Ivan W. Parkins
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About Ivan W. Parkins:
Dr. Parkins is a retired professor of Political Science from Central Michigan University. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago and is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. Dr. Parkins served as a naval officer during WWII aboard the battleship Alabama. He is a recent widower with three daughters, 3 grand children and 2 great grand children. Dr. Parkins has written extensively, having authored 3 books and a newspaper opinion column for many years.
On the Inside
In This Issue: UNIONS AND IMMIGRATION
►THE FUTURE :UNIONS AND AMERICA
►MORE ON UNIONS
►DID YOU KNOW
OF UNIONS AND AMERICA
A PERFECT PAIR– UNIONS AND GOVERNMENT
All you have to do is be quiet and don’t complain about higher taxes.
By Ivan W. Parkins
The past of American labor unions is mixed. No doubt they contributed to the demand for public health, safety and welfare advances of the past. There is also plentiful evidence of unions being involved in corruption and violence, both as victims and aggressors. None of that can be undone; nor should it be either emphasized or hidden.
The future of labor unions is dim; what is mainly at stake is the future of America. It is no accident that President Obama’s health and tax proposals have run into problems concerning some union people. Obama has emphasized “soaking the rich,” and by the standards of much of the public (me included), a considerable number of union people are rich. And many Americans wonder how that can be when they are not entertainment celebrities, corporate executives, bankers, or highly skilled professionals. Much of that mystery has to do with politics and the financing of politicians
The industrial history of America provides several examples of major industries that have become especially centralized and profitable; they have also yielded to unions long-term contracts regarding pay and benefits, especially retirement. But, as competition and new alternatives to their products appeared those industries have struggled or failed to fulfill their contracts with laborers. That is much of the story with railroads, steel, and automobiles. Foreign competition has been one factor, but new and better technologies are probably a larger one. In a world characterized by increasing foreign trade and technological advancement, unions are losing ground in most private employment. And, they seek government’s help in resisting change.
In the 1980s Smith-Corona became dominant in typewriters and related office machines. In the 1990s they declared bankruptcy. The day of computers had dawned.
When I studied public administration in the late 1940s, the common explanation was that, while government employees usually got more security and fringe benefits, private employment of the same kind usually paid better. Thanks especially to President Kennedy, we now have more unions among government workers. And now they get more pay as well as other benefits. It is a significant part of our financial crisis.
Now, government and unions, both averse to competition, can make a perfect pair, if most Americans will just be quiet and pay their higher taxes.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR, The Detroit News, 6/14/98
More on Unions
Rarely is the sad state of constitutional democracy in America more sharply exemplified than in the failure of Proposition 226 in California and in E.J. Dionne’s commentary on the same. (“Voters show no worries about unions,” June 7.)
Dionne contends that the union effort succeeded against “paycheck protection” because the “core point of its effort was true.” That is, the leaders of the Prop 226 movement were really seeking to put the political opponents at a financial disadvantage.
But, since when should enjoyment of a constitutional right in America depend upon the affirmative votes of a politically pure-hearted majority?
The Supreme Court has twice decided (in the Ellis and Beck cases) that political expenditures by unions of money from compulsory dues or fees, without the consent of the individual, were a violation of the constitutional rights of those individuals who disagreed politically.
Irrespective of the terms of labor statutes and contracts, can a check-off of dues or fees be legal when a substantial portion of the money is used in violation of a constitutional right?
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See the Beck Case for more information. Unions have found that “check offs” of political contributions from compulsory dues are essential to their existence. The issue remains very much alive, but is poorly publicized by journalists and little clarified by the National Labor Relations Board.
Some unions can exist as democratic organizations; most are simply Democrat.
LETTER TO THE
The Detroit News, 11/14/01
Regarding the proposed national ID card and The News’ Oct. 26 editorial, No to a National ID Card,” I believe that the card is an idea several decades overdue.
Advances in technology have erased much of our privacy. Most details of personal identity are now “public” to anyone with time, money, and will to investigate. The real issue is whether similar information should be made readily available to law enforcement.
There are, however, legal restrictions upon the use of such information. Most such restrictions have been discovered since World War II, and been declared by those who favor them to be traditional rights.
Only a secure and democratic society is likely to maximize our civil liberties.
MORE ON IMMIGRATION
Amnesty and a National Identification Device is needed
By Ivan W. Parkins
Two key areas of disagreement are standing in the way of any general settlement of America’s immigration policy. The first is mainly an attitude of the Right; the attitude that existing law must be applied strictly. The second is mainly an attitude of the Left; the attitude that some broad “privacy” concept protects persons from a need to identify themselves except in relatively few and specific circumstances.
Neither of those views is sound in my opinion. But Democrats, who have had very large advantages in Congress for more than half a century, have also needed the doctrinaire Right as a bogeyman to assure one large part of their own following of their intellectual and moral superiority. And, with their dominance in both education and journalism, they have had their way. Ill-enforced borders and a poorly managed immigration policy have not been disadvantageous to Democrats at election time.
Amnesty is a well established legal device for clearing matters that too numerous, complex, and socially divisive for settlement by ordinary legal procedures. Several Presidents, beginning with Washington, have used it, and sometimes to clear cases involving use of arms against the United States. It should be used now to clear, on generous terms, the large majority of immigration cases, and to facilitate law enforcement in the remainder.
To facilitate more effective enforcement of immigration law, as well as many other aspects of law and security; this country should have one national identification device that applies to all persons and is required for voting, claiming public benefits, and numerous other purposes.
If you pay well, they’ll supply it! America’s drug problem does not begin in Mexico. Mexico is as much a victim as a culprit in this matter.
DID YOU KNOW?
A.K.A. Parkins Points
By Ivan W. Parkins
…NOT ALL PARTIES
On August 1, 1946, in Athens TN, the local Sheriff, also known as Boss, took all ballot boxes into the court house, protected by scores of armed deputies. They were soon surrounded by hundreds of armed WWII veterans. After losing the porch of his “fortress” to dynamite, the sheriff surrendered. A veterans’ slate won the election and not much more that was newsworthy happened.
…….. According to Wikipedia, a March 2009 atmospheric measure of CO˛ showed 387 parts per million (p.p.m). At 10,000 p.p.m. people get drowsy. At 70,000 to 100,000 they get ill or die. 10,000 p.p.m. can be reached in a poorly ventilated auditorium.
….. At the time that Congress ordered a halt to all financial, air, and military equipment support to our allies in South Vietnam, it appeared the South Vietnamese were successfully and willingly holding off the attacks of the Communists, without support from American ground forces.
….Both of the major presidential impeachment efforts of recent Congresses, Nixon’s and Clinton’s, were subsequently denounced as improper in books by the Chief Investigative Counsels chosen by the House Judiciary Committees to pursue them—and those Chief Investigators were both Democrats. In Nixon’s case the charges were drawn by the Judiciary Committee in such a way as to exclude evidence of any similar behaviors by earlier Presidents; in Clinton’s case they were drawn so as to exclude Clinton’s most obviously official and illegal acts, grants of citizenship to persons not eligible and severe campaign finance violations.
….. Since the Korean War, the trend of military spending, as a portion of this nation’s gross domestic product , has been downward to a little less than half of what it was in 1951-52. Meanwhile, spending for education, health, and other welfare have all taken increasing portions, and together have taken much more than spending for defense.
…..One hasty act of the Environmental Protection Agency, joining with the World Health Organization in the ban on DDT, resulted in more deaths (of Blacks from malaria) than all the deaths from all ethnic conflicts and American military engagements in our nation’s history.