It’s always a bit amusing to see self-described #BernieBro Jason Scott, a trust fund baby, railing against the capitalism which made him one. He seems to think that Senator Bernie Sanders’ (S-VT) version of socialism will result in us all being well off, when every actual example results in most people — meaning: the people without guns — being made poorer.
Senator Sanders refers to himself as a ‘democratic socialist,’ though exactly what he means by that is unclear. Common Dreams claims that Mr Sanders isn’t trying to transform the United States into Cuba or Venezuela — despite Mr Sanders’ idiotic praise of Fidel Castro just the other day¹ — but is simply “talking about extending social guarantees like those offered in other advanced countries, such as Denmark and Sweden.”
Well, we have a sort of left wing organization here in the United States, called Oberlin College. Le*gal In*sur*rection had the best coverage of the lawsuit against social justice warrior infested Oberlin College, though Wikipedia described it more briefly:
On Wednesday, November 9, 2016 an underage African-American Oberlin College student attempted to purchase a bottle of wine using a fake identification card. The store clerk, Allyn D. Gibson, a son and grandson of the owners, rejected the fake ID. Gibson also claims to have noticed that the student was concealing two other bottles of wine inside his jacket. According to a police report, Gibson told the student he was contacting the police, and when Gibson pulled out his phone to take a photo of the student, the student slapped it away, striking Gibson’s face. The student ran out of the store. Gibson followed and tackled him in the street. Witnesses reported that Gibson put the student in a chokehold, though this is denied by the Oberlin Police Department. Two other students, friends of the shoplifter, joined the scuffle. When the police arrived, they witnessed Gibson lying on the ground with the three students punching and kicking him. Eyewitnesses claimed that the other two students involved in the altercation were restraining Gibson to prevent him from harming the student. The police report stated that Gibson sustained a swollen lip, several cuts, and other minor injuries. The police arrested the students, charging all three with assault and the shoplifter with robbery as well. In August 2017, the three students pleaded guilty, stating that they believed Gibson’s actions were justified and were not racially motivated, in return for a sentence with restitution but no jail time.
Unfortunately, the Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) at Oberlin wouldn’t let a simple case of a foiled shoplifting go, instead blaming the bakery, saying:
Gibson bakery’s archaic chase-and-detain policy regarding suspected shoplifters was the catalyst for the protests… The guilt or innocence of the students is irrelevant to both the root cause of the protests and this litigation.
The college broke off its business relationship with Gibson, but met with the Gibsons and stated that the college would “consider reinstating the business relationship if the bakery agreed to not bring criminal charges against first-time shoplifters.” Of course, if charges are not brought against first-time shoplifters, then every shoplifter is a first-timer, because he will not have a record! Oberlin wanted local businesses to contact the college rather than police when students were apprehended shoplifting, which means less than a slap on the wrist.
Oberlin officials made statements which resulted in a lawsuit, and a multi-million dollar verdict against Oberlin.
Well, Oberlin is appealing, but its leftist economics are not working.
Will woke students, faculty and staff react to this union-busting with the same outrage and aggressiveness as was directed at Gibson’s Bakery for having the temerity to stop a student from shoplifting?
Posted by William A. Jacobson | Tuesday, February 18, 2020 | 5:01 pm
Oberlin College has been under financial stress for a number of years, in part the result of problems filling incoming classes. for the tuition-dependent school. There have been cutbacks in many areas of the campus, including faculty.
The financial impact of the Gibson’s Bakery loss is not yet clear. It will be interesting to see if the negative publicity impacts the incoming class, and how much in grant money needs to be spent to maintain quality and quantity. But clearly Oberlin College has suffered a public relations body blow from the case.
The seriousness of the situation is further revealed in a campus announcement that Oberlin College will seek to replace UAW union workers in the dining hall and custodial services with outsourced contractors.
I won’t quote the entire article, but there was one line in College President Carmen Twillie Amber’s announcement letter which stands out:
It is our hope that many employees will be given the opportunity to interview for jobs with the newly selected vendors. It is possible that some affected employees may choose retirement because of their eligibility.
Talk about rolling on the floor laughing my butt off! A left-wing college seeks to address its ‘unsustainable structural deficit’ by firing its unionized blue collar workers, but hopes that they will stay on the job by working for much lower wages and fewer, if any, benefits, paid by an independent contractor, to save $2 million per year. The quick and dirty math says that getting rid of the 108 workers saves the college $16,666 per worker in wages and benefits, assuming a 10% profit margin for the vendor(s). Further assuming that benefits equaled 1/3 of total compensation, that means a wage reduction of roughly $12,530 per year, or $6.02 per hour, assuming full time employees with no overtime.²
And the SJWs are coming full circle, as Susan L. Phillips, Class of 1976, is a former International Vice President of the Food and Commercial Workers Union and is a current labor consultant, who established the Social Justice Internship Fund, has announced that she is suspending the scholarship fund for this coming summer, and will permanently end it if the College succeeds in “busting UAW Local 2192.”
I fully understand the need to cut expenses to ensure Oberlin’s long-term survival. But targeting members of the union that has represented Oberlin’s service workers for two-and-a-half decades is callous, short-sighted, and of questionable benefit….
The College administration claimed that Oberlin’s support staffs’ wages are far higher than comparable positions in the area. This statement overlooks the value of the cooperative history of labor relations that has existed between the UAW and Oberlin since the 1990s. Outsourcing these jobs not only would devastate the lives and futures of those laid off but also would undermine Lorain County’s economy by creating throw-away jobs with substandard pay. Even a single person can’t live comfortably on the $9–13 per-hour rate subcontractors typically pay for custodial and foodservice employment — much less support a family.
The so-called “shared sacrifice” is not being evenly felt across the board. Even if top-salaried employees, including professors, have taken wage freezes and benefit reductions, they start at a much higher level and the economic squeeze is likely felt minimally by those who do keep their jobs, if at all. Living in a small town like Oberlin is more than affordable for people who have six-figure salaries. . . . Workers should never be considered expendable.
It’s pretty simple: even with the best of liberal intentions, in a college known for its leftist attitudes, their form of socialism has led not to comfort but to poverty for their unionized workers.
In the end, regardless of whatever Senator Sanders means by his ‘democratic socialism,’ it sure doesn’t work for the blue collar workers at Oberlin. It doesn’t matter how good or liberal or noble the intentions of the left, economics has a nasty way of intervening. Market forces, which Adam Smith defined as the ‘invisible hand,’ have underpriced the union workforce of Oberlin College, and all of the noble intentions of the SJWs have not changed that.
‘Democratic socialism’ does not and cannot exist. In the end, socialism requires force, because there will always be those who will not comply, who will not be willing to share the fruits of their labor with those who have not earned it. Mr Sanders, along with the rest of the Democratic cavalcade of candidates, have all promised to force us out of fossil fuels, in our vehicles, as now-departed candidate Tom Steyer put it most explicitly but the others have all said, has promised to force us onto some cockamamie ‘Medicare For All’ plan,³ and plan truly idiotic social changes to go along with the most leftist extreme elements in our society.
Will the #BernieBros wax wroth if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the Democratic presidential nomination, perhaps even enough to, if not vote for President Trump simply not show up to vote at all? It’s too early to tell, of course, but it should be a very interesting election day!
¹ – Mr Sanders “told CBS that, ‘when Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it.'” Well, when Adolf Hitler came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive public works project, which lifted Germany out of the Depression. Is that a bad thing? Even though Adolf Hitler did it?
² – Were I a vendor for these replacement services, I would hire exactly zero of the laid off Oberlin employees. Sending them back, to do the same jobs, for $6.00 a hour less, plus greatly reduced, if any, benefits, is the kind of thing which can create a very disgruntled worker, a far-less productive employee, the kind far more likely to vandalize the College or even ‘go postal.’
³ – It’s pretty much a rule: anyone who supports Medicare For All has never actually been on Medicare!
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