So while I object to government employment in principle, I’m uneasy about the standard libertarian framing of the issue with rank-and-file government workers as the villains and Walker as the good guy. If it’s a mistake to defend government workers as such, the people who rally behind Wisconsin state employees at least do so on sound instincts.
They perceive, rightly, that Walker wants to break public sector unions not out of any principled attachment to free markets, but because they’re unions. Unions, such as they are, one of the few remaining vestiges of a middle class way of life, in an age of stagnant real wages and skyrocketing CEO wages and corporate profits. Walker, like other establishment Republicans, serves the interests of an unholy alliance between big government and big business. If you want to know which master’s voice he obeys, just pay attention to who he takes calls from.
Our goal is to replace the present system with a different way of doing things — not to vilify those caught up in it.