Saturday, June 27, 2009

Milwaukee County and remembering Reagan

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports today that a judge has allowed the furloughs (days off without pay) of some public union workers to commence in accordance with Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker's order -- starting Monday.

It's unfortunate, that instead of supporting his fiscal responsibility, the County Board continues to jawbone the County Executive and the unions, of course, continue to file their predictable lawsuits. All this for a measly five hours off a week.

My word, join a bowling league or something and feel grateful you have a job.

I have never understood why organized labor with its organized penchant for entitlement, behaves as though pay (and benefits most of us only dream of) ought to be guaranteed. I have not read their contract, but I cannot fathom any responsible authority agreeing on behalf of county taxpayers to anything more than the rest of us live with AKA an "at will" employment arrangement. The concept is quite simple. Either party (employer or employee) can sever their relationship with the other, for any reason, at any time.

This morning I recalled the will behind former President Ronald Reagan's decision to fire striking air traffic controllers in 1981. The union organization, known as PATCO, sought to express its grievances with a strike and jeopardize the safety of American travelers. After the President warned PATCO members that if they did not show up for work they would be fired, they tested him and he kept his word.

It was something of a milestone. Organized labor has continued its decline since. The average American understands that baseless threats, lawsuits and strikes are not part of an effective career strategy.

Now flash forward to modern day Milwaukee County and consider its fiscal challenges. We see all the labor vitriol we had on a national level back in 1981. . . over five hours a week.

Somehow I think that if Mr. Walker's furlough order was twice as stringent, the sun would still come up the next day and everything would still be just fine.

I commend Governor Doyle's plan for limited furloughs and wish only that he and the Democrat-controlled legislature, went further to reduce state spending and lower taxes. A wish denied.