Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Unions and the federal government

So, 7.6% of the US population are members of a union. If this is the case, why do unions have so much power? Why do politicians focus so much energy on courting the unions favor for their campaigns?

The government has recently gone to California and told them they would receive no stimulus money unless they rescind the wage cuts imposed on (and agreed upon by) the health care workers in that state. A wage cut that was able to free up $74 million in cash for the state. The government says this violates a clause in the stimulus which means they will not receive the money. So less than 10% of the population is so powerful that it is preventing all the economy "saving" money from being distributed. These wage cuts, combined with the stimulus, take a large step in righting a very large budgeting problem. Now, I understand the idea that these states have to qualify for the money. But why are we so set on saving the wages of this one group? The union has stood up and voiced their concern - "If they're getting money then we should too." For a set of people, the socialist Democrats, that are so concerned about the welfare of the group, they really don't seem to see the fact that the smaller, well-paid group is receiving a benefit that could be used to help others. And all of this is over $2 an hour.

So surely this is the only example of kowtowing to the unions. There couldn't be other obvious case, right? Well, unfortunately, there is another example right there in the Presidents back yard. The President and his administration have stopped the D.C. voucher system that allowed children to choose their school. The NEA has stated that their are flaws in system. The system promotes public schools over private; the private schools do not have higher math and reading scores after two years; some of these facilities have teachers that don't even have bachelor degrees. Well, I see a few flaws in this reasoning. If it promotes the private schools, why are their more public schools than private? Why are their more four more schools with greater than 500 enrolled students? And if the curriculum is no better, why wouldn't they use their superiority (or average-ness, as it apparently is) as a recruiting tool? And if again, if the facility is using inferior teachers - as they believe the bachelor's degree conveys superiority - why wouldn't they use that as recruiting tools? The problem lies in the union. The teachers union doesn't want competition. Competition would mean that teachers are judged on what they produce, not on the amount of time they have been there. No other job receives raises that have nothing to do with performance. The bigger question is why are we reducing the opportunities for these students to attend the school they believe could help them. And why are we reducing the chances for students to attend schools that have higher than 70% graduation rates?

These things are examples of the a minority (the union), which number less than 10% of our population, have such control over the lives of so many. Unions, at one point, were an amazing thing that helped many people in this country. But, at this point, they are self-serving organizations that do little to benefit their patronage. The only group that benefits from the unions are politicians. I bet any black union member would have a hard time listing the views that the union has supported to help them.

I believe this is the perfect example of our large government. We have added the unions as a militant arm of the Democrat party. We are now supporting them as though they are government employees. And we do so much to ensure that they are allowed to prosper that they should over-run our country. An employer can do nothing to prevent the unionization of his employees - short of closing their business. But they still make up only 7.6% of Americans. So, why aren't they more numerous? Because most Americans realize the horrible down side to their infestation - they control everything. They even do you the honor of turning down jobs for you. And we want to pass card-check? The unions are upset with their lack of saturation of the American work place. This would make it easier for the unions to force unionization.

And we are sure they won't strong arm people? Everything they do will be honorable and above-board?


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