Thursday, February 17, 2011
...union-style. More here, here, and here.
And especially here.
There are two points to remember about public employee unions.
First, meritocracy and unionization are logically and institutionally just as incompatible in the public sector as in the private sector. The two cannot coexist in the same institution. Not possible.
Second, the arrangements between public employee unions and their employing governments is rarely adversarial or involves "bargaining" of any sort, collective or otherwise. It is conspiratorial.
Release the hounds.
As a long time liberal and union member, I have to protest the Republican efforts to strip public employees of the rights they have earned through collective bargaining.
I, and my fellow union members, are prepared to beat the sh*t out the tax payers who are stuck with social security and medicare and begrudge us our superior pensions and benefits.
We warn you, don't f*ck with us unless you are prepared to have your cars burned, your children threatened and public services strangled.
Wisconsin has voted for idiot "progressives" for years. Now the hens have come home to roost. I really don't feel sorry for them. When will people ever learn, your vote does matter. Voting stupidly will eventually bite you in the butt. Too bad Wisconsin's children have to endure the mistakes of their easily fooled parents.
Tsk, tsk. Eliminationist rhetoric and terrorist threats. He must be a Palin supporter.
"It is conspiratorial." Quite right. The government negotiators are probably in a union, too. They have no dog in the fight. They money isn't going to come out of their pockets. It's a charade. Unions give tens of millions to Democrats to keep the gravy flowing.
"The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service," President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote in 1937 to the head of the National Federation of Federal Employees. In the private sector, organized employees and the employer meet across the bargaining table as (theoretical) equals. But in the public sector, said FDR, "the employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress." Allowing public-employee unions to engage in collective bargaining would mean opening the door to the manipulation of government policy by a privileged private interest.
Well said, "conspiratorial".
Those high speed rails games, the tunnel thing for NJ - NY, etc., all are examples of Democratic Partisans using the taxpayer to fund UNION labor - which in returns funds them.
We have suffered so much with this corrupt machine known as the Democratic Party. It is sickening to see how spoiled and selfish many Unions have become - all enabled by Democrats.
The GM fiasco is yet another reminder. Have they no clue? Someday, if the adults do not return sanity to the folly, the game will be over - bankrupt and no one - no Union type will find themselves with any benefits of any kind.
Tigerhawk, you have distilled the problems with public sector unions down to their essentials, I think. A little historical reminder that public sector unions do not have a particularly long or honorable place in America's fabric:
FDR and even some union leaders of his era were opposed to public unions. And Democrats were not always automatically on the side of the unions. In 1960, Robert F. Kennedy called the corrupt Teamster's union The Enemy Within.
In January, 1962, his brother signed an executive order allowing federal workers to organize into unions. It was a political decision designed to help the Democratic Party. And this decision was not subjected to the legislative process. If the public sector unions in Wisconsin can call their governor a dictator, can we call this executive order "dictatorial"?
Unionization of federal workers led to other public sector unions. "They broke the public's bank. More than that, they entrenched a system of taking money from members' dues and spending it on political campaigns. Over time, this transformed the Democratic Party into a public-sector dependency."
Obama's Organizing for America is helping to organize the menacing protests in Wisconsin. Obama can't speak out against the violent eliminationist rhetoric without speaking out against his own political interests.
It would be an extraordinarily brave and principled action if the Presiden WERE to speak out against the hatefulness which is obviously on his own side. But I'm not counting on it.
Some of the first terrorist organizations in America were the unions. If you read 1890s and 1910-30s newspaper accounts, there were bombings, vandalism, destruction of private property, killings and assinations due to unions. In 1880, there were over 200 communist and socialist organizations in America and all of these, more than likely, advocated violence.
I live in Battle Creek which was once a manufacturing center par excellence. All sorts of foundries, metal fabrication, plus cereal manufacturing. Due to Unions, we have lost our manufacturing base. They have moved out of town. Hell, as four years ago, Kellog Corp. which is based here in Battle Creek, moved 2400 jobs and plant to Mexico!
If the private sector can't handle union demands---how does anybody think local, state or federal governments can handle union demands? Public sector unions demand a 2-3% hike in financial pay rates! After ten years that's 30% more money a government has to fork out. With a shrinking manufacturing basis, how can you support 30% rise in ten years? You can't!
The private sector can not support Union wages, union demands and union retirement or medical! There is NO more money! Thanks to Socialist Unions that have driven out businesses!
Unions delenda est!
As a long time conservative and proud union member, I think that unions are very well protected already by a strong civil service commission and the political pressures they can bring to bear on anyone who tries to put in place substandard pay or poor work conditions. If unions are so good, they should be freely chosen and joined, and there should be no laws forcing people to join one to work or for the state to negotiate with them for work to be done.
Conservative Teacher, I agree with some of your points. I understand some of the legitimate reasons unions come into being. But especially in the public sector, they often overplay their hands. They may also begin to protect the worst union members more than the best union members. I am most familiar with a case in which a union defended union members accused of threats and violence while marginalizing and castigating the union members who were victimized by their threats and violence - in a prison setting).
But the most publicized cases are those in which unions protect incompetent or otherwise useless teachers while ignoring the best interests of the colleagues who must work with the useless ones. I know one award-winning high school teacher who was shunned by the other teachers at his school BECAUSE he won an award. And if I remember correctly, the teacher who inspired the movie "Stand and Deliver" quit teaching because other teachers resented him. Unions tend to encourage this kind of mindset.
Under these conditions, unions lose the confidence that they "are so good, they should be freely chosen and joined." They turn to thuggish behavior because of the weakness of their moral positions. They start pressuring Democrats to outlaw secret ballots in union elections. They start threatening politicians in their homes. They start comparing governors to Hitler; etc.
I especially applaud Wisconsin's governor for staying with the idea that today's politicians should not be put in the position of negotiating the payment of tomorrow's pension benefits by tomorrow's taxpayers. Way too tempting politically.
Hmmm... I tried to follow up on Mystery Meat's FDR quote by posting a link to this article which includes similar background. I posted it once and I saw it appear, but then when I logged out, it all disappeared, so I am trying to post it again. I hope it doesn't appear twice later on.
You and all your right-wing media buddies could not be more wrong about the non-bargaining. This absurdity was completely invented. There is still a limited pot granted to government institutions, and as a prime example, our administrators know that more for faculty salaries means less for their salaries and pet projects. They also have two big advantages which have kept faculty salaries ridiculously low (compared to comparable institutions around the country): They are paid to do nothing but go to meetings, thus they can just wear faculty bargaining groups down with endless meetings that overworked faculty don't have time for. 2) they don't care at all about our students, and faculty do, so faculty have no leverage, despite the right to collectively bargain. So year after year, faculty get squat, and the good ones leave, replaced by part-timers with lower qualifications. The idea that there is this unlimited font of money that all government workers are happily passing around is just laughable. Taking away collective bargaining will do nothing to balance any budgets, but it can slightly increase the quality of life for people with otherwise fairly crappy jobs for less pay (yes, less, based on someone with similar education and experience) than they could get in the private sector, but who are depended on by millions of students who would like to get a leg up in the world by having the opportunity to get an education for an amount that won't put them in debt for the rest of their lives (because not everyone will be an investment banker),
If this is all about budgets, then do it to the cops and firemen too. Walker and his billionaire patrons are full of it, and seem to be deluding themselves (and a lot of gullible poor folks) that continuing to destroy the middle classes so that they can afford one more vacation home from the profits earned on the backs of low-income workers is some sort of noble goal.