I'm pretty sure employers tend to oppose unions.
Certainly many employers do oppose unions, especially real ones. But unions are fairly easy to co-opt and can then be used as a means of control and limitation. Just like their government counterparts, bribery of union officials elected by their membership is a time honored tradition. I've personally spoken to a former union rep about how they got extra jobs and extra pay from their employer because of their union position. Anecdotally this seems to have been a common practice that undermines the whole concept of an "independent" union negotiating in good faith purely for the benefit of workers. Sure even corrupt union officials are going to have to be concerned about appearances, but why wouldn't a business want a union especially if it was in their pocket? "Organized" unionization can be used to preempt real grass roots unionization.
There's a knock-on effect... for those of us not employed at the named offenders, the salaries are suppressed. I hope they're convicted.
Damn straight. This is a criminal conspiracy.
I'll say it again. Anarchy is not freedom. A free market is one free of the threat of force, intimidation or fraud and that always requires just regulations and policing.
Or put another way, a free market doesn't mean who has the fastest draw of their gun.
Compare this to solar/wind/tidal. None of these leave waste as part of their electricity production.
In order to create all those solar panels mines have to be dug, natural resources processed to make the steel to support them and the silicon wafers that are used in the photovoltaic. Combine that with the land area required for stand-alone solar, then we are talking about a very very non-trivial impact on the environment.
Maintaining huge arrays of solar panels is done more efficiently at a utility level than on our rooftops
From a land use perspective I think putting solar on roofs is potentially more efficient and costs effective versus taking up undeveloped land with solar "farms" which eat up arable land that could be used for food production or natural habitat preservation.
If someone can come up with a cost effective way to incorporate solar panels into roofing material so that you can gain solar production at an incremental cost over the cost of replacing the roof covering then that is a win-win. So, say if it costs $10k to put solar shingles on your roof and it would cost $8k to put new shingles on then the math makes sense and concerns over optimal position and too much shade are irrelevant if the price is so low that almost any production pays for itself in a few years. But prices just aren't there yet and may never be.
Free market means exactly that - if the vendors do something despicable the customers stop doing business with them and choose other vendors who won't do similarly despicable things to them.
In this case the conduct should be considered criminal if anyone's credit card is actually charged.
Free markets require rules, police and governance
Fraud would be charging without notice, and without offering an opt-out.
This isn't fraud, it's just a bad marketing strategy. It's also unlikely to work, since a lot of people will likely call their credit card companies and say "I didn't agree to that - reverse the charges."
Fraud involves deceit, notice is irrelevant. If you don't have an agreement with someone for specific services at a specific price then you can't just start charging them. Nothing in my notion of a free market or Liberty allows me the liberty to reach into your pocket to pull out a wad of cash just because I say I am providing you with a service that you didn't agree to. There are any number of words to describe that and they are all associated with a criminal activity.
Like most things a politician or spook says... what is actually going to happen isn't clear.
1) The NSA merely outsources the same thing it is doing now. That would be the worst of all scenarios. Where they set up a psuedo private entity to store all the business records that the NSA is forcing businesses to hand over without a constitutionally valid warrant. That option would merely continue today's unconstitutional practices and outsource the data storage provider. Literally just outsourcing the management of the building NSA built to some third party company. Complete BS and potentially even more dangerous to privacy.
2) The government passes a law specifying certain types of business records that must be kept on hand for a certain amount of time. For instance phone records need to be kept for 5 years, email logs or website logs need to be kept for 3 years and sms messages need to be kept for 1 year or something like that. However, exempt individuals from these data retention requirements because that could be abused to penalize people arbitrarily. And then work with the largest companies to standardize how the data needs to be transmitted in the case of a valid warrant (or I'll grant the need to just turn on the flow of real time data about everything to the NSA during briefly defined times of national emergency as ordered by the president and approved by congress, such as on the day of 9/11 when there were active attacks going on). In this scenario, data stays with the businesses that generated the records in the first place and goes no further without a constitutionally valid warrant or in times of imminent and great peril in which case privacy as a primary concern goes out the window, as it should when bombs are exploding and bullets flying.
But this is the issue. Will the government and industry honestly approach the option of data retention in place or as the initial reactions suggest will the NSA merely fight like hell to keep their power to collect everything as they see fit while Industry fights to keep their cushy contracts which have resulted from providing this data.
Make headway at work. Continue to let things deteriorate at home.