I found a link to this at the dKos, highlighted by none other than Markos himself, so be careful with it and don’t go whacking the first hippie you see after reading.
It is titled “The Income Gap More Like A Chasm” and it appeard in the LA Times last week. Steve Lopez sees a microcosum of America in Los Angeles. While that is a scary enough thought, it leads me to believe that he needs to travel the country a bit more.
After few whining and off topic paragraphs about how much it costs to live in LA, Steve finally settles down and writes about Kevin Wong of UCLA’s Center for Labor Research theory on how to makes things better in LA.
But before I get to that, only a group of academics could have to come up with a ‘Center’ to research labor. You only reasearch that which you don’t know, after all.
Anyway, Wong’s theory goes like this: After aerospace and other manufacturing bugged out of SoCal, the only things left were service industry jobs and those don’t pay enough for people to live well in an expensive place like LA.
His answer: More socialism! Unionize everyone!
Wong neglects to remember that it was the unions were a big reason, though not the only one, that drove Aero and actual skilled manufacturing jobs out of SoCal, driving wages to the point where businesses either went under or found that they could move, rebuild, rehire and retrain at a cheaper rate than staying would have cost.
Steve Lopez then quotes Bruce Stenslie of the Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board, who said this:
“If you could move them from $8.50 an hour to $10.50, $11, $12, with health benefits,” as Local 1877 of the Service Employees International Union is trying to do with security guards, “you’d have an enormous impact on the economy,” he said.
Yes Bruce, you’d have a bunch of unemployed security guards. I would think that Bruce would have had to have taken at least one decent economics course in order to qualify to sit on the ‘Workforce Investment Board’, but I guess that in LA all it takes it to have read some Marx.
Steve Lopez mentions a ‘giant sucking sound’ in LA if the unionization happens and attributes it to the sound big business would make after having to absorb the costs of increased labor.
I think that it would be more accurately attributed to the sound of US Dollars flowing into Mehico at a rate unseen up to now.