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View Diary: The goal IS to reduce the standard of living (386 comments)

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  •  Absolutely true, there is a diseased class (4.00)
    of business leaders, and they seem to prosper in the vacuum surrounding it. I have absolutely no clue why mega pension funds award these animals who are out to slay the life style of their investors.

    politics ain't cricket

    by TOTO rules on Thu Oct 13, 2005 at 05:29:54 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Therein is one of the answers (4.00)
      I've had several discussions with UAW reps who've worked with Delphi.  They pride themselves on a good working relationship (until now) with management.

      They were always told, "UAW is a valued partner at the table".


      I've had to explain repeatedly that the only so-called valued partner is one that owns the business.  I've pointed to CalPers as an example of a powerhouse fund that looks after the best interests of its investors -- and that the UAW and other unions needed to step up and create a powerhouse just like that, one that would sit at the table of the board of directors and kick ass.

      The biggest single problem I see facing unions: an overwhelming lack of business acumen.  If every member of the union understood business, they would have understood they were sold a line of crap with that "valued partner" stuff.  They'd also have a far better grasp of the impact of global commodification of labor on their lives.

      If every one had an ownership interest in addition to real understanding of business, they'd have busted management's chops a long time ago and maybe even the chops of their own rank and file.

      Here's an example: SEIU members own a fair chunk of Novell stock.  These members not only work for Novell, but are fairly well educated and "get" the global industry they in.  They can push Novell to make better decisions about executive compensation (just read the Novell corporate blog, you'll see comments on executive comp).  And they eat the dogfood if they depend on stock performance for their retirement.

      •  What unions also need to do is be (none)
        very savvy investors with their current ranks' investments. I can't tell you how bizarre it is that some unions offer 401Ks in stock that have a known track record that doesn't even support the same values and visions that a union and its members would. How's that for self-defeating investments? They absolutely, absolutely, absolutely need to get their vision, goals and their money synched up at the back end, like socially responsible investing--some 401s don't even offer SRIs to members. This principle of spending and investment is also applicable for anyone making purchases (just about everybody?!); it's work, it involves research, it's time consuming, but really, if you know your interests are going to be resold to the lowest bidder, why would you make that sort of deal in the first place?

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