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Friday, December 14th, 2012

Do you think

Eric Holder has learned enough to keep his actual fingerprints off the guns he supplied to the connecticuit school shooter(s), the Clackamas shooters, etc, or will we find out that this has been Rathergated- (Sure, we made it up, but it’s true!!!) so the press will ignore the scandal and use this blood to stain anyone opposing draconian gun control measures?

When you take a guy who usually drives an old beater

And give him a fast, nice rental car while he’s out of town, you get some issues.

Like, boy, this car is great, and accellerate into a turn, then brake/accel brake/accel brake/accel all the way around the turn till you drive your passengers insane.

At least I was the designated driver one night so I could drive like someone who understood what “Apex” meant.

One of the things about my gig

Is that I get to see everything. I have worked in literally hundreds (By now maybe more than a thousand) different manufacturing facilities. A brief and obviously incomplete list of these facilities follows:

Automotive manufacturing facilities
Second and third tier automotive manufacturing facilities (people who make engines, transmissions, seats, carpets, or any and all of the parts therof and supply them to or are part of the major corporation)
Heavy industrial (Earthmoving and excavation equipment including the BIGGEST ones, and all of their second and third tier facilities)
Light industrial, all the way down to consumer, including small engine manufacturing, appliance manufacturing, electronics manufacturing(yes, there are appliances and electronics still being made in this country)
Aircraft, bith military and civilian, and their second and third tier suppliers.
Food manufacturing, including pasta, soups, commercial and industrial flavoring, sugar processing, salt processing, beef, pork, chicken, and many of the subsets of those things. (Sausage, lunch meats, donuts, cookies, chips, crackers, chocolate, candy, ice cream)
Building materials, including concrete, cement, aggregate, gypsum, plaster, lumber.
Furniture and cabinetry from wal-mart consumer crap to the finest names in the business.
Primary manufacture- iron, steel, aluminum, specialized metals and precious metals
Firearms, including long and short guns, wheelguns, automatics, gun parts and complete assemblies.
Light rail, heavy rail, passenger rail. I could go on but you get the idea by now, I hope.

Sometimes I’m a week in each plant, sometimes a month, sometimes only a day. Always, I’m there long enough to get to know a few of the people and understand the atmosphere of the facility for the employees and the management,

Some of these places have been in the north (including the great White North) some have been in the deep south, some have been impossibly large, some only one or two “Employees”.

They have been a mixture of union facilities and non union facilities. In the union facilities some of them have been strong unions, some not so much. In the non union facilities, some have been well managed and are full of competent, skilled employees satisfied with their jobs, and some are deliberately run into bankruptcy, lipsticked, and passed on to another sucker who almost invariably does the same thing.

Back and forth, up and down, the whole magilla, I have seen just about every manufacturing situation that exists. While working in those union plants I have been subject to threats to myself and my family, I have had my tires slashed, I have been met in the parking lot of hotels by people with baseball bats and tire irons.

I wear big boy pants, i can take care of myself. And you will work hard to find anyone who despises trade unions more than I, and I have all the personal and professional reasons to do so. That is why my chosen profession is automation; I use automation to do a lot of work that is too dangerous or stressful for humans, but these days, the vast majority of the work I do is aimed at removing the direct labor from manufacturing.

See, a machine that makes a bellhousing for a Ford transmission costs the same if it’s in America, India, Germany, or Ukrane. the material costs are mostly the same. The engineering costs are the same. The variables are overhead and direct labor. The overhead is mostly a function of the cost per employee for things like insurance and the physical plant (Heating or cooling the facility, treating the air and water, providing lockers/showers/cafeteria etc). By moving facilities to right to work states and automating as much of each process as possible the cost of facility overhead and direct labor is brought to chinese-worker levels, and the plant can be profitable again. (of course there are other issues like EPA etc that the Won will use to close plants that aren’t full of union workers supporting him)

Or as we say in our business, everytime a robot replaces a union thug, an angel gets it’s wings.

So you cannot tell me anything about unions I do not know, and probably know quite a bit better than you do.
Unlike most people, though, I’m actually DOING something about this; if they would let me, I would have a line on my business card that said “helping companies remain profitable by automating them away from union labor since 1990”

This is the life, as Don Corleone would say, that I have chosen, and I am at the very top of my field. I have a handful of equals in the world. I’m not bragging, this is just the way it is; and I am not arrogant enough to even hint that these skills are mine and mine alone, without the Creator endowing me with the very special skills I have I would be nowhere and nothing. I am eternally grateful every day for the abilities I have and every time I accomplish everything anywhere I offer a prayer of thanks to the Creator for providing me with that ability.

On the gripping hand: Anyone who tells you that unions never did any good anywhere is insular, and ignorant of the actual facts. period. In the early days of the industrial revolution the working conditions were horrendous, the danger to individuals maximal, and the injury and death rates purely gruesome. people joined the unions not because they were socialist sympathisers but because they desired and deserved protection from employers who treated them as commodities. And there was only one corner from where that was coming, and it was the unions. You can say “oh, the media would have raised outcry and fixed thigs’ and “the market would eventually have solved this” and in both cases you are and always will be, wrong, period. All of which is still useless to the guy trying to feed his family and live long enough to see his children grow up. From the comfort of your office chair it’s really easy to tell that guy (and the hundreds of thousand just like him) to just try to hold out a bit longer and things will all work out. And in the same position you would do exactly the same thing, every single time. If you think otherwise it is because you have never been in that situation.

No, this is not a romanticised vision of the facts gleaned from folk songs, it is the actual facts as I have witnessed with my own eyes. Ths sort of thing has been going on and continues to go on all over our country, even now. Get your ass into a poultry processing plant and tell me how you like the working conditions. Stand calf deep in offal all day long in a cattle processing plant watchng the death throes of improperly killed steers and tell me that you are adequately compensated for the breakneck pace you work. Those plants will never be unionized, and there is a specific reason; The union benefits more from the employer than from the employees. that brings up the other myth: Companies will always treat their employees well given free market pressure” that is the merest bullshit that ever existed, and always will be, and if you ‘believe” that, you are an abject moron. I can get you a gig in a couple of places where you will change your attitude about this very quickly.

Randians and objectivists (and many others) have told themselves the lie that employers are always the good guys and the market will always give everyone the things they deserve. This lie is bigger than all the others put together. There are corporations that have a great attitude toward their employees, and those have been the ones successful at keeping the unions and their bullshit out. There are also companies- and there are a powerful LOT of them, that treat their employees like shit because they know there will always be a great big long fucking line of people out there willing to do that job, and a LOT of them willing to do it for less and work harder and longer just to HAVE that gig. And those are the facts. Thirty six years of experience in hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of manufacturing facilities of every stripe, and I can guarantee you that this is true, and there is no way around it, period.

Socialists didnt create the need for unions, corporations did by not making any effort to communicate with labor. Because of the unions, this does not happen on a large scale anymore, but it does happen in smaller companies and the companies get away with it and always will because there is not enough money in union dues to be made off of people making minimum wage. Ford and GM and Chrysler and Inland and US Steel and etc. slit their own throats an gifted the world with trade unions; the way they treated the early unions made the unions into heroes. That image is forever a part of our culture.

Are all unions bad? I cannot say that with any certainty because I do not have personal experience with “All” unions, and anyone making a blanket statement like that is a fool. The ones I’m personally familiar with, and the culture of corruption and violence that accompanies them, is a disaster, a blight on our society and culture and economy, and the muscle behind the stealth socialist revolution we have undergone. Together with the Bureau of Indoctrination and the Agency of Lies they have taken over our country- but not by force. Everything they have, they have been given. By industry, by government, by you and I.

I have no love for trade unions in general and I have a lot more and a lot more personal reasons to hate them than most people I know, but to say they never did any good is merely ignorance of the facts, and to say that there was any way to avoid their creation is an ignorance of the facts that can only be termed heroic.