3/1/11

Collective Reasoning



Wisconsin is ground zero of the union debate. States are broke and unions, drawing nice pensions and salaries during a great recession, are the target for savings. Once one broke state sees this debate, they may all follow suit, much like they are in finding Obamacare unconstitutional. Unions have agreed to one time paybacks, but the real issue is over union strongholds to prevent future financial burdens stopping the bleeding, not just putting a band aid over it.

In the private sector, the boss has finite wiggle room. Ultimately he can give only so much to union demands before he prices the business out of the market and puts both parties out of work. (Some argue we are already there with many American jobs going overseas.) But in the public sector, that firewall is non-existent. Politicians negotiate money that's not theirs. And the more they please the unions, the more re-election backing they get. When the bill comes due, they are often long out of office. The real issue is not temporary cuts, but the power a union has over politics.

Governor Scott Walker's proposed bill makes union dues voluntary, giving individual members choice where their money goes. The idea spurs calling proponents "Hitler" and that "freedom" is being taken away, for if today it's collective bargaining, what will be taken tomorrow? But the message of freedom is being perverted. The debate is less about individual rights as it is about the power it gives an individual party, for freedom cannot exist for the collective. Freedom can only serve the individual.

1 comment:

  1. As usual, a topnotch cartoon and commentary. It's amazing to hear the cries of agony from Wisconsin where, IF Walker's cutbacks go through, the public union members will still have pay and benefits that most Americans would voluntarily lose a limb for.

    And if we can't make responsible cuts to the actual costs of government, what are the odds we'll be able to reduce the costs of those programs ADMINISTERED by government?

    Still, I'm delighted that this fight is finally happening. It's long overdue.

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