(H/T: @presjpolk) Background: back during the largely unlamented Granholm administration, Michigan allowed SEIU to 'organize' caregivers who were only taking care of adult disabled friends and family members. And by 'organize caregivers' I mean, of course, 'raid government disability checks for phony union dues.' It was a great scam, frankly: the money got deducted right from the Medicare or Medicaid check, the 'members' affected never got hit up for money directly, and the amounts per paycheck were small enough (this article gives $30/month as one example: it may be, in fact, the high-end) that people didn't squawk too loudly. Smart parasites know not to hurt the host too badly.
But then 2011 Rick Snyder became governor, and he promptly started deworming Michigan. The technique was and is simple (Scott Walker used the same trick in Wisconsin): Snyder simply stopped making the process mandatory, and then waited to see what happened. And what happened?
[Patrick] Wright's organization [the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation] estimates that the SEIU reaped nearly $35 million from Michigan’s elderly and disabled from 2006 to last year. Of some 59,000 residents classified as home-based caregivers, about 80 percent stopped paying when they learned they did not have to.
It would seem that people did notice, but simply tolerated it as yet another thing that the state government got its greedy little corrupt mitts into. But give them a chance to reverse the situation, and they jumped at it. We see this a lot, frankly: over in Wisconsin public sector union membership went into freefall just as soon as people could vote with their feet. And it's not going to get any better for Big Labor, either: there's a reason why Scott Walker's likely opponent this year is running away from reversing Walker's labor union reforms, and it's not just because Mary Burke is an elitist limousine liberal with no real grasp of what life is like for ordinary Americans...
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: By the way: I have nothing against labor unions as a concept. In fact, I think that the ability of private sector workers to organize and collectively bargain is a handy way to serve as a check on businesses getting too grabby (yeah, I know, horrible RiNO, me). But there's no legitimate reason to have public sector unions. There was no need for them: for the longest time the rule there was low pay, but you never get fired. A lot of Big Labor's problems come from the fact that AFSCME and SEIU got the first part changed, and left the second alone.