Oppressive forced-labor unionism on the chopping block
Public and private employees should have the “freedom to choose” whether or not to join a labor union,” said state representative Will Smith.(from seacoastonline.com)
To that end, Smith (R-New Castle) is the prime sponsor of proposed legislation that, if passed, would make New Hampshire the 23rd state with a “Right To Work” law. In the states with RTW law, workers cannot be forced to join unions, or to pay union fees if they decide not to join, said Smith. Workers can also resign from unions and continue to be eligible for all benefits gained through collective bargaining agreements.
Smith said his motive for wanting New Hampshire to be a RTW state is “economic.” As a member of the state's Finance Committee, he said he's been informed that half of all large companies considering a move to New Hampshire don't because there's no RTW law.
“We're trying to make changes to attract new businesses and bring jobs into the state,” he said.
It's Smith's second attempt to enact the legislation which would apply to both public and private employees' unions. Also sponsoring the proposed bill are fellow Republican representatives Alfred Baldasaro and Frank Holden of Londonerry, James Forsythe of Lyndeborough, Carl Seidel from Nashua and Kathleen Lauer-Rago of Franklin.
A similar proposal died in the Senate during the last legislative session following a hearing that Smith said was well-attended by union representatives in opposition. A supporter, said Smith, was a New Hampshire school teacher who testified she didn't want to join a union, but was forced to pay union fees anyway.
Elected Officials Flunk Constitution Quiz
Elected officials at many levels of government, not just the federal government, swear an oath to "uphold and protect" the U.S. Constitution.(from aolnews.com)
But those elected officials who took the test scored an average 5 percentage points lower than the national average (49 percent vs. 54 percent), with ordinary citizens outscoring these elected officials on each constitutional question. Examples:
Only 49 percent of elected officials could name all three branches of government, compared with 50 percent of the general public.
Only 46 percent knew that Congress, not the president, has the power to declare war -- 54 percent of the general public knows that.
Just 15 percent answered correctly that the phrase "wall of separation" appears in Thomas Jefferson's letters -- not in the U.S. Constitution -- compared with 19 percent of the general public.
And only 57 percent of those who've held elective office know what the Electoral College does, while 66 percent of the public got that answer right. (Of elected officials, 20 percent thought the Electoral College was a school for "training those aspiring for higher political office.")
You can take the quiz yourself -- click here.
Greedy overspenders ♥ the public trough
In a recent column, I talked about how, in these times, a rising tide must lift all boats. I am concerned that unbridled self interest, from investment banks too big to fail, to monopolies that care little about their captive customers, and unions that protect their own, will sink us all. I add to that list state politicians of past golden eras who could not say no.(from pressrepublican.com)
All too often, these groups waste our time by point fingers at others as a way to deflect responsibility for their share of the problem. In doing so, they reinforce the worldview that economic rights and privileges are the battlegrounds and the dividers in this modern class warfare.
Let me start by acknowledging that I am a member of one such class, as many of us are, in some way or another. My primary job is as a professor for the State of New York. This job I enjoy very much, and I work very hard at it, in my teaching, my research, and my public service. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to earn a livelihood by doing something I enjoy.
However, I am especially embarrassed by the benefits package one receives from a position with the State of New York. The retirement benefits have two dimensions. The first astonishing generous benefit is one I could have chosen, but I did not. I opted out of the State of New York pension scheme and instead manage my own retirement through shared contributions I make and my employer makes on my behalf, much like the "defined contributions" plans readers may have.
Many public servants smarter than me instead chose a plan in which the State of New York absorbs almost all of their financial risk upon retirement. This "defined benefits" package will probably require taxpayer bailouts, even if it is reformed for future participants. The costs of the State of New York pension scheme are vastly under-reported, and will also be a subject of future columns.
The second benefit almost too good to be true is that, from the age of 55 on, I will be entitled to retire with lifetime health benefits in what I believe is one of the finest health-insurance plans in the world. For most, this benefit will even be free of a retiree monthly fee. Our unused sick leave will be used to pay for monthly premiums, for life. Indeed, this benefit is provided to any public servant after just 10 years of employment once they reach the age of 55 years.
On this day: January 17
Community Organizing for the New Progressive Era
Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg disappears in Hungary while in Soviet custody (1945)
President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers a televised farewell address to the nation three days before leaving office, in which he warns against the accumulation of power by the "military-industrial complex" (1961)
Paula Jones accuses President Bill Clinton of sexual harassment (1998)
b: Muhammad Ali (1942), Michelle Obama (1964); d: Barbara Jordan (1996), Zhao Ziyang (2005)
Community Organizing for the New Progressive Era