Thursday, August 25, 2011
For anyone who didn't follow the news regarding the public employee unions' protracted battle with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker over his budget repair" legislation, George Will outlines the consequences of their having lost that battle. I'd categorize those consequences, broadly, as weakening the union political machine and improving the morale of non-leftists (although Will doesn't put it this way).
Here is part of the first:
[U]nions must hold annual recertification votes. ...The following, pertaining to the second, is encouraging for different reasons:
[T]eachers unions may no longer automatically deduct dues from members’ paychecks. After Colorado in 2001 required public employees unions to have annual votes reauthorizing collection of dues, membership in the Colorado Association of Public Employees declined 70 percent. In 2005, Indiana stopped collecting dues from unionized public employees; in 2011, there are 90 percent fewer dues-paying members. In Utah, the end of automatic dues deductions for political activities in 2001 caused teachers' payments to fall 90 percent. After a similar law passed in 1992 in Washington state, the percentage of teachers making such contributions declined from 82 to 11.
Walker has refuted the left's sustaining conviction that a leftward-clicking ratchet guarantees that liberalism's advances are irreversible.I wouldn't say that this conviction is unique to the left: How many times do you hear conservatives say, basically, that it is impossible to uproot one entitlement program or another?
I do not know the details of Walker's legislation, but I think it's a safe bet that there are aspects of it with which I would be unhappy. Still, Walker's victory does demonstrate that the entrenched institutions of the left are far from invincible.
Today: Corrected a typo.