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I don't understand how some people fight tooth and nail for some groups of people to have every constitutional right --- corporations, but then have no compunction about limiting the rights of other groups of people --- unions. Corporations and unions are a 2 headed coin, both are manifestations of groups of people sharing a common purpose. You can't restrict the rights of one and let the other have free reign and maintain a consistent position.
I would say the legislation is unconstitutional. The government can't forbid people from negotiating for pay increases beyond a threshhold.
If its determined that the rights of groups of people can be restricted, then say bye-bye to corporate executive pay insanity and corporate political money.
Last edited by Disillusioned_1; 02-17-2011 at 07:45 AM.
Not a bad idea.Personally, I think total compensation for all public employees should be straight salary, straight forward, up front, and voted on by the public.
While extremely heavy handed and partisan, I don't see a particular section in the ABC News article that actually suggests rights are being infringed upon. ABC seems to be saying state employees will pay into their pension and benefits while being unable to seek salary increases beyond the CPI. In return they're guaranteed no layoffs or furloughs.
That seems pretty reasonable to me. Which rights are being denied here?
The law is that public employees do have the right to collectively bargain, and you can't just pass a law and expect to have it held up when you go about discriminating one group.
The Wisconsin gov't wishes to force one collective bargaining group to be bound by new legislation while other groups remain bound by already established laws.
The country is not in the mess that it's in because of teachers unions, it's in a mess because of power grabs like this by Republicans who are very clear about their intention to redistribute wealth from the bottom to the top.
Look at the bottom of page 21/top of page 22 of the most recent Department of Revenue statistic in Wisconsin regarding corporate tax revenue in the state. Over the last 30 years, as a share of "general purpose revenue", corporate tax revenue has gone down by half, from 10.4% of general revenue in 1980 to 5.2% last year.
Two-thirds of Wisconsin corporations effectively pay no taxes.
Improvements sure can be made in regards to education, but the Wisconsin bill is supposed to be addressing budget concerns, not the rights of public unions to exist or not exist or to be subject to the whims of a vengeful Republican Governor who is laying a smack down on the one public union that didn't endorse him.
Last edited by Jason Marcel; 02-17-2011 at 08:10 AM.
“Are vital U.S. interests more imperiled by what happens in Iraq where were have 50,000 troops, or Afghanistan where we have 100,000, or South Korea where we have 28,000 -- or by what is happening on our border with Mexico?...What does it profit America if we save Anbar and lose Arizona?”
If Wisconsin law protects public unions and the legislature wants to pass a law that differentiates in treatment between public ones and private ones, that's not unconstitutional. Your source of employment is not a protected class.
Federal discrimination laws only apply to gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation.
I side with the idea of restricting public unions on principle, because the public market is different from a private one. When consumers don't have a choice as to whether they can pay for something or not, the rules have to be different from ones governing the open market.
This highlights the underlying problem with public employment.
A surplus in talent in a given private sector field would cause salaries to fall until that surplus disappeared. The public sector artificially keeps salaries disproportionately high regardless of supply and demand.
"It would end collective bargaining for state, county and local workers, except for police, firefighters and the state patrol."
There's no other way to interpret that combined with the fact that only a public referendum could allow them to have raises. Would it be on every ballot or just special ballots? Would it be voted on every year or whenever politicians feel like it?
You can't discriminate against one group and let all the others be allowed to operate under existing laws like this, it's completely ludicrous. The state senate can pass it and the Governor can sign off on it, but it'll never stand up in the courts.
Some government employees have always been more regulated than others. Some enjoy far more benefits than others. Again, if the legislature was more consistent in its application of these regulations, they would seem less petty about it, but as far as I can tell, there's nothing illegal about this.
If you're going to take away the teachers union ability to even negotiate pay increases, but you're going to let police and firefighters have that right, you're clearly discriminating one group and favoring others while all of those jobs are public jobs.
If only public referendums can determine whether teachers get a pay increase, than it should be the same with all public sector jobs.
We're either pissing in the same pool here or we're not.
But the bigger picture narrative here is about an ideology that clearly wants to take away from the bottom and give to the top.
Logically, it's pretty asinine to put law enforcement and firefighters on a pedestal while demoting teachers. I think all of these groups should be equally restricted in their ability to unionize.
I also agree that these people are easier targets than corporations. However, I'm not sure if raising corporate taxes would be a good idea for Wisconsin. A large part of what determines the feasibility of a tax raise is how your neighboring states measure up in taxation.