Back around 1980 the catch phrase was “Greed is Good”. Today it may be:
“I want it all, I want it now”.
Is this true or are we just in a state of confusion with some people saying they want entitlements for the sake of social justice and others saying, entitlements kill incentive and are sending us all to bankruptcy.
The governor of Wisconsin is now in the spotlight with a union battle, a threatened recall election and a looming $3.6 billion deficit in the next two years, so he passed legislation that limits union bargaining rights and this is what has a lot of people in an uproar.
The main question here is: is it the unions that are the bad guys or is it the Republicans? On one side it has to be realized that unions got rid of child labor, 12 hour work days and 6 day work weeks while adding improvements in the working environment like worker safety, overtime pay and some vacation time, so the unions have done a lot of good over the years. But now, the question is, have the unions gone too far? It has been reported that in 41 states, government union workers make more money than workers in private industry. Government union workers all have pension plans and medical plans, while workers in private industry have few of these benefits. Add to this, the insult that the workers in private industry are paying (through their taxes) for the higher pay, pensions and medical plans for the government union workers. This certainly is not fair.
Also consider that some union bus drivers in Wisconsin have been found to make $150,000 dollars a year. And in New York City, union school teachers that have been found to be unfit to be with students, (some for sexual assaults on students) but can not be fired from their jobs because their union contract will not allow it. So, there are many teachers who actually sit at home making full pay while doing nothing! In cases like this, the unions have clearly gone too far.
Now consider this; an article was written in the Wall Street Journal stating that the Federal Reserve likes to keep the inflation rate at about 2% a year, because it creates an idea in the public mind that it is better to purchase a item as soon as possible because it will be more expensive later on, and so business will be stimulated by increased consumer purchasing (this is not fair for people living on a fixed income). Now with this current underlying rate of at least (on average) 2% inflation per year, you add the opinion of union bosses that they have to deliver a great contract (not just a good contract) to its members so that they will be re-elected by the union members. So, they have to deliver a contract that is higher than the inflation rate, therefore, the result over the years is that American labor is priced out of the international trading system. Then on top of this, American corporations see the lower priced labor in foreign countries and so move America manufacturing to other countries. This is why the American economy is now a mess.
To add still another element to this mess is the fact that in some states if somebody wants a certain job, they are sometimes told that they can have that job only if they join a union and pay union dues. These unions then donate more of their collected dues money to Democrats in office (kick backs) that then arrange for more benefits and pay for the government union employees. This is why government union workers make more money and have better benefits than workers in private industry. But, now that the general public and Republicans have learned about this corrupt arrangement; efforts are being made to lessen the power of Democrats and the unions. This may in turn cause Democrats to have less money in coming elections; add to this, the over spending of Democrats in Washington and you get a public that wants fewer Democrats in public office , so they then get voted out. If extortion like this is what keeps Democrats in office, then this system must be stopped, and replaced with honesty in elections and free choice for workers.
This will in turn cause a Republican majority in government, that will most likely give less support for working people and the resultant lower pay and a loss of the few benefits that private industry workers now have.
It’s like the giant pendulum theory that people used to talk about; one political party gets in office and messes up everything, so they get voted out of office and the other party takes over, then also messes up everything, then the other party gets back in office and messes up again. This just goes back and forth with America taking a beating with whatever party is in office. If America had real leadership, a stop could be put to this damaging cycle; but instead of leadership, we only have political correctness and a real mess on our hands.
One would think that somebody, somewhere would have realized this and put a stop to it before it reached the damaging state it has now reached, but this so far hasn’t happened, and so America is in real trouble. Not even the politicians who always run for public office telling the public that they have all the answers to all our problems didn’t realized this. So, what now?
Maybe, the answer could be something like governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin putting an end to collective bargaining rights, but this just grates against the American character of free, open debates to settle disputes. And for the workers, it could end up like the New York City Police (who do not have the right to strike) and so get raises like ZERO year after year( under Mayor Dinkens that is). Also, this creates a situation where consumers have no money to purchase commodities and this only stagnates the economy making matters worse still.
Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m not just knocking Democrats here; Republicans are to blame here also, they after all support with tax breaks corporations who want to relocate to other countries. Also, Republicans like Rick Scott, governor of Florida who believe that making it harder to sue business in court for just compensation don’t realize that this policy breaks down the trust between consumers and corporations and so hurts America and business profits if consumers feel they don’t get a fair deal from business.
So a major question here is: where is the leadership? Certainly not from the government, not from the unions, not from anybody; it’s all just a bunch of groups fighting for the biggest piece of the pie they can get, forgetting about the good of the nation and not realizing that if America goes down, we all go down.
In other words, if all else fails, then maybe we should try real democracy and get back to the Constitution and just stop all the nonsense.