Conservative News & Commentary

Jun 10, 2012 — by: A. Smith
Categories: Economics, Government, Culture

Money_falling_from_skyIf you haven't noticed, a reoccurring theme has permeated this blog by various writers: Public Unions. The writers at KlamathNews.net have been very careful to make the clear distinction between public and private unions. We believe there can be a place for unions in the private sector. However the public sector is completely different. The public sector is a monopoly on a particular set of services for the community. It is this very fact that because governments hold monopolies on particular services that employees of the government should not be able to unionize.

Why? We'll let's look at an illustration. Suppose the union that manages the District Attorneys office think the DA and his crew aren't getting a good deal and decide to strike. Who else can prosecute a criminal case? No one. The DA's office owns a monopoly on that activity. Because this has the potential to do great public harm, Oregon law doesn't allow a public union to strike. Instead Oregon law states that if the county and a public union can't agree on a compensation package the matter goes to mediation. Almost always the mediator will rule somewhere in the middle. While that might seem fair, it isn't. What if the county doesn't have another nickel to spare? What if the voters want the commissioners is to cut costs? Does the mediator take these factors into consideration? Of course not. At best the mediator looks at the two proposals and picks something in the middle. But that is not what the voters may have wanted, so the public union process has subverted the people's will on the county controlling costs.

You've probably heard the phrase, "A government of the people, by the people and for the people." It is the last part of this phrase that public unions totally destroy. Public unions only represent the government employee's best interest (and their own), not the public at large.

The bottom line is that the purpose of Public Employee Unions is to obtain as much wealth for itself and their constituency as possible. This is fine in and of itself as we all try to do this. If Bob the barber can get $15 a hair cut instead of $12, he'll charge $15. However, public unions use special rules and laws to achieve their aim. Moreover, government is a unique organization in society. Governments don't create wealth. Governments get their "revenue" through force of law by taking it from the private sector (you and I). Therefore when public unions are able to secure contracts that make it almost impossible to fire poor performance government employees and have compensation packages that are unrealistic to sustain (let alone not based on merit), then what is really occurring redistribution of wealth from the people to the government and its union.

Look at any government budget and the number one problem is growing employee compensation — almost always dictated by the public union wanting more and more for its members. How government is supposed to achieve that "more" is none of their concern, and that is exactly why public unions must be dismantled. Only then will government be able to control costs and deliver an efficient government that is not an overwhelming burden on the people it is supposed to serve.

4 Comments

  1. Finnious T. Fogbottom ~ Jun. 11, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

    Hide! Hide! Hide! Austerity is coming! Austerity is coming! MORE THAN AGREED SIR A.SMITH. In fact when you combine the words Austerity and Rich you might even come up with Austrich AKA Ostrich. Just like austerity and wealth there is a lot of myth and misunderstanding surrounding the ostrich. Here is what I found out about that much maligned bird etc: “If threatened while sitting on the nest, which is simply a cavity scooped in the earth, the hen presses her long neck flat along the ground, blending with the background. Ostriches, contrary to popular belief, do not bury their heads in the sand.” Nevertheless, there is some truth to the theory that whether your head is on the ground or in it, if that particular state is combined with raising one’s fanny high in the air at the approach of danger you may not be the most difficult thing in the world to bag. Regardless of how noble the intent. When it comes to the hunt for austerity in government some seem to believe (with drilled down compunction) that austerity is simply another attempt on the part of the evil greedy rich (the bane of Marxists and Communists the world over) to keep themselves high and mighty while forcing everyone else down and out. Unsurprisingly that’s how many of the teetering E.U. Nations are rationalizing their current dismal financial situation. Instead of accepting the need for austerity and hatching an intelligent understanding of how it was that their problems came to roost, they are retreating further onto their commune-nests. Ironically in Greece the very groups which hard pressed the government to provide them with nice yet unsustainable and un-fundable obligations and programs are forming collations intent on bringing the government down. It makes you wonder just where their heads are? Now wealth is an interestingly maligned subject as well. On the historic world standard to have adequate potable water, year round abundant food and comfortable shelter, regardless of other circumstances, well that would be wealth beyond belief. Then to hold a job for 20 or so years with a comfortable living and then be able to cease working and still paid about the same for as long as you live, with discounted health care benefits and adjustments for inflation etc. – well that would be a rich person’s life. In fact if you gained an adequate supply of money from the private sector to do all of that now you'd have to be a millionaire. When you figure the financial uncertainty facing us at this time in history, you’d most likely have to be a multimillionaire in order to fareaswell. If one thinks that more than a few in the private sector can get to that point right now (with greens and regs/laws and taxes and feds and courts and...) you’d have to have your head deep on or in the sand. Yes, one could say that wealth has already been successfully redistributed in the USA. That is, until (like in the Eurozone) the bird nests long enough to hatch austerity. Then all union high and mighty Hell just might break loose. Only a buried bird brain would think that China and Russia won’t consider taking advantage of that moment and bag us all… Austerity is coming! Hide! NO NO NO, without austerity we will definitely need to hide! Austerity is coming!!!! Finnious T. Fogbottom #
  2. Please withold for obvious reasons ~ Jun. 13, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

    I am a Tea Party Republican, but last March I wrote a letter to Dennis Richardson who was stumping for a huge reduction in benefits for Oregon public employees. This was inspired by the Scott Walker battle in Wisconsin. Dear Mr. Richardson, I agree with you regarding employees paying a portion of their health insurance, but if you implement the change in benefits based on other states, let’s also bring their wages comparable to the other states. I know for a fact that workers hired after the change in PERS also receive lower wages, but the medical benefits offset the difference. Let’s be fair and pay the same wages and benefits enjoyed by the private sector. Another sore spot with many people is both Democrats and Republicans always play the “education card” when discussing state priorities. The State of Oregon spends more money per student than most states and is ranked among the lowest in the nation in education. I am not in favor of throwing more good money after bad for education. Get rid of the federal subsidies so state lawmakers can set standards for teaching and education instead of a “one fits all” across the nation set by the federal government. I am certainly in favor of raising the standards of education in Oregon, mainly because they can’t get much lower, but if you truly want citizen involvement in the governmental process, then do it across the board and not primarily on the backs of your dedicated workers. (In other words, lets see the politicians take a cut in benefits as well!) Sincerely, XXXXXX The problem with most politicians is they underestimate the intelligence of their constituents. As soon as the debacle in Michigan started politicians across the nation jumped on the bandwagon regardless whether the state had already reduced PERS or not. All of the above may be true in some states, but not so in Oregon. Many states, Oregon included reduced the benefits of new state workers long ago after realizing it was unsustainable. This doesn't matter to politicians, the fanfare for following in Scott Walker's footsteps was an opportunity to turn the spotlight on themselves, and using the money saved for education was another trump card typically used by both parties. Oregon public employees did take a cut in benefits, and I doubt you will ever hear of the money being used PRIMARILY for education. Most likely it will be put in the general fund and used at the discretion of the politicians; nothing else would make sense in the political culture! #
  3. B. Franklin ~ Jun. 16, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

    Thanks for writing in. Your comment that interested me most was, "Let’s be fair and pay the same wages and benefits enjoyed by the private sector." If that is to be true, then we need to make sure that we remove any kind of ten-year or "employment for life" from government jobs. The fact that unions have made getting rid of poor performance government employees nearly impossible is a major difference between private and public employment. In the private sector you can lose your job at any time for a number of reasons. This is not true in the public sector, which leads to complacency and poor perforamance. Moreover, government needs to be able to grow and down size according to their budgets, just like the private sector. This means the ability to hire and lay off workers at will to meet budgets when necessary. Finally, I don't know of any private sector jobs where the employee doesn't contribute over 50% to their medical, life and retirement. Today government employees contribute little if anything to their benefits, this is all picked up by the tax payer. So if we want all things to be equal, and to make public jobs more like private ones, we need to remove the false protections and free benefits currently given to public employees. #
  4. finnious T. Fogbottom ~ Jun. 18, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

    For some time now a good portion of our nation has been concerned about what is fair and just, equitable, healthy and natural. We have heard all about eating local, buying local, earth justice, partnerships, stakeholders, biodiversity, overpopulation, equal access, open boarders, equality, universal peace, consensus, living wages, the global village, global warming, climate change (now climate disruption), climate justice, environmental justice and restoration, monitoring, parity, the threatened, the endangered, the polluted, the degraded, the bullied, the down trodden, rights of all kinds, the 99%, the 1%, occupy, corporate greed, financial justice, workers’ rights, sense of place, green jobs, sustainability, the Illuminati, the new world order, corporate personhood (or the disallowance of), over consumption, smaller footprints, partisan uncooperation and on and on. There are also the misminded logic deprived goof balls like the dude who climbed the flag pole at the State Capital and hung a banner that said something like “We want trees and schools”. He obviously has no idea where jobs and wealth comes from. We have equally ridiculous signs all over the Basin that say KBRA=JOBS (jo---BS). We have the prodigy of the long dead demanding compensation for wrongs foisted upon the by the long dead by the long dead. We have corruptly agenda driven scientists who covet the land of others while stealing the economic future of thousands, at the same time griping about the success of alleged draconian major retailers etc. etc. etc. All of those perceived wants, needs and deficiencies have been aggressively pur---sued to the point that the nation and the world is finally about to economically and socially implode. You could say that there has been an ongoing misguided mass attempt to get back to the peace and paradise of Garden of Eden, but unfortunately it has all been against and without God – the very condition that got the world into the mess it is in in the first place! Priorities and concerns do have a tendency to adjust to meet the current paradigm though and as a result the future doesn’t look all that good to me. That being said pretty soon issues like public sector salaries and benefits may not even be on the radar. We’ll most likely have a whole new set of very practical and pressing goals to deal with, like mere survival and marauding hordes. #

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