for work consistently
                    is not willing to work, and that job should go to a person who is on-time.

                    1. Actually UTF, I don’t think Ford’s “Social Department” was looking into employee’s work habits. I think they would investigate people’s lives outside of the work place, which in my opinion is completely unacceptable. Of course if a worker’s habits interfered with his work,then the situation should be handled accordingly. In my trade, they would simply be fired. Incentive pay based on a quota system is no good. My opinion is that if a system like that is implemented, quality would be sacrificed. I have seen it happen.

        2. Do I think Unions are passe UTF? Absolutely not. In fact, I think we need Unionization and organizing of labor more than ever. I believe the biggest divide is among the middle class/blue collar labor themselves. But that’s for another post.

          “Can a service economy foster the development of unions?”

          I believe in the reverse.. I think organizing labor into a properly trained and educated workforce (Union) can foster a better service economy.

          “Will a new organization develop that can level the playing field among workers and corporations.”

          Considering that the current list of Fortune 500 companies contains more service companies and fewer manufacturers than in previous decades, I would say that the service industry is more than ready, and in desperate need for more Unionization.

          1. Unions came into existence in the U.S. with the industrial age. Now, we
            are in the post-industrial age, so what is going to feed unionism in these
            new general service economy jobs? The reason that unions came into
            existance is rapidly waning as China, Southeast Asia, India, Africa, and
            South America become the factory system. Do we really think, despite
            the Obama hype, that factories in any significant number will return to
            the United States? It seems the factory system in the U.S. is gone and not
            likely to return. With it, the reason for unionism is gone. It may be time
            to admit just that and move on to what will protect the 90% vis a vis the
            top 10%. How does a person making $50,000 a year compete on an
            equal basis with a person making $250,000? The latter doesn’t even
            have to think about eating out almost every night of the week, or having
            a merdedes in the drive and one for his wife or friend, or a week in NYC attnding a play every night or the ballet or LinconCenter, Alvin Alley, sending their children to $30,000 elementary and secondary school, and then sending thme to the most expensives universities. There is no comparison. And, that is the real world in the U.S. today . I just don’t see any rollback. The winner-take-all economy is here. The 1% are the winners and the rest of us are the losers in various degrees.

            1. I agree with most of what you wrote, UTF. And, yes, factories have migrated to places where the peons still work for pennies. It makes economic sense for those who smoke cigars around mahogany tables discussing their portfolios.

              Yet, as you bash Obama [as usual] what can he do about this economic reality? The only hope for the high school educated worker in this economic pool is in a federally funded project. That is why Obama often mentions the singular source for this pool of workers- infrastructure projects. Of course, the GOP-held House wants nothing to do with this for many political reasons.

              What is the president to do about this? Executive orders? Tell me.

              1. Who are the peons, my friend? Where do we draw the line between a
                peon and the financial independent? And how is the dollar figure to be
                taken from? How do we differentiate among groups?

                Now, as to bashing the President, my points of disappointment with Obama
                is his record. Usually, I simply point out his rhetoric of what he intends
                to do, and then the factual results. He hurt unionism by not backing
                “cap and trade” after he told the unions and the House Dems that he would, and then deserted it in the Senate after the House Dems passed it and then
                had it used against them in the House campaigns of 2010 with many Dems losing their seat and the country losing the House to the reactionary arm of
                the GOP. This is part of the reason why the legislative process is upside
                down with the House telling the Senate to pass a bill out and send it
                to them. Then there is Obama’s desire to have entitlement reform. Reform to the GOP is any measure that cuts into Social Security, medicare and medicaid.. It is reactionarism for the GOPO, because cuts in those programs moves the programs more right of center. As they say in Texas, he will not stand hitched. He will bargain wway those programs for maybe some revenue and theereby have his “grand bargain.” So, we are not to bring this out in the open? Any “reform, is nothing but a euthanism for
                reactionary destruction of the entitlement programs. Are you suggesting
                that you are going to stand by and let Obama do that?

                1. As far as manufacturing in this country never coming back, that goes to my eternal optimism. Americans worry too much about their pocket books than the big picture. Manufacturing in this country is one thing that I believe the American consumer can greatly effect. People need to make a more conscience effort to buy American. With computers nowadays this isn’t too difficult. I still long for the days when Walmart stores start closing. This will not happen until consumers start making more conscience decisions to purchase goods produced within this country.

                  And yes Obama has done quite a few things that do not support Unions. Clinton did so as well. But In the end, The GOP is trying to help the wealthy, and The Democrats want to help the poor. The only thing that will improve the lives of the middle class is? You guessed it, unity.

                  1. JOB writes, ” But In the end, The GOP is trying to help the wealthy, and The Democrats want to help the poor.” Nope, JOB, I have said many times to M_R
                    that on the issues affecting wealth, there is not a “dimes worth of difference”
                    between the two parties. Both Parties have passed the enabling legislation that has divided the U.S. into the haves 1% and the have nots 99%.

                    1. I disagree. It’s true that the issues effecting wealth are usually shared. But the outcome of profit usually varies greatly. Don’t get me wrong, there is not too much that the POTUS has done that I agree with. And most of that is Union based. And I’m not very happy with Obama’s relationship with banks either. But Liberals usually want to take as much from the wealthy as possible and give it to the poor. I have two issues with this Robin Hood thing. First, a lot of these programs that the President has introduced, does not help the Middle Class all that much. For a lot of the programs, we simply don’t qualify. Second, we do not put enough into programs that will benefit the poor long term. What I just said may sound ass backwards, but I have no problem with spending money on programs designed to help people in poverty. My problem is that government seems to push programs that sustain poverty. Not get people out of it.

            2. “so what is going to feed unionism in these new general service economy jobs?”

              In my opinion, the one thing that will drive the blue collar workforce in this country to a more Pro Union viewpoint is quality of life. And I’m not talking about a Mercedes in the driveway, or a $6000 T.V. in the den. People need to realize that just 50 years ago, middle class workers were able to provide for their families much better. A family vacation, healthcare, even sending their children to college without student loans. As these things become less and less obtainable, I’m hoping the working class will open their eyes a little bit. The other thing to keep in mind is that a blue collar worker should not be trying to “Compete” with the white collar worker. These two men or women chose two different ways of life. But, the children of these two workers should have the same opportunities and securities in life. The “winner take all” economy is here, and it is the middle classes fault. The biggest anti-union sentiment today comes from middle class citizens themselves. We are in an endless battle against each other when we should all be uniting together for better lives. In the end, right now, the 1% is winning. Maybe I’m just an eternal optimist, but I believe we can change this. All it takes is UNITY.

              1. JOB writes, “The “winner take all” economy is here, and it is the middle classes fault. The biggest anti-union sentiment today comes from middle class citizens themselves.”

                ABSOLUTELY NOT. You are off the mark with those statements. It was the politicians fault, JOB, not the m-c. President Carter began the selling out of
                the m-c, it accelerated under Reagan, and in the 1990s and the 2000s, Clinton
                and Bush II completed the demise of the middle class.. I have none of your
                optimism that the American Dream is still alive, JOB. Clinton actually enlarged
                the unequal income gap and has left the underclass in worst economic and social position than Reagan did. And, what does the future hold for the Democratic Party? Hilary Clinton! Oops, I better watch what I’m writing else I be accused
                of aiding the “war on women”……

                1. Correct me if I am wrong UTF, but you are a retired professor? I am not off the mark my friend. You are part of the Middle Class, right? And you had some questions above and below about some Unions tactics. Even asking why they do not have “Individual Responsibility” when it comes to healthcare and retirement. When we as the middle class stop trying to obtain better healthcare, better retirement, better ways of life. And start questioning why the other members of the middle class have it better, the politicians have won, and we lose. But we chose to lose.
                  I agree with everything that you said about the political aspect of this problem. The Glass-Steagall Act was repealed under Clinton leading to the housing crisis that many people face today. But nobody forced $70K a year workers to purchase $600K houses with interest only mortgages. Are you going to tell me that if 50 teachers organized and walked out, there wouldn’t be 50 people willing to take there place for even less money than the teachers were originally making. It happened just this past Summer in Joliet during the Caterpillar Machinists strike. The powers that be were able to get some temp workers in their for $12 per hour. This forced the Machinists to settle on a substandard contract.
                  So you don’t think the lack of solidarity in the working middle class, in America, is our own doing? I say this with all the respect in the world, but I think you my friend are way off the mark. As long as we (The middle class) let politicians and corporations treat us like dirt. They will treat us like dirt, so they can all get richer. It was a movement, and still needs to be a movement. Starting with us.

  2. Frankly, as I see it, Walmart is a behemoth, an giant octopus, a veritable kraken of capitalism. The entire Huffy bike saga JOB recounts here is a pretty good analogy as to how these giant un regulated companies which destroy all competition by forcing them out of business or buying them and then diluting the quality of the product destroy more than America, American communities, the power of the middle class and the lower classes to have a voice, this is destroying the very quality of all of our lives. The bike industry is one thing. Independent bike shops are a rare and dying breed and why are most bikes manufactured overseas? There are a few great American bike manufacturers, but their products are high end and you pay for the quality and craftsmanship. You can bet your boots that you will never find them at Walmart.
    But beyond that, the business model that Walmart represents has destroyed retailing in America. Just as the “Grand Surfaces” here in France have steadily decimated traditional products and villages, a Walmart popping up in a strategically located point in say, Kansas, will destroy the commerce in all of the small towns in the area.
    But the problem is even bigger. Go food shopping in a Walmart. Look at what is being promoted. When you start reading the labels on the packages, and see the ultimate owners of the companies that produce the food products, you realize that almost all the processed food marketed is a product of perhaps 4 giant multi national corporations. Really. 80% of the food consumed in America is produced by 4 multinational corporations.
    I have the luxury of being able to be very picky about what I choose to eat. I can grow food, I can buy from local producers and I love to cook and my wife is a better cook than I am. The way a Walmart is set up is the results of psychological marketing research. They have fresh produce, but the processed food is placed so that it is the more convenient alternative because most Americans have been conditioned to think that preparing food is difficult and time consuming and who has the time to cook when you could be watching Dancing With The Stars or what ever?
    The Walmart marketing model has gone a long way to create this situation. I won’t blame them as the root, this started long ago, but we know now that sugar is the main culprit in the explosion of obesity that is plaguing America. Sugar is an addiction. Read what is in an Oreo Cookie…perhaps 4% of any natural product. Over the years, an Oreo has been modified to satisfy and create an addiction. Sugar, salt and fat…Look at the ingredients on any processed food product…why all the sugar? It’s in everything. Why are there 147 different pre sweetened yoghurt products on the shelves in a Walmart? Walmart has super sized America. Walmart is super sized gangster capitalism. This is not about free market competition, this is the triumph of the greediest and corporate fascism and you have been sucked into believing that this somehow the American Dream….well, it’s only a dream, I guess.

    1. Well Dottie, there isn’t a single thing you said that I disagree with. The only thing I would like to add is that Walmart has implemented a business model like no other. When Fishman writes about Levi Strauss in the book, it is eye opening. Most of these suppliers are almost forced to hire Walmart management to reconfigure their own company’s business model. Of course Walmart doesn’t hold a monopoly on the retail business, but I wish the day would come when a committee takes a hard look at their business practices. But in the end, we the consumer control the fate of our economy.
      I personally beg of anyone that reads this post. Find an alternative to Walmart. They are out there. one study finds that the average savings of a Walmart shopper is $.04 for every $6.00 spent. The only way to get rid of this monster is to suffocate it. We the consumer have the power to do this.

  3. One more thing…Walmart has the same relationship to the concept of “Marketing” as The destruction of the Amazon Rain Forests has to “Farming”.

  4. Let’s be realistic about wages as well…starting salary for a cashier at Walmart is $7.38/hr rising to a ceiling of $10.50/hr. A Certified Pharmacy technician is $9.18/hr…with raises it would be possible for a Pharmacy Technician to make $15.22/hr…then of course , there’s overtime…
    FYI: a “Greeter” makes $7.19/hr with the possibility of eventually making $10.50 if their life expectancy exceeds the corporate projection.

    1. Yes the $11.75 average is just that, an average. Speaking of corporate projections, did you know that Walmart takes life insurance policies out on it’s employees. Usually the elderly.

  5. I was recommended this movie on this blog and finally watched it a couple of days ago:

    Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price
    2005 NR 1hr 37m

    Average of 804,617 ratings:
    3.5 stars / available from Netflix

    Filmmaker Robert Greenwald takes aim at the corporate giant that’s come to symbolize big business in America — Wal-Mart — blasting the box-store Goliath for allegedly paying substandard wages, skimping on employee benefits and gutting communities.

    1. Yes NON, High cost of low price is an excellent documentary. I’m curious as to what Slant magazine has to say about it.

    2. What determines the wage of the various occupations? Why should the
      corporation or the public entity provide employee retirement and health
      benefits? Where is the responsibility of the individual?

      1. “What determines the wage of the various occupations? Why should the
        corporation or the public entity provide employee retirement and health
        benefits? Where is the responsibility of the individual?”

        The wage of various occupations are determined by market share I believe. The “Union” contracts are negotiated and agreed upon. In these contracts healthcare and retirement is represented. Take me for an example. My wage package is $61.03. Out of that hourly wage, we pay into our Health and Welfare fund. Our Annuity fund. Our pension, and various other programs and funds. The actual hourly amount that we make on the check is $41.52 per hour. Therefore, we do pay our own healthcare and retirement. Now the question of Corporations providing healthcare and retirement is quite simple. Without labor, there would be no wealth. It is actually just that simple, and that concept dates back to the industrial age. As far as tax payers providing lavish union contracts, let me ask you this. What do you think the market share should be? Should the highly trained Chicago firefighter be paid $10/hr? Let’s not forget one thing. Most of these public employees are trained and dedicated to providing “Life” services. Maybe it’s just me, but I think it would be rude to argue how much a paramedic is making when their #1 job is to save our lives.

  6. Isn’t timing strange? We get a post on unions and I find out that the nonunion and/or not elected employees of my township are getting the royal screw. The minutes show the new trustee (the praying at meetings one) brings up expanding her medical coverage at least once a month.

    She doesn’t even live in the township and only works VERY part-time for the township (2 scheduled 2 hour meetings a month). The full time maintenance employees (nonunion) have to sign a Hep B waiver. I didn’t understand until I looked up Hep B; seems it’s almost like a social disease you catch mostly from sex. And your health insurance is a lot cheaper if you waive coverage.

    I’m not a big fan of public sector unions, but here’s one more example of why they are needed.

      1. Yes. Remember how Paul and Karen Gilmore each represented a different district and lived in a third?

        (One of the other trustees actually is on Medicare, but gets it supplemented by the township.)

    1. Most people are not fans of “Public Sector” Unions NON. I think this is because the majority of our country sees Public Union employees as their own. After all, our tax dollars pay their salaries. But the truth is that these workers need more united protection than employees in the private sector.
      You get the best of both worlds here Bud. I am a Private Union member. And my wife is a Public Union member.

  7. JOB: As I see it with public sector unionism, the problem is not collective
    bargaining. It is the demand for the right to strike, hurting the very people
    that are paying for their services. Whether it’s public school teachers, nurses, sanitary engineers(lol), various sectors of the health care industry,
    agricultural field hands, etc., the public will not tolerate an interruption
    of needed services.

    And as to “unitted protection?, the union movement in the United
    States is different than European unionism…In Europe there is more of a solidarity among varioous of various trades and professions, which is not found in the U.S.

    1. I can only speak for Unions in Chicago without having to do any time consuming research. In Chicago, the Police and Fire Departments have “No Strike” clauses. But the biggest issue is with the solidarity you mention. This past Summer, Chicago teachers went on strike. The issue was pay. The Mayor wanted to implement an 11 hour school day, without additional compensation for the teachers. Of course the teachers said no and they voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike. Now the Union reps would go on the news giving particulars to the situation. However the Mayor (Rahm Emanuel) would go on the news playing politics as he is an expert at that. What he wouldn’t say is that he broke a campaign promise to put 1000 new police officers on the street, and violence in the city soared, as most of you might know. So his solution was to keep the kids in school longer, without paying the teachers one dime more.Whenever you would see a parent interviewed on the news, it was always the same diatribe. Middle class, working poor, and poverty stricken parents, all questioning why the teachers were doing this to the children. Emanuel had succeeded. Because of his broken promised and awful leadership, kids were to the point where they may miss classes, AND MEALS. But he somehow convinced the residence of this city that it was the teacher’s fault. I assure you, this was not the case. Which leads me to this.

      “In Europe there is more of a solidarity among varioous of various trades and professions, which is not found in the U.S.”
      I can’t speak for Unions in Europe, but as for America, you are 100% correct. And that is the first issue that needs to be discussed.

  8. MEALS, our caretakers provided our food without the schools providing
    breakfast, lunch, and now take home suppers. Where is the responsibility
    of the child’s caretaker?

    1. ” Where is the responsibility of the child’s caretaker?”
      LOLOL, Now that is a question that might be passe UTF. The people that qualify for these food assistance programs are led to believe that they can not fend for themselves. They are not given the proper tools and the proper programs are not in place. This seems to be an endless cycle that definitely needs to change. But until the right leadership is in place, this is next to impossible. Unless of course we want to go full blown communist and start limiting the reproduction rights of human beings. Somehow I think the anti-socialist Tea Party members would be okay with that idea.

  9. JOB writes above “My problem is that government seems to push programs that sustain poverty. Not get people out of it.”

    Sorry to have to reply down here, JOB, but no reply key above with your
    comment to me.

    But, that is my point. Our governments on all three levels are composed of
    Dems and Reps. Together theyhave not made a dimes worth of difference
    in public policy to ameliorate income inequality for 90% of the population.

    1. I spoke about this issue during the elections on my blog UTF. This country is ready now more than ever for a legitimate third party. But again that is up to we the people. I thought this last election had two very good contenders in Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. Rocky Anderson wasn’t bad either. Virgil Goode was just insane.But when you speak of income equality, what would you like to see happen? In your opinion, how can it be overcome?

  10. “But when you speak of income equality, what would you like to see happen? In your opinion, how can it be overcome?”

    Good questions for another POST, JOB.

    The easy answer is for Lady Liberty to wave the flag!

Comments are closed.