Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
A thoughtful essay from Sonic Charmer that I think deserves all of the attention it could get:
One principled argument [in favor of unions] is that the “right” to unionize is something that flows from free speech, or assembly, or something – something like an obvious emergent right that builds off basic, individual, inalienable rights.
This justification breaks down upon even the most superficial inspection. If all unions were about was speech and assembly, there would be nothing controversial about them. Yes of course, people have the right to form ‘clubs’ of whatever sort with each other, go to meetings, give part of their paycheck to other people, to complain about things, and if they are really unhappy with their working conditions, not go to work and say they’ll only come back if they get more pay. But that is not actually what unions do – none of that is where the rubber meets the road, because it fails to incorporate the key points about modern unions: 1. being able to force people to join them, i.e. monopolize labor, 2. being able to force a company to negotiate with certain dudes that have been anointed the union leaders, and 3. the company is not allowed to fire people when they don’t come to work (which is ridiculous!).
Points 1-3 form the actual teeth of unions. Without them, unions would be superfluous and pointless. With them, unions are what they are. But none of 1-3 flow from the right to free speech, or free assembly, or any other individual right of any kind.
[T]he argument is that, as constructed, the system of corporations becomes too powerful and if given no counterbalance this would lead to a bad situation for employees. Hence, let’s empower unions too, by whatever right and authority we used to empower corporations.
This argument, I must say, has some merit. It can’t be easily dismissed; there could be something to it. At the very least, even the most instinctively anti-union person (such as myself) must recognize that there could be sectors or industries in which the (government-created, after all) corporate structure leads to a warped situation, and against which unions are a reasonable and feasible solution.
But this argument ONLY WORKS IF WE’RE TALKING ABOUT THE PRIVATE SECTOR.
James Taranto (inadvertently) continues this train of thought in today’s Best of the Web:
There is a fundamental difference between private- and public-sector workers. A private-sector labor dispute is a clear clash of competing interests, with management representing shareholders and unions representing workers. In the public sector, as George Will notes, taxpayers–whose position is analogous to that of shareholders–are usually denied a seat at the table:
Such unions are government organized as an interest group to lobby itself to do what it always wants to do anyway – grow. These unions use dues extracted from members to elect their members’ employers. And governments, not disciplined by the need to make a profit, extract government employees’ salaries from taxpayers. Government sits on both sides of the table in cozy “negotiations” with unions.
Collective bargaining in the public sector thus is less a negotiation than a conspiracy to steal money from taxpayers.
And one other point of Taranto’s. It doesn’t fit in anywhere, but it’s too good to leave unmentioned so I’ll simply tack it on to the end:
Here is the contradiction of progressivism. Progressives tell us they want the government to do more. But they can’t win elections without public-sector unions. Because they are beholden to those unions, their main priority when in power is to increase the cost, not the scope, of government. Because resources are finite, the result is the worst of both worlds: a government that taxes more without doing more. This is unsustainable economically. Fortunately, as Wisconsin voters showed last November, it’s unsustainable politically as well.
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