Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Oh, Wisconsin!

I have been to Madison several times.  I vaguely remember those times, as Uncle Jimbo was my host, and he and Kev and I would blow through some serious coin drinking in a college town each time.  That being said, I could've not had to curl up on Jimbo's couch if I'd known I could just crash on the floor of the Capitol building.

Okay, police chief.  I get that you're a union man, but when does protesting--I asssume this is some kind of sit-in (or sleep over)--become simple squatting?

You don't have to drag these folks out, turn on the hoses and release the hounds... simply make life REALLY uncomfortable.  After the cleaning crews are done on the upper floors, have them open all the doors and windows on those floors.  Madison gets chilly in summer... and is currently dipping into the low teens.  So the folks squatting in the parlor can either sleep in their nice, comfy homes, or freeze their asses off. 

Next, shut off the other things they have for creature comforts--like electricity on the first floor.  And lock all the bathrooms, too.  As a matter of fact, turn off the water, lest the pipes freeze up over the weekend.  While you're at it, put radios on all the upper floors, tuned (poorly) to every single AM and FM frequency they can receive.  Put a MP3 player set on repeat on the loudspeaker system, and play any single nickleback song.  You haven't done anything to stop them from squatting in the Capitol building, just made the experience less pleasant.  Also, now would be a REALLY good time to have the floors stripped, too.  Ammonia works wonders for removing wax, don't you know.

Here's the thing:  Public Sector unions are unfair to the taxpayer.  Why?  Because the citizen a) can't match the political contribution of the union, or the political power.  So the vote of the citizen (1ea) is worth less to the politician than the vote of the public sector union employee.  The PS union employee gets 1ea vote at the polls, but then also gets to have the union represent them in the capitol.  So 2-1, the citizen loses.

Another reason I hate Public Sector unions:  because they limit the productivity of the worker.  That's right folks, unions do as much as they can to ensure that the dead weight, non-performers keep their jobs.  By doing so, they make the overall population less effective, and that means that the organization is less effective and more expensive.  Since the citizen pays for it, shouldn't the citizen be able to demand the best value for the money?

Unions in general piss me off.  Businesses should hire and fire based on performance.  The best businesses will draw the best applicants, and the best applicants will work for the best businesses.  Where unions come in is where the applicants are less than best, or worst of the bunch, and they need to see that those who are the worst don't get fired for sucking.  Nothing says "job security" like doing a good job and doing it consistently.  There was a time in America when unions were necessary--a time before OSHA, before labor laws, and before anti-trust laws.  That time is over.

Police and Firefighter unions?  Screw them, too.  You want to stage a walk-out/protest/strike?  Fine.  I'll set your house on fire, Firemarshall Bill.  I'll rob your house when you aren't home, Deputy Fife.  Both of those unions use fear, pure, unadulterated fear, that if their demands aren't met, then our towns will devolve overnight into lawless anarchy and then burn to the ground.  What do we call it when people use popular fear to coerce a response... oh, that's right, terrorism. 

Other public unions.  Firefighters don't keep your house from burning down.  They keep the neighbor's house from catching fire, too.  Police don't stop you from being robbed, either.  They write up the report for you to file with your insurance company.  The supreme court has ruled that cops do not have the responsibility to protect you from crime, too.  They cannot be held accountable, for instance, if you get raped and they aren't there to stop it.  Report after report has shown that the best deterrent to violent crime is an armed populace, castle doctrine, and the wide availability of personal firearms.  In towns, cities, and states where carrying weapons is legal, if not encouraged, crime is always lower.  Compare Arlington VA, where the right to carry and defend yourself is a given, with Prince George's County, Maryland, where guns are the devil!  In VA, your chances of being on the receiving end of violent crime are thirty five times less than across the river in MD (5604/100K in MD vs 157/100K in VA.)  Both counties have cops, too.  And yet one sees far, far fewer crime than the other. 

I'm not saying that we shouldn't have police and firefighters.  However, many municipalities do just fine with volunteer firefighters.  Maybe if cities went to volunteer firefighters, (saving the cities MILLIONS in taxes) and not enough people joined, then after the buildings burned down, more civic-minded people would move in.  Nothing cures urban blight like a good, cleansing fire.  Just ask Chicago, LA, or SF.  Police are a bit trickier.  Nobody except the nice fellows at Xe want a privatized police force.  Police are, and should be, public servants.  That doesn't mean that police should be allowed to unionize.  Again, the union exists to keep the worst performers on payroll.  So the worst cops get hauled before an internal affairs investigation, and what happens?  The union lawyer (paid for with your tax dollars) shows up, and the bad cop gets a 4-month paid leave to let public opinion die down before they come back to work.  If the city does not pay a living wage, then people will either a) not serve on the force, of b) serve on the force and supplement income with second jobs or through graft and corruption.  In the case of a) good for them, in the case of b) public executions of dirty cops should be the norm.  But here's the rub... if your citizenry is capable of protecting itself, how much are cops going to really be needed?

Ronald Regan said it best when (and I'm paraphrasing here) "You monkeys got 48 hours to get your asses back to work... No?  Fine.  You're fired, and banned from being rehired... for life."

The governor of Wisconsin needs to seriously man up.  He has taken a stance, now it's time to get medieval on their asses.  They want to act like children throuwing a tantrum becuase their wages are twice the average private sector employee?  Treat them like intemperate children--and don't spare the rod.  The state employees work for him, period.  the buck stops with him.  He can tell the teachers unions to get their asses back in the classrooms and do their damn jobs, or they can go elsewhere and ply their trade--elsewhere being anywhere not in the state, as he's going to a) fire them, b) yank their teaching certificates, c) absorb the pension monies and d) put a blanket statement out about their choice to put their own pocketbooks ahead of the interests of their students.  If the local cops decide that they are going to support their union brothers, fine.  Fire all the damn cops, too, and call out the national guard (Governors can do that, too) to keep the peace and restore order.  Once they are in place, fire all the cops with the same provisions as the teachers, but ensure that their pink slip says "refused to enfore the laws and lawful orders of the governor." 

He could, and should, bust all the public sector unions.  Ban them, make them illegal, take away the collective bargaining rights.  You get hired based on your qualifications, and retain (or lose) your job based on your performance and the need for your job to exist.  Just like in the rest of the world.  Private sector unions should take note, too.  Employers hve every right to shitcan someone who doesn't pul their weight--especially in unskilled labor markets--here's looking at you, UAW.  (A note on the UAW:  these guys are recognized as getting paid ridiculous sums for working on assembly lines and being "nut turner number 416" and churning out shoddy result after shoddy result.  Granted, there are some who are truly talented individuals, and who have jobs that require years of specialized instruction and training.  They deserve the high wages, which would actually be higher, if their "brothers" in the union weren't holding them back through collective bargaining.  For more on the benefits of union labor in the Private sector, take a drive through Detroit.)


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