Morning Links

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

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88 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  M. Steve | 

    Did someone post this website on some sort of neo-left astroturf “go harass” list? It’s getting to the point where I hate Team Blue even more than Team Red, and I hate Team Red with the fiery passion of 1000 suns. Maybe 1050 suns for Team Blue?

  2. #2 |  claude | 

    “As for “most pay for least work,” all of my jobs paid what the market would bear, and the work was what it was, sometimes hard, sometimes not, but always determined by market forces. Not so in the public sector, at least not in the majority of cases, and usually by coincidence.”

    I think youll still find pay is based on market forces. Private school teachers make about the same as public school teachers, at least in my neck of the woods. Many times, pay raises and bennies are the only form of promotion available for some jobs. In my area, for comparable occupations, public and private salaries are fairly similar. Of course comparing non union jobs with union jobs.. you will find larger differences in pay. Non-union making less every time. The contracts unions negotiate and win, are what the market pays, or they wouldnt have gotten it.

    “In their inception, unions are designed to serve the needs of the individual members, but in almost every case, over time the union becomes an institution and the relationship is reversed, with the members becoming a means to the union’s ends.”

    There is some truth to that. Theres also truth in that it was much worse on the American worker without unions. There has to be a way to fix this where unions can have enough pull, but not too much. I sure dont want to have to shop at the company store and still end up owing money at the end of the week. This all can be fixed. It doesnt have to be a situation where either the employer can trounce a union OR a union can trounce an employer. It doesnt have be one or the other when it comes to this issue. It can be a different way. Certain problems with the way both function can be fixed.

    http://tarpley.net/2010/09/14/labor-struggles-have-delivered-economic-progress-not-the-cartelized-free-market/

    BTW, Wisconsin has the number 1 high school graduation rate in the USA. Thats how bad their teachers are.

  3. #3 |  claude | 

    “Did someone post this website on some sort of neo-left astroturf “go harass” list? It’s getting to the point where I hate Team Blue even more than Team Red, and I hate Team Red with the fiery passion of 1000 suns. Maybe 1050 suns for Team Blue?”

    I dont know. Should only certain points of view be permitted here?

  4. #4 |  B | 

    Re: getting harassed for being a white guy in a black neighborhood–

    My next door neighbor in Durham, NC, (white guy) used to work with resettled Katrina refugees, most of whom landed in predominantly black and somewhat crime-ridden East Durham. He got pulled over all the time in that neighborhood, especially if he had one of his clients in the car with him. Eventually the cops got to know him and left him alone (an advantage of living in a small city) but it really shouldn’t have taken that.

    It seems a pretty widely-held sentiment among police that if you are a white guy in certain neighborhoods you are probably there for drugs and/or prostitutes.

  5. #5 |  Rob in CT | 

    @ Mattocracy,

    I don’t buy it. I think that article was put up in Reason precisely because of what’s happening in WI. I mean, come on, let’s say some other publication puts out an article extoling the virtuous history of labor unions today. You’d think that was a coincidence? The Reason article specifically says that it’s pushback against those who are over-selling the greatness of Unions.

    I am ultimately unconvinced that public sector unions are somehow less worthy/needed than private sector ones (basically it does not appear to me that the sainted taxpayers, myself included, are any less exploitative of our employees as, say, the Brothers Koch are).

    On the other hand, I do think there is some substance to the argument regarding the monopoly or near-monoply government has on certain services, which increases the power of public sector unions (to the extent they’re allowed to strike, anyway). I think that’s a legitimate issue, but I have to believe there’s a way of counterbalancing it without removing collective bargaining rights. Further, I really believe that the problem (states staring down long-term benefit liabilities they cannot possibly pay) has less to do with the unions than it does with politicians and the public they serve (pander to, seek votes from, etc). IIRC, many states that do not have public sector unions are facing major budget problems.

    On unions in general, things I’ve always been conflicted about are the “closed shop” and “card check.” Conflicted b/c I can see from a power standpoint why such undemocratic/anti-individual liberty things might have been necessary in, say, 1920s West Virginia (just 1 example). Fundamentally those things rub me the wrong way, and yet I can’t quite figure out how those coal miners could have won w/o it. Note: I am not saying WI public employees in the 21st century are early-20th century coal miners. I really don’t think anybody else is really saying that either (the standard argument is about a slippery slope that many feel we’re halfway down already, not that WI teachers and such are fighting off the Pinkertons).

  6. #6 |  Rob in CT | 

    I can only speak for myself, but I came here originally b/c Obsidian Wings has a link. And I think somebody elsewhere (Andrew Sullivan?) linked to some of Radley’s posts. I generally think he’s a sane advocate for individual liberty, something I value a great deal even if I’m far from pure in that respect. I value more than one thing, and sometimes the things I value come into conflict and I have to choose, which gets messy. In such situations, I often end up disagreeing with Radley and other libertarians. But I like reading the arguments when they’re presented well, and engaging them at times.

    The fire of 1050 suns notwithstanding.

  7. #7 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “It seems a pretty widely-held sentiment among police that if you are a white guy in certain neighborhoods you are probably there for drugs and/or prostitutes.”

    @54B Yes, and to add an extra level or irony/complication it
    is common knowledge in the area (Durham) these same cops are getting nookie from these workin’ girls.
    http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/2020486/
    Who is it exactly these guys are “protecting?” Or “serving?”
    I lost track somewhere along the line.

  8. #8 |  claude | 

    “I think that’s a legitimate issue, but I have to believe there’s a way of counterbalancing it without removing collective bargaining rights. ”

    Thats what im looking for too. I fully believe the rights public sector unions gain or lose does have ramifications to the workers rights in the private sector. If i didnt believe whats happening in Wi with public unions would transfer to private sector unions, i would be a bit quieter about it.

  9. #9 |  Mario | 

    Regarding the cops getting off for beating the “back talking” 19-year-old in a bodega, here’s Police Commissioner Ray Kelly:

    Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters yesterday that after an investigation, neither cop will be charged with any wrongdoing. Kelly asserted that after receiving a warning about the sidewalk pedaling, Cartagena Jr. threatened to do it again, then resisted their efforts to give him a summons. “Words were exchanged,” Kelly said. “He resisted.”

    I’m sorry, but that explanation doesn’t even add up. Let’s suppose the teen received a warning and then “threatened to do it again,” in other words, gave the cop some “back talk.” Where does that video demonstrate the the teen “resisted [the cops’] efforts to give him a summons”?

    The video shows the teen and the cop exchanging words near the door of the bodega, at which point the cop immediately grabs the kid. At what point did the kid have the opportunity to “resist the summons”?

    I suspect the cops are liars and Kelly knows it. Kelly’s a liar, too.

  10. #10 |  claude | 

    “I can only speak for myself, but I came here originally b/c Obsidian Wings has a link.”

    I came here years ago cuz i heard there was a party here. I stay for the high quality very intelligent posters. :)

  11. #11 |  Radley Balko | 

    I think youll still find pay is based on market forces. Private school teachers make about the same as public school teachers, at least in my neck of the woods.

    Public school teachers make about 25-30 percent more, before benefits. Much more after benefits.

  12. #12 |  claude | 

    “Public school teachers make about 25-30 percent more, before benefits. Much more after benefits.”

    Its not so much that way here. Here they do make more than their parochial school counterparts, but not more than non religious based private schools. It has been a while since i have checked the numbers tho, so they could have changed.

    “Background

    Historically, private school teachers salaries have been less than those in the public school sector. Years ago teachers would accept a position in a private school for less money simply because they felt that the teaching environment was friendlier. Or perhaps they considered it a mission or calling. That is generally not the case anymore. Private schools have had to compete for a smaller pool of well-qualified teachers. Public school teachers’ pay has risen markedly. The same is true of private teachers’ pay. Private schools now pay very close to what public schools pay.”

    http://privateschool.about.com/od/salaries/qt/salaries.htm

  13. #13 |  Radley Balko | 

    Some even tried planting the seed of “only property owners should vote”.

    Who said that? I haven’t seen that position advocated by any prominent Republican or free market advocate.

    Most of my fellow citizens cant even figure out that fox news has more viewers because it is on basic cable across the country and msnbc is on expanded basic cable, which requires buying an additional package.

    This isn’t quite right. Fox paid cable carriers to pick up the channel early on, which was unheard of at the time. (Payment usually went the other way.) It was a risky business move for an upstart, and it paid off rather well. I’ve lived in the D.C. area, Chicago, Indy, and now Nashville, and Fox and MSNBC have always been on the same tier of channels. Perhaps there are carriers that put MSNBC on an expanded group of channels, but it’s certainly not true “across the country.”

  14. #14 |  Shannon's Mouse | 

    Public school teachers make about 25-30 percent more, before benefits. Much more after benefits.

    Private schools have the luxury of selecting their students from a privileged and educable pool of children. The supply and demand of teachers capable of teaching such children and its affect on teacher compensation is left as an exercise for the reader.

  15. #15 |  Shannon's Mouse | 

    I do love the well-timed “just throwin’ it out there” nature of the “racist union” history lesson though. What I’m really looking forward to is a Reason history lesson exploring how the Koch family’s road to riches was paved with oil extraction deals with Stalin’s USSR and oil stolen from US taxpayers. I betcha that one will be a real humdinger.

  16. #16 |  Rob in CT | 

    I vaguely remember that too…

    Judson Phillips appears to be the guy who wants to go back to property ownership as a requirement to vote. He is apparently President of “Tea Party Nation” whatever that is. Not sure if he qualifies as prominent.

    There was also the “repeal the 17th amendment” thing that went around.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/250726/repeal-17th-amendment-john-yoo

    Yoo, woo! Heh.

    I don’t think either of those got very far. Thankfully.

  17. #17 |  Medicine Man | 

    Re: The pastor in black neighborhoods.

    Racial profiling; you don’t see the term applied often when the target is white, but that’s what this poor pastor is having to deal with. That said, this is still a relatively smart and restrained form of police work.

  18. #18 |  ClubMedSux | 

    Should only certain points of view be permitted here?

    As a longtime reader and fairly regular commenter, I like to think that thoughtful dissenting opinions are respected here, even if they are vigorously challenged by the libertarian majority. It’s folks who spout out Republican or Democratic talking points who get ridden out on a rail.

  19. #19 |  SamK | 

    Thanks for the time Radley, that’s all I needed :)

  20. #20 |  SamK | 

    Oh, and I’m with Claude at #58. Removing some power, retaining collective bargaining. I would definitely like to see the forced automatic withdrawal of union dues go away. I’ve argued it a number of times and get yelled at, usually something about how it will destroy the union. My take is that so long as the collective bargaining right exists, and so long as the union is doing real good, they’ll have paying members. As the need for them disappears so will their power, rightly so. That said we must then preserve their ability to rise quickly and respond when a power hungry tyrant arises publicly or privately. The fact that public sector jobs are more difficult to work with philosophically does not mean those working in the public sector should be desperate slaves without recourse. Yeah, I think most people in right-to-work places fit that description.

  21. #21 |  travis | 

    “The officer who was bitten on the ankle was brought to the Presbyterian Hospital. His condition is not yet known.”

    Does anyone know if he’s OK?

  22. #22 |  Pablo | 

    #66 Rob–does “property owners” include someone who is upside down in their mortgage? Id say such people don’t own anything, and are just leasing their homes from the bank.

  23. #23 |  M. Steve | 

    My point wasn’t that The Agitator ought to be only a Libertarian sandbox, simply that unrecognized usernames are popping up, yelling “Koch Sucks”, and demonstrating no actual understanding of the topics discussed here by Radley, nor the positions the commentators are prone to take. That’s why I hate Teams Red and Blue; the mindless following of top-down directives thinly veiled as “grass-roots action”.

    And, for the record, I am a steadfast supporter of 17th Amendment Repeal. We already got the 18th, let’s go one lower!

  24. #24 |  Les | 

    Regarding the Kochs, this is pretty funny.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/frrth/stop_the_koch_brothers_they_are_trying_to_end_the/

  25. #25 |  lunchstealer | 

    If Arizona starts producing invalid birth certificates, it seems like a simple solution to simply cease accepting Arizona birth certificates at the Federal level. If Arizonans want to opt out of the US Constitution with respect to birth certificates, I figure the US State Department can opt out of accepting Arizona birth certificates as proof of citizenship.

  26. #26 |  KochSister | 

    “#66 Rob–does “property owners” include someone who is upside down in their mortgage? Id say such people don’t own anything, and are just leasing their homes from the bank.”

    That means Radley (or any other renter) wouldn’t be able to vote either, since they are just leasing their residence from a landlord.

  27. #27 |  Pablo | 

    #76 KochSister–agreed–I don’t subscribe to the idea that only “property owners” should be allowed to vote, one reason being that determining who is a “property owner” is not always simple or clear.

  28. #28 |  supercat | 

    The biggest problem with the ‘right to collective bargaining’ is that the term is used to mean two different things:

    -1- The right of a group of workers to voluntarily decide that they will not compete with each other on certain issues.

    -2- The “right” of a group of workers to forbid any other workers or prospective workers from competing with them on certain issues (and in many cases–on top of that–to demand payment from anyone who wants to compete with them even on permissible issues).

    Only one of which is really a right, and leftists smear any effort to restrict the second as an effort to restrict the first. Even public sector workers have the right to the first form of collective bargaining; if nobody is willing to work under the terms those in charge of government agencies want to offer, then those agencies will have to offer better terms. Nobody really has the right to the second form of collective bargaining, but that doesn’t stop some governments from enforcing it.

  29. #29 |  supercat | 

    # #33 | claude | “Well it used to be that way. Research how well that worked out. It wasnt such a net positive.”

    The civil service system was certainly an improvement for awhile. Unfortunately, it lacks the turnover and accountability that are necessary to stop an organization from metastasizing until it becomes a cancer that values its own preservation and self-interests above those of the host society. Having government agencies bound to do the will of elected officials isn’t great, but giving them unchecked free reign to do their own will can be even worse.

  30. #30 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    New Rule: See union post…go to Reddit for cat pics to avoid Union Fan Boys…positions so lame so tired.

    I don’t think public sector unions should exist. I’d be fine with making them illegal.

    This has been my position for more than a decade. Still haven’t budged.

  31. #31 |  Bobby | 

    Illegals are NOT “immigrants,” they are criminals.

    People who apply, wait, and come with papers are immigrants.

    Those who obey the law are, and should be, favored.

    Those who break the law should be barred from benefitting from their crimes. That’s the way it is. That’s the way it should be. No amnesty, go back to your country.

  32. #32 |  Aresen | 

    travis | February 24th, 2011 at 4:25 pm
    “The officer who was bitten on the ankle was brought to the Presbyterian Hospital. His condition is not yet known.”

    Does anyone know if he’s OK?

    Haven’t RTFA, but I am assuming that “he” refers to a dog.

  33. #33 |  Zeph | 

    #81 Bobby, I gather you’re not a big fan of Rosa Parks.

    Everyone is a criminal. The laws are myriad, labyrinthine and unknowable. They are not intrinsically just or moral. They deserve no respect.

    You get no free pass for obeying an evil law. See Nuremberg Trials.

  34. #34 |  supercat | 

    #83 | Zeph

    People who can shed their identity at will are able to escape accountability for crimes and torts, far more readily than those whose identity is firmly established. I see no rational basis for believing that people who are allowed to commit crimes and torts with impunity will not take advantage of this; thus, I see nothing wrong with requiring that people who come to this country have a firmly-established identity, and forbidding people from entering this country without one.

  35. #35 |  RWW | 

    Bobby, take your laws and shove ’em.

  36. #36 |  derfel cadarn | 

    More police professional. Isure feel safer these morons are on the job!

  37. #37 |  JOR | 

    “Public unions are in the business of securing the most pay for the least work, which is antithetical to the free market.”

    Er, the market is process of everyone trying to secure the most pay for the least work (that’s what profit is). The free market is where everyone does so while forgoing theft, fraud, and domination.

  38. #38 |  Bob Weber | 

    Puppycide link isn’t working.