Dispatches from the War against public sector unions (Part 2)

Commentator Mark Steyn, the author of the must-read “America Alone,” wrote about the Madison, Wisconsin episode as only he can in a piece titled “States of the Unions.”

“The unions’ money…is an existential crisis for [Wisconsin]. Last year, The Times of London reported:

‘The President of Greece warned last night that his country stood on the brink of the abyss after three people were killed when an anti-government mob set fire to the Athens bank where they worked.’

The Times managed to get the salient feature of the story entirely wrong. They were not an ‘anti-government’ mob, but a government mob, a mob of ‘public servants…'”

About “collective bargaining,” Steyn writes:

“It enables unions rather than citizens to set the price of government. It is, thus, a direct assault on republican democracy, and it needs to be destroyed.

Unlovely as they are, the Greek rioters and the snarling thugs of Madison are the logical end point of the advanced social democratic state: not an oppressed underclass, but a spoiled overclass, rioting in defense of its privileges and insisting on more subsidy, more benefits, more featherbedding, more government.”

“Big Unions fund Big Government,” Steyn writes. He also refers to economist-hero-of-the-left John Maynard Keynes, who “offered a characteristically offhand dismissal of any obligation to the future: ‘In the long run we are all dead.'”

“The Greek and Wisconsin bullies are Keynesians to a man: The mob is demanding the right to carry on suspending reality until they’re all dead. After that, who cares?

If the new class war is between ‘public servants’ and the rest of us, some countries no longer have enough of ‘the rest of us’ even to put up a fight. That’s why you can’t wait to fight in the last ditch. The longer you wait to stand up against the ‘public service’ unions, the less your chance of winning.”

Suspending reality is exactly what Democrats like to do. The problem is, too many Republicans have been happy to play along by remaining silent.

Commentator Robert Tracinski has written one of the best articles about the big picture of what’s taking place in Madison with his piece titled “Public Unions & the Socialist Utopia“:

“There is something that almost amounts to a twisted idealism in the Democrats’ crusade. They are fighting, not just to preserve their special privileges, but to preserve a social ideal. Or rather, they are fighting to maintain the illusion that their ideal system is benevolent and sustainable.

Unionized public-sector employment is the distilled essence of the left’s moral ideal. No one has to worry about making a profit. Generous health-care and retirement benefits are provided to everyone by the government. Comfortable pay is mandated by legislative fiat.

The work rules are militantly egalitarian: pay, promotion, and job security are almost totally independent of actual job performance. And because everyone works for the government, they never have to worry that their employer will go out of business.

In short, public employment is an idealized socialist economy in miniature, including its political aspect: the grateful recipients of government largesse provide money and organizational support to re-elect the politicians who shower them with all of these benefits.

Put it all together, and you have the Democrats’ version of utopia.”

I highly recommend clicking here to read the entire article. Here are two more paragraphs to entice you to read it all:

“On the state level, public employment promises the full socialist ideal to a small minority-paid for with tax money looted from a larger, productive private economy. But the socialist utopia of public employment has crossed the Thatcher Line: the point at which, as the Iron Lady used to warn, you run out of other people’s money.

The current crisis exposes more than just the financial unsustainability of these programs. It exposes their moral unsustainability. It exposes the fact that the generosity of these welfare-state enclaves can only be sustained by forcing everyone else to perform forced labor to pay for the benefits of a privileged few.”