Update: In an effort to promote democracy, all of Wisconsin's state Democrat legislatures have fled the state to try and shut down any vote on the legislation proposed by Gov. Walker, because, you know, it's not like Wisconsin's election should have any consequences. Just as a reminder, over the past 40 years, per pupil spending for education has more than doubled in real dollars. That has led to zero improvement in reading skills and significant decreases in math and science skills. But we have teachers who have tenure, a system that rewards seniority over merit, teachers' unions whose last priority appears to be quality education, and teachers receiving pay and beneifits that are on a meteoric rise while private citizens, those footing the bill, are moving in the opposite direction. What a deal, we are paying twice as much for significantly less quality. But hey, the unions do pay a tremendous amount of money to keep Democrats in power, so I guess that's something.
Further informatation on this in the form of Drudge-ku:
'Day of Rage' Hits Wisconsin...
25,000 pack Capitol...
New Gov. takes on State Employees Unions...
Compared to Hitler...
Madison schools, others closed amid call for demonstrations...
1,100 teachers call in 'sick'...
RYAN: 'Like Cairo Moved To Madison'...
PAPER: 'Unions want to overturn election result'...
Obama-founded OFA spearheading effort to defeat...
Police searching for Senate Dems avoiding union vote...
GOP SEN: They got on a bus and left the state!
Protesters, supporters clash in Ohio over union bill...
From Michelle Malin on the "civil unrest" in Wisconsin as big Labour is in crisis mode to protect its right to demand tax payers be soaked and its abosolute right to the fiscal involuntary servitude of all Wisconsin public sector employees:
Public employee unions who force state workers to join and force them to fork over dues have a lot of chutzpah posing as freedom-fighters, don’t they?
The letter of the day reprinted below comes from one of those dissenting state workers in Wisconsin, where the SEIU Purple Army and assorted Big Labor enforcers are trying to bring the state to its knees over the brave and necessary fiscal discipline that GOP Gov. Scott Walker has introduced.
The AFL-CIO is digging in its heels. The rent-a-mobs are fully activated and marching on Gov. Walker’s home. Mission: Persuasion of power.
This from Wisconsin's Journal Sentinel:
Unions want to overturn election result
. . . The public-sector union tantrums, meant to make lawmakers wobble, have an inadvertent message for the rest of us: Voters can vote all they want. We can elect a cheapskate governor and a Legislature to match. But come the moment, unions will have the last, loudest word.
They'll have it if takes marches. They'll have it if it takes what amounts to an illegal strike, with so many Madison teachers calling in sick Wednesday that the district closed schools. If it takes showing up for a we-know-where-your-family-is protest on Walker's Wauwatosa lawn while he was at work, the unions are sure they can outshout any election result.
This is exactly why Walker is right to limit the unions' power over government spending.
Walker, remember, is not removing unions' fundamental power to bargain for wages. He is demanding that state workers put 5.8% of their wages toward retirement and that they cover 12.6% of their health care premiums, which would still have them paying more than $100 less a month than the average schmoe. He is also proposing that elected officials determine the shape of employee benefits without having to bargain them, and this as much as the added cost has unions crying "unfair."
They insist this is the end of unionization in government, something to which they have as much right, they say, as anyone else.
But they miss a bedrock difference. Unions in the private sector are a way of organizing private interests, those of employees, against other private interests, those of a company's owners, for economic gain and for protection against unfairness. In government, workers are already protected against unfairness by civil service laws, and Walker has supported expanding those. Economically, government unions pit a private interest, that of employees, against the public's interest, that of taxpayers and voters.
We see the result. Walker's moves are prompted by the state's vast deficit. The alternative, he says, is to lay off thousands. Nonsense, charge the marchers: Just raise taxes. Unions and allies have for years been demanding more sales taxes, new business taxes and higher taxes on other people's incomes, all to keep the state flush and generous. We're taxed enough already, said a voting majority in November. Not yet, insist the unions that have become the largest players in Wisconsin politics precisely to counter any such voter sentiment.
Anyway, union leaders were conceding the pension and health care premiums by this week. They said they knew they'd have to pay more eventually - so when unions in December said such payments were tantamount to slavery, it must have been just maneuvering. Bygones, say unions, as long as Walker leaves them the power to set health benefits via bargaining. Leave that, they say, and it's peace.
Yeah? Recall how we got here. How is it that only in desperation will unions accept a deal that still leaves them better off than everyone else? How did we achieve not just next year's $3.3 billion deficit but the decade of structural deficits before? Easy: It's because labor costs for years have been outstripping taxpayers' capacity. That in turn was caused by officials, elected in a union-dominated political environment, buying labor peace via benefits, where it's harder for voters to see the costs adding up.
If the Legislature takes the 5% and 12% and doesn't reform collective bargaining, the 5% and 12% soon will be won back by unions. Any further savings are out the window. Walker talks of moving to consumer-driven benefits, as many companies have done, to restrain medical costs. That's anathema to unions, who will resist it contract by contract. Without bargaining reform, government costs will have taken only a pause in their ascent.
Union activists in Madison Tuesday spoke apocalyptically of "class war," hinting wildly at general strikes and takeovers of the Capitol. They correctly see their control of the state slipping and must figure that if they bring 13,000 shouting people to Madison, they can overrule the election.
Any worried legislators should keep in mind that Walker drew about five times that many votes in Dane County alone in November.
Public sector unions were illegal in America through 1960 - and for very good reasons, all of which we are seeing today played out in Wisconsin and throughout America. JFK saw the opportunity to enlist public sector workers as part of the Democratic base through unionization. And that is just one more toxic legacy of Democrat politics.
For a fuller explanation of why public sector unions should be outlawed, see:
- Public Sector Unions: A Toxin, A Crisis & An Opportunity
- Read'n, Writ'n & Unioniz'n
- What, Marx Or Lenin Weren't Available?
- Gov. Chris Christie, What Leadership Looks Like
- California: From Riches To Public Sector Unions To Ruin
- Detroit's Public School System, School Board & Teachers' Union
- Unions & Teachers: The Alpha & Omega
- Living With Public Sector Unions
- Public Sector Unions
- Obama, The Stimulus & Teachers' Unions
- Yet Another Reason Why Public Sector Unions Should Be Done Away With
- Grand Theft Democrat
- Another Win For Teachers Unions, Another Defeat For DC Students
- Reason 10,001 Why Public Sector Unions Need To Be Outlawed