Tag Archives: Labour

Why is America so much more prosperous than other nations?

It occurred to me that young people are being taught in government-run schools that central planning of the economy by the federal government works better than allowing states to decide policy for themselves. Naturally, the students – lacking life experience and at the mercy of the unionized teacher’s grading pen – have no choice except to be indoctrinated. But what are the facts?

The genius of America is that the Founding Fathers allowed the federal government to only have power in certain areas of life. Other areas of policy were delegated to the states. This allows states to try different policies to see what works best, or even just what works best for them. Then the other states have the option to emulate that success, or continue doing what doesn’t work. States that do what works will see more success, with more businesses and people migrating to their states. States that persist in doing what doesn’t work will see business and taxpayers flee. That is the genius of America’s design.

Federalism encourages states to operate according to the “principle of subsidiarity”, which is an economic principle that states that problems are best solved at the lowest level possible (individual -> family -> church – > business -> community -> local government -> state government -> federal government). This is because the people at the lowest level have the most KNOWLEDGE about how to solve the problem.

Case study: right-to-work laws

Let’s look at an example – unions and right to work laws. Starting after world war 2, some states decided to pass right to work laws. These laws allowed workers to decide for themselves whether to join a union or not. Since workers had the choice about whether to join the union, the union had to care about the workers and advocate for them, instead of enriching themselves at the expense of the workers via corruption and thuggery.

Here is how different states adopted right to work laws at different times:

Map of states showing adoption of right-to-work laws
Map of states showing adoption of right-to-work laws

What happened in these states? Well job creating businesses started to move from forced-union-membership states to right-to-work states. Why? Because unions were stopping them from innovating. Companies would figure out new ways to improve productivity, such as using machines and computers. But the unions would step in and insist that the old ways were best. The unions wanted their union members to just be able to do the same job, e.g. – pulling a lever over and over, for the entire 35 years of their career. And the unions wanted their members to be paid like a software engineer or a doctor for pulling a lever over and over. The unions also wanted to make sure that underperforming workers could never be fired, or replaced. And so on. Companies realized that they couldn’t compete in a global market like this, so they got up and left for right-to-work states.

Here’s what happened next:

Rates of employment in forced union states vs right to work states
Rates of employment in forced union states vs right to work states

States with right-to-work laws never said that there couldn’t be unions, only that workers wouldn’t have to join a union to work. And in right-to-work states, not only did workers not join unions, they voted not to unionize at all. This resulted in a massive decline in private sector unions in America:

Decline in private sector union membership
Decline in private sector union membership

As a result of job creating businesses not being hampered by union corruption and thuggery, American businesses quickly outpaced their rivals in forced union membership states in productivity, as measured by GDP. They also outpaced the productivity per worker in other economically illiterate countries. Why? Because allowing companies to innovate meant that workers were using more machinery and computers to do their jobs. They learned new skills. Underperforming workers could be replaced with workers who were willing to grow and adapt. Non-union workers higher productivity allowed them to find other jobs if they were laid off.

Right to work states innovate, creating more skilled workers
Right to work states innovate, creating more skilled workers

The job security of the American worker comes from his improved worker productivity – not from the union. Not only did unemployment go down in right to work states (more jobs!) but salaries and benefits also increases, as companies had to compete with each other for workers. However, companies were ok with paying more for workers, because they would rather pay ONLY the workers who deserved it, rather than pay one rate for all union workers, regardless of performance.

This article from the far-left New York Times explains how slaries and benefits rise when job creators move to right-to-work states: Income Rises When Right-to-Work Laws Are Passed because job creators must offer workers a lot in order to get them to sign. Not just salaries and benefits, but realistic development plans to grow the workers skills, making them even more resistant to layoffs and economic downturns.

Quote:

While some persons may favor right-to-work laws largely on philosophical grounds (people should have the freedom to decide whether they want to belong to a union or not), the major reason I support such laws is that they seem to promote prosperity — specifically, higher incomes. Real personal income in the right-to-work states rose nearly twice as much as in other states from 1970 and 2013.

To be sure, most of that reflected higher population growth in right-to-work states — there was massive in-migration to these states from the states denying workers the right to not join a union. Yet even after correcting for population growth, income per person on average rose somewhat more in the right to work jurisdictions. Capital moves to right-to-work states with a more stable labor environment, and that increases labor demand and, ultimately, income and wages.

Although unions mostly died out in the private sector, the ones that remained actually functioned well as unions – focusing on their workers instead of enriching union bosses. They had to, because if they didn’t, then the workers would just opt out of them. The only places where unions still survive is in the public sector, i.e. – government. This is because government is (by law) a monopoly, where consumers have no choice except to accept the garbage that they are offered. They can’t go anywhere else for a lower price, or a better product, or a better service. Public sector unions are immune to innovation, because they lobby the government to prevent any improvement or accountability.

Here is an example of a public sector union’s effort to “help the customer”:

Political contributions by the American Federation of Teachers union
Political contributions by the American Federation of Teachers union

And here’s what those efforts to “help the customer” produced for the customer:

Education spending has tripled since 1970
Education spending has tripled since 1970

They aren’t really helping the customer, are they? What they do is collect dues, enrich their union leaders, intimidate their opponents with threats and force, and then give money to secular left politicians to prevent their customers from opting out of a system that doesn’t produce higher quality and lower prices for the customer. The secular left politicians pass laws that prevent the customers (parents) from being able to get a better product (education for their children) for a lower price. We should abolish public sector unions in order to get the benefits for the customer that we see in the private sector.

Conservative leader Tim Hudak to push right to work and secret ballots

Political map of Canada
Political map of Canada

Wow, the Canadians are trying to imitate Scott Walker and John Kasich.

Excerpt:

In a move certain to upset the organized labour movement, Ontario workers would be able to opt out of collective agreements and union dues under dramatic changes to provincial workplace laws proposed by PC Leader Tim Hudak.

Employers would no longer be required to collect dues on behalf of unions and secret ballots would be restored in certification votes.

“The rules that are governing the workplace, they haven’t changed. And the way that many of our unions are run, particularly public sector unions, haven’t caught up with the times,” Hudak said. “No business would be caught today operating with a typewriter or a rotary phone, but our union laws and many union practices are still stuck in the 1940s.”

Hudak released a white paper Tuesday, entitled Paths to Prosperity: Flexible Labour Markets, which calls for significant rewrites to the labour laws in Ontario which he says would make the province’s business environment more competitive and create jobs.

[…]Hudak’s real goal is to strip unions of their funding, in particular the Working Families Coalition that actively campaigns against Conservatives, he said.

[…]The white paper says the provincial government should lead the way by ending automatic paycheque deductions for dues and give private sector employers the same option.

The monopoly that union shops enjoy in bidding for public contracts across Ontario’s municipal and broader public sectors would also likely end under the Tories.

Unions should be required to reveal how they spend the dues they collect, that workers have a right to know when their dues are spent on political causes, like anti-Israel campaigns and Quebec student protests, Hudak said.

While it’s true that many (or even most) of the people who are stuck in unions are good, patriotic, hard-working people, union leaders are generally secular socialists. They support all kinds of nasty leftist groups. The best way to defund them is to allow workers to not have to have union dues automatically deducted from their pay checks. I would expect that most union workers in Ontario would elect not to pay dues to their unions – at least if they are anything like the workers in Wisconsin.

How did Dutch women get to be the happiest women in the world?

Mary sends me this article from Macleans, which she found on pastor Mark Driscoll’s blog.

Excerpt:

Like many Dutch women, Marie-Louise van Haeren views herself as liberated. “Every woman in Holland can do whatever she wants with her life,” says Van Haeren, 52, who lives just outside of Rotterdam and rides her bicycle or the train to work three days a week at a police academy, where she counsels students. She has worked part-time her entire career, as have almost all of her friends—married or unmarried, kids or no kids—save one or two who logged more hours out of financial necessity. Van Haeren, who wasn’t married until last year and has no children, says she’s worked part-time “to have time to do things that matter to me, live the way I want. To stay mentally and physically healthy and happy.”

Many women in the Netherlands seem to share similar views, valuing independence over success in the workplace. In 2001, nearly 60 per cent of working Dutch women were employed part-time, compared to just 20 per cent of Canadian women. Today, the number is even higher, hovering around 75 per cent. Some, like Van Haeren, view this as progress, evidence of personal freedom and a commitment to a balanced lifestyle.

[…]…Dutch women appear deaf to the siren call of the workplace. Asked whether they’d like to increase their hours, just four per cent said yes, compared to 25 per cent of French women. And while across the Channel, British media are heralding the resurgence of feminism—last weekend, some 500 women crowded into a feminist training camp, UK Feminista, to be trained in direct action and activism—in Holland, women like Van Haeren baldly proclaim no further need for the movement. “Feminism wasn’t necessary anymore by the time I grew up,” she says. “In my eyes, it was a thing of the past.”

The relationship between personal lifestyle choices and the socio-economic standing of women has been under the microscope in Holland ever since the publication of Dutch Women Don’t Get Depressed in 2008. Ellen de Bruin, who patterned her book after Mireille Guiliano’s bestseller French Women Don’t Get Fat, began by defining the stereotypical Dutch woman: naturally beautiful with a no-fuss sense of style, she rides her bike to fetch the groceries, has ample time with her kids and husband, takes art classes in the middle of the week, and spends leisurely afternoons drinking coffee with her friends. She loves to work part-time and does not earn as much as her husband, but she’s fine with that—he takes care of the bills. The book went on to note that Dutch women rank consistently low, compared to those in other Western countries, in terms of representation in top positions in business and government—and rank consistently near the top in terms of happiness and well-being. In fact, just about everyone in Holland seems pleased with the status quo; in 2009, the Netherlands ranked highest of all OECD countries in terms of overall well-being.

Could it be that the Bible actually speaks truly about the differences between men and women? That doesn’t mean that women and men should be careless when choosing a spouse – they should choose wisely. But maybe it is better for men and women to play complementary roles. Maybe they were designed to be able to do different things, because they have different strengths?  Maybe they fit together hand in glove in marriage, canceling out the weaknesses of the other?

Christian electrician faces termination for displaying cross

But wearing a burkha is just fine. (H/T Dina)

Excerpt:

An electrician faces the sack for displaying a small palm cross on the dashboard of his company van.

Former soldier Colin Atkinson has been summoned to a disciplinary hearing by the giant housing association where he has been employed for 15 years because he refuses to remove the symbol.

[…]Throughout his time at work, he has had an 8in-long cross made from woven palm leaves attached to the dashboard shelf below his windscreen without receiving a single complaint.

But his bosses at publicly funded Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) in West Yorkshire – the fifth-biggest housing organisation in England – have demanded he remove the cross on the grounds it may offend people or suggest the organisation is Christian. Mr Atkinson’s union representative said he faces a full disciplinary hearing next month for gross misconduct, which could result in dismissal.

The association strongly promotes ‘inclusive’ policies and allows employees to wear religious symbols at work.

It has provided stalls at gay pride events, held ‘diversity days’ for travellers, and hosted a gender reassignment event entitled A World That Includes Transpeople.

[…]Despite the company’s treatment of Mr Atkinson, the boss of the depot where he works in Castleford has been allowed to adorn his office with a poster of the Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara.Denis Doody, who is WDH’s environmental manager, also has a whiteboard on which are written several quotations by the Marxist guerrilla leader, who was a key figure in the Cuban revolution in the Fifties.Colleagues said staff and even members of the public who were visiting the depot would be able to see the poster and whiteboard through his office window.

[…]But the company’s equality and diversity manager, Jayne O’Connell, who was recruited from HBoS bank in 2009, replied: ‘WDH has a stance of neutrality. We now have different faiths, new emerging cultures. We have to be respectful of all views and beliefs.’[…]At another meeting, Ms O’Connell said Mr Atkinson could express his faith but ‘it is quite clear it cannot be associated with WDH and displaying the cross gives the impression that WDH is a Christian organisation’.She said staff could demonstrate their personal beliefs ‘discreetly’, even adding that the company could provide extra material in its official corporate colours ‘for employees who wish to wear a different style of uniform’.Pressed by Mr Cunliffe on whether a Muslim woman who wore a burka at work would be considered discreet, she said: ‘If they could do their job effectively, then yes.’

Asked whether she would think a burka in WDH corporate colours was discreet, Ms O’Connell replied: ‘Yes, it would be.’

Read the whole story, there are many more alarming details.

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UK approves explicit sex education materials for five-year old children

From the UK Daily Mail. (H/T Creative Minority Report via Foxfier)

Excerpt:

Explicit cartoons, films and books have been cleared for use to teach sex education to schoolchildren as young as five.

A disturbing dossier exposes a wide range of graphic resources recommended for primary school lessons.

The shocking material – promoted by local councils and even the BBC – teaches youngsters about adult language and sexual intercourse.

Among the books singled out in the report is How Did I Begin? by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom which has a cartoon image of a couple in bed in an intimate embrace.

It is accompanied by an explanation – using frank and adult terminology – of the act of intercourse.

Another, called The Primary School Sex And Relationships Education Pack by HIT UK, includes material to allow children aged five to 11 to learn about different sexual positions and prostitution.

The BBC has been highlighted for an educational video featuring full frontal nudity, while its learning resources department, BBC Active, shows computer-generated images of male genitalia.

All the material has been recommended by councils for use at ages ‘seven-plus’.

[…]Before the election, the Liberal Democrats said they ‘unreservedly’ supported mandatory sex education in primary schools.

I wonder if they will be doing away with the right of parents to opt their students out of the sex education curriculum, like they do in Ontario, Canada. And in Germany, if your child doesn’t attend the sex education classes, then you are fined – and if you can’t pay the fine then you go to jail. Sweden also jails parents for homeschooling.

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