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The Shadow of the Inflatable Rat

graphics artists guildI'm of the minority opinion that union membership should be mandatory for all Americans as, besides benefitting the middle class, it would also help control the problem of illegal workers in this country. After all, no shop steward worth his salt would allow someone on the floor who wasn't paying his dues. Thus it'd be more economical and effective than relying on the feds to police everyone.

I've been asked to join a union once in my life. It was when I worked as a journeyman machinist in a medium-sized shop and the boss's son, of all people, decided he wanted to unionize the crew. I ultimately didn't join because (A) He was a creepy little twerp and (B) I enjoyed my work and was making more money than I knew what to do with.

That's why, in a genius move, I eventually left the machine shop to pursue my dream of becoming a freelance artist. What I learned pretty quickly was that a vast horde of equally-hungry commercial illustrators were fighting over the same assignments, oftentimes undercutting one another until we were all receiving relative pittances. The only protection we had against such folly was the Pricing and Ethical Guidlines Handbook printed by the Graphic Artists Guild. It was not unlike the Bible in that it promised more than it could ever deliver.

Ultimately the problem became moot as Photoshop came along and pretty much killed the commercial illustration market. Most of my amazingly talented colleagues went into other fields, but I'm still here.

A union of one.

Note: There exists a freelancer's union, freelancersunion.org, that offers excellent benefits if you live in certain northern states. But I'm in Texas. I might as well be in Latvia.


end rant

Today's Chart of the Day: Demographics of Romney and Obama Voters

romney obama voter demographic s chart

Larger version of chart can be found here.

(To spare you right-wing nincompoopery all comments are moderated.)
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Today's Google Chow.

She: I hear the hog processors reap massive profits by replacing union workers with cheap immigrant labor and doubling line speeds at the processing plants. Seems like the only way they could make more money is by convincing the pigs to slaughter themselves.

He: Hey, if the GOP could convince 60 million people to vote for Romney, anything's possible.

Overturn Citizens United