February 19, 2011

Soon-to-be-official presidential candidate (and Great White Shank fave) Herman Cain is absolutely right when he says Madison, Wisconsin is ground zero for the battle of who will control the economic future of America: the people or the public-sector unions. And methinks Sarah Palin is right when she says the unions are making a huge mistake by choosing this particular time and place to draw their line in the sand over the proposed givebacks in state benefits and collective barganing proposed by Governor Scott Walker. The public sector unions have felt little – if any – impact from the economic troubles of the past few years. People everywhere have lost their jobs or seen their pay frozen and benefits cut, it’s time for the public-sector unions to feel a little bit of that pain.

What’s worse, I think, is that these teachers have had their true colors shown to the American public for the first time. They’ve shown they care nothing about the education of their students, and have revealed themselves to be selfish, greedy, self-serving, and juvenile. By seeking to negotiate in good faith while they did their jobs, they would have shown themselves to be honest and hard-working public servants; instead, they’ve forever tainted not only themselves, but teachers unions everywhere. Me? I’m glad of it – if it’s one thing Democrats and liberals have never understood it’s the concept of restraint. They simply can’t help themselves because they’re playing from the same book that’s been in place for decades when the unions meant something in this country.

Ann Althouse’s blog is a great place for everything happening in Madison this weekend. Likewise, the irrepressible Michelle Malkin.

And it’s not just the public-sector unions whose behavior is showing their true colors: the gutless Democratic state senators who have fled the state to convene in various places in nearby Illinois to avoid debating (and ultimately losing the fight against) Governor Scott Walker’s proposed budget cuts. I said after the November elections the big news wasn’t the results for U.S. Congress and Senate, but what happened in the state houses across the country, where Republicans made huge gains – especially in the so-called “Rust Belt”. Now that Democrats used to being in power are now in the minority they can’t handle and are running away like the gutless skunks they are.

Elections indeed have consequences. And public-sector unions across the United States are going to learn that over the coming year. Who knew the powderkeg would be lit in Wisconsin?

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 18:29 | Comments (5)
  1. Easy, big fella. My spouse is a government worker (Non-union). We all made a deal with those workers when the economy was better. By we, I mean taxpayers and politicians of every stripe. Those workers took lower wages and got job security and other benefits in return. The deal was “you take less than your private sector counterparts and keep our taxes low and we’ll give you security and other benefits in lieu of those higher private sector salaries”. What Wisconsin is doing right now is no different than a homeowner strategically defaulting on his mortgage. They made deals when times were good. Now that times aren’t so good, they want to go back on it. There is no doubt that tough choices have to be made in all government budgets but we need to do it with a lot more compassion.

    Removing their collective bargaining rights won’t save the state a dime. That’s plain old union busting. I don’t give a rat’s a$$ about that union. All Walker did pick was a fight and he got one.

    Democrat tactics wee childish but the whole thing was childish. This definitely could have been handled better.

    Comment by Rob — February 19, 2011 @ 8:39 pm

  2. One other thing: Yes, elections have consequences but when was the last time the losing side went quietly into the night? When the Democrats were elected in 2008 and they started doing their thing, we got the Tea Party protests and they were bringing guns to theirs. We need to stop the name-calling. People are scared. That’s what these things are about.

    Comment by Rob — February 20, 2011 @ 11:00 am

  3. Thanks, Rob. This is why I love this blog. It’s a love-hate thing most of the time, but of course the fact is that whether you’re a governor or a union boss, it’s primarily the people caught in the middle that, well, get caught in the middle.

    That being said, I have no love for teachers unions – in fact, I prefer the lowest ambulance-chasing lawyer to the best public school teacher you can find in Madison, Wisconsin (and most other places). Think about it: how much money has been spent by federal and local governments on public education over the past three decades? Gazillions. And what have we got for it? S**t. Plain and simple.

    You couldn’t pay me to send a child of mine to a public school. Not only is there too much emphasis on “book sense” rather than common sense, but I don’t want my child indoctrinated into some socialist, tolerance/acceptance/diversity mindset pushed by local school boards.

    What do you get from public education? Young adults this short of being imbeciles. I know because good friends of mine are and have been college professors who have to deal with the by-product of the public school systems. They can’t read. They can’t write. They can’t even formulate opinions or ideas on paper. It’s a disgrace. And what will the teachers do? Why, blame it on the parents, of course.

    But my biggest issue with public education is how it has impacted African Americans. The only thing public schools in the inner city stand for is keeping young African Americans dumb, stupid, and on the plantation. Harsh? You better believe it. But public education in this country is a cesspool of patronage, incompetence, and corruption. And African Americans are the biggest losers in all of that. Which is why it makes me sick that African Americans, by and large, look at the Democratic Party as their protectors when the Democrats (including Barack Obama) will do EVERYTHING in their power to fight vouchers and the rights of parents to freely choose where their children go to school. It’s a disgrace.

    It’s time the teachers unions get put in their place and be forced to actually deliver a quality product, no different than you or I have to do. And if they can’t – just like you or I – they should be canned and tossed out on the street.

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of people.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — February 20, 2011 @ 10:41 pm

  4. If anyone thinks vouchers are the answer, they have zero understanding of private schools. To a certain extent, it’s about good education but it’s mostly about exclusivity. Basically, they don’t want THEIR kids going to school with YOUR kids. So, you make vouchers available in all 50 states. Poor parents will get their kids in medium-priced private schools and parents of the kids already there will look for a more exclusive AND more expensive private schools to send their kids and the parents of the kids in the highest-priced private schools will find or build a school that only their kids can attend. Education won’t get less expensive, it will get more expensive.

    Comment by Rob — February 21, 2011 @ 9:39 am

  5. It’s not that I don’t want my kids going to school with your kids, I don’t want them going to school with your kid’s teachers. Parents should have the choice as to where they want they kids to go to school, pure and simple.

    The problem with public schools and public school teachers is that there is no competition for their services. If there were, 70% of the teachers out there would be on their asses and looking for work. There’s too much emphasis on degrees and book sense, and too little on doing the job of educating kids. Public education is a cesspool and this country is just waking up to that fact.

    Abolish the Department of Education and put the power behind the education of children back in the hands of the states and cities and towns, and away from the teachers unions. This country will be much better off.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — February 22, 2011 @ 10:16 pm

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