The Madison County Record Apr. 2, 2015, 8:55am

"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore.”

That's the catch phrase popularized by Peter Finch in his Academy Award-winning role as the outraged anchorman Howard Beale in the 1976 film Network.

Notice of his impending termination is what sparks Beale's outrage – and an on-air rant in which he encourages viewers to go to their windows and echo his outrage.

Beale's outburst boosts his station’s dismal ratings, top brass change their minds about sacking him, and he soon finds himself the most popular personality on television.

It's just a movie and a silly one, but the prospect of losing one's job and the hardship and humiliation to follow ought to spark outrage, especially when the workers about to be axed have done nothing wrong and the fault lies elsewhere.

Not with management, however. They're the obvious scapegoat, but what if they're not to blame? What if they're compelled to make difficult decisions by outside forces, meddling fools who know that they're not likely to be held accountable for the harm they do?

Where should the outrage be directed?

Where, for instance, should the outrage of 2000-plus Granite City steelworkers given notice last week by US Steel be directed?

How about at the state legislators who've made Illinois an inhospitable place for business? How about at the union leaders who back these mischief-makers?

These are the people responsible for making our state's worker compensation premium averages the highest in the midwest. They're the ones you can thank for maintaining forced unionism in Illinois.

Since enacting a Right-to-Work law three years ago, Indiana has added nearly 40,000 manufacturing jobs, while Illinois has lost more than 2,000 (not counting Granite City’s coming hemorrhage). Michigan's 2013 Right-to-Work law resulted in 37,400 more jobs.

How much worse do things have to get before Illinoisans go to their windows and shout, “I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore?”

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