"All government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management."
Franklin D. Roosevelt
(1882-1945), 32nd US President
letter in 1937, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu /ws/index. php?pid=15 445#axzz1G IjAA278
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US      
Not shooting the messenger; in a de jure representation of We The People, the quote is absolutely correct ! ! ! In a socialist usurpation by a statist theocracy, it is simply one collective in conflict / harmony with another collective.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Must say Thank you again to the man who sends these out, it has been a priceless service for a long time. The wisdom of the quotes is eternal. They feed the soul and mind. Surely he must be a good man, any man who cares enough to take the time to educate others, is OK in my book.
     -- Kimo, lahian     
    Wrong again Reston ,you can't even agree with one of your Lib buddies. Don't be late for the Party meeting tonight, Komrad.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
    I would have it that collective bargaining is a more appropriate mindset and circumstance for the private sector, where there is PRIVATE PROFIT potential, such that workers can negotiate for more of a share of that profit; but in the sector of public jobs, they are always a drain on society as a rule without largess of industry and must be made as efficient as possible to support the profit sector with serevices and minor products not available otherwise. This includes the MIC IMO. The only way the public employees could voice such requests would be in response to the direction society was headed; in prosperous private sector times, they could "ask" for more pay and benefits, but might not get them, and the reverse as things stand today... and they should expect that if they understand that in more or less "guaranteeing" that their "sector" will never go bankrupt, they give up the privilege of making larger gains as is the chance the private sector makes. pretty basic stuff.
     -- Dr. Tom LaMar, Keeseville, NY     
    If the people can organize as "the government" and if the people can organize as "the corporation" then the employed individuals of these entities can or should be able to organize as "the employees". Where did all the contributors who believe in the rights of individuals go if they would only selectively allow the right to organize.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    I like the quote but am skeptical of the motive. I would like to thing FDR was wise in saying this, but unfortuntely I believe as in all else of his administration he was just building and protecting absolute power of central government.
     -- J. Allen, Arlington, VA     
    Public Sector Unions and Collective Bargaining are much like having a knife at our "collective" throats. Either we pay or we do without essential services. The Mafia sells insurance on much the same level. It's called extortion.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Tom and Carlton have got it right. It is important to make a distinction between private sector unions and public-sector unions. In a private-sector company, when unions negotiate with management, there is a limiting factor at work -- the company must remain profitable or everyone is out of a job. In the case of public-sector unions, "management" consists of elected officials, and the city, state, or federal government is the employer in which case profit or loss is irrelevant, so there is no limiting factor. If unions receive more and more generous pay and benefits, it's the taxpayers who are on the hook, not "management." And secondly, the question is not whether employees may organize into unions, it is the tactic of unions to monopolize by requiring ALL employees to join the union in order to work. Unions then turn into mafiosa, and ultimately tax their members in order to keep their jobs. Unions typically drive up wages beyond the value of the work being delivered -- it is the number one cause for businesses moving their production to other countries. Unions only protect a few jobs -- they ultimately destroy the host if their monopoly is left unchecked. America used to be the number one producing nation in the world -- now, the number one debtor nation in the world. We the People are the Union in the public sector, there is no place for mandatory membership in private unions for the public sector. Time to clean house.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    I see no difference between private and public unions. Laborers should have a voice in the workplace and a right to bargain, otherwise they endup as near slaves. For example look at what is happening with Vietnamese and Cambodian workers. The reason America is losing jobs is pure greed by large corporations exploiting third world labor markets. Fortune 500 corporations made over $400 billion in profits and exported over 800,000 jobs in 2009 according to Fortune Magazine.The line about competition is bogus. Big Business has no compassion for people and cares less for the consequences of their actions. 7% of America's workforce is unionized,you need to stop believing the lies and look at the real cause of the American demise.
     -- gtheo, portage,michigan     
    Government employees do not create weatlh. They are merely doing a service for the public, yet they act as if they are a valuable commodity. There are many people who do what they do on a voluntary basis. This whole question about government employees should go to their worth. The Police and FIre forces are the exception and they should be treated exactly like the military. Would anyone think that the country would be well-served if the troops were able to collectively bargain for their pay or for what they will or not do on the job? If federal employees aren't allowed to collectively bargain, does that mean the states should follow suit? No, that is up to each state. Why is it that only states who are dominated by DemocRATs have this ability to collectively bargain (as against individual bargaining)? Notice how much trouble all theese states are in. Can liberals put two and two together and come up with 4? Nope.
     -- GunnyCee, Durham     
    gtheo, low wages is a minuscule reason for businesses leaving Amerika. Government regulation, anti-entrepreneurial methodology / tactics, unstable / inconsistent related policies, banking, and taxing structures are the main reasons companies are leaving. By way of example: it cost me almost 20% difference in overhead from government regulation from one side of the state to another. My next move is completely out of the state. My personal union experience has been both very good and, well, less than that. All experience has shown, once understanding what a secular representative republic is, unions have no place there.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Gunny Cee shows his colors or value system when he says doing a service for the public is not a valuable thing. It is sort of like "the public be damned"!
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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