Smaller Government= Smaller voice "Of, For and By The People".

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Deregulations = "Blind Faith".

"Blind Faith"is the money changers best friend.

Penny Ryan
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Comments

Hey Penny! I like that and will shamelessly quote you. Thanks, Barry

ozarkshill
Joined:
Aug. 20, 2010 3:31 pm

While unions and fair wages are touted as the cause for the economic woes this Country is facing, I am left to wonder??? Why is it okay for big businesses to have a union/representation called the "Chamber Of Commerce" but not the laborers?? Both are confederations and should be recognize as such. It is unfathomable to me that working people fall for such inadequate reasoning, in the face of the excessive profits these companies make. It was the capitol of the American workers that these companies have spent, outsourcing our jobs and economic health, all in the name of greed.

Penny Ryan
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I agree with you that outsourcing is a problem. However, the solution used to fix this problem must be unmanipulative in nature, or we will not have a moral high ground.

Famous Quote (unknown) - Those who fight monsters must be careful not to become one.

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 3:57 pm

Is not forming a democracy "manipulative"? Is not our social structure manipulated? "Moral High Ground"?? Whose moral high ground do we follow? In my heart, my morality does not fall in line with the self proclaimed "moral majority". So does not your argument fall under supposition??

Penny Ryan
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

My arguement does not fall into supposition. The type of manipulation I am refering to can be called by many names: bullying, blackmail, extortion, harassment, etc. The deceptive side of manipulation has many names as well: fraud, lying, deceit, etc.

I acknowledge that some manipulation within a society is necessary in the form of prisons, where people know that they will go there when they break the law. However, even when in a prison a person is not supposed to be manipulated into being a "good citizen" through torture and brainwashing. At least there is not supposed to be torture and brainwashing in prison! The amount of manipulation within a society must be kept to a minimum, because if manipulation was to be encouraged everyone would act like a schoolyard bully in the name of making a better society. To have a world free from crime, discrimination, poverty, and war would be great, but the means used to achieve such a state of being must be unmanipulative or those who did participate in getting rid of such things would be accused of letting the ends justify the means.

Thank you for your feedback, even if you disagree with me.

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 3:57 pm

In my response, I probably should have used the word "subjective" instead of "supposition". An artist manipulates mediums for a work of art. A person manipulates their schedule by setting an alarm.

So going back to the original discussion, is forming and strengthening unions "manipulative", under the terms of your definition?? Are we not obligated in a democracy to give all peoples a voice, to strengthen their own best interests?

We deal with manipulated profits and greed constantly. To fit in the context of your reply, the war machine and prisons are the healthiest economies we have left in the U.S., which is substantially supported by taxpayers monies. Those are two businesses, should not be for profit, as we lose the integrity of justice and morality.

What do you suggest as a recourse, to stop the monsters without becoming one?

Penny Ryan
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

When I use the term "manipulation," I am refering to the means that people use to achieve their ends. I am not refering to the desired ends of getting rid of discrimination, poverty, etc. I am refering to the means people might use to try to get rid of discrimination, poverty, etc. This is essentially more of a social issue than it is an economic or political issue because it deals with how people strive for change in society. Since the "manipulation" I refer to is the use of coercion and/or deception to make people do things against their will, let me give examples of how to help other people while minimizing one's own use of manipulation: The first thing a person can do is to stop shopping at Wal Mart. Everytime I have gone into a Wal Mart I knew that the prices are low because worker salaries are low and deliberately kept that way. Instead of trying to force Wal Mart to raise their pay rates, I would rather spend my time supporting a business that deliberately tries to pay workers more fairly. Another thing that can be done is to help reduce pollution is to use a car that has a high gas mileage or is even a hybrid, and to also use public transportation which would help reduce the pollution of everyone driving a car, all while not trying to make car companies become less polluting through protests and laws. I welcome your feedback even if you disagree with me.

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 3:57 pm

I agree boycotting is a good line of defense. I myself have engaged in those tactics.

When Harley Davidson, the once proclaim "American Company," had started outsourcing clothing for instance, I would go into the stores and make other customers aware. In my outcries I was told by Harley it was to save money, but the fact was the clothing they outsourced had the same price tag as the American-made clothing, and the quality totally sucked. Needless to say, I have been escorted out of their stores on a few occasions. The fact was/is by outsourcing, Harley Davidson was making larger profit margins and that was/is the bottom line with all companies.

I am by all means not against companies making profits, but there must be some balance. If these companies increased profits trickled down by increasing wages to those Americans whom labor building their products, that in turn would help the US economy. But they choose to outsource those same jobs which encourages economic growth in other Countries, overfeeds the greed and as American workers, "We The People" lose.

Stabilizing and strengthening unions is also an important tactic. We, as workers need representation to fight the fight against the "big dog," (for lack of a better word). A few lone voices are easily squelched and to not have a "big dog" to counter in that fight, is a lost cause. At this time in America money is power and if you do not have an equal force fighting that power, laborers have no chance of equality or fairness and that then becomes a total corruption of democracy.

I so appreciate the civility and openness of this discussion.

Penny Ryan
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Thank you for your input! I welcome more of it! This is both entertaining and enlightening to me.

I response I must say that the greatest power workers that are being abused by their bosses is truth. Some people in this world gain power through violence or by fraud. When companies such as Wal Mart try to hurt workers, they do it by trying to encourage those workers to have contempt for unions. Obviously, the unions do not get equal time to spread a counter message at these stores! If antiunionists can shut up Unionists, then truth can become useless. However, another problem of fighting with truth is that corporate culture can make it difficult for a wandering unionist to get a job. Also, most unionists can't afford to do that because they have families to feed and shelter. As a famous capitalist put it, desperate workers make for efficient workers (paraphrase). What this means is that Big Business is guilty of manipulation. I am going to write more after your input on this point. Thank You!

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 3:57 pm

Please excuse me, but I think that I went a little overboard with the rhetoric here. I have to remember that those who fight monsters must be careful not to become one. However, the point that I was trying to make still stands. Businesses can be manipulative, not just unions or the individuals that comprise them. Also, my point that businesses prefer workers that are desperate still stands. quote - "Desperate workers make for efficient workers." When someone is desperate for a job, they would be willing to put up with all kinds of abuse, especially if they have a family to feed. However, there is one flaw in this arguement that I must admit to. When workers are desperate, is it the fault of the bosses? No, really! When a person is desperate for work, should the owners or the management accept the blame for it? Should a boss be forced to do things when the worker chose freely to marry and have children?

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 3:57 pm

I am just writing this to clarify my last comment. The owners and the bosses of a business might not care about a man who is "married and with children" to take care of, but that person does have the right to do so with no discrimination against him (or her!). I am saying that from the managements point of view a desperate worker is the one with the problem. This might be even more true when it comes to safety issues on the job. Who knows how many times in modern workplaces the management deliberately let safety on the job go down because they knew that their workers were desperate and where afraid of whistleblowing to the government because the workers knew that they would get fired for doing so. I welcome input. Thank You!

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 3:57 pm

In respect to Penny Ryan:

I value your input and I would like to ask you a controversial question. Right now I am listening to Thom Hartmann over the issue of unions. The question I have is whether or not an individual has the right to work in a unionized workplace with out being part of the union.

My current position is that first of all, I concede that if there had been no unions there could still be six day work weeks, 10 hour work days, and extremely unsafe work conditions, if not worse things. My only problem is if a person has a moral right to work independently of a union if the union is already established at a work place. This poses a problem to me because I acknowledge that unions have helped protect workers from abusive owners/managers, but yet I am concerned over such a person being harassed and persecuted by those who are already part of the union. Maybe I am being paranoid over the issue. I personally have no problem with joining a union, but I am concerned about others who might not want to join unions, even if joining the union is the smart thing to do. I value your input. Thank You.

micahjr34

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 3:57 pm

My first emotional response would be, "Hell Yes," everyone should join a Union as it is the first line of defense for protecting your job, your health and your safety. But as I take a deep breath and ponder that question, my reasoning would come into line of individuals having a choice, and in America there are union and non-union jobs. As well, there are many states with the "right to work" policies in place, so these options do leave a choice for your preference.

Since Reagan, unions and union membership have been falling at an alarming rate. This, to my understanding and belief, is due to Frederick Taylor's egregious theory of the "trickle down" policies being implemented. If the people on the top are overfeed, some of the oats will fall to the rats. Well, if you ever had a horse, you would know it will eat those oats until it becomes foundered. Which, as we look at the state of our economy, has proven to be the case and can rightfully be proclaimed as disastrous to the majority of American people. I think a lot of people believe if a company is doing good, that company in good conscience would promote and reward their laborers, but unfortunately all that they are obligated to, is profits for themselves and their shareholders. They have no obligation, nor loyalty to those whom invested their toils, building for them their original capitol. That is where the necessity of a union comes in, representation for the workers.

As far as being harassed and persecuted by union members, I am painfully aware of instances where people were trying to get a union in their work place and lost their jobs in the process, so that is an unfortunate detriment that goes both ways.

An example: I know that I want union workers building nuclear plants, as they are trained (using union dues), to exceed safety standards that a non-union worker is not required to have. Union workers are expected to pass extensive testings to make sure the project and their work, is done safely and correctly. Should a non-union worker be part of that work force? My blunt answer is absolutely not, as it only takes one bad weld or mistake to compromise the safety of that nuclear plant, the workers and or the community.

My question for those whom might want to be on a union job but not wanting to join that union, why should you expect to get a free ride, receiving the same benefits, wages and credibility, earned and paid for by those members in the form of training paid for by their dues. I am reminded of an old adage, "You get what you pay for."

I, in all honesty believe that if all jobs were unionized, We The People whom labor, would have the strength/platform to challenge and fight them, the corporates. We would at least have a fighting chance to keeping OUR Democracy alive and well in these United States.

Thank-You for this conversation, as this question has been asked before in other forums, I just never seemed to have found the time responding to it. I appreciate your input and time as well, addressing this important issue.

Penny Ryan
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Thank you to all who read this post. Thank you Penny Ryan.

In all that I have posted on this site, I have realized that what I am trying to communicate is that money and property is only a part of the problems I think about. Instead of focusing on the "redistribution of wealth," I believe in the "redistribution of power." The reason why I focus so much on the issue of power is that when a person manipulates others, that person is using power to do it. The issue of property and money is only part of the problem.

"Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." - I don't know who originally made up this phrase, but it is very close to my issues. This is the heart of the problem of businesses and unions, in fact the concept of power I think is at the root of many social/economic problems in the United States. How much power? How should power be used? What about the power to control power?

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 3:57 pm

You have sparked a notion in my thinking that maybe unions had to become inevitable due to the corporate corruption that has infiltrated and superseded our government.

I am by no means a constitutional scholar nor a historian, and I am finding the more I learn, the less I really know.

Did not the founding Fathers set up this Government/Constitution to empower the majority of "We The People?" Is that not what is necessary to have a Democracy? I am aware that the different structures of our Government being implemented to keep checks and balances of those powers. Just as regulators/regulations are of the upmost importance to balance the corporate power and their misuse of the commons. So when you said, "Redistribution of Power" you encouraged the thought, would it not actually be "Reinstatement" of power, as was afforded us by our founding fathers and the constitution? And in that context, did the corporates even have any right to those powers in the first place? This is why I object when I hear a self-proclaimed "conservative" whom quietly, without objection backed this abhorrent corporate takeover, undermining OUR Democracy. (In my opinion, this example is just one of the many contradictions, in the "conservatives" use of that terminology.)

I have held to the belief, if we do not find a commonality in the understanding what role our government is to have, we can never address what needs to be fixed. At this current time the corporate sponsored tea-party is saying less government, and in their zeal many of those people have not come to realize the consequences of dismantling democracy, "We The People." But I do believe in order to uphold the basics of a democracy, we need to dismantle and ban ANY corporate control (power) of OUR government. So in light of that being said, maybe Thom was right when he had mentioned in previous discussions we do have some common threads of what needs to be done.

Thank-you for your thought provoking comments micahjr34.

Penny Ryan
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I also think that corporations have to much power. My personal view of economics is more similar to capitalsim than it is to socialism, but I extremely, ETREMELY dislike the notion that corporations are "people" that have a right to influence political leaders with money. If business leaders want to influence political leaders that is fine, but not with money. It is too corrupting and makes political leaders care more about what businesses want and less about the needs of the people within their jurisdictions

In fact, while I am a capitalist of sorts, when I graduate from college and get the kind of job I want, I will refuse to buy corporate stocks, and instead I will buy savings bonds and treasuries. I dislike corporate stocks because they enable a person to "own" part of a business with out being responsible for the debts and legal issues of that business.

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 3:57 pm

To Penny Ryan,

While listening to Thom Hartmann and conversing with the people on this site, I have come to a point in my way of thinking. While I would like taxes for all to be kept to a minimum, I have realized that this minimum must be higher than I would at first think it should be. While I believe that people should be allowed to keep the money they earn to take care of their own needs, I also acknowledge that taxes have to be high enough to pay for the essential roles that government plays in society. With the massive debt and the interest payments that the government has, lowering taxes for everyone just is not an option. While I suggested earlier that I would like our leaders in government to eliminate government waste and redundency, the taxes paid by people must fund the government in ways that are sustainable for the long term. I put an emphasis on the word sustainable.

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 3:57 pm

Penny Ryan, I would like to ask you for some input about a concern I have. Lately I have been thinking of privacy as a "check and balance" for individual people and private business and public government. I think that privacy laws should be strengthened as more technology is being developed that can be used against privacy even when "reforms" are being made about property rights. I definitely think that privacy is a property that the government must not take away and that businesses should not sell.

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 3:57 pm

OK - going back to the original post... ...DEREGULATION.

First off - what are we talking about here? Are we talking about deregulating the EPA? Are we talking about deregulating Wall Street? Are we talking about deregulating capitalism? Are we talking about deregulating import/export exchange?

I guess I am asking is for one to specify which facet of regulation one is focusing on when one brings up the topic of deregulation.

bonnie
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Bonnie, this conversation has evolved from being about regulations to the role of control in the government, and then it went to the nature of control (power). The point I was trying to make when I brought up Wal Mart, is that I do not like how they put an emphasis on not allowing unions. Instead of trying to use government regulations to fix this problem, I think that the best thing I can do is to patronize stores that do allow for unions when buying a comparable product. Then, going on down to the topic of corporate stocks, I stated that when I eventually do have money to buy stocks, that I will not do so. When it comes to issues like stocks and the topic of regulations, I personally dislike how the ownership of stocks enables a person to make a profit from a business with out being directly responsible for the debts and legal issues of that business. Those debts and legal issues are partially created by regulations and how the government enforces them. However, this is just a personal choice of mine of how I can stand up for the "little guy." Bonnie, would you like me to go further? I value input, and if you have suggestions I am very willing to listen. Thank you!

micahjr34
Joined:
Feb. 7, 2011 3:57 pm

The Preamble to the US Constitution: "We The People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, Domestic Tranquility, provide Common Defence, promote General Welfare and secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States."

The Constitution was the framework for the organization of the US government. So to have and promote the recent policies, wanting smaller government is to diminish the peoples voice, rights and liberties. That stance to my belief, undermines and eliminates any form of Democracy.

So in my last posting under this subject, I was trying to establish an understanding of what role it is, that we expect from our Government.

From my perspective a Democracy is in part, the practice and principles of social equality. Government regulations are implemented to support, protect and insure that equality. I feel they are necessary, as through out history it has proven time and time again, greed (the love of money) breeds contempt, as well as corruption. To prove that point, OUR elected official no longer vote for what is in the best interest for the MAJORITY of their constituents, as they have become lifelong career politicians for financial gain, becoming the best representatives for the wealthy, that money can buy. And that position by its own definition, is FASCISM.

So to put this in context to the Preamble: The EPA, FDA, and numerous other regulations were put in to promote, insure and protect Justice, the health and safety, (Domestic Tranquility, General Welfare), Liberty from oppressive rule/restrictions which invade our individual rights, privileges and freedoms, being imposed on OUR society and to insure the afore mentioned, for the posterity of ALL generations.

Businesses and corporations have their own rules and regulations that represent ONLY their, and their stockholders own best interests. They must not have any power or foothold to corrupt OUR Government and must be considered a separate entity. And like us as individual citizens, MUST be bound to the rules, laws and regulations of these United States.

As a taxpayer, I detest and resent any of my tax dollars going to for-profit companies. That practice has corrupted our integrity, justice and Democracy, which in turn has taken over OUR political parties.

But I could be wrong....

Penny Ryan
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Currently Chatting

The Death of the Middle Class was by Design...

Even in the face of the so-called Recovery, poverty and inequality are getting worse in our country, and more wealth and power is flowing straight to the top. According to Paul Buchheit over at Alternet, this is the end result of winner-take-all capitalism, and this destruction of the working class has all been by design.

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