Posted by: Greg Huff | October 15, 2010

Greece: Weaning Kids Off the Bottle

I love my sons. They are both two of the finest young men you could ever want.

They are grown now and I don’t mean to bore you with my family history here; it is just that I was reminded of weaning my younger son off of the bottle when watching the government union protests in Greece and France.

These countries much like the United States have neglected core governmental functions:

1. Defense or the protection of the country from outside entities.
2. Police, which protect the citizens from force and fraud.

Instead governments all over the globe have added (probably, at first, out of sincere desire to help others) social program after social program that got more and more of the population sucking on the governmental milk bottle.

In order to administer these social programs (which take money from the productive of society to distribute to the nonproductive) government has to add employees in a massive manner. Someone then gets the bright idea that individuals in the government employ need to be protected from being fired so they institute a union to negotiate their salaries and retirement compensation.

The logical conclusion of such a system is that the unions wield inordinate power over the government itself. Politicians instead of protecting the taxpayers who are (not unionized and wield very little power as individuals) are instead sold out to the government workers unions to pay for their insatiable demands for more pay and benefits. There is no one in this incestuous relationship that is looking out for the taxpayer.

The consequences of these unsustainable contract benefits are now being realized. Taxpayers and Tea Parties who are saying “NO” to more taxes are forcing governments to cut benefits and salaries of their government workers. These workers, not surprisingly, feel entitled to the benefits they have gotten for years. And even though their ship of state will flounder and sink if these expenses are not gotten under control, their attitude is I don’t care; find a solution, i.e., more taxes.

This is what reminded me of weaning my sons off of the bottle.

I told my son in the best and most loving way that I could when I put him to bed that night, “Here is your bottle. You are getting big now and so tonight is the last night you are going to get a bottle. Tomorrow you will not have a bottle at all”. The next day I reminded him that when he went to bed that night we would not give him a bottle. The fateful hour approached when he had to be put down. He wanted a bottle. We reminded him there would not be a bottle and said good night. He screamed and cried for about 15 minutes trying to get us to give him his entitlement. He then fell asleep and never asked for a bottle again.

In many ways my son at two is less of a child than the government union workers being weaned off the taxpayer teat. They demonstrate and demand and cry endlessly demanding their “rights”.

Contracts, of course, should be honored where it is possible but when honoring that contract means suicide for the citizenry, something has to be done. Contracts that mean the demise of one of the parties have to be unenforceable.

The taxpayer has given permission to their elected representatives to negotiate contracts with these unions. The politicians have not had the taxpayer’s interests in mind when negotiating but their own return to power in the next election. In fact, the contract benefits and salaries are bribes to the unions for their support in the next election. It is then, not a contract at all but a con game being perpetrated on the rest of the populace. Therefore, the taxpayer has not been represented at all in these negotiations and as far as I can see the contracts should be null and void and each one renegotiated by qualified negotiators appointed by the taxpayers for that purpose.

Though I do not see it in the near future, I believe it is vital that government unions be eventually outlawed or if that is not possible then the contracts being negotiated by politicians need to be voted on by those being asked to pay the bill. There is no other answer if we do not want to become Greece or other countries that are under the same duress.
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