19 January 2008

a matter of respect for other people and their values

three times now we've been stood up by craigslist purchasers looking to pick up our old crib. (note the plurality.) i find that respect for one's neighbors and fellows is seemingly much lower now that in the golden days of my youth. i see it on the road everyday, too: people pull some stupid crazy shit just to get around one car, but putting all the people around them in danger, all for a small payoff.

i see the same behavior in political discourse and policy, too. there's always the idea that it's ok to get ahead at someone else's expense, especially if that someone else is a nebulous group, like drivers or 'the rich' or whomever the bad guys of the day are.

i've been talking about unions with some friends lately, given the writers' strike. why is it good for the country to give benefit to one group of people (union members) at the expense of another (employers or consumers)? why are jobs for a small number of people more important than jobs for others? if someone can do my job just as well (as measured by my employer), why shouldn't my employer be permitted to hire that person instead? what makes me so special that other people have to twist his arm to help me? why should people who buy my company's product be forced to subsidize the higher cost of my ensured wage?

i value letting people move ahead in this world just as much as the next guy. heck, my family had to do it, too. i just don't think it's proper to place the burdern on anyone other than the guy who wants the job.

all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.


  1. Why should employees be completely at the mercy of their employers just because the latter has more money? I agree that sometimes unions get out of hand, but they really have brought about some important changes and without them corporations would just run roughshod over individual rights.

  2. why should employers be at the mercy of their employees? after all, they are paid for their efforts. when you speak of safety concerns and poor working conditions, i'd say unions have a role. (gubmint has an obvious role here, too, if the employer is acting illegally.) unions could even act as negotiators for their members. they will have to change to remain competitive.