November 9, 2011 § 3 Comments
Living in in interesting times indeed. I hope everyone went out and exercised their right to vote yesterday as I did. I mainly went to vote on the referendum to repeal Ohio senate bill 2 which was Ohio’s version of the union busting bills that have been put into place in several states lately, taking away state employees right to collective bargaining and making it illegal for them to go on strike amongst other things. I am very pleased to say that the referendum passed and senate bill 2 will now be taken off the books and not only that it passed but that it passed in such an overwhelming manner that even our esteemed governor John Kasich had to acknowledge it and eat a bit of humble pie. Something I am sure that wasn’t easy for him as he is so sure of himself that like several other republican governors he recently turned down millions of dollars from President Obama’s stimulus package that could have helped many out of work Ohioans. As even while he demanded that others take pay cuts with his support of this bill he is willing to refuse money that could extend many Ohioans unemployment benefit’s , money that thousands of Ohio businesses could have greatly used as well. But back to the subject at hand. My concern was not whether some state employees were making too much money and needed to pay more on their insurance plans or even whether or not it would make it harder for first responders to do their jobs These were side issue for me .Important issues to be discussed but not the main reason this bill had to be repealed. Oh and just as a side note, being state employees themselves the politicians who passed senate bill 2 made sure to exempt themselves from it so that they could keep their salaries and the say so over whether they can give themselves raises or not.
I just did not want any government body in America and especially not one in the sate I live in taking more rights away from any American citizens. The whole idea sickens me. That elected politicians would and can take away hard-earned rights from any citizen of this country for any reason just blows my mind. Where does it ever stop once it gets started? Do people really think that if given a chance politicians will not extend these kinds of measures into the private sector? I was really amazed that the issue of a government body taking away a set group of people’s rights didn’t get more play in the debate over this issue not even from the people who were trying to repeal the bill. The politicians who passed the bill framed it as an issue over money though in the end it got framed mainly as a safety issue with both sides claiming that their view would help firefighters and policemen and the other sides view would hurt them. On a personal level I agree that many state employees could pay a higher insurance premium more inline with what non state employees pay but I think that should be hammered out in legal negotiations not forced down people’s throats by some committee of politicians.
Ohio’s politicians might want to take a look at my home state of Kentucky’s newly reelected governor Steve Beshear. While the 10% of their salary he and six other members of his administration gave back to the state more than likely isn’t going to cause them much hardship or save the state’s budget as a symbol it was apparently quite powerful. Lead By Example not by cowardly games and unfair legislation.
On a more local note. People in my own county also chose to continue to help the elderly and people with mental health issues. I am proud they chose to do what was right rather than take the easy way out in difficult times. At least for one day it was good to see that people can still put their own interests aside and help someone else.
On that note we start a new month of trivia questions with this easy one.
What country is known for the curse “May you live in interesting times”.?