Originally Posted by Bassmankr
Old thread but the most disturbing thing about it is all the union bashing. Globalization means a race to the lowest wage out there with the film/music Producers pocketing more money and the actual content creators and artists making less money. Across the board it's the same with all industries as the actual workers are making less with the few who control them making huge sums of money. Only with unions is there some balance in this equation. If you start looking at the forest instead of the trees you see that in countries without a strong union presence you have a few rich, a very small limited middle class, and the largest sector of the population is poor. That is what you are racing twords when you bash unions.
While some don't understand the values of job/wage protections you only have to look at Germany as a recent example. Germany smartly was VERY protective of their higher paying middle class jobs, many of them union jobs. Because of that they weathered the world financial storm clearly better then all the others around them and now they are saving Europe's ass from completely going down the drain. If you live in Europe you better realize unions were a large reason you have not had a total colapse of your economies. As for the US with it's union bashing, one only has to look at states that have little union presence to see a MUCH SMALLER middle class and lower wages. It's really plain as day when you look at the forest. Unless you are a millionare then unions are clearly in your own best interest regardless of your membership in one or not. If you live in an area with a strong union presence, it's a fact that non-union wages are higher as is the standard of living. If you live in a country with strong unions you have a larger middle class than lower class.
Why people bash something against their own best interests clearly stupifies me. I guess many are too lazy to get past the constant propaganda paid for by the few profiting from workers not banding together. It's not like it's hard to look at how the world works. Given that 1/3rd of the world's population lives on less than $2 a day (1/6th of the world's population lives on less than $1.25 a day), this is what you are racing twords. There will allways be a cheaper worker or a cheaper place to move production to. It's whether we allow it to happen or not is the question.
On the specific issue of composers, if you simply banded together whether you formed a union or not and started dictating your terms so you could make a reasonable middle class income from your work, then globalization would not matter as much. The buyers of content are clearly smarter than you with a divide and conquer game plan to profit from your work. Maybe it's time to wise up and put a larger share in your pocket.
As for those doing non-union work and signing NDA's with companies that are union signatories, you are part of an illegal practice called "running dual shops". The NDA is because they don't want the union(s) to get wind of it. Thanks for taking us another step lower on the race to the bottom. There is really no point in complaining about your personal woes when you contribute to the larger problem of letting the few get away with it.
It's ONLY through banding together can the workers who make the actual product pocket a reasonable percentage of the profits from it. For those with an opposing opinion, how's globablization and an individual presence working for you? I'd wager if you are one of the few product buyers then pretty good and if you are a one of the many product creators pretty bad.
Some interesting thoughts there....
As for the unions, I'll gladly and happily support them (and yes, I AM an AFM member of long standing) as soon as they pull their heads out of their collective asses. Until then, they do me more harm than good. Ever since I've been a member (started when I was a teenager) they have been completely myopic, f'd up and stupid, slowly tanking an industry that was once strong and vibrant. They have traditionally been holding onto the past, with zero vision for change or the future. I cannot run my business that way, no other US businessmen run their businesses that way, how can the musicians union run theirs in that fashion? Well, ther reality is they can't. Their mindset has proven what will happen if you bury your head in the sand -- complete decimation of a trade ("professional" musicians). I'm speaking of big cities like LA/NY, etc..
As for a composers "co-op", union or guild, it's a wonderful idea. But it will never happen. For one major reason. There are no legitimate pathways to enter the field anymore. That leaves only ONE option for new up and comers - working for free or next to nothing and undercutting anyone and everyone around you. The proverbial race to the bottom. Inevitable because we all know this is a glamour profession, and everyone wants to do it. The fact that so many want to do it, the fact that budgets are falling exponentially, the fact that there is no longer any financial support to brace the industry, and the fact that there is no mentorship program or "way in" for beginners overall decimates legitimate long term professionals. Any way you look at it, it's pretty damn ugly.
Solutions? I wish there were some. I think a start is all legitimate western governments clamping down on the internet and protecting intellectual properties. That's a start. After that, who knows. It's waaaay above my pay grade. But will Google et al let that happen? Doubtful.
Not a pretty picture I'm afraid, and the problems and solutions go WAY beyond any individual business and how we/they run said business.