As President Obama once quipped "elections have consequences". Didn't the public union employees get the memo? Democrats got shellacked in November, and now Republicans are trying to do what voters sent them to do, so the democrats are subverting democracy by leaving the state and avoiding the vote.
And freedom? In what way, slant or angle can you associate unions with freedom? You don't usually get a choice about joining the union if you get a job with a company that has on. Your compensation isn't based on merit or how good you are. The only thing the union values is how long you have been there. And make sure not to work too hard and make everyone else look bad. Once upon a time at a brand new job, I got in trouble for plugging the electrical cord to my new computer into the outlet on the wall; a union guy was supposed to do that. Does that sound like freedom to you?
Unions vs. the Right to Work
How ironic that Wisconsin has become ground zero for the battle between taxpayers and public- employee labor unions. Wisconsin was the first state to allow collective bargaining for government workers (in 1959)Pretty much explains why they'll be the first to enact such a comprehensive rollback. It's not working.
And riddle me this. If collective bargaining was only introduced by law in 1959, how did it became a basic civil right? Laws are enacted and laws get repealed.
Labor unions like to portray collective bargaining as a basic civil liberty, akin to the freedoms of speech, press, assembly and religion. For a teachers union, collective bargaining means that suppliers of teacher services to all public school systems in a state—or even across states—can collude with regard to acceptable wages, benefits and working conditions. An analogy for business would be for all providers of airline transportation to assemble to fix ticket prices, capacity and so on. From this perspective, collective bargaining on a broad scale is more similar to an antitrust violation than to a civil liberty.And if they had not been so greedy and pushed the corrupt system that leaves know one at the bargaining table representing the tax payers, and enriched themselves well beyon what the average taxpayer get for pay and benefits, they might not be in this position.
The current pushback against labor-union power stems from the collision between overly generous benefits for public employees— notably for pensions and health care—and the fiscal crises of state and local governments. Teachers and other public-employee unions went too far in convincing weak or complicit state and local governments to agree to obligations, particularly defined-benefit pension plans, that created excessive burdens on taxpayers.The system is corrupt, and it must be abolished.
A Union Education
We've previously mentioned FDR and Fiorello La Guardia. But George Meany, the legendary AFL-CIO president during the Cold War, also opposed the right to bargain collectively with the government.And leading the way is AFL-CIO thug Rich Trumka.
Why? Because unlike in the private economy, a public union has a natural monopoly over government services. An industrial union will fight for a greater share of corporate profits, but it also knows that a business must make profits or it will move or shut down. The union chief for teachers, transit workers or firemen knows that the city is not going to close the schools, buses or firehouses.
This monopoly power, in turn, gives public unions inordinate sway over elected officials. The money they collect from member dues helps to elect politicians who are then supposed to represent the taxpayers during the next round of collective bargaining. In effect union representatives sit on both sides of the bargaining table, with no one sitting in for taxpayers. In 2006 in New Jersey, this led to the preposterous episode in which Governor Jon Corzine addressed a Trenton rally of thousands of public workers and shouted, "We will fight for a fair contract." He was promising to fight himself.
Current AFL-CIO chief Rich Trumka has tried to portray Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's reforms as an attack on all unions, but they clearly are not. If anything, by reining in public union power, Mr. Walker is trying to protect private workers of all stripes from the tax increases that will eventually have to finance larger government. Regarding public finances, the interests of public union workers and those of private union taxpayers are in direct conflict. Mr. Walker is the better friend of the union manufacturing worker in Oshkosh than is Mr. Trumka.Tax payers cannot afford to lose the battle of Wisconsin!