What About the Unions?

IN these trying times all the airwaves and newspapers are alive with the sounds and writings of pseudo economic gurus exposing all the villains for our economic malaise and fears.

A good example of this was James V. Burke's letter "GOP Out of Touch" in last week's issue.
He advises us to listen to a speech by Calypso songster Harry Belafonte, who never met a Communist dictator or Bolshevist economic system he didn’t like -- i.e. Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez are his personal friends.

Their mantra is that corporate fascism is the root of all economic evil. I love these one dimensional proclamations. They remind me of Karl Marx's cure for all the world's evils -- the elimination of private property ownership.

These one sentence panaceas are short, swift and uncomplicated. They leave, unfortunately, an impression of good results to follow quickly if instituted.

History, of course, shows otherwise.

Mr. Burke and Mr. Belafonte mistake their own personal negative emotions toward corporate America as the righteous anger in all Americans who are awaiting the arrival of a Castro-like figure who will set things right with benign dictatorial rule. It is the stuff of the airy fairy dream world.

Speaking of identifying societal and economic villains reminds me of something I read recently and I now quote:

"New Jersey Press Media has examined the personal impact of the state's dysfunctional property tax system. The weeklong series showed how the growing tax burden is hurting tens of thousands of homeowners who face tax lien foreclosures, major property tax hikes and inaccurate assessments."

Not to my surprise, there was no mention of horrible fascist corporations causing this. No, instead it was the horrible fascist public sector unions that, having bought off the politicians with their members’ union dues got what they demanded at contract time -- unsustainable salaries, pensions, health care coverage and work rules fit for fascist corporate executives
What's the big deal? Just raise the property taxes to accommodate this extravagance.

After all, the unions are representing the noble aspirations of the working man. Who could be against that?

I won't be seeking to enlarge my knowledge on economic systems suitable for America from Harry Belafonte anytime soon, just as I won't be asking for advice on moral probity for my daughter from Lady Gaga.

John Rogers
Voorhees, New Jersey

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