Monday, January 03, 2011

The Fall of Rome

Here's a picture series that should give anyone pause for thought.

HT: MoonBattery

24 comments:

neomom said...

I've seen this before... It is tragic, some of those buildings were magnificent and now they aren't good for anything but a bulldozer.

Anonymous said...

Moonbattery is bat%$#@ insane with the claim that "progressivism" solely killed Detroit, when in REALITY it was a combination of factors.


online.wsj.com/article/SB122488710556068177.html

www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1887864,00.html

seekingalpha.com/article/138341-the-detroit-syndrome-of-economic-failure


I want more Christian "war-porn", Dad29.

TerryN said...

Visit http://www.detroityes.com/0tourdetroit.htm and take the tour of your choice.

Two things were constant in the ruination of Detroit. Democratic rule and strong unions.

Deekaman said...

Anon can claim bat$#!7 crazy all he wants. What will be the excuse when Milwaukee looks like this? The riot (and that's what it was) at Mayfair yesterday is just the beginning. Progressivism coddles the bad actors. We will pay.

Anonymous said...

Terry N--Thanks for carefully reading the sources I provided and supplying a link that did NOTHING to refute the myriad of reasons for the failure of Detroit.

Democratic rule and strong unions are a STRENGTH of our country. Where have you been, under a rock?


Deekaman--Oh, yes, the riot at Mayfair, the result of insidious Progressivism. Thanks for the laughs!

neomom said...

Hey anony... take a look at all the strongholds of unions, Democrats and Progressives in the US. Most are a complete fiscal disaster.

http://gop3.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/cities-suck.jpg (from the census bureau)

Then there are the states with the biggest fiscal issues: California, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. What do we see? California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida all have to deal with enormous illegal immigrant issues and costs. The other states (California gets on both lists) are all union and Democrat strongholds.

So your Dem + Union = Good for America is a complete

FAIL

Deekaman said...

Anon is so tied to his socialist paradise ideology that he can't see it has failed every...where...it...has...been...tried.

Tell me, Anon...where has progressivism (Socialism light) been a success? Europe? Probably not. Japan? Lost Decade. I know..Cuba. Cuba would be a paradise if only the bad, bad US had not embargoed them come on...Give me one you sancitmonius, brainless douchebag.

Are you really Crapper in disguise?

Anonymous said...

neo mom--Squarely putting the blame on the failings of an economy on an ideology and a movement is simplistic thinking at its finest.


Deekaman--I thought only liberals used foul language, that's what you told me. And, I don't know, perhaps reviewing the historical record might review the political, economic, and social reforms made by Jane Addams, Susan B. Anthony, Theodore Roosevelt, Robert LaFollette, etc.

I wonder where the United States would be today without their efforts???

neomom said...

Well anony - you certainly have the simplistic thinking part down pat...

"Democratic rule and strong unions are a STRENGTH of our country. Where have you been, under a rock?"

Anonymous said...

Care to dispute the FACTS from the three sources to counter the various factors which plagued Detroit financially, or are you going into "Democratic/union attack mode"?

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!

Anonymous said...

OK Anon, allow me to answer your query.

Your first link clearly lays the blame on the unions for the decline of the auto industry in Detroit. Money quote is..."Detroit, meanwhile, has remained mired in mutual mistrust with the United Auto Workers union. While the suspicion has abated somewhat in recent years, it never has disappeared -- which is why Detroit's factories remain vastly more cumbersome to manage than the factories of foreign car companies in the U.S."

Your second link simply talks about how devestated the city is and briefly mentions it started going down hill in the fifties (unfortunately they failed to point out that the population shift out of detroit mainly went to the new suburbs but that is easy to research).

Your third link is mainly about investments but does manage to "list" seven reasons for the collapse of Detroit. Problem is they are mainly centered around the auto industry kneecapped by union wages and sluggishness which only proves your first link's points even more.

In effect, you failed.

David

Anonymous said...

David, nice try. In the first link, you take a quote completely out of context. There is a REASON for the dissension between management and labor among the Big 3 in the United States. You conveniently forgot this quotation.

"Detroit failed to grasp -- or at least to address -- the fundamental nature of its Japanese competition. Japan's car companies, and more recently the Germans and Koreans, gained a competitive advantage largely by forging an alliance with American workers."

Hmmm, imagine that. Auto executives finding ways to HELP, not HARM, their employees. Want proof from the article?


"The UAW hasn't organized many of them, the main exceptions being plants that began as partnerships between a U.S. and Japanese auto maker, where the union was "grandfathered" in. As Detroit's oligopoly was broken, so was the UAW's labor monopoly in the auto industry. The big winner was the car-buying public."

..."Two weeks ago some automation equipment broke down at the Honda factory in Marysville, Ohio, but employees rushed to the scene and devised a temporary solution. There were no negotiations with shop stewards, no parsing of job descriptions. Instead of losing an entire shift of production, Honda lost just 150 cars. The person overseeing Marysville's assembly operations is Brad Alty, still with Honda after nearly 30 years. These days, instead of a Gremlin, he's driving a Honda Pilot -- made at a Honda factory in Alabama."


Furthermore, the article states that Detroit had "lacked a diversified source of profits -- i.e. small cars, midsize sedans, etc.", meaning it generally put its eggs in one basket, that being SUV's and pickups. Seems that the Big 3, especially Ford, in response to foreign competition and the marketplace, are learning their lesson.

Anonymous said...

The second link indeed talks about how Detroit has fallen upon hard times due to an exodous of people, the decline of the Big 3, and a lack of a consistent plan by city officials to re-energize itself.

Blame Democrats for a failed vision? Ok, fair enough, but recently Detriot planners are looking for ways--including European models (!)--to deal with significant population loss. And unions have contributed to this problem how?

In the last link, you are making a desperate attempt to infer that unions are to blame. Clearly, the article outlines a number of factors (granted, union wages and benefits are cited as a reason) which ALL worked together.

FAIL!

Anonymous said...

Again, to say that Democrats and unions are the PRIMARY reasons for the fall of Detroit is rhetoric, or mere stupidity.

neomom said...

um Anony...

Hate to break this to you buddy, but you proved our point. The UAW is largely to blame. Go re-read your example from the Honda plant. In a UAW shop, you have to wait for the "right" classification of worker to come to help because if you don't you get greivances and back pay and all sorts of other hassle in addition to losing production for long periods of time.

The "foreign" companies forges an "alliance" with the workers. Yeah - its called employment and treating them well. Amazing that happened without a union to protect them huh?

Anonymous said...

More desperation from another conservative.

Who was to blame, in the case of GM, for animosity between the UAW and execs? Big wigs have the audacity to ask for wage concessions...while simultaneously changing the formula to make it easier for them to get "golden parachutes". Bet you "didn't see" that important point in the article, too.

The foreign car plants in the South, as of now, are paying non-union workers similar wages to union members. So far, so good. Yet, if workers there want to be able to form a union, they should have that choice.

Our country was built on the backs of hard working Americans, and UNIONS ensured their fair share in light of a tendency for companies to cheat them.

So, keep clinging on to your ridiculous assertion that the UAW was the primary cause for the ruination of Detroit. Some culpability there, to be certain, but other factors are in play. Get that through your thick skull!

Deekaman said...

In what universe is a worker "entitled" to a "fair share"? Who determines what is "fair"? For that matter, you tell me what a "fair share" is. To what percentage of the owner's property is a worker "entitled"? And if a worker is "entitled" to a certain part of the owner's property, how much would you be willing to give up? I'm guessing you don't do your own plumbing. Or maybe your own electrical work or maybe something else you hire out for. For that matter, what should minimum wage be? And why is that number the right one?

Put that in YOUR thick skull and see how it calculates out. But you won't. You'll come back with some other bu!!$#!7 and/or change the subject.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of changing the subject, any evidence to refute my assertions? Didn't think so.


It's the age old question, does the chicken or the egg come first?

People provide the labor to make the goods created by a company.
But without the company to create the product, people would not be able to provide the labor.

So, I could say the same thing--in what universe is a business person entitled to a "fair share"? Who determines what is "fair"?

It shouldn't be the employer, nor the employee, who unilaterally makes that decision. That is why government intervened...human nature is essentially selfish.

As our history demonstrated, there has been a tendency for a number of industrialists, in the name of profit, to marginalize and short change workers.

In other words, when we "let the market decide", there is a propensity by capitalists to make the rules at the expense of workers, as evident by the methods employed by companies in the late 1800's/early 1900's.

Gee, I wonder who was responsible for better working conditions and a livable wage? The big-wigs of industry at that time in our history were certainly in no mood to offer "concessions" on their own, in the goodness of their heart!

However, unions should not get a free pass, as they also have engaged in questionable actions in the name of "protecting labor".

So, to me, the government has put into effect a process that seeks to balance the needs of employer and employee. I would venture to say that MOST business owners and their workers find a common ground. Negotiations in the market place, under specific laws to guarantee a "level playing field", is between the person providing his/her labor and the person offering the position. Isn't that how capitalism ought to work?

Certainly Republicans and Democrats will always claim that the process skewers in favor of their opponents, and therefore changes need to implemented to make it "fairer".

I don't have the answer on how to truly reduce to a minimum the strife between employer and employee, but I do know one thing...If the business owner or union makes a promise in the form of a contract, then they have an obligation to carry it out all the way through.

Even if a past agreement may no longer be feasible for the future? You decide on your own how to respond to that question.

Anonymous said...

"I'm guessing you don't do your own plumbing. Or maybe your own electrical work or maybe something else you hire out for."

I am fortunate to have had a grandfather who was a carpenter and a cousin who was an electrian. At a young age, I learned parts of their craft.

Deekaman said...

"It shouldn't be the employer, nor the employee, who unilaterally makes that decision. That is why government intervened...human nature is essentially selfish."

This is laughable. The owner of the business hires the help as he wants it, not as he "needs" it. The owner of the business can perform the labor himself, although it is unlikely he will grow the business much. Even so, the business is the property of the owner, not the employee nor the government. The government has no business in this business. The employer/employee relationship is governed by contract law. The employee can either take the job at the negotiated rate or not. The employer can either pay what the employee wants or do the work himself. If someone will do the work cheaper, the employer may-or-may not hire that person, depending on the quality of workmanship.

To have government determine "fairness" is equally ludicrous. Government is made up of people with those inherent biases, such as greed. How many times have government bureaucrats and elected officials made decisions based not on what is right, but on their personal biases and on who has made the largest "contribution". Is that REALLY what you want? I'd rather take my chances negotiating with a potential employer, thanks.

I agree that once that promise between employer and employee is made that it is inviolate. But the person who owns the property has the right to make the rules; it is the owner's property. As I said earlier, the owner can either choose to negotiate a rate at which the employee will work or do his own work. I believe that to be the fairest of the fair.

Let me add something here about Unions. From a worker's standpoint, the Union hurts high achievers. The entire group gets the negotiated wage. There is no provision for me, as an employer to reward those who achieve more in the Union environment. If you are a motivated high-achieving individual, the last thing you want is to be encumbered by a Union.

Dad29 said...

A part of this has to do with supply and demand of labor.

In the late 1800s/early 1900s, the US was chock-full of unskilled labor due to immigration from Europe.

No question about it, those immigrants got their clocks cleaned by many (not all) factory and shop-owners, which resulted in unions.

A similar, but opposite, situation arose in the 1970s through ~2000, with a shortage of IS techies; their wages/salaries went up extremely fast in that period.

Then, around 2000, the supply-side finally got too large, from both offshore and domestic sources, and the wage/salary levels went down.

While unions, in their early years, were a positive--they forced capital to treat people as people, not mechanical assets--that movement became fat.

Thus, the waning of union influence in industry (now less than 14% of all labor).

However, the FLSA and some other Fed and State initiatives have worked to establish a set of standards which are still working well today.

That's one reason that, while I think a lot of the Fed agencies could go away, I defend the FLSA.

It was a good compromise.

But we don't know how long that will last, as un-skilled labor is available offshore.

Anonymous said...

Dad29--Wow, I agree with your 7:16 p.m. post. Amazing.


Deekaman--The owner of the business hires the help as he wants it, not as he "needs" it.

Your playing a game of semantics. Sure, the owner may "want" workers at a certain price, but if he seeks to be profitable, he "needs" them to be willing to do what it takes to meet his/her goal.


Deekaman--The owner of the business can perform the labor himself, although it is unlikely he will grow the business much. Even so, the business is the property of the owner, not the employee nor the government.


Stay on point. The work performed by the employee is their "property", i.e. the skills they possess. If the employer exclusively dictates the terms, and says "this is how it is, take it or leave it", where is the motivation for any employee to work to their fullest potential to help that business grow?


Deekaman--"The employee can either take the job at the negotiated rate or not..."

Of course there will always be people, for a host of reasons, who will take that job, because they are led to believe that the wages/benefits are the most they can earn. When, in reality, the employer is setting the terms exclusively for their OWN designs...to maximize profit. Therefore, wages are artificially manufactured based not on the market, but on the employer's preferences.


Deekaman--But the person who owns the property has the right to make the rules; it is the owner's property.

Absolutely not. I "own" my labor. I have the power to dictate terms which represent my talent and ability. The "rules" are set by both management and labor. That is why government intervenes, to ensure a fair process. Good luck thinking that you can earn a profit with that elitist attitude!


Deekaman--From a worker's standpoint, the Union hurts high achievers.

Not unless it is negotiated in the contract to provide incentive to workers who perform well! And when an employer is willing to go that extra mile, the workers respond with higher productivity.


Deekaman--There is no provision for me, as an employer to reward those who achieve more in the Union environment.

If you want to earn increasing profits, then there is the provision for you to find ways to motivate workers to perform!

Deekaman said...

Many things you say here are true. And if the employer desires the skills owned by the employee, the employer will pay for them. But the employer and employee, at some point must negotiate that pay. There iss no need for a government to intervene in that negotiation. Both parties have reason to enter into honest discussions. (and by the way, it is "elitist" to think that a government will do a better job of making sure negotiations are "fair" than the market. Ask GM bondholders how "fair" the government is.)

I have yet to see a Union contract (and I have about 20 years of experience with unions - IBEW, Steelworkers, UAW, Machinists) that is willing to allow the employer to reward merit. Maybe it happens, but not in my experience.

Sure, I can motivate workers. I'm, doing it now as a Supervisor. Especially after a difficult and contentious contract negotiation. But I cannot monetarily reward them.

We agree on many things, tho you may not see them. The biggest thing we disagree on is the limit of government intervention. You seem to feel that only government can ensure "fairness". I believe that government picks winners and losers based on political payback and bias. There is a limited place for government in business, such as ensuring the employer/employee contract is upheld, but little more.

Anonymous said...

Deekaman--I have yet to see a Union contract (and I have about 20 years of experience with unions - IBEW, Steelworkers, UAW, Machinists) that is willing to allow the employer to reward merit.


Absolutely!


Deekaman--The biggest thing we disagree on is the limit of government intervention.

Indeed, we will agree to disagree.


Deekaman--and by the way, it is "elitist" to think that a government will do a better job of making sure negotiations are "fair" than the market.

I don't think government per se does a "better job", I just think there has to be parameters set by a (hopefully) independent group.
Because the bottom line for companies is profit. I have no problem with that part, but when they cut the salaries of workers while bumping up the salaries of management, and claim "we have financial problems, we must make cuts", then I find it personally troubling. It's not to say that management failed to earn that increase in pay, but I think the general public finds it suspicious when tens of millions of dollars, which could go directly into the company, line the pockets of executives.

But when Republicans or Democrats are in charge, they try to change or bend the rules to favor their groups which support them. Indeed, the process becomes
"biased".