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Money Laundering - Is This Criminal?
What is Money Laundering?
To my best understanding, money laundering is the process of taking money earned criminally, running it through a number of controlled transactions, ultimately having it land in the accounts of the would-be perpetrators through a legitimate means. Basically it is the process of cleaning the taint off money earned through ill-gotten gains. Takes some pretty clever and smart business people, lawyers and accountants to figure out how to do this. But what if the money was legally taken from you? Is it still money laundering?
Taxes paid by citizens of the US are paid to employees who in some cases required to be in unions. Because they are required to be in unions, they are compelled to pay dues. These dues are then used to fund the campaigns of people who may or may not agree with the politics of either the tax payer or the union member.
Consider this, according to the Wall Street Journal, in 2010 elections the Public Service Employee Unions became the single biggest spender in "independent sector" contributions. What this means is your tax money is being used to support those who would raise your taxes more to pay more money to those who's dues are used to fund the campaigns of those who would give them their raises.
This smacks of a conflict of interest and a legalized form of money laundering in the name of campaign contributions...
Public Sector vs. Private Sector
Here's the real rub. Since the mid 80's private sector unions have shrunk while public sector unions have remained constant in size. In part because if a union is not a good partner for business, the business may go bankrupt. When that happens there is no union. In the public sector, that is never a problem. Governments don't go bankrupt...at least not very often. They just raise taxes, borrow money, print money or whatever they need to do.
This means a constant flow of money into campaigns. An endless spigot of money traced right out of the taxpayers pockets. It makes no matter if the public sector unions are good business partners or not...governments don't go out of business. Politicians come and go but the money spigot is there to stay.
While it is probably a stretch to call this money laundering, it does leave a bad taste in one's mouth. There seems no good answer to making this a reasonable process except to cut off the flow of money. The only way to cut off the flow of money, is to restrict the union's ability to collect dues from those who don't agree with the politics of the union. The free speech rights accorded unions can not be restricted...and should not. The amount of money they have to spend can.
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