The Right Opinion

Disorganized Labor

By Burt Prelutsky · Dec. 29, 2012

A lot of conservatives were delighted when Michigan decided to become a right-to-work state. I was one of them, but I wasn't quite as ecstatic as some. The problem is that by now everyone who isn't a union boss or one of the dumber members of a private sector union could see the writing on the wall. The unions have been going the way of the dodo for some time now.

It's not just that private sector unions have been losing members and influence, but that they've gone out of favor with the public. We've seen their thug-like behavior in Wisconsin and now in Michigan. We've seen teachers carrying placards that insist they're demonstrating on behalf of the kids who are using phony medical excuses to play hooky so that they can make an embarrassing spectacle of themselves in public. It's worth noting that only 31 % of Michigan's eighth graders are proficient in math and a mere 28% are up to snuff when it comes to reading.

Perhaps the next time that public school teachers in Michigan or anywhere else decide to do something for the kids, they might try teaching them something besides how to walk in circles while chanting inane slogans.

It's no secret that right-to-work states have lower unemployment rates than those that allow unions to have a monopoly when it comes to jobs. In their defense, the unions point out that union employees get paid more than other workers. What they neglect to mention is that people don't rush to build factories or start businesses in those states for that very reason.

These days, thanks to global markets, manufacturers located in, say, New York aren't just competing with companies in South Carolina or Oklahoma, but with those in China, India and the Philippines. And when you factor in not only salaries, but pensions and health insurance, it's a wonder that companies located in union states can compete with anyone.

Most of us have gotten fed up with unions using their clout in order to keep teacher/perverts on salary for years, long after they've been accused of molesting their young charges. Just recently, the UAW forced Chrysler to re-hire 13 workers who had been captured on video boozing and smoking pot on their lunch breaks. And let us not forget that when southern non-union volunteers came north to help restore electricity for victims of Hurricane Sandy, the union thugs in New Jersey made them turn around and go home.

One of the reasons that Broadway tickets are so pricey is because for decades, New York unions have forced producers of non-musicals to place high-paid musicians on their payrolls.

So the fact that private sector unions are finally getting their teeth kicked in is welcome news in most quarters. The problem is that it does nothing to rein in the public sector unions. Whereas private sector unions have been losing members for years, the federal government has been hiring, on average, 101 new employees every day since Obama took office. That comes to roughly 145,000 new deadheads. Their average salary is $84,000-a-year, which is $32,000 more than the average salary of those paying the freight.. So even if you forget the pensions looming in the future, that's in excess of $12 billion a year and doesn't include all the federal employees who were on the job prior to January 20, 2009.

Is there anyone anywhere who thinks those bureaucrats are worth their weight in tax dollars? Well, of course there are. I refer to the folks over at the DNC who know that 99% of these people will vote for Democrats in every election.

But at some point, you would think that even liberals would, if only for the sake of variety, face reality. Reality is that when Social Security checks first started going out, there were about 30 workers whose payroll taxes went to pay one recipient. Now the number is something like two-and-a-half to one. That is the reason that Social Security has to be altered in some meaningful way before it crashes and burns.

The same reality reveals that there are 66 million Americans collecting Medicaid and food stamps, with another 21 million people on the federal payroll, compared to 129 million suckers employed in the private sector. Just how long does anyone believe 129 million tax payers can go on supporting those 87 million people? The only question is which comes first: bankruptcy or revolution.

That is why all the talk about going over the financial cliff strikes me as sheer balderdash. Obama and the Democrats, with their outrageous spending and their refusal to even pass a budget, took us over the edge a long time ago. Just because we haven't quite reached the rocks below doesn't mean we're not going to go splat in the near future.

We're exactly in the same position that Wile E. Coyote is in every time he runs off the cliff's edge and for a second or two seems to have vanquished gravity as he hovers in mid-air. But no matter how quickly he kicks his feet, the ground is his destiny.

But whereas Wile can immediately jump up, dust himself off, and – at least so long as the Acme Company continues sending him crates of dynamite on credit – begin plotting his revenge on the Road Runner, we poor saps are stuck with our deadly nemesis for another four years.

“Beep-beep!” indeed.

Appeal_patriots_day_5
24 Comments

Fellow CA Conservative in Red Dot, Blue State said:

Burt, Is there anybody other than lib's and union thugs perplexed as to how Detroit combined those two degenerate factions and in 60 years reduced the city from 1.8 million mostly middle class citizens to less than 700,000 dominated by government subsidized and/or unemployed lay abouts? Apparently the rest of Michigan has figured out what Detroit still can't grasp. BTW, Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 1:41 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

And a happy New Year to you, too.

Burt

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 1:53 PM

d.w.hudson in Michigan said:

I was delighted to be one of those Michigan residents who voted to place our State as a "right to work" State. Despite the protestations of my fellow professional union members. For far too long, teachers have been trying to convince us that higher pay and gold-ring benefits for them equaled better education for our children. All it truly equaled was higher costs for poorer outcomes.
I remain in favor of private sector unions where profits must be made in exchange for gains in wages and benefits. I remain completely against public sector unions where extortionary wages and benefits are gained in exchange for votes.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 8:23 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

D.W.: Hats off to you and your fellow Michiganders for coming to your senses.

Burt

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 1:56 PM

G Dub45 in Lee's Summit, MO said:

Burt - another strong article.
However, I am concerned somewhat with your "That is the reason that Social Security has to be altered in some meaningful way before it crashes and burns."
Ever since I entered the work force at 14, a portion of my paychecks, salaries, and commissions have had monies withheld for Social Security. A set-aside, I was told, so that I would have MY funds available to me upon retirement. Pres Johnson seems to have had that changed in 1969 to benefit his 'Great Society' programs. ps - DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT SNOPES TRIES TO TELL YOU ON THAT ONE. Well now it seems that I have an IOU instead of funds.
Sorry, I expect my money back over time - not an IOU, not an O'Butthead mandated reduction in benefits, not another scam.
It is time for another 4th of something.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 9:17 AM

CA Conservative in Red Dot, Blue State replied:

G Dub, I hate to disagree with you (truly I do, as I am about to start collecting SS as well) but the government has been lying to us. We have never “paid into” anything, we have always paid a tax it calls “social security.” At the same time it has been paying a benefit to whomever over the age of whatever it decides that it also calls social security. There has never been a congressional budget connection between those line items except for the IOU’s it claims to have written. That and statements they send us annually are part of the grand deception to make us feel better about the confiscation of our money to give to someone else. It would be clearly unconstitutional for it to do what it claims to be doing, forcing people to save money with the federal government to be paid out in their old age and forfeit that money upon death; but as a separate tax and benefit it has passed for constitutional. With the way the law was originally written it can change both the tax and the benefits at any time for any reason if it gets enough votes on Capitol Hill. This is how they aren’t required to make any changes to the system now that it pays out more than it collects, there is no legal connection between the two items. This is how it is able to pay benefits to people who have never paid a dime of SS taxes. That said I agree it is time for another 4th of something.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

G. Dub: Social Security was always a Ponzi scheme just waiting to explode. I believe FDR, who kicked it off, was also the first to start replacing money with IOUs to help finance WWII. People should have been trusted to provide for their own retirements. Putting the government in charge was the beginning of our nanny state. A massive federal government was what FDR and his fellow socialists wanted, and what Obama and his stooges still want.

Burt

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Tex Horn in Texas said:

A well written article, Burt, and Amen to it. As you know, Californians and nearly everyone else is flocking to Texas. I suspect it has a lot to do with Texas being a right-to-work state. And, although we have a rather high tax rate on goods, we have no state income tax. Please don't read this as an invitation to come here if you are a liberal, cause we have enough California ex-pats here already. Although, we would welcome you, Burt, because we could use your wit and writing skills in Austin.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Patrick Jones in Siler City, NC replied:

Tex, I'll trade your Californian fruits and nuts for all the Northeastern Yankees who have moved here to North Carolina. And I'll throw in the "Half-Backs" too.

(Half-Backs are the Yankees who first moved to Florida, didn't like it, and moved half-way back, i.e. North Carolina.)

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Honest Abe in North Carolina replied:

PJ, I know of exactly what you describe. They bring their northeast hubris with them and ruin our Carolina culture by insisting we become the same situation they created and then fled from. Akin to a Cuban fleeing to the U.S. from the communist paradise of Castro and once here, voting for Obama.

Monday, December 31, 2012 at 7:33 PM

CA Conservative in Red Dot, Blue State replied:

G Dub, I hate to disagree with you (truly I do, as I am about to start collecting SS as well) but the government has been lying to us. We have never “paid into” anything, we have always paid a tax it calls “social security.” At the same time it has been paying a benefit to whomever over the age of whatever it decides that it also calls social security. There has never been a congressional budget connection between those line items except for the IOU’s it claims to have written. That and statements they send us annually are part of the grand deception to make us feel better about the confiscation of our money to give to someone else. It would be clearly unconstitutional for it to do what it claims to be doing, forcing people to save money with the federal government to be paid out in their old age and forfeit that money upon death; but as a separate tax and benefit it has passed for constitutional. With the way the law was originally written it can change both the tax and the benefits at any time for any reason if it gets enough votes on Capitol Hill. This is how they aren’t required to make any changes to the system now that it pays out more than it collects, there is no legal connection between the two items. This is how it is able to pay benefits to people who have never paid a dime of SS taxes. That said I agree it is time for another 4th of something.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 1:47 PM

G Dub45 in Lee's Summit, MO replied:

CAC - I think that you have a valid point there. But, to be valid we would have to view our Federal Government as sneaky, deceitful and crooked.
Oh, that WAS your point wasn't it.
Yep, I am with you now.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Fellow CA Conservative in Red Dot, Blue State replied:

G Dub, You must be in a grand mood today to describe our current government in such kind terms. Happy New Year to you and yours!

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 2:12 PM

CA Conservative in Red Dot, Blue State replied:

Tex, Sorry for the comment above, meant to reply to G-Dub on that one.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Tex: Thank you. Don't think I haven't considered moving. But at our age, it becomes less and less likely. You might consider putting limits on immigration from California. People have a way of bringing their old voting habits with them. By the time that Oregon made that discovery, it was too late.

Burt

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Tex Horn in Texas said:

@ Patrick Jones: I know some of which you speak, because I have family in NC. But, in the end, I figure they're all about the same. Liberals neither of us want in our states. I like the "Half-Back" story, because my relatives along the Blue Ridge Parkway complain about the "Half-Backs" all the time.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

Don't you just love how you paid taxes into Social Security all those years and now that you can draw it ou have to pay taxes on it. Talk about doubling up by the "guvmint". Reform the 79 or 80 welfare programs first, cut government employment, do away with foreign aid, and then talk about changing Social Security. If these aren't reformed first then don't touch Social Security. We're getting our share of liberals out of the Norheast but so far they haven't made a difference in our State and Local govts. However, who knows what will transpire in the future?

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Old Sarge: The government is always doubling, sometimes tripling, down. Earn money and they tax it. Invest what's left, turn a profit, and they tax it. Die, and they tax it again.

Secession or revolution seems inevitable.

Burt

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Howard Last in Wyoming said:

Burt, how come no one calls social security by its correct name, "Stealing from your Children and Grandchildren". Ask a grandparent if they would steal from their grandchild's piggy bank? The answer of course is NO. But tell them they are stealing their grandchild's future. How many people know that social security was the idea of Otto Bismarck and that it was refined by Adolph. FDR fits right in with these two great humanitarians. Want to know why the retirement age for SS was set at 65? When Bismarck started the scheme most people never reached 65. Compared to FDR, Bernie Madoff was a piker. Besides Bernie did not hold a gun to anyone's head to force them to join his scheme. See what happens if you don't pay your FICA. Just be glad it is the IRS coming after you and not the BATF. The IRS will only put you in jail, the BATF will kill you (remember Ruby Ridge and Waco). I was self employed and put away approximately the same amount as FICA. I am now getting a return about an order of magnitude larger. For those that went to govmint skools that is ten times.

Want to know why we have the Thousands Standing Around (TSA) instead of the airport security system Israel has used successfully or many years? Up Chuck Schumer knew the thousands would be union members and vote Democrap.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

I agree, Howard. My only quibble with you is that most of the grandkids deserve to be robbed; they twice voted for Obama in overwhelming numbers. I say let them suffer the consequences of their actions.

Burt

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Eleanor in AK said:

Old Sarge, Great ideas. Stop all foreign aid. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet can solve the AIDS crisis. Get the USA out of the UN and let the UK and Russia police the world. Slam the student visa door and watch the research universities go bust. Dismantle the welfare state and watch crime soar. End COLAs on all government pensions. Repeal pensions for elected officials. Impose term limits on same. Repeal the 16th and 17th Amendments to protect the 10th. Sell your stocks on Monday so you can pay 15% Capital Gains instead of 39% on Tuesday. Extend the retirement age by six months each year and make room in your house for grandma. Let the Social Security Ponzi scheme unravel and we'll all pay for it one way or another. Wish I had all the answers and the ability to do something about it.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Orf in Pittsburgh said:

Burt wrote, "But at some point, you would think that even liberals would, if only for the sake of variety, face reality." Liberalism is a form of insanity. Would you expect a delusional, hallucinating schizophrenic to face reality? Liberals live in a world of their own imagination, pure fiction directed toward the unattainable utopia. Their opinions are not fact-based nor logical, but they are rock solid and unalterable. Ever try reasoning with a libtard? It is just as sensible as trying to tighten your nuts with a wrench.

Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 2:02 PM

BlueShadowII in Texas said:

I believe you should have said, "unionIZED employees get paid more than other workers". With the exception of executives (union bosses), those employed BY unions are notoriously under paid.

Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 8:26 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Blue: An excellent point.

Burt

Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 12:39 PM