The Agenda

Josh Barro on Walker’s Not-So-Outlandish Reforms


Josh Barro offers a useful corrective to the Wisconsin conversation:

The model from which Walker proposes to break, much to the horror and outrage of public worker unions and their backers, is a model only actually followed by 25 other states. And indeed, by retaining limited bargaining rights for most workers (and fuller rights for a few classes, including police and firefighters) Walker is going less far in restricting public-sector collective bargaining than a substantial number of states already do.

Walker’s reforms will have a significant, positive impact on the ability of Wisconsin and its localities to manage employee compensation costs, and a victory in Wisconsin may inspire reforms in a number of other states. But the big picture is that America already has a patchwork of public sector bargaining laws that vary widely from state to state, and that will still be true in two years, regardless of what happens in Wisconsin.

PSI continues to provide great coverage. I’d also recommend Josh’s take on Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’s latest decision.


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