Power Deregulation - any feedback about third party suppliers?

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harry wrote:

Well, yeah, but at least these kids have something they didn't have before: They have CAPITAL!
Some - possibly most - will splurge with their new-found wealth by buying ice-cream cones. Others will save and invest their proceeds, possibly by starting a shoe-shine stand or a pee-wee loan-sharking operation.
Their future is immeasurably brighter, simply because the western world allowed them to make the "things" we want.
It's for the children.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Hell yes, they're benefiting. First, there's the relative benefit. I suggest that paying $299 for something that would otherwise cost $495 is a benefit. Second, consider what would happen if your kid had to do without the latest-style sneaker because the $295/pair model was not available:
He (or she) would become a social outcasts, derided and scorned by contemporaries. This would inevitably lead to severe lack of esteem and end up with the child committing suicide or, possibly worse, becoming a reclusive computer geek.
Third, in a desperate, last-ditch, effort to conform, your child may have to resort to robbery or theft to obtain those necessary shoes. If this happens, some innocent person suffers and your child goes to jail.
No, everybody benefits from cheap sneakers.
It's for the children.
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wrote:

BS. My kids don't buy "high" brand name clothing as a matter of principal. Never have. One is more diligent about it than the other. Neither are outcasts or low in self esteem (hey, they are MY kids, after all) nor are they reclusive.
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harry wrote:

Long before Hollywood, a learned sage said: "Were it not for greed, no man would build a home, marry, father children, or engage in commerce."
The religious person would say: "Greed is a normal human emotion, given to us by God. God does not make junk."
Lastly, consider Jonas Salk peering through his microscope through the long, dark night. Many of the motives driving him on were altruistic - saving children from the ravages of Infantile Paralysis. Yet some of his motivations probably came from those attributes that unthinking people class as evil: ENVY of his contemporary, Louis Sabin, getting all the publicity, PRIDE in that people will pat him on the back if he can lick this problem, and more.
One of these "evil inclinations" was probably GREED. He perhaps said to himself "If I can solve this, I'll make enough money to do the kind of research I want to do without having to suck up to the grant dispensers and bureaucrats!"
So, for many reasons - some classed as "good" and some erroneously classed as "bad" (greed among them) - Polio has been eradicated in my lifetime and yours.
Point is, it is not the emotion itself that is to be suppressed, it is the (sometimes) bad action that can stem from it.
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harry wrote:

We're not talking about MY kids. My kids are living the American dream: one's a teacher and the other is on unemployment.
We're talking about kids in third-world countries. Kids that have never SEEN a teacher and, if they're lucky, they'll grow up - unemployed but grown.
And, had it not been for the Americans, the kids you saw probably would not see adulthood.
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harry wrote:

There is some traction to your observation that US companies locate in places where they can avoid regulations and have lower employee costs.
There is also a significant incentive to locate offshore to avoid taxes. The US has the 2nd largest (soon to become THE largest) corporate tax rate in the world - something in the neighborhood of 35%. If the US reduced its corporate tax rate to zero, we could make a big dent in unemployment as companies moved production facilities back home.
Things have changed, however. Republicans got elected. Whether this will result in bloodshed is solely up to the unions.
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Oh Jeez, now you're rewriting union history? I'm not particularly fond of unions, but I am fond of the truth.
Just like the partisan donkey crap that either the D's or the R's are solely responsible for all our ills, perhaps you've heard the expression "it takes two to tango." The history of the labor movement is riddled with murders of union workers, scabs, innocent bystanders, Pinkertons, hired thugs, business owners and more.
Union organizers faced businessmen determined to keep unions out of their businesses at all costs. No one who is writing in AHR today really knows what work was like in the early industrial age. They have no idea how many people died so they could have their paid vacations, health bennies, lunch hours, work breaks, fair wages, pensions, workmen's comp and more. They just take for granted those conditions were always there. They were not.
A lot of people on every side of the issue died, at it wasn't all "solely up to the unions." I'm sure you've enjoyed many of the benefits that were brought about by the unions you're now (wrongly) implying are the sole cause of labor violence. History says otherwise.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_union_busting_in_the_United_States
-- Bobby G.
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Robert Green wrote:

You make some good point, but that's almost all history. Worker's rights, working conditions, hours, pay, safety rules, and the like have all been settled. There are huge government agencies that enforce all these regulations.
One thing that remains of the union legacy is thuggery.
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Those rights, like any other, need constant vigilance because they're under constant attack. Every year since I started working my health benefits became less and less valuable. My defined pension plan got converted to a 401K, I lost a week of vacation time and my disability/health/misc. insurance covers less and costs more each year. When people get laid off, others weren't hired to replace them; their work was split up among the remaining group members, essentially a cut in pay. There probably isn't a salaried employee here who hasn't gotten the feeling that they're working more and getting less for it every year. There's no guarantee that the benefits unions have won for *everyone* won't start getting peeled away one by one. The evidence suggests quite clearly that's exactly what's happening.
Employers have found thousands of loopholes in Federal work regulations. The recent bus crash that killed 15 in NY led one transportation worker to call the driver's logbook "the fairytale book" because employees are told exactly what they need to write to keep the Feds happy and it has nothing to do with reality. Employers hire rafts of temps to skillfully avoid paying benefits. They hire independent contractors (that are in many cases really full time employees, the IRS contends) as a further attempt to avoid paying benefits and into FUTA, FICA, etc.
If business indeed runs in large, 100 year cycles as some suggest, it's time for the wheel of fortune to turn and for us to see a resurgence in the idea of unions. The Wisconsin walkout gave the issue enough time to gain legs of its own. Rather than co-opting the process, the Democrats were using the rules, just like Rep. Shelby of Alabama does with his holds on nominees, to focus attention on a deal that was supposed to go down so quickly that no one would notice. But they did. And now the heat is on.

Was anyone murdered in Wisconsin? It's easy to preach union violence, but if you look worldwide, it's once again businesses that are hiring thugs to union bust. It's not the simplistic argument you're turning it into.
"Canada's National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) noted in a recent statement that on average, a trade union leader is assassinated every three days in Colombia, accounting for the vast majority of all trade unionists killed worldwide. More than 80 percent of the casualties are civilians, NUPGE said, with the extreme right-wing paramilitaries responsible for 85 percent of the deaths and the army for another 10 percent."
http://peoplesworld.org/rural-union-leader-under-threat-in-colombia /
The Wisconsin protest struck me as a mostly peaceful demonstration that succeeded in focusing the nation's attention on the Republican's belief that winning the midterms in the lower house was a mandate to bust unions, dismantle Federal agencies and punish Democrats and their constituents nationwide. We both know it was the very same stars that were in alignment to get Clinton a second term.
Now, by seeming to "take control" the Republicans get to share in the blame if anything goes really south before 2012. The funny thing is that when watching the Sunday talk shows, it's clear that Republican commentators also see this same "we have a mandate" folly playing out as it did with Clinton. I see the right as nearly being forced into running two candidates: Right and Super Far Right. Shades of Ross Perot. (-: The Tea Party will split the Republican vote and Obama will cruise to a second term like Clinton did.
Republicans should remember that they really only have control over the lower house of one branch of government and an occasional majority on the Supreme Court. That's not carte blanche to strangle the Federal government. I am betting once they do shrink the government, it will deflate the overall recovery by throwing an estimated 700,000 people out of work. There's extremely clear evidence the longer you're out of work, the less likely you are to find a job - ever. Like the demise of GM, that's something that's NOT good for us in the long run. But there seems to be absolutely no business that shows an interest in long term planning of any kind. It's just "what's our current stock price and how can we boost it?"
-- Bobby G.
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On Thu, 17 Mar 2011 02:26:01 -0400, "Robert Green"

You make a few good points BUT - most of this is NOT LABOUR RELATED so much as political in nature. As long as you have two diametrically opposed and inflexible political parties involved in every aspect of American life, you will have conflict in every aspect of American life.
Can't put it much simpler than that. Anything either labour or management says or does is seen through the political lens and will offend (deeeply) one "party" or the other.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Yep. But that's the nature of our legal and political system - it's adversarial in nature. While raucous at times, it's far superior to one-party or multi-party rule. Those who urge "bipartisanship" simply do not understand the job at hand.
It's simpler, too.
G. Northcott Parkinson observed that a two party system is more straightforward. When a member of your party takes the floor, you shout "Hear! Hear!"; when an opposition party member begins to speak, you cry: "Shame! Shame!". What could be easier?
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<stuff snipped>

Gack! Bipartisanship can also read "compromise and cooperation." Just because it has become politically popular to play "my way or the highway" doesn't it mean that it's always been that way or should be be that way. Both sides usually have good points but there's never enough money or will to implement them all. So compromises must be reached based on what either sides values the most and is willing to give up something for.
Party line voting just ends up in gridlock but both parties have made it clear they will punish those who seek to cross over to vote their conscience, not their party. It's why we're in the middle of revenge politics right now. The side that gets into power quickly seeks to undo the work of their enemies and vice versa. Based on the polls I've seen, Gov. Walker wasn't given a "mandate" to go union-busting and his actions could result in his recall.
-- Bobby G.
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On Thu, 17 Mar 2011 17:28:23 -0400, "Robert Green"

Compromise in principle, not on principles.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

Actually, he was.
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bipartisan nature. For example, all of the changes to the banking laws that people point to as harbingers of the financial crisis were passed with huge bipartisan majorities. Heck the Glass-Steagal repeal passed the Senate on a voice vote.
--
"Even I realized that money was to politicians what the ecalyptus tree is to
koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
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Hear, Hear! ;-)
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The worst thing to come out of the research for this statement is respect for Barney Frank. Whilst Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and others currently flapping their gums were voting for most of these bills, Barney voted against them consistently and every chance he got. Damn him. (g).
--
"Even I realized that money was to politicians what the ecalyptus tree is to
koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
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On Mar 17, 2:24pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

If you believe we have two diametrically opposed and inflexible political parties running this country you must believe the rivalries in the World Wrestling Federation or whatever they call themselves now are real. Most arguments between different political parties are meant for one thing....to polarize the public so they can wrangle votes. Most do it by delivering the same message in one form or another, "See those people over there....well your life sux and its their fault."
Jimmie
Jimmie
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<stuff snipped>

Well, at least I got credit for a few points. That's better than I am doing in other threads! (-:
How does Canada avoid what seems to be the inevitable total polarization of a two party system? I believe the two party system works better than some governments I've seen with a whole menagerie of different parties and governments that seem to dissolve every other month. As you might have seen, adding a third party (Tea) to the mix here in the US hasn't seemed to calm the waters at all.
Conflict doesn't HAVE to be the only output of a two party system. Once upon a time, we were able forge compromises and maintain some forward motion.
-- Bobby G.
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My theory (seriously) is that the demise of the patronage system at the local level. At the time you had people active in the party for their own enlightened self interest (a job). They tended to be less ideological and more pragmatic since their very jobs depended on the party staying in power. They also provided workers, etc. They also worked at a leavening influence by disipating much of the power of the ideologues. Now, the more fanatical people have a much more important influence, especially at the party nominating level, and thus at all levels.
--
"Even I realized that money was to politicians what the ecalyptus tree is to
koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

It goes a bit beyond profit. A strong local party has a vested interest in promoting the best candidates - or at least discouraging marginal ones. A poor candidate (i.e., caught with an under-age girl or any boy) will drag down the rest of the ticket.
People engage in politics for one of three reasons: Pride, Power, or Profit.
Most of the Tea Party types and all of the progressives are in the game out of pride and concern for society.
Profit is not all bad: There are people who print bumper stickers and yard signs, produce TV spots, rent office space, install telephones, design web-sites, and so on, that make a reasonable profit from political campaigns.
And power? If your city councilman knows you by name because you worked in his campaign or donated money and you also have a pot-hole in front of your house, you have the power to get the pothole repaired.
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