Friday, February 25, 2011


I am hearing much about "Rights" here in Wisconsin.  In particular, the "Right" to collective bargaining.  But what is a "Right"?

As Conservatives, we believe that rights are bestowed upon us by a higher power, just by virtue of our existence.  We have the right to speak our minds.  The right to defend ourselves.  The right to our own property and to be secure in it.  The right to not self-incriminate.  There are others as well.  We also believe that "Rights" do not infringe upon the "Rights" of others.  For example, my right to speech does not prevent another from theirs.  Rights cannot and do not come from government.  Government provides privileges, often for those whom government favors.

Collective bargaining, whether public-sector or private-sector, is not a "Right" in this sense.  Especially in the public-sector.  The "Right" to bargain collectively was afforded public employees in 1959 by the Wisconsin State Legislature.  That it was government and not God renders the argument false right away.  Reinforcing that argument is the infringement argument.  Public-sector union bargaining infringes on the rights of the taxpayer to their property.  The unions are able to take money (forcibly) from their membership and use it to support  the candidate who will give the union the greatest largess.

There is no "Right" to collective bargaining by public-sector unions.  Only "Lies...."


Dad29 said...

There IS room for nuance in the argument.

You are correct in general (and almost all specifics): there is no "right" to collective bargaining.

How-some-ever, there IS a "right" to association, and such association may take the form of organizing a union to bargain with an employer.

The "right" of that union to exist depends entirely on the 'bill of complaints,' so to speak. If the employer is not treating his workers with the dignity that SHOULD be accorded them, or is mal-treating them, then the union has legitimacy.

It would be very difficult, however, to make the case that State employees or WEAC members are being abused, or even treated with less-than-appropriate dignity as workers.

Very difficult, indeed.

Further, as Pope John Paul II observed, it is NOT good for unions to be political entities. It is particularly revolting for unions to endorse abortion-on-demand and gay "marriage," for example.

Deekaman said...

My argument here is that the "right" claimed by the unions infringes on the "right" of the taxpayer; that rather than negotiating as opponents, public-sector unions collude with government for largess in exchange for campaign contributions and votes. The ultimate in "fox watching the hen house". I suppose the bigger problem is the politicians, but it has to be repaired by ending collective bargaining.

Dad29 said...

We agree that "bargaining" has been one-sided. Them and Them.

In all likelihood, you and I could settle 98% of "employee issues" in 20 minutes without any contract at all.

The last 2% might need the assistance of a few 6-packs.