Saturday, May 24, 2008

The View From The Cheap Seats by Jerry Hafferkamp

It has raised its ugly head again. Although the population of Missouri has rejected it, the purveyors of poverty feel that with the Republican majorities in the Missouri Senate and House, they have a good chance of imposing fraud on our citizenry.
What is this injustice? It is the infamous Right to Work for Less legislation.

The perpetrators of this fraud try to tell you they care about the poor, browbeaten worker that is “forced” to join a union in some areas of employment. No one forces this person to join a union and get decent wages and benefits. There are plenty of jobs they can have where the workers work for less and have no benefits. That’s their choice.

Rep. Steve Hunter ( R ) (naturally) of Jasper County, Missouri introduced this legislation. Here are a few stats that make me believe Mr. Hunter should do a 180 degrees turn in his thinking. In his home county, the median household income in 2004 was $7,962 below Missouri average. The per capita income was $3,709 below the state average in 1999. The persons living below poverty were at 17%, opposed to our state’s average of 13%.

Compare these figures with those of St. Charles County where there are large numbers of families benefiting from union wages and benefits. Our median household income was $23,696 above the state average in 2004. Our per capita income was $3,656 above the state average in 1999. St. Charles families living below the poverty level were at 5.4% as opposed to the state level of 13%.

I lived for a short time in Jasper County, and I can assure you that union jobs are few and far between there. Apparently their State Representative would like for all of Missouri to share the misery of the Jasper County residents. I guess if we all live in poverty, his district’s figures would look a lot better.

Being a lifelong Republican and former official in two unions, I wonder why the Republican Party continues this assault on union members. Most union members carry Republican values. More than you may realize vote Republican. Even more would if this assault on them were stopped. They believe in strong national security. They believe in the right to bear arms. They believe in less government control of their lives. And yes, they believe that executing innocent children whose only crime is that they haven’t escaped the womb is still murder.

Right to Work states have lower standards of living, fewer families with healthcare and more people living at below poverty levels. That is a fact. RTW states like Mississippi and Arkansas are prime areas for mobile home sales. Is there any wonder why? Workers can’t afford traditional homes on poverty wages.

The proponents of this legislation don’t give a damn about the poor little helpless worker as they claim. Their goal is to destroy unions so all workers live like the people do in the poverty-ridden Right to Work for Peanuts states. Most proponents were born with the proverbial “silver spoon” in their mouths

They long for the “good old days”. They would like nothing better than to sit on their verandas, sipping iced tea, counting their money and watching you and me pick their cotton.

That’s not just the view from the cheap seats, that’s a fact.