So I guess someone to watch in the way-too-early 2016 presidential election is Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, the public employee union buster (well that is almost all I know of him) and apparently favored boy of the wealthy far-right political money donors the Koch Brothers.
So I just read an article that tells of how religious he is — what a devoted Christian he is, the son of a preacher, having delivered sermons himself.
Well nice for him. I can hardly hold that against him, but I think I would be more interested in his views on public policy issues. I also worry about people who are too out there with their religion, especially if they are in politics. It might get in the way of promoting the First Amendment guarantee of both freedom of religion (I think evangelicals think that means freedom for their brand of Christianity to rule) and in my way of looking at it, freedom from religion.
But I’m sure as time goes by we’ll hear his views. But like as is the case with most candidates, we have to separate what they are apparently saying for election and what they really appear to think by their their actual history concerning public issues and legislation.
But getting back to the union-busting thing. I for one am neither pro nor anti-union, except when it comes to public employee unions I cast a jaundiced eye sometimes. You see, I think public employment and private employment are two different worlds.
When you work for the public you are working for the citizens as a whole and any labor actions are not just actions against a private employer that do not necessarily directly affect the populace as a whole, they are ones that get in the way of citizen-directed government.
When a public employee union threatens to cut off citizen services for more money, as an example, they are denying the public of their right to have services from the very government they finance.
But of course government workers, be they public school teachers or road workers, or whomever, have a right to fair pay and working conditions, and any redress of workplace grievances that might commonly come up (and we want both good and happy employees working for us). But they are in a special position since they serve the public interest. So to offset all that, their pay tends to be fairly good and job security better than in the private sector. I realize that when we are talking about local government there is a wide variation, but in general…
But public employee unions tend to want their cake and eat it too. They not only demand the traditional job security they want pay as good as and usually or often much higher than the private sector.
Anyone of course who reads this realizes that is only my view. I am not up on pay things these days. But once upon a time I was a small town newspaper reporter. I was privy to what kind of salaries these folks down at the courthouse pulled down. Let me tell you, their wages were much higher than the local standard in private employment, and to top that they had much better job security. And they had political heft because their public employee union represented a voting block that any prospective elected county supervisor would have to court to win office.
But in general I am neither pro nor anti-union, to include public employee unions.
I began this post writing about Gov. Walker. He is one to watch. It has been written that some see him as one who could draw support from the Tea Party and the evangelicals in the Republican party and then maybe present himself as a plausible choice to the wider party.
That old-time religion might be good for the soul, but I have a feeling he’ll need more than that to please the wider public.