The unhinged paranoia on the left knows no bounds.
Take for example New York Times columnist Paul Krugman who believes that Governor Scott Walker's grand plan is to lessen democracy in Wisconsin and America eventually replacing government with a third-world-style oligarchy:
[W]hat’s happening in Wisconsin isn’t about the state budget, despite Mr. Walker’s pretense that he’s just trying to be fiscally responsible. It is, instead, about power. What Mr. Walker and his backers are trying to do is to make Wisconsin — and eventually, America — less of a functioning democracy and more of a third-world-style oligarchy.
After addressing some of the budget issues facing Wisconsin as well as labor's recent concessions, Krugman continued waxing paranoic:
But Mr. Walker isn’t interested in making a deal. Partly that’s because he doesn’t want to share the sacrifice: even as he proclaims that Wisconsin faces a terrible fiscal crisis, he has been pushing through tax cuts that make the deficit worse. Mainly, however, he has made it clear that rather than bargaining with workers, he wants to end workers’ ability to bargain.
As Ronald Reagan would say if he was still alive, "There you go again."
Contrary to Krugman's paranoid view, the pending legislation does not end public workers' ability to bargain. It instead limits collective bargaining to wages.
As the budget-buster for most states including Wisconsin is healthcare insurance and pensions, this goes quite counter to Krugman's assertions.
So does the fact that as George Will pointed out on ABC's "This Week" Sunday, "24 states limit or deny entirely collective bargaining rights for public sector unions."
Wisconsin would therefore become the 25th. Hardly the crisis Krugman suggests.
Will also correctly noted that one of Krugman's heroes, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, opposed public employee unions. On August 16, 1937, Roosevelt wrote the following letter to the president of the National Federation of Federal Employees:
My dear Mr. Steward:
As I am unable to accept your kind invitation to be present on the occasion of the Twentieth Jubilee Convention of the National Federation of Federal Employees, I am taking this method of sending greetings and a message.
Reading your letter of July 14, 1937, I was especially interested in the timeliness of your remark that the manner in which the activities of your organization have been carried on during the past two decades "has been in complete consonance with the best traditions of public employee relationships." Organizations of Government employees have a logical place in Government affairs.
The desire of Government employees for fair and adequate pay, reasonable hours of work, safe and suitable working conditions, development of opportunities for advancement, facilities for fair and impartial consideration and review of grievances, and other objectives of a proper employee relations policy, is basically no different from that of employees in private industry. Organization on their part to present their views on such matters is both natural and logical, but meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government.
All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.
Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable. It is, therefore, with a feeling of gratification that I have noted in the constitution of the National Federation of Federal Employees the provision that "under no circumstances shall this Federation engage in or support strikes against the United States Government." successful.
I congratulate the National Federation of Federal Employees the twentieth anniversary of its founding and trust that the convention will, in every way, be successful.
Very Sincerely Yours,
Maybe Krugman and all the other paranoid media members seeing demons hiding in Madison's Capitol building should read Roosevelt's words about public sector unions and stop trying to scare Americans into thinking what's happening in Wisconsin is about something bigger than a governor trying to comply with his state's requirement to balance the budget.
Or would that be too responsible for such shills?