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Unions killed Michigan

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.



The Once Great State of Michigan

When I was a boy growing up in Benton Harbor, Michigan, there was gainful employment for anybody who wanted to work.  Whirlpool Corporation, founded in 1900 in Benton Harbor, was the largest employer in the area, employing thousands of people, manufacturing kitchen and laundry appliances.  Today, the world headquarters of Whirlpool remains (in fact my daughter works there), but nothing is manufactured there.  An area that I remember teeming with factories of all sorts, and the thriving commercial hub of Southwest Michigan, is now largely boarded up, run down, with little work for anyone.  This is the story of how this tragedy came to be.







Three First Hand Accounts

First, I will recount three stories, with which I am intimately familiar.

Malleable Industries was a manufacturing company in my hometown, which went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the late 1960s. I knew some of the 900 men who worked there. Through a series of strikes, the men were making wages usually attained only by professionals, such as doctors or lawyers, in spite of lacking not only an education, but many were barely literate—and I do not mean that to disparage them as human beings. Unfortunately, paying these wages had caused the company to lose millions of dollars several years in a row and they were bankrupt. The reason I mention this case is, what happened in court.

A federal judge issued a plan to keep the company alive. He told the union if they would accept a 20% pay cut—back to the wages they earned less than ten years prior—he would vanquish the creditors and give the company a fresh start. Otherwise, he would liquidate the company's assets and close it forever. It came down to vote of the rank-and-file union members.

Their leaders told them to reject the judge, because a union should never give up what they called hard fought gains. The workers voted 895-5 to close their own factory, putting them all out of work; and a factory capitalized with millions of dollars in land, buildings and equipment became extinct.

In a fascinating sidebar, Malleable Industries sued the union, seeking to recover damages resulting from three strikes conducted by the labor unions in violation of a collective bargaining agreement containing a no-strike clause. The jury returned a verdict in the amount of $115,000 against the Local Union and $1,210,000 against the International Union—one of the few verdicts in the history of the United States in favor of a corporation against a union.

In 1978 I went to work as a non-union inspector at the Cook Nuclear Power Plant. Most of the workers there were union technicians. It was hard not to notice that while I put in a full day of non-stop work, the unionized technicians would quit working after about four hours; and go to the basement to sleep, read or play cards the rest of the day.

I began an inquiry as to how this can be, knowing this plant cost millions of dollars to construct. What I found disturbed me. Union rules were that they could only be required to perform a certain amount of work each eight-hour-work-day. They could do this amount of work in about four hours—but they were paid for eight!

A couple of years later, I moved to Detroit, with my rock band, White Summer. We hired a new singer, Joe Smith, who worked as an electrician at the Ford Motor Company River Rouge plant.

Joe was the only one of us with a day job, and I asked him how he could play music all night and work all day. He laughed and said, "I only work about one hour a day. They don't have much for me to do. I sleep most of the day there. If a secretary in an office wants to move her typewriter across the room, she is not allowed by union rules to do it herself. A union laborer must be called in [perhaps from a mile away; that's how huge this plant was] to move it physically [while the office personnel stood around waiting—on the clock] and they must call me in, to unplug it before it is moved; and plug it back in after it moves [maybe 20 feet]. Then I go back to sleep."

He was making $20 per hour in 1979 dollars. I wondered to myself how Ford could afford this.







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Henry Ford and the Auto Industry

Henry Ford was the father of the modern assembly line used in the mass production of large numbers of inexpensive automobiles. This was an idea that changed the world. Before Henry Ford there were some automobiles. But they were built by hand, by master craftsmen who, rightly so, commanded very high wages, as the only men possessing the talent to assemble such a complicated machine. Nothing wrong with that except for one thing—only the rich could afford to buy them.

Ford had the epiphany that if he could put people to work who were uneducated (even illiterate) and unskilled, with few prospects other than farm labor, on an assembly line, where they would only have to perform one simple task (that any older child of a typical family could do) he could provide America with automobiles that most everybody could afford. It worked, and his ideas soon spread to most other manufactured goods, making countless machines we today take for granted, available to the masses for the first time in history.

Anti-American, anti-capitalist, historical revisionists today paint Henry Ford and his awesome ideas as a bad thing for workers, but this is a false history they create out of thin air. True, Ford, and others like him, became rich from his ideas, but ideas are what advances the human race—not manual labor. And Henry Ford did not exploit his laborers.

Ford astonished the world in 1914 by offering a $5 per day wage, which more than doubled the rate of most of his workers. (Using the Consumer Price Index, this was equivalent to $106 per day in 2008 dollars.) Henry Ford created the 40-hour work week and a minimum wage (both of which we take for granted today; but it was common for some of our ancestors to work 80 hours per week). He was roundly criticized by other industrialists and by Wall Street for these ideas, which he had decided to implement on his notion that workers would be more productive during the 40 hours if they also had time off for recreation, and time with their families.

He proved, moreover, that paying people more would enable Ford workers to afford the cars they were producing and be good for the economy. Ford was adamantly against labor unions because their leaders were Marxists that he thought would harm—not benefit—the workers, in the long run, partly because they advocated violence and work disruptions, in his view, to maintain their own power. It was well known that one of the maxims of Karl Marx was, "Unionism will lead to Communism."





Unions Come to Absolute Power

28 million southerners moved north from the 1920s to the 1970s, leaving farm work, most from picking cotton, which is brutal work that tears up your hands in the scorching sun all day, to work in factories. To all of these people, factory work presented easily the best jobs they had any hope of, with their lack of skills, education and knowledge.

Unions were illegal for many years in most countries (and Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, argued that schemes to fix wages or prices, by employees or employers, should be illegal). There were severe penalties for attempting to organize unions, up to and including execution.

The first national union in the United States was created in 1866. By the 1930s, unions, that had gained enormous power through a collaboration of Marxists and the Mafia, conducted hundreds of strikes. During these strikes, business owners were unable to bring in new workers to replace the ones who were on strike because the strikers occupied the factory; and they physically assaulted with bricks and baseball bats, and sometimes killed, replacement workers, whom they called "scabs."

This was unlike strikes in the past. Before this time, workers on strike would simply refuse to work until their demands were met. Essentially, this meant that production of manufactured goods in America was halted at will by the unions. Then it got worse.

By the 1940s, unions were successful in creating "closed shops" in Michigan, with the help of the state legislature, which included many politicians who shrewdly recognized the voting power of millions of union workers, who tended to vote at the ballot box as instructed by union leaders.

A closed shop is a factory in which union membership is a precondition to employment. In an astounding turn of events in labor history, this meant that if you wanted a job in a factory, you did not apply to the company for employment. You applied to the union for employment and the factory had to hire whomever the union decided they should hire, without the traditional job interview to assess an applicant's qualifications.

From here on, the great state of Michigan suffered labor strike after labor strike. I remember when one of the Big Three Automakers, in a rotation they had secretly planned, struck, or threatened to strike, every single year for higher and higher wages and benefits and retirement plans. Eventually concessions were made to pay any laid-off autoworker 95% of his wages, while he sat at home. Many them then hoped to sit at home!

Imagine if the Horse and Buggy Industry had had this kind of power when the automobile was invented—The United States would never had led the world in automobile manufacturing. I can assure you of that.

Whereas before, in all human history—to give a simple example—if a man refused to sweep the floor for $9 an hour and another man, without work and equally desirous of feeding his family, was glad to do it for that wage; you—as the owners of the company, who by now have invested millions of dollars and vastly more importantly: have created, designed and engineered, the product that people need or want; have marketed it and sold it successfully; have set up an enormous, smoothly running plant to build it; implemented the means to ship and distribute it; in the extremely importantly timely manner according to supply the demand—had the freedom to hire man number two.

Now, you had to hire any man the union said; pay him whatever they said; let him do whatever work they said and none other; and you could not fire him for poor performance, nor promote him for excellent performance. This sort of "Central Planning" has been tried and found wanting in the old Soviet Union. How many cars did they export? What manufactured goods of any kind have you ever purchased that were stamped, "Made in the USSR."

Now ask yourselves, my readers (who have hung in here thus far) about human nature. How many people—if told they will working for the next 25 years on an assembly line; and told that no matter how little or how hard they work, no matter the quality of their workmanship, no matter how many times they are tardy or absent, no matter how many times they are caught (or allowed to be) sleeping on the job; it will make absolutely no difference in their pay, benefits or pensions—will work as productively and efficiently as they are able? One out of a hundred? (Who have an inordinate amount of personal pride, or virtue.)




The 1940s through the 1970s were indeed the golden age for unions but that golden age killed the goose who laid the golden egg.

By the 1970s factory workers in the "Rust Belt" were doing shoddy work; vastly overpaid for menial labor; with unsustainable lifetime benefits; with sinecures like ones we can see on The Sopranos where a guy collects a paycheck for sitting in a chair all day; and as a result drove American manufacturing out of business—or the production part of manufacturing goods out of the country—while they continued to go on strike every other year against the companies that had provided their families with the best jobs in generations; while Nero played his fiddle and the unions were controlled by mobsters.

They fought automation that would have kept us competitive with the Japanese and other countries. It was state laws in the Rust Belt, particularly in Michigan that did them in, not Federal Law. Manufacturers had no choice to go bankrupt or move their manufacturing to "Right To Work" states, mostly in the southern United States, and eventually out of the country altogether to Mexico, Brazil or China, as the pressures of the shrinking world—globalization—came to bear.





Right to Work

The only area of our country that still today has a thriving manufacturing industry is these "Right to Work" states. Consider that term carefully: Right to Work. What does it mean? Simply, it means, that any work that needs to be done—from janitor to rocket scientist—any person has a Right to Work at this occupation; providing he and his employer agree what the work is worth to both of them; which naturally includes the skills, talents, education, aptitude, attitude, hustle and reliability the worker can bring to bear for the benefit of the enterprise.

Right to Work laws guarantee our Constitutional right to freedom of association. Workers are still free to unionize, but with a huge difference from Michigan state law: If the unionized workers decide the work they are performing is not worth what they are being paid—in their eyes—they are free to walk off the job and strike but: The company is free also. The company has the freedom to decide to hire a whole new team of workers to replace the striking workers.

Now, pro-unionists will proclaim companies will automatically choose this route—but that is not true. If you owned a company, that was running smoothly, meeting customer's demands on time, making a profit, highly productive and efficient—which contrary to Marxists, is the sole reason for the existence of a company; not to provide jobs, but to provide jobs AND pay a dividend for its investors—would you want to simply get rid of the people whose productivity had made this possible? And have to train a whole new labor force? Of course not. But what if the demands of the striking workers would make it impossible to sell your product at a profit against your competition in the United States and the World?

In our times, another major issue is that Unions force their members to pay dues which are then used to support political causes that the individual worker is staunchly opposed to. And the fact is, manufacturers today, in "right to work states" are profitable, while manufacturers in Michigan are not; and more importantly, these manufacturers produce higher economic growth and new job creation, as well as lower unemployment rates. In March 2009, Michigan's unemployment rate rose to 12.6%, the highest in the nation.

A March 3, 2008 editorial in The Wall Street Journal compared Ohio to Texas and examined why "Texas is prospering while Ohio lags." According to the editorial, during the previous decade, while Ohio lost 10,400 jobs, Texas created 1,615,000 new jobs. The article cites several reasons for the economic expansion in Texas, including right-to-work laws.

Ohio's most crippling handicap may be that its politicians — and thus its employers — are still in the grip of such industrial unions as the United Auto Workers. Ohio is a "closed shop" state, which means workers can be forced to join a union whether they wish to or not. Many companies — especially foreign-owned — say they will not even consider such locations for new sites. States with "right-to-work" laws that make union organizing more difficult had twice the job growth of Ohio and other forced union states from 1995–2005, according to the National Institute for Labor Relations.



Japanese Car Makers

When Nissan constructed its plant in Smyrna, Tennessee in the 1980s, it was the biggest investment ever in America by a Japanese company. The Japanese, frankly, had a low opinion of American workmanship based on what it saw—and we all saw, if we care to admit it—coming out of Detroit. The Nissan facility quickly became the most productive, and only profitable, automobile manufacturing plant in the United States.

Today, because of the damage done by unions, General Motors loses $2331 on every vehicle they produce, while Toyota makes a profit of $1488 per unit. The plants in Detroit take 20% more man-hours to produce each car for two reasons: the unions protect inept workers; and the unions fight automation. GM has a cost factor of $74 per hour for its workers versus $48 per hour for the Japanese plants in America (all in right-to-work-states).

What is often overlooked is that it is dangerous for a huge world power such as the United States to give up on manufacturing. We never could have won the two World Wars if not for our standing factories that were quickly converted to arms production. If a new worldwide crisis comes and we unable to manufacture anything, we shall be at a terrible disadvantage.

The same goes for our loss of capacity for food production. Southwestern Michigan was once known as the "Fruit Belt." But that is another story. Suffice it to say for now, if, God forbid, another World War comes, where will we get food?


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 28, 2020:

PlockedT ~ I have no idea what happened.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 24, 2020:

Former Jeeper ~ Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. I can surely appreciate your first-hand report on your personal experiences working on factory floors. I have no doubt it is ofttimes laborious, dirty, tough work. My intention was certainly not to denigrate the people who do real work. I am a big fan of Mike Rowe, for instance, and I have many friends who do very hard work for a living, as well as most of my ancestors.

My article is about my first hand experience seeing unions drive the working man's jobs out of Michigan. I believe every word in it is true. Now to put it in context, I am talking mostly about the 1930s-1970s. After that the damage was done and I am sure the unions have made many concessions to keep manufacturing jobs from disappearing altogether in the rust belt. (ps I did work in a factory running a punchpress one summer at age 17. I have also done construction, roofing in the Florida sun, and laid carpet for work, so I have some idea of what hard work is like.)

Anyway, You objected to the 95% figure. Keep it in context. That was in the 1960s. If you say it is no longer 95% I believe you. And I welcome your comments.

Former Jeeper on August 23, 2020:

I can tell you’ve never stepped inside a car factory let alone worked in one. Think you have the wrong idea about unions. Having worked at the Jeep factory for over 27 years I’m pretty sure you are misguided by your information. Workers really don’t receive 95% of their pay if they are laid off, especially not from the company. They have to file for unemployment and the first week is considered a waiting week with no pay. After they start receiving unemployment they can file for sub pay from their employer. You have to qualify for sub pay by having worked a specific number of weeks during the last calendar year. If you qualify you then receive a percentage if pay that added with your unemployment benefits is supposed to equal 95%, but in reality is more like 65%. If you are laid off for more than 30 to 90 days you then loose all your medical coverages. Being laid off isn’t any fun, it’s stressful. No one wants to hire you because they know as soon as your employer calls you will leave them to go back. They don’t want to waste time and resources on someone they know isn’t staying around.

Unions get a bad rap. They have our backs. A number of the OSHA laws and rules were helped to be put in place by Unions. These don’t just help union people, they help Every worker in Every work place! Safety is a Priority! And for the last 30 years or more factory employees have worked 6 and 7 day work weeks for up to 9 to 12 hours a day... sometimes mandatory! Depending on sales and new product lines. Contrary to your belief, employees Do get in trouble for taking days off and poor performance on the job. QUALITY IS KEY in manufacturing. Factory work is hard work, some people can’t handle it... new hires will sometimes work for 4 hours, leave at lunch(which is a half hour) and not return. I have worked quite a few different jobs over the years, from lifting dead weight hoods, stacking tire rims, putting alternators on engines, etc. Heavy, not to mention handling all the air tools and their pounds of torque per item that they are used for. (Oh, did I mention I’m a lady?!) I’d really like to see the nay sayers walk in and do these jobs and work these hours. It will make you think twice of your condemnation and condescending attitudes towards Unions and Union Employees and their benefits=WELL DESERVED AND EARNED

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 23, 2018:

JON EWALL ~ Thank you for those links.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 24, 2017:

WOW! Thanks buddy.

JON EWALL from usa on November 12, 2017:


THE GROUP are all related in one way or the other

12/5/14 Who is organizing the racial protests across America? big story

****11/23/03 Democrat Extinction Sen Zell Miller D Ret BIG STORY hurt by the party of big labor unions, and radical liberals.

Clinton Obama 2/6/11 SHARED AGENDAS SOROS OBAMA antifa big story

4/13/11 Questionable Visitors’ Log Reveals AFL-CIO Boss Trumpka Made Four Dozen White House Trips

George Soros visits to Obama whitehouse election 2016 big story

thanks for your reply

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 12, 2017:

I surely agree with you Jon EWALL about George Soros. He may be the most dangerous, evil man on the planet. Of course, this article is about unions killing the midwest, which I'm not sure he had anything to do with.

JON EWALL from usa on November 11, 2017:


ELECTION 2018 KNOW your official VOTING RECORD check it your vote ?? ‘’DRAIN THE SWAMP’’ DO IT socialists D/s

****Election 2018 DO U KNOW Dems stand for ‘ RESIST OBSTRUCTION’ big story D’s a wasted vote?

Senators of 115th Congress WTP are watching ‘’VOTING record’’ if you deserve another term in 2018 * FIX Government?

Find voting records of House and Senate members D’s vote NAY obstruct fix big story

6/15 Soros Admits He’s Behind Muslim Migrant Invasion Of Europe soros “progressive”

America need be VIGILANT !!

JON EWALL from usa on November 11, 2017:


12/9/13 US Treasury sells government owned GM stock at $ 10.5 Billion LOSS

Chrysler loss was $1.Billion

11/13/15 GM to Import Chinese- Made Buick SUV

8/31/11 7 Ugly Truths About Obama’s $787B Stimulus big story jobs ?

****Obama’s General Motors { GM } Tarp Bailout- The Untold Details big story

7/8/16 Bush blamed for economic woes ? the story Obama Clinton and Dems will tell a bit different story Really

5/12/16 I;m an Auto Worker And I Only get By Thanks To Welfare

**4/28/17 Barack Obama’s Net Worth Surges After Leaving The White House, Thanks to Wall Street story mr who is

5/2/17 Study documents how profitable access to Obama’s White House was payday Soros & co big story

George Soros visits to Obama whitehouse election 2016 big story

5/25/17 WOW! Dinesh D’Souza Goes After Soros and Exposes Him! Nazi collaborator who funds Dem officials in Congress

Foundations , ALERT big story … paybackroject funded by

****10/19/11 Soros Open Society Institute Top 150 Grantees ALERT

10/19/17 Youngest World Leader Bans George Soros’s Foundations From Austria big story for “attempting to undermine the democracy of the nation.”

***4/2/11 Top 10 Reasons George Soros is Dangerous alert 2016 election Democrats and Liberal voters alert to radical leaders


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 11, 2017:

JON EWALL: I apologize for not responding sooner. I did not know you had made this comment here. I appreciate the links you kindly provided. I hope all is well with you. I think things are looking up for America now.

JON EWALL from usa on July 27, 2015:


Hoping all is going well with you, it has been a longtime since my last remarks on your hub.Check these links for an update of the union stories.

5/23/14With $3.3 Billion Owed, Should Tax-Delinquent Federal Employees- - transportation-spending Including IRS - - Be Fired?

4/22/15 House Report: Cash-strpped IRS prioritized bonuses, union activity over helping taxpayers

5/5/15 Congress Protects Its Unlawful ObamaCare Subsidies OPM continues to pay their contribution scumbags?

2011Wisconsin Governor

President’s action groups , the DNC funded and organized the protesters

5/13/14 Employees at ObamaCare contractor paid to do nothing

10/7/14 Taxpayers spend $157 mil for Union work in fiscal 2012 about 60% of federal workers are represented by unions

8/13/10 USA Today federal workers earning double their private counterparts

Let's hope that things will get better in 2016

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 31, 2015:

Frank~ Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. Your comments are excellent and insightful. I wonder, why did the fruit market move out to Benton Township? I don't recall how that went down but I am sure it didn't help Benton Harbor. I am all for people's right to be in a union if they want to. But I do not believe in people being forced to be in a union in order to work in any job, particularly if the union dues are mostly being used to advance political causes with which one does not agree. I am quite interested, Frank, in us possibly being related. What is your last name?

Frank on March 31, 2015:

First of all James we may be related, second I was born in Benton Harbor left after I graduated from high school in 71 to joinn the Marine Corps, moved back 1990 to work for the city of Benton Harbor I have a couple of comments , first off I will agree the UAW and its demacrat leanings cost the state taxpayers. the closing of Mallable, Supuior steel hurt Benton Harbor what hurt first though was the move of the fruit market to Benton Township People quit coming into town , As to unions u have pros and cons I have worked in Union snd non union shops including a time as a AFSCME local President in Benton Harbor, I am a republican voter have been ever since I was old enough to vote, while I disagreed with many of the AFSCME politcial stands, that did not matter as my job was to take care of my union members, In places like Benton Harbor a union is not only needed but justified you need balance something the unions sometme forget about. And remember this the japanese auto manufactures in the south especially in Tenn have kept out the unions by having good working conditions, good pay and benefits

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 31, 2015:

George Rose~ Yes, Ford was a flawed man, like all men. Thank you for your comments. I very much appreciate you taking the time to read my article too.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 31, 2015:

You are welcome Vladimir. Thank you!

George rose on March 31, 2015:

James good article...but. do remember. Ford. Built and sold autos in germany world war 2 and aided the nazis at the expense of the american taxpayer. Ford is a nazi..other than that nice story

Vladimir Uhri on December 18, 2013:

Rich for information all we can learn from. Thank you James, my friend.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 02, 2012:

reilz— Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. I appreciate your most excellent comments.

I do not think the President saved any industry. Had he not done what he did General Motors would have gone into Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings—long overdue—and the company would have survived; in fact, probably would have been healthier in the long run.

I believe Henry Ford was the first "Captain of Industry" to institute the 40 hour week. He thought the workers would be more productive over the 40 hours if they had a goodly amount of leisure time in between, to build strong families and recreate themselves.

It is only later that labor unions took credit for it. It is easy to enough to check my facts that Ford was not even unionized at the time.

I am not aware of what role, if any, a union for "carpenters" played in that. Did Ford employ a lot of carpenters or something?

reilz on November 02, 2012:

Thank God the president saved this industry.....I agree with your assertions that we need this part of our manufacturing base to be solvent...although I disagree with your saying Ford gve us the 40 hour workweek.....Ford did was the carpenters' union that gave the first workers a 40 hour week

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 31, 2012:

JON EWALL— Thank you!! Thank you very much! :D

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 31, 2012:

Chris Harden-- Thank you very much for your kind compliments. I appreciate the visit and the comments.

JON EWALL from usa on October 30, 2012:

James A Watkins

This link tells a lot about what happened in Michigan.

Chris Harden on October 30, 2012:

Very good article. It laid out a lot of the points I have trying to make to my Pro Union friends.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 30, 2012:

Michael-Milec— Hello, my friend, Brother Michael. As you said so well in your opening salvo: "[The] Once greatly prosperous Michigan, is being devastated by the dictators of Marxistic traitors."

Since you had first-hand experience working with unionists, in the "American proletariat, you, as you noted, saw the progressive devastation to American Capitalism that had made this country the envy of the world and the richest nation in history. As you say, the unionists employ "working little as possible, the workers were urged to "make" overtime prospects for weekends."

The problem with unions is that they made the workers of companies "us" versus "them" instead of all being on the same team, pulling together toward a common good.

These Marxist unionists took over in the northern cities because of crooked politicians who cared about power for themselves more than the future of their cities, states, and nation. They made back room deals to empower unions through favorable legislation in return for the unions voting as a block for them and providing them with a perpetual flow of campaign cash to ensure they stayed in power. The whole deal stinks.

You are right to suspect a spiritual reality behind all of this, which is evil. Every socialist state has also been officially atheistic. And there is a reason for that. The socialist utopia never includes God, or the family, He and them are seen as competitors to the State that will stop the evil socialists from fully implementing their utopia.

I surely hope that next Tuesday America stops voted by race, or by love of illegal activity, or by wanting to stick their nose into the government trough, to suck on the teet of the Nanny State, and vote for what is good, right, noble, and true.

God Bless You! Your comments are extraordinarily perceptive and discerning.


Michael-Milec on October 28, 2012:

Dear James ,

Another eye opening hub. Once greatly prosperous Michigan, is being devasted by the dictators of marxistic traitors. . .

By reading yorur masterpiece writhing, a horror flows trouhpgh my system, bringing back memories of first hand experience working in a unionist facility.

My curiosity to become a part of an " American proletar " , gave me chance to see systematic progression of " spreading" devastation to the capitalistic system. Not only working little as possible, the workers were urged to " make" overtime prospects for weekends . ( Massey- ferguson years later died..)

In my attempt to understand why so freely and boldly marching communistic agenda was /is taking over , the question remaines ,where are the " other" voices who supposedly have integrity and righteousness of those who believe and read the Word??

Why the forces of darkness prevail? That is my concern above all : the spiritual reality behind and within the movement .

Why the " American people" so quickly fall prey to the Evil by not fighting back?

Or, let me be wrong : this 2012 election might just be a turning point back to prosperity, honesty and bringing back the godliness into the hearts of every person living and working.

Please, continue to be a voice in the wilderness , we need you and others like you, the country needs.

Voted very high; wishing you all the blessings of the Allmighty .

Your friend an brother, Michael

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 27, 2012:

Greg Peddie— Greg! Great to hear from you, man. I have always admired your singing. We are going to be having our next White Summer Reunion Concert at Czars November 23rd (the Friday night after Thanksgiving).

I appreciate your kind words about my article. How interesting that your father worked at Malleable Industries—the very company I wrote about. Many families were devastated from union craziness. The leadership of unions convinced so many men, who were not well educated, that no job was better than job security for a little less money—just to make a point that "the union never gives up 'hard fought' gains."

Thank you for your insightful comments. And for reading my article in the first place. And you are welcome, my friend.


Greg Peddie on October 27, 2012:

GREAT Article!!! I agree 100% !! My father worked at BH Malliable as an engineer. I remember being a teenager and hearing him go on and on about the unions and that they were "killing us".... Things were NEVER the same for my family after that ! We are all still here in Michigan but it has been FAR from easy to make a living. Thank you James!!!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 26, 2012:

JON EWALL— Thank you, my friend, for coming back by to share with me those additional links. I checked them out. Very good stuff.


JON EWALL from usa on October 24, 2012:

James A Watkins

Check this link.

Obama's General Motors [GM] Tarp Bailout - The Untold TRUTH

Congress is investigating the DELPHI/ OBAMA deal, they lost their pensions while the union got ownership stock.

Mainstream media is threatening our country's future

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 24, 2012:

JON EWALL— Thank you very much, my friend, for providing those great links. I checked out all of them. As far as your two Hubs go, and the one by "Lions Den Media," I will come back and comment on them when I have more time (in a couple days). I made a myself a note to do so (I remember very few 'things to do' without stick notes these days).

Thanks again!

james :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 20, 2012:

Up North— Welcome to my Canadian friend! Thank you for taking the time to visit and read my work. I love Canada. I have been there many times.

Did Canada have the horrendous strikes that were common in the U.S. back in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s? I have surely seen what you describe so well as the "lack of work ethics, poor attitude or victim mentality" of employees that belong to labor unions. And just as in Canada, the labor unions here are in bed with politicians and the mafia.

I sincerely appreciate your kind compliments. Your comments are extraordinary and I love them!

Thanks again.


JON EWALL from usa on October 19, 2012:

James A Watkins


Here's a few links to update your hub.

Fairness Workforce Fairness

The Left No Longer Finds Dissent Patriotic Obama speaks ‘’ fairness

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Nov.6,2012, the people will have a choice to make regarding the future of our country. Will we vote for poverty and debt or will we select a new begining of prosperity and jobs?

Up North on October 18, 2012:

I am in Canada. We have the same problem. Everything you wrote I am aware yet it is great to read it in one coherent article. Good work!

I have worked in private sectors and unionized environment. I found the ones who support the unions no matter what are the ones who will lose their jobs in the private sectors, mostly due to their lack of work ethics, poor attitude or victim mentality.

So unions are in bed with politicians and mafias, certain large corporations are in bed with politicians, warlords (those who engineer wars and benefit from them) are in bed with politicians and mafia, that makes the politicians the prostitutes (which is no surprise to anyone) and the union/corp/mafia the johns.

Now the even more important questions: Who are the pimps? Who is running the whore house? Or the worldwide franchise of whore houses in each country?

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 02, 2012:

Talented Tenth— Thank you! Thank you very much. :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 02, 2012:

steve— I am sorry I "made you sick." Unions are a communist idea that should be obliterated from the American landscape. If they are, American manufacturing will boom again and unemployment will disappear. And no, people will not be reduced to "slave wages." Only 1.5% of American workers only make minimum wage now and they are mostly burger flippers.

I am for small government but it was BIG government under FDR that gave the unions in the Midwest so much power—and the resultant corruption. These unions duped the workers that they would be better off with NO job than a job paying 15 bucks an hour. Which is not true, my friend.

We buy manufatured goods from China because the average Joe cannot afford a $300 toaster or a $3000 dryer. Chinese goods have kept middle class and lower class Americans in the lap of luxury through Walmart.

What is more basic than a "right to work?"

Free trade has throughout history proven to always be good. Trade restrictions have always backfired. Unions do not stick up for the "little man." They stick up for the lazy man!

Thank you very much for reading my article. I appreciate your thoughtful and insightful comments.

Talented Tenth on March 01, 2012:

No solutions as usual but plenty of EGO-STROKING!! Remember, the MAJORITY RULES. Now sit back and continue to whine and watch Hope 2012 Pt. 2 take place.

steve on March 01, 2012:

you all make me sick, to think that you all believe what you type gives me little hope for the 99%. Yes thats you.

when the Unions are gone you will just blame another group that the top 1% wants you to. I thought you people were for small government but all i see from the right is more laws to inslave the 99%. Your tea bag ways is so far right that you can not see that both side suck and just following what big money wants you to is sad.I worked in companies union and none They both have all of these problems. We buy from china for a doller a day wages.Fix the bad trade deals and then we will be able to create jobs. Right to work is a bill that is in place to cripple unions that have power to stick up for the little man. ps i am no longer a rep the tea party changed my mind and most of my friends good luck in 2012 Romny LOL

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 24, 2011:

jon ewall— I find it fascinating and more than a little disturbing that the Mainstream Media has failed to consider it a scandal that President Obama's friend, Jeffrey Immelt, received billions in tax dollars under the Stimulus Program and despite making billions in profits paid zero income tax. All I hear from the Left is how Republicans are just front men for corporate America. But of course we know that is not true.

Unions gave Obama $400 million towards his election in 2008. I think there has been a terrible history of unions and politicians in bed together that has severely damaged America in countless ways. Let's see: unions elect people who then become the same people they negotiate against for public contracts. hmmm . . .

jon ewall on August 24, 2011:

James A Watkins

Friends of Obama in action right before our eyes. Wonder why the mainstream media hasn't reported ?

JOBS , news of the day

President Obama appointed Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric, to be the chairman of his ‘’ JOB COUNCIL’’ not too long ago. General Electric just signed a joint venture agreement with the Chinese government to construct jet aircraft, a $2 billion deal for GE. The deal makes China a direct competitor of Boeing , a US manufacturer. GE recently closed their world headquarters of a medical x-ray company and moved it all to China (lost jobs and manufacturing ). GE recently close a company in upper New York and moved the jobs to China. GE received $ billions of stimulus money, made record profits, yet paid $ 0 taxes. No doubt about it, that the mainstream media reported the news.

President Obama helps his friends and other big contributors to his campaign. That’s a fact.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 23, 2011:

jon ewall— I appreciate you bringing into the light of day this "Joyce Foundation," whose aim includes Socialism and eliminating the Gun Rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment. Thank you for providing this link. I totally agree with you in regard to these issues.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 23, 2011:

jon ewall— Thank you for the link to "Media Matters." This group is largely financed by George Soros, and its intent is to subvert American democracy, free enterprise, and free religious expression.

jon ewall on August 22, 2011:



Joyce fond

A few years later, radical environmentalist and conservation groups entered the picture, as eventually did organizations dedicated to social justice, prison reform, and increased funding for government and social services, particularly for minorities. A notable recent member of the Joyce Foundation's Board of Directors was Barack Obama, who ran successfully as the Democratic candidate for an Illinois Senate seat in 2004.


jon ewall on August 22, 2011:

James A Watkins

Obama has a lot of past history and company, check this site.

Creation of Democratic Party funders and operatives and former conservative writer David

ps pass it around,just to be informative

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 22, 2011:

JON EWALL— Thank you very much for providing that link to information about President Obama and the Progressive Caucus. This is the largest caucus in the Democratic Party today and it is firmly committed to Socialism. What they call "Social Justice" is of course a demand for the right to confisctate the property of other people and "redistribute" it to those who have failed in life. This is hardly "justice" at all but legalized theft.

I appreciate this visitation and your excellent comments.

JON EWALL from usa on August 19, 2011:

James A Watkins

WHO IS OBAMA and who he represents are clear.

OBAMA AND MANY DEMOCRATS in Congress are part of the progressive caucus and their goals are exactly what is happening since they got power in 2007. Since 2007 up to today the progressive Democrats have had 2/3's control of our government and at one time from 2009 to Sept 2010 had 100% control after the 2008 election. Check this out to get a better understanding of who they really are in the Democratic party. The Democratic party has been taken over by radical groups, said a retired senator .

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 18, 2011:

Jon Ewall— Thank you so much for posting your outstandingly erudite insights here.

You wrote: "There is are differences in private sector unions and the public sector unions"


You also said: :"President Carter and Kennedy backed by the unions were successful in creating legislation to benefit the trade unions. The problems today is that the politicians are being bought off more than ever. Now 20-30 years latter the public is finding out the hidden benefits ( pension and healthcare ) costs that are bankrupting states and cities.

The public sector unions have more control of the negotiations because they get politicians elected, the cancer of the public sector."

Great Comments. I think props are due to the Wagner Act of 1935 by FDR that started this mess to begin with.

Making Labor the enemy of companies instead of partners with companies has had tragic results.

Unions in any sector—public or private, but far more so the public—are based on Marxism and therefore anti-American at the core.

And as you make the point so well, politicians have sold the future generations down the river for political gain. Short term gains with long term awful consequences.

jon ewall on August 17, 2011:

James A Watkins

There is are differences in private sector unions and the public sector unions

Private sector unions are negotiating with private management groups sometimes in an association of many contractors. The different union trades although different, do jointly protect each trade. One may go on strike, the other employees will not cross a picket line. In the 50’s management had the upper hand, in the 60,s the curve moved a little closer down to a 60/50 battle, in the 70, management still held the upper hand, in the 80’s unions were getting closer to the 50/50, 90’s to 2000 ,the unions were stronger in the private sector. For the past 10 years in certain parts of the country, private sector unions except for public type of projects are stronger ( only because the government has new laws to help give trade unions an upper hand in labor relations.

President Carter and Kennedy backed by the unions were successful in creating legislation to benefit the trade unions .The problems today is that the politicians are being bought off more than ever. Now 20-30 years latter the public is finding out the hidden benefits ( pension and healthcare ) costs that are bankrupting states and cities.

The public sector unions have more control of the negotiations because they get politicians elected,

the cancer of the public sector. Limiting terms of the politicaian,in today’s society, would be a good start.

The President was a neighborhood organizer in his younger days. Today he believes that management is the enemy of labor. Union blood flows in his veins without remorse for corporations. PROFIT is a dirty word in the politics of Washington. To my knowledge , unions don’t employ people to produce anything of any value.

Today with President Obama in command, government is not the solution to our economy but government is completely irresponsible for the problems in the economy.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 17, 2011:

James— Thank you for these outstanding comments. You had me nodding my head in agreement all the way through. It is a pleasure to meet another of my namesake who is wise and discerning.

I especially liked this that you wrote: "Unions are nothing more than legalized mafia organizations. . . . telling owners of their own businesses what they can do, (denying the owner of a business their own freedom)ABSURD! . . . if I own a business and some mafia organization starts telling me how I am going to run it I would simply move that business, which supports labor and community, to another state"

I could not have said it better myself! :)

I appreciate this visitation.

James on August 15, 2011:

Here, here. It looks as if we the people decided the liberal nutjob, Demoncrat, Strickland was to be removed from office after only one term. It appears as though the MAJORITY voted Kasich in and he will remain in office for many years to come. Who is in the majority here?

Where were the unions in the early 1980s when concession mandates presided? Where were the unions when GM sent half of its workforce oversees? Where are the unions that protected jobs by not allowing GM and Chrysler to confiscate our gov't. tax dollars in the form of bailouts? When has a union ever protected jobs by stopping any business from going elsewhere? NEVER!

Unions are nothing more than legalized mafia organizations. No union has stopped any job from leaving our states or our country, they are inept, mini-governments, telling owners of their own businesses what they can do, (denying the owner of a business their own freedom)ABSURD! Unions offer little-to-no protection but demand that employees have more of their monies removed from their own paychecks so they can set in a nice big office and absorb the fruit of the employee's labors. Not only that but unions pander to and PROMOTE idiots like Obama, even against the will of the employees to use the employee monies in said promotion. If that is not absurd I do not know what is. Unions may, and I stress may, have done some minuscule good in the early 30s and 40s but are useless confiscators of union dues presently. Moreover, if employees had their own confiscated dues in their pocket they could easily contribute to their own needs such as health-care, with employer and employee both having increased revenue to support needs and programs.

Lastly, if I own a business and some mafia organization starts telling me how I am going to run it I would simply move that business, which supports labor and community, to another state just as businesses are doing now when threatened by unions. Unions are killing local business. Unions deny freedom from their tyranny.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 24, 2011:

platinumOwl4— I believe your comments are right on target. American workers, protected by unions, put out very shoddy work by the 1970s. As you say, at one time American manufacturing products were the best in the world. I dare say that without unions, America would still be the leader in manufactured goods that it was in the 1950s.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I appreciate your excellent comments.

platinumOwl4 on June 21, 2011:

James A Watkins,

I was just thinking because to mismanagement of Union a great deal if not all of the manufacturing have move out of the U.S. Once we manufactured and had pride in our accomplishments. The worker at one time would sign their work because they were proud of it. Now, with the protection racket, some of the workers just look for a check with little if any work at all.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 18, 2011:

ruffridyer— Thank you for sharing a bit of your personal experience with unions. I have been to Charlotte, MI. I appreciate the visit to my Hub. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

ruffridyer from Dayton, ohio on May 16, 2011:

I agree with you about the unions. I worked in a small foundry in charlotte mich for 11yrs until they closed down. I blame the union.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on April 21, 2011:

JON EWALL— You are welcome, my friend. I look forward to your next story. I'll be there! :)

JON EWALL from usa on April 20, 2011:

James A Watkins

Thanks for the comment.I had a conversation with a retired union stewart regarding the article.Step by step he concured to my discription of the '' true ''story. I got a chuckle out of him as to springing the ''trap''.With your reponse, I'll start the next story.Hoping you will enjoy it.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on April 19, 2011:

JON EWALL— Ha! That's a funny story. I look forward to reading more of your Hubs. Thanks for sharing that with me. Good man.

JON EWALL from usa on April 14, 2011:

James A Watkins


I just finished a union story ( true) the jest of the story I will be publishing.

We decided to meet for lunch at a local restaurant to try to mediate a solution to the dispute. Prior to the meeting I obtained a list of all the company employees, for all labor trades. I highlighted all the local workers and found that in all trades, the local representation in the company were 60%+/- of the company’s work force. I was now ready with important information for the meeting. During lunch, I tried to solve the manpower problem. The local BA s insisted that the 50/50 ratio had to be fulfilled. Now it was time to spring the trap, I gave each of them a copy of the employee list. Requested them if they recognized the workers on the list, they responded with a yes. We counted the totals and divided the local workers and found that the local’s out numbered the non locals by 10%+ or more in the employment of the company.

The next move for me was to request them to advise me which local workers that we should keep and which ones should be released to get to the 50/50 equation on the company roster. I reminded them that they insisted upon a 50/50 ratio. I can’t tell you how quickly their attitude changed when they were confronted with reality. They told me that everything looked OK now and that the situation was resolved.

I guess telling them that I would advise the local help that they were being let go was because the company had to keep a 50/50 ratio on the workers as the BAs demanded

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on April 14, 2011:

JON EWALL— Thank you my friend! I appreciate the tipoff as to this other Hub. I will read it and comment on it shortly.

Yes, public employee unions do control both sides if we think about it. On one side they negotiate for their members, employees of the taxpayers. Who do they negotiate with? Probably legislators beholden to them for financial support. It is easy to give away money that isn't yours (public funds) in exchange for campaign contributions. Well said.

JON EWALL from usa on April 12, 2011:

James A Watkins


I recently wrote a reply to a hub, it adds to your eye opener about unions.

From experience allow me to tell you that the union and the union bosses are not what they were 20 years ago. The unions don't care about their members and the employers who they negotiate with. In the public sector, the unions control both sides of the issues AND THEY will do anything not to lose the power.Unfortionately today, they own the Whitehouse and much of Congress.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 25, 2011:

Fossillady— The name Dick Kesterke sounds very familiar. I left the Twin Cities to seek my fame and fortune with my rock and roll band in 1979. But I moved back twice—once in the 80s and once in the 90s—for a few years each time.

You might be interested in this Hub I published:

Kathi Mirto from Fennville on March 25, 2011:

Yup, We used to go out for breakfast at Famous after the bars in my younger hay days...Is Greenlee Ave. in Fairplain, that's where my grandfather lived, maybe you grew up with Kay Zerbel, she married Dick Kesterke. We were the only other Zerbel family and grew up in St. Joe. It really is a small world.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 25, 2011:

Fossillady— Ah, yes. I remember now. Out there by the Famous service station.

It seems I had some neighbors named Zerbel when I lived on Greenlee Avenue during elementary school days.

Well it is a small world. It is a pleasure to "meet" you. :D

I love Saugatuak, by the way. I visited there last summer. I have fond memories of Oval Beach back around 1970.

Kathi Mirto from Fennville on March 24, 2011:

It was Zerbel GMC on Napier near I94 exit! They sold heavy duty trucks to Gersondes, but I can't remember off hand what business Gersonde's was in, I'll check into it...I'll ask my dad about Rex's too...

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 23, 2011:

Fossillady— Wait a minute. I am from Benton Harbor. Your dad's dealership . . . Gersonde GMC? I am trying to remember. My family was in the auto parts business downtown Benton Harbor: Rex Auto Parts. Ask you dad if he remembers that.

Kathi Mirto from Fennville on March 23, 2011:

Excellent right up...I'm sending this along to my day who once had a GMC truck dealership in Benton Harbor...due to circumstances, including a union that formed, he and my grandfather had to close the doors in the 80's...He never got over it and despises unions for the very reasons you have so thoroughly covered...good job

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 12, 2011:

Ryanandrewsvfx— Welcome to the Hub Pages Community. I will check out your Hub soon.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 12, 2011:

Whidbeywriter— Hello! Yes, I agree with you. After all, so-called Robber Barons are a thing of the last—way back past. Thank you for your kind compliments. I appreciate you coming by to read my Hub.


Ryanandrewsvfx on March 11, 2011:

Mary Gaines from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington on March 10, 2011:

Hi James,

Great hub - you did an excellent job at keeping my interest throughout. I agree something needs to be done before it's too late in this country. I truly believe that unions were necessary at one time in America, but now with all the laws in place - it would be great to just have a job some American's are saying - amen! Cheers

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 02, 2011:

what_say_you— You are welcome! Thank you!!

You said it all: "amazing what happens to someone's work ethic when they realize they will be judged on job performance NOT their seniority"

There you have it! Thank you for these excellent comments. I appreciate this visitation from you. Welcome to HubPages!!

what_say_you from Louisiana on March 01, 2011:

Thank you James!!! Great Hub!!'s long but worth the time and your words flow so smoothly I wanted to keep reading. I have been on both sides of this fence and I currently live in a righ to work state...amazing what happens to someone's work ethic when they realize they will be judged on job performance NOT their seniority. :0)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 18, 2011:

Ken Crow— Thank you very much!! You are right on time, my new friend. I sincerely appreciate the laudations, Ken.

I have not seen your Hub about unions but I have made myself a note to read it, which I will do soon. I can tell this is one your buttons. I am well pleased to find a kindred spirit. We are indeed loyal Americans.


Ken Crow from Iowa, USA on February 17, 2011:

James: OUTSTANDING WORK ! I only wish I had been on Hubpages when this first appeared. You are very, very talented and I am now a loyal follower.

As for the Unions, I wrote one the other day about them bankrupting our Nation and States. I of course did not know about this one at the time. But, I look at N.J., NY, MI, Il, and the rest. There is not a doubt that something has to be done. These folks are truly breaking the backs of America. Enough is enough..Can you tell this is one of my buttons ? :-) Anyway, great HUB, good writing and thanks for being a loyal American..Ken

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 02, 2011:

theirishobserver— Thank you, Irish! Thank you very much! I appreciate the visit and your compliment. :D

theirishobserver. from Ireland on January 01, 2011:

Great Hub......Irish

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 20, 2010:

C. J. Wright— Thank you! It's beyond me too, brother. Yes it was, Yes it is.

The workers in my home state were manipulated right out of their jobs. It is a dirty shame.

Thank you for your excellent comments. I appreciate your input.

C.J. Wright on November 19, 2010:

Great Article James! How anyone could support the modern day Union based on what it did for labor a hundred years ago is beyond me. The union was a handy tool for fighting greed during the industrialization of our great country. However, it was just as subseptible to greed as the corporations that they were fighting.

IMHO the biggest problem the unions ever created was simply an idea. The idea that MORE money is the only solution to money problems. This is the idea that most "wage" workers have. I'ts all they know. No discipline, no ethics, just stand there stiff legged like a child until your demands are met.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 06, 2010:

CMerritt— You are most welcome. So you know about what I addressed here. You wrote:

"Unions, who at one time was such a strong and powerful force, has killed so many cities."

Yes, your words ring with truth. Thank you for expressing this. I appreciate your continued readership.

Chris Merritt from Pendleton, Indiana on October 06, 2010:

James, for the very reasons you discussed, happened to the city I grew up in in Indiana. The Unions got too greedy. Anderson at one time had 17 different types of automobiles that were manufactured there. In 1973 around 16,000 persons were employed by the by Delco-Remy in Anderson. It was one of the top places in the Nation to live back in the 50's and 60's. There are no traces of any Auto Industry left, and it is now a depressed city. It once had three large, well respected High Schools and now it there is one left, and it is decreaing rapidly. It is really sad how much the Unions, who at one time was such a strong and powerful force, has killed so many cities.

Thanks again for your excellent work and for sharing with us.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 18, 2010:

davidseeger— Thank you, kind sir. Killing the goose that lay the Golden Egg is exactly the moral of this story. I am well pleased that we are in agreeance. I appreciate you for taking the time to read my article, and for your fine response. You are welcome.

davidseeger from Bethany, OK on August 16, 2010:

Another great hub. It is too bad that it wasn't available and understood 60 years ago. This country had a great future at hand and greedily threw it away. It is such a perfect example of people who want all of the golden eggs at once killing the goose and losing it all.

To be honest, and I must always be honest, I didn't read every line of this hub. I had to stop when my neck got to aching from nodding at every line in the hub. Thanks.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 19, 2010:

GmaGoldie— It is always a pleasure to hear from you, my dear. It is magical indeed. I would like to have a talk show on television. I think that would be a gas. I love Chicago as well. Thank you for visiting. I enjoyed reading your comments.

Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on July 18, 2010:

Lake Michigan is magical! From any state - Wisconsin, Michiigan or Minnesota or Illinois - Chicago is my favorite. Sadly, greed kills and it kills our economy. This new economty is not a refreshing, is not a recession, it is a call to reasonableness and fairness.

Very well done Hub - I hope Americans and the powers to be - listen.

Kennedy tried to warn about the textiles leaving the US. With the standard of living on the rise in China, I pray that both China and the North Americans learn that greed doesn't feed families. If we are greedy - we take away from someone - that someone may be our neighbor - our uncle, our father, etc...

Great Hub and great discussion. I think we should nominate you for late night talk shows! You would be terrific.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 21, 2010:

ME and ROBERT G.— You're welcome. I am glad we are in agreeance. Thank you for letting me know.

ME and ROBERT G. on June 21, 2010:

Thanks James. I'm one in the same.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 03, 2010:

ME— Congratulations! You have broken the record for longest comment ever received! :D

Ok, let me read this thing . . .

"Historically, all of the violence, libel, and intimidation that goes along with "organizing campaigns" has been directed at competing, non-union labor, not management."

Outstanding observation. Thank you.

WOW! After reading all of your commentary, it is so good I could paste all of it back into this comment box. Every paragraph rings with truth and against the lies of unions. Thank you very much for this tremendous lesson you have provided to me and my readers. Awesome!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 02, 2010:

Robert G.— Yes! I agree with your second comment as well. Thanks for coming back with that addendum.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 02, 2010:

Robert G.— I agree with every word your wrote in your brilliant analysis. Thank you very much for coming to visit my Hub and for leaving your keen insights.

ME on June 02, 2010:

UNIONS AND WALMART TYPE PLACES. Most of the commentary on the ongoing propaganda campaign against Wal-Mart ignores what is probably the most important aspect of it: It is primarily a labor union-inspired campaign against Wal-Mart employees, as well as the company in general. This is the essential truth of all union organizing campaigns. Historically, all of the violence, libel, and intimidation that goes along with "organizing campaigns" has been directed at competing, non-union labor, not management. The Wal-Mart campaign is no different.

The propaganda campaign against Wal-Mart is what is known as a "corporate campaign" in the labor union literature. There are very few strikes these days in America; so-called "corporate campaigning" is the new form of organizing. Unions finally wised up to the fact that, while striking may be great fun, with all the name-calling antics, bashing in of car windows (of cars belonging to "scabs"), puncturing of tires, and destruction of company property, it rarely got them anywhere. In fact, if replacement workers are hired during a strike all union employees lose their jobs. Strikes increasingly became an all cost/no benefit proposition, which is why they are so rare these days.

There are several rationales for corporate campaigns. For one, they have been a way of unionizing a workplace without directly involving the employees in cases where unions know they do not have employee support. There have been many instances where unions have lost certification elections by very large margins, telling them that they have no hope of organizing a particular company's employees. Rather than giving up, however, they will frequently initiate a corporate campaign against the company. The idea is to use every means possible to impose costs on the company, forcing it to increase its prices; embarrass the company's management with a campaign of slander; and portray the company in the media as some kind of social outlaw. It is easy for unions to generate such publicity with the assistance of various economically ignorant, capitalist-hating "nonprofit" groups, from clergy to environmentalists. If the company gives up and signs a union contract, all the complaints disappear immediately.

One tactic is to issue thousands of complaints about the company to regulators, who must then investigate the complaints, forcing the company to spend huge sums on legal fees. In addition, the union will issue press releases about how many complaints there have been about the company, implying that all the complaints are somehow real and legitimate. This may cost the company some customers if the publicity is bad enough. In the 1990s the corporate campaign against the non-union grocery chain Food Lion caused the organization to shut down dozens of stores. (The company subsequently recovered as consumers discovered for themselves that the union's charges against Food Lion were bogus, but it still cost the company millions).

In Maryland recently, the state legislature – which is totally in the pocket of the state's unions – passed a law forcing Wal-Mart to provide its workers with expensive, governmentally-prescribed health insurance, something that will certainly drive up its costs and make it less competitive compared to unionized stores.

The ultimate goal is to get the company to sign a union contract without ever involving the employees, a process that labor scholars call "pushbutton unionism." So much for the fable of "union democracy."

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), the largest union in the grocery industry, has been at the forefront of many corporate campaigns and is the chief organizer of the campaign against Wal-Mart. It is no secret that Wal-Mart's grocery prices are very much lower than they are in your typical, unionized grocery store chain. The "problem" facing the UFCW is that unionized grocery store chains tend to be much more expensive than non-union grocery chains (and often much dirtier and less consumer-friendly in general). Thus, they have waged long campaigns against such companies as Food Lion in an attempt to drive up grocery prices – all in the "public interest," of course.

As long as there is competition by the superior, non-union grocery stores, the unionized stores cannot compete as well with their bloated costs and their low-quality goods and service. The unionized stores will lose business to their superior, non-union competitors and may even go bankrupt. The union will lose members and, more importantly, dues revenues. Thus, the role of the corporate campaign, if it is successful, is either to unionize the non-union stores so that they will become just as expensive and inefficient as the unionized ones, or at least impose costs on the non-union companies that will achieve essentially the same outcome.

In either case, it is a patently anti-consumer policy that can only harm the employees of the "targeted" company. Consequently, the whole idea of a corporate campaign is based on a Big Lie: That the union is somehow concerned about the well-being of non-union employees at places like Wal-Mart. In reality, the objective of the union is to force every one of those employees to either join its union (and pay its expensive dues) or become unemployed. This is true of all corporate campaigns, including the ones against Nike and other companies operating in Indonesia.

While the media may portray unions as collections of Mother Teresas, concerned only with the plight of poor Indonesians, the reality is that the real objectives of the unions is to throw every last Indonesian who is employed by Nike out of work, forcing many of them to resort to begging, stealing, prostitution, or worse. That way, competition for higher-priced/lower quality textile goods produced in unionized factories in America will be reduced or eliminated. And the unions pretend to take the moral high ground in this patently immoral crusade.

America's universities are filled with economically ignorant haters of the free market, so university campuses have become major forums for union denunciations of such companies as Nike, Wal-Mart, and others. Faculty and students claim to be concerned about "social justice," but they are simply being used as dupes by unions who are not at all concerned with justice of any sort. Rather, their main concern is increasing the coffers of union treasuries by driving non-union competitors from the market.

The great majority of today's college students may never learn the principles of supply and demand, or understand how many billions of dollars annually companies like Wal-Mart save American consumers (including their own families), but they are indoctrinated as freshmen that any "moral" person should hate Wal-Mart, Nike, and other "outlaw" corporations (as defined by the union movement).

What's good for the country is freedom: $14

Economically ignorant clergy often lend a hand in this union crusade to throw thousands of people out of work, lending an aura of "God's work" to this immoral and anti-social crusade. And of course there are all the other usual suspects – environmentalists, "consumer activists," trial lawyers, and Wal-Mart's higher-cost competitors – who are happy to be a part of such smear campaigns because it satisfies their own self interests (or fattens their wallets) as well.

So far, millions and millions of Americans have expressed disagreement with the smears against Wal-Mart by the UFCW and its accomplices by shopping there in record numbers. As always, the public has nothing at all to do with such anti-corporate campaigns, which are always the work of small groups of union rabble rousers, intellectuals, and pundits desperate to portray themselves as being "on the side of the people." The danger is if these opinion makers succeed in convincing enough politicians to follow the actions of the Maryland legislature, which is arguably the most economically ignorant group of legislators in America (I speak from experience, having testified several times before committees of these jokers). If this happens then the grocery industry will become less

ROBERT G. on June 02, 2010:

I have to point out also that I've been reading a whole bunch about marxism lately. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it funny how our country allows companies to do business with countries that exploit it's workers for profit BUT on the other hand it takes over companies and at face value gives more power to the unions and politicians while screwing the shareholder. Seems like global redistribution to me. Destroy America's wealth and rebuild it the way the powers that be determine appropriate.

ROBERT G. on June 02, 2010:

You think a union would have sense enough to know there has to be a balance between the respect of a worker and the profitability of a company. If a company can't exhist because they loose money there isn't gonna be a worker at the facility to unionize. I'm sure they're logic is that the company is lying and they are just trying to gain more profit and they are just being greedy. I'm sure they think right to work states are the reason for a union mantained companies migration. "The company just sees the bottom line, they don't care about the worker, they can still afford to pay these wages and benefits and be competitive". The only person who benefits from a union is a union leader. He or she is the only one who gains power in a marxist designed setup. Sure globalization hurt. I think there is a problem with an american with a humane lifestyle trying to compete with a worker in another country making a dollar an hour working 12-18 hour days. Maybe the labor movement should start in those environments. Unions where good at the turn of last century but aren't quite as needed now for we americans have enough saftey and quality at a job do to our awakening and protection of the american standard.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 13, 2010:

Joni Douglas— Thank you for coming to visit one of my personal favorite Hubs (of those I have written). I also appreciate your gracious compliments. I love Lake Michigan. You are so right: it beats the heck out of salt water. I loved Benton Harbor, too. I thoroughly enjoyed your insightful, thoughtful comments. Thank you for making them here.

Joni Douglas on May 12, 2010:

Being from Michigan I took great interest in your hub. Went looking for it actually, when I saw it mentioned somewhere.

What a great hub! You certainly set the bar high.

I, too, love Michigan. And I see first hand the sorry state that many great cities have become. It is heart-breaking to see Benton Harbor as well as other cities, these days. The manufacturing loss in Michigan will never return to what it once was, I'm afraid.

Having many family members who worked at GM plants here, I have heard similar stories. Now that all of the GM plants are gone from our little area of Michigan, the economy here has been devastated.

Another down side to those great union wages is the pricing of everything else. With 3 GM plants in our area, even the price of a loaf of bread was set with the union wage in mind. So for the rest of us, who perhaps made the same parts as GM, at non-union plants that supplied GM, wages were substantially less and this price fixing hurt.

But you are definitely right about the beaches. Nothing can compare to Lake Michigan from the Michigan shoreline. From the southern most tip all the way up to the bridge, that shoreline is beautiful. When the lake hits 70 degrees and the waves are rolling, swimming is sensational. Beats the heck out of that salt water.

Enjoyed the read.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 15, 2010:

Dewey Cheatem--- Thank you for coming by to read my article and leaving your excellent comments. I especially liked your second paragraph, as I am certain this stuff has gone on for years and drove manufacturing out of Michigan. Hey, I had uncles in unions and they did their best to convince me it was all for the working man. Good luck with Dad. Let me know how it comes out.

Dewey Cheatem on February 15, 2010:

James A. Watkins writes: "while I put in a full day of non-stop work, the unionized technicians would quit working after about four hours; and go to the basement to sleep, read or play cards the rest of the day"

I was a non union draftsman in a union shop. I saw the same things. The union workers actually arguing about whose work it was to erect scaffolding. At the beginning of the job the laborers were claiming that the scaffolding was carpenters work. Must have been because wood planking was used? The carpenters were pointing at the laborers saying "'s laborers work". By the time the job was almost done both trades were claiming the work as theirs. That's because they saw the end of the project approaching.

I particularly enjoyed the comment from Bob Kincaid. Bob begins by writing "What a sadly typical load of anti-worker rubbish". I also read with interest your response to him. Typical of the people that can't back up their words to reasoned argument. Mr. Kincaid did not bother to respond to your response.

Great Hub. I will share it with my Dad. My Dad and I have often sparred over what unions stand for. Unions were great when they actually cared about the working people. The onset of corruption and politics has created a monster.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 04, 2009:

atomswifey— I absolutely love Michigan. It is my home. If I could make a living there I would move back in a heartbeat. Such a beautiful place!

I still have a large contingent of family and friends there and they are scuffling to get by. It's a tough situation.

I so appreciate you for coming to my article and leaving your comments. Thank you and God Bless You!

atomswifey from Michigan on October 04, 2009:

This hub is so right on! My husband was born here in Michigan I spent most of my childhood here and then my son was born here. Both of my parents were born and raised in Michigan as well.

I have many aunts and uncles and a ton of friends who live here as well.

My husband and I moved back a couple of years back and are now thinking of relocating out west, plans are in the works.

It saddens me so much to think about what you wrote here and how right you are.

Lately it is just getting worse as the stimulus money we were supposed to get and what it was intended for went to I am sure, the unions. Now we have state senators angry over the whole deal.

It was supposed to be that the money would help generate some 350,000 jobs and instead we lost 350,000 and are expected to lose another 300,000 by the end of this year! State senators are questioning Obama over the whole mess.

Michigan is in an all out depression with very little if any light at all at the end of the tunnel. I have been told from several business owners that if they had the money to relocate out of state they would. Many of them are going out of business. It is so incredibly sad for this beautiful state.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 05, 2009:

estopher— WOW! That's high praise indeed! Thank you so much for that affirmation. :)

I agree with your comment 100% and I thank you for making it.

estopher from Bainbridge, Ohio on September 05, 2009:

You set the standard for what a hub should be. I think government and unions have cost American's millions of jobs just for the fact that they interfere and try to manipulate free trade, comparitive advantage,and the supply and demand of workers.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 03, 2009:

broussardleslie— I am glad you concur. I hear a lot about unions, but I felt I had something special to add since my hometown was a hotbed of union activity, and mostly pro-union, as I was growing up.

Thank you for reading and commenting. And you are welcome.

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