Comments about ‘Letters: Philosophy for any failing enterprise’

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Published: Monday, Aug. 19 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Another day,
Another "blame the Unions" letter.

If only I had a dollar...

Unions didn't ruin German, Japan, or Korea.
Quite the contrary.

Unions created and maintained the Middle Class in America.
And the fall of Unions in America has now ushered in the fall of the Middle Class.

BTW -- Just another reminder to all the anti-Union, anti-Socialist paranoid worry warts...
Unions broke DOWN the Iron Curtain, not strengthened it.

If you don't like Communism, Thank the Unions.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Part II

Unions also kept greedy businesses from off-shoring and out sourcing American jobs,
Kept businesses from hiring illegal immigrants.

Did you ever stop and ask yourself why Communist China outlaws Unions,
while the rest of Europe, Asia and the rest of the free world doesn't?

Blame the Unions,
Ironically -- YOU are the Communists closest allies.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

I fail to understand why, in an era in which unions are at their weakest in anyone's memory, we keep getting these letters.

If unions are the source of all that is wrong in America, what about the 1950s-1970s when unions were at their zenith?

Please understand, I think there ARE problems with unions (just as I think there are problems with corporate or govt. management). But the hysteria in such letters are simply beyond reality.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

It is strange to see a person laud the straight thing individuals and then proceed to demonstrate the warped mind set created by others with ulterior motives.
But then again, maybe the writer is speaking of the unions, Art groups, associations, clicks, bars, gilds and other private enterprises, of people who’s best interest is simply to take the money that workers have earned without doing any work themselves.

The people who work at protecting and providing for the people should have the first call for the taxpayer money. People who provide the services that are of dubious value should come last.

Detroit is said to have an Art collection worth 2 Billion dollars. The article didn’t tell how much Detroit actually paid for the art collection and it’s maintenance.

Hayden, ID

@ Ultra Bob. Thanks for setting my mind right, I thought I have first claim on the money I worked for and earned, not the government. I guess I was wrong. How much of my money should I give the government?

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Let's just take the post office. The biggest reason the post office is in trouble is because congress required them to pre-fund their retirement program for the next seventy-five years. No private business would think of doing this, because it's insane. Of course it was the anti-government Republican congress that did this, just to show us that government always fails.

Another reason they are in trouble is that they are legally forced to provide service in areas where it is unprofitable. If you live in a remote rural area it might well cost the post office $25.00 to get mail to you, even though legally they can only charge 44 cents. The Post Office has tried to close unprofitable post offices, but congress always prevents them from doing so.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

I think we should just listen to the Koch Bros and Eagle Forum. They know what is best. Also, ignore teachers. They know nothing.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Education is literally the only profession in this country that is scrutinized beyond belief.

If you had legal problems would you go to a doctor, teacher, or lawyer?
If you had health problems would you go to a teacher, lawyer, or doctor?

Yet, for education to we turn to teachers for solutions? Nope. We go to anyone and everyone else.

Why the double standard?

Hayden, ID

@ Maverick. With all due respect, let me try to help you understand. No one is criticizing education, its teacher's unions that protect bad teachers, bad schools and thus harm education in general. There are no doctor's or lawyer's unions protecting bad doctors or lawyers. If you have a bad doctor or lawyer, you have the option of taking your business elsewhere (free market). Not so with teachers because of teacher's unions. Can you see the difference? Have a nice day!

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Yes, let's get our answers from the students and the parents instead of the people who have spent their lives studying education and how to do it. While we're at it, let's ask each other what to do about our health problems and leave all the dumb doctors out of the discussion.

Tooele, UT

Re: "If you don't like Communism, Thank the Unions."

Such statements would be comical, if they weren't uttered in such apparent earnest.

Unions are infested, at almost every level, with those whose message is the tired, thoroughly discredited, false communist mantra -- "Workers unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains."

Even though communism/socialism utterly fails workers, EVERY, time it's tried.

Posters here continue to chant the tired mantra, just mouthing new words. Things like "Unions also kept greedy businesses from off-shoring and out sourcing American jobs" -- which they clearly didn't. Or, ". . . it was the anti-government Republican congress that did [insert whatever] . . . ."

Or, the most laughable, "Unions created and maintained the Middle Class in America."

Trade unionism has been the most evil, classist, destructive force in the American economy for the last 150 years. It long ago ran out of any real reason for existing, but its perfect storm of economic destruction was created by an unholy alliance of greedy union bosses, their socialist/communist handlers, and callow, true-believing rubes.

So sad.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Mountanman – “I thought I have first claim on the money I worked for and earned, not the government.”

Is it safe to assume the following?

You never drive on roads, bridges, fly out of airports or use any ports?

You have no need of police, fire department or the military (or will compensate them for your protection – fending of an invasion can be quite costly)?

You will do all your own due diligence in all areas of commerce governed by laws & regulations (everything from signing a mortgage to buying meat and literally thousands of other areas we take for granted)?

You will never open a business that will require any educated employees (or will pay us all back for their education costs)?

You use no modern technology (most of which was initially researched by grant supported scientists)?

You will never collect social security and will provide for your own medical care when you’re 65+ (when private insurance premiums skyrocket because “old people” are bad for business)?

No doubt we can argue how much to pay (the government) but not whether to pay…

Steve Cottrell
Centerville, UT


Perhaps you have never heard of the American Medical Association or the American Bar Association. But apparently you have heard of the Utah Education Association and the National Education Association. Each of these organizations is an ardent voice not only for their professional constituency but also for the audience they serve.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Unions reached the peak of their influence in 1970 and have been in decline ever since. Wages for working class men hit their peak in 1973 and have been in decline ever since. Am I the only one who notices a correlation?

Sandy, UT

Darlene you letter has no relationship with fact. Your hyperbole indicates that at the very most you are a headline reader at best. Time to back your rhetoric I'd say.

Hayden, ID

Steve Cottrell. The AMA and the ABA actually enforce and regulate standards of performances for doctors and lawyers, teacher's unions regulate nothing and only serve to protect bad teachers and schools. Nice try!

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I don't know when Labor Unions reached their Zenith. Nobody else knows either. It's just their opinion.

IMO they were "Needed" in the early 1900s (when people were working in life threatening conditions and the employers were practically slave owners with most employees living in company housing and owing more than they could ever pay back to the company store).

Labor conditions back then were REAL bad. Labor issues back then make today's labor issues (mostly about money and insurance) and today's labor unions look silly.

The role of labor unions changed around the 1950's. And America changed around the same time. Unions are still needed, but it's not the same as the need we had for unions in the early 1900s.

Around 1970's the United States went through quite an ordeal. My father was a Teamster Union member. I remember him being forced by the union to strike (without pay). I remember him trying to explain it too me. I remember interest rates in the 70s of 16% and higher on HOME loans (to keep up with inflation) and frequent strikes so workers wages could keep up with inflation.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

2 Bits,

Look up "Labor unions in the United States" from the Wiki folks. There is a graph there that shows membership over time (as a percentage of total workers) from 1930-2010. Using zenith to mean apex or the highest point of attainment, the highest percentage of union membership was from the late 1940s to the early 1970s.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Membership isn't my criteria for success. Need, and Effectiveness is my criteria. Membership just means they were good at recruiting (and in some cases requiring membership).

Even if "Peak Membership" is your criteria... membership peaked in the 1950s (not the 1970s) which is where I indicated they started to lose relevance. I looked it up in your own source.

By the 1970s Unions had driven America out of our area of dominance in manufacturing internationally. I was living in Japan at the time, and American cars and American made products were a joke internationally. We pulled out of that decline (partially because we got fed up with the "Missery Index" and threw Jimmy Carter and Democrats out in droves and elected Ronald Reagan (I know... that's going to drive some of the posters crazy but it's true, that's when America turned around and ended the 16% inflation, and Union domination really took a nose-dive).

There was a time where Unions were REALLY important and needed. But that time was a LONG time ago.

Ogden, UT

The biggest problem that I see in the letter is that she is blaming the craziness in education that has been mandated by politicians at the behest of business interests ( NCLB, RTTT, CCSS)on the actual educators who are teaching and running the schools. "We love all the hoops to jump through, all the tests to give and prepare for, all the grade each school nonsense, etc." said NO TEACHER EVER.

If you think that public education is failing (which it is NOT, by the way -- that's another PR campaign meant to end public education) you can thank politicians, not teachers.

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