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.