Twitter can lead to some interesting findings. Yesterday I stumbled across this conversation.
9 Jun Shazzer @Shazzer
“When I was growing up, I never heard of this threat called public employees. We called them cops, teachers, heroes…” – @VanJones68 #nn12
@Shazzer @VanJones68 The Mystery is Why Did So Many of those Public Employees – cops,teachers,fire fighters,heroes vote against themselves?
9 Jun Shazzer @Shazzer
@sonneyjo Major mystery. I’m continually amazed at the no. of people who can be conned into voting against their own interests. @VanJones68
14h jamesmthomson @jamesmthomson
@Shazzer @sonneyjo @vanjones68 Agreed 100% on voting against best interest. Insane to me. The greatest trick ever pulled in politics IMO.
According to their profile summaries, Shazzer is an American ex-patriot, communications professional, avid blogger, living in Vikingland. Sonja is a bleeding heart liberal – socialist democrat, daughter, sister, wife, mom, grandmother, aunt, animal lover, searching for a sister I’ve never met. James espouses bullsh*t opinions on football, beer, wine, politics, US History, my family & movies in 140 characters or less!
There are two points that I would like to address.
First, Shazzer says that he never heard of this threat called public employees when he was growing up. Possibly, I am a little older than he is or he may have grown up in a larger town/city than I did. But I had a good deal of interaction with local law enforcement and thankfully somewhat more interaction with my teachers while growing up. I too never heard of the term “public servant” regarding these professions during that time (the 50′s and 60′s).
In those days, police officers and teachers were just citizens with a job to do and they were very concerned about doing that job well. Their first concern was serving the customer. Most would take personal time to help out those they interacted with. They used common sense in their dealings. They were not constrained by union rules that limited the use of personal time or common sense. They were caring and did whatever it took to help out the community in general. The size of their retirement fund was not their main concern as it today seems to be.
Secondly, all three seem to think that the “public servants” were conned into voting against their best interests. Maybe these public servants simply have seen the light and see the unions for what they are, political groups only interested in keeping elitist progressives in power. The welfare of union members is only secondary. The welfare of the citizens law enforcement and teachers “serve” is even further down the list. This can be demonstrated by the following quote, “When school children start paying union dues, that ‘s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.” This quote is often attributed to Albert Shanker, President United Federation of Teachers from 1964 to 1984 as well as President of the American Federation of Teachers from 1974 to 1997.
Many conflicts of interest between police unions and public safety are shown on the Cato Institute’s National Police Misconduct Reporting page. Here is one example: In Chicago Illinois, police officers recently hosted a $50-a-ticket fundraiser amid community protests in order to help to pay the defense costs for an alleged drunk driver facing reckless homicide charges for when he hit a parked car while drunk and caused an explosion that killed two. The suspect had a record of DUI arrests and was apprehended while trying to flee the scene of the accident with a BAC 3x the legal limit. The alleged drunk driver is a Chicago police officer.
Is it possible that those union members and their family members that voted to support Governor Walker’s actions have been educated and see that unions do not necessarily support their loved ones best interests? What they have learned is the following:
- That unions in actuality only support the union leadership’s best interest;
- That taxpayers (this includes the union members and their families) can not continue to afford providing extravagant fixed benefit pensions and wages;
- That by going to fixed contribution pensions, they will benefit from lower taxes;
- That by leaving the union and eliminating the cost of union membership they will not need to perpetually demand higher wages and benefits;
- That by doing the above two items, they will win the respect of and be even more appreciated by their fellow citizens;
- That a true “public servant” is actually just another citizen trying to perform the best job possible and not expecting remuneration greatly exceeding that of their fellow taxpaying citizens.
Possibly, they have learned that they simply need to be another productive member of our society instead of being the highly contributory member to the union their union leadership wants them to be.
We can only hope this is the reason union members voted as they did in Wisconsin. We can also hope they are helping their fellow union members to see the light. It is time that all of us vote for something other than our own best interest.
by Alan Stump
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