Politics, money, and power - what really motivate the unions

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    Feb 23, 2011 9:38 AM GMT
    The unions are trying to portray the bills in Wisconsin and now in other states as victimizing the union workers. Although the unions now agree to concessions, their real goal is to retain their power so they can put the squeeze on states in the future.

    But what is really important to unions is keeping their money source and keeping power. Taking away secret ballot for workers deciding if they want unions and having the states collect union dues are both important to the unions keeping power and money. Fundamentally, they are not driven by protecting workers, but maintaining their own influence. The money and power go hand in hand. The bottom line is the unions have put politics, money for themselves, and power above looking out for the workers. The visitors who were always at the White House were former SEIU head Andy Stearn, and current AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. The unions have become basically a wing of the Democratic Party, enjoying power and providing significant money to the Democrats.

    Reining in the unions can be justified because of state deficits. But beyond that, because the unions have gone far beyond protecting workers and became power political players, they put a target on themselves. For a long time, they overplayed their hand, and now the pendulum will swing away from union power.
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    Feb 23, 2011 1:58 PM GMT
    Socal -

    You can say the exact same things (and I have) about corporations and the wealthy. In fact, I'd argue that the corporate and wealthied interests' influence on politics is more egregious than unions because they represent a much smaller percentage of the citizenry.

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    Feb 23, 2011 4:53 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidSocal -

    You can say the exact same things (and I have) about corporations and the wealthy. In fact, I'd argue that the corporate and wealthied interests' influence on politics is more egregious than unions because they represent a much smaller percentage of the citizenry.

    I don't have the time now to research these numbers, but I think your comment is more to the point of the thread. It is clear that from time to time, particular constituencies gain and others lose influence depending upon the political landscape. I think generally what you characterize as corporate interests, I would characterize good business policies, but that is, of course, my perspective. I think at this point in time, the unions have become too powerful, facilitated by their strong influence with the Democrats. As I stated above, I think it is more about preserving union power than looking out for the workers. As an example, when the UAW was put in an ownership position of GM over many others, the Indiana teachers' union pension was invested in GM and they got screwed. Still union, but not as powerful and helpful to the Democrats as the UAW.
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    Feb 23, 2011 5:37 PM GMT
    And if someone needs a fun way to learn about unions, watch the tv series Brotherood.