Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The importance of Wisconsin

There's an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal this morning by Steve Malanga which lays out the centrality of the Wisconsin government union showdown in the crisis of the states' fiscal health. I recommend reading it all. As I mentioned the other day, this is probably the most important economic issue being "discussed" in the country at the moment, even more than the Federal budget issues.

Steven Malanga: The Showdown Over Public Union Power
Government workers have taken to the streets in Madison, Wis., to battle a series of reforms proposed by Gov. Scott Walker that include allowing workers to opt out of paying dues to unions. Everywhere that this "opt out" idea has been proposed, unions have battled it vigorously because the money they collect from dues is at the heart of their power.

Unions use that money not only to run their daily operations but to wage political campaigns in state capitals and city halls. Indeed, public-sector unions especially have become the nation's most aggressive advocates for higher taxes and spending. They sponsor tax-raising ballot initiatives and pay for advertising and lobbying campaigns to pressure politicians into voting for them. And they mount multimillion dollar campaigns to defeat efforts by governors and taxpayer groups to roll back taxes.
I long ago came to the conclusion that government employees ought not be allowed to unionize. Everything that has happened in the intervening years has hardened that position...

Read it all.

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