UNIONS AND CREATIVITY: IT'S NOT ABOUT THE ARTS, IT'S ABOUT THE MONEY, CONTROL OVER CONTENT, A PIECE OF THE GATEWAY PIE
Why would any creative person decide to affiliate with a union when unions are about seniority over merit, the status quo over innovation, and the advancement of a toxic socialist agenda using thuggery and coercion? The only reason that make sense is “victimhood.” That the so-called “creative” are not selling, publishing or exhibiting their works – so anything that might attract money and notice may be a welcome change. Of course, this subverts the idea of the public deciding what is “art” and what it is truly worth.
We have seen the union’s influence on radio and television and it is not good. The unions who represent both “talent” and craft labor have done nothing to halt the destruction of a failing business model or insure work for their membership. What they have done is overpriced themselves and forced certain productions “offshore” so as to meet an acceptable budget. Not to mention the corruption at the “local” level where certain members with “connections” seem to always be working where everybody else is a hit or miss proposition.
Considering that the barrier to entry in producing quality content has been lowered by technology – software which permits audio and video editing on a cheap computer rather than in a studio has opened up an expanding arena for creative types at an acceptable costs. One need only look at YouTube to see musicians and others being made – all without union affiliation or professional connections. It is not surprising that the unions would look at this rich pool of potential talent and try to insert themselves into the process in return for more members, more dues and more control over content creators.
The liberal lament …
Can Unions Save the Arts and Other 'Creative' Professions? -- Today, musicians work without record labels, journalists work as freelancers and book publishing is collapsing. Unions might take some risk and sting out of the creative destruction.
They’re just for hard hats. They peaked around the time Elvis was getting big. They killed Detroit. They’ve got nothing to do with you or me. They’re a special interest – and they hate our freedom.
Just look …
That’s the kind of noise you pick up in 21st century America – in politics and popular culture alike – when you tune your station to the issue of trade unions. Union membership, and ensuing muscle, have been in steep decline in both the public and private sectors. Just look at Wisconsin’s “right to work” push, the anti-teachers union “reform” movement, corporate union-busting, P.R. “messaging” firms hired by management to smear striking workers, hostility from the Republican right and indifference from a Democratic Party that’s reoriented itself around professionals and Silicon Valley.
Yes, by all means, look at what unions have done to America. Corrupt teacher’s unions with their progressive education nonsense have failed to educate our children; producing decades of functional illiterates. Corrupt trade unions have killed entire industries (steel, automotive, clothing) by their ever-increasing wage, benefits and pensions demands; pushing jobs offshore in order to produce profits. Corrupt public employee unions institutionalizing political corruption as they control the democrat party and force representatives of “We the People” to represent unions at the bargaining table rather than their constituents. Yes, look what unions have done.
This is a lie …
Also in decline: America’s creative class — artists, writers, musicians, architects, those part of the media, the fine arts, publishing, TV and other fields — faced with an unstable landscape marked by technological shifts, a corporate culture of downsizing, and high unemployment.
America’s creative class is not in decline – it has been richly empowered by technology where the barriers to entry no longer require massive investments in studio and production equipment. If there is anything wonky about costs, it is the massive cost of union labor to mount major stage shows and events. One need only look at the craziness of employing union labor at a trade show where moving an extension cord can cost $200. What is in decline is the ability to perform at union-controlled venues or appear on union-controlled media outlets.
This is lie …
So is it time for artists to strap on a hard hat? Maybe unions or artists’ guilds can serve and protect an embattled creative class. With musicians typically operating without record labels, journalists increasingly working as freelancers as newspapers shed staff, and book publishing beginning what looks like a period of compression, unions might take some of the risk and sting out of our current state of creative destruction.
History has shown that unions cannot stop or impede “creative destruction” in industries. What they do is to impose onerous work rules that pay autoworkers to sit around a break-room playing cards, add an extra observer to a railroad engine cab – all driving costs skyward, lowering productivity and insuring the loss of competitively. Insuring the destruction of an industry while slightly delaying the inevitable. The truth is that unions do not get creative people jobs like they do day laborers or craftsmen sitting around a union hiring hall. Ask any of the creative who work in the print or broadcast media if the union provided their employment opportunity – or simply controlled how much they earned and how much they needed to pay to join the union and pay monthly dues.
To their partisans, of course, unions don’t just help the workers at a few companies; they can have a transformational effect on society as a whole. Supporters credit them with the 40-hour work week, the weekend, fair wages, safe working conditions, overtime pay – much of the edifice that build the American middle class in the mid-20th-century. Unions often set wage standards across a field, even for people who don’t belong to them; uncounted artists, writers and musicians can pursue their craft because their spouses have union-protected jobs, like public school teachers.
Yes, unions have had a transformative effect on America. They are destroying it from within with their nonsensical rules that reward seniority over merit, the status quo over innovation, the corruption of politicians and the organized crime and thuggery that is used to enforce their will. Creative people are fleeing venues with the increasing taxation required to support union-related wages, benefits and pensions. Where certain classes of people no longer need to be competent to have a lifetime job and healthcare.
Bottom line …
It is all about money and power – which the unions need to coerce from others without offering any real benefits other than attempting to control the flow of new creative people into an expanding media marketplace of non-traditional studios, print and broadcast entities. They want you to be employed by a union shop and earning money before you can join ask the Screen Actors Guild how many hoops you need to jump through before you can pay your estimated $3000 initiation fee, ongoing monthly dues and participate in their pension and medical benefit plans. And the ongoing work requirement to maintain that coverage.
Unions are about restricting creativity and controlling the artisans … not about expanding creativity and improving the world. Unions cannot control the creative destruction of failing business models and only contribute to the acceleration of the failure rate.
Reference links …
You may read more of this balderdash and bullpucky at Can Unions Save the Arts and Other 'Creative' Professions? | Alternet
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“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS