As some might expect, I get a fair amount of hate mail from public union workers. However, I actually get more emails from public union workers and government employees who are willing to see the picture the way it is, instead of the way they want it to be.
Please consider this email from Rick, a teacher and a retired US Army Reservist.
Rick sent the following email with the title "Feeling Guilty, But..."
I liked his email subject line so I used it as part of the title of this post.
Feeling Guilty, But ...
I am a teacher and a retired US Army Reservist. I have followed your blog religiously for the past few months and I cannot help but agree with you and support your view of how unions and BIG government are bankrupting we Americans.
When are people going to realize that we cannot kick this debt down the road any more? It’s like paying your credit card debt using the 20 year plan. The interest kills you!
The only dilemma that I face is that I feel rather a hypocrite when I condemn my colleagues for believing that they have earned a defined benefit pension by their 30 years of service as a teacher, yet in 8 years I will begin receiving my military retirement pay (plus health care) from the US Government. I feel as though I am feeding at the trough.
I read articles in the news about the Wisconsin teachers “sacrificing” by now agreeing to pay 5-6% toward their pensions and 10-12% for their health care. Whoopee! I currently pay almost 50% of my health care costs out-of-pocket, and I contribute 10% toward my direct compensation retirement plan. I would gladly contribute toward my pension too if that would help our state (Washington) from red ink.
Thanks for all the broad and informative articles. Keep up the great work.
Your email is deeply appreciated. I do not blame people for taking what comes their way. No one should.
However, I do blame those who feel they are better than everyone else. I also blame people who feel taxpayers owe them enormous benefits that the private sector does not get simply for showing up to work.
Worse yet, many do not even bother showing up for work via various call-in-sick mechanisms that scam taxpayers out of money.
Yesterday I received an email from my friend Tim Wallace. He wrote about the Belvidere New Jersey School District budget.
The issue at had was contract raise of 4.25%. To save teachers jobs, the school district proposed cutting the raise to 2.12%. The union refused, sending a few teachers to unemployment-land. In turn, class sizes will undoubtedly increase or other fees will rise.
Teachers wonder why they are vilified. Unions wonder why they are vilified. The answer is easy. By turning down pay hikes while demanding still more, no one can possibly wonder who is to blame.
Yet public unions pompously ask for property tax hikes "for the kids".
Teachers' Unions Do Not Care About Kids
Here is the deal, straight up. Teachers unions do not care about the kids.
Please read that carefully. I said "Teachers unions" NOT teachers.
Most teachers do care about the kids. However, teachers are sucked into believing garbage fed by union organizers. That garbage inevitably leads to cannibalization of the lowest on the seniority totem pole, regardless of skills or talent.
Union mentality is also to blame for inability of school districts to get rid of sexual predators and grossly incompetent teachers.
Time for Reflection
This is a time for serious reflection. We all need to think about what government owes us (or doesn't), what taxpayers owe us (or doesn't), and what promises have been made by politicians at taxpayer expense that cannot possibly be met.
We also need to reflect on union rules that make us all slaves. I am going to hammer the slavery point home until it sinks in. If you have not yet done so, please read:
Enormous Sense of Entitlement
With very few exceptions, public union members have an enormous sense of entitlement.
Public union members need to put themselves in the average taxpayer's shoes.
I am deeply disturbed by events in this country. We have lost track of what has made this nation great.
Yes, the Fed is part of the mess. So is the "too big to fail" mentality that unjustifiably bailed out the banks. However, at the city and state level, there is no bigger problem than public unions, especially promises regarding wage and pension benefits that cannot possible be met.
Instead of admitting the problem like Rick did, many government workers and public union members attack the messenger and ignore union sponsored slavery because it suits their purpose.