The PJ Tatler

"Special interests" and public employee unions

Mona Charen has a good point here:

Public employees in many states are classic rent seekers, but they go sugar growers and the like one better. Through collective bargaining, unions negotiate with elected officials for wages and benefits. They then get the state to collect union dues for them by withholding the dues from public employees’ checks. With the accumulated cash, the union then makes campaign contributions to the favored public officials. Neat. As labor historian Fred Siegel told John Fund of the Wall Street Journal: “Ending dues deductions breaks the political cycle in which government collects dues, gives them to the unions, who then use the dues to back their favorite candidates and also lobby for bigger government and more pay and benefits.” ….

The protests, with their attendant disdain for the school kids … serve as huge neon signs alerting the sleeping electorate to what has been happening to their tax dollars.

The rent seekers stand exposed. Nothing that Governor Walker and the Republican legislature had in mind is as damaging to the teachers’ unions as that spotlight.