Unions are not to blame for economic problems
To the editor:
Some blame unions for what’s wrong with America’s economy. The facts don’t support this. American workers are the backbone of our economy, and they work best when they have the freedom to unionize. Unions are good for America.
Our economy remains the strongest in the world, even though we are still climbing out of the Great Recession of 2008. This was the worst recession in 80 years. American workers did not cause the recession. The big banks and mortgage companies did. Many American workers lost their jobs because of the corporate greed that nearly destroyed our economy. Nevertheless, American workers bailed out the big corporations, and American workers are leading our recovery.
Evidence regarding the overall economic impact of unions is mixed. On one hand, unemployment is generally higher in states that have higher union membership, but not by much, and not consistently state by state. On the other hand, union jobs pay more than nonunion jobs, and those extra earnings go back into the economy. Additionally, union membership is low in the deep South, and the standard of living there is low as well. Finally, as union membership has declined since 1980, so has the economy. Overall, I don’t see that union membership has a significant impact on the economy.
The bigger issue is freedom. Our country was founded on freedom. Our freedom is our strength. American workers should be free to join with other workers in negotiating with employers. A work force that feels that it has some say in the workplace will be a better work force, and employees and employers will benefit together. That’s the power of freedom, and we should embrace it. Nevertheless, freedom requires responsible behavior. Unions should not be allowed to limit employees’ freedom by requiring membership. Nor should they hurt others’ freedom by promoting violence or by threatening crucial services.
We are not China or Russia. We are the United States of America. Freedom, including the freedom for workers to unionize responsibly, is what made us strong, and will keep us strong.
With mass shootings, when will enough be enough?
To the editor:
After the shootings in Newtown, Conn., politicians and others are saying with outrage, “Enough is enough!”
Columbine was not enough. Virginia Tech was not enough. Aurora was not enough. The yearly shooting of thousands of Americans is not enough. There is still widespread opposition to reasonable, additional gun-control measures. Membership in the NRA has increased. Orders for semi-automatic, assault style rifles have escalated. Ammunition is sold before it can reach retailers. High-capacity clips are on back order.
“A well-regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state ...” meant keeping flintlock rifles and pistols. Today, such a militia would have to have automatic assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, flame throwers, etc. The NRA will not be happy until that happens.
So what would be “enough?” If someone shot all the babies in a nursery, would that be enough? I doubt it. Our populace is saturated with firearms and the bad guys will not obey any law. Of the thousands who are shot yearly, is there someone with mental illness at each trigger? If so, we are going to need more institutions to house and feed them.
Vance L. Creech
Privatization of Pa. lottery disrespectful of residents
To the editor: