(Mark Noonan) – With Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman threatening to lay off hundreds of city workers after the employee union refused pay cuts, we now have the fat very much in the fire. Either Goodman will stand tall and protect the city, or he’ll cave and the unions will get another year at the public trough. But the issue is larger than just this fight between Goodman and the unions.
Once upon a time, our government employees were not unionized. That changed in 1962 when President Kennedy signed Executive Order 10988, allowing such employees to unionize. It was all so innocent-looking at the time. Just a means whereby workers can collectively bargain for wages, benefits and working conditions.
Unfortunately, what happened is that the public employee unions have become a corrupt and corrupting monster in our political system. They continually ratchet up the pressure for increased spending and bigger government while putting up roadblocks to holding government employees accountable for their misdeeds. A very large reason for our bloated, out-of-control government is the existence of public employee unions.
Such unions have a vested interest in ever larger government and ever more lavish pay and benefit packages for government employees. In order to secure these things, they interfere in the political process. While you and I have to consider what is best for the State and country as a whole, unions are only concerned with what is best for themselves. And thus the pour the money on to whomever in politics promises bigger and more expensive government.
As it turns out, this has made the unions a prime source of funding for the Democrat party and, by extension, for liberalism in general. Our tax dollars go to pay union members who then pay dues to unions who then engage in partisan politics. If you’re not a big government liberal, then each dollar you pay in taxes gives just a little more to those who disagree with your views. We’re subsidizing the other side.
Early in this current Las Vegas battle, Mayor Goodman threatened to fire all of the union employees and hire replacements on the cheap. He should have done so. In fact, all union employees of the government should be discharged unless and until the unions pledge never to support a candidate, party or issue in any way, shape or form. Ok for unions to look after the real needs of employees, but not ok for unions to work against the taxpayers who pay their salary.
The government belongs to us. Local, State and federal, it is the peoples’ government. Those who volunteer to work in it must understand that it is a privilege, not a right. They must understand that we, the people, will make the rules and decide who gets paid and how much. If someone doesn’t like it, they are free to seek private sector employment.