Friday, February 18, 2011

More on Wisconsin: FDR on Public Sector Unions

Professor Bainbidge has a GREAT column today called "The Case Against Public Sector Unions." It includes quotations from an article by Political Science Professor Daniel DiSalvo of CCNY.

"Even President Franklin Roosevelt, a friend of private-sector unionism, drew a line when it came to government workers: "Meticulous attention," the president insisted in 1937, "should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government....The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service." The reason? F.D.R. believed that "[a] strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable."

Wow. FDR is describing exactly what is happening in Wisconsin. Emphasis added. Professor DiSalvo also quotes a New York state Supreme Court judge, writing in 1943:

"To tolerate or recognize any combination of civil service employees of the government as a labor organization or union is not only incompatible with the spirit of democracy, but inconsistent with every principle upon which our government is founded. Nothing is more dangerous to public welfare than to admit that hired servants of the State can dictate to the government the hours, the wages and conditions under which they will carry on essential services vital to the welfare, safety, and security of the citizen. To admit as true that government employees have power to halt or check the functions of government unless their demands are satisfied, is to transfer to them all legislative, executive and judicial power. Nothing would be more ridiculous."

Wow again.

h/t Instapundit

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