Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Disconnect: Public Employees and The Public

Much has been written and said on this issue, and others have said it more skillfully than I could. See the post Union Thugs at, one of my recent favorite blogs. Growing up, my view of unions have been mostly positive due to reading books like the The Jungle by Upton Sinclair about the horrific conditions of the meat-packing industry in the early 20th century. Then as a working adult I was a union member for a very short time in the private sector. A short time because I realized then that the union and the company were working hand in hand to feather their nests at the expense of the union member.  When private companies suffer the collective bargaining of the unions, if too many concessions are demanded, the private company goes out of business and the workers are out of a job. Not so with public employee unions. There really isn't any bargaining involved at all. The public unions, to whom the politicians are deeply indebted to, merely tell the legislators their demands and they are granted. The legislators have no need to bargain, as it is not their own money that is being spent. They merely return to the source (the taxpayer) and tell them they have to raise taxes or else schools will be closed, houses will burn and violence will take over the streets. This is exactly the tact that Gov. Brown of my state of California will take if the Republican legislators in Sacramento renege on their pledges to not raise or assist in raising taxes and a tax bill gets on the ballot. Barrels and barrels of money will flow from the public employee unions to pay for ads intended to scare the sheeple into extending the taxes that were voted down previously. And because taxpayers dare to raise their voices and demand their taxes get spent more judiciously instead of being continually asked for more, they are disrespected and held in contempt by legislators throughout this country.