Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Behold, the Death of Unions

Ladies and Gentlemen, pull up a chair, pop some popcorn and grab a drink. Sit back and watch. We are all eye witnesses to the death of unions in America, at least for the time being. This is one of those, What Are They Thinking kind of moments in life. You know ... when you can't for the life of you figure out what the thought process is of someone who is doing something that is obviously self-destructive. I'm sure the union bosses in New York think this is perfect timing to put the squeeze on New York City. I'm sure they are thinking they are going to strong-arm New York City into caving into their demands. I'm sure the powers that be in New York City are thrilled to death to have this opportunity to get rid of the overpaid, over-benefited workers. They can and will be replaced with non-union workers at much less expense to the tax-payers of the city. Unions served a purpose at one time, but they have been dying out for a while now. Their power slowly eroding with ever increasing and unreasonable demands of the work place. Now, right before our virtual eyes, the last strong hold is going the way of other unions. They are strong arming for 'rights' that most of us can only dream of having. Their 'rights' are costing the small business man in New York City his Christmas season earnings. Their 'rights' are making the average man in New York City have to increase his work day by hours to walk to work - in the cold. They make $100,000 per year - bus drivers! They are striking for better pension guarantees. They say they 'should' be able to retire at age 55, not 62. They say they 'should' get a pension plan that requires the city to put $23,000 into their pension per year. They say they have the 'right' and 'deserve' this. They say they are doing this to save all unions. If this strike successes, unions will regain some of their power. If New York City breaks the union, it's over for unions. It is a death struggle. My opinion is that the union will be broken. There is no sympathy for the exorbitant demands of the union bosses. Most Americans would love to make $100,000 a year in a job they don't have to take home with them (I would!). Most Americans would love to be able to retire at age 55 (I would!). It's hard to feel sympathy for an inarticulate guy on TV talking about his 'right' to retire at age 55. This guy says, 'I shouldn't have to work till I'm too old to enjoy retirement.' He said this seriously. I figure one day someone will come into my office and I'll be slumped over my laptop. They'll move me out of the way and start looking for someone else to run the place. The sympathy I feel for these guys is that they are inarticulate and seemingly not very well informed. They have followed their union bosses to their demise. They are replaceable, as we all are. Unions will come back in 20 or so years, when the pendulum swings back in the other direction. Stay tuned. It's gonna get ugly up in here.