Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thank God for Right-to-Work States and Their Thinking Citizens

I must say, I have never been quite so pleased to live in a right-to-work state as I have this last week.

To my way of thinking, the public unions in Wisconsin have shown at least the dark underbelly of their self-perpetuating existence, and at worst, they've shown their intent.  Their intent can be no less than to choke every last concession possible out of the taxpayers even if it means taking down the whole state with them.  What will happen when the layoffs start and union dues revenue falls off as a consequence?  We just might see the leopard's true spots at that point -- and it ain't a leopard at all, it's a jackal.

George Will had a pretty good column today in which he lays out some of the economic issues surrounding the bill, i.e., pension and health insurance contributions by the public employee.  Will notes that Wisconsin's Civil Service law is the source of most worker "rights," not collectively bargained union contracts.  He also compares and contrasts the "leadership" qualities of Wisconsin Governor Walker and President Barry Obama, and it is George Will, so you can count on it being elegantly stated.  And accurate: the Prez comes off as an interloping cheerleader.  A somewhat prevaricating interloping cheerleader.

Most of the debate about this Bill revolves around collective bargaining and economic issues.  What has gotten short shrift in most media coverage of the shenanigans going on up north, however, is the simple fact that Wisconsin public employees are currently de facto members of a "Union Shop" or "Agency Shop," (under which payment of union dues and/or membership in the union is required of every employee).  These arrangements are permitted under current federal law (the Taft-Hartley Act), but not favored, and they lead to some very powerful unions and union leaders.  The proposed Wisconsin statute would require unions to submit to an annual representation vote (to prove that more than 50% of the affected employees want continued representation by that particular union); would permit affected employees to opt out of union membership; and would do away with dues "check-off" (a practice in which the employer automatically deducts union dues from employees' paychecks and turns the dues over to the union -- see also, the Employee Free Choice Act).  I see nothing wrong with these proposals whatsoever.

I understand that some people get a lot of satisfaction from membership in a union, and I really don't have a problem with that.  Let those who want to go to Labor Day picnics with their brethren have their way!  I get satisfaction from supporting several organizations and going to their gatherings, too.  But that is my choice.

Like I said, I'm really pleased today to be living in a right-to-work state where the individual gets to decide which organizations he wishes to join and support.

Now, that whole "demanding that the taxpayer subsidize public union employees' pensions and health insurance" thing is a big ol' can of worms, and I think I'd rather not go fishing anymore today, thank you very much.


  1. The thing that REALLY pisses me off about the media coverage of the Wisconsin brouhaha is the obsessive focus on "collective bargaining" aspect of the story at the COMPLETE expense of the budgetary issues. NO one is worse than PBS in that regard. I've been a fan of McNeil-Lehrer (or whatever they're calling it these days) for over 30 years but they are seriously trying my patience, especially that freakin' twit Ifill. Gawd but that woman makes me crazy!

    The one thing that gives me a perverse sort of pleasure are the idiots screaming at Fox news reporters. There's not a sentient being on this earth that can't help but be repelled by that sort of behavior, and that's a GOOD thing. Well, except for your run-o'-the-mill Lefties, who prolly think it's cute.

    Nice post, Moogie, and I apologize for my OT rant.