Tuesday, April 06, 2004
"This administration is attempting to transform our democracy into an authoritarian regime." I suppose, Al, that overthrowing Saddam's kinder, gentler regime and taking steps to secure this country from further terrorist attacks is draconian? It's a nice pipe dream you have that we can continue business as usual and "Hope" that nothing like 9/11 happens again. Of course, if it does, you will no doubt blame Bush for it. In your hands he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that there is an R next to his name rather than a D.
"It's my hope that all of us in our union will join together and joyfully work towards removing this anti-worker, anti-family administration from office and work towards a fairer society." Hmm... anti-worker, anti-family? It's easy to see that unions are, without exception, anti-business. Tell me, where would unions be without business? Answer: unemployed. The anti-family remark does not even belong in a union newsletter. Besides it being total crap, it has nothing to do with the union's charter.
I suppose you blame the Bush administration for the recession that started before he took office, and, by extension, the layoffs that happened in the subsequent months, irrespective of the fact that VTA refused to downsize its administration staff or cut back construction projects to save union jobs. That might explain your eagerness to thwart union members pointing their fingers at management. Or does it?
What about doing what this union was formed to do in the first place, Al -- protecting the jobs of its members, protecting their wages and benefits from an obviously irresponsible employer with no regard for ATU members, and ensuring that they are treated fairly by that same employer?
In another article, this one written by Tom Fink, the union attacks the Bush administration concerning the shrinking coffers of the Social Security system. "Once again, the wolf of Social Darwinism is lurking at the chicken coop door, tearfully lamenting the doom awaiting the Social Security hens within. Ordinarily, wolves don't shed crocodile tears, but in the house-of-mirrors world of Bush-ism, even biology goes sideways." ...Whatever that means! Not withstanding the hopelessly mixed metaphors, he goes on to say, "[Alan] Greenspan himself set up a viable financing scheme for Social Security back in 1983, but it relies on the ability of the federal government to pay back the money it borrowed from the nation's retirement and disability system to fund other programs." That borrowing to fund other programs was going on long before 1983, as even Tom admits. Tell me, Tom, who has controlled Congress for most of the last 40 years? Bush? The Republicans? Who sacked Social Security? Which political party is it that is so in favor of government programs? Is it the Republicans, or the Democrats? The Clinton administration was in power for eight years. Why didn't they solve the problem? Oh, of course, it was the fault of Republicans, wasn't it, Tom.
In his final remarks Tom suggests forcibly taking money from the rich and redistributing it to the poor. Sounds good, doesn't it? Something for nothing? Take a good look at the history of the Soviet Union. Look even more closely at the economic status of individuals in such places as Great Britain, France, and Canada. They have very high taxes, but their level of social services leaves much to be desired. They come to the United States just to get timely medical treatment. Taking from the rich and redistributing it to the poor -- that's one of the foundational ideas behind both socialism and communism. Is that what the union advocates?
There is the suggestion in Al's article that unless union members speak with one voice (his) that we are politically impotent, that unless we agree with the union's (his) agenda, removing Bush from office and preventing any more Republicans from being elected, redistributing wealth, and ignoring the glaring abuses of public money by VTA that truly endanger our jobs, that we are without power. He is wrong.
If he and the rest of the elected union officers spent half as much energy exposing abuses at VTA and working to correct those abuses as they do on their political agendas, this union and its membership would enjoy far greater security in their wages, their benefits -- in their very jobs. But they are using this union and their position in it to promote their personal political agendas at the expense of the wages, benefits, and jobs of the members that voted them into office.
Shame on you all!
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