Thinking Through Wisconsin
Readers have been up in arms over the Dish's relative silence on the showdown in Wisconsin, especially this somewhat dismissive post. I should be clear about my own experience, as I watched my homeland destroyed by excessive union power. Public sector unions can be particularly destructive, preventing the firing of bad teachers, for example, or holding tax-payers to ransom by interrupting vital needs, such as the collection of garbage or public transportation.
Of course, America is very different, and removing all collective bargaining rights for public sector unions is essentially an abolition of their ultimate leverage. But this was FDR's position, and it is also the case in a majority of states. In Virginia, Democratic governor
At the same time, there is a principle here of electoral accountability. Governor Scott Walker has a long and clear record of fighting public sector unions, and he ran as a Tea Party candidate, determined to rein in the role and spending of government. He was part of a GOP wave in Wisconsin that claims a majority in the legislature for his current proposal. There is also a fiscal gap of some $3.6 billion in the state's budget, and public sector employee wages and benefits take up "60% of state operations costs and 75% of local school district costs."