06 Aug 2011

Ridiculous Unionization Rules and Rural Airports Illustrate the Insane New Normal

Thousands of jobs pointlessly taken out of the job market for two weeks and hundreds of millions in lost fees at a time when the government should be pinching pennies and maximizing revenue, but what are the two parties doing?

They’re on vacation, and holding up and agreement on long term funding for the Federal Aviation Administration over two absurd stances they have so far refused to budge on, again doing precisely the sort of thing the American people overwhelmingly has said they don’t want them to do on contentious issues like the debt ceiling.

The Republicans have gone so far into right field that they are now willing to undermine the rights of workers to use their vote as they see fit, in an effort to weaken unions. They want to make it so a worker who chooses to abstain from a unionization vote in their workplace would be automatically counted as a no vote. This is right up there with Paul Ryan’s right wing budget as far as how cartoonishly extreme it is.

There are some complicated issues involving unionization laws, to be sure, but one aspect of the whole process of unionization that isn’t unclear at all is that the workers should have the right to use their vote as they see fit. It’s their vote, and if they decide to abstain, that choice should be respected – period, end of story.

Saying anything else could hardly be more hyperpartisan (much like the Democrats’ failed attempt to pass their card check law a couple years back), and it’s no more absurd to suggest that an abstention should be counted as a yes vote than it is to say it should be automatically counted as a no.

The Democrats’ unwavering support for government subsidization of rural airports is just as perplexing. We know that the GOP has been going off the deep end on issues involving unions over the last few years, but why the Democrats don’t see, or don’t seem to care about, the obvious contradictory position of being against corporate subsidies, while turning around and supporting a subsidy like this that largely just makes it cheaper for private and corporate aviation to use rural airfields… it just doesn’t make logical sense.

It also doesn’t make sense to subsidize rural airports in the first place. There is no right to air travel, much less air travel within a certain range of your home. If a consumer looking at their travel options wants the convenience of flying out of a local airport rather than driving to a bigger city’s airport, then they should have to pay for that luxery, not expect taxpayers all over the country to make it so they can fly on a plane with only a handful of people on it and pay an amount similar to what a much bigger and more full flight would cost them.

It’s just this kind of entitled thinking that has led to so much overspending. Everyone has their pet ideas that they think the magically bottomless pot of money in Washington should have to pay for, and politicians are more than willing to make them believe that they can give them what they want without costing anything more, send the bill for it to future generations and collect the votes they bought by chipping away at our kids’ futures.

Is this the new norm? The two major parties stopping major government agencies from doing their jobs (among a range of other problems this is causing), just because they can’t compromise on pet issues? Probably not… it’ll probably keep getting worse, and we’ll look back at this as if it were the ‘good days’.

Author Details
After a few years of blogging on other sites, Solomon launched ‘Rise of the Center’ – the precursor to Uniters.org, leading to a number of interviews and freelance opportunities, most notably covering the 2012 election cycle on WNYC.org – the website for the largest NPR station in the country, in New York City – and reported from the floor of the 2012 Democratic & Republican National Conventions. After a hiatus from politics, the horrific circus of the 2016 election, and more generally increasing extremism and corruption, brought him back to this project.
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After a few years of blogging on other sites, Solomon launched ‘Rise of the Center’ – the precursor to Uniters.org, leading to a number of interviews and freelance opportunities, most notably covering the 2012 election cycle on WNYC.org – the website for the largest NPR station in the country, in New York City – and reported from the floor of the 2012 Democratic & Republican National Conventions. After a hiatus from politics, the horrific circus of the 2016 election, and more generally increasing extremism and corruption, brought him back to this project.
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