Perhaps you would care to enlighten us with a description of exactly what were those "opportunities to de certify " on the part of state, county and municipal workers in Wisconsin?
I'll agree the unionization of sdtate employees in Wisconsin was indeed done in accordance with the law. However, the legal process involved was not the one mandated for the unionization of workers in the private sector. It was imposed by the state agencies.
Do you believe the political contributions of the Utility industry to Republicans is even within an order of magnitude of that of the AFSCME, the AFT, NEA and other public employee unions to the Democrats?
You are comparing gnats and elephants.
Walker has tapped into a feeling of disgust - the always-dangerous sense that you and I have played by the rules and saved for our modest retirements, while government workers, on our dime, have run off with pensions they do not deserve. We feel we have been played for a fool.
To their credit, some union leaders have recognized that they have gone too far. They have - or will - agree to givebacks, and the teachers unions are acknowledging that they have to do something about incompetents. (Still, if there are cutbacks, it will be done by seniority - meaning some very good but young teachers will be let go.)
But to a large degree, the damage has been done. Last year, David Brooks of the New York Times - with appropriate credit to Jonathan Rauch of the National Journal - pointed out that state and local governments are so indebted to their workers in pension and other obligations that they have little money for anything else. He gave some examples: California state police often retire at age 50 with 90 percent of their salary. Corrections officers in that state earn $70,000 in base salary. New York City, the home office of featherbedding, supports 10,000 cops who retired before the age of 50.
These figures account for why the Obama White House has exhibited its usual robust indecisiveness toward the Wisconsin demonstrators. It needs labor's political muscle, but it must also recognize that it cannot appear on the wrong side of greed. It was one thing when unions went after giant corporations run by guys who played golf at restricted clubs. But when it comes to government workers, we are the boss and we pay the bill. To quote what Sam Spade told the woman he loved in the "The Maltese Falcon," "I won't play the sap for you." When it comes to public-sector unions, my sentiments exactly.
This is one of many reasons why I believe all governments are lousy fiscal managers, and they have no idea about fiduciary responsibility
Most of the same people who approved these atrocious pay and retirements are still working in our government; they claim they're trying to cut cost, but the boat already left the pier.
Food and gasoline prices are on the uptick, and that's going to stay that way for a very long time.
Exactly....The people have already turned against government unions, not only do we want government smaller, IE a lot of these folks not on the property at all, but they are greedy sons of bitches as well...It is the same dynamic that killed manufacturing unions, years upon years of bloat and greed, which the public rightly decided was not in our best interests.
The only state wide polling that I have found is one from a "we ask America" which is not a reputable or even largely known firm.
but which includes this interesting line
Quote:Earlier polling showed a large margin of support for Gov. Walker’s initiative, but the national reaction since then has been truly remarkable.
It would not surprise me if there are national polls that indicate that America is in favor of busting the municipal unions and thus running government cheaper, but I have not seen them.
WASHINGTON - New polling conducted for the AFL-CIO and shared with The Huffington Post shows Wisconsin voters siding with the state workers, unions and protestors by large majorities and expressing net disapproval of Republican Governor Scott Walker
The Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research conducted two surveys among likely voters in Wisconsin this past week, one fielded between Wednesday and Sunday last week (604 live interviews, margin of error +/- 4%) and the second fielded Saturday and Sunday (402 live interviews, margin of error +/- 5%).
Both surveys began with questions about Walker's performance as governor and more general popularity ratings of Walker, Senate Democrats and other players on both sides of the controversy. The results of the two surveys on these questions were within sampling error of each other: Walker's approval rating is now net negative, with the disapproval rating reaching or slightly exceeding 50%. Meanwhile, the favorable ratings of "Democrats in the State Legislature" are slightly better and net positive (47% favorable, 38% unfavorable on the Saturday-Sunday sample).
The second survey proceeded next to questions focused more directly on the ongoing controversy. Respondents heard a list of people and groups involved in the controversy and were asked, for each one, if they agreed "with the positions they are taking in the current situation in the state capitol." The results presented in the following chart prepared by the pollsters show large majorities agreeing with "public employees" (67%), "protestors at the state capitol" (62%) and "unions" (59%) but far fewer agreeing with "Republicans in the Legislature" (48%) or Scott Walker (43% agree and 53% disagree).
The first survey also included a "message testing" question that asked respondents to react to the following description of Walker's proposal:
As you may know, Governor Scott Walker recently announced a plan to limit most public employees' ability to negotiate their wages and benefits. The plan cuts pension and health care benefits for current public workers, and restricts new wage increases unless approved by a voter referendum. Contracts would be limited to one year, with wages frozen until a new contract is settled. In addition, Walker's plan also changes rules to require collective bargaining units to take annual votes to maintain certification as a union, stops employers from collecting union dues, and allows members of collective bargaining units to avoid paying dues. Law enforcement, fire employees and state troopers and inspectors would be exempt from the changes.
After hearing that description, 42% said they favor Walker's plan and 52% oppose it (24% say the favor it strongly, and 41% say they oppose it strongly).
Again, both surveys were sponsored by the AFL-CIO. As with any survey with partisan sponsorship, skepticism is in order. Data may have been released selectively, with less favorable results withheld. In the context of pre-election polling, partisan polls tend to skew in favor their sponsor by an average 3 percentage points and against their opponent by roughly the same amount.
In this case, however, the ratings of Walker and his budget and collective bargaining proposal are roughly comparable to an automated survey conducted in Wisconsin last week by WeAskAmerica, a for-profit subsidiary of Illinois Manufacturer's Association (an organization that has endorsed Republican candidates for state office in Illinois).
Documents shared with The Huffington Post also show that the AFL-CIO surveys report a party identification breakdown of 47-46% Democrat or lean Democrat, 40% Republican or lean Republican. This week, Gallup reported party identification results for all 50 states based on all interviews conducted during 2010 and found a leaned party ID breakdown for adults in Wisconsin of 43.1% Democrat, 40.5% Republican.
Quote:Credibility is very difficult to win back after is has been squandered. The Gov of the state of Wisconsin seems to be earning himself some credibility however. And according the Rassumsen today the Gov is on the winning side...Most of the same people who approved these atrocious pay and retirements are still working in our government; they claim they're trying to cut cost, but the boat already left the pier.
EDIT: I noticed one of the teacher unions today was saying that it was probably time for the teachers to go back to work....seems like a good call. Depriving little kids of their education and carrying around pictures of the gov claiming that he is a Hitler are not a great ways to bring financially stressed taxpayers who now almost certainly realize that they have been lied to to your side. Acting like a greedy spoiled brat tends to not work as a way to win your point.
I also notice where one pro union dude is amazed that the Gov has not capitulated yet...why should he considering that he has to most support and his opposition cant seem to shoot straight???
February 21, 2011, 5:36 pm
Rasmussen Poll on Wisconsin Dispute May Be Biased
By NATE SILVER
We’ve noted before that the automated polling firm Rasmussen Reports has had problems with bias in a statistical sense: in the election last fall, its polls overestimated the standing of Republican candidates by roughly 4 percentage points on average.
A somewhat different issue arises today in a poll the firm conducted on the dispute in Wisconsin between Gov. Scott Walker and some of the state’s public-employee unions.
The poll, which included people that Rasmussen deemed to be “likely voters” from across the country, found that 48 percent of respondents agreed more with Mr. Walker in the dispute, while 38 percent agreed more with “the union for teachers and other state employees.”
That question, though, was the fourth one Rasmussen asked in the survey — and the questions that came before it may have biased the responses.
According to the firm’s statement of question wording, these were the first four questions Rasmussen asked in the poll:
1: How closely have you followed news reports about the Wisconsin governor’s effort to limit collective bargaining rights for most state employees?
2: Does the average public employee in your state earn more than the average private sector worker in your state, less than the average private sector worker in your state, or do they earn about the same amount?
3: Should teachers, firemen and policemen be allowed to go on strike?
4: In the dispute between the governor and the union workers, do you agree more with the governor or the union for teachers and other state employees?
There is nothing wrong with the first question, which simply asks people whether they have been following events in Madison. But the second and third questions are arguably problematic.
The issue is clearest with the third question, which asked respondents whether “teachers, firemen and policemen” should be allowed to go on strike. By invoking the prospect of such strikes, which are illegal in many places (especially for the uniformed services) and which many people quite naturally object to, the poll could potentially engender a less sympathetic reaction toward the protesters in Wisconsin. It is widely recognized in the scholarship on the subject, and I have noted before, that earlier questions in a survey can bias the response to later ones by framing an issue in a particular way and by casting one side of the argument in a less favorable light.
The Rasmussen example is more blatant than most. While many teachers have been among the protesters at the State Capitol in Madison, obliging the city to close its schools for days, there have been no reports of reductions in police or fire services, and in fact, uniformed services are specifically exempted from the proposals that the teachers and other public-sector employees are protesting. So bringing in the uniformed services essentially makes No. 3 a talking point posed as a question.
As an analogy, imagine a survey that asked respondents whether they believed the Democrats’ health care overhaul included “death panels” before asking them whether they approved or disapproved of the bill over all.
The second question in the Rasmussen poll found that 36 percent of respondents believe that public-sector employees earn more than private-sector workers in their state, while 21 percent thought public sector workers earned less, and 20 percent thought they earned about the same amount.
In fact, according to an analysis by USA Today, state employees earn about 5 percent less than comparable employees in the private sector, on average, although federal employees receive significantly (20 percent) more.
A poll is not a pop quiz, and the respondents in the survey are not to blame for giving the “wrong” response. Also, the question posed by Rasmussen, which did not consider the type of work performed and asked simply about average salaries in the respondent’s home state, was not exactly the same as the one studied by USA Today, which covered the whole country and took account of the the type of work done. Still, to the extent that this misperception about pay levels is widely held and casts public employees in a less favorable light, a survey question that reminds respondents of it could bias responses to later questions.
Until we have another survey that designs its questions more carefully, there is no good way to predict how the responses to this one might have turned out differently.
Another automated poll by the survey firm We Ask America, which is a subsidiary of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and uses methodology similar to that of Rasmussen Reports, found that a majority of respondents disapprove of Mr. Walker’s budget plan — but it was a survey of Wisconsin residents, not the entire country, as Rasmussen’s was.
Because of the problems with question design, my advice would be simply to disregard the Rasmussen Reports poll, and to view their work with extreme skepticism going forward.