Will Wisconsin become another France?

When I was in college back in the late sixties, as student riots and massive union strikes regularly crippled the French economy, I recall thinking it was great living here in the U.S., where a free-enterprise economy insulated us from such counter-productive and shameful displays of civic greed.  What a difference four decades of ever-expanding government can make.

Last year’s riots in Greece, and violent demonstrations in the U.K. – all birthed by the anger felt by students, teachers, union workers and others who have grown increasingly dependent on government subsidies and hand outs, and who now face modest cuts to those benefits – are being played out in America’s heartland.  Teachers and public-employee unions in the Badger State are angrily protesting Gov. Scott Walker’s modest austerity plan that would curtail public-sector union power in some areas, and require those workers to pay a small part of their health care benefit package and slightly increase their contribution to the very generous pension plans they enjoy.

You’d think by the response, the governor was forcing union members to surrender their first-born child to the state.

Yet, even more shameful than the vehement union reaction to these proposals – which includes publicly comparing Walker to Adolf Hitler – has been the cowardly reaction by Wisconsin’s Democratic state legislators (Walker is a Republican).  Rather than work with the new governor and Republican majorities in the legislature, the Democrats simply turned tail and ran to the neighboring state of Illinois; thereby denying the governor and their Republican colleagues the necessary majority to vote on budgetary matters.

Just how draconian are Walker’s proposed measures to help close Wisconsin’s burgeoning, $3.6 billion deficit?  In fact, not draconian at all.  The new governor’s first-ever budget proposal would require government workers to contribute a modest 5.8 percent of their pensions, and 12 percent of their health insurance benefits; both amounts below the national average. The proposal also would limit the ability of public-sector unions to collectively bargain; thereby helping to ensure taxpayers are not held hostage to unreasonable demands on their wallets in the future.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Walker is promising no layoffs or teacher furloughs in exchange for passage of these reforms. However, he has warned he will be forced to layoff some 6,000 state workers if action is not taken. The Democratic legislators who fled the state apparently would rather see public employees laid off, than support modest benefit contributions by employed state workers.

Public-employee unions, grown arrogant from decades of ever-more generous benefit packages, are fighting tooth and nail to hang onto their gains.  They exhibit no willingness to help shoulder any of the costs the taxpayers at-large have to pay in these rough economic times.

Walker is not alone in recognizing that steps must be taken to rein in such largesse.  Even California and New York are entertaining minor reforms to ease the burden that public-sector benefits have imposed on their budgets.

Whether the Wisconsin Governor and his legislative colleagues will prevail in this epic battle remains unclear; and the outcome will have significant ramifications in Ohio and other states that are heavily union-laden, as well as in the nation’s capitol.  But the battle now being waged in America’s heartland offers a focused glimpse into our country’s future.

Whether we become another France – a country long held hostage to powerful unions and debilitating social benefit programs – or begin the slow but vital climb back up the ladder from the depths of government entitlements and deficit-spending, may be determined right here, right now, in Madison, Wisconsin.

by- Bob Barr, The Barr Code

186 comments Add your comment

mike rossignol

February 23rd, 2011
5:58 am

you’re right, we should make all unions illegal. We should make people work longer hours no more overtime, abolishe payed vacations. We also can fire womens who say no.

please take few $ go to see for your self how good is the life in europe. than you can write about…

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I. Savant

February 23rd, 2011
6:01 am

You’re a biased idiot living off the back of those workers you call (via comparison) greedy. How much do you get paid and when was the last time you took a cut in anything?

Bill Orvis White

February 23rd, 2011
7:16 am

ATTENTION: @mike @I, Savant

Your cynicism is masking your ignorance. The fact is that Wisconsin cannot afford these package monstrosities. The governor has to make austerity cuts for the sake of fiscal responsibility. From the drivel that you posted, it sounds like you do not run a business. I run a business and I can tell you that if Hussein Obama imposes draconian taxes and imposes illegal health care mandates on me, I’m either not going to hire or I’m getting out.

The union thugs have called the shots for too long in states like Wisconsin whereby they force the state government to raise taxe$ on hard-working taxpayers to subsidize public workers. It’s about time a governor is standing up to the left-wing media and is saying a strong “NO!” to these socialist agitators

@I, Savant,
Representative Barr is not living off the backs of any workers. Mr. Barr believes that the country works best when big government gets out of the way of business thus making the free markets thrive. The markets cannot expand when union thugs and left-wing special interests place demands on state and federal governments to raise taxe$ to fund more big government. This philosophy is simply choking the life out of businessmen like me and we are tired of subsidizing these socialist policies which, by the way, bankrupted Greece and made France the biggest nanny state on this planet.

You critics of columns like these are complete, total bedwetters who expect folk like Hussein Obama, Nanny Pelosi, Hairy Reid and Bawney Frank to take care of you. You blame everyone but yourselves for your misfortune — just like those members of the teacher’s unions up north. If any of you freeloaders work for anyone, which I doubt, you have no idea how much of your paycheck gets confiscated by state and federal government. Wouldn’t you like to keep those funds so that you can invest in them wisely instead of Hussein Obama directing the dollars into a non-growth government fund? Hello, McFlys, you can keep all of your money and you decide if you need to put it in health care or a private, pro-growth fund — not Mediscarey, Social Insecurity and Mediraid!

God Bless,
Bill

Ragnar Danneskjöld

February 23rd, 2011
7:28 am

Good essay,Mr. Barr.

Note to Bill Orvis White, noticed another of your essays on one of these AJC blogs yesterday, enjoyed it greatly also.

sean Yankee

February 23rd, 2011
7:31 am

If Gov Walkers big issue is the budget WHY did he push through big tax cuts for corporations creating part of this financial mess????

Same question for the republicans in congress. If you are really so worried about the deficit then repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and help out the deficit.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

February 23rd, 2011
7:39 am

Taranto’s opening note yesterday:

it seems to have escaped Krugman’s and Drum’s notice that the Wisconsin dispute has nothing to do with corporations. The unions’ antagonist is the state government. “Industrial unions are organized against the might and greed of ownership,” writes Time’s Joe Klein, a liberal who understands the crucial distinction. “Public employees unions are organized against the might and greed . . . of the public?”

The “labor movement” in America has increasingly come to consist of people who work for government, not private companies. As the BLS notes, the union-participation rate for public-sector workers in 2010 was 36.2%, vs. just 6.9% for private-sector workers.

There is a fundamental difference between private- and public-sector workers. A private-sector labor dispute is a clear clash of competing interests, with management representing shareholders and unions representing workers. In the public sector, as George Will notes, taxpayers–whose position is analogous to that of shareholders–are usually denied a seat at the table:
Such unions are government organized as an interest group to lobby itself to do what it always wants to do anyway – grow. These unions use dues extracted from members to elect their members’ employers. And governments, not disciplined by the need to make a profit, extract government employees’ salaries from taxpayers. Government sits on both sides of the table in cozy “negotiations” with unions.

Collective bargaining in the public sector thus is less a negotiation than a conspiracy to steal money from taxpayers. The notion that this is “in the economic interests of the middle class” for government employees in Wisconsin and elsewhere to get above-market wages and extremely lavish benefits is just laughable. Sure, government employees are “middle class,” but so are the vast majority of taxpayers who don’t enjoy the special privileges that come from owning the means of coercion.

What if

February 23rd, 2011
8:10 am

As I noted over in Kyle’s space, my guess is that if the many greed-driven people like Walker and his wealthy private-sector buddies (to whom he apparently gave whopping tax breaks to make them even richer) treated others like human beings rather than slaves more worthless than dirt, we wouldn’t even HAVE unions. Wouldn’t have needed them.

Blue Man on a Red Island

February 23rd, 2011
8:17 am

Bob – Seriously, only one small mention of the collective bargaining issuse as though it is not the entire reason for the protests. Come on man, the unions have sent Gov. Walker a letter stating they agree with all terms EXCEPT the loss of collective bargaining.

On the financial side, the issue comes down to this. Who needs to kick in more to help get the State (and this country, though not in this article) back on track. You and yours seem to feel that the middle class, in this case teachers, need to kick in yet again while the wealthy and corporations continue to reap the benefits in more tax cuts.

A full two-thirds of companies in WI paid no taxes last year. Do they use the roads to move their goods? Do they use the fire department when a fire breaks out? Do they call the police when they have an issue with crime? If the answer to any of these is yes they need to kick in their fair share. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say their fair share is somewhere north of zero percent.

Blue Man on a Red Island

February 23rd, 2011
8:33 am

@ Bill – Taxes are currently at the lowest percentage of GDP since WWII ended. Exxon (record profits last year), Home Depot (just reported a 70% increase in profits) and Bank of America (took a full share of tax payer dollars to stay in existence) are just three examples of companies that paid exactly 0% in Federal taxes last year. Do you honestly consider a 0% tax liability draconian? Do you consider that fair at a time when the poor are facing major program cuts and the middle class is disappearing?

Clearly your hard work has paid off and your future is secure. I applaud you and understand because I too have had a successful life in which my hard work has afforded me and my family financial security at a level my parents could only dream of. The difference is you and I is that I understand that being born in the US afforded my opportunities that others in the world can only dream of. I also understand the price of admission to live in such a great society is taxes that help provide for the common good. I pay my taxes with the knowledge that some of that money is being wasted but most of it provides necessary services that help my fellow Americans that have not been as fortunate as I have.

You and I have been blessed that our hard work paid off. Maybe you are not aware of this but some in our society struggle DESPITE their best efforts. You say “God bless”, I say are you not your brothers keeper?

Lance

February 23rd, 2011
8:44 am

The budget needs to balanced on the backs of those billionaire bankers and CEO’s we bailed out, not public employees and school teachers. Barr missed the point of what is happening in the World today. Wisconsin, Egypt, and Libya are examples where people right now are standing up against the war on the middle class. These teacher and public employee are Not generously overpaid. They live paycheck to paycheck like every other working class person.

EFetherman

February 23rd, 2011
8:51 am

Well, it’s been a long time coming since we’ve treated our teachers well, or paid them squat. ‘Public Sector Greed” sounds like Wall Street to me where’s your article on their greed. You don’t know anything and people think you do, and it’s a shame.

EFetherm U.S. Army Infantry Retired

DannyX

February 23rd, 2011
8:59 am

What if Wisconsin were to become another Germany???

Germany has a very good economy. Maybe we should require every single board from publicly traded companies to have union representation on it, just like Germany.

Bill Orvis White

February 23rd, 2011
9:06 am

The U.S. has the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Hussein Obama needs to reduce those rates to make our Bank of Americas, Home Depots competitive with India, Japan, China and Latin Americans countries who are now the world’s economic leaders. Furthermore, the U.S. has lost to these nations because of the union thugs who stifled economic growth all in the name of handouts to the workers who have been supplied with a cradle to the grave mentality.

The United States of America was once the leader in the economy and education, but since the 1960s, it has declined due to organized labor. It is a fact. It’s also a fact that we have declined in education and morality and since January 2009, we lost millions of jobs due to this failure of a president who attempted to institute the socialistic failed economic policies of Jimmah Carter and Bubba Clinton.

It’s time for this once-free nation to rise up and resurrect what made it great in the first place.

Amen,
Bill

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:20 am

The unions will lose in Wisconsin and in other states. Only 12% of the population works in unions and tax paying Americans are sick of their whining and crying about not making enough money. Wisconsin teachers make around 90 grand a year. WTH are they complaining about? I can’t wait to see some of those doctors lose their license over fraud.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:21 am

“The U.S. has the highest corporate tax rates in the world.’

Second highest, Bill.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:22 am

“You’re a biased idiot living off the back of those workers you call (via comparison) greedy. How much do you get paid and when was the last time you took a cut in anything?”

Poor whittle bed wetter. Mommy not change your diaper?

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:23 am

Well, if a GOP governor gets killed for standing up to unions, this Democrat will be to blame.

Dem Rep to unions: Time to get ‘bloody’

A Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts is raising the stakes in the nation’s fight over the future of public employee unions, saying emails aren’t enough to show support and that it is time to “get a little bloody.”

http://nhjournal.com/2011/02/23/dem-rep-to-unions-time-to-get-%E2%80%98bloody%E2%80%99/

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:24 am

“Representative Barr is not living off the backs of any workers. Mr. Barr believes that the country works best when big government gets out of the way of business thus making the free markets thrive. ”

Bill, left wing nuts don’t live in reality.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:25 am

“If Gov Walkers big issue is the budget WHY did he push through big tax cuts for corporations creating part of this financial mess?”

Because companies are leaving the midwest and heading south. Wisconsin lost a huge corporation to Virginia because of unions. Oh, and since you are obviously living in bozoland, the majority of Americans work for private companies, not government.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:26 am

“As I noted over in Kyle’s space, my guess is that if the many greed-driven people like Walker and his wealthy private-sector buddies (to whom he apparently gave whopping tax breaks to make them even richer) treated others like human beings rather than slaves more worthless than dirt, we wouldn’t even HAVE unions. Wouldn’t have needed them.

Slaves?????? Are you that stupid?

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:28 am

“If you are really so worried about the deficit then repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and help out the deficit.”

LOLOL!!!!!!! OBAMA EXTENDED THE BUSH TAX CUTS!!!!!!!!!!!! Geez dude, stupid much?

Obama Signs Bill To Extend Bush Tax Cuts

In a display of compromise rarely seen during his time in office, President Obama has signed into law a $858 billion tax cut bill despite the misgivings of members of both parties.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20026069-503544.html

Blue Man on a Red Island

February 23rd, 2011
9:31 am

@ Bill – That “highest tax rate in the world” talking point does not mesh with reality. Show me one, just one, Fortune 500 company that pays anywhere near the top US tax rate for corporations. I read your comment to say that you believe an effective tax rate of 0% is to high. How can we possibly lower taxes on companies that pay no taxes at all??????

You need to go back and check your facts on when the job losses began. For you to say the economy was going great and unemployment did not start rising until January of 2009 tells me you are not interested in facts, only partisan rhetoric.

Also, how can organized labor be the main cause for this countries problems when only 13% of American workers are in a union? How did the unions cause the housing bubble to burst? How did the unions force companies like AIG to bet on that housing bubble and lose big? How did unions force non-union companies to lay off millions while recording record profits and paying out record bonuses to their CEOs?

Sorry Bill, the facts just don’t line up with your rhetoric.

Blue Man on a Red Island

February 23rd, 2011
9:37 am

@LA – WI teachers don’t make anywhere near $90K a year. That is so absurd it would be laughable if it wasn’t so scary that someone could possibly believe that. The average teacher in WI makes $46,930 per year or about half of the number you quoted.

Here is where I got that number. Care to share your source?

http://teacherportal.com/salary/Wisconsin-teacher-salary

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:40 am

“You need to go back and check your facts on when the job losses began.”

2008 housing crash.

“January of 2009′

Wrong, it began in September of 08.

“Also, how can organized labor be the main cause for this countries problems when only 13% of American workers are in a union?’

See GM.

“How did the unions cause the housing bubble to burst?’

Did Bill write that they did or are you projecting? The housing crisis happened because a bunch of people bought houses they couldn’t afford.

“How did the unions force companies like AIG to bet on that housing bubble and lose big?’

Don’t forget Fannie and Freddie, Barney and Chris.

“How did unions force non-union companies to lay off millions while recording record profits and paying out record bonuses to their CEOs?”

Do you always get your “facts” from Huffington?

“Sorry Bill, the facts just don’t line up with your rhetoric.”

So where is your proof, Blue Woman?

Fact checker

February 23rd, 2011
9:41 am

Bob Barr discusses the French situation, but he seems highly ignorant about it. He claims that unions are powerful in France; but they are not. Only 8% of French workers are members of a union, which is lower than in the United States. In addition, in nearly every company, there are several unions competing for worker membership, and the management can play one against the other.

A more appropriate description of France is that unions are powerful in a small number of highly visible branches of the economy (e.g. railways, Paris public transportation), leading to over-reporting of their power by American journalists. A strike in a manufacturing company in Wisconsin won’t make the NYTimes news; a strike in the Paris public transportation will annoy the Paris correspondant of the Times and will be reported.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:44 am

“WI teachers don’t make anywhere near $90K a year.’

I have a teacher friend who works in Wisconsin and she makes 90k/year.

“The average teacher in WI makes $46,930 per year or about half of the number you quoted.

Yeah, when they start out.

“Here is where I got that number. Care to share your source?”

* Green Bay: $55,110
* Kenosha: $68,400
* Madison: $50,770
* Milwaukee: $54,620
* Racine: $49,710

http://www.teacher-world.com/teacher-salary/wisconsin.html

Ok, so they make 70k/year. They want to make 90k/year. My bad.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:49 am

“That “highest tax rate in the world” talking point does not mesh with reality. ”

U.S. States Lead the World in High Corporate Taxes

http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/22917.html

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:50 am

Blue Man on a Red Island

Delta is ready when you are. Seriously, if you hate living in a red state, by all means, move to a blue state that is about to file for bankruptcy.

Blue Man on a Red Island

February 23rd, 2011
9:55 am

@LA – Ah yes, name calling. Nothing says I don’t have the facts to prove you wrong like calling your opponent a name. If it makes you feel better about yourself to call me Blue Woman go for it.

Now to the actual facts, GM is not solely responsible for the economy that we are currently dealing with. What proof besides one company do you have to support Bill’s assertion that unions caused the economy to collapse? Bill said the unions caused the economy to collapse, we all know the mortgage crisis was the major factor, therefore Bill is asserting the unions caused the mortgage crisis.

You are correct that people buying houses they could not afford led to the problem. Now maybe you can take that a step further and explain how Fannie and Freddie forced Wall Street and banks to make huge bets on those mortgage securities that turned out to be worthless which amplified the problem and made a bad situation much worse.

I detailed my proof above in regards to the myth of high corporate tax rates. What else are you looking for?

LA

February 23rd, 2011
10:02 am

“Ah yes, name calling.”

What did I call you, ma’am?

“Nothing says I don’t have the facts to prove you wrong like calling your opponent a name. ”

I posted two links, ma’am.

“If it makes you feel better about yourself to call me Blue Woman go for it.

I call em like I see em, ma’am.

“GM is not solely responsible for the economy that we are currently dealing with.”

Never said it was, ma’am. I just gave you an example of how a union can ruin a business.

“What proof besides one company do you have to support Bill’s assertion that unions caused the economy to collapse?’

I never said that unions caused the economy to collapse. You need to either re-re-take remedial English or read my comments without projecting.

“Bill said the unions caused the economy to collapse, we all know the mortgage crisis was the major factor, therefore Bill is asserting the unions caused the mortgage crisis.

Am I Bill, ma’am? No, so I’d appreciate it if you’d address me by MY comments.

“Now maybe you can take that a step further and explain how Fannie and Freddie forced Wall Street and banks to make huge bets on those mortgage securities that turned out to be worthless which amplified the problem and made a bad situation much worse.”

See: Chris Dodd and Barney Frank.

“I detailed my proof above in regards to the myth of high corporate tax rates.’

No you didn’t. You didn’t post one single fact to back up your claims.

“What else are you looking for?”

Facts to back up your claims, ma’am.

Blue Man on a Red Island

February 23rd, 2011
10:03 am

@LA – So you know somebody in WI that is a teacher and makes $90K? That is your proof that teachers in WI make “around 90 grand a year”? Even your own link doesn’t come near to supporting your $70K number. Here is the part you clearly ignored:

In May 2009, preschool teachers in Wisconsin earned an average salary of $23,460, elementary school teachers earned $51,240, and secondary school teachers earned $49,400. (2) Education and experience level also make a difference in teacher salaries: secondary school teachers in the 90th wage percentile earned $69,550, while the entry-level teacher salary is generally in the $30,000s. (3)

To clear it up for you, the average salary is exactly what I said it was, according to your link. The starting salary is in the $30Ks, according to your link. There are about 10% who make about $70K, again according to your link.

So, according to your link, you are 100% wrong.

Harry Callahan

February 23rd, 2011
10:04 am

Oh those poor school teachers…they work 180 days per year (6-hour days) in a nice air-conditioned building. Oh the horror!

LA

February 23rd, 2011
10:06 am

“So you know somebody in WI that is a teacher and makes $90K?”

Si.

“That is your proof that teachers in WI make “around 90 grand a year”?

Si.

“Even your own link doesn’t come near to supporting your $70K number.”

See Kenosha: $68,400

Oh, and that link was from 2009.

“In May 2009′

Like I said, that link is old and pay has risen, ma’am.

“There are about 10% who make about $70K, again according to your link. ‘

When I said teachers make 90k, I didn’t say ALL teachers, ma’am. You have this problem with assuming and projecting.

“So, according to your link, you are 100% wrong.”

Have fun watching the unions implode, ma’am.

Harry Callahan

February 23rd, 2011
10:06 am

Hey Blue Man…what does $51K equate to if extrapolated out to a 250 day work year, as oppoesed to 180 days? Let me help:

51,000 * (250/180) = $70,833

Then add in that sweetheart pension they get instead of the joke social security the rest of us get boned with.

Cry me a river dude.

the watch dog

February 23rd, 2011
10:07 am

In making contracts for employment, the parties have equal rights to obtain from each other the best terms they can by PRIVATE BARGAINING, 1936 Supreme Court decision. The Supreme Court found New York State’s minimum wage act unconstitutional.

What has changed ? Unions have forced collective bargaining down the throats of public and private business. They have forced wages to unsubstainable levels. No question about it, Unions have brought fiscal irresponsiblity to Wisconsin and the U.S. It is unrealistic to pay custodians, supposedly the lowest on the pay scale to $100,000 plus dollars, so the reason being if the custodian gets that much then every one above deserves a whole lot more, it is ridiculous. Private enterprise pays wages a whole lot less than government employees and it is the private employees that pay the taxes so that public employees can make more than private, it is outageous.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
10:07 am

Blue Man on a Red Island

70k for 180 days of work is pretty damn good, don’t cha think?

What’s so wrong with capping salaries of overpaid WI teachers when tax payers are the ones paying for their jobs?

LA

February 23rd, 2011
10:09 am

Harry Callahan

Blue Woman doesn’t understand math. She thinks that teachers work a full year which explains her misconceptions.

Blue Man on a Red Island

February 23rd, 2011
10:10 am

@LA – I’m not interested in debating with an anonymous Internet tough guy who throws insults in lieu of facts. I said what I wanted to say and don’t need to call anyone names or make up fake numbers to support my beliefs.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
10:14 am

“I’m not interested in debating with an anonymous Internet tough guy who throws insults in lieu of facts. ”

What insults and what facts, ma’am? I haven’t called you any names and you have not provided facts.

“I said what I wanted to say and don’t need to call anyone names or make up fake numbers to support my beliefs.’

I never called you any names, ma’am. Fake numbers?????? Ma’am, I provided links to those numbers and it’s not my problem if you have a problem with that.

Like I said, Delta is ready when you are.

the watch dog

February 23rd, 2011
10:14 am

I do not know what happened,one of my best comments disappeared. In making contracts for employment, the parties have equal rights to obtain from each other the best terms they can by PRIVATE BARGAINING, 1936 U.S. Supreme Court, they also found the NYS minimum wage unconstitutuional. Since then there has been a resurgence of public and private unions with the end result that unions have pushed wages to unsustainable levels and made the U.S. un competitive in the world market. The Wisconsin Governor has seen the light and wants unions gone. Unions through collective bargaining have systematically ruined the country, they should be gone, gone and gone.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

February 23rd, 2011
10:19 am

Dear Bob Barr, potential topic for tomorrow, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704071304576160763576641114.html?mod=ITP_pageone_1

This could invalidate 80% of the Federal criminal code, and restore “states rights” to a respectable position in political debate.

Blue Man on a Red Island

February 23rd, 2011
10:26 am

@Harry – $51K = $51K over 365 days, period. Teachers don’t get paid for summers. They get a weekly check just like you and me and it’s based on $51K over 365 days. Do their mortgages stop coming due in summer? Does their food cost money in the summer? Does gas become free in the summer?

They get paid their yearly wage and they have to make it work for the entire year. Just because they chose a profession that gives them summers off doesn’t mean they actually make more than that $51K number. Does your money buy more on your days off than it does on work days? I didn’t think so.

jconservative

February 23rd, 2011
10:37 am

Ragnar Danneskjöld at 7:39 am

Nice post. Really nice writing with a lot of truth.

The government unions, as I call them, work on two fronts. As a negotiator with the government. But also as an interest group “bribing” the government by political contributions to members of the government and by lobbying government institutions.

If government unions want to negotiate with government, they can sit down with government and negotiate a deal. But that means they should spend zero dollars lobbying government.

The government unions need to make a choice, negotiate or lobby. Not do both.

In Wisconsin the union in question spends millions lobbying. They spend little neogiating. The problem with that, as they are finding out, is that sometimes government refuses to be lobbied.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
10:45 am

All government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.

-FDR

LA

February 23rd, 2011
10:46 am

F.D.R. Warned Us

“It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”

That wasn’t Newt Gingrich, or Ron Paul, or Ronald Reagan talking. That was George Meany — the former President of the AFL-CIO — in 1955. Government unions are unremarkable today, but the labor movement once thought the idea absurd.

The founders of the labor movement viewed unions as a vehicle to get workers more of the profits they help create. Government workers, however, don’t generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money. When government unions strike, they strike against taxpayers. FDR considered this “unthinkable and intolerable.”

http://blog.heritage.org/2011/02/19/fdr-warmed-us/

LA

February 23rd, 2011
10:47 am

Blue Man on a Red Island

Answer this simple question: Why should taxpayers pay for pensions/salaries for unions?

LA

February 23rd, 2011
10:47 am

Two-Thirds of Wisconsin Public-School 8th Graders Can’t Read Proficiently—Despite Highest Per Pupil Spending in Midwest

Two-thirds of the eighth graders in Wisconsin public schools cannot read proficiently according to the U.S. Department of Education, despite the fact that Wisconsin spends more per pupil in its public schools than any other state in the Midwest.

In the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests administered by the U.S. Department of Education in 2009—the latest year available—only 32 percent of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned a “proficient” rating while another 2 percent earned an “advanced” rating. The other 66 percent of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned ratings below “proficient,” including 44 percent who earned a rating of “basic” and 22 percent who earned a rating of “below basic.”

mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack the LIAR Obama, BEND OVER, here comes the CHANGE!

February 23rd, 2011
10:48 am

Finally, the OLD Bob is back. We missed you.

Carlosgvv

February 23rd, 2011
10:54 am

“shameful displays of civic greed”

You’re absolutely right, Bob. Imagine Wisconsin workers actually wanting to be able to buy food for their families, pay the rent, make their car payments, pay their utilities, etc. They certainly should drop their unions and put full trust in Big Business, like the Republicans are telling them to do.