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Monday, November 8, 2010

Tom Sawyer's Whitewashed Fence

We all remember reading Tom Sawyer. That little hellcat with a penchant for mischief and a knack for getting other kids to do his work for him. I always thought he was a badass, then again I'm lazy as sin. (not murder though, that's the jazzercise of sins) In the 21st century we have our own Tom Sawyers, the union bosses and their goons. I would like to make the distinction between people in the union and those who run it. Unionized employees are the saps whitewashing the fence (joining the unions) because Tom told them it was so much fun (will get paid in monkey paws without them) and anyone who doubts them should pick up a brush and join them. I for one won't, because when I work, I like to keep all of the 4% leftover once the government gets through accosting it. I love FIST. It made me totally for the union if I was in the 1950's. Fortunately for me and my love of not being rounded up in McCarthy era communist sweeps, I don't live in the 1950's. It's 2010, where the only thing that can get you blacklisted in Hollywood is not driving a Prius. In the days when your hand might be chopped off or your newborn son might be working a wheat thrasher, unions were fantastic. Then OSHA, minimum wage, FMLA, Pickering Test, and Jim Sokolove came along and put an end to their necessity. If you get fired now, there are so many avenues for you to take to give your former employer a swift monetary based kick to the cobbles you don't need a union. All you need is a basic understanding that employees are not in fact allowed to be made to duel in an arena for their empployers benefit and access to your local CW affiliate (for getting a shady lawyer) and you're on easy street. Everyone likes to think of Norma Rae when the word union comes up, but for the most part, Hoffa should come up. You're talking about a system where you work and they take your money and should you get fired, they use the legal means at your disposal anyway to get you what's yours. Those dues, while paying for lavish salaries and sweet perks, also gets spent on campaign contributions to the tune of $87 million in this last election. I was in the IBEW at one point and my chapter outbid (read undercut) another chapter to get more jobs there. Who did that benefit other than the company and the local union? This is an organization that was entirely run by the mafia before they realized an easier sucker to pray on, druggies. (Ray Liota I'm looking in your direction) And now with more public sector employees than private sector employees, it seems a bit odd that they need protection. I alluded in an earlier column to the destruction in Detroit brought on by outsourcing of the big three. What do you think raised the cost so much that they shipped jobs halfway around the world and ship cars back and it's still way cheaper? Unions! (Imagine confetti exploding) At one point in the early auts, the average GM employee was making a total compensation package worth $63 an hour. In Detroit. There is nothing in Detroit worth $63, maybe Calvin Johnson. Maybe. All I'm asking is keep more of your paycheck, and stop listening to that wanker Tom filling your heads with lies, because the only fun part about whitewashng is the fumes.

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