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Donald Douglas

Unions and ‘Public-Sector Thugs’

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Posted on February 23 2011 9:00 am

I received a comment last night from M. Bouffant:

Hey, “public-sector thug,” when Gov. Brown starts cutting your salary & benefits, are you going to take it?Say, why not volunteer to give a few dollars back to cut that deficit right now? Or would that be too “collectivist?”

I’ve had a couple of other comments of this sort as well. Folks like this aren’t regular readers here, or else they’d already have noticed my position on public unions: “‘Have You or Anyone Close to You Belonged to a Union?‘” I’ve never had issues with unions. It’s progressives I have issues with, and I work with these clowns. Mostly selfish and dumb, I called out some folks at my college for their pampered privilege. At one point, of course, a third of the American labor force was unionized, and millions of God-fearing workers have benefited from collective bargaining. My good friend Reliapundit commented at the post:

DD, GREETINGS!one of my gramps was a founding member of local 3 of the ibew. he was a member in good standing his whole life. 65 years in the union. marched with them every labor day. the union was good to him. but, he would have made more money if he had put his dues into an ira/401k and been in his own business. his widow would have been better off. his daughters. and his grandchildren. the unions have outlived their need in the usa. and another thing: government workers should not be allowed to unionize. fdr opposed it for good reason. walker is right. and christie, too. we need to rein in afscme and the seiu. we need to break the union-democrat party axis. the axis of taxes. we need to do it now. G-d Bless You and the USA!

The “axis of taxes.” I like that!

Anyway, this is a pretty common meme on the left, that conservatives are somehow hypocrites if they work in government but nevertheless oppose the idiotic public-sector thugs. Demon-blogger TBogg is endlessly smearing Glenn Reynolds for allegedly blogging Atlas Shrugs — “going Galt” — from the cushy confines at the University of Tennessee. No doubt hate and worthless ridicule gets these folks up in the morning. Sad.

In any case, the New York Times has a related piece this morning, “Bonds in Wisconsin Begin to Fray“:

JANESVILLE, Wis. — Rich Hahan worked at the General Motors plant here until it closed about two years ago. He moved to Detroit to take another G.M. job while his wife and children stayed here, but then the automaker cut more jobs. So Mr. Hahan, 50, found himself back in Janesville, collecting unemployment for a time, and watching as the city’s industrial base seemed to crumble away.Among the top five employers here are the county, the schools and the city. And that was enough to make Mr. Hahan, a union man from a union town, a supporter of Gov. Scott Walker’s sweeping proposal to cut the benefits and collective-bargaining rights of public workers in Wisconsin, a plan that has set off a firestorm of debate and protests at the state Capitol. He says he still believes in unions, but thinks those in the public sector lead to wasteful spending because of what he sees as lavish benefits and endless negotiations.

“Something needs to be done,” he said, “and quickly.”

Across Wisconsin, residents like Mr. Hahan have fumed in recent years as tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs have vanished, and as some of the state’s best-known corporations have pressured workers to accept benefit cuts.

Wisconsin’s financial problems are not as dire as those of many other states. But a simmering resentment over those lost jobs and lost benefits in private industry — combined with the state’s history of highly polarized politics — may explain why Wisconsin, once a pioneer in supporting organized labor, has set off a debate that is spreading to other states over public workers, unions and budget woes.

More at the link (via Memeorandum).

Unions. Shooting themselves in the foot while progressives blame the evil Koch billionaires. Sounds like a movie, or something.

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