Remember when the AFL stood for worker’s rights? No, no, no. I’m not talking about the American Football League! I’m talking about the American Federation of Labor. Then it was a federation of trade unions organized in 1886 and was a body designed to protect the common interests of workers.
So my question is, since when did THE GOVERNMENT decide it is incumbent upon government to take the lead in this front?
When I was young, I was lucky enough to work for a union plumber from Pacific Beach. He paid union wages which, back in the late 60s amounted to big bucks. Daddy Doc Bucks is what my friends, not so lucky to work for union plumbers, called me.
After a long period of education, I created a janitorial contracting company. I hired employees, trained them to perform semiskilled operations for which I offered a flat rate of pay which, when performed as trained, would equal $10.00 per hour. That was back in the mid 80s which when adjusted for inflation would buy you about $20.00 per hour worth of stuff.
I ran the business for about 10 years and each year the government became more and more intrusive about my business. It levied new taxes and expected me to administer their new programs and turn over to them these tax based revenues without deducting for my time to administer their mandated programs, for the good of the workers. As a result, I was unable to afford to give my semiskilled workers the raises I would have preferred to give.
In due time, competitors who hired semi legal emigrants, worked them to death and paid substandard wages so vastly undermined my companies ability to compete that I had to shut that business down. At that time I employed about 100 workers each year and they made a great income which all went away thanks to my government dictating what I had to do to satisfy the demands of my government.
Now government wants to demand business toe their mark on a front which used to be left to the demands of workers themselves, which was brought about through negotiated deals between labor representatives and the companies which hire them.
When did big government become my brother’s keeper? Thank God for big government or I’d have no health insurance; no holidays; no vacations; and no living wage.
Obviously unions are no longer trending, but I just find it hard to swallow the idea that government can do IT better.