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Old 03-27-2003, 01:45 PM   #61
Thorfinn
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All due respect, going to AFL/CIO website for a history of the labor movement is roughly the same as going to the KKK website for a discussion of the civil rights movement.

I did not say that we should ignore unfairness in the world, and didn't mean to imply such, but I did say that we should not try to correct unfairness by creating more unfairness, but instead by trying to address that first unfairness. If I were to rob Cerek, the solution should not be to give Harlyquin the privilege of robbing Rokken. The solution to rape is not to lock up all people with penises, to prevent them from committing a rape.

The correct way to right unfairness is through fairness, not by broadening the unfairness.

[ 03-27-2003, 02:26 PM: Message edited by: Thorfinn ]
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Old 03-27-2003, 02:10 PM   #62
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Well in that case, look at this one, it's from the Smithsonian Institute.
http://americanhistory.si.edu/sweats...ry/history.htm

There are lots of other sites of information, I only included the other one because it gave links to other sites in one place. You can find information from schools, the government, labor organizations, researchers, etc.
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Old 03-27-2003, 02:14 PM   #63
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I think this is naive. You pay 32 cents (actually more like 99, but anyway) for a can of tomato sauce because that's what the market will bear. It will cost (more or less) that much regardless of whether the corporation pays taxes or not. On the tax issue, it's likely you do not understand the corporate tax structure, which is IMO lower than it should be, but at the very least inarguably should exist. If you're thinking "double taxation" you have heard a soundbyte and have not developed an understanding of the tax system.
You are correct that the price is what the market would bear. But if there were really a profit margin of 87%, more companies would start canning tomato sauce, increasing the supply, and decreasing the price.

As for corporate taxes, I pay them. I know that without them, I could and would afford two more employees. If we accept the notion that capitalists will not leave money sitting on the table, decreasing the corporate tax would increase the incentive to hire more people and make more money.

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Those $2.00 you mention serve 2 major purposes: (1) social security and (2) unemployment. THe fact the ditchdigger pays this money "into the system" justifies his drawing of unemployment for up to a year if he gets laid off and has to find another job. It also justifies his drawing of social security. Especially important for a ditchdigger, who likely has no 401k plan.
Ah, but it does not. The Social Security system is a pay-as-you-go system. The US Supreme Court has ruled at least twice that the government is under no requirement to pay out Social Security benefits, and that they could, if they chose, discontinue payments entirely and leave the tax in place. (The Davis decision, IIRC.) As the boomers retire, there is no way the Social Security system will remain solvent, anyway.

BTW, 25% paid in over your entire working life, then drawing out at 50% for the on average less than four years until you die is a horrible rate of return on money. It is worse than stuffing the money into a mattress. If you factor in just the 6.25% that most people think they pay in, you end up with about a 5% return on investment. If you factor in the amount the employer pays in, and thus never shows up anywhere on your paycheck, you are losing money big time.

Furthermore, why should anyone be able to force me or anyone else to take unemployment insurance? Why shouldn't I get to decide for myself the level of security I want? Why should anyone be able to force me to pay into a Ponzi pension plan of sorts? Why shouldn't I be able to decide for myself?

Oh, and if you didn't have the taxes in the first place, why would you need to have a tax shelter like a 401(k)?

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This is just silly. Quit taking the National Review Online to heart so much, because it has been proven to kill brain cells at the same rate as hippy crack.
More ad hominem? BTW, I don't believe I have ever visited NRO, assuming it to be the online version of National Review magazine. The naivete of Neo-conservatives just annoys me.

Quote:
The employers, not the government, chose to expose employees to toxins and other death-causing incidences so much the workers were forced to form unions and the government was forced to implement OSHA.
NO! The employees chose to take on a job that was unsafe. If not for the fact that the gov't has sucked off so much of the business profits, and did not restrict entry into the market with things like licensure, there would be a bidding war for employees, and businesses would find it in their interests to be offer a safe workplace since employees will certainly figure their safety as a part of the total compensation package.

The simple fact is that people value their safety differently. Heck, some people voluntarily agree to strap on a uniform, get shipped halfway around the world, and get shot at, for not much over minimum wage, less if you figure they are really on-duty 24/7.

Quote:
On a more reflective note, I will point out that the corporate form of business promotes abuse of the worker.
Oh, heck, you are not going to get me to support the corporate model. Some wealthy businessmen petitioned the government to give them protection from liability for their actions, and the government gave it to them. If not for the corporate shield, people would be in a much better position to have their harms redressed. In other words, corporations are only able to do that with/through the complicity of Congress.

Truthfully, in my ideal world, anyone could seek compensation for their damages, and no one, not even the government, could take away their right of restitution.

[ 03-27-2003, 02:17 PM: Message edited by: Thorfinn ]
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Old 03-27-2003, 02:30 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally posted by Thorfinn:
Truthfully, in my ideal world, anyone could seek compensation for their damages, and no one, not even the government, could take away their right of restitution.
You sir are the most hardcore anarchist I have ever met. I salute you [img]graemlins/hippysmile.gif[/img]
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Old 03-27-2003, 02:35 PM   #65
Timber Loftis
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Quote:
Originally posted by Thorfinn:
Quote:
Quote:
The employers, not the government, chose to expose employees to toxins and other death-causing incidences so much the workers were forced to form unions and the government was forced to implement OSHA.
NO! The employees chose to take on a job that was unsafe. If not for the fact that the gov't has sucked off so much of the business profits, and did not restrict entry into the market with things like licensure, there would be a bidding war for employees, and businesses would find it in their interests to be offer a safe workplace since employees will certainly figure their safety as a part of the total compensation package.
You make good points, Thorfinn, especially regarding payroll taxes. However, I can tell you for a fact that companies do not inform employees of the dangers.

Take asbestos for instance. I have represented plaintiffs in these toxic cases, and have shown up at work to discover my client had died by opening a package that was on my desk which contained his lung. None of these folks working in construction in the 1940's, 50's, and 60's were ever told that they should even wear masks even though scientific reports dating back to 1898 found the lung disease problems of asbestos and silica dust. In fact, in the book "Outrageous Misconduct," you will find a thorough delinieation of how the industry KNEW as early as 1930 that cancer and lung disease resulted from asbestos exposure yet PURPSOSEFULLY hid the information from the press, the gov't, and doctors.

In short, the companies, Johns-Manville chief among them, CHOSE to risk worker deaths. Let's not forget that after the heavily-supported-by-industry Worker's Comp law was passed, there was a absolute max cap on worker injuries. Thus, the companies knew that even if they did kill the employees, they would only be liable for the employee wages at most. Industrial Health Officers in most companies admit this is a license to treat employees as guinea pigs.

Oh, and if you've ever met a mother and daughter who are also suffering mesothelioma or some other nasty lung disease simply because they washed those snow-white asbestos-laden work clothes during the 60's, you will be especially angry. [img]graemlins/1pissed.gif[/img]

No, friend, the corporations choose to do this to workers. If they are unchecked, that is. Besides, if there was no control, we would all work dangerous jobs, as no other jobs would exist. You referenced the Davis case. Well, in the 1920s after corportations had for decades used the "right to contract" as justification for child labor and 14-hour work days, the Supreme Court finally said such a notion was bullsh*t. The decision is called Lochner, and is very famous.
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Old 03-27-2003, 02:43 PM   #66
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The Sweatshop display is truly laughable.

The Seamstress was underpaid (I thought that prices were what the market would bear, but no matter) and had to rely on charity to survive. Um, if you are relying on charity, you might as well not bother to grab your needle, anyway. Much better off to just have the charity, and sit around sipping iced tea while the philanthropists send you a check.

The resurgence of the sweatshop, 1940-1997 was most intriguing. They talk about the problem as: "A combination of forces at home and abroad contributed to their reappearance: changes in the retail industry, a growing global economy, increased reliance on contracting, and a large pool of immigrant workers in the United States" What changed? The retail industry changed, true, but that was because people chose to buy from department stores, and later from discount retailers. It was not some evil force of businessmen, but through the billions of free choices Americans made on where to shop. Furthermore, in part this was due to the tax structure itself -- no Mom & Pop store can afford the kind of tax attorneys that WalMart can. No Mom & Pop store can afford the kind of lobbyists WalMart can to get the tax laws as favorable as possible, and as disfavorable to the competition. This is a consequence of Congress long ago exceeding their Article I, Section 8 enumerated powers.

Immigration is not a problem. The more people working, the more goods there are on the face of the earth, and thus the more wealthy we all are. Since US has the highest productivity on the face of the earth, it makes sense to allow as many people to flock here as want to work, since we would then have those goods produced as cost-effectively as possible. The problem is that the immigration laws prevent people without the right piece of paper from seeking employment from anyone who is not willing to overlook that. In other words, fear of the INS is the force that makes sweatshops even possible.

Where is that explained anywhere in that display?
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Old 03-27-2003, 03:01 PM   #67
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The asbestos problem is an interesting one, indeed. However, the only studies of which I am aware of link asbestosis to only a particular type of asbestos, primarily obtained from Africa. The types of asbestos that come from Canada, for instance, the type that Manville used, appear to have no adverse health effects, or at the very least were very overstated. The studies of which I am aware was unable to distinguish a differential rate of incidence between house dust and Canadian asbestos.

Now that African asbestos was the one that primarily was used fireproofing shipyards. Undoubtedly it had a large effect, but the problem appears to be that the risks factors from tobacco smoke and asbestos appear to combine geometrically.

I am not saying the companies should be blameless. Not at all. Like I said, in my ideal world, if you prove your case in a court, you get restitution for your damages. But I think it is reasonable that you show who hurt you, and how, and how much you were harmed.

As an attorney, surely you are familiar with the quack science that led to "cancer by acute trauma" awards, the Audi runaway car junk science, and the continual suits of things like "environmental AIDS" and other near-the-detection-limit chemical exposure that lead to multi-million dollar awards, even if there is no single case of an "background chemical" paper that has withstood the challenges of other scientists in any refereed journal. Painting all asbestos with the broad brush has unfortunately resulted in similar miscarriages of justice.

[EDIT]
Wasn't Lochner about working excessive hours in bakeries? I thought it basically upheld a NY(?) law that capped the number of working hours in those bakeries. I had not realized they generalized to all industries, but then again, it has been a while since I read it...
[/EDIT]

[EDIT2]
Oh, and regarding the idea that corporations choose to expose workers, of course they do. Congress granted them a corporate shield that in many cases protects them from liability to a large extent, and as you pointed out, the Worker's Compensation was capped. But remember that it was Congress who granted immunity to corporations in the first place, and it was Congress who placed the cap on Worker's Comp. Corporations are only playing by the rules that Congress itself set up. It seems to me if you want to find fault, you should include those who were swayed by the lobbyists' arguments and/or money...
[/EDIT2]

[ 03-27-2003, 03:09 PM: Message edited by: Thorfinn ]
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Old 03-27-2003, 03:28 PM   #68
Grojlach
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cerek the Barbaric:
I also can't help but wonder how staunchly Stephen Downs' First Amendment rights would have been defended if he had gotten a T-shirt made that said "NUKE IRAQ". I have a strong feeling that many of those currently supporting Stephen Downs would have been on the other side of the fence and would be saying "Yeah, he has a right to own that T-shirt...but the mall certainly had a right to ask him to remove it."
Well, I can see the point you're trying to make, though a message like "NUKE IRAQ" is a lot stronger and harsher than the message on Stephen Downs' t-shirt; it might (barely) be within his First Amendment rights, but it's still a very offensive message of hate and he'd probably be confronted by many people, both pro-war and anti-war, asking him if he has completely lost his mind walking around with a message like that. Here in Europe, he'd probably be frowned upon as if he were wearing a t-shirt with a Swastika, to make a wild comparison. Would I defend his right to wear that message? No, of course not. But I don't think this is a fair example, as that particular message is very close to, if not already over, the line where it stops being an expression of opinion within the limits of freedom of speech and starts being a message of hate. I'm not defending anyone's freedom of speech if it's based on hate, destruction and basically directly promotes genocide, and though I'm not that familiar with the First Amendment in the US, it's probably not much different from the European equivalents which exclude these messages of hate from the freedom of speech-right.

No, I think a better and fairer example would have been a message like "DOWN WITH THE DICTATOR" or "FIGHT FOR FREEDOM", which is comparable in strength with the messages on Stephen Downs' and his son's t-shirts, only representing the opinions of the other end of the issue... And In that case I would have held the same position as I have now.

Oh, and I wasn't offended by your post, don't worry. [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ 03-27-2003, 03:58 PM: Message edited by: Grojlach ]
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Old 03-27-2003, 03:42 PM   #69
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I'm stepping in here to remind everyone that this is a FRIENDLY discussion and not the Inquisition.

Thorfinn, you apparently take this topic so seriously that your tone and choice of words in some cases can appear hostile to others. If this topic gets you hot under the collar (or anyone for that matter), remember that it's better to step back and cool off before telling someone that their situation or argument is laughable or implying their problems are trivial. They certainly don't think this and it only makes the atmosphere tense and combative.

As for my personal view- I don't think any argument is served by taking the topic and trivializing it by saying there are 'worse things' out there. While that CAN serve to bring things into perspective in some cases, it is more likely to make the other person angry or defensive and feel that the person making that argument doesn't care about their situation. In my experience, if someone feels something bad happened in their own lives, they can certainly acknowledge that worse IS possible, but they will more than likely still be upset or emotional over what happened to them.

This thread is leaning off topic, but as it is still related in some way to 'employee/employer' issues, I'll leave it up to the originator to decide if he wants to continue on this track or ask to start a new thread.
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Old 03-27-2003, 03:52 PM   #70
Timber Loftis
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Quote:
Originally posted by Thorfinn:
The asbestos problem is an interesting one, indeed. However, the only studies of which I am aware of link asbestosis to only a particular type of asbestos, primarily obtained from Africa. The types of asbestos that come from Canada, for instance, the type that Manville used, appear to have no adverse health effects, or at the very least were very overstated. The studies of which I am aware was unable to distinguish a differential rate of incidence between house dust and Canadian asbestos.
Actually, all asbestos can cause these problems. Asbestos is a geometric crystal fiber shape, not a chemical compound. IIRC, Any substance fiber that is less than 2 microns wide and whose length is 10 times its width or more is "asbestiform." Because of this shape, the crystaline fiber can work its way into the smallest branches of the lung lining (alveoli) and cause calcification and hardening due to constant irritation with every breath. And, asbestos is so incredibly fatally nasty, it should not be compared to the other stuff you mentioned. (I won't defend runaway juries in those instances.) The form and % content of asbestos-containing material (ACM) is important, too. Stick-tite, which was spray-on asbestos and was very friable is a particularly nasty example. More that 2% content ACM is incredibly fatal stuff. Like I said, the women who washed the clothes got mesothelioma.

On that note, I'm talking a horrible cancer that kills in less than one year. Asbestosis is bad, but when it turns into meso you're screwed and fast.

Yes, smoking increases the harm geometrically.

Quote:
[EDIT]
Wasn't Lochner about working excessive hours in bakeries? I thought it basically upheld a NY(?) law that capped the number of working hours in those bakeries. I had not realized they generalized to all industries, but then again, it has been a while since I read it...
[/EDIT]
Right. It stopped the company from using the Constitution as a defense to limits imposed by the state. In other words, it is perfectly legal for the government to set rules for employers to protect workers. The child labor instances, however, are in the background of the Lochner decision, and were certainly on the justices' minds. It's a long decision, IIRC, and has a progeny of cases (also by the Supreme Court) which expanded the doctrine to mean what the notion of "Lochner" encompasses today.

Quote:
[EDIT2]
Oh, and regarding the idea that corporations choose to expose workers, of course they do. Congress granted them a corporate shield that in many cases protects them from liability to a large extent, and as you pointed out, the Worker's Compensation was capped. But remember that it was Congress who granted immunity to corporations in the first place, and it was Congress who placed the cap on Worker's Comp. Corporations are only playing by the rules that Congress itself set up. It seems to me if you want to find fault, you should include those who were swayed by the lobbyists' arguments and/or money...
[/EDIT2]
So, doesn't this contradict your notion above that corporations should be just left alone. No matter your points on congress's culpability here, you are tacitly admitting that corporations will get away with whatever they can. Doesn't this undermine your initial statement that the companies did not choose to harm people??
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