Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia on How Scott Walker is No More of a Radical Union-Buster than FDR

Scott Walker’s opponents trying to oust him in the June 5 recall election are portraying him as a wild-eyed, Koch-brothers-controlled, right-wing ideologue hell-bent on destroying unions. But the reality, notes Reason Foundation Shikha Dalmia in her column at The Daily today, is that Walker is just about as radical as Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Walker’s attempts to limit the collective bargaining “rights” of public sector employees might be driving the Badger State’s unions bonkers. But the fact of the matter is that FDR opposed government unions even more vehemently. FDR once declared: “The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.” And with good reason. Writes Dalmia:

There is something obscene about collective bargaining rights for government employees whose appetites are unrestrained by market discipline. When private-sector employees demand more in compensation than they generate in value, their companies go out of business. But when government employees do the same, they burden citizens with higher taxes and debt, which is one reason why Wisconsin — like nearly every other state — is saddled with unsustainable state worker-related legacy and other costs. This is why no president’s administration — Democratic or Republican — has ever advocated such rights for federal workers.

Go here to read the whole thing.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Trespassers W||

    "Even FDR said" is the "even Hayek said" of the right.

  • Suki||

    How about even FDR agreed with Stalin, Mao, and Fidel on how to handle public unions?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Suki FTW.

  • ChrisO||

    If Salma Hayek says it, I'll believe it.

  • R C Dean||

    What are the current polls on Walker?

    I'd love to see him give a serious flesh wound to organized labor by beating them. Again. And again and again and again.

  • Phil_EngAmer||

    I know this article is somewhat tongue in cheek, but obviously there's a lot of truth to the notion that collective bargaining can be an extremely flawed process. Given the financial weight that unions hold when it comes to influencing policy (, it's hardly that surprising when you see compensation in the public sector consistently eclipse that found in the private sector.

  • TingoZing||

    Dude are you kidding me? Thats like the craziest thing ever.

  • Bantugrafis.Com||

    Is it true?

  • han||

    A very good article.


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.