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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Standard member spruce112358
    Democracy Advocate
    10 Dec '12 00:33
    Conservative independents support the right to free association and so heartily support the right of workers to unionize if they so choose.

    We also support the rights of employers to sack people who refuse to work, whether part of a union or no. Naturally, most employers hesitate to do this because losing masses of trained employees ordinarily results in huge loss of productivity.

    So it seems that 'the right to work', meaning the right not to join a union in the first place should also be sacrosanct.

    Checks and balances on power are just as necessary within a corporation as within a government.

    Thoughts?
  2. 10 Dec '12 03:51 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by spruce112358
    Conservative independents support the right to free association and so heartily support the right of workers to unionize if they so choose.

    We also support the rights of employers to sack people who refuse to work, whether part of a union or no. Naturally, most employers hesitate to do this because losing masses of trained employees ordinarily result ances on power are just as necessary within a corporation as within a government.

    Thoughts?
    The argument most often raised against right to work is that those who work in a union shop without paying dues accept benefits they don't pay for.

    The opposite also could be true, since the union shop denies the individual the right to bargain for himself. This can open the opportunity for gifted or exceptional workers to gain advantages over average or below average workers. There is also the issue of dues being used for political purposes not supported by the worker.

    In any case, I see no way that forced union membership can be defended.
  3. 10 Dec '12 04:29
    Originally posted by spruce112358
    Conservative independents support the right to free association and so heartily support the right of workers to unionize if they so choose.

    We also support the rights of employers to sack people who refuse to work, whether part of a union or no. Naturally, most employers hesitate to do this because losing masses of trained employees ordinarily result ...[text shortened]... ances on power are just as necessary within a corporation as within a government.

    Thoughts?
    Yes, people have the right to organize in unions, and they also have the right not to join a union and should not be forced to join one.

    Checks and balances are needed in both a corporation and a government. The problem with unions is that they are essentially a monopoly in non-right to work states. The are the only seller of the labor, and corporations must go through them. As a result, they carry all the inefficiencies that accompany a monopoly.
  4. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    10 Dec '12 15:04
    I agree. Being forced to join a union is as much a violation of personal freedom as is being denied the right to join a union.
  5. 10 Dec '12 16:43 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by spruce112358
    Conservative independents support the right to free association and so heartily support the right of workers to unionize if they so choose.

    We also support the rights of employers to sack people who refuse to work, whether part of a union or no. Naturally, most employers hesitate to do this because losing masses of trained employees ordinarily result ances on power are just as necessary within a corporation as within a government.

    Thoughts?
    The chief economic argument against RTW is the free rider problem.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_rider_problem

    Statistically,US states with RTW laws show lower average wages, less medical insurance coverage and pension payouts that non-RTW states. Whether this is causally related, I don't know, but it is a fact that RTW organizations are strongly backed by employers so they must think so. (Wikipedia, right to work.)

    Some here say it is wrong to "force" workers to joint a union, but that is not the only alternative to RTW. Other analogies could be drawn, such as, no one is "forced" to have a driver's license -- they could choose not to drive. Employers are not "forced" to pay into government programs like unemployment compensation -- they could avoid this by not having employees.

    So while the following is probably a hare-brained idea and is certainly half-baked, it is a conceptual alternative. Employers that hire non-union members to jobs represented by a union that has a contract with that employer (this might need tuning) could be required to pay some extra amount in state and/or federal taxes that support unemployment compensation, social security, and medicare/medicaid, the extra amount related in some way to the number, ratio, or employee cost impact of the non-union workers employed. This would in some sense pay society back for the "benefit" the employer obtains for having non-union employees that lower the employers' employee costs overall. Small businesses could be exempted if the administrative work was onerous.
  6. 10 Dec '12 17:04 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by JS357
    The chief economic argument against RTW is the free rider problem.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_rider_problem

    Statistically,US states with RTW laws show lower average wages, less medical insurance coverage and pension payouts that non-RTW states. Whether this is causally related, I don't know, but it is a fact that RTW organizations are strongly ba s overall. Small businesses could be exempted if the administrative work was onerous.
    Unions are associated with higher wages because they exist to raise the wages of their members and lobby with the corporation for more benefits. This increases the variable costs associated with production, and actually leads to an economic argument against Labor Unions when it comes to periods of unemployment.

    Labor Unions have made Keynes' concept of sticky wages a reality. The rationale behind keeping wages high in periods of high unemployment, according to Keynes, is as follows: when the inevitable shrink in production that accompanies a depression or recession hits, by keeping nominal wages high, real wages are increased, because the purchasing power of worker's paychecks increases as the levels of production decrease. Prices begin to drop as supply of the goods drops due to the decrease in demand. With real wages increased, workers will be able to consume to a greater extent than if wages were allowed to drop, as was previously the method of choice, and thus the recovery would be quicker.

    The problem with this is that Keynes did not believe that inflation and high unemployment could occur simultaneously. In fact, he believed that an increase in money supply would not affect prices at all until the economy reached full employment, and that an increase in the money supply would have a stimulative effect on the economy until full employment was reached. After reaching full employment, only then would prices begin to rise if the money supply was increased.

    The problem with this is that as shown by Stagflation in the 1970s, inflation and high unemployment actually can occur at the same time, and as such, the effect of inflation on wages can be seen as follows: as wages stay the same, inflation drives up prices, decreasing the real wages for the workers, and lowering variable production costs for producers. This necessitates a rise in wages in order to restore the balance. As countries consistently have a small amount of inflation all the time, and consider it to be a good thing, you inevitably will have a rise in wage rates in response to the ever rising prices. Thus, real wages fall in spite of sticky wages.

    The fact that unions are associated with higher wages is partially explained by this, but also by the fact they have a monopoly over labor. A monopolistic firm chooses it's supply point based on where MR and MC intersect, and because the MR curve is below the demand curve, this will always result in a higher price and a lower quantity of the good. In this case, the monopoly of Labor Unions over labor is associated with higher wage rates and lower rates of employment.

    This is my economic argument against Labor Unions. The free rider problem is also associated with Unions, and RTW counteracts this problem. It forces employees to stay competitive to keep their salaries and jobs.
  7. Standard member spruce112358
    Democracy Advocate
    10 Dec '12 17:21
    Originally posted by JS357
    The chief economic argument against RTW is the free rider problem.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_rider_problem

    Statistically,US states with RTW laws show lower average wages, less medical insurance coverage and pension payouts that non-RTW states. Whether this is causally related, I don't know, but it is a fact that RTW organizations are strongly ba ...[text shortened]... s overall. Small businesses could be exempted if the administrative work was onerous.
    Noted. I like the litter example.

    I guess a single union with forced membership feels way too much like "one party rule." So the first step is saying, nobody has to join a union. Second is to have multiple unions vying for membership and offering different platforms to gain members.
  8. 10 Dec '12 17:26 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by blaze8492
    Unions are associated with higher wages because they exist to raise the wages of their members and lobby with the corporation for more benefits. This increases the variable costs associated with production, and actually leads to an economic argument against Labor Unions when it comes to periods of unemployment.

    Labor Unions have made Keynes' concept of racts this problem. It forces employees to stay competitive to keep their salaries and jobs.
    "The fact that unions are associated with higher wages is partially explained by this, but also by the fact they have a monopoly over labor."

    I'm here to learn. I would like to see alternative views to the above. Here is a link that supports it.

    http://www.nrtw.org/d/big_labor_special_privileges.htm

    I have also seen a link that argues that a union's getting higher wages and causing lower employment is in itself, not proof that it is a monopoly; nor is having an exclusionary contract with an employer; since exclusionary contracts can be written in a market that has competition.
  9. 10 Dec '12 17:50
    Employees should be free to join a union, and be free not to. I for one have not joined the union representing scientific staff, don't really see the point. Employers should be free to fire employees at will (although employees and unions can of course negotiate contracts that stipulate restrictions to this if they so choose). It's the government's responsibility to ensure a safety net is in place. Putting reponsibilities like pensions and health care in the hands of employers is inefficient and places an unnecessary administrative burden on smaller businesses in particular.
  10. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    10 Dec '12 17:51
    "Right to work" laws are a government interference with the free market that right wingers love.
  11. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    10 Dec '12 17:53
    Originally posted by normbenign
    The argument most often raised against right to work is that those who work in a union shop without paying dues accept benefits they don't pay for.

    The opposite also could be true, since the union shop denies the individual the right to bargain for himself. This can open the opportunity for gifted or exceptional workers to gain advantages over average ...[text shortened]... orted by the worker.

    In any case, I see no way that forced union membership can be defended.
    This is incoherent; no one is forced to join a union.
  12. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    10 Dec '12 17:58
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    "Right to work" laws are a government interference with the free market that right wingers love.
    Right to work laws are probably only necessary because of the protection that government gives to labor unions.
  13. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    10 Dec '12 17:59
    Originally posted by blaze8492
    Unions are associated with higher wages because they exist to raise the wages of their members and lobby with the corporation for more benefits. This increases the variable costs associated with production, and actually leads to an economic argument against Labor Unions when it comes to periods of unemployment.

    Labor Unions have made Keynes' concept of ...[text shortened]... racts this problem. It forces employees to stay competitive to keep their salaries and jobs.
    These are simplistic statements that misstate what Keynes believed. They are also at odds with reality; union membership in the US has plummeted as a percentage of the work force since the 1950s yet average unemployment has risen and real wages have stagnated or fell.
  14. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    10 Dec '12 18:00
    Originally posted by sh76
    Right to work laws are probably only necessary because of the protection that government gives to labor unions.
    Like what? The protection of enforcing contracts?
  15. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    10 Dec '12 18:01
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    This is incoherent; no one is forced to join a union.
    Thanks to the Taft–Hartley Act, this is largely true. In states without right to work laws and even more likely were the T-H Act not passed, it is likely that work in an industry would be difficult or impossible without joining a union. As it is, during the Sandy cleanup there were multiple stories of out of region utility workers that were denied work because they were not union members.