Collective Bargaining is a Privilege, Not a Right
Posted by Enrique on 02.23.2011
Words mean things
I must apologize, dear readers. When we met last week, and I compared the fiscal discipline of President Barack Obama to that of my state governor and erstwhile county executive Scott Walker, I didn't realize the Wisconsin-union-protest story had just gone national.
As you might imagine, this past week there's only been one story in my local media market. So the reason I'm apologizing is I'm going to do this topic two weeks in a row. But wait! If it means anything to you, my bias against government workers has only deepened. I'm bound to say something terribly amusing/outrageous, so if that's what you like reading on the internet when you're killing time at work, that's what I'm promising. Who likes gratuitous union-bashing? Who likes feeling morally superior to jackasses that gratuitously bash unions? It's a win-win!
Hope that's a fair tease…
The story so far…
First thing that shows up on Google image search for "scott walker hitler"
Shit, some people just lack perspective. Can't we all just agree the goddamn Hitler thing is totally boring and played-out in 2011? Why do we have to see these yahoos at every protest? We go from zero to Hitler without a second thought in this country, and everyone who does it probably earnestly believes it makes sense. It's just…enough already.
Fun fact about Hitler: he's been dead for 65 years. No one cares anymore. The Nazis are from the past, man. Can we let it go, already? Why is it that Hitler and the Nazis are still the only ones we all agree are bad guys? You see plenty of Soviet Union signs at conservative rallies, but they also have their fair share of Hitler/Nazi signs. That's the only historical-bad-guy-crossover in America's current protest culture, and it's old as hell. You might as well compare Scott Walker to George III at this point.
But we all get carried away when it comes to politics. Wouldn't it be nice to know if the lady with the Walker-Hitler sign was really a reasonable person? Thanks to the magic of the internet, we have video that can help us draw conclusions. As it happens, reputed Madison-based blogger and university law professor Ann Althouse encountered the woman and recorded a short interlude. (Come for the comparison of Walker to Hitler, stay for the hipster douche with a bullhorn waxing eloquent about the rich not paying their fair share!)
Lack of perspective, indeed. If you haven't followed the Wisconsin-union-protestor story closely, here's the executive version – Walker wants state employees to contribute more to their pensions and health insurance than they currently do. Well, I suppose that is sort of like Hitler…No, just kidding! I don't want readers in other states to think we elected Hitler, so I need to be clear on this – as far as I'm aware, waging a campaign of genocide against Wisconsin public employees has not been suggested by Gov. Walker or Republicans in the state legislature, except as an absolute last resort to avoid layoffs.
Put another way, Wisconsin public employee unions, their supporters and Democrat state senators hiding out in bullshit Illinois are behaving like complete assholes. (I kid my Illinois readers, of course.) To be charitable, it's not fair to judge a cause by its most unappealing, obstreperous supporters. To be uncharitable, get a load of this guy. All public union supporters are like this guy. (Skip to 1:40 if you're interested.)
When faced with the opportunity to criticize Fox News on a News Corp channel, this union shill has nothing to say. Well, I suppose he's got one thing to say.
But seriously, I'm sure most union members/supporters/bootlickers are more articulate. When I write about how public sector unions are obviously overpaid, I usually get one or two e-mails from decent folks explaining why government workers earn so well. In fact, government workers tend to be older, more experienced and better educated. Yes, that's all true, and those factors explain why government workers would earn above average compared to the private sector.
But those factors are not an explanation for government workers earning exorbitantly compared to the private sector. In addition to government workers being better qualified, blah blah blah, they are part of a fucking monopoly that can pay its employees completely out of proportion to the value they provide. The public sector unions use their money to elect Democrat politicians, who then give the unions bigass pay raises and defined-benefit pensions, so they can retire at 55 with golden parachutes and donate to Democrat politicians every election year until they die. It's a tidy racket that's got almost every U.S. state facing unprecedented deficits, and apparently the Democrats are willing to literally run away from the issue in order to preserve the whole insidious scheme.
But yeah, government workers are more likely to be college educated. Got it. I guess that makes it cool for them to act like a bunch of nancyboys over having to kick in for their pension.
Here's that chart again. I wonder what's a bigger factor at play here – that government employees have more college credits, or that they are part of an inherently corrupt system that has no competition and rewards failure. Hmmm…
And so the Wisconsin-union-protest saga goes on. On Wednesday, Junior Hoffa showed up to rally the faithful. Goddamn Jesse Jackson was here a few days ago. Since Walker isn't backing down, the whole situation has a "shit's about to get real" feel to it. My personal fear is that Walker will eventually cave in on trying to restrict collective bargaining "rights" for public employees. The unions have even said they would be willing to chip in for health insurance if they keep their collective bargaining "rights."
They are not rights, they are privileges. They were created by a legislative process and they can be revised by a legislative process. They are not guaranteed by the constitutions, Wisconsin or U.S. The sooner we accept that, and stop acting like unions are the untouchable champions of "working families," the sooner we can address more serious budgetary issues.
If we can't even expect public employee unions to pay a little more for great benefits, how are we ever going to deal with Medicare and Social Security? Christ.
Anyway, no matter what happens here in Wisconsin, I promise not to write about this again next week. Another win-win!