Tag Archives: unions

Leftist arguments against right-to-work laws are emblematic of flawed liberal logic

Liberal ideology becomes more incoherent by the day.

Their latest crowing about right-to-work laws in Michigan are part and parcel of the degradation of the arguments in our political landscape.

Why, they’ll ask, should a worker be allowed to be a member of the union and reap all the benefits of membership without having to pay dues? That’s unfair!

You mean like the 50% of Americans who reap the benefits of being a citizen without paying taxes? That kind of unfair?

There is no argument being given by pro-union lefties as to why these laws are so painfully awful. According to Richard Hurd, a Cornell professor of labor studies, only about two-thirds of employees join a union in a right-to-work situation.

Oh the humanity.

You mean giving people the option to join a union means some people won’t do it? Remind me again how letting someone make a choice is infringing on their liberty.

When you get hired by an employer, you aren’t being hired by the union bosses, yet those bosses can force you to join a union and pay dues.

What are those dues for? Salaries of the union bosses, pensions for the union bosses and money to lobby legislators or even help fund campaigns.

Without those dues, you have fewer union bosses, smaller pensions and much less money to use for political gain. You can understand why the unionistas don’t like these laws.

According to State Budget Solutions, employment grew 8.2% from 2001 to 2010 in right-to-work states, while union states saw a .5% decrease.

Unemployment in the 23 states who have right-to-work laws is under 7%, while union states are facing nearly 9% unemployment.

Unions are part of the European model. Germany, for instance, is fine with contact unemployment in the 8% range or higher because those who are employed are getting higher wages and benefits. That’s not the way our system works, nor is it the way our system was set up to work.

But the left can’t come up with a good reason not to have right-to-work laws. They don’t want them because they think unions are the only thing preventing workers from working 20-hour days, shackled up in damp, dark, dungeons.

It’s not much different than their arguments for higher taxes on the rich. Ask a liberal to defend higher taxes on the rich and they’ll inevitably cite historical models to show how low taxes are right now. “Well under Clinton blah blah blah.”

That’s it. That’s all they’ve got.

Obama’s plan for higher taxes on the top 2% doesn’t do anything to reduce the deficit. In fact, 75% of Obama’s tax increases will go to new spending. These new revenues won’t pay down the debt and won’t spark economic growth. So what will they do? Make everyone feel better? Not when they lose their jobs.

If Obama’s economic model of massive deficits and debts amid gargantuan government spending worked, we’d have a booming economy. We don’t.

But the left is in charge and they like to wave their (rhymes with) stick around and punish those who have been successful.

Unless those people are teachers, or union heads, or actors, singers…well basically any liberal.

Liberals will fight at all costs to keep teachers’ unions in power, even while they’re bankrupting local communities, and state governments. Obama’s own right-hand man, Rahm Emmanuel, saw the destructive power of unions and their inability to stand for anything other than the greed of their own union members.

You can be in favor of right-to-work laws without being anti-union. If anything, people voluntarily joining unions actually strengthens the positioning power of that union because everyone in the union wants to be there and is more likely to be engaged as a result.

Conservatives are often portrayed as the party of tradition, of people who do things just because that’s the way it’s always been.

But liberals have lately been victims of their own ideological traditionalism. We should raise taxes because we always want to raise taxes. We should have unions because we’ve always had them and they always give us money.

Why should we give money to people who don’t serve us? Unions don’t serve union workers, they serve union heads. Taxes don’t serve the people who pay them, they serve the people who don’t.

As part of the social contract, we agree to be governed in order to gain additional liberty that the state of nature deprives us. Defense and the mediation of resources that we could not otherwise handle are the main functions of government. Anything behind that must be justified, but the left has no concept of its role as a governing party, nor any concept of what a government’s relationship ought to be with its people.

That’s why we get leaders like Barack Obama who, when the chips are down, has no coherent ideology to fall back on when trying to make decisions. That’s liberalism.

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Wisconsin is ground zero in conservative fight over ideals

If you aren’t paying attention to the battle between conservatives and pyschos  liberals going on in Wisconsin, you ought to be.

Going back a year, the battle over collective bargaining rights has received national attention as Republican Gov. Scott Walker spear-headed a national push among GOP state legislators to roll back the collective bargaining practices that had lead to oppressive government spending for decades.

Now, Gov. Walker is fighting for his job in a recall election against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat he trounced in the 2010 election and who used the collective bargaining roll back to save millions for Milwaukee.

But this is about more than just Walker vs. the unions and their flaccid Democrat politician puppets.

There is a much bigger ideological war being fought in this country, and Wisconsin is ground zero.

In the red corner is limited government and free enterprise, and in the blue corner is burgeoning government power and spending.

What the Republicans in Wisconsin did is nothing short of archetypal when it comes to conservative policies and it shows just how effective limited government can be.

Facing a $3.6 billion (that’s billion with a ‘b’) deficit, Walker rolled back collective bargaining for anything but wages for public employees, insisted they pay SOMETHING toward their pension (going from 0% to 5.6%) and 10% of their health care.

Private employees across the country are lucky to have less than 20% of health care costs on their plate, not to mention the joyous occasion when an employer offers to match up to 3 or 4% of pension contributions.

He slashed spending on school aid, welfare and municipal aid, and in its place he offered those bodies to be in charge of their own spending.

No longer would public employee unions have a stranglehold on government purses.

The Republicans and Walker passed a budget that closed the budget deficit WITHOUT raising taxes and prevented thousands of layoffs.

A recent study by the Beacon Hill Institute found that Gov. Walker’s reforms saved between $775 and $1.2 billion in tax-payer dollars.

As many as 6,500 public sector jobs would have been lost with the state cuts had Walker not restricted bargaining rights, which, by the way, he did to balance a budget that hadn’t been balanced this millennium.

The budget crisis in Wisconsin, per capita, was as bad as California and some of the most financially dire states in the union (no pun intended).

But more than that, and this is particularly important in this ideological discussion, the governor’s actions had profound impact on private sector vitality.

BHI estimated that as many as 14,000 private sector were saved by lowering, in many cases, taxes – revenue caps and tax freezes actually lowered local property tax bills in many communities.

Real disposable income from lower taxes came out to over $1 billion in the hands of Wisconsin taxpayers. To anyone who doesn’t believe trickle-down economics works, how’s a billion big ones in the hands of the people who earned it?

That increase even includes the nearly 500,000 public sector workers who had to take a pay cut.

More than that, tax revenue did a funny thing (at least to liberals), it’s gone up. According to BHI, tax revenue is up 3.6% over last year and the answer is obvious: people still have their jobs and their taxes went down.

Furthermore, an estimated $350 million was re-invested in the state as a result of this extra cash.

This is exactly what liberals don’t want to see and that’s why you haven’t seen it in any mainstream media outlets in the Wisconsin.

Conservative fiscal policy works and the Republicans in Wisconsin are proving it.

There’s a reason Democrats have flooded the money with union dollars to fight Gov. Walker: they don’t want anyone to see the overwhelming success.

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Democratic challenges to school reform fail to add up

We all work with people who just aren’t good at their job. Whether it’s a co-worker, your boss, a business contact or a friend, we see it every day.

Businesses, many of them anyway, take steps to make sure their employees are doing what they’re paid to do and doing it efficiently. Most people do what they’re supposed to, but not everyone.

Some industries lend themselves to quantitative data analysis: sales jobs, grocery store managers, theme park owners.

Other industries need more qualitative measures, journalism, customer services, law.

Education, lends itself to quantatative analysis pretty easily. After all, students are measured every day, why would the people who oversee them not be responsible for those measurements?

And yet, Democrats, with the help of unions, have blocked any effort to add quantitative analysis of teacher productivity.

For years, unions have rejected the idea that a teacher’s performance can be measured based on test scores. In any way (One of the popular new models, the Danielson Model, is based in part on test scores, part on pier review, and part on supervisory review)

“The tests are bad, some kids who don’t test well, the test makers aren’t in tune with what needs to be on the test. Stop attacking education you conservative douchebags” (Go watch some of these union protests and you’ll get that last one)

They’re tired arguments.

They argue that teaching is a noble profession (it is), that teachers go into it not to make money but to help kids (usually true). On the other hand, that doesn’t absolve teachers of blame when they fail to do what they get paid to do.

Failing school districts fail not just because of bad students, but because of bad teachers.

Watch the documentary “Waiting for Superman” if you don’t agree.

In it, a superintendent from a heinously underperforming school district explains he would travel to schools and his principal would point out the bad teachers.

He spoke of having notes passed from other teachers telling him to make sure he goes to a certain room to see what they called “lemon” teachers.

The meaning of “lemon” in this instance is the same as with a car.

Other teachers knew it, the principal knew it and the superintendent knew it, yet union contracts prevented this teacher from being fired.

If you worked somewhere and everyone in the office, including the boss knew that a certain person was horrible at their job, that person would be fired. Period.

I’ve signed contracts. You need cause to fire someone, but these union contracts are ironclad. That same superintendent had to re-hire a teacher he’d fired for dunking a student’s head in a soiled toilet. Why? The unions.

Seriously.

Education is perhaps the most important resource the government provides to its citizens. I don’t want to argue teachers get paid too much because I think education is the most crucial piece to economic stability in an area, and from a macro perspective, a country.

On the other hand, everyone should be able to agree that education is so  important that there should be no impediments to making sure the best, most qualified teachers, are in our schools.

When anything, especially a union, blocks that from happening, we have a problem.

Union mandated hearings for disciplinary actions cost New York State $100 million in teacher pay and benefits while those teachers weren’t working, awaiting a hearing.

No wonder we’re broke.

A recent article in the Washington Post attempted to show that these tests are nonsensical because a school board member, having a successful business and multiple degrees,  took one and failed it.

This is the false choice created by the left, in conjunction with the teacher’s union, to strip all accountability from the profession of education.

The article’s author attacks the test for being a failure because a successful adult couldn’t pass it. Somehow that’s the test’s fault.

I bet if you went to an accounting firm, every new hire would be able to pass the CPA exams, but only maybe half of the administrators could.

Same is true in finance with the CFA exams.

I used to know what an igneous rock was as opposed to a sedimentary rock. I don’t now, but I bet that’s on the standardized test. It should be.

Just because I don’t need to know it later in life, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be on the test. It’s in the curriculum – at least I’m assuming the test is based on where a state or community believes a student’s comprehension level should be – so it should be on the test.

Furthermore, saying the test is bad so we shouldn’t use it is like saying the president is bad (he is) so we just shouldn’t have a president.

No, fix the test.

Many states are moving away from some of the national standardized tests into more comprehensive tests. More and more school districts are using data across years to track an individual student’s progress.

A teacher can’t know if they’re helping a kid if they don’t have a baseline. That’s what these tests do. If I’m a teacher, I want to know where every kid in my class stands from Day 1.

If 25 kids just walk into my room, I may have talked to their teachers from the year before, but how much do I really know about their skill level? If I can look at their test scores from the last 4 years I can see where they’ve improved or regressed.

Otherwise, I spend half the year trying to figure it out and by the time I have a successful plan for the students, it’s May and they’re checked out.

Adding accountability to the system makes the system stronger. It’s the same with our welfare system.

Wanting to add checks and balances for teachers isn’t an attack on education, it’s an attempt to improve it.

The unions know that if the school districts have the power to fire bad teachers (most teachers aren’t bad by the way), that is fewer dollars going into union pockets.

The Washington D.C. school district wanted to give teacher’s the option of having a pay for performance system that could more than double the average teacher salary, but the unions thought it was so threatening, they wouldn’t even let the teacher’s vote on it.

This is what totalitarianism democracy looks like.

Maybe if schools were better, more people would be able to comprehend the travesty being done here by Democrats and liberals who refuse to accept the fact that accountability, especially in our schools has to be in place to ensure we get the best possible outcomes.

With so many liberal teachers, no wonder no one learns anything.

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