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02/19/2011 11:44 PM ID: 87997 Permalink   

15,000 Protesters Fill the Capital Building in Madison, WI


On February 15th, 15,000 protesters surrounded the capital building in Madison, WI. Previously, Wisconsin´s newly elected governor, Scott Walker, had laid out a plan to strip 175,000 public employees of their collective bargaining rights for everything but their pay.

The cuts affected all public employees, excluding only firefighters. Despite this, firefighter unions demonstrated with union and non-union members. 800 high school students also joined in, walking out of class in protest.

On February 16th, Madison public schools were closed because 40 percent of teachers and staff called in to protest the bill.

    WebReporter: Trevelyan Show Calling Card    
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
You can sit back and let Republicans take everything from the middle class to fund their corporate love-affairs or you can stand up and say enough of the BS! I hope more folks throughout the US take this as a lesson in taking effective action against ineffective legislation and governance!
  by: theavenger8     02/20/2011 12:58 AM     
  what the hell?  
this isn´t supposed to happen in America.
  by: sceptre_of_fertility   02/20/2011 01:53 AM     
Good!, these unions should be busted up. You complain that everything is expensive yet don´t understand why.

The only Unions that should exist are firefighters & police, because society need it for the better of the whole.

Teachers,nurses,auto-workers, and every other useless union should be abolished for the better of society. The good workers will get high wages because they are better, the bad will be fired because the market doesnt want them. Society will get cheaper and better teachers/nurses auto-workers.

They should play by the same rules as the rest of us private sector and quit sucking the teet of taxpayers, as we are getting a horrible ROI
  by: t-bagger   02/20/2011 02:03 AM     
Nothing against unions, but the whole world is downsizing, the nations economic growth for the past decade is a wash.

We´ve inflated ourselves into a bubble, and it popped. We cannot sustain the same prebubble lifestyle we had before.

Unions shouldn´t be saying why us, but why not us, and take their cuts like everyone else.
  by: ukcn001XYZ   02/20/2011 04:17 AM     
That market correction you are predicting is not what we noticed. The amount of unionized workers today is 20% of what it used to be 40years ago. Yet companies are still going out of their way to fire experienced workers who cost more in favor of cheap new chumps who have no clue what they are doing.

The result is crappy products that are cheaper to produce. The market did correct, just that the correction was not for better products. The correction was for the crappier quality products, and the experienced workers being fired.

The market correction is not a goal, market correction is only a tool. Market Correction will only ´correct´ according to the rules you put in place. If you put rules that favor less quality products, then the market will correct for garbage products.

Think of market correction like you would think of evolution. It will evolve only according to the rules put in place. It will not necessarily self-improve the rules.
  by: kmazzawi     02/20/2011 05:40 AM     
The market has not corrected. we are just starting to correct, we can do it the quick/painful way (default)or the long drawn out way (hyperinflation) Judging how Government choose to do it throughout history, we will hyperinflate. It happens everytime, and VERY predictable. its happening right now! with QE1 & 2, eventually 3,4

The market decides what it wants and you cant legislate it without reprecusions. We are going through a normal cycle of rising/falling economies. The US Dollar bubble will pop. China will rise as the next power after their economy pops too(China pegs the yuan to the US Dollar) eventually their people will unionize and demand more, rules/regulations will become Law, production will become expensive and they will start outsourcing

Manwhile, in the US, the economy will crash, unions broken up, liquidate the bad debt, people will riot and go hungry, all the social welfare will disappear. US will then roll up its sleeves and get producing quality goods to sell to the world again.

its just the way it goes

[ edited by t-bagger ]
  by: t-bagger   02/20/2011 08:21 AM     
ps After re-reading your post, I am trying to find a polite and non-attacking way of saying "your wrong" lol

you are describing the exact scenario that got the US into this problem. You cannot micro-manage the economy, that is Socialism and we know how that plays out, we are watching it right now. USA has believed they are a Capitalist country but they are not, you need to have free-market money 1st and that has stopped when the FED was created. Ever simce, the FED has micro managed the economy and had a guaranteed crash, granted a very long time to happen
  by: t-bagger   02/20/2011 08:55 AM     
a lot of things are not supposed to happen. here is one that is and does not. "Since 1929 illegal entry into the United States is a federal crime, up to six months in prison for the first offense and 20 years for the second offense. Hiring illegal immigrants carries a maximum penalty under federal statute of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine."
it appears laws are inforced only when it is about money or a political advantage. the fact that unions have driven many states very close to bankroucy is not important and dropping something that is destroying states defys common sense.
  by: shannon853   02/20/2011 04:04 PM     
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

- George Santayana

[ edited by Trevelyan ]
  by: Trevelyan   02/20/2011 05:57 PM     
  Pro union all the way  
They´re the only thing standing between us and child labor, abolition of the minimum wage, 100-hour work weeks and other things the rich would do to the poor if they could. And ladies and gentlemen, they are fighting a losing battle -- hint, hint.
  by: Ben_Reilly     02/20/2011 06:13 PM     
You have no arguement from me on that, I agree. Your quote is very Ironic because that is what is happening. US has not learnt from history. Study monetary and empirical history, and you will be able to predict like a phophet

I repeat from a previous post, I am a political athiest. I feel sorry for people who turn it into a Rep/Dem arguement as they cannot see the big picture of what is really happening
  by: t-bagger   02/20/2011 06:27 PM     
  @Teabagging one  
"ps After re-reading your post, I am trying to find a polite and non-attacking way of saying "your wrong" lol" The correct wording should be "You´re wrong."

[ edited by Lurker ]
  by: Lurker     02/20/2011 06:38 PM     
Its a lack of economic understanding and people listening to politicians who don´t understand economics.

People who think you can slap a bunch of laws on the market and it will improve the economy are sorely misinformed.

minimum wage=unemployment
costly benefit packages=outsourcing/illigal workers
And then people demand laws to counter these predictable outcomes which only snowballs the problem. People have to believe me when I say this "Whenever the Government tries to steer the market, it produces the exact opposite outcome"

Any Government backed program just garanteed a disaster. Bush wanted everybody to own a house=housing bubble, Obama wants everybody to afford College=Student loan debt bubble.

I will leave with the smartest economist that lived, please dont listen to Krugman/Bernanke

"There is no means of avoiding a final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved." -Ludwig Von Mises
  by: t-bagger   02/20/2011 06:50 PM     
Your right, I always blew at English
  by: t-bagger   02/20/2011 06:53 PM     
and you blew it again.
  by: Lurker     02/20/2011 07:06 PM     
lol,I really dont care about grammar, im too busy typing

[ edited by t-bagger ]
  by: t-bagger   02/20/2011 07:07 PM     
K, I know how this is going to sound lol, I am a sceptic at heart and my spider scense light up when people like myself go on these tangents, and maybe I have become one of these crazies, but I dont think so. Ever since the Housing bubble I decided I was going to look into how Peter Schiff knew it was him

Its based on "Austrian School" There are many many people like Schiff out there but they are pushed to the margin for more mainstream economic thought like Keynes/Monetarism

The world is going through a Revolution as we speak. Look on Amazon for Henry Hazlitt´s book "Economics in one Lesson" It will blow you away.

We are in a world-wide Debt bubble and it is starting to pop, the whole world is in debt to each other?!? It is actually owed to all the international banks who is also in debt to each other, through the mysteries of fractional reserve banking and credit expansion.

The FED has had interest rates too low for too long and are now taking the desperate measure flat out "printing money" via QE1&2, then 3&4.
Inflation hits the most sensitive areas first like food/commodities, I garantee you will see higher commoditiy prices...investment opportunity :)

It hit the poor countries first like Tunisia Egypt and Bahrain will spread like wild-fire across the world. It is going down right now.

Please take proper precausion and store minimum 6 month supply of food/water and buy as much gold/silver you can afford will getting out of debt as fast as you can, silver is an excellent hedge against your debt, as you can pay it off your debt when it sky-rockets up

trust me, I know how this sounds

[ edited by t-bagger ]
  by: t-bagger   02/20/2011 07:52 PM     
  Lol, T-bagger - good luck  
a good chunk of the regulars here reject anything resembling sound principles. They choose to keep pounding home the same altruistic ideals that drove our country to this point - on both the left and right.

I admire your proselytizing, and welcome you to the eternal conflict of principles vs ideals here at short news.

I would also encourage you to consider abandoning any ties to terms like tea parties; the principles of liberty only stand to be co-opted by mainstream organizations; the ideas, however, are strong enough to proliferate without a political vehicle.
  by: Jenkie     02/21/2011 02:20 AM     
  Unions, double edged sword  
So here´s my 2 cents on the subject. Unions DO protect their workers, the good ones, from just being canned in favor of a less experienced,cheaper new guy. They also make sure employees have good benifits. They also are the reason why minimum wage went up, and workers started getting paid more (in industry). They "set the standard" for years on how much people get paid (there´s sources out there for this,I´m just being lazy and not re-finding them to cite them).

Now here´s where things take a turn.

Unions have become a business. Union dues are over priced, and all that extra money flows to the top.Union heads with their own private jets, luxurious vacation homes, fringe benefits up the wazoo.

Where there´s a Union, there´s money to be made by being high up on the inside (see: The mafia. Why do you think they killed Hoffa when he tried to get them out).

Unions are now also very inflexible, often times unwilling to take cuts in pay/benifits even if it means keeping the businesses afloat (see; Auto industry bail out. Whole thing could have been avoided if unions had taken a small paycut.)

Nobody wants to take a pay cut, but if the choice is "hmm do I take a paycut, or does my job go out when the company folds and I´m stuck unemployed or working minimum wage" the answer is clearly a paycut (though the company needs to show verifiable proof that paycuts would keep it from going bankrupt). Unions no longer care about this. They fight for what "they" specifically want, not caring if the company goes tits up.

Basically it´s a form of corruption. However, at the same time, without unions, companies would be free to screw over their employees with no checks. (in this economy companies are looking at cutting employee costs more so than ever, due to the fact people are easily replaced right now).

So what do we do?

Somehow non corrupt union hierarchy needs to be installed. Sensible people at the helm. Perhaps even going so far as to strictly monitor finances, with all excess (outside of a safety net) being returned to the workers instead of going to buy private planes, jet fuel to run them,extravagant fringe benefits.

Basically unions need to be restructured. This won´t happen though, because union members will continuously vote in people that only care about making more money, and making union members more money. (again,everyone wants more money, not caring the consequences until they find themselves jobless due to bankrupt company).

It´s a double edged sword. (see what I did there)
  by: tizubythefizo   02/21/2011 02:26 AM     
  Austrian Perspective  
Unions destroy the Country, it just does. Minumum wage laws are in my opinion the #1 cause of unemployment, poverty and crime. I harp on this a lot, but people just flat out don´t understand economics. I have been recently enlightened over the last year as I continue studying Free-market economics.

Ever wonder what happened to gas pump jockeys? or kids that used to bag and carry groceries for us? or why we are starting to use self check-outs at retail/grocery stores?

[ edited by t-bagger ]
  by: t-bagger   02/21/2011 03:30 AM     
"Ever wonder what happened to gas pump jockeys? or kids that used to bag and carry groceries for us? or why we are starting to use self check-outs at retail/grocery stores?"
Republican capitalistic greed?
  by: Lurker     02/21/2011 03:51 AM     
lol, that doesnt make any sense.
  by: t-bagger   02/21/2011 04:02 AM     
  Re to tbagger  
Unions are not the problem, it´s the natural checks to power that have been removed by legislation that imbalance the situation - and cause the adverse economic impact. And this is the logical and demonstrable extension of an Austrian approach.

Protectionism of labor unions, or the legal ability to take action without normal reprisals such as worker replacement, etc ruins employers.

Without this level of legislation, workers would have an incentive not to strike or make frivolous demands, and employers would have incentive maintain efficiency and productivity by working with labor reps.

Once again, layers of government legislation have altered fundamental market mechanisms.
  by: Jenkie     02/21/2011 05:05 AM     
  Unions can work.  
Let me give you my teachers´ union as an example.

We elect a team to go in and negotiate with the school board. We make demands, they make demands. If, after a certain time period, we agree; great. Contract is voted on, everything´s peachy.
If we don´t agree, the state sends in an arbitrator who looks at both sides, works out what he/she considers "fair" contract changes, and both sides are obligated to accept it.

As long as the school district meets their end of the contract, we are NOT legally allowed to strike.

In this case, it´s in both sides´ best interest to agree. Arbitration rarely leads to something that either side is really happy with. We don´t wield crazy power over the town, and they don´t wield a ton of power over us.
  by: zyste     02/21/2011 08:19 AM     
That sound contradictory, how can you say unions are not the problem, and then say its the legislation that cause the problem, who forced the legislation through?

Ill give this one last shot. You cannot be for Capitalism and support Unions. Free-market capitalism is what brought all the advantages to workers that Unions take credit for
  by: t-bagger   02/21/2011 08:49 AM     
  Union = Worker´s Rights.  
We know unions have their faults.
Have an organization(corporates/unions) - and scum-suckers float to the top.

It sounds like responsibility, having to keep a balance between Unions and Corporates. But to promote one extreme over another is frankly neanderthalism .. or more plausibly, Trolling.

Without Unions, millions annually will have work-related greivances. And they will have no avenue of recourse. Sexual exploitation, bullying at work, unpaid overtime, work conditions - true, these are all extreme boogeymen unions use to promote themselves. But when unions are reduced to the political weight of book-reading clubs, those boogeymen will become real.

But as we know, Unions, are just another corporation.
  by: redstain   02/21/2011 09:58 AM     
sorry you are just wrong and dont know your history

I give up
  by: t-bagger   02/21/2011 04:19 PM     
  @ t-bagger  
There´s no contradiction in Jenkie´s comment. Re-read the article you provided... notice that neither DiLorenzo nor Mises have called for the abolition of collective bargaining (unions). To do so would effectively spit in the face of the notion of a free market. In a free market, businesses are free to hire whoever they can negotiate compensation with and likewise, labor is free to organize for strength in numbers at the negotiating table. Remember, free market economies don´t deny anyone´s rights unless the exercising of those rights harms another.

So, looking back at Jenkie´s comment and using your link to back it up... it is the legislators, (aka, government) who create legislation which tips the balance of power toward unions who are to blame for the power unions have. With that said, unions aren´t to blame for lobbying those legislators for these regulations. Again, it is the legislators themselves who´re doing the free market and its inhabitants a disservice.

So in the end, calling for the forced abolition of unions while at the same time waving the Austrian economics flag is in and of itself hypocritical.

Hope that clears up any confusion you might have. If not, maybe Jenkie will be able to better articulate the point.
  by: silencedmajority   02/21/2011 08:38 PM     
Just a curiosity - and please explain this:
China is not a free market economy. The u.s.a. is the best example of a free market economy in the world today.

Which country´s economy is growing and which is at risk?

Here´s another observation:
When a country trains all of the intellectuals of the 3rd world with corporate support and public monies and then offers its corporations the ability to setup shop outside of its borders, is that not a great example of laissez-faire?

Unions I don´t think are the problem: I think the value of the American worker is the problem. America´s corporations globalized without regulation devaluing the American worker´s wages and products. Some politician´s are complicit: in that they own corporations or investors in them yet they tell us that the economy is bad because the guy cutting my lawn is the problem. No even, it´s the poor and the needy. Even, it´s the American worker himself <- WHAT!/?

[ edited by mexicanrevolution ]
  by: mexicanrevolution   02/21/2011 11:15 PM     
USA is not a free-market economy either, why do you think their is a Ron Raul Revolution. we havent had a free market since the FED was created, I quit reading your post at this point

Their is a differnece between public sector unions and private. I also quit reading your post
  by: t-bagger   02/21/2011 11:24 PM     
  @ t-bagger  
When you quit reading, you quit learning. I happen to agree with you on every other issue you´ve brought up in this thread (as best I can remember). I was simply attempting to explain to you why unions in and of themselves are not bad.

There is no reason, for the purpose of this debate, to make any distinction between public and private sector unions. Both are organizations designed to provide collective bargaining services to employees and both negotiate with employers. Where or how the employer receives the money it pays labor is of no consequence here. This discussion is about how unions have gained the unfair advantage they have over employers.
  by: silencedmajority   02/22/2011 12:23 AM     
I´m sorry, your right,that was kinda a dickish this to say
  by: t-bagger   02/22/2011 02:01 AM     
  @ t-bagger  
No worries. :)
  by: silencedmajority   02/22/2011 02:19 AM     
  Re to tbagger  
Again, I welcome another Liberty minded individual to this community, and hope you stick around and contribute to this mess of ideas.

As far as elaborating on my remarks, silenced pretty much covered it - a free market necessarily means the freedom to organize. It is the coercive actions of legislation that skew the labor markets all across the board. There are several states that do not allow public sector workers to strike, like the example zyste has provided, that are relatively less harmful, but other protectionist policies are present.

Schiff is a shrewd fellow, and it´s great that he´s gotten so much attention for his accurate forecasting, though in truth most Austrians can and do predict market circumstances and effects every bit as accurately. In truth, it´s more accurate to say "describe" rather than "predict", as Austrians tend to simply analyze causalities and describe their inevitable results on market mechanisms.

I´ve found that going back a bit and seeing these approaches and philosophies develop over time truly awards a broader understanding - Bastiat and Locke are great starting points. From there I went to Menger, Mises, Rothbard, Rand and Hayek.

Hazlitt, Walter Williams, Hermann-Hoppe, and Tom Woods round out the current crop of excellence. Of course there are others, and Ayn Rand is not an Austrian in the truest sense, but does provide very good context for free market introspection.

I have to say my faves as far as approachability are Woods and good ole Rothbard.

[ edited by Jenkie ]
  by: Jenkie     02/22/2011 04:58 AM     
you totally just owned me lol. I have read Schiff´s "How an Economy..." bits and pieces of "Crash Proof 2.0 & Little book of Bull Moves"

Im attacking Hazlitt´s "Economics in one Lesson" right now. When I got to the paragraph in the chapter Credit Diverts Production, where Hazlitt decribes housing yada yada, a light bulb went off "So thats how Peter knew about the housing bubble that bast@#d" I have watched all the beginner videos on

I am well aware of every single name you listed except Walter Williams, and yes all the way back to Bastiat

I wonder if Krugman will ever debate Murphy. Whats my next move from here on this journey?

[ edited by t-bagger ]
  by: t-bagger   02/22/2011 05:28 AM     
I also like to listen to Marc Faber, Jim Rogers, Mike Maloney, David Morgan, and yes Gerald Celente (off the top of my head)

Mike Maloney is by far my favorite tho, the guy is a genious on monetary history
  by: t-bagger   02/22/2011 05:38 AM     
  Re to t-bagger  
Doh! You own yourself, lol, remember?
And you prove worthy of the responsibility by asking questions until you have no more. You´re well on the path you should follow!

As far as advice, I would say that it´s important to remember that free markets are only one pillar of Liberty. Natural rights and non-aggression (not to be confused with pacifism) are the other essential pillars that uphold a market; when one pillar weakens, the others are also strained - as we can see all around us.

It can be difficult to find quality radio, but it sounds like you´re doing well. A few more spots you might find worthwhile -

and of course , where one can get an entire classical liberal education - from lectures to texts - for free - greedy, money-grubbing capitalists....

Hazlitt´s intro is exceptional, and truly lives up to the title. If you´re eager to dive into headier stuff, I think that Rothbard´s "Man, Economy, and State" and Mises´s "Human Action" are the seminal juggernauts. That said, anything that Rothbard and Woods have authored are highly readable, as the witty narrative often seems to pull me right through the pages.

Finally, Krugman enjoys a pretty cushy spot in the limelight these days... why would he risk that with honest debate?

  by: Jenkie     02/22/2011 08:34 AM     
  couple more thoughts -  
Many consider "The Road to Serfdom" as forming a sort of secular trinity with the afore-mentioned titles. I do not, but it is worth a read. Hayek is a Nobel Laureate, but we can plainly see what that´s worth these days.

If you enjoy fiction, and haven´t read it already, I would suggest reading "Atlas Shrugged" quickly, before that horrid, abysmal movie is released...
  by: Jenkie     02/22/2011 08:39 AM     
"ps After re-reading your post, I am trying to find a polite and non-attacking way of saying "your wrong" lol
You are describing the exact scenario that got the US into this problem. You cannot micro-manage the economy, that is Socialism and we know how that plays out"
I think you got something here mixed up. The austrian school states the you can in fact use some micro-economy tools to manage the rest of the economy. The tools, commonly referred to as "Austrian Voodoo" are exactly what pre-70 Keyneysian was warning against. So I think you have some fact mixed up about Mises contribution.

[ edited by kmazzawi ]
  by: kmazzawi     02/28/2011 07:18 PM     
"non-aggression (not to be confused with pacifism)"

So I hope you now support the notion of paying for a kickass army which carries a very big stick.
  by: kmazzawi     02/28/2011 07:22 PM     
Can you show us one instance of an Austrian economist proposing micro management of any part of the US economy?

And if so, please explain why you think he/she is proposing micro management of the economy.
  by: silencedmajority   03/01/2011 12:51 AM     
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