Friday, February 25, 2011

Dear Wisconsin Unions: We had a Discussion - It Was Called an Election

As Wisconsin Teachers Union members continue to defy the will of the people, one of their claims has continued to be "we just want to have a real discussion about this issue."  I have news for these union thugs: We had a discussion.  It was called a pre-election race!  We had arbitrators decide this issue. They are called voters!  Those arbitrators decided, and it was called an election!  The problem these unions have is not that there was no discussion, their problem is they LOST the discussion. 

Both the United States of America and the state of Wisconsin (and all states in the nation) have representative governments.  Every two, four, or six years (depending on the office), the people of each state and of the country have the ability to vote in representatives to varying offices. Along with those elections, certain groups of varying interests have the ability to convince the taxpayers that their interests should be supported and/or protected.  Clearly, the unions did not convince the voters in Wisconsin of their goals.

So now the Wisconsin Teachers Union wants to ignore the results of the election and call for compromise.  I don't believe I'm alone in the world in believing that, if the chosen representatives of the Unions won the governor's mansion and the Wisconsin state houses (that would be "Democrats" for those of you from Palm Beach County, FL), there would be no talk of compromise.  Rather, I believe we would be hearing something similar to, "Elections have consequences, and we won." (Palm Beach Countiers - that's a quote from Barrack Obama). 

It's the oldest story in the book.  When Democrats win, they want to implement their agenda 100%.  When Republicans win, Democrats expect to be compromised with (and receive 50% of what they want). I wrote an entire post on this a few weeks back. (1) Feel free to go back and read it. The fact is these unions lost the discussion before the voters, and NOW they want compromise.  I say they can't have what they desire because THE MONEY ISN'T THERE!

Herein lies the crux of the issue, one that far too many well meaning liberals miss. In frequent debates with liberals here, on my twitter account, on facebook, etc, it seems every single entitlement is seen as "this is the one you can't touch, it's too important." I'm sorry, but it's time to take a ride to reality.  Rush Limbaugh calls it, "Literalville."  I call it The Real World.

We who live in The Real World don't see the world in ideal situations.  We don't get to pretend the money exists if we can convince ourselves that the issue is really, really, super duper important.  Liberals seem to honestly believe that if something is important enough you can find the money, usually by taxing the "rich" more. It does not matter to them that the average person in the top tax bracket pays over 50% of their income between federal, state, and local taxes...they should be paying more, because the government "needs" it.

Of course, this plan to simply tax more doesn't usually work the way liberals predict it to in their rosy scenarios.  These corporations...employers really (that's people who hire others for jobs, for those of you in Palm Beach County, FL)...have a choice.  They do not NEED to continue to do business in the state where they're being taxed to death.  They can leave New York, California, Illinois etc and do business in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, the Carolinas, for example, where the climate for business is far better.  Heck, they can do business in Mexico and not pay much in taxes at all!  It stands to note that most of these businesses would RATHER be producing here in America...but not if they are going to lose money doing it.  Businesses are owned by free individuals. Free individuals who do not have to keep their business in the place where the climate causes them to lose money.  And they won't.

See, that's what liberals forget.  People don't start a business to be nice, to give you a paycheck, to give you medical insurance or other benefits. People start a business because they believe that the product or service they can provide can be sold for more money that it costs to produce, generating a profit.  You liberals, please read this next sentence carefully, ok?  THIS GOAL OF TURNING A PROFIT IS NOT EVIL!

So here's what happens when these businesses are taxed into oblivion, they leave those states for another state or another country, and they pay $0 in taxes instead of whatever amount they were paying to that state. And if they leave the country entirely, now not only have we lost all the tax revenue they were paying, but the jobs that go with their company, and the tax revenue from every employee of their company! How does that help?

Okay, Chris, what does this have to do with Wisconsin?  Here's what.  The solution of taxing the "rich" more because they can afford it is not only immoral, because, as I've stated before, it's not the government's money to begin with, (2) it's also counter-intuitive if your goal is to close a budget gap (as I just explained in the last paragraph)!  Besides, has any government ever received more money without finding someplace else to spend it?  Look at what happened when Reagan doubled net tax revenues during the '80s.  The Democrat controlled legislature proceeded to spend $1.80 for every $1 brought in.  The real problem, as Reagan once said, "is not that we tax to little, the problem is we spend too much."

So here we are in Wisconsin.  The Teacher's Union doesn't like the fact that they are being asked to pay for a mere 7% of their TOTAL pension (for the record, the rest of us are lucky if our company MATCHES up to 10% of our 401k contributions) and 12% of their medical insurance (the rest of us pay 20% on average).  They also are pitching a fit because Governor Walker wants to eliminate their right to collective bargaining on all issues EXCEPT wages.  What does this last bit mean?  It means Walker does not want the Unions to have the power to negotiate such things as:

- Penalties for disciplinary action:  In other words, the Unions can no longer decide that the proper penalty for snorting cocaine in the teacher's lounge should be a written warning after 3 offenses. (For those of you from Palm Beach County, FL, that's what is known as an "exaggeration.")

- Automatic Tenure: In many states, teachers are AUTOMATICALLY given tenure after 3 years of service.  In other words, can't be fired unless they blow up the school WHILE snorting cocaine, having sex with a student AND punching a different student in the face ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

- Free Viagara Included in Medical Coverage: THIS ONE IS NOT AN EXAGERRATION.  THIS IS REAL!

Those are just two examples.  My point?  These unions have been receiving benefits far beyond what is reasonable for years.  They've had a good run.  Now that it's time to give up the levels of benefits they have, which they probably shouldn't have had to begin with; the unions throw a tantrum, all the while pretending they are actually upset about Walker "not having a discussion with them on it."

Furthermore, the people who were not convinced were the employers of the Union, the people of Wisconsin! These are the people who pay your salary. These same people who, as your employers, make less money than you and receive less lucrative benefits than you. This isn't about "collective bargaining." This is about the right of the taxpayers to say no to public sector unions! Because the unions AREN'T bargaining with their employers! They're bargaining with the elected officials of the employers.

Those employers (again, that's "the taxpayers in Wisconsin" for those of you from Palm Beach County, FL) are then REQUIRED BY LAW to pay whatever those elected officials agree to pay you. It's not the same thing as private sector unions! Time to accept that this is NOT the same thing as the Teamsters Union bargaining with Mott's Applesauce.

I don't believe I'm alone in the world for not believing the Union when they claim there issue is "they weren't asked."  I repeat what I said in the beginning of this post: We had a discussion.  It was called an election!  We had arbitrators decide this issue. They are called voters!  We had arbitrators.  They are called voters!  It was required of the Union, and every other special interest in the world, to convince voters to support the candidate that they felt would protect their interests.  They failed.  You lost, Teacher's Union.  Now accept the will of the people!


(1) Civility & Compromise: Only Expected When Democrats Out of Power...

(2) It's Not the Government's Money: Why how much money a person has DOES NOT MATTER

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