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  • Unions Join "Occupy Wall Street" for Their Own Benefit

    Transport Workers Union join with Occupy Wall Street in Lower Manhattan as thousands of protesters march against Wall Street and the country's economic problems.

    Stand aside, citizen-protestors. The Occupy Wall Street movement is about to get professional help. New York City labor unions have decided to join the demonstrations. Members of the Service Employees International Union and the United Federation of Teachers, among other unions, will soon be marching with the protestors.

    Why is the union movement making common cause with disgruntled students?

    Because these protests are useful vehicles. Unions can use them to marshal support for special-interest policies that benefit them. Take a look at some of the protestors’ “demands”:

    Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending “Freetrade” by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages.

    Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr.

    Few of the protestors in the Occupy Wall Street movement understand economics or the damage these policies would do if Congress actually enacted them. They truly believe that “These demands will create so many jobs it will be completely impossible to fill them without an open borders policy.”

    Both economics and history show otherwise. Herbert Hoover did exactly what the protestors are demanding when he signed the Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act in 1930. International trade largely shut down, and this made the Great Depression even worse.

    American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands both recently had “living wage” laws thrust on them when Congress decided to stop exempting them from the federal minimum wage. In these territories with low costs of living, employers had to raise wages substantially. This caused them to hire a lot fewer workers. Shutting down trade and instituting a national $20-per-hour minimum wage would seriously hurt the economy.

    Such moves would, however, help unions. Unionized firms tend to be less competitive than nonunion businesses. Making the economy more competitive, such as by reducing trade barriers, also tends to reduce union membership.

    Similarly, many union members are highly skilled, so raising the minimum wage does not risk their jobs. But it does make unskilled labor more expensive, and that makes hiring skilled (i.e. union) workers relatively more attractive. A living wage means fewer jobs for unskilled workers and more money for union members.

    If enacted, the protestors’ dreams would prove an economic nightmare—but they would benefit the union movement. Small wonder, then, that organized labor has decided to join in.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    20 Responses to Unions Join "Occupy Wall Street" for Their Own Benefit

    1. Kay_L says:

      That assumes that the unions were not instrumental in setting the protests in the first place.

      Many of the people have identified themselves as union, teachers (who have to belong to a union), students (who are pushed to go to these things by said teachers).

    2. Sounds like a teaching drill or kinesthetic example of the options? They sound a bit isolationistic with the trade tariff suggestion, no? And after Nixon opened trade with China and we worked so hard at that……

    3. Brandon Q says:

      This is the Obama administrations attempt to hyjack this movement in the same way the Republicans hyjacked the TEA party. This is about the banks and how they have robbed the American people. End the FED!

    4. 'Vivian Andrade says:

      Here's an idea……So let's see some counter-protestors……

      • Heffe says:

        I'm an Economics teacher and i would love to openly debate these morons. In the word debate, I mean in a controlled forum not people screaming at me. I taught a lesson today on price controls and specifically talked about minimum wage as a price control as some of my kids have been talking about this "Occupy" movement over the past few days.

    5. Dan says:

      Not true. Union wages tend to be coupled and based on the minimum wage. Eg, minimum wage is five an hour, we get twenty (4 times minimum wage). It is a pocketbook move for them to get behind that particular agenda, but they don't realize a drastic change in minimum wage undercuts the economy and devalues the currency. Is ok to them as long as they get more members, and more $ regardless of the overall outcome.

    6. Jay Korcal says:

      Sorry, but what you say is only true if the people holding the purse strings (Big Business) would really lose out by the minimum wage being raised. I think 20 dollars an hour is a bit high, but 14 or 15 is about right. The fact is that there are companies that make a-lot more than they are paying the people who do the work. If the company my wife works for were to pay 13 or 14 dollars an hour and offer benefits at a reasonable price instead of 7.40 an hour, and you better not get any OT because they don't want to offer benefits. They would make 20 million a year instead of 20.5 million a year. Furthermore, If the employees were paid a living wage they could afford to buy something besides food and fuel. Think of a few million people all the sudden able to afford to buy things that need to be made, and since we have a tarrif on foreign trade a-lot of that stuff has to come from american companies. WOW now there are jobs to make said things, and then MORE people have jobs and can afford to buy other things which creates the demand for more jobs ect. ect.
      You get the point. Stop lying to us and telling us that everyone getting a fair shake is going to bankrupt this country. Then again maybe your right, I mean the way it's been going is GREAT! Letting the banks make all the rules and decisions has worked awesome right? Wait, what?

    7. JoelD says:

      These are a bunch of idiots who probably have never had an actual job. Now, they're joined by fellow idiots who don't understand why or how they have a job.

    8. Earl Harris says:

      Amazing a communism has spread 3 out so quickly throughout the united states. Bass pro tester for protest the people that give us employment but not very government it's destroying our jobs. Our nation has become the and were good is now a bad is now good as spoken in the book of revelation. I'll republic is now dead and we are ruled by elitist.

    9. Bobbie says:

      my, my, my Mr. President! your fan base certainly has the education your fond of! IGNORANCE! and why no education should be coming out of anyone's pockets but those wanting it! What a waste of minds! Bad investments! These people are frustrated, Mr. President? these people are selfish fools backing a dangerous selfish fool. Get the professionals in for more conditioning of the minds, eh?

      Too bad you find ANY Americans as enemies, Mr. President. Americans certainly didn't expect this, voting you in. This country could be standing tall and proud had you another train of thought. Getting ready to employ those "better than the military" neighborhood task forces at the expense of the tax payers are you? or what? Really sad and pathetic, Mr. President! Such an inspiration of everything HATEFUL AND DIVISIVE! EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTING TO SEE WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THIS COLLECTION OF INDIVIDUALS OCCUPYING WALL STREET!

    10. Rob Birdsall says:

      Funny the youth are tired of being manipulated by Wall Street yet they don't seem to be bothered being manipulated by the Govt and the liberal machine. Basically they are saying now that we are here hand over the wealth.

    11. Jim says:

      Minimum wage of $20.00 an hour. That would be the end of McDonald's, Hardes, Burger King but not just fast food. That would be the end of a lot of small businesses. I can see minimum wage at $8.00 an hour. Union workers are ridiculous. If a carpenter needs help holding a board up to nail it, an electrician isn't allowed to help him. It has to be another carpenter or carpenter's helper that is a union employee. If a union worker is a welder, he can't be expected to clean the floor where he is working. Normal people help each other on the job and that helps keep costs down but your union is the cause of a lot of work going overseas because employers can't afford to work the way unions want to work. When unions go on strike, only the union officials are making any money because these union employees are still expected to pay their dues, even when they aren't working, and they can't work another job that isn't union to pay these dues or they lose their union card. When UPS went on strike years ago, when the strike was over, how much money did they lose from all the time they were on strike? It will take them years to get that money back that they lost but they still think the won the strike. How could you win when you lost so much? But the union officials were still taking in their money and getting paid big bucks, and for what? Unions were good at one time, but in todays modern times they are killing this country.

    12. John Jacobsen says:

      The Heritage foundation, defending privilege and exploitation as always. Keep it up, guys – here comes the back lash!

      • Bobbie says:

        defending privilege? what's wrong with that? Privilege is earned by the person not by skin color in case you've been indoctrinated to believe one man of no self worth's personal but false perception. His book sure did mislead alot of innocent people of all skin colors! what's going on behind our backs is necessary to bring forward to avoid the crisis after crisis the current administration continues to put on this country. Stop cheating your minds ability to think for yourself. Let truth and dignity be your guide.

      • Big Roybal says:

        Helping out the privileged? Let me tell you, I was not privileged at all. I am an American-Mexican who grew up in a ghetto environment who witnessed how Welfare and other Socialized programs fed my families and entire community’s drug addiction. My friends grew up believing welfare was nothing but “free money.” It is those reasons why no Hispanic, or minority, is taken serious today. At 17 years old I joined the Army and I’m currently on my 2nd deployment in Iraq (26 months total in this country). Between training, and deployments, I was able to create a million dollar Real Estate Development Company in 2 years. I am 21 years old, came from an environment with little hope, and changed my life thanks to American Capitalism/GREED. I didn’t need a government hand-out, I didn’t need a college education, I didn’t need for someone to feel sorry for me; I just believed in Capitalism.

        • Big Roybal says:

          While you were complaining about finding a job, I was too busy creating one. Now tell me again, how is the Heritage Foundation supporting the privileged? I dare anyone to tell me Capitalism doesn’t work, because I am a prime example that it does. I am the American Dream! I came from nothing and in a short amount of time I was able to retire at the age of 21. Now I hire college educated people like you to work for me while I enjoy my vacation.

    13. Bobbie says:

      privilege is earned, exploitation is yours! Learn on your own to stop cheating your own! Consider all! What you're being fed is ignorance to submit. back lash only shows the kind of persons you and the like, truly are. UnAmerican!

    14. Will says:

      The Unions are, of course, one of the largest shareholders and beneficiaries of corporate profits. Why are they joining the protest against themselves? Why isn't this ridiculous situation clear to all?

    15. akozma says:

      The list of demands with the $20 minimum wage has a header that reads:

      "Admin note: This is not an official list of demands. This is a forum post submitted by a single user and hyped by irresponsible news/commentary agencies like Fox News and Mises.org. This content was not published by the OccupyWallSt.org collective, nor was it ever proposed or agreed to on a consensus basis with the NYC General Assembly. There is NO official list of demands."

      Let's all read a little bit more before denouncing entire movements

    16. A Two Million Unity Rally Aimed at Gathering Together America’s Disenfranchised Middle Class, including labor unions, the unemployed, and progressive groups; to address various urgent issues afflicting them including: unemployment, anti-labor laws, women’s rights, gay rights, separation of church and state and fraudulent bank foreclosures, is currently in the planning stages by various power movements. If successful, this would be the largest rally in the history of the United States of America. The rally is being planned for October, before the 2012 elections. http://solidarityus.org

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