"Mistrust those in whom the urge to punish is strong." Friedrich Nietzche

"Any and all non-violent, non-coercive, non-larcenous, consensual adult behavior that does not physically harm other people or their property or directly and immediately endangers same, that does not disturb the peace or create a public nuisance, and that is done in private, especially on private property, is the inalienable right of all adults. In a truly free and liberty-loving society, ruled by a secular government, no laws should be passed to prohibit such behavior. Any laws now existing that are contrary to the above definition of inalienable rights are violations of the rights of adults and should be made null and void." D. M. Mitchell (from The Myth of Inalienable Rights, at: http://dowehaverights.blogspot.com/)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An Open Letter to Bob Beckel

I was watching The Five on the Fox News Channel yesterday and heard, again, Bob Beckel singing the praises of unions. (Although he thought that the Bakers Union should give a bit so Hostess--and Twinkies--would not go out of business.

Dear Bob Beckel:

I got to thinking, what would the U.S. be like if, somehow, every business could be unionized. I mean, the union hierarchy would love that, billions of dollars to flow into their coffers for them to use ... well, however they wanted. I'm sure it would all go to help union workers.

So, every workers who is not a business owner or part of management is a union worker getting maximum pay and maximum benefits, right? Cool! A virtual paradise on Earth, right?

There is just a small problem with that scenario. With businesses having to pay all workers union-type wages (above average) and union-type benefits (again, above average), then the costs for the products and services that all businesses provide would necessarily have to go up ... way up. We, the U.S. would quickly become the most expensive place in the world to live.

That would kill tourism, although I doubt the U.S., overall, depends that much on tourism, but several businesses do. So they would be out of business, except for those catering to the rich. They would still be working because the rich of other nations would be able to afford the cost of coming to America.

Then there are the unemployed and the elderly on fixed incomes. Would they be able to buy enough food or pay for enough heat in the winter? Maybe the government could print up some more money and give it to the poor and those on fixed incomes. Of course, with everyone being a union worker, making more money, the government would be collecting more taxes, right? So, between more taxes and more money printed the government could take care of those in need.

But what of the union workers? Would their lot be any better? Probably not. Everything would now cost a lot more and so their increased wages wouldn't go any further than before, maybe not as far. Health care, what with their wonderful union benefits package? But with hospitals and clinics and pharmaceutical companies all being unionized, those cost would go up too. So that would probably be a wash.

But, wait, retirement! Yeah, the retired union workers would be on east street, right? No, because, they would be on fixed, retirement incomes and costs would continue to climb as the unions demanded more and more pay and benefits from the evil capitalists to keep up with the costs created by every worker getting union wages and benefits.

Of course, it's the evil capitalist that provide the jobs in the first place, not unions. No union ever created a job for any union worker. Unions only create jobs for union leaders and union leaders are takers, not makers. At least the union workers are making products or providing services, like cars, or shoes, or food, and other goodies that we need and want. Not so the union leaders.

So am I against unions? Not in theory. Sometimes workers need to organize to get better wages, working conditions, benefits. But so often the union leaders take the issues beyond the point of reason and logic and hurt, rather than help, the economy and society in general. Union leaders act like the top management of evil capitalists, or at least, that's how it seems to me, Bob.

All in all, I don't think a totally unionized nation would be a good thing at all. And there are some evil capitalists who pay good wages and provide good benefits without the unions. Of course, you never said that you wanted every non-management worker unionized. But it just seems to me that you would like it to be that way. But then, now that I think of it, why not unionize management too? Yeah, that's it! That's the ticket!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Morality cannot be forced

Do you not see, first, that — as a mental abstract — physical force is directly opposed to morality; and, secondly, that it practically drives out of existence the moral forces? How can an act done under compulsion have any moral element in it, seeing that what is moral is the free act of an intelligent being? If you tie a man's hands there is nothing moral about his not committing murder. Such an abstaining from murder is a mechanical act; and just the same in kind, though less in degree, are the acts which men are compelled to do under penalties imposed upon them by their fellow men. Those who would drive their fellow men into the performance of any good actions do not see that the very elements of morality — the free act following on the free choice — are as much absent in those upon whom they practice their legislation as in a flock of sheep penned in by hurdles.— Auberon Herbert