New York’s unions are sending their best and brightest to Wisconsin to assist in the effort to recall the state’s Republican governor, Scott Walker. That’s good news for New York taxpayers and developers. If the unions’ key players are fighting somebody else’s battle in Wisconsin, they will be even more out of touch with reality in New York.
Union officials here have portrayed their efforts against Mr. Walker as a battle for the middle class everywhere. This, of course, is absurd: Unions want to oust Mr. Walker because he had the nerve to implement limited pension reforms (see above) for public workers. Oh, and he also supported a measure that prevented public employee unions from automatically collecting dues from members’ paychecks.
So the battle is not about the preservation of the middle class. If anything, the middle class is suffering because of the lavish benefits that public employee unions extract from government revenues.
The battle is between a political figure who is trying to regain some element of control over his state’s finances, and public employee unions who believe that it still is 1965 and that taxpayers owe public employees gold-plated health benefits and a fully funded retirement after 20 or 25 years of service. These sorts of benefits are not available to the average middle-class resident of Wisconsin.
New York’s unions certainly have something to gain if Mr. Walker is ousted. It’s no wonder that they are investing resources in Wisconsin.
If they prevail, you can expect a new offensive against the treasuries of New York in the coming year.