Tag Archives: labor unions


By now it should be obvious to most everyone that there is more to what’s happening in Wisconsin than just issues affecting Wisconsin. In terms of national leftist issues, this ranks right up there with socialized medicine.

Let’s review Gov. Walker’s plan. The plan would:

1. Require employees of the state to contribute 12.6% toward the cost of their healthcare insurance. According to a Kaiser Foundation study, that’s about half of the average paid by state and federal workers nationwide. We don’t hear much from the union defending against this particular proposal.

2. Require employees of the state to contribute 5.8% toward the cost of their pensions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “for government workers with a required plan contribution, the average contribution is 6.3 percent” We don’t hear much from the union defending against this particular proposal.

3. End the requirement that all state employees must pay into the union whether or not they choose to join. Forcing non-members to pay as a condition of employment is easily seen as extortion. We don’t hear anything from the union in defense of this. They are dead quiet about it.

4. Limit collective bargaining to basic wages. This is where the unions are screaming bloody murder.

Items 1 through 3 are about money. Item 4 is about power. Items 1 through 3 concern Wisconsin. Item 4 concerns all unions nationally; it poses a threat to union power. The private sector develops its own wealth. The public sector, and that includes public service unions, taps the wealth of others. To do that requires power. In the private sector, money leads to power. In the public sector, it’s power that leads to money.

The AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees), the AFT (American Federation of Teachers) and the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) combined gave over $18M in political contributions for the 2010 election year. According to The Center for Responsible Politics, none of it, that’s 0%, went to Republicans. These unions and the Democratic Party are joined at the hip.

When Democrats are in power, the government and the union sit on the same side of the negotiating table. That’s how public sector employees have come to have higher compensation than their private sector equivalents. That, and the ability to tax and borrow without the constraints of having to be profitable to survive.

There is much, much more at stake in Wisconsin than meets the casual eye.

By the way, if you think “goons” is too strong you should watch this video, entitled “Joe the Plumber” Goes to Wisconsin.


It is becoming increasingly apparent that there is just one political party that represents the American people. The Republican Party is the only party of, by and for the people. The Democratic Party is the party of the government. The Wisconsin issue, and the President’s response to it, is but confirmation of the fact. Writing for the Washington Post, George Will said:

[T]he 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.

What George Will did not point out is how this President has taken the union between the Democratic Party and the corpus of government to a new level by explicit support of government employee labor unions over the will of the majority of Wisconsin’s citizens. Random polls show the public supports the governor’s action by a two to one margin. Random polls include government workers, of course. The ratio would certainly be even higher if civil servants themselves were not included in the polls.

Civil servants, now there’s a misnomer, unless you consider this example civil.

Random Thots will have more to say on the symbiotic relationship between labor unions and government. Stay tuned for future posts.