Opinion

Opinion

Wisconsin governor should stand firm

February 23, 2011

Advertisement

When three-fourths of the Boston police department went on strike in 1919, leading to broken shop windows and looting, then-Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge called out the state militia and broke the strike. Coolidge declared, “There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time.”

His courage propelled him to the vice presidency and eventually to the presidency.

Fast forward to Aug. 3, 1981, when the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) called a strike over better working conditions, better pay and a 32-hour work week. In doing so, the union violated a law that banned strikes by government unions. Ronald Reagan declared the PATCO strike a “peril to national safety” and ordered them back to work under terms of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. Only 1,300 of the nearly 13,000 controllers returned to work. Subsequently, Reagan demanded those remaining on strike to resume work within 48 hours, or forfeit their jobs. On Aug. 5, following the PATCO workers’ refusal to return to work, Reagan fired the 11,345 striking air traffic controllers who had ignored the order and banned them from federal service for life. Pro-labor Democratic president Bill Clinton rescinded this ban in 1993.

Now it’s the turn of Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker. So far, the 43-year-old governor, in office less than two months, has stood his ground against schoolteachers who called in sick (nice example for the kids) and other union members — many of them bussed into Madison from outside the state.

When the federal government runs out of money, it can print and borrow more. When states run out of money they must cut spending to balance their budgets, or raise taxes.

The days of constant increases in pay and benefits — including expanding pensions — are over, not only in Wisconsin, but also in many other states.

One pro-union demonstrator in Madison carried a sign: “This is what democracy looks like.” No, the last election is what democracy looks like. Gov. Walker and the new Republican state legislators ran on platforms to reduce the state’s debt. They are refreshingly living up to their promises. If voters decide they don’t like their methods for getting out of debt, they can vote Republicans out of office in the next election.

“We won” and “elections have consequences,” crowed President Obama as he and his once-solid Democratic congressional majority pushed through legislation that polls show most Americans oppose. Republicans seem to be getting more support now in their quest to force us to live within our means.

This is the Republican Party’s moment. More Americans are coming to a “Prodigal Son” understanding of our financial predicament. In the biblical account, a young man leaves his father’s house and squanders his inheritance on riotous living. When he runs out of money, the son finds himself in a hog pen, eating pig food. It says, “He came to his senses.” Wisconsin residents and the nation are coming to our senses in the face of massive public debt.

If Wisconsin’s Democratic legislators stop playing political theater, come back to Madison from their hiding places in Illinois and fulfill their responsibilities as elected officials, perhaps a solution to the standoff can be worked out.

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Walker said 10,000 to 12,000 of the state’s nearly 300,000 government workers would likely lose their jobs if changes weren’t made in benefit contributions paid by union members. The unions have said they are willing to make some concessions, but Walker has rejected their offer as insufficient.

Democrats in Wisconsin may be overplaying their hand, just as congressional Democrats may be overplaying their hand with threats to shutdown the federal government if Republicans don’t see things their way.

Standing firm and having the courage of one’s convictions worked before. So far, Gov. Walker has stood firm and explained what he is doing and why. If he doesn’t cave, perhaps he might be the national leader Republicans have been looking for, either now, or in the near future. It worked for Coolidge and Reagan.

Comments

Corey Williams 4 years, 2 months ago

"The unions have said they are willing to make some concessions, but Walker has rejected their offer as insufficient." Maybe because they will take the pay and benefit cuts, but don't want to give up their collective bargaining power?

Corey Williams 4 years, 2 months ago

"The unions have said they are willing to make some concessions, but Walker has rejected their offer as insufficient." Maybe because they will take the pay and benefit cuts, but don't want to give up their collective bargaining power?

PalinPalms 4 years, 2 months ago

You said Cal, it's time for really great leaders like Calvin Coolidge!

Insuring that all government employees are paid below scale is perhaps the only way to insure that government will not work. and because governtment don't work we shouldn't pay government employees well.

werekoala 4 years, 2 months ago

While I disagree with him, I'd much rather have seen George Will's take on the issue. At least he can be erudite, nuanced, and occasionally thought-provoking.

With sad Cal here, we just get the same old hoary chestnuts trotted out without even a fresh coat of paint. He's Glen Beck given the magic superpower of coherent sentences.

That said, I do enjoy the predictable projection that the modern GOP engages in. The Koch brothers fund millions in astroturf and lobbying, and its the union members that are sending in Fake Americans by the busload from one of our secret underground holding facilities....

Rest assured, if you hear a bought-and-paid-for GOP shill like Cal claiming their opponents are cannibals, it's time to check their own deep freezer.

imastinker 4 years, 2 months ago

I agree. I actually agree with Cal here, but I roll my eyes every time I read his articles. George Will at least has a reason to believe what he says - Cal would argue the sky is red if the GOP did it first.

jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

What's wrong with teachers calling in sick exactly? If they're sick, they should stay home, as should students, so they don't infect others. I'd say it's a great example for the kids.

Majestic42 4 years, 2 months ago

Riiiiiiiiiight. I'm sure they're ALL sick.

jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

Ok.

You convinced me with that substantive factual comment, combined with intelligent analysis.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

"Standing firm and having the courage of one’s convictions worked before."

And that's precisely what the unions and Democratic lawmakers in Wisconsin are doing.

QuinnSutore 4 years, 2 months ago

Good on him for standing up for his rights as governor.

voevoda 4 years, 2 months ago

Cal Thomas invokes the Biblical parable of the Prodigal Son to castigate the state workers as spendthrifts and to justify Gov. Walker's high-handed treatment of them. He needs to go back and study his New Testament--as do all the people who agree with him. Jesus told the parable of the Prodigal Son to teach the Pharisees--the well-to-do people who were more concerned about preserving their comfortable positions of authority than helping their needy fellow-citizens. The point of the story is not that profligate people deserve to suffer the consequences of wasting their money, as Cal Thomas would have it. Look at how the parable continues (Luke 15:18-31):
The father ran to meet the Prodigal, kissed him, showered him with his best robe and a ring, and prepared the best available food in a feast for him, with music and dancing. Meanwhile, the elder brother, who had stayed at home and worked diligently came in, and he was angry to see his brother feted after misbehaving. The elder brother complained that his father had not thrown a party for him. The father rebukes the "good" son gently, reminding him that he has always shared in his (the father's wealth), and he should be happy that his brother, too, will now share. What's the real Biblical lesson? That people should not be jealous of each other; that the rich should not begrudge the poor their equal share--even if they consider the poor to be undeserving. This is a parable about reconciliation, putting aside anger and promising to share the wealth. In no way does it justify the confrontational stance the Wisconsin governor is taking, or the stingy, me-first attitudes of his supporters.

QuinnSutore 4 years, 2 months ago

"Thou shalt not steal."

Steal [v]: Take without the owner's consent.

The voters voiced their consent on November 2.

So......

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

Voevoda, you need to reconsider who has the "me-first" attitudes here.

voevoda 4 years, 2 months ago

QuinnSutore, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor! The protestors in Wisconsin didn't steal anything. The governor is trying to steal from them their right--guaranteed under US law--to collective bargaining. Cato_the_Elder, You need to remember what the real Cato the Elder said. Cato didn't have a problem with government employees who fulfilled their obligations in exchange for modest compensation. He condemned citizens who amassed excessive wealth and flaunted it (think the megarich like the Koch brothers), and confiscated their wealth. He'd be on the side of the government workers, here.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

While we could debate the accuracy of your rank speculation about what Cato would have done in a society that had never heard of collective bargaining, what isn't debatable is that public employee unions have put the economies of many countries in Europe and those of some of our largest states in a stranglehold, and it's time to put a stop to it. Unions in the private sector are one thing, but unions in the public sector are entirely another.

You might want to read up on what Franklin Delano Roosevelt said about that.

voevoda 4 years, 2 months ago

I suggest you read original sources about Cato the Elder, cato_the_elder.
Try these: "he was most obnoxious to the majority of his enemies because he lopped off extravagance in living. This could not be done away with outright, since most of the people were already infected and corrupted by it, and so he took a roundabout way. He had all apparel, equipages, jewellery, furniture and plate, the value of which in any case exceeded fifteen hundred drachmas, assessed at ten times its worth, wishing by means of larger assessments to make the owners' taxes also larger. Then he laid a tax of three on every thousand asses thus assessed, in order that such property holders, burdened by their charges, and seeing that people of equal wealth who led modest and simple lives paid less into the public treasury, might desist from their extravagance." "His soldiers got large booty in this campaign, and he gave each one of them a pound of silver besides, saying that it was better to have many Romans go home with silver in their pockets than a few with gold." Clearly, Cato's sympathies lay with ordinary people doing their jobs, and not with rich people who were getting richer at their expense. Roosevelt's worries about unions of public employees have not proven true. I am sure that he would be appalled at the spector of threatening to fire schoolteachers!

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

Voevoda, the word is "spectre."

No one in his right mind who knows anything about Roman history and culture would attempt to ascribe any views to Cato on this subject. Good grief, slavery was an integral part of everyday Roman life, including Cato's. There is no relevance in speculating what Cato would have thought about this, and the issue has nothing to do with why I chose to employ his name on this forum.

What is relevant is that you have a severe case of class envy and jealousy of those who have been financially successful (unless, of course, they bear the surname of Soros). FDR's concerns about public sector unions have become realized all over the world, and as a direct result we've hit a crossroads. Either we do something about it or bankrupt ourselves, plainly and simply. Many people have now come to understand that. Public sector union bosses understand it too, but they simply don't care as long as they can stay in power. That's got to stop, my friend.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

Ooh, those evil unions of public employees. I've heard they sometimes go so far as to change lids on salt and pepper shakers.

Be afraid. Very afraid of those zombie teachers and snow-plow drivers.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

As I said earlier, Bozo, the people to be afraid of are the public sector union bosses, who don't want their fiefdoms disturbed.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

Can you name a couple of these "bosses" and list some of their dastardly deeds for us?

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

For starters, try googling "Sal Rosselli" and "Andy Stern." That's the tip of the terminally corrupt SEIU iceberg, Bozo, and you know it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

The problem in this country is that big business has almost universally viewed workers as their enemies. So, naturally, as a response to that, workers organized into unions, and these unions have tended to view the businesses they work for as enemies.

Republicans, being primarily the party of big business, naturally view unions and the workers they represent as their enemies, as well. Unfortunately for the unions and working people, Democrats haven't shown themselves to be nearly as loyal an ally.

Unions aren't perfect. Far from it. But until both sides of the labor/capital divide can begin to view each other as something other than enemies, don't expect unions to voluntarily disband, even though Republican and corporate polices of union-busting over the last 30 years have been quite successful.

This recent interview with Stern makes some very interesting points. You might even agree with many of them, if you can open your mind just a little bit.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2011/02/andy_stern_it_may_not_end_beau.html

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

Bozo, your response again completely misses the point. We're not dealing with private sector unions here. We're talking about public employees, not private. There's a world of difference, Bozo, and the whole world is finally beginning to realize it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

What you mean to say is that private sector unions have been throughly crushed, so all that's left for the corporate autocrats to consolidate power is to crush the public employee unions, even though what power they have is already greatly restricted.

Even Gov. Walker has admitted that the whole point of this legislation is crushing these unions, and the workers along with them.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 2 months ago

In other news from WI: "(CNSNews.com) - 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...." http://cnsnews.com/news/article/two-thirds-wisconsin-public-school-8th-g# Maybe they should fire a bunch of ineffective teachers and get some new blood into their failing educational system.

QuinnSutore 4 years, 2 months ago

Exactly. People who are intrinsically interested in an occupation will typically do it for less pay anyway. Win-win.

JayCat_67 4 years, 2 months ago

This is true up to a point. I have several friends in the teaching profession now who love what they do, but they are not living high on the hog by any means. There comes a point, however, when one must think about paying for what they need for themselves and their families And, no matter how much they love the profession, if these needs are not met, they will go elsewhere.

werekoala 4 years, 2 months ago

So you're upset that teachers aren't doing a better job, and your solution is to make it a less attractive career?

When your ten year old car isn't handling the way you'd like; do you go buy a clunker from the salvage yard?

Maybe that kind of logic works in Derp-istan; too bad reality has a liberal bias...

QuinnSutore 4 years, 2 months ago

When people do a job for money, they focus on making more money.

When people do a job because they like it, they focus on doing it well.

We just need to take these jobs away from money grubbers and award them to those who are intrinsically interested in teaching as a profession.

Just because a car is expensive does not mean it is good. I'd take an '01 Honda Accord over my '11 Avalanche any day, but that's another story.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

That's got to one of the all-time most idiotic posts on this forum.

notanota 4 years, 2 months ago

Well, since you think the basic premise of the market system doesn't work, you're in favor of communism, right?

Corey Williams 4 years, 2 months ago

Yes, just like if you don't like it here in the good ol' USA, then you can move to Iran...or China...or any other country in the world where living conditions are markedly worse. Why not Canada? Or Australia?

Why does it have to move straight to communism? Why not prove that the market system does work?

Corey Williams 4 years, 2 months ago

"Nationwide, only 30 percent of public school eighth graders earned a rating of “proficient” or better in reading..."

So in other words, the past ten years of No Child Left Behind made sure that a full 70% of our nation's children cannot read proficiently. Maybe my math is wrong. While it isn't good news in any way, doesn't that mean that Wisconsin is actually doing better than the national average?

Oh and good choice quoting from a Trent Bozell rag. Clearly unbiased in any way.

werekoala 4 years, 2 months ago

Wow, i hope that Kool-Aid you're chugging tastes good! There has to be some reason you keep lining up for more.

I love the logic, if it's not "screw you, I've got mine!" then it's "screw you, I haven't got mine yet so you can't either!"

Are you a bad employee? Does your labor NOT generate profit for your employer? Then why do you feel you don't have the right to ask to be compensated, not extravagantly, but enough that you can chase the American Dream? Why is your solution to try and pull down everyone else to your level? Wall Street is making record profits, CEOs rake in billions, and the rich are getting richer each year while us working schlubs who make their profits possible tread water more frantically every year.

Your job providing enough salary, benefits, and retirement to allow you to support your family without killing yourself is NOT the extravagent demand you seem to think it is. Its the way things used to be all over, and we somehow managed to become the strongest economy in the world and win the Cold War while doing it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

If the pay and benefits that state employees get are out of line, then the state should take that up in the negotiation process.

If they have a legitimate case to be made, it should have an effect on those negotiations, and pretty much all of these unions have said that they'll make concessions in order to help fix the state's budget problems-- problems not of their making, btw.

But what you want to do is to kill the unions so that terms of employment are dictated, not negotiated. What you want is essentially a dictatorship, not democracy.

werekoala 4 years, 2 months ago

Actually, I have a public job and a private sector job. Somehow, even sucking at the taxpayer's teet and riding my cadillac health care plan into the sunset, I still have to work 60-80 hours a week to provide for my family. Not that I'm complaining, those are the effects of my own free choices.

i will say that I probably work harder for lower pay at the public sector job. Hmm, maybe that's because of the benefits, and the sense of fulfillment and making a difference in people's lives I get there. You know, like your derp-y brother above was talking about when he inadvertently dissed capitalism?

I never post on these blogs at my public job. No downtime. I wonder when the magical efficiencies of the free market will change that?

Olympics 4 years, 2 months ago

ACT/SAT rankings for the 5 states without collective bargaining for their teachers? South Carolina - 50 North Carolina - 49 Georgia - 48 Texas - 47 Virginia - 44

Where does Wisonsin fall? 2nd.

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/states/USCHARTsat.html

QuinnSutore 4 years, 2 months ago

Conveniently ignoring #45 and #46, which have unions and are still bottom of the barrel, and which underscore the fact that unions have nothing to do with the quality of outcome.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

Actually, it merely says that the picture is slightly mixed, but that on balance, removing collective bargaining is more likely to lower the quality of educational outcomes, not raise it.

JayCat_67 4 years, 2 months ago

While you seem perfectly content to ignore #1-#43...

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 2 months ago

Any story that starts by saying somebody should be more like Calvin Coolidge isn't worth reading.

What a joke. Next week, Cal will enlighten the public as to how we need another Rutherford B. Hayes.

Majestic42 4 years, 2 months ago

Here's a crazy idea: How about the teachers negotiate themselves, instead of having goons do it for them? GASP!

jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

Why do you have a problem with them joining together in a union to do so collectively?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

Specifically, what goons are you talking about? (OK, rhetorical question-- I know you're just parroting the hallucinatory ramblings of Rush or Glen.)

notanota 4 years, 2 months ago

Yes. But I bet most of them have a lot of interests in common, and I bet it would be more efficient to negotiate one contract and have everyone vote whether or not it works for them. How about they organize together and collectively bargain. They could call it a "union."

guesswho 4 years, 2 months ago

I love (not really) how Cal and others invoke Reagan's mystique. Yes, let's follow the example of Ronald Reagan and raise taxes (he raised them 11 times after his big tax cut in 1981). Then maybe we can pay for basic public goods, such as education.

Right now military is the largest discretionary spending item in our budget, accounting for 2/3 of our non-discretionary spending, which is 6 times higher then the 2nd highest spending country in the world, China.

tbaker 4 years, 2 months ago

A state government deciding how much their state government workers should receive in pay and benefits is an entirely proper and correct function of state government. Those who impede this process are selfish and not interested in the best interests of their State or of the tax payers who must pay them. They are suppose to "serve" the public. They have made it clear they are only concerned with serving themselves.

jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

They're not slaves.

They're employees - why shouldn't they be able to negotiate just as private sector employees can?

Almost every job that I know of involves doing something that benefits someone else - that's not a justification for poor wages and benefits.

tbaker 4 years, 2 months ago

Jafs - They are not slaves. No one is asking them to suffer poor wages and benefits. They do not work against their will. They can negotiate - with the people of the state whose taxes pay their salaries and benefits by way of a referendum. Put their demands for higher pay and benefits on the ballot and let the taxpayers decide the issue. The simple fact is their inflated salaries and benefits can no longer be sustained. The state has to balance it's budget.

President Roosevelt warned us about public employee unions. What is going on across the country is exactly what you can expect when unions negotiate with politicians who have no financial stake in the outcome. When government officials negotiate with unions their eye is on the organized labor voter block and reelection. They have every reason to give unions whatever they want and send the taxpayer the bill. When private sector business negotiates with unions their eye is on their bottom line so they can maintain profitability so they can stay in business.

Its is important to remember there is no "right" to collective bargaining. The only "rights" the union has are expressed in their contracts, which can be abrogated, re-negotiated or rewritten when the employer is bankrupt.

jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

If the state government can unilaterally decide what pay and benefits employees have, without any sort of right to negotiate on the part of the employees, then what stops the state from simply lowering wages and benefits as they please?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

Actually, for the most part states can unilaterally do about whatever they want, even with the unions.

What the unions provide is the ability to make the case for treating employees fairly, from their point of view, anyway. Collective bargaining merely means that state has to respond reasonably, publicly to those proposals.

So what this attack on collective bargaining really amounts is telling unions to "Shut up, we don't care what you think-- you'll take whatever we give you."

voevoda 4 years, 2 months ago

The state of Wisconsin isn't "bankrupt," tbaker. The state has plenty of resources in its wealthier citizens; it could raise taxes on them to meet the state's contractual debts, if the governor had the political courage to do it. Or the governor could agree to negotiate changes in existing contracts through the contractually-guaranteed process, collective bargaining, if he had the political courage to do it. He is catering instead to the rich, who don't want to pay their fair share of taxes, and the anti-union corporate lobby. He is playing to the tea party national audience, to foster his own political career. It's the converse of the situation President Roosevelt had feared--and Roosevelt would be appalled at the idea of putting teachers out of work in order to preserve high corporate profits. What the governor and state legislature do not have the right to do is to abrogate those contracts unilaterally. It's good that so many Wisconsiners are standing up and objecting.

tbaker 4 years, 2 months ago

Wealthier citizens? You don't say. You mean the job creators? Why should a tiny minority be made to shoulder the vast majority of the tax burden? How is that fair? You are correct. WI is not technically bankrupt. We shall soon see if a state can in fact be considered bankrupt because of the political tactics on display will force this reality on many states very soon. How can something be labled "unilateral" when the other party chides not to participate. I believe the phrase "elections have consequences" applies here.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

" I believe the phrase "elections have consequences" applies here."

Except that Republicans didn't campaign on a platform of crushing the unions, and Americans are opposed by a 2-1 margin to doing so.

If Republicans keep overreaching, the next election will have consequences, too. And you won't like them.

notajayhawk 4 years, 2 months ago

" The state has plenty of resources in its wealthier citizens; it could raise taxes on them to meet the state's contractual debts"

In other words:

'These obligations absolutely, positively MUST be paid - er, by someone ELSE, that is.'

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 2 months ago

Because Lord knows wealthier citizens don't benefit 1 cent from guvmint. That's why they don't waste their time contributing to candidates or paying lobbyists.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

It's not unions and Social Security breaking the economy it is Big Dollar White Collar ENTITLEMENTS, Wall Street crooks, the nations largest banks, the war for oil control and the medical insurance industry!

Workers ARE NOT killing Economy!

People on the job = a strong economy.

Keeping people out of jobs will bring on a series of tax increases by way of user fees. YES user fees are aka taxes no matter what.

How does putting people out of jobs create economic growth?

AGAIN it's not unions breaking the economy it is Big Dollar White Collar ENTITLEMENTS, Wall Street crooks, the nations largest banks, the war for oil control and the medical insurance industry!

Big Dollar White Collar ENTITLEMENTS are killing the economy and our wallets http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/18/free_lunch_how_the_wealthiest_americans

http://www.uua.org/events/generalassembly/2008/commonthreads/115777.shtml

Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

What to do?

  1. Move Your Money Why put up with megabank megalomania? Here are two websites to help you find a local bank that gives a damn about you and your community: http://www.findacreditunion.com and http://www.moveyourmoney.info/find-a-ba

  2. How much are you shelling out to the medical insurance industry each month or year plus your deductible? Drop your medical insurance and put those thousands of dollars into a money making account that will stand by you!

  3. STOP the war!

And remember what killed the USA economy:

  1. The Reagan/ Bush Savings and Loan Heist( millions out of work) was the initial beginning. The Reagan/Bush savings and loan heist was considered the largest theft in history at the time. George Herbert Walker Bush then took $1.4 trillion of taxpayers money to cover the theft. http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

  2. The Bush/Cheney Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers(millions out of work) Yes, substantial fraud was involved.. Not only was this fraud, but this fraud depended on government authorities(Bush admin) ignoring their regulatory responsibilities." http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

  3. Only 3 major Financial Institutions were at risk in spite of what we’re told ? "There were just a handful of institutions that were terribly weakened. AIG the insurer, Bank of America and Citigroup, Those three were clearly in very weakened form. http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

  4. The medical Insurance Industry http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2008/0508harrison.html

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2009/10/bill_moyers_michael_winship_in.html#more

Flap Doodle 4 years, 2 months ago

You know what? I'd swear that I was this same set of crapola links on another thread within the last couple of days.

Mike Ford 4 years, 2 months ago

this guy looks like a total tool. on top of that he got hoodwinked into talking to a fake Koch brother. what a dingbat.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 2 months ago

Goshdarnit Governor Walker, you stand tall.

Someday, you may be the next Millard Fillmore.

Seriously, Calvin Coolidge as some sort of American hero? Is this serious?

I think Thomas is having a laugh, trying to see just how much BS so-called conservatives will accept as gospel.

independant1 4 years, 2 months ago

Poly Sci used to teach Gov't Service paid less but was held in high esteem, bureacracy is a cheap way to carry out the work of democracy. Now it ain't so, my niece and son in gov't service can retire with 20 years service, receive 30% better pension and better benefits than I who worked 30+ years in private sector to accrue. Gov't employees are the new elite class.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

Bozo says: "What you mean to say is that private sector unions have been throughly crushed, so all that's left for the corporate autocrats to consolidate power is to crush the public employee unions, even though what power they have is already greatly restricted.

Even Gov. Walker has admitted that the whole point of this legislation is crushing these unions, and the workers along with them."

No, Bozo, what I've said is that private sector unions are one thing, but public sector unions are quite another. Public sector unions have achieved a stranglehold on the very governments which they're supposed to serve, both in a number of foreign countries and in certain of our most populous states. This has got to stop. Nothing in Governor Walker's proposals removes the ability to bargain over wages.

The tyranny of public employee unions over the taxpayers has become much better-known as the result of Governor Walker's actions, and he is to be commended for what he's accomplished.

jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

According to what I've read, the proposal does in fact prevent collective bargaining.

What have you read that says differently?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

Stranglehold?

Translation: they've actually been effective in representing the interests of their workers. In Kochworld, this is not permitted. They only get the crumbs that are thrown them, and no whining allowed.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

Jafs, as I said, Governor Walker's proposals do not limit collective bargaining over wages. Try reading something other than Mother Jones.

jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

Source for your claim?

And, I don't generally read Mother Jones, unless I happen to see it at a coffee shop.

But it's not surprising that you would jump to that sort of conclusion, and offer an insult - seems to be your MO here.

jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

Ok - after a little research, you are correct.

The bill stops the employees from collective bargaining on any issue except wages.

Wow - that's so much better?! (sarcasm intended)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

Given that government employees have historically accepted lower wages in exchange for higher benefits, what this will mean is a unilateral reduction in benefits, with no corresponding increase in wages.

This also means that working conditions, workplace rules, can't be negotiated, either. This is stupid-- the folks on the front lines doing the heavy lifting are the ones who know the problems there best. Telling them to just shut up is idiotic, and will actually lead to the taxpayers getting worse service for their tax dollars.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

Bozo, what is truly stupid is allowing public employee unions to cow state governments into abject submission to the extent that their economies become bankrupt. This has been done repeatedly in California, for example, resulting in the precise situation in which that state finds itself today.

Since you won't ever be satisfied in any event until all private property in America is confiscated and turned over to block commissars to be doled out to everyone according to the commissars' own whims, your credibility on this subject is zero.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 2 months ago

State employees did NOT bankrupt state and local governments. The collapse of the economy did that, and Wall Street did that.

But are they expected to pick up any of that tab?

Of course not. They get tax cuts and tax breaks, and with the proceeds they'll get to buy all the privatized government services at fire sale prices, after which they reduce wages and cut service to the bone, while raising fees.

Ain't the Republican miracle grand?

cato_the_elder 4 years, 2 months ago

Bozo, tell that to any level-headed Californian who isn't a member of a public employee union.

I know plenty who aren't, and know quite well how they view it. Liberal Democrats in California and their public employee union partners in gross fiscal irresponsibility had bankrupted California well before the real estate bubble burst. There were many references in the print and electronic media to this and serious complaints about it by many Californians long before December of 2007. You must have been living in a cave.

jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

Source for your claim?

And, I don't generally read Mother Jones, unless I happen to see it at a coffee shop.

But it's not surprising that you would jump to that sort of conclusion, and offer an insult - seems to be your MO here.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.