At one time in this country, there were few workplace safety laws, few restraints on employers, and incredibly exploitive working conditions that ranged from slavery, to share cropping, to putting children in dangerous working conditions. Unions, to their everlasting credit, helped play an important role in leveling the playing field for workers.
However, as the laws changed, there was less and less need for unions. Because of that, union membership shrank. In response, the unions became more explicitly involved in politics. Over time, they managed to co-opt the Democratic Party, pull their strings, and rewrite our labor laws in their favor.
"Power tends to corrupt," and that has certainly been true for the unions. Unions have become selfish, extremely greedy, and even thuggish in their never-ending quest to take in as much as they can for themselves, at the expense of everyone else who crosses their path.
That's why today, unions have changed from organizations that "look out for the little guy" into the largest, most rapacious special interest group in the entire country. Where unions go, disaster usually follows.
The divide in the "Disunited" States of America opened wider with the concerted effort of progressives and teacher union’s latest escape from reality. When people lament that there is little civility left in this country, they mostly refuse to face facts. There is a pitch battle for the hearts and minds of citizens. So far the public education lobby has been winning the war. Their victory is self-evident with the sorry state of literacy much less rational ability that passes for the collective consciousness of the public. The prime directive and accomplishment of the government school system is the development of a society of fools and idiots. Here, here to the union of public thugs and sophists, who work diligently to destroy the American Nation.
The Left has misread the post bailout populist sentiment all along, assuming public anger was directed at the rich. But American anger, I suspect, is directed not at some people who have money or success, but at those who profit through "crony-ism" and their connections to power.
In 1959, the state of Wisconsin enacted the first state statute permitting municipal employees the right to form, join, and be represented by labor organizations. Three years later, President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order 10988, which granted federal employees the right to join and form unions and to bargain collectively. The order established a framework for collective bargaining and encouraged the expansion of collective bargaining rights to state and local government employees.
"The Supreme Court held in the case of Smith v. Arkansas State Highway Employees, Local 1315 (1979), that nothing in the U.S. Constitution requires public employers to either recognize or collectively bargain with public employee unions."
What escapes the marginal intellectual integrity of so many public employees is that government ever creates wealth. All taxation is not theft. Some is needed for community shared protection for example. Mandating that government schools, paid for with public funds, teach subversive doctrines and socialist redistribution of wealth, is a primary cause of producing the walking zombies who feel "owed" everything that populate this country.
How many parents find it strange that our children believe that they are entitled to a reward for just trying? Whatever happened to telling our children that we are sorry that they didn't win but next time if they work harder they could be the winner.
Results matter, even in the public sector. A substitute replacement for pampered teachers is needed. With a dismal record of performance and a pattern of taxpayer extortion, the progressive sisterhood reaches out to their brothers of sleaze, who use the tactics of street hoods collecting juice for a loan shark enterprise. No wonder that when courageous politicians challenge the status quo, crazed public union fanatic’s go into full damage control mode. New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie is one such hero and has experience with public unions.
This pattern of teacher employee abuse is not unique. This next example out of Allentown, Pennsylvania is a public union outrage beyond the pale.
"In pursuit of an Eagle Scout badge, Kevin Anderson, 17, has toiled for more than 200 hours hours over several weeks to clear a walking path in an east Allentown park.
Nick Balzano, president of the local Service Employees International Union, told Allentown City Council Tuesday that the union is considering filing a grievance against the city for allowing Anderson to clear a 1,000-foot walking and biking path at Kimmets Lock Park.
Balzano said Saturday he isn't targeting Boy Scouts. But given the city's decision in July to lay off 39 SEIU members, Balzano said "there's to be no volunteers." No one except union members may pick up a hoe or shovel, plant a flower or clear a walking path".
The reality that many "so called" civil servants still refuse to face. "It must be quite a shock to government employees all across the country that are actually losing their cushy jobs, those positions that they imagined were theirs forever. With the reality of the massive overspending by Democrats spurred by union leaders the consequences of which are finally coming home to roost, these union members that for so many decades felt entitled to their jobs are losing them".
Public employee unions are a threat to the very foundation of the Republic. The Hill reports that "Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) fired up a group of union members in Boston with a speech urging them to work down in the trenches to fend off limits to workers' rights like those proposed in Wisconsin." "Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary." He is a disgrace and his words border on subversion.
You can support trade unions if you are so inclined, but a public union that is taxpayer funded is an abomination. Progressives need to search their souls. The alliance that should bond all populists together is the fight against the global corporatist economy that has caused the outsourcing of living wage employment overseas. Expanding government is not the answer in reversing this betrayal. True populism must be rooted in sound economic principles, based in a wealth created private sector.
Substantially scaling back public employee jobs is a necessary step because the private sector taxpayer is broke to a large degree because of government policies. A civil service employee is, by nature, a secondary citizen. The taxes they pay come from the earnings of those who are the producers of prosperity. The La Follette tradition opposes the centralization of economic control. Woefully, governments lavish excessive pay and benefits on the public sector at the cost of the real main street economy.
“The deal used to be that civil servants were paid less than private sector workers in exchange for an understanding that they had job security for life. But we politicians — pushed by our friends in labor — gradually expanded pay and benefits . . . while keeping the job protections and layering on incredibly generous retirement packages. . . . This is politically unpopular and potentially even career suicide . . . but at some point, someone is going to have to get honest about the fact.” Willie Brown