Wisconsin Is The Line In The Sand... The Rubicon
Wisconsin Is the Line In The Sand…The Rubicon
Granted, I try my best to abstain from opining on certain topics like Economics, and, on issues… which would make me a blatant hypocrite. In the case of Economics, I do not have the aptitude, and, as far the union situation down in Wisconsin, if I were less than objective, I would be hypocritical because I personally have known the benefits of being part of a union shop. My father, who was an Oakland Police officer, benefited from being part of a union shop too; and before, I went to Grad school, I spent years in a union when I was a security guard. Notwithstanding the competing background noise, there are legitimate merits to both side positions – the Wisconsin governor and that of the Teachers’ Union. But what is happening down in Wisconsin is also that proverbial line in the sand, akin to Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon River, being drawn… and there are only two choices to be had if either side crosses and wins: Unions are finished or that fiscal irresponsibility will become the norm.
In Law school, I learned about the seminal labor cases – many of them out of New York dealing with the bakeries – which gave us many of the rights laborers now enjoy. The problem is that the means are no longer available for the perks negotiated in formal union contracts – so what is a state to do in such a quandary? If the politicians resort to burdensome taxes, those who could afford the bulk of these taxes will move out, Ala what’s happening in New Jersey. And if the states, via politicians, are allowed to quash union bargaining, then we are heading back to that despicable era, which gave us the rubber barons. We are left then to find that hard to find equilibrium, which would allow both sides to share the weal and the woe.
The states do not have the money, but contracts were signed… and if we believe in the sanctity of contracts, then we cannot disavowed them - with the same token, we cannot allow anyone to take away the rights of the workers to bargain in good faith because that too is sacrosanct…. I would say though that politicians running away from their duties is fraught with danger because what happens when Wisconsin Democrats want a bill of their liking to go through the legislative process – are the Republicans allowed to pull a similar craven stunt too? In our storied history, when we were faced with difficult problems, we turned to Henry Clay… known as the Great Compromiser - we are sorely in need of one of him.