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Response to Montini today on Goldwater vs Unions

May 31, 2013

With regard to Montini’s diatribe today against the Goldwater Institute’s position on unions I am reminded of President Reagan’s comment: “There you go again.” It is difficult to determine whether Montini’s expressed opinions are the result of malice or just ignorance. I suspect that, as with most liberals, it is a combination.

So, let’s clear this up one more time: (BTW, while I do not speak for the Goldwater Institute, I suspect that their views are not too much different from my own.) Montini’s statement that GWI wants “to bust unions, any unions” is simply nonsense and I suspect Montini knows that (hence my accusation of malice by him). I and others who share my philosophy simply want to end the abuses that occur when unions get unfair bargaining power and use it to gain outlandish benefits for their members at the expense of the taxpayers.

Conservatives/libertarians/Goldwaterites have great respect for fire fighters and police. For Montini and other union apologists to suggest otherwise diminishes respect for their opinions. It is the union power grab that we object to. Can anyone today seriously suggest that the total benefit package of many Phoenix police and fire fighters has not gotten out of hand? I saw this gaining speed thirty years ago when I served on the Civil Service Board and on the Fire and Police Pension Board. It has only gotten worse since then and now we see the examples of “spiking” pensions and city employees retiring on six figure pensions that simply cannot be justified in today’s economy.

Unions are able to get this unfair power because they take money from their members without members’ regular consent and from members who frequently do not share the union bosses’ leftist political views. Then union bosses use that money to lobby against taxpayers’ interests. Through their political activity unions essentially elect the people who then reward the unions with these extreme benefit packages. The only parties left out are the ones who have to pay the bill, the taxpayers.

It is not that all or even most unions are bad. It is primarily the practices of government unions and the unholy alliance between these unions and elected officials that is wrong. That is what is bankrupting our cities.

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