Obama, Bought and Paid for By Big Labor and Big Business, Brings Chicago, the Most Corrupt City in America, to Washington in the Form of Big Government"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship." - Justice Litle, Is America’s Economic Recovery on the Whole Based on a Rotten Sham?, Daily Markets, April 20, 2010
"If one understands that socialism is not a share-the-wealth programme, but is in reality a method to consolidate and control the wealth, then the seeming paradox of super-rich men promoting socialism becomes no paradox at all. Instead, it becomes logical, even the perfect tool of power-seeking megalomaniacs. Communism or, more accurately, socialism is not a movement of the downtrodden masses, but of the economic elite." - Gary Allen, None Dare Call It Conspiracy, Concord Press, 1971
Chicagoan Oprah Winfrey dismisses the idea that there is only one way to God when she says, "There couldn’t possibly be just one way." The Gospel of Christ says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me" (John 14:6). "There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:21).
January 14, 2008
The city has a unique history of launching the careers of powerful black politicians -- which is part of the reason Obama moved there.
...When Obama stood before the Democratic National Convention in 2004 to deliver the keynote address, he kicked off his speech with a nod to "the great state of Illinois -- crossroads of a nation, land of Lincoln." That wasn't just a shout-out to the home folks. It was an acknowledgment of how the entire state had placed him on that stage.
Much as it dominates Illinois, Chicago can't elect a senator by itself. Black candidates also need support in downstate Illinois, which happens to be a region with a history of working out racial questions for the rest of the country. The prairie towns still cherish the legacy of Abraham Lincoln. When I lived in Decatur, smack in the middle of the state, I drank in the Lincoln Lounge, passed a courthouse statue depicting Lincoln as a young lawyer, and fished in the Sangamon River at the Lincoln homestead, west of town.
It's no coincidence that two Illinoisans ended slavery -- Lincoln, by signing the Emancipation Proclamation, and Ulysses S. Grant, by accepting Lee's surrender at Appomattox. Before the Civil War, Illinois was evenly divided between Southerners who'd migrated up from Kentucky and Tennessee, and Yankees who'd reached the state through the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes. More than a generation before the rest of the nation took up the dispute, Illinois held a bitter plebiscite on slavery. The southern counties voted aye, the northern counties nay. The argument was continued in the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858. In his Senate primary, Obama finished second downstate, but ran well in central Illinois, where Lincoln had traveled as a circuit-riding lawyer. He even won Lincoln's hometown of Springfield.
"It's clear that white voters in this state are willing to vote for qualified black candidates statewide," says John Jackson of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University. "You just don't find very many states where white voters are willing to vote for black candidates."Part of it is Chicago's ability to groom those candidates, part is the moderate character of the state's Republicans and independents, and part is the Yellow Dog Democratic vote in poor, rural southern Illinois, Jackson says.
Later, when Obama faced Alan Keyes in the nation's first black-on-black Senate contest, columnist Amity Shlaes wrote that,
"Illinois has a record as host to such innovation" and was "yet again emerging as the venue for a shift on race."It was an election in which skin color was not an issue, won by a black candidate who has shown unprecedented appeal to white voters. That Illinois would become the birthplace of post-racial politics was no surprise to Obama. Early in his Chicago years, he realized his adopted home was a perfect training ground for solving America's problems, racial and otherwise. Last year, the Associated Press crowned Illinois "most average state" because its demographics so closely match the nation's. The United States is 13.4 percent black. Illinois is 14.9 percent black.
"Part of what attracts me about Illinois generally is I think it's a microcosm of the country: north, south, east, west, black, white, urban, rural, southern, northern," Obama once said. "For somebody who cares deeply about the country, and about the issues and struggles this country's going through, I can't think of a better laboratory to work on some of the pressing issues we confront."Barack Obama came to Chicago decades after the Great Migration, but for a young black man with political ambitions, it still turned out to be the promised land.
June 19, 2008
Recently, Crain’s Chicago Business reported on Chicago winning an award from Fast Company magazine.
“Chicago stood out in our reporting for its creativity and vitality,” Editor and Managing Director Bob Safian said at a press conference here. “Chicago offers something distinctive.”Fast Company Magazine is representative of much of the media: not much on hard facts about Chicago. The Windy City has distinctions but not positive ones. Chicago’s retail sales tax is the highest in the nation at 10.25 percent. Unions, high taxes, and political corruption have made Chicago one of the leaders in big city decline.
One of the great modern myths of big city America is that Chicago is some sort of successful town and a role model for others. By any traditional performance standards Chicago has failed. Like many old, big industrial cities, Chicago peaked in the 1950 Census with a population of 3,620,962. In the 1950s over two percent of the entire U.S. population lived within Chicago city limits. Over a half century later, while America’s population doubled, Chicago’s population declined. The 1960, 1970, 1980, and 1990 Census numbers showed Chicago losing population.
Mayor Daley and Chicago residents were quite excited about the 2000 Census showing Chicago gaining over 112,000 people (a growth rate at half the national average for the 1990s). It appears the 1990s were an anomaly for Chicago. Since the year 2000, according to Census estimates, Chicago again continued its population decline with a loss of 63,000 from 2000 to 2006 leaving a total of 2,833,321.
Recently, the Web site Real Clear Politics listed two Chicago area Congressional districts among the country’s ten fastest-shrinking districts, in terms of percentage of population lost between 2000 and 2005. Jan Schakowsky’s district lost 7.9 percent of its population. Congressman Rahm Emanuel’s district lost 5.1 percent.
Though 2000 was a somewhat positive year, that year’s Census numbers mask some rather disturbing trends. The white flight out of Chicago continued with 150,000 non-Hispanic white people leaving Chicago from 1990 to 2,000. African-Americans, for the first time, began leaving Chicago with a net loss of 5,000. The population gain in Chicago during the 1990s was due to Hispanics.
One of the great fables urban lovers of Chicago like to talk about is some comeback of the city. The comeback, according to this urban legend, involves white families staying in Chicago to raise their children. With Chicago’s 150,000 white population decline from 1990 to 2000: Chicago was only 31.3 percent non-Hispanic white.
What is even more pronounced is the lack of white children in the public school system. The entire Chicago Public School System is only 9 percent white. Not a single public high school has a population that is majority white. Not one.
Recently, the stubborn facts of Chicago’s population decline made news. As CBS TV Chicago reported in January of 2008:
Half-empty schools are ‘unacceptable’ because they don't serve their students or the communities they're supposed to anchor, Mayor Richard M. Daley said Thursday, setting the stage for the biggest wave of school closings in decades.
Officials contend 147 of 417 neighborhood elementary schools are from half to more than two-thirds empty because enrollment has declined by 41,000 students in the last seven years. A tentative CPS plan calls for up to 50 under-used schools to close, consolidate with other schools or phase out over the next five years.
Most of the underused schools are on the South and West Sides, often where the student population is largely African-American, and in lakefront neighborhoods that include Lincoln Park, Lake View, Uptown and North Center.”
The situation isn’t any better in Chicago’s Catholic School System. The Chicago Tribune reported on February 27, 2007:
Nicholas Wolsonovich, superintendent of schools for the archdiocese, called the exodus from Chicago's Catholic schools ‘mind-boggling.’ In 1964, he said, some 500 schools were spread across the diocese, with about 366,000 students. Now, the system has 257 schools and fewer than 100,000 students. Over the last decade statewide, the number of Catholic schools has dropped from 592 in 1997 to 510 this year, according to figures released at the conference.
Chicago’s political elite love to give speeches about the importance of public education, but not for their children. Mayor Daley sent his children to private schools. Deborah Lynch, the former head of the Chicago Teacher’s Union, sent her kids to private schools. America’s newest political superstar, Barack Obama, sends his kids to private schools. With the exodus of the rich from Chicago’s public schools, 69 percent of the children in the Chicago Public School system are poor.
The horrible public schools, high taxes, and crime have driven families out of Chicago. The city’s job base cannot compete with anti-union places like Houston and Phoenix.
Chicago used to be the number one convention town in America but Las Vegas and Orlando now lead the pack. Chicago has lost its top spot as busiest airport to Atlanta. Chicago's high priced unions and restrictive work rules have driven business elsewhere. For decades, Chicago was a major banking center with two major banking headquarters located on LaSalle Street. Continental Bank and First National Bank of Chicago were always among the top ten largest banks for much of the twentieth century.
No longer. Continental was purchased by Bank of America while First National Bank of Chicago was purchased by JP Morgan. Not a single bank in the top 25 largest banks in America is headquartered in Chicago. While Chicago’s financial district declines Charlotte, North Carolina has emerged as a bigger banking town. Charlotte has the headquarters of two of the four largest banks in America: Wachovia and Bank of America.
Other elements of Chicago’s financial district also show major weaknesses. Chicago doesn’t have one major mutual fund company headquarters. Chicago’s mutual fund job base is smaller than Denver, Indianapolis, or Baltimore. Chicago has a few major hedge funds but nothing like New York City or London. Chicago is the futures capital of America with the merger of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade but even here the news isn’t all positive. Computers have shed tens of thousands of jobs in the futures industry. Futures trading floors are headed for extinction within the next three to seven years, eliminating even more jobs.
Chicago’s high tax life style has driven businesses and jobs to the suburbs. Chicago is one of the only towns in America with an employee head tax on employment. Companies with over 50 employees must pay $4 a month per employee to the city. Most of the major corporate headquarters in the Chicago area are located in Chicago’s suburbs. Motorola, Walgreens, All State, Kraft, Anixter, Illinois Tool Works, McDonald’s, Alberta-Culver, and Abbott Labs all have their corporate headquarters outside city limits.
Recently, Chicago got its first Wal-Mart. In most places in America, politicians allow consumers to decide whether a business should fail or succeed. In Chicago, with the power of the unions, Chicago’s city council has made it difficult for Wal-Mart to open up any more stores. Chicago’s poor are relegated to paying higher retail prices and have less access to entry-level jobs. The adjacent suburb of Niles has the unusual distinction of being the only town in America (with less than 45,000 people) with two Wal-Marts. One of the Niles Wal-Marts is located right across the street from Chicago.
The largest employer in the city of Chicago is the Federal government. Followed by the City of Chicago Public School system. Other major employers are the city of Chicago, the Chicago Transit Authority, the Cook County government, and the Chicago Park District. These thousands of government workers provide the backbone of the coalition for higher taxes, generous pensions and “political stability.”
Chicago’s political system is inefficient and costly. There are no term limits in Chicago. The Democratic Party has controlled the Mayor’s office since 1931(a big city record). There’s no opposition: Democrat’s control 49 out of 50 seats on the city council. Corruption is everywhere. Barely a month can go by without a major scandal. The FBI has the largest public corruption squad in the United States located in Chicago. Chicago voters don’t seem to care. Those who care about high taxes, good public schools, and low crime are a small minority in Chicago.
In conclusion, Chicago’s long decline continues. In the coming years, public pension commitments will test even the high tax tolerant Chicago residents. Look for low regulation, low tax Houston to overtake Chicago in population in the next eight to 15 years.
June 22, 2009
Those with Chicago government jobs work for some of the largest employers in the city.
Government employees dominate the Chicago economy. The government industry alone employed 481,300 workers during May, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the list of largest employers by Crain’s Chicago Business, five of the top six are in government.
The largest, of course, is the federal government, with 78,000 full-time local employees. Chicago Public Schools is second with 43,910 full-time local employees, followed by the City of Chicago in third with 35,570 full-time local employees, Cook County in fifth with 22,142 employees, and last the State of Illinois.
The rankings, which have been along the same lines for several years, show the scope of the role that government plays in the local economy. It also puts into perspective the importance that President Barack Obama is placing on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is meant to provide federal money to stimulate the economy.
Oddly enough, the lone private employer to make its way onto the list is Wal-Mart, coming in at number four with 23,453 employees. The Chicago City Council had previously proposed a “big-box ordinance,” which would have imposed a higher minimum wage and fringe benefit requirements on stores with 90,000-square-feet of space that are part of companies with more than $1 billion in revenues. However, Mayor Richard M. Daley vetoed that ordinance in an effort to help create more jobs.
In fact, the City Council will soon vote on an ordinance to allow a Wal-Mart to be built at 83rd Street and Stewart Avenue. That store would create hundreds of union construction jobs and about 500 permanent jobs. It also would generate up to $3.7 million in city sales tax revenue.
January 15, 2010
Who is Rahm Emanuel? How did he get into politics? The Emanuel family; just how powerful are they? What influence do they have on lobbying, and power politics? His workings with the Chicago Democratic Machine, how did he get started, is there a shady past he is trying to hide? Is Rahm being blackmailed because of his past with Obama on Chicago’s North Side? The Blago trial; why was he and others never questioned about Obama, Valerie Jarret, and Jesse Jackson Jr. What role did he play in the attempt to bring the Olympics to Chicago? What is the connection to key players in Chicago and Washington DC winding up dead? Are there secret video tapes waiting to surface? If he is Mayor, what will the city of Chicago look like? Could he become another Rudy Giuliani? In this exclusive Special Investigation the Reality Report goes deep and digs up the dirt that no Chicago media outlet would dare to report. This is a must see expose for anyone who has questions about Rahm Emanuel but just didn’t know who to ask.
Investigators: Julio Rausseo and Wayne Madsen
Producer: Gary Franchi
Chicago - where former presidential chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is running for mayor - has a reputation as a key city in the national politics of the US. Why? Chicago was once home to arguably the most powerful local politician in America. Richard J Daley was mayor of the city for more than 20 years, the man at the apex of a political system known as the Machine. Chicago was not the only place in the U.S. to be dominated by Machine-style politics, but it lasted longer and grew bigger there than in most American cities. Machine politics was a system of extended quid pro quo, accompanied by a rigid political organisation from grass roots upwards. It was done by "by using patronage, by providing favours, by co-opting possible enemies", says Dominic Pacyga, author of Chicago: A Biography... "Chicago has been an important barometer of Democratic politics for a long time," says Pacyga. "It is vital for a national presidential election to take Chicago and take Illinois..." Now it has provided a president. - Why is Chicago important?, BBC News, October 1, 2010
With the federal government being the largest employer in Chicago, Emanuel should have no problem winning the mayoral election, because he will get the votes of union-backed federal employees and public school teachers by promising them big wages and lavish benefits from the public treasury.
By Deadline Hollywood
October 20, 2010
I've just learned that five well-known Hollywood Democrats -- David Geffen, Bob Iger, Peter Chernin, Haim Saban, and Ari Emanuel -- are hosting a November 4th fundraiser for Ari's brother Rahm Emanuel in his bid to become Chicago's next mayor. Rahm, a former Democratic U.S. Representative from Illinois' 5th Congressional District (2003-2009), resigned as President Obama's White House Chief Of Staff on October 1st to throw his hat into the mayoral race following the retirement of Richard M. Daley whose last name more or less owned that political office the way most families would takeover the dining table. The Hollywood fundraiser will be held at Saban's palatial Beverly Hills home.
For those keeping score, Geffen is the former DreamWorks SKG partner and longtime music and film mogul. Iger is the CEO of the Walt Disney Company. Chernin is the former No. 2 of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and now a busy Fox TV and film producer. Saban is a private equity investor and entertainment producer best known for making the Power rangers into a worldwide hit and co-owner of the largest Spanish language media company in the U.S., Univision, as well as one of the Democratic party's single largest donors. And Ari is the co-CEO of WME Entertainment, one of the largest Hollywood talent and literary agencies and now expanding into marketing and investment banking. All the men are Democratic Party donors, with Geffen, Chernin, Ari Emanuel, and Saban the most politically active, and Geffen and Saban over the years among the party's biggest single donors.
Because of his brother and because of his Democratic Party fundraising, Rahm knows all the major Hollywood players who are active in politics very well. Rahm was chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2006 mid-term elections and was elected chairman of the Democratic caucus when the party regained control of the U.S. House Of Representatives that year. He remained a top strategist for House Democrats during the 2008 cycle while he worked on behalf of Obama's presidential candidacy. Two days after Obama's election win, Rahm was tapped for White House Chief of Staff.
Rahm Emanuel Announces Run for Chicago Mayor, November 13, 2010
Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who assisted the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during the 1991 Iraq war and whose father was in Irgun, is a strong supporter of AIPAC; he personally introduced fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama to the organization's directors during the 2008 presidential campaign. "Rahm is the Democrats' Newt Gingrich," says Bruce Reed, who served with Emanuel in the Clinton White House. "He understands how much ideas matter, he always knows his message, he takes no prisoners, and he only plays to win." Friends and enemies agree that the key to Emanuel's success is his legendary intensity... the night after Clinton was elected, Emanuel was so angry at the President's enemies that he stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign, grabbed a steak knife and began rattling off a list of betrayers, shouting "Dead! . . . Dead! . . . Dead!" and plunging the knife into the table after every name. "When he was done, the table looked like a lunar landscape," one campaign veteran recalls. "It was like something out of The Godfather. But that's Rahm for you." - Obama Picks Israeli Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff, HAARETZ, November 6, 2008
Federal workers now earn, in wages and benefits, about twice what their private sector equivalents get paid. They often have Cadillac health plans and retirement benefits far above the private sector average: 80 percent of public-sector workers have pension benefits, only 50 percent in the private sector. Many can retire at age 50... Merely rolling federal employee pay back to where it was in 1998 relative to the private sector, and shifting state and local government pay back to 2005 relative levels, would save $116 billion annually from government costs.
By Ed Lasky, American Thinker
February 12, 2010
Barack Obama may not have learned much at Harvard regarding the Constitution, but he did learn in Chicago how politics works: the Chicago way. Reward supporters, and keep the bribery as opaque as possible. Chicago mores have been brought to Washington.
There are two sides of the ledger responsible. Declining state tax receipts (considered "earnings" by government) played a role (the receipts side). But the real scourge has been on the expense side of the ledger: salaries and pension benefits given -- and I do mean given -- to government workers.
Public-sector unions have amassed great power to extract taxpayer dollars from politicians. Politicians reward government workers with our dollars, and they in turn are rewarded at election time by donations, free labor (phone banks, people who pass out flyers), and votes.
Barone describes the corruption at the core of this dealing:"Fully one-third of the 'stimulus' money went to state and local governments -- an obvious payoff to public employee unions that contributed so much to Democrats," as Michael Barone noted.
Public-sector unionism is a very different animal from private-sector unionism. It is not adversarial but collusive. Public-sector unions strive to elect their management, which in turn can extract money from taxpayers to increase wages and benefits -- and can promise pensions that future taxpayers will have to fund.Obama and the Democrats have been well-rewarded for their patronage. Unions contributed up to 400 million dollars to Democrats in 2008 and engage in skullduggery to advance their aims. The latest revelation: a union-funded slush fund secretly targeting GOP candidates through the use of money-laundering and front groups. Unions have funded all sorts of political activity -- undoubtedly the major reason Obama, in one of his first acts as president, ended union disclosure rules requiring them to report how their members' dues were being spent. So much for transparency.
The results are plain to see. States such as New York, New Jersey and California, where public-sector unions are strong, now face enormous budget deficits and pension liabilities. In such states, the public sector has become a parasite sucking the life out of the private-sector economy.
This is one reason why the recent Supreme Court decision leveling the playing field, allowing corporations to exercise their First Amendment rights by contributing to candidates, inflamed unions and President Obama. He violated precedent by attacking the Supreme Court in his State of the Union address. Maybe the title should be changed to State of the Unions. Government work is one sector of our economy that is booming (besides pawnshops and bankruptcy lawyers). Rich Lowry noted the paradox: We suffer, and government workers prosper.
Franklin Roosevelt, of all people, was alert to the danger of this collusion between politicians and unions. He maintained that "the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service." Yet it has been transplanted; today, a majority of union workers for the first time work for the government. And the government has brought good things to them.
Government work is one sector of our economy that is booming (besides pawnshops and bankruptcy lawyers). Rich Lowry noted the paradox: We suffer, and government workers prosper.
For most Americans, the Great Recession has been an occasion to hold on for dear life. For public employees, it's been an occasion to let the good times roll.Nor does the boom look likely to end anytime soon.
The percentage of federal civil servants making more than $100,000 a year jumped from 14 percent to 19 percent during the first year and a half of the recession, according to USA Today. At the beginning of the downturn, the Transportation Department had one person making $170,000 or more a year; now it has 1,690 making that.The New York Times reports that state and local governments have added a net 110,000 jobs since the beginning of the recession, while the private sector has lost 6.9 million.
The gap between total compensation of public and private workers has only widened during the downturn, according to USA Today. In 2008, benefits for public employees grew at a rate three times that of private employees.
Federal workers now earn, in wages and benefits, about twice what their private sector equivalents get paid. They often have Cadillac health plans and retirement benefits far above the private sector average: 80 percent of public-sector workers have pension benefits, only 50 percent in the private sector. Many can retire at age 50.The pensions are manipulated upwards and gold-plated, too, as I noted in "Taxpayers: Eat your hearts out, suckers." Many others have begun to notice the drain on public finances by pensions for government workers, and the public pension tsunami has just begun. This is the engine driving our ballooning deficits and public debt. Merely rolling federal employee pay back to where it was in 1998 relative to the private sector, and shifting state and local government pay back to 2005 relative levels, would save $116 billion annually from government costs.
We know this will never happen as long as Democrats are in power. They like this perpetual motion machine. A government bureau, Ronald Reagan quipped, is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on earth. But we can try, and there is certainly potential for Republicans to seize on this problem as it begins to gain traction in the public mind. The issue seems tailor-made for Tea Partiers.
Barack Obama is planning a major overhaul of the Federal government pay system that would boost pay for government workers while loosening scrutiny on how they do their jobs. When he released his budget, there was a section titled "Improving the Federal Workforce." Sounds good, right? But watch what the man and his minions do, not what they say.
First, the document tries to justify the high salaries government workers are paid (responding to the mounting criticism).
But then comes the trickery, disguised as "reform" and "refreshing" the system. This team is addicted to euphemisms (and their thesauruses are well-thumbed).
John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management, is engaged in a major effort to overhaul the G.S., or General Schedule, classification and pay system that began in 1949. Change is coming, and it will gladden the hearts and fill the wallets of government workers. In a Washington Post interview:
Berry mused about eliminating the first two ranks of the 15-grade GS system and adding grades 16 and 17. Berry did not explicitly advocate a pay raise for federal workers during the interview, but those in the added grades presumably would be paid more than the current top rate.Berry made noises about tying pay to performance (consider this chaff to deflect observation and criticism), but then he tipped his hand:
"I'm a strong proponent of breaking the chain to the desk and breaking the chain to the time clock," he said. He wants government to "move in a direction to empower and trust our employees to get the job done ... and not focus so much on where they're sitting and what hours they're sitting there."Does that sound like a plan to increase efficiency of government workers? Give them higher pay, but allow them to set their own hours and work from...where? Starbucks? Home? The zoo?
And how is this "reform" going to happen? Are the people or our representatives going to have a say in how our money is spent? Need one ask?
The plans are in the final stages and will be put in place by a presidential memorandum or executive order. In other words, they'll be implemented by presidential fiat. This is the form of government we have now -- or at least did, before Scott Brown was elected.
Government work...our growth industry.
See: Federal Employees Database of Salaries
See: My Big Fat Government Paycheck
See: Public Employee Salaries
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research - ...The emphasis on manufacturing as a singular path to good jobs and stable employment for African Americans in the postwar era is puzzling in light of the history of public employment as a course of labor market advancement for African Americans.
Efforts to open public employment to nonwhites, especially federal jobs, have been longstanding in the US. Once in these jobs, blacks benefited from higher wages, more generous pensions, longer tenures, greater opportunities for advancement and higher rates of unionization than in the private sector. Though rarely remarked upon in Fordist and post-Fordist accounts of urban restructuring, scholars widely agree that employment within the high-wage, highly unionized public sector contributed significantly to black upward mobility in the postwar decades (e.g. Harrison and Osterman, 1974; Freeman, 1976; Landry, 1987; Katz et al., 2005).
The first significant movement by blacks into federal jobs can be traced to the establishment of the federal civil service commission in 1883 as legislated by the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act.With the implementation of a merit system in hiring and promotions, black representation in federal employment was ‘sustained, vigorous, and definite’ for the next several decades (Krislov, 1967: 19).
Reconstruction-era civil rights legislation also helped facilitate black federal employment. Notably, Congress repealed a statute in 1865 that had barred blacks from the postal service—ironically, the federal agency that was to become the single largest employer of blacks through the twentieth century (ibid.: 9–10).
Efforts to desegregate and open federal employment to nonwhites continued during the following decades, but were most vigorous during the 1920s. Desegregation of federal units such as the Census Bureau and the departments of Commerce, Interior and Treasury moved forward with such visible results that several Southern Congressional members complained of ‘delegate buying’ (ibid.: 22). By 1928, blacks were estimated to comprise 15–30% of the workforces at major urban post offices (ibid.).
During the New Deal era, blacks slowly continued to move into federal employment apart from their high representation in WPA programs. But more significant gains were on the horizon. The 1940s heralded a great burst in black economic advancement that scholars have attributed to various factors, chief among them shifts in labor demand, government intervention (e.g. Roosevelt’s 1941 Executive Order 8802 that outlawed racial discrimination in the defense industry), and accelerated migration from the South (Margo, 1995).
Public sector employment contributed to the reduction of wage inequality (Margo and Finegan, 2002), and, as Landry (1987: 121) argued, the ‘first breach in the solid wall of prejudice against the employment of blacks in middle-class jobs was achieved through employment in the federal government . . . in the 1940s’.
The most pronounced growth in black public employment occurred during the 1960s and 1970s. During this period, black employment in the public sector increased at twice the rate of whites (Eisinger, 1982b; Collins, 1983: 373; Carrington et al., 1996: 465). By the mid-1970s, 25% of all black men and 34% of all black women were employed in the public sector compared to 16% of all white men and 24% of all white women (Carrington et al., 1996: 463).
Scholars have attributed most of this growth to the expansion of government under the Great Society. Driven largely by black political pressure, antipoverty programs of the 1960s yielded an array of concessionary public services that benefited blacks as both consumers and producers—as low-income service recipients in their neighborhoods and as middle-income service providers working for the expanded public agencies (Piven, 1973: 384; Brown and Erie, 1981; Darity, 1986). Aggressive affirmative action policies, such as the Equal Opportunity Act of 1972 that expanded civil rights coverage to the public sector, helped blacks move into these jobs and, to employ Lieberson’s (1980: 379) term, the ‘special niche’ of government work for blacks became firmly entrenched within urban economies. Katz et al. (2005: 88) have called this growth of black public employment the ‘hidden labor market policy’ of the War on Poverty and the Great Society.
Scholars widely agree that this expansion of government employment contributed significantly to building the ‘new black middle class’, a group of salaried professionals no longer dependent upon work within the segregated black community (e.g. Wilson, 1978; Brown and Erie, 1981; Collins, 1983; Darity, 1986; Landry, 1987). Between 1960 and 1976, 55% of the increase of black professional and managerial jobs occurred in the public sector, compared to 34% of the increase for whites (Brown and Erie, 1981). In 1970 nearly half of all black male professionals and two-thirds of all black female professionals worked in the public sector. Comparatively, only one-third of white male and half of all white female professionals did (Freeman, 1976). By 1980, nearly 54% of all black professionals and managers worked in the public sector, compared to only 28% of whites (Edsall and Edsall, 1991).
Additionally, public employment played a crucial role in shoring up and expanding the black middle class by providing blacks a critical channel for intergenerational mobility (Erie, 1980). Eisinger (1986), for example, found that municipal employment served as a pathway to intergenerational mobility for urban blacks in a way that it did not for whites. In his study of a NewYork City public agency, black professionals were much more likely than whites to come from lower-class backgrounds. Hout’s (1984) findings confirmed the link between public sector employment and mobility — both intergenerational and individual. On the latter, Hout (1984: 317) found that the ‘risk of downward mobility is much greater for men in private employment than it is for public employees’. Hout’s analysis showed that among black men employed in a non-manual occupation in 1962, only 7% of those initially employed in the public sector moved to lower manual occupation by 1973, compared to 21% of black men initially employed in the private sector. Few researchers have subsequently recognized this feature of public employment as an economic buffer.
Government jobs have widely been viewed as good jobs because of their relatively high wages and generous benefits. Studies on data from the 1960s onward have consistently found that similarly skilled blacks across all educational levels and occupational statuses have earned higher wages in the public sector than the private sector, despite shrinking wage differentials in recent decades (Harrison and Osterman, 1974; Freeman, 1976; Landry, 1987; Boyd, 1993; Zipp, 1994; Bernhardt and Dresser, 2002).
Like other groups, less-educated blacks (those without a college degree) have profited most from public employment. That is, their public sector wage premium has been higher than that of more educated workers (Poterba and Rueben, 1994; Bernhardt and Dresser, 2002). Public sector jobs also provide substantially more generous benefit packages. In 1998, 82% of all black men employed in the public sector had employer-provided health insurance and 76% had a pension plan compared to 55% and 41% in the private sector, respectively (Bernhardt and Dresser, 2002: 9).
Lastly, racial wage inequality has been less pronounced within the public sector (Long, 1975; Freeman, 1976; Erie, 1980; Smith, 1980). Though recent trends indicate a reversal among federal employees, racial wage inequality has continued to steadily decline among state and municipal employees (Zipp, 1994).
Higher unionization rates largely account for the public sector’s higher wages and more generous benefits — a causal factor unique to the last 30 years (Freeman, 1986; Card, 2001). Prior to the 1960s, few public sector workers were covered by a union contract due to their exclusion under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935. In 1962, President Kennedy granted unionization rights to federal employees through executive order, opening the doors to public sector organizing. Many states quickly followed the federal government’s lead in authorizing public sector collective bargaining, and rates of public sector unionization increased dramatically at all levels of government through the 1960s and 1970s. By the mid-1980s, union density in the public sector far exceeded that in the private sector — a trend that continues today.
In 1984, 44% of all government workers were covered by a collective bargaining agreement (36% were union members) compared to only 18% in the private sector (Freeman, 1986: 41). In 2008, nearly 37% of all government employees belonged to a union compared to 8% in the private sector (Zipperer, 2009). The numbers for workers in the Chicago CMSA reflect a similar trend. In 1987, union density in manufacturing was 27% (18% in all private employment) compared to 49% in the public sector. By 2000, union density in manufacturing in the Chicago region had fallen to 17% (14% in all private employment) compared to 50% in the public sector (Hirsch and Macpherson, 2003).
Politics and public employment
In sum, public employment has accorded black workers multiple socio-economic benefits not available to them in the private sector and has fostered the most racially equitable, albeit imperfect, employment domain available to black workers. This route to upward mobility and economic prosperity has depended on politics and policy to a greater degree than other employment pathways because of the distinctively direct effect of politics on public employment and the degree to which government employment has been targeted to address racial incorporation and economic equality.
Government employment is more proximate to the political process than private sector employment for a number of reasons. Firstly, politicians serve as employers in the former, but not the latter, domain. Patronage exemplifies this distinction — politicians can directly distribute jobs in exchange for votes. US politicians have long exercised their role as public employers to accommodate new voting blocks, through both explicit patronage systems and less explicit social mandates (e.g. Clark, 1975). The growth of black public employment at both the federal and local level reflects these attempts by politicians, black and otherwise, to secure the growing urban black vote (Brown and Erie, 1981; Eisinger, 1982a).
In particular, the Chicago machine was exceptionally adept at incorporating the black vote through patronage throughout much of the twentieth century (Grimshaw, 1992). Eisinger (1982b: 754) has described the reciprocal reinforcing effect between politics and public employment for blacks in which black political power creates access to public jobs and public jobs function ‘as a path to power’, increasing access to jobs further.
Secondly, the political process directly bears upon the demand curve for labor in the public sector, whereas politics indirectly influences the demand curve for labor in the private sector. In the former case, politicians can decide to directly expand or contract the public sector workforce. City officials may increase the size of the police force or slash the number of teachers. By contrast, politicians indirectly influence the size of the private sector workforce through contracts, tax incentives, and other policy mechanisms. Though such policy actions strongly influence economic outcomes, they are indirect, and less visible, than political actions that affect the size and working conditions of public sector employment.
Thirdly, in its capacity as an employer, government can directly hire and set wages according to social agenda goals, such as inequality reduction, and other nonmarket considerations (perhaps patronage of another from, but not as narrowly instrumental as explicit patronage). This ‘social equity function’ is peculiar to public employment (Lobao and Hooks, 2003: 520). Thus, government employment can contribute to the racial equity agenda by hiring more black workers at comparable wages to whites, as it did aggressively at the federal level during the 1960s and 1970s.
But government can pursue alternate social agendas through its treatment of public employment, as the 1980s attest. Under the Reagan administration, prior political norms and practices that had facilitated the advancement of minority public employment were abruptly abandoned, and public employment became the target of severe cutbacks and restructuring policies that impacted black workers disproportionately. Minorities were laid off at a rate of 50% greater than white federal employees (Landry, 1987: 212), and black federal workers who managed to keep their jobs experienced increased racial wage inequality (Zipp, 1994).
Lastly, the government’s role as employer also positions unionization issues within the public sector as more proximate to the political process than in the private sector. Not only are public sector unionists’ bread-and-butter issues inextricably linked to decisions regarding state policies and funding, politicians negotiate such issues with public sector unionists simultaneously as their employers and as their elected representatives. To put the emphasis differently, public employees exert influence at the bargaining table as both workers and voters.
As Freeman (1986: 42) has argued, ‘public sector unions, more so than private sector unions, can influence employer behavior through the political process . . . Private sector unions . . . do not in general help elect the board of directors of companies or top management’.This relationship has been especially important in efforts to win collective bargaining rights for government employees.
An example from Chicago highlights the implications of black political power for public sector unionization. Before 1983, multiple attempts to pass public sector collective bargaining legislation in Illinois had foundered on opposition from Chicago’s mayors who feared collective bargaining would undermine patronage (e.g. contract rules would disallow politically motivated transfers, promotions and dismissals; Saltzman, 1988: 53).To summarize, blacks’ disproportionate representation in government employment and the latter’s proximate relationship to the political process render black public employment especially sensitive to politics and policy...
Harold Washington, Chicago’s first black mayor, reversed this political trend. Immediately upon winning the Democratic primary in 1983, Washington committed strong political support to the legislative effort, largely on behalf of his black public sector constituency (Saltzman, 1988). Passage of the legislation quickly followed, extending collective bargaining rights to segments of Chicago’s heavily black municipal workforce that previously had been barred from bargaining.
April 5, 2011
Since January 2009, state and local governments have laid off 429,000 public workers. As governments contemplate additional layoffs, it is important to note that few commentators have examined the racial implications of this reduction in government employment. This is an important question to address because often policy prescriptions that are race-neutral on the surface can have decidedly racial impacts. This research brief explores the issue by analyzing the nature of Black employment in the public sector.
The results of this study are striking:
- The public sector is the single most important source of employment for African Americans.
- During 2008-2010, 21.2 percent of all Black workers were public employees, compared with 16.3 percent of non-Black workers. Both before and after the onset of the Great Recession, African Americans were 30 percent more likely than other workers to be employed in the public sector.
- The public sector is also a critical source of decent-paying jobs for Black Americans. For both men and women, the median wage earned by Black employees is significantly higher in the public sector than in other industries.
- Prior to the recession, the wage differential between Black and white workers was less in the public sector than in the overall economy
As California Progress Report writes:
According to Classic Term Papers:
For blacks and others, “the best anti-poverty program is union organizing,” the UC Berkeley Labor Center notes on its website.”
And so moves by Republican governors like Scott Walker in Wisconsin and John Kasich in Ohio to shred the ability of public employees to bargain for a decent middle-class life are also specifically targeting the ability of women and black workers to remain in the economic mainstream.
Today, about 86 percent of African Americans from 25 to 29 years of age have graduated from high school, a rate comparable to that of whites. In 1980, 8 percent of African Americans were graduating from college, still less than half the white rate of 17 percent. Today, about a third of black high school graduates attend college and 13 percent graduate. Although the gap is narrowing, white students attend college at a higher rate (about 42 percent) than African Americans, and about 23 percent graduate.
As a result,hold a wide range of jobs. They have been particularly successful in securing middle-income employment in the public sector. African Americans are twice as likely as whites to work for city, state, or federal government.
- Robert L. Harris JR, February 1999, “The Rise of the Black Middle Class”
- Anne Field, May 1, 2006,”Twilight of the Middle Class”
- Jim Emerson, September 1, 2001, “African Americans”
Fred Tannenbaum, February 25, 2005, “An emerging middle class”, Charlotte Business Journal
November 13, 2009
At least this explains why Andy Stern spends so much time at the White House. The Heritage Foundation looks at union penetration in the private and public sectors and finds that the government’s where it’s at, baby. While labor unions have more trouble getting workers to organize at private firms, government workers now comprise more than half of all union members in the country:
Who do the words “union members” bring to mind? United Auto Workers building cars in Detroit? Teamsters truckers hauling freight? Steel workers in Pennsylvania?That gives us two unofficial parties pushing for big government — Democrats and the labor movement. As Heritage notes, this evolution has serious political consequences. It makes labor a partner to statists looking to expand the role of government in order to maximize the hiring potential, not because larger government benefits the nation. It presents a pressure point for inexorable trends towards greater government control and greater loss of individual liberty, even without the collectivist approach of unions in general.
Not any more. Newly released numbers show that the actual face of today’s union movement is the teller at your local Department of Motorized Vehicles.
Preliminary estimates of union membership this year show that most union members now work for the government. The overall unionization rate between January and September 2009 stood at 12.4%, unchanged from last year. However, this difference masks a large difference between unions in the private and public sectors.
Union membership has fallen to 7.3% of private sector workers — the lowest rate since Roosevelt signed the National Labor Relations Act into law. But it is a completely different story in the public sector: 37.6% of government employees belong to unions, up almost a percentage point since last year. Those 7.9 million unionized government employees are 51% of all union members nationwide. Most union members today now work for Uncle Sam.
As Heritage notes, it also turns union management into tax-hike advocates. On the West Coast, unions are pushing for big tax hikes and fighting politicians opposed to them. None of the tax hikes have anything directly to do with labor issues or even government hiring. However, reductions in revenue would force states to start shedding jobs — which are union jobs, of course. They want greater tax hikes to keep those people employed, rather than force states to reconsider big-government bureaucracies and look for efficiencies.
When Obama told the SEIU he wanted to paint the nation purple, this is exactly what he had in mind. The union movement has become completely co-opted by the nanny-state movement.
October 19, 2010
With a recent Federal Election Commission decision Obama’s government has ruled in favor of the SEIU’s illegal kickback scheme and decided that such law breaking it is A’OK as far as he is concerned.
Ostensibly, FEC law states that unions cannot require member locals to pay a specific amount of money into a union’s political action committee (PAC) fund. PAC contributions by the locals are supposed to be voluntary and not forced by rules from the main HQ. This year, however, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has handed down rules from its Washington HQ that locals must send $25,000 each to the SEIU political PAC or face a “fine” of $37,500 from the main office in DC. This clearly violates FEC rules.
Once this violation came to light Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, filed a complaint with the FEC. In response, Obama’s FEC has decided that the SEIU’s law breaking is nothing to worry about.
Worse, the graft of Obama’s FEC is such that it ignored the advice of its own general counsel who affirmed that the SEIU was indeed violating the law. And it gets worse yet. The FEC is supposed to immediately give its reply to the interested parties within a 60-day reply period so that everyone gets a chance to see the decision and comment upon it. But Obama’s crooked FEC didn’t reveal its decision for 111 days, long after the reply period was over, thereby preventing appeal and comment.
The NRWF is not amused.
“They can’t do that,” said foundation president Mark Mix, who is vowing to challenge the commission’s actions. “We will pursue the appeals process. We are working on it now,” adding that he’s prepared to file a new complaint, if necessary.
No one at the FEC “will speak in reference to this case,” spokeswoman Julia Queen told Fox News.
But Obama’s union bought government ruled in favor of… surprise… the unions. Obama does not mind law breaking as long as it is his folks doing it.
October 11, 2010
A Chicago Park District employee is seen on this video attacking his union for spending his dues on political causes that he doesn’t support.
This Park District employee works for the Service Employees International Unions (SEIU) and was asked his thoughts on union spending at the Palos Tea Party’s American Voter Rally in Tinley Park, Illinois, on October 10, 2010.
One has to wonder how many other union members are upset like this — not just of the SEIU but all unions across the country? Over the last few decades unions have spent billions of their member’s dues money on extremely left-wing causes. Why, just a few weeks ago dozens of unions got together to spend their member’s dues money supporting a rally sponsored by actual, hardcore communist and socialist groups.
And unions are spending millions this term, too. They desperately want to keep overspending, socialist-leaning Democrats in power. And all this money being spent comes right out of the pockets of the rank and file union members.
October 13, 2010
A government employees union just released a very hackneyed and amateurish video attack ad against all you “Tea Baggers” out there. Joe Schoffstall has the story today at Eyeblast.TV.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) has released its new cartoon-styled ad showing a cheering section of Republicans marked as “Tea Baggers Section.”
October 9, 2010
Oh, it was a thing to be celebrated when Obama’s payoff to the teachers unions back in August “saved” the job of Ohio school teacher Amanda VanNess. It was such a thing of wonder that the big guy flew the elementary school teacher all the way to D.C. for an Oval Office signing ceremony.
Happy days were here again… and it lasted less than three months because VanNess still lost her job this month anyway.
But there is good news. VanNess’s job only cost the American people $26 billion dollars. So we have that going for us, which is nice.
Of course, the $26 billion was supposed to “save” or “create” jobs for teachers, wasn’t it? So what happened to these best laid plans? Turns out the school district that VanNess works for… er, I mean worked for… was in such a budget crisis that programs were cut and the money was used to try to make due. On top of that enrollment has been down in the area because families have moved away due to the depressed job market in Toledo, Ohio.
So, despite all the fan fare only a few months ago, Amanda VanNess was laid off anyway.
Sadly, much of this teacher union bailout money never did end up going to the most needy states as we found out not long after the bill was passed and signed.
Yeah, and it only cost us $26 billion to keep her employed for three months.
Such a deal.See: What is the average teacher salary in each state?
October 8, 2010
Pensions are fast becoming the time bomb that will destroy the financial well being of our state budgets. Because public employee unions have been allowed to outrageously grow their retirement benefits by supplying billions in campaign donations to compliant politicians, most state pension plans are deeply in the hole.
Many states have at last begun to realize that the golden goose (or as we call them, the taxpayers) was long ago killed by this self-serving triangle of unions, bought and paid for politicians, and similarly bought and paid for courts that implement union demands.
So states have begun to employ some fancy accounting tricks to fool the voters into thinking they’ve begun to address the problem. One is called an “actuarial trick.” But this head-fake is starting to get real actuaries worried that the sleight-of-hand trick is making matters worse by hiding rather than fixing the mess America’s states are rushing headlong into.
What the states are doing is cutting pension benefits for future hires (not the current ones) and then claiming that these “savings” are real today. Then taking this unrealized, but possible savings and applying them to today’s budget claims. This allows the states to appear as if they are saving money and cutting costs.
Unfortunately for the truth, no pensions have been cut, the exorbitant benefits that greedy unions have paid politicians to give them are either still growing or at the least staying constant, and budgets are still in the red.
Cuts for workers not yet hired do not save much money in the present — but that’s where actuaries can work their magic. They capture the future savings for use today by assuming, in essence, that 100 percent of today’s work force is already earning tomorrow’s skimpier benefits. When used in actuarial calculations, that assumption has a powerful effect. It reduces the amount a government must put into its workers’ pension fund every year.
The cuts and changes to pensions will take decades to be realized but states are trying to fool everyone into thinking the savings are already happening.
Illinois is the state that brought this accounting trick to the attention of actuaries. With its claims as reported in the media, Illinois was claiming all sorts of savings that seemed dubious to some actuaries. These experts began to look into the claims of other states and found the fake savings claims to be widespread.
He said the technique was much like the mortgages with very low teaser rates that proliferated during the housing bubble.
“Responsible funding methods do not work this way,” said Jeremy Gold, an independent actuary in New York who has been outspoken about the distortions built into pension numbers.
“You aren’t paying down your principal,” Mr. Gold said. “You’re not even keeping up with the interest. You are actually increasing your debt every year.”
Once again what we see is our politicians lying to us in order to protect unions. They want to protect unions because unions give them billions in campaign donations. And unions continue to give them billions so that the politicians will lie to us to protect them.
Public employee unions should be illegal like they were before 1958 as they are antithetical to good government.George Carlin - Who Owns You
sir MySpace Video
October 7, 2010
The Chicago Public School system is out of money. Like every business in the real world one solution was to layoff workers, in this case some 700 teachers. In the real world that is the way the cookie crumbles. Such employees would put themselves on the market and look for new jobs. Life moves on. But in the world of public employees unions, such employees run to the judges they’ve bought and the law they wrote themselves and had passed by politicians bought and paid for. So taxpayers are forced to give them concessions, paybacks, and special favors. It all amounts to more proof of union graft and corruption at its most common.
This has happened once again in Chicago as the teachers union went to court to prevent the everyday, common cost cutting measure of laying off workers that every normal American is faced with. And, like the true Chicago Way- styled politics that Illinois is used to, the “law” that was written by unions, paid for by unions, and passed by unions was invoked by judges placed in their court rooms by union money.
And who is left holding the bag? The taxpayers, of course.
As we find out in the Tribune story, tenured teachers continue to get paid for up to 10 months AFTER being laid off while they search for a new job. So even when teachers are laid off the government has to keep paying them for almost a year.
If any normal American had that sweet deal they’d never work more than two months a year!
Now, don’t mistake my point here. I am 100% positive that more cutting could be had in the administration end of the Chicago Public School system. I am in no way saying that by only laying off a few teachers the budget crunch would be solved.
But the arrogance of these teachers to demand that the taxpayers pay them as they sit at home watching Oprah for up to 10 months is a conceit worth highlighting. No one in the real world has such a sweet deal, for sure.
It should be pointed out that these backroom deals that make suckers out of the taxpayers are common between these big money unions and the politicians, lawyers, and judges they have bought. It is not just teachers unions we are talking about here but every public employee union.
It is a criminal racket they have going, for sure. They buy politicians that give them great benefits and shiny new laws that give them favors. Then they supply the lawyers for these compliant pols so that these new kickback laws can be written because Lord knows none of our politicians actually write their own legislation anymore. Then compliant, bought and paid for judges back them up when these tailor made, illicit laws are “violated.”
And notice who is completely cut out from this political, legislative, and judicial circle? Yep, the voters who are forced to pay for it all. They have no say whatever in the special deals that the unions purchase with their millions in political campaign donations.
This is the reason that public employee unions should be made illegal. They are antithetical to good government.See: Salary Search - What Do Illinois Teachers Get Paid?
See: Highest-paid Teachers in Illinois
September 27, 2010
Michael Barone, one of media’s sharpest observers of America’s political scene, has noted an interesting trend in Democrat politics: unions are knocking out regular liberal Democrats in America’s big cities. Barone calls it a civil war raging in the Democrat Party.
He points to several big city campaigns in which unions rose up to defeat the “gentry liberals,” as Barone calls them, and have replaced them in primaries with union backed, ultra liberals. For proof Barone points to several races in New York, Maryland, and Washington D.C.
In each there was a split between the public employee unions that do so much to finance Democratic campaigns and the gentry liberals who provide Democratic votes in places like Manhattan, the Montgomery County suburbs of Maryland, and Northwest Washington, D.C. And in each case the public employee unions won.
The most disastrous election result, at least for school children, is the loss of Mayor Adrian Fenty whose hiring of school chief Michelle Rhee gained accolades from school reformers across the nation and an equal amount of opprobrium from unions. Fenty lost to ultra lib Vincent Gray — a wholly bought union hack — who has promised to dump reformer Rhee and kowtow to all teacher’s union demands.
“Gentry liberals and public employee unions were allies in the Obama campaign in 2008. But now they’re in a civil war in city and state politics,” says Barone.
What is most interesting in all this is the idea of “extremists” in politics. The left is consumed with attacking the Tea Party movement as the right’s extremists taking over the GOP. Yet here we have the exact same thing in reverse happening in the Democrat Party. The Democrat’s most extreme members are gaining power and preparing to push politics in some of our largest cities and our most blue states even further to the extreme left.
The socialists really are killing off the moderate Democrat, not just in Congress as Nancy Pelosi kills the Blue-dogs, but in local politics as unions kill of the conventional liberals and replacing them with their own, bought and paid for candidates.
In a day when nearly every state budget is deeply in the red due to the unearned, overly generous union salaries, benefits, and pensions of their public employees unions, we see these cities doubling down on the failed policies that put them in this position in the first place.
Amusingly, unions seem to think that conventional liberals aren’t attentive enough to union demands. After all these years of Democrats bending over backwards for unions, union demands have grown so extreme that no reform at all will be allowed.
So, while the left may claim that the right is being taken over by its “extremists,” it is the left, rather, that is being taken over by its own worst parts: unions and socialists (one and the same, of course).
Of course, this political direction will drive America’s cities further into despair and poverty as union greed and corruption further empties the treasury into the pockets of thugs and thieves.
The big question is this: how long will Democrats be able to hold onto the cities at this rate? Even as they are gaining power in the big cities, many unions are shying away from criticizing Democrats up for federal elections as reported last week.
September 22, 2010
Daniel Bice of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a gem of a report wherein a union operative admits on tape that he and his union pals intend to launch a big campaign against Wisconsin’s GOP Gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker. That news isn’t much of a surprise, of course, but what is a surprise is that this union hack admitted on tape that Milwaukee’s local TV stations and local politicians are both sympathetic to and assisting in the union’s getting its message out.
The tape features the voice of John-David Morgan, an operative for the Service Employees International Union Local 1 (SEIU), on Sept. 10 near the Y-Not II tavern on E. Lyon St. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Morgan was recorded by a Walker campaign staffer on his cell Phone who then turned it over the Bice at the Journal-Sentinel.
The union hack admitted on tape that he is working with County Board members — such as Supervisor John Weishan — to get the goods on Walker.
“I’ve got county supervisors to do this stuff so, you know, it’s not just the labor union,” Morgan said.That is bad enough but what union hitman Morgan said of the local media is the most interesting:
That’s not to mention all the free media that Morgan has gotten from TV news coverage of his union’s rallies and activities.
Morgan specifically mentioned WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) for its coverage of the union’s press-friendly inspection of county facilities last month. Like the Journal Sentinel, the station is owned by Journal Communications.
“They’ve really been willing partners in it,” Morgan claimed of the news stations. “They come in with the TV cameras, and (channels) 58, 12 come, and 6 doesn’t always. But, yeah, they’ve been really helpful. They think it’s fun.”
So there you have it. This SEIU hitman is working closely with both local politicians and the local media to attack Republicans. Now you can see how the deck is stacked against Republicans with unions that make their living from public money working with the Old Media and elected officials both to attack them.
LOOSE LIPS SINK… UNION HACKS
Well, poor old John-David Morgan was fired by the SEIU for letting slip the fact that unions are aided and abetted by the Old Media.
As Bice reports…
The Service Employees International Union Local 1 announced Tuesday that it had fired an employee who was secretly recorded talking about his union’s plans to work with Democrats to try to defeat Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker in the governor’s race.
Unions just hate it when they are exposed like that!
September 22, 2010
Earlier in this election cycle unions were pumped up with an assumed sense of supreme power, they had spent millions to elect their guy to the White House, and they were ready to flex their muscles. Unions began to direct that assumed power against Democrats that were reticent to support Obama’s takeover of our healthcare system. In some early primaries unions spoke out against these so-called Blue-dog Democrats and said they would not support them, but at the other end of this primary season unions are singing a different tune.
With the obvious downturn in support that Democrats have seen in these primaries and in the polls of American voters, unions have gotten the hint (like a club over the head) that the arrogance they evinced of daring to attack Democrats for not having a pure enough devotion to union ideals was maybe not such a great idea.
Some may recall that unions railed against Arkansas’s Blanche Lincoln when she refused to support card check. In Pennsylvania unions refused to support Democrat Tim Holden, and in North Carolina unions wanted to start their own political party just to spite local Democrats that weren’t left-wing enough for them.
Unions, once sure they could force Democrats to toe the line, are now backing off their criticism of Blue-dog Democrats and instead are suddenly supporting them. The Hill notes that unions are now supporting Democrats they were only months ago criticizing.
Unions are finally just beginning to get the idea that they are in a losing situation and are backing off the arrogance in which they only recently wallowed. This is yet one more example that points to a Republican victory in November.
September 18, 2010
When voters are not enthused, even unions find it harder to get their supporters to rally to an election; and this is one of the worst years for Democrats on record. Unions are finding their efforts hard slogging just like the rest of the Democrat Party is. It’s so bad even The New York Times is reporting the Union’s woes.
As we’ve repeatedly talked about here, The Times reports that Big Labor is pumping millions into the Democrat’s pockets in hopes of fighting off the conservative Tea Party enthusiasm out there this election year. Apparently, though, unions are finding that, like other Democrat constituencies, their members are not “feeling particularly enthusiastic about the party.”
Unions have been bitterly disappointed by Obama. When they voted for him only two years ago, they thought that they had won the battle for all the freebies and payoffs that they’d ever want. But they’ve been frustrated by key losses — such as an inability to get cap and trade, green initiatives, and their most desired legislation, the Employee Free Trade Act (EFCA).
Many unionistas have been upset at various members of the Democrat majority that have backpeddled on union demands because voters have spoken so loudly against then unions. For a while there unions were even making noise, as if they’d actually work against Democrats that didn’t bow on bended knee before Big Labor. A few primary races earlier in the year even saw unions work against recalcitrant Democrats. But apparently that idea has fallen by the wayside, as far as Big Labor’s bosses are concerned, as more evidence of how badly Democrats might lose in November comes to light.
It is a measure of the dread among Democrats and their labor allies that several unions are no longer threatening to withhold endorsements from some conservative or moderate Democrats, like Representative Zack Space of Ohio, because they had bucked labor on health care legislation or other issues. Now, unions are generally backing those Democrats, feeling labor cannot afford such a strategy when the Democrats’ prospects seem so troubled.
The specter of a rout has scared Big Labor back to strict alliance with incumbent Democrats instead of trying to flex muscle against certain Democrats that have not been heeding labor’s call.
Big Labor sees a big spanking coming their way and they are scared. But this is a whirlwind unions deserve to reap.
It really is a bad year to be a Democrat incumbent. How bad is it you ask? Well, longtime federal-employee advocate Steny Hoyer, whose Congressional seat is usually so safe (his district is home to thousands of federal employees) that he uses his campaign cash to help other Democrats, is now spending his money to run ads on the airways. Charles Lollar (in the video above) forced Steny Hoyer to actually campaign for 2010 elections. - AnotherBlackConservative
September 11, 2010
The Washington Examiner asks a few substantive questions about unions this Labor Day weekend. Why do they seem to have such an outsized power when their dues paying members are fewer than ever, when they work in fewer industries than ever, and when they have such money troubles?
Ah, but the answer is what we all know. They have a president in Washington that’s bought and paid for.
Here are just some of the favors that Obama has given to his patrons in Big Labor as the Examiner notes:
» Only 10 days after taking the oath of office, Obama signed three executive orders that, respectively, limited what federal contractors can say to employees during union organizing drives, made it harder to fire incompetent employees of government contractors, and directed federal contractors to insure that employees are aware of their organizing rights.
» One week later, Obama signed another executive order that requires federal agencies to use union-favored Project Labor Agreements on large federally-funded construction projects. Not only does that mean many state government construction projects must use a PLA, but so must many economic stimulus-funded projects.
» Hilda Solis, Obama’s secretary of labor, has nullified disclosure rules issued during the Bush administration that were designed to increase union financial transparency on forms required to be filed with the government under the Landrum-Griffin Labor Management Reporting Disclosure Act of 1959. The disclosure requirements, which were not enforced before Bush, made it possible for union members to see what their officers were doing with their dues.
» Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner forced financially-troubled General Motors and Chrysler into bankruptcy, then imposed settlements on the two corporations that granted ownership stakes of 17.5 percent and 55 percent, respectively, to the United Auto Workers Union.
Yes, it is no wonder that unions have their lowest approval rate ever.NJ Gov. Chris Christie Humbles Another Union Hack
NJ Gov. Chris Christie on 60 Minutes, December 20, 2010
September 8, 2010
Back in 2007 Andy Stern, the now former President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), attended a forum sponsored by the NDN Globalization Initiative, and during the question and answer period after his remarks he said that he was “totally involved in distorting the political system.” Here the president of one of America’s most powerful unions just said that he feels his job is to purposefully subvert America’s political system.
Sadly, this union thug doesn’t care much about the integrity of our political system, eh?
It should also be remembered that since Democrats are the handmaiden of Big Labor this, by extension, is the same way that Democrats feel about our American political system. They have no interest in its integrity and will “distort” it whenever they feel like it.
See the full, hour-long video here.
September 9, 2010
It is the most important hill that folks interested in good government have yet to conquer and that is the elimination of government employee unions. The Heritage Foundation reports the sad and disgusting news that the majority of union members now work for government, an intolerable situation to say the least.
The BLS’s annual report on union membership shows the labor movement’s decline in membership continued in 2009. While a full 23.0 percent of Americans belonged to labor unions in 1980, by 2008 only 12.4 percent did. In 2009, that figure dropped slightly to 12.3 percent. There are now 15.3 million union members in the United States, 770,000 fewer than in 2008.
…What is newsworthy, however, is another figure reported by the BLS: 52 percent of all union members work for the federal or state and local governments, a sharp increase from the 49 percent in 2008. A majority of American union members are now employed by the government; three times more union members now work in the Post Office than in the auto industry.
This is a travesty. Unions are one of the main causes of budgets going into the red in states all across the country. The incestuous relationship between politicians greedy for union political contributions and unions donating to them in order to get ever grater pay and benefits (all conveniently cutting out the will of the voters and destroying good, fiscally responsible government) has about ruined this country.
The Heritage Foundation’s piece also details how these greedy, needless, corrupt unions are spending millions of dollars in campaigning to raise your taxes. You see, without higher taxes, these greedy union thugs can’t continue to push their bought and paid for politicians to continue raising union pay scales, benefits, and pension rates — all of which are exceeding that of the private sector at this point.
Heritage writer James Sherk suggests that Congress reject union demands for higher taxes and should also reject “proposals to increase union membership in the government.” I’d go further. Governments, all governments, should make unions for public employees again illegal like they once were.
It may not be well known, but public employee unions did not exist prior to 1958 when New York Mayor Robert Wagner (Dem.) first signed what he called “The Little Wagner Act” to allow city employees to collectively bargain with the government. A few years later, in 1962, President John Kennedy followed that with Executive Order 10988 that did the same thing for federal employees.
It has become wholly obvious, though, that unionizing government employees is one of the worst ideas ever. In fact, much as I dislike Franklin D. Roosevelt and disagree with the socialist policies that he foisted on America as “helping” her, I have to agree with him on public employee unions. He was against them because he clearly saw the conflict of interest that it would cause.
Our goal as American voters should be to work towards eliminating these destructive unions, not reforming them.
September 7, 2010
Deroy Murdock over at the National Review has a great column detailing a dozen or so instances of rank hypocrisy perpetrated by unions. Deroy says that for all of Big Labor’s yammering about worker’s right: “Such class-warfare sloganeering would be easier to stomach if Big Labor were internally consistent.”
Murdock gives all sorts of examples of unions violating their own supposedly closely-held tenets. From unions firing employees for trying to organize the union’s own office workers, to unions using non-union labor to build their own offices, unions prove to be filled with liars and hypocrites.
Check out Deroy Murdock’s piece, “Hypocrisy Is Big Labor’s Big Problem .”Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
Exposing Career Politicians Like Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Who Kowtows to Big Labor, Big Business, Big Government (One Entity)
Remember Rahm Emanuel's Rent-Free D.C. Apartment? The Owner: A BP Adviser
In case you were tempted to buy the faux Washington outrage at BP and its gulf oil spill in recent days, here's a story that reveals a little-known corporate political connection and the quiet way the inner political circles intersect, protect and care for one another in the nation's capital. And Chicago. We already knew that BP and its folks were significant contributors to the record $750-million war chest of Barack Obama's 2007-08 campaign. Now, we learn the details of a connection of Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago mayoral wannabe, current Obama chief of staff, ex-representative, ex-Clinton money man and ex-Windy City political machine go-fer. Shortly after Obama's happy inaugural, eyebrows rose slightly upon word that, as a House member, Emanuel had lived the last five years rent-free in a D.C. apartment of Democratic colleague Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and her husband, Stanley Greenberg.
Prosecutor: Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich guilty of shakedown scheme
Chicago trial promises peek inside modern-day mob
There are now fewer than 100 people formally initiated into the Chicago-area mob compared with more than 200 'made men' around 1970. In Chicago, the mob now focuses more heavily on running illegal video gaming, with approximately 25,000 machines in bars and restaurants, generating millions of dollars in revenue, according to some estimates.
The Political Machine - Corrupt government, conspiracy, new world order
A political machine (or simply machine) is a disciplined political organization in which an authoritative boss or small group commands the support of a corps of supporters (usually campaign workers), who receive rewards for their efforts. Although these elements are common to most political parties and organizations, they are essential to political machines, which rely on hierarchy and rewards for political power. Chicago is the largest city in the U.S. state of Illinois and the Midwestern United States, as well as the List of United States cities by population city in the United States with more than 2.8 million residents
Obama Thanks His Friends: Government Spending and Union Support
Why Is Congress Intent on Helping Unions Bankrupt Our Country?
The ten largest Chicago-area cities face a combined $18.7 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, according to a new report by the Chicago Civic Federation.
Unions bash Democrats, warn of political fallout
Labor groups are furious with the Democrats they helped put in office — and are threatening to stay home this fall when Democratic incumbents will need their help fending off Republican challengers. The Senate’s failure to confirm labor lawyer Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board was just the latest blow, but the frustrations have been building for months. "Here's labor getting thrown under the bus again," said John Gage, the national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents 600,000 workers. "It's really frustrating for labor, and a lot of union people are thinking: We put out big time in money and volunteers and support. And it seems like the little things that could have been aren't being done." The so-called “card check” bill that would make it easier to unionize employees has gone nowhere. A pro-union Transportation Security Administration nominee quit before he even got a confirmation vote. And even though unions got a sweetheart deal to keep their health plans tax-free under the Senate health care bill, that bill has collapsed, leaving unions exposed again.
Union-Backed Bill Would Force Monopoly Bargaining on Public Safety Employees
Ever so quietly, America passed a milestone in 2009. For the first time in our history the number of employees in the public sector belonging to a labor union exceeded the number in the private sector. Proposed legislation in Congress would push this trend along further. The benignly-named Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act (H.R.413, S.1611) would mandate union monopoly bargaining for state and local public-safety employees. Its brand of "cooperation," strongly backed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and other unions, would force police, fire, ambulance, and corrections departments across the country to create collective bargaining units to cover employees. If evidence is any guide, however, this expansion of public-sector unionism is likely to produce higher taxes, strained budgets and more strikes.
Detroit Relinquished its 2007 Crown of Most Miserable City to Chicago
How does Chicago show up as the third worst city on our second annual list of America's Most Miserable Cities for 2009? Lousy weather, long commutes, rising unemployment and the highest sales tax rate in the country are to blame for the Windy City being near the top of our list. High rates of corruption by public officials didn't help either.
25 most dangerous neighborhoods 2010
#1 Chicago, Ill., Neighborhood: W. Lake St., Found within ZIP code: 60612, Predicted annual violent crimes: 297, Violent crime rate (per 1,000): 257.72, My chances of becoming a victim here (in one year): 1 in 4
#18 Chicago, Ill., Neighborhood: 4000 S. Federal St., Found within ZIP code: 60609, Predicted annual violent crimes: 202, Violent crime rate (per 1,000): 93.04, My chances of becoming a victim here (in one year): 1 in 11
U.S. Census Data Shows Vast Accumulation of Wealth By a Relative Handful
In Chicago in 2009, more than 10 percent of the population lived in desperate poverty and 31.2 percent of children were categorized as poor.
Chicago among the richest cities in the world
At present, the mega-cities of the major developed economies continue to lead the global GDP rankings, with the top six in 2005 being Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Paris and London.
Spectators Trading Commodities Futures on Chicago Board of Trade Causing Price Inflation
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Monday came to the end of a 90-day public comment period on new rules to rein in speculation in the energy markets through contract position limits. The agency came under pressure in 2008 to strengthen its oversight of the markets after excessive speculation was blamed for much of the record run-up in food and energy prices. The commodities sector is expected to see major reform as part of a massive overhaul of financial regulations being pushed by the U.S. government.
The Chicago Board of Trade’s Role in Corrupting Courts Part I
The Chicago Board of Trade’s Role in Corrupting Courts Part II
Obama’s involvement in Chicago Climate Exchange and the Carbon Trading Scam
Surveillance Cameras Make Chicago the Most Closely Watched U.S. City
GPS Tracks Chicago Area School Bus Riders
Chicago Transit on Quest to Replace Cash with Contactless Credit Cards on City Buses
RFID-enabled Bike Sharing Service Rolls into Chicago
Homeland Security Head Praises Chicago's Security Cameras
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Thursday ranked Chicago’s Big Brother network of well over 10,000 public and private surveillance cameras as one of the nation’s most extensive and integrated — and Mayor Daley wants to make it even bigger.
Eight Banks Seized, One with Ties to Obama; Regulators Allow "Unusual Bid" for Failed Bank
ShoreBank Corp., the Chicago lender operating under a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. cease-and-desist order for 13 months, and seven other banks were shut by regulators as 2010 bank failures climbed to 118.
The First 11 State Pensions Funds That Will Run Out of Money
#2 Chicago, Unfunded liability: $44.8 billion, Unfunded liability per household: $41,966, Solvency horizon: 2019
The Democrats' dubious alliance with public sector unions
Can we trust the allies of the public employee unions to fix the problems they helped cause?
Chicago Budget Faces $654 Million Deficit
15 Mayors Who Must Shred The Budget To Save Their Bankrupt Cities
True Chicago budget deficit over $1 billion a year, IG report says
Chicago Public Schools sees $700 mil. deficit next year
Chicago Public School System broke but doling out raises while claiming to be cutting back
Stimulus Plan Caters to the Privileged Public Sector
Egregious stories of overpaid public workers are legion. In suburban Chicago, for example, some school administrators are making over $400,000 with benefits and incentives. Recent reports out of Boston suggest hundreds of firefighters and police officers make well in excess of $100,000 a year. And of course, there are the California prison guards who can make upwards of $300,000 a year with overtime.
High court strikes down Chicago handgun ban
The Rising Importance of Major Cities
Last week, the chief of staff to President Obama, Rahm Emanuel, chose to leave arguably the second most powerful position in the U.S. government to run for mayor of Chicago. Quite a development but one that shows the lure of a major city to someone as powerful as Mr. Emanuel.
Top-10 Most Expensive and Powerful Cities in the World 2008-2009
America’s second city faces stern competition from Los Angeles, which now has a larger population and a bigger economy. But Chicago still outranks Los Angeles on MasterCard’s Commerce Index. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade give Chicago a role in the global financial markets that Los Angeles (who still remembers the Pacific Exchange?) lacks.
Chicago-based Concept Schools runs national network of Turkish schools with ties to the Gülen Movement
At the Gulen schools, students are indoctrinated in Turkish culture, language, and religion so that they may be of service in making Fethullah Gulan’s dream of a universal caliphate a reality. The madrassahs sponsor Turkish clubs, Turkish language societies, Turkish dance groups, and annual trips to Istanbul. The 85 Gulen schools advance and promote Islamic beliefs; present the Ottoman Empire, which lasted from 1299 to 1923, as a golden age; and serve to rewrite history by denying the Armenian holocaust under the Turks during World War I. Many of the teachers at these schools are Turkish émigrés with questionable credentials. Some possess H-1B non immigrant visas which should only be granted to individuals who possess “highly specialized knowledge in a field of human endeavor.” The female faculty members appear in their classrooms wearing hijabs and traditional Islamic attire.
Rep Davis to Bill Clinton: Stay out of Chicago politics
Davis, a longtime friend of Clinton, warned the ex-president on Tuesday that he could jeopardize his "long and fruitful relationship" with the black community if he campaigns for former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel instead of one of the two leading black candidates running — Davis or former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun. The warning highlights the stakes in what is gearing up to be a contentious race for mayor in the nation's third-largest city. About a dozen people have made it on to the ballot to replace retiring Mayor Richard M. Daley, who is bowing out after more than 20 years in office, giving candidates their first real shot at Chicago's top job for the first time in two decades. In a news release, Davis, a Democrat from Chicago's West Side, said Clinton's relationship with the black community may be "fractured and perhaps even broken" if he comes to town to stump for Emanuel, who moved back to Chicago this fall to run for mayor and is leading in the polls.
Obama Picks William Daley of Famed Chicago Political Family for Chief of Staff Post
Chicago’s high-tech cameras spark privacy fears
Blago lawyers claim tape of phone call with Rahm Emanuel has disappeared from evidence
Emanuel Calls to Blagojevich Missing from Evidence
Illinois Supreme Court Deems Rahm Emanuel Sleazy Enough To Run For Mayor Of Chicago
Ex-Chicago cop linked to torture now heading to prison
Illinois Income Tax May Jump 50 Percent
Over Ten Thousand Public School Students Homeless in Chicago
What to Know About Illinois Public School Teacher and Administrator Pay
When considering teacher pay, policymakers should be aware that public school teachers, on average, are paid 36% more per-hour than the average white-collar worker and 11% more than the average professional specialty and technical worker. They should be aware that the higher relative pay for public school teachers exists in almost every metro area for which data are available. Finally, they should be aware that paying public school teachers more does not appear to be associated with higher student achievement.