QUOTES FOR THE WEEK, FEBRUARY 20, 2011
“President George W. Bush has endorsed an increase in the minimum wage … Government wage-setting is supported by organized labor, and not for the purpose of helping poor people. Rather, the goal is to put out of work lesser-trained, low-wage competitors to union members. We need a Republican president to help organized labor do this?” . . . columnist Doug Bandow (2007) . . .
“The worst crime against working people is a company which fails to operate at a profit” . . . American labor union leader Samuel Gompers (1850-1924) . . .
“While General Motors recently announced that it will cut production by 150,000 a year, another automaker unveiled plans to open a new assembly plant. Guess which one is unionized?” . . . . Investor’s Business Daily (2007) . . .
“The employer [of government workers] is the whole people, [with] the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable.” . . . Franklin D. Roosevelt, predicting the consequences of monopoly bargaining in the government sector, in 1937. . . .
“[G]overnment employees should never, ever be allowed to organize. The need for a union comes down to this question: Do you have a boss who wants you to work harder for less money? In the private sector, the answer is yes. In the public sector, the answer is a big, fat NO. … Government unions have nothing in common with private sector unions because they don’t have hostile management on the other side of the bargaining table. To the contrary, the “bosses” of government employees are co-conspirators with them in bilking the taxpayers. … Far from being careful stewards of the taxpayers’ money, politicians are on the same side of the bargaining table as government employees — against the taxpayers, who aren’t allowed to be part of the negotiation. This is why the head of New York’s largest public union in the mid-’70s, Victor Gotbaum, gloated, ‘We have the ability to elect our own boss.’” . . . lawyer, journalist Ann Coulter . . .
“The power of the teachers unions is one of the best reasons to pursue the separation of school and state. There is no simple reform, no fancy political trick that will break the power of the teachers unions over the day-to-day activities of public schools. Given the realities of campaign contributions and organized greed, it will always be easier for teachers unions to exploit the education system for their own benefit than for parents to fight the eternal bureaucratic and political wars necessary to protect their children.” . . . writer and policy adviser James Bovard . . .
“Greece has cultural problems that contribute to its economic implosion. But there are similarities to the U.S. as well . . . One in three Greeks works for the government. . . . While [our] private employers were shedding jobs during the recession, state and local governments hired 110,000 new workers. Obama’s new spending will result in a 14.5 percent increase in the number of federal employees in just two years. . . . It’s no coincidence that the states with the most powerful public sector unions — New Jersey, California, and New York — are facing the most severe budget crises. Greece is in flames, but if you look around, you can smell the smoke here as well.” . . . columnist Mona Charen (2010) . . .
“Politics being what it is, we are sure to hear all sorts of doomsday rhetoric at the thought of cutbacks in government spending. The poor will be starving in the streets, to hear the politicians and the media tell it. But the amount of money it would take to keep the poor from starving in the streets is chump change compared to how much it would take to keep on feeding unions, subsidized businesses and other special interests who are robbing the taxpayers blind. Letting armies of government employees retire in their fifties, to live for decades on pensions larger than they were making when they were working, costs a lot more than keeping the poor from starving in the streets. … Bankruptcy says: ‘We just don’t have the money.’ … Bailouts say: ‘Give the taxpayers a little rhetoric, and a little smoke and mirrors with the book-keeping, and we can keep the party rolling.’ One of the political games that is played during a budget crisis is to cut back on essential services like police departments and fire departments, in order to blackmail the public into accepting higher tax rates. Often, a lot more money could be saved by getting rid of runaway pension contracts with public sector unions. Bankruptcy can do that. Bailouts cannot.” . . . Stanford, Hoover Institute economist Thomas Sowell . . .
“Legalized corruption is widespread and that’s the job of 35,000 Washington, D.C., lobbyists earning millions upon millions of dollars. They represent America’s big and small corporations, big and small labor unions and even foreign corporations and unions. They are not spending billions of dollars in political contributions to encourage and assist the White House and Congress to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution. They are spending that money in the expectations of favors that will be bestowed upon them at the expense of some other American or group of Americans. … The only way to reduce corruption and money in Washington is to reduce the power politicians have over our lives.” . . . George Mason University economics professor Walter E. Williams . . .
“I believe that what is wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst possible way. This unionization and life-time employment of K-12 teachers is off-the-charts crazy… What kind of person could you get to run a small business if you told them that when they came in they couldn’t get rid of people that they thought weren’t any good? Not really great ones because if you’re really smart you go, ‘I can’t win’.” . . . co-founder of Apple Computers, Steve Jobs . . .
“Unionism seldom, if ever, uses such power as it has to insure better work; almost always it devotes a large part of that power to safeguarding poor work.” . . . journalist H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) . . .
“There is not enough money because the production of rights and benefits has outstripped the production of wealth.” . . . Christopher Caldwell writing in the Weekly Standard . . .
QUOTES FOR THE WEEK, FEBRUARY 20, 2011