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The Nillabyte Perspective: U.S. & Politics

Wisconsin Insanity: Unions Vs. The Public


It all comes down to simple math. There is more outtake than intake in the Wisconsin budget, and Governor Scott Walker is actually trying to do something about it. The rage that the unions have billowed is unjustified and sinister, the state senators who fled the state to avoid the vote are cowards and should be fired, and the protesters need to understand that they are fighting to have more bone-crushing debt.

The bill that is being protested by unions and teachers will strip public workers of collective bargaining rights for benefits. Contrary to what President Obama and some in the media are saying, this bill will not destroy unions. Unions still could represent workers, but could not seek pay increases above those pegged to the Consumer Price Index unless approved by a public referendum. Public workers are only being asked to pay 5% towards their pension and 12% for superb health care coverage. Boo-hoo! Most employees in the private sector have to pay more for their own benefits in addition to paying for the benefits of public workers.

The teachers, other workers, and unions protesting this bill aren't striking against a private employer, they are striking against the public--the tax payers. They are trying to demand and bully their way with unions in order to force the tax payers to shell out even more taxes that the public can't afford. The current structure in Wisconsin can't be sustained. Cuts have to be made. That's the bottom line.

If the cuts are not made, the lemming-like students who are ignorantly protesting this bill will be the people who will suffer. They are the future tax base and they will be the citizens paying for pensions and other benefits for public workers. The teachers who had their students leave school in order to protest against this bill should be fired. They aren't doing their job that the taxpayers are already paying them to do.

Lavish pensions and benefits for public workers far surpass those of private sector employees. Why should those private sector employees be forced to pay for the benefits and pensions of public workers? Teachers should receive pay and benefits that reflect their performance, not by what union thugs dictate. If a teacher performs well, and there are many that do, they should receive pay and benefits that reflect their good performance and what the taxpayers can afford. If a teacher performs poorly, and there are many that do so, they should not get the same reward as those teachers who perform better. If teachers don't perform at all, like those skipping work to protest, they should be let go. That's how the private sector works. What the unions have done is protect the bad teachers while destroying the incentive for good teachers to become better.

In high school, I had two teachers, a music teacher and a math teacher, who went out of their way to make sure I was receiving the education I needed. These are the teachers who should be rewarded with pensions and benefits. I had dozens of teachers who appeared to only be there for the paycheck, but still taught somewhat adequately. I also had several, mostly in college, who didn't teach me a thing and were only a teacher for the pension, tenure, benefits, and the stature. These are the educators who should have no benefits and should be let go. But no. The unions have ensured that there is plenty of deadwood in the education system.

The bill, contrary to how some feel, doesn't go far enough. Public workers should not be allowed to unionize at all. Unions should not be allowed to bargain against the public. What unions of public workers do is usurp the political process, telling the taxpayers that we have no right to determine where our taxes go or how much we are taxed. Our country is not a mobocracy, but a republic.

I have several family members who are educators in public schools, they are hard-working and deserve to be paid based on their hard work. But they are public employees and can only be paid according to what the public can afford. If they want more money, they need to ask the public through political channels, not through unions who have incestuous relations with politicians.

What do you think? You can post and view comments below.

Comments

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  1. Union Man's Avatar
    Rot in hell you dictatorial stooge!

    Without unions, you wouldn't have the right to a 40 hour work week. You wouldn't have good working conditions, you wouldn't have health insurance. With my union, I am guaranteed a job. I no I can support my family.

    As much as you don't like it, Bush is out, Obama is in. Get used to it. There is actually someone in the White house who cares about working Americans and will defend their rights to stand up against dictatorial employers.
    Last Edited February 18th, 2011 at 01:46 PM by Kyle Buckley (foul language)
  2. Kyle Buckley's Avatar
    Quote From Union Man
    Rot in hell you dictatorial stooge!

    Without unions, you wouldn't have the right to a 40 hour work week. You wouldn't have good working conditions, you wouldn't have health insurance. With my union, I am guaranteed a job. I no I can support my family.

    As much as you don't like it, Bush is out, Obama is in. Get used to it. There is actually someone in the White house who cares about working Americans and will defend their rights to stand up against dictatorial employers.
    Why is it dictatorial to allow taxpayers to choose where their taxes go? If we look at The Constitution, people have rights, states have rights, unions do not.

    And what makes you think I miss President Bush at all?
  3. dksBeet's Avatar
    Quote From Union Man
    Without unions, you wouldn't have the right to a 40 hour work week. You wouldn't have good working conditions, you wouldn't have health insurance. With my union, I am guaranteed a job. I no I can support my family.
    I feel the need to point out your ignorance. No one has the right to a 40 hour work week. I would love a 40 hour work week. As it is now, I only work 25 hours. And unions have nothing to do with my working conditions nor my benefits (what little there is). There are laws and regulations that prevent employers from having poor working conditions. Unions at one point had a role, but they are obsolete now.
  4. Union Man's Avatar
    Quote From Kyle Buckley
    Why is it dictatorial to allow taxpayers to choose where their taxes go? If we look at The Constitution, people have rights, states have rights, unions do not.

    And what makes you think I miss President Bush at all?
    The union workers are only making sure they get paid what they deserve as human beings. All these republicans want to stiff it to the working man.

    Of corse you miss Bush. Republicans are alway shaking their fist at Obama saying we wouldn't have all these problems if Bush wasn't voted out.
  5. Kyle Buckley's Avatar
    Quote From Union Man
    Of corse you miss Bush. Republicans are alway shaking their fist at Obama saying we wouldn't have all these problems if Bush wasn't voted out.
    I am not a republican, nor am I a democrat.
  6. PoliSci Warrior's Avatar
    Quote From Union Man
    The union workers are only making sure they get paid what they deserve as human beings. All these republicans want to stiff it to the working man.

    Of corse you miss Bush. Republicans are alway shaking their fist at Obama saying we wouldn't have all these problems if Bush wasn't voted out.
    Bush wasn't voted out, his term ended. Did you forget that Obama ran against McCain and not Bush?

    Anyways, if unions are crushed, thousands of people will lose their jobs.
  7. macelly's Avatar
    Quote From PoliSci Warrior
    If unions are crushed, thousands of people will lose their jobs.
    As they should. There are many people who only have a job because unions force the employer to hire them or prevents the employer from firing them. People should be hired based on their qualifications and availability and should retain employment based on job performance.
  8. Chitty's Avatar
    I hope Gov Walker is booted out of office for the jackass he is. People have the right to assemble.
  9. Leslie's Avatar
    Walker blows.
  10. Chelsea's Avatar
    is walker a dem or a republican?
  11. Kyle Buckley's Avatar
    Quote From Chelsea
    is walker a dem or a republican?
    It doesn't matter. One of the things of this site is that we don't put an R or a D next to politicians names. People should determine whether a politician is right or wrong based on what they do or say and not based on what party they belong to.

    What you should be asking yourself is whether you agree with Walker or not. Do you think taxpayers should have the right to determine where their taxes go and how much they are taxed, or should unions decide how much to tax and spend? Another question is if cuts do not occur in Wisconsin, how will the state government function with no revenue and how will they be able to eliminate debt?
  12. Chitty's Avatar
    Quote From Kyle Buckley
    how will they be able to eliminate debt?
    duh! tax the rich and the corporations. It's not that hard

    Instead of sticking it to the middle class, they should stick it to the rich. Their ill-gotten wealth is because they walked all over the backs of americans anyways.
  13. Kyle Buckley's Avatar
    Quote From Chitty
    duh! tax the rich and the corporations. It's not that hard

    Instead of sticking it to the middle class, they should stick it to the rich. Their ill-gotten wealth is because they walked all over the backs of americans anyways.
    Problem with taxing the rich is that they have the freedom to move out of the state if their tax rate gets too high. Then the tax burden will shift to the middle class.
  14. BWISCO's Avatar
    Perhaps you should make the distinction between unions and public unions because that is a key problem. Allowing public unions to collectively bargain is equivalent to Marxism. In the traditional union/employer relationship the employer can decide whether the demands of the union warrant a continuation of the business. With public unions there is no incentive to represent the taxpayers (employer), no accountablility for results, and no capitalistic forces. It is socialism. Whether you agree with socialism or not is another subject.
  15. dksBeet's Avatar
    Quote From BWISCO
    Perhaps you should make the distinction between unions and public unions because that is a key problem. Allowing public unions to collectively bargain is equivalent to Marxism. In the traditional union/employer relationship the employer can decide whether the demands of the union warrant a continuation of the business. With public unions there is no incentive to represent the taxpayers (employer), no accountablility for results, and no capitalistic forces. It is socialism. Whether you agree with socialism or not is another subject.
    Unions both for public workers and private workers are obsolete. They don't hold any value anymore. There are plenty of laws and regulations that ensure that workers are paid a certain amount (minimum wage), that working conditions are adequate, and that workers aren't being overworked (OSHA).

    Why should unions continue to exist?
  16. Rand One's Avatar
    Ah yes, simple math will solve everything, can't have more going out than in after all.

    wait....
    http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/Misc/...os&Darling.pdf
    Wisconsin had a projected surplus of 121.4 million at the end of January 2011? I wonder what happened to that?

    Oh thats right, New spending by Scott Walker and about 140 million in tax incentives given out to special interests.

    “Since his inauguration in early January, Walker has approved $140 million in new special-interest spending that includes:
    • $25 million for an economic development fund for job creation that still has $73 million due to a lack of job creation. Walker is creating a $25 million hole which will not create or retain jobs.
    • $48 million for private health savings accounts, which primarily benefit the wealthy. A study from the federal Governmental Accountability Office showed the average adjusted gross income of HSA participants was $139,000 and nearly half of HSA participants reported withdrawing nothing from their HSA, evidence that it is serving as a tax shelter for wealthy participants.
    • $67 million for a tax shift plan, so ill-conceived that at best the benefit provided to ‘job creators’ would be less than a dollar a day per new job, and may be as little as 30 cents a day.”

    Sometimes simple math doesn't show the true picture.

    P.S. Public workers generally pay less for benefits. However once some pretty basic things are factored in, like education, experience, hours of work, it turns out that public employees earn less total compensation that their private counterparts.

    http://www.epi.org/page/-/old/policy...randum_173.pdf
  17. Marky's Avatar
    Quote From Rand One
    Ah yes, simple math will solve everything, can't have more going out than in after all.

    wait....
    http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/Misc/...os&Darling.pdf
    Wisconsin had a projected surplus of 121.4 million at the end of January 2011? I wonder what happened to that?

    Oh thats right, New spending by Scott Walker and about 140 million in tax incentives given out to special interests.
    . . . . .

    P.S. Public workers generally pay less for benefits. However once some pretty basic things are factored in, like education, experience, hours of work, it turns out that public employees earn less total compensation that their private counterparts.

    http://www.epi.org/page/-/old/policy...randum_173.pdf
    You are seriously going to use EPI to make your point? Boy, the left sure love running to EPI to create stats to support their special interests. EPI is a left-leaning progressive "think tank" funded by those on the left and by unions.

    Here's a different source: http://www.usatoday.com/money/econom...pay10_ST_N.htm
  18. Rand One's Avatar
    Quote From Marky
    You are seriously going to use EPI to make your point? Boy, the left sure love running to EPI to create stats to support their special interests. EPI is a left-leaning progressive "think tank" funded by those on the left and by unions.

    Here's a different source: http://www.usatoday.com/money/econom...pay10_ST_N.htm
    This study does no correction for education, experience, or hours of work. You're very own source says this in the post script. As I said before, simple math is not always the way to get the real picture.

    The EPI is left leaning, but that does not make it illegitimate. It's studies are reliable and consistently confirmed by independent organizations. The EPA is often cited by USA today in fact, the source you linked...... Just because they have an agenda, doesn't mean they are fudging numbers. *

    Considering the fact that my study was compiled from the bureau of labor statistics, and the fact that the unbalanced study you cited shows only about a 10% pay gap for state employees, its not unreasonable to assume a 15% swing due to the better education of state employees.

    * Note From Site Admin: The president of AFLCIO (big union) Richard Trumka serves on the board of directors of EPI. Andy Stern of SEIU (another big union machine) also serves on the EPI board. (source: http://www.epi.org/pages/board/)
  19. Wisconsin Rez's Avatar
    Quote From Rand One
    Ah yes, simple math will solve everything, can't have more going out than in after all.

    wait....
    http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/Misc/...os&Darling.pdf
    Wisconsin had a projected surplus of 121.4 million at the end of January 2011? I wonder what happened to that?
    I see nothing in that report that mentions a $121.4 million surplus.

    One Wisconsin Now (where your misleading stats come from) can't be trusted. OWN was founded to support progressive causes (unions) and they create research stats to help those causes.
  20. Rand One's Avatar
    Quote From Wisconsin Rez
    I see nothing in that report that mentions a $121.4 million surplus.

    One Wisconsin Now (where your misleading stats come from) can't be trusted. OWN was founded to support progressive causes (unions) and they create research stats to help those causes.
    "Our analysis indicates a general fund gross balance of $121.4 million and a net balance of
    $56.4 million. This is $54.0 million above that of the administration's reports. The 2010-11
    general fund condition statement is shown in Table 1."

    Page 2, Reading helps.

    The slanted quotes are from One Wisconsin Now, but all the data is cited back to the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, and I'm not all that interested in arguing on the accuracy of their numbers.
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