Unions vs The People

Shaping up to what could be one of the major battles of 2010:

Spurred by state budget crunches and an angry public mood, Republican and some Democratic leaders are focusing with increasing intensity on public workers and the unions that represent them, casting them as overpaid obstacles to good government and demanding cuts in their often-generous benefits.

Unlike past battles over the high cost of labor, this time pitched battles over wages and pensions are being waged from Sacramento to Springfield to New York City and the conflict is marked by its bipartisan tone, with public employee unions emerging as an intransigent public enemy number one in cities and state capitals across the country.

There is a reason the public sectors unions are viewed as an intransigent public enemy – this revolves around the fact that they are, well, an intransigent public enemy.

As long as the gravy train kept rolling along, public sector unions could remain untouched. This is especially true of police, firefighter and teachers (especially teachers!) unions. The strength of propaganda in favor of what these entities represent entirely trumped the reality of what some of them were doing. To argue for any sort of budgetary reform of education, for instance, allowed the unions – spending vast sums on politics extracted from the membership, even when the members were Republican or Independent – to paint a person as “anti-education”.

Regardless of what one thinks of individual policemen, firefighters and teachers (and majority of these are hard working and dedicated to their vocations), substantial minorities of these are time-serving wastrels. This wouldn’t be bad except for the fact that the unions have become organizations dedicated to the protection of the wastrels – fighting fiercely to protect them as sources of union dues, with the unions being defended in this by the primary recipient of union political donations, the Democrat party.

What has resulted from the mutual political back scratching of unions and the Democrat party is that we’ve got a hopelessly corrupt government over-staffed by over-paid bureaucrats who can retire quite young on fat pensions and health care benefits for which they contributed little or nothing. And all of it paid for by an increasingly impoverished population which can only dream of the benefit package most government employees obtain (and think about this government workers get paid, on average, more than private workers…think of the insanity required to have the employees paid more than the boss!).

All around the nation, cities and States are functionally bankrupt. As you go from city to city and State to State, you’ll find it invariable that public employee pension and health care benefits are at the center of the budget crunch. Some local and State governments might be forced in to actual bankruptcy. What is the union response to this? Demands for tax increases to keep not just the current levels of pay, but to actually increase pay (what are the New Jersey bureaucrats angry with Christie over? That he wants to freeze pay – not cut it, just freeze it, and they are up in arms).

Public sector unions have become job-destroying parasites on the productive economy and they must go – each and every union will have to give in to demands for cuts, or be crushed completely. Personally, I would go back to a system where government employees were forbidden to be in unions. You want to work for government? Fine, but you do it at our pleasure – and if you don’t like it, go get a job in the private sector. People, I think, are starting to understand this – and thus the growing popular animosity towards unions.

For the sake of our nation, come what may, we must have this fight. If you want to tackle Big Government, your main obstacle is Big Union. The time has come to call and end to government employee unions and the corruption and waste they generate.