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Unions: The new barbarians

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by Matthew Patterson on October 13, 2011

in featured, Government Employee Unions, State and Local, Union Politics and Transparency

The Washington Times

In a recent address to a union rally in Ohio, Vice President Joseph R. Biden underscored the threat to organized labor posed by the wave of collective bargaining-reform legislation sweeping the country, spearheaded by governors like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Ohio’s John Kasich.

“This is a fight for the existence of organized labor,” said Mr. Biden. “You are the only ones who can stop the barbarians at the gate!”

Mr. Biden’s use of “barbarian” to describe politicians – of both parties – who have come to realize that decades of union-negotiated public-employee contracts are bankrupting cities, states and whole sectors of the federal government (the U.S. Postal Service, for example) is quite interesting. The word conjures up images of Gothic hordes laying waste to Roman civilization, plunging the world into the Dark Ages. Given that government employees now comprise the majority of union members in the United States, public-sector unions form the core of the “civilization” Mr. Biden calls to defend. The reality is actually the opposite.


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