Class warfare...has the battlefield shifted? When? Why?

Some people actually like farming. I have learned that first and second hand throughout my entire life including now. Successful farmers are often well educated either through their own experience or by going to college at one of the many prestigious universities in the U.S. That might be Cornell, Texas A&M, or LSU. You can get a masters degree or even a Ph.D in different agricultural specialties like poultry science. Large scale farms tend to be ahead of the technology curve as well. Many people love their personal GPS devices. Those have been in use for years on the combines and large tractors that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars each on a large farm. They needed them to track paths for fertilizing and harvesting.

Planting and irrigation plans are nothing but pure art and science. I won’t say that it takes the raw brainpower to be a large scale farmer that say, a surgeon, but large scale farming requires a lot more project management skills and science than the vast majority of typical white collar workers. It doesn’t have to be backbreaking. Immigrants do that part but it takes experience and brains to manage a large farm.

May I add that the first group that saw the value of home computers and transcontinental cyber-communication were farmers, who saw the value of selling their crops at the height of their value.

Oh, and may I add that most people of today see the Commies of the 20s and 30s as naive morons, regardless our present affiliations? Modern ones are probably morons, too, but few manage to make Hollywood movies.

Actually it got a chuckle out of me. I thought he/she was joking.

Oh well, your rules.

Perhaps. But if the labor struggles of the earlier century can’t be thought of as “class warfare”, they sure give a good impression of it. Whole books have probably been written as to whether the Communists did more harm than good for the labor movement. But, needless to say, the choices were a lot more stark in those dark days. As Will Rogers said “It ain’t a crime to be poor in America, but it may as well be.”

By the by, isn’t this some anniversary of the day that Hoover sicced the Army on the Bonus Marchers?

Not particularly. In any given decade things may go back and forth, but the clear trend has been that material well-being goes up constantly and continually all over. In point of fact the labor unions don’t have much effect compared to non-union labor. They can be very good for the people IN the union, but they don’t change things society-wide, and unions tend to self-destruct over time, sometimes taking industries with them.


Best one I can think of off the top of my head would be the rail road union. There is also the autoworkers union I suppose, though it hasn’t completely self destructed (yet). Several air line unions come to mind as well. Also, there are several examples of mine workers unions (both here in the US and abroad) that have managed to at least partially melt down AND close mines due to high labor costs.

Other than that I can’t think of a single one though…maybe SB will wander back in to give his thoughts…


Are the labor unions about the same as non-union labor in a post-New Deal society with wage laws, or in a pre-New Deal society with the Pinkertons shooting anyone who tries to organize?

I should have said companies. I wasn’t thinking too closely when I typed. They can take out industries locally, but something will survive somewhere else.

I’ve seen them go on a suicide mission, though. It’s actually funny, although sometimes pretty grim. The problems are that the Union is ultimately another business, with its own management, and that the Union leaders are often a lot less aware or educated than they need to be. (Not that normal company managers are necessarily better.) The result is that they often have no idea what cards their bargaining opponent holds in his (or her) hand, only their own.

This can actually be helpful. Game theory suggests that blind bargainers, who have less information, can wind up being more successful in some circumstances.

But, in other circumstances, they may not realize the other player can walk away. In Indianapolis, there was once a huge telephone manufacturing plant. Made those old never-break-down rotary dialers. In flush times, the union had gotten intself some strong wage control sna djob controls. Well, the times started changing and the company wanted to introduce new models and completely remake the plant. The old jobs wouldn’t exist except maybe in the warehousing department. The Union wouldn’t have any of it. Refused any changes, went on strike. The were bargaining hard and swearing the company has to break soon and restore the old system.

Then the news broadcast came through. The company closed the plant after over fifty years, locked the doors, and told the strikers fine, they didn’t have to come to work again. Ever. It simply was no longer worth it to fight, and they just wanted to get things back to work. Then the cameras cut back to the union rep, with the biggest deer-in-the-headlights face in history. That Union killed itself. It finally made itself so expensive and so obnoxious that it was no longer worth tolerating for its locked-up labor. And they’ve been steadily doing this all across the Rust Belt.