RUSH: Syracuse, Indiana. Chris, welcome. It’s nice to have you on the EIB Network.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Uh, you probably could have gotten those grass stains out with peroxide; and white vinegar takes out underarm or perspiration stains, for future references.
RUSH: All right, thank you very much.
CALLER: Yes. I’m calling because I’m a 30-year trade unionist. I’ve called you before, but it was at the end of the program and we got cut off. Especially… Well, I’m calling because I just… I get a little upset about your — your references to unionists. They’re so ‘degrading,’ for loss of a better word. I think you likened us to the brothe — the Muslim Brotherhood.
CALLER: Found that one to be a lot distasteful. I mean, I was in a union for 30 years. I served as a steward, president, executive board member, job classification member, safety committee person, and unions mirror our own democracy with constitution and bylaws that go… We have executive branch our union. My particular union was an international union. It’s also in Canada, and, quite frankly (groans) a majority of the vets coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq are first in line for apprenticeship programs through the IBEW. We have… Our union is a wonderful organization. I didn’t pay much in union dues. Uh, I educated myself.
I worked my job for 30 years until they took it to, uh, Mexico. I’m curious as to what, uh, conservatives like yourself believe that, uh, our economy will be, umm, when Wall Street moguls can pull down millions and no one… No one rides them over the amount of money they make, as if they were to earn it, but school teachers who make $60,000 a year is absolutely ridiculous. I mean, I can remember the CEO from Home Depot. He still got all his benefits when they — when they took him out, even though Home Depot had — had abysmal, umm, stock ratings. You know, it was just unbelievable. And yet he still walked away with a ‘golden parachute,’ you know?
And I recall the media talking about these gentlemen from Wall Street and how they had a contract with them. It just stymies me that the first part of the working agreement — any working agreement — discuses ‘management’s rights,’ and management’s rights are pretty profound — and if you’ve ever arbitrated anything, you would know that it’s quite difficult to go up against management’s rights. And what — what unions do is they level the playing ground, the playing field; they allow workers to have a voice within. But I’ve known many, many unions. My own, in fact, tell me that (if) a grievance wasn’t viable, it couldn’t be arbitrated. You couldn’t win it based on the facts, and you never hear that kind of stuff in the media. You know, they make unions sound like, ummm, every member of a union is a mobster. It’s galling to listen to that.
RUSH: Does OxiClean also get blood out of uniforms?
CALLER: OxiClean is —
RUSH: Have you ever used OxiClean?
CALLER: OxiClean is a…. I think it’s a dried form of hydrogen peroxide.
RUSH: Okay. I’ll try that, too.
CALLER: It’s hydrogen bubbles.
RUSH: I’ve tried that and it hasn’t worked. Anyway, it’s really got me bugged, you know?
CALLER: Hydrogen peroxide. OxiClean is supposed to be that, but you can use —
RUSH: No offense to Billy Mays here, and I don’t know if he was a union performer or not, but, anyway, okay, I’ll try OxiClean, too.
CALLER: Hydrogen peroxide directly on, but you don’t have anything…? Any kind of…? You don’t want have any discussion with me about my union vent?
RUSH: Oh, I’ll be happy to. You want to know where I’m coming from. When I look at the country today, any business that is in huge trouble — when there is any kind of cultural problem going on in the workplace — I find a union. There’s a union present.
CALLER: Oh, that’s an irrational generalization and you know that.
RUSH: Well, no, I don’t ‘know’ that it’s an irrational generalization. I have an intrinsic problem here with this. You’re talking about how unions are democratized within and so forth and that’s fine and dandy, but… Hey, hang on through the break and I’ll explain this to you.
RUSH: And we are back with Chris from Syracuse, Indiana. A self-described unionista. Happy to have you on the program here again, Chris. Now, let me first say that you sound like you’re in the private sector.
RUSH: And that your union was so great that your company closed and moved to Mexico.
CALLER: My company would have closed and moved to Mexico anyway. At the time — and keep in mind I did it for 30 years, but at the time — my government was giving many manufacturing facilities tax abatements to move not just jobs to Mexico, but to China also.
CALLER: I believe that started in the Reagan administration, and —
RUSH: Well, let me —
CALLER: — and as a labor historian, I also, like I said, I’ve been doing this for 30 years, so I’m a little, uh…
RUSH: Look, let me just ask you some basic questions then because we could spend all day on this, and the context for the recent discussions of unions has been state, public sector unions.
RUSH: And it is those people that are defacing the monuments and so forth in Wisconsin, I might have compared to the Muslim Brotherhood. I don’t know if I made the comparison, but if I did, I did, and if I didn’t, I didn’t. The point is these public sector unions — any union — if they’re so great why doesn’t everybody demand one at their workplace?
RUSH: You talk about how democratic they are. Why do you require everybody to send their dues, to get them shipped off to the Democrat Party? A union requires everybody to work! What’s democratic about that?
CALLER: Because you’re collectively bargaining for everyone. When you collectively bargain, I can’t say, ‘Listen, I don’t want to give you any contractual rights ’cause you didn’t pay your union dues.’ That’s not the way it works! Rush, if Wall Street was regulated like unions are regulated in this country, we wouldn’t have had the debacle.
RUSH: Now, Chris…
CALLER: That’s how well regulated unions are.
RUSH: Chris? Chris?
CALLER: By the federal government. I know.
RUSH: Chris, look, every problem in this country today can be traced to liberalism. Unions are socialist in their structure, they are socialist in their politics, they are socialist in their practice. State governments, up until recent elections, have been run by liberal Democrat governments. In Wisconsin, we got a mess in Wisconsin. We never hear about the previous Democrat governor, Jim Doyle. We never hear about the mess that he’s left for poor old Scott Walker to have to clear up here. This is unsustainable what’s going on. You have public sector union workers earning twice what the people paying them are earning.
It’s destructive, and their avowed purpose is not being met. These teachers say, ‘It’s all about the children,’ and it’s not. We got a statement from the retiring NEA counsel, National Education Association, saying (summarized), ‘Our effectiveness has nothing to do with what we do for the kids, has nothing to do with them, but about our power.’ Wall Street being unregulated? For crying out loud, this whole business with the subprime mortgage business, I want to try to put this as it should be once and for all. I had somebody argue with me about this yesterday and it must mean that we’ve hit pay dirt here because there is an ongoing effort here to try to convince people that what we’re saying about it is incorrect.
The bottom line is Wall Street was made, under the force of threat by Janet Reno and the Clinton administration, to make loans to people who couldn’t pay them back. That led us to where we are: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac. And those people on Wall Street were forced and threatened by government with investigations and who knows what else. So they had to make these worthless loans. They’re capitalists. They had to find some way to make value out of something that had no value. So ergo a vicious cycle began to try to create value where none existed and these people have fiduciary responsibility to themselves, their stockholders, shareholders, and all the rest.
Now, I look at the union situation, the public sector union situation, in this country, and all I see is destruction. All I see is lack of productivity. All I see is a me-me-me mentality, a demand-demand-demand mentality, an unwillingness to share in any sacrifice, an unwillingness to acknowledge any role in the problems that we face today. We don’t have the money to pay these people! We don’t have the money to pay them what they’re earning. You know, ‘collective bargaining,’ collective’s fine and dandy, what it is. If you don’t like what you make as a teacher leave and go to the private sector and try to improve yourself!
I’ve made the point about collective bargaining: It’s all well and good if you know what you’re getting into but by definition you are treated no differently. How well you do your job is irrelevant. You could do it twice as good as the person next to you and it ain’t gonna matter. You could be twice as poor in your job performance, it isn’t going to matter. You’re gonna get what the contract says. You cease being an individual — and, as such, your desires as an individual human being have to be subordinated and placed on hold to that of the whole. It sounds like socialism to me. It sounds like you just end up as an employee number — which, believe me, I think is what this regime would like.
Obama would love for me to be Media Employee Number 2,534 at G Schedule 4-B and have that be as much known about me as possible, and anybody else: Faceless, no personalities, just a bunch of cogs in a wheel, with the people running the show getting the spoils. Except the big difference is they’re not producing anything. The people you rail about in the private sector? You talk about Home Depot and all the rest? They made something, they produced something, they engaged in the growth of gross domestic product. They did something other than just engineer a transfer of wealth or a redistribution of wealth, and that’s what unions are doing, particularly these public sector unions, about whom we are having the discussion lately. Where a public sector union is involved, name for me something run well.
Where is there a US company unionized that’s doing well? Where is it? Where is there a state government that’s showing a profit or breaking even? You can’t! Union regulated? The SEIU, Service Employees International Union, is regulated? They go out and beat up people at Tea Party protests! They’re regulated organized crime union links? Jimmy Hoffa, you ever heard of him? Regulations that unions have? I’d like to see ’em in Wisconsin. What regulations are there? Teamsters regulated? Look, you’re 30 years in the union. You’re a historian. You obviously love it, and that’s fine and dandy. To each his own. But don’t tell us it’s something that it’s not, and don’t blame the private sector or public sector for your plight. You know, we’re all responsible for what happens to us. Some people are willing to accept it. Some people want to slough it off onto somebody else or a different group of people.