Sunday, February 27, 2011

Umm, who's thwarting democracy again?

I find it interesting that people are yelling and screaming that the governor of Wisconsin is trying to usurp democracy when, in fact, the exact opposite is true.
While I may not like Republican policies, Gov. Scott Walker won the election, fair and square. This gives him the right to implement new policies based on what he told voters he would do. Thwarting his agenda stands in the face of democracy. It steals the rights away from the majority of people who voted for him. It is tyranny of the minority against the majority.
But this is bigger than just a protest rally or some minor tweaks to a health care copay. It's about what is going on everywhere. Simply put, government is too big and since the majority of governmental costs are employees, adjustments need to be made. Collective bargaining by government unions is bankrupting our communities and states. It's keeping reforms from being implemented, reforms that private sector workers have to live with every single day. Enough already.
For an alternative view to the situation in Wisconsin, check out this column by John Fund in the WSJ this week: ["Wisconsin's Newest Progressive"].
The state, like a lot of states, is facing a $3.6B deficit. In order to fill in the hole, changes need to be made on the way the state does its business. Again, all the private sector workers in Wisconsin (and other states), you know, the folks who foot most of the bill, face the same economic situation every day as the unions are faced with today. The differences? Well, first, we don't have time to just skip out on work to protest. If we don't show up for work we don't get paid. Second, if a company doesn't have as much profit as it did the previous year, employee health costs go up. And we have no choice but to accept the change. We have to live with it. Well, it's kinda time the governmental unions in this country had to deal with it too. If they don't, they will face massive layoffs and it will harm their workers and the state in the end.


Mark de Zabaleta said...

Interesting !

Jeremy said...

I'm always sad when I hear people describe our country as a "democracy". Even our President says we live in a democracy. I was taught in school that we live in a Constitutional Republic, where the Constitution limits the actions of government and what people can vote for. The founders believed that democracies are mobs, the tyranny of the majority. If we had not left our original republican form of government, we would not be in the fiscal condition we are in now. We would not have a war on drugs, numerous undeclared wars overseas, and constant government intervention in our daily lives.

At least there are some people who are willing to do something about this now and not pass this fiscal stupidity onto our children and grandchildren and enslave them with our irresponsible choices.

nygrump said...

This isn't just about cutting costs but about grabbing power - without collective bargaining, how do workers negotiate? Take what they're given by the various puppets that get elected? Fight it out in the courts for years? There is a nationwide attack on working people; but TEACHERS, man, they're attacking TEACHERS! I thought we were putting our precious children first. What teacher is going to deal with the little brats this country keeps pooping out without some guarantee of stability.

Tony said...

@nygrump: I would agree with you, especially when you take into consideration some of the dangerous private sector jobs that still need unions and a strong representative voice. But municipal government employees? I don't know anymore. Many of them get better benefits and higher pay than private sector workers now. In addition, many of them received their jobs via political connections and not actual skills. The "no show" and "overly compensated" are not just rare occurences; they are the norm! Lastly, the collective bargaining process allows for the union to cream the taxpayer when the economy is bad. "Sure, we'll give up this but you need to give us that." Whereas private sector workers are TOLD what is going to happen and TOLD to live with it whether the economy is bad or shareholders, CEOs, and board of directors want more profit. I fail to see where municipal government workers should be exempt from the pain that private sector workers have been feeling for decades just because they are government workers.
Municipal government workers - along with the overly paid CEOs who are destroying the country - need to look in the mirror and realize that they have to sacrifice too. They have to sacrifice for the better good of all and for the ordinary people who can no longer pay more taxes because of economic and inflationary costs they have no control over but are harming them. This doesn't even get into the pension liabilities; this is just today. If the municipal government workers don't do this, our elected officials have no other choice but to stick with available revenue budgets and lay people off. Welcome to what those of us in the private sector have been facing for years and years. It might be time to think about sacrificing to save your brother's job. You know, the union way.

Mike Rice said...

The sad reality is that in many cities and towns, including the town I live in, "some" of the municipal workers are in better financial shape than the property taxpayers who fund their salaries, benefits and pensions.

In my town of Wellfleet, in addition to property taxes increasing by 2.5%, there are tax overrides totaling $635,000 on the warrant for our upcoming annual town meeting and election. I say cut the bureaucracy instead of piling it on the backs of taxpayers. I'm not rolling over for these tax overrides which the bureaucracy of this town views as "a given." B.S. to that!