There's a pizza parlor in Madison Wisconsin that is receiving phone orders to help feed the demonstrators in the Wisconsin Sate House. These calls are coming from China, Europe and most interestingly, Egypt. The protesters in Wisconsin are delighting in comparing their struggles with those of their "brethren" in the Middle East. This is demagoguery at its most disgusting and ignorant. And frankly, I am ashamed at employees of the governments our tax dollars support portraying my country in this light in order to bolster their own selfish agendas.
When these public sector employees compare themselves to people who have no freedoms, no futures, and until recently no ability to fight for themselves, as in Egypt, they destroy any chance for support from the people in this country who ultimately pay their salaries - private sector employees. And when you ask the protesters in Wisconsin how to pay for what they want, their answer is invariably "raise taxes." So I have to live within reduced means to foot the bill for your false notion that you deserve whatever you want? This is why you are going to be surprised at how little support you get going forward.
Teachers seem to be the most offended by the perception their unions have cultivated among the general public. Yet, it seems teachers support those same unions without fail. So what am I to think? It's the union leaders who refuse discussions on merit pay and who refuse to allow their members to contribute to their own retirement and healthcare funds. In the case of police and fire unions, it is union leaders who expect their members to be able to retire at age 45 with full pension benefits for the rest of their lives. That's nice and all, but I'm getting tired of footing the bill while my family has to live within an ever shrinking budget. These same unions all play the guilt card to garner support for their outlandish contract demands at times when the general public is losing ground at a rapid pace. If I am not for teachers, firefighters and police getting whatever they want, well then I must hate children and I must be all for people's houses burning down and teenagers running red lights at will. We all know this is ridiculous, yet time and time again, the unions win and the public loses.
I have not had a raise in three years. I have an okay healthcare plan that I pay for, a crappy retirement plan that I pay for, two weeks vacation and a kid in college. Sorry if my heart doesn't bleed for you when you complain about having to contribute to your own well-being. Enjoy the career you picked, but understand, you do not deserve to live a life insulated from the ebb and flow of the economy.
Things in this country will not improve until union leaders and their members realize that we're all in this together, and that without a solid private sector to foot the bill, there won't be any jobs, or healthcare, or retirements, or jobs, for anyone.