What if the NFL Played by Teachers' Union Rules?

Hall of Famer Quarterback Fran Tarkenton imagines what it would be like if the National Football League (NFL) adopted teacher's unions rules with regard to hiring. It's worth a read: Imagine the National Football League in an alternate reality. Each player's salary is based on how long he's been in the league. It's about tenure, not talent. The same scale is used for every player, no matter whether he's an All-Pro quarterback or the last man on the roster. For every year a player's been in this NFL, he gets a bump in pay. The only difference between Tom Brady and the worst player in the league is a few years of step increases. And if a player makes it through his third season, he can never be cut from the roster until he chooses to retire, except in the most extreme cases of misconduct. Let's face the truth about this alternate reality: The on-field product would steadily decline. Why bother playing harder or better and risk getting hurt? No matter how much money was poured into the league, it wouldn't get better. In fact, in many ways the disincentive to play harder or to try to stand out would be even stronger with more money. Of course, a few wild-eyed reformers might suggest the whole system was broken and needed revamping to reward better results, but the players union would refuse to budge and then demonize the reform advocates: "They hate football. They hate the players. They hate the fans." The only thing that might get done would be building bigger, more expensive stadiums and installing more state-of-the-art technology. But that just wouldn't help. If you haven't figured it out yet, the NFL in this alternate reality is the real -life American public education system. Teachers' salaries have no relation to whether teachers are actually good at their job—excellence isn't rewarded, and neither is extra effort. Pay is almost solely determined by how many years they've been teaching. That's it. After a teacher earns tenure, which is often essentially automatic, firing him or her becomes almost impossible, no matter how bad the performance might be. And if you criticize the system, you're demonized for hating teachers and not believing in our nation's children. Inflation-adjusted spending per student in the United States has nearly tripled since 1970. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, we spend more per student than any nation except Switzerland, with only middling results to show for it. These same misguided beliefs are front and center in President Obama's jobs plan, which includes billions for "public school modernization." The popular definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. We've been spending billions of dollars on school modernization for decades, and I suspect we could keep on doing it until the end of the world, without much in the way of academic results. The only beneficiaries are the teachers unions.Over the past 20 years, we've been told that a big part of the problem is crumbling schools—that with new buildings and computers in every classroom, everything would improve. But even though spending on facilities and equipment has more than doubled since 1989 (again adjusted for inflation), we're still not seeing results, and officials assume the answer is that we haven't spent enough.

It’s ‘Labor’ Day, Not ‘Union’ Day

National Right to Work President Mark Mix makes the critical distinction between "Labor Day" and "Union Day," a distinction that union bosses chose to ignore: By Mark Mix Most Americans realize that Labor Day is about celebrating workers, not union bosses, but that won’t stop Big Labor’s apologists from stealing to spotlight to demand more power. The fact is that modern unions are built on the legal privilege of compulsion. In 28 states without Right to Work laws, nonunion employees can be fired for refusing to pay union dues. Millions more nonunion workers have no choice but to accept union bargaining over their wages and working conditions. What’s more, union officials routinely funnel nonunion workers’ dues into political campaigns aimed at defending or expanding their already extensive special privileges. As legislators from Wisconsin to Ohio can attest, this perverse cycle has made it extremely difficult to roll back union bosses’ workplace powers. Big Labor thrives on a system of government-granted special privileges. But what do workers get out of this arrangement? According to union apologists, they’d be helpless without it. But the facts reveal a different story. Compulsory unionism makes union bosses unaccountable to rank-and-file workers, whose financial support is absolutely mandatory. After all, why should union officials bother with the hard work of representing employees if they’re sitting on a forced-dues revenue stream guaranteed by the government?

NLRB is Killing Jobs

The Wall Street Journal makes the point that the NLRB's reckless actions in the Boeing case is causing reverberations throughout the economy.  These decisions do not happen in a vacuum and affect investment decisions across the nation.  NLRB Wake Up! The National Association of Manufacturers asked its members last month how the National Labor Relations Board's decision against Boeing's Sourth Carolina plant case is affecting their decision-making. Some 60% said the government's case already has—or could—hurt hiring. Sixty-nine percent said the case would damage job growth. And 49% said capital expenditure plans "have been or may be impacted by the NLRB's complaint." Around 1,000 of the association's 11,000 members contributed to the survey. That's a lot of lost jobs. Some might dismiss these results as self-interested, or predictable given the general business distaste for regulation. But that ignores the role that confidence plays in reviving the animal spirits essential for economic growth. When CEOs or entrepreneurs fear political intervention that might impose higher costs, they are more reluctant to invest or to hire new employees. That's especially true when the economy is already growing slowly, or emerging from recession. The NLRB's assault on Boeing has been especially damaging because it violates what most Americans consider to be a core tenet of U.S. capitalism—the ability to move capital or business where you think it has the best chance of success. Boeing's executives are being punished for remarks they made long ago about strikes at their Washington plants.

On, Wisconsin

With teachers in Wisconsin having the ability to decline the payment of  forced union dues or fees, teacher union officials are reportedly laying off 40% of their staff.  The Wall Street Journal opines: The Battle of Wisconsin ended with a whimper on Tuesday as two Democrats facing recall elections for their roles in the fight over union reform hung on to their seats. Four of six Republicans up for recall did the same last week. After Greek-style protests in Madison, a judicial election and tens of millions of dollars spent, voters weren't in the mood for revenge after all. For all the hullabaloo, the great upheaval prophesied by the unions never came true. Republicans still control the state senate. The national unions went home. Badger State voters got a balanced budget without tax increases, and the spectacle of Democratic senators fleeing to Illinois to avoid a vote became an unpleasant memory. Life goes on. Since Governor Scott Walker's union reforms and budget legislation went into effect, school districts have saved money with competitive bids for their health-care plans. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the change will save Milwaukee some $25 million a year and as much as $36 million in 2012, more than compensating for the cuts in state aid to the city.

Forced-Unionism Issue Looms Large For 2012

Forced-Unionism Issue Looms Large For 2012

Right to Work Committee Begins Lobbying Presidential Hopefuls (Source: July 2011 NRTWC Newsletter) This summer, New Hampshire is the site of an extended battle over the Right to Work issue, as pro-Right to Work citizens seek to secure two-thirds majority votes in the state House and Senate to override Big Labor Gov. John Lynch's veto of legislation (H.B.474) prohibiting compulsory union dues and fees. Because Right to Work has been in the New Hampshire news since both chambers of the state's General Court approved H.B.474 earlier this year, WMUR-TV (ABC) news anchor Josh McElveen decided to bring up the issue at the June 13 GOP presidential debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. Mr. McElveen asked former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, one of the seven 2012 presidential hopefuls participating in the debate, whether he would, if elected, support "a federal Right to Work law." Mr. Pawlenty ignited the debate's longest and most enthusiastic round of applause with his response: "We live in the United States of America, and people shouldn't be forced to belong [to] or be a member in any organization, and the government has no business telling people what group you have to be a member of or not. "I support strongly Right to Work legislation."

Right To Work Committee Mobilizes Against NLRB Power Grab

Right To Work Committee Mobilizes Against NLRB Power Grab

If the Obama-selected top lawyer for the National Labor Relations Board gets his way, Boeing will have no real choice but to abandon a brand-new $2 billion plant and 1,000 good jobs in Right to Work South Carolina. Obama Bureaucrat Eager to Tell Businesses Where They May Expand (Source: June 2011 NRTWC Newsletter) Lafe Solomon, the man President Obama has selected to be the top lawyer for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), outraged millions of Americans across all regions of the country in April by asserting his agency has the prerogative, in many instances, to tell businesses where they may or may not expand. For decades, the NLRB has called the shots with regard to implementation of the National Labor Relations Act, the nation's principal federal labor law. The NLRA covers over 90% of private-sector businesses and front-line employees. The NLRB is thus, no doubt, powerful. Nevertheless, the claim of power by NLRB Acting General Counsel Solomon in his April 20 complaint filed to block Boeing from initiating a new aircraft production line in Right to Work South Carolina is remarkable. As economist Arthur Laffer and senior Wall Street Journal editorial page economics writer Stephen Moore noted in a pungent op-ed appearing in the Journal May 13, this is "the first time a federal agency has intervened to tell an American company where it can and cannot operate a [new] plant within the U.S." Well-informed apologists for compulsory unionism like New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse and former Clinton-appointed NLRB Chairman William Gould don't dispute that the Boeing complaint is, to quote Mr. Greenhouse, "highly unusual." Acting General Counsel: Sensible Business Decision Equals 'Anti-Union Animus'