About Me

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New York City, New York, United States
41 year old African-American Male. I like to think of myself as a jack of all trades and a master of none...I rely on reasoned common sense, rationality and what my gut tells me is right/wrong (combined with the well reasoned opinions of others!). I don't consider myself an expert on anything in particular, but I have lots of opinions.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Unions Aren't The Problem

I wish I could comment on the Collective Bargaining debate being waged in several states, most notably Wisconsin...But, I simply don't understand the issues enough to comment intelligently (this, of course, presumes that my prior comments are intelligent)...But, here is my position...I don't think that unions are the enemy...I do think that ensuring a safe workplace, reasonable working hours, competitive wages are all laudable goals...Moreover, I think that its misguided to direct anger at unions for concessions that they have been able to wrangle from management...Management didn't have to agree, that's why its called a negotiation (and, why don't we direct that same vitriol toward CEOs and other members of upper management...the difference between the wages of CEOs and rank/file is only growing an often cited example is that the real wages of the middle class have stagnated while the real wages of the working poor has declined...Contrast that with the earnings of the CEO of your favorite company...Honestly, I have worked at many large corporations and I readily say that CEOs are of dubious utility, but that is just my opinion).  At the same time, there are probably instances where union bosses have probably gotten greedy and they have forgotten their constituency, but this isn't by far the full story...You add in the expedient nature of politics and you have a recipe for disaster...Most actual studies dispute the often reported myth that the cost of pensions and other benefits for public employees are breaking state budgets.  To the contrary, politicians are using unions as convenient scapegoats in these times of economic uncertainty.  Instead of principled dialogue and an attempt to find common ground, we get the unseemly scene in Wisconsin and other states in the name of politics.  That's unfortunate. 

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