Archive for the ‘Big Labor’ Category

How to interpret the furor over the NFL’s replacement referees

It’s become fashionable to trash the NFL’s replacement referees.

In case you are not up to speed on this, what’s happened is the NFL regular referees are on strike. They are part of a labor union.

They want a cushier, more gold-plated retirement plan to go along with their $160,000 yearly salary they are getting for working 16 games.

So it’s already darn good pay for part-time work.  But they want more, of course.  Hey, I’ll happily referee an NFL game every week for free.

What a blast that would be.  It would save me $300 or so on buying a ticket.  And I’d have the best seat in the house.

The politically correct commentators on ESPN, etc, all take the side of the unionized referees and trash the replacement referees.

Let’s face it, the replacement referees have been getting some calls wrong. But the regular referees also get plenty of calls wrong.

I’m a huge NFL fan, and the objective truth is this. The replacement referees have probably been getting more calls wrong than the regular referees get wrong, but not that much more.

It would be interesting to see an objective study on this.

90 percent of the time, their blown calls are corrected by the replay.

And I’m not having any less fun watching the games.

If anything, I would say the games have been more fun to watch this year because not as many flags are being thrown. The replacement referees have been allowing some more bumping of the receivers than the regular refs would allow, so the games look more like games you would see in the 1970s and 1980s.

In the game between New England and Baltimore last night, nearly a full quarter elapsed before a single penalty flag was thrown. I like that.

And there’s a good reason for this. Most of the replacement referees come from college football. So they are used to officiating in accordance with college football rules. They sometimes forget NFL rules.

The replacement refs will continue to improve. They aren’t hurting the integrity of the game because both teams on the field play with the same refs.

I even like the fact that one of the replacement referees is a woman (assuming she got there on merit and not some kind of affirmative action).

SIDEBAR: Aren’t we supposed to want the referees to look more like the rest of America?

The media demands female Supreme Court Justices, female cabinet members, female corporate CEOs, and female members of the Augusta National club where they play the Masters.

So the media should be thrilled with a female NFL referee.  Right?

But they’re not thrilled . . . because the media’s loyalty to Big Labor trumps their desire to shatter the glass ceiling.

END SIDEBAR.

I’m certainly not seeing any less fan interest because of these replacement refs.

If I were a unionized referee, I’d be worried. Looks like they are about to get PATCO’ed.

That’s shorthand for what Reagan did to the air-traffic controller union in the early 1980s.

If you don’t remember that, Google it.

Reagan simply replaced the striking air traffic controllers with a new group of air traffic controllers who were eager to work.

Many pundits predicted a surge of plane crashes.

That didn’t happen, of course. What did happen is the busting of a powerful labor union. Reagan’s crushing of PATCO in that battle helped accelerate a downward trend for labor union membership that continues through today.

So if you are a reader of this blog and not so keen on Big Labor, root for the replacement refs.

GREAT VIDEO: “I Want to be a Crony”

Hillarious video — and sad, too. “Why be a taxpayer when I can be a tax spender?”

Government Motors is still a disaster for American taxpayers

GM’s stock has lost 45 percent since the government’s IPO 19 months ago

President Obama keeps touting the government takeover of General Motors as one of his big successes. If this is success, what would failure look like?

On the day of the government’s initial public offering on November 18, 2010, the price of GM’s stock was $35.

It hit a high of $38.98 on January 7, 2011. And it’s been down hill ever since.

GM’s stock price as of this writing $19.57 a share — a drop of 45% since it’s IPO 19 months ago.

Government Motors says it’s turning a profit, but it would be tough not to when $65 billion in taxpayer bailout money hits your bank account.

GM stock would have to go up to $55 for taxpayers to get their money back.

Obama says the bailout was worth it because it saved the jobs of 80,000 GM employees.

But that assumes these jobs would have been lost if GM had gone through the normal bankruptcy process, similar to what happened with United airlines.  As with United, most (if not all) of GM’s employees most likely would have kept their jobs. Henry Ford and Walt Disney declared bankruptcy to no long-term ill-effect. Donald Trump went through bankruptcy twice.

He’s doing just fine.

Bankruptcy is not the end. It’s often a new beginning for a corporation.

The purpose of bankruptcy is not to destroy companies, but to allow companies to survive by restructuring their debt and giving them time to reorganize. Often companies come out of bankruptcy stronger and leaner.

Had the government allowed GM to go through the normal  bankruptcy process, it could have gotten rid of its union contracts.  Ford accepted no bailout money and is doing better than GM.

If GM had gone through a normal bankruptcy, GM’s bondholders would not have gotten robbed, as they did by Obama, Hugo Chavez-style. And many GM dealerships could have remained in business.

Inexplicably, Obama forced 2400 GM dealerships to close, many of them profitable, eliminating tens of thousands of jobs.

And Obama is attacking Romney over Bain Capital?!

The whiff of hypocrisy is pungent here.

Obama was determined to hand control of GM over to the labor unions, no matter what — because that’s who Obama is.

But this prevented the normal reforms and restructuring that market pressures and bankruptcy proceedings impose on companies. Instead of being a leaner, more efficient company, GM remains as bloated as ever, with its crazy union contracts still in place, even worse than before.

If, after bankruptcy, GM was unable to solve its problems, its assets would have been sold off — most likely to other car companies who were better at running the business.  The factories would not be left idle. They’d just be under new ownership and management, humming along just fine, making cars more efficiently and profitably — most likely without any labor union contracts.

But Obama doesn’t trust markets. He trusts government. He saw GM as a giant slush fund to be used to pay off his Big Labor supporters.

GM’s quality, of course,  is today exactly what you’d expect from a company that’s owned by the government and the labor unions.

The Obama Volt is a total disaster by every rational measure. GM suspended production of the Volt because they were only selling about 800 units per month. They can’t give these things away, though they’re certainly trying.

ObamaCar is about as popular as ObamaCare.

The government actually pays you to buy an Obama Volt. You’ll get an $7,500 tax credit for buying one. And GM is selling them for less than the cost of production, thanks to all the government subsidies it receives.

But people still don’t want them.

The problem is, the Obama Volt only gets 40 miles per charge of the battery.  That doesn’t even allow you to run your Saturday morning errands.

Plus the battery, which takes up much of the back seat, sometimes explodes and burns down the garage.

GM is now recalling 420,000 Chevy Cruz’s because a design flaw apparently causes the engine to catch fire. There’s also a problem with fuel tanks springing leaks.

This is what happens when you have a car company that’s run by Obama instead of by people who know the car-making business.

What would the iPad be like if it were designed by Obama instead of by Steve Jobs and his team?

Well, actually there would be no iPad.  Nor would there be any iPhone, iPod, iMac, iTunes, or iAnything.  We’d be lucky to have the Osborne if we had to rely on Obama to design our computers.  More likely, we wouldn’t have computers at all. And we’d have to rely on two cans connected by string for our phones.

Now that the government is in charge of health care, expect all medical innovation to stop — no more life-extending medicines and treatments.

If anything, expect Soviet-style medical regress instead of progress with the government now in charge.  Soon, you’ll have to wait months just to get in to see your doctor or to have an MRI.  And government rationing boards will decide if it’s worth approving the medical treatment you need — an approval (or denial)  process that will take months, maybe years.

Obama is stuck in the 1930s.  He doesn’t understand capitalism or the modern world.  He doesn’t understand how new products and technologies emerge.

He seems to think the path to prosperity is to run the economy like the U.S. Postal Service — which was set up in the 19th Century.

So now we have cars from GM that are a lot like what we might expect the U.S. Postal Service to make for us.

Soon we’ll have health care delivered by the equivalent of the U.S. Postal Service.  At least one Democrat U.S. Representative (Jan Schakowsky) is calling for unionizing doctors.

Won’t that just be wonderful? Doctors who can’t lose their jobs no matter how incompetent. Theodoric of York, call your office.

Communist China woke up — found out that capitalism is what generates wealth and economic progress.  The Chinese are aghast at Obama’s ignorance of basic economics.

Obama really would do himself a favor by reading Adam Smith’s WEALTH OF NATIONS, F.A. Hayek’s ROAD TO SERFDOM, or Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE  – at least get some basic understanding of Economics 101.

Investors have concluded that GM is a total disaster.

That’s why it’s stock price has dropped 45 percent since the Obama’s IPO for GM just 19 months ago.  But Obama is living in an alternate universe. Obama thinks his takeover of GM has worked out just great.

The Obama Volt, Solyndra, and ObamaCare are perfect illustrations of who Obama is and what he’d love to do for every area of American society if he gets a second term.

NEW BATTLE LINES: Private Sector Unions vs. Public Sector Unions

And let’s not forget — Scott Walker garnered 38 percent of the total union vote on June 5th in the recall election

NEW YORK TIMES: Backed with millions of dollars in contributions from business, the Committee to Save New York has been Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s most important ally in his battles with public-sector unions over government spending, pensions and teacher accountability.
Connect with NYTMetro

But the committee turns out to have another source of money: a group of building trade unions who contributed $500,000 last year. Their decision to back Mr. Cuomo — and help finance an offensive against their public-sector brethren — illuminates a deepening fissure in the labor movement.

Read more here >>>

VIDEO: Wisconsin protesters cope in their own way with defeat in wake Scott Walker landslide victory

Some are angry. Some are in denial. All this makes for hilarious viewing. These people just don’t seem to like democracy very much.

And, for some reason, the Left always wants to make the issue about sex.

Now consider the fact that these are the kinds of teachers who are teaching America’s children.

Scott Walker is now top tier Presidential timber — as big as Ronald Reagan in 1968

Scott Walker is now top tier Presidential timber for the future — as big as Ronald Reagan in 1968.

He might even be better than Reagan.

Like Reagan, he’s a rock solid conservative on every issue. Like Reagan, he’s also soft-spoken, so doesn’t scare moderates and independents.

He is the son of a Baptist preacher. Though he carved his reputation in Wisconsin as a no-nonsense fiscal conservative, he’s also solidly pro-life, staunchly pro-Second Amendment, and open about his Christian faith.

Scott Walker is the real deal.

He’s also a true leader.

He risked his political career by taking on the public sector unions, which were bankrupting Wisconsin and strangling the economy.

That’s what real leaders do. They do what they know is right even if it means they might lose everything.

That’s what George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Ronald Reagan did.

George Washington was a hero in the British army for his exploits in the French and Indian War. He had everything — was the richest man in America in 1776.

He risked it all to take on the British Empire. Had the British captured Washington, he would have been shot or hanged.

For George Washington, doing what was right was far more important that protecting his fortune, his hero status with the world’s #1 superpower, or even his life.

Washington stepped down from the Presidency after serving two terms. He could have easily set up a dictatorship because of his popularity. But he didn’t. He did what was right.

Lincoln kept the union together — which cost him his life (a bullet in the head from confederate partisan John Wilkes Booth).

Reagan certainly risked a lot, too. But I don’t think he risked as much as Walker did — at least not in the early stages of his political career.

Scott Walker came from nowhere.  He was basically just an average citizen who decided to run for Governor to fix his home state.  He reminds me of Jimmy Stewart in “Mr Smith Goes to Washington.”

Reagan was a conservative superstar after his 1964 speech on behalf of Barry Goldwater.

Unlike Walker, Reagan was the ideal candidate out of central casting.

Unlike Walker, Reagan was a great speechmaker.

Not that Walker is a bad speaker. He’s pretty good. But Reagan was one of the greatest speechmakers ever.

Of course, Reagan also risked a lot to stay true to his beliefs.

The easiest thing for him to do would have been to “go along to get along” with the media and the Political Class in Washington.

Instead, Reagan stood up to the Soviet Union and continued to pursue a missile defense shield, rather than appease the Soviets and give up the missile defense, going against Conventional Wisdom and just about the entire Political Class in Washington.

Reagan knew that was the right thing to do.

Reagan also went up against the Political Class (including then Republican Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole) to cut tax rates from a top rate of 70 percent to 28 percent, unleashing the longest sustained period of economic expansion in American history.

Again, Reagan knew what was right, and did it — in the face of relentless criticism from the media and the Political Class.

Reagan was comfortable in his own skin. He knew who he was and knew what he believed. I never once heard Reagan talk about polls. He talked only about his vision for the country — more freedom, less government.

Scott Walker reminds me a lot of Ronald Reagan. He doesn’t have Reagan’s great speechmaking ability.

But Walker has a strong quiet demeanor. He’s as Wisconsinite to the core. He, too, is comfortable in his own skin.

Scott Walker doesn’t run around spiking the football and beating his chest the way Obama does over bin Laden.

Walker just quietly does exactly what he says he’s going to do.

Since Walker’s reforms took effect 18 months ago, the public sector unions have lost more than half their membership.

Gee, if more than half the members of your club quit your club the instant they aren’t forced by law to be members of your club, it’s probably time to rethink your club.

That’s what’s happening to the public sector unions in Wisconsin.

Since Walker was sworn in as Governor of Wisconsin on January 3, 2011, he has managed to turn a $3.6 BILLION structural Wisconsin budget deficit into a $300 MILLION budget surplus.

Walker has even put more than $60 MILLION into a “rainy day” fund so that Wisconsin can better cope with any unforeseen disasters. He did all this in just 18 months without raising taxes . . . and without laying off any teachers, police, or firefighters.

So what exactly were some of Walker’s reforms?

Well, he’s requiring teachers to contribute 5.8 percent of their salaries into their own pensions (instead of 0 percent) and all government employees to pay 12.6 percent of their health care premiums (about half what most employees in the private sector pay).

These modest reforms are saving local governments in Wisconsin about $750 million per year.

Walker ended some collective bargaining rights for public sector unions and made public sector union membership voluntary. He also granted local governments and schools the authority to hire and fire teachers and other government workers based on merit — as also happens in the private sector.

By the way, his opponent in this recall election, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, is using Walker’s reforms to get a handle on spending in Milwaukee.

Had Walker caved under the pressure of the temper tantrum thrown by the public sector union bosses and not enacted these reforms, local school districts would have had no choice buy to lay off thousands of teachers across the state of Wisconsin.

Instead, Wisconsin now actually has more teachers than when Walker took office 18 months ago. Wisconsin also has more police and more firefighters.

In fact, the more Wisconsin’s teachers, police, firefighters, and government workers see how well Walker’s reforms are actually working (and have worked to help save their jobs) the more they’re coming around to support Scott Walker.

Scott Walker got 38% of the union member vote yesterday — a higher percentage of the union vote than he got in 2010.

But the real story is how Wisconsin’s economy is now rebounding due to Walker’s reforms — in sharp contrast to neighboring Illinois. Here’s what THE WALL STREET JOURNAL says about what’s happening now in Wisconsin:

When Mr. Walker took office, a survey of major business owners by the state’s Chamber of Commerce found that only 10% thought Wisconsin was heading “in the right direction.” Now 94% say it is. Chief Executive magazine found that Wisconsin’s business climate in 2011 showed the greatest one-year improvement of any state in the history of the magazine’s ratings. After bleeding 150,000 jobs in the previous three years, Wisconsin added nearly 30,000 new jobs since Walker’s reforms went into effect.

According to this survey of business owners by CHIEF EXECUTIVE magazine referenced in the WALL STREET JOURNAL article, Wisconsin in 2010 was ranked 41st in America in states favorable to business — in other words, among the nine worst states for business.

In just 18 months, Wisconsin has moved up 21 slots for being business-friendly. Walker says his goal is for Wisconsin to be the #1 state in America for doing business — because, as Walker says repeatedly, new jobs are created by businesses (especially small and start-up businesses), not by government.

Walker understands that if we don’t have businesses in America that are flourishing and profitable, we can’t have the jobs or the tax revenues to pay for teachers, police, firefighters, roads, bridges, and all the things we count on government to do.

Despite going against the headwinds of Obamanomics, Wisconsin is now creating jobs at a faster rate then the rest of America as a whole. Businesses are now stampeding into Wisconsin from Illinois (which just raised the income tax by 67 percent, in contrast to no tax increases and massive deregulation in Wisconsin).

Scott Walker won big for all these reasons . . . in this heavily blue state. Results do matter to voters — even rank-and-file Democrat voters.

This win now makes Scott Walker a conservative Republican superstar on the level of Ronald Reagan after Reagan had served two terms as Governor of California.

In fact, if you compare the two objectively, Walker has already achieved more in 18 months as Governor of Wisconsin than Reagan achieved in eight years as Governor of California. Walker made real structural reforms that have virtually ended the public sector unions in Wisconsin.

Now conservative governors across America can do the same. Walker has shown them the formula for achieving political superstardom: Say what you will do, then do it.

Conservatives have a wonderful hero for the future in Scott Walker. Forget Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, or anyone else. We now have Scott Walker as our conservative standard bearer.

My only advice to Scott Walker is this: Don’t change a thing. Continue to be exactly who you are.

Wisconsin public sector unions lose more than half their members since Walker’s reforms enacted. No wonder these union thugs hate Walker

When more than half your members leave your club after they are no longer forced by law to be members, it’s time to rethink your club

FOX NEWS: Public-employee unions in Wisconsin have experienced a dramatic drop in membership — by more than half for the second-biggest union — since a law championed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker sharply curtailed their ability to bargain over wages and working conditions.

Now with Mr. Walker facing a recall vote Tuesday, voters will decide whether his policies in the centrist state should continue — or whether they have gone too far.

The election could mark a pivot point for organized labor.

Mr. Walker’s ouster would derail the political career of a rising Republican star and send a warning to other elected officials who are battling unions. But a victory for the governor, who has been leading his Democratic opponent in recent polls, would amount to an endorsement of an effort to curtail public-sector unions, which have been a pillar of strength for organized labor while private-sector membership has dwindled.
That could mean the sharp losses that some Wisconsin public-worker unions have experienced is a harbinger of similar unions’ future nationwide, union leaders fear. Failure to oust Mr. Walker and overturn the Wisconsin law “spells doom,” said Bryan Kennedy, the American Federation of Teachers’ Wisconsin president.

Wisconsin membership in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees-the state’s second-largest public-sector union after the National Education Association, which represents teachers-fell to 28,745 in February from 62,818 in March 2011, according to a person who has viewed Afscme’s figures. A spokesman for Afscme declined to comment.

Read more here >>>

The Stakes in Wisconsin on Tuesday: Literally the Fate of the American Republic

Will the American Republic be restored? Or will we become like Greece, Italy, France, or worse?

WALL STREET JOURNAL: A single election rarely determines a democracy’s fate, but some matter more than others. Tuesday’s recall election of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is one that matters a great deal because it will test whether taxpayers have any hope of controlling the entitlement state and its dominant special interests.

Specifically, we will learn if a politician can dare to cross government unions and survive. Mr. Walker isn’t facing this extraordinary midterm challenge because he and a GOP legislature asked public workers to pay 12.6% of their health insurance premiums and put 5.8% of their paychecks toward their pensions. Those are small sums compared to what private employees typically pay.

His political offense was daring to challenge the monopoly sway that public unions have come to hold over modern state government through collective bargaining. Public unions aren’t like private unions that negotiate labor terms with a single company or workplace. Public unions have outsize influence because they can often buy the politicians who are supposed to represent taxpayers. The unions effectively sit on both sides of the bargaining table.

Thus over time they have been able to extort excessive wages, benefits and pensions, as well as sweetheart contracts like the monopoly provision of health insurance. Their focused special interest trumps the general interest of taxpayers, who are busy making a living and lack the time to focus on politics other than during elections or amid a fiscal crisis.

Democrats—even liberals—once understood this danger and opposed collective bargaining for public workers. No less a Democratic hero than Franklin Roosevelt once said that collective bargaining “can not be transplanted into the public service.” As recently as the 1970s, Jimmy Carter signed the Civil Service Reform Act, which reduced collective-bargaining rights for federal employees. But as public unions began to dominate the modern labor movement, collective bargaining became a sacrosanct part of the liberal agenda.

Read more here >>>

Go here to watch Obama-style Leftists in Wisconsin boo America’s National Anthem >>>

Dad: “My Son, Scott Walker, Is A Hero”

ROBERT COSTAS-NATIONAL REVIEW: At dusk tonight, sitting on a bench outside of a nondescript office complex, was an elderly gentleman in a bright-red T-shirt. He sat there for ten minutes, his hands folded, and waited for Governor Scott Walker to appear.

From afar, one could easily confuse the silver-haired grandfather with an aging AFSCME activist. Up close, he was anything but. His shirt had a short message: “My Son, Scott Walker, is a Hero.”

“Llew Walker,” he told me, gesturing toward the bench. Walker, a 73-year-old retired Baptist preacher from Illinois, has been following his son, the embattled Badger State governor, for the past week.

At events, Walker says, he doesn’t say much to his son, other than offer encouragement. He spends most of his time chatting with the unpaid volunteers, thanking them for making calls.

When his son has to leave for the next stump stop, Walker senior usually hangs back, making small talk. His wife, Patricia, hands out homemade chocolate-chip cookies. “Scott is handling this very well,” Walker says. “He’s been steady. But he’ll be glad to have it all over with.”

Years ago, Walker recalls, he taught his son to be a low-key leader. He supported him as he became an Eagle Scout and invited him to speak at church services — a challenge Scott relished.

“I remember this USA Jesus club he was involved with, back when we were living in Iowa,” Walker says. “It was so apparent that he wanted to reach out and help people in the community. The city hall didn’t have an Iowa flag so he and his friends started a project to buy one. Well, they did just that, then presented it to city hall.”

Walker grimaces when I mention the Left’s rough rhetoric. He pauses and shakes his head. “Scott’s used to that, being part of the whole process,” he says. “He’s got a personal faith and reads Scripture every day, so he’s handling it.”

The small crowd begins to clap. Walker has arrived. The governor greets his supporters, one by one, then slowly makes his way toward the bench. When he spots his father, he doesn’t say a word. He simply opens his arms.

Read more here abut the greatness of Scott Walker >>>

Union Thug Update: 500 longshoremen hold security guards hostage, destroy railroad cars, commit mayhem

ASSOCIATED PRESS: Hundreds of Longshoremen stormed the Port of Longview early Thursday, overpowered and held security guards, damaged railroad cars, and dumped grain that is the center of a labor dispute, said Longview Police Chief Jim Duscha.

Six guards were held hostage for a couple of hours after 500 or more Longshoremen broke down gates about 4:30 a.m. and smashed windows in the guard shack, he said.

No one was hurt, and nobody has been arrested. Most of the protesters returned to their union hall after cutting brake lines and spilling grain from car at the EGT terminal, Duscha said.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union believes it has the right to work at the facility, but the company has hired a contractor that’s staffing a workforce of other union laborers.

Thursday’s violence was first reported by Kelso radio station KLOG.

Read more here >>>

This is Richard Trumka’s union. He was a special guest at Obama’s speech last night

Nice folks, these union thugs.

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