I'm having a FB battle with my older brother, he is a dyed in the wool unionist, he is a teacher, a very talented one too, has won all kinds of awards, but boy is he a lefty and a unionist.
One point that he is adamant on is money and the Wisconsin vote here is a taste of what he is saying....
Here are some truths. Walker was elected with 52% of the popular vote the first time round and this time he got 53%. During recall his funding totaled 30 million dollars 70% from out of state...twice the spending of the first time.
His opponent raised only 3.9 million... Approximately 40% from outside groups...
Walker had over 7 times the funding most coming from millionaires, billionaires and their corporations... So these BIg bad unions had nearly 2 million dollars... Walkers wealthy had 21 million from out of state alone, one donor came forward with 550k
I've been looking for a good source a quotable source for the funding, but I've not seen a good one yet, I heard on Rush that some spin is the fact that there were three Democrat candidates in the run off, and if you look at the contributions given to each party, the numbers are more even, anyone have a source for that?
The other points he is trying to make are laughable, he says the the rich don't pay any taxes, that Union bosses seldom make more than the average rank and file member etc etc, I don't think I can make much headway on those arguments, we will just have to agree to disagree, as he seems to want the right to his own facts, but the one question on funding, well that is the kind of number that I hope I can just show a real source for, anyone?
Answer by Tom Lindholtz
You've heard the old saying about three kinds of liars: liars, damned liars, and statisticians. Statistics are subject to varying interpretations; there is always more than one way to evaluate the data. Here is an interesting web site to peruse. It provides several things to reflect on.
First, Walker drew about 7.75 times as much money as Barrett. His average donation was 1.4 times as large as Barrett's.
Barrett got almost 75% of his donations from in-state, while Walker got only about 40% of his donations from in-state. However, this means that the citizens of WI gave Barrett about $2.9M, but the citizens of WI gave Walker about $12.2M. So, clearly, the in-state contributions went to Walker, just as their votes did. The outside money certainly didn't hurt though.
Barrett got 87% of his donations from individuals, but Walker got 91% from individuals. PACs, the supposedly evil political groups, were 11% of Barrett's donors, but only 5% of Walker's donors.
Another interesting aspect of the PAC donations, especially those from teachers' unions is that, arguably, this is money taken under duress and given to a candidate not necessarily of the employee's choosing. The radical drop in union membership demonstrates that the union dues were extorted against the will of many of the members who opted out at their first chance.
The Republican Party stood behind Walker to the tune of $786K, but the Democrat Party was only willing to cough up just under $83K.
One of the most interesting aspects of the race is the fact that WI is considered a bellwether by many conservatives concerned about runaway government spending, and the large fraction that is public employees wages and benefits. That explains why Walker got donations from all across the country. But this bellwether effect is also seen in the timeline of donations. Walker began getting donations almost a year and a half ago. Barrett's donations mostly came in March and April.
Those are just a few of the quick facts I gleaned from the site. With some time and further searching you may uncover more.
For one of his other points:
IRS tax data from 2001 (it's all I have handy)
Total Top 1% Top 5% Top 10% Top 25% Top 50% Bottom 50%
Total Income Tax ($M)
$887,882 $300,898 $472,823 $576,163 $736,053 $852,642 $35,240
Average tax rate
14.23 27.50 23.68 21.41 18.08 15.85 4.09
Adjusted gross income share (%)
100.00 17.53 31.99 43.11 65.23 86.19 13.81
Total income tax share (%)
100.00 33.89 53.25 64.89 82.90 96.03 3.97
"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep." – Saul Bellow
"Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs by facts" – Henry Rosovsky
Answer by Annefy
I too have some relatives like the one you describe, Stu. I think I finally got through to my mother with the following argument: The money to fund teachers' retirements comes from taxpayers. So that means your beloved son-in-law (my husband) will have to work until he's 75 so that his sister, and her husband, (teachers both) could and did retire, at full pay, at the age of 61. Someone has to kick in more for public workers. Why should it be anyone other than public workers?
Answer by ThePullmanns
It seems your original question was well-answered, but I wanted to give you another resource that tells TONS about unions and will give you lots of evidence union bosses make piles more than rank and file members. Mike Antonucci tracks union activities closely and fairly. His blog is invaluable: http://www.eiaonline.com/intercepts/.
Another excellent resource is the book Special Interest by Hoover Institution fellow Terry Moe. It's huge, but it demonstrates empirically that teachers unions hurt children.