How Public Sector Unions Became the Tail that Wags the Dog by Bill Zeiser.
Much has been made lately of public sector unions, from the recent bankruptcies of several California towns unable make payroll, to the failed, union-led bid to recall Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker. Most people, depending on their politics, cast this as either a fiscal issue—union pay and benefits are costly, and we are in an economic downturn—or as worker’s rights issue—government workers should be allowed to organize like other employees, and to deny them that right is un-American.
Few on either truly understand the unique bargaining chips that government unions hold when they negotiate their contracts. The system affords them advantages that would be the envy of any private-sector employee. But more than this, the unions are actually able to subvert the delicate balance between competing interests that founding father James Madison argued was necessary for the public good.