A Modern Parable

This was sent to me:

A unionized public employee, a teabagger, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, then looks at the teabagger and says “Watch out for that union guy– he wants a piece of your cookie!”

So true.

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140 replies
  1. 1
    Elizabelle says:

    Excellent parable.

    Understandable, pithy, and contains a lot of truth.

  2. 2
    Poopyman says:

    In 1900 the union man would have stood up and shot the CEO, and gotten hung for it.

    In 1920 the union man would have threatened to shoot the CEO, and gotten hung for it.

    In 1930 Pretty Boy Floyd would have robbed the CEO of the cookies and given them to the union man’s kids, and gotten hung for it.

    In 1940 the union man would have wrestled the cookies away from the CEO, and gotten away with it.

    For decades after that, the CEO was much more circumspect about stealing cookies.

  3. 3
    geg6 says:

    Heh. I’m putting that on my Facebook update.

  4. 4
    jcricket says:

    Nice one – although I’d modify it thusly.

    The CEO takes all 12 cookies, throws about 1/2 of one back at the union guy and 1/4th of one at the tea partier and then says “this whole situation is the union guys fault”

    (oh and gays and immigrants too)

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Doug says:

    But Galtian Elves presumably created those cookies through an impressive assertion of will, ingenuity, and culinary skill despite being beset at every turn by the legions of society’s baked-good looting dregs.

  7. 7

    I saw that joke this weekend except instead of the CEO the guy who grabs 11 cookies is David Koch.

  8. 8
    Scott says:

    I had to steal it for my FB update, too. Great feedback for it so far — it’s pretty on-the-nose perfect. :)

  9. 9
    Rommie says:

    Bah, the CEO would keep all 12 cookies and the plate, and tell the teabagger that the union guy will steal the cookie the CEO *might* be willing to sell to him. Also, the government will take a cookie from the CEO and give it to a strapping young buck, so he, the CEO, can’t sell a cookie to the teabagger anyway, so shut up, that’s why.

  10. 10
    catclub says:

    @Doug: It would be interesting if Pillsbury (elves) is unionized.

  11. 11
    El Tiburon says:

    can we get a media pundit in there somewhere to finish it out?

    I mean, if our MSM didn’t suck so bad, we may not be in this predicament so deeply.

  12. 12
    Nick L says:

    My memories of middle school would be a lot more pleasant if instead of thinking “jackass who stole my lunch money” I thought “Galtian hero creating yet another job.”

  13. 13
    slag says:

    @Doug:

    But Galtian Elves presumably created those cookies through an impressive assertion of will, ingenuity, and culinary skill despite being beset at every turn by the legions of society’s baked-good looting dregs.

    Exactly. And don’t complain about your partial cookie being loaded with arsenic, lead, and benzene, because we all know the body needs that stuff anyway so just shut up and eat your damn crumbs, you lousy freeloader.

  14. 14

    Put it on my Facebook update as well, but then felt I had to add the caveat-because I have so many friends from high school and college who are tea partiers and quick with the knee-jerkiness–that this wasn’t a shot at them, but rather a comment about how we’re getting played against each other. I hope they get that.

  15. 15
    hueyplong says:

    Perhaps you should give the CEO 12 more cookies so that a few more crumbs will trickle down as he gorges himself.

  16. 16
    General Stuck says:

    them cookies didn’t cook themselves

  17. 17
    geg6 says:

    @Chris Gerrib:

    Good. I’m glad. That will let the boys (and girls) in blue know exactly where they stand in Wingnutville.

  18. 18
    jeffreyw says:

    First they came for the cookies, but I didn’t bake those cookies, so I said nothing.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    Svensker says:

    The self-employed businessperson who is not a teabagger and who pays taxes to support the public employee and the bankster is under the table being kicked by all three up top.

    Bathetic enuf for ya?

  21. 21
    geg6 says:

    @Brian S (formerly Incertus):

    Do you really give a damn what they think? Seriously?

    I’m sure I have dozens of wingnuts as “friends” because we knew each other in high school or college. I don’t think about them for a minute when I post something on Facebook. Maybe it’s that they know and have always known where I stand. If they don’t like it, they can un-friend me. I won’t weep about it.

  22. 22
    Lolis says:

    @Svensker:

    Oh give me a break, I am a public employee with a Master’s degree earning 32 K making sure emergency services are provided to children and adults. You are getting me at a bargain.

  23. 23
    R-Jud says:

    @Svensker:

    support the public employee

    Public employees pay taxes, too.

    Signed,

    A self-employed small business person who pays taxes to two different countries.

  24. 24
    Shinobi says:

    @El Tiburon: “Media outlets report that this is good news for John McCain.”

  25. 25
    jl says:

    No no no.

    CEO takes eight cookies, promises to double them, and drops them, and then steps on them while trying to pick them up.

    CEO takes the remaining six and says the teabagger owes him two.

    CEO tells the teabagger that he heard someplace that there is a union slacker and thug someplace who is eating a cookie.

  26. 26
    Martin says:

    @geg6: That’s my attitude as well. My mom as a touch of wingnut to her, but I don’t hold back. Hell, she once kept me locked up in this incredibly small, damp space for 9 months. Did she not think there would be consequences?

  27. 27
    Studly Pantload says:

    @Chris Gerrib:

    So, a specious anecdote is why public-employee unions should be outlawed.

    Are these people even capable of getting dressed without having the names of the days of the week sewn onto their underwear?

  28. 28
    Chris Grrr™ says:

    Class warfare dessert capture scary KENYANSSSSS!!!1!

  29. 29
    Chris Grrr™ says:

    Class warfare dessert capture scary KENYANSSSSS! ! ! 1!

  30. 30
    Sly says:

    @Lolis: But you see, it’s different for you because you have a calling. You get paid less because you love your job!

    Which is precisely why ditch-diggers get paid the big bucks and all hedge fund managers hate their jobs.

  31. 31
    jcricket says:

    @geg6: I feel the same way. If you’re racist, homophobic, anti-choice, xenophobic or otherwise backwards to a degree that my liberal rantings offend you on FB – un-friend me and I’ll promptly remember why I probably never liked you in high school.

  32. 32
    jl says:

    But nevertheless I am optimistic. After we lesser people offer our small share of shared sacrifice and go back to living in huts, things may turn out better than we think.

    I heard on the radio news this morning that the Nubians long ago, back before the Ancient Egyptians, learned how to brew antibiotic beer and used it for medicine.

    Antibiotic beer! The rich trust funders and CEOs can keep their modern medicine. I’m willing to try the antibiotic beer.

  33. 33
    geg6 says:

    @Lolis:

    Seriously. Me, too. My two degrees have me making a whopping $36,000 a year. Not to mention that I pay fucking taxes, too. Let’s get rid of the welfare (tax breaks up the wazoo and being able to claim enough losses for their children to qualify for Pell grants while they live in $250-300,000 homes) for small business people and listen to the whining that would ensue.

  34. 34
    Elia says:

    I feel like we should work shit like this into the parable as well, just to get the full picture.

  35. 35
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Svensker: Does the job need doing? If it needs doing, should it be done well? If it is done well, should we not pay the worker what he or she is worth?

    Public servant is not public slave. Pay them.

  36. 36
    Punchy says:

    The only way 3 guys are all sitting at one table eating cookies is if they’re all gay; which automatically invalidates the premise that there was a Tea Bagger(TM) present, although perhaps a regular tea bagger. In which case, he’s a Democrat and your parable still sucks.

  37. 37
    freelancer says:

    @Martin:

    Did she hang you on a hook? My mother hung me on a hook once. Once.

  38. 38
    BGinCHI says:

    Sometimes the cookies of liberty need to be watered with the blood of the ideologically vacuous.

  39. 39
    justawriter says:

    A friend of mine who likes to taunt wingers put this up earlier today. The following response he got shows that the nutters just can’t shake the CEO as hero meme.

    XXXX XXXX I’m not a CEO, union employee, nor am I a Tea Party member…so I get no fuckin’ cookie! Why? Because the CEO takes his 11 cookies and sells them to buy more milk, eggs and sugar to make more cookies. The tea party guys get a cookie but can’t figure out how to make more cookies by themselves. The union guys want to make sure everybody gives them more cookies, so they lick all the cookies they can! Meanwhile, if I want cookies I have to buy my own damn Mexican cookies from Wal-Mart.

    The moral of the story: If I make my own cookies I don’t have to worry about the CEO taking too many or the union licking the rest!

    He doesn’t realize the CEO only has to sell one cookie to make a dozen more, and he sends five to his Swiss bank account and the rest get traded for hookers and cocaine the trophy wife, Lexus and mansion.

  40. 40
    R-Jud says:

    @Punchy: What if they were eating BBQ ribs?

  41. 41
    Davis X. Machina says:

    You are getting me at a bargain.

    But is it enough of a bargain? Hey, at some price the labor market won’t clear — but we’re not there yet.

    Look, this isn’t about what I want, or what you want. It’s not about preferences.

    It’s about the Law.
    Blessed be the Market, the righteous judge.

  42. 42

    @geg6: I do because unlike the freaks on tv who I can ridicule and dismiss, these are real people who had an effect on my life at some point, and I like to think that on some level, I might be able to get through to them. Not on everything, but maybe on something, and that’s better than spitting on them. An uneasy truce is still a truce.

  43. 43
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Svensker: You have seen the stats posted numerous times in various places on this blog that show that, for their education and level of responsibility, public employees in Wisconsin are underpaid by 4.8% vis-a-vis private sector employees? This analysis took into account the benefits and retirement programs. I am sorry that you think that public sector employees should be underpaid, cowed, and overworked. I happen to disagree.

  44. 44

    Jesus fucking Christ.

    AFL-CIO sez Walker is welding windows shut to keep food from getting to the protestors inside. This guy just won’t quit.

  45. 45
    Uloborus says:

    I’m all for small business owners. I know some. I fail to see how either they’re against unions or the Republican Party ever does anything to support them.

  46. 46
    geg6 says:

    @Brian S (formerly Incertus):

    Meh. It’s Facebook. I try to do better with nutters I know IRL and talk to face to face.

    Here’s a story I posted today about just such an incident:

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....nt-2452819

  47. 47
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Svensker:

    You do realize that the mafia does not actually control every union nationwide, right? That it’s really only your state out of the 50 and maybe one or two more where that happens?

  48. 48
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Southern Beale:

    That rumor has already been debunked — a window in one of the restrooms was being repaired and some people freaked out.

  49. 49
    geg6 says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Someone, in this day and age, actually believes this shit?

    LOL! I’m sure Rich Trumka would be amused.

  50. 50

    @Mnemosyne:

    Do you have a link for that?

  51. 51
    Linkmeister says:

    @jeffreyw: Those ain’t baguettes, Jeffrey, they’re French Bread. Still look scrumptious, though. I made some French Bread myself this weekend, but it doesn’t look as purty as that.

  52. 52
    Punchy says:

    @R-Jud: Then they’re Chiefs fans, hopelessly depressed about the asshead they have for a coach, lamenting the shittiness of their Royals, and wondering if Josh Selby really will have the stones to try and declare for the draft after a sub-par freshman year.

  53. 53
    kdaug says:

    @Chris Gerrib:

    …but if Jones had the physical strength to match his mouth I’d have been peeing blood.”

    What’s really funny, is this is the Alex Jones he’s talking about. (Yeah, former bodybuilder, local eccentric).

  54. 54
    Malron says:

    Don’t be silly, John. A CEO would never sit down at the table with a union employee.

  55. 55
    Nick says:

    @Svensker: I’m honestly really curious what you though of what I said the other day. Not to be pushy, but because this is the argument progressives tell me would work with people who have your opinion. I’ll rephrase it to make it applicable here.

    So here’s a good question, why isn’t the self-employed businessman saying “you know what, they’re right, and I deserve that too, we all do, I want a union”

    Why is it the middle class just accepts that they have to live paycheck to paycheck and gets mad at anyone who has the ability to challenge that? They’re pinning hairdressers and store clerks against cops and teachers while they rake in the profits. Why can you not see this?

  56. 56
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Southern Beale: Actually (but just as bad) they’re not welding — wooden framed windows don’t take kindly to fire and molten metal.

    What they’re doing is driving bolts into the frames a couple of inches above the windows, then shearing off the heads. Same effect, different process.

  57. 57
    Nick says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I am sorry that you think that public sector employees should be underpaid, cowed, and overworked. I happen to disagree.

    you happen to be a rare breed unfortunately.

  58. 58
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Kirk Spencer: see http://twitter.com/ericming5 for links to pictures.

    Eric Ming also reports that the fire marshal for the capitol is part of the capitol police. :/

  59. 59
  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Nick: I don’t think it should happen to anyone. FWIW I am not currently a public employee; my previous public employment was as an army officer and as a federal judicial clerk.

  61. 61
    Martin says:

    @Kirk Spencer: Walker seems to think that this will actually dissuade the protestors. I think he’s been hanging out with the tea partiers and their fancy hats for too long. Bolting the windows closed is going to double the number of protestors next weekend.

  62. 62
    kdaug says:

    @Martin: You got a long memory an’ hold a grudge well, sir.

  63. 63
    Georgia Pig says:

    A unionized public employee, a teabagger, David Brooks and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, then looks at the teabagger and says “Watch out for that union guy—he wants a piece of your cookie!” and heads to Davos with David Brooks. Brooks returns shortly thereafter with crumbs on his suit jacket lapel and pronounces “I hate it, but we all have to sacrifice now that we have a cookie shortage . . . By the way, it’s well known that union bakers are responsible for the drop in cookie consumption.”

  64. 64
    Nick says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Welcome to the minority. We met Wednesday nights in the closet of a Manhattan apartment. It’s a little big for our membership, but it works.

  65. 65
    jwb says:

    @Svensker: That resentment is showing again.

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Martin: I am thinking that it sounds like they are vandalizing the Capitol building. Assholes.

  67. 67
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Nick: A closet? Someone has a closet? Let’s take it from her. Wait, that’s not right…. That resentment crap is contagious.

  68. 68
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Exactly one picture of a window frame there .. doesn’t exactly look like the most reliable rumor.

  69. 69
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    @Chris Gerrib: Haven’t read the Putz in a long time. Jesus, its whine all the time with that guy.

  70. 70
    Glen Tomkins says:

    A ratio of 11:1 vastly understates the actual disparity between the CEO’s and the worker’s incomes.

  71. 71
    LT says:

    I think the joke needs an adjustment:

    A unionized public employee, a teabagger, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, then a Fox News host and Rush Limbaugh pop their heads out of the CEO’s pants pocket and say to the teabagger, “Watch out for that union guy—he wants a piece of your cookie!”

  72. 72
    Penstemon says:

    A friend of mine put the cookie anecdote up on his FB page and immediately got this response from one of his Galtian winger FB friends, reminding me again why I don’t put stuff like this up on FB — I can just read it on his:

    LOL Guess who assured his wife that they could do it, took a chance and built the bakery, bought the flour, sugar, butter and salt, pays the insurance on the building, delivery trucks and equipment, contributes as much as he can to his employees’ health insurance, kicks in on their 401ks and still provides a small Christmas (excuse me – Winter Bonus)…Pretty sure it wasn’t the union guy. What do you MBAs think the cookie split should BE in this case? Does the union guy feel he’s being paid too little in comparison to the CEO? Perhaps he should find another job. There are plenty out there. Perhaps he should take advantage of the American dream, put down his beer, get out of the union hall and take a chance himself.America is still the greatest, most free country on Earth. Show us why, union guy.

  73. 73
    michelle says:

    @Poopyman:
    thanks for the humor and good history lesson…

  74. 74
    gbear says:

    @Svensker: Svensker, have you been following Steve Benen’s reports about how small businesses are being squeezed by the growing habit of large businesses delaying payments for 60-90-120 days?

    The point that you were making on remittance deferrals is one that I have seen expanding for more than a decade. As a bank auditor I have had many occasions to see the financial crisis for individual small businesses supplying large companies and this practice has been blatantly obvious. The number of times that small suppliers have been borrowing working capital to carry the large business has been growing at an ever increasing rate as you pointed out. At the same time your observation on the growth of consultant advice to use this tactic has become deplorable. When a consultant is offering advice on how to maximize profits, the withholding of contractual payments is low hanging fruit. Since many of these advisors are paid on a ‘percentage of savings or profit gain’ basis, they are motivated to propose this ploy to enhance their own revenue.
    __
    The fact that an advisor offers it and it is followed by implementation of the concept by the client forms a double dip of amorality (“a” versus ‘im’ is a purposeful choice.). Both the advisor and the obligated purchaser are – to state it plainly – stealing and reveling in the fact that they are doing it BECAUSE THEY CAN.

    CEOs are stealing cookies out of your lunchbag.

  75. 75
    jeffreyw says:

    @Linkmeister: I’m thinking of therm as large hoagie rolls, myself. LOL

  76. 76
  77. 77
    BGinCHI says:

    @Georgia Pig: Oh, I was hoping for a bloodier, more tragic ending.

  78. 78
    Punchy says:

    Speaking of food, I see that 7 Danish were hijacked today.

  79. 79
    Shinobi says:

    Oh here is a great rebuttal (and an amusing game) for people who think the unemployed and the poor have it SO easy. One hint, don’t join the union!

  80. 80
    Woodrowfan says:

    and the galtians ignore it was the union guy who made the cookies!

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kirk Spencer:

    They may be able to escalate over his head to the state’s Commerce Department, but IANIW (I am not in Wisconsin) so I’m not sure how it works. I can’t imagine there’s absolutely no provision for going over the head of a local fire marshal.

  82. 82
    Shadow's Mom says:

    hahaha! Fit it in a tweet ‘A union worker, t-bagger, & CEO sit w/plate of 12 cookies. CEO takes 11 & tells t-bagger “Watch the union guy, he wants part of yr cookie.”‘

  83. 83
    jackmac says:

    The CEO takes all 12 cookies and tells the union guy and the teabagger that they have to “sacrifice”.

  84. 84
    Curt says:

    My tweak of the joke: “A CEO, a lobbyist, a teaparty activist and a public employee union member are sitting around a table with a dozen cookies. The CEO takes 6 cookies then gives his lobbyist a nibble. The lobbyist makes a phone call, then slides 5 more cookies the CEO’s way. The CEO leans over to the teaparty activist and says “watch out for that union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie.”

  85. 85
    catclub says:

    @R-Jud: ever heard of long pig?

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Penstemon:

    Guess who assured his wife that they could do it, took a chance and built the bakery, bought the flour, sugar, butter and salt, pays the insurance on the building, delivery trucks and equipment, contributes as much as he can to his employees’ health insurance, kicks in on their 401ks and still provides a small Christmas (excuse me – Winter Bonus)…

    Funny, the guy who did all that for the Giant Evil Corporation I work for died in 1966. Why, exactly, do the subsequent CEOs of the company get the credit for all of his hard work? Doesn’t that make them leeches, too, since they wouldn’t have jobs either if he hadn’t busted his ass to build the company?

    ETA: And who the hell gets a bonus of any kind anymore, whether it’s a Christmas or a Winter bonus? I mean, other than the CEO and his cronies. It sure ain’t the guys working the line.

  87. 87
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The thing about this little parable is that it happens right before the Teabagger’s eyes, and he still blames the union employee.

    The natural serfs who are the Teabaggers deserve their fate.

  88. 88
    Svensker says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I am sorry that you think that public sector employees should be underpaid, cowed, and overworked.

    You’re putting words in my mouth. I never said that and don’t think it. But I don’t think public employees should be getting paid way more than private sector employees, either. There needs to be a balance. In some localities there is a balance, and in others, there isn’t.

    Just because you’re a state worker doesn’t mean you’re a fucking miracle on horseback. But it doesn’t mean you’re a demon, either.

  89. 89
    Svensker says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yes, see above. I was talking about NJ. And specifically, northern NJ. I know nothing about southern NJ (and never hope to learn, either, from what I’ve seen driving by at 80 mph).

  90. 90
    DFH no.6 says:

    @catclub:

    Mmmmmm… long pig. The Other White Meat.

    It’s what’s for Donner.

    Sorry, nothing substantial to add here. I’m still banging my head on the desk after reading the wingnut comment in Time’s Swampland that was linked in an earlier post wherein said moran claimed that state employee job losses were caused by federal stimulus spending.

    My country is too stupid to breathe.

  91. 91

    Let’s see, I’m a small business (very very small now) and I’d happily run a union shop if such a thing would allow me to stay in business. What I face is wage deflation driven by insourced illegal labor in the construction industry. Even w/o that I’d be driven out of business by union wages faced with non-union competition since I’d be better off working for someone per annual income.

    Oil prices are gonna hurt real bad…

  92. 92
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Svensker: Again, I will point out that, in Wisconsin, public workers are underpaid compared with private workers of comparative education and responsibility. Anecdata regarding some guy in NJ making 90K doesn’t negate that. Moreover, you don’t know if the guys making 90K are putting in overtime. I just don’t think that you have a really good handle on the working lives of public employees.

  93. 93
    John Cole says:

    You’re putting words in my mouth. I never said that and don’t think it. But I don’t think public employees should be getting paid way more than private sector employees, either. There needs to be a balance. In some localities there is a balance, and in others, there isn’t.

    As has been stated multiple times, in Wisconsin, they receive 4% less than their counterparts in the private sector.

    And all of you lashing out at Svensker, if I remember correctly, she lives in a community where the public sector employees are receiving lavish retirements at young ages. I believe she is marred by the LIRR employees abusing things.

  94. 94
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Exactly — union busting helps the big guys gut the competition and put companies like yours out of business. Feature, not bug.

  95. 95
    Svensker says:

    @Nick:

    why isn’t the self-employed businessman saying “you know what, they’re right, and I deserve that too, we all do, I want a union”

    WTF? Who’m I going to organize against? Myself? Pleeeeze. Have you ever run a business? The money comes from your (hopefully) satisfied customers, not from some mythical pot in the sky that you get magic access to when you get the self-employed badge and bumper sticker. Being self-employed, you also get to pay double FICA taxes and get screwed on rates for health insurance, at least until you get big enough to get Blue Cross’s attention. The trade-off is that you don’t have to listen to some asshole (except the one in the mirror) tell you what to do. Those of us who are maladjusted like it better that way.

    Organize? Yeah, tell that to my friends whose businesses went under in the last few years. One of them paid into the unemployment fund for himself, so he’s OK for another couple of months. The others didn’t so they are on their asses. They’d love to be complaining about a small rise in their co-pays.

    Yes, tax the rich. A lot more. But ‘splain how the heck this organized business owner union would work. Maybe we could go on strike against our customers and employees?

  96. 96
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    @geg6: HAH– I put it there and I defy the not-quite-Confederate sonsabitches to say jack shit</i? to me about it.

  97. 97
    Svensker says:

    @jwb:

    You’re fucking right, it is. Why shouldn’t it? Why do I have to be the middle class schmuck who has to shut up? My bankster friends are telling me how hard they have it; and my union friends are telling me how hard they have it. Why do I gotta smile and shut up?

  98. 98
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Svensker:

    Being self-employed, you also get to pay double FICA taxes and get screwed on rates for health insurance, at least until you get big enough to get Blue Cross’s attention.

    You get to deduct those doubled FICA from your income tax return. And I hate to say it but most people these days get screwed on their health insurance rates.

    You’re right to scoff at the ‘unionize the owner’ remark, though the intent is good. But please be cautious what you throw out as your burdens.

  99. 99
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Svensker:

    But ‘splain how the heck this organized business owner union would work. Maybe we could go on strike against our customers and employees?

    By your standard, the creative unions in Hollywood should be long dead, then, because that’s exactly who they strike against — producers are the customers of writers, actors, directors, etc.

    So, yes, you would unite against your customers because it would give all of you a business advantage to have a level playing field rather than having to deal with the dog eat dog stuff that Chuck Butcher talks about where your competitors can undercut you with illegal labor.

  100. 100
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Svensker:

    But ‘splain how the heck this organized business owner union would work. Maybe we could go on strike against our customers and employees?

    How about organizing against slow-paying corporations?

  101. 101
    Svensker says:

    @gbear:

    CEOs are stealing cookies out of your lunchbag.

    You think I’m not aware of that? They’re not only stealing the cookies, they’re telling me I have to be grateful to them for it and hurry up and make some ones they like better next time.

    It just seems to me that the US is becoming a classic third world country where if you’re not a plutocrat or a bureaucrat, you are fucked. As a fuckee, I’m squawking.

  102. 102
    El Cid says:

    Sharing is theft!

  103. 103
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Svensker: Offhand, I’d say it’s because you’re not the “CEO” in the parable.

    Statistically, less than 5% of CEOs would be that CEO. Of course, that 5% is making over 75% of CEO income.

    So based on that and your comments, you know which seat is really yours? The Tea Partier seat. The analogy could have gone:

    A multinational CEO, a small business owner, and a union worker… and while it would have applied to fewer people it would have been just as valid.

  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @El Cid: I thought property was theft. Am I out of date?

  105. 105

    In this state electricians are union, an employee will be union even if it is just the owner and one employee. But the bar is set higher for electricians than, say, roofers or carpenters. So it can be done, but electricians are more expensive than carpenters.

    I’d say the difference is that people have been building houses with sticks since before writing and that magic wire juice has been around over a century and magic is expensive. (please note that having a house fall on your head gives bad results also and both have to pass inspection) There are magicians and then there are monkeys.

  106. 106
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kirk Spencer:

    I think that’s a huge part of the problem: every a lot of self-employed people think of themselves as CEOs, not working stiffs like the rest of us. So they identify more with, say, Jack Welch than with union members, even though Welch was the CEO of an existing company, not an entrepreneur who built the company.

    (Edited to fix an overbroad statement.)

  107. 107
    Svensker says:

    Last disclaimer, then I’m done. I’m completely behind the action going on in Wisconsin and I think the Repubs are complete assholes on the whole issue.

    I just don’t think belonging to a public union makes a person a saint and that they deserve whatever they get under any circumstances. There are nuances, and sometimes it’s right and other times it isn’t.

    Fight like hell in Wisconsin. But pretending that everything a union does, ever, is perfect is just as silly as pretending that everything unions do is wrong, always.

    Thass all from me. Thanks, John. :)

  108. 108
    gbear says:

    @John Cole: Um, You might be able to call our responses to Svensker a pile-on, but I sure don’t see is as a ‘lashing’. It’s been pretty civil.

  109. 109
    jwb says:

    @Svensker: But you get to complain about how those overpaid union workers are ruining everything, so you’ve got that.

  110. 110
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @John Cole:

    she lives in a community where the public sector employees are receiving lavish retirements at young ages. I believe she is marred by the LIRR employees abusing things.

    Fair enough, but what I am seeing is someone who fits the parable at the top. She is getting screwed like a lot of people, and she is turning against the other little guys instead of the real culprits.

  111. 111

    @Chuck Butcher:
    shit that sounds really resentful the way it is worded. in the public’s eyes one is a magician and the other a monkey.

  112. 112
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Svensker:

    I just don’t think belonging to a public union makes a person a saint and that they deserve whatever they get under any circumstances.

    No one ever said they were. But, weirdly, every single time support for unions comes up, you insist on coming along and complaining about how the unions in your state suck and then have to backtrack and claim you didn’t mean all unions suck.

    If you’re going to insist that not every union member is a saint, you also have to acknowledge that you’re in a very anomalous area of the country and that the conditions for unions in NJ don’t resemble those in the rest of the country.

  113. 113

    Hmm .. technically they are “bolting” not welding the windows at the Wisconsin capital … though the effect is the same. Here’s a picture.

  114. 114
    Jrod the Cookie Thief says:

    @jl: Am I wrong in thinking that all beer is anti-biotic? It all contains alcohol, after all.

    A Rolling Rock wouldn’t be my first choice for cleaning out a wound, mind you. But, I’ve read that medieval Europeans drank beer with every meal because plain water was full of deadly disease. Beer-making was an early form of water purification.

  115. 115
    Joel says:

    @Svensker: Did this parable really sail over your head?

  116. 116
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Here is my modification on that: The CEO tells the ‘bagger, “The union thug is stealing your cookie, and your plate, and he’s going to break the plate over your head and make you eat the pieces.” An FB friend helped me modify that.

  117. 117
    Mike in NC says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And who the hell gets a bonus of any kind anymore, whether it’s a Christmas or a Winter bonus?

    Where I work they set out a box of donuts as a Christmas bonus, then some greed head took most of them before anybody else got near them.

  118. 118
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mike in NC: I was really hungry. Sorry about that.

  119. 119
    El Cid says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Slippery slope.

  120. 120

    @Svensker:

    I just don’t think belonging to a public union makes a person a saint and that they deserve whatever they get under any circumstances. There are nuances, and sometimes it’s right and other times it isn’t.
    __
    Fight like hell in Wisconsin. But pretending that everything a union does, ever, is perfect is just as silly as pretending that everything unions do is wrong, always.

    Who’s been saying that? Seriously. Who in this debate has been saying “Public employees who are members of public employee unions are gods among men and if the sun isn’t shining out of their ass at the moment it’s only because they’re busily shitting out another rainbow?”

    Oh, and what is it with the veneration of small businessmen? A lot of small businessmen are crooks and ripoff artists who screw their customers and employees every bit as assiduously as the Koch brothers. I just don’t think being a small businessman makes a person a saint and that they deserve whatever they get under any circumstances. There are nuances, and sometimes it’s right and other times it isn’t.

  121. 121
    Berial says:

    No matter how much you dumb down the parable the wingers CANNOT grasp it. The Bible must be literally true to these people because they can’t GRASP what the lesson of a parable is about.

    Second response to a FaceBook posting of this parable:

    If Hxxx produces 11 of 12 cookies and Jxxx only 1, then Hxxx should get 11 and Jxxx 1, no matter how much Jxxx may want more, and Jxxx certainly shouldn’t try to use governmental force to make Hxxx give him some more.

    These people can’t see that it’s NOT about cookies but the distribution of wealth in the whole damn country.

  122. 122
    jayjaybear says:

    @Mike in NC:

    And you didn’t even SEE the deluxe gourmet donuts that the company bought for the executive lounge…

  123. 123

    The numbers regarding distribution of wealth and the trends have been easily available since the debate about GWB’s 1st run at rich tax cuts. They’ve been around quite a bit longer than that, but actually were shoved in the public’s face then.

    The public’s ability to comprehend nearly anything is…

  124. 124
    opie jeanne, formerly known as Jeanne Ringland says:

    @gbear: The first time I heard of this was in the 90s, and it was Nordstrom’s that was doing it to small companies that manufactured things like fairly high-end jackets and purses.

  125. 125
    Nick says:

    @Svensker:

    WTF? Who’m I going to organize against? Myself?

    How about big corporations like Bank of America, Exxon/Mobil and Blue Cross/Blue Shield who are directly responsible for the high costs of your loan interest, goods and benefits for your employers.

    But thanks for pointing out why progressives will NEVER WIN a political argument in this country, because small business owners see themselves on the same plane as Jamie Dimon and Charles Koch and not the teacher or the social worker.

  126. 126
    befuggled says:

    @Jrod the Cookie Thief: Sadly, yes. The antibiotic beer specifically refers to the hypothesis that Nubians 1500-2000 years ago were brewing beer with tetracycline. Tetracycline is produced by a soil bacteria by the name of streptomyces.

    Alcohol above a certain potency is going to kill bacteria on contact, but it doesn’t do much against them after you’ve drunk it.

  127. 127
    opie jeanne, formerly known as Jeanne Ringland says:

    @Svensker: There’s the great big thing you missed: public employees are not making more than private.

  128. 128
    befuggled says:

    @Jrod the Cookie Thief: Yeah, the alcohol in the beer makes it less hospitable for bacteria. You can still get some bacteria to grow in even very strong beers (e.g., barleywines).

  129. 129
    Nick says:

    @Svensker:

    my union friends are telling me how hard they have it.

    your union friends have it pretty hard. The difference is they have a mechanism to defend themselves against it getting worse. There is no crime in that. All I’m saying is you should look at it through the guise of “that’s how our country should be” instead of “since it can’t be that way, they should suffer like me”

    you shouldn’t be suffering either. You should have the same mechanism they do to defend yourself. You don’t, but that doesn’t mean we should take it away from them.

    You’ve fallen for what the Reaganites wanted you to for decades. The “if I can’t have it, no one can” argument.

  130. 130
    Nick says:

    @Svensker:

    But I don’t think public employees should be getting paid way more than private sector employees, either.

    they’re not. I’m like the 3953283528725387253th person to tell you that.

  131. 131
    jwb says:

    @Nick: You don’t understand the math: if one public employee somewhere is making more than any equivalent private employee anywhere then public employee wages are out of control.

  132. 132
    gene108 says:

    A unionized public employee, a teabagger, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, then looks at the teabagger and says “Watch out for that union guy—he wants a piece of your cookie!”

    I think what needs to be added is that the 12 cookies were provided by the establishment / baker / mother, or whoever. Maybe that’d clear up the right-wingers belief that CEO’s carve out all their wealth all by themselves.

    Without the benefits of a very stable government, stable currency, etc. the CEO’s of America wouldn’t be doing as well as they are. The government, and everyone else, contributes to these factors, which bring us and them wealth, i.e. the cookies.

  133. 133
    jcricket says:

    @John Cole: Here’s my deal though – even in those small pockets where the unions have managed to “capture” their employment to the degree where they get “unfair” benefits – it pales in comparison to the amount of benefits CEOs and the upper-crust get through their capture of the government and corporate boards.

    And yet I doubt Svensker (and others like her) are out there demanding that CEOs be made to give up their rights, or that corporations should be unable to lobby the gov’t.

    Yeah, it sucks that some employees can earn a pension of 100% their salary, retire, and then come back as a contractor and make more money while still getting the pension.

    But I’m about 100000000000% less cheesed off about that than I am the ongoing abused in the financial sector that threaten to destroy the entire economy – or the Republican plan to gut every safety net and domestic program while also cutting taxes, dooming us to 3rd world status unless we’re already insanely rich.

    People who focus on unions are simply not serious about the problems facing this country.

    Period.

  134. 134
  135. 135
    Corner Stone says:

    Oh noes! Someone over there has it better than me!
    Look! A squirrel!

  136. 136
    Jrod the Cookie Thief says:

    @befuggled: Ooh, interesting. Thanks for the response.

  137. 137
    Joe Bauers says:

    @LT: The Aristocrats!

  138. 138
    smith says:

    I love this – can I use it?

    I am getting so sick and tired of the anti-public worker sentiment going around. Once again I look in my morning paper and the main story is how “overpaid” state workers are. The average state worker makes between $50,000-$60,000 but they are the problem.

    For some reason our local paper has made it its mission to demonize unions and public workers – the last few months almost every day there has been a front page story or editorial about those “evil” unions folk who just need to shut up and give up all their benefits and everything will be A-OK in New York State.

    I’m beginning to hate my local paper.

  139. 139
    KFM says:

    Doesnt matter that the Cookies were his does it? His company made it, and was intitled to as many as he wanted.

  140. 140
    littleblackduck says:

    Re: going Galt – the big irony is that ‘going galt’ only works if every ‘producer’ removes his labor from society. One one upping and moving would have zero effect – they’d all have to. In other words, go on strike.

    And yet didn’t Rand always rail against ‘collectivism’?

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