Friday, June 27, 2008

The Unions are Very, Very Good to Me

Barack Obama spends a lot of time talking about lobbyists. He likes to point to John McCain who has had a couple former lobbyist (really former government employees) working on his campaign. Barack Obama wants the voters to know that politicians who work with, spending time with, or, go on junkets with lobbyists are in the "bag" for the industries that those lobbyists represent. He and other Democrats call them the "special interests" and they love to point to big oil and big drug companies as the worst of the worst.

But, Barack Obama has no problems with his own "special interest" groups. One such group is the AFL-CIO who just endorsed Barack Obama (See Full Story). The best a politician can expect from a lobbyist is a lunch or dinner or, maybe, a golf trip to the Barbados or something. But, when a group like a labor union back you, you can expect multi-millions being spent by that group in getting you elected. You can expect millions of union workers who will vote for you and volunteer their time to get the vote out in you behalf.

In turn, you can expect that Barack Obama will be exceeding beneficial to the labor union. He might create well paid "green collar" jobs that will primarily benefit the unions and may do absolutely nothing for our energy situation. He might push higher and higher minimum wage legislation. This would make the unions happy because many have contracts that trigger an automatic "parity" pay raise if the minimum wage is upped. He might block free trade agreements so that union jobs are not lost to lower paying (and more competitive) laborers in other countries. He might push to eliminate the "secret ballot" for unionizing companies and, instead, back the "check card" system that gives intimidating power to the union bosses. Or, he might back the elimination of programs like "No Child Left Behind" because the testing aspects might jeopardize union teacher jobs.

Yeah, lobbyists are bad but, union endorsements are a lot more powerful and a lot more dangerous to the health of our country. Think about that when the former world's biggest auto company, General Motors, falls into second place. think about that as our failing schools in this country fall into more disarray as some future President works his magic to get union teachers a pay raise without a commensurate increases in performance or performance measurements.

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