Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hysteria 101

I was at the Republican booth at the County Fair when a man and woman dressed in County emergency medical technician uniforms walked up to our table.  The man stabbed a finger at one of the brochures on the table and said loudly “I’m not voting for him because he wants to take my retirement away!”  That’s lesson Number 1 apparently at the union hall – use apocalyptic language. 

It was an amazing conversation.  Our County is faced with the same problem that the Federal, State, and local governments are facing all over the country.  Public salaries, benefits, and particularly retirement packages have exploded such that they are breaking the back of budgets everywhere.  Modest reforms have lead in part to the disgraceful response by union members in Wisconsin and other locales.  It is ironic to stand in front of someone who might charge into my home to restart my heart (or not) but would strangle my family’s financial security for his future security in retirement. 

No one has made any move to “take his retirement away” yet he will probably knuckle under and vote for a candidate who promises something that our County simply can’t deliver.  He was standing in front of people who are being forced to figure out how they will augment or even replace government benefits in the future.  Yet he was adamant that no one could alter the way his benefits were determined.  He also wouldn’t back off the severe language.  His partner quipped that she was to retire in three years (no doubt decades ahead of her peers in private business) and she was going to defend her “rights.” 

These people are a veritable fifth column within our local government who are paid by the residents but are resisting all efforts to create fiscal solvency in our County.  It wasn’t hard to envision these two selfish and well paid employees (who theoretically work for me) occupying our County Courthouse, waving signs, yelling at our conservative County Board of Supervisors, and bankrupting the County.  This is typical of liberal (Democrat, socialist, progressive, whatever) rhetoric – “we” all have to sacrifice, you first.  

Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America 


  1. Hysteria 101 is appropriately named. The liberal democrats have gotten quite good at making their scare tactics sound convincing while avoiding the subject of the really stupid, needless programs we spend money on. What bothers me is the stupidity of people to figure this out on their own.

  2. No, you first. No, you first. Bugs and Daffy. Classic cartoons predicted this mess back when they were anti-Red. Oh, the good old days.

    All the EMS people around here are volunteers. No bennies. Sometimes no EMS. But that's life. Hare today, duck tomorrow.

  3. I for one am tired of being first. We are always first. Then when the shit hits the fan we are first again.

    Also, we can't fix stupid.

  4. What usually happens in these cases is that the local all-expenses-paid pension and benfits plan becomes too costly and, the employees are asked to contribute a small amount towards the cost.

    The union then tells them they'll be getting nothing and, keeps drilling that theme until they all simply repeat it as a reflexive answer.

  5. Thank you all for commenting. I remember my own union experience. Once I went to a meeting as contract negotiations had stalled and it looked as if the union was going to call for a strike. I also went because they fined me if I missed consecutive meetings. Someone introduced a union boss from out of town to address our local members. He came to the podium, leaned into the microphone, and yelled "DO YOU WANT MORE MONE-E-E-E-E-EY?!?!"

    He got an enthusiastic response and I don't recall ever hearing a rationale to strike when our pay and benefits were 30-35% higher than comparable non-union jobs.

    That was over 40 years ago.

  6. CS & Sepp - Times have changed in the last 40 years, but one thing I have noticed is that pretty much all unions are afraid to give something up. When I've asked, I get the same response, 'Once we give something up, we'll never get it back'. I don't always agree. Common sense needs to take over at times.

  7. J.O.B.,

    That's exactly what I've been saying "Common sense needs to take over" --- I'll fix that union right up.