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Old 14th October 2021, 08:52 AM   #1
SuburbanTurkey
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Strike and strike and strike and strike until you have victory

Strike wave baby!

Quote:
Wave of US labor unrest could see tens of thousands on strike within weeks

Tens of thousands of workers around the US could go on strike in the coming weeks in what would be the largest wave of labor unrest since a series of teacher strikes in 2018 and 2019, which won major victories and gave the American labor movement a significant boost.

The unrest spans a huge range of industries from healthcare to Hollywood and academia, and is largely focused on higher wages, fighting cuts and better working and safety conditions, especially in light of Covid-19.


It also plays out against a backdrop of an economy bouncing back from the torrid experience of widespread economic shutdowns during the coronavirus pandemic, but one that is still marked by profound inequality.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...unions-strikes


Reports that Deere is getting a bunch of salaried desk jockies to go work in the assembly plants as the hourly staff is on strike. What could go wrong with a bunch of engineers trying to weld together a combine harvester?

Quote:
From a salary worker @ Deere:

"The Deere "strikebreakers" are currently ~650 salary employees pulled from engineering & mgmt positions across Deere. Note: I say "Strikebreakers" because I can guarantee that with our lack of skill and numbers, we will not be breaking the strike."
https://twitter.com/JonahFurman/stat...83622940446722

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Old 14th October 2021, 08:56 AM   #2
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"Young folks today just hate Capitalism!"

No they hate working for free/poor wages. They see a value in their labor.

"No screw you, you want my time/labor/skills you are going to pay me what I think it is worth!" is wonderfully capitalistic.
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Old 14th October 2021, 08:57 AM   #3
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It's going to be a tad funny when it turns out that the epidemic was really responsible for raising working conditions, wages, and quality of work across the US.

On NPR this morning they were talking about how the biggest industries hit are lodging, retail and restaurant work. People are leaving those jobs en masse because they want to work remotely, or the pay isn't enough, or they don't want customer facing jobs for $3.45/hr. I don't blame them either. As terrible as it is, I think COVID might do more for the US labor force than any politician has done in the last 50 years.
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Old 14th October 2021, 08:59 AM   #4
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Is that what happened, on a much greater scale, with the Black Plague?
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Old 14th October 2021, 09:19 AM   #5
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Never been in a union. Never asked for a raise. Never made a resume. But I got great raises and promotions. My strategy was to be worth more to my employer than I was paid. This provided me more opportunity to, on occasion, not do what my boss wanted if it was clearly sub-optimal. In those instances I would work out an alternative that was clearly better and insist on it. Their option was to fire me. They didn't. I'm now retired with a very comfortable net worth.

Not that unions are bad. They are necessary in many areas. Mostly where workers are seen as easily replacable. But that was never an environment I wanted to work in.
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Old 14th October 2021, 09:21 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by marting View Post
Never been in a union. Never asked for a raise. Never made a resume. But I got great raises and promotions. My strategy was to be worth more to my employer than I was paid. This provided me more opportunity to, on occasion, not do what my boss wanted if it was clearly sub-optimal. In those instances I would work out an alternative that was clearly better and insist on it. Their option was to fire me. They didn't. I'm now retired with a very comfortable net worth.

Not that unions are bad. They are necessary in many areas. Mostly where workers are seen as easily replacable. But that was never an environment I wanted to work in.
Cool story bro. Glad being unorganized worked out for you.
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Old 14th October 2021, 09:21 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by marting View Post
Never been in a union. Never asked for a raise. Never made a resume. But I got great raises and promotions. My strategy was to be worth more to my employer than I was paid. This provided me more opportunity to, on occasion, not do what my boss wanted if it was clearly sub-optimal. In those instances I would work out an alternative that was clearly better and insist on it. Their option was to fire me. They didn't. I'm now retired with a very comfortable net worth.

Not that unions are bad. They are necessary in many areas. Mostly where workers are seen as easily replacable. But that was never an environment I wanted to work in.
Ah yes, but not everyone has the luxury to work in an environment they want.
And those are the workers being paid below liveable wages.
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Old 14th October 2021, 09:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
Ah yes, but not everyone has the luxury to work in an environment they want.
And those are the workers being paid below liveable wages.
The subtext of these kinds of statements is that there are large swaths of the working population that really don't deserve to be free from abject poverty or unsafe/undignified working conditions. Shoulda scored better on your SATs if you wanted healthcare or didn't want to get screamed at by customers while working retail.
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Old 14th October 2021, 09:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Cool story bro. Glad being unorganized worked out for you.
Being highly exploitable ("My strategy was to be worth more to my employer than I was paid.") does sort of help in keeping a job though.


Depressing that someone would consider that a virtue. It's been a great tool of class warfare against working people though.
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Old 14th October 2021, 09:46 AM   #10
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Regardless even if it's not within an organized union this kind of realization among the work force of their worth is still a good thing.
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Old 14th October 2021, 10:00 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
Being highly exploitable ("My strategy was to be worth more to my employer than I was paid.") does sort of help in keeping a job though.


Depressing that someone would consider that a virtue. It's been a great tool of class warfare against working people though.
It's not a virtue so much as an observation. If you are paid close to what you are worth there is little reason for an employer to keep you. When an employer sees you has having more value to them than their cost you have more flexibility. In my experience, workers often see better ways of doing things than their bosses. It's in the worker's interest, not to mention the business, to empower them.

I did my best to encourage co-workers to approach it the same way. Some did. Others just want to follow orders.
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Old 14th October 2021, 10:08 AM   #12
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A very simple prescription: If you draw a paycheck, you'd better have a union.

I've said that to all kinds of people, and I've only encountered disagreement from two sorts.

One consisted of mudsill proles, chiefly rural or small town, intermittently unemployed and decided right-wing in sentiment. "Them ******* union never done me no ******* good, **** them **********!" summed up their philosophy. I learned to leave them to fry in their own grease.

The other group were entirely professors of engineering, PhDs to a man. "Unions are inappropriate for, ahem, professionals." was their mantra. No matter how deep the administration's screw went, they used that little formula to protect themselves from thinking or, god forefend, from taking action. But I forgave them. Engineering professors are simple, even innocent, souls, possibly the most cloistered of academics.
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Old 14th October 2021, 10:15 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by marting View Post
It's not a virtue so much as an observation. If you are paid close to what you are worth there is little reason for an employer to keep you. When an employer sees you has having more value to them than their cost you have more flexibility. In my experience, workers often see better ways of doing things than their bosses. It's in the worker's interest, not to mention the business, to empower them.

I did my best to encourage co-workers to approach it the same way. Some did. Others just want to follow orders.
This is the worst advice anyone could give any other person on the planet ever, and I hope no one takes it.

Get a job that pays you what you're worth, not less than that because you want flexibility. Especially since, as we're seeing, the workers are gaining great flexibility. In fact, they're doing the opposite of this terrible, terrible advice and they're leaving jobs that pay them less than what they're worth and going to jobs that will pay them what they're worth.

This is just...
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Old 14th October 2021, 10:24 AM   #14
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Good Morning America spitting hot fire this morning, uncharacteristically good coverage from one of the big news outlets:

https://twitter.com/GMA/status/1448605991826857984
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Old 14th October 2021, 10:28 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Get a job that pays you what you're worth, not less than that because you want flexibility. Especially since, as we're seeing, the workers are gaining great flexibility. In fact, they're doing the opposite of this terrible, terrible advice and they're leaving jobs that pay them less than what they're worth and going to jobs that will pay them what they're worth.
Can't say I've ever seen a company hire somewhat if they didn't expect that hire to benefit their bottom line. Only if there is no benefit to the bottom line is a new worker paid what they are worth. Otherwise why would a company bother?

Workers need to think differently. That they are all (or almost all) worth more than they are paid and that gives them leverage. If they quit and get more somewhere else it's because that somewhere else realizes they are more valuable.
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Old 14th October 2021, 10:30 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by marting View Post
Can't say I've ever seen a company hire somewhat if they didn't expect that hire to benefit their bottom line. Only if there is no benefit to the bottom line is a new worker paid what they are worth. Otherwise why would a company bother?

Workers need to think differently. That they are all (or almost all) worth more than they are paid and that gives them leverage. If they quit and get more somewhere else it's because that somewhere else realizes they are more valuable.
Better yet, they could talk to one another and plan to quit all at the same time. They could even form a club of some sort for this explicit purpose and use it to collectively haggle with potential employers. A revolutionary idea!
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Old 14th October 2021, 10:36 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Better yet, they could talk to one another and plan to quit all at the same time. They could even form a club of some sort for this explicit purpose and use it to collectively haggle with potential employers. A revolutionary idea!
Yep. And works best where management sees their workers as replaceable cogs in a machine. I've never worked in such a place though and if I had it wouldn't have been for long. But then I've been lucky.
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Old 14th October 2021, 10:37 AM   #18
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As an idea I'm 100% pro-union.

As anything I want to personally do it always sounds like having a second boss that I have to pay.

I'm not being sarcastic I love the idea, but I don't want to work in an adversarial environment that is always exactly like going through my parents divorce again.
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Old 14th October 2021, 10:46 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
As an idea I'm 100% pro-union.

As anything I want to personally do it always sounds like having a second boss that I have to pay.

I'm not being sarcastic I love the idea, but I don't want to work in an adversarial environment that is always exactly like going through my parents divorce again.
I dunno, seems nice to not be out there on your own.

For most people, their employers are very organized. Huge organizations with dedicated HR departments carefully measuring and determining how much they can get for how little they pay. A ununionized worker is supposed to negotiate with this just based on their own personal gut feeling on what's fair. Understandably the employer often benefits from a tremendous informational asymmetry and walks away from each negotiation the big winner.

A union definitely helps level the playing field, allowing workers to be as organized as their employer, even more crucial now as anti-trust and anti-monopoly laws are increasingly showing themselves to be toothless.
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Old 14th October 2021, 11:17 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I dunno, seems nice to not be out there on your own.

For most people, their employers are very organized. Huge organizations with dedicated HR departments carefully measuring and determining how much they can get for how little they pay. A ununionized worker is supposed to negotiate with this just based on their own personal gut feeling on what's fair. Understandably the employer often benefits from a tremendous informational asymmetry and walks away from each negotiation the big winner.

A union definitely helps level the playing field, allowing workers to be as organized as their employer, even more crucial now as anti-trust and anti-monopoly laws are increasingly showing themselves to be toothless.

That's really true. I've seen it. Large companies make it hard to get a sense of your own contributions or what effect what you do has overall. The bigger the worse it is.

Which gets back to luck. I lucked out getting hired by a small tech manufacturing company. It was the first place I looked after graduation and a reference from the college placement office. Knew nothing about them, and hadn't expected to be hired so no coat and tie or resume. I enjoyed the interview, looked like fun, and they made me an offer.

An advantage of a small company is you get visibility into most everything. I would help out troubleshooting problems in manufacturing (about 50 feet away) or customer support. This provided insight into design approaches so designs I did took into consideration how a product would be used by customers and made and tested in the factory. For me it was like working in a candy store.
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Old 14th October 2021, 11:17 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
As an idea I'm 100% pro-union.

As anything I want to personally do it always sounds like having a second boss that I have to pay.

I'm not being sarcastic I love the idea, but I don't want to work in an adversarial environment that is always exactly like going through my parents divorce again.
When established the union is what generally avoids that environment. Plus it so changes things as to be incomprehensible.

I think about my father working at the steel mill and when the steel mill had to lay people off they had to do so by offering early retirement before kicking out newbies. This is how my father became a retired steelworker at 44. With a livable pension and full health benefits and a free hand to find some other gig if he chose.

This sounds like inconceivable madness today, but was not all that unusual back then for union contracts to require this sort of thing.

I mean, on top of that there is that the union at one point bought the whole freaking mill and stayed in business well into the Clinton era domestic steel collapse.
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Old 14th October 2021, 11:20 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
When established the union is what generally avoids that environment. Plus it so changes things as to be incomprehensible.

I think about my father working at the steel mill and when the steel mill had to lay people off they had to do so by offering early retirement before kicking out newbies. This is how my father became a retired steelworker at 44. With a livable pension and full health benefits and a free hand to find some other gig if he chose.

This sounds like inconceivable madness today, but was not all that unusual back then for union contracts to require this sort of thing.

I mean, on top of that there is that the union at one point bought the whole freaking mill and stayed in business well into the Clinton era domestic steel collapse.
When you put it like that.....a pension sounds like a really dumb idea. That is just a terrible idea to set yourself up having to make future payments in the face of a ton of uncertainty.
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Old 14th October 2021, 11:32 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by marting View Post

An advantage of a small company is you get visibility into most everything. I would help out troubleshooting problems in manufacturing (about 50 feet away) or customer support. This provided insight into design approaches so designs I did took into consideration how a product would be used by customers and made and tested in the factory. For me it was like working in a candy store.
Working conditions are part of being paid what you are worth.

I'm in a similar kind of situation where from a labor perspective it is arguable I'm being a bit of a sucker but this is a public interest non-profit so I'm not lining anyone's pockets. Also I have the ability and choice to walk out at any time and significantly increase my income in exchange for some minor inconveniences and slightly less security.

Which is why I'd never use my situation as a basis to advise other people. Being an employee in a situation where the employee has more bargaining power than the employer is just not common.
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Old 14th October 2021, 11:33 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
That is just a terrible idea to set yourself up having to make future payments in the face of a ton of uncertainty.
We call those "loans" in the real world.
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Old 14th October 2021, 11:39 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
When you put it like that.....a pension sounds like a really dumb idea. That is just a terrible idea to set yourself up having to make future payments in the face of a ton of uncertainty.
It is probably a smart idea when the labor market is such that pensions are customary and that company wants to have employees.
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Old 14th October 2021, 11:48 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
Working conditions are part of being paid what you are worth.
Good point. I started as a junior engineer and was paid less than the person that wired up our prototypes and most of the technicians. Reasonable because their skills were pretty critical.

As for bargaining power, I never did any. But I wound up as chief engineer 4 years later. Loved the job until the company got too big (1k employees) and, given my distaste of bigger companies, it was time to leave for a much smaller competitor that wanted to do more of the things I wanted to do. Even then the company kept me on through my notice period and even gave me a Christmas bonus. Nothing but great respect for the owner and others I worked with.
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Old 14th October 2021, 12:07 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by marting View Post
Good point. I started as a junior engineer and was paid less than the person that wired up our prototypes and most of the technicians. Reasonable because their skills were pretty critical.

As for bargaining power, I never did any. But I wound up as chief engineer 4 years later. Loved the job until the company got too big (1k employees) and, given my distaste of bigger companies, it was time to leave for a much smaller competitor that wanted to do more of the things I wanted to do. Even then the company kept me on through my notice period and even gave me a Christmas bonus. Nothing but great respect for the owner and others I worked with.
I think a lot of us in these spots fail to fully appreciate the ways things are different for the people starting out now. The pressure to go to college and the size of student loans alone are a game changer.

I know lots of people around my father's age that complain about the kids nowadays being greedy and whiny about their jobs when they themselves walked straight from high school to a mill to be paid what today would be about 50K/yr plus benefits and union protections and were buying houses at 20.

Now we have a guy shooting himself into space because his internet book store somehow managed to fund massive expansion and undercutting the entire retail universe and make itself nearly impossible to avoid.

So, sure.
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Old 14th October 2021, 12:24 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
We call those "loans" in the real world.
Loans contain certainty. You have a fixed amount of months. You give a pension to a a 60 year old, you have 1 to 55 years of payments.
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Old 14th October 2021, 12:28 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
I think a lot of us in these spots fail to fully appreciate the ways things are different for the people starting out now. The pressure to go to college and the size of student loans alone are a game changer.
Yeah. That's a big problem. Totally out of control. On top of that I'm skeptical about college degrees generally. When I first got hiring authority, I just assumed degrees were critical. Then I quickly realized that some people with advanced degrees seemed to have little actual knowledge one would expect from the degree and some with no degree had somehow acquired a great deal of knowledge often from hobbies. For instance a guy that built a home computer (pre Altair) and learned to program it in assembly. They usually couldn't get past the front door at larger companies. Especially those that did govt. contracts where HR put a high premium on degrees.

That said, the smartest, most valuable hire I every made was a PhD. Pure luck. i had stumbled across his doctoral thesis at UCSD's library when researching a topic I was intrigued by. In chatting with one of the professors there he mentioned the guy's name saying he thought he might be looking for work. The prof had no idea I had his thesis on my desk. Flew him out and hired him.
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Old 14th October 2021, 12:34 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Loans contain certainty. You have a fixed amount of months. You give a pension to a a 60 year old, you have 1 to 55 years of payments.
Maybe somebody would find a way to work out what reserves are necessary to fund this for a set of employees in a way allowing for an acceptable degree of certainty that would make government backing reasonable in cases of extreme outliers.

Plus some business model that would take on that uncertainty for a slight premium for those companies that operate on a smaller scale or just would rather outsource that.

Crazy stuff like that. Dare to dream, etc.
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Old 14th October 2021, 12:41 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
Maybe somebody would find a way to work out what reserves are necessary to fund this for a set of employees in a way allowing for an acceptable degree of certainty that would make government backing reasonable in cases of extreme outliers.

Plus some business model that would take on that uncertainty for a slight premium for those companies that operate on a smaller scale or just would rather outsource that.

Crazy stuff like that. Dare to dream, etc.
Companies just lining up out the door to take that deal
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Old 14th October 2021, 01:12 PM   #32
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I just popped in to compliment the thread title.
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Old 14th October 2021, 01:36 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Companies just lining up out the door to take that deal

Next thing you know they will be doing really crazy stuff like offering to assume the risk of a car accident for a set periodic fee.

I say, this idea of having a pool of money and then using it to assume risks in a way that brings an expected profit is something I am just coming up with right now and I don't know how the world has survived without it.
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Old 14th October 2021, 07:19 PM   #34
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Might soon be tens of thousands? The last thing I saw on this said it's already millions.

We need an emoticon rubbing its chin with one eyebrow raised.
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Old 14th October 2021, 07:28 PM   #35
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My friend works in the film industry in New Mexico and I think they just voted to strike. It's not really about money, it's the conditions and hours. She never knows her hours. For example, make plans for a Sunday... Oops find out on Saturday at 10pm she must come in and work 12 hours. Don't like it? Bye and good luck finding another job in the industry.
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Old 14th October 2021, 07:42 PM   #36
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Working without joining the union is enjoying the benefits without contributing to the costs.
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Old 14th October 2021, 07:57 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Working without joining the union is enjoying the benefits without contributing to the costs.
"All within the union, nothing outside the union, nothing against the union."

- Benito Mussolini, probably

Workers everywhere benefit from the union's efforts. Why begrudge their good fortune at your hands? Wasn't their good fortune your goal all along? Or is your beneficence reserved for those who make obeisance to your clique?
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Old 14th October 2021, 08:00 PM   #38
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What?
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Old 14th October 2021, 08:05 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
What?
I SAID,
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
"All within the union, nothing outside the union, nothing against the union."

- Benito Mussolini, probably

Workers everywhere benefit from the union's efforts. Why begrudge their good fortune at your hands? Wasn't their good fortune your goal all along? Or is your beneficence reserved for those who make obeisance to your clique?
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Old 14th October 2021, 08:15 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I SAID,
I saw what you said. I was wondering about the message you were trying to convey by saying it.
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