The business of business

Just got an email from a vendor of workplace notices that reads

Private-sector employers (including labor organizations) whose workplaces fall under the National Labor Relations Act will be required to post the employee rights notice where other workplace notices are typically posted.

The poster will notify employees of their rights under the NLRA such as:

* the right to form a union,
* bargain collectively,
* discuss terms and conditions of employment with coworkers, and
* the right to strike.

Failure to post would be treated as an unfair labor practice.

I won’t use the exact verbiage I think is appropriate for this.

So we’ve got an economy that’s struggling (well, we can euphemistically call it struggling), we have small businesses looking with great unease at future cost obligations due to new rules and regulations (one of which has been ruled unconstitutional, but the administration is pushing ahead on it anyway) … and the current administration is seeking to make sure that my companies employees know that they can organize, that I have to tell them this, and that its unfair if I don’t.

Really? I mean, seriously, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Is anyone in Washington DC paying any sort of attention? Why not do something real damn smart, and allow me to apply the full amount of my federal tax obligation for the year 2011 to hiring at least 2 new people (we expect a large tax bill this year). Why not? I think those two people I’d hire would do a profoundly better job of spending the money and generating economic activity than the US government. It is the sanest, most cost effective mechanism of job creation I could imagine. It has the benefit of forcing the government to spend less money, and take less out of the hands of those whom create jobs.

Seriously … WTF?

We have some serious economic and structural problems in this country, and this is most definitely not on the solution side to these problems. In fact, its demonstrably the exact opposite of what we need to do.

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4 thoughts on “The business of business

  1. Joe,

    You are acting like a big baby having a tantrum.

    The NLRA has been around since 1935. You didn’t get this message from the present administration or even from the government. You got it from “a vendor of workplace notices.” Yes the economy is struggling. Recall that the NLRA was passed to aid a struggling economy. It was called the Great Depression. Has it passed its era of usefulness? Maybe — but it’s not a foregone conclusion.

    “The current administration is seeking to make sure that my companies [sic] employees know that they can organize, that I have to tell them this, and that its unfair if I don?t”.

    Wrong. These regulations have been in effect for many, many administrations. and are likely required by law; or at least, by longstanding agency regulations. I have been seeing them in the workspace for at least 30 years. The current administration had nothing to do with making them.

    It seems you are acting like a cry-baby because the current administration didn’t change some rule you don’t like. Why don’t you go cry to the administrations you liked in the past for not trying to change them when they were in power? (Assuming there are past administrations you liked — big assumption.)

    The real question is whether you believe in the concept of a duly elected government. Not that you have to agree with any current administration. Obama will win again next time (I’ll put money on it). So lobby for what you want and feel you need, but like the rest of us, accept the results and keep it civil instead of claiming some kind of outraged persecution. On the merits, we, the people, may disagree with you.

    -P.

  2. @Peter

    Wow. Seem to have touched a nerve with you. I’ll ignore the “cry baby” and associated other … er … bits … and simply focus upon the content.

    Whats new, is what I was complaining about. That there is an organization devoted to setting rules that I must comply with, regardless of my business size (which is new), and that not posting a notice of these *new* rules is in fact an unfair labor practice. Further I’d argue that there are *far* more important things to spend money on, and even save money by not spending it.

    First rule of business: live within your budget.

    Second rule of business: eschew anything that increases your costs without providing you a corresponding associated benefit.

    As for the bits on “duly elected government”, this sounds a great deal like some of the talking points I hear out of some on the deep/far/radical left. So far, early in this political season, I’ve been called a racist by a family member for disagreeing with Mr. Obama, I’ve been called other things, equally as dumb. I’d classify this … er … classification as around that same level of discourse. I’ve thought about posting something on how absolutely beyond the pale mean spirited I expect the next 13 months to be in a political sense, but held back on it. Its gone downhill early, and hard.

    While I respect you as a person, I would not go so far as to label you the way you seemingly have labeled me. I do find it sad that you went there, raised some strawmen and then proceeded to knock them down. Such is life.

    As for your assertion that Mr Obama will win again … smart money isn’t on this. Might make a friendly wager with you on this, but all indications at this stage (way way early in the process) are that its likely to look a great deal like the Carter model. Again, I could be wrong.

    I am for an elected government of the people, by the people, and for the people. I don’t like it when unelected groups impose rules upon me that increase my costs. I don’t like it when I am mandated by law to purchase something that should be optional. In the case of the notice, I took the relevant language, cut and pasted it, and put it on our notice board. In prominent and plain view. In the case of Obamacare, as the one who personally signs the checks for the health insurance for the company, and speaking with the insurer, they do admit that Obamacare provisions that they are preparing for are driving up my premium costs. Most profoundly affected partisans are unable to admit that publicly, yet they jump on people like me when we note this. Go figure.

    As for the tax bits … Yeah, I do believe that the one person I hired last week will spend his money and be more impactful to the economy and increasing economic output than the exact equivalent money sent to the federal government. I watched ARRA driven purchases go to many of our very large rivals, who shortly after getting this money (though not correlated with it), close down jobs in this country and open them up somewhere else. How was my and your tax money well spent by doing that? Is that being a cry baby for pointing out (epic) failures like that? Or being an involved citizen?

    This said, I still hope to see you at SC11, and engage in a vigorous (a-political) debate about HPC and its migration to the desktop. I just saw our friends at Gaussian start looking seriously at GPU based products. This is nice. Just as I predicted. Question is will clouds and desktops be the majority platform in a few years.

  3. Unfortunately, I won’t be at SC011. I will be at BioIT Cloud Summit in San Diego. Hey, but the next time you are in NY, let’s see if we can get together for lunch. Unfortunately, though, the migration of HPC to the GPU and to the Cloud is not likely to result in a debate between us. We will have to get into the politics for that. 😉

    But seriously, what is new about these rules? As I said, I have been seeing these notices in the workplace for 30 years. Have any new rules been passed that for the first time require businesses of your size to post the notices? Or have you just gotten to the size that the old rules now apply to you? And what are the unelected organizations you are talking about?

    -P.

  4. @Peter

    The new rule in question is that the notices have to be posted now, regardless of business size. Previously it was 25 or more people.

    NLRB is an unelected organization. I don’t vote for who is on there, so I cannot directly indicate my pleasure/displeasure with their rules, which I must follow. That is, they are unaccountable to me for what they do to me.

    The EPA is another one that, for the moment, we have little to worry about, but their brand new rules could have impacted our ability to buy UPS batteries (Lead-Acid), or generators due to the hazard/emissions issues. I am not saying UPS batteries are good … hell no, they suck, I’d like to see supercapacitors or similar. And I’d like not to need a backup generator. Think strong storms blasting through the area.

    These new rules from the EPA were apparently so egregious that the outcry caused the administration to rethink them. The outcry. Thats sad. The EPA should be a partner to business and work with business. Same with the NLRB.

    This is grousing on my part. When I started this business, I was blown away by the amount and frequency of the additional bits of reportage. Then a few years ago, one arm of the government started threatening us because we didn’t fill out some census thing on time (I hadn’t seen it, and I’d assign it a very low priority if I had). Somewhere in our archives are threats of jail time and fines if I didn’t respond. To a )(*(&*^&* questionaire. That was the previous admin, and they were just as bad in a number of ways as the current.

    I know I’ll never be completely satisfied, and this is part of the nature of politics, there is give and take for it to work. I am hoping that the promises of civility being restored to this process are actually honored. Given what I’ve seen of Mr. Biden’s speech over the weekend … yeah, not as likely to happen as I might hope.

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