Image: Sunday Siren.
Trivia question of the morning; who said the following?
“It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.“
OK, never mind the suspense, I’ll answer it for you; it was George Meany, the former president of the AFL-CIO, in 1955. I found this gem in an editorial in today’s New York Times online; read F.D.R. Warned Us. Excerpt:
“It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”
That wasn’t Newt Gingrich, or Ron Paul, or Ronald Reagan talking. That was George Meany — the former president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O — in 1955. Government unions are unremarkable today, but the labor movement once thought the idea absurd.
The founders of the labor movement viewed unions as a vehicle to get workers more of the profits they help create. Government workers, however, don’t generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money. When government unions strike, they strike against taxpayers. F.D.R. considered this “unthinkable and intolerable.”
Government collective bargaining means voters do not have the final say on public policy. Instead their elected representatives must negotiate spending and policy decisions with unions. That is not exactly democratic – a fact that unions once recognized.
George Meany was not alone. Up through the 1950s, unions widely agreed that collective bargaining had no place in government. But starting with Wisconsin in 1959, states began to allow collective bargaining in government. The influx of dues and members quickly changed the union movement’s tune, and collective bargaining in government is now widespread. As a result unions can now insist on laws that serve their interests – at the expense of the common good.
As I said before; there is a fundamental conflict of interest involved. This situation has to change, and soon, or several states will be bankrupted.
A few more relevant articles:
We haven’t seen the last of this yet, True Believers. Stay tuned.