Thursday, March 03, 2011

A union of corruption ~ By Patrice Lewis

When you read the full text of this column, Patrice includes an example of a mythical scenario of negotiation between a company CEO and a union boss... The union boss makes this ridiculous demand:
Union boss: … and we want an additional $25 dollars an hour for our members, two weeks extra vacation per year, a fully funded pension that provides our workers 100 percent of their highest take-home pay for the rest of their lives and comprehensive health insurance for our members, their families and significant others.

Now let's see – if this were a real company, the debate would have ended after the first impossible demand. But this isn't a real company. It's a government negotiating with a public service employees union. And neither the union boss nor the company chairman gives a damn about the people they represent. The union boss, who makes a CEO-sized salary, has no problem with requiring his people to support an unpopular executive. The company chairman doesn't mind screwing the company as long as the gravy train comes his way. And both of them couldn't care less about the stockholders. (That would be us, the taxpayers.)

There is no adversarial relationship in this negotiation. The union boss and the company chairman are partners. And we, the citizens, are the adversary. In a real-world business, this kind of behavior would warrant criminal investigation. But in the world of politics, it's business as usual.

So before you applaud a union, make sure you know what kind it is. Be sure to read the union label. You might be surprised by what's written in the small print.
Patrice brings up a subject that should be at the top of every discussion regarding the huge budget deficits of most state governments and probably many city governments. The problem with public service employee unions is very well explained in this column, and in the following video that I put on youtube last week:

Video provided by TheREALjohnny2k

A union of corruption

By Patrice Lewis

February 26, 2011 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2011

A few days ago, my homeschooled daughters were finishing up their school work and, as usual, we ended with a discussion of current events. After talking for a while over the protests in Wisconsin, my eldest asked if I thought unions were bad. I answered that I most certainly did not because I firmly believe belonging to a union is part of our God-given rights enumerated by the First Amendment concerning freedom of speech, the right to assembly and the consequent freedom of association.

But then I went on to explain that just because workers form unions to collectively bargain for better working conditions doesn't make them any different or more noble than the companies they negotiate with.

What do I mean? I mean that a union is simply a business, no different than the businesses they bargain with. A union is nothing more than a talent agency. Its purpose is to offer a company skilled and trained employees. And like any other vendor looking for a contract, it's ultimately the company's decision whether to deal with a union or to look elsewhere when hiring. There is nothing particularly noble about either unions or their stockholders (membership). Certainly there is no major difference between a union and any other for-profit endeavor. Both the company and the union are in business to maximize profit and minimize loss.

Which may then surprise you when I say public service employee unions ARE bad. And I believe it was a major mistake for President Kennedy to have allowed them collective-bargaining privileges. Public service unions are only regarded as "noble" because the union members tell us they are.

You see, a public service union is NOT based on free association. It is NOT based on the freedoms of speech and free assembly. Public service unions are a scam and a cheat.

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