February 17, 2011

"The Joint Finance Committee passed Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill late Wednesday on a 12-4 vote along party lines."

Reports the Daily Cardinal:
The amended bill still contains controversial limitations to unions' collective bargaining powers, as well as an increase in state employee contributions to pensions and health care....

As the discussion continued, so did the clamor of drums and chants coming from the Capitol rotunda.
"For five seconds, listen to what's going on outside this room," said Rep. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse. "It's the drumbeat of democracy."
I read that quote to Meade, who went down to the demonstration yesterday (to get his fair share of video).  He laughed and said he'd tried to get video of the dancing to the drumming — and did the exaggerated flailing arms and stomping legs of drumbeat dancing, accompanied by the chant "THIS is WHAT deMOCracy LOOKS like." Putting the mock in democracy.

I said imagine how Democrats would react if Tea Partiers had a demonstration like that — replete with misspelled signs and signs depicting a Democratic Party politician as Hitler or with his head in a noose.

The fact is that the Republicans decisively won the governorship and both houses of the state legislature — probably with next to no votes from the people who came to the demonstration. If you're asking — like Shilling — for the Republican legislators to listen to democracy, they should look at the last election, the people all over the state who voted for them and, presumably, for fiscal responsibility and shared sacrifice.

The people around the state were probably at their jobs yesterday, not able to travel here, into the heart of the state's liberal politics, to do a counter-demonstration and show their numbers (the numbers recorded last October at the polls). Did the demonstrators — many of whom were teachers — try to speak to those people or did they mostly look inward, at each other, pumping up their own resolve?

What are the people around the state supposed to think of them — teachers who have pretty nice jobs and who decided they could go somewhere else for the day instead? What did those teachers teach? I didn't notice any of them trying to speak to the people of the state, trying to win anyone over. In fact, there were chants — simple, repeated words that don't try to explain and persuade — and ugly signs full of name-calling and violence. There were plenty of nice people too and gentle signs, but the nice to ugly ratio was worse than at the Tea Party rallies I've seen, and Democrats aimed such contempt at the Tea Partiers. Why should the Tea Party-type people of the state be impressed by the other side's crowds?

101 comments:

Scott M said...

If you're asking — like Shilling — for the Republican legislators to listen to democracy, they should look at the last election, the people all over the state who voted for them and, presumably, for fiscal responsibility and shared sacrifice

Abso-floggin-lutely. My thoughts almost exactly when I read the first part about the drumbeat. What does this tell you about Shilling other than the rep has terminal spoiled-brat syndrome?

Lincolntf said...

It's a hollow movement, led by the greediest of the greedy against the neediest of the needy. I say let the striking Teachers rot. There are plenty of certified Teachers out there without jobs, so let's bring them in (with new pension/compensation plans) and kick these semi-literate shakedown artists into the gutter where they belong.

Holmes said...

The death rattle of the public sector Unions.

Joe Veenstra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Browndog said...

We here in Michigan are watching you very closely.

Our budget comes out in an hour. Our resident leftist were ready to overthrow our new Governor yesterday over the leaked report of a small tax on high end public pensions.

Pogo said...

Wisconsin teachers: Go to hell, voters.

shoutingthomas said...

My daughter is one of those lucky ones with a public school teaching job. Nonetheless, I've got to agree with this:

There are plenty of certified Teachers out there without jobs, so let's bring them in (with new pension/compensation plans) and kick these semi-literate shakedown artists into the gutter where they belong.

Teacher's salaries are actually inflated well above market by unions and tenure. In the open market, a teacher's job would pay half what it now pays, because there are literally 10 teaching school graduates for every job.

I'm glad my daughter has the job and the perks. But, I'm also aware that the State of New York cannot continue down the path to bankruptcy, largely due to corrupt deals between Democratic polls and public employee unions.

James said...

As Patrick McIlheran points out in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Scott Walker got 65,000 votes in Dane County alone. The demonstrators don't reflect the views of the voting public.

Unions want to overturn election result

"...Union activists in Madison Tuesday spoke apocalyptically of "class war," hinting wildly at general strikes and takeovers of the Capitol. They correctly see their control of the state slipping and must figure that if they bring 13,000 shouting people to Madison, they can overrule the election.

Any worried legislators should keep in mind that Walker drew about five times that many votes in Dane County alone in November."

Rick Caird said...

It is really amusing to see how cutting out of work and still planning to get paid, abandoning your students and forcing the schools to close, is now being defined as "Democracy".

My word verification is "patic", which immediately made me think of pathetic. That seems appropriate.

TMink said...

Joe, which union do you belong to comrade?

Trey

TMink said...

Wow, Joe's post disappeared so fast I could not even diss him.

Trey

Original Mike said...

"Why should the Tea Party-type people of the state be impressed by the other side's crowds?"

I really don't know what these protesters think they are accomplishing. They're foolish.

Hoosier Daddy said...

... as well as an increase in state employee contributions to pensions and health care

I think this here sums up the ire that non-public wage earners have due to the simple fact that when times are tough, the vast majority of us deal with this all the time.

If I was a cheesehead, and had to pay increased contributions to my benefit plans and then turn around have to pay increased taxes so the public employees can keep more of their money then I'd say fu** that noise.

Sloanasaurus said...

Great post.

This isn't the sound of democracy its the sound of the mob.

Democracy was what happened in November.

virgil xenophon said...

My HS physics/solid &plane geometry & trig teacher ( and Ham radio operator & head of ham radio club--taught us morse code--now a lost art) taught basic electronics in the Navy for 20 years before retiring to become a teacher. Must be LOTS of guys like that floating around....

Scott M said...

The death rattle of the public sector Unions.

I'm not so sure. The death rattle comes last. We're going to have to suffer through high fevers, convulsions and, in all likelihood, violent spasms before the sweet release of the death rattle.

caplight said...

I hope all these teachers who took the day off to protest get docked their pay for the days they missed. Somehow I doubt it.

wv: nonote=unexcused absence

Sloanasaurus said...

The questions to the government unions is "why do we have to work until age 69 so that you can retire at age 55." That doesn't make sense....

knox said...

I guarantee working parents who had to come up with babysitters or use up their own vacation days to be home with their kids the last couple days are PISSED.

slarrow said...

I really don't know what these protesters think they are accomplishing. They're foolish.

These tactics have worked in the past, and it's their standard response whenever threatened. They don't understand that the world has moved on.

The next round of parent/teacher conferences should be hellacious.

(verification word: "illyfi". As in, "the teachers illyfied themselves to skip school to march for their perks.")

Pogo said...

WI teachers to the voters: Shut up and get back to work.

Feed me, Seymour!!!

Scott M said...

The next round of parent/teacher conferences should be hellacious.

Ha. Good point. I wonder how many condescending "you aren't in my position, so you don't understand" parents are going to have to suffer through.

Chris said...

There are three possibilities: they literally don't understand what the words "fiscal crisis" mean. They think the words fiscal crisis are a lie and that the state has plenty of money squirreled away, or they understand that there is a fiscal crisis, don't give a damn and don't care how high a price their own students will have to pay for the maintenance of the lifestyle to which they've become accustomed.

AprilApple said...

When we lose our jobs and our retirements, there is no golden parachute. Not so for the holy and precious public union employee. My retirement has vanished, but I must pay for the union member's retirement with increased taxes.

At gun point.

Quayle said...

"For five seconds, listen to what's going on outside this room," said Rep. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse. "It's the drumbeat of democracy."

This lady has been inhaling too many Oliver Stone movies.

caplight said...

My Daughter in Wisconsin sent me the following in response to the blog:

2 thoughts

1) walker is not going to be re-elected in 2014- he will get this passed, but repercussions will be more than he bargained for.

2) the teachers/gov't unions need new PR- tide was with them, now turning against, I think. Lots more schools were closed today for sick-outs.

If I was in charge (and really, I should be), I would keep the part about health care and pension contributions, and remove the collective bargaining ban, or at least make it only temporary. Most people would support that, I think.

Original Mike said...

"The questions to the government unions is "why do we have to work until age 69 so that you can retire at age 55." That doesn't make sense...."

I'm not supportive of the protests, and I know I'm going to get shit all over for saying this, but it should be noted that there is an acturial reduction for early retirement.

Chef Mojo said...

When we lose our jobs and our retirements, there is no golden parachute. Not so for the holy and precious public union employee. My retirement has vanished, but I must pay for the union member's retirement with increased taxes.

At gun point.


And this is why the tide has turned against public unions. The rest of us out here have pretty much lost sympathy for these hogs on the government tit.

David said...

Well put, Althouse.

Bryan C said...

"I really don't know what these protesters think they are accomplishing. They're foolish."

It's a pantomime driven by magical thinking, like cargo cultists desperately trying to summon their imaginary airplanes.

When things happen that you don't like, you march, wave around some signs and chant the special words, and then your wishes are granted. It's always worked before, right?

Sloanasaurus said...

If I was in charge (and really, I should be), I would keep the part about health care and pension contributions, and remove the collective bargaining ban, or at least make it only temporary. Most people would support that, I think.

the point of the collective bargaining changes is that without it all the cuts will be only temporary and we will be back in crisis in only a few years.

Government employees should not be allowed to bargain collectively. They are public servants.


The only fault in Walker's bill from a principal point of view is that it doesn't include police and firemen. They also are public servants. But, politically, Walker is smart to exclude them for now.

AprilApple said...

I'll say it again. Here in CO - the greedy democrats are cutting school programs for the kids, all while not touching the Public Union's unfunded choice retirement plans.

Good for WI. Scott Walker is a hero for the working class and for the children of WI.

Not so for our in-the-tank with Unions governor in CO - Hickenlooper(D).

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If the Unions decide to strike in the hopes of making life for the rest of the people miserable thinking that this will let them have their way (in other words throwing a big temper tantrum) they are making a big mistake.

I suggest that the Government should just fire them all and outsource the services. Also this would be a good time to eliminate some programs and departments.

Other than Police and Fire Departments, which would be somewhat difficult to outsource, it would be easy to turn over many functions to private industry. It would be a short period of inconvenience and disruption, but eventually everything would go back to working.

It isn't rocket science to be a clerk in government, drive a bus, repair a pot hole. There are plenty of qualified and willing people out there.

Look upon this as a golden opportunity to make real change.....and kick the bums out.

disa said...

If you truly believe that your former students who have chosen careers as prosecutors, public defenders, and other public sector attorneys deserve this kick in the teeth, then you really are a cold hearted b____. Your attitude is especially nauseating considering that you have sucked on the public teat your entire career.

Henry said...

Sloanasaurus's 9:19 AM is exactly right.

Unless its a rhetorical hem-haw, in what way does Ms. Shilling think a special interest protest is democracy? Not only does this group not understand the fiscal issues (I vote for both 1 and 2 of Chris's 9:19 list), they don't understand democracy.

A march is not a demonstration of democracy. It is an assertion of power.

Scott M said...

Other than Police and Fire Departments, which would be somewhat difficult to outsource

OCP can handle the police department. Just look how well it worked out for Detroit.

Calypso Facto said...

calight, I thought along the same lines: now the legislature could look like the reasonable ones by dropping the anti-bargaining elements. But after 2 days of sick outs and media demonization, I now say they should just plow on through and grab as much negotiating power back as possible. Government employee unions serve no purpose other than to drive up taxpayer costs. With no personal financial incentive for state negotiators to rein in employee costs, the only possible outcome was unsustainable expense.

shoutingthomas said...

If you truly believe that your former students who have chosen careers as prosecutors, public defenders, and other public sector attorneys deserve this kick in the teeth, then you really are a cold hearted b____. Your attitude is especially nauseating considering that you have sucked on the public teat your entire career.

Accepting financial reality is a "kick in the teeth?"

Paying for part of your own benefits and retirement, just like private sector employees is a "kick in the teeth?"

What about the rest of us who work in the private sector? We have no job security and we pay our own way. We're supposed to pay for the retirement of public employees at age 50? And we're supposed to work until we 65 to feather the next of public employees?

Could it be that, in reality, public employees are kicking private employees right in the nuts?

Manney said...

My girls are home today because, in my opinion, a great example of entitlement.

My girls are seeing adults act like 3 year olds who are stomping their feet and screaming.

I bet holding their breath is next.

TMink said...

Ah, Joe changed his name to disa. Hey disa, lame insults don't fly here. We are not members of the teacher's unions. You have to bring a coherent idea.

Trey

FWBuff said...

A few years ago, in response to an immigration proposition being considered in California, there were many protests in major cities all over the Southwest by Latino groups. Many Latino kids from my daughters' high school skipped that day to go over to Dallas to join the protest there. The protesters carried Mexican flags, chanted in Spanish, and carried signs in Spanish. Instead of gaining sympathy for their cause, the protests backfired by hardening attitudes against illegal immigration. The visuals of the protests emphasized the gap. Stricter immigration laws (like the one in Arizona and others now being considered around the country) have resulted. I think a similar backlash may occur from this Wisconsin public-employee protest. The protesters won't be seen as a sympathetic group with a legitimate grievance.

Original Mike said...

"The only fault in Walker's bill from a principal point of view is that it doesn't include police and firemen. They also are public servants. But, politically, Walker is smart to exclude them for now."

And, they have guns.

Lincolntf said...

"You have to bring a coherent idea."

Or a Hitler sign (if you're a true supporter of the itty-bitty kiddies, you'll also bring a noose).

Fort said...

Democrats, especially the older libs, believe the hype. "Worker's rights" are being taken away because Republicans are mean, horrible bastard-humans. There are rich white guys out there with money, so don't tell a union member they don't deserve more, a helluva lot more in fact, than the pittance they are getting now (compared to the rich white men). If you do tell a union member that, then you're another confirmation that Repulicans are mean, horrible bastard-humans who hate humanity.

There is no basis for their actions grounded in reality; it's all cult of personality or self-indulgent sactimony. This necessitates the precluding of thoughts contrary to the goal of more, more, more.

Hence the lack of self-awareness: it would kill their ethos to reflect on the facts (they are already well-compensated and have a choice to do other things if they don't feel they are) so they don't.

MadisonMan said...

The fact is that the Republicans decisively won the governorship and both houses of the state legislature

Yes, this is the point I made to my daughter who went to the Capitol yesteday, and is going today.

Ut said...

"This is what democracy looks like."

What a load of cockamamie bullshit. These aren't "the people" protesting. This is "the government" protesting.

These people are the government. It's laughable to suggest that this represents "democracy."

What it represents is a Soviet-style dictatorship.

Every one of these thieves who called in sick and are receiving sick pay should be arrested for fraud and fired from their jobs.

There are 1,000 people who would stand in line to take their jobs at half their pay.

Mumpsimus said...

Drums? Seriously?

Mumpsimus said...

Drums? Seriously?

Paul Zrimsek said...

Not that it changes the conclusion, but what you want and expect in a democracy is for legislators to look at the next election, not the last one. To say "I won" is always to ask for trouble.

garage mahal said...

There were plenty of nice people too and gentle signs, but the nice to ugly ratio was worse than at the Tea Party rallies I've seen, and Democrats aimed such contempt at the Tea Partiers.

You're so full of shit, as usual.

vet66 said...

Any comparison from the union thugs and their semi-literate minions to Scott Walker to being Mubarak is close but worthy of no cigar. The union and their pillaging of the state coffers at the expense of students and voters is a better comparison.

Any teacher who laid off and caught on camera at the protest should be fired. Any teacher caught bringing students to a protest in the name of extra-curricular study should be terminated. Any classified or certificated personnel participating in this anarchy should be dismissed immediately.The rest need to provide a doctor's excuse for their absence and counseled that future "convenient illness" will be grounds for dismissal.

Time to teach them about accountability. The person who drew the stick figure lynching of the Governor should be prosecuted for hate speech after immediate dismissal.

Note to the Governor; give not an inch of ground to these leaks in the payroll anarchists.

Leland said...

you truly believe that your former students who have chosen careers as prosecutors, public defenders, and other public sector attorneys deserve this kick in the teeth

Wow, lawyers in Wisconsin belong to unions too? That's messed up.

Ut said...

"Union activists in Madison Tuesday spoke apocalyptically of "class war," hinting wildly at general strikes and takeovers of the Capitol."

Bring it on motherfuckers. You want a wild war?

These fucking union pussies want a war until the first shots are fired, and then once the bodies start to hit the floor they whine about how we need civility.

Fuck these inglorious basterds.

Lincolntf said...

garage mahal said...

Turn on a TV, go to a website or just review the pics from yesterday. Not only are they far worse than at any Tea Party event I attended, the level of discourse reveals the kind of scumbag thieves we have running our school systems.
Seriously, if you're looking for sympathy, do you really need all the death and Hitler imagery for your time in front of the cameras? Only if you're a fuckwit WI Teacher.

Rich B said...

If you look at Christie's example, the majority of voters are for reducing budgets and standing up to the public employees unions. The unions (especially the teachers) have kicked and screamed, but even the Democrat legislature abandoned them. I take this as a clear sign that they recognize publice sentiment.

This is too important an issue for the Republicans to be faint hearted. When you are on the offense, press on boldly.

Mitch H. said...

More like the drumbeat of demagoguery.

AprilApple said...

The tax payers want a return on their investment. We are happy to pay for police, firefighters and good teachers. We are not happy when a budget shortfall forces us to pay more for less and more for unsustainable golden retirement parachutes. (all while our retirement savings dwindle and our taxes go up)
We do not appreciate the power unions/democrats wield over us.
We are not happy that our children are being indoctrinated by this anti-liberty, brain-dead, taker-socialist, democrat-progressive mind-set. Gimme gimme is not a value I want my children to learn.

AprilApple said...

When progressives whine about shared sacrifice, they do not include themselves in that sacrifice. Only the evil "other"... the evil nefarious Hilter-moustached corporate monster must sacrifice for the untouchable holy teacher and state union worker. The union's power over the rest of us, must remain. Who cares that private industry is sinking and dying. The host is dying – and the unions want every last drop of blood. The Golden Goose is dead, and the left bang their drums hoping to revive it.

Enough.
On behalf of our children-- enough.

Scott M said...

To say "I won" is always to ask for trouble.

No longer. We've already got trouble in bucketfuls. What we need are adults, not brats, running things.

Ut said...

"My girls are seeing adults act like 3 year olds who are stomping their feet and screaming."

These government officials aren't having a temper tantrum. They're threatening wildly to kill people in Wisconsin if they don't get what they want.

Journal Sentinal: "Union activists in Madison Tuesday spoke apocalyptically of "class war," hinting wildly at general strikes and takeovers of the Capitol."

Those are death threats.

War. Killing voters. Taking over our Capital by force.

This is not some fucking game.

How can you put your children anywhere near these vicious fuckers? I would not be a bit surprised to see your child being held hostage with a gun to her head soon.

How could you possibly consider ever sending your child back into this school system when they're threatening to kill people to get what they want?

DADvocate said...

Putting the mock in democracy. I like that. It should be the left's slogan.

"For five seconds, listen to what's going on outside this room," said Rep. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse. "It's the drumbeat of democracy."

No the drumbeat of mob rule and greed. The drumbeat that want to overthrow the democratic process for their one desires.

roesch-voltaire said...

Democracy is messy and includes marching to a drummer of a different beat, as well as signs from the TP comparing Obama to Hitler. Interesting to see that the firefighter's Union and the Police union have joined in support of this protest. Those who mention accountability for the greedy, I hope you feel the same way about the real greedy who left this country in the economic chaos we are in,
but of course it is alway easier to ridicule those middle class citizens who are union members. Many like myself are willing to contribute more pay to health and retirement benefits, but can not understand what eliminating bargaining rights has to do with the issue.

Lincolntf said...

And with perfect timing, Althouse adds a new post showing the garbage heaps left behind by the slavering idiots who were protesting yesterday.
Nice job, Teacher's Union members. Scumbags.

Chef Mojo said...

Many like myself are willing to contribute more pay to health and retirement benefits, but can not understand what eliminating bargaining rights has to do with the issue.

Bullshit of purest ray serene. You would not voluntarily contribute more and you know it. The only reason you consider it is because Walker is holding a sword over your head.

Public workers should not have the right to collective bargaining. They are public servants. They work for all the people, not just the Democrats they support with their time, money and votes.

Scott M said...

but of course it is alway easier to ridicule those middle class citizens who are union members

Wrong, showing little knowledge of human nature. It's much easier to ridicule some unknown rich person living a life one is completely unfamiliar with and can't identify with one iota, than it is to ridicule others that look and live much closer to what one is familiar with.

Shanna said...

The only fault in Walker's bill from a principal point of view is that it doesn't include police and firemen. They also are public servants. But, politically, Walker is smart to exclude them for now.

Exactly. Interesting how far public perception must have fallen for teachers for them to not be included in the “smart to exclude them” subset. I think once it would not have been so.

Although firefighters and policemen are in far more dangerous jobs. I think an argument could be made that they need bargaining power more than teachers for that reason.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Many like myself are willing to contribute more pay to health and retirement benefits, but can not understand what eliminating bargaining rights has to do with the issue

The elimination of bargining rights for those two issues are to ensure that future legislatures and politicians will not be able to be 'bought' or coerced into ramping up the costs to the tax payers.

Unless you stop the ability to buy their benefits through graft and corruption there is no assurance that the necessary fiscal restraint will be continued and the tax payers will continue to be on the hook for the bloated benefits.

The main reason that the Union (not the workers) is throwing this huge temper tantrum and trying to blackmail the voters is all about MONEY.

The workers/teachers/etc will no longer be forced to contribute to the Union coffers and they Union bosses see their personal cash cow drying up. Without the money, they will no longer be able to throw millions upon millions of dollars into elections in order to buy votes in the legislature to give them even more money.

Follow the money.

Henry said...

Interesting to see that the firefighter's Union and the Police union have joined in support of this protest.

The firefighters and police have pushed a lot of cities and towns toward bankruptcy. Providence firefighters went without a contract for many years and were forced to work by a court order.

In Blue Blood Edward Conlon writes how NYC perps tried to get cops mad by cursing Giuliani. Exactly the opposite. Giuliani refused to pay the cops the high wages that the Westchester and Long Island cops could get and they held a permanent grievance.

slarrow said...

Many like myself are willing to contribute more pay to health and retirement benefits....

But that's the point, isn't it? If you wish to do so, feel free to write your state's revenue office an extra check. But what if you don't? You can't stop paying or withholding taxes if you don't feel like contributing to these folks' pension plans; they throw you in jail for that.

Here's the thing: there are only two negotiators but three interested parties when it comes to union negotiation. The negotiators are the unions and the owners/management; the third interested party is the customer. However, the customer can ratify the negotiation by buying (or spurn it by going elsewhere.) For a car company, for example, if the consumer doesn't feel like paying the additional cost to cover the agreement between the union and the management, he buys a car from another company (or doesn't buy one at all.) That has an impact on the next round of negotiations.

But in government, the negotiating parties are unions and politicians. Taxpayers, the third interested party, CAN'T take their money elsewhere. All they can do is pressure the politicians, which is kind of like a petition to get Ford to hang tough with the union to get cheaper cars. Without that leverage, the taxpayer tends to get screwed.

In this rare moment when the politicians actually are listening, the taxpayer is trying to retire this unbalanced relationship. For that, they get marches and threats. Rather illuminating, that.

Paddy O said...

"They work for all the people, not just the Democrats they support with their time, money and votes."

Indeed. In effect, public unions are using taxpayer money to promote the agenda of a single political party.

Now, ideally, the money might only be used to support direct education issues. But that's not true.

Moreover, the taxpayer money given to such unions are taken out of the paychecks of individual teachers who support causes opposite of the teacher union. So the teacher union uses teacher money, provided by taxpayers, to lobby for causes opposed by half of teachers and half of taxpayers.

That's wrong.

Back when Gov. Arnold was a Republican one of his first causes was to pass legislation insisting that teachers could opt out of funding clearly political uses of their union money. The teacher's union went all out to oppose even the slightest hint of such a thing, not only breaking down the attempted proposition, but in effect, also breaking Arnold himself, who was as broken a governor the last 5 years or so as any can be be found in history.

This is not about teaching or teacher rights. This is about public unions using taxpayer money to engage in clearly partisan tactics.

They are the government lobbying the government for their own benefit, of which students see increasingly little return.

Moreover, breaking the union would break up the present union power structures, which given the fact they increasingly do not represent all the teachers, is a good thing for future education policy. And a good thing for the teachers.

Sofa King said...

Many like myself are willing to contribute more pay to health and retirement benefits, but can not understand what eliminating bargaining rights has to do with the issue.

You can't understand or you don't want to? Hasn't it occurred to you that we wouldn't be at this point if not for those bargaining rights? What assurance can you give to taxpayers that, if we do allow these rights to stand, you actually will use them responsibly? You never have before...the bottom line is we don't trust you any more. Sorry.

Paddy O said...

Taxpayers, the third interested party, CAN'T take their money elsewhere.

And teacher unions have ensured that school vouchers, which would allow students to take the money elsewhere, never move forward.

"It's a hollow movement, led by the greediest of the greedy against the neediest of the needy."

Absolutely. Teachers unions are not like the labor unions of the early 20th century. They are like the railroads of the 19th century. Their deals with the government, make them power brokers who can decide who to favor and who not, funding the politicians to oppress the people even further.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

If you truly believe that your former students who have chosen careers as prosecutors, public defenders, and other public sector attorneys deserve this kick in the teeth, then you really are a cold hearted b____. Your attitude is especially nauseating considering that you have sucked on the public teat your entire career.

So the moral of the story is this; if you suck on the public teat, you better not rock the boat. If yhou do, you're a cold hearted b____. Do I have that right?

Shanna said...

Many like myself are willing to contribute more pay to health and retirement benefits, but can not understand what eliminating bargaining rights has to do with the issue.

Maybe you would if you realized all the stupid stuff unions make the government bargain about.

Shanna said...

The workers/teachers/etc will no longer be forced to contribute to the Union coffers and they Union bosses see their personal cash cow drying up. Without the money, they will no longer be able to throw millions upon millions of dollars into elections in order to buy votes in the legislature to give them even more money.

I’m assuming this means Wisconsin is not a right to work state? In Arkansas they already can’t force you to join the union, but I know it’s not so everywhere…

Comrade X said...

thanks garage. it wouldn't be the same without your lamentations.

AprilApple said...

Follow the money, indeed. Follow fat cat the bullying.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/fat_cat_feeding_frenzy_f3Zt9GW698UmpeOe00Ut2K

kcom said...

"In this rare moment when the politicians actually are listening, the taxpayer is trying to retire this unbalanced relationship."

The only way that the relationship could be fair is if there was a referendum voted on by taxpayers to approve any public union contract. The politicians could negotiate it all they wanted, but final approval would be up to the public. The politicians, and the unions, would know that if they went too far off the deep end, the public would stuff it back in their face. There would be an incentive to keep things reasonable. But, as said above, right now the people who pay the freight aren't even involved in the negotiations or the process. There is no incentive to keep things reasonable.

Of course, trying to hold a referendum on a labor contract has its own mess of problems. It's probably best to go back to the old system where unions couldn't hold the government hostage.

sunsong said...

I hope that the pubbies adhere to principle on this. Public unions are doing great harm to the country and the states. Obama will back unions against all odds. It must be the States who demonstrate the cost to tax payers and general prosperity that public unions bring.

I don't understand why most articles and media, even supportive media, don't constantly point out how bad public schools are and make the connection between teachers and the sorry state of education in this country.

Who in the public schools has more impact on a child's learning than a teacher?

kcom said...

I have a factual question. The quote about the number of votes implies the Wisconsin legislature is made up of 3/4 Rs and 1/4 Ds (12-4 vote along party lines). That can't be true, can it? And if it isn't, what accounts for the imbalance? Or is it shoddy reporting?

DADvocate said...

as well as signs from the TP comparing Obama to Hitler.

Boohoo. Cry me a river. Like this has never happened to any other president.

I'll start comparing Obama to Idi Amin. His policies in the Mid East may well end up accomplishing Amin's goals regarding Isreal and Jews.

Bruce Hayden said...

I am somewhat sympathetic with the police argument for a union, but not sure if it extends to the fire department, which may be the more dangerous occupation.

The argument is that the union is what protects them against harassment, etc. when police arrest people and otherwise do their jobs. The unions do sometimes seem to go overboard protecting errant police officers, but they also seem to protect those against less than meritorious claims on a regular basis.

This is said by someone who usually does not have as much sympathy for the police as he should. But, then, I can't see myself storming into a burning building either.

James said...

I have a factual question. The quote about the number of votes implies the Wisconsin legislature is made up of 3/4 Rs and 1/4 Ds (12-4 vote along party lines). That can't be true, can it? And if it isn't, what accounts for the imbalance? Or is it shoddy reporting?

That's not the legislature....its the Joint Finance Committee that draws members from both the State Assembly and Senate.

The Wisconsin Senate is 19-14 and the Assembly is 60-38-1 ; the Republicans hold the majority in both houses.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I don't understand why most articles and media, even supportive media, don't constantly point out how bad public schools are and make the connection between teachers and the sorry state of education in this country.

Not sure about television reporters but most major newspapers are unionized. Of course they never disclose this in their reporting.

k*thy said...

Slarrow, I see your point, the public union is on the wane. Public opinion and thus, leverage, is shifting from the public unions to the taxpayer… and now is the time for union members to get screwed. Yay! Same thing, just in reverse. The other party in the negotiation - the politician (elected by the taxpayers) - is my boss.

I agree, the voters have spoken. From a public union member’s point of view, and with the taxpayer as my boss, via the politician – do I or do I not want some workplace protections to counteract the ebbs and flows of public opinion? If the bargaining is reasonable, who wouldn’t want this? Who wouldn’t march for this?

MadisonMan said...

The Wisconsin Senate is 19-14 and the Assembly is 60-38-1 ; the Republicans hold the majority in both houses.

But they don't have a 3-1 majority like they do on the JFC. I'm also a little puzzled about that.

MadisonMan said...

I don't understand why most articles and media, even supportive media, don't constantly point out how bad public schools are and make the connection between teachers and the sorry state of education in this country.

I suspect it's because -- at least in Madison, Wisconsin -- your statement isn't true.

I don't think there's a sentient being in Wisconsin who doesn't recognize the sorry state of Milwaukee's schools. That is reported all the time.

Calypso Facto said...

kcom said "The only way that the relationship could be fair is if there was a referendum voted on by taxpayers to approve any public union contract."

But I'd further change it to "the only way that the relationship could be fair is if there was a referendum voted on by taxpayers (excluding public union members and their spouses) to approve any public union contract." The union members would have already gotten their vote on ratification.

Of course, none of that's going to happen, so we're just better off without the unchecked and self-serving gov't union establishment entirely at this point.

Robert R. said...

"I am somewhat sympathetic with the police argument for a union, but not sure if it extends to the fire department, which may be the more dangerous occupation."

I'd like to see statistics, but it wouldn't surprise me if Highway Workers have a more dangerous occupation than both of them. Cops have guns. Firefighters don't have to rush into every building. A visibility vest isn't much protection if a driver isn't looking.

Ankur said...

Think of it as a classic business transaction where the employers (buyer of employees services) have a much higher buying power (because they are much more consolidated) than the employee (seller of his/her services) has a selling power.

For instance, walmart has a much higher buying power and can drive down prices on its supplier's ends simply because it can - and as a business, that is its job. If, however, those suppliers consolidate amongst themselves, then they can negotiate a better deal for themselves - which also is their job.

So, one cannot blame factory workers, teachers, etc from wanting to unionize because unionization gives them a stronger voice in the negotiating table.

Where all of this fails is when these unions, instead of focusing on THEIR local issues, THEIR local negotiating tables, want to influence national politics instead. That makes them weaker because then they cannot support their local issues as effectively because they are committed towards supported the wider goals of national unions.

Of course, business do the same - entire industries group together to lobby congress and influence national policy. So I don't know that the right balance is.

Ankur said...

This is a good article for a brief insight into buying power, selling power and other forces in typical business strategy.

http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/porter.shtml

S said...

Whenever I enter the voting booth, I mutter "this is what democracy looks like."

Scott M said...

The difference, Ankur, is that you're comparing the private sector with public employees. The employees' boss is, well, us. We the people. It's a completely different dynamic.

Ankur said...

Indeed, Scott.

I have no idea about how it is in Wisconsin - in fact, my impression has been that the wisconsin school system is one of the best in the country.

But I have seen quite a bit of 'teacher abuse' by school districts in texas (in dallas and in austin), california (parts of the east bay, and south sacramento) - where 'we the people' are unfair and dishonest to our employees. And the problem is - the teachers unions are so focused on national politics that they are unable to help in these local issues - and to me, those local issues are their main reason for existence anyway.

Sofa King said...

But I have seen quite a bit of 'teacher abuse' by school districts in texas (in dallas and in austin), california (parts of the east bay, and south sacramento) - where 'we the people' are unfair and dishonest to our employees.

Can you be a little more specific what you are referring to as "abuse?" Is it something beyond what your average private-sector worker deals with every day?

Scott M said...

And the problem is - the teachers unions are so focused on national politics that they are unable to help in these local issues

No argument there. I simply don't think public employees should be unionized period. So that would kill two birds with one stone.

slarrow said...

k*thy, of course you would want workplace protections and to march in favor of those. From your perspective, of course you'd like to keep what you have.

But why should that satisfy the taxpayer? It certainly sounds reasonable to have something "to counteract the ebbs and flows of public opinion", but the charge here is that public unions have been entirely insulated not only from public opinion but also fiscal reality. You might claim that you're now being "screwed" (although some might take issue given what's actually being asked here). Why shouldn't the taxpayer say, "Okay, then. Times are tough, everybody's suffering, and it's your turn anyway"?

And that's a response to the gentle, reasonable, earnest public union member. What ought the Hitler-carriers and stand-on-your-lawn malingerers get?

Ankur said...

Sofa King: "Is it something beyond what your average private-sector worker deals with every day?"

No.

In fact, that is exactly the point I am trying to make. Schoolteachers and other government employees face the same/similar issues at the hands of their employers. And therefore, I can understand their desire to unionize. I just don't like it when those unions don't do their jobs and instead, jump on the national bandwagon.

Sofa King said...

And therefore, I can understand their desire to unionize.

Yeah, that's not really the point though, is it? It's not like we're all just mystified at WHY public employees would ever want a union! It's pretty obvious they think it's good for them. Pretty clear it *is* good for them. The relevant question is why voters want public employee collective bargaining. Why is it good for taxpayers?

Michael said...

R-V: The unions do not confer bargaining rights on human beings. Human beings have the right to bargain on their own behalf, to seek employment elsewhere, to cut a deal better than their co-worker. Teachers have abdicated this right to their masters,the union. so you are a better qualified teacher than the guy next door whose ratings are horrible and who clearly has not kept current in his subject. You deserve better and you should negotiate for better. But you can't because it is all done for you. If this doesn't matter, if you are too pure to dig in on your own behalf then pity rather than sympathy is your reward.

Shane said...

This is great. Watching a once powerful nation rip itself apart along partisan lines. One side intent on taking away every right that their forefathers fought for over the last century in order to improve the bottom line of the very corporations who wrecked the economy. The other, well, yeah, pretty much the same. Good luck Egypt, I mean America.