19 February 2011

Who these people are

If you are an American you surely remember the term that went to the Nobility in Great Britain and, indeed, many other Kingdoms and Empires. It was, generally speaking, the entire class of Nobles from the highest to the most petty, and their functionaries and followers. Together they considered themselves divinely gifted to lead their Nations. These were the people who may have inherited wealth at the very upper-most crust, but further down they subsided on what the serfs and peons could provide. They feel entitled to their public monies and privileges.

Bill Quick has a nice letter from Thomas Jefferson on debt in which Jefferson looks at this sort of situation, and I will excerpt just a bit of it:

To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our selection between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude.

If we run into such debts as that, we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are.

Our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers.

Our land-holders, too, like theirs, retaining, indeed, the title and stewardship of estates called theirs, but held really in trust for the treasury, must wander, like theirs, in foreign countries, and be contented with penury, obscurity, exile, and the glory of the nation.

This example reads to us the salutary lesson that private fortunes are destroyed by public, as well as by private extravagance. And this is the tendency of all human governments.

Those living at the private expense for public government and putting the people in debt to them is, indeed, a plague of the ages.

There is a term for these people.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) via die.net and I will bold a few pertinent parts:

Aristocrat \A*ris"to*crat\ (?; 277), n. [F. aristocrate. See
1. One of the aristocracy or people of rank in a community;
one of a ruling class; a noble.

2. One who is overbearing in his temper or habits; a proud or
haughty person.

A born aristocrat, bred radical. --Mrs.

3. One who favors an aristocracy as a form of government, or
believes the aristocracy should govern.

His whole family are accused of being aristocrats.

Do you see the signs of those teachers going on strike in Madison, WI?

Courtesy: Legal Insurrection

These signs are by the 'educators': teachers and their Union affiliates.

What are they protesting?

Cuts to their benefits during one of the longest lasting recessions heading into a depression the Nation has known in decades.

Why are they protesting?

They feel entitled to benefits at the expense of the public. Not the loss of jobs, mind you, just benefits.

What do they want?

They want their Union to strong arm the representative government of all the people in Wisconsin to the benefit of the minority who work in the public sector.

What do we call these people?


What form of government do you get if they 'win'?

An aristocracy.

How do they treat the public square?



Photos Courtesy: Ann Althouse

Cleaning up trash is for the 'little people', you see. Or just make-work for their fellow Union employees... either way you cut it, there is no regard for the public square nor the public government.

What is the class of people who could care less for the public welfare so long as they get the benefits of a hard earned dollar made by someone else?

They are the Aristocracy.

The deal with public sector unions is this: they are attempting to leverage the few over the many while those few have a direct say into their employment situation not only via the franchise right but by being able to seek redress from government via individual petition.

By seeking to force government to their ends, they are putting forth that they are perpetually entitled to the public benefit and ever rising expectations by those doing the forcing to extract more and more from their hard working fellow citizens. They are trying to divorce themselves from the hard working citizen by utilizing the public taxation so as to take those funds earned by making products and providing goods and services in a competitive marketplace for benefits and jobs in a non-competitive civil service. Unlike private employers, those working for the public have a direct say in their condition via the ballot box and by seeking individual redress of government.

There is no rationale, at all, for public sector Unions.



Do you really want an over-educated, under-caring Aristocracy that feels free to call in sick on the public dime to trash the public square while venting their spleen and utilizing hate-filled rhetoric and impugning representative democracy, thereby? The residents in Wisconsin PAID for that via their tax bills.

Is this really what you expect in return for paying your hard earned dollars to government and seeing that the government has not laid off a single one of these people and are only threatening their BENEFITS?

Because if you are ok with that, then you are a serf.

And you are forging chains of your own servitude to government by countenancing this activity at your expense.


Mark said...

Having a discussion about this on BZ's blog, I have to agree with you here and having looked at the complaints of the Wi. teachers I can't hold any sympathy for them, there is a valid argument from BZ's side too in that because of the rampant selfishness of this age many civil servants like him have been done some dirt by way of broken promises. the public seems to forget where government gets it's money in their selfish desire to demand ever more stuff and services provided them by government. everyone wants to dance, but nobody wants to pay the fiddler.

A Jacksonian said...

Mark - I do agree, but the promises of a government, any government, is that of a sovereign. You can't hold a sovereign to its promises as it must look after the survival of the larger organization (be it State or Nation). A government sets up the rules of the road and we, in setting up government, limit its ability to do harm to us... to protect us it must be able to undo those things it has done. That is why every government contract (federal) has unwritten clauses in them to allow for the termination for convenience of the government without any recourse: so that spending can be halted for any governmental reason.

That includes on who it hires.

We are now seeing exactly what we get when we give our money to government. It is not a return on investment, but a cut-loss concept that now comes to the forefront. Consider every promise by government on what it will hand out to be breakable.

It is.

And many, many of them will be for the Nation to survive.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I hope to be retiring soon. It will be incredibly interesting to see the quality of law enforcement we will -- or likely, won't -- get in the future. But first you even have to find people interested in making the kinds of sacrifices demanded by the job. On both fronts: good luck with that.

Perhaps we should privatize all cops. You could pay per call. Those using lots of LE dollars on calls could be tossed into debtors' prisons because, of course, they're the ones producing the greatest amounts of problems. We could run a ticket, like a private box medic rig:

-First, taking the call: $190
-Processing and dispatching the call: $100
-Start Fee for responding vehicle: $50
-Plus mileage
-Plus idling/dwell time: $5 per minute (no charge if vehicle shut off)
-$250 per officer for first officer; subsequent officers @ $200 each for first hour
-Each additional hour, per officer, @$300
-Rounds fired from weapons, LTL weapons loads per unit, billed at replacement costs + 10%
-Injuries to officers billed at medical rates + time off + potential rehabilitation + 25%
-Damage to vehicles assessed at replacement/repair costs +10%

And so on.

Private police should also logically be incentivized such as the private sector. More money for more citations, more money for greater number of arrests, bonuses for solving community problems, bonuses for reducing calls for service in given geographical areas.

This privatization thing for cops could work out well, it appears.

On the other hand, like everyone else, they could be RIF'd during tough times and, like the private sector, strike and walk out if they can get away with it.

They can also leave at any time and join another department at a moment's notice if it pays better and/or conditions are better.

Good luck getting people to work in high risk/low gain places like NY, LA, Detroit, Houston, New Orleans, Chicago, etc. Private cops would, naturally, want to work for Honolulu or Capitola or New Bedford or Coronado or Beverly Hills -- or not work in the field at all. Let someone else make poor pay, few benefits and be shot at, stabbed, spit upon, etc.

I'm starting to like this private sector thing. Yes, high risk but, potentially high gain with bonuses, 401Ks, paid incentives, etc. Otherwise: leave the job and find another.


A Jacksonian said...

Mr. Z - I have no problem with public police as they are necessary to enforce public laws. I do have a problem with the unionization of law enforcement, however, as the strike is a public safety risk.

Collective bargaining is contrary to a society of free people as it excludes those not part of a collective in favor of a collective. That collective will seek to benefit its members and denigrate those not in the collective, and through that means attempt to get better wages, benefits and so on from the public.

Yet they already have a direct say in their government via the franchise right and the Constitutional guarantee of being able to petition the government. Performance at a public job is an individual affair, but done under the publicly known benefits and wages of such a job. In a private venue you do not have that, thus everyone negotiates in private. In public an individual in employment is held to public standards that are addressed via the legislators, executive and courts. Asking for a collective bargain is attempting to empower some few over the agreement of the majority rule of government.

Governments have the ability to offer public incentives, public benefits and other public bonuses that are known in public that those working for government can vie for and must adhere to performance standards to get. If you have non-performing individuals they can and should be fired... yet a union steps in to prevent this via collective agreements so the bad are shielded and the performance of the good are tainted. That is destructive to work performance and morale.

I've seen that and I'm sure you have, as well: the slacker and individual who games the work rules so as to take advantage of them and the managers have to document years of abuse before they must enter into a hearing on if that individual should be allowed to stay. I have no problems with individuals joining a union... I have problems with a union extorting funds from all in a shop (any shop, public or private) to represent the people there. Individuals should be allowed to negotiate on their own without 'help' as they are this thing known as 'adults'. And with known performance standards in the public sector, working to extract more than a government can pay, over time, is detrimental to representative government if it CANNOT cut wages and benefits during hard times. That is why sovereigns are free to break contracts: they work towards the public good, not the good of individuals or collective bargaining units.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

And that was part of my point; the strike is a public safety risk. A risk that will come with the privatization of police should that come about. I didn't partake then and I won't now.


A Jacksonian said...

It is a public safety risk when sanitation workers go on strike or when teachers do and schools need to close with little or no warning. Things like the DMV and parks services less so... but sewer authority, police, firefighters, teachers, mass transit workers... these all have major public safety components either directly (by not catching criminals) or indirectly (waiting for buses running late or parents needing to stay home from work to watch over children).

In the end collective bargaining is not a 'right' but a privelege granted by law: individuals may come together to bargain, but those they bargain with are under no obligation to actually do so unless there is law to force them to do it. These laws are primary to the Progressive collective mindset: without any foundation in law they cannot assert it as a 'right'. Yet it is not a 'right' protected under the Constitution, meaning it is in th eunenumerated rights and the power for that lies with the people and State governments to deal with as they so choose. Put a chink in that and the edifice starts to collapse, and as Madison was pretty much the birth place of Progressivism, changing those laws means that it may become the gravesite of Progressivism as well.

That is why they are fighting this.

People are changing their minds back to the old way of things... not to child labor or the other horrors of the 19th century, but away from the power granted to unions to coerce others to deal with them. That ends with the States granting such powers and the willingness of the people to end that power.

End the power and the movement begins to die.

The Feiler Faster Thesis is at work, and the Left cannot deal with it.