The Union Man: Act Three

Imagine if Harold Hill, instead of peddling band supplies which he never intended to deliver, set out to organize an existing boys’ band…

Act Three

A government accountant arrives in River City on assignment from the Statehouse. The town’s brief economic dip has become a lengthy downturn, and the citizens who have not fled for the relative luxury of Mason City are restless. The accountant is viewed with suspicion, and for his part demonstrates an unnatural distrust of Professor Hill.

After several months of number-crunching it is decided that the River City Boys’ Band – in addition to many other services – must endure cuts. Though hardly to blame for all the town’s problems, band expenses for new hats, tuba waxing, and parade day snacks have been increasingly borne by River City taxpayers. To lift River City out of its rut, the accountant suggests that the town reverse its trend of raising tax rates and disband the local BBUG chapter so budget experts are free to make decisions which will ultimately benefit all River City residents.

Professor Hill lobbies with renewed vigor: Boys should not bear the costs of the boys’ band! The innkeeper, grocer, and pool hall manager could keep the town afloat if they weren’t so stubborn about “profits!” The union-bashing bean-counter does not realize band suppliers would lose business if River City citizens paid BBUG less!

Professor Hill is joined in his cries by the mayor and the barbershop quartet, in addition to the band members who receive all their financial and political information from Professor Hill. Without Professor Hill, the band would be mute! Without a brotherhood to strong-arm their fellow citizens, the band’s purchases would be limited to what was affordable!

How should the story end? Should River City ask an entitled interest group to face fiscal reality with the rest of the town — or should the union’s class warfare drown out all rational discussion? Learn more about Ohio’s real-life government unions, which exist to represent government employees against you, the taxpayer.

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