What Wisconsin Means

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. ...

[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.
The following, pertaining to the second, is encouraging for different reasons:
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.

-- CAV


: Corrected a typo.


Anonymous said...

I listened to Mark Bellamy on Limbaugh's program interviewing Scott Walker about this.

One interesting thing came up about why the Left was so insane about not having benefits (such as health care) open to the public and not locked into collective bargaining agreements.

Apparently the Wisconsin teachers' union had started their own health care insurance company. The collective bargaining mandates that previously held allowed the union to require that the school districts use the union's own health insurance company without allowing competitive bidding. Apparently the policy premiums that the union health care company demanded were several times the open market price. School districts have saved "hundreds of thousands of dollars on health care premiums" in the short time since the law went into effect by requiring bids on the open market. The union health care company has had to drastically lower its premiums to compete.

This kind of behavior should be prosecuted as racketeering. You know that if any non-union company had done this that the Leftists would have gone absolutely ape. But when it fills the pockets of their compatriots, the Left is oddly silent on the practice of "profiteering."

If I were Scott Walker, I would ride this hobbyhorse every time the union opened it's mouth about how they were only doing it for the children. I'd also play the footage of union members yelling at a 14 yr old girl to "shut up" because her views didn't buttress their own.

There should be no quarter in this fight. The government unions should be crushed under the moral opprobrium of the public and all that needs to be done is to shine the light of day on their own words and actions.

c. andrew

Gus Van Horn said...

Thank you for that informative comment, C.