Monday, February 21, 2011

Yes, there is a reason to rein in public employee unions

Jennifer Rubin takes her turn schooling Ezra Klein on the fight in Wisconsin...
Walker is seeking to reset the terms of union wages and benefits; no one is proposing to simply stop paying. Union contracts and "give backs" are negotiated every year by labor and management. The notion that whatever is given can never be lost is the sort of maximalist labor mind-set that led to the demise of multiple private industries in the United States.

The Wisconsin debate comes down to a simple question: do the voters and their elected representatives have the final say in how the state spends its money? The unions and their backers argue that through a variety of hardball tactics -- sick outs, legislative absenteeism, etc. -- that the unions, a small sliver of the population, get to control the outcome.

This is at the root of the objections to the very concept of public employee unions.
I know that I haven't written, or even linked, on this story yet, but it's probably the single most important economic story going on in the country right now, even more important than the budget story in Washington. If the states cannot get their budgets under control, then the Federal government has got no chance of doing it. Governor Walker is fighting the good fight in Madison, and the response of the opposition shows that the big government union types know it...

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