Are unions bad? | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Are unions bad?

In American history the enemy of the union used to be called a Confederate, nowadays they seem more and more to be called Republicans. Is 'union' really such a bad word now in these "United" States?

I've worked in union shops, I've worked in non-union shops. There was always a clear choice when I applied, I never felt I didn't have a 'right to work' living in Minnesota and still don't. I see no reason for our state to adopt laws restricting the abilities unions have in negotiating for employee benefits. I also see no reason someone who benefits from unions shouldn't have to contribute something toward maintaining those benefits.

Some in the Republican party are seemingly attempting to push these anti-union measures because they see unions as a large political contributor for the Democratic party.

If the objection relates to union fees going toward political campaigns, I do concurr on that point, that practice should be discontinued. We should all lobby for congress to adopt common sense political campaign rules which prohibit unions, businesses, corporate entities or groups of any kind whatsoever from funding political parties or campaigns. Eliminate PACs completely. Eliminate inequity from our representation in government which has only seemingly been reinforced by decisions such as the Citizens United supreme court case.

In my opinion Citizens United got it completely wrong: Money is not the same as speech, for if that were the case, not all men are created equal. Following the Citizens United case logic, a billionaire trust fund baby enjoys much, much more freedom of speech than a general laborer who works every day of their life and barely gets by.

A person's union dues going toward a particular political party is just as wrong as a person's purchase of a non-political commodity from a particular store ending up supporting a particular political party. Both injustices must be resolved at the same time though, one can't eliminate just one while leaving the other untethered and unrestrained.

If the union boss, or the corporate CEO, or the laborer wants to support any given party, let them do so as an individual, with their own personal money and shared limitations.

Let our true political power in America be demonstrated with our individual vote, not how much money we can contribute. That way every individual would have an equal say over how we would be governed.

Instead of political parties and candidates running to unions, the Koch brothers or George Soros for funding, force them to gather funding and support directly from 'We the People', everyone they should be representing. Make all political contributions publicly reported and capped at a reasonable level so everyone can clearly see who's giving to whom and how much.

Do that, and we can get unions out of political funding entirely. I'm guessing union dues, 'fair share' contributions, and any trumped up controversy regarding unions would be decreased substantially as a result.

Maybe instead of concentrating on how to further divide America, we can come together and make our shared community a better place for all.