According to The Christian Science Monitors Mark Guarino, todays local elections in Wisconsin are all about collective bargaining:
Election Day in Wisconsin, Tuesday, is becoming yet another chapter in the ongoing debate over the collective-bargaining power for unions in that state. Both political parties are targeting an open state Supreme Court seat with the hope that it will swing the majority vote on the issue in their favor – a prospect that has elevated the race to the national stage and is generating millions of dollars from national interest groups.
The stakes are high because both sides agree that whoever wins will probably end up ruling on the controversial union bill, which strips collective-bargaining rights from public-employee unions.
No, not fully. This is someone who has been following the news and headlines, but has ignored the larger story.
Todays outcome has little to do with collective bargaining: it has to do with union power. Wisconsin is symbolic in many ways of union powerso much so that all eyes were on sit-in protests, threats and actions of violence, marches, doctor scams, hide-and-seek senators, and more. Similar measures in other states produced little news and only small skirmishes: the difference being that Wisconsin is deeply symbolic to unions and their chokeholds.
The fact is that the unions care little about losing collective bargaining, because they can simply shift to models used by other unions. What is so horrific about this particular situation is the small piece of legislation that the State of Wisconsin will stop collecting union dues automatically. Instead, union members will need to submit their own dues payments, or else the unions will need to collect them themselves.
The latter is a major problem for the unions, who lack the horsepower to enforce this. In order to pay even non-union people to collect dues payments from members, the costs will severely bite into revenues. The union cannot afford to do it, at least not for long.
So the alternative remains: have the union members pay their own dues. What will happen is that members will immediately notice their paychecks bump up in pay. They will deposit or cash their paychecks, and turn that into real, extra cash. As personal finance people will tell you, it is easier to spend money that you actually see, as opposed to money that is automatically deducted from checks. The union members, given a choice, will initially pay their dues. But over time (despite e-mailed reminders from locals), members will slowly stop paying at all.
Wishful thinking? Not at all. Indeed, there is considerable precedent for this. In locations where union members are required to pay their own way, union payments quickly fell into tiny percentiles. The unions know this.
If this contested legislation passes, which has somehow become largely dependent on the re-election of a single, tie-breaking Wisconsin justice, the public sector unions can expect to see a rapid loss of millions of dollars in dues. Think they give a hoot about some DMV clerks collective bargaining rights?
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.