Workers of the world self-destruct

© 2016 Jim Spence - At the beginning of the year my daughter sent me a frantic email from Portland. It seems that her husband, who works for a contractor that paints jet airliners for Boeing, spotted union organizers hanging around the plant. Eventually they made inroads with the brainwashing and it looked like they were going to get the workers to force a vote to unionize.
My daughter said she was freaking out because the young couple had finally gotten on their feet financially after years of struggling and she was terrified that the actions of the proposed union, if they won the vote, would destroy the economic viability of the company and eventually cost her husband his job.
I weighed my response to her for a few days and thought carefully about her concerns. My response was to suggest she organize an educational campaign at the plant and also save every nickel of discretionary income they had for an emergency fund.
Her husband did his best with the rank and file. He warned them repeatedly of how unions tend to price themselves right out of their jobs. Not enough of the employees listened to him and in the summer the workers voted to unionize the plant.
What followed was predictable. The union negotiated for much higher wages than were justified based on skill levels and also lobbied for drug tests to not be so “random,” so the often stoned workers could know when to be clean. Additionally the union insisted that when workers did test positive, they would not be fired for creating a safety hazard for others, but instead that the company would pay the hefty costs for their rehab.
The company contract was up for bid by year end and unfortunately, management had to add all of the additional costs the union had piled onto the operation this year into the new bid.
Low and behold the company lost the contract and everyone at the plant is getting laid off.
In communist Portland, a place where businesses are treated like monsters, the union warnings fell on deaf ears. Portland is a place, much like New Mexico, where people come out of high school and college without even the most basic understanding of economics. They got greedy and they got burned.
My daughter and her husband are now scrambling furiously to put their contingency plans into action. The clueless workers who got conned by the union activists are suddenly mad as hell at the union organizers for talking them into self-destructing. It is a story that has played out in every state without right to work laws, including New Mexico.
Speaking of the clueless, in New Mexico we are back at it again after a brief flirtation with chances for prosperity. Democrats now run both legislative bodies again. And with the oil and gas businesses in New Mexico reeling from the heavy hand of dumb laws passed under Bill Richardson and kept in place by Senate Democrats, state tax receipts from the industry have dried up.
In typical fashion the Democrats, who love to spend oil and gas revenues, are whining because the golden egg laying goose they poisoned, is not pumping out as many eggs.
Does anyone notice the link between unions, Democrats, and self-destruction? My daughter and her husband do. They saw the self-destruction coming from a mile away.

Share/Bookmark

Swickard: Good presidents and bad

© 2016 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  “The measure of a man is what he does with power.” Plato
             The first President in my memory was Dwight Eisenhower. I was born when Truman served but don’t remember him. My father was a career military man. He happily had a badge, “I like Ike.”
            As someone who studies Presidents, it seems that in a hundred years people may consider Eisenhower the best president of the Twentieth Century. What he did with power was good and he didn’t tell the press.
            What makes me think of this is social media proclaiming the best and the worst Presidents without research. We must agree on how to judge a President. Many Presidents were very popular during their lives and subsequently dropped as details of their presidency came out. Warren G. Harding was one.
            Here are my five worst presidents: absolute worst was Teddy Roosevelt. Next was James Polk. Then Andrew Johnson. Next was Lyndon Johnson and fifth worst was Herbert Hoover. I can write a thousand words about their actions that landed them on my bad list. Maybe later.
            My pick for best presidents involves them doing things that others of their generation would not have done. Washington set the bar high. After him I admire Abraham Lincoln who no one expected to be nominated. He was awful his first year as he tried to grow into the job. Then providence smiled upon him for the ages.
            Lincoln almost single-handedly ended slavery in our country. He didn’t run to do it but came to understand how he needed to use his presidential powers. Likewise, Thomas Jefferson was bright but there were a dozen bright politicians when he decided to run for President.
            Once in office Jefferson allowed his curiosity of plants and animals to evolve into sending the Corps of Discovery under the command of Lewis and Clark across North America. In a three-year period, what was known about the North American West was increased way beyond anyone’s expectations.
            Speaking of a good president: Calvin Coolidge agreed to be Vice-President but did not have greater expectations. He was a quiet effective person who when thrust into the presidency took us out of a bad economic time and give us the “Roaring Twenties.” He like Eisenhower did not toot his horn so many people do not realize how good both were at being president.
            Ronald Reagan likewise took our nation out of a bad economic time and gave us nearly two decades of prosperity. He almost single-handedly took the Soviet Union down when no one thought it could be done. And he inspired many Americans with his presidency.
            Which brings us to Donald Trump. No one can tell how he will be viewed in a hundred years and as the saying goes, “A hundred years from now it is all new people.” But there are things we can see both good and bad that give us a framework to watch him as he conducts his four years of being president.
            Trump already is someone that does not do like the swarms of politicians do in our nation’s capital. That may be both good and bad. Not many thought he had a chance to win but he did. In that he is like Lincoln who ended up with the nomination while the political leaders scratched their heads and wondered how he did it.
            Lincoln also was a polarizing figure where he was loved or hated. In fact, nine states seceded from the Union before he was inaugurated based on their hatred of him. Trump is also like Jefferson in that he is interested in lots of stuff, but not politics.
            We can see that Donald Trump is his own man and no one waving money will get his attention. Like Lincoln newly elected Donald Trump is hated by the press.
            He can grow into the job of the presidency or not. Only time will tell. He may join the others on my list as a great president but he must do things, not just talk. We have had enough talk, it is time for action to get our people back to work and the economy going. Let’s see how he uses his power.

Share/Bookmark