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You wanna bet. I've been there and they control what gets to the Directors. Negotiation isn't just about asking / demanding changes.

So what you mean is that the request would be shot down by the appointed representative of the Directors? It didn't stop them from asking the appointed representative, did it?

While you are at it, can you please explain how the personal fortune of the managers would be affected by not considering such a reasonable offer?

Edited by Renegade
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Oh I see, it wasn't fair, like life.

You had nothing to offer them except your carcass, like many applicants.What did you expect?

But do not apply your lack of skills, education and experience to everybody in every job.

You missed the point. People like to call such things "negotiation"; meaning, that is, that words can mean whatever one arbitrarily decides that they mean.

I simply pointed out the objective fact that such claims are false.

And actually, you are by implication agreeing with me; so why you wish to change the subject is a mystery.

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Huh? You are quite wrong. It absolutely is negotiation. You too can set undebatable terms for your employment and set it to Walmart as a "take it or leave it" offer.

If there is zero possibility of negotiation, then there is no negotiation. I don't know why this is so difficult to understand.

Every contract is the process of finding terms which are beneficial to both parties.

There are no negotiable terms in this circumstance. The company informs you of wages, company rules and policy, and that's that.

that you can refuse the terms and walk away does not constitute "negotiation."

Do you expect as a labourer to have the power of the state to hold you to terms of labour you do not agree with? That would be forced labour, not much differnt than slavery. If you don't expect the state power to be used to coercively force contract terms upon you, why should state power be used to coercively force terms upon an employer?

I don't know where you got the idea I was advocating any such thing. Since I never stated it, nor implied it, perhaps I accidentally wrote it in code, and you skilfully managed to decipher it.

I do find it amusing to watch how defensive people get at even a whiff of criticism towards wealthy and powerful entities...to the point where the critics' own views have to be altered and concocted by the Defenders of the helpless, delicate little WalMarts of the world.

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Rules which favour unions are nothing like the building code example you previously gave. "smoothing out the rougher edges" of society is simply a vauge euphemism for saying that a majority can it deems will create a "better" society based upon its own subjective assessment of what constitutes "better".

To an extent...but this holds equally true for your assessment. There is no objective God whispering Libertarian truths into prophents' ears.

As long as people have power to choose whether to join an employer, or accept a job or not, the employee has power to offset the power employers have. Where employees lack power to choose, it is generally due to circumstances of the employees own creation. For example they may lack the skills or knowledge to take on another job, or may fear the uncertainty of changing jobs.

You're placing simplistic Theory in a superior position to complex reality.

Further, you are applying a thetorical sleight-of-hand here: "Employees have the power to offset empoyers' powers....AND, if they don't (contradicting your sweeping claim just made), it's their own fault."

This set of union-favoured rules, far from "leveling the playing field" as many would allege, creats a labour monopoly, leading to many equally abusive labour practices. Picket-line violence is common.

"Picket-line violence"? Really?

Compared to the injuries and deaths which occur annually thanks to unsafe work conditions and insufficient education of the employees by the empoyers?

And just to put it in perspective: you are far safer as a Canadian soldier in Afghanistan, or a police officer in a metro city, then as a construction labourer or a semi-skilled miner. And a large number of these injuries and deaths are more the fault of the employers than of the employees.

Sure they probably are, but at a cost. It is not just the workers interest which are at stake. It is also others in society which are stakeholders in the production process. What is given to the worker is taken from the shareholder and consumer and frequently the taxpayer.

Then they should be paid the lowest wage possible. Zero won't work, I think we can agree that far (maybe we can), but...what then?

And of course, astronomical CEO and upper Management rewards are "given" and so also taken away from the shareholder, consumer, and taxpayer.

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If there is zero possibility of negotiation, then there is no negotiation. I don't know why this is so difficult to understand.

It is because if there is zero possibility of negotiation then there is no purpose for a Union.

The Unions give leverage to negotiation. If they aren't using their leverage then they themselves don't believe or have been convinced there is no justification for negotiation.

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It is because if there is zero possibility of negotiation then there is no purpose for a Union.

The Unions give leverage to negotiation. If they aren't using their leverage then they themselves don't believe or have been convinced there is no justification for negotiation.

OK, but I was responding to the wild claim--in which sound bites from Economics 101 thoroughly trumps lived reality--that the low-level employee interviewing for a WalMart job "negotiates" his terms of employment.

(Then, of course, after debunking such self-evident nonsense, I'm taken to task for pointing this out, apparently on the premise that supporting commonly-understood definitions of words (ie "negotiations") exposes my Marxist agenda.)

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Ah...but what it has been suggested that unions serve no purpose and are over paid. I simply drew a parallel and you now suggest that it is OK because they have a negotiated contract.

Even I have suggested Unions do serve a purpose. People will unite for justice and fairness. Once that has been achieved is there any purpose to a Union? They can exert pressure in contract negotiations but their original purpose is lost unless injustices and exploitation are existent.

I am defintiely concerned with fairness and justice. I do not see any fairness or justice in getting benefits and entitlements for the same amount of production, or even less, year to year. Beyond inflation and COL increases, which are generated by government policy, and pretty much guarantee an increase in monetary reward due to devaluation of the currency, the same amount of production should get the same reward.

If the profits of the company rise that means that production has increased overall. Should all who contributed to that increased profit benefit? I beleive so. Somehow though a person's value to the company must be understood beyond mere monetary reward.

And the measure that you claim does not exist for public sector unions neither exists for CEOs and CFOs. Simply meeting some imaginary targets for huge bonus is pretty simply thinking.

I agree. Of course, Management in the Public Sector must make more than those they manage. This isn't and shouldn't be a hard and fast rule. Once again a person who is not in management could through production surpass the pay of the Manager.

During my days as president, steward and negotiator for a CUPE local, we saved the government so much that we avoided having to take "Rae Days". However, the managers and directors did not make such sacrifices. We were fully aware of the costs to the "Organization" whenever we made requests for improvements in pay or benefits. The net increases while setting out to meet inflationary costs ended up costing very little in terms of the overall budget. But the Directors bonuses serving fewer people cost as much, if not more, since their annual increases (on top of their bonuses) were indexed according to the union rates. How's that for cheating the system?

All I can say is, "Bully for you for understanding costs and savings that can be realized. I would say those directors were greedy, wouldn't you. If they were cheating the system someone should have said something.

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If there is zero possibility of negotiation, then there is no negotiation. I don't know why this is so difficult to understand.

There are no negotiable terms in this circumstance. The company informs you of wages, company rules and policy, and that's that.

that you can refuse the terms and walk away does not constitute "negotiation."

Frequently "take it or leave it" type demands are tactics which are used in negotiation.I don't know why this is so difficult to understand. Whether there is a possibility of coming to a deal or not is really in the minds of both parties. In retail, frequently vendors offer goods at fixed-price (ie a take-it or leave it offer). Willing buyers will still accept they offer. You may not call this "negotiation" however the result is that both parties come to the point of mutually acceptable terms and a deal is consumated. My point stands. Either side can present "take it or leave it offers". If you don't want to call this negotiation, fine, find another word. I use the term as the process of coming to agreeable terms or finding that one cannot come to terms.

I don't know where you got the idea I was advocating any such thing. Since I never stated it, nor implied it, perhaps I accidentally wrote it in code, and you skilfully managed to decipher it.

Great, then what is your position? Do you believe state power should be used to force involuntary terms on employees, employers, or neither?

I do find it amusing to watch how defensive people get at even a whiff of criticism towards wealthy and powerful entities...to the point where the critics' own views have to be altered and concocted by the Defenders of the helpless, delicate little WalMarts of the world.

I too am amused by for some people their position is always "employers are always wrong , employees are always right".

Edited by Renegade
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OK, but I was responding to the wild claim--in which sound bites from Economics 101 thoroughly trumps lived reality--that the low-level employee interviewing for a WalMart job "negotiates" his terms of employment.

If he desires and gets the job he has negotiated his position. The terms are presented and the lowly employee can accept them or not.

It is true that without training, education or skills he has little room to negotiate his terms and they are generally determined before he starts. The thing is that those Walmart jobs should be stepping stones to developing work skills. A Union would make them careers - who wants that?

(Then, of course, after debunking such self-evident nonsense, I'm taken to task for pointing this out, apparently on the premise that supporting commonly-understood definitions of words (ie "negotiations") exposes my Marxist agenda.)

Clarification is necessary. Negotiating is not just bargaining for terms it is also about selling yourself and even qualifying for a job. Once one has proven himself a valuable asset he has some bargaining power. Usually, if his skills are evident, he gets a promotion.

If he is a really valuable employee, at the level of charter rights saving the company money and costs, then it will be recognized. (of course a Union determines what you should make and it can't be more than your Brothers and sisters. That would be unfair.) What should the lowest wage be? That has already been negotiated by the market. Many walked away because the wage was not enough. Management had to determine what the level would be to attract workers. Wal-Mart, in my understanding, always pays it's employees above the minimum wage. Minimum wage being something the government has negotiated and determined. It attracts people who want better than the minimum wage.

So I think that a person has to understand his position and his value to a company before he can start negotiating his wages

and benefits beyond what the value of what has been determined by the company to be the value of the job or cost to the company. He should also understand that he can improve his position, individually and perhaps collectively, by increasing his production or contribution to the company.

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That the "losers" end up with less property to defend doesn't indicate that the system is biased, any more than winners and loser in a track meet indicate that the track conditions are biased.

Who determines that a track meet is a sound way to decide anything? Who determines that what is decided by a track meet has real value? The track conditions are irrelevant. What matters is how it was decided to have a track meet in the first place.

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To an extent...but this holds equally true for your assessment. There is no objective God whispering Libertarian truths into prophents' ears.

A God plays no part in this. The only question is whether you agree on the fundamental premise. The premise that the only reason for restricting someone's freedom is it if impacts the freedom or potential freedom of someone else. If you agree with this, the rest is not subjective. If you believe that there are other reasons for forcibly restricting someone's freedom (ie to create a better society), then you are in the trap of making a subjective assessment of defining what constitutes "better".

You're placing simplistic Theory in a superior position to complex reality.

Further, you are applying a thetorical sleight-of-hand here: "Employees have the power to offset empoyers' powers....AND, if they don't (contradicting your sweeping claim just made), it's their own fault."

Since either I have not made myself clear or you are incapable of understanding what I'm saying, let me rephrase it for you.

Employees themselves provide the major limitations on the choices they have to sell their labour rather than state imposed limitations. Employers should enjoy the same lack of state-imposed limitations as those enjoyed by employees.

"Picket-line violence"? Really?

Never heard of it? Really? If you look the actions which many strikers undertake, you will see that there are many actions which are not lawful. One example is the prevention of replacement workers even though the company may be legaly entitled to use them.

Compared to the injuries and deaths which occur annually thanks to unsafe work conditions and insufficient education of the employees by the empoyers?

And just to put it in perspective: you are far safer as a Canadian soldier in Afghanistan, or a police officer in a metro city, then as a construction labourer or a semi-skilled miner. And a large number of these injuries and deaths are more the fault of the employers than of the employees.

I do believe there are violations of labour conditions by employers just as I believe there are violations by employees. BTW, just because a profession less safe, doesn't imply a violation by an employer. If an employee accepts the working conditions of a less safe occupation, they do so for their own reasons, including potentially better compensation than they otherwise would get. My point is that the violations ("abuses") occur on both sides and is not restricted to only one side. What is your point?

Then they should be paid the lowest wage possible. Zero won't work, I think we can agree that far (maybe we can), but...what then?

The lowest wage possible is what they willingly accept and an employer is willing to offer. Zero won't work because no one rational will accept zero. You ask what then.... What should happen then is they both abide by the terms they have agreed to. No different than any other contract.

And of course, astronomical CEO and upper Management rewards are "given" and so also taken away from the shareholder, consumer, and taxpayer.

Of course, but since it is the shareholder's capital to begin with, they should get the ultimate say on how those rewards are distributed. Consumers too get a say because they are free to walk to a competitor. By this I mean, if one company drives up its costs by astronomical executive pay, it will end up being reflective in the product price consumers pay. The consumer will then have an incentive to consume a competitor product which did not have those same costs.

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If he desires and gets the job he has negotiated his position. The terms are presented and the lowly employee can accept them or not.

It is true that without training, education or skills he has little room to negotiate his terms and they are generally determined before he starts. The thing is that those Walmart jobs should be stepping stones to developing work skills. A Union would make them careers - who wants that?

Clarification is necessary. Negotiating is not just bargaining for terms it is also about selling yourself and even qualifying for a job. Once one has proven himself a valuable asset he has some bargaining power. Usually, if his skills are evident, he gets a promotion.

If he is a really valuable employee, at the level of charter rights saving the company money and costs, then it will be recognized. (of course a Union determines what you should make and it can't be more than your Brothers and sisters. That would be unfair.) What should the lowest wage be? That has already been negotiated by the market. Many walked away because the wage was not enough. Management had to determine what the level would be to attract workers. Wal-Mart, in my understanding, always pays it's employees above the minimum wage. Minimum wage being something the government has negotiated and determined. It attracts people who want better than the minimum wage.

So I think that a person has to understand his position and his value to a company before he can start negotiating his wages

and benefits beyond what the value of what has been determined by the company to be the value of the job or cost to the company. He should also understand that he can improve his position, individually and perhaps collectively, by increasing his production or contribution to the company.

This is all completely beside the point...not only of what I was arguing...but of the ridiculous claims I was arguing against.

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Who determines that a track meet is a sound way to decide anything?

Nature. Life. Karma. God. Call it what you like. You are put here through choice or chance. You compete for resources in order to survive. Of course you can decide not to compete in the race, but evolution long ago removed those who made that choice.

Who determines that what is decided by a track meet has real value? The track conditions are irrelevant. What matters is how it was decided to have a track meet in the first place.

I guess you may as well be asking "Why are we here?" "Who put me here?" and "Why am I forced to compete for resources?".

All of these I would have to answer "I have no idea". I simply address the reality that we are here and are in a competition for survival.

Edited by Renegade
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OK, but I was responding to the wild claim--in which sound bites from Economics 101 thoroughly trumps lived reality--that the low-level employee interviewing for a WalMart job "negotiates" his terms of employment.

(Then, of course, after debunking such self-evident nonsense, I'm taken to task for pointing this out, apparently on the premise that supporting commonly-understood definitions of words (ie "negotiations") exposes my Marxist agenda.)

Your Marxist agenda needed no investigative work to expose. It was always readly apparent.

That you don't believe that Economics play is the real world, is readily apparent in your responses.

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I guess you may as well be asking "Why are we here?" "Who put me here?" and "Why am I forced to compete for resources?".

Hardly. What I am trying to suggest is that the system which you think impartially determines winners and losers according to certain rules (which you call "just" to try and set in stone) is itself biased; its rules are not a priori.

Edited by Remiel
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Nature. Life. Karma. God. Call it what you like. You are put here through choice or chance. You compete for resources in order to survive. Of course you can decide not to compete in the race, but evolution long ago removed those who made that choice.

I guess you may as well be asking "Why are we here?" "Who put me here?" and "Why am I forced to compete for resources?".

All of these I would have to answer "I have no idea". I simply address the reality that we are here and are in a competition for survival.

No issue here, Renegade, and an honest mistake, but just to clarify: that's not my post to which you were responding.

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Your Marxist agenda needed no investigative work to expose. It was always readly apparent.

Since I'm a capitalist who thinks communism a failure and who has never read Marx...I think you might want to reassess the way you're viewing other posters.

That you don't believe that Economics play is the real world, is readily apparent in your responses.

????

Who doesn't think Economics is part of the real world?

I have never heard that claim made by anyone. Marxists, obviously, included.

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No issue here, Renegade, and an honest mistake, but just to clarify: that's not my post to which you were responding.

Yeah. My bad. A remenant of a previous cut and paste. Sorry. I fixed it so there is no confusion. Again my apologies.

Edited by Renegade
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Since I'm a capitalist who thinks communism a failure and who has never read Marx...I think you might want to reassess the way you're viewing other posters.

OK. I'll accept you at your word but ultimately I'll let your positions determine your idealogy.

Who doesn't think Economics is part of the real world?

I have never heard that claim made by anyone. Marxists, obviously, included.

I guess that I don't know how to take yoru statement " which sound bites from Economics 101 thoroughly trumps lived reality". Economics 101, 201, 301, .... IS reality.

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Hardly. What I am trying to suggest is that the system which you think impartially determines winners and losers according to certain rules (which you call "just" to try and set in stone) is itself biased; its rules are not a priori.

No, I did not say that the "system" which put us on this earth was "just". Some people are born beautiful, others are born ugly. Some are born smart others stupid. Some are born strong, others weak. I make no claim of the impartiality of the system, so I agree that the system can be biased. However those biases are not set up by rules man has imposed, those are biases of nature (aka life). IOW, Life is not "fair" but those are the rules handed down so live with them.

Edited by Renegade
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OK. I'll accept you at your word but ultimately I'll let your positions determine your idealogy.

That sounds fair enough.

I guess that I don't know how to take yoru statement " which sound bites from Economics 101 thoroughly trumps lived reality". Economics 101, 201, 301, .... IS reality.

Social Science courses are not the same as Natural sciences...and if the Natural Sciences curriculums can be occasionally mistaken and always (by definition) incomplete...well, suffice it to say that Economics is in a worse boat, in this regard.

At the very least, occasionally mistaken, and always incomplete.

Our economists haven't figured out the complexities of the world.

Edited by bloodyminded
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Economics for the most part assume rational decisions. Humans being humans, don't alwasy act rationally.

I would be more inclined to believe they hardly ever act rationally. Heuristics make up too large a part of our mental processes for us to ever attain a real semblance of rationality. For instance, people are ill equipped to think in terms of percentages, and will often fail at probabalistic reasoning involving them. However, present the same data as ratios and the success rate goes up significantly. For anyone that is confident in our rationality, I think it should be problematic that we cannot process equivalent data in an equally rational way.

Also, I did not quite mean the system of how we are born as what you used for justice, but the maitenance of the system that you call " fair " with regards to economic transactions among unequal people. It hardly makes sense to say that something is unfair yet that we must build a system that preserves that unfairness (for little good reason, in my opinion).

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Also, I did not quite mean the system of how we are born as what you used for justice, but the maitenance of the system that you call " fair " with regards to economic transactions among unequal people. It hardly makes sense to say that something is unfair yet that we must build a system that preserves that unfairness (for little good reason, in my opinion).

Sorry I don't every recall using the word "fair" with regard to the system. Please point to the quote you mean. Fairness is a subjective designation. What I suggest is that where rules are applied they should be applied symmetricly to both parties. To do otherwise implies that someone is making a jusdgement on the "fairness" of the system. It is really up to each party in the economic transaction to put themselves into the best possible negotiating position. In the case of an employee it means making sure their skills are valuable and in demand.

Edited by Renegade
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