How Wisconsin may turn public opinion against government unions forever
February 24, 2011 - 9:27 am
Unions in general are not popular these days: Less than half of Americans polled say they support unions generally, and less than a quarter of all US workers are members of unions. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us that actual union membership has reached an all-time low nationally of 11.9 percent, and of those, a heavy majority are public sector — meaning government — union workers. Broken down into real numbers: 36.2 percent of government workers belong to unions, compared to only 6.9 percent of private sector workers. And even though the president is obviously extremely pro-union, he’s not much help as his approval rating hits an all-time low. The latest video from yesterday’s protest at FreedomWorks shows the unions’ desperation vividly.
If you’re the head of the non-government unions, these days are bleak. You’ve already lost out to the government unions, and once the next big cycle of retirements hits, your own ranks will get even thinner. The entire union universe hangs on a 1962 executive order.
Wisconsin is the birthplace of the modern labor movement. Lose there, and you may lose everywhere. The unions cannot survive if every state looks like North Carolina, where just 3.2 percent of workers are unionized. The desperate action in Wisconsin is a rearguard action to cover a massive retreat.
Rasmussen teases this reality out in a poll today.
Half of America’s voters favor public sector unions for government workers, but they strongly oppose the tactic by Wisconsin state senators to flee their state to prevent a vote that would limit the rights of such unions.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that only 25% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of this tactic, while 67% disapprove.
Let the fleebag/protest tactic drag on much longer, and the disapproval of the tactic climbs concurrently with disapproval of the unions behind it, creating what may turn out to be a tipping point in which the unions fall out of majority favor forever. If Gov. Walker holds strong and the bill gets passed, the unions are looking not at Wisconson, but at their Waterloo. And they know it.
More: I forgot to add the demographic shift that’s going on now as well. Interstate migration patterns show pretty clearly that Americans are fleeing the union states and heading for the right to work states. Unions see this shift as well, and know that it spells their inevitable demise. Unless they can hang on to the government union teat.