I shouldn’t be mystified anymore by the union workers I know who complain about the dues they have to pay to a Union that never does anything for them, while in the next breath tell me about their tenure, vacation days and the pension that will enable them to retire in two years when they are 48.
Jill at Brilliant at Breakfast nails it again:
But first, let's get back to those generous public sector benefits and the days when there was a middle class that believed in its own future. That middle class was fueled by a number of things, all of which would be derided as "socialist" today: a college education for returning veterans. Low-cost housing bought with VA loans. Defined benefit pension plans. Cost of living increases. A blue-collar component of that middle class could look forward to seeing its children grow up and get the college education they never had, because they were able to go to the plant every day and build cars that Americans bought and make a living wage doing it. The workers of the UAW have always been blamed for the decline of the automobile industry in this country, but it wasn't the guys on the assembly line who are to blame, it was the guys in the suits in Detroit who, when faced with a 200% jump in gasoline prices in 1973 and another jump in conjunction with a fuel shortage in 1977, were caught with their pants down and an inability to make the kind of reliable fuel-efficient cars that recession-conscious buyers wanted. While Honda was importing Civics and Toyota was importing Corollas, General Motors and Ford were putting out crap like the Vega and the Pinto. The UAW didn't cause the auto industry to be caught with its pants down, and neither did the guys who built these cars. It was bad corporate decisions, and over the last three decades we've seen not the guys at the top, but the guys on the assembly line take the blame.