Contrast the appeal to culture on the union question with Jesse Register's more candid comments to a TV reporter last week, comments that he thought were not on-air and which he said he would not publicly express. Register himself insinuates the same language of culture war against unions on behalf of municipal government:
Who would not be repulsed by misanthropes intent on killing growth or in believing they are entitled to what many people feel lucky to have? Under such logic, this is not just a simple matter of balance sheets and cash flow. It has been conflated with a primordial struggle between deeply held value frameworks in the expressed logic.
However, appeals to culture ignore more straightforward explanations. Unions can never effectively defend the rights of laborers unless they organize people to defend rights. They don't seek to kill growth, but insure that workers enjoy a fair share of the wealth they generate. If critics want to reduce questions of fairness to claims of entitlement, I acknowledge their right to be wrong, because they are wrong.
But, then again, those who wage culture wars should be ready for some blowback. If that is entitlement, then it is just as much entitlement when executives lay claim to what they believe is their share of the wealth. Register's base pay alone is in the hundreds of thousands. Is that an entitlement? If not, then how can that of a cafeteria worker--making a minuscule fraction of his salary and not enjoying raises at the same clip he has--be entitlement? So, maybe Director Register is the savvier pol in stifling publicly what he really thinks about his workers.
In her speech Governor Haley also mentioned Tennessee as one of her state's primary competitors for economic development. She was emphatic about maintaining a competitive advantage by any means necessary. When it comes to enmity toward hard working people banding together to protect themselves from being taken advantage of, the competitors must have to resemble each other to compete. The main difference between South Carolina's governor and Nashville's schools director is that the former is simply willing to be more transparent in her hostility toward unions.