Over the weekend, public employee unions held a rally in Madison where the list of speakers included Bill Franks of the American Federation of Teachers. Franks had this to say about rank-and-file Republicans:
… the would-be Republicans, anybody making $30-40,000 who think they can afford to be a Republican is not living in any kind of reality. Real Republicans don’t recognize them. Because the real “haves” are them. And these people who think they can afford these [conservative] principles, they can’t afford them. That’s not in their self interest. That’s what we gotta cure as a pathology.
This is a common claim from the Left, that middle class conservatives are “lackeys” or “wanna be” dupes beholden to super-rich overlords. As a black Tea Party activist, I get double-takes for being both a “have not” and a racial minority. Why are you voting against your interest? I am asked. Don’t you know conservatives are holding you down?
In fact, I know the opposite. It has been the policies of the Left which have retarded opportunities for those with low-incomes.
Let’s cite public employee unions as an example. How is it in my interest, as a non-union private sector taxpayer, to support policies which enable public employees to coerce political contributions which they then use to elect their own bosses and elicit unsustainable compensation at my expense? How does that secure my job? How does that feed my family? How does that secure my retirement? These are the question Franks and his cohort have to answer.
Instead, they retreat to the time-honored standby of the intellecutally outmaneuvered – namecalling.
The real battle began on March 10, 2011 when the forces of evil eviscerated 50 years of labor peace and discarded Wisconsin’s labor statute which allowed public workers to collectively bargain.
We can only guess how Franks would respond if asked to detail precisely how stripping public employee unions of collective bargaining rights is “evil.” Whatever he said, it would be wrong. We can say that with confidence because objectively discernible morality comes down decisively against him.
Evil can be defined objectively as the arbitrary deprivation of life, liberty, and property. Plenty has been written on the subject which I will not recount here. Suffice it to say, man has the inherent right to act according to his own judgment, and relationships ought to be voluntary.
Public employee unions violate this principle when allowed to collectively bargain with a third party (incumbent politicians) which does not share the adversarial relationship of their real boss (taxpayers). You want to talk about two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner? Public employee collective bargaining is precisely that.
What Franks calls a “pathology” is in fact the very essence of self-interest. It is not just irrational, but immoral to mix up the two.