May 1933: Hitler Abolishes Unions

Photo by Jess Dennis

On May 2nd, 1933, the day after Labor day, Nazi groups occupied union halls and labor leaders were arrested.  Trade Unions were outlawed by Adolf Hitler, while collective bargaining and the right to strike was abolished.  This was the beginning of a consolidation of power by the fascist regime which systematically wiped out all opposition groups, starting with unions, liberals, socialists, and communists using Himmler’s state police.

Fast forward to America today, particularly Wisconsin.  Governor Walker and the Republican/Tea Party members of the state legislature are attempting to pass a bill that would not only severely punish public unions (with exception for the police, fire, and state trooper unions that supported his campaign), but it would effectively end 50 years to the right of these workers to collectively bargain.

Collective bargaining is a process of voluntary negotiations between employers and trade unions aimed at reaching agreements which regulate working conditions. Collective agreements usually set out wage scales, working hours, training, health and safety, overtime, grievance mechanisms and rights to participate in workplace or company affairs. –wiki

First of all, assaulting the rights of workers to collectively bargain has absolutely nothing to do with any immediate budgetary issues.  It does however have everything to do with ending one of the basic rights of labor to organize.

Second, and more importantly, the budget “crisis” in Wisconsin is both exaggerated and created in part by the new Republican power base as a tool to attack political opponents.  Walker decreased state revenue when he enacted tax cuts for the rich and big corporations, who are not surprisingly large campaign donors for his political campaign.

Photo by COTO Report

To the extent that there is an imbalance — Walker claims there is a $137 million deficit — it is not because of a drop in revenues or increases in the cost of state employee contracts, benefits or pensions. It is because Walker and his allies pushed through $140 million in new spending for special-interest groups in January. If the Legislature were simply to rescind Walker’s new spending schemes — or delay their implementation until they are offset by fresh revenues — the “crisis” would not exist. –The Cap Times

Decimating unions has long been an objective of the rich and powerful.  Growing out of trade guilds in Medieval Europe, they were banned starting with the Ordinance of Labourers 1349 and Statute of Labourers in England.  It was not until the Industrial Revolution that labor began to organize again.

Every little gain for the rights of workers was hard fought and bitterly resisted by the rich and powerful.  The photo above shows the Lawrence Textile Strike (also known as the Bread and Roses strike) where mostly immigrant workers rebelled against increasingly harsh work conditions and lowered pay caused by mechanization.  Specifically, state law mandated a reduction in working hours for women and children from 56 to 54 hours, and factory owners responded by cutting salaries, something the poor workers could not afford.

Over time, organized labor managed to abolish child labor all together, as well as institute an 8 hour work day, 40 hour work week, mandatory breaks, safety guidelines, grievance procedures, a minimum wage, the concept of a work free weekend, workers comp, pensions, health safeguards, and paid sick days, vacation days, and holidays.  If you enjoy any of these things, thank a union member and support the passage of a strong Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).  

Collective Bargaining in the US was finally legalized for the private sector on a countrywide scale in 1935 with the National Labor Relations Act signed by FDR.  JFK signed an executive order extending this right to the public sector in 1962.  This is the key measure

Governor Walker’s bill being sped through the Wisconsin legislature would mandate health insurance contributions by public employees, force them to pay more for their promised pensions, and remove bargaining rights.  When public employees started protesting, Walker instructed the state National Guard to be “prepared” if any “problems” should arise, in what could be described as a thinly veiled intimidation tactic.

Although this draconian bill will not outlaw unions, it will effectively neuter them, as their CPI adjusted wages will be frozen and all other means cannot be improved as a whole.  Public sector unions will lose their freedom to negotiate against the state together.  This is a deliberate tactic to punish political opponents and to effectively lessen the rights of working Americans everywhere for the benefit of the rich and multinational corporations.

Walker’s plan to eviscerate collective bargaining rights for public employees is right out of the Koch brothers’ playbook. Koch-backed groups like Americans for Prosperity, the Cato Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Reason Foundation have long taken a very antagonistic view toward public-sector unions. Several of these groups have urged the eradication of these unions.  In Wisconsin, this conservative, anti-union view is being placed into action by lawmakers in sync with the deep-pocketed donors who helped them obtain power. (Walker also opposes the state’s Clean Energy Job Act, which would compel the state to increase its use of alternative energy.) At this moment—even with the Wisconsin uprising unresolved—the Koch brothers’ investment in Walker appears to be paying off. –Mother Jones

In response to this open revolt on at the Wisconsin state capitol, which saw crowds initially in the hundreds quickly swell to tens of thousands, a Tea Party group hastily organized a counter rally on Sunday.  Dozens of free buses were mysteriously available from both inside and outside the state for Tea Partiers, with no mention of who paid for them, leading to speculation that this is blatant corporate astroturfing. At publishing time no camels were being charged into the estimated 70,000 pro-worker/anti-Walker demonstrators [creative humor license].

Photo courtesy of @cwoodardnews

The Americans for Prosperity group, a Tea Party group that is a Koch Brothers front, has put up a website [for the Tea Party Rally that] attacks all collective bargaining – not just for public employees’ unions. –Forbes

Wisconsin is ground zero in the fight for worker’s rights in America.  Following the ultra-conservative sweep of many state legislatures and governorships in the 2010 midterms, most Republicans are salivating at the opportunity to destroy the last stronghold of organized labor in America: the public sector.

Last year, more working people belonged to a union in the public sector (7.9 million) than in the private (7.4 million), despite the fact that corporate America employs five times the number of wage-earners.  37 percent of government workers belong to a union, compared with just 7 percent of private-sector employees. –Alternet

The percentage of the work force that have been organized has been declining (along with many other things) since Reagan and the conservatives took power, ending the Great Compression and starting an epoch in American history known as the Great Divergence (which culminated in the Great Recession, which we are in today). Pro-corporate, fiscally conservative policies (such as deregulation and underfunding) have severely damaged private sector unions, unions that set the bar for standards and pay for all workers (thus, contributing towards the huge wealth concentration that is taking place).

The one point where this anti-union trend has not taken place is in the public sector.

This is precisely why the conservatives (mostly in the Republican Party) and their corporate masters are now planning the next phase in their strategy: to destroy public sector unions across the country.  Right now, their assault has triggered a massive and growing revolt by not only public sector unions, but students, progressives, and working men and women across the Upper Midwest region of the US.

The corporate front groups are desperately trying to play catchup and unleash their Tea Party legions, who need little convincing as apparent from the We Stand With Walker Facebook page.  The fear and hate caused by disinformation and Fox Propaganda is palpable, and they are only too eager to “fight back” against supposed union transgressions both in the workplace and in demonstrations.

Which brings us back full circle. Union busting measures by Republicans in Wisconsin this week have brought up some disturbing historical parallels to another sad chapter from human history.  This writer is not trying to say that Republicans are Nazis and the Tea Party are their Brownshirts, only that the union busting, corporate control over the government is part of the definition of fascism (along with authoritarian nationalism).

The attacks on unions that are taking place in American society today echoes a very sad chapter in Western history where unions were smashed for the benefit of a far right authoritarian corporate regime.  When Hitler abolished unions in 1933, it was followed by a 25% drop in real wages, and ended the ability of workers to protect living standards, and this is one of those times where history should not be allowed to repeat itself.


220 Responses to May 1933: Hitler Abolishes Unions

  1. voiceofthepast February 20, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.
    Martin Niemoller(1892-1984)

    • Visible February 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      Then they came for me (the taxpayer) and I opened up my wallet and said, “I have no money”.

      • Johnnie February 23, 2011 at 5:49 pm

        And then you said, “I the taxpayer have no money because Walker spent $140,000,000 on Special Interest Groups that helped elect him. In two (2) months.”

      • Jeff G February 23, 2011 at 6:27 pm

        DUDE! Are you seriously that dumb and jaded by the corporate propaganda?

        Do you REALLY think that public employees and their pensions are the reason why you, your city, your state and our nation are broke?

        I would suggest to you that you take your head out of your ass…and maybe look at the REAL causes of the budget problems. Which are:

        Huge tax subsidies to corporations and special interests, crazy spending on defense programs and wasteful / unecessary wars, theTRILLIONS in un-warranted tax breaks for the rich and corporations (who DO NOT NEED IT) and a MILLION ways, both small and large that crooked politicians give mountains of taxpayer cash to the rich.


        • Greg February 23, 2011 at 8:12 pm

          … and you need to quit drinking the cool-aid my friend. One side of this is not 100% wrong and the other side 100% right. We’re all heading towards tyranny if we allow then to keep us fighting with one another. Ever heard of divide and conquer?

          • BB February 28, 2011 at 10:09 pm

            Just what do you mean by us? Americans? Working Class?

      • grasspress February 23, 2011 at 8:30 pm

        visible, this is really poor. do you really think you are the only taxpayer in the country? you poor dear. you are way too cute.

    • Visible February 23, 2011 at 6:45 pm

      Then they came for me (the taxpayer) and I opened up my wallet and said, “I had no money”.

    • Visible February 23, 2011 at 6:48 pm

      Then they came for me and the only ones left to speak for me were the republicans, because the democrats left town.

    • Greg February 23, 2011 at 8:08 pm

      Your comment would be relevant but let me first correct your mis-quote. This famous speak starts by saying First they came for the COMMUNIST, and I did not speak out —Because I was not a COMMUNIST.

      See, Hitler was a Socialist. He was a progressive liberal.

      Hitler went after the conservatives and yes, the unions, because he wanted to consolidate power.

      Fast forward a generation and the unions are now the communist and socialist. So lets put this in perspective. Nice try

      • grasspress February 23, 2011 at 8:33 pm

        greg, hitler was a fascist and a racist. he did not ‘go after’ the conservatives. they were his buddies; they had lots of money. they are fascists and racists too, just like hitler. they are republicans.

        go back to your history books. you’re not rush.

      • ben February 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm

        Glenn Beck strikes again. He has been actively misinforming an entire generation of politically active people with outlandish fringe scholars who have rewritten history. Just because the Nazi party has the word “socialist” in it does not make it akin to modern uses of the word socialist or liberal. This is Orwellian history where ideas come to mean their exact opposite through rhetorical flourishes. That people are trusting Beck as their history teacher and taking him at his word without actually “doing their homework” is either ironic or perfectly understandable given the nature of propaganda.

    • Big Slim February 23, 2011 at 8:22 pm

      Hitler also banned private gun ownership at that time. Does this mean you don’t favor gun control any more, because Hitler did it in 1933?

      • davy February 23, 2011 at 8:53 pm

        That is pure right wing propaganda. Hitler didn’t ban private gun ownership. It was illegal when he came to power. Usually this bogus quote references the year 1935 but since it is a lie it gets pimped by people like you in many different forms.

    • AT February 23, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      lets not forget the very same Hitler abolished the right to bear arms by the private citizen and 6 million were slaughtered. I find it interesting that the Dems are always out to get rid of guns in America too. Make sure you look on your own side of the fence before yelling at the other guy on the other side. Dem or GOP, they are the same. I don’t see any of these anti-gun folks complaining about our Democrat leaders wanted to get rid of guns, but god forbid you get rid of an organization that has forced you to pay union dues and keep you in the poor house. Unions only line the pockets of their own executives, while the working man sweats away his youth thinking the union is helping them. Unions have outlived their purpose, you can protest, strike and negotiate in large groups on your own, you don’t need another Teamster organization making backdoor deals with politicians.

  2. TimFromLA February 21, 2011 at 12:53 am

    Your fired? I now know why unionized teachers are so important

    • Ole Ole Olson February 21, 2011 at 2:16 am

      Is it your assertion that poor spelling on a Tea Party sign is somehow the fault of Wisconsin teachers?

      • Nunez February 21, 2011 at 12:28 pm

        Perhaps the learner bears some of the responsibility for not learning, unless his gene pool lacks the water to keep him afloat.

      • Rick February 23, 2011 at 8:18 am

        Not at all, we alteady know they were the ones who were at the bottom of the class….

    • Redstate Dem February 22, 2011 at 4:26 pm

      I think the writer was pointing out the missepelling on the Teapotty sign, and saying that teachers are indeed necessary, no matter what the Teapotters think.

      • Ole Ole Olson February 22, 2011 at 5:09 pm

        Oh, my mistake. Apologies to TimFromLA.

  3. Vaugh February 21, 2011 at 1:40 am

    Civility guys, civility….

  4. Neil B. February 21, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Indeed! Hitler was no more a “socialist” than those communist countries are “democratic” that had that in their names. My best wishes to those struggling in Wisconsin.

    • Riverwoman February 23, 2011 at 8:20 pm

      Oh, so now you are rewriting history to suit your needs? The collective bargaining allows the union to hold the state (us the taxpayers, hostage) and why should they not contribute to their pensions and health plan, I do. This is not a democrat or republican thing – this is a discussion on how to save the country. All the fatcats need to go, and the spending has to stop.

      • Worker February 23, 2011 at 9:12 pm

        So right Riverwoman! Pretending the unions have not by-and-large outlived their usefulness and are rife with their own corruption is naive. While I’m on the topic, self-righteousness is also annoying. If there’s going to be a debate, let’s stick to the points and leave out the name-calling. Peace.

      • friend February 23, 2011 at 9:16 pm

        The unions offered to pay and Walker still isn’t backing down. Next?

  5. MikeT. February 21, 2011 at 8:42 am

    “… Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the government. 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 … The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for … officials … to bind the employer … The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives …

    “Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of government employees. Upon employees in the federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people … This obligation is paramount … A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent … to prevent or obstruct … Government … Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government … is unthinkable and intolerable.”

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt
    In a little-known letter he wrote to the president of the National Federation of Federal Employees in 1937,

    • Skullbuster February 21, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      “We are ALL in this together………….” Are you nuts. I have absolutely no respect for any public employee as I used to be one. I know the waste and fraud precipitated on the private sector in the name of service. Most gov’t employees wouldn’t have a real job 3 months and most union employees, both public and private, have no idea what real work is all about. Try running your own business and working 10-12 hour days 6-7 days a week. After having said all that, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

      • wesrackley February 21, 2011 at 8:15 pm

        I’m interested to find out what lessons Germany has to teach us now. How do well does collective bargaining serve their economy today?

        • Ingeborg February 22, 2011 at 2:11 pm

          It still works over there we have health insurance ( affordable) everybody pays some. We have have a better economy then the US
          I am from over there these small Country and is doing well even in these times. We don’t fight unprovoked wars and take care of there Citizens.

          • Redstate Dem February 22, 2011 at 4:28 pm

            Ingeborg: I respectfully point out, you should state “we don’t fight unprovoked wars ANY MORE.”

          • lee February 23, 2011 at 3:38 am

            Ingeborg, thank you for sharing and please excuse wesrackley’s attempt to correct your English.

          • lee February 23, 2011 at 3:41 am

            Oops, sorry about that it’s too early for me to be thinking clearly.

      • Harry Johnson February 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm

        It sounds like you were one of the problem employees. And hey, a mary kay franchise is not a real business even if you pretend to work at it seven days a week.

      • Cheryl February 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm

        All the countries where they “work to live” offer more time off from work than we do here.

      • Ssups101 February 23, 2011 at 5:58 pm

        Ole – why is it that the top 1% of the TAXPAYERS pay almost 50% of the federal budget?

        Why do we expect, no demand that ‘Rich’ pay more in taxes? Jealousy? Envy?

        Why can’t we have a flat tax, where everyone pays their fair share? Or how about a consumer tax, where what every you buy is taxed? A person who buys a Bentley would pay more in tax than the person who buys a Chevy.

        Where is the equal protection? Sounds like the ‘Rich’ get blamed for all of societies woes just because they have more money.

        Oh, by the way; no I’m not rich… My family make do on under $45k a year.

        • SteveDude February 23, 2011 at 8:41 pm

          The top 1% of the Taxpayers pay almost 50% of the federal buget because their income is 50% of the GDP. As a percentage they pay about the same – despite the fact that they rely on Government services much more than ordinary folks. Example, a single mother on welfare may collect $10,000 a year, while an oil executive relies on the entire Federal Highway system to make thier product useful. Certainly the benefit of Highways goes to more than just the executive but its the executive who makes obscene amounts of money because of it.

        • grasspress February 23, 2011 at 8:45 pm

          i know, ssups101, here’s one you’ll really like. let’s balance the budget and pay off the national debt with a tax increase on baby diapers, bread and milk. i said baby diapers because most of the super-wealthy are pretty old and shouldn’t have an increased tax burden when they purchase their depends.

          what do you think? should fit right up your alley.

        • Steven February 23, 2011 at 8:55 pm

          Where’d you get that figure? Even if it were true, it might have something to do with them having such a huge (and rapidly growing) proportion of the wealth:

          As for the regressive tax schemes you suggest, I see several problems:
          1) There’s nothing inherently fair about everyone paying the same tax rate, as the basic cost of living is not relative – hence poor folks would be disproportionately affected.
          2) People don’t all start off with the same amount of wealth – which is unfair. So even if a flat tax were fair, why should we make “fairness” a yardstick for taxes?
          3) Once one has attained a certain level of wealth more money doesn’t increase happiness, while the farther one falls below subsistence the more desperate one becomes. It’s in the public’s best interests to prevent poverty.
          4) Taxing the purchase of basic necessities is also counterproductive because we use taxes to provide such to those in need.

  6. Kathleen February 21, 2011 at 9:47 am

    God-Goddess Bless and Protect Our Precious, Peaceful, People Power in Wisconsin…Freedom Fighters for us ALL-Worldwide!!
    We will soon All be peacefully participating victoriously with You for our basic human rights to good jobs, homes, health, wealth and well being.
    Oppressors will be summoned to National & International Courts for crimes against Humanity. ON WISCONSIN!!

    • People Power February 23, 2011 at 3:07 pm

      “People Power” in Wisconsin!!

      Wisconsin’s public unions must obey the will of the People of Wisconsin, as carried out by their elected legislators and their governor.

      • Mark February 23, 2011 at 11:07 pm

        It takes a special set of folks to take a surplus, transform it into a deficit and then pretend they had nothing to do with it.

        Walker is just aping what Bush/Cheney administration did with the surplus that the Clinton/Gore administration enabled.

        (Thank Goodness that Pres.Bush was working FOR the US public, can you imagine the damage he would have done if he were working AGAINST the public interest?)

        I am a conservative from when it meant not spending money you do not have. I am a liberal when it comes to social issues.

        Do you want to get rid of unions and go back to ‘How It Used To Be’ ? You don’t need to look too far back, just look over at Walmart.

        What good can you say about a company that rather than pay their employees a fair living wage with benefits, teaches them on how to file for public assistance in the event of injury and incapacity to work?

        Gov. Walker had a surplus, enacted tax cuts of 140 million dollars, and now there is a ‘crisis’ of 137 million dollar shortfall that must be bourne by the unionized workers?

        Right … and if you believe that, then you may want to think that the Wall St bailout/TARP was proposed not by Pres. G.W.Bush, but rather see it as Pres. Obama’s fault.

        Why do so many folks who hide behind the demand respect for elected officials utterly fail to give that same deserved respect to the current President?

        I feel you should at least respect the office regardless of how you feel about the person in it.

        As to the gun control issues raised, please read this link —

  7. Unreal February 21, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Do you guys have any idea what kinds of behaviors are enabled by public employee unions? Do you have any clue how many of them donate to political causes entirely unrelated to the wellbeing of their members? Have you ANY conception how badly they’ve distorted state politics.

    I’ve been an SEIU member for four years. I’ve even sat across from them at the bargaining table from them. You folks have no clue. It’s sad. I mean, Godwin’s Law aside, this is absurd. You really think things like defined benefit pensions are viable anymore? I mean, seriously?

    Can you bring yourselves to leave the partisan echo chamber for 10 seconds, put down the class warfare kool-aid, and actually run the numbers? Sadly I bet not.

    • Harry Johnson February 22, 2011 at 1:26 pm

      The class warfare thing started under reagan. And it is the owners that are winning. Wages have been flat for 15 years and it is still not enough for the lowlifes. Do you have ANY conception how badly the banksters and corporations have distorted all politics? “commander in chief” walker of Wisconsin has a provision in his bill to sell off state owned power plants to his cronies with no bid. How will that help the budget. You need to leave your own partisan echo chamber for about 20 years and catch up with the real world. Do you think things like handing off public assets to your cronies is viable anymore? I mean seriously after the train wreck of the bushjunior years. If you run the numbers, which you obviously have not, you would relaize that walker needs to take a cut and his cronies need to forget their giveaways if this were a real crisis and not cooked up. But it is just union busting at its finest and has nothing to do with costs, budgets, the taxpayers or anything but hammering the workers.

      • Pagasae February 23, 2011 at 4:27 am

        This is informative Harry, ” ‘commander in chief’ walker of Wisconsin has a provision in his bill to sell off state owned power plants to his cronies with no bid.” I have been wondering for the last few days just what the payoff was for Koch Industries, because I wasn’t believing that they were in this or some kind of principled stand against unions etc., I knew they had their eye on something specific to their interests, now I know and so should everyone else. As an energy company they want to ream the people of Wisconsin for years to come. And their friend Mr. Walker has been enlisted to aid in this theft of the public sector energy supplier. What a ripoff!

        And thanks this was very helpful!

    • suttree February 22, 2011 at 1:26 pm

      So, Unreal. Your avatar is union-busting Ronald Reagan. When Ronny took office the US was a creditor nation and when he left office the US was the worlds biggest debtor nation. Great President. Anyhoo…The right-wing political hostility towards public service workers and their unions and towards unions in general is even older than Republicans calling Social Security socialism. Somehow teachers, social workers, postal workers, transportation workers, police, firefighters and all public service (the folks who provide the services that communities need to function) are below your contempt when they expect a fair wage and benefits. And as far as class war goes, the corporations have been waging it against the working class and winning it for years with help of brainwashed people yourself.

      • Riverwoman February 23, 2011 at 8:25 pm

        There are fair wages and then exorbitant wages. Why should a person continue to get raises for 20 years even thought their job is only worth $50,000. Why should a crooked cop/fireman get their pension? Why should a teacher not be able to be fired for inadequate performance? Answer to all: The union! But if you what you are saying about Walker is true – then he should be impeached – but truly it is no different than a democrat would do – look at Rangel!

    • Jeff G February 23, 2011 at 6:45 pm


      When did we decide as a nation to stop valuing labor? Oh…I know…in 1980 or so when we decided that the “investor class” was going to be the new backbone of America….HOW HAS THAT WORKED OUT FOR YOU / US???


      • Worker February 23, 2011 at 9:26 pm

        Devote? Seriously? Are the devotees not paid a wage during the entire 30 years? Do they have a right to above market wages and garaunteed benefits even as entire industries (like auto) are decimated by more competitive rivals with non-union laborers? Any before you bemoan the exportation of jobs to nasty places like China, I’m referring to Honda and Hyundai kicking our ass with production facilities right here in the USA…

  8. Richard H. Randall February 22, 2011 at 9:39 am

    How well has collective bargaining worked in europe today? In Germany when the greed or the Hedge funders, and wealthy CEOs and investment bankers US Stockmarket caused the and elsewhere, (not the ones who caused it of course) The German Government, major industry heads and the labor union leaders sat down over beer and worked out a deal to rather than wholesale layoffs, they would institute a system of “halbwerke,” literally ‘half-work.’ This means the jobs were shared to keep full employment (as much as possible.-in the end, 1.5 percent of German industry workers were laid off: I do not know how any of them have been rehired at this point.) I know this because I called the German embassy and spoke with one of their officials in their business section. (202)298-8400. How have things worked since WWII, : the workers in Europe have good paychecks, good retirement, 4 week paid vacations, and universal health care. I’d say things have worked out very well.
    For those of you who hate unions, ponder this. When (if) ithe unions are gone or totally guttted, what do you think will happen to your paychecks?
    Hey Skullbuster, I have had a few guys like you under my charge when I worked for the government: I fired them for wasting time, defrauding the government, and abusing your public trust.

  9. Richard H. Randall February 22, 2011 at 9:45 am

    I forgot to mention, education and a public sphere supported to give them a good cultural life. Also there was less of the shipping of their jobs overseas to send us on the race to the bottom.
    If that is not important to you then what I said earlier won’t matter. Oh yes, higher taxes:
    there is no free lucnch after all, so they pay for what they recieve. I would not like to live next to a man who groused incessantly about paying his taxes, nor woiuld I have felt compfortable commanding him in the units I did.

  10. Forrest Darby February 22, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I love this webpage.

  11. mike February 22, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Godwin’s Law. This “discussion” is a non-starter. You lose.

    • Harry Johnson February 22, 2011 at 1:27 pm

      If it waddles like a Nazi and quacks like a Nazi it is a Nazi. Oh and your forgot your Sieg Heil signoff.

  12. MikeT February 22, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Unions are nothing but micro socialistic governing bodies disguised as knights in shining armor for the working man.

    How many Americans are moving to Germany or anywhere else in Europe for that matter searching for a better life, we all know the answer to that question, few if any.
    From 1836 to 1914 over 30 million Europeans migrated to the United States and I can guarantee you it was not to join a union!

    The American dream is not to be a rank and file member of a unionized ant colony, it’s the chance of individual freedom and success but that chance is just that, there are no guarantees.

    Unions are a crutch for those who are lazy or not willing to take that chance.

    • WJM51 February 22, 2011 at 3:43 pm

      You clearly know NOTHING of your own history. What was life like in this country BEFORE the unions? You have NO idea, do you? It was hell if you were in a city and didn’t own part of it. It was the unions that changed that and gave this country a middle class that the world envied. Before that, we had 14 hour days, child labor, no health care at all, wages were ALMOST enough to starve to death on, workplace safety was NON EXISTENT, there was no job security, no pensions, no SS, no NOTHING that would make your life worth living. And you want to return us to THAT? Thanks a LOT.

      No one is forcing you to work for anyone else, no one is forcing you to be an ant in an anthill. What MOST people want is a job that gives them a decent enough wage to raise a family on, a social safety net that won’t let you go bankrupt if you get sick, that won’t let crooked bankers take your house, and that gives you a worthwhile level of HUMAN DIGNITY. If you want to go and work for yourself, there is NOTHING stopping you, is there? Have at it.

      Learn your history BEFORE you make such completely indefensible statements. the fact is that you don’t KNOW what you are talking about, and need to do some LEARNING because you are clearly acting in a suicidal manner. Fighting for those who are killing off this country is just plain stupid. And if you think that they give a damn about you or your future, you really are delusional. They care about nothing more than stealing as much from you as they can, and you are HELPING THEM.

      We as workers are stronger when we stand together. We are never so weak as we are by ourselves. It’s a basic tenet of life in the human world. It’s about time you learned it.

      • dellamae February 22, 2011 at 6:17 pm

        wishing I could give you two thumbs up sir/madam.

      • JasonA February 22, 2011 at 9:17 pm

        Hurray for you!! At last someone with a brain and knowledge of history. The fools in the US would let the criminal Republicans set the clock back 200 years. 80 hour work weeks, child labor, no benefits, pennies per hour wages…all that is gone thanks to the labor movement. People died to give the middle class decent living wages. The corporations fought tooth and nail to prevent it. And they are doing all they can to bring it back.

      • BB_Jones February 23, 2011 at 6:22 pm

        Perhaps you weren’t living back then? Were you? History books are inaccurate anyway, but since you were there maybe you might tell us something more. Are you ignorant? The very scenarios you describe are NOT what the Governor of Wisconsin wants to return to. Unions have to bend a little to get a balanced budget for the state again. I was a member of a union and I can tell you that you wouldn’t want to know what goes on behind closed doors. Otherwise, you will all be looking for any kind of work. And you do know what the oldest profession in the world is don’t you? Yes, farming! The other oldest profession came after.

      • Greg February 23, 2011 at 8:17 pm

        Well then lets get back to that and not what unions have turned into today

      • grasspress February 23, 2011 at 8:54 pm

        wjm51: RIGHT ON!

    • SSK February 22, 2011 at 5:32 pm

      Actually, the German economy is humming right now. In fact, they now export more the the good old USA. Their manufacturing base is the envy of the industrialized world. They are the go-to country for high quality, high technology manufacturing. The Chinese export stuffed animals and Barbies. Germany exports gazillion dollar machinery for mining, agriculture, transportation, etc. That’s why they call it German engineering. They rock out on precision. And efficiency. And deadlines. But hey, don’t let the facts get in the way of your sophism. I mean, when you have the flags waving in the background of Fox News, it’s hard to swallow that a massively unionized country like Germany kicks our butts in manufacturing. But they do. Scheisse.

      The Germans biggest problem is all the south European countries with their financial me

      • JasonA February 22, 2011 at 9:13 pm

        Well said, you are right on. The US should learn from the modern and democratic Germany. But in Germany, the corporations do not yet own the in the USA.

      • Cheryl February 23, 2011 at 3:01 pm

        China makes a lot of electronics too, and a couple of them I have bought were short-lived junk. Never again.

  13. kevin February 22, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    It is not a real protest until someone gets compared to Hitler.

    • loubot February 22, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      Godwin’s Law, yo.

  14. PIL February 22, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions.” –Adolf Hitler (Speech of May 1, 1927. Quoted by Toland, 1976, p. 306)

    And that’s not all, check out this NAZI principles.

    7. We demand that the State shall make it its primary duty to provide a livelihood for its citizens. If it should prove impossible to feed the entire population, foreign nationals (non-citizens) must be deported from the Reich

    11. The abolition of incomes unearned by work. The breaking of the slavery of interest

    12. In view of the enormous sacrifices of life and property demanded of a nation by any war, personal enrichment from war must be regarded as a crime against the nation. We demand therefore the ruthless confiscation of all war profits.

    13. We demand the nationalization of all businesses which have been formed into corporations (trusts).

    14. We demand profit-sharing in large industrial enterprises.

    15. We demand the extensive development of insurance for old age.

    Read the rest here:

    • Mikkyfinn February 22, 2011 at 7:10 pm

      And GWB said “no new taxes”. That is the platform that Hitler ran on, NOT what he did once he was in power. That was dictated to him by the corporate interests that funded him and benefitted from his Military Industrial Economic plan. Seriously, is this the extent of what you have learned about Nazi Germany? or do you only pay atttention to the parts selected for you to read?

    • Barbara Werle February 22, 2011 at 8:59 pm

      Could we please leave what happened to the Germans out of this? It’s confusing enough!

      • JasonA February 22, 2011 at 9:11 pm

        The past is prologue, you must have been asleep. DUH

    • JasonA February 22, 2011 at 9:18 pm

      The far right in the US is MORE dangerous than the Nazis.

      • Jeff February 23, 2011 at 5:51 pm

        Is this a joke?

  15. Jet Graphics February 22, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Union extortionists should remember that not only is collective bargaining a privilege, but employment by government is a privilege. There is no “right” involved. And the underprivileged tax payers made their choice, by electing the current administration. They would be justified in firing all the overprivileged protesters for violating state law and their contracts, not to mention the fraud and conspiracy. Oh, and let’s not forget revoking the licenses of those physicians who were party to the fraud – issuing bogus medical excuses.

    • JasonA February 22, 2011 at 9:10 pm

      You are full of BS.

  16. jim williams February 22, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    any one remember stalin in all of this

  17. Pingback: Concurs: lasa un comentariu si castiga o carte

    • JasonA February 22, 2011 at 9:09 pm

      speaka da english

    • Ole Ole Olson February 22, 2011 at 11:29 pm

      “You must make a comment about a sale made by you” ??

  18. Meg February 22, 2011 at 7:45 pm


    Didn’t the Tea Pary people have to read ” the Jungle” have they no imagination?
    Really I see that there want to change child labor laws in one of those backward souther states. Awsome lets model ourself on India!

  19. JasonA February 22, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Abolish the criminal Republican party. It is a threat to the entire Nation.

    • Worker February 23, 2011 at 9:41 pm

      Cmon dude.

  20. drunkfoulmoutthfilthybeast February 22, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    When certain German citizens and military saw and realized their blunder, there were three attempts to end Hitler’s demented mind and his manipulating skills. They knew his obsessions were to eventually destroy Germany and put severe hardship on its people. Three failed attempts and Hitler DID destroyed more than just Germany’s people, he left many millions dead in course of the imposed history he put on the world. I declare, we do not have that luxury of failing, this movement by these traitorous felons who call themselves the Grand Ole Party has become a criminal element and must be dealt in a fashion that they themselves have utilized. There have been rumors of sabotage, murder and I know their favorite TALKING POINTS IS “waterboarding” their not concerned if you are an innocent person or not. it’s been proven, survivors will be prosecuted!, to me this has become untenable. If you think they won’t use you as an example, just keep on swimming in that nice warm pot of soothing water, in the mean time these good ole Rethuglicans will keep increasing the fire under the pot. Soon, your ASS will be cooked before you know it. TOO LATE NOW, they will draw and quarter you right after you become useless to them. I vision a scenario where the actors will resemble “Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall, racketeers who owned the firemen, police and any thing that was built during their rein. Even murder wasn’t commited without their approval. Hell, the way everyone is so overjoyed with this set up, all I can say, I hope your DEATH WISH COMES SOON!!!

  21. Rex Collins February 23, 2011 at 6:36 am

    Were it not for unions most jobs would be true wage slavery. They fought and died for decades to provide workers a living wage and an end to dangerous working conditions. Millworkers, steelworkers, railway workers and coal miners were on the frontlines against the National Guard, US Army and agencies such as Pinkerton (XE of the 19th century).
    We owe unions a great deal for all that workers enjoy.
    Big money doesn’t like organized labor and will do anything to remove their “threat”.
    Bring back the wildcat strikes, sit-ins and general strikes.
    The elites are playing us against each other and laughing atop piles of money while we indulge in partisan bickering.
    They have stolen our wealth, our futures and our nation.
    Conditions such as this make the world ripe for socialism, communism and religious extremism.
    Support the workers!

  22. Franklin Roosevelt February 23, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Here’s what I had to say on public unions:
    “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. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.”

    Seems my neo-facist ass didn’t like them…..seeing as how I’m so frikken conservative….dummies.

  23. Rob February 23, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    The republicans love to engage in stage craft. To a narcissistic republican (and they are all narcissists, otherwise they could not buy into republican delusions) image is all important. The newly revealed leaks in re: Palin show that Palin is obsessed with her own image more than anything else. (just like Narcissus himself). Walker is a liar and created this crises by pushing through new spending for special interest groups. They got Walker on tape today talking on the phone to a prankster posing as one of the Koch criminals. Walker was speaking to “Koch” like he was an old friend. The entire Wisconsin government should just get up and walk out on narcissist Walker.

  24. Mike February 23, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    May 1933: Hitler Abolishes Unions
    And Germany damn near conquered the world.
    Are there any other obscure correlations out there?

  25. ubflamed February 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Bush II and the years of full Republican control was a massive corporate cronyism orgy (think Halliburton). The result Obama and the 2 years of full Democrat control appear to me to be Bush III except add gay rights. Ron Paul is one of the most honest politicians I’ve listened to. But, considering the Tea Party also includes the acid-tongued parasite, Sarah Palin, means there are no viable political parties. All current parties are a shell game. I wonder (because I don’t know) if this political vacuum parallels the period that enabled the rise of Hitler. Maybe the most important step to having the America we want is to have a new, viable party.

  26. james February 23, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Unions are for lazy people.

  27. mike February 23, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Godwin’s law to a whole new level.

  28. blackman February 23, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    hmm, you forgot that hitler outlawed guns. sounds soouds sorta like obomba

  29. MarkUSAF February 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Breaking news…2011 unions break America. Don’t you get it, no one in the private sector which is about 88 percent of all US jobs have these benifits. The taxpayers of this country have had it with subsidizing the Union and their billions of dollars to support only Dems like our “savior” Obama. Go Governor Go…

    • studdog February 23, 2011 at 9:36 pm

      Don’t you get it? The rest of the damn workers in this country should be getting unionized so they can get a fair shake. Instead, we got Fox news dividing and conquering ,getting whats left of the middle class fighting each other. The working man (and woman) should be supporting those in Wisconsin, not opposing them. It appears that they want the government workers to be as poorly paid and treated as miserably as they are. Instead they should join a union.

  30. Ron February 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Thank goodness I live in a right to work state and I’m free to choose who I work for and who I don’t. When I’ve worked for companies in the past that I was unhappy with, I looked for another job with better pay and conditions. No one will ever force me to pay union dues. It’s a good thing the market values my services and I can make a decent living. Companies that don’t value their employees lose out – because the good businesses here that love their employees pay well and have loyal people – and don’t need a union to tell them what to do.

    As for the great benefits public sector employees get, we the tax payers make that possible. Perhaps we should start placing a portion of our local taxes in escrow to stop this nonsense. I pay for my healthcare and it’s up to me to invest and save for retirement. I’m not rich, but I am responsible for my family and myself . . . and very proud of that!

  31. Steve February 23, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    It was Adolf Hitlers Nazi Party that boycotted and walked out of the German Parliament. The facist group. Make certain you understand the Social promises of Hitler before you cite his examples. Unions were aboloshished and Public Unions (Nazi Party) were created.

  32. jojitzu February 23, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    The unions are out of control and need to be ousted! There is no reason for the expensive and overbearing salaries and compensation that are not even close to the average person. You liberals say spread the wealth, I don’t see you bending at all. Greedy fools.

  33. robert February 23, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    keep loading up the state budget — the taxpayers will just have to pay it
    that’s what you want right?

    if you don’t like your state job go get a private sector job

    comparing this situation to Hitler is sad and twisted

  34. avol February 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    The truth is that there are parallels between Nazism and modern liberalism and conservatism. The fact that those parallels exist proves little about either “ism.” As for unions, we Americans can debate until the cows come home about the historical and economic value of trade unionism.

    What is true today is that most Americans who work for a living in the public and private sectors are working harder and longer for less money (look at our productivity statistics). We complain about high taxes because our incomes are going nowhere while, in reality, our taxes have been going DOWN for many years including under the Obama administration. We are slowly drowning.

    The ONLY Americans who are making more and more money are people whose incomes exceed $250,000.00 per year and there is absolutely no reason to believe that those people are going to share that wealth with the rest of us (except with those who are blessed with great skills or talent). We should take note regarding which polical causes are supported by the rich.

    Our government belongs to us. Its power is derived from us. (OF BY and FOR THE PEOPLE) We can use our power to make our lot in life better or not. It is our choice. The cost of freedom can be high. Our time to choose is rapidly approaching.

  35. BB_Jones February 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    All you know is what someone else told you. Unions can damage businesses and an economy. Stay out of Apple. You’ll only wreck the free enterprise nature of its success. They are generous with employees as is Pixar. Unions are nothing more than fronts of organized crime. I know I was a member of AFL-CIO affiliates. Suck on that.

  36. Mark W February 23, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Private Unions of employees of private organizations = good for workers rights

    Public Unions for bureacratic paper pushers with non-unique liberal art skill sets negotiated through elected officials = worst friggin idea ever

    Oh, PS nice instant invocation of Godwins Law in .1 seconds. Way to be inflammatory and offer nothing to the larger discussion of public comp plans that are unsustainable unless we tax everyone to destruction. Nothing but the flip side of the Glen Beck coin

  37. Jeff February 23, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    The main reason working hours and our standard of living is so good is because of Automation. It has freed many working men from menial jobs and allowed humanity to create more per person. The unions fight this.

    The unions were important in some sectors a long time ago (mining for example). Now 99.9% of none unionized business owners strive to make the workplace safe, enjoyable and rewarding. A union in todays age is only a barrier between the owners and the worker making them sit on opposite sides of a table rather than all on one team.

    But, specifically government unions the vast majority would agree are BAD for the MAJORITY. And the government should be whittled down to the basic functions, overall Rule of Law, Trade agreements that favor the people, and defense when in need.

    The more money that flows through the government the more thieves will be drawn to it.

    We have to:

    Back our currency with value
    Get rid of the (majority of) leaching lawyers that add nothing to our country
    Remove the laws that criminalize everyone
    Simplify the tax code, how much time is wasted here is unreal
    Remove (or lower by a lot) inheritance tax on farms
    Investigate and Prosecute politicians regularly for all the crimes they commit

    I could continue…. but, things need to change to allow the USA to be the best place on Earth and the benchmark for the rest of the world for personal Freedom and Wealth.

  38. gary raile February 23, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    why did obama send people there from his election group. obama started the world wide unrest. they started it here in the us also. he wants credit for supposedly being against republicans. private unions have been destroyed to 6%. why can’t the goverment share the pain with the private sector. o wait the goverment started the financial mess by using the federal reserve and selling america up the river. the noble business of unemployment has to continue so the public sector goverment doesn’t fail. he can make the rest of us lose our houses and jobs. he doesn’t care about that. he’s dismantling america so he can go global.

  39. gary raile February 23, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    to make it short and simple if your not of the goverment you don’t get to join the global goverment and have a job or a house or food. watch the movie animal farm.
    tell me who you think the pigs in the movie represent. starts with a o.

  40. Fooch February 23, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Yeah, and traitors has gotten our country where? You are a fool. Your advocating hoping the sheep prevails when there is two wolves and a sheep voting for dinner. You are insane. I don’t give a rats arse what RP’s policies are, or aren’t. We either get someone in who is honest, or we crumble. Let’s see, getting out of the war, stop sending money over seas to other countries, and cutting federal spending. Yes, such horrible ideas.

  41. George February 23, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    As long as unions emphasize seniority over productivity they will follow hte lead of the grand ol’ USSR. Imagine being forced as a consumer to accept the oldest model of a service or product versus the best. Uniopns will have to reform in order to be taken seriously. Note: I’ve belonged to two unions in my career; both fought productivity improvements tooth and nail… and were drags on the companies where their members were gainfully employed.

  42. alex February 23, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    This article is nothing but trash.

  43. Big Slim February 23, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Hitler also banned private ownership of firearms in 1933. Does this post also mean that you no longer support gun control?

  44. undrstandths February 23, 2011 at 8:35 pm



    see what i did there?

  45. whataload February 23, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    The greatest thing about unions is that whatever they infect, they eventually destroy along with themselves by inflating costs, killing productivity and spreading greed and corruption. Who could possibly argue that the last remaining bastion of collective bargaining – the public/government sector – isn’t the model of efficiency, quality goods and services, and high moral character?

  46. grasspress February 23, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    jeffrey, how did you develop this love affair with mussolini? i thought he was dead.

  47. bob February 23, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    I think that private sector unions fundamentally make sense – but they have a built in limiter. If they get too greedy, the business goes bankrupt. The State CANNOT go bankrupt, and because the unions are quite powerful political forces, it is quite possible for them to vote themselves more benefits at the expense of the taxpayer.

    California is a great example of this. The prison guards union has consistently lobbied in favor of more prisons (more jobs for the union) with the result that California has one of the largest numbers of prisons in the country.

    I dont think anyone is argueing against unions per se – rather that Public Unions are not accountable to anyone, which is true.

  48. bill February 23, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    … and Josef Stalin — an even more horrific mass murderer than Hitler — supported labor unions.

    So what ???

  49. Michael Kirk February 23, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Re: 1933 Hitler abolishes trade unions.
    First time on your site … LOVE IT! God bless you, we need more like you & to educate the vast number of Americans who walking through this life asleep. May God (if there is one) bless you all … keep up the good, GREAT work you’re doing. Agnostic in Long Beach, CA, Michael Kirk

  50. joe February 23, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    And in a few short years he created 7 millions jobs. In that matter Hitler was genius. And so are ALL the governors proposing this exact mechanism.
    Also the ridiculous notion that anyone is trying to abolish a union only makes this article and anyone drinking that kool-aid beyond moronic.

    The days of unions screwing the public,businesses, labor makets, and so on may never end but atleast we’re gona get some lube for a while.

    Go Scott Walker!

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