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  1. #1
    blu2blu's Avatar
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    Default New theory: PREVIOUS generations had a sense of entitlement

    I was surfing around on Wikipedia researching communities that I was considering accepting employment in (I'm leaving the Navy soon). Anyway one of the towns, Safford Arizona, is evidently famous for a large miners strike in 1983 that was ultimately busted. The defeat was viewed as the beginning of the end for a lot of unions out west. I began reading about labor relations and unions when a thought came to mind: unions use to be huge, especially in the boomer generation, and in some parts of the country still are.

    Could it be argued that these union workers from years ago, an entire generation of people, had a sense of entitlement that far exceeds the perceived sense of entitlement attributed to millenials?

    Here is a generation of folks that thought they deserved a high paying job, excellent benefits, a fat retirement pension, and job security all without attaining higher education. Why do they deserve these things? Because they graduated high school and joined a union? Now we are stuck with the legacy: almost non-existant cargo shipping under the American flag and an auto industry that is trying to come back from the brink. Fat union paychecks, benefits, and legacy healthcare costs cripple our auto industry.

    Are these realities the result of the sense of entitlement that the boomers had?

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    Quote Originally Posted by blu2blu
    I was surfing around on Wikipedia researching communities that I was considering accepting employment in (I'm leaving the Navy soon). Anyway one of the towns, Safford Arizona, is evidently famous for a large miners strike in 1983 that was ultimately busted. The defeat was viewed as the beginning of the end for a lot of unions out west. I began reading about labor relations and unions when a thought came to mind: unions use to be huge, especially in the boomer generation, and in some parts of the country still are.

    Could it be argued that these union workers from years ago, an entire generation of people, had a sense of entitlement that far exceeds the perceived sense of entitlement attributed to millenials?

    Here is a generation of folks that thought they deserved a high paying job, excellent benefits, a fat retirement pension, and job security all without attaining higher education. Why do they deserve these things? Because they graduated high school and joined a union? Now we are stuck with the legacy: almost non-existant cargo shipping under the American flag and an auto industry that is trying to come back from the brink. Fat union paychecks, benefits, and legacy healthcare costs cripple our auto industry.

    Are these realities the result of the sense of entitlement that the boomers had?

    CEOs that get multi-million dollar bonuses while running a company into the ground, people that live high on the hog while doing no actual work and unbalanced international trade relations crippled the auto industry and our national economy not people that work for a living and simply want to be paid a livable wage and have health care. There are companies that arent unionized that still take care of their workers (fedex comes to mind) but they are few and far between. Generally workers that dont have union protection get crapped on or outsourced overseas. If you want to point a finger at a group of people point it at CEOs that run viable companies into the ground and politicians that sell out the average american because its good for their pockets.

  3. #3
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    A CEO getting a fat bonus, 5 mil or even 55 mil, is nothing compared to the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars sucked up by union contracts.

    people that live high on the hog while doing no actual work
    Isn't that what unions exist for? To make it impossible to fire non-productive employees? Wouldn't that constitute a sense of entitlement for those union members?

    Why can't I pump my own gas in New Jersey or Oregon? Unions. Can you articulate any reason to outlaw pumping ones own gas other than to create a job for some union leech who wants pay and benefits for working a menial position? Unions give unskilled people every reason to stay unskilled and when sane people cry foul union members give the "protecting the American middle class" speech.

    Unions are a collection of entitlement addicts. And as the largest beneficiary of union ridiculousness, because they came up in the golden age of unions, I submit that boomers had a much greater sense of entitlement than the current millenials.

    Great article about mandatory full service gas stations:

    American Phoenix Blog Archive The Oregon Gas Station Attendant Full Employment Act

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  4. #4
    brothert69 is offline Knight / Dame
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    Quote Originally Posted by blu2blu
    Isn't that what unions exist for? To make it impossible to fire non-productive employees? Wouldn't that constitute a sense of entitlement for those union members?

    Why can't I pump my own gas in New Jersey or Oregon? Unions. Can you articulate any reason to outlaw pumping ones own gas other than to create a job for some union leech who wants pay and benefits for working a menial position? Unions give unskilled people every reason to stay unskilled and when sane people cry foul union members give the "protecting the American middle class" speech.

    Unions are a collection of entitlement addicts. And as the largest beneficiary of union ridiculousness, because they came up in the golden age of unions, I submit that boomers had a much greater sense of entitlement than the current millenials.
    Unions do not make it impossible to fire non-productive employees they do make the company follow the rules with respect to terminating an employee without pre-judgement as to if that person is "non-productive" or not. The rules in the employment contract are there to ensure that everyone is dealt with in the same manner. This is called equal protection and if its such a bad thing maybe you should write your congress person and ask them about taking it out of the constitution too.

    As to why you can't pump your own gas in Oregon I do not know as I don't have personal experience in that state. As to why you can't pump your own gas in New Jersey it's state law and has to do with fire safety. It has nothing to do with unions in New Jersey as people who pump gas are not in any union. In New Jersey there are many safety restrictions with respect to flammable and other hazardous materials not just the pumping of ones own gas. For example I must have a permit to handle nitrous oxide even though I am 1) not a New Jersey resident, 2) am not using it for a commercial purpose, 3) am only using it on private property. So I have to pay a $25 fee bi-annually for the privilege of being able to bring a nitrous bottle to the track. Is it the fault of the unions? No. It's NJ's wacky safety regulations but I deal with it just like I deal with letting someone pump my gas especially since it costs less to let someone pump my gas in jersey than it does to pump my own in new york.

    Unions generally protect non-professional skilled labor so I don't know why you would say that they give unskilled labor an incentive to stay unskilled. How are you at truck driving, carpentry, welding, crane operation, air craft maintenance, flying, plumbing, wiring, car building or other unionized craft? Those jobs require skill even if they don't require a degree or a professional license. Many of the trades require an apprenticeship that is longer than the time one would be in school to get a bachelor's degree.

    As to unions being entitlement addicts I disagree. When I sign a contract with an employer I hold up my end and I expect the company to hold up their end. The union makes sure the company holds up their end. It's that simple.

    Also the previous generation is entitled to a little entitlement. They're the ones that actually were loyal to a company often working 25 or more years at the same place. That generation did not jump from job to job like a bee jumping from flower to flower. In return however they expected loyalty from the company. Years ago you didn't need a contract and a union to make sure that you would get what you deserved for your work. Now you do. Years ago you shook someones hand and gave them your word and then you did what you said you would do. Now people actively look for ways to screw everyone around them and to break their promises. The world has gone to shit and no one has any type of values anymore.
    Additionally the generation you're griping about was the generation standing out on picket lines not getting paid so that people our age could have health care not just for ourselves but for our families. I'm assuming you've never worked for a union shop but I wonder if your parents did because you may have enjoyed the same benefits youre complaining about without even knowing.

  5. #5
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    I'm assuming you've never worked for a union shop but I wonder if your parents did because you may have enjoyed the same benefits youre complaining about without even knowing.
    I was raised by my grandparents and they were not union employees. My direct experience with unions was a two month stint with the carpenters union and I was not impressed. No one showed up on time, ever, and the company couldn't do anything about it. I was not allowed to look for work on my own, especially with non union companies, I had to sit at home and wait for a call from the union hall to go and work for a company. A company that was forced to hire me without interviewing me or otherwise checking my qualifications. A sad state of affairs.

    Years ago you didn't need a contract and a union to make sure that you would get what you deserved for your work. Now you do. Years ago you shook someones hand and gave them your word and then you did what you said you would do. Now people actively look for ways to screw everyone around them and to break their promises. The world has gone to shit and no one has any type of values anymore.
    You are romanticizing the past. People are people and always have been. If folks treated each other with so much respect why was there a need for unions in the first place? Because employers treated employees like garbage. Unions fought the good fight and now there are a myriad of laws in place to protect workers now so unions have outlived their usefulness.

    I agree that many apprecticeships can take a great deal of time and skill to complete and those trades are worthy of respect. By unskilled labor I meant the gas station attendents (did you read the article I linked to?) and folks who are quite literally nothing but laborers yet have union membership. I am in no way attacking tradesmen or their craft, I have a great deal of respect for tradesmen, in fact when I leave the Navy and become an Electronics Tech in the civilian world I will consider myself among them. It is unions that I attack.

    Also the previous generation is entitled to a little entitlement. They're the ones that actually were loyal to a company often working 25 or more years at the same place. That generation did not jump from job to job like a bee jumping from flower to flower.
    My generation understands that we are nameless and faceless to organizations that employ us. Why not jump to another company to advance ourselves? It's called looking out for yourself in a cut throat world. Why should I stay at company "A" hoping and praying for a promotion when I can achieve that promotion by getting hired into a better position at company "b?" The idea that a company would give a damn about you just because you have been with them for thirty years is laughably nieve. An employee needs to keep their skills and industry knowledge current so when, not IF, their company throws them out on their butt they are not unmarketable. It pains me to see older folks bitter because their company of 22 years has laid them off. What ever made them think the company wouldn't do that? They felt entitled to loyalty because they had been loyal.

    Sounds like a generation with entitlement issues.

    EDIT: Good luck convincing any rational person that mandatory full service gas stations are for safety. If self service was so dangerous why would 48 other States allow it? And using NY gas prices to make NJ gas prices look good is like saying taking a bullet to the head is better than a knife to the heart, both options are undesirable.
    Last edited by blu2blu; 07-27-2011 at 02:31 AM.

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  6. #6
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    Seriously?
    You are using coal miners as an example of entitlement mentality?
    One of the most dangerous jobs there are?
    Jobs that mine local communities, devastating the people and their environment and giving very little back to them, so that you and I sit in comfortable air conditioning?
    Seriously?

    I don't equate how much someone should earn with a degree. I think that's part of the problem in our economy. So whether a coal miner has "higher education" does not negate at all whether he has legitimate entitlement to a living wage commensurate with demand, skill, and risk of his job. They are not ignorant hicks undeserving of a decent wage just bc they don't work behind a desk. It's work that very few people can do for long. They get cancers. They get injuries. Frankly, I put coal miners right up there with fire fighters. Maybe higher.

    So. I'm willing to entertain that previous generations might have had entitlement attitudes, but using coal miner unions as a jump off for that argument isn't going to work. Pick another union generality to spring from and I might concede some valid reasoning.
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  7. #7
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    MomofMany,

    I never picked on coal miners. I only mentioned the mine strike because it was that strike that led me to read a little further. I also never talked about degrees being a pre-requisite for a good living or a respectable occupation, did you read my post where I talked about tradesmen? Where I acknowledged the value of apprenticeships? I also said my grandparents raised me, my grandfather retired from the Navy and then drove a propane delivery truck in our rural community for over twenty years, never sat behind a desk in his life. We are quite the blue collar family.

    It sounds like you didn't read my posts but made a lot of assumptions.

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    I grew up my whole life in New Jersey and i thought that pumping gas was the only was that gas was put into vehicles. Then i left home and realized that the other New Jersey was doing it different than everyone one and not vise versa. I know that this post was unrelated to your entitlement post but i figured i share it anyways.
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    Why can't I pump my own gas in New Jersey or Oregon? Unions.
    Are you suggesting that the gas station attendants in Oregon and New Jersey are unionized (as opposed to minimum wage employees)? If so can you link to their unions?

    Unions are a collection of entitlement addicts. And as the largest beneficiary of union ridiculousness, because they came up in the golden age of unions, I submit that boomers had a much greater sense of entitlement than the current millenials.
    As a percentage of the total working population, union membership peaked in 1954 (28.3%) when the oldest boomers were around 6 years old. http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.ed...over%20time%22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer
    Are you suggesting that the gas station attendants in Oregon and New Jersey are unionized (as opposed to minimum wage employees)? If so can you link to their unions?
    Busted, I will take the egg on the face for this one. While I did assume that they were organized, and some may be, clearly they do not belong to an organization that is a member of the AFL-CIO. I was acting on this assumption because I read that the AFL-CIO had argued against legalizing self service in Oregon (2003). The AFL-CIO swings a mighty hammer though so it could be argued that they at least contributed to the ongoing full service only situation in Oregon. I can not provide evidence of this in NJ so I will concede that point.

    As a percentage of the total working population, union membership peaked in 1954 (28.3%) when the oldest boomers were around 6 years old. http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.ed...over%20time%22
    This paper also states that overall union membership peaked in 1979 at 21 million, though the percentage of total workers was highest in 1954. A chart further down shows that the percentage in 1979 was but a precious few percentage points lower than it was in 1954.

    Just because not everyone was a union worker in those old days does not mean that generation didn't have a sense of entitlement at least as bad as the millenials. That is why I started this thread, to raise that question. Did the 20 somethings 30-50 years ago have a sense of entitlement that bothered the older workers of that time period? I believe they did, because like I said earlier people are people, no matter what the year on the calender. When I joined the service 8 years ago I frequently heard the 'old salts' complain about the low quality and bad attitudes of the new Sailors fresh out of boot. Now here I am an NCO and my fellow NCOs make the same complaints about the new kids. I think every generation likes to overlook their own flaws, past and present, and put down the new folks coming up. In the Military, outside the Military, it does not matter - the new 'kids' are always inferior in the eyes of the established.

    I knew I was opening a can of worms when I brought up unions. Passions run high on both sides of the debate. I do enjoy a good debate, but perhaps I hijacked my own thread when I used the 'U' word which is now distracting from the point.

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