CAW-CEP merger in the works

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MegB
CAW-CEP merger in the works

Read it here.

Quote:

Two of the country’s most prominent unions are quietly holding merger talks in what could become the biggest consolidation in Canadian labour history.

In a response to harder times for organized labour in a tough economy, leaders of the Canadian Auto Workers union and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union revealed Thursday that discussions have started and will probably accelerate during the next few months.

Issues Pages: 
M. Spector M. Spector's picture

This should not be taken as a sign of strength, but of weakness in the Canadian labour movement.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

M. Spector wrote:

This should not be taken as a sign of strength, but of weakness in the Canadian labour movement.

..how so?

KenS

The union leaders themselves are putting it out as a need. It may be splitting hairs to argue whether that is or is not a sign of weakness.

But it would also be fair to see that it is a 'natural evolution' or whatever label you want and blah blah. There is truth to that tendency even if not driven by need.

I see circular to go any further on that question.

Bookish Agrarian

It would be a shame to see the CEP fall into the CAW's drift to corporatism as revealed by the CAW's behaviour in Port Elgin.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

My initial take on this story is that it's not good news as both unions should be able to stand and grow on their own without needing a merger. I'm sure someone will correct me. Sealed

robbie_dee

I would have thought the Steelworkers would have made more sense, considering their predominant representation of West Coast logging and pulp and paper workers since 2006.

 

http://www.usw.ca/districts/wood

 

Unionist

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

It would be a shame to see the CEP fall into the CAW's drift to corporatism as revealed by the CAW's behaviour in Port Elgin.

You mean the windmill?

 

KenS

The old Paperworkers and the IWA were not the greatest of friends,.

The CEP has like Steel and the CAW made some effort to organize non-industrial workers. Modest compared to the other two, but of them maybe more comparable to the CAW. Steel strikes me as being more of an entity into itself. But I guess a lot of people would say that about the CAW. I'm inclined to think the latter has more of a different image and politics.

 

Fidel

Boom Boom wrote:

My initial take on this story is that it's not good news as both unions should be able to stand and grow on their own without needing a merger. I'm sure someone will correct me. Sealed

 

I don't know, but I would think that more workers contributing dues to a common union would strengthen them in cases of strike action. A larger strike fund for workers to draw from could come in handy during long and drawn out negotiations withprivate enterprise, and especially when governmnents refuse to step in and mediate. Foreign based supranationals tend to have deeper pockets than groups of workers at any of their given branch plants and more able to outlast them. The multinats like to be bigger and stronger, and I think unions have to start eating their wheaties in kind.

Bookish Agrarian

Unionist wrote:

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

It would be a shame to see the CEP fall into the CAW's drift to corporatism as revealed by the CAW's behaviour in Port Elgin.

You mean the windmill?

 

Yes their excuse is that they have already spent too much money - heard that one before by Wal-Mart and others thanks.  

So even though it will be set back less distance than current rules allow, will be predominately effecting some of the poorest residents of Port Elgin (since cheap apartments and low income town houses are well within the acoustic boundary- along with some rather modest senior townhouses) and will only have the power going into the grid, not powering the Centre and has steam rollered over the local community it makes a mockery of all the values the CAW says it has stood for over all these years.  Why they didn't just put solar on all the buildings and actually net meter their power for the Centre, thus using most of the renewable energy they produced (unlike an industrial wind turbine) is beyond me, but you don't make as much money off your solar investment as you do industrial wind.  Given the comments in the paper by the CAW President it is pretty clear it all comes down to money (which I find shocking as I have always held my association with the CAW with great pride) and the community and local residents be damned.

Unionist

I know it's thread drift, but after reading BA's post, I realize I knew next to nothing about this developing story. Seems a whole lot of folks are very unhappy with the CAW's move, as well as its apparent indifference to local opposition. Is there another side to this story??

[url=http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2011/12/20/port-elgin-caw-turbine-mee... Elgin CAW turbine meeting packed[/url]

Anyway, on the substantive issue of the thread, I have always had a hard time understanding why, in this day and age, workers need more than one union. Unions are no longer organized exclusively on craft lines - that hill was taken over 100 years ago. Nor do they limit themselves to some particular industrial sector. The CAW, the CEP, Steel, Teamsters, and many others are engaged in multiple and overlapping economic sectors. They can't pretend to any special or indispensable expertise. The common interests of workers in different sectors are far more pressing than any technical differences, and in any event, multi-sectorial unionism has long since trumped those specialized interests. The best example is the CSN in Québec, which some think of as a union federation (it's big and broad enough to be one) like the FTQ, but formally speaking it's a single union, with locals in different enterprises and bargaining units.

In short - one union. Yes, there are risks. But it's no worse than the risks involved in having one society. In both cases, democracy and serving the interests of its members will never exist by decree. They must be won and constantly consolidated through active participation and struggle.

 

Gaian

Just curious. Always wondered at the wonderful nationalist spirit of the Steelworkers, in the face of their international office. CAW had to break away to achieve that. What am I missing? And doesn't the politics of particular unions, their diversity, weigh against the idea of One Big One? It's not just the diverse nature of their workplaces.

Unionist

I really don't think the "politics" and culture etc. of different unions is any bar to merger, the way it might be with political parties. If anything, it would be the fear of some entrenched bureaucracies of losing their power/privilege. But from the workers' standpoint (and we do count for something...), who needs different unions? One thing I've long noticed is that for most day-to-day issues (workplace problems, working conditions, human rights, health and safety, organizing, etc. etc.), success and satisfaction is more dependent on the dedication of various elected reps than on anything to do with the overall "institution". Of course, some unions have better or worse training and education facilities and commitment; legal services; research departments; etc. - but none of that in any way stamps the outlook and character of the membership in such a way as to say, "I'll never agree to a merger with those other workers who don't have the same history/culture/services". At least, not in my experience.

One big union. A century later, under vastly different conditions, it is more desirable and essential than ever. A union not based on a trade, a sector, or a workplace - but on the working class. A union where you belong, even if you lose your job and have to go work somewhere else - or even if you remain unemployed. A union that doesn't raid or defend itself from raids. A union whose economic and political clout puts the hollow shell of a CLC to shame.

KenS

Notable that many European federations act a lot like a 'one big union' in practice. Even now, when it is has been getting harder and harder to do that.

KenS

And a one big union, or a few that tended to cooperate, would stand a better chance of really coming through on organizing the chronicaly unorganized.

Because as good initiatives as some of the unions have, and have had, it does not add up to what we need either 'quantitatively' or qualitatively- as in "this or these things we can have confidence is/are going to work."

Gaian

Quote: "One big union. A century later, under vastly different conditions, it is more desirable and essential than ever. A union not based on a trade, a sector, or a workplace - but on the working class. A union where you belong, even if you lose your job and have to go work somewhere else - or even if you remain unemployed. A union that doesn't raid or defend itself from raids. A union whose economic and political clout puts the hollow shell of a CLC to shame."

That's why I always thought the UE and Jackson to be the best of the CIO invasion. Too bad C.S. had to wear the communist label.The membership at CGE found it a worker-led outfit, founded on the shop floor. A Peterborough friend told me recently that Jackson won a lottery at retirement and ended his days in capitalist splendour. :)

Bookish Agrarian

I should probably know this, but most of my reading is historical- are the Wobblies still around?  Wouldn't they sort of fit the bill already?

Unionist

Yeah, the Wobblies still exist, but they're kind of too small and unknown to be the focus of such a movement:

http://iww.ca

http://iww.org

 

Gaian

I still have my Wobbly membership card...signed up while walking a picket line on strike.A bit behind on dues.

Polunatic2

Quote:
One big union. A century later, under vastly different conditions, it is more desirable and essential than ever.

Here, here. 

I have no objection to the idea that unions merge with one another to build up their strength. Not sure why Spector sees that as a sign of weakness. 

I attended an IWW film showing about the history of the Wobblies a few years back. That was in Toronto. They couldn't get the VCR to work so they turned it into a (long) meeting. I never did see the film. I wasn't too impressed with the organization, particularly their idea that they could organize big box stores in a particular mall and force all the employers to bargain together. 

I am with them in spirit though. I particularly like the "philosophy" that every member is an organizer and that they don't employ staff. The international president was earning $10,000 a year. 

prowsej

I'm a CEP member. I think that the idea presented here that there can be a benefit to having a larger union because of the larger strike fund is a good one. I just would have thought that the CEP was already large enough and that there aren't significant economies of scale in running a union, beyond a certain size. 

KenS

My educated guess is that you are probably right that there are not operating cost efficiencies in already large unions merging. I think it likely that it actually works the other way- though not talking about dramatic differeneces.

But the main argument for bigger-better is probably about 'clout'. Like bargaining power, strike fund accumulation [the more spread across industries and economic sectors the better], organizing drives, and politics of all kinds on the broader public stage.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Polunatic2 wrote:

I have no objection to the idea that unions merge with one another to build up their strength. Not sure why Spector sees that as a sign of weakness.

Read those two sentences again and maybe you'll understand. The fact that they contemplate a merger "to build up their strength" implies an awareness of their own separate weaknesses "in...harder times for organized labour in a tough economy", to quote the OP.

I never said that a merger would make them weaker. Quite the contrary.

I just think the fact that they are talking about merger at all is a sign of their weakness and desperation.

 

NorthReport

On the contrary. The unions exploring mergers are the unions that will have a future are living in the real world as opposed to some make believe fantasy some others are living in.

Several unions are in major trouble no longer providing medical benefits and cutting back on pension plan proceeds.

prowsej

I think one of the best examples of synergy in a union merger is UNITE HERE: one side of that merger had money but a declining membership base, the other didn't have money but had a lot of opportunity for new organizing. 

robbie_dee

prowsej wrote:

I think one of the best examples of synergy in a union merger is UNITE HERE: one side of that merger had money but a declining membership base, the other didn't have money but had a lot of opportunity for new organizing. 

Yeah well we saw how that one turned out.

Wilf Day

robbie_dee wrote:

I would have thought the Steelworkers would have made more sense, considering their predominant representation of West Coast logging and pulp and paper workers since 2006.

Leo Gerard's term as international president of Steel ends in 2013. He turns 65 this year. If he retires, would this be a good time for Steel in Canada to join a One Big Canadian Union? After CEP and the CAW have founded it? Or would it be better for all three to do it together?

robbie_dee

I hardly see what purpose that would serve. International affiliation has served the Canadian Steelworkers quite well, as Leo Gerard's presidency itself shows. Rather, I would suggest that post-NAFTA, it would be better for the CAW and CEP to reflect on whether romantic nationalism really best meets their members' needs given current economic realities.

Unionist

robbie_dee wrote:

I hardly see what purpose that would serve. International affiliation has served the Canadian Steelworkers quite well, as Leo Gerard's presidency itself shows. Rather, I would suggest that post-NAFTA, it would be better for the CAW and CEP to reflect on whether romantic nationalism really best meets their members' needs given current economic realities.

Huh?????

"Romantic nationalism"????

Maybe "post-NAFTA", we should just set up a joint government with the U.S, "given current economic realities".

Don't go there.

 

robbie_dee

Current national borders were not established with workers' interests in mind. I don't think we should elevate adherence to them over other, broader common interests.

Unionist

I honestly fail to grasp your point, robbie_dee. "International" unionism in Canada (i.e. Canadian workers having their union HQ in the U.S.) is dead as a doornail. The only way to establish international cooperation between unions is to ensure that we have fully independent unions representing Canadian workers as a foundation. As for national borders, no, they weren't established with workers' interests in mind - but which ones would you propose erasing in the short term?

 

robbie_dee

I would like to see an expansion of this model: [url=http://www.workersuniting.org/]Workers Uniting[/url]

Unionist

The merger talk is getting louder and more public;

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/caw-cep-unions-explori..., CEP unions exploring merger[/url]

Quote:

“Events like the lockout at Caterpillar have made it increasingly obvious that Canadian workers need a stronger, more active, and more innovative labour movement to defend them,” Ken Lewenza, the CAW's national president, said in a statement Tuesday.

“Our movement cannot afford a ‘business-as-usual' approach in light of the attacks we face from both business and government. We need to combine our resources, and use them more effectively, if we are to protect Canadian jobs and push for greater equality in this incredibly hostile economic environment.”

Dave Coles, president of the CEP, said the goal is to “create a new, Canadian union.”

“We are examining every aspect of our work as trade unions, from organizing to bargaining to political activism. We are working to create a stronger union movement and a better future for workers,” Mr. Coles said.

 

Grandpa_Bill

The follup-up article in the Toronto Star (Unions must change quickly to survive) speaks of the need for unions to become

"a lot more relevant to working people, not only in contract bargaining, but for social change . . . [if they are to] reverse the erosion of our membership, our power and our prestige."

How might such a change ever come to pass?  Do we need to transform union leaders into celebrities?

 

Gaian

You pose a damned good question here, GB, as indicated by the absence of responses. If you are a union member, perhaps you could provide some thoughts to get the answers rolling?

I would think that some meaningful economic input, something beyond Jim Stanford's call for the use of new technology and social media to "educate, agitate, organize and mobilize." Perhaps you are wondering what the "education" of workers would involve, GB?

Grandpa_Bill

Am I a union member?  Rather than answer here, I've posted some work-related info on my profile.  Take a peek.

I suspect that if Jim Stanford, in particular, and the CAW, in general, knew how to "educate, agitate, organize and mobilize" using the ne technology and social media, they would be doing it rather than talking about doing it--and the working men and women of Canada would be experiencing the benefits.  What is the evidence that they do know how to do it?

My question about transforming union leaders into celebrities was ironic, but I have heard it argued that turning people such as Jim Stanford into celebrities is what must be done.  Perhaps so.  After all, we have witnessed the rise of celebrity economists in the States.  Perhaps the CAW should focus its efforts on moving Jim Stanford up the celebrity ladder, in the hope that when he gets his own column in The Globe and Mail, all our lives improve.

During my working life I have witnessed the decline and fall of private sector unionism and the loss of manufacturing jobs in Canada and the United States. Steve Jobs reportedly told Barack Obama that the jobs Apple exported to China are never, ever going to return.  Does anyone here think that Jobs is wrong about that?

KenS

I see that Gramps is a man of few wrods around here.

You might spread yourself around more.  Wink

Gaian

GB: "During my working life I have witnessed the decline and fall of private sector unionism and the loss of manufacturing jobs in Canada and the United States. Steve Jobs reportedly told Barack Obama that the jobs Apple exported to China are never, ever going to return. Does anyone here think that Jobs is wrong about that?"

I think he was wrong, GB, because current adulation for an industry that provides products holding folks in thrall, even while Jobs' Chinese plants spread netting around tall buildings to catch the fallng bodies CANNOT be sustained. A "social media" telling people about the blood on their hands, whether from purchasing jewels from the Diamond Coast or the "satanic mills" turning out "competitive products", has to finally come home, once the wizadry has been reduced to its historical, tawdry form of human exploitation.

Strangely enough, the word is taking its time. Almost as though Naomi Klein's No Logo was never written. But I believe that Globalism is close to running out of excuses.

Once upon a time we stopped eating California grapes, drinking South African wine, in defense of such simple virtues. It would seem to me that that would be something that Jim STanford could teach. Hell, Rabble could do with such a lesson.

Grandpa_Bill

This thread is asking the question, What ought unions do "in a response to harder times for organized labour in a tough economy."

One response has been that unions must become "a lot more relevant to working people, not only in contract bargaining, but for social change . . . [if they are to] reverse the erosion of our membership, our power and our prestige."

The public face of negotiations in Toronto has been interesting:

  • union offers a wage freeze for renewal of the current contract
  • city offers wage increases in a renegotiated contract

What if the union offered to renegotiate the contract in return for caps and reductions of wages, salaries, and bonuses of city managers and bureaucrats?  The effect of such an offer would be twofold:

  1. it would address the image of its members as "pigs at the trough," which is key to improving union prestige
  2. it would address the wage gap, which is key to moving a social change agenda forward

 

Gaian

But as we see this morning, the settlement in Toronto brought huge sighs of relief on both sides. Would it have been an ideal occasion to proceed with your idea, GB: "What if the union offered to renegotiate the contract in return for caps and reductions of wages, salaries, and bonuses of city managers and bureaucrats?"

Perhaps someone more knowledgeable in labour law than I could explain if this would fly, legally? If it could, then it certainly seems a marvelous start for those in public unions not facing the Caterpillars of the private sector...where it would have no traction at all,clearly.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Grandpa_Bill wrote:

What if the union offered to renegotiate the contract in return for caps and reductions of wages, salaries, and bonuses of city managers and bureaucrats?  The effect of such an offer would be twofold:

  1. it would address the image of its members as "pigs at the trough," which is key to improving union prestige
  2. it would address the wage gap, which is key to moving a social change agenda forward

It would also put an end to any image the union might aspire to of being a fighting force against government-imposed austerity. And it would "address the wage gap" by helping to make unionized workers as poor as non-unionized ones.

Are those your goals as well?

Unionist

Workers in Canada do not need more than one union. It needs to be democratic, answerable to and directed by the rank and file - but so do all existing unions. I'm sure declining finances are one of the main motives driving a CAW-CEP merger, but I think it's one of the most exciting developments around in a flat landscape. Much more so than the for-show-only "international" alliances of USW and the like.

 

Grandpa_Bill

I wondered:  "What if the union offered to renegotiate the contract in return for caps and reductions of wages, salaries, and bonuses of city managers and bureaucrats?"

Two interesting responses--thank you. 

Gaian wondered whether it would fly legally. I, myself, think that it wouldn't, but it would get media attention and it would, I think, address the need to reverse the erosion of lost union prestige.

As I see it, Gaian, the road towards increased social justice requires that we reverse the loss of union prestige, the loss of union power, and the loss of union membership.  Perhaps we need to do it in that order. If so, then perhaps my suggestion has merit.  But what do I know, eh?!  I'm not in the workforce any more. Those who are have the burden of dealing with this problem.

M. Spector says that it would do two things:

  1. "put an end to any image the union might aspire to of being a fighting force against government-imposed austerity.
  2. "And it would "address the wage gap" by helping to make unionized workers as poor as non-unionized ones."

Here are my thoughts on these two points:

  1. I know lower/middle class people who voted for Mayor Ford.  Those people view public sector unions as something other than "a fighting force against government-imposed austerity."  Sad to say, they view unionized public sector workers as "pigs at the trough."  By advocating for greater income equality, these unions might succeed in reversing the erosion of their prestige.  That's essentially what I think, but I may be wrong to think so.
  2. My understanding of the wage gap:  the spread between the highest paid and the lowest paid.  If directors and administrators are the highest pai, then reducing their salaries/wages and eliminating their bonuses reduces the wage gap.  It would be wonderful to hear public sector unions speak out for doing this.  If they don't, who will?

 

 

Unionist

Sounds good. Instead of being able to afford better food, settle for what you've got, and demand worse food for the next rank up of management types. Reduce the gap. While the billionaires laugh and laugh and laugh. I think I'll bring that proposal to my next union meeting. I'll let you know how it flies. Or if I do.

 

Grandpa_Bill

A reasonable point, Unionist.  I take my hat off to you:  you're still both working for a wage and struggling with social justice issues, while I sit idly about in my retirement.  You will do what you feel you must. 

My mention of actions that Reduce the Gap is based on decades of research that show "more equal societies almost always do better."  Income IN-equality is associated with a dozen or more markers of societal health and well-being.  What matters is not the absolute amount of income that poorer people have, but the spread between their wages and the top earners.

Certasinly the tax system has been rigged for the benefit of high-income people.  So, adjust the tax system.  Take that proposal to your next union meeting--and let us kniow if it flies.  Thousand mile journey . . . . 

But until it does, consider what can be done within the organization where you work to reduce income IN-equality.  Such action would address the erosion of union prestige, I think, but you know more about that than I do, eh?! 

Unionist

Grandpa_Bill wrote:
What matters is not the absolute amount of income that poorer people have, but the spread between their wages and the top earners.

Heh. No. I don't think so.

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/management/exe... they are[/url], your 100 "top earners".

You could reduce the top dude(tte)s from, say, $16 million (not counting stock options, capital gains, etc.) by 90%, to $1.6 million.

That would hugely reduce the gap.

Would workers and the poor say: "Ah, that's better! Now I can pay my bills, not worry about layoff, not worry about my kids' futures..."?

I don't know, but seems to me the answer is, "Not really."

Sure, one way to make your grass look greener is to paint the neighbour's grass brown. But you'll end up spending more on brown dye - there are lots of neighbours out there - than you would have by paying more attention to your own lawn.

And yeah, it's not the "absolute amount" of income that matters either. It's what your needs are and how much they cost and how much you can afford.

That's why socialists think that we should keep increasing the scope of necessary goods and services that are provided free of charge (or very cheap) by society as a whole. We've already made great strides with health care and K-12 education. We should go much further (pharmaceuticals, dental care, post-secondary tuition and living expenses, etc.). And then we should do likewise with social housing, public child care, etc. etc. Ultimately, people won't need as much income - because they won't have big charges to pay at the store or on their credit card.

That's my solution, anyway. And in the meantime, workers will keep fighting for better wages and benefits, irrespective of how much or how little the more privileged members of society pay themselves.

 

Wilf Day

Unionist wrote:

. . . we should keep increasing the scope of necessary goods and services that are provided free of charge (or very cheap) by society as a whole. We've already made great strides with health care and K-12 education. We should go much further (pharmaceuticals, dental care, post-secondary tuition and living expenses, etc.).

Agreed.

Unionist wrote:

And then we should do likewise with social housing, public child care, etc. etc. Ultimately, people won't need as much income - because they won't have big charges to pay at the store or on their credit card.

Umm, what does "etc. etc." mean? Food and clothes to the extent covered by your ration coupons, as during the second world war? It could be done, but I'm not sure who wants to have line-ups and ration books at the department stores, Soviet-style.

Free child care? Does any country have that? Again, it could be done, but are you serious?

Social housing for the 99%? Really?

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Wilf Day wrote:

Umm, what does "etc. etc." mean? Food and clothes to the extent covered by your ration coupons, as during the second world war? It could be done, but I'm not sure who wants to have line-ups and ration books at the department stores, Soviet-style.

Free child care? Does any country have that? Again, it could be done, but are you serious?

Social housing for the 99%? Really?

If you've seen the inside of a food bank, we have defacto ration coupons now for the poor who use them.   Just that they're all run by private charities and often run out of food.

Why not integrate childcare into the public school system and make it free.    Quebec has the best childcare system in Canada right now.  It would be good if even that programme could be implemented Canada-wide.

Social housing could definitely be expanded.   Social housing does not necessarily mean public housing.   Canada used to have a "world class" co-op housing model, a model that was frequently copied around the world.   But then federal and provincial governments decided to "get out of the housing business" and killed the programme.

 

Grandpa_Bill

Grandpa_Bill wrote:

My mention of actions that Reduce the Gap is based on decades of research that show "more equal societies almost always do better."  Income IN-equality is associated with a dozen or more markers of societal health and well-being.  What matters is not the absolute amount of income that poorer people have, but the spread between their wages and the top earners.

What I said sounds like a bit of nonsense, doesn't it, and Unionist is quite rightly skeptical.  But literally decades of research shows that it isn't nonsense.  Don't take my word for it.  Here's a link to The Equality Trust website:

http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/why

"In rich countries, a smaller gap between rich and poor means a happier, helthier and more successful population. . . .  There is no relationship between income per head and social well-being."

 

Unionist

Wilf Day wrote:

Unionist wrote:

And then we should do likewise with social housing, public child care, etc. etc. Ultimately, people won't need as much income - because they won't have big charges to pay at the store or on their credit card.

Umm, what does "etc. etc." mean? Food and clothes to the extent covered by your ration coupons, as during the second world war? It could be done, but I'm not sure who wants to have line-ups and ration books at the department stores, Soviet-style.

Whoa, Wilf - been noticing Reds under beds lately? "Etc. etc." means precisely this: That instead of retreating from the provision of necessary services to people, the state should be constantly looking at how people's needs should be provided - efficiently, fairly - without leaving them to chance and without leaving people in the lurch. And "etc. etc." means I'm not a genius - we need to have a collective discussion. So, some examples? Job training. Ever expanding, free of charge, not leaving it to the whim of employers. Yeah, social housing. Food and clothes? Never thought of that - any ideas? We have privately run food banks, and we have private charities and stores that provide cheap used clothing and furniture... Why couldn't the state do that as well? Why should it just give $$$money$$$ to the most indigent, and then wash its hands?

Quote:
Free child care? Does any country have that? Again, it could be done, but are you serious?

Where in my posts did you read "free child care"? We have $7.00 a day child care where I live, because the government says so. How much do people pay where you live?

Quote:
Social housing for the 99%? Really?

Who said that? I was talking about guaranteed annual income. Do you think the 99% need a guaranteed annual income? We're talking about measures to deal with poverty (though I have no clue as to why we're doing that in this thread, but what the heck, a good conversation fits everywhere, right?). What exactly did you read into "social housing"?

I think we should sit down and identify what the 99% need, and have a broad social conversation about whether those needs should be supplied by chance, or luck of birth, or high incomes - or by society making a concerted effort to ensure that no one goes without.

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