You know what a parasite is, don't you? In common usage you probably do, but I think a quick lesson in biology is in order, because I use the term in a particular and specific way, and I use it to describe unions in America.
But first, today's example of why unions are the disease-ridden tapeworms that parasitize and infect America, and why Card Check should never be allowed to see the light of day anytime, anywhere. The New York Post reports today that the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades local organizers set up a 12-foot tall inflatable rat outside St. Monica's Catholic Church to protest the use of non-union painters.
Jack Kittle, the union's political director, said the action wasn't targeting the church, but was focused on the company hired to paint the inside of the sanctuary. But then he launched into a blistering attack on the Archdiocese of New York.
"The archdiocese is not interested in doing things the right way. We tried discussing it with them. They're digging in their heels and they want to do this wrong," Kittle said.
"They can't hide behind the robes they wear and exploit workers. That's why the rat was there," he fumed.
On that note, let's talk about parasites.
This is grossly oversimplified, so work with me and draw the lessons without looking for all the exceptions to the rules, and thinking about sorta-kinda-inbetweeners and all that, kay? A slightly more serious non-technical treatment is here for the curious. The standard arrangement in the non-vegetarian portion of the animal kingdom is that you either eat what you kill (or your group killed) or eat what you scavenge. Somebody dies, somebody else gets a meal out of it. Some animals, though, draw their livelihood from other species in ways that do not kill them.
There are two kinds of these animals: symbionts and parasites. A symbiotic relationship provides benefit to both parties, so that we don't always consider one a taker and the other a victim. The human body hosts a number of symbiotic bacteria that do wonderful things in helping us digest food (remember, eat yogurt after taking an antibiotic series). Certain birds get their meals by doing toothpick duty for crocodiles. Clownfish live safely among the tentacles of anemones. With their bright colors they lure predators in, which the anemone then kills and eats. Everybody wins. The plant kingdom makes great use of partnerships with animals for pollination.
I like "everybody wins".
Parasites, however, are just users. You know them. Ticks, tapeworms, leeches. They siphon off the work of others and contribute nothing. In a purely biological sense, there's no morality, and that way of making a living is just as good as any other. After all, a successful parasite does not kill its host. Think about that. If a parasite absorbs so much of its host's sustenance that the host dies or is severely debilitated, the parasite suffers or dies along with the host. So the mathematical question for a parasite is this: how much can I take from my host without so seriously harming him that he can't sufficiently provide for me?
Which brings the conversation back to unions, and to the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, District Council 9 in New York City. I saw their mouths moving. Something about "safe working conditions". But what I heard was "hire us, or else."
Union workers said they are paid $38 an hour. With benefits, the hourly cost of a union painter is $53 -- about twice what they say non-union workers earn, mostly without benefits...archdiocese...spokesman Joseph Zwilling said the church has the option to choose between union and non-union workers. Zwilling said the painting inside St. Monica's is being done on a very limited budget and is being paid for by church fund-raising.
In a free market, companies sell products and/or services, usually with competition. Consumers sort out features, prices, and various tangibles and intangibles, and buy from whom they choose to do business. This competition forces providers to bring their A game - to provide the best benefits at a cost that provides them a profit but is priced attractively for the consumer. This encourages efficiency, the hiring and retaining of productive employees at wages that also compete on the open market. [one instantly sees, I hope, why socialism does not work, why government-run programs inherently stink, and why government-run health care is an epic exercise in immorality]
A trade union pulling a stunt like this inflatable rat to punish and/or intimidate a consumer who chose its competitor - that is dirty and low. It is oppression. It is, in point of fact, un-American. Their interest in providing excellence is questionable (to be generous), otherwise one would expect they'd be at the office trying to figure out how to attract more business by improving their own product.
So, what does this say about Card Check? This rat stunt is just one thing. The SEIU thugs in St Louis, great big brutes with the letters SEIU proudly emblazoned on their chests, were sent to intimidate. The 20th-century history of America teems with examples of organized crime and electoral fraud associated with unions. And all of the above are woven inextricably into the fabric of the Democrat Party.
Do you know what Card Check is? It's already legal in states already infested with strong unionism, and Democrats want to make it the law of the land. Short version: currently if some of the employees of a company want to organize into a union, they hold an election with a private ballot, so that employees can vote with nobody knowing who voted which way. If >50% want a union, they can form one.
Card check means this. The organizers create a list, which individual employees sign if they wish to form a union. If >50% of employees sign, a union is formed. Did you notice something? If I do not sign, local union organizers know that I did not sign. They also know where I live. They know where my wife works, and where my kids go to school. You saw the big thugs that beat up the St Louis guy, right? Complete the blanks yourself.
Card Check is a huge, huge priority for Democrats, so they can turn America into great big unions that extort companies and consumers, collect dues, and beat up people who don't agree with them politically. It's really that simple.