Saturday, May 16, 2009

Unions vs. Taxpayers

"Across the private sector, workers are swallowing hard as their employers freeze salaries, cancel bonuses and institute longer work days. (or shorter or no pay, no work days) while those in the public sector, the mood is entirely different. Call it a tale of two economies. Private sector workers---unionized and non union alike---can largely see that without compromises they may be forced to join the unemployment lines. Not so in the public sector.

Government unions used their increasing influence to ensure that a healthy chunk of the federal stimulus package was sent to states and cities (and counties) to preserve public jobs. Now they are fighting largely successful local battles to safeguard salaries and benefits. Their gains can only come at the expense of the tax-payers", so writes Steve Malanga, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Studies show that the average public-sector worker earned almost 50% more in salary and benefits than comparable private-sector workers. State and local benefits rose 3.1% in the last year compared to 1.9% in the private sector according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The real power of the public sector is showing through this economic crisis. Some 5 million private-sector workers have lost their jobs in the past year alone, (I believe that figure is way too low)and their unemployment rate is 9% according to the BLS. By contrast, the number of public employees, has grown in virtually every month of this recession and the jobless rate in the public sector is a mere 2.9%. For people to believe that this is good news must forget that the funding of the public sector comes from revenues that most of the public sector doesn't have (Think Peoria Public School District #150 and the City of Peoria) and can only get by raising the cost of living in this country, affecting mainly the retired, the unemployed, the non-union lower paid employees, the retirees, small business owners; many of them working with little or no salaries just to stay afloat, and, of course, union workers also.

There appears to be a union leadership conception that all union workers follow their union bosses like sheep and that all workers demand to be unionized. Also, that all Democrats want the public sector to outgrow the Private sector. For example the union-friendly legislation making its fourth attempt at passage and strongly supported by Obama, the card check bill (EFCA) that will make union organizing much easier (by eliminating a secret ballot and cutting to 180 days the time for management and the unions to work out an agreement before binding arbitration; arbitration by 2 Democrats and 1 Republican) two of the many changes greatly benefiting the organizing of workers by intimidation and by process) is opposed by many Democrats and by almost all businesses which the Chamber of Commerce is supposed to represent.

The private sector in business to make a profit so businesses can pay their employees a fair wage while businesses pay ever higher taxes on their profits to foot the the bill for the upward arc of government spending. While the public sector adds more union members which means more voters to contribute more money for political campaigns to sympathetic public sector growth politicians; especially under the current administration, creates an indefinite future for this country unless taxpayers find a way to roll back the enormous power public workers have acquired.

That power was and is being shown by a Democrat controlled Peoria County Board, 13 Democrats to 4 Republicans?? and out of 11 chairmanships, only 2 are occupied by Republicans, the lowest in recant history. The Democrat attack on the Heartland Partnership, the umbrella over the EDC and the Chamber of Commerce, seems to have a somewhat warped vision of business and unions working together. The Democrat controlled unions with their elected officials appear to believe that what is good for the unions, is good for the country rather than unions working with those who produce a product that can be taxed to support a competitive workforce.

The more government and public bureaucracies increase their hold on the American people, the faster the slide into Socialism that I have been warning about for the past 15 years or more. Surveys show that approximately 30% of the people in this country now favor Socialism over Capitalism and another 30% of Democrats would have voted for Blago again rather than to vote for ANY Republican.

The power of the party in control of most government is immense as we are finding out.

At least, over the next 4 years and possibly much longer IF the Republican party does not do more to distinguish itself from the party in power. It is becoming harder for moderate conservatives to remain in the party without having a greater voice in the LEADERSHIP of the party.

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