While attention focuses on the battle in Wisconsin between a Republican Governor and public employee unions who overwhelmingly support Democrats, it is in California where the future role of public sector unions in politics is being most severely tested. Because in California, Democrats exercise nearly absolute control over the state’s political agenda, and as a result, Democrats are forced to confront the unsustainable and counterproductive public sector union agenda all by themselves.
An interesting article in the March 2011 issue of Reason Magazine by Tim Cavanaugh, entitled “Farewell, My Lovely – How public pensions killed progressive California,” opens with a statement that clearly expresses the political reality in California today, “In November, bucking the national trend, Democrats in California won not just the governorship but 51 Assembly seats to Republicans’ 29, 24 state Senate seats to Republicans’ 14, and every statewide office. With the passage of a referendum lowering the number of legislative votes required to approve a state budget (from a two-thirds majority to a simple majority), California is that rarest of land masses for the 2011 Democratic Party: conquered territory.”
Cavanaugh goes on to describe the slow realization by California’s Democratic lawmakers that their visions for California’s future “are being derailed by a labor movement nobody can harness.” Referring to California’s unsustainable pension benefits package granted unionized state and local government employees, Cavanaugh observes “…the most aggressive lobbying for pension reform is coming not from fiscal […] Read More