Guest Post: Nato – In defence of unions

I believe that inadequate regulation has been under-enforced for too long on the labour side of industrial relations, but at the completion of the Liberal party’s Royal Commission, sensible policies can be adopted to restore labour unions to a position of respectability that they have recently foregone.

While it is true that all economic activity starts with the entrepreneur, it does not end there. No matter how many economists devote their time to free market theory, someone needs to their hands dirty collecting, processing & constructing a pencil from raw materials. These labourers deserve a proper quid for their quo, if they’re pros. Value added production requires, well, production.

Educated, motivated networkers are able to find and finance high quality advise and counsel from other educated, motivated networkers. Of course they will compete to sell the most products to the most customers at the highest prices for the lowest cost. It’s not too hard to deduce that a head-worker will value entrepreneurial ability over any other means of production. After all it is their profit.

Why should labour not have the access to advice and counsel? Why should labour not seek the greatest reward possible?

When slavery was abolished in the postbellum U.S. their economy benefited from black salaries for labour. When Israel erected their wall and lost cheap Arab labour, their economy benefited from higher Israeli salaries for labour. As Unions have successfully striven for a better deal for labour, the Australian economy has also benefited.

It is a modern complaint that the ALP is too close to the trade union movement, but it was specifically founded to be a political force for labour. Since Whitlam’s reforms to allow membership in the ALP for white collar types, the party and Union movement have seen themselves diminish. Sometimes the ALP gives the impression that, any day now, they will file for a change of name to the Australian Lawyers Party. It is a famous statistic that the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government oversaw an increase in lawyers and public servant roles at the same time as the number of blue collar jobs shrank dramatically.

The ALP has lost itself and turned it’s back on workers in the quest for power, while loosening enforcement of civilised conduct by some union organisers.

There is not much that is more true than the ‘few bad apples’ inflicting the union movement with their involvement. This is a profound disservice to those organisers who genuinely care. They are passionate about advocacy, but the collective is still tarnished. The stink of 5 mouldy apples overpowers the fine scent of 50 deliciousnesses.

Workers see this, and would rather be relegated to the award until retirement that be cast into a barrel with the thugs who mean something quite different to lawyers when they brag about “Fighting for the Working Man”, or depend of the sleazy shonks, whose words given with sincerity face-to-face are not worth the paper they are written on, passing through to political preselection.

To deny the reality of lawless unionists is as naive as to deny the white collar rogue. One key difference that has led to Australia’s current state is regulation, and enforcement, of business, with a grey area of organized labour where the ends justify the means, which shows why governments are a necessary evil.

With a Royal Commission into Union Corruption to inquire into, and report on the adequacy and effectiveness of existing systems of regulation and law enforcement, there is hope that the coercive powers of the state can be harnessed to provide a lightly regulated but level arena for the contest between labour and capital.

  • Management’s right to manage must be defended.
  • The freedom to contract must be defended.
  • Freedom of association must be defended.
  • Freedom from association must be defended.

From the terms of reference

1.b. the adequacy of existing laws as they relate to such entities with respect to:
ii. the accountability of officers of registered employee associations to their members in respect of the use of funds and other assets in relation to such entities;

1.c. whether such entities are used, or have been used for any form of unlawful purpose;

6. Any conduct in relation to such entities which may amount to a breach of any applicable law, regulation or professional standard by officers of registered industrial employee associations who hold, by virtue of their position, a position of responsibility in relation to any such entities.

have the most potential for trade unions to join the 21st century Australian economy constructively. They also have the most potential to be used for a corresponding decrease in the regulation of business. If transparency and good faith can be found among the parties, a number of our existing rules will become superfluous. If faith in unions can be restored among the labour force, and a lighter regulation of business can be politically realized, Australia stands ready to herald in a brighter culture.

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86 Responses to Guest Post: Nato – In defence of unions

  1. Sinclair Davidson

    When slavery was abolished in the postbellum U.S. their economy benefited from black salaries for labour. When Israel erected their wall and lost cheap Arab labour, their economy benefited from higher Israeli salaries for labour. As Unions have successfully striven for a better deal for labour, the Australian economy has also benefited.

    This one is going to cause a bit of debate I expect.

  2. Tel

    Why should labour not have the access to advice and counsel? Why should labour not seek the greatest reward possible?

    Offhand, I can’t think of any reason. Yup, fair enough on that one.

    The ALP has lost itself and turned it’s back on workers in the quest for power, while loosening enforcement of civilised conduct by some union organisers.

    Why should leaders not seek the greatest reward possible?

    To deny the reality of lawless unionists is as naive as to deny the white collar rogue.

    Why should rogues not seek the greatest reward possible?

    One key difference that has led to Australia’s current state is regulation, and enforcement, of business, with a grey area of organized labour where the ends justify the means, which shows why governments are a necessary evil.

    Why should governments not seek the greatest reward possible?

  3. blogstrop

    Sinc, do you just accept anything emailed to you?

  4. Tintarella di Luna

    If transparency and good faith can be found among the parties, a number of our existing rules will become superfluous.

    hahahahahahhahahaha — you are talking about Union fugs here and Bill Shorten is a Union fug of the first order, walks and talks like one, he is defined by union fuggery.

  5. JC

    Guest Author

    Remove the laws preventing so-called collusion between firms and then I might support your defense of free association for all. Until that happens workers ought to be negotiating their pay individually.

  6. C.L.

    … restore labour unions to a position of respectability that they have recently foregone.

    Recently?

    They lost their respectability when the wharfies and seamen backed Hitler in World War II.

  7. Tintarella di Luna

    As Unions have successfully striven for a better deal for labour Labor, the Australian economy has also benefited.

    There, just for clarity

  8. Tintarella di Luna

    As Unions have successfully striven for a better deal for labour, the Australian economy has also benefited.

    Ooops I meant

    As Unions have successfully striven for a better deal for labour, Labor the Australian economy has also benefited. tanked.

  9. Sinclair Davidson

    Sinc, do you just accept anything emailed to you?

    No. I publish stuff that will generate debate, or is interesting, or is amusing, or demonstrates a point.

  10. Gab

    What is the point of this post?

  11. Tintarella di Luna

    Management’s right to manage must be defended. Yep Howard did that
    The freedom to contract must be defended. Yep Howard did that
    Freedom of association must be defended. Yep Howard did that
    Freedom from association must be defended. Yep Howard did that

    Why did all that change over the last 6 years? The huge mistake Howard made was not including the no disadvantage in the first instance, by the time he did it was too late, he’d given the Unions the atom bomb of industrial relations

  12. blogstrop

    The few bad apples - really!

  13. Alfonso

    Yeah, that’s rational fuckwit…labour prices industries out of operation then claim taxpayer dollars to make up the difference…see Holden, SPC, Ford, Toyota, Qantas and a thousand coffee shops paying double time plus super, workers comp and leave loadings on a Sunday. Bullshit.

    The then NSW Dept of Trade and Industry ? (1960 from memory) plus a tag team of Shop Employee Union thugs used to regularly threaten my father with bribe or violence to remain open as a milk bar attached to a self serve grocery on Sundays, the regulations meant you had to close and partition off the super market.
    We saw them off without the bribe on numerous occassions, after that as a 10 year old I was scared of nothing. Small town police in those days had loyalty to the community, not head office.

  14. Tintarella di Luna

    What is the point of this post?

    Gab it’s been worth it for me — I’ve found a new word,

    postbellum

  15. harrys on the boat

    So this is amusing? FMD.

  16. C.L.

    Argument, people.

    Make an argument.

    (I might after dinner).

  17. blogstrop

    If transparency and good faith can be found among the parties, a number of our existing rules will become superfluous. If faith in unions can be restored among the labour force, and a lighter regulation of business can be politically realized, Australia stands ready to herald in a brighter culture.

    Look, over there, the Unicorn of Lighter Regulation for Business. A quid pro quo for allowing the unions to somehow be relevant in the 21st century. How that happens while they support the ALP, which in turn snuggles up to the industry-destroying Greens, hence rendering unions totally passe, is something you can only talk about in modern catchphrases including words like stakeholders and social contracts.

  18. Gab

    When Israel erected their wall and lost cheap Arab labour, their economy benefited from higher Israeli salaries for labour.

    Number of Arab residents in Israel is around 1.5million or roughly 20% of the population and 70,000 temporary and permanent work permits issued to palestinians.

    What is the point of this post?

  19. Tintarella di Luna

    I publish stuff that will generate debate, or is interesting, or is amusing, or demonstrates a point.

    Thank you Sinc, this post is all those things,

    I am especially amused by the double negatives in this sentence

    I believe that inadequate regulation has been under-enforced for too long on the labour side of industrial relations

    and the use of the word “respectability” brought a wry grimace, having seen the swampy, down and dirty-side of unions up close and personal and as exposed in the Costigan Royal Commission and investigations of one other Union was enough to give me a jaundiced view of unionism in Australian as practiced by the fugs.

  20. Tintarella di Luna

    Number of Arab residents in Israel is around 1.5million or roughly 20% of the population and 70,000 temporary and permanent work permits issued to palestinians.

    And they don’t want to work in the Stone Age that is “Palestine”

  21. Gab

    What has any of this to do with Nato? Or is “Nato riding” the guest author’s nom de clavier?

  22. Gab

    And roughly around 30,000 working illegally, meaning without permits.

  23. Tintarella di Luna

    The way Maggie Thatcher (or Fatcher for Moobs) handled it was perfect. Brought the Union movement into the 21st Century, all it took was for Maggie to hand Arthur Scargill his cojones on a plate and said: “Nibble on these would you Arthur while I get on with putting the Great back into Great Britain.”

  24. Aristogeiton

    While it is true that all economic activity starts with the entrepreneur, it does not end there. No matter how many economists devote their time to free market theory, someone needs to their hands dirty collecting, processing & constructing a pencil from raw materials. These labourers deserve a proper quid for their quo, if they’re pros. Value added production requires, well, production.

    So what’s the problem here? Skilled labourers can withdraw their labour. If they don’t get a proper quid, then someone else will, or there will be no labour and no enterprise.

    People should be free to associate in any way they see fit. On the other hand, unions which tortiously interfere with the contractual relations of others, procure a secondary boycott by threats and intimidation, or interfere with the free flow of labour to and from business premises I will not tolerate. The same goes for the businesses which abet them in their endeavours, for example by forcing subcontractors to sign an enterprise agreement.

  25. Rabz

    Is this post some sort of joke?

  26. Demosthenes

    Is Nato the name of the author?

  27. C.L.

    Did everyone read the actual post?

    You may not agree with all of it but it’s intelligent and hits some important points.

    For example:

    Since Whitlam’s reforms to allow membership in the ALP for white collar types, the party and Union movement have seen themselves diminish. Sometimes the ALP gives the impression that, any day now, they will file for a change of name to the Australian Lawyers Party. It is a famous statistic that the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government oversaw an increase in lawyers and public servant roles at the same time as the number of blue collar jobs shrank dramatically.

    The ALP has lost itself and turned it’s back on workers in the quest for power, while loosening enforcement of civilised conduct by some union organisers.

    This is the absolute key phenomenon in the decline of the ALP – as Santamaria always insisted.

    Move on from the ad homs.

  28. These labourers deserve a proper quid for their quo, if they’re pros.

    I like this guy’s writing. Didn’t like much else.

    Also, bring back WorkChoices.

  29. Aristogeiton

    Demosthenes
    #1231694, posted on March 19, 2014 at 8:34 pm
    Is Nato the name of the author?

    It was originally posted under the name ‘Nato Riding’. Perhaps that is an anagram?

  30. C.L.

    Didn’t like much else.

    Yeah but why?

  31. Aristogeiton

    When Israel erected their wall and lost cheap Arab labour, their economy benefited from higher Israeli salaries for labour.

    How did their economy ‘benefit’? I don’t follow.

  32. C.L.

    Because higher salaries attracted brighter people, encouraged better educational striving, improved work ethic, longer hours, less brain drain??

  33. jupes

    It is a famous statistic that the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government oversaw an increase in lawyers and public servant roles at the same time as the number of blue collar jobs shrank dramatically.

    More evidence of jupes’ law: The more lawyers – the worse off you are.

  34. Aristogeiton

    C.L.
    #1231717, posted on March 19, 2014 at 8:48 pm
    Because higher salaries attracted brighter people, encouraged better educational striving, improved work ethic, longer hours, less brain drain??

    Let’s double the minimum wage, and we can achieve at least 5 of those things overnight!

  35. tomix

    Unions have only ever been industrial police forces for the big companies. Used to harass the competition and keep order on site.
    Union solidarity? They demand absolute loyalty. Any doubts and the worker loses his protection against dismissal. There were no “good old days’. It’s been like that since the start.

  36. C.L.

    Let’s double the minimum wage, and we can achieve at least 5 of those things overnight!

    No, there’s such a thing as the law of diminishing marginal utility.

  37. JC

    When slavery was abolished in the postbellum U.S. their economy benefited from black salaries for labour. When Israel erected their wall and lost cheap Arab labour, their economy benefited from higher Israeli salaries for labour. As Unions have successfully striven for a better deal for labour, the Australian economy has also benefited.

    This one is going to cause a bit of debate I expect.

    And so it should. How the hell would a sudden labor supply shock benefit Israel? That one needs to be explained to me. If the Israeli labor force was greatly reduced and labor rates went up as a result of the political decision to reduce the number of workers, that demonstrates stress in the economy and nothing else. In other words Israel lost out from the reduced production and as a whole Israel was worse off, not better.

    Unions don’t strive for anything else other than a better deal for their members. Nothing else. No amount of grandstanding by those thugs would change this fact. The rise of aggregate income has nothing to fucking do with unions and all to do with marginal productivity. Don’t believe me? Ask Krugman who also believes the same thing.

  38. JC

    Because higher salaries attracted brighter people, encouraged better educational striving, improved work ethic, longer hours, less brain drain??

    CL

    That’s suggesting that jobs are a zero sum game. I would strongly argue that the closure of the Israeli border to neighboring Arabs had a detrimental impact on the Israeli economy. Note, that I’m not arguing anything here about the righteousness of that decision, just the impact on the economy.

    Ask yourselves this question.. Did Israeli aggregate income fall as a result of the lockout or did it rise. Overall it would have fallen and therefore the effect was negative.

  39. Tel

    How the hell would a sudden labor supply shock benefit Israel?

    Back to the books, boy! Everyone knows the Black Death was a brilliant boon for the Medieval economy.

    The recent tsunami and cascading nuclear disaster in Japan were (and I quote, from great authority) “expansionary”.

  40. JC

    And one other thing… Unions, with the current laws behind them are toxic to our overall well being. They create either direct or indirect unemployment by pricing willing workers out of the labor market.

    Sure, if there are no laws protecting unions then people should be free to associate in whatever way they want. These people though, should also be cognizant that they most likely signed an employment contract, which would subject them to law suits if they did something to damage the firm.

    Lastly, jobs are negotiated individually and therefore negotiations for better pay and conditions ought to be negotiated individually. Don’t like the pay and conditions? In a free labor market it should not be too hard to find another.

  41. Gab

    Ask yourselves this question.. Did Israeli aggregate income fall as a result of the lockout or did it rise. Overall it would have fallen and therefore the effect was negative.

    Wouldn’t it rise given a shortage of supply of workers?

  42. JC

    Back to the books, boy! Everyone knows the Black Death was a brilliant boon for the Medieval economy.

    The recent tsunami and cascading nuclear disaster in Japan were (and I quote, from great authority) “expansionary”.

    LOL. Yes Japan benefited immensely from the tsunami.

  43. JC

    Wouldn’t it rise given a shortage of supply of workers?

    Not if production fell. Wages would most certainly rise for some workers, but income isn’t just the wages of those workers. It’s all income including profits etc and profits are used to plough savings back into the economy.

    Also don’t forget that the consumers lose purchasing power as prices rise.

  44. When Israel erected their wall and lost cheap Arab labour, their economy benefited from higher Israeli salaries for labour.

    When Whitlam got elected he doubled all salaries & the Australian economy benefited from the higher salaries paid to Australians for their labour……. oh wait…

  45. jupes

    When Israel erected their wall and lost cheap Arab labour, their economy benefited from higher Israeli salaries for labour.

    I would have thought it benefitted from not having self-detonating savages on the loose in their country murdering Israelis.

  46. JC

    I would have thought it benefitted from not having self-detonating savages on the loose in their country murdering Israelis.

    Jupes

    There was very little of that stuff going on by the Arab workers themselves and it was hugely negative for them. The problems actually arose at the crossing by douchbags who weren’t working over the border.

    It was a terrible but quite necessary decision as the Israelis had no way of knowing. Not all Arabs are bad people. These were really good jobs that were lost because of a bunch of arseholes.

  47. Robert Crew

    Don’t get me started on the so-called unions.

    I remember my first job, I was 13 and working the 11PM to 7AM shift at Adelaide’s busiest and most profitable fast food restaurant, serving violent drunks for $5.50 an hour (it was that or start an hour earlier, have to wait an extra hour for the first train out of the city, and get one less hour of time and a quarter). I tried to report some serious safety issues to the SDA, and was told point-blank that their closed-shop agreement with the global restaurant chain was far too profitable for them to care about individual members.

    This was around the same time my grandfather was forced by the Seaman’s Union (later MUA) to retire early on an inadequate pension because he had to “make room” for younger members, and a few years after my uncle was blacklisted for a decade by the Professional Divers’ Association (also later the MUA) for refusing to give $50 cash to Bob Hawke. I’m sure I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this forum the blatant corruption I later witnessed as a shop steward in the ASU in 2006, but that pales in comparison to what’s coming next:

    The evil bastard Frank Blevins is currently roasting in hell, so I no longer fear retribution (nor a lawsuit) for pointing out he was the biggest thief and standover man on the docks – Frank, who was a Member of the Legislative Council at the time (this was before he switched to the lower house and became Deputy Premier to John Bannon), personally threatened to kill my father because dad refused to go along with Frank’s daylight robbery of BHP’s Whyalla port. Frank outlived the death of the closed shop in SA by almost 20 years, so I bet he didn’t remember telling me on the steps of Parliament House that it would happen “over my dead body”.

    Unions don’t give a crap about their members. Never have. Never will. It’s not just “a few bad apples”, the entire movement is rotten to the core – the criminal scum of the earth. “Nato Riding” is delusional if he thinks unions ever had a position of respectability, all they had as their fig leaf was the ignorance of the public.

  48. jupes

    JC

    The Arab workers may or may not have been doing ‘that stuff’, however there is no doubt the wall is a major factor in stopping bombings in Israel. Apart from the human lives saved, surely not having bombs randomly blowing up can only be good for the economy.

    The Arabs who are not ‘bad people’ may have lost their jobs but I won’t cry any tears for them. They do nothing at all to stop the terrorists in their community. Therefore they are enablers.

  49. When slavery was abolished in the postbellum U.S. their economy benefited from black salaries for labour.

    When slavery was abolished in the southern U.S, somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million slaves died because the whole regional economy crashed.

    That is on top of the war losses.

    Even that aside, I’m not sure how forcing enterprise to pay salary for what had been capitalised labour – for which capital loss they received no recompense – is supposed to benefit the economy.

  50. .

    The idea that high mandated wages cause widespread economic benefits is a macroeconomic argument, and I’m sorry to say but it is garbage.

  51. C.L.

    I would have thought it benefitted from not having self-detonating savages on the loose in their country murdering Israelis.

    Yeah. It’s amazing how good for business it is that people feel they can go shopping without being bombed. Are people now adopting the Greens line that open borders for Australia would be good for business?

  52. .

    Robert Crew,

    I hope you make a submission to the RC on union corruption.

  53. .

    C.L.,

    We have very open borders anyway. Comparing us to Israel is never going to result in a sensible conclusion.

    Nato’s argument would mean that the WAP resulted in higher real wages. This is of course nonsense.

  54. C.L.

    No no. If blocking the Arabs was bad for business in Israel, doesn’t it follow that declaring open borders to Australia and forcing Morro to stop rolling the marine Jaffas of liberation down the aisle of people smuggling will bolster Australia’s economy?

  55. Cool Head

    High minimum wage means high youth unemployment. Secondary effect = a large contributing factor to youth suicide!

  56. .

    ???

    Regardless of how we send back fraudulent, undocumented arrivals, we still have a very liberal immigration policy.

    Asylum seekers were always insignificant compared to the rest of the population. The benefit is that processing doesn’t cost up to 10 bn a year now and we can cut taxes correspondingly.

  57. .

    Cool Head
    #1231863, posted on March 19, 2014 at 10:11 pm
    High minimum wage means high youth unemployment. Secondary effect = a large contributing factor to youth suicide!

    Correct.

  58. Robert Crew

    Sorry dot, the only explicitly criminal behaviour I listed was by Frank Blevins, who thankfully is now dead. Every other union contact I had was disgusting and slimy, but the burden to show criminality would be too high. I didn’t even bother mentioning the PSA in the NT, or the NT and WA versions of the Shoppies because their threats were so obviously hollow. I have some real dirt on the activities of the communists of the Semaphore Workers Club, but that’s secondhand from a friend who now lives overseas and doesn’t want to get involved.

  59. Aristogeiton

    C.L.
    #1231735, posted on March 19, 2014 at 9:01 pm
    Let’s double the minimum wage, and we can achieve at least 5 of those things overnight!

    No, there’s such a thing as the law of diminishing marginal utility.

    Lol. Beyond parody.

  60. .

    They don’t have to get involved. The Commissioner will have investigators, won’t they?

  61. tomix

    Projections made by economists at Sydney University in the 30s were that on then current rates of increase, Australias population would start to decline by the mid 70s. That was when disincentives to breeding such as the Family Law Act 1975, GST, and confiscatory taxation were a mere gleam in the fanatics beady eyes.
    Hence the “bipartisan support”. They’ll take anyone. The dumber the better.

  62. Southern man

    I can’t see the point of unions at all. As someone trying to start a small private research business (there is life after CSIRO), why should anyone dictate to me what I pay someone to perform a job that I create. The job belongs to me not the employee. I created it! If they don’t like the pay, they don’t need to take the job.

    The overarching problem to most of these issues is the extent of government control over most, if not all, aspects of our lives. I am currently writing a paper on how to best fund research, and reading Sincs 2006 paper “Why government funding of science is a waste of our money”.

    Govt control distorts everything. Unions wouldn’t have so much influence if they didn’t have the smoking gun of government force behind them.

  63. Oh come on

    When slavery was abolished in the postbellum U.S. their economy benefited from black salaries for labour. When Israel erected their wall and lost cheap Arab labour, their economy benefited from higher Israeli salaries for labour.

    This sounds to me like a manifestation of the Broken Windows Fallacy.

  64. Gab

    This sounds to me like a manifestation of the Broken Windows Fallacy.

    Or it could be in combination with sound economic policies at the time? Regardless, GDP per capita growth went from -3.2 to 9.9 and lasted until end 1972 before the Yom Kippur war.

  65. Robert Crew

    Dot, this is South Australia I am talking about. I can tell you the police here _never_ lift a finger to investigate if your car is stolen or your house is broken into, all they ever do for “property crime” is provide a report for insurance purposes – and if you tell them you don’t have insurance to cover the crime, the honest ones will tell you to go away and stop wasting their time with paperwork that’ll never be seen by anyone, you’ll never even get a follow-up phone call.

    Unless you have been shot, stabbed, or raped, and unless it makes the news, in SA you are always on your own. The things I’ve been talking about, that’s less than a “property crime”, as far as the SA police is concerned, that’s a “civil matter”, which means they wouldn’t even waste their time filling out a report.

  66. Oh come on

    What wall are we talking about, Gab? The one I think the author was referring to was erected three decades after Yom Kippur.

  67. JC

    No no. If blocking the Arabs was bad for business in Israel, doesn’t it follow that declaring open borders to Australia and forcing Morro to stop rolling the marine Jaffas of liberation down the aisle of people smuggling will bolster Australia’s economy?

    We need to distinguish between the economic immigration we have, which in per capita terms is quite large (Last time I read it was around 150,000 people per year) and the boaties along with other assorted refugees. The economic immigration we see is great for the economy. In fact we rarely ever hear much against this except during the lying slapper years when the left wanted to cut down on Asian immigration.

    The boaties and refs are an entirely different kettle of fish. They can begin claiming centrelink benefits from the first day they are processed. Some while ago Judith Sloan had figures suggesting there is up to a 90% unemployment rate after five years! Yes, their unemployment rate is 90%.

  68. JC

    When slavery was abolished in the southern U.S, somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million slaves died because the whole regional economy crashed.

    Bullshit.

  69. Oh come on

    Israeli economic achievements have nothing to do with the removal of cheap Arab labour.

    No one is defending slavery, it’s an abomination. But the suggestion that the economy improved because freed slaves suddenly had to be paid wages is wrong.

  70. Oh come on

    I don’t know about the death toll, JC, but the southern economy collapsed. However, not because a group of people could no longer be coerced into providing their labour in return for the basic requirements of survival and nothing more.

  71. twostix

    Unless you have been shot, stabbed, or raped, and unless it makes the news, in SA you are always on your own. The things I’ve been talking about, that’s less than a “property crime”, as far as the SA police is concerned, that’s a “civil matter”, which means they wouldn’t even waste their time filling out a report.

    Socialism always ends that way.

  72. Gab

    Oops, my mistake, thanks for pulling me up on that, OCO. Not sure why I honed in on 1972. The wall was built beginning around 2000 yeah?

  73. Oh come on

    Point is that the Israeli economy did not benefit because low-skilled Israelis had to be paid more for their labour than the low-skilled Arabs that the wall excluded from the Israeli economy (I don’t know if the wall Sharon built even had this effect, but for argument’s sake let’s say it did).

    Israel didn’t become prosperous because of its ability to inexpensively manufacture the kind of goods that require little skill to produce.

  74. Bullshit?

    Hundreds of thousands of slaves freed during the American civil war died from disease and hunger after being liberated, according to a new book.

    The analysis, by historian Jim Downs of Connecticut College, casts a shadow over one of the most celebrated narratives of American history, which sees the freeing of the slaves as a triumphant righting of the wrongs of a southern plantation system that kept millions of black Americans in chains.

    But, as Downs shows in his book, Sick From Freedom, the reality of emancipation during the chaos of war and its bloody aftermath often fell brutally short of that positive image. Instead, freed slaves were often neglected by union soldiers or faced rampant disease, including horrific outbreaks of smallpox and cholera. Many of them simply starved to death.

    After combing through obscure records, newspapers and journals Downs believes that about a quarter of the four million freed slaves either died or suffered from illness between 1862 and 1870. He writes in the book that it can be considered “the largest biological crisis of the 19th century” and yet it is one that has been little investigated by contemporary historians.

    Downs believes much of that is because at the time of the civil war, which raged between 1861 and 1865 and pitted the unionist north against the confederate south, many people did not want to investigate the tragedy befalling the freed slaves. Many northerners were little more sympathetic than their southern opponents when it came to the health of the freed slaves and anti-slavery abolitionists feared the disaster would prove their critics right.

  75. about a quarter of the four million freed slaves either died or suffered from illness

    Ah, yes, the ol’ “huge number of either something or something else” trick. So, how many actually died of preventable illnesses? Half of that quarter million? A tenth? Seven?
    This is like those statistics which claim, for example, that 95% of all children in Catholic schools have been raped or assaulted which includes being bullied or shouted at or having had their feelings hurt…

  76. Peter

    Strip the mythology away and the Labor Party in Australia was founded on a group using stand-over tactics to prevent other people from working at a rate of their choice.

    It was all about the protection of privilege, a symptom of labour organisation going back as far as the craft guilds in the Middle Ages.

  77. Rococo Liberal

    More evidence of jupes’ law: The more lawyers – the worse off you are.

    Speaking as a proper lawyer (no ALP lawyers actually practice real law) I can only agree with you.

    But remember Rococo’s Law: Social problems grow exponentially with the increase in the number of social workers, whilst education gets worse the more teachers and smaller class sizes you have.”

  78. Rococo Liberal

    Where the guest post goes wrong is the use of one word: ‘deserves.’

    the author states that the worker deserves fair pay for his labour. This where the labour (and Labor) movement demonstrate that they don’t understand the workings of the world and their ties to the thought of the 19th century unionists.

    Getting paid is not about deserving anything; it is about being recompensed for providing a service or goods.

    For too long we have let these people get away with this schoolyard whiny call for ‘fairness.’ Of course what they mean by that is they get what they want and that’s fair. It’s all emotional blackmail and politics.

    Of course one can’t blame unionists and their apologists for trying it on with these weasel words such as ‘deserving,’ ‘equity’ and ‘fairness.’ But we must at all times point out that this is politicking of the most blatant kind and bears absolutely no relation to the real nature of a contract.

  79. Driftforge

    Every slave ( in today’s terms, piece of capital equipment) no longer belongs to its previous owner and must find itself a new place in the economy. Yes we know that you have never had to do that before and that your needs have been looked after all your life. Yes, you have to look after yourself now. No, we don’t have anything to give you to get started. Yes, we realise there was a war on and that many of the capable people from your society have been killed.

    You’ll be ok. And if you aren’t, well.. its not our problem. It’s not as though we caused this mess.

  80. bystander

    More evidence of jupes’ law: The more lawyers – the worse off you are.

    The town that is too small for a lawyer is, always, big enough for two.

  81. Jazza

    Why aren’t Unions bound to the same legal and tax rules as Companies?
    (Hm, rhetorical question as I know the answer!)
    But to me that Step 1 recommendation of this RC could lead to real reform, or at least make it a lot harder for the Thomson’s and Williamsons of the union world to become the standard for young unionists to aspire to ad infinitum, which I very much fear is the status quo and has driven the incompetent compromised hypocritical “leaders” the ALP has imported from union backgrounds and foist upon the poor fellow my country over the last few decades!

  82. Alan Grey

    Unions are 5% good, 95% bad.

    When companies get together to fix prices we call it price collusion and prosecute.

    When employees get together to fix prices we call it a union.

  83. Jannie

    I nearly choked on my coffee when I read this. Sinc is right that it’s likely to generate debate, but this is like shooting fish in a barrel.

  84. .

    Robert Crew
    #1231955, posted on March 19, 2014 at 10:58 pm
    Dot, this is South Australia I am talking about. I can tell you the police here _never_ lift a finger to investigate if your car is stolen or your house is broken into…

    What if you are murdered for your DSP or Newstart Allowance?

  85. Thank you for your post Nato.

    If transparency and good faith can be found among the parties, a number of our existing rules will become superfluous. If faith in unions can be restored among the labour force, and a lighter regulation of business can be politically realized, Australia stands ready to herald in a brighter culture.

    Any organisation so completely captured by socialists is incapable of good faith. Stability of possession, transferance by consent, sound money and the rule of law are alien to them. And these people are expected to assist in the marketing of labour.
    They would destroy an entire industry rather than allow a mutually beneficial outcome, because the unions would not be seen to have won.
    The royal commission will just be a bit of fun seeing the corrupt get their comeuppance.

  86. Nato

    Thanks commenters for the feedback.

    And thank you, Mr Davidson, for posting it in the first place.

Comments are closed.