Don't Let Wisconsin Divide Us ... Conservatives and Liberals AGREE About the Important Things

George Washington's picture

Washington’s Blog

Don't let Wisconsin divide us.

Conservatives and liberals actually agree about the most important things.

In fact, most Americans - conservatives and liberals - are fed up with both of the mainstream republican and democratic parties, because it has become obvious that both parties serve Wall Street and the military-industrial complex at the expense of most Americans.

In reality, all Americans - conservatives and liberals:

The powers-that-be try to divide us and demonize the "other side" so that we won't realize how much we all agree on. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

Don't let them.

Debunking Myths

Before we can honestly look at what's going on in Wisconsin, we need to dispel some commonly-accepted myths.

People who think that debts and deficits don't matter are wrong. As two top American economists - Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff - demonstrated in December 2009 :

The relationship between government debt and real GDP growth is weak for debt/GDP ratios below a threshold of 90 percent of GDP. Above 90 percent, median growth rates fall by one percent, and average growth falls considerably more. We find that the threshold for public debt is similar in advanced and emerging economies...

As I wrote in January 2010:

Al Martin - former contributor to the Presidential Council of Economic Advisors and retired naval intelligence officer - observed in an April 2005 newsletter that the ratio of total U.S. debt to gross domestic product (GDP) rose from 78 percent in 2000 to 308 percent in April 2005. The International Monetary Fund considers a nation-state with a total debt-to-GDP ratio of 200 percent or more to be a "de-constructed Third World nation-state."

Martin explained:

What "de-constructed" actually means is that a political regime in that country, or series of political regimes, have, through a long period of fraud, abuse, graft, corruption and mismanagement, effectively collapsed the economy of that country.

Forbes noted in December:

Add the unfunded portion of entitlement programs and we're at 840% of GDP.

Boston University economics professor and former Senior Economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers Laurence Kotlikoff says that the real federal debt is $202 trillion dollars, and that the U.S. is bankrupt.

And see this, this, this, this and this.

So we have to reduce our debt.

And yet the government has been spending like a drunken sailor ... while slashing taxes.

Not Liberal or Conservative ... But Redistribution of Wealth Up to the Ultra-Rich

As I noted last December:

Ronald Reagan gave big tax cuts to the wealthy.

 

So it is dramatic that Reagan's director of Office of Management and Budget - David

 

Stockman - calls the Bush tax cuts "the biggest fiscal mistake in history".

 

Specifically, Stockman told Dylan Ratigan that Bush's advisers forecast a $5 trillion surplus over 10 years. But "two unfunded wars and a Fed engineered housing bubble later", we're in a $ 5 trillion cumulative deficit. So Bush made a $10 trillion mistake.

 

Stockman said extending the Bush tax cuts won't stimulate the economy, the fact that the tax cut extensions will expire on the eve of the 2012 elections will panic politicians and force them to renew them yet again, and that "we're destroying the economy on Uncle Sam's credit card.

 

Indeed, Moody's and other rating services are threatening to downgrade America's credit rating due to the extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy:

 

The rating agency said in a report Monday that last week's agreement between the White House and congressional Republicans should bolster economic growth in the next two years – but at the expense of the nation's already perilous budget position down the road.

 

The agreement to extend the Bush tax cuts for two years and trim workers' payroll tax contributions for one could raise the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio at 2012 to 72-73% from around 62% now, Moody's said. It said that without the tax package, that number might have been around 68% in 2012. [These numbers are low, as discussed above.]

 

***

 

"Unless there are offsetting measures, the package will be credit negative for the US and increase the likelihood of a negative outlook on the US government's Aaa rating during the next two years," Moody's said.

 

The comment comes as the bond market seems to have reached very much the same conclusion. The yield on the 10-year Treasury has soared to 3.32% from around 2.4% two months ago, as investors bet on a stronger recovery and rising inflation.

At the same time, our leaders are spending like they just won the lottery.

As I wrote last March:

 

Why aren't our government "leaders" talking about slashing the military-industrial complex, which is ruining our economy with unnecessary imperial adventures?

 

And why aren't any of our leaders talking about stopping the permanent bailouts for the financial giants who got us into this mess? And see this.

 

And why aren't they taking away the power to create credit from the private banking giants - which is costing our economy trillions of dollars (and is leading to a decrease in loans to the little guy) - and give it back to the states?

If we did these things, we wouldn't have to raise taxes or cut core services.

And see this short video from England.

The same thing is playing out on the state level.

For example, if the Wisconsin governor was proposing cutting pensions because everyone needed to share in the sacrifice, that would be understandable. But as the Washington Post's Ezra Klein points out:

The Badger State was actually in pretty good shape. It was supposed to end this budget cycle with about $120 million in the bank. Instead, it's facing a deficit. Why? I'll let the state's official fiscal scorekeeper explain (pdf):

More than half of the lower estimate ($117.2 million) is due to the impact of Special Session Senate Bill 2 (health savings accounts), Assembly Bill 3 (tax deductions/credits for relocated businesses), and Assembly Bill 7 (tax exclusion for new employees).

 

In English: The governor called a special session of the legislature and signed two business tax breaks and a conservative health-care policy experiment that lowers overall tax revenues (among other things). The new legislation was not offset, and it helped turn a surplus into a deficit [see update at end of post]. As Brian Beutler writes, "public workers are being asked to pick up the tab for this agenda."

 

***

 

Update ... The $130 million deficit now projected for 2011 isn't the fault of the tax breaks passed during Walker's special session, though his special session created about $120 million in deficit spending between 2011 and 2013 -- and perhaps more than that, if his policies are extended. That is to say, the deficit spending he created in his special session is about equal to the deficit Wisconsin faces this year, but it's not technically correct to say that Walker created 2011's deficit. Rather, he added $120 million to the 2011-2013 deficits, and perhaps more in the years after that.

And according to Madison's Capitol Times:

To the extent that there is an imbalance -- Walker claims there is a $137 million deficit -- it is not because of a drop in revenues or increases in the cost of state employee contracts, benefits or pensions. It is because Walker and his allies pushed through $140 million in new spending for special-interest groups in January. If the Legislature were simply to rescind Walker’s new spending schemes -- or delay their implementation until they are offset by fresh revenues -- the “crisis” would not exist.

 

The Fiscal Bureau memo -- which readers can access at http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/Misc/2011_01_31Vos&Darling.pdf -- makes it clear that Walker did not inherit a budget that required a repair bill.

 

The facts are not debatable.

 

Because of the painful choices made by the previous Legislature, Wisconsin is in better shape fiscally than most states.

 

***

[Walker] has proposed a $137 million budget “repair” bill that he intends to use as a vehicle to ...

 

Pay for schemes that redirect state tax dollars to wealthy individuals and corporate interests that have been sources of campaign funding for Walker’s fellow Republicans and special-interest campaigns on their behalf. As Madison’s Democratic state Rep. Brett Hulsey notes, the governor and legislators aligned with him have over the past month given away special-interest favors to every lobby group that came asking, creating zero jobs in the process “but increasing the deficit by more than $100 million.”

 

Actually, Hulsey’s being conservative in his estimate of how much money Walker and his allies have misappropriated for political purposes.

 

***

 

“Since his inauguration in early January, Walker has approved $140 million in new special-interest spending that includes:

 

“• $25 million for an economic development fund for job creation that still has $73 million due to a lack of job creation. Walker is creating a $25 million hole which will not create or retain jobs.

 

“• $48 million for private health savings accounts, which primarily benefit the wealthy. A study from the federal Governmental Accountability Office showed the average adjusted gross income of HSA participants was $139,000 and nearly half of HSA participants reported withdrawing nothing from their HSA, evidence that it is serving as a tax shelter for wealthy participants.

 

“• $67 million for a tax shift plan, so ill-conceived that at best the benefit provided to ‘job creators’ would be less than a dollar a day per new job, and may be as little as 30 cents a day.”

 

State Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, sums up this scheming accurately when he says: “In one fell swoop, Gov. Walker is trying to institute a sweeping radical and dangerous notion that will return Wisconsin to the days when land barons and railroad tycoons controlled the political elites in Madison.”

State Senator Jon Erpenbach says that the unions have already agreed to cuts:

"The
state employees have talked about the money and giving up the money,
and that's fine. But what they have a problem with - and what a lot of
us have a problem with - is the fact that Governor Walker is taking
decades of union law and throwing it out the window and trying to bust
the unions altogether, and that's just not the right way to go."

***

"The public employees have said you can take the money - the money isn't the issue. The issue is their right to collectively bargain their contracts. And that's where we all have to draw the line."

Economist Menzie Chen argues
that Wisconsin public workers make less than their private
counterparts, even when pensions are included. Pulitzer prize winning
journalist David Cay Johnston says that Wisconsin's governor is really trying to bust unions as a first step in driving down everyone's wages ... both in the public and the private sector.  Mother Jones alleges that the billionaire Koch brothers - the ones who Supreme
Court justices Scalia and Thomas hung out with before deciding to
allow unlimited foreign money to pour into American political races
- funded the election of Wisconsin's governor. And Forbes' columnist Rick Ungar claims
that the Kochs are behind the crackdown on Wisconsin unions, as they
have business interests in Wisconsin. Whether or not these claims are
true is beyond the scope of this discussion, and I haven't researched
them enough to weigh in one way or the other.

On the other hand, as James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation argues in the New York Times:

“It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”

 

That
wasn’t Newt Gingrich, or Ron Paul, or Ronald Reagan talking. That was
George Meany -- the former president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O -- in 1955.
Government unions are unremarkable today, but the labor movement once
thought the idea absurd.

 

***

 

When government unions strike, they strike against taxpayers. F.D.R. considered this “unthinkable and intolerable.”

 

***

Government
collective bargaining means voters do not have the final say on public
policy. Instead their elected representatives must negotiate spending
and policy decisions with unions. That is not exactly democratic – a
fact that unions once recognized.

But whether or not you think public union workers are whiners and public
labor unions harmful or beneficial, the fact is that the governor of
Wisconsin is trying to do exactly what the federal government is trying
to do: throw money at their ultra-rich friends, and pay for it by
shafting the little guy. It almost appears as if the federal and state
governments are using "shock doctrine" tactics as an excuse for imposing
"austerity measures" which benefit the wealthy at the expense of the
little guy just like failed third world countries.  (Remember, Reuters claims that republicans are trying to bankrupt states in order to weaken unions.)

Indeed, Governor Walker is a true conservative to the same extent that President Obama is a true liberal ... not very much.

Again, if everyone - giant banks and corporations as well as workers -
were being asked to share in the sacrifice, that would be completely
different. I'm all for shared sacrifice (I work for the private sector,
but I'll sacrifice a little if we can also claw back the ill-gotten
gains from Wall Street CEO's. See this, this and this.)

But that's not what's happening. Instead, federal and state policies are making the rich richer and everyone else poorer.

And if you still think that this is a conservative versus liberal issue, listen to what tried-and-proven conservatives (re-read Stockman's statements above) are saying.

For example, Paul Craig Roberts, whose conservative credentials are impeccable - former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Reagan, one of the people who most widely promoted "trickle down" economics, former editor of the Wall Street Journal, listed by Who's Who in America as one of the 1,000 most influential political thinkers in the world, and PhD economist - writes:

Obama’s new budget is a continuation of Wall Street’s class war against the poor and middle class.

Wall Street wasn’t through with us when the banksters sold their fraudulent derivatives into our pension funds, wrecked Americans’ job prospects and retirement plans, secured a $700 billion bailout at taxpayers’ expense while foreclosing on the homes of millions of Americans, and loaded up the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet with several trillion dollars of junk financial paper in exchange for newly created money to shore up the banks’ balance sheets.

The effect of the Federal Reserve’s “quantitative easing” on inflation, interest rates, and the dollar’s foreign exchange value are yet to hit. When they do, Americans will get a lesson in poverty.

Now the ruling oligarchies have struck again, this time through the federal budget. The U.S. government has a huge military/security budget. It is as large as the budgets of the rest of the world combined. The Pentagon, CIA, and Homeland Security budgets account for the $1.1 trillion federal deficit that the Obama administration forecasts for fiscal year 2012. This massive deficit spending serves only one purpose--the enrichment of the private companies that serve the military/security complex. These companies, along with those on Wall Street, are who elect the U.S. government.

***

The U.S. is determined to create as many enemies as possible in order to continue its bleeding of the American population to feed the ravenous military/security complex.

***

With a perpetual budget deficit driven by the military/security complex’s desire for profits, the real cause of America’s enormous budget deficit is off-limits for discussion.

***

The U.S. military/security complex is capable of creating any number of... events in order to make these threats seem real to a public whose intelligence is limited to TV, shopping mall experiences, and football games.

So Americans are stuck with enormous budget deficits that the Federal Reserve must finance by printing new money, money that sooner or later will destroy the purchasing power of the dollar and its role as world reserve currency. When the dollar goes, American power goes.

For the ruling oligarchies, the question is: how to save their power.

Their answer is: make the people pay.

And that is what their latest puppet, President Obama, is doing.

***

These goals [of propping up foreign dictators who serve U.S. interests] are far more important to the American elite than Pell Grants that enable poor Americans to obtain an education, or clean water, or community block grants, or the low income energy assistance program (cut by the amount that U.S. taxpayers are forced to give to Israel).

There are also $7,700 million of cuts in Medicaid and other health programs over the next five years.

Given the magnitude of the U.S. budget deficit, these sums are a pittance. The cuts will have no effect on U.S. Treasury financing needs. They will put no breaks on the Federal Reserve’s need to print money in order to keep the U.S. government in operation.

These cuts serve one purpose: to further the Republican Party’s myth that America is in economic trouble because of the poor: The poor are shiftless. They won’t work. The only reason unemployment is high is that the poor had rather be on welfare.

A new addition to the welfare myth is that recent middle class college graduates won’t take the jobs offered them, because their parents have too much money, and the kids like living at home without having to do anything. A spoiled generation, they come out of university refusing any job that doesn’t start out as CEO of a Fortune 500 company. The reason that engineering graduates do not get job interviews is that they do not want them.

What all this leads to is an assault on “entitlements”, which means Social Security and Medicare. The elites have programmed, through their control of the media, a large part of the population, especially those who think of themselves as conservatives, to conflate “entitlements” with welfare. America is going to hell not because of foreign wars that serve no American purpose, but because people, who have paid 15% of their payroll all their lives for old age pensions and medical care, want “handouts” in their retirement years. Why do these selfish people think that working Americans should be forced through payroll taxes to pay for the pensions and medical care of the retirees? Why didn’t the retirees consume less and prepare for their own retirement?

The elite’s line, and that of their hired spokespersons in “think tanks” and universities, is that America is in trouble because of its retirees.

Too many Americans have been brainwashed to believe that America is in trouble because of its poor and its retirees. America is not in trouble because it coerces a dwindling number of taxpayers to support the military/security complex’s enormous profits, American puppet governments abroad, and Israel.

The American elite’s solution for America’s problems is not merely to foreclose on the homes of Americans whose jobs were sent offshore, but to add to the numbers of distressed Americans with nothing to lose the sick and the dispossessed retirees, and the university graduates who cannot find jobs that have been sent to China and India.

And Ron Paul - who has very strong conservative credentials, and who won the Presidential straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference two years in a row - recently said in his CPAC speech:

We’re going to continue to bail out, we’re going to continue to spend the money, nobody wants to cut. I am sure that half the people in this room won’t cut one penny on the military, and the military is not equated to defense. Defense spending is one thing, military spending is what Eisenhower called the “military-industrial complex” and we have to go after that.

***

But let’s say government, as you all, I am sure would agree, is out of control, and it’s very hard for us to get a handle on it. So let’s say we even theoretically, and a miracle happens and we balance the budget where we are today, it would be still a disaster because we’re spending too much money. But it wouldn’t change a whole lot. When a crisis comes, guess what happens? Guess who does the bailing out? The Federal Reserve used $4 trillion to pass out without congressional approval and most people say “Oh, well that’s the Federal Reserve’s job to do that.” No, it is our job to check up and find what the Federal Reserve has done, audit them, and find out who their buddies are that they’re taking care of.

 

***

 

The Federal Reserve creates money out of thin air, they can loan to banks, central banks of the world, to other governments and international financial institutions and we’re not even allowed to know. They resent the fact that when I ask these questions, that they don’t have to give us information. That’s why the bill to audit the Fed is the first step to ending the Federal Reserve.

 

***

 

I think and I believe that we have had way too much bipartisanship for about 60 years. .... It’s the bipartisanship of the welfare system, the warfare system, the monetary system, the challenge to our civil liberties, it all goes through with support from both parties. So there’s way too much bipartisanship. This should be a challenge of the issue of philosophy – good philosophy versus bad philosophy.

 

***

 

But where I think we go astray on this exceptionalism is there are some people and sometimes they’re referred as neoconservatives and they’re sort of neo-Jacobins where they believe that we have this moral responsibility to use force to go around the world and say, “You will do it our way or else.” Well force doesn’t work, it never works.

Paul is also against welfare. Given his views on ending the warfare
state, bailouts, and reining in the Fed. I think, on balance, he would
make a much better president than Obama.

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blindman's picture

gw,

Scientist finds Gulf bottom still oily, dead

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110220/ap_on_sc/us_sci_oil_spill_lingers

 

"I've been to the bottom. I've seen what it looks like with my own eyes. It's not going to be fine by 2012," Joye told The Associated Press. "You see what the bottom looks like, you have a different opinion."

DOT's picture

GW I took a quick pic for you and Tyler unfortunately this noob has no idea how to post it up

blindman's picture

@" Isn't the only way to ultimately eliminate this a bare bones government and privatization of almost everything?"

.

 = corporate fascism.  eternal debt for you and yours.  us. ?  unless you also

regulate corporate power / monopolistic inclination.  private police force?

military?  water supply control?  private judiciary?  etc...

windcatcher's picture

Reply to Blindman: Pathetic isn’t? Americans are like a pen of pigs who are about to be slaughtered. They do not know it and carry on like they always have- butting each other and grunting- signifying nothing- simple animals who will never evolve.

 

Fact: Multinational Corporate Capitalism is at War with Main Street Capitalism, Democracy and the American People. They are winning, amazing that they have brought the United States of America down in only 10 years!

 

Fact: The bankster engineered Trilateral Commission, Counsel on Foreign Relations and the CIA is at the center of backdoor secret trade agreements that relocated American technology and manufacturing to foreign countries and purposely destroyed States’ manufacturing economy and tax base.

 

Fact: The Bush/Obama administration, in league with the criminal banksters, has purposely bankrupted America and individual States with fabricated and unjustifiable Wars, mortgage fraud, financial fraud, securities fraud and the systematic pillaging of the Treasury via the Federal Reserve.

 

Fact: Each American citizen is legally an indentured slave to National debt owed to the banksters. Each taxpayer owes $127,783 in National debt and as Ben Franklin would say “Creditors have better memories than debtors”. The banksters WILL collect their money from YOU one way or another.

 

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

 

Fact: Your trust vested in the Democrat and Republican Parties has been betrayed by corruption resulting in Treason. If you want to be Free and Independent, you will have to fight for it like your Forefathers fought for their Democracy, Independence, Freedom and Liberty. If not, you deserve to be a impoverished slave; the best of your years has already happened.

 

Fact: The systematic collapse of individual States and the United States into the North American Union is right on schedule as planned by the Trilateral Commission, CIA and the CFR and implemented by the Bush/Obama administration and the power vested in the UN’s NATO.

 

Fact: Revolution of the People for the People and by the People to overthrow oppressors is our Heritage and a Democracy model for the Free World.

 

Fact: The ungrateful multinational American corporations grew from main street capitalism nurtured by a generous and benevolent Democracy that they later corrupted, disgraced and destroyed.

 

 

Fact: Most Americans take their Freedom and Liberty for granted and know little of Democracy and Independence.  Most will not understand the difference until it is too late and the military boot is on their necks.

 

Fact:  Revolution and Justice is countered by the “War Of Terrorism” against YOU. As Bush Jr. explains “Hell, that Constitution is just a fucking piece of paper”.

 

“That Big Wheel it be a turnin”. Like a remote controlled driverless steam-roller that appears out of control, but isn’t. This is as creepy as Cheney being in control of NORAD on 9/11.

 

 

blindman's picture

we need a little bit of focus and attention span.

we need to understand / comprehend the core

problems and locate / identify the root cause and

focus, unrelenting, till that is corrected.  too many

people, unfocused, splitting hairs on tangential

issues that never address the root cause of unavoidable

failure.  privately owned and controlled fiat money lent

out at interest in a fractional reserve pyramid fashion.

all these morons demanding cuts, disparaging workers

protections, supporting stealing as the core of the money

system.  but, it will fail of its own weight spectacularly

while certain imbeciles remain authoritatively and

quite "profitably", through the darkest financial hour, in the dark.

total darkness;  political, intellectual, humanistic, etc...

it cannot stand / hold the center.   

AssFire's picture

Bare bones police, military, etc. limit the size of corporations (new law similar to anti-trust).

States should keep 75% of the tax dollars to maintain their autonomy against the Squid of Washington DC.

 

blindman's picture

integrated state / u.s. treasury issued currency / basket of goods / services

backed ? and we have the beginning framework of a potentially popular and

populist plan.

AssFire's picture

Nice try GW, we are past the point of healing the differences. Those in Wisconsin look a lot like Eurotrash (almost Greecian) http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2010/10/greeks-bearing-bonds...

The laws of Darwin cannot be violated...on a long enough timeline of multiplying numbers less than 1 by themselves; you eventually approach zero.

Anytime money is spent in Wasington the value is much less than 1 whether on the Military, Foreign Aid or these "Workers". 

Isn't it all vote buying?? Isn't the only way to ultimately eliminate this a bare bones government and privatization of almost everything?

Ron Paul might be quirky but he sums up my beliefs exactly.

brunofinn's picture

did a see a figure the other day that stated the entire federal budget, during the LBJ years, was around $130 billion??

f16hoser's picture

"Power to the People Marty" (Sneakers)

Bob's picture

Good luck, Geo.  Thanks for fighting the good fight. 

Unfortunately, Fox is mobilizing the hateful hoards in a "righteous" battle against the putatively "priviledged" public employee unions.  Glenn Beck has a million misguided zealots sitting raptly at his feet every day for Monster Story Hour and they've been given their Mission to save the world for the banksters (in order to save it from "fabian socialism.")  The Koch brothers and friends provide the financing.

It will be interesting to see how--or if--the silent majority responds.

Implicit simplicit's picture

Fuck the politicians. The two sides have demonstrated peacfully beside each other thus far. They sghould initiate their own civil debate, and come up with the compromise; then unite against the present system, and force the compromised decision.

I know it probably will not happen because people will be stubborn in their beliefs-unwilling to compromise, and then the rich lobbysits will win again.

Unfortunately, only when the masses face hunger will they unite as they are doing throughout the world. Things only change because they must.

Seasmoke's picture

the chains of debt around your neck from the banksters VS. working until 80+ so public employee union members can retire early on a beach with full benefits and pensions

since the banksters are mostly behind the shadows and the public employees show their faces as they want more of your money, who do you think will be enemy #1 ???

falak pema's picture

But is he a traitor to chocolate fudge and to pop corn?

bubba1231's picture

GW,

 

You are a TRAITOR to your country and a traitor to the truth.  You repeatedly have posted sympatheitc OBL "information" and you deny that OBL was involved in 9/11.  Nothing you say has any merit.

falak pema's picture

A conservative is somebody who conserves. His fridge is as full as is his garage. Don't know about his graveyard but I'm sure there are plenty of oldies but goodies.

A libertarian is somebody who liberates. His fridge is empty like his garage. He would like to see state prisons empty. Also all grave yards. He is Frankenstein's favorite congressman.

A statist is someone who only lives in other people's back yards. Nothing is his but all is shared by him. No problem sharing his wife, his gravy, his grave. He feels that after the grave there is a place where he will be treated as an equal with his boss.

An idealist is somebody who thinks he will never die. That life in his head is the image of perfection. That reality is an offense to the fruit of his dreams.

A leftist is someone who has no right hand and two left feet.

They all have one thing in common. They hate each other's guts.

 

marchare's picture

We are just the new indians, being herded to the res, fattened for slaughter on the commodity food program, unable to see through the floride fog. I believe it is time to offend someone.

Jim in MN's picture

Public workers have union rights because honest workers fought and died for them.  Any doughboy in WWII would know which side is the patriotic one here: the arrogant SOBs running down unions--and taking every right won since the Revolution for granted--really have a lot of ignorance and gall showing. 

Why should they have unions?  Read about how it was without them--and how it is other places without them today.

Mish Shedlock has been in the forefront of whipping up the 'blame unions while the rich loot us' game.  Shame.  Shame.

nmewn's picture

"Public workers have union rights because honest workers fought and died for them."

Here are some of those "honest public sector union workers" getting doctors notes so they can be paid by taxpayers to protest on the publics dime.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q65X9xPjJQk&feature=player_embedded#at=205

Honesty, ethics & morality seem to be there for the taking...the good doctor has a cardboard box full of it ;-)

DOT's picture

He wont have to worry about his license if someone complains.

The on going fraud was brought to court by the MMSD. They "tried" for an injunction.

Judge Sumi (really) said they would "unlikely" prevail.

nmewn's picture

Just like those who get their "prescriptions" filled on street corners it's not only the "doctors" who are in deep doo doo ;-)

Jim in MN's picture

Well no replies on the facts.  Which I only mentioned in response to a question.  So I guess that's a 'whatever'.

The problem with trying to turn back the clock is you never know what year you'll wind up in.....

nmewn's picture

I would have thought open & blatant conspiracy to defraud the taxpayer would have garnered a little more than a "whatever" from you Jim.

But believe me there are others who don't feel the same way.

Emails, faxes, phone calls & letters have already been sent out for "whatever" public employee turns up with a note from Dr.Shropshire (who appears to be a clinical professor at the University of Wisconsin), Dr.?Keevil & Dr.Micke & others to face disciplinary action up to and including firing for presenting one of these notes.

You see, they, being "honest" public employees should have thought things through a little more carefully before being herded into Madison by their shepherds...others, not unlike a fraternity of taxpayers, take a dim view of fraud & corruption.

And what became of your lamb Clarice?

ThorsteinVeblen's picture

 

Jim in,

Do you remember what a good private sector employer in MN was like?

Think about Medtronics, General Mills, 3M and Honeywell. Then think back to an example like Andersen Windows in Bayport, MN. Andersen payed good wages and most years, a bonus plus company stock--to production employees. Some production workers retired with privately held company stock approaching $1 million. Within our generation, this has all changed, even at Andersen. On a national level, Tea Party activists see through the eyes of the Kochs and their puppets and bash brothers and sisters as if teachers unions were as evil as a trillion dollars in war spending. The UPS example of going public a decade ago in an IPO that made millionaires out of truck drivers who received profit sharing, didn't seem to produce a boycott or knee jerk reactions. Companies and government can survive by paying fair wages. From Bloomberg/Businessweek 1999: Last year the company earned $1.7 billion on revenues of $24.8 billion. And it's profitable, compared with its peers. At 14.6% so far this year, the UPS operating margin is twice that of FDX Corp., parent of archrival Federal Express Corp. UPS also clocked a 24% return on equity in 1998, vs. 14% for FDX.

FedEx was one of the first to drop an eight digit bonus on a CEO. Both companies pay a wage that is stagnant since the early '80's except, the production employee's bonuses are only folklore to some, today.

Let's move forward to better pay and working conditions for all instead of allowing bad trade policy, collusion and corruption, and revisionist philosophies to divide the masses. Because Joe T. Party can't have the job that rewards dedication and hard work, he denies those bargaining rights to organize even after the concessions are made? 

 

r101958's picture

Typical class warfare reply. So, how long did you serve in the military? My guess?......not one day. Sorry, but the unions of yesteryear are not the same as the unions of today. They served their purpose back then but now they are spoiled. By the way, what do gov't workers produce that can be sold? How much profit do they make? Why shouldn't they pay the same for benefits as the private sector does?

r101958's picture

My daughter (lives in Madison) brought up a good point. Why do public workers need unions? If we think we can trust the government to be capable and fair enough to be in complete control of our health care then why do public workers need to rely on unions for protection of their 'rights'?

pazmaker's picture

why should public employees have any right to collectively bargain?  They are on the dole ...leeches taking yours and my money in the form of extortionist taxes.  Don't beleive the lies that they are only protesting because of not wanting to lose their right to collective bargaining. They want to keep the golden calf fattened and make all the rest of us pay for it.

 

I see no difference between these leeches and the leeches that run BOF and JPM.  They all want other peoples money.

Get back to work you public servant leeches or quit your job and find a real one!

ThorsteinVeblen's picture

For those of us who use negative adjectives to describe the government; why would we opose brothers and sisters who stand up to it with a unified voice? The institution of government exibits many of the same traits as their Koch brothers counterparty who sponsor the new WI administration. If you think children in public schools would be better off being taught by continual inflows of newly minted graduates willing to catch the falling knife of reduced wages until the minimum wage is reached, (then abolished) side with the Koch's. How many employers can boast of employees with an average of 16 years on the job and 52% with advanced degrees?

Clean house and fire them all if you will, but allow them to put up their collective fight. That is a human right. Would Wisconsin be better off with a right-to-work school system resembling Alabama or Mississippi? Are our tax dollars better spent with fewer checks and balances between our government and individual employees, or are those employees with a unified voice keeping the balance of power in check? 

Mississippi received $1.54 per dollar of taxes in federal spending (2nd). Mississippi's combined state/local property taxes $ 715.93 per capita (42nd). Who moves to red states for a public education?


 

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Don't be delusional. There is no "balance of power" they are fighting for. They are fighting for an IMBALANCE of power-- the power for one group of state employees to negotiate with another group of state employees for money that a third party (the taxpayer) provides.

Nothing balanced about two people negotiating about how much money they are going to take from a third person.

Honestly-- why is this so difficult to understand?

DaBernank's picture

What an idiotic article. Last time I waste time reading this statist/fascist doggerel. I agree with none of your "we can all agree on these" points.

falak pema's picture

So shut the revolving door, throw out the big fish. Don't go after the soldiers who do their honest day, who guard democracy's foundation and keep civilization alive.

Misean's picture

You first.

Seriously, as I am a anarchist-libertarian I find it amusing when statists argue about how THEY would use the POWER of the state, as if some little scribbler would ever get that power. Real power holders properly call such scribblers useful idiots.

But further, to go out and call for cooperation by spewing out boilerplate left wing gibberish...It's like a kid on some playground claiming he doesn't want to fight some other kid, starting off the negotiations with "you mother is so..." digs. Really quite pathetic GW.

I did enjoy your post on Robo-bloggers the other day, so I thought I'd give this a read. I will steer clear of any further posts. Their are plenty of vastly superior muckracking leftys out there, like Tabibi and Greenwald, to spend my time reading.

falak pema's picture

Look at it this way : If we cut the public sector to the bone. The USA becomes Saudi Arabia as in 1950. Libya under Khaddafi. One king, only courtiers and family members take all the gravy. The people poor beduins in their tents. Corporates running the country for the king. Back to feudality. It took Europe five centuries to make the nation state and the people then started to exist, to no longer be serfs...You guys think the world began in 1776 in a naked continent. Welcome to the real world. Don't reinvent hot water please. It already exists!

AN0NYM0US's picture

Corporates running the country for the king

 

we have corporates running the country right now and guess who enables them, the bureaucracy and the revolving door.  And who is talking about cutting it to the bone - nice try

 

 

Lapri's picture

Sorry, but Wisconsin does divide us. Into "takers" and "makers". Takers, who take in tax money, and makers who have to pay those taxes so that takers get paid well.

It's not "the rich vs the poor". There are "poor" people given a lot of taxpayers money and ending up very cash rich, without paying taxes. State park superintendent is retiring with half a million dollar pension.

And Max Keiser says WI public union workers are rising against banksters. Jessie Jackson says they are like Egyptians ousting Mubarak. Huh?

blindman's picture

one critical issue.

the dollar is dead.  will the replacement currency be

grounded in international distribution of debt slavery

or

locally generated and backed by the products of local value

and labor?  and ..

will government serve to represent and enforce local will

or the will of global dictates.  that is the question/s.

and of course, energy 

Jim in MN's picture

Eyes on the prize, people.  Ask Gov. Walker about the global superrich elite and see what he says.  Is he a bootlicker?  We don't know.

He is certainly acting like one.  I prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Question for the chattering classes here: Are the Koch brothers patriots, or traitors?  Discuss, discuss....for that is the Prime Mover of the Cheese.

Do not be distracted.  The game is serious. 

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Koch brothers? Talk about a distraction. Go back to the Huffington Post.

Jim in MN's picture

Some of us on this site know what political economy is...it has to do with the power structure.  The Koch agenda, and money, built the tea party movement and it elected Governor Walker.

Ever wonder why the tea party rhetoric always starts with health care (red meat) but always, always includes killing cap and trade?  OIL>CASH>CORRUPTION.  And so unions need to be eliminated....mmm hmm....

You claim there's no there there...it is silly on its face.  You should at least have the courage of your convictions and your paymasters--or are they merely your friends' paymasters?  Credibility comes from honesty.

BTW I don't read the Huffington Post.  It's not very interesting.

DOT's picture

Hey Jim want that $60 MM Wisconsin owes MN to get paid ?

MisterBig's picture
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has history of going up against unions.

MADISON, WIS. - On a Tuesday afternoon in September 2003, during Scott Walker's first term as Milwaukee County executive, scores of union workers gathered at the local courthouse to protest layoffs he had ordered as part of an aggressive effort to balance the budget and avoid what he said would otherwise be necessary tax increases.

They shouted anti-Walker chants, and union officials and Democratic officeholders took turns denouncing his slash-and-burn approach.

The layoffs Walker had announced that summer decimated the county's public parks staff and also reduced the number of county social workers, corrections officers and janitors. As a result, park bathrooms were shuttered and pools were closed. Trash was piled up so high in the Milwaukee County Courthouse that visitors had to sidestep apple cores and coffee cups, and some judges resorted to cleaning toilets, a local newspaper reported.

Despite the deep cuts and the union uproar, Walker cruised to reelection the following spring and remained in his post six more years, until his successful gubernatorial run in the fall.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/19/AR201102...

jmc8888's picture

Glass-Steagall and what that means in implementing, along with end of bogus foreign wars, etc is what ANY american can get behind.

I think we need to start with Glass-Steagall....that is the best reset button, and the legal one.

Glass-Steagall will get rid of the fraudulent debt choking us.  The RMBS/CMBS, derivatives, etc.  It will make it so the debt ISN'T destroying us, and give us a chance to breathe AND build.

17 trillion in todays 'held' debt.  Not the 'guarantees' in the tens of trillions that haven't been paid....but the actual held debt. (the guarantees would be wiped as well)

Then with that you not only have rid your country of the debt cancer, with all its frauds, you have the capability to utter credit (not given by a banksta profiting...so no banksta profit) to rebuild this nation.  Manufacturing, machine tools, mag-lev, space, NAWAPA, fusion, Nuclear reactors.  THESE are what we need to utter credit for, and we can once we eliminate the fraud, and even AFTER counting these ideas, since it's debt not owed by bankstas it can be attended to in a way that doesn't consider squeezing every last cent out of a entity regardless of whether or not in the long run it is prudent for the banksta to destroy the company for whose debt it owns.  I.E. Easy to debt forgive, if need be, because there is no bottom line.  It's credit and each loan is SEPARATE from the entire industry, not some sort of revolving amount that always needs to be spent.

So much to agree on.  So much we can still disagree on.  The point is, we have many commonalities, and if we can all get Glass-Steagall passed and the baseline American Credit System put in place over our Imperial Monetary System....THEN after this there will still be plenty of things to debate.

But we got to get THERE FIRST.

Glass-Steagall - The Answer, and always was

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Sorry to shatter your delusions-- restoring Glass-Steagall won't save you, because that only turns the clock back to 1934. You have to go all the way back to 1913 to make any meaningful change-- abolish the income tax, abolish the federal reserve, and then MAYBE we'll be getting somewhere.

Implicit simplicit's picture

Restoring Glass-Steagall would be a good start, considering change will never happen to quickly.

There is an obvious wealth imbalance that if not put into check will result in revolution. Regardless of what philosophy one has, when people are hungry and desperate, morals mean nothing. The msjority will survive in any way they are able. 

Fred123's picture

Smash the stinking public unions, cut gov't jobs by 50%, and impeach Obama. Oh, and lets put Bill Black back as lead regulator to send a few thousand bankers to jail. Oh, Chris Dodd to. Raines also....damn, so many!

jmc8888's picture

ROFL that's what the bankstas want.

You want to be their bitch again, fine. Not me.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Don't be a dope. The bankstas love big government and big bureaucracy-- do you think it's a coincidence that the rise of bankster power has coincided neatly with the rise of big government? Check the size of gov't in 1913, when the banksters began to have their way-- it was about 1% the size it is now.

No, the banksters like everything exactly the way it is, because that is the way they have made it.

windcatcher's picture

Fact: Multinational Corporate Capitalism is at War with Main Street Capitalism, Democracy and the American People. They are winning, amazing that they have brought the United States of America down in only 10 years!

Fact: The bankster engineered Trilateral Commission, Counsel on Foreign Relations and the CIA is at the center of backdoor secret trade agreements that relocated American technology and manufacturing to foreign countries and purposely destroyed States’ manufacturing economy and tax base.

Fact: The Bush/Obama administration, in league with the criminal banksters, has purposely bankrupted America and individual States with fabricated and unjustifiable Wars, mortgage fraud, financial fraud, securities fraud and the systematic pillaging of the Treasury via the Federal Reserve.

Fact: Each American citizen is legally an indentured slave to National debt owed to the banksters. Each taxpayer owes $127,783 in National debt and as Ben Franklin would say “Creditors have better memories than debtors”. The banksters WILL collect their money from YOU one way or another.

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Fact: Your trust vested in the Democrat and Republican Parties has been betrayed by corruption resulting in Treason. If you want to be Free and Independent, you will have to fight for it like your Forefathers fought for their Democracy, Independence, Freedom and Liberty. If not, you deserve to be a impoverished slave; the best of your years has already happened.

Fact: The systematic collapse of individual States and the United States into the North American Union is right on schedule as planned by the Trilateral Commission, CIA and the CFR and implemented by the Bush/Obama administration and the power vested in the UN’s NATO.

Fact: Revolution of the People for the People and by the People to overthrow oppressors is our Heritage and a Democracy model for the Free World.

Fact: The ungrateful multinational American corporations grew from main street capitalism nurtured by a generous and benevolent Democracy that they later corrupted, disgraced and destroyed.

Fact: Most Americans take their Freedom and Liberty for granted and know little of Democracy and Independence. Most will not understand the difference until it is too late and the military boot is on their necks.

Fact: Revolution and Justice is countered by the “War Of Terrorism” against YOU. As Bush Jr. explains “Hell, that Constitution is just a fucking piece of paper”.

“That Big Wheel it be a turnin”. Like a remote controlled driverless steam-roller that appears out of control, but isn’t. This is as creepy as Cheney being in control of NORAD on 9/11.

MisterBig's picture

One of the landmark moments of U.S. labor history came back in 1898, when the great Chicago lawyer Clarence Darrow, then 41 years old, represented three Oshkosh, Wis., woodworkers against charges of conspiracy.

Adult male workers at the Oshkosh woodworking plants worked 10 to 12 hours a day for $1.10. Boys worked the same hours for 40 cents a day. They were paid irregularly. The workers went on strike to demand an end to child labor, a weekly payday, an increase in wages and recognition of their own organization.

A weekly payday! Imagine that.

Reading Darrow's 45-page final argument, which he delivered without notes in a seven-and-one-half hour display of rhetorical brilliance that reportedly "held ... the packed courtroom spellbound," is like journeying to an alternate reality, one in which appeals to humanity's better nature actually gained traction in the hearts of thinking men and women.