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Old 13th May 2005, 05:41 PM   #201
crimresearch
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Quote:
Originally posted by username
Sure you have. Let's recap:

I said: I think you are contradicting yourself in this paragraph.

You said: Uhhmmm... You've crossed the line from discourse to debate tactics...you are making up things I never said, and then arguing against them.

I said: I may have misunderstood your argument. Please don't assume that a misunderstanding means I am resorting to dishonest tactics.

you said: So, you have no links to any facts, but think that dredging up an extreme example and demanding that I provide court cites for your strawman, isn't dishonest?

You've made the extreme assertions here, you provide the evidence.

And while you are at it...Grow up.

My last post to you said: Ok, so you have now twice insulted me while not adding anything to the discussion.
Discussion (with you) is over.

And it is.
Since you have fabricated the above exchange by cutting and pasting out of context snippets from different posts and putting them together to create the false impression that I said them in that unintterupted sequence, it is obvious that you never had any intention of discussion to begin with.

Running away when asked for facts, and proclaiming abuse because I caught you comitting fraud is a tired old woo trick...
you aren't even original with your dishonesty.
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Old 13th May 2005, 05:42 PM   #202
shanek
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Quote:
Originally posted by username
If I understand your position correctly your main point is that the employment contract is freely entered into by both parties and both parties are free to make whatever demands they wish and both parties are free to accept or reject the other's demands as they wish.

Is this a correct understanding of your argument?
Yes, but we were actually discussing the arrangement sans contract.

Quote:
Cuz if that is your position then my main argument is that the employment contract is rarely entered into by parties with equal power
Then you need to address my rebuttal of this argument.
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Old 13th May 2005, 06:05 PM   #203
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This has been an interesting thread to read. I'm undecided on this particular issue, finding both sides to have reasonable arguments. I have to say, username is the most convincing and persuasive so far. Thanks for providing me with some food for thought.

Beth
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Old 13th May 2005, 06:14 PM   #204
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Quote:
Originally posted by crimresearch
Since you have fabricated the above exchange by cutting and pasting out of context snippets from different posts and putting them together to create the false impression that I said them in that unintterupted sequence, it is obvious that you never had any intention of discussion to begin with.

Running away when asked for facts, and proclaiming abuse because I caught you comitting fraud is a tired old woo trick...
you aren't even original with your dishonesty.
whatever
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Old 13th May 2005, 06:18 PM   #205
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Quote:
Originally posted by shanek
Yes, but we were actually discussing the arrangement sans contract.
How can there be no contract? I am not following what you mean. You don't have to explain if it isn't really relevant though, I would prefer to focus on the issue in as limitted a context as possible with the hopes of finding a resolution.

Quote:
Then you need to address my rebuttal of this argument.
Would you kindly restate (or just cut and paste it), as I am not sure which of your posts you are referring to as the rebuttal. Again, I just want to keep this clear and not get sidetracked into discussions that may not be relevant to the central issue.

I don't want to risk responding to a rebuttal that isn't actually your rebuttal.
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Old 13th May 2005, 06:25 PM   #206
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Quote:
Originally posted by username


If we believe (as I believe you and Shanek do) that the employer has the right to include not smoking on private time as a condition of employment then it seems there is no limit to what terms an employer can require.

That slope looks a little slippery from here..
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Old 13th May 2005, 06:25 PM   #207
shanek
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Quote:
Originally posted by username
How can there be no contract?
You agree to work, he agrees to hire you, no contract. It's already been established in this thread that there was no contract in this case.

Quote:
Would you kindly restate (or just cut and paste it), as I am not sure which of your posts you are referring to as the rebuttal.
Here's one:

Quote:
That's just not true. Short-run, it goes in cycles, with the part of the cycle where there are less jobs than people being the shorter part. Long-run, the economy goes for full employment, and so the number of jobs and the number of people who want them are equal.

As long as, of course, you don't have a government destroying jobs with regulations, the Minimum Wage, licensing laws, zoning, etc...
Here's another:

Quote:
In such an arrangement, both parties want something that the other one has. With the system in equilibrium, this will most certainly be an equality of "power." The ony way the system can get out of equilibrium (at least, for very long) is government intervention.
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Old 13th May 2005, 07:17 PM   #208
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Quote:
Here's one:

That's just not true. Short-run, it goes in cycles, with the part of the cycle where there are less jobs than people being the shorter part. Long-run, the economy goes for full employment, and so the number of jobs and the number of people who want them are equal.

As long as, of course, you don't have a government destroying jobs with regulations, the Minimum Wage, licensing laws, zoning, etc...


Here's another:

quote: In such an arrangement, both parties want something that the other one has. With the system in equilibrium, this will most certainly be an equality of "power." The ony way the system can get out of equilibrium (at least, for very long) is government intervention.
Bolding is mine.


I am not even going to argue against your faith in the market here. I think you defeat your own point when you say government screws things up.

Fact is government is here. They do regulate. We do have a minimum wage, we have licensing and zoning laws.

So, if we look to how things really are as opposed to how things ought to be in an idealized world, the power between employer and employee is usually stacked in favor of the employer, agree?

I mean most employers aren't going to go bankrupt after losing a single employee, but many employees will go bankrupt after losing a single employer. I would say that puts the employer in a greater position of power when negotiating terms.

And when you say that in an idealized world the power imbalance wouldn't last very long, you still seem to acknowledge it would exist. Why should employers ever be allowed to use this power imbalance to extract unreasonable demands from their serfs, I mean employees?

Do you agree that employees who wish to smoke do not freely quit when they are given an ultimatum to do so or lose their job? They choose what they deem the lesser of two evils.

I will go so far as to say that when companies start doing things like firing people who smoke (and other factors that have no bearing on the the bottom line) it is a sure sign an imbalance of power does exist.

This would mean coercion is being used. That would be the initiation of the use of force, wouldn't it?
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Old 13th May 2005, 07:51 PM   #209
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Quote:
Originally posted by Diogenes
That slope looks a little slippery from here..
Please explain where my statement is wrong.

If an employer can fire someone for smoking on their own time then why not anything else? What is it about smoking that is unique? Why can the employer fire for smoking, but not eating dorritos, driving a sports car, living at an address that has the number 1 in it? None of these have anything to do with how well the individual will perform their job, none of these things has any concrete correlation to the company's bottom line. If one, why not any and all?

Why not insist that employees not own fish aquariums? That they part their hair only to the left?

The tighter the employment market, the more unreasonable employers can get. Where do we draw the line regarding employer demands when the imbalance of power exists?
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Old 13th May 2005, 07:58 PM   #210
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Quote:
Originally posted by Beth
This has been an interesting thread to read. I'm undecided on this particular issue, finding both sides to have reasonable arguments.
Thanks for saying that. A lot of the time it is the regular posters who have these discussions and over time the regulars get to know how the other regulars are going to respond. It is good to know that there are others reading the thread and weighing the arguments.
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Old 13th May 2005, 08:06 PM   #211
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Quote:
Originally posted by username
Fact is government is here.
Strangely, it's more there in the US than just about anywhere else. The US, through its history, has been the most govermented place the world has ever seen. Wagon-trains used to form their own governments for the duration, even passels of emigrants on steamboats would form themselves a government for the duration. The first thing ordinary folk did when they lit on a place was to set up a government. The US was created as a governmental model. With an effectively uninhabited, pristine landscape with no traditions of ownership and authority it's not at all surprising. The US is obsessed with government, even if only about its limits.

Libertarians (in my experience) represent government as something imposed when in fact it's what comes from the ordinary populace if they're given the chance to have one. We've all experienced the alternative in the school-yard and it's good to know we can expect something better in our adult life.
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Old 13th May 2005, 08:22 PM   #212
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from shanek:
Quote:
That's just not true. Short-run, it goes in cycles, with the part of the cycle where there are less jobs than people being the shorter part.
Lemming populations go in cycles. Is that the sort of cycle that drives the worker-job cycle? Excess workers die off? It's an arguable position; the Black Death in England certainly increased the economic leverage of the surviving labour-force. Serfdom pretty much died at that point (except in East Anglia, of course).
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Old 13th May 2005, 09:13 PM   #213
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So, on the topic of how things are in the real world, instead of how we wish they were, even the ACLU recognizes that the law is stacked in the employer's favor:

CURRENT LEGAL STATUS
"Numerous attempts have been made to challenge the doctrine of employment at will in the courts. Although the doctrine is common law which was created by judges, and which judges have the authority to change, these challenges have had limited success.

Only in 3 narrow categories have some courts been willing to limit an employer's right to fire arbitrarily .

1.Where an employer has agreed to other employment terms.

If an employer has signed a written employment contract guaranteeing employment for a fixed term of years, or guaranteeing not to fire without just cause, this contract may be enforceable by the employee. The reasoning is that the parties have the right to a legally enforceable agreement which reflects their mutual desires.

This would logically create a broad exception to the general rule whenever the employee could show that his employer had agreed that his employment was not at will. One common example would be where the employee handbook states that employees will be fired only for just cause, or gives specific grounds or procedures for termination. Another would be where the employer makes oral assurances of job security.

Employers, however, can easily avoid liability under this theory merely by making it clear in their employee handbooks and other written materials that employment is terminable at will.

2.Where the employer's reason for firing violates public policy.

This once appeared to be a promising legal trend. Initial decisions provided redress to employees who were fired for filing a workers' compensation claim, for refusing to give perjured testimony, and for serving on a jury.

Again, however, the promise went unfulfilled, as many courts defined the public policy exception so narrowly as to render it nearly useless. Among the many situations where courts refused to find that a firing violated public policy are filing a complaint with state regulatory authorities regarding illegal stock manipulations, refusing to vote as the employer wished , and refusing to give false information to federal inspectors.

3.Where the employee is a member of a protected group.

Federal legislation now prohibits employment discrimination against a number of groups including racial minorities, women, the elderly, and the handicapped.

Millions of employees, however, do not belong to any of these protected groups.

Moreover, even employees who do belong to a protected group are protected only from being fired because of their race, sex, etc. If they are fired unjustly for any other reason, they have no protection.

Overall, thirty years of legal challenges have failed to solve the problem of unjust dismissals. Legal experts do not believe this will change in the future. ..."
http://www.aclu.org/WorkplaceRights/...7&c=34#current
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Funny how these ACLU lawyers, and the judges they cite aren't as knowledgeable on employee's rights to sue as some keyboard commandos here.
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Old 13th May 2005, 09:13 PM   #214
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Re: Re: Re: You smoke? You're fired!

Quote:
Originally posted by Nyarlathotep
You might argue that it's the employers right and I couldn't argue against you, but wouldn't you agree that such an employer is at the very least worthy of derision?
I agree with both of these points.

The employers are making, what are in my opinion, bad choices. But I agree that it's their right to do so.

I'm not sure where I would draw the line as to where the employer has the right to fire/fail to hire. It seems a little close to the slippery slope. Seemingly, behavior things are okay, but that seems to open the can of worms WRT issues like religion, and sexual preference (both of which are protected entities in the USA) as to whether these items are choices or not (the issue of homosexuality being behavior versus genetic--which is not a discussion I am trying to start here in an attempt to derail/hijack this thread).

It doesn't seem to be a well defined, clear line to me, as to what is okay to discriminate against and what is not.

But I agree that the employers are making a stupid decision. So did the Boy Scouts, and they are paying for it.
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Old 13th May 2005, 09:21 PM   #215
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Quote:
Originally posted by crimresearch
So, on the topic of how things are in the real world, instead of how we wish they were, even the ACLU recognizes that the law is stacked in the employer's favor:

Among the many situations where courts refused to find that a firing violated public policy are filing a complaint with state regulatory authorities regarding illegal stock manipulations, refusing to vote as the employer wished , and refusing to give false information to federal inspectors.
What a wonderful way to live.
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Old 13th May 2005, 09:29 PM   #216
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Originally posted by username
What a wonderful way to live.
Pointing out that it is legal is not the same as an endorsement.

Of course I'm sure that you have put *lots* of effort into changing the reality, instead of just sniping at it.
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Old 13th May 2005, 09:34 PM   #217
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You smoke? You're fired!

Quote:
Originally posted by Shera
On the contrary, it appears to me that the company is violating privacy rights and acting illegally. What right do they have to regulate free (vs. enslaved) people's behavior when they are not currently involved in a business transaction with this company (whether it be driving a company truck or calculating some accounting transactions for the company for pay during agreed upon business hours) or to search private property?
Hmm...I'm no attorney, but as I understand it, a private company has the right to fire a person for any reason. As an example, the employees of a company can rightfully be seen as agents of that company, and they can be fired for behavior or speech that reflects poorly on the company. Let's say a person is wearing a 'Microsoft 2005 Employee picnic' T-shirt, and is filmed at a rally carrying a placard that says 'Death to the Jews!'

It is likely that this person would be fired.

When driving a company truck? Surely you jest.
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Old 13th May 2005, 09:40 PM   #218
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The courts will uphold this type of discrimination because it is a lifestyle choice and not an immutable condition. Discrimination based on race or gender and a few other cases is/are not legal. Discrimination itself is not illegal.

Hold the phone, discrimination based on political ideology or religious afiliation are also illegal. Are these not lifestyle choices? Well, I guess they don't affect anyone's health, but what if an employer decides not to hire a muslem because his religion is causing death world wide? Bad choice of words here, but I couldn't think of another example which would have the same emotional impact.

How about being gay? It that a lifestyle choice or an immutable condition? I vote for immutable condition. If the gay male's lifestyle is proven to be more dangerous than a lesbian lifestyle, what then?

How about being overweight? In most cases, it is a lifestyle choice which has dangerous health consequences. Next time you go to a doctor's office or emergency room, look around and count the number of overweight people vs. smokers.

Guess what? If you look at emergency room statistics, you will conclude that being black is dangerous to your health.

The one immutable fact about our constitution and our laws is that they must be applied equally and fairly to everyone. Does this exemption to discrimination (against smokers) do that?
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Old 13th May 2005, 10:44 PM   #219
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You smoke? You're fired!

Quote:
Originally posted by kerfer
Hmm...I'm no attorney, but as I understand it, a private company has the right to fire a person for any reason.

No, not for any reason, but I get what you are saying and agree that companies can fire people for all sorts of reasons or just on a whim.

My issue isn't whether it is legal or not, my issue is whether it ought to be legal or not.

Quote:
As an example, the employees of a company can rightfully be seen as agents of that company, and they can be fired for behavior or speech that reflects poorly on the company. Let's say a person is wearing a 'Microsoft 2005 Employee picnic' T-shirt, and is filmed at a rally carrying a placard that says 'Death to the Jews!'

It is likely that this person would be fired.
I agree it is likely and I would feel no sympathy for that employee.

That employee, by wearing the company t-shirt, involved the employer in their personal affairs in a way that could adversely affect the company.

I completely support the right of an employer to fire a smoker if they smoke on company time or property (although I think it is bad policy). If the smoker does anything to adversely impact the company, fire him.

This is different than having a blanket policy that all smokers will be fired and nobody who smokes will be hired in the future.

In my view people have rights/liberties. The only right that should be allowed to be negotiated in the employment contract is how the employee is going to use his time while being paid by the company. If an employee does something on his own time that affects the company adversely (like in your example) then fire him. How one votes, whether they smoke... these things are not legitimate components to the employment contract as they have no bearing on the employees ability to do the job or the company's bottom line. They ought not be allowed in that contract.

That they are ever included is an indication that the negotiations are not being conducted by parties with equal power. Generally private contracts are not upheld when coercion was used to get the terms 'agreed' to. I don't see any reason the employment contract should be different.
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Old 14th May 2005, 05:36 AM   #220
shanek
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Originally posted by username
I am not even going to argue against your faith in the market here.
It isn't "faith in the free market;" it's basic economics.

Quote:
I think you defeat your own point when you say government screws things up.
It does. It has been demonstrated it does, time and time again.

Quote:
Fact is government is here. They do regulate. We do have a minimum wage, we have licensing and zoning laws.
So, the mere fact that they exist doesn't mean we shouldn't get rid of them?

Quote:
So, if we look to how things really are as opposed to how things ought to be in an idealized world, the power between employer and employee is usually stacked in favor of the employer, agree?
No, I don't, because the government hurts those employers as much as it does the employees. Businesses in this country pay more money every year complying with government regulations than they make in profits.

Quote:
I mean most employers aren't going to go bankrupt after losing a single employee, but many employees will go bankrupt after losing a single employer.
That just isn't true. Most people aren't dependent on a single company to employ them. Individuals rarely stay unemployed for longer than a few months. The exceptions are government unemployment and welfare programs, where people stay on the dole for months or even years at a time. All of these programs contribute to unemployment.

Quote:
Do you agree that employees who wish to smoke do not freely quit when they are given an ultimatum to do so or lose their job? They choose what they deem the lesser of two evils.
Exactly: THEY CHOOSE. They have the choice, and they make the choice. It's called "freedom."

Quote:
This would mean coercion is being used.
How?

Do you deny that employment is a voluntary agreement between two parties?
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Old 14th May 2005, 05:37 AM   #221
shanek
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Quote:
Originally posted by CapelDodger
Libertarians (in my experience) represent government as something imposed
That's completely wrong. Governments come from the people, and derive their just powers from those they govern. We're just worried about government stepping beyond that and becoming oppressive.
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Old 14th May 2005, 05:39 AM   #222
shanek
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Quote:
Originally posted by CapelDodger
from shanek:Lemming populations go in cycles. Is that the sort of cycle that drives the worker-job cycle?
[sigh] No, the short ru in economics is just a few months. We aren't talking about lifespans here.

Quote:
Excess workers die off?
No; they find new jobs.

I become increasingly frustrated at the outright refusal of some people on this board to learn some basic freakin' economics.
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Old 14th May 2005, 05:43 AM   #223
shanek
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Re: Re: Re: Re: You smoke? You're fired!

Quote:
Originally posted by kerfer
I'm not sure where I would draw the line as to where the employer has the right to fire/fail to hire. It seems a little close to the slippery slope.
It's not, because of competition. The companies who do this only shrink the pool of workers they have to hire from, leaving many qualified workers available for the competition to snatch up.
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Old 14th May 2005, 05:47 AM   #224
shanek
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You smoke? You're fired!

Quote:
Originally posted by username
No, not for any reason, but I get what you are saying and agree that companies can fire people for all sorts of reasons or just on a whim.
And workers can quit for all sorts of reasons or just on a whim. That you feel the latter is acceptible while the former is not just shows how anit-freedom your position is.

Quote:
In my view people have rights/liberties.
Except employers, apparently.

Quote:
The only right that should be allowed to be negotiated in the employment contract is how the employee is going to use his time while being paid by the company.
Or the right to contract, apparently.

Quote:
How one votes, whether they smoke... these things are not legitimate components to the employment contract as they have no bearing on the employees ability to do the job or the company's bottom line. They ought not be allowed in that contract.
Or how people should be able to run their businesses, apparently. I'm so glad you have positive omnipotence in order to be able to tell every single business what has a legitimate bearing on them and what doesn't...

Quote:
That they are ever included is an indication that the negotiations are not being conducted by parties with equal power.
Circular reasoning.

Quote:
Generally private contracts are not upheld when coercion was used to get the terms 'agreed' to. I don't see any reason the employment contract should be different.
Um, because there's not any actual coercion, except in your own mind and due solely to your fallacious thinking?
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Old 14th May 2005, 06:04 AM   #225
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Quote:
Originally posted by shanek
No; they find new jobs.
Do they? There will always be a job for everyone?

Gee, that must mean there will not be unemployment....

Quote:
Originally posted by shanek
I become increasingly frustrated at the outright refusal of some people on this board to learn some basic freakin' economics.
I think your frustration is caused by reality and its refusal to mould to your perception of economics.
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Old 14th May 2005, 06:06 AM   #226
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Quote:
Originally posted by shanek
That's completely wrong. Governments come from the people, and derive their just powers from those they govern. We're just worried about government stepping beyond that and becoming oppressive.
But never the power of money?
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Old 14th May 2005, 06:14 AM   #227
shanek
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Quote:
Originally posted by a_unique_person
But never the power of money?
The power of money is indeed in large part what allows an oppressive government to grow even further. That's why the people have to be vigilant enough to keep the government from taking any power beyond what is Constitutionally authorized.
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Old 14th May 2005, 06:50 AM   #228
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Quote:
Originally posted by shanek
The power of money is indeed in large part what allows an oppressive government to grow even further. That's why the people have to be vigilant enough to keep the government from taking any power beyond what is Constitutionally authorized.
I have decided to allow myself the indulgence of one rhetorical question a day.

Who else besides governments has the power afforded it by the control of large amounts of money?
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Old 14th May 2005, 06:52 AM   #229
shanek
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Quote:
Originally posted by a_unique_person
Who else besides governments has the power afforded it by the control of large amounts of money?
The only other group I can think of is organized crime mobs (who can really only operate in areas such as drugs, gambling, and prostitution, things that the government has criminalized). Everyone else can only get your money by convincing you to part with it willingly.
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Old 14th May 2005, 06:54 AM   #230
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Quote:
Originally posted by shanek
The only other group I can think of is organized crime mobs (who can really only operate in areas such as drugs, gambling, and prostitution, things that the government has criminalized). Everyone else can only get your money by convincing you to part with it willingly.
Isn't that an oxymoron?
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Old 14th May 2005, 06:58 AM   #231
shanek
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Originally posted by a_unique_person
Isn't that an oxymoron?
How?
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Old 14th May 2005, 07:18 AM   #232
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convince <=> willingly
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Old 14th May 2005, 08:20 AM   #233
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Quote:
Originally posted by shanek
It isn't "faith in the free market;" it's basic economics.
By 'faith' I meant your belief that the market can correct the irrational demands of an unreasonable employer. I agree with you that over long periods of time this can happen, but in the short term things are cyclical as you yourself pointed out. And when things are on the bottom of the cycle as far as employee power in negotiating reasonable terms we do not have a contract being entered into by equals. Thus we have a coercive contract where terms were agreed to under duress. Quit smoking now or we fire you 2 years before you are eligible for the pension plan. Yes, your work is great and all, but you smoke so no pension for you.

One of the things that regulation can accomplish is preventing the excesses that will occur when the cycle is at an extreme end one way or the other. The cycle will continue, but the abuses that occur on the far sides of that cycle can be tempered.


Quote:
So, the mere fact that they exist doesn't mean we shouldn't get rid of them?
You claimed that the cycle was cyclical and generally corrects itself quickly, but government often prevents a rapid correction. Whether or not we should have sweeping government reform is outside the scope of this discussion. My point was that your theories on how the cycle would work were qualified by saying government screws the cycle up. OK, but that is the reality and as long as it is the reality employees will typically be the ones getting the short end of the stick when it comes to negotiating power. Hence the need for protections of the weaker party against coercive tactics.


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That just isn't true. Most people aren't dependent on a single company to employ them. Individuals rarely stay unemployed for longer than a few months.
Depends on the economy and the employment market. Viewed on a macro scale this is usually true, but it does nothing to prevent an employer in an employer's market from coercing employees into accepting absurd demands. You keep looking at things from a macro level over time instead of dealing with the fact that at the micro level there are all sorts of situations where the employer has far more negotiating power than the employee. Your admission that this is a cyclical trend demonstrates that the weaker party requires protection from the stronger party when this imbalance is present. That is what regulations are for.


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Exactly: THEY CHOOSE. They have the choice, and they make the choice. It's called "freedom."
It isn't freedom when the choice is coerced by a stronger party.

Quote:
Do you deny that employment is a voluntary agreement between two parties?
What I have said, multiple times, is that employment is rarely an agreement reached by two parties of equal negotiating strength. If it is an employee market the employee can demand higher pay or additonal perks. If it is an employer's market the employer can pay less and ofter fewer benefits and perks. This is natural and as it ought to be.

However when the power imbalance is such that a company can begin making demands upon the employee that have nothing to do with the actual employment (stop smoking, vote as we say etc.) with no ill effects there exists an imbalance that can only be corrected via a union or government regulation. The market isn't going to prevent this kind of tyranical behavior from occuring to people in the short term. Unions and government regulations are not perfect solutions, but neither is a market that screws people over in the short term but says "Don't worry about it, it will all work out in the end."

I will be out of town today so don't expect a reply until tonite or tomorrow.
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Old 14th May 2005, 06:21 PM   #234
shanek
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Quote:
Originally posted by a_unique_person
convince <=> willingly
You're either insane, lying, or don't understand the language. To convince someone is to persuade them willingly to agree with you.
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Old 14th May 2005, 06:34 PM   #235
shanek
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Quote:
Originally posted by username
By 'faith' I meant your belief that the market can correct the irrational demands of an unreasonable employer.
It's not a belief, either. It's an observation. It happens.

Quote:
I agree with you that over long periods of time this can happen, but in the short term things are cyclical as you yourself pointed out.
Of course...but the cycles go just as much one way as they do the other.

Quote:
One of the things that regulation can accomplish is preventing the excesses that will occur when the cycle is at an extreme end one way or the other.
I would urge you to read Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson. There's a free online copy here:

http://www.fee.org/~web/Economics%20...e%20Lesson.pdf

Those regulations will without any doubt have detrimental effects that do inhibit the long run economy. You'd be cutting off your hand to save a finger.

Quote:
OK, but that is the reality and as long as it is the reality employees will typically be the ones getting the short end of the stick when it comes to negotiating power. Hence the need for protections of the weaker party against coercive tactics.
No, this is a fallacy as well: government made the problem so we need more government as a solution. The solution is to get rid of the government policies that created the problem in the first place.

Quote:
Viewed on a macro scale this is usually true, but it does nothing to prevent an employer in an employer's market from coercing employees into accepting absurd demands.
Actually, competition among employers does exactly that. You also have the free market effect we have seen here in this very thread: people, learning about the company doing this, will begin to speak out against the company and people will stop doing business with them as a result.

Look at Denny's. A number of years ago, a couple of their stores came under fire for giving bad service to black people. There was an outcry, and Denny's immediately acted to clarify their nondiscrimination policy and to fire the people responsible. All because of negative public backlash.

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That is what regulations are for.
No, regulations are for protecting big companies from competition by smaller companies who can't absorb the costs of compliance.

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It isn't freedom when the choice is coerced by a stronger party.
It isn't. No one's forcing anything. They don't own the job, and they aren't owed the job.
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Old 14th May 2005, 10:19 PM   #236
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Quote:
Originally posted by shanek
You're either insane, lying, or don't understand the language. To convince someone is to persuade them willingly to agree with you.
Wrong.

Quote:
Main Entry: con·vince
Pronunciation: k&n-'vin(t)s
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): con·vinced; con·vinc·ing
Etymology: Latin convincere to refute, convict, prove, from com- + vincere to conquer -- more at VICTOR
1 obsolete a : to overcome by argument b : OVERPOWER, OVERCOME
2 obsolete : DEMONSTRATE, PROVE
3 : to bring (as by argument) to belief, consent, or a course of action : PERSUADE <convinced himself that she was all right -- William Faulkner> <something I could never convince him to read -- John Lahr>
(Webster)
There is nothing willingly about it.

When you (and I am speaking generally here) are convinced of something, you are persuaded by the validity of the argument. You are not persuaded because you want it to be valid.

But I can understand why you (as in "you, shanek") see it this way. It fits neatly with how you argue in general: You are only persuaded by an argument when you want it to be valid. Whether it really is valid or not is irrelevant to you.
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Old 14th May 2005, 10:40 PM   #237
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Here's how this boils down for me. If I sign a written statement that says I will not smoke during my employment at my place of work, that is one thing. If the govornment makes smoking illegal, that is the same. Neither has happened for me, and if one of those two things happens, I will seriously consider quiting. However, If I smoke a cigarette after sex and am fired the next day, I will have some very serious thoughts about living where I live.

I make it a point to not smoke in restaurants that even have smoking sections. I smoke in my own home on my own time. The company I work for has benifits for non-smokers, and I certainly won't lie on an application to try to get that break. I certainly feel I should be able to do whatever legal activity I wish on my own time in my own space.

I don't believe in banning fat people from work, because they choose to eat more than they might. I should not necessarily agree that smoking is a right, but under our current laws, it is. Change the laws or let people do what is fully legal. That's all I ask.
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Old 15th May 2005, 07:30 AM   #238
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Quote:
Originally posted by shanek
Actually, competition among employers does exactly that. You also have the free market effect we have seen here in this very thread: people, learning about the company doing this, will begin to speak out against the company and people will stop doing business with them as a result.
Sure, just like the punitive taxation of smokers where things have gotten so out of hand that NewYorkers have been unwittingly buying their smokes from Hezbollah in order to avoid all the taxes. The public 'outcry' against this unfair targeting of smokers has certainly put an end to this practice. Not.

Rather that beat our heads against a wall on this issue I think we should simply agree to disagree.

You believe the market will correct the unreasonable demands against smokers. I don't. I don't think this practice effects enough people directly to result in any correction.

You believe that even in a tight employment market both employer and employee have equal negotiating power. I don't.

I don't believe there is anything more to be said.

Thank you for you time and thank you for keeping things civil.
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Old 15th May 2005, 08:14 AM   #239
shanek
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Sure, just like the punitive taxation of smokers where things have gotten so out of hand that NewYorkers have been unwittingly buying their smokes from Hezbollah in order to avoid all the taxes.
I don't know how unwitting you can say that is. They certainly know they're buying their cigarettes on the black market. I would also say there is all the difference in the world between free market competition and the government criminalizing something that isn't a real crime and the black market coming in to fill the void.

Quote:
You believe the market will correct the unreasonable demands against smokers. I don't.
Well, I have shown you the economic principles, and I have given real-world examples. Perhaps instead of just "agreeing to disagree," you could come up with a rebuttal? Refute the economic argument, and provide real-world examples of it not happening as I say? Your example above is unsuitable since, as I said, it's about a government and a black market, not the free market.

Quote:
You believe that even in a tight employment market both employer and employee have equal negotiating power. I don't.
I just don't see it as being black-and-white as you do. There are cases where it's equal, there are cases where it's favored on one side or the other. Even with a market phase that favors the employers, that doesn't mean there aren't employees who have the upper hand, and vice-versa.

And guess what? That's true with everything. It's true with buying cars or groceries, with investing in stocks, any time you have a human interaction. We can lament the fact that life isn't fair, but we also need to acknowledge that the more we use force to try and make it fair, the less free we make it.

And in any economic situation, there's always strength in numbers. If something really is a problem, they should be able to get enough people on their side to make a difference.

There are options other than government intervention. And those options don't have the perverse negative consequences that government intervention always does.

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Thank you for you time and thank you for keeping things civil.
No problem.
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Old 15th May 2005, 10:35 AM   #240
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Quote:
Originally posted by shanek

Well, I have shown you the economic principles, and I have given real-world examples. Perhaps instead of just "agreeing to disagree," you could come up with a rebuttal? Refute the economic argument, and provide real-world examples of it not happening as I say? Your example above is unsuitable since, as I said, it's about a government and a black market, not the free market.
The fact the employees working for a company who presumably were good workers have been fired for smoking on their own time makes my argument.

The fact that right now there are employees who have to submit to testing to determine if they smoke a legal product or they lose their job makes my argument.

As I said previously, I don't disagree that over the long haul the market may be able to correct for things like this, at least partially.

The problem is that while we are waiting for the market to take corrective action people have lost their jobs for a reason that is not at all related to any legitimate business of the employer. Now, you might quibble over who determines what is or isn't reasonable, but someone in this thread gave a real world example of an employer firing an employee for not voting the way the employer wanted and the courts upheld the right of the employer to fire the employee for that reason. I don't consider that reasonable as nobody, employer or otherwise, has any legitimate right to control how one votes.

As long as we have a market that allows for even one person to lose their job for no cause related to the business the market isn't sufficient as far as I am concerned. Fire someone because they aren't needed, due to poor performance of their responsibilities or whatever. That is fine just so long as the employee isn't being discriminated against for something that isn't the employer's business. I have even said I support the right of an employer to prohibit smoking on their property or while the employee is on the clock. Totally the employer's right. It is also the employer's right to mandate the employee wear pink spandex while on the job, but what the employee wears at home isn't the employer's business.

I think the employee's right to privacy trumps the employer's right to hire/fire at will in these cases.


Quote:
I just don't see it as being black-and-white as you do. There are cases where it's equal, there are cases where it's favored on one side or the other. Even with a market phase that favors the employers, that doesn't mean there aren't employees who have the upper hand, and vice-versa.
I agree, there may be some employees in some sectors that have the upper hand while the reverse is true in other sectors, but you keep looking at this in a macro sense while I am looking at it in a micro sense.

I believe the market forces are able to handle abuses on a macro level, but often not on a micro level. To me it is too much for even one person to lose their job due to a tyranical employer who makes their employee's private business their ilegitimate business.


Quote:
There are options other than government intervention. And those options don't have the perverse negative consequences that government intervention always does.

I agree government regulation can have perverse consequences. However what other option is their for the employee fired for smoking on his own time? There are no labor laws protecting him therefore the courts will not rule in his favor and I don't see there being any public revolt, particularly since it is fashionable to be intolerant of smokers these days.

The fact that people continue to shop at Walmart demonstrates that people are about price over principle so I don't see any help for the fired employees other than government regulation.
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