Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Illinois Loses 1,000 More Union Jobs, and Another Manufacturing Plant to Right-to-Work Mississippi

EAST ALTON, ILLINOIS -- "Some union workers were making plans Wednesday to hit the bricks to look for new jobs after Olin Corp. announced it will move its Winchester Centerfire Operations and 1,000 jobs from Illinois to Oxford, Miss.  The company made the announcement one day after members of District 9 of the International Association of Machinists (IAM) and Aerospace Workers rejected a contract that would have frozen wages for seven years.

The company told the union leaders in August that it was considering relocating to Mississippi to make the operation more competitive. The company and union leaders negotiated a concession deal for two months.

"Our focus always has been on ensuring that we continue producing high-quality products for our customers in an increasingly competitive marketplace," said Joseph D. Rupp, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Olin Corp.

"While I am disappointed that employees represented by IAM chose to reject a proposal that would have allowed us to remain competitive in East Alton, we look forward to expanding our existing operations in Mississippi," Rupp said."


91 Comments:

At 11/09/2010 4:43 PM, Blogger Rand said...

The power barons of Illinois don't want that factory in the state since it makes ammunition for GUNS!

 
At 11/09/2010 7:01 PM, Blogger Craig said...

Labor unions should be outlawed.

Seriously.

They serve no productive purpose.

Attempts to form a union should be treated like price-fixing between two businesses.

 
At 11/09/2010 8:11 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

From the Olin Corp. 10 K Report: "Winchester continues to experience the above normal levels of demand that began around the November 2008 presidential election. The increase in demand has been across the majority of Winchester’s product offerings, including rifle, pistol and rimfire ammunition."

The "no raises for seven years contract" offer does not reflect the increasingly important profit center that Winchester is for Olin. No mention is made of labor but increasing material prices are noted in the 10 K. It must simply be a move away from union territory.

 
At 11/09/2010 8:57 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Why should labor unions be outlawed? Anyone should be free to form a corporation or other association for any legal purpose. Here is a case of a corporation (the union) that failed because it was not competitive in the marketplace.

What's the problem?

I see no reason why a business should not be allowed to organize for the purpose of providing contract labor. How is a labor union fundamentally different from, say, mantech?

 
At 11/09/2010 11:24 PM, Blogger James said...

I am sure that the more that $25,000 per job in tax payer money that Mississippi is giving Olin has nothing to do with the move and it is motivated only by the poor helpless company getting beat up by the union.

Mississippi is most likely getting that money from the federal government so instead of Olin paying high wages which their profits can support (stock up 19 percent in the last year) your tax dollars are being used to provide them with cheap labor. If so, that is money borrowed from China but not to worry your grandchildren, not you, will pay it back.

To avoid getting flamed I will refrain from calling this welfare for corporations free market capitalism for union members. Besides our government needs to protect our corporations from those big bad unions.

 
At 11/10/2010 7:13 AM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from Hydra: "How is a labor union fundamentally different from, say, mantech?"

The National Labor Relations Act. Labor unions are given special privileges under Federal law (and apparently Illinios law, too).

Your earlier point about this union loosing out to other more competitive labor is completely valid. If not for political interventions, we probably would see unions actually competing for jobs, but that would probably result in wages going down and result in political interventions.

 
At 11/10/2010 7:21 AM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from James: "To avoid getting flamed I will refrain from calling this welfare for corporations free market capitalism for union members. Besides our government needs to protect our corporations from those big bad unions."

So even governments compete. Of course it's kind of like competition between criminal gangs, but it is competition.

Maybe rather than wrestling every two or four years over which government gang gets to be nominally in charge of the guns, we should focus on taking the power away from the government gangs.

 
At 11/10/2010 8:09 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

geoih,

The corporate laws greatly outnumber the labor laws in the United States. Corporations are even recognized as people with most of the privileges of a human citizen according to the U.S. Supreme Court.

 
At 11/10/2010 9:20 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Labor unions should be outlawed.

Apparently you know not of their indirect effects. That is, the existence of labor unions make it so that a business is likely to respect the people working for them. These effects apply whether you like the union or not.

Get rid of them, watch businesses try to roll over people more. Once it gets to be your turn (or someone you know's turn), don't tell me I didn't warn you.


I see no reason why a business should not be allowed to organize for the purpose of providing contract labor.

The businesses don't like something that they can't have power over.

Simple temp workers, like those of the ASA's flavor, can be killed off just because a person wants to relieve stress. And the ASA will help the business more to deny the worker any benefits than they'll help the worker. One only needs to look at the ASA and see how much advice is tilted away from the contract worker.


Business friendliness, when used in the South, is another word for slavery. The South proves it by the way they consider businesses more equal than flesh-and-blood individuals.

 
At 11/10/2010 10:00 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

while i dislike labor unions and would never work for one nor do i invest in companies beholden to them (for financial, not political reasons), i do support their right to exist.

what i get upset with is their preferential treatment by government. absent that, market forces would finish driving them out just as immune systems develop to get rid of other parasites.

i also take real issue with public unions. i could see banning those. to organize against taxpayers while simultaneously pushing political candidates is a bit much. the government is always to afraid to actually negotiate against them, so they get absurd compensation and security, sweetheart pensions and tax exemptions, and are excluded from any sort of productivity assessment.

to take government money and use it to lobby government for more money ought to be illegal.

 
At 11/10/2010 10:02 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

walt-

that's a VERY misleading statement about unions and corporations.

corporations can be sued, can unions? they have all manner of liability as do their officers. unions do not. they get all the good with none of the bad. where were the suits against GM employees for running the company into the ground? hell, they were given extra compensation for doing it.

 
At 11/10/2010 10:16 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"That is, the existence of labor unions make it so that a business is likely to respect the people working for them."

I work for a huge non-unionized company, what respect am I missing out on? If I don't like the way I'm treated, there's no gun to my head forcing me to stay.

 
At 11/10/2010 10:40 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

morganovich,

How and what part of my statement specifically is misleading? I can find the case if you want where corporations received the status of a person--I think it was over the railroads. And a quick look at Westlaw will show many, many more volumes of corporate law than labor law.

Yes, unions can be sued. They can also be threatened to be sued for more money than they have. That's why the 1998 GM/UAW strike was settled basically for a draw.

I don't have any problems with union members accepting or rejecting a contract, concessionary or otherwise, (or a union) with or without their leadership's recommendation. I just hope the members have the information they need to make an informed decision, and that they are prepared to live with the consequences.

I don't believe in having free riders, but otherwise I accept the right-to-work concept with a free election.

Paul, there's a good chance you are being treated well due to an implicit union threat that your company's owners are aware of but you are not. Ask a police officer if the only reason he carries an exposed weapon is to actually shoot someone.

 
At 11/10/2010 11:11 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


I work for a huge non-unionized company, what respect am I missing out on? If I don't like the way I'm treated, there's no gun to my head forcing me to stay.

The kind of respect that comes with being more competitive than a union on benefits/wages/etc.. That is, the business addresses the shortcomings that unions usually address(versus defending them).

Not everyone has the practical option to leave. There's no literal gun, but the departure costs are high enough (for most) that the gun might as well be there.

 
At 11/10/2010 11:12 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Paul, there's a good chance you are being treated well due to an implicit union threat that your company's owners are aware of but you are not.


That was my point, thanks for making it more clear.

 
At 11/10/2010 11:13 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"Paul, there's a good chance you are being treated well due to an implicit union threat that your company's owners are aware of but you are not."

Yeah, right, it's because of the wonderful unions. Otherwise, we'd all be covered in filth and eating gruel alongside the farm animals.

 
At 11/10/2010 11:32 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Question: would anyone have signed a contract that included a seven year wage freeze?

 
At 11/10/2010 11:35 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Paul, If you know anyone in human resources of a company or corporation, ask them if they do anything at all to keep from having an organizing drive and an NLRA election.

Don't take my word for it. Use your own sources.

 
At 11/10/2010 11:48 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

walt-

it's your implication that the corporate law provides "privileges" as opposed to liabilities.

unions enjoy essentially all the same privileges as corporations. they get free speech and can own property etc.

but they avoid all of the liabilities. they don't get sued when their workers do harm. mostly, the corporation does. they do not have nearly the liability of a corporation, just the same requirement to fulfill contracts that any organization does.

so where you are misleading is your implication that corporations are somehow privileged relative to unions. they are not. it's the other way around.

 
At 11/10/2010 11:50 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

seth-

what shortcoming was that? profitability?

if you look up "best companies to work for" i think you'll find that few of them are unionized.

so what is this terrible oppression that cries out for redress?

 
At 11/10/2010 11:53 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Not everyone has the practical option to leave. There's no literal gun, but the departure costs are high enough (for most) that the gun might as well be there.

sethstorm, Can I assume you're not including yourself in this group with high departure costs?

 
At 11/10/2010 12:00 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"How and what part of my statement specifically is misleading?"

Well, Walt G., how about this:

"The corporate laws greatly outnumber the labor laws in the United States."

What does this even mean? Is there some significance to the number of laws? Perhaps an advantage of some kind to having a larger number?

 
At 11/10/2010 12:08 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Walt,

You're basically reciting the tired old fallacy that unions are responsible for the benefits, wages, and general standard of living we enjoy today. In truth, the chief reason is productivity, a concept unions exist to undermine.

 
At 11/10/2010 12:14 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

morganovich,

One of the largest and longest running labor/affirmative action lawsuits ever filed before Wal-Mart was against the sheet metal workers' union (al 28, Sheet Metal Workers, v. EEOC, 1986)

Why would unions get sued if the individual workers do harm?

I guess you need to be more specific so I can answer you. Do you have a case in mind?

Ron H.

Geoih made a remark about labor unions being protected by law, and that was my answer to corporations being protected by law. If you don't see a connection to my reply, that's OK with me. Professor Perry likes to measure the height of our UAW contract to make his point, so I stole his analogy :)

Maybe Paul.

But check it out with the management side of the house and see what they have to say before you use your preconceived notions. I sit in classes and meetings with them everyday.

 
At 11/10/2010 12:48 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

walt-

my point is that corporations can be sued for the actions of their workers and unions very rarely are.

if your lawyer engaged in a work slow down, you could recover for that. not so a union.

but you are getting bogged down in details here and missing the main point which is that corporations are less privileged than unions in terms of their abilities and liabilities, not more.

your implication that law is somehow preferential to corporations is absurd.

how can you possibly argue otherwise about "closed shop" firms where the company is forced to only hire union?

 
At 11/10/2010 1:24 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

morganovich,

I don't know who is more privileged because I don't know what privileged is or how to quantify that. My remark is simply that there are more corporate laws than labor laws.

If you don't want to hire union in a closed shop do what other owners do now: 1) treat the employees well so they don't form a union, 2) intimidate the employees during an organizing drive and fire them, or 3) refuse to bargain a contract with the employees or close the business if they win the election.

I don't see how the ball is in the unions' court the way the NLRA is enforced today—this is a research area of mine, and I have read hundreds of cases. I’ve worked in over 50 non-union establishments in my lifetime, and only one has been unionized. I’ve never been fired—yet.

 
At 11/10/2010 1:57 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

walt-

you have to be kidding. if employees can form a union and keep other workers from working and the employer from hiring, you think that is a reasonable situation?

i have no issue with labor organizing, but it ought to be voluntary, not mandatory. no one who works at a firm should be required to join a union because 51% of their peers want to nor should a corporation be prevented from hiring who it pleases and setting contracts accordingly because of union clout.

you seem to have this antiquated notion that workers are powerless without big labor backing them up, when, in fact, it's labor that holds them back by destroying their industries.

ever done a comparison of union companies vs non union in terms of hiring, growth, and profitability? try it. over the last 50 years, it's no contest.

your point about there being more law is a total non sequitor. so what? there are more laws about dog ownership than hamster ownership too. it means nothing. corporations do a lot more things than unions. it is to be expected that there is more law. unions are treated as corporations in every way that is advantageous, few of the ways that are disadvantageous, and have powers no corporation has.

if you buy 51% of your computers from dell, they can't force you to buy the other 49% from them as well by voting.

you also leave out another option: fire all the union employees and start again. that's sure what i would do, not that there are any unions in my industry.

 
At 11/10/2010 3:16 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Paul said...

Except that it's not a fallacy, it's a truth.


you also leave out another option: fire all the union employees and start again. that's sure what i would do, not that there are any unions in my industry.

Not sure that the law would support that.

 
At 11/10/2010 3:52 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Except that it's not a fallacy, it's a truth."

No it isn't, our standard of living comes from advancements in productivity. Unions historically undermine productivity at every turn.

 
At 11/10/2010 4:26 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Paul:

Except that all you want to do is not give unions credit for anything positive. That's where your claims fall flat.

 
At 11/10/2010 4:30 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Sethstorm,

I can't think of anything positive about unions backed by the coercive power of government, you're right. However, nowhere do you show where my claims fall flat.

 
At 11/10/2010 5:05 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

seth-

my point is that the law SHOULD support that.

that fact that it may not implies that unions have far too much coercive power. i have no problem with them organizing, but if after they do i can't fire people, well, that's pretty much death for the business.

once you cannot hire or fire based on skill, performance, and wage demands, you lose control of your own costs and tend to fail. autos, airlines, aircraft, passenger rail, steel, etc all provide excellent examples.

see my dell example from above. how is organizing 51% of a labor force in a closed shop state any different?

 
At 11/10/2010 5:06 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11/10/2010 5:10 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Sethstorm scowls, as he sits in his spot on the couch in his mother's basement, his fingers poised over the keyboard, trying hard to think of a snappy response to Paul's latest comment.

 
At 11/10/2010 6:00 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

morganovich,

You can withdraw from a labor union in ANY state using your Beck rights. Your representative HAS to explain those rights to you and obtain the form for you if asked. If he or she does not, you can file a ULP with the nearest NLRA office.

 
At 11/10/2010 7:41 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

morganovich said, "i have no problem with them organizing, but if after they do i can't fire people, well, that's pretty much death for the business."

There's nothing in the NLRA that says you cannot fire employees unless you fire them in retaliation for organizing/voting a union. I will stand corrected if you can show me where that statement is false.

 
At 11/10/2010 8:06 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

walt-

you are misstating beck rights materially. i don't think you understand the ruling.

beck rights only cover agency fees at agency firms. those not wanting to join are still covered by the collective bargaining umbrella.

that abridges their freedom and that of the employer.

in a full closed shop, no non union employees can be hired at all, in a union shop, they have to stay in to maintain employment.

beck applies only to agency shops that hire both union and non union.

beck provided no opt out nor any kind of non union employment opportunity for closed and union shops. it also still requires that non union members in agency shops pay dues to a union they don't want to join and allow it to bargain for them even if that is not what they want.

issues around firing union employees always come to the fore as soon as anyone tries. in many cases, it is illegal to pick and chose who to fire. it's written into lots of federal and state/municipal contracts.

do you have any idea what it takes to fire a teacher?

it's the contracts unions are able to extort that are the problem. once you go closed shop, there's very little an employer can do to prevent them. and then if you say, these demands are unreasonable, i'm hiring new workers, you get sued for firing a union and will likely lose despite the fact that it's your business and you are making the decision based on the contract, not the organization.

it is de facto illegal even if not de jure.

 
At 11/10/2010 8:10 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

also note that in abood vs detroit BOE, the supreme court itself admitted that the limits on agency fees provided under beck were functionally unexercisable as there was no manner in which to determine how much fees need be to pay for collective bargaining.

 
At 11/10/2010 9:39 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

ANYONE can opt out under Beck and be considered a non-union employee. That is the current law. And anyone can be legally fired at anytime.

You are correct that fees still have to be paid for bargaining in some states, and those fees are set by state licensed CPAs hired by the union and are disclosable yearly. The right-to-work states allow people who don't want to pay any dues to still be covered by the union for free on someone else's dime.

Teachers are not hired or fired under the NLRA. I don't know who specifically bargains their contracts, but it sounds like you have a complaint with them if you have a problem with the contractural terms.

Who hired so many bad teachers anyway and why? If there is that many bad ones, there is a broken hiring process. Would these be the same people we want evaluating the teachers' effectiveness in the classroom?

 
At 11/11/2010 12:17 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

If you belong to a union, there us no gun forcing you to stay, either.

Morganovich's position is interesting, if conflicted. Supports their right to exist, but wont belong or invest.

Consider the possibility of a perfect, enlightened union. One that gets the best benefits for its members so that they can afford to and want to own stock in the company.

Is there an optimum cash flow situation that maximizes total benefit to the system of company, supplierss, customers, employees, and government? Why is it that we believe only benefits to the company somehow trickle down to all?

 
At 11/11/2010 12:28 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

What does that even mean?

--------;;;;;;;;

I'd suggest that we pass laws mostly to prevent things we don't like or percieve as unfair.

If it is true that we have more laws controlling corporations than unions, it is because corporations have done more damage.

 
At 11/11/2010 12:35 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

I've worked in over 50 establishment and never been fired......


Guess you never stayed long enough. Maybe you could have used a union contract.

 
At 11/11/2010 1:06 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

OK James. The mississippee money came from federal taxpayers who did not pay the money but borrowed it from China. And it wont be repayed for seventy years because it is coming from our grandchildren, since we don't earn enough to pay it, working in non union shops. All so the company and its owners can make more to pay high bracket taxes on.

Damn those evil unions that forced this company to move.

 
At 11/11/2010 8:52 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

walt-

you are being very misleading.

in a closed shop a non union member could never have been hired in the first place. you cannot opt out of that under beck. neither can an employee at a union shop maintain his employment if he quits the union.

you are referring ONLY to agency shops where beck gives workers the "right" to pay fees to a union the don't want. even the USSC admits this right is useless, as "reasonable" fees for collective bargaining cannot be determined.

beck rights are not rights at all.

the union can still charge you fees even if you leave and make you subject to its collective bargaining as well.

if you think that is "opting out", you have a very questionable definition.

what right does a union have to require me to pay and force me to accept their bargaining when i don't want to? can you seriously believe that this is free, fair, or reasonable?

essentially, 51% of a workforce can force the other 49% to take the deal they negotiate and worse, pay for it when it may well be something they wish to avoid.

you speak of "right to work" states like they are somehow odd, but that OUGHT to be the norm. that is free and fair. we really ought to be calling them just "states" and the states in which unions can force employees under their control "coercive union states".

 
At 11/11/2010 9:00 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

hydra-

there is nothing conflicted about my position. it all comes down to my belief in rights and personal freedom.

i believe in the right of workers to organize. i also believe in the right of an employer to respond to that in any way he sees fit. i believe that workers should be allowed to join or not join a union as they please and should always be free to do their own bargaining and never forced to pay fees nor submit to the collective bargaining of a group they do not wish to join.

all these positions stem from a fundamental belief in free association, private property, and personal liberty.

far from being in conflict, my views are the only ones consistent with such beliefs. as soon as you abridge the rights of either workers or employers to determine how to participate in their relationship, you have circumvented the rights and liberty of one or the other.

we must all be free to sell and buy labor as we choose, but also free to accept the consequences of those actions.

 
At 11/11/2010 9:15 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


my point is that the law SHOULD support that.

Too much opportunity for abuse.

 
At 11/11/2010 9:16 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

so walt, if it's so easy to leave a union, why is there such a thing as a "right to work" state at all?

the whole purpose of right to work legislation is to counteract decisions like NRLB vs GM which specifically legalized setting agency dues for non union employees = union dues for union employees.

in light of that, beck rights are a farce. you'll pay the same either way. you'll be under the same bargaining either way.

this is why a "right to work" has had to be positively established in a number of states.

i find it obscene that such a fundamental freedom needs to be established at the local level because it has been taken away by federal labor law.

if you wonder why unions are so hated by the public at large, perhaps you should consider the fact that people hate having their freedom taken away.

 
At 11/11/2010 9:32 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

morganovich,

You are not considered a union member according to the union by-laws or the NLRA if you exercise your Beck rights. I don't know how it gets more official than that.

You do not hire into GM as a UAW member--in fact, you can't be a member, and you have to take a withdrawal if you are a union member (any union) from another job.

UAW membership comes when you obtain seniority and pay one-month's dues and the initiation fees, and you can opt out at that time without ever becoming a member and be protected by the NLRA (you still have to pay 74.9% for the agency fee in 2010, but you can appeal that to an impartial umpire if you want).

I don't have a problem with "right-to-work" if the free-rider problem is addressed. Why should someone get representation if they don't pay for it?

I don't know what is "fair" and "reasonable". What I think is "fair" and "reasonable" obviously can be different than you so that's an arbitrary and useless metric. We are probably not going to change our opinion. I assume I have worked as many or more non-union jobs that you in addition to my 37 years as a UAW member, so maybe I am more objective than you. How many jobs and years have you spent working in both union and non-union employment to form your opinions?

 
At 11/11/2010 9:36 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


if you wonder why unions are so hated by the public at large, perhaps you should consider the fact that people hate having their freedom taken away.

No, just something the South uses in place of slavery. Then managed to export.

 
At 11/11/2010 11:57 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

walt-

again, you are completely obfuscating.

quitting a union to which you still have to pay full dies as though you were a member (per NLRB vs GM) and by whose collective bargaining you still have to abide is not quitting at all.

and even then, beck ONLY applies to agency shops. go read the decision.

it's the precise equivalent of being able to unsubscribe from comcast so long as you keep paying your comcast bill as long as you live in the house. hell, it's worse because even then you could make you own decisions about other matters.

would you really call that unsubscribing?

the problem you identify as a "free rider" problem is nothing of the sort.

it only exists because workers are FORCED to abide by the union;s collective bargaining. if i force you to take my service despite your not wanting it, then demand that you pay for it, you are not a free rider, you are a victim of coercion.

if unions really cared about free riders, they'd stop demanding to represent non union members. problem solved. those who don't pay can make their own way.

but unions will never do this because they want the money almost as much as they want to avoid having to compete with other workers who might take a different compensation package and displace them.

you claim objectivity based on being a union partisan and beneficiary? are you joking? that makes you less objective and more biased than i am. they butter your bread and secure your job.

i have invested in and worked with hundreds upon hundreds of companies and done diligence on thousands more. i have seen first hand what works and what doesn't. unions destroy wealth and growth. they reduce profitability and thence hiring and reinvestment. they oppose change and dynamism. they cause the companies upon which they prey to fail, over and over. airlines, passenger rail, aircraft, auto, steel, the post office... seeing a pattern here? unions short sighted near term grabs cause long term destruction of the host. (unless of course, you can pick the taxpayers pockets again).

show me one heavily unionized US industry showing any real growth and not utterly dependent on government largess.

all i'm looking for is what works. i'm utterly stunned that a union partisan as dyed in the wool as you are would call himself objective. you are anything but.

worse, you once more hide behind the shield of moral relativism to mask your lack of defensible ethics. what is fair and reasonable? sure, that can be tricky to pin down, but what is clearly not fair isn't.

taking away the freedom of a worker to sell his labor to a company under his own terms and then requiring him to pay you a toll to work there under yours is unethical under any rights based system.

being out of a union but paying dues and having an employment contract just like you were in it is not liberty nor free association. it is coercive theft and disenfranchisement.

 
At 11/11/2010 12:04 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"So even governments compete. Of course it's kind of like competition between criminal gangs, but it is competition"...

Now that's funny geoih! So damned on target too!

I'm with Pacifico on this, a seven year freeze on pay and conditions when the pay wasn't all that great to begin with (plant is located about fifty miles from where I'm sitting) seems a bit asinine...

Then again its Olin's money and they can spend it anyway they want...

I can't help but wonder if its 'stimulus money' James is alluding to regarding his Mississippi comment and I wouldn't be the least bit suprised if there was some of it involved...

"...the existence of labor unions make it so that a business is likely to respect the people working for them..."...

Yeah sethstorm you see just how much respect Olin had for the IAM in East Alton, yeah lots of respect...

 
At 11/11/2010 12:06 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Walt,

"I don't have a problem with "right-to-work" if the free-rider problem is addressed. Why should someone get representation if they don't pay for it?"

They shouldn't. and, they don't want it! Why do you think they want to "opt out? You are either missing or willfully ignoring this point as it is made over and over.

"I assume I have worked as many or more non-union jobs that you in addition to my 37 years as a UAW member, so maybe I am more objective than you. How many jobs and years have you spent working in both union and non-union employment to form your opinions?"

This is more of your nonsense suggesting that a preponderance of numbers alone has some special importance. If sheer numbers alone have some special significance for you, maybe you should consider the number of commenters here who don't agree with you.

You? More objective? Hardly. As I've suggested before, maybe your immersion for so many years in the GMUAW culture has narrowed and hardened your views.

 
At 11/11/2010 12:57 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"You? More objective? Hardly. As I've suggested before, maybe your immersion for so many years in the GMUAW culture has narrowed and hardened your views."

morganovich,

One of my contract jobs last summer was rewriting an employee handbook for a non-union shop. I get around. It passed their risk department’s and other stakeholders' criteria. Apparently, they thought my views were just fine because I got paid, and I obtained a valuable job reference.

You would be surprised about the language deliverable they required from me to communicate a message to their employees about due process procedures partially to deter union organizing. It's not about the numbers as you say--it's about the exposure to different working cultures both union and non-union. You should try seeing the other side’s views sometime even if you don’t agree with them.

 
At 11/11/2010 1:34 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Sorry morganovich, I see it was Ron H. I quoted above and not you.

Ron H. and morganovich, I don't expect people on this blog to agree with me, and that's one of the reasons I like it here. I don't have any problems finding people who agree with me if I just travel in my tight circle of friends, but that is not much of an intellectual challenge to me. “Yes” men are rather useless in the grand scheme of things.

I enjoy a lively and spirited debate with what I find to be top notch minds in economics and other worldly areas. Whether you agree with me or even like me is not relevant to me. I don’t even mind the roasting I get here; I’ve come to expect it. Thanks for your input with regards to my notions and posts.

 
At 11/11/2010 2:18 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

walt-

"One of my contract jobs last summer was rewriting an employee handbook for a non-union shop. I get around. It passed their risk department’s and other stakeholders' criteria. Apparently, they thought my views were just fine because I got paid, and I obtained a valuable job reference."

this is s complete non sequitor that dodges all of the substantive issues in the preceding conversation.

so i'll ask my question again and as simply and directly as i can:

imagine comcast comes to your neighborhood to offer internet service. assume you do not want it. how would you feel if despite that, you had to pay them the cost of a subscriber and to abide by their subscriber agreement?

would you feel like a non-subscriber?

this is precisely analogous to what happens to someone who exercises their beck "rights", rights so flimsy that even the court that created them admits they are useless.

this is why i think all your talk of beck rights is just obfuscation.

you can opt out so long as you still pay and follow the rules as if you haven't. you are not free to cut your own deal or keep your own money.

if any business other than organized labor followed these practices, it would be called extortion and racketeering, but through political patronage, the unions can act in ways that are illegal for capone.

 
At 11/11/2010 2:43 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

morganovich,

If I was paying 75% of the cost and watching 100% of the programming I would feel like a thief, but I do see your point about having to pay anything if I did not want cable at all.

If that was a condition before I bought the house, maybe I would decide not to buy it (not hire in). If the condition changed after I bought the house maybe I would have to sell it (quit the job).

We all have choices and options we have to make every day. There is currently about 88% of the workforce without unions so finding a non-union job should not be too difficult, should it?

I think the question is why is everyone so concerned about labor unions since they represent just a small segment of the workforce today. Is it maybe because even though the members are many fewer than in the past, they still have considerable clout, which is both realized and non-realized influence for the average working person? We can’t have that now, can we?

 
At 11/11/2010 3:18 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

walt-

that is an totally unsatisfactory explanation. saying that only 12% of jobs are union, so it's easy to find another is like saying that 9 our of 10 restaurants will accept your race, so it's no big deal that the others won't.

if it were a condition before you bought a house you really wanted, you'd be rightly pissed off that the two things were unnecessarily linked. sure, you're free not to buy it, but it does limit your choices for no good or fair reason.

the reason we are so concerned about unions is that we have to keep bailing them out and subsidizing the companies they have destroyed over and over in exchange for which we get more expensive products and fewer jobs and job options. the government ones are even worse, and that's the one sector still utterly dominated by unions whose power results in outlandish contracts. take a look at the SF bus driver contract some time. they get paid $100k+ and are completely free from evaluation or risk of firing.

i would have no issue at all with private unions if they could not stop other people from working and i'd never have to bail another one out. let them take their chances like anyone else. but to let them buy legislators who then give them the legal power to act like the mafia so they can have the funds to buy more legislators is just never going to sit well with me.

labor should be free to organize, but they should get no special privileges by virtue of having done so.

 
At 11/11/2010 3:48 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"I think the question is why is everyone so concerned about labor unions since they represent just a small segment of the workforce today."

Might have something to do with the fact they bankroll the Democrat party and specifically, Barack Obama. In return, the Democrats/Obama ensure no interference while the unions bankrupt industries and state/federal government.

So there's that.

 
At 11/11/2010 4:04 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

morganovich, "labor should be free to organize"

I doubt that would happen without the NLRA.

I am saving my contempt for the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailout. Unlike the auto loans, that $300 billion is not estimated by the U.S. Treasury Department to be paid back. If I am going to get upset, I will get upset about something big.

Our choices are always limited, but our wants aren't. You have to deal with people, processes, and money and know which ones you can change and which ones you cannot change to be successful in life.

Paul,

U.S. politicians have been influenced by one group or another since 1776. That is not going to change in my lifetime. It should be my turn every once in a while to get dealt a winning hand. If it's raining, you might as well take an umbrella and smile rather than complaining about it.

 
At 11/11/2010 4:37 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I am saving my contempt for the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailout"...

You and me both Walt G!!

Walt G what are we as average citizens going to see in the way of 'enhancement' in our own paychecks/bank accounts/tax rates as the auto loans get paid back?

Any ideas?

Just curious...

 
At 11/11/2010 5:12 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

walt-

that is complete non sequitor.

frddie and fannie are a mess to be sure, but it was a government made mess. they, like unions, got special treatment from the government and therefore the lending market that allowed them to run amok and cost us piles. they are far more analogous to organized labor than i think you realize.

but regardless, it's still non sequitor. you are saying, well, that guy stole you car, so don't be mad that i stole your stereo. that is not a valid argument.

even worse is your "our choices are limited but our wants are not argument". you could use that to defend jim crow laws, apartheid, slavery, sexism, and totalitarianism. that's a completely bankrupt argument, and i suspect that you know it.

you are trying to evade the fact that unions use the NRLA to behave in ways that would have anyone else arrested for racketeering by tossing out tangential (at best) fuzzy philosophy that neither bears on the topic nor presents a valid argument for any kind of policy making.

 
At 11/11/2010 5:14 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

juandos-

we as taxpayers will never see our money back from GM, even as they claim to pay it back.

contrary to law and practice, GM kept $54bn in tax loss carryforwards post bankruptcy. that means that even as GM pays taxpayers back, taxpayers will give the money right back to GM in forgone taxes.

taking money out of one pocket and putting it in another does not constitute getting paid.

 
At 11/11/2010 5:21 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"you could use that to defend jim crow laws, apartheid, slavery, sexism, and totalitarianism"...

What, no freedom of association morganovich?!?!

Just kidding amigo, just kidding...

"GM kept $54bn in tax loss carryforwards post bankruptcy"...

Yes, I remember Stuart Varney of Fox Business News commenting on this and he wasn't at all happy about it...

"taking money out of one pocket and putting it in another does not constitute getting paid"...

That pretty much was the way Varney summed it up also...

 
At 11/12/2010 3:30 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

morganovich, "you are trying to evade the fact that unions use the NRLA"

I use the NLRA like any other law or regulation--I obey it and try to make it work to my advantage. Regulatory compliance is a huge part of my full-time union job. I decipher and write technical manuals, job instructions, and consult and teach to those laws/rules/regulations/codes whether I agree with them or not. Our society often makes rules that advantage one group of people over another group. I guess you can say that's unfair, but I say it's just the way it is, and I will deal with it no matter which side I end up on. I was prepared for GM's bankruptcy to go through liquidation and lose my job there, too.

You really need to write your Congressman, Senator . . . if you have a problem with any laws, rules, or regulations. They have the power to make your life better or worse. I think they made mine better :)

That was $45 billion in tax loss carry forwards and not $54 billion as you say. That will result in a possible $15 to $16 billion tax savings, but what's $9 billion to a guy with your kind of money? I use any legal means I can to lower any of my taxes, too.

The latest Gallup poll (Aug. 2010) shows 52% of people polled approve of labor unions up from 48% in 2009, yet only 12% belong to one. Why do you suppose we have such a large disconnect there? And, morganovich, that does show you are in a slight minority with your union perspective (hate), so it’s your turn in the barrel this year instead of mine.

 
At 11/12/2010 3:43 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

juandos,

The average person is not going to see anything in their paycheck/bank accounts, GM payback or no GM payback, because that money has already been spent ($14+ trillion national debt and increasing).

The government (which is us) is just like too many individuals that think delayed gratification is a sexual term instead of a financial concept.

 
At 11/12/2010 5:11 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Walt G.,

How about some truth in advertising here, Walt G., You dishonestly told only a tiny part of the story that you point to as something positive about public opinion of unions.

Here's the link to that Gallup poll that actually shows that public approval at 52%, is the lowest it's ever been in the 70+ year history of the poll, except in 2009 when it dropped like a stone to 48% from 59% in 2008.

Do you think the GM bailout had anything to do with that?

 
At 11/12/2010 5:49 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Ron h.,

You can draw your own conclusions with your adjectives. Personally, I don't see a huge disparity between the current 52% and historical average 60% approval rates. That's five out of ten now compared to a usual 6 out of 10. I am an analyst and not an advertiser.

You still don't offer an opinion of why 48-52% (or 60%, whatever you want to use) of people approve of labor unions and only 12% belong to one.

 
At 11/12/2010 5:53 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Ron H.,

Why do you always have to throw names and implications like "dishonestly" around? Can't you have a civil conversation with someone who has different views than your own?

 
At 11/12/2010 6:15 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

As an analyst, I see a problem with the Gallup poll content validity trend analysis for union approval ratings. Here’s a quote from this year’s survey:

“In the poll, 10% of Americans identify themselves as union members, and an additional 6% say another member of their household belongs to a union.”

The high point for union approval was 75% in 1955 and 1957 as shown in the chart and used to compare to current data.

I don’t see where any adjustment was made for the disparity of union membership in 1955 and 1957 and now was made. Gallup almost had to call more union households in 1955 and 1957 than in 2010 because union membership was much higher back then than it is today. The trend data of asking if anyone in the household is a member of a union only goes back to 2002 while the approval ratings go back to 1936.

What do you researchers have to say about that trend methodology validity? I wouldn’t graph anything before calendar year 2002 and publish it myself.

 
At 11/12/2010 8:11 AM, Blogger Paul said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11/12/2010 8:12 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Walt G said:

"U.S. politicians have been influenced by one group or another since 1776. That is not going to change in my lifetime. It should be my turn every once in a while to get dealt a winning hand."


And there is is. With Walt G, and most union thugs, it usually boils down to disgraceful, selfish arguments like this. This kind of thinking is why we're standing on the edge of a fiscal volcano.

 
At 11/12/2010 9:23 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

More name calling, Paul? I really expected better from you guys. As a high school debate captain, you would not have made it onto my team.

Yes, I believe we operate in the U.S. using a pluralist political theory. It does not really matter whether I agree with the theory or not. It is our past, current, and as far as I can estimate our future political power process. I would rather be dealt aces, but I will play treys the best I can if that is what I am handed.

 
At 11/12/2010 9:33 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

walt-

again you are twisting the argument to avoid moral culpability.

sure, that the unions are doing is legal (at least according to a very twisted view of the constitution) but legal is not the same as ethical.

it used to be legal to won slaves and illegal for women to vote. was that ethical?

your "these are the rules and i'll use them as best i can" philosophy is completely morally bankrupt. you can use that to support any bad law.

so can democracy and polls. if 51% of americans support slavery, is that supposed to make it OK?

the whole purpose of enumerated rights is to avoid such "tyranny of the majority". if 51% of americans voted that union members should pay restitution for their past racketeering, i wonder how you would feel about your "your turn in the barrel" philosophy.

i have no idea how you get 15-16 bn out of 45. perhaps you don't understand how tax loss carryforwards work. a $45bn NOL means that the next $45bn in taxes owed by GM will not have to be paid.

 
At 11/12/2010 9:53 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Walt,

It's not really name calling so much as it is an apt description. You do believe in thuggery, it's the bedrock of your arguments. "Go purchase your own politicians if you don't like it" is not how decent people view the world.

So yeah, "union thug" is appropriate.

 
At 11/12/2010 10:22 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"The new GM will be allowed to claim a tax benefit from some $16 billion of net operating losses carried over from the old company, allowing it to avoid paying taxes on future profits, perhaps for years." (Source: WSJ)

morganovich,

GM gets to offset $45 billion worth of profit with $45 worth of losses. Unless they are in the 100% tax bracket, that would not be $45 billion worth of taxes. I don't do corporate taxes, but I used to work for H & R Block in the 1970s, so I am not completely in the dark about how exemptions, deductions, and effective and marginal tax rates work.

morganovich, do you know how rare it is to get consensus of 51% from any diverse group of individuals and hold true to form? I used to see union haters that I drank with hire into GM when there was an opening, and none of them quit.

morganovich and Paul, I give up, and I declare you both moral giants and an asset to the ethical existence of the human race and all of mankind.

 
At 11/12/2010 10:53 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"morganovich and Paul, I give up, and I declare you both moral giants and an asset to the ethical existence of the human race and all of mankind."

Nope, it doesn't take a moral giant to recognize the bankruptcy of your worldview. "I gots mine, go gets yours" is a chief reason states like California and Illinois are on the brink of collapse.

I guess all you're left with is sarcasm.

 
At 11/12/2010 11:16 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

walt-

you are misstating the tax loss carryforward. read the S1.

it's $45 billion. i understand that they do not pay 100% tax. the $45 bn number is the tax asset itself. even if it were only $16bn in forgone taxes (and it isn't) can you really not see how this cash flow is circular and that the bailout is going to be repaid using tax abatement?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704462704575590642149103202.html

"Now it turns out, according to documents filed with federal regulators, the revamping left the car maker with another boost as it prepares to return to the stock market. It won't have to pay $45.4 billion in taxes on future profits."

again, read the S1 yourself.

that's taxes on profits, not untaxed profits. amazingly, most of this loss comes from the failed pension plan, the one that was so egregiously topped up with equity that should have gone to bond holders. you get your cake and eat it too.

isn't it interesting that banks face higher taxes and FDIC fees after a bailout but GM gets tax abatement.

and i agree completely with paul. your childish dodge of "i lost so i'm going to say yeah, whatever, you guys must be geniuses" wouldn't work on a 4th grader.

do you have any ethics at all apart from might makes right?

you claim to have studied philosophy, but if you did, you ought to get you money back. you do not appear to have learned anything apart from weak rhetorical dodges.

oh, and BTW - that union poll you cite is a big outlier. the pew polls and other are showing more like 41% support, putting you significantly in the minority. nice cherry picking.

 
At 11/12/2010 11:41 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Paul,

I see the political process as it is while you see the political process as you wish it would be in an ideal world. We have two opposing viewpoints that can both be correct.

I see a lot of guys that try to hammer a bearing off a shaft because that is how they think it should come off instead of mentally reverse-engineering the machine and deconstructing the assembly. No amount of wishing it were built differently will change the mechanical aspects of the machine. Politics has shown to be such a machine over time.

I suggest you not seek a job in process engineering with your emotional approach to formal problem solving. You also seem a bit weak in the people-skill department. Don’t underestimate the strengths of those you don’t agree with because you might find yourself allies with them at some point. Having enemies will not usually be personally advantageous, so what is to gain by using that approach?

morganovich,

I’ll leave the corporate taxes to you. The $16 billion is widely cited in the WSJ another and other reputable financial media. Either way, it is a done deal by our new owners.

The Gallup poll is widely cited by many unbiased authorities, and it is used as a “Gold” standard of polling. If there is a huge discrepancy as you say between equally distinguished sources, that pretty much calls the polling process itself into question and the results would not be reliable and/or valid anyway. How can you use conflicting information from two equally qualified experts?

 
At 11/12/2010 12:47 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

walt-

when the other polls are similar and one is an outlier, then you get a sense of whose methodology is wrong.

gallup is nothing like a gold standard. they rank 17th of 20 and are a byword for bias.

pew and rassmussen are always at the very top.

http://www.fordham.edu/images/academics/graduate_schools/gsas/elections_and_campaign_/poll%20accuracy%20in%20the%202008%20presidential%20election.pdf

this comes up in fordham study after fordham study.

perhaps you should get some facts here before opining.

your argument about the political process as it is is the same bankrupt doggerel you have be pitching all along.

you always come back to might makes right because it is all you believe in. not all things that are legal are ethical. do you really find that so difficult to understand or, as i suspect, do you just not care?

so, no, we cannot both be correct. this is just your worn out moral relativism argument again. a rationale that can be used to defend anything defends nothing. you have made no point, just said, "i want it and it's the law, so it's OK".

that's the rationale of a slave owner, not an ethical man.

 
At 11/12/2010 12:49 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

and no walt, the $16bn was cited in an opinion piece in the journal that was incorrect.

this is not some agree to disagree issue.

go read the S-1.

 
At 11/12/2010 1:40 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

morganovich,

Thanks for the good news. As a soon-to-be GM stockholder, I hope GM pays less tax to improve my stock performance. I'll check my Morgan Stanley prospectus when I get a chance. I agree having the U.S. Treasury for a partner can be very profitable.

I don't a have a problem with taking the money if they are going to just turn around and give it away to Fannie, Freddie and the Iraq and Afganistan War anyway.

Professor Perry cites the Gallup Poll, so I thought it was reliable. Does he know he is citing bad information?

I do not mean to imply that the political process is right--whatever right is. I say that's how it works. You guys are the moral experts not me. I am as ethical as I know how to be, so I guess I am just a flawed individual. I don’t care if I don't meet your lofty and ambiguous standards; however, I carry no hostility toward you or Paul.

Peace and out.

 
At 11/12/2010 1:40 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Walt G.

"You can draw your own conclusions with your adjectives."

And I did. You were disingenuous in pointed to a slight improvement from the all time lowest rating to the second lowest rating as a positive development.

"Personally, I don't see a huge disparity between the current 52% and historical average 60% approval rates."

You don't think that after a fairly constant 60% average approval rating over the last 40 years, a drop of 12% in one year to the lowest level ever is significant? Give me a break!

I'd also like to point out, as you seem to be having trouble correctly interpreting these Gallup poll numbers, that since an all time high rating of 75% in 1953 the trend is down.

"You still don't offer an opinion of why 48-52% (or 60%, whatever you want to use) of people approve of labor unions and only 12% belong to one."

There's nothing to respond to. It's a meaningless question about things that aren't connected. People have opinions on groups they aren't members of. It's just possible that 52% of the people surveyed also approve of bowling leagues without being members themselves.

 
At 11/12/2010 1:42 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"I see the political process as it is while you see the political process as you wish it would be in an ideal world."

No, you defend a corrupt system because it lines your pocket. And so governments go bankrupt, unionized industries collapse, trade agreements are shelved, and everyone in the end is poorer for it. But who gives a shit because you were "dealt a winning hand!"

"I suggest you not seek a job in process engineering with your emotional approach to formal problem solving."

Well, maybe, but it's pretty clear I wouldn't make a very good union thug.

 
At 11/12/2010 2:27 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Why do you always have to throw names and implications like "dishonestly" around?"

Well, I don't "always" have to do anything, but when I think something applies, I like to call it as I see it.

What description of your presentation of the Gallup poll numbers would you prefer to 'dishonest'?

- disingenuous, deceitful, mendacious, guileful, unprincipled, unscrupulous -


Pick another or supply one of your own to describe your less than forthright cherry picking of the poll numbers.

"As an analyst, I see a problem with the Gallup poll content validity trend analysis for union approval ratings."

Wait a minute! Wasn't it YOU who invoked this Gallup poll to support something you said earlier?

Are you now going to disparage it, as it doesn't really say what you wanted it to?

 
At 11/12/2010 4:31 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

walt-

that's the same flawed logic you used before. just because other bad things happen it does not give you an excuse to do bad things.

you notion that somehow GM saved money from going to freddy and fannie is laughable. we are massively deficit spending. also, as i argued before, freddy and fannie were a mess MADE by the government as the companies took advantage of political patronage in very similar fashion to the way organized labor did to take down GM. your reviling of one while supporting the other is completely inconsistent. they are extremely analogous situations.

to be utterly candid, i find your "grab what i can, might makes right" philosophy contemptible.

you appear to have no ethics at all and worse appear proud of it.

you hide behind vapid moral relativism arguments and non sequitiors, but once we get to the core, you are glad to fleece others for your own gain and have no sense of right and wrong or individual rights, just your personal wants.

if your attitude is typical of union folks (and i suspect it is) then it is hardly surprising that many folks dislike unions. speaking to you is certainly hardening my views on the topic.

yours is the philosophy of fascists and mobsters and even then you manage to be a hypocrite.

you deserve what you can grab, but not freddy and fannie.

you are just like these sterling exemplars of unionhood:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-september-20-2010/working-stiffed

paying "scabs" minimum wage with no benefits and security to march in protest against wal-mart to demand union jobs and wages.

what a bunch of dirtbags.

 
At 11/12/2010 5:44 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Ron H. said: "Wait a minute! Wasn't it YOU who invoked this Gallup poll to support something you said earlier?"

Thanks for asking, Ron H.

The trend analysis over time is different than the snapshot analysis of a one-year time period. The problem is when you compare two different periods that the data were not collected the same way both times using the same questions or methodology. The older data were collected at a time when union membership was much higher than the new data. The new data show the respondents who are union members approve of unions at a higher rate than respondents that are not union members, so it would be safe to assume the older data would show an inflated approval rating as compared to the new.

Of course, if you can show a higher union respondent rate would result in a lower union approval rating, I would stand corrected. I don't see how you can do that because the Gallop poll has only collected the union respondent rate since 2002, but they graphed the approval rating back over 60 years. I would like to see the union respondent rate and union approval rating both on the same chart to see the correlation.

I would not be too concerned with the 2010 52% approval rating as compared to the average of 60% approval rate with a + or - of 4% error rate as stated by Gallup because that is within the margin of error for two periods, and it only 2% outside of the error margin at its lowest of last year and the 60% average. In fact, given the unpopularity of what happened last year, I find that small drop remarkable and a much higher approval rating than I would have expected.

I hope you find my response insightful even if you don’t agree with it.

 
At 11/12/2010 7:16 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Walt G.

"The new data show the respondents who are union members approve of unions at a higher rate than respondents that are not union members, so it would be safe to assume the older data would show an inflated approval rating as compared to the new."

What a surprise! Union members approve of unions. Who would have guessed that? Based on your reasoning, I suppose I could also interpret the long term trend to indicate that over time fewer and fewer people approve of unions as indicated by their lower membership rates.

"I would not be too concerned with the 2010 52% approval rating as compared to the average of 60% approval rate with a + or - of 4% error rate as stated by Gallup because that is within the margin of error for two periods, and it only 2% outside of the error margin at its lowest of last year and the 60% average."

Oh! Please stop! I can't stand to hear those numbers screaming as you torture and twist them into confessing to what you want them to say.

Is it now your position that these numbers don't really mean much and shouldn't be taken seriously? If so, why are you talking about them? Remember, it was you who first pointed to a rise in approval from 48% to 52% as if that had some positive meaning. Is that no longer true? If not, why did you ever bring it up? You can't have it both ways.

Here's your original comment:

"The latest Gallup poll (Aug. 2010) shows 52% of people polled approve of labor unions up from 48% in 2009..."

 
At 11/13/2010 6:46 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"The latest Gallup poll (Aug. 2010) shows 52% of people polled approve of labor unions up from 48% in 2009..."

Ron H.

You question my statement above; however, I can consider that a true statement because last year's union respondent rate is close enough to be comparable to the year's before. Not so with anything before 2002--we don't know what that rate is.

We can't consider anything tighter than 8 points between two years to be valid because Gallup used a + or - 4% margin of error. If you want to compare something in the 10 point range, that margin of error MUST be reduced (maybe to 1% but certainly no less than 2%). If you want to use the 1950 data (the 70% union approval stuff) and compare it to anything 2002 or after, you need the union respondent rate. That's simply not there.

We can change this to something less controversial and the design of the research is still questionable. I emailed Gallup to ask how they adjusted the pre-2002 data to the changes over time of union membership rates in the U.S. since their data show that is a factor in the union approval rates. They have yet to reply.

Ron H, have you ever studied or completed a research design course or done any primary research? I have done both. In fact, I was one of Professor Perry’s students :)

 
At 11/13/2010 9:00 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

I sorry, Ron H. I did not state clearly my conclusion. The data are accurate enough to show that the union approval rate over time is somwhere around half. You can't get much closer than that with the survey data supplied and the methodology used. You can make whatever you want out of that.

 
At 11/13/2010 4:46 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Well, Teflon Walt, I see that you can't be pinned down no matter how obvious your misstatements. You will slide to one side or another rather than admitting you're wrong.

[up from 48% to 52%] I can consider that a true statement because last year's union respondent rate is close enough to be comparable to the year's before."

"We can't consider anything tighter than 8 points between two years to be valid because Gallup used a + or - 4% margin of error."

I can't believe you don't see these two statements as being diametrically opposed, so it must be willful denial. I can't see any point to continuing this discussion.

"Ron H, have you ever studied or completed a research design course or done any primary research? I have done both. In fact, I was one of Professor Perry’s students :)"

Get over yourself. I assume this appeal to your own authority is meant to somehow add weight to your previous tortured explanations of poll results and margins of error. If they are any indication of what you learned in class, I suggest that either you slept through it, or you should ask for your money back.

"The data are accurate enough to show that the union approval rate over time is somwhere around half. You can't get much closer than that with the survey data supplied and the methodology used."

In that case, your original statement -

"The latest Gallup poll...shows 52% of people polled approve of labor unions up from 48% in 2009...that does show you are in a slight minority with your union perspective (hate), so it’s your turn in the barrel this year instead of mine."

- should have read:

"The latest Gallup poll shows that union approval rate over time is somewhere around half..."

Leaving the rest that statement without meaning or support.

In any case, we are down into details that have little bearing on the main subject of this thread, which seems to be a discussion of the content of your character, and which in my opinion has been summarized pretty nicely by morganovich.

I know that you will, as always, want to enter the last comment on a thread, even after you have said you were done, so this is that time. You might want to check back here for a week or so just to make sure I haven't added one after yours.

 
At 11/14/2010 7:11 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Ron H.,

There's no contradiction between my two statements as you noted. The second statement was made after further research and examination. No credible researcher, who has no preconceived notions of what he or she will find, should be afraid to dig deeper and report results that change or even contradict earlier findings. In fact, it is expected that researchers will build on their own research and research of others and publicly report the results. I should have pointed that out to people who do not understand how research is commonly conducted. Thanks for noting your confusion because I am sure that others were confused, too. I will try to explain better next time.

For now I will stay with my latest statement about 1/2 of the people polled over time approve of labor unions because I think I supported it well, and I have bigger fish to fry. I have to finish a self-study to get a program accredited to receive a federal grant to retrain laid off autoworkers. That's how our political system works. Those who know who and how to properly ask for money/laws get them, and those who don't sit at home and write to blogs that it is not fair (moral, ethical, bad character . . .).

This is early Sunday morning and my only day off I don't have to be somewhere else this week (I am almost always working on something to improve myself mentally or financially). I am getting ready to write the executive summary for the self-study. May I ask what you are doing today?

I respect those who have different viewpoints than mine, but quite bluntly, your communication style sucks. If you are into self-improvement like I am, I suggest you put learning to communicate with people at the top of your list. I find knowing how to communicate with people who disagree with me is much more important/lucrative than being able to communicate with those who see eye-to-eye with me.

Till next time, and you know there will be one :), Walt

 

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