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Comment Re: fairly compensate recording artists, songwrite (Score 2, Insightful) 237

I keep seeing people point this out, but I believe they are missing the point to a large degree. Youtube for a large segment of listeners isn't advertising for buying a song, its a replacement for it. Why would I spend money and go through the hassle of actually buying a CD when I can have any song/video I want from almost any popular band playing within a matter of seconds on youtube? Its easier and cheaper. (and perfectly legal) Personally, I haven't actually bought music in years for this exact reason and I know that there are a lot of other people out there like me. Statistics for album sales certainly seem to back up my view that this is common. (yeah I know, someone is going to chime in about how sales are abysmal because music isn't as good as it was back in their day. The ratio of good music to bad hasn't changed much in the last few decades, can we please not pretend that the dramatic decrease in music sales is not related to the internet?)

Giving away something for free (or dirt cheap) isn't much of a business model. I do not blame them for taking their ball and going home.

Comment Re:The reason everyone is against it (Score 1) 715

And whats wrong with telling the workers that? Seems like important information to me. There are a lot of businesses that truly CANT survive with a union. If I were a worker considering unionizing I would want to know whether or not my employer would be able to stay in business if I did so.

Would you rather have a situation where workers never heard the other side and then suddenly a little after unionizing the business went kaput and they were all out of jobs?

Comment Re:The reason everyone is against it (Score 1) 715

Either the organizers are acting within the law, and not coercing the signatories, or the management can give the workers to express their "uncoerced" opinions via secret ballot. So what's the problem?

Why are you putting "uncoerced" in air quotes? ITS A SECRET BALLOT. Management cant coerce employees into voting a certain way cause they dont know how an individual voted!

What the pro union folks are advocating is NOT a secret ballot and IS open to pressure and coercion to varying degrees.

The actual problem is that the EFCA takes away management's opportunity to spend a month preaching about how unionization will kill the company. That's why they're afraid of it, not out of any concern for the sanctity of the secret ballot.

Many times thats actually true. Whats wrong with employees hearing the other side of the story? If they really want a union that bad watching an infomercial before a secret ballot wont change anything. I dont understand this pro-union attitude that no opposing views should ever be heard by employees.

Comment Re:The reason everyone is against it (Score 1) 715

Who says they aren't?

Well they have chosen to go after eliminating the secret ballot instead of putting in place a system like this, so I think that their actions say that they aren't in favor of taking this route instead of killing the secret ballot.

The unions aren't against secret ballots. What they're trying to do is eliminate a step in the process which is there for the sole purpose of preventing them from forming a union.

Um, yes, thats exactly why that step is there. And thats a good thing. Can you imagine if a politician said "I am not against secret ballots, what I am trying to do is eliminate a step in the process which is there for the sole purpose of preventing me from staying in office"?

Thats what secret ballot elections are for, to make sure its what people REALLY want. It is necessary to have that check to make sure that the union isnt forcing itself on people who dont want it. You have to protect pro union as well as anti union workers.

Comment Re:The reason everyone is against it (Score 1) 715

1) This legislation does not eliminate secret ballots. Secret ballots are still an option. But if over half of workers are ready to unionize, why should employers get the right to dismiss that, demand a secret ballot, and get a month where they can force employees to attend lectures on why unionizing will eat their children?

Oh please, thats exacty what it does. If the union says "hey we got the signatures, no election" then there wont be an election. Only the people trying to organize can request a secret ballot. Translation: It will never happen.

Secret ballots are necessary to protect both workers who want to unionize and workers who dont. If pro union people can choose not to have a secret ballot at their discretion then that is as big of a problem as if management can choose not to have a secret ballot.

Comment Re:The reason everyone is against it (Score 1) 715

Yes, I am talking about American plants. It wasnt "high union wages" that destroyed the big three, its:

1) The legacy costs of the big three are substantially higher because they agreed to crazy union demands decades ago. The current union wages are actually lower now, but that doesnt begin to compensate for the difference in legacy costs.

2) Productivity at the big three is extremely low because of the union. If it takes half as many man hours to build a toyota car because their workers are much better due to the fact that management is not hamstrung by the union then they an afford to pay them more. Even in blue collar jobs that "anyone" can do, there is a big difference between a good employee and a bad employee.

Comment Re:The reason everyone is against it (Score 2, Interesting) 715

Enough with the bullshit dishonesty. You don't care about secret ballots. You just hate unions. At least the unions are honest about their intentions.

Wasnt it you who was decrying namecalling in another thread?

I got an idea. This may be radical, but why don't you try treating employees well? Pay them a decent wage, give them good benefits and don't shit all over them. Maybe then they wouldn't want to form a union, and the vote would fail on it's own initiative.

I think many would argue that this is exactly what most non-union companies do. Examples: Publix workers and Toyota factory workers. Both have substantially higher morale than their unionized competitors. Both have successfully resisted countless union drives. And both have higher entry level pay.

Comment Re:The reason everyone is against it (Score 1) 715

Why is it everyone keeps putting "secret ballot" in quotes? You seem to be implying that its not secret but they are definintly truly secret ballots that are supervised and regulated.

You try to cast this as "we need to remove the secret ballot to prevent pro-union people from being harrassed" but thats just silly. There already are laws preventing this from happening. And while it still happens some it certainly is not the norm as you suggest. And no, I am not in favor of firing people who try to organize unions.

Why is it such a horrible thing that management can request a secret ballot when the petition arrives at their doorstep? I dont see why this is a problem. If the workers truly want a union then they should have no problem voting yes in secret.

If the unions are really concerned about misbehaviour by management in the time between when they get the petition and the elections are held then why arent they pushing for a law that says the election must be held within X number of days of receiving Y signatures? Why do they feel the best option is elimination of the secret ballot?

Comment Re:The reason everyone is against it (Score 1) 715

2 years is very much the exception and not the rule. Employees being fired for signing a union petition is illegal and also fairly rare.

And if they are really so concerned about hte length of time before the election why dont they just pass a law that says "the election shall be held within 60 days of receiving X number of signatures"? Why do they have to eliminate the secret ballot to do that?

Comment Re:The reason everyone is against it (Score 1) 715

You talk about companies trying to influence the vote like its a terrible thing. Shouldnt both sides be allowed to state their positions?

Basically the assumption is that the cards are a true representation of what the workers want, and the votes likely aren't.

That seems like a terrible assumption, how can a ballot cast in secret not be taken as a representation of what a worker wants?

You might try listening to KPFA sometimes, because they cover this issue quite a bit, and you can get the worker's perspective there.

Because workers are left wing activists? I dont think so. Most workers want to work hard, get rewarded for it and go home. The vast majority of them arent interested in left wing politics.

Comment Re:The reason everyone is against it (Score 4, Insightful) 715

I don't think that's it.

Ok, if you dont think that the purpose of this is to effectively eliminate the secret ballot then why do you think the unions want it so bad? If its such a non-issue why dont they take the elimination of the secret ballot out of the bill?

In the 100 or so years of union history in this country, isn't it more common for corporations to strong arm employees out of a union than these magical union bosses?

No, its really not. Unions used to be heavily infested by mobsters once upon a time. Its true that corporations do cross the line sometimes and there should be and are laws against that. But to say that only corporations resort to intimidation or that they do so commonly is not accurate. There are laws to prevent retaliating against employees who sign those petitions and they are usually respected. The United States is a country of hundreds of millions of people though so there are certainly exceptions to the rule.

Here is the fundamental problem with your claim that bosses are intimidating workers into voting against the union on the secret ballot: The bosses DONT KNOW how an individual employee voted and therefore any threats of "you had better vote this way" have no teeth. This is the whole point of a secret ballot.

Comment The reason everyone is against it (Score 5, Informative) 715

The reason people are so against it is that its primary purpose is to take away the secret ballot from workers considering joining a union.

Currently if union wants to move in it has to get a certain number of workers to sign a petition and then a secret ballot is held. If the union wins, bam the company is unionized.

What the unions want to do is just collect 50% of the signatures and skip the secret ballot step. This is called the "Card Check" provision, because the workers just sign cards and hand them to the union boss. Why? Because there are an awful lot of people who are willing to sign when the union boss is at their door leaning on them but when the secret ballot comes around the union routinely doesnt get anywhere near the number of votes the thought they had.

This is all about pushing unions into workplaces where the union cant win a secret ballot. The country tilted too far right in the past few years and now we are about to see what kind of legislation gets enacted when the left controls things and wants to push their own agenda on people whether they like it or not. Virtually every democrat supports this because it was made a litmus test on getting the big union campaign funds during the election.


Submission + - Bill Gates Technology Talk from 1989

alphabetasigmagamma writes: The Computer Science Club of the University of Waterloo hosted a talk in 1989 with Bill Gates as the speaker. Recently this audio tape of the talk has been discovered by the Computer Science Club office and has since been digitized and posted on the Computer Science Club website at In this talk you get to hear Bill Gates in an awkward position at Microsoft, promoting the then soon to fail OS/2 operating system product while at the same time downtalking slightly the significance of Windows. This rare glimpse into Microsoft in its early days shows some of the predictions that Microsoft got right as well as got wrong (such as the memory allocation issues in MS-DOS). In addition, Bill Gates discusses how he sees the computer industry in the coming years.

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