“Why pay taxes?” asked Fred Phillips, who owes more than $2,600 on his home on an east-side block where five owners paid 2011 taxes. “Why should I send them taxes when they aren’t supplying services? It is sickening. … Every time I see the tax bill come, I think about the times we called and nobody came.” More…
By Tom Quiner
My new musical, The Pope of the People, is in the middle of its three weekend run. It’s a musical about the impact of John Paul II on Poland and the world.
The musical drama depicts the famous strike led by Lech Walesa at the Gdansk shipyards. Mr. Walesa made 21 demands on behalf of the fledgling Solidarity Labor Union back in the early 80s.
My liberal friends have taken great delight in pointing out my sympathy for Solidarity, and lack thereof for American unionism. The suggestion is that unionism is unionism, right?
I think not.
Mr. Walesa called for rights like freedom of speech and access to a free mass medium, rights Americans enjoy.
He called for management based on merit, not party affiliation, something American Unions certainly don’t embrace.
Polish laborers had it tough. So did American laborers. Our labor unions deserve credit for improving working conditions for the common man. But today’s public union employees live better than Solidarity’s communist masters!
Good grief, the health insurance for Wisconsin’s public union employees includes coverage for Viagra, paid for by taxpayers.
They pay little for their health insurance. Taxpayers pick up most of the tab.
They enjoy defined benefit pension plans. Most taxpayers have defined contribution plans which provide less security than the former.
In some respects, today’s unions remind me more of the communists than the Solidarity union. After all, in states without right to work laws, workers often get stuck paying compulsory union dues, a good chunk of which go to support “the party,” also know as the Democrats. So much for choice.
If someone wants to donate to the Democratic Party, fine. But they shouldn’t have to do it against their will. They shouldn’t have their money taken from them before it even touches their hands to support efforts to liberalize abortion and gay marriage laws, as Democrats are attempting in every state.
I won’t even talk about the players union in the NFL where millionaires are going on strike.
No, there is no comparison between yesterday’s Solidarity labor movement and today’s American labor unions.
[Be sure to see The Pope of the Pope of the People this weekend. Check the website for showtimes: www.thePopeofthePeople.com.]
By Tom Quiner
My next door neighbor, Bill, is about the nicest guy you’d ever want to know. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better neighbor.
He was a lifelong union member, which colors his politics. We got into our usual pre-election dust -up last Sunday. After viewing the plethora of Republican signs in my front yard, Bill asked me why I’m voting Republican.
I talked about government spending, about passing legislation to protect the pre-born, about downsizing government. He countered that Democrats look out for the little guy (unless they’re in the womb, of course). He waxed eloquent about what unions have done for America.
I conveyed my respect for unionism, but expressed the concern that they have gone too far. He asked for an example. There’s one brewing right now: the “Card-Check Forced Unionism Bill” (H.R. 3619/S. 1925) as Republicans call it, or the “Employee Free Choice Act,” as Democrats call it.
What it does is strip away free choice from employees, despite the dishonest title used by Democrats. According to the National Institute for Labor Relations Research:
[this bill] “empowers union officials to force a business’s employees to accept a union as their “exclusive” bargaining agent solely through the acquisition of signed union authorization cards. Individual workers under the watchful eye of union organizers may be tricked or intimidated into signing themselves, and ultimately all of their nonunion fellow employees, over to union-boss control.”
In other words, it forces non-union employees to submit all labor bargaining to a union monopoly. They would not have the free choice to negotiate directly themselves, again, even if they are NOT a member of the union.
The bill also would not allow a secret-ballot election when it comes time to vote on whether to grant the union exclusive bargaining privileges.
So, you’re not a union member. You don’t want them representing you. It comes time to vote on whether the union negotiates for you, and you want to vote no. But the union is looking over your shoulder when you vote.
Is there any chance they might try to intimidate you? Watch the CNN video above. You decide.
The unions want to cram this bill through in the upcoming lame duck session of Congress. Republicans may not be able to stop it no matter how well they do in November’s midterm elections.
I’ll vote Republican and hope they can un-pass it in next year’s session.