Skip to comments.Look for the Union Label
Posted on 03/05/2011 4:30:21 AM PST by Kaslin
In order to form a more perfect union, many of my ancestors joined one. My maternal grandfather was a train conductor; my paternal grandfather, a New York City police officer; my uncle, a fire captain in the Big Apple. Around my dinner table as a kid, working people were revered and evil corporate bosses were vilified. Unions were big in Levittown, N.Y.
I am a union guy, as well. AFTRA (the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) has represented me for more than 30 years. And they've been good. When King World Productions tried to dodge pension payments for "Inside Edition" employees (of which I was one) in the early 1990s, AFTRA took them on and won a settlement. Without the union, we would have been hosed.
But now things are different in America. Over the years, some powerful unions, representing both public and private workers, have succeeded in gaining so many benefits that the entire U.S. economy has been damaged. Many states cannot pay health and pension benefits because the tax revenue is not nearly enough to cover expenses. Also, millions of jobs formerly held by Americans are now done by Chinese and Indian people because labor is so much cheaper in those countries.
Thus, we have economic warfare between the cost-cutters and the union folks who want to protect what they have.
While I am absolutely sympathetic to hardworking union folks, I truly understand the danger of the United States government not being able to pay its bills. Chinese investors currently own more than a trillion dollars of U.S. debt, and our nation is more than $14 trillion in the red. President Obama recently put forth a budget for 2012 that would add another trillion dollars to that total.
That, of course, is insane.
If Chinese investors were to unload their U.S. investments, our economy would collapse. That is not a good place to be. In order for America to continue to drive the world's economy, we must return to a responsible spending spreadsheet, and that means union givebacks. It also means a decline in union negotiating power, especially in the public arena.
Many liberal Americans continue to scream about raising taxes to bring down the debt. But that crushes economic expansion. Corporations and rich folks will only take so much taxation before they leave the building, as Elvis once did.
Capitalism is a tough system. It's not touchy-feely like in Sweden, where cradle-to-grave entitlements rule. But there are fewer than 10 million Swedes, so they work it out. With more than 300 million Americans, we can't "provide" for everyone.
The cold truth is that unions are on the way out. High tech means big changes in the workplace, and labor protections are not needed as much as they once were. What we are seeing in Wisconsin is the beginning of a new attitude toward the American worker. And there will be pain until we get things sorted out.
And so would the Chinese economy. MADE - mutually assured destruction economically.
I try not to buy union products.
I do not fear an economic collapse, it would be the best thning for all. It would force the return of sanity.
I kind of agree. With an economic collapse, millions will suffer. Yet, it may be the only way to force the return of sanity.
This is a free country. If people want to join a union, thats fine. They have the right to do that.
The problem is not unions. The problem is that the governments that negotiate with unions, and the corporations that negotiate with unions do not have the balls to tell them “no.”
We expect these mealy mouthed losers that are elected to stand up to unions. They cannot say “no” to anyone.
Don’t get mad at the unions for asking. They have that right. Get mad at the people they are negotiating with—they are the ones you can exert some control over—through elections and through ownership of their stock in your pension plans.
The people on “our side” need to tell them “No.” Just because the unions have the right to ask, doesn’t mean the government has the obligation to say yes.
WE cannot just sit back and allow this to happen. DO Something about it. Complain to your school board. Complain to your city council. Get involved. And tell them to learn the word “NO!”
the only real issue is what happens when the parasites from the cities begin roaming into suburbia to gather they entitlements?
Stock up on ammo.
Look for the Union Libel.
There is a huge difference between a union that you choose to deal with and a public-sector union that involuntarily takes your money to campaign to take more of your money. Wisconsin is not about “unions”; it is about “public-sector unions”. There is a huge difference, and anyone disregarding that is being disingenuous to say the least.
People have the right to join unions. Agreed. But they should also have the right NOT to join (or pay a mandatory agency fee). I.e., we should have a national right to work law.
Public employees, as a group and on average, should not earn more (including benefits) than private sector employees. I don't begrudge anyone his paycheck, but public employees work for us, not the other way around. Collusive bargaining between the unions and union-client pols has reversed the relationship in too many places.
Penson benefits should be fully funded, in the public sector (including Social Security) as well as the private sector. That implies finishing the shift from defined benefit to defined contribution plans, and it means no more kick the can down the road public sector sweetheart deals.
We the collectives of the United States placing DEMANDS on we the individuals (we the people) of the United States.
The problem with this reasoning is that US laws for the past century have tilted in favor of unions. Unions, for instance, can collude to target the weakest company in the industry, but if the companies collude to sustain that company, the CEO's go to jail. Similarly, unions in states that don't have "right to work" laws collect dues from members who don't want to belong to a union.
For your system to work, the playing field needs to be leveled.
AMEN! I have never figured out why people with marketable skills would want to have someone else negotiate their wages and perks. If you are the best at what you do your potential wages are lowered when you join a union because you are lumped into a group of people with varying skill sets. There is no guarantee that everyone in the union will have the same work ethic and skill set. As a telecom engineer the CWA tried for years to unionize the engineering side of the wireless industry. Their big claim was "union scale" wages. Our response was "we can't afford the pay cut". If you have developed marketable job skills and you are good at what you do no union is necessary.
I am sorry but did Ted Baxter actually just write something that made complete sense or is it me?
Around my dinner table as a kid, working people were revered and evil corporate bosses were vilified. Unions were big in Levittown, N.Y.
We remain in union jobs but definitely knew/know right from wrong
and vilification always goes to the political hacks,usless union bosses making big bucks,wildcat strikes going no where and the costs of these strikes,etc—heated arguments but for some reason the class struggle doesn’t enter it in here.
Must have been a tough life out in Levittown,LI that one always was struggling against the big corporate machine.
BOR’s myopic stupid opinions get more ridiculous everyday.
Rummy slapped him around pretty good the other night.
If you've read the following post on another thread, just ignore, but it seems an appropriate reminder.
Those who criticize Walker's move in Wisconsin, Kasich's move in Ohio, or Boehner's response on the "200,000" government jobs recently added are ignorant of history and economic fact.
Coercive "taking" power, when wielded against the citizenry by either the government alone (taxing), or in combination with another power (unions), is destructive of freedom and prosperity.
The following statement by Sir Winston Churchill, upon leaving office as Prime Minister in 1945, was prophetic for Great Britain, and as it turns out, the United States and the world:
"I do not believe in the power of the State to plan and enforce. No matter how numerous are the committees they set up or the ever-growing hordes of officials they employ or the severity of the punishments they inflict or threaten, they can't approach the high level of internal economic production achieved under free enterprise. Personal initiative, competitive selection, and profit motive corrected by failure and the infinite processes of good housekeeping and personal ingenuity, these constitute the life of a free society. It is this vital creative impulse that I deeply fear the doctrines and policies of the socialist government has destroyed. Nothing that they can plan and order and rush around enforcing will take its place. They have broken the main spring and until we get a new one, the watch wil not go. Set the people free. Get out of the way and let them make the best of themselves. I am sure that this policy of equalizing misery and organizing society--instead of allowing diligence, self-interest and ingenuity to produce abundance--has only to be prolonged to kill this British Island stone dead."
In the early days of America's experiment in liberty, its Founders warned of oppressive taxation by those elected to represent the people. Under their "People's" Constitution, the people were left free, and the government was limited.
While Europe struggled with oppressive government intervention, the genius Founders of America recognized enduring truths about human nature, the human tendency to abuse power, and the possibilities of liberty for individuals. Richard Frothingham's 1872 "History of the Rise of the Republic of the United States," Page 14, contained the following footnote item on the condition of citizens of France:
"Footnote 1. M. de Champagny (Dublin Review, April, 1868) says of France, 'We were and are unable to go from Paris to Neuilly; or dine more than twenty together; or have in our portmanteau three copies of the same tract; or lend a book to a friend: or put a patch of mortar on our own house, if it stands in the street; or kill a partridge; or plant a tree near the road-side; or take coal out of our own land: or teach three or four children to read, . .. without permission from the civil government.'"
Clearly the government of France at that 1868 date laid an oppressive regulatory and tax burden on citizens, robbing them of their Creator-endowed liberty and enjoyment thereof. Frothingham observed that such coercive power constituted "a noble form robbed of its lifegiving spirit."
Thomas Jefferson warned Americans:
"To preserve [the] independence [of the people,] we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses, and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. ME 15:39
Note Jefferson's very last thought here. He declares that when government taxing and debt have reached certain levels, in order for individuals to survive, then their chosen "employment" becomes "hiring ourselves to rivet their (the government's) chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers." Might that account for why it is government employment levels which have risen at such great rates in the past 2 years?
Inasmuch as government creates no wealth and has no money, the pay for every job in government must first come out of the pockets of hardworking citizens in the private sector or be borrowed (to be paid back eventually from the pockets of future generations).
Ahhh, guess that's what you call "redistributing" wealth! In Jefferson's words, it's called "rivet(ing) chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers." here.
Great post. Thanks. BTTT!
Thanks. Feel free to share if you wish. The quotes are petinent to today, yes?
That’s “pertinent,” of course. Sorry.
YES!...and worth another BTTT!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.