Kline v. Big Labor

June 17th, 2009 – 1:56 PM by Kevin Diaz

Minnesota congressman John Kline was named the ranking Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee Wednesday, skipping over several other more senior GOPers on the panel.

The move up reflects Kline’s role as a leading conservative critic of so-called card-check legislation that would make it easier for unions to organize. It’s also seen as a vote of confidence from House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio, with whom Kline has worked closely on labor issues and other matters.

Kline, a 61-year-old ex-Marine in his fourth term in Congress, will replace Buck McKeon of California, who moved over to the top GOP spot on the Armed Services Committee. The musical House chairs began when President Obama nominated the former ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, New York’s John McHugh, to be Army Secretary.

Now the ranking Republican on the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions subcommittee, Kline was a leading Republican negotiator in pension reform legislation that secured pension plans for Northwest Airlines employees.

In his new role, Kline will be expected to be a leading GOP combatant in the card check debate, which will put him at odds with organized labor.

84 Responses to "Kline v. Big Labor"

SgtPendleton says:

June 17th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

I’m going to do D2 a big favor and make his post for him:

Crooked unions ruining companies …blah blah blah…Kline …best representative …blah blah…Democrats and illegal aliens…blah blah blah.

SgtPendleton says:

June 17th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

And here’s CNC’s post:

Chicago crime boss Michelle Obama wasted no time turning the once-pristine White House grounds into a foul “organic garden” filled with marijuana and other arugula. Children from a local elementary school were shipped over in FEMA trailers and forced to sample the “good for you” delicacies. In other words, the first harvest from the NObama Nationalized Yard Garden was a great success!

להקיא says:

June 17th, 2009 at 3:54 pm

You forgot to include “liberal soci@lists” on the D2 mimic

and…

You forgot to include the “God Bless John Kline” on the CNC mimic.

SgtPendleton says:

June 17th, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Arggggggghhhh…Such a schmendrick I am! OY!

SgtPendleton says:

June 17th, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Here’s my להקיא post:

?…מזל פּאָץ שלאַנג נאַשן

להקיא says:

June 17th, 2009 at 4:33 pm

And in the interests of bipartisanship,
Parthian says..

BlahblahblahGOopblahblahblahConservativeWhiteMalesblahblahBushco

Cash N. Carey says:

June 17th, 2009 at 5:06 pm

adlib states: “CNC says “Obama stated that without his plan unemployment would peak at 8.8%.”

What was he saying it would be WITH his plan? Was that what you meant to say?”

No what I stated was accurate. Obama stated that WITH his plan unemployment would peak at 8%. WITHOUT would peak at 8.8%. You can check on my memory if you wish. Dora, here is a chance to finally win one!

And vomit you are correct God does indeed bless John Kline!

dare2sayit.com says:

June 17th, 2009 at 5:41 pm

“And vomit you are correct God does indeed bless John Kline!”

Amen!

John Kline and Michele Bachmann are by far the best Representatives Minnesota has in Washington, and they will become more popular now that Obama is falling in the polls and people are starting to realize that his soci@list vision for his ObamaNation is hurting our economy.

dare2sayit.com says:

June 17th, 2009 at 5:47 pm

“Obama stated that WITH his plan unemployment would peak at 8%. WITHOUT would peak at 8.8%.”

Great and accurate point Cash! If true conservatives were in power right now instead of the democrat soci@list party, we would be pulling out of the recession instead of digging in deeper and deeper. If either soci@list medicine or the Cap and Trade tax get imposed on us like the libs want, it will REALLY devistate our economy.

Cash N. Carey says:

June 17th, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Hey where did my last post go?

Cash N. Carey says:

June 17th, 2009 at 6:21 pm

Ok, I will redo it based on my memory.

d2si -The libs can’t respond to the facts. They have no response to the WSJ articles. No response to the illegal IG firing by Obama. No response on the deficit spending and takeover of GM.

So sarge, I understand and support Michelle Obama’s planting of a veggie garden. After all, she has a spouse who is ruining the American economy through reckless spending and soci@alist policies.

Dora says:

June 17th, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Oh yeah, Obama is down 4 points but the Republicans are at the lowest point ever in the WSJ poll. 60% for Obama, 45% for Dems and 25% for GOP.

Dora says:

June 17th, 2009 at 6:50 pm

And in the new NYT poll Obama is at 63% (which is unchanged), Dems at 57% and GOP at 28%.

And Obama’s approval is at 57% on economy, on foreign policy 59%, and on terrorism 57%.

You boys (and you know who you are) do not represent the majority view.

CENTRAL SCRUTINIZER says:

June 17th, 2009 at 7:21 pm

“You boys (and you know who you are) do not represent the majority view.”

Would you like to explain this then?

http://www.gallup.com/poll/120857/Conservatives-Single-Largest-Ideological-Group.aspx

Dora says:

June 17th, 2009 at 7:38 pm

“Would you like to explain this then?”

Moderates and liberals make up the majority.

parthian says:

June 17th, 2009 at 7:49 pm

“Big Labor” is quite an oxymoron these days—labor is a pale shadow of its former self, thanks to the virulent and prolonged anti-union policies of America’s Right wing.

Hatred of trade unions is the common DNA of all 20th century rightwing nationalist authoritarian movements, from the Nazis to America’s “conservatives”.

What’s funny is that so many “union men” were delighted to cut their own throats supporting “free market” Repub politicians and their plutocrat bosses since the days of St Reagan, and now unions have far less power and membership. Christ, there are likely many union members who voted for the right wing extremist Col. Klink! Great thinking…..

Anyway, congrats to MN extremist Col. Klink—-now, go get those demonic unions and their featherbedding parasite members!

(Note there was no use of “GOoP” ™ or “conservative white males(s)” in this post—sorry!)

GO lonoscopy says:

June 17th, 2009 at 7:56 pm

I’m watching Cnn and Fox and both are debating whether or not Obama has been given a pass by the media.

I think the media has failed the amwerican public once again.

1st time was the run up to the Iraq war post 911 when they were either all gaga over Bush or were timid about being displayed as unpatriotic by the you know who.

you would think the media had learned a lesson.

I don’t know whether or not they have been soft on Obama. But If they fail the american public again because they are GaGa over Obama or are afraid to be called dessenters by you know who , well then to hell with em.

And the horses they rode in on.

GO lonoscopy says:

June 17th, 2009 at 7:59 pm

I think I’ll not pull a D2 and not post this on the T&A blog.

Jay says:

June 18th, 2009 at 7:30 am

Can anyone tell me what value there is in unions today? I certainly understand their value back in the day, but I’m not of the opinion that we have to worry about 12yr olds working 18hr days in the mines for a few cents per hour anymore.

The union presence we had at one of my oprevious places of employment came in, convinced the workers to unionize, then go on strike to leverage a better deal. After a several month stand off with management, they eventually settled for less than they were originally offerred in the first place. Dues well spent.

SgtPendleton says:

June 18th, 2009 at 8:14 am

But If they fail the american public again because they are GaGa over Obama or are afraid to be called dessenters by you know who, well then to hell with em.

He’s got a 60% approval rating – that means the country is GaGa over him.

But this is just another Fox news invented story — I’d love someone to provide me with an example of how he’s been given a pass?

SgtPendleton says:

June 18th, 2009 at 8:24 am

Jay, I don’t know if “unions” have a place, but the principle of collective bargaining certainly does.

When you take out AFSCME, unions account for less than 5% of the workforce — hence parthian’s comment about it being an oxymoron. Unions are kind of irrelevant — and that’s probably one of the reasons that average income adjusted for inflation has been stagnant for 30 years (while companies have enjoyed record profits).

Jay says:

June 18th, 2009 at 8:31 am

companies have enjoyed record profits for 30 years? Thats a pretty impressive streak.

Jay says:

June 18th, 2009 at 8:49 am

Sarge: “unions account for less than 5% of the workforce….Unions are kind of irrelevant”

I did not know that. Good to hear.

Tiny bulbs says:

June 18th, 2009 at 9:02 am

Boy Senator Dodd sure was mad today. Reminded me of how mad I got when I found out his friends and family where getting special rates from my mortgage company.

Tiny bulbs says:

June 18th, 2009 at 9:15 am

“Somalia – A suicide bombing in western Somalia killed at least 20 people Thursday including the national security minister. The Somali president blamed al-Qaida while an extremist group with alleged links to the terror network claimed responsibility.”

I hope the guy wasn’t wearing a Twins Tee-shirt

monty says:

June 18th, 2009 at 9:24 am

My wife is a RN, and they are unionized. In her case, the union is a good thing. Actually, it’s good for everybody. The bean counters in health care think RNs are too expensive. ‘Course, if it was THEIR vital signs that were being monitored during a colonoscopy or a stent placement, I’ll bet they’d rather have it done by a RN than a tech just like the rest of us.

SgtPendleton says:

June 18th, 2009 at 9:35 am

Sorry Jay — lemme rephrase that — the increases in earnings didn’t match the increases in profits or especially productivity throughout the 80s, 90s and 2000s.

Good point about RNs monty. My son had amazing nurses when he was in the hospital for six weeks last year — certainly the fact that those women can make a decent living doing that kind of work contributed to the quality of care. They were angels – literally.

monty says:

June 18th, 2009 at 9:48 am

Aye, Sarge. I’ve heard that over 80% of the the health care you receive in a hospital is delivered by a nurse. When they cut staffing levels, do you think it negatively impacts health care delivery?
Not that staffing levels shouldn’t be balanced to the number of people admitted, the point is if you spread ‘em too thin, the chance of something or someone falling through the cracks, so to speak, goes up.

Jay says:

June 18th, 2009 at 10:37 am

Sgt: “increases in earnings didn’t match the increases in profits or especially productivity throughout the 80s, 90s and 2000s”

obviously it depends on what specific industry we want to use, but generally speaking, do you feel it is reasonable to say that the dramatic increase in productivity during that time is due to efficiency gains from technology? And if so, what is a proper way to reconcile that difference between earned income for the workers (who’s workload is reduced) and the company (which made the investment in the technology responsible for the improvement)?

I’ve never worked for a large company with tens of thousands of employees. Ever since high school I have been fortunate enough to work for family-owned places or small companies. All of them were very profitable and all were great places to work, so the “rank and file” concept is a bit foreign to me.

I’m also not old enough to remember the working conditions of the 50′s and 60′s, but based on what I’ve been told by friends and family members who are, it seems to me people worked a helluvalot harder then as opposed to today. As an earner, should I feel entitled to more money next year than I get now, in exchange for lesser workload?

John E Iacono says:

June 18th, 2009 at 11:06 am

My carefully written post just got lost.

SgtPendleton says:

June 18th, 2009 at 11:14 am

Yes, Jay – I’d say the vast majority of that productivity increase came from technology. But there wasn’t a corresponding increase in real wages – since you work for small companies, I’m sure if you make a lot of money for them, you’d probably get a raise. That hasn’t been happening overall though.

monty says:

June 18th, 2009 at 11:17 am

“As an earner, should I feel entitled to more money next year than I get now, in exchange for lesser workload?”

My personal experience in the corporate workforce didn’t see much of a lessening of the workload over time. If anything, it seemed like I was continually asked to to more for the same rate of pay.
And what about inflation? Each year the cost of living goes up, the dollar buys less. If wages don’t keep pace with inflation, then what? Get another job?

להקיא says:

June 18th, 2009 at 11:20 am

“My carefully written post just got lost.”

The cocksuckers running the blog won’t let you post dirty words, such as l.o.a.n.

SgtPendleton says:

June 18th, 2009 at 11:25 am

Jay, I’d agree with Monty — the technology hasn’t made anyone’s job easier. Think about email. Yeah we can communicate faster, but probably 70% of my work day is responding to emails — most of which could be handled with a phone call.

I don’t think it’s made anyone’s job easier. It’s enabled fewer people to do more work — even more work than they did before. Even when I started working 20 years ago, the idea of someone bringing a laptop home and working through the weekend was absurd. Today in my current field, it’s sort of expected.

SgtPendleton says:

June 18th, 2009 at 11:27 am

The cocksuckers running the blog won’t let you post dirty words, such as l.o.a.n.

LOL!!!!

Now THAT is a clever post :)

Jay says:

June 18th, 2009 at 11:29 am

Sarge; “that productivity increase came from technology. But there wasn’t a corresponding increase in real wages”

Why would wages increase if the workers workload is static or reduced, due to technology that we agree is responsible for the productivity increase?

monty: “And what about inflation? Each year the cost of living goes up, the dollar buys less. If wages don’t keep pace with inflation, then what?”

The short, easy answer is yes- get a different job if the one you have doesn’t pay enough….but I realize that is easier said than done in many cases.

Is it the responsibility/obligation of business and industry to subsidize the public for inflation?

Jay says:

June 18th, 2009 at 11:37 am

“I don’t think it’s made anyone’s job easier”

You can’t be serious. Its made many white-collar jobs more time consuming, perhaps, but that’s not real “work” in the first place……I’m sitting on my ass for 10 hours a day, when a decade ago i was sitting on my ass for only 8 hrs a day (????). How is that worth more moeny to my employer? Technology has made many blue-collar jobs immeasurably easier, or even obsolete.

I just toured a plant that spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on robotics and automation to load 50-100 pound bags of product onto pallets because no one was willing to perform that duty anymore, and those who were continually got hurt. I’d love to see you try to convince some of those laborers that technology hasn’t made workloads easier today.

Jay says:

June 18th, 2009 at 11:40 am

“Even when I started working 20 years ago, the idea of someone bringing a laptop home and working through the weekend was absurd.”

Twenty years ago, I didn’t drive a pickup big enough to bring the company computer home with me…..

Deacon Blues says:

June 18th, 2009 at 11:47 am

“most of which could be handled with a phone call”

Yeah, playing phone tag and leaving messages on voice mail is so efficient. In the time it takes me to send and repsond to 10 emails, I could make and leave one voice mail.

Deacon Blues says:

June 18th, 2009 at 11:50 am

“I don’t think it’s made anyone’s job easier. It’s enabled fewer people to do more work — even more work than they did before. Even when I started working 20 years ago, the idea of someone bringing a laptop home and working through the weekend was absurd. Today in my current field, it’s sort of expected.”

More work being done by fewer people? I think that equates into efficiency quite well actually.

monty says:

June 18th, 2009 at 12:41 pm

“More work being done by fewer people? I think that equates into efficiency quite well actually.”

This is true. But are wage increases reflected in these increases in efficiency? Not necessarily.
Jay asked earlier if it is an obligation of business to “subsidize” the public for inflation. The answer is maybe. If it’s important to attract and retain a quality workforce, you pay good money. If there are plenty of people available to do the work you have, wage rates decline.
And if you’re unhappy with the money you’re making you are free to find something else that pays better. That can be easier said than done, however.

Jay says:

June 18th, 2009 at 12:49 pm

but that is not the same as saying they have some sort of obligation to off-set the cost of inflation for their staff. retention of talent is a fee-market dynamic, not inflation compensation. Different motivation there.

Are we believers that the individual who now matches the productivity of three people (due to technology’s assistance) is somehow “entitled” to take home the wages of the three people he/she replaced?

Deacon Blues says:

June 18th, 2009 at 12:52 pm

“But are wage increases reflected in these increases in efficiency?”

Depends on the industry I guess. How specialized are you is an important variable to consider. A surgeon might be able to do more eye operations now than 20 years before because of advancements in lazers and computers. But their job is very specialized and Im sure wages reflect that. On the other end if you are a laborer in an automotive factory doing spot welding, you might be able to weld more cars together in a day than 20 years ago but Im not sure how much you’ll be making compared to before.

Of course we could have a cultre shift in this country and we might stop defining success and satisfaction by how much we make and begin to enjoy our lives based on other standards.

I think technology, especially computers, email, cell phones etc. have not only made work easier and more efficient, its given people something they have more of than ever before, time. If you choose to spend your time doing more work because the technology allows it instead of with your families, thats your deal. I can do more work, quicker and with better accuracy because of technology and when the day is up its up, Im out the door and gone cell phone off.

Instead of being a slave to your tech make people understand you’re important enough for them to wait for you to get back to them and enjoy your most valuable resource, time.

SgtPendleton says:

June 18th, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Jay the workload isn’t static — we do more work. Don’t know about you, but I work my @ss off in my job — just because I’m doing it at a desk doesn’t make it less work-like. Yes, I’m certainly privileged to work inside at a desk. And after a hard day, I remind myself that it would have been a gravy day for someone who works outside. Still, it’s more mentally taxing then physical…but taxing nonetheless.

DB, I said a phone call – not a voicemail. 20 years ago, people actually picked up their phone when it rang instead of letting it rollover to voicemail. What you’re complaining about is directly attributable to email.

Jay says:

June 18th, 2009 at 12:57 pm

I’d also be curious if the real earned income that Sarge was talking about included medical coverage and/or 401(k) plan contributions on the part of the employer…..things that tend to fly under the radar of earned income and certainly weren’t comparable to 30 years prior. Add to that, company cell phone that we use for personal use, emails that we may send friends/family on company time with company resources, blogging with company internet access…..

SgtPendleton says:

June 18th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

“…you might be able to weld more cars together in a day than 20 years ago but Im not sure how much you’ll be making compared to before.

They don’t — they’re making less than before when adjusted for inflation DB.

Instead of being a slave to your tech make people understand you’re important enough for them to wait for you to get back to them and enjoy your most valuable resource, time.

What world do you live in? I can just imagine telling my boss to wait for an answer so he understands how important I am…pffft. Is this how they do things at the bank? No wonder they’re in so much trouble.

Deacon Blues says:

June 18th, 2009 at 1:06 pm

“They don’t — they’re making less than before when adjusted for inflation DB.”

I guess spot welding isnt that specialized.

“What world do you live in? I can just imagine telling my boss to wait for an answer so he understands how important I am…pffft. Is this how they do things at the bank? No wonder they’re in so much trouble.”

When I walk out the door I walk out the door. I dont answer my cell everytime it rings after business hours unless there is a good reason. Some people become a slave to their phone and cant let it sit. Some people let their job consume them and lose perspective. If youre on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week thats your problem. Ill probably never be CEO of the bank I work for but I enjoy my life and my cell phone and email dont get in the way. PFFFFFFTT!!!!!

monty says:

June 18th, 2009 at 1:07 pm

“Different motivation there”

True. The obligation of business is to it’s owners or shareholders. That obligation might oblige a business to pay well in order to stay in business(ie. retain quality staff), but you’re right, it comes from a different perspective.
Now as to the question of whether business has an obligation to the society in which it operates-that’s another question. The liberal doochebag in me says none of us operate in a vacuum, it is in the best interest of business to be a good citizen of society. And the conservative redneck in me counters that this is a capitalistic society, man, and it’s my responisibilty to look after my own best interests.

Jay says:

June 18th, 2009 at 1:08 pm

“we do more work.”

Again, I disagree. We do more tasks. To me (and physics, I believe) “work” is a measure of energy exerted, in a nutshell. If I spend 10 hours at my desk today, even if I accomplish a lot; I’ve done less work than 4 hours of the guy’s day who does landscaping. Amnd I’ve done both, so believe me- I know.

Maybe I’m still just a dumb farm kid, but to me “work” hurts and stresses your body, probably reducing the number of years you can ultimately do it. The guys back home at the lumber mill worked…..for as many years as they could, anyway. After which they went out and got a lower-paying job with longer hours (that was less work) in order to pay the bills.

Regardless, I’m still saying technology has created an environment where the average laborer is required to do less work. Its difficult for me to see how that should inherently be worth more moeny to the employer simply because of time passing by and rate of inflation. That’s the point at which you lose me, no matter how hard you or I might think we work.

Deacon Blues says:

June 18th, 2009 at 1:12 pm

“DB, I said a phone call – not a voicemail. 20 years ago, people actually picked up their phone when it rang instead of letting it rollover to voicemail. What you’re complaining about is directly attributable to email.”

There are things I dislike about email certainly. Its not very personal for one thing. But in terms of time and efficiency, its much better. Try sending a file or documents or any other critical piece of information over the phone. Fax? Forget it. Courier? Too expensive. Email? JUUUUUUUUST right. I can communicate what I want when I want to and send the information I need to in one shot. Cant do that over the phone. Never could.

adlib says:

June 18th, 2009 at 1:14 pm

“Are we believers that the individual who now matches the productivity of three people (due to technology’s assistance) is somehow “entitled” to take home the wages of the three people he/she replaced?”

If an tech friendly line worker uses the potential of current technology to triple productivity he/she is just as likely to be awarded a couple of new intermediary superiors to claim the financial credit for it, since such results are not appropriate to the pay scale of the unsupervised worker.

Jay says:

June 18th, 2009 at 1:17 pm

monty; “The liberal doochebag in me says none of us operate in a vacuum, it is in the best interest of business to be a good citizen of society. And the conservative redneck in me counters that this is a capitalistic society, man, and it’s my responisibilty to look after my own best interests.”

From what I’ve seen in my lifetime, there are more companies with the “liberal douchebag in you” in charge, but the lesser number of companies with the “redneck in you” in charge hire a disproportionately higher number of people.

I think the solution to that was thought of a long time ago…..the minimum wage. If you want to address the problem, adjust that.

Jay says:

June 18th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

adlib: “he/she is just as likely to be awarded a couple of new intermediary superiors to claim the financial credit for it”

As most companies tend to promote from within, that probably means good things for the individual in question. However, I would agree that generally speaking, most companies have too much middle management making more money than they should……but doesn’t that create lower corporate profit and higher average real income in the data were talking about, helping to close that gap that Sarge is concerned about?

adlib says:

June 18th, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Jay says: We do more tasks. To me (and physics, I believe) “work” is a measure of energy exerted, in a nutshell.

How much work then is involved in operating a modern crane in the middle of downtown at a construction site. What does the work?

Attention to detail concentration are often worth millions of dollars and the efforts of a whole workforce to salvage a loss.

Deacon Blues says:

June 18th, 2009 at 1:37 pm

“Attention to detail concentration are often worth millions of dollars and the efforts of a whole workforce to salvage a loss.”

Im not sure if any of you have watched the new Twins stadium go up but Ive seen a lot of it. They poured maybe 4 blocks of sidewalk in March maybe. The guys doing it did a lot of work. To adlib’s point about attention to detail, they poured the new sidewalk about 10 feet too close to the existing road. Once the foreperson or whoever saw that the four blocks of sidewalk was too close to the existing road, they had to get dozens of gus to bust it up. Whoever did the survey didnt do his ‘work’ properly and wasted about 200 man hours busting and moving the sidewalk back 10 feet from the road.

Jay says:

June 18th, 2009 at 1:42 pm

“How much work then is involved in operating a modern crane in the middle of downtown at a construction site. What does the work?”

I don’t have any construction background, but I would guess that the heavy equipment operator of today has taken the place of numerous manual laborers of the 60′s. While its true that attention to detail (or lack of it) of a crane operator could result in million of dollars of damages, do we believe that fair and reasonable compensation for that crane operator is then millions of dollars for that particular construction project?

Jay says:

June 18th, 2009 at 1:46 pm

or to put it another way, to get paid money in exchange for doing your job properly is a career. to get paid money to prevent you from doing something catastrophic is a bribe.

monty says:

June 18th, 2009 at 1:46 pm

“From what I’ve seen in my lifetime, there are more companies with the “liberal douchebag in you” in charge, but the lesser number of companies with the “redneck in you” in charge hire a disproportionately higher number of people.”

Actually, my perspective is that “redneck in me” is old school capitalism, “liberal doochebag in me” is New Age progressivism, and there’s lots more old schoolers out there than New Agers. I could be wrong(maybe these rose colored glasses have something to do with my persepective).Seems to me a well managed company will strike a balance between the two, though.

SgtPendleton says:

June 18th, 2009 at 1:48 pm

But DB — if there’s a piece of information you need, and it has a complex answer, a phone call is most effective assuming the person picks up the phone — that’s the key right there.

Jay, marketing people sit on their butts all day, but if they do 200 hours of research and figure out a new way to sell more product — that’s work too, and it has the potential to create huge increases in revenue for a company. Physically it’s nothing more than reading, shuffling some papers around and maybe some meetngs — but you can’t deny that it is in fact work and it’s valuable. I don’t buy your argument about physical vs mental.

adlib says:

June 18th, 2009 at 1:51 pm

“However, I would agree that generally speaking, most companies have too much middle management making more money than they should.”

To those critics of the public sector, I’m pleased that the private sector is not without analagous examples. Both public and private sectors have the same workforce issues.

For businesses it means expanding profits. For government it means doing as much with less resources. And morale is equally important to both sectors.

Deacon Blues says:

June 18th, 2009 at 1:52 pm

“But DB — if there’s a piece of information you need, and it has a complex answer, a phone call is most effective assuming the person picks up the phone — that’s the key right there.”

The phone is a tool. A useful tool. But its not the swiss army knife one stop shop of business tools. Email is by far more useful and capable of doing more than a phone can in almost every respect.

A new tool we’ve had in our bank now for the past year or so is instant messaging. Man thats helpful. Im actually talknig to a counter part in Milwaukee right now.

Jay says:

June 18th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Sarge: “I don’t buy your argument about physical vs mental.”

That’s fine, you don’t really need to. Do you think it takes more or less manhours today to accomplish the same level of marketing research results as it would have teken in 1965 (prior to your stagnant/falling erarnings stats)?

My initial comment was that technology has created less need for manhours to yield like results. And the question is what to do with the profit margin from that. Simply hand it to the individual accomplishing the same results it took several individuals a few decades ago? or expect that the company that made the initial investemnt in the technology that allowed the efficiency gain to keep it (ie return on investment)?

The rest of this dialogue is a tangant.

Jay says:

June 18th, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Sarge: “I don’t buy your argument about physical vs mental.”

This is a slightly separate angle, but do you see a distinction there in regards to longevity? You and I will likely be physically able to do our jobs (whether we want to or not) until we are nearly fossilized. For the individual who has a more physically demanding job, it may be quite an accomplishment to make it 20 years in that capacity before their body wears out.

Is it not reasonable and logical to pay people like you and I less because of our wider earnings window (or pay them more, if you prefer)? And if we can agree that there are more desk jobs in relation to pysical labor jobs today than there were 35 years ago, can we agree that the data regarding real earned wages might not be telling the whole story?

SgtPendleton says:

June 18th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

A new tool we’ve had in our bank now for the past year or so is instant messaging. Man thats helpful. Im actually talknig to a counter part in Milwaukee right now.

…I think you just gave away your employer…at least to anyone who’s followed the banking industry in Mpls over the last 10 years or so.

They all have limits DB. I can talk to someone on the phone and in 5 seconds convey something in my voice that would take 3 typed sentences to do in email. Same with IM. I recall at my old job IMing with my manager for 10 minutes, then resolving the problem by phone in about 30 seconds. Give the phone a try DB – you may be surprised at how much quicker it can be than email or even IM.

SgtPendleton says:

June 18th, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Sure we could agree on that, Jay. But it still doesn’t explain why wages for the bottom 90% have been flat for so long, while the top 10% have been getting exponentially more richer.

This trickle down business is at the heart of conservative economic ideology, and it doesn’t seem to be working for everyone.

Deacon Blues says:

June 18th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

“This trickle down business is at the heart of conservative economic ideology, and it doesn’t seem to be working for everyone.”

Now we can start the bottom up theory and see if that works better.

Deacon Blues says:

June 18th, 2009 at 3:42 pm

“I think you just gave away your employer…at least to anyone who’s followed the banking industry in Mpls over the last 10 years or so.”

The Milwaukee part? Doubtful.

“Give the phone a try DB – you may be surprised at how much quicker it can be than email or even IM.”

I do. Customers dont answer, cohorts dont answer, its a waste of time. So until people start answering their phones, its not that efficient. But with the email I can send out my message and wait for a response and carry on 10 conversations at the same time. The phone just isnt that efficient.

Deacon Blues says:

June 18th, 2009 at 3:46 pm

“I think you just gave away your employer…at least to anyone who’s followed the banking industry in Mpls over the last 10 years or so.”

If you’re thinking M&I think harder. I was IMing with a person who handles a portfolio for customers we have living in Milwaukee.

Tiny bulbs says:

June 18th, 2009 at 4:40 pm

“This trickle down business is at the heart of conservative economic ideology,”

I’ve never been hired by a poor guy. Not to many dudes making 30 G’s a year opening businesses and hiring people.

Tiny bulbs says:

June 18th, 2009 at 4:43 pm

“Obama fires two more inspector generals who were critical of him?”

Where is the OUTRAGE?

adlib says:

June 18th, 2009 at 5:28 pm

“Is it the responsibility/obligation of business and industry to subsidize the public for inflation?”

No,indeed it’s the responsibility of the public to learn which products of these businesses they can live without.
They’re doing that right now which is reducing inflationary demand but also changing the employment landscape.

adlib says:

June 18th, 2009 at 5:37 pm

“I’ve never been hired by a poor guy. Not to many dudes making 30 G’s a year opening businesses and hiring people.”

Meaning you’ve never been part of a startup workforce. Till a company gets going the principal entrepreneur is probably self paid less than the staff is paid. But unless the business plan is a pipe dream the people initially hired are the business.

adlib says:

June 18th, 2009 at 5:48 pm

“Obama fires two more inspector generals who were critical of him?”

Where is the OUTRAGE?

Yeah, these guys didn’t know you could get unappointed from an appointive position and that during a Democratic administration the executive branch should be, well, a democracy.

adlib says:

June 18th, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Parthian: Hatred of trade unions is the common DNA of all 20th century rightwing nationalist authoritarian movements, from the Nazis to America’s “conservatives”.

Is this photo of Kline extending his right wing the only photo the Strib can come up with? Better take on some new photogs I’d venture.

I once had a HS physics teacher who’d lived through the Great Depression and believed the New Deal was America’s downfall. To say he despised FDR was putting it mildly.

He also injected a little racial theory into the science curriculum explaining how black athletes had an edge in running and jumping, etc. due to an elongated heel bone wich gave them more mechanical advantage.

What ISN’T political?

SgtPendleton says:

June 19th, 2009 at 7:30 am

I hadn’t thought of M & I, DB — thinking something bigger that was run by a Grundhofer.

You and Tiny have fallen victim to conservative group think that tax cuts for the rich benefit everyone. Conservatives have been successful in making that idea “conventional wisdom” — even though there’s no direct evidence that it works as promised.

Reagan’s tax cuts you say? Didn’t take effect until after the economic turnround in Nov 82, which was attributable to the Fed massively cutting interest rates…followed by massive defeceit spending. Bush tax cuts? Don’t make me laugh.

Jay says:

June 19th, 2009 at 10:02 am

Sgt: “conservative group think that tax cuts for the rich benefit everyone”

Sarge, I suspect you have fallen victim to liberal group think that tax cuts are only for the rich. Tax cuts only for the rich would have zero chance of getting through Congress. Tax cuts, even the evil “Bush tax cuts,” did benefit everyone who had payroll taxes being taken out of their check.

You can pursue the standard progressive/regressive and who pays what as a percentage of their income arguments all day long, but to imply that the tax cuts you criticize ONLY benefitted rich people is false.

That said, I think it was a poor time to make those cuts, but that’s a different issue. We should be making tax cuts right now, but we can’t because they are already low. You lower taxes during tough economic times and raise taxes when people have the extra money to pay them. We cut taxes when times were good and that is leaving us nowhere to go today…….but don’t come along with this crap about the cuts only benefitting rich people.

Deacon Blues says:

June 19th, 2009 at 10:09 am

“You and Tiny have fallen victim to conservative group think that tax cuts for the rich benefit everyone.”

How do you figure that? Im all for more taxes within reason to balance the budget and I have no problem with chaning the capital gains taxes to what they were. I think you assume too much.

” hadn’t thought of M & I, DB — thinking something bigger that was run by a Grundhofer.”

You dont think there might be more than one bank that has offices in Milwaukee AND Mpls? Off the top of my head I can think of Associated, M&I, USB, TCF, Wells to name a few.

SgtPendleton says:

June 19th, 2009 at 3:08 pm

The Grudndhofer brothers – Jack and Jerry. You fit right in with them.

Deacon Blues says:

June 20th, 2009 at 10:21 am

You’ve wounded me deeply Sgt. You’re approval and acceptence of me means a lot and is worth striving for. Im going to try and be a better man and follow yor example of how to live in order to insure my salvation.

John E Iacono says:

June 20th, 2009 at 12:40 pm

On the nature of “work”:

I like definition 7a (of 10) in Websters Collegiate better:

“something produced or accomplished by effort, exertion, or excercise of skill..”

This seems to me to better embrace the entire field of work as commonly understood today. People don’t go off to the office to play: they go to contribute to the production of value.

That being said, the premise on which labor unions were founded was that — when value is produced, ALL of those who contribute to that production should share in the rewards. And they believed — partly by denigrating the contribution made by managers or contributors of capital as not really work — that the “workers” should have a greater share than they were getting.

If the price of the product increases with inflation, or the cost of it is reduced by the parties who produce it, it seems reasonable to me that all should share in the net value gained — in proportion to their contribution to that value produced.

The sticking point comes when the contributor of capital, by investing in equipment which reduced the man-hours needed, claims all of the net gain for himself; or the manager who alters work patterns — perhaps by forcing more effort on those who do the human labor — claims all of the net gain for himself — when in reality the effort of those who do the narrowly defined “work” are really the ones who produced the extra value.

Another sticking point comes when those who formerly produced 90% of the value by manual work still want the same portion of the value produced when they only contribute 50% of it now.

To be fair, it appears to me we have examples of all of these types of overreaching in our economy today.

John E Iacono says:

June 20th, 2009 at 12:59 pm

On tax cuts for the rich:

It is pretty clear that if “the rich” do not have resources they will not make the investments necessary for the economy to grow, and those who depend on those investments being made will suffer.

It also seems pretty clear that if more of the resources they have are left in their pockets they may NOT necessarily make economy-growing investments with those resources, as in “how much does pate de fois gras contribute to the economy?” (Except for the goose grower, of course.)

It further seems clear that “the rich” could reduce their tax burden by giving more of the wealth they produce to those who help them produce it, thus reducing their taxable income, so tax cuts are not the only way to reduce their burden.

Additionally, it does seem fair in the abstract that those who have more should contribute more to the promotion of the public good.

But how much more becomes an issue when the rich already pay more than half of that cost, while an increasing number of those who have little pay nothing at all, and often indeed receive multiple subsidies. (Only the rich and the poor can afford health care, for example.)

So long as the strident debate is carried on with half-truths for example “trickle down economics” and citing the numbers without health insurance without pointing out how many of them get free or near free health care from government programs, there is not likely to be an equitable resolution of this argument.

I am not optimistic that people will soon lay down their arms and deal honestly.

adlib says:

June 20th, 2009 at 8:19 pm

JEL says:” Additionally, it does seem fair in the abstract that those who have more should contribute more to the promotion of the public good.”

Even if this statement at face value reads like Marxism, I agree in principal. I think however that distinction needs to be made in how the resources were acquired.

Do you tax an inheritance at all? Tax it the same as royalties on an invention or a syndicated film? And if so what rate applies to someone who works a lot of extra hours to generate a pile of capital? What about someone active in mergers, acquisitions and leveraged buyouts? Shouldn’t exponential growth be taxed down into the moderate growth rate to prevent collapses such as the Petters and Hecker fortunes?

adlib says:

June 20th, 2009 at 8:31 pm

“I think you just gave away your employer…at least to anyone who’s followed the banking industry in Mpls over the last 10 years or so.”

From previous threads I gathered it was USB. What did I miss?

Jay says:

June 22nd, 2009 at 8:47 am

JEL says:” Additionally, it does seem fair in the abstract that those who have more should contribute more to the promotion of the public good.”

adlib responds: “Even if this statement at face value reads like Marxism, I agree in principal.”

While I also agree, I’d suggest it sounds a little less like marxism and a little more like good old common sense…..it seems reasonable to me that those who have money pay more because those without any money aren’t going to contribute no matter what the tax laws say. When you need revenue, you are forced to go after it from those who have the ability, if not the desire, to pay it. Justify it however you see fit and call it whatever you want, but its the only rational way to achieve that goal.

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