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Living In The Past

December 12th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

link Rochelle Riley: Unions need to remind us about history and why they matter so much | Rochelle Riley | Detroit Free Press | freep.com.

Living in the past is what causes so many problems in the world today.  Whether real or imagined, issues and grievances long laid to rest by the passage of both time and events don’t seem to faze those who would invoke their long dead legacies as justification for ongoing bleating.   Decades and generations have gone by since any real vestiges of worker oppression has been evident in North America.  Like many jobs, the real worker oppression has been sent overseas to developing countries like China and India.  Union apologists point out the history of union sacrifices to achieve the standards of living that all benefit from today. It’s pretty tough to make a sane case for worker oppression when the average UAW wage is about $30 per hour plus benefits.  The guys at the starting end only make about $16 per hour but they are at the tail end of a bubble of people who  have made much more than that in salaries and benefits over the past 20 years.

The old joke was that GM was a medical and pension benefits company that happened to make cars.  Those were the days when American cars were coveted;  before the Japanese, the Koreans and now the Chinese figured out how to make cars just as good if not better for a better price.  Things get cheaper through manufacturing efficiencies.  That’s the way it is.  It’s called progress.  We don’t pay $2000 for a cell phone the size of a brick anymore.   You can now buy a 60 inch flat screen TV for 800 bucks.   No one is going to pay $30,000 for a Chevy when a comparable Honda is $25,000.  Milking the past as justification for behaviour in the present is a well used and successful tactic employed by Jackson, Sharpton et al.  Unions are using the same playbook.  Enough already.

Unions at one time surely had their role to play, but we’ve come a long way from sweat shops and lowering children down chimneys.  They may be as relevant now as the front engine cranks that used to come with Model T’s.  Unfortunately, their once noble legacies have transmogrified from protecting workers to protecting the goons at the leadership level who use the captive union dues to promote political agendas.  Far from protecting the rights of workers, they mostly now run a protection racket on the workers, mandating that they must be dues paying members in order to obtain work.  Sort of like the Mafia… who’s going to protect you from the protectors?

If the union people want to assign blame to anyone, they need to blame themselves along with the general public, a public that insists on paying the cheapest price for all manner of goods from Wal Mart and other big box stores.  How do they think things get that cheap?

The newly signed law in Michigan did not abolish unions.  The new right to work law is scary to the union goons for only one reason.  It only stated that workers did not have to sign on and pay dues in order to work.  That means that the unions must now prove to workers that they are a relevant institution that attracts members and  not a thug outfit that extorts dues to fund political agendas.

Lest people think this is just populist bashing, the fact is, it is normal for groups to circle the wagons and react tribally when their turf is threatened.  If you look at the behaviour of other professional organizations including doctors and lawyers and especially college professors and politicians, they also exhibit similar kinds of protective behaviour.  There really is no reason for the price of their services to be so high given the access to information and education that we have available.  Wait until the public figures that out one day.


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