Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Maybe the answer should be to fight for better conditions for nurses, then, rather than worse conditions for train drivers? Or do you accept the rights assertions that 'we must all work longer hours and more years' to 'save the system from bankrupcy'. Is the need for more, greater, better profits, in a more greater better liberalised reformed 'economy' to the liking of the financial 'services' 'industry' really inevitable and inarguable? Are you a supporter of the race to the bottom? Shall we go out to find the most disadvataged employment group and insist that everyone else accept those same conditions, because, after all, it's only fair that no one should benefit better than others. As long as those benefits can be seen as illegitimate workers privileges at the bottom of the pile, since under no circumstance should 'competitive' pay at the top be under similar public scrutiny?

(None of your biddniss what we pay 'em CEOs and traders and analysts and market players, or how they are taxed. After all, where would the money go to instead? Spoilt train drivers???)

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2007 at 06:15:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a complete strawman argument. The topic was not about tax breaks for super rich people, which do incense me, hence I did not talk about that.

I do think that a retirement at 50 for all, with bonuses aplenty during the working years, years during which you work something between 25 to 32 hours, is not workable barring huge levels of taxation, economic isolation, and a huge cut on production. Do you think otherwise? Would you care to explain to me what realistic system of taxation would make it possible?

Until you do, I'll assume that this system is not possible for all. Therefore, calling it comparatively generous is not exactly libertarian. Implying that I would be a brainwashed supporter of UMP is rather funny since it is opposition to UMP that made me get involved in politics...

And I'm all for improving life for nurses. And for a huge list of professions. Now, the thing is, giving EVERYONE a 10% increase is the same as doing nothing at all, because you have merely increased the quantity of money but not changed the quantity of goods...

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Nov 19th, 2007 at 07:35:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Train drivers are not paid through taxation, and SNCF is nowadays making a profit, so this system is economically workable, at least for them.

A lot of people, a bit less than half workers, are getting above median wage. It's pretty hard for everyone to be paid above median wage, thus people being paid above above median wage should not protest when their generous compensation is being cut... That's the gist of your argument. Deciding to be compensated in the form of an earlier retirement age (rather than higher wages, as most do) ought to be a possibility. SNCF workers are the one that accepted higher contributions from their wages to make their earlier retirement possible. Their early retirements are not financed through taxation, nor collective contributions.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2007 at 08:12:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a complete strawman argument.
And so was yours bringing up the nurses as an argument in favour of reducing compensations for train drivers. Look, I would be for taking an honest look at working hours, retirement details, etc. If I thought it would be an honest look. As in, we (the people) ought to have the option to consider productivity growth translating to shorter work-time commitments and, yes, along with that, fewer toys, and slower development of toys.

I see huge cuts of production as necessary for the 'west' to live within its means. And huge cuts in the externalisation of costs, in particular when those externalities are in effect off-shored to developing nations. Maybe we should not look to increase the quantity of goods, but rather the quantity of free time? Maybe all the noise about 'accelerated rates' of 'growth' being beneficial and good and necessary ought to be examined as well?

To what end are we pursuing 'growth'? I remain unconvinced the striving for the most 'dynamic' most 'innovative', most 'productive' 'economy' (or whatever are the buzzwords of today), when this seems to translate in a large part to an exploitative, resource heavy, pollution producing, worker abusing, greed promoting 'society'. And, no, I don't buy the idea that we need growth to have a healthy 'economy', and that this is an end in itself. The 'economy' is there in the service of the people, not the other way around. And, no, I don't think we need more job creation. (A benefit often pointed to as an argument for 'market' 'liberalisation' and 'reform'.) I think we need less time spent at work, and a more equal distribution of that work. Some amount of economic isolationism might be a good idea in the pursuit of the less work intensive society. I don't have a problem with high levels of taxation.

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2007 at 08:14:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A strawman argument is coming up with something that frightens but does not really exist.

So, you are saying that nurses don't really exist. Congratulations.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Nov 19th, 2007 at 11:33:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it is coming up with something irrelevant to the issue at hand. I.e. nurses' compensation against train driver privilege.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Tue Nov 20th, 2007 at 02:23:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Straw man - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.[1] To "set up a straw man" or "set up a straw man argument" is to create a position that is easy to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent. Often, the straw man is set up to deliberately overstate the opponent's position.[1] A straw man argument can be a successful rhetorical technique (that is, it may succeed in persuading people) but it is in fact a misleading fallacy, because the opponent's actual argument has not been refuted.

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by A swedish kind of death on Mon Nov 26th, 2007 at 07:27:56 AM EST
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