Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Now Walker gets mean

Really, now the Gov is threatening to send layoff notices next week if the Senate Democrats don't bend, blink, become submissive and subservient to his agenda. This is democracy? To threaten workers with unemployment as retaliation for not getting his way on the budget bill? Then he'll say, "see, you made me do it."

Problem is, a lot of people will believe him. A lot of people watch Fox News and listen to Charlie Sykes and Rush Limbaugh. It's sad because this is all a charade, a feint - "Hey, look over there," while over here they are tearing to shreds the livelihoods of millions of US Americans, and thousands and thousands of Wisconsinites.

Why not use public workers as pawns in this struggle? Demonize them first, of course, that helps the cause. Then turn on them as if they are not educating our kids, plowing our streets, providing health care for the poor, picking up the garbage, taking care of our state parks, staffing offices where we go for state services of all kinds, etc., etc.

Hey, you can contract out that work to the private sector!!! Low wages, no benefits, lots of turnover, lots of abuse - but, hey, we'll save a few bucks and then we can lower taxes for the rich and for corporations even more!!  Good deal for the Koch brothers (this link takes you to an article every Wisconsin resident ought to read) and the Club for Growth.

Rachel Maddow did a great job of exposing Walker's woeful incompetence in the matter of privatizing public workers when he was Milwaukee County Executive (see video below). His attempt wasn't even legal. Cost the strapped county hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now the guy is governor.We see what we have in store.

This guy is becoming really destructive. He is ripping people apart, driving wedges among struggling working people, unemployed, and underemployed.  He's got a cushy job. He's got the backing of the Koch brothers  and Fox News. So what has he got to lose? What did Sarah Palin have to lose, or Michelle Bachman? They both became millionaires whether or not they ever win another elective office.

The right takes care of its own.

Now the question is - will we Wisconsinites take care of the people who work for us? But more, much more - will we refuse to be divided, private sector workers v. public sector workers, unemployed v. those with jobs, folks with health insurance v. those without? Instead of trying to take rights and well-being away from one group of workers, will we come together instead to restore those rights in the private sector? Instead of seeking to lower the floor for wages and working conditions, will we struggle to have the floor raised for all workers?

Bosses have always tried to control workers by strategies of divide and conquer. The Club for Growth ads on TV are doing exactly that - and we have to stop being duped by or ignorant about what is really going on. These guys, Walker and Senate Republicans, are the bosses trying to divide and conquer so that they can give our state's resources and tax money to the corporations that contribute to their campaigns. The community of those 'hard-working taxpayers' that Walker keeps talking about, as if this is what he really cares about, has to come together now across all those lines that seemingly divide. The quality of life in our state and nation is not being eroded by public sector workers. It is being eroded by the corporatization of government, by the ecological wreckage of our biosphere and atmosphere, by the takeover of our democracy by the power of corporate money.

There are other ways to balance the budget - like returning tax rates on wealth and on large corporations to where they once were - before Reagan, before the assault on the middle class, before the assault on worker rights and dignity, on government services and the public sector, on public education. One thing about this nation - though never perfect and always marred by inequality and injustice, it did create a very broad base for quality of life and democratic rights for a vast majority of its population. It ain't public workers that have eroded that. Nope, it is not them.

I promise you, this road on which Walker wants to take this state will not end well for the vast majority of us. There is more at stake here than a balanced budget.

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