For nearly two years we have been subjected to the images of a boisterous Occupy Wisconsin crowd, exhibiting their menacing behavior toward opposing politicians, small business owners, and anyone else who dared disagree with their sense of entitlement.
Thousands of agitators were brought in from all over the country to protest, intimidate and gather hundreds of thousands of signatures, many of them fraudulent. And all that to remove from office a duly elected governor, whose only crime consisted in the audacity of implementing his own campaign’s promises.
Even now, after defeating the union mobs for the second time in a row, the FBI has had to get involved to investigate the numerous death threats being received by the governor. So much for our new era of civility…
As expected, the main stream media’s reporting of the controversy has been embarrassingly shallow, sympathetically reporting the grievances of the unions’ sympathizers.
Absent from their commentaries, has been a frank discussion of the fundamental differences that exist between the private and public sectors, differences that make unions feasible in one sector, but not on the other. There has also not been any talk about the injustice of forcing employees to join unions against their will, as a pre-condition to employment.
In a free society, membership to any organization should be strictly voluntary.
In the private sector, the cost of labor constitutes a large percentage of a company’s operating expenses, and the cost is covered by the owners of the company out of their own coffers. Due to the competitive nature of businesses, the cost of labor needs to be comparable to that of similar companies; otherwise the viability of the business will be jeopardized.
Therefore one of the primary objectives of any well managed business is to maintain their labor cost down.
As is to be expected the laborers have different objectives; their goal is to obtain the maximum amount of compensation for the work they perform. This is understandable, as is also understandable that two competing interests like these will occasionally experience serious disagreements or labor disputes.
When a dispute ensues, the fear of causing irreversible damaged to the company serves as an incentive for both sides to strive toward reaching an agreement. The parties involved have a vested interest on the survivability of the company, since no one wishes to see their livelihood at risk.
I know the above is pretty basic, but it was necessary to illustrate that the conditions that may justify a need for unions in the private sector, simply do not exist in the public sector arena.
In the public sector, both negotiating parties are government employees, the cost of labor is not paid by neither one of the negotiating parties, maintaining the cost of labor down is not an imperative, and the survivability of the government is never in doubt. Taxpayers will always be called upon to cover their excesses.
In this sector the manager is not an owner, but a politician who is also aware that he has a lot more to gain by going along with the unions’ demand, than by standing up to them as Scott Walker has.
“The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public services”. (F. D. Roosevelt)
In what appears to have been a rare moment of lucidity, Jimmy Carter ended collective bargaining rights for all federal workers back in 1978. Thirty odd years later, the best case for doing the same at the state level, is being made by the unions themselves, especially when they behave like thugs, and offer ultimatums to elected officials that essentially say…
“Accept our demands and we will shower you with money, volunteers, and a block of loyal voters on Election Day; deny us, and we will trash city hall, destroy private properties, disrupt all government activities, and bring outside forces to remove you from office”.
Thankfully, in spite of all the vitriol and intimidation the citizens of Wisconsin were subjected to; they rose to the occasion and voted on behalf of sound governance. In so doing, they accomplished a great victory not only for their state, but for rest of our country as well.
Congratulations Wisconsin!!! May it become a trend!