Tag Archives: union-busting

This is why taxes are going up on the wealthy

Income growth inequalities

This graphic for income growth over the last thirty or so years does a pretty good job explaining why taxes are going up for the wealthiest Americans. That orange line at the top isn’t me, it’s not my family and it’s probably not yours; it’s the wealthiest 5% of Americans. The next line is the wealthiest 20% of Americans.

The rest of us are headed in the other direction.

The next time you see an article about millionaires and billionaires wanting to pay $300,000 a pop for membership rights to a private island so that they can avoid taxes, remember this is the context. Our government’s “tyranny” is our only line of defense against CEOs making more money than ever before, especially in places like Michigan where wealthy conservatives are going are unions. That union exists to keep income growth at a competitive level; right to work is nothing more than the right to work for less. Of course, the most effective way to combat this would be the institution of a law saying that executives can’t be paid more than X times more than the lowest paid employee.

Here’s another way of looking at it.

Growth of CEO pay in America

Are CEOs doing 200 times the work of their workers? Those who speak against taxing the country’s very wealthy often use the argument that the wealthy accrue a lot of risk in investing their capital and that they should be rewarded for the risks they take.

But their workers take a lot of risks, too. They risk their health by taking on extra hours to get ahead at work. They risk getting into accidents or breaking down on the side of the road by putting off car repairs that they can’t afford. They risk their safety by living in an unsafe neighborhood because they can’t afford to live anywhere else. Workers making 1/200 that of their companies executives don’t have fewer risks; they have just as many with far more at stake.

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Union busting = Pure Michigan?

Union busting = Pure Michigan?

Ad that appeared in the Wall Street Journal this week linking the Pure Michigan tourism campaign to union busting legislation.

Ahh… that is… #pureBS

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11/01/2013 · 18:01

Why I oppose Right to Work

A lot of people are confused about what exactly Right to Work is which makes sense since the vast majority of Americans aren’t affected by Right to Work legislation.

What is Right to Work?

“Right to Work” legislation defunds unions by saying that union members cannot be required to pay dues as a part of their membership in the union – which sounds really great until you consider that this promotes freeloading.

Moreover, while big business is one of the largest supporters of Republican politics (Koch bros, anyone?), labor unions are one of the biggest supporters of Democratic politics. Defunding unions means less bargaining power, lower membership, and less political clout.

So what’s the big deal? Shouldn’t people have the right to not join a union?

You are not required to join a union in your place of work. It’s optional. However if there is a union at your place of work and you don’t join the union, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t benefiting from their work – so you still pay dues.

Wait. So you still have to pay even if you don’t want to join?

Yes. The union is still representing you to your employer on your behalf. You are still benefiting from their work.

Defunding labor unions is an attack on good jobs and hard-working Americans. The GOP, being in the pockets of big money and corporate America, sees paying workers less and having fewer rights in the workplace as the solution to our current economic woes. If employers can pay less, they can increase profit, maybe even expand operations in the U.S.

As Anne Savage said on Twitter today, “Snyder didn’t sign Right to Work bill so Michigan can compete with Indiana he did it so Michigan can compete with China.”

Corporate America and their GOP cronies are hoping that we’ll forget the advances made by the labor movement during the 20th century. And, you gotta give them credit, if there’s ever a time to do it, it’s during an economic downturn when any job is better than no job. Once we start repealing the advances in labor made during the 20th century, we can start competing with China, India and Mexico for the jobs that we’ve been exporting for the sake of their CEO’s and shareholders’ bottom lines.

Want a history on labor unions? Ezra Klein gave a quick overview last night (12/11) on TRMS.

Bottom line: The GOP is making a strategic attack on unions for their own gain and dressing it up like a Christmas present to working Americans. If the GOP cared about workers’ rights and “freedom”, they wouldn’t have chosen a lame duck session to push the legislation through here in Michigan at a time when no one was expecting it after years of Governor Snyder saying that this sort of legislation is wrong for Michigan.

By the way, Governor. You were right. Right to work is wrong for Michigan.

2014, here we come.

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The best of the best (protest signs 12/11)

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One of my favorites from today. Simple, straight-forward, and it was the only sign I saw all day that brought together the pro-union, pro-Planned Parenthood forces.

As things got started this morning, there was a giant banner hanging on the capitol. Protestors used their own signs to cover it up until someone could be found to cut through the iron cables.

As things got started this morning, there was a giant banner hanging on the capitol. Protestors used their own signs to cover it up until someone could be found to cut through the iron cables.

A myriad of protesters and among them... a myriad of Santas throughout the day.

A myriad of protesters and among them… a myriad of Santas throughout the day.

The mitten signs were some of my favorites.

The mitten signs were some of my favorites.

In most office windows, staffers and politicians could be seen peering out, taking photos of the protest with their smart phones. I commend Rep. Segal for taking the effort to show her solidarity.

In most office windows, staffers and politicians could be seen peering out, taking photos of the protest with their smart phones. I commend Rep. Segal for taking the effort to show her solidarity.

The simplicity in this just about sums it up.

The simplicity in this just about sums it up.

"Nerds have a union?"

“Nerds have a union?”

RIP MI Democracy

My favorite poster that I saw all day long.

My favorite poster that I saw all day long.

What do you think? I think this is one kick-ass teacher!

What do you think? I think this is one kick-ass teacher!

Classic.

Classic.

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This is what democracy looks like

Protesters march around the capitol.

Protesters march around the capitol.

 

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My favorite poster that I saw all day long.

My favorite poster that I saw all day long.

 

Protesters getting ready to march on the capitol from across the river around 9 am.

Protesters getting ready to march on the capitol from across the river around 9 am.

 

After 9 am, the eastern steps of the capitol building suddenly became a very crowded place.

After 9 am, the eastern steps of the capitol building suddenly became a very crowded place.

 

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The rat king coming home to his castle.

The rat king coming home to his castle.

 

Incident police HQ

Chants could still be heard blocks away from the capitol building.

 

I wish that the 27 had been in Celsius.

I wish that the 27 had been in Celsius.

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This is what democracy looks like

At least in Michigan.

Photo credit Jonathon Oosting from MLive.com

Photo credit Jonathon Oosting from MLive.com

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About time

Barack Obama was in Detroit today and he’s finally bringing the fight on union-busting legislation.

Not a second too soon.

Barack Obama was also in Michigan to announce new investments by Daimler here in Michigan.

And in case you weren’t looking, just when you thought this lame-duck session was jam-packed enough, both chambers voted to approve measures restricting abortion coverage on health insurance plans, leaving the decision up to the employer as to whether or not they want “elective” abortions covered (i.e. abortions not covering the mother’s life).

 

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