Friday, February 18, 2011

Union vs. Union


There is a tragic opera, a Wagnerian tug of war being played out all across America.  The ‘haves’ vs. the ‘have nots’; the ‘needy’ vs. the ‘don’t need a thing,’ the we vs. they.
At the heart of the battle is the struggle in Wisconsin where both truth and a deceiving lie are the main characters.
First the truth and as painful as it may be to hear it labor unions have caused our municipal and federal deficits to rise.
Hey, facts are facts and to sane minds facts are indisputable.
You do remember facts don't you?
Facts such as global warming.
But I digress
Unions gain higher wages and concessions from their employers for their individual members either by collective bargaining or, in the extreme threats of slowdowns and strikes.
But for their loyalty and continued service they cannot and do not ask for so much that the company or concern for which they work would go under!
The public, comprised of many non union workers is told by the owners of the companies and certain media concerns that the unions cause prices to go up and therefore cost the rest of us money.  That tactic of playing to the media is meant to get us on the side of the them.
Union members are vilified by these groups as freeloaders on the public dime or even dole.
We are told that they get far better health care with lower rates than the rest of us and that they receive automatic wage increases for little or no increase in efficiency even while the rest of the country is experiencing high unemployment.
Many of us non union people have long since passed the so-called 99er status.  We can no longer collect unemployment wages yet we still cannot find gainful employment of any kind.
We have also been vilified as lazy, pot smoking, baby creating, sex crazed losers by the same people who are now fighting the unions.
The same people to whom we must apply for jobs.
And just what is the makeup of these wonderful finger pointing groups?
The people spending all that money to advertise against the public workers and former workers of all kind happen to have a very important dog in the fight so to speak.
No, I am not talking about Michael Vick but rather the owners of large corporations and their Republican friends.
It is this unholy union that is holding the country hostage as they attempt not to deal or negotiate with labor unions anymore.
Now I said that labor unions cause the deficit to rise but so does bad weather.  And a host of other variables in and out of our control cause the deficit to fluctuate.
And that’s where the deceiving lie comes in.
Aside from the obvious fact that each side in an argument will always place as much blame as possible on the other side the winner in this contest goes to management and many members of the government.
But while management is active in the fight they realize a poor public relations persona could hurt their bottom line so they remain quiet choosing rather to work behind the scenes.
In other words they pull the strings and their puppets dance to the music.
And that brings us to those puppets aka their friends in the Republican Party, the corporate army, not to be confused with Dick Armey who is but one of their evil uncaring henchmen.
These non-silent partners of big business have emerged as the the true mustachioed villains of the piece, Boris and Natasha if you will.
Our government is comprised of men and women duly elected to serve the people of the country.  We entrust them with the power to write, create and enact laws aimed at making our lives safer and better.  We also empower them with the means to regulate business and foreign trade all while keeping the country safe from attacks both foreign and domestic.
So what is the lie of which I spoke earlier?
It is no secret that Governors are going to attempt to balance their State budgets.  That is their responsibility.  And a key factor therein is the compensation of public employees.
The lie is that the unions are the biggest piece of the deficit puzzle.
They are not!
They are collectively a large piece but by no means the largest.  And the have been shrinking in numbers for years, much to the delight of the Republican Party.
If the unions can be busted there will be far less organized support for the Democratic way of thinking and the Republicans will benefit tremendously!
Their plan is to go forward without unions around to offset the billions of dollars the corporations can now spend on campaign ads per their puppets in the Supreme Court.
Last December (2010) the Nation witnessed the caving in of the White House and the Democrats when they incredulously extended the incredibly ill advised Bush tax gifts (they are not tax cuts but rather gifts) to the very people who need the money the least.  And many of these people own or are board members of companies that have already and are still laying workers off while not hiring new ones.
They argued that the tax gifts were needed to give them the wherewithal to hire new employees.  And even though we all know better the Government fell for it.
But the people in the above scenario have nothing to do with the public work force since they own private sector companies and hire private sector workers.
So how do they fit in with the gist of the story about unions and union busting?
Well, I'm glad you asked!
Simply put the cities and states across the country are hurting.  Many municipalities are near bankruptcy and they must get or make money somehow.
But if it became apparent that billions upon billions of tax dollars were eschewed in lieu of keeping the wealthiest 2% of the country happy the Governors and the rest of their political allies would lose most if not all their credibility.
And the very same people who are making the most money and are paying the least amount of taxes by rate are the ones orchestrating the fight against the middle class workers of America.
They are deflecting our attention from themselves and picking on an easy target.
And they do it very well hiring actors who look like average Americans complaining about everything from oil company bashing to silly ads about fake taxes and constraints on soda!
The gap between the average worker in this country and those at the top, the owners of those companies has never been wider.
And to add insult to injury the largest most profitable corporations in the history of the world pay zero dollars in taxes!
Get out a calculator and see how much money we lose by allowing this fraud to continue.
We're like France in the 1830s & 40s - "Do you hear the people sing? Singing the song of angry men? It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again!"
Even Grimm would say our future is no fairy tale.
It's not too late!
If we cannot change the direction of this country and soon we may be spelling the end of the middle class.  The fat lady has started singing and the opera is well into the second act.
If these incredibly successful corporations and obscenely wealthy individuals were to suddenly lose their loopholes and inexplicably become honest and pay their fair share of taxes the country would be basking in a beautiful surplus rather than asking the poor and middle class to help pay down the current burdensome deficit.
If that happy ending were to miraculously occur the unions would no longer be depicted as the villain in this pseudo-Wagnerian tragic opera and perhaps all could live happily ever after.

1 comment:

Cousin Bruce said...

A friend from Hawaii currently residing in California writes:

"And CEOs are rewarded for poor performance and/or ethical breech w/outrageous severance packages which we'll never earn in our lifetime.
OK, now that my blood pressure is raised, I need to calm down and go study, LMAO! Good read (your blog)! Catch you later, hugs!"

Thank you Judy from Silicon Valley and sorry for the whole making your blood boil thing!