Outright Theft by Public Unions

Though it's a high bar given what has been going on recently, this is the most aggravating thing I have read this week, via Glen Reynolds:

Robert and Patricia Haynes live in Michigan with their two adult children, who have cerebral palsy. The state government provides the family with insurance through Medicaid, but also treats them as caregivers. For the SEIU, this makes them public employees and thus members of the union, which receives $30 out of the family's monthly Medicaid subsidy. The Michigan Quality Community Care Council (MQC3) deducts union dues on behalf of SEIU.

Michigan Department of Community Health Director Olga Dazzo explained the process in to her members of her staff.  "MQC3 basically runs the program for SEIU and passes the union dues from the state to the union," she wrote in an emailobtained by the Mackinac Center. Initiated in 2006 under then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich., the plan reportedly provides the SEIU with $6 million annually in union dues deducted from those Medicaid subsidies.

“We're not even home health care workers. We're just parents taking care of our kids,” Robert Haynes, a retired Detroit police officer, told the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. “Our daughter is 34 and our son is 30. They have cerebral palsy. They are basically like 6-month-olds in adult bodies. They need to be fed and they wear diapers. We could sure use that $30 a month that's being sent to the union.”

This is a microcosm of the typical liberal fail -- a group or agency does initial good work (private unions in the early 2oth century, civil rights groups in the 60's and 70's, the EPA in the early 70's) but refuse to go away and declare victory, instead morphing into self-sustaining parasites whose only concern is their own survival.


  1. caseyboy:

    Self-sustaining parasites, right-on. I wonder how this couple is benefited by their union representation? Shameful, you bet. Ending any time soon? Not if the recent OH ballot vote is an indication. Those union dues can buy a lot of media coverage for union positions.

    The slippery slope is going to be bumpy.

  2. MJ:

    And to think, Granholm got RE-elected in Michigan. Way to go Michigan, now you get to wallow in your own crapulence.

  3. NL_:

    I assume this was a deal with the union to allow for family care. The union probably said that it would eliminate jobs for nurses and care workers, who would pay dues. They could probably buy union acquiescence by giving them a cut of the home care payments.

    I wonder if the SEIU even pretends to represent these dues-paying home workers in negotiations or lobbying.

  4. Jacob:

    What makes it worse is that you just know a good chunk of that money is being funneled right back to the Democrats.

  5. me:

    Speaking of outright theft (sorry, needed to vent somewhere): A friend of mine recently was in the courtroom. A doctor had billed him for quite a few services never performed. The doctors collection agency sued, he was there, and he was no alone: five other customers of the same doctor were getting sued, all claiming to never have received the services billed.

    The catch: the doctor got his payday. Apparently, it's not sufficient to be present at court and swear that the services were never rendered. No, my friend would have had to presubmit a self-signed affidavit claiming that the services were never rendered.

    Good thing we have a system of justice and judges to hear cases. Otherwise, this would go the way of whoever paid the most for their lawyer :(

  6. Vilmos:

    > a group or agency does initial good work (private
    > unions in the early 2oth century, civil rights
    > groups in the 60′s and 70′s, the EPA in the early
    > 70′s) but refuse to go away and declare victory,
    > instead morphing into self-sustaining parasites
    > whose only concern is their own survival.

    You just gave a fine example of Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy:

    Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representative who work to protect any teacher including the most incompetent. The Iron Law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.


    I just would add that there is a third kind of people. Or maybe just a clarification of Pournelle's second kind of people. They are outsiders who take over an existing organization/movement, change (or better said pervert) it so much that it becomes unrecognizable, and milk it to the level that make people blush. Examples: how environmentalism (a worthy goal originally) was taken over by radical social engineers. How feminism was taken over by man haters and extreme abortion supporters. Or how welfare of the poor was taken by people who constantly redefine what poverty is in order to keep themselves relevant.

    I think that these kind of people come into the picture when the original organization/movement actually reached its goals. But since no (or almost no) organization will disband itself, once the interest is waning, these people have a field day.


  7. Josh:

    I wonder if it might be advantageous for them to take advantage of this ridiculous situation and open some sort of day-care-like service? Since they're already legally classified as caregivers and already paying for the 'privilege' to do so, they may as well make some money off of it.

  8. Speedmaster:

    Wow, that's terrible, even for unions.

  9. markm:

    FYI, this was quite old news by the time Warren posted it. Granholm was reelected once right after starting this, but few voters had heard about it yet. In 2010, Rick Snyder beat her. In 2012, Right to Work passed in Michigan, ending this and many other union thefts.