John Fund writes in The National Review Online, If Walker Wins, What Are the Lessons? 6/4/12
A Walker victory will expose for all to see the dirty little secret of the power of public-sector unions in America: It depends on having the government collect union dues from every employee’s paycheck, and turning the dues over to the unions without the employee’s consent. No other private entity in America — no charity, no association, no company — can do that.
Walker’s reforms ended that practice. Workers can now decide if they want to pay union dues. Clearly, the answer is no in many cases.
The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees was founded in Madison in 1936, making the state the launching pad for all public-sector-union organizing in the country. But now AFSCME’s Local 24 in Madison, which represented 22,300 Wisconsin state workers last year, has seen its membership shrink by two-thirds, to 7,100. Statewide, AFSCME’s membership has dropped by more than half. Similarly, the American Federation of Teachers has lost 6,000 of its 17,000 members. Small wonder. Teachers’-union dues in Wisconsin range from a hefty $700 a year up to more than $1,000.
Labor historian Fred Siegel says Walker’s changes could provide a model for reshaping American politics. “Ending dues deductions breaks the political cycle in which government collects dues and gives them to the unions, who then use the dues to back their favorite candidates and also lobby for bigger government and more pay and benefits,” he told me.
This speaks volumes. Without using the government to FORCE people to join the union, many workers will not. This recall attempt may be the most important election this year outside of the presidency. It is critical that the cycle of public workers forcing the government to feed them money that they then feed back to the government, against the wishes of many union members is stopped cold: it is an atrocious abuse of the political system. Public workers should not be allowed to unionize… period. Smart companies have become increasingly non union; smart government should follow the same path.