- - Friday, September 2, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

With 1 in 5 men not working and collecting unemployment benefits and who knows how many other Americans working for less pay than before, Labor Day 2011 should be called Unemployment and Underemployment Day.

The real purpose of Labor Day is a day for the Democratic Party to celebrate. Labor unions and their members are solidly in the Democratic camp. At every Democratic campaign rally, Big Labor is there.

The National teachers union (NEA), one of the nation’s largest unions, is a rock-solid supporter of the Democratic Party, as is every other large union. The NEA cares more about maintaining taxpayer-provided benefits for its members than ensuring our kids get a world-class education. On the NEA’s watch, test scores have plummeted and dropout rates have skyrocketed.

The United Auto Workers (UAW) has been a solid supporter of the Democratic Party for decades and has had automobile management under its thumb. The end result: Automotive plants have closed all around country. What was once the envy of the world, the American automobile industry has been totaled.

Al Capone-wannabe Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-See-I’m-Sleeping, has been recently grumbling about giving less money to the Democratic Party because the party has not given labor unions everything they want. Mr. Trumka knows, however, that when push comes to shove, the AFL-CIO will provide Democrats with stacks of cash as they always have.

Mr. Trumka knows that much of the trillion-dollar stimulus package is nothing more than President Obama using our tax dollars to provide artificial employment for union workers. It is a giant, taxpayer-funded payoff for labor unions to vote for Democrats. What a scam.

It’s clearly a conflict of interest when Big Labor provides Democratic candidates with stacks of cash during the campaign season and then once these candidates are elected, labor sits across the table from these officials and “negotiates” with them for raises and increased benefits. This is not competitive bargaining, as there is nothing competitive about it. It is a wholesale fleecing of the taxpayer.

Public-sector employees are the largest block of union members in America, as labor membership in the private sector has been falling for years. Public-sector employees typically enjoy higher pay, more benefits and more time off than private-sector employees. This is unconscionable and is yet another example of the fleecing of the taxpayer by our elected officials and labor unions, which are joined at the hip.

Public-sector employees should be banned from joining a union, paid a wage commensurate with the private sector and provided with the same benefits as their private-sector peers. Only a goon would think otherwise.

The purpose of a business is to make money. In order to make money, businesses need smart, hard-working, competition-driven employees. Businesses compensate the best employees and need to be able to get rid of employees who do not produce. Labor unions work to destroy that time-tested model.

The result of the labor movement has been a disaster. Labor unions have not sustained labor but rather have destroyed it. Unions, labor bosses and negotiators bargained themselves out of jobs through decades of forcing unrealistic and unsustainable wages and benefits on businesses.

There will be parades, pep rallies and speeches on Labor Day. But there is a real feeling in the air among American workers that something has gone terribly wrong. Ultimately, you get what you bargain for - an unemployment check.

Ted Nugent is an American rock ‘n’ roll, sporting and political activist icon. He is the author of “Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto” and “God, Guns & Rock AE’N’ Roll” (Regnery Publishing).

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