The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Public Sector Unions: Conflict Of Interest?

Posted on | November 9, 2011 | 41 Comments

by Smitty

A couple of WSJ articles of note today on one of those no-brainer questions: Ohio Voters Reject Public-Union Limits

The law would have stripped the state’s 350,000 public employees of most of their collective-bargaining rights and forced workers to pay at least 15% of their health-care costs. With 97% of precincts reporting, 61% of voters in a referendum voted against the Republican-backed law, known as Senate Bill 5, while 39% supported it
The vote was closely watched beyond Ohio as other states have debated whether to rein in public unions to help governments cut spending on wages and benefits. Unions have faced bruising battles with newly elected Republican majorities in various states this year. In Wisconsin, lawmakers passed a law restricting union rights, but they failed to do so in Indiana.

What I’m understanding is that this means Rust-Belters really think that the Greek approach is the way to go. Zero Hedge has a NSFW peek at how well that will go.

Back at WSJ, The Public-Union Albatross, What it means when 90% of an agency’s workers retire with disability benefits:

The indictment of seven Long Island Rail Road workers for disability fraud last week cast a spotlight on a troubled government agency. Until recently, over 90% of LIRR workers retired with a disability—even those who worked desk jobs—adding about $36,000 to their annual pensions. The cost to New York taxpayers over the past decade was $300 million.
As one investigator put it, fraud of this kind “became a culture of sorts among the LIRR workers, who took to gathering in doctor’s waiting rooms bragging to each [other] about their disabilities while simultaneously talking about their golf game.” How could almost every employee think fraud was the right thing to do?
The LIRR disability epidemic is hardly unique—82% of senior California state troopers are “disabled” in their last year before retirement. Pension abuses are so common—for example, “spiking” pensions with excess overtime in the last year of employment—that they’re taken for granted.
Governors in Wisconsin and Ohio this year have led well-publicized showdowns with public unions.

In the Navy, we called a union a mutiny. In the private sector, a union seems a simple matter of freedom of speech and assembly. Yet a union is tantamount to a corporation, with the significant difference being that the union not only produces nothing, but its activities frequently impede production. Meanwhile, the same people who are strangely comfortable with unions manage to hate corporations.
The girl in the picture is either extremely cynical or no’ so bright. The hair may be the decider.
In summary, public sector unions are a conflict of interest so heinous that even a dim bulb like FDR knew they suck:

President Franklin Roosevelt, a friend of private-sector unionism, drew a line when it came to government workers: “Meticulous attention,” the president insisted in 1937, “should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government….The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.” The reason? F.D.R. believed that “[a] strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.”

I wonder which of our GOP hopeful will

  • say they are willing to wage war for liberty against unions during the campaign
  • deliver on the promise to protect private citizens from the public sector unions.


41 Responses to “Public Sector Unions: Conflict Of Interest?”

  1. ThePaganTemple
    November 9th, 2011 @ 12:00 pm

    All right, this doesn’t have a damn thing to do with the subject of this post, but I just saw something on Fox that was so damned outrageous I just had to say something about it here, and I want to make sure as many people as possible see it.

    This jackass was on Fox, being interviewed by the chick that’s married to the soldier in Afghanistan, and his name is either Robert, or Joe, Cirricione, or something like that. He seems to be a state department official, and he was talking about Iran, and how nobody trusts them because of their history.

    All right, so then just all of a sudden, out of the blue, he says something to the effect that “Iran has a Herman Cain problem. Things that they have done in their past always come back to haunt them.”

    I was in the kitchen eating breakfast at the time, so when I hear him say the part about Iran having a Herman Cain problem I ran into the living room. He’s some white haired guy. After a minute they flashed his name along with whatever two-bit position he has at the DOS.

    So how in the hell is Herman Cain’s story and current problems remotely applicable to this? This proves the Democrats are behind this shit, though to be fair probably some Republicans are as well. But you’re going to be hearing more and more of this shit. These bastards just can’t help themselves, can they?

    Note the implication of this statement. Anybody hearing this would be lead to believe the truth of the allegations against Cain are as factual and indisputable as the known facts of Iran’s odious history.

    And the chick didn’t call him on it, but really, that wasn’t the focus of her interview. She probably didn’t know how to react. Somebody on Fox really needs to put a stop to this shit from these Democrats they have on there. Damn, they even have somebody from Code Pink as a regular contributor. Somebody needs to do something about this kind of shit.

  2. Edward
    November 9th, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

    “The girl in the picture is either extremely cynical or no’ so bright. The hair may be the decider.”

    She’s my kind of woman.  Tall.  Leggy.  Pretty.  Not very bright. 

    It’s like when a lion takes down a gazelle on the African plains.  When you’re chasing fast prey you’ve got to be pretty quick.  I tend to go after the ones that, intellectually speaking, rather mosey on along at an ambling pace.

  3. Anonymous
    November 9th, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

    It was a dumb thing to say, but it proves nothing, except that the dude’s sense of humor should be kept to himself.

  4. Quartermaster
    November 9th, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

    Howze about both cynical and not so bright.

  5. Quartermaster
    November 9th, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

    I left Ohio at the end of 2004, and the state was not in good shape then. Militant unionism has seriously damaged the economy of Ohio. Both private and public employers have a garrot around therir necks.

    I wish Kasich a lot of luck, but the defeat of his measure is a very bad thing for Ohio. The severe bleeding  will continue.

  6. Anonymous
    November 9th, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

    “[a] strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government”
    You quote that like it’s a bad thing.

  7. Adjoran
    November 9th, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

    Obama appointees, none are qualified and most do more harm than good.  Elections matter.  The next time some angry conservative threatens to stay home next election if some candidate is or isn’t the nominee, remind them of this crap.

    Remember, a vote not recorded for the GOP standard-bearer might as well be a vote for Obama, and all the foul degrading of our polity that entails.  Treat your vote as Woodsey Owl would:  “Give a hoot – Don’t pollute!”

  8. Anonymous
    November 9th, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

    Well, sure, you’d say that.  I would qualify that about whether or not is was a proper function of the government.  Well, so could you, but I guess when we compared our results, the intersection might be the empty set.

  9. Adjoran
    November 9th, 2011 @ 1:08 pm

    The unions had to lie to scare the public; this was not some popular cause on its merits.  They were claiming police, firemen, and teachers would be working for minimum wage and no benefits.  It was outrageous.

    But Ohio must balance the budget, and if the people don’t like Kasich’s Plan A, they won’t be happy about Plan B either.  Localities will have to close fire stations and schools and lay off people, with luck all union toadies.  State spending will have to be drastically cut, too.  Learn to love the potholes, Buckeyes!  They will be with you from now on.

  10. Anonymous
    November 9th, 2011 @ 1:12 pm


    I agree that being both pro-union and anti-government is a distinctly minority position.

    I bet there’s something we agree on, though. I’m 1000% in support of your right to keep and bear arms, homeschool your kids (including indoctrinating them in your superstition of choice), keep 100% of your earnings, etc.

  11. Anonymous
    November 9th, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

    I’m not totally on board with the 100% of your earnings.  I do see some legitimate things for government to do, and I’m not liberal enough to think that they don’t have to be paid for.  So I’d expect to pay something in taxes, somehow.

    I might feel differently about public unions if there was actually a  “management” component to the negotiations.  And if the government weren’t a monopoly on government.

  12. Anonymous
    November 9th, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

    “Yet a union is tantamount to a corporation”
    Technically, a union _is_ a corporation. A corporation (from the latin corpore, or “body”) is any group of natural persons organized in such a fashion as to be able to act as a single entity under the law. To do away with corporate personhood necessarily implies the destruction of unions along with it.

    But then, who among us really expects leftists to think their ideas through to those ideas’ logical conclusions?

  13. ThePaganTemple
    November 9th, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

    What happened is a good thing. Now Ohio’s economy might well go down the toilet, and if and when it does, the voters will know who to blame. Besides themselves, that is. Sometimes before people can smell the shit you have to figure they’re going to have to crap all over themselves.

  14. ThePaganTemple
    November 9th, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

    I think its a good thing. Kasich’s bill would have helped Ohio’s economy, which means the Democrats would take the credit for it. Specifically Obama. Just like the pipeline from Canada. It would have created two or three thousand jobs, at least, and would have been a long-lasting supply of cheap, affordable energy. When I heard Obama decided to wait until after the election before he would decide whether or not to allow it, I almost jumped up and cheered.

  15. Anonymous
    November 9th, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

    Wrong it was slander and political activism on the part of either a political appointee or a career ineptocrat if the latter is the case he should be terminated immediately as he has violated the civil service act. If the show was in the 11:00 to 1:00 time slot that would have been Jenna Lee an epic dingbat right up there with Vapid Hair. One of the downsides of the failure of the Mississippi pro life amendment would have been watching Vapid Hair absolutely freak about it.

  16. ThePaganTemple
    November 9th, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

    Yeah it proves plenty, it proves that this is going to be a Democrat talking point. He was probably asked to throw something in there about Cain, even though Cain had zero to do with the subject of the interview. You’re probably going to see more and more of this, because the Democrats want to make damn sure conservative voters are blitzkrieged by this story. They are deathly afraid of Herman Cain or any minority conservative becoming popular and influential enough to erode their voting blocs. This is the only way they can attack Cain, through these female surrogates. What they are doing is hoping conservative voters will turn against Cain, then as though by magic Democrats will become Herman Cain’s biggest defenders, and accusing the Republicans of turning against him out of racist disgust at him trying to date white women. I can see this shit coming eight miles down the road. 

  17. Anonymous
    November 9th, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

    Their shutdown of the government would be for the purpose of extorting more taxpayer money. I suspect that’s wouldn’t suit your purposes for shutting down the government anymore than mine.

    The purpose of public employee unions is to launder tax dollars into campaign funds for the Social Democrats.
     My former employer is a large regional concrete subcontractor based in Bethesda. We were a Merit Shop and from time to time we received management training on how to deal with unionization activities. I always referred to it as anti-Bolshevik training, many in our rapidly growing HR and upper management ranks didn’t seem to get the joke. Perhaps that’s my fault because I wasn’t joking, at the rate things are going, they’ll never see any humor in what I said but they will get it.

  18. Michael Smith
    November 9th, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

    I can go you one better – unions aren’t the only thing that they like that is organized as a corporation – the federal government is the same…

    “These poor useful idiots have been fooled into thinking that the free enterprise system with its freedom of choice and creative destruction is something to fear. This is a common feature of every communist “revolution”. This “fear” is generated to drive the weak of spirit and  mind into the waiting arms of an egalitarian, caring and righteous  collective controlled by a benevolent government.

    The problem with that is that in this Utopian construction, as a practical matter, this collective is still made up of humans who are often not egalitarian, caring, righteous or benevolent. The people in the government structure are just as subject to the same imperfections of human nature, the same greed and the same desire for status as everyone else.”

    Bonus Hayek quote here:

  19. Michael Smith
    November 9th, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

    Look for the Union label…

  20. Joe
    November 9th, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

    Was Dan Riehl on Fox? 

    November 9th, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

    […] I’m promoting this one back to the top and linking The Other McCain here. […]

  22. Anonymous
    November 9th, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

    The results of the vote to scrap the union reforms are a big victory for the unions and not surprising to me at all, but not necessarily a big win for the SDs.

  23. Joe
    November 9th, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

    She is sort of cutish, but looks high and tired (probably from sleeping in a tent for week).  Oh well, it just amazes me how young people go out of their way to look less attractive. 

  24. Joe
    November 9th, 2011 @ 3:12 pm
  25. Joe
    November 9th, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

    Ohio:  Where capitalists are treated like escaped game park animals. 

  26. ThePaganTemple
    November 9th, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

    Its not a win at all for them in the long term. In the long term its going to come back to bite them on the ass.

  27. Anonymous
    November 9th, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

    Yes, I agree that they have to protect their plantation, and that they are despicable for it (among many other things).  And they may very well be behind it.  But that’s very different from proving anything.  

    Sorry, but my literal/mathematical outlook requires me to be a pedantic asshole about language like that.

  28. Anonymous
    November 9th, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

    If only we could wall off Ohio and not let them flee to (or get a Federal bailout for pensions from) neighboring states. If they want these types of unions, they can keep these types of unions; and they can keep getting them good and hard. Enjoy your stay in Economic Pound-Me-In-The-Azz Prison.

  29. Mike
    November 9th, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

     Lets not forget that besides FDR being against public sector unions, George Meany, former president of the AFL-CIO was also against them because of the conflict of interest.

  30. Anonymous
    November 9th, 2011 @ 4:01 pm


    “Their shutdown of the government would be for the purpose of extorting more taxpayer money. I suspect that’s wouldn’t suit your purposes for shutting down the government anymore than mine.”

    I guess that depends. My toes are tapping either way. If the state doesn’t give in and has to shut down or pare back, it’s good. If the state does give in, then the state becomes more expensive and loses even more support, which is also good.

    Same with immigration and just about every other issue. As Ayn Rand liked to say, the moral is the practical.

  31. ltw
    November 9th, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

    Until the taxpayer comes up with a concise statement of what they want to see from local, state, federal government related to salaries and benefits of government unionized workers so all taxpayers are on the same page…and have that yearly statement sent to their e-mail box each year around April 15th….we’ll keep having initiatives written by public unions to encode into law something that sounds good so people vote for it…but is really just having the taxpayer pay unionized government workers a really nice salary, health benefits, training costs, and early retirement on the backs of the private sector taxpayers…current and future.

    The taxpayer is going to have to have more ingenuity than the power of federal government….

  32. Anonymous
    November 9th, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

    If the state does give in, then the state becomes more expensive and loses even more support, which is also good.

    OK, in theory I agree with you.  But this really only works if the level of support changes enough for anyone to do anything.  In the meantime, stuff just sucks more.

  33. Anonymous
    November 9th, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

    I am pessimistic — and that is a big-time understatement — that my anarchotopian dream will be realized in my lifetime, in this century, or probably even in this millennium.

    I am, however, increasingly certain that if I live to a normal human lifespan (I turn 45 tomorrow), I will witness the complete and utter collapse of the United States of America as currently configured.

    I’m not optimistic about what follows that collapse, but I do expect it to happen.

  34. Anonymous
    November 9th, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

    The governor assured the local governments that there are no bail outs coming. The restrictions on union power were more important to the local governments who’ve lost funding from the state that they can’t make up.

  35. ThePaganTemple
    November 9th, 2011 @ 6:54 pm

    Ohioans are dumbasses. Kasich is probably the closest thing to a conservative Ohio has ever elected on a state wide level. Look over the rolls of those Ohio voters have elected to high office. Glenn, DeWine, Voinovich, and the worst of all was probably the liberal asshole that used to be Glenn’s colleague but I can’t think of his name. When they vote for Democrats they like the most liberal assholes they can find, and when they vote for Republicans, they’re idea of a conservative is somebody about like Gerald Ford.

    I don’t have any doubt Kasich is going to be a one term governor. He’s just a bridge too far for your average Ohio voter. If they were to elect Kucinich in his place, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised.

  36. Jorge Emilio Emrys Landivar
    November 9th, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

    Um, Texas executes corps all the time.  What does she think chapter 7 bankruptcy is? 

  37. Adjoran
    November 10th, 2011 @ 2:34 am

    Our candidate should beat him about the head and shoulders with that and his other disastrous energy policies – even the ones which were not completely corrupt.

  38. Adjoran
    November 10th, 2011 @ 2:37 am

    Metzenbaum.  I still spit every time I hear his name.

  39. Adjoran
    November 10th, 2011 @ 3:16 am

    Excellent point.

  40. ThePaganTemple
    November 10th, 2011 @ 8:56 am

    You’re right, Howard Metzenbaum, a grade A dickwad. He might have been the most liberal and corrupt member of the Senate. Right up there with Kennedy and a few others. But in Ohio, you couldn’t touch the guy, he always won handily, by comfortable margins. Which just goes to show you the kind of culture you’re dealing with in the buckeye state. They love them some liberals there, so anybody who assumes Ohio is a shoe-in for a conservative candidate just because the economies bad, they’d better think again.

  41. GOP May Gain Control Of VA Senate. Also, InstaVision Offers A Sarah Palin Tease : The Other McCain
    November 10th, 2011 @ 10:14 am

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