Say you’re on an airplane flying high over the Rockies.
The plane is going down.
You need a parachute.
Luckily, before you took off, all the passengers got together and pooled their money to buy them.
There’s enough for everyone. We’re all going to make it out of this alive.
People line up at the doors getting ready to jump.
Right in front of you is a lady with a sour look on her face.
“I can’t believe they’re making us pay for these parachutes,” she says.
“Really?” you reply. “Don’t you want one?”
“Sure I do!” she says. “I just don’t think I should be forced to pay for it.”
You give her a look. You can’t help it.
“But how else can they buy the parachutes?” you say.
She puts her hands on her hips and says, “There are some people on other airplanes that don’t have parachutes. I don’t think it’s fair that I get a parachute when they don’t have one.”
“You could just leave your parachute here on the plane and jump without it,” you offer helpfully.
She makes a face looking down at the parachute she’s been provided. “Will you look at this?” she says. “Mine’s blue.”
“So what?” you say. “So is mine.”
“I hate blue. I don’t want my money going to buy blue parachutes.”
“Um. At least you’ll have a soft landing.”
“A soft BLUE landing without my Constitutional rights.”
Just then a hole breaks open in the back of the plane sending air whooshing through the cabin. Oxygen masks fall from the ceiling. The plane shudders back and forth before the hole is plugged and cabin pressure returns.
A man with a similar sour expression comes forward to both of you. He is wearing a military police uniform and has a whistle in his mouth. He blows it.
“Did I hear right!?” he bellows. “Is this woman being forced to pay for her parachute!?”
“Yes,” you say after a moment. “She wants one.”
They both look at you like a third arm is growing out of your forehead.
“That’s beside the point,” the military man spits. “She can’t be FORCED to pay for it!”
By this time, a woman makes her way to the three of you from the front of the plane. She is wearing a beret and an armband.
“What’s the problem back here?” she asks.
“The problem is that this woman is being forced to pay for her parachute!” the MP says.
“Do you want a parachute?” beret woman asks the sour jumper.
“Of course,” the woman says.
“Then why shouldn’t you pay for it?”
“Because it’s blue,” she says.
“Are you kidding me?” beret woman asks. “Of course it’s blue. We got those on sale. The only way we could afford parachutes for everyone was if we bought in bulk and bought blue.”
“I don’t care,” the jumper says. “I shouldn’t be forced to buy a blue parachute if I don’t want one.”
“But you DO want one,” you say.
“Not a blue one,” she responds.
“Just give it back,” you say.
“No,” she replies stubbornly.
“That’s it,” the MP says drawing his gun. “Both of you, give me your parachutes.”
“What!?” you say.
“You heard me, Flyboy!” he says opening a huge rucksack. “Everyone on this plane! Put your parachutes in this bag!”
Everyone groans but does as he commands. After all, he’s holding a gun.
“Now what?” the sour jumper says once all the parachutes have been collected.
“Now I’m going to return all of these to the store,” he says.
“Huh!?” you say.
“It’s the only fair thing to do. You’ll each have to come back to the store and pay for your own ‘chutes.”
“But we’re on a plane plummeting out of the sky!” you say.
He turns to the sour jumper. “You’re welcome,” he says. “My job here is done.”
You turn to beret lady. “Isn’t there something you can do?” you ask.
“I’m afraid not,” she says. “Even if we could go back to the store, we can’t afford to buy everyone a parachute unless everyone pitches in. And even then only the blue ones are on sale.”
The military man salutes and jumps out of the plane. After he falls an appreciable depth he pulls his own rip cord. You can see his parachute balloon open. It’s bright red.
You turn to beret girl. “Who was that guy?” you ask.
“Air Marshal Alito,” she says before making her way back to the front of the plane.
The nose of the cabin dips down. The sound of rushing wind is intense.
You turn to the sour jumper. “Are you satisfied now?” you say. “We’re all going to die.”
She slumps to the ground. Her head falls off. She’s hollow. She was just a mannequin.
You sit back in your seat stunned.
You put on your belt.
“I don’t want to pay for any seat belts,” comes whining from the mannequin’s head rolling on the floor.
You kick it out of the plane.
Before you crash.
And experience a fiery death.
Meanwhile on the ground, Air Marshall Alito is shaking a man’s hand. The man is from Wall Street. He just made a small fortune betting the plane would crash. His name is Koch.
He gives Alito a suitcase full of greenbacks. He turns to another man, the owner of Friedrichs’ Mannequin Manufacturing. He gives him another similar suitcase.
These suitcases contain just a fraction of the money Koch has won betting on the demise of the airplane passengers.
He is laughing.
On the suitcases it says, “Right to Fly.”
He laughs harder.
He laughs and laughs and laughs.
You’re still dead.
Should workers be permitted to benefit from collective bargaining without paying union dues? No. Pay for what you get or turn down the benefit.
Is collective bargaining essentially political? No. It’s negotiating fair treatment. Ebay isn’t political. Neither is this.
Is Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association a trumped-up case tailor-made for the five conservative Supreme Court justices to overturn existing law simply because they wanna? HELL YEAH!
NOTE: This article was featured on Diane Ravitch’s blog.
14 thoughts on “F is for Friedrichs… and Freeloader: A Supreme Court Nightmare”
[…] Singer, on hisGADFLYONTHEWALLBLOG just couldn’t pass this story up. He has come up with a parable about the Friedrichs case that involves an airplane, some parachutes and a woman who doesn’t want to pay for […]
There absolutely is NO common sense left in this world if there is a possible profit involved. And to think that I actually still stop and offer help to people who have a flat tire, run out of gas, or were involved in an accident. Shame on me I guess.
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[…] Singer wrote an apt fable about Friedrichs. He also includes some excellent […]
Reblogged this on David R. Taylor-Thoughts on Education.
Reblogged this on karenw95.
[…] F is for Friedrichs … and a Freeloader: A Supreme Court nightmare | Gadflyonthewall Blog […]
Reblogged this on The Academe Blog and commented:
This is hysterical — and painfully accurate!
My only critique of this story is the belief that Friedrichs goes down with the plane. I’m pretty sure she’ll be safe on the ground her with her best friend Koch giving her kick backs.
He thought of that. “Friedrichs” in this story was a mannequin. I wonder about the real Friedrichs — is she real?
[…] enough of us, we trump their corrupt laws. They only get to make those laws because we say so. And court decisions – even Supreme Court decisions – mean nothing next to the court of public […]
[…] services. If the court rules in favor of Friedrichs, it would overturn decades of established law against free riders. People would be allowed to be in a union, enjoy higher salary and benefits negotiated by that […]
[…] 10) F is for Friedrichs… and Freeloader: A Supreme Court Nightmare […]
[…] case comes down to this: some people working in a union job don’t think they should have to pay union dues even though they…negotiated by their union. They affirm that being part of a union is political speech and thus they […]
[…] can be a free rider! I can get all the advantages of belonging to a union – higher salary, better benefits, better […]