When the government is unionized

So the largest trade union in the country these days is that of government workers.  Does that strike you as odd?  George Will, in the context of a column on what’s going on in Wisconsin, notes some paradoxes:

Such unions are government organized as an interest group to lobby itself to do what it always wants to do anyway – grow. These unions use dues extracted from members to elect their members’ employers. And governments, not disciplined by the need to make a profit, extract government employees’ salaries from taxpayers. Government sits on both sides of the table in cozy “negotiations” with unions. . . .

Walker’s calm comportment in this crisis is reminiscent of President Reagan’s during his 1981 stand against the illegal strike by air traffic controllers, and Margaret Thatcher’s in the 1984 showdown with the miners’ union over whether unions or Parliament would govern Britain. Walker, by a fiscal seriousness contrasting with Obama’s lack thereof, and Obama, by inciting defenders of the indefensible, have made three things clear:

First, the Democratic Party is the party of government, not only because of its extravagant sense of government’s competence and proper scope, but also because the party’s base is government employees. Second, government employees have an increasingly adversarial relationship with the governed. Third, Obama’s “move to the center” is fictitious.

via George F. Will – Out of Wisconsin, a lesson in leadership for Obama.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    “Government sits on both sides of the table in cozy “negotiations” with unions. . . .”

    Ah. this is true for regulation of the financial industry and for the defense industry as well. and there the magnitude of $s is far greater there. but both republicans and democrats feed from those two troughs. so easier to pick on the unions. I don´t think that public teachers are overpaid. so what is the beef? pension funds? ok. address that.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    “Government sits on both sides of the table in cozy “negotiations” with unions. . . .”

    Ah. this is true for regulation of the financial industry and for the defense industry as well. and there the magnitude of $s is far greater there. but both republicans and democrats feed from those two troughs. so easier to pick on the unions. I don´t think that public teachers are overpaid. so what is the beef? pension funds? ok. address that.

  • Tom Hering

    “… government employees have an increasingly adversarial relationship with the governed.”

    The Ministry of Truth is impressed, Mr. Will, and will be calling you with an offer.

  • Tom Hering

    “… government employees have an increasingly adversarial relationship with the governed.”

    The Ministry of Truth is impressed, Mr. Will, and will be calling you with an offer.

  • Porcell

    John Hinderaker at Powerlineputs this issue even more trenchantly than Will:

    The Left is corrupt from top to bottom. If one were to single out the single most corrupt aspect of American public life, it would be this: Democratic officeholders give away the store to public employee unions — at the taxpayers’ expense, of course, not theirs — so that the unions can in turn kick back a portion of their collusive spoils to those very politicians in the form of campaign contributions. It is this corrupt relationship that threatens to bankrupt many of our states and municipalities. As Michael Barone summed it up: ‘In effect, public employee unions are a mechanism by which every taxpayer is forced to fund the Democratic Party.’ That is precisely correct. And the Democrats don’t want any competition.

    The public has finally caught on to this corruption, thanks largely to the Tea Party. Walker will win this fight, as has Mitch Daniels and Chris Christie. Obama will probably lose the 2012 election on the issue, just as Nancy Pelosi lost her perch on the issue. It turns out that we might be a democratic republic after all.

  • Porcell

    John Hinderaker at Powerlineputs this issue even more trenchantly than Will:

    The Left is corrupt from top to bottom. If one were to single out the single most corrupt aspect of American public life, it would be this: Democratic officeholders give away the store to public employee unions — at the taxpayers’ expense, of course, not theirs — so that the unions can in turn kick back a portion of their collusive spoils to those very politicians in the form of campaign contributions. It is this corrupt relationship that threatens to bankrupt many of our states and municipalities. As Michael Barone summed it up: ‘In effect, public employee unions are a mechanism by which every taxpayer is forced to fund the Democratic Party.’ That is precisely correct. And the Democrats don’t want any competition.

    The public has finally caught on to this corruption, thanks largely to the Tea Party. Walker will win this fight, as has Mitch Daniels and Chris Christie. Obama will probably lose the 2012 election on the issue, just as Nancy Pelosi lost her perch on the issue. It turns out that we might be a democratic republic after all.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    “… government employees have an increasingly adversarial relationship with the governed.”

    This is all too true. I have two children 12 and 13. My wife and I are worried about where they will go to high school. The biggest obstacle to educating children is the teacher’s union. They have fought every needed reform. The more money the government spends on education the worse it gets. The children fall behind and consequently, their futures darken. And the teachers unions are shameless, in their pursuit of self interest. They feather their nests at the expense of the students’ well being, and if anyone tries to improve things, the teacher’s union uses those same children as props to manipulate the public.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    “… government employees have an increasingly adversarial relationship with the governed.”

    This is all too true. I have two children 12 and 13. My wife and I are worried about where they will go to high school. The biggest obstacle to educating children is the teacher’s union. They have fought every needed reform. The more money the government spends on education the worse it gets. The children fall behind and consequently, their futures darken. And the teachers unions are shameless, in their pursuit of self interest. They feather their nests at the expense of the students’ well being, and if anyone tries to improve things, the teacher’s union uses those same children as props to manipulate the public.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Porcell, did you not listen to/watch/read the news yesterday, and how Walker got conned into revealing that he ain’t squeeky clean either?

    Politics is dirty business, sir, irrespective of which side/party we are talking about.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Porcell, did you not listen to/watch/read the news yesterday, and how Walker got conned into revealing that he ain’t squeeky clean either?

    Politics is dirty business, sir, irrespective of which side/party we are talking about.

  • Tom Hering

    Hinderaker revised: “If one were to single out the single most corrupt aspect of American public life, it would be this: Republican officeholders give away the store to the wealthy — at the taxpayers’ expense, of course, not theirs (tax cuts, subsidies, etc.) — so that the wealthy can in turn kick back a portion of their collusive spoils to those very politicians in the form of campaign contributions.”

  • Tom Hering

    Hinderaker revised: “If one were to single out the single most corrupt aspect of American public life, it would be this: Republican officeholders give away the store to the wealthy — at the taxpayers’ expense, of course, not theirs (tax cuts, subsidies, etc.) — so that the wealthy can in turn kick back a portion of their collusive spoils to those very politicians in the form of campaign contributions.”

  • DonS

    We can get down in the mud about Republicans, Democrats, etc., but the fact of the matter is that governmental power leads to greed and corruption. There is a huge pot of money, extracted from the taxpayers, and it is fun to spend other people’s money in ways that aggrandize power to yourself. It is human nature. And it is why the notion that government is good or that government can resolve the ills of humankind and evil business is a load of manure.

    The bottom line is that we need to squeeze most of the money out of government and return it to the private sector. There is no reason for government employees to be unionized. That was a huge mistake, done entirely for political reasons when unions saw their power waning in the private sector. Restore the notion of civil service, once again train our government workers to think of themselves as servants to the citizens, and dust off the old civil service laws, which provided ample protection to civil servants from the problem of political patronage. Normalize salary, pension and health benefits to be commensurate to the private market. Get away from the notion of “entitlement”. No one is entitled to anything, except the rights guaranteed to us under the Constitution.

  • DonS

    We can get down in the mud about Republicans, Democrats, etc., but the fact of the matter is that governmental power leads to greed and corruption. There is a huge pot of money, extracted from the taxpayers, and it is fun to spend other people’s money in ways that aggrandize power to yourself. It is human nature. And it is why the notion that government is good or that government can resolve the ills of humankind and evil business is a load of manure.

    The bottom line is that we need to squeeze most of the money out of government and return it to the private sector. There is no reason for government employees to be unionized. That was a huge mistake, done entirely for political reasons when unions saw their power waning in the private sector. Restore the notion of civil service, once again train our government workers to think of themselves as servants to the citizens, and dust off the old civil service laws, which provided ample protection to civil servants from the problem of political patronage. Normalize salary, pension and health benefits to be commensurate to the private market. Get away from the notion of “entitlement”. No one is entitled to anything, except the rights guaranteed to us under the Constitution.

  • Cincinnatus

    Dear fws and Tom:

    This link says it better than I could:

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/02/democracy_diseased

    Please read.

  • Cincinnatus

    Dear fws and Tom:

    This link says it better than I could:

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/02/democracy_diseased

    Please read.

  • Porcell

    Cincinnatus, thanks for that link to the excellent Economist article. Another fine article from the National Affairs Jjournal is
    The Trouble with Public Sector Unions by Daniel Disalvo, an assistant professor at City College of New York including:

    he emergence of powerful public-sector unions was by no means inevitable. Prior to the 1950s, as labor lawyer Ida Klaus remarked in 1965, “the subject of labor relations in public employment could not have meant less to more people, both in and out of government.” To the extent that people thought about it, most politicians, labor leaders, economists, and judges opposed collective bargaining in the public sector. Even President Franklin Roosevelt, a friend of private-sector unionism, drew a line when it came to government workers: “Meticulous attention,” the president insisted in 1937, ‘should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government….The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.’ The reason? F.D.R. believed that “[a] strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.” Roosevelt was hardly alone in holding these views, even among the champions of organized labor. Indeed, the first president of the AFL-CIO, George Meany, believed it was ‘impossible to bargain collectively with the government.’

  • Porcell

    Cincinnatus, thanks for that link to the excellent Economist article. Another fine article from the National Affairs Jjournal is
    The Trouble with Public Sector Unions by Daniel Disalvo, an assistant professor at City College of New York including:

    he emergence of powerful public-sector unions was by no means inevitable. Prior to the 1950s, as labor lawyer Ida Klaus remarked in 1965, “the subject of labor relations in public employment could not have meant less to more people, both in and out of government.” To the extent that people thought about it, most politicians, labor leaders, economists, and judges opposed collective bargaining in the public sector. Even President Franklin Roosevelt, a friend of private-sector unionism, drew a line when it came to government workers: “Meticulous attention,” the president insisted in 1937, ‘should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government….The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.’ The reason? F.D.R. believed that “[a] strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.” Roosevelt was hardly alone in holding these views, even among the champions of organized labor. Indeed, the first president of the AFL-CIO, George Meany, believed it was ‘impossible to bargain collectively with the government.’

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’ve never been in a union, or even in a job where there was an applicable union to join, but …

    If I were a public-sector employee, in a job where my salary was subject to being kicked around like a football, depending on which direction the political players were running any given biennium, I might think quite strongly about joining such a union.

    Besides, you would think that the same people who celebrate when the government is in gridlock or even shuts down would also appreciate the possibility for public-sector employees to strike. After all, the reason FDR opposed public-sector unions was precisely because they stood in the way of government doing what it wanted.

    Which, of course, is exactly the opposite of what others are claiming is the problem here.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’ve never been in a union, or even in a job where there was an applicable union to join, but …

    If I were a public-sector employee, in a job where my salary was subject to being kicked around like a football, depending on which direction the political players were running any given biennium, I might think quite strongly about joining such a union.

    Besides, you would think that the same people who celebrate when the government is in gridlock or even shuts down would also appreciate the possibility for public-sector employees to strike. After all, the reason FDR opposed public-sector unions was precisely because they stood in the way of government doing what it wanted.

    Which, of course, is exactly the opposite of what others are claiming is the problem here.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@10: “I might think quite strongly about joining such a union.”

    Ah, but fortunately the unions do the thinking for you! Not only do you get to join the union, but you have to join the union–and pay dues that pay for their Marxist literature! (And no, I am not being hyperbolic or imprecise in my use of “Marxist” in this context)

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@10: “I might think quite strongly about joining such a union.”

    Ah, but fortunately the unions do the thinking for you! Not only do you get to join the union, but you have to join the union–and pay dues that pay for their Marxist literature! (And no, I am not being hyperbolic or imprecise in my use of “Marxist” in this context)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@11), are you speaking about all public-sector unions when you say that? Or were you just thinking about the ones in Wisconsin, perhaps?

    And I was more replying to DonS’s repeated questions of why any public-sector employee would feel the need to be unionized.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@11), are you speaking about all public-sector unions when you say that? Or were you just thinking about the ones in Wisconsin, perhaps?

    And I was more replying to DonS’s repeated questions of why any public-sector employee would feel the need to be unionized.

  • Dust

    Cincinnatus….apparently you have to buy the health insurance from the Unions too….talk about a racquet….am surprised the do-gooders on this blog….uh, as long as it’s with someone else’s money, taken by force thru the tax code if necessary…..find all this union activity so moral….perhaps they don’t really know the rest of the story?

    One simple “principle” that makes sense to me and explains the situation simply and cleanly is “why should the people that have decided to serve (as a civil servant) have better benefits and retirements than the folks paying their salaries” which would be the rest of the citizens, in case anyone thinks the money grows on trees.

    And since yesterday, there was an item dealing with freedom…why shouldn’t the citizens who are paying the bills have the freedom to make decisions about the salaries and benefits of the folks who freely decided to be civil servants. If the jobs are so bad and the pay is so low, then no one will take those jobs, would one think. So then adjustments would need to be made, just like they do in the “free” market work force to attract and keep good people?

    Apparently more and more folks are waking up to the idea that unions have their place, just not in the government…and if the folks who pay the taxes and the bills don’t want them anymore, they should have the right and freedom t0 change it…and not be a slave to whatever conditions the unions want to impose on them. It’s just the reverse of what we have now…and those on the losing side should be good sports about it :)

  • Dust

    Cincinnatus….apparently you have to buy the health insurance from the Unions too….talk about a racquet….am surprised the do-gooders on this blog….uh, as long as it’s with someone else’s money, taken by force thru the tax code if necessary…..find all this union activity so moral….perhaps they don’t really know the rest of the story?

    One simple “principle” that makes sense to me and explains the situation simply and cleanly is “why should the people that have decided to serve (as a civil servant) have better benefits and retirements than the folks paying their salaries” which would be the rest of the citizens, in case anyone thinks the money grows on trees.

    And since yesterday, there was an item dealing with freedom…why shouldn’t the citizens who are paying the bills have the freedom to make decisions about the salaries and benefits of the folks who freely decided to be civil servants. If the jobs are so bad and the pay is so low, then no one will take those jobs, would one think. So then adjustments would need to be made, just like they do in the “free” market work force to attract and keep good people?

    Apparently more and more folks are waking up to the idea that unions have their place, just not in the government…and if the folks who pay the taxes and the bills don’t want them anymore, they should have the right and freedom t0 change it…and not be a slave to whatever conditions the unions want to impose on them. It’s just the reverse of what we have now…and those on the losing side should be good sports about it :)

  • Tom Hering

    “Walker’s calm comportment in this crisis …”

    Governor Gaddafi’s actual state of mind: “Most of the protesters are from out of state! Do what I want or I’m going to lay off a lot of people! I wonder if I could get some troublemakers to infiltrate the protests? Maybe I could lie to trick “the 14″ into a technical quorum. You want your paychecks? Come and get ‘em. Wait, where’s my baseball bat? Boy, do I deserve a vacation in California – with all expenses paid by the Koch brothers – or what? So come on, Charles and David. My “budget repair” bill isn’t about money. It’s about getting back our freedoms. And freedom isn’t free, you know.”

  • Tom Hering

    “Walker’s calm comportment in this crisis …”

    Governor Gaddafi’s actual state of mind: “Most of the protesters are from out of state! Do what I want or I’m going to lay off a lot of people! I wonder if I could get some troublemakers to infiltrate the protests? Maybe I could lie to trick “the 14″ into a technical quorum. You want your paychecks? Come and get ‘em. Wait, where’s my baseball bat? Boy, do I deserve a vacation in California – with all expenses paid by the Koch brothers – or what? So come on, Charles and David. My “budget repair” bill isn’t about money. It’s about getting back our freedoms. And freedom isn’t free, you know.”

  • DonS

    Well, tODD, since you were responding to me, I’ll respond back. I don’t disagree that civil servants require protection from political forces inherent in government. In fact, to the contrary, I specifically stated in my post @ 7 that civil service laws are necessary to afford this kind of protection. These laws protect employees from arbitrary firings, reductions in pay, changes in working conditions, loyalty oaths, and the like. Their purpose is to ensure impartiality in the public workforce, and to ensure that government workers can do their jobs without undue interference by those having purely political motivations. They further protect the public from having government jobs filled by patronage appointments. Laws like the federal Hatch Act also are supposed to prevent civil servants from engaging in blatantly partisan political activity.

    With such laws in place, there is no legitimate reason for a public employee union. And the infestation of the public workplace with such unions in the last half-century has undone a lot of the protections the citizens and public employees deserve. We now have a blatantly politicized public workforce, tilted almost overwhelmingly in favor of one political party, which has been bought off in every imaginable way from dealing with these unions in an impartial and balanced way. Public employees who disagree with the prevalent political philosophy imposed by the unions are often subject to harassment and discrimination. In addition to the pension and benefits abuses that are already well documented and discussed on this blog and elsewhere, compensation packages have been altered to practically eliminate any reward for merit or any penalty for poor performance.

    Cincinnatus knows of what he speaks, as a public employee in such a union. And I, also, was a federal employee for eight years, in a union, and have observed the same abuses. Although, to be fair, federal benefits and pensions, though good, are not nearly as abusive as many state and local plans, because they were overhauled in 1984 when federal employees were forced in Social Security, and because federal unions cannot engage in collective bargaining for wages and benefits.

  • DonS

    Well, tODD, since you were responding to me, I’ll respond back. I don’t disagree that civil servants require protection from political forces inherent in government. In fact, to the contrary, I specifically stated in my post @ 7 that civil service laws are necessary to afford this kind of protection. These laws protect employees from arbitrary firings, reductions in pay, changes in working conditions, loyalty oaths, and the like. Their purpose is to ensure impartiality in the public workforce, and to ensure that government workers can do their jobs without undue interference by those having purely political motivations. They further protect the public from having government jobs filled by patronage appointments. Laws like the federal Hatch Act also are supposed to prevent civil servants from engaging in blatantly partisan political activity.

    With such laws in place, there is no legitimate reason for a public employee union. And the infestation of the public workplace with such unions in the last half-century has undone a lot of the protections the citizens and public employees deserve. We now have a blatantly politicized public workforce, tilted almost overwhelmingly in favor of one political party, which has been bought off in every imaginable way from dealing with these unions in an impartial and balanced way. Public employees who disagree with the prevalent political philosophy imposed by the unions are often subject to harassment and discrimination. In addition to the pension and benefits abuses that are already well documented and discussed on this blog and elsewhere, compensation packages have been altered to practically eliminate any reward for merit or any penalty for poor performance.

    Cincinnatus knows of what he speaks, as a public employee in such a union. And I, also, was a federal employee for eight years, in a union, and have observed the same abuses. Although, to be fair, federal benefits and pensions, though good, are not nearly as abusive as many state and local plans, because they were overhauled in 1984 when federal employees were forced in Social Security, and because federal unions cannot engage in collective bargaining for wages and benefits.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 14: Yeah, at least the protesters should get credit for being “from” out of state. The Democratic legislators, on the other hand, are simply out of state.

    The paycheck ploy was ingenious. There really is no reason for the legislators to be paid if they are not going to report to work, is there? If they report, they’ll get paid.

    If you don’t have enough money, layoffs happen. It’s life. That’s why our unemployment rate is about 10%. It’s just that government employees aren’t used to being treated like regular people.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 14: Yeah, at least the protesters should get credit for being “from” out of state. The Democratic legislators, on the other hand, are simply out of state.

    The paycheck ploy was ingenious. There really is no reason for the legislators to be paid if they are not going to report to work, is there? If they report, they’ll get paid.

    If you don’t have enough money, layoffs happen. It’s life. That’s why our unemployment rate is about 10%. It’s just that government employees aren’t used to being treated like regular people.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@15), thanks, I’d missed that part of your comment. I think your stance is reasonable.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@15), thanks, I’d missed that part of your comment. I think your stance is reasonable.

  • DonS

    Thank you, tODD.

  • DonS

    Thank you, tODD.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Wait, no, I meant to say “That is not liberal enough Don you are a stupid head”.

    Sometimes I forget who I am. ;)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Wait, no, I meant to say “That is not liberal enough Don you are a stupid head”.

    Sometimes I forget who I am. ;)

  • Tom Hering

    “If you don’t have enough money, layoffs happen.”

    Unless money isn’t the point, and making threats to “ratchet up the pressure” is. Looks like Walker’s statements – indeed, the discussion itself – could be a serious violation of ethics and labor laws. And an investigation is coming. Which means even more folks – like David Brooks, Shepard Smith, Andrew Sullivan, Rick Scott, Mitch Daniels, and Tommy Thompson – are going to start distancing themselves from Walker. Political poison. Yay! :-D

  • Tom Hering

    “If you don’t have enough money, layoffs happen.”

    Unless money isn’t the point, and making threats to “ratchet up the pressure” is. Looks like Walker’s statements – indeed, the discussion itself – could be a serious violation of ethics and labor laws. And an investigation is coming. Which means even more folks – like David Brooks, Shepard Smith, Andrew Sullivan, Rick Scott, Mitch Daniels, and Tommy Thompson – are going to start distancing themselves from Walker. Political poison. Yay! :-D

  • DonS

    tODD @ 19: Ahhh, that’s more like it :-)

    Tom @ 20: Well, OK, I am not going to pretend to know the back story specifically on Wisconsin. Regardless of how one feels on the underlying issues, it is incumbent on all sides to act fairly and in accordance with the law. We’ll see how it plays out. However, I do know for a fact that Governor Brown could justify laying half of the California work force off, given our budget fiasco.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 19: Ahhh, that’s more like it :-)

    Tom @ 20: Well, OK, I am not going to pretend to know the back story specifically on Wisconsin. Regardless of how one feels on the underlying issues, it is incumbent on all sides to act fairly and in accordance with the law. We’ll see how it plays out. However, I do know for a fact that Governor Brown could justify laying half of the California work force off, given our budget fiasco.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    DonS

    I am liking your posts more and more these days… thanks for contributing Don.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    DonS

    I am liking your posts more and more these days… thanks for contributing Don.

  • Tom Hering

    “… it is incumbent on all sides to act fairly and in accordance with the law.”

    Yes, we agree on that, DonS. The Democrats are getting national blowback now, and Wisconsin Republicans can expect the same in 2012.

  • Tom Hering

    “… it is incumbent on all sides to act fairly and in accordance with the law.”

    Yes, we agree on that, DonS. The Democrats are getting national blowback now, and Wisconsin Republicans can expect the same in 2012.

  • John C

    One could make an argument that the decline in middle class income is due to the decline in union membership.

  • John C

    One could make an argument that the decline in middle class income is due to the decline in union membership.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, I’m going to pretend you didn’t just equate Governor Walker with a murderous dictator who, in the last few days alone, is responsible for the slaughter of at least 2000 of his own citizens.

    Meanwhile, reasonable people can disagree as to whether eliminating collective bargaining (which isn’t even what is happening here, by the way) is “necessary” for correcting the budget. You know my views on the matter from previous discussion. But what I think is beyond reasonable disagreement is that, fundamentally, this is about the money. Sure, some Republicans–probably even Walker himself–want to engage in some union-busting for its own sake as well (which is really a misnomer, because union-busting is also about money), but Wisconsin’s deficit for the next budget cycle is 3.6 billion dollars, and that’s not even beginning to touch the debt, which has been exploding since Tommy Thompson’s (Republican but spendthrift) administration in the ’90′s. If this were just about proving a point, pleasing the Koch brothers (who were actually minor donors in the 2010 campaign, dwarfed exponentially by AFSCME’s contributions to Democrats alone), or union-busting, local governments across Wisconsin wouldn’t be sending out blanket layoff warnings.

    Point being, it’s just silly to claim that Wisconsin Republican motives are purely base. Wisconsin–along with many other states, whose debts approach those of Greece before her bankruptcy–is in deep fiscal trouble, and serious action is necessary. I don’t care what the Milwaukee fireman says about the “middle class” and “solidarity” on the commercial that just appeared on my television. Several states actually went bankrupt in the 1830′s. Do we want that to happen again?

    John C@24: One can make that argument, but it is ignoring several intervening variables. Namely, a decline in union membership was preceded by a decline in the proportion of the American economy dominated by industrial activity. Now, I deny that there has actually been a “decline” in the middle class for a variety of reasons (stagnation of household income has accompanied a reduction in average family size, for example, and a reduction in the cost of labor-saving technologies, etc., so most people are actually better off), but one cannot make a sound argument that the problems of the middle class, such as they are, can be traced to a decline in private-sector union participation.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, I’m going to pretend you didn’t just equate Governor Walker with a murderous dictator who, in the last few days alone, is responsible for the slaughter of at least 2000 of his own citizens.

    Meanwhile, reasonable people can disagree as to whether eliminating collective bargaining (which isn’t even what is happening here, by the way) is “necessary” for correcting the budget. You know my views on the matter from previous discussion. But what I think is beyond reasonable disagreement is that, fundamentally, this is about the money. Sure, some Republicans–probably even Walker himself–want to engage in some union-busting for its own sake as well (which is really a misnomer, because union-busting is also about money), but Wisconsin’s deficit for the next budget cycle is 3.6 billion dollars, and that’s not even beginning to touch the debt, which has been exploding since Tommy Thompson’s (Republican but spendthrift) administration in the ’90′s. If this were just about proving a point, pleasing the Koch brothers (who were actually minor donors in the 2010 campaign, dwarfed exponentially by AFSCME’s contributions to Democrats alone), or union-busting, local governments across Wisconsin wouldn’t be sending out blanket layoff warnings.

    Point being, it’s just silly to claim that Wisconsin Republican motives are purely base. Wisconsin–along with many other states, whose debts approach those of Greece before her bankruptcy–is in deep fiscal trouble, and serious action is necessary. I don’t care what the Milwaukee fireman says about the “middle class” and “solidarity” on the commercial that just appeared on my television. Several states actually went bankrupt in the 1830′s. Do we want that to happen again?

    John C@24: One can make that argument, but it is ignoring several intervening variables. Namely, a decline in union membership was preceded by a decline in the proportion of the American economy dominated by industrial activity. Now, I deny that there has actually been a “decline” in the middle class for a variety of reasons (stagnation of household income has accompanied a reduction in average family size, for example, and a reduction in the cost of labor-saving technologies, etc., so most people are actually better off), but one cannot make a sound argument that the problems of the middle class, such as they are, can be traced to a decline in private-sector union participation.

  • Cincinnatus

    Whoa, I could have sworn I turned bold off after the word “dollars.” HTML fail?

  • Cincinnatus

    Whoa, I could have sworn I turned bold off after the word “dollars.” HTML fail?

  • Dust

    Cincinnatus….perhaps you just don’t understand the tactics of liberals and union thugs…..if you read “rules for radicals” that would really help, but suffice it to say, a great deal of what they do as instigators and motivators to whoop up the regular folks into a frenzy involves the use of inflammatory comparisons, as well as the usual class envy warfare, all in the name of hoping not only their minions get worked up and in the mood to protest and shout and get in your face, but they want to throw the other side off balance with their incendiary rhetoric and hope you’ll act in a foolish and untoward style. Wow, that’s a long sentence….yikes! But if you ask how I know, well, let’s just say was around in the 60′s and 70′s and knew a couple of “organizers” on our University campus, including some very left leaning Professors who helped recruit and brainwash their young, naive, idealistic students into doing these kinds of things….and oh yeah, help smoke their dope, of course :)

  • Dust

    Cincinnatus….perhaps you just don’t understand the tactics of liberals and union thugs…..if you read “rules for radicals” that would really help, but suffice it to say, a great deal of what they do as instigators and motivators to whoop up the regular folks into a frenzy involves the use of inflammatory comparisons, as well as the usual class envy warfare, all in the name of hoping not only their minions get worked up and in the mood to protest and shout and get in your face, but they want to throw the other side off balance with their incendiary rhetoric and hope you’ll act in a foolish and untoward style. Wow, that’s a long sentence….yikes! But if you ask how I know, well, let’s just say was around in the 60′s and 70′s and knew a couple of “organizers” on our University campus, including some very left leaning Professors who helped recruit and brainwash their young, naive, idealistic students into doing these kinds of things….and oh yeah, help smoke their dope, of course :)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dust, so, if I understand correctly, “inflammatory comparisons” and “incendiary rhetoric” are only something that “liberals and union thugs” use? Oh, and “some very left leaning Professors who helped recruit and brainwash their young, naive, idealistic students”. Mmm hmm.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dust, so, if I understand correctly, “inflammatory comparisons” and “incendiary rhetoric” are only something that “liberals and union thugs” use? Oh, and “some very left leaning Professors who helped recruit and brainwash their young, naive, idealistic students”. Mmm hmm.

  • Tom Hering

    “… dwarfed exponentially by AFSCME’s contributions to Democrats alone …”

    And that’s the only money this is about, though it obviously isn’t so much money that it prevents Republicans from winning the Governorship and both houses of the State legislature. Only three of the top ten contributors to the campaigns were unions who gave to Democrats, while the other seven (more than double) gave to Republicans.

    Walker revealed his solely ideological motives to the fake David Koch by saying, “We’re doing the just and right thing for the right reasons and it’s all about getting our freedoms back” (emphasis added). And when Walker says “our” freedoms he doesn’t mean everybody’s, as the conversation makes it clear he thinks of Wisconsinites as divided into “us” and “them.”

    As David Ross commented, “Unions may protect mediocre workers, impose a lot of stupid rules, and spend members’ money on politics. But that money ALSO gives Joe No-Name the kind of access that David Koch can get by just picking up the phone. Even when it’s not [really] David Koch.”

    Yup.

  • Tom Hering

    “… dwarfed exponentially by AFSCME’s contributions to Democrats alone …”

    And that’s the only money this is about, though it obviously isn’t so much money that it prevents Republicans from winning the Governorship and both houses of the State legislature. Only three of the top ten contributors to the campaigns were unions who gave to Democrats, while the other seven (more than double) gave to Republicans.

    Walker revealed his solely ideological motives to the fake David Koch by saying, “We’re doing the just and right thing for the right reasons and it’s all about getting our freedoms back” (emphasis added). And when Walker says “our” freedoms he doesn’t mean everybody’s, as the conversation makes it clear he thinks of Wisconsinites as divided into “us” and “them.”

    As David Ross commented, “Unions may protect mediocre workers, impose a lot of stupid rules, and spend members’ money on politics. But that money ALSO gives Joe No-Name the kind of access that David Koch can get by just picking up the phone. Even when it’s not [really] David Koch.”

    Yup.

  • Dust

    Yup, right on Tom in 29…and whenever one of those union represented employees needs to meet with management over some work performance issue, they get to have at least one union rep and usually the steward, and the management brings along at least someone from human resources, and they carry on a discussion of the issue, as if they were a pack of high powered lawyers and agents discussing the next expensive contract for some kind of sports star! Bottom line is that is an extremely expensive way to conduct what should be a straight forward reprimand and corrective action.

    This kind of wasteful expense gets passed on the us the consumers in the form of higher prices, and us the citizens as higher taxes. It’s a cost that everyone has to bear on account of this mediocre employee. At least the Koch brothers are paying for their access and legal fees themselves and not sponging off the rest of us…yup!

  • Dust

    Yup, right on Tom in 29…and whenever one of those union represented employees needs to meet with management over some work performance issue, they get to have at least one union rep and usually the steward, and the management brings along at least someone from human resources, and they carry on a discussion of the issue, as if they were a pack of high powered lawyers and agents discussing the next expensive contract for some kind of sports star! Bottom line is that is an extremely expensive way to conduct what should be a straight forward reprimand and corrective action.

    This kind of wasteful expense gets passed on the us the consumers in the form of higher prices, and us the citizens as higher taxes. It’s a cost that everyone has to bear on account of this mediocre employee. At least the Koch brothers are paying for their access and legal fees themselves and not sponging off the rest of us…yup!

  • Cincinnatus

    Wait a minute, Tom, this quote:

    “Unions may protect mediocre workers, impose a lot of stupid rules, and spend members’ money on politics. But that money ALSO gives Joe No-Name the kind of access that David Koch can get by just picking up the phone. Even when it’s not [really] David Koch.”

    …contains a category mistake. Unions don’t give “Joe No-Name” the kind of access the David Koch (or his unethical imposter) can get by just picking up the phone. They give a special, privileged class of individuals in a particular profession the kind of access that David Koch has. So, just as you might argue that Koch’s interests unfairly militate against mine, so do those of the union. In fact–particularly in relation to the Democratic Party–I would argue that unions have even more unduly privileged access to our political machinery than corporations: there is no law providing special access for corporations to our elected officers, just money; yet, unions not only have the money, but, in states that mandate collective bargaining, also a legal structure that mandates such access. Again, the only loser here is the regular taxpayer. Unions do not = the “people.”

    By the way, you (and others) might find this chart tremendously interesting: http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

  • Cincinnatus

    Wait a minute, Tom, this quote:

    “Unions may protect mediocre workers, impose a lot of stupid rules, and spend members’ money on politics. But that money ALSO gives Joe No-Name the kind of access that David Koch can get by just picking up the phone. Even when it’s not [really] David Koch.”

    …contains a category mistake. Unions don’t give “Joe No-Name” the kind of access the David Koch (or his unethical imposter) can get by just picking up the phone. They give a special, privileged class of individuals in a particular profession the kind of access that David Koch has. So, just as you might argue that Koch’s interests unfairly militate against mine, so do those of the union. In fact–particularly in relation to the Democratic Party–I would argue that unions have even more unduly privileged access to our political machinery than corporations: there is no law providing special access for corporations to our elected officers, just money; yet, unions not only have the money, but, in states that mandate collective bargaining, also a legal structure that mandates such access. Again, the only loser here is the regular taxpayer. Unions do not = the “people.”

    By the way, you (and others) might find this chart tremendously interesting: http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

  • kerner

    For what little it may be worth, I heard on the radio today (a Madison station, I was traveling) that the Unions gave the Scott Walker campaign roughly 3 times the amount that the Koch brothers gave. So maybe the source of the Unions’ anger is not that Walker has been bought; it’s that he couldn’t be bought.

  • kerner

    For what little it may be worth, I heard on the radio today (a Madison station, I was traveling) that the Unions gave the Scott Walker campaign roughly 3 times the amount that the Koch brothers gave. So maybe the source of the Unions’ anger is not that Walker has been bought; it’s that he couldn’t be bought.

  • Tom Hering

    See, the problem here in Wisconsin isn’t just the content of the “budget repair” bill. It’s the way the Republicans have decided to govern. By dividing Wisconsinites into taxpayers and government employees, and inciting the former to turn against the latter – as scapegoats for the State’s worst ills. The traditional tactic of authoritarian rulers.

    Our greatest leaders have been those who in a time of crisis that affects everyone, bring the people together to work and sacrifice for the public good. Why bother, though, when you’ve won power – and partisan triumph is all you really care about?

    Listen to Walker and tell me all of the above is NOT what’s going on here. (Does Walker sound like a raving tyrant? No. But as Hannah Arendt pointed out, there’s a quality of banality to … well, let’s not say full-blown evil in this case. Just hatred.)

  • Tom Hering

    See, the problem here in Wisconsin isn’t just the content of the “budget repair” bill. It’s the way the Republicans have decided to govern. By dividing Wisconsinites into taxpayers and government employees, and inciting the former to turn against the latter – as scapegoats for the State’s worst ills. The traditional tactic of authoritarian rulers.

    Our greatest leaders have been those who in a time of crisis that affects everyone, bring the people together to work and sacrifice for the public good. Why bother, though, when you’ve won power – and partisan triumph is all you really care about?

    Listen to Walker and tell me all of the above is NOT what’s going on here. (Does Walker sound like a raving tyrant? No. But as Hannah Arendt pointed out, there’s a quality of banality to … well, let’s not say full-blown evil in this case. Just hatred.)

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, your comments grow increasingly obtuse and, well, silly. While personally I agree that Walker introduced this bill too quickly and attempted to ram it through the legislature too hastily (though he had tactical reasons for doing so: he probably wanted to avoid prolonged debate, which would postpone something that he genuinely believes to be an urgently necessary solution; and, as we’ve discussed, he didn’t violate the “democratic process” by doing so), his “divisions” of the “people” into various antagonistic groups is nothing new. Both parties have always done it. For labor-state Democrats it’s always been the working class against the corporate class; for populists, city against country; for Tea Partiers, government against the people. While dividing the people against themselves is a tactic of despotic (not authoritarian) government, are you sure you want to stand by the claim that, and I quote, “the traditional tactic of authoritarian rulers” is to “turn the [taxpayers] against the [government employees]“? Really? While Machiavelli said it is better to be feared than loved, I don’t recall him claiming that it is better for the prince (and his employees) to be hated rather than loved (or feared). I mean, seriously Tom. Use your common sense. Your repeated references to dictatorship and authoritarianism grow tiresome. Quadaffi, an unelected and arbitrary ruler currently engaged in the slaughter of his own people (those protesting his regime; sound familiar?), is a dictator; Scott Walker, a duly elected representative of the people of Wisconsin who will serve a fixed term and whose policy proposals (not decrees) must be passed by a duly elected legislature and a duly elected court, is not a dictator. I might also mention that Scott Walker isn’t planning on killing those who protest his “regime.”

    That said, he hasn’t painted state workers as “scapegoats” for all (if any) evils in the state. Have you forgotten that he’s introducing the state budget soon? Included will be $1 billion in Medicaid cuts and $900 million in cuts to education, amongst other things. He also, apparently, hates high speed trains. You also imply that state workers are not the source of any state evils. Well, that’s just false, whether one considers bloated bureaucracy an “evil” or not: the local pension system in Wisconsin is in deep trouble.

    Meanwhile, Hannah Arendt pointed out that bureaucracy constitutes a banal form of evil, so her words don’t even apply here, unless you meant that government agencies and byzantine union bureaucracies embody Arendt’s complaint?

    I don’t know where you’re getting your talking points, Tom, but I would suggest that an intelligent gentleman such as yourself (evidenced by the fact that you’ve apparently read Arendt) should find a better source.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, your comments grow increasingly obtuse and, well, silly. While personally I agree that Walker introduced this bill too quickly and attempted to ram it through the legislature too hastily (though he had tactical reasons for doing so: he probably wanted to avoid prolonged debate, which would postpone something that he genuinely believes to be an urgently necessary solution; and, as we’ve discussed, he didn’t violate the “democratic process” by doing so), his “divisions” of the “people” into various antagonistic groups is nothing new. Both parties have always done it. For labor-state Democrats it’s always been the working class against the corporate class; for populists, city against country; for Tea Partiers, government against the people. While dividing the people against themselves is a tactic of despotic (not authoritarian) government, are you sure you want to stand by the claim that, and I quote, “the traditional tactic of authoritarian rulers” is to “turn the [taxpayers] against the [government employees]“? Really? While Machiavelli said it is better to be feared than loved, I don’t recall him claiming that it is better for the prince (and his employees) to be hated rather than loved (or feared). I mean, seriously Tom. Use your common sense. Your repeated references to dictatorship and authoritarianism grow tiresome. Quadaffi, an unelected and arbitrary ruler currently engaged in the slaughter of his own people (those protesting his regime; sound familiar?), is a dictator; Scott Walker, a duly elected representative of the people of Wisconsin who will serve a fixed term and whose policy proposals (not decrees) must be passed by a duly elected legislature and a duly elected court, is not a dictator. I might also mention that Scott Walker isn’t planning on killing those who protest his “regime.”

    That said, he hasn’t painted state workers as “scapegoats” for all (if any) evils in the state. Have you forgotten that he’s introducing the state budget soon? Included will be $1 billion in Medicaid cuts and $900 million in cuts to education, amongst other things. He also, apparently, hates high speed trains. You also imply that state workers are not the source of any state evils. Well, that’s just false, whether one considers bloated bureaucracy an “evil” or not: the local pension system in Wisconsin is in deep trouble.

    Meanwhile, Hannah Arendt pointed out that bureaucracy constitutes a banal form of evil, so her words don’t even apply here, unless you meant that government agencies and byzantine union bureaucracies embody Arendt’s complaint?

    I don’t know where you’re getting your talking points, Tom, but I would suggest that an intelligent gentleman such as yourself (evidenced by the fact that you’ve apparently read Arendt) should find a better source.

  • Dust

    Cincinnatus….read “rules for radicals” and it will explain a lot of what is going on behind much of your friend’s comments….maybe not deliberately, but none the less quite effective at throwing you off topic, but clearly not off balance :)

  • Dust

    Cincinnatus….read “rules for radicals” and it will explain a lot of what is going on behind much of your friend’s comments….maybe not deliberately, but none the less quite effective at throwing you off topic, but clearly not off balance :)

  • kerner

    Tom @33, oh please.

    The classic tactic of authoritarian rulers is not to turn the people against government employees.

    The classic tactic of authoriarian rulers is to create a cadre of government employees whose purpose is to maintain and enforce the authority of the authoritariian ruler.

    The authortiarian ruler supports this cadre though oppressive taxation which he uses to pay the cadre of government employed enforcers with money and benefits that people outside the government cannot get. The government employees, in turn, support the authoritarian ruler and keep him in power.

    This is why it is Doyle and the Democrats are the authoritarian oppressors of the people. The authoritarian ruler has been forced out of office by the people, but his cadre is still there, and they really really really want to maintain their position as favored cadre of authoritarian rulers.

    Their greatest fear is that the new administration may actually liberate the people from oppression by the cadre. Other Republican governors talked a good game, but nobody actually took steps before to reduce the power of the public employees such that they lost their positions as a cadre of enforcers.

    But maybe this time will be different, Governor Walker will stick to his guns, and the power of the authoritarian enforcement cadre will be reduced, and the people will be able to prosper again.

  • kerner

    Tom @33, oh please.

    The classic tactic of authoritarian rulers is not to turn the people against government employees.

    The classic tactic of authoriarian rulers is to create a cadre of government employees whose purpose is to maintain and enforce the authority of the authoritariian ruler.

    The authortiarian ruler supports this cadre though oppressive taxation which he uses to pay the cadre of government employed enforcers with money and benefits that people outside the government cannot get. The government employees, in turn, support the authoritarian ruler and keep him in power.

    This is why it is Doyle and the Democrats are the authoritarian oppressors of the people. The authoritarian ruler has been forced out of office by the people, but his cadre is still there, and they really really really want to maintain their position as favored cadre of authoritarian rulers.

    Their greatest fear is that the new administration may actually liberate the people from oppression by the cadre. Other Republican governors talked a good game, but nobody actually took steps before to reduce the power of the public employees such that they lost their positions as a cadre of enforcers.

    But maybe this time will be different, Governor Walker will stick to his guns, and the power of the authoritarian enforcement cadre will be reduced, and the people will be able to prosper again.

  • kerner

    hmmm…my argument might be stronger if I made fewer typos when typing “authoritarian”. ;)

  • kerner

    hmmm…my argument might be stronger if I made fewer typos when typing “authoritarian”. ;)

  • DonS

    Tom, you seem much more emotional on this issue than you usually are, which is really clouding the logic of your arguments. I sense that this is affecting you personally, either because you are one of the union members facing changes under this legislation or you are closely related to someone who is. Might that be the case?

  • DonS

    Tom, you seem much more emotional on this issue than you usually are, which is really clouding the logic of your arguments. I sense that this is affecting you personally, either because you are one of the union members facing changes under this legislation or you are closely related to someone who is. Might that be the case?

  • Cincinnatus

    DonS: It may be that Tom is a public worker; I don’t know. But I am an employee of the State of Wisconsin and am thus a member of one of the unions (as you know), and thus my own benefits are at stake. What I have not heard a single public employee admit yet is that we, as public employees, serve at the pleasure of the voting public. If they decide that they do not need us or want us or wish to pay us as much any longer, then it is their prerogative to dispense with us–without much discussion, frankly. This, of course, is upsetting to the public worker who has been promised a (free) pension, (nearly-free) healthcare benefits (beyond anything typically available in the private sector), and (nearly foolproof) job security. And, do to the fickle nature of the “masses,” it is easily understandable why, as tODD notes, public workers might want a union. And yet that public workers serve purely and solely at the public’s pleasure is a principle deeply rooted in our constitutional tradition, and is non-negotiable.

  • Cincinnatus

    DonS: It may be that Tom is a public worker; I don’t know. But I am an employee of the State of Wisconsin and am thus a member of one of the unions (as you know), and thus my own benefits are at stake. What I have not heard a single public employee admit yet is that we, as public employees, serve at the pleasure of the voting public. If they decide that they do not need us or want us or wish to pay us as much any longer, then it is their prerogative to dispense with us–without much discussion, frankly. This, of course, is upsetting to the public worker who has been promised a (free) pension, (nearly-free) healthcare benefits (beyond anything typically available in the private sector), and (nearly foolproof) job security. And, do to the fickle nature of the “masses,” it is easily understandable why, as tODD notes, public workers might want a union. And yet that public workers serve purely and solely at the public’s pleasure is a principle deeply rooted in our constitutional tradition, and is non-negotiable.

  • Cincinnatus

    due* to

  • Cincinnatus

    due* to

  • DonS

    Yes, Cincinnatus, I do know, from your prior comments, that you are a member of one of the unions at issue. Which makes your clear-headed, logically developed, and philosophically excellent comments all the more impressive. But, not everyone is capable of such logic when it is their own livelihood they believe to be threatened, or at least materially altered.

    Philosophically, Tom’s positions on this issue are not surprising. He is, after all, a pretty doctrinaire liberal. However, what I have noticed in these Wisconsin threads is a degree of emotional and personal vitriol which is not like him, and which is clearly not warranted by the circumstances. Usually, he maintains a sense of humor, and backs off when he senses that things are getting out of hand.

  • DonS

    Yes, Cincinnatus, I do know, from your prior comments, that you are a member of one of the unions at issue. Which makes your clear-headed, logically developed, and philosophically excellent comments all the more impressive. But, not everyone is capable of such logic when it is their own livelihood they believe to be threatened, or at least materially altered.

    Philosophically, Tom’s positions on this issue are not surprising. He is, after all, a pretty doctrinaire liberal. However, what I have noticed in these Wisconsin threads is a degree of emotional and personal vitriol which is not like him, and which is clearly not warranted by the circumstances. Usually, he maintains a sense of humor, and backs off when he senses that things are getting out of hand.

  • Cincinnatus

    You know, I’ve been going on and on about how public-sector unions conflict with certain fundamental principles of democratic liberalism, that the fiscal problems in Wisconsin are real, that this bill is necessary, etc., but I just realized I could sum up my argument thusly:

    Public-sector unions are problematic because no one has the “right” to bargain with other people’s money–money, by the way, that has been obtained via the coercive instruments of the state.

  • Cincinnatus

    You know, I’ve been going on and on about how public-sector unions conflict with certain fundamental principles of democratic liberalism, that the fiscal problems in Wisconsin are real, that this bill is necessary, etc., but I just realized I could sum up my argument thusly:

    Public-sector unions are problematic because no one has the “right” to bargain with other people’s money–money, by the way, that has been obtained via the coercive instruments of the state.

  • Tom Hering

    “[Tom] is, after all, a pretty doctrinaire liberal.”

    I’ve never been called “pretty” before. Thanks, Don. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    “[Tom] is, after all, a pretty doctrinaire liberal.”

    I’ve never been called “pretty” before. Thanks, Don. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Well, the Republicans have passed a new rule that closes the Capitol building today for “cleaning,” and many protesters will refuse to leave. As a good number of the police, when they go off-duty, have been joining the protesters (even sleeping in the rotunda with them), it will be interesting to see what happens. The police may show solidarity by refusing to evict. Not likely in my opinion, but not impossible.

  • Tom Hering

    Well, the Republicans have passed a new rule that closes the Capitol building today for “cleaning,” and many protesters will refuse to leave. As a good number of the police, when they go off-duty, have been joining the protesters (even sleeping in the rotunda with them), it will be interesting to see what happens. The police may show solidarity by refusing to evict. Not likely in my opinion, but not impossible.

  • kerner

    Cincinnatus @39:

    For most public employees, it really isn’t as much of an “at will” relationship as you suggest, even without the unions.

    I haven’t researched this, but I have been hearing for 2 weeks that Wisconsin civil service law is one of the most protective in the country. And we can understand the purpose of a civil service system. Civil service was a reaction to the former patronage practices of corrupt politicians in the 19th century. You know, when the new party wins an election, all the city workers lose their jobs, to be replaced by the cronies of the new politicians. Since we don’t want the entire government work force (from accountants to street sweepers) to be replaced by the cronies of politicians every time power changes hands, a certain amount of civil service protection is an important protection against that kind of corruption.

    And Wisconsin’s public workers have that protection. Further, it is my understanding that the bulls in the legislature increase that protection to government workers who may not now have it, to make sure that a patronage system does not return.

    And Wisconsin workers also have some U.S. Constitutional protection, as is evident from this:

    http://public.findlaw.com/abaflg/flg-12-4g-6.html

    The Walker plan does not upset a balance of power, it restores balance.

  • kerner

    Cincinnatus @39:

    For most public employees, it really isn’t as much of an “at will” relationship as you suggest, even without the unions.

    I haven’t researched this, but I have been hearing for 2 weeks that Wisconsin civil service law is one of the most protective in the country. And we can understand the purpose of a civil service system. Civil service was a reaction to the former patronage practices of corrupt politicians in the 19th century. You know, when the new party wins an election, all the city workers lose their jobs, to be replaced by the cronies of the new politicians. Since we don’t want the entire government work force (from accountants to street sweepers) to be replaced by the cronies of politicians every time power changes hands, a certain amount of civil service protection is an important protection against that kind of corruption.

    And Wisconsin’s public workers have that protection. Further, it is my understanding that the bulls in the legislature increase that protection to government workers who may not now have it, to make sure that a patronage system does not return.

    And Wisconsin workers also have some U.S. Constitutional protection, as is evident from this:

    http://public.findlaw.com/abaflg/flg-12-4g-6.html

    The Walker plan does not upset a balance of power, it restores balance.

  • kerner

    For Constitutional protection of public empluyees’ property interests in continued employment as held by SCOTUS see also Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 92 S. Ct. 2701, 33 L. Ed. 2d 548 (1972), and Cleveland Bd. of Educ. v. Loudermill, 470 U.S. 532, 105 S. Ct. 1487, 84 L. Ed. 2d 494 (1985).

  • kerner

    For Constitutional protection of public empluyees’ property interests in continued employment as held by SCOTUS see also Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 92 S. Ct. 2701, 33 L. Ed. 2d 548 (1972), and Cleveland Bd. of Educ. v. Loudermill, 470 U.S. 532, 105 S. Ct. 1487, 84 L. Ed. 2d 494 (1985).

  • Tom Hering

    So, kerner, if I understand you correctly, government employees should depend on the government alone – their employer – to protect them?

  • Tom Hering

    So, kerner, if I understand you correctly, government employees should depend on the government alone – their employer – to protect them?

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@47: If government employees can’t depend upon their own democratic government to protect them, then why should any other democratic citizens? Conversely, if ordinary citizens cannot trust their own government to protect them, then why should public employees receive special protections that no one else receives? At some level, these questions are rhetorical; at the same time, I think an answer to both is warranted.

    And yes, kerner, I’m of the understanding that Wisconsin offers the gold-standard in civil service protection law.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@47: If government employees can’t depend upon their own democratic government to protect them, then why should any other democratic citizens? Conversely, if ordinary citizens cannot trust their own government to protect them, then why should public employees receive special protections that no one else receives? At some level, these questions are rhetorical; at the same time, I think an answer to both is warranted.

    And yes, kerner, I’m of the understanding that Wisconsin offers the gold-standard in civil service protection law.

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus, private sector workers with grievances can turn to strong third parties – to unions, and to state and federal government – for help. Why shouldn’t government employees have a strong advocate that’s independent of their employer?

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus, private sector workers with grievances can turn to strong third parties – to unions, and to state and federal government – for help. Why shouldn’t government employees have a strong advocate that’s independent of their employer?

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom: False.

    That (some) private sector workers can turn to a strong third party (unions) when they have grievances against a private employer is irrelevant. Private sector workers and other private citizens, when they have grievances against the government, however, have no legally mandated third parties. They are able to vote, write to their congressmen, circulate petitions, and participate in other elements of the “democratic process.” Public-sector workers (in Wisconsin), however, have all of that plus a legally mandated “strong third party” that is also empowered to pressure the government for a larger piece of other people’s money. This is not fair or equal in any way, and it’s certainly not a right. Sure, old people have the AARP, for instance, but the government is not legally obligated to listen to a word from the AARP. And seriously, Tom, if you don’t trust the government to care for its own employees through proper legal channels (civil service laws, e.g.), then why do you trust it to care for its own citizens more broadly? And what makes public employees so special that they deserve these special protections that other citizens cannot have?

    Bonus Fun Fact: When/if the “Budget Repair Bill” passes, Wisconsin public employees will still have more collective bargaining “rights” than federal employees. I dare you to claim that federal employees are exploited and under-compensated.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom: False.

    That (some) private sector workers can turn to a strong third party (unions) when they have grievances against a private employer is irrelevant. Private sector workers and other private citizens, when they have grievances against the government, however, have no legally mandated third parties. They are able to vote, write to their congressmen, circulate petitions, and participate in other elements of the “democratic process.” Public-sector workers (in Wisconsin), however, have all of that plus a legally mandated “strong third party” that is also empowered to pressure the government for a larger piece of other people’s money. This is not fair or equal in any way, and it’s certainly not a right. Sure, old people have the AARP, for instance, but the government is not legally obligated to listen to a word from the AARP. And seriously, Tom, if you don’t trust the government to care for its own employees through proper legal channels (civil service laws, e.g.), then why do you trust it to care for its own citizens more broadly? And what makes public employees so special that they deserve these special protections that other citizens cannot have?

    Bonus Fun Fact: When/if the “Budget Repair Bill” passes, Wisconsin public employees will still have more collective bargaining “rights” than federal employees. I dare you to claim that federal employees are exploited and under-compensated.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 43: Now, that’s the Tom I know :-)

  • DonS

    Tom @ 43: Now, that’s the Tom I know :-)

  • DonS

    Tom @ 47 & following: Cincinnatus has responded very eloquently to your points here. Let me just add the following:

    a) Very few private sector workers are unionized. The number is about 7% of the private workforce, nationally, I believe. So 93% or so of the private workforce has no one to rely on for the safety of their employment than their private employer. So why should things be any different for public employees? All workers are protected by state and federal employment law, against discriminatory hiring and firing practices, whether private or public sector, so I don’t understand your comment @ 49. Public employees, even if not unionized, also have additional protections not available to private employees because of civil service laws.

    b) Democracy is sometimes messy. You don’t like the way the Republicans in WI are handling this collective bargaining issue. Well, the minority party seldom likes the way the majority party forces its will on them in government. Just look at the Obamacare jam-down last spring for an example of ugly majoritarian politics. Pass major entitlement legislation, forcing people to utterly change the way they provide for their healthcare, in a weeks time, often in the dead of night, without committee hearings or minority party input, and without minority party support. Pure ugliness. But, it’s life. Elections matter. You’re just not used to being in the minority. We on the Republican side certainly are.

    c) As Cincinnatus said, if you don’t believe public employees should trust the government for their well being, then why in heck should we trust it to provide our health care or any other of a myriad of services? Government is good, right? It protects us from evil business, right? That’s what you guys are always telling us anyway. Maybe now we are getting your true feelings. Maybe you are on your way to becoming a small government advocate ;-)

  • DonS

    Tom @ 47 & following: Cincinnatus has responded very eloquently to your points here. Let me just add the following:

    a) Very few private sector workers are unionized. The number is about 7% of the private workforce, nationally, I believe. So 93% or so of the private workforce has no one to rely on for the safety of their employment than their private employer. So why should things be any different for public employees? All workers are protected by state and federal employment law, against discriminatory hiring and firing practices, whether private or public sector, so I don’t understand your comment @ 49. Public employees, even if not unionized, also have additional protections not available to private employees because of civil service laws.

    b) Democracy is sometimes messy. You don’t like the way the Republicans in WI are handling this collective bargaining issue. Well, the minority party seldom likes the way the majority party forces its will on them in government. Just look at the Obamacare jam-down last spring for an example of ugly majoritarian politics. Pass major entitlement legislation, forcing people to utterly change the way they provide for their healthcare, in a weeks time, often in the dead of night, without committee hearings or minority party input, and without minority party support. Pure ugliness. But, it’s life. Elections matter. You’re just not used to being in the minority. We on the Republican side certainly are.

    c) As Cincinnatus said, if you don’t believe public employees should trust the government for their well being, then why in heck should we trust it to provide our health care or any other of a myriad of services? Government is good, right? It protects us from evil business, right? That’s what you guys are always telling us anyway. Maybe now we are getting your true feelings. Maybe you are on your way to becoming a small government advocate ;-)

  • Tom Hering

    “Government is good, right?”

    Government is “a” good that sometimes does good, and sometimes does bad. Trust has nothing to do with it.

    “It protects us from evil business, right?”

    Insofar as business does bad, I would hope so. Ultimately, though, we depend on associations of citizens (including unions) to challenge both business and government when they act against the best interests of those associations.

  • Tom Hering

    “Government is good, right?”

    Government is “a” good that sometimes does good, and sometimes does bad. Trust has nothing to do with it.

    “It protects us from evil business, right?”

    Insofar as business does bad, I would hope so. Ultimately, though, we depend on associations of citizens (including unions) to challenge both business and government when they act against the best interests of those associations.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 53: You didn’t respond to my points a) and b), so I assume you agree with those points.

    As for point c), to which you did respond, you are right. Government is not an inherent good, as many wish to believe when they blithely say “the Government should do something” as an answer to every problem. It is populated with sinners, just like businesses and every other human institution. The problem, however, is that it has the power, and worse yet, the mandate, to act coercively in everything it does. Government cannot act without regulation, forcing citizens to act involuntarily for the benefit of other citizens. It must take liberty from some to grant benefits to others. On the other hand, at least businesses have to continually earn more business. It is not mandated for them. Moreover, when you give governmental power to its leaders, it is inevitable that corruption will follow.

    As far as “associations” of citizens are concerned, public sector unions are a bit more than that. Over the years, and partially because of the aforementioned corruption factor, unions have been embedded into government, and given statutory power and authority to essentially control public purse strings. They need to be re-aligned so that, once again, they are only an association of citizens, rather than a force which has undue influence over government and undue access to the public treasury.

    As far as other associations of citizens, I assume perhaps you are talking about associations like the tea parties, rising up when they sensed governmental abuse with TARP, stimulus pork earmarks, and Obamacare? ;-)

  • DonS

    Tom @ 53: You didn’t respond to my points a) and b), so I assume you agree with those points.

    As for point c), to which you did respond, you are right. Government is not an inherent good, as many wish to believe when they blithely say “the Government should do something” as an answer to every problem. It is populated with sinners, just like businesses and every other human institution. The problem, however, is that it has the power, and worse yet, the mandate, to act coercively in everything it does. Government cannot act without regulation, forcing citizens to act involuntarily for the benefit of other citizens. It must take liberty from some to grant benefits to others. On the other hand, at least businesses have to continually earn more business. It is not mandated for them. Moreover, when you give governmental power to its leaders, it is inevitable that corruption will follow.

    As far as “associations” of citizens are concerned, public sector unions are a bit more than that. Over the years, and partially because of the aforementioned corruption factor, unions have been embedded into government, and given statutory power and authority to essentially control public purse strings. They need to be re-aligned so that, once again, they are only an association of citizens, rather than a force which has undue influence over government and undue access to the public treasury.

    As far as other associations of citizens, I assume perhaps you are talking about associations like the tea parties, rising up when they sensed governmental abuse with TARP, stimulus pork earmarks, and Obamacare? ;-)

  • Tom Hering

    200 protesters are sleeping in the Capitol building tonight. Looks like the Capitol administration office, headed by a Walker appointee, backed down after the police made it clear they weren’t – shall we say – “eager” to eject the protesters. I guess Walker’s exemption for police unions didn’t put the police in his pocket after all. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    200 protesters are sleeping in the Capitol building tonight. Looks like the Capitol administration office, headed by a Walker appointee, backed down after the police made it clear they weren’t – shall we say – “eager” to eject the protesters. I guess Walker’s exemption for police unions didn’t put the police in his pocket after all. :-D

  • DonS

    Hmmm, Tom, looks like you just hit the nail right on the head of what is wrong with a unionized public workforce.

  • DonS

    Hmmm, Tom, looks like you just hit the nail right on the head of what is wrong with a unionized public workforce.

  • Tom Hering

    Yeah, I too am nostalgic for those bygone, golden days when our police were non-professional thugs with badges. *Sigh*

  • Tom Hering

    Yeah, I too am nostalgic for those bygone, golden days when our police were non-professional thugs with badges. *Sigh*

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, Madison police aren’t thugs, generally speaking. Still, it took over one year to fire one who was found guilty of illegal “thuggish” behavior because of her union. In the meantime, she was put on leave. While on leave, she was given full pay and benefits ($~70k) on the taxpayers dime. Moreover, the department wasn’t able even to fire her. Union requirements, etc., made it possible that she could retire early–with a full pension!–so the poor thing wouldn’t have to suffer the disgrace of being fired for her firable (even criminal) offenses. Some sharp local reporting discovered this, amongst other abuses, or the taxpayers wouldn’t even know about it. Thanks unions!

    I, too, miss the days when police couldn’t be counted on to carry out orders and enforce the law. Oh wait…? To put the best construction on the actions of the police, it seems to be that a) they did clear out most of the building and b) they have been working hard to maintain peace and order in this situation. No need to arrest hundreds of people yet. Not a good deal for the taxpayers. And face it, Tom, I don’t know if you’ve been down there, but our beautiful capitol building reeks–that’s what happens when hundreds of students with no affiliation to this bill decide pointlessly to sleep in a public building without showering for days. The legitimate protesters arrive, speak their piece, and leave in peace.

    This is purely anecdotal, but allow me to tell you a little something about the folks who effectively started these protests a couple of weeks ago–namely, the Teaching Assistants Union (TAA), one of the smallest and most insignificant unions in the state (though, to be fair, they are grossly underpaid; the union hasn’t helped). I personally know the co-presidents of the TAA, Kevin Gibbons and Alex Hanna. (Yes, I’m naming names, which I suppose is ironic given my anonymity here, but I have a point). They are first-class, careerist jerks, which I suppose is a classic personality type for union “thugs”. They are also Marxists, as most sociology graduate students are. And I don’t mean Marxist as in “anyone who disagrees with Reagan and Palin is a socialist”; I mean literal, unapologetic Marxists who have read and believed the works of Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Gramsci, etc., who believe, if not foment, the class war, who hate the bourgeois and capitalism (even though they belong firmly to both), and who, in their scholarship, such as it is, make it their aim to undermine what we might call liberal democracy. The same could be said of Adrienne Pagac, who has been handling many press releases for the TAA during the protests. Traditionally, my mandatory dues have been employed to fund social gatherings where union/Marxist literature could be distributed along with pizza and beer, to fund an incompetent (and largely Marxist) bargaining team and lawyers, and, in recent years, to fund a lobbying fight for “domestic partnership” (i.e., gay household) health benefits–which isn’t a political cause because, of course, such political campaigning deals with an issue that is directly related to the purposes of the union–and, besides, all union members agree with this cause anyway, right? (So I’ve been told when I complained.)

    My point here isn’t necessarily a gigantic ad hominem. My point is to demonstrate, Tom, that these protests aren’t an organic gathering of “Real Americans,” of blue collar workers who just want to feed their families within the system they’ve been given. The protests were spearheaded and still are spearheaded by Marxists and opportunists. The bulk of the crowds are not representative of Wisconsin: they are (Marxist) teaching assistants, university students who just like to scream about “causes,” and local teachers famous for their “progressivism.” Sure, the Teamsters (a first-class organization, right?), Jesse Jackson, and other more typical working class folks have appeared, but they aren’t the ones who predominate in the movement.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, Madison police aren’t thugs, generally speaking. Still, it took over one year to fire one who was found guilty of illegal “thuggish” behavior because of her union. In the meantime, she was put on leave. While on leave, she was given full pay and benefits ($~70k) on the taxpayers dime. Moreover, the department wasn’t able even to fire her. Union requirements, etc., made it possible that she could retire early–with a full pension!–so the poor thing wouldn’t have to suffer the disgrace of being fired for her firable (even criminal) offenses. Some sharp local reporting discovered this, amongst other abuses, or the taxpayers wouldn’t even know about it. Thanks unions!

    I, too, miss the days when police couldn’t be counted on to carry out orders and enforce the law. Oh wait…? To put the best construction on the actions of the police, it seems to be that a) they did clear out most of the building and b) they have been working hard to maintain peace and order in this situation. No need to arrest hundreds of people yet. Not a good deal for the taxpayers. And face it, Tom, I don’t know if you’ve been down there, but our beautiful capitol building reeks–that’s what happens when hundreds of students with no affiliation to this bill decide pointlessly to sleep in a public building without showering for days. The legitimate protesters arrive, speak their piece, and leave in peace.

    This is purely anecdotal, but allow me to tell you a little something about the folks who effectively started these protests a couple of weeks ago–namely, the Teaching Assistants Union (TAA), one of the smallest and most insignificant unions in the state (though, to be fair, they are grossly underpaid; the union hasn’t helped). I personally know the co-presidents of the TAA, Kevin Gibbons and Alex Hanna. (Yes, I’m naming names, which I suppose is ironic given my anonymity here, but I have a point). They are first-class, careerist jerks, which I suppose is a classic personality type for union “thugs”. They are also Marxists, as most sociology graduate students are. And I don’t mean Marxist as in “anyone who disagrees with Reagan and Palin is a socialist”; I mean literal, unapologetic Marxists who have read and believed the works of Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Gramsci, etc., who believe, if not foment, the class war, who hate the bourgeois and capitalism (even though they belong firmly to both), and who, in their scholarship, such as it is, make it their aim to undermine what we might call liberal democracy. The same could be said of Adrienne Pagac, who has been handling many press releases for the TAA during the protests. Traditionally, my mandatory dues have been employed to fund social gatherings where union/Marxist literature could be distributed along with pizza and beer, to fund an incompetent (and largely Marxist) bargaining team and lawyers, and, in recent years, to fund a lobbying fight for “domestic partnership” (i.e., gay household) health benefits–which isn’t a political cause because, of course, such political campaigning deals with an issue that is directly related to the purposes of the union–and, besides, all union members agree with this cause anyway, right? (So I’ve been told when I complained.)

    My point here isn’t necessarily a gigantic ad hominem. My point is to demonstrate, Tom, that these protests aren’t an organic gathering of “Real Americans,” of blue collar workers who just want to feed their families within the system they’ve been given. The protests were spearheaded and still are spearheaded by Marxists and opportunists. The bulk of the crowds are not representative of Wisconsin: they are (Marxist) teaching assistants, university students who just like to scream about “causes,” and local teachers famous for their “progressivism.” Sure, the Teamsters (a first-class organization, right?), Jesse Jackson, and other more typical working class folks have appeared, but they aren’t the ones who predominate in the movement.

  • Bob

    On the contrary: yes, the protesters are real Americans. I’ve lived in Wisconsin and near Madison for about 50 years. And I’ve been to the Capitol. I know of what I speak.

    What’s missing in the terrible MSM coverage of this protest that there are many nonunion people at the protests, including many folks here who have buyer’s remorse over electing such an extreme ideologue.

    The polling in Wisconsin shows the majority are opposed to Walker’s extremist agenda of taking collective bargaining from the unions.

    There are all kinds of regular people that belong to Wisconsin unions — nurses, those who work for local municipalities, janitors, etc.

    No, the protests are not being run by Marxists. That’s ridiculous. You are wrong. Get your head out of your right-wing world. Don’t be an ideologue. We already have one in Walker.

  • Bob

    On the contrary: yes, the protesters are real Americans. I’ve lived in Wisconsin and near Madison for about 50 years. And I’ve been to the Capitol. I know of what I speak.

    What’s missing in the terrible MSM coverage of this protest that there are many nonunion people at the protests, including many folks here who have buyer’s remorse over electing such an extreme ideologue.

    The polling in Wisconsin shows the majority are opposed to Walker’s extremist agenda of taking collective bargaining from the unions.

    There are all kinds of regular people that belong to Wisconsin unions — nurses, those who work for local municipalities, janitors, etc.

    No, the protests are not being run by Marxists. That’s ridiculous. You are wrong. Get your head out of your right-wing world. Don’t be an ideologue. We already have one in Walker.

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus, I never for a moment thought the occupation was started by church ladies. There’s a good article about it here.

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus, I never for a moment thought the occupation was started by church ladies. There’s a good article about it here.

  • Tom Hering

    Bob @ 59, yes, the Public Policy poll released today found that votes for Walker and Barrett would be reversed if the election were to be held over again. The municipalities of Wausau, Eau Claire, and Stevens Point have announced their opposition to the “budget repair” bill – judging it an interference in their ability to bargain locally. The conservative Dick Morris and Pulse Opinion polls (the latter associated with Rasmussen) found the majority of Wisconsinites opposed to restricting collective bargaining rights. But what should be clearest of all is that the voters of Wisconsin did not give the Tea Party Republicans carte blanche last November. If that had been their intention, there would be one more Republican, and one less Democrat, in the State Senate.

  • Tom Hering

    Bob @ 59, yes, the Public Policy poll released today found that votes for Walker and Barrett would be reversed if the election were to be held over again. The municipalities of Wausau, Eau Claire, and Stevens Point have announced their opposition to the “budget repair” bill – judging it an interference in their ability to bargain locally. The conservative Dick Morris and Pulse Opinion polls (the latter associated with Rasmussen) found the majority of Wisconsinites opposed to restricting collective bargaining rights. But what should be clearest of all is that the voters of Wisconsin did not give the Tea Party Republicans carte blanche last November. If that had been their intention, there would be one more Republican, and one less Democrat, in the State Senate.

  • Cincinnatus

    Bob: I’m glad you’ve been to the protests. Stand up for what you believe in, blahblah, etc.

    But are your personal friends and acquaintances initiating and organizing the protests? Are they sleeping over in the capitol and refusing police orders to leave? No? Mine are. And they are, in fact, actual, living Marxists–some of them anyway. I know whereof I speak. I know plenty of regular people have been showing up during the day/on the weekends, but they aren’t the die-hards.

  • Cincinnatus

    Bob: I’m glad you’ve been to the protests. Stand up for what you believe in, blahblah, etc.

    But are your personal friends and acquaintances initiating and organizing the protests? Are they sleeping over in the capitol and refusing police orders to leave? No? Mine are. And they are, in fact, actual, living Marxists–some of them anyway. I know whereof I speak. I know plenty of regular people have been showing up during the day/on the weekends, but they aren’t the die-hards.

  • Carl Vehse

    Exceprted from a Statement in Response to President Obama’s Misunderstanding, from the office of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker:

    I’m sure the President knows that most federal employees do not have collective bargaining for wages and benefits while our plan allows it for base pay. And I’m sure the President knows that the average federal worker pays twice as much for health insurance as what we are asking for in Wisconsin. At least I would hope he knows these facts.

  • Carl Vehse

    Exceprted from a Statement in Response to President Obama’s Misunderstanding, from the office of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker:

    I’m sure the President knows that most federal employees do not have collective bargaining for wages and benefits while our plan allows it for base pay. And I’m sure the President knows that the average federal worker pays twice as much for health insurance as what we are asking for in Wisconsin. At least I would hope he knows these facts.

  • Bob

    Cincinnatus,

    So what? Everybody knows TAs at a Big 10 School would be quite left of center. That and a quarter will get ya a cup of coffee.

    You make a big mistake, though, painting the whole things this way. Once the unions and others found out about the details of this bill, it was only a matter of time before it was seen for what it was and that there were widespread protests. I remember that the TAA was there for the first day’s activities, but, again, so what? You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.

  • Bob

    Cincinnatus,

    So what? Everybody knows TAs at a Big 10 School would be quite left of center. That and a quarter will get ya a cup of coffee.

    You make a big mistake, though, painting the whole things this way. Once the unions and others found out about the details of this bill, it was only a matter of time before it was seen for what it was and that there were widespread protests. I remember that the TAA was there for the first day’s activities, but, again, so what? You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.

  • Cincinnatus

    Bob: The TAA started the protests, and they’re the ones continuing to maintain residence in the capitol, etc. Hardly an insignificant point.

    But you’re right: I shouldn’t have distracted from the philosophical issues at hand with my anecdotal account.

    Bob: The TAA started the protests, and they’re the ones continuing to maintain residence in the capitol, etc. Hardly an insignificant point.

    What’s your union affiliation, if you don’t mind my asking?

  • Cincinnatus

    Bob: The TAA started the protests, and they’re the ones continuing to maintain residence in the capitol, etc. Hardly an insignificant point.

    But you’re right: I shouldn’t have distracted from the philosophical issues at hand with my anecdotal account.

    Bob: The TAA started the protests, and they’re the ones continuing to maintain residence in the capitol, etc. Hardly an insignificant point.

    What’s your union affiliation, if you don’t mind my asking?

  • Bob

    I’m not currently a member of any union.

  • Bob

    I’m not currently a member of any union.


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