A quarterly magazine of urban affairs, published by the Manhattan Institute, edited by Brian C. Anderson.
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Minority Rules Last Gasp in Wisconsin « Back to Story
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I wouldn't put much stock in Robert La Follette. Wisconsin, for all of the liberal huffing and puffing, has become a deeply red state. A populace that elects tea partiers Sean Duffy, Scott Walker, Ron Johnson, and Paul Ryan is not going back to liberalism.
Alphonse wrote, " The oil cartel, the
the pharmaceutical lobby, and the AMA just
to name a few. So why not the public unions?"
Alphonse does not recognize a difference between public and private sector unions. The differences being that private sector unions work for employers who are subject to market discipline, and private sector employees cannot elect their bosses.
These are important distinctions. A private-sector union that makes its employer less competitive will see fewer of its members employed as the employer loses market share. A business in a competitive industry cannot simply raise prices when its costs increase, nor can government's "customers" choose to take its business (and funds) to a competitor.
Government unions are particularly pernicious when it comes to union work rules. Who shall determine what level of staffing is adequate, and what on-duty behaviors are acceptable- the People's elected representatives, or the union? Who determine whether pay and retention shall be based solely on seniority, or whether performance assessments may be used?
The People have the right, through their elected representatives, to determine the terms of government employment. The unions attempt to put themselves between the People and the People's government is inherently illegitimate.
Further, union involvement in politics is inherently corrupting, especially as politicians can (and often do) bind their successors to costs and limitations that will remain in effect long after the politician has left office.
This is a trite oversimplification of a complicated issue. Any largesse that public sector unions have achieved came at the hands of politicians who offered perks for votes. The people who gave away the store are as much at fault as anyone else. Further, the fact that some public unions (police and fire) were not held to the same standards shows an inconsistency in the argument that fiscal prudence guided the policy of stripping bargaining rights. Like equal rights, women's rights, or gay marriage, once rights are achieved, people resist giving them up. Can you blame them?
Let's start with this - that public unions are based on and operated for corrupt purposes, at the behest of the most corrupt institution on the planet, the Democratic Party. Such unions exist for one reason, and one reason only - as a means to funnel taxpayer dollars to the Democratic Party and its causes. Why else would such unions donate 100% of their monies to Democrats, or to influence the election of Democratic candidates.
Doesn't anyone see a problem with this?
Looking further - public unions are entirely creatures of statute - there is no right under federal law or the federal Constitution that allows public workers to unionize. As such, the individual states have complete control over these entities - they control the formation, and the rules under which such unions are run. In practice, the way the unions run is premised on this corrupt purpose, that the unions can use what are essentially state taxpayer funds as a means to influence legislators from one political party (Democratic), which in return for monetary support ensures that the unions get all or most of whatever they ask for.
In the process, the entire system of governance is corrupted - and not the least the (Democratic) party that benefits from these monies.
The emergence of public unions as the most influential group in state politics where these entities exist also cements the Republican Party's title as the "stupid party." Stupid is of course far better than corrupt, however, the failure of the Republicans to speak out in plain terms - and even Chris Christie does not talk about the corrupting influence of public unions with the degree of precision that this issue deserves - about public unions is inexplicable. How could Republicans have failed to see and failed to speak out about the terrible consequences of allowing state employees to unionize and donate money (or spend money in causes that influence voters to choose Democratic candidates) to the very legislators that determine wages and benefits? Could not Republicans figure out that these entities would be used as a pathway by which Democrats could have access to the public trough for precious campaign dollars or to media that influences elections?
Just plain stupid.
Of course, it's the Democrats who have allowed themselves to make a devils bargain - by accepting campaign dollars from public unions, or support from such unions, Democrats ensure that government in those states which enact statutes allowing public workers to unionize will never have their fiscal house in order. Democrats also have to dance to the tune played by the unions no matter the consequences, including destruction of the private economy as the level of taxation rises so high that economic activity is stifled. Of course, to Democrats, lack of prosperity is never an issue to be concerned about - prosperity is an anathema to Democrats, since poor people tend to vote for Democrats. So the poorer the better. That this is a short sighted view never seems to make a difference to these people.
It could be - although probably not - that those who made the original decision to go the route of allowing public unions may not have realized their mistake until of course it was too late. But, despite Wisconsin and Ohio, typically once public workers are unionized there is no going back - these entities are way too powerful. In New York for example, there is a political party ironically called the "Working Families Party" that is entirely made up of public workers - and this party are a force to be reckoned with in New York. The consequences of course, are loss of political power for the State as a whole (including the loss of two Congressional seats every ten years or so) as the population votes on the system with their feet. To add further irony, the population loss is perfectly acceptable to Democrats, since by ridding the state of those who oppose the Democrats corrupt agenda, power is consolidated in those remaining. And, in places like New York, California, and to some extent elsewhere, at least some of the lost population can be imported through immigration. Since it takes immigrants two or three generations to understand that Democrats are NOT the party of the poor (unless the object is to remain poor) Democrats can count on the votes of newcomers, for awhile at least.
It's all a pretty dismal prospect, but there is no need to get into that here. Fortunately, there are still places where the corrupting influence of public unions is absent, but as a whole, as such unions are able to influence policy at the federal level, the future is anything but bright.
when the 4.9 percent of Wisconsin residents who get their paychecks from state and local government
is that ALL that work for government? Here in Washington State, close to half are lined up to slop from the public trough, and that does NOT include "entitlement" payouts. It does, however, include all being paid as employees by the FedGov, including military and government. Yes, we've got a far worse situation here in regards unions' strangleholds on our tax money. No "right to work", we have "prevailing wage" laws mandating union wages for all government projects, very strong teachers' and public employees unions with insane pension plans. And our reigning queen wonders why the budget won't balance? We need a governor a lot like Gov. Walker.
Whether Falk has 5 percent support, or more than 50 percent, remains to be seen. It is not clear that Wisconsin voters would rather have a solvent state than see union power trimmed.
Let us face reality! Our entire country is
being ruled by small groups who seek to
enhance their agenda. The oil cartel, the
the pharmaceutical lobby, and the AMA just
to name a few. So why not the public unions?
There were times in the past when public
employees were at the bottom rung of the economic scale and it took years for them to
catch up to others. I give them credit for
wanting to keep what they fought so hard to get. As the economy improves, the private
sector jobs will be the benefactors of higher wages and better benefits and the public employees will once aagain fall behind.
Not surprisingly, a very disingenuous article. In fact there is no consensus among the anti-Walker movement as of yet. New candidates will emerge. Falk is only the first to announce. More people signed recall petitions than Walker's entire vote total. This is hardly a minority position.
Since Walker took power there has been a net loss of jobs in Wisconsin, and the only beneficiaries are the wealthy donors and corporations that bankrolled his campaign and have been rewarded with massive taxpayer funded payouts.
Many of Walker's campaign team have been charged with corruption, some in federal court. This is not a politician for the right wing to place their faith in.