F.R. Duplantier reporting Behind The Headlines

Week of:
December 10, 2000
Random Thoughts on Work Benefits

F.R. Duplantier

by: F.R. Duplantier

Workers don't need unions or minimum wages. All they need is work.

Union Shoppers
Although they promised to protect the paychecks of workers from the political parasites attached to their unions, paycheck protection plans have gone down to defeat. Nevertheless, there may be another way to accomplish the same objective. Unions, after all, were established to protect workers against the alleged exploitation of management. In recent times, however, it seems that the exploitation of workers is more likely to occur at the hands of labor leaders. The solution, then, is simple. All workers should belong to two unions: one union to protect them from exploitation by their employers, and a second union to protect them from exploitation by the first union. Just to be on the safe side, they might want to join a third union to protect them from the second, and a fourth . . .

New Wage Movement
The minimum wage is the epitome of paternalism -- and of hypocrisy, too. After all, Uncle Sam's tender concern for the wages of unskilled workers would be superfluous if government schools had actually pre- pared them to be productive citizens. Literate, thinking young adults have no trouble entering the labor force and making steady progress in a satisfying career. The proletarian products of the public school system are another matter, however. If their incompetence and ineptitude condemn them to a life of low wages, perhaps they should vent their ire at the school system that failed them -- and be grateful to the bosses who pay them what they're worth, while providing an opportunity for self-improvement.

Big Brother Is Back
Uncle Sam wants to take a tip from Uncle Joe (Stalin, that is) and start monitoring public school students before and after they graduate, keeping tabs on them throughout their careers. Parents, do you really want your offspring branded at birth like some kind of livestock, browbeaten and berated until their spirits are broken and they learn to conform, herded into dead-end jobs by bureaucratic drovers? Then do something, and do it now, because this is the prospect that faces your children and grandchildren, flesh of your flesh, those remarkable young souls with special talents, big dreams, and boundless potential, each a unique person with dignity made in the image of God. Let no one debase your precious progeny.

Advantage of Poverty?
Can you keep a secret? Then go away. You're of no use to us. What we need are some bona fide blabbermouths, good-natured gabbers who will tell everyone they know -- and many a stranger -- about the exciting discovery that children born into poverty have a natural entrepreneurial advantage. Tell the teachers, tell the preachers, tell the parents in the bleachers. Most important, tell the kids whose enormous entrepreneurial potential is currently being stifled. Make sure they know that academic achievement is not the only route to success, nor even the best one. Pluck, hard work, persistence, and ingenuity will carry them much further than straight A's and book learning. Tell them about Steve Mariotti and the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (www.nfte.com), and help them put his principles into practice.

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