* 60 Minutes, again

Topics: Unions, AA
08 Nov 1992


60 Minutes had two good stories this week.
The first one was about Lincoln electric. They make motors, welders,
and such things. Their employees are payed by the piece and not
by the hour or a straight salary. There are no paid sick days,
no paid vacation days, no health plan, and no progressive salary
for seniority. Workers make about $50K/year for medium skill
labor and the ones that 60 Minutes interviewed loved the job.
A capitalist utopia! Some union supporter was
crying about how terrible it was, like the sweat shops, blah,
blah, blah. The president had a perfectly reasonable response:
"They don't have to work here." When the union complains about
people getting payed for the work they do, it's admitting that
its members are getting paid for not working. Unions have
historically insisted on seniority pay systems, i.e. paying
people for how many years they have loafed instead of the work
they do. That doesn't work for the company or the union in
the long run. Here is a company that is ready to prove it.
Unbundling is a good thing. Individuals can manage their own
health care better than companies because they don't have to
buy more than they need (e.g. paying for their fellow worker's
kid's drug treatment) and they can more easily take it with
them when they change jobs. Of course, the government screws
this up by giving companies but not individuals a tax deduction
for health insurance (just this year they cut the health care
deduction for consultants from 50% to 0% as opposed to 100%
for corporations). Everybody thinks there is a free lunch.
If either the government or the company pays for health care
it will be cheaper. Wrong! It will actually be more expensive.
Paid sick days penalize the productive by paying them less
per hour for the same work. Bully for somebody who is not willing
to put up with that nonsense. The unions, never failing to
negotiate for less efficiency, are all in favor of them
of course. These people should try being consultants.
The other piece was a bit 6 year old girl named Caitlin. When
she was 2 she had a meningitis infection that left her
functionally deaf. She got a cochlear implant (an external
mike, processor, and some electrodes in her ear) that
allowed to hear some, enough to hold a conversation anyway.
60 Minutes interviewed someone from the American Deaf
Society (or whatever it is called) who said that she should
not get the implant because 'there is nothing wrong with
being deaf.'(loose paraphrase as best that I can remeber).
These people petitioned the FDA to ban the
device not because it is unsafe but because it is bad psychology,
blah, blah, blah. PC overload! What perfect communists these
people would make, everybody is the same, it's wrong to look
at differences, and, oh, let's use the government to force
everybody to be the same just in case. Sounds like the same
fallacy used by AA and 'comparable worth' supporters.