'In the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.'
- Abraham Lincoln -

Monday, March 12, 2012

Reagan Knew How To Deal With Unions

No, this isn't about PATCO.

It has to do with political strategy.

Ronald Reagan once said, in so many words: The Democratic Party can (and will) have the unions.  I want the union membership.

Thus was born the term "Reagan Democrat."

One wonders, in this era when decent jobs are disappearing, why union members  - unlike fat cat union bosses - are willing to be associated with the party of environmentalism.  And I wonder if Romney is smart enough to go after all those disaffected "Romney Democrats" out there.

Why do I wonder?

The latest in a long line of similar stories:
Democrats Kill Wisconsin Jobs to Spite Governor Scott Walker
By Frank Burke, American Thinker

On March 6, every Democrat in the Wisconsin State Senate, and one Republican, voted down a bill that could have streamlined the permit process and permitted the development of an iron mine in a depressed area of northern Wisconsin. The mine would have initially employed 600 to 700 workers (eventually as many as 2,200) and injected at least 1.5 billion dollars into the local economy. Additionally, it would have proven a boon to Joy Manufacturing and Falk Corp., two major manufacturers of mining equipment located in Milwaukee.

Following the vote, Gogebic Taconite, the proposed developer, announced that they were abandoning efforts in Wisconsin. Their comments: "Senate rejection of the mining reforms in Assembly Bill 426 sends a clear message that Wisconsin will not welcome iron mining. We get the message. GTac is ending plans to invest in a Wisconsin mine."

Comments by Democrat Senators and by Dale Schultz, the lone Republican who voted against the Bill, included the citation of environmental concerns. The statements were flatly rejected by Cathy Stepp, secretary of Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources, who stated that her agency would have been able to permit an iron mine in northern Wisconsin without harming the environment and blasted opponents of the permitting bill for "fear-mongering" (Wisconsin State Journal, March 9, 2012). She referenced the fact that the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA had been involved from the first and that their continued monitoring would ensure safety in the water supply and the environment generally.

Despite the fact that most of the jobs associated with the mine would be represented by industry trade unions -- and that State Senator Tim Carpenter, a Democrat who represents a largely Hispanic district and was arranging a fully funded program to train inner-city high school students for mining and manufacturing jobs -- the more powerful public service unions demanded the bill's defeat. The unions, led by out-of-state interests, were resentful of Walker's budget reforms and have spared no expense in demanding obedience from state Democratic office-holders and hopefuls.

If any instance were needed to underscore the fact that union bosses have written off the blue-collar private-sector workers who created the labor movement in the first place, one has only to look to Wisconsin. Having contributed to the decline of American manufacturing through wage and benefit demands, work rules, and the support of onerous regulations, they have cheerfully participated in their own near-extinction. Organized labor's last and only hope remains government and public-sector unions. Their members' refusal to acknowledge the financial realities that have and continue to affect the private sector are bringing them to their own Armageddon. [link]
Another sad day in America.  One of many.