Right to Work: Coming Soon to Wisconsin?

By | February 27, 2015

But what does he think about Beyonce?Wisconsin’s
Republican-controlled (barely) Senate approved a
right-to-work law
yesterday, sending it to the state’s
also-Republican-controlled Assembly. Republican Gov. Scott Walker,
possible candidate for president (or at least getting enough buzz
to be asked what he thinks of
evolution
and President Barack Obama’s
commitment to Christ
), has promised to sign it into law if it
passes.

Wisconsin would be the 25th state to have a law forbidding
businesses from requiring workers join a union or pay union dues as
a condition of employment. Passage would also burnish Walker’s
reputation as the politician who takes on unions and wins, having
survived both a recall effort and re-election after reducing the
power of public sector employee unions to engage in collective
bargaining and requiring them to pay more into their pensions and
health plans.

We are in the stage of presidential primary pre-candidacy where
a media reference to a statement or action of a potential candidate
is obligated to include a baseless assertion that it may affect his
or her potential campaign in some fashion. Certainly, Walker’s
history of taking on the unions will serve him well in the
presidential primaries, especially compared to somebody like

Gov. Chris Christie
. I’m reluctant, however, to speculate that
political or public attitudes toward unions are going to play a
major or even minor role in a national election with so much else
going on. More likely his battle with the unions will be spun on
the right as a fight to contain wasteful government spending and on
the left as an attack on the middle class. The actual details of
collective bargaining and right-to-work laws will not matter.
That’s my guess. Once you start delving deeply into wonky capital
city subjects like public employee pensions and union power on a
regular basis, it becomes harder and harder to evaluate how much
the issues impact the average voter’s choices. (Having said that:
Check out our recent poll results on how Americans view the

public employee pension crisis
!)

Walker is currently a top dog in a
poll
of likely Iowa caucus voters, which means absolutely
nothing at all and everybody knows it, and everybody knows that
everybody knows it, but yet here we are. Walker
will be speaking
at the Conservative Political Action
Conference (CPAC) this evening.

For some different perspectives on “right-to-work” laws, read
Shikha Dalmia’s defense of such laws as libertarian
here
, while Jerry Tuccille argues they’re actually just another
example of the government inserting itself into the marketplace

here

Category: Liberty
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