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Blogger Unions
Posted by: Jon Henke on Monday, August 06, 2007

I don't get this...
In a move that might make some people scratch their heads, a loosely formed coalition of left-leaning bloggers are trying to band together to form a labor union they hope will help them receive health insurance, conduct collective bargaining or even set professional standards.
Collectively bargain with and receive health insurance from who? Who would they go on strike against? To whom does the blogger “shop steward” talk? What constitutes "management" for an independent blogger?

I really don't understand how that is supposed to work.
 
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What constitutes "management" for an independent blogger?
That would be the people from whom they get their talking points.

So Pelosi, Murtha, and Reid.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Your point is well taken, BUT what else are you going to call it, a "guild?" By banding together as a "union" these bloggers can pool resources to procure group health insurance and to pool resources to combat legal actions; to agree on standards of conduct and the like. This is the beginning of "professionalism" in any group.

Am I one of them, no...do I think that it’s a great idea no, in that there are already groups that can provide legal advice or counsel, for ALL bloggers, and that a group insurance policy for all blggers would work better than for a smaller group, but certainly banding together has some advantages

Bottom-line: a not bad idea, just a sub-optimal name.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I hope all liberal bloggers hold a strike against google, wordpress, typekey, or whatever service provider they are hosted on. LOLz

I hope they hold fast and refuse to blog ever again until those companies begin to pay them salaries and provide health care benefits. ROFLMAO, 733t Haxxorz unite!
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: http://www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com
Ok, Joe, but who will they engage in "collective bargaining" with?
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
All of this still won’t get them those power strips in Chicago, without a payoff.

Union brotherhood only goes so far.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
haha makes me laugh. The moment you become professional, is the moment you lose your underground common man appeal.

Just goes to show how much power they believe they have, and how they plan to use that power not to put out their message, but to make a buck.
 
Written By: Josh b
URL: http://
Ok, Joe, but who will they engage in "collective bargaining" with?
With whomever they please or deem necessary...let’s say that the NYT or LAT or AP want to use their work(s), they could strike a deal, like the UAW does that covers ALL of their group. Certain prices to be set, editorial controls allowed and the like. "Collective bargaining" is just that, bargaining as a group...it isn’t always about labour and management, it just has that connotation. Certainly a group of capable, bloggers with a large readership and strong content would be better able to strike a deal with a large organization than any single blogger, e.g. Oliver Willis or Jane Hamsher.

Bottom-line: Jane and Oliver might get a better deal from the NYT if they are representing ALL Progressive bloggers than if they simply tried to strike a deal with the NYT for themselves alone. "Collective bargaining" isn’t always striking against Da Man.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Ok, Joe, but who will they engage in "collective bargaining" with?
The Democratic Party
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Ok, Joe, but who will they engage in "collective bargaining" with?
The Democratic Party
To hear THEM tell it, THEY are management at the Democrat Party, so I assume that the Party needs an agreement with them, not the other way around...
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Joe, I think a better name than "union" would be "cooperative" or "co-op". When I want a great deal on fabric or yarn, I turn to my fabric and yarn buying co-op. If they want a great deal on health insurance (presumably while they’re waiting for it to be nationalized), they can form a co-operative and see if they can save money buying it as a group. Maybe they could negotiate a better deal with Hosting Matters or something. (Preferably one that involves their sites going down once every few months, as just retribution for the stupidity of trying to organize such a feckless "union".)

Other than exercising that sort of group buying power, though, I really don’t see how they would be in a position to bargain with anyone they weren’t buying stuff from.
 
Written By: Wacky Hermit
URL: http://organicbabyfarm.blogspot.com
Why is this any different than the ability to get insurance via AAA? After all, the only real "connecting force" is their common blogging. Perhaps the ABA or the ATPA (typepad assoc). Whatever. Plenty of groups do it, I don’t see the issue. Of course, if they worked for a living, they might not need it. But I think the truly amusing piece of this is their blatant denial of their desires for Universal Healthcare. After all, if they thought it was feasible or desirable, they wouldn’t need a union to negotiate their private insurance, now would they?
 
Written By: ChipVA
URL: http://
Joe, I think a better name than "union" would be "cooperative" or "co-op".
And I’m thinking perhaps "association" would cover it better.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Association/Co-Op/Union it’s all pretty much the same to me...I’m just commenting on the "Union" label. I would agree that Association would be a better term or since they are Progressives, a Co-op.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Association/Co-Op/Union it’s all pretty much the same to me...
Actually, they’re all legally distinct. Unions are a whole special class unto themselves that afford the members a lot of statutory rights vis-a-vis an employer. Which is, of course, what makes this whole idea rather puzzling.

This was my favorite line from the article:
"It would raise the professionalism," said Leslie Robinson, a writer at ColoradoConfidential.com. "Maybe we could get more jobs, bona fide jobs."
’Cuz, if there’s one thing that unions do, it’s create jobs. [/eyeroll]
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
They will engage in collective bargaining with the government. Because they want the government to pay them to blog. Seriously.
 
Written By: Will Franklin
URL: http://www.WILLisms.com
They will engage in collective bargaining with the government. Because they want the government to pay them to blog. Seriously.
Really? That’s what they’re on about? What makes them think the government will do so [he asked, fully dreading the answer]?
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
They will engage in collective bargaining with the government. Because they want the government to pay them to blog. Seriously.
Blogger welfare? Has it come to that? Because for most who want that it would certainly be welfare as no one else would pay to read their blog.

Given who is talking about it though, it makes perfect sense.

So do they get a free laptop too?

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Or they could call it what I think it actually would be - a blogging corporation (ala Pajamas).

But they couldn’t do that. No... Cause corporations are EEEvvvviiiill. Unions, however, are all that’s right and good in the world.
 
Written By: Jody
URL: http://
I have made the point Will makes elsewhere, and will answer MichaelW’s question the way I did there.

Look at the Democratic presidential candidates pandering to YearlyKos.
How far a step from there to pandering by giving them money, special legal privileges, or whatever, in order to gain their loyalty in opinion writing and their votes and, of course, their contributions?
How far a step from there to extending further benefits, privileges and payments?
Eventually, how far a step to granting the union the sole right to blog, so that non-union members cannot legally blog in the US (in order to "uphold reasonable standards of discourse in this important area of public interest" or whatever)?

And of course, the Kossaks would control who can be a member of the union. In other words, it is rent-seeking and maybe later an attempt at opinion control.

I starting out thinking it was laughable, but that didn’t last long.
 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
Really? That’s what they’re on about? What makes them think the government will do so [he asked, fully dreading the answer]?
Sit down so you don’t fall down. If the Democrats win control of Congress and the Presidency in ’08 you can be sure they will pass legislation designed to benefit their left wing friends. The Netroots will demand a payoff for their support and get it.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://faroutfishfiles.blogspot.com/
I understand that the lefty bloggers may seek such rent, but how will the politicians possibly deliver? Becoming a blogger is easy enough already, and if the government is going to pay for people to blog, why would anybody NOT blog? And wouldn’t the government run into Constitutional problems if it tried to limit the payments to only certain types of bloggers?

IOW, I see the potential rent-seeking behavior, but I just don’t see how it gets accomplished without obviously and blatantly running against well-established Constitutional law.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
MichaelW,

They only pay the union bloggers, and of course, the Kossaks would control who could be a union blogger. It’s that easy.

And if you think that well-established constitutional law gets in the way of the right interpretation, may I point you to McCain-Feingold’s restrictions on free political speech?
 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
The collective bargaining bit is a joke, and a rather corny one at that, for the reasons others have already identified. As for group insurance, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more than a handful of states that allow group insurance rates for bona fide labor unions, but NOT for just any old loosy-goosy association of any kind, particularly one created for the specific purpose of obtaining group insurance. I’m not sure they can get around these restrictions simply by calling themselves what they’re obviously not, but I can’t fault them for trying.
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/

 
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