Use access key #2 to skip to page content.

Union Dues are Paid By Private Citizens

Recs

5

March 06, 2011 – Comments (16)

 

Unionized government workers have tremendous leverage to negotiate their own wages and benefits. They funnel tens of millions of dollars to elect candidates who will sit across from them at the negotiating table. This self-dealing has resulted in ever-increasing wage and benefit packages for unionized government workers that often far outstrip those for comparable private-sector workers." said Thomas Donohue, the chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a Feb. 24 blog post whose Chamber vowed in 2010 to spend $75 million to get Republicans elected who would then sit across the negotiating table from the chambers donors - some of whom are foreign corporations.

$75mil seems like a lot of marketing money to me. 

News from the left;

Let us begin with this simple, indisputable truth: public employees' unions don't get a single red cent from taxpayers. And they aren't a mechanism to “force” working people to support Democrats – that's completely illegal.

Public sector workers are employed by the government, but they are private citizens. Once a private citizen earns a dollar from the sweat of his or her brow, it no longer belongs to his or her employer. In the case of public workers, it is no longer a “taxpayer dollar”; it is a dollar held privately by an American citizen. Public sector unions are financed through the dues paid by these private citizens, who elected to be part of a union – not a single taxpayer dollar is involved, and no worker is forced to join a union against his or her wishes. No worker in the United States is required to give one red cent to support a political cause he or she doesn't agree with.

There is no distinction between the role public- and private-sector unions play: both represent their members in negotiations with their employers. At the federal level, both are prohibited from using their members' dues for political purposes. They donate to political campaigns – to elect lawmakers who will stand up for the interests of working people – but only out of voluntary contributions their members choose to make to their PACs....

....The irony here is that while unions can't compel workers to fork over a penny for political campaigns, corporations can donate unlimited amounts of their shareholders' equity to do so – they are, in fact, in the “unique position” to elect pliant lawmakers. “What the right-wing and the business community always try to portray is that you have these union bosses that are forcing helpless employees to give them money,” says Gold, “when the reality is that these are their members who chose to be in a union and then elected their officers democratically, in sharp contrast to corporations, none of whose officers are elected democratically unless you count shareholders voting at an annual meeting as a real democratic system.”

And conservatives have long held that voluntary donations to political campaigns are a high form of free speech. The double standard is clear-- “money equals speech” unless it's money freely donated by working people to advance their own economic interests.

The corporate-backed Heritage Foundation – which has waged a longstanding propaganda war against the American labor movement -- notes that “state and local employees in 28 states are required to pay full union dues” – patently untrue -- and, “using this government coercion, government unions have amassed tremendous financial resources that they use to campaign for higher taxes and higher pay for government workers.”

There are no “government unions,” just unions of private workers. And they have no interest in campaigning for higher taxes – they are unions of taxpaying citizens. They do push for better pay, benefits and working conditions, like private sector unions, but officials elected by American voters determine the number and size of public programs and therefore the ultimate cost of government.

16 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On March 06, 2011 at 3:11 PM, XMFConnor (98.02) wrote:

Devoish,

I am not exactly sure what you are getting at with the private citizens angle in your post... and you can argue whether corporations should be allowed to donate freely, but your post seems to be very pro-union even though there is overwhelming evidence that labor unions hurt economic growth.

Think 75 mm is a big number? Try 50 TRILLION: the estimated cost of unions, determined by combining lost income and output over the period of 1947 to 2000 by economists Richard Vedder and Lowell Gallaway.

The undisputed truth here is that unionization, while a "rosy concept," hurts much more than it helps. Furthermore, they are not practical in an increasingly global economy and a current employment rate hovering near double digits. People should be paid their fair wage-- determined by the free market. Unionshave really fallen off over the past decade-- and will continue to do so because if someone refuses to work for the true private market value of their skill-set, you can bet that someone else will (whether it be in the U.S., China, India, or anywhere else in the world).

Some other gruesome facts about unions:

-A state with a 10 percent unionized work force can expect a 0.7 percent increase in its unemployment rate.

-For each four additional workers who become unionized, one less person works.

 

Report this comment
#2) On March 06, 2011 at 4:59 PM, devoish (98.42) wrote:

XMFConner,

I am tired of hearing the phrase "government union". I despise misleading marketing slogans.

Something tells me Vedder and Galloway took an awful intricate financial dance to reach those results. And frankly, if 2/3rds of those gains go to less than 10% of Americans - who gives a sh*t?

But it would be nice to think that without unions there would be 50 trillion additional bucks loating around and 95% of Americans would have secure reirements in their old age, and enough money saved to afford healthcare.

All I know from personal experience is that if I want to fix someones car for a living, 10 union guys can afford to pay more than 10 non-union guys, and ten union guys have 9 more cars than one overpaid executive.

No "free market" has ever existed. I would not count on it or any of its theorys.

Report this comment
#3) On March 06, 2011 at 5:58 PM, ChrisGraley (29.86) wrote:

If it is actually true that these huge sums of money are generated volutarily by the individuals that the public unions support, it's a glaring sign that these people are as overpaid as people say that they are.

If they were truly struggling, they wouldn't be able to continuously funnel money to friendly legislative negotiators in ever increasing record amounts.

On the other hand, it's great for both parties in a "I'll wash your back if you wash mine" scenario.

You are going about it the wrong way if you are trying to convince me to be happy that money that used to be mine winds up in the pockets of politicians that I don't support, because I overpaid someone enough to have enough money left over to donate it to them.

 

 

Report this comment
#4) On March 06, 2011 at 7:30 PM, devoish (98.42) wrote:

ChrisGraley,

I do not believe they are struggling. In fact I would suggest that it is only because of their union that they are not. Otherwise they would be sinking in the same boat that private industry employees are in - you know the one that makes private employees say "I don't have it that good, take theirs away".

Perhaps someday you will apply that same principle to people making $27,000,000. The one that suggests if someone has discretionary spending they are overpaid.

Yours was a very revealing reply.

Best wishes,

Steven

Report this comment
#5) On March 06, 2011 at 7:38 PM, devoish (98.42) wrote:

Chris,

And while you may want to take all the discretionary spending ability away from employees, I don't want to take all the discretionary spending from the 30,000 $27,000,000aires in this country. 

I felt I needed to explain that to you. 

Best wishes,

Steven

Report this comment
#6) On March 06, 2011 at 8:47 PM, ChrisGraley (29.86) wrote:

devoish, campaign contributions to people that give you raises don't fall into the category of discretionary spending, they fall into the category of bribes.

If I'm a voter that is struggling and you are a public union employee that is not, is it any more fair to me to see my own tax money used against my wishes? Can I afford to pay for your bribes?

How about this? Since it's my money paying the salary, how about letting me be the one that has a say in a public union employee's next raise? Put every raise out there for a vote and let the people footing the bill decide.

You can't talk about the private employee boat sinking if your pumping in water.

 

 

 

Report this comment
#7) On March 06, 2011 at 9:11 PM, 5thand7th (< 20) wrote:

public employee unions DO get union dues from taxpayers. The dues come out of the employee's paychecks, which are paid for with tax dollars!

Report this comment
#8) On March 06, 2011 at 9:24 PM, L0RDZ (84.07) wrote:

Again its the majority who are not unionized who are subsidizing  unions,   just look at the Auto industry bail out ?  who got bailed out ?  who bent the laws of bankruptcy to take from bondholders to pay to unions.  Look at the Federal Stimulus money that went to states to specifically allow them to retain and increase the benefits of  select protected union casts of   teachers, police officers, firefighters, and many many more leach like unionized employees.

Guess what if you weren't among the select in group, you probably have seen pay decreases or little in the form of wage appreciation, you might have been let go or maybe you went from full time to part time to no time employment.

So who pays unionized federal and state employees ? does it come from a secret Obama stash ?  oh yeah thats right it comes from all the bogus taxes ~ FED, State, property taxes, dog license tax, cigarette tax, alcohol tax, gasoline tax, and so on and so on gets pooled up into a nice big pile along with the debts the governments pile up which are tied to all  tax payers for repayment.

WHether or not your among the in crowd.

 

Report this comment
#9) On March 07, 2011 at 12:06 AM, ajm101 (32.03) wrote:

Vedder is a bought and sold AEI 'economist' at this point. 

Report this comment
#10) On March 07, 2011 at 12:07 AM, janis1023 (< 20) wrote:

Look back at the reason Unions became necessary...Corporate greed.  That has not changed no matter how the republicans spin it.  The Unions help all workers by keeping wages up and setting the bar.  I would hate to see this country go backwards.

Report this comment
#11) On March 07, 2011 at 7:27 AM, devoish (98.42) wrote:

public employee unions DO get union dues from taxpayers. The dues come out of the employee's paychecks, which are paid for with tax dollars!

XMFConner,

This is what I am getting at. The marketing campaign that wants to sell the idea that money spent by a private citizen on a service they believe benefits them is somehow a choice a "free" people don't have the right to make.

Lordz,

In the GM bankruptcy, the  fourth in line "bondholders"  accepted help from the Goverment without which the property represented by their bonds would have been sold on the open market and third or fourth in line would have received nothing. In exchange for Government help the "bondholders" did not get screwed, they got bailed out. Because the bondholders could see this, they agreed to the bailout, and those terms insisted that GM honor the contract they had made one year earlier to fund a union managed pension plan with much less money than they actually owed to the union before renegotiating to remove their unfunded pension obligation from their books.

Because some imagine this not to be true is due to an incredibly often repeated misrepresentation of what happened.

At no time was any bondholders legal right to take their chances in bankruptcy court not an option for them. They just recognised the "bailout" was a better option.

In light of the size and volume of the current marketing campaign to remove the hard fought for right to collective bargaining from a free people, as though their citizenship doesn't count, it is good to be reminded of the volume of misleading information that was posted concerning the GM bailout.

It is especially good to remember how much loud the marketing campaign was against the union for GM's financial troubles and how fast GM,s stock fell in the one year between the time the union contracted to remove those pension obligations from GM, and when that contract was slated to happen.

It is almost as though there was a group of people who believed the GM would be profitable afterward and wanted to steal that company for a song. Just like a financial industry might market housing as always going up, the same energy could be put into marketing a GM that will never recover.

Best wishes,

Steven

Report this comment
#12) On March 07, 2011 at 8:30 AM, ChrisGraley (29.86) wrote:

Look back at the reason Unions became necessary...Corporate greed.  That has not changed no matter how the republicans spin it.  The Unions help all workers by keeping wages up and setting the bar.  I would hate to see this country go backwards.

Two wrongs don't make a right. Trading one evil power for another evil power is not a solution.

The marketing campaign that wants to sell the idea that money spent by a private citizen on a service they believe benefits them is somehow a choice a "free" people don't have the right to make.

This would be ok if they weren't using my money to bribe a public official to take even more money out of my pocket.

At no time was any bondholders legal right to take their chances in bankruptcy court not an option for them. They just recognised the "bailout" was a better option.

The fact that they were told flat out by their own government that the government was going to break the law and give them nothing in bancruptcy court didn't play into it?

See, those bribes are not only good for guaranteed raises! You can actually buy your own legislation and judiciary as well!

In what mindset is it evil for corporations to bribe half of our politicians, but perfectly fine for the unions to bribe the other half?

The middle class is getting tired of paying to support both sides and while you are now shocked to see a reaction, you should have seen it coming years ago. When the key to your platform relies on taking money from someone else, you shouldn't be shocked when they can no longer afford it.

 

Report this comment
#13) On March 07, 2011 at 8:54 AM, RLAprof (22.49) wrote:

By law, not one red cent of union dues can go to supporting policital candidates. However, the supreme court recently passed a law stating that any corporation can buy and own as many politicians as it pleases. Also, please remember that state employees are not all lazy teachers who work six hour days for nine months of the year. (Wish I could get a job like that.) Union members pay into their retirement funds just like anyone else, but the states have not been fulfilling their end of the contributions for decades. All my retirement funds were invested in MBS by the state, funding massive banker bonuses. These chickens still have not come home to roost. Yes, taxpayers have been getting swindled, but not by the public service employees that they hired.

Report this comment
#14) On March 07, 2011 at 9:32 AM, ChrisGraley (29.86) wrote:

13) On March 07, 2011 at 8:54 AM, RLAprof (45.35) wrote:

By law, not one red cent of union dues can go to supporting policital candidates.

http://www.washingtonpoliticsnews.com/?p=711

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2613594/posts

http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2010/10/28/when_unions_vote_your_money_98731.html

http://biggovernment.com/mikeflynn/2011/03/07/everything-that-is-wrong-with-public-sector-unions-in-thirty-seconds/

watch the video in that last one.

Report this comment
#15) On March 07, 2011 at 2:35 PM, chk999 (99.97) wrote:

Devoish, you are small business owner if memory serves. Would you want you employees to be in a union?

Report this comment
#16) On March 07, 2011 at 2:42 PM, Borbality (46.29) wrote:

My wife works for our county. You are pretty much forced to pay into the union. If you elect to be a "non paying member" you have to pay the union a fee! It's amazing!

 I'm not staunchly anti-union or anything, but it is only too typical that the big unions really do represent the publicly funded jobs. You can dance around the language all you want.

 

Report this comment

Featured Broker Partners


Advertisement