Victory in Wisconsin … for Now


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The balance of Walker’s program — still held in abeyance — seeks to make state workers pay more for health insurance and pensions, force the union to collect its dues rather than see them deducted automatically and cap collective bargaining agreements at the rate of inflation.

The course of the recall elections will determine the fate of his proposals and the future of such movements across America.

The stakes could not be higher.

We plan an all-out effort to win these recall elections decisively and to drive from office the absentee Democratic legislators. We will work hard to help the Republicans and reward them for their courage in standing up for our children in the face of the teachers unions.

If we win in Wisconsin, we will break the back of the teachers union and the entire municipal employee labor structure, which has dominated state and local government for decades. The financial base of the left wing of the Democratic Party will be in tatters.

But if we lose, other governors will shy away from the confrontation, and the union domination of our schools and local governments will continue, sapping educational quality.

At stake is our ability to hold bad teachers accountable, promote good ones, undertake layoffs based on merit not seniority and let parents choose the schools they want.

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  • Chezwick_Mac

    The stakes couldn't be higher.

    • truthin

      The stakes are high, but not for the reasons you think. Union busting and pension-envy are nothing more than a race to the bottom. Salaries will decline, and house prices will decline, and America will decline. Note: America's rise in the last century was made possible by the rise of a strong middle class. This was possible only by 'proving Marx wrong.' And that was only possible by the growth of unions. What's happened in the last 25 years? Corporations, run by conservatives, have shipped millions of jobs overseas. Now Conservatives are destroying unions, which leads to a greater impoverishment of the middle class, or what's left of it. Amazingly, middle class people on FPM side with the rich like Horowitz who makes $7000/lecture, and get sucked into the habit of liberal bashing. This is why it's now politically correct to be politically incorrect.

      • Chezwick_Mac

        TRUTHIN: "What's happened in the last 25 years? Corporations, run by conservatives, have shipped millions of jobs overseas."

        RESPONSE: Exactly right. Capital is color-blind, waves no flag, and has no ideological loyalty. That's the beauty of it (and the efficiency). It gravitates naturally to where it can get the best return. It facilitates development in economies that are primed. That's why the Pacific rim and then China couldn't develop for as long as they were dependent on foreign aid (the liberal panacea), but developed rapidly when they opened up to foreign investment. Now, it is India and Brazil attracting major investment.

        In a globalized economy (and let's be clear, there's no turning back the clock, except in the minds of left-wing reactionaries whose wet dream is to magically return to a simpler time), the only way for America to compete and retain (and attract) jobs and investment is to LOWER the costs of production.The way to do this is to lower taxes and wages. In the process, there will be an inevitable lowering in the living standards of Americans. This is reality. Face it instead of running away from it in hysteria.

        PS – David's fee for speaking at universities is usually closer to $3000 than $7000. It is usually paid for through private fund-raising by the college Republicans….unlike Lefties like Angela Davis who make $30,000 an appearance, typically paid for out of university funds slated for "student activities".

        • Jim_C

          The fact that capital is not loyal to country can be called "efficient," but calling it "beautiful" is a bit of a stretch. I'm not indicting capitalism but surely its lack of loyalty to country presents a certain set of problems to the security and sovereignty of our nation-state, not the least of which is a class of very powerful people multinationally with no particular allegience, to whom we will at one point or another, kowtow. Call me a relic but that doesn't sound all that great to me.

          • Chezwick_Mac

            What is "beautiful" is that capital investment turned Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea into modern, developed countries inside of a generation. The same is happening now to China, India, Brazil, Malaysia and select other countries. A billion previously destitute people around the globe have been elevated into the middle-class in an astonishingly short period of time…a remarkable historical achievement for anyone interested in taking notice of it.

          • Jim_C

            That is, to be sure. And you're right to say we can't look back and wish we had Joe Lunchbox in the steel mills, again. But we have to recognize that bad things have come with the good. Capitalism is probably the closest we can get to a "natural" state of liberty–but like nature itself, it has a harsh and cruel side that does require mitigation, usually by government. Again, we should look long and hard at quaint notions like "loyalty," "sovereignty," and "national interest."

      • gene

        Wrong!
        Corporations are fleeing due to higher tax rates than any properous foreign country and not due to salaries alone. They also flee due to government restrictions (politiacal correctness, emmisions, fuel costs, mandates and bureaucracies).
        GE flourished when the lowest 10% did not receive raises or were laid off if they remained there. I would love to see better teachers and trade people receive more pay and dead wood replaced.

      • nightspore

        What aren't the Japanese auto makers fleeing? And why don't their employees want to be unionized?

  • Reason_For_Life

    Rasmussen's poll indicates support for the unions. Walker's popularity is at 43% which is lower than Obama's. Wisconsin voters oppose "stripping the collective bargaining rights" of the teacher's unions. This is particularly true for voters under 40, those most likely to have children in public schools.

    If the debate is framed as one of stripping rights then Morris will lose and lose big if he argues against "rights". The debate must be made in terms of restoring the individual right to bargain with an employer, a right that was abrogated by collective bargaining. It must be made clear that the state must be able to pay teachers based on merit, not seniority, and that can only be accomplished by restoring the individual right of bargaining.

    Morris has to argue that the teachers union is the defender of incompetence and of the status quo. Further, he must show that unions stand in the way of improving the schools. Morris should support a special broadcast of the documentary "Waiting for Superman" if he can work a deal with the producers of the film.

    This will be a hard uphill battle against entrenched special interests and an electorate "educated" by the very same union that caused the crisis in the first place.

    Chezwick_Mac is right, the stakes couldn't be higher.

    • cedarhill

      I disagree. Debating what amounts to right to work is, at best, ho-hum. You will be running against the "civil rights" bulldozer.

      There are several really big issues. One is how public employees buying government with tax money. It's a simple process but takes three steps to explain which may be beyond voters mind set. A narrative of you pay me tax money for dues and I give you campaign money and assistance. Legal corruption.

      Secondly, either tax-me-more have public employees get paid in the same way as the rest of us. Use the first issue to show how the public folks get more than those working in private industry. Even when failure is rewarded by the teachers union.

      In other words, you have to get into the pocket books. Fighting over rights is a sure loser. It's just not personal. Use examples of "hey, your sales tax will double, your income tax will triple, your real estate taxes will quadruple — and you will lose your job when private employers drive down to Texas – vote for Dems if you want. Here is the number to contact your local U-Haul when you have to leave Wisconsin."

      • Reason_For_Life

        It is on the issue of rights that Walker is losing. Read Rasmussen's poll. The same people who oppose Walker (those 40 and under) oppose "stripping the right of collective bargaining".

        People under 40 aren't the ones paying the biggest proportion of the taxes, it's those over 50 that have the most property, the most wealth and therefore pay the most taxes. They already oppose the unions on precisely the grounds you name.

        Morris has to connect children's school performance to good teachers and connect good teachers to merit pay and connect merit pay to eliminating collective bargaining. That's the only way to win over the under 40 crowd.

        Arguments about corruption won't do it. Everyone knows that the teacher's unions are buying candidates. They don't care if they think that it means that their children will get a better education. People accept corruption if they think that they will get a piece of the action. In the 1920's Jimmy Walker was the most corrupt mayor in New York history and everyone knew it. But he convinced people that they were all getting a piece of the action and as a result was one of the most popular mayors in New York history.

        • Jim_C

          Where Walker loses the struggle is in attacking teachers (or should I say allowing the perception of attacking teachers).

          It is hard to disentangle "teachers," who are not the problem, from "teachers unions," which are part of the problem. Even harder to make a direct point about waste of taxpayer dollars, which one sees not only in administrative waste, but in the gaming of the retirement systems you see in EVERY public sector job–not just teachers and administrators. That's a big state problem.

          Walker might have been wiser by looking to make across-the-board cuts. Instead he appeared to focus on teachers (yes, I know, it was just the collective bargaining). It'll come back to bite him.

          • Reason_For_Life

            Across the board cuts would have meant cutting fire and police as well as teachers. Those unions collective bargaining privileges aren't being targeted like the teacher's union's are. Most likely that's because the firemen and policemen supported Walker in his election bid. That doesn't say much for Walker's principles because it isn't only the teachers' retirement program that is bankrupting the state.

            On the other hand, student performance is directly related to teacher competence. If the students are doing poorly then it actually is due to "bad teachers". If fire and police are doing a good job (low crime rate, low fire related deaths) then the teachers should be the only ones targeted.

            Throughout the country total teacher compensation has risen dramatically over the last 40 years while student performance is essentially unchanged. Teaching is virtually the only profession that has seen such a dramatic drop in productivity. Doctors see more patients, lawyers try more cases, engineers design more hardware, programmers write more software, only teachers have gone backwards in terms of productivity.

            Eventually, the time of reckoning will come. In Wisconsin, that time is now.

          • Jim_C

            Good point on Walker.

            When speaking of "teacher performance" people fail to take into account massive social changes we've undergone. Everything is compared to a much, much simpler time when we were kids. We have had exponential waves of immigration in the 20th century, civil rights, women in the workplace, not to mention the unprecedented, hyperspace leap taken by technology–these things have had HUGE effects on learning. This is NOT the same world it was 40 years ago–but our school system is built on an early 20th century model.

    • truthin

      Or perhaps the documentary 'Race to Nowhere' for the truth. Funny that you should speak of 'special interests', something that conservatives know alot about. KOCK FOR PRESIDENT! YEA!!

  • Amused

    Nothing more American than a recall . If it happens it will be the will of the people . After all Walker did not campaign on Union busting and removing workers rights .The fact that most of you here survived the alleged "incompetence " of teachers . To say there are no incompetent teachers would be a lie , just as saying they're all incompetent is just as big a lie . Tenure is something that the Teahers Union itself is addressing . and has in the past . Teachers can indeed be defrocked for their behavior , and anyone who has bothered to investigate their own state's Board of Ed , would know that . Anmd dont forget , if you say "the electorate was educated by the very same union " ….lol…then so were you , and so was the electorate that put Walker in office ….lol…and that same electorate [as you ] just might remove him ….for he lied regarding his agenda .

    • Bill

      "The fact that most of you here survived the alleged "incompetence " of teachers ."

      You didn't, though, did you? Can't spell, can't string a sentence together.

      Most people get educated in spite of school, not because of it.

      • Amused

        - well Bill you just displayed your intelligence , or should I say the lack threreof ..You're just proof that it ain't really the teachers , but the fact that sometimes they're handed DAMAGED GOODS like yourself to work with .So you can use spellcheck …lo.l…a CHIMP can be taught to do that ….but an intelligent response in the way of a refute or rebuttal ? LOL….that takes an IQ above 80 . Good luck CHUMP

  • A. J. Weberman

    You are a shill for the capitalist interests Horowitz. What has this have to do with Jew hatred. Jews have supported labor unions for time immemorial. You rob Jews of their humanity. You are scum.

  • jacob

    I believe that legally, the fleeing Democrap senators lost "ipso facto" their seats
    without any recall requirement whatsoever and I don't believe any court, unless
    being shamelessly Democrap biased, would deny it.
    Now, as to general recall as it allegedly seems the way iaccording to polls and
    the Wisconsin people are stupid enough as to prefer being led by their noses
    by the rotten unions as per the statu quo ,then their choice is economic suicide
    and, if they are of legal age, fully entitled to do it….

    There is no secret that save for notable exceptions, most teachers are there to
    sign for the hours they put in and gte hell with pupils learning or else, which
    even blinds can notice, starting with the way they "grab" the pencil and by GOD,
    their caligraphy, let alone their learning in general.

  • kdhy

    This article was written by Dick Morris NOT Horowitz. You are not thinking clearly on the unions. Unions 'back then' were quite different (and were necessary) than unions now. Very scary that you do not see the difference.

    • Chezwick_Mac

      Indeed. The unions WERE necessary back then, but just like the Civil Rights movement and the feminist movement, their success brought corruption and they eventually became detrimental to the well-being of the country.

      • coyote3

        Unions just like the civil rights movement, were a victim of their own success, in many respects. That said, does this mean they are going to try to "recall" the Democrats who fled the jurisdiction?

    • A. J. Weberman

      Unions are needed now more than ever due to the slave state china producing so much and keeping its currency artificially low.

    • A. J. Weberman

      Dick Morris, but Horowitz published it. You want to leave all the American workers at the mercy of their greedy bosses. Pam Geller who opposes Islam brings Walmart into the picture. She wants to put small mechants out of biz by opening one in NYC. The people of this country saved American Jews during the Holocaust and now some Jews want to spit in their faces and oppress them. Where will the wealth go when it is taken away from the workers? To the bosses some of whom are Jewish. Screw this.

  • Amused

    -well Bill you just displayed your intelligence , or should I say the lack threreof ..You're just proof that it ain't really the teachers , but the fact that sometimes they're handed DAMAGED GOODS like yourself to work with .So you can use spellcheck …lo.l…a CHIMP can be taught to do that ….but an intelligent response in the way of a refute or rebuttal ? LOL….that takes an IQ above 80 . Good luck DIMBULB

  • Amused

    ….and it seems you have a likeminded following ..lol…Gee! No surprise there eh ? BTW , check out the caligraphy your Doctor scribbles on your prescription , no wonder there are so many mistakes made in the Pharmacies . …oh and I have been observin g "the way they hold a pencil ……man Jacob what INSIGHT !….What a GENIUS you must be . ! btw have mr. bill check out your spelling …lol…..and your grammar .

  • Amused

    I've worked in closed shops and open shops in "right to work states " and when the non-union -non-dues paying employees , got abused or needed representation , they ran right to nthe shop steward and filed their greivance , which the union filed and fought for on their behalf . Yea " stinking rotten unions " eh Jacob ? I doubt you ever worked a blue collar job in your life . All you know is what you parrot from your demagogues' rhetoric . Half of which don't even know what they're talking about , nor can they differentiate the Constitution from the Bill of Rights from the Declaration of Independence . Nor do some of the "alleged Conservative" and Tea Party IDIOTS like Bachman , know that the Battles of Concord and Lexington took place in Massachussettes , NOT New Hamphire or whatever New England state the happen to be speaking in . You display the same utterly biased ignorance.

    • sneed5

      How were the union workers "abused"? I grew up in a coal-producing neighborhood around World War II. After work and supper miners would congregate on the grocery store porches, tell old wives' tales and brag about how, if they had a hangover on Mondays, they would go to work "pour their water out" and immediately go home! (For those who are not familiar with the "pour you water out," that was a signal to strike)!! Whatever's fair!! As I grew older, I learned that when the miners' pay rose, the price of everything else rose! To be fair, when the UMW was formed it was sorely needed. Not everyone had an automobile, so horizontal mobility was difficult, if not impossible. But, as time passed, mobility became commonplace. During that same time, labor laws were enacted which granted employees fairness in the workplace. Since then, as indicated by statistics, the numbers of unions and union members has greatly fallen. However, those who continue to have Monday-morning hangovers will "pour their water out" and will continue to say, along with the union bosses, that unions are needed.

      • Amused

        Sneed 5 thats about the some of your knowledge ….what you heard at the grocery store . I do like the know-nothing anecdotal bullsheet stories your peddling , becuase it makes it obvious that you are already over your head in this argument .How can [union workers ] or [non-union workers ] be abused ? lol..run along little boy , I doubt you know what a calous is ,or an11 or 12 hour forced work day of physical labor .The number of unions has fallen basically for two reasons , the big buisiness sycophant politcians [predominately Republican ] have legislated " right to work laws in many states , where the unions must carry the free loaders [it's the law ] , and big buisiness shipping manufacturing of justr about everything overseas to cut their bottom line . Go take your hangover story to some third or fourth graders , they might buy it .

        • thetruth

          its "sum" jackass not "some" lol. Unions are a joke, and shadow of what they once were. They are operating the same as a corporation that is driven by its bottom line. Unions will deem workers unskilled until they get that dues check from them and all of a sudden the union deems them "skilled" regardless of experience. I was in a laborers union and witnessed first hand the boondoggle.

        • coyote3

          What makes the unions, and their members any more vituous than any other group, including, but not limited to the businesses that employee them? Why is that they "deserve" what they demand, and the employers do not deserve what they demand? If you believe the "workers" virtuous just because they are workers, I would like to see the logic behind that belief. Afraid you are on the losing side in this one, historically. You have already lost, and you know it. Unions will always be around, but they will just continue their decline, right to work legislation, notwithstanding.

  • Jim_C

    Is that supposed to be some sort of revelation–that democrats are rich, too?

    To a person they'll stand in front of a crowd and say "I should be paying more in taxes." They do so frequently. So what's the problem?

  • Amused

    As for Coal Miners imparticular ? Dont sit there and try an tell me that many have not been killed on the job , due directly to the Mine owners violating safety regulations , and getting slapped on the wrist by the judges they've already got in their pocket . Dont sit there antry to tell me that the owners dont move to fire those miners who speak up about unsafe conditions and violations of safety regulations . So you're either just plain dumb , or terribly naive . Or worse , blinded by your ideological bias.

  • wanabfree

    Well Amused!! You must be one of those highly paid union officials and yes, your gravy train has ended. DEAL. Can we say OSHA and MSHA. Any employee can and does report safety and other violations. The problem is, there are two types of unions, the Public Sector and the Private Sector. And we are getting them confused. They are not the same. Yes! to private sector…No TO AS MUCH POWER as the public sector unions have enjoyed. And that is what happened in WI. You can still have your public sector union, just not the collective bargaining issue. When you all "come to the table" who represents the taxpayer? Certainly not the Union official and his bought and paid for lawmaker who will no doubt grant the union whatever it wants. That is why the problem today. We the taxpayers are running out of money and we don't like it either. Please don't be a tool of Big Labor. Richard Trumpka and Obama are not your friends, they see a potential drop in union dues, which means not as much money for their bank accounts or political advantage. Always, follow the money! We the taxpayers, union or not, need to realize what is happening to us as a once great nation. It is about money, power and control.

    • coyote3

      You are absolutely right. There is a big difference between private unions bargaining, and a public sector bargaining. At least, in the private sector, there is some semblance of adversary positions, even though they may be friends and coworkers personally. If a private company wants to give generous salaries and benefits, it has no one to answer to, but the shareholders. They will be the ultimate artibitors. Also, it is their money. In the public sector it is all other peoples' money, and those "other people" are the taxpayers. Right now there is no one representing their interests. The unions weren't the least bit interested in the public sector, until they saw their private memberships declining rapidly, for a lot of reasons. I can remember when some of our people approached a union about organizing us, years ago. They were not interested. Their officials would rather play golf with the politicians.

  • Amused

    Wanabefree , it aint the Unions , Trumka or Obama who got us here .. Yea they're easy to blame , when it's mostly collective GREED that got us here . Yea that's right , your portfolio , the CEO's prime directive to keep you happy and to keep his job ….and at all costs . It mattered not that you sold your fellow Americans out- lock , stock and barrel to the Chinese who work dirt cheap and boost profits .It didn't matter that Wall Street was screwing the hell out of the average working slob investor , they managed your 401 b, got bit nice and fat , and it didn't matter that mortgages were given out to whoever could breath , they were compiled and sold , at great profit , so what if they didn't qualify , then your political prostitutes repealed the laws that kept commercial and Investment banks out of each others territory , so everyone jumped in like pigs feeding from a troff , never once pulling their heads up to stop and look around .State Governments jumped in , anticipating large revenues .

  • Amused

    More "financial instruments " that NO ONE EVEN UNDERSTOOD , nor cared to , like derivitives were invented to suck more money out , and more profits , the watchdogs and Companies whom everyone trusted to provide true ratings on all of it , joined in to , for fear of being left out or ostracized .The Bush Admin . who put in place SEC watchdogs , DID NOTHING and KNEW something was amiss . The States gambled their pension funds as did a number of private organizations , just like the house flippers who paid unbelievably high prices , with nary a care about the mortgage terms , for in months sometimes weeks they would resell at great profits . And the portfolios grew . Then the bubble burst .Everyone banticipated getting out before the bust , but it overtook all , Investment Firms , Cities , Towns , and State governments , The revenues counted on as even profit ….disappeared .

  • Amused

    So , Wanabfree , you go and blame the unions , just like the rest of the dimbulbs . For AFTERE you have removed their collective bargaining rights , AFTER you have "put them in line ", AFTER guys like Walker gives Big Buisiness more big tax breaks ..lol…financed by cutting state workers throats , those companies will only take more , jobs will still go overseas . Man you cant even trust your prescription drugs anymore ! The big Drug Firms buy 40 % of the ingredients from overseas suppliers where [you republican will love this ] there is hardly ANY regulation , guaranteeing dangerous adulteration , even if you buy from CVS or Walmart . But you go ahead and blame those damn unions , yea , it's all their fault . And thats' just what Big Buisiness wants you to think and in the case of state Workers ? They ;ll pay with their pensions for what Republicans like best …giving tax breaks to big buisiness , and giving you the illusion that they're cutting costs .

  • wanabfree

    Well Amused, I may be a dimbulb, I do not even pretend to have all the answers to all our problems. There is plenty of blame to go around. But to resort to name calling those who do not agree with you is not real smart either. You do realize, without business, big or small, there would be no need for any unions. Just hang on, we're getting to that point. What jobs have any unions ever created except for themselves? And why should State workers have better pensions and benefits than those who pay their way? At least they can join the rest of us and contribute, and not even at the same percentages! Take a deep breath, life is too short to be so hate filled.