Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Collective rip-off

If it’s not yet apparent to all Americans, let me spell it out: Our President and the Democrat Party have declared war on fiscal responsibility through their eternal devotion to their largest constituency: public sector unions!

Jonah Goldberg points out in his latest L.A. Times Op-Ed that “A crucial distinction has been lost in the debate over Walker's proposals: Government unions are not the same thing as private sector unions.” Precisely. As Goldberg explains, private sector unions were born out of an adversarial relationship between labor and management, unlike government unions, who had no such narrative.  The government doesn’t exist for the benefit of a profit as a corporation does. Does it? No! And even before Kennedy lifted the ban on government unions, civil service regulations and similar laws had guaranteed satisfactory working conditions. “The argument for public unionization wasn't moral, economic or intellectual. It was rankly political.”  Goldberg elaborates:

     “Why would local government unions give so much in federal elections? Because government workers have an inherent interest in boosting the amount of federal tax dollars their local governments get. Put simply, people in the government business support the party of government.
     And this gets to the real insidiousness of government unions. Wisconsin labor officials fairly note that they've acceded to many of their governor's specific demands — that workers contribute to their pensions and healthcare costs, for example. But they don't want to lose the right to collective bargaining.
     But that is exactly what they need to lose.
     Private sector unions fight with management over an equitable distribution of profits. Government unions negotiate with politicians over taxpayer money, putting the public interest at odds with union interests and, as we've seen in states such as California and Wisconsin, exploding the cost of government.”

Similarly, and going a step further, Mark Levin focused yesterday's monologue, and a good majority of the first hour, on the union at the helm of this current debate (the NEA) and its parallels to communist maneuvering.

Shane D'Aprile reports in The Hill that “Sen. Jim DeMint told supporters Tuesday the ongoing budget battle in Wisconsin offers a preview of what organized labor has in store for 2012.“  And he's absolutely right!  "In a fundraising appeal to supporters of his Senate Conservatives Fund, DeMint said the union-led protest against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal "demonstrates how dangerously beholden the Democrats have become to their out-of-control union bosses.""

The sentiment is shared in Mona Charen's NRO piece: “In Wisconsin and other states facing severe budget crises, we are witnessing the clash of special interests against the public interest.” She further exposes these teachers as 'rent seekers' and concludes that "the protests, with their attendant disdain for the school kids (so many teachers fraudulently called in sick that schools in Milwaukee, Madison, and Janesville had to close), serve as huge neon signs alerting the sleeping electorate to what has been happening to their tax dollars."

And now, it appears that cowardice has spread to the Indiana Democrat legislature, as they've fled under a deadline to consider a right-to-work law, as John Hayward writes in Human Events: "The name of the Democrat Party seems increasingly inappropriate, since they have very little interest in democracy when it thwarts the agenda of their most powerful constituents. Let the voters of every state learn this important lesson: the only way to ensure functional government is to burn the Democrat Party down, until so few of them remain that they are no longer necessary to establish a quorum. Then you’ll be able to conduct state business without worrying about their temper tantrums."

Despite Democrat’s insistence that this will reflect poorly on the GOP, Rasmussen finds that “a sizable number of voters are following new Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s showdown with unionized public employees in his state, and nearly half side with the governor.”  Also, in a Fox News report, one economist reminds us that "there's a perception that was not present in 1995 that public employees are almost a privileged class."

The public unions may profess that their ‘democratic’ or ‘Egyptian-style’ campaign of protests concerns their collective bargaining 'privilege' (it's not a ‘right’), but a deeper look at the issue shows that the ‘bargain’ between union and government is yet again a collective rip-off of the private taxpayer.

ADDENDUM:  From Herman Cain's facebook page: "Governor Scott Walker issued his first-ever "fireside chat," detailing his plans to save the state of Wisconsin and get their financial house in order."

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