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The Union and Politicians- Try Google Street View on Detroit

Original post made by Joe, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Nov 1, 2013

All of us know that there is a strong relationship between unions and elected politicians. Politicians support legislation favorable to unions; in return, union members support the re-election campaigns of those same politicians.

In CA one of these strong relationships is between the prison guards' union and Sacramento. Little wonder that this union contributes a huge percentage of Sacramento's campaign finance dollars, and that in return CA prisons have the second-highest per-capita cost in the US. We are literally paying tax dollars for prisons and guards, who in turn give those same dollars to state politicians for re-election, who in turn continue to enforce legislation which keeps prison costs high.

But the poster child for union/politician aggrandizement is Detroit. There are several factors that led to this city's demise, but most apparent is the 40-year-long collusion of union members and politicians. Yes of course the auto companies had a part, but they themselves would not be able to do much of anything without support from unions and Michigan politicians alike.

We've all seen pictures of the razed areas of Detroit that make the city look like a war zone. Try this - I tried it today and I was flabbergasted. Go to Google maps, look for the area surrounding downtown Detroit - and do a street view. Look north, or east, or west, it doesn't matter, it's the same. I am amazed at just how barren the cityscape is.

They enjoyed the ride for 40 years, but they're paying for it now.

Comments (16)

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Posted by Greg
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Nov 2, 2013 at 9:36 pm

More union bashing from a tea party nut. Unions built the middle class, they deserve a seat at the table. Or should we just let corporate America and the Koch brothers contribute money for the seat. Fox News is diluting your brain joe.

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Posted by C. Menstayne
a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Nov 2, 2013 at 10:50 pm

Greg hit the nail on the head. Are union employees the only ones who should be forbidden from contributing money to politicians? it's ok for big business to fund all the tea partiers and right wing loons who in turn stomp the middle class into the ground?

get a grip joe. it's our political process. you can't simply deny one group from participation because you don't agree with their ideas.

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Posted by Right
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2013 at 7:48 pm

I'm willing to pony up the cash from my personal, tax deferred stash, to send the two kool aid drinkers posting above, to the union utopia of downtown Detroit. Of course, I'm only paying for a one way ticket, since I'm sure these union apologists will want to stay and admire the work of their brethren. Come and see what you misguided foold have left for middle class assembly line workers families.

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Posted by ?
a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 3, 2013 at 9:03 pm

"Unions built the middle class." ??? !!! What a joke! If it weren't for unions, all citizens would be much better off. Oh I know you're going to give me all that b.s. about working conditions, safety, health...and blah blah blah. HEY, OSHA and a myriad of other laws cover this!

Unions are parasites and suck the life-blood out of their hosts. When they are done, they just move on to another host. (Kind of like Democrats as a whole...because they suck any life blood and leave the Detroit, parts of Oakland, New Orleans, and many other largely Democrat-controlled population centers.)

Any value that unions bring is less than their economic cost.

(btw: the "middle class" is a Marxist term, since there is no class system in the US...income and net worth levels go up and go down often.)

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Posted by California Blue
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm

The annual starting salary for a detroit policeman is $29k. After 5 years it goes up to $47k. It is a very dangerous job. This isn't enough to pay a kid to watch your car much less bribe a politivian.

You clearly know nothing.

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Posted by Anti-union
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Unions & Politicians created today's crumbling Detroit. Destruction was INEVITABLE.. That combination always causes the path of destruction that leads to collapse. Parasites kill off the host/golden goose!!! always

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Posted by local
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2013 at 7:32 pm

The post above that said "Are union employees the only ones who should be forbidden from contributing money to politicians" does not get it. I do not think anybody has any issues with union employees donating. The problem is the donation of the institution, the union. The union only has one thing as it's goal; to get more money for the union employees. Period. They are not looking for a 'fair' agreement or one that is sustainable. They want it all now. The issue is that institution, the union, has much more money than somebody like me and the other individuals to push for their candidates. The unions can buy their candidates that will financially benefit their organization. Giving the argument that corporations can give a lot to politicians does not make it right for the unions to do so. In either case, the individuals in the community end up with no voice. I actually think our 'representative democracy' is collapsing now. A lot of that has to do with the financing and special interest influence. I know that my representatives (especially at the state and federal level) could care less about people like you or I. We cannot do anything to help their careers.

If we cannot limit campaign contributions from institutions, whether a union or a corporation, maybe this can be handled by 'conflict of interest' laws. Any politician that accepts more than X dollars from an institution has to recuse themselves from voting on any item that benefits that institution. If they take a lot of money from a union, they could not vote on their contracts. If they take a lot of money from a corporation, they could not vote on an item that directly benefits them.

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Posted by Mihn
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Gursh ... I was trying to suppress my laughter in response to the comment about 'middle class' being a Marxist term. I almost choked on a Kit Kat bar. But then came the comment about there are no classes in the United States, and I laughed so hard a left half-digested Kit Kat all down the front of me. Some really well educated posters hang out on these sites, I gotta tell ya.

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Posted by Anti-union
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2013 at 11:40 pm

local, you are right. Any honorable politician would recuse themselves (required or not) from any union discussion or vote.

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Posted by ?
a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 5, 2013 at 9:01 am

Dear Mihn,
Regarding your LOL about my "no class system in the US," I can understand why you are perplexed. You hear so many politicians, media people, academicians, etc. use the terms "lower class, middle class, upper class" etc regarding America. Even certain the mis-informed Mitt Romney used it often during his Presidential campaign. I cringed when I hear him use it because it meant to me that he didn't understand what true conservatism means.

If you have an open mind to consider listening to the views of a true conservative refuting "class systems" in America, I encourage you to take a listen. BTW: From a personal note, I have been dirt poor (as a college student and son of a low-income teacher) and then I landed a position with a reasonably high six-figure income, and now I have a very small income as an independent consultant. The incomes and net worth of many people in the US vacillate up and down often, so it is not possible to pigeon-hole them as being in a class (or caste) system.

Again, thank you for indulging me this far. I encourage you to take a listen to a short clip below...

Web Link

I hope to hear your reaction after you (or anyone else) has watched the above clip.


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Posted by Lessismore
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Nov 8, 2013 at 11:51 am

The unions have to much say in government! The should have a voice but face some facts they are buying that voice.
Over all they are a small voting block. But the money they give to the DEMS make them a force. We the tax payer get screwed.

But it appears not to be changing. As long as the DEMs are in control we are heading on the path of Detroit.

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Posted by Mihn
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Dear ?

I accept that you are doing small-time consultant work for which your wife provides you a small weekly allowance, and wish you continued success on that count.

Let me tell you why you have sunk into the depths where you currently reside. I began to watch/listen to the link of Mark Levin that you supplied. Clearly, all you are doing is parroting him. And he is so wrong it would be gut-busting laughable if it weren't for the fact that people listen to him and take him seriously.

Levin's first claim is that there are no classes in America. His statement is demonstrably false. What Levin clearly doesn't understand is that class is not, and never has been, some tangible thing like one wearing a bonnet on one's head. Rather, class is an analytical concept used by political economists to make sense of people's location in the world, not by geographic location but by one's relation to such things as, say, ownership and control of the means of production.

Second, Levin then dismisses the idea of the middle class in America, which he says came from Marx. Well, clearly, Levin hasn't read Marx. Marx never once referred to 'middle class' or 'middle classes'. Only a complete moron, like Levin or yourself, would say that Marx wrote on the middle class.

Third, it is sad that you'd take Levin seriously. He is poorly educated, poorly read, and makes his living as a demagogue -- stirring up animosity toward historically discriminated against racial and ethnic groups. Of course, if his audiences are themselves badly educated and have a predisposition to hate historically disenfranchised groups -- you know, like those darned immigrants who are studying harder and succeeding far more than you or you progeny could ever imagine -- well, all for the better.

But how come Levin sells so many books and is on so many radio stations, you ask. Well, the bulk of his 'best sellers' are purchased by the Koch brothers who then send them out to badly educated, hate-prone, followers like yourself. As for Levin's radio presence, he has been picked up by number of right-wing media outlets who are now very close to having monopolized the radio industry. They are content to have Levin and others -- Savage, Hannity, O'Reilly, Limbaugh -- whip up class hatred (anti-unions), race hatred, ethnic hatred, immigrant hatred, women hatred, lgbt hatred. (Another laugher is how these demagogues who dominate the radio waves across America always refer to the liberal media. That's about as stupid a claim as your boy Levin stating that the idea of middle class came from Marx.

Again, your idol is nothing more than a hate-mongering bigot who riles up his hate-filled, bigoted audiences made up mostly of badly educated white males who, like yourself, are having difficulty in today's job market. Rather than deducing the obvious -- i.e., that your inability to find a job is based on the fact that you don't have adequate technical or interpersonal skills -- you find it easier to blame it on others such as unionists, or immigrant children, or those folks in Oakland who scare you to death on account of your racist fear and ignorance.

Will you go read any of Marx's several treatises on social class? No. Will you continue to swallow the lies of Mark Levin, despite anyone with some education being able to recognize within a minute or two that Levin is a well-paid creep who is paid to keep the country divided? Yes. That's who you are; and that's why you're in the condition you are. Fortunately, yours is a vanishing breed.


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Posted by Right
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Ming, thanks once again for displaying the typical liberal persona we've all come to know and despise. You don't agree with a poster and can't articulate a valid rebuttal, so you typically resort to name calling and insults. Additionally, if you can't make your point is a few sentences, you rant appears as grandstanding, usually conducted by a very insecure little person. You must be an Obama voter who admires the sanctimonious little amateur, who loves to pontificate about his 'superiority' but occupies a position as a legend in his own mind.
It's too bad you consider yourself a victim, based on your whining about those nasty, successful radio and TV personalities. It's also too bad you can't rise above this alleged 'bigotry'. If only you could succeed in life on your own, but alas, you can't, so you must create a boogey man or two or three....pathetic. Seek help through your local Obamacare covered mental health clinic. Good luck to you.

Like this comment
Posted by Mihn
a resident of Happy Valley
on Nov 9, 2013 at 12:25 am

Hey, Right. What happened to your claims about social class in America? Don't have anything to say beyond what Levin tells you? And after Levin is shown to be utterly clueless about how the concept of class is used by political economists to interpret class relations of production, class distribution of income, class relations of struggle, you have nothing to say? Well, we know why. Because, having no mind of your own, you've chosen to parrot a right-wing hack radio personality who speaks to the lowest common denominator in our society: uneducated, hate-filled, white males. Like I said: you lack the technical skills (here demonstrated by you inability to handle my refutation of Levin) and the interpersonal skills (read your comment above) to make any kind of real go of it in the work world. I'm sorry the world has passed you by. Now all you have to look forward to is an increasingly progressive society that gets a laugh a minute from the clown club candidates running on the Republican Party ticket. We'll all laugh together while you gnash your teeth. Peace and love!

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 9, 2013 at 9:16 am

oh my...folks are still freaking behind the UNION VICTORY! HOORAY!

sit down my little chickies, have a nice cup of tea, a cookie, and chill

what is a UNION supporter to do other that be tickled ALL DAY...tee hee hee

Like this comment
Posted by left is right
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 9, 2013 at 4:39 pm

I AGREE with you Mihn! To HELL with Levin! He believes too much in the antiquated US Constitution and the Bill of Rights! The HELL with America's Founders and to HELL with Freedom in America! Bring on MARX...with whom our Democratic Party now is 100 percent aligned!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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