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Union Woes February 23, 2011

Posted by wooddickinson in Change, shared vision, Systems Thinking.
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A rally of the trade union UNISON in Oxford du...

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According to Yahoo! News (HERE) The governor of the state is trying to save $165M.  I’m sorry but we must face facts.  There isn’t enough money and enough taxes to counter this kind of problem.  It runs ram-pet through all states and the Federal Government.  The current answer is Tax more, Spend more, pass the buck to our children.

I’m not speaking a political opinion just recounting facts.  Now the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on 1/21/2011 the union membership information for 2010.

I’ll quote:

“In 2010, 7.6 million public sector employees belonged to a union, compared with 7.1 million union workers in the private sector. The union membership rate for public sector workers (36.2 percent) was substantially higher than the rate for private sector workers (6.9 percent). Within the public sector, local government workers had the highest union membership rate, 42.3 percent. This group includes workers in heavily unionized occupations, such as teachers, police officers, and fire fighters. Private sector industries with high unionization rates included transportation and utilities (21.8 percent), telecommunications (15.8 percent), and construction (13.1 percent). In 2010, low unionization rates occurred in agriculture and related industries (1.6 percent) and in financial activities (2.0 percent). (See table 3.)” Source: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm

What is obvious is more of us are not in a union than those who are.  No one cares much about private sector unions even though they do effect the cost of goods, it is the public sector (government workers) that the voting public should be worried about.

Public policy has been to bend over for public sector labor unions thus driving the cost of government into the stratosphere. Now unions are not the only reason we have out of control spending on the local, state and federal level but it is a significant part.  Here again we have a minority holding a majority hostage for political gain.

I understand we are talking about peoples lives but consider the fact that all the non-union workers, employers and corporate risk takers that drive business growth have no such protection.  They are villains and takers.  Especially management even though these people create the jobs the union folks fill.  When the unions should be supporting management so the company is successful they act as a drain possibly driving the company out of business. All that happens to the union employee is lay off or getting fired.  The business owner’s life is ruined by a business failure.

I’m not going into the corporate greed argument always pulled out of the hat because almost all businesses run honestly.

Now, what does all this mean?  Looking at current trends in societal anger about tax and spend I can for see a revolt against the public sector employees and the politicians who support them.  This could get bloody because unlike taxes where workers say, “Let the rich pay,” this will be their own jobs on the line. The workers will have to pay.

It’s obvious to all of us that state and federal governments are bloated.  Departments are too large, spending is out of control and staffing to expansive.  When a politician tries to get a grip on this just look at Wisconsin to see the reaction.  All unions rally behind government employees even though we as a nation can’t afford them.

This country is on a collision course and many people are living in a fantasy world when it comes to this issue.

Are you in control of you life? October 22, 2010

Posted by wooddickinson in Change, consulting, shared vision.
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Every day I hear on the radio, TV in advertisements and in news reporting that no one really knows what the future holds.  This leaves a person wondering if they have any control over their lives at all.  Now that new massive government programs are in place, companies have no idea how to handle things like health care.

The unknown is, can I afford to keep my company healthcare or do I just drop it forcing every one on the public program?  How many jobs will this cost me?

It is more like how many jobs will it cost all of us.  Being a consultant I meet with many organization from small mom and pop’s to Universities.  I hear the very same story.  I don’t know if I will have enough money?  The individual, which is where business starts, feels scared so he doesn’t buy anything.  I’ll pass on the lawn over-seeding this year or cut back in how many times I go out to eat and then watch the cost of those places.  Little things a million times become big things.  Small companies fail, cut backs happen, unemployment remains unchanged.

There are many things we can do to control our lives.  Eat out less.  Go to the movies less.  Skip shopping trips.  Skip vacations.  On and on but at some point when we’ve done all we can do then you ask yourself, “Am I in control of my life?”

The stress level around me is way up.  Miss a payment by a day and people call millions of times harassing you for the check that is in the mail.  Patients has gone out the door and so has wisdom.

I feel that I can be in control of my life.  I have to decide where I stand.  Today American’s need to decide what the vision of the future is going to be.  Big government control and a socialistic economy or a free economy with smaller government and less tax burden and over regulation.

The town I work in is Mission Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City.  They just don’t have enough money to do everything they want to so the government has instituted a driveway tax!  You will be taxed by the linear feet of concrete or asphalt you have in your driveway.  Maybe a $70 tax increase on every home but the kicker is when you get to the Target store they will have to pay about $65,000 in tax.  Now I ask you where will Target get that money from?  They project earnings and staff and order goods based on that projected revenue.  Out of that revenue there needs to be a profit or Target as a company can’t grow and create more jobs.

The way I see it this tax will cost Mission at least 3 to 4 jobs just at Target.  It will put a strain on the store which will cause the corporate office to decide if it is or isn’t worth having a store in Mission and BANG.

Go to my website and vote by clicking HERE.  Somehow we DO need to be in control of our own lives.


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