By on June 6, 2014

Dennis Williams

Automotive News reports new United Auto Workers president Dennis Williams let it be known before the 1,100 delegates at the 36th UAW Constitutional Convention in Detroit that the union’s focus will be on contract negotiations with the Detroit Three in 2015, and the national elections of 2014 and 2016. Regarding the former, Williams proclaimed that the time for making concessions had come to an end, vowing to fight on for workers’ rights and social and economic justice. He also addressed the leadership history of the union, providing examples of the challenges each president has had to face during their term, even if the answers left the membership confused at first.

After the convention closed, Williams gave a press conference detailing what the union will specifically do during his tenure as president, including an intensified focus on organizing the transplants in the Southeastern United States. That effort will be led in Tennessee — where the union lost a contentious election to organize the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga in February of this year — by new UAW secretary-treasurer Gary Casteel. The president also hinted at pushing the union toward economic efficiency with its organizing budget, and vowed to take down the two-tier wage system holding a quarter of the 390,000 members working in on the floors of the Detroit Three underneath the rest of the rolls. No specifics were given for either strategy.

Finally, Detroit Free Press reports after Williams finished his speech, he led the delegates out of Cobo Center to join UniteHere Local 24 members on their first day of protest at the Crown Plaza Hotel across the street. Recording secretary Janee Ayers claimed the hotel had hired temporary employees and paying “poverty wages” instead of the $14 per hour average hotel employees make in Detroit. Williams added that no one from the UAW or any labor union would not “do any business” with hotel until its management allows the workers to organize.

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97 Comments on “Williams: Union To Focus On Detroit Three, Transplants, Elections...”


  • avatar

    While I won’t say the unions aren’t partially to blame, it’s absolutely incredible that to break their backs, the corporations pulled out of Detroit. It’s a shame that just about everything we “need” to spend money on is made-in-China.

    It’s easy to get a socialist president, but where are all the protectionists?

    Where’s the leader willing to break the rules to stop factories from leaving to China and India?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @BTR
      How and why should you stop businesses finding a better alternative to operate.

      I do think this China blame game many on TTAC believe in is just a cop out. A simplistic reason and excuse, but not quite true.

      If you look at China since 1997 it has increased manufacturing production by at least double. Even with this doubling of manufacturing output by the Chinese they have lost over 20 million manufacturing jobs.

      So, blaming China is just not true.

      What is causing the problem is computerisation. Like I stated previously the electric motor gave us the technical industrial revolution which was in full swing in the 1890s.

      The US adopted this more rapidly than most other countries and mass produced consumer products.

      Now, computers are doing the same. In the shorter term we’ll lose jobs, but in the longer term this new phase in industrialisation will bring billions out of poverty worldwide, just like the electric motor gave billions wealth.

      The world isn’t so simplistic. If the US doesn’t accept this new technology and the luddites like the UAW manage to have their way the US will become like the EU. Rich enough, but yet not the richest.

      So, have a real look at what is going on in the world around you.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      That is an old game, the US did it to Europe, Asia is doing it to America, Africa will do it to Asia.

      Rinse and repeat.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    “Social and economic justice.” Lovely. Just keep manipulating the language. Plenty of idiots will gobble it right up. How about “redistributive justice” or “reparative justice?” The UAW is the spawn of a mobster and a vampire conceived in a congressional toilet stall.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      That is a very unique description of the UAW but very true thanks for the laugh this AM

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @thelaine – thanks for planting that image in my brain ;)

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Sorry Lou. I really shouldn’t point fingers. I believe I have been even less discriminating at times in my trysts with hags and I distinctly remember using a similar venue at least once.

        Sorry for my hypocrisy UAW. Keep trying to make the world a better place for hotel workers.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @thelaine – maybe you could direct me to a good union therapist to help me clear that image out of my brain.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            @LouBC. Regretfully, their contract prohibits them from “…any reference to, interaction with, or utilization of the human brain.” Hence, union psychiatric assistance is as likely as GM rolling out its new “Safe as a Cobalt” campaign. I would love to help, but I don’t want to get dragged into court on this one. Why don’t you just use alcohol? Between that, age and the delayed effects of youth football and boxing, I’ve forgotten a sh@t-ton of horrors and humiliations.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “conceived in a congressional toilet stall”

      Must be huge stalls if they were sized like those in the photo.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @thelaine
        “Sorry for my hypocrisy UAW. Keep trying to make the world a better place for hotel workers.”

        This really highlights the UAWs problem.

        Maybe they should concentrate on the UAW.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Kenmore – there is always the wheelchair stall.

        I doubt that you need much room…….. where is Bill Clinton when you need him?

        My bad, Hillary has the balls.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    So now the UAW want to end the two tier wage system they agreed to, let me guess will it be somewhere in the middle of tier one and tier 2???? Or does the UAW want everyone up at tier 1? Good luck on that one. It seems the UAW is past it’s usefulness in helping the workers, how do the non union auto plants manage to find workers to make their cars

  • avatar
    carveman

    A thought. Is it a good idea for the UAW to alienate half of their potential market by supporting the Democratic party. The nasty rhetoric against Republicans and conservatives and the Tea Party is not a great marketing strategy.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      If they had a great marketing strategy before, would they be in their current dire straits?

    • 0 avatar
      CarShark

      Especially since Michigan currently has a Republican governor, state house and state senate. That just gives the GOP something to fundraise with after bailing out Detroit.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Conservatives are anti-union, they aren’t being alienated, they chose their position nearly 90 years ago. Not to mention Democrats have a near 2 to 1 registration advantage on Republicans and the conservative 32% of the country is on average older than the liberal 25% and the remaining independents sit somewhere to the left of tea party politics.

      Quite frankly the big fight of the future is ending corporate control of the right and unionism. The free market capitalist myth is holding on but not like before.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Xeranar
        I do think the way of left wing socialism, ie, unionism isn’t the way to go.

        I do think that it should be the protection of the consumer first and foremost.

        Why? It is the consumer that pays taxes, it is the consumer that keeps an economy buoyant, it is the consumer that built most middle class societies.

        It wasn’t unions that achieved this or left wing ideals. It wasn’t right wing ideals that achieved this either.

        Unions are anti consumerists. Unions want other to pay and protect them for their selfish being.

        Like I stated in the past. A unionist is the worst form of capitalism. A unionist has a view of entitlement that he should have what a rich person has. But a unionist doesn’t believe in risk taking.

        When they do take risk and it fails, ie, Detroit, they expect other’s to pick up the pieces.

        I say let them rot and learn by their mistakes.

        Let the corporations be sold off if incorrect decisions aren’t made.

        Protect the consumer, not the loafers like unionists.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    As a proud citizen of Wisconsin I would like to thank the UAW and unions in general for their loyal support of our paper industry. All those banquets and cookouts!

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    His biggest challenge is to changes the public’s perception of the UAW. It’s what fundamentally killed the Chattanooga drive, and it’s what hampers all their efforts today.

    • 0 avatar
      tier2

      This is exactly the issue. Most of the comments on this site are still spouting the old clichéd depiction of union workers, stubborn, lazy, stupid..etc. The fact is it couldn’t be further from the truth these days, UAW workers have adapted out of this decades ago. A lot of union assembly shops dominate their nonunion counterparts in terms of production and efficiency. Most people believed we would be replaced by hi tech robots and machines, that turned out to be false as well, in fact it only created jobs that required more skill and training. The silly comments about how we aren’t children in coal mines anymore are terrifying. Do you want kids in coal mines? Because killing unions is how you get them. If the average car consumer knew how much the union auto worker cared for the quality of their product and were grateful they are to the customers, vs. How little the corporations and management care about you, it would shock and sadden you and to those people complaining about how the American versions of Japanese cars are not built as good, would you be surprised to know your high quality Japanese import was built by union workers and your less quality Toyota built here was not. Our image is our issue, but for all attempts we have made to let you look behind the curtain, the average person is too interested in bashing it rather than educating themselves, so they never look.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        If you read the Cameron’s and the corresponding articles you see the same cliched talking points coming from the new president. If things were really different, shouldn’t he be highlighting their successes and not simply apologizing and stirring up the typical rhetoric?

        • 0 avatar
          tier2

          Unfortunately it’s the same rhetoric from the management side as well. Sometimes the only way to fight the pitchforks and torches is to grab bayonets. This is the only thing the company has been trained to understand. I think you would be surprised to know that most membership do not follow the international blindly, in fact most think they are a bunch of corrupt political figure heads. The sad truth is they are voted on by delegation not by a popular vote, we never even get to hear anything about a president, he just gets elected. Unfortunately the whole industry is corrupted except the hourly workers and the front line supervision and those are the two groups that do all the heavy lifting.

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff Weimer

          I said it was his biggest challenge. I didn’t say he recognized it.

          • 0 avatar
            tier2

            Unfortunately as a rank and file member we don’t have a fantastic Avenue of change. We elect delegates that are supposed to represent our voice on the international stage. Once a delegate is in place nothing is there to stop him from engaging in the good old boy mentality and getting on the dole. Much like our government, we elect senators and representatives as a proxy on our behalf, but once in Washington there isn’t a great way to stop a lobby from swaying their votes. This is all a vicious cycle and as long as it exists, the true rank and file are on the wrong end. The statements that the members sold out new hires to keep theirs isn’t true either. We voted against it by a large majority, but the majority of delegates overruled the vote. We were sold the bill of goods as a concession of good faith to the company, expecting to have it returned when the industry was back on it’s feet. Well not only is it on it’s feet it’s running marathons, it’s not unreasonable to ask for it back.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @tier2
            You have representatives that represent you on the international stage.

            Don’t you work for an international company? So, why do you need international representation?

            If you don’t trust their judgment ……quit.

            Have a real look at what you do for a living. If you want international representation maybe you should become a diplomat.

            I bet you wouldn’t understand what is going on within the US let alone what goes on internationally.

            Maybe school kids need international representation as well. Even pensioners need international representation.

            So you believe that if someone in another country is more efficient than you, you need international representation to keep on being less efficient?

            That’s the only way your job will go overseas.

            So work harder and more importantly smarter.

          • 0 avatar
            tier2

            @Big Al

            Every post you make is uninformed anti union rhetoric. My issues are with our delegates and representatives on the national and international levels, not on the local front. The solution is not to “quit”, give up my livelihood because i have some issues? That makes no sense, if everyone’s problems were solved by setting fire to it and walking away, this world be smoldering ash by now. If making generalized judgemental comments about things you obviously have no clue about makes you smart, congratulations on your Internet diploma. I don’t believe anybody is more efficient than me or my union brothers and sisters. Did the right leaning libertarians tell you this? I was giving a side of the story not told often, I’m not complaining, just telling the truth. I’m in this for the long haul and going to try my darnedest to usher change. What I’m not going to do is sit behind a keyboard and make overly opinionated snide comments about things I don’t know about. Good luck with that.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @tier2
            Maybe, just maybe I don’t see any benefit in unionism for society.

            What can unions provide for our society? Very little. That’s why there is a decline in support for the UAW.

            My ideals don’t support the far right either.

            I believe in an equitable society. No one is born equal.

            Unions tend to work like many other leftist groups. That is it’s philosophy bases benchmarks on the lowest common denominator to protect them.

            Unless you earn, learn value and become accountable you shouldn’t receive.

            The union approach protects the unproductive and doesn’t provide incentive for the strong to excel.

            The unproductive doesn’t include ‘medical’ induced productivity deficiencies either. They should be taken care of.

            Sort of like school nowadays here in Australia. Kids can’t be told they fail, they are unsuccessful.

            This takes away from a competitive environment we need to teach our youngsters.

            Nothing is equal, something or someone is always better. That’s what we must latch on to.

          • 0 avatar
            tier2

            @big Al

            Maybe, just maybe you are uninformed about what union provide and whom they protect.

            Unions provide the voice of the hourly workers they represent through collective bargaining. One hourly worker going into an office of some of the biggest corporations in the world will get sent out in on his assistant in a heartbeat. Collectively our voice is heard.

            You’re right everybody isn’t equal and the union recognizes this. Skilled trades workers, engineers, laborersand so on all make a different wage. We all do not get paid the same. Again more uneducated drivel.

            What is your source that says we base benchmarks on lowest quality denominators? I know every plant I have even been in has based our benchmarks on trying to attain production levels with the best in the world. We create more business and get awarded more jobs, when we stay competitive. Please state your facts.

            Earn, learn and become accountable? UAW workers are one of the highest skilled labor forces in the world. We have adapted to the jobs. When work became automated, we learned how to run the machines, when robotics were added, we learned how to operate, train and fix them. This list could go on and on, but I’m sure you will just keep believing we only tighten screws and hit things with hammers. People have been using your mentality for 50 years and it hasn’t applied for the last 40. Again educate before making generalized lies.

            I know the auto industry in AU is in dire straights and a lot of auspices are mad. Maybe your unions are partially to blame, but I think most believe your government has mishandled that situation more than anyone else. The fact is the AU is an export market and with new technology it’s cheaper to build a factory and produce cars on location rather than ship them in from the AU. Your country couldn’t adapt and doesn’t have enough consumers to sustain the business. Most plants here in America consume 95% of our cars, you guys consume around 20%.

            saying we are uncompetitive is another falsehood. Look at the USA wages. We are not anywhere near the highest paid in the world. Look at our production, we are close to the top and we work longer hours and schedules than other countries around the world.

            I’m done answering your simple minded uneducated statements. Next time you decide to generalize and blanket the union into your own perception of I’ll informed opinion, please stop, fact check, the rethink

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            tier2, it is quite clear that you are a union shill. And I’m OK with that. We all have to have something to believe in. And if your nirvana is the union, that’s cool too!

            But rest assured that MOST of America does not feel the same way about unions as you do.

          • 0 avatar
            tier2

            @Highdessertcat

            That was the whole point of the comment is the rest of America doesn’t agree and I think if you ask any union member or management member of the big three they will agree. I am far from a shill, I will give you my honest opinion of a topic whether for or against the UAW. A shill would blindly follow their leaders. My statements above show that’s not my stance. I just find it a bit hypocritical that people think it’s great when McDonald’s workers ask for double their wage or when an individual negotiates a higher salary, but if the union does they are a bunch of lazy in grates. Meanwhile we haven’t had a raise in 10 years and have taken multiple concessions. Hell non union Toyota and Honda plants make more than the tier 1 workers now, nobody says they are greedy, if you look at their efficiency vs. UAW assembly plants almost all of our plants built and tooled around the same time dominate them in production efficency and numbers. Yes some of our plants don’t the majority of which are twice as old and are retrofitted with whatever new technology they can accommodate. All I’m saying is we have worked to repair the publics stigma and perception of us. Maybe the the public isn’t willing to listen? Maybe it’s because the UAW has cried wolf in the past? Maybe it’s because people are jealous of us? Maybe it’s a bit of all the above, just maybe? I am just trying to point out that big Al is using prejudiced opinion that isn’t based in any facts. Maybe he thinks the whole world is like Australia and their abysmal situation, but it’s not.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            tier2, I understand your plight, and frustration. Life isn’t fair. And what we each consider fair for ourselves, isn’t fair for others.

            Whether we like it or not, we, the humans inhabiting this planet, are not all exposed to the same opportunities and pitfalls.

            What you consider to be less than ideal may be more than wished for by others, like illegal aliens looking for work in America. They would gladly do your work for what you get paid.

            Point here is, there will always be people who have better circumstances than others. The ‘others’ will greatly outnumber those with better circumstances.

            I learned this a long time ago. Life just isn’t fair. But rather than wallow in self-pity, I had to suck it up and deal with it, in my own way.

            At my advanced age of 68, I think I did alright. And, most importantly, I got to keep a lot more of my own money, staying within the law, doing it my own way.

            Hell, my oldest kid is going to do it his way too, leaving his $500K+/year job at a Japanese bank in favor of doing a little ranching in New Mexico. He’s serious. Already bought the acreage and is now waiting for his contract to expire.

            The only sad part of all this is that he and his Japanese wife will be divorcing because she HAS to go back to Japan!

            But his first wife still lives in this area, so I think they will be getting together again because they had twins together eight years ago, long after they were divorced, and before he married the Japanese lady.

            Yup, life is not fair. If you and others don’t like what they’re getting paid, find other work. No one is forcing you to stay on. This is America, and I’m assuming you’re White, free and over 21.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Williams added that no one from the UAW or any labor union would not “do any business” with hotel until its management allows the workers to organize.”

    So he’s setting precedents for the rest of the labor unions now? Bit pompous, Mr. Williams?

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Similar to the old GM culture which is proving too difficult to eradicate, so is the old UAW culture.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Changing the culture of any large organization is incredibly difficult.

    Imagine trying to change the cultural ideals of Republican USA to that of Democratic USA or Liberal Hollywood to Muslim Iran.

    It would take a shift of cataclysmic proportions.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Drink used to be the curse of the working class. Now it’s fat.

    That’s progress, isn’t it?

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    The right wing echo chamber is strong in here.

    The general summation is:

    Free market capitalism! CAUSE! YOU KNOW!

    Unions are killing everything! See above.

    The UAW has an image problem…says us.

    I ‘like’ other unions, but the UAW is [Insert negative remark here] .

    Now it sounds like the new president is renewing his commitment to the labor movement as a whole. Good for him, it was a long standing issue within the UAW is that they’ve been standoffish to other organizations but it appears they’re joining the larger international labor movement with this new language. Interesting, I’ll be intrigued to read about it in the future. As stated they’re not my particular research area but I’ll be excited to read the future reports from this.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Xeranar – Jimmy Hoffa thanks you for your support.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Xeranar
      What do you left wing socialists/unionist really care about other than yourselves.

      Do you really care about your country? No?

      Do you really care about the organization you work for? No?

      Do you really care about you fellow citizen? No?

      This can be proven by the actions of unionists/socialist throughout history.

      Here some examples of the thuggery employed by you unionist/socialists.

      1. How often does a union bring public transport to it’s knees, ie, through strikes with little regard for your fellow citizens?

      2. How often have there been strikes at ports holding up trade?

      3. How often are pay cases made by the use of thuggery and standover tactics at the expense of the consumer and industry the unionist/socialist working in?

      4. How many protectionist measures are made in trade that forces fellow taxpayers (consumers) to pay for subisidies (extra taxes) and forcing the consumer to pay more for goods and services.

      5. How often do the taxpayer bail out selfish decisions made by unionist/socialists?

      6. What has the unionist/socialist movement offered Detroit to assure it’s existence in the future?

      7. The unionist/socialists historically have used stand over tactics and thuggery at the expense of country, fellow citizens, and their own jobs for their own selfishness.

      How can this be advantageous for any country to be competitive?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Xeranar
        I’m sorry I didn’t explain my position well enough. I believe in protecting the consumer, not the union.

        The reason is socialist/unionist can’t achieve their goals without monopolising their position over the consumer.

        Without the holding the consumer to ransom when trying to dictate the union’s want the union will not achieve it’s goal.

        When a union strikes or demands it can only achieve by affecting the consumer which affects goods and services, including government.

        So unions are in effect governed by very weak principles.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Big Al – You’re claiming to be from a country that avoided a systemic meltdown because unions and minimum wage are much higher there. I think this is brought up EVERY TIME you open your mouth. You get to be a minority political view in a polity that disagrees with your core ideology and be successful because of it. But that’s neither here nor there. I mean, you just aren’t allowed to cite your own society in this case.

      So, you basically created a series of obtuse strawmen by attributing these attributes to me and my position.

      Unions and unionism actually tend to be fairly nationalistic, especially against countries have unfair wage practices.

      So that’s strike one down.

      Of course we care about the organizations we work for, the whole point is for us to maintain our jobs but also get a fair share of the value for our work. The two-tier system you folks rally against was a compromise to keep the jobs here. Lean production…ETC. Going into my area of expertise I can tell you educators care far more about their organization than leadership does, for the most part the planners at college institutions are interchangeable and are jockeying for the next position while I’m there for 30+ years doing my job.

      Strike two.

      Caring about my fellow citizen seems even more obtuse, if were to completely unionize every field, provide for proper labor for all there would be no need for the right’s model of ‘free’ market capitalism. If anything unionism and socialism care more about the welfare of all citizens. If anything the right is generally considered the indifferent one, they are the ones who make moral arguments about the failings of individuals and how by being rich they rightfully ‘earned’ it regardless of how they got there (inheritance, stock manipulation). It’s actually abundantly clear if you’re willing to portray one’s moral value as higher based on personal wealth that leaves little room for protecting those with less personal wealth.

      Strike Three….You’re out. But I’ll continue.

      So now you’re arguing ‘thuggery’ which in itself is a loaded term.

      1.) On average? Assuming a strike last less than a month and an average contract is three years…..Never. Ok, statistically the relationship exists but in terms of actual shutdowns of public transit by public transit unions is actually much lower than maintenance breakdowns. Not to mention the emotional play you’re making is so patently obvious I had to call it out. It doesn’t mean they want to strike, but when push comes to shove you need to make your point.

      2.) Again you’re asking irrelevant questions, if trade is being held up it is because the businesses are unwilling to deal with the unions at the bargaining table and once again the statistics all point to the logistics system holding up trade more than any strike does. You’re not really making head way here.

      3.) OK, we share a language but your right-wing-BS talk hit a wall with me, I don’t understand what you’re trying to say, genuinely. I think you mean racketeering? I don’t even understand you’re vague statement. Come back to me with a proper explanation in English without the right-wing-BS filter on.

      4.) Our protectionist approach in the US is actually pretty slim. In most cases we only have high tariffs on items we tend to not make and generally on agricultural goods. Ex: Zimbabwe and copper, they can’t afford to make wire in their home country.

      5.) How often? Never. In fact there has never been a single case within the United States. There have been right-wing outlandish claims (i.e. Hostess) but independent economists have reviewed the cases. There has yet to have been a co-op company that received a federal or state bailout because they tend to be privately held corporations that manage their finances better.

      6.) I’m fairly sure we have talked Detroit into the ground. It’s a case of single industry development without the ability to annex the clear city landscape within the next communities over. In other words it has less to do with the unions and namely the UAW than it has to do with state laws allowing for annexation and controlling the distribution of incomes within an administrative district. There isn’t much an union can except to support a change to the laws to end the existence of Royal Oaks and such.

      7.) This is technically a repeat of your original argument with no actual historical basis. In fact there are scores of books, essays, and journal articles written to the contrary. Not that you could ever handle acknowledging that model because people tend to cling to their world view especially in the case of the right’s very narrow economic views that aren’t supported by any economists outside of their think tanks.

      So to wrap up my reply: You are building a quasi-emotional response case to protect the welfare of the powerful and elite by promoting the ideal of the ‘consumer’ which is neo-liberal economic theory at it’s worst. The problem is that you can only chase the cheapest labor so far before eventually the consumer has no where to go and has no job for which to make money at.

      Instead you should attempt a review of Keynesian economic theory because it explains basically everything you tried to explain away and points out the core principles of how without citizens to afford the goods being produced there is no economy. Relying on cheaper and cheaper labor to maintain the perception of ‘buying power’ is a short-term fix at best. We’re beginning to see that approach collapse and the current supporters of that model are scrambling to explain way their problem. Not to mention the global economy that was discussed by Smith and Ricardo never accounted for a corporate class that would shift production to slave-labor level wages to increase profits. In fact both assumed a healthy relationship within the home country and Smith wrote extensively on the general principle of a union (if not in fact name) and how the Government had a necessary need to protect workers from the capitalists because he knew they would not have the power to protect themselves.

      Your whole economic theory was installed in the 1970s to coincide with your decline in real wages and the problematic system we have since incurred as the debt to wealth ratio increased exponentially as the banking industry became the economic driver by creating a paper economy rather than one based on manufacturing or services. Unions are merely a fighting reminder of how the system should work. So you can keep claiming you’re for the ‘consumer’ when in reality you’re right there next to the Banker and the Capitalist stripping the workers and citizens of their power and rights to a good wage and a fair day’s work.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Xeranar
        My belief is anything that benefits the consumer benefits the nation.

        Militancy by unions isn’t good for a country, neither is the monopolisation of industry by large corporations.

        It seems any industry or institution that requires the ability to attempt to achieve through monopolisation is anti-competitive behaviour.

        Unions try and monopolise their position through protectionism, whether it’s trade or jobs this is anti-competitive behaviour.

        Protectionism is what causes the decline of nations as well. Just look at what the British Empire was. It expanded until it had to provide protection for it’s interests. The US is the same, during the US’s rise to power it didn’t care so much about protecting it’s interests like now with it’s global reach militarily.

        Protection costs jobs, competitiveness and empires.

        My position is all regulations must be set to protect the consumer, not any particular entity as this reduce the ability to have a progressive and competitive society.

        I do think unions are like beasts of burden, there was a place for them in history.

        As for the Australian side of industrial relations. Overall it wasn’t just the unions that gave us what we had, but our society the consumer.

        Myself as a consumer believe in public health, a liveable minimum wage, that means if you need to be tipped to survive then you aren’t earning enough or if you need two jobs just to subsist then you aren’t earning enough. This isn’t socialism.

        Australia’s current success is less to do with unions than it has to do with being in the right place at the right time with the right “stuff” to sell to the right customer/s.

        I do think unionist overplay what they have achieved. There are some classic examples of what unions can destroy as well, look at the hand the UAW played in Detroit.

        Right now is the time for unions to do what is correct for the consumer and not the rank and file. If they concentrate on the rank and file to maintain the institution of socialism poor judgement will be made.

        If the union concentrates on the consumer and protects the consumer over and above their own interests it will make for a better country.

        Unions to stay in power must change. The old ways will not work, especially in this day and age of rapid change.

        Protecting jobs shouldn’t be the aim of unions, increasing new jobs and promoting competitive behaviour is what unions should be concentrating on. This means becoming flexible and welcoming change and competition.

        Take Detroit and my beliefs regarding the chicken tax. If the chicken tax and other regulatory arrangements protecting US industry is gradually removed US industry will become more competitive and productive.

        For the size of the US automotive industry it should be exporting technology, but it imports more than it exports. This has nothing to do with income, but regulations and controls (protectionism) trying to defend.

        This effort of trying to protect could be better spent on creating and competing.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Hopefully the current regime’s duplicity with our worst enemies playing out on a daily basis will give our brainwashed youth the wake up call they need to give themselves a future. Maybe the left won’t kill tens of millions with their vile ideas this one time.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Oh you right-wing rube. Gen X is voting left, Gen Y is voting farther left. The country is changing. I hope you’re old so you won’t have to see my generation be farther left than Elizabeth Warren. :)

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        He earns way more money than you do and his future isn’t clouded by the budgetary duress of a state university.

        I want to be a rube.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          He does? Interesting, just recalling from memory most of the jobs/general lifestyles I’ve heard on here I’m guaranteed to be in the top-5 of earners. I’m also on a tenure track position at my home university that allowed me to suspend my progress while I worked for this government program. I’m not particularly worried about state budgets.

          But hey, when faced with cold hard facts if you’re retorting in a classic right-wing ideological fashion of ‘so! He makes more monies than you, nyah!’ you’ve already lost the case.

          As for JD, so did all those FDR and Kennedy voters. Nobody turns to the right as they get older, it was a fabulous saying to support Tories in the UK. The reality is what you voted like in your 20s is what you vote like for life by a wide margin. We’ll lose some voters on the left due to ideological strain but for what it’s worth the current model of the right is a dying breed.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Xeranar -in the USA that does appear to be the trend. The Republicans have had most of their voting support come from rural areas. We have seen decline in population in those areas.

            From an education perspective the more educated you are the more likely you will be of being liberal.
            That comment can be viewed as a positive for the liberal camp depending on your view of the USA education system. Many feel that it is in dire need of an overhaul and cranks out a substandard product.
            That in theory would favour Republicans.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        My parents voted for McGovern in ’72 and Carter in ’76 and now are somewhere between Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. Having a real job and starting a family may change one’s perspective.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          That’s what happened to me. I started life as a Democrat, from a union household.

          Got my first job, first as a part-time cafeteria worker and then in the military, and was aghast at finding out how much money was taken out of my paycheck to support my Democrat beliefs, to where all I actually got paid was $119 every two weeks.

          Switched to being a Republican for twenty years until my retirement from the military, and then became a Registered Independent because the Republicans were no better than the Democrats.

          Now I vote for the best qualified candidate for the job, no matter their political affiliation, because both are equally as bad.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @highdesertcat – funny you mention that. I’ve gone to a similar approach.

            I find that left liberal and right conservative groups waste all of their time fighting over ideological ground which renders them incapable of doing what is correct or the most appropriate for one’s country.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Lou_BC, I think many in MY age group have. We had John F. Kennedy as a role model when we were kids.

            I remember watching in awe, the movie PT109, and hoped that MY life would be as fantastic as that of JFK. It hasn’t been, but that’s OK too. I achieved other things important to me in my life and I got to live longer.

            What we have now in America is disarray and discord, much like it was after Carter, before Reagan got elected and changed the planet.

            But, honestly, I cannot imagine things getting any better in America any time during the remainder of my lifetime because all we have to choose from in 2016 is Hillary on the Democrat side, and a host of lightweights on the Republican side, none of them better than O*.

            At least if Hillary gets elected, America will have Bill Clinton in the wings, and most of us did pretty darn well with Bill Clinton as president — certainly better than with O* as president.

  • avatar
    JD23

    Xeranar, although it’s pointless to compare things like credentials and salary with random people on the internet, I doubt you would be anywhere near top-5 in salary of any large group if you are an Assistant Professor, or similar.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      JD23, you would be surprised at who actually reads ttac. Most of them do not comment, but read the comments as a feedback of the vox populi, no matter how painful some of those comments can be.

      Some of those readers truly are giants in, and pillars of, their neighborhood of the auto industry.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      I work for a university that has one scale for professors and since I was hired on tenure track I was hired at ‘near-top’ salary. I’m sure you’re an expert on everybody’s salary in various regions but what I make puts me near 6 figures. But that’s neither here nor there because I don’t particularly care one way or the other if I make more money than you or HDC or an UAW worker. It’s irrelevant to my argument of validity. But when people feel the need to whip out their ‘e-peens’ to argue that somehow some irrelevant level of measurement makes them right I’ll go toe-to-toe with them every time because there is nothing like being right and beating them at their own game.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        Your “near six figure” number is exactly what I would have guessed for an Assistant Professor and proves you that are a bit naive; I guarantee there are plenty of people on this forum who make at least several times that much. BTW, I’m not trying to denigrate your accomplishments, only injecting a dose of reality.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          If they do, more power to them, not one of them is capable of an intellectual discussion of economics, they’re at best able to discuss microeconomics within their limited scope of business. I picture Buickman in this case, he seems quite competent at selling cars but I’m not going to ask him to handle the unemployment issue because it’s beyond his scope of understanding. It doesn’t mean I won’t listen to him (because I’m polite) but as HDC describes below a world view I disagree because the evidence out there points against it.

          Especially the Asian remarks, only a portion of Asians are highly successful and its due more to social perception than any definitive advantage. I’ve spent years reviewing the data and the system I advocate keeps private industry but makes the system more viable for the poor and underprivileged, you can agree with me or not, this isn’t much more than a few words on the internet amongst a few participants. But I was hired and have been able to travel based on those writings so it seems somebody cares to agree with my views. Not to mention it would seem my generation in general thinks the world can be more fair which is a welcome change from the protestant work ethic mythos that the rich use to sell to the rest of us.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Are there Asian-Americans on welfare and handouts?

            Please enlighten the rest of us.

            It is MY understanding from my Japanese daughter-in-law and French-Vietnamese-Chinese-American daughter in law that Asian take care of their own.

            And the Tong takes care of the rest of them.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Xeranar
            You are what I view an elitist socialist.

            What is your discipline?

            Your comment on Asia is so far incorrect I can’t believe you actually claim to have studied anything to do with Asia.

            I sure hope you don’t furnish advice to any major corporation or government body regarding Asian issues.

            I can see why the US is having more difficulty in making those FTAs in our region if your views are an indicator of the US’es paradigms in managing Asia.

            Your Asian view fails to recognise the period of time in which the Asian’s particularly the East and South East Asians have had to develop and alter their culture to adapt western ideals.

            The Japanese which are the oldest industrialised Asian economy started out from a structured form of subsistence only 160 years ago. That is much less then us in Australia.

            What about Malaysia? Singapore? Korea? Taiwan? These countries have only started to industrialise since WWII.

            They have achieved wonders in societal and cultural changes. What has made these countries better? Consumerism.

            Maybe you should leave your ivory tower.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Big Al – HDC and I were both referring to Asian Americans. Keep up with the discussion. I’m an American Political Development Political Scientist with a specialization in race and unions. I’m more broadly focused on APD in economics but I tend to focus on Unions for individual study cases.

            If it makes you feel better I’ve been approached a few times to act as an investigator on behalf of union claims and present some of my research on behalf of unions before arbitration boards. I’ve offered some of my research and analysis thus far. I’m hesitant to go into an arbitration office unless I am being asked to provide a critical analysis of the situation and not provide expert testimony on the economic actions that may or may not take place.

            HDC cited his anecdotal relations.

            I’ll give it straight from the US Census –

            934,000 food stamp recipients.

            16.1 Million Asians living in the US.

            Which amounts to 6% or roughly the same percentage of whites on food stamps. African Americans are roughly 18% (and largely a hold over from our Jim Crow and racist era and simmering racial undertones remaining). 10% for Hispanics which can again be attributed to racial undertones creating a hostile environment.

            So right there, I found you nearly a million Asian-Americans on a form of ‘welfare’ with how many more on forms of affordable housing or TANF (actual welfare). Model minority arguments have little basis in fact. Especially considering the fact that the largest portion of Asian-Americans are post-modern immigrants who were afforded protections by our changed laws and social perceptions.

            http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html

            https://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0572.pdf

            http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/07/12/the-politics-and-demographics-of-food-stamp-recipients/

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Xeranar
            I’ve also read that the average wage by Asians’ in the US is actually higher than the ‘white’ population.

            As for the Latino population in the US. I do think their ‘standard of living’ will rise.

            We have a similar situation in Australia with our immigration policy.

            Not so long ago, up until 1966 Australia had a terrible policy. The apartheid of Sth Africa actually based itself on what Australia designed as an immigration plan.

            It was called the ‘White Australian Policy’. But in fact in the early 50s as a result of WWII and refugee’s Australia disregarded the policy even though it was still enacted and allowed many immigrants into the country.

            Many ‘Mediterraneans’ were marginalised from the greater ‘white’ population at the time. But integration in Australia has been successful.

            We don’t seem to have the same racial issue’s that are prevalent in the EU and US, even though our immigration numbers are significantly higher than most any other OECD economy, per capita.

            Immigration is what made Australia what it is today. It also made the US, Canada and NZ.

            It’s sad to see in the US how people blame the ‘Mexican’s’ for the woes in employment in the US.

            When in fact it is socialist industrial policies that’s causing the damage and not the Mexicans.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Xer, thanks for the info and the links. My Asian relations were truly, and I mean truly, amazed at the 6% you cited. That is so against Asian values that they refused to believe it until I told of them of your credentials.

            Any idea where these Asians on welfare are located? Because your links only deal in generalities, not specific areas of cities of America.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Xer, I’ve said before that I respect your point of view. I just don’t share it. Life was never fair, not in the past, not now, nor will it be in the future.

        People who apply themselves usually get ahead.

        And people who apply themselves and still don’t get ahead, have the deck stacked against them. In America that usually means being Negro or Hispanic. The government currently provides to Native Americans a hefty sum of money each year for reparations done to their ancestors. Asians do not have any problems getting ahead in America. Why is that?

        So there will always be winners and there will always be losers.

        There will always be people with money, and there will always be people yearning to have more money.

        MOST people on the planet understand this. Activists like you can preach and regurgitate all they want, but it will never change things.

        People who don’t understand this are Democrats who want the state to provide for them what they cannot achieve themselves.

        Don’t hold us non-believers in contempt, please! We just don’t see the world the way you see it. MOST Americans see a world full of opportunity. And so do many others, because they keep coming here (and staying) with or without a H1B visa, legally and illegally.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @highdesertcat – I agree that there is a broad readership on this site. I find that the level of discussion on this site is incredibly high. That is one thing I definitely enjoy whether or not I agree with one’s view points. Over time one does get to learn the various bloggers personalities, socioeconomic and/or geopolitical inclinations.
    I love it.
    Adds to the quality of debate.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Lou_BC
      Sorry if I offended you;)

      You are correct. It takes many types to make the world what it is.

      Imagine if everyone was like us.

      Sort of like living in an ants nest……….socialism.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Lou_BC, I love it too, but I’m weaning myself to keep from escaping to ttac for a robust read whenever I have some free time.

      At one time, ttac, Automotive News, Auto Digest, Autoweek, The Detroit Free Press, WSJ Auto and others were required reads for me to keep up to speed of what was hot, and what was not, in autoland. Most importantly, for anyone directly associated with sales and advertising in autoland, was the feedback that the comments provided. Understanding one’s customer usually leads to better sales numbers, higher transaction prices and juicier profits; the underlying reason for being in business in the first place.

      Now that my kid brothers have retired from the autobiz, I still find reads like ttac a hard habit to break. But I am doing my best to seek a new direction in life, one that has little to do with cars, trucks, other than driving them.

      General MacArthur’s speech to Congress where he proclaimed that old soldiers “fade away” could equally apply to old car dealers and auto execs. Many of them just fade away. I hope to do the same.

  • avatar
    JD23

    Xeranar – You attribute the level of Hispanic food stamp recipients to “racial undertones creating a hostile environment.”

    However, you also state that Asians have high-income and low welfare participation rates because “the largest portion of Asian-Americans are post-modern immigrants who were afforded protections by our changed laws and social perceptions.”

    Aren’t most Hispanics also post-modern immigrants? Are whites only racist against minority groups other than Asians? Have you ever looked at educational attainment when trying to explain the divergent economic successes of different immigrant groups?

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Hispanics are not post-modern immigrants, in fact quite the contrary. Most of our latino population arrived between 1850-1950. The current debate about undocumented aliens enters into a complex relationship because the latino population that represent nearly triple the amount of total Asians. They also represent a class of people that have had hard racial laws in place against them and racial undertones in the states they predominantly enter.

      By comparison the Chinese population that arrived in the US faced hardships and in the predominant states they have high populations in the racial tensions are much more intense but by and large the majority of Asian immigration occurred after 1950. It is a much more complex racial argument to deal in because you’re looking at a class of people who tended to come over here with greater wealth and a strong community from which they could build from. By keeping ties to the home countries they were able to develop a better situation than the poor migrant laborers that the Latino population faced and the abject poverty of slavery and Jim Crow by African-Americans.

      If you want to get down to it, whites are racist against everybody who isn’t white. I’m not saying that as an absolute because I’m a white male and obviously I try to not be racist. But when we’re talking about whites as a social class distinction the fear of the other becomes greater. Asians have historically been unable to gain the population traction of the Latino and black communities and thus aren’t as widespread which limits some of the cultural-level racism. Visit any city where an Asian population encroaches on 20-30% of the total population and you’ll here virulent remarks about them and racial-economic pressures put on them.

      The argument then becomes one of ‘model minority’ but the laws surrounding Asians were fewer outside of the western states and with a much smaller percentage of the population they’re not viewed as a threat to white supremacy. In general they’ve been attributed a racial role of ‘sidekick’ which then feeds into the issues of how Asian-Americans are able to get into white America’s corporate structure and enter far more places due to the racial support they generally receive.

      It’s a game of perception. If I showed you 4 poor people of the various ethnicities/races and dressed them all similarly the statistical American would reward the Asian and White first. The Black and Hispanic would be treated worse and as to their position of 3rd or 4th would depend on what section of the country. It doesn’t mean everybody does it but our social perceptions are what drive some of these ideological myths.

      As for looking at educational attainment, you’re stepping into an Arena you don’t want to. I’m going to suggest you stop now. The complex theory of education and success are not a linear progression. In fact the studious Asian in college is a mythos that we prefer to sell because our top universities have large numbers of Asian nationals who attend which give the perception that they’re racial ‘superior’ when what we’re seeing is the cream of the crop entering our universities. If I took the top-10% of all racial groups in the US and sent them to college they would receive similar grades and commendations. There isn’t a racial difference.

      The greatest difference comes in the form of parental involvement and general poverty levels. African-Americans and Latinos because of their backgrounds and racism that prohibits them from advancing have created a cycle where the poorest citizens are not given the schooling or parental involvement necessary to succeed. We see the same patterns with Asians and Whites when the category of poverty is added to research. The difference is Asians and Whites escape poverty a little more often mainly due to their racial advantage. They aren’t particularly better people as a social group, they’re just given the benefit of the doubt in society that nudges them from a nobody to a somebody.

      I understand you may disagree but the research is out there. Some of the research I’ve seen I can repost, some I cannot, but if you want to go look through the NEA, the DoEd, and a good number of educational research projects the numbers largely come out the same. Of course the arguments then turn into how to resolve this by not actually helping the poor, but that’s a different argument for a different day.

      Total Side Note: I don’t hate HDC, he may get me annoyed but I have no animosity for anybody here. Even Big trucks. I get passionate, but I try not to get into a personal conflict with people. I’ll go run at LeMons with you any day of the week, HDC. :)

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Lord, what a bucket of vomit.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Xeranar
        That’s an interesting and well written piece you put forward and holds many truths.

        Believe it or not I’m not a liberal, even though on one site I’m considered a socialist, which I find amusing. I do believe that some ideas from the left have been beneficial for Australia, but these bills generally can only make it through government with the support of the right. And the same works the other way round.

        I think the US is very similar to the French in the respect of an elitist society. This is something that isn’t as noticeable in Australia.

        This is where minute differences in culture between very similar countries is pronounced. Our cultural upbringing is a ‘fair go’ and what we call ‘having a go’. This means if you don’t attempt to achieve (work, sport, life) irrespective of colour or creed you will be marginalised.

        This is a good value as it provides positive peer pressure for all to become accepting of other’s based on a personal value and not colour or nationality.

        Even when travelling in the US I do see the difference in behavior on how I’m treated when interacting. Once it’s realised I’m Australian (which is half true) I can see the tolerance increase in the people I’m dealing with. They are more open and accommodating.

        I think maybe the US’s problem of dealing with ‘something’ different is harder for many in the US to accept, similar to the French. I can see this with the debate regarding pickups and debating the ‘rednecks’ that appear to come from the Blue Ridge mountains of Kentucky (and the socialist UAW).

        I visit Europe and the French are similar, amazingly similar. I dress with my baseball cap (LA), tee shirt (Philly Eagles), sneakers and shorts and I’m instantly identified as an American.

        In one pizza shop in Paris the venom directed at me was quite severe to the point where I told them I’m Australian and they apologised for their behaviour. But I got a fantastic pizza!

        But I do think socialism isn’t the answer to resolving these issues that you put forward. Politcal correctness isn’t going to resolve this issue either.

        I find the more left leaning people are more arrogant than a person who works hard and makes it in life. The hard workers tend to value a person more on attitude and outlook and not colour.

        Your view on Asians in society might be true for the mainly Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. But it doesn’t take into account the more disadvantaged Asians like we have in the NT, ie, Filopino’s, Malay, Indo’s, etc.

        Darwin would probably be the most diverse ‘Asian’ city in an Anglo country by far and there is are no integration issue with them in the Darwin society.

        Darwin is also the most diverse city in Australia regarding ethnicity. Come over and look at Darwin and see what the US could be. Best food, people and atmosphere.

        You should have a close look at the Australia’s racial issue throughout history. Australia started very poorly, but in we are becoming better.

        And we didn’t need socialism to achieve this. We still can do much better at managing racial issues.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        “As for looking at educational attainment, you’re stepping into an Arena you don’t want to. I’m going to suggest you stop now. The complex theory of education and success are not a linear progression.”

        You misunderstood my point regarding educational attainment; I was not suggesting an inherent superiority of one race, only that the segment of Asians that immigrate to the US are disproportionately well-educated. We actually agree on this point.

        “If you want to get down to it, whites are racist against everybody who isn’t white. ”

        Does this apply only to whites, or to all racial groups? If only to whites, I would be interested to hear your explanation as to why that is the case.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          Ah, well then, sorry for the confusion, JD23. :)

          As for are only whites racist? Of course not. Everybody can be racist. Some people of every ethnicity/race are racist. The bigger question we ask when we look at race is how does it impact a society. I could write volumes on black American racism within their own social order (normally the lighter skinned you are the more general esteem you get) and outward facing racism upon other groups (anti-semitism is more common and a general distrust of whites). The big issue is that if a Black American is racist towards whites unless they own a business they’re unlikely to be able to exert institutional power.

          It doesn’t justify their actions as being a racist is pretty terrible but it means they’re a small fish in an even smaller pond. We have to look to those who write the codes and laws that dictate institutional racial preference which is why in a short and easily taken out of context remark ‘white racism is the only racism that matters.’ It doesn’t mean that non-white racism doesn’t matter but it doesn’t have institutional authority to enact those feelings onto the populous.

          A prime example is the SATs and how their written questions were primed towards white suburban students. They’ve fixed it in recent years but the questions were routinely written in a way that were hard to understand if you grew up in an inner-city urban environment.

          The same can be reflected in our corporate boardrooms where Latinos make up 16% and Blacks make up 14-15% while Asians around 4-5% of the total population but combined they make up less than 20% of American boardrooms. In America’s corporate boardrooms only Asians are represented or rather over-represented while black and Latinos are barely represented at all. Now obviously the sample size is smaller but even expanding it to top-level management and mid-level management the same dynamics play out. Whites make up 80%+ in every department and Blacks and to a certain extent Latinos are only represented in PR and public-facing departments.

          I don’t necessarily have the answers that will work for everybody on how to resolve this problem but I think it starts at breaking down the stigma attached to race and providing better ways up and out for our poor.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Xer, I’m too old for a run at LeMons now and I have a bum knee on the clutch side, and at my age, my reaction time is down. I’d have to use a go-kart, low to the ground, so I don’t hurt myself when experiencing a dizzy spell, in case I fall off.

        I never thought there was any hate aimed at me, just another person’s opinion rooted in facts and experiences different from mine.

        The difference is, I am willing to be corrected where many others, so dead set and mired in their own research are unwilling to consider another viewpoint different from their own.

        To me what counts is that whichever philosophy I choose to adhere to, works for me. And I say, I did OK so far.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @HDC
          Here you go, ‘have a go you mug’. That’s an Aussie expression that you just aren’t prepared to try.

          Remember the positive peer pressure HDC!

          Put your hand to what’s in the link, it seems appropriate.

          http://www.oldfartsracingteam.us/

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          I would totally go go-karting. As for considering all viewpoints, I still do, but it doesn’t mean I agree with them. I’m always torn between Keynesian economics and Socialism, they have a great deal in common but they differ on key issues. I don’t agree with the free market/neo-liberal capitalism view because it hasn’t worked within my framework of consideration. It doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to like it, it’s a democracy after all (even if we live in a representative republic…)

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @Xeranar is correct in relation to racism. It is a hardwired primitive survival mechanism to distrust any anyone that does not resemble others of our own tribe. The ability to quickly identify a foe kept our “caveman” ancestors alive.
    We can overcome it but for the most part takes conscious effort. Project Implicit is an interesting site to log into to learn about oneself.
    https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/

    A good read is a Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt. It does a good job of explaining morality and politics in relation to our “caveman” reflexes.

    We are all guilty of seeing a point a view from our own tribal inclinations.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Lou_BC
      So true.

      In Australia it seems politics doesn’t use the ‘racism’ as a tool for elections. The political parties would look at the demographics, but is doesn’t seem to be used as a political platform like in the US.

      It’s a pity the US’s political parties will go so low to use race as an election tool.

      Imagine if the US didn’t use racism as a political tool. Maybe Xenarar could have a real job, be an anthropologist and do some real science.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        +1 BAFO

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        I would probably just be a normal historian then. Anthropology literally bores the pants right off me. I took a class in it for undergraduate and every time I tried to read the books my pants just fell off. (Ok, I keed! :P)

        I don’t regret my choice, Political Science is a good field to be in, it’s not well respected because half of the field works in electioneering and sell their services to the parties for getting an edge in what ‘sells.’ I mean you spoke of demographics which has more to do with that than with what I do. I’m technically a blended view between history and Political Science, reviewing where our historical politics have come from and where they’re going. It’s almost law, I tend to review more legal cases than anything else. But if Nixon’s Southern Strategy had failed we wouldn’t be in this predicament or we had finished reconstruction proper by confiscating all property above a certain value and redistributing it to black and white families to dismantle the social elites in the South.

        Course those are all pie-eyed hopes and dreams that never came true. To be fair I would give it all up if it meant racism ended right now. I don’t do it because I’m a rabble-rouser, I do it because somebody has to. :)

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Agree with that last sentence, Lou. As for racism, duh. (It’s always someone else though, isn’t it? Not you. Not someone on the left, or in your sub-tribe).

      Regardless, it is no explanation for lack of achievement. Not today. Not in the US. It plays a role, because people are people, but it is primarily an excuse and rationalization, aided and abetted by the Academy.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @thelaine – Where did I mention lack of achievement? As far as using those primal instincts as an excuse, we can overcome them if we chose. That means we need to identify them and learn how they affect our behavior. Most do not know of their existence.
    People like yourself believe that emotions and instincts are not the primary determinants of how we behave. The metaphor of a rider on an elephant is a good one. We like to believe that we the rider are in control but evidence tends to indicate the opposite.
    That is why we see huge rifts between the left and the right. One can easily rationalize why a conservative or liberal approach is better. There are pros and cons to both sides. Ultimately the side we chose tends to be emotional and is often related to where we started out in life.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      The family and neighborhood culture in which we are raised, how we are raised by our immediate family, and our experiences, particularly love and trauma, have the greatest impact on our behavior. Regardless, the rest is up to us, and liberal policies can only hinder, as welfare policies have tragically done.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @thelaine
        As human’s we’ve always (most of us) have displayed empathy, which is in turn ‘welfare’ for others. This isn’t some left wing ideal.

        I personally believe in public health, ‘free’ education up to the tertiary level. But, I don’t believe in artificially supporting programs that have little effect and aren’t a positive for society.

        The problems confronting many OECD economies (as opposed to the US) isn’t welfare programs for individuals. It is the extent and reliance that people have become accustomed to regarding these poorly developed programs.

        A bigger concern to me are is industrial welfare that OECD businesses have become totally reliant on. TTAC which is about the automotive industry I concentrate on automotive ‘welfare’.

        With full employment you will not require much social welfare. But as governments require more money to subsidise industry that takes money out of the consumers’ pockets, which in turn leaves them with less to spend on consumption, which increases unemployment.

        This means a higher than necessary umemployment. More mouths to feed via taxation on top of industrial welfare.

        It’s a downward spiral.

        The other side of the coin is we just can’t expect to stop feeding people and expect them to gain employment when there is insufficient employment.

        So, my view is stop subsidising and protecting all industry first. That is the biggest problem. The problem isn’t the unemployed, they are the result of poor industrial/employment policy driven by large corporations trying to protect themselves and unionists/socialist trying to protect themselves.

        So, in the end you have the consumer paying for all of the poor decisions.

        The left blames the right and the right blames the left. The right infers to the corporations, etc.

        Both sides lobby to government and you end up where we are now.

        Look at the chicken tax. It was initially put forward to President Johnson in the early 60s by the UAW. The Detroit manufacturers supported it because they saw dollars in it due to less competition for their pickup/vans. So the 25% tariff on pickups was attached to the Chicken Tax bill and passed through Congress.

        You end up with the situation now where the Detroit 2.5 are reliant on this tax as pickups are the breadwinners for them.

        Both sides were guilty of this.

        But who protected the consumer during this process? No one.

        I think if government policy was made to suit the “90%” you wouldn’t see those EVs, CNGs, hybrids, as you do now. Why? Because government would have promoted what the consumer needs to save.

        That would have been LNG to as many homes and industries as possible.

        This would have removed more CO2 and pollutants than those waste of tax dollar greenpeace feel good vehicles.

        Another significant point is; How much does it cost for civil servants to process every dollar they hand out for subsidies. All of the vetting and processing to see who is entitled etc.

        There is much saving to be made across the board in removing subsidies and protectionism.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          I disagree with nothing you say about corporate welfare BigAl. Never have. Nor would anyone I have ever spoken to agree to allow people to starve. If feeding people who would otherwise not eat is what “welfare” consisted of, there would be no controversy. There is also no substantial support for an end to publicly subsidized education. Advocates for that are on the fringe.

          However, many people recognize there is much public welfare that is destructive, as it has annihilated the traditional family, culture and human dignity. Also, a massive percentage of the money goes to government workers who administer the programs, and to people who do not need it and to outright fraud. Much more so, by orders of magnitude, than to “feed people.”

          We are not arguing principles here, I don’t believe. Perhaps your welfare system works. Our “Great Society” programs and their progeny have been catastrophic to the people they were allegedly supposed to help. (Are you familiar with Lyndon Johnson’s infamous quote on Air Force One about who would be voting Democratic for the next 200 years? Maybe not so altruistic).

          There is no reason to do one thing “first.” Recovery depends on both, along with tax and regulatory reform, and the reduction in the size and scope of the federal government.

          If I believed that welfare programs helped the poor Al, I would favor them. That is why I favor publicly subsidized education.

          I also agree with your conclusion. What we need is a growing economy with opportunity for those who are willing to learn and work. We do not have anything like that now and as HDC says, both parties are responsible. I am not a partisan for either one, but I know, as you do, that socialism is a disaster and the answer to the corruption of the Republicans is not the economic ignorance of the left. Venezuela anyone?

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Then why does it change Lou?

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @thelaine – “Then why does it change Lou?”

    Why does what change?

    The tribe we are in “The family and neighborhood culture in which we are raised, how we are raised by our immediate family, and our experiences, particularly love and trauma” does affect behavior.”
    Our emotional responses to stimuli can be tempered but not altered.
    We have influence on what we do but not nearly as much as you’d be willing to concede.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Ultimately the side we chose

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @thelaine – and “the side we chose” tends to be dictated by emotions and paradigm.
        There are many that argue that we don’t have much choice.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          Loubc – And yet, over time, with experience, many people change their outlook. People who are immune from change despite the experiences of life are often either emotionally crippled or live in a cloistered bubble, such as academia.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Loubc, forgive me if I have completely misunderstood your argument. If so, have mercy. My response is that you have no choice but to teach your children just the opposite. They will face choices throughout their lives and they will be responsible for the decisions that they make. Life will never be fair but they will be measured by their responses to the challenges they face. Tragedy can strike anyone and nothing is guaranteed, but in a free and prosperous nation, you can choose your own path. You may not be able to guarantee the success you seek, but you can certainly guarantee failure.

      That is why I so much regret what is happening to the “free and prosperous” nation I once knew. Much has improved on a social level, but much has been lost economically. The two need not have been linked. The decline is agonizing to behold, and almost entirely self-inflicted.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @thelaine – I do fully agree with your last statement.

        I do try to educate my children about the fact that life isn’t fair. Every parent has heard their kids stomp up and down and utter that remark. One does have the choice to give up or to soldier on.

        I also try to explain to them that the feel good ideology of “it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you fell good about yourself” rarely ever puts food on the table.

        I do fear for my children’s future and I will do everything possible to give them the tools to be happy and prosperous.

        It will be ultimately up to them to decide what happiness and prosperity is to them.

        In line with my comments about how we are hardwired to react, one would expect that my two sons would act and behave the same way to stimuli since upbringing are similar but both are completely different in how they act.

        My youngest has the incredible ability to overcome “nerves” and sing in front of hundreds or thousands of people whereas my other son struggles in a small group of new people.
        My youngest also has an incredible memory and ability to learn new things but he gets frustrated if he has to push harder to learn. My oldest doesn’t have that memory but has a better ability to stubbornly persevere. My oldest has quite the ability to see and think three dimensionally but is very “black and white”. My youngest is very artistic and can see the nebulous.

        If one does not take those factors into account one would not be a good parent.
        One needs to understand what makes people do what they do. It helps walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. I work on that aspect because it makes me better at my job and better with my kids. (That is my hope)


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