Labor on the Line


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Collective Bargaining

I think an important element that seems to missing is simple civic responsibility. Just because I took a hit on my retirement, then teachers, firefighters and police took a hit, doesn't mean I no longer have the civic responsibility to support those who undeniably make our society better and to protect them.
People seem to have a short memory. In my lifetime, I've watched the same thing happen with the economy. And over and over again the first targets are those people who keep our society educated and safe. What happened each time? We ended up beating on teachers, police, and fire departments and ended up with shortages in those areas and we took bigger hits from them. Education ran into problems, crime increased. Why? Because we made it a BAD decision for anyone to enter those careers and then had the job of trying to convince new teachers, police officers, and fire fighters that "Oh no, we won't do THAT again, we learned our lesson!" Although I work in the private sector, I know many teachers, police, and fire fighters. They are not making a lot of money, they are not retiring early (if they are, it is from THAT career and they're still working part time to make ends meet), and they certainly do not have any golden parachutes.
Other countries in the world pay these people decently and give them good benefits. Guess what? Now it is those countries who are constantly beating the United States in education, health care, and crime rates. And on top of that, because they have those well-educated, healthy, and safe people they figure out ways to make those very same areas cheaper per capita to accomplish without making the hit be in the peoples' benefits and pay.
Just because one may feel they've lost their control over their own finances doesn't mean one needs to take it away from others.