No free lunch

Here is a five-minute look at unions, both private and public. Private unions are imploding while public ones, funded by cash strong-armed from taxpayers, are doing just fine, thank you.

And, as usual, unions and their associated corruption are supported by the Democrat/Socialist Party in the United States.

I bring this to you as a public service. A tip of the sombrero to the brilliant Dr. Thomas Sowell.

My closest encounter with unionism was at the San Juan Star where not only was the composing room unionized, which was the case at the New Orleans paper when I worked there, but the newsroom was unionized too. But during the nearly two years I toiled in San Juan, no one ever approached me about joining. Dunno why.

So I got union pay without paying union dues.

The union at the San Juan Star was run by the local communist party. My stay in Puerto Rico was broken into two parts, and the reason was labor strikes.

After the first strike, which left me unemployed, I took a roundabout route back to the United States, meandering through Haiti and Mexico by plane and train. The strike was fairly brief, so I returned to San Juan. Months later, the union struck again, and I left forever.

The labor union eventually drove the paper out of business, years later. I really liked Puerto Rico and would have settled there except for the union and the communist party.

I’m not fond of unions or communists.

Commies & selling stuff

Just before arriving downtown on one of the two main drags, you encounter a wall, about a block long, that’s been painted bright red with occasional large yellow stars included. No words. It’s put there by the Communist Party, which has a candidate for mayor in the upcoming elections in June.

They don’t call themselves the Communist Party, of course. The call themselves the Workers Party, but it’s easy to see through that sleight of hand. Only a fool would be fooled. Alas, many voters are fools, which is why universal suffrage is a dreadful idea. The traditional communist star is red, but theirs is yellow atop a red background.

Precisely like the flag of Communist Vietnam.

A recent poll has the communist candidate, a smiling young fellow who looks to be in his mid-30s, to be the front-runner in our mayoral contest. He’s part of a coalition that includes the Morena Party, which is the party that our demagogue president formed some years back because he kept losing elections when part of other leftist parties.

Morena means “brown woman.” How’s that for playing the race card?

At present, it seems we have no mayor at all. The fellow who has been mayor for years abandoned the job recently to run for a national post in Mexico’s congress, so City Hall is running on autopilot. That former mayor, a guy named Baéz, and for whom I voted, was the best mayor since I moved here decades back.

Previous mayors did nothing at all. They came into office and then they left. You never noticed that anything changed for better or for worse, but I imagine the mayors left office richer than when they arrived. Baéz, however, really got things done. He renovated downtown streets and sidewalks. He build a sports complex, a new City Hall, lots of things I viewed positively. He was always out and about. But now he’s gone.

To the national stage. Buena suerte.

Will the commie candidate win? Maybe. And if he does, will we return to mayors who do nothing? Probably. Better to do nothing than do what communists like to do. His campaign motto is: “Happiness that Transforms.” Cute, huh?


Selling stuff

Mexicans often offer things for sale without mentioning vital details, like price, but it’s worse than that. It’s common to see signs tacked up around town that say, for instance, House for Sale, and that’s it, aside from a phone number. There will be no address, no mention of two bedrooms or 10, nothing, just House for Sale and a phone number.

Except for large stores, especially chains, it’s also common to see retail items for sale that have no price attached. This is dumb, but it’s done so the seller can get a look at you first to decide how much he thinks he can get. Marketing studies have proven unequivocally that things — anything at all — sell faster with visible prices.

But the locals like to size up the buyer before revealing prices. It’s a bad tactic.