Tuesday, March 1, 2011


In my previous post,  there were some comments that public employees should be prohibited from contacting their government representatives as a group, because doing so was against the will of the people. So much for that theory.

Americans strongly oppose laws taking away the collective bargaining power of public employee unions, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. The poll found 61% would oppose a law in their state similar to such a proposal in Wisconsin, compared with 33% who would favor such a law.
I am not, nor have I ever said that public employees should get their way, and I am also actively opposed to so-called "closed shops." I do however, feel that they should have a seat at the table. Telling them that they cannot speak collectively is like telling people that they can only protest alone. What happened to the right to peaceably assemble?

The First Amendment is as important to me as the Second. There are many that I used to admire for their love of the Constitution, but I am sorely disappointed that they are only interested in using the words of the founders to feather their own nest.


Matt said...

The sad thing is you don't see the hypocrisy of what you're saying. You want your right to free speech at the expense of someone else. Collective bargaining FORCES legislators (and by extension the taxpayers) to sit across the table from a union. If I don't have the right to say no then my free speech has been infringed upon.

TOTWTYTR said...

Matt, you don't seem to understand the process of collective bargaining or even the real problems there with.

The negotiators for management are required to discuss some issues with the union, but they are not required to agree on any issue. In fact, on many issues management can bargain in good faith to impasse and then implement their position unilaterally.

It is then up to the union to try to convince and arbitrator that the employers position is unreasonable. Most often, at least in my experience, the union loses.

Legislators don't engage in collective bargaining. The two sides at the table are representatives of the union and representatives of management. Management is not required to agree to any proposal that the union makes. Even when they do, the agreement is subject to approval and funding by the city council, mayor, governor, who ever.

The problem is not collective bargaining right now. The problem is the stubborn refusal of the union to realize that during tough times like these, asking for more is unreasonable and giving something back is required.

Divemedic said...


You nailed it. There are only two ways to get someone to do something: voluntary agreement, or force. All collective bargaining says is that the legislature must at least attempt to get the union to agree to voluntarily compromise before resorting to force.

sofa said...

You are sayingthat 'collective bargaining' forces the legislature to act the way you want them to.

We agree then, that 'collective bargaining' is 'force' not available to the rest of the citizens.

sofa said...

Every citizen has the right to speech.

Unions want more rights, to insert themselves powerfully into the legislative process, in a way that is not available to other citizens.

How about they have the rights the rest of us have, and not try to dictate to the rest of us that they will get extra rights- OR ELSE.

Or else they resort to extortion: abandon the kids, leave their jobs, create havoc for all parents throughout the state, occupy the capital through force (which was not resisted by the state), and bring on outside agitators.

Divemedic said...

All a union is, is a lobbying group. A union can not FORCE the legislature to agree to the terms of a contract.

A union has no more power than the NRA, the AARP, or any other lobbying group.

As far as picketing and protesting at the Capitol, how is that any different from a Tea Party rally, or an NRA march?

Divemedic said...

"We agree then, that 'collective bargaining' is 'force' not available to the rest of the citizens."

No, the legislature can no more pass a law outlawing a union speaking to the government than it can outlaw the NRA doing the same.

"How about they have the rights the rest of us have, and not try to dictate to the rest of us that they will get extra rights- OR ELSE."

What rights would those be? and the "or else" is not violence, it is "or else we won't work under those conditions" or perhaps even "we will support your opponent in the next election and vote your ass out of office." What is wrong with that?

sofa said...

Do 'we the people' who pay them get to tell them that they are no longer welcome to work for us?

By your arguments: Firing the Teachers is Free speech. Cutting their wages is free speech. Making them pay for their own benefits is free speech.
( ? )

My point remains that actions are not speech. That extortion is not speech. Walking out on a job, causing economic choas across the state- Is not free speech. Those are actions, and the people of teh State need to be re-imbursed by the Union for the damage they have done, and the union leadership jailed. Because if actions are speech, then actions against them are also speech-- And you have lost your argument.

Speech was free. But when they didn;t like the results- They acted up and caused damage to others, and they are responsible for that.

Free speech ends when others are damaged. The unions extortion attempt did damage.

(And if the action and damage was speech by your reasoning, then actions damaging the union would also be speech-- AND YOU SHOULD BE SUPPORTING THAT.)

sofa said...

Speech is fine (hurting their feelings is not damage).

Actions that damage others are not speech.

Divemedic said...

Two different issues here:

Collective bargaining. Collective bargaining is free speech and assembly. It has nothing to do with strikes.

A strike is a group of people who agree that they are not willing to work under the conditions set by their employer. Are you saying that we should pass laws requiring people to work for an employer, regardless of the conditions of that employment? If you think this is fair, then explain how that is different from slavery. Or does a person have free choice, in that he can refuse to work under certain conditions? If so, then why does one person have a right, but 1,000 people can not simultaneously enjoy that right?

and if you think that an employer can fire all workers who strike, explain how Disney World, located in the right to work state of Florida, simply doesn't fire striking workers. The reason is simple, you can't replace everyone at the same time. That is why unions are so useful. You can fire 1 man asking for a raise, but you can't do the same to 1,000.

sofa said...

They walked out on their jobs. Fire them.

They deliberaterly caused economic impact to many across the state. Compel the individual teachers and the union as well, to reimburse the State and individual citizens.

It was organized attempt to extort, after speech failed. Jail leaders under RICO laws.

Jail national figures involved in interstate coordination and funding to bring out-of-state agitators in to help local union to extort.

Once the people of the state are re-imbursed, the teachers fired, and the leaders jailed, then the way is clear to re-open discussions, "speech".


Who are the 'government employee unions' organized against? Against the people of the State!

Divemedic said...

Enemy of the people. Re-institute the gulags. Free speech for all who agree with you, jail for everyone else.

Thanks for making my point about the Republicans being no different from the Democrats, comrade.

sofa said...

"Enemy of the people. Re-institute the gulags. Free speech for all who agree with you, jail for everyone else."-divemedic

Union actions show them to support your words. Which is why the union thugs need to be held acountable for their actions; no free pass on doing damage to the people of the state. Union action had economic consequences to the rest of the people of the state.

When the unions spoke, there were no problems; just two parties who disagreed.

Union actions are not speech. The unions need to be held responsible for the economic impact they deliberately caused.

The state cannot print money. More expense to the state, means more need to be fired to balance the books. A competent math teacher can add it up.

sofa said...

Dems no different than GOP?

The Dems support extortion.

The Wisconsin GOP is trying to be responsible and balance the budget (which they ran on and were just elected into office to do).

That's a big difference.

Divemedic said...

Refusing to work for someone because you do not agree with the working conditions is not extortion.

Due to the personal attacks posted here, I am closing comments and deleting the personal attacks. We are done with this one.