Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Will on Wisconsin

George F. Will, ever the sober-minded conservative, has the sober-minded conservative take on events in Wisconsin. As many have pointed out, government unions are fundamentally different than private-sector unions because, while the latter play tug of war against a management with whom they share the desire to survive, the former are playing tug of war against no-one and have no risk of extinction.

This episode, and the one in Indiana, are entrenching the Democrats as the party of "No" on fiscal reform. Not one penny, they screech, for austerity. Republicans, while they may be playing imperfectly are openly taking risks and are not fleeing their states to prevent votes or triggering Godwin's Law.

Of course, leftists are correct that Wisconsin Governor Walker's attempt to strip collective bargaining from public unions is about more than balancing this year's budget. True: weakening public unions will make Wisconsin leaner, more competitive, and less budget-constrained into the future. Public unionization is an anti-competitive practice aimed at shifting wealth from all taxpayers to a particular interest group; weakening or ending it will improve and cheapen government services.

Will concludes:
Walker, by a fiscal seriousness contrasting with Obama's lack thereof, and Obama, by inciting defenders of the indefensible, have made three things clear:

First, the Democratic Party is the party of government, not only because of its extravagant sense of government's competence and proper scope, but also because the party's base is government employees. Second, government employees have an increasingly adversarial relationship with the governed. Third, Obama's "move to the center" is fictitious.

1 comment:

Carol L. Douglas said...

And the governed recognize this, too.