Saturday, February 26, 2011

Public Unions and Basic Morality

We all have to remember that there is a huge difference between the need for and the justification for labor unions in the private sector, where horrible working conditions, near-slave labor and other intolerable working conditions were once a reality - and public sector unions, where none of this was the case.

The public have been subjected to incredible corruption and blackmail wherever public sector unions exist. Corruption - such as the promise Gov. Corzine in New Jersey made to "take care of" public union members if they would support him and vote for him, and blackmail - with teachers walking off the job at the start of every school year if they did not get their way.

Public Sector Unions and Basic Morality
By Manon McKinnon on 2.23.11 American Spectator

The spectacle in Wisconsin has many of us rethinking the underlying grounds for public sector unions. Many Americans are thinking in terms of the obvious financial implications. But surely others are looking deeper to question the moral underpinnings of these unions and their place in public service.

Years ago President Franklin Roosevelt called the idea of public sector unions "unthinkable and intolerable." Not long after, AFL-CIO President George Meany declared that it was "impossible to bargain collectively with the government." They were both speaking to the morality of public servants making demands on taxpayers' earnings under the threat of withholding public services -- or as FDR put it, "looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it."

Roget's Thesaurus lists moral as: virtuous, honorable, conscientious, righteous, upright, and good; and unions will no doubt claim those qualities for themselves.

But is it righteous for garbage collectors to walk off the job and allow filth to pile up in the streets? Would you call it virtuous for striking policemen to give crime a holiday? Or honorable for firemen to desert their posts? And teachers -- can they be seen as conscientious as they organize against children and abandon their classrooms and their obligations -- as we are seeing in Wisconsin? Or could we call legislators upright when they skip out on their legislative duties? Undoubtedly, all this is what FDR foresaw, and what Pennsylvania union leader Gerald MacIntee meant when he urged his workers to "close down this God-damned state."

We need to remember -- as the Wall Street Journal pointed out -- that "collective bargaining for government workers is not a God-given or constitutional right." True -- and though we take them for granted today, public unions arrived on the federal level by way of executive order only in 1962, and states quickly followed. After five decades, various strikes and walk-outs, $3.32 trillion in state unfunded pension liabilities, and the current state of public education, it is hard to make the case that public sector unions are doing this country much good. And even harder to sustain is the moral case for public sector unions. They have become exactly what FDR feared they would.

Also from Roget's come these words: dishonorable, conscienceless, unconscionable, unscrupulous and questionable. These are words that well describe "the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it." FDR's "unthinkable and intolerable" is taking place in Wisconsin today and who-knows-where tomorrow. For right's sake, it is time to get rid of public unions and return to public service.


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At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't aware of the fact that government employees didn't have Collective Bargaining rights. I wonder if Obama knew this when he got up at one his political BS rallies and told some state workers that if they ever were in danger of losing their bargaining rights he would "put on a pair of comfortable sneakers and stand out in the picket line with them." I'm paraphrasing what he said but that film clip is out there. Kim Stosyl did a write up on this and pointed these things out. Also, it was a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress that withheld collective bargaining rights from government employees and not just Republicans. As far as I'm concerned they made the right move. You can't have government employees holding the US Government hostage with a work stoppage. The air traffic controllers found this out the hard way when Ronald Reagan fired them all. By the same token, this should also go for state employees.
So we're not going to see Obama standing out there in Madison Wisconsin with the strikers which is just another one of his many broken promises. That is one broken promise that I favor because it puts Obama between a rock and a hard place and this is where this arrogant leader needs to be.
As for those yellow coward Democrats who left the state, they should be jailed, fined, and thrown out of office. There are certain procedures that state reps can use to get around important issues but deserting their posts and skipping out to another state isn't one of them.


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