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Does Scott Walker Know That Ronald Reagan Supported Unions and Collective Bargaining?

Reagan: "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." Read what else the Wisconsin guv's idol had to say.

It's no surprise that Wisconsin's new Republican Governor, Scott Walker regularly compares himself to one of the deities of his political party, America's 40th President, Ronald Reagan. But, Walker obviously doesn't know Reagan that well, because his plans to end collective bargaining for most of Wisconsin's public employees, including teachers, is in direct opposition to what Reagan believed.

Walker believes that his efforts to end public employee's right to collective bargaining are akin to Reagan's August 1981 firing of thousands of air traffic controllers who illegally decided to strike. And while it's true that Reagan came down hard on the air traffic controllers, that doesn't mean he believed in completely stripping away worker's rights.

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Poll: Americans Favor Collective Bargaining Rights for Unions

Most Americans don't agree with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Why won't he compromise?


The 2011 Wisconsin budget protests are heading into their third week and protesters continue to swarm the State Capitol in Madison in support of public employees' right to collective bargaining. Throughout the standoff with Governor Scott Walker, public employee unions, especially teachers unions, have been demonized as greedy and corrupt. So, where does the general public stand on Walker's demand that the unions pay more for health care and retirement, freeze salaries, and give up their collective bargaining rights?

According to a just-released NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, when it comes to states being able to ask their teachers, firefighters, garbage collectors and police to pay more for their retirement, 68 percent say it's acceptable. When it comes to paying more for health care, 63 percent say public employees should do so, and when it comes to the state being able to freeze salaries for a year, 58 percent agree.

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Psst, Scott Walker: Unionized Teachers Might Boost SAT Scores

Before the Wisconsin governor wipes out teacher's collective bargaining rights, he might want to look at student test score data.


With the standoff between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the state's unions now approaching its second week, the rhetoric both for and against collective bargaining for teachers is flying fast and furious. One piece of data floating around the web says that students from states where teachers don't have collective bargaining have lower SAT and ACT scores.

Michael Moore, a professor at Georgia Southern University, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that only five states don't have collective bargaining because they prohibit it by law.

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