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calendar   Wednesday - February 23, 2011

Wisconsin - an excellent analysis

James Taranto hits the nail on the head in The Means of Coercion over at the WSJ. Read it!

To make sense of what’s going on in Wisconsin, it helps to understand that the left in America lives in an ideological fantasy world. The dispute between the state government and the unions representing its employees is “about power,” Paul Krugman of the New York Times observes accurately, before going off the rails:

What [Gov. Scott] Walker and his backers are trying to do is to make Wisconsin--and eventually, America--less of a functioning democracy and more of a third-world-style oligarchy. And that’s why anyone who believes that we need some counterweight to the political power of big money should be on the demonstrators’ side.

In any case, 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
...
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.

There is lots more at the link, but that bolded line is the real gist of it.

It’s quite striking the way almost every lie the left ever told about the Tea Party has turned out to be true of the government unionists in Wisconsin and their supporters

UPDATE: ... and if you think that’s messed up, give this one a read: Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature are crying that they can’t get bills passed because they don’t have a quorum because the Democrats are hiding out in Illinois ( they’re probably at the party for Rahmn Emanuel’s unexpected victory in the Chicago Mayor’s race ) BUT those same Dems are listening in on conference calls and voting on stuff by fax and telephone! And phone voting has been OK in that state for years! So, “quorum” doesn’t have much meaning does it? Too bad these folks didn’t update their definitions when they allowed this slack-ass approach to governing.

Can I venture an opinion on that one? Just say NO to phone voting. Being in the statehouse is your job. Do it. Maybe you have to lodge your vote in advance if you’ll be out of town, but that’s it. Hey, I’m all for balance: for regular citizens, unless you’re in the military, a nursing home, or a hospital, I’m not in favor of absentee ballots either. Get your ass to the polls and vote. Not that I have anything against secure polls being open for 3 weeks prior to Election Day Vote Counting Day. The population is simply too big these days to pack everyone in to the polling stations in one day without appointments. And the cost of creating tens of thousands of new polling stations would be prohibitive. So let people vote for extended times, but make them make the effort to do so physically. It’s their quorum, and it’s their civic duty to attend.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/23/2011 at 08:56 AM   
Filed Under: • GovernmentCorruption and GreedUnions-Labor •  
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