February 19th, 2011

The new, old, states’ rights

The turmoil in Wisconsin, and the Obama/Democratic/union response, has got me thinking about the phenomenon of federalism.

Like so many other concepts on which our country is based, we supposedly learned about it in civics class (or whatever passes—or doesn’t pass—for civics class these days). I wonder whether the younger generations have received the instruction at all, but even for those of us who did, what did it really mean to us? Book learning is nowhere near the same as living it. Now we are getting an education in what it’s really about, and why it’s so important to preserve it.

Our founders lived in a time when states had been more powerful than they are now, and each state had a very distinct identity, with its citizens highly aware of their state allegiance. What’s more, the founders realized that a federal government would have a tendency to want to grow and to swallow up states’ autonomy unless its powers were strictly limited, which they attempted to do.

Over the years the federal government has grown anyway. One of the differences between Democrat and Republican parties in recent decades has been that the first has been behind that growth, and the second has wanted to limit it, although in recent years many Republicans have violated their own principles in that regard. But with the financial crisis and the Obama administration, as well as the influence of the Tea Party, Republicans are now reclaiming at least some of their old mantle.

In that they have been helped rather than hurt by the transparency of Obama and Democrats’ heavy-handedness in attempting to thwart them. It seems a long time ago, but remember Jan Brewer and the feds’ lawsuit against the state of Arizona? Then there’s the lawsuits by over twenty states against Obamacare. And now, in what is perhaps the most visually graphic of the battles, we have Wisconsin and the Democrat-supported (and Democrat-supporting) public employee unions against almost everybody else, particularly the cash-strapped other citizens of these cash-strapped states.

The old image of states’ rights was of Democrat Governor George Wallace standing in the doorway at the University of Alabama, trying to hold back the feds’ insistence on integration. From that, states’ rights got a very bad rap. Now we’re seeing a different picture: governors (so far, Republican) protecting the fiscal integrity of their states against the influence of public service unions that feed the Democratic Party and are fed by it in turn.

48 Responses to “The new, old, states’ rights”

  1. Kurt Says:

    On Althouse yesterday, regular commenter Dust Bunny Queen made the argument that his sort of undermining of state authority by a president ought to be considered an impeachable offense. Although she and other commenters all admitted that the chances of Obama being impeached are pretty nonexistent, I think she does make a good point about how far he is overstepping his bounds in not just voicing support for one side in this dispute, but also in actively working to support it through Organizing for America and other front groups.

    Although the question begins to seem like a tired cliche after so many years, can you imagine what would have happened if George W. Bush had done that?

  2. Occam's Beard Says:

    To zeroth order, the Founding Fathers’ take on states’ rights and federalism was more closely akin to that of the present-day EU than the present-day US.

  3. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Yeah, this does not look good at all.

    Apparently, not only is Obama publically taking the side of the unions and chastising the WI governor for daring to defy them and not caving in to their demands, but it is reported that his campaign organization MoveOn and the DNC are facilitating/sending people up to WI and other states, coordinating the union protests. Seems to me that by these actions Obama has now crossed the line, now we really are headed to some sort of tyranny if the Socialist/Marxist community organizers of Obama & Co. are successful in decisively shifting the balance of power in favor of the Federal Government, in forcing/intimidating States into continuing policies favorable to unions that will bankrupt those States, adding to the already staggering burdens that are hanging over them in the form of Obamacare, and a myriad of other Federal mandates and derelictions–such as the Federal government’s refusal to effectively police and seal our borders or to catch and deport illegal aliens–that cost them money they really do not have, forcing a financial/political/social crisis in a form of the “Cloward and Piven strategy” (see http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/Articles/theclowardpivenstrategypoe.html and http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/02/the_clowardpiven_strategy_of_e.html and http://thewestislamandsharia.blogspot.com/2011/02/frances-fox-piven-and-cloward-piven.html ).

    Citing things like the recently published Anarchist/Communist/Fascist/Terrorist manifesto and its blueprint for action “to spread anarchy and live communism” “via theft, sabotage, and refusal to work,” published in Europe titled, “The Coming Insurrection,” (that got its authors, who called themselves “The Invisible Committee,” arrested by the anti-terrorist police in France) Glenn Beck is saying that there is an underlying initiative/plan by the Left (strengthened and helped by an alliance of convenience with Islam), which is fomenting, encouraging, and hoping to channel the unrest springing up around the world, not only overseas but here in the U.S.

    In earlier years—pre-Obama & Co.–I would have probably dismissed such a “conspiracy theory” (hey, it ain’t a “conspiracy theory” if there really is a “conspiracy, if only “a conspiracy of shared values”) as very unlikely. Now, I’m not so sure.

    I believe that the Left thinks that this time, these particular political, cultural and economic circumstances—an effete and weakened U.S. confronted by a hostile and predatory Islam and its Jihad, fatal U.S. denial, spiritual, and military weakness made worse by a foundering economy, general confusion and clouded vision, widespread decadence, uncertainty, and weakened faith and resolve–and that the forces at its command—the Presidency and the Execute Branch, the MSM, Academia, Hollywood, a large portion of the Legal establishment, the Unions, etc.–and that the power and leverage that is available to them at this precarious moment, this potential “tipping point,” present them with the best chance to take over that they have had since the 1960s, or will have for the foreseeable future; it is “now or never” time for them. Now that we have figuratively fallen to the ground, it is time for them to kick us in the head and knee us in the groin.

    The tangential, less violent approaches of the “global warming” and “cap and trade” scams were supposed to ensure the Left’s dominance and to eventually—when fully implemented–secure them virtually dictatorial power and control over each and every person, their conduct of their lives, and their fortunes (and, along the way, a boat load of money for many Left “thought leaders” like Al Gore as well) for many decades to come, if not permanently, and now that those less direct plans appear to have foundered, I can see how this more direct, violent approach, this unrest i.e. “Revolution,” might be the Left’s Plan B, alternative way of attaining such power and dominance.

  4. FenelonSpoke Says:

    Wow; That was a thorough and well done analysis of the situation, Wallo Dalbo. Thanks. I have read so much on Obama since he started to run for President, that I think your conspiracy theory is correct. I might add that I am recovering liberal and haven’t voted for any Democrat since 2008 because of what I found out.
    about Obama, his political background and his friends and associates.

  5. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Wisconsin is just one of the attacks the union organizers are planning. They have active plans for demonstrations in Ohio, New Jersey, and Indiana as well. They are providing busing, funding, organizational plans, etc. This is a Gates of Vienna moment as regards the public sector unions. Much like the Reagan confrontation with the Air Traffic Controllers union. I’m praying that the governors of New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin stand firm.

    Fox News is asking pudits if they think Obama’s obvious intervention in the issue is unconstitutional or an impeachable offense. So, at least the issue of state’s rights and Obama’s interference is being raised and discussed. He is not getting a pass on this one.

  6. Tesh Says:

    J.J., when MSNBC and the Huffington Post start talking honestly and seriously about Obama’s impeachment, *then* we can say he’s not getting a pass.

  7. Brad Says:

    http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/whatsnews/article_be38b2a2-3c6d-11e0-b34d-001cc4c002e0.html

    Somehow I don’t think the “right” is going to win this one.

    And to be fair if the Gov had decided to play a bit more fair and not attack collective bargaining itself I might have even been sad about what I just said. But he wasn’t, so let him lose. Maybe he’ll get a compromise but if he’s not willing to do that, let him find out he’s committed political suicide.

  8. Tom Says:

    Brad: you probably think of yourself as pragmatic and independent. But you are neither.

    We are witnessing, nay, living, the tensions that precede major, really big civil violence. Baraq adds fuel to the fire. This will end badly for many, even if the “right” side wins.

    Obama=Chavez is my old theme, and I’m sticking to it.

  9. Brad Says:

    I didn’t vote for Obama, Tom.

    I don’t know y our politics, Tom.
    I’m an independent registered to neither party, Tom.

    The political system in this country has given me a choice between a turd and a sh** sandwich for twenty years running, Tom.

    I don’t get welfare, Tom.
    Just who am I beholden to, Tom?

  10. Occam's Beard Says:

    Ignorance.

  11. Mr. Frank Says:

    Brad,

    Have you considered that powerful unions are a major reason why states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio are going under? Perhaps the Governor is trying to make his state more attractive to industry by reducing the power of public sector unions. To that end he has already passed tax breaks for business unlike Illinois which raised taxes. People will judge the actions on the results of his policies on employment.

  12. Deeka Says:

    We were heavily outnumbered, but have returned safely. No altercations, but the signs and imagery the other side carried were, in many cases horrific and beyond the pale. Many comparisons to Hitler/Mubarek, etc. hateful people.

  13. Bob From Virginia Says:

    At least impeachment is finally being mentioned by someone. I’ll say this for Dear Leader, he is consistent, he never passes up an opportunity to do the wrong thing, regardless of the originality such consistency requires.

  14. Brad Says:

    Mr Frank:

    Powerful public sector unions are one of the few reasons we even remember what unionization is in this country. If this was , say, Germany where workers have a seat at the table, I might consider getting rid of public sector unions a good thing.

    Meanwhile, I don’t know what US economy you live under where destroying Wisconsin’s public sector unions would make a lick of difference. Automation and free flow of capital to sectors with lower labor costs and costs of living is the big threat, that and a refusal to look beyond six month profit horizons. Heck if we are going to do that, why don’t we just repeal every work law and environmental and safety regulation on the books? Oh, and lets not tax corporations at all. Maybe then Wisconsin could compete.

    In any case, the global economy is going to collapse and probably sooner rather than later. Wisconsin’s public sector unions had nothing to do with causing this collapse and what I want to know is this: why aren’t a lot of Wall Street guys in handcuffs?

  15. Occam's Beard Says:

    I say again…

  16. Occam's Beard Says:

    destroying Wisconsin’s public sector unions would make a lick of difference.

    Great. We’re agreed. Let’s get rid of them, since it wouldn’t make any difference.

    why don’t we just repeal every work law and environmental and safety regulation on the books? Oh, and lets not tax corporations at all.

    Agreed, and agreed. You’re on a roll. Let’s also delete the phrase “straw man” from the lexicon.

  17. Mr. Frank Says:

    Brad,

    Have you noticed where the new automobile plants are being built? It’s Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina? Those are right to work states with weak union movements. People in union states who think they can suck on the public teat forever are heading for a big surprise.The Republican governors of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio are trying to save their states.

  18. gs Says:

    Remember, America, the Republicans provoked the demonstrations.

    The Republicans refuse to end them.

    The Republicans are responsible for the consequences.

    Seriously, IMHO the Left is working for an outbreak of Stockholm Syndrome among swing voters.

  19. Kurt Says:

    As an aside, it should be noted that one of the things that has depressed wages in this country for workers at the lower end of the wage spectrum is the presence of so many illegal aliens who take low wage jobs. The fact that the Democrats refuse to do anything about the illegal worker problem (and in fact, that they want to move to amnesty because they see a potentially large voting block) says a lot more about how much those partisans like to hold on to power and how their stated concern for workers is mostly a lot of meaningless talk. The Democrats care about the power of the union leaders, not the workers themselves.

  20. Occam's Beard Says:

    As an aside, it should be noted that one of the things that has depressed wages in this country for workers at the lower end of the wage spectrum is the presence of so many illegal aliens who take low wage jobs.

    That, and the increasingly technological and machine-oriented nature of the economy. The poorly educated (thanks, teachers’ unions, and liberals pushing self-esteem and social promotion over learning) are finding that there is progressively less need for strong backs. Ditchdiggers are not in demand – we’ve got backhoes now.

    But we do have rap music, so there’s that.

  21. Brad Says:

    Kurt is correct, and I failed to mention that.

    I happen to be a strong supporter of deporting illegals. They too, are a danger to unions. Of course the success the democrats have had over the past 30 plus years with keeping the borders open has helped them to “elect a new people” so to speak.

    And as for the union leaders , yep, they are greedy a**holes for the most part, half of whom sell their union bretheren out anyway.

    Mr. Frank:
    Where you one of those people who worried about what music was playing as the Titanic sank? I mean , who really cares where automobile plants were being built, mostly 5, 10, 20 years ago? Who’s going to be buying the new cars in a few years, and with what money? Talk about irrelevancies. Next, you’ll be telling me about how employers like slave labor, and I’ll say “You are right” and we can high five each other. Sorry, not good enough. If the workers..even government workers make the politicians and local or international businesses sweat for even a moment I am happy. It doesn’t mean that whatever happens in Wisconsin really matters for the reasons both sides think it does. What it might show is a bunch of good ol populist anger, and I personally think this country could use a lot more of that.

  22. Brad Says:

    Occam’s:

    I’ll address the one small non-childish part of your post.

    Getting rid of the unions might not make a difference to what is going to happen in our larger country and economy, no.

    But it would send a message of hopelessness to workers and populists everywhere and would hurt innocent people for no good reason.

  23. Occam's Beard Says:

    But it would send a message of hopelessness to leftists and other Reds everywhere

    FIFY.

  24. Brad Says:

    LOL!!

    Occam’s ok, I laughed.
    Yeah it might make them unhappy, but then pretty much all of the past 50 to 60 years has made them unhappy.

    Sorry, I’m not you. I don’t regard everyone to the left of Archie Bunker as a “red”. I just see different types of authoritarians in this country on both sides of the political isle, political isle being defined as broader than the two majority parties.

  25. br549 Says:

    States’ rights are being attacked, of course. We saw that coming 3 years ago as well. I remember it being discussed on these very pages.

    Fox Business Channel (I caught a few words in Jiffy Lube getting my oil changed) talking heads had people discussing the feds bailing out all the states heading for default. Print that fiat stuff, boys. A dollar ain’t a-gonna be wurth a plugged nikel soon enuff.

  26. Brad Says:

    br549, I agree that Obama is out of his rights to stick his nose into the situation in Wisconsin unless it was to become some sort of emergency and the local NG units couldn’t handle it.

    But where were you about 5 years ago when the SCOTUS allowed the stupid Bush justice department to run roughshed over California and its voters when it came to medical marijuana?

    I just love how the left and right selectively defend these rights and parts of the constitution they claim to love so much. Take the ACLU for instance. It never did take the second amendment seriously and was AWOL on any case involving it.

  27. Tom Says:

    Brad would be well served to resolve his conflicted thinking by himself instead of posting those thoughts here. Get a grip, Brad; on Aristotle: See life steadily, and see it whole.

  28. Occam's Beard Says:

    Yeah it might make them unhappy, but then pretty much all of the past 50 to 60 years has made them unhappy.

    Really? You’re not just saying that to cheer me up?

    I don’t regard everyone to the left of Archie Bunker as a “red” [sic].

    Here’s my operational definition: anyone who wants to coerce others into doing what that person thinks ought to do – regardless of what the people in question actually want to do – because “it’s in their best interests.”

    If you don’t think that people should be able to act in what they – not you – consider their best interests, but that they should also be held responsible for their decisions, if you think that the state should make decisions for people, then you are objectively a Red, albeit probably one not intelligent to grasp the truth of that statement.

    I say that because the rationale underlying the state making decisions for individuals is, subliminally, that individuals exist to serve the state (“factors of production” in Marx’s phrase), rather than independent actors whom the state is there to serve – not the other way ’round.

  29. rickl Says:

    Gah. There is too much internet for me to keep track of today.

  30. Occam's Beard Says:

    Take the ACLU for instance.

    A case in point. The ACLU was founded by …Roger Baldwin, who at the time was of the ACLU’s founding was an unabashed communist and fervent admirer of the USSR.

    The ACLU was founded, and exists to this day, to advance socialism. It’s as simple as that. Now do their decisions make more sense?

  31. Occam's Beard Says:

    Here’s a perspective I would commend to you, Brad: the exchange of variable thought-experiment.

    Consider the situation, and then consider further that you’re on the other side of it from the way you first considered it. Does that bum you out? If so, the situation is unjust.

    Here, for example, you obviously identify with the union members. Great, fighting for working people, blah blah, right?

    Suppose, now, that you’re a consumer of the services nominally provided by the union members, or the manager who has to deal with the union. In either case you have to pay through the nose to put up with union crap, the laziness, the lousy service, the persnicketiness regarding every rule, the protection for the idle and the hopelessly incompetent, the inflated costs effectively extorted from you under the implicit – but never far out of mind – threat to resort to union violence. (And yes, Virginia, unions commonly resort to violence to get their way.)

    Bottom line: unions are basically rackets. They’re just not quite as openly criminal as the Mafia, but they share a lot of features.

  32. rickl Says:

    On a lighter note, I had to look this up for a comment at Transterrestrial Musings:

    This is the title of a typical incendiary blog post

    It’s the Greatest. Blog. Post. Evah. I think it’s actually older than it appears. They must have changed software or hosts or something, because there really were hundreds of comments at one time.

  33. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Brad,
    Your point about collective bargaining being done away with has been explained. Past contract bargaining in Wisconsin took, on average, 15 months. The governor does not have 15 months, so he imposed the contract revisions without bargaining. It is my impression that he is willing to discuss what comes next down the road when the financial crisis is over. (If it ever is.) The union management (who are mostly professional union thugs – think Richard Trumpka) have been removed from the equation for the moment and are “MAD as HELL” about losing their power. Thus the rage being ginned up over losing collective bargaining rights.

    I was a union member for 25 years in ALPA, one of the few unions that is actually managed and controlled by the members, not by paid union thugs. In spite of that we had plenty of members who were reflexively anti-anything that management proposed. Unions can do good things. ALPA is responsible for many safety advances in the airline industry. But they have also at times forgotten, much to the regret of people who lost their jobs, that a healthy company is the only guarantee of a job.

    Public employee unions are an anachronism in that they are bargaining with the taxing authority for pay and benefits. And they are also taxpayers, so they are on bith sides of the bargaining table. However, many are too stupid to understand that and are led by the professional union thugs to do things against their own interests.

  34. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Deeka,
    Props to you for going to Madison.

    The taxpayers are up against a well organized and financed operation. Most of the union demonstrators are clueless about why “losing their collective bargaining rights” is such a big deal. They have no choice but to accept the new terms as there is no money. It’s the union leaders, the professional thugs, who are really upset because they are cut out of the pattern when there is no bargaining.

    I say if they aren’t back in the classrooms by Tuesday, it’s time to start firing the holdouts and put up the employment signs. It’ll disrupt things for a while just as it did when Reagan fired the Air Traffic Controllers. But it won’t be as bad as the alternative. Lose this one and the unions are in the drivers seat for the duration.

  35. texexec Says:

    Ummmmmm…getting back to federalism…..I remain amazed at the extremely well designed government our founding fathers gave us.

    Federalism is a case in point. It makes imminent sense that the government that should have the most power is the government that is closest to us. What is needed from a government in Los Angeles is very different than what is needed from a government in the Texas Hill Country.

    Frankly, I don’t care how liberal and dumb they get in L.A. as long as they don’t make me live the same way and as long as I don’t have to pay for their stupidity by bailing them out with my federal tax money.

    If we could return to true federalism, all of us would be better off…even the uberliberals.

    The federal government should exist to provide for basic civil rights, national defense, and smooth commerce amongst the states…PERIOD.

  36. Occam's Beard Says:

    I remain amazed at the extremely well designed government our founding fathers gave us.

    Me too. I continue to marvel at the perspicacity of the Founding Fathers, and increasingly resent those disparaging them as “dead white males.” They accomplished more than all of their deprecators – including everyone in their family trees – have or ever will.

  37. Occam's Beard Says:

    Re federalism, I once had an especially astute German wish that they (the Germans, or perhaps he meant the Europeans generally) had something comparable to American federalism. As he put it, we’ve got 50 shots at getting it right, and if any one of them hits, the rest can all adopt the policy. The EU in principle could do this too, but it’s not the same – and arguably doesn’t work – when the federal units differ in language and culture.

  38. Tom Says:

    States’ Rights, baby. That’s where we should be and where we need to go.
    As far as Neo’s remark about Geo. Wallace goes, it should be remembered by all that he incessantly referred to the “pointy-headed bureaucrats” in Washington.

  39. jon baker Says:

    Kurt says :”As an aside, it should be noted that one of the things that has depressed wages in this country for workers at the lower end of the wage spectrum is the presence of so many illegal aliens who take low wage jobs.”

    If those outside the southwest dont understand how rapidly the landscape is changing due to the open border, consider this. The Census showed that the overall population of Texas grew 20.6% between 2000 and 2010. (20.9 million to 25.2 million) Non-Hispanic white population grew by 4%. Black population by over 20%. Hispanic population by 42% – in a single decade! Hispanic politicians in Texas are calling for new voting districts to be carved out that are majority hispanic. Screw the melting pot! But everyone else is racist for saying the border ought to be secured.

  40. Parker Says:

    The states, under the constitution, are sovereign. It is within the states that social-economic experimentation should take place (as long as there is equal protection under the law of the land). The 9th & 10th amendments are ‘where its at’ IMO. Otherwise, we the people are but tax slaves to DC.

    Let issues such as health care, education, and so forth be hashed out in the states. That way we get to see what works and what doesn’t. Birds of a feather will flock together and people will vote with their feet.

  41. njcommuter Says:

    A couple of thoughts for Brad: The difference between a turd and a sh*t sandwich is that one of them gives you bread.

    As to public employee unions not being part of the problem: if municipal and State governments had been honest about their pension obligations, there would have been an uprising before this. And if the pensions were handled in the responsible way, with the monies set aside by the time of retirement and invested, they would have been raided. By the politicians, if they were under government control, and by the union bosses if they were under union control. Does anyone seriously doubt this? Good.

    The unions are a government-sponsored monopoly that can extract money from unwilling workers and pour it into the pockets of people who can buy political favors and media support, and can generally spread it around to their own liking. They are not responsible to the voters. Can you imagine a better place in the economy for the corrupt to gravitate to? Since the 1960s, they’ve been able to determine which mayor gets elected and sometimes which governor gets elected. Often they can pick representatives in Congressional districts, and sometimes even Senators.

    I suspect that Brad would be upset if a bishop wielded that much influence. But a Labor Leader, now he’s a good guy!

    Probably the best balance between the current situation and simply removing all government support for unions is this: that each union must be recertified annually by majority of workers they claim to represent in a secret ballot run by an unrelated company, be forbidden from bargaining for a closed shop, be forbidden from taking dues from non-members, be required to have a separate ballot item for the dues checkoff, and be required to allow non-members to contribute to and benefit from the strike fund AT THEIR OPTION, with the administration of the fund handled at arm’s length by a financial services company.

    The powers of the NLRB should also be curtailed except in the rare case where a strike could cause widespread and irreparable harm.

    And laws which give labor violence a privileged position should be struck from the books, and new laws passed wiping out any precedents. Labor violence is violence for financial gain, and should be treated as such.

  42. rickl Says:

    I have to quote a comment by Lordhumongous at the Market Ticker.

    Language warning, but it is entirely appropriate under the circumstances.

    Fuck these assholes. I am fucking sick and tired of entitled pieces of shit that think my tax dollars are their fucking birthright.

    I have three fucking engineering degrees and almost two decades of private industry experience with outstanding reviews. Where the fuck is my pension? Where the fuck is my retirement medical? Where the fuck is my job security?

    I’ll tell you what. I don’t have any job security because HALF MY FUCKING PAY goes to ungrateful assholes like these fucksticks in Wisconsin. HALF MY FUCKING PAY in taxes means I have to get paid TWICE AS MUCH as my competition in India and China, which is why ALL PRIVATE SECTOR TECH JOBS ARE DISAPPEARING.

    FUCK THEM.

    FIRE THEM ALL. NOW.

  43. Army Mom Says:

    rickl – Lordhumongous is F^@#ing right!! I work in tech and know exactly what he is talking about. That was priceless. LOL!!!

    I think that big government advocates in general totally miss that the people are really tired of being forced into paying for things we don’t want. The unions are going to lose big from the Wisconsin “protests” because they are openly lying to miss work and are openly being supported by the Dems. This is the dumbest thing they could possibly do.

    Fire them all and let them take the risks the rest of us do. I have no sympathy for them.

  44. Doug Says:

    I don’t think I would stay employed long if I called in sick to protest!

  45. SteveH Says:

    “”This is the dumbest thing they could possibly do.”"
    Army Mom

    I don’t think they can help themselves. Whether unions attract an adoloescent personality type or creates it once they become immersed, their ranks are definitely infested with such.

  46. Occam's Beard Says:

    And laws which give labor violence a privileged position should be struck from the books, and new laws passed wiping out any precedents. Labor violence is violence for financial gain, and should be treated as such.

    Excellent point, njcommuter. This is key. Labor violence should be treated the same way as a “hate crime,” i.e., move to the head of the class for law enforcement and prosecutors.

    Unions in effect extort value from others on the barely tacit threat of violence. And that’s got to stop.

    In addition, IIRC, the UK made unions financially liable for property damage that occurred during a strike. (Not sure if that’s still the case.) We should do likewise.

  47. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    I think it’s the “lying to miss work” part that has infuriated most people past the point of all possible sympathy. It would be one thing if those teachers were honorably refusing to work — and doing without the pay — but to call in sick, using a fraudulent doctor’s note obtained at the protest, is to force taxpayers to FINANCE their protest, so that the teachers need to sacrifice absolutely nothing in support of their supposedly oh-so-noble ideals. (They didn’t even have to write lesson plans for those days!)

    And as for firing them — just try it. They have TENURE. That’s why it’s mostly teachers at the Capitol, rather than sanitation workers or highway guys or bureacrats from the various public agencies — the teachers are the ones who are protected from consequences and can lie their way out of work with impunity.

    However, the legislature gave them tenure — just as it gave them collective bargaining “rights,” er, I mean privileges — and the legislature can take it away. If I were a Republican legislator from Wisconsin, I’d be working on the end-tenure bill right now.

  48. Political: Curse of Interesting Times « Tish Tosh Tesh Says:

    [...] countries is making the rounds.  Here in the U.S., Wisconsin is stirring up old debates about the nature of a Federalist government.  And as usual, it’s about the money in the end.  Or freedom and agency… but [...]

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