I just read an article about the governor of Wisconsin. He is going all out to bust the teachers and workers unions and it looks like, through a technicality he has done it. It seems just too ironic to find that they did this by declaring that it had nothing to do with money when that was the reason he said he wanted to do it in the first place! The main point in his arguments were that state employees and teachers must take some pay and benefit cuts in order for the state to meet its budget. The teachers and state employees had already said they were willing to do this but that was not enough for the governor.
The totally ironic thing about this is that he and the State senators who rammed this through have apparently have not shown any willingness to do the same thing themselves! It seems their benefits are even more plush than the workers they are asking to sacrifice but they don’t see any need to sacrifice themselves! So they think it is mandetory that others lose benefits for the greater good but theirs are immune? How sanctimonious is that????
These radical Republicans who the people of Wisconsin naively voted into office seem to think that collective bargaining is a privilege given by the legislature. The people of Libya are desperately struggling to pull personal control out of the hands of a dictator while Wisconsin seems to want dictators to run things and do away with people (in the form of unions) controlling their lives.
But what do I know…
Looking back on my life in the corporate world something very distinct happened in the early 1980s. Loyalty disappeared. Companies started treating employees as liabilities and employees therefore lost any sense of commitment to their employers. Lifelong employment with one company began to be a thing of the past. I like to blame in on the Reagan administration and their fierce conservatism, which by the way was very moderate compared to today’s radical right conservative agenda, but it could have been just as likely to be things like “world trade”. Whatever it was it spelled the doom of loyalty.
No matter the source, starting in the 80s corporations started cutting back on employee benefits and the constant drum of downsizing started. “Doing more with less” was an never ending mantra. At the same time companies started reducing benefits and perks. This change caused employees to began to feel somewhat betrayed by their employers. It used to be that you went to work even though you weren’t feeling well because you had a job to do.
The days of working thirty years for one company and then retiring with a nice fat pension quickly began to disappear. Today “30 years and out” is about as common as dinosaurs! I consider myself very fortunate to at least get in on the tail end of the “30 years and out”. A very good friend of mine chose a different path. He worked for about six different companies during that period of time. As a result he has little or no pension coming from any of them. He did manage to put some of his own money in 401k’s but not nearly enough to make up for the pension he lost.
I don’t understand how a young man or woman now days can even think about retirement security. What with some of our politicians even trying to eliminate Social Security for future generations our society might just end up in a work until the grave situation. How sad that is.
And the journey goes on…