Tag Archives: labor unions

George Will is most egregious and he sends his Christmas cards by FedEx

George Will doesn’t like the post office. He thinks it’s not needed; he even says:

. . . surely the government could cede this function to the private sector , which probably could have a satisfactory system functioning quicker than you can say Fed Ex, UPS and Wal-Mart.

He sees the first two as delivery vehicles; Wal-Mart would become the physical post office. Very convenient for places that don’t have a Wal-Mart.

He adds that the staff at those places “have an incentive to practice civility”. George has never met my carrier or been to my post office, where there are actual humans available to answer customer questions, something they do well and knowledgeably. A good for-profit would dump those helpers in a heartbeat (hmmm, how many jobs would that be?).

But he really gets the disingenuous prize for this shockingly dishonest bit:

Labor costs are 80 percent of USPS costs (53% of UPS’, 32% of FedEx’s), in part because it has negotiated very friendly union contracts.

Leave aside for the moment the usual we-don’t-need-no-stinkin-unions mantra – I’ll wager he left a little something out of that equation, like this: I’ve not noticed tens of thousands of UPS or FedEx employees walking  or driving every inch of residential property in the country every day.

And what would happen to the direct mail industry if FedEx had to hit every house in my neighborhood. No mention – including it would be quite inconvenient when bashing is the point.

There’s a serious discussion to be had about how to streamline the post office. But we’ll leave Will out of that discussion; he’s not interested in being serious.

Labor Day 1981

The ILGWU made this commercial in 1981. Their jobs were suddenly leaving the country and they wanted to put up a fight. It didn’t make any difference of course. We all know there’s simply no profit in paying a decent wage to workers. And profit is all to our Ferengi overlords.

(This is a second encore reprise for this video, but today is the right day, yes? And I really love it – it’s a slice of history and perhaps a lesson for those who would blame the unemployed for not having jobs.)

Beck: deeper into the socialist puzzle

POSTED BY ORHAN

Lifted from THE D.C. DOUGLAS BLOG, apropos the Beck/Fox split announced today.

A letter from Joe

Any reader of this blog knows I am entirely secular and practice no religion. My brother Joe, however, does; he is the current President of Pax Romana, and as such writes the occasional letter to the membership. From today’s letter:

“In these difficult times how important it is, therefore, for Catholic intellectual and professional leaders to listen to the wisdom of the Social Magisterium of the Church. The pope and the bishops of the world continue to proclaim that Catholic doctrine still supports unions, just as initially taught by Pope Leo XIII in his classic encyclical Rerum Novarum, and that today in this new era of globalization unions may be even more important.”

Those words reminded me that struggles for the dignity of work and the worker reach deep into our past. Right now, we’re witnessing a renewed battle, another attempt at some good old fashioned union busting.  Sadly, too many Americans who today share that appetite won’t acknowledge that those very people they rail against are the ones who gave them a five day work week (instead of seven), an eight hour workday (instead of 12), a vacation and a safe work environment.

The great American tradition of shooting ourselves in the foot goes on.

A random thought

If these new governors in WI, OH and FL (among others) succeed in breaking public worker unions, look for private business to feel emboldened and go after their own unions.

Remember “Made in the U.S.A.”?

It was once a rallying cry. But we lost that one, along with the jobs. I remember when WalMart ran a big ad campaigns showcasing “Made in the USA” labels on thier merchandise – I think they meant the labels. That campagin crashed when it was revealed to be a lie. Not that anyone beleived them anyway.

Capitalism is a stool with three legs

Capital. Resources. Labor. Remove any one of those, and you do not have an economy. 

“If any man tells you he loves America, yet hates labor, he is a liar.”

–  Abraham Lincoln

h/t The Back Channel Blog