“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force” – George Washington, 1st American President
Last week I had the opportunity to speak on the Iowa House floor regarding bill 2420, which is “an act concerning public employee bargaining, allowing reasonable reimbursement for employee organization services”. It requires non-members of the public employee union to reimburse the union for their bargaining and grievance services, whether they asked for them or not. Since this bill violates the First Amendment of the US Constitution, I went to speak against the bill. As I was one of the last to speak, I ended up amending my speech based on what others had said. Here it is:
“Greetings ladies and gentlemen, my name is [name deleted] and I am here to speak against House File 2420. I do so for one main reason: it is unconstitutional. The very idea of forcing one person to pay money to an association they did not choose to join, for services they did not request, is an abridgement of the right to freedom of assembly guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Constitution. In Roberts v. U.S. Jaycees, the US Supreme Court Majority opinion held that ‘freedom of association plainly presupposes a freedom not to associate’.”
As to the other Supreme Court case cited by previous speakers, where they stated that unions are required to bargain for non-members: this is only in the case where the unions are [recognized by the state] as the SOLE bargaining representative for workers in a particular group. So, how do we solve this issue? There is a common sense solution here, and you do not have to trample on the Constitution to find it.
1. Pass legislation to relieve the unions from the financial burden of having to represent non-members
2. Take away the requirement that they be the sole recognized bargaining power for individual employees
Compulsory reimbursement violates one of the core principles and fundamentals of human liberty: freedom of choice.”
Why is it that the first knee-jerk reaction the government has to solve a problem – that they created – is to take away more of our liberties? You cannot give more rights (or money) to one group without taking away some of the rights (or money) from another group. That is not the definition of fairness – that is the definition of tyranny.
Last week I wrote about how honor is lacking in our government, and how we need to expect our leaders to live lives with integrity. Well my dear readers, we too must learn to live our lives with integrity. If corporations treated workers with respect, would there be a need for unions? And what if a union would proactively weed out those workers that harmed the employer? Do you think the relationship between the two would be different? Would we need to legislate anything if both sides did what was right and honorable?
Humans by nature are imperfect, but it is high time that we all rise above this “what’s in it for me” attitude. To that point then, I suggest a return to the wisdom of our Founders, and to the simplicity of the U.S. Constitution. Our rights come from our Creator – they are not allocated to us by our government. Going outside the boundaries of the Constitution not only pits fellow Americans against each other, but gives the government an excuse to start legislating away our freedom. We must learn to stand united upon the foundation of our U.S Constitution, as it is the only law that is truly fair to all Americans.
This bill is just further proof that the House and Senate need to defend liberty first and foremost” Dave Funk, 2010 Congressional Candidate for Iowa’s 3rd District