Monday, March 28, 2011

The (Public) Union Label

Important release from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees!

As part of an ongoing effort to build the alliance of Ohioans opposing the bill that would strip public service workers of their bargaining rights, AFSCME members are holding a series of eight press events around the state in conjunction with a group of small businesses who are part of Proud Ohio Workers.

Sounds bad for Senate Bill 5, small businesses rallying to the unionized government employees’ cause and all. Until you read the sales pitch at the Proud Ohio Workers site:

The Proud Ohio Worker program was created to allow merchants across the state to show that they recognize public employee support for their shops. We are asking merchants to show their support in return for public employees by affixing our sticker to a window in the front of their store.

Union bosses: your operation is already a racket by any reasonable definition. Hounding businesses to display your colors – with the unspoken threat to boycott or demonize owners who don’t comply – may not be the best way to win believers to your cause.

Then again, I’m sure AFSCME honchos have considered how this looks and think it’s a winning proposition. After all, they pay themselves handsomely for theatrics like this, and are masters at portraying blackmail as “solidarity.”

Proud Ohio Workers wants to ensure that small shops all across Ohio will remain open. If public employee wages are reduced and jobs are cut, local businesses will suffer. Supporting the creation and retention of good paying middle class jobs is good for local economies.

The broken window fallacy again?! Stossel, give these numbskulls an economics lesson:

Public employee salaries don’t just appear, and dollars don’t grow more valuable each time the government forcibly relocates ‘em. Before public employees can spend their pay at “small shops across Ohio,” it must be extracted from Ohio taxpayers. The vital difference is that unionized public employees spend their pay after the union has taken its cut.

Like union members themselves, business owners are props in a farce that enriches professional agitators and kicks taxpayer money back to Democrats. Senate Bill 5 will return some power to taxpaying Ohioans… and that’s an indignity the unions will not tolerate.


These poor, downtrodden AFSCME leaders did ok for themselves (with member dues) in fiscal 2009:

  • Joseph Rugola, OAPSE Executive Director: $216,939
  • Gary Martin, OAPSE Associate Director: $200,163
  • Charles Roginski, OAPSE Regional Director: $164,239
  • John Lyall, AFSCME Council 8 President: $155,482
  • Andy Douglas, OCSEA Executive Director: $151,392

They also gave boatloads of member dues to their political party of choice. Guess which one that is!

  • AFSCME Local 4 spent $2,848,216.25 on Democrats from 2001-2010 (while giving $250.00, or 0.009% of the Democrat contributions, to the GOP)
  • AFSCME Local 11 spent $1,054,561.42 on Democrats from 2001-2010 (while giving $41,000.00, or 3.89% of the Democrat contributions, to the GOP)
  • AFSCME Council 8 spent $625,591.20 on Democrats from 2001-2010 (while giving $250.00, or 0.04% of the Democrat contributions, to the GOP)

Whatever good is done by the AFSCME happens at the local level; AFSCME leadership is flagrantly partisan, representing leftist interests regardless of members’ political leanings.

The Ohio Education Association’s spending and talking points tell the same story.

Cross-posted at that hero and Columbus Tea Party.


  1. A boycott is only as effective as the popular support behind it. There's a reason that the right can get more people for a rally for vouchers and not SB 5. It's because there's very little support for SB 5.

    When I was in Columbus, I've seen business run anti-SB 5 specials for the protestors. I've yet to see a business run a pro-SB 5. Union folks are permitted to support the businesses that support them.

    I don't recall you calling the Tea Party a racket when the Dayton Tea Party attempted the exact same thing (except in their system, they got a cut of the sales)

  2. Stossel demonstrates his sheer ignorance when he abuses the broken window fallacy to apply to infrastructure. And you miss the major caveat at the end, when government spending raising the standard of living, the fallacy doesn't apply.

    It's been long held by mainstream economists that government has a litigimate and helpful economic role in creating wealth in promoting education, job training, and infrastructure to make the shipment of goods effective and efficients, such as the Interstate Highway System or GI Bill.

  3. The broken window fallacy actually is more addressed to government policies like JobsOhio, than building roads and improving infrastructure.

    So, where's the broken window fallacy=JobsOhio post?

  4. @Modern - I get it, you hate SB 5 because you love government unions. That's understandable since government unions take money from everyone to support leftist causes. Still, comparing public employee salaries and benefits to the Interstate Highway System is a stretch even for a Progressive such as yourself.

    I didn't know about the Dayton Tea Party doing anything like what I described here, which is why I didn't comment on it. Plus I don't much care if the Dayton Tea Party does something silly, because they AREN'T funded by my tax dollars. Pesky detail, that.

  5. Way not to address a single point by simply making meaningless distinctions on minor points.

    You love SB 5 because you're convinced they fund leftist causes, and without them they'd be no leftist causes. It's not about the budget or management flexibility.

    You cite Strossel except you miss the point that Strossel misapplies the broken window fallacy in areas of gov't spending mainstream economist don't apply it to: like infrastructure.

    The Strossel clip isn't about public unions at all.


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