By Steven Greenhut
During recent travels to Madison and Milwaukee for some research about reform-minded Gov. Scott Walker’s survival of a union-backed recall, I found little residual anger among the friendly folks there, despite seemingly endless pitched political battles that divided families and led to angry water-cooler discussions. Perhaps the central issue—Walker’s Act 10 plan that rolled back collective-bargaining excesses—has been resolved, or perhaps Wisconsinites simply got tired of two historic recall elections, legislators who bolted the state to avoid voting on legislation, endless national media attention, and union protesters swarming the Capitol and screaming into their bullhorns.
Midwestern culture values community and “nice,” and the ongoing events in Wisconsin strained the social fabric. Californian residents, typically oblivious to events east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, owe a debt of gratitude to the folks in Packer country. Had Wisconsin voters replaced their governor and other Republican officials, the message would have been heard nationwide: Pension reform, and efforts to rein in the public-sector union power at the root of the problem, would be dead for years. To Read More....
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