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Tilting at Windmills

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March 3, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

U OF MIAMI STRIKE....Majikthise reports that not only are janitors at the University of Miami striking for healthcare coverage and better wages, but now the the gardeners at president Donna Shalala's personal residence have joined them. Good.

Kevin Drum 1:41 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (28)

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If they're not willing to do the job, I'm sure there are some guest workers we can bring in who will.

Posted by: tbrosz on March 3, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Tbrosz is right. This is a test of the free market. If they're not getting paid enough, they'll get healthcare and better wages. If they're paid fairly, however, somebody else will be willing to sell his labor in exchange for what the janitors currently receive. In this way, we can be assured that labor is being sold at an equitable rate.

Posted by: Al on March 3, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Shalala is the type of Democratic Party hack I am disgusted with and why I do not think the Party represents the best interests of the commonwealth. Of course, it is still much better than the Republican Party, but it could be so much better had it not been seduced by the Clinton Success and the elitist corruption of Cisneros, Jackson, Shalala, etc.

Posted by: Hostile on March 3, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

I'm curious, Al. Who do you work for?

Posted by: Kevin Drum on March 3, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

This piecemeal shit won't get it done. We need a series of national strikes.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on March 3, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum: I'm curious, Al. Who do you work for?

Surely you could find that out, or at least make a reasonable guess, without too much trouble.

Posted by: shortstop on March 3, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Donna Shalala was chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Madison several years before I went there for undergrad, and was responsible for the student thoughtcrime code, usually known as the speech code, in 1989. A few years later a federal judge struck down the student speech code on the grounds of that quaint First Amendment, although the faculty code was only eliminated in 1999. Something to keep in mind, when liberals talk about the value of free speech, is that there is at least an 'elite' subset that has no use for the First Amendment. Liberals on average are still a lot better than conservatives on the issue, but are not perfect.

I haven't followed the current Miami situation, but I wish Donna all the worst...

Posted by: ChiSox Fan in LA on March 3, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

"If they're not willing to do the job, I'm sure there are some guest workers we can bring in who will."
Posted by: tbrosz

Remember, kids, this is your Republican party. You want any more than what the bossman is willing to pay you, out ya go, better luck in the next job (if there is a next job, but of course that's not the bossman's problem). And since tbrosz claims not to be a bigot, I guess this goes for anyone, anywhere, anytime, any job.

Incidentally, one reason I've noticed that unions are at a low point in popularity is that for Baby Boomers, "union" appears to equal "corrupt." When I mentioned a similar story to my father and some of his friends a few months ago, it was impossible for them to imagine unionized workers as anything more than mobbed-up Teamsters (and he himself was a union worker for Goodyear, in his youth). The idea that people in a field (gardeners, hotel workers, graduate students, Borders employees, etc) would self-organize was a surprise to him. So if we want to get this story out there, the anti-corruption angle might be worth emphasizing.

Posted by: mmy on March 3, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Incidentally, one reason I've noticed that unions are at a low point in popularity is that for Baby Boomers, "union" appears to equal "corrupt."

And astonishingly they don't think the same thing when they hear "big business."

Posted by: Stefan on March 3, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

MMY makes a good point, and it's not just baby boomers who associate unions with corruption. And no one thinks of the honor and self-sacrifice involved in collective action.

The example provided by Donna Shalala's garderners in choosing to suffer in order to alleviate the suffering of others is extremely powerful and profound.

I just think people aren't at all aware that this notion of being responsible for others, even at expense to yourself, is at the heart of organizing. I know I wasn't until I started actually talking to people who were in unions.

Posted by: theorajones on March 3, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

One would think that after all this time, Kevin wouldn't get taken in by "Al".

Posted by: The real Real Al on March 3, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

I'm curious, Al. Who do you work for?

The Univeristy of Texas, at the moment. If anybody can do the quality of work I do for a lower age, they're welcome to my job.

Posted by: Al on March 3, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't followed the current Miami situation, but I wish Donna all the worst...

As a Big East football fan, I echo the sentiment given her "push" to move Miami U. into the ACC!!

Posted by: pencarrow on March 3, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

If Wal-Mart's callousness towards it's employees health insurance needs is taken by the "left" as evidence against the "right" should Shalala's (as a Clinton administration alumnus) be taken by the "right" as evidence against the "left"?

Trapier K. Michael
www.marketplace.md
www.blog.marketplace.md

Posted by: Trapier K. Michael on March 3, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Al: Most staff and faculty at the University of Texas are unionized and in the past have engaged in collective action in order to raise their salary and benefit levels. Therefore, you are a benificiary of the kinds of strategies that you condemn. Your posts are just another example of anti-union hypocrisy.

Posted by: Paul on March 3, 2006 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK
If Wal-Mart's callousness towards it's employees health insurance needs is taken by the "left" as evidence against the "right"...

Its not.

The Bush Administrations cutting sweetheart deals with Wal*Mart, on the other hand, to protect it from consequences of its labor infractions, however, is, as are other instances of the right wings enthusiastic support for Wal*Mart's practices.

Would you like to ask a question without a false premise?

Posted by: cmdicely on March 3, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

not only ... but also

That is the idiomatic form for which you seek, Kevin Drum.

Posted by: Birkel on March 3, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

ChiSox Fan in LA mentions one of Donna's moronic stunts.

Another stupid stunt while at UW was to ride around with the city cops busting house parties. Then she would threaten students with expulsion for being at a PRIVATE party off university property. Total BS crazy threats that had zero follow through because they were empty threats. Then her big mistake in this nonsense was trying that crazy shit at a party that was all law school students. Oops! Students that knew the rules and the law. I'm friends with the owner of the house and at the time he lived in the house. They told the cops that Donna was considered a trespasser. She turned red in face after the senior officer asked her to leave and the little witch stomped out.

Second Donna the witch story. She made a habit out of treating 'little people' with contempt. You know like cleaning staff, office staff, aides, the people who really work for a living were not worthy of her time or attention. Anyways she is up at the Capital asking for more money for admin people (like her) and she was running late for her meeting. She is very short and was actually running down some steps at the Capital. My brother (6'2" 240#s) at the time worked at the Capital and was walking up the steps. Donna crashed into him and only because he grabbed her she didn't fall down the steps. Her response - 'Get out of my way! Don't you know who I am?'

My brother was a little bemused but found the whole thing funny when that afternoon Donna showed up at his boss's office asking for money. My brother's boss made Donna apologize!

I still think the world would have been a better place if my brother had 'helped' Donna down the steps instead of catching her. What a bitch! Glad she is out of this town. She gives Dems a bad name.

Posted by: CJ in Wisconsin on March 3, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see how many liberals jump up to tell us that the right to collective bargaining is a dead issue.

Posted by: Jimm on March 3, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Al can stand alone in the world. He can swim with the big fish, fight with the big dogs, with no help from his fellow peons.

Al is a peon who thinks it's raining beer.

Posted by: franceeskho on March 3, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

al doesn't exist, and he was supporting a comment from a faux tbrosz.

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Posted by: acre on March 3, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

Are the comments from Al and tbrosz above really fake?

They certainly seem to represent the immigration positions of both the GOP and Democratic leadership.

-- Illegal immigration

Posted by: TLB on March 3, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

mmy on March 3, 2006 at 2:52 PM |

Incidentally, one reason I've noticed that unions are at a low point in popularity is that for Baby Boomers, "union" appears to equal "corrupt."

Not really. For baby boomers, and for their parents, "union" meant "hand workers" and hand workers were looked down upon by the baby boomers and their parents among the "intelligentsia"--typically the upper middle class.

Posted by: raj on March 4, 2006 at 3:46 AM | PERMALINK

Al on March 3, 2006 at 3:36 PM |

>>>I'm curious, Al. Who do you work for?

The Univeristy of Texas, at the moment.

Ah, a government worker. Who lambasts government.

Methinks the lady doth protest too much. You've had problems finding work in the dreaded private sector?

Posted by: raj on March 4, 2006 at 3:47 AM | PERMALINK

Why not nuke'em like you wanted to do to the transit workers? Uppity ingrates!

Posted by: wks on March 4, 2006 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

According to the Chronicle of Higher Ed, in 2003-2004 Donna Shalala had a total compensation of $629,362.00.

Just FYI.

Posted by: Bill on March 4, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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