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Saturday, Mar 28, 2015

Unions don't belong in government

Special to Hernando Today


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Allowing unions to organize in the public sector (government) is a conflict of interest. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order 10988, establishing the right of federal workers to engage in collective bargaining. Consequently, union membership among U.S. government employees soared from 13 percent in 1961 to 60 percent in 1974.

Ironically, 1974 also marked when private sector jobs first began feeling the pain of losing ground in the areas of benefits and pay, as well as job security. Union membership peaked in 1979 at 21 million, nearly 35 percent of the labor force. Membership has declined ever since (currently 14.8 million, just 12 percent of the labor force).

In 1980, private sector union membership began its steady decline, which continues into the 2010s. Presently, union membership in the private sector has fallen below 7 percent. Levels not seen since 1932, while membership of public sector unions has grown steadily (now 37 percent).

Now compare that with the increased proportion and level of government unresponsiveness. It coincides exactly with the growth of public sector unions and their subsequent abandonment of the private sector. We're already paying the price, but little by little they've taken over and unless we finish them off first, they will continue, until they seize the reigns of power. You can't reason with a cancer cell; You excise it! We now find ourselves at war with our own government!

Ever since government unions were allowed collective bargaining, they began concentrating their efforts in certain key positions, such as law enforcement, fire fighting and education. These agencies were once thought too sensitive to allow such union activity. Now that they've infiltrated them, they've hijacked and redirected the purpose of these agencies from that of serving the public's best interests and its general welfare.

Without batting an eye, they've shamelessly used our first responders and law enforcement officers, many of whom have put their lives on the line; to raise the pay and benefits of all government employees. Though most jobs in government are not in harms way, in today's public sector they benefit from, good pay, generous benefits, and job security that make for a strong middle-class existence for nearly everyone from janitors to jailors. While the private sector continues to struggle having to pay for it all!

Public sector union advocates often quote Henry Ford, "There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible."

Only problem is; Government isn't an industry and government doesn't produce goods, and the service it provides isn't supposed to be used for the profit of any one group. Henry Ford was spending his own cash to produce a profit for himself, and he had competitors that we could turn to if we were dissatisfied with the goods and/or services that he provided; or the price that he asked.

Whereas, the money that government spends is literally our money and they abuse their authority when they go about seizing it and raising our taxes just so they can pay the highest wages possible to their own. That's called redistribution of wealth and it's one of the most regressive forms of oppression ever recorded throughout human history.

When dealing with government, if we kick the tires and we don't like what we're getting, or the price we're paying; we can't just go and shop at the dealer down the street, or buy the competitor's car. We are at the mercy of whatever decision the government makes. And they really screwed things up when they allowed unions collective bargaining in 1962. Now the inmates are running the asylum and that is why America is now in decline!

Unionization can be a wonderful tool when used in the right hands (the private sector); but as with any tool it can become a weapon in the wrong hands (the public sector). Governments infested by public sector unions have suffered more than their share of death and destruction throughout recorded history; It was known as Fascism in Italy, and Nazism in Germany. Similar methods of using pensions and grants to reward public officials and servants alike has brought about the fall of whole civilizations, such as the Greek and Roman Empires.

Germany too once loved and revered their heroic first responders; they elevated and placed upon pedestals their police officers, firefighters and teachers, but then they paid the ultimate price when they unionized and ran amuck. Do we really want to repeat history and allow America's unions to form-up our own government agencies into the Gestapo, Sturmtroopen and Nazis?!

Do you still think allowing unions to organize in the public sector (our government) and to educate our children is a good idea? Remember Hitler's words, "Give me your children and I will change society!"

Lorne DeWitt is a retired Investment Analyst who lives in Brooksville. Reach him at

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