The Daily Dose/Friday, October 18, 2019

The Daily Dose/October 18, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
Notes from around the human experience…

Editor’s Note: Today’s Leading Off item originally appeared on Aug. 6, 2017. We were going to write a column on wages and American private-sector unions, and this column still accurately reflects our thoughts. It runs as it did then, with only some minor factualy corrections. 

TO UNIONIZE OR NOT UNIONIZE, THAT IS THE QUESTION: Last week workers at a Nissan plant in Mississippi voted against joining the United Auto Workers (UAW). The vote wasn’t particularly close with a bit less than two-thirds of workers voting no.

Now, the Deep South has never been a union stronghold, but still, the UAW’s rejection is telling, because it is hardly the only time they’ve been told no in recent years.

Get Your Official Daily Dose Policy Right Here: OK, great, don’t unionize. We would have said OK, great if they had voted to unionize. We don’t really care. It’s the free market, and American labor law, at work.

Dry, Technical Matter: The disappearance of the private sector American labor union is one of the great stories of the American economy the past couple of generations. To deny it is one of the reasons profitable businesses are able to keep wages low is folly.

But you know what? If American workers are content to take what employers are offering without – either individually or collectively – standing up for themselves then so be it. Besides, all of us are free to identify a job that does pay what we want, and then put the work in that is required to get that job. It’s the American way.

Back On Message: Walmart is a great example of the decline of the American union. They are the world’s largest private employer and supremely profitable and like any other business, it doesn’t pay any more than it has to to get the work it needs done.

Brother Can You Spare A Dime: It isn’t that much, of course, and it’s a big reason why between two-thirds and three-quarters of Walmart employees don’t make it to Year Two. Those that do stick around do so either because they genuinely enjoy working for Walmart – there are opportunities for those willing to work, like there are anywhere – while others shrug their shoulders and say it’s not that bad.

What In Thee Hell Is Going On Here?: What we’ve always found interesting is American unions are not fighting tooth and nail to get into Walmart because Walmart employees are ripe for unionization. Relatively low pay, not the best benefits and irregular schedules are just some of the things a good union would have taken care of before anybody could say Jimmy Hoffa.

But we’ve punched a clock for Mr Sam – as he remains affectioinately known in the company – and have some experience in these matters and unionizing is not a big topic among Walmart employees. They will, as employees everywhere do, gripe about this and that, but whining is one of the privileges of punching a clock.

The Bottom Line: You can say this about Walmart’s anti-union policies and you can say that, but if the workers aren’t interested, nothing is going to happen.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a Nobody:  Sparrow successfully manages not to do any yardwork whatsoever. Today’s Diary. 

Even an idiot like me can see there’s no point in blowing leaves around in the wind, however the lawn will need one last mowing before winter and that will get the leaves up, too…So I stowed the blower in the shed and then stood in the driveway with my hands on my hips – itself a sign I didn’t really want to do anything – surveying the lawn and I couldn’t see the point to that either and by 1245 I’d successfully managed to talk myself out of doing anything whatsoever. 

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

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On This Date
In 1867 – The United States takes control of the Alaska territory at a ceremony at the town of Sitka, in the southeastern part of the state. The treaty for the purchase had been completed on Mar. 30 and was ratified by the US Senate on Apr. 9. The cost was negligible, Russia selling a 586,412 square miles for $7.2 million, about $130 million and 36 cents an acre in today’s money. Alaska became the 49th state in the Union in 1959. 

In 1968 – Bob Beamon of the United States breaks the world record in the long jump at the Mexico City Olympics, jumping 29 feet, 2-and-a-half inches, breaking the previous world record by 21-and-three-quarter inches. Beamon jumped farther than Olympic Stadium’s electronic device could measure and his feat was so dominating – and demoralizing – he beat runner-up Klaus Beer of West Germany by more than two feet. Beamon’s world record stood until 1991 and the mark remains the Olympic record.

In 1952 – Patti Page is at #1 on Billboard’s Best Sellers in Stores chart – a predecessor of the Hot 100 – for the first of five consecutive weeks with I Went to Your Wedding. It was the third of four #1s for Paige on a Billboard pop chart and was her 11th of 27 Top 10 hits and the song also went to #1 in Australia. Paige, born Clara Ann Fowler, died in 2013 at the age of 85.

…Malcolm felt his heart pound with hope because he knew that intuition and instinct had once again performed their customary miracle.
William McGivern
Choice of Assassins

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
The commanding generals of the forces at the Battle of Yorktown in the American Revolution were General George Washington (United States), Lieutenant General the Count of Rochambeau (France) and Lieutenant General Charles Cornwalis (Great Britain).

Today’s Stumper
Whose world long jump record did Bob Beamon break? – Answer next time!


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