On Morning Joe today, Sam Stein, Willie Geist and Michael Steele, among others, discussed the meaning of the Wisconsin victory for Walker, the future of unions and Bill Clinton's ideas regarding the Bush tax cuts.
The conventional wisdom is that government has to raise revenues, but raising taxes across the board will harm the fragile recovery, so only the richest should be taxed. Of course, taxing the rich is more symbolic than practical, because it's unlikely to raise the needed revenues. Bill Clinton has been pressured by the Obama administration to support soaking the rich, and Clinton would do this if it was a pragmatic solution, but Clinton knows it's not a solution. It's a shame Clinton doesn't just say what's on his mind and leave it at that -- this bind he's in is making him look foolish.
The topic of unions brought up contrarian positions from liberal guests -- unions are alive and well, despite their set-back, the Left says. Some on the Left are depressed at the moment, but they don't believe unions are dead. The problem is that the Left doesn't see the problem. The Democratic Party union supporters don't understand the problem, because just as the political class doesn't understand the business world, they don't understand the world of workers. The world of workers has changed.
Unions have to innovate and find a voice and mission that are consistent with the technological changes in a brain-work job market. The relationships between management and workers have changed for the most part, therefore unions must offer something that fits into the new relationships. The old, big industry Boss/Worker relationship is dead. And the public unions that exist to confiscate tax payer dollars and create benefits at the expense of those in the private sector who get no such benefits for free are definitely out of touch with the public at large.
Unions have to transform and become part of the new market that's emerging from under the thumb of the State. This new market will remove the State thumb, and unions can be a part of the change and transformation, or they can stand on the sidelines as obstructionists and reactionaries carrying signs and making threats.