Lower prices or higher wages?

Is a love spell really the equivalent of rape?
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Post by Librarian » Mon May 23, 2005 8:50 pm

Looks like Bush may not get his Walmart paycheck this year.

He's talking about limiting the textiles that can be imported from China.

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Post by Debbrah » Tue May 24, 2005 10:14 am

Stormy wrote:
Debbrah wrote:I wonder if the early theorists of capitalism would have seen this coming, or if they assumed people would have been self-protective enough to forcibly object long before it got to this point.
Forcibly object at ANY retail establishment these days and you will be fired - they will find a way to do it that is "legal" even if it means setting you up for the fall.
My point exactly... There wmay have been a point where we could have done something... but we didn't. And we slippery-slope slid to this. And we still could do something... but the costs continually rise as it becomes more emeshed with other aspects of our society.

When you read early theorists, the theory was people who be treated decently because they wouldn't stand for it if they weren't. Problem is, they do accept it. Early unions were of people standing up to worse threats than merely being fired. And then their heirs sold out. And now that is all that it takes (if not less) to scare off people. And it isn't something one person can do alone. We just don't have a general enough support to really make a change, and no one is willing to be the one to start to try to build one because they will be martyred... in a sanatized way, quietly swept under the rug to where the martyrdom also fails to serve a purpose. We are at a point where direct action is pointless, but inderect action is ineffective....

I don't know. Other than it depresses me. I've been to so many actions on so many causes that just seem to be a circle jerk for the activists to not feel so ineffective. Gets some tension off, and they can pat themselves on the backs without ever really facing what would really need to change. I don't know.

Edited to add: And don't get me started on the "legal" aspect of it. Not only do we have a lot of laws that support the corporation and inhibit the employee... we set up a lot of laws with the premise that this is normal and acceptable behavior. If this were really a capitalist society that would not be so. Such bs. It is the mirror of socialism.... plutoism?
"There's not much that's contrary to nature if you just know how to coax her along a little."- Mad Amos Malone (A. D. Foster)

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Post by scoia » Tue May 24, 2005 8:06 pm

It's simplistic, but I really think the main problem in regards to unionism and protecting workers' rights lies in the fact that so few people join unions anymore, or start them in the first place.

When every employee in your workplace is actually part of a union then you are protected to a certain degree. The laws are still in place, but people just aren't participating enough.

I really don't understand why, either. Saying you don't want to be in a union is equivalent to saying you don't want access to basic utilities.


p.s. *snort-giggle* this is entirely off topic, but why on earth is there an emoticon of someone catching a chicken?
First they ignore you.
Then they laught at you.
Then they fight you.
Then you win.
--Ghandi

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Post by Debbrah » Wed May 25, 2005 1:53 pm

Unions failed workers too... badly enough that it made them questionable... both sides have violated the relationship.
"There's not much that's contrary to nature if you just know how to coax her along a little."- Mad Amos Malone (A. D. Foster)

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Post by Stormy » Wed May 25, 2005 3:48 pm

Debbrah wrote:Unions failed workers too... badly enough that it made them questionable... both sides have violated the relationship.
HEAR HEAR! I didn't want to be the one to open this can of worms but since you've already stepped in it Debbrah :-D

Unions have failed in MANY ways - some are little more than mafia style strong arms demanding dues and providing precious little to their members until the members have been there 3 to 5 years - most of the construction unions that were available to my husband when he was working in construction were like that. Sure, you can join the union, sure, you can get "union" wages, but you also were going to pay hundreds of dollars in union dues AND you could only work where they sent you to work. For new union members this meant that for 3 to 5 years you got all the out of the way jobs that other, older union members didn't want to drive 4 hours each morning to get to and 4 hours to get home (or you had to pay for a hotel for a week - so those higher union wages ended up being less than regular wages).

The steel unions are, in part, what caused the collapse of the steel industry. Coming from the Pittsburgh area I personally know a lot of ex-steel workers and it was sinful how much the unions made the steel companies pay them and what they were able to get away with. Nine out of ten of the people I knew or knew of that worked in the mills REGULARLY SLEPT ON THE JOB - some for over HALF of their shift - yet every two weeks they took home paychecks between $1500 and $3500 dollars. And they thought it would never end so guess what? Most of the steel workers landed in such bad financial straits because they spent like drunken sailors - literally - without ANY thought to saving anything because "the union will always take care of us". My husband was a waiter/cook at a small bar when he was a teenager (yeah, not legal, but his family were friends with the owner) - this was at the time when the mills were already starting to go down hill - yet none of the millworkers who came in there EVERY SINGLE Wed - Thur - Fri - Sat night ever thought that maybe it was their own fault for sleeping on the job and demanding more pay all the time - and none had the sense to save any of the big bucks they were making. On average, each one spent $150 per night at the bar. The unions kept telling them "don't worry, we'll take care of it, everything will be fine".

I could rant on, but I'll leave it for now.

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Post by Debbrah » Thu May 26, 2005 12:25 pm

Thanks for ranting... I really didn't want to do the rant myself... it is a nasty can of worms.

I belong to a family that is Union... and I've seen them at their best and at their worst. And the beauty and power at their best is enough to make it tempting to sweep the worst under the rug. But to not acknowledge the failure slowly starves the success until it is merely a phantom of glory, illusions and delusions. But to deny the beauty because of the failures... I think that is a far worse mistake. Of course, I've also always had a fondness for Lucifer ;)..... even the Christian version...
"There's not much that's contrary to nature if you just know how to coax her along a little."- Mad Amos Malone (A. D. Foster)

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Post by Librarian » Thu May 26, 2005 7:06 pm

Here, in California, we have a similar union vs management problem. Here, though, union means the people and management is state government.

See, the people voted in all sorts of mandatory spending measures - schools, welfare, streets, etc. Now that the economy is on the skids, the spending is still mandatory, but the money is nowhere to be found.

Unions can be a very good thing, when they're economically realistic. Management is praised, when they're economically realistic.

Too bad more an more people and managers are living in their own little worlds.

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Post by scandalicious » Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:08 pm

I was working at one place, I done 5 full days of work, walking around the streets - on my own I might add- I checked my bank balance, and for those 5 full days I only got $80.00. I felt so ripped off. I worked 35 hours, and that's all I got - $2.29 an hour. Mind you, I did quit after that. Just lucky for me I got benifits from the governement. I am not working at a place, where they are paying well below the national minimum in Australia which is about $7.35 an hour.
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Post by Ragnar » Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:39 am

O.K this is nothing to do with Wally mart.(Wally = English English, for dumb idiot). But my experience of Temp,Agency; Zeitarbeit tend to confirm some points, I think:

We keep being told that the reason jobs are going from Germany to the Far East and other places, is that production is cheaper. We are constantly being told that we must work longer and longer hours, to make us “more competitive.” We are told that we earn too much, we must accept lower wages and fewer holidays, again to aid competitiveness. Really?

Then why are the prices of these “cheaper, more competitively produced goods” remaining the same, or even rising, in German shops? (Who is being ripped off here? We lose our work and are then are expected to pay for the privilege, adding to the profits of the very people that sacked us.) After all, this is nothing new; this eroding of workers rights has been insidiously introduced over a number of years. It is only the amount of people effected, I, e the whole of Germany, and the fact it has now become official Government policy, that has brought on the recent protests, both on the streets and in the polls.

I object most strongly to hearing in the worlds press, that I am earning too much and receive too many benefits. I am working 40 - 45 hours per week, plus 3 hours per day travelling, for less than €400 per month, I have to pay my own health insurance, plus €10 every time I go to the Doctors, dentist, or optician. I have to pay my train fares at €70 per month. I have to pay ALL my own rent. I get three weeks holiday per year, with no guarantee of having a job to come back to if I take even a single day. (as to “benefits”, I would receive €300 per month , and still have to pay everything.)

This is BEFORE the new reforms. This is a similar position to most people here. Try looking at “agency workers,” workers in firms smaller than V.W. Shop and other low paid workers, by far the majority of the work force.
The “wonderland” of the German worker described in the press is totally alien to most of us here.

During my school years, in the Seventies, we were told that modern technology would enable us to live “a life of leisure,” goods produced for “pennies” by a minimum of workers, with much shorter work hours. Social security and pensions would be no problem, because we would be making fortunes from the profits on goods produced for next to nothing.
What happened?

The concentration of wealth in the same few pockets that profits have always filled. When the factory owners realised that they could halve the work force, at the same time doubling production, (I.e, those that are left do double the work.), and trebling or even quadrupling profits, (due to “beneficial tax schemes”, which are supposed to encourage them to take on more workers) does any one seriously think that their first thoughts were going to be philanthropic?

OF COURSE NOT! Their eyes lit up and thought of their extended Caribbean holidays, or the extra Christmas presents they could get for their fat headed, obese little bastards, born to their numerous mistresses, how much more they could pay to their pathetic little political friends to ensure more tax benefits next year, or to ensure they get the planning permission for their new swimming pool. Or the contract to supply U.S troops at war.

ARISE YE STARVLINGS FROM YOUR SLUMBERS....

Now THAT was a rant for a before coffee post.

Hope it makes SOME sort of sence. ;)

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Post by scandalicious » Wed Dec 14, 2005 2:40 pm

We don't get Walmart as such in Australia, but we get Aldi stores, K-mart stores and other cheap stores.
Life moves quick, if you don't stop and look around once in awhile you might miss it.

Beauty fades, your spirit is forever.

The bad things in life open your eyes to the good things you weren't paying attention to before.

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