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On the NBA and the new Collective Bargaining Agreement

By BottleRocket in Op-Ed
Sat Jun 25, 2005 at 08:10:06 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

I love the NBA. To me, basketball is a game of both intensity and finesse. In the last few years, basketball's worldwide popularity has grown tremendously, and today it's beginning to rival [soccer | football] in terms of broad global appeal. As I write this, I anxiously await the tipoff for the last game of the finals between the San Antonio Spurs and the Detroit Pistons, and I couldn't hope for a better series between more evenly matched opponents.

Even as this most luminous of NBA functions reaches peak intensity, a deeper story has developed. On Tuesday, a 6-year Collective Bargaining Agreement between players and the NBA and its union was agreed upon. This year, the agreement contains a clause for elegibility of players based on age, and this where the story begins.


The NBA. The show. For many kids, the dream of becoming a star in the NBA eclipses all else. Besides the millions of dollars in salary, the added millions in endorsements, and the adoration of hundreds of millions of fans, I imagine that the greatest thing about playing for the NBA would be the tremendous success that the player finds in doing what they love. It's satisfaction at every level, and the desire to be a part of the NBA could be an elixir for underprivileged high schoolers, especially ones with the talent and the desire to look for a better life away from some tough playgrounds and high crime areas.

Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and LeBron James, some of the most famous figures in major league sports, were all drafted straight out of high school. Kevin Garnett was 2003-04 league MVP. Also in 2003, he was named MVP of the all-star game. LeBron James was 2003-04 rookie of the year, and was 3rd in the league in triple-doubles (That is, having a game with double figures in three important categories, i.e. points, rebounds, and assists). Tracy McGrady won the 2002-03 scoring title, becoming the youngest player to capture the honor since 1974. Finally, three-time NBA championship team member Kobe Bryant has received MVP honors for the all-star game and received the slam dunk award. Last year, he also had five games with triple-doubles, trailing New Jersey's Jason Kidd

For 2003-2004, there was a reported high school participation [pdf] of 544,811 students playing basketball. It was second only to football (American) in participation. It was ranked highest in number of schools with programs. Assuming that 1/4 of participating students are seniors, that means that last year there were 136,000 high school seniors who played basketball, many of whom entertain dreams of being in the NBA. In 2001, there were 5 high school seniors in the draft, which is the most there have ever been. That is, until this year, when 10 hich school students entered the draft, and 8 them went in the first round of picks. Dwight Howard was the top pick, a high school senior who went to Orlando. Also straight out of high school, the number four pick was Shaun Livingston, who went to the L.A. Clippers. This article has some good detail on the recent trend in the NBA of drafting young.

The draft works like this: teams that fail to make the playoffs enter a lottery. Those teams that are in the lottery each get a fair chance of getting the best pick, but they will all be among the first teams to select their next team member. The next spots are given to those teams that make the playoffs, in order of worst regular season record to best. The second round will generally carry the same order, but second round picks are often used as bargaining chips during trade agreements. Under the current arrangement, aspiring players can declare themselves eligible after they graduate high school, or any time during college. After college graduation, they are automatically eligible. But this arrangement has not been taken seriously in the last few years. Talent scouts have been increasingly present in high schools, and started recruiting more underclassmen from colleges. One hundred thirty high school seniors and college underclassmen declared their eligibility this year, and the draft only has 60 spots. Many of those spots will go to college graduates.

There have been stories of talented but shortsighted kids getting caught without a backup plan. Famously, Taj McDavid out of a high school in North Carolina declared his intention to enter the draft in 1996, before a rule change that would allow him to remove his name from eligibility and enter college. When the draft came and his name wasn't called, he couldn't even go back to school. He later told a newspaper that it was the biggest mistake of his life. Another tragic story concerns Leon Smith, who was counting on being drafted by the Chicago Bulls. He attempted suicide when they passed him over and he was picked up by the Dallas Mavericks.

Many other students will enter college thinking that they will stay for a year or two before entering the draft. Some will not have an adequate back up plan, in the event that they aren't drafted.

But this year, the NBA and the NBA player's union have agreed to put a stop to the aggressive scouting of young students. Beginning with next year's draft, the minimum age for declaring eligibility will be raised to 19 years old, compromising with management's suggestion of 20. Other provisions of the agreement include increased random drug testing, and a 22% salary increase over the next 6 years.

There is considerable debate on the topic of age in the NBA. One hot issue is the sociological effect on high school students. League Commissioner David Stern had this to say:

My role model is football, where the age is 21. Baseball has a system where if you're not drafted immediately, and you go to college, you can't be drafted for three years. I don't know if that's good, bad or indifferent. I actually think that I like the idea of perhaps a 19-year-old or 20-year-old limit. It's easier to administer and most of all, it gets us out the business of scouting 16-year-olds and gets me out of the business of fining teams for working out 18-year-old players. It's not a good place for this league to be. It's not good for our reputation, and it's really not a very good message for a sports league to send out.
He also adds:
...it's still keeps us telling kids we're going to draft you out of high school. That's what you should be planning for, whether you're 17 or 16 or six, the NBA is the place you go after high school, and frankly, as a business matter, that's not a good business decision in my view. I'm not going to get on a social platform. This has nothing to do with dealing with the college. If kids want to go to college, that's fine. This is not telling young men that they should go to college.
Naturally, this is all about college. For a moment, let's make the assumption that reaching the NBA is a pipe dream and that college is the real way to find a better life for people in poorer communities. This assumption isn't so far off, because the odds of finding a place in the NBA, even for extraordinarilly talented kids, is next to zero. The age minimum is a great step, and I deeply wish that the players' union had put up less resistance to the idea of making it even higher. The NBA is full of role models, and not all of them are good ones. In particular, Kobe Bryant was put on trial for rape, and is widely rumored to have trouble getting along with teammates and coach Phil Jackson.

To those who would contend that college can be anathema to a career in the NBA, I offer the playoff rosters of the two teams in this year's finals.
San Antonio Spurs Playoff Roster
Detroit Pistons Playoff Roster
Both teams are represented mainly by players with experience in college hoops, with a few international players. Neither team has even a single player drafted out of high school. Perhaps the defining characteristic of both teams is the way that in this series, neither team has presented a single player as their "star". Both teams focus on defense, using solid teamwork to score points.

The age provision in the new 6-year Collective Bargaining Agreement is a bold step in improving the quality of players and role models to be introduced into the NBA. Hopefully, with this new agreement, the game of basketball can be made cleaner, more refined, and continue to evolve as a positive sociological force for kids in the inner city.

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Poll
Age minimum
o Bad idea. 10%
o It's fine the way it is. 18+ 20%
o Good idea. 19+ 10%
o Good idea. 20+ 24%
o Sports are for cheeto-munching lardasses. 34%

Votes: 29
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o NBA
o Tracy McGrady
o Kobe Bryant
o Kevin Garnett
o LeBron James
o Jason Kidd
o reported high school participation [pdf]
o Dwight Howard
o Shaun Livingston
o This article
o draft
o this
o stories
o NBA player's union
o this to say
o rape
o San Antonio Spurs Playoff Roster
o Detroit Pistons Playoff Roster
o Also by BottleRocket


Display: Sort:
On the NBA and the new Collective Bargaining Agreement | 113 comments (72 topical, 41 editorial, 0 hidden)
tee-hee! (2.76 / 17) (#1)
by suxx0rghey on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 05:30:05 PM EST

sports on k5!! ^___^

Hey dude (2.88 / 9) (#7)
by dhall on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 11:34:30 PM EST

Just cause you like basketball, doesn't mean you have to like the NBA. Don't worry. It's okay to hate pro sports.

I prefer the NWA! (2.75 / 12) (#10)
by Kasreyn on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 12:36:36 AM EST

The NWA. The story. For many kids, the dream of becoming a star in the National Writers Association eclipses all else. Besides the millions of dollars in salary, the added millions in endorsements, and the adoration of hundreds of millions of fans, I would imagine that the greatest thing about writing in the NWA would be the tremendous success that the player finds in doing what they love. It's satisfaction at every level, and the desire to be a part of the NWA could be an elixer for underappreciated high schoolers, especially ones with the talent and the desire to look for a better life away from some soul-sucking nine to five existence.

...oh, wait. Sorry, I was dreaming again. I forgot: writers don't make millions. Jocks do, and I hate the world.

For a moment, let's make the assumption that reaching the NBA is a pipe dream and that college is the real way to find a better life for people in poorer communities.

BINGBINGBINGBINGBING!! Monty, tell him what he's won!!

[editorial: elixer elixir ]


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
FUCK THE POLICE! [n/t] (3.00 / 3) (#30)
by destroy all monsters on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 10:50:24 AM EST



"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
I was going to mention them. (none / 0) (#67)
by Kasreyn on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 11:12:03 PM EST

And then I thought, naah, I wouldn't want anyone at k5 finding out about my juvenile taste in rap. :P

I miss Eazy E.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Hell yeah (none / 0) (#69)
by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 25, 2005 at 07:28:31 AM EST

Straight out of Compton.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
Writing (none / 0) (#94)
by The Voice of Reason on Mon Jun 27, 2005 at 02:47:07 PM EST

...oh, wait. Sorry, I was dreaming again. I forgot: writers don't make millions.

How many hundreds of millions does JK Rowling have again? And she's only a below-average writer. Perhaps you're the worst writer in the world?

[ Parent ]

-1 sports (1.00 / 13) (#15)
by felixrayman on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 02:59:01 AM EST

The NBA? Get a fucking life.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

Boring. (1.29 / 24) (#17)
by kitten on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 03:42:45 AM EST

I can think of only a few things more terminally boring than which group of arbitrary, freely-traded people I've never met and have zero connection to can throw / hit / kick a ball better than which other group of arbitrary, freely-traded people I've never met and have zero connection to.


mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
how about.... (2.50 / 2) (#18)
by adimovk5 on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 06:16:37 AM EST

....people who pay lots of money to watch those people?

[ Parent ]
Those (none / 1) (#70)
by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 25, 2005 at 07:30:03 AM EST

would be jackasses. With what those people get paid there would be no hunger in the U.S.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
1 (1.77 / 9) (#25)
by regeya on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 09:54:37 AM EST

This looks like an editorial comment to me...but then again, I'd 1 it if it was an editorial comment, too, because it's way too goddamn self-centered.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

racist. /nt (1.40 / 10) (#36)
by no blood for dracula on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 11:24:32 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Entertainment? (none / 0) (#83)
by saltmine on Sun Jun 26, 2005 at 11:19:28 PM EST

So you never see movies?  Never buy music or go to shows?  Never do/participate/buy/enjoy anything?  Of course not everything is for everyone, but athletics are entertainment.  People who maybe "play" sports...you know the healthy lifestyle people...enjoy watching the best in the world do it.

Now, when you get to the people who listen to sports radio all day and seem to have no other interest other than sports you could make the point the are bland.  But then again so are all people who are into....well bland.

[ Parent ]

Not really. (2.00 / 2) (#84)
by kitten on Mon Jun 27, 2005 at 02:51:57 AM EST

People who maybe "play" sports...you know the healthy lifestyle people...enjoy watching the best in the world do it.

What percent of spectators would you guess are actual athletes of any kind? Most sports fans I know are average at best, many are out of shape, swilling beer and eating nachos, which are evidently part of their strict training regimen. In a stadium of eighty thousand I'm guessing there's maybe a few hundred who, as you put it, "play" sports themselves. The rest are spectators, hence the term "spectator sport". Most of these people would die if you asked them to run a mile.

Now, when you get to the people who listen to sports radio all day and seem to have no other interest other than sports you could make the point the are bland.

And this describes, with high accuracy, a ton of sports fans. You can blah-blah all day about how they just want to watch the best athletes compete, but these people are just as happy discussing point spreads and batting averages and bickering with each other over which coach or what club made a stupid move by trading which player to whom four years ago. Entire television and radio networks are devoted to analysis of teams, in addition to any local sports shows which air frequently on a station near you. At that point the "entertainment" aspect of watching people compete is seriously diminished.

And then you hear them talk about "their" team, or how they're fans of, say, the Braves, because they're from Atlanta, as though the players of the Braves have any connection to either the fan or the city, and aren't just freely traded around. When "their" team wins, they'll jump around and slap each other on the ass screaming "We won! We won!" You gotta wonder where the "we" came in.

Yes, I watch movies, read books, go to concerts. I also don't base my life around such things; I'm content to enjoy it without pretending I'm a part of it. Of course, if you're actually trying to compare the arts of cinema and literature to these games, many of which are not really even all that athletic, you're quite mad.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Additionally (none / 0) (#87)
by destroy all monsters on Mon Jun 27, 2005 at 07:55:14 AM EST

books, cinema, theater etc. are all clearly and obviously *culture* which is part of the mission statement of this site. Sports technically are not.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
Question (none / 0) (#99)
by KilljoyAZ on Mon Jun 27, 2005 at 09:03:14 PM EST

Would one of those things be proclaiming to a group of arbitrary people you've never met and have zero connection to how morally and intellectually superior you are to the "proles" because you don't like spectator sports? Because reading it certainly was terminally boring.

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]
Why do they need a CBA? (1.28 / 7) (#21)
by nairobiny on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 08:19:08 AM EST

I detest unions. All too often, unions are used as an excuse by a small band of under-educated white men to rip off the rest of the country through extravagant wage and pension demands.

That's not to say that they don't have their uses. Where workers are being oppressed, often it's only the union that will listen.

But, please can someone explain why on earth these multi-millionaire pro sports stars need to be unionised? Without the NHLPA we would have enjoyed a fantastic NHL season last year, instead of a washout. I can see that players might be concerned over the treatment of the lower paid players in the league, but a better solution would be for the better paid players to pay into a slush fund to be shared with others, rather than tie up the entire league in collective bargaining.

au contraire (3.00 / 5) (#23)
by 1318 on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 09:22:35 AM EST

It is always the rich and powerful who have unions - Airline Pilots, Doctors, and so on. It is the poor, under-educated joe who has woefully bought into ant-union rhetoric and thrown away his collective bargaining rights, or who has been - through the deliberately under-funded and made-overly-difficult process of unionization - been denied his or her right.

I am currently involved in trying to unionize my workplace and it has proved to be a very interesting look at the minutiae of unionization.

For one, the deck is stacked well in the favor of management and they know it and are willing to use that to their advantage.

It is hard for unions to operate covertly, and since protections for unionization if poor it makes it easy for managment to engage in illegal anti-union activity with little fear of consequences.

Assuming companies don't want to fire people for unionizing, or are afraid to, they can still engage in a variety of legal stalling tactircs to draw the process out and attempt to intimidate and frighten employees with lies and innuendo (think Microsoft's FUD campaign here, except now you WORK for Microsoft and Linux is THE UNION).

Companies waste money on hiring law firms to help them coordinate anti-union campaigns to help defeat their employees legal right to unionize.

People wonder why there is so much income inequality, well it might be that those receiving income on the bottom end are so poorly organized and have so little to say about it, while those on the higher end are well organized and have lots to say about it.

Unions are one excellent means of improving the lot of the working man or woman.

Certainly there are abuses, but they pale in comparison to the avalanche of abuses management heaps on employees - legal and illegal - on a daily basis.

I urge you all to consider unionizing your work place.

"So then, why don't you die?"-Antisthenes
[ Parent ]

Unions Had Their Moment (2.00 / 3) (#77)
by Mousky on Sun Jun 26, 2005 at 08:51:48 AM EST

I find it amusing that engaging in pro-union activities is seen as a good thing, but when a company engages in anti-union activity it is usally labelled as "illegal" or, when legal, as a "stalling tactic". If employees have the right to organize, surely that right must be balanced with the employers right to do everything in their power to stop the workers from organizing.

Yes, employees have the legal right to unionize, but, as as hard as it may be for you to believe, employees also have the legal right to NOT unionize. How many times will the UAW attempt to organize Honda or Toyota workers? Why can't the UAW respect their decision to not become members? At what point does it become harassment?

Unions are no longer about "improving the lot of the working man or woman". Worker protection legislation has all but negated the need for worker protection clauses in contracts. Unions moan about "big corporation" riding roughshod over worker's rights. Well, some of these unions are rather large themselves and they often ride roughshod over their member's rights.

Sure, just gloss over the abuse by unions by using hyperbole and exaggeration. Yes, hundreds of thousands of workers are being abused by management each and every day. It must be true because the union organizer says so - and they never ever lie. Wal-Mart is the worst place to work - the union organizer says so, it must be true. But, if it really is such a horrible place to work, how do you explain it being the largest private employer in the US? Wait, don't bother, I have heard the union rhetoric so I know the answers.

[ Parent ]

On balance and the lack of it (none / 1) (#89)
by destroy all monsters on Mon Jun 27, 2005 at 08:38:06 AM EST

Unions exist to counterbalance a clearly unequal power dynamic between workers and their employers. Stalling is a tactic made to break the union and cause as many workers as possible to defect by exerting financial pressure on the members. Anywhere else this is referred to as blackmail.

Everyone knows that employees can choose to organize or not. This is a strawman argument. If you think that organizations outside the companies are trying to force something then you show your ignorance of the process. It is employees themselves that attempt to unionize. A union can assist in the organizing effort, but that is all. If you think that those companies would hestiate a second to report to the NLRB that kind of overstepping of bounds you're completely off balance.

"Unions are no longer about "improving the lot of the working man or woman". Worker protection legislation has all but negated the need for worker protection clauses in contracts. Unions moan about "big corporation" riding roughshod over worker's rights. Well, some of these unions are rather large themselves and they often ride roughshod over their member's rights."

Prove it. You have no basis for these comments. You are so wrong about unions it is clear you know nothing of the processes, the situations or what you're talking about.

"Sure, just gloss over the abuse by unions by using hyperbole and exaggeration."

Where? What "abuse" by hyperbole and exaggeration?  Even if you could prove *any* you'd have to balance it out by the constant,ongoing outporing of lies promulgated by corporations and large public entities.

"Yes, hundreds of thousands of workers are being abused by management each and every day."

That's an understatement. It's millions. Every single day. The fact that it tends to go underreported is hardly the fault of the workers.That you don't understand this indicates that you're either a student or part of the oppressing class.

"It must be true because the union organizer says so - and they never ever lie."

Do you have *any* credible evidence that this is a widespread occurance? Ann Coulter and Rush aren't credible evidence, nor is Fox News. Credible as in widespread studies by universities and other neutral parties.

"Wal-Mart is the worst place to work - the union organizer says so, it must be true."

Far more people than union organizers are saying so.

"But, if it really is such a horrible place to work, how do you explain it being the largest private employer in the US?"

That has to do with how widespread the company is. In many places where they've effectively stifled local competition they're the only employer. People have to work somewhere and in a depressed economy one has to take what one can get. There is a false logic to the assumption that because working conditions are bad that workers have a choice. Rent must be paid, and food must be bought. Very few people can go very long without employment and those that can don't work at Wal-Mart.

"Wait, don't bother, I have heard the union rhetoric so I know the answers."

OMG don't interrupt my right-wing propagandist drivel with facts! I know everything! Rush tells me everyday! Please. If you're going to make comments on this site be prepared to back them up.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

And in other news... (none / 0) (#101)
by nairobiny on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 05:30:45 AM EST

"Fraud inquiry into miners' union that earned millions from largest personal injury compensation scheme"

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1672090,00.html
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1671996,00.html

That's right, they were ripping off their own members, the very people they were established to help. That these old miners were dying, or had died, of chronic respiratory illness didn't stop the greed of these parasites.

Or what about this guy? Took long term sick leave because he had hurt his ankle. But was still well enough to play squash vigorously enough to work up a sweat.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/transport/Story/0,2763,1212033,00.html

(The article claims he 'won' the case, although as he was 75% to blame for his dismissal, it's somewhat of a technicality. The driver later appeared on BBC Radio 4 to describe his behaviour as reckless and to say he wanted his job back because it was a 'well paid job').

Then there's the hissy fit the unions threw pre-Election when the Government dared to suggest that public sector workers might have to pay more than the 1.5% they currently contribute into their pensions and that they may no longer be able to retire at 55, but would have to work till 65 like everyone else, or accept actuarially-reduced pensions.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4361247.stm

The unions in this case backed down when the Government promised to consult more.

Three isolated incidents? I don't think so. There is a conceit and disdain for the general public that is uniquely union. Rather than embrace the public interest ethic upon which they were founded, they would prefer to protect their own, exploit the public purse and consistently argue to do less for more.

This may have worked in the 60s and 70s but the world is a more competitive place now... let's not make it any easier for the Indians and Chinese to out-compete us.

[ Parent ]
Once again (none / 0) (#103)
by destroy all monsters on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 06:02:12 AM EST

the tired old excuse of individual, completely isolated incidents being used to tar-brush an entire group. Using your logic all Catholics are pederasts, all Businessmen high level polluters and guilty of any number of trading violations. It doesn't wash.

If you want to convince someone that there's widespread abuse you must prove it. If you should like to show unbiased, neutral studies of widespread corruption then that's fine. However, your isolated instances include an individual member's personal indiscretions, and a rather complex issue regarding pensions that includes raising the minimum retirement age five years. I think you - or anyone - can understand that if one's been working for many years to have to wait another five is outrageous, particularly since the kind of work being done is much harder on your body and illness is generally higher across the board for working people. That you've decided to paint it as a simple and apparently arrogant grab is proof of your bias even in the face of facts.

Your statement  "Rather than embrace the public interest ethic upon which they were founded, they would prefer to protect their own, exploit the public purse and consistently argue to do less for more." is not only biased it fails to grasp the simple, basic reasons that unions exist. They exist to protect the worker (their own as you write).It isn't to work "less for more" but safer at wages that keep up with inflation.Protecting one's standard of living is an important and necessary for working people.

Given the vast number of jobs in the sector that involve repetitive stress injuries, back problems and the like, asking for increased pay for things that you'll otherwise never recover anything back from (e.g. long term physical deterioration due to physical work) is essential. That you can't empathize with those that do physically intensive, necessary jobs is a failing on your part.

Competition is always the false front that anti-unionists use. For decades employers have used that ruse in order to get unions to take pay and benefit cuts only for them to off-shore or export the work anyway. If you think that employers have any sort of innate humanity or decency you've got another thing coming.

Last of all you've blasted unions in their entirety and while accusing me of talking only of the United States, you have hypocritically done so only in regards to the United Kingdom. If you have a weekend off - anywhere in the world you owe unions and unionists for that. Don't forget it.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

Where are your unbiased, neutral studies? (none / 0) (#113)
by Mousky on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 11:23:15 AM EST

"the tired old excuse of individual, completely isolated incidents being used to tar-brush an entire group. Using your logic all Catholics are pederasts, all Businessmen high level polluters and guilty of any number of trading violations. It doesn't wash."

So you ask us to post proof, and you dismiss them as "isolated incidents". How many incidents would we have to cite to make it change it from "isolated" to "occurs every now and then"?

"Given the vast number of jobs in the sector that involve repetitive stress injuries, back problems and the like, asking for increased pay for things that you'll otherwise never recover anything back from (e.g. long term physical deterioration due to physical work) is essential. That you can't empathize with those that do physically intensive, necessary jobs is a failing on your part."

As you have asked me to do, where is your proof? Show me unbiased, neutral studies of the occurance of repetitive stress injuries, back problems and the like in the sector?

"Competition is always the false front that anti-unionists use. For decades employers have used that ruse in order to get unions to take pay and benefit cuts only for them to off-shore or export the work anyway. If you think that employers have any sort of innate humanity or decency you've got another thing coming."

Competition a false front? How do you think those unionized jobs were created? By a wave of a magic wand? Competition is no ruse; it is reality. Can't compete? You will be extinct. Your union bias is clearly showing.

[ Parent ]

More Union Rhetoric (none / 0) (#112)
by Mousky on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 11:06:59 AM EST

So you want to engage in a little Argumentum Ad Ignorantiam? You ask me to prove my statements but where is your proof? You state that millions of workers are being abused by corporations. Where is your proof? Oh wait, you state that abuse is underreported. So basically, you are saying that you cannot prove your point, you can only make an inference, because of a lack of data. It couldn't be because most employees are content, or god forbid, happy, with their jobs. Nah.

"That has to do with how widespread the company is. In many places where they've effectively stifled local competition they're the only employer. People have to work somewhere and in a depressed economy one has to take what one can get. There is a false logic to the assumption that because working conditions are bad that workers have a choice. Rent must be paid, and food must be bought. Very few people can go very long without employment and those that can don't work at Wal-Mart."

This statement is an example of false logic. How can Wal-Mart be the only employer? Each store employes, on average, 300 people. I can't see a Wal-Mart surviving solely on it's 300 or so employees. Your engagement in hyperbole and exaggeration shows that little of what you say is based on fact.

Almost 142,000,000 Americans were employed in the month of June (15,000,000 in retail trade). Wal-Mart has 1.2 million employees. Wal-Mart accounts for less than 1 percent of all American's employed in June and only 8 percent of retail trade employees. Or looking at this way: 99 percent of Americans do not work for Wal-Mart and 92 percent of employees in the retail-trade sector do not work for Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is hardly the employeer of last resort. And yes, people

"OMG don't interrupt my right-wing propagandist drivel with facts! I know everything! Rush tells me everyday! Please. If you're going to make comments on this site be prepared to back them up."

For starters, I am neither right-wing nor left-wing - you made that assumption. Second, I didn't say I know everything, just that I have heard all the union rhetoric. My father belonged to a union, so I am familar with the union line. Third, I don't listen to Rush. He is a wanker.

It is amusing that you challenge me to be prepared to back my comments, but it is okay for you to make all sorts of statements and assumptions in your posts without backing them up. Is that more union rhetoric?

[ Parent ]

One other thing (none / 0) (#90)
by destroy all monsters on Mon Jun 27, 2005 at 09:36:58 AM EST

Employers have *no* right to stop employees from organizing. It is against the law and is quite rightly termed harrassment.


"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
Lies (2.60 / 5) (#34)
by destroy all monsters on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 10:59:48 AM EST

"I detest unions. All too often, unions are used as an excuse by a small band of under-educated white men to rip off the rest of the country through extravagant wage and pension demands."

Name a union that is all white. One. Any of them.

All unions are set up to support blue collar workers and protect them from third world conditions and pay. If you haven't noticed, every single union is multi-racial. In fact in some there's more blacks and hispanics than whites by a large margin.

This leaves the question: are you just racist - or incredibly ignorant?

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

I think you should read it again (2.00 / 2) (#86)
by nairobiny on Mon Jun 27, 2005 at 05:50:41 AM EST

Name a union that is all white. One. Any of them.

All unions are set up to support blue collar workers and protect them from third world conditions and pay. If you haven't noticed, every single union is multi-racial. In fact in some there's more blacks and hispanics than whites by a large margin.


Eh? I didn't say any union was all white. Perhaps you should read what I wrote again, because you were clearly having reading difficulties the first time through.

My generalisation was clearly just that; however it is accurate in the context of some of the worst unions in the UK (Oh, you did know there are countries outside the US?), for example the FBU or RMT, dominated as they are by self-serving, selfish individuals with no regard for the public good. And almost all the leaders and governing bodies of the union movement in the UK are white.

Third World conditions and pay? Don't make me laugh. There is minimum wage legislation in both the UK and US, set at significantly higher than Third World wages. Unions need to grow up. If they really want to do what's best for their members, they'd expose them to the free market, rather than use anti-competitive behaviour to extend the life of inefficient and unwanted practice well beyond its sell-by date. The US steel industry is a case in point. The US car industry another. Who will protect GM workers when their entire company collapses under the weight of its pensioners' healthcare benefits?

[ Parent ]
Ad Hominem attacks + idiotic arguments (none / 1) (#88)
by destroy all monsters on Mon Jun 27, 2005 at 08:17:30 AM EST

do not help you.

"My generalisation was clearly just that; however it is accurate in the context of some of the worst unions in the UK (Oh, you did know there are countries outside the US?), for example the FBU or RMT, dominated as they are by self-serving, selfish individuals with no regard for the public good. And almost all the leaders and governing bodies of the union movement in the UK are white."

You make the accusation, you're responsible for proving it. If you make a generalization, then you do your argument a disservice. Stating the the unions are white and for whites is the same as writing that women can't drive - and now you're trying to weasel your way out of stating precisely what it is that you wrote.Where is the proof of any of this? There is no way in hell that the "governing bodies" of the union movements are white - unless every single member and constituent *is* white.

Given that many social programs are - and have been for quite some time - under attack in the UK it is completely understandable that unions would be striving to fight back. Regardless you fail to prove your points whatsoever and if you think that anyone on K5 is going to believe what you say you should be able to back it up with some kinds of facts.

"Third World conditions and pay? Don't make me laugh. There is minimum wage legislation in both the UK and US, set at significantly higher than Third World wages. Unions need to grow up. If they really want to do what's best for their members, they'd expose them to the free market, rather than use anti-competitive behaviour to extend the life of inefficient and unwanted practice well beyond its sell-by date. The US steel industry is a case in point. The US car industry another. Who will protect GM workers when their entire company collapses under the weight of its pensioners' healthcare benefits?"

Don't make me laugh. Your knowledge of unions is not only limited, it is biased to the point of no return. Exposing members to the free market as you put it guarantees that there will be no health benefits, no retirement and an exposure to far more safety hazards than would otherwise be there (where the only limiting to hazards will be the increasingly more "employer-friendly" legislative bodies and insurance companies). Free markets are a fairytale that no one believes in, least of all the corporations that pretend to espouse them. Not only that there is no supporting evidence from any respectable body that states that union labor is significantly less efficient than non-union labor.In fact, there is a sense of ownership in many cases that those who are non-union would never think of. As many times as I've seen public agencies and industries privatized I've never seen or heard of the level of service being anywhere near comparable. Your argument does not wash.

GM, among a great many other companies, deliberately shut down the vast majority of their factories because they *could* move them to Mexico. Your argument's conclusion is to put U.S. wages on a par with Mexico's. This is clearly unworkable.

On minimum wages, costs of living are the key - not the actual wages.Costs of living are not in any way localized in the U.S. and I doubt that they are in the UK. I venture to guess that the cost of living in Londonderry is quite a bit different than London; as is the case here by comparing San Francisco with Moscow. Simplistic answers are for simpletons, the rest of us understand that things are never that simple.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

Et tu, Brute (none / 0) (#102)
by nairobiny on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 05:33:38 AM EST

Well, if you don't like ad hominem attacks, don't use them yourself.

And please don't mod down posts to which you respond. It's really tacky. But, seeing as you've done it, I guess I'm compelled to return the favour.

[ Parent ]
If you can show me where (none / 0) (#104)
by destroy all monsters on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 07:42:42 AM EST

I did attack you personally feel free to post it. Otherwise you're just blowing hot air.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
A Few Comments (none / 0) (#105)
by dcm266 on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 02:11:28 PM EST

"Exposing members to the free market as you put it guarantees that there will be no health benefits, no retirement and an exposure to far more safety hazards than would otherwise be there (where the only limiting to hazards will be the increasingly more "employer-friendly" legislative bodies and insurance companies)."

A broad generalization. There is no guarantee of this, and if you look at many non-unionized occupations, you will find that benefits can be quite generous, and that some seem to have discovered that taking care of employees just might lead to higher amounts of loyalty, better morale, and better work.

"Free markets are a fairytale that no one believes in, least of all the corporations that pretend to espouse them."

Didn't you criticize the above poster for making generalizations? Nothing more needs to be said about this one.

"Not only that there is no supporting evidence from any respectable body that states that union labor is significantly less efficient than non-union labor.In fact, there is a sense of ownership in many cases that those who are non-union would never think of."

I'm not going to take the time to search for evidence that disproves this point. Still, you shouldn't claim that there is no supporting evidence on this point. Let's just do an exercise in basic mental reasoning. Unions increase job security and benefits above that of what would exist without them. Increased job security and benefits means that one doesn't have to work as hard in order to maintain one's lifestyle. Many people work for a living and nothing else. It follows that unionization will reduce the efficiency of work done. This should be pretty clear.

Let's also look at an industry, namely airlines. In this case, union labor is responsible for the financial crisis that the industry faces, and the reason for bankruptcies. Airlines are a cyclical industry which means sometimes they are highly profitable and other times they are not. When they are profitable, unions can demand additional compensation for employees, pushing down their profitability to "fair" levels. What's wrong with this? These same unions when the industry is not doing well don't offer to voluntarily cut their pay packages as they should, unless of course the company threatens to file for bankruptcy to wipe out the unions completely. The degree to which union workers complain about adding a couple more hours a week to their schedule is absurd. And you want to tell me that unions don't make things less efficient?

"As many times as I've seen public agencies and industries privatized I've never seen or heard of the level of service being anywhere near comparable. Your argument does not wash."

That's funny, because many private schools vastly outperform public schools. Sure, some private businesses have problems with excessive levels of waste, but compare it to the government. How long does it take us to pass a bill, and how many good ideas get thrown out because of special interests? There are special interests in business as well, but there is also a focus on profit which creates an incentive to cut waste and inefficiency that government just doesn't have.

"GM, among a great many other companies, deliberately shut down the vast majority of their factories because they *could* move them to Mexico. Your argument's conclusion is to put U.S. wages on a par with Mexico's. This is clearly unworkable."

If labor is cheaper in Mexico, GM should move to Mexico. Let's think about this. If your labor costs are more expensive than the competitions, are you at an advantage of disadvantage? You're clearly at a disadvantage, unless you can prove that your labor costs generate higher quality products. Ford and GM are both struggling to remain competitive. If they can't remain competitive, they go out of business. Now, is it better to employ labor in Mexico, or to go out of business? Much as we may like to deny economic reality, we can't continue to pay significantly higher wages.

-dcm266


[ Parent ]

Please get your facts straight (none / 0) (#106)
by destroy all monsters on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 08:36:18 PM EST

"if you look at many non-unionized occupations, you will find that benefits can be quite generous, and that some seem to have discovered that taking care of employees just might lead to higher amounts of loyalty, better morale, and better work."

Feel free to name these. These certainly don't exist in the blue collar field and these would be very few, indeed. If you're speaking of management (which I believe you are) that doesn't count as management doesn't unionize *and* they are the oppressor class.

If you look up the definition of free markets you will see that that definition is in the same realm as true communism. Neither can possibly exist.

"It follows that unionization will reduce the efficiency of work done."

In other words you have no proof and you're talking out of your ass.

Here's where you really show your ignorance: "Let's also look at an industry, namely airlines. In this case, union labor is responsible for the financial crisis that the industry faces, and the reason for bankruptcies."

Union labor is in no way responsible for the bad business decisions of airline companies. The financial crisis in that industry is directly attributable to: overpayment to management, unnecessary layers of middle management, failure of that management to listen to the concerns of the workers (think safety), as well as overspending on parts and a million other mistakes. All of those things take a toll. To blame that on the unions is quite frankly idiotic.

Every union I can think of, for every airline I can think of has taken numerous cuts in pay and benefits - and does so everytime there's a dip in the economy. Think about it, *their livelihood depends on their companies' existance*.Unions are not in the business of eliminating jobs. Anyone with a lick of negotiating knowledge knows that the last thing you want to do is put people out of work. I guarantee you that the negotiators were trained to take hits where necessary. The absurdities you mention are entirely in your head.

"That's funny, because many private schools vastly outperform public schools. Sure, some private businesses have problems with excessive levels of waste, but compare it to the government. How long does it take us to pass a bill, and how many good ideas get thrown out because of special interests? There are special interests in business as well, but there is also a focus on profit which creates an incentive to cut waste and inefficiency that government just doesn't have."

Private schools are not "privatized" since they never were public schools - error one.
Secondly children in private schools have parents that tend to be more involved. This is a known fact. If you want to discount the effect that a parent's involvement is on their learning that's fine but nearly anyone else will get how crucial that is. Third, most people that have their children in private schools *have the money* to give their kids a fine education. That doesn't apply to the vast majority of the population.

"Sure, some private businesses have problems with excessive levels of waste, but compare it to the government. How long does it take us to pass a bill, and how many good ideas get thrown out because of special interests?"

You mean those self-same businesses you appear to love so much? Those special interests? Or do you mean just the ones you don't like? Don't like how long it takes to pass bills so what, dismantle democracy because it takes to long? Just what is your point?

"There are special interests in business as well, but there is also a focus on profit which creates an incentive to cut waste and inefficiency that government just doesn't have."

Yes there are a great many agencies that *lobby corporations*...wtf? As far as inefficiency and waste is concerned, anyone with a lick of sense starts at the top and works their way down; the opposite of how things tend to actually happen in either sector.

"Let's think about this. If your labor costs are more expensive than the competitions, are you at an advantage of disadvantage? You're clearly at a disadvantage, unless you can prove that your labor costs generate higher quality products. Ford and GM are both struggling to remain competitive."

What you completely glossed over is how these corporations took the unions for all they could prior to the move. Labor costs weren't higher than the competition's to any real extent particularly given that those competitors have more factories here now - and operational than any of the formerly Detroit-based automakers. Ford particularly is struggling due to a massive number of missteps that they've made that date back as far as the 1970s. It is telling that their other auto units are doing better than the parent company itself. GM has made a lesser number of business mistakes but still are doing reasonably well. To base all their faults on unions and labor costs are ridiculous, not only that but there's never been any proof that they actually needed to close those plants or export the jobs. They did it because they could, and because it would increase the bottom line. That's all.

Impoverishing your nation for the benefit of yourself is something that I consider along the lines of treason.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

Actually, Try Getting Your Facts Right (none / 0) (#107)
by dcm266 on Wed Jun 29, 2005 at 12:46:08 PM EST

"Feel free to name these. These certainly don't exist in the blue collar field and these would be very few, indeed. If you're speaking of management (which I believe you are) that doesn't count as management doesn't unionize *and* they are the oppressor class."

Oppressor class? Give me a break. Do you think you can make a post without calling managers oppressors? It seems a rather unfair blanket generalization. No, I'm actually not speaking of management. I am speaking more of white collar fields; that much is at least somewhat accurate.

"If you look up the definition of free markets you will see that that definition is in the same realm as true communism. Neither can possibly exist."

Thank you, but I'm already aware of the definition of free markets. I don't need a dictionary. Since humans are not capable of perfection, I don't find this to be particularly surprising, and I'm sure you don't either. What is worth considering is that free markets have been much more successful than attempts at socialism or communism.

By the way, claiming I'm talking out of my ass does not refute the basic mental reasoning exercise I brought up that demonstrates that unions should be less efficient. It just shows that you don't have a real refutation, or don't want to bother with one.

As for the comments on the airline industry, they are fairly accurate. I never made the claim that union labor was the only problem with airlines, so you might try reading more carefully. Still, to attribute problems in the industry to unionization is, in my opinion, very fair. Why? Union labor is such a huge expense for airlines, and it's not something that can be reduced quickly. Sure, unions may take pay cuts, but they sure as hell don't do it willingly, and if you pay attention to news in the airline industry, you'll find that management in many cases has had to threaten Chapter 11 in order to reach an agreement in poor economic times.

Do me a favor and take some time to follow the news and pay attention to what actually goes on before having the audacity to make a post accusing me of ignorance. I'm sure you'd love to believe in the virtue of unions, but the facts just are not there. Also, try going through the financial statements of publicly traded airlines and tell me that labor costs aren't a huge expense.

"Private schools are not "privatized" since they never were public schools - error one."

Doesn't matter. It's an apt analogy as it's a case where we have an industry that has both public and private components. Also, it allows us to make comparisons which are reliable, unlike comparisons which involve after the fact evidence which can be a result of many other variables other than whether or not the entity is private.

"Secondly children in private schools have parents that tend to be more involved. This is a known fact. If you want to discount the effect that a parent's involvement is on their learning that's fine but nearly anyone else will get how crucial that is."

What you left out is why this is true. Part of it can be attributed to the fact that many public school systems don't care much about parental imput. Also, did you stop to think that maybe there's a reason why parents who care about their children's education more tend to be more likely to pick private schools? It just might be because they are better.

"Third, most people that have their children in private schools *have the money* to give their kids a fine education. That doesn't apply to the vast majority of the population."

Most, but not all. Some private schools are actually cheaper than public schools, and if parents could receive a tax break if they sent their kids to private schools, a lot more would be able to do so.

"You mean those self-same businesses you appear to love so much? Those special interests? Or do you mean just the ones you don't like? Don't like how long it takes to pass bills so what, dismantle democracy because it takes to long? Just what is your point?"

All right. Now you're just blatantly putting words in my mouth. I never said a thing about getting rid of democracy. I only respond to this point because you shouldn't be able to get away with such blatant nonsense.

"What you completely glossed over is how these corporations took the unions for all they could prior to the move. Labor costs weren't higher than the competition's to any real extent particularly given that those competitors have more factories here now - and operational than any of the formerly Detroit-based automakers. Ford particularly is struggling due to a massive number of missteps that they've made that date back as far as the 1970s. It is telling that their other auto units are doing better than the parent company itself. GM has made a lesser number of business mistakes but still are doing reasonably well."

Ok, first of all, not every competitor has factories here. There are factories built in China where costs are much cheaper, as well as Korea and other countries. Second, neither Ford nor GM is doing particularly well right now. Take a look at their financials. They both look terrible.

"To base all their faults on unions and labor costs are ridiculous, not only that but there's never been any proof that they actually needed to close those plants or export the jobs. They did it because they could, and because it would increase the bottom line. That's all."

Here you go again putting words in my mouth. Proof that the plants needed to be closed? Now that's a ridiculous concept. First of all, you make no statement as to what you might accept as proof. You're right in one sense. They did it to save money and boost profits. Well, I hate to burst the bubble that you live in, but this is a capitalist system and increasing profits is an idea that's been around for awhile, and is going to stay. Do you expect businesses to voluntarily lose money or perhaps maintain an arbitrary "fair" level of profits? If that's what you want, you might as well just destroy our economic future, since we need the motive of profits to function as a society.

"Impoverishing your nation for the benefit of yourself is something that I consider along the lines of treason."

First of all, you offer no proof that the nation is being impoverished by something like GM's decision. Second, you show complete ignorance of economic reality. Lower costs mean bother higher profits and lower costs for consumers. Lower costs for consumers impoverish them? Interesting, but wrong. Successful business enterprise impoverishes the nation? Give me a break.

-dcm266


[ Parent ]

My facts are right. I don't make mine up. (none / 0) (#109)
by destroy all monsters on Thu Jun 30, 2005 at 05:11:03 AM EST

Many white collar fields create their own groups known as associations. They don't unionize per se. Ergo my point.

"What is worth considering is that free markets have been much more successful than attempts at socialism or communism."

Again not quite true. Communism does not and can not exist - neither can free markets. Free markets as a concept are dependent upon there being an even playing field for businesses - one that can never exist. All economies that are successful are mixed economies containing parts of socialism and capitalism. Capitalism isn't dependent on the theory of free markets, whereas the theory of free markets is not independent of capitalism. The two are not interchangeable.

"By the way, claiming I'm talking out of my ass does not refute the basic mental reasoning exercise I brought up that demonstrates that unions should be less efficient. It just shows that you don't have a real refutation, or don't want to bother with one."

Your mental exercise is ridiculous. Facts are the only thing that is important not mental diarrhea.

"Still, to attribute problems in the industry to unionization is, in my opinion, very fair. Why? Union labor is such a huge expense for airlines, and it's not something that can be reduced quickly. Sure, unions may take pay cuts, but they sure as hell don't do it willingly, and if you pay attention to news in the airline industry, you'll find that management in many cases has had to threaten Chapter 11 in order to reach an agreement in poor economic times."

It would help if you knew what you're talking about. If it wasn't easy to reduce the labor force then how were the airlines capable of laying off many thousands of workers after 9/11? Willingness to take pay cuts has always been there for unions when there are cuts across the board. Most times what happens when there are cuts is that the least important portion of the company (i.e. middle management) doesn't take cuts - and that the excesses of upper management aren't curtailed. Understandably no one wants to bear the burden of management's mistakes or financial downturns all by themselves. It's ridiculous to ask that.

You've failed to grasp that bankruptcy is often used as a ruse as part of negotiations;and that bankruptcy is often used just to break contracts. Additionally, many airlines are run extremely poorly (United for example). Sure, labor costs are an expense - so is management and so are bad business decisions. What you hear on the news is a piece of the story, not the whole story.

I call you ignorant because you are on these issues. I have friends at United in various levels and at public schools. I know of what I speak. I've been in unions - and out of them. I've supervised, managed and been a worker. You however seem to be talking as someone that's either never worked or been solely in white collar jobs and don't know the first thing of which you speak.

"'Private schools are not "privatized" since they never were public schools - error one.'

Doesn't matter. It's an apt analogy as it's a case where we have an industry that has both public and private components."

Of course it matters. Privatization is completely different than public and private schools. The issues are not comparable in any way.

"Also, it allows us to make comparisons which are reliable, unlike comparisons which involve after the fact evidence which can be a result of many other variables other than whether or not the entity is private."

How so? Can you prove this? Do you have any data to back this up? I don't think so.

"'Secondly children in private schools have parents that tend to be more involved. This is a known fact. If you want to discount the effect that a parent's involvement is on their learning that's fine but nearly anyone else will get how crucial that is.'

What you left out is why this is true. Part of it can be attributed to the fact that many public school systems don't care much about parental imput. Also, did you stop to think that maybe there's a reason why parents who care about their children's education more tend to be more likely to pick private schools? It just might be because they are better."

You have no evidence whatsoever that public schools "don't care much about parental input".I know why parents are more involved in private schools - they want their money's worth, simple as that.That's completely understandable. We all want our money's worth. Additionally, people in higher income brackets have more time for their children in general (since they aren't working multiple jobs to make ends meet for example). Your argument is "omg private schools r better cos i say so!!11eleven". If you don't have facts make some shit up. But hey go ahead, that way everyone can see that you don't have a leg to stand on.  

"'Third, most people that have their children in private schools *have the money* to give their kids a fine education. That doesn't apply to the vast majority of the population.'

Most, but not all. Some private schools are actually cheaper than public schools, and if parents could receive a tax break if they sent their kids to private schools, a lot more would be able to do so."

If you have evidence of successful non-subsidized private schools that cost less than equivalent public schools then we can talk. How would a tax break insure better education? Can you guarantee that children will get better or even equivalent education at private schools? Don't forget that public schools have to take everyone from the most learning disabled to those that have discipline problems - issues private schools never have to deal with. Or would you just tell those kids "hey tough luck". I mean people with your attitude love to build prisons - I'm sure they could stamp license plates there and do something useful...

"'You mean those self-same businesses you appear to love so much? Those special interests? Or do you mean just the ones you don't like? Don't like how long it takes to pass bills so what, dismantle democracy because it takes to long? Just what is your point?'

All right. Now you're just blatantly putting words in my mouth. I never said a thing about getting rid of democracy. I only respond to this point because you shouldn't be able to get away with such blatant nonsense."

No, what I asked for was a clarification. One I expect to be forthcoming if you want to have any credibility at all. You mentioned special interest groups and I asked you which ones and how you're choosing them. A more than fair question.

"'What you completely glossed over is how these corporations took the unions for all they could prior to the move. Labor costs weren't higher than the competition's to any real extent particularly given that those competitors have more factories here now - and operational than any of the formerly Detroit-based automakers. Ford particularly is struggling due to a massive number of missteps that they've made that date back as far as the 1970s. It is telling that their other auto units are doing better than the parent company itself. GM has made a lesser number of business mistakes but still are doing reasonably well.'

Ok, first of all, not every competitor has factories here. There are factories built in China where costs are much cheaper, as well as Korea and other countries. Second, neither Ford nor GM is doing particularly well right now. Take a look at their financials. They both look terrible."

So you concede the point.

"'To base all their faults on unions and labor costs are ridiculous, not only that but there's never been any proof that they actually needed to close those plants or export the jobs. They did it because they could, and because it would increase the bottom line. That's all.'

Here you go again putting words in my mouth. Proof that the plants needed to be closed? Now that's a ridiculous concept. First of all, you make no statement as to what you might accept as proof. You're right in one sense. They did it to save money and boost profits. Well, I hate to burst the bubble that you live in, but this is a capitalist system and increasing profits is an idea that's been around for awhile, and is going to stay. Do you expect businesses to voluntarily lose money or perhaps maintain an arbitrary "fair" level of profits? If that's what you want, you might as well just destroy our economic future, since we need the motive of profits to function as a society."

How is it a ridiculous concept? Because you can't disprove my point?  Yes we do live in a capitalist society - however you blamed the unions for the entirety of the automakers' problems and for why they "had" to leave the country. Now you're backpedalling. No one doubts that there needs to be profits for our society to work - but apparently you doubt the need for blue collar - or even decently paid work. Yet you show no alternatives other than to say "it's all unions fault yada yada yada" and completely fail to take into account poor business practices, or the needs of the nation as a whole.

""Impoverishing your nation for the benefit of yourself is something that I consider along the lines of treason."

First of all, you offer no proof that the nation is being impoverished by something like GM's decision."

Really, so downtown Detroit isn't mostly a wasteland? Did I imagine the tens of thousands of workers thrown out of jobs that were formerly tax-paying citizens? That much if not all of our manufacturing base hasn't been dismantled throwing hundreds of thousands of qualified, specialized workers out of good paying jobs that were benefited and now have to work multiple low-paying service jobs with no benefits with their health benefits needing to be paid for by the states?

Somehow I don't think I imagined all that.

"Second, you show complete ignorance of economic reality. Lower costs mean bother higher profits and lower costs for consumers. Lower costs for consumers impoverish them? Interesting, but wrong. "

Higher profits for corporations, like "trickle down" economics benefits no one except those at the top. Your failure to grasp this shows your ignorance.

Lower costs for consumers is crucial in a situation where people have less real income to spend year after year. A house of cards based on exploitation of labor elsewhere in order to be able to afford simple goods here. Of course you've already essentially justified sweat shops since they lower the bottom line, increase profits and are necessarily non-union.  

"Successful business enterprise impoverishes the nation? Give me a break."

Business does not have to be conducted in such a way as to destroy it's parent country. Many companies and corporations know this. Some of them have either been in - or read Tom Peters' excellent books. A great many of these companies and industries have done just fine under the present system - and with unions. Those corporations that choose to off-shore their operations necessarily do impoverish the nation by throwing people out of work unnecessarily - and yet still reaping the benefits of being supposedly based here.

Then again, you seem more than capable of looking at what Michael Milken did - and its fall out - as ju

st business.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

*Sigh* (none / 0) (#110)
by dcm266 on Thu Jun 30, 2005 at 12:59:42 PM EST

"Again not quite true. Communism does not and can not exist - neither can free markets. Free markets as a concept are dependent upon there being an even playing field for businesses - one that can never exist. All economies that are successful are mixed economies containing parts of socialism and capitalism. Capitalism isn't dependent on the theory of free markets, whereas the theory of free markets is not independent of capitalism. The two are not interchangeable."

All right. Take a few seconds to look at history. I never said the free market examples I cited were pure free markets, but they sure as hell are closer to free markets than attempts at communism have been. Also, if you look at world bank studies, you'll find that nations with less economic regulation (ie: more emphasis on free markets) perform better economically.

"Your mental exercise is ridiculous. Facts are the only thing that is important not mental diarrhea."

This tells me one of two things. You are incapable of reasoning along philosophical lines, or don't wish to do so. I don't care much which, but since you make no effort to try, this will be my last post on the subject.

"You've failed to grasp that bankruptcy is often used as a ruse as part of negotiations;and that bankruptcy is often used just to break contracts. Additionally, many airlines are run extremely poorly (United for example). Sure, labor costs are an expense - so is management and so are bad business decisions. What you hear on the news is a piece of the story, not the whole story."

Actually, I haven't failed to grasp that fact. It's pretty obvious that it would be a tactic used. I never said that airlines were particularly well run, and in fact will agree that a lot of them are not run well at all. That doesn't mean that union labor isn't a huge expense, and it doesn't mean companies filing for bankruptcy aren't in dire financial conditions. Whether unions take pay cuts or not, the fact is that labor is a huge expense and not quite as flexible as the revenues of a very cyclical business.

"Of course it matters. Privatization is completely different than public and private schools. The issues are not comparable in any way."

Not comparable in any way? Another broad blanket statement with no reasoning offered. Comparing public and private schools is the best way we have to judge the possible privitization of education and what the effects would be if it happens. If you want to tell me it's not comparable, you are the one who has to offer a very good reason why.

"How so? Can you prove this? Do you have any data to back this up? I don't think so."

You ask for data on a concept that is blatantly obvious. You want data that says we can compare public and private schools? That's not something you collect data on. We have public and private schools. It should be obvious logically that we can attempt a comparison.

"You have no evidence whatsoever that public schools "don't care much about parental input".I know why parents are more involved in private schools - they want their money's worth, simple as that.That's completely understandable. We all want our money's worth. Additionally, people in higher income brackets have more time for their children in general (since they aren't working multiple jobs to make ends meet for example). Your argument is "omg private schools r better cos i say so!!11eleven". If you don't have facts make some shit up. But hey go ahead, that way everyone can see that you don't have a leg to stand on.  "

Actually, I do have evidence on the first point, and also on private schools which were taken over by the public and destroyed. Take a look at Milton Friedman's "Free to Choose." Also, you say that parents with kids in private schools want their money's worth. I'm sure they do. Logically, it follows that if schools were all private, parents would be more involved in their children's education because they would want their money's worth. Oh, and for future reference, you may want to avoid mocking people's arguments with ridiculous statements like that choice little bit in quotes above. Yet another reason why this is my last post on the subject.

"If you have evidence of successful non-subsidized private schools that cost less than equivalent public schools then we can talk. How would a tax break insure better education? Can you guarantee that children will get better or even equivalent education at private schools? Don't forget that public schools have to take everyone from the most learning disabled to those that have discipline problems - issues private schools never have to deal with. Or would you just tell those kids "hey tough luck". I mean people with your attitude love to build prisons - I'm sure they could stamp license plates there and do something useful..."

How would a tax break help? If you don't make parents pay taxes to support schools which their children do not attend, they can use this money to pay tuition at a similar private school. The big irony that people opposed to private education overlook is that wealthy parents will always be able to afford taxes and tuition. It's the poor and middle class parents who get screwed over by the lack of choice in education, since they can't afford both. Public schools have other issues to deal with, and thus have to devote resources to problems you mentioned.

In addition, the curriculum is dumbed down so that more people can graduate. I'd rather see harder curriculums, less graduates, but people receiving a better education, at least in the last 3 or so years of high school. Keep in mind that a lower graduation rate but higher standards for graduation simply raises the bar. Less graduates means that graduation from high school is a less important consideration. The people I know who were educated in England for instance have had much harder curriculums and have lower graduation rates. We should also get over this idea that we should try to make everyone graduate. Education isn't for everyone, and as much as I wish it were, wishing will not make it true. And the prison quote is just one more reason I won't continue this discussion, because you can't seem to debate without exaggeration and thoughtless comments.

"Higher profits for corporations, like "trickle down" economics benefits no one except those at the top. Your failure to grasp this shows your ignorance."

Another bland blanket statement. First of all, some, though I will be the first to admit, not most, companies have profit sharing plans for their workers. That alone demolishes your blanket statement but still leaves cause for concerns about other workers. As we've discussed above and you've admitted to, lower profits mean pay cuts, and higher profits mean pay raises.

"Lower costs for consumers is crucial in a situation where people have less real income to spend year after year. A house of cards based on exploitation of labor elsewhere in order to be able to afford simple goods here. Of course you've already essentially justified sweat shops since they lower the bottom line, increase profits and are necessarily non-union."

All right. First of all, the whole figure on lower real income is false. It can be argued that at some points it has been true for the lowest 20% of earners. Second, inflation tends to be overstated, meaning that the decline you speak of is actually either level or perhaps a slight increase. Inflation fails to take into account a lot of items that improve the standard of living.

As for sweatshops, before you get up in arms, ask yourself a question. Do the workers at sweatshops leave better jobs to come to sweatshops? No, they don't. They work at sweatshops because they have no other options. Whether or not you think sweatshops are good or bad, you can't deny that they do in fact create jobs. Are there abuses of workers? Yes. Should these abuses be punished? Yes. Does this mean that there is a problem with having very cheap labor? No. You can object to sweatshops all you like, but eliminate them, and you just may have taken someone's daily loaf of bread. This doesn't mean that I think it's fortunate that a large part of the world lives under these conditions. I just accept that they do, and any effort to pay them much higher wages would defeat the purpose of the company setting up shop there to begin with.

"How is it a ridiculous concept? Because you can't disprove my point?  Yes we do live in a capitalist society - however you blamed the unions for the entirety of the automakers' problems and for why they "had" to leave the country. Now you're backpedalling. No one doubts that there needs to be profits for our society to work - but apparently you doubt the need for blue collar - or even decently paid work. Yet you show no alternatives other than to say "it's all unions fault yada yada yada" and completely fail to take into account poor business practices, or the needs of the nation as a whole."

Once again you manage to put words in my mouth. I never blamed unions for the entirety of the automakers' problems. Therefore, I'm not backpedalling. I haven't failed to take into account any of the other things that you mentioned either. They just weren't directly relevant in an article that talked primarily about unions. I also didn't say I doubt the need for blue collar work. What I do doubt is the need to employ people here when we can employ people elsewhere for less. This means that major factories may move, but construction companies and the like are probably here to stay. Some things can be moved efficiently, and they should be, but others cannot, and thus should not and most likely will not be, since it will not be efficient.

"Really, so downtown Detroit isn't mostly a wasteland? Did I imagine the tens of thousands of workers thrown out of jobs that were formerly tax-paying citizens? That much if not all of our manufacturing base hasn't been dismantled throwing hundreds of thousands of qualified, specialized workers out of good paying jobs that were benefited and now have to work multiple low-paying service jobs with no benefits with their health benefits needing to be paid for by the states?

Somehow I don't think I imagined all that. "

Your ability to miss the point amazes me. I didn't say there weren't layoffs or people out of work, but to call this impoverishing a nation is going a bit far. In the long run, we see economic benefits from outsourcing far in excess of the lost jobs. Want proof? The World Bank has done studies, so has McKinsey and Company. You are only looking at the people who are out of work which is one part of the economic equation. You fail to consider cheaper automobiles as a benefit, higher wealth for shareholders of auto companies if profits increase, not to mention the benefits given to workers out of this country who know have a job. Ok, so the last doesn't directly enrich the U.S., but it still creates jobs. And those workers have additional money to buy U.S. goods, or domestic goods, the latter of course creating wealthier businessmen in their country and contributing to greater trade. The economic argument is thus far more complex than looking at people who are out of work. Try not to be fixated on that.

"Those corporations that choose to off-shore their operations necessarily do impoverish the nation by throwing people out of work unnecessarily - and yet still reaping the benefits of being supposedly based here."

Again, I've discussed why you greatly oversimplify the economic argument. See above.

"Then again, you seem more than capable of looking at what Michael Milken did - and its fall out - as just business."

Here you go again. Now all of a sudden because I have issues with labor unions, I'm supposed to defend a criminal? So much for intelligent discussion. A shame rather, but you may want to learn how to discuss issues with people whose views differ from yours without insulting them, accusing them of ignorance, and investing your ego too heavily in you opinion. Have a nice day.

-dcm266

[ Parent ]

You can sigh all you like it won't make you right (none / 0) (#111)
by destroy all monsters on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 12:39:34 AM EST

"if you look at world bank studies, you'll find that nations with less economic regulation (ie: more emphasis on free markets) perform better economically."

China performs quite well economically. The point I've been trying to get across to you from the get go is that economic performance != quality of life. Nor does it mean that the average person is doing well. I could care less how the top 5-10% is doing - and neither do the vast majority of people because they will never be one of them.

I'm not going to bother about any sort of mental exercises when there are plenty of facts and realities to observe. They aren't pertinent. Those that tend to attempt this type of thing are the same people that insist that creationism is real.It is a waste of time.

"Actually, I haven't failed to grasp that fact. It's pretty obvious that it would be a tactic used."

Funny then that you didn't frame it that way. You framed it as it all being the unions' fault and labor costs.

"I never said that airlines were particularly well run, and in fact will agree that a lot of them are not run well at all."

But again that didn't keep you from claiming that it was the unions' fault and that of labor costs.

"That doesn't mean that union labor isn't a huge expense, and it doesn't mean companies filing for bankruptcy aren't in dire financial conditions."

All labor is a "huge expense". You need people to have a company function - ergo payroll will always be a significant portion of business expenses. Your point is?

"Whether unions take pay cuts or not, the fact is that labor is a huge expense and not quite as flexible as the revenues of a very cyclical business."

So you've backpedaled from stating that unions don't take paycuts, then to don't take them willingly to it being "not quite as flexible" as you'd like. Given how many takebacks, reductions in pay and reductions in benefits that unions have taken in the last decade (and longer) I'd say you were still way off base. Despite union attempts at reforming several airlines (including United) wasteful spending and poor business practices have continued. Even glancing at Forbes will tell you just how poorly run much of the industry is.

"Not comparable in any way? Another broad blanket statement with no reasoning offered. Comparing public and private schools is the best way we have to judge the possible privitization of education and what the effects would be if it happens."

Because it is *not* comparable in any way. There is plenty of data about public agencies that have been privatized and in almost every case the level of service and professionalism has dropped markedly. Regardless public schools have not been - and are not being privitized so you cannot make a comparison based on zero. They aren't privitized schools they are private schools. That you can't tell the difference is a logical failing on your part. That or you're deliberately trying to obfuscate the issue.

"You want data that says we can compare public and private schools? That's not something you collect data on. We have public and private schools. It should be obvious logically that we can attempt a comparison."

These comments make no sense to me. Regardless you could only fairly compare public and private schools if they served the same communities and if private schools were forced to take those students that might otherwise be considered undesirable. They do  not so there is no comparison to be made.

"Actually, I do have evidence on the first point, and also on private schools which were taken over by the public and destroyed. Take a look at Milton Friedman's "Free to Choose."

Milton Friedman is an economist and a right wing one to boot. He is not an educator,nor is he is  an expert in education. If you wish to present neutral, unbiased studies from credible sources I take no issue with that. This source is neither.

"Logically, it follows that if schools were all private, parents would be more involved in their children's education because they would want their money's worth."

No, it just means that we'd have a huge underclass of people without education at all.

"How would a tax break help? If you don't make parents pay taxes to support schools which their children do not attend, they can use this money to pay tuition at a similar private school."

Which impoverishes the other schools to the extent that only the most poor and most disadvantaged students attend public schools making the division between those schooled in public schools and private schools tremendous without any attendant auditing or oversight of the private schools.

Private schools often demand catechism and the like - yet where will students and parents go when their choices are limited to schools they (and the public) have no control over, and the schools that now take only the most disadvantaged?

"It's the poor and middle class parents who get screwed over by the lack of choice in education, since they can't afford both."

While your sentiment, if genuine, is laudable there is no supporting your supposition that private schools are in any way *better*.

"In addition, the curriculum is dumbed down so that more people can graduate. I'd rather see harder curriculums, less graduates, but people receiving a better education, at least in the last 3 or so years of high school. "

I haven't seen curriculum dumbed down as much as I've seen people pushed through the system to graduation. The problem is that in many places to hold people back is political suicide. I don't agree with it - and I daresay the vast majority of educators don't either - however that isn't a decision they get to make. That doesn't mean that you throw the baby out with the bathwater by dismantling the entirety of the public school system.

"Education isn't for everyone, and as much as I wish it were, wishing will not make it true."

This much is true, to an extent. There are two parts to this: people learn in different fashions which require different methodologies - there needs to be more attention paid to this issue.Secondly many people would do well to take classes that prepare them for various forms of working life. That too is an area that needs more exploration by the schools. That doesn't, however, obviate the need for students that respond to these methodologies not to be in school.

I raised the prison comment because the vast majority of people that espouse elimination of schools, constantly espouse  more prisons. That money that could easily be spent on education - and thereby decreasing the prison population - yet education is last on the list of priorities in many states including my own. Certainly lip service is given to education but the primary reason is to get votes not to improve childrens lives.

"some, though I will be the first to admit, not most, companies have profit sharing plans for their workers. That alone demolishes your blanket statement"

Not at all. Profit sharing plans are rarely in other forms than stock options. We've seen how Enron and the vast majority of people have been "repaid" by their stock options.Generally the stock received is of the non-voting variety. Nonetheless a profit sharing plan in and of itself does not indicate actual sharing of income and usually is done in lieu of an actual raise. These days it exists more as a management ruse than it does for what they were intended to do (which was to give employees a stake in the company).

'"Lower costs for consumers is crucial in a situation where people have less real income to spend year after year. A house of cards based on exploitation of labor elsewhere in order to be able to afford simple goods here. Of course you've already essentially justified sweat shops since they lower the bottom line, increase profits and are necessarily non-union.'

"All right. First of all, the whole figure on lower real income is false."

I gave no figure on lower real income. However it doesn't make the situation any less true.

"It can be argued that at some points it has been true for the lowest 20% of earners. "

Yes, the poor are continually getting poorer. That's my point.

"Second, inflation tends to be overstated, meaning that the decline you speak of is actually either level or perhaps a slight increase."

This is patently false, and moreso in parts of the country like New York City and the San Francisco bay area as well as most major metropolitan regions. Housing prices for example have gone up dramatically - and income is in no way keeping pace.

"Inflation fails to take into account a lot of items that improve the standard of living."

Like what for example?

"Do the workers at sweatshops leave better jobs to come to sweatshops? No, they don't. They work at sweatshops because they have no other options. Whether or not you think sweatshops are good or bad, you can't deny that they do in fact create jobs. Are there abuses of workers? Yes. Should these abuses be punished? Yes. Does this mean that there is a problem with having very cheap labor? No."

You missed  - do sweatshop workers put american workers out of work? Yes they do. My concern first and foremost must be that of my countrymen. It is my job as a citizen to do the best for the citizens of my country first before concerning myself with those in other countries, regardless of how difficult their lives may be.

That said, it is up to the governments of their countries to look at ways to gainfully employ workers without significant levels of exploitation.

"I never blamed unions for the entirety of the automakers' problems."

You blamed labor costs as being the reason. Seeing as you've used unions and labor costs for the majority of the problems in your eyes of a variety of industries you'll excuse me if I made a minor error.

" I didn't say there weren't layoffs or people out of work, but to call this impoverishing a nation is going a bit far. In the long run, we see economic benefits from outsourcing far in excess of the lost jobs."

Not for any of those people that lost their jobs. For the top 2% - sure.

"The World Bank has done studies, so has McKinsey and Company."

If you care to link to which studies where and the methodologies, fine. I don't know McKinsey and Company but I do know that the World Bank is notoriously anti-labor.

"You fail to consider cheaper automobiles as a benefit"

Yet automakers that operate in this country *now* can sell autos at a low price point. This includes Toyota and it's NUMMI plant (which is unionized).

"higher wealth for shareholders of auto companies if profits increase, not to mention the benefits given to workers out of this country who know have a job."

In other words anyone but our workers.

"The economic argument is thus far more complex than looking at people who are out of work. Try not to be fixated on that."

I'll try not to get fixated on that when wealth is a bit more evenly divided thank you very much. The bottom line remains that the working and middle class are on a downward spiral that shows no sign of ceasing. Ergo, the need for the unions you despise.

'Then again, you seem more than capable of looking at what Michael Milken did - and its fall out - as just business.'

"Here you go again. Now all of a sudden because I have issues with labor unions, I'm supposed to defend a criminal?"

You've defended the same types of fall out, the destruction of industries and of good paying jobs. The only thing that makes him a criminal and those that precipitated the current situation not criminals is the lack of convictions. The fall out is entirely the same.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

Here's why (none / 0) (#82)
by saltmine on Sun Jun 26, 2005 at 11:12:32 PM EST

"But, please can someone explain why on earth these multi-millionaire pro sports stars need to be unionised?"

Because before they were unionized they were not multi-millionaires.  The union has made them, and all other professional athletes, wealthy beyond their dreams.

With that, I hate to hear players talk about the free market.  Many of them and their unions hate the salary caps and feel players should be allowed to be paid whatever the owners want to.  The problem with that line of thought is that once you decide to unionize you are no longer participating in the free market.  Unions have to remember it's about give and take.  Thankfully it appears the NBAPA knows this and signed a CBA that appears to benefit everyone.  The players get more and more money, the owners get more control over how the game works.

[ Parent ]

i agree (2.75 / 4) (#27)
by insomnyuk on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 10:02:52 AM EST

This sounds like a convenient way for the NBA to get at least a free year of player development - and a good check on the hype machine for teenage players.

Kwame Brown was drafted out of high school by the Wizards in 2001. He was the first pick, ahead of a slew of talented players, and he has been mostly an abject failure. Also, it took players like McGrady and Bryant several years to develop, but college can still provide a 1-year bad-decision buffer for the NBA.

On the other hand, Amare Stoudemire, Josh Howard, and LeBron were awesome out of high school - so this rule isn't really just about competition, it's about the players union keeping a certain segment of the population out of their trade based on age. I'm surprised this and the NFL's age requirement have not been challenged in court as discrimination, but then I don't know anything about discrimination law.

---
"There is only one honest impulse at the bottom of Puritanism, and that is the impulse to punish the man with a superior capacity for happiness." - H.L. Mencken

LeBron (none / 0) (#33)
by BottleRocket on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 10:57:54 AM EST

He's a star and a team leader, no doubt about it, but I thing Carmelo Anthony was passed over for rookie of the year. He played smarter, and played team basketball. Even Lebron took a few months to find his niche, but Anthony fit and started pulling in big numbers right away. I really think this is the sort of thing you learn by playing for glory rather than money the way they do in college hoops.

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Yes I do download [child pornography], but I don't keep it any longer than I need to, so it can yield insight as to how to find more. --MDC
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$B R Σ III$

[ Parent ]

should have shared MVP (none / 0) (#37)
by insomnyuk on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 11:59:13 AM EST

I think they should have shared it, given their contributions were similar and they both had a big impact - you could argue Melo had a better first year, and he has managed to help his team to the playoffs.  However, Melo is in a much more competently run organization. Kiki Vandeweghe in Denver is about 20 times smarter than Jim Paxson (who let Boozer go, and who fired Paul Silas).

Whatever happens, this is going to make college basketball even more competitive and exciting.

--
"I'm not even here." - Antoine, Upright Citizens Brigade
[ Parent ]

Yeah the Cavs are stupid (none / 0) (#38)
by BottleRocket on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 12:18:31 PM EST

...and mostly talentless. I think that's mainly why LeBron is their go-to guy. He's a fantastic player, but having another star to share the court with will open up the floor for both of them. I think it worked well for T-Mac.

College ball is way better than the pros, as a general rule. There are more upsets, more exciting overtime periods, and I do feel that the "one and done" method in the tourney is pretty cool. The games are just worth more.

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Yes I do download [child pornography], but I don't keep it any longer than I need to, so it can yield insight as to how to find more. --MDC
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$B R Σ III$

[ Parent ]

First off, relax (none / 0) (#92)
by mckwant on Mon Jun 27, 2005 at 01:05:40 PM EST

The court battle will be here, it's just a matter of time.  My understanding is that there's an incoming junior in high school that would be picked #1 tomorrow, if such a thing were allowed, so it may even be tested the first time around.

It's worth noting that college may not be the best option for the pro-ready 18 year old.  The NBDL dropped its requirement age from 20 to 18, and Europe still beckons, as do post-graduation years at prep schools.  So there might not be any addition to the collegiate player pool.

I think what the NBA is trying to recover the 10-12th spots on their rosters.  Say what you will about the early entry candidates, they don't REALLY have that much effect on the college game overall.  Yes, the college game could always use more talent, but the set of good college players that are not NBA ready is surprisingly large.  Notable exception being back-to-the-basket 4s and 5s, who tend to get sucked into the NBA immediately.

So, the college game is OK (not great), but the NBA game has deteriorated markedly over the last few years, partially by signing these completely untested kids.  You're sacrificing two-three roster spots to total projects who may never see the court, and they're sacrificing niche players or good practice guys who can improve the team.  

As a result, the NBA game is unwatchable.  If I'm a coach, and I've got a functioning 9 man rotation for an 82 game season, I'm going to be careful not just with minutes, but with EFFORT during those minutes.  If somebody goes down with a big injury, the team's in trouble.  Talk to Indiana w/the Artest suspension.

Fewer projects == Better bench.
Better Bench leads to better effort during games.
Better games lead to better ratings.
Profit.

[ Parent ]

Snore. (1.41 / 17) (#28)
by rpresser on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 10:11:31 AM EST

For many kids, the dream of becoming a star in the NBA eclipses all else.

For other kids, making use of the brains they were born with is more important. It's no coincidence that beer sells well at most professional sports gatherings.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty

Did you play sports as a child? (2.20 / 5) (#53)
by morewhine on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 04:49:51 PM EST

Do you have any ability whatsoever in athletics?  Of course 99.9% of people are better off using their brain to get ahead in life rather than focusing all of their attention to try to become a professional athlete.  But the vitriol of your remarks seems to indicate that you may not like sports in general simply because you suck at them.

[ Parent ]
No. (2.00 / 4) (#74)
by rpresser on Sat Jun 25, 2005 at 07:15:18 PM EST

No, I did not play sports as a child. I thought they were too stupid to spend any time at then and I still think so now.  And no, I've never hid from anyone either my attitude towards sports nor my history of not being an athelete.

No, I do not have any athletic ability whatsoever. Yet I continue to exist. Sorry to disappoint you.

However, you (the sports-loving world) have now had thirty-eight years to convince me I'm wrong. You're still not getting anywhere.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]

Enjoy your superiority (2.33 / 3) (#75)
by C Montgomery Burns on Sun Jun 26, 2005 at 01:18:06 AM EST

I will go watch the A's game.

--
ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD
Intelligent design
[ Parent ]
and such a happy person to boot! (none / 1) (#79)
by speek on Sun Jun 26, 2005 at 05:04:14 PM EST


--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

When folks ask obvious leading questions (none / 1) (#91)
by rpresser on Mon Jun 27, 2005 at 01:01:14 PM EST

that are nonetheless irrelevant, I get pissed off.

I answered truthfully.  I then proceeded to attack the asker, because whether or not I played sports as a child has no fucking relation to the absolute idiocy of the statement

For many kids, the dream of becoming a star in the NBA eclipses all else.

I mean, come on. Dream of becoming an overpaid useless shit for brains who attacks people in the stands? Who thinks that just because he can bounce a ball with some skill, his opinion on world events should be respected? Who thinks the fact that he finds it important to spend endless hours bouncing a ball up and down a court means that I should find it important to watch him?

What does his idiocy have to do with whether or not I like to exercise?

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"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]

what indeed (none / 0) (#97)
by speek on Mon Jun 27, 2005 at 08:45:36 PM EST

Talk about irrelevant questions.

And it doesn't seem appropriate to zero a comment you felt compelled to respond to.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Just returning the favor (none / 0) (#100)
by rpresser on Mon Jun 27, 2005 at 10:50:44 PM EST

for you zeroing one of mine.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]
Yeah (none / 0) (#80)
by Arkaein on Sun Jun 26, 2005 at 09:34:04 PM EST

clearly there is no value in exercise, fun, teamwork, or any manner of healthy release for the competitive instincts mother nature has spent 3 billion years honing.

Good thing you haven't wasted your time on such things. You've clearly got this life thing figured out, as evidenced by your comments and your sig.

----
The ultimate plays for Madden 2005
[ Parent ]

It was much (1.09 / 22) (#35)
by fiftee1percent on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 11:01:31 AM EST

better when the founding fathers just had auctions for these people.

_________________
I am the majority
Heritage not Hate

I don't pay any attention to the NBA (2.81 / 11) (#40)
by IHCOYC on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 12:44:38 PM EST

As far as I am concerned, the game played in the NBA is a grotesque parody that has no right to be called "basketball."

The NBA rules have been distorted to remove tactical elements from the game. The shot clock is too short, and offers no time for setting plays and other sorts of actual teamwork. The zone defense was disallowed for a long time, and the three-second rule means it isn't really allowed today. It seems that the rules have been deliberately distorted on the strength of the belief that what the fans want to see is a handful of prima donna stars driving at the basket to take contortionist layups and slam dunks. To make sure the spectators get to see their favourite stars taking these shots, charging fouls are seldom called, and every player gets six fouls before fouling out.

Any rule change that encourages players to stick with the real game of college basketball would be a Good Thing.
--
"Complecti antecessores tuos in spelæis stygiis Tartari appara," eructavit miles primus.
"Vix dum basiavisti vicarium velocem Mortis," rediit G

The Real Game (none / 0) (#55)
by BottleRocket on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 06:23:34 PM EST

The All-Star Weekend is a good example of what you're talking about. It's just so much fluff. Nothing beats college hoops, but I disagree with the suggestion that you could ever make the NBA more like the NCAA baksetball program. They're just too different. Suppose the NBA were to switch to the NCAA's format, and the NCAA had a 24 second shot clock and became a slam-dunk spectacular, it would still be more thrilling to watch college ball.

Why? Because in college ball, they play for glory. In the NBA, they're paid to be there. It makes all the difference.

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Yes I do download [child pornography], but I don't keep it any longer than I need to, so it can yield insight as to how to find more. --MDC
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$B R Σ III$

[ Parent ]

let them play defense (none / 1) (#78)
by speek on Sun Jun 26, 2005 at 04:57:50 PM EST

That would help the game tremendously. Fast breaks happen because of defense. Dumping the ball into your star player over and over and over again while everyone else clears out happens because team defense is disallowed. Being forced to watch Shaq steamroll his defender while the refs call a foul on that poor defender is because the refs don't call offensive fouls nearly often enough. Not being allowed to take a charge inside the little circle arc, plus the 3-second defense rule means any guard can drive to the hoop out of control and end up at the foul line.

The NBA is absurd, and most of it is because people in charge think people like it this way, but they are very wrong about that.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

shot clock (3.00 / 7) (#64)
by adimovk5 on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 08:40:31 PM EST

.....The shot clock is too short.....

Origin of the 24 Second Clock

On November 22, 1950, the takers played against the Fort Wayne Pistons in Minneapolis. The Pistons went into their "slow motion" tactics immediately.

The fans didn't like what was happening, and they began to boo, whistle and stomp. The Pistons turned a deaf ear. The referee couldn't do anything, because the Pistons' tactics were legal at that time. At the end of the first period Fort Wayne was ahead, 8- 7.

Nothing much happened in the second period either. The Lakers rang up six points, the Pistons added only three, and at half time Minneapolis was ahead, 13-11.

There wasn't a great deal of difference in the third period. Minneapolis scored four, Fort Wayne tallied five, and at the end of the quarter the scoreboard read 17-16, Minneapolis.

The final period was incredible! It seemed that all the players on the court had fallen asleep. Then, with nine seconds to go and the Lakers leading, 18-17, Larry Foust of Fort Wayne drove in and scored the go-ahead points. Little Slater Martin of the Lakers tried to win the game with a desperation shot, but failed. Fort Wayne won the game, 19-18.

Sports Illustrated Flashback - In the knick of time
"I wasn't looking for any particular time," Danny Biasone says. "I was just looking for a number. Any number. Twenty-four seconds is what came out.'' He is 80 years old and still spends most of his days at the bowling alley he has owned for most of his adult life in the Eastwood section of Syracuse, N.Y. In 1954 he also owned the Syracuse Nationals in the NBA. He did not have the money that the owners of some other franchises had, but he shared with them a great unease about what had developed in their game. He sometimes thought he owned a still-life painting instead of a basketball team. The strategy of the day had become inaction. Get a lead. Hold the ball. Go to the foul line. Make the foul shots. Teams were deciding to stall earlier and earlier in the game, especially if they were underdogs. The low point had been reached on Nov. 22, 1950, when Fort Wayne Piston coach Murray Mendenhall had his team hold the ball for most of the game to defeat the Minneapolis Lakers 19-18. The score at the end of the first period was 8-7, Pistons. The crowd was enraged.

Biasone felt that there had been enough talk about the problem. What to do? Various rule changes had been tried. None had worked. He developed his own idea: The shot clock. "Teams were taking about 60 shots in a game if nobody screwed around," Biasone says. "I figured if the teams combined for 120 shots in a game and the game was 48 minutes long. . . . I divided 120 shots into 2,880 seconds, I believe. The answer was 24."

There were no grand tests with wind tunnels at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, no experiments with white mice. Biasone simply persuaded the other league owners to come to Vocational High in Syracuse for a summertime demonstration. He scrimmaged some players from his team against some other players who lived in the area. Haskell Cohen, then the league's publicity director, kept track of the time and called out when the 24 seconds had elapsed. The owners liked the idea and agreed to try the rule in the exhibition season. It worked so well in the exhibitions that itwas immediately adopted for the 1954-55 regular season.

The shot clock probably saved professional basketball.

[ Parent ]
My favorites are: (none / 1) (#108)
by curunir on Wed Jun 29, 2005 at 01:38:51 PM EST

The interpretation of the travelling rule and what constitutes a moving screen.

I don't really care how acrobatic the finish is, it's just not all that interesting to see an off-the-ball offensive player take out the on-the-ball defender like a linebacker going after a sack and then seeing the ballhandler take 5-6 steps before his first and only dribble which takes him from outside the 3-pt line all the way to the hoop. I'm still trying to figure out why every team doesn't score 120+ every game. Oh yeah, because most players can't hit a free throw to save their lives, let alone a contest 18-ft jump shot.

And all by boys who, were it not for the fact that they hit the genetic lottery, would barely be qualified to ask me if I want fries with my order. Thankfully, the rules and referees provide a structure that allows them to concentrate on important things like starting their rap careers and showing off their whips and bling to "Cribz" rather than learning the intricacies of a real offense or practicing the proper jump-shot technique.

College hoops might not be perfect, but the NBA is barely worth watching. Players don't get a chance to be prima donnas. College coaches really are the bosses and they don't allow that. If the NBA didn't encourage non-fundamental basketball in its rules and officiating standards, there would be no need for an age limit since players who didn't receive the necessary training in college wouldn't be nearly as successful.

[ Parent ]

Hey K5ers, go outside and play (2.18 / 11) (#41)
by morewhine on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 12:54:28 PM EST

Go outside and get some color into your pasty white skin.

What is wrong with an interesting sports discussion on K5?  "Oh my God, sports is taking over K5."

Hardly.  It seems like some people on here are narrowing their perspective, as if every topic other than sports is acceptable for discussion on K5.  +1, FP, though I'm more of a fan of the NFL and college football than the NBA.

I don't care that it's on K5. (1.33 / 6) (#47)
by rpresser on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 03:32:40 PM EST

I'd vote an article on sports down no matter where it was, including espn.com.  Sports are STUPID. Exercise is all right; even playing games is all right. Paying people to play games? Sitting around a  stadium or a TV to watch people play games? Get real.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]
Well, you're not just paying anybody (2.00 / 4) (#48)
by morewhine on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 03:44:04 PM EST

You're paying THE BEST ATHLETES IN THE UNITED STATES, in some cases, the best athletes in the world.

Yes, it is an entertainment spectacle, but there is a difference between watching average schmoes shooting hoops and watching spectacular athletes.  There is no comparison.  

You seem to not enjoying playing sports, that's your personal preference.  Personally, I love the competitive nature of sports competition, which is why I am both an avid spectator of college & professional football as well as a participator in two recreational sports leagues.  I do ride my bike for exercise sometimes, but playing in a competitive league is just a hell of a lot more intense & fun.

[ Parent ]

There is more than (3.00 / 2) (#68)
by destroy all monsters on Sat Jun 25, 2005 at 07:25:15 AM EST

enough sports coverage *everywhere*. From AM radio to every newspaper in the country to ESPN. For one more place to be infested with  bread and circuses (and one that is only just barely within the realms of culture) is ridiculous.

If you can't understand that sports is clearly within the realm of the lowest common denominator there is no one that can explain it. Even if for some insane reason sports must be on K5, putting it on the front page will bring in the kinds of people that are incapable of discussing anything else.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

Buddy (none / 1) (#81)
by Arkaein on Sun Jun 26, 2005 at 09:42:34 PM EST

this isn't television. Adding a few sports articles to K5 doesn't bump the articles you want to read out of their precious time slots, because K5 has an unlimited number of slots. In any case, it's about as likely that K5 will be overrun with sports articles as it was that it would be overrun with Fiction articles when a whole section was granted. A whole bunch of discussion, and in the end the people who hate the Fiction section can just ignore it.

As for bread and circuses, I don't suppose you call all entertainment that, do you? Just entertainment that's too low brow (or simply popular) to have any redeeming value?

----
The ultimate plays for Madden 2005
[ Parent ]

It doesn't have to be (none / 1) (#85)
by destroy all monsters on Mon Jun 27, 2005 at 03:37:02 AM EST

to still be taking up the space of other things. If you're going to argue that there's not enough sports coverage on the internet, (particularly given your own site) you're way off base. It is its ubiquity that I and others take offense to here.

"As for bread and circuses, I don't suppose you call all entertainment that, do you? Just entertainment that's too low brow (or simply popular) to have any redeeming value?"

No I don't. Specifically because no other entertainment is as specifically tied to the Roman traditions that that phrase comes from. That isn't to say that I don't enjoy incredibly low brow humor - as I often do, that doesn't make sports credibly a part of culture (which fiction most certainly is).

If you're trying to inimate that I think that entertainments that are overly popular are incredibly overrated then you are correct. Particularly because corporations attempt to dictate taste to the public - and the public is all too willing to lap up whatever dogshit is thrown their way.

In all things we can choose to kowtow to the lowest common denominator or we can challenge our public/audience/what have you to rise to the occaision. It's clear where we both stand on that choice.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

Good (2.00 / 3) (#93)
by The Voice of Reason on Mon Jun 27, 2005 at 02:38:13 PM EST

We need some sports articles to drown out some of the crap. That dreadful four-part ejaculation about 'naked lunch' could have been replaced with four articles on football. Let's rout  the pseudo-intellectuals.

[ Parent ]
On any topic there will be crap (none / 0) (#98)
by destroy all monsters on Mon Jun 27, 2005 at 08:54:55 PM EST

regardless of whether you like the topic or not.

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]
Here's $10 million for you to bowl. (none / 1) (#95)
by Fen on Mon Jun 27, 2005 at 03:36:21 PM EST

All of a sudden sports wouldn't be stupid anymore. Would it? It'd be mighty interesting. Especially to you.
--Self.
[ Parent ]
Still stupid: (1.50 / 2) (#96)
by rpresser on Mon Jun 27, 2005 at 04:49:36 PM EST

the stupid person is the one who offered me $10 million.

I actually enjoy bowling, not that that's relevant.

I reiterate: exercise is fine by me; playing games i fine by me; paying people to play games is stupid; sitting around watching people play games when I have no interest in the outcome is stupid.  
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]

What does going outside have to do with the NBA? (3.00 / 4) (#54)
by givemegmail111 on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 06:05:38 PM EST

To enjoy the NBA requires sitting on your ass watching a game, whether in your house, in a bar, or in an arena. If this article were about playing basketball, i.e. going outside and getting exercise, I'd agree with you. But this watching professional sports has all the laziness of sitting on your ass at the computer without any of the benefits. Combine that with the idiocy of professional sports in general and you have a stupid hobby.

Go outside and play basketball. It's quite different than watching it.

--
McDonalds: i'm lovin' it
Start your day tastefully with a Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddle, only at McDonalds.
Rusty fix my sig, dammit!
[ Parent ]

PLUS ONE F P, ANNOYS THE NERDS (1.54 / 11) (#56)
by eejit on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 06:27:07 PM EST

Nerd/Tantrum

-1 Us-centric (1.10 / 10) (#60)
by xL on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 07:17:55 PM EST

Really, are we going to cover the national cricket league of Uzbekistan next week?

Kobe is innocent! (1.07 / 14) (#66)
by Smiley K on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 09:54:09 PM EST

(I raped that bitch.)
-- Someone set up us the bomb.
On the NBA and the new Collective Bargaining Agreement | 113 comments (72 topical, 41 editorial, 0 hidden)
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