The United States was created by rugged individualists who believed that government was a necessary evil and that politicians should be drawn from fellow concerned citizens …
Unfortunately, what has happened is that politics has been professionalized and like any other profession, there are rules to perpetuate political power and to exclude – create a protected class. Additionally, the mass bureaucracy has metastasized into a giant self-perpetuating, self-serving monster with a self-protective parasitic organization called a public employees union.
The collision of sound public policy and naked political greed …
It should be apparent to all that politicians no longer serve their constituency, but their own self-interests; primarily to gain and maintain political power. From the first moment in office, the idealist dies, slain by the political reality that it is far easier to purchase campaign funding, voter support, and media attention by pandering to the so-called special interests than it is to solicit numerous contributions from a mass of people who ignore politics as they concentrate on their respective daily life.
Just as it is apparent to all members of the bureaucracy that their fortunes demand an increasing portion of tax revenue. Thus, sound public policy collides with the naked political greed necessary to keep them employed when others in the same community are suffering the effects of an economy – an economy made far worse by corrupt politicians and public policy.
Here is a prime example of public policy that was ostensibly about using social engineering to combat the rising public health issue of obesity. Putting aside for a moment the argument that the government has some constitutional right to dictate how you should live your life, let us consider the driving impetus behind this policy.
Unions lost the soda tax fight. Do they want still more layoffs?
On Dec. 1, the unpopular Cook County soda tax expired. Consumers and retailers are still raising toasts, but not with Champagne. With Pepsi. And Diet Coke. And sweetened tea and ...
Who isn’t toasting repeal of the sweetened beverage tax? Leaders of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees who represent thousands of unionized county workers. They lobbied hard to keep the unpopular tax in place — not because they supported public safety programs or were concerned about public health, but because they wanted to guarantee nice pay raises in the next union contract. To them, the soda tax represented $200 million in leverage at the bargaining table.
“If the tax is repealed, it will make the bargaining climate for Cook County employees even tougher,” AFSCME warned its members in June as the union prepared for contract talks and as the soda tax, scheduled to take effect July 1, grew more unpopular. When a July 28 court ruling finally allowed the county to collect the tax, AFSCME’s executive director sent a note to members applauding the “good news.” She also criticized County Board President Toni Preckwinkle for not immediately rescinding pink slips that had gone out when the court had temporarily suspended implementation of the tax. “Whether or not you are scheduled for layoff, be prepared to join in this fight. Your job could be the next one on this administration’s chopping block,” Roberta Lynch wrote to her members.
How’d AFSCME’s call to preserve the soda tax work out for its members? Not well. The post-soda-tax-repeal budget that County Board members recently approved for the fiscal year that started Friday includes more than 320 layoffs and the loss of roughly 1,000 vacant positions.
Why so? In large part because of costly labor contracts already in place and the union’s inflexibility in helping county officials deal with their budget hole. Another influential union, Service Employees International Union, lobbied against furlough days, even though that path might have preserved jobs.
The unions were on the wrong side of this one. So was Preckwinkle, who argued for months to keep the tax in place, even at the expense of her own credibility. She invited at least two primary challengers in next year’s election by defiantly defending the soda tax. Even deeply pro-union County Board members eventually voted for the job cuts, painful as it was. No one cheers pink slips. But there was no other way to close the budget gap. <Source>
Public employee unions are almost always on the wrong side of all political and public policies …
Public employee union propaganda continues to put forth that public employees are underpaid and abused, so they require legislative job guarantees that ensure perpetual employment and future pension and medical programs that are designed to allow public employees to exist in a world mostly consisting of well-paid private sector workers. Complete and utter bullpucky. Whereas the private sector uses 401(k) pension schemes based on defined contributions from their employer into the pension fund, public employees enjoy pension programs that provide for defined benefits – no matter how much they may cost the government or taxpayer. How many non-CEO employees are guaranteed no-cost or low-cost healthcare for life?
Where in the private sector are the advocates for rewarding mediocrity over merit; seniority over accomplishment; and the imposition of insane work rules that see two or more people doing the task that can be accomplished by a single person? Why are government infrastructure projects always late and over-budget? Or, never meet their cost-payback budgets? Again, the answers involve malignant unions.
Bottom line …
President Donald Trump claims he wants to “drain the swamp,” but the truth is that he is just as much a swamp dweller as any other corrupt politician. Trump’s propaganda positions him as the man too rich and too successful to be bought, yet we find him surrounded by lobbyists with secret waivers. He gives the illusion of being available to the media – but says little or nothing of substance and deliberately misdirects the conversation with his flamboyant rhetoric. Mostly because he is ill-educated, not well-read, and knows primarily what he sees on a few select television shows.
- We need term limits for all politicians, and including the attorneys who do not deserve to serve until they are senile.
- We need our representatives to write one-page readable legislation and demand an up-or-down vote.
- We need more transparency and certainly more accountability.
- The progressives speak about eliminating the constitutional safeguard that is the electoral college; I say we need to return to allowing state legislatures to elect senators.
But most of all, we need a 5th Amendment Convention of the States to redress the structural inconsistencies and corruption that exists in government – in all three branches. No longer can we afford to have a single judge nullify laws with which they do not agree. Nor make unconstitutional legislation from the bench with their bright lines, tests, and rules.
And it doesn’t look like it is getting better because there will come a tipping point where the bureaucracy can elect and control their own politicians – like they do in the People’s Republic of Californiastan – and we are totally screwed.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius