Monday, June 04, 2012

On Wisconsin

A week or ago, I posted a link to a piece by Gary Larson on the Wisconsin recall election called Barrett and the Ho-Chunks. Gary e-mailed to point out a particularly noteworthy comment on his article by one Pat C.:

My wife is a teacher, and thus must belong to a teacher's union. And so, we are bombarded weekly with union updates in our email about all kinds of things-Mitt Romney's "crony capitalism "and Scott Walker's "union busting. " Having had enough, I registered with the union comments page under the name John Galt and asked how they could accuse Romney of "crony capitalism" when they were fighting and using member money to buy politicians. I asked them how it could be called' "collective bargaining" and not cronyism when they were using dues money to support politicians who they finance to get elected, and then sit across the table from those same politicians and bargain for benefits. I asked who besides Scott Walker represented the taxpayer, and asked how they could be in good conscience mounting a recall against someone who has broken no laws, violated no trusts, abused no power and in fact is doing exactly what he was elected to do based on promises he made. I also pointed out that according to NLB statistics, since 2007, the unemployment rate in the public sector has gone from 4 to 6 percent, but the private sector has gone from 4 to nearly 12%. It is the private sector who is hurting and yet more demands are being put on them from the public sector union members. I then said what they were after was not collective bargaining at all, but rather collectivist bargaining, wherein both parties represent a quid pro quo and are on the same side. I finished by asking where in what world anyone else gets all of their benefits and retirement paid, as well as top wages, by the people they themselves installed.

Well, predictably, the shrieks and howls were swift and loud, like a door flung open a group of vampires on a sunny day. I was maligned, insulted, threatened ('you better pray we never find out where you live" kind of stuff) and dismissed, while not a single point I raised was even addressed, let alone rebutted. I was prepared for the worst, but it even exceeded my expectations. These people are living in a bubble, a dream land wherein the taxpayer has unlimited resources, the state is the dispenser of all that is good, and anyone trying to undo any of it is regarded as evil incarnate. That Americans can come to think and behave this way is disturbing to me, and ought to worry us greatly, because Wisconsin is not as much of an anomaly as we might like to think.

I'm afraid that Pat is correct. The tactis displayed by the Left in the last eighteen months or so in Wisconsin are not an anomaly and we can expect to see them employed again and again wherever attempts to restore some measure of fiscal sanity are made. However, while Wisconsin should serve as a warning that what happened there could happen anywhere, the state also has an opportunity to serve as an example that such tactics will not work and that taxpayers are no longer willing to shut up and pay up.