Tag Archives: Congress

Unions Hate Secret Ballot

The proposed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) that Congress is considering is flawed. The so called ‘card check’ legislation would give unions the right to organize an employer’s labor force if a simple majority of employees sign a union drive card.

What is wrong with that? It prevents the employer form then demanding that the employees vote on the matter by secret ballot. Unions are often frustrated by the results of those kinds of votes.

Strangely, it is not unusual for unions to get the majority of employees to sign union drive cards in front of their co-workers only to lose the vote by secret ballot. One explanation for this strange problem for unions is that some people feel intimidated.

They sign union drive cards because they are afraid of union supporters. Don’t think this intimidation is exaggerated. Imagine how you will vote for politicians if your employer and landlord could know how you vote. If you don’t vote for their man, then you risk reprisals.

It is not difficult to imagine how intimidating an employee bold enough to openly support a union must seem to a shy and content employee.

The secret ballot is an important safeguard for democracy. It discourages thuggery and bribery. People can vote for their real choice. The proposed Employee Free Choice Act is a bad joke.

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Democrats Eager To Rekindle Republican Revolution

A revolutionary change is needed to fix our broken democracy.  But don’t expect either of the two major political parties to provide that change.  The Republicans really protect the rich and powerful’s freedom to dominate everyone else.  (They are probably fans of the Marquis de Sade).  Their record while they had control of our government here in the United States has demonstrated that.  Yet the Democrats seem to have forgotten what inspired that so called Republican Revolution.

Can you remember why Newt Gingrich was able to rally the nation behind the Republican Party?  The answer is that people were tired of the secret deal making and favortism of the Democratic Party’s ‘good-ol-boy’ network.  Their way of spending federal money has been based on a racket administered by senior lawmakers.  Democrats have rewarded junior lawmakers for passing special interest legislation that benefits senior lawmaker’s campaign contributors.  In return for their cooperation, junior lawmakers would be given ‘pork’.  That ‘pork’ is essentially a bribe disguised as funding for local projects and public services.  The Republican Revolution’s ‘Contract With America’ has promised to stop that kind of corruption.

Unfortunately the Republicans are at least as intoxicated by power as the Democrats.  During the time they controlled our government, they have created a ‘Pay to Play’ system for lobbyists.  That system allowed powerful special interests a way to bypass the formal leadership structure of Congress and go directly to the Republican’s rank and file members of Congress.  (This system became known in the media as ‘K-Street’, for the name of the street where the most influential lobbyists kept their offices.)  Rather than reducing corrupting influences over Congress, the Republican Pary hid under the bedsheets with them.

Now, instead of a revolution, the wheel of progress has rolled backwards.  This is not referring to the election of Barack Obama.  This is about Congress.  The Democrats have taken back their control.  And they are on a mission to save America’s economy.  But like the Republican Party’s use of the ‘War On Terror’ as an excuse to help the clients of influencial lobbyists hoard wealth, the Democrats are using the resulting financial crisis as an excuse to create a pork barrel bonanza.

The very smug faces on leading Senate Democrats during passage of the most recent bailout package are suspicious.  Those are the looks of people enjoying a feast; they are not sacrificing.  And they know that despite America’s overwhelming disgust with Congress, voters usually support their local representatives.  So, they will probably not be held accountable for their contribution to this financial fiasco.  President Barack Obama will probably take the blame for Congressional dysfunction.  And then Congress is going to welcome back a member of their inner circle.

If history is an indicator of what the future will bring, then we cannot depend on either of the two dominant political parties to correct the way our nation’s government is changing.  The Great Depression and more recent economic downturns demonstrat that both Democrats and Republicans allow greedy market manipulators to undermine our economy.  And we know that both Republicans and Democrats eagerly use government to create for themselves influence pedeling rackets.  The Democratic and Republican Parties have a proven recornd of corruption.

We, that is us individual voters, don’t need to wonder about who the Republican Party or the Democratic Party really represent.  It is obvious that both Political Parties represent very elite groups of very wealthy people.  And those groups have more wealth invested in this rut we are in to leave it behind.  Only a fool believes that wealthy people represent the best interests of regular Americans.  They care about their wealth.  For a full revolution of the wheel of progress, the dominant political parties need to be replaced.

Replace them by voting only for candidates from established political parties that are not one of the two dominant parties.  Do this for each election.  After only six years, there won’t be a Republican or Democrat left in office.  And after only four years, a new decentralized political establishent will begin to run our country as our founders intended.

Oh… Please bless America again.

Congress Abandons Consumers

The reason why the economy is collapsing is because too many average consumers have lost their purchasing power. From the beginning of the crisis this has been obvious. So why are policymakers concentrating on implementing a trickle-down approach to rescuing the economy?

They have put their faith in the directors of big businesses to save our economy. Almost all of the cash meant to rescue the economy, (last count = more than 2.7 trillion), has been given to them. This is despite the widespread belief that free markets most efficiently direct investments to where they would be most useful. Our leaders need to remember why free markets work well.

Free markets democratize the economy. They give consumers the power to direct the economy. Consumers do this with their purchasing power. They give money to sellers and investors who offer the best deals for the things consumers want. In a free market anyone can hope to become a self-made business magnate. And the customers get to choose them. Free market economies serve the will of the people.

Our free market economy is quickly disappearing. The people have lost their purchasing power and Congress has abandoned them. Money for saving the economy has been given to the leaders of big businesses. They are not investing that money in people who would compete against them. The directors of big businesses are using their purchasing power to help themselves.  Regular consumers are left to fend for themselves.

Congress’s mistake must be corrected soon. The bailout money is being hoarded by big businesses that are laying off employees. More consumers are losing their purchasing power. If centralized control over the economy remains for the long term, then innovation would probably be stifled by timid bureaucrats and big business leaders eager to protect their profit margins. The situation is getting worse.

Policymakers and Congress can easily correct this situation. Simply direct the bailout money to average consumers. Let them choose which businesses deserve a bailout. Chances are almost everyone will get what they want.

New Democratic Congress

A bumper sticker I have seen said “Politicians, like underwear, need to be changed for the same reason”. The Republicans in Congress demonstrated the merit of that statement despite their “Contract with America”. Now they are being replaced with clean politicians… hopefully! So before this new Congress also becomes corrupted by the temptations of power we need to insist that they make some changes that protect the rest of us from their corruption.

An easy way for Congress to begin is by outlawing the use of Presidential signing statements to justify ignoring some laws. There cannot be proper respect for the Laws of Congress if executives don’t have to obey them even after agreeing to sign them.

Congress also needs to replace the so called “Patriot Act” with a good set of laws. As it is, that law gives government agents the right to snoop into our private lives to see if we measure up to their definition of being patriotic. That law is dangerous!

Congress should create it own agency that observes and reports to Congress inappropriate activities of the other branches of government. That means, for example, that the President would not be able to use secret government agencies to sneak around the laws of Congress or the Constitution!

And perhaps an example should be made of a President who may have done more harm to American liberty than Osama Bin Laden. Impeaching President Bush even after he leaves office may help to deter future leaders from taking advantage of a catastrophe’s chaos to loot American rights and taxes for the benefit of their biggest campaign contributors!

Doomed Economy

This is why, in plain english, the big corporate bailout plan is not going to work:

The economy won’t recover until consumers start buying again.  And that won’t happen until they are out of debt and have saved enough money to begin reestablishing their credit.  So the question is how can the government help us get to that point.

The approach favored by Congress and the Bush administration hopes that an elite group of financiers will distrubute our taxes to corporations .  The selected corporations are then supposed to figure how to sell things such as loans and merchandise to other corporations and regular consumers.

The risk with this approach is that a lot of tax dollars will be spent trying to sell consumers things they neither need or want.  And this economic shock will probably change consumer’s behavior in unexpected ways.  In other words, the chances that financiers will choose the wrong corporations that have chosen the wrong product to sell are very significant.  In fact, the function of financiers under these circumstances is similar to the function of Soviet bureaucrats planning the old Russian economy.  We can expect the kinds of results that all those planned economies gave with this top-down bailout for our economy.

A better approach would give consumers the power to direct our tax dollars to businesses both small and large that offer efficiently produced products wanted by consumers.  And while consumers figure out how to spend that money, it will be deposited in their bank accounts.  Entreprenuers and viable businesses will go to those revitalized banks with their lists of potential new customers and be offered loans.  The risk of wasting tax dollars on pointless ventures will be minimized when compared to the current plan.