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La Cucaracha by Lalo Alcaraz for August 12, 2009

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    Edcole1961  over 10 years ago

    My eighth grade history teacher once accidentally called Cesar Chavez Che Guevara.

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    pschearer Premium Member over 10 years ago

    Ah yes, I remember Cesar Chavez: the fellow who unionized the California farm workers who carefully hand-harvested table grapes so they’d look pretty on our tables.

    But I also remember that the resulting increased labor costs caused many grape producers to switch to grapes used for wine, juice, jams, and so forth. These grapes can be roughly harvested by machines at lower cost. The result was a drop in the number of grape-picker jobs.

    That is the trick behind union claims of how they improve workers’ salaries: only look at the remaining workers but ignore the jobs lost or never created. In economics it’s called the Invisible Man fallacy.

    Note that I’m not against unions. Only against laws that give unions (or employers!) an unfair, government-enforced advantage.

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    lewisbower  over 10 years ago

    Teachers unions have a stranglehold over every town

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    hastynote Premium Member over 10 years ago

    Wrong! Lewreader and pschearer!!! You have been reading right-wing propaganda. As one who was in Delano and Bakersfield supporting the farmworkers, I can assure you that conditions improved at little cost to the farmers. In fact two of the largest farms were quite willing to sign union contracts. They had raised their workers’ pay higher than the uinion demands to fight off Chavez. When they relealized the foramers were willing to work for less in exchange for basic needs in the field, as well as the camps. I was a school teacher in the school with charter No. 1 in the Calif. Teachers Assoc. We were never allowed to even have AFT pers come to our schools. Thanks to Reagan, we had no choice. The state required unions. The pay and benefits have still been below other industry standards. With a heavy inclusion of administrators in the CTA, it has been impossible to get the classroom improvements our schools deserve. THanks again to Reagan, the state became the collector of our property tax. So the advantages we achieved in our initiatives to lower class size have been erased by Schwartzenegger. This year’s budget wipes out all our gains. Your only hope is found in a stronger union movement. My wife & I are retired teachers. Thanks to the union at our college, active teachers put off raises so that we retirees would still have health insurance. If the adults act like adults, a reformed health care will make it possible for teachers to get the pay and programs needed so that so that maybe California’s schools can survive until we can recover from the worst President in history: Ronald Reagan!!!

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    BlueRaven  over 10 years ago

    Bob, kudos to you for helping the farmworkers and speaking the truth to the fools who can’t see past their noses to find reality.

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    Trebor39  over 10 years ago

    Thank you Cezar Chavez because you did well. Shame on all those who can’t or won’t see beyond their prejudices.

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    longtimecomicsfan  over 10 years ago

    And yet, the Invisible Man fallacy, which states that you can’t give anything to one man without taking it away from another man, is itself a fallacy, because it assumes zero economic growth and completely ignores wealth creation.

    When wealth is created that didn’t exist previously, then the new wealth can be distributed without any parties being worse off than they were before. That’s Economics 101.

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    pschearer Premium Member over 10 years ago

    Longtimecomicsfan: The Invisible Man fallacy does not need to take wealth creation into account because wealth creation is irrelevant to the principle.

    “Invisible Man” is a specific application of the wider principle that any evaluation of an economic policy must look at both immediate and future results, direct and indirect consequences, the reality achieved vs. the potential lost. This all still applies regardless of whether wealth is being created, destroyed, or hoarded in the basement.

    The best treatment I have seen of this idea is in the classic book “Economics in One Lesson”, written by Henry Hazlitt in the 1940’s but still in print. I think some of its examples are updated in the newest editions, but old or new, it is an eye-opening insight into how to think properly about economics.

    Taking your reference to Economics 101 literally, if your textbook was like most, it was based on an anti-free-market assumption of government management of some or all of the economy. There are only a few textbooks that emphasize free market economics rather than the mixed economy, usually obscured by the terms macro- and micro-economics.

    (When I was in college the biggest selling economics text was Paul Samuelson’s. It was a sign of the decline of our ecomony when Samuelson (Paul, not Robert) replaced Hazlitt as the economics columnist at Newsweek in the 1960s.)

    It’s hard to know your economic views from what little you wrote, but the mere use of the words “wealth can be distributed” is not a good sign.

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