The debate between whether or not unions are partially responsible for the mess America is in will likely go on for decades to come. But it is becoming more and more clear that union members don’t understand the basic economics of the current fiscal crisis in America.
Case in point: Albany Police Officers Union President Chris Mesley recently chimed in regarding his position and the American taxpayer:
Albany Police Officers Union President Chris Mesley says that, regardless of the faltering economy, a no-raise new contract is unacceptable.
And to hell with the public.
“I’m not running a popularity contest here,” Mesley said. “If I’m the bad guy to the average citizen . . . and their taxes have go up to cover my raise, I’m very sorry about that, but I have to look out for myself and my membership.“
Mesley added: “As the president of the local, I will not accept ‘zeroes.’ If that means . . . ticking off some taxpayers, then so be it.
It’s comments like these, coming from the head of a police union, that will drive most Americans to rebuff any proposed assistance for union pensions, benefits and salaries.
Non-union Americans have seen their retirement plans decimated, wages cut and jobs incinerated. Similar to Mr. Mesley’s view of the taxpayer, the taxpayer could care less if union members lose their jobs or pensions because they are unwilling to negotiate fair settlements with governments or private industry. The American taxpayer is fed up with strong arm tactics and overpaid government employees.
The fact is that Mr. Mesley is either in denial or ignorant of the economic situation in this country. Tax reciepts are down across the board, government spending has essentially hit a wall, and local and state governments around the country are about to begin declaring bankruptcy en masse.
Unions can continue to play these games as long as they want, but it’s a basic math equation, and the math clearly shows that governments will have to make cuts — and we suspect Mr. Mesley’s union will be hit as hard as anyone else.
Because a majority of liberal leaning politicians currently control Congress and the White House, unions in general may continue to see benefits and bailouts, but be assured that down the line, this will be yet another reason for voters to kick union inclined socialists out of office come election time. Americans are sick of seeing the Too-Big-To-Fails receive bailouts, and this includes unions, while they are scrounging to pay their electric bill and put food on the table.
Gross misspending happens on all levels of government, and it’s clear that unions are one of the most overblown public and private expenses in America.
Frankly, we have no sympathy for what organized labor has coming to it. The American people can only take so much before they snap.
Perhaps the best course of action would be to follow Ronald Reagan’s example. When 13,000 air traffic controllers went on strike in 1981, they attempted to disrupt America’s transportation systems, essentially holding the United States hostage. Rather than negotiating, President Reagan fired everyone. The police union may have the same idea, and unfortunately, there is probably no politician in America with the backbone of Reagan. Maybe the next round of elections will change that.
Police officers or other government employees want to force the hand of the American taxpayer? Private industry unions want to strike?
FIRE ALL OF THEM.
There are millions of Americans without jobs right now. Those positions would be filled in under four weeks – guaranteed. And the American taxpayer would save money, private industry could be a bit more competitive. Where’s the downside?
Great idea – fire all of them.
Since you’ve gone down this road, how about one of the most hotly contested topics in my household (and probably many others). How about teacher’s salaries and contracts?
I’m sure to piss off a few readers by mentioning this, but what kind of a system rewards teachers for the bare minimum? Offers tenure (guaranteed position until retirement) after just 3 years (where I live anyway)? Builds in mandatory minimum raises into their contracts every 4 to 5 years, and puts the taxpayer on the hook for it? Less and less of us are able to keep up with our property taxes anymore, yet if the district ever threatens to lower or remove raises the teachers will all go on strike.
LET THEM! I will work for their same salary (heck I’ll work for less) and probably do a better job than a lot of them. I am sick of this crap.
Who do they think is going to be able to continue to pay their salaries and benefits when the taxpayers don’t get raises and keep seeing their costs go up year after year? Why is this so hard to understand?
In Phoenix somewhere between 200 and 400 police officers and firefightersÂ will lose their jobs due to budget deficits. It wouldn’t be necessary if Phil Gordon and the City Council hadn’t spent a BILLION dollars on a BUS they call “light rail”.Â Â
Other BOONDOGGLES over the years are too numerous to mention, like the $500,000 oversized coffee pot they called “ART”. If the COPS aren’t going to arrest the Mayor and City Council and put them in jail for MALFEASANCE then the COPSÂ may as well stay home.
That may not be a bad place to start cutting the size of government and eliminating the Police State, because to date, all the COPS in PhoenixÂ have been good for is writing tickets, hassling street people,Â and busting hookers. How about arresting illegals, drug dealers, kidnappers, home invaders,Â murders, and corrupt government officials; or is that too dangerous for you big bad “Crime Crushers” at the City of Phoenix PD?
Maybe we should give the money we have left to Sheriff Joe and let him clean up “Dodge” …….
Honestly everybody ,Everytime Times gets hard-The Media throws out Cuts in Police and Fire department and Teachers to cause a stir .The Real Facts are that Millions more are in much worser conditions that dont have collage or conciderd Professional Careers,Instead they have jobs like Mechanics, Janitors,Construction,Laborers,Food Service .These people dont have Unions or make near the wages and bearely manage to survive!Â What about them? Nobody Cares !!!!!Â Â Government and State Governments have Grown to big To support These Luxerious Salaries and Automatic Pay Raises while the average Person lives off ofÂ 20 Grand a Year !Â Too high of Salaries helped killed this country !!!
CUT their pay 25% Across-The-Board. If they don’t LIKE it ….. they can get a job somewhere ELSE.
Read POLICE-politician-government “worker”
1) Make all politician’s pay a percentage of the AVERAGE pay of their constituents. That would give them INCENTIVE to get jobs back from China.
2) Make all politician’s retirement plans a percentage of the AVERAGE retirement plan of their constituents, that provides INCENTIVE to work for the PEOPLE.
3) Make all politicians get on SOCIAL SECURITY, like the rest of us, and dissolve their fancy, overpaid plans. All State/Federal workers also.
That will provide INCENTIVE to fix what THEY BROKE.
4) Make all politician’s medical benefits a percentage of the AVERAGE benefits of their constituents, that provides INCENTIVE to work for the PEOPLE .
5) Make all politician’s pensions dependent on the security of their constituent’s pensions. If the People are losing their pensions due to economic distresses then the politicians should also.
If the police would only start preventing and investigating real crimes instead of enforcing unconstitutional laws and harassing innocent citizens we would need less than half of the police, courts and prisons were currently have.Â Â Of course this is counter to the goal of the unions which is to increase the police state with it’s slew of victimless crimes thus adding to the unionÂ membership.Â
That is all very wonderful but the unions are not the problem.Â As long as bankster CEOs and other so called business leaders continue to demand and receive multi millions even in money losing companies we will have a huge problem.Â These huge chunks of money being spent on non producers like insurance salesboys, bank money shufflers, gamblers pretending to be investors, and executives none of whom produce anything are a total waste and a drag on the economy.Â Worst of all are the legions and legions of sales trash like real estate con artistes, used car salesboys, manufacturers reps and all of the other varieties of sales trash who do nothing of value and just drive up prices for the people who work for a living.Â At least the unionized workers produce or do something of value.Â The sales slime, managerial trash and banksters are just parasites like the boy who scribbled this column.
How about the to big to failÂ wall street banks that where bailed out by GW Bush and Hank Paulson ( i.e ex goldman sachs ceo)Â and the big business loving REPUBS…..yes the Unions need to get realistic butÂ I am sick and tired of idiots who can’t see past their own noses.Â I can’t wait for the repugslies to take back control and turn this country into a facist theocracy and put everyone out on the streets to live and beg for a living only the rich are aloud to live comfortably.Â or you can just join the army (where the sheeple are best put to work oops I mean death)Â and fight in one of their never ending wars of terror or war on drugs which is really the warÂ on people.Â some people are just so dumb its unreal.
How do you expect product to go out the door without sales people?Â Its people like you that have no understanding of how things work that are the cause of the problems we face!Â Go back to watching Idol!
Kathy, most people on this site would regard the Republican led bailouts as bull crap just as much as the ridiculous Union compensation and benefit programs.Â
I (and i think many others here) am completely sick of all bail outs and all aid to companies whether its Goldman sachs or General Motors.Â One was driven under by corrupt speculators and executives, the other by Unions.Â We want them all to go down.Â It sounds like you are only focused on the wall st. fat cats?
Can you see past your own nose?
If the police in most municipalities did a half-ass job, there wouldn’t be complaints. But the truth is, the cops only show up after a crime has been committed, if then. In our case, they didn’t even bother to take a theft report after my truck was stolen out of our driveway! And they think they’re so butch when they taze an unarmed 10-year-old or a senior citizen. Pathetic.
I personally would like to see a hell of a lot less cops.Â They are everywhere you go these days.Â We would do well with a lot less.
Citing Reagan was the wrong way to go on this article. Reagan was a piece of trash and was completely Anti-Working Man. Unions have corrupted the labor landscape but Reagan was no saviour. He was a piece of trash and is dining at Satan’s table.
This is exactly what’s up with this country. No one in Congress or the Senate could have said it better!
There are too many police as it is. And they have far too much integration with the Homeland ‘Security’ — there is a word that begins with ‘G’ that fits that hideous organization more aptly.
They don’t need a raise. Get rid of 50% of them, cut the nonsense of searching for fake ‘grown terrorists’, the cointelpro and money-making for the Police Department and Court CAFR accounts. Make them accountable to the citizens…. then maybe we will respect them.
Comments…..This guy is a total asshole.Â Every single one of us “taxpaying” citizens are being asked to sacrifice every where we turn to bail someone out or pay someone’s pension plan.Â When the 401K’s crashed—who bailed us out?????Â When our retirements evaporated (into the hands of greedy banksters), we simply had to suck it up and accept that we can’t retire or that we’ll have to live on a lot less than we’d planned.Â
My husband hasn’t gotten a raise in 3 years.Â We’re thankful he still has a job since we’re considered middle class and it’s the middle class that’s being targeted for slaughter.Â He hasn’t gotten a bonus in 3 years either and he’s making at least $30,000/year less and doing 3 times the amount of work.Â And if that isn’t bad enough, there is always the threat of him being “laid off” hanging over him from his superiors due to this wonderful economy!Â So hearing this blowhard saying he doesn’t care if we have to funnel more money in his direction so he can keep his raise isn’t sitting well with me.Â Keep it up.Â Â American’s are at their limit with this bullshit.
You are right, The Unions ARE NOT the Problem, the problem is the pure, unadulterated ARROGANCE of these people that have absolutely NO RESPECT for the people that pay their salaries and they clearly have no understanding that the Amkerican people are struggling just to keep food on the table for their families and a huge number of people in this nation no longer have the jobs that they once had since they all got shipped out of this country.
The ONLY way we are going to get this respect back from these criminals in “Public Office” is to join the NATIONAL STRIKE from April 15th to the 18th so that the ones that rely on our slave status for the accumulation of their massive profits can know that we mean business and will no longer tolerate people like this police chief and his Union representative spreading their disrespect amongst themselves and the world.
Zukadu – I live in Scottsdale…and I remember the $500K worth a pottery (well, not just pottery, but $#!^^% pottery) very well.Â IÂ used to drive by it on theÂ Squaw Peak (asÂ I still call it) everyday.Â Remember the uproar about that?Â And that was like 20 years ago…but my favorite part was how people who lived along the freeway were putting up their own $#!^, likeÂ gold-pray painted toilets…it was awesome.
Anyway, yeah – fire them.Â Something is going to give at some point, folks…one way or another.Â
Yeah RickÂ I remember, and justÂ TWO years agoÂ the brainiacs at the Phoenix City Council spent $1,000,0000 on a metal lattice “art work” at Patriots Square.
Is there no end to their arrogance and total disregard for tax dollars? These stupid bastards should be hung upside down by their &@**$ from the lattice. I hope Sheriff Joe puts them all in jail, but what we really need is aÂ Taxpayers Tribunal, Peoples Court -Star Chamber” to give them the justice they deserve.
This is just another bit of proof that the police are the enemies of the people – they always have been and always will be.
In WWII, when the Nazis moved into new countries, it was the local police that rounded up people for extermination. Later, when the Communists moved in, it was the local police that rounded up people for extermination. The police are just the “official gang” that serve as enforcers for whoever is in charge. They have no inherent morality or loyalty to the citizenry – they just serve the needs of whatever political force is in power.
Once we all collectively realize that our two party system has been used as a means to keep us divided while our nation was trashed, and we qui playing the “it’s all THEIR fault” game, we might begin to actually fix it. But as long as you and all the others who religiously continue to abide by the red/blue dogma, we’re screwed. All you die hard dems and rebubs are the problem WE THE PEOPLE face in getting rid of the crime syndicate that has been put in charge by the red/blue divide and conquer political system.
Anonymous, people will buy what they need.Â All the salestrash do is drive up the price.Â Then whine about how much the people who actually do something are making.Â I am tired of hearing whininess about union wages and I am not even in a union.Â Most of the cost of products or real estate or anything we buy is in the sales and marketeering not the cost of production.Â Time to start going after the real problem which is the excessive compensation handed to salesboys for running around getting drunk, golfingÂ and slapping each other on the back.Â There are more salesboys than productive people in the country.Â Those of us in productive jobs are tired of carrying all of the sales trash.
There a whole bunch of out of work cops as it is!
They’ll be more than happy to work non-union.
Screw that prick! He needs to find a real job not a cush position in aÂ fake title! He doesn’t do shit for anyone but himself in the union, that’s why he’s a union boss. Union’s are good as long as you have someone who’s for the union workers and not in it for the money like this arsehole. Get a real job you ass! I’ve been in unions.
Screw this guy!! Everybody in Albany should refuse to serve any police officer if this guy gets his raise. Refusing to serve a police officer is leagel(right to refuse service)Â Let them bring there own lunch or risk eatting some “speical sause” on the take out food. The union should dump this ego right now!!! Or make the officers get rid of him.
I have worked for the fire department almost twenty years and I can tell you that fire departments, once an honorable and proud profession, our destroying our communities. Â Most firefighters are simply young and ignorant and join the union to be one of the guys, or gals. Â What these firefighters don’t realize is how their money is spent to support liberal candidates and socialist/communist ideals. Fire department unions are disgusting. Â How can you reconcile service to the community with self-serving interest? Â Unions buy politicians and the cycle continues. Â The structural paradigm of fire department response, based on a “fire” model, needs to change to reflect the reality that they are emergency medical departments that only occasionally fight fire. Â Public: challenge your fire department, don’t fall for “your babies will burn” hyperbole. Â Get your facts, study the types of calls and frequency through an annual report. Â Look a the pay and benefits of your local fire department, including pension and health. Â In closing, firefighters are grossly overpaid for the blue-collar work they do. Â We should not be taxing food, closing libraries and parks, and laying off large numbers of “other” city employees so the fire department union can keep what they consider theirs at public expense.
This city has been taken advantage of by the useless police and firefighters currently on the payroll.Â Â Why would the city need all this overtime for these 2 groups when they have 3 shifts?Â The police have like 160 something types of OT?? Gimme us a break, how many of these uneducated morons actually live in the city??Â This jerk speaking on behalf of the idiots should be dismissed immediately.Â Remember the tax payers and citizens of this city come first!!
Comments…..Tollforthee, I see you are one of those “used to be a fire fighter”. We had one of those, you are the kind who was never really a fire fighter, you showed up to collect the money only. I know “your kind”.
For the rest of the people on here. I have been a ff for 24 years. I am proud to be a fire fighter. I make the average pay. Our contract states we use 10 cities. we get whatever the 5th city gets. my dental gives me $1000. a year. my medical costs me out of pocket 900 month, the city pays 450.00. I have $15 copay visits, $100 copay emergency, $25 copay medications. have never needed anything more. I pay $1000 a month for retirement and my city pays $500. The initial thread was “fire them all” Not really the smartest way to start a conversation, however I see from the posts there are a lot of haters. Until you run into a burning building when others are running out, shut up. You did not see a single fire fighter on 9-11 stop at the bottom of the stairs and say “hey I am not getting paid enough for this crap”. As a ff I could see in the eyes of those who knew, it was a one way trip and they still went up. It is not about money for true fire fighters, it is about what we are willing to do for those we do not even know. I am not a big union fan, I have never been and it has cost me a few friends here at work. my thought here is the economy sucks and it was brought on by greed and gross mis-management of money by politicians. Everyone is looking to blame someone and public workers are the new scapegoat.