The Privilege Unwinding

“All men are created equal, it is only men themselves who place themselves above equality” – David Alan Coe

The Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State is far from over. However, I wanted to move on tonight and touch on some other hot-button issues that are burning across the world.

On Tuesday of this week, voters in Ohio overturned the law banning collective bargaining for public employee unions. It was a victory for democracy … but not freedom. Yes, public workers have a right to free association, just like any other people. That free association lends itself to collective bargaining. However, freedom of association goes both ways, and an employer (any employer) has the right to say “we refuse to bargain with you as a collective.” A government of, by, and for the people cannot rightly retain fewer rights for the people as a whole and greater rights for a selected class of the people.

Alas, the Ohio voters fell for emotional ploys from the privileged class – the public unions who continue to extract ever-greater benefits from an ever-shrinking supply of resources. Not to worry, these things have a way of working themselves out. The voters of Ohio will see continued economic difficulties and continued deterioration of the education system – while states that repeal collective bargaining and pass “right to work” laws will thrive.

Ohio isn’t the only place that is facing some issues here – and the issues in Ohio are paltry by comparison. Consider Greece, for instance. Some 18% of the employment is in the public sector, and they can retire at 53! This is a lavish benefit that cannot possibly be supported. It is also a benefit that has been promised by politicians in order to garner votes. The politicians have sold the future of the country to organized labor unions for political power now. This is treachery. It is the norm. It is unwinding though. The privileged class can’t get away with it forever. Eventually the system collapses and somebody who thought they were “due” these lavish benefits will come up empty. (Mike Shedlock says there could be a run on the banks and a total collapse within days or weeks.)

It’s spread to Italy too, where the socialist system that puts the public “servants” ahead of the public itself is teetering. Too much borrowed money, too many unsupported promises of benefits, too many people on the public dole. Too many reapers, too few sowers.

While the European troubles are interesting to watch (and they are going to get much worse) – it’s not just Europe. Over here Illinois, California, and a number of other states are in serious trouble and are about to run across automatic budget cuts. Municipalities are declaring bankruptcy. Eventually the people who do all the paying, and by paying I mean “working to produce goods and services that are consumed by the privileged class,” will get fed up.

Democracy or freedom? It’s a tough choice, and one that this country is going to face a lot in the coming years. Democracy says anything you can get supported by a majority will become law. Freedom says you are not allowed to extract from others against their will for your own benefit – not by force of arms, and not by force of government.

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