How labor caught on in government work, and why its time is up.
Here's the vicious cycle: Union leaders take money from union dues and pass it to Democratic candidates. Once elected, the politicians "negotiate" with the unions that helped elect them.
Here's a quiz: Who said that the prospect of a strike by a government union is "unthinkable and intolerable?"
Who said, "It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government"?
Was it Reagan? Palin? Did Wisconsin's Gov. Scott Walker utter these provocative words?No, no and no. The first quote is from Franklin Roosevelt -- that champion of working people. The second is from George Meany, the AFL-CIO's legendary first president.
Today, Gov. Walker is under siege in his bold fight to rein in public unions.
Walker is one of a growing number of governors who aim to close their state's yawning budget deficit while engineering long-term fixes that will head off a fiscal train wreck -- the otherwise inevitable result of exploding public-union pensions and benefits.
Walker's reward is to hear enraged Wisconsin teachers liken him to Adolf Hitler.
President Obama condemns Walker's "assault" on unions, and our own Gov. Mark Dayton denounces his "drastic" attempts to "steal" workers' rights.
Public-union supporters would have us believe that government employees' right to bargain collectively was handed down to Moses on Mount Sinai. In fact, these unions are of relatively recent vintage, and some states don't allow them.
"The founders of the labor movement viewed unions as a vehicle to get workers more of the profits they help create," explained labor expert James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation in the New York Times...."Government workers, however, don't generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money. When government unions strike, they strike against taxpayers.'"
So why did public unions catch on, then grow exponentially in the 1960s?
Because union leaders and Democratic politicians, like New York City's Mayor Robert Wagner, figured out they could benefit big-time from scratching one another's backs....They could guarantee full campaign coffers for Democratic candidates while arming public employees with a power to dictate their own wages and benefits that private-sector unionists could only dream about.