Socialism in America

@bobmnu (8160)
United States
December 1, 2008 12:07pm CST
I hear many people expressing concern that we are slowly moving toward socialism. I would like to point out one of the biggest socialist institutions we have and the effect on the nation. The Labor Union is an excellent example of Socialism in this country. They talk of equity yet have very strict work rules as to who can do what in the work place. In education you will see a teacher who teaches the same thing year in and year out while another teacher continually updates their lessons and brings in new ideas and subject matter. Both are paid the same. Soon the better teacher is teaching the same old stuff year after year. Unions promote working to the lowest common standard. I had a friend who worked in an Union factory and told me that one night they almost had a strike because a supervisor noticed a belt needed tightening on the line so he tightened it and the Shop Stewart stopped the line and made the supervisor loosen the belt and called for a Union member to tighten the belt. The line was shut down for 30 minutes. There was a report of a Large School District that had new lockers installed in a High School. The old lockers were 8 feet high and the new ones were 6 feet high. The Union contract had work rules that stated a painter on could paint up to seven feet on a wall and a painter 2 could paint from 7 feet and up on a wall. The result was that the hall was closed for two days while the painter on went in and taped and painted the wall from 6ft to 7ft mark. the next day a painter 2 came in and taped the wall from 7ft to 8ft mark and painted the wall. Is this what we want for our county? Work rules that protect Job that are not needed and force companies to do things in the same old way? Do we want to work to the lowest slowest worker in the group or do we want to be able to reward good workers who are willing to do more? Is our country being destroyed by Unions that are only concerned about retaining their power?
9 responses
• United States
1 Dec 08
You are refering to what use be called, "Letting the inmates run the asylum!" or "The monkeys running the zoo!". Take your non-PC favorite. In either case, it does not work. Certainly, we do not want any of this, but you would have a hard time explaining the stupidity of this to any serious union person, especially a shop steward. Although, my wife, who until recently was a shop steward, would not have stopped the line in the case you cited. She believed in management and labor working together to become more efficient. When the job gets done more efficiently, not only management benefits.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
2 Dec 08
A good Union should work with management to help the company make money and then the workers would benefit from the increased profit. It seems like the Union is there to increase the power of the Union and Union officials.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Dec 08
The problem with that is union leaders. I remember a time in history (I was raised in Michigan) when the auto companies wanted the UAW to invest pension money in the big 3. Management's thinking was that maybe then labor might have more direct involvement and concern with the long term health of the auto industry. Of course, union leadership fought this.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
4 Dec 08
One of the reasons that Unions do not like WalMart is that employees are given a discount price on buying the company stock. By owning stock in the company they have an incentive to work for the betterment of the company and themselves. To the Union leaders this is working for the enemy.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Dec 08
I see Government being a socialistic structure where else do you get highly paid with free health care? Socialism can also be found in volunteer organizations or non-profits where the goal is to help the needy I fully understand the need and the concept but these are jobs that we as a society should be paying people to do. If we consolidate some of the organizations we can move forward at a quicker pace, or better yet if we get rid of the major culprit and that would be church organizations, think about the impact of freeing hands that are tied to volunteer jobs for profitable structures that don't pay taxes... The truth is that there are a number of ways that socialism exists in all countries and maybe we should really rethink our position on this subject. After all, if we stopped creating money and went on to a different system of provision so that each individual could meet their basic needs and you know what are the basics and you know that there is no reason that any human being should have to do with out a basic need being met. Many people in our world are pure survivalists, I wonder how many of the poor manage to get through the winters. Ever wonder that? Are there people that do not have food? How about a roof over their heads? Who cares about insurance; life, auto and health when you have no food or housing? I think that having a job is great, but having the basic needs to survive are even greater. I don't agree with the unions and I certainly don't agree with poor people suffering for no reason or fault of their own. Now if a person is a criminal and is suffering I'm not going to go so easy on them, but certain conditions have to be present. I'm not calling the needy criminals yet I'm not allowing people to do anything that they want against certain local, federal or international laws. There is no fine line here. Let me know what you think...
• United States
2 Dec 08
I think im going to be telling my grandkids stories of what America was like when we were a Democracy. I dont see things getting better
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
2 Dec 08
The only Unions that are growing and new ones starting up are in the public sector and look what we are getting for it.
• United States
2 Dec 08
I'm going to take a step back to the comment you made to RedYellowBlackDog... The bit about the union making the executive loosen the belt and to have a union employee make the appropriate adjustment. There is something about that paradigm that wobbles, if the executive knowing that he is not to touch the tools of labor would have wielded his pen of power and taken the appropriate chain of command to which he is a part of he should have contacted and followed the right procedure for having that belt tightened in the first place and it would have saved the company and the union people a lot of time and heartache. The problem with a slow system where the wheels are dragging is understood just like how our government works. What is the fix to this problem? We need more people employed so should we allow multitasking individuals free reign to promote a healthy working system that does function without failure? I wonder if you see my point? As said below in other comments socialism has been given a bad name and maybe we need to take a look at the real definition of socialism. I see something in the thought of the thought that there are two distinct objectives that are being cross referenced and not for the good of the conversation. One leads to health and prosperity while the other is destructive, kind of like the messages in the bible or other religious texts... ;)
• United States
1 Dec 08
I can think of numerous and very important examples of socialized institutions in this country (public schools, for example), but let's address the issue of labor unions. While I agree that they cause all kinds of problems, I think they are necessary to protect the rights and safety of the worker. Before labor unions organized, factory workers worked 12 to 16 hour days in unsafe and unhealthy conditions for low wages, and there was an endless supply of workers who needed the money to replace them. Out of this climate arose labor unions where workers banded together to gain leverage and get fair working conditions. While some people throughout history have called for complete "freedom of contract" over the rights of workers, these people have often represented corporate interests.
@bayernfan (1430)
• Canada
1 Dec 08
Now we have illegal aliens to serve that purpose. The illegal immigrants take far less pay, don't complain about work conditions and are in endless supply. Plus the taxpayer foots the bill for the illegal immigrant's social and societal benefits including health care and education. Illegals cram themselves like sardines into homes with an occupancy rate that ordinary citizens aren't allowed to have. Inflation eats up any gains that bargaining brings and dues, regulations and animosity between workers and management lowers the quality of the work environment and work life. To top it all off, the special interest groups and lobbyist who have the politicians in their back pocket, cry to the federal government for subsidies so that people making minimum wage are supporting workers who make $30+ an hour. Talk about topsy turvy. The fact is that a healthy economy and healthy business needs both workers and management. There needs to be a balance where both workers and management understand and accept their roles, as well as resist the urge to fight only in their own best interests despite the costs. The trick is to find the facilitation that can get employees and management to work in harmony in the best interest of all. There must be a middle way. Both ends of the spectrum, Socialism that concerns itself only with the needs of workers and Laissez-Faire Capitalism that is interested only in profits regardless of the impact, have proven to be failed models that create many more problems then they solve.
• United States
2 Dec 08
I dont know where you live but i hear illegals crying they dont have the same rights as US citizens. They get to use our social services, go to school for free & they cry that they arent getting equal pay or rights? My ancestors came from Ireland, France, England & Germany. They came here proud to call America home & worked hard & became citizens. We have marches every so often for the rights of illegals. In my opinion they shouldnt have the same rights as someone born here. If they work hard & dont abuse our system then i have respect for them. Sorry for the rant
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
2 Dec 08
Unions would be fine if they would stick to their basic function of protecting workers but they have become more concerned with their power and not what is best for the workers. Is it best for the workers to drive the industry into the ground and eliminate all the jobs. Unions almost ruined the Rail Road industry by the process of feather bedding. When they moved from coal to diesel fuel they still wanted a fireman on board to shovel coal. The unions insisted on Brakeman when they moved to hydraulic brakes. They use their power to get laws passed to secure jobs where they are not needed.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
3 Dec 08
I have to agree that this country is moving towards socialism. Yet saying so really gets people upset. Notice how my star level has gone down just for a discussion on people receiving disability (another socialist institution). I had a lot of problems with teachers like that. The good teachers leave. And in a lot of fields good workers are not rewarded. It's unfortunate. As a teenager, minimum wage was $5 per hour, but I couldn't find any work because people didn't want to pay teenagers so much. So instead I found under the table work often for $3 an hour or less. But sometimes you'd get paid, sometimes not. If there wasn't a minimum wage, you could still find a job yet still be protected.
@xfahctor (14126)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
2 Dec 08
"If one understands that socialism is not a share-the-wealth programme, but is in reality a method to consolidate and control the wealth, then the seeming paradox of super-rich men promoting socialism becomes no paradox at all. Instead, it becomes logical, even the perfect tool of power-seeking megalomaniacs. ~Gary Allen, Author
@kerriannc (4282)
• Jamaica
2 Dec 08
This what you have outline is not socialist. It is stupidity. Unions is good and it is also bad. The good is that persons right is not abuse by their employers. The bad is that sometimes the Union delegates asked for too much money and sometimes the company is not in the position to paid and so has to either closed do or go into court cases (this is not what I want to say but the right word cannot come out now). We as individual must always remember that a country is like a business hub and because of this we need to sometimes sympathize and also work to make it better.
@flowerchilde (12520)
• United States
2 Dec 08
Sadly human nature constantly finds things which start out somewhat 'good' become abused and overly powerful.. (which of course is why socialism can never work, too much localized/centralized power). Now unions are fast on track to making it that their members cannot cast private ballots! Big bro union will be looking over the shoulder! How anti democratic is that!! Gheesh! Yet many are hurrahing it right into existence.. (among other things!)
• Philippines
2 Dec 08
America is still far, far, far from implementing the socialist economic dictum of "From each, according to one's ability. To each, according to one's actual contribution." I don't think America is going in the direction of erecting the foundations of socialism. It is refurbishing itself with Keynesian capitalist economics in a situation of international competition, which was not present in FDR's time, where substantial segments of its industry are located abroad, unlike in FDR's time, and where a big bulk of its labor force are in the service industry.
@kianli (546)
• China
2 Dec 08
First, i want to say congratulations to you, because you can use your vote to express your feeling while we are still waiting it to come. I think that the discussion whether the United States is moving towards Socialism is kinda similar to discussion we occasionally have here in China, Are we moving to Capitalism. For me, i think we can't simply say that United States is moving to Socialism or China is moving toward Capitalism, because with the rapid development of our society, it seems like our Society will go to like a combination of Socialism and Capitalism. I think the evaluation standard is whether the social system can be beneficial to the people. Everything is developing, according to the Communist idea, so as the development goes, a combination of Socialism and Capitalism may be good to some extend. Have a nice day!