For My Liberal Friends

Paul Richardson 2011

I recently posted an article from the Wall Street Journal on Facebook. I quoted a comment from the article, ³Candidate Barack Obama sent a letter to American Federation of Government Employees boss John Gage, vowing that his "priority" was giving Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) "collective bargaining rights and workplace protections." One of my friends commented, ³Is that a bad thing?´ My reaction was yes, it is. But you can¶t explain why easily using Facebook comments back and forth. I recently viewed two series of five segments of the Donahue show; one from 1979 and one from 1980 where Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize Winner for Economics was the guest. These are a great place to start understanding why we have gotten on the wrong track, a track that leads ultimately to our kids and grandkids being far worse off than we ³say´ we would like them to be. He gives example after example with well researched facts that show that government getting involved in areas other than those specified in the constitution always creates a suboptimum result. When Donahue asked how he could value the results of people working in their own selfish interest so much, Friedman asked him if he was saying it was OK to work in your political self interest but not your economic self interest. He also points out over and over the lack of historical understanding of those who ignore history with their pronouncements. I very much recommend you spend about 4 hours watching the YouTube videos twice. It is a small investment for freeing your mind from the ³common wisdom´ that is too common and wrong being bandied about today. Viewing them twice is necessary, I believe, because liberals are so hardened in their beliefs that Friedman¶s wisdom will likely not fully register on the first inoculation. Thus back to my friend¶s question, ³Is that bad?´ The first thing to realize is that the president¶s support for unionizing the TSA is in his political self interest because it is a way to gain increases in huge campaign contributions from union dues of a nationwide huge union if it happens. It seems ludicrous to say they need a union to protect them from the boss as he is the ultimate boss. But that isn¶t the worst by far. The worst is that an agency whose mission is to prevent terrorist access to our airline system can ill afford the anti-work ethic that always comes with a union. Peer pressure develops to not work too hard. If an employee is totally incompetent it is nearly impossible to fire the person. If reductions in staff are required it is required by union rules to be based on seniority, that is, those

least tainted by working in the union environment are likely to be the first to go. These arguments also apply to other public sector unions, especially the teachers unions where poor teachers are hardly ever fired because it is a convoluted and time consuming process. And here too the most experienced teachers, many who have been coasting for years, are protected in any layoff because they have seniority. The teachers unions have taken a group of what should be professionals and turned them into UAW or UMW type workers. Here is another quote from the other side of the pond where they have been ahead of us in their drive to the nanny state. ³Obama would verbalize his ideology using the same vocabulary that Eurocrats do. He would say he wants a fairer America, a more tolerant America, a less arrogant America, a more engaged America. When you prize away the cliché, what these phrases amount to are higher taxes, less patriotism, a bigger role for state bureaucracies, and a transfer of sovereignty to global institutions.´ Daniel Hannan, European Parliament representative for last 11 years in his Letter to America, WSJ. Putting in place all of these government benefits and programs always ends up depleting the economic strength of the ³host´ country. Huge debts pile up until at some point the bond market makes it clear that interest rates will have to rise dramatically because the likelihood of being able to service the debt (pay it back as structured) is lower. As things get worse economically the rates continue to rise putting more pressure on the ability to pay. This ³death spiral´ cycle has happened many times in history. Current incidents make it apparent that a cascade of countries could default on their debt sending ripples that could endanger other economies as well; Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Italy, etc. are all in trouble. Britain was on that path decades ago but luckily for them Margaret Thatcher hit the reset button and reformed their situation to give them more time as Ronald Reagan did here. Of course, politicians in both cases have worked hard to get the negative trend reinstated as they pander to the public with unsustainable promises. As Thatcher commented, socialist economies always fail because they eventually run out of money. In summary, the typical liberal rants whenever anyone challenges their position are not going to convince anyone of your competent grasp of reality. The excoriation of opponents is certainly not promoting a reasoned dialog. The death threats so

common from union groups and their political puppets is not either. We need a much more robust understanding of the realities of history than is common now. Sadly, it is not taught in our schools including at the college level because the progressives control both K-12 education and the history departments of the vast majority of the colleges. It will have to be done with self study and discussion. The benefit of the study will be rewarding in many ways and I highly recommend it to everyone if you really care about our kids and grandkids.

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