Discussion:
Starbucks Baristas Union Drive Comes at Key Time
(too old to reply)
Dan Clore
2008-08-01 23:39:49 UTC
Permalink
News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

http://tinyurl.com/6zmqtl
Starbucks baristas union drive comes at key time
The effort to organize local latte-slingers could hurt the ailing chain
By Matt Snyders
Published on July 30, 2008

It was a typical, busy Thursday afternoon at the Mall of America's
first-floor Starbucks, and Erik Forman was four hours into his shift.
The slight, 23-year-old barista was soon approached by a vaguely
familiar face: Caroline Kaker, the chain's Bloomington-based district
manager.

She pulled him aside and led him to the adjacent Barnes & Noble. There,
she broke the grim news: You're fired.

Forman was stunned. Sure, two weeks earlier, he had shown up a half-hour
late and was issued a written warning. But that wasn't why Forman was
getting the ax today. Management decided to deep-six him after learning
that Forman had discussed the warning with co-workers.

"Erik violated terms of his June 2008 final written corrective action by
discussing it with a peer," reads the notice of separation.

But there was another topic Forman had discussed with peers, one not
explicitly mentioned in the write-up: unionizing.

A member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), Forman had been
in the process of organizing his co-workers under the IWW banner for
nearly two years.

"It started with workers during their situations during cigarette
breaks, during car rides to and from work," Forman recalls. "We first
approached the IWW in September of '06. They helped us figure out how to
build a strategy."

In 2004, the IWW took on a Starbucks in Midtown Manhattan, with modest
success. In the following years, the list of IWW Starbucks Union
affiliates grew to include five other shops in New York City; two in
Chicago; one in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and one in Rockville, Maryland.

Shortly after the first union sprouted in New York, Starbucks higher-ups
exchanged concerned emails, leaked to The Wall Street Journal, about how
to handle the epidemic of unionizing. One, dated October 29, 2004,
begins with a blunt introduction: "Below is a summary of the recent
developments in New York City regarding our attempts to thwart a
potential union situation," it reads.

In March 2006, the IWW accused the coffee giant of union-busting and
filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board. Starbucks
settled, agreeing to display workers' rights posters in three of its
stores and to allow two fired workers back on staff.

"The reasons they gave for firing me were identical to what they did in
New York," says Forman, who's also filed a complaint with the National
Labor Relations Board. "This is a pretty blatant example of
union-busting. We've been planning on making our movement public for a
while -- so even though it comes as a blow, it's kind of a galvanizing
blow."

On July 11, one day after Forman got clipped, five workers walked off
the floor and approached the floor manager, Jason Lyons, with a petition
demanding Forman's reinstatement. Lyons told them it was out of his hands.

Now Forman and the IWW stand poised to organize baristas throughout the
metro. On Monday, July 21, they went public. Their demands include a
living wage, "respectful" scheduling, and an end to the company's
alleged union-busting.

Asked about Forman's allegations, a Starbucks spokesperson had little to
say.

"We just received the charge [from Forman] and we're reviewing it," says
Stacey Krum, on the phone from Seattle. "There's nothing we can offer
right now."

The charges clash with Starbucks' image as a corporate paragon of social
responsibility. The Seattle-based chain has staked its reputation on
progressive values that play well with its well-to-do clientele.
Starbucks was listed as No. 7 in Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work
For" this year.

The most frequently extolled of Starbucks' labor practices is its
healthcare program. It's one of the few major retailers to provide
health insurance to part-time employees. But that comes with a couple of
caveats.

First, in order to qualify, workers must log 240 hours per quarter.
However, there are no guaranteed hours and many baristas complain of
sporadic, unpredictable scheduling. As a result, only 65 percent of
Starbucks workers, including management, meet the 240-hour minimum. Many
of the remaining workers (particularly part-timers) decide not to buy
into the plan; rent payments take priority over premiums.

Consequently, the company's health insurance plan covers less than half
(40.9 percent) of employees. As organizers like to point out, that's
less than the oft-demonized Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., which covers 47
percent of its workers.

"It's just incredible hypocrisy on this core identity issue," says IWW
organizer Daniel Gross. "It's absolutely misleading. It's taken a
sub-par program and turned it into a marketing advantage through spin
and PR."

Last week, Starbucks released the full list of 600-odd stores expected
to close in the coming months, including 27 in Minnesota. Sixteen of the
doomed shops sit in the Twin Cities metro.The closings will affect some
12,000 workers nationwide. On Monday, Forman's former co-workers at the
Mall of America's Starbucks walked off the floor and issued a letter to
management demanding "just treatment of all employees affected by
Starbucks' closure of stores nationwide." With an economy seemingly in
free-fall and job security plummeting, unionization -- for good or ill
-- enjoys more appeal than it did 10 years ago.

"This will be the biggest fire they've had to put out in a while," says
Forman. "The economy is getting worse, people can't get by and are
having to work 14-hour days. Management's biggest tool has always been
the threat of firing. People are starting to think maybe that's a risk
worth taking."

--
Dan Clore

My collected fiction, _The Unspeakable and Others_:
http://tinyurl.com/2gcoqt
Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
http://tinyurl.com/292yz9
News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

Strange pleasures are known to him who flaunts the
immarcescible purple of poetry before the color-blind.
-- Clark Ashton Smith, "Epigrams and Apothegms"
Jack Denver
2008-08-02 01:22:29 UTC
Permalink
Yes, unionization has worked so well for the US auto industry - I think this
is just what Starbucks needs now that they are in financial trouble. Giving
their part time workers company paid health insurance even if they work
fewer than 20 hrs/ week would be a great place to start. This will
certainly help the company's long term prospects. I think all the employees
let go as a result of the store closures should receive "just treatment".
Say six months wages and health insurance - that would be fair. That way
Starbucks could join that great big Bennigan's in the sky that much sooner.



"Dan Clore" <***@columbia-center.org> wrote in message
news:***@mid.individual.net...
> News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo
>
> http://tinyurl.com/6zmqtl
> Starbucks baristas union drive comes at key time
> The effort to organize local latte-slingers could hurt the ailing chain
> By Matt Snyders
> Published on July 30, 2008
>
> It was a typical, busy Thursday afternoon at the Mall of America's
> first-floor Starbucks, and Erik Forman was four hours into his shift.
> The slight, 23-year-old barista was soon approached by a vaguely
> familiar face: Caroline Kaker, the chain's Bloomington-based district
> manager.
>
> She pulled him aside and led him to the adjacent Barnes & Noble. There,
> she broke the grim news: You're fired.
>
> Forman was stunned. Sure, two weeks earlier, he had shown up a half-hour
> late and was issued a written warning. But that wasn't why Forman was
> getting the ax today. Management decided to deep-six him after learning
> that Forman had discussed the warning with co-workers.
>
> "Erik violated terms of his June 2008 final written corrective action by
> discussing it with a peer," reads the notice of separation.
>
> But there was another topic Forman had discussed with peers, one not
> explicitly mentioned in the write-up: unionizing.
>
> A member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), Forman had been
> in the process of organizing his co-workers under the IWW banner for
> nearly two years.
>
> "It started with workers during their situations during cigarette
> breaks, during car rides to and from work," Forman recalls. "We first
> approached the IWW in September of '06. They helped us figure out how to
> build a strategy."
>
> In 2004, the IWW took on a Starbucks in Midtown Manhattan, with modest
> success. In the following years, the list of IWW Starbucks Union
> affiliates grew to include five other shops in New York City; two in
> Chicago; one in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and one in Rockville, Maryland.
>
> Shortly after the first union sprouted in New York, Starbucks higher-ups
> exchanged concerned emails, leaked to The Wall Street Journal, about how
> to handle the epidemic of unionizing. One, dated October 29, 2004,
> begins with a blunt introduction: "Below is a summary of the recent
> developments in New York City regarding our attempts to thwart a
> potential union situation," it reads.
>
> In March 2006, the IWW accused the coffee giant of union-busting and
> filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board. Starbucks
> settled, agreeing to display workers' rights posters in three of its
> stores and to allow two fired workers back on staff.
>
> "The reasons they gave for firing me were identical to what they did in
> New York," says Forman, who's also filed a complaint with the National
> Labor Relations Board. "This is a pretty blatant example of
> union-busting. We've been planning on making our movement public for a
> while -- so even though it comes as a blow, it's kind of a galvanizing
> blow."
>
> On July 11, one day after Forman got clipped, five workers walked off
> the floor and approached the floor manager, Jason Lyons, with a petition
> demanding Forman's reinstatement. Lyons told them it was out of his hands.
>
> Now Forman and the IWW stand poised to organize baristas throughout the
> metro. On Monday, July 21, they went public. Their demands include a
> living wage, "respectful" scheduling, and an end to the company's
> alleged union-busting.
>
> Asked about Forman's allegations, a Starbucks spokesperson had little to
> say.
>
> "We just received the charge [from Forman] and we're reviewing it," says
> Stacey Krum, on the phone from Seattle. "There's nothing we can offer
> right now."
>
> The charges clash with Starbucks' image as a corporate paragon of social
> responsibility. The Seattle-based chain has staked its reputation on
> progressive values that play well with its well-to-do clientele.
> Starbucks was listed as No. 7 in Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work
> For" this year.
>
> The most frequently extolled of Starbucks' labor practices is its
> healthcare program. It's one of the few major retailers to provide
> health insurance to part-time employees. But that comes with a couple of
> caveats.
>
> First, in order to qualify, workers must log 240 hours per quarter.
> However, there are no guaranteed hours and many baristas complain of
> sporadic, unpredictable scheduling. As a result, only 65 percent of
> Starbucks workers, including management, meet the 240-hour minimum. Many
> of the remaining workers (particularly part-timers) decide not to buy
> into the plan; rent payments take priority over premiums.
>
> Consequently, the company's health insurance plan covers less than half
> (40.9 percent) of employees. As organizers like to point out, that's
> less than the oft-demonized Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., which covers 47
> percent of its workers.
>
> "It's just incredible hypocrisy on this core identity issue," says IWW
> organizer Daniel Gross. "It's absolutely misleading. It's taken a
> sub-par program and turned it into a marketing advantage through spin
> and PR."
>
> Last week, Starbucks released the full list of 600-odd stores expected
> to close in the coming months, including 27 in Minnesota. Sixteen of the
> doomed shops sit in the Twin Cities metro.The closings will affect some
> 12,000 workers nationwide. On Monday, Forman's former co-workers at the
> Mall of America's Starbucks walked off the floor and issued a letter to
> management demanding "just treatment of all employees affected by
> Starbucks' closure of stores nationwide." With an economy seemingly in
> free-fall and job security plummeting, unionization -- for good or ill
> -- enjoys more appeal than it did 10 years ago.
>
> "This will be the biggest fire they've had to put out in a while," says
> Forman. "The economy is getting worse, people can't get by and are
> having to work 14-hour days. Management's biggest tool has always been
> the threat of firing. People are starting to think maybe that's a risk
> worth taking."
>
> --
> Dan Clore
>
> My collected fiction, _The Unspeakable and Others_:
> http://tinyurl.com/2gcoqt
> Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
> http://tinyurl.com/292yz9
> News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo
>
> Strange pleasures are known to him who flaunts the
> immarcescible purple of poetry before the color-blind.
> -- Clark Ashton Smith, "Epigrams and Apothegms"
notbob
2008-08-02 01:56:17 UTC
Permalink
On 2008-08-02, Jack Denver <***@netscape.net> wrote:

> Say six months wages and health insurance - that would be fair. That way
> Starbucks could join that great big Bennigan's in the sky that much sooner.

Nix on the first part, yeah on the second.

Howzabout trimming your posts, Jack.

nb
Steve
2008-08-02 04:47:35 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 1 Aug 2008 21:22:29 -0400, "Jack Denver"
<***@netscape.net> wrote:

>Yes, unionization has worked so well for the US auto industry - I think this
>is just what Starbucks needs now that they are in financial trouble.

Pretty much sums it up.
matt
2008-08-02 02:31:06 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
>
> Now Forman and the IWW stand poised to organize baristas throughout the
> metro. On Monday, July 21, they went public. Their demands include a
> living wage, "respectful" scheduling, and an end to the company's
> alleged union-busting.

<snip>

<http://www.barackobama.com/issues/economy/#labor>

"Obama will strengthen the ability of workers to organize unions. He
will fight for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Obama will
ensure that his labor appointees support workers' rights and will work
to ban the permanent replacement of striking workers. Obama will also
increase the minimum wage and index it to inflation to ensure it rises
every year.
Ensure Freedom to Unionize: Obama believes that workers should have the
freedom to choose whether to join a union without harassment or
intimidation from their employers. Obama cosponsored and is strong
advocate for the Employee Free Choice Act, a bipartisan effort to assure
that workers can exercise their right to organize. He will continue to
fight for EFCA's passage and sign it into law.....)"


Heh, the key time is in 5 months, and it will be extremely
interesting times for the US.

Convert to Euros and Yen while you can.
lockjaw
2008-08-02 17:21:43 UTC
Permalink
A ridiculous time! with 600 locations closing.

never fly. Plus Starbucks treats its employees very well.

and Jack / Izzy? the problem with GM etc. ain't the unions -- it is
the idiotic management
alan
2008-08-02 17:35:29 UTC
Permalink
"lockjaw" <***@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:f9483c20-07be-4d85-b150-***@m45g2000hsb.googlegroups.com...
>
>
> A ridiculous time! with 600 locations closing.
>
> never fly. Plus Starbucks treats its employees very well.
>
> and Jack / Izzy? the problem with GM etc. ain't the unions -- it is
> the idiotic management

You're absolutely correct. And although any serious economic analysis comes
to the same conclusion, don't expect Jack to allow himself to be confused by
the facts . . .
bernie
2008-08-02 18:10:06 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 2, 11:35 am, "alan" <***@hotmail.com> wrote:
> "lockjaw" <***@gmail.com> wrote in message
>
> news:f9483c20-07be-4d85-b150-***@m45g2000hsb.googlegroups.com...
>
>
>
> > A ridiculous time! with 600 locations closing.
>
> > never fly. Plus Starbucks treats its employees very well.
>
> > and Jack / Izzy? the problem with GM etc. ain't the unions -- it is
> > the idiotic management
>
> You're absolutely correct. And although any serious economic analysis comes
> to the same conclusion, don't expect Jack to allow himself to be confused by
> the facts . . .


BMW reported on Friday their profits this Q down 33%. Nissan
reported Friday their quarterly profits down 48%. Along with Toyota
and Honda auto sector profits are glum.

http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/TOP%20STORY/1799680/

I find it hard to believe that all these companies have "idiotic
management". Maybe the worst economy in about 50 years has something
to do with it. Even if they were all producing hybrids at 100% plant
capacity it wouldn't do any good if folks can't buy a new car.
Bernie
Steve
2008-08-02 18:27:51 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 2 Aug 2008 11:10:06 -0700 (PDT), bernie <***@zianet.com>
wrote:

>On Aug 2, 11:35 am, "alan" <***@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> "lockjaw" <***@gmail.com> wrote in message
>>
>> news:f9483c20-07be-4d85-b150-***@m45g2000hsb.googlegroups.com...
>>
>>
>>
>> > A ridiculous time! with 600 locations closing.
>>
>> > never fly. Plus Starbucks treats its employees very well.
>>
>> > and Jack / Izzy? the problem with GM etc. ain't the unions -- it is
>> > the idiotic management
>>
>> You're absolutely correct. And although any serious economic analysis comes
>> to the same conclusion, don't expect Jack to allow himself to be confused by
>> the facts . . .
>
>
> BMW reported on Friday their profits this Q down 33%. Nissan
>reported Friday their quarterly profits down 48%. Along with Toyota
>and Honda auto sector profits are glum.
>
> http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/TOP%20STORY/1799680/
>
> I find it hard to believe that all these companies have "idiotic
>management". Maybe the worst economy in about 50 years has something
>to do with it. Even if they were all producing hybrids at 100% plant
>capacity it wouldn't do any good if folks can't buy a new car.
>Bernie

The burden on GM, for example, presently amounts to $1,500 per car
_just_ for worker health care.
"In fact, per car, GM is now spending more on healthcare than it does
on steel. "A startling number," says Neil Trautwein, assistant vice
president for human-resources policy at the NAM. According to GM, its
future healthcare costs for all its 1.1 million employees, retirees,
and their dependents is $60 billion. The company now has 2-1/2
retirees for every active worker."
Let's not try to pretend that these factors are not in any equation
relating to GM's profitability, or pretend that it's all idiotic
management.

I will agree that allowing the unions to sink their parasitical fangs
into a company would be classified as idiotic management, however.
lockjaw
2008-08-02 21:54:08 UTC
Permalink
>
> I will agree that allowing the unions to sink their parasitical fangs
> into a company would be classified as idiotic management, however.

parasitical fangs! oooh, such drama!

it is the idiotic managment that decides WHAT will be produced and
where.

In the seventies, US makers were turning out such crappy quality that
it opened the door wide.

NO ONE saw $4 / $5 gas coming? pleeeze.
lockjaw
2008-08-02 22:01:54 UTC
Permalink
don't confuse "steve" with facts.

benefit burden on US mfg = $1500. per car
Japan? about $400.00 per car.

(not that bernie pays ANY benefits) I understand Starbucks does for
its full timers

ELEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS DOES NOT explain the sales gap.


enjoying our brand new Prius. -- BTW, does detroit offer ANYTHING to
compete with the prius? i.e. LOADED mid-size 4 door hatchback, 45 mpg
in town?

no.
Steve
2008-08-02 22:40:10 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 2 Aug 2008 15:01:54 -0700 (PDT), lockjaw <***@gmail.com>
wrote:

>benefit burden on US mfg = $1500. per car

That's inaccurate. GM's benefit burden is $1500.

>Japan? about $400.00 per car.

Source, please.

GM profit per auto = -$1500.00
Toyota profit per auto= $2000.00

Notice a correlation? Japanese and German manufacturers abroad don't
suffer that benefit burden because their governments pick up much of
those costs for their workers. Japanese and German companies building
cars here in the United States have nonunion contracts, both factors
that work to keep their employee expenses lower.
Ask yourself why Daimler dumped Chrysler. Think it was management?
Poor product design?

>ELEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS DOES NOT explain the sales gap.

We were discussing unionization and it's effects.
Try to keep up.
lockjaw
2008-08-02 23:11:02 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 2, 6:40 pm, Steve <***@privacy.net> wrote:
> On Sat, 2 Aug 2008 15:01:54 -0700 (PDT), lockjaw <***@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> >benefit burden on US mfg  = $1500. per car
>
> That's inaccurate. GM's benefit burden is $1500.
>
> >Japan?  about $400.00 per car.
>
> Source, please.
>
> GM profit per auto = -$1500.00
> Toyota profit per auto= $2000.00
>
> Notice a correlation? Japanese and German manufacturers abroad don't
> suffer that benefit burden because their governments pick up much of
> those costs for their workers. Japanese and German companies building
> cars here in the United States have nonunion contracts, both factors
> that work to keep their employee expenses lower.
> Ask yourself why Daimler dumped Chrysler. Think it was management?
> Poor product design?
>
> >ELEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS DOES NOT explain  the sales gap.
>
> We were discussing unionization and it's effects.
> Try to keep up.

maybe you need your own group Lars.
Espressopithecus (Java Man)
2008-08-05 15:45:20 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@news.easynews.com>,
***@privacy.net says...

>
> The burden on GM, for example, presently amounts to $1,500 per car
> _just_ for worker health care.
> "In fact, per car, GM is now spending more on healthcare than it does
> on steel. "A startling number," says Neil Trautwein, assistant vice
> president for human-resources policy at the NAM. According to GM, its
> future healthcare costs for all its 1.1 million employees, retirees,
> and their dependents is $60 billion. The company now has 2-1/2
> retirees for every active worker."
> Let's not try to pretend that these factors are not in any equation
> relating to GM's profitability, or pretend that it's all idiotic
> management.
>
> I will agree that allowing the unions to sink their parasitical fangs
> into a company would be classified as idiotic management, however.
>
Unfortunately, auto companies were "organized" decades ago, when there
was NO real offshore competition, and when cost increases to pay for
negotiated benefits could simply be passed along to the consumer because
all 3 major auto companies were unionized.

But now, big employers like Ford and GM will find getting rid of unions
is nearly impossible. The union movement would take the company down
rather than allow a decertification, and unions place their top priority
on protecting current jobs rather than enabling the growth of the
company.

Java
alan
2008-08-02 18:35:46 UTC
Permalink
"bernie" <***@zianet.com> wrote in message
news:8ebf06d8-9268-49d1-b361-***@f36g2000hsa.googlegroups.com...
> On Aug 2, 11:35 am, "alan" <***@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> "lockjaw" <***@gmail.com> wrote in message
>>
>> news:f9483c20-07be-4d85-b150-***@m45g2000hsb.googlegroups.com...
>>
>>
>>
>> > A ridiculous time! with 600 locations closing.
>>
>> > never fly. Plus Starbucks treats its employees very well.
>>
>> > and Jack / Izzy? the problem with GM etc. ain't the unions -- it is
>> > the idiotic management
>>
>> You're absolutely correct. And although any serious economic analysis
>> comes
>> to the same conclusion, don't expect Jack to allow himself to be confused
>> by
>> the facts . . .
>
>
> BMW reported on Friday their profits this Q down 33%. Nissan
> reported Friday their quarterly profits down 48%. Along with Toyota
> and Honda auto sector profits are glum.
>
> http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/TOP%20STORY/1799680/
>
> I find it hard to believe that all these companies have "idiotic
> management". Maybe the worst economy in about 50 years has something
> to do with it. Even if they were all producing hybrids at 100% plant
> capacity it wouldn't do any good if folks can't buy a new car.
> Bernie

Certainly the "worst economy in about 50 years" has something (perhaps
everything) to do with GM's current troubles. What I was referring to was
what I perceived (perhaps mistakenly) to be Jacks' contention that the UAW
was responsible for GM's big downturn in the 70's which turned Detroit into
a ghost town. GM's inability to hold the market and subsequent inability to
re-capture it had nothing to with unions. While GM was foundering, Japanese
and German automakers were doing quite well --- with highly organized and
very powerful labor unions. GM's troubles were management based. Now
they're mangement-based and economy-based.
alan
Steve
2008-08-02 18:55:46 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 2 Aug 2008 11:35:46 -0700, "alan" <***@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>While GM was foundering, Japanese
>and German automakers were doing quite well --- with highly organized and
>very powerful labor unions.

Honda and Toyota are unionized in the U.S.?
Matt
2008-08-03 00:52:16 UTC
Permalink
Steve wrote:
> On Sat, 2 Aug 2008 11:35:46 -0700, "alan" <***@hotmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> While GM was foundering, Japanese
>> and German automakers were doing quite well --- with highly organized and
>> very powerful labor unions.
>
> Honda and Toyota are unionized in the U.S.?

Absolutely not.

They're in "right to work" states, as is most new American manufacturing.

Hopefully these states will avoid the "Michigan disease" for a while.
Sadly, Obama will turn all states into Michigan.

The 19th century idea of striking a despotic corporation will certainly
be tried again under Obama, and we will quickly learn how uncompetitive
we are with the rest of the world, as factories close.

The politics will then become, buy American (and get an overpriced
Ford), or buy some quality product overseas and risk vandalism from
union hacks. Finally Obama will impose Soviet-style import restrictions
(under the John-Edwards' guise of raising "standards" in China, Japan,
India, etc.), and we'll end up with the 21st-century versions of the GAZ
and Volga.

This is too bad, as Starbucks has recently had a quality surge and meets
a real need in many parts of this (US) country.
alan
2008-08-03 02:49:35 UTC
Permalink
"Matt" <***@matt.mat> wrote in message
news:g72vjh$ioi$***@registered.motzarella.org...
> Steve wrote:
>> On Sat, 2 Aug 2008 11:35:46 -0700, "alan" <***@hotmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> While GM was foundering, Japanese
>>> and German automakers were doing quite well --- with highly organized
>>> and
>>> very powerful labor unions.
>>
>> Honda and Toyota are unionized in the U.S.?
>
> Absolutely not.
>
> They're in "right to work" states, as is most new American manufacturing.

Actually, some of their plants in the US are unionized, some are not. The
point is, even when all their labor was unionized, they were still beating
the pants off GM.

> Hopefully these states will avoid the "Michigan disease" for a while.
> Sadly, Obama will turn all states into Michigan.

And what's the "Michigan disease"? Is that the disease characterized by
unbridled corporate greed combined with poor management?
>
> The 19th century idea of striking a despotic corporation will certainly
> be tried again under Obama, and we will quickly learn how uncompetitive
> we are with the rest of the world, as factories close.
>
> The politics will then become, buy American (and get an overpriced
> Ford), or buy some quality product overseas and risk vandalism from
> union hacks. Finally Obama will impose Soviet-style import restrictions
> (under the John-Edwards' guise of raising "standards" in China, Japan,
> India, etc.), and we'll end up with the 21st-century versions of the GAZ
> and Volga.

Oh my god, unionization is just that first step into a Soviet-style economy,
isn't it? Everyone knows that unions are just fronts for a worldwide
communist conspiracy bent on the destruction of the US economy, don't they?
Bring in the Pinkertons, boys, and let's crush what's left of those pesky
unions!

From the 1950's thru the 1970's, the US economy was unquestionably in the
best shape it had ever been in that century. Coinicidentally, that same
period shows the highest rates of union membership. Do you suppose there
might be a correlation?
>
> This is too bad, as Starbucks has recently had a quality surge and meets
> a real need in many parts of this (US) country.

The "need" for a double venti caramel latte liquid candy bar is a "real
need"? You're joking, aren't you?
notbob
2008-08-03 03:04:26 UTC
Permalink
On 2008-08-03, alan <***@hotmail.com> wrote:

> The "need" for a double venti caramel latte liquid candy bar is a "real
> need"? You're joking, aren't you?

Sadly, I'm sure he is not.

We have not a single Starbucks where I live and, amazingly, I haven't missed
it one bit. Imagine that.

nb
Steve
2008-08-03 03:19:57 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 03 Aug 2008 03:04:26 GMT, notbob <***@nothome.com> wrote:

>We have not a single Starbucks where I live and, amazingly, I haven't missed
>it one bit. Imagine that.

Heresy. ;-)
Steve
2008-08-03 03:21:18 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 2 Aug 2008 19:49:35 -0700, "alan" <***@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>Do you suppose there
>might be a correlation?

Correlation is not causation.
alan
2008-08-03 03:23:16 UTC
Permalink
"Steve" <***@privacy.net> wrote in message
news:***@news.easynews.com...
> On Sat, 2 Aug 2008 19:49:35 -0700, "alan" <***@hotmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>>Do you suppose there
>>might be a correlation?
>
> Correlation is not causation.

But it does give one pause for thought, doesn't it?
Steve
2008-08-03 03:35:21 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 2 Aug 2008 20:23:16 -0700, "alan" <***@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>
>"Steve" <***@privacy.net> wrote in message
>news:***@news.easynews.com...
>> On Sat, 2 Aug 2008 19:49:35 -0700, "alan" <***@hotmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>>Do you suppose there
>>>might be a correlation?
>>
>> Correlation is not causation.
>
>But it does give one pause for thought, doesn't it?

Sure Alan, it does. But so do a lot of other factors,
some of which appear to be stronger influences.

The unions had their day. There was a time when they were needed to
protect the workforce.
But now it costs $29.00 an hour for a $13.50 an hour employee, and the
market is going elsewhere.

How is that good?
alan
2008-08-03 15:29:59 UTC
Permalink
"Steve" <***@privacy.net> wrote in message
news:***@news.easynews.com...
> On Sat, 2 Aug 2008 20:23:16 -0700, "alan" <***@hotmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>>
>>"Steve" <***@privacy.net> wrote in message
>>news:***@news.easynews.com...
>>> On Sat, 2 Aug 2008 19:49:35 -0700, "alan" <***@hotmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>>Do you suppose there
>>>>might be a correlation?
>>>
>>> Correlation is not causation.
>>
>>But it does give one pause for thought, doesn't it?
>
> Sure Alan, it does. But so do a lot of other factors,
> some of which appear to be stronger influences.
>
> The unions had their day. There was a time when they were needed to
> protect the workforce.

And now the workforce needs no protection? All of a sudden the US has
become a worker's paradise? All of a sudden corporations have become
enlightened, socially conscious, and responsible entitities which wouldn't
dream of taking advantage of its workers? Please explain what differences
you see between now and when "unions had their day".
Said the burglar to the homeowner: "Hey, come on, guy --- things are
different now ---- you can take that lock off your door."

> But now it costs $29.00 an hour for a $13.50 an hour employee, and the
> market is going elsewhere.
>
> How is that good?
>
Steve
2008-08-03 16:43:25 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 3 Aug 2008 08:29:59 -0700, "alan" <***@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>Please explain what differences
>you see between now and when "unions had their day".

I think legislation and the market protect workers more "now" than the
unions did "then".
We aren't in the transitional phase between an agrarian society and an
industrialized one that we were "then". Health care, maternity leave,
vacation, hostile environment laws, etc. weren't even thought of then.
These advances didn't come by way of unions.

One thing the unions have done that is positive: many companies, in
order to stay non-union, pay their employees substantially over union
wages and provide better benefits.

I'm not touching the "enlightened corporate epiphany" line of yours
;-) we all know better than to hope for that, but I have yet to hear
an enlightened, socially conscious, and responsible union pitch...and
I'm still trying to decide if Fair Trade is.
notbob
2008-08-03 18:01:39 UTC
Permalink
On 2008-08-03, Steve <***@privacy.net> wrote:

> One thing the unions have done that is positive: many companies, in
> order to stay non-union, pay their employees substantially over union
> wages and provide better benefits.

What fantasy universe are you living in? Why do you think 10 million plus
illegal mexicans have crossed our borders, unobstructed? In case you
haven't noitced, even they are starting to organize unions. Do the research
on how bad it is at Walmart. Many employees require public assistance.

This is a country who's historical corporate culture thinks it's ok to shoot
its employees, ferchrysakes. As for hi-tech providing good bennies, that
was due to a lack of skilled workers, not any imagined benevolence. As soon
as sales declined and the labor exceeded demand, the bennies went the way of
the dodo. Companies are looting pension funds and other retirement plans,
wholesale. That whole H1B visas scam is no different than the other big
lie, "immigrants just do the job Americans don't want to". What bullshit.

nb
bernie
2008-08-03 18:29:50 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 3, 12:01 pm, notbob <***@nothome.com> wrote:
> On 2008-08-03, Steve <***@privacy.net> wrote:
>
> >That whole H1B visas scam is no different than the other big
> lie, "immigrants just do the job Americans don't want to". What bullshit.
>
> nb

Its chili picking season here in Las Cruces. The fields are full
of pickers. Not an anglo or native hispanic to be seen in these
fields. It is a fact that today, Sunday, the fields are full of
immigrant labor (legal and illegal) picking sacks full of chili. Don't
know where you are, but I can see it every day with my own eyes. The
idea that college kids or high school kids or under-employed locals
would be down there looking for a job is laughable. Preposterous, in
fact. The onion sheds are packed with onions that have been picked by
immigrant labor. If you or any person walked in and asked for a job
picking you'd be hired on the spot. I can't remember in 10 years
seeing an anglo face in the fields. And don't think it has anything to
do with the pay. These men and women are started at wages higher than
the local minimum plus production bonuses. They are covered by
workmen's comp. But, the work is brutal, long, hot, humid, stooped
labor and unrelenting. Something the whiney-ass, soft, weenie, entry
level American workforce simply won't do. We continually hear folks
nay-saying what I'm seeing with my own eyes. The fact is that there
are shit-loads of hard-labor jobs in this area which are seasonal and
which never have been and never will be filled by lazy-assed workers
from this country. I say open the friggin' borders, give 'em work
permits and let America see who will work and who will sit back and
whine that "their" jobs are being taken by immigrants. Within ten
minutes I could be standing field-side and see nothing but immigrants
busting their asses in blistering heat doing the work. So to those who
think Americans are lining up to do the work I can tell you it just
ain't so. Never has been, never will be. But you can go less than two
miles from the fields and see the mission filled up with able-bodied
young men who aren't the least interested in getting out and working.
Don't mind me, I'm just here where it is happening. Don't let the
facts get in the way of a good "poor us" story.
Bernie
Steve
2008-08-03 18:46:43 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 3 Aug 2008 11:29:50 -0700 (PDT), bernie <***@zianet.com>
wrote:

>The
>idea that college kids or high school kids or under-employed locals
>would be down there looking for a job is laughable. Preposterous, in
>fact.

Ain't that a fact.
notbob
2008-08-03 20:30:04 UTC
Permalink
On 2008-08-03, Steve <***@privacy.net> wrote:

> Ain't that a fact.

STrange. I see hundreds of HS, colledge, and older kids working around
here. They seem to enjoy the Hell out of it.

I suspect it's more of a generational thing than cultural. I'm about as
white as they come, being mostly of Euro decent. I worked in the tomato
fields when I was 14. Didn't like it so I quit, but that's because I could.
The next three summers I worked in the hops fields, one of the most brutal
jobs you can imagine, as did half dozen of my lily-white buddies.

I suspect today's kids don't feel the need to work, not because of an
unwillingness to expend energy, but more of a sense of entitlement. Mom and
dad have given them everything their mercenary hearts desire, so why work
unless it provides substantially more than mom and pop are willing to give
for nothing. We have created our own monster.

nb
notbob
2008-08-03 20:19:53 UTC
Permalink
On 2008-08-03, bernie <***@zianet.com> wrote:

> Don't mind me, I'm just here where it is happening. Don't let the
> facts get in the way of a good "poor us" story.

Pretty selective with the facts, aren't you? How about the fact that the
construction trades were once the domain of hard working anglos who could
afford to buy the product they built. Why has the price of homes increased
by a factor of 20x (at the very least!) yet illegal immigrants are being
paid less now than contruction workers of 30 yrs ago? It's because illegals
have been let in to crush unions, plain and simple. Guess, what. It's
worked brilliantly.

Let's not lose sight of why unions were formed. It wasn't because of
communism or other right wing propaganda. It was cuz the workers got tired
of being screwed, starved, and even killed. I'll be the first to agree the
unions got out of hand, but it was union management, not the rank and file
that pushed too hard. One of the last strikes I saw before the illegals
began flooding this country was a machinist union in which the rank and file
revolted against their management and went back to work. Take a look at
union management. If they weren't outright criminals, they usually came
from the same business schools as corporate management. Again, the rank and
file is screwed, this time by their own "managers".

And please, don't give me that crap about the poor illegals just wanting to
support their families. What the Hell do you think poor anglos want to do.
I didn't end a 30 yr career because I didn't want to do the work. Currently,
I live in an area that is 99% anglo. Guess who does the mininum wage jobs.
White people!

How many times have I worked as a janitor? In my youth, too many to count.
But, it was a decent wage cuz it was a union wage. Who are the janitors
now? Illegals. They don't even speak English. Guess who is currently
fighting to become unionized? Why? Because they're only making about
$3-4hr more than I did 40 yrs ago!

I'm no union fanboy. I've never remained in one longer than
the job. Bottom line, I've seen unions pull some pretty slimey
crap, but they can't hold a candle to corporate greed and corruption.

nb
bernie
2008-08-03 21:43:31 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 3, 2:19 pm, notbob <***@nothome.com> wrote:
> On 2008-08-03, bernie <***@zianet.com> wrote:
>
> > Don't mind me, I'm just here where it is happening. Don't let the
> > facts get in the way of a good "poor us" story.
>
> Pretty selective with the facts, aren't you? How about the fact that the
> construction trades were once the domain of hard working anglos who could
> afford to buy the product they built. Why has the price of homes increased
> by a factor of 20x (at the very least!) yet illegal immigrants are being
> paid less now than contruction workers of 30 yrs ago? It's because illegals
> have been let in to crush unions, plain and simple. Guess, what. It's
> worked brilliantly.

The contractors I know didn't give much of a damn about unions one
way or the other when the building boom was going on here. If you
could frame, roof, finish, or whatever and show up sober you had a
job. Most didn't care one way or another if you were legal or not,
either. They paid for the work, not the status. If a guy showed up and
could do better, faster framing than someone else then he tended to be
kept on for the next job and the slower guy was let go. If one were
legal and the other not it didn't matter. They both got paid the same,
but the guy who was actually working better and faster and with higher
quality kept his job. I don't buy the idea that there was some sort of
conspiracy to bring illegals into the country to crush unions. There
just isn't the evidence to support such a contention.
>
> Let's not lose sight of why unions were formed. It wasn't because of
> communism or other right wing propaganda. It was cuz the workers got tired
> of being screwed, starved, and even killed. I'll be the first to agree the
> unions got out of hand, but it was union management, not the rank and file
> that pushed too hard.

Union management comes from union membership. The union members
are responsible for their officers. One can't argue that the rank and
file aren't to blame. If corporations are to be held accountable for
the mistakes and misdeeds of their officers then unions and their
members are to be held to account for the ones they, themselves, have
put in positions of authority.

One of the last strikes I saw before the illegals
> began flooding this country was a machinist union in which the rank and file
> revolted against their management and went back to work. Take a look at
> union management. If they weren't outright criminals, they usually came
> from the same business schools as corporate management. Again, the rank and
> file is screwed, this time by their own "managers".

The get the union they deserve. If you elect thugs to run the
union..............
>
> And please, don't give me that crap about the poor illegals just wanting to
> support their families. What the Hell do you think poor anglos want to do.

Then they should get themselves down to the fields and get to
work. How hard a concept is it that you have to work to provide for
your family?

> I didn't end a 30 yr career because I didn't want to do the work. Currently,
> I live in an area that is 99% anglo. Guess who does the mininum wage jobs.
> White people!
>
> How many times have I worked as a janitor? In my youth, too many to count.
> But, it was a decent wage cuz it was a union wage. Who are the janitors
> now? Illegals. They don't even speak English. Guess who is currently
> fighting to become unionized? Why? Because they're only making about
> $3-4hr more than I did 40 yrs ago!
>
> I'm no union fanboy. I've never remained in one longer than
> the job. Bottom line, I've seen unions pull some pretty slimey
> crap, but they can't hold a candle to corporate greed and corruption.
>
> nb

I don't think corporations engaged in the degree of murder,
extortion, bribery, that the unions have in the not to distant past.
The tight relationship between organized crime and the unions is as
well-documented as any criminal enterprise in the history of this
country. The looting of pension funds by elected officers who were
also made members of the mob is a very common theme in union
history.
Bottom line for me is I don't see a nickles worth of difference
between a union and a corporation. They both have interests to protect
and are both doing whatever they can to enhance their value to their
constituency. My formal education in labor includes several classes
decades ago by this esteemed gentleman: http://www.lawmemo.com/arb/arbitrator/cohen.sanford.htm
He gave me some real insights into the pros and cons of unions. At the
same time I did a good bit of research for this guy on organized
crime: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE7D8123BF931A15753C1A966958260
Dr. Lupsha was one of the leading authorities on the mob-union
marriages. But, I have digressed quite a ways I fear.
We probably agree on more than we disagree when it comes to
corporate corruption, unions and crappy politicians. I'm in agreement
that workers deserve dignified conditions, fair pay, affordable health
care insurance. We probably would not agree on the details, but thats
what makes ac such a dynamic and lively forum. Sometimes we even talk
about coffee.
Bernie
notbob
2008-08-03 22:55:12 UTC
Permalink
On 2008-08-03, bernie <***@zianet.com> wrote:

> quality kept his job. I don't buy the idea that there was some sort of
> conspiracy to bring illegals into the country to crush unions. There
> just isn't the evidence to support such a contention.

I suppose that's why California construction workers in the mid-to-late 70s
started seeing whole crews of non-English-speaking Mexicans from AZ and NM
show up on CA job sites, out of the blue. Sorry, my brother and all his
friends were in construction and it was not imagined. One friend actaully
got a position in the union which was paying a mere $17 hr. He never worked
again. You go to a jobsite now, there's not a single white guy for miles,
unless he's the forman.

> Union management comes from union membership. The union members


I can see you know little about unions.

> The get the union they deserve. If you elect thugs to run the
> union..............

(eye-roll)

> Then they should get themselves down to the fields and get to
> work. How hard a concept is it that you have to work to provide for
> your family?

Where were you when corporations demanded and got huge wage and benefit
concessions all through the Reagan era? How can you pay for that house you
already bought when wage concessions pull the rug out? What about now?
Illegal carpenters still earn less than what was the std independent wage 30
yrs ago!! Who in this culture can support a family on those wages? You know
who? Illegal aliens in whose culture is ok with 3-4 generations living
under the same roof. Are you doing that? I thought not. Most American
families are not. We're learning though, out of necessity. Are captains of
industry living 3-4 generations in one house? More like 1 generation in 3-4
houses.

> I don't think corporations engaged in the degree of murder,
> extortion, bribery, that the unions have in the not to distant past.

As for murder, they don't need to. They steal HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of
dollars, destroy millions of peoples lives, wipe out whole companies, and
get only 6 mos in a country-club prison and get to keep most of the money
they stole. Why bother killing anyone? As for extortion and bribery, what the
heck do you think PACs and lobbyists do?

> Bottom line for me is I don't see a nickles worth of difference
> between a union and a corporation.

Gee, I could have sworn I already said that.

> constituency. My formal education in labor includes several classes

Mine includes working in and being screwed by them and the corporations they
were supposed to ...and sometimes did.... protect me from. Screw a buncha
ivory tower intellectuals. I worked in the trenches and up through the
system and hierarchy to see how they both work. There are few saints in
either.

> We probably agree on more than we disagree when it comes to
> corporate corruption, unions and crappy politicians. I'm in agreement
> that workers deserve dignified conditions, fair pay, affordable health
> care insurance. We probably would not agree on the details, but thats
> what makes ac such a dynamic and lively forum. Sometimes we even talk
> about coffee.

I'll drink to that. ;)

nb
Espressopithecus (Java Man)
2008-08-05 15:59:04 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@bb.nothome.com>, ***@nothome.com
says...
> Let's not lose sight of why unions were formed. It wasn't because of
> communism or other right wing propaganda. It was cuz the workers got tired
> of being screwed, starved, and even killed.
>
Many would not like what you've written, but it's a historical fact. As
a former union director (before I switched sides), I saw how the
undeniable excesses of the past were leveraged in training session
videos to "train" (I.e. indoctrinate) union members and shop stewards.
As a society, we're reaping what our forefathers sowed.

Today, smart employers know how to avoid becoming unionized, but their
non-union employees benefit from the contracts negotiated at unionized
firms. These contracts set expectations. If labour laws were changed
to make it possible to turn back the clock to pre-union times, we'd see
unions disappear, and the excesses of the past return within a decade.

Meanwhile, the race to the bottom continues unabated.

Java
notbob
2008-08-05 16:15:16 UTC
Permalink
On 2008-08-05, Espressopithecus <***@letterectomyTELUS.net> wrote:

> Meanwhile, the race to the bottom continues unabated.

Ain't it the truth!

nb
Jack Denver
2008-08-05 16:27:47 UTC
Permalink
"Espressopithecus (Java Man)" <***@letterectomyTELUS.net> wrote in message
news:***@shawnews.vc.shawcable.net...
> In article <***@bb.nothome.com>, ***@nothome.com
> says...
>> Let's not lose sight of why unions were formed. It wasn't because of
>> communism or other right wing propaganda. It was cuz the workers got
>> tired
>> of being screwed, starved, and even killed.
>>
> Many would not like what you've written, but it's a historical fact. As
> a former union director (before I switched sides), I saw how the
> undeniable excesses of the past were leveraged in training session
> videos to "train" (I.e. indoctrinate) union members and shop stewards.
> As a society, we're reaping what our forefathers sowed.

There has to be some statute of limitations on this stuff - we're talking
about ancient history now - hardly anyone is still alive from the labor wars
that ended by the 1930s. I know that organized labor was able to wave the
bloody shirty around for a good long time, but when you talk to today's
generation they wonder what that dirty old rag is.
>
> Today, smart employers know how to avoid becoming unionized, but their
> non-union employees benefit from the contracts negotiated at unionized
> firms. These contracts set expectations. If labour laws were changed
> to make it possible to turn back the clock to pre-union times, we'd see
> unions disappear, and the excesses of the past return within a decade.
>
I'm not convinced that this is true - society has advanced, we are not going
to put children back in the cotton mills and send the Pinkertons to beat up
the miners. Hell, we don't even HAVE cotton mills and underground coal mines
anymore. Unions have been around long enough for workers to know that like
any other institution, the union and its managers exists to fulfill their
OWN agenda which is not necessarily the same as that of their ostensible
clients, the workers. In a pre-globalized world, unions could extort gains
from management that could be passed thru to customers. The unions failed
to see that while their extorionate power had not diminished, globalization
meant that their employer's ability to pass thru the costs had, so they
ended up milking many companies dry, at which point those companies had to
close their doors - the net effect being that the union did its members no
favor in the long run - they extorted themselves out of their own jobs.
Private sector workers have not exactly been clamoring to join unions for
this reason.
Espressopithecus (Java Man)
2008-08-05 17:29:37 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@comcast.com>,
***@netscape.net says...
>
> "Espressopithecus (Java Man)" <***@letterectomyTELUS.net> wrote in message
> news:***@shawnews.vc.shawcable.net...
> > In article <***@bb.nothome.com>, ***@nothome.com
> > says...
> >> Let's not lose sight of why unions were formed. It wasn't because of
> >> communism or other right wing propaganda. It was cuz the workers got
> >> tired
> >> of being screwed, starved, and even killed.
> >>
> > Many would not like what you've written, but it's a historical fact. As
> > a former union director (before I switched sides), I saw how the
> > undeniable excesses of the past were leveraged in training session
> > videos to "train" (I.e. indoctrinate) union members and shop stewards.
> > As a society, we're reaping what our forefathers sowed.
>
> There has to be some statute of limitations on this stuff - we're talking
> about ancient history now - hardly anyone is still alive from the labor wars
> that ended by the 1930s. I know that organized labor was able to wave the
> bloody shirty around for a good long time, but when you talk to today's
> generation they wonder what that dirty old rag is.

I agree, but unfortunately there isn't a statute of limitations on
grievances, real or imagined.
> >
> > Today, smart employers know how to avoid becoming unionized, but their
> > non-union employees benefit from the contracts negotiated at unionized
> > firms. These contracts set expectations. If labour laws were changed
> > to make it possible to turn back the clock to pre-union times, we'd see
> > unions disappear, and the excesses of the past return within a decade.
> >
> I'm not convinced that this is true - society has advanced, we are not going
> to put children back in the cotton mills and send the Pinkertons to beat up
> the miners. Hell, we don't even HAVE cotton mills and underground coal mines
> anymore.

Not ALL of the excesses of the past would return. I can't see OSHA
regulations being eliminated, for example. But it would return the
imbalance of power that put employees to work for wages that has them
peering through the windows rather than sharing in "the American dream".
Wages in many non-unionized jobs are already low enough that millions of
workers can't afford to live the lives they see in ads and the popular
media. Most American workers have different expectations than the low-
wage service workers in places like Hong Kong, for example, where people
are more likely to fatalistically accept low pay and a very modest
existence as their "destiny".

> Unions have been around long enough for workers to know that like
> any other institution, the union and its managers exists to fulfill their
> OWN agenda which is not necessarily the same as that of their ostensible
> clients, the workers.

Right. Unions are in the *business* of representing workers. Despite
the labour movement's claim that it is a "progressive social movement",
it's ultimately a business that's driven by the interests of those in
charge, not their "customers".

> In a pre-globalized world, unions could extort gains
> from management that could be passed thru to customers. The unions failed
> to see that while their extorionate power had not diminished, globalization
> meant that their employer's ability to pass thru the costs had, so they
> ended up milking many companies dry, at which point those companies had to
> close their doors - the net effect being that the union did its members no
> favor in the long run - they extorted themselves out of their own jobs.
> Private sector workers have not exactly been clamoring to join unions for
> this reason.

I agree, but the rank and file generally don't see this. Many of the
union leaders do, but most will do whatever it takes to hang onto power
and their high paying union business agent jobs. Union leaders
typically make far more money than the people they "represent", and the
power dynamic in unions is much like that in any democratic institution.
It's dirty at the top.

Java
alan
2008-08-04 00:07:15 UTC
Permalink
"bernie" <***@zianet.com> wrote in message
news:d85f7120-58ae-45d9-a519-***@26g2000hsk.googlegroups.com...
> On Aug 3, 12:01 pm, notbob <***@nothome.com> wrote:
>> On 2008-08-03, Steve <***@privacy.net> wrote:
>>
>> >That whole H1B visas scam is no different than the other big
>> lie, "immigrants just do the job Americans don't want to". What
>> bullshit.
>>
>> nb
>
> Its chili picking season here in Las Cruces. The fields are full
> of pickers. Not an anglo or native hispanic to be seen in these
> fields. It is a fact that today, Sunday, the fields are full of
> immigrant labor (legal and illegal) picking sacks full of chili. Don't
> know where you are, but I can see it every day with my own eyes. The
> idea that college kids or high school kids or under-employed locals
> would be down there looking for a job is laughable. Preposterous, in
> fact. The onion sheds are packed with onions that have been picked by
> immigrant labor. If you or any person walked in and asked for a job
> picking you'd be hired on the spot. I can't remember in 10 years
> seeing an anglo face in the fields. And don't think it has anything to
> do with the pay. These men and women are started at wages higher than
> the local minimum plus production bonuses. They are covered by
> workmen's comp. But, the work is brutal, long, hot, humid, stooped
> labor and unrelenting. Something the whiney-ass, soft, weenie, entry
> level American workforce simply won't do. We continually hear folks
> nay-saying what I'm seeing with my own eyes. The fact is that there
> are shit-loads of hard-labor jobs in this area which are seasonal and
> which never have been and never will be filled by lazy-assed workers
> from this country. I say open the friggin' borders, give 'em work
> permits and let America see who will work and who will sit back and
> whine that "their" jobs are being taken by immigrants. Within ten
> minutes I could be standing field-side and see nothing but immigrants
> busting their asses in blistering heat doing the work. So to those who
> think Americans are lining up to do the work I can tell you it just
> ain't so. Never has been, never will be. But you can go less than two
> miles from the fields and see the mission filled up with able-bodied
> young men who aren't the least interested in getting out and working.
> Don't mind me, I'm just here where it is happening. Don't let the
> facts get in the way of a good "poor us" story.
> Bernie
You've totally missed the point of notbob's post (most of which you
snipped).
It's not that Americans have become "whiney-ass, soft", and "weenie". It's
just that the Mexicans have become more desperate. Or ---- wait a
minute ---- as notbob pointed out, even the illegal Mexican workers are
starting to form unions. Have they become infected with the "North American
disease"? Are they, too, in danger of becoming "whiney-ass, soft", and
"weenie" just because they want a better return on THEIR risks?
bernie
2008-08-04 00:54:28 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 3, 6:07 pm, "alan" <***@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> You've totally missed the point of notbob's post (most of which you
> snipped).
> It's not that Americans have become "whiney-ass, soft", and "weenie". It's
> just that the Mexicans have become more desperate. Or ---- wait a
> minute ---- as notbob pointed out, even the illegal Mexican workers are
> starting to form unions. Have they become infected with the "North American
> disease"? Are they, too, in danger of becoming "whiney-ass, soft", and
> "weenie" just because they want a better return on THEIR risks?

Can you reference for me an example of a union effort by illegal
Mexican workers? I find it hard, hard, hard to believe that illegals
would pop their heads up in a unionization drive. I can just see the
headlines, "Illegal Migrant Workers Unite". Don't think so. But, hell,
I' ve been wrong on many an occasion. As far as them being more
desperate, I don't think so either. How does one measure or track that
sort of thing? Mexicans have been crossing the border less than 30
miles from my house for as long as there has been a border. It ebbs
and flows depending on how corrupt the Mexican government is at the
time. I would be interested in seeing stats on the proportionality of
illegals over the years. I would surmise the number is steady, but
that our economy and population have grown a huge amount in the past
50 years so 15 million illegals may not be more per capita than ever.
All that aside, here is what I find interesting and telling about
this discussion. I live where there are tons of illegals. I don't see
any Americans asking to work in the fields. Ever. I know producers of
cotton, chili, cabbage, onions and milk who will tell you candidly and
openly that they could not survive without these illegals. They are
doing work nobody else will do. Yet! Yet! That set of facts and that
reality is dismissed as not relevant. No matter what one says about
the truth of what is happening and no matter what I see every day it
has zero impact on those holding an opinion regarding illegal aliens
based on little or no knowledge of these people. I find it amusing
that when told that there are jobs to be had and operators are
desparate to hire workers that those opposed to these people just
gloss over the facts. Screw the facts. Lets make up our own. That way
we can all be secure that our own prejudices and fears are not
confronted by facts. God forbid reality should interfere with what we
want to believe. All I can do is smile when folks try and tell me what
a bad, bad situation all those illegals have created. Maybe in your
world they have, but in the world I live in they keep the dairy
industry afloat as well as the onion, cabbage, cotton and chili. I
can't help what the facts are in these cases, I can only tell folks
what they are and if they are interested in what is factual then so it
is.
Bernie
lockjaw
2008-08-04 16:26:01 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 3, 8:54 pm, bernie <***@zianet.com> wrote:
> On Aug 3, 6:07 pm, "alan" <***@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > You've totally missed the point of notbob's post (most of which you
> > snipped).
> > It's not that Americans have become "whiney-ass, soft", and "weenie".  It's
> > just that the Mexicans have become more desperate.  Or ---- wait a
> > minute ---- as notbob pointed out, even the illegal Mexican workers are
> > starting to form unions.  Have they become infected with the "North American
> > disease"?  Are they, too, in danger of becoming "whiney-ass, soft", and
> > "weenie" just because they want a better return on THEIR risks?
>
>   Can you reference for me an example of a union effort by illegal
> Mexican workers? I find it hard, hard, hard to believe that illegals
> would pop their heads up in a unionization drive.  I can just see the
> headlines, "Illegal Migrant Workers Unite". Don't think so. But, hell,
> I' ve been wrong on many an occasion.  As far as them being more
> desperate, I don't think so either. How does one measure or track that
> sort of thing? Mexicans have been crossing the border less than 30
> miles from my house for as long as there has been a border. It ebbs
> and flows depending on how corrupt the Mexican government is at the
> time. I would be interested in seeing stats on the proportionality of
> illegals over the years. I would surmise the number is steady, but
> that our economy and population have grown a huge amount in the past
> 50 years so 15 million illegals may not be more per capita than ever.
>   All that aside, here is what I find interesting and telling about
> this discussion. I live where there are tons of illegals. I don't see
> any Americans asking to work in the fields. Ever. I know producers of
> cotton, chili, cabbage, onions and milk who will tell you candidly and
> openly that they could not survive without these illegals. They are
> doing work nobody else will do. Yet! Yet! That set of facts and that
> reality is dismissed as not relevant. No matter what one says about
> the truth of what is happening and no matter what I see every day it
> has zero impact on those holding an opinion regarding illegal aliens
> based on little or no knowledge of these people. I find it amusing
> that when told that there are jobs to be had and operators are
> desparate to hire workers that those opposed to these people just
> gloss over the facts. Screw the facts. Lets make up our own. That way
> we can all be secure that our own prejudices and fears are not
> confronted by facts. God forbid reality should interfere with what we
> want to believe. All I can do is smile when folks try and tell me what
> a bad, bad situation all those illegals have created. Maybe in your
> world they have, but in the world I live in they keep the dairy
> industry afloat as well as the onion, cabbage, cotton and chili. I
> can't help what the facts are in these cases, I can only tell folks
> what they are and if they are interested in what is factual then so it
> is.
> Bernie

bernie may want to research the unionization drives by janitors in LA.
long exploited by the richest of the rich landlords.

LA Times archives would be a good place to start looking.

and a minor matter of style? try to put in a paragraph break in here
and there??

thanx
Jack Denver
2008-08-04 17:05:32 UTC
Permalink
"bernie" <***@zianet.com> wrote in message
news:ade8c161-86dd-41c4-b645-***@y21g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...
I would surmise the number is steady, but
> that our economy and population have grown a huge amount in the past
> 50 years so 15 million illegals may not be more per capita than ever.
>
Bernie - the border region has always been fluid - the people were there
before the border was there and there has always been flow back and forth
(although some cities that are major Mexican population centers - Tijuana,
Juarez, etc. were tiny villages 70 years ago and they owe their existence to
the fact that they lie on the border). The big difference nowadays is that
there are Mexicans all over the country - in the Midwest, in the north,
everywhere. When I was growing up in the Northeast, while there was a large
Carribean hispanic population (mostly Puerto Ricans, then followed by
Dominicans, Cuban, etc.) it was rare to see a Mexican - now there are large
Mexican communities (and you can get decent tacos). They are the ones doing
all the hard work - the guys cutting the lawns, working as laborers on
construction sites, laying block, etc. I think in fact that there are more
"illegals" per capita than there once were - Mexico had until recently a
high birth rate, the relative difference between the income of even an
illegal alien in the US and a peasant farmer in Mexico has grown greater and
greater, the # of Americans willing to do unpleasant jobs has decreased and
thus the job opportunities for Mexicans (if for reasons of easy
communication alone, American employers would prefer to hire Americans if
they could get them) have increased. All these factors have led to a
marked increase in the # of Mexicans residing in the US, but due to the
recent downturn in the economy, especially in the construction sector,
combined with increased border enforcement (which raises the cost of going
back and forth) that number (or at least the rate of increase) may be
slowing down. A lot of Mexicans (at least initially) start out with the
idea that they are only coming to work in the US temporarily and once they
have saved enough money they'll go back home, but in the end a lot end up
staying permanently.
bernie
2008-08-04 17:23:24 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 4, 11:05 am, "Jack Denver" <***@netscape.net> wrote:
> "bernie" <***@zianet.com> wrote in message
>
> news:ade8c161-86dd-41c4-b645-***@y21g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...
> I would surmise the number is steady, but> that our economy and population have grown a huge amount in the past
> > 50 years so 15 million illegals may not be more per capita than ever.
>
> Bernie - the border region has always been fluid - the people were there
> before the border was there and there has always been flow back and forth
> (although some cities that are major Mexican population centers - Tijuana,
> Juarez, etc. were tiny villages 70 years ago and they owe their existence to
> the fact that they lie on the border). The big difference nowadays is that
> there are Mexicans all over the country - in the Midwest, in the north,
> everywhere. When I was growing up in the Northeast, while there was a large
> Carribean hispanic population (mostly Puerto Ricans, then followed by
> Dominicans, Cuban, etc.) it was rare to see a Mexican - now there are large
> Mexican communities (and you can get decent tacos). They are the ones doing
> all the hard work - the guys cutting the lawns, working as laborers on
> construction sites, laying block, etc. I think in fact that there are more
> "illegals" per capita than there once were - Mexico had until recently a
> high birth rate, the relative difference between the income of even an
> illegal alien in the US and a peasant farmer in Mexico has grown greater and
> greater, the # of Americans willing to do unpleasant jobs has decreased and
> thus the job opportunities for Mexicans (if for reasons of easy
> communication alone, American employers would prefer to hire Americans if
> they could get them) have increased. All these factors have led to a
> marked increase in the # of Mexicans residing in the US, but due to the
> recent downturn in the economy, especially in the construction sector,
> combined with increased border enforcement (which raises the cost of going
> back and forth) that number (or at least the rate of increase) may be
> slowing down. A lot of Mexicans (at least initially) start out with the
> idea that they are only coming to work in the US temporarily and once they
> have saved enough money they'll go back home, but in the end a lot end up
> staying permanently.


This article would tend to support your position:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0731/p01s03-ussc.html
Bernie
notbob
2008-08-04 18:27:44 UTC
Permalink
On 2008-08-04, bernie <***@zianet.com> wrote:

> Can you reference for me an example of a union effort by illegal
> Mexican workers?

You gotta be kidding!

http://www.seiu1877.org/

They were trying to unionized ten years ago. As for the "legal" part:

"Language:
You must be able to speak, read, write, and understand basic English..."

http://www.path2usa.com/immigration/citizenship/us_citizenship_requirements.htm

HAH!! We had to post signs in Spanish for the janitors to follow.

I wish I could find that old link to a website by a SoCal sociology
professor that detailed the history of one sheet metal workers local in LA.
The illegals underbid the anglo natives who were making $18hr at that time.
After taking over the trade in that area, they got tired of working for <
$10 and created a union, that, last I heard, was getting $13hr.


> I find it hard, hard, hard to believe that illegals
> would pop their heads up in a unionization drive.

Aren't you in AZ? What rock are you living under?

Last year's Cinco de Mayo got so out of hand, one town in SoCal was overrun
by the Mex community, they brought down the American flag at the USPS and
ran up the Mexican flag. Pro-immigration organizers had to start cracking
down on the protesters cuz they were all flying/waving the Mexican flag and
being veiwed on nation-wide tv. On the 2nd day of protests, only a few were
seen. Hello, this is not Mexico!!

Anyone who thinks the majority of illegal immigrants want to be assimilated
into the American culture is living in a fantasy world. Check out the
agenda of La Raza. Lest anyone think I'm some kind of racist, my SIL is
American born Mexican and my two granddaughters are half Mexican. My
father's 3rd wife is a native Mexican and naturalized Amercian. Boy, no one
hates illegals more than her!

Not a damn thing wrong with immigrants. We're a nation of immigrants, but
letting them flood the country and dictate social and political direction to
placate greedy bottom line corporations is just wrong. How bad is it? My
daughter, a single mother, lives in the more affordable part of town. When
she goes to a school meeting for parents, she has to sit in the back of the
auditorium with a handful of other anglo mothers and have the meeting translated
from Spanish. The California drivers handbook ...or is it the welfare
regs?... are translated into over two dozen languages! What the Hell
happened to being an American? ...in AMERICA?!!

nb
Jack Denver
2008-08-04 19:17:08 UTC
Permalink
"notbob" <***@nothome.com> wrote in message
news:***@bb.nothome.com...
> On 2008-08-04, bernie <***@zianet.com> wrote:
> Anyone who thinks the majority of illegal immigrants want to be
> assimilated
> into the American culture is living in a fantasy world. Check out the
> agenda of La Raza. Lest anyone think I'm some kind of racist, my SIL is
> American born Mexican and my two granddaughters are half Mexican. My
> father's 3rd wife is a native Mexican and naturalized Amercian. Boy, no
> one
> hates illegals more than her!
>

They won't be 100% assimilated (the first generation never is) but their
children and grandchildren will - are your granddaughters members of La Raza
or just typical American kids with typical American kid interests? Do they
listen to mariachi or to rap?

American popular culture is tremendously powerful and kids always rebel
against their parents interests anyway - "thos La Raza rallies - they are so
boooring. Can't we have hamburgers - I am so sick of pozole, etc.". Most
Mexicans came here to get AWAY from the Mexican government and its
oppression and inefficiecy - the last thing they want to do is end up back
in Mexican territory. Don't mistake the actions of a few loudmouths for the
the real feeling of a community. Many thousands of young Americans of
Mexican descent have proven their loyalty by serving with the US armed
forces and many of those have given their lives and limbs in service of
THEIR country, and by their country I mean the US and not Mexico.
notbob
2008-08-04 19:46:17 UTC
Permalink
On 2008-08-04, Jack Denver <***@netscape.net> wrote:

> THEIR country, and by their country I mean the US and not Mexico.

Tell it to my 5 yr old GD who had to be removed from one kindergarten class
to another because of the 5 yr old Mexican child who was threatening her with
gang violence because she doesn't speak Spanish.

"THEIR country", as in reclaiming it from anglos who stole it from them three
hundred years ago. Near as I can tell, they're well ahead of schedule.

nb
lockjaw
2008-08-04 20:11:38 UTC
Permalink
mexifornia.

jack / izzy is from PA
Dee Dee
2008-08-04 20:37:51 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 4, 2:27 pm, notbob <***@nothome.com> wrote:
 What the Hell
> happened to being an American? ...in AMERICA?!!  
>
> nb


I heard Geraldo R. the other night call a Caucasian guy a 'gringo.'
Only Geraldo could get by with this --

FWIW, gringo is a disparaging word. Even alleged felons are called
'gentlemen' here in the U.S. ;-))

Good Lord, yes, what the hell did happen to America?

Dee Dee
White Spirit
2008-08-05 00:24:01 UTC
Permalink
bernie wrote:

> Can you reference for me an example of a union effort by illegal
> Mexican workers? I find it hard, hard, hard to believe that illegals
> would pop their heads up in a unionization drive.

I agree. They're too busy taking your jobs to want to risk them in such
an uprising. After all, there are plenty more workers ready to fill
jobs where they came from.

> I can just see the
> headlines, "Illegal Migrant Workers Unite". Don't think so. But, hell,
> I' ve been wrong on many an occasion. As far as them being more
> desperate, I don't think so either. How does one measure or track that
> sort of thing? Mexicans have been crossing the border less than 30
> miles from my house for as long as there has been a border.

I hope you have a good burglar alarm.

> It ebbs
> and flows depending on how corrupt the Mexican government is at the
> time.

Doesn't how corrupt your government is also have something to do with it?


> I would be interested in seeing stats on the proportionality of
> illegals over the years. I would surmise the number is steady, but
> that our economy and population have grown a huge amount in the past
> 50 years so 15 million illegals may not be more per capita than ever.

Just wait until they outbreed you.

> All that aside, here is what I find interesting and telling about
> this discussion. I live where there are tons of illegals. I don't see
> any Americans asking to work in the fields. Ever. I know producers of
> cotton, chili, cabbage, onions and milk who will tell you candidly and
> openly that they could not survive without these illegals.

Plutocracy. Let the terminally unemployed and the prison population
work those fields - forcibly. That would solve the problem without the
voice of the American people being drowned out by whining Mexicans.

> They are
> doing work nobody else will do. Yet! Yet! That set of facts and that
> reality is dismissed as not relevant.

It isn't relevant if the underlying system is inherently corrupt.
Something could be done, but your government doesn't have the cajonas to
do it.

> No matter what one says about
> the truth of what is happening and no matter what I see every day it
> has zero impact on those holding an opinion regarding illegal aliens
> based on little or no knowledge of these people.

They are there illegally. They should be deported. Are you so
desperate to see your country overrun?

> I find it amusing
> that when told that there are jobs to be had and operators are
> desparate to hire workers that those opposed to these people just
> gloss over the facts.

Why should you suffer the negative effects of illegal immigration,
particularly when the end result is so that a company can turn a profit?
The role of a nation should be to protect its own people first and
foremost. To hell with anyone else.

> Screw the facts. Lets make up our own. That way
> we can all be secure that our own prejudices and fears are not
> confronted by facts. God forbid reality should interfere with what we
> want to believe.

On the other hand, let's just believe that these companies are not
motivated by greed and don't care one iota for the effect on your
country of prolonged illegal immigration. Already, there are parts of
the United States where it is a disadvantage not to speak Spanish
because of their influxion. Where is the fairness in that? Why don't
you have any pride in your nation?

> All I can do is smile when folks try and tell me what
> a bad, bad situation all those illegals have created. Maybe in your
> world they have, but in the world I live in they keep the dairy
> industry afloat as well as the onion, cabbage, cotton and chili.

The United States has one of the most protectionist economies worldwide
- and rightly so. These companies really don't need Mexican workers -
they just want more profit.
Steve
2008-08-03 18:47:31 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 03 Aug 2008 18:01:39 GMT, notbob <***@nothome.com> wrote:

>On 2008-08-03, Steve <***@privacy.net> wrote:
>
>> One thing the unions have done that is positive: many companies, in
>> order to stay non-union, pay their employees substantially over union
>> wages and provide better benefits.
>
>What fantasy universe are you living in?

I could list for you the companies that do this, but Google would be
quicker.
notbob
2008-08-03 20:41:32 UTC
Permalink
On 2008-08-03, Steve <***@privacy.net> wrote:

> I could list for you the companies that do this, but Google would be
> quicker.

Yes, I worked for one for 12 yrs. Fortune 500 hi-tech, Silicon Valley, and
all that. Guess what happened when the bottom started dropping out. Co-pay
on medical increased despite the fact the policy didn't. New hires were
forced to sign binding arbitration agreements. Lobbyists got state law
changed to reduce overtime pay. Increased layoff of older more experience
ppl to hire cheaper less experienced ppl. More temps, with absolutely no
legal rights, used, more often than not breaking state law on their terms of
employment. Work farmed out to illegal sweat shops, etc.

I could go on, but those in denial are not going to change their minds.

nb
bernie
2008-08-06 12:29:45 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 3, 9:29 am, "alan" <***@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> And now the workforce needs no protection? All of a sudden the US has
> become a worker's paradise? All of a sudden corporations have become
> enlightened, socially conscious, and responsible entitities which wouldn't
> dream of taking advantage of its workers? Please explain what differences
> you see between now and when "unions had their day".
> Said the burglar to the homeowner: "Hey, come on, guy --- things are
> different now ---- you can take that lock off your door."
>
> >

Noticed this in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier this a.m. I
don't see where the actual child-labor violations are listed. But, it
does bolster Alan and NBs contention that corporations bear watching.
Something I'd agree with to a point.
http://www.wcfcourier.com/articles/2008/08/06/news/top_story/doc489985a030879846884168.txt
The violations may be minor such as letting a 17 year old drive the
exact tractor that he drives on his family farm. In any case, this
even in PostVille has turned into quite the story for immigration as
well as union issues. I'm trying to keep an open mind.
Bernie
Dee Dee
2008-08-06 12:54:19 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 6, 8:29 am, bernie <***@zianet.com> wrote:

I'm trying to keep an open mind.
> Bernie


I always wonder, "What's the real story here."
Dee Dee
bernie
2008-08-06 15:35:15 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 6, 6:54 am, Dee Dee <***@shentel.net> wrote:
> On Aug 6, 8:29 am, bernie <***@zianet.com> wrote:
>
> I'm trying to keep an open mind.
>
> > Bernie
>
> I always wonder, "What's the real story here."
> Dee Dee



No, really. I am trying to keep an open mind. )
Bernie
Matt
2008-08-03 03:25:28 UTC
Permalink
alan wrote:
>
> "Matt" <***@matt.mat> wrote in message

>
>> Hopefully these states will avoid the "Michigan disease" for a while.
>> Sadly, Obama will turn all states into Michigan.
>
> And what's the "Michigan disease"? Is that the disease characterized by
> unbridled corporate greed combined with poor management?

Big taxes, big government programs, big pro-union mentality, big
anti-manufacturing and anti-business attitudes.

>>
>> The 19th century idea of striking a despotic corporation will certainly
>> be tried again under Obama, and we will quickly learn how uncompetitive
>> we are with the rest of the world, as factories close.
>>
>> The politics will then become, buy American (and get an overpriced
>> Ford), or buy some quality product overseas and risk vandalism from
>> union hacks. Finally Obama will impose Soviet-style import restrictions
>> (under the John-Edwards' guise of raising "standards" in China, Japan,
>> India, etc.), and we'll end up with the 21st-century versions of the GAZ
>> and Volga.
>
> Oh my god, unionization is just that first step into a Soviet-style
> economy, isn't it? Everyone knows that unions are just fronts for a
> worldwide communist conspiracy bent on the destruction of the US
> economy, don't they? Bring in the Pinkertons, boys, and let's crush
> what's left of those pesky unions!
>
> From the 1950's thru the 1970's, the US economy was unquestionably in
> the best shape it had ever been in that century. Coinicidentally, that
> same period shows the highest rates of union membership. Do you suppose
> there might be a correlation?

None at all. The U.S was the "last man standing" after the war. It
could (and did) produce crap, and the world with no alternatives bought
it all. Throw in management stupidity and union greed, and the US was
still the only game in town.

Today there is plenty of competition from lean and capable nations that
will NOT be paying 100k$/worker/year in employee costs, and will NOT be
paying the "obscene profit taxes" and "global warming/carbon" taxes
that'll face post-Obama U.S.

Unlike 50 years ago, that camel has today a weak back; yet we presume it
to be robust and able to carry all sorts of excess baggage (i.e. a new
wave of unionization too)


>>
>> This is too bad, as Starbucks has recently had a quality surge and meets
>> a real need in many parts of this (US) country.
>
> The "need" for a double venti caramel latte liquid candy bar is a "real
> need"? You're joking, aren't you?

In a free market, wants and needs are determined by choice within the
market. Yes.... needs. But in this case, the future market may provide
reduced choice, and only in select (right to work) areas.

And as your comment illustrates, when we get Obama, national health
care, and the Michigan disease, WE can mandate the elimination of double
venti caramel latte liquid candy bars as being "contrary to the
interests of the State". If the state is paying for their health care,
why would it allow citizens to eat anything other than approved foods?
Steve
2008-08-03 03:40:37 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 02 Aug 2008 23:25:28 -0400, Matt <***@matt.mat wrote:

>The U.S was the "last man standing" after the war. It
>could (and did) produce crap, and the world with no alternatives bought
>it all.

I disagree with that premise.
I think and believe that we made excellent products during the time
you're referring to, in fact, cars from those days are still running,
my Mom's refrigerators was in the house as long as I was, ditto the
water heater, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer, and the stereo and
television.
I'd venture that most of here haven't found that level of quality in
any product regardless of provenance since.
lockjaw
2008-08-03 05:04:42 UTC
Permalink
found that level of quality in
> any product regardless of provenance since.

who makes you the authority, virtual boy?

why, you are not even "real"
notbob
2008-08-03 18:19:56 UTC
Permalink
On 2008-08-03, Steve <***@privacy.net> wrote:

> I disagree with that premise.
> I think and believe that we made excellent products during the time
> you're referring to, in fact, cars from those days are still running,
> my Mom's refrigerators was in the house as long as I was, ditto the
> water heater, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer, and the stereo and
> television.
> I'd venture that most of here haven't found that level of quality in
> any product regardless of provenance since.

I have to agree. I remember it said by hard core Harley-Davidson fanatics,
"Show me a Honda running 20 yrs from now". Well, I can show you a few, but
very few. There's a lot more old Ford trucks running than old Toyatas and a
lot more old Chevies running than old Hondas (and I love Honda). Same with
refrigerators. When I moved, I tossed one that was over 35 yrs old and
still running. What's more, I knew of at least 4 others just like it in
homes or garages in my neighborhood. I sold a 50 yr old stereo system that
still provides better fidelity than any of the crap sold today. One of the
most popular cars in China is Buick! Lot of them where I live with 200-300K
miles on 'em.

No, before the bean counters sold us out to the bottom line, the US made
some of the finest products on this planet.

nb ...who drives a stock '91 6cyl Ford van that gets 22-25mpg!
Brian Colwell
2008-08-03 21:38:05 UTC
Permalink
"notbob" <***@nothome.com> wrote in message
news:***@bb.nothome.com...
> On 2008-08-03, Steve <***@privacy.net> wrote:
>
>> I disagree with that premise.
>> I think and believe that we made excellent products during the time
>> you're referring to, in fact, cars from those days are still running,
>> my Mom's refrigerators was in the house as long as I was, ditto the
>> water heater, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer, and the stereo and
>> television.
>> I'd venture that most of here haven't found that level of quality in
>> any product regardless of provenance since.
>
> I have to agree. I remember it said by hard core Harley-Davidson
> fanatics,
> "Show me a Honda running 20 yrs from now". Well, I can show you a few,
> but
> very few. There's a lot more old Ford trucks running than old Toyatas and
> a
> lot more old Chevies running than old Hondas (and I love Honda). Same
> with
> refrigerators. When I moved, I tossed one that was over 35 yrs old and
> still running. What's more, I knew of at least 4 others just like it in
> homes or garages in my neighborhood. I sold a 50 yr old stereo system
> that
> still provides better fidelity than any of the crap sold today. One of
> the
> most popular cars in China is Buick! Lot of them where I live with
> 200-300K
> miles on 'em.
>
> No, before the bean counters sold us out to the bottom line, the US made
> some of the finest products on this planet.
>
> nb ...who drives a stock '91 6cyl Ford van that gets 22-25mpg!

If you want to check the longevity of US autos of that period, take a look
at Cuba !

bmc
notbob
2008-08-03 22:23:27 UTC
Permalink
On 2008-08-03, Brian Colwell <***@shaw.ca> wrote:

> If you want to check the longevity of US autos of that period, take a look
> at Cuba !

Or any hotrod show

nb
Jack Denver
2008-08-03 11:52:41 UTC
Permalink
"Matt" <***@matt.mat> wrote in message
news:g738k3$oep$***@registered.motzarella.org...
> alan wrote:
> And as your comment illustrates, when we get Obama, national health
> care, and the Michigan disease, WE can mandate the elimination of double
> venti caramel latte liquid candy bars as being "contrary to the
> interests of the State". If the state is paying for their health care,
> why would it allow citizens to eat anything other than approved foods?


This is already happening - not only has California recently banned
trans-fat, but recently LA zoned the ghetto areas (only) in such a way that
construction of new fast food restaurants is banned - as you say, the gov is
(even without national health ins) already paying for the health care of
the poor , so it becomes an economically rational "business decision" to do
so. Cigarettes, high fructose corn syrup, sugary drinks, trans fats, fried
foods - ban them all and think of how much $ the gov. will save once it is
paying for all our health care. National health ins. will be an unimaginably
expensive program so there will soon be pressure for ways to cut costs.
Besides, the moral arbiters will tell you, places likes Starbucks and
McDonalds are not "needed" - its customers appear to be voluntarily parting
with their money, but in fact are brainwashing victims. Henceforth, we will
all be better off drinking only unsweetened organic cruelty free soy milk
and tofu burgers produced by union labor. The world will be a better place
once this happens - this will be a change we can believe in. You can already
see which way this is going. Psst - wanna buy a donut?
alan
2008-08-03 15:31:00 UTC
Permalink
"Jack Denver" <***@netscape.net> wrote in message
news:***@comcast.com...
>
> "Matt" <***@matt.mat> wrote in message
> news:g738k3$oep$***@registered.motzarella.org...
>> alan wrote:
>> And as your comment illustrates, when we get Obama, national health
>> care, and the Michigan disease, WE can mandate the elimination of double
>> venti caramel latte liquid candy bars as being "contrary to the
>> interests of the State". If the state is paying for their health care,
>> why would it allow citizens to eat anything other than approved foods?
>
>
> This is already happening - not only has California recently banned
> trans-fat, but recently LA zoned the ghetto areas (only) in such a way
> that construction of new fast food restaurants is banned - as you say, the
> gov is (even without national health ins) already paying for the health
> care of the poor , so it becomes an economically rational "business
> decision" to do so. Cigarettes, high fructose corn syrup, sugary drinks,
> trans fats, fried foods - ban them all and think of how much $ the gov.
> will save once it is paying for all our health care. National health ins.
> will be an unimaginably expensive program so there will soon be pressure
> for ways to cut costs. Besides, the moral arbiters will tell you, places
> likes Starbucks and McDonalds are not "needed" - its customers appear to
> be voluntarily parting with their money, but in fact are brainwashing
> victims. Henceforth, we will all be better off drinking only unsweetened
> organic cruelty free soy milk and tofu burgers produced by union labor.
> The world will be a better place once this happens - this will be a change
> we can believe in. You can already see which way this is going. Psst -
> wanna buy a donut?

Leave it to Jack to pick up Matt's reductio ad absurdum and run with it...
alan
2008-08-03 15:30:12 UTC
Permalink
"Matt" <***@matt.mat> wrote in message
news:g738k3$oep$***@registered.motzarella.org...
> alan wrote:
>>
>> "Matt" <***@matt.mat> wrote in message
>
>>
>>> Hopefully these states will avoid the "Michigan disease" for a while.
>>> Sadly, Obama will turn all states into Michigan.
>>
>> And what's the "Michigan disease"? Is that the disease characterized by
>> unbridled corporate greed combined with poor management?
>
> Big taxes, big government programs, big pro-union mentality, big
> anti-manufacturing and anti-business attitudes.
>
>>>
>>> The 19th century idea of striking a despotic corporation will certainly
>>> be tried again under Obama, and we will quickly learn how uncompetitive
>>> we are with the rest of the world, as factories close.
>>>
>>> The politics will then become, buy American (and get an overpriced
>>> Ford), or buy some quality product overseas and risk vandalism from
>>> union hacks. Finally Obama will impose Soviet-style import restrictions
>>> (under the John-Edwards' guise of raising "standards" in China, Japan,
>>> India, etc.), and we'll end up with the 21st-century versions of the GAZ
>>> and Volga.
>>
>> Oh my god, unionization is just that first step into a Soviet-style
>> economy, isn't it? Everyone knows that unions are just fronts for a
>> worldwide communist conspiracy bent on the destruction of the US
>> economy, don't they? Bring in the Pinkertons, boys, and let's crush
>> what's left of those pesky unions!
>>
>> From the 1950's thru the 1970's, the US economy was unquestionably in
>> the best shape it had ever been in that century. Coinicidentally, that
>> same period shows the highest rates of union membership. Do you suppose
>> there might be a correlation?
>
> None at all. The U.S was the "last man standing" after the war. It
> could (and did) produce crap, and the world with no alternatives bought
> it all. Throw in management stupidity and union greed, and the US was
> still the only game in town.

Sorry, that's just plain bullshit --- goods produced in the US during that
time period (50's thru 70's) were of the highest quality. Any assertion to
the contrary is patently absurd.

> Today there is plenty of competition from lean and capable nations that
> will NOT be paying 100k$/worker/year in employee costs, and will NOT be
> paying the "obscene profit taxes" and "global warming/carbon" taxes
> that'll face post-Obama U.S.
>
> Unlike 50 years ago, that camel has today a weak back; yet we presume it
> to be robust and able to carry all sorts of excess baggage (i.e. a new
> wave of unionization too)
>
>
>>>
>>> This is too bad, as Starbucks has recently had a quality surge and meets
>>> a real need in many parts of this (US) country.
>>
>> The "need" for a double venti caramel latte liquid candy bar is a "real
>> need"? You're joking, aren't you?
>
> In a free market, wants and needs are determined by choice within the
> market. Yes.... needs. But in this case, the future market may provide
> reduced choice, and only in select (right to work) areas.
>
> And as your comment illustrates, when we get Obama, national health
> care, and the Michigan disease, WE can mandate the elimination of double
> venti caramel latte liquid candy bars as being "contrary to the
> interests of the State".

Gee, MY comment illustrates all THAT? I really don't recall having
mentioned Obama (why do folks keep sneaking his name in?), national health
care, or anything "contrary to the interests of the State" (I assume you're
quoting SOMEone). Please refresh my memory and point out which comments of
mine illustrate your reductio ad absurdum.

>If the state is paying for their health care,
> why would it allow citizens to eat anything other than approved foods?
lockjaw
2008-08-02 21:55:48 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 2, 2:10 pm, bernie <***@zianet.com> wrote:
> On Aug 2, 11:35 am, "alan" <***@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > "lockjaw" <***@gmail.com> wrote in message
>
> >news:f9483c20-07be-4d85-b150-***@m45g2000hsb.googlegroups.com...
>
> > > A ridiculous time!  with 600 locations closing.
>
> > > never fly.  Plus Starbucks treats its employees very well.
>
> > > and Jack / Izzy?  the problem with GM  etc. ain't the unions -- it is
> > > the idiotic management
>
> > You're absolutely correct.  And although any serious economic analysis comes
> > to the same conclusion, don't expect Jack to allow himself to be confused by
> > the facts . . .
>
>     BMW reported on Friday their profits this Q down 33%. Nissan
> reported Friday their quarterly profits down 48%. Along with Toyota
> and Honda auto sector profits are glum.
>
>    http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/TOP%20STORY/1799680/
>
>   I find it hard to believe that all these companies have "idiotic
> management". Maybe the worst economy in about 50 years has something
> to do with it. Even if they were all producing hybrids at 100% plant
> capacity it wouldn't do any good if folks can't buy a new car.
> Bernie

Well "folks" can buy new cars, they just don't want 12 mpg SUVs and
trucks -- VERY high profit margin vehicles! small cars, uh not so
much.
Bertie Doe
2008-08-03 13:06:53 UTC
Permalink
"bernie" wrote in message
>> "lockjaw" wrote in message
>> > A ridiculous time! with 600 locations closing.
>>
>> > never fly. Plus Starbucks treats its employees very well.
>>
>> > and Jack / Izzy? the problem with GM etc. ain't the unions -- it is
>> > the idiotic management
>
> BMW reported on Friday their profits this Q down 33%. Nissan
> reported Friday their quarterly profits down 48%. Along with Toyota
> and Honda auto sector profits are glum.
>
> I find it hard to believe that all these companies have "idiotic
> management". Maybe the worst economy in about 50 years has something
> to do with it. Even if they were all producing hybrids at 100% plant
> capacity it wouldn't do any good if folks can't buy a new car.
> Bernie

It's always been a tricky problem in the West, to try and balance the forces
of capitalism, socialism, free enterprise, trade-unionism and fair victim
compensation.

Not such a problem in the East. I watched a China documentary, part of which
centred around a poorly paid lawyer, who was trying to get compensation, for
a victim who lost his legs, in one of the numerous unofficial sweat-shops,
that are springing up, alongside the manufacturing boom. Needless to say, no
joy and if the victim's family don't feed him, he's in dire straits.

In the West, by contrast, litigation insurance fees, play a big part in
forcing manufacturing costs upwards. It's not just manufacturing; two
immediate members of my family, a surveyor and an accountant, are seeing 20%
year-on increases in litigation insurance fees, against a background
inflation rate, of about 5%. Yep, insurance and law firms, are the place to
be.

In the East, parents want their kids to do well at college and become
engineers, scientists etc and head into manufacturing. Back-up maybe
medicine, but the law trade and farming is a big no-no.

In the West, parents want their kids to go to law school. Those that fail in
law firms, have the more lucrative option, of going into politics, were they
will guarantee, to pass laws which favour their old chums in the legal
profession. The recent compensation case "Hot Coffee versus Genitalia" and
"Victim versus Wet Supermarket Floor" is just a taste of things to come.
They say 'practice makes perfect' and that's my rant over, but if the last
practicing lawyer in the West reads this : please remember to switch the
light off.

Bertie
lockjaw
2008-08-05 13:09:39 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 3, 9:06 am, "Bertie Doe" <***@ntl.com> wrote:
> "bernie" wrote in message
> >> "lockjaw"  wrote in message
> >> > A ridiculous time!  with 600 locations closing.
>
> >> > never fly.  Plus Starbucks treats its employees very well.
>
> >> > and Jack / Izzy?  the problem with GM  etc. ain't the unions -- it is
> >> > the idiotic management
>
> >    BMW reported on Friday their profits this Q down 33%. Nissan
> > reported Friday their quarterly profits down 48%. Along with Toyota
> > and Honda auto sector profits are glum.
>
> >  I find it hard to believe that all these companies have "idiotic
> > management". Maybe the worst economy in about 50 years has something
> > to do with it. Even if they were all producing hybrids at 100% plant
> > capacity it wouldn't do any good if folks can't buy a new car.
> > Bernie
>
> It's always been a tricky problem in the West, to try and balance the forces
> of capitalism, socialism, free enterprise, trade-unionism and fair victim
> compensation.
>
> Not such a problem in the East. I watched a China documentary, part of which
> centred around a poorly paid lawyer, who was trying to get compensation, for
> a victim who lost his legs, in one of the numerous unofficial sweat-shops,
> that are springing up, alongside the manufacturing boom. Needless to say, no
> joy and if the victim's family don't feed him, he's in dire straits.
>
> In the West, by contrast, litigation insurance fees, play a big part in
> forcing manufacturing costs upwards. It's not just manufacturing; two
> immediate members of my family, a surveyor and an accountant, are seeing 20%
> year-on increases in litigation insurance fees, against a background
> inflation rate, of about 5%. Yep, insurance and law firms, are the place to
> be.
>
> In the East, parents want their kids to do well at college and become
> engineers, scientists etc and head into manufacturing. Back-up maybe
> medicine, but the law trade and farming is a big no-no.
>
> In the West, parents want their kids to go to law school. Those that fail in
> law firms, have the more lucrative option, of going into politics, were they
> will guarantee, to pass laws which favour their old chums in the legal
> profession. The recent compensation case "Hot Coffee versus Genitalia" and
> "Victim versus Wet Supermarket Floor" is just a taste of things to come.
> They say 'practice makes perfect' and that's my rant over, but if the last
> practicing lawyer in the West reads this : please remember to switch the
> light off.
>
> Bertie

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers. "

W. Shakespeare, Henry VI part 2
Steve
2008-08-05 14:05:47 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 3 Aug 2008 14:06:53 +0100, "Bertie Doe"
<***@ntl.com> wrote:

>The recent compensation case "Hot Coffee versus Genitalia" and
>"Victim versus Wet Supermarket Floor" is just a taste of things to come.

I hate to throw cold water on a good rant, but the "Hot Coffee versus
Genitalia" case had a very small compensation award. The, IIRC, 4
million final award was 99% punitive. A very good argument could be
made that 4 million is not very punitive to a 69 billion dollar
company.

Insurance premiums are a factor of risk analysis. Insurance costs are
rising because the risk of loss is rising. That's because companies
are actually doing the things that they are being sued for and losing
their cases, not because trial lawyers have an in with the
politicians.
This suggests that the lawyers aren't the problem, but the businessman
is, doesn't it?
Dee Dee
2008-08-05 14:28:21 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 5, 10:05 am, Steve <***@privacy.net> wrote:

>...because companies
> are actually doing the things that they are being sued for and losing
> their cases, not because trial lawyers have an in with the
> politicians.
> This suggests that the lawyers aren't the problem, but the businessman
> is, doesn't it?


John Edwards,
Dee Dee
Bertie Doe
2008-08-05 17:44:08 UTC
Permalink
"Steve" <***@privacy.net> wrote in message
news:***@news.easynews.com...
> On Sun, 3 Aug 2008 14:06:53 +0100, "Bertie Doe"
> <***@ntl.com> wrote:
>
>>The recent compensation case "Hot Coffee versus Genitalia" and
>>"Victim versus Wet Supermarket Floor" is just a taste of things to come.
>
> I hate to throw cold water on a good rant, but the "Hot Coffee versus
> Genitalia" case had a very small compensation award. The, IIRC, 4
> million final award was 99% punitive. A very good argument could be
> made that 4 million is not very punitive to a 69 billion dollar
> company.

You're saying that the size of the compensation, awarded by the jury, should
be based on the wealth/share value of the business or businessman.So 2
customers suffer identical injuries/trauma. One sustains it in a Starbucks
and the other at 'Joses' Coffee Cart'. One gets a a 6 figure settlement, the
other is still trying to get the case off the ground. For some strange
reason, the lawyers who were crawling over the Starbucks victim, are too
busy to help.

> Insurance premiums are a factor of risk analysis. Insurance costs are
> rising because the risk of loss is rising. That's because companies
> are actually doing the things that they are being sued for and losing
> their cases, not because trial lawyers have an in with the
> politicians.
> This suggests that the lawyers aren't the problem, but the businessman
> is, doesn't it?

You're absolutely right, I retract everything, it's the businessmen to
blame, there are no victims and the lawyers and law-makers are just there
for the ride.

.
Steve
2008-08-05 19:25:15 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 5 Aug 2008 18:44:08 +0100, "Bertie Doe"
<***@ntl.com> wrote:

>
>"Steve" <***@privacy.net> wrote in message
>news:***@news.easynews.com...
>> On Sun, 3 Aug 2008 14:06:53 +0100, "Bertie Doe"
>> <***@ntl.com> wrote:
>>
>>>The recent compensation case "Hot Coffee versus Genitalia" and
>>>"Victim versus Wet Supermarket Floor" is just a taste of things to come.
>>
>> I hate to throw cold water on a good rant, but the "Hot Coffee versus
>> Genitalia" case had a very small compensation award. The, IIRC, 4
>> million final award was 99% punitive. A very good argument could be
>> made that 4 million is not very punitive to a 69 billion dollar
>> company.
>
>You're saying that the size of the compensation, awarded by the jury, should
>be based on the wealth/share value of the business or businessman.So 2
>customers suffer identical injuries/trauma. One sustains it in a Starbucks
>and the other at 'Joses' Coffee Cart'. One gets a a 6 figure settlement, the
>other is still trying to get the case off the ground. For some strange
>reason, the lawyers who were crawling over the Starbucks victim, are too
>busy to help.

I didn't make the theory up, it's the law.
Punitive damages are awarded to a plaintiff as both a punishment and
deterrent to the defendant.
Any punishment, (punitive damages), awarded against Jose would be
determined by Jose's "willful, reckless, malicious or wanton conduct".
If Jose made an unintentional booboo, instead of the crap McDonald's
pulled as in the case you cite, the plaintiff would not be awarded
punitive damages.
Compensatory damages would likely be roughly the same in each case.
Third degree burns have a cost of care roughly equal throughout the
U.S.. The wild card would be ancillary losses suffered by the
plaintiff.

>
>> Insurance premiums are a factor of risk analysis. Insurance costs are
>> rising because the risk of loss is rising. That's because companies
>> are actually doing the things that they are being sued for and losing
>> their cases, not because trial lawyers have an in with the
>> politicians.
>> This suggests that the lawyers aren't the problem, but the businessman
>> is, doesn't it?
>
>You're absolutely right, I retract everything, it's the businessmen to
>blame, there are no victims and the lawyers and law-makers are just there
>for the ride.

Well shucks, that seems like a pretty big jump from my premise.

Could we agree to this:
There were over 700 previous cases of scalding coffee incidents at
McDonalds before that case. McDonalds had settled the claims out of
court previously, but refused this particular plaintiff's request for
$20,000 in compensation for her third degree burns. McDonalds served
the coffee at 190 degrees. Doctors testified that it only takes 2-7
seconds to cause a third degree burn at 190 degrees. Although
McDonalds knew its coffee was exceptionally hot they testified that
they had never consulted with burn specialists. To McDonald's
embarrassment, the Shriner Burn Institute showed documentation that
SBI had previously warned McDonalds not to serve their coffee at 190
degrees. So the jury came back with $160,000 for compensatory damages,
not unreasonable for third degree burns, and because McDonalds was
found to be guilty of "willful, reckless, malicious or wanton conduct"
punitive damages were awarded.

Now, who is the bad guy here? The lawyers, the plaintiff, or the
company that ignored over 700 "warnings" and the opinion of a
well-respected burn clinic?
I'm just sayin'.
Bertie Doe
2008-08-05 20:20:46 UTC
Permalink
"Steve" wrote in message To McDonald's
> embarrassment, the Shriner Burn Institute showed documentation that
> SBI had previously warned McDonalds not to serve their coffee at 190
> degrees. So the jury came back with $160,000 for compensatory damages,
> not unreasonable for third degree burns, and because McDonalds was
> found to be guilty of "willful, reckless, malicious or wanton conduct"
> punitive damages were awarded.
>
> Now, who is the bad guy here? The lawyers, the plaintiff, or the
> company that ignored over 700 "warnings" and the opinion of a
> well-respected burn clinic?
> I'm just sayin'.

I'm not going to argue with a lawyer as to whether $160,000 is fair
compensation. Most lawyers are on a %age, so they'll argue there should be
another zero on the end. No doubt this landmark case will force Starbucks to
settle more claims out of court.

I guess the real victims are the customers, who pay thru' the cup. It may
also explain why Jose Coffee Cart produces a better cup. I guess his
overheads aren't quite so high.
Steve
2008-08-05 20:37:45 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 5 Aug 2008 21:20:46 +0100, "Bertie Doe"
<***@ntl.com> wrote:

>I guess the real victims are the customers, who pay thru' the cup.

That's the truth.
When insurance companies spread the load around, they really spread it
around.

In 1987 _my_ pediatrician, who had subsequently become my kid's
pediatrician, was retiring. He had just had enough.
He had never been sued, not just never lost a case, but never sued.
He was the author of a couple of books on child rearing.
He was on a State medical board.
He had practiced in the same town since before 1955.

His malpractice insurance, keeping the date and his record in mind,
was $160,000.00 per year. I almost fell out of the chair when he told
me that.
Dee Dee
2008-08-05 21:45:44 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 5, 4:37 pm, Steve <***@privacy.net> wrote:
> On Tue, 5 Aug 2008 21:20:46 +0100, "Bertie Doe"
>
> <***@ntl.com> wrote:
> >I guess the real victims are the customers, who pay thru' the cup.
>
> That's the truth.
> When insurance companies spread the load around, they really spread it
> around.
>
> In 1987 _my_ pediatrician, who had subsequently become my kid's
> pediatrician, was retiring. He had just had enough.
> He had never been sued, not just never lost a case, but never sued.
> He was the author of a couple of books on child rearing.
> He was on a State medical board.
> He had practiced in the same town since before 1955.
>
> His malpractice insurance, keeping the date and his record in mind,
> was $160,000.00 per year. I almost fell out of the chair when he told
> me that.


I wonder what doctors are making annually in order to pay this.

You are certainly correct according to this article:
http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/03/staten_island_doctors_join_ral.html

Dee Dee
Bertie Doe
2008-08-05 22:35:17 UTC
Permalink
"Steve" < wrote in message
> On Tue, 5 Aug 2008 21:20:46 +0100, "Bertie Doe"

>
>>I guess the real victims are the customers, who pay thru' the cup.
>
> That's the truth.
> When insurance companies spread the load around, they really spread it
> around.
>
> In 1987 _my_ pediatrician, who had subsequently become my kid's
> pediatrician, was retiring. He had just had enough.
> He had never been sued, not just never lost a case, but never sued.
> He was the author of a couple of books on child rearing.
> He was on a State medical board.
> He had practiced in the same town since before 1955.
>
> His malpractice insurance, keeping the date and his record in mind,
> was $160,000.00 per year. I almost fell out of the chair when he told
> me that.

Good grief!! and that was 20 years ago. Faced with the option of - working
himself to death or early retirement, he made the right choice. May explain
why a lot of youngsters are choosing veterinary careers, for the big bucks.
Barry Jarrett
2008-08-07 00:22:28 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 05 Aug 2008 19:25:15 GMT, Steve <***@privacy.net> wrote:

>McDonalds knew its coffee was exceptionally hot they testified that

except it wasn't exceptionally hot.
Bertie Doe
2008-08-07 10:39:46 UTC
Permalink
"Steve" wrote in message
> There were over 700 previous cases of scalding coffee incidents at
> McDonalds before that case. McDonalds had settled the claims out of
> court previously, but refused this particular plaintiff's request for
> $20,000 in compensation for her third degree burns. McDonalds served
> the coffee at 190 degrees. Doctors testified that it only takes 2-7
> seconds to cause a third degree burn at 190 degrees. Although
> McDonalds knew its coffee was exceptionally hot they testified that
> they had never consulted with burn specialists. To McDonald's
> embarrassment, the Shriner Burn Institute showed documentation that
> SBI had previously warned McDonalds not to serve their coffee at 190
> degrees. So the jury came back with $160,000 for compensatory damages,
> not unreasonable for third degree burns, and because McDonalds was
> found to be guilty of "wilful, reckless, malicious or wanton conduct"
> punitive damages were awarded.
>

"Barry Jarrett" wrote in message
> On Tue, 05 Aug 2008 19:25:15 GMT, Steve wrote:
>
> >McDonalds knew its coffee was exceptionally hot they testified that
>
> except it wasn't exceptionally hot.
>

Ok, let's say the compensation paid was fair, for 3rd degree burns and let's
assume Starbucks and McD's can take the financial heat.

Picture another scene : young, smart lawyer, keen DIYer, wife and 3 kids,
electrocutes himself while changing a part in his steam toy.

Assume jury finds manufacture and importer 100% to blame, what would the
size of the payout be?

The hike in Insurance premiums, plus the cost of making these machines 100%
safe, may push the cost of a domestic or prosumer machines, beyond our
reach. Maybe it's a good time now to upgrade and buy enough spares, to keep
them going for 20 years - whilst they're still affordable.

Bertie
Moka Java
2008-08-07 14:43:45 UTC
Permalink
Bertie Doe wrote:

>
> Picture another scene : young, smart lawyer, keen DIYer, wife and 3 kids,
> electrocutes himself while changing a part in his steam toy.
>
> Assume jury finds manufacture and importer 100% to blame, what would the
> size of the payout be?
>

Is that a real case? Do you know the results of other cases involving
tinkerers injured when modifying consumer appliances?
Bertie Doe
2008-08-07 15:14:36 UTC
Permalink
"Moka Java" <***@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:***@mid.individual.net...
> Bertie Doe wrote:
>
>>
>> Picture another scene : young, smart lawyer, keen DIYer, wife and 3 kids,
>> electrocutes himself while changing a part in his steam toy.
>>
>> Assume jury finds manufacture and importer 100% to blame, what would the
>> size of the payout be?
>>
>
> Is that a real case? Do you know the results of other cases involving
> tinkerers injured when modifying consumer appliances?

If I knew a case I would have linked. I used the words "picture the scene
.....and what would the size of the payout be"

We know that water + amps + steel case + tinkering = death. Nowadays with
the cost of shipping, some alties will buy the replacement part and be
'talked thru' (been there) with the agent. Non alties may not be aware of
this facility and forget to unplug.

The domestic machine user is a tiny fish in the Big Coffee pond. If there
was a huge litigation case in the future, this could have a huge impact on
the cost of appliances.
Jack Denver
2008-08-07 15:50:34 UTC
Permalink
"Bertie Doe" <***@ntl.com> wrote in message
news:***@mid.individual.net...
>
> "Moka Java" <***@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:***@mid.individual.net...
>> Bertie Doe wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> Picture another scene : young, smart lawyer, keen DIYer, wife and 3
>>> kids, electrocutes himself while changing a part in his steam toy.
>>>
>>> Assume jury finds manufacture and importer 100% to blame, what would the
>>> size of the payout be?
>>>
>>
>> Is that a real case? Do you know the results of other cases involving
>> tinkerers injured when modifying consumer appliances?
>
> If I knew a case I would have linked. I used the words "picture the scene
> .....and what would the size of the payout be"
>
> We know that water + amps + steel case + tinkering = death. Nowadays with
> the cost of shipping, some alties will buy the replacement part and be
> 'talked thru' (been there) with the agent. Non alties may not be aware of
> this facility and forget to unplug.
>
> The domestic machine user is a tiny fish in the Big Coffee pond. If there
> was a huge litigation case in the future, this could have a huge impact on
> the cost of appliances.


At least in the US, modern kitchen receptacles are all ground fault
protected - if the GFI sense any current leakage to ground (as might be
caused by tinkering on a live machine) then it flips off. Most states also
have concepts of contributory or comparative negligence - if the person
contributed to his injury by his own stupid actions (such as failing to
unplug) then the award is diminished or even eliminated. It is also
understood in the law that knives are sharp, steam is hot, etc. - it is not
a preventable defect if you cut yourself with a knife or stick your hand
under the stream of hot coffee, etc.

AFAIK, product liability insurance for espresso machine manufacturers is
still available at a reasonable cost - one could speculate on all kinds of
imaginary hypotheticals but reality is something else.

Accidents do happen in the blink of eye - the other day I knocked a thin
aluminum tray off the top of my toaster oven - it fell backwards toward the
wall and its edge landed in the crack between the plug and the wall, where
it created a nice short circuit between the two prongs (BTW, in the US, 3
prong outlets are supposed to be installed with the ground pin facing up to
help prevent such accidents, though that does nothing for 2 prong plugs
which are still permitted - the European continental outlet is recessed into
the wall to help prevent this). POW - a big arc and a bite of the tray was
vaporized. The massive overcurrent blew the breaker as it was supposed to
and all was well.


>
>
AZ Nomad
2008-08-07 16:52:17 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 7 Aug 2008 11:50:34 -0400, Jack Denver <***@netscape.net> wrote:

>At least in the US, modern kitchen receptacles are all ground fault
>protected - if the GFI sense any current leakage to ground (as might be
>caused by tinkering on a live machine) then it flips off. Most states also
>have concepts of contributory or comparative negligence - if the person

GFCIs only detects current flow from the main/neutral to ground.

If you put yourself in the circuit between main and neutral, the GFCI has
no way of telling the difference between the current flowing through you
and normal appliance power consumption other than the fact that you have much
higher resistance and that 5 milliamps will kill you.
Dee Dee
2008-08-07 16:58:46 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 7, 12:52 pm, AZ Nomad <***@PremoveOBthisOX.COM> wrote:
> On Thu, 7 Aug 2008 11:50:34 -0400, Jack Denver <***@netscape.net> wrote:
> >At least in the US,  modern kitchen receptacles are all ground fault
> >protected - if the GFI sense any current leakage to ground (as might be
> >caused by tinkering on a live machine) then it flips off.  Most states also
> >have concepts of contributory or comparative negligence - if the person
>
> GFCIs only detects current flow from the main/neutral to ground.
>
> If you put yourself in the circuit between main and neutral, the GFCI has
> no way of telling the difference between the current flowing through you
> and normal appliance power consumption other than the fact that you have much
> higher resistance and that 5 milliamps will kill you.


Whut! How do I avoid being killed. The kitchen and bathrooms have
these extra sensing 'thingies.'

Dee Dee
lockjaw
2008-08-07 17:07:33 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 7, 12:52 pm, AZ Nomad <***@PremoveOBthisOX.COM> wrote:
> On Thu, 7 Aug 2008 11:50:34 -0400, Jack Denver <***@netscape.net> wrote:
> > HERE COMES THE LEGALESE:  Most states also
> >have concepts of contributory or comparative negligence - if the person

> GFCIs only detects current flow from the main/neutral to ground.
>
> If you put yourself in the circuit between main and neutral, the GFCI has
> no way of telling the difference between the current flowing through you
> and normal appliance power consumption other than the fact that you have much
> higher resistance and that 5 milliamps will kill you.

BULLSHIT ALERT!!

A GFI senses any difference (loss) between the current entering the
hot and leaving the neutral. a ground (equipment ground) DOES NOT
need to be present.

from consumer product safety commish:

"In the home's wiring system, the GFCI constantly monitors electricity
flowing in a circuit, to sense any loss of current. If the current
flowing through the circuit differs by a small amount from that
returning, the GFCI quickly switches off power to that circuit. The
GFCI interrupts power faster than a blink of an eye to prevent a
lethal dose of electricity. You may receive a painful shock, but you
should not be electrocuted or receive a serious shock injury.

Here's how it may work in your house.. Suppose a bare wire inside an
appliance touches the metal case. The case is then charged with
electricity. If you touch the appliance with one hand while the other
hand is touching a grounded metal object, like a water faucet, you
will receive a shock. If the appliance is plugged into an outlet
protected by a GFCI, the power will be shut off before a fatal shock
would occur. "

or if you do like jack / izzy and have the plug hanging half outta the
wall? and SHORT hot to neutral? any old CB will trip, no GFI needed.


End bullshit alert.
Jack Denver
2008-08-07 17:30:03 UTC
Permalink
"AZ Nomad" <***@PremoveOBthisOX.COM> wrote in message
news:***@ip70-176-155-130.ph.ph.cox.net...
> On Thu, 7 Aug 2008 11:50:34 -0400, Jack Denver <***@netscape.net>
> wrote:
>
>>At least in the US, modern kitchen receptacles are all ground fault
>>protected - if the GFI sense any current leakage to ground (as might be
>>caused by tinkering on a live machine) then it flips off. Most states
>>also
>>have concepts of contributory or comparative negligence - if the person
>
> GFCIs only detects current flow from the main/neutral to ground.
>
> If you put yourself in the circuit between main and neutral, the GFCI has
> no way of telling the difference between the current flowing through you
> and normal appliance power consumption other than the fact that you have
> much
> higher resistance and that 5 milliamps will kill you.

I don't know if you've noticed, but people are not falling like flies due to
electrocution from their small appliances - in order for 5 ma to kill you in
the way you describe it would have to go thru your heart and interrupt the
beat just so. So you would have hold the neutral line (and ONLY the neutral
line) in one hand and the hot in the other. And even then, there might be
enough leakage to ground (in addition to the path going from one arm to the
other thru your heart ) to trip the GFCI - the GFCI's are very sensitive and
even a few ma of leakage will trip them off. You'd have to be wearing
rubber sneakers so that the rest of your body was insulated from ground and
the ONLY path was thru the neutral wire. While it is not impossible to be
that stupid, it's not easy either. Total US deaths from electrocution are
around 400/ year from ALL causes (this would include electric co. linemen,
workers in factories, etc. - only a small % of the 400 would be from contact
with appliances in the home). Compare that with 40,000 deaths/yr from
automobile accidents - you are 100 times more likely to die in your car than
be electrocuted. People are afraid to crack open their toaster because of
bogus warnings like yours, but they are probably at greater risk if they
drive to the store to buy a new one. This is not to say that you should not
take proper precautions around electricity (unplugging the appliance before
working on it being precaution #1 which cuts your risk from very small to
almost zero), but some of the warnings (5 MA will kill you!) I think are
fear mongering by people (e.g. electricians) who fear a loss of business
more than they really fear for your life.
AZ Nomad
2008-08-07 17:39:59 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 7 Aug 2008 13:30:03 -0400, Jack Denver <***@netscape.net> wrote:
>I don't know if you've noticed, but people are not falling like flies due to
>electrocution from their small appliances - in order for 5 ma to kill you in
>the way you describe it would have to go thru your heart and interrupt the

Don't be dense. People don't open their appliances and get inside
them wet.

If you have current flow between you and an appliance, be assured that there
will be current flow to the ground.
lockjaw
2008-08-07 18:47:06 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 7, 1:39 pm, AZ Nomad <***@PremoveOBthisOX.COM> wrote:
> On Thu, 7 Aug 2008 13:30:03 -0400, Jack Denver <***@netscape.net> wrote:
> >I don't know if you've noticed, but people are not falling like flies due to
> >electrocution from their small appliances - in order for 5 ma to kill you in
> >the way you describe it would have to go thru your heart and interrupt the
>
> Don't be dense.  People don't open their appliances and get inside
> them wet.
>
> If you have current flow between you and an appliance, be assured that there
> will be current flow to the ground.

not really. but what do you know about electrical theory 'nomad'
Jack Denver
2008-08-07 20:11:01 UTC
Permalink
"AZ Nomad" <***@PremoveOBthisOX.COM> wrote in message
news:***@ip70-176-155-130.ph.ph.cox.net...
> On Thu, 7 Aug 2008 13:30:03 -0400, Jack Denver <***@netscape.net>
> wrote:
>>I don't know if you've noticed, but people are not falling like flies due
>>to
>>electrocution from their small appliances - in order for 5 ma to kill you
>>in
>>the way you describe it would have to go thru your heart and interrupt the
>
> Don't be dense. People don't open their appliances and get inside
> them wet.
>
> If you have current flow between you and an appliance, be assured that
> there
> will be current flow to the ground.

I'm confused - I though you said that you could avoid tripping the GFCI and
kill yourself as long as the all the return current flowed back to the
neutral line, but now you are saying that it's impossible because there's
always flow to ground.

Also what you are saying is not true - electricans often work on hot
circuits. They take precautions to assure that they are NOT grounded
(rubber boots, etc.) and keep one hand in their pocket. As long as they do
this they are like the birds that sit on high tension lines - as long as
there is no way to complete the circuit you can contact a live circuit and
nothing will happen - it's the same as if you connect a light bulb to one
terminal of a battery.
AZ Nomad
2008-08-07 21:37:25 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 7 Aug 2008 16:11:01 -0400, Jack Denver <***@netscape.net> wrote:

>"AZ Nomad" <***@PremoveOBthisOX.COM> wrote in message
>news:***@ip70-176-155-130.ph.ph.cox.net...
>> On Thu, 7 Aug 2008 13:30:03 -0400, Jack Denver <***@netscape.net>
>> wrote:
>>>I don't know if you've noticed, but people are not falling like flies due
>>>to
>>>electrocution from their small appliances - in order for 5 ma to kill you
>>>in
>>>the way you describe it would have to go thru your heart and interrupt the
>>
>> Don't be dense. People don't open their appliances and get inside
>> them wet.
>>
>> If you have current flow between you and an appliance, be assured that
>> there
>> will be current flow to the ground.

>I'm confused - I though you said that you could avoid tripping the GFCI and
>kill yourself as long as the all the return current flowed back to the
>neutral line, but now you are saying that it's impossible because there's
>always flow to ground.

I was refering to the previous post about working inside a live appliance
and the faulty premise that a GFCI would protect you.

If the appliance isn't open, there's little chance of getting a current flow
to a person without involving the ground.
lockjaw
2008-08-07 21:27:56 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 7, 1:39 pm, AZ Nomad <***@PremoveOBthisOX.COM> wrote:
> On Thu, 7 Aug 2008 13:30:03 -0400, Jack Denver <***@netscape.net> wrote:
> >I don't know if you've noticed, but people are not falling like flies due to
> >electrocution from their small appliances - in order for 5 ma to kill you in
> >the way you describe it would have to go thru your heart and interrupt the
>
> Don't be dense.  People don't open their appliances and get inside
> them wet.
>
> If you have current flow between you and an appliance, be assured that there
> will be current flow to the ground.

IT IS obvious that "jack" has no fucking clue.

but for people who are experts on every topic? fairly typical.
lockjaw
2008-08-07 16:56:53 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 7, 11:50 am, "Jack Denver" <***@netscape.net> wrote:
> "Bertie Doe" <***@ntl.com> wrote in message
>
> news:***@mid.individual.net...
>
>
>
>
>
> > "Moka Java" <***@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> >news:***@mid.individual.net...
> >> Bertie Doe wrote:
>
> >>> Picture another scene : young, smart lawyer, keen DIYer, wife and 3
> >>> kids, electrocutes himself while changing a part in his steam toy.
>
> >>> Assume jury finds manufacture and importer 100% to blame, what would the
> >>> size of the payout be?
>
> >> Is that a real case?  Do you know the results of other cases involving
> >> tinkerers injured when modifying consumer appliances?
>
> > If I knew a case I would have linked. I used the words "picture the scene
> > .....and what would the size of the payout be"
>
> > We know that water + amps + steel case + tinkering = death. Nowadays with
> > the cost of shipping, some alties will buy the replacement part and be
> > 'talked thru' (been there) with the agent. Non alties may not be aware of
> > this facility and forget to unplug.
>
> > The domestic machine user is a tiny fish in the Big Coffee pond. If there
> > was a huge litigation case in the future, this could have a huge impact on
> > the cost of appliances.
>
> At least in the US,  modern kitchen receptacles are all ground fault
> protected - if the GFI sense any current leakage to ground (as might be
> caused by tinkering on a live machine) then it flips off.  Most states also
> have concepts of contributory or comparative negligence - if the person
> contributed to his injury by his own stupid actions (such as failing to
> unplug) then the award is diminished or even eliminated.  It is also
> understood in the law that knives are sharp, steam is hot, etc. - it is not
> a preventable defect if you cut yourself with a knife or stick your hand
> under the stream of hot coffee, etc.
>
> AFAIK, product liability insurance for espresso machine manufacturers is
> still available at a reasonable cost - one could speculate on all kinds of
> imaginary hypotheticals but reality is something else.
>
> Accidents do happen in the blink of eye - the other day I knocked a thin
> aluminum tray off the top of my toaster oven - it fell backwards toward the
> wall and its edge landed in the crack between the plug and the wall, where
> it created a nice short circuit between the two prongs (BTW, in the US, 3
> prong outlets are supposed to be installed with the ground pin facing up to
> help prevent such accidents, though that does nothing for 2 prong plugs
> which are still permitted - the European continental outlet is recessed into
> the wall to help prevent this).  POW - a big arc and a bite of the tray was
> vaporized. The massive overcurrent blew the breaker as it was supposed to
> and all was well.
>
>

JACK / IZZY LAWYER / BAKER / ELECTRICIAN
Craig Andrews
2008-08-07 17:06:04 UTC
Permalink
"Jack Denver" <***@netscape.net> wrote in message
news:***@comcast.com...
> At least in the US, modern kitchen receptacles are all ground fault
> protected - if the GFI sense any current leakage to ground (as might be
> caused by tinkering on a live machine) then it flips off. Most states
> also have concepts of contributory or comparative negligence - if the
> person contributed to his injury by his own stupid actions (such as
> failing to unplug) then the award is diminished or even eliminated. It is
> also understood in the law that knives are sharp, steam is hot, etc. - it
> is not a preventable defect if you cut yourself with a knife or stick your
> hand under the stream of hot coffee, etc.
>
> AFAIK, product liability insurance for espresso machine manufacturers is
> still available at a reasonable cost - one could speculate on all kinds of
> imaginary hypotheticals but reality is something else.
>
> Accidents do happen in the blink of eye - the other day I knocked a thin
> aluminum tray off the top of my toaster oven - it fell backwards toward
> the wall and its edge landed in the crack between the plug and the wall,
> where it created a nice short circuit between the two prongs (BTW, in the
> US, 3 prong outlets are supposed to be installed with the ground pin
> facing up to help prevent such accidents, though that does nothing for 2
> prong plugs which are still permitted - the European continental outlet is
> recessed into the wall to help prevent this). POW - a big arc and a bite
> of the tray was vaporized. The massive overcurrent blew the breaker as it
> was supposed to and all was well.
>

Jeess, your plug/s shouldn't BE hanging out of the wall outlet Jack!..
Craig.
Jack Denver
2008-08-07 17:36:28 UTC
Permalink
"Craig Andrews" <***@deletethis.rogers.com> wrote in message
news:***@mid.individual.net...
>
> "Jack Denver" <***@netscape.net> wrote in message
> news:***@comcast.com...
>> At least in the US, modern kitchen receptacles are all ground fault
>> protected - if the GFI sense any current leakage to ground (as might be
>> caused by tinkering on a live machine) then it flips off. Most states
>> also have concepts of contributory or comparative negligence - if the
>> person contributed to his injury by his own stupid actions (such as
>> failing to unplug) then the award is diminished or even eliminated. It
>> is also understood in the law that knives are sharp, steam is hot, etc. -
>> it is not a preventable defect if you cut yourself with a knife or stick
>> your hand under the stream of hot coffee, etc.
>>
>> AFAIK, product liability insurance for espresso machine manufacturers is
>> still available at a reasonable cost - one could speculate on all kinds
>> of imaginary hypotheticals but reality is something else.
>>
>> Accidents do happen in the blink of eye - the other day I knocked a thin
>> aluminum tray off the top of my toaster oven - it fell backwards toward
>> the wall and its edge landed in the crack between the plug and the wall,
>> where it created a nice short circuit between the two prongs (BTW, in the
>> US, 3 prong outlets are supposed to be installed with the ground pin
>> facing up to help prevent such accidents, though that does nothing for 2
>> prong plugs which are still permitted - the European continental outlet
>> is recessed into the wall to help prevent this). POW - a big arc and a
>> bite of the tray was vaporized. The massive overcurrent blew the breaker
>> as it was supposed to and all was well.
>>
>
> Jeess, your plug/s shouldn't BE hanging out of the wall outlet Jack!..
> Craig.
>
I don't know what you mean - the toaster was plugged in in the normal way -
tray fell from the back of the toaster, slid vertically along the wall and
landed with enough momentum to wedge itself between the plug and the
utlet - the tray was thin sheet metal and perfect for the job.
Craig Andrews
2008-08-07 18:06:08 UTC
Permalink
"Jack Denver" <***@netscape.net> wrote in message
news:***@comcast.com...
>
> "Craig Andrews" <***@deletethis.rogers.com> wrote in message
> news:***@mid.individual.net...
>>
>> "Jack Denver" <***@netscape.net> wrote in message
>> news:***@comcast.com...
>>> At least in the US, modern kitchen receptacles are all ground fault
>>> protected - if the GFI sense any current leakage to ground (as might be
>>> caused by tinkering on a live machine) then it flips off. Most states
>>> also have concepts of contributory or comparative negligence - if the
>>> person contributed to his injury by his own stupid actions (such as
>>> failing to unplug) then the award is diminished or even eliminated. It
>>> is also understood in the law that knives are sharp, steam is hot,
>>> etc. - it is not a preventable defect if you cut yourself with a knife
>>> or stick your hand under the stream of hot coffee, etc.
>>>
>>> AFAIK, product liability insurance for espresso machine manufacturers is
>>> still available at a reasonable cost - one could speculate on all kinds
>>> of imaginary hypotheticals but reality is something else.
>>>
>>> Accidents do happen in the blink of eye - the other day I knocked a thin
>>> aluminum tray off the top of my toaster oven - it fell backwards toward
>>> the wall and its edge landed in the crack between the plug and the wall,
>>> where it created a nice short circuit between the two prongs (BTW, in
>>> the US, 3 prong outlets are supposed to be installed with the ground pin
>>> facing up to help prevent such accidents, though that does nothing for 2
>>> prong plugs which are still permitted - the European continental outlet
>>> is recessed into the wall to help prevent this). POW - a big arc and a
>>> bite of the tray was vaporized. The massive overcurrent blew the breaker
>>> as it was supposed to and all was well.
>>>
>>
>> Jeess, your plug/s shouldn't BE hanging out of the wall outlet Jack!..
>> Craig.
>>
>
> I don't know what you mean - the toaster was plugged in in the normal
> way - tray fell from the back of the toaster, slid vertically along the
> wall and landed with enough momentum to wedge itself between the plug and
> the utlet - the tray was thin sheet metal and perfect for the job.

Hmmm, not the way I read it.. You said: "Accidents do happen in the blink of
eye - the other day I knocked a thin aluminum tray off the top of my toaster
oven - it fell backwards toward the wall and its edge " 'landed in the crack
between the plug and the wall' "

Whatever..
Craig.
lockjaw
2008-08-07 18:53:32 UTC
Permalink
On Aug 7, 2:06 pm, "Craig Andrews" <***@deletethis.rogers.com>
wrote:
> "Jack Denver" <***@netscape.net> wrote in message
>
> news:***@comcast.com...
>
>
>
>
>
> > "Craig Andrews" <***@deletethis.rogers.com> wrote in message
> >news:***@mid.individual.net...
>
> >> "Jack Denver" <***@netscape.net> wrote in message
> >>news:***@comcast.com...
> >>> At least in the US,  modern kitchen receptacles are all ground fault
> >>> protected - if the GFI sense any current leakage to ground (as might be
> >>> caused by tinkering on a live machine) then it flips off.  Most states
> >>> also have concepts of contributory or comparative negligence - if the
> >>> person contributed to his injury by his own stupid actions (such as
> >>> failing to unplug) then the award is diminished or even eliminated.  It
> >>> is also understood in the law that knives are sharp, steam is hot,
> >>> etc. - it is not a preventable defect if you cut yourself with a knife
> >>> or stick your hand under the stream of hot coffee, etc.
>
> >>> AFAIK, product liability insurance for espresso machine manufacturers is
> >>> still available at a reasonable cost - one could speculate on all kinds
> >>> of imaginary hypotheticals but reality is something else.
>
> >>> Accidents do happen in the blink of eye - the other day I knocked a thin
> >>> aluminum tray off the top of my toaster oven - it fell backwards toward
> >>> the wall and its edge landed in the crack between the plug and the wall,
> >>> where it created a nice short circuit between the two prongs (BTW, in
> >>> the US, 3 prong outlets are supposed to be installed with the ground pin
> >>> facing up to help prevent such accidents, though that does nothing for 2
> >>> prong plugs which are still permitted - the European continental outlet
> >>> is recessed into the wall to help prevent this).  POW - a big arc and a
> >>> bite of the tray was vaporized. The massive overcurrent blew the breaker
> >>> as it was supposed to and all was well.
>
> >> Jeess, your plug/s shouldn't BE hanging out of the wall outlet Jack!..
> >> Craig.
>
> > I don't know what you mean - the toaster was plugged in  in the normal
> > way - tray fell from the back of the toaster, slid vertically along the
> > wall and landed with enough momentum to wedge  itself between the plug and
> > the utlet  - the tray was thin sheet metal and perfect for the job.
>
> Hmmm, not the way I read it.. You said: "Accidents do happen in the blink of
> eye - the other day I knocked a thin aluminum tray off the top of my toaster
> oven - it fell backwards toward the wall and its edge " 'landed in the crack
> between the plug and the wall' "
>
> Whatever..
> Craig.

Craig I think jack/izzy is just too busy writing to really think.

perhaps he has not heard about the SIX soldiers electrocuted in Iraq
by shoddy electrical work in the showers!! -- on base!

an espresso machine presents some the very best conditions for lethal
shock of all appliances:

large metal surfaces
WATER
proximity to GROUNDED sinks, counters
A path from one hand through the chest out the other hand!

Its a good thing that not meny read the BS on this ng. it could be
dangerous.

and jack / izzy? plug in your appliances!

dave
Jack Denver
2008-08-07 19:59:58 UTC
Permalink
"Craig Andrews" <***@deletethis.rogers.com> wrote in message
news:***@mid.individual.net...
>
> "Jack Denver" <***@netscape.net> wrote in message
> news:***@comcast.com...
>>
>> "Craig Andrews" <***@deletethis.rogers.com> wrote in message
>> news:***@mid.individual.net...
>>>
>>> "Jack Denver" <***@netscape.net> wrote in message
>>> news:***@comcast.com...
>>>> At least in the US, modern kitchen receptacles are all ground fault
>>>> protected - if the GFI sense any current leakage to ground (as might be
>>>> caused by tinkering on a live machine) then it flips off. Most states
>>>> also have concepts of contributory or comparative negligence - if the
>>>> person contributed to his injury by his own stupid actions (such as
>>>> failing to unplug) then the award is diminished or even eliminated. It
>>>> is also understood in the law that knives are sharp, steam is hot,
>>>> etc. - it is not a preventable defect if you cut yourself with a knife
>>>> or stick your hand under the stream of hot coffee, etc.
>>>>
>>>> AFAIK, product liability insurance for espresso machine manufacturers
>>>> is still available at a reasonable cost - one could speculate on all
>>>> kinds of imaginary hypotheticals but reality is something else.
>>>>
>>>> Accidents do happen in the blink of eye - the other day I knocked a
>>>> thin aluminum tray off the top of my toaster oven - it fell backwards
>>>> toward the wall and its edge landed in the crack between the plug and
>>>> the wall, where it created a nice short circuit between the two prongs
>>>> (BTW, in the US, 3 prong outlets are supposed to be installed with the
>>>> ground pin facing up to help prevent such accidents, though that does
>>>> nothing for 2 prong plugs which are still permitted - the European
>>>> continental outlet is recessed into the wall to help prevent this).
>>>> POW - a big arc and a bite of the tray was vaporized. The massive
>>>> overcurrent blew the breaker as it was supposed to and all was well.
>>>>
>>>
>>> Jeess, your plug/s shouldn't BE hanging out of the wall outlet Jack!..
>>> Craig.
>>>
>>
>> I don't know what you mean - the toaster was plugged in in the normal
>> way - tray fell from the back of the toaster, slid vertically along the
>> wall and landed with enough momentum to wedge itself between the plug
>> and the utlet - the tray was thin sheet metal and perfect for the job.
>
> Hmmm, not the way I read it.. You said: "Accidents do happen in the blink
> of eye - the other day I knocked a thin aluminum tray off the top of my
> toaster oven - it fell backwards toward the wall and its edge " 'landed in
> the crack between the plug and the wall' "
>
> Whatever..
> Craig.

Well I'm glad that you knew what happened even though you were not there.
Unless you glue the plug to the outlet , in a US style plug even if you plug
the device in fully (and it not unusual for plugs to work their way out
slightly over time) there is always going to be a crack between the plug and
the wall big enough for a falling piece of sheet metal to wedge its way in.
The Europlug is recessed and avoids this. The US (at least in the old days)
used to get technology first so by the time others adopted a standard the
release 1.0 bugs could be removed, while we were stuck with 1.0 forever.

BTW, if you read the owners manual for most devices, it says to unplug the
device when not in use. This is probably good advice (though the wear and
tear on the cord and socket create their own risks) but I must admit I
never follow it in the case of frequently used permanently located
appliances like toasters.
Moka Java
2008-08-07 20:26:58 UTC
Permalink
Jack Denver wrote:
>
> Accidents do happen in the blink of eye - the other day I knocked a thin
> aluminum tray off the top of my toaster oven - it fell backwards toward
> the wall and its edge landed in the crack between the plug and the wall,
> where it created a nice short circuit between the two prongs (BTW, in
> the US, 3 prong outlets are supposed to be installed with the ground pin
> facing up to help prevent such accidents, though that does nothing for 2
> prong plugs which are still permitted - the European continental outlet
> is recessed into the wall to help prevent this). POW - a big arc and a
> bite of the tray was vaporized. The massive overcurrent blew the breaker
> as it was supposed to and all was well.
>

I assume an event like this would precipitate a change of underwear.
Jack Denver
2008-08-08 00:44:39 UTC
Permalink
"Moka Java" <***@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:***@mid.individual.net...
> Jack Denver wrote:
>>
>> Accidents do happen in the blink of eye - the other day I knocked a thin
>> aluminum tray off the top of my toaster oven - it fell backwards toward
>> the wall and its edge landed in the crack between the plug and the wall,
>> where it created a nice short circuit between the two prongs (BTW, in the
>> US, 3 prong outlets are supposed to be installed with the ground pin
>> facing up to help prevent such accidents, though that does nothing for 2
>> prong plugs which are still permitted - the European continental outlet
>> is recessed into the wall to help prevent this). POW - a big arc and a
>> bite of the tray was vaporized. The massive overcurrent blew the breaker
>> as it was supposed to and all was well.
>>
>
> I assume an event like this would precipitate a change of underwear.

Nowadays it would take more than some sparks to release my bladder quickly -
maybe in my younger days.
Steve
2008-08-08 15:25:52 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 7 Aug 2008 11:39:46 +0100, "Bertie Doe"
<***@ntl.com> wrote:

>Picture another scene : young, smart lawyer, keen DIYer, wife and 3 kids,
>electrocutes himself while changing a part in his steam toy.

Well, now you're just being silly.
No smart young attorney has time for DIY projects or a spouse.
I suppose, because you didn't specify their origin, three kids could
be possible, but that's another issue. ;-)

>Assume jury finds manufacture and importer 100% to blame, what would the
>size of the payout be?

This isn't going to happen.
Well, except maybe in Madison County, Ill..
If a person engages in an activity requiring special skill(s) the
standard by which his conduct is measured is that of a reasonably
skilled, competent, and experienced person who is a qualified member
of the group who engages in that activity. IOW, anyone who goofs
around with small appliance repair, whether qualified or not, is held
to the standards of conduct of those qualified to do so.
Barry Jarrett
2008-08-08 19:09:32 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 08 Aug 2008 15:25:52 GMT, Steve <***@privacy.net> wrote:

>This isn't going to happen.
>Well, except maybe in Madison County, Ill..


And even there, there is the beginning of a backlash against excessive
judgements and excessive attorneys.
Bertie Doe
2008-08-08 19:27:36 UTC
Permalink
"Barry Jarrett" < wrote in message
> On Fri, 08 Aug 2008 15:25:52 GMT, Steve wrote:
>
> >This isn't going to happen.
> >Well, except maybe in Madison County, Ill..
>
>
> And even there, there is the beginning of a backlash against excessive
> judgements and excessive attorneys.
>

I guess we can eliminate electrocution, as a method of thinning out
lawyers - thanks to Jack's GFCI's. Harrumph!!
Paul Vojta
2008-08-08 18:54:36 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@comcast.com>,
Jack Denver <***@netscape.net> wrote:
>At least in the US, modern kitchen receptacles are all ground fault
>protected - if the GFI ...

No, just those close enough to the sink.

--Paul Vojta, ***@math.berkeley.edu
Jack Denver
2008-08-09 02:46:27 UTC
Permalink
"Paul Vojta" <***@math.berkeley.edu> wrote in message
news:g7i4pc$poe$***@agate.berkeley.edu...
> In article <***@comcast.com>,
> Jack Denver <***@netscape.net> wrote:
>>At least in the US, modern kitchen receptacles are all ground fault
>>protected - if the GFI ...
>
> No, just those close enough to the sink.
>
> --Paul Vojta, ***@math.berkeley.edu

No, that's wrong. 210.52(C) of the NEC requires ALL kitchen countertop
outlets to be GFCI protected. Outlets that serve dedicated appliances
(fridge) and wall outlets that are not near the countertops don't. Fridge
should NOT be GFCI protected so it doesn't trip off and ruin your food. The
wall outlets probably will be anyway depending on how your kitchen is
wired - once you add a GFCI, all "downstream" outlets are protected anyway.
When I added a GFCI to my kitchen I ended up with outlets in my dining room
and L/R protected because they were on the same circuit.
Bizzonky
2008-08-05 05:36:28 UTC
Permalink
They're struggling over who gets the cushiest deck chairs on the Titanic.
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