Wisconsin siege update

by nkronos on March 4, 2011

The standoff in Wisconsin continues, and from afar it appears that the longer it lasts, the more likely Governor Walker will lose. Aside from his domestic opposition, he has the power of the White House and most media against him, not to mention organized labor’s recognition that they cannot afford to lose in Madison. Walker needs to wrap it up and soon.

From DC we have the historical ongoing intervention of the White House in a state’s dispute with protesters against the duly elected government…on the protesters’ side. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis left no doubt where the Obama administration stands, as if there were ever any, calling CWA president Larry Cohen to say, “Let’s keep fighting….Let’s stand up for all workers, and let’s mobilize and do what we do best, and that is to make sure that the American public understands that union rights are no different from human rights.”

Nice use of the first person, although that “fighting” word doesn’t jibe too well with the new post-Loughner civility that already seems so old. Clinton administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich likewise tweets that Governor Walker is a “dictator” who needs to be recalled. Hmm..last time I checked, recall is not an option most dictators allow (see Libya, for example).  Reich makes himself equivalent to those who call for Obama’s impeachment over Obamacare when he engages in such rhetoric.

Meanwhile it was confirmed yesterday that the average annual salary plus benefits of a school teacher in Milwaukee exceeds $100,000. As for whether that extra pay gets results, Paul Krugman last week tried to argue it did, pointing out the poor performance of Texas and, with the Economist, trying to show a correlation between collective bargaining and student achievement. Iowahawk–who usually goes for satire and humor–posted a serious refutation of those claims. In fact, he destroyed them:

To recap: white students in Texas perform better than white students in Wisconsin, black students in Texas perform better than black students in Wisconsin, Hispanic students in Texas perform better than Hispanic students in Wisconsin. In 18 separate ethnicity-controlled comparisons, the only one where Wisconsin students performed better than their peers in Texas was 4th grade science for Hispanic students (statistically insignificant), and this was reversed by 8th grade. Further, Texas students exceeded the national average for their ethnic cohort in all 18 comparisons; Wisconsinites were below the national average in 8, above average in 8.

While all eyes are focused on Wisconsin, Ohio is also attempting to restrict collective bargaining.

Finally, RealClearPolitics points out what all the heated rhetoric by organized labor obscures: these folks have it better than the citizenry paying their salaries, not because of personal accomplishment but because of having their special interest represented and enforced by collective/mob action. That’s what it means to be organized.

The inside of their wallets is no more virtuous than the inside of anyone else’s. So why should those not in unions be considered immoral for wanting to stop the transfer of dollars from one to the other?

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