I followed the contract talks involving the Niles City Schools teachers union and the board of education and read as the Tribune Chronicle editorial berated and belittled the union for not wanting to lower their standard of living by reducing wages and paying more for benefits or reducing their benefits.
This reminds me of the Conservative, Republican, tea party's (CRT) philosophy of pitting working class people against each other. Example: "How dare the teachers union not want to pay more toward their pensions when there are private company employees who don't have a pension plan at all." Thirty years ago almost everybody had a decent pension plan, but with each recession or economic down turn the CRTs used the economy as an excuse to push private employers to reduce pensions and lower their employees' expectations on their pensions. With this in mind now the CRTs went after public employee unions saying look, the private sector employees have bad pensions or no pensions at all, so why should you public sector employees have a good pension? This same scenario can also be said about health care and wages.
The end result is if you get one group complaining why another group should have decent wages and benefits and not their group then you wind up with neither group having decent wages and benefits. This is exactly what a lot of businesses and their lackeys, the CRTs, wanted in the first place, cheap labor. There is a phrase for this philosophy. It's called "race to the bottom." Remember it well, because if it hasn't affected you yet, it will.
Companies with a lot of help from the CRTs went overseas or south of the border looking for cheap labor and countries with little environmental oversight. Much to their dismay, employees in these foreign countries after so many years wanted the same thing our own employees in this country wanted, a set of decent wages and benefits for their effort. Right now, China is the hotspot for cheap labor and little government environmental oversight only because it's a communist country and they can keep their labor cost artificially low in their factories. How ironic the CRTs call President Obama a communist and degrade him but when it comes to the almighty buck they'll sell their souls to communist China. Oh yeah, they will tell you that it's all part of the free market system.
Meanwhile the Chinese workers are starting to awaken and are starting to push for better wages, benefits and working conditions. This leaves the CRTs with one more alternative: change the political landscape in the United States. Make this country so business friendly no matter what the cost to the public that it won't have to go overseas for cheap labor. They could have it right here in the good ole U.S.
When you hear people say we are losing our middle class it's true. Little by little the CRTs are chipping away at our standard of living, eliminating our legislative and environmental oversight, and deregulating business to the point that this is what helped cause the 2008 financial collapse.
Keep this in mind when voting: The Conservative, Republican, tea party are the same people who were and are for the most part in denial of man-made global warming because some of their biggest campaign contributors - the oil, gas and coal industries - told them to deny it. So it begs the question, do you really want the Republicans running this county, this state, this country?
James C.K. Fell