Sunday, November 20, 2016

First 100 days state-by-progressive-state re-unionizatioin agenda

None of this below has ever been vetted by the courts -- but no time like now to start -- the workability seems very compelling.

First, (progressive) states can add to federal protections like the minimum wage or safety regulations.  Don't know why they could not add to labor organizing protections.

LEGAL dissection: Suppose that the opposite of today there were no federal setup for establishing a collective bargaining unit -- people in the free market established their units ad hoc when and where they were able.  Suppose that unlike today that federal law made interfering with establishing a collective bargaining unit a crime.  [This reverse combination might do more for labor than today's actual situation -- but I digress.]

Examples of federal fed and state parallel statutes: bank robbery, RICO (33 states), etc.  If there were no organizing setup to PREEMPT, there would be no question states could make union busting a crime. With today's fed set up I would still think it perfectly obvious that states merely protecting that setup is not preempting.

Now we add the CONSTITUTIONAL dissection: Given the established First Amendment right to organize (commercial association), the fed cannot setup an exclusive path to collective bargaining if said path is in a permanent blocked condition.

The process of labor organizing is by definition adversarial situation where history in the US (recent decades at least) shows unchecked market power -- MONOPSONY! -- all on one side.

6% union density in private industry -- and it wouldn't even be 6% if they had to start from scratch today -- 6% union density (and dropping) is all proof anybody should ever need that the road to collective bargaining is permanently blocked.

Put at its simplest: the fed cannot preempt something with nothing -- not with a fundamental constitutional right at stake.  This should make the open path to states criminalizing union busting doubly unduckable.

Logically IF THE FED CANNOT PREEMPT SOMETHING WITH NOTHING -- if it's difficult to get people to think that any radically new way of doing things is possible -- logically: states should be able to erect their own labor union certification setup UNTIL THE FED REFORMS.

What I'd like to see at the state and eventually federal level is mandated certification elections on a finding of union busting.  Simpler, more streamlined than using up law enforcement resources, no businesspersons go to jail (big business more pin-downable than small, just like with discrimination statutes).

In Wisconsin the Republicans force recertification of public employee unions every year -- with 51% of membership required, not just voters.  So what's so alien about forcing a certification election with reasonable cause?

Interestingly, California (and maybe others, I don't know) have a separate union certification setup for farm workers only.  This is done on the strength of FDR telling Congress that it did not apply to farm workers, probably just to get it through.

6% union density is like 20/10 blood pressure -- it starves every other healthy economic and political process.  I am sure that all these stories we see about big pharma making drugs so expensive nobody can use them (think Sovaldi which could eliminate Hep C overnight for the cost of half a billion dollars manufacturing, but Gilead wants 300 billion!), for profit colleges (Trump), trillion in student loans, etc., would never have gotten so bad in the first place if there were anybody minding the store.

David Broder, late dean of the Washington press corps said that when he came to DC fifty years earlier the lobbyists were all union -- the economic cops on the blocks.

10,000 gun homicides in US -- 8,000 gang related.  Ever want to stop the shooting in Chicago, $400 jobs will have to start paying $800 AGAIN (my old taxi job, supermarkets -- be nice if regional airline pilots didn't have to take food stamps, answer to the latter is centralized bargaining, look it up).  Meantime 100,000 out of my guesstimate 200,000 Chicago gang age males are in street gangs to try to make a living.  Only unions will stop the shooting -- absolutely no other way.

Want to ruin Donald's day -- in case that's the only thing that matters to you: actually help poor blacks (who did not vote against) and blue collar whites (who did vote for) -- unlike O and the Clintons who never did anything for either of them; not enough to make their lives promising again anyway.


Nobody can stop the march of collective bargaining once progressive states wake up and realize they -- not only -- can but -- only they can -- restore healthy labor union density to our undernourished, moribund democratic process.

PS.  Don't be daunted if Repubs force right-to-work nationally.  In the German labor market, the platinum standard of labor effectiveness, I don't believe there is a single majority union -- mostly "freeloaders" -- but mostly collectively bargained -- that's the difference.



Friday, November 18, 2016

Our airline manufacturing evaporates -- while Donald fiddles (not to mention O and Hill)

One huge industry where the US seems to be holding its own is manufacture of airliners — namely Boeing …

… or are we? First I saw TV reports that manufacture of the body and wings were being off shored Italy and Japan.
“The final assembly for the Boeing 787 takes place at Boeings’ plant in Everett, Washington. The plant employs a mere 800 to 1,200 staff who are responsible for the final assembly of the major components of the aircraft. As with the Boeing 737, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will have the construction of it’s major components contracted out to manufacturers around the globe.”

“Subcontracted assemblies included wing manufacture (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan, central wing box)[37] horizontal stabilizers (Alenia Aeronautica, Italy; Korea Aerospace Industries, South Korea);[38] fuselage sections (Global Aeronautica, Italy; Boeing, North Charleston, US; Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Japan; Spirit AeroSystems, Wichita, US; Korean Air, South Korea);[39][40][41] passenger doors (Latécoère, France); cargo doors, access doors, and crew escape door (Saab AB, Sweden); software development (HCL Enterprise India);[42] floor beams (TAL Manufacturing Solutions Limited, India);[43][44] wiring (Labinal, France);[45] wing-tips, flap support fairings, wheel well bulkhead, and longerons (Korean Air, South Korea);[46] landing gear (Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, UK/France);[47][48] and power distribution and management systems, air conditioning packs (Hamilton Sundstrand, Connecticut, US).”

As with everything, the economic rape of America can only end with the re-constitution of high union density. European labor unions would not tolerate this kind of de-industrialization — they would react politically. 6% unionization in private firms (which wouldn’t even be 6% if it had to start from scratch) is equivalent to 20/10 blood pressure: starving every other healthy process.

Anybody -- everybody?! -- understand that making union busting a felony can be done on a state by progressive state basis — the only open path with Repub control of Congress? Do this or do nothing!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Pink Donald: The Wall (afraid of swarthy skins)

Anti-wall campaign slogan:
Pink Donald: The Wall (afraid of swarthy skins)

Situation: 12 million illegal immigrants — maybe 2/3 overworked/underpaid Mexicans.

Just think: 1 out of 40 persons among us is an overworked/underpaid Mexican — and it’s all our fault for not spending tens or hundreds of billions of dollars building a Maginot Line barrier to keep them out. Just imagine: we still have time to build the laughing stock of the world. Can’t think of the link but: according to US and Mexican authorities, Mexican emigration to US steadily down for 10 years — one source said by three; the other by ten.

Hundreds of years from now archeologists are going to dig up the ruins of American civilization and find that it was 8 million underpaid/overworked Mexicans who brought everything down.

Friday, November 11, 2016

We can always hope: impeach Donald!

We can always hope.

What would happen if Donald Trump was impeached?
The Independent‎ – 1 day ago
This guy has such an overactive scurrilous past that a Watergate type Albatross could hang over him his whole term — however short (fingers crossed) that may be.

NBC decides not to air ‘SVU’ episode about President-elect Trump’s rape accusation
Death and Taxes‎ – 1 day ago

Trump Rape Accuser Dismisses Suit [technicality -- unaided by attorney filed under wrong statute -- will be back]
The Daily Beast‎ – 2 days ago


Woman accusing Trump of raping her at 13 cancels her plan to go public [death threats]
The Guardian, Nov 3

With Bloom coming on board Doe appeared – until the press conference fiasco – to have acquired considerable additional legal and media firepower.

The founder and owner of The Bloom Firm, which handles family, civil and criminal cases in California and New York, has in the past sued the Boy Scouts of America and the Los Angeles police department. Bloom hosts a Court TV talkshow and is a legal analyst for NBC News.
. . .
Judge Ronnie Abrams has ordered counsel for Trump and Epstein to appear in his New York district court along with Doe’s legal team for an initial status conference on 16 December. That raises the extraordinary prospect, were Trump to win the election, of counsel for a US president-elect being called into federal court in proceedings relating to allegations of rape of an underage girl.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

"All these histories are bullshit": why Trump won

As my old Bronx doctor, Seymour Tenzer, put it: "All these histories are bullshit -- I got punched in the chest; that's why I've got a lump."

Trump's victory is down to the disappearance of the $800 job for the $400 job.  That subtracted from the vote in the black ghettos – and added to the vote in the white ghettos -- both ghettos being far off the radar screen of academic liberals like Hill and O.

I notice the white ghettos because that is me.  My old taxi job (much too old now at 72 3/4) was “in-sourced” all over the world to drivers who would work for remarkably less (than the not so great incomes we native born eked out).  Today's low skilled jobs go to native and foreign born who willing to show up for $400 (e.g., since Walmart gutted supermarket contracts).  Fast food strictly to foreign born who will show up for $290 a week (min wage $400, 1968 -- when per cap income half today's).

Don't expect the 100,000 out of maybe 200,000 Chicago gang age males to show up for a life time of $400/wk servitude.

6% union density at private employers = 20/10 BP which starves every healthy process in the social body = disappearance of collective bargaining and its institutional concomitants which supply political funding and lobbying equal to oligarchs plus most all the votes ...

... votes: notice?  45% take 10% of overall income -- 45% earn $15/hr or less -- a lot of votes.

To shore up my usual assertion that states can make union busting a felony (taking same as as  serious an economic crime as taking a movie in the movies – couple year fed hospitality), state and federal laws against bank robbing coexist side by side (so could copyright violation penalties, no?).

Right now, at the federal level we have placebo protection for organizers.  Jobs can be reinstated after years of waiting – mostly fired again for something else.  No deterrence to suffocating unionizing – nor recourse, like mandating elections on finding of union busting – zero; nothing at all.

As such today’s federal law sets up a union certification gauntlet most all employees cannot survive – an inherently lopsided contest in an inherently adversarial process.  Being forced into the straightjacket of an inherently unworkable organizing process – preempting something with nothing -- is the equivalent of forbidding employees to organize a collective bargaining unit – a First Amendment right.
Interestingly, California has its own certification process for farm workers only.  Seems FDR told Congress – trying to get the union law through; not written in the law – that it would not apply to farm workers.  With this as an excuse states are able to set up certification of their own.

Leaving the esoteric aside – states can inarguably back up the federal labor organizing scheme by instituting criminal penalties for muscling in our most important market (would anybody doubt states may penalize unions for the reverse?).

Deterring union busting at state level should breeze through legislatures in progressive states (WA, OR, CA, NV, MN, IL, NY, MD?) which also happen to be our most prosperous states and therefore potentially the most influential.

From there it is "clear and hold."

I see collective bargaining as such a core social as well as economic right that I think that a US Constitutional Amendment should be prepared to enshrine it specifically – going beyond an (recognized) First Amendment protection.

A couple of years of Donald and I am sure we can take back the House and the Senate.  If progressives' number one push is for re-unionization I'd be absolutely sure we could take them back.  (Remember, Bernie beat the hell out of Hill versus Donald.)

The Wage That Meant Middle Class
By Louis Uchitelle,  APRIL 20, 2008

"Leaving aside for a moment those who have lost their jobs, what of those who still have them? Once upon a time, a large number earned at least $20 an hour, or its inflation-adjusted equivalent, and now so many of them don’t.

"The $20 hourly wage, introduced on a huge scale in the middle of the last century, allowed masses of Americans with no more than a high school education to rise to the middle class. It was a marker, of sorts. And it is on its way to extinction."

Monday, November 7, 2016

Middle class-workers of the world unite -- foreign policy

My view of the big world — foreign policy — is the Rick Steves, Anthony Bourdain outlook: middle class-workers of the world unite (or at least middle-classes): the people everywhere who (to borrow a phrase from Bill Clinton) work hard and play by the rules.

There seems a commonality of outlook to be discovered from Russia to Turkey to Syria to anywhere. Somehow we (the middle class) people ought to be able to coordinate our countries’ interactions. 

Classically, middle classes — all the way from the Middle Ages — were the vanguard of democratization. No more Game of Risk mentality if we take hold.

But, if you read Thomas Frank’s timely tome, released in March, Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? you will learn that the Clintons’ and Obama’s missing empathy with the middle class goes deeper than just some cultural blindness from living too high up in the clouds (or too high on the hog) but that it is enforced with a deeply antagonistic to middle priorities view of life …
… and cloudy elitist Hillary is not very likely to see the middle-classes-of-the-world-unite approach as a promising way forward — indeed unlikely to be capable of seeing it is there at all.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

How foolish is the failure of progressive states to make union busting a felony?

Do you know what failure of progressive states to take the easy path to re-building union density reminds me of?

Of 19 Republican governors who oppose Medicaid expansion (90% reimbursement yet!) -- who always willing GIVE UP hundred of millions if not billions of dollars of tax breaks to attract businesses and jobs ...

... but who wont TAKE hundreds of millions if not billions of federal (payroll) tax raised money to create really top flight medical jobs ...


That's how foolish progressive legislatures who do not make union busting a felony look to me.

Even if it were just only for their own electoral good.