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Are Government Unions Out Of Control? An Infographic

Tyler Durden's picture


This week, Arizona legislators are voting on a package of bills that would be “Wisconsin on steroids” – banning collective bargaining, release time and automatic deduction of union dues from paychecks. The unions plan state capitol protests this week, so things are heating up and the story has already appeared in various national publications. Since union protests are planned for the capitol tomorrow it will likely involve a lot of drama and TV coverage. Yet like every issue there are pros and cons, and government unions are a very sensitive topic to be sure. While the TV coverage will certainly focus on the favorable side of unionization (after all, what is better for the economy than more people collecting paycheks.... even if these are ever diminishing paychecks) here is an infographic from the Goldwater Institute looking at the cost side of the equation.


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Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:00 | 2139194 _ConanTheLibert...
_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

Unions should be abolished, really.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:14 | 2139206 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

We don't need unions anymore with all the programs the government has to protect workers. 

I don't even want to list them all.

This golf resort is owned by the UAW:

"While many courses have two or three so-called signature holes that are worthy of brochure status, every hole at Black Lake Golf Club could easily be on the front cover of a magazine promoting the course.  That is one reason that it was placed #34 in Golf Digest's....

The course is owned by the UAW, who selected one of golf’s most acclaimed course architects, Rees Jones, to design an environmentally responsible, championship caliber course. It was a challenge eagerly embraced by Jones, Golf World Magazine’s “Architect of the Year” in 1995. "

Thank you US tax payers!!!!!!!'s half time America - put on your work boots so next time these jerk offs need a bailout they can still play golf at their resort

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:15 | 2139255 redpill
redpill's picture

If people want to collectively bargain instead of negotiate on their individual merits that's fine with me.  They just shouldn't get any government protection for doing so.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:26 | 2139281 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

Obama guarantees their standard of living with tax payer money. Why do you think he has such overwhelming support from unions? He'll subsidize their losses no matter what.

Unions are nothing other than a legalized form of organzied crime. 

PUBLIC UNIONS should DEFINIATELY be abolished. Doctors can't unionize, why should public workers be able to? 

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:27 | 2139302 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

One of his first moves in office was to give them a 10% raise. Then the following year he "froze " their wages to make it look like they were feeling the pain with the rest of the nation.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:49 | 2139384 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Do it the greek way. Fire all workers, and for every 5 fired, hire just one.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:55 | 2139399 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

Careful.  It was ugly here in Wisconsin and they repealed it in OH.  Oh, and plan on being called a Koch-head.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:27 | 2139525 Michael
Michael's picture

Get it strait. It is now Private Sector vs Public Sector Warfare. None of this class warfare bullshit.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:50 | 2139592 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Government jobs, of which there are quite a few at the federal, state and local levels of government, are the last bastion of the unions.

In the United States, there are 22.5 million government employees (at least as of the 2008 census - I haven't checked the 2010 census and do not care to get more ill).

TOTAL - 22,461,691

2008 US Population (est) - 304,059,724

Of course, this 22.5 million is a number representing direct employees, and I wouldn't be shocked if there's another 5 million 'subcontractors' of government agencies (or maybe 2x that amount).

Leaving the issue of contractors and subcontractors aside,

1 in every 13.5 jobs in IOUSA is a direct employee of federal, state or local government.


*It's a good thing we can afford this largesse, given our very disciplined spending whereby our national debt = a mere $200,000 per citizen if David M. Walker, the former Chief Comptroller of the United States, is to be believed (or $700,000 per anyone who currently pays net taxes), based on what he has come with as a pretty concrete Debt of 61 trillion USD (that was as of 18 months ago, so add...I don't know...a couple trillion).

Kotlikoff pins it 3.3x as high as Walker, so that's a cool 2.4 million per net taxpaying citizen.

Nov 17, 2011 – Laurence Kotlikoff, professor of economics at Boston University, talks with Bloomberg's Tom Keene about a U.S. fiscal gap of $211 trillion.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:52 | 2139617 blindfaith
blindfaith's picture



Contractors are just a way to hide what is going on, they ( mostly) do a pissy job and end up costing more. 

I see Florida citizens getting suckered into this Correction corp and others running the jails...just wait Florida the billion dollar lawsuits alone will convince you to dump every self-service Republican you blindly elected.  Thank God I live in Georgia, at least ours don't give away the state if they want to sun at Tybee this year.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:57 | 2139639 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Well, if using contractors and subcontractors is a stealth way of getting that ratio of government workers to overall IOUSA jobs to 1 in 10, or even better, 1 in 8, then Paul Krugman is all for it, so who can be against it...

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 19:52 | 2139806 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

With the last 50% increase in population in the US there was a 125% increase in the number of government employees. The military is generally constant  around 1million.

I would place the subcontractor number even higher and if include all personel who's primary function is complying with local, state and federal regulation obviously the number would go even higher.

It is sick as the government and their no show jobs, have become the largest employer, consumer, landlord, tenant, lender and borrower. The crowding out factor is substantial and obviously slams the poor and middle class the most as they compete with a largely unaccountable government for same goods and services.


Wed, 02/08/2012 - 20:18 | 2139889 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Banana Republic Model.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:07 | 2140051 moroots
moroots's picture

Government invented racketeering, then passed laws against it to eliminate the competition.

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 00:36 | 2140652 Dermasolarapate...
Dermasolarapaterraphatrima's picture


The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need to Know about America's Economic Future 


is an excellent read:


Wed, 02/08/2012 - 20:36 | 2139950 ChrisFromMorningside
ChrisFromMorningside's picture

What about individuals who are neither direct employees nor subcontractors but who tangentially rely on government spending to keep their industries going? We're talking everything from the fast food restaurants that rely on EBT-carrying customers to the armies of "consultant" middle-men that have to get their cut whenever the government is contemplating an infrastructure project. It would probably be near impossible to quantify, but there are a whole lot more people than those 22.5 million who depend upon our "largesse" (at threat of incarceration).

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:04 | 2140036 Jendrzejczyk
Jendrzejczyk's picture

"....who tangentially rely on government spending to keep their industries going?"

Being one of the "tan-genitles", I hang my head in shame and admit that all that live here in DC are reliant on the gov in one way or another.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 22:04 | 2140206 thadoctrizin
thadoctrizin's picture

22.5 million govt employees = 22.5 million workers that don't pay taxes

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:10 | 2140062 GubbermintWorker
GubbermintWorker's picture

Really?  What some, or most, or you fail to realize that it most public sector workers DO NOT belong to a union

--Public-sector workers had a union membership rate (37.0 percent) more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers (6.9 percent).
Yes, its five times higher than private sector workers but 63% of public sector workers dont belong to a union or have collective bargaining rights. I fucking know, I'm one of those non unioin workers. I don't have a gold plated retirement plan that pays me 90 to 100% of my salary, I don't have medical insurance coverage after retirement. so stop this bull shit talk about public sector versus private sector bullshit. You're doing exactly what the PTB want you to do, you idiot!
Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:40 | 2140150 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture

Gub, you are probably safe. If your job can't be done cheaper by the private sector, and you do not have a benefits package that is out-of-line with those of private sector, and you are doing a job that must be done, you are providing a public service

That is the test when funds run short. Is this person providing an essential public service that can't be done for substantially less in the private sector?

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:44 | 2140158 GubbermintWorker
GubbermintWorker's picture

Yep, sewage treatment, and a private firm did try to take over the operations but when I pointed out to the town council that their contract required the town to pay for the costs of replacing major equipment at the town's cost, and how then that does not provide the contract operations to do much of an incentive to perform preventative maintenance....well...I'm still there :-)

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:12 | 2140064 GubbermintWorker
GubbermintWorker's picture

 Oops, double post!

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:29 | 2139535 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


About six months ago I read this article about some Westerner in India. He had five women with scissors mowing his lawn. When asked if that was offensive he pointed out that the labor was cheap and each of those women were feeding their families. One person with a mower would have made far less than those women with scissors.

Five families saved.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 20:49 | 2139991 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

By hand was how it was done on base in Morocco in the 50's in enlisted housing.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:21 | 2140100 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

stupid westerners & their manicured lawns - waste of space, pollutants for maintenance - let the women plant out food gardens, it would be a better "gesture" - they could share the food in markets, make more money, "save" more families.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:46 | 2140165 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture

A friend who spent some time in South America said it was customary (expected) if you were doing well financially, you were to employ others. A cook or someone to look after the home cost about $25/wk U.S., so it was not a big deal to comply with the cultural expectation. 

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 19:31 | 2139745 ilovefreedom
ilovefreedom's picture

*at 40-60% the former employee wage

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:28 | 2140120 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture

There is a pretty good chance many public sector workers will lose a large portion of their pensions and health coverage in the coming years. 

At barely 60% funded in many cases, only an immediate and powerful revival of the private sector can provide the infusion of funds over the coming decades to restore the health of these funds.

The 2011 U.S. median household income was $49,909. That's "household" as in there may be more than one worker helping to get the number up that high.

Even if highly educated, public workers making substantially more than $50K are supported by the private sector median income as the source of public paychecks. Luckily, the private sector tends to work for 45 years which helps close the funding gap, but the public sector's ability to secure employment over multiple decades has deteriorated.  

As we have seen in negotiations around the country, entrenched union members will not budge. In almost every case, they end up creating a two-tier agreement that screws younger union members to preserve the promises made to those with seniority.

If a resentful working environment develops as a result, look for a move toward more privatization as the final solution. 

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:44 | 2139591 jekyll island
jekyll island's picture

This is good and all, but the thinking is wrong.  The reason government unions are "successful" is because their benefits are backed by the goverment with IOU nothings.  We do not need to abolish gov't unions, we need to control the government and everything else will be resolved.  

Two good places to start:  1) Re-establish the gold standard   2) Limit government to budget of 18% of GDP - spend it however you like, but you cannot exceed the limit.  I would have added #3 - End the Fed, but do not want to be labeled as a terrorist by FBI at this time.  Oops, too late.  I am not prounion, but understand they represent the interests of their constituents just like the lobbyists.  They are there to get as much as possible and they don't care how they do it.  If the money is not there, well that is a showstopper.  End of discussion.  If people of your state would rather fund a 10% increase to your government workers instead of repaving the roads, go out and vote them out of office or move to another state not named California.  Or Illinois.  

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 20:38 | 2139956 ffart
ffart's picture

What the hell is a GDP number? It's a made up, bullshit number that isn't at all reflective of the real economy. If you base government largess off some phony number they'll just game it like they do with the inflation number. Assuming we still need to have a national government, I think it makes more sense to strictly limit the types of taxes which can be employed and what the tax revenue can be used for and return control of the money supply to the people. Then the problem of excessive government can be resolved gradually and over time.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 20:54 | 2140005 ChrisFromMorningside
ChrisFromMorningside's picture

At the very least, we should add a Balanced Budget ammendment to the Constitution. It should also mandate that state governments must balance their budgets as well. I know, states are supposed to do that already. But when you look at California and its unfunded liabilities and the way they use accounting tricks to hide their shortfalls, its clear that some of the state governments are actually running deficits in reality.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:30 | 2139315 LoneCapitalist
LoneCapitalist's picture

Collective bargaining is wrong, even without gov. protection. For many businesses it boils down to either going out of business now because a walkout will shut them down, or going out of business later after the union bleeds them dry.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:55 | 2139401 redpill
redpill's picture

That wouldn't happen without government protections.  Workers could potentially get fired for striking (or what regular businesses call "not showing up for work!") and get no unemployment benefits.  That changes the balance of power substantially, and makes workers more carefully weigh the benefits and drawbacks of collective bargaining.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:47 | 2139598 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

"Collective bargaining is wrong"

"Collective bargaining without 100% voluntarily participation is wrong."


Wed, 02/08/2012 - 19:10 | 2139678 thatthingcanfly
thatthingcanfly's picture

You fixed nothing, you pretentious ass.

Collective bargaining, with or without 100% voluntary participation, is as clear an expression of Global Communism as wearing a red T-shirt emblazoned with a yellow hammer & sickle.

It discourages exceptional performance and encourages mediocrity among workers, stifling the natural instincts that otherwise make individuals competitive with one another in a constructive manner and making the poor participants spiritually sick.

Collective bargaining is the very definition of a moral hazard.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 19:34 | 2139750 kinganuthin
kinganuthin's picture

hmm.. not quite.. Communism is where the government tells you what you are going to be paid as a collective. 

Some larger companies prefer it to some extent so they dont have to negotiate the wages of every single emplyee.  It would cost more to hire the managers to perform a task when you got 10 of thousands of emplyees. 
A group of people wanting to get together to discuss and bring a proposition to maybe an unaware employer isnt communism, it's a form of free speech and right to work.  If the employer wishes to fire them all for it.. then so be it.
People have the right to assemble.  I'm sure I read that somewhere.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 20:07 | 2139853 nmewn
nmewn's picture

I guess I'll take the other side, just for sport.

Public employees should not be allowed to unionize. Its state sponsered legaized theft.

Private employees I don't really have an issue with them unionizing.

Pressure has to be brought to bear on management in some fashion or they will run it like little fiefdoms. And I'd rather that pressure come from the workers than the state.

If management is weak and caves to insane demands (like GM etc.) it is the management that ultimately ran it into the ground by caving...not the union. Let them strike, the company can get other workers and train them with time, the shareholders will just have to suck it up for a little while.

In the case of public employees, the taxpayer (meaning management here) is never at the negotiation no union for you!!!

And no, I'm not a union member. For me it would never work out, I'd wind up telling the union and management to go pound sand ;-)

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:07 | 2140050 ChrisFromMorningside
ChrisFromMorningside's picture

At what point does collective action (lower case) become Collective Bargaining (upper case), and thereby an expression of "Global Communism"?

If a group of employees meets after work, discusses their wages, and then they present a united front as they confront management with their grievances, does that make them evil commies? That seems like an expression of fundamental freedom to me. I also think management/capital should have the freedom to fire them immediately, if that's how they feel.

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 00:15 | 2140605 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

"Okay, boss, here's the deal: you're gonna pay Jimmy and me the same as you pay Frankie, or else me and Jimmy are gonna get all the guys to stop working and trash the place."

"But Frankie works twice as hard, and fixes the equipment for me, too. He deserves more pay."

"Jimmy, go tell Frankie if he fixes the equipment one more time, we're gonna get him fired. And break out his living room windows."

"You guys are real bastards. You're both fired."

"Nice factory you got here. Shame if anything *happened* to it. We'll be here to work tomorrow. We'll have my cousin's law firm and my uncle, Sherrif Rick with us when we punch in."

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:05 | 2139439 GOSPLAN HERO
GOSPLAN HERO's picture

In Soviet Maryland: The Democrats and AFSCME are one and the same.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:41 | 2139584 Missiondweller
Missiondweller's picture

Same way in the People's Republic of California

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 22:10 | 2140212 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

D.C.-Virginia-Maryland = The Trifecta Corridor of Federal Government Employees (along with government 'contractors') & Taxdollar Milk & Honey

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 22:29 | 2140263 Ness.
Ness.'s picture

Don't forget Chicago, Crook County Illinois, Obamaville, the Union-topian State.  Can I get a what what?

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:17 | 2139480 Antifaschistische
Antifaschistische's picture

If people want to collectively bargain that's fine with me also....but that's not what "collective bargaining" is.   Collective Bargaining is cohersive bargaining because I'm not allowed to opt out of that representation.   If ten people in my department want to "go to our boss" and say give me a raise or we're all quiting...they should have the right to do that.  And I should have the right to say "I'm staying you guys do what you want".

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:23 | 2139505 bigdumbnugly
bigdumbnugly's picture
Are Government Unions Out Of Control?

that's a rhetorical question, right?

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:58 | 2139645 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

That's the problem with this world.  Wherever power consolidates, there you will find corruption.  Life's a bitch, then you die, then you go to hell. 

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:08 | 2140057 ChrisFromMorningside
ChrisFromMorningside's picture

"Life's a bitch and then you die, that's why we get high." - Nas

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:26 | 2139293 Dan The Man
Dan The Man's picture

so it took you about half of a second for you to associate this article on GOVERNMENT UNIONS and took a shot at the UAW.  You're an idiot if you can't see the difference.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:28 | 2139305 Freddie
Freddie's picture

UAW, Govt Unions, Teamsters, all the same criminal socialists like the banksters.  No difference.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:35 | 2139320 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

The UAW is for all intents and purposes a government union. It would have gone bankrupt without GOVERNMENT money. Furthermore, auto loans are now guaranteed by the US government. That's why anyone with a pulse can walk into a dealership and get approved for an auto loan. 

It's all government money. 

The profits are kept privatized, the losses are socialized to the public and their votes go to whichever candidate promises them the most. 

Private enterprise getting in bed with government is a defining pillar of fascism. 

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:31 | 2140128 Captain Kink
Captain Kink's picture

Stomarch churning.  Once those on the teet reach 48%of the population,  democracy slides into socialism... Funny how a crisis of too large govt witn too large liabilites from having made too many promises and provided too much support (all with the blessing of the voter whose progeny will pay the tab) results in EVEN MORE citizens running to the shelter of the govt, voting for still greater largesse...making sure they get theirs. This is how the swing in mindset can occur. 

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 19:37 | 2139763 kinganuthin
kinganuthin's picture

The UAW has my tax money in its pocket.  Yes, it's a government union.  Youre an idiot if you can't see the obvious.  The UAW is bought and paid for, and they will lick the hands that feed them.  May the chains lay lightly upon their backs.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 20:55 | 2140010 CH1
CH1's picture

I grew up in a union town, but I was quite unprepared for the level of hate I confronted once I had to deal with them. It was ugly as hell.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:37 | 2139348 battle axe
battle axe's picture

Lets  go down to the Meadowlands In NJ and dig up Jimmy Hoffa and beat the shit out of him....Come on, who is in?

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:47 | 2139600 jekyll island
jekyll island's picture

Oh Please, he is stuffed into a 55 gallon drum buried in the Love Canal.  Get your facts straight next time.  

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 22:28 | 2140257 Benjamin Simon
Benjamin Simon's picture

Actually,,you are both wrong.  He is in my backyard.  Warmest regards, Ben.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:55 | 2139395 duo
duo's picture

So THAT's why Obama ran for president, so he could play there for free..

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 20:52 | 2139799 Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

I just don't see the need for government "desk jobs" to be unionized.

Also, the reality is that this has become the way in which the democratic party is politically funded. Unions fund the democratic party races and they have every right to do that. Just don't expect the US tax payors of this country to be the payor. The democrats require public employees to join the union, the union funds democrats, and the tax payors ultimately pay the employees of the state. Nice racket and one no democrat would ever agree is right if this funded all republican races.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:01 | 2140028 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture



Q: Are Government Unions Out Of Control? An Infographic

A: No, they have run out of US taxpayers’  monies to kick the can down the road.


Aside from Central Planning member’s setting the stage for minimal growth projections, trillions more are needed in continuing the fleecing operations. The next US crisis will be disguised as window dressing, Win The Future.


Faith Collapsing

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:08 | 2139227 MillionDollarBonus_
MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

WHAT??!! Collective bargaining is a HUMAN RIGHT. Government unions are just bargaining for future benefits like any other private contract. The unborn children that pay these taxes will be happy to pay for a more equal and prosperous society. Unions need to take to the streets NOW and fight for their rights!


Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:19 | 2139261 TeMpTeK
TeMpTeK's picture

In my town Cops work for 20 years and retire between the age of 40's-50 with a full pension for the rest of their life.. some have been collecting for more than 40 years.... Hmmmm work 20 collect for life.. sounds like lotto.....

... Lotto rights for everyone Bitchez

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:22 | 2139279 redpill
redpill's picture

Yeah let's just give everyone that deal, what could go wrong?


Oh yeah, Greece....

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:03 | 2139427 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

Greece Bitchez.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:07 | 2139445 TheSilverJournal
TheSilverJournal's picture

Every pensioner will get crushed when the dollar hyperinflates and pensions are wiped out. Social security is a poor backup plan because that will be gone too.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:49 | 2139606 jekyll island
jekyll island's picture

I was thinking the same thing.  Government is going to eat it's own with the hyperinflation it will cause trying to get out of debt. It will be strange though, because according to gov't statistics the CPI will never go above 6%.  

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:16 | 2140084 ChrisFromMorningside
ChrisFromMorningside's picture

As more and more asset classes undergo inflation, they'll just keep whittling down the basket of commodities they use to measure CPI. Gas skyrocketing? Food skyrocketing? Education costs skyrocketing? Who cares! Those things are inconsequential. The price of a toaster at Wal-mart hasn't increased much, so clearly we have 0% inflation! Yay!

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:17 | 2140090 ChrisFromMorningside
ChrisFromMorningside's picture

Yep. Don't forget that when all of the 401Ks are (further) wiped out, that will lead towards more Baby Boomers working til they die and therefore less legitimate jobs for younger people ...

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 22:13 | 2140226 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

We have local government employees here who retire at age 56, on a 120% pension (based on their last year of compensation, which their co-workers help rig higher by arranging lots of overtime for that special departing public servant), who get health and life insurance forever, and can go out and get another job, and that's often also in the public sector, collecting their full pension from their first government job.

No, I am not fabricating this, and no, it's not uncommon.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:12 | 2140068 ChrisFromMorningside
ChrisFromMorningside's picture

Same in my town. Not just a pension but also a fat healthcare package. The unionized teachers in my city make six figures ($100,000+) once they reach about the 20-year mark on the job.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 22:19 | 2140238 Captain Kink
Captain Kink's picture

... Lotto rights for everyone Bitchez


And everyone's got a winning ticket--it's your Right! Your HUMAN Right. to retire in style. to have a condo in florida, so you can snow bird with the rest...or maybe you prefer Arizona? Tell me, Comrade, what you like.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:05 | 2139435 GernB
GernB's picture

I totally agree that people's ability to form a collective and bargain is absolutely a right they should have. However, employers should have the right to decide not to deal with the union if they so wish. Each side is free, each does things out of mutual benefit, and each has power within reasonable boundaries. Nobody should ever be forced as a condition of employment to belong to a union. They should be free. If this were the case unions would be a benefit to society in that they would have to make reasonable demands which don't get all their employees fired and provide value to employees for the dues they collect.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:34 | 2139558 twotraps
twotraps's picture

you're fucking drunk

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:55 | 2139631 Xanadu_doo
Xanadu_doo's picture

government jobs (or contracts, or bailouts, etc., etc) are THE BOMB if you can get them -- always been the way and always will be. After all, it's not like the government is spending real money, so milk them for all its worth. Once we're all govt mules on the doll, everything will be great again.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:01 | 2140026 Sheriff Douchen...
Sheriff Douchenik from AZ's picture

I love MillionDollarBonus - he comes up and puts the commie line down with a straightface and all you folks fall for it. I guess it's also known as trolling but man he gets a rise outta the posters on here.

MillionDollarBonuses are a HUMAN RIGHT to union workers...see how easy the sarc is?

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 22:31 | 2140264 Benjamin Simon
Benjamin Simon's picture

MDB, you should contact me via facebook. I can prescribe medication that can help you.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:26 | 2139300 battle axe
battle axe's picture

Govt Unions are out of control? Hell they have been that way in NY State for the last 70 years, so why should we do anything to change, I mean it is not like we have a huge state deficit and they own the politicians in Albany. Oh wait we do have a deficit that is massive and the unions do own those worthless COCKSUCKERS in Albany. Hello Virginia.... 

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:41 | 2139366 Cancerous Keynesian
Cancerous Keynesian's picture

Revolutions, bitchz.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:07 | 2139446 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Abolish unions?  Of course.  Let's start with the AMA and the American Bar Association.

All professions are conspiracies against the laity.

                          George Bernard Shaw

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 19:11 | 2139683 hwwesq3
hwwesq3's picture

What about the CEOs' unions, where they all sit on each others' boards and keep raising executive pay, bonuses and stock options "because we need to be able attract good people"?

That's a union that negotiates with itself!

But I get it.  When a union negotiates with management, it's the union's fault that the poor, helpless management rolls over and gives pay that hurts the (stockholders? taxpayers?)

Just like when a greedy, rapacious individual asks a bank/mortgage company for a mortgage that the person can't afford, it's not the weak, helpless bank's fault the money is lent, it's all the fault of the borrower.

Or the government, which forced the bank/mortgage company to issue "only liar loans at 120% LTV, or we'll kill you!"

Ben Franklin was wrong.  He should have said: "United we're shit, divided we're free!" 

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 22:33 | 2140275 Benjamin Simon
Benjamin Simon's picture

A CEO union! I want one!

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 09:35 | 2141190 Archduke
Archduke's picture

united we're shit, divided we're diarrhea

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 20:04 | 2139842 LasVegasDave
LasVegasDave's picture

My favorite scene from Hoffa is when the Corp. boss gives the "OK" and the warehouse doors fly open letting out thousands of independant contractors with baseball bats and pipies to beat the shit out of the union parasites.

Great cinema

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:20 | 2140096 memyselfiu
memyselfiu's picture

there's your free market fuckwits...

after all the bullshit that the elites have tried to pull over the years the one thing they were wildly successful in doing was convincing non-elites that unions were the problem.

Many intelligent people on this website talk about the false left/right paradigm being used to divide and obfuscate. Why can you not recognize the similarities h

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:01 | 2139198 tekhneek
tekhneek's picture


Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:15 | 2139253 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

! YES !

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 22:35 | 2140286 Benjamin Simon
Benjamin Simon's picture

tekhneek, I hope that is indeed your picture, because you are rather hot in that coy come hither way.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:01 | 2139200 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Clearly the solution to our economic woes is to bust unions and pay firefighters, police and teachers less.   

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:07 | 2139229 karp4cy
karp4cy's picture

No, the solution to many of our problems is let all goods and services revert to market-based values.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:11 | 2139241 JailBank
JailBank's picture

Not sure I can agree with that. Will the FED tell us what the market is or how will we know?

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:16 | 2139256 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Simple.  End the Fed.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:18 | 2139264 JailBank
JailBank's picture

Scotty that would be imposible. Only Ben knows what the markets really need and should be. If we as a collective can't be told what the markets are supposed to do that day then there is just no way we could function as a society.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 22:25 | 2140249 Captain Kink
Captain Kink's picture

Warp 1.5, MR. Scott! 


Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:19 | 2139252 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

"No, the solution to many of our problems is let all goods and services revert to market-based values."

That way, we could have children working as firefighters (the ones who are not working the mines).  They are able to get into smaller spaces and they don't have families to support so they can work for much less as demanded by the free market.  Great point. 

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:23 | 2139282 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Nice strawman argument, dickweed. You union apologists are hopeless. And government unions are utterly indefensible.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:36 | 2139324 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Not a strawman at all.  The free market in the 1800's and early 1900's routinely employed child labor.  Happens in China -- where there are no unions -- all the time.   So why is it a strawman to point out the certain historically documented effect of the free market that you advocate?  If you believe it would not result, explain why not and explain why it did exist in our recent history.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:58 | 2139398 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

"The low value of child labor in agriculture may help explain why children were an important source of labor in many early industrial firms. In 1820 children aged 15 and under made up 23 percent of the manufacturing labor force of the industrializing Northeast. They were especially common in textiles, constituting 50 percent of the work force in cotton mills with 16 or more employees, as well as 41 percent of workers in wool mills, and 24 percent in paper mills."


Why don't you free market guys just admit that you don't give a shit about this stuff because you feel that you personally (and your children) will not be affected.  You believe you are smart enough or alread rich enough to avoid the fate that most will suffer.    If society wants to go your direction with open eyes, let it.  Of course you know that would never happen, thus the lies and Orwellian double speak like calling a "right to work state" a state in which an employer can fire anyone at any time without cause.  

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:10 | 2139458 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

Tell you what, since only 1-2% of the population works in agriculture and we have essentially outsourced textiles to every other nation...and mines...well - you know...

Try a better argument that meets todays challenges...and when starvation returns to America I will happily let someone bring their child to work in my garden weeding if it teaches the value of a hard days work, discourages them from EVER asking for another handout, and we stop this stupid fucking baby bullshit that kids in America would become immediate victims.

You know, some jobs aren't below you or your kids and that is the real problem with your argument.  Go watch Milton Freedman on Equal Pay for women...pretty compelling that the free labor market allows those that want to persecute and take advantage of people will fail.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:17 | 2139474 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

For generations, the free market put children to work in sweatshops for 12+ hour days without weekends.   I guess you would call that tough love.    Then again, it sounds like your basic premise is that the oligarchs have effectively destroyed any chance of the middle class existing in the future, and there will be no factories left in which children may toil.  Thus, you offer to employ children and other serfs in your fiefdom so they can have the pleasure of eating.   I suppose you will call yourself Lord JPM Hater001.   How generous of you, and thank you for your honesty.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:26 | 2139515 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

Let's be clear here...There was nothing free market about mining or sweatshops.  They had a monopoly and government backing them up.  THAT...not free markets (and yes once again the problem is government) is why child labor was so prevalent.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:31 | 2139532 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

I love this argument, Lord JPM Hater.  The private companies formed monopolies by destroying competition and the private companies employed the child labor which increased their profit, but it was the government's fault for "backing" these companies so let's get rid of government.  Then, and only then, will the companies behave themselves.   Great logic.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:35 | 2139560 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

Yes, regulation.  That's what Amerika is missing.  If we just regulated a little more this would all be fixed.

Study Rockafeller and what the gov did to his competition.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:37 | 2139568 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

In retrospect, I dont think I need to go that far back...Pretty much look at what regulation of Wall-street has done...kept honest people from being able to start honest companies...listen to Peter Schiff on this.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 20:09 | 2139852 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

100% correct.

This form of socialism whereby the huge multinationals in cahoots with the government control the means of production and erect endless and insurmountable barriers to entry under the guise of protecting the people all the while fortifying their own gravy train is despicable.

The US financial system graphic proof, amongst the highest reserves in the world,

seven federal agencies oversee the banks in addition to state regulators.

and wtf was that worth? not much so lets raise the reserves, create more no show beaurocrats and more regulation making the idea of any new competitors popping up virtually zero.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 20:46 | 2139976 g speed
g speed's picture

big business needs big labour needs big gov't needs big banking needs big military gives big corruption a place to thrive.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:04 | 2140033 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Big business bribes big government and needs it only to keep government of the people and by the people from doing its job of keeping big business in check and protecting the people.  If you did away with government, big business would have even more power and control.  Fixed it for you.

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 08:51 | 2141051 Argonaught
Argonaught's picture

Big Business and Big Labor bribes big government...

Before you fix something for someone else and gloat, you should try to get it right.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 22:43 | 2140310 DRT RD
DRT RD's picture

Also study Fredrick Taylor.  The government and the unions tried busting him up in the early 1900's for implying that a particular job should be done by the most efficient worker.  Union bosses had a field day with his ass.  They said he was going starve the less productive workers.  My point is this SHIT has been going on a long time and as long as private businesses and governments are in bed together, it will continue.


Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:33 | 2139555 DOT
DOT's picture

"... the free market put children to work..."   Bull Shit.

I've been able to get work since I was 9 years old. My grandfather worked at American Milling Machine and I can tell you about the kids at the Mills. Grandad went to work full time when he was twelve. Necessity put children in the job market (with consent of the parent), industry employed them.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 19:41 | 2139771 Sabibaby
Sabibaby's picture

@rand I started working as soon as I could at 14 and I did it because I wanted money. That's the difference between you and me. You probably think you deserve a check for being 14 and you'd probably b!tch about getting your hands dirty and using power tools. 

Either you work for your money or you have no money. 

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 20:19 | 2139898 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Let me add to this point...

"I've been able to get work since I was 9 years old."

Squire nmewn wants to work in order to make money and have some sense of freedom to spend on what he wants, when he wants, without asking us for a handout...but he can't because it's illegal for someone to hire him at his age.

Well now, human rights, meet human rights ;-) 

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:07 | 2140053 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Read history much?  Children worked in factories and mines in the 1800's - early 1900's because if they did not, they would starve to death.  It was not to buy a new i-pod made by child labor in China.   If a child today wants to work and/or his parents want him to work, he is protected from dangerous work, exposure to toxic chemicals, etc because of unions.  You and your ilk are very much like the spoiled child who looks out from his parent's mansion and wonders why everyone doesn't just have what he has.  He was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.  

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:32 | 2140134 ChrisFromMorningside
ChrisFromMorningside's picture

Properly enforced child labor laws can prevent children from those dangers, regardless of whether collective bargaining exists or does not exist.

The idea that by cutting pay and benefits packages among public sector workers (which are quite generous to begin with) we are suddenly going to go 200 years back in time to Dickensian London, with children working in coal mines, is completely moronic. You really are grasping at straws here.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:44 | 2140160 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

You are exhibiting normalcy bias.  It is normal for child labor laws to exist, but they did not exist before Unions made them exist.  Many on this site advocate for the complete elimination of government regulation pertaining to employment, other than enforcing contractual rights.  They also advocate the abandonment of collective bargaining.  Anyone who thinks that will not lead back to Dickensian London is either a shill or a fool.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 20:04 | 2139845 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

We certainly can't have children working! The family income might exceed the limits on getting Medicaid, SNAP and all those other goodies. Besides, if the children were gainfully employed full time they wouldn't be sitting in classrooms being indoctrinated by unionized government teachers. They might even start to think for themselves!

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:45 | 2140161 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Did you go to public school? 

Thu, 02/09/2012 - 08:57 | 2141071 Argonaught
Argonaught's picture

Yep!  Taught by the Teacher's Union.  Everytime a teacher had to be let go, it was one of the young and energetic ones...because, you know, protecting jobs by seniority is what is best for the children.  

So, your point, Mr. Unions Saved the World (hey, is Bernanke your leader??  He saved the world, too!) is what?

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:18 | 2139485 duncangraper
duncangraper's picture

You have kids in your family you would willingly let go work in an awful situation? Would you NOT allow that to happen?

I don't care if your kids have to cliff dive for scrap.  Family Evolution

Try to FORCE mine out to work for yours.  We'll see what happens

Freedom, bitch.  That's what I'm talking about

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:21 | 2139498 Sabibaby
Sabibaby's picture

We could start a union for kids and put soda machines, TV's with 24/7 cartoons, and pop-tarts in the break room. Not sure why that's such a big deal. Heck we could even pay the childrens parents for alowing their kids to be part of the union.


Better yet, lets force families to become a part of the union and we can supply housing and FREE healthcare to all employees and their families. It would be a socialist utopia where everyone is the same, making the same amount, and living in the same type of house. Then, those OWS graduate folks looking for someone to pay their student loans would have someone to pay it for them, the union!!!

Woohoo, no need to work harder than anyone else because were all the same!!!

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:33 | 2139554 Moe Howard
Moe Howard's picture

Are you stupid or something? First there are no factories for children to work in here in the USA, the leftists made it impossible for them to operate here. Second, you might not have noticed, times are not the same, all the buggy whips and horse drawn carts are gone. Because we might get rid of government unions does not mean children are going to work now. Try to get a grip and not go all menopausal on us here.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:11 | 2140065 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Yes, it is the lefties who caused all of the problems, Red Team man.  It wasn't the cheap labor in China, Mexico, Vietman, Bangledesh, etc., and the laissez-faire free trade agreements starting with Reagan that destroyed our manufacturing base.    If there were no lefties, we could all work for slave wages and still have factories in your fantasy world of serfdom for the masses.  And do you have an issue with women?  Not getting any?

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:27 | 2140115 ChrisFromMorningside
ChrisFromMorningside's picture

Yes. How dare those brown and yellow people try to work harder than us and for less wages! Damn them. What the hell are they thinking? Who do they think they are, working hard to get ahead in life? Don't they know that only U.S. citizens are allowed to perform those jobs? And that the key to getting ahead in life is having a good union negotiator, not working hard?


Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:51 | 2140180 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

I see we've now resorted to admitting that free trade is destroying the American middle class but saying that's okay because there are poor people in other countries.   This is the false choice offered by the free market crowd.  In your world, there are three choices:  1) poverty and death; 2) subsistence existence, or 3) 1% status.  My defense of unions is exactly the opposite of this premise, in that we can only have a middle class if all societies demand it.  The fact that other countries allow the exploitation of workers is not the solution as you propose.  It is the problem.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 22:36 | 2140295 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

indeed, how dare US citizens think they are work MORE than these dedicated workers of Foxconn, when in fact, they are obviously worth LESS,

Like machines, Foxconn workers are expected to work long hours on very little fuel. One notable case of this treatment, detailed by the New York Times, involved a Foxconn foreman waking up 8,000 workers from their dorms in the middle of the night to accommodate a last-minute redesign for an iPhone. The foreman gave each employee a biscuit and a cup of tea before they were forced to work a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into frames.

"The speed and flexibility is breathtaking," said a former Apple executive. "There's no American plant that can match that."

those amrkns who survive the coming storms will be fleet 'n' fit 'n' ready to SERVE.

/no sarc, truth.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 19:23 | 2139727 bbq on whitehou...
bbq on whitehouse lawn's picture

My 9 year old self would ask: If i do a mans labor am i not entitled to a mans wage?

It took me till i was 14 years old before i could get a third of a mans wage. I was proud that day. Same work, 1/3 the wage but it was better then 1/10 of a wage what i was earning up to that point under the table.

Just so you know its not all about you, real people real lives.

Somthing you might want to think about.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 19:25 | 2139728 FrankThinkTank
FrankThinkTank's picture

@rand...Ad hominem time: you are a peabrained fool. Wall of text or not, peas everywhere are offended.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:12 | 2140069 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Fuck you too, asshole.   

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:21 | 2139496 DOT
DOT's picture

"The free market in the 1800's and early 1900's ....."     /s

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:24 | 2140107 ChrisFromMorningside
ChrisFromMorningside's picture

That makes zero sense. I can't imagine anyone who would pay to have a children fight a fire instead of a grown adult. It's not just a strawman argument, it's a really stupid one at that.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 22:01 | 2140202 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Yeah, no kidding.  What's even stupider, when you think about it, is consider the chances you can pay someone to put out a fire when your house is burning down in the first fucking place!

Your wallet and checkbook are *probably* inside!  What are you supposed to do?  Promise the firefighter you'll pay ONLY if he saves your house?,

I mean, duh.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:16 | 2139247 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

have you ever done a study on how much police chiefs', and fire dept. captains earn?

enough, to buy them prime real estate, and more

let's just say i've been around - every affluent neighborhood in the country has a McDonald's Mansion owned by one of the above

MD's, DDT's, Professors, Broker/Dealers, CPA's and of course the Unionized Fire & Cops higher echelon --- ever try to understand why?

Ps. a 3 year state trooper makes 6 figures without blinking an eyelash

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:18 | 2139263 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

I would venture to say that the average fire department captain makes one tenth of one percent of what the average large company CEO "earns" in a given year.  Of course, large company CEO's have to make tough calls about closing down factories in Canada and sending them to China when the workers refuse to halve their pay, so they deserve the millions they bring home each year.   And they are properly compensated for figuring out how to contribute nothing back in taxes even though they pollute, wear out infrastructure, etc.  Fuck the greedy firemen.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:26 | 2139516 LowProfile
Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:29 | 2139530 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

Then he should have been the CEO of a company.  Are you really going to argue this?

This is ZeroHedge, not Sesame Street.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 19:36 | 2139758 Sabibaby
Sabibaby's picture

Imagine a society where firemen are at the very top of TPTB and everyone else is either a CEO, police officer, or teacher because there's no other jobs in America. Stuff just appears because the Firemen are pulling the strings. We got all the basis coverecd now that we've addressed the most important ocupation ever in the history of mankind and America's problems are solved. 

Let Them Eat Rand, get this info to Greece and let them know that firefighters are superior to everyone else and that they can fix this thing!

Actually, at that point do you think the Firefighters even want to be in a union anymore?

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:20 | 2140097 knukles
knukles's picture

Farenheit 451

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 22:31 | 2140265 Sabibaby
Sabibaby's picture

Good catch but I didn't mean to do it.... 

Burn the books folks, terrorists read books!!!

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 19:36 | 2139759 Sabibaby
Sabibaby's picture


Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:13 | 2140072 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Now at least here you didn't say something that suggested a depth of thinking no greater than a third grader.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 22:33 | 2140279 Sabibaby
Sabibaby's picture

well it was a double post.... originally.... FUCK THE FBI FUCK THE CIA FUCK YOUR MOM FUCK SHIT FUCK FUCK!!!!

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 17:47 | 2139379 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

"have you ever done a study on how much police chiefs', and fire dept. captains earn?"

In New York, looks like an average fire captain makes approx $150K.   Goldman's CEO made at least $20M in 2011 while shareholders lost value.   If you think there's nothing wrong with this picture, your corporate overlords thank you for sucking up their endless anti-worker free market propaganda.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:27 | 2139518 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

Another nice attempt at changing the subject.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:33 | 2139553 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

So answering a specific question is changing the subject?  I know you can read, but can you understand what you read?  Let me answer that for you.  No.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:42 | 2139585 DOT
DOT's picture

Answer this:

What is a "free market" ?


I think you don't know. Please use your own words

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 21:15 | 2140007 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

There is no such thing.  Never has been, never will be.  Capitalism is either survival of the fittest and greediest, or it's something similar to our current system, or it's top down fiefdom land like China.  The free market ideologues talk about does not exist except in the writings of theorists.  But it's easy to complain about reality when fantasy seems so much better.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:32 | 2139544 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

Again, he/she should have studied to run Goldman Sachs.  Why is this my fucking problem?

Restating an argument puts you back in Romper Room.  I see bill and julie and danny and grace...oh! theres jimmy, he's going to be forced into a 6 figure job when he should have been given 7.

You want to try again?

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:32 | 2139550 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

I'm on a fucking tear.  I think I should play WOW now.

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 18:34 | 2139557 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Keep patting yourself on the back for repeating Rush.  He loves it.

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