Babies, Bathwater and Unions


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The Guild and Trade Systems of the 13th Century ended with lost jobs for the lion share of Europeans and the great beginning of outsourcing to the world.  The great Plague followed due to peasants and certain members of nobility losing most of their worldly possessions.  It was a great time to separate countries from the Catholic Church…start their own forms of Lutheranism and take back all the Church property and bring it back to the State!  Western civilization soon broke down into what was known as the Dark Ages. We called this the effect of “British Mercantilism”.  A “30 years War” between Catholics and Protestants.

In the coming days of the 13th and 14th centuries…..”The Spanish Inquistion” was simply a reverse land grab by the Catholic Church to redefine their ability to reach into the pockets of any nobility or peasants that might believe in independent thought.  The French soon followed suit.  Only in Germany were the trade guilds sustained…along with some in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.  Trade guilds were the cornerstone for what later became the basis for the Founding Fathers of the United States.  The Masons, Carpenters and even Tinkers and Potters created levels of excellence in their works, as well as levels of ethics in their work and private lives.  The Templars were kicked out of France and England – The Catholic Church tried to appropriate all their property.  Heady times!

Today,  the Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker is leading the charge to halt  years of abuses and over-spending by government.  Instead of reaching into the pockets of constituients, lawmakers and government back slapping for corporations.  Walker says:  Take it out of the pockets of Public Employee Unions by just doing away with them.  The prevailing wisdom is that Public Employee Unions have been living off the fat of the land.  They get Pensions, Healthcare and Retirement….that not even members of the Private Sector get….with of course the exception of the Bernie Madoff’s, Bernie Ebbers, Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay’s of the world.   Actually, the numbers are huge, if you count those lovely folks on Wall Street that are still making those trades in Hedges and Derivatives and taking their companies Off Shore!  Who approved all these abuses?  Prior Legislators, prior Governors, prior Bureaucrats!  Who are we going to trust now?

There is little doubt that everyone is going to have to pay more for their Healthcare, Pensions and their Retirement plans in the future – even those members of the Public Employee Unions, Police and Firefighters too.  Everyone certainly in the Private Sector!  Having said that….the Governor of Wisconsin was quite right in asking for more from Public Employee Union members for their Healthcare, their Pension contributions and even freezing their wages for a few years.   Asking more than that however is cowardly….not brave.  Why?  Because, if the Governor truly only wanted to retsrict government spending……he would just ask the legislature to strip budgets across the board to the bone……as Arnold tried to do in California and failed.  Walker wouldn’t be blaming anyone…he would be acting swiftly by simply firing everyone he thought necessary and then waiting for the voters to stand with or against him.

The National debate that is feeding off Governor Walker is based on his irrational approach to cutting gov;ernment  spending.  Suddenly, the feckless Tea Party members  – so called by the Republican Speaker of the House called them after the last election…..are now suddenly “deal breakers”, “powerfully positioned”, “intractable” and just plain mean.  Suddenly, the blame is being aimed at the Tea Party, which if you listened  seems to be running the entire country.  Hmmm.

Let’s get down to cases.  If Public Employee Unions are out of control….including Fire and Police what should be done?  How about not allowing them to strike without a 90 day cooling off process?  That is called the Taft-Hartley Act and should apply to all Unions…not just Steel, Transportation and Coal.  The realities are that without tax money, new revenues and other ways of ripping off the tax payer……..there should be no new wage increases or benefits that are not self funded by Union Members.

The books should always be open to Government, as much as the Private Sector needs to allow Unions access to their books, be they publicly traded Companies or Privately held Corporations.  Anyone with over 500 employees, Unions and the like….need to allow access to their books strictly for wage and benefit negotiations.  These things should be considered Confidential…but open to “Non-Disclosure Agreed Upon”  Union Negotiators and Officials.  If these things are not the law….they should be….so get busy Governor Walker….show us how to do it boy!

The so-called “Great Debate” is that we are Over-Spending and with our monumental Deficits – we just can’t afford Unions anymore.  “Balderdash Ethel….pure unmitigated Balderdash!”  The big argument is about next years Federal Budget….and the joke is that they are talking about saving either $30 Billion dollars with the Democratic Proposal or $60 Billion dollars with Republicans.  With a $14 Trillion dollar Deficit……..who cares folks….really….who cares?  They are literally stepping on ants while the elephants are getting away again.

If Governor Walker and his ilk want to make a difference…..start those lay-offs right away.  Fire as many people as he sees fit. Governor Walker,  don’t do the cowardly thing and just blame someone else.  Get your political buddies to vote for reductions in Pensions, Retirement benefits, Healthcare and Wages…..to balance that budget. Make a deal with those 14 Democratic Senators.  But,  you see that would actually take courage!  That would also stop Scott Walker from being the great demagogue that he is.  The Unions would remain in tact, their ability to maintain the quality of life for their members will be sustained……..and the Great Sucking Sound Governor Walker is hoping for……that would take American jobs out of this country in three years rather than ten  will thwarted for the time being.  Maybe Governor Walker has plans to outsource all Wisconsin services to India or Romania…..maybe?

Throwing the Baby and the Unions out with the Bathwater is a big lie….that will neither slash government budgets nor save jobs!

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About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk show...is the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.