Ok, I know everyone has been waiting with baited breath for another blog. Rest assured: it is true, I have gotten pissed off again. I was/am pissed off enough that I had to ignore my ADD/OCD long enough to blog. Yeah. It is that serious. So now that I have your attention, let me call to your attention the subject of my pissed-offness: Unions.
This isn't some vague tale where I read articles on some CNN website, or saw a few random clips on FOX and was just SHOCKED how these cancerous little lumps could still exist. This is the tale of my father's union, and the stupidity that they have been and probably will continue to shout from the rooftops like some demented Juliet looking for her Romeo. I have interspersed that with some history and some common themes that are now occurring in the broad scope of unions.
Unions are a massive poison--a sort of toxin that infects everything they touch. Think of them like heroin. They eliminate all of the autonomy from the workers they "represent" in order to make sure that they are dependent (addicted), then they drain all of the money from the workers (junkies), and shift it to their own committees (the drug dealers). Sounds real familiar, now doesn't it? Meanwhile, the poor junkies down there on the lowest rung of the totem pole are simply perplexed. They rack their brains and still can't figure out why their health insurance is continuing to refuse covering their family, why their once envied pension plan is shrinking worse than the, uh, "package" of someone on 12 different kinds of steroids, and all the while they still pay their dues like a good little sheep because (as they were told by the union president) if it is this bad WITH the union working so hard for them, just imagine what it would be like without the union.
Recently my fathers union (the Boilermakers) enacted a policy that they resurrected from the 1970's. Basically, the policy says that if you fail to pay your dues for three months straight (even if you are out of work), you will be required to pay an extravagant reinstatement fee. They have already gotten rid of their "out of work" dues so that everyone pays the same, and even those have gone up the last 5 times they voted on it. Now, if the member can't afford the dues for three months straight, what in the name of hell makes these idiots think that the reinstatement fee is even going to be an option? Yeah, I couldn't think of an answer either. Wanna know why? Because there is no answer. They know this. Everyone knows exactly what this is.
I mean call me crazy (and I assure you I am everyday), but I take that as a direct threat. Not only is the union not representing it's members, it's threatening them (at best) and extorting them (at worst). I am going to take the 'at worst' version, because that is the one that I truly believe is going on.
This, my friends, is extortion, pure and simple. You may be familiar with this concept from TV shows like Law and Order, or maybe The Sopranos. Other people may remember a little movie called The Godfather (including any of the sequels). Just for the people who live under gigantic rocks or in caves that have limited American influence, I will get you some references real quick.
" 'Extortion', outwresting, or exaction is a criminal offense which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime groups. The actual obtainment of money or property is not required to commit the offense. Making a threat of violence or a lawsuit which refers to a requirement of a payment of money or property to halt future violence or lawsuit is sufficient to commit the offense."
"Most states define extortion as the gaining of property or money by almost any kind of force, or threat of 1) violence, 2) property damage, 3) harm to reputation, or 4) unfavorable government action. While usually viewed as a form of theft/larceny, extortion differs from robbery in that the threat in question does not pose an imminent physical danger to the victim.
For example, Dan goes to Victor's place of business and demands monthly payment from Victor for the business's "protection" from vandalism and after-hours theft. Fearing that he or his business will suffer harm otherwise, Victor agrees to pay Dan."
Now take this last entry especially. Change it to Dan is guaranteeing Victor's job, insurance and even pension in exchange for payment, then all of a sudden Dan makes it nearly impossible for Victor to pay this amount. MMHMM! I had the same reaction.
And now we come to the history portion of our proceedings. Does anyone know why unions were created? Everyone remembers from history class when they were talking about how the big evil factories were using child labor in extremely dangerous working conditions all day long and paying about a quarter (yes, 25 cents) a day. That is the type of thing that lead to the formation of unions. They were dedicated to making sure that children were not abused, that people had reasonable work hours, that they had working conditions that were not almost always fatal, and actually got paid enough to survive. Here is a wikipedia article if you don't believe me. Wikipedia on Unions
Personally, I love the purpose behind the original unions, they had a noble cause. What they have morphed into, however, is an unholy abomination of the original intention. You know how in the movie "The Matrix" how Neo has to pick either the red or blue pill? Well apparently the union is now the guy behind all those television screens that are pushing around all the irrelevant players (the workers) and he is doing so on their dime--and a lot of the workers refuse to take the red pill, instead opting to remain as the "batteries" for the unions. That movie is a good metaphor for unions, because eventually the workers in the union do catch on, show up and break all the televisions. Nothing good comes for the guy sitting in the chair after that, so it is in their best interest to keep that seat of power for as long as possible.
Unions now do absolutely nothing. The purposes for which they were created are null and void, because everything they were organized to address is now regulated by the government and mandated by law (such as workplace safety, work hours, adequate compensation and representation). You have things like OSHA now. Wikipedia on OSHA
We even have the government to thank for pay regulation, that's what that pesky minimum wage thing is. Even healthcare and pensions can be organized directly through the company they work for (and if you wait much longer, directly through the government itself). And all of this regulation and oversight is taken care of in the taxes that these workers pay already such as income tax, property tax, sales tax, etc. So why must we still go on with this ridiculous charade of charging outlandish dues for absolutely no service?
I don't know either.
We are allowing these people an interest in our lives that they do not deserve. They are sneaky and underhanded in the dealings that they do. They contribute millions to political campaigns (WTF!?!). What purpose could that possibly serve? Are they trying to expedite the process of donations to those politicians? No. They are serving their own interests. They hand pick the politicians that they know will not limit them (and will in fact extend their power). They have no motivation to be fair.
If you notice, every candidate they drooled over is a democrat. There is a reason. The democrat does NOT represent or defend average workers. It is their job to represent the union. Sure that sounds nice, but given everything we have gone through already I am sure you know exactly how traitorous this is.
I thought they were supposed to represent the workers. They don't people, they haven't for a very long time. The only thing they represent now is their own interest in keeping their cushy jobs, inflated pay, and completely ridiculous vacations all on the dime of the worker. So next time your back aches from all those union bills and you reach for the Tylenol, how 'bout instead getting the gorilla (aka Union) off of you and away from your pocket.