“Unions Are Essentially Money Launderers of Taxpayer Money”

2 Mar

James Taranto recently wrote a piece titled “The Means of Coercion,” describing what is really going on with the battle between public sector unions in Wisconsin and all over the country. He begins by stating “to make sense of what’s going on in Wisconsin, it helps to understand that the left in America lives in an ideological fantasy world.”  I think most of us are aware of that.

“There is a fundamental difference between private- and public-sector workers. A private-sector labor dispute is a clear clash of competing interests, with management representing shareholders and unions representing workers. In the public sector, as George Will notes, taxpayers–whose position is analogous to that of shareholders–are usually denied a seat at the table:

Such unions are government organized as an interest group to lobby itself to do what it always wants to do anyway – grow.  These unions use dues extracted from members to elect their members’s employers.  And governments, not disciplined by the need to make a profit, extract government employees’ salaries from taxpayers.  Government sits on both sides of the table in cozy “negotiations” with unions.”

(Emphasis mine)

Collective bargaining in the public sector thus is less a negotiation than a conspiracy to steal money from taxpayers. The notion that this is “in the economic interests of the middle class” for government employees in Wisconsin and elsewhere to get above-market wages and extremely lavish benefits is just laughable. Sure, government employees are “middle class,” but so are the vast majority of taxpayers who don’t enjoy the special privileges that come from owning the means of coercion

Here is the contradiction of progressivism. Progressives tell us they want the government to do more. But they can’t win elections without public-sector unions. Because they are beholden to those unions, their main priority when in power is to increase the cost, not the scope, of government. Because resources are finite, the result is the worst of both worlds: a government that taxes more without doing more. This is unsustainable economically. Fortunately, as Wisconsin voters showed last November, it’s unsustainable politically as well.”

He finishes up by pointing out the hypocrisy of not only Democrats, but their accomplices in the media, as it relates to the coverage of the Tea Party vs Unions.

“It’s quite striking the way almost every lie the left ever told about the Tea Party has turned out to be true of the government unionists in Wisconsin and their supporters:

• Extreme rhetoric. The Wisconsin Republican Party has produced what Mediaite.org calls an “incredibly effective” video juxtaposing liberal complaints about allegedly extremist Tea Party rhetoric with unionist signs likening Gov. Walker to Hitler and other dictators. Left-wing journalists are making similar invidious comparisons: “Workers Toppled a Dictator in Egypt, but Might Be Silenced in Wisconsin” read the headline of a Washington Post column by Harold Meyerson last week. The other day on CNN we saw scenes of a Madison crowd chanting, “Kill the bill”–which was said to be violent and invidious a year ago, when “the bill” was ObamaCare.

• Violence. Blogress Ann Althouse, a state employee based in Madison, posted a video of municipal salt trucks blowing their horns in support of the unionists. A YouTube commenter responded (quoting verbatim), “whoever video taped this has no life and should be shot in the head.” Unlike Frances Fox Piven, Althouse has never advocated violence, but don’t expect the Times to give this the kind of coverage it gave Piven’s claims that she had received threatening emails.

• Partisan AstroTurf. That’s the Beltway term referring to a fake grassroots movement. Politicoreported last week that “the Democratic National Committee’s Organizing for America arm–the remnant of the 2008 Obama campaign–is playing an active role in organizing protests.” A blogger at the OFA website, BarackObama.com, writes: “To our allies in the labor movement, to our brothers and sisters in public work, we stand with you, and we stand strong.” We’ve also received emails from MoveOn.org, which says it’s holding a pro-unionist rally outside our officeslater this afternoon. Sorry, MOO, we’re working at home today.

• Refusal to accept election results. Although Republicans have a majority in the Wisconsin Senate, Democrats have fled the state, taking advantage of the body’s rules to deny the majority a quorum. The Indianapolis Star reports that Democrats from the Indiana House are employing the same tactic. Even Barack Obama, when he was an Illinois senator, usually voted “present.”

• Stupidity. Remember “Teabonics,” a photo album of misspelled Tea Party signs? The unionists can’t spell any better–and some of them are teachers! Althouse got one photo of what we think is a woman holding a sign that reads ” ‘Open for business’ = Closed for Negotiatins [sic].” Also, some of the teachers’ tactics–in particular, fraudulently calling in sick and exploiting other people’s children by enlisting them as protesters–seem not only unethical but calculated to repel the public. One blessing of low standards for public school teachers is that it ensures many of them are not bright enough to stage an effective protest.

Rush Limbaugh addressed this on his show stating that “collective bargaining in the public sector — I cannot emphasize this enough — collective bargaining in the public sector thus is less a negotiation than a conspiracy to steal money from taxpayers.  I am so happy this is all coming to light.  I’m glad that has happened to Wisconsin.  I’m glad finally people are figuring out what collective bargaining with public sector unions means.  The negotiations with public sector unions against people who pay them are negotiations between the unions and the citizens of the state of Wisconsin in this case.  And it’s not a negotiation.  It is a conspiracy to steal money from taxpayers.  That’s where the union workers in the federal and state governments get their money.  Corporations are not involved.  Evil, bad Walmart, McDonald’s, I don’t care, name one, they’re not involved.  This is strictly unionized workers in the state holding hostage the people of the state, and the people of Wisconsin are being held hostage.  Their schools are closed because the senators fled the state to avoid democracy, and the teachers walked off the job….

The teachers are union workers.  They’re holding out for whatever.  From who?  Their neighbors.  Obama says, “They’re just your neighbors and people at church.”  Yeah, what are they trying to do here?  They’re holding ’em up.  It’s not a negotiation, as Mr. Taranto says.  It’s a conspiracy to steal money from taxpayers.  The notion that this is in the economic interests of the middle class for government employees of Wisconsin and elsewhere to get above market wages is laughable.  Above market wages means wages higher than the people who are paying the wages earn.  Where’s the justice in that?  You earn $50,000 a year.  People that work in your state government earn a hundred thousand dollars a year.  You are paying it.  Where’s the justice there?  The idea that this is in the economic interests of the middle class for government employees to get above market wages and lavish benefits is laughable.  The government employees are middle class but so are the vast majority of taxpayers who are paying them who do not enjoy these special privileges.”



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