And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

>>View of Unions ‘Plummeted’ Since 07 :)

Posted on: February 24, 2010

I rant a lot about the unions so was happy to see this.  Keep up with the story unfolding in Greece that was brought about by government employee unions.  BB

View of Unions ‘Plummeted’ Since 07

View of Unions ‘Plummeted’ Since 07

by Bret Jacobson According to Pew, “Favorable views of labor unions have plummeted since 2007, amid growing public skepticism about unions’ purpose and power.”

(click here for more polls on union officials)

One hates to surmise, but it seems probable such a shift comes from such little things as crippling the Big 3, pushing card check on working Americans, cutting disgusting deals to exempt their members from a new tax on healthcare plans, pimping ACORN, and just being all-around-un-swell guys.

One also hates to draw a correlation/causation line, but didn’t something interesting happen in 2008 that would have raised the profile of union bosses to a point where more people would see their antics? Yes, there was something in 08 …


2 Responses to ">>View of Unions ‘Plummeted’ Since 07 :)"


Maybe you can explain to me something about the Unions. Now, I was brought up in Dearborn, Michigan, so I really should know the answer to this, and though I thought I did, All this Union talk in the last year has confused me.

Let’s just stick to the UAW. I thought you had to be working at one of the plants or for one of the auto companies in order to be in the Union. I always thought this to be true. Now, as I understand it as long as you pay your dues you can still belong. This does not seem to be fair or above board. The majority of the auto workers who have been fired, laid off, whatever, have a snow balls chance in hell of ever working at an auto company again, so why are they still allowed to be in the Union? It can’t be just because they pay their dues. The reason I ask this is because they seem to be making demands as a union on the White House, and the White House seems to comply. Basically many of the people are unemployed so where do they get off demanding anything more than the rest of us? Why, just because they put Obama in the White House?

Can you explain this?

Snappy, the facts are anyone can join any union as long as they pay the dues. The Union bosses don’t care where the money comes from. But, they can not receive any benefits unless they are or have been employed by a company and given those benefits or enrolled in the benefit plans. Then even if laid off as these workers mostly were they can continue to hold these benefit packages at the point where they were laid off and as long as they continue to belong to the union and pay their dues they can benefit from any actions the unions take on behalf of their members. If they were fired from the company the benefits packages are forfeited . When these plants closed down even tho they knew they would never reopen their workers were all “laid off” not fired.

The same thing happened in the Northern Ohio Valley steel companies when they went out of business. Many of them due to the demands of the unions which made it unprofitable to keep the plants open! They laid the workers off, closed the plants and went overseas! The workers continued to belong to the AFL-CIO and United Steel Workers but found that their promised pensions were out of funds and their other benefits somehow went with the closed plant and not with the company so they were out of a job and out of luck. the union bosses knew this but continued to collect the dues as long as they had people willing to pay them.
It is of course more complicated than that but this more or less is how it was explained to me and it certainly makes sense. I know for a fact since the Northern Ohio Valley was my home that the union workers were simply out of luck and the area became a ghost town until they were able to bring in other employment opportunities for the people. Wheeling West Virginia was once all about steel and now is a tourist town. Tourism seems to be what we in the United States have moved to during the last 25+ years and it depends on someone somewhere making enough money to go traveling and touristing which simply isn’t happening now and is not likely too any time in the near future that I can see. maybe if we manage to get our government back we can get these things turned around but it will take a lot of hard choices and a lot of giving up some of the promises that were made to us.

I was talking to a lad7y the other day whose 401k plan is now worth $345,000 and she is due to retire in three years at age 62 with a really good company benefits plan for future health care until she reaches age 65 and goes on Medicare. she was worried that Medicare wouldn’t be there for her and her husband. I explained to her about Medicare and how in 1965 people were forced to go on it and how the insurance rates went sky high after that. I asked her if she were willing to purchase her own health care insurance if Medicare did get cut. Her answer was that she had paid into it all these years and she felt entitled to it. I then explained about social Security being a Ponzi scheme and that after two years of drawing her Social Security she would have gotten back every cent she put in so at that point would she be willing to stop collecting Social Security? her answer was a predictable No because she had paid into it all these years and knew for sure she had paid in a lot more than I said. I told her how she could find out how much she had paid in with a simple call to the SS office and then doing the math. She may do this, but she still will insist on getting her Social Security because in her words, ‘with out it she and her husband could not live on just their company pensions and would have to go into savings.’

The fact remains, we the people are going to have to give up these entitlements along with cutting the government work force down by a good 60% and also cutting their benefits and pensions. Just balancing the budget by spending no more than we take in will not pay off the debt. we have to take in a great deal more than the government spends so we can apply that excess to the national debt.

We baby boomers have lived very well. We have had good jobs, a good economy basically, no really big wars, and we didn’t have the burden of taking care of the older generation because we had voted to let the government do it. We also voted to let the government do a whole lot of other things that we should have been doing and paying for ourselves. There seems to be even now a belief that the government makes its own money. (do you remember that reporter interviewing people in Detroit who were lined up to get Money from Obama right after he took office? Not one of the people he talked to knew where the money was coming from that Obama was supposed to be handing out! Well, a lot of people think that the government makes its own money and that when we vote to have the government “do it” then we don’t have to pay for it. This has got to change and there is going to be a lot of shocked people when they find out they can no longer be Social Security or Medicare for those with nice 401k plans and good pensions. that health care and payments to help the poorer among us will indeed be what it has always in fact been: welfare–taking money from one person and giving it to another. BB

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