Solidarity Tuesday


If Donald Trump’s first week as president wasn’t depressing enough, Thursday brought a report that showed union membership fell in 2016. Union members are now just 10.7% of the overall workforce and only 6.7% of the private sector. Those are the lowest levels since the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) began tracking them in the early 1980s — and possibly the lowest since the 1920s.

Bosses and union haters will crow that unions are dying institutions and even our friends may write eulogies. But this funeral is for the wrong corpse.

What may be dying is the system of collective bargaining that developed in the years after World War II. That system is one where unions exclusively bargain on behalf of workers on a company-by-company basis, not just for wages but also for an ever-expanding portfolio of employer-paid benefits. These collective bargaining agreements emphasize peaceful resolution of disagreements through grievance procedures, mediation and arbitration and can cover many years at a time with guarantees of no strikes and lockouts.

When it worked, it really worked. The postwar period is marked by an historic rise in compensation and living standards for American workers and a sustained reduction in inequality. United Auto Workers (UAW) negotiations used to receive the same breathless news coverage that the stock market receives today. Wage increases won by the union affected the wages of even non-union workers in totally unrelated industries.



About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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66 Responses to Solidarity Tuesday

  1. David B. Benson says:

    Yes, it works.

  2. David B. Benson says:

    Claim of more snow but the clouds don’t look like it.

  3. David B. Benson says:

    Her name is Emily, not Holly. I think I convinced her to go to the symphony orchestra Thursday night.

  4. David B. Benson says:

    Is it DeVos or DuVos?

  5. Den says:

    Terrible day today, body misbehaving badly, had to shortstep down two spaces to recover my trash can that blew away, ouch. VA sending me to a local Rheumy maybe next week, meanwhile the flare continues unabated with all the low pressure systems rolling through every week it’s worse.

  6. Tim Hodges says:

    I’ve never been a member of a union nor will I ever be. However, many family members and friends were and still are union members. It does no good to be in a union if there are no jobs. I want to see all people that want to work be able to work, union or not. An economy growing between 1%-2% a year helps nobody. Unless this economy improves, things will get worse for all Americans.

    • David B. Benson says:

      The economy here is overheated. There are not quite enough people who want to work.

      • Tim Hodges says:

        That is a shame. You need a lot of workers just to keep Social Security and Medicare financially solvent. It is already broke. With retirees living longer and younger people unwilling to work, both programs will not last much younger.

        • David B. Benson says:

          The younger people are willing to work. Rather the amount of available work is higher than I’ve ever seen it. For example, there are currently 6 major construction projects in progress.

          Of course, there are never enough nurses, especially male nurses.

        • David B. Benson says:

          Social Security is actually solvent. Only the dimwitted proclaim otherwise.

        • Tim Hodges says:

          It is the greatest Ponzi Scheme ever perpetrated on the American worker. Even many in the FDR administration believed it would be broke by the ’60’s. Of course, they could not foresee the economic boom that occurred after WWII and lasted into the late ’60’s before Nixon, Ford and Carter destroyed it.

    • Tim Hodges says:

      Oh by the way, Dr. B. There was absolutely no reason for you to be insulting. I really don’t give a damn what you think.

      • David B. Benson says:

        I thought you were just passing along what you heard or read. Didn’t know you were a proclaimer.

        If you care to read something factual regarding Social Security, any good economist will do but Paul Krugman is especially entertaining.

      • Tim Hodges says:

        You mean the ferret faced economist who has never been right about anything? No thanks. Carry on.

      • David B. Benson says:

        Since he is a Nobel Laureate in Economics most hold that he is right about something.

        Or do you prefer to obtain your economic analysis from Laurel & Hardy?

      • Tim Hodges says:

        Laurel and Hardy are more reputable. Even the Three Stooges.

        • David B. Benson says:

          I am sure that the prize committee in Stockholm will be fascinated by your thorough analysis of Professor Krugman’s peer reviewed papers.


  7. David B. Benson says:

    Finally cooled enough to snow Den’s leftover precipitation. Small, light flakelets.

  8. Den says:

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that the maximum amount of wages in 2017 subject to the 6.2% Social Security tax (old age, survivor, and disability insurance) will rise from $118,500 to $127,200, an increase of more than 7%. By comparison, the 2016 wage base was unchanged from 2015.Oct 19, 2016

    No cap and the dollars would flow making SS filthy stinking rich, it’s not running out of money it is being choked out of existence.

    • David B. Benson says:

      I doubt that last.

      • Den says:

        I advocate anyone earning money here should pay their fair share according to income, 5% would be plenty if it covered a larger spectrum of wages.

        The with the additional funds we could could get better money at retirement instead of peon wages barely paying the bills, even the millionaires would have to chip in 5% of their income, we could be living large in old age.

        Trouble is none of those high-priced politicians is smart enough to figure it out, they’re too busy bickering and grubbing for money.


    • º¿carol says:

      All I’ve got to say is THANK goodness for that “Ponzi scheme.” It’s all Bob and I have to live on. Without Ponzi we would be out in the street, living under a viaduct. Bob worked all his life, paying into SS. It was the only way we had to save money for old age. The job he had the last 20 years actually provided a 401(k), but the 2008 crash took half of what he had. We do have the other half, but we let it sit in the bank for that rainy day which may, or may never come. It’s a small amount, more like mad money. If we didn’t have SS that would have been gone in a few months, if that.

      • º¿carol says:

        They really, REALLY need to erase the FICA cap and quit screwing around. But with the kind of politicians in Washington, sane things like that simply can’t be done. We’re going to hell in a hand basket now. Everything crumbling. Can’t expect anything to be fixed, we’re doomed.

        We have an insane, know-nothing blowhard in the White House who wants to make American Great by tearing everything that makes it great, apart. He has a Congress that will let him. Crazy as that jerk is, everyone is treating him with deference, as if he is credible about ANY damn thing. He’s a monster, wish better men were around to call a halt to his nonsense and get him the ef out of there.

  9. Den says:

    The drenching is over finally, plenty of tree trash out there, it’s getting Sunny next week finally

  10. David B. Benson says:

    Three Stooges: Marxist analysis.

  11. º¿carol says:

    It went up to 53° today, most of the snow gone. The packed snow in the drive turned to ice, of course, but that is pretty much gone now, too. It rained all day, and tonight we have high winds.

  12. º¿carol says:

    Testing something

  13. º¿carol says:

    And of COURSE DeVos got thru, they’ll ALL get through. Nothing can stop the train to hell. I’m sure that sicko Gorsuch will make it to the SC, too. Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. It’s just the way it is now. Evil men are in charge, so that’s that.

    Of course, it won’t last, they’ll get the boot but righting everything they tear up will take decades and none of us will be here to see good days return.

  14. º¿carol says:

    Remember this one, Den?

  15. º¿carol says:

    This was for Doc’s 2015 birthday card.

  16. Den says:

    Cletus taking Buford for a spin:

  17. º¿carol says:

    This was from 2007. A get well card I sent to Den.
    Micki, Alan, Doc, Carey, Den, Hajji and Carol

  18. º¿carol says:

    Not one of my favorites, because I didn’t have the right picture of you. Had to work with the ones I had. But hey, they’re bikers, and you’re in there with them.

  19. º¿carol says:

    It says it copied to the clipboard, I’ll try it.

  20. º¿carol says:

    And finally, Rodney’s garage.

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