Public Employee Labor Unions

Public Employee Union Pensions

The Pew Center on the States recently concluded a study about pension, health care, and other retirement benefits that are promised to current and retired State Government Employees across America. The Pew Study found that American States have obligated themselves to future debts totaling $3.35 trillion to pay these benefits. The rub lies in the fact that these State Governments are short $1 trillion to meet these promises. Local Governments and the Federal Government are in the same predicament.

In 2006, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, on his first day in office, rescinded state workers' collective bargaining power. Governor Daniels said: “We have a new privileged class in America. We used to think of government workers as underpaid public servants. Now they are better paid than the people who pay their salaries.”

What happened across the country is that politicians created enormous future debts to public employee unions that translated into votes for them at the time, but placed incredible debt burdens on future citizens—bills that would come due long after the original politicians were out of office or even no longer among the living.

FLAG OF THE INTERNATIONAL LABOR UNION MOVEMENT
FLAG OF THE INTERNATIONAL LABOR UNION MOVEMENT
IT TAKES A UNION VILLAGE TO WATCH ONE MAN WORK
IT TAKES A UNION VILLAGE TO WATCH ONE MAN WORK

A Brief History of Public Employee Unions

 

People who work for the taxpayers—public employees of local, state, or federal governments—were prohibited by law from unionizing throughout the history of the United States.  Public employees were paid less than private sector workers performing similar tasks but had better job security—their employer could not go out of business as private companies can and do.

Robert Wagner, the Democrat Mayor of New York City in 1958, was the first politician to see people who worked for the public as a large block of voters.  Wagner signed an executive order authorizing a public employee union for city workers.  This was done outside of what we call democracy, meaning nobody but the mayor, and certainly not the "people," had any say in this decision. 

Soon enough, mayors and governors around the country who were Democrats saw the wisdom in this election strategy and followed suit.  In 1962, President Kennedy authorized federal employees to unionize for the first time.  Kennedy thus created a huge permanent set of voters Democrats could count on to nearly unanimously vote for them.  And a huge permanent set of public employee unions that would deduct massive amounts of money from government employee paychecks to be funneled exclusively to the Democratic Party. 

It has proved to be a brilliant coup for the Democratic Party.  Public employee unions are now the largest campaign contributors in American elections—virtually all to Democrat candidates.  Public employee unions have poured millions and millions of dollars into the campaigns of Democrat candidates across the country, but the money comes from all taxpayers, including Republicans and Independents.  Essentially, we have people of both parties, and no party, financing the election of one party. 

TYPICAL ATTITUDE OF UNION MEMBERS
TYPICAL ATTITUDE OF UNION MEMBERS
LABOR UNIONS
LABOR UNIONS

Public Employees


Public employees make far more than private sector workers today, and have incredible benefit packages including gigantic pension plans. A bus driver in Boston makes $70,000 per year and can retire at age 41 with a full pension. Some public employees have been promised retirement pensions of over $100,000 per year.

Some individuals will receive millions of taxpayer dollars before they die. These people might be paid 90 percent of their former exorbitant wages for over fifty years while they go fishing. In the meantime, the taxpayers on the hook for these monies keep working another 20 years or so. 27 million people who belong to public employee unions have been promised lifelong pensions from taxpayers.

Far more pernicious than the public employee wages, benefits and pensions, are the public employee union work rules which directly encourage doing as little work as possible, and make it nearly impossible to fire inept or lazy workers.

Public employee unions have the potential to bankrupt not only the federal government, but countless state and municipal governments that are already in trouble because of these wage, benefit, and pension plans. All because of what was from the beginning and still is today simply a scheme to garner votes for Democrats. Democrats sold our future down the river for political power.

And that is not all. The Pension Benefits Guarantee Corporation, a federal government program, has taxpayers on the hook to pay for any and all private union pension programs if a company goes out of business. This is why taxpayers recently paid $100B into the General Motors pension program. This is unsustainable. These socialist ideas have created major economic problems for the United States that could spell our ruin

PUBLIC EMPLOYEE UNIONS BLEED TAXPAYERS DRY
PUBLIC EMPLOYEE UNIONS BLEED TAXPAYERS DRY
PUBLIC EMPLOYEE UNIONS: A MONEY MAKING RACKET FOR DEMOCRATS
PUBLIC EMPLOYEE UNIONS: A MONEY MAKING RACKET FOR DEMOCRATS

How Unions Kill Productivity

 

To fully understand the problem with unions in general, let's think hypothetically for a few minutes.  Let's say Farmer John and his neighbor Farmer Joe both have 100 acres of apples to be picked. 

Farmer John runs an advertisement for apple pickers, interviews applicants, and selects the fifty people he thinks best.  He tells the fifty people that they will be paid a nickel for each apple they pick; the top five pickers the first week will be named supervisors; any caught sleeping on the job, along with the five who pick the least, will be fired and replaced.  The fifty people agree to this contract. This is what unions and their socialist supporters call "exploitation."

Farmer Joe is forced to use union workers.  In his case, the union selects the fifty pickers for Farmer Joe, based on their fervent loyalty to the union itself.  The union tells Farmer Joe he must pay each worker $150 a day, regardless if they pick one apple or a thousand.  Employees may not be fired for any reason, and the first five hired will automatically become his supervisors based solely on seniority.

Now I ask all reasonable people this question: which farm will be more productive? Which will bring in its harvest sooner?  Which will leave more apples on the ground to rot? Which farm will be most efficient and profitable, thereby continuing to provide jobs in the future versus the alternative—going out of business and leaving no jobs?

Let's say I invent a new vacuum cleaner.  I want 100 salesmen to go door-to-door and sell the machines.  Would I be wiser to hire non-union people that will agree to a contract offering $75 for each machine they sell; or union workers that I must pay $150 per day regardless if they sell five a day or none at all?  Which group will sell more vacuum cleaners—those paid on performance (merit) or those guaranteed that each of them will be paid the same regardless of effort, attitude,  and talent?

SEIU: OPENLY MARXIST
SEIU: OPENLY MARXIST

Have Labor Unions Been Good to America?


Unions in America were created to oppose the so-called robber barons—Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie, et al. In those days individuals such as these owned their huge companies personally. But public employee unions have no robber baron to oppress them, unless you consider average Americans to be fat cats. And who owns the dreaded corporations today? Nearly all of us do.

Unions take credit for what Henry Ford did when he paid three times the prevailing wage and instituted the five-day-work-week and eight-hour-work-day—before Ford Motor Company was unionized.

America produced 50 percent of the manufactured goods in the whole world in 1955. For the next twenty years, labor unions averaged nearly 500 strikes per year and drove manufacturing out of the country. Workers performing manual labor anyone could do were making as much as doctors and still went on strike against their employers at the urging of unions.

Today only 6.9 percent of private sector employees belong to a union—7.1 million people. For the first time in American history, more public employees belong to a union—7.6 million people (36 percent of government workers).

Public employees are paid 25 percent more for the same work if they belong to a union. Taxpayers pay unionized employee wages while they conduct union business. Teamsters' contracts specifically allow sleeping on the job by public employees.

THE FATHER OF THE LABOR UNION MOVEMENT: "WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE!" KARL MARX
THE FATHER OF THE LABOR UNION MOVEMENT: "WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE!" KARL MARX
ANY OPPOSITION TO THE RUINATION OF AMERICA IS MET WITH HATE SPEECH
ANY OPPOSITION TO THE RUINATION OF AMERICA IS MET WITH HATE SPEECH
OBAMAHOOD
OBAMAHOOD

The Foundation of Labor Unions


The very idea of labor unions comes from the faulty theories of Karl Marx, the father of socialism/communism. From the view of Marx 150 years ago, nearly all Americans would eventually become factory laborers, while a handful of capitalists would own everything.

Marx was wrong in almost all of his predictions. He did not foresee the rise of the middle class in America, the rise of the entrepreneur, the rise of mechanization (taking the place of manual laborers), and the rise of publicly traded stocks.

Rather than all ownership of businesses concentrated in the hands of a few, millions of people came to own their own businesses. Tens of millions of Americans joined the middle class without belonging to a union. Tens of millions of average people own stock in corporations through their retirement plans.

Marx can be forgiven for not having an accurate crystal ball. But his ideas and slogans live on in the rhetoric of unions and their socialist supporters. These ideas make no sense in present day reality and they are the complete opposite of what made America rich—meritocracy.

In a meritocracy, those who are inventive, ingenious, efficient, productive, intelligent, motivated, diligent, responsible, hard working, innovative, and dedicated rise to the top. This system benefits everyone to some extent as it makes for a vastly more productive society that is wealthy, which affords it massive public works and welfare programs.

According to the philosophy of Karl Marx, an Atheist who hated Western Civilization, Capitalism, and Christianity, all working people in America were to join labor unions as the first step to Communism. Once labor unions had a large majority of the populace, they were to then overthrow the American government, banish Free Enterprise, and establish a new Communist America.

What distinguishes Communism from its twin sister Socialism, is that in Socialism the revolution that destroys Capitalism and Individual Freedom is a revolution not led by factory workers but by an elite group of intellectuals who believe in imposing social science and Atheism upon the citizenry. That is why Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, and Hitler all called themselves Socialists. They led no revolution of factory laborers.

Labor unions, by their very nature, are anti-Capitalist, which makes them also anti-Democracy and anti-Individual Freedom. Liberty, Democracy, and Free Enterprise are natural bed-mates. One proof of this is the recent debacle in Wisconsin, in which a law was presented to the legislature and the pro-union anti-Democracy Democrats broke the law by fleeing the state and refusing to vote.

Imagine if every time a vote was scheduled for a city council, county board, state legislature, or in Congress the lawmakers who thought they might lose just ran away and refused to vote. This would be the end of Democracy as nothing would get done and Totalitarianism would have to be imposed. Some imbeciles have hailed these criminal legislators as "heroes of democracy." This shows how moral relativists twist the English language to fool the ignorant who suck on the government teet with their demagoguery: Refusing to participate in the Democracy you were elected to participate in makes you anti-Democracy, not pro-Democracy. Sadly, lying through your teeth and using any and all means to get your way is the calling card of Marxists. See Vladimir Lenin.

The very attributes that separate the wheat from the chaff in a meritocracy are penalized in a unionized populace. The unions protect the worst workers, encourage general sloth, disincentivize the workforce, and make employers and employees adversaries.

A union assumes all workers are equally productive. Anyone who has ever worked can testify that this is the complete opposite of the truth. Human beings are very unequal in their efforts and gifts. To pay them all the same wages regardless of their productivity is an injustice to productive people.

Unionization always raises costs and lowers productivity. With what we all know of human nature, how could it be otherwise? The greatest union ever put into place—the Soviet Union—proved this beyond all doubt.

More by this Author


Comments 144 comments

HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

James, I totally disagree with you. My belief, especially in today's America, is that corporations have become the totally anti-democratic agent in this country. The Koch brothers and the rest of their brethren have hijacked our democratic process. They engineered the Citizens United decision which now allows them to give an unlimited amount of money to campaigns. Now their Republican minions are doing their bidding and attempting to dismantle the unions. The major reason for doing this is to drain money away from Democrats so they have the whole field to themselves. I have always seen Unions as a necessary evil but they are now simply necessary. I wrote a Hub about this. I normally simply write about issues but this time I had to write about this evil political conspiracy. I am not the type that looks for these but this one is obvious to me. I know you totally disagree but I and many others of the Progressive Left are up and wise to it. The Tea Party and the Far Right will no longer have the field to themselves. The Wisconsin unions and others are giving back even before collective bargaining rights are repealed. But no the new Republicans are licking their chops for skirmish after skirmish. Well, it's on. The Corporate takeover will end. I do not disagree that the economy would be more efficient without unions. But that is only when corporations do the right thing. They rarely do especially now. Thank the Koch brothers for this.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

There are labor unions that pride themselves on producing quality workmanship and skills through apprenticeship programs and journeyman status, mostly in the construction trades. But even they vote and support almost 100% the Democrats who protect and profit them through legislation.

Public sector unions and low skill trade unions like SEIU have such an incestuous relationship with Democrats that it borders on criminal. Without taxpayer supported public union donations to Democrats, their coffers would suffer huge losses, so they are desperate to maintain the status quo.

Public sector unions must go, and we need to look into union due campaign donations as payoffs for union supporting legislation.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"The Koch brothers and the rest of their brethren have hijacked our democratic process."

Yet, you say nothing about George Soros? Why is that? Perhaps because he's a far-left progressive like you who really has hijacked our political progress through dubious far-left outfits like Moveon.org and Center for American Progress? Do I sense some hypocrisy?


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

I agree with Will, PUBLIC sector Unions MUST GO!!!

Private Unions have worn out their welcome in many areas.

James, I absolutly love this Hub, and I am going to share this with many people who simply don't get it. You did a fantastic job of breaking it down on laymens terms...

For the life of me, I cannot phathom WHY so many folks cannot see the danger of this.

Thanks AGAIN James!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

BTW, James, up and awesome!


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 5 years ago from Ohio

When the stock market plummets and the retirement checks become worth nothing....maybe, just maybe...the people will realize that none of the above three could care less if we all dropped dead.

Gold and silver are being bought up with dollars (soon to be worth less than toilet paper)and hoarded by those who know what is coming.

Public Unions have chewed off the hands that fed them.

Just think....if Obama was really doing the right thing for the people...wouldn't corporations be weilding every axe of power against him? They have been smirking alongside union bosses and pocket pal polititians.

They are vultures...waiting for the people to turn on each other. We had all better start being Americans first...or we will be the last Americans.

Another good hub James.


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 5 years ago from Ohio

Oops...."None of the above"= Union bosses, corporate heads and polititians.


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis

The problem is that all here and in government are demonizing each other, rather than looking for common ground.

Unions have been and can be good. They can also turn into nonproductive organizations. By the same token, corporations, business is good and should be encouraged, but contrary to the Supreme Court decision, they are not human individuals. They will do whatever it takes to earn profit, even if it's at expense of others, so they can be bad as well.

Is it all about power? Who "wins" despite the carnage?

So, while I admire your work, James (you have a unique ability to make yourself seem absolutely right), I don't find it helpful to any solution.

The solution lies in finding common ground. As long as we are attacking each other, that won't happen.


ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 5 years ago from USA

James, this is the most comprehensive hub about unions I saw on HP. I am amazed how deep you see the issue. Very little Americans are able to see and foresee the real nature and evil of unions, that's why we have all those hubs outraged with my WI matter.

For me your hub is deja vu, no less no more. The second picture (with Herbert doing a job and others supervising) is a glimpse from my past life in Soviet Union.

Why anyone in America would willingly go by an evil road???? It's some kind of a plot.

Great hub, simply great! Up and awesome.


someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 5 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

It,struck me as odd that you chose to make your point about productivity with a story about apple pickers seeing as most of that type of work is done by seasonal laborers who were not unionized.I don't quite understand

why anyone should fire an employee because they aren't exactly as productive as the best workers they have are.Do mean to say if they picked one less apple than the best picker did they should be fired? That sounds a bit drastic.What if no one was as fast as the best apple picker? Would they all be fired for picking one less apple? I understand the idea you were trying to get across that the best workers should get more than the less productive workers.

The first union was started because of a fire that killed women in a sweat shop in Newyork.

I agree that unions are political machines and private unions have taken advantage of their clout as have public unions.

Politicians have taken advantage of both private and public unions and the rath of both unions as well.

Ronald Reagan made an example of the air traffic controllers union and when the auto unions saw their jobs leaving the unitedstates they gave consessions as did some public unions because of the bad economy.

From my point of view both political parties had a hand in moving jobs to China in the last twenty years at least.Starting with Nixon and last I heard, Clinton. With all the wallmarts and Costcos as well as the dollar stores that sprouted up along with them.

My,point is the people and their government are responsible.Not just the democrats or the republicans.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"The solution lies in finding common ground."

I don't agree at all. The solution lies in doing the right thing, and the right thing to do is to get rid of the public sector union/Democrat Party incestuous relationship by getting rid of public sector unions. Period.

Surely you don't approve of campaign donations in exchange for political favors in exchange for votes?

Or do you?

I come from a union family and was a union member in my earlier days. I know all about the mutual back scratching between unions and Democrats.


Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 5 years ago from HubPages, FB

Awesome Hub, James. One cannot better describe problems and issues we have.

There is not possible to search for common ground. We should not compromise. It is about America.

Those who criticize big factories I am not surprised. We do not have capitalism here but socialistic capitalism. I wrote Hub once about it.

In my former socialistic country it was unions, who set for us most oppressive regime I experienced. I believe we have to return to God, go to the streets and pray for God will heal the land. I never seen America being split and so much hate as today.

Wake up America!


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis

@Will You must be right because your personal experience with unions trumps all. Doing the right thing? That's exactly what we need to come to common ground about. What is the right thing? You say it is getting rid of unions. Others say something quite different. (So there's no "incestuous relationship" between corporate lobbyists and the Republican Party?) Now I finally understand why compromise is so difficult. You “do the right thingers” don't understand the concept.


Moonchild60 profile image

Moonchild60 5 years ago

Okay...well First of all, hello James my friend, good to see you and again, great Hub! Sorry, I realize I keep saying this, but you keep making them so its not my fault.

Now, Unions were created to protect the people and they did. And yes the big Carnegies, etc...were selfish bas...um men. Unions were necessary to insure people weren't treated like animals because by and large, they were. Now, that having been said I also experienced my x-husband working when the Daily News in New York was on strike as what unions call a "scab". He feared for his life by Union workers and found that a man watching the newspapers come off the conveyer belt could do only that and another man had to cut the plastic surrounding the papers. This was union policy and obviously they were paying one guy to just sit around all day and "watch". What a waste, but the waste was huge and in every aspect of the paper, as it is in the media in general. Which is why the news never reported what the unions were doing as far as the violence was concerned such as setting managements cars on fire or throwing bricks through their living rooms. Unions were once necessary. Now something new must be implemented to make sure people are not taken advantage of and neither are the companies. Apparently no one can be trusted.

But your first poster was accurate, word on the streets anyway is this is what is going on. Of course one can never be sure what is going on in this country these days. It seems as though we are at a political war with ourselves in America. Everyone wants control and power but no one will really do anything that helps the simple people. Lets be honest, the Republicans made it clear last year in November who they want protected, and it sure as hell wasn't the working man when they said "We do nothing until the rich get to keep their tax breaks"...Okaaaayyyy.... I will never forget that. I know I keep saying it but it still shocks me.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

Years ago unions served their purpose. Now it's time for them to pack up and leave. Thanks for a literate and needed exposition on the subject, James.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

James - Up and awesome. This subject is one of my hot buttons. I hear from union members, "Look at all we've done for the American worker." Poppycock. Those were long ago causes that needed to be fixed and were and the present day union goons had nothing to do with it.

The public employee unions have been bred with the entitlement mentality that needs to be put in its grave before it bankrupts local, state and federal coffers.

They aren't "special people" and can live like the rest of us do. Pay your way as you go.

The Frog


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Unions were once hailed as wonderful organizations that prevented workers from being used, abused and taken advantage of, and I believe this. However, public employee unions have become more and more like the tail that wags the dog. I could be wrong, and if I am, my apologies to these union members. It just seems that the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction. Interesting hub!


psychicdog.net profile image

psychicdog.net 5 years ago

My humble opinion - neither side has the mortgage on being evil or greedy - human nature tends to lapse into selfishness and disregard for the lives of others - whether that be a unionist or a capitalist - sometimes these undesirable sides of EVERYONE's nature raise their ugly heads in the form of vengeance and if you find you are getting exploited - either as an employer or an employee it is going to make you feel @#$ed off. The solution is to try to work out an arrangement where everyone feels they are getting a fair go for their efforts rather than being used for their efforts and enterprise. I hope you don't find this too flippant James. Really great read here thank-you.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

HSchneider— Thank you for being my first visitor. I very much appreciate your comments.

The Koch Brothers contributed $43,000 to the campaign of Governor Walker. The total spent by both sides in that election was $37,000,000. This means that the Koch Brothers contributed slightly more than one tenth of one percent of the money spent in that election. That hardly seems like "buying" a candidate to me.

Are you saying the Koch Brothers bought off the Supreme Court of the United States in the Citizen's United decision? If so that is the major scandal of American history.

I am sorry to disillusion you but all this talk about corporations taking over America by backing conservatives is so fifty years ago. It was once true that corporate America was solidly Republican—but not after the 1970s. In the 2008 elections, corporate America gave more money to Democrats. One reason for this is that large corporations see the Democrats regulating the heck out of all businesses and they love that. Large corporations can afford to comply with 100,000 pages of regulations, and they know the little ma and pa company can't even understand them nonetheless comply with them all. Massive regulations are good for massive corporations—they eliminate competition.

I will come over and check out your Hub about these issues. I do find it interesting that you categorize those who wish to dismantle public employee unions as "evil."

Are you saying that the scheduled vote in the Wisconsin Legislature was somehow outside the bounds of the democratic process?

Are you saying that what is happening in Wisconsin is some kind of "corporate takeover?"


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

WillStarr— Incestuous. Well put, my friend. I agree with everything you wrote. There are, of course, lots of hard workers in unions. But they don't need a union. It is the slackers who need a union. Great employees don't grow on trees, and employers know this. It is the bums who are protected by unions.

Thank you very much for reading my article. I appreciate your wise words.


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 5 years ago from san diego calif

Nice take on unions James. I do believe these days though a union in the private sector is still a necessity to a degree because the workers would be exploited. However public sector unions are breaking taxpayers backs and they don't care. And here in San Diego the sweetheart deals local public unions got in the past has finally shown results. The company I work for will no longer allow the city to use their credit account at my companyn any longer because they can't pay their bills.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

WillStarr— You made an excellent point with your follow up comment. I doubt any one individual is more involved with American elections that George Soros. And he wants nothing less than a revolution in America—away with those Founding Fathers!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

I consider you a reasonable man, James. But how does a public worker earning $70,000 earn representation in our economically motivated country, when compared with individual contributions of these CEOs who supported McCain?

* David Brandon, Chairman and CEO, Domino’s Pizza

* Edward Brennan, CEO of Sears Roebuck

* Wesley R. Card, CEO of Jones Apparel Group

* S. Truett Cathy, founder and CEO of Chick-fil-A

* Christopher Connor, CEO of Sherwin-Williams

* Kenneth Derr, CEO of Chevron

* David Farrell, CEO of May Department Stores, 1979-98

* Leonard Fenstein, co-founder of Bed, Bath & Beyond

* George Feldenkreis, CEO of Perry Ellis International

* Irvine Hockaday, Jr., CEO of Hallmark, 1986-2001

* James Kimsey, AOL founding CEO

* Alan J. Lacy, CEO of Sears, 2000-2005

* Kenneth May, CEO of FedEx Kinko’s, 2004-2007

* Gary G. Michaels, CEO of Albertson’s, 1991-2001

* Lucio Noto, CEO of Mobil, 1994-1999

* John J. O’Connor, EVP of Hess Corporation

* Clarence Otis, CEO of Darden Restaurants

* James A Skinner, CEO of McDonald’s

* Richard Teerlink, CEO of Harley-Davidson, 1989-97

* Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay

The United States was built on the backs of laborers and I am not talking about my family members, either. I fail to understand how any reasonable and compassionate individual can watch the gap widen between the rich and the poor and cheer, as you seem to manage with this hub.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

Storyteller - Lets get it right now. You compete like this:

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycl...

And spend $800 million for a $400K a year job.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

CMerritt— You are welcome, my friend. I surely appreciate you sharing the link to this article. Lord knows we need some more Page Views here on HubPages. :D

Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm for this article. Many people simply don't know the history behind these unions and buy into the sloganeering that becomes a meme.

In the news today this article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-me...

The key part being: "The North Shore systems pay some of the state's higher teaching salaries and ensure educators have time to plan lessons, teach rigorous courses and even eat lunch in peace. What's more, neither district has been stung by deep budget cuts or sweeping educator layoffs due to the recession."

A school district without a union! And no, the teachers aren't slave labor working 16 hour days for a nickel an hour either. Without a union! (Of course, the union takes credit for them anyway.) :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

WillStarr— Thank you brother! I appreciate the kudos!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Tom Cornett— Thank you for taking the time to read my Hub and respond. I appreciate your keen, if ominous, observations. I can easily see the scenario you describe coming true. If the Fed prints too much money it will be worth less and less. Now progressives like that scheme because they hate the rich and the rich have the most savings. So inflation is one way to confiscate the property of those who have achieved.

I am afraid I don't have any gold or silver—and no money either. I started life in last place and I'm barely holding my own.


HealthyHanna profile image

HealthyHanna 5 years ago from Utah

I think the real problem boils down to integrity and brotherly love. It is not the unions or the non-unions that is the real problem. It is the heart of each individual living in or out of them that makes unions good or bad.

There is strength in numbers. It is when each one of the 'numbers' truly esteem their brother as themselves that we will find balance and harmony in economy and life.

...I know this sounds idealistic and it is, but it is true.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Jeff May— My intent was not to demonize anybody. I only sought to explain the history and purpose of public employee unions clearly so folks can decide for themselves what to think about them—armed with the facts.

I appreciate your sensible comments about finding common ground and all. My overarching idea is that unions kill productivity and efficiency. The United States would be better off without them. They are antithetical to the American Way. In my opinion. :)

I enjoyed this part of your comments: "James, you have a unique ability to make yourself seem absolutely right"

That's funny!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

ReuVera— Great to hear from you! I hope all is well up there in Milwaukee. Look out—my Cubbies are coming to town! :-)

I saw a couple of those Leftist Hubs about the Wisconsin situation. They were full of the usual drivel about how unions made the middle class, without unions we would all have to work 100 hours a week for a piece of stale bread, and the most crazy: unions created the minimum wage. Huh? No union worker has ever been paid minimum wage. I got yer minimum wage—why stop at $7.25 an hour? Why not set the minimum wage at $1000 an hour? But I digress. :D

Thank you very much for your gracious accolades, as well as the voted up and awesome!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

someonewhoknows— It is good to "see" you again. We go way back on HubPages.

Maybe apple pickers was a poor choice. It just popped into my little pointed head out of nowhere and I went with it.

As far as firing employees, I only meant that in a non-union setting 10 percent turnover is average for employees per year. It is natural to weed the weak ones out of the herd. It can be good for them as they may be in the wrong line of work, or they may try harder at their next job and thereby be more successful in the long run. Not being able to get rid of bad apples because of union rules is detrimental to any organization.

I think you referred to the horrific Traingle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911. Actually, The International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union was formed 11 years earlier.

I loved it when President Reagan fired those Air Traffic Controllers. It was an illegal strike and Reagan upheld the Rule of Law—upon which a free society depends.

You made some good points in your comments. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful insights with us.


Moonchild60 profile image

Moonchild60 5 years ago

James I think you misunderstand. They do not "hate" the rich, the so called progressives, they are deeply concerned with the widening chasm between the rich and the middle class, the latter who seem to falling more and more into the working poor category. This is not something to brush off. It is a serious issue. And as long as the rich don't give a damn about it and keep making sure they keep all their money and the working poor and elderly get less and less (the Republican want budget cuts aimed at those groups) it is only going to get worse. This is frightening. We cannot keep taking from the middle class on down to carry this country while the opulance becomes more and more perverse. Seriously it is detremental to our country to strip those with all the money of their deep tax breaks and cuts and perks, but we can keep crucifying everyone else? How is that? Because like in the 80's Regan "tickle down" era, I doubt anyone other than those privledged feel anything trickling down to them but the national debt.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"They do not "hate" the rich, the so called progressives, they are deeply concerned with the widening chasm between the rich and the middle class, the latter who seem to falling more and more into the working poor category."

There is no static 'middle class'. It's a myth.

We all start at the bottom, lowest pay rung and work our way up. Some of us climb far higher than others, but that's a matter of ambition, skill, and raw talent.

I like wealthy people. They hire me! I've never worked for a poor person. If the left had their way, there would be no wealthy people, and therefore, no mansions, no yachts, no expensive cars, no resorts, and no excellent jobs for the millions who used to furnish all those luxuries.

Remember that while you are demonizing the wealthy and longing for a social paradise where we are all equally miserable.


Moonchild60 profile image

Moonchild60 5 years ago

"If the left had their way, there would be no wealthy people, and therefore, no mansions, no yachts, no expensive cars, no resorts, and no excellent jobs for the millions who used to furnish all those luxuries."

that is absoluely untrue. And those very wealthy hire my husband as well. We would not have had such a successful business. And yes, it took blood sweat and tears and grew it from nothing. Totally not the point. The point is we can't keep expecting those with less to do more. Why don't those with more do more? It makes sense. We will gladly sign up!!


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"The point is we can't keep expecting those with less to do more."

But they're not 'doing more'. They're doing less and less. Almost 50% of Americans pay no income tax at all.

And you don't to 'sign up'. Anyone who wants to pay more taxes can just send it in. The IRS will take it without question.


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis

Hi James, glad you got a kick out of my "seem absolutly right" comment.

Regarding the school district that "pays some of the state's higher teaching salaries." While I'm not familiar with that particular school district, I do have lots of education experience. And I ask everyone to think about this... "ensure educators have time to plan lessons, teach rigorous courses and even eat lunch in peace." The article specifically mentions this because it is such a rarity. Some wealthy districts understand the importance of respecting teachers, but I know of many who still take advantage of teachers, seldom giving them time to even go to the bathroom. You might say that wealth and prosperity created property taxes that could afford good schools. However, I have experienced unions helping teachers achieve better pay and "lunch in peace," and it seems that people want to take that away. Hopefully, it won't take unions to keep that from happening. My experience, of course, isn’t everybody’s, merely another view. I respect your view as you do mine.


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 5 years ago from Guwahati, India

It does not look nice to hear retirement benefits are promised because American people I suppose never wants to live with mercy. People will be happy to take the benefit of the share of State’s revenue when the economy is strong and sound.


someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 5 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

James - I agree laws are necessary for those who are unwilling to control what the majority consider bad behavior but as you know laws are made by men.Some laws are not voted on or condoned by the majority.In that case the people should use their power over their representatives to force a change in the law.The rule of the majority of the people should be the law.Not a minority.That's the reason we began as a republic in the first place.The people didn't want to allow a King to decide what they could and could not do.


lilyfly 5 years ago

Great writing begats great upheaval. I sat by the British Labor Party Leader on the way back from London. A frightening experience, but James, would you do what I can't seem to get... write about the Federal Reserve- please, I beg you? In the meantime... I wallow in itelligent discourse, such a luxury!!! lily


Jeremey profile image

Jeremey 5 years ago from Arizona

This hub has alot of good info but I had learned a few years ago that worker unions were a republican creation, which has led me to question why they are so against them these days. You state unions are anti-democatic but I fail to understand your perspective on that. Capitalism in my thinking can be seen in the same way. Everything needs it's opposite to have democracy, unions serve a purpose towards this and as unions overstep their boundaries, capitalist opponets keep them in check. The problem in my opinion is they have seemingly come to an agreement to keep 'the public confused' so they may work together behind closed doors in an effort to continuously increase their own 'profits'. You present an interesting history of the union. Wish I knew more so I could have less questions in my own perspectives, so I always enjoy articles such as these.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

The wealthy are the ones that create the jobs for the rest of us to make a living at. I've never been a Union person, I know there are pros and cons. As usual James a well researched and informative Hub, along with wonderful comments from us concerned citizens. Thank you!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

James - my stepfather was a union man. He paid into that union fund all of his life. Guess what? Someone stole all the money out of the fund. He retired with $7000.00, yes seven thousand dollars, after paying in for nearly 40 years. Some union.


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

Unions are just like the government James and I wish you could give us hope but you can't. Oh yes there are great ideas and if someone stood with a gun on the leaders of these unions they might not take how many billion was that Hillary took to Mexico to that leader to control drugs? Has anyone heard another word about that? And Obama, $600 million for border control where they are allowed to shoot our guys but we can't shoot theirs, let me see..wonder how much our bean bullets cost? If our guys kill theirs they go to jail..prison even. Gee, does anyone think anything will ever save us? Time is up, too late for talk, to late to take a stand. We looked the other way too long. Too late. Even for the rich. America is gone.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

WillStarr— All too often "finding common ground" means nothing more than acquiesing to progressive ideas. On many issues such as labor unions, abortion, same-sex marriage et al., I do not see any common ground between two completely opposite positions. I am all for common ground when there is any to be found. Who isn't?


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Vladimir Uhri— Thank you, my brother. I agree with your comments 100 percent. You are right that America itself is at risk.

Your Hubs are outstanding. And you, coming from behind the Iron Curtain, understand these issues far better than most Americans, many of whom have romanticized visions of Socialism and Unionism. If these ideas get their way, it always has the same result—oppression and slavery.

Thank you, kind sir, for visiting and sharing your wisdom with us.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Jeff May— You are always a gentleman. There are many issues in which common ground can be found through compromise. But we must recognize that some issues are black and white as well.

I detest lobbyists and hope they are banned in the future. But they surely work both sides of the aisle with equal fervor.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Moonchild60— It is always a pleasure to hear from you, my precious friend. I love your new picture! Thank you for coming to visit. I appreciate your compliments and comments.

Your story about your ex-husband's experience with unions are telling.

Someone actually said "We do nothing until the rich get to keep their tax breaks"?

That is shocking indeed. I wonder who said such a thing. This does not represent my views.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

drbj— You are quite welcome. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I agree with you.


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 5 years ago

Great job! And looking at your numbers, it's obvious that public workers will not be receiving good pensions in another ten years or so. As you pointed out, the politicians and union leaders making the promises are only doing it for themselves, their own power - and leaving the mess for a future generation to clean up.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

The Frog Prince— Welcome to the Hub Pages Community! And I thank you for your service to our country.

Thank you for the voted up and awesome! I appreciate the visit and your comments. I totally agree with your remarks.

It's not just unions, the entire entitlement culture needs to go by the boards in America. No one is entitled to anything, except Liberty and Blind Justice. Can I get an Amen?

james


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Genna East— Thank you very much for reading my work. I appreciate your excellent comments and I agree with you. I am glad you found this Hub to be interesting. :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

psychicdog.net— You are welcome. No, your remarks did not come off as flippant. Your insights are most welcome. I did not mean to blast any particular individual person as too greedy. Naturally, people try to get what they can for themselves and their families. It is the system to which I am opposed—not the human beings in it.

It's good to hear from you. Thank you for visiting.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

tony0724— Very interesting to hear what is going on out in San Diego. Beautiful place, by the way. I visited there in the late 70s and loved it.

It is always good to hear your voice, Tony. I hope all is well with you. Thank you for coming by.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Storytellersrus— Earn representation? Any American can contribute to the campaign of any candidate running for office, without having a union do it for them (that might use their money to support a candidate the worker is opposed to). The system I have described is forced support of one political party. That is the opposite of Liberty—the freedom to spend your money as YOU see fit.

That is an impressive list of McCain supporters. I think Obama had just as many corporate people behind him. General Electric comes to mind—they paid NO taxes last year.

The gap between rich and poor has always been and will always be unless worldwide totalitarian tyranny comes to pass. That is because people naturally rise to unequal levels. To level society requires force. I am compassionate. I am poor. But I refuse to give in to the sickness of the soul that is envy. If a person makes millions of dollars legally and honestly—be it Oprah Winfrey, Alex Rodriquez, Lebron James, Tiger Woods, or Will Smith—who am I to demand their property be given to others?

"Laborers built America" is a myth. If laborers are what makes a country great, China, India, Africa, and Russia would have been far more wealthy in the 20th century than America. They had far more laborers. No, it was capitalism, free enterprise, meritocracy, liberty, freedom, and our system of government that produced the ingenious men who invented most of what we call the modern world. And they made America rich.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

The Frog Prince— That is a very interesting link you provided. Thank you very much for it.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

HealthyHanna— Thank you for posting such wonderful comments. We need idealists as well as realists. Both have their role to play. I appreciate the visitation. :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Moonchild60— Gee, I surely do not want anybody to be crucified. In the 1980s, 99 percent of Americans had it better than any human beings in the history of the world. This was quite a turnaround considering the Carter Years, during which most people thought America was on the way down for good. Remember the 20 percent mortgage rates and horrific stagflation? It took the Gipper to turn the nation around. He was probably the best president ever, except George Washington.


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 5 years ago

Hey you! Excellent read and great perspective............ truly, what else would I expect? Being that I faithfully pay my union dues every month, but wait, they're an automatic deduction............. I can honestly say that the "union" wasn't a choice it was a requirement for being hired in the first place. I've never been asked how I'd like my dues to be spent, nor have I ever been in a position where I need the union to "protect" me. The Union has never saved me from receiving the ever dreaded pink slip, and when pink slips are inevitable............. job performance doesn't count.

Unions make things comfortable for those who need them; the workforce stagnates. Your class size goes over what's in the contract; you file a grievance. You have too many children with special needs according to the designated percentage; you file a grievance. Filing grievances doesn't solve problems, and it doesn't give you more man power. It simply gives you something "concrete" to gripe about and another excuse not to do the job you're contracted to do. In education, the people who should be filing those grievances are the students and parents who are affected, as they are the ones paying their "dues."

I won't rant anymore :-D, but on a final note........... the pictures are great. A few could have been taken in my neighborhood............. ;-) The Union Village........... looks quite familiar! Kaie


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

WillStarr— I love this line you wrote: "I've never worked for a poor person."

Ha!

You also wrote: "Remember that while you are demonizing the wealthy and longing for a social paradise where we are all equally miserable."

Socialist utopias left a monstrous pile of corpses in the 20th century. When will we ever learn?


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Moonchild60— I saw an interesting study once that found out something profound about human envy. Nearly all people in the study responded that they would be happy making $50,000 a year if their neighbors made $25,000. But nearly all respondents said they would not be happy making $50,000 if their neighbors made $100,000.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

WillStarr— Well said. Half of all Americans pay zero income tax. Anybody can make it in America. But fewer try to make something of themselves if they are assured a comfortable life without effort.

And you said something earlier about static income levels being false. I believe I read that of the 10 percent richest Americans, 90% of them will no longer be in that class every ten years. And of the poorest 10 percent, 90% of them will have moved up every ten years.


kateperez profile image

kateperez 5 years ago from pasadena, tx

James,

I appreciate your article very much. My concerns are that those who believe that the individual capitalist is the enemy and that unions are our saviors are unable to see that one cannot get ahead if they are held to such minimal standards.

The more unions are allowed, the weaker our economy, our free choice, our integrity, our government and our country will be.

I truly appreciate this hub and am going to share it through my social media networks.

Great job! Very well states and seems very well researched.

kate


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 5 years ago from USA

James - You aired lots of justified concerns here without really complaining (wailing) about them. Thanks.

Gus :-)))


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Jeff May— I surely do respect your opinion, even more so since you have experience in this area. I don't think anybody has a problem with teacher salaries. One huge problem is tenure. I mean, who gets a job for life in any field after three years of work?

I read a stat the other day that ten times more doctors and attorneys lose their jobs each year than do teachers. The unions make the firing process too cumbersome and expensive. I read that in New York, it costs $400,000 to fire one teacher, to pay for all the appeals et al. It doesn't cost $400,000 to fire a salesman or constrcution worker who is sloughing off on the job.

Also the union rules about who goes in layoffs is bad. A principle should be able to lay off his or her crummiest teachers, not be forced to lay off a fantastic young teacher instead simply because of seniority.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

H P Roychoudhury— A big thank you to my friend from India for reading my article and leaving his usual excellent comments. I always enjoy hearing your thoughts on my topics.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

someonewhoknows— Yes, I agree with you. Thank you for coming back by to offer your wise words. I do appreciate it.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

lilyfly— Frightening you say. Well . . . thank you for visiting my Hub. I enjoy reading your comments. The Federal Reserve rubs me the wrong way. I think it caused the Great Depression. I'm not even sure it is Constitutional. I will write about it in the future. Great suggestion!!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Jeremey— Worker unions were a Republican creation!? Please site your sources for this information. My understanding is that labor unions were formed by Socialists and Communists. I am not aware of a single labor union that was formed by Republicans. The Public Employee Labor Unions were surely formed by Democrats. And not for benevolent motives but to get votes and campaign contributions.

I am well pleased that you enjoyed my article. Thank you for contributing to this coversation.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

b. Malin— You are welcome. Thank you for the laudations. I agree with your remarks. Yes, the comments have been excellent. I appreciate your visit.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

RealHousewife— I appreciate you sharing this story with us. I always look forward to your comments. Thank you for visiting and commenting. :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Polly— I was not aware of the stories you relate regarding Hillary Clinton and President Obama. Thank you for bringing these important items to my attention.

I say America is not lost yet. We can make a difference if we try; if we fight the good fight every day with every fibre of our beings. That is why I write what I write.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

sheila b.— Thank you! I so appreciate your warm words. I must say that I agree wholeheartedly with your remarks. Thanks again for visiting and making your excellent observations. :)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

You are certainly welcome:) I always admire the depth of your research. It is motivating to me. I really think that it is something to consider in this subject. The union insists that it's members pay their dues on time with no exceptions. If your child is sick and you need medicine the union doesn't care. Dues first.

Then it goes broke? With no recourse. Sad.

Good evening to you:)


rocketjsqu profile image

rocketjsqu 5 years ago from Gainesville, NY USA

Labor unions have become large corporations and, in and of themselves are mismanaged and corrupt exactly like the organizations they claim to protect their members from.

Labor unions in the public sector that collaborate with politicians to promote the interests of their members have little or no consideration for the interest of the non-member constituents who helped elect the politician. This creates a conflict of interest for the politician whose election campaign was supported by the union members and non-union members.

The labor unions served a purpose in their early days when they were proponents of safe working conditions and a fair wage. Labor laws (federal minimum wage) and government agencies like OSHA serve the same purpose today. It would seem that one or the other serves a redundant purpose and should be eliminated.

When you consider all the other destructive characteristics of labor unions, i.e. "disincentivize the workforce, and make employers and employees adversaries..." my votes goes to eliminate unions.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

James, thank you for commenting on my comment. I am of the moonchild ilk. I am very concerned that our society is becoming one of serfs and lords. I am not envious of other's wealth. I am wealthy and highly educated. I suppose I am a Progressive, yet I have voted for Republicans.

To say "The gap between rich and poor has always been and will always be unless worldwide totalitarian tyranny comes to pass" is eerily true, only not as you might suspect.

As you know, our government is based on the Roman model of a "Republic". Prof Rufus Fears writes this in an excellent article I linked below. He says this about our Founding Fathers, "...they understood, with the Romans, that no constitution, however good on paper, would work unless it was vitalized by civic virtue, by the willingness of each individual to subordinate his own good to the good of the community as a whole. To use an old-fashioned word, patriotism must vitalize every constitution."

(http://www.heritage.org/Research/Lecture/The-Lesso...

Our political system has evolved as Rome's system did, until we find ourselves at a crossroad. "The Romans came to understand that freedom is not a universal value: that people over and over again have chosen security, which is what the Roman Empire brought, over the awesome responsibilities of self-government." Homeland Security is a good example of this.

And "Romans learned that you cannot govern a world empire with a constitution designed for a small city-state. (which is what the US was in its beginnings) That is what Rome was when it was founded in 753, and when it became a republic in 509 B.C., it was a small republic by the Tiber River. That constitution could not bear the burden of a world empire, and the military dictatorship of the Caesars was a result of the decision the Romans had to make. Did they wish to remain a free republic or be a superpower? They chose to remain a superpower and to accept the military dictatorship of Julius Caesar and his successors." In choosing to remain a superpower, our Republic also paves the way for a Dictator such as Caesar to abolish what we understand as freedom.

We as a nation are living the moments before Rome became an Empire with an Emperor. History will repeat itself unless we, as citizens, are willing to subvert our good- even our wealth- for the good of the greater community. It is not envy, James. It is love of freedom that compells me to support the equalizing effect Unions bring to the political arena.


Moonchild60 profile image

Moonchild60 5 years ago

Thank you James for your compliment on the picture. It was time for an update. : D

I do not now and never did like Reagan. No one I knew benefitted from his presidency and I certainly did not.

I think he is the Demi-God of the Republicans.

Will - I do not demonize the rich or wealthy. I am however honest about them. I speak from experience. I do not believe in giving them tax breaks and what not to hold on to their 'disposable income' while we cut from medicaid, medicare, education, programs to supplement the working poor. This makes sense to you? How? Those with more should do more. You say they are, why? Because they hire people? I am not that stupid. We hire people too. 23 people have food on their table because of us, we can hire them because of the people who hire us, we are in the middle of this food chain. Here is the difference. Those who hire us could not give a damn about us, while my husband kills himself to make sure there is work, endlessly gives his workers money to get by off season, worries about making sure he can hire them all back every year. They MATTER TO HIM. The people that hire us could not possibly care any less about us. In spite of the fact that they are rich, they are constantly looking for better deals, are manipulative and demanding. Read my hub about 'Real Life in the Hamptons', it is very telling. I always tell my husband, "I hate your clients. They are the most hideous people I have ever known" and coincidentally they are all very wealthy. That is just a coincidence right? True, without there money there would be no work, but does that excuse who they are? I don't think so. Should I excuse their bad behavior because of their wealth? Would you excuse someone from the ghettos bad behavior because of their poverty? I don't think so.


Royal Diadem 5 years ago

James at one time the union was known as an organization that was utilized to protect the people rights. In addition I have had some good experiences with the union, and some negative experiences with the union. However, I do agree with Jeff May There has to be a solution given for everybody’s welfare . All this attacking and fighting that has been depicted in the news and out of the news really needs to stop. I also agree with Moonchild 60, not everybody that is in the union is lazy and what is the solution to the problem and will there be some type of protection for the little guy and not just because he or she in your eyes sight is supposed to be Lazy.


Jeremey profile image

Jeremey 5 years ago from Arizona

Just to provide a little support for my earlier comment and your response to it I found this.....The republican party originated as a 'union' in itself, formed by a disbanding group of democrates before the civil war. The history of labor unions in the United States begins before the Civil War, but mostly comprised the last 120 years when the AFL (now AFL-CIO) and the railroad brotherhoods built strong permanent unions. Labor unions originated from the idea's of the newly formed republican party.A section of the information from the following links states;...."With the election of Ulysses S. Grant in 1868, the Radicals had control of Congress, the party and the Army, and attempted to build a solid Republican base in the South using the votes of Freedmen, Scalawags and Carpetbaggers,[7] supported directly by U.S. Army detachments. 'Republicans' all across the South formed local clubs called 'Union Leagues' that effectively mobilized the voters, discussed issues,......"""

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_party_hist...

http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/American_Civil_War,

those links also show the continuous confusion among the party throughout history.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Kaie Arwen— Early on in your comments you expressed what I see as a huge problem. You had no desire to be in a labor union, particularly one that gives all your dues to a political party that doesn't represent your political views. But you had to join the union—and support the Democratic Party with part of your wages—in order to work. That is how all the old Rust Belt states are—closed shops. No wonder these states, such as my home state I love, Michigan, have gone so far down hill. Forcing millions of people to support the Domocratic party with their money in order to work is the opposite of Liberty.

And even worse, as you point out: job performance doesn't count. What could be more hideous?

Thank you for these outstanding comments, Kaie. I always love to see you've popped in for a visit. :D

I'm glad you liked the pictures. I appreciate your wise words.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

kateperez— Thank you very much, Kate, for taking the time to come over and read my article. I appreciate you sharing it with your friends and acquaintances.

You wrote: "The more unions are allowed, the weaker our economy, our free choice, our integrity, our government and our country will be."

Truer words have never been spoken. I don't see how anybody can think otherwise.

I am well pleased to receive your compliments. I enjoyed reading your comments.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

GusTheRedneck— You are quite welcome, Gus. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I always appreciate hearing from you.

James :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

RealHousewife— I am gratified to read your complimentary comments. I agree with your point of view. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts with us. :-)


Mimi721wis profile image

Mimi721wis 5 years ago

Some state employees haven't had a salary increase in 2-3 years. It's unfair that they are made out to be villains. I fear we are headed in the wrong direction.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

Excellent work as usual from you James. The unions certainly do try to take credit for Ford's five day work week, etc. It is surprising how ignorant society can be and how long it takes to breed an igorance out of a society, especially when the information is being countered by the union propaganda. Far too few in this country recognize socialism or communism in the making and for that we will all eventually pay a price as voters allow the likes of people like Obama to move the country to more and more socialist orientations often citing the sins of the rich as the basis for such a move. No matter the problem...it was caused by the rich of America. Well, one of these days we are going to get a lesson in what poor folks do because we will all be one and we can wash the people's truck together and sing Kumbaya! Great Write! WB


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

That is why I lose control, lol. But yes they no sooner got in office when I heard Hillary would be taking so many billions down for discussion with Mexico's leader what to do about drugs (I have my own thoughts on that) and just several weeks ago in the news somewhere I heard Obama was taking $600 million for border patrol, I am pretty good remembering numbers, but no one else seems to wonder but me. We know neither are doing what they said with that money, maybe Hillary is starting to sense people's questions and after all she and Clinton it seems to me covered up one humongous mystery the first I heard of them years ago where people died and there was no more about that either.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

rocketjsqu— Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. I appreciate your thoughtful insights. I totally agree with your comments.

Labor unions have a history of corruption. The SEIU boss covered up the fact that his partner in crime, his brother, embezzled one million dollars of union funds. No charges were even filed.

And you are right about the conflict of interest. A politican gets a law passed that say every school teacher in Illinois must have $50 a week taken out of her pay check and given to him or she can't teach in Illinois. Oh, I missed a step: she will be forced to give part of her wages to the union and it will give it to the politician.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Storytellersrus— You are quite welcome. Serfs and Lords? 60 percent of American own their own home. Americans spent $1,000,000,000 entertaining themselves last year. People in our welfare lines are wearing $300 shoes and holding $300 cell phones. Nearly every American has electricity, television, a DVD player, refrigeration, air conditioning, an automobile, and other accoutrements serfs never dreamed of. The American poor are only poor relative to those with more. They are not, for instance, poor compared to the 50 percent of the people in the world who live on one dollar a day. They are not poor compared to the AVERAGE wealth of an American 100 years ago. So this all comes down to: somebody has more than I do. And to me, that is sick.

I am sorry but that link did not work. I wish it did because I admire the work of the Heritage Foundation very much. Can you supply it again please?

63 percent of the federal budget last year was confiscating money from people who earned and giving it to people who did not earn it. That doesn't sound like serfdom to me, with all due respect.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Moonchild60— You are welcome. So to you America was better off during the Jimmy Carter years than during the Reagan years. You wouldn't bullshitme would you? You and the people you know were better off from 1976 to 1980 than from 1981 to 1988, right? :D

You wrote: "the most hideous people I have ever known and coincidentally they are all very wealthy." I have heard this from you before. All I can think of is that you a different breed of rich people up in New York. I mean, New Yorkers are known to be rude anyway, right? Come to think of it, the only rude rich people I have met were from New York.

I had a jet charter business in Florida for 14 and all of my clients were wealthy. There were a couple exceptions, but the vast majority of them were wonderful, charming, polite people. Nearly all had become rich after starting out poor. Nearly all gave heavily to charity. The difference is when you give to charity you can choose to give to organizations whose missions match your own beliefs. When the government takes 50 percent of every dollar made in the country they suck that much out of the community that otherwise would be available for charity. Then they make the people dependents on the government. And the biggest change? When people are given charity they are grateful. When they get a government check they feel entitled to it.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Royal Diadem— Great to hear from you again! I agree with your comments. I appreciate your thoughts. Thank you for visiting my Hub.

What happened in Wisconsin was, legally elected representatives of the people proposed legal legislation for a vote in the legislature. The democrats, thinking they were going to be outvoted, left the state so the vote would not take place. This is a crime. Just think if every time a vote came up in America, the side that thought it would lose left the country and refused to allow the vote to take place. That is called being a bad sport. That subverts democracy. It is shameful and disgusting. I don't see how ALL Americans—if they care about our system of government—no matter which side of the union issue they fall on—do not blast these people as treasonous traitors.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"Labor unions have a history of corruption. The SEIU boss covered up the fact that his partner in crime, his brother, embezzled one million dollars of union funds. No charges were even filed."

And let's not forget that the SEIU boss you speak of was also SEIU's creator, and he also just happens to be the same guy who founded ACORN! His name is Wade Rathke.

ACORN, SEIU, Wade Rathke, and Barack Obama have a long standing and incestuous relationship.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Jeremey— Thank you for those links. That is interesting information. I appreciate you coming back to give this clarification.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Mimi721wis— I don't think the employees are villains. Everybody wants what they can get for themselves and their families. I think the politicians that allowed unions to be formed to oppose taxpayers are the villains, particularly since, as I have documented, they did it to get votes and campaign contributions. Politicians have a public trust. I believe this was a blatant violation of that trust.


John B 5 years ago

Around 90% of all American millionaires are first generation wealthy. My question is: Did their "evil" nature propel them to success, or does their bank account prove they're no good, or is there a magic $ point at which all redeeming qualities vanish?


John B 5 years ago

Someday I may purchase a Lotto ticket. Will I be evil because I buy the ticket or not evil until I win $10 million? Will I be able to give to charity without losing my "evilness" in the liberal's view. Annoying them would be the biggest reward in itself.


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

Amen, Amen and thank you for reporting honest facts on this matter. I agree with both you and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. This has all gotten out of hand. A budget is a budget and these folks need to go back to budgeting 101 and learn a thing or two about spending within your MEANS and getting paid a fair wage for WHAT YOU DO, not what you DON'T Do.

Aw dear James once again you're my hero! I'm proud of you!

May you be radically and abundantly blessed to forge on!

:) Katie


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Wayne Brown— Thank you, WB! I can't blame these young people. As Adolph Hitler said: "Give me the textbooks and I'll control the state."

Instead of teaching children the truth about the unique greatness of America—something all those people who come here on rafts and stowed away on ships and sneaking across in sewer tunnels know very well—the progressive teaching curriculum focuses on how terrible America is, and whitewashes the truth about every previous socialist experiment—the killings of one hundred million people by socialists in pursuit of paradise on earth. They have to teach a lie because if taught the truth these kids would rip the eyeballs out of anybody who dared suggest America should become socialist.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Polly— Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I always look forward to your comments. I appreciate your remarks on my Hubs.

I'm not sure I follow this time. Are you suggesting that Clinton and Obama are smuggling billions of dollars out of the country for after they make their getaway?


Robert 5 years ago

James,

I wondered if you would tackle the unions public or otherwise. I too have worked both sides of the issue. I saw the union go to bat for the man who came in drunk, asaulted his supervisor and then wanted back pay for being sent home for his safety and that of others. The union spent thousands saving his job which he later quit. I saw people who came every day, worked hard, helped others and got nothing from the union but the company promoted them and they are still employed.

I enjoyed Moonchild's picture and I have met some of the people she refered to as well. But what I found is that those people only thought they were rich, for the real rich I have met were kind, humble and giving. Perhaps she should look into Mr. Huntsman and even Bill Gates. The disparity between the rich and poor is growing but is it a result of the rich keeping the money, cheating or that a vast majority of people have chosen to do less and expect more? She mentioned cutting funds from the working poor and I agree that would be unfair, so perhaps we should retrieve the money paid to those who choose not to work at all, or those who choose not to be responsible for their actions or choices and then want the AMerican taxpayer to pay for it.

We are a nation of givers by choice, I am sure even Moonchild has given a hand up or even a hand out to someone out of choice. She wants to split compassion on party lines, not a good idea. I would challenge her to stand in line and watch the people around her. Who cuts in line, who is rude or go to the beach and see who leaves the trash. If she is brave enough to ask political affiliation she will be forever changed by the numbers.

The ex-NEA General Counsel stated that it is not about teachers or educating children it is about power.

There is a common ground and like one reader stated it lies within the hearts of the individuals.

This is a great Hub James and once again some lively nad intelligent commentary. Wether we agree or not you bring out people who are at least engaged. Kudos to you.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

WillStarr— Yes, brother, you are right to flesh out my earlier response to a comment. As you wrote: "ACORN, SEIU, Wade Rathke, and Barack Obama have a long standing and incestuous relationship."

I am surprised more people are not alarmed by this.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

John B— A pleasure to have you with us, brother. You ask great questions. Did "evil" make them rich? I would say that only applies to businessmen. When Oprah, or Tiger, or Madonna, or Denzel, or Michael Moore, or Jon Stewart gets rich, no one seems to mind.

But your best question I think is: "is there a magic $ point at which all redeeming qualities vanish?"

Right! Since most of the rich were once poor, at what point on the scale of wealth do they suddenly become the hated "rich?"

You are quite the thinker. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

John B— A double dose of Johnny B! This is a tonic that is good for us, methinks. What? Me worry?

Somebody is going to have to help me answer your question. I am not sure.

You asked: "Someday I may purchase a Lotto ticket. Will I be evil because I buy the ticket or not evil until I win $10 million?"


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

katiem2— You are quite welcome, my dear. Thank you for the shower of blessings and laudation. You have made my day Katie.

Do you mean to say that everybody cannot just have what they want?

Care to take a stab at John B's question I restated right above this comment?

James :D


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis

Came back to see... as usual you have lots of comments. Regarding teachers, yes, I have seen some who needed to be fired, and I agree the system needs changing; however, the change should be a collaboration with teachers. My concern is that teachers will become targets. We had to get our own lawyer to protect ourselves from a vicious unfounded attack from a mentally unstable parent. The administration was doing everything it could to satisfy the parent with total disregard to the teachers. If it would have been easy, they would have just fired the teacher in question rather than deal with the hassle.

Teachers get criticized and threatened by parents with agendas, administrators, and sometimes other teachers while being unable to eat lunch, go to the bathroom, all the while putting up with disrespectful, disorganized, and unprepared students. (I think this stems from a Democrat idea giving all special needs students the "least restrictive environment.") So, yes, while education needs reform, without some protection (in this case a union because that’s the mechanism in place), you will have teachers fleeing the profession even faster than they do now (average -- five years). Any reform that does not include teachers (and probably the collective bargaining of their unions) will likely fail as have so many reforms in the past. (Should also include how schools are funded, and pay of course.) Having said that, however, the unions need to realize that tenure likely needs to go. Perhaps some strict guidelines for dismissal and merit pay are needed. But no politician who hasn't been a front line teacher in numerous educational settings will know what he or she is talking about. My novel “No Teacher Left Standing” reflects many of these issues.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

Unions once served a good purpose going back historically.

That being said...when today's people are forced to join a union (in order to get a job) and pay mandatory dues and have no say in how those dues are spent...something is wrong. As you say, most union dues go to Democratic candidates. If you are a Democrat that may be well and dandy with you, but what if you lean the other way? Would you just as happily hand over money to a candidate that you did not support?

I agree that public sector folks in particular should not be union members. I have heard that some local Texas union members make more upon their retirement than they did as an employee...and as you also pointed out, they have shorter careers.

It is helping to bankrupt America! Rating this hub useful and up. Great job!


Jeff May profile image

Jeff May 5 years ago from St. Louis

@ Peggy, I always cringe when I hear or read "I have heard that some..." Acusations like that need to be confirmed. Also, what percentage. These things need to be fixed, but does that mean eliminating bargaining rights for unions altogether?


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Robert— Thank you for your gracious compliments, brother. I apologize for the delay in responding as I have been away from a computer for several days. I appreciate your readership and your comments are awesome.

You wrote: "I saw the union go to bat for the man who came in drunk, asaulted his supervisor and then wanted back pay for being sent home for his safety and that of others. The union spent thousands saving his job which he later quit."

This is a huge part of the problem I attempted to portray. Thank you for this anecdote.

You wrote: "I would challenge her [Moonchild] to stand in line and watch the people around her. Who cuts in line, who is rude or go to the beach and see who leaves the trash. If she is brave enough to ask political affiliation she will be forever changed by the numbers."

I hear you loud and clear, my friend.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Jeff May— Welcome back. I surely do not wish to see teachers as targets. I admire teachers greatly. Lo and behold, I read in the news that Illinois—with acquiesence from the teachers union—is going to change tenure and look at more than seniority, e.g., teachers performance, when promoting and for layoffs. That is welcome news.

I am going to check out your novel. It sounds interesting. Your points are well taken and common sensical. Thank you for them. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Peggy W— Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I sincerely appreciate the compliments, rated up and useful.

I agree with your comments, especially this: "when today's people are forced to join a union (in order to get a job) and pay mandatory dues and have no say in how those dues are spent...something is wrong. As you say, most union dues go to Democratic candidates. If you are a Democrat that may be well and dandy with you, but what if you lean the other way?"

I couldn't have said it better. Well done!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Jeff May— It is true that we should not convict based on hearsay. But there is plenty of hard evidence to go on in the case of teachers unions.


Royal Diadem 5 years ago

James I have to agree with Jeff, the school system deal allot with discipline then teaching. I worked for Columbus Ohio public schools. I got so sick of the politics in the school with the union, teachers, Principles then them bad kids. I went to school one morning and turn around and went back home and never return.


no body profile image

no body 5 years ago from Rochester, New York

Homerun again Jimmy. I saw it all my working career. I was uneasy with how my union saw things but all around me people were saying to me how it was sweet and how all gov't should work like this. We all saw the gross waste. Unbelievable waste and lazy lazy people. The more they got paid the less they actually cared about what we did. And it seemed everyone's ambition was to get to a place where they did not have to care. Everyone there knows that it can not go on like it is but they fight tooth and nail to screw the gov't out of as much as they can.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Royal Diadem— I am sorry to hear that you quit teaching. I would love to be a teacher but I lack the qualifications. I would love to teach history.

Thank you for coming back with your excellent remarks.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

no body— Your comments are the most profound I have received on this subject. You were there, you lived it, but isn't it amazing how many who have swallowed the Union propaganda hook-line-and-sinker will deny you your own experience!?

Thank you, brother, for this invaluable contribution to this discussion. Happy Easter! He is Risen!


sn53Anon profile image

sn53Anon 5 years ago from Huntsville, AL

Or as president Obama said, " uh, oh, in these busy times, there is just somethin 'bout the resurrection, that uh, oh, uh, puts everything in perspective.

Yeah.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

sn53Anon— Riiiiight! There is something about that there resurrection!

Hey, I want to welcome you to the Hub Pages Community! Thank you for reading my article, and I appreciate your comments.


sn53Anon profile image

sn53Anon 5 years ago from Huntsville, AL

Thank you. I shall be back.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

sn53Anon— You're welcome and you are welcome back anytime.


stars439 profile image

stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Dear James : As a Security Lieutenant years ago, I worked a strike for seventy two days straight where one man was killed who was a Union member. I truly believe you are right about performance. If there was any good in the idea, I did not see it. I almost got into a serious fight because of the name calling. People got hired to protect the refinery where the strike took place. My job was to protect the refinery from sabatoge, because of my skill as a former deputy sheriff. The union picketers never once looked innocent to me, as they fueled resentment and conflicts with their name callings.

I agree with you l00%. They create first class bums, and actually bums that lean on decent people that just want to make a living to feed their families.

I truly believe in everyone getting a fair shake, but it has to be earned , and not awarded because your a union member. I also considered them probably corrupt , but hard to prove that from where I was at.

Union members called me names and said they didn't care about my family. That was fighting words in my book. I almost tossed one head first in a burning barrel on a very cold night. I fought him , fist to fist. No man cuts my cripple baby down and my hard working wife.I took on that fellow, and two others that. It took six guards to hold me back. That almost cost me my promotion, and a written commendation,and my job but I got awards anyway for keeping the refinery safe. I protected a city, a refinery, lives and real workers at all cost with my life if necessary. And I was unarmed. I totaled a patrol truck because of working double shifts to protect lives. I worked with numb hands, and a totally run down body near the end of it.I would sleep with one eye open, on my feet, standing up for five miutes in order to work twelve more hours straight. My entire intestinal track got messed up. I patrolled so much , and so many miles, the perimeter of the refinery. I protected their bread and butter, for everyone. They knew I was right. But there is two sides to a line. I was on the right one. I was on the right one with former marines, and with public servants for the United States Government. Unions only make money for the crooks that create them. God Bless You. Great hub. Sorry about the long preach.


Dennis AuBuchon profile image

Dennis AuBuchon 5 years ago

James,

This is a great article. Granted the examples you have identified have created the financial situations many cities and states are now in today. While I believe the examples in the article do exist I think they do not exist across the board.

With regards to federal workers even though they have a union their pay is limited to what Congress and the President want them to have with regards to salary and pay raises. Both in private industry and the federal government good workers exist. With regards to federal workers their pay and raises are based on a comparison of private sector jobs for their positions. Many times in the last several years what was recommended by the figures was never granted through congressional legislation.

Some of the proposed budget recommendations is a freeze on federal pay for a period of time. While this is in place costs will go up such as food and gas but pay to offset the increased costs will not be there. In this respect they will basically have a decrease in pay. This may also exist in private industry dependent upon the company or organization.

I feel federal government workers get a bad rap many times as they are an easy target for those who do not understand the mechanisms of government pay. I am not critizing this portion of your article but wanted to present some facts that may not otherwise have been known to you and readers of your article.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

stars439— I very much appreciate your extraordinary comments. A workers union cannot help but hurt job performance and, as you said so well, "create first class bums." The union primarily protects the laziest, slowest, least productive workers; and thwarts efforts to reward the best, hardest working, most productive people. In fact, on assembly lines workers have been beaten up for working too hard, as it might speed up the line and make everybody else work harder.

I think everybody knows this is true. Everybody knows that for every city worker working at least two are standing around watching him work. And think of the scenes in the Soparanos where five or six union guys sit around on lawn chairs enjoying sinecures. That is real. I have seen it go on myself.

Corruption in unions? I think most people know that is true, too. As you said so well: "Unions only make money for the crooks that create them."

That is quite story you shared with us about protecting the refinery from union goons. Thank you very much for that. You are a good man.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Dennis AuBuchon— Thank you for the compliment. You wrote: "With regards to federal workers even though they have a union their pay is limited to what Congress and the President want them to have with regards to salary and pay raises."

That may be true but I think we can logically see where that leads. The federal workers have part of their pay deducted automatically, all of which then goes to Democratic candidates, who then give the workers raises as part of the bargain. That strikes me as a scam against the taxpayers. After all, unlike a private company, the ones deciding the wages are not dealing with their own money but somebody else's money. It is always far easier to give away someone else's money.

I very much appreciate you for shedding light on the other side of the coin. You made good points. Of course, I agree with you that are good workers to be found every place—even among union members.

The thrust of my article is to educate people as to how the public employee unions were formed in the first place: a cynical manipulation of voters over against the public good; and how it is causing a financial meltdown along states and municipalities.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Another well researched and factual article. It is obvious to most tax payers that the original reason for founding unions is a thing of the past and now the boot is on the other foot. Thanks for another lesson.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Gypsy Willow— You are quite welcome, my dear. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to peruse this article. Thank you very much for your thoughtful comments. :-)


Sun-Girl profile image

Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

Nice info which is well shared and properly organized.


biblicaliving profile image

biblicaliving 5 years ago from U.S.A.

Gutsy, well researched, masterfully composed, and where do you find all those great illustrations? Thanks for the great work, keep it up!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Sun-Girl— Thank you!! Thank you very much! :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

biblicaliving— You are quite welcome, my new friend. I find the illustrations searching through Google Images, with patience. :D

Thank you very much for your gracious compliments. It won't be long and I'll be coming by to see what you've been writing. Welcome once again to HubPages!


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

To Mr. Watkins: Excellent hub. I could not agree with you more. Unions are destroying the American worker's initiative. Public employees are being paid more than many workers in the private sector. However, they provide the worse service. When one complains about this to their superior, these employees smirk that they are protected and that nothing will happen to them.

Yes I believe that unions are destroying America, especially the public sector. When I worked in the public sector, there used to be ratings of outstanding, highly effective, effective, needs improvement, and unsatisfactory. I used to receive highly effective; however, some employees complained to the union and it wasa decided to eliminate the categories of outstanding and highly effective. The only good rating was now satisfactory as to not hurt the "precious" feelings of employees. Result the excellent workers are lumped with the average workers. This creates mediocrity and kills initiative.

Furthermore, unions PROTECT the worst employees and these employees know this. These employees even inform their supervisors of this. It is extremely difficult to terminate a poor employee in the public sector because all the employee has to do is report this and the union smooths things out.

I remember a top level administrator at a social service agency stating that it is difficult to terminate an unsatisfactory employee because it is his/her word against the supervisors. This left me totally nonplussed. The unions will be the DEATH of American employment.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

gmwilliams— Greetings to the one from "The Greatest City on the Earth!" I cannot say I disagree about that sobriquet. :)

Thank you for taking the time to come by and read my article. I sincerely appreciate your compliments, and I am pleased to read that we are in agreeance.

I totally agree with your remarks. Well said! I think it is human nature for most to do as little as possible if: 1) they have nothing to lose by doing as little as possible; AND 2) they have nothing to gain by doing more than as little as possible.

I found your comments quite interesting about the elimination of "grades" for employees of the public sector. There is also a movement to eliminate grades in public schools, so as to not make anyone "distinguished" or to hurt anyone's "self-esteem." It is the Socialists Dream: The Great Leveling of everyone. As we both know, it is not possible to level everybody Up; it is only possible to level everybody Down. Therein lies the tragedy of this ideology.

Every word you wrote finds me nodding in agreement. Thanks again for posting such wise words here.


American View profile image

American View 5 years ago from Plano, Texas

Moonchild- Based on your picture it is no wonder why you may not like or know Regan,,you are to young.

James- A great well written hub.There was a time when unions did a great job, but they became to political. I am in 2 unions. My unions worked different than other unions and I love them. The fight for me, they do not give millions to political machines. People better wise up. At the rate unions donate, hold fund raisers, pay for tv ads, all the unions will have no pension and benefit fund left.Where do they think that money comes from? It sure is not the monthly dues. I was NY firefighter, but our union sat alone. They fought hard for us, currently they are fighting the closure of fire stations in NY.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

American View— Moonchild is a lovely lass. :D

Thank you for taking the time to come by and read my Hubs. I agree with your analysis of unions, and public employee unions in particular. It is good of you to share your thoughtful insights with us.

I appreciate your excellent comments and the nice compliment. Welcome to HubPages!! Good luck with your writing.


Ben 5 years ago

James--Well done! Every one of your Hubs makes my arguments a little fiercer and my understanding a little stronger. Your apple orchard analogy is another one of your classic blockbusters, my friend. I never knew that Henry Ford had done such wonderful things for the American hard worker, either. I have always heard the obscene falsehood that it was labor unions that propelled the unstoppable United States manufacturing miracle, not the fair-minded visions of Uncle Henry. Today, I believe that labor unions of any kind have absolutely no place in this nation, let alone public employee labor unions – what an outcry!

Many union supporters lavishly speak of how unions have made their own lives better and how Capitalists routinely leave American workers out in the cold. I have one question for these closet socialists – do you want what is best for your country, that gave you so much, or what is best for yourself? A motivated, talented craftsman cannot thrive under the thumb of a labor union that slaps him in the face by paying him the same as his most lethargic colleagues. Labor unions destroy the esprit de corps of our frontier and American exceptionalism by smothering the life out of ambitious example-setting young men, disillusioning them early in life.

I never knew that the Teamsters required employers to pay for sleep time. How absurd! I used to be a truck driver but I am far too young to remember when the Teamsters were around. I can, however, confirm that truckers must comply with strict sleep time rules even today, after the truckers unions have been virtually dissolved. I always saw this as a crock of BS. Why do I need the government or a labor union telling me when I am ready for a nap, hurting my ability to support my family? Amazingly, I could have been sent to prison if I was involved in an accident of no fault of my own if the authorities could prove that I had been on duty for too long beforehand! If the driver is out of hours, any accident that he is involved in is automatically his fault in the eyes of the law, regardless of circumstances. I have even heard stories truckers being sent to prison for accidents they were involved in while they were asleep in the sleeper berth parked at a rest area after a drunk driver ran off an icy road and into their truck, killing the drunk driver. Turns out, the guy had run out of hours long before he stopped and rested, meaning that he should have never actually been parked at that rest area and this, by default, made the accident his fault!

The government mandates impossible-to-comply-with laws for the drivers’ hours of service. For example, after 11 hours of driving, a 10 hour break is required. If every driver at a company complied with this, the company would undoubtedly be defeated by the nonconforming companies and would go out of business. The government knows this and understands that this requires nearly all drivers to drive illegally. Thus, anytime any accident occurs, the government and the briefcase mafia can succeed in fining and suing the owners of the company outrageous amounts of money, sometimes up to millions of dollars, for not complying with their insane rules. It is another government hoax to embezzle money from the capitalists. I think I may write my first hub about this matter.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Ben— Thank you for reading my work here, my friend. I appreciate your thoughtful and insightful comments.

American Manufacturing was half of the world's total when I was born in 1955. And the American workers were paid better than any workers in the world by far.

Unions did not achieve their maximum power until the 1960s—and it has been all downhill for American Manufacturing AND for unskilled labor ever since. The unions priced our labor costs out of the global marketplace. And that took some doing. Consider that products made in China involve shipping raw materials from the US across the Pacific Ocean at great cost; and then shipping back finished products at great cost. Plus all those handling costs. This means that we never have to pay unskilled laborers anywhere near the low wages in China to compete. If we can manufacture here we save all that shipping cost—and precious energy. But we can't have an hour of labor costing an American company $75 an hour in wages and benefits. If our wages and benefits were half that, we could make things here again and stop importing so much from China, thus improving our balance of trade, and nearly eliminating unemployment.

You wrote: "A motivated, talented craftsman cannot thrive under the thumb of a labor union that slaps him in the face by paying him the same as his most lethargic colleagues. Labor unions destroy the esprit de corps . . ."

Right on!

Your comments about truck driving rules and regulations are interesting. Thanks again for your insights.


Ben 5 years ago

James--That is shocking! I never thought about it in this way. So, we ship raw materials to China, they manufacture it for us, then ship it back. We could manufacture here and still compete with China. See, the progressives don't want us to hear this side of things. They use the argument that world trade is a necessity and we are unfairly being required to compete with communist countries who oppress workers and there is simply nothing that we can do about it. The progressives should be tried for treason!

Unions have led to workers costing employers up to $75 an hour with pay and benefits? That is outrageous! That's as much as a physician. Then, these workers strike?! You say that if we cut this in half, we could manufacture here. What kind of a person wouldn't like to work in the greatest nation in the world for $37.50 an hour? Uneducated persons were living the middle class lifestyle and still were complaining. That is the real reason our plants are closing. This sickens me to no end. Thanks for your outstanding work. You are raising the awareness of the public, one visitor at a time who, in turn, tell others who tell even more.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Ben— You are most welcome. Of course, I wasn't saying the worker would get $37.50 in actual wages but that each worker would cost the company $37.50 including benefits. That would still be a vastly higher wage than paid in China. So when unions and other communists claim that American companies want to pay Chinese wages they are lying throught their tooth. Union autoworkers WERE making as much as physicians by the 1970s and their work was pitiful—while the union shielded them from being fired for ineptitude and sloth.


Ben 5 years ago

James--I am the only republican in the family. I was raised in a far left family. I am the only pro-life member of my family and face sordid scorn for my position. One day, my dad who is a baby boomer born in 1950 said to me,

The republicans are evil. They don't care if little children die or our elderly starve or are refused health care. They don't care if workers are exploited by capitalist jerks with jets. The democrats are good. They are humanitarians like Jesus. They look out for the rights of the little children and our elderly because no one else will. They build labor unions that force industries to pay workers fairly, although I will admit that sometimes labor unions become overbearing and demand too much. The democrats are far more foolish than the republicans but I will pick foolishness over evil any day.

I pointed out some of the points of this article and his reply was,

"Ok, so let me get this straight. . . YOU are smart but half of our Senate and House are dumb?! Have you ever listened to a Congressional hearing in your life son? You are not smarter than a U.S. Congressman and how dare you get so arrogant to believe that you have outsmarted or are more informed than the U.S. Senate"

That is what happens any time I bring up politics. If you are a republican in this country today, you best keep your mouth shut or things will get very ugly very quickly. However, if you are a democrat, you can say anything you want without incident. I agree with your article but, like most Americans, cannot even say it without facing shaming language. People in this country today generally do not just argue the points a conservative makes, they try to make him feel ashamed of his position. I do not like people telling me that I support an organization that lets little children die. Have you written about this? What are your thoughts on this?


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Ben— I have been heavily involved in politics for a decade and I have heard oodles of congressional hearings. Liberals call Conservatives evil because in general Conservatives believe in the God of the Bible and Liberals do not. Thus it follows that those living in spiritual darkness hate the light above all else. The light reminds them oh too starkly of their own darkness and this is quite uncomfortable. Liberals long to free individuals from personal responsibility for their sins by claiming that "society" is the cause of all ills today—not the actions of individual souls.

I have written a Hub that attempts to briefly explain what Conservatism is:

http://hubpages.com/politics/Conservative...

Thank you for your comments.

Oh . . . you might also find this interesting:

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Prince-of-...


Bud Gallant profile image

Bud Gallant 5 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Interesting hub. I think we'd both agree that smaller government and less laws is really the law to go. I'm Canadian, and even our "Conservative Party" is leftwing in some respects. I hope America isn't headed down the same path.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Bud Gallant— I surely agree with your comments. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I look forward to reading your writings. Welcome to the HubPages Community!


Tom T profile image

Tom T 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

Brilliant hub... I'd like to take the following point you made,

'And a huge permanent set of public employee unions that would deduct massive amounts of money from government employee paychecks to be funneled exclusively to the Democratic Party.'

one step further,

That money they are funneling is ultimately coming from the power to tax. In a sense, these politicians and union bosses have formed an unholy alliance to use tax money to keep themselves, the politicians, in power so they can pay for the raises and benefits of the public services unions.

When companies go broke, unions are forced to make concessions or there is not company, ergo no jobs. When governments go broke they raise taxes (borrowing is a form of taxation but we'll leave that to another hub) ...no concessions. If it were not so morally reprehensible it would be brilliant.

Thanks for the hub. Keep up the good work.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Tom T— You are most welcome, my friend. Thank you for the affirmation and encouragement. Your comments are fabulously discerning.

As you say "That money they are funneling is ultimately coming from the power to tax. In a sense, these politicians and union bosses have formed an unholy alliance to use tax money to keep themselves, the politicians, in power so they can pay for the raises and benefits of the public services unions. . . . If it were not so morally reprehensible it would be brilliant."


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Lypesymntes— Thank you!! Thank you very much!


wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 21 months ago from upstate, NY

If you go to the opensecrets website about money in politics you'll find out how true it is what you said about about the power and money the public employee unions give to the Democrats.

Its insidious the way these unions and their political enablers are willing to run the country in the ditch for short term gain, while all of us (the tax payers) are on the hook to help them do it.

I think the best part of your hub may be the running dialog you have with the liberals in the comments section. I hope they remain on this site for future reference. You really need a well rounded knowledge to answer these questions because every answer must be backed by facts.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 21 months ago from Chicago Author

wba108@yahoo.com--- It is great to hear from you again! Thank you for the gracious compliments on my article. I really appreciate you reading my work and your comments are outstanding. I love the open secrets website! Good call.

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