Don't like the snow? You can make a bookmark with the following text instead of a url: javascript:snowStorm.toggleSnow(). Clicking it will toggle the snow on and off.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

[Unions] Koch Brothers versus the Unions/People of Wisconsin

1356768

Posts

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    enc0re wrote: »
    And closed shops are illegal in the United States. Ronya is presumably arguing that unions lift wages, which in itself screws over the unemployed.

    Two minutes in Paint:

    unions.png

    That graph on the left is where labour bargain wages up by making it difficult to employ marginal workers. Their gains come at the expense of people who could have gained employment but don't; [strike]the capitalist (or the Company or the Corporation or the C-word of choice) doesn't lose anything, beyond not being able to employ the marginal workers[/strike]. Whoops; the capitalist loses the rectangle below the new wage line, which labour gains. The Harberger triangle is lost, however.

    The graph on the right is where labour bargain wages up by nicking the employer's surplus. This is the desirable outcome. Even under perfect competition, all gains to labour (above the "normal" market wage at the top graph) here come entirely at the expense of the owners of factors of production, i.e., the capitalist. Who has to pretty much sit there and take the losses, since labor demand is still ever so slightly higher than labor supply.

    Look, either could be the outcome of collective bargaining, but collective bargaining can bargain toward some sets of rules and not others. As Kipling217 has realized, the unemployment are not generally members of unions and thus they are not in the best position to discourage the graph on the right from being the outcome, instead of the graph on the left.

    You can generally determine which one is currently the dominant outcome by examining the rules which the union chooses to defend, and the wages that accrue to the employed; seniority rules and universal union membership requirements upon employment generally imply that the bad outcome is the observed one. Lots of certification rankings or partitioning of the union workforce imply good latter outcome. Among unskilled or semiskilled labor, seniority pay implies the good outcome, too (for the individual firm, as long as unskilled seniority pay is not prevalent in the wider economy). Essentially, the union must be differentiating workers in order to force the market to segment; this is why very broad-based unions tend to produce better national outcomes than numerous small skill-based unions.

    e: and this:
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Increased wages = Increased demand = Increased production = increased employment = fewer unemployed.

    This? By the way? is not generally true in the long-run within which labor bargaining takes place. You have to posit some really strange behavior for it to be true, like arguing that corporations don't maximize profit. Which does not seem to be the case, and increased wages is generally associated with more unemployment.
    Can we be clear about that?

    e#2: yes, I got "left" and "right" confused. O_o thanks dojango

    e#3: changed the graphs to show the labour surplus regions (in yellow)

  • dojangodojango Registered User
    edited February 2011
    First, I think you've got your right and left graphs confused. The graph on the left is where higher wages leads to more unemployment by suppressing demand for labor.
    Second, I'm not quite sure what you're getting at with the graph on the right. If demand for labor is fixed, (due to inelastic demand for the good produced) then there won't be an increase in unemployment because the demand curve will shift upward until it is back at the original level of employment (and the increase in wages will be passed on to the consumers). But that is beyond the control of everybody; it depends on the good in question.
    Ideally we'd like to see the cost for any increase in wages being passed on to consumers as a whole, since it won't lead to increased unemployment, but that seems like it would only rarely be the case.

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Yeah, I confused left and right. I swapped the graphs around in Paint while writing the post, then forgot to fix it. It's fixed now.

    The demand curve doesn't shift in the graph on the right; instead collective bargaining segments the market so that each worker is paid their own marginal product, instead of the product of the marginal worker. Demanded labour remains the same; instead, the employer pays their full willingness-to-pay for each labourer rather than the market wage.

    Passing on the costs to consumers seems counterproductive; consumers are labour too. At best this generates cost-push inflation. At worst it generates a recession. On a macroeconomic basis, I don't see how it's ideal.

  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    What make this issue so messed up is there are really 2 things being changed:

    The state employees need to pay 5.6% into their pension and 12% of thier health care costs.

    On this one cry me a fucking river, US average for HC is something like 25%, and paying 5% to get into a pension system like WI has is a steal.

    then theres the anti-union measures, which I'm all for. Public sector unions at this point are basically nothing but extortion tools that help keep the incompetent in work(see teachers unions vis a vi NYC rubber rooms). But coupling the two is dumb, as is excluding the police unions(go go blue line).

  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Harrisonburg, VARegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
  • dojangodojango Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Well, costs are passed to the consumers regardless of the market structure. And yeah, trading inflation for lower unemployment is one of the options for the central banks. Generally central bankers prefer to target inflation and pretend to not care about employment, but when you're trying to move the economy back to full employment, it seems like they should relax on the inflation a little bit.

    I see where you're going with the market segmentation now. Sort of like a piece-work wage. That runs counter to the union philosophy, which is to pool larger groups of workers together in order to raise wages for them (regardless of the costs to workers outside the group). This is all basic economics, of course.

    But the policy question is "why should unions sublimate their interests to the overall interests of the 'economy' generally?" If other actors are more concerned about maximizing their own piece of the pie, why shouldn't labor do the same? The role of the government would be to step in if their behavior has extreme negative consequences, but in most cases, the effect of union bargaining isn't totally market-destroying.

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    You know, the rhetoric of "paying into" a defined-benefit plan doesn't make any sense. It's just a wage reduction. It's not like the benefits increase if you pay more into it. This isn't a savings account.

    As for the choice of union measures... I think condemning all public sector unions as extortion tools is slightly excessive, yes?

  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    in other words I read the local Milwaukee newspaper this morning, and my mom has personal experience dealing with the 'you can't fire people for sucking at their jobs' teachers union.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    in other words I read the local Milwaukee newspaper this morning, and my mom has personal experience dealing with the 'you can't fire people for sucking at their jobs' teachers union.

    So, you're stuck in crab thinking, and have only biased anecdotes.

    I don't buy the whole "wah, the unions won't let me fire incompetent people" schitck. What they won't let you do is fire someone because YOU claim they are incompetent. Provide proof and go through the process, and you shouldn't have a problem.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    dojango wrote: »
    Well, costs are passed to the consumers regardless of the market structure. And yeah, trading inflation for lower unemployment is one of the options for the central banks. Generally central bankers prefer to target inflation and pretend to not care about employment, but when you're trying to move the economy back to full employment, it seems like they should relax on the inflation a little bit.

    I see where you're going with the market segmentation now. Sort of like a piece-work wage. That runs counter to the union philosophy, which is to pool larger groups of workers together in order to raise wages for them (regardless of the costs to workers outside the group). This is all basic economics, of course.

    But the policy question is "why should unions sublimate their interests to the overall interests of the 'economy' generally?" If other actors are more concerned about maximizing their own piece of the pie, why shouldn't labor do the same? The role of the government would be to step in if their behavior has extreme negative consequences, but in most cases, the effect of union bargaining isn't totally market-destroying.

    They've forgotten about the inflation target, too. See my sig. The Fed has a dual mandate and it is achieving neither.

    "The union philosophy" you mention doesn't seem tied to all unions, of course. Countries can favor certain outcomes by altering what powers different unions have over the process of collective bargaining. Combative skill-based unionism seems to be somewhat more common in America; in Europe, early organized labour split along communist/socialist or even religious lines, rather than along skill lines. American craft unionism actively fought the formation of large industrial-scale unions in the early 20th century.

    The policy question should be considered along these lines; ideally we arrange policy so that (1) the interests of organized labour and capital do follow the interests of the wider economy, and (2) organized actors in the resulting political hierachy have an incentive to maintain the arrangement.

  • dojangodojango Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Also, I think we're missing an important bit when talking about the economic effect of unions: that it doesn't apply to public sector workers, since supply of their services is limited by the legislature, not by the market.

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I don't buy the whole "wah, the unions won't let me fire incompetent people" schitck. What they won't let you do is fire someone because YOU claim they are incompetent. Provide proof and go through the process, and you shouldn't have a problem.

    Which is a costly process, and all the more costly if the process is capable of delivering justice.

    You can claim that it is necessary, you can claim that is just, and you can claim that it is a right. You can't, however, shy away from the fact that it does make firing incompetent people more difficult than it would be otherwise.

    One of the reasons societies have no-fault divorces is because proving misconduct is difficult. That basic reason applies here, too.

    (note that, to put this back in proper context, I reiterate the point on the previous page that this is not the cause of wider budget problems)

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    dojango wrote: »
    Also, I think we're missing an important bit when talking about the economic effect of unions: that it doesn't apply to public sector workers, since supply of their services is limited by the legislature, not by the market.

    Demand. Demand for their services. Employees sell their labour; legislature buys it. Supply is still set by the market.

  • Erich ZahnErich Zahn So Wangtta~! Remember to [E]ject!Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Teacher's unions are fucking worthless, and I say this as a student who has seen the superintendent go through the process and provided fucking video and testimony and brought shit to court after they said that he was breaking the rules just because.

    Teachers should not be allowed to unionize, because teachers unions do nothing but protect pedophiles and shut down attempts at a unified curriculum/internet education/merit-based pay.

    Also, they're filled with shitbag conservatives who tell children that THE DEMOCRATS ARE GUNNA PUT YOU IN SCHOOL YEAR-ROUND!

  • ethicalseanethicalsean Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Erich Zahn wrote: »
    Teacher's unions are fucking worthless, and I say this as a student who has seen the superintendent go through the process and provided fucking video and testimony and brought shit to court after they said that he was breaking the rules just because.

    Teachers should not be allowed to unionize, because teachers unions do nothing but protect pedophiles and shut down attempts at a unified curriculum/internet education/merit-based pay.

    Also, they're filled with shitbag conservatives who tell children that THE DEMOCRATS ARE GUNNA PUT YOU IN SCHOOL YEAR-ROUND!

    As a teacher, I don't want merit-based pay that brings corruption and greed into the system (see: HISD). As a teacher, I don't want the state legislature/sboe putting their christian religious and states rights values into the curriculum. As a teacher, I don't want internet education being used as an excuse to make further slashes to the education budget.

    I live in Texas though, and we're not really unionized, so your wish has already been fufilled and things are going GREAT!

  • dojangodojango Registered User
    edited February 2011
    ronya wrote: »
    dojango wrote: »
    Also, I think we're missing an important bit when talking about the economic effect of unions: that it doesn't apply to public sector workers, since supply of their services is limited by the legislature, not by the market.

    Demand. Demand for their services. Employees sell their labour; legislature buys it. Supply is still set by the market.

    Demand for public employees is set by 'the public'. Like demand for teachers is set by people calling for (and legislating for) class sizes. Demand for the police and fire departments is mainly a function of population (but also public perception of safety). Demand for prison guards is set by the amount of people the state decides to lock up. Sure, the supply of the employees is set by market forces, but since supply has far outstripped demand, which is set by the legislature based on what the public has called for. Obviously the public pays for it through taxes, but the mechanism is so attenuated that we have the current idiocy, where people demand high levels of government service, and then refuse to pay for it (through taxes). Unlike the private sector, where market forces can make the adjustments smoothly, instead of being filtered through legislatures.

    edit: I see. Yes, i mixed up supply and demand in my original post. D'oh!

  • enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I would argue even the 'raise wages across the board' (ronya's left) version of unions can be good for workers. It really depends on the elasticity of labor demand.

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Yes, yes. The point is that unionization fudges around with the supply curve, while the demand is set by legislatures and such. So it applies just fine to public-sector workers. The two only interact when unions go on to lobby legislatures to transform public services into jobs programs, but that entails a political analysis, not an economic one.

    e:
    enc0re wrote: »
    I would argue even the 'raise wages across the board' (ronya's left) version of unions can be good for workers. It really depends on the elasticity of labor demand.

    To translate to English: see that demand line in that graph I drew? Imagine it's vertical. Wages rise, employment does not change.

    My impression is that labour demand is not generally vertical, even in the short run (of a year-ish), and it is definitely not vertical in the long run. I may be wrong, though.

  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Harrisonburg, VARegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Erich Zahn wrote: »
    Teacher's unions are fucking worthless, and I say this as a student who has seen the superintendent go through the process and provided fucking video and testimony and brought shit to court after they said that he was breaking the rules just because.

    Teachers should not be allowed to unionize, because teachers unions do nothing but protect pedophiles and shut down attempts at a unified curriculum/internet education/merit-based pay.

    Also, they're filled with shitbag conservatives who tell children that THE DEMOCRATS ARE GUNNA PUT YOU IN SCHOOL YEAR-ROUND!

    As a teacher, I don't want merit-based pay that brings corruption and greed into the system (see: HISD). As a teacher, I don't want the state legislature/sboe putting their christian religious and states rights values into the curriculum. As a teacher, I don't want internet education being used as an excuse to make further slashes to the education budget.

    I live in Texas though, and we're not really unionized, so your wish has already been fufilled and things are going GREAT!
    The Texas educational system is an example to the rest of the world.

    Of how not to do it.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    ronya wrote: »
    I don't buy the whole "wah, the unions won't let me fire incompetent people" schitck. What they won't let you do is fire someone because YOU claim they are incompetent. Provide proof and go through the process, and you shouldn't have a problem.

    Which is a costly process, and all the more costly if the process is capable of delivering justice.

    You can claim that it is necessary, you can claim that is just, and you can claim that it is a right. You can't, however, shy away from the fact that it does make firing incompetent people more difficult than it would be otherwise.

    The thing though is that those claims significantly affect the legitimacy of the "it's more difficult" argument. For example, environmental regulations make it considerably harder to dispose of toxic waste, yet you'd rightfully be looked at as insane if you complained about that.

    Simply put, the argument that unions make it harder to dismiss teachers by itself is bullshit.
    ronya wrote: »
    One of the reasons societies have no-fault divorces is because proving misconduct is difficult. That basic reason applies here, too.

    No, we have no-fault because a) it's wrong to force two people to stay in a relationship that has broken down, and b) because it wasn't until the 90s that the government realized that yes, a husband can, in fact, rape his wife.
    ronya wrote: »
    (note that, to put this back in proper context, I reiterate the point on the previous page that this is not the cause of wider budget problems)

    Even if it was, I would think that people would have some fucking respect for the concept of due process.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    mrt144 wrote: »
    In other words, you can be fired if your manager doesn't like you, or decides that a new grad is cheaper than you are, and just as capable. This here is a prime example of the "special snowflake" attitude.

    What's wrong with that?

    Why don't you support giving younger people opportunities?

    Why should those opportunities come at the expense of others?

    Because there is a finite amount of opportunities at any given moment in time.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    mrt144 wrote: »
    mrt144 wrote: »
    In other words, you can be fired if your manager doesn't like you, or decides that a new grad is cheaper than you are, and just as capable. This here is a prime example of the "special snowflake" attitude.

    What's wrong with that?

    Why don't you support giving younger people opportunities?

    Why should those opportunities come at the expense of others?

    Because there is a finite amount of opportunities at any given moment in time.

    Yeah...I'm not buying that this is a zero-sum game. Again, see all the bullshit surrounding H-1B.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
  • FencingsaxFencingsax Bondage Discipline Spider-Man Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Erich Zahn wrote: »
    Teacher's unions are fucking worthless, and I say this as a student who has seen the superintendent go through the process and provided fucking video and testimony and brought shit to court after they said that he was breaking the rules just because.

    Teachers should not be allowed to unionize, because teachers unions do nothing but protect pedophiles and shut down attempts at a unified curriculum/internet education/merit-based pay.

    Also, they're filled with shitbag conservatives who tell children that THE DEMOCRATS ARE GUNNA PUT YOU IN SCHOOL YEAR-ROUND!

    As a teacher, I don't want merit-based pay that brings corruption and greed into the system (see: HISD). As a teacher, I don't want the state legislature/sboe putting their christian religious and states rights values into the curriculum. As a teacher, I don't want internet education being used as an excuse to make further slashes to the education budget.

    I live in Texas though, and we're not really unionized, so your wish has already been fufilled and things are going GREAT!
    The Texas educational system is an example to the rest of the world.

    Of how not to do it.

    On the other hand, if you allow teacher's unions and tenure and whatnot to get too entrenched (along with voucher programs that leach off funding and the like), you get D.C. Which is also not a system you want to emulate.

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it
  • dojangodojango Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Well, H-1B was an issue where demand for a certain type of workers far, far outstripped the supply. So the theory was that it would be faster (and cheaper) to bring workers into the system through an expedited visa process than it would be to train a bunch of new, native workers.

    Later, when the demand bubble burst, we had all these H-1B guys floating around, and native workers began calling for protection. Just some good ol' cyclical fun.

    And there's always a finite amount of anything available. Since economics is based around the concept of allocating scarce resources. Infinite anything = no need for economics.

  • FencingsaxFencingsax Bondage Discipline Spider-Man Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Also, the idiocy of fixing school funding to property values. I forgot about that.

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    mrt144 wrote: »
    mrt144 wrote: »
    In other words, you can be fired if your manager doesn't like you, or decides that a new grad is cheaper than you are, and just as capable. This here is a prime example of the "special snowflake" attitude.

    What's wrong with that?

    Why don't you support giving younger people opportunities?

    Why should those opportunities come at the expense of others?

    Because there is a finite amount of opportunities at any given moment in time.

    Yeah...I'm not buying that this is a zero-sum game. Again, see all the bullshit surrounding H-1B.

    What is the unemployment rate among people aged 18-25 with college degrees? You're basically contesting the idea that full employment isn't possible. A premise which belies your ignorance on economics...

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    dojango wrote: »
    Well, H-1B was an issue where demand for a certain type of workers far, far outstripped the supply. So the theory was that it would be faster (and cheaper) to bring workers into the system through an expedited visa process than it would be to train a bunch of new, native workers.

    Later, when the demand bubble burst, we had all these H-1B guys floating around, and native workers began calling for protection. Just some good ol' cyclical fun.

    And there's always a finite amount of anything available. Since economics is based around the concept of allocating scarce resources. Infinite anything = no need for economics.

    There never was a shortage. H-1B was purely about maximizing corporate profits at the expense of the American workforce.

    And mrt, I think it's been explained in a lot of threads that our current issues with unemployment have more to do with corporations trying to manipulate the environment to force concessions than anything else.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    ronya wrote: »
    Spoiler:

    The thing though is that those claims significantly affect the legitimacy of the "it's more difficult" argument. For example, environmental regulations make it considerably harder to dispose of toxic waste, yet you'd rightfully be looked at as insane if you complained about that.

    Can I take this as an concession that you do, in fact, agree that a more extensive due process does make it more difficult to fire incompetent people? That you are pitching your argumentative tent on arguing that this difficulty is worth it in whatever sense?

    Environmental regulations do make it considerably harder to dispose of waste in a toxic manner. This is a good thing. It is less good if it makes it harder to dispose of non-toxic waste in a minimally damaging manner. We can agree on this, yes? Which brings us to what seems to be the crux of the issue:
    Spoiler:
    Even if it was, I would think that people would have some fucking respect for the concept of due process.

    Please. We can all agree that people deserve due process; our disagreement is to the extent of due process that is legitimately deserved. This is almost tautological.

    You know, there's a common libertarian rhetorical trick to implicitly presume that the current state of the world's property titles is the natural and right one, and thus any income gained must belong to rentier and any proposal to tax it is theft, etc. That is beside the point, of course; if it is legitimately taxed, then it belongs to the state to begin with, and it is the failure to pay tax that is theft. The point under contention is what is owed to each individual, and to assume a desired conclusion is to miss the point.

    And if you live in a system and contract with at-will employment, and you are fired without the slightest chance to present your case, you have been given every single right you are entitled to under due process. It's all the process that was due to you: none.

    You can, of course, claim that employees should be entitled to more process, of course. I daresay that brings us to empirics and arguing over what actually delivers progressive economic goals.

  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    mrt144 wrote: »
    mrt144 wrote: »
    mrt144 wrote: »
    In other words, you can be fired if your manager doesn't like you, or decides that a new grad is cheaper than you are, and just as capable. This here is a prime example of the "special snowflake" attitude.

    What's wrong with that?

    Why don't you support giving younger people opportunities?

    Why should those opportunities come at the expense of others?

    Because there is a finite amount of opportunities at any given moment in time.

    Yeah...I'm not buying that this is a zero-sum game. Again, see all the bullshit surrounding H-1B.

    What is the unemployment rate among people aged 18-25 with college degrees? You're basically contesting the idea that full employment isn't possible. A premise which belies your ignorance on economics...

    http://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cpseed3.pdf

    Bachelors+ is at 5% nationally. Couldn't find one adjusted by both age and education. Don't know how that jives with "go flip some burgers with your degree in X" as i know several people with lib arts degrees working in call centers etc.

  • enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    ronya wrote: »
    enc0re wrote: »
    I would argue even the 'raise wages across the board' (ronya's left) version of unions can be good for workers. It really depends on the elasticity of labor demand.

    To translate to English: see that demand line in that graph I drew? Imagine it's vertical. Wages rise, employment does not change.

    My impression is that labour demand is not generally vertical, even in the short run (of a year-ish), and it is definitely not vertical in the long run. I may be wrong, though.

    Doesn't have to be vertical. Just inelastic and it's a net benefit to workers for wages to rise.

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    dojango wrote: »
    Well, H-1B was an issue where demand for a certain type of workers far, far outstripped the supply. So the theory was that it would be faster (and cheaper) to bring workers into the system through an expedited visa process than it would be to train a bunch of new, native workers.

    Later, when the demand bubble burst, we had all these H-1B guys floating around, and native workers began calling for protection. Just some good ol' cyclical fun.

    And there's always a finite amount of anything available. Since economics is based around the concept of allocating scarce resources. Infinite anything = no need for economics.

    There never was a shortage. H-1B was purely about maximizing corporate profits at the expense of the American workforce.

    And mrt, I think it's been explained in a lot of threads that our current issues with unemployment have more to do with corporations trying to manipulate the environment to force concessions than anything else.

    Citing a professor of computer science on H-1Bs, the visa program for skilled workers that would compete with computer science graduates? Yes, I'm sure that's both an unbiased and expert source on labour economics.

    And AngelHedgie, I daresay that is a wholly wrong account of why the US has high unemployment. What, precisely, is your grand macroeconomic explanation here?

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    enc0re wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    enc0re wrote: »
    I would argue even the 'raise wages across the board' (ronya's left) version of unions can be good for workers. It really depends on the elasticity of labor demand.

    To translate to English: see that demand line in that graph I drew? Imagine it's vertical. Wages rise, employment does not change.

    My impression is that labour demand is not generally vertical, even in the short run (of a year-ish), and it is definitely not vertical in the long run. I may be wrong, though.

    Doesn't have to be vertical. Just inelastic and it's a net benefit to workers for wages to rise.

    We can tax and redistribute rent to achieve the distributive effect. The unemployment effect doesn't go away, though.

  • dojangodojango Registered User
    edited February 2011
    there's been a conspiracy theory floating around these boards that corporations are deliberately not hiring in order to put pressure on Obama to grant concessions (or to make him unpopular enough to cause a republican victory).

    I say conspiracy theory because there's no evidence to indicate that this is the cause, and that the observable facts are explicable through economic theory, but that's the general idea, I think.

  • enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    ronya wrote: »
    We can tax and redistribute rent to achieve the distributive effect. The unemployment effect doesn't go away, though.

    Right, I'm talking net of the unemployment effect it's a benefit. Theoretically tax and spend would be as efficient for distribution. Practically? I'd rather have a higher paycheck in hand.

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    enc0re wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    We can tax and redistribute rent to achieve the distributive effect. The unemployment effect doesn't go away, though.

    Right, I'm talking net of the unemployment effect it's a benefit. Theoretically tax and spend would be as efficient for distribution. Practically? I'd rather have a higher paycheck in hand.

    Which you'd only get if you're not among the unemployed or underemployed :P
    dojango wrote: »
    there's been a conspiracy theory floating around these boards that corporations are deliberately not hiring in order to put pressure on Obama to grant concessions (or to make him unpopular enough to cause a republican victory).

    I say conspiracy theory because there's no evidence to indicate that this is the cause, and that the observable facts are explicable through economic theory, but that's the general idea, I think.

    Wow, seriously?

    ... yeah, that's pretty out there.

  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Harrisonburg, VARegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    However, I'm pretty sure it's a matter of public record that lots of companies are just sitting on immense amounts of money, and still not hiring anybody.

  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    dojango wrote: »
    there's been a conspiracy theory floating around these boards that corporations are deliberately not hiring in order to put pressure on Obama to grant concessions (or to make him unpopular enough to cause a republican victory).

    I say conspiracy theory because there's no evidence to indicate that this is the cause, and that the observable facts are explicable through economic theory, but that's the general idea, I think.

    HAHA, that'd be ridiculous and would require a grand conspiracy.

  • dojangodojango Registered User
    edited February 2011
    However, I'm pretty sure it's a matter of public record that lots of companies are just sitting on immense amounts of money, and still not hiring anybody.

    Yeah, but corporations aren't obligated to use their cash reserves to hire people and produce more goods and services. Especially if there isn't demand for said goods. If it turns out that they're sitting on too much cash out of caution (the most likely explanation), then the appropriate solution is for the government to tinker with the interest rate so as to make sitting on cash undesirable (lower it).

  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Harrisonburg, VARegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    ronya wrote: »
    dojango wrote: »
    Well, H-1B was an issue where demand for a certain type of workers far, far outstripped the supply. So the theory was that it would be faster (and cheaper) to bring workers into the system through an expedited visa process than it would be to train a bunch of new, native workers.

    Later, when the demand bubble burst, we had all these H-1B guys floating around, and native workers began calling for protection. Just some good ol' cyclical fun.

    And there's always a finite amount of anything available. Since economics is based around the concept of allocating scarce resources. Infinite anything = no need for economics.

    There never was a shortage. H-1B was purely about maximizing corporate profits at the expense of the American workforce.

    And mrt, I think it's been explained in a lot of threads that our current issues with unemployment have more to do with corporations trying to manipulate the environment to force concessions than anything else.

    Citing a professor of computer science on H-1Bs, the visa program for skilled workers that would compete with computer science graduates? Yes, I'm sure that's both an unbiased and expert source on labour economics.

    So, did you actually read the paper (which, by the way, was in a peer reviewed journal (University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform))? He makes the case pretty strongly, pointing out things like the fact that major developers, while pleading before Congress that there weren't enough developers and they needed the H-1B program, had resume rejection rates of 90+% percent, thus belieing their claims.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
This discussion has been closed.