Aug 3, 2014
Another short video from the Prager University.
There is a dilemma in American education. On the one hand, teachers are essential to student achievement. On the other, teachers unions promote self-interests of their members which are antithetical to the interests of students. So, how do we fix this problem? In five minutes, Terry Moe, Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, delineates this quandary and offers solutions.
Dec 20, 2012
Thirty five federal employees with the U.S. Department of Transportation are being paid tax-funded salaries averaging more than $135,000 annually, but they don’t do work for the public. They work full-time for unions.
That’s just at one federal agency.
The total figure works out to $4.8 million dollars per year of your tax dollars being given to union workers.
We are having a hard time figuring this out and justifying it.
Unions collect dues in order to pay for the costs of running the union itself. So why are taxpayers picking up the tab for these workers? Shouldn’t federal employees do work for the federal government and not self serving union interests?
Incredibly, it gets worse.
Federal law also requires that departments and agencies continue to pay the salaries of career employees who work on “official time” performing union duties.
Official time expenses are tracked government-wide by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. In its most recent report, OPM said the Department of Transportation paid more than $15.4 million in such costs in 2010, compared to $12.5 million in 2009.
The OPM report estimated that government-wide costs for official time exceeded $137 million, an increase of 6.42 percent over the preceding year.
We may not be the brightest bulb in the bunch, but even we can see that with the fiscal cliff looming ahead, eliminating taxpayer subsidy of union workers is something that can – and should – be cut from the federal budget.
May 4, 2012
Yesterday, we discussed the so called “People’s Rights Amendment” which will actually strip the rights and freedoms of all Americans under the guise of “fairness.”
Clearly the proposed amendment is a fundamental change in the foundational beliefs of the country.
Today we want to focus a shining light on the hypocrisy of the government, the laws, and those who make them.
To do so, we need to lay a little bit of foundation first.
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) has passed the House of Representatives. While we have talked about SOPA and PIPA before, we haven’t said much about CISPA.
(Is there anything the government can do without first having some ridiculous acronym?)
CISPA is another “cyber protection bill” where the government allegedly looks out for you. While there are many disturbing parts of the bill, what we want to take notice of is CISPA allows companies – specifically internet service providers (ISP) – the right to give your private information, surfing habits, email, etc. to the government. The government would not have to supply a subpoena, just ask nicely of the ISP to turn over the information.
What sparked significant privacy worries is the section of CISPA that says “notwithstanding any other provision of law,” companies may share information “with any other entity, including the federal government.” It doesn’t, however, require them to do so.
By including the word “notwithstanding,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and ranking member Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) intended to make CISPA trump all existing federal and state civil and criminal laws. (It’s so broad that the non-partisan Congressional Research Service once warned (PDF) that using the term in legislation may “have unforeseen consequences for both existing and future laws.”)
“Notwithstanding” would trump wiretap laws, Web companies’ privacy policies, gun laws, educational record laws, census data, medical records, and other statutes that protect information, warns the ACLU’s Richardson: “For cybersecurity purposes, all of those entities can turn over that information to the federal government.”
In that most agreements made between a person and an ISP includes restrictions on with whom the data may be shared, insulating the ISP’s from any “criminal or civil” penalties means that if your ISP gives data it has collected to you to the government, you have no recourse even though the ISP has broken the terms of the contract is has with you.
Enter into the room the other big cyber bill making the rounds: “SNOPA” or the Social Networking Online Protection Act. The bill makes it illegal:
Sep 28, 2011
Uh oh. There are people that are unhappy with President Obama’s deficit reduction and jobs bill and the group may surprise you.
Federal employee unions lashed out at President Barack Obama’s proposal Monday to make civilian federal workers contribute more of their pay to their retirement plans as part of a proposal to trim budget deficits.
We don’t give Obama much praise around here because, well, because there isn’t much that he does right. But in this case, he is right, proving the ol’ adage of a “blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile.”
The President is asking for Federal workers to contribute an additional 1.2 percent to their retirement funds which will be phased in over three years.
There are some key points to make here.
First, according to the White House, Federal workers contribute 33% to their retirement funds, while private workers contribute 45%. The additional 1.2% contribution from Federal workers will help with the budget deficit assuming (and this is a huge assumption) the saved money is not spent elsewhere.
Secondly, Federal workers make more money from comparable jobs than their private sector counterparts.
Thirdly, Federal workers are nearly impossible to get rid of – even for incompetency.
To some extent, this is the “fairness” argument coming back to bite the workers in their unionized butt. Unions have long argued that the “wealthy” pay their “fair share” of taxes (even though the wealthy are paying more in percentages and dollar amounts than the average union worker.) Yet when it comes down to the fairness of being on par with private sector jobs, the unions scream “foul!”
Aug 30, 2011
If you are an elected Republican official in the area of Wausau, Wisconsin, unions and trade groups have a message for you: stay away from the annual Labor Day Parade.
That’s because the head of the group that sponsors the Wausau Labor Day Parade, the Marathon County Central Labor Council, is telling Republican lawmakers from the area that they’re not welcome Sept. 5.
That’s right, the side of the political spectrum that tells everyone that they are all inclusive and welcome diversity and diverse points of view is banning Republicans from appearing in the parade because of the dust up with the teacher’s union in Wisconsin.
Just last week, union protesters allegedly super-glued the locks of a school at which Governor Walker was going to appear in order to praise the teachers, parents and students.
The doors of an inner city Milwaukee Catholic school were super glued shut Thursday ahead of a visit by Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
“Some of these folks super glued our front doors at the prep school,” Messmer Prepatory School President Br. Bob Smith told WTMJ Newsradio.
That type of classlessness is exhibited in the decision to exclude elected representatives from a parade.
The decision is the continuation of a political blood feud between Republicans and Wisconsin labor unions, stemming from the contentious teacher’s union battle last year. State Republicans, headed by Governor, Scott Walker, have worked to limit some of the powers of labor unions, including a handcuffing of workers’ ability to exercise collective bargaining.
“Usually they’ve been in the parade, but it seems like they only want to stand with us one day a year, and the other 364 days they don’t really care,” said Randy Radtke, president of the council. “It should come as no surprise that organizers choose not to invite elected officials who have openly attacked worker’s rights or stood idly by while their political party fought to strip public workers of their right to collectively bargain.”
Actually, it comes as no surprise to us that the unions and their leaders choose to ignore reality.
For example, take a look at this:
Jul 2, 2011
On Friday, July 1, 2010, Vice President Joe “Gaffe-a-Minute” Biden took time from riding the rails, working on a budget, trying to improve the economy, increase energy independence, etc, and went to Las Vegas to speak with members of the Teamsters.
In his speech, Biden demonstrated the truth and validity of the Old Testament Biblical story found in the book of Numbers, chapter 22:
Asses actually can speak.
As it is written…….
21 Teamster President Jim Hoffa got up in the morning, saddled his donkey named Biden and went with other union leaders.
22 But the people were very angry when he went, and the angel of the Obama stood in the road to oppose him as the golf courses were better in Las Vegas than where Lord Obama was. Hoffa was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him.
23 When Biden saw the angel of the Obama standing in the road with a drawn 7 iron in his hand, he turned off the road into a field. Hoffa beat him to get him back on the road.
24 Then the angel of the Obama stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with walls on both sides.
25 When the donkey saw the angel of the Obama, he pressed close to the wall, crushing Hoffa’s foot against it. So he beat Biden again. (more…)
May 12, 2011
On April 20, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board released a statement noting they were seeking to cancel the Boeing Company’s plans to open a second manufacturing line in South Carolina for it 787 Dreamliner passenger airplane. The NLRB complaint contends that Boeing’s decision to move a second production line to South Carolina (a right to work state with a non-unionized workforce) is retaliation against the unionized workers in the state of Washington.
Boeing has said in several memos and inter-office emails that the decision to create a second line in South Carolina was based, in part, because of production disruption caused by union strikes in 1977, 1989, 1995, 2005 and 2008.
The NLRB now claims that by establishing a second production line in South Carolina, Boeing is retaliating against the union workers in Washington and that is against the law.
The sheer absurdity of the claim is mind boggling. First, no jobs are being lost at the Washington plant. This is a second line that is being opened. The second line is needed because of the success of the plane. Boeing is selling quite a number of the planes and given the demand, needs more production. You would think that in this economy the Federal government would celebrate and encourage such a success story. Instead, they are seeking to shut it down. The NLRB is basically saying that any jobs needed to assemble the 787 Dreamliner belong to the union in the state of Washington. It is the union, and not the company, the NLRB feels should determine where a manufacturing line is created. In essence, the NLRB is saying the union in Washington has legitimate claims to the jobs created by the second production line. Legally and logically, this is false. As required by law, Boeing has submitted a response to the complaint. It literally destroys every single argument put forth by the NLRB and can be found here, if you desire to read it.
Apr 29, 2011
At one point in America’s history, unions were a necessary force in making the workplace a safer place in which to work. Early working conditions for American workers were often dangerous to the worker. While much of the original raison d’etre for unions has been replaced by federal laws and agencies such as OSHA there is no doubt that much of the safety workers enjoy today are from the early union fights.
In the recent past, charges have been levied at unions for not caring about anything other than the influence and power of the union rather than workplace safety and the quality of work by union members. Nothing shows how far unions have slipped from their original concern over the health and safety of the common person than this story coming out of Scranton, Pennsylvania:
Scranton police file grievance after chief makes off-duty arrest
The Scranton police union has filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the city for an off-duty drug arrest made by Police Chief Dan Duffy in March.
The complaint, which was filed with the state Labor Relations Board on April 14, takes issue with the chief arresting a man who was allegedly in possession of marijuana because the chief is not a member of the collective bargaining unit and was “off duty” when the March 20 arrest was made.
In what can only be described a completely and utterly lack of touch with reality, the union is claiming that in their contract with the city, only union members can make arrests. As the chief of police is not a member of the union, he is prohibited from arresting someone when not on duty.