Most of you will have nothing in common with the following scenario. Understandably, when this columnist refers to frustrating memories of his childhood of being the last person standing for consideration at any neighborhood pick-up sandlot football game, there will be marked consternation amongst my readership about the validity of the imagery I present. For some reason my hobbit-like physique did not evoke in my fellow playmates images of gridiron prowess and a young boy quickly understood that it was simply a numbers game whether I got to play or not. If my “friends” needed another body on the field, then I was picked. Even if I got the chance to play, the ball wasn’t coming my way, I wasn’t remotely part of the play calling and no one was aware I was in the huddle. There is more to this diatribe than to foist my psychosis upon you the reader.
Nothing is more infuriating to an individual than that helpless feeling of be used by, but excluded from, the process. As a small non-athletic boy, my larger more talented friends regarded me simply as a prop to stage and show their athletic prowess around. This is natural human nature and there is really no stopping it except when the little boy realizes its time to stop being used and finds a different set of friends. That natural human desire to form exclusionary mutual beneficiary relationships has been, these past weeks, on full display.
The role of unions in the private sector, its benefits and detriments, has been the subject of much debate with strong points on both sides. The one telling evidence of public mood towards these specific unions has been the steady decline in membership. The public sector unions, however, have been experiencing strong growth to the point they nearly outnumber the private sector unions. Union leaders and Democrats have found a boon in the public sector. Taxpayers have to play the game but they can be kept out of the huddle.
There is an old adage that if you worked for the government you might not have great wages or benefits but at least you had job security. Now that has changed drastically. The average weekly income for a public worker is $939 a week while the average private worker makes $855 a week. The average yearly compensation for a public worker is $50,744, which is $1,800 more than the average private sector worker. Now, not only do you have the job security, but also you have better wages and better benefits. Ironically, it is the private sector that pays these wages. So, essentially, the workers are making more than their employer. That’s just not good business.
Taxpayers elect officials such as governors and commissioners to oversee these public workers, but the workers answer to union bosses rather than to the elected officials, again blocking the taxpayer from the process. This was full display in New York City when the public service workers refused to plow the streets during a snowstorm to retaliate for budget cuts. The very people who pay those truck drivers wages were blocked in their homes, some even losing their lives to union arrogance.
Unions have spent billions of dollars electing Democrats to office so that those same Democrats will set at the collective bargaining table when its time to negotiate wages and pensions. But there is a conspicuous entity that never seems to get invited to these negotiations: the taxpayer, the wage payer. This is why unions and collective bargaining do not belong in the public sector.
In the private sector, workers have the right to unionize and bargain collectively. This is because the wage payer has some recourse. The business can, if it cannot meet the demands of a greedy union, move their place of business elsewhere or they can declare bankruptcy. There are other methods of recourse for both sides. Workers then must deal with free market repercussions of their decision to unionize.
Public sector jobs function solely off private sector tax dollars. Yet, the private sector is barred from the bargaining table. Union elected Democrats set at the table with union bosses and set the wages you the employer, the taxpayer, must pay. You, the employer, have no recourse.
Recent non-partisan reports have the national debt at the same level or higher than our gross domestic product. A non-partisan report shows at least 200 billion dollars a year is wasted in redundant programs. That is agencies that do the very same thing. Many of these agencies are a direct result of public sector unions and Democrat bargains. If we just stopped playing “Keystone Kops” with tax dollars….but… the Republicans are struggling to come up with 61 billion to cut. The President says he will meet them halfway with 6 billion….what the….halfway? I guess that’s new math….remember…57 States…yeah. Government needs to remember its private sector money that pays the bills and the private sector needs its money to pay the bills.