Friday, August 15, 2003

The People fire a shot at the robber baron unions.

A century ago the nation was gearing up for the battle to come with the robber baron monopolies. It took twenty some years but when it was over the captains of industry who at dawn of the 20th century had seemed more gods then men watched as their empires were ripped asunder never to be seen again. Never to be seen that is until the elite unions of today.

What was a robber baron? A powerful, rich, monopolistic business owner that cared nothing for the nation, the people of the nation, the economy of the nation, the environment of the nation. With the influence provided them by their great wealth they had elected officials in their pockets and they used that influence to make it even easier to feed their insatiable greed. Change the words "business owner" for "union leadership" and you have an accurate depiction of the state of big unions at the beginning of the 21st century. What I call the robber baron unions.

The recall of Gray Davis in California maybe a political spectacle with a porn star, smut peddler, diminutive has been, fruit smasher, the Terminator, et. al. involved in a condensed 2 month race but there is something much deeper happening. The people of California aren't ready to throw Davis out because they want Gary Coleman as governor. No, they are going to recall him because he has lead them to fiscal ruin. The question is, how and why is Gray Davis at fault for California's budgetary woes?

After a budget that increased 34% in Davis's 4 years in office Rich Lowry points out that:

Essentially a paid agent of the public-sector unions, Davis has increased the numbers of state employees and their wages and benefits. The $78 billion budget is up about $20 billion during the past four years. As indispensable Sacramento Bee columnist Daniel Weintraub has reported, Davis and the legislature approved "after 45 seconds of debate" a pension giveaway to public employees a few years ago that is now costing the state another $500 million a year.

Davis has forced tens of thousands of university employees to pay union dues as part of a push to extend the reach of unionism in all areas. He has done the teachers unions' bidding on nearly everything, working to choke off experimentation with charter schools. He famously asked the union for a $1 million political contribution during a discussion of policy last year.

The unions are in control in California and they are robbing the state of it's economic strength to pad their own pockets. They will happily raid the wealth of the Golden State and leave it a poor broken place if they can ensure that they and theirs walk away with thick wallets. Again, they are robber barons.

One hundred years ago the Progressives (re: Marxists) believed that they needed to get more power into the hands of the people and away from the government officials that did as big business wished. In 1911 California was the first to enact recall provisions and it was meant as a means to break those cozy relationships between the robber baron businessmen and their buddies in the state house. The Progressives believed that laws such as this and the young union movement could help protect the workers from the power of the rich but now the very laws they created to pull down businesses are going to be wielded against their own unions by The People.

Terry Eastland points out the irony of this:

Ironies abound in the recall story. Consider that Democrats are the ideological heirs of the Progressives, and yet the recall targets a Democrat who presides over a government made large over the years by its faithful response to the people's demands. Consider, too, that the Republican party initiated the recall of Davis, and yet its intellectual allies have long warned against the dangers of direct democracy.

Even though the mainstream media is too star struck to see anything beyond Schwarzenegger's biceps this is the first shot being taken at the robber baron unions. The unions are no more concerned with the welfare of the workers they claim to protect than the robber baron businessmen were concerned with the welfare of the shareholders. The unions will gleefully wreck an economy to ensure that their poor defensless workers can earn $200,000 a year pushing a broom. Unions who get their bought politicians to create laws to stop you from outsourcing your broom pushing needs to a foreign nation. Unions that make it against the law to hire a broom pusher that doesn't belong to their union. While the Cadillac driving families of the broom pushers are a hell of a lot better off now than they where under the reign of the previous robber barons you must not let that cloud your vision to where you cannot see the reality of our times. Times where the big monopolistic unions of today represent an equal threat to the health and dynamism of our economy that the robber baron tycoons did a century back.

It is said that so goes California so goes the nation. That was true when they first went after the robber barons of the last century and I pray it is true of the robber barons of this one.

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