Well, I guess they have nobody to blame but themselves. They elected him after all. I’m talking about Wisconsin’s Governor Walker.
It was well known, or should have been that he had tried a similar thing on a smaller scale before. He has this crazy idea that he has unlimited power to redesign things as he would like them. And like a good GOPer, he doesn’t want unions interfering with his corporate state.
Truth is, states all over the union can say about the same. They were too inattentive, too single-minded, too something to notice the danger that a number of these people posed. And now we are faced with the blatant attempt on the part of Republicans across the country to use their positions of power to destroy the Democratic Party in a variety of ways.
The most poignant, the most inspiring is occurring in Wisconsin. There Walker has unilaterally declared that public workers will no longer have unions, at least ones that can collectively bargain. This comes along with strong cuts in pay and in benefits.
The ironic thing is that the union members have agreed to the cuts, just not the destruction of their collective bargaining rights. But Walker says that he will not negotiate, although he and others are utterly unable to define why, if their only issue is the deficit, the union itself must die.
This is purely a political move on Walker’s part and I suspect part of a larger, national move by the Republican party to destroy unions so that their corporate buddies can rape and pillage the slave workers at will. Yes, it is just that dire. And, along the way, destroy the Democratic Party.
Walker, so I have learned has already CUT corporate taxes since his inauguration. Many would argue even whether there is a legitimate deficit, but in any case, we understand that Walker has awarded substantial sums to special interests, depleting the reserves. He in effect has created the deficit, and determined that the only people who will pay the price are the working class.
Claims that the public employees of Wisconsin make huge salaries in comparison to private sector workers is a simple lie. Fox has run this garbage using a “median” income level of private sector workers. Of course there is a large discrepancy when done this way. A median is determined by including all workers, the hamburger flipper along with the private nurse. The government is not generally in the business of running burger joints, thus employing people at minimum wage jobs.
Further, Ezra Klein, a couple of days ago, offered an actual study done on Wisconsin wages, and adjusted for hours worked, and comparable jobs, public workers made 5% less.
Further, Walker specifically exempted fire and police unions from his draconian measure. Why? Because both had supported him in his election bid. The teachers and prison guards did not, and they were targeted. Still thinking this has anything to do with a deficit?
No, this is simply Walker acting as the mouth piece for corporate America, demanding that they be left unfettered in their pursuit of the almighty dollar.
Ten years and counting and we are still waiting for the trickle down money promised to the working and middle class if only the rich could keep more of their money. Do we need more evidence that there is and never will be anything benevolent about corporate robber barons?
Do we have such short memories that we forget what was the norm only a few short decades ago?
Sweatshops, company towns, twelve-hour shifts, six days a week, no benefits, no raises, unsafe working conditions. That was the world my parents inherited. It is the world my father and others like him changed as they stood up to hired goons with baseball bats, come to break up the strikes in Flint, Michigan against the auto empires.
If non-union workers have minimum wages today, it is because of unions. If they have health care it is because of the unions. If they have pensions, it is because of the unions. If they have overtime compensation and paid vacations, it is because of the unions. If they have safe working environments, it’s because of the unions. It is all because of the unions.
And if the unions are broken in this country, why corporate America will begin to whimper about high costs of materials, higher transportation costs. And they will whine that they don’t want to pass the cost to consumers who might reject their product rather than pay the extra costs. And so they will take it out of your paycheck, and reduce your benefits. And they will do it again and again, and until you are reduced to slavery again.
While, they? They will sit in their homes arguing whether the next additional home should be in Maui or in Vale. They will argue about whether the next trip shall be to Tuscany or to Venice. They will argue about whether the next car be a Bentley or a Rolls. Does the Missus need another fur to go with the new pink diamond brooch?
And you? You will spend the weekend trying to keep the second-hand car running. And your kids will look at trade schools rather than universities. And you will eat hamburger instead of steak, and have a picnic in the backyard on the 4th. You will not have an iPhone, an iPad, or iTunes. You will not have laptops or wall sized flat screens. You will subsist. And you will be damned happy for that as the foreman reminds you regularly. For you can be replaced like (SNAP)!
Fox is calling the protestors a “mob” and “thugs” and “Commies” and “socialist agitators.” All the while teabagger protestors are “patriotic Americans.”
Egyptian unions have offered solidarity. People from across the nation and world have sent money to feed the protestors at the Capital. The eyes of the world focus on Wisconsin.
Support the workers in Wisconsin. We call upon the Teamsters, the AFL-CIO, UAW, AFSCME, and all the rest, to stand in solidarity with Wisconsin in this fight. Shut down this country if need be. Everything is on the line. Everything.
- People@Work: Collective-Bargaining Rights Are at Stake in Wisconsin (dailyfinance.com)
- Wisconsin Gov. Walker: Another Ideologue Masquerading as a Fiscally Responsible Leader (agreetodisagree.me)
- Lennard Davis: Will American Workers Believe Governor Walker? Stay Tuned! (huffingtonpost.com)
- Scott Walker: I Have to Bust the Unions Because We Need More Tax Cuts (firedoglake.com)
- First WI poll shows Walker losing ground, but … (hotair.com)
- Wisconsin Democratic aide says governor must compromise – Reuters (news.google.com)
- “Kochs Behind Wisconsin Union-Busting Effort” and related posts (prwatch.org)