The Church and the Unions

Judging by the impassioned commentary from some Catholic quarters during recent confrontations between unionized public-sector workers and state governments, you’d think we were back in 1919, with the Church defending the rights of wage slaves laboring in sweat shops under draconian working conditions. That would hardly seem to be the circumstances of, say, unionized American public school teachers who make handsome salaries with generous health and pension benefits, work for nine months of the year, and are virtually impossible to fire even if they commit felonies. I don’t think those were the kinds of workers Pope Leo XIII had in mind in Rerum Novarum, or Pope John Paul II in Laborem Exercens.

The right of workers to organize to advance their interests is not in question. What is in question is the claim of organized government employees to be immunized against the sacrifices necessary to rescue America from fiscal disaster: a disaster created in no small part by irresponsible politicians pandering to public-sector workers’ unions. A union that does not defend its own is, of course, an absurdity. A union that defends only its own, with no concern for the common good, is something else altogether. That kind of unionized selfishness smacks of organized greed, just like the pyramid schemes of Bernie Madoff and his ilk.

Tens of thousands of inner-city children are being denied a quality education today because of the intransigence of the teachers’ unions in conceding the effectiveness — and moral imperative — of voucher programs that allow underprivileged and at-risk kids to get the kind of decent, disciplined education that is unavailable in too many government-run schools: not because of lack of funding, and not because government schools “have to take everyone,” but because of union rules that protect failed teachers, reward incompetence, and make it virtually impossible for dedicated teachers to conduct the kind of classrooms that work. This is, in a word, selfishness — cruel selfishness. It ill befits Catholic activists and commentators to support it.

A related moral question is raised by public-sector workers’ unions and their recent clashes with governors and legislators determined to prevent their states from going over the fiscal cliff. It’s the same moral question that is posed to all of us by the impending crisis of federal entitlements like Social Security and Medicare: What is our responsibility, in this generation, to future generations?

Is it morally worthy of us to leave our children and grandchildren with mountains of debt because we cannot bring ourselves to reform unsustainable entitlement programs that were enacted when life expectancy was far lower than it is today? Is it morally worthy of today’s public-sector workers’ unions to defend what one columnist described as “massive promissory notes issued to government unions when state coffers were full and no one was looking”? Is it worthy of citizens of the world’s leading democracy to mortgage the country’s future security interests and diplomatic options to the fact that the People’s Republic of China owns vast amounts of American governmental debt in the form of Treasury bonds — and may well call our financial bluff one day when freedom’s cause is on the line?

My family benefited, once, from American trade unionism. My grandfather and uncle were members of the United Steelworkers, back when America had a steel industry. There are many reasons why there’s little left of the once-great enterprises for which they worked: The inevitable shifts of comparative advantage in a dynamic global economy are perhaps the most important reasons. But the stupidities of both management and labor in refusing to face the facts of a rapidly changing economic environment also played their role. And the wreckage you see in once-great steel towns across the American Rust Belt bears mute witness to the human suffering that results when people can’t see beyond their own immediate and narrow interest.

Rather than acting as if this were 1919, Catholic leaders in America might begin to assert that selfishness is selfishness, with or without a union label, and that the common good requires sacrifices from all.


George Weigel’s column is distributed by the Denver Catholic Register, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Denver. Image: Scott Olson/Getty Images

George Weigel


George Weigel is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., and the author, most recently, of The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II⎯The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy.

  • H Karlson

    One of the chief problems in Wisconsin was the claim that public workers would not have the right to collective bargaining for basic rights, unlike other workers. The idea that “well, it’s the people they work for” doesn’t do justice; what if the people are callous and capricious? Indeed, if one looks in Wisconsin, there was already the willingness to talk and work with the economic situation (made, many say, by Walker’s tax cut) — but they were not willing to remove the right to collective bargaining. This, of course, is right — it was not about money, it was about basic rights of workers (rights which don’t disappear if the boss is the public).

  • tad

    As a public sector worker of over 30 years and union member (by force of law) I have a big problem with radical leftist speaking and acting like revolutionaries in my name. I reject all the protesters in Wisconsin and Ohio who behave like spoiled Marxist babies wanting their way and having a temper tantrum when they didn’t get what they wanted.

  • William

    Yes, some unions are greedy. And management is never greedy?

  • Kurt

    George Weigel pretends that the Church’s teaching is that labor unions are (were) something extraordinary for times of extraordinary oppression of workers. There is nothing in Catholic teaching that says this. In fact, the Church’s constant teaching is that unions are a normative and “indispensible” part of just labor – management relations.

  • Brian English

    “The idea that “well, it’s the people they work for” doesn’t do justice; what if the people are callous and capricious?”

    Then individuals will not want public sector jobs, and some services may suffer, but that would be the people’s problem, wouldn’t it? And as far as capriciousness goes, that would describe the benefits and wages provided to public sector unions by politicians looking for campaign contributions and votes.

    “This, of course, is right — it was not about money, it was about basic rights of workers (rights which don’t disappear if the boss is the public).”

    Why not? The politicians public unions have to negotiate with are not equivalent to management in private enterprises. Private management that provides excessive wages and benefits to workers harm themselves, the shareholders, and ultimately the company. Those who give themselves excessive wages and benefits also harm the company and the shareholders, but that is a different issue.

    Politicians negotiating with public unions who give away excessive benefits and wages just hurt the public, while gaining contributions and votes for themselves. That actually sounds like a fair system to you?

  • Brian English

    “Yes, some unions are greedy. And management is never greedy?”

    “Management” in this situation is really the taxpayer. Are people greedy for objecting to wages and benefits for public workers that could never be achieved in the private sector?

  • Esteban

    Joining a union does not magically entitle you to a life of infinite pay-raises, endless employment, decadent benefits…

    Spot on:

    Is it morally worthy of us to leave our children and grandchildren with mountains of debt because we cannot bring ourselves to reform unsustainable entitlement programs that were enacted when life expectancy was far lower than it is today? Is it morally worthy of today’s public-sector workers’ unions to defend what one columnist described as “massive promissory notes issued to government unions when state coffers were full and no one was looking”? Is it worthy of citizens of the world’s leading democracy to mortgage the country’s future security interests and diplomatic options to the fact that the People’s Republic of China owns vast amounts of American governmental debt in the form of Treasury bonds — and may well call our financial bluff one day when freedom’s cause is on the line?

  • B. schmalhofer

    I have no problem with the Church defending the disadvantaged & poor however Bishops et al need to stop & think before any defense of every union. Most really need to simply look to their own actions and reasons for denying union recognition to parochial school teachers or to their rationale for closing parishes and schools. Yes the public–meaning taxpayers–needs that same budgetary flexibility today.

  • Bob G

    Roosevelt was appalled by the idea of government unions and he spoke out against them. Unions in the private sector are one thing, unions among Government workers is quite another. Government unions should be banned. If you don’t like the wages and benefits, apply someplace else. Government workers have the easiest jobs in the country.

  • Kurt

    ?”They remind us that where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.” –Ronald Reagan, Labor Day Address at Liberty State Park, 1980

  • Esteban

    You do realize that Ronald Reagan fired all of the striking air traffic controllers?

    And that he was praising Solidarity, the Polish trade union, which was ANTI-BUREAUCRATIC. They protested the government’s control of industry and employment. In short, they were protesting a world in which ALL employees were PUBLIC SECTOR employees.

    Your quote is useless in this discussion, which Weigel has wisely focused on the striking public sector employees and their toxic unions.

  • Michael

    “They remind us that where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.” –Ronald Reagan, Labor Day Address at Liberty State Park, 1980

    Give me a break.

    Ronald Reagan was one of our great presidents, but he wasn’t always right. Unions are not the same and have grown worse than management. Be a man and build your own house.

  • MikeK

    I live in Wisconsin and the author is spot on. We legislatively gave the public sector workers the privilege (not the right) to collectively bargain for benefits in the past, and it is our duty to change the law as times warrant. Unfortunately, the media has portrayed the unions as all eager to negotiate these things, when their actions in the past have always shown otherwise.

  • Esteban

    I’m comfortable defending Reagan’s words… workers have the right to collectively bargain… but that doesn’t mean the taxpayers or their employer must accept their collective demands! True negotiation allows one or both parties to walk away from the table. There is no God-given right to forced 3rd-party mediation.

    Employees have the right to form a union. They don’t have a right to force people to join their union. They don’t have the right to be shielded from the effects of that unionization (such as an employer closing the factory or firing the unionized workers).

    On InsideCatholic, John Zmirak is always baffled by otherwise-sane Catholics entertaining these bullying entitlements masquerading as civil rights. I share his frustration.

  • Faith Flaherty

    Collective Bargaining is what it’s all about, not the money. People have died for this “right.”

  • James D.

    Government workers have the easiest jobs in the country.

    Are you serial? I’ll trade you.
    I’m a Paramedic in a county run ambulance service. I work in a state that is non-union and collective bargaining is illegal.

    I have not had a pay-raise in three years, health insurance premiums have skyrocketed, I have had to work more overtime and my educational requirements have gone up to keep my certifications. Our cardiac arrest save rate is one of the highest in the country.

    I agree public service workers should not be selfish or greedy but neither should they be “indentured servants”. I provide a service the public demands and the service costs money.

    Expecting public service unitons to make their employees give their fair share is one thing but taking away the right to collective bargan is a just a power grab.

  • GKC

    I am disturbed that so many prominent Catholics think that is ok to crush union employees. The idea behind collective action is that by acting together employees within a company can raise their standard of living. Do you think that we have raises, days off, or health care benefits because companies regard their employees as children of God? Any company, whether is public or private, is going to try to get you to work for as little compensation as possible. So why should we care?

    Because people deserve more. In American labor history workers fought very hard to improve their standard of living. What? Miners with pensions? And safety measures? And regular raises? Yep, this is what collective action made possible. That regular people like teachers, policemen, housekeepers, servers, cooks, and corn field workers could actually work and sustain their families and have a middle class life–folks like the author’s grandfather and uncle. It was a radical proposition when Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical was published and it is even more radical today.

    Why do we think that the problem is working class benefits? When the banks draged this country down the economic recession nobody asked the CEOs to give up their pensions or health care benefits. They didn’t even give up their bonuses after they have gotten bailouts with real tax payer’s money. And yet we look at a teacher who is trying to pay her mortgage or have a retirement, and we think, “jeez, she doesn’t deserve that.”

    Instead of fighting for having less Americans who can afford to go to the doctor or don’t have to work until 80 years old, why don’t we fight for a good standard of living for ordinary folks? This is no eutopia, this is what thousands of American workers fought for 100 years ago–and need to fight for again.

    • PostCatholic

      thank you for saying this.

  • smf

    You are talking about people who enjoy pay and benefits substantially higher than the average in the general population needing to fight for more? If we had a redistributive system the unionized workers would be among the largest groups having their earnings given to the have-nots, for the union workers are most certainly among the haves. There is no amount of pulling down the rich that will ever raise up the poor.

  • smf

    To put it in melodramatic terms:

    If you support the public sector unions having a right to collectively bargain, then you support the right of it to bargain for benenfits to be gained, in the ultimate sense, by the threat of the gun (for that is the fundamental power of the state) and finally guaranteed by the power of the hydrogen bomb (for that is the last resort of the modern state).

    Is it really moral to ask the public authority to use such a power against the very public to provide pay and benefits greater than the average member of the public?

    The pay and benefits of all public servants ought to be defined as a matter of law.

  • Laurie

    For those in support of collective bargaining, have any of you watch the documentary Waiting for Superman? Not all teachers, workers are equal in skills and enthusiasm for their jobs. Some teachers are just doing time. I heard that the Teacher of the year in Wisconsin was layed off because she hadn’t gotten her tenure yet. I am an artist. Should I demand the same money as a Leonardo DeVinci or Michaelanglo would of received if still alive? I know I am not in their league, but if I was in a union with collective bargaining, I would be entitle to the same benefits and pay. Some people work harder than others and some are just better at their jobs than others, should they not be compensated according to their skills?

  • Esteban

    A worker’s wages, benefits, vacation (total compensation) is determined by their PRODUCTIVITY and the DEMAND for their labor.

    Collective bargaining can allow a worker to gain an appropriate valuation of their labor. But it doesn’t entitle them to unlimited compensation simply because they voted themselves worthy of a pay raise.


    If your job is so crummy, you can switch careers. You are bright, hard-working, educated, pressure-tested. There are 100s of other careers that would value your skills. You have a “right to work.” You don’t have a “right to work at the same job for 100 years.”

  • Dch

    Funny how the gov of WI only focused on the unions that did not support him and left the other public service unions off his target list?
    Some public unions retained the evil colective bargaining rights while other lose them. Why?

    Oh, one of the GOP Senate members pushing this “fiscal responsibility” got his 26-year old live-in mistress a job (in the middle of the “budget crisis”) at a 30% increase over the prior employee.
    So the taxpayers are covering in his “mistress” expense now! LOL
    His wife signed the recall petition and said he no longer even lives in his district and confirmed he is shacked up with the young woman in Madison.
    Still support these idiots?

  • Emily

    I’d like to know what percentage of public union workers are horrible employees that ride the wave of union lobbying… and which ones are actually good hard-working people who love their jobs. I think, too often people focus on the bad apples.

  • smf

    Probably 50% are good workers, 25% so-so, and about 25% poor employees. The trouble is in a union the good 50% are supposed to cover for the so-so part and the union should encourage the poor employees to go. However, in most modern examples the good 50% have to cover for the so-so and protect the low quality employees because a modern union has never seen an employee they consider to be underperfoming. According to the unions 100% of union workers are high quality employees producing high quality work product.

  • Mark

    All employees are only worth what it would cost to replace them. The reality is that 80+% of these people could be quickly and easily replaced for a lower base salary and a significant cut in benefits.

    The left won’t be happy until the tail is wagging the dog — which means they will never be happy. But hey, these defeats give liberals more fuel for their true passion of spewing anti-Americanism.

    Most unions have become microcosms of Socialism.. except with more extortion.

  • Dch

    The point of attacking the collective bargaining is to destroy the unions and remove to ONLY counterforce to power of corporate money that was magnified by the Citizens United decision. Once he public service unions are out of thwa way there wil be no counter balance left. The GOP is defunding its opposition by destroying the unions.
    The Koch brothers will be able to buy the next election.
    In December the GOP was all concerned about the taxes od those making over 250K – who they defined as middels-class Joes.
    Once they secured the low tax rates they switched gears and attack the “fat cat” teachers. LOL
    They are pitting the middle class against itself.

  • Nick

    I struggle to see how someone with a degree needs a union and collective bargaining. I am in engineering and bargain for my own wages and benefits. I don’t understand how a college educated teacher cannot bargain for themselves. I understand there was a time when teachers were just ladies from town, but now they go to universities and eventually get masters degrees. There are lots of school districts (public and private) in need of their specialized and in demand services. Not all industries have unions, nor should they. In my opinion someone who is working in the field that they received a degree for shouldn’t need a union. They chose that field of work from among countless others, and have the education and skills needed to bargain for themselves. 90% of careers resulting froma 4 year degree arn’t unionized, why is teaching different?

  • Esteban

    Step 1- Form a public sector union
    Step 2- collect dues
    Step 3- lobby legislators for increased benefits and more employees
    Step 4- repeat steps 2-3 until the private sector catches on and revolts

  • Esteban

    The “right to work” does not grant you the right to hold the same position with perpetual annual salary/benefit increases.

    The right to work is your freedom to choose to pursue a path of given employment. The opportunity to pursue an outcome, not the gurantee of the outcome is the freedom protected by that “right.”

  • Mark

    If unions are necessary for people to be paid fairly, then why is it that 99% of those who earn more than $100,000 / yr. are not members of unions?

  • Pauli

    “I am disturbed that so many prominent Catholics think that is OK to crush union employees.”

    No one is crushing anyone. Just realistically adjusting the cushy lifestyles of civil servants. Check out the teachers pictured here and here. Do they look like they are starving to you?

  • Laura V

    Look at who/what the Unions support with the dues paid in by employees? Anti-life and anti-family groups enjoy the support of most labour unions. The anti-life Democratic party receives the vast majority of political donations made by labour unions. Do employees have a choice where their dues go? I think not. In Canada, several people have gone to court to prevent their dues from supporting anti-Catholic causes, and their attempts have failed. To me that is much more important that the almight pocketbook of these poor, suffering(??)employees.

  • Pauli

    Here’s one:…31811.html
    Here’s the other:…-per-year/

    Like I said, these people are not starving.

  • Chris Ryland

    The basic problem (as has been well elucidated by other folks, e.g., on the site) is that collective bargaining for government employees is fundamentally different: you’re talking about bargaining with politicians who are free to keep raising taxes to keep the benefits flowing; in a corporation, you’re limited by the reality of what’s profitable and what isn’t.

    And, though this is probably off-topic, probably the major reason the public schools are failing isn’t the teachers, it’s the parents who are either absent or (the nearly same thing) not bringing their children up with any kind of moral foundation or self-discipline.

  • Don

    One of the aspects of Roman Catholicism with which I have become increasingly uncomfortable is the perceived hostility toward basic market economics, and the resultant perception of socialist leanings within Catholic belief. The relationship between employee and employer is not remarkably different than that between a store and a customer. Suggesting that employees need protection from employers, and thus need special legal protection through unions, is equivalent to suggesting that grocery stores need special protection from the evil people who shop there, and should be allowed to collude (as employees do through unions). Competition drives down prices (and wages, for that matter, admittedly) but maximizes the viability of employers and the skills of their employees (and many people seem to do quite well without unions). Unions are simply a form of employee collusion, for which their employers would be imprisoned if they took the equivalent actions. Yet Catholicism seems to support employee collusion without any recognition of the economic hypocrisy involved.

  • dan

    Yes, Wall Street is greedy and perhaps even corrupt, though politicians–including many Democrats–in NY, CT, and NJ will limit any punitive actions against those institutions and their executives given the importance of the financial industry to the economies in those states.

    While the boom time was on, many benefited from Wall Streets triumphs, including local gov’ts that saw property tax revenues grow and pension funds that saw seemingly endless increases in returns.

    The boom is now a bust and we also need to look honestly beyond the Wall Street villians. The UC system in California actually had a 20 year contribution holiday in regards to its pension plan: neither UC or employees paid contributions because returns were so “good.” (In part, now students are paying much higher tuition to cover this.)

    How can such smart people be so naive? To a lesser extent, it is the same greed that consumed Wall Street.

    We are at a time when the party is over, and public employees and retirees need to be honest about the outlook as it pertains to future generations. Have they and their employer been paying 12% to 18% per year into the pension fund? If not, the future is problematic about pay outs and, future generations may be asked to cover the mess. Unions and retirees do have a moral obligation to honestly look at and address this matter.

  • Mary

    In today’s political debate, everyone takes a side against either the unions or corporate greed. I think Weigel hit upon the most tragic part of the story, which is that “tens of thousands of inner-city children are being denied a quality education.” I wish people would focus more on this very important part of the debate. As usual, the students get lost in the shuffle.

  • dan

    “I think Weigel hit upon the most tragic part of the story, which is that “tens of thousands of inner-city children are being denied a quality education.””

    This is a complex situation and vouchers alone will not fix the situation for many students. Yes, there are families who would definitely benefit in having the option of using a voucher. Unfortunately though, too many children come to school unprepared for the work and go home at night to an unsupportive, unsavory, and even unsafe environment.

    To protect and support these students, a safe after-school environment is needed. As a suggestion, schools could set up, with the aid from churches and non-profits, dormitories that include tutors on staff.

    Yes, this sounds radical but there are too many young students who start life–through no fault of their own–with almost zero chance of success in life.

    I see it at our local elementary school where there is split in the student community: a sizeable middle class population and an immigrant population. A good number in the former have parents who do not speak English, thus do not have the support at home when it comes to studying and homework. So they begin their academic life being passed through the system while failing acheive basic reading and writing levels. Their future has been pretty much set at the start of elementary school.

  • dan

    ” a good number in the former have…”
    Ugh, meant latter…

  • Lance Kronzer

    Paul Krugman wrote an editorial a few weeks ago defining the difference between Republicans and Democrats. My guess is that republicans suppport the governor while democrats side with the unions. Basic beliefs separate the two.
    Republicans believe they have earned whatever they have earned and therefore do not have to share those earnings with anyone: taxes, welfare, food stamps, charity, etc. Their “contributions” are usually just for tax benefits. PUblic policy should support an increased personal bottom line.
    Democrats tend to believe that they have some obligation to those who are less fortunate.
    Obviously this is a bit of an oversimplification. But check out the tendencies of tea partiers, republican bills in congress.
    My question to Wiegel is how Catholics can be republicans. Since the time of Pope Leo XII to the Vatican Council II, it has been taught that people have the right to organize for the good of the group. It is a moral right.

    Unfortunately too many Catholics believe morality has to do with pelvic issues only.

  • smf

    Lance Kronzer,

    That characterisation of Republicans is a gross slander, a libel of sorts. I know many people who vote Republican at least part-time, and even a few loyal straight party Republican voters, and not a one uses tax right offs as the main motive for their charitable contributions. I am sure that some where in the world there is such a person, but I have never met one. Heck, I know lots of people that take the standard deduction and don’t itemize at all and vote Republican. I also know plenty of people who vote for Democrats and they don’t base their charity on tax matters either.

    This is an attempt to turn those on the other side of an issue into an incomprehensible “other” whose motives are bad/evil/corrupt while painting your own side as being pure as the wind driven snow. It is an attempt to hold one class of people out as “good” while subtley dehumanizing another.

    Paul Krugman knows as little about making a fair characterization of a Republican as Glenn Beck does about making one of a Democrat.

    In any case, yes, there is a right to organize, but just what exactly does that mean? I think workers organizing is, as a general theory, a good thing (in practice, in our fallen world, it is often problematic) but in the case of public sector union it is a logical impossibility for them to operate under the same framework as the private sector, and the law must address this.

    I will repeat what I stated above, all offices and posts within the government should work under a system of pay and benefits set as part of the public law making process. Public servants, including those who choose to organize, should have a voice in this process as should all citizens. If a pay scale set by law is good enough for those who give their blood, sweat, tears, and all too often their lives for this country, it should be good enough for all other public servants too.

  • Martial Artist


    I wholeheartedly agree with your suggestion, with one addition. I would suggest that the rates of pay and benefits should be a function of the prevailing wages for skill sets/responsibilities deemed comparable to those in the private sector, and should take account of the benefit that inheres to public-sector employees, for whom job security is statistically higher than for the private sector.

  • Tim Shipe

    It would seem to make sense for workers in any field to have collective bargaining rights- this would apply to public and private sectors – but it is the legislative/executive branch responsibility to set budgets that are fair and realistic- so when there is a serious conflict of interests- there needs to be a quick remedy- either a board of sorts comprised of common good citizen representatives- or a judicial branch reach to take the ultimate decisions out of the hands of those who may be colored by ideological or narrow party interests. I like the idea of multiple checks and balances so I don’t fall down at the foot of those who worship unions or unbridled “free” markets which allow for money and corporations to travel without restriction, but actual human beings who are the so-called workers are not truly free to move about the world in search of better lives and systems of governance.

  • Mary

    @ Lance Kronzer,

    “Democrats tend to believe that they have some obligation to those who are less fortunate. ”

    Actually, studies show that those who describe themselves as right-leaning (i.e., Republicans) regularly outpace their Democratic counterparts in charitable giving. The fact is many of those who are so anxious to spend other people’s money are not inclined to spend it themselves … See David Rubinstein’s piece in the Chicago Tribune (March 13):,0,1538305.story

  • Don L

    Much to much to discuss. Having been both a public school teacher who took a cut in pay to teach – a pay less than a supermarket clerk, and one who saw the routine abuse of many teachers by public administrators as a union president who then quit and worked many years in the more lucrative private sector, I would disagree somewhat with what is nearly an emotional witch hunt in this nation. It is one precipitated by many of these same negligent conservatives angered by the cost of what society openly agreed to under fair bargaining laws. Laws that only came about because of past silent abuse of teachers. Nothing was gained by holding a gun to the taxpayers’ heads. Tenure is essential and necessary to protect those traditional teachers who disagree with their leftist administrators. It merely means fair dismissal which no Catholic should be against. No one was rushing into those 9 month jobs (a myth) when the pay was bad. Envy or the desire for egalitarian pay results is hardly moral justification to attack an essential noble profession – (rabid wisconsin teachers perhaps excepted.)
    Having said that – the present cost needs to be fairly adjusted -salaries need to be attached to equal private pay, public unions should be eliminated with strong grievence procedures in place. No Godless NEA agendas should ever be allowed near schools. Any teacher violating contracts (strikes, fake sick days) should be prosecuted and jailed if guilty (that public servant is to be held more responsible business) Society is acting like negligent parents upset as their own negleted children’s behavior. Pogo was right – we all are to blame.