Public employee unions bad for US

DEAR EDITOR:

Brian Pearson’s Jan. 28 letter “Right-to-work law still wrong” must be answered because it contains numerous errors and omissions, and because he’s wrong.

Mr. Pearson falsely states that Ohio “decided on right-to-work” in a 2011 referendum. Ohio did not decide on right-to-work in 2011; the vote was about repealing a bill passed earlier that year that would have partially reformed public-employee union regulation. Furthermore, even if median wages and benefits in liberal pro-union states are slightly higher, which I doubt, Pearson does not mention the flip-side to liberal governance — the people in those states and cities are taxed and regulated to death. It’s understandable why he is so supportive of unions, though. As a member of a government-employee union he enjoys exorbitant wages, benefits, pensions and work rules which the typical private-sector worker couldn’t dream of.

Throughout most of our nation’s history, there was an implicit bargain for government employees to accept lower wages and benefits than they would probably have earned in the private sector in exchange for job security. However, in recent decades that bargain was thrown away, as government employees now make as much or more in wages while enjoying ridiculously generous benefits, pensions and work rules at the expense of those who work in the private sector (the real economy). Numerous states and municipalities are close to or already have gone into default because of the enormous weight of paying public-employee benefits and pensions, with super-liberal Illinois the latest example of irresponsible governance.

One of the stupidest things the federal government ever did was allowing government employees to unionize. For example, government employees who do things that would have gotten them rightfully and immediately fired in the private sector are put on “administrative leave” indefinitely while their union reps and local politicians, with whom they’re in bed, hash out a slap-on-the-wrist “punishment.” Meanwhile, the employee gets a lengthy “vacation” (someone has to be paid to do his job while he’s off), and taxpayers working in the private sector get to pay for it all. Wow. What a scam and a sham.

And don’t even get me started on government employees being allowed to double-dip, depriving younger people of job opportunities.

But Pearson says unions are good for people and America. No, it’s only good for the insiders who can take advantage of the rest of us. The root of unionism and socialism are the same collectivism. And socialism has been an abject failure everywhere it’s been tried.

I encourage everyone to sign all petitions in favor of a right-to-work state constitutional amendment.

JAMES DUNLAP

Mineral Ridge

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