The gold rush that started in 1848 at Sutters Mill in California and set off a frenzy of gold fever that lead to the construction of many boom towns from Alaska to Mexico. The heydays of the gold rush lasted about 50 years and once the the gold ran out so did the people. Today these once bustling settlements are slowly being reclaimed by mother nature and are now ghost towns. We are seeing this phenomena happening again in Detroit. The black plague of bankruptcy is infecting municipalities and it is sweeping across the nation. Yes the gold has run out and we have public and private sector unions to thank for the infection.
This week we have learned that cities and towns across the nation are being infected with the union disease, Scranton and Harrisburg in PA., San Bernardino, Stockton and Sacramento in CA., Woonsocket and Pawtucket in RI., Chicago IL. and Detroit MI. have both had their bonds downgraded to “junk bond status” by Moody's. All of these municipalities have made big promises to their public sector union employees that are unsustainable.
A New York Times article by Mary Williams Walsh published October 12, 2010 outlines New York City;s problems with retiree health care obligations and pensions. In the article she states that the city has made promises regarding health benefits worth $62 billion and that the cities retired workers have pensions that are underfunded to the tune of $75 billion as of June 30, 2008.
Public and private sector unions have driven up the cost of goods and services to the point of un-affordability by the same people that supply and manufacture them. The unions have become their own worst enemy by forcing higher than normal wadge and benefit packages, they have forced entire industries out of this country. Case-in-point; The garment and textile industry was a huge employer in the southeastern Massachusetts/Rhode Island region but no more. The old knitting mills of Fall River stand vacant or have been torn down in some cases converted into condominiums. The manufacture of clothing gave birth to the term “sweat shop” men and women worked their fingers to the bone with out breaks 12 hours a day and paid “piece work”. When the garment workers organized many of the conditions improved. With their new found power of collective bargaining unions forced employers for more wadges and benefits by striking and going after business owners and “Scabs” with ax handles that attempted to cross picket lines. If strikes did not work then they would burn a factory or a managers home. Finally the factory owners had enough and one by one they went to Japan, Taiwan and India. The company that once employed 100 workers in a four story building that took up two city blocks was reduced to an office staffed by 4 or 5 people that was twice as profitable.
|Bethlehem Steel Bethlehem PA.|
When it comes to police officers, fire fighters and teachers clearly we can not send their jobs oversees but something must be done, the nations security depends on it. We need to keep our public sector workers happy but we also need to keep a handle on expenses. A political and business solution must be found to repatriate jobs to grow the tax base. Surely the city of Scranton Pennsylvania would not be in a financial mess if the US steel industry did not collapse under the weight of China's government subsidized production. Then there is the coal industry being strangled by EPA regulations further strangling the region. Is Allentown, Bethlehem or Wilks-Barre next? Mismanagement and lack of foresight may have played a part in the fiscal problems these municipalities are facing but when the fingers stop being pointed we still need to solve the problem. In the meantime the United States is looking at a saver security problem all because of union strangulation.
The government on all levels federal, state and municipal is failing in the security of the citizens by capitulating to union demands. The unions have outlived their usefulness and they need to be dissolved. We can start the process on the federal level with AFSCME/AFGE these unions are growing like a tumor. The federal employment statistics for the year 2010 was 2,841,000 civilian employees. The Weekly Standard reported in January that Andrew Biggs, the former Social Security Administration deputy commissioner for policy and American Enterprise Institute Scholar said that, “The average federal government employee receives a salary of around $75,000 per year. With present and future fringe benefits equal to about 76 percent of salaries, that makes for total annual compensation of around $133,000”
Unemployment is holding steady at around 8% and there is jobs available but most of the jobs are part time dead end opportunities that can not pay the bills for a person undereducated by an underachieving union saturated school system. This is becoming a problem in cities like Detroit and Chicago where illegal activities have replaced a job or in some cases augmented the family income. With more illegal activity catering to vices comes more crime and violence sending a city into a death spiral. This can be seen in Detroit's abandon properties and Chicago's murder rate.
The United States has been lulled into a false seance of security by the federal government the war is no longer going to be in Afghanistan or some Middle Eastern backwater but right on American soil. The US has under-reported the threat from within. A disaffected unemployed population of young people has given rise to the “occupy wall street” movement and anarchist movements that operate under the radar till an event takes place like the Republican National Convention in Tampa Florida. A country that is fully employed minimizes these threats and maximizes it's tranquility.
The large private sector unions like SEIU and AFL-CIO have a huge impact on the political decisions made in the United States. Since 2008 union influence in Washington has increased faster and is more pervasive than ever before. Richard Trumka president of the AFL-CIO has been to the White House over 50 times to meet with Obama. Andy Stern president of SEIU has also darkened the the White House door about 56 times prior to his retirement in April 2010. In February of 2011 Trumka was boasting that “I talk to someone in the White House EVERY DAY” what could these people be talking about? Perhaps it is the dividing of the nations loyalties? Or could it be the formation of bills and laws that would benefit unions? Maybe the discussion revolves around carve-outs in the tax code for union leaders in return for future favors? We can only speculate but it is clear that state and local governments are at war with unions over contract negotiations. It is becoming obvious that union leaders are special interest groups that have loyalty only to themselves not their members and certainly not the employers that the members work for. If your a teacher and a union member you represent a paycheck to the union leadership nothing more nothing less and the leadership will protect their investment by keeping you employed. So you can fall asleep in the classroom and you can keep checking out the children that parents have intrusted you with and taxpayers will keep paying your lazy perverted ass because the teachers unions have chosen to reward nonperformance and condone illicit behavior in return the receive $150 a month in dues .
Union leadership has taken membership dues and invested in failed socialist policies and pay-for-play political leaders that are selling this country out. The National Labor Relations Board that is loaded with socialists labor lawyers had blocked the opening of the Boeing assembly plant in South Carolina. At the prodding of Union leaders like Richard Trumka The White House instructed the NLRB to force Boeing,s production back to the unionized state of Washington. The House of representatives stepped up to the plate and in September voted 238-186 on a bill that bars the NLRB from forcing Boeing to act on a move. July 17 Boeing announced that they have secured $35 billion in new orders for their new fuel efficient aircraft. The announcement came at the U.K.'s Farnborough International Air Show, assembly will take place at the South Carolina operation.
|Boeing Facility in SC|
At the show Airbus also hit a grand slam home run when they announced that they have secured orders worth $17 billion, good news for Airbus but better news for U.S. employment. The Euro manufacture that has been building commercial aircraft in France and Germany announced that their new A320neo airframe will be constructed in Alabama. With the rising cost of European union labor, the unstable economy in Europe, the technical skills of American workers and the availability of non union labor are all reasons that has lead Airbus to invest $600 million in a manufacturing facility in Mobile.
Conservative governors in right to work states are being very aggressive in courting CEOs into relocating to their states. Rick Scott of Florida has dropped the states unemployment rate almost 3 points since he was elected in 2010. Gov. Scott has reduced property taxes and maintained services. Personally my taxes have decreased about $80 a month.
Governors Like Rick Scott, John Kasich of Ohio and Scot Walker in Wisconsin are directly in the cross hairs of union leaders. They see them as the enemy of working class people. The fact is, it is unions like the AFL-CIO and SEIU that drive up the cost of goods and services in the United States. CEOs have been fighting back for the last 50 years by withdrawing their manufacturing facilities from the U.S. to countries like Mexico. The UAW has caused a title wave of jobs flooding Across the southern border. Wile German and Japanise auto makers have built non union auto assembly plants in right to work states. American auto makers started by importing small parts and plastic blow molded components from Mexico that were shipped back to Detroit for the assembly line. Today it is complete Hemi engines and transmissions for America's police cars and most disappointing of all are the complected cars and SUVs that are shipped from Mexico directly to the auto dealers.
Remarks by Richard Trumka April 27, 2011
" I really believe the public is on to what these CEO-backed Republican attackers are trying to do to working people and their rights, and that over the next 18 months, working people and our allies across these battleground states are going to win—not every fight, but the big ones and the day. I believe Scott Walker, the ambitious little big man that he is, will regret listening to the Koch Brothers—the real ones, not the Internet pranksters.
But the bigger question really is what does this fight mean for workers' future in America? It would be nice to say that victory over Kasich and Walker and company will mean victory for workers and our unions. But that will not be true.
The reality is that we have only faced this kind of attack because the labor movement has been in decline for so long our enemies thought we were weak and isolated and could be destroyed once and for all. The truth is that we live in a country where 3 out of 4 workers are in the private sector, and only 7% of them have a union in their workplace. That figure—7% private-sector union density—may be the most important number in American life. It speaks to stagnant wages and out-of‑ control health care costs, to mass foreclosures, to weak demand, to the politics of plutocracy, to our failure to invest in America.Political strategies that are simply about low-risk ways of holding the White House will not help workers—they will lengthen a losing end game and will not give us a path to victory.
To get the job done, we need to build and strengthen and broaden the labor movement. We need to better engage our members and build an army of activists like the teachers and firefighters and other public employees in Wisconsin who have inspired us all.
We must take the spirit that brought working people to the streets of Indianapolis and Madison and Columbus—and Tunis and Cairo—and bring it to all our nation's workplaces—and to our polling places, our state capitols and our national capitol. With this spirit of unity, of solidarity, of democracy itself, we can be unstoppable in 2011, in 2012 and in the years to come. "
Mr Trumka Has advocated violence in the past but now he is promoting the use of public disobedience and violent behavior as a means to an end. All this in an attempt to stay relevant and promote the socialist agenda. The unions and the AFL-CIO in particular are looking to capitalize on the uprisings in the Middle East endorsing the overthrow of governments bringing that level of violence to this country. The police officers and nurses that are union members will be thrilled to hear that the AFL-CIO will be contributing to their overtime. Mr Trumka is a power hungry control freak using big labor as a club to beat the population over the head. President Obama in turn is using the labor unions as a tool to soften the American populous to the idea of social justice and create a rich vs poor environment so it will be easy to infect the ignorant with his socialist manifesto.
Mr Trumka also said
" In the age of Internet globalization, we live our cause as one with workers around the world. The U.S. labor movement's voice has been clear in support of democracy and workers' rights in Tunisia, in Egypt, in Bahrain, in Syria, in Iran—and our voice has been heard. Victorious protestors in Egypt ordered pizza by cell phone for workers sitting-in in Madison, Wisconsin. One of the inspiring young leaders of the teaching assistants' AFT local in Madison is an Egyptian student whose family was in the streets in Cairo. We are global."
So what is Mr Trumka saying hear? He intends to bring that level of violence to the United States for the purpose of boosting the union rolls. If the SEIU and the AFL-CIO take to the streets burning buildings and killing people the backlash will be severe, immediate and unrecoverable. Mr Trumka will see his 7% go to 0 and the final nail in the union coffin will be hammered.