Who Owns the California State Legislature?

There is only one answer to this question: Public sector unions. Anyone who argues otherwise is either misinformed or has a personal or professional motivation to delude themselves and others.

Before offering evidence of the financial power of public sector unions, consider the power these unions wield that is not explicitly financial. These unions operate the machinery of government, with everything that implies.

Public sector union members staff the countless local, regional and state bureaucracies that businesses depend on to obtain building permits and business permits. Among the functions of these bureaucracies is the power to enforce regulations, review mandatory reports from businesses, and conduct inspections. It only takes a few union zealots within these bureaucracies to decide to target any business that contributes to a politician or a cause that the union opposes.

The teachers union influences – many would say they control – what is taught in public schools. This means their political ideology and political agenda is marketed to children from kindergarten all the way through 12th grade and into public colleges and universities. Throughout their childhood and youth, California’s public school students are indoctrinated to support public sector unions and the political agenda they promote.

Make no mistake about the nature of the public sector union political agenda; it is inherently leftist. The bigger and more intrusive government becomes, the more unionized government workers are hired, and the more membership dues these unions collect.

The union influence is perennial. Politicians may oversee the administrative apparatus of […] Read More

The Union Card

Until a few years ago, corporate political influence in the United States was balanced between those promoting a progressive, green agenda, and those still staying away from social equity issues while continuing to lobby for conventional energy policies. But the incredible wealth amassed by high tech companies over the past few years, all of them progressive and green, has completely overwhelmed that balance. America’s corporate establishment has now joined with the financial, academic, media, and government bureaucracies, to unequivocally support progressive politics.

Writing for the trade publication Natural Gas Now, Heartland Institute scholar and author Ronald Stein had this to say about the emerging “Environmental, Social and Governance” ethos that is sweeping through the business and government elites in the Western world:

“Allowing banks and investment giants such as BlackRock, led by CEO Larry Fink to collude to reshape economies and energy infrastructure is a very dangerous precedent. Their movement promotes the idea of a forcibly monolithic, regimented nation under the control of the investment community. It is scarily beginning to resemble the fascism that dominated the media in the past. The American people never voted to give banks this sort of control over our country.”

According to statistics kept by the St. Louis Federal Reserve, in 2021, 32 percent of the wealth in the U.S. was held by one percent of the population, while the bottom 50 percent of U.S. residents only held two percent of all U.S. wealth. This sort of distribution of wealth is not […] Read More

How Unions Could Save America

The general perception within Conservatism, Inc. and libertarian circles is that collective bargaining is a violation of the right of the individual to seek work without being compelled to join a union. That sounds good in principle, but there’s much more to the story.

A few years ago, the workers at a local grocery store chain in California went on strike. The reason they voted to strike was that management had implemented a new policy whereby most of the employees, including full-time career workers, had their hours reduced to fewer than 25 hours per week. At the same time, these employees had their health coverage taken away.

It’s easy enough here to simply proclaim that this is the free market working for the greater good. After all, consider the Walmart chain. By sourcing most of its merchandise from overseas, exploiting economies of scale, and offering minimal pay and benefits, consumers are able to purchase food and other goods at prices far lower than a local, unionized grocery store chain could possibly achieve. Survival of the fittest. Economic Darwinism. Creative destruction. What could possibly go wrong?

But when you talk with the people who decided to go on strike, the other side of the story becomes obvious. Not everybody is a freelance gig whiz who can move to a low-cost city while writing code at $100+ per hour to service clients all over the world. Some people just want to do an honest day’s work, earn enough to support a family, […] Read More

Biden’s Union Agenda Betrays American Workers

The consequences of Democrat control of Congress and the White House are just beginning to be felt, as one of the most disruptive pieces of legislation in American history quietly moves from the House of Representatives to the Senate, where only a successful filibuster may prevent its passage. The “Protect the Right to Organize,” or “PRO Act,” goes a long way towards completing America’s transition into a corporate oligarchy. Because it will also make the elite captains of Big Labor more powerful than ever, they don’t care.

The PRO Act, like the more visible H.R. 1, is an example of disastrous legislation that is packaged and labeled as advancing the interests of the American people, when in fact they are designed by special interests to destroy democracy and deny upward mobility. The overall theme is simple and tragic: in America, big labor, big business, and big government no longer engage in healthy conflict. Rather than checking and balancing each other, on the biggest issues they display a corrupt unity.

Here are some of the provisions of H.R. 842, the PRO Act:

1 – Eliminates the secret ballot in union elections, replacing it with “card check.” In this new system, employers would be compelled to give unions the personal information about their employees, including their phone numbers and home addresses. Union operatives could then approach these workers, repeatedly, attempting to get them to sign a card approving unionization. Once signed cards were collected from a majority of […] Read More

Tom Steyer Proposes to Triple the Minimum Wage

Usually when billionaires run for political office, it is reasonable to expect they have a basic understanding of economics. In the case of presidential candidate Tom Steyer, however, one cannot make that leap of faith. Either Steyer has no understanding of economics whatsoever, which is extremely unlikely, or he does and does not care, or he is a pandering liar.

On February 9, speaking in South Carolina, Steyer said “he would call for a $22 per hour minimum wage if elected president.” This ups the ante on Steyer’s competitors in the Democratic presidential primary race, who are calling for an increase to $17 per hour.

Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. If Tom Steyer were president, that rate would triple. Examining the consequences of such a move brings into sharp focus the dangerous absurdity of Democrat proposals. It offers additional reasons to vote for Republicans not necessarily because they are Republicans, but because they are not Democrats.

Shown on the chart below is the history of the federal minimum wage since it was first established in 1938. The first column shows the actual, nominal, minimum wage in each year the amount was raised. The middle column displays the consumer price index in each of those years. The column on the right then calculates what the minimum wage was historically, if expressed in 2019 inflation adjusted dollars.

As can be seen, if the minimum wage set back in 1938, 25 cents per hour, were expressed in inflation […] Read More

Contrasting Environmentalism & Unions

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a man who always stood up for the worker, once made this very contrarian statement “I would continue where others have stopped, and I would rise when others sleep.” This is an inspiring explanation of the moral worth of polemics, or being contrarian for its own sake. Because not only are polemics a potentially pointless, occasionally perilous game, tolerating the polemicist is the only reason we have political freedom. One might also add that indulging contrarian thought is the only way we preserve a glimmer of truth, during every time our world is seized with misplaced monolithic zeal, and consequently, nurturing the contrarian is a way civilization can better adapt and embrace disruptive and productive innovations and more quickly evolve. So how would workers or contrarians view our latest global panic, the war on CO2 emissions? In considering this question, the differences between unions, who care about workers, and environmentalists, who care about nature, become quite interesting.

Global warming policies and environmentalist policies in general are only in part about global warming or environmentalism, they are more generally about to what extent we redesign our government to give more rights to government and fewer rights to individual property owners. Environmentalists claim their policies benefit the economy, but one might just as easily argue that is not only false, but dangerously false. In the name of environmentalism we are not simply slowing our economy down, we are failing to develop and maintain infrastructure necessary to avoid natural disasters. […] Read More