Unionists in Wisconsin and their sympathy demonstrators across the country have been taught new slogans to shout. These are various forms of ‘violating workers’ rights’, and that cutting back the power of public employees unions is ‘an attack on America’s middle class’. Both are false, but both are powerful since most listeners don’t have the equipment to parse the lies.
The notion of ‘right’ has long since lost its useful meaning in public discourse. Nobody knows what the other means when they use the word. (More on Rights & Privileges) The Federal Government, by law, and the Wisconsin government, by law, have given their public employee unions certain rights to negotiate wages and benefits. What is given by law, can be taken away by law – all the way up to the Constitution.
Were the Wisconsin government gratuitously to refuse to negotiate with the unions under present law, then the unions and their bussed in demonstrators could argue that their rights were being violated without first being rescinded by due process. But that clearly is not the case, as the 14 Democratic legislators hiding out in Chicago can attest.
The ‘attack on the middle class’ shout is not only a blatant lie, it’s 180 degrees out from reality. It is the middle class that has to bear the tax burden which union fat cats – both leaders and members – enjoy in their outrageous compensation packages that are breaking the fiscal backs of the states. If anything, what Wisconsin and other states are attempting with their public service unions is to rescue the middle class, and save these non-union workers from the union onslaught that has been going on for years and must finally be brought to a halt.