A unionized public employee, a Tea Partier and a CEO are at a table with
a dozen cookies in the middle; the CEO swiftly grabs 11 cookies while saying to the Tea Partier, "Watch that Union guy, he wants part of your cookie!"
This is an age old question, of course. The elite and powerful have always played workers against slaves, or against Indians, or against other workers. Bacon's Rebellion comes to mind, as does the white power structure's response to black populism in the 1880s. Here we have the extremely and obscenely wealthy (Koch brothers) dividing workers against each other. Non-union workers are being told that unions are cheating them and taking their jobs. Plus those union guys are costing you more. Private sector workers are told that government workers are all lazy and cheating us. Private workers are all hard working entrepreneurs instead of parasites on society.
Meanwhile, of course, while that misdirect goes on, the Koch brothers and other obscenely wealthy corporate owners avoid paying taxes, and work like hell to cut the wages of anyone they can--of workers, that is, not of the elite.
As I mused to SOF the other day, this is a declared war on the Middle class. But unlike other wars, in this one, the victim of the attack includes a huge section that is cheering the war on.