Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mob rule or "people's" rights

Gov. Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Senate have unleashed the whirlwind by ramming through a bill to limit the rights of union workers.  It is hard to say what will get blown down.

Are the protesters storming the state capitol an attempt to govern by mobs?  Or are they legitimate expressions of grievances?  How many are people who will be directly impacted by this legislation?  How many are people that just rally to a cause they are sympathetic to?

The police have given up trying to keep people out of the Capitol, but there are two tactics that they might try to limit the number.

First, of course, is safety.  What is the occupancy limit that the fire marshall has set for the Capitol?  The limit established of course before Walker was elected governor.

Second, did all the protesters vote?  Any protesters who didn't vote in the last election have only themselves to blame.  It would be a logistical nightmare to check if each and every protester voted, but one could ask all those who didn't vote to leave.  It would be interesting to see how many, if any, walk sheepishly out.

I think Wisconsin is going to see a drastic drop in the number and quality of government workers.  Some will take earlier retirement than they had planned.  Some will find other lines of work, difficult as it is currently.  Others may just depend on spouse income.

I wonder if some teachers will band together to form tutoring companies.  For a fee, they would tutor individual or small groups of students outside of classrooms.  Of course, this will limit access to learning to many, but the "short-term" pain may serve as a wake-up call to the importance of properly funding public education.