Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Modern Parable

I read the following posted on Facebook today...

"A public union employee, a tea party activist, and a CEO are sitting at a table with a plate of a dozen cookies in the middle of it.

The CEO takes 11 cookies, turns to the tea partier and says, 'Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie.' "
There are several versions of this floating around the Internet, so I don't know its author.

The Republican Governor of Wisconsin's proposal to strip public sector unions of most collective bargaining rights was approved last Friday by the Wisconsin Assembly. 

Everyone by now understands that we are facing huge budget deficits across the United States.  Everyone understands that we have to make reductions in spending.  The trick is making the cuts that will do the least harm and maintain essential services.  Using this budget crisis to abolish workers' rights is unprincipled and dishonorable. 

I am tired of the anti-union rhetoric, but I am also tired of extreme positions on both sides of the issue.  Tea party members and Republicans are not the only ones who recognize that we need to get our budgets under control.  The only way we can resolve the differences is not by heavy handed proclamations, but by respecting each other, finding common ground, and making compromises.

It's another one of those lessons from kindergarten...nobody gets cookies unless you have enough for everyone!


  1. People have forgotten how important the Unions have been to the quality of life in America -- the western world. I've never belonged to a Union myself, however, I know that the reasonable pay and the middle class living conditions I enjoy are due in large part to the work that Unions did to improve working conditions, pay, and much more for all working people. They may have over-reached themselves in the past, however, they are a vital part of insuring that working people are protected.

  2. Being from Wisconsin, you are so on! You have to know though this is not about the public workers and their concessions. They are willing to pay more for insurance and retirement. The issue is giving up their bargining power. Scott Walker with the backing of the Koch brothers, is taking the first step in breaking unions in Wisconsin. And there is a line item in the bill that the govenor can sell our utility companies to anyone he chooses, with out getting the traditional 3 sealed bid process. The Koch boys are big into energy. Go figure.

  3. Your last line is wonderful, no cookies until everyone has cookies. A very good post.

  4. Well, all I know is, I WANT A COOKIE!

  5. Amen, sister! Well said. Those who have power grab the cookies.

  6. Well-stated! The cookie monsters need to look in the mirror!

  7. So much would be better if everyone remembered the rules they were taught in grade school, or just followed the golden rule. It's pretty simple - and apparently very difficult.

    It seems there are too many people who don't know how unions came to be in the first place - the deplorable work conditions that made them necessary.


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