Maybe unions need to get old skool on politicians?

Back in the day, Governor Walker would either be missing a finger or some knee caps. Nowadays, all the Peacenik Union members protest in the street and sing Kumbyah. While I don’t have a problem with non-violent protest, in fact I consider myself a pacifist, I often wonder when the Unions are going to wakeup and realize protesting isn’t working, in fact, behind closed doors I’m sure Walker and his corporate buddies are laughing at you.

Am I suggesting you should beat them with baseball bats? While that probably remains an option, I would say probably not the best option. Remember, right-wing extremists are the one’s who freak out and shoot people when they don’t get their way.

You need to fight fire with fire. Hire lawyers. And lots of them. Block these greedy motherfuckers every chance you can.

It amazes me how people like Walker can paint middle-class workers as ‘greedy’ because they simply want to earn a living wage, while giving tax breaks to corporate giants who don’t really ‘labor’ that hard for their money.

I guess I wouldn’t have a problem with tax breaks if the middle class was prospering to.

Time to break some knee caps or at least some wallets.



27 comments ↓

#1 Angry Guy on 03.17.11 at 6:18 am

Watch out or the alarmist fucktards will turn you in for inciting violence against politicians. You might want to rethink a few of those statements above.

#2 rufusx on 03.17.11 at 6:26 am

The top 20% in the US hold 95% of the wealth. To put this in perspective, if there were 5 folks in the room, and they had $20 between them; that one guy would have $19 and the other 4 would have a combined one buck between them. Now, the number two guy (who represents the “upper middle class” ain’t exactly gonn just settle for a quarter – oh no – he gets 60 centavos of that buck. And Mr. Middle Class? Well – he’s comparitively well off to the last two – he’s got himself two whole dimes

Now, reality is that the “upper middle class” folks – you know, like Givernor Walker and his ilk, have somehow been convinced by the guy with the $19 that if only he (Mr. 60-cents) could cop a few more pennies from the other three, that would elevate him to the level of the big walleted.

Thing is – that’s just plain delusional. And the guy with the $19 is quite amused at how the rest of them – err – us – are all fighting over pennies, and not giving a dang about his $19.

#3 Scooter on 03.17.11 at 7:08 am

Actually the top 20% holds 84.6% of the wealth.

Here is the breakdown from multiple sources:

Top 1% holds 34.2% of total wealth.
The next 4% holds 24.6% of total wealth,
That means the top 5% holds 58.8%!

The next 5% holds 12.3%, and the next 10% holds 13.4% of the wealth.

So the top 20% holds 84.6% of the wealth…

The next 20% holds 11.3%, and the following 20% holds 3.8%. The bottom 40% only holds the remaining 0.4%!

No matter how you look at it. The United States is turning into an elitist society. And the wealthy are getting more powerful everyday.

#4 Costner on 03.17.11 at 7:12 am

If the unions are so weak that the best they can offer is verbal protest, then what is the point of their precious union?

Why don’t they all go on strike and see who gives in first? That is sort of the point isn’t it? But the fact is, those union workers know they have it much better than most working people these days, so they don’t really have much room to complain.

Did you see the story of the bus drivers in Wisconsin who were making $150k a year? You can’t tell me that makes sense in any true free market system. You will never find a private company who hires bus drivers offering to pay them $150k a year… never. You also can’t justify the pension plans and insurance plans they have in comparison to their private sector peers.

Sure if you look at CEOs the lowly union worker looks like he is getting the shaft, but two wrongs don’t make a right, and those CEOs aren’t the issue. If you want a true comparison you need to look at union workers vs. non union workers and see who is really being harmed. There are a lot of hard working union people out there who are fairly compensated, but there are also some who get incredible benefits, way higher than average pay, and amazing job security and yet they complain at every turn. Those are the types who send the wrong message, and when teachers call in sick in some sort of protest – even when those very same teachers are some of the highest paid in the nation – it tells us that they don’t really care about the kids or teaching… they care about themselves and the paycheck.

We have a political system, and there are rules. If the people of Wisconsin don’t like it, they have the power to recall politicians and put in people that do what they wish, but the reality is that likely won’t happen, because the people of Wisconsin actually do feel the unions are too powerful and they support Walker. Obviously not all of them, but the latest poll I saw showed it was a significant majority, so if Walker is just doing what the people want… how does that make him a bad guy? That is true democracy isn’t it? If he isn’t doing what people want, then obviously he won’t get reelected – once again that is democracy.

I’m not against private workers being in unions, but when it comes to government employees I don’t think it makes sense. You can’t make the argument that if it wasn’t for unions those workers wouldn’t be treated fairly – so in the case of a government employee the need doesn’t exist like it may for a employee in the private workforce. If a govt employee doesn’t like their position, salary, or benefits they should be able to negotiate by themselves and/or find a new job.

However all of that said, the second any union worker decides physical violence or even the threat of physical violence is the way to solve their problems… they will automatically lose most of the support they might have. Unions have tried for decades to shed the image and reputation of “thugs” forcing people to be in the union or pay their dues, and if they would resort to that type of action it will spell the end of the union as we know it.

By the way l3wis… there have been just as many crazy left wingers who resort to guns as crazy right wingers. Mental illness doesn’t only fall under the lines of one political spectrum and it is dishonest of you to even make the suggestion.

#5 l3wis on 03.17.11 at 8:58 am

AG – I said using bats IS not an option. But peaceful protests are not working either.

Costner? Why is this always about attacking the middle class union workers who maybe are making 20-30% more then non-union people while CEO’s get a free ride and they are making 400x more then the average worker. It time to start pointing out their greed, benefits and bonuses and leave union and non-union workers alone.

#6 Costner on 03.17.11 at 9:08 am

Well first of all l3wis… CEOs are not government employees. They report to shareholders who have the ultimate say on if they feel they are overcompensated. It is a seperate issue and unrelated to what is going on now. You won’t find many people other than CEOs and talk radio pundits claiming it is fair or equitable, but again it isn’t really related to the union issue and it is a copout for people to continually pretend it is.

Public sector unions use tax dollars, so the taxpayer has a right to voice their opinions on the issue, and politicians in control of those tax dollars have a duty to cut costs and level the playing field as much as possible.

To suggest people should just focus on CEO pay and ignore other perceived injustices is silly. That is like saying you need to spend all of your extra income to pay off your mortgage while ignoring your car payment.

#7 l3wis on 03.17.11 at 9:37 am

When unions fight for rights, it is about ALL unions, public and private. You are trying to separate public sector unions because they get taxpayer money. I would prefer my police, fire and teachers were union, they are usually better trained. Remember ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ every single person involved was union.

#8 Poly43 on 03.17.11 at 10:22 am

I would prefer my police, fire and teachers were union, they are usually better trained.

Spot on.

#9 Poly43 on 03.17.11 at 10:33 am

There are a lot of hard working union people out there who are fairly compensated, but there are also some who get incredible benefits, way higher than average pay, and amazing job security and yet they complain at every turn.

True…but that “some” you speak of is an incredibly low percentage. The vast majority of union workers are highly motivated, productive workers because they get a fair days salary for a fair days work.

I’d bet in the office you are working in there are unproductive white collars who spend too many hours cruising the net. Yet they somehow meet their goals. What does that say about office productivety goals? Yet when a $9.00 an hour Joe SixPack is seen with a book in his hands while watering a bush, you white collars get all testy under the collar.

#10 Poly43 on 03.17.11 at 10:35 am

Why is this always about attacking the middle class union workers who maybe are making 20-30% more then non-union people while CEO’s get a free ride and they are making 400x more then the average worker. It time to start pointing out their greed, benefits and bonuses and leave union and non-union workers alone.

Once again…spot on.

#11 Costner on 03.17.11 at 10:44 am

I would prefer my police, fire and teachers were union, they are usually better trained.

As opposed to the non-union police officers and fire personnel who aren’t trained so well? Umm… yea.

As to teachers, the majority are union, but those who aren’t don’t get any less training. Not sure you have a valid argument here. Apples and Oranges my friend.

“Remember ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ every single person involved was union.”

They were all human beings too. And they all had two legs and two arms each. That means that all non-humans with less than four appendages are less capable.

Yes that is sarcasm – because union or non-union had nothing to do with it and that is a red herring argument. It might be a fact that the pilots and flight crew were all union but you could just as easily say they were all white middle-aged Americans… not that it has anything to do with it.

By the way – some of the rescuers and first responders were not union… but I guess they don’t count.

#12 Poly43 on 03.17.11 at 10:51 am

I’m not against private workers being in unions, but when it comes to government employees I don’t think it makes sense. You can’t make the argument that if it wasn’t for unions those workers wouldn’t be treated fairly

You’d be wrong. Our own city as an example. Right now roughly 1 out of 3 city employees are part time. (About 500 out of 1600) And if there were no union, or you could bust it up, I’d venture half would be part time with zero benefits and held to an average of maybe $10.00 an hour and being laid off when they reach 1400 hours in any given fiscal year.

I’m not just talkin seasonal employees either. Siouxland Libraries the perfect example. 62 fulltime employees and 40 part timers…no benefits, and no chance of ever making more than $14,000 a year.

If given the chance the city would have a majority of this type of help while non bargaining management types would enjoy huge salary increases and yearly “performance” money.

So yeah…go ahead, bust as many unions as you can, and see where it goes.

#13 Costner on 03.17.11 at 11:09 am

“And if there were no union, or you could bust it up, I’d venture half would be part time with zero benefits ”

You can “venture” whatever you wish, but that doesn’t mean it is factual. The way you paint it private non-union industry should be bursting at the seams with part time labor forces and full time jobs with decent benefits and pay should be few and far between. Maybe in your world that is the case, but in my experience private companies still have plenty of full time help and many have good or even great benefits packages to match.

#14 Costner on 03.17.11 at 11:15 am

“Yet when a $9.00 an hour Joe SixPack is seen with a book in his hands while watering a bush, you white collars get all testy under the collar.”

Really? Because the way I recall it l3wis was the one who devoted a post to it and the one who even was talking about taking a picture of him. I didn’t realize non-union servers at chain resturaunts were considered white collar. I guess you learn something every day.

I did agree with l3wis though – at least the guy could have got a hose splitter and watered two trees at once. Nobody said he couldn’t relax while “working”, but at least put forth a little effort to hide it instead of giving people even more reason to dislike the ginormous parks department budget.

#15 Anthony Renli on 03.17.11 at 11:37 am

Costner – about the Bus drivers who made $150K…

I hate to point out a little point of fact. It was one driver, not bus drivers. He got $158K a year because he worked over 2000 hours of OVERTIME. His base salary was $49K a year and he got $109K in overtime. The overtime was available because the city bus line was understaffed. So over the course of a year he worked around 4000 hours…so basically, he worked 11 hour days, 7 days a week, all year. You might argue about whether a bus driver with 20+ years’ experience is worth $23/Hr when starting pay is $16/Hr, and that might be a fruitful argument.

My question, if he had 2100 hours of overtime he could work, and other drivers were getting lots of overtime (the second highest paid bus driver took home $124K based on around 1450 hours of overtime), why didn’t the city hire more drivers? Why didn’t they save money by hiring two new drivers at $16/Hr? This isn’t a union issue, it’s a staffing and management issue and the blame rests solely on the city government of Madison.

#16 Scooter on 03.17.11 at 1:19 pm

I am curious if Costner has an opinion what a “Living” wage would be? To make things fair, lets say the question is specific for Sioux Falls…

Waiting.

#17 rufusx on 03.17.11 at 2:22 pm

@ Scooter.
Oh, so under your “corrected” numbers that means what? There’s an extra 2 more dimes out of the $20 bill for those “other 4” folks to divy up. Yeah. That’s a really meaningful difference.

And actually, I think your numbers may be from a couple years ago. If I’m not mistaken, those two dimes have actually accrued to the possesion of the top 20% ers’ since then.

#18 scott on 03.17.11 at 5:43 pm

in south dakota, the general sentiment is “everybody makes too much money. everybody but me that is”.

#19 Joan on 03.17.11 at 5:48 pm

I think the trouble with the way unions protest now, is mainly due to all the “political correctness” crap that has been around the last few years. You know we have to be careful not to hurt anybodies feelings by what we say. Look at some politicians complaining about the way they are being referred to.

#20 l3wis on 03.17.11 at 7:21 pm

I say, “Fuck them all.” Joan.

That was kinda my point. When are the Unions going to realize what they are doing isn’t working? They need to get tough.

#21 rufusx on 03.18.11 at 6:37 am

@ Scott – nah man. I don’t think there’s anybody in SD who makes too much money. The real general attitude has to do with not understanding what real wealth is.

#22 Costner on 03.18.11 at 10:40 am

@Anthony: The story I heard was that there was one over $150k and several just below that. They also indicated the guy put 80 hours a week on his timecard because his union agreement allowed it, but he didn’t actually work 80 hours. Sounds like there is quite a bit of fraud happening within that group, and now they are being investigated. Do you think there would have been any such investigation if the public wasn’t told about it and people expressed their outrage? Doubtful.

@Scooter: Nice red herring, but my opinion on what a living wage would be has nothing to do with busting kneecaps. No matter what number I toss out there I’m sure I will hear complaints from the bleeding hearts, but I’d probably put the number around the $30k mark personally. Yes people can scrape by with less, but it seems things get a lot easier once you cross that line. It isn’t enough to allow a new LCD tv in every room of the house by any means, but it is enough to pay basic bills, put food on the table, and with proper budgeting even allow a mortgage payment.

#23 l3wis on 03.18.11 at 9:19 pm

Yeah, let’s keep demonizing bus drivers instead ass-plugs like the KOCH brothers who inherited everything.

#24 NPO on 03.19.11 at 12:24 am

Union workers better trained? Ha, ha, ha, tee and hee. I’ve worked for a few different unions, better trained at what, sleeping on the job? They are not better trained at working but better trained at keeping there job when they screw up.

Again l3wis, the jealousy thing really has your gourd. The Koch brothers, really? “they inherited every thing, those bastards need to pay with their testicles” Big deal if they worked for it or inherited it. What if you had inherited a large sum of money, would you give it all away to the poor and live on your working wage? Fuck no, so get off your high righteous horse and simmer down before you blow an ass gasket and end up in the hospital where they might treat you like baby joseph and not give the right to life you deserve.

#25 l3wis on 03.19.11 at 3:47 am

Yeah, keep demonizing the working stiffs and putting the rich on a pedestal. And you are accusing me of being jealous . . .

#26 Costner on 03.22.11 at 6:28 am

l3wis… the Koch brothers or other “rich” people aren’t really the point. That is a classic Ad Hominem Tu Quoque logical fallacy. In essense you are suggesting we overlook a person guilty of homicide because someone else is guilty of murder… it just doesn’t work like that.

There are plenty of reasons to dislike certain rich people such as the Koch’s, but that doesn’t mean unions should be ignored nor does it take away the validity of several of these points.

It isn’t about demonizing working people nor unions – it is just about being honest about the situation. There are a lot of good things that have come from unions, but the question is are they still relevant in today’s environment or have they crossed the line from being concerned for their safety, well being, and security to simply being concerned with their numbers and profits (because yes unions generate profits).

#27 l3wis on 03.22.11 at 2:37 pm

It is even more relevant today, then ever, as middle class wages go in the toilet.

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