Dick Morris predicts a potential future

More and more people are beginning to see what I’ve been predicting for years. We have an opportunity to break the backs of public employee unions. We need to be bold here, not tepid or attenuated.

BREAKING THE TEACHERS UNION MONOPOLY — BIG CHANGES AHEAD

A perfect storm is brewing for the nation’s schools and the teachers’ unions that have them in a stranglehold. Voter anger at the socialist, big government solutions of the Obama Administration and its Democratic lookalikes in state capitals throughout the country is about to combine with massive education funding shortfalls brought on by the unions’ waste of taxpayer money.

These forces will combine in November, 2010 to force gigantic changes in school financing and governance, leading to the prospect of genuine school choice for the poor and middle class as the rich have always had.
Just as a Republican landslide in November will engulf and extinguish Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, so it will sweep away the party’s power at the state level. State houses in at least ten states are likely to change parties and dozens of legislative chambers will see Republican majorities, many for the first time in decades. The teachers union will be swept from power along with its Democratic allies.

Just as this earthquake is making its way through state capitals, governors will be casting about for ways to meet revenue shortfalls without tax hikes. Top on their list will be the elimination of layers of bureaucracy and of privileges enjoyed by the teacher unions. As a result more and more of the education budget will be spent in the classroom and vastly more will be channeled into education choice programs.

If you want a road map on how to do this, read this.

Unions have no place educating our children, and we ought not even consider them even having a place at the table, much less the amount of control they currently assert.

It’s nice to know that Media outlets are using my rhetoric

FINLEY: Turning union cash to ash
Union greed has dismembered Michigan

Legend has it that during a brutal contract bar -gaining session, Harry Bennett, Hen-ry Ford’s enforcer, attempted to break the tension by passing around snapshots taken during a visit to Maxon Lodge, a gorgeous hideaway in the woods of northern Michigan.

Walter Reuther, architect of the United Auto Workers’ rise, looked over the photographs, tossed them on the table and said to Bennett: “Come the revolution, we’ll own that place.”

It was no idle threat. In 1967, flush with cash from a bulging membership, the UAW purchased the lodge and 1,000 acres on Black Lake.

And, as often happens with revolutionaries, the temptations of power were too strong to resist.

The place is closing down. Another union boondoggle. Good riddance.

If you ever forget how much Unions Suck…

They will always remind you.

Union popularity drops dramatically

Union popularity drops dramatically

I honestly don’t enjoy hating Unions. Thousands of decent people are members of them, and many just want to enhance their bargaining power against what is often equally bad corporate managment. That said, Unions are guilty of destroying the businesses and economy that they rely on to provide jobs for the workers they “misrepresent.” They need to have their clout clipped, and clipped aggressively.

What brings on my latest anti-union rant? Their craven position on the health care bill. They just negotiated a deal with the Democrats that benefits them at the direct expense of non-union workers (EVERY NON_UNION WORKER)


Unions Cut Special Deal on Health Taxes

The tax on high-value insurance plans was included in the Senate’s version of the bill but not the House’s, and has been one of the main unresolved issues as Democrats work to combine measures passed by the two chambers late last year.

Unions, as well as many House Democrats, are fiercely opposed to the tax on “Cadillac” insurance plans, which they say will hit many middle-class workers and undermine benefits won by unions.

President Barack Obama has supported the measure as a way to pay for the legislation and control overall health-care spending. The changes mean that the tax will raise about $90 billion over 10 years, down from $149 billion in the Senate bill, labor officials said.

Here is what is going to happen. Virtually every business that has “Cadillac Plans” will scale them back to avoid the tax. It was NEVER going to raise the amount of revenue listed in the article. Once that happens, only Union Workers will have access to these stupid, expensive, and counter productive health insurance products.

Unionized companies will therefore fail faster, and ask for bail outs sooner. Here is the rough and nasty message you all need to soak in. The day you bought into the “employee benefits” ideology is the day you abdicated your responsibility for yourself and your family.

Ironically, unions fostered this lack of individual autonomy. We live in time where any worker could probably (with a little bit of coaching) negotiate a better work environment than any union, but legions of sheep have been told they have no power on their own.

You’ve been lied to, and now you are trapped. You need the Union to extract undeserved (and YES, THEY ARE UNDESERVED!!) benefits from companies too lazy or too stupid to fight Union Greed. But then, why would a company fight greed? They are soaking in their own version of Greed themselves.

Wake up people, de-unionize and de-corporatize yourselves. These organizations do NOT have your interests in mind.

Michigan Schools Chief smacks down Union Thugs

The news below comes from the excellent “Education Action Group” out of Michigan. They have worked tirelessly to expose the greed and political clout of the MEA (Michigan Education Association), the state’s largest teacher’s union.

I haven’t found any articles from press outlets covering this yet, but I wanted to post this to show you that if you work to fight these people, you can win.

MEA/AFT rightly cut out of RTTT process
Flanagan’s courageous action saves state’s education reform effort

Education Action Group would like to congratulate and thank Mike Flanagan, Michigan’s superintendent of public instruction, for displaying the courage and bold leadership that was necessary Tuesday to keep the state’s “Race to the Top” effort on track.

For weeks, leaders of the Michigan Education Association and American Federation of Teachers have been pouting about the state’s RTTT effort, particularly the much-needed education reforms that were enacted by lawmakers as part of the program.

Despite their unhappiness, state officials still invited the unions to be partners in the RTTT approval process at the local district level. The Michigan Department of Education announced that a local union official had to sign off on a district’s RTTT paperwork before that district could qualify to share in possible federal funding.

But the unions used that opportunity in an obstructionist manner, asking their local reps around the state to withhold their signatures from necessary documents as the deadline for submitting the paperwork approached.

That meant countless school districts across the state would have been prevented from enrolling in the RTTT program, and getting in line for desperately needed dollars, due to the lack of a single union signature.

Flanagan correctly said enough is enough. On Tuesday he announced that the state is moving forward with its RTTT effort without union approval. He informed local school districts that they could return their RTTT paperwork and qualify for grant funding without their local union rep’s signature.

The unions reacted with predictable anger. We believe the rest of the state will stand up and applaud.

I ask any of you again, just what do teacher’s unions do, other than to make education more expensive. It’s a rhetorical question. In terms of educating our children, they do nothing.

Public Waking up to role of Unions in Economic decline

Republicans might be waking up too

As you read the linked poll, note that this was an organic reaction on the part of the electorate, and not a PR campaign fomented by “right wing media.” People started paying attention, that’s all. It is now incumbent on the right that we capitalize on these gains by a) reinforcing the awakening of the electorate, and b) offering solutions that meet their needs better than the cradle to grave bureaucracy being sold by the Democrats and their Union and Trial Bar paymasters.

Union popularity drops dramatically

Union popularity drops dramatically

Good luck when your Doctor goes on strike

Never before have so few (Union Members) controlled so much, and so undeservedly. Now, we find that there are provisions tucked into the health care bill (both House and Senate versions) that unfairly empower Union Thugs at the expense of the rest of America.

When will people wake up to the economic destructiveness of Unions?

Read the Union Health-Care Label

Tucked away in thousands of pages of complex new rules, regulations and mandates are special privileges and giveaways that could have devastating consequences for the health-care sector and the American economy at large.

The Senate version opens the door to implement forced unionization schemes pursued by former Govs. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois in 2005 and Gray Davis of California in 1999. Both men repaid tremendous political debts to Andy Stern and his Service Employees International Union (SEIU) by reclassifying state-reimbursed in-home health-care (and child-care) contractors as state employees—and forcing them to pay union dues.

Following this playbook, the Senate bill creates a “personal care attendants workforce advisory panel” that will likely impose union affiliation to qualify for a newly created “community living assistance services and support (class)” reimbursement plan.

The current House version of ObamaCare (H.R. 3200) goes much further. Section 225(A) grants Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius tremendous discretionary authority to regulate health-care workers “under the public health insurance option.” Monopoly bargaining and compulsory union dues may quickly become a required standard resulting in potentially hundreds of thousands of doctors and nurses across the country being forced into unions.

The House bill has a $10 billion provision to bail out insolvent union health-care plans. It also creates a lucrative professional-development grant program for health-care workers that effectively blackballs nonunion medical facilities from participation. The training funds in this program must be administered jointly with a labor organization—a scenario not unlike the U.S. Department of Labor’s grants for construction apprenticeship programs, which have turned into a cash cow for construction industry union officials on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

There’s more. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus has suggested that the federal government could pay for health-care reform by taxing American workers’ existing health-care benefits—but he would exempt union-negotiated health-care plans. Under Mr. Baucus’s scheme, the government could impose costs of up to $20,000 per employee on nonunion businesses already struggling to afford health care plans.

The big lie promoted by Unions is that corporations/employers are greedy, while workers are not. Anyone who knows the first thing about human nature knows that the Union thug/drone is just as greedy as the next guy. Couple that greed with their unwarranted political power, and you have a monster that makes your typical corporate chieftain look like a 98 pound weakling (which most are).

Capitalism as a means, not an end

I have to bow once again to my favorite blogger for the great headline. I’d love to find a way to rephrase it, but I can’t do better, so why try?

Regardless, one of the reasons Christ trumps Rand, or Conservativism trumps Libertarianism, is that it is grounded in something other than the “will” of the individual. One could defend the idea of “true libertarianism” as some one who is “self-governing” to the point where they decide to forgo something they want (a huge bonus) in favor something they don’t want (upping the pay of others in their company).

Show me some one that “self-governing” and I’ll might be persuaded that Libertarianism isn’t some rendition of an ideology that said “it would be better for me….”

Anyway, I thought this article was excellent.

Evangelicals and Economics: Reflections of a Conservative Protestant

As a budding libertarian, I felt distaste when I saw our InterVarsity chapter leader carrying a Bible study guide on social justice. She was benighted, I thought. To me, it appeared that the race-baiters, welfarists, and union apologists played on her soft heart.When my chemical engineer father complained about management decisions at his corporation that he felt maximized managerial bonuses for short-term results while damaging the ability of the company to compete over the long run, I defensively lectured him about the spectacular built-in intelligence of markets. The right thing would be done, I argued, because doing the right thing is ultimately profitable and efficient.

Several months ago, I heard a story that forced me to give more careful thought to my views on the built-in morality of the market. A large airline on the brink of bankruptcy in 2002 asked employees to make substantial wage concessions. They agreed. The airline returned to profitability, and management acknowledged that it had the workers to thank, but in the subsequent years, instead of restoring the wage concessions, it awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses to executives.

When pressed by reporters, the airline’s spokesman said the bonuses were necessary to retain top managerial talent. [Bruno's Editorial comment - A mostly ridiculous notion! Talent is falling out of the sky across the globe, and there are 1000s of people who would and could run an airline (or a portion of it) with out most "bonuses."] Pilots and other airline personnel could not leave because the airlines’ seniority systems would require them to start over at a new company. In effect, the workers could not easily punish the airline for failing to pay them back, so it was in no hurry to do so.

The story jarred me. Somehow, I had never applied my Christian conception of a sinful world to corporate behavior. In hindsight I realize my faith should have cautioned me against too easily deferring to the idea of the sufficiency of the invisible hand to produce justice.

Reading Christians from the past reinforces the idea that the fusion of quasi-libertarian economics with Christian ethics is not always an obvious fit. G.K. Chesterton, for example, was tremendously concerned with the dehumanizing effects of a rapidly advancing free market economy. Catholic social thought has long resisted socialism while still sharply pointing out abuses in market economies. Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum is an excellent example addressing the “Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor.”

Conservative Protestants, on the other hand, are largely absent when it comes to criticizing unfair labor practices, questionable methods of executive compensation, and other varieties of irresponsible corporate citizenship. My guess is that we tend to stay out of these areas is because we generally accept the idea that the market, left unhindered, will produce good outcomes. (I think the left feels the same way about sex.)

I could write a book about the topic covered in this article, but I lack the time. It suffices to re-post (over and over again) my favorite John Adams quote.

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.”

Corporate Chieftains, Government Officials, and Union Bosses do the vile things they do for the same reason dogs lick their balls – because they can. Power corrupts, and lack of oversight confers almost absolute power on these weasels. Given that it is nearly impossible to take power from them, the best we can hope for is they return to the notion that they govern themselves.

Yeah, like that’s going to happen.

Big Labor IS Big Business

If you want to break into the heads of those of who might be open to understanding just how negative of an effect Unions have had on America (spare me the talk about the 1890s and early 1900s, it’s 2009!), it is always fun to start with this incontrovertible truth…

Unions exist to make sure their members do the least amount of work for the most amount of money.

There, like I said. Incontrovertible.

Now, it is ALSO true that we generally ALL would gladly do the same, and that Corporations would GLADLY gain the most amount of profit for the least amount of investment and/or cost.

The difference between you and me, and Corporations [Please remember that most Unions are corporations organized under Sec. 501(c)4], is that they have the power to lobby, purchase, subvert, and corrupt the political process in their favor. All we get to do is pay.

This makes for a great conversation starter. Unions are just as (or more so) greedy as any corporation. Their members benefit, not at the expense of corporate profits, but from our taxes and the higher prices we pay based upon their subversion of the political process.

The Big Business of Big Labor

Imagine if President George W. Bush used strong-arm tactics to bend the law to favor a politically connected company with $1.2 billion in assets, including a private golf course. What if that company’s political action committee had spent $13 million in the previous election, including more than $4 million to elect him?

Barack Obama has done just that. The company is called the United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America International Union – or the UAW for short.

Obama and the Democrats will employ euphemisms when discussing the President’s plan to circumvent bankruptcy law and hand majority ownership of Chrysler over to the UAW. They will speak about “the workers” taking ownership of the company, with some arguing that the workers, by right, are the senior creditors in Chrysler’s bankruptcy.

This paints the union-versus-creditors battle for control of Chrysler as a fight between blue-collar workingmen and greedy hedge fund speculators in suits.

But that abstraction—equating the UAW with “the workers”—is grossly misleading. John Doe on the assembly line will not be running Chrysler or directing the use of billions in bailout dollar. No, the union management will become Chrysler’s management.

So this is a gift to the union management, which, when you look at it closely, is a big, politically connected company whose executives pamper themselves and practice patronage on the backs of the workers.

More and more seeing Teachers Unions for what they are.

Keeping the existing system is unsustainable.

Even if pension is cut, teachers get good deal

Look, I don’t really like picking a fight with all the current and retired teachers in the state, not even on the eve of taking my first two of eight unpaid furlough days over the next few months.

(By the way, does anybody remember when the word furlough was only used by military people — and it was a good thing?)

I respect teachers. I value teachers. I don’t think teachers are overpaid (well-paid in many instances, but not overpaid.) I even support a tax increase for schools. Teachers were some of the best influences in my life, and most important, I don’t want my lovely teacher sister-in-law to disinvite me from holiday dinners.

But teachers and the rest of the public employees in Illinois must come to understand the rest of us can’t afford to support their pensions at the current levels. Public pensions are bankrupting our governments, driving the need to raise taxes and are way out of line with the private sector.

To clarify, I’m not talking about reducing one dime of benefits to any current retiree or current teacher — as either would be illegal under Illinois’ Constitution.

Raising the retirement age is NOT a benefit cut. We need a phased in retirement age increase that goes up to 67 years old. They can retire anytime they want, but they can’t collect a dime until they hit 67.

Next, every single percentage of “end-of-career” bonuses needs to be cut. You get your pay, and no fake “raises.”

Unions breaking the first rule of a successful Parasite

I don’t know if there is an earlier reference, but the credit for the quote below goes to Spock (really some script writer) in the old “Star Trek” series.

I can’t remember the exact story line, but somewhere in the episode, Spock stated, “The truly successful parasite lives in harmony with its host.”

Unions are bleeding the taxpayers and industries dry. This will not end well.

The Truth About Cars and Trucks

The two parties that turned the Big Three into a perennially limping freak of unwritten industrial policy now will take formal ownership of their handiwork. The United Auto Workers (UAW) would own 39% of GM. The federal government would own 50%. The creditors will be shafted with just 10%. (In the Chrysler plan being discussed, labor would own 55%, making it effectively a subsidiary of the UAW.)

The day after any such settlement is finalized, the clock will start ticking down to the next collective-bargaining session between a monopoly UAW and what remains of the Big Three — though now the UAW would be sitting on both sides of the table.

Lately some have doted, with wonderment and admiration, on the Obama administration’s apparent willingness to drive a hard bargain with the UAW as it tries to impose a stage-managed replica of bankruptcy on GM and Chrysler. Please.

In a real bankruptcy, which is the natural fate of companies unable to meet their obligations, Chrysler and GM would be run (or liquidated) for the benefit of their creditors, not their workers. But, here, “pattern bargaining” will remain the law of the Detroit jungle. The UAW will continue to use its unnaturally augmented clout to extract uncompetitive pay and benefits (it can do no other given its internal incentives). As it has for 40 years, Washington will pitch in with one improvisation after another, disguised as energy policy, trade policy, health-care policy or environmental policy, to stop the rivets from popping off. Politics, especially Democratic electoral politics, will play a more dominant role than ever.

When I read about these auto bailouts, I get depressed. I’m proud to be Anti-Union. I can honestly say that I’ve never understood the collective mindset, and regardless of how I may be outnumbered, I’m damn glad I’ve never suffered from it.

You want to bargain collectively? Fine. But you Union-heads have got exactly what you wanted, the power to destroy the companies that employ you. Once your “public union” counterparts finish off the rest of the productive sector through their pension and tax greed, you can all celebrate in your socialist paradise.

It will be a dismal paradise, with stagflation, British style health care, and stupid lazy people acting like they are working, but hey, you won.