Union leaders are not generally known for their intelligence. Certainly Jimmy Hoffa’s rabble-rousing speech urging union members to “take out” tea partiers fits the historically accurate picture of union leaders as corrupt, knuckle-dragging thugs whose main function in life is intimidating non-union workers into joining their automatic paycheck reduction club.
That’s the club Wisconsin legislators did away with a few months ago. You know – the one where the state of Wisconsin debited the paychecks of all its employees to support the union’s political jihad against taxpayers (maybe it is just Republicans?).
Unions epitomize the “divide up the pie” mentality of politicians and other group-panderers and pick pockets who work the crowd. Since they’ve never created anything other than discord or an entitlement mentality among their followers – they have no idea how an economy functions.
How would Starbucks have fared – had their battle cry been, “We’re going to take out Folgers!” Would consumers have flocked to Starbucks because they were simply another cup of mediocre coffee? “Oh, look Louise! Another can on the coffee aisle to choose from!”
No. Starbucks revolutionized the coffee business by creating an entirely different experience and drawing in new customers who had not been in the coffee-shop drinking market before. Starbucks expanded the pie for everyone, even its eventual look-a-likes and competitors. Bigger pie. More prosperity, even for competitors!
Contrast that with the conversation I had recently with a retired airline mechanic. And keep in mind that what’s at stake here isn’t the quality of your cup of joe, but your life during the flight. He said the union was completely fixated on seniority. So promising young mechanics often ended up being supervised by grizzled old veterans who knew the union rules – but were worthless as lead mechanics. So promising young mechanics left.
When the airline wanted to begin a new project, they couldn’t pick the people they knew were best trained for the job. They had to hire the next union employee off the “qualified” list. Who determined if a mechanic was “qualified”? Why, the mechanic, by ticking off the various boxes on a piece of paper.
So when a new project came up, and the airline looked at the list, and saw “Joe Don’t Care” was at the top of that hiring list – well, the airline didn’t care, either. And the new project went away.
Do you think that maybe – just maybe – with employers hunkered down into survival mode, taxpayers worried about where their next mortgage payment is coming from and state workers being axed from their jobs because the money is gone – just maybe we need someone to focus on growing the pie?
In a competitive world, where America is not the only industrialized country, it is difficult to see how unions provide any bang for the buck – unless, of course, you want to elect more “divide up the pie” guys and girls to office. Because that will accomplish only one thing. It’s how we can insure that America withers and dies. But at least union members will get the biggest piece of the rotting industrial carcass.