Monday, November 19, 2012

A Brief, Illustrated History of the Public Sector Unions That, Together With The Democrat Party, Are Waging War on the Taxpayer

Throughout American history -- and as recently as the 1950s -- there were no unions for government workers. Public-sector employees were expected to earn a bit less than their private-sector equivalents. The reasons they did so included an interest in public service, job security and reasonable benefits.

But that changed in the late fifties with New York City Mayor Robert Wagner's cynical appeal to the votes of city workers. He signed an executive order authorizing them to unionize, and soon other local and state Democrat legislators around the country followed his lead.

These efforts culminated in 1962, when President John F. Kennedy granted federal employees the right to collectively bargain. Since then, public sector union membership has skyrocketed while, in the private sector, unions have fallen out of favor.

In 2009, private sector union members were outnumbered for the first time by their public sector counterparts.

The historical basis of unions revolved around workers receiving a reasonable share of a company's profits. But that tenet is nonsensical when applied to public service. Governments don't make profits; they simply assess taxes.

The aims of public sector unions conflict directly with the interests of taxpayers.

And because it has been exceedingly hard to fight public sector unions, the salaries and benefits of public employees have skyrocketed in recent years. Since the election of Barack Obama, the number of federal employees making over $150,000 a year has more than doubled to over 10,000.

In 2009 government salaries jumped 2.4%, approximately twice the increase earned by private sector employees. In fact, the average salary of a federal worker is now $71,000, about $22,000 more than the average private sector employee.

Worst of all, public sector unions have negotiated pension plans that are proving financially untenable. Many allow workers to retire at age 55 at around their full salary in their final years of employment. These pensions often include inflation adjustments as well as lifetime free health care.

These plans are so outrageous that state retirement systems, for example, are currently underfunded by about a trillion dollars.

So how have public sector unions achieved these amazing results? The answer is the hundreds of millions of dollars that unions have donated to federal campaigns since 1990. Almost every single dollar went to Democrats or Democrat causes. In the 2008 election alone, some estimates put public sector union contributions to Democrats at $60 million.

These unions are also astroturfing for Democrats, providing slush funds to help liberal causes. An example is, a faux populist website designed to discredit TEA Party activists.

The Democrats' health care bill, the 'Employee Free Choice Act' and the $800+ billion stimulus bill all contained payoffs to public sector unions. In fact, while the private sector has shed 8,000,000 jobs since the recession began, the number of public sector jobs has risen nearly every month -- led by President Obama's various spending programs at the federal level.

Public sector unions are killing our economic system and the American taxpayer. The debt unleashed by their outrageous benefits plans simply cannot be paid. The union bosses have lied to their members about lifetime benefits and they have betrayed the American people. Public sector unions must be disbanded and outlawed before more of our country begins to resemble Greece, Spain and other European countries.

Those countries are teetering on the brink of economic calamity, thanks to unions just like ours. And please observe that the union bosses and the Democrat Party could give a rat's behind about American taxpayers -- 20 percent of whom are currently unemployed or underemployed. They still want theirs.

Based upon: Amy H. Laff, StateBrief. Linked by: Mark Levin, The Washington Examiner, Ace o' Spades and TigerHawk. Thanks!


juandos said...

Doug! Doug! Doug!

This is yet another one of your amazingly excellent posts, long on rant BUT more importantly even longer on the facts...

I spent the last two hours looking at each of your 'historical nuggets' to see if they could be refuted...

Heck! I shouldn't have wasted my time because I've yet to see you waste your time...

Yes sir amigo, damn good stuff again!...

jakee308 said...

Unions have always been selfish.
No union would ever be worthwhile to it's members if OTHER workers in other industries/sectors/jobs weren't non-union and working for less.
If ALL WORKERS were unionized, the cost of living would rise and the benefit of extracting higher wages and benefits from a particular employer would be offset by what the rank and file worker would have to pay for living.
I.E. we'd all make a lot of money but we'd pay out the same percentage to live.

Unionism only works if other workers are exploited by getting LESSER pay than the union workers.

This is why the Unions are so much in favor of ILLEGAL aliens and open borders. More workers at lower paying jobs means union workers get more bang for their pay.

Anonymous said...

What force restrains the cost of public employees? the UAW. to use only one of the most obvious cases, got greater and greater wages and benefits for their employees, only to see consumers turn to autos made by non-union workers in foreign owned and/or located plants. Where's the constraint on the cost of teachers, firemen and police (to name only three)? Will the last person out of Milwaukee turn out the lights, as in Detroit, St Louis or Cleveland. Oh yes, I forgot, the rest of us will be asked to bail out these cities because, like GM, they are too big to fail.

Anonymous said...

Being a former UFCW and current BMWE/Teamster dues paying member that always joins the union when representation is available,I am smart enough to recognize the difference between public/private sector unions. I detest the way my dues are spent on politics and when I think about how my tax dollars pay the wages that also pay the dues of public sector union employees it almost makes my blood boil. Government employees work for me yet I have little if any say in how much they get paid.

Anonymous said...

By the way, enjoy your site! But i cant get your list of Obamas historic firsts to display. Wanted to share it with my Teamster co-workers but cant get it to come up.

The MUSEman said...

The Unions's plan is diabolically simple: They need to make sure every worker in both the public and private sectors is unionized before the weight of their underfunded pensions takes down the economy - at which point everything will be "fair" as everyone will be broke! ;-)

Scary part? It's insane enough to work. :-(

Thanks for reading!

Lex Alexander said...

[[Public sector unions are killing our economic system and the American taxpayer. The debt unleashed by their outrageous benefits plans simply cannot be paid. The union bosses have lied to their members about lifetime benefits and they have betrayed the American people.]]

-- Public-sector unions don't even have collective bargaining rights in many states, so they're hardly killing our economic system and the American taxpayer.

-- The debt unleashed by their outrageous benefits plans simply can be paid, and any moderately competent actuary can explain the process to you.

-- The union bosses accurately represented to their members what was in the contracts those unions AND THE GOVERNMENTS approved. The burden is on the blogger to explain how complying with the terms of a legal, binding contract, freely entered into, constitutes "betray[ing] the American people.

directorblue said...

Lex, your willingness to gloss over the facts is what I expected from some.

Steven Malanga has written in-depth on how the public sector unions have bankrupted California in cahoots with cynical Democrats.

Take a few minutes to read it, then report back, please.

Lex Alexander said...

I gave you facts. I glossed over nothing. California may have its own set of problems, but that doesn't make the glib, false generalities in this piece true in general.

directorblue said...

Okay, let's ignore California, Lex.

There's an entire website devoted to the unpayable pensions and benefits negotiated by unions and their Democrat sycophants in their unholy alliance against the taxpayer.


It's everywhere. And these benefits will NEVER be paid.

Eric Swanson said...

This is by far one of best fact based explanations of the history and destructive effects of socialist government unions I've ever seen. We don't really need to worry about those filthy Muslim cockroaches or the invasion from the south to destroy us... with the help of that American icon JFK(Oswald was too late) we're destroying ourselves!!! The Sheepeople in this once great country are like,like,like man ASLEEP.... Yes and they even elected the Jerk for a second term of tyranny....the most Arrogant.... Lying... Marxist... Muslim.... Mulato president and now self appointed dictator in history... My God America... pull your heads out of where the sun don't shine and WAKE-UP PS Math lesson there's a MILLION X a MILLION on one TRILLION and oh by the way if you spent one dollar per second it would take 32 THOUSAND YEARS to spend one Trillion of course times 17.3