Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A $9 Billion Problem

image from: turbo.inquisitr.com
We're living in some crazy times, my friends.  Driving to work the other morning I was listening to the radio and heard about challenging union negotiations taking place in our country.  I'm sure you're aware of the chaotic circumstances in Wisconsin, Rhode Island and NYC, right?  The irony here, however, is that the emergency 24 hours extension in contract talks was not related to teachers, police officers or firefighters; instead the dilemma centered around the NFL and their players' union.  Take a minute to grab a box of tissues - you're going to need them.  You see, the National Football League is so incredibly profitable that last year they made $9 billion more than anticipated.  I would have written that figure out in numerals, but was concerned I wouldn't know how to express it with the correct number of  zeros.  Am I the only person who thinks it is absolutely absurd that a professional sports association  should make 9 BILLION dollars more than the greedy bastards had initially expected?  In a single year?

All over the country there is a growing anti-union fever.  Benefits such as salary, medical insurance, retirement, and job security relating to seniority, are being attacked and eliminated when possible.  Legislation is being written to facilitate the deterioration of employee agreements that had been achieved after decades of public employees accepting verbal appreciation for their contributions to society, rather than monetary rewards for their efforts.    Professional public servants (Servants!  Now I understand where this phrase comes from) are being asked to forgo agreed upon salary increases for the sake of these difficult economic times - a reasonable request as our country tries to regain a sense of productivity and stability in a world gone mad for consumption.  I certainly am not an economist, and I would never claim to be an expert in anything that pertains to finances, but I am puzzled by this situation.  Can someone please explain to me how stripping benefits from educators came to be perceived as the solution to a crisis created by those with much more lucrative professions?  Do football players and the billionaire franchise owners really contribute more to American society than educators and public safety employees?  Did bankers from the top 5 U.S. banks really deserve to be awarded bonuses totalling more than $119 billion dollars in 2010?  Why aren't they being asked to sacrifice benefits or to justify their  contributions to the community?  I wish I had more answers than questions - as well as the problem of how to divide $9 billion.  God bless America.

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