It used to be widely understood that collective bargaining has no place in government employment. In 1937, the American president beloved by liberals, FDR, warned that collective bargaining “cannot be transplanted into the public service.” George Meany, head of the AFL-CIO for a quarter century, said unions were not appropriate for civil servants. As recently as 1978, the vast majority of states prohibited unionization of government employees.
Anytime there is the slightest suggestion that perhaps in the middle of a deep recession, public school teachers should pay 1.5 percent of their salaries toward their extravagant health care plans for their entire families, suddenly we get television ads of hard-working men doing dangerous jobs on docks and in foundries while being abused by their greedy capitalist overseers.
The unions must be desperately hoping that no one will notice … Wait a minute! WE’RE TALKING ABOUT TEACHERS! This isn’t the Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs” — it’s Mrs. Cooper’s seventh-grade “values clarification” class.
With heavy union dues, labor has plenty of money to pay for propaganda and to threaten and bribe politicians.
On his first day in office, the Republican governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, signed an executive order denying public sector employees the right to bargain collectively — something that had been granted, naturally, by a Democratic governor.
As a result, Indiana government employees instantly got to take home an extra thousand dollars that no longer went to union dues — and good employees started getting raises, while bad employees got cashiered.
But government workers think the job of everyone else in the economy is to protect their high salaries, crazy work rules and obscene pensions. They self-righteously lecture us about public service, the children, a “living wage” — all in the service of squeezing more money from the taxpayer to fund their breathtakingly selfish job arrangements.
There’s never a recession if you work for the government. The counties with the highest per capita income aren’t near New York City or Los Angeles — they’re in the Washington, D.C., area — a one-company town where the company is the government. The three counties with the highest incomes in the entire country are all suburbs of Washington. Eleven of the 25 counties with the highest incomes are near Washington.
For decades now, the Democrats have had a good gig buying the votes of government workers with outrageous salaries, benefits and work rules — and then sticking productive earners with the bill. But, now, we’re out of money, no matter how long Wisconsin Democrats hide out in Illinois.
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