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That’ll Show Those Dastardly Unions!

[ 85 ] August 30, 2014 |

Today in idiots:

Just when it seemed the right wing couldn’t get any more divorced from reality around here, a local conservative group has launched a protest against what it sees as a pernicious cultural touchstone.

Labor Day.

Yes, bittersweet old Labor Day — the first Monday in September, the holiday that’s been around for generations and is known to most non-ideologically blinkered Americans as an end-of-summer free day honoring all the hard work you put in the rest of the year.

But to the Freedom Foundation, a business-backed Olympia think tank, the day is evidence of the power of unions, which to them equals the decline of America. Rather than stoop to taking a union-backed day off, they plan to fight the power by … working all day Monday instead!

“I can’t think of a problem in society that can’t be traced in some way back to the abuses of organized labor, so it would be hypocritical of us to take a day off on its behalf,” said Freedom Foundation CEO Tom McCabe, in announcing the “work-in.”

That’ll show those unions who control everything around here. Let’s all go into the offices and the factories and work like dogs instead of barbecuing or watching parades! Who’s with me?

Of course, if McCabe followed this principle to its logical end, he’d have to work every Saturday, too. Year round.

If the Freedom Foundation is truly committed to this idea, might I recommend 19th century working conditions and wages as well?

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  • c u n d gulag

    And “MORANS!” like this @$$clown from the FreeDUMB Foundation, are why we can’t have nice things anymore, children.

    I suspect the Fluoride in the water hardened some people’s hearts and heads, as well as thier teeth.

    • DrDick

      I suspect the Fluoride in the water hardened some people’s hearts and heads, as well as thier teeth

      Assumes facts not in evidence (regarding the existence of hearts and heads, or at least brains).

  • Unemployed_Northeastern

    “If the Freedom Foundation is truly committed to this idea, might I recommend 19th century working conditions and wages as well? ”

    Don’t be silly; they only want 19th century working conditions and wages for the people who work under them and lack the Ivy heraldry and social & birth connections to advance.

  • Gwen

    doublepost and how.

  • Gwen

    I haven’t had a proper day off in two months and I haven’t burned a vacation day in three (half a day for jury duty, a couple work from home days, a day-and-a-half to meet a friend in DC).

    Meanwhile, my coworkers have all gone on weeks-long vacations.

    Anyone who would dare to take away Labor Day from me can go pound sand. I need a three-day weekend a/k/a an opportunity to get drunk on a Sunday night.

    • Malaclypse

      I like the last clause of the last sentence. I’m sorry about the rest, and commiserate. “But nobody except you knows how payroll works.” Yea, bite me – I’ve said that for 13 months now. Fucking give me someone to teach.

  • howard

    I just spent 5 minutes reading up on mccabe and not only is he an idiot now, he has been one all his life.

    • Gwen

      The good news is we don’t have to go through one of those cliched “it all started after The Accident” melodramas.

  • MAJeff

    Dear Tom McCabe,

    Kindly to be fucking off.

    Sincerely,
    Decent human beings everywhere.

    • DrDick

      Dear Tom McCabe,

      Kindly to be fucking off with a rusty chainsaw.

      Sincerely,
      Decent human beings everywhere.

      Fixorated!

  • Davis X. Machina

    The Boston Globe. Union paper. Union town, too, more than most these days. Virulently blue state, as well. Nice article: “With Labor Day close, unions don’t have much to celebrate”.

    But the comments. Oy.

    • Davis X. Machina

      You know, they’re the Freedom Foundation, and when you look at it the right way, it’s work that makes you free.

      • Ken

        And don’t forget, freedom is slavery.

        I think I’ve spotted the problem. Most of us read 1984, The Jungle, the first part of A Christmas Carol, or The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and say “yuck.” But there are a few people who are taking notes.

    • Gwen

      Hmm the comments were not as bad as expected. In a publication like, say, the Houston Chronicle, I would expect the comments to be full of anti-union shibboleths and other meth-addled nonsense (including the mandatory “WHERE IS THE KOMMUNIST KENYAN OBAMA’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE?” drivel).

      Most amusing comment in the set you linked to: “Public Sector Unions have destroyed any relationship between wages and productivity.”

      Thank god that didn’t happen in the private sector! oh, wait…

      http://rortybomb.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/epi_productivity.jpg

      • Origami Isopod

        Globe comments used to be a lot worse before TPTB decided to moderate them better. There are still wingnuts there but you don’t have the dipshits with handles like “Obummer.”

        • cpinva

          they do have dipshits who confuse being a member of a union, with working for the union. grammar and syntax are also not strong suites with most of them. not that I’m surprised, it’s just that I find it interesting how consistent they seem to be, across the board. if you stretched them all end to end, they still wouldn’t ever reach an intelligent conclusion.

      • Davis X. Machina

        Hmm the comments were not as bad as expected. In a publication like, say, the Houston Chronicle

        It’s a relative thing. It is, after all, the Globe. There’s a fart, and there’s a fart in church.

        • Gwen

          Yankees are spoiled.

          • Davis X. Machina

            I lived in the Carolinas during that magic time when you could be represented by Jesse Helms and John East.

            There’s a reason why I live in Maine now…

            • cpinva

              “There’s a reason why I live in Maine now…”

              cheaper counseling rates?

          • efgoldman

            Yankees are spoiled.

            Only if you leave them out in the sun too long.

    • Riggsveda

      That was the best part of the Seattle Times piece…there WERE no comments.

  • Mike G

    Maybe he’ll pull a Hobby Lobby and claim it’s against his religion to observe union-backed holidays.
    Nothing says freedumb like working all day.

  • KarenJo12

    Of course, the reason US Labor Day is in September is to avoid associating with the Commies, who celebrate May 1, and in deference to the retail and tourism lobbies, neither group being noted leftists. (And yes, I know that May 1 was chosen because of the Haymarket riots here in the USA, making our Labor Day even more capitalist.)

    Mostly, of all the political causes doomed to failure, “we have too many days off!!!” has to be one of the most doomed. Honestly, is there a great groundswell of people who really want to be at work on Monday?

    • Derelict

      I know you mean this as snark, but consider the reality of modern work.

      It was only 30-odd years ago that Dolly Parton sang about working 9 to 5. TODAY, most people are working from 8:30 to 5 so that they can have an (unpaid) 30-minute lunch. Lunch “hour” is now considered a way to rip-off your employer.

      Many jobs are now salaried positions in which the employer demands you put in 45 to 60 hours a week with no overtime. And we’ve loosened the definition of what makes a position eligible to be considered salaried so that ordinary workers are now caught in this trap.

      But even if you have a job that pays by the hour, employee wage theft, forced overtime without overtime pay, and “non-reimbursable” employee expenses are all the rage now–with no efforts in sight on the part of government to curb these abuses.

      No employee is complaining about having too many days off. But employers are working overtime to make sure you don’t get any more than you already have–and (as McCabe is doing) to try and take away the meager few already on the calendar.

      • Lamont Cranston

        I have never in my adult life had a job where I showed up later than 8:00. I can’t imagine 9-5 with an hour off.

        • DrDick

          Same here and I have been working since the early 70s.

      • Jordan

        TODAY, most people are working from 8:30 to 5 so that they can have an (unpaid) 30-minute lunch. Lunch “hour” is now considered a way to rip-off your employer.

        You are right about the unpaid lunch thing. But I really, really doubt that most people with paid jobs (to say nothing of those without) work 8:30-5, or 9-5:30, or whatever. That just isn’t in the cards. Part time jobs; day shift/swing shift/night shift jobs; freelance jobs; teaching jobs; crazy person jobs; and so on: those all add up to more than 50%, I’m pretty sure.

        *Maybe* most people who have a 40ish hours a week job do. But I doubt that too.

      • cpinva

        ” But employers are working overtime to make sure you don’t get any more than you already have–and (as McCabe is doing) to try and take away the meager few already on the calendar.”

        actually, they’re having some low salaried nebbish work unpaid overtime, to figure out more ways for the company to screw everyone, from middle-management on down. in the meantime, the CEO & BofD are taking an extended labor day holiday off, so they can cruise the Bahamas on their yachts.

  • Murc

    Around here, the airwaves have been blanketed with ads for businesses, both local and national chains, touting loudly the fact that they’re gonna be open, open, open on Labor Day!

    The people who own those businesses are bad people and should feel bad. The people who patronize them are worse people and should feel worse.

  • Wow. They really just straight-up hate people who work, don’t they?

    • MAJeff

      Yes.

    • Linnaeus

      Thirded. For all the conservatarian talk about hard work and responsibility and all that, they have pretty much nothing but contempt for people they see as beneath them. They really do long for the days of feudalism.

      • DrDick

        Yep and they regard everyone who actually works (as opposed to just showing up) as beneath them.

        • Riggsveda

          Including those on Social Security living on the fruits of the labor of those who came before them.

          • Brad Nailer

            I kicked in my share and I don’t feel guilty at all when I check my balance on the third Wednesday of the month and see that Uncle Sam has come through again, just like he promised. In fact, I wake up these days and celebrate the fact that I don’t have to work full-time anymore like I did for forty fucking years. I can use the time off.

            God bless Franklin Roosevelt. And God damn politicians who are working to turn Social Security over to the ratfuckers on Wall Street.

  • Hogan

    I can’t think of a problem in society that can’t be traced in some way back to the abuses of organized labor

    And that’s because I’m exactly the kind of blinkered, self-absorbed asswipe who should be CEO of the Freedom Foundation.

    • Cheap Wino

      That was the quote that stuck out to me too. I was going to make some outraged comment pointing out how stupid it is but it occurs to me that the first three words say everything that needs to be said.

    • hickes01

      “I can’t think of a problem in society that can’t be traced in some way back to the abuses of organized labor”

      Really? Not ONE problem? I don’t think he’s thinking very hard. How about Ebola? Is Paternity Leave somehow responsible for the Ebola virus? Did Russia invade the Ukraine to ensure a 30-minute lunch break? Sweet Jebuz…

      • CD

        If cowardly union socialism hadn’t sapped our entrepreneurial juices, we’d have incredibly awesome capitalism that would cure disease, a government the world cowered before, men would be men and women glad of it …

        The trick is to go back a century or so and build an alternative fantasy history. Hence the unlikely emergence of Theodore Roosevelt as rightwing hate-figure.

      • The Temporary Name

        How about Ebola? Is Paternity Leave somehow responsible for the Ebola virus? Did Russia invade the Ukraine to ensure a 30-minute lunch break?

        He’s talking about OUR society, in which it is clear that unions are responsible for cancer, missing socks, and Justin Bieber. Also herpes.

    • howard

      That was the line that sent me searching mccabe’s bio: I asked myself what kind of palooka says something that obviously deranged?

      • Hogan

        The kind who gets thrown out of a building industry trade association for being too right-wing. That’s a jumbo-sized mug of awesome right there. Oh, and the kind who thinks that his multi-million dollar political war chest makes him George Bailey standing up to Old Man Potter.

        The picture lives up to every one of my expectations. There’s nothing quite like an overfed white guy telling me I have too many days off.

        • Linnaeus

          The kind who gets thrown out of a building industry trade association for being too right-wing.

          And that’s saying a hell of a lot. The BIAW is virulently anti-union.

      • Linnaeus

        Apparently, you can do that when you’re on wingnut welfare. It’s probably expected.

      • MAJeff

        A Kochsucker.

    • If all you have is company script, you wouldn’t be able to get a bank loan for a house you can’t afford. Ergo, no foreclosure crisis.

  • What a brilliant two-pronged attack on organized labor. Remind people that unions are responsible for a three-day weekend and make sure they know you think they should lose that extra day off because you hate unions.

    But this cunning plan is missing something. Hmmm … Of course! A commitment to eliminate the weekend all together.

    • Linnaeus

      This is America we’re talking about, though.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if that wasn’t the next bit of genius one sees filtering down to the Facebook Conservative Debate Society’s handbook on how to totally destroy liberals with poor punctuation and laughable sentence structure, I mean reason and facts or whatever. Back last Thanksgiving, I saw several leading thinkers and citizen journalists claim that the only reason someone worked the holiday, or indeed any holiday, was solely because said worker was “greedy”. I got the impression the same held for those of us who’ve really got no choice but to work weekends. I thought it funny how the only “greedy” people in the country were working jobs with such shit wages that they had to take whatever they can get whenever it was offered.

      Remember, the barrel has no bottom.

    • efgoldman

      Of course! A commitment to eliminate the weekend all together.

      You’re not thinking clearly. If we eliminate the weekend, we eliminate the excuse for all those second and third summer/winter homes, because someone has to stay around and whip the serfs supervise the workers.

    • drkrick

      When the 5-day work week was an issue, there were proto-wingnut preachers arguing that since God only granted one day of rest, taking Saturdays off was blasphemy.

      • cpinva

        “When the 5-day work week was an issue, there were proto-wingnut preachers arguing that since God only granted one day of rest, taking Saturdays off was blasphemy.”

        I’ve always been willing to run the risk of eternal damnation.

  • Lamont Cranston

    Please proceed, Republicans.

  • Maybe they should spite that great liberal, Jesus, and work Sundays too.

  • Jordan

    I might trade labor day for may day.

    • Jordan

      And if we don’t have to trade, just call labor day “fall day” or “start of football day” or something.

      • Bank Holiday.

      • Hogan

        Back to School You Rug Rats Day.

  • Alexander OConnor

    And no anti-biotics or Santa Claus either.

  • rea

    And the thing about Labor Day–most countries have a Labor or Worker’s day on May 1. We have it in September, because Grover Cleveland didn’t want people commemorating the Haymarket bombing(May 4).

  • sharculese

    Sooo, one of my roommates works on, shall we say, management’s side, (I know, I know, and Erik would shit a brick if he knew exactly which industry) and I joked with him that I was shocked he was getting labor day off, buuuut, I never would have guessed there was a wingnut organization that would actually do that.

  • Another pigs/workers thing:

    CBS has been a great stock, there’s no question. So has Time Warner. Obviously CBS CEO Leslie Moonves is doing something right. Ditto that for Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes.

    However, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve, and it’s important to fight for shareholders — maximizing stock value is of utmost importance.

    That’s why I argue that Moonves and Bewkes should have considered shutting down “The Big Bang Theory”, a television program that runs on CBS television and is produced by Warner Bros. TV. Recently, there was a contract-negotiations problem holding up production. It was over money (of course). According to The Hollywood Reporter, the main stars wanted an increase from $350,000 per episode to $1 million per episode, a number that included backend participation. The situation was resolved, and the big stars of “Big Bang” as well as some of the lesser players, essentially got what they demanded.

    “The Big Bang Theory” makes a lot of money. The show is worth billions of dollars of revenue in the broadcast and syndication arenas; how much of that is profit is hard to come by, but it has to be significant. Even so, it is my conclusion that Moonves and Bewkes should not have given in to the cast and instead called it a day on the show.

    That sounds insane certainly, but standing up to Hollywood talent and withstanding the pressure from all sides to cave to the demands of the celebrities involved should be the mission statement for executives.

    When the hell will these United Snakes light up a cigarette & use it to burn these leeches off their economic body?

    • I get the feeling the author’s real beef is that the execs didn’t stand up to those dang Hollywood talent celebrities. Surely the almighty CEO should never have to compromise with horrible little peons!

      It doesn’t seem to cross this person’s tiny desk that cancelling the show could have been worse for the share holders in the short and long term.

      But of course, if you’re a petty choad who thinks successful employers spend their time screaming YOU’RE FIRED! at everyone who doesn’t kiss their ass, I can see how you might not take that into consideration.

    • John Revolta

      1. maximizing stock value is of utmost importance.

      2. “The Big Bang Theory” makes a lot of money. The show is worth billions of dollars

      3. it is my conclusion that Moonves and Bewkes should not have given in to the cast and instead called it a day on the show.

      4. withstanding the pressure from all sides to cave to the demands of the celebrities involved should be the mission statement for executives.

      5. ??????????????

      6. Profit!

      Who is this idiot?

      • “Who is this idiot?”

        I looked a bit, & I wonder if Steven isn’t just a bitter failure who hasn’t worked in show biz for about 20 yrs.:

        Steven Mallas (I) (Actor, Evil One (1995))
        Steven Mallas (II) (Writer, Save My Soul (1984))
        Steven Mallas (V) (Assistant Director, Inside Bryan (2015))
        Steven Mallas (IV) (Self, Inside Bryan (2015))
        Steven Mallas (III) (Actor, R.E.M. (1987))

      • Yes. I didn’t get off the boat, but the quoted passage is absolutely incoherent.

        I…guess?…the idea is to show that you won’t pay people a lot even if they make you a ton of money so you don’t have to pay most people very much or…something.

        There are plenty of instances wherein an actor got canned or left from a popular TV over a contract. But it’s hard to imagine that it would be remotely sensible to give up something that’s making a ton of a ton of money and having beneficial side effects.

        Sticking it to liberals outweighs making money, I guess.

        • cpinva

          “I…guess?…the idea is to show that you won’t pay people a lot even if they make you a ton of money so you don’t have to pay most people very much or…something.”

          taking that approach to its logical progression of events, tv would cease to exist, the shareholders would own expensive pieces of wallpaper, and the unemployment rate would go up another half point. but, those actors would have been taught a lesson, about who’s in charge.

          someone pays that dumbass to write this drivel?

          • It turns out that this is, indeed, part of the reasoning:

            Rejecting demands for overpriced contracts might provide dividends in the future, however. As unthinkable a move it would be to cancel “The Big Bang Theory,” it might dissuade other agents and stars from asking for too much

            He gets trivial facts wrong too. He says,

            Who takes the risk, ultimately? Is the star talent? No. It’s CBS and Time Warner. Moonves and Bewkes should have gotten together and told Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco no. It’s a simple one-syllable word that should be used more often in Hollywood.

            But part of the their current and future deal is a share of the profits. So they have some risk. Then he goes nuts:

            It’s not that they don’t deserve a good amount of money. Perhaps they do. Unfortunately, as a show matures, there is no guarantee that it will continue to be a hit. No one knows the future. “The Big Bang Theory” has been on the air for quite a long time; it’s definitely a commodity that has demonstrated its value in the marketplace.

            It might fail but it’s a commodity with proven value!

            Gibber gibber gibber.

            Notably absent is any quantitative analysis at all. Even a little bit. Why is this too much for actors? Because! Just because!

            • Interesting alternative analysis (with numbers!). I like the three core points:

              1) Don’t forget inflation (in adjusted dollars these are not recordbreaking numbers).

              2) The general position of the Big Bang Theory is much stronger than shows like Friends since the competition was much stiffer then (even on the same network). The Big Bang Theory is about it for CBS comedy and it’s way ahead of the runner up (2x the viewers). The value of having it to feed viewers into subsequent shows seems really important for improving the chances of future hits.

              3) The profits are astronomical. The actors may have left money on the table. My guess is that they traded lower salaries for larger backend participation.

    • MAJeff

      However, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve, and it’s important to fight for shareholders — maximizing stock value is of utmost importance.

      Just fucking die already.

      • Aww, I want him to talk some more. Maybe he’ll explain how this would also be a bonus for the show’s sponsors, or at least the shareholders.

        But mainly, Mr. No Named Credit’s failure to understand how money works is hilarious.

    • wengler

      If we light our own houses on fire, we won’t have to pay taxes on them. This and other intriguing ideas from the Republican Guide to Life.

  • angrifon

    A) Moron #1 thinks Potter is the government, instead of the embodiment of private capital.

    B) Moron #2 thinks Les Moonves should have cancelled CBS’s most popular comedy because the award-winning star of the show wanted a greater share of the money he was earning for CBS. He thinks Moonves should have made this potentially career ending move, one that would almost certainly have led to a severe confrontation with the greater community of talent in Hollywood, because assholes who do nothing to create the show (sorry, investors) deserve more.

    • efgoldman

      because assholes who do nothing to create the show (sorry, investors) deserve more.

      Where the fuck does said asshole think the investor profits originate? In all those crappy shows that are cheaply produced but disappear after a few episodes? Yeah, that’s the ticket!

      • We’re dealing with people who think anyone who is not a CEO or a shareholder is dirt and that the economy can function if no one has any money to buy anything. So the cast of BBT is just another bunch of whiny wage moochers who should have been told to hit the road after which they would most certainly have starved to death in a ditch as a warning to other actors.

        • MAJeff

          Wouldn’t that make his sycophantic ass, as a non-CEO “writer,” dirt?

        • They could hire replacement scabs. Nugent, Voight and Victoria Jackson would gladly take the work at 1/10 the wage.

          • JustRuss

            I would pay to watch that. Once.

    • Mike G

      Shorter Moron:
      “If we fired ALL the actors and just showed an empty set for 30 minutes each week, think of how much more profits we’d make!”

      No stupider than the Laffer Curve – cut taxes to zero, and revenues will go to infinity!!

      These idiots seem to think that if they suck up enough, rich people will adopt them as pets.

  • calling all toasters

    So call it Galt Day and fuck off until Tuesday anyway. The only difference is that the people who celebrate Labor Day would be missed if they didn’t come back.

  • Jordan

    Somehow, that post made me actually want to watch the Big Bang Theory.*

    MISSION NOT ACHIEVED, ASSHOLE.

    *I have watched it a few times on airplanes and at the in-laws. Its … whatever is between lukewarm and cold.

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  • Area Man

    …said Freedom Foundation CEO Tom McCabe, in announcing the “work-in.”

    Wouldn’t he need a real job first?