●The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes.
●Austerity is the government’s method for widening the gap between rich and poor, which leads to civil disorder.
●Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
●To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments.
●Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
●The penalty for ignorance is slavery.
●Everything in economics devolves to motive.
American labor unions should enjoy the sympathy and backing of the American public. Unions are “for” the common worker, “for” higher wages, “for” better working conditions and “against” the rich. What could be wrong with that?
Why then, has union membership declined?
Bureau of Labor Statistics
In 2012, the union membership rate–the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of a union–was 11.3 percent, down from 11.8 percent in 2011. The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions, at 14.4 million, also declined over the year.
In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent, and there were 17.7 million union workers.
Many reasons have been offered for this decline, not the least of which has been notorious, rampant greed and dishonesty among union leadership. Additionally:
Why Has Union Membership Declined?
UC Berkeley’s Claude Fischer
-American workers did not need to organize because they flourished without unions;
-American workers were divided by ethnicity and race in ways European workers were not;
-employers in the United States were unusually powerful … and got governments to crack down on unions (the notorious cases involve state governors using the National Guard to break strikes);
-the American dream of self-employment distracted workers;
-the American electoral system prevented a labor party from growing;
-Americans’ individualism led them to reject collective action;
-Unions face critical “free-rider” problems if membership is totally voluntary. For example, I could benefit from the union’s effort to improve working conditions at my workplace without paying dues
There may be one reason that transcends all. The reason is hinted at in the following excerpts from a post on the AFL-CIO’s own blog.
How Corporations Use Offshore Havens to Avoid Paying Their Taxes
04/24/2013 Kenneth Quinnell
Current laws in the United States allow corporations to use offshore havens to avoid paying their taxes and, if it’s up to many in Washington, the problem will only grow larger.
Tax laws encourage the offshoring of America’s jobs, which has led to the hollowing out of the middle class.
The United States has the third-lowest effective corporate tax burden in the world. Corporate taxation as a share of total tax revenue was 26.4% in 1950 and was down to 7.4% in 2010.
Personal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes were 51.4% of total tax revenue in 1950, now they are up to 83.4%.
Congress is now proposing lowering corporate taxes even more.
See the problem? Rather than demanding reductions in domestic taxes, AFL-CIO believes all corporations – including those organizations that hire and pay union members’ salaries – should pay more taxes.
If AFL-CIO is saying federal tax laws are bad, I agree. If AFL-CIO is saying people pay too high a percentage of their income in taxes, I also agree. But will raising domestic taxes make American businesses more competitive, or encourage American businesses to hire more people, or increase union membership, or benefit union members? No.
Historically, unions have favored employee inefficiency as a way to increase payrolls. (One example: Unions in Chicago’s convention center, McCormick Place, demanded even the most trivial tasks be performed by union members, then charged exorbitant rates. Only when conventions threatened to go elsewhere, did the unions relent.)
McCormick Place union deal reap rewards: Trade show, hotel work
Chicago Sun Times
Fran Spielman, City Hall Reporter
Newly-negotiated union concessions at McCormick Place paid quick dividends on Friday when a major trade show locked in for 2013 and 2015, and a major hotel chain authorized $125 million in renovations.
The union concessions will create an “exhibitors bill of rights” that lets show managers and exhibitors set up their own booths with simple tools.
Exhibitors also can drive and unload their own vehicles at McCormick Place, and union work can be done by two-person crews instead of the old three-person minimum.
The overall result: More work for union members, and not just in the convention center.
For understandable, historical reasons, unions indoctrinate their membership to be anti-business. The focus has been on maximizing employment and wages, rather than on increasing business health, which as a result. would help maximize employment.
It’s as though there were the belief, “the more difficult we make life for businesses, the more people they will hire.”
Not that businesses are innocent. On the contrary, unions exist because businesses exploited workers. But unions are fighting a losing battle.
In this Supreme Court, “Citizens United” world, where corporations have the same rights as people, and can bribe politicians as much as they wish, business simply has too much money and firepower for the unions.
The salvation of the union movement will be in adopting a willingness to help American business be more competitive, rather than asking all business to pay higher taxes, and hoping that will result in salary increases.
Better that the unions should demonstrate their value to businesses by standing shoulder to shoulder with them, and demanding that Congress reduce or eliminate business taxes.
No, cooperation won’t guarantee all businesses will become union-friendly. But cooperation will be more productive than contention for both sides. Unions should assist in efforts to make union members better trained, more willing, more productive workers, rather than exhibiting a “do-the-least, demand-the-most” attitude.
Unions should reward the union-friendly companies and save the contention for those individual companies that truly deserve it. American unions need healthy American companies. The union leaders should ask, “What are we doing, and what can we do, to nourish the goose that lays our golden eggs?”
Message to unions: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. And; you can’t beat ‘em. So, learn Monetary Sovereignty and learn the reasons WHY federal business taxes and personal taxes can and should be cut.
Learn how to feed the goose so the goose can feed you.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Nine Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Medicare — parts A, B & D — for everyone
3. Send every American citizen an annual check for $5,000 or give every state $5,000 per capita (Click here)
4. Long-term nursing care for everyone
5. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
6. Salary for attending school (Click here)
7. Eliminate corporate taxes
8. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually
9. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99%
No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia. Two key equations in economics:
Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption – Net Imports