Three Decades of Union-Busting

Andrew Sullivan has two more posts up on Wisconsin, and both are remarkably even-keeled. In the first, he looks at Walker’s campaign promises and notes that Walker did campaign on cutting public sector wages and benefits:

But not end their collective bargaining rights on everything but wages. There’s no reference to any such bid in the final gubernatorial debate. Here’s another substantive piece on Walker’s positions on public sector unions from before the election. Again no mention of collective bargaining. The same can be said about his State of the State address on February 1.

I disagree with Andrew’s take on public sector unions in general, but he’s right about this:

If you campaign on one platform and then suddenly up the ante, you cannot cite democracy in your defense. And there is something bizarre about Republican commentators who cheered on Tea Party protests against a clear Obama campaign pledge – health insurance reform – suddenly decrying public protests against something a politician didn’t campaign on.

In the second, he tackles the no-bid contracts and privatization scheme in Walker’s proposed budget, noting:

Without solicitation of bids? How is that frugal? How is that conservative? It couldn’t be anything to do with the Koch brothers, could it? And wouldn’t it be more fiscally conservative not to simultaneously add over $150 million by rescinding tax hikes on those couples earning over $300,000 or individuals earning $150,000 at the same time as asking for sacrifices from people earning a fraction of that?

It’s not the cutting of public sector benefits that concerns me. I think the budget situation demands such cuts, and Walker deserves credit for saying so and following through. It’s the combination of no bid sales to corporations, exemptions for public sector unions like cops and firefighters who backed his election, and simultaneous tax cuts for the successful – in the context of asking for general sacrifice.

As I’ve noted previously, the Wisconsin public unions aren’t actually that well-compensated – their average pension is just $24,500 – and they have already told Walker they’d take hits. So the notion of shared sacrifice is not the issue here – at least for the unions or the Democrats. Walker is obviously interested only in busting up the unions and outsourcing public services to his wealthy supporters. This is not about the deficit it’s about conflicting visions of what the American dream means. There is a fundamental disconnect over notions of liberty and fairness in America. And this is where we get into Big Picture territory, which I think Andrew is still missing. Do we want a ‘right to work’ for whatever big business dictates, or a ‘right to work with dignity’? Because that’s what’s being stripped from the American worker more than anything else. With every new round of layoffs and outsourcing, the dignity of the American worker is diminished.

Paul Krugman has a good column up on the Wisconsin fight:

Why bust the unions? As I said, it has nothing to do with helping Wisconsin deal with its current fiscal crisis. Nor is it likely to help the state’s budget prospects even in the long run: contrary to what you may have heard, public-sector workers in Wisconsin and elsewhere are paid somewhat less than private-sector workers with comparable qualifications, so there’s not much room for further pay squeezes.

So it’s not about the budget; it’s about the power.

In principle, every American citizen has an equal say in our political process. In practice, of course, some of us are more equal than others. Billionaires can field armies of lobbyists; they can finance think tanks that put the desired spin on policy issues; they can funnel cash to politicians with sympathetic views (as the Koch brothers did in the case of Mr. Walker). On paper, we’re a one-person-one-vote nation; in reality, we’re more than a bit of an oligarchy, in which a handful of wealthy people dominate.

Given this reality, it’s important to have institutions that can act as counterweights to the power of big money. And unions are among the most important of these institutions.

Ezra Klein explains why public and private unions – contra Joe Klein, Andrew, et alia – are very much the same thing with very similar incentives and costs. And he’s right. There is nothing different about the two. One negotiates with private employers, one negotiates with public employers. Public sector unions do not bargain ‘against the taxpayer’ any more than private sector unions bargain against the consumer. Yes, they can have influence over who is elected, but given what just happened in Wisconsin, is that really a bad thing? Somebody needs to present a countervailing force to the super-rich in this country. And all institutions have problems, unions included. Corporations included. Governments included. That’s why power requires checks and balances. Knocking out the unions also removes a check to power. The result is more and more wealth and political clout in the hands of the very few, and less and less political and economic power in the hands of the rest of us.

Kevin Drum has a really excellent article in Mother Jones on the decline of the unions and the middle class in America – and the failure of the Democratic Party to present a pro-labor alternative to the Republicans. The rise of the New Left in the 60’s and then neoliberalism in the post-Reagan era spelled the end for party-wide support of organized labor – as well as a decline in intellectual and media support for unions. Part of this was the fault of the labor unions themselves when they supported Nixon and abandoned McGovern, and certainly there have been plenty of bad union bosses and corruption (something that, again, has plagued just about every big organization in history). But much of this is the concerted effort of big business and the politicians who support big business taking on unions at the state and federal level for the past three decades. With labor in decline, the Democrats have turned increasingly to the deep pockets of big business and big finance, advocating less and less for the working class. It’s time to change that.

162 replies
  1. 1
    JonathanW says:

    E.D. (and other front-pagers), I realize that most BJ regulars know who Andrew is, but I’ve been wanting to share a lot of the recent posts here with friends and family and it might help to reference names more fully and explicitly the first time you mention another writer in a post.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. 2
    Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q) says:

    Sully did a nice job of pointing out that Walker did not campaign on union busting and thus cannot cite “democracy in action” as a defense to objections. Credit where it’s due, but he’s still a wanker. And it is indeed quite accurate that there is a fundamental disconnect over notions of liberty and fairness in America. But I think some of the misled are beginning to see some light; this GOP overreach is a something of a watershed.

  3. 3
    Pangloss says:

    Why do you hate America so, E.D.?

  4. 4
    Stooleo says:

    This popped up yesterday on the Awl blog. It also seems that the budget bill contains an attack on medicaid. GOS is now picking it up.

  5. 5
    GregB says:

    Grover Norquist has just walked away from the full bathtub and now Chris Christie, Scott Walker and John Kasich will do the dirty work of holding our collective heads underwater.

    There’s still some thrashing about in the tub but for how long?

  6. 6
    Doug Hill says:

    You know, the way Sullivan is acting here gives me some hope for the future of our media. He’s a Tory guy, so he instinctively dislikes unions, but he’s reading up on the specifics of what’s going on here and coming down more and more against Scott Walker.

    Contrast that with Joe Klein — unions bad, grrrr — and Sullivan comes out looking pretty good here. I will never agree with him on much politically, but at least he’s willing to beyond gut impressions.

  7. 7
    Punchy says:

    Klein, Drum, and Krugz all in one EDK post? Fuckin christ, have we converted another libertard into a libtard?

  8. 8
    dcdl says:

    And all institutions have problems, unions included. Corporations included. Governments included. That’s why power requires checks and balances. Knocking out the unions also removes a check to power. The results are more and more wealth and political clout in the hands of the very few, and less and less political and economic power in the hands of the rest of us.

    Thank you for pointing that out.

  9. 9
    matoko_chan says:

    Walker is obviously interested only in busting up the unions and outsourcing public services to his wealthy supporters.

    bzzzzt wrong again.
    this is a republican attempt to address the demographic timer and the embedded racism in their base.
    Note that Walker is not busting ALL unions, just those that vote democratic.
    DougJ pointed this out earlier.
    Conservatives have failed to turn off birtherism (subliminated racism) in their base. HCR is going to further immunize the poor and minorities against ever voting republican.
    If they can destroy unions for poor and minority workers, then those workers will be forced to turn to the GOP for protection.
    it is not a long term strategy, but it might turn enough minorities to capture the WH one last time in 2016.
    That is the problem with Distributed Jesusland that Dr. Manzi and i discussed at TAS. Distributed Jesusland can only win locally. Like in the midterms.
    And the presidential election is simply unattainable for Distributed Jesusland, even prior to 2020 when the demographic timer kicks in.
    So they have to do something.
    They cant turn off the embedded racism in the base….they have been trying since 2009. And they can never win a presidential election again without attracting some part of youth and minorities.
    its teh maffs, stupid.
    :)

  10. 10
    Jim Pharo says:

    Is it coming clear that maybe there are people for whom 10% unemployment is a feature, not a bug?

  11. 11
    Suffern ACE says:

    Ruining my dad’s birthday call yesterday, I mentioned the no-bid sales in the bill. He hadn’t heard that and he lives in Wisconsin and follows the news. I wonder how much more time is needed to get this information out there so that people can start pressuring actual republicans to stop the legalization of corruption.

  12. 12
    Sloegin says:

    Andrew Sullivan is still conflating abolishment of unions with ‘unions need to take a hit’.

  13. 13
    Culture of Truth says:

    Walker is obviously interested only in busting up the unions

    Yes, but even this principle is quickly jettisoned if the unions will back his election.

  14. 14
    p.a. says:

    And not just a counterweight in politics and society at large. Wages and compensation become issues at contract time, and reflect what is going on in the economy at large, but the day to day focus of unions is on justice and representation at the unit level. Equitable distribution of overtime, training and work assignments. Prevention of and support for those undergoing disciplinary harassment. Find a steward and ask one about what the daily concerns of a union rep are.

  15. 15
    matoko_chan says:

    @dcdl: yes, we are all the same.
    glibertarian meme #15.

  16. 16
    gbear says:

    This may be a bit OT but it’s also about the little guy becoming unable to make a living because of big business:

    The trend has to do with cash flow. In bad times, all companies, big and small, seek to husband their cash by collecting their accounts receivable as fast as possible and honoring their accounts payable as slowly as possible. What is different in this downturn is that, thanks to structural changes in industry supply chains, large firms now have vastly more clout to engage in such behavior than small ones do. In fact, many large companies today have simply announced that as a matter of policy they will be paying their bills late—sometimes as much as four months late. This in effect forces small businesses, which really are hurting, to make free loans to big businesses instead of being able to use their working capital. As the CFO of one small business that we invested in says about his company’s subcontract work with big aerospace companies, “They basically have their whole supply chain of businesses like us helping to finance their business.” His company was told recently that for any new work from its largest customer, they will have to wait ninety days rather than the customary thirty days to be paid. What is interesting about this phenomenon is that America’s large corporations don’t generally need this money—statistics show that they are sitting on nearly $2 trillion of idle capital on their balance sheets.

  17. 17
    matoko_chan says:

    @Culture of Truth: no, like DougJ pointed out, Walker is only interested in busting up unions that vote democratic.

  18. 18
    West of the Cascades says:

    It’s great to see Kain lighting the torches and distributing pitchforks. Keep up the good work!!

  19. 19
    E.D. Kain says:

    @JonathanW: good point. Fixed.

  20. 20
    John W. says:

    Great post, better comments to add to it.

  21. 21
    danimal says:

    One thing to keep in mind about teacher’s unions in particular. When the conservatives complain about the salaries and benefits for teachers, they are complaining about a public policy response that has been in effect for about 30 years. In the 1980’s a national panic developed over the shortage of qualified teachers, especially in math and sciences. One obvious solution was to raise salaries to attract qualified teachers. IOW, something to remember as teachers get scapegoated for busting the budget is that the general public wanted to raise teacher salaries.

    The free market’s invisible hand may screw WI if Walker gets his way and qualified teachers and quality government workers move to other states.

  22. 22
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q): 70 million people who will crawl over broken glass to vote, who don’t believe in sending a message by staying home, who don’t embrace candidates, but who vote for causes — especially The Lost Cause — have a notion of fairness that runs basically thus:

    If whatever you do to me, you do worse to someone else I don’t know, don’t like, or differ from, that’s ‘fair’. Oh, and do it to my family? that’s ok, too.

    Fairness has a long tail. Fairness needs patience. It might take a generation or two to see the results. But spite — instant gratification. And you get to watch. Helluva motivator.

    Americans, instant gratification. Two great tastes that taste great together.

  23. 23
    Kiril says:

    “Knocking out the unions also removes a check to power. The results are more and more wealth and political clout in the hands of the very few, and less and less political and economic power in the hands of the rest of us.”

    I think this fits nicely with ED’s evolving thoughts into a more reality-based progressive libertarianism, which is to say he recognizes that freedom in America has to mean something more than endless debt, insecurity and working until death.
    If libertarianism (I am a civil libertarian) means anything, it means the default to freedom whenever possible. Removal of the the power of workers and respect for work means simply the reduction of freedom for those who are not rich or corporate entities. which mainstream libertarian thinking gives the status of people without the accountability.

  24. 24
    Sly says:

    The entire notion of asking people who had their money stolen from them to “share in the sacrifice” is just a wee bit fucking obnoxious, and I’m not just talking about public employees who were raped out of a combined total of almost $900 billion.

  25. 25
    matoko_chan says:

    @Pangloss: he doesnt hate America…i just suspect hes still a pimp for Distributed Jesusland.

  26. 26
    shortstop says:

    @matoko_chan: Uh, that’s exactly what Culture of Truth just said.

  27. 27
    matoko_chan says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Fairness has a long tail.

    trudat.
    But conservatives are mostly OLD.
    anything they can pull off will last their time.

  28. 28
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Doug Hill: His ‘compromise’, doubltess, would be to ditch the no-bid contracts, but de-unionize the cops and firefighters too.

    Good governance, and fairness. What’s not to like?

  29. 29
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Doug Hill: yeah, I say credit where it’s due, though I also want to use his reasonable posts as a way to show how he’s still missing the big picture.

  30. 30
    WarMunchkin says:

    I actually think it’s kind of silly that anyone can say that they’re “supporting democracy” by taking a particular position. But at any rate, this is where I personally break from the Democratic position. I’ve supported completely dismantling the filibuster for the past two years, made calls and signed petitions for it, and now I see the exact same thing as the filibuster in reverse. I think it’s completely inconsistent to be in favor of filibuster reform/abolition and support senators denying a quorum. Will anyone here support Republican senators doing the same thing with a Democratic governor in office? Say, for single payer health care or gay marriage at the state level?

    As far as not campaigning on something goes, it feels a bit weird to even discuss this in that framing, since our country is a republic. You vote for people, and if they didn’t campaign on something, that doesn’t mean they don’t get to do it. Citizens apply political pressure in the form of protests (like what’s going on here), and presumably the fear of suffering a massive electoral defeat is what pushes people to do things that are actually beneficial for their state, but we live in strange times…

  31. 31
    MattF says:

    It’s a bit weird that Sullivan has to be hounded into rationality… but, still, we’ve now got the demonstration that he can do it if he tries.

  32. 32
    shortstop says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I get the joke, but hard to see him letting go on the no-bids. The Kochs made him governor.

  33. 33
    matoko_chan says:

    @shortstop: no….he said unions that [locally] supported Walker were exempt.
    there is a difference. this is a general, national, conservative tactic that Kay has limned exquistely.
    Like opposition to HCR.

  34. 34
    John Cole says:

    matoko_chan- you are really trying my patience. Don’t queer this thread with your insane babble.

  35. 35
    matoko_chan says:

    @E.D. Kain: well…..taps foot.
    i think you are wrong here.

    Walker is obviously interested only in busting up the unions and outsourcing public services to his wealthy supporters.

    any response?

  36. 36
    RalfW says:

    Via WSJ: “Medtronic Inc.’s (MDT) fiscal third-quarter earnings climbed 11% with help from lower taxes, but the company announced plans to cut up to 2000 jobs as top medical-device markets continue to face growth challenges.”

    Whaaa, growth challenges. Profits are up 11%. That’s real money. How do you keep workers from wanting to participate in the gains they helped produce? Job cuts. No one will complain that they didn’t get a raise if they’re “grateful” for keeping their job.

  37. 37
    matoko_chan says:

    @John Cole: im being polite. i ax a question.
    where is the insane babble here?
    i said EDK is WRONG.
    is that outlawed now?

  38. 38
    E.D. Kain says:

    @WarMunchkin: that’s a fair critique but Walker has been using pretty shady tactics to begin with. And I have different standards for legislation that denies rights to people like Walker’s than for legislation that grants rights.

  39. 39
    Ash Can says:

    Four decades of union-busting is more like it; union-busting began in earnest under Reagan.

  40. 40
    darms says:

    Spite: The key? At long last I seem to have found a convincing article that explains the US electorate for the last several decades written back in 2004. Here’s a key paragraph –

    “If the left wants to understand American voters, it needs to once and for all stop sentimentalizing them as inherently decent, well-meaning people being duped by a tiny cabal of evil oligarchs—because the awful truth is that they’re mean, spiteful jerks being duped by a tiny cabal of evil oligarchs. The left’s naive, sentimental, middle-class view of “the people” blinds them to all of the malice and spite that is a major premise of Middle American life.”

    I really think Mark Ames brings some powerful arguments & convincing explanation to a question I’ve been asking for a very long time – “Why do people repeatedly vote against their own best interests?”. Here in TX we’re at ground zero…


    We The Spiteful

  41. 41
    matoko_chan says:

    if i cant say EDK is WRONG then you should ban me naow.
    bring it.

  42. 42
    E.D. Kain says:

    @matoko_chan: are you picking nits here or do you have a legitimate argument against that statement.

  43. 43
    eemom says:

    @John Cole:

    Thank you Jesus.

  44. 44
    Socratic_me says:

    @John Cole: What do you have against pie, John? I like it in all its assorted flavors.

  45. 45
    Alex S. says:

    @matoko_chan:

    I don’t agree. It’s not about delaying the inevitable. It’s about dividing the opposition. Walker can’t confront all unions at once, so he starts with those that can be demonized most easily.

  46. 46
    mistermix a.k.a. mastermix says:

    The point about Sullivan missing the bigger picture is key. His support of any kind of tax increase is, at best, grudging, but he’s out front demanding sacrifice from unions.

    But, in his defense, it only took him a couple of days to get Wisconsin figured out, versus a couple of years for the Iraq war. Our Andrew is learning.

  47. 47
    gbear says:

    @matoko_chan: 9 out of 41 comments by MC. It might want to look up the meaning of ‘queering’.

  48. 48
    artem1s says:

    NY Times is covering the protest in Ohio…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/us/23ohio.html

    “Are they going to be standing on our doorstep to help with foreclosure?” said Monty Blanton, a 50-year-old retired employee who worked for 31 years in a facility for the mentally retarded as a food service worker and an electrician. “We’re barely making a living wage.”

    Mr. Blanton, of Gallipolis in southern Ohio, who was among a handful of protestors who had gathered at the state capitol building early Tuesday morning, said he made a gross salary of $44,000 before retirement. His pension, he said, stood at $19,500, barely enough to live on.

    This is class warfare on the part of the GOP and they have been doing it for 30 years since the air traffic controllers strike. Some of these workers seem to make a lot of money but that’s only because real wages for laborers have been shrinking due to trickle down. They have spent the last 30 years turning us against each other. If Kasich really wanted to bring good businesses to Ohio he would focus on raising the quality of workers and fight for better salaries and benefits for workers so they have some damn money to engage in the economy beyond the subsistence level.

    It’s sickening the amount of money this asshat made off of tanking pensions in this state when he was with Lehman Brothers. It makes me crazy that there are so many businesses in Ohio who think killing unions and collective bargaining are going to help anyone in this state. It’s only going to benefit the CEO’s of the fortune 500 companies who moved their corporate headquarters to NY, NC and Chicago decades ago. How can anyone believe that they are coming back once the GOP has completely destroyed the state infrastructure and driven out anyone with any education level or skills?

    In a couple more decades we won’t matter even on the electoral college level because no one will live here anymore.

  49. 49
    celticdragonchick says:

    @John Cole:

    Here, here.

    Motion seconded.

  50. 50
    General Stuck says:

    Walker wants to destroy unions, all of them, as does the republican party. This is not about workers making sacrifices in tough times, it is nothing less than attempts at ending the dem party as a viable electoral force. And braindead thinking it will create prosperity.

    It is also part of the insane cross purposes the hydra head of today’s GOP, and after 30 years of supply side gospel that has put the economy on life support. These fuckwits are so focused on political advantage, and also the short term profit mindset of their patron business community, they are blind deaf and dumb as to the destruction of our free market system with supply side favor only.

    It is bad enough the plutocrats have stalled workers wages for the past few decades, while siphoning more profit for themselves. Then they wonder why folks aren’t buying their shit like they want and need, and are apparently clueless that jobs sent overseas and stingy rewards for the labor that made them successful in the first place, is working against them now because the main people that buy their fucking products are their own workers.

    And the cherry on top of this insanity, is breaking unions, the only real force for balancing the required state between supply and demand that makes the system work for all. And all of it done for advantage in the next election and the next quarterly business report. They are insane, and likely couldn’t be doing more to destroy this country if they announced that intention on Fox News, and called up the Marines to help with the job.

  51. 51
    matoko_chan says:

    @E.D. Kain: you said that enriching Walkers kronies was the ONLY motivation. i disagree.
    this is a national conservative tactic. Kay and DougJ have pointed that out.
    @Alex S.: i disagree. he is doing selective union busting. why not get the police and the firemen to share the pain?
    because they vote GOP.

  52. 52
    silentbeep says:

    @Sloegin:

    Exactly. He lives in a conservative la-la land where unions are greedy and awful and just don’t care about anyone else but themselves. Not true. He knows very little about the reality of most public sector unions: no one actually wants their state, city or county to go bankrupt. Public sector employees mostly live in the places that they serve (which is certainly true for the vast majority of rank and file state employees).

  53. 53
    Culture of Truth says:

    @matoko_chan: you assume a degree of unselfishness I find distinctly lacking in Gov. Walker.

  54. 54
    Roger Moore says:

    I’d argue that public sector workers need collective bargaining even more than private sector workers. Conservatives are constantly pointing out the power of the government to crush anyone who disagrees with it, and that applies as much to public sector unions as it does to taxpayers. No private sector employer has the power to rewrite labor law if it decides that its unions are too powerful, but the government has exactly that power. That kind of power needs an even more powerful union opposing it.

  55. 55
    ppcli says:

    @Ash Can: True. Just because the air traffic controllers endorsed Reagan over Carter doesn’t mean that their union wasn’t crushed.

  56. 56
    Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Alex S.: This is exactly what’s going on. Plus, some of the LEO unions supported him. So it’s a multi-based reason, with practicality going in a couple of directions.

    Thanks ED, for this post. You’re tolerating la_chan and her tantrums better than I would.

  57. 57
    terraformer says:

    It’s time to change that.

    And really, the only way to do that effectively is campaign finance reform.

    As long as all politicians must gravitate to and to some extent legislate for the rich – who have the money – they will continue to ignore workers. You know, the ones without money.

  58. 58
    Citizen_X says:

    @WarMunchkin:

    I think it’s completely inconsistent to be in favor of filibuster reform/abolition and support senators denying a quorum.

    You know, in order to stop a gunfight, both sides have to be willing to put down their weapons.

    When just one side does it, the end result is pretty predictable.

    For appropriate musical accompaniment for this thread, here’s Chelsea with Right to Work. (And yes, they’re signing about being unemployed, not about passing union-busting legislation.)

  59. 59
    ppcli says:

    Sullivan is certainly right to point out this: the same people who were raving about Obama “shoving health care down our throats” (though he campaigned on the issue, and indeed he campaigned on a much more radical health care proposal which he subsequently watered down) are now turning arguing “elections have consequences” in connection with breaking public sector unions (which Walker didn’t campaign on). I’ve heard the “elections have consequences” phrase so often from Republican talking heads and fellow travelers that it has clearly been sent out from talking-point central.

    The bullshit comes out so fast it is impossible to keep track of it all.

  60. 60
    matoko_chan says:

    @John Cole: Distributed Jesusland is not insane babble.
    here is a link to the original Distributed Jesusland post.
    Dr. Manzi and i have discussed this often in his mails to me FROM FRANCE.
    the main reason i dont comment at TAS anymore is that Conor or Matt would ban me because they didnt like something i said, and then Jim would unban so i could comment on his posts.
    Hes not around much since he moved to france.
    :)
    @Culture of Truth: there is no altruism in nature. he is performing selective union bashing in the service of his tribe, the conservative tribe.

  61. 61
    kdaug says:

    Oh, don’t ban m_c. Her insane babble is sometimes cute, sometimes annoying, but frankly, it’s the only insane babble we have.

  62. 62
    anon84 says:

    Part of this was the fault of the labor unions themselves when they supported Nixon and abandoned McGovern

    This.

    And union rank and file members’ resistance to Civil Rights for Women and Minorities. You would have thought “if anybody could recognize a ‘divide and conquer’ gambit when they see it….”
    But, nope.

  63. 63
    ppcli says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Chelsea with Right to Work. (And yes, they’re signing about being unemployed, not about passing union-busting legislation.)

    Good point. It’s time for the unemployed in so-called “Right to work” states to show up at the state legislatures en masse to demand the work that the state says they have a right to. Lots of “You said we have a right to work” signs please.

  64. 64
    Martin says:

    Public sector unions are a bit of a mixed bag, but in general they’re relatively cordial to challenges the state faces. Take the CA teacher’s union as a misunderstood example. They are far and away the biggest GOP boogeyman in the state, and the GOP will gladly tell you how overpaid the teachers here are – 30% higher salaries on average than the national average. But they fail to mention two things:

    1) California cost of living is 30% higher than the nation on average.
    2) California class size is nearly 100% higher than the nation on average.

    From a cost per pupil basis, only Utah comes out lower than CA. CA teachers made a bargain with the state a long time ago. CA currently has population growth comparable to the national average. CA has proportionately more school children to educate compared to other states – we have a younger population than almost anywhere in the US. Our population growth alone necessitates adding 60,000 classroom seats per year. That’s the entire educational system of the greater Des Moines area that we need to build each year. It works out to building around 4-5 classrooms every day. That’s expensive. So the teachers made a deal with the state – you pay us a bit more, and we’ll take on much larger classes. CA has the highest average classroom size as a result. It was a good bargain – by absorbing your growth in existing classrooms, you eliminate all of that capital expansion cost, all of the administrative cost that goes along with it (janitorial, maintenance, energy), because you don’t need to add teachers, you eliminate that pension and benefits cost. You have a materials cost and a marginal cost increase in salary, and you save in every single other category. It has served to be a fantastic agreement.

    And even with that agreement, the teachers have taken layoffs, they’ve taken changes in their pension, they’ve taken furloughs, they’ve taken class size well above what was agreed to.

  65. 65
    matoko_chan says:

    @gbear: sry, but i have ax the same question 3x.
    still not gettin an answer.

  66. 66
    E.D. Kain says:

    @matoko_chan: that’s not at all what I said and if you had bothered to read any of my recent posts you could answer your own question.

  67. 67
    sukabi says:

    @Sly: and that’s what chaps my ass about all these arguments about “shared sacrifice”… not once does anyone do the math on exactly how much public sector folks have “sacrificed”… where are the numbers on what their pensions and wages would have in 5, 10, 15 or 20 years pre-rape and pillage (pension funds have been gutted) recession/recovery actions … and where they will be after all this sacrifice in those same time periods… of course if someone did that, they’d see where 90% of the sacrifice is coming from…

  68. 68
    matoko_chan says:

    @kdaug: Cole wouldnt be banning me for that. he would be banning me for interfering with The EDK Glorious Conversion Reality Show. Like Conor usta pretend to ban me for not using enuff punctuation, when he really hated what i was saying. :)

  69. 69
    matoko_chan says:

    @E.D. Kain: ??

    Walker is obviously interested only in busting up the unions and outsourcing public services to his wealthy supporters.

    my bad.
    i thought this was your post.

  70. 70
    jenn says:

    @kdaug:

    I might agree if it weren’t for the fact that it seems like her mission in life is to make every single thread all about her. It ends up strangling what could otherwise be interesting threads, and has gotten so very old.

  71. 71
    WyldPirate says:

    Just to second what E.D. Kain said, the Kevin Drum article, Plutocracy , Now: What Wisconsin Is Really About is just a ridiculously good summary of the decline of organized labor and the consequences of that decline for the middle class.

    An excerpt from early in the article:

    Second, American politicians don’t care much about voters with moderate incomes. Princeton political scientist Larry Bartels studied the voting behavior of US senators in the early ’90s and discovered that they respond far more to the desires of high-income groups than to anyone else. By itself, that’s not a surprise. He also found that Republicans don’t respond at all to the desires of voters with modest incomes. Maybe that’s not a surprise, either. But this should be: Bartels found that Democratic senators don’t respond to the desires of these voters, either. At all.

    Money talks and bullshit walks…and everyone not filling a the campaign coffers of Dems and Rethugs is meaningless to them.

  72. 72
    agrippa says:

    Management and their conservative allies have always opposed Unions. Both have tried to stop Unions from the very start. The opposition has included the use of lethal force at times.

    Today is no different

  73. 73
    kdaug says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Dr. Manzi and i have discussed this often in his mails to me FROM FRANCE.

    FROM FRANCE? Really???

    Fucking internet, how does this thing work???

  74. 74
    E.D. Kain says:

    @matoko_chan: so what are you claiming is wrong with that statement? Is he not interested in busting unions and helping his political allies? The context of the statement is also important as I was dismissing his claims over deficits.

  75. 75
    fraught says:

    m_c has to stay. I’m not convinced that Kain will not turn on a dime again and climb back up on the Objectivist train.

  76. 76
    sukabi says:

    @Alex S.: plus, this tactic lets him keep the State Patrol, regular cops and firemen at his disposal… these are the “enforcers, “peace keepers”… piss them off, you’re standing alone and have to call in the NG to do your dirty work, and that gets a bit tricky, calls more attention to what’s going on than if you’re using your local law enforcement….

  77. 77
    Monala says:

    Public sector unions do not bargain ‘against the taxpayer’ any more than private sector unions bargain against the consumer.

    Hey, aren’t the Republicans making this argument the same ones who say that lawmakers have a right to tax-payer funded health insurance because they’re employees getting a benefit from their employer, just like folks in the private sector do? Now somehow they want to argue that public sector employees, whose jobs looks much more like a private sector employee’s than any politican’s does, somehow don’t have the right to act like private sector employees?

  78. 78
    gex says:

    The only liberty conservatives and libertarians care about is their freedom to take whatever they can get their hands on, consequences to all others be damned. Why not destroy the middle class economic engine that drove America in its strongest period? They’ve convinced themselves that they are the good kind of people. They are the ones who make America what it is. They deserve it all. Everyone else is just a parasitic leech. Women are supposed to have whatever baby some dude sticks in them (consensual or not) but the only time that new person has any value to the oligarchs is in the womb. After that it’s just a taxpayer money eating parasite that needs health care, education, etc. What to do with the surplus population Andrew? Must be such fun to smoke pot on the beach while billions on the planet compete to for the privilege to labor for his lifestyle.

  79. 79
    Stillwater says:

    Great post EDK. Keep hammering on this. Also, one suggestion since you’re a big-time blogger with a big voice (and I’m not): could you post something at the league countering that pretty ridiculous post Jason put of about a conflict of rights inherent in public sector unions? I was late to the party, and he never addressed my comment (buried at the bottom). I mean, him and Conor and Brooks, and etc., are really coming at this issue crabbed, for very ideologically motivated reasons. Which is fine, I guess, but their arguments suck.

  80. 80
    eemom says:

    @kdaug:

    it’s the only insane babble we have.

    ???

  81. 81
    jenn says:

    @fraught:

    Yes, the rest of the BJ commentariat is so well known for its polite and quiet acceptance of FP articles they disagree with.

  82. 82
    E.D. Kain says:

    @fraught: I was never on that particular train, and my turn was not on a dime so much as it was a long time coming.

  83. 83
    kdaug says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Dr. Manzi and i have discussed this often in his mails to me FROM FRANCE.

    Also, too, let me guess how this “discussion” goes:

    m_c: Adfasd qerrefd yewdfg adsd joioih!

    Dr. Manzi: Go away and leave me alone. You don’t make any sense, and you can’t spell.

    m_c: Cudlips.

  84. 84
    sukabi says:

    @E.D. Kain: it may have been a long time coming, but you sure hid it well in your posts and comments here…. so don’t be paranoid, but some of us are watching with interest to see if your “conversion” takes or if you’re pulling a Sully.

  85. 85
    matoko_chan says:

    @kdaug: lol, je m’amuse. Dr. Manzi is a Hero of the Conservative Cause, their Last Token Scientist, posting on the innovation of the market from his villa in france. He sold his company and retired at age 43.
    i find that so charming.
    ;)

  86. 86
    Violet says:

    Was just in the car and heard Rush Limbaugh say that Wisconsin 8th graders rate lowest in reading levels of all midwestern states. So that means WI teachers are bad at their jobs. Or something to that effect.

  87. 87
    matoko_chan says:

    @kdaug: lol..read the link, dude.
    Distributed Jesusland or the Paradox of Libertarianism
    warning, link goes to the dish.
    @E.D. Kain: the ONLY bothers me. he has many reasons.

  88. 88
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Stillwater: yeah I could scrap something together…

  89. 89
    Steve says:

    @ Matoko_chan

    So basically your argument is this:

    ED: Walker wants to do [Bad thing] for [bad reason].

    MC: NAH UH! Walker wants to do [Same bad thing] for [highly related/same bad reason which was at the very least implied by EDs post]. You’re wrong!!!! Now where’s my cookie?

  90. 90
    shortstop says:

    @fraught: Like there aren’t hundreds of people around here who can deal with that possibility better than she can. Don’t validate her delusions of grandeur and iconoclasm.

  91. 91
    shortstop says:

    @eemom: I know. That one sent Red Bull through my nose.

  92. 92
    matoko_chan says:

    @Stillwater: that is those “principled” libertarians for you.
    they are all crabbed.
    you might enjoy this, still….the Paradox of Libertarianism, or Distributed Jesusland as we know it today.

  93. 93
    Steve says:

    @ Matoko_Chan

    And its not even that bad. You’re parsing the meaning of the word “only”, despite the fact that it could be easily read a different way (that is, Walker’s only goal, not his only motivation for said goal). This is arguing semantics at the most petty and pointless level.

  94. 94
    E.D. Kain says:

    @matoko_chan: context is key to reading that line.

    @sukabi: fair enough.

  95. 95
    Kurzleg says:

    E.D. – Could you explain what you meant when you wrote, “their average pension is just $24,500?” Is that the average annual benefit @ retirement?

  96. 96
    Stillwater says:

    @E.D. Kain: Thanks. I’ll keep an eye out for it.

  97. 97
    kdaug says:

    @eemom: OK, let me rephrase: It’s the most insane babble we have.

  98. 98
    matoko_chan says:

    @Steve: he can just strike the word ONLY. i thought i got his meaning pretty clear from what he wrote, since i am inept at libertarian mind meld.

  99. 99
    matoko_chan says:

    @E.D. Kain: alas, like i told Steve, i am woefully inept at libertarian mind meld.
    you have to be crystal clear with me.
    i only got what you actually wrote, and not what you apparently INTENDED me to get.
    Fuckin’ semiotics……how do they work?
    ;)

  100. 100
    chopper says:

    @kdaug:

    i know! jesus chickenfucking christ, why didn’t m_c mention that earlier? her insane word-salad shit makes so much more sense now! FRANCE!

  101. 101
    matoko_chan says:

    @kdaug: merci mille fois.
    ABT.

  102. 102
  103. 103
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Kurzleg: employed 30 years, so retiring at 60% of the average of the last 3 years, say $40,000.

    Sounds reasonable based on the back of the envelope…

  104. 104
    Pooh says:

    JC,

    Pull the trigger on this clown.

  105. 105
    Shadow's Mom says:

    It strikes me as somewhat unfortunate that the other very bad things in this bill have been somewhat overshadowed by the furor over the stripping of collective bargaining rights. These issues Medicaid cuts, no-bid contracts if played up might elicit greater support for the union folks.

  106. 106
    Steeplejack says:

    To some front-pager: FYWP is blocking my posts as spam, including one that went through initially but got farkled when I tried to edit it. Only got the spam message when the edit was rejected, not on the original post. FYWP!

  107. 107
    E.D. Kain says:

    @matoko_chan: I can’t help you with your reading comprehension skills.

  108. 108
    Steeplejack says:

    (I can’t believe I am going through all this effort to post a comment in defense of Matoko_chan.)

    I would hate to see Matoko_chan banned. There is a low signal-to-noise ratio in her comments, but she does make some good points occasionally. I thought this one the other day was pretty good. And her point in this thread about “Distributed Jesusland” winning only locally or in midterm elections is worth thinking about.

  109. 109
    fraught says:

    Maybe it’s just me but I find m_c easy to put up with. I just seem to automatically skim right over her. I don’t like banning and I really try not to feed trolls. Kain can handle himself as shown by his really commendable effort in this thread to engage. Even as I still believe he started off live as an Objectivist with a yen for Dominique Francon.

  110. 110
    MikeF says:

    @matoko_chan:

    no, like DougJ pointed out, Walker is only interested in busting up unions that vote democratic.

    Didn’t Walker cut his union-busting teeth by cooking up a budget crisis to fire unionized security guards? I imagine they vote mostly the same way as police.

  111. 111
    chopper says:

    @matoko_chan:

    i think you need to read up on what the word ‘and’ means.

  112. 112
    Steeplejack says:

    This is interesting: I did some experimenting, and apparently my comment was getting marked as spam because I mentioned Br*ck Ov*n B*ll. As in Matoko_chan is a much better in-house troll than he who shall not be named.

  113. 113
    Mnemosyne says:

    @WarMunchkin:

    I think it’s completely inconsistent to be in favor of filibuster reform/abolition and support senators denying a quorum.

    I disagree, because the filibuster reforms that I support would put the burden of continuing the filibuster on the minority, not the majority as it is now. Legislators actually leaving the state to avoid a quorum seems like a burden on them, as opposed to the Republicans who just have to show up, look for a quorum, and dismiss again when they don’t have one.

    The objecting party should have to sacrifice something in order to block legislation. As the US Senate is set up now, the minority party doesn’t have to sacrifice a thing to tangle up the whole works. They don’t have to hold the floor with a filibuster; they don’t have to leave DC to avoid a quorum. Hell, they don’t even have to reveal who they are in order to block nominees.

  114. 114
    shortstop says:

    @fraught: Yeah, I actually agree with that. Ignoring, not banning, is the answer. I read maybe 1 out of 500 of her comments, which still means I read something of hers in every thread.

  115. 115
    Corner Stone says:

    and simultaneous tax cuts for the successful

    One of the many, many reasons I see no need to read Sully.
    The unrepentant stand in for “rich” by using “successful”.
    It’s the same kind of word play EDK did for the first millenia he front paged here.

  116. 116
    matoko_chan says:

    @E.D. Kain: and lacking that special libertarian mindmeld, i cannot scry your true meaning.
    possibly you are just intellectually lazy and unwilling to admit mistakes….or possibly you are a fifth columnist like Sully.

    who can say?

  117. 117
    Maude says:

    @matoko_chan:
    I agree about the Dem unions and Walker wanting to get ridmof them. What do you think Walker believes, that if he succeeds with this, in some way he will personally benefit. What’s in it for him? There’s got to be something. The political stuff aside.

  118. 118
    matoko_chan says:

    @shortstop: that is empirically untrue.
    i do not post in every thread.
    are you intellectually lazy like EDK?

  119. 119
    Mnemosyne says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Fuckin’ semiotics……how do they work?

    Your inability to understand written Standard American English does not qualify as a problem of semiotics. Though I do see that you used every college freshman’s favorite dodge — “It’s not that I didn’t understand the reading — I’m critiquing the semiotics of it!”

  120. 120
    jenn says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Under normal circumstances, I’d agree – I’m not much with the banhammer. But it’s not really a matter of my ability to skim over her comments, it’s that she has a tendency to spam threads, and either strangles the thread so everyone moves elsewhere, or utterly derails it, so that instead of a discussion about the state of the middle class, she gets a discussion about her.

    (And yes, I realize I’m now complicit in the thread-derailing. Sigh.)

  121. 121
    matoko_chan says:

    @Maude: DougJ and Kay have both made excellent cases that this is a national conservative tactic.
    they both have posts us describing the tactic in other states.
    Like i explained, just because conservatives dont TALK about the demographic timer, doens’t mean they dont hear it ticking.

  122. 122
    kay says:

    @Maude:

    How Mitch Daniels benefited when he wrote the playbook is he outsourced the public work once he broke the union. To private contractors. You know this drill. They take work that used to be performed by public employees and give it to private contractors. The private contractors then donate to conservative politicians.
    But first you have to break the union.

  123. 123
    Ash Can says:

    @Maude: I suppose it’s possible that what he’s doing is entirely in repayment for all the cash the Koch brothers sunk into his campaign, but I’m betting that hefty future kickbacks are involved as well. He stands to really clean up, I’m sure.

  124. 124
    kdaug says:

    @Corner Stone: Ding! Put the inheritance tax at 100%, and then we can talk about the “successful”.

  125. 125
    matoko_chan says:

    @Mnemosyne: well please explain this to me.

    Walker is obviously interested only in busting up the unions and outsourcing public services to his wealthy supporters.

    im lissening.

  126. 126
    E.D. Kain says:

    @matoko_chan: seriously have you read anything I’ve written? I have made the case that this is a national decades-spanning effort many times now. The only explanation is that you have not read a single thing I’ve written.

  127. 127
    JGabriel says:

    Sullivan via ED Kain @ Top:

    Without solicitation of bids? How is that frugal? How is that conservative? It couldn’t be anything to do with the Koch brothers, could it? And wouldn’t it be more fiscally conservative not to simultaneously add over $150 million by rescinding tax hikes on those couples earning over $300,000 or individuals earning $150,000 at the same time as asking for sacrifices from people earning a fraction of that?
    __
    It’s not the cutting of public sector benefits that concerns me. I think the budget situation demands such cuts, and Walker deserves credit for saying so and following through. It’s the combination of no bid sales to corporations, exemptions for public sector unions like cops and firefighters who backed his election, and simultaneous tax cuts for the successful – in the context of asking for general sacrifice.

    Sully is completetly right here, and completely misses the point:

    Once you’ve admitted there’s room for no bid sales & contracts for your favored contributors, and tax cuts on incomes over 150K, then you’ve already admitted that the benefits and wage cuts for public sector workers are not necessary.

    They are a choice.

    Walker is choosing to further enrich the rich at the expense of people who serve the public for lower pay. It is not “demanded by the math” or “demanded by the budget situation”. It’s a choice.

    .

  128. 128
    p.a. says:

    @WyldPirate:

    Republicans don’t respond at all to the desires of voters with modest incomes.

    Untrue- they are very solicitous to modest income voters who are fetus fetishists and racists first, foremost, and always. To paraphrase, they represent those who ‘would vote themselves into living in a cardboard box roasting sparrows on a curtain rod as long as the gay, or Mexican, or black, or unionist in the next box didn’t have any sparrows or a curtain rod.

  129. 129
    Mnemosyne says:

    @matoko_chan:

    We’ll take this very slowly since I know you’re having trouble with it. Here’s the previous sentence:

    So the notion of shared sacrifice is not the issue here – at least for the unions or the Democrats.

    Now here are the two sentences together:

    So the notion of shared sacrifice is not the issue here – at least for the unions or the Democrats. Walker is obviously interested only in busting up the unions and outsourcing public services to his wealthy supporters.

    “Only” clearly is referring to Walker’s claim that he wants shared sacrifice. ED is pointing out that it’s impossible for that to be the case, so Walker “only” wants to bust unions, not shared sacrifice from the unions.

    See? It’s very easy once you understand how sentences, paragraphs and Standard American English all work together.

  130. 130
    Maude says:

    @Ash Can:
    There has to be something in it for him. Money would be my best guess. Walker doesn’t care what the issue is as long as it benefits him.

    @matoko_chan:
    It’s more than that. He is getting something tangible out of this. It’s a lot of effort for some political cause, even if he’s a true believer.

    @kay:
    I agree and your writing on the unions is wondrous. I always think that wankers operate in their own self interest first and the political cause fits into it. It would be good if there was a pay off for how I can’t stand him Kasich and the creep Walker.

  131. 131
    matoko_chan says:

    @Mnemosyne: sry. i dont speak libertarian.
    EDK is ignoring (purposefully or not) that this is a national conservative strategy.
    there is no altruism in nature.
    if Walker was ONLY not interested in shared-sacrifice, he would break up all public service unions…like the police and the firefighters and outsource them to Xe, right? big monies.
    this could be an oversight on EDKs part.
    he can fix it by deleting the word “only.”

  132. 132
    shortstop says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Right, Mat, you don’t post in every single thread. Gosh, you got me there. See, the joke, easily understood by those not mired in highly literal selective reading habits, is that you take over threads so thoroughly with your Aspergerisms that even by skipping 499 out of 500 of your posts, I still constantly have to see your “work.”

  133. 133
    jfxgillis says:

    Erik:

    It’s not three decades. It’s over six.

    Taft-Hartley. Especially Section 14(b).

  134. 134
    shortstop says:

    @matoko_chan: I think you should post this another 832 times. ED and everyone else are sure to see it your way if you do.

    Now back to skimming. No, no pie filter for me. I’m trying to drop a few pounds.

  135. 135
    matoko_chan says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    I have made the case that this is a national decades-spanning effort many times now.

    relly? would you link one please? i thought id read most of your work, but i could be wrong.
    One from LoOG would be most welcome.

  136. 136
    singfoom says:

    Only cudlips care about context. C’mon, Matoko, Mnemosyne laid it out for you very clearly in non-libertarian accented English. If you fail to comprehend now, it’s your fault and not the fault of EDK or any of the rest.

    kthxbai

  137. 137
    chopper says:

    and m_c is still babbling away. jesus, it’s like a 12-year-old snuck into a cocktail party.

  138. 138
    eemom says:

    @John Cole:

    er, John? This thread — it is being “queered.”

    Also too: the creature is getting booooooooring.

    Also three…..in my always humble opinion…..if you respect someone enough to have them as a FPer you ought to respect them enough to protect them from such stalking and abuse as is frankly approaching the “Fatal Attraction” level at this point.

  139. 139
    E.D. Kain says:

    @matoko_chan: this post and in each of the ones you’ve been trolling. again, if you’d read them you wouldn’t need a link.

  140. 140
    Buffalo Rude says:

    Wow, E. D.. You didn’t just hop onto the hippie train, you’re up in the cab with your hand on the throttle. Godspeed my good man.

    Sorry I have nothing intelligent or substantive to add to this thread.

  141. 141
    Triassic Sands says:

    It’s not the cutting of public sector benefits that concerns me. I think the budget situation demands such cuts, and Walker deserves credit for saying so and following through.

    Is that what make Sullivan’s posts “even-keeled?”

    NO! It’s what makes Sullivan a phony. Wisconsin’s budget shortfall is minuscule relative to those of many other states, and could be erased with relatively minor adjustments. Going after public sector benefits is NOT necessary — it’s just Republican. Nothing more.

    Kill the poor — they make life unpleasant for the rich.

  142. 142
    E.D. Kain says:

    @jfxgillis: good point.

  143. 143
    matoko_chan says:

    @E.D. Kain: oh….so there aren’t any at the LoOG?
    but…i think all your posts here are just pandering to the juicers like you pandered to the conservative base for years.
    i have read them all then.

    what if someone just read this single post? shouldnt it be stand-alone?

  144. 144
    Jrod the Cookie Thief says:

    Yet another thread that should be about union-busting is instead about motoko’s deranged obsession with EDK. This time the evidence that EDK is a stupid liar is… that the word “only” could be construed to refer to a different clause than the one EDK obviously intended? Seriously? This is worth a big fucking fight? This pathetic, nitpicky bullshit was worth derailing a thread that might have contained useful, or at least entertaining discussion?

    matoko, you are a stupid asshole. Why is it that whenever I talk to a person who’s obsessed with IQ, that person is a stupid asshole? Like these idiots think that their ability to score highly on tests means they don’t actually need to consider things; that their super-duper intelligence means that whatever thought pops into their pointy little heads is the epitome of wisdom.

    Of course, most other people of this ilk were actually capable of properly reading and writing the English language. In other words, matoko is the biggest, most stupid asshole of all.

    Not to mention it’s an admitted, proud troll. matoko has flat out stated that its goal is to disrupt the conversation and make every thread about matoko.

    In another thread I suggested a temporary ban for matoko. I was wrong, then. Make it permanent.

  145. 145
    eemom says:

    “I won’t just be ignored…”

  146. 146
    kdaug says:

    @Jrod the Cookie Thief:

    Why is it that whenever I talk to a person who’s obsessed with IQ, that person is a stupid asshole?

    I generally find that people who’ll tell you how smart they are, ain’t.

  147. 147
    Keith G says:

    @kdaug: You win my undying admiration!!!

  148. 148
    E.D. Kain says:

    @matoko_chan: my first posts on unions are at the league. Click on my name on the damn masthead.

  149. 149
    Peter says:

    @fraught: Normally I’d agree with you (except that I don’t think I’ve ever seen matoko make a decent point, but her comments kind of make my eyes glaze over so I won’t debate it), but she’s crossed the line at this point. She’s not just disagreeing with EDK in an insane and incomprehensible manner; of late she’s crossed over into pure malicious – if laughably ineffectual – harassment.

  150. 150
    jfxgillis says:

    Erik:

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention. I didn’t read the Robert Reich article you cited because, er, I knew what was in it. So I don’t know if he cited the seminal text for the argument he made.

    Buy it. Read it. When you’re done reading it, buy it again and read it again.

  151. 151
    E.D. Kain says:

    @jfxgillis: I will, thanks!

  152. 152
    Hob says:

    @matoko_chan: For the love of God, you’ve made your fucking point. There is now no one in this thread or in the rest of the known universe who is unaware that ED’s sentence might not be as comprehensive as it should be depending on one’s interpretation of the word “only”.

    HE’S STILL NOT UNDER ANY OBLIGATION TO EDIT HIS POST FOR YOU. That’s not how blogs work. You get to argue, you don’t get to demand editorial changes.

    But since you’ve already declared a personal vendetta against ED, literally (how fucking grandiose can you get?!), until he makes a formal apology for that other post you didn’t like, I don’t see why anyone should treat you as anything but a troll anyway. Someone whose stated intention is to disrupt the forum is a troll as far as I’m concerned. Cole would be well within his rights to ban you for that, totally aside from the whole “gratuitously hostile purveyor of pseudo-leet gibberish” thing.

  153. 153
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Peter:

    Normally I’d agree with you (except that I don’t think I’ve ever seen matoko make a decent point, but her comments kind of make my eyes glaze over so I won’t debate it), but she’s crossed the line at this point. She’s not just disagreeing with EDK in an insane and incomprehensible manner; of late she’s crossed over into pure malicious – if laughably ineffectual – harassment.

    I agree with this sentiment.

    matoko_chan, whatever point it is that you feel is so important is getting lost in the noise. Please tone down the volume and focus on quality rather than quantity of comments if you have ambitions to be doing something here above and beyond simple threadjacking and stalking/harrassment.

  154. 154
    Hob says:

    For those who may have missed m_c’s last billion comments and are still defending her lovable eccentricity: she’s repeatedly said that she’s declared “kanly” [i.e. a personal feud, from Dune] against Kain and that she is deliberately harassing him here, and will only stop if he retracts an earlier post that contained an anti-abortion argument. I agree with m_c that that earlier post was ludicrously bad, but that’s neither here nor there. She’s explicitly said that her intention here is to be disruptive.

  155. 155
    Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Hob: Fuckin’ attention whoring by stalking, how does it work? Holy rollerskating fuck, I disagree with that point also, but I’ve moved on.

  156. 156
    matoko_chan says:

    @Hob: he is ruining bj for me, cant i protest?
    the title here is wrong too.
    EDK implies all unions are equal. they aren’t. the republicans want to kill the unions with democratic membership.
    cant i say hes wrong?
    this is the unionized version of his classic “we are all the same” argument.
    KochtoSorosrex is another classic.
    i repeat, im sorry to interfere with you retards patting yourselves on the back for converting him, but i dont see it.
    he is still a glibertarian, he is still a liar.

  157. 157
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Godfucking damn it, Cole. Can you please at least ban m_c from E.D.’s threads? I really enjoy reading his threads and the comments by the not-so-insane people who aren’t named m_c, but I HATE coming to his threads and scrolling through all the m_c-related garbage. Even pieing her does no good because people WILL respond to her trollery. There are 66 references to her on this freaking post alone. She adds nothing to these conversations because she’s simply here to stalk and harass E.D. as she, herself, has admitted. Please. For the love of all that is good and right, at least ban her from his posts.

    @sukabi: I would respectfully disagree. E.D. has always been left-leaning. He just didn’t have it all quite figured out yet. Yes, he had to adjust to the combative nature of BJ commentating, but I believe it has helped him really burn away all the shit from what he actually believes.

    E.D., you have pretty much nailed it in this post. It’s not about budgets or anything like that–it’s purely about union-busting.

  158. 158
    matoko_chan says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: im a troll.
    i learn at the feet of the of the Master.
    see how exquistely he trolled the “principled” libertarians at LoOG?
    ABT.

  159. 159
    Peter says:

    @matoko_chan: You can only dream of being half the troll DougJ is. To properly troll you have to be coherent, seemingly genuine, and funny for those in on the joke. You aren’t any of those three things. You try to make up for it with sheer volume, but it’s a very poor substitute.

    In other words, you are this guy, while DougJ is these guys.

  160. 160
    Idi Amin says:

    Unions are the last thing standing between the serf/lord economy the Republicans would like to bring back and the America we’ve gotten comfortable with since FDR.

    Republicans generally see themselves sittin’ on their verandas, sippin’ mint juleps and watching their field-hand serfs work their fields down below.

  161. 161
    E.D. Kain says:

    @asiangrrlMN: thanks, and you’re right in your analysis of me as well.

  162. 162

    […] my own struggles, but collectively, beyond the concept of the narrative of the American Dream. Balloon Juice’s E.D. Kain hits some major notes for me here: “Do we want a ‘right to work’ for whatever big […]

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