June 29, 2009

Ricci and Unions

Something worth thinking about is the valuable role the firefighter's union in New Haven played in keeping the politicians from getting their hands all over the fire department. It was the union that had negotiated the compromise by which 60% of the weight would be given to a written test (i.e., objective and blind-graded), while the city got only 40% of the weight given to a subjective oral test, where minorities made up almost 2/3rds of the judges.

In general, in cities that have tipped toward minority political dominance, where conmen like Rev. Kimber are trying to get their hands on control of the jobs, unions sometimes provide a bulwark against race discrimination.

This provides a new/old perspective on the much-denounced subject of teachers' unions. It's widely believed that if only we got rid of teachers unions, then we'd have superstar teachers in every inner city classroom. Yet, history suggests that we might wind up with worse teachers because rising politicians would try to fire the old white teachers and give their jobs to co-ethnics.

That's exactly what happened in the late 1960s in the black Ocean Hill neighborhood in New York City, when the NY school board temporarily decentralized. Black politicians immediately fired huge numbers of white teachers (mostly Jewish) and hired blacks. Albert Shanker, the union boss of the United Federation of Teachers, went on the warpath. A huge brouhaha ensued and Shanker eventually mostly won and got the white teachers re-installed. In "Sleeper" (1973), Woody Allen is told by the people of the future that his age had been obliterated when "a man named Albert Shanker got hold of a nuclear warhead."

That teachers unions and their seniority rules keep white teachers in jobs in minority-run cities is one of those phenomenon that nobody talks about but is staring you right in the face.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

OT but funny.

Looks like more people are understanding that victimology is a "science" with predictable rules!

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/abreitbart/2009/06/28/fifteen-minutes-of-h8-the-rise-and-fall-of-perez-hilton/

Mario Lavandeira, the mean-spirited impresario behind the celebrity- obsessed mega-Web site PerezHilton.com, was left scratching his pink-tinged pompadour last week, wondering aloud in a campy cry-baby YouTube classic why, after being physically assaulted in public, he is now universally scorned and widely considered the villain of an incident that left him appropriately "black eyed."

Aside from the basic rules of karma, here's why: The calculus of political correctness is like roshambo, the "rock-paper-scissors" game. Different identity groups hold specific levels of power over others when their battles play out in the media. To wit: Black beats white. Gay beats white. Black beats gay.

Don't ask why. It just is.

Anonymous said...

There is a weird dynamic with the unions. It's one of those tectonic plate intersections, like Israel, where two leftist causes collide.

On the one hand unions have historically been the birthplace of modern leftism and communism.

On the other hand, once the focus shifted to communism 2.0 (namely PC), they were just a bit too pale for the tastes of the PC ringleaders. Moreover a lot of the PC ringleaders increased in wealth and power since the early days of the unions, and didn't want to dirty their hands with working their way up through the rank and file.


The solution has taken two parts:

1. Recruit more and more blacks and especially Hispanics into unions (this is Andy Stern's MO at SEIU)
2. Allow PC ringleaders to go straight from college into union leadership positions.

This is about as clear-cut an example as it gets of the overclass/underclass alliance against the middle class.

Of course this puts the old majority white unions on the outside looking in. But they were always pawns from the beginning, just like the NAMs are. I do smile because the NAMS are definitely going to lose their utility once the US collapses. I wonder who the next clients will be?

This btw is why Democratic rhetoric has focused a lot less on unions since basically the rise of the new left in the late 60s. Some times it'll be thrown in as an afterthought (on the level of "you forgot Poland!"), but their real passion is race.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

Are you sure white teachers are best for black students?

Wouldn't it be better if we trained black teachers instead to teach black students basic math, basic reading skills, and some minimal amount of self discipline.

Black students just do not respect their SWPL teachers. The SWPL urban teachers might as well be space aliens as far as those black students are concerned.

But they may show more respect to, say, a tough black ex-Marine high school principal who can dish out punishment and put the fear of God into the students in a way a white liberal teacher would not dare do.

Anonymous said...

Here are some interesting quotes from a relevant Forward article:

http://forward.com/articles/105047/

Unlike in the ’30s, many of the Jews involved in the labor movement today have little affiliation with the organized Jewish community — and the presence of Jews in the labor movement can be an uncomfortable topic at times, because of the relative paucity of Jews in the rank and file of union membership. But for many inside the labor movement, the Jewish presence — not just in leadership roles, but also throughout the professional staff — occasionally becomes so obvious that it cannot be ignored.

“One night last Passover, I was here trying to finish something just before Seder, and people were like, why are you here?” said Jessica Champagne, a young researcher at the SEIU. “There are just those moments where you realize that whether or not people are observant, there are a lot of Jewish folks who have found their way here.”

...

This was the situation when one of the most prominent labor leaders of today, Stern, became involved. Stern joined his union of government social workers in 1972 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League school. Sitting recently at the SEIU’s sleek new headquarters in Washington, Stern told the Forward that back then, “my vision of unions was Teamster white guys and construction workers.”

Stern himself had become a social activist through his involvement in protests against the Vietnam War. But under AFL-CIO chief George Meany, a staunch anti-communist, the big unions had lined up in support of the war.

“The first thing I learned about unions was not a very good one,” said Stern. “In 1968 or 9, I was watching construction workers beat up anti-war protesters.”

Anonymous said...

But then, after Stern was elected to lead his local union, he attended the meetings of the local labor council in Philadelphia. There, he ran into a number of holdouts from the Jewish garment unions, and other Jewish union activists who “had a kind of ethical, cultural set of values that I understood better than people who had grown up in a more working-class — in many cases, Catholic — background.”

“I had never thought of the union movement as a place of Jewish activism in my growing up,” Stern said. His father had been a lawyer for small businesses in suburban New Jersey. But, Stern said, he saw at the Philadelphia labor council that “there was really a disproportionate number of labor leaders who were Jewish in major positions — and a lot of them were ones that were more involved in, I would say, the more progressive side of the labor movement.”

...


A major turning point came when the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of national unions, decided to open up the Organizing Institute, which was designed to provide college graduates a direct entry point into unions so that they would not have to first pass through the rank and file. The institute was founded in 1989 by a young Jew from Kentucky, Richard Bensinger, who had been recruited into the union movement by Richard Rothstein, a Jewish labor organizer and activist at one of the garment unions.

...

But there is a potential downside: Stern and others in the new generation of union leadership have been criticized by more traditional union leaders for giving union jobs to people who did not get their start in the working class. The generation of college-educated leaders have also been involved in a number of recent fights that have divided the labor movement (see sidebar). Paul Buhle, a labor historian at Brown University, said that in the current era, when unions are largely trying to organize black and Latino populations, the presence of so many educated Jewish leaders can be an “embarrassing detail.”

“Not to be the rank and file is embarrassing — because Jews are giving orders even in progressive unions,” Buhle said. “It comes back to a conspiratorial view of Jews in American life.”

...

Lerner’s first job was in North Carolina, organizing workers for the garment union. During that campaign, Lerner said, one of the local newspapers wrote an article implying that the organizers were a bunch of “northern Jews and rabble rousers.” Lerner recalled what happened when the organizers next met: “After we all got indignant, we looked around the room, and there really were so many Jews in the room.”

It is no coincidence that the two most prominent films about unions in recent times have both been about the cultural exchanges that happened when a Jewish organizer pushed to organize non-Jewish workers. In the 1979 movie “Norma Rae,” the Northerner is Reuben Warshowsky, who is said to be a composite of a number of Jewish organizers who worked for the textile unions. The more recent movie, “Bread and Roses,” is based on a Jewish organizer, Jono Schaffer, who worked on Lerner’s Justice for Janitors campaign.

RKU said...

Yeah, but the other strange thing is why the "conservative movement" based in DC hates all unions with such a vengeance.

I think it once again shows how totally the "money people" (who dislike unions for obvious reasons) control the conservative apparatchiks.

Really stupid and weird.

Zylonet said...

--Are you sure white teachers are best for black students?

Wouldn't it be better if we trained black teachers instead to teach black students basic math, basic reading skills, and some minimal amount of self discipline.

Black students just do not respect their SWPL teachers. The SWPL urban teachers might as well be space aliens as far as those black students are concerned.

But they may show more respect to, say, a tough black ex-Marine high school principal who can dish out punishment and put the fear of God into the students in a way a white liberal teacher would not dare do.--

The problem is not just the teachers but the entire system. No one is going to move to a "basic skills model" so that part of your idea is moot. Regarding putting fear into students, yes some teachers can do it, but it doesn't matter. In the present system, students wield tremendous power over teachers and administrators. The entire system is designed so that black students do not bark discrimination. They are passed when they should fail and they are not booted from school when they should be. The incentives for students to work are largely absent in the present system.

Anonymous said...

Why do we dislike unions? How about the auto industry, the SEIU, the govt employees' unions?
How about our own school district where a very abusive tenured teacher just gets transferred to a different school *twice* to avoid parent lawsuits because the adminstration and the school board lack the guts to fire her?

http://www.mv-voice.com/story.php?story_id=4973

Anonymous said...

We'll never know about who teaches best because there is no competition for teachers or schools. But one can guess based on the results of other affirmative action hires, like POTUS. We finally moved our son to a private school. Thankfully there is competition in my industry so I can run a successful business and pay the tuition.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever seen Suri stick fighting?

http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/going-tribal-suri-stick-fighting.html

These are East African rather than West Africans, so they're not the direct relatives of our African American population (only our President!).

Still. Makes you think about the public schools.

ATBOTL said...

That's a great article from the Forward. Just another piece of evidence lining up in favor of KMAC's thesis. Wailing and gnashing of teeth from the usual suspects to follow.

Anonymous said...

Phenomena.

Sorry to niggle, but use of "phenomenon" as if it were plural is creeping into the speech/writing even of intelligent people. Irksome.

Anonymous said...

One of the more interesting things about "not coming up from the rank and file" is that SEIU and UNITE-HERE are headed by Ivy Leaguers. Now SEIU represents unskilled labor like janitors, health care workers, etc - largely immigrant, likely quite a few of them illegal. UNITE, which appears to be breaking up with HERE, is largely unskilled needle trades - largely immigrant, likely quite a few of them illegal. HERE is largely unskilled hotel and restaurant workers - largely immigrant, likely quite a few of them illegal.

SEIU and UNITE-HERE (now UNTIE-THERE?)were part of Change-to-Win, which broke away from the AFL-CIO a few years ago. Needless to say, the Ivy Leaguers are paid rather well and their members aren't. All of them are big amnesty supporters for obvious reasons.

Stern is famous for his "understandings" with companies, one such recent "understanding" appears to be that the company would let him organize some of its branches but only the ones they picked.

Pathetic.

dearieme said...

That's the first time in years I've seen a pro-Union argument that holds any water. Mind you, it is along the lines of "Set a thief to catch a thief".

Anonymous said...

We'd be better off if the Supreme Court hadn't forced unions to have a fiduciary duty towards their own members, so unions can't cut off the slackers. If unions could choose and police their own membership, lots of employers would be happy to work with unions.

-Adam Greenwood

anony-mouse said...

How about some credit to W. and the judges he appointed, (certainly different ones than Gore/Kerry would have chosen)?

None?

Oh well.

simon said...

I remember you saying similar about the California teachers' unions, and Schwarzenegger's mistake in attacking them.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

There, he ran into a number of holdouts from the Jewish garment unions, and other Jewish union activists who “had a kind of ethical, cultural set of values that I understood better than people who had grown up in a more working-class — in many cases, Catholic — background.”"

Notice the implication that Andy Stern is making here - working-class catholics have no ethics and no culture.

Interesting article, anonymous - thanks for excerpting.

silly girl said...

"Are you sure white teachers are best for black students?"

Statistically speaking, yes.

However if copious data illustrating the conclusion is not your cup of tea, then you can arbitrarily choose either yes or no.

Both white and black teachers that are good prefer not to teach black students anyway. Not every single one, of course, but generally.

Blog post, June 3, 2009:
http://onestdv.blogspot.com/2009/06/shocking-study-results-study-teachers.html

Journal of Labor Economics article:
http://works.bepress.com/c_kirabo_jackson/13/

Lucius Vorenus said...

RKU: Yeah, but the other strange thing is why the "conservative movement" based in DC hates all unions with such a vengeance. I think it once again shows how totally the "money people" (who dislike unions for obvious reasons) control the conservative apparatchiks. Really stupid and weird.

It's a Protestant-Catholic divide, and it's more than 500 years old.

I could write about this from now until the cows come home, so maybe I should just leave it at that.

Geoffrey Falk said...

Different identity groups hold specific levels of power over others when their battles play out in the media. To wit: Black beats white. Gay beats white. Black beats gay....

This was brilliant satirized in TDL Gaming: The World Series of Victimhood Poker.

John Seiler said...

But it's also worth remembering that unions often have imposed rules that keep out competition from minorities. Walter Williams has written how the carpenters' and other unions got labor laws passed that froze out cheaper, non-union black labor.

And in recent decades, government workers' unions have become much more powerful, giving their members wage and benefits levels about 47% higher than the equivalent in the private sector -- with much-oppressed taxpayers picking up the tab, and state budgets in the country bleeding red ink.

"...the Bureau of Labor Statistics National Compensation Survey, which reports that in the first quarter of 2006 the cost of compensation per hour worked for state and local government employees averaged $36.97 compared to $25.09 for private industry workers.

"That's an overall difference of 47.3 percent. The difference in costs of benefits is much greater than the difference in wages and salaries."

Source: http://www.heartland.org/policybot/results/20022/Government_Workers_Very_WellPaid_Report.html

Anonymous said...

In my White/Asian School District the union protects, even fosters poor teachers. Also, by mutual backscratching with Democrat politicians, our teachers' union has gained an unbelievably favorable contract.

First, they took as pay all of the District's money except for the absolute minimum required to pay the lighting bill. Supplies (you know, paper for the photocopier, stuff like that) now come from parents' "voluntary donations." At the start of each term the union teachers send home shopping lists with barely disguised threats that little Johnny will flunk if his folks don't pay up. (Textbooks-- badly-written but very politically-correct ones-- are provided by the State.)

Second, since the District had literally no more money to increase teachers salaries, the teachers graciously agreed to work fewer hours for the same pay. Now they send the kids home at lunchtime each Wednesday, and take off one extra school day per month (for "skills improvement," you understand). This has been good for the daycare industry, as working parents scramble to arrange someplace for their kids to stay while teachers golf during business hours.

If the price of liberating my school district from the teachers' union was to allow black politicians to hire all black teachers for their neighborhoods, I could agree to that. Let them go to heck in their own way, I say.

testing99 said...

Jews are an affluent group, leaving them prone to SWPL in large numbers.

But, numbers of Jews in Union Leadership positions is still far less than numbers of SWPL Yuppies (non Jews) in Union Leadership positions.

This is the ongoing problem of iSteve -- too many readers wish to scapegoat Jews who are merely like everyone else who becomes SWPL, and overcount vastly their influence.
-----
Steve, very likely the Union leadership will have to sell out the interests of the White union workers. This routinely happens in NYC with the Fire and Police depts, because the money all comes from Dem bigshots beholden to the alliance of Gays, Blacks, Hispanics and Women against White Men.

The decline of political influence of Straight White Men and the rise of the influence of Women, Gays, Blacks, and Hispanics has been mirrored by the decline of manufacturing, defense, energy, and other resource extraction in the US economy and the rise of services.

If you go to the BLS and check out their reports with breakdowns by Gender/Race, a clear picture emerges. We are becoming basically Argentina. Female-Non-White dominated, service oriented, and poor.

Big Bill said...

Thanks for the link to the Forward article, Anonymous. I always find Jewish newspapers in the USA and especially in Israel to be most helpful.

Jews tend to drop their guard and stop euphemizing for the goy in the room when the newspaper or website is Jewish.

I do appreciate their honesty.

It is sad they keep enforcing the "Jewish conspiracy" canard. It really isn't helpful, particularly when they seem so close to understanding our demographic concerns.

How do we get them to understand that we are as concerned about being replaced in our own homeland as they are in their homeland?

Being replaced by illegal aliens in our own unions (Stern's SEIU) or by foreign workers in our own colleges and engineering centers is as disturbing to us as their replacement by Christians and Muslims in Israel is to them.

And we no more want mandatory annual Holocaust indoctrination of our children in our public schools than they would want mandatory Hamas Nachba indoctrination of their children in their Israeli schools.

They are right at the cusp of understanding but turn away every time just before they grok it.

We can always pray they have a change of heart.

Big Bill said...

Mr. Anon, your comment was unfair, although I can perhaps understand your reading.

The Forward did not say that Catholics and working class goy Americans do not have moral values, it's that they do not have Jewish moral values.

But that is to be expected. In Jewish theology, there are two moralities, two sets ofduties: one for Jews and one for everyone else.

Unlike Christianity, it is not appropriate or really acceptable for any non-Jew to become a Jew (al though they will make an occasional exception).

In Jewish theology we non-Jews have a perfectly acceptable and appropriate secondary role to play in God's cosmos: we are supposed to follow the Noachide Laws, the seven (?) commandments God gave to Noah. That is our place, our role, our caste.

Among other imperatives, Jewish moral values say they are to be a light unto us, to educate us, to lead us. Goy moral values consist simply in following the Noachide laws.

Different values for different peoples set on Earth by God for different purposes. Jews must follow 613 mitzvot ("blessings" or "commandments") which include morally leading us and being an example to us, We goyim follow only seven.

Anonymous said...

It is sad they keep enforcing the "Jewish conspiracy" canard. It really isn't helpful, particularly when they seem so close to understanding our demographic concerns.



dream on Big Bill.

Not4Nothing said...

Those Ivy Leaguers just can't get along with each other. They brawl worse than the drunken Irish.

http://www.beyondchron.org/news/index.php?itemid=7088#more

ATBOTL said...

Another unconvincing dissimulation from T99.

Anonymous said...

"We'll never know about who teaches best because there is no competition for teachers or schools. But one can guess based on the results of other affirmative action hires, like POTUS. We finally moved our son to a private school. Thankfully there is competition in my industry so I can run a successful business and pay the tuition."

You could argue that educated parents are the best teachers. Homeschool students average the 87%tile.

Ask yourself honestly, is your kid's teacher smarter or more educated than you are?

Does she care more about your child and whether he learns than you do?

Anonymous said...

A homeschooler troll, how droll.