Philosophical Musings

Philosophical Musings

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wisconsin union protests

This is currently in the news.  The unions, especially the teachers, are protesting govt. budget cuts & a reduction of union power with Govt. employees.  Many of the protesters are comparing themselves to the protesters in the middle east who are trying to overthrow their country's dictator.  It seems to me the US is becoming more polarized.  The 2 sides are firmly entrenched & compromise seems distant & unlikely.  I see it as a philosophical difference between those who want more govt. & those who want less.  The liberals want govt to have a larger role in our lives, establishing all the variables for us.  The conservatives want more individual freedom & accountability.  The lines are fairly clear to me.

I think it is funny how the teachers come to protest as long as they can call in sick & still collect their pay.  It is hard for me to be sympathetic to their cause, when they make more money than anyone in the private sector & have very cushy retirement & health benefits.  They seem very selfish, spoiled & entitled.  The whole country is in a budget crisis, with state govts spending more than they are taking in.  American ancestors sacrificed, fought & died for freedom in the American revolution & the civil war.  They were sacrificing for others.  ..making a better world for their children.  But these latest revolutionary wannabes are just greedy & self serving.  They feel they deserve more than anyone else, & want their neighbors to support them & put them in an elevated status.  The smug elitism of our academic world again shows itself to be out of touch with reality.

I don't see how unions can work with Govt employees.  It is a recipe for corruption, which is what we have now.  The unions  funnel tons of money to their candidates, who in turn broker juicy deals for the unions.  I see the need for unions in industry.  Greedy management needs some balance so they cannot overly exploit their workers.  But what if the unions got the power to decide who the management was?  They would choose those who would do what is best for them, but not the company.  Soon the company would go bankrupt as all the money is funneled to the unions & their puppets.  That is what we have now, & is why our govts are going bankrupt.  Many elected officials are just puppets of the unions & other special interest groups.  They wildly spend & lavish taxpayer money to their special interests, with no consideration to the bottom line & the interests of the citizenry.

Govt employees are hired by the taxpayers.  We elect & appoint officials to provide services.  They *should* pay what is fair & what the market will bear, not what some special interest group wants for it's own constituency.

I'm definitely in the 'less govt' camp.  I would like to see the huge bureaucracy cut down to provide basic govt  services, not the monster 'big brother' system we are going to.  I don't understand the desire from the left to move us into a socialistic system.  The rest of the world envies our freedom,  but the liberals want to be like the socialistic countries in europe.  But socialism is going the way of communism.  It does not work.  People will not voluntarily work harder so others can life a life of luxury & ease.  Everyone wants to be on the gravy train, & no one wants to pull the train & make the gravy.

My solution.
Eliminate unions for govt. employees.  Make sure there is a procedure for grievances, so a manager cannot oppress their underlings.  Checks & balances are the American way.  The current system has none.  The unions get their candidate elected, who gives the unions more money, who keeps them elected.  No one looks out for the taxpayers.

In the real world, if someone thinks they are under-compensated, they ask for a raise.  If they don't get it, they look for a better job where they are better compensated for their work.  If a company doesn't pay competitive wages, they will always have turnover, as employees move on to better paying jobs.  Why should this not be the same in the public sector?

Govt employees work for the taxpayers, not the other way around.  If there are long waiting lists to get a cushy govt job, then it pays too much, & the taxpayers are being cheated.  WE are being ripped off.  Let govt jobs be bid on for new positions.  Qualified candidates can offer what they think is a fair wage for the work.  America is an open market, competition based society.  Our govt should reflect that.  It should model that.  We should reward efficiency, competence, & economy.  Those are words that seldom come to mind when describing govt employees.

Freedom, competition, checks & balances.  Those  are the things that should be visible & active in our govt.

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