12 Things You Need to Know About the Uprising in Wisconsin. Just a few excerpts,
1. Wisconsin’s public workers have already “made sacrifices to help balance the budget, through 16 unpaid furlough days and no pay increases the past two years,”….
This isn’t just about public employees. What even a majority of the protesters don’t know is that Walker’s law would also place all of the state’s Medicaid funding in the hands of the governor.
( Legislators would be out of the loop. Walker would be the grand potentate of all Medicaid related programs related to the poor and children. Paul Krugman also noted in his recent column, “What’s that about? The state of Wisconsin owns a number of plants supplying heating, cooling, and electricity to state-run facilities (like the University of Wisconsin). The language in the budget bill would, in effect, let the governor privatize any or all of these facilities at whim. Not only that, he could sell them, without taking bids, to anyone he chooses.” Walker fits the well known cycle of conservative government rule in action. When they are out of power, government is too big and has too much power. As soon as they are in charge, government becomes larger, more draconian, less democratic and more corrupt.)
…8. Public sector workers have, on average, more experience and higher levels of education than their counterparts in the private sector (they are twice as likely to have a college degree).
9. When you adjust for those factors, they make, on average, 4 percent less than their private-sector counterparts.
12. Many public employees are not eligible for Social Security — those pensions, and whatever they can put away on their own, is all that they’ll have in their golden years.
Wisconsin’s Future, in noting Walker’s campaign promise to create jobs, yes he just took office, but he seems determined to kill jobs in Wisconsin, not create them, Wisconsin Recovery- the 250,000 job solution(pdf)
One problem is arising already though. While Governor-elect Walker says Wisconsin is “Open for Business,” — there seem to be exceptions. High speed rail is not welcome here. Even though the federal government has already given Wisconsin the money, Walker says No! Even though the Talgo corporation is starting to build the train in central city Milwaukee where jobs are badly needed and is now being wooed to Illinois, Walker says No! Even though leaders from across the state say this would bring Wisconsin into the world of 21st century transportation, Walker says No! Even though mass transit is an evironmentally friendly job creater, Walker says No! We may need a way to measure less than zero job numbers on our job-o-meter.
This is in addition to Walker’s assault on bargaining rights. His union busting antics may also create more unemployment, expand Wisconsin’s budget gap by $137 million and cost Wisconsin businesses $100 million.
The Scott Walker Dog
The Transport Workers Union has completed a 5 minute video that summarizes the events in Wisconsin with interviews of workers, speeches and music.
Walker seems oblivious to what the people in Wisconsin want, but should he start paying attention to what is going on outside his little echo chamber, Public employees not such an easy scapegoat after all
* Among those who make less than $24,000 annually, 74 percent oppose the proposal, versus only 14 percent who favor it.
* Among those who make $24,000 to $59,000, 63 percent oppose the proposal, versus only 33 percent who favor it.
* Among those who make $60,000 to $89,000, 53 percent oppose the proposal, versus only 41 percent who favor it.
* Among those who make $90,000 and up, 50 percent favor the proposal, versus 47 percent who oppose it.
Only the last, highest-income category favors the proposal; working and low-to-middle class folks all oppose it.
In conservative blog post after blog post and in memes by the conservative media is this claim: workers have no right to bargain, have free speech or freedom to associate and organize. With some reasonable limits ( many police unions may not strike for example) the courts have recognized workers rights. At no time have I read or heard a conservative pundit or major blog, much less the multitude of ignorant right-wing commentors see the absurdity and irony of claiming workers have none of the aforementioned rights, but businesses and corporations do. Businesses can organize – do a Google search for business organizations, exercise their free speech, spend billions on advocacy in the media, start nefarious groups to funnel huge sums of money to corporate interests and politicians who will advocate their positions, but ordinary citizens organize? What an outrage. What FDR said, When FDR Came to Wisconsin to Fight the Kochs and Walkers of 1934
…Men everywhere throughout Europe — your ancestors and mine — had suffered from the imperfect and often unjust Governments of their home land, and they were driven by deep desire to find not alone security, but also enlarged opportunity for themselves and their children. It is true that the new population flowing into our new lands was a mixed population, differing often in language, in external customs and in habits of thought. But in one thing they were alike. They shared a deep purpose to rid themselves forever of the jealousies, the prejudices, the intrigues and the violence, whether internal or external, that disturbed their lives on the other side of the ocean.
Yes, they sought a life that was less fettered by the exploitations of selfish men, set up under Governments that were not free. They sought a wider opportunity for the average man.
Having achieved that initial adventure of migrating to new homes, they moved forward to the further adventure of establishing forms of government and methods of operating these forms of government that might assure them the things they sought. They believed that men, out of their intelligence and their self-discipline, could create and use forms of government that would not enslave the human spirit, but free it and nourish it throughout the generations. They did not fear government, because they knew that government in the new world was their own.
I do not need to tell you that here in Wisconsin they built a State destined for extraordinary achievements. They set up institutions to enforce law and order, to care for the unfortunate, to promote the arts of industry and agriculture. They built a university and school system as enlightened as any that the world affords. They set up against all selfish private interests the organized authority of the people themselves through the State. They transformed utilities into public servants instead of private means of exploitation.
People know also that the average man in Wisconsin waged a long and bitter fight for his rights. Here, and in the Nation as a whole, in the Nation at large… man has been fighting… against those forces which disregard human cooperation and human rights in seeking that kind of individual profit which is gained at the expense of his fellows…
In the great national movement that culminated over a year ago , people joined with enthusiasm. They lent hand and voice to the common cause, irrespective of many older political traditions. They saw the dawn of a new day. They were on the march; they were coming back into the possession of their own home land.
As the humble instruments of their vision and their power, those of us who were chosen to serve them in 1932 turned to the great task. In one year and five months, the people of the United States have received at least a partial answer to their demands for action; and neither the demand nor the action has reached the end of the road. But, my friends, action may be delayed by two types of individuals. Let me cite examples: First, there is the man whose objectives are wholly right and wholly progressive but who declines to cooperate or even to discuss methods of arriving at the objectives because he insists on his own methods and nobody else’s.
The other type to which I refer is the kind of individual who demands some message to the people of the United States that will restore what he calls “confidence.” When I hear this I cannot help but remember the pleas that were made by government and certain types of so-called “big business” all through the years 1930, 1931 and 1932, that the only thing lacking in the United States was confidence.
Before I left on my trip… I received two letters from important men, both of them pleading that I say something to restore confidence. To both of them I wrote identical answers: “What would you like to have me say?” From one of them I have received no reply at all in six weeks. I take it that he is still wondering how to answer. The other man wrote me frankly that in his judgment the way to restore confidence was for me to tell the people of the United States that all supervision by all forms of Government, Federal and State, over all forms of human activity called business should be forthwith abolished.
Now, my friends, in other words, that man was frank enough to imply that he would repeal all laws, State or national, which regulate business — that a utility could henceforth charge any rate, unreasonable or otherwise; that the railroads could go back to rebates and other secret agreements; that the processors of food stuffs could disregard all rules of health and of good faith; that the unregulated wild-cat banking of a century ago could be restored; that fraudulent securities and watered stock could be palmed off on the public; that stock manipulation which caused panics and enriched insiders could go unchecked. In fact, my friends, if we were to listen to him and his type, the old law of the tooth and the claw would reign in our Nation once more.
The people of the United States will not restore that ancient order. There is no lack of confidence on the part of those business men, farmers and workers who clearly read the signs of the times. Sound economic improvement comes from the improved conditions of the whole population and not a small fraction thereof.
Those who would measure confidence in this country in the future must look first to the average citizen…
That’s where I’m looking. And from what I can tell, the people are hurting, but their struggle to extend and deepen American freedom, equality, and democracy continues.
Big Government conservatism, After Leading Bush Admin Charge To Kill FOIA, Issa Issues First Subpoena On Obama FOIA. Instead of simply asking Homeland Security staffers to testify, Isaa uses the heavy hand of his committee chairmanship to issue subpoenas. Issa is to freedom of information and good judgment what Dick Cheney is to gun safety,
– Issa Helped Karl Rove And Bush Allies Hide Government E-Mails In RNC Accounts: In 2008, the House Oversight Committee investigated the fact that an estimated 5 million e-mails from Bush administration servers vanished from the president’s office. Although it was widely believed that White House adviser Karl Rove had used Republican National Committee e-mail accounts, in violation of the Presidential Records Act, to hide official communications, Issa used his position on the committee to try to squash the inquiry.
…Ironically, since Congress exempted itself from FOIA law, Issa has been less than forthcoming about record requests into his own office. At the behest of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, several lobbyists have provided letters regarding a request by Issa to entertain proposals from corporations seeking his help in eliminating regulations. Issa has not voluntarily released all of the other letters he received from lobbyists. Also, Issa has so far ignored a request by a group called the IssaFiles to respond to serious ethical questions raised by a New Yorker article by Ryan Lizza. The ten questions relate to a suspected arson at a factory insured by Issa earlier in his career.
Issa is for using big government to hide FOIA requests from citizens of the U.S. Issa is for big government to use as a gudgeon to attack his political opponents. Issa is for big government to hide the secrets of his ideological comrades. Issa is for using big government tax payer funds to finance his McCarthy-like egg hunts. Creating jobs not high his list. Protecting Medicare not high on his list. Protecting an open democracy not on his list or his bosses’ John Boehner(R-OH).
Another union thug. She probably could kick Wienie Walker’s ass.