What’s that old saying? Birds of a feather flock together. If so, we might be inclined to wonder what binds bombastic Hollywood fraud Michael Moore to Egyptian revolutionaries and the public union protesters in Wisconsin.
Moore relayed a message through his website on Sunday from Egyptian union boss Kamal Abbas. The message is addressed to “the workers of Wisconsin” and draws direct parallels between the ongoing Egyptian revolution and the protests against Governor Scott Walker’s leadership in the Badger State.
I am speaking to you from a place very close to Tahrir Square in Cairo…
From this place, I want you to know that we stand with you as you stood with us.
I want you to know that no power can challenge the will of the people when they believe in their rights. When they raise their voices loud and clear and struggle against exploitation(…)
We support you. we support the struggle of the peoples of Libya, Bahrain and Algeria, who are fighting for their just rights and falling martyrs in the face of the autocratic regimes. The peoples are determined to succeed no matter the sacrifices and they will be victorious…
This solidarity between Egyptian revolutionaries and the public employee unions protesting in Wisconsin is quite troubling. It raises a pressing question. What exactly do these ostensibly disparate groups have in common?
If we accept for the sake of argument that the Egyptian revolution is what its participants and their fellow travelers among the Western Left say it is, a democratic uprising intent upon liberating Egyptians from autocratic rule, how does that compare to public employee unions protesting legislation in Wisconsin? On its face, the comparison seems rather absurd. Abbas speaks of the “struggle” in Egypt which has left many people dead. Are Wisconsinites dying in the streets of Madison? Are Wisconsin’s public employees withering under the blistering rule of an unchecked dictator?
Quite the contrary, the union members protesting in Wisconsin are the real autocrats, placing their status as public employees above that of the taxpayers upon whose backs they are carried. Abbas speaks of rights. Whose rights? Where do they come from? Are they universal or reserved for a protected class?
… in Wisconsin the average full-time state employee earns over $70,000 in pay and benefits, about $15,000 more than the average private-sector employee.
This condition is indicative of a much larger disparity in compensation at the federal level. It is the result of an anti-competitive condition which so-called “liberals” would decry if it manifest in the private sector – namely, a monopoly.
Out in the real world, where consumers are presented with a choice of vendor for various products and services, unions are regulated by the market. If their demands become too excessive, their conceit will reflect in the price of their offering, and consumers will eventually seek cheaper alternatives. (See the demise of Detroit.) This process does not work when applied to public employee unions, because taxpayers are not free to choose whether to pay taxes.
Let us be clear. The ability of public employees to collectively bargain across the table from bosses whom their political activity helped elect is unjust, immoral, anti-democratic, and un-American. Yet, it is packaged as “democracy” because heads were counted to arrive at the policy. This is the real point of solidarity between the union members protesting in Wisconsin and the revolutionaries in Egypt. Both believe in “democracy,” but only as a tool to encroach upon the freedom of others. Each group recognizes within the other the Marxist revolutionary spirit, cloaking their autocratic intent within libertarian rhetoric.
No sensible intellect could regard America as an “autocratic regime.” We are a constitutional republic in which democratic majorities may not subjugate a minority. The union protesters in Wisconsin would have us believe that their dues-funded political activity is indicative of a political majority which favors unsustainable public employee compensation and unjust collective bargaining power. The minority they would subjugate is the productive private sector taxpayer. To their autocratic agenda, true libertarians respond with righteous indignation, hoping that Governor Walker will stand his ground.