Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

What is Wisconsin all about? Hokey Pokey?

In Economics, Opinion on February 21, 2011 at 8:30 pm

The debate in Wisconsin degenerates by the day.  The left accuses the governor of endangering the middle class (“Collective bargaining is what has built the middle class in America”) and the right says its approach is the only way to keep the state out of bankruptcy, the only way to balance the budget.  The left is sometimes honest enough even to admit that if the unions lose the right to deduct membership dues directly from the paychecks of their members, the union will likely starve for lack of funds.  The governor, rather than replying “EXACTLY, I’m guilty,” demurs and says he is not trying to ‘bust the union, really and truly; some of my best friends know people in the union.’

The resulting back-and-forth is pointless, destructive and unworthy of public consumption.  Children fighting over a morsel of candy would accomplish more.  [Click BELOW to read more]

Both sides miss the mark by miles and have exactly the same chance (ZERO) of changing the minds of their respective political adversaries.  Such stand-offs bode ill for our nation’s civic life, and I pray for a better brand of politician.

Freedom, individual rights and liberty, self-reliance, taking responsibility for one’s own life – including pension benefits and the cost of health care – those are the issues at stake.  Does the government (i.e. everyone who works and pays taxes) have an obligation to continue to pay public employee union members more for their labor than it’s worth – more wages, more benefits, more retirement security, etc?  Or, is it the responsibility of the recently elected governor and legislature to end the over-promising and slam on the brakes before the car careens over the cliff?  Is collective bargaining by public employees fair or is it tantamount to an extortion of elected officials who are forced into a Hobbesian choice between two groups of voters – public employees and taxpayers.

The debate is framed over and over in terms of “who is the government for?”  That phrase, that question answers itself if framed differently.  Is the government constitutionally empowered to curtail one man’s rights for the benefit of another?  Does the word “unalienable” have meaning, or will the government alienate one man’s rights to benefit another man, take one man’s freedom to dispose of the fruits of his labor so that another man might eat.  Is it any more moral to enslave the many for the benefit of the few than to enslave the few for the benefit of many?  I know how Americans answer that question; how do politicians answer it?

If we can’t stop the tyranny of the public unions in Wisconsin, do we stand a chance in Washington, DC?  Do we stand a chance of reforming Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or any of the other ‘entitlement’ programs run out of the nation’s capital, the multiple ponzi schemes disguised as ‘insurance plans?’

I think not, and I fear the worst.

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gray Panther, Jeff Neal. Jeff Neal said: #Wisconsin is about more than the budget…. It's about freedom vs tyranny. […]

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