Not so much a reply, but a follow up to dear Puters takedown of a Time magazine letter to the editor. Thanks to Geep, the Czar was able to read the union bosss letter, and discovered, to no surprise, that its the same as every pro-union argument coming out of Madison.
In recent weeks, the Czar has had some exchanges with liberals on unions that ranged from civil to a little-less-so; here is what the Czar has observed:
- The pro-union side generally uses an argument exactly as stated in the letter: unions are necessary but are being destroyed by the Tea Party (or less commonly teabaggers), particularly in Wisconsin, because the unions provide a necessary counter-balance to big business and thereby help the middle class. Sound familiar?
- Pro-union forces are unable to explain how a reduction in benefits or an end to collective bargaining (in which both sides have a clear conflict of interest) destroys the unions.
- Nor are they able to explain how the Tea Party is responsible for all this destruction, exactly, other than they seems to confuse conservativism, capitalism, the Tea Party, and Republicans as all the same bunch.
- Nor can they explain how or why public sector workers are unionized. They usually conflate a criticism of public sector unions with an attack on the trades; when this difference is clarified, they often admit they are not sure how a public sector union differs from a private sector one. Moreover, they cannot provide an example of how this destruction will carry over to the private unions.
- No one, to a person, has been able to provide an example of how a public sector union provides its members anything other than consistently graduated taxation to the rest of the public. Not one example of safety, reform, elimination of monopoly, or rejection of foreign labor can be provided. Gasping examples include training, benefits, and retirement: but all of these things are available to non-union personnel, usually at less cost to the taxpayers.
- Nor can they seemingly explain how public sector unions have helped the middle class. There is some initial suspicion that taxing the rich helps the middle class, but they are unable to explain how that money goes from the rich to the poor and then back up to the middle class. Likewise, they cannot provide a single example of how unions help the middle class with housing, education, relocation, social or religious services, or healthcare. Recitation does not equal explanation: there is often a shocked pause at their ephiphany that public sector unions are not tied to the middle class in any demonstrable way. They might as well suggest that public sector union benefit the animals in the rain forests, for all the sequiturs that become non.
- Indeed, there is the moment of silence when asked how a large union entity, which uses its revenue collection (dues) to pay more money out to the members (workers), differs in any tangible way from a hated corporation, which uses its revenue collection (profits) to pay more money out to the members (stockholders). In other words, unions act exactly like (and as) the unregulated monopolies that liberals propose to fear and hate. On the other hand, we can provide a big difference between a union member and a corporate stockholder: no one is forced to buy stock in a corporation.
- There is a sense of resignation that develops as you progress in these conversationsalmost as if the pro-union liberals are realizing that these efforts are wasted, and that they have no stomach for building a cohesive counterargument.
Things that shock pro-union liberals:
- Most conservatives believe that private sector unions take the right approach in collective bargaining, understanding that free market competition sets the limit on wage increases; go over the limit, and you are out of work.
- Wisconsin residents increasingly back the governors plan; those who were on the fence long ago chose their side; likewise, there is a perception among other liberals that the democratic Wisconsin state senators royally screwed this one up for everyone else.
- Teachers in other states, from what we are hearing directly at the Castle, do not support their Wisconsin brethren because even if the most dire reforms were passed, Wisconsin teachers and other state employees still outweigh many other statess public union worker benefits by quite a stretch. They are viewing the governors proposal as a market correction, rather than an attack on unions.
Even so, the Czar knows all of this will mean nothing for a little while yet. You will continue to see the same argument, with the same sentences about counter-balance, Tea Party, and middle class again and again from the pro-union crowd until their numbers dwindle too much. And they are dwindling: their arguments hold no water.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.