Well Mike, that was alot of sweeping statements you made there about all kinds of individuals.
First, I'd like to say that I don't identify myself as a liberal, and I think the entire left-right political diagram is useless since you got authoritarian bastards on either end that want to control people's lives and portrays what we have as the happy medium. Not very useful at all. I probably have more in common politically with the Ohio Unorganized Militia than I do with the Columbus branch of the Revolutionary Communist Brigade. Still... both groups violence is cause enough for my concern.
Well let see, you got Valley Girls, Surfer Dudes and Mansonites in your sterotypes. Let me guess that punks, hippies, yo boys, rednecks, skin heads, and joe&jane college are also a bunch of slackers. And everyone knows Yuppies don't do any work... they get other people to do that for them. The best part about being a capitalist is that you are paid in interest and profit... thats money that comes from owning... not from working! It seems hardly a fair arguement for those of us who are doing the work to want to get a little bit of that profit back, to be criticized for not working enough! "Work a little harder and you'll have a little more, that I'll steal from as well."
People might not fit so easily into your well designed definitions. Personally, I've been known to wear eye-liner on occassion and go out clubbing to the likes of KMFDM, Einsturzende Neubauten, Bahaus, etc... and even dance to Marliyn Manson. All this without Mommie and Daddies money (not that they ever had any to give). I'm paying my own way through college while I work... I've done fast food, telemarketing, gardening, and now computer programming. I dump alot of my time that I don't spend with friends and family in to unions.
Unions are alot of work. Hell, if you wanted to avoid work a union is the last thing you want. It wouldn't be half as difficult if you didn't have the boss fighting you every step of the way, but then thats what bosses do. The union threatens to take decision making power away from the hands of the bosses (A pyramid of individuals) and move it to a democratic footing. It also threatens to redistribute wealth from concentrations at the top, to being evenly spread among the workers.
If you believe that people work harder if it is in their self interest, then by all means lets get rid of simply paying workers wages and instead supplement wages with a share of the business. Profit sharing is practiced by many successful companies and is usually thought of as a great incentive to retain comptent workers and get them to work harder. However, hourly wage (particularly if its at minimum wage) ensures that you'll only work as hard as you need to just to get by and get your hourly wage.
A good example of why wage would hurt both the worker and the business relates to closing. X amount of time needs to be spent cleaning the restraunt even if you've had very little business that day, simply to keep the place up to health code. The business interest is paying out as little as possible in payroll, so if business is slow they send workers home. Fine. The worker, however even if they'd rather be home doing whatever, needs to be at work the entire time to receive payment. They can't work real hard, real fast, get all the work done and go home because its not in their economic interest to do so. You loose money by getting done early.
However, if the business were a co-operative one the workers interest in not having to waste alot of time doing nothing and the businesses of getting the needed work done would coincide. The quality of work is affected by the self interest a worker has in that work!
This is a bit more visible in say restraunts with wait staff. The waiters tips are related to how well they serve their table (and the generosity of their client). Kitchen staff, however, is just on wage and react accordingly. In many fast food restraunts tipping is not allowed, no?
I might also point out that sometimes waitstaff decide to pool their tips (in some places its illegal, and they do it anyway. My mother used to). The idea here is that all the wait staff pool their tips at the end of the night so that noone is going to have a bad night and someone else an amazing one... but everyone can expect to bring home a certain amount regularly. This tends to avoid squabbling over tables, and gets customers better service since all the wait staff benefit from all the tips. Tip pulling isn't for everyone... but lots of people see it as a good idea.
Where wages are set by the boss, there is little customer input directly into how much the worker should be paid. At best, a customer might complain of particularly poor service and have someone fired.
Unions can (I said, can... not must) move businesses in the direction of co-operation. US vs. THEM when the bosses stop making it US vs. THEM and instead try and settle things democractically instead of as lords of their corporate fuedal states and the revolting waged serf. For those of you who are humor impaired, I don't think we are still in the Middle Ages... merely that the social relationship is similar... luckily we aren't bound to the land (but then we couldn't loose our job, could we?)