Given the recent post about CalPERS, now is a good time to remind WC readers that the word "Soviet" means "council" (or "Union") in Russian. Soviets were groups of workers' representatives in Russia. Basically, they were unions. They were even "unions of unions" (kinda like the AFL-CIO). The various "Soviets" steadily gained power in Russia in the early 1900's, and then they executed the 1917 Communist Revolution.
The Soviet Union was a government created by the Unions, of the Unions, and for the Unions. Now you might see why it was called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It was a "Union of Soviets", a "Union of Unions", in a way. Lenin specifically included the word "Soviet" into the very name of the nation of which he had just taken control for the purpose of honoring the contributions of the Soviets and reminding the citizens that the Soviets were a central part of the new government itself.
Now, a regular union's purpose is to protect its members from the ownership of the company they work for. That's fine and dandy. But let's ask ourselves; who are the Public Employee Unions protecting their members from? Who "owns" the U.S. government (all obvious jokes aside here)? The citizens of America, is the answer! Public Employee Unions are protecting their members from the citizens, from us! So every time the Public Employee Unions demand fulfillment of unreasonable pension promises despite a state being tens of billions of dollars in debt, they are acting in a way that is totally contrary to the interest of the people, who in theory, own and run their government and are supposed to be able to make their own laws (via our representatives). When the Public Employee Unions actively prevent the people from making their own laws (As they have in Oregon, for instance, when they refused to go along with tax cuts that the people wanted), they are blocking and nullifying the main purpose of our democratic-republic form of government! They are blocking the people from making their own laws! This is a form of tyranny, because the people no longer have the ability to decide their own destiny. See, we, the citizens are "the sovereign" of this nation, not Public Employee Unions! We have the right to write our own laws! And there is no entity that can prevent us from doing so, other than the Constitution itself, which, as the sovereign, we could amend if we wanted. We are not supposed to have to answer to a Union before we decide how we want to spend our money.
Here's another way of describing the important distinction between a regular Union and a Public Employees' Union. If a regular Union has a dispute with ownership, it can seek recourse from the highest power, which is the sovereign. The sovereign (which is the people) ultimately has the power to decide the matter, usually basing their decisions on laws they themselves passed via their representatives. But when a Public Employees' Union has a dispute, then simply because of the fact that their employer is the people themselves, the Public Employees' Union's dispute is with the sovereign itself. And when the Public Employees' Union refuses to budge, refuses to negotiate in good faith, it is damaging the sovereign itself. That is why the Public Employees' Unions represent a kind of perversion of the central, foundational purpose of our government; self-rule. There is no reason why the highest power in the land, the sovereign, should allow itself to be bullied and robbed by any other entity.
When JFK allowed public employee unions to exist, he allowed what was essentially the beginning of our own American version of "soviets". Public Employee Unions, like the SEIU, are essentially in control of vast tracts of our government, in a way that has "Sealed off" the input and decision-making power of the citizens, the rightful sovereign. Public Employee Unions are basically "Soviets", operating within our government, with agendas and goals that do not take into account the interests of the sovereign, the citizens, who happen to be their paymasters, too.
When the SEIU ends up with the power to dictate policy, and how our money is spent, regardless of what the citizens want, we are closer to a Soviet style government system than most people might ever realize. I don't say that in a thoughtlessly inflammatory way, only as a means of comparing forms of government. When Unions actually run a government, it's reasonable to compare that government to that of the USSR. Look at the CalPERS situation, at the SEIU's recent actions in Oregan, at the proposed $50 billion bailout for SEIU-affiliated employees (for Teachers Unions, etc) that the President has asked for, and ask yourself whether the SEIU has ended up with the power to dictate policy. The only realistic answer is yes. If one understands the structure of systems, and how the elements of any given system work together towards a goal, then one can recognize the uneasy truth of the situation we, the people, have allowed to develop. We have allowed a significant part of our government become "Soviet-ized". And it's going to take an amazing effort to reverse this situation. In that respect, we are up against an enormous challenge that not many people even recognize yet as an acute problem. The SEIU has only about 2 million members, yet their political power has become gigantic. The President himself has even said that his entire life's work has been dedicated to the SEIU, and that "the SEIU's agenda is my agenda", and that he will be the one who can push the SEIU's agenda through in Washington, D.C.
The SEIU is an American-style "Soviet". And the Progressives in our government do, indeed mean for it to function that way. They just gave it a different name, in English, not Russian. And as simple as that, we don't recognize what it is. But it's role in the operation of our government is very similar to the role the Soviets (the Unions of Unions) played leading up to the Revolution. I'm not saying any Revolution is going to happen. But if the American people don't ever notice and realize how our governmental "cogs" and structures are now arranged and operating in ways that are eerily similar, in certain key respects, to that of the USSR, then there will be no need for a Revolution. It will have happened over a long period of time, and without a ripple.
Take one look around the nation and you will see that Public Employee Unions have devastated State after State with their one-sided, abusive demands of the citizens themselves. CA, IL, NY, MI. The list goes on and on. The SEIU and all of its sub-unions has been sowing the seeds of financial collapse in every state in which they've been given power (by those legislatures in most cases). And Federally, the story is the same. We are in serious financial trouble in this nation, and the SEIU is one easily identifiable entity that is working against the public interest at every turn. Therefore, we need to fight them at every turn. We need to cut off their power. We need to refuse to go along with their destructive demands. We need to reaffirm our very sovereignty and tell the SEIU that it is fully in our power to decide that we no longer want to pay for their bloated pensions, even though we might have signed some contract 15 years ago, or so. When the people decide to break public contracts that are killing their prosperity and putting generations of citizens in debt, they are well within their sovereign rights. We have a duty to act in our own self-interest. -Sic Ibid
Body Count goes to Vegas! Ernest Scherer III was a Vegas loser who fancied himself a professional poker player. Doesn't that photo tell ...
UPDATE: Edited to remove the guy's name. I hope nobody harasses him or his employer. He was good-natured and his sign was innocuous a...
Despite the awesome bull market this year, CalPERS again missed its return target, earning only 5.8% vs. its required 6.8%. CalPERS has mi...