Friday, April 08, 2011

Industrial Relations: What would Reagan do? Reagan's son, contrasts his father's action against current state government controversies in Wisconsin


Confronted with an illegal strike by the air traffic controllers union in 1981, then President Ronald Reagan fired more than 11,000 controllers when they refused to return to work, changing government labor history forever. In the second episode of a new web series, "What Would Reagan Do?" President Reagan's son, Michael, contrasts his father's action against current state government controversies in Wisconsin, Ohio and other states. “What Would Reagan Do?” can be viewed at the website,

"What Would Reagan Do? Public Unions," includes original video of President Reagan's public declaration that the walkout was illegal and that if government employees did not return to work within 48 hours, their jobs would be terminated. When the strikers remained off the job, he followed through on his threat. This video is contrasted with President Obama's reaction to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's legislation to cut back public union power and close a yawning budget deficit in his state.

The Public Union segment was filmed at the Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, CA. Each "What Would Reagan Do?" episode runs three to four minutes in length and is produced as current events dictate. The first in the series contrasted both presidents' actions in dealing with Libyan dictator Muammar Khaddafi. All "What Would Reagan Do?" segments are hosted by Michael Reagan, nationally known author, public speaker, syndicated columnist and radio host.

The episodes are produced by, an organization founded in August 2008 that is committed to supporting policies and candidates dedicated to fiscal responsibility and a strong national security for the United States, while upholding the principles of freedom, competitiveness and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people.

"President Reagan's leadership style is vivid in these video segments," said Michael Reagan. "Historic moments in my father's presidency present a clear example of decisiveness around issues not dissimilar to those confronting today's leaders."

"If a picture speaks a thousand words, then these video segments speak volumes," said Steve Sanford, executive producer, "'What Would Reagan Do? Public Unions,' is timely to budget debates raging in many state capitals. President Reagan took strong stances in every decision he made and this episode dramatically shows how he would manage the public union debate today."

The videos are also available for embed via vimeo and youtube: