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Picking Scabs and Parking Spaces

July 20, 2010 by  

Picking Scabs and Parking Spaces

Meet Billy Raye. Billy is a 51-year-old bicycle courier. Billy was out of work. According to Friday’s edition of The Wall Street Journal, Billy has managed to find employment. Billy, who is not a member of any labor organization, has been hired by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters (MARCC)—to walk a picket line.

The MARCC is picketing outside the MacPherson building in Washington, D.C., these days. The building is home to a satellite campus of a Chicago-based school of psychology, only slightly ironic given the schizoid nature of what’s happening outside their facility.

The MARCC is miffed because the school is using Can-Am Contractors—a non-union outfit—to put up drywall. And the union boys are outraged at the idea of Can-Am using “scabs” to do work that could have been done by MARCC members at a higher rate of pay.

Keep in mind, the union isn’t so incensed that they’re doing their own picketing. Instead, they’ve hired Billy and some other less fortunate types to do their epithet-shouting and sandwich-board wearing for them. To put it bluntly, the union has hired scabs to protest against Can-Am… using scabs.

In one of the all-time great too-many-obvious-jokes moments, Vincente Garcia, the union supervisor of picketing (and irony-proofing) at the MacPherson building, said regular MARCC members can’t handle the picketing themselves because, “For a lot of our members, it’s really difficult to have them come out, either because of parking or something else.”

Billy Raye clearly doesn’t have a problem with stowing his bike, nor, according to The Journal, does he even care why he’s there. “I’m getting paid to march around and sound off.” Such is life in the union universe.

The current national unemployment rate is hovering around 9.5 percent. Factoring in the likely 4 percent to 5 percent who are either retired, dead, not looking for work or picketing the MacPherson Building contractors, the real rate is closer to 14 percent. That’s a lot of available scab picketers.

According the article, the MARCC pays scabs to man close to 150 picket lines throughout the D.C. and Baltimore areas on a daily basis. Scab picketers get $8.25/hour to walk in circles and hurl pro-union invective at whatever non-union labor is taking place in their location.

Presuming 50 scabs per picket line (the number at the MacPherson building), working (drinking coffee and shouting in semi-unison) 20 hours a week, the MARCC is coughing up $8,250 per week, per picket line. Even if we cut the number in half, a labor union is paying non-union labor a little more than $600,000 weekly to… well… work for them.

How many of the unemployed picketers-for-hire could be turned into full-fledged MARCC members by redirecting the aforementioned sum towards job training? How many Billy Rayes could hop off their bicycles and into a job site for the kind of dough he and his fellow temporary picketers are pocketing to scream bloody murder on behalf of the union-affiliated companies which don’t hire them? Most importantly, why does someone Outside the Asylum need to point this out?

When the United Auto Workers’ massive contracts played a large part in turning General Motors into Government Motors, I couldn’t help but think that the days of unions protecting American laborers from predatory employers had faded into the swirling mists of history. When the Service Employees International Union sent its goons in to play the heavies for Democrats confronted with popular opposition to Obamacare, I realized the unions were beginning to morph into the sort of thugs against whom they were formed to defend. It’s as if the Molly Maguires bought the mine and immediately reopened the company store.

Now the unions are hiring scabs to do the work union members don’t want (or at least, can’t find convenient parking for.) Don’t get me wrong—I have no issue with what the unions call scab labor. I use “scab” not as a pejorative, but as a demonstrative. The MARCC or one of the other groups around the country who employ similar tactics could use scab-picketer money to turn scab-picketers into dues-paying workers. Dues-paying workers would boost union membership rolls, union pensions, union officials and—most importantly to union officials—union officials’ bank accounts.

Think of the major American corporations which could be turned into semi-government-controlled operations! Imagine the coordinated assaults on anti-Obamacare protestors! Visualize the Brobdingnagian brigades of union muscle, riding out like the proverbial Assyrian cohort, gleefully pounding senior citizens on behalf of their Democrat Darius.

The best part is: they already have the purple shirts.

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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  • dan of arizona

    so why is the unions backing immagration reform to bolster there union dues or take the pay scale down a notch if they cant compete with the lower wage earners are they going to start a half off union. I was in the union when it started at ten dollars then went to twenty dollars in ten years the funny thing is i still brought home the same amount as when i started and for your retirement i vested ten years and have nothing to show for it they invested into a casino on the res and when they went bankrupt so did the funds yea i think the unions had a purpose once but know they are just trying to be something there not or ever has been for the working man

  • s c

    There’s no point in wishing Billy Raye well in his attempt to help a union look stupid or point out yet another of its many flaws. Union workers are quite right to be outraged at the extreme stupidity of their ‘superiors.’
    Will it accomplish anything? Is this simply an easy way for Vincente Garcia to hint that some (but not all) unions have plenty of chump change available for picketers? Go figure. Unions seem to want it both ways at the same time, and people like Garcia have a knack for furnishing all the proof anyone might need.

  • Jim H.

    I was in a union once, the only time you knew it was at the end of the month and every three years.

    • Retribution

      I was once in the UFCW. I never saw any union representative until it was time for salary negotiations or union elections. Then they’d come around and buddy-buddy everyone. The last union-negotiated pay raise I received amounted to 5 cents an hour, or $8.00 a month for 40 hours a week. The problem wasn’t just that the union forbade merit pay but that it raised union dues along with our pay raise. My union dues went up $12.00 a month, so my net “pay raise” was minus $4.00. And the union was no help to me, because I was a hard worker. My coworkers told me to stop working so hard. I laughed it off. But a few days later, one particular waste of skin got in my face and screamed, “Stop working so hard! You’re making us look bad. And it’s not like you’re going to get a raise or a promotion anyway.” Over the next year, that useless piece of crap got by with doing a bare minimum of work — which left the more conscientious workers a heavier work load — but the company couldn’t fire him because of union protection. I did get my promotion — to management — and I set about studying the union rules so I could fire that sack of crap. It took me a while, because you had to go through a long process of verbal and written warnings. And the rules required that a person had to commit the same infraction three times within a 12-month period before he could be fired. The SAME infraction, not just any three infractions. I had to watch that nasty bastard like a hawk in order to catalog all his derelictions. I had to make sure I executed the process flawlessly, but I had him gone within six months. Others were glad he was canned, because he was always getting them to cover for him. I’ve got no use for unions.

      • 45caliber

        I know the feeling. My mother wasn’t happy when I became a mechanical engineer because it wasn’t “union”. She belonged and was sure it was great.

        Then I asked what she was paying in dues. Multiplying by a thousand (the approximate number of workers where she was working) it figured to over $35,000 a month being paid in. All local union stewarts were paid by the company, so the ONLY use for the money was the five or so union officals they never saw. Once every three years they would all go to Las Vegas and stay at one of the casinos for six weeks while they “negotiated” with company management. Each time the workers would get about 15 cents an hour pay raise. And the negotiations would last until about 5 minutes before midnight on the last day before settlement.

        She finally decided unions weren’t worth the money when she was injured at home. Since she couldn’t work any more, the union told her they couldn’t help her an anything.

      • Palin12

        I know the feeling too, Retribution. I was working a non-union job in California, and then management themselves decided it would be good for us to be in a union because most of our customers were and then management handpicked UFCW for us. One year I was supposed to get automatic step increase, as per employee handbook, and I was skipped over. I called the union boss to file a grievance and she said she’d have it resolved within the week. For the next 2 weeks I called everyday and got her answering machine and none of my messages were ever returned. On the third week I called again, and got a voice mail saying she would be on vacation for the next 2 weeks. No mention of anyone to speak to in her absense. Whe she finally returned I was told she was not at liberty to discuss my case, but that there were certain affirmative action policies that came into bearing. I lost about $2000 in income that year thanks to UFCW.

    • Earl, QUEENS, NY

      I agree Jim H. I belonged to a union in which you only knew it on payday, when the leeches took money from your paycheck. Likewise, they never communicated with us well neither. In fact, when we went on strike 9 years ago, the union never even tried to contact us by phone to tell us the strike was on!! I had to listen to a local news radio station to find out!! It seemed like the only time they ever wanted to contact us was if we owed money to the parasite union!! No wonder I strongly oppose EFCA, and strongly favor ‘Right-to-Work’ laws.

    • Scratch n Sniff

      Oh Ya! I remember the Y’nion!
      I was 14 workin’ @ 5-Minute Car Wash – Washington State! Big guy, 10′ feet from my short perspective — blocked out the sun!

      Hey kid!… you work here? (I’m up to my ears in bugs, soap, and drenched with rinse water) These guys ain’t that smart thinks I.

      Yes, sir 5-min Caw Wash return your machine sparklin’ clean!

      You wash cars from out of state? Certainly, sir. Dirt knows no boundaries. We return it to the earth sort of dust to dusk!

      “Well,” sez the giant, that makes you a member of our union what controls interstate commerce — so welcome to Teamsters!

      “Thank you sir!”

      That’ll be 10% of your wages, paid in advance, weekly.
      Just stop and Scratch n Sniff… that stuff: smells like B S***!

      I was making $0.35 an hour then and he wanted to round it up to 0.05 x an estimated 27 hours a week = $1.35 BS*** starting to smell like MORE S***
      I told him to take this after school, weekends and holidays job and shove it! Then ran like the wind (track team and all that you know) through the wash.

      Stupid ass! He ran through after me! I hit the “Rinse” button (since the cars had stopped in line while the “Bag Man” was talking to the troops).

      I still wash my own car; someone might point me out and the drippy goon might be waiting.

  • hflashman

    “I couldn’t help but think that the days of unions protecting American laborers from predatory employers had faded into the swirling mists of history”

    Yep…today after years of GOp “protection”, there is nothing to stop predatory employers from screwing the average American. How about those unemployment benefits eh? The GOP caused the crash, then bailed out Wall Street fat cats giving them trillions without conditions attached. Yet they halt giving the unemployed a few hundreds bucks more to manage on..saying it would ‘bust the budget’.

    Ha the GOP offered any solution to any of our problems? ummm….only thing I can think of is they want to increase the deficit by increasing corporate welfare and increase tax breaks to the wealthy.

    Some solution eh? What got us into this economic mess…the GOP wants to continue. And they have no solutions….only promises to make it worse.

    • David

      Hflashman, your talking points sound as silly as the “rent a mob” noise. No one but your own fellow fools believe this crap anymore, so why not try something new? I would suggest the truth, but you probably can’t handle it

      • Harold Olsen

        Truth? What is truth? Does it exist anymore. Oh! That’s right! Truth is whatever the left says even if it is proven to be a lie. Lies are whatever the right says even if it is proven to be true. I keep forgetting that.

    • Brad


      Unions had a place years ago, but in today’s world unions are just as dangerous as politicians. They will lie, cheat and steal to get what they want. I’m not going to sit around and let your hard left propaganda influence or even drag down a party, because both sides are to blame for the mess our country is in today.

      Both parties take from corporate coffers, both are influenced by big business lobbyists, so quit drinking the lefts cool aid and read some current events and make an educated decision through careful research. A question for you, when was the last time any union official/employee offered to take a pay cut to help their company’s bottom end, like i.e. Chrysler or GM union workers?

      I was once employed by a company (DynCorp), the job site at Patuxent River MD. did vote for union representation, the day of the vote I had just left the company to start work for a far better small business, which I’m still at and enjoy tremendously. Well, of the 795 employee’s eligible to vote only 345 voted, the yes votes 195 to 150 no votes. The union walked in, that was March 03 and when their new contract was inked the following Oct the only thing the employee got was uniforms and a boot allowance and an increase in pay. On the flip side they lost the companies 401K match, all types of company insurance, they employee has to pay for everything out of pocket. So what good are unions except to pick the pocket of every employee for 2 hr’s pay every two weeks?

      They won’t take a pay cut!!! They are the ones who going help cause the demise of this great country through their support for health care reform, because they have an in, they don’t have to pay an taxes on their fat cat health care premiums, which was written into the law, hmm got figure. They only thing both Democ “rats” and some republicans have been able to do is get us further into the hole. By the republicans denying further wasteful spending with the extension of unemployment benefits they want to ensure the bill is paid in full instead of passing the buck down the road to our children and grand children.

      These are just tidbits because the Democ “rats” aren’t looking at it our current administration is on spending our children and grandchildren down the road with the highest deficits of any administration. So why can’t democ “rats” come up with a balanced budget, what are they affraid of, cat got your tongue?

      • hflashman

        Big unions are no different than Big Corporations. I’ll agree. But saying unions are evil because the larger ones have become coroprations? One only has to know history to realize the return of the early 20th century is not a good step forward.

        • Tom

          Unions ARE EVIL, period.

          Their purpose has long gone in this country.

          In the early days of the 20th Century, unions were needed to protect the worker because the story of the injustices never made it out of the town where the plant was located. The speed of information back them traveled incredibly slow or not at all. Today, you fart and everyone in the world knows about it in 60 seconds.

          Times have changed my friend, so are the need for unions.

          As my grandfather (God rest his soul), who was a union worker back in the day, told me in 1980, “Mark my words, unions are going to be the downfall of this country”.

          A couple years ago, as I completed work at a union autoworker plant, I watched six workers, making an average of $150,000 per year, sitting at a picnic table playing Euker all evening, I realized that my grandfather was correct.

          At another union (non-auto) plant, as I sat and listened to the union workers gripe about their pay and benefits and how they were going to sick the union rep on so and so, I realized my grandfather was correct. Also, I realized that unions had transformed into protecting the worker to protecting the union.

          If you shake off the brainwashed union mentality and see what is really going on you would agree.

          • coal miner


            Wrong,join the IWW today.We can’t be bought or bribe.Money and greed will be a thing of the past.

          • Hugh Jordin


            In some fields unions have gone beyond their mission, but in others they continue to serve a VERY positive purpose and protect workers from exploitation.

            Do some homework bfore you mouth off. Talk about “brainwashed”…

            Ask mine workers who were held in virtual servitude; kids working in textile mills, crews of non-union movie production companies, etc. if they would like a union to provide fair wages, some plan for retirement, and a means of dealing with health care.

            It is true that some unions are virtual mobs, but others have done much good for exploited workers. In the entertainment industry where most workers go from project to project, the unions are the only source of stability in the workers lives.

            A blanket condemnation of all unions is ridiculous and show a lack of deep thinking, understanding of history, and a poor grasp[ of how things work in industry.

          • eyeswideopen

            Tom, if you don’t think that people screw off in the private sector, who aren’t in the unions, you are doing the best drugs around. Think about this. Just last year, women had to have a law passed to insure that we would be paid equally for doing the same job that a man does. You think that there is no need for unions at this time??? You really are living in a cave…..have you already forgotten the coal mine disaster, where the union had been fighting to make working conditions safer, but the republican owner preferred to get fined, rather than change??? He viewed the deaths as collateral damage. Get in the real world and take off those right wing blinders.

          • Tom

            To Hugh Jordin:

            You said – “Do some homework bfore you mouth off. Talk about “brainwashed”…”

            Hugh, when you see the crap that happens because of unions WITH YOUR OWN EYES, there is NO NEED to “do some homework” before making an observation.

            As for the mine workers, my grandfather (as I stated was a union coal miner in PA) was the one who said that unions would be the downfall of this country. By the way, he died of black lung and my grandmother got nothing from the union.

            To eyeswideopen:

            You said -
            “Tom, if you don’t think that people screw off in the private sector, who aren’t in the unions, you are doing the best drugs around.”

            Hell yes, people in the private sector screw off. I’ve seen it, I’ve done it. But, if you continue to screw off in the private sector, there is no union to keep you from justly loosing your job. I used to work at the corp level and believe me there is plenty of dead weight there as well. When I stayed late because of critical issues and worked long hours, I didn’t get slammed into the lockers from co-workers telling me I was making them look bad. I worked hard because I was raised that hard work will get you somewhere – something the union mentality does not have…or ever will.

            You also said -
            “Think about this. Just last year, women had to have a law passed to insure that we would be paid equally for doing the same job that a man does. You think that there is no need for unions at this time??? You really are living in a cave…..”

            At this corp job, we had a women in our area that sat in her office and did her nails while talking to her friends on the phone all day long. She was an engineer… One day I asked the person in charge why they hadn’t gotten rid of her, and he said, “I would love to fire her but the company won’t let me BECAUSE SHE IS A WOMAN.”

            You finished with -
            “have you already forgotten the coal mine disaster, where the union had been fighting to make working conditions safer, but the republican owner preferred to get fined, rather than change??? He viewed the deaths as collateral damage. Get in the real world and take off those right wing blinders.”

            I never said I forgot any coal miner disaster. When they had the coal miners stuck underground a few years ago, I cried and prayed for their safety. I have nothing against the people who work, it is the unions that have to go. As for the owner of the mine in question, I presume that because everyone in the world knows about it, he is not going to get away with any injustice that happened. He will pay, people will make sure. And you want to know why? Because today, the media is tuned into EVERYTHING at light speed.

            Let me close by mentioning a conversation I had with my neighbor. My neighbor recently bought a new car, a Ford vehicle. I noticed it when I was out in the yard and walked over to complement him on it. I told him the car looked nice, but I could never buy one. He asked why not. I told him I could never buy a car made by union workers. Apparently (I did not know at the time), this hit a nerve as he was a “big union” supporter as he worked at a steel mill before he retired some years past. He asked why I would say that, and I told him what I had seen at a plant (where the workers were sitting there all evening playing Euker and making $150k on average). His response was, “Well they probably had seniority”… I rest my case.

          • eddie47d

            Tom; “he died from black lung”; You got the culprit backwards. Unions can only ask for benefits from management and it’s up to them to take care of their workers that they employe. So you grandfather got nothing from management.Management controls the purse strings and who gets what in healthcare or not. Apparently they didn’t care enough about the serious problem with black lung. So they crapped on the union and safety and all workers.

          • Hugh Jordin


            You do not realize it, but you just condemned the mine owners, not the unions. The mine owners were the ones that did not care about the health of THEIR employees. One can always replace a peasant. Why didn’t the mine owners proved health care and pensions for the workers that were making them fortunes?


        • Christin

          Atleast Big Corporations provide JOBS and salaries to working people… the Big Labor Unions just take fees from someone else’s salary to feed themselves and gain power for coruption.

          I was a Teacher for many years before I stayed home to have children and I had Teacher dues. We were told that if we got sued by a crazy parent they would help us, but I found out later that the leader I was paying dues to was a Liberal Democrat that was furthering their liberal agenda through education.

          Unions are THUGS and hurt the worker, right to work, and prosperity of a state and nation. BO is in bed with them and that tells you everything… none of it is good.

        • Jerry D

          When I was going to college in Indiana, I had to join the union in order to work at one of the steel mills. There were about a third more working than needed. A buddy of mine and I were called down by the shop steward because we were “working too hard and making the rest of them look bad.” The unions have outlived their usefulness and are filled with graft and corruption, as are the big businesses and our own government. This great nation is fast sliding down hill and the unions are a large part of the problem.

    • Doug

      Why is there unemployment benefits? Back in the day the labor unions and others took care of this! It’s not the Fed. Govt right to take my money and pay others not to work! And when you do this a high percentage does not even want to work. Same thing happens when you feed wild life once you start they forget how to hunt and feed themselves how many times do we have to make the same mistakes before we put and end to this madness????????

    • Mike Austin,TX

      Whose talking points are you reading from? It is not dem vs repub. It is right and wrong based on the constitution and whaminimal power the gov’t is supposed to have. If you don’t like unions, there should be NO law forcing you to join. Period.

  • WarriorH

    Since majority of government workers are unionized, this must indicate the government hasn’t been a very fair employer. Shame on them.

    • Carolina Mom

      Well said…..

    • 45caliber

      In most union areas they are forced to “negotiate” with companies. But the UAW didn’t because the company officials would simply tack the extra on to the price of new cars – and EVERYONE knew that stupid Americans would pay any price to buy a new American car. Then they got competition from foreign companies and were in a bind they still aren’t fully out of.

      The government allowed the workers to become unionized to repay some of their backers. But they have no competition so again they aren’t worried about the increased costs due to unions. All they have to do is charge their customers (the taxpayers) more.

      But sooner or later, the bow will break. And when it does …

  • jimma

    This is so incredulous that it is almost unbelivable. I spent thirty plus years as a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and retired due to the present economic situation. The unemployment rate amongst the building trades is alomost twice as high as the national average, yet these carpenters can’t seem to get off their duffs to picket against something they are supposed to be in solidarity. Where are the rank and file? They should be on the line, but maybe they enjoy sitting and drinking beer more (at taxpayer expense) than standing up for what they believe in.

  • Bob L

    It started with affirmative action and federal banking oversight committees on Prez Clintons’ term in office. Wall street was bailed out during BHOs’ watch, with the exception of Lehmans who by coincidence.happened to be the lending instiyute that contributed the least to the Obama campaign. The housing bubble started, again with Clinton and company. Toxic assets subsequently became a password in the investment field. Unemployment benefit extensions could easily be taken from the business [mostly big] initiatives’ 3 trillion smackeroos, but, no, the Democrats want to add extension benefits to an already seam bursting spending spree. God help America.

    • hflashman

      Just for clarification…the no strings attached bailout was that of the GOP and Bush. If you wouuld have been able to read and comprehend ….Obama placed conditions on the so-called ‘second bailout’ over the screams of anguish by the GOP…and not one bank took the money. Not one.

      The GOP and Bush caused this mess we have today with their insane economic policies of giving to the rich and raping the average American blind. They took the surplus and busted us. Obama has had to deal with the mess caused by the GOP and Bush…and the GOP is right there opposing anything that would help the average American.

      But then, you haven’t been programmed by the Right wing programmers to think independently and rationally…so your lamentations are understandable though grossly misdirected and misplaced.

      • Brad

        So when was the last time a poor person offered jobs??

        It’s the rich who create work for the masses and when drivil like you come along you can’t see what makes the work force work. Sure company’s look out for their bottom end because they have stock holders to answer to. Carter, Clinton and now Obama have caused the greatest financial breakdown this country has ever seen, and the democ “rats” in congress have let them do it!!!

        You my friend need to learn economics and how business works, you have no idea what makes this country work. Both parties caused this problem and both parties need to work hard to get us out of it, plain and simple.

        • blamesomeoneelse

          It doesn’t matter Dem or Rep. The damage is done. The fix will be to painful for the majority to take. The result will be the fall of america! We turned from God and now we have to live under satins rule, power, corruption, greed, lies, stealing and so on. Survive by attacking your neighbor will be the norm.

        • s c

          Brad, it’s not easy to ignore the delusional rantings of a union apologist, and in the case of ‘the flash,’ remember that he’s “immorally obligated” to take his drugs and continue swilling that progressive Kruel Ade.
          The one thing a union worker/union apologist will NEVER talk about is the debt they owe to their
          ‘Savior,’ lucifer’s gift to Russia and world communism, V I Lenin. If it wasn’t for Lenin [via collective bargaining] and organized crime [the 'families'], America wouldn’t have a union infestation.
          People like ‘da flash,’ once they’re indoctrinated,
          can’t go back to being normal. They’re part of the perpetual redistribution of other people’s wealth
          and lies and immoral aberrations to please their union masters. It’s chiseled in granite. It’s part of their unholy list of infernal ‘commandments.’

          • Brad

            sc, thanks you gave me a little something to chuckle about today, but got to agree that old boy nows nothing about business and what keeps business going.

            The fix IMHO is to cut corporate tax rates down to 25%, atleast it will try to stimulate large businesses into hiring new workers and for medium to small business cut their taxes down to nothing and provide incentives to hire new workers. Congress will have to pay for these measures, why not cut all foreign aid that goes out, because it’s in the billions. What about cutting back on all social programs by 5%. Just some friendly ideas.

          • hflashman

            FYI…I am a small business owner, 32 employees. Stuff it when you say I don’t know business. What is evil is how the GOP raped small business during the Bush years and you guys were robots being programmed that being raped was good.

          • 45caliber

            So you are business owner. Tell me, are your workers unionized? If not, how come? If they are, do you have problems competing against companies that aren’t?

        • hflashman

          Take the last 6 presidents. Do you really want to know which ones oversaw the building up of large deficits, small wage and salary increases, outsourcing the majority of new job creation, and the concentration of wealth into a shrinking number of elites?

          The balme for this deficit and busted bdgets lays squarely on the GOP and the fiaco’s of presidents called Reagan, Bush I, Bush II. You can argue until the cows come home…but facts are facts. Voodoo economics is just that…voodoo.

          • Tom

            You have got to be kidding… Boy have you had too much of the Liberal Kool-Aide.

            It has been proven without a doubt that in recent times, our most prosperous years were during the Reagan Administration. Reagan was a smart man and had balls to stand up to the Socialist A-holes of the times that wanted more entitlements paid for by the people who worked for their money.

            It is amazing as I listen to people today complain about unemployment benefits not being extended. It doesn’t take much intelligence to realize that continuing over and over extending benefits is not going to help them get back to work. It just makes them lazier. If you need to eat you will find work.

            Remember when men were too proud to take charity, and would work for it? We have very few of those “real” men left…

          • Brad


            Being a business man you should know that by cutting corporate taxes for large, medium, and small company’s has proven to save money. You are probably wondering how, well my friend when you cut corporate tax rates business can hire more employee’s, they inturn pay more in fed/state taxes and those tax receipts grow. Business then can start selling product at a reduced sale price, the general public buy’s the product and every one is happy. Since we are in this down turn, it seems as if you want more taxes, less consumer spending, less tax receipts for the fed and states.

            So my friend where is your proof, the statistics to prove your point, all I see right now is a blabbering liberal cry baby sucking at the goverments breast. You want hand outs at the working classes expense or the rich then go to work and earn your money, you hack.

          • 45caliber

            Blame it on Congress, not the GOP. The Presidents have little or nothing to do with spending unless, like Oblama, they can get Congress to vote without seeing what they are voting for. And for most of those years, Congress was Democrat.

          • vicki

            HFlashman: You can stop blaming bush. We get it. You are immune to facts. Pesky little things like the bailouts all happened under DEMOCRAT controlled Congress. Democrats, if they really were for the little guy would have stopped those bailouts cold. They didn’t. They could have. But they didn’t. And another pesky little fact. The Democrats did it again under OBAMA’S watch. Stimulus for Wealthy friends of DEMOCRATS.

            But no worries. Liberals ignore facts so the Democrats blame the GOP (and Bush) and all will be well.

      • CJ

        If you want to help, get off your left-winged rant of placing blame. How we got here doesn’t matter. What’s being done does, and the current administrations has done NOTHING to help the situation. So, stop blaming and start helping… or just keep your negativity to yourself. You can’t give ONE example of solid, sustainable improvement because there hasn’t been any. Patchy fixes here and there are not correcting the problem.

        • J.Michael

          How we got here sure as hell does matter and your right-winged rant ,blaming current administration, is just the same kind of stuff your telling the so-called kool-aide drinkers not to do. HYPOCRITE. So, you keep your “negativity” to yourself.

          • 45caliber

            J.: I see. So if we think good thoughts, everything will get better. I had no idea it was that simple! Let’s see … that means that workers will soon be going back to work, everyone will again be able to pay their car and house payments … And all because we just think good thoughts!

      • Doug

        Wake up differnet puppets same master! Learn what free enterprise is something that has not been going on for years in years in America. What has been going on is crony capitalism where the politicians are deciding which corporations make and which ones don’t instead of a free market! I little reading will go a along way for you hflash and please stop drinking the koolaid look up Rev. Jones!

      • Russ

        hflashman is a union, demoncrap trollish operative. Do not give this person any attention, he proves what kind of person he is with his comments and certainly proves who he is an operative for.
        If you want a union, why not an American people UNION to preserve the UNION. Now that would be a worthy cause to picket for and even contribute financially too. All UNION’s are about is the socialization of our Republic wheather UNION members today realize it or not, they are usefull tools being explioted for a foriegn ideoligy.
        Plain and simple mister hflashman you are a tool.

        • eddie47d

          Russ you are a shameful putz. Too many coporations are little marxist onclaves.( A few controlling the top and many below getting shafted). Some even act like little countries with no obligation to the Union of the USA. I bet you won’t find an American who hasn’t been burnt by a company or corporation. It happens all the time and workers unions are not always the fault.

          • 45caliber

            eddie: A few doing well and the rest of the workers getting shafted.

            That sounds exactly like a union. The few on top get all the money and the rest of the workers get shafted. And too stupid in most situations to realize what is going on.

            Workers in Russia have unions too. The government likes them because they keep the workers docile.

            I like to get something for my money. And I’ve never gotten a thing for any money I gave a union.

          • eddie47d

            Union stewards don’t get paid any more than other workers. So no they don’t shaft their fellow workers. Union bosses might(in some unions)get full time pay for representing that union.

          • coal miner


            I work 43 years in the coal mines and it was heavely unionized,not one fatal accident.We out produce every scab mines around,only three mines out produce us,they were union.Our tax money paid for the outsourcing of factories and jobs.That was do to Ronald Turn Coat Reagan,the greatest traitor in history.Even in factories they are having near fatal accidents, due to safety violations.Unions are what got you the pensions,social security and women’s right to the same pay doing the same work,it was through them that Roosevelt help passed the social security act.You also have paid holidays,paid funeral leave and sick leave.More scabs factories are moving over seas than union factories,if you think that is so great, stick around your children may yet be working for five dollars a day,they do in other countries,but look how they live.So spare me the scab horse sh*t.

        • hflashman

          Wow….if ignorance is bliss…Russ, you are in heaven.

          Ever stop to think most educated people are supporters of the administation’s economic, energy and health plans…while most uneducated seem not to think and instead rely on what they are programmed for is the truth?

 ya go folks…lowering taxes on the wealthy guarantees nothing but the wealthy get wealthier and we pay for that privilege of welfare for the rich. Lowering taxes on the middle class and raising them on the upper income (ala Kennedy) works. There is no case in history…none….where lowering taxes on the wealthy and raising them on the middle income has done anything but lead to a false economic spurt based upon gov’t spending and huge deficits. Lowest rise in income for middle class, slowest job creation, highest deficits, largest growth in government…all came under Reagan Bush and Bush.

          Facts are facts. Reagan was the biggest fraud in our history and until Bush II the worst we have had. Bush II outsripped everyone in being the worst and actual the one who should be jailed for treason.

          Plain and simple. Facts are facts.

          • Mike Austin,TX

            Ever stop to think most educated people are supporters of the administation’s economic, energy and health plans…
            Those who can, do. Those who can’t become inspectors or teachers.
            A union guy told me that.
            Those who have never done, become Professors.

  • Bob L

    Sorry, typo, that should have been spelled institute. Gracias.

  • patrick

    i used to work at the city of mineeapolis and it was mandatory to be a union member or at least pay union dues. well the teamsters never helped save my job, you see i was a whisle-blower, exposed all the corruption in the city of minneapolis, and i asked to many questions which is not good if you want to keep your job. after the teamsters got busted by the gov’t, things changed! yup the union thugs voted themselves 3 new additional retirement plans and they then eliminated benefits for the paying members, whoda thunk? unions need to be done away with as they are corrupt and lie to paying members, they don’t really negotiate contracts, the gov’t dictates what their pay will be. poor paying members, they are really taking it in their shorts and they don’t even know it. they should all vote out the unions as they then will make more money.

  • libra

    do all of you union lovers like to pay the ever increasing real estate taxes on your homes? there is a reason for the geometric increases–everybody on the municipal payrolls is unionized. already the municipalities are in trouble because folks have walked away from their troubled assets–leaving the rest of us who can pay with increased tax bills to pay for the deadbeats–the govt. workers and the nonpayers. when we can no longer pick up the tab for these police at 150k per year plus benefits, with some even collecting retirement benefits from a previous job and veterans benefits– teachers at 100k for a 9 month work year–short hours and benefits– when the golden goose dies and property is so deflated that it is worthless–maybe the greedy union bosses will wake up because they were sleeping through math class and made the decision as did obama to become union whores.

    • eddie47d

      My sister-in-law in Illinois has 5 degrees and is a school teacher who makes $55,000 incl. benefits. Nothing close to $100,000 you stated.Why should she spend so much money and time educating herself after 26 years of work and little to show for it. Everyone wants better educators and smarter children but don’t give them the backing they deserve. A hedgefund manager on wall street makes $522,000 an HOUR. Our priorities in America are upside down and that is shameful. So don’t be blaming unions on that one.

      • 45caliber

        She gets paid $55,000 for 9 months of work. Let’s see now … if she worked 12 months for the same monthly pay, she’d be making $73,000. Wow! That’s more than most professionals like engineers make! And they only get two weeks off! And not only does she get paid like that, she also gets up to a month’s pay for being off, paid days for LONG holidays like Christmas, paid days for training or just “teachers’ work days”, etc. At least those in my state do. Not bad at all! I can see why so many like to get a teaching degree now.

      • chuck b

        eddie 47

        this old adage about paying more you’ll get a better educator is a bunch of union garbage. the unions have destroyed the education system. they have tied the hands of the school boards and forced a lesser curriculum upon the schools. you have to remember these teachers went thru the same education system. so if you want your kid educated either home school them. if you are capable, or send them to a private school that the union doesn’t have a grip on.

        • 45caliber

          The way I look at it is this – and I’ve hired and fired a lot of people.

          When you accept a job you are making a contract (verbal or writen) to work to your full ablity for the money offered. If you don’t work to your full ability, you are cheating the employer. You have no right to insist that you should be paid more or that you will only work part time for the amount you originally agreed upon … unless you can prove you have been able to increase your production due to learning. If you demand more money to work to your full ability then you are breaking that contract and no longer deserve to work at that place. On the other hand, as you get better and more experienced, it is the responsibility of your employer to give you raises based on how much better you do. Further, if the employer has to raise the price of his production due to increased costs to him, you should have a cost-of-living raise based on what the cost-of-living (inflation) did to his costs and price increases.

          If either of you breaks that contract, you leave.

          The union, on the other hand, insists that everyone should get the same amount of raise every time to show no favoritism. This would be fine IF everyone increased the same amount of learning and skills. That does not happen. They don’t want to allow anyone to get a merit raise at all. That discourages people from trying to improve. Why should you when the idiot barely holding onto his/her job is getting the same raises? Instead of working to your best ability to get a raise, it encourages everyone to work to the lowest ability of the lowest performing person.

        • 45caliber

          chuck: Further, all teachers are taught per a program approved by the union. This teaches them that it is NOT their problem to teach the students; they are only to present the information. If the student doesn’t learn it, that’s the student’s problem. With the nationalized tests now, all they need to do is teach the answers to whatever questions are on the test. If it isn’t on the test, don’t worry about it. So what if the student can’t learn enough to use once he gets out of high school. That’s what colleges are for.

          • eddie47d

            Now teachers don’t have to teach! I know I’ve been out of school a long time but where did you get that notion. My kids had good teachers and my grandkids are learning well in public schools.

      • Charlie

        That makes sense Hedgefund managers are not UNION !

        • eddie47d

          Another worshiper of Wall Street uncontrolled greed. Why don’t you go join the Somalia pirates? there isn’t a whole lot of difference.

      • Mike Austin,TX

        Absolutely blame the unions for that. They make it impossible to have a more diverse and efficient classroom. They by default are an extension of liberalism and socialism now. Whatever good they have done in years past will never be known by the future generations. They will only see a forced deduction from their paycheck.


    Here is another blatant example of just how unethical and dishonest the leadership of a the unions have become and how those dues that are involuntatrily taken from the membership and a card check systems has made the union member nothing more than a lethal joke to freedom and free enterprise….America’s chickens coming home to roost…Rev. Wrong

  • 45caliber

    The original unions were created because of dangerous work conditions and poor pay. They got that corrected. But guess what? The criminal groups moved in and took over. Now why would criminals want to run unions? It can’t be because they are really concerned about their workers since they are only interested in money. But the money paid by union dues is more than they could probably get by their “insurance” rackets – pay us “insurance” or your place will burn down. And they get more people that way!

    Too bad I’m not interested in being a criminal.

    • Jeep

      And, don’t forget that union dues are legal. Racketeering is illegal!

  • MikeN

    I see posts about teachers and engineers and yes, gov’t workers being paid too much for too little work and I want to point out that athletes are getting paid seven figures for playing games. When did we start calling gameplayers heros, for example Michael Jordan, an American hero. As far as I’m concerned, soldiers, teachers, doctors, and anyone who truly contributes to the welfare of society, they are the real heros.

    • 45caliber

      I agree with you. On the other hand when large sections of the public are willing to spend large amounts to attend or watch these games, then I have no problem with the “owner”, who really doesn’t own anything and has almost no overhead, to pay large figures to the people who are bringing all that wealth into his hands. I really blame it on the idiots that stare drulling at the TV all day.

      • TOMV13760

        Unfortunately I am being forced to subsidize the salaries of athletes by the local cable company (Time Warner Cable) since ESPN,etc. is included in our basic cable bill. I like sports (mainly golf now) but I would rather participate than watching the “professionals”. Professional athletes make obscene salaries for playing a “game”, nothing like the athletes when I was a younger person many years ago.

        Regarding unions and large companies, many unions AND companies are bad and are there to enrich the few at the expense of many. In New York State the politicians kiss the a** of the unions and we are dying from the taxes being imposed to support the outsize salaries and benefits of public employees including local, state, county, teachers AND the politicians. Our local paper had a report on teacher’s salaries in 2008 and in my district the highest paid teacher (Social Studies) had a salary of 100K for that year, a bit much!!! Add to the government salaries the very generous benefits including pension and medical and you have a state in which all government levels are going under from the pressure to supply the $s to support these salaries and benefits (the state worker unions refused to help the situation by giving up part of their raises for this year, no help there, however the politicians didn’t lay any of them off either).

        However to think that leaders of many large companies are doing what is fair and honest for the country as a whole is very stupid and to support them is ignorant also. I retired from IBM in 1997 (I was an engineer)and at the end of last year 25% of IBM’s work force resided in the US but over 40% of its revenues came from the US. Many thousands in the IBM US work force have been fired, but the jobs did not disappear, they just went overseas to cheaper areas (Brazil, Russia, India and CHINA). The executive jobs didn’t transfer there, however, they just enriched their own salaries and benefits. Speaking of benefits, IBM’s mantra while I was working was that even though we were paid salaries less than the industry average at that time and worked much free overtime, we would benefit in retirement from free medical care, etc (I typically worked 400 – 500 hours per year unpaid, this was expected of professionals). Folks that use IBM medical benefits now in retirement pay up to $1500 PER MONTH per couple, so much for the supposed benefits for retirees. By the way, I left IBM on a bridge to retirement in 1993 (retired in 1997 as mentioned) but eventually got another job (lesser for smaller salary) in the area and continued to work until mid 2009 so I am not a slacker who is on the public dole.

        Don’t get me started on Wall Street either, we bail them out because they are “too large to fail” and they still give themselves huge bonuses and salaries, for what, because they failed??? Idiots…

        As I said, both companies and unions share the blame for many of our woes (obviously along with most politicians) and don’t really care because they are still enriching themselves at our expense. We need to get back control of the country by the majority, however I am not smart enough to say that I know how to do that. Good luck to all, it continues to be a very bumpy ride!!

        • Mike Austin,TX

          If you don’t want to pay that much for cable, cancel it. Same goes for everything all Americans find unacceptable. Until that happens, nothing happens…

    • Harold Olsen

      Maybe athletes are overpaid, but, as long as the public is willing to pay higher ticket prices so they can get these ridiculously higher salaries then, in effect, the public is saying they ARE worth the higher salaries. Personally, you couldn’t pay ME enough money to go to ANY sporting event and watch one of those prima donas throw a temper tantrum if a referee or umpire makes a call he doesn’t like or someone on the opposing team prevents him from scoring.

  • Da Norseman

    Unions are nothing more than like the old feudal system where union bosses are actually the “overlords” or “masters”. This is a great example of serfdom in America. Do workers benefit from a strike once it is resolved? You answer the question. I believe that union bosses are the only ones who benefit and not the worker by exploiting him.

    Union bosses (masters) are only there for a “get rich” scheme while sitting on their fat a**** and are the only ones who plan strikes in order to get more money. They also fund political candidates with a socialist agenda in order to create more peasantry and those who are working must obey their masters when walking the picket line. Most union members just want to get back to work in order to make ends meet (they lose income during these strikes). If anyone is – or was – a union worker is unaware on how a union works, they may be shocked to learn the truth as they are – or have been – lied to. Sure they are covered by medical and dental benefits as well as retirement not only for themselves but for the entire family, but are these dues actually helping out the worker and his family or is it that the dues are being pocketed or going to cover some campaign cost for some socialist candidate favored by union bosses?

    If union workers learn of the truth, most may feel the resentment that they are actually cash cows of these union bosses.

    • eddie47d

      No resentment here! $64.00 a month for excellent benefits is a bargain. Few companies hand out decent paychecks or benefits unless someone puts their feet to the fire.Not all businesses have decent bosses and not all bosses have decent workers.We had acouple of slackers but we all just ignored them.My union dues were well spent.

      • vicki

        The problem with unions is…….. No competition. I bet lots of folk here who have to be in a union would MUCH rather yours to theirs. Alas unions are much like government. Too many rulers not enough independent people.

        • coal miner


          You mean not enough spineless scabs.

  • chuck b

    take a look at a very dangerous union “seiu” this is part of barrys army. these people are street organizers and represent a move to communism.

  • http://gmail i41

    flashman, claims he is a small business person with 32 employees, must be a business man like Onumnut was, drug dealer and a pimp! I think he is full of s–t as a Christmas duck, if you are a business owner, you have to waste money on lawyers in negoations, paper work, drawing up contracts, and just plain jacking around. Either he is one stupid nimrod, or is operating sucking up stimulas “taxpayers” money, along with more airy fairy minority grants. I think flashman is probably, am lib’s anal born miracile baby sibling! We know he is a socialist Lenien lover, and/or just a marxist democrat.

    • hflashman

      LOL …. Hokayyyy…someone is doing good drugs I see…

  • Palin12

    I’ll never forget when I was forced to join a union under threat of termination we had to go to union indoctrination for one whole day. The union showed us an old black and white movie taken during FDR’s time of garment workers in a sweatshop. Gee, how about showing us a film that wasn’t 50 years old at the time?

  • Harold Olsen

    I am anti-union and proud to say it. Unfortunately I am forced to belong to SEIU. I work as a security officer and used to belong SPFPA. About three years ago SEIU came around and told us if we switched unions our union dues would be lower and we would get better benefits. Reality: We were paying $25.00 a month union dues. Now, depending on which site we are assigned we are paying from $30.00 to $40.00 a month. They take $14.10 out of my paycheck each payday. We get paid every two weeks. We used to get uniform allowance. No more! Of our paid holidays, three (Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year) were paid double time. Now they are time and a half like the rest of our holidays. Presidents day is no longer a paid holiday. The medical coverage offered by our company costs 43% more under SEIU. We never hear from the union about anything–not even contract negotiation. No union meeting. We pay our union dues and that is it. This is the great union that is for the working man–and the moon is made of green cheese. The only people union help are unions. They don’t give a damn about their members. And in SEIU’s case, disagree with them and they will send out some representatives to “council” you. And if you have a job related problem, well it’s “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

  • jerry b b

    I think that belonging to a union should be only be personal choice. I at one time belonged to the uaw and was a shop stuert. They didn’t help me when i was fired and i didn’t join another one . One company that i worked for had avote on the teamesters and i voted aginst it. The job that i got fired from the reason that i got fired was for saying my super visor was a double jointed sobI think that the unions are like most politicans corupt career s, They are only interested in protecting their position if they can get elected and filing their pockets with money from where ever and who ever they can get it from. They have got in bed with the politicans have the bits in their teethand are running unchecked. there has been several union officals caught with their hands in the cookie jar nothing was to them for miss use of the union members dues paid by the members. It should be usedonly for the members benefits. I think they need to be reined in.

  • Annie Ladysmith

    I hate unions. They are rackets to grab peoples hard earned wages. The money from your pay-check goes to keepimg them afloat and confortable. If local laws protected workers we would not need thugs forming a union to make a living doing nothing. Why do we need unions when there are laws to protect the illegel but not the citizen?

    • coal miner


      You are a certified nut.Why don’t you move Taiwan,I will guaranteed you be a wanting to move back.If you decide to stay over there,you better have a large family to take care of you, when you can no longer work,if you don’t,you will be sleeping in the streets. There is no such thing as retirement or insurance in that lovely non union country.I work forty-three years in a unionized mine and no way would I work in a scab mines. They are death traps and health hazards.I never developed black lung do to good union safety regulations and I enjoy every bit of my retirement.I retired with a healthy pension and free insurance.Can you say the same thing about scab factories and scab coal mines?Don’t post stupid statements about unions,it makes you look ignorant.Have a good day.


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