Unemployed Airline Pilot (Vidio)

Hilarious video illustrating how disconnected from reality the mind of the union person can be.

Posted September 20th, 2011 Filed in Unions and Labor

Poll: Bailouts a Bad Idea

Rasmussen finds that only 25 percent of likely voters think the financial bailouts were a good idea. A full 56% think they were out-and-out a bad idea. [Note: the 19% who are still undecided on the issue should have their voter registration cards taken away. How can you not have an opinion on this vital issue by now?

Unsurprisingly, political insiders don’t share this view:

There also continues to be a strong divide between the Political Class and Mainstream voters. While a strong majority of Mainstream voters are still against both of the bailouts, at least half of the Political Class think they were a good idea.

This dichotomy is supported by a recent Politico poll:

Only 27 percent believe the country is headed in the right direction, compared with 61 percent who think the nation is on the wrong track. Likewise, when asked whether the national economy is heading down the right or wrong track, just 24 percent chose the right track, compared with 65 percent for the wrong track.

Yet among the 227 Washington elites polled, more think the country is on the right track, 49 percent, than the wrong track, 45 percent. On the economy, 44 percent of elites think the country is on the right track, compared with 46 percent who believe it is not.

Politico also found that compared to mainstream Americans, the political elites were more supportive of Obama, less supportive of Palin, and tended to think of the Tea Party movement as a “fad”. And that’s just sad.

Further, a Bloomberg poll shows that 7 out of 10 Americans see even more joblessness and an increasing deficit, believing that the country is mired in recession.

Seven of 10 Americans say reducing unemployment is the priority. At the same time, the public is skeptical of the Obama administration’s stimulus program and wary of more spending, with more than half saying the deficit is “dangerously out of control.”

If Obama’s “stimulus” had actually created jobs instead of rewarding failure, the recession might be in the rear view mirror and public opinion would be much different. Instead, 70 percent think the economy is still in recession and 13 percent think we are headed for a double-dip. Meanwhile, real unemployment hovers just short of 22 percent.

Amity Shlaes compares today’s economy with that of 1932, the end of Hoover’s presidency and just when things started getting better. She notes that although there are factors that differenciate the two, there are a number of similarities. Read the whole thing, but here’s the money quote:

The takeaway from 1932? Resetting the euro’s criteria for existence and member countries’ obligations when it comes to bailing out one another should happen sooner rather than later. Democrats and the president should ignore unions and cut trade deals with Latin America. John F. Kennedy, a Democrat, supported tax cuts. Obama can too, or at least block rate increases. The president might also want to suppress his lawyer- Keynesian reflexes and reconsider policy when it comes to wages. But the 1932 crisis talk actually impedes such consideration.

If anyone believes that these can take place in today’s partisan environment just hasn’t been paying attention. Get settled folks, this recession isn’t going away any time soon.

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Union Membership Down 10% — Except Gov’t

The Wall Street Journal notes that union membership was down 10% in the private sector last year, which is the same pace as job losses so this is to be expected. However, this is bad news for unions because they probably won’t get these members back when the jobs return:

Labor experts said theunion-membership losses would have a long-term impact on unions and their finances, because unions wouldn’t automatically regain members once the job market rebounded. In many cases, new jobs will be created at nonunion employers or plants. . . .

The manufacturing sector and construction industries—both of which tend to be heavily unionized—were hit particularly hard in the recession by the credit crisis and global downturn, which damped demand for industrial goods. Private sector construction lost 237,000 union members, while manufacturing lost 253,000 union members, representing more than half of the loss of private-sector union jobs.

But what job market actually expanded during the worst economic downturn in 70 years? Federal and state government (local governments didn’t fare quite so well). Part of that ballooning deficit went to paying for new government workers and more of them are union that ever before. Which is why, for the first time, a majority of union members are government workers rather than private-sector employees.

By examining data provided by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, we see that in the last year local governments lost 342,000 jobs. But state governments added 118,000 and the federal government added 52,000 jobs. In spite of the huge loss for local governments (the public sector lost 172,000 jobs as a whole), union membership among government workers rose by 64,000 workers. As of the end of 2009, 37.4 percent of all government workers now belong to a union.

Let’s repeat for emphasis: 37.4 percent of all government workers now belong to a union. In addition, 41.1 percent of all government workers are represented by unions.

The unionization of our government is a worrisome trend, whether at the federal, state, or local level. Last year unions gained in all three sectors. As a result, jobs are protected in a down economy, and the taxpayer must continue to pay excessive salaries that stem from collective bargaining (not to mention the padded pension plans).

Civil service bureaucracy is bad enough. Through a union into the mix and the taxpayer is worse off than ever.

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Posted January 26th, 2010 Filed in Government, Unions and Labor

FedEx Against the Big 3

FedEx is in a fight for its very existence, but it is battling millions in union money, the UPS and the federal government.

This is misuse of political power in its basest form. Read Ed Morrissey’s post on the subject.

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Posted November 11th, 2009 Filed in Unions and Labor

Freeze Alert in Hell: Hoffa Praises Bush

Teamsters President James P. Hoffa not only praised President Bush for attempting to fix Social Security, he scolded Democrats for opposing any reform discussions until the president drops his personal retirement accounts plan.

“Social Security is a major problem in this country. We have to make sure that it’s preserved for those that come after us,” Mr. Hoffa said in an interview with Gannett News Service. “I think President Bush should be given credit for the fact that he has initiated a debate regarding what we should do.”

Posted May 26th, 2005 Filed in Social Security, Unions and Labor