How Do You Spell “Union”?

G-R-E-E-D.

Just a week ago, Mark wrote quite eloquently on the subject of the public worker strikes in Wisconsin:

Today, most labor unions are very similar to the “evil corporations” they so frequently rail against. They claim big business doesn’t care about its workers, only profit. But are unions any different? They need members to pay dues, or they cease to exist. Clearly they are also profit-driven. They believe industry has too much influence compared with the working class. But unions have far more influence than their numbers would suggest, given that only 8% of Americans are in unions. And what do many of these labor organizations do with the hard-earned dollars they take from their members in the form of dues? They give them to politicians running for office – almost exclusively in the Democratic Party – whether their members support them or not.

The bill being bandied about in Wisconsin, AB-11, would end collective bargaining rights for state employees (excluding public safety workers), require that state employees pay more than the paisley 5% they’ve been paying for health insurance and the ridiculous 2% they’ve been paying for their pensions, and would cut medical services to the poor and uninsured. During all the brouhaha going on at the state capitol, this woman was filmed to make a statement:

Don’t worry, dear damsel! Obamacare will save you!

First of all, we all need to understand something: corporations can simply go out of business if a union or special group continues to push for what they cannot afford. Government bodies – local, state or federal – cannot go out of business. They are unfortunately necessary to survival in our country. While corporations will do nearly everything to save face all the way to the bankruptcy line, governments that need to save money start cutting things from the budget. What does that mean? It means that in governments such as those in Europe, which have multitudes of entitlement programs to include socialized healthcare systems, they simply start cutting out things they can’t afford. It usually starts with healthcare; what Sarah Palin dubbed “death panels” are bureaucratic panels that convene to determine what they can change and how they can shuffle things in an effort to cut costs. Since healthcare workers are already paid peanuts, they start with services. Are you too old to benefit from a transplant or chemotherapy? Sorry, the state can’t afford it, especially since you probably won’t go back to work when you recover, anyway. We’d rather spend that money on a teenager who will benefit us more. Is your prognosis too grim? Sorry, we’re not going to pay for any treatment at all because you’ll die anyway and it would be a waste. Do you have a minor illness? Well, you’ll wait a while to be seen, we only have doctors available during certain hours and they have to triage their patients. Once you have pneumonia give us a call.

How does this not make sense to people? We already have entitlements for welfare, unemployment, healthcare for the uninsured and all kinds of grants for college, the arts, and home buying. Our tax dollars are stretching thinner and thinner with every passing year, yet here we have left-wing moonbats still demanding that the government give us what they literally cannot afford. If we keep going down this road, we will one day find ourselves watching the US dollar collapse and the Democrats will still try to blame the right wing.

Greed is not solely a label for the wealthy. Every human being is greedy to some degree…it’s in our very nature to want to look out for number one. Even the Founding Fathers tried to remind us long ago that our rights end when they infringe on the rights of another – that means that when we demand we be recognized for the right to have what we want at the expense of the government and the government can’t afford it, the rights of the majority who ARE paying for it trump yours.

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20 thoughts on “How Do You Spell “Union”?

  1. Wow, where did they get that lady? There are sob stories in every story but we can’t base decisions entirely on emotion. It’d be like hiring your friends. It would make you feel good, help them but would it help the business? Probably not.
    This isn’t the days when children were working in the coal mines (though they’d be a great renewable workforce, grin). There was a time unions fought for the workers rights but they are less and less in that business. Times change.
    AndyB, NH.

  2. Do I really have to be the one to spill the beans about why Wisconsin is in the mess that it’s in? Nobody bothered to find out the truth? Because this is not a case of the unions making hay for more. This is a case of the state legislature manufacturing a crisis to cut the legs out from under organized labor. What was the number floated about by Scott Walker, as far as the budget short fall? $137 million? And I suppose it’s mere happenstance that within days of taking office, he blew a $140 million hole in the budget to pay for tax cuts for business and on private health savings accounts? According to the Wisconsin’s Legislative Fiscal Bureau, this budget shortfall is a direct result of Walker’s spending.

    http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/Misc/2011_01_31Vos&Darling.pdf

    So, in essence, what we have here is a very typical Republican economic policy that involves spending too much money, then demanding that working people to foot the bill. This was an orchestrated attack on labor from start to finish. And what’s more, there was plenty of reason to vehemently oppose this bill notwithstanding the weakening of unionized labor. Take this little gem from Wisconsin Assembly Bill 11, for instance, about how the administration:

    “may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under [previously controlling law].”

    Seriously? The Republicans basically want to be able to sell off any public utilities to any private company willing to pay however much the Governor asks! What is it with Republicans and no bid contracts, really? I’m rather certain that this is precisely what the caller posing as David Koch meant when he said that his company had a vested interest in pushing this bill through.

    Not to cast aspersions on people I don’t know, but I think it’s sickening how the Republicans can spin this as greed on the part of labor unions. I mean, these people are just out for blood. I’m sure that in addition to all the information that has gone unmentioned here and in the “liberal” media, you also don’t know that the unions in Wisconsin had already agreed to $30 million in pay cuts (that they shouldn’t have had to agree to in the first place), and to higher pension contributions (and I truly don’t get why their pensions are being attacked. All it is a deferred payment for work already done; it’s not welfare or anything).

    If you’re at all curious about how those greedy teachers are screwing over taxpayers, you should have a look at how outrageous their salaries are:

    http://teacherportal.com/salary/Wisconsin-teacher-salary

    Other sources:

    http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Wisconsin_Assembly_Bill_11,_the_%22Scott_Walker_Budget_Repair_Bill%22_%282011%29

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/116470423.html

  3. “This is a case of the state legislature manufacturing a crisis to cut the legs out from under organized labor.”

    And this is a problem because? If a business owner doesn’t want a union shop then of course he is going to try and stop it.

    Government should do the same. It should be breaking every public employee union it can and with great scathing force.

    If businesses collude to set prices that’s illegal. But employees can collude and set the price of their labor? That’s the the exact same thing as a business colluding to set prices. Labor costs are passed on to the consumer of the product or service.

    Organized labor is telling America: I want a house, vacation home, and a boat. I’ll make all of you pay for it. Yeah I put tires on cars all day and that job isn’t really worth more than minium wage. But even unskilled badly educated trailer trash want good stuff too.

  4. “Government should do the same. It should be breaking every public employee union it can and with great scathing force.”

    And you are what is wrong with this country. Why don’t you tell me why it is that workers should be denied the right to collective bargaining. Why should they be subjected to unsafe work conditions? Why should they not have the right to fight for a decent wage? Oh, and by the way, the unions said you’re welcome for the weekend.

    “If businesses collude to set prices that’s illegal. But employees can collude and set the price of their labor?”

    They’re setting the floor. You know, you people are always so quick to tell everyone else that it’s perfectly okay that business men in monkey suits be paid thousands of dollars per hour, but when someone is setting the floor, you go ape shit. This is not collusion, this is competition. The private sector has every right to offer a higher wage to attract talent. There is absolutely nothing to stop them from doing that, but they don’t. They do the exact opposite. So, John, you tell me, when was the last time you took a job that paid less?

    “Labor costs are passed on to the consumer of the product or service”

    Prove it. You know those God awful Ed Hardy tee shirts that are always a staple in any poseur’s wardrobe? Made in China where the labor is cheap, yet they still cost $75.00. If labor costs were passed onto consumers, then the inverse should be true, and that garbage would cost two dollars.

    “Organized labor is telling America: I want a house, vacation home, and a boat. I’ll make all of you pay for it”

    No, they’re not. They’re telling Scott Walker and every other Republican that’s attempting to follow suit to stop trying to fix their fuck ups on the worker’s backs. And I do so love the fact that both of you have completely ignored the very real fact that this was indeed caused by Walker’s spending, only to continue the assault on labor.

  5. It wasn’t Walker’s spending – you merely claimed it was his tax cuts. During a recession, if you want to entice businesses to keep hiring, you CUT TAXES. History has proven that if you keep tax rates or raise them then businesses will either shut their doors or move elsewhere.

    Decent working wage? We’re talking about people who, after just a couple of years at their jobs, make easily twice what I make – and I’ve been in fraud investigations for four years. I’m very well educated in the subject. They make three times what I make as an EMT. And the auto workers? Don’t even get me started. Those people are high-school dropouts who couldn’t tell you the square root of 9, but they’re making five times what most workers make between their pay and benefits.

    Unions were once about fairness. Now they’re just as bad as the corporations and government entities they rape.

  6. “Oh, and by the way, the unions said you’re welcome for the weekend.”

    I laugh at how unions take credit for things they did many decades ago. The people who pushed for a 40 hour work week and safe working conditions are long dead. What have unions done for America lately?

  7. Oh I almost forgot.

    Honda employees in America are doing fine without forking over union dues.

    My two sibs in the non union grocery chain they work for have a nice deal too. Oh none of those pesky union dues either.

    I know in the past there were robber baron business owners plus the dumb people who never thought to quit a job that doesn’t pay well and find one that does. Imagine that? Go figure. If you ask me, they both deserved each other. I can’t exploit anyone without their permission.

    Finally the Republican Party gets accused of being the Party of No. But the Wisconsin Democrats and Indiana Democrats are the party of No Show. The only thing worse than saying No with no ideas of your own is walking away from a job you took an oath to perform. If I walked off my job then I would not have one.

  8. “Unions were once about fairness. Now they’re just as bad as the corporations and government entities they rape.”

    Unions don’t stop at that sort of rape. They rape their own. Northwest merges with TWA. All Northwest union employees had seniority over every single TWA employee. WHen it came time to lay people off, TWA employee went first. Where is that brotherhood and sisterhood unions brag so much about?

    When my best buddy was in high school he worked in a union grocery store. He could not put TV dinners in the freezers. Why? They contained meat, poultry or fish. Those products had to be stocked by members of the meat cutters union!!! They got around to it when they felt like it. Stuffing a Swanson TV Dinner was going to put a butcher out of a job?

    The same buddy after college took a second job in a union grocery store. He was on a 60 day union probation. On day 57 his department supervisor let him go. She did not have to tell him why. The union contract did not require cause to fire him. Even worse, her manager (a member of corporate managment) could not trump her decision!!!!

  9. “It wasn’t Walker’s spending – you merely claimed it was his tax cuts.”

    I didn’t claim anything. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau of Wisconsin found that to be the truth. Or didn’t you read the link?

    “During a recession, if you want to entice businesses to keep hiring, you CUT TAXES.”

    You mean you cut revenues. And the bureau found that those tax cuts would have no effect on job creation. Isn’t this the same argument that conservatives use to justify keeping Bush’s tax cuts in place? Keep the tax cuts, so they’ll create jobs? Those tax cuts had been in place for over seven years, and not one net job was created. We basically deprived the Treasury of revenue for absolutely no reason, much like Walker did here.

    “History has proven that if you keep tax rates or raise them then businesses will either shut their doors or move elsewhere.”

    History hasn’t shown that to me. Businesses weren’t leaving the country in, say, 1921, when any profit over $2,500 was taxed at 10%. Pretty high for 1921. They also weren’t shutting down in droves in 1945, when the rate was 53% on $50,000. So your argument becomes, since tax rates are now 35% over $18 million (significantly lower on every level), that it’s somehow punitive and that’s why they’re leaving? I suppose it has nothing to do with the myriad of loopholes and tax havens they enjoy, right? I read somewhere that the scenario was floated about that we drop the corporate tax rate to 26% and close all the loopholes; the business community refused to entertain the idea. What on earth does that tell you?

    Source: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/02corate.pdf

    “Decent working wage? We’re talking about people who, after just a couple of years at their jobs, make easily twice what I make”

    You make $23,000 per year? Is this full time or part time? If it’s full time, I think you’re being taken advantage of, and that instead of trying to bring others down to your level, that you should shop around and find who’s willing to pay more. Or form a union and be compensated fairly.

    “And the auto workers? Don’t even get me started. Those people are high-school dropouts who couldn’t tell you the square root of 9, but they’re making five times what most workers make between their pay and benefits.”

    I see we’re back to peddling this demonstrable falsehood. UAW members get paid $15 to start. Non unionized auto workers make $14 to start. The number you’re trying to pass off as fact is a COMBINED total from all UAW workers, past and present, and INCLUDES wages, health benefits (to both current and retired employees), and pensions. That is NOT wages earned.

    Source: http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/do_auto_workers_really_make_more_than.html

    And in all the gleeful union bashing, I wonder how many conservatives stopped to realize that the people they claimed to love so much after 9/11, the firefighters and police, have also joined in opposing Scott Walker’s union busting tactics. They’re members of unions too. Is it okay to call them overpaid? How about demanding? High school dropouts, maybe?

    Source: http://www.firefighternation.com/forum/topics/firefighters-police-officers-1

  10. “I wonder how many conservatives stopped to realize that the people they claimed to love so much after 9/11, the firefighters and police”

    With all of your gleeful and selective links of reliable information including a mis-construed IRS link of which you’re completely misunderstanding, I’d like to remind you that it’s not conservatives who are collectivists as you seem to be. To you, the few police officers and fire-fighters should be classed up with all of them. This is no different than teachers of which I know a few. Two of them make $80K a year. And trust me, I’m a lot smarter than they are.

    BTW is the IRS unionized? If not, should they be? Since they’re dropping all these loopholes for small businesses which dole out endless buckets of cash in taxes per year — thus giving the agency and some of its lacking employees a purpose to exist — what kind of protection do they need?

    Yes the UAW destroyed Detroit. It’s why I proudly bought a Lexus as I can get better quality from something engineered by a more talented individual who isn’t spoiled by a big union wage. But we don’t hate all unions. USW for example is noble. Most of the electricians’ unions are okay. But what is especially preposterous is the idea that GOVERNMENT WORKERS need a union. The idea to fight of the liberal-feared “big bad capitalist!” So we have government agencies need sub-government groups keeping them in line? Then who keeps the groups in line?

    Margaret Thatcher saved Britain from its infamous winter of discontent in 1979 when even the gravediggers went on strike and the bodies of the dead were held in refrigerators for three weeks, where ambulance drivers employed by the government collectively stopped working and people wound up dying under an equally spendid government option.

    Live in the inner city: call Domino’s for a pizza and call the police for help. Let me know which one shows up first.

  11. “…including a mis-construed IRS link of which you’re completely misunderstanding”

    It’s kind of difficult to misconstrue numbers when they’re lined up with rate like that. And if I misunderstood it, you most certainly would have corrected any misunderstanding. I think it’s safe to say I understand it just fine. Perhaps that is why you’re taking issue with it in the first place.

    “To you, the few police officers and fire-fighters should be classed up with all of them. ”

    It’s not a few, it’s all. And I wasn’t the one who misspelled the word ‘union’ with a G. It would appear that this blog has already classed everyone up together…

    “Yes the UAW destroyed Detroit”

    Why don’t you go ahead and explain how you think they did that? Then I can tell you how you’re wrong.

    “It’s why I proudly bought a Lexus as I can get better quality from something engineered by a more talented individual who isn’t spoiled by a big union wage.”

    Now, how did you come to the conclusion that the many people who engineered your car are more talented. And what about the people who are spoiled by non union wages?

    http://www.autoblog.com/2007/01/31/toyota-workers-in-us-made-more-than-uaw-members-for-first-time-l/

    And really, all I see here is America bashing. The money you pay for your car goes to benefit Japan’s economy for the most part.

    “But we don’t hate all unions”

    Kind of a strange sentiment to espouse on a post that opens by conflating unions with greed. We don’t even need to get into the irony of leveling such a charge while people with phony titles rake in millions on the backs of those you call greedy.

    “Margaret Thatcher saved Britain from its infamous winter of discontent in 1979 ”

    How did she do that? By giving union members the raises they sought? And God forbid that wages be consistent with inflation…

    “Live in the inner city: call Domino’s for a pizza and call the police for help. Let me know which one shows up first.”

    Is this a joke? Do you really not know which one will get there first?

  12. “Live in the inner city: call Domino’s for a pizza and call the police for help. Let me know which one shows up first.”

    Is this a joke? Do you really not know which one will get there first?

    Well….. depends if the cops know a pizza is on the way. Then they will pull the driver over, confiscate the pizza and maybe remember to swing by your place;-)
    Just trying to lighten things up, AndyB, NH:-})

  13. “Well….. depends if the cops know a pizza is on the way. Then they will pull the driver over, confiscate the pizza and maybe remember to swing by your place;-)
    Just trying to lighten things up, AndyB, NH:-})”

    I love your sense of humor. Marry me.

  14. Thanks John,
    I just do what I can to entertain. Not really looking to get married (fine institution if you want to live in an institution). I just look at things in my own special way. Still waiting for the Wisconsin Democrats to build a giant Trojan rabbit a la Holy Grail. Then the Republicans could catapult cows at them:-})
    AndyB, NH.

  15. I tend to work a lot – I’m a workaholic – so I haven’t been able to get to these, but they’ve been brewing since I got them.

    “Businesses weren’t leaving the country in, say, 1921, when any profit over $2,500 was taxed at 10%. Pretty high for 1921.”

    Are you kidding me with this? In 1921, the stock market crash and the Great Depression were still a good eight years off. It was also far more expensive to outsource industry and import goods in those days. There was no such thing as a customer service call center. There were no credit cards. Because of the lack of technology at the time, those jobs HAD to stay here – the taxes cost less. But I might point out that that was the tax rate leading up to the crash and subsequent depression.

    “I see we’re back to peddling this demonstrable falsehood. UAW members get paid $15 to start.”

    I call bullshit. UAW folks start off around $26 an hour. Within a couple of years, that can turn into $38 an hour, and that doesn’t include benefits (that would bring it up to around $65 an hour). Plus, they have expensive health plans that they don’t pay much of anything for. So yes, Robert, they easily make twice what I make.

  16. “It wasn’t always this way. When the UAW was setting the bar for U.S. manufacturing wages, some auto workers made more than $100,000 a year with overtime and enjoyed nearly free health care and generous pensions.”

    Someone tell me how on Earth it ever got that outrageous? $100,000 per year to assemble cars? Are you effing kidding me? I don’t know what’s worse? GM for agreeing to these silly wages and benefits or the UAW having the gall to ask for them? For Pete’s sake all they do is assemble cars. Sweeping floors, assembling cars, just about any idiot can do both. So that tells you what those jobs are worth.

  17. Liberals never seem to want to admit that if unions do work out well, it is actually a case of the profit motive in effect. Unions seem to be able to have their cake and eat it too: they get to make massive amounts of money and if there is a strike, the people who pay them do the physical work. Pretty sweet deal, all that and they’re looked upon as folk heroes.

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