Public Employee Unions, One Man’s Opinion

Anyone care to guess who said this:

“… Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the government. All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations … The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for … officials … to bind the employer … The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives …

“Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of government employees. Upon employees in the federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people … This obligation is paramount … A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent … to prevent or obstruct … Government … Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government … is unthinkable and intolerable.”

Click through and see for yourself.  Once you do, ask yourself, if this man could see the dangers of a public employee union, how can it be a partisan issue today? Or click here for a clue.

Rights guaranteed – responsibilities not required

How come liberals talk about rights that should be guaranteed, but not responsibilities required? I would think that if you are going to be guaranteed rights by the state, the state would set detailed responsibilities from those benefiting from those rights.

Author note: While I’m away from the computer, I’m republishing my top 20 posts from 2008 each afternoon. -Steve

This mornings post by Scott Johnson at Power Line – Obama’s Constitution – should be an eye opener. During the past few months the alternative media has proven Obama to be a socialist. There is no denying it. Now we have another official Obama adviser trying to explain away Obama’s comments on Chicago public radio in 2001.

Update: New phrase coined – Second Bill of Rights. 

Cass Sunstein, a law professor from the University of Chicago, made the attempt to link Obama’s statements in 2001(transcript) to conservative principals.

“What the critics are missing is that the term ‘redistribution’ didn’t man [sic] in the Constitutional context equalized wealth or anything like that. It meant some positive rights, most prominently the right to education, and also the right to a lawyer,” Sunstein said. “What he’s saying – this is the irony of it – he’s basically taking the side of the conservatives then and now against the liberals.”

The right to education? There is no right to education. As a matter of fact, there are only three rights that are inalienable, granted by our Creator, and those are the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those rights are inalienable, they can not be taken away by anyone or any state. Any other perceived rights defined by the left are provided by the state, and therefore can be taken away.

That does not stop Sunstein, or other socialists like Obama, from trying to define new rights. They use emotion to define these rights. Of course you have a right to food, water, housing, medical care, a job. This is exactly why it’s easy to be a liberal, all you need is good intentions.

Being a conservative is hard.

For those who think we’re being too hard on the Obama advisers, let’s take a look at Sunstein’s book, The Second Bill of Rights: FDR’S Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It More than Ever, which you can pick upat Amazon for 83 cents.

He argues for FDR’s second bill of rights. I’m familiar with FDR’s New Deal which started the entitlement culture here in the United States, but I was not familiar with FDR’s second bill of rights, of which he spoke at his State of the Union address in 1944. (My emphasis added.)

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights tolife and liberty.

As our Nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.

One of the great American industrialists of our day—a man who has rendered yeoman service to his country in this crisis-recently emphasized the grave dangers of “rightist reaction” in this Nation. All clear-thinking businessmen share his concern. Indeed, if such reaction should develop—if history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called “normalcy” of the 1920’s—then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home.

I ask the Congress to explore the means for implementing this economic bill of rights- for it is definitely the responsibility of the Congress so to do. Many of these problems are already before committees of the Congress in the form of proposed legislation. I shall from time to time communicate with the Congress with respect to these and further proposals. In the event that no adequate program of progress is evolved, I am certain that the Nation will be conscious of the fact.

What does Obama think about FDR’s second bill of rights and Sunstein’s book that promotes the concept? If there really should be a right to a decent home, food, clothing and recreation, who pays for that?

During this time, Americans were not just asked to sacrifice, it was demanded of them. And maybe that was the right thing to do. But in 1944 FDR asked Congress to change the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to life, liberty and state sponsored happiness, forever changing American culture to … (drum roll please) … an entitlement society.

You need to be concerned. You need to ask Obama, Biden and other liberals about these concepts. Where do they stand? Where do you stand?

Ben Smith over at Politico has more.

Update: A phrase has just been coined – Second Bill of Rights. Malkin has more and directs us to Mark Steyn over at The Corner.

FDR’s New Deal stifled economy for 15 years

So why did the Great Depression last for more than 15 years? In 2009, many think the United States could be in a 1929 situation, where the government has the opportunity to take action by spending more cash, or let the capitalist system loose, cutting taxes and letting the free market run.

In the 1930s, FDR’s solution was to spend and spend, and get intimately involved with the wages of private company employees.

I’m not predicting another Great Depression, but we have great historical records from the 1930s and into the 1940s about what worked and what did not. We have the advantage of hindsight – isn’t that a great thing?

Malkin reminds us about the 2004 UCLA study that blamed the long downturn on FDR’s policies.

In an article in the August issue of the Journal of Political Economy, Ohanian and Cole blame specific anti-competition and pro-labor measures that Roosevelt promoted and signed into law June 16, 1933.

“President Roosevelt believed that excessive competition was responsible for the Depression by reducing prices and wages, and by extension reducing employment and demand for goods and services,” said Cole, also a UCLA professor of economics. “So he came up with a recovery package that would be unimaginable today, allowing businesses in every industry to collude without the threat of antitrust prosecution and workers to demand salaries about 25 percent above where they ought to have been, given market forces. The economy was poised for a beautiful recovery, but that recovery was stalled by these misguided policies.”

In the three years following the implementation of Roosevelt’s policies, wages in 11 key industries averaged 25 percent higher than they otherwise would have done, the economists calculate. But unemployment was also 25 percent higher than it should have been, given gains in productivity.

So they raised wages for everyone who had a job, but unemployment remained high and prices were higher too. That plan did not work out so well.

(I’m going to use arbitrary numbers here, and since trillions seem to be the new billions…)

What makes more sense?

  1. Have the government increase spending by one trillion dollars projects to “kick start” the economy.
  2. Lower federal taxes – permanently – by one trillion dollars and let the free market, states and municipalities decide where to spend that one trillion.

Spending this amount of money at the federal level leaves too many opportunities for graft, misuse and overspending. When was the last time you were able to go to a meeting with your US House representative or senator?

How about another option?

The money – if it is spent at all – should be spent at the local level.

Let’s cut federal taxes and in-turn cut the federal budget by 60 percent? I’m not kidding. Per our Constitution, they do not have the authority to spend most of that cash anyway.

Then, increase state and local taxes to cover the cash they do not get from the feds. Make it an equal sum game; dollar for dollar. Again, I’m not kidding.

More power would be returned to the states, cities and towns, and I bet more people would get actively involved in local government.

Stop for a second and answer this question. Can you name half of the members of your local school board?

Maybe the horse really is out of the barn, especially when today’s speech at George Mason University by the president-elect included the following, my emphasis added.

It is true that we cannot depend on government alone to create jobs or long-term growth, but at this particular moment, only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe. Only government can break the vicious cycles that are crippling our economy – where a lack of spending leads to lost jobs which leads to even less spending; where an inability to lend and borrow stops growth and leads to even less credit.

There you have it. Only government can save the economy.

Maybe Obama should have stop in to see if Professor Williams had office hours today at GMU?

How about a debate between our friend Walter Williams and the president-elect? That would be so sweet.

Home page photo courtesy jimbowen0306 at Flickr.

Update: Morrissey at HotAir brings the subject up again. It’s definately worth a second look again.

Rights guaranteed – responsibilities not required

How come liberals talk about rights that should be guaranteed, but not responsibilities required? I would think that if you are going to be guaranteed rights by the state, the state would set detailed responsibilities from those benefiting from those rights.

This mornings post by Scott Johnson at Power Line – Obama’s Constitution – should be an eye opener. During the past few months the alternative media has proven Obama to be a socialist. There is no denying it. Now we have another official Obama adviser trying to explain away Obama’s comments on Chicago public radio in 2001.

Update: New phrase coined – Second Bill of Rights. (see more below)

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The growing government hand – looking back

M. Jay Wells at American Thinker has put together a time line wrapping together – year by year – how the mortgage crisis happened. It’s a long post, but worth your time this Sunday morning.

The piece outlines choices made by our elected leaders – and influence by organizations like ACORN – going back to FDR’s New Deal in the 1930s. That’s right, it all started 75 years ago.

Read more