In Wisconsin, labor's last gasp

At lunchtime, the union members headed outside and circled the capitol, some holding signs. None were heard chanting. Police estimates put the crowd at 2,000, which seemed a bit on the heavy side.

It was a somnolent affair, nowhere near resembling the carnival-like atmosphere of four years ago. Instead, bricklayers, electricians, and other laborers quietly gritted their teeth and dutifully marched in circles before heading home. (One individual was spotted wearing a giant papier-mâché Scott Walker head; it was clear he had spent a great deal of time getting Walker’s now-famous bald spot just right.)

One lobbyist noted that five years ago, a union protest of this size would have been a big deal: “Legislators would have really sat up and taken notice if a couple hundred union guys were outside their door, but after 2011, now it’s pretty much a non-event.”

Arguably, right-to-work is a far more drastic measure than limiting public-union power. Eliminating government unions is a complete no-brainer; there’s almost no reasonable argument for their existence. When public-sector unions negotiate against “management,” they are negotiating against taxpayers.