Archive for March, 2011:

Outside Unions’ Attempt at “Mob Rule” in Wisconsin

Written on Mar 4th, 2011 by Randy Harod Add / See Member Comments (0)

Since when was the minority party given the right to not be out voted on any issue they disagree with and to demand compromises from the majority party “or else” on issues the minority disagrees with?” Weren’t the voters they represent outvoted in the prior election?  Ignoring that fact is a lot closer to “mob rule” than it is any elected democratic process.  Is that what the Republicans should have done when the Democrats controlled the House, Senate, and Presidency—or is it only fair for Democrats to “fight” this way?   

Everyone would benefit from focusing on the real issues in Wisconsin rather than the issues the Associated Press and unions tried to sell to sway public opinion.  For starters, the game was rigged in favor of the unions over the states during the past 50 years.  If the union and state can not agree, then a National Labor Relations Board member (who belongs to a union) from the Federal Government mediates and tells the taxpayers of the sovereign state what they have to do.  Since when is this “bargaining” in good faith?  And why is it to the state taxpayers’ children’s advantage to not be able to fire bad teachers and promote junior good teachers based on a merit rating system?  And why is it wrong to tie teachers’ salaries to job content and performance measurement and cost of living adjustments (cola) like companies do; instead of however much they can threaten out of the state government with strikes, who they will support in the next election with money and votes, etc.? 

There is a huge difference in the bargaining “rights” of most public servants and private sector-regular company employees’ rights today.  Most company union contracts have a No Strike clause that allows the company to replace union members to stay in business until the matter is settled—and they do not have to hire them back if it is proven that a “walk out” violated their contractual duty to bargain in “good faith”.  Many states like Wisconsin do not have a No Strike clause, so the public sector unions have an unfair power to shut services down to the taxpayers that pay their wages until they are given whatever they demand in each contract renewal.  Even our Federal Government has restricted their public sector union members bargaining rights to essentially the same ones Wisconsin is trying to install—like was enforced when President Reagan fired most of the Air Traffic Controllers for a “slow down” that crippled our airports and economy to prove he had to give in to their demands “or else”. 

So what is the real union beef in Wisconsin about?   Perhaps it is that these same changes are also in progress in most of the remaining “No Right to Work” states to control their budgets too.  A “right to work” state is one where anyone can join a union, but no one can be forced to join one and pay dues in order to get or keep any job—even when most of the workforce is already unionized.  In “No Right to Work” states, you have to join the union and pay dues to even get a job.  No wonder so many Wisconsin teachers are not nearly as afraid of the proposed bargaining changes as their union bosses are.  The best teachers probably have no fear of being fired or not getting wages they could get working in other states, and wish most bad teachers were booted out of the system. 

It should be fairly easy to understand that if the union advantages can really compete with non union no dues jobs, then they should have no fear of Wisconsin becoming a “right to work” state.  A key issue for the union bosses was that the pending change to a “right to work” state would mean the loss of tens of millions in mandatory dues they currently enjoy.  It was the union bosses that sent outside union “supporters” and organizers to Wisconsin to try to stop the state from running its affairs the way the taxpayers chose; rather than the way the union bosses wanted it to be forever.  Isn’t there something just wrong with having to join any union to be able to be hired in any job in any state and being forced to pay dues to keep your job?  Unions should have to compete for members just like companies have to compete for their employees.  And does anyone not get that a union with 2,300,000 members nationwide is just another “big business”, except their bosses make their money off of keeping membership and mandatory dues high rather than creating jobs like companies do?  Does anyone really think that their union pension and other funds are almost bankrupt due to mean governors and taxpayers; rather than greedy top bosses and spending hunreds of millions to sway state and federal elections to maintain their power and mandatory billions in income? 

Finally, Wisconsin property taxes are already off the charts, businesses have left by the hundreds, people in the highest tax brackets have left by the thousands, and the state tax revenues were dropping even before the current recession.  So one of the real questions should be “Why should public servants be able to force increases for themselves paid for by all the taxpayers, many of which are taking home less than they did before or have been laid off and have less benefits and higher medical insurance costs?” 

Don’t taxpayers have “rights” too?  Doesn’t a state have a right to establish tax bases that attract businesses rather than encourages them to leave just to support ever increasing public union demands?  After all, a state can’t just move to somewhere else to stay in business and keep from going bankrupt.  Nor can it print money like our Federal Government has been doing to avoid balancing their budget.  When a state loses its AAA credit rating, its borrowing interest rates soar just like happens to us if we forget to make a credit card payment–so going bankrupt is simply not an option and a big signal that the elected officals have not done their job.  I don’t see any unions throwing in $3.6 Billion to make up the projected budget shortfall the current Wisconsin legislators inherited from the folks that were just voted out of office.

And don’t all “rights” end where infringing on someone else’s rights begins?  The Wisconsin “mob rule” show of force was never was about bargaining “rights”.  It is about maintaining the power and money for union bosses in all states, versus the rights of the taxpayers to not be ripped off and their right to a better education for their children for the high taxes they already pay.

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