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Monday, December 2, 2013

A little bit about unions or another 4th grade history lesson

Did you miss me?  I was working hard all weekend.  So, let's kinda ease back into this, shall we?

Obamacare has had no change, so let's take a break from that for a day.

Over the long, Thanksgiving weekend, I heard a little bit about unions.  That got me thinking.  A union is a lot like big government.  Someone is telling you that you aren't smart enough to make your own decisions.  So, that person (insert your favorite - union or government) is going to take your money and take care of you.

But, how well does that work out?  Not well, does it?

Before I get hate mail from around the world, let me be quick to say that initially, unions served a good purpose.  Remember, I am doing 4th grade history right now and we are studying the industrial revolution.

That period of time saw unprecedented advancement in the standard of living of people in lots of places.  Yes, factories could be really bad, dark places.  And, people were hurt.  They also worked long hours for low wages.  That was really bad.

I understand, I have a cousin who was killed in a combine.  Redneck, remember?  I am used to seeing older gentlemen without all of their digits.

So, I see that some advancement came at a price.  In some cases, the price was high.  But, the world got advancement out of it.  In the end, the achievement was LESS HUMAN SUFFERING and a better standard of living.

I am starting to think that liberals want all advancement to stop.  Period.  Because something has negative consequences, we should just throw the whole thing out.  Isn't that called throwing out the baby with the bath water?

I see the liberal way as stopping all advancement.  Advancement is bad, some people could get hurt.  So, let's stop making pointy, icky things.   But, ironically, stopping all advancement would actually mean MORE HUMAN SUFFERING.

Back to the unions.  At first, they really did help, a lot.  Working conditions improved, wages improved, maiming was kept to a minimum.  That's good.  But, like so many liberal policies, we have gone too far.

I sometimes wonder if liberals just want to close all factories?  And, the unions aren't any help at all. Remember when Hostess closed?  Do you know why that American institution of sponge-cake-y goodness closed after all those years in business?

The baker's union.  The baker's union demanded higher wages.  Not only did the bakers not get higher wages, everyone lost their jobs.  Was that a good idea?  Did the union do more harm than good?

The article I saw this weekend said something about unions demanding pensions.  I didn't read the article, just the headline.  (Yes, I can rant this long just from a headline.)  Those union members paid dues to the union.  The union bosses have no real incentive to make good decisions for the unions.  (See Hostess story, above.) If they run out of money, they just raise union rates "for the greater good" and the members pay more. 

Do you see any parallels to the government and paying taxes?  Any at all?  (See previous 134 posts about big government and raising taxes.)

So, the unions members paid their dues and expect to have a pension.  Reasonable.  But, no one manages your money as well as you can.  Why does anyone think that is even possible?  If union members had put their money in bank accounts, the money would be sitting right there, in the account wouldn't it?

If we had privatized social security it would still be there, too, wouldn't it?

I think this entire, backward notion that people are too stupid to take care of themselves and someone else needs to do it for them is originating somewhere - perhaps it is in socialist think tanks, er, I mean the public school system.

I was looking at an economics test that my cousin had this weekend.  In the class, the teacher actually believes (and teaches unsuspecting young people) that government intervention in the free market helps things.  My cousin was being taught that government intervention in the market helps the market.  I couldn't believe it.

I have heard this called being, "softened by liberalism."  I think that is a really good way to put it.  If we throw in the notion that government is good long enough people will start to believe it.

Then, we get big, socialist government.  We get big, powerful unions.  We get young people who think that the government is good, can solve problems and the free market is inherently bad.

Oh, yeah, kinda like now.