Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wisconsin Teachers Union vs Wisconsin Taxpayers--- Coming to a State Near You

Revolutions everywhere--in the middle east, in the middle west. But there is a difference: in the middle east, the protesters are marching for democracy; in the middle west, they're protesting against it. I mean, Isn't it, well, a bit ironic that the protesters in Madison, blocking the state senate chamber, are chanting "Freedom, Democracy, Union" while trying to prevent a vote? Isn't it ironic that the Democratic Senators have fled the democratic process? Isn't it interesting that some of those who--rightly--protest the assorted Republican efforts to stymie majority rule in the U.S. Senate are celebrating the Democratic efforts to stymie the same in the Wisconsin Senate?

~ Joe Klein, Wisconsin: The Hemlock Revolution
The difference, of course, is that in Egypt the protesters were marching to get rid of a public-sector kleptocracy, while in Wisconsin they are marching to preserve one.

~ Marc Thiessen
All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.

Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or 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.

~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Governor Walker on what will happen if his proposals are not passed: It means 5,500 state workers would be laid off. It means anywhere from 5,000- 6,000 local employees would have to be laid off. That’s anywhere from 10,000 to 12,000 people in a time when we have a 7.5% unemployment rate. We can’t afford to have anyone laid off. I’m trying to save jobs.

The states are not the Federal government. They cannot paper-over their irresponsible spending by printing money. Most governors are mandated by their constitutions to have a balanced budget each year. As governors and legislatures have to make the tough choices this year don't be surprised if more of these type protests don't arise. Perhaps even in your state.


  1. It just amazes me that as smart as we are and with all of the advances we made we cannot manage our finances. When times are good we spend to the hilt, make ridiculous promises we know we can't keep and are unwilling to fund and that we know will be problems down the road. And we elect the people who promise us the moon and put the burden knowingly on our children.
    Maybe Watson should be our Chief Finance Officer because humans cannot control it.

  2. Would you give up a part of your retirement savings in order to pay someone else? That is what is being asked of teachers. They paid into the system- just as private people paid into their 401K.
    AARP was founded by a person who found a retired teacher living in a chicken coup because salaries were so low and there were no state pension plans for teachers.

  3. Robert,

    Lots of unfulfillable promises have been made to public servants about pensions and health care costs in the good times that are going to have to be broken to keep the states and the federal government solvent. This is the beginning of a number of reality checks around the country.


    I give up potential retirement savings every hour that I work in the form of taxes to help pay for the pensions of federal and state workers, which on average are a lot sweeter than mine will ever be. Like many folks in the private sector, I will never have a pension and must rely on my own savings, a 401k, and Social Security (if it exists by the time I decide to stop working). The teachers in Wisconsin are not being asked to give up any retirement benefits, but to begin contributing to their own pension like the private sector does with 401ks, and like the private sector to contribute more to cover their medical premiums. The teachers want the taxpayers to continue picking up the tab through higher taxes.

    Any jobless teachers should pay close attention to Madison, Wisconsin. There could soon be some openings for an average salary of $89K. Not bad for government work.