Thoughts On The "Right-to-Work" Laws Which Unions/Democrats Hate and Republicans/Businesses Love [182*5]

"RIGHT-TO-WORK" STATES (In Turquoise)

Source

DECEMBER 11, 2012, MICHIGAN became the 24th state to pass a "Right-to-Work" law in the latest assault on union power. In their heyday, and in reaction to the terrible working conditions required by many large employers, unions became fairly powerful (and ultimately corrupt themselves). Some of the laws unions were able to get through most state legislatures were ones which made it illegal for employers to try to break unions through hiring non-union workers that were exempt from paying union dues. This was done by requiring any newly hired worker to pay union dues whether they belonged to the union or not (I am sure there are many variations, but that is the essence of it.)

Businesses, and their conservative allies, have waged a decades long campaign to undo this edge unions have in their power struggle with employers over the ability of employees to protect themselves from employer abuse through joining together in a union. Their methodology is to get Republican legislatures to pass so-called "Right-to-Work" laws that prohibit unions from collecting dues from non-union workers, even if they receive the same pay and benefits won by the unions; as time continues to on, business is slowly winning this war.

What people forget, because history no longer seems to be important to most Americans, is that it was less than 150 years ago when businesses, the federal government, most state governments, and the courts, including the Supreme Court, were all lined up against the American worker. Every attempt to improve the condition of the worker, which, for the most part was atrocious, by the more enlightened states was opposed and defeated by the federal government and courts because it was "bad for business". It wasn't until the late 1800s and early 1900s when opposition at the federal level began to recede. It was only in 1935, with the Wagner Act, were the rights of workers to organize protected by the federal government; that was only 72 years ago. Finally, from the 1950s on did the federal courts start siding with worker's rights. Conservatives have been trying to weaken these advances in worker's rights ever since.

Up to this point you all probably think I am a very pro-union kind of guy; and you would be right. There is significant evidence everywhere workers are being more and more abused by their employers as the power of unions continue to weaken and business takes advantage of the poor economic times. Nevertheless, and hold on to your seats, I actually agree with the "Right-to-Work" legislation such as that passed in Michigan.

WHAT?!!! Yep, I do. I agree with it for one fundamental reason, and it has nothing to do with helping business; I do not believe the right of an individual to earn a living should be abridged because, regardless of the reason, they do not want to pay union dues. To me, that kind of law flies in the face of our basic concept of liberty; it is just like saying you can't be hired because you are black. That is it, no more complex than that.

Will this weaken unions, unfortunately yes. Consequently, some other method must be found to guarantee their survival, for unions are essential for the good working order of society; it just not be the abridgement of a fellow American's freedom to work where he or she wishes.

AND WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

Do You Support or Oppose "Right-to-Work" Laws?

See results without voting

More by this Author


Comments 44 comments

ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 3 years ago from Southern California

Why would you need a union, when the government is your employer based on the points you made in this hub?


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks for the question IB, but, unfortunately, I don't understand it; I don't see the connection.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 3 years ago from Southern California

My Estoric

The question speaks for itself, I cannot explain the obvious to you.

Read it again.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

I'm with you, My. I certainly think unions are a valuable part of the economy, but I question laws that require workers to do anything like paying for a service they don't want. That makes no sense. Unions should be able to operate and compete in a free market context like any other economic agent, without unfair advantages granted by the state.

If a union wants to safeguard its relationship with an employer, it can stipulate in the contract that only workers that are a member of the union are entitled to the specific benefits and arrangements that they have won. Then there would be an incentive for a new worker to join the union.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks for the thoughts, Secularist. Unfortunately, the playing field is not level to begin with and never will be if left to its own devices. Business is always more powerful than any individual worker; which is why the sweatshops and company stores prospered back in the 1880s, before unions. Businesses will always be able to circumvent any organized labor union in any environment other than full employment. Anytime employment is less than full, business can undercut unions by simply hiring non-union workers at lower wages and benefits and ultimately drive unions out of their workforce by replacing them with non-union workers and unions cannot do a damn thing about it. There is no free market when it comes to labor and management; it is a slave-master market.

That is why the state must protect unions from being driven out of existance by means other than forcing workers to pay union dues if they are not union members. One possibility is requiring non-union employees to be paid the same wages (maybe not benefits) as union employees. That way there is an advantage to belonging to a union (better benefits) for the employee and an impediment for employers to bust unions through unfair wage rates.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 3 years ago from usa

My Esoteric

Keeping in mind that unions exist in the public sector and the private sector, there is a big diference. How many times have we heard that public employees are making less than those in the private sector. Well, the public sector (paid by taxpayers not indivdual employers ( private sector ) are being paid 25%,50% and more when all the costs are associated with the job. The private sector have competiton to set prices, the public sector gets voting power by buying officials to pass agreements that are not in the best interest of the taxpayer. The union uses dues to accomplish the unions goals. The members don't have a say in how much support ( $$$$) each political party will receive. If the union bosses were fair, the members should have a right to direct the funding to a party of their choice?


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

My--I almost completely disagree :)

Private businesses cannot prevent private individuals from forming private organizations, whether unions, guilds, social clubs or anything else. They cannot, that is, unless the state actively intervenes on their behalf. As you yourself pointed out in the article, the government (at the federal, state and municipal level) was staunchly anti-union and sought to undercut them at every turn in the 19th century. THAT was the problem. In the absence of state intervention, there is not a damn thing business owners can do about their employees' private economic decisions outside the factory or office.

Sweatshops prospered because the state actively undermined unions. Not because of some inherent advantage that a company has.

"Businesses will always be able to circumvent any organized labor union in any environment other than full employment. Anytime employment is less than full, business can undercut unions by simply hiring non-union workers at lower wages and benefits..."

Incorrect. Technically, sure, a business can hire any deadbeat he wants. But why would he want to do that, when a team of well-qualified workers is right there available? They simply ask for slightly higher wages or benefits than the deadbeat. This is economics. It's about tradeoffs. It's about negotiations.

Just imagine you were a business owner and you had to make the decision:

*Team A is well-qualified, familiar with your equipment, experienced, trustworthy, intelligent, follows orders, and they demand higher wages/ benefits;

*Team B is under-qualified, cannot be trusted alone in the factory with your machinery (worth $100,000s), have no experience in this work, impossible to manage, do not understand your directions most of the time, and routinely produce shoddy products that ultimately drive away customers and reduce the value of your company. But they're really cheap! Which would you choose?

"There is no free market when it comes to labor and management; it is a slave-master market."

I agree there is no perfect free market, which is why state involvement on some level is always justified. But to call it a slave-master market is a silly statement unworthy of someone of your intellect and perception.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks for your comment John. You are only a third right on the pay issue. A recent study, CBO I think, found that those with a high school diploma or less are the ones who fit in the category you suggest; those with professional and doctorate degrees are just the opposite, earning 20% less than the private sector, after considering benefits. That takes care of most of your low and high graded civil servants. The rest, probably GS 11 - 14, are on par with the private sector. Although I don't have a doctorate or professional degree, I earned about 10 - 15% less than my counterpart contractor who worked for me and sat right outside my office. It was always a challenge for the gov't to keep high graded people because of the money incentive from the outside. The one benefit the public sector enjoys over the private is job stability.

Now, do I feel bad that the lower graded federal employees make somewhat more than their private sector counterparts ... not at all. I don't because the pay levels of the workers are often kept low in order to pay the inflated salaries of top management; salaries well beyond the persons worth in productivity.

As soon as stockholders get the same say as to where corporate donations go, I will start listening to you regarding union dues. Also, in any case, it is illegal for a union to use union dues for political purposes without the consent of the members and further, any member does have the righ to opt out.

That is an interesting twist you have, legislatures asking for bribes from lobbiests offering to vote their way if they will be kind enough to bribe them. Or, the analogy in the exectutive branch, hoards of civil servants scouring the countryside looking for unsuspecting private sector types to offer the public sector type a bribe for influence ... you need to write hub full of examples of how that happens; in my 20 years I rarely did.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I think you will find, IB, that the sweatshop, company store society existed prior to any decisions by either state or federal courts. It is because of this kind of environment union activity was started. It was the successful attempts at union busting by business that brought on attempts by labor, and now many states, to make those efforts illegal. They failed at the federal level, which is why the union effort more or less also failed for awhile. In other words it was in the unions efforts to stop business from being successful in their countermeasures to unionization that the federal government intervened on there side. If the gov't had remained neutral, taking no stand. business would still have succeeded but with much more violence on the streets. Its a chicken and egg kind of thing in my eyes.

As to hiring non-union to replace union, consider who we are talking about. A large chunk of union members are unskilled or partly skilled, another chunk can be trained, and then there is your example of skilled workers, who are much harder to replace. I don't know what percentage of union members that represents but keep in mind, you still have to multiply that by 13%, the approximate size of unions today; down from 25 or 30% in its heyday. To me, that says, in times on un-fullemployment (?) there would be sufficient numbers of unemployed skilled workers willing to work for less that could be employed if it weren't for union rules.

I think my term is justified in this sense: it was certainly correct prior to unions and if we were to return to a time where there were no laws protecting workers rights you would quickly see it again. It is survival of the fittest and business is more fit than any individual.

Now, not in so stark a term, you still see it today and it is getting worse; not like it was in the 1880s but worse than it was in the 1980s. One example of it is the "at will" nature of employment in all states except Montana. My company hasn't and won't abuse it, but my step-son-in-law just did, to the tune of a $1000/mo cut in pay, once he found another job, just because it was his turn to get fired. Yes, his turn; all the other workers, all skilled diesel mechanics, had been fired and some later rehired. He was this company's most experienced and productive employee, but the boss had a snit, so he did great harm to another individual and his family's life. I realize this is just one anecdote, but it is one of millions.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 3 years ago from Southern California

My Esoteric

You wrote a lot of words, but I can't find the point to my question.

Unions were essential to break the sweatshops in 1905. The companies were working under the laws that existed, none to speak of, and the unions collective bargaining was able to induce the companies to change their treatment of the workers.

How can you compare these sweatshops in 1905, to the federal government. The only need for a union is when the employer excessively oppresses the worker. Do you see the Federal Government as that kind of employer that warrants a public union?

As for the At Will Employment Contract, it should have been declared unconscionable as were the UCC standard for contracts in the 1970s.

The employee has usually been given a sign the contract or lose your job. As you mentioned at the end of your comment it can force people out of a job with no reason at all.

At the Will of the Master, a lot like slavery as long as you serve the master.

Most of the country has these At Will Contracts.

Working in the defense industry, I was forced to join the union. In addition, many of the workers new how to work the system. The shop steward took care of them if he liked them, but watch out if he didn't like them.

I have seen the union get the job back from a worker that clearly deserved to be fired.

Unions make jobs safe that shouldn't even exists, like having to call the company electrician to unplug a piece of equipment, and to have to call movers to move a piece of equipment across the room.

The unions can protect the most incompetent workers, and limit production of the workers to a set number.

These are just a few of the many faults, I have seen with unions. On the other hand the At Will and the other abuses that exist in many private sector companies is also bad.

In the private sector the white male is the most preyed upon by management as these males have no real legal resources.

The pensions, and benefits for public employees can hardly be found in the private sector. Unless of course they are in upper management.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I am not sure where you drew the connection between my points and the federal gov't workforce; I didn't have any. My point with the federal gov't is that Congress passed laws and the federal courts, including the Supreme Courts shot down virtually every attempt of unions to organize and workers to protect themselves. As to government workers having a right to organize, why not? They are American citizens as well, they don't turn into something differnent when they become a civil servant, and the governments have been almost as abusive as any private business in the past.

Have unions gone too far on occasion? Of course they have, the pendulum swings in both directions, especially when the gov't takes sides rather than keep a level playing field.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 3 years ago from Southern California

Mr. Esoteric

My point which I have expressed here several times is that the right to organize was originally validated to offset powerful companies that took advantage of their employees. So how does the government become the type of employer that takes advantage of their employees that there is any reason to organize the workers?

Yes your hub didn't mention this issue but the government as an employer and the government workers are in the same class.

Public unions have but an undue burden on the taxpayers. The government workers There is no reason that government employees should be able to get benefits and pensions that are not available to the average worker in the private sector.

There are no private companies that take over an entire industry, and there is no employer that is larger than the Federal Government. Second, stockholders have a direct vote in how a company does business, while the taxpayer has an indirect vote.

These are just a few of the differences

In California, the Ca public unions have bankrupted the state and the counties and the cities.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

?? IB, because they did. Patronage and employee abuse/discrimination within the civil service ranks was rampant throughout the 1800s.

As to pensions and benefits, why aren't gov't workers able to get the benefits and pensions in the private sector, especially for executives?

Name be one kind of benefit a federal worker has that couldn't be provided in the private sector. The only possible candidate is the G fund in our TSP and I bet there is a private sector equivalent to that as well. The fact that some private sector employees don't receive these benefits is not the fault of gov't workers any more is the fault of the workers of my company who receive benefits equivalent to what I received as a federal employee. I copied our leave program from the fed, the health program I offer is better than the fed, the SIMPLE IRA is not quite as good as the fed but I could offer a 401k equivalent if I chose. I don't offer a pension similar to the one I receive from the Fed, but I could if I wanted to; some private companies still do. There isn't a thing the public sector does that the private sector couldn't do, is doing, or has done. The one big difference between the public sector and the private sector is the public sector doesn't isn't controlled by a bunch of greedy owners and corporate executives who want to hog all of the proceeds to themselves and the stockholders while leaving scraps to their employees. This is examplified by the 12-fold increase in the ratio between the average CEO pay to worker pay since the 1960s

In America, that ratio now stands at around $300:$1 in 2010, the next closest country is Venezuela at $50:$1. In 1965 it was $25:$1 in America, as late as 1995, it was $100:$1; no wonder the middle class is shrinking.

I simply don't buy your claim about the public unions bankrupting the state; the CA legislatures and governors did that to themselves over the past 2 decades through ideoligical stalemating, just like we have in Congress today.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 3 years ago from Southern California

Name be one kind of benefit a federal worker has that couldn't be provided in the private sector.

ib------

A defined benefits pension that is guaranteed by the taxpayers.

-----------------------------------------------

The only possible candidate is the G fund in our TSP and I bet there is a private sector equivalent to that as well.

ib--------------

What can be in the private is different from what is available. Private sector companies cannot TAX to make the Red into Black, or make the Red unimportant.

------------------------

The fact that some private sector employees don't receive these benefits is not the fault of gov't workers any more is the fault of the workers of my company who receive benefits equivalent to what I received as a federal employee.

ib---------------------

It is not some private sector employees, it is most non upper management private sector employees. And you can't judge the private sector by your company alone.

--------------------

I copied our leave program from the fed, the health program I offer is better than the fed, the SIMPLE IRA is not quite as good as the fed but I could offer a 401k equivalent if I chose. I don't offer a pension similar to the one I receive from the Fed, but I could if I wanted to; some private companies still do.

ib----------------

What companies offer a defined benefits pensions?

---------------------

There isn't a thing the public sector does that the private sector couldn't do, is doing, or has done. The one big difference between the public sector and the private sector is the public sector doesn't isn't controlled by a bunch of greedy owners and corporate executives who want to hog all of the proceeds to themselves and the stockholders while leaving scraps to their employees. This is examplified by the 12-fold increase in the ratio between the average CEO pay to worker pay since the 1960s

ib----------

The public sector doesn't adjust to the bottom line, they just increase the taxes on the taxpayer. The size and scope of the federal government is unsustainable. I do agree that the upper management in many of the private companies take more than a fair share, especially the ones that the federal government rewarded in 2009. But, that is a problem for the shareholders, not the taxpayers.

Most companies don't contribute to their employees 401k, or if they do it is a small amount with a low ceiling on contributions. In 2008 most 401ks took a significant loss, but not the defined benefits pensions within the public sector.

You talk about good workers in the public sector, how is that determined. Raises and cost of living increases are predetermined and it is more of a process of time on the job, then it is of actual accomplishments or merit.

In America, that ratio now stands at around $300:$1 in 2010, the next closest country is Venezuela at $50:$1. In 1965 it was $25:$1 in America, as late as 1995, it was $100:$1; no wonder the middle class is shrinking.

I simply don't buy your claim about the public unions bankrupting the state; the CA legislatures and governors did that to themselves over the past 2 decades through ideoligical stalemating, just like we have in Congress today.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 3 years ago from usa

ib radmasters

''I simply don't buy your claim about the public unions bankrupting the state'' Many states are going bankrupt simply due to the public employee pensions and benefits paid by taxpayers ( private citizens). Apparently our elected officials were not working in the best interest of the taxpayers. So let's blame them for breaking the oath of office. Governments ,truly are corrupt with the assistance of union members contributions. Supreme Court Rules Against SEIU

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/supreme-court-rule...

(SEIU) case, ruling that the First Amendment gives state employees the right to decline to pay dues used for political advocacy by the union


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

And corportate billions keeps gov't clean? Both should be banned and elections limited to public funding, unfortunately, that violates the first amendment as well.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 3 years ago from Southern California

Jon

I don't understand your comment.

I don't know about the other states, but California and many of its counties, and cities are in the RED because of the public employee pensions. California like the Federal Government has way too many public employees.

Every government employee is a TAX Liability.

In addition, the state congress and the governor of CA are also to blame for the bankruptcy of CA.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 3 years ago from usa

ib radmasters

''I don't understand your comment.''''"RIGHT-TO-WORK" Every legal citizen should have a right to work if an employer wants to hire them.When public money is envovled, the public entity must operate in the best interest of the people.When union public employees are being paid far more than the private sector, there is something wrong.The union bosses control the workers and the operations of cities and towns.they are all in the same bed, union bosses and corrupt politicians.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Jon, at least in the federal gov't, I don't know about state gov'ts or entities, unions don't negotiate wages; that and several other things are off the table. Also, again in the federal gov't, those with college or master's degrees get paid the same, including benefits, as does the private sector; those with higher degrees get paid less. I will be partisan here and say that for those who do not have a college degree, the gov't pays a living wage where the private sector "chooses" not to in order to maximize profit and executive pay.

In Florida, where I currently live, I am embarrased by the pittance the state pays its workers relative to the skill the job requires or length of service (they haven't had a raise in five or six years now and are looking at a benefit cut); there must be a really piss-poor, but honest union with uncorrupt politicians here.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 3 years ago from usa

My Esoteric

My old boss once told me how much money it cost the company. Wages, union benefits, vacation pay, and the cost of furnishing me a vehicle including the gas to go where ever. NOTE usually in the private sector , no sick day pay allowances. Their is no doubt that when you figure all the cost associated with paying a public sector worker, the employer, city, state or federal, the total cost will be anywhere from 25% to75% higher. Oh, let’s not forget the value of an early retirement pension and in some case an ira account and healthcare insurance after retirement. I forgot JOB SECURITY and job performance once you enter into government labor employee ranks.

Please comment on the above!


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

The 2012 CBO study I cited took all of those things you mention into consideration. I beg to disagree on your sick-day reference; there isn't one private company I dealt with when I worked with the Air Force that didn't have a benefit plan similar to the one I had, some were better, some were worse. Granted, these are defense industry corporations who employ hundreds of thousands of workers throughout the United States; but they seem to be the norm for according to BLS, 80% of workers in companies who employ more than 500 people have access to paid sick leave while 52% in establishments who employ less than 100 (my company is one of that 52%); keep in mind, probably 1/2 of those companies with less than 100 employess actually have 4 or less.

Further, normally, where there is sick leave, there is annual leave as well. "Job Security", that is an urban myth, more or less. In the main, leaving anecdotes aside, job security is a function of economic stability on the company involved. In the private sector when the economy goes up, people get hired and when the economy goes down, people get laid off if the company needs to in order to survive or simply maintain executive pay and stockholder dividends. In the government, the same is true, just much more slowly because the gov't output isn't driven so much by economic ups and downs, unless they are major. Normally, we are driven by political whims, er winds. Up until VP Gore, gored the federal gov't, the feds reduced it size by firing (RIF'd - reduction-in-force in governmentese) people a few days before Christmas, just like the private sector likes to do. But, with Gore, who oversaw one of the largest reductions in the federal workforce in history, it was done nicely, with very few RIFs, just hiring freezes and incentives to retire. (The workload didn't change, mind you, it just got passed over to the more expensive, about 20% the GAO figured, private sector ... damn those profits.)

But, having said that, yes, I did stay in the ranks of the civil service (I was like you and hated the idea, but, I needed a job, until I actually learned what it was all about) partly because of job security. It certainly wasn't the pay and benefits for after I had learned my job, I was worth more to private sector employers than what I was getting from the government; but, mostly I enjoyed serving my country in that capacity; many of my peers felt the same way.

If a private sector employee has an IRA-type account with an employer, that account, in one form or another, travels with the employee, just like it does for a public sector worker. Health insurance after retirement breaks out like this, at least in 2004: for those who retired under 65 and had health insurance from their employer, 66% retained it after retirement and another 11% received it from their spouses. So, at least in 2004, health insurance isn't much of a discriminator either, is it.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 3 years ago from usa

My Esoteric

'' It certainly wasn't the pay and benefits'' the early retirement pensions made up for the pay and benefits.

''IRA-type account with an employer'' public sector paid by the taxpayer, private sector the employers

Again ''.. I beg to disagree on your sick-day reference; there isn't one private company I dealt with when I worked with the Air Force that didn't have a benefit plan similar to the one I had

YEP, and who do you think paid for it. The taxpayers paid for it in higher cost to the government ESPECIALLY in a no competitive bid contract or a cost plus contract.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

1. I wouldn't and didn't touch the FERS early retirement option with a ten-foot pole and anyone who did was very short-sighted.

2 and 3. You seem to think the government is some foreign agent designed to not serve the People who elected it and is totally disconnected from and provides zero value to the People who elected it. You also appear to believe those who work for the gov't should be kept in the same shackles, or worse, that we allow the private sector to put its employees in save for the elite executives.

It is a shame you feel the defense and infrastructure our taxpayer money buys isn't worth paying either a reasonable wage and benefit to its employees or to buy a plane that isn't made with the lowest possible priced part with comparable quality. You also need to catch up a few decades, DoD hasn't let many, if any, major sole-source acqusitions where there was a reasonable competitor since the 1980s.

It isn't that the private sector can't pay what the gov't pays its lower educated workers, they simply "choose" not to and that is not the fault of the civil servant, it is an indictment of the stinginess of the private sector.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

IB, I missed your comment from 4 days ago.

1. We do not have a guaranteed defined benefit plan, even as small as it is now. Congress always has the option of changing it. A private company cannot change theirs either retroactively, unless they go out of business.

2. Your comment regarding the TSP appears to be non-sequiter to me.

3. Regarding benefits, see my answer to Jon regarding sick pay and health benefits. I will check if you want, but I am certain I will find the same high percentage of coverage applies to retirement savings as well.

4. As to private sector defined benefit plans, they are decreasing, but that is by choice, to increase the bottom line and executive pay. As to who still has them, how about GE, Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Ford, Lockheed Martin, UPS, Honeywell, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Hewlett-Packard, 3M, Pepsi, Bank of America(which surprises me), Citigroup, and Wachovia.

5. The average 401K match is 3% in the private sector. Also, I bet, once the conservatives get out of the way and let the economy recover, you will find more companies starting their matching again as they compete for workers.

6. Public sector raises, unfortunately you are right.

7. I take back what I said about the CA public pension not bankrupting CA ... expecting 8% annual growth and paying benefits based on that projection, sheeeesh!


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 3 years ago from Southern California

Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) introduced the Public-Private Employee Retirement Parity Act March 17. The bill would apply to future federal employees, including members of Congress. FERS employees now receive a defined-benefit pension and also may participate in the Thrift Savings Plan, which is equivalent to a private-sector 401(k) retirement plan.

In a joint statement, the senators said FERS is underfunded by nearly a billion dollars already, and as FERS accounts for more of the retirement burden in the future, required federal contributions to the FERS annuity will skyrocket.

The bill would not affect the TSP portion of the FERS retirement benefit. Like a 401(k), TSP is a defined-contribution plan that depends on employee and employer contributions. TSP participants receive matching contributions from agencies on as much as 5 percent of the pay that an employee contributes. Employees receive a dollar-for-dollar agency match for the first 3 percent of pay contributed, and a 50 percent match for the next 2 percent of pay contributed. Employee contributions above 5 percent are not matched.

“Federal government workers receive far more generous retirement benefits than private-sector employees,” Burr said. "The cost to taxpayers of these benefits is unsustainable, and we simply cannot afford it. We cannot ask taxpayers to continue to foot the bill for public-employee benefits that are far more generous than their own.”

4. They are almost non existent because businesses have to balance their budgets or go bankrupt, something that the Federal Government never considers.

5. You live in your own world many companies don't offer real benefits, and many don't even cover the family of the workers for health insurance.

My point on the whole issue is that the government is an employer that should require its employees to unionize. In addition the outside of the government many people have to work on government holiday, and many companies don't have more than two weeks vacation for their employees, and a limited number of sick and personal days.

The reason as I have stated is that private companies can't give the benefits, salaries and pensions given by the government because they have to balance their budget. The government gives increases, and cost of living raises even when they are trillions in the red, because they don't have to balance the budget.

My point is that what is good for the private sector should be the norm for the public sector.

There is also no job security in the private sector and most of the companies are forcing employees to sign At Will Employment Contracts, This means that the company can get rid of people at will.

The government employees have job security.

30


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Bottom up.

Gov't employees have more job security, not "have" job security. Plenty of federal gov't employee's, a certainly a host of state employees have been fired in the past. Gov't employees have more secure jobs because gov't isn't as sensitive to economic trends as is the private sector, nor is it subject to the profit motive where employers would rather fire workers rather than reduce profits or their own pay. Further, it is not good policy to have the federal workforce delivery of services fluctuate as the economy fluctutes.

Companies don't have to force at-will contracts if they don't want to, they choose to do that. The only state that can't do that in is Montana, I think.

What changed? Once upon a time, like in the 2000s, when there was more parity in executive and CEO pay with worker pay, companies paid all of those benefits. and they had to balance their budgets then.

Working on gov't holidays is a companies choice, they can let their people off if they want, or give alternative days.

I have already covered the percent of companies who provide substantial benefits and it is high, about 50%

Yes, gov't matches the TSP at 5%; so do many large companies, although as I said earlier, the average is 3%.

Finally, "more" private sector employees are covered by defined benefit plans than federal workers.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 3 years ago from usa

My Esoteric

'' "more" private sector employees are covered by defined benefit plans than federal workers.'' A true statement, if it wasn't that way we would be in a socialist country. CAPITALISM is much better than SOCIALISM. If one believes not, pack your bag and go there.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks for taking my point on defined benefits, Jon, but I don't support your anti-American "love-it-or-leave-it" approach to our Constitution.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 3 years ago from usa

My Esoteric

''"love-it-or-leave-it" approach to our Constitution.'

I'm looking for the word constitution in my post, maybe you can fill in the void.

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Jon, It is implied in your statement - "If one believes not, pack your bag and go there."; it harks back memories of the John Birch Society, Goldwaterism (although I have grown to like him a bit), McCarthyism, and the J.E. Hoover tyranny.

To you as well, and may the new year keep you at least healthy, if not happy, wealthy (they solve the fiscal cliff), and wise.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 3 years ago from usa

My Esoteric

Thank you. I say what I mean and mean what I say.Don't imply, try to understand what the written word really means.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 3 years ago from usa

My Esoteric

FISCAL CLIFF, why?

2/13/10 Pay Go Law The President lies?

http://chicagoconsultant.com/page2.php?category=2&...

Obama has the top stop in saying one thing and then doing the opposite.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Don't they all? I am not sure how you choose a winner in that contest. I am finishing up a biography on Jefferson, it seems he as pretty good at it as well; let alone other such notables as James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams.

I will admit, however, one group will never take the prize, the more conservative elements of the Tea Party; it seems they would rather the country fail than compromise, even with their own Party.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 3 years ago from usa


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Jon, you Washington Post blog is incredibly dated. Since its Jan 2012 publication, Treasury has announced the TARP has been paid back in its entirty and is now producing a profit.

I'll withhold comment on Kevin's comments until I see what the Obama admin has done with the TARP repayments; would he look foolish if that is what Treasury is already doing.

As to the Fox piece, all the conservatives had to do to not bring the debt ceiling back into crisis mode is vote to pay the bills already incurred. But, instead, they seem to desire America be a nation who defaults on their debts.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 3 years ago from usa

My Esoteric

HERE'S THE DEBATE

Pay-Go was signed in 2010. The President said he wants Congress to stop spending and live within it's means. Result in 4 years ,$5.6 trillion deficit and the debt ceiling raised 3 times and a future increase.

The President and the Democrat Senate has ignored the law since it was signed. The President's actions have also violated the law. If the law was followed,we, the taxpayers and country would not be at the edge of the cliff.

The mainstream is mute and has protected the administration, that's a fact.

Dec. 31,2012 will tell the story. Follow the law, break the law or whatever will occur.

Just remember that since 2007, the Democrats have had 2/3s control of the government.For 2 years 100% control of the government.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Whle "technically" true for 2007 and 2008, it is, in practice, not true and therefore has no meaning.

The mainstream, American's I presume you are referring to, has protected the administration by voting it back in for another four years; convincingly, I might add; while, at the same time marginally reducing the power of the far right in Congress.

I suspect that if the conservatives don't compromise this time around, they will go the way of the Federalist Party in the 1810s and effectively dissapear, and for the same reasons ... arrogance and an inability to be pragmatic.


Jmiller17 3 years ago from Marietta, Georgia

I am glad we agree on something! I am not against unions. If someone wants to form a union, let them. Its protected in the 1st amendment in my opinion. My problem with unions today is that they are now going over what is fair. I will reference the Hostess Bakers, and the Port Workers who went on strike (yet they, port workers, made nearly 190K in total compensation).

The purpose of unions today is a whole other topic so moving on. In terms of right to work, i am flabbergasted that anyone can think that is legal to force some to pay to work. Yes, they enjoy the benefits, but i feel like the purpose of unions was to fight for all workers. To make a broader point, lets say our congress passes a massive tax break that benefits myself. I did not vote for nor contribute to the party that passed it. Should I then not get the tax break? I think that forcing someone to pay is a clear violation of their 1st amendment rights. By funding the unions, you are basically endorsing their views, which you might not agree with. I was surprised at the conclusion of this hub, but glad we think alike on this topic at least.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 3 years ago from usa

My Esoteric

On 12/29/12, the President will appear on NBC with David Gregory to attempt to look like the great uniter. It's a make sure you watch program.

Here's what Gregory will not ask or make any reference to what the fiscal cliff really means.

The House has already passed bills to solve the '' fiscal cliff'' Reid will not allow a VOTE!

’Cut, Cap and Balance ‘’bill that was sent to the Senate on July 19,2011. http://hubpages.com/politics/PRESIDENTBARACKOBAMA-...

The solutions to the fiscal cliff, CUT waste and follow Pay-Go Law.

9 million ways to balance the budget CUT WASTE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tVJ2gqqKWs

FISCAL CLIFF, why? 2/13/10 Pay Go Law

The President lied?

http://chicagoconsultant.com/page2.php?category=2&...

The Senate and Obama need to follow the law?

President Obama’s Fiscal Cliff Plan “Balance” not true

http://www.speaker.gov/general/president-obama-s-f...

A simple equation , no hokus pokus, for simple minded persons.

YOU RAISE TAXES - YOU MAKE CUTS (not over 10 years) It’s a one for one = neutral 0 deficits

The Republicans understand the math, why can’t the other side understand it too?

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/05/17/senator...

Obama or Reid telling the truth?

http://www.majorityleader.gov/JobsTracker/

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/23/health/policy/ga...

billion.Who are the progressives in the government , the story unfolds


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

You report - "The House has already passed bills to solve the '' fiscal cliff'' Reid will not allow a VOTE!"

My answer - so has the Senate which the House won't vote on.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 3 years ago from usa

My Esoteric

bills that require TAX action, those bill are generated in the House. The Senate's job is to debate,amend and vote. Tthey go back to the House for the same, afterwhich the House and the Senate vote on a bill to go to the Pesident for signature. The Senate's actions of not allowing a VOTE IS WRONG


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

It is a perk of being in the Majority. It is no more wrong than the Speaker of the House having the ability bar the minority from participating in House proceedings in any meaningful way, which hsd happened on occasion until Newt Gingrich. He set the precedent of this practice becoming the MO for the House.


Sanxuary 3 years ago

In an awful way the anti union Corporate strategy to destroy the unions may back fire. It was greed that trumped all ideas of common sense and reality in achieving balance. Union leaders bought like are modern day politicians by corporations sold out to them in the 1980's. Making it illegal to demand dues means that loyalty and true Union goals can be achieved. Unions do not need money they need people. Its never been about money but all about people and when we have been reduced to slavery and poverty people will eventually unite with out any need for dues. For those who destroy the lives of people will eventually face the eyes of those who our due. Until then support all people who unite against those who silence them.


JON EWALL profile image

JON EWALL 3 years ago from usa

My Esoteric

Are you refering to the Senate bill about passing a tax increase on citizens making $ 250,000? Is so, the bill did not meet PAY-GO LAW.In 2010 the super majority Democrat Congress ( House and Senate) passed the law and President Obama signed the bill into law.The Democrats want to raise taxes, that's fine. The problem is that they need to make present day cuts ( not in 10 years ) to pay for the taxation. The President and the DEMS have not put the cuts on the table.Therefore the House has no cause to waste more time with BS.

http://chicagoconsultant.com/page2.php?category=2&

The Constitutional procedures need to be followed, the Senate leadership needs to VOTE on the House bill.The House bill has passed by a majority vote. The bill solves the fiscal cliff.

Senator Coburn reports 9 million ways to balance the budget CUT WASTE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tVJ2gqqKWs

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working