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Most Americans support public employee unions

By Reuters
February 24, 2011

A protester holds a sign on the rotunda floor, on day eight of protests against budget cuts proposed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, at the state Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin February 22, 2011. REUTERS/Darren Hauck

Most Americans oppose laws that would take away the collective bargaining power of public employee unions, as has been proposed in Wisconsin, Ohio and other states, according to a USA Today/Gallup Poll released on Wednesday.

The poll found that 61 percent would oppose a law in their state similar to the proposal currently sparking mass protests in Wisconsin, compared with 33 percent who would favor such a law.

The poll also found Americans about evenly split over reducing or eliminating government programs, with 48 percent opposing such cuts while 47 percent favored them.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has said that he wants public union members to pay more for health care and pension benefits, to address a $3.6 billion budget deficit over the next two years.

Union leaders have said they would accept the cuts but object to Walker’s additional move to limit collective bargaining rights.

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

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19 Responses to Most Americans support public employee unions

  1. griff

    February 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    “Most Americans oppose laws that would take away the collective bargaining power of public employee unions, as has been proposed in Wisconsin, Ohio and other states, according to a USA Today/Gallup Poll released on Wednesday.”

    Most Americans still vote for Democrats and Republicans.

    Most Americans get their news from television.

    Most Americans think terrorists hate us because of our “freedom”.

    Most Americans still believe there were WMD in Iraq.

    Most Americans think we’re in Afghanistan chasing Osama bin Laden and his merry band of evildoers.

    Most Americans think we have a capitalist economic system.

    Most Americans think our money is still worth some thing.

    Most Americans…

    • Carl Nemo

      February 24, 2011 at 8:34 pm

      Most Americans…are as dumb and ill-informed as the proverbial box of rocks…no? : (

      Carl Nemo **==

      • griff

        February 24, 2011 at 10:52 pm

        Hahaha. I was going to end it that way. Most Americans suffer from Stockholm Syndrome.

  2. Almandine

    February 24, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Most Americans are fair-minded and don’t see their fellow citizens as manipulative, but:

    http://dailycaller.com/2011/02/24/wisconsin’s-teachers-required-to-teach-kids-labor-union-and-collective-bargaining-history/

  3. Carl Nemo

    February 24, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    “Wisconsin has long been a leader in labor rights. The Progressive Movement, which had its beginnings in our state, led to laws limiting child labor and safety in the workplace. Unions such as the AFL-CIO and Teamsters allow us to enjoy an eight-hour work week and vacation time. In fact, it has been argued by some historians that the history of the United States itself could be a history of labor.”

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/02/24/wisconsin%e2%80%99s-teachers-required-to-teach-kids-labor-union-and-collective-bargaining-history/#ixzz1EvhUw2vu

    Based on this, the new governor has seemingly blown his feet off with a short fused grenade…no? What a ‘moron in chief’ for governor! / : |

    They need to have an emergency session to impeach him and kick him to the curb immediately if not sooner. Also the spoof call between he and one of the Koch Bro’s tells me he’s bad ‘kimche’ for Wisconsin.

    Btw Wisconsin is full of “salt of the earth” people that contribute daily to that which makes this nation still great in these challenging times for the Republic.

    I hope the protestors as well as the non-demonstrating people in their Wisconsin homes although not directly involved in the protests get the message that their newly elected governor is nothing but a “rethug”…Trojan Horse…that they so foolishly elected to high office. He’s going to sell them out for a few dollars more to the Koch Bros. : |

    Note: Thanks Almandine for the link. : )

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Almandine

      February 24, 2011 at 11:41 pm

      Evening Carl,

      I fail to see your point. Your quote – of limited application – from that article supports the general premise of collective bargaining virtuosity, but in no way is there a universal “fact” validated. In fact, many other current articles are showing that the union in question is the self-aggrandizing, self-promoting, uncaring entity for what it is. Individual teachers there are thankfully not even much involved in the melee.

      One might suppose that were collective bargaining omnipotent and magnificently magnetic, it would be heralded from every rooftop and lamp post along the highway, and it would not be necessary for the Wisconsin Dem legislature to finally pass the mandatory school curriculum on union “wonderfulness” after years of having to outrun the Repub opposition. As we’ve reflected many, many times, both parties cleave only to the votes that will get them elected, and (given the obvious benefits of unionism in that article) why would the voters not see it as the best thing since the invention of donuts and force the issue totally off the table? Why WAS that governor elected?

      As for the governor, what’s his crime except for tactical stupidity? He’s following the voter mandate he thinks he’s been given, and doesn’t have either the votes to get it done, or the cajones to pull the trigger. The brouhaha gets larger with every passing hour. (I’d have separated the collective bargaining issue from the revenue bill last Tuesday and put it thru… c ase closed.) After all, this isn’t just about politics… there is an actual fiscal reality to be dealt with.

      Methinks your scorch and burn attitude, regarding all politicians no matter the issues or stakes, is getting overblown. Your impeach the b*st*rd rhetoric is lacking facts and understanding.

      The folks in Wisconsin will figure out what they want. We’ll figure out what they decided. Throwing uninformed bombs doesn’t help.

      • Carl Nemo

        February 25, 2011 at 12:45 am

        Hi Almandine,

        Maybe in these times I’ve become a generalist in terms of solutions; ie, an anarchist. They all need to “go” and let the gods sort’em out. I’ve had a bellyful of rethugs and dims and just about everybody that’s sucking on the taxpayer while promising a chicken in every pot and a Ford in every garage as most crimpol demagogues do.

        What blew me out of the water was the “spoof” interview that Walker had with what he thought to be was one of his patrons; ie, the Koch Bro’s. The content indicated to me he’s just another flimflam pol that plans on carving up Wisconsin like a T-Day turkey for the benefit of big business post his faux “El Cid” maneuver to save the taxpayers money via busting this union while predating on the state’s fiscal problems for the benefit of his deep pocket patrons.

        “Wisconsin has long been a leader in labor rights…” extract from lead line quote reference

        Why is it when a crimpol simply gets elected he or she construes it as a mandate to use “scorched earth” tactics. If Wisconsin has long been a leader in labor rights he should have handled this entire budget situation in a more efficacious, citizen friendly manner than simply going after the union’s throat which indicates to me he tactically challenged.

        Most people are reasonable including bargaining entities when push comes to shove especially in the face of statebased insolvency. Again this clown gets an ‘F’ when it comes to his negotiating skills etc. also supported by his plans to support whatever Koch Industries has for the state. It was alluded that they have their eye on buying up electrical generating interests in the state no doubt at bargain basement prices in addition to other services due to the state’s involvency problems. Would the people of Wisconsin been thrilled knowing this ahead of time prior to casting their vote for him? I think not.

        Anyway that’s my thoughts on the situation. Btw, Wisconsin is a great state with “salt of the earth” residents. They need to survive and save tax bucks too, but not with the likes of this evil clown they’ve elected. I didn’t follow his campaign and frankly never heard of the guy until this story broke, but to me the spoof interview exposed him for what he is; ie., just another cimpol on the make and the take. I rest my case. : |

        Carl Nemo **==

        • griff

          February 25, 2011 at 7:46 am

          I see a lot of posts on other sites as well attacking Walker’s Koch brothers connection. It distracts from the issue at hand. In fact, I haven’t seen these people even argue any real point, other than that.

        • Almandine

          February 25, 2011 at 9:33 am

          The roots of totalitarianism are sewn with the seeds of anarchy.

          • Carl Nemo

            February 25, 2011 at 1:18 pm

            Not always Almandine. I’m sure King George III and his running dogs in the British Parliament thought the same 235 years ago of our ‘rebel’ leaders…no?

            Carl Nemo **==

            • griff

              February 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm

              And they were right. What we have today is a kinder, gentler totalitarian government. So it took a couple hundred years.

    • Almandine

      February 24, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    • Almandine

      February 25, 2011 at 12:03 am

      • woody188

        February 25, 2011 at 12:34 am

        Lucky me I have private schools, a well and septic, privatized electricity, and a private contractor for garbage collection. If public employees can strike, then the public should be allowed to withhold their taxes in escrow until a solution is worked out. No one gets paid, and no one gets back pay for not working. It’s fair so it won’t ever happen.

  4. b mcclellan

    February 24, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    The allure of ‘Kimche’ is in it’s badness.
    Much as it stinks there are always low minded fools ready to eat.

    .

  5. jim0001

    February 24, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Unions served a purpose at one time, no longer.
    A union is for the person who will not speak up for himself.
    Unions breed mediocrity because the achiever gets the same reward that the most worthless worker gets. There is no incentive to achieve a higher standard.
    A union work place only allows for negative consquences there is no way to administer positives to the good productive workers.
    The majority of things that unions claim to procure for their members are federally mandated. Where do all the dues go? T
    They go to union bosses.
    Why do the strongest union states have the highest unemployment?
    Wisconsin eighth graders effectively cannot read. But these non-productive teachers think they are entitled and deserve rewards for non-performance…Sort’a like the President and Congress1

    • Almandine

      February 24, 2011 at 11:46 pm

      Hi Jim –

      The story here is also about the teacher who wanted to stay after class in the afternoon to help the less capable, but the union wouldn’t allow it. You know why.

  6. griff

    February 25, 2011 at 7:56 am

    I wonder what MLK would say about these protesters portraying themselves as civil rights activists and freedom fighters.

    Oh yes! Free us from the chains of economic reality that the rest of society has to contend with every day.

    Free us from the chains of accountability and the responsibility of doing our jobs effectively.

    We shall overcome!

  7. bogofree

    February 25, 2011 at 9:19 am

    The state of Wisconsin is broke and in debt by 3.5B. This is true in state after state and the reality is the only ways to deal with it are increased taxes or reduction of labor costs.

    When you compare the public sector with the dreaded private sector there is no comparison. Wages, pension benefits, layoffs, health care and workers rights won via union negotiations. Enough has been presented to demonstrate that.

    As a former teacher I know where the bodies are buried. This reaction by unions has a loud voice and no traction. From what I can gather the Wisconsin attempt by Walker is to eliminate collective bargaining on all issues but wages. Drastic? Probably. Necessary? Probably. Does that mean tenure will finally be addressed? That health care contributions will be 12.6% rather than 6%? That contributions to pensions will be substantially increased?

    I worked as a teacher for 14 years and worked 30 years under social security and many of those SS years I maxed out. My teachers pension exceeds my SS by $400. I contributed 9% of my wages to my teaching pension and my wife contributed 5% thanks to being grandfathered in when changes were made. My wife gets the full 80% kiss and we will both pay $42 per month for our health insurance in addition to $96 each for Medicare. Believe me that $42 is blue plate compared to what coverage others get. How many in the dreaded private sector get a health care and pension kiss like that? And I had that coverage until I was covered my Medicare.

    Unions function is to get as much for their members as possible. Doesn’t make any difference if it is a public service union, Teamsters or MLB players. In the public sector the whole equation is skewered when compared to the real world.