OPINION: The union racket: How they’re ripping us off

Unions are like racism, a relic of the past

Patrick Hamilton, Editor-in-Chief

The founder of the American Federation of Labor, Samuel Gompers, once said: “We want more schoolhouses and fewer jails; more books and fewer arsenals; more learning and less vice; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures.”

Another bleeding heart liberal who didn’t understand the value of punishment and material wealth. How absurd!

What’s the point of all these schoolhouses if we aren’t teaching our kids how to be successful in the cutthroat world of commerce? We need more businessmen and fewer scholars and supposed “experts”. And let’s be honest, who needs leisure time when you could be grinding away at your job and climbing the ladder of success? As for justice, I think we all can agree that revenge is much more satisfying.

There’s a good reason for union membership being at an all-time low in our society. We have the most educated, literate, and technologically advanced generation in history. Times have changed since the 19th century – thanks in great measure to unions of the past. Racism’s gone (according to our honest and open-minded Supreme Court), corporations are people, guns don’t kill people, and unions are outdated.

We ought to romanticize the past from which we came. We all stand on the shoulders of the brave men who birthed us. Growing income inequality and attacks on workers’ rights are simply a result of a lazier and lethargic workforce asking for better treatment.

The allegedly job-creating and demonstrably tax-evading patriots that make up America’s oligarch class often call unions too powerful. And they may just be right – after all, unions hold economies hostage and make it impossible for businesses to thrive. Unions are simply too effective at stopping the 1% from exploiting their workers and lining their own pockets.

All the while, when unions negotiate for so-called “living wages” and “benefits,” they’re putting more money in the hands of working people who will spend it in their own communities and stimulate their local economies. Don’t be fooled, this only helps the other 99% of Americans – which is simply unfair to those who have the most money.

Not to mention, unions have a grand history of corruption and are often just fronts for organized crime. It’s not relevant that the Center for American Progress found that “states with stronger unions have lower levels of corruption, as measured by the number of federal convictions for corruption per capita.” Communists like Bernie Sanders will be the first to admit there are a few bad apples in the labor movement, but somehow believe the same can be said for the entire capitalist system.

Unlike the oligarchal pyramid scheme that we’ve come to love in this country, unions seek to disrupt our unbalanced power dynamic with democratic structures in place to “hold leaders accountable” and ensure that the needs of their members come first. They even vote on issues affecting their members, like contracts and strikes.

But what have unions ever done for the middle class? Middle-class earners like Mitch McConnell are right when they say that “unions pose a significant problem for the country.” Likewise, former Governor Gridlock, Chris Christie, was onto something when he said that labor unions were not for the people, but out for themselves. And they’re both hitting on something (besides the Koch brothers): just because you work hard every day doesn’t mean you get to band together and demand fair treatment. It makes you lazy, not smart. And it’s beneath the 1% to allow this.

Plus, why would you want to give up your precious right to be underpaid and overworked? Do you really want to deny the One Percenters their rights to make you work mandatory 12-hour shifts, prohibit vacation days, and have you working on weekends? Of course not! Imagine how much more efficient – and profitable – companies would be without these union-mandated restrictions. This is exactly why we need to protect our beloved corporate CEOs and keep these dirty unions at bay.

Look at the stats, in this day and age, when jobs are more automated than ever, unions seek to increase wages, secure health insurance, and provide retirement plans. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unionized workers make, on average, 23% more than non-unionized workers. So much for pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.

Just because communities thrive when unions thrive, doesn’t mean there isn’t space for you here in the God-fearing, gun-loving, anti-union right-wing lunatic fringe. While we watch our comrades enjoy their union contracts, we can flip burgers for a decadently high $7.25, courtesy of a weakly regulated capitalist structure that encourages you to vote against your own best interests.

Forget solidarity and collective bargaining – do something meaningful. Do something for yourself and help the richest Americans get richer. Please stop trying to hold those in power accountable for their actions.