Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What Have Unions Ever Done For Us!?

Does everyone writing for the Washington Post Writers Group have an advanced degree in Nonsense?
Because it sure seems that way.

And Marie Cocco, taking her turn at being The Biggest Idiot Writing For The Washington Post Writers Group, with her column, Unions Are The Solution, serves a heaping portion of said nonsense.

Naturally, she's got a complaint.
She's tired of the union bashing, and imperiously instructs us to, "Note well that we did not hear any such tirades when vastly larger sums of taxpayer money -- with fewer strings attached -- were lavished upon the banks and financial industry wizards who created the credit crisis."

Now, in that one sentence Ms Cocco is disingenuous once and wrong twice.

First, to her disingenuousness: She throws out "taxpayer money" as if she believes that taxpayer money is just that, money belonging it to the taxpayer.
She doesn't.
She just wants "taxpayer money" for national healthcare.

As for being wrong: When you get something wrong it can be for only 1 of 2 reasons, 1) you are ignorant, or 2) you are a liar.
Now I believe that Ms Cocco is too bright and resourceful a person to be ignorant. Therefore, she's a liar.

As to her first lie: there certainly were tirades -in abundance- when those "vastly larger sums of taxpayer money -- with fewer strings attached -- were lavished upon the banks and financial industry wizards."
Those wizards were not merely upbraided, but were made to kneel and grovel in both Congressional hearings and in the media. They were publicly humiliated.
You'd have to be Marie Cocco to have missed it.

Which leads us to her second lie: that those wizards created the credit crisis.
How clever to omit the contributing factors of the Community Reinvestment Act, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, unqualified buyers and the government policies which got this whole crisis ball rolling.

Now she gets to her defense of the unions, stating, "No one should be allowed to cast blame on workers who want nothing more than to maintain a middle-class life."
Thankfully, my right to blame anybody for anything is protected by the Constitution. You know, just like Ms Cocco's.

Realizing that that's a pretty lame defense, Ms Cocco avers, "Unions aren't the problem. They are the solution. Creating a viable middle class has been the goal of organized labor since labor first became organized."
Oh, how noble.
And laughable.
And wrong.
If unions are the solution, then why isn't everyone in a union? Seems they'd be much more popular than, say, George W Bush. But with his approval rating in the 20's and union membership at only 7%, it appears that the man everyone loves to blame is more popular than the solution.

Besides, organized labor's only intent has ever been to increase wages, no matter the cost.
Pun intended...if it's a pun.

Thankfully, Ms Cocco doesn't try to make her case without some form of evidence. And she serves up that evidence in the form of nonsense and fallacies.
To wit, "Unionized workers make about $200 more per week than do nonunion workers."
No doubt they do.

But they do so at their own expense, the community's expense, and even their employer's expense.
Accepting that wages are prices, and thus costs, any rise in wages will result in a rise in the cost of the product being produced, thus reducing purchasing power(wages) for all.
(This excludes an increase in hourly productivity. Because there was none at the Big 3 for a long time).
Employers are disadvantaged by union-workers as they must compete against non-union workers who have not artificially inflated the price of the product.
The perfect illustration of this is the very one playing out right now, which Ms Cocco chooses to ignore, namely, that unionized American car makers are going bust, while their non-unionized foreign competitors are not.
Again, you'd have to be Marie Cocco to miss this.

But Ms Cocco continues, "The great expansion of the American middle class and an unprecedented rise in living standards occurred between the end of World War II and the 1970s -- when unions were far more common and powerful than they are today."
Again, laughable.
Again, wrong.

Wages are determined by labor productivity.
Increased wages should be the result of increased labor productivity, not union demands.
The rise in wages during the period cited by Ms Cocco is attributable to increased capital investment and technological advances which led to increased labor productivity, which led to increased wages.
Ms Cocco fails to see this coincidence.
And, again, you'd have to Ms Cocco to have missed it.

Wow, there are so many things she didn't, as he instructs, "Note well."

No comments: