Friday, December 05, 2008

We Would Never Have These Benefits Without Unions

We Would Never Have These Benefits Without Unions

The article comes from YAHOO titled "10 Benefits Your Employer Will Cut Next Year".

The article says that
1. Layoffs
2. Hiring freezes
3. Higher health costs
4. Travel restrictions
5. Training cuts
6. Canceled parties
7. Salary freezes
8. Reduced merit increases
9. Pension freezes
10. Cut 401k matches
are ten benefits that employers will cut in 2009.

The article blames the current recession in America and for the most part describes private enterprise not government jobs, even though many state governments are struggling to balance their budgets. It does not mention that police, firemen, teachers, other government workers, and health workers will continue to do well. Prime examples of those very fortunate are Congress, the Executive Office, and Supreme Court in Washington, DC.

The five pronged attack on the middle class by the President and Congress were the real reasons for the current recession.

The middle class or the vast majority of workers in America and the primary machine that drove the American economy suffered from income and benefit deflation during the Bush administration by first, allowing tens of millions of jobs to be outsourced overseas, second, allowed tens of millions illegal aliens to work in America, and third, facilitating millions of H1B and other alien temporary visas allowing legal aliens to replace Americans at work right here in America. Now, the middle class is too weak financially to bail out the economy.

Fourth laws that were created decades ago to protect the economy and credit markets were deleted by the Bush administration. One would think a Yale history major such as Bush would not want to repeat past mistakes, but he eliminated many laws and rules and threw the economy and credit markets into chaos. The Press should interview Yale history professors for comments on their infamous pupil.

Fifth, the Bush administration continued to break and weaken remaining unions across America. He made it harder for workers to organize into unions. His courts ruled against the unions in most cases.

If we are lucky we can talk to out older relatives that worked during the 1950's or earlier. They remember six day 54 hour standard per week workweeks. They remember the lack of dental and eyeglass benefits. They remember one or two week maximum paid vacation times. They remember no prescription plans. They remember no pensions or 401k's. They remember no minimum wage or most jobs were not included in minimum wage. They remember no state rules for breaks or lunch. They remember no safety rules at the job for workers.

Even professionals at an employer rooted for unions because if the unions gained something then they would gain it too, whether it was cost of living salary increases, an extra week of vacation, a dental plan, or eyeglass plan, for example.

The big mouths on the financial cable channels usually bad mouth unions. They blame the unions for the auto crises because 3 active workers are driving salary and benefits of not only themselves but 2 additional auto worker retirees. My point is that we have been taught for centuries in America to put something away for rainy days. The auto companies knew they would have to pay out a lot of money for pensions and pensioner benefits so why did they not salt the money away each year as they accrued the liability? If the auto companies saved up for the pension liabilities for the past 50 years, each year, they would be in much better shape today.

They also talk about high wages, but we all know the big mouths are earning hundreds of thousands of dollars or even million dollar salaries so why are they so envious?

To live a middle class life it takes a lot of money. Think about it. How many of us have two jobs and how many others also have our spouses bringing home their earnings, also? Professional couples usually do well, but most others do not do well at all. Minimum wage earners live below the poverty line. Bush refused to increase minimum wage for almost 7 years since its last increase and it is still way below the purchasing power of minimum wage of the 1960's. Until this year Bush refused to extend unemployment benefits. More than 47 million Americans do not have health insurance and tens of millions do not have enough to eat.

The big mouths on financial cable programs live in million dollar homes and drive upscale cars but they do not recognize the vast majority of Americans. It seems like they will not be happy unless there is more poverty in America. And it seems they are less than generous for those less fortunate than themselves. I will not watch them anymore and will write to their employers and advertisers advising them to fire the venomous faces and bring in more moderate people.

America faces a major recession caused by the Republicans. Watching the recent Congressional hearings and listening to many of the hard line Republicans is too much. Republican thinking put America into recession and hard line Republicans will keep America in recession if not bring us right into a depression. One would think that Republicans would have lost all of their credibility, but they are still spewing their vomit. I guess they all must be Yale history majors who are doomed and dooming all of us to additional failing policies from Washington.