02.23.2011 0

How the Left Thinks

By Rick Manning

When faced with actual real cuts in their budgets, managers in either the private or public sector have some basic priority decisions to make.

Do you use these cuts as an opportunity to cut the average employees from your staff with the idea that when times are less lean, you can replace them with employees with a higher upside?

Do you evaluate programs and eliminate those that are not meeting expectations, contributing to the bottom line, or are simply “vanity” projects that fall into the want rather than need category?

Do you cut salaries and benefits across the board in an attempt to keep your staff intact, knowing that you might lose key personnel who leave because they have better offers or prospects for growth?

Do you lay off staff for a couple of weeks of unpaid furlough?

One option that few would consider would be shutting down your entire operation for almost two months, and then trying to restart from scratch after that length of time.

Yet, listening to the professional left react to the House passage of the Continuing Resolution, and the reaction of public employee unions in Wisconsin and elsewhere, you would think that this is the only alternative.

Shut down, doomsday, our indispensable jobs not being performed for a long time rather than setting priorities and funding needs over wants.

To demonstrate the point, the National Labor Relations Board announced that the $50 million cut they received in the House Continuing Resolution would mean they would have to shut down for 50 days. Of course, 176 House Republicans voted to defund the NLRB entirely, so the 50 days should seem reasonable in that light.

It is instructive that the fear mongering management style of the left never considers anything but the “shutdown solution,” in their attempts to rally people to continue the growth of government.

If the NLRB was managed like a business, they would use the $50 million in cuts to weed out the 20 percent poorest performers from their ranks, and narrow the focus of their efforts to only the most mission critical agenda items. But instead, they threaten a 50 day shutdown, because every staff member is equally valuable.

Of course, the reason the NLRB is facing this level of budget cut is because it is in classic liberal overreach mode, attempting at every turn to rejuvenate the Democratic base through creating a European style workplace. They aren’t pursuing this agenda because that is a model that works, but because it increases the power of Big Labor and the Democratic Party. So, naturally, a cut in their budget would be viewed as a direct assault on this power grab, which can only be met with the most extreme rhetoric.

To give an idea on why 176 Republicans voted to put the NLRB out of business entirely, just look at one case pending before the NLRB that threatens to overturn the Dana Corp. decision that provides for secret ballot union elections, and its ramifications for worker rights.

Under current law, if an employer and a union jointly agree to certify the union for the employees, those employees who were never consulted or voted on whether they wanted to be represented by that or any union, have the right to demand a union certification election. Seems like a reasonable approach to the law, since the imposition of a union on employees through some dubious agreement between the employer and a random union clearly violates those workers rights to self-determination in the workplace.

However, Big Labor objects and the NLRB is currently considering a case that would effectively take the employee choice out of the process, sticking them with a union that they might neither want nor need.

This paternalistic approach that pushes workers out of the union organizing process might be an ideal solution to Big Labor’s problem that they are being uniformly rejected by private sector workers across America, but it is hardly empowering the workers.

Upon further review, perhaps the NLRB shutting down for at least 50 days might be the best solution if they are going to continue rampaging against workers right to choose? It certainly makes the vote of the 176 House Republicans to shut them down completely understandable.

Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government and the former Public Affairs Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Labor.

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