"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
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