Occupy Dallas's Bogus Arrests: We Got to Get Up and Organize

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

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No way is this over. No way should anybody let this drop. The Occupy Dallas arrests last Saturday should be taken as a direct challenge, not a lesson or defeat.

The Dallas Police Department is already trying to paper over the outrageous arrests of seven bank protesters last Saturday on trumped up Soviet-style "misuse of sidewalk" bullshit charges. (Police made eight arrests in all.) Everything about this reeks of official misconduct and slime.

The cops claim a small riot started in front of Bank of America downtown when a protester refused to get off a concrete planter that was bank property and then attacked police with a union flag. Stephen Benavides, an organizer for the United Steelworkers, a union trying to organize city employees, remains in jail.

If Benavides, a seasoned organizer, attacked a bunch of Dallas cops with his union flag, then he's got to be the dumbest, greenest, least experienced union organizer on Earth. Which he's not, according to people who know him.


I talked this morning with Hobie Hukill, a school librarian and union activist in Alliance/AFT, who was the other guy on the planter with Benavides when the whole thing started. Hukill told me a lot of people were crowded into a small space, chanting but behaving responsibly.

"That planter was the logical soapbox," he said. The concrete planter formed a "quick mini-stage" from which Hukill and Benavides were leading the chants.

"From completely out of our line of sight," he said, "from behind us, I heard this, 'Get off the planter.' I turn around. Stephen does too.

"I think I said the word, 'What?' and the guy has punched both of us in the chest, a glancing blow for me, but he nailed Stephen, and at the time he was doing that he was saying, 'Get off the planter.'

"In less than 10 seconds from the time I first heard from behind, 'Get off the planter,' Stephen was flat on his face on the curb, actually in the street."

Hukill thinks the guy who punched him identified himself at first as working for the bank and was wearing a bank security uniform, but the same guy shows up later in news video wearing a Dallas Police Department jacket over his uniform.

That's a huge issue. We've got Dallas cops working off-duty for the banks the same way they work off-duty as bouncers for the bad bars. That entire arrangement is rife with corruption and conflict of interest. We can't let it go on.

We can't let our cops play the part of Harry Bennett's goons in the 1930s when they were out on the streets beating up UAW organizers for Henry Ford. It's bad medicine for us, bad medicine for them.

But in the end, I don't believe appealing to the bureaucracy at City Hall is ever going to accomplish jack shit, because of the sold-out culture there. What the protesters here will have to do is what they did in Oakland -- bulk up and go again. The one thing we can't do is let this lie.


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87 comments
Bmarvel
Bmarvel

"But in the end, I don't believe appealing to the bureaucracy at City Hall is ever going to accomplish jack shit, because of the sold-out culture there. What the protesters here will have to do is what they did in Oakland -- bulk up and go again. The one thing we can't do is let this lie."So, Jim, I'm, calling your bluff, or what I hope is a bluff. What exactly is it that you are calling on the protesters to do, here? Reply to violence with violence? Bring in some folks with a taste for head-cracking? Let's debate this in a serious way: Does the OWS movement need some martyrs, some spilled blood, to earn respect and sympathy? Sympathy from whom, and how would this work? This is going to move the average American voter off his butt? Do you seriously imagine that ramping up the confrontation will cow the police, or City Hall? City hall dosn't give a fig about social inequity. It just wants quiet, orderly streets.  But I'll bet it's willing to get pretty noisy and disorderlty to clear those streets.So easy for pundits to stand on the sideline and semi-agitate. If you were, say, an OWS strategist what would you recommend at this point? In real-life terms, I mean.Here's where I'd start: Get rid of those idiotic masks. Nobody trusts anybody wearing a mask. And Fawkes was not the guy you want to symbolize your movement -- unless I wildly misapprehend what the movement is all about.

Real
Real

Jim you are wrong on this one. OD and the others make some good points. However, they are going about it the wrong way. No one is listening, only watching to see the next episode of the reality show called, " let's see which protester gets their ass kicked today" and that's what's going to happen in dallas, very soon. The cops have shown great restraint but will get tired soon. Your suggestion is placing all In harms way, and thats not good for anybody. DPD, keep up the good work, most of us appreciate you. The others, well, get in there with OD and see what happens. You'll be like, "I showed them!", while you're sitting at parkland with your ass beaten. Jim, since you are for this get in there too. Stop hiding behind your desk. It's okay, it's safe to come out the cops are there to protect you too. And get off the freaking sidewalk.

John Penland
John Penland

I don't see that police working a second job as security as a conflict of interest. That being said, they have to hold themselves to a higher standard, in uniform, or out of uniform. They represent the citizens of their jurisdiction, and their department at all times. 

An important thing to remember is that the police, as well as fire fighters and other first responders are a part of the 99% too.

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

Compared to what the Civil Rights movement suffered, cops have treated OWS with maternal gentleness so far. While (mostly) Southern police were attacking with dogs, fire hoses, and billy clubs, Civil Rights demonstrators responded with dignity and discipline. And, unlike OWS, focus. The result was a slow but steady turnabout in the minds of white Americans who came to understand the grievances of blacks and saw cop thuggery for what it was.Contrast with OWS. How many ordinary Americans -- even those who have lost their homes and jobs -- are likely to sympathize with the bunch we see at City Hall and on the streets outside banks? To demonstrate successfully, a group has to present a clear message. OWS is all over the map. And it has to present a face that ordinary folks can identify with. Hey that could be me, or my neighbors. How many in those OWS ranks even look like the people they seek to persuade?Many on both sides of this blog are salivating for violence. Some want the cops to bring in the firehoses and truncheons. Others -- ahem, Jim! -- would like to see carloads of radical goons pour into the streets. Great entertainment value. But remember the craziness on the streets of Chicago during the Democratic convention. Nobody won that one. The cops were brutal thugs. The demonstrators were hippie hoodlums. In the end, they changed nothing.                

Frank Patrick Turrentine
Frank Patrick Turrentine

It's obvious from the comments that people only read what they want to see, and they rarely respond to the question posed if it doesn't jive with the point they're prepared to make. Facts be damned. Don't get too nuanced.

I'm watching all of this and wondering if we'll finally get our riots. At forty-eight, it is an interesting time to be alive in Dallas.

Mike3647
Mike3647

Jim is much richer than all those poor protesters.  I say we take a bus load of them over and let them tear the shit out of his property.  See how quickly he cries for the cops.

real
real

Jim usually You make valid points on issues that others are afraid to talk about, at least publicly. But You are wrong here. To encourage OD to step up and continue doing what they're doing is simply asking for trouble. DPD will win this one. They have been playing nice and gave shown restraint. This will not continue forever. Trust me the ass kicking will be coming soon. And then You and others are going to be critical of it too. DPD, do what you have to do. Most of the community is with you. OD, get ready.

Subnx
Subnx

If they try to block the entrance to my office they will be very sorry. And stay off the planters.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Whoa, pull back on the reins a bit, Jim. STOP and take a freaking breath. "We can't let this go on." What? ONE incident. ONE, and you are envisioning the 1930's? Stop, you are drinking the OD Kool-aid. ONE cop working for a bank.

And guess what, folks? Ten to one, the cop is IN A UNION--- the same umbrella union as Hobie---AFL-CIO---Hobie is in Alliance-AFT--and a friend of mine, by the way. So, you have TWO union guys complaining about another union guy here.... I am betting the cop is in the DPA... Want to bet?

So before we all go off on conspiracy theories, let's assume for a second that maybe, just maybe, a bank wants armed protection 24/7. Why? Because that's where the money is, so, of course they had security. In his job description, does it say to stop potential vandalism, potential lawsuits from someone falling off a planter and suing? Ohhh, so maybe, he was doing is frickin job. And okay, "10 seconds" is a bit short on the jump, but how much time should he have? Enough for a group to surround him and chant? Enough for them to push him? You had two groups, Moveon and OD, there, with little coordination. I can get that he was seen as heavy-handed, but when you find out that Steve-boy is a union organizer---and I am also a union activist (NEA), it kind of takes on a new light--in that Steve-o should know better. And that is NOT excuse for ANYONE else to chant about stomping on cop's bikes, etc...

Again, folks, learn how to protest. If you want to claim "non-violence," that aslo includes your words--your chants--your signs--all of it. Jim, you are inciting them--anyone--to what? You WANT confrontation? you WANT someone to get hurt? Back the train up and think.

Werekoala2000
Werekoala2000

Stopped caring at "union organizer". The guy is a professional agitator.

Reveille Dallas
Reveille Dallas

Way to go DPD! Amazing after a period of no growth or conviction to your bs movement, the main office sent in some professional organizers to rally the team and get some arrests. Sad. Reveille Reveille Reveille, get up and get a job!

Emm
Emm

Dear Jim,Thanks for covering this movement when no one else will (2 minute segments on major media aside).

Dear Commenters, I love how you generalize groups of people as if everyone in that group is awful (i.e. unions, cops, government, etc.). You're all so cynical and angry. Can't we all just get along?

Also, OWS AND OCCUPY DALLAS ARE PROTESTING CORPORATE GREED AND GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION. I don't know how that isn't clear.

Pierre
Pierre

Thanks for posting Hobie's eyewitness account. There are many more eyewitness accounts to be had (many signed in at the event). Besides the eyewitnesses, myself included, the police out in the street saw what happened from their vantage point, and several videos captured various elements (but not all of them). The most important eyewitness is the police officer (security guard) standing on the wall right before he assaulted Hobie and Mr. Benavides (he was captured on video right before they were evicted from their perch). And then he is captured on video out in the street with his fellow officers. 

Chief Brown could quickly get to the bottom of this if he simply asked the Officer if he pushed or hit either of the two men. And then all that would be necessary is an apology from the department of police. Case closed.

nachocheeselady
nachocheeselady

Thanks for the article... keeping it real when Dallas PD goes wrong.

RTGolden
RTGolden

I really hope the unions get more involved.  Get nice and 'peaceful' like the Mine Workers back home, bashing HS kid's cars on the way into football games, accosting mothers on the way into local grocery stores.  Anyone else catch the irony of a union organizer pointing an accusing finger at someone else's thuggishness?Aside from that, how could an organization dedicated to helping the "99%" combat corporate and political corruption (OD) align itself with an organization so obviously politically corrupt(Unions).  Unions, though initiated for a good cause, illustrate the old adage, too much of a good thing.  They have now priced American labor so high, America can't afford to produce anything.  If you need an illustration: A Houston based local of the Teamsters, in building their new local house, used all non-union labor because....... Union Labor is too Expensive!! for a $1,000, Alex.  the link is below:

http://www.chron.com/CDA/archi... 

Not to mention the fact that, due to legacy costs of union healthcare and retirement packages, American products are less competitive than foreign products.  GM estimated in the mid 2000's that $1500 per vehicle went directly to union legacy costs.

http://lonemdconservative.word...

Go ahead OD, get in bed with the Unions, maybe you can be the first generation to be paying union dues out of your welfare checks.

Gillian
Gillian

Thank you, Jim, for being the only news outlet in town to actually speak to and publish the comments of the guy who was standing right next to Stephen.  I have known and worked with Hobie for a long time and he is honest as the day is long.  I was also at the protest and have been trying fro 2 days now to find out whom at DPD is in charge of collecting the information of those who were at the protest who would like to give additional details.  I have been transferred and transferred, promised calls back, and nothing.  How can Chief Brown be serious when he urges protestors to contact the Police Department and not have informed anyone in his department, including his public information people, where to route the calls?  

Phelps
Phelps

I thought DPD officers were prohibited from working off-duty at bars.  (Just places that don't sell alcohol other than grocery stores.)

Sorry, but as soon as I hear "Union" I think liar and thug.  I'm no friend of the DPD, but this looks like a pox on both their houses situation.

Catbird
Catbird

Good point Bmarvel, exactly what are these guys "protesting"?

The "system"?

Well, we live in a regulated society and the "system" is given permission to exist in it's present form by the government.

No one in any of thoseWall Street banks, or really any business entity, can do a thing without the permission of someone in the government.

Don't like Wall Street? Take your protests to Washington and put pressure on the politicicians and regulators to change it...that's the way it works. 

Mott Romney
Mott Romney

Those who live near Jim won't appreciate that.  And Schutze, if your @$#@!%* dog shits in my yard *one* more time...

Dennis Vollmer
Dennis Vollmer

They weren't "tearing the shit" out of anyones property.. they were standing on a concrete planter. Stop the fucking presses! Someone stood on concrete planter in the city of Dallas!

If I had put my 4yr old daughter on the planter for a picture, would they be justified in pushing her off or hauling me off to jail?Think people.. think for one fucking second about the police state bullshit you are condoning here.

JimS
JimS

Not all trouble is bad.

CrustyOldGuy
CrustyOldGuy

What does 'misuse of a sidewalk' entail?

Dennis Vollmer
Dennis Vollmer

Actually Stephen is a mostly non-paid Union canvasser. He takes polls at workplaces, and distributes literature. He was not getting paid for being at the protest, he was simply supporting an organisation he is passionate about.

He is also a post grad, currently working towards a masters in economics. And he is in jail for a crime he didn't commit.

I've known him personally for many years and consider him a close friend. The fact you peg him as a "union thug" shows me exactly how shallow your grasp of the situation truly is. 

Guest
Guest

So what is OWS going to do about it?  How does the movement propose to curtail corporate greed and end government corruption?

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

So, how is marching in front of an empty building on a Sunday in Dallas--in downtown, where you can hit more pidgeons than people, going to accomplish ANYTHING!!!! We get it, we get it, we get it. Banks, bad. I agree. 1% pay more in taxes, great, we agree. Now, marching in front of an EMPTY building does WHAT????

Paul
Paul

GM is really just a health care plan that happens to own an auto manufacturing company.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Winter days or Summer days?  Because the days are a-gettin' shorter!

Phelps
Phelps

The police are incompetent and can't do their jobs!

Send the police after Wall Street!  That will solve the problem!

Jim Schutze
Jim Schutze

When you hear "union" you think liar and thug? Funny. I  think liar and thug when I hear "bank." Guess we're even.

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

 I think I know what some of them are protesting -- the growing gulf opening up between the wealthy and the rest of us. But your explanation is bassackwards. It's precisely the rich cats, those bankers and business tycoons, who have rigged the system to give them permission to run the economy into the ground, to rack up obscene profits at the expense of the general good. I had assumed -- perhaps incorrectly -- that it was the aim of OWS to put pressure on politicians and regulators, but so far it hasn't worked out that way.  So far the movement can't decide whether it wants to be a side show or the main event. Too bad. Long-suffering Americans are watching them, asking, Do they speak for me? Do I want to be part of this? Do they represent anything I can identify with?

RTGolden
RTGolden

Especially trouble that can generate this many comments on a story produced with minimal effort?

Ms Freedmans
Ms Freedmans

I see DPD bully people, everyday !!!!!!!

Dennis Vollmer
Dennis Vollmer

I am pretty sure that they have no idea. What started as a one off social media gathering has turned into a worldwide movement. My suggestion would be to organize, create a hierarchy and turn into a populist lobbyist movement counter to the Tea Party... however that is basically everything OWS stands counter too. 

It's admirable, but the change they want is not possible in the time scales people are working around. The conservatives, with all the money and power in the world at their disposal, have been playing the long game and have spent the last 30 years profiting off of the destruction of this country. Its finally come to a head and what OWS represents is pissed off people trying to keep their heads above water but completely incapable of reversing course, the ship has already sank. They don't have the money, the expertise and they they don't have the power. The fact the country is in the shitter is the only ace they hold.

CrustyOldGuy
CrustyOldGuy

Saturday.

It was a pleasant day out for about 1/2 hour.

I was double tracked into a foreclosure by a cunning bank.

The 1% might pay more in cash, but less in a percentage of net.

At least it was some activity in a deserted downtown on the weekend.

We should've had a barbeque, low blood sugar can cause a short temper.

scottindallas
scottindallas

you're wrong.  Corporate execs failed to fund these pensions and their promises according to law and actuarial tables, they even went to Congress in 75 to get a reprieve.  GE didn't put a dollar into their pensions for a decade, and they were still overfunded, till, they execs found a way to loot the plans.  You're not well informed on this matter.  There is a fairly new book by a Wall St. Journal reporter that you should study. 

Mike
Mike

Did these people ever figure out that no one from the bank was there? They keep picking fights with people that have zero to do with their supposed cause. An office building owned by foreigners guarded by minimum wage night watchmen? The city is about full up with dealing with this incompetent group. Suhm's message is just the start. As for this advice to "man up," go ahead guys. If you think Dallas police do not know how to deal with people getting physical, you are not paying attention. Follow the rules or face the consequences.

TimCov
TimCov

Can't people think "liar and thug" when they hear union and/or bank? I know I do.

Phelps
Phelps

So let's stop giving government money to either of them, and we can both be happier.

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

It was getting rid of federal regulations that has put us in the fix we're in. The plutocrats have been rigging Washington since the 1800s, when big business began spreading big money around the Halls of Congress, not because of irksome regulations, but because they wanted special treatment. Does government sell, or do the plutocrats buy? It takes two to corrupt, of course, and those who give the big bucks are no less to blame than those who receive, unless my sense of ethics is wildly amiss.My guess is that you are not an intense student of American history. Nor do you seem to be aware of the growing gap between the richest and the rest of us, which hardly qualifies as a level playing field. But then those sitting in the catbird seat need not be all that observant since the seat, by definition, provides them with a privileged view.

Catbird
Catbird

Bmarvel:

How do the "rich cats, those bankers and business tycoons" rig the system, without a corrupt government in Washington that sells access to pollicy making and favorable enforcement like corn dogs at the state fair?

Get rid of Federsl regulations and the need to "rig the system" goes away...a level playing field emerges again...

Just curious how my assessment is "bassackwards"?

real
real

And? People do some crazy shit. Are you going to tell them to start playing nice? No you're not. Behave and you'll see the cops are much nicer. DPD, keep on kicking ass.Jim says not all trouble is bad, except when. You're at Parkland after an ass whooping thinking, " Now that wasn't the smartest thing I did, but I showed them!"

RTGolden
RTGolden

scott, no one is excusing the corporate execs' behavior.  We all know that corp leadership is reprehensible and what not.  I'm merely pointing out that unions, in the middle of bringing us weekends and overtime, found out that execs' aren't the only ones who can rape the workers.  Union legal funds have been found depleted, unions bosses have been indicted under RICO, prosecuted and convicted.  There are several trial trascripts you should study.  I didn't have to study unions to discover their penchant for brutality.  In the mine strikes of the early to late '80's, union criminality made itself tangibly apparent to those of us unfortunate enough to live around them.

Gillian
Gillian

Minimum watch night watchmen...curious...that would be an off-duty Dallas policeman...

RTGolden
RTGolden

The purpose of a union is to give the workers a bigger voice and a better chance of realizing some of the benefits of the profits they create.  The unified voice of the workers bickers with the stingy voice of the corporate executives, each trying to wrest the greatest possible gain from the corporations profits.In the public sector, the workers produce benefits (like lackluster education, desultory mail service, and $600,000 studies of how gorillas escape their zoo exhibits), but they do not generate a profit.  When the united voice of public workers goes to bickering, they do not bicker with the persons holding the purse, they bicker with... other public employees.  It is a no-win situation for the tax paying public, all we can do is watch as our dollars go up in smoke.It is a difficult arena, for sure.  I appreciate teachers, police, fire, sanitation, public works, all the people who make our cities, states and nation work.  I realize that much of the blame for the inefficiency of government lies with elected officials and their appointees.  That doesn't alter my opinion that public sector unions are not, and have never been a good idea.

Phelps
Phelps

I'm right there with you. The taxpayers shouldn't be bailing out any of them.

Thats the most frustrating part. The Occupy Whatever crowd wants to get rid of crony capitalism. So does the tea party. The problem is, the Occupy Whatever crowd won't agree to end crony capitalism without ending capitalism too.

scottindallas
scottindallas

the tax rates that ranged from 94-70% certainly encouraged firms to re-invest, set up pensions and pay the average worker wages that grew with productivity for 30 years.

scottindallas
scottindallas

same is true of the executives.  Read about funding of private pensions, (or the failure to fund, the and the looting of the pensions by the executives. 

scottindallas
scottindallas

we have no say when we vote on abortion, and other irrelevant issues.

Paul
Paul

Jim, there is more to our Nation's post war affluence than what you list.

At the end of WWII, the United States was pretty much the only nation with an intact economy and more importantly an intact manufacturing base and national infrastructure.

The Marshall Plan was used to rebuild the economies and infrastructures of the Western European nations.  All of the consumer and durable goods for the post WWII era came from the US until manufacturing was reestablished in Western Europe.

The Japanese nation devastated by WWII was slowly rebuilt.  As some commentators put it in the 80's, it was not that the US fell behind, but that Japan caught up.  The downfall of the US auto manufacturing companies in the late 70's and early 80's was not the Japanese imports as everyone, especially union members, would like to say.  It was in fact a large shrinkage of the entire US auto market.  The Japanese automakers also lost total volume in the late 70's and early 80's but not near as severe as the US automakers.

The manufacturing/industrialization model for economic improvement is the standard for development in many countries as manufacturing jobs tend to be higher skilled and have a greater value added per input of worker's labors than other activities.

Building something as simple has shovels and rakes requires a tremendous infrastructure in basic industries that can later be used to manufacture more complex items.

What we take as "standard" in today's automobiles were in fact high end "luxury options" 40 and 50 years ago.  Remember when an FM radio, much less FM stereo, was considered a luxury option?  How about automatic transmission? Leather seats?

It is true that union organization did lead to higher wages in many instances, but in many instances the union wages demanded eventually were economically unviable.  In the late 70's and early 80's it was not uncommon in the Houston area to hear recent migrants from the rust belt complaining about the lack of high paying jobs in the Houston area and that the best they could find was only $7/hr.  When asked about their previous job, it was an assembly line worker for Ford or GM and were paid $17 or more per hour for installing lug nuts.

The unions do indeed receive a huge bailout from the government under the Davis - Bacon Act which states that the prevailing wage must be paid on federal projects.  The prevailing wage has become to mean the desired union rate for the trade or skill.  By having this rate, the unionized craft members do not have to compete with the non-unionized craft members on the basis of labor rates.

The key downfall that I see in our economy is that the high value added jobs such as those in manufacturing (and some of the other non service sector jobs) have disappeared.  And more importantly, the financial services sector had managed to externalize its risk to the taxpayer

Thanks for your reporting. 

Max from the Sandspit
Max from the Sandspit

Jeez Jim- Are you lookin' for a bed at Timberlawn or what. By the way I took up collection at bar down here, we're gonna buy a case Flea & Tick collers, where do we send'um.

Phelps
Phelps

http://online.wsj.com/article/...http://www.weeklystandard.com/...

And that's without the soft money of union shops, public sector unions, and crap like the NTSB shutting down the Boeing plant move.

I'm really shocked that you don't agree that the fattest of cats are the union bosses.  They don't do anything but skim dues off the actual working people while doing nothing that the workers couldn't do themselves -- and divert millions of those dues dollars to politicians that the actual workers rarely support.  (I'll allow that having dinner and drinks with mob bosses is at least taking risk, though.  I guess they earn something that way.)

Yeah, the money cycles around.  The politicians make it so that the union bosses can skim more, and the unions kick some of the dues to the politicians that made it so that the workers couldn't get out of the dues in the first place.

I'm confused by the last part, though.  Wasn't the point of this protest that how much money you have has nothing to do with whether or not you are a hard worker and careful with your money?  Are you arguing my side now?

RTGolden
RTGolden

I'm a bit confused here Jim.  Where does the pay and benefits for, say Teachers Unions, Postal Workers, City Employees, etc, come from?  I'd say that is government money (i.e. yours and mine) going to those employees.  Now, I'm all for supporting the Public employees.  But you have to admit, public sector unions are the perfect scam on the taxpaying public.  The public employees get to collective bargain for bigger and bigger pieces of the public pie.  The elected officials don't give shit, it's only tax money.  The taxpayer, on the other hand, have no say in the matter.  We, in essence, are the corporation in the scenario.  It is our pocket money the public sector unions are collectively bargaining for, and we have no say in the matter.  Even that most liberal of democrats FDR felt unions had no place in the public sector.Tell me again how unions don't get money from government.

Jd-dallas
Jd-dallas

ummm. lessee. how 'bout GM? Chrysler? (UAW) Teachers? (both unions)  the "shovel ready" crowd? (teamsters). yup. unions gettin' bailed out.

Jim Schutze
Jim Schutze

Phelps: the money doesn't go from government to unions. It goes the other way. Or used to. When's the last time a union asked for or got a government bail-out? Only fat cats get bail-outs.  Unions enable hard-working non-rich people to earn good wages, which the government taxes. That was the basis for our nation's post-war affluence. The gutting of union organizing laws is a major factor in the deterioration of our economy and culture today. People who work hard and care about their families are a good thing. People who are lazy and selfish and greedy and drunk all the time and care only about themselves are a bad thing. How is this complicated?

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