What’s your point??? I still maintain that the system of unions was born out of necessity to protect the “working class” that you seem to venerate and wish to protect and that that same working class pushed the unions against the corporations to the point that they worked themselves out of employment, shrug?
Unions however moved far outside their actual mandate of ‘fighting for worker safety and a good wage’… They are one of the main reasons that medical care is tied to employment… They did that. They also took union wages to become a powerful block vote in the name of its members, whether they liked it or not. They have intervened in the education of our children… not to protect and uplift the education of the child but to protect, regardless of merit, the teacher. They have become an uncontrolled power broker against the taxpayer who has little say in the pensions they pay for because it is middlemen, sometimes elected, most times not, who actually do the negotiation on behalf of the taxpayer. Unions have managed to leave a lot of economic and social harm in their wake…
My point is that you NEVER belonged to organized labor . You fed off a union table lived in a union home and like most anti gunners no nothing about ether one .
1834 First turnout of “mill girls” in Lowell, Massachusetts, to protect wage cuts
1843 Lowell Female Labor Reform Association begins public petitioning for 10-hour day
1903 Women’s Trade Union League formed at the AFL convention
1909 “Uprising of the 20,000” female shirtwaist makers in New York strike against sweatshop conditions
1911 Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in New York kills nearly 150 workers
1912 Bread and Roses strike begun by immigrant women in Lawrence, Massachusetts, ended with 23,000 men, women and children on strike and with as many as 20,000 on the picket line
1963 Equal Pay Act bans wage discrimination based on gender
Unions were not formed for collective bargaining ! Unions first goal is worker safety and safe working conditions ! Trade unions go even further by providing a highly skilled work force to participating contractors !
Union membership has plummeted because fellow Americans closed union shops in America firing American labor and exploiting child forced and slave labor . Real heroes I hope to see each everyone of them in hell where I can torment then for eternity !
You make it sound as if all that was bad. I didn’t say unions were formed for collective bargaining. I said that they were formed due to all manor of abuses during the industrialization period, ruthless hours, poor working conditions and fair pay all motivated workers to form. The unions started out noble but by the time my dad was retiring they had become useless, more of a liability and though my dad was required to remain a member and still pay dues to keep his job, he had nothing to do with them. He breached picket lines which was dangerous and sometimes when workers were striking he stayed the night at his machine to avoid the Pickett’s and was still ridiculed and hassled at his station. So don’t make assumptions.
Why is Disney, one of the largest corporations, asking its employees for money? Easy – politics. A few weeks ago, Disney CEO Bob Iger penned a letter to employees, asking them donate to the company’s political action committee (PAC).
Related: Why Politics and Business Don’t Mix
The letter asked employees to contribute to the fund to help support Disney’s fight over copyright issues, but those employees weren’t easily swayed. Those who leaked the letter told Arstechnica.com they felt it was insensitive in its assumption that all employees shared the same political beliefs. So, where did Disney go wrong? Why did its letter miss the mark?https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/272158
Federal law prohibits companies from donating directly to political candidates, which is why individual employees must voluntarily fund corporate-sponsored political action committees — and their bosses can’t force them to donate.
Yet one enticement companies are using to attract PAC support is a program that will “match” employees’ donations with contributions to charities of their choosing.
Take Coca-Cola Co., for instance. Employees who donate to the company’s PAC can designate charitable organizations to receive a gift equal to their PAC contributions.
In 2012, Coca-Cola gave $217,000 to charities in the name of employees who contributed to its corporate PAC, according to information disclosed online by the company. That’s up from $148,000 in 2011.https://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/06/11/12778/charitable-matches-used-entice-pac-giving
Your pension concerns are all state and large city’s employees who from what I know union members in working for government agency’s exchange benefits that other members in there union would receive for government pension .
My pension fund is doing great and I don’t know of any trade union having pension troubles .
The problem is in machine politics not funding their obligations not organized labor !
At 11% we are easy targets today but if President Trump is successful in putting America first Union membership will grow
and all working Americans will benefit from it again !
Firstly Citizens United was in direct reaction to unions taking sides in elections. The have been a democratic front for generations. Had Unions not staunchly held to the ideas that 1) everyone that works in a state must join a union and 2) that membership dues would fuel a political agenda, I don’t believe Citizens United would have gotten traction.
Your comment about 11% being an easy target… we didn’t get to diminished union membership in a vacuum… So saying that I am blaming current trade union membership for union involvement in social and political issues 50 years ago is somewhat disingenuous. Take for instance how we pay for our medical care. FDR institution wage controls in WWII… the only way industry could attract new workers was via incentive. They offered key employees Catastrophic major medical. Unions, after wage controls were lifted decided to use it as a bargaining tool… the rest is history. Granted this problem started with government meddling in private enterprise but it was most certainly unions that ran with the ball.
Public sector unions are removed from public scrutiny by a layer of bureaucracy… We can see the most clear results of this mismanagement of the connection between government and the union in Illinois and California. Sometimes you just got to do what Reagan did and tell the lot… YOUR FIRED… P.S. I’ve been in unions and I have done much better negotiation my own employment agreements.
You can tout the union movement if you like but don’t forget that the Unions by their own design are non competitive and explanatory…
The AFL also started out in the 1880s with a nondiscrimination policy, but founder Samuel Gompers later came to see Blacks as a “convenient whip placed in the hands of the employers to cow the white man.”
Unions pushed the likes of the Davis-Bacon Act to specifically exclude blacks from northern work-sights… because blacks could undercut the northern white workers.
Teachers Unions prevent competition in education and we can see the result…
Unions, while having a place have done and continue to do harm to this day. Your comment about about Trumps America First policies would have a positive effect on union growth and wages… I companies are genuinely ripping off workers, collective bargaining can be good, but as we saw in the auto industry when southern workers rejected unions in those Japanese plants… Unions lost workers to non union jobs. Their are so many groups… of which the government is the biggest, that skews wages in one industry driving up prices for everyone. Union workers may have forced auto companies to cough up more money and benefits and retirement funds… but car prices have not been static now have they? Car prices, in real terms have doubled since 1975… minimum wage has contracted thus making what is, in America, a necessity, almost a hardship to own…
For every point one can make about business greed, I would say that consumers in industries affected by unions have been harmed because of a blockage of competition… and as I said before, medical care costs are almost a direct reflection of collective bargaining…
P.S. Making America Great Again, does not mean that the American Labor market is isolated… not unless we become a completely closed society… so if you want to compete with the rest of the world, I wouldn’t count on too many raises in the future… better for the government to get its damn finger off of price scales and actually equalize product prices…like the fed allowing house prices to go where they naturally would… but investors from about the early 2000’s wouldn’t be happy…
Your answer is nonsense Unions and their membership have nothing to do with the cost of health care !
The only thing you can tie Unions and health care to that most Union workers have very good health care thanks to the union and their employers !
Why do Americans pay more for their health care and receive less value and poorer outcomes when compared with other industrialized countries? The graphs below show the disparity in prices of medical treatments, hospital stays, and pharmaceutical drugs.
For all that money, you would think that America has the best healthcare outcomes in the world, right? Wrong. We are sadly lagging way behind our fellow industrialized countries.
America still lags behind other industrialized nations. What are other countries doing differently? Well, for starters, many have adopted a universal healthcare system. What we now call Medicare for All. But, does universal healthcare mean we have to pay more in taxes? You know how Americans hate to pay taxes. But, think about it. You can pay upfront for socialized medicine through your taxes, knowing you aren’t paying for the uninsured through social programs. Or you can pay the doctor later for your own healthcare maladies that aren’t covered by your insurance. Because you know those insurers do NOT like to pay for whatever it is that you most need. At least with the former option, you have peace of mind that a catastrophic illness won’t bankrupt you or a family member.
Actually, we fall below all of our sister countries. Even Costa Ricans outlive us and they are a third world country. That’s shameful. Obviously, we are doing something wrong.
We have the best drug research and development on the planet. That’s why our drug costs are so high, right? Wrong. Let’s look at what that pharma money is really paying for. The USA and New Zealand are the only countries on the planet that allow direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceutical drugs. We have been conditioned to think that we can just pop a pill and cure anything – without having to improve our diet or exercise or do any of the other healthy practices that keep our sister nations healthy. We’ve been brainwashed and at a very high price. The price of our health, our longevity, and our cost for care.
Did you know that pharmaceutical companies pay more to lobby politicians than the lobby expenditures of oil & gas combined? That’s a crazy amount of money. No wonder our drugs cost more than other countries where DTC advertising isn’t allowed. And, naught for nothing, those TV commercials and magazine ads and online ads cost big bucks. How much of that pharma profit is really going into R&D? Is more money being spent to fast-track drugs to market that haven’t been tested properly? Or are we just lab rats for Big PhRMa?
There is also the cost of diagnostic tests. Have you noticed that US doctors are so quick to test you for whatever ails you? You think those tests are necessary to confirm their diagnosis, right? Wrong. We pay more for our healthcare overall because testing is part of the diagnostic healthcare paradigm. Not so in the rest of the world. Those tests are often unnecessary and/or designed to treat you with a pharmaceutical drug well before a disease is truly evident. See my earlier article on prediabetes, not to mention prehypertension. REALLY?! Prehypertension is now a thing? Yes, it is. And, it’s a huge money maker for pharma because it is the gateway drug to your life dependency on drugs to treat the side effects of the drugs you are already taking. Vicious cycle, people. VICIOUS!
There are a whole lot of reasons for the medical outcomes and heath status of people in the US of A but that does nothing to address that fact that insurance is a middleman cost to heathcare… a cost exacerbated by the fact that people now need insurance to cover the cost of a basic doctors visit… One of those reasons is that rather than negotiating wages for their employees, unions negotiated greater and greater coverage for their workers… that coverage translated to greater cost for medical treatment… Now like I said, the pervasive use of insurance isn’t the only reason for the rising cost of delivery but it started a price trend that has not slowed down over the past 3 decades…
So the direct answer to your question as to why we pay more for healthcare is that we have a vast middleman system of billing and insurance as well stupid government regulation. As far as our overall cost being more than any other country, minus the regulatory and middleman costs, I give you the largest cost in real medical delievery and advancement and that is research and development… All other countries negotiate pharmaceuticals… let the US do that and see how many new drugs are created… Britain is just now installing some advanced cancer treatment equipment… very expensive… it has been in operation and tested in the US of almost a decade…
Lots of reasons but do not say that the use of negotiated external ‘benefits’ rather than straight wage negotiations had no affect…
For a guy so opposed to socialism, you sure did just lay out all the reasons why we should move away from for profit healthcare to single payer/socialized medicine.
That is exactly what I am saying . You are kicking the wrong dog on this one !
Union membership at its highest in the 1950 was the last time health care was affordable . There is no way 11% or for that matter even 20% of the American work force is responsible for the run away cost of health care in America . A congress corrupted by special interest is all to feasible ! Just as state and local government pension funding is not the responsibility of unions but the governments that didn’t fund or more likely spent the vested pension money !
Teachers police officers fire men plumbers electricians cement finishers bricklayers truck drivers labors pipe fitters just to name a few in some city’s and states are going to get screwed out of part if not all their pensions because of corrupted government officials . Had those working citizens stayed in the private work force for the most part their vested pensions would be safe and they could look forward to their golden years !
And you are telling me that Unions are not a special interest? Look, I get that you support the work of unions and that you hold them harmless and only find goodness in their efforts but the fact is… ANYTHING that puts pressure on the market affects it and every time the union forces an employer to sign a contract, pressure is put on the market somewhere. Unions were originally a combined voice of the worker to extract ‘JUST’ concessions for wage and condition… They have, in my opinion gone beyond that mandate to extract ‘EXCEPTIONAL’ concessions for their members. You have admitted above that union workers have very good healthcare. We know that union workers tend or tended to be paid at a higher rate than other workers in the same profession. Deserved or not, these union negotiations not only pushed up wages for their members but did so for their non union competitors as well. Some would say that is a good thing but when wages are artificially high, they push prices up everywhere… They help to create a non-competitive market…
There is no question that it was government that started the problems of introducing extraneous compensation into the pay package with wage controls but unions pushed insurance as an additional bargaining position. It started with catastrophic major medical just as employers use to get around wage controls in the first place and with every contract renegotiation expanded to cover every aspirin and every visit. That use of medical care as a negotiating tool could do nothing but put pressure on medical delivery and create support industries which added cost.
Do you not see the irony in your own comment? Previous to that many people paid their doctors in kind… some barter, some with pies… doctors charged what the local market could bear. Most large cities had charity hospitals for the indigent… The last charity hospital closed under the pressures of the ACA. Insurance has created enormous pressure on total medical costs… and I am afraid that it was union pressure that saw the rise of the insurance industry in medical delivery and made it a responsibility of employers to provide it.
Don’t get me wrong, collective bargaining can right wrongs in the way a company treats it employees but when a union becomes proactive in extracting additional wages and benefits that the market would not otherwise pay, they, not unlike minimum wage laws for lower paid workers, distort the market, change pricing… and not unlike the burger flipper cause industry to find ways to relieve itself of the extra expense … like automation.
Unions in the public sector are considerably more insidious than their private sector counterparts. Firstly, when a union pushes unreasonable demands on a business… it will fold; government just raises taxes to keep the workers happy. Across the board public sector workers make more than in the wealth producing private sector in what would be like for like jobs. Now you want to blame corrupt government officials in total but public sector unions like to use its workers to extract the most amount of pain from the private sector consumer… While I will certainly agree that government has mismanaged pension funds, government, particularly state and local are captive to the economy and during tax deficiencies you either scrape money from forward looking things like pensions or you let workers go out on strike and stop picking up the trash… The voters are watching you know and they don’t want any more tax hikes…
One think you bring up which to me is, historically and geographically isolated is ‘the Golden Years’ comment. We have become accustom to a generalized return on investment of about 8%. Common workers have placed their retirement lot in the hands of market returns …Unrealistic by any historical measure and comes from a period of time when the US was the only industrial base standing. We are now hooked on market performance, a FED that has beaten us into a credit based economy and stolen our cash saving… We do love out government… until we don’t.
Unions aren’t the sole or even chief responsibility of America’s high cost health insurance. There’s no single factor, but multiples. But it can be distilled to the fact that it’s for profit. Capitalism is fine, but some things just ought not be for profit. Police, fire, primary education, healthcare etc. CEO’s compensation is outrageous. The rules and coding requirements for doctors to get paid are sufficiently complex that an entire medical billing industry exists to help doctors get paid so that they can concentrate on medicine. Since the beginning of mandatory electronic medical records, a cottage industry of software companies providing EHR/EMR’s has developed across the country, there are healthcare management consultants, attorneys and CPA’s all that service the industry, all as middlemen, all at rising cost to the industry. I’ve told you before but will remind you that Medicare operates at a 3.5% overhead and the Washington chief director of the program earns 247K a year. As to the unions, they, like so many other things (welfare, social security etc.) had noble beginnings but ultimately become liabilities to society.
The Myth of Medicare’s ‘Low Administrative Costs’
Insights into health care and entitlement reform.
Avik Roy Avik Roy , Forbes Staff
(This post is an edited excerpt of my recent article for the Summer 2011 issue of National Affairs, entitled “Saving Medicare from Itself.”)
Many people wrongly believe that Medicare is more efficient than private insurance; that view was often stated by champions of Obamacare during the debate preceding the law’s enactment. These advocates argued that Medicare’s administrative costs — the money it spends on expenses other than patient care — are just 3% of total costs, compared to 15% to 20% in the case of private, employer-sponsored insurance. But these figures are highly misleading, for several reasons.
Medicare is partially administered by outside agencies
First, other government agencies help administer the Medicare program. The Internal Revenue Service collects the taxes that fund the program; the Social Security Administration helps collect some of the premiums paid by beneficiaries (which are deducted from Social Security checks); the Department of Health and Human Services helps to manage accounting, auditing, and fraud issues and pays for marketing costs, building costs, and more. Private insurers obviously don’t have this kind of outside or off-budget help. Medicare’s administration is also tax-exempt, whereas insurers must pay state excise taxes on the premiums they charge; the tax is counted as an administrative cost. In addition, Medicare’s massive size leads to economies of scale that private insurers could also achieve, if not exceed, were they equally large.
Administrative costs are calculated using faulty arithmetic
But most important, because Medicare patients are older, they are substantially sicker than the average insured patient — driving up the denominator of such calculations significantly. For example: If two patients cost $30 each to manage, but the first requires $100 of health expenditures and the second, much sicker patient requires $1,000, the first patient’s insurance will have an administrative-cost ratio of 30%, but the second’s will have a ratio of only 3%. This hardly means the second patient’s insurance is more efficient — administratively, the patients are identical. Instead, the more favorable figure is produced by the second patient’s more severe illness.
Medicare has higher administrative costs per beneficiary
A more accurate measure of overhead would therefore be the administrative costs per patient, rather than per dollar of medical expenses. And by that measure, even with all the administrative advantages Medicare has over private coverage, the program’s administrative costs are actually significantly higher than those of private insurers. In 2005, for example, Robert Book has shown that private insurers spent $453 per beneficiary on administrative costs, compared to $509 for Medicare. (Indeed, Robert has written the definitive paper on this subject, from which the above figure is taken.)
Remember these points the next time someone tries to tell you that Medicare is “more efficient” than private insurance.
UPDATE 1: Tim Worstall points out in the comments that we should also count the deadweight costs of tax collection as part of Medicare’s administrative costs (say, 20% of the amount collected).
Wonder why healthcare is expensive.
Look back a few years. Obama’s grandmother in the hospital dying from cancer and medicare gives her a new hip. She never walked on that new hip.
The bulk of medicare spending is on the last 2 years of life.
No but they are 1) the prevalent reason that we depend so heavily on insurance for day to day care and 2) why employers became the to go to for health-care provisioning… We can thank the government for things like cost shifting, allowing essential collusion in pricing… (I.E. Price fixing) and of course allowing the medical profession to force people to take a service for which they have no clues as to what the costs will be… Most places have to post the price of their products… and no and aspirin doesn’t cost one person $.10 and another $5.00 or more… You still don’t address the enormous investment in time and money dedicated to the research required for Medicare to deliver it…
Funny how the opponents of socialized medicine lay out the argument for socialized medicine, snicker.
Fuck you and your shrug !!!
Offshoring cost millions of Americans working citizens deprived countless city’s and states the tax base and threatens Americas national security !
Your shrug is in line with your anti American rhetoric !
Davis-Bacon Act protects labor in a state from lower a paid workforce from out of state where their standard / cost of living of living is much lower !
"southern workers rejected unions in those Japanese plants…"
Because local government officials told the workers the plants would close and unemployment was around 9% .
What examples of organizing in the South would you hold up as examples, and what makes them work?
Flowers: I would point to last year’s victory for UFCW Local 400 at the only Lipton Tea plant in the U.S., in Suffolk, Virginia. We ratified our first contract there this July.
Lipton was forcing all employees to work 12-hour shifts for 13 days in a row, with only one day off every two weeks. The workers were frustrated and exhausted. One was forced to choose between attending their child’s graduation or a very important doctor’s appointment for a terminally ill child. Families and relationships were suffering badly and the company was unresponsive. http://www.labornotes.org/2017/09/after-nissan-can-we-organize-south
More than two dozen workers in the document-shredding department have been meeting for more than a month to strategize about forming Teamster Local 728 at the company. With a supermajority of signatures, in mid-October they submitted a petition to the federal government to unionize and are set to take a vote on unionization in late November.
Workers say the plant has changed for the worse in recent years, with demands to meet new deadlines and quotas.
“We are choosing to go union because the company is making changes and we are left behind. The company is talking about billions of dollars of profit, but we haven’t seen it. All we see is extra work,” a current Iron Mountain employee told Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity. http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/10/31/union-busting-tacticsondisplayatduluthgaplant.html
In the 13 Southern states*, the number of workers belonging to unions grew from 2.2 million in 2014, or 5.2 percent of the workforce, to 2.4 million by the end of 2015, or 5.5 percent of Southern workers.
Eight Southern states gained union members, including four states that ranked in the top 10 nationally for growth in union membership: West Virginia (which rose from 11.6 to 12.4 percent, a 1.8 point increase), Mississippi (a 1.8 point increase), Florida and North Carolina (1.1 point increases).
North Carolina’s rising unionization rate, which brings the state’s total number of union members up to 123,000, or 3 percent of the workforce, lifted it out of its position last year as the country’s least-unionized state. The bottom position now belongs to South Carolina, where the union membership rate stands at 2.1 percent.
The incremental gains showed by unions in Southern states come at a time when labor is stepping up its efforts to organize in the South. The effort has included high-profile campaigns by the United Auto Workers in Mississippi and Tennessee and the Raise Up/Fight for $15 campaign, as well as non-traditional initiatives like the Working America community outreach program and a “Union Cities” project to build progressive power in Atlanta, Dallas, Miami and other urban areas.https://www.facingsouth.org/2016/02/union-membership-creeps-upward-in-the-south
Oh dear! Takes self control and discipline to debate like an adult.
You do seem to bring out the worst in people… Interesting how it is always ‘the other guy’… and the list is growing.
The truly good shit stirrers are the ones who can presumably maintain their cool while causing everyone else to loose theirs…