I live in a ‘city’ of just under 12,000. It is the county seat; and in the 1940’s, 50’s, and much earlier, it had a thriving downtown with many retail stores with both local and national names above their doors. There were theaters, restaurants, and taverns also. When malls and shopping centers invaded the American landscape, the downtown retail districts nationally took a major hit. My town is no different.
The national retailers are now gone. Even most of the small ‘ma and pa’ operations have closed. The theaters and most of the once-thriving eateries are gone too. Only some of the taverns remain, which I guess is a statement unto itself.
I heard the mayor of this ‘city’ speak at a local TEA Party meeting many, many months ago. He is a Democrat but was not pushing a party agenda. He was speaking as one who was entrusted with juggling the budget and priorities of a small metropolitan government. He shared his frustrations about the stranglehold unions have placed on most municipalities but also his determination to cut where possible to run a “lean-mean machine” when it came to doing the best job he could do for his residents.
In this small county seat town, as in most of the rest of the country, the union has ruined any chance of revitalizing any of the basic things that would attract new businesses and residents, resulting in more jobs, more taxes, more growth, and prosperity for all. The dirty secret is that all the union is looking out for is increasing their own upper level ‘union goon’ corporate power. It has nothing to do with those dues-payers they ‘profess’ to represent.
As I was driving to a non-profit monthly meeting recently, I navigated main roads that were in pathetic condition. A thought hit me, which may not be as dumb as it sounds on the surface: If all of the money is going to pay for the city employees and their benefits, and there is no money left to provide the services that their jobs require them to provide to those they are employed to serve – excluding police, fire, and other emergency service personnel – then WHAT‘S THE POINT?
Why doesn’t every municipality facing this problem simply FIRE EVERYBODY AND START OVER?
I am guessing that the simple answer is that previous union contracts have incorporated language that simply prohibits this.
Plain and simple, that is why we as a nation (and as individual municipalities) are in deep trouble. We have allowed the unions to take over simply because we thought our government would take care of us while we slept. Well, guess what?
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