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  • Morning Bell: Government Unions Win, You Lose

    Since President Barack Obama was sworn into office, the U.S. economy has shed 3.4 million jobs and the unemployment rate has risen to 10%. But not all sectors of the economy have been suffering equally. In fact, the sector of the economy most supportive of President Obama has not only avoided contraction, but has actually managed to grow instead.

    According to a report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) last Friday, in 2009 the number of federal, state and local government employees represented by unions actually rose by 64,000. Coupled with union losses in the private sector economy, 2009 became the first year in American history that a majority of American union members work for the government. Specifically, 52% of all union members now work for the federal, state or local government, up from 49% in 2008. Or, to better illustrate these statistics: three times more union members work in the Post Office than in the auto industry.

    So what? Why should Americans care if unions are now dominated by workers who get their paychecks from governments, instead of workers who get their paychecks from private firms? There’s one simple reason: private firms face competition; governments don’t.

    Collective bargaining, the anti-trust exemption at the heart of a union’s power, was created to help workers seize their “fair share” of business profits. But if a union ends up extracting a contract from a private firm that eats up too much of the profits, then that firm will be unable to reinvest those profits and will lose out to competitors. But when a union extracts a generous contract from a government, the answer is always higher taxes or borrowing to pay for the bloated spending. And make no mistake: unionized government worker compensation is bloated.

    As Heritage fellow James Sherk notes “[t]he average worker for a state or local government earns $39.83 an hour in wages and benefits compared to $27.49 an hour in the private sector. While over 80 percent of state and local workers have pensions, just 50 percent of private-sector workers do. These differences remain after controlling for education, skills and demographics.

    Unionized government employees not only want to keep their bloated compensation packages, but their leaders are desperate for more members and more union dues. That is why public-sector unions have become a fierce lobbying force for higher taxes and more spending across the country. Organized labor once fought against taxes and regulations that impeded the economic interests of their employers, but now they are in alliance with environmentalists pushing private sector and economy-crippling cap-and-trade legislation.

    It’s worth noting that the BLS did not count the United Auto Workers working for General Motors and Chrysler as unionized government employees. But perhaps they should have. Our country will share their fate unless something is done about unionized government power.

    Quick Hits:

    • Three different White House advisers (Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Senior Adviser David Axelrod) gave three different estimates for the number of jobs President Obama’s economic stimulus program “created or saved” this Sunday.
    • According to the latest CNN poll, 56% of Americans now oppose President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus program.
    • Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) said his committee was preparing to recommend “abolishing” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
    • The Obama administration Guantanamo Bay task force has concluded that at least 47 prisoners must be held indefinitely without civilian or military trial.
    • Venezuela President Hugo Chavez has ordered popular television station RCTV off the air for not televising Chavez’s speeches in their entirety.
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    82 Responses to Morning Bell: Government Unions Win, You Lose

    1. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Federal government officials who poke their self-righteous finger into the dike of private markets create a false sense of confidence to the people downstream. Such federal intrusion creates regulatory smoke screens that large unproductive corporations and worker's unions comfortably hide behind. Definitely a socialist minded agenda that is destructive to small businesses and the jobs they produce.

    2. A retired state work says:

      Although I agree that more government is not the answer I must point out that as a state worker I earned quite a bit less than an equal position in a private company. I suspect this is true for many. As for the pension, yes I have a small pension but I view it as the trade off for a higher salary that I would have made in the private sector. Private sector employees participate in various retirement plans of which their employeers often contribute as well. You paint a picture that unions, and state workers are the scum of the earth. Most work hard and provide services necessary for our communities. Could the private sector provide these services more efficiently…. probably, but beating up on unions and government workers is not the solution.

    3. Mike Baker - McKinne says:

      Now everyone should be very aware of what Obamacare is really about…..it's not about the people getting affordable healthcare it's about unions getting control of the medical care industry and who does that benefit….the Democratic party of-course.

    4. Guy Valentine says:

      Government workers should not be allowed to unionize on the assumption that Many Americans do not believe in the Union principals and do not desire to be forced to deal with workers in this capacity.

    5. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      At one time in our history, unions helped the labor force by making higher wages and better working conditions possible. However, for the past 50 or so years, unions have been a large part of the lack of a solid work ethic and a major reason for the destruction of so many of the industries that built this nation into the world leader. Union leadership has deteriorated and is now controled by a socialist, political faction that is bent on the end of our capitalist system. This leadership knows full well they are "killing the goose that lays the golden eggs",

      but because of their ideology, they don't give a damn what happens to the union membership.

    6. Richard Cancemi, Arl says:

      Government thugs and Union thugs are ramming their nails into America's coffin. So many things that start out good seem to be doomed to contamination and corruption by evil people.

      Our Constitutional Government has been bastardized by socialists and self-interest groups to the detriment of citizens.

      Unions formed to protest workers, now exploit them and all of America.

      Churches go bad; movements to help various groups of people go bad.

      Apparently Evil is more active than Goodness in this world of ours.

    7. Sue From Detroit says:

      They are destroying the private sector and our way of life. I wonder how many private wealth creating americans will starve because of political or government unions. The unions put Detroit in its present situation. Is Detroit forshadowing the rest of the country?

    8. Joseph, Virginia says:

      Redistribution of wealth to labor is only one function of a union. Another is redistribution of power. I believe that the latter is more salient to the typical Federal employee than the former. I have been a casual observer of Federal unionization for almost 20 years — I still recall my shock when the LAWYERS at a Department of Transportation agency first organized. Based on my observations over the time since that event, I have concluded that Federal government managers create inhumane work environments much more readily and often than in the private sector, and those government work environments that go bad become much worse than is ordinarily tolerated in the private sector. Unionization is a way for Federal employees to level the playing field in an environment where most real-world consequences are held sufficiently at bay that incompetent and venal personalities are not checked adequately by the mechanisms that do check equivalent bad behaviors in the private sector.

    9. Al Reasin, Conowingo says:

      Job losses in private industry but over 22,000 new federal government jobs. The stimulus jobs cost around $500,000 a piece and many were local and state jobs with the stimulus money no causing the states to cut budgets since the feds picked up the slack; and all is deficit spending. And remember my and your SS had no COLA. I didn't fault that in this economy, but government workers received an across the board 2% raise. What am I missing here?

    10. Al Wunsch, Fl says:

      How does the Hatch Act effect these government(fed level) members?

    11. Carl Jernigan says:

      I like the Morning Bell Format better..Bring it back. Thanks

    12. Jeff, Utah says:

      While I agree with the premise of your article, using the Post Office as an example of growing government unions which "when a union extracts a generous contract from a government, the answer is always higher taxes or borrowing to pay for the bloated spending" was a poor choice. The Post Office is one government agency that, over the past decade, has actually reduced the number of people it employs, and thus the number of union members. Also benefits paid to Postal employees do not equate to higher taxes as the Post Office recieves no tax funding, but instead is mandated by law to be self supporting, relying on postage alone for operating revenue. I know that many people find it easy to pick on the PO as an example of a poorly run government agency, but in truth it is because the post office is forced to compete with private industry, that the poor economy has had such a negative effect on the post office. Competing with private industry but hampered by regulations that don't apply to their competetors, is the real reason the PO is running in the red.

    13. Ted Stein says:

      The alternative to your point of view is how do we incentivize companies to offer fair wages for the rest of the public and private sector non-union workers? Corporations realize an increased stock price by reducing labor. Labor is always a lagging indicator of any recovery. What is the incentive for companies to hire?

      I'm not pro-union, but I am pro-fairness in providing training and a career path for workers. Corporate leadership, along with manufacturing jobs, has been lacking in this country since the re-engineering movement of almost three decades ago. That reality, combined with the lack of innovation from our entrepreneurs, will be a greater long term problem for the US than union negotiated compensation inequalities, in and outside public employment.

    14. FloridaGirl Stuart F says:

      We have to start somewhere, may I suggest starting at the primaries. Don't elect any candidate to represent your party unless they represent your values. Scot Brown is a prime example he has a record. Check out your canidate really good and then work to get him or her elected. We must weed out all of the bad apples.

    15. Carl Jernigan says:

      Forget my perevious transmission.. I am not conversant with all of the present means of communication.

    16. LJ, Wisconsin says:

      I was a union member when I first entered the workforce quite a few years ago. The local I was a member of was affiliated with the AFL-CIO and I have never seen a bigger bunch of thieves in my life! They take your dues, and IN SPITE of a Supreme Court ruling that told the unions they cannot use ANY portion of dues for political "payola", they still keep doing it! I am definitely ANTI-UNION and will always be for the rest of my life. They do absolutely NOTHING for the members except extort dues from them. Got a greiveance, good luck getting it resolved in your favor; plant or mill closing down, good luck in your highly trusted unions getting the companies to reverse their decisions. Unions can go the hell as far as I am concerned!

    17. apberusdisvet, FL says:

      Even in this recession, our property taxes either go up, or stay the same, even though property values have dclined by as much as 50%. Local budget cuts focus on libraries, schools, parks, etc. without taking into consideration bloated government union pay and pension benefits, which ROSE this year by 3-7% because, they were "per contract". The unfunded government union pension benefits nationwide dwarf the obligations we have for SS, VA, and medicare. Why no coverage of this?

    18. Jules Gilpatrick says:

      Oregon is getting a good taste of this situation right now. State-employed Union members and the ridiculously generous PERS benefits here (mostly fought for and won by Unions) are now eating up almost half of Oregon's entire budget.

      The Governor's answer? Float more tax measures (Measures 66 and 67) with the usual story line…"We're only going to tax the richest of Oregon's employers so the working man won't have to pay. Just trust us!"

      We already have a record number of Federal Government employees making six-figure salaries and these numbers have expanded generously under Obama. It does not take a rocket scientist to see where all this is going.

    19. Dennis Social Circle says:

      Unions have had their time and place, it is past time for the unions to be done away with. They have put this country in a situtation that may very well be the demise of the country as we all know and love. The unions do not want someone that will work to hard to get ahead, many of the union memebrs will let hours go by that nothing is produced for the company, yet they demand higher pay and more benefits form the company.

      A good example of the federal unions is at you local VA Hospital. I go to the VA, and yes I receive socialized medical care, I have observed many of the workers at the VA that treat the patients as the scum of the earth, They talk down to them and act as if the patient has interferred with their time and leisure. Many will continually walk the halls, socialize with each other, or do their nails at the deak. The veteran knows he or she can not say anything, if he or she does, then they are forgotten for many long hours. I have observed a wheel chair patient called by an emplyee for treatment, this person was in a chair with not foot rests, had limited use of his arms and then had to pull himself to the emplyee with one foot.The employee acted like this patient was wasteing her time, she could have assisted him in his effort to get to her. Assistance was beneath her and was not offered, even after he reached her location. They all know the union will protect them, so no one makes waves. Protection from a bad employer is one thing, but when a union will go to what ever extreme to protect bad employees, and throw the company under the bus in the process is wrong.We will all pay the price for the unions in "guvernment" jobs, and get sorry returns for our tax dollars.

      The dems and obama owe the unions.

    20. Blair, Franconia, NH says:

      The best way to make sure the country, and the economy, grow is to have tax cuts

      for everyone—–not just the middle class. The Democrats pretend to be the friends of

      the middle class to get elected, then they screw the middle class with tax hikes. John

      F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan, knew better. They cut taxes. Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, increased taxes. George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, lowered taxes. Which President was the real friend of the middle class?

    21. Jules Gilpatrick says:

      ok, I give up. My comment is awaiting "moderation"…what's to moderate?

    22. Tom King says:

      Why do you need a union if you are employed by the government? I think I am correct that the unions were first organized was to correct the unethical and unfair tactics by large industries against the worker. So how could the government which is made up of those union members employed by the government, be doing the same thing to them. Maybe there is some truth to those who say that the American public is stupid because in the case of government union workers all they have created is a new way to tax their wages. I also think i am accurate in saying that unions havent been very good stewards of their members dues. Go figure.

    23. John S. -- So. Cal says:

      It seems strange that government and private-sector union members are so short sighted. Economics 101 tell us that the private sector drives an economy, creates jobs and wealth and, inevitably, tax revenue through corporate and personal income taxes. This is in addition to sales taxes that run cities, counties and states through the use of disposable income. If you hamper or disable the private sector, the government will dry up along with it. What's so hard to understand about this? Government doesn't create wealth. Everyone has a stake in ensuring that America retains a vibrant, successful private sector. Economic growth cannot come from government because government does not produce anything; government feeds on the bounty of capitalism!

    24. Jim, Texas says:

      Don't the "poor" need the cell phones to keep up to date with all the free programs they are entitled to? We should be ashamed of our discrimination against the poor in the other 30 (fiscally responsible) states.

    25. Ardath Blauvelt, NH says:

      I am sending this out to everyone. This is something I have been talking about since Clinton's administration. Thank heavens we are finally paying attention to the group that can literally lobby, organize, strike and vote for its own aggrandisement by fiat — taxes!

    26. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      Well, I guess the only way to survive in Obama's world is to be a millionare, so I am going after the money Join me at whickworldwide.ws

    27. Bob Veigel, Arlingto says:

      More to the point, the entire nation loses.

    28. A.L.Greene says:

      Dear Heritage,

      Your comments, as always, are spot-on. But one thing you must realize: It is not only public sector union employees who want wages and benefits and pensions to keep going up and up. So do public sector management people, who do not belong to the unions but nevertheless work in the government.

      The reason that non-union public sector management wants their unionized employees to keep getting increases is that it will benefit them too. When the rank and file get raises, it pushes their salaries up too. So management is more than complicit in this; it actively supports and encourages this process. Something needs to be done to curtail both public sector management and unions from engorging themselves in the taxpayer trough.

      A.L. Greene

    29. John R. Salverda says:

      Since a government worker's paycheck comes from the treasury, the income taxes he pays is a farce. The more people who are government workers, the less people who are "really" paying the income tax.

    30. Louis C Levy Houston says:

      Could somebody explains some of the possible in short and long term?

    31. Harley Spoon says:

      Man, that's a heck of spin job….Why didn't you talk about the redistribution of America's wealth under GWBush/DCheney from the working poor and middle class to the corporatists, plutocrats and oligarch as result of their union: The local and US Chamber of Commerce…You do realize that the earnings and per dollar buying power for the US middle income and low income earners was, at best, stagnant and, at best, declined under Bush2, Bush 1, RReagan, RMNixon and their "borrow and spend", "supply side", "trickle down" and laissez faire (toward big business) policies…not to mention that the unions repeatedly endured declining memberships and took pay and benefits cuts (to save the companies) while the corporate plutocrats got larger and larger obscene "golden parachutes", pay increases. bonuses, and benefits. You people have a bad case of "tunnel vision" or outright blindness when it comes to the whole picture….and that is because you lack intellectual integrity and honesty!!!

    32. Colorado says:

      Given the statistics in this article, and current circumstances, allowing government employees to remain unionized is bad juju! With all the protections/procedures they have already in place, a union is a waste of both the employees' and taxpayer money. Unions have NOT done our economy any favors, and may have outlived their usefulness.

    33. Louis C Levy Houston says:

      What could be the possible immediat and long term actions against the concommitent swelling of unions and privite sector's melting?

    34. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      I am a widow of a Union workerBus Cos') , I saw the Union Rep come in when a driver was caught stealing, instead of being fired this driver was "retired", then when my husband died and I tried to get what he designated for me and the kids (he retired on yrs. of working after a heart attack) I got the run around, I have never seen his retirement papers, everytime someone would try to help, they would get so far then it came to a dead end, Union told me I wasn't the Union member so they would not help me. Thank God Va. is a right to work state as I would never join a Nursing union, they just want your dues and then tell you How to vote.

    35. Ocala,fl says:

      We must slowly work our way back to a less intrusive, less regulatory and much smaller government, which is there to PROTECT AMERICAN CITIZENS! What we have ALLOWED is a backasswards government, led by a man who has never held a job in the private sector, and his only proposals are pretty words spewing out of his mouth on a daily basis. Dear Mr Obama: your words are meaningless. They create no jobs, pay no bills and put no food on the table nor car in the garage. Government jobs COST THE TAXPAYER! DUH! The media thinks you are a superstar…the people aint buyin it! Kind of like expecting a kite maker to pull a 747 jumbo jet out of his a… Aint happnin folks and NEVER will with a socialist in charge. Chavez or Castro anyone(except that clown Valerie Jarret!).

    36. Ken Jarvis says:

      Murdock – HATES UNIONS.

      They KILLED HCReform.

      Who, they?

      MURDOCK Led and USED,

      Fox NEWS, Rush, and WSJournal.

      They USED any Lie they wanted

      to Distort the Issue,

      until they had convinced enough of the public

      to KILL it.

      ====

      Fox ONLY had those that OPPOSED

      HCReform on their shows.

      WSJournal – ONLY wrote BAD about it.

      Rush TOLD LIE AFTER LIE.

      The WEIGHT OF THE

      EXPOSURE was too great

      for the TRUTH to have a chance.

      ===

    37. Salverda, Hugo MN says:

      Since a government worker’s paycheck comes from the treasury, the income taxes he pays is a farce. The more people who are government workers, the less people who are “really” paying the income tax.

    38. White Lake, MI says:

      I can agree to a degree, however if you look at what the US congress has given themselfs, both Republican and Democrats, you can see why government employees want a piece of the action.

      Remember, you do not manage people, you lead people. With that in mind, the congress has done a horrible job. Also, the CEOs and Wall Street Bankers of this country have failed miserably. Put the blame where it belongs.

    39. Duane Phinney Pensac says:

      "If you hamper or disable the private sector, the government will dry up along with it. What's so hard to understand about this?"

      Because the elitists really believe socialism or communism is the way to go. They realize there have problems in the past but if they were in charge it would be perfect.

    40. okiejim says:

      I opposed attempts to unionize the military in the 50's. Fortunately this effort failed. I was opposed to the civilian air trafffic controllers (FAA) unionizing in the 60's and trying to recruit we military controllers to join them. Fortunately, we had a president (President Reagan) in the 80's who was not afraid to stand up to the unions and fired those controllers who went out on strike.

      Now, because we have a liberal (make that socialist) president, the unions are attempting to control our government, with some success because of a majority of socialists in congress. Those federal employees who think the unions will take care of them are wrong. You will be sold down the river just as the auto workers have been. Were it not for Obama, you auto workers would be without health insurance and pension plans, just as you are without jobs now because of the union leadership's unwillingness to compromise with management to keep Chrysler and GM afloat.

      What happened to US Steel companies? The unions forced them to begin operating overseas where labor was cheaper.

      Why are foreign auto manufacturers having so much success with setting up manufacturing plants in the US? The answer is because they refuse to unionize.

      Government workers beware. The unions couldn't care less about you. They only seek power. Just look at your history and the affiliations of past union organizers. What are their affiliations? What are the affilifations of current organizers? To continue to support these types of people borders on treason. Wake up before it is too late.

    41. Mary Hughes says:

      Unions had a place long time ago. That's No longer the case. In 1998 there was no more than 35% of the work force in the dying unions. We had almost Full employment, under that horrible Bush years. But Obema takes Office and the employment level begins to sink, like a lead ballon. But Union growth is poping up in places unheard of. Since Obema has become President the lid is off any restrictions and there seems to be an Unlimited amount of money toward Union growth. If you work in the government, or the private sector, the unions have their eyes on you and its all just another move to control your behavior.

      Not long ago I was working in a small town private hospital that had been built by the local communitee. Suddenly without invitation the union represenatives showed up with their grandiose promises for all the staff. If having a union control your nursing staff doesn't scare you, then don't go to a union controlled hospital. When the Union wanted to take our votes to determine if they had a basis for approaching the hospital management as they took over. They gave all of us the opportunity to vote, as long as THEY WATCHED US VOTE.

      I had such cold chills it reminded me of studying the communist government of the U.S.S.R. when I was in school. I left and a representative followed me all the way to my car. Now all of this has all come about since a man was elected to President who said "he would change things"

      Even the folks who claim their innocentence, since they did not know who he really is But they voted for him regardless of knowing. I hope they weren't voting to lose their freedom and become some of the most controlled people of the world.

      The Unions are growing full speed while unemployment is also growing at record breaking speed. That seems incredible to me. How about you? Is this where alot our Stimulus money went? Particularly since it's not going to help build our jobs.

    42. Patti, Las Vegas says:

      Federal, State, Local government unions made the top five contributors to the Democrats and Obama for the 2008 elections. WHERE DO THEY GET THAT MONEY? Since taxpayers pay the pay/benefits of these workers, does taxpayer money go to fund the contributions? Seems logical since union dues are the only way the unions have of raising money. And, union dues come from the workers' pay. No? This feels illegal to me.

    43. Oklahoma City, Oklah says:

      This will be the civilian military (KGB) Obama talked about during his campaign.

    44. Judy, MA says:

      Question? Why does Ken Jarvis always go beyond what the HF is writing about. Guess what Ken? MASSACHUSETTS is the first example of what the American people do not want (Socialized Health Care). So please get used to it. We have a voice and there are more of us than you. God Bless America! We are still free.

    45. vincent loffredo, ne says:

      the people should demand that the union bosses and the politicians involved in the bribes to change the health bill be arrested. these changes would be a hardship for every american citizen. these union are a danger to financial stability of country because of amount of money they give to elected officials. they should be charged under the organized crime law. the people should boycott al the union that were involved with illegal changes to the health bill. we demand they pay back 111.0 billion in bailout along with aig and fannie & freddie may.

      if they can not file chapter 11 or split them up and sell them off. kill the heealth bil it is nothing but garbarge.

    46. toledofan says:

      The unions will take whatever management gives them and over the years management has given in far too often and far too less, especially in the automotive industry, to protect the excess that the industry generates. In retrospect its really the management that has created the union power more than the union leaders themselves by giving into their monumentous demands. In government it's management of the vote, the more the people depend on the government for a salary, the greater the chances they will vote to keep the government in place. The irony of all this is that at some point in time, and we're seeing it already in places like California, Michigan, Ohio, that the money isn't being generated fast enough by the private sector to support the positions. Sooner or later the unions will be scaled back, then the nashing of teeth will be heard.

    47. William Jones says:

      As a member of the NALC(Nal.Ass. of Lettercarriers)for 11 years. As I weighed them "they came up wanting". Their leadership grows fat of doing as close to nothing as possible.

      The USPS fired me in 1995 and after 11 years of service-without a blemish on my record. I earned a Special Achivement Award and $250.00 bonus,in recongnition of notableable perforance. A female postmaster fired me of her own ego.

      Guess what? The union local or national level did not contact me in any way to try and save my job.

      Billy Bob

    48. Pingback: ADF Alliance Alert » Government Unions Win, You Lose

    49. Robert Ivy, Dawsonvi says:

      At one time, a number of decades ago, it was unlawful for government workers to unionize. It was unlawful for unions to solicit unionization of government employees.

      I think it is time for our congressional representatives to pass legislation to this effect again. Unions are not healthy for production and stiffle competition.

      It will be difficult to achieve this goal because of the undue union influence in the government today.

      The brown shirts are on the rise in a different form.

    50. SAMUEL says:

      What just happened to the union auto industries? Took over by government.

      Post Office should be closed . We no longer need six days a week mail delivery. The gaint union teachers .. every year the tax payers are sending more of our tax money to education. It's always great politics sermon.

      Every year we send more money for education and keep getting union paid teachers, with full benefits. All classes have helpers in all class rooms. Enough is Enough tax dollars going to union teachers. They get grants, and other money sent their way every year.

      My parents were better educated with fourth grade education than high school students today. Plus they worked after school everyday.

      TOO MANY GOVERNMENT UNION JOBS! TOO MANY GOVERNMENT JOBS AND GROWING.

      MUCH TOO CLOSE TO COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT.

    51. Joe Loiacono says:

      There's another simple reason why government unions should be illegal. Government workers have full redress if their complaints aren't being addressed: convince the public of their plight and ask them to change management.

      Simple as that.

    52. David A. White says:

      Sad to say but all the union workers salary combined will not equal the bonus money of Wall street.

    53. john Arizona says:

      Ken Jarvis: You keep talking about all the lies that the conservatives tell – please be specific and outline them, and then compare those so called lies with the broken promises of BHO, and the lies that come out of the BHO administration.

    54. Publius Huldah, Cook says:

      If the federal government were restricted to it's constitutional powers, most of the jobs

      with the federal government would evaporate – and their labor union(s) with them.

      Folks! Read the Constitution. Think.

    55. ken in SB says:

      Ken Jarvis,

      Murdoch is WSJ and Dow Jones, that is scary! The others you mention are profiteers who see the value in selling themselves any cost to the fold and lying all the way to the bank. Their form of capitalism is pure. It is self gratifying denial of anything outside their sphere. Mention of them here in any negative sense raises hackles and ultimately denial to play with their toys. It is their playground. The Bell say they have changed and mention my right to free speech,…..which is new writing here was always privilege….we shall see.

      The conservative supreme court has literally destroyed the McCain Feingold campaign finance reform bill and now given corporations rights of an individual. Therefore the rights of corporations along with unions (PAC's) to pour as much money into electing or defeating candidate(s) as they deem necessary under corporate oops individual right ot free speech. They wrote usury out of the law books, bankruptcy laws were changed to protect them, now they are afforded the same rights as any individual (one person) except they can write you and their contributions off, (what ? hello….anyone awake ?) Do you think they can just pour money into electing their guy from the 30th floor….hmmmm interesting on many levels, existing or otherwise..

      There is a word that Mussolini used to define corporatism. I can hardly wait to hear the exultation in that Supreme blunder and the praises being heaped on Fascism.The supreme court has handed over it's title of the final say or "supreme" decision maker (checks and balance theory) to the "thugs", that have the voting public figured out. While the people are incited to argue against each other, ignoring the real abuses, the power to make decisions and influence common decency and good for all people progressives and the Morning Bell'ers alike can and has been usurped…..we just lost a major battle to take back our government and our country. You most certainly can fool most of the people most of the time? I witness proof that when the symbolic bell is wrung to alert the people that there is an impending threat, many would allow to see us fight amongst ourselves than unite and go out into the streets and join their neighbors in defeating the real demon. It is seldom that one is seen to write, how can we reword or capture the essence of what the other has said and integrate as much of both sides of the conversation (to borrow from the paragraph below) as possible. One has to love the right to dissent for in that right we don't feel we have to agree…..ever!

      As we move towards Fascism the Morning Bell, the nextright, the Heritage Foundation (maybe), will have less and less to fear of Socialists, Marxists, liberals and conservatives and btw comments. They will be to consumed with advertising and corporate op-ed deadlines.

      Free Lunch and Perfectly Legal are startling informative bets sellers. You may be surprised who is benefiting from and exactly what constitutes a corporate free lunch and that which according to the IRS with the blessings of those far wealthier than those of us who write and "intellectualize" on the podium here is "perfectly legal'. Time to wake up!

      cc Ken Jarvis/mom

    56. ken in SB says:

      a retired state worker, IL

      A welcome post to seek common ground. I was also in a union. The CWA was a strange experience. Thanks for insight. You have a point. Many state or county workers make less than their private counterparts.and yes the retirement package is the saving grace. I hope you are able to maintain what you hoped would be golden years. What we all are experiencing is not a result of one years struggle and there are many like you who are proof of that.

    57. Dan, Kentucky says:

      I used to be a firefighter for the federal government. I was involved heavily with the union (American Federation of Government Employees). Federal pay and benefits for federal employees is set by Congress, it is not negotiated by the unions. The contracts between the unions and the federal government agencies are limited to those issues outside of federal regulations.

      I agree with one of the earlier comments that many federal supervisors and mangers do not treat employees correctly. It is against the law for federal employees to strike. The air controllers were fired for striking against poor working conditions that endangerd those who flew. They were not striking for higher pay or pension.

      It is possible to fire federal employees for poor job performance. One reason it is difficult to do so is because mangers do not document the poor job performance. Many supervisors and mangers want to keep their buddies (despite their job performance) and fire those they do not like (inspite of good and excellent job performance).

    58. David Mac, Marietta, says:

      This is Obamas plan, the union controls the people, Obama controls the union.

      It is no coincidence that the head of the service union has been in the White House 22 times last year. He and Obama were planning on how to make us all servants to them.

      Stand up America. Don't let these thugs have their way.

      We can and will get rid of them.

    59. Jay Trinca says:

      As a career Army Officer, I noted early in my career that senior DA civilians (GS 12-1`5) were professionals, movitivated and team players. They provided the stable mid level management that is so vitle in an Army that is in constant transition. At that time, they were protected by civil service laws, and the union had little influence. When I retired from the Defense Industry in the 2000s, the same mid level civilian work force was in shambles and I expect it still is. I blame the unionization of these employee as the culpert. It turned them from Professionals to Careerists.

    60. Fredrick, Richland W says:

      My first job was in 1932 at age 12. I worked in a grocery store cleaning up, sorting bottles and stocking shelves. I progressed to the produce department and at age 16 started paying into Social Security. There was no union involved

      and I negotiated my own wages. I worked all thru High School and worked for

      Todd Shipyard and Boeing during 1945 – 1948 and was in 2 Unions that were

      compulsory. When Boeing workers went on strike in 1948 I enlisted in the Air Force and served for 6 years. I encountered Unions again in 1954 at the telephone company but my job assignment didn't require belonging to a union and I chose not to. During my 31 years in that industry and my association with fellow employees who were required to belong to a union there was much dissatisfaction with hired leadership and their tactics and negotiations. To many times barganing broke down ending in a strike and at the end losing more than is gained. Union run by the members themselves to me is more effective than a hired gun approach of Organized Labor. What has killed the Auto Industry in America is Organized Labor and Government medaling.

    61. Lee Wacker Hopkinsvi says:

      Unions have outlived their usefulness! At one time, we needed them, now they are part and parcel of the heavy handed methods of the Communists. Also, workers who watched their jobs outsourced to India and other places can thank the unions for making so much trouble for the various companies, most of the companies left to save themselves, but that is another story, and we don't need any union to stick its nose into the mix! If a group of workers think they need a union for protection, they aren't worth the paycheck! Let's get rid of all unions, in particular those connected with government, whether it is local, state or national!

    62. KC, MI says:

      Jeff from Utah, the PO has been failing for years and years it has nothing to do with our current situation.

    63. Ocala,fl says:

      If we are going to survive as a free capitalist nation, with opportunity and prosperity in reach for all, UNIONS MUST BE ABOLISHED! Otherwise our country will go the way of DETROIT, THE CITY OF MY BIRTH! Time to wake your butt up! Go to DETROIT and you will not believe this USED TO BE A BEAUTIFUL AMERICAN CITY! Not anymore. Earth to Americans: the taxes we pay will pay government jobs…how many taxpayers does it take to pay for one sorry/can't fire govt union employee with benefits? ABOUT 300! You FOOLS! And we now have more govt workers than private sector workers! Are you morons paying attention here? If you were you would march into Hollywood and every Lamstream media office and run these commies out into the street! YOU ARE LOSING YOUR COUNTRY!

    64. Marilyn, Indiana on says:

      I do not know where Harley S. has been but as a woman I started in the workforce in 1958 at $8 per hour, and my pay steadily rose during the years that I worked until I retired at $21.60 per hour. I worked in 3 separate business' until I was 44 yrs. old and went back to school for 4 yrs. and became an RN. My first job in an ICU paid $14 per hour and I progressed through 3 hospitals and finally in a nursing home with good raises in pay through the entire time. My 5 children all got varying degrees in their educations and they have and are making much more than I ever did! I have 3 boys and 2 girls. We all received good raises during both the Bush's administration's! I raised the children by myself on only my salary. We had a nice middle class house and always a nice car, we were well fed, and dressed well. We have always given thanks to God for all that we received, albeit we always worked for it!

    65. Ocala,fl says:

      PS: Harley Spoon, you are a totally dumbed-down, brainwashed liberal who has not a clue as to the truth. We have heard your lies before, old hat. All commies hate REAGAN. Maybe we should go back to the corporation hating days of CLINTON! Uh, I believe AMERICANS WORK for CORPORATIONS. Socialists/commies work for unions which DESTROY ULTIMATELY ANY COMPANY OR GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION! Auto industry anyone?? CORRUPT UNIONS BEYOND BELIEF! How 'bout them teachers?! Ever seen their pay and benefits/retirement pkg?! To DIE FOR…AND OUR KIDS WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO BE TAUGHT CANT READ OR WRITE OR ADD!!!!!!!

    66. Viktor Skaggs, Boron says:

      I have been working Federal Civil Service at Edwards AFB for the past 27 years. I have seen DOD jobs cut and given to companies that ended up costing more money in the long run because of cost overruns. With the lack of military workers available for stateside duty at non-frontline bases, squadrons are being converted to civilian manned to free up the GI's for overseas duty.

      It seems like the US Federal adod budget is what catches all of the cuts when downsizing the government budget. Why not start cutting all of the entitlements and the supporting federal jobs and quit taking what few pennies I make and giving them to dim witted little girls who make a living out of getting pregnant and whelping more entitlement receivers. We can also fire the IRS while we are at it.

    67. stephen russell, So says:

      I say Layoff the excessive State & federal bureaucracies alone or send some to the US Mex Border for Manpower.

      Quit cowtowing to the D**** Unions.

      They got US into this mess.

      Blame & sue them.

    68. Don Henry, Edmond OK says:

      Excellent article! How better to grow government "under the radar" than to employ more and more people. Now, limited government has to be weighed against the cost of putting tens of thousands of government employees out of work, knowing that growing a diminished private sector to absorb those workers will take considerable time. The Democrats seem to have a winning strategy, so far.

    69. Catherine West, San says:

      Looks like Unions are going to duplicate what they have done in CA. Attempt bankruptcy by retirement benefits of the Federal Government.

      Both Mr. Obama and Unions want to destroy capitalism, looks like it will be harder and harder to for our Nation to wait for 2014. Union members swear Oaths to support the Constitution, but have never supported even the Bill of Rights for members.

    70. Mike, Chicago says:

      One of the first things Regan did was to illegally break the strike of the air traffic controllers, and that has lead to the decline in the power of the unions since then. Harley Spoon has it right, the unions aren't anywhere near as bad as the management and as the powers of the unions have declined so has middle class prosperity.

    71. Brenda Cregor, CA. says:

      If you have ever read Steinbeck's GRAPES OF WRATH, it becomes clear why employees, through the years and in various industries have decided to organize.

      But, modern unions, have more sinister schemes behind their grab for power, than to protect employees from abuses.

      As a teacher in the bankrupt-state-of-California, I understand the dangers of unions.They take away liberty.

      The California Teacher's Association (CTA) is a "monopolistic" liberal organization for educators, which is blantantly for a "progressive" corrosive agenda.

      During the last campaign, the CTA put millions of member dollars fighting against Prop. 8. Teachers FOR and AGAINST the proposition contacted CTA officials wanting to know what this had to do with teachers, or education for that matter. I for one, never received any response from CTA officials, except for a pitiful smile from one of the counter-workers at my local CTA office, which was decorated, quite colorfully with pro-Obama campaign posters ( and I thought the CTA was supposed to be nuetral).

      I pay the organization approximately $80 a month, and I am NOT even a member. It is automatically taken from my check. Add that up and multiply it by the number of teachers in this state, and you will see just how much money this group rakes in.

      Since teachers are FORCED to join, if you have an objection to their political views, and the organization money used to support them, you must write them a letter each year stating that you wish not to be a part of them "in name only". They send you a refund check for the amount they might spend campaigning, and teachers are then required to purchase outside insurance for legal representation, should this be required. However, they are still FORCED to contribute dues for the arbitration CTA provides and to an organization ( chosen by the CTA) where their dues are channeled.

      Interestingly enough, there has been much talk about merit pay for teachers in the state ( do not EVEN get me started about that ridiculous notion). Teachers, by and large, are against this, especially those who are working at program improvement schools replete with English language learners and students from low socio-economic households, which unlevels the playing/teaching field, when it comes to test score outcomes and school progress.

      The CTA, the state's organization FOR teachers, which gaves millions of its members' dollars for No on Prop 8 have been quite silent on this topic.

      It's disgusting.

      The CTA is in tandem with the NEA ( National Educator's Association). When the federal government begins to threaten and withold funding for schools, California is going to be obligated to do as it is told, and the CTA, along with the California Department of Education, will lead the way to the kind of practices which have reduced a majority of California's public schools to the dreadful state they are in today.

    72. Russell - La Mesa CA says:

      A question: The article says that 50% of private sector workers receive pensions – I have seen that figure as 18% in several places. Do you know which is correct?

    73. Patricia DeHullu says:

      And meanwhile…..the Government jobs are gaining more employee base with each passing day,all the while the private sector is shrinking,this does not make for good sense no matter what side of the isle one may sit.

    74. A state employee, Ma says:

      I have worked for state government for over 25 years. My pension plan will not be enough to live off of, so I also have a 401K of my own. Right now, I am taking days off without pay to "help our budget woes" and have not had a step increase in several years. My health coverage is through an HMO (not a Cadillac plan) and requires jumping through hoops to get some of the tests, doctor visits, etc. Even with all this, I do love my job. However, I don't like the fact that our state passed a "Fair Share Act" and I now have to pay union dues to ASFCME. I don't want to be a union member and I certainly don't want my money being passed on to causes with which I don't agree.

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    76. Phil, Richmond, VA says:

      The unions are and have always been a cancer within any organization that it thugs its way into. They specialize in driving wedges within companies; stymie process improvement and at the end of the day will close an entity to prove their self serving interests, and at the expense of everyone. The real questions to research at this moment are: when do these government Collective Bargaining Agreements expire? Who will be negotiating with the union on behalf of us tax payers? And will these negotiators take a hard line against costs (cadillac medical plans, pension plans, work rules, and the numerous other cost issues that are not in line with reality), or will they just roll over and agree to higher wages, more benefits, etc. when the rest of us are doing our darndest to make ends meet? I can imagine that the Federal negotiators who are “representing” the best interests of the tax payer will be taking their direction from the pro-union advocates at the very top; therefore, more costs to the tax payers, for perpetuity.

    77. vida clay says:

      this shows that the right to work has all lost , we the america people,HAVE LOST, i never have like unions i have always felt that it was wrong to join an union, they have cause america to go broke , they take away jobs , infact i believe they are the worst americans their is, the unions and acorn work hand in hand, along with every thing OBAMA IS DOING THIS WAS ONE OF THE WORST, things that has happen to AMERICAN i FEEL THAT THE ELECTION WAS LOST BECAUSE OF THE UNIONS AND ACORN, ISN'T THEIR ANY WAY TO STOP THEM. IF IT COMES WITH BAILING OUT THE POST OFFICE I THINK WE SHOULD LET THEM GO DOWN, THEN LET A NEW POST OFFICE COME UP , JUST TAKE AWAY THE UNION WORKERS. THE REASON THE CAR DEALERS WENT BROKE IN THE FRIST PLACE WAS THE UNIONS. IT IS A SHAME , THAT AMERICAN HAS SUCH GREEDY PEOPLE.

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    80. SLR, Southcentral PA, USA says:

      Ladies & Gentlemen, America is in trouble. Many seem to think the government will solve our problems & that they will enact social justice for all. These ideas were the same ideas the leaders of the Soviet Union pushed on their peoples. They not only failed, but once government got control, they abused citizens beyond comprehension. Much of what happened in the old Soviet Union goes untold today. But many millions died at the hands of their government. The socialist state is comparable to unionism. The ideals are the same. In fact, the results are also the same. Chavez in Venezuela is only now beginning to have to face the fact that his ways have depleted the national treasury & that nation is now on the verge of collapse. Obama’s plans match his. In America, federal government intervention by Congress & bureaucrats caused the problems we have today. The greedy got away w/ it while the government did nothing to stop them. The system ate away at any possibility of a profitable system until it too collapsed as Fannie & Freddie did. You do not loan money to those who will not be able to pay back the loans. We needed “SMART” regulations, but what we got were hasty & specially devised regulations that pandered to special interest groups. Worse, we got federal agencies that simply failed to conduct any oversight. Many moved between government jobs & the very same greedy companies that bilked us. Now they want even more regulations & control.
      A new, draconian federal health bureaucracy w/ thousands more unionized federal employees, will only reduce the level of health care in America to third world levels. While narcissistic politicians & sycophantic leftist media types keep pushing the leftist line that our health care system is in shambles & is failing us, the very real fact is, its the best system in the world, bar none.
      Once the health care ‘reform’ (sic) plan is fully enacted in 2013 (after President Obama is presumably elected to his second term), the real effects of this plan will begin to hit. In 2011 they will begin to collect taxes, but benefits (sic) will not start until 2013. Then the first years will be nice.
      But mark these words, the ‘death panels,’ better known as quality panels, will go into effect. The determination regarding the who, what, when, where, how, & why of health care delivery will shock many. Add to this the inevitable “if” you qualify for a treatment, a surgery procedure, or a medicine, will come into effect. Once done, many will find they are too old for some types of care or they are not productive enough for some types of care. Once this happens, how far are we from ‘you are the wrong skin color or you have the wrong political beliefs’, etc.? Many say such comments are ill advised & paranoid. Wanna bet your life? Or perhaps you’d like to bet your wife’s life or the lives of your children? Maybe you can bet on Grandma &/or grandpa?
      I suggest, socialism is a quality panel system or death panel system, & we are perilously close to allowing thuggish government officials to impose such a system on us. Think about it. Do you really want some of these politicians making decisions about health care delivery in America? How about some of those leftist activist types (the types who always seek government jobs), who have called Tea Party protesters animals, mobs, thugs, unAmerican, &/or extremists?

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    82. Salverda, Hugo MN says:

      Why do government employees need a union? Is our government an "evil" employer, that it's workers need protection from? The unions are nothing but an uneeded third party parasite on our government in this case.

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