Sometimes something seems like a great idea at the time, and it might be, but after it runs its course, served its purpose, it’s time to let it go. Here are some examples of things that should go the way of the Dodo bird.
Labor unions. There was a time when saying this could get me killed, or at least unemployed. Labor unions did some great things for the American worker. They created child labor laws, they stopped unsafe work environments and stabilized wages for similar jobs. However, what they mostly do now is force the work force to surrender a portion of their wages for the sake of “negotiations” and line the pockets of union leaders who spend union money to promote their own political agenda. The Teachers’ Unions are prime examples of this. They get kick-backs for promoting “benefits” for teachers that are no benefits at all. I am constantly receiving union sponsored mailings for car and home insurance at discount rates for teachers. The problem is that the offerings are significantly more expensive than other sources of the same service, but the CTA takes donations in exchange for promoting these companies. The biggest problem I have with unions is that they spend way too much time and money promoting a political agenda that usually has little or nothing to do with labor or the specific part of the labor force they supposedly represent. Union leaders get very wealthy from mandatory union dues. When they negotiate a contract they may force their laborers to strike while they, the leaders, continue to collect their salary. The unions no longer ensure that good workers receive fair treatment, they, more often, protect the jobs and wages of all workers, whether they are effective at their jobs or not. Unions no longer do what they were designed to do. They have left the arena of their purpose and expertise and become a negative influence on the work force.
Lobbyists. With apologies to my nephew, the entire lobbyist industry needs to disappear. At its inception the industry gave people a direct line of communication to law makers. However, once certain wealthy parties discovered that they could purchase influence they began perverting the system into what it has become. Now special interest with substantial funds persuade (bribe) law makers to create/support/sponsor laws that will benefit their own interests. Lobbying firms prostitute themselves to the highest bidder and law makers receive campaign contributions, conferences (read vacations), and other donations in return for their favor. Lobbyists do not represent the people any more than the electoral college (let’s get rid of that too).
Pork Barreling. Come on! How did this ever get this far? I understand the concept. Law makers negotiate for certain concessions so that they will support a law that benefits another law maker’s constituents in exchange for that law maker’s support of a law that benefits their own. However, now the majority of law makers tack on pork barrel riders to benefit themselves. If it keeps regressing the way it is, I’ll be writing about why we should eliminate Congress. Elected by the people for the people? No, more like elected by special interest money to benefit the highest bidder and the elected official. The vast majority of Congress is no longer running to help the people of their constituency, but to see what they can get out of it.
Truth be told, if you or I did the things that union leaders, lobbyists, and congressmen do every day, we would be in jail. If we don’t do something about it, we will be watching the complete disintegration of our country and we will have no one to blame but ourselves for our silence.