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20 years

Editor's Note: Every now and then jonchristianryter.com posts articles written by another blogger, but over the past ten years, there have only been a handful. Tip O'Neal's political nemesis in Massachusetts, Bill Barnstead, the fiery advocate for conservative values is the most notable; and former Georgia State Senator, head of Eagle Forum of Georgia and dear friend, Nancy Schaefer who met a tragic death on March 16, 2010. In every instance where someone else's blog appears on my website it is because I know, or knew, the writer of the pieces andthey were among a small cadre of people I call "friend." Never before have I posted an article written by someone I don't know. But, I was forwarded this link, with some comments by a friend. The blog is http://granitegrok.com/blog/2006/07/skip-murphy.html The owner of the site is Skip Murphy, an almost doctor who became a computer geek. (Wish he was a next door neighbor. I have a lot of computer problems. But then, I'd be the neighbor that caused the blinds to be drawn and the TV shut off everytime someone knocked on his door. My site gets hacked by the far left too much, and I need a web doctor rather than a med doctor.) Enough of corney intro. Murphy wrote a brief blog piece, inviting comment. The topic was on target. And clearly, jobs are leaving the United States faster than illegal aliens are entering. You'd figure the illegals at the borders would simply follow the jobs—south.

Government Unions Must Go
Let the discussion begin. When it comes to union money in politics, as other government unions like the NEA, AFT, UFT, SEIU, AFGE, NAGE, IAFF and others pour money into the political process, the actual figure is staggering. Several yearsa ago the National Institute of Labor Relations Research estimated that unions spent $925 million on the 2004 election. Since then, it's only gotten more pervasive.

None of the political spending has come without a cost to the American taxpayer. As the Heritage Foundation's James Sherk has noted, public-sector unions have created a behemoth with a high cost to taxpayers: • Federal workers make an average of 22% more than similar private sector workers (who pay federal workers' salaries) • Federal worker' wages and benefits will cost taxpayers $47 billion in 2011 • State and local retiree healthcare and pensions are underfunded $3.1 trillion (as compared to $165 billion in underfunded private-sector pension plans) • Government unions, nationwide, are campaigning for higher taxes.

Recently, there have been a number of comments and questions from readers suggesting that there must be a way to end the stranglehold that public sector unions have on the economy. There is. However, in order to do this, there has to be a broader understanding among Americans as to the cost and ramifications of having government unions controlling the government, as well as more courage and resolve from politicians. It also helps to understand how government unions came to be.

Then he made said: "As odd as it may seem, even labor's most infamous government benefactor, President Franklin Roosevelt was against the formation of government unions." I did a double take before realizing that Skip was right. While FDR had been in bed with the unions, and created a myriad of laws to protect the unions and penalize corporations in negotiating with union bosses, Roosevelt was against allowing unions into the hallowed halls of government—except to bring the checks to Congressmen and Senators that bought them the legislation they wanted. Skip quoted a 1937 FDR statement: "Meticulous attention," FDR said, "should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government...The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.

Editor's note: If you recall when the unions attempted to unionize the Air Traffic Controllers, the air traffic controllers union made demands on the Reagan Administration and threatened to walk off the job if Reagan did not recognize the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO). When Reagan refused to recognize the union, 13,000 of the nation's 17,500 air traffic controllers walked off the job in an attempt to cripple the nation's airline industry and force the government to accede to their demands. Reagan stood fast and told the air traffic controllers if they were not back at the posts on August 5, 1981, they would be fired. All but 1,300 of the striking air traffic controllers decided to call Reagan's bluff—and learned too late he wasn't bluffing. Reagan fired 11,345 controllers. By Executive Order, they are banned from forever working as an air traffic controller. Reagn replaced the striking air traffic controllers with non-union controllers and military air traffic controllers. While the fledgling PATCO and the AFL-CIO thought they would easily be able to rally support for the fired PATCO employees, they were wrong. The American people did not, and still do not, want government employees at the federal, state, county or municipal levels to belong to a union. Nor to they want those "civil servants" to [a] earn 22% more than they do, [b] have medical benefits (paid by the taxpayer) to be up to 50% better than what they private sector pays for from its own pocket, and [c] have a retirement program that pays them 75% to 100% what they ending pay check was—for the rest of their lives, with COLA benefits carved in stone.

So, Skip asks, how did government unions come to be? Shocked me when I saw it since I thought the culprit was Bill Clinton. But, it turns out the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, sold out the taxpayers of the United States by authorizing labor unions to unionize government workers under Executive Order 10988 on Jan. 17, 1962. Theoretically, any incoming President (I mean a real one) who is a verifiable natural born citizen under Article II of the Constitution, can wipe out the federal unions with a new Executive Order. With a broad stroke, Kennedy's EO cited Section 1753 of the Revised Statutes (5 USC 631, Section 1.(a) as giving employees of the federal government the right to join a union.

What it boils down in blogs is that some of the best comments come from the emails of readers and not those who post their comments on the blogs. In this case, the reader was gblum,el@******.net who emailed Davsmi47@******.com and observed: FedGo and other government employee unions truly are a cancer on our political system and our economy, killing our freedoms and our prosperity. Think Greece and France and the UK and others...We can't solve serious problems eating away at our Republic unless we identify and understand them—Geo.

To which Davsmi47 replied: "Imagine, if you will, that Major League baseball salary negotiations were conducted with Player Reps on one side of the table and more of their team mates on the other side of the table. This is basically what has been going on when government employees negotiate with other government employees over salaries and benefits for government employees. No one there represents the public's interest. We have government employees awarding each other salaries, pensions, and benefits that cannot possibly be paid, even after expropriating the assets of the rest of society.

The last thing the unions and the politicians want is an independent Civil Service Commission determining salaries, benefits and pensions after taking in account what value the employees have contributed to society, and how much society can afford to give them.

Right now, like France and Greece, we have a system which awards salaries, benefits and pensions on the basis not of what society can afford, but what the civil servants want. Editor's note: I guess that's why civil servants in small village settings in California have voted themselves salaries in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and pensions in the millions. And why unions like SEIU, AFGE and the NEA negotiate exorbitant pensions incomes for their members—the taxpayers bear the burden of paying the bill.






Just Say No
Copyright 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
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