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10 Facts to Win Every Argument on … the Evils of Public Sector Unions

Posted on February 27 2011 1:00 pm
Diane Schrader, a former television news writer/producer, lives with her family in Los Angeles. She likes a nice cup of tea. Follow her on Twitter.

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10. History proves we don’t need public sector unions, and the folks in Wisconsin are lying about it

I hate it when kids say they hate history. To me, that’s a stinging indictment of whoever was teaching them history, because history should be fun. History is just stories, and what could be better than that?

Those stories are particularly compelling when they illuminate the present. The history of public sector unions is crystal clear, and the Left is being wildly dishonest in their approach to it. The president of Madison Teachers, one Mike Lipp, offered this “historical perspective”:

“(For Governor Walker) to include gutting law that was put into place in 1959, signed by the great Gaylord Nelson, granting public employees the right to collectively bargain, is ludicrous.”

Huh? As Rich Lowry points out at National Review Online, “why would anyone in 2011 think of changing a government practice put in place in 1959?” Especially when it was signed by the great … who was that again?

What a ridiculous argument. But at least Mike Lipp wasn’t hysterical, like this lady:

Okay, that part with Obama at the end was just a joke. But don’t you feel like yelling out an “Amen” to the crazy lady? IT’S FOR THE KIDS!! Because if she can’t suck quite as hard at the public teat, we won’t have weekends. Or something.

Now let’s talk reality and the truth (refreshing, I know!).

All the historical arguments we’re hearing in support of unions – every last one of them – are related to the relationship between labor and the private sector. Not the relationship between well-paid government workers and THEIR employer – which is YOU.

President Kennedy is the one to blame for lifting the federal ban on government unions back in 1962, but it wasn’t because government workers were poorly paid, or suffered in adverse working conditions. It was because the traditional labor unions were losing power, as Jonah Goldberg points out, and JFK saw how public unions in states like Wisconsin were putting Democrats in power.

“The plan worked. Public union membership skyrocketed and government union support for the party of government skyrocketed with it. From 1989 to 2004, AFSCME — the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees — gave nearly $40 million to candidates in federal elections, with 98.5% going to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.”

98.5 percent! (More on that ahead.) Anyway, THAT is the true history of why we have public sector unions. So if someone tries to tell you it’s because workers were dying in the mines, or we needed weekends – that’s a bald-faced lie.

Next: Why public employees should never be able to strike…

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