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Letter to the Editor - March 28

March 28, 2011

Public-sector unions could leave children in debt

To the editor:

As the unions chant and beat their drums, I would like to ask all taxpayers to consider the following:

President Franklin Roosevelt, a staunch defender of unions, stated, “All government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into public service.” George Meany, noted former president of the AFL-CIO, also stated, “It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”

Basically, there are two reasons for this: Governments are nonprofit entities (their employees do not generate profits), and the taxpayers are the employer!

When a public-sector union does collective bargaining, it does not negotiate for a share of the profits, it negotiates for tax money. It bargains on the basis of spending cuts and decreased services to taxpayers and/or increased taxes.

Ironically, collective bargaining with states began in 1959 in the state of Wisconsin. Having recognized the error of that decision and facing the pain of the consequences, Wisconsin is now attempting to right the wrong. Walker is attempting to wrest control of government policy from the public-sector unions and return it to the voters.

In AFSCME’s summary of the benefits in their new contract with the state of Maryland is the statement, “Even in tough budget times we won increased pay, stopped future furloughs and won new rights.” Therein is the evidence of AFSCME’s disregard for the plight of all citizens and taxpayers of Maryland.

Many of our Founding Fathers suffered the loss of lives, fortunes and properties in order to establish a foundation upon which future generations could build. Waves of immigrants to this country have worked hard and lived exceedingly frugal lives in order to give their children and grandchildren a chance to build a better life than they had.

We are living in times that call forth the resolve that our ancestors had to make sacrifices and live frugally to restore fiscal soundness to our state and country for the sake of generations to come. If we rally to the bugle of public-sector unions, will our children curse us for the debts we have placed upon them?

Diane Eves
Hagerstown

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