Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I am definitely NOT a Republican. I do not believe in the heavy-handed, public be damned attitude of the so-called "conservatives." Here comes the but - - -

The public service unions, the professional athletic unions, even the private sector unions have held the governments, bosses, and public as hostage. Look at Medford, NJ as an example. I heard yesterday that soon, in Medford, there will be no publc pick up of trash and garbage. Medford is broke. What are the taxpayers to do? Part of the problem is with the Governor - this actually started when Christine Whitman was governor and lowered state taxes. That move resulted in a decrease in funding to the towns, townships, counties, and communities. So the smaller political entities had to raise taxes for police, fire, education and other public services until the residents cried "uncle" and either moved out or refused to pay.

Caterpillar closed the plants in Canada where the workers had been earning $35.00 an hour, with benefits. Then Caterpillar offered them back their jobs at $12.50 an hour with reduced benefits and if the workers refused this, then Caterpillar said that the company would move these jobs to Mexico. Both of the hourly wages seem ridiculous - both too high and too low.

Look at the NFL. Peyton Manning is scheduled to receive $28 million dollars this year, if he can play. This job is not eligible to be outsourced, but where is the money coming from? From TV? This amount is largely what the traffic will bear, but a community does not need Peyton Manning except if he is willing to collect the trash, or police the streets, etc. And remember the teams that threatened to leave the cities if new stadiums were not built for them. Another example of holding a city hostage and its citizens who are then stuck with the huge bill of paying for them.

School teachers go on strike. That deprives the children of their education, even though there are state mandated minimum days of service that the schools have to be open and teach. But how dedicated are the teachers if they are foced to be in the classroom against their will? And, maybe the teachers are right. After all, a well educated public is the necessary foundation for a democracy. However, there does not seem to be a correlation between teachers' pay and classroom achievement. The one factor that appears to correlate with education achievement is students' attendance at school.

The Air Traffic Controllers threatened to go on strike. Ronald Reagan, as President, told them that they couldn't. They thumbed their collective noses at him and went on strike. He fired them, all of them. And replaced them with trained military controllers until more civilians could be trained and agree to work at the previously agreed upon wages.

The baseball umpires decided to strike. And then, they decided to quit. So the league accepted their resignations and hired replacements. And the national pasttime continued.

Back in the days of the Great Depression, Campbells Soups advertised jobs at 50 cents an hour and were over-run with applicants. So then, a Campbells representative came out and asked, "How many will work for 40 cents an hour?" And some left, but most stayed. And then he asked, "How many will work for 30 cents an hour?" And some more left, but still some stayed. And finally, people were hired for less than 30 cents an hour and when the story became public, thanks to the free press and the newspapers, Campbells Soups was boytcotted. The management, on rethinking, agreed to pay the advertised 50 cents an hour to all that they had hired.

Both unions and management have to share in the responsibility of lost jobs, unemployment, egregious public relations, and poorly elected representatives.

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