If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it."
-Stephen Colbert

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Words fail me

...but not for long.
I find it hard to believe that our country has has slid so far back into the mire of history that some actually celebrate the fact that another state has passed 'right to work' legislation. What are they thinking? The Governor of Michigan assures the voters that this will make the state more competitive. Competitive? Competitive with China, South Carolina, Georgia and Mississippi. Not to mention Arkansas, Alabama and Louisiana. And do they really believe that by ridding themselves of the evil 'Union' that someone will come along and invest in a new auto plant? And do they really want to become like South Carolina  where the state is famous for the number of Waffle Houses it has and the fact that they are also the fireworks and billboard capitol of the world? Or like Georgia? No, I won't say it...I don't want to go there. Arkansas and Mississippi are like the first two. Poor and becoming poorer. Just look at the data comparing the 'right to work' states with the sane states.

The employee owned company that I retired from was all union and quite proud of that fact. Why? Because we were allowed to bid and secure the largest construction projects. Even where non-union firms were allowed to compete, we secured the projects because of the skill of our workers. Would you trust a non-union firm to build a $2 billion dollar microchip foundry? Even when our bid price was higher, we got the job because we had trained union workers. How about a high rise building put together by non-union iron workers? I don't think so! The phrase 'You get what you pay for' is always true except in the case of politicians.

From my vantage point of age, 72 years, I can clearly see the turning point in our countries economy and that was when reagan gave the green light to union bashing when he destroyed the Air Controllers union. From that point on, as unions lost their strength, we lost our economy. Those union wages were buying homes and car and tv's and boats and everything else that was driving our economy. Slowly but surely, my union, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, lost it's influence in the construction marketplace and homes were the first to go 'non-union' and built by less than qualified carpenters. Don't like the quality of your new house? Blame reagan. But, then again, you may have come to accept that quality of workmanship and think it's just dandy.

Are there corrupt union officials? You bet! I've met my share. How about corrupt politicians? Have you ever seen any of those?The truth is, we get those corrupt officials and pols because we deserve them. We don't pay attention and we vote emotionally and not rationally. We complain about those terrible union contracts that put us on the hook for millions, yet we seem to forget that it takes two signatures to create a contract. What did the city, county or state official get ($$$) to sign the contract? We'll never know and still we blame the unions for the terms of the contract. Some people say that the governing office was over a barrel and had to sign. Not true; no one signs under pressure unless they've lost their moral compass.

It's open season on unions now and the economy will react. As people lose their union jobs they will demonstrate their anger and their will be violence. And the so called 'union' cops won't hesitate to strike a brother union member in the name of law and order. The First Amendment has been broken so many times that it really won't help. Sad times indeed.

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