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Archive for January 23rd, 2010

New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that only 7.2 percent of private-sector workers belong to unions, which makes sense since unions behave in a myopic fashion and undermine competitiveness (and thus reduce jobs in the long run). On the other had, insulated from competition, 37.4 percent of bureaucrats are unionized. Moreover, because the burden of government has been climbing so fast during the Bush-Obama spending binge, this has resulted in bloated government payrolls. One consequence is that a majority of union workers, for the first time in American history, are now bureaucrats. The New York Times has the story, including a good observation by a scholar that there is a corrupt relationship between Democrats and bureaucrats that is leading to huge burdens on taxpayers:

For the first time in American history, a majority of union members are government workers rather than private-sector employees, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced on Friday. In its annual report on union membership, the bureau undercut the longstanding notion that union members are overwhelmingly blue-collar factory workers. It found that membership fell so fast in the private sector in 2009 that the 7.9 million unionized public-sector workers easily outnumbered those in the private sector, where labor’s ranks shrank to 7.4 million, from 8.2 million in 2008. …According to the labor bureau, 7.2 percent of private-sector workers were union members last year, down from 7.6 percent the previous year. That, labor historians said, was the lowest percentage of private-sector workers in unions since 1900. Among government workers, union membership grew to 37.4 percent last year, from 36.8 percent in 2008. …government employment grew last year, inching up 16,000, to 22,516,000, according to the bureau. …Fred Siegel, a visiting professor of history at St. Francis College in Brooklyn and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative research organization, said, “There were enormous political ramifications” to the fact that public-sector workers are now the majority in organized labor. “At the same time the country is being squeezed, public-sector unions are a rising political force in the Democratic Party,” he said. “They depend on extra money for the public sector, and that puts the Democrats in a difficult position. In four big states — New York, New Jersey, Illinois and California — the public-sector unions have largely been untouched by the economic downturn. In those states, you have an impeding clash between the public-sector unions and the public at large.”

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Congratulations to Tea Party activists, protesters at townhall meetings, Massachusetts voters, and everyone else in America who has helped create a counter-revolution against bloated, inefficient, and wasteful government. The establishment definitely is paying attention, as indicated by the cover of this week’s Economist magazine.

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 I used to have a weekly political humor post, but this administration is generating too much material, so I’m just going to post amusing things as I find them. Such as this song parody…

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