This is a big item in the news lately and a lot of tempers are flaring over it. I've never been around unions and they aren't common in South Dakota. One of the guys at work used to be in one and hated it. According to him everything is seniority based and merit has zero impact. A person hired one day before him could have first shot at all the best jobs even if they were totally incompetent.
Historically, I think unions had an important role to play, but they seem to have outlived their usefulness.
As to the Wisconsin mess, these are my opinions (it's my blog so I can talk about what I want). :) First, the teachers are under contract and should get their butts back to school and teach. Second, the democrats hiding to stop the vote should be ashamed of themselves. Wouldn't they howl if it was the other way around and the Republicans were pulling this stunt. They lost control at election time and need to deal with the consequences...their current actions are undermining the entire process. Third, it's a RECESSION. There are going to be a lot more painful budget cuts coming but this is the reality. They aren't going to get any sympathy from me because they are suddenly expected to contribute to their own health insurance and retirement funds...like everyone else already does!
I don't think people are aware of just how bad the economy is and how drastic cuts will yet have to be made everywhere. We all wish the cuts wouldn't affect us personally, but that's not realistic. Be grateful for the jobs we still have and be frugal. It's the best way we can lighten the troubles to come.