Is the Madison, Wis., standoff the beginning of the end of public employee unions? Should it be? The remarkable confrontation between the new Republican governor and state employees that began earlier this month and spread to other states has raised a major public policy debate. The notion of government workers forming unions and bargaining collectively (see the U.S. News debate on whether public workers should have collective bargaining rights) was controversial in the early days of the labor movement. Even Franklin Roosevelt and other strong unionists opposed the idea. But it gradually came to be accepted. Now, in this cash-strapped era, some think the early concerns have been borne out with unions essentially spending the public's money to lobby for more public money. Where do you stand? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
- See photos of the Wisconsin protests.
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