Saturday, March 05, 2011

Scott Walker Standoff

I have to say this -

Governor Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) really overreached. Most Americans who work in the private sector believe that their counterparts in the public sector should contribute more to their pensions and many believe that the civil service system needs to be drastically reformed. No one should be rewarded with a job for life. and in the private sector no one (save for the bankers on Wall Street) are awarded with a job for life. If a business isn't making ends meet, workers are laid off and the employer has to decide who will be kept and who will laid off. In the public sector, the people with the most seniority get to stay. In the private sector the employer could base that decision on his employees' job performance.

I think Wisconsin's voters would have backed the governor in any confrontation on merit pay, tenure, or the seniority system because most Americans understand that there is no incentive to work hard when an employee is awarded a job for life. And they definitely would have backed the governor's demand that public workers contribute more towards their health plans. Union spokesmen didn't concede on health care contributions out of the goodness of their hearts. They knew the governor had a winner there.

Governor Walker; however, did not force the public employees into that debate on seniority or tenure. He decided to use this crisis to crush the public unions movement by stripping away their bargaining rights. And then he undermined whatever claim that Wisconsin's budget woes forced him to do that by exempting two unions that endorsed him from the ban on collective bargaining.

He may win this fight. Sooner or later the Democrats who have fled to Illinois will have to return and vote on a proposal. Voters in Wisconsin, however, may be wondering if the governor is pragmatic enough to suitably govern their state.

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