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  1. #1
    Registered User Mogambo's Avatar
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    halfway through Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story

    As always with Michael Moore docs, I started out fully expecting to eye roll my way through it but ended up getting worked up over some of the things depicted. Now I know I need to fact check some of them but still, it's shocking how much influence business interests had during the Reagan era. The tax laws that were implemented really were a game changer for the lives of everyone.

    I'm a firm believer in the conservative mentality of pulling yourself by the bootstraps and achieving your own vision of success. But the playing field has to be fair for everyone in terms of access. Equality of opportunity, not necessarily equality of outcome.

    But there has to be safety nets that society provides...right? But then we get an image of pseudo-capitalism that everyone seems to think is worse than capitalism as is. Every bit of propaganda on either side easily sways me which speaks to the lack of knowing where the sweet spot/equilibrium is.

    Every entrepreneur/business persons seem to always rail against the barriers put in their way. But than I learn about how the US tax laws work and ... well it's overwhelmingly pro-business/corporation. There's no denying that. Corporations/LLCs are afforded protections people are not. It's why you want to become one to shield your own assets.

    Are unions good for America?
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    Without a doubt, the US today is a country built on lobbying; nothing is more influential. In essence, the highest bidder wins.

    Unions are nothing more than a lobby - sure, when the tide is turned against them, they're in it to enact a level playing field of sorts, but as with any group, once there's momentum, it will continue. The issues with unions is that they are rather public, whereas other lobbies simply get the job done from relatively behind the scenes, and no one really applies any critical thought until after the problem becomes too big to ignore, then you can find roots in some lobbying campaign for company/sector X, and it all went down from there.

    In my opinion, you would be hard pressed to find any - and I truly mean any - seemingly benign issue today that doesn't have some lobbying group behind it
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    Registered User Mogambo's Avatar
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    ^To be clear, what you're saying is an argument in favor of unions. If we've got a system that has lobbyists controlling Congress, then there has to be someone looking out for the workers in addition to the business interests.
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    Originally Posted by Mogambo View Post
    ^To be clear, what you're saying is an argument in favor of unions. If we've got a system that has lobbyists controlling Congress, then there has to be someone looking out for the workers in addition to the business interests.
    Only in the sense of correcting an unbalanced status quo, they serve a purpose in a unique situation.

    Unions are in essence lobbying groups. Whereas other established companies in various sectors look to increase and maintain their profits via lobbying groups, unions generally attempt to do so to improve living standards - beyond that, they fall into the same bucket as other lobbying groups. Unsure where you live, but you can likely find a union that has achieved its goals of better wages, working standards, etc., but is now simply focused on profits, and squeezing as much as possible out from the employers of said union group members (it's no different from a lobbying group here, except they are playing in the minor leagues). We have a union for municipal transit here, and their benefits and wages are absolutely mind blowing for the job that's done - sure, some jobs for the municipal transit are dangerous, and require more technical knowledge, but why this toll booth operator starts out with $35/h and full benefits for sitting on his ass all day, makes no sense. More so when the municipal transit continuously raises prices, and complains that it does not have enough money to maintain its services, and is hemorrhaging money.


    Unions start off meaning well, and in that political/economical period, they tend to have a lot of support behind them, as they are generally fighting a for a legitimate cause. After that, greed sets in, and if they get their roots in deep, and establish themselves, they are simply a force to be reckoned with for all the wrong reasons. Nothing more than a lobbying group playing the much smaller, and simpler game.


    The average individual is the victim in both cases - big league political lobbying, and small time unions.
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