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March 23, 2011

Public collective bargaining wrong

Collective bargaining works (sort of) in the private sector because there are two parties with theoretically opposing interests. There is management — which unions like to portray as having a goal to get labor at the cheapest possible price — and union leaders who portray themselves as fighting for worker rights.

We’ll set aside for now the many flaws with this theory and explore the differences between this and what goes on in the public sector.

The problem with this theory in the public sector is the person who has to pay the fee for workers isn’t present. That person is the taxpayer. In the place of the taxpayer you have politicians, who are often beholden to the unions for their political support.

Because of this, what is passed off as collective bargaining is really a meeting between parties with symbiotic self interests to decide how to market bad policy decisions to voters.

Paul McWilliams
Overland Park




I also believe it was you on a thread not too long ago that stated progessive ideology was the root force of moving society forward and positive change in the world.

If I am not mistaken, it was liberal ideology that took women out of the home and into the workforce, transitioning many homes from one income to two...certainly some out of necessity but many others out of want. So perhaps the changing dynamics of the American home and paycheck has nothing to do with unions, but is more the result of the progressive culture you applaud and advocate.


One income families were possible in previous eras as evidenced by nearly all the people in my extended family as well, and not ONE of them belonged to a union so to equate the two as a cause and effect doesn't apply. They also had money to retire because they saved for it. It was certainly a different era. We no longer live in a one-income, one-car garage type of society. Perhaps we could and should, but that's a different topic.

We would all like to retire on a pension plan where we put a dollar in and get enormous returns back. We would all like to get automatic raises beyond the COLA. But being able to retire with good benefits specifically at the expense of the PUBLIC coffers is no longer financially feasible for taxpayers. The lid to the cookie jar is closed. As the saying goes, eventually you run out of other people's money.

IMO, it has nothing to do with workers. It has everything to do with disarming a corrupt political system. These workers are caught in the middle of two corrupt entities....union bosses and politicians...with taxpayer monies in the middle.

Union benefits are bleeding dry the system, whether private or public. I am sorry that these workers have to adjust their expectations moving forward, but the alternatives are public layoffs and closed factory doors. Do you understand that connection? I wonder when workers will truly understand they have been sold down the river by their leadership. To that end, I agree with the letter writer.

P.S. I don't know why you feel the need to constantly remind us who you vote for...you seem so determined to convince us all what an "independent" thinker you are all the while trashing every right-leaning idea day after day. That guise doesn't make your arguments any stronger.

Ryan Roedel

Ok...so according to John, data and information doesn't matter. I guess we just don't really need informed decisions?

Indy...the choice is to not work for a union. If you don't want to work for a union or contribute to a union, then don't take a union job. Do you have a union job? Does any conservative on this thread have a union job? As I recall...the previous generations of my family were taken care of by union jobs. They were able to retire with good benefits. In that era...the company and the union helped create a strong working middle class that finally had the buying power to support a family. In that era...you could really have a one income family. Now...the party of family values wants to further attack the labor in this country under the pretense that they are "giving choice". If the labor wants the Republican's idea of "choice" then organized labor would vote for that choice. It's funny how the voices of organized labor (the very people the good old Republicans say they want to help) or totally against this political meddling.

The republicans will feel the political fallout from this attack on labor for quite some time to come. I have voted Republican in the past. With this new attack...I probably never will again.


Public sector unions are trying to destroy America and make all of us poor only to service the public employees' lavish lifestyles.

The teabagging Koch brothers and the John Birch Society are trying to save America from ... EISENHOWER AND ALL HIS PUBLIC SECTOR COMMIE FRIENDS!!! The Great Communist Eisenhower has to be stopped!!!

Thank you.

John S

I couldn't have said it better myselp. The relationship between the public sector unions and the Democrat Party is nothing more than a fantastic money making machine for both. You don't need statistics. Statistics are only a diversion. Just look at how they fight for each other. Neither one cares about workers. They both know that the more money the workers make the more dues they will pay and the more the unions can contribute to the Democrats who, in turn, can make more laws favorable to unions.

The chain of events must be broken for the good od ALL of us!


"I can understand someone not wanting to join a union. However, an individual doesn't have to join a union already, if he or she doesn't want to by not working for a union. There is already freedom of choice." RR

Actually Ryan, membership in many of these unions is not a choice, it is mandatory...as are the dues that are automatically taken from the paycheck. If you take the job, you have to join the union. I would invite you to look at the provisions of the Wisconsin law. It entitles workers to the CHOICE that they didn't have before. Union leadership doesn't like that...the folks may just decide to keep those dues instead of having to give them over the union.


The Wall Street bankers and Buffet/Munger/Gates/Trump/Hilton can only be tickled to see their sock-puppets from OP still going after the evil overpaid government employees.



Sorry, I was wrong - in this example from the LA Times the ratio favors democrats by more than 5 to 1 over republicans. Buy hey, I said I would ignore that fact - I would just like you to confirm your argument is two wrongs make a right and whether or not you really have anything to share here beyond noise.


Ryan Roedel

pmcw...I would like to see a data from a study that backs your claim of 2 - 1.

LL...how do republicans promote "right to work" laws? Sorry if I am not following. As I know it, republicans are wanting to take away a union's ability to collect dues from it's employees out of their paycheck. Heck..you can have that done to pay your taxes or other legal obligations. So, if I want to join a union, I can't have the ease ofsaid union to take my dues out of my paycheck? I can understand someone not wanting to join a union. However, an individual doesn't have to join a union already, if he or she doesn't want to by not working for a union. There is already freedom of choice. So...this push is nothing more than an attack on unions, IMO. Public unions are there to protect the interest of the employee...true. Public unions are also on the same ship as the captains, however. These unions are not the evil entities they are made out to be by many conservative pundits and talking heads. These unions also were not created because pay and working conditions were so great.


So, just sticking to your logic and ignoring the fact Wall Street firms support democrats two to one over republicans; your position is two wrongs make a right.

Does that cover your points?

Wild Man

Anyone interested can go back and take a look at the arguments earlier this month and decide for themselves. But for the sake of argument, let me add the following;

The problem with this theory in the public sector is the person who has to pay the fee for workers isn’t present. That person is the taxpayer. In the place of the taxpayer you have politicians, who are often beholden to the unions for their political support. – pmcw several times

Under your theory, tax payers, (ie voters) are not in control of who is elected. Politicians are not doing the will of the public, they are doing the will of the entity that is financially supporting the campaign of the politician. As noted earlier, the republicans have been quite clear that their opposition to public sector unions is not because of costs, but because of their opposition to republican candidates. SCOTUS has been quite clear that political contributions are a form of free speech. It would appear that republicans want to deny free speech to public employees but allow wealthy individuals, (ie the Koch Brothers) large corporations and their Pacts the only access to free speech. You would agree that those entities have a political agenda also, wouldn’t you? According to your logic, the ignorant public should be protected from them also.

Wild Man

It should have been you're not worth a repeat performance so that I don't offend some of my friends that think spelling is more important than content. Sorry.


You're delusional - you didn't debunk anything at all then and you can't do it now. There's nothing to debunk - the facts are as stated - what we have now is collective blackmail not collective bargaining.

Wild Man

I already have, and your not worth a repeat performance.


Debunk away Wild Man - if you're up to it...

Wild Man

The only problem that I have with this letter is that Mr. McWilliams made the same arguments several weeks ago on this very forum as pcmw. The arguments were completely debunked, and now he is back spreading the same lies again. This is the problem that I have with republican. They believe that if spoken enough, a good lie will become the truth.

Wild Man

We should talk about the agenda of the republican party. The agenda of the republicans is to destroy public unions, not because they are bad for the country, but because they are bad for republicans. Last fall, republicans expected to win 20 governorships in states across the country. They won 12 instead. The chairman of the republican governors association claimed that the power and the money of the public unions was the reason. “We are never going to win most of these states until we can do something about those unions,” a key republican operative was quoted as saying in November.


...how about "right to work" laws?

Ryan Roedel

How do Republicans "equalize opportunity"?


pmcw...great point!

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