DON'T TOUCH THE MICROPHONE Why Unions Are Monopolies in Restraint of Trade
by James Jaeger
I used to work on the Sonny & Cher Show.
When I was a Show Technician with the VALLEY FORGE MUSIC FAIR, I was part of a crew that built, painted and installed the sets, moved scenery, ran props for the production, loaded and unloaded the trucks, drove and helped the stars with their logistics -- BUT we were NOT allow to TOUCH the microphones -- especially on the Sonny & Cher Show.
After I started working for the MUSIC FAIR, I well remember my boss saying to me "Jim, you can do anything you want around here, but don't touch the microphones."
The Peggy Fleming Show, The David Brenner Show, The Carpenters and My Fair Lady were other shows I worked on. We built and installed Peggy Flemings $1.3 million, dichlorodifluoromethane-cooled portable skating rink, Richard and Karen Carpenter's special flat black-painted, circular rotating stage and hand-delivered specialty-props to David Brenner while he was making 2,000 people laugh, BUT, for God's sake, we Show Technicians were NOT allowed to touch one_single_microphone.
Why was this? Why couldn't we touch the microphones, or lights for that matter? We couldn't touch them because ONLY Joe -- the UNION man -- could touch the microphones and lights. And this was per -- as we were told -- his "legal" contract between Joe's union and the "signatory producer," in this case the MUSIC FAIR GROUP, INC.
And because UNION JOE could touch the microphones, he got paid a $1,000 a week while we NON-union schleps were "lucky" to even get $40 per week. Why? Because, as our boss said: "You stage techies should be damn glad to even BE here; to have the opportunity to work in show business; to be able to hob-knob with famous stars like Cher Bono and Peggy Fleming."
That's what the show manager told us "stage techies" -- and that shut us up. Even if we earned only 25 times less than UNION JOE we were damn "lucky" to even have the freaking RIGHT to work. And none of this bothered me for the longest time as I figured, "that's just the way life is." Upon deeper thought I figured this was just typical Pennsylvania insanity and went into full Stockholm Syndrome-agreement with my boss: indeed I WAS lucky to work on the Sonny & Cher Show, and 20 other shows. Indeed, I WAS lucky to drive stars to and from airports and New York City and get to chat with them all the way. Indeed, we stage techies WERE lucky to be able to hang out backstage with Sonny Bono, Robert Preston and Tom Jones just before they marched down the vomitorium. And let's not forget how thrilling it was to unload Eva Gabor's 38 suit cases from the truck as she supervised every delicate movement to make sure we didn't "take" any souvenirs. So, given all these fringe benefits, "don't touch the mics" was a small price to pay and it didn't bother me -- that is, until I moved out to California.
When I got to Hollywood in 1977 to work in the theatrical motion picture business, I had already been editing films in Pennsylvania since 1963. That's 14 years of experience. I was even personally trained in double-system, narrative dramatic film editing on a Movieola by Shorty Yeaworth, director of THE BLOB, who just happened to live right down the road in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania. But when I got to Hollywood and sat before production managers working on MPAA studio pictures, they told me I could NOT work on their projects -- even starting as an ASSISTANT editor -- unless I was a member of the Editor's Guild. I can't tell you how many PMs, ADs, directors and producers I heard this from on my 2-year job-hunt around the town.
Eventually, I went to the Editor's Guild on Sunset Boulevard in an effort to get to the source of the problem. I well-remember sitting in the office of the Guild's executive director one sunny day as his words shocked me. He told me I couldn't get into the Guild unless I was already working on a "signatory production." When I asked him what that meant, he said, "The Editor's Guild, like all the other motion picture unions, can not accept new members unless they can show that they have already put in a certain number of days with production companies that are signatory to the Guild's Basic Agreement.
In other words: One can't work on a studio production unless one is in the union, and one can't get into the union unless one is already working on a studio production. This is one of Hollywood's classic "catch-22s" used to obfuscate the underlying discrimination that's rampant in the town.
Then it struck me: "Don't touch the microphone" was not only a Pennsylvania disease, it was a California disease as well -- both NO right to work states.
This disease -- what more properly might be called "unions and guilds" -- is not only in Pennsylvania and California, it's all over the country.(3) It's a disease not only of discrimination, but monopoly. In short: unions discriminate against able and willing workers in order to protect a monopoly formed and enjoyed by already-employed workers.
Can you get a more Communist system than this? A system that tolerates unions and guilds which have as their objective, not only that WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE, BUT SENIOR WORKERS GET TO WORK WHILE NEW WORKERS GET TO STARVE.
A union is a monopoly in restraint of trade. It is no different than a corporate monopoly that can raise its prices because it's the only seller, of some particular product or service, in town. The contract between the studio producers and unions creates a monopoly because it forces the studios to purchase editorial labor from only one seller: the Editor's Guild.
Thus, contrary to the Democrat's liberal media propaganda, a union is NOT a bunch of HARD-working people innocently getting together to protect their jobs from the big mean corporate bosses that make them work in unsafe conditions. A union is a bunch of LAZY-workers that have gone into collusion with each other in order to force corporate management into hiring JUST THEM -- and whatever crappy, over-priced services they feel like delivering, or not -- while discriminating against WE THE WORKERS in general. In other words, unions are not only monopolies, they're price-fixers that discriminate against people and the general welfare. Unions are factions that are in restraint of trade and agents of unjust enrichment that rely on predatory, unethical and illegal business practices and contracts of adhesion. Unions violate, not only the Bill of Rights, but the spirit of the entire U.S. Constitution and the original intent of the Founders. See http://www.OriginalIntent.Us.
A UNION DENYING A PERSON MEMBERSHIP BECAUSE HE'S NOT ALREADY WORKING IS DISCRIMINATION NO DIFFERENT THAN A COUNTRY CLUB DENYING A JEW MEMBERSHIP BECAUSE HE'S NOT A CHRISTIAN ALREADY.
By the same token:
A CORPORATION DISCRIMINATING AGAINST A PERSON SEEKING WORK BECAUSE HE IS NOT IN A UNION IS NO DIFFERENT THAN A PRIVATE RESTAURANT OWNER DISCRIMINATING AGAINST A BLACK PERSON BECAUSE HE'S NOT IN A CERTAIN COUNTRY CLUB.
So when people talk about "RIGHT TO WORK STATES," what are they really talking about?
The very term, "right to work state," is similar to the term "free speech zone." The term itself carries the seeds of tyranny.
The U.S. Constitution, and the accompanying founding documents, guarantee that WE THE PEOPLE have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These acknowledge the fact that WE THE PEOPLE have these rights and charges the government with the task of defending these rights. At the very least, those in government are PROSCRIBED from violating these rights themselves (which, unfortunately, they do all the time).
The Bill of Rights specifically guarantees that WE THE PEOPLE have the right to speak freely, and to publish and promote our free speech no matter how much others may detest what we are saying. YES WE EVEN HAVE THE RIGHT TO SCREAM FIRE IN A CROWDED MOVIE THEATER.(1) Thus, the entire united States -- even movie theaters -- is the "free speech zone." To post a sign that carves out some special "zone" as a "free speech" area, is to demonstrate the nadir of ignorance about the rights all American citizens ALREADY enjoy as a result of the highest law in the land.
By the same token, all American citizens ALREADY have the right to work everywhere in the country. That's the Constitutional default. To claim or acknowledge that some states are "right to work states" implies that some states are "no right to work states." Only morons will claim or acknowledge such implications.
AGAIN, THE DEFAULT IS WE ALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO WORK AND THE RIGHT TO SPEAK IN ANY AND ALL OF THE STATES IN AMERICA AND ANYTHING ELSE IS ALIEN, IF NOT ILLEGAL, WITH RESPECT TO THE CONSTITUTION.
It's alien, if not illegal, because, again, it violates the senior law governing the united States, the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, any and all "signatory contracts" that MPAA studios enter into with unions and guilds are, at the least, null and void. You can't make a contract for illegal purposes. The government cannot enforce a contract made for an illegal purpose. It violates contract law.
Sure, people have the "right" to form and join unions -- or any other group, faction or party -- but the government does not have the AUTHORITY to enforce "signatory contracts" and much of this is what the Taft-Hartley Act addressed.(2) Employment discrimination is illegal, therefore MPAA-signatory contracts with unions and guilds are illegal because contracts cannot be made or entered into for illegal purposes.
UNIONS AND GUILDS PROMOTE DISCRIMINATION, THUS UNION AND GUILD CONTRACTS ARE ILLEGAL.
UNIONS AND GUILDS ARE MONOPOLES ON LABOR, THUS UNIONS AND GUILDS OPERATE IN RESTRAINT OF TRADE.
RESTRAINT OF TRADE IS ILLEGAL UNDER THE SHERMAN ANTI-TRUST LAWS.
MONOPOLIES ARE BAD FOR COMMERCE BECAUSE THEY FORCE ARTIFICIALLY HIGH PRICES ON THE MARKET, PROMOTE UNJUST ENRICHMENT AND INHIBIT TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT.
In light of these things, we can see how foolish we as a society have been. The "answer" to the abuse of corporate monopolies during the Industrial Revolutions of the 19th and 20th Centuries was thought to be MORE abuse imposed by union monopolies. We can now see, 100 years later, that this insane strategy of "fighting fire with fire" has done little more than make our country less productive and less innovative than it could have been. Wages, especially since 1971, have NOT gone up for 99-percent of WE THE PEOPLE and American corporations have NOT become more robust OR product-diversified. Instead, debt-ridden corporations today do little more than seek to eke out ever increasing profits from essentially the SAME litany of patents that were filed in the 19th and 20th Centuries.
As a result of these "dueling monopolies" -- unions and corporations -- we have become a post-industrial nation of the massively unemployed. High union wages have driven out 50,000 factories in the past 10 years alone, leaving tens of millions unemployed, underemployed and below the poverty level. Dueling monopolies have ushered in multinational corporations that could now care less about American workers and their "right to work" -- or not.(3)
GREED RUNS RAMPANT IN THE CORPORATIONS AND UNEMPLOYMENT RUNS RAMPANT IN THE UNIONS.
So, has anyone really won this insane battle between business and workers?
When are WE THE PEOPLE going to realize that BOTH cooperation AND competition are vital? The free market promotes BOTH competition and cooperation. Unions inhibit BOTH competition and cooperation. Corporate monopolies inhibit BOTH competition and cooperation.
When five corporations, that use only union labor, monopolize 90 percent of the market -- as do the MPAA studio/distributors -- this is not good for the General Welfare of the nation. I use the movie industry as an example only because this is the industry with which I am most familiar. But make no mistake, the movie industry is not alone with these problems, now or in the past. Before Hollywood was established, Eastern industries were highly discriminatory to workers, especially Jewish immigrants. Thomas Edison -- inventor of the motion picture camera -- was so ruthless in locking out and discriminating against Jewish independent producers, they had to flee to the West Coast. This newly-found West Coast freedom thus allowed one of the most magnificent industries ever invented to flourish and prosper. As a result we had the Golden Age of Hollywood. But eventually the "independent producers" became the new major studios, replacing the "major studios" Edison had formed "back East."
Unfortunately -- as Lord Acton has pointed out -- "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Thus, Hollywood movie moguls eventually began acting exactly like Thomas Edison before them and it was only a matter of time before today's Hollywood studios (the MPAA) became unionized monopolies just like Edison's 1908 Motion Picture Patents Company (the MPPC).
So what's the answer to DISCRIMINATION and RESTRAINT OF TRADE courtesy of UNIONS and CORPORATE MONOPOLIES?
The answer is we should have neither. But how do you get rid of these two plagues on civilization?
Simple, you get government's monopoly on FORCE out of the game. You get government totally out of business and out of the creation of the money supply. See http://www.FiatEmpire.org
After all, HOW do corporate monopolies form? They form when YOUR Congressman legislates some special privilege for his home-grown corporation that gives THAT corporation an UNFAIR ADVANTAGE over other corporations. Again, WE THE PROBLEM. When one corporation has an advantage -- such as some government subsidy or ruling -- it will eventually be able to out-compete, buy-up and/or destroy all of the other corporations in the area. When this happens, this one corporation calls all the shots. If it wants workers to work 15-hour days, the workers will work 15-hour days. If it wants to pay a worker $40 per week, it pays that worker $40 per week. If that corporation wants to force children into slave labor, it will force children into slave labor. All this happens because A MONOPOLY GIVES WORKERS NO OTHER PLACE TO GO.
All those workers in turn-of-the-century America -- think GANGS OF NEW YORK -- had no other place to go. They thus HAD to work for the government-spawned, corporate monopolies in their area. They didn't even have the money to relocate. Thus, they were forced to unionize and "fight fire with fire." A monopoly fighting a monopoly. We still have 28 states doing this with abandon -- here in the land of freedom and opportunity.
Unfortunately, when a group of people in a union or a corporation become successful, their greed usually takes over. In 1868 Sir Arthur Helps put it euphemistically this way: "Rien ne réussit comme le succès" -- meaning success breeds further success. This adage is more accurately expressed as: "Greed breeds further greed." So, if one can acknowledge that this may be a primary human weakness, one must also acknowledge that WE THE PEOPLE are indeed WE THE PROBLEM.
Our greedy, psychopathic, hedonistic impulses emerge not only in the corporate world, but in the world of unions and guilds. This fact of human nature -- unacknowledged by pundits and politicians in the media as well -- is one of the things that makes the Democratic and Republican parties so pathetic. The Democrats are the champions for the greedy, psychopathic, hedonistic unions and their poor workers and the Republicans are the champions for the greedy, psychopathic, hedonistic corporations and their rich owner/employers. But rather than discuss the psychological infrastructure of human nature that forces us to pit corporations against unions; rich against poor; employers against employees and 1-percenters against 99-percenters -- in short Republicans against Democrats -- our irresponsible media, entrenched political parties and term-challenged congressmen exploit this human deficiency in their quest for political power and unjust enrichment. This is plutocracy, oligarchy, corporate fascism, cultural Marxism, crony capitalism, mercantilism, globalization and tyranny in full-bloom. And unions, governments and corporations, by their ignorant and immature actions, are the enablers.
It does not have to be this way. The problem is, the solution cannot, and will not come at the level of the problem.
THIS IS A MAJOR REASON A THIRD POLITICAL PARTY IS NECESSARY - THE DEMS AND GOP ARE LOCKED INTO A DESTRUCTIVE CONTEST THAT'S DRAGGING THE NATION TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA.
THE DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS ARE AT THE LEVEL OF THE PROBLEM, NOT THE LEVEL OF THE SOLUTION.(4)
So the next time someone advises you: "Oh, don't vote for that third party candidate, he will only be a "spoiler," what you are really hearing is: "Don't touch the microphone." It's the same mentality. The mentality that declares "free speech zones," "right to work states," "gun free zones," "there should be a law" and "he is a spoiler" is the same mentality that doesn't understand much about freedom, the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights. These people should not only be pitied, but educated, rehabilitated, voted out of office and, yes, jailed when their ignorance or stupidity causes too much harm to WE THE PEOPLE who DO get it.
Touch a microphone.
(1) The right to free speech means that NO speech an be abridged. This means we have the right to so-called HATE speech and yes we even have the right to scream "fire" in a crowded movie theater. If, however, as a result of screaming "fire" when there is none, we also have the right to sue the screamer for any injury or accident occurred as a direct result of the false alarm -- BUT we do NOT have the right to abridge the speech of the screamer.
(2) Unfortunately if you are seeking work in Hollywood and you attempt to "Taft-Hartley" a union or studio, often times "you will never work in this town again, son."
(3) Only 22 states are right-to-work states as follows: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming. California and New York, are of course NOT right-to-work states because this is where most of the motion picture industry and mass media are holed up. This needs to be changed, because these two states are breeding grounds of Cultural Marxism. See http://www.CulturalMarxism.org
(4) Check out my latest movie, "SPOILER - How a Third Political Party Could Win" available at http://www.MoviePubs.Net/singles
Originated: 08 January 2012
Revised & Supplemented: 10 January 2012
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