My email to Wisconsin on government union busting:
One stat tracks the disappearance of America's -- collectively bargaining -- middle class:
US median wage (the average person's) wage, 1968: $12.50/hr
US median wage (the average person's) wage, 2008: $15.00/hr
During the same span average income doubled from $14,000/hr to $28,000/yr!
The federal minimum wage is now $3/hr below what it was in 1968:
Federal minimum wage 1968: ($1.60 nominally) $10.15/hr
Federal Minimum wage, 2001: $7.25/hr
Doubling the federal minimum wage might add only 3% to the cost of living -- that is how little money goes to the bottom.
Doubling the federal minimum wage (to today's median wage) would add how much to the price of housing, health care, transportation, clothing, electronics? A Big Mac could go up 33% (fast food being by far the biggest labor user) -- but half the country would get a raise!
I worked out 2% inflation from $7.25 to $$12.50 here: http://ontodayspagelinks.blogspot.com/2008/08/3-cost-of-gdp-output-and-inflation.html
Today America is being fought over by two elites. The liberal elite wants to tear up the social fabric (TSA invasiveness) while the conservative elite wants to tear up the economy (tax cuts for the rich-to-deregulated banks-to-borrowers who can't pay back). When I was a kid (67 years old now) the liberals healed the social fabric while the conservatives guarded the economy.
When I was a kid the average person still counted because unions gave us economic and political leverage: as much organization as any special interest and the majority of votes.
This is not the time for Wisconsin to disband the last bastion of American labor, government unions.