Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wisconsin

Okay. This thing going on in Wisconsin. It's been going on for over a week now, and I'm sure anybody in the U.S. with a pulse has heard about it. It started on February 11, when the Republican governor of the state (he is of the Tea Party persuasion), introduced a bill that stripped the public employee unions of the state of their right to collective bargaining. If the American people knew history, they would know that securing these rights for the working people of America took decades and a lot of spilled blood. people who tried to organize labor after the Civil War and for the rest of the 19th century were routinely set upon by hired thugs, the police, or some other paramilitary force to prevent them from assembly and from organizing. Since the governor of the state, Scott Walker, proposes bill on February 11, public protest is been mounted by thousands of state workers (teachers and others) an additional thousands of supporters. The crowds of protesters have gotten larger every day; the Democrats in the state legislature have left the state thus depriving it of a quorum and furtherance of the proposed legislation. At this point neither side gives the slightest indication of bending. I should mention that Walker was elected governor last November in the tidal wave of Republican victories on a platform promising to cut the cost of government and deal seriously with the deficit in the state budget, but one of the first things he did upon taking office was give $160 million tax cut to businesses in the state.

Here's what I have to say: Shame on this governor! Would somebody tell me what busting union members rights to collectively bargain has to do with saving money? It has nothing to do with it. There's a political agenda being served here. I agree in this case with Rachel Maddow who argues that what's going on in Wisconsin as part of a larger Republican plan to divest the Democrats of the last institutions of any size that support them. She has shown that in the last election of the 10 organizations that contributed the most money, seven were right wing and the other three were unions. Sure enough, there are similar moves by Republican governors under way in Indiana, New Jersey, Michigan, and possibly other states. Here is to the spunk of all those thousands of people who are braving the cold and putting up with great inconvenience in Madison to let their voices be heard on this. More power to them. It's about time something got people riled up enough for them to take to the streets.
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