Thursday, September 13, 2012

They Hate Their Jobs

If you want to understand the extraordinary sight of all those beloved teachers going out on strike, led by the delightful Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, I have four words for you.

They Hate Their Jobs.

In fact, I have a brilliant new insight for you.  Whenever you see a militant labor union, you are looking at people that Hate Their Jobs.

It took me a while to understand this.  Here is how I got there.

First of all, we must understand that in this glorious era of freedom, we western humans are yoked to the wheel of work like never before.  It all started with the Venetian slave sugar plantations on Cyprus right after the Crusades, where entrepreneurs learned to make big money from big sugar profits from their slaves.  The slave plantation business eventually developed the "gang system" where highly disciplined gangs of slaves under an overseer were put to work doing repetitive work hoeing or cutting or chopping.

Then came the industrial revolution in which entrepreneurs developed the "factory system" where armies of workers were put to work in highly disciplined teams doing repetitive work, eventually on assembly lines.

There wasn't much the slaves could do about their condition but the assembly line workers formed labor unions to fight the bosses that had, in the Marxian terminology, "commodified" them.  Our lefty friends call this "resistance."

Today, our liberal friends like to write nostalgically about the good old days of good union jobs at good wages, but Michael Barone begs to differ.
As it happens, I grew up in Detroit and for a time lived next door to factory workers. And I know something that has eluded the liberal nostalgiacs. Which is that people hated those jobs.
What's the betting that those public school teachers Hate Their Jobs?  I've known a public school teacher or two.  They seemed remarkably cynical.  Why wouldn't they, working in a huge organization with rigid rules where the individual is just a cog in the machine?

Now here is my flight of fancy.  When a movement of "resistance" develops against something, it won't stop until it destroys it.  Private sectors unions destroyed the steel industry, destroyed the airline industry--PanAm, Eastern Airlines, anyone--and they are in the middle of destroying the auto industry.  Because the workers in those industries Hate Their Jobs.  I've met a unionized pilot or two.  And they Hate Their Jobs, because they are treated like numbers.

Now it's the turn of big government.  We conservatives are all complaining about the liberal politicians and the unions conspiring to bankrupt state and local government.  But I think we are missing the forest for the trees.  The basic problem is that government workers Hate Their Jobs.  They are tiny cogs in a great big government factory doing mind-numbingly stupid repetitive tasks.  So they have combined into unions and all they care about is getting their pay and getting out and getting their pensions.

As the government employee unions demand more and more, and the politicians promise them pie in the sky, the government employee unions are slowly but surely destroying government as we know it.

If government were run by the Republicans this would all be a national scandal.  But, of course, everything except the Pentagon and the highway department is a liberal program.  So the lapdog mainstream media keeps its lip buttoned.  No matter that government education of children in child custodial facilities is a disaster, and a double disaster in the inner city.  No matter than Medicaid is a basket case.  No matter that child protective services is a joke.  No matter that all the entitlement programs are broke.  No matter that subsidized wind farms are making billions of dollars on government subsidies and raising energy prices on ordinary consumers.  See no Evil, hear no Evil, speak no Evil.  That's the program of the mainstream media.

But, of course, the people are gradually waking up to the fact that they are being screwed.  Don't look now, but maybe there is a movement of resistance gathering strength: from Tea Party to Chick-fil-A to 2016: Obama's America.  Usually, a movement of resistance forms when it is far too late.

But maybe the conservative movement of resistance doesn't matter.  Maybe the government employee unions are going to destroy big government all on their own without needing the help of Tea Partiers and Chick-fil-A customers.

Just because the Hate Their Jobs.

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