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justafarmer On February - 14 - 2011

From a union worker family standpoint…

I really want to know what the right wing and the Tea Party has against unions?

Is it so bad that we can’t make little children work in sweatshops? Is it so bad that we are human enough to ask for basic safe and healthy work conditions? Is it so bad that we do not want our coal miners to die in mine accidents because the companies want to save money on safety standards? Or that our farm workers can have porta-potties so they don’t have to relieve themselves from dawn to dusk in the same fields where they are picking our fruits and vegetables on corporate farms? Or that our meat is not crowded into feedlots or cages pumped up with antibiotics, steroids and hormones to “pump them up”?
Is a starting wage of $12 an hour outrageous? Is a wage of $24-$30 and hour for experienced power linemen outrageous? (disclosure here, my spouse is a power lineman who was union for many years, but the IBEW jobs are gone, so he works non-union now at age 55 for $24/hour, but there are benefits!)

So, let’s do the math.

Starting wage is around $25,000 a year. Spouse, after more than 30 years, is doing comparable with the IBEW job less the union dues (which are only about $35/month, but his less than impressive IBEW vested-pension is in limbo for now) but he’s bringing home at least $50,000 a year now (as opposed to relying on my steady job here on the farm with my own pension and part-time journalism job that altogether grosses about $12,000/year and we struggled but made it work with just that).

The Republicans and Tea Party people want to make us feel guilty that we’re “raking in” $50,000 a year while my spouse is away from home working in all sorts of horrible weather keeping their electricity on or restoring it when it goes off?

And gawd forbid that we have some sort of a retirement nest egg?
Oh, and did I mention that spouse’s job is one of those stimulus jobs that the Republicans claim don’t exist? After being laid off during GWB’s tenure, he’s out there now as of this past October in all weather upgrading the electrical grid in Greater Cincinnati and it IS a stimulus job paying his wage.

Thank you President Obama, and I really REALLY mean that!

113 Responses so far.

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  1. SequimBob2 says:

    “I really want to know what the right wing and the Tea Party has against unions?”

    As an active duty Army officer, I was somewhat surprised to find myself transferred to a Civilian agency in Detroit, MI. (A great assignment, by the way.) Anyway, I recall waiting for a phone to be installed. The installer arrived and promptly sat down upon my desk. Not a good sign, I figure.

    “You here to install the phone?” I asked.
    “Uh huh,” says installer.

    But he doesn’t move. So after a couple of more polite inquiries, I ask him why he isn’t working. Answer: “Waiting on the union guy to come move the desk.”

    At this point I got a bit annoyed, and said “I’ll move the @#$# desk.” I’ll never forget his response. He hopped off the desk, visibly paled and said, “Don’t do that. The union will file a grievance against me.”

    And that was my first introductions to unions. After leaving the military, I went to work for General Motors in Flint, MI. UAW country, big time.

    To make a long story a little bit shorter, I quit after having three requests to meet with my Director were refused. I had been promised certain things as part of the hiring process and wanted to discuss these promises. Three requests followed by three refusals to meet with me followed by a resignation. In contrast, I’d never once in my military career been refused the opportunity to speak with a commander.

    After only four months, I ended my career with the auto industry with the ironic understanding that had I been offered the opportunity to join a union, I would have been first in line.

    Now, understand as a military guy, it wasn’t as if I was unfamiliar with working in a structured environment. But while I never chafed under the military’s regimen, GM’s management practices were another story. I now understand on a personal level why there are unions — to protect workers. I get it. Didn’t always get it, but I do now.

    Have unions abused their role? Absolutely. But American the so-called captains of American industry have shipped jobs overseas, raked in huge profits, decimated the American middle class and now are bound and determined to finish-off the unions.

    Why attack the unions? The unions are an organizing force for Democrats. Destroy the counter-balance union campaign contributions provide and, as Rachel Maddow said last night, the Republicans can run the field — giving us Karl Rove’s much desired permanent Republican Party.

    It’s not so much that the Right hates unions, although they do, because unions are perceived as more costly, less flexible, etc., it’s that the unions threaten the wealth power structure.

    If you watch how the Governor of Wisconsin reacts to the protests, he’s angry. He’s indignant. He’s outraged. He just wants his way --or rather the way of those that funded his campaign. He gives 150 million in tax cuts and then claims he’s got to reign in the evil union contracts to get the looming fiscal crisis under control. It’s a con job — just like the Republicans having rammed through the Bush Tax Cut extensions through are now railing about the deficit. It’s a con.

    This is not to say the debt and deficit aren’t real problems. They are. But the math associated with solving these problems is not that complex — nor are the objectives of the Right’s power structure. They want to keep the Military Industrial Complex booming. To do this, they are currently spending roughly 20% of federal spending, $665B annually. (Canada by contrast spends $21B.)

    But the right feels threatened. We’re running a deficit, boomers are retiring rapdily and Social Security, Medicare and other entitlements expenditures will be rising. All this, plus the spectre of rising interest rates, threaten what the Right wants to do with your tax dollars. Solution -- attack entitlements. What stands in their way? In part, unions stand in their way.

    But unions are just the first step. A Republican controlled government will lead to radical reductions in entitlement programs — no doubt more tax cuts for the rich — and bring about a different America than the one in which I grew up. I find this prospect very disturbing. Again, just wait. This is just the beginning. States will use the same arguments to break their pension obligations to state workers. Meanwhile, the stock market will be perking along and the wealthy will just become more so.

    Does the Right hate unions? Yeah, but the real issue is money. It’s only business from the Right’s perspective, but its impact on Americans will be very painful and very personal.

  2. Abbyrose86 says:

    Thank you for writing this…I too want to know why so many don’t understand the history of the union movement and why they think unions are bad.

    Obviously the many who are opposed to unions don’t understand the concept of the employment at will doctrine, which is the rule of the land in all but 1 state…Montana.

    Too many people think they have more rights in the workplace than they actually do

  3. audadvnc says:

    Sounds like it’s make-or-break time for Wisconsin public servants. Time to strike until the gov leaves town. If you don’t he’s gonna fire you anyway.

  4. phread says:

    “Neoliberalism is the expression of the desire of a class of capitalist owners and the institutions in which their power is concentrated, which we collectively call “finance,” to restore-in the context of a general decline in popular struggles-the class’s revenues and power, which had diminished since the Great Depression and World War II. Far from being inevitable, this was a political action.

    The rules whose imposition define neoliberalism are generally designated euphemistically as “market” rules, avoiding the direct reference to capital. In this use of the term “market,” various types of mechanisms are at issue. The labor market refers to the tightening up of rules concerning hiring, layoffs, wages, and labor conditions. This market has been a favorite target of neoliberalism. The other market, directly at stake here, is that of capital. Neoliberalism has indeed completely changed the conditions under which the capital markets function. There are many aspects to this the centrality of the stock market and of capital in general, free international mobility of capital, and so on. Finally, neoliberalism is indeed the bearer of a process of general commercialization of social relationships, and that is one of its more shocking aspects. But it is the logic of the capitalist relationship that extends and governs the whole process, in accordance with its rules.”

    Capital Resurgent
    Roots of the Neoliberal Revolution

    product description:

    The advent of economic neoliberalism in the 1980s triggered a shift in the world economy. In the three decades following World War II, now considered a golden age of capitalism, economic growth was high and income inequality decreasing. But in the mid-1970s this social compact was broken as the world economy entered the stagflation crisis, following a decline in the profitability of capital. This crisis opened a new phase of stagnating growth and wages, and unemployment. Interest rates as well as dividend flows rose, and income inequality widened.

    Economists Gérard Duménil and Dominique Lévy show that, despite free market platitudes, neoliberalism was a planned effort by financial interests against the postwar Keynesian compromise. The cluster of neoliberal policies--including privatization, liberalization of world trade, and reduction in state welfare benefits--is an expression of the power of finance in the world economy.

    The sequence of events initiated by neoliberalism was not unprecedented. In the late nineteenth century, when economic conditions were similar to those of the 1970s, a structural crisis led to the first financial hegemony culminating in the speculative boom of the late 1920s. The authors argue persuasively for stabilizing the world economy before we run headlong into another economic disaster.

    product description
    http://www.amazon.com/CapitalResurgentRoots-Neoliberal-Revolution/dp/067401158¬9

  5. phread says:

    Union bashing has always been part of the right wing…Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco destroyed unions for their capitalist backers. Yes, fascists are in the service of capitalism…fascism has been called capitalism with a bayonet.

  6. justafarmer says:

    Ed Schultz now covering the Wisconsin governor wanting to bust the unions and HUGE protests in Wisconsin!

    • KB723 says:

      justafarmer. Ed is a Loud Voice for the working class. I have not yet seen any vids on Protests. What did I miss??

      • justafarmer says:

        google “Wisconsin protest” there are loads of news reports!

      • justafarmer says:

        I haven’t seen any of the vids or even heard of the protests until tonight.
        The workers are pissed, and rightly so, that Walker has the Wisconsin National Guard on alert to take over the public service jobs if they DARE to go on strike.
        sigh…

        • Sabreen60 says:

          This is a planned action by the Repub governors, as discussed on Ed’s show. Look at Ohio next. There are ads targeting unions circulating on TV in many states.

          • justafarmer says:

            yes, sadly, I can see more and more of this nonsense in the future.
            But I am so thrilled to see the workers & supporters turning out in Wisconsin, so perhaps THAT will continue!

  7. SueInCa says:

    Justafarmer

    First off let me say, I never worked at a union job. My husband did but because they never went on strike, I never thought much about it, until he retired. My husband worked for PG&E for 30 years and belonged to the IBEW. When he retired, he retired with a full pension at only 55 years old. You want to know how I now appreciate it? Well I have 3 times as much in my retirement account than he ended up with but I cannot touch until 59 1/2 and NO pension. That pension has allowed us to work at easy jobs and more than likely enjoy a much longer retirement than most people.

    The only problem I had with union jobs, from listening to his tales, was it was very hard for PG&E to fire someone as opposed to my process in the financial industry.

    • justafarmer says:

      yes, there are definitely some downsides to some unions. And I’ll put IBEW right now as one of the problematic unions, especially when it comes health insurance, pensions and (in particular) firing someone who is incapable of doing the job and, in some cases, having said person continue working can be downright dangerous to fellow workers.
      That said, I still believe that unions have done more for working people (including non-union workers) than almost anything else. And I will acknowledge some wonderful non-union shops I’ve worked that paid union wages and benefits and took an interest in their workers’ well-being. I’ve also worked in non-union shops that were total nightmares.
      Thanks for your comment, Sue. I appreciate hearing the bad experiences along with the good.

      • SueInCa says:

        justafarmer

        Like I said, I came to a better appreciation of unions later than some people but I always understood what they did for workers in America.

        • justafarmer says:

          thanks again, Sue.
          I just cringe to think what the workplace would be like today without what our earlier organizing brothers & sisters went through.
          And the Tea Party wants to go back to before that time!

  8. justafarmer says:

    thank you everyone for the thought-provoking responses and personal union experiences (and a HUGE thank you to AdLib for finding the most excellent graphic to go with this post).
    I’ve been writing this post in my mind for quite sometime. It could have been much longer, but I thought it might be a good idea to keep my initial post short (every time I hear “union thugs” or “outrageous union wages and benefits” ad nauseum from the right, the post gets longer and longer).
    Every time I start to feel a little overwhelmed, I pull up the best union songs on YouTube: Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Billy Bragg and others (“Which Side Are You On?” is a real classic worldwide). Those songs document the horrific conditions & fights the earlier workers and union organizers went through to give us the workplace protections we now enjoy, and also let us know we still have to keep the fight going (think Sago Mine, Massey Mine and other places).
    Hmmm… I have a few more union posts percolating in my mind…

    • justafarmer says:

      I read that earlier today. Members and veterans of the Wisconsin National Guard are plenty upset about the proposal. The Governor is in for a rude awakening, I think, when the National Guard refuses to be his own private militia for political gains.

    • choicelady says:

      This is happening in Ohio, too. Public sector workers are under siege. If WI and OH become “right to work” states, then ALL unions are under attack. I’m working with some folks in Ohio and advised them to message -- we are your neighbors. We are the middle class that sustains your small business. We are the people who keep you safe from crime and fire, who educate your kids and help fulfill your family’s dreams.

      We HAVE to change the image. In CA several unions including CSEA, CA Nurses, NEA, AFSCME all did stupendous ads just asserting their “ordinariness” in the community AND the services they provide to keep other citizens happy. It worked GREAT. We need that sort of full court press on messaging everywhere.

      This is a war that cannot be won by the other side without decimating our nation. One has only to walk through Detroit, Youngstown, OH, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Gary, and South Chicago and all the other former industrial cities to know what anti-union, anti-jobs looks like. It is the death of the middle class and the death of hope. Koch brothers and Wall Street don’t give a damn about the American Dream -- but we HAVE to. They want a third world nation with a few extraordinary rich people and the rest poor, cheap, and vulnerable. That is a recipe for disaster.

  9. PocketWatch says:

    Here’s another point I like to make any time someone says that union contracts are unfair, or bad or whateveritis they say….

    Um…. people…. contracts are TWO WAYS! They are signed by TWO PARTIES!

    If you don’t like the contract, Mr. Schoolboard member, DON’T SIGN THE DAMNED THING!

    Makes me crazy that companies or other entities enter into a negotiated contract with a union, then bitch about the terms of the contract THEY JUST SIGNED.

    Sometimes I think people are just crazy…

    8)

  10. boomer1949 says:

    My daughter has been teaching Kindergarten for 8 years. For 6 of those years, she has been in a low income school district; she has always said these kids need a hand up primarily because they are being shortchanged at home. It’s both funny and sad how she is called Mom more than Mrs.X, and her kids are hugging on her all the time. They love her. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Education, a Master’s in Teaching and Learning (literacy based), and she will be a guest lecturer Spring Qtr. at a well-known local University — GO BUCKS!!

    And…this is what’s been happening in the State of Ohio since the Republicans took over the whole fucking Statehouse:

    Big money fuels a massive school reform effort
    http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live/content/insight/stories/2011/02/13/copy/big-money-fuels-a-massive-effort.html?adsec=politics&sid=101

    GOP proposal means big changes for teacher contracts
    http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2011/02/13/copy/gop-proposal-means-big-changes-for-teacher-contracts.html?adsec=politics&sid=101

    Ohio Board of Education appointee fights to keep seat
    http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2011/02/14/ohio-board-of-education-appointee-fights-to-keep-seat.html

    ’09 appointee to education board sues to keep seat
    http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2011/02/15/copy/09-appointee-to-education-board-sues-to-keep-seat.html

    ***EDIY*** Please keep in mind The Dispatch is a right-leaning publication.

    • BigDogMom says:

      @boomer -- in your second link “GOP proposals…” there was this:

      “It’s a big issue when you look at how much of that budget is controlled by the contract. Unions have always taken the viewpoint that they are not going to give anything unless they get something. Schools these days can’t give them very much at all.”

      Same exact statement this morning in our newspaper, will go and find it, must be the GOP meme for Teacher’s Unions.

      *Edit* -- not the same, but pretty damn close:

      “I completely have every bit of respect for our teachers,” he said. “But the conversation is heating up because (the unions) don’t want to give anything unless they get something in return. That irritates me. The only thing we have to give them back is, they get to keep their jobs.”

      http://www.thehour.com/story/499257/2

      • boomer1949 says:

        Actually, now that I think about it, John Kasich, our new GOP Governor has twin daughters. THEY attend a private school.

        The last time the daughter had Parent-Teacher conferences, she and several of her colleagues actually drove to a community center near the projects to conduct the conferences. Why? Because most of the parents don’t have transportation. This is the stuff no one ever talks about and it really pisses me off!

  11. 2belinda says:

    The NYC Transit Authority strike started on New Years Day 1966. My father a NYC Transit union-worker, who had moved-up through the ranks of subway maintenance to a desk job via the various educational and housing programs offered to WW2 Veterans. He was able to obtain a college degree from Columbia University, advance to better housing, better neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for his 4 children.

    Mike Quill, the Transit Workers Union Leader was a family friend and many of their friends were the tough and VERY proud guys of West Indian, Italian and Irish families. I walked the picket line with my Dad in 1966. It was then I became aware via listening to the workers political discussions how fragile a middle-class existence can be. This strike, settled in 12 days, led to the passage of the Taylor Law, which placed limitations on unions and the rights of public employees to strike in the State of New York.

    The weather in NY was in the 40’s when the strike started but dropped into the the teens on Jan 8. On Jan 13 the day the strike was settled the low was 14F and the max was 25F. Weather may have been a contributing factor to ending the strike. The transit strike was followed by teacher strikes in 1967 and 1968 and a 1968 strike by sanitation workers., Mike Quill in bad health, was jailed for calling the strike by in-coming “Reformist Republican” Mayor John Lindsay. Quill went from jail, to the hospital, and was released about 10 days after the strike was over but died 3 days later.

    Lindsay was forgiven by the labor unions and they supported his reelection bid in 1969. Or perhaps big business had made a deal with Lindsay. Whichever, Lindsay won as the candidate of the Liberal Party of New York. The Liberal Party of New York founded in 1944 has a very interesting history. Information on the current reincarnation of the party can be found http://www.liberalparty.org.

    My husband, justateacher, retired when he could not, after 38 years of teaching in DC, abide by MIchele Rhee’s reforms and obvious disdain for Unions and Teachers. 75 of the teachers fired under Rhee reforms have recently been reinstated, with back pay, following arbitration by the Union. It was determined that those 75 firings were illegal, without due process and did not follow established teacher evaluation procedures.

    I ponder everyday, how and when Unions fell out of favor with American workers. I think January 1. 1966, NYC bears review.

    Remember The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911?

    • boomer1949 says:

      Michelle Rhee — now that one is a piece of work. 👿

      • choicelady says:

        She’s “engaged” to the Sacramento mayor who is dumber than dirt. He wants her to come here and “straighten out the schools” along with him -- he wants the power over schools. This after he jammed a charter high school down the city’s throats that was SUCH a failure there are almost no words.

        Nothing like the dumb leading education “reform”. All those two want is to kill the unions, keep teachers and everyone else under their thumbs and have dictatorial powers to make every dance to their tune.

        And if they’re so freaking happy -- why’d they call off the wedding? I think Michelle is holding out until Kevin can assure her of her empire. Well news flash -- he is NOT well respected here, and it’s not likely he’ll hold onto his OWN throne.

        • 2belinda says:

          Lady, good to meet you, too.
          Protesting in pantyhose. ROTFLMAO

          Rhee hated the Teachers Union and made no attempt to hide that fact. She left a pile of ruined careers in her wake. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Sorry she is flying on her broom your way.

          I don’t think the wedding is ever going to happen. Sadly, Arne Duncan is one of her main cheerleaders. Former DC Mayor Adrian Fenty lost his job largely because the Unions and the workers wanted to be rid of her.
          Good luck, perhaps you can get rid of KJ just like we did with AF.

      • 2belinda says:

        Owee! I cannot remember a more divisive spirit in our midst and that is saying something considering the local politics of Washington DC.

        A DC sanitation worker, he is 56 yrs old, told me that in his circle of friends, 12 families were hit by Rhee’s firings. He said it was difficult making it on his salary without his wife’s teaching salary.
        He said of those 12 families, 8 of them were either separated or suffering such marital discord because of financial stress, that separation was a real possibility. 4 of them had their homes foreclosed.

    • FrustratedPA says:

      Belinda, thank you for sharing that wonderful personal story. You nailed it including the recent surge in “education reformers” and their war against teachers.

      Watch “Schmatta: From rags to riches to rags” for the hisotry of the textile union and the impetus of the Triangle fire. My Nonni was a proud Union seasmstress adn dressmaker, her factory closed down….textiles, another industry outsourced to third world hell.

      • 2belinda says:

        I did see Schmatta. Made me weep. I started in the Fashion Industry thanks to a 2 year degree from F.I.T. My great-grandmother and grandmother were all garment industry workers. I still cannot believe that such a vibrant industry, a part of what made NY so wonderful, is gone.

        A war against teachers is just what it is. How many people when asked what was the major impetus to their success answered “My teacher…”

        But you cannot fool an enlightened citizenry so de-education was the first order of the day.

    • BigDogMom says:

      @2belinda -- great post, I remember it well, live in So. Western, CT, the following year the teachers here in my town went on strike, lasted 6 weeks. They finally got close to what they needed, they asked for the moon, got the stars instead. Since then the Teachers Union has been the boogey man for all the ills in the school system…my mother was a teacher, boy did she tell some stories.

      • Khirad says:

        Yup, I’ve heard the stories too. Proud son of two teachers.

      • 2belinda says:

        Thank you. Your post gave me the push to speak up. What’s going on in politics and society these days really pisses me off. Some of the “youngers” have no idea…
        I think half of the women in my family were school teachers. It was our pathway to economic success.
        I had an Aunt who taught school in the South Bronx. Funny but poignant tales.

  12. 2belinda says:

    I stand with BDM except I don’t drive a SUV and I do not own a boat. I do have a summer home, I travel a lot, donate, donate, donate, pay my taxes and give to the homeless every chance I get. This includes heading a community garden that shares excess produce with food banks. I do not own a pair of Birkenstocks, I prefer a designer who I will not name since I am embarrassed by my shoe obsession. My hair is short.
    I abhor stereotypes.

    • BigDogMom says:

      @2belinda-come on girl you can tell me!

      When they start saying that all commie/pinko/liberal-progressive women wear flip flops, then I’m in deep shit. They’ll be able to pick me out a mile away, that’s the only thing I wear in the summer. Proud owner of 30 pairs! :smile:

      • justafarmer says:

        not sure how I could live without my flip flops.
        The dogs have, for years, believed they are chew toys (dog rule #1: “if it’s on the floor, it’s a chew toy”).
        So I have a pile of mismatched flip flops, but who cares?

      • 2belinda says:

        (LOL Ferragamo’s -- my drug of choice shhh-hhhh) I do own, let’s just say, many pairs, of Merrell’s.

        • BigDogMom says:

          @2belinda -- have both, do love my Merrell’s!

          We’d better watch out, we may be kicked out of the club for owning such things and dressing like the other side! Oh no’s! 😮

          • 2belinda says:

            They better wear some sturdy shoes -- I know how to tuck and roll and never muss my outfit. 8)

            • choicelady says:

              LOL!!! I’m so glad to meet the two of you -- I think I’m the only anti-war protester who marched 10 miles in a skirt and stockings. I DID have the sense to wear flats. I’ve always dressed fairly conservatively until recently. We have almost no traffic in our 2-person office so sweats are the mode of the day when I’m writing. But in public? Heels, pant suits or dresses, and yes, I still freaking wear stockings.

  13. david p canada says:

    There seems to be some consternation here over many union members that choose to vote Republican.

    Actually, it’s pretty easy to figure out.

    Most union workers I know are hard-working individuals, proud of the company they work for, and proud of the products and services they provide. They damn well earn their paychecks, day in and day out.

    Liberals are seen as the party that defends free-loaders and hand-out seekers. And these union members see the tax deducted from their pay every 2 weeks. Taxes used to study yellow 3-headed horny-toads on the Colorado River.

    So, these union members say, “I’m working like a dog to scratch out a living, pay for your own GD college”.

    Not too hard to glean a Republican vote or two out of that crowd.

    • KQuark says:

      That’s as false a narrative as the GOP being fiscally responsible. Like it or not it was Clinton that effectively ended any semblance of a welfare state in this country.

      Name one thing the GOP does for hard working Americans in reality not rhetoric. I’ll listen.

    • TheLateGrardini says:

      Mr. Penner needs to read “A Day In The Life Of Joe Republican”.

    • FrustratedPA says:

      Ahh, I see Penner has made his way and continues to be deliberately obtuse. Enjoy your free healthcare Mr. Canadian while we join the unions to fight for every scrap of healthcare we can get.

      By the way, if those “people’ you cite in your example are such self-loathers that they despise the very organization that keeps them in the middle class and not among the working poor, here is a novel idea….don’t join! It is not mandatory to join a union, it is a fallacy. No one has to join. If you think you can do better as an individual fighting for basic employment needs with the Major Corporate Whores who run the entities then go for it. Personally, I will take the Collective Bargaining Unit against that scenario everyday and twice on Sunday.

      • david p canada says:

        My “free” healthcare comes at steep price. I pay approx. 15% higher in combined taxes than you do.

        For a unionized railway worker making $80K/yr. that works out to $1000/mo. From what I understand, that pays the premium on a damn fine policy down there.

        My reason for never joining a union is I couldn’t stand the thought of a cap on my earnings.

        • choicelady says:

          If you’re paying what we pay for health care (I wish it were that cheap, but let’s go with your naive analysis) but you’re gettin guaranteed care with no chance of recission or, like KQuark, getting reamed out so you cannot get coverage at ALL, then just WHAT are you bitching about?

          Unions don’t cap pay. Corporations cap pay. If you got good wages without belonging to a union, then the union got them FOR you if it was a union shop. You’d NEVER make it here in a NON union shop -- it’s all a race to the bottom. I am fine with right to work -- but if you’ve declined to join a union, then you must bargain for your own wages and benefits and not get a free ride on the collective bargaining agreements. Uh-uh-uh -- no ripping other people’s work off! You think you’re hot stuff? Let’s see you go it alone.

        • KQuark says:

          Wrong I have a preexisting condition and could not get insurance at almost twice that price.

          So if you work for someone else they don’t cap your earnings now. That’s silly union pay grades are traditionally much higher than non-union for workers.

    • BigDogMom says:

      @David, that’s the problem, the right as created these myths about the democrats and liberals through the years, starting with Reagan’s “Welfare Queen”, and they have stuck in the minds of people and I don’t know how we are going to change it.

      This past weekend a citizen of my town posted an op-ed on these myths, it was very good, the rightwing rag of a paper actually published it. He stated that they right portrays many of us as the ’60 radicals type, with long hair and peace signs hanging around our necks, wearing Berkinstock sandels and singing love songs. That were are for a welfare nation, that we were all socialist and drive Subaru’s…we are not.

      This “Liberal” paid her own way through school, drives a big gas sucking SUV, lives in a house worth $750K, owns a boat, owns two businesses and shops at Talbot’s, gives to charities, albeit not a church, volunteers to clean up the city and it’s waterways every year, plus pays her taxes without bitching about it!

      What the fuck more do they want me to do?

      And if it makes more sense that the fucking 3-headed honey-toad on the Colorado River advance our society for some reason, it is a heck of a lot better that we put our taxpayer dollars to that than to build another fucking aircraft or bomb!

      (please forgive my outburst, I’m just tired of all these generalizations about the “so-called Liberal”)

      • choicelady says:

        Love you BDM!!!! Good on you, as Molly would have said.

      • FrustratedPA says:

        DON’T APOLOGIZE FOR ANYTHING MOM!!! KUDOS!

        Reagan and his destruction of the air traffic controllers was just the beginning, the “welfare queens” and his constant misuse of the idea of socialism started this ball rolling.

        • Sabreen60 says:

          I remember the air traffic controllers strike very well. In fact, I had a very good friend, at the time, who was studying for the exam. I remember my exact thought, “Reagan is an asshole”.

          • boomer1949 says:

            Two fathers of little girls my oldest daughter went with to elementary school committed suicide — direct result of Ronnie’s actions.

            • Sabreen60 says:

              Wow. That’s so sad. How anyone can attempt to bestow some kind of ‘sainthood’ on him is beyond me.

    • AdLib says:

      I’d agree that there is a lot of propaganda about Dems supporting those “freeloadin'” unemployed who were fired from the job they used to support their family because the conservative corporation they worked for shipped their job overseas.

      But, there are plenty of folks who live a tough reality that no amount of propaganda can convince them out of.

      Reagan began the decimation of unions which have historically supported the Dems. Bush was willing to block securing our nation to stop TSA agents from unionizing.

      Actually, may I ask you what any Republican politician has done to support the strength and growth of unions?

      And while we’re at it, as union strength as faded, so have the growth of wages, pensions, the work week creeps higher, medical benefits diminish…check out the graphic above and consider all of the benefits unions brought to American workers.

      The 5 day work week. Vacation time. Health insurance. Sick days. The Middle Class.

      It is counter-intuitive that union members would support the GOP which is openly opposed to unions and seeks to get rid of them.


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