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U.S. Farm Report Mailbag

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Comments, questions, opinions...this is your chance to speak out regarding anything and everything reported on U.S. Farm Report. Viewer feedback updated regularly.

More Mailbag Reaction

Nov 24, 2008
Editor's Note:  Once again our Mailbag segment drew quite a bit of reaction from viewers.  We are posting John's comments in their entirety, followed by viewer comments:

   TIME NOW FOR OUR WEEKLY LOOK INSIDE THE FARM REPORT MAIL BAG...
     A FEW WEEKS AGO I COMPARED THE SLUGGISH ACTIVITY OF THE NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS SERVICE TO UNIONS WORKING TO CONTRACT - AND RECEIVED THIS SHARP REJOINDER FROM STEVE AND CELIA SHIDERER:
     "MY WIFE AND I RESENT YOUR CHEAP SHOT AT UNION MEMBERS. YOU DID A DISSERVICE TO WORKING PEOPLE BY YOUR ONE-SIDED WRONG STATEMENT"
     FIRST, THANK YOU FOR WATCHING AND SHARING YOUR POINT OF VIEW. THE COMMENTARY WAS NOT ABOUT UNIONS, PER SE, BUT I CAN NOW SEE HOW YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN UPSET AT A PERCEIVED SLAM.
     I WAS TRYING TO FIND A COMPARISON FOR THE POOR PRODUCTIVITY LEVEL AT NASS.
     WORKING TO CONTRACT IS A LEGITIMATE AND OCCASIONALLY USED TACTIC BY UNIONS TO IMPACT NEGOTIATIONS WITH EMPLOYERS.
     BY ONLY DOING THE WORK EXPLICITLY SPELLED OUT IN THE CONTRACT, PRODUCTIVITY SLOWS, AND MANAGERS HAVE MORE INCENTIVE TO REACH AGREEMENT.  MOST OF THE EXAMPLES I FOUND OF THIS STRATEGY FEATURED TEACHERS UNIONS SINCE EXTRACURRICULAR DUTIES ARE OFTEN HANDLED INFORMALLY.
   REGARDLESS, THE COMPARISON I WAS TRYING TO MAKE WAS WHILE UNIONS HAVE KNOWN TO USE THIS TOOL FOR BARGAINING LEVERAGE FOR SHORT PERIODS, NASS HAS MADE IT STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE.  OVER THE DECADES THEY HAVE ENSURED THEY DO NO MORE, NO FAASTER, AND NO BETTER THAN THE YEAR BEFORE, CONTRARY TO THE REST OF THE INFORMATION SERVICES INDUSTRY AND OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES LIKE FSA.
   CONSIDER THE IRONY HERE.  UNION WORKERS ARE INCENSED AT BEING COMPARED TO GOVERNMENT GOLDBRICKERS.  NOW THAT I THINK OF IT, I DON'T BLAME THEM.

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VIEWER REACTION:
  Thanks for your response on 11-23-08 John!  We do like your bottom line approach to issues.  We really do enjoy your sense of humor!  Steve & Celia Scheiderer
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  Yes sir!  I believe the Unions are partially responsible for our financial delima.  You said it all when you said they affect productivity.  They demand higher salaries and benefits, which drives up prices and the spiral continues.  Now everything is nose diving and they unions and workers are crying.  It has hurt everyone. There are a lot of manufacturers and other employers in Oklahoma who are not union and they are doing pretty well at this time. Thank you for the explanation you gave.  I think it is totally accurate.
Linda Green
Ardmore, OK 
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Because of the fact that living off the labor and profits of others is not only legal, but even considered a value in our present day mentality, we have accustomed ourselves to look down on unions. We are even at a stage in the cultural conditioning of our moral conscience that we believe the profits coming from labor are rightfully the exclusive domain of the shareholder, who, for the most part do what??? Why the laborers are not entitled to more of the profit of a company can be explained in many ways, primarily through expensing off profits under legal guidelines, salaries, R&D, commissions on sales, etceteras. The critical ethical question remains, regardless of what justifies this distribution of capital to individuals who have nothing to do with the production of a product other than paper pushing, whether it is legal or not, is it moral to live off the labor of others? All status quo justifications aside, because, in extreme cases, slavery was once justified by way of staus quo morality, some even going so far as to invoke the Bible, the question to be answered is: Is it moral to live off the labor of others?
 
Most Sincerely,
 
William Woods Higgins.   
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COMMENTS (1 Comments)

Anonymous
My cousin works for New Holland in the Grand Island plant. New Holland paid his transportation, room, board and meals to go to Racine to install some updates in balers. The Union refused to do it in their regular contract, and it was cheaper to bus in workers from other (non-union) plants, plus give them room & board, PLUS pay them time & a half than go along with the Union demands. It seems the union decided that their contract was to only BUILD balers, not FIX them.
Funny thing, the Grand Island plant is adding on, and looking for workers. Rumor has it that the balers will be built there, too, someday. By not budging on their contracts, the union will be getting their plant colsed
11:13 AM Nov 24th
 
 
 
 
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