“God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.” – Daniel Webster
There are a couple of heart-warming stories out there today. Well, they’re heart warming for those of us who are frustrated with the gradual yet continual demise of freedom in this country; the gradual path toward statism; what Hayek might have called “the road to serfdom”. For those people, there is hope in these stories, because they are stories about how people really are willing to find solutions to problems (and even propose and adopt drastic measures to achieve those solutions).
The first comes from Wisconsin where we continue to applaud Governor Scott Walker and the legislature for standing up against union thuggery and eliminating collective bargaining. (Sorry to my union friends, but if you want to have the right to bargain collectively against “we the people” for a larger share of our tax dollars, then we reserve the right to kick you to the curb and hire new workers. Or, we’ll just pass laws indicating we refuse collective bargaining … take it, or leave it.)
It turns out that ending collective bargaining has rescued one Wisconsin school district from financial ruin. As the story notes, the change in the laws turned what would have been a $400,000 budget deficit into a $1.5 million surplus! How? Several ways. For one thing, the teachers now have to pay a higher portion of their medical and retirement costs. (Less than private sector norms, but more than it used to be.) That’s a good start. Perhaps even bigger though (in the long run) was the ability to shop around for insurance coverage. Apparently, in the prior collective bargaining agreement, the school districts had to purchase very expensive medical coverage … wait for it … from the unions themselves! Once collective bargaining went away, the school district was free to shop around for coverage, and lo-and-behold they found somebody cheaper.
That’s right ladies and gentlemen, this is the horror that the progressives, Democrats, and union leaders have warned about. If we eliminate collective bargaining, schools will have millions of financial savings giving them more flexibility to provide education for the children. HOW DARE YOU SCOTT WALKER!!!
The next story is a bit more bizarre. Apparently 13 counties in California are considering (how seriously is unclear) the prospect of seceding from the state, perhaps to form their own state. Their gripe? According to the story: “Our taxes are too high, our schools don’t educate our children well enough, unions and other special interests have more clout in the Legislature than the general public.”
Welcome to America. Our taxes are too high – our spending is too high, our education system is struggling to achieve its desired results (not because the teachers aren’t good enough – oh, no, they’re quite capable – but rather because the system doesn’t allow or promote success), our children are having their future mortgaged away, and special interests enjoy more clout in the Legislature than the general public.
I don’t know if this movement is in any-way-shape-or-form serious, but it is encouraging to see the people stand up and say “we are willing to go to any lengths to preserve freedom and a future for our children.” We here at Freedom at Bethsaida wish you guys well.