Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Public Unions, Fiscal Responsibility, and Wisconsin

Recently, trade unions throughout the state of Wisconsin have stage huge protests against current Republican governor Scott Walker's desire to curb the power of labor unions and force them to contribute to their pension and benefits package.

This is the kind of backbone that we need to see in this county. Elected officials must muster up the courage to take on the public-sector service worker lobby, which in many cases masquerades as a united front for labor.

Public sector unions are an unconscionable drain on the communities they are supposed to be serving and the states where they are located. Consider San Diego, a community that has had to lay of one third of its police and fire department in order to pay the exorbitant pensions extended to previous government employees. Los Angeles may have to consider bankruptcy as the only way to continue offering basic services to its citizens without going broke subsidizing pen ion plans and health benefits for retired and current city employees. Even if the city manages to break free of those extensive entitlement obligations, what will be left of the City of Angels for its current and future residents?

Teachers unions, for example, may demonstrate extensive skill in drumming up a crowd. Keep in mind, however, that those unions rely on dues which they compel from their members and spend as they see fit, without any input form their members. There are many members of labor who do not support the broad Democractic Party agenda, though they do care for their economic interests. Now that the card-check attempt at union hegemony has died, let's hope that the muscle which Governors Walker and Chris Christie of New Jersey will be enough to start turning the tide of public sector unions choking the life and economy of state governments.

I do note, in passing, that Governor Walker is not expecting more form the Public Safety Unions, including police and fire. I think that is not fair. Even public safety employees should take a loss and put up more money towards their pensions and healthcare coverage. President Calvin Coolidge noted that there is no right to strike when public safety is at stake, which holds true in the face of the long-term economic crisis which Wisconsin and other states in the Union are facing.

1 comment:

  1. Scott Walker succeeds! Wisconsin wins! Free Enterprise takes a firm step toward long-term triumph.

    The Republican majority, absent a quorum because of truant Democrats, used a separate parliamentary maneuver to pass the union-busting bill.

    There were reports that the Governor was in talks with the absconding Democrats to compromise. I know that Governor Walker's polls were dipping as the impasse dragged on.

    Yet when the Republicans removed all appropriations amendments from the bill, by law they no longer needed a quorum of 20 to vote on the final bill.

    In a time when freedom movements seem to face menacing opposition, it is thrilling to witness the success of a long-overdue cut to public-union power.