I’m an anarchist, and as a general rule, I am all in favor of protests. The more, the better. (I don’t even mind the occasional riot, having started one once.) If those protests can actually accomplish something (like bring a government down), then so much the better.
So, on one hand, I am all in favor of what’s going on in Wisconsin — strikes and protests and a goodly portion of the state assembly absconding to parts unknown to prevent a vote is not a bad thing. I don’t like chaos per se, but so long as it keeps government from governing, well, let’s have more of it, please.
On the other hand, I can’t really say I’m all that sympathetic to the demands of this group of protesters. I believe unions are important and necessary, but I have serious problems with the very idea of public employee unions. There is something that doesn’t feel right about people paid by the taxpayers lobbying tax-funded government to tax even more to provide more government. Especially when it comes to bargaining for wages and benefits — it feels too much like a small group of people holding guns to the heads of all taxpayers. “Gimme more or else!“
I have special problems with police officer and prison guard unions, who have been very successful in the last three decades at lobbying government for more government. Police officers and prison guards should definitely not be allowed to unionize. But teachers have been good at this too. I like most of the teachers I’ve known, but I have a very special spot of white-hot hate in my heart for the system of incarceration and abuse we rather strangely call “public schools.” Defund it all. Yesterday if possible.
So, I guess I’m not really rooting for anyone in Wisconsin. I suspect the governor will eventually win — even if that means the state police hauling assembly members to Madison in irons (now there’s a vision with some appeal!).
UPDATE: Having learned that police officers, firefighters and prison guards are not included in the Wisconsin governor’s proposal, my feelings are much less mixed. Go protesters!