More thoughts on unions

Remember that scene in The Manchurian Candidate where Angela Lansbury explains her devious machinations to her doltish husband running for high office. He doesn’t understand why he has to keep changing the number of Communists that are allegedly in the Federal government – seems to him it would make more sense to settle on a number. Paraphrasing, she says:

The question now isn’t whether or not there is Communist infiltration in the Government. The question now is how many Communists are in the Federal government.

Pretty clever, eh? I love that movie, even if it’s an obscene fable that turns historical fact upside-down by claiming that Communist infiltration into the Federal government was actually a devious Conservative plot. The Manchurian Candidate is the granddaddy of films portraying noble Liberals and evil Conservatives. It also … rawks.

What does that have to do with the current union protests? It is my premise that the strikers way overplayed their hand in this outburst because it shed light on how much they make, how little they pay for benefits and – related to TMC – it now has people asking “why do public sector unions have so much power?” rather than “how much power do unions have?”

Poorly worded, but stick with me.

I’ve had a couple of interesting conversations about unions, collective bargaining, government v. private sector unions, teachers, etc. in the last few days, so I thought I’d share some thoughts.

A caller to Rush Limbaugh today took umbrage at Limbaugh’s painting of all teachers as being in cahoots with the likes of the freeloaders protesting in Madison-WI. The conversation went on for awhile, and it was instructive in the sense that the man was frustrated – his wife is a Conservative and a teacher in Ohio, and it was an insult to injury situation that she’s being lumped in with all these other teachers. Limbaugh took the opportunity to note that yes, there are many fine teachers out there who are Conservatives – the problem is we never, ever, ever, ever, ever hear from them.

I get into two arguments with my parents about public policy, both regarding the gap in generations:

  1. Social Security, along with Medicare, is helping to bankrupt this country. The current recipients won’t have to pay for this, it’s those of my generation and the generations behind me.
  2. Unions, whether public or private, have rarely served a meaningful purpose beyond the consolidation of power to retard useful industrial behavior.

My parents, like most people their age and of their generation, justifiably believe that since they were forced to pay into Social Security, the government owes it to them to give it back. Also because of their age, they believe that private unions are not the de facto cauldrons of evil that I paint them – they may be right, but it’s a moot point for me.

I give Fred-6 this: in two years and Hopenchange, he has awakened the sleeping giant of American societal contentment. People my age are worried about the debt being piled up and are starting to ask “why do we have to pay into a Social Security system that we will not collect benefits from?” and we are also asking, “why do the proles employed by the government at all levels make so much goddamn money?” This is an issue that defies politics except for the most Statist-entrenched: whether you are a Republican or Democrat, a Liberal or a Conservative, with children or without, if you are of Generation X you now realize that the generations in front of us are not leaving us a better nation than the one they inherited – the first such generations to do that.

Those like me on the far right end of the political spectrum say it simply: quit taking Social Security out of my pay, and I won’t expect a dime of it, even of what I’ve paid. I’ll take one for the team. Unfortunately, most people aren’t so giving with their at-the-point-of-a-gun investment.

Back to the initial point, though: people of all ages are finally waking up to the fact that as a nation and as individual states and communities, we cannot afford to pay the collectively-bargained gravy train that government proles are currently entitled to. It is impossible – and the more bailouts the Federal government feeds this train, the worse the problem gets. Completely leaving aside the dangers of private unions (see also: General Motors), the public unions are a threat to our democracy, especially when we have a President who speaks with union reps on a near-daily basis, a President who meddles in state affairs when it involves unions.

This is not general Conservative paranoia, it is a cancer on our nation’s ability to operate legally, economically and – I know this is quaint – fairly. The deal used to be that if you worked for the government, you got less pay but better benefits and retirement. Now, you get much better pay along with much better benefits and retirement. This must change. Aside from the philosophically bothersome reasons, it is motivating more and more people to seek work in government, which is producing more and more of a busybody society that impedes on everyone’s freedom.

 

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About godsowncrunk
I'm King B, the originator of the Jellywhite lyrical style and god's own crunk.

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