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  • stakeholder_9999 stakeholder_9999 Feb 21, 2011 10:34 PM Flag

    It's like Cairo has moved to Madison.

    Wisconsin Power Play


    Last week, in the face of protest demonstrations against Wisconsin’s new union-busting governor, Scott Walker — demonstrations that continued through the weekend, with huge crowds on Saturday —

    Representative Paul Ryan made an unintentionally apt comparison:

    “It’s like Cairo has moved to Madison.”

    It wasn’t the smartest thing for Mr. Ryan to say, since he probably didn’t mean to compare Mr. Walker, a fellow Republican, to Hosni Mubarak. Or maybe he did — after all, quite a few prominent conservatives, including Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santorum, denounced the uprising in Egypt and insist that President Obama should have helped the Mubarak regime suppress it.

    In any case, however, Mr. Ryan was more right than he knew. For what’s happening in Wisconsin isn’t about the state budget, despite Mr. Walker’s pretense that he’s just trying to be fiscally responsible. It is, instead, about power. What Mr. Walker and his backers are trying to do is to make Wisconsin — and eventually, America — less of a functioning democracy and more of a third-world-style oligarchy. And that’s why anyone who believes that we need some counterweight to the political power of big money should be on the demonstrators’ side.

    -------------------------

    Why bust the unions? As I said, it has nothing to do with helping Wisconsin deal with its current fiscal crisis. Nor is it likely to help the state’s budget prospects even in the long run: contrary to what you may have heard, public-sector workers in Wisconsin and elsewhere are paid somewhat less than private-sector workers with comparable qualifications, so there’s not much room for further pay squeezes.

    So it’s not about the budget; it’s about the power.

    In principle, every American citizen has an equal say in our political process. In practice, of course, some of us are more equal than others. Billionaires can field armies of lobbyists; they can finance think tanks that put the desired spin on policy issues; they can funnel cash to politicians with sympathetic views (as the Koch brothers did in the case of Mr. Walker). On paper, we’re a one-person-one-vote nation; in reality, we’re more than a bit of an oligarchy, in which a handful of wealthy people dominate.

    Given this reality, it’s important to have institutions that can act as counterweights to the power of big money. And unions are among the most important of these institutions.

    You don’t have to love unions, you don’t have to believe that their policy positions are always right, to recognize that they’re among the few influential players in our political system representing the interests of middle- and working-class Americans, as opposed to the wealthy. Indeed, if America has become more oligarchic and less democratic over the last 30 years — which it has — that’s to an important extent due to the decline of private-sector unions.

    And now Mr. Walker and his backers are trying to get rid of public-sector unions, too.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/opinion/21krugman.html

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    • Direct quote from the very start of the bill...

      "Section A. Sections 294.021, 294.022, 294.024, 294.027, 294.030, 294.040,
      2 294.045, 294.051, 294.054, 294.060, 294.070, 294.080, 294.090, and 294.100,
      3 RSMo, are repealed and two new sections enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as
      4 sections 294.022 and 294.040, to read as follows:
      294.022. 1. For the purposes of this section, the following terms mean:
      2 (1) "Employer", any person, firm or corporation employing or seeking to
      3 employ a child in the entertainment industry;..."

      It further goes on to define entertainment business.

    • Nah, I'll be fine. And to be honest, I don't care about you.

      I can see why people like you, who really will never be ever to attain any real financial security, are upset and need to blame someone else for YOUR problems. But the thing is, it really is YOUR problem. I have no doubt that your lack of any significant financial status is due to you being stupid with a combination of poor choices throughout your life. Thats your fault, not anyone else's.

    • > Most of you aren't living in poverty, you are living for free ... Free housing, free food, free health care, free utilities ... FREE FREE FREE ... at my expense and others like me.

      That's unlikely. Any taxes you and other Americans pay barely cover the cost of interest on the debt and foreign aid and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      The "free" goodies that you talk about are courtesy of Magic Money created out of thin air by the Federal Reserve as they monetize our debt and give the money to the Federal Government to squander. Trace it back further and it turns out we are giving that funny money to the Chinese and Japanese and Germans, etc for the goods and services they create with THEIR sweat equity, not yours cooter. How long this swindle will continue is anyone's guess. When it ends you will probably be living in a cardboard box under a bridge cooter. You will be begging for free housing, free food, free health care, free utilities.

      Swindlers rule in America today. They privatize any profits and socialize the losses. Just like BP walking away from all of their commitments and promises to make everyone whole in the BP Gulf Oil disaster, and using the money instead to pay out a dividend.

      Think of all of the destroyed lives in the Gulf Oil disaster: sick people who have lost their jobs and livelihoods and homes and had their cars repossessed and lost their businesses.

      Not to mention the dead baby dolphins still washing ashore.

    • Most of you aren't living in poverty, you are living for free ... Free housing, free food, free health care, free utilities ... FREE FREE FREE ... at my expense and others like me. - cooter

      Well said!

    • Most of you aren't living in poverty, you are living for free ... Free housing, free food, free health care, free utilities ... FREE FREE FREE ... at my expense and others like me.

      Perhaps if the Liberal scum in this country would help do away with high taxes, high regulations and unrealistic union demands we could see some growth again and there would be plenty of people to buy products and services.

      Stakeholder: Have you ever owned a business?

    • Who is going to buy these corporate products and services when most of us are living in poverty?

    • " contrary to what you may have heard, public-sector workers in Wisconsin and elsewhere are paid somewhat less than private-sector workers with comparable qualifications"

      Sorry but the WSJ, USA Today, et al have had articles in the last year clearly showing the qual adjusted comparisions show public sector employees make more than private. Those articles actually use facts not your unsupported supposition.

      • 1 Reply to fore6996
      • Maybe the NON union PRIVATE sector need to join a UNION, fore6996.

        ============================

        We need some "checks and balance" to corporate control in this country.

        '"Worker productivity has increased dramatically since the brief recession of 2001, but wages and job growth have lagged behind. At the same time, the share of national income going to corporate profits has dwarfed the amount going to wages and salaries," the study found.

        "That helps explain why the median household income for working-age families, adjusted for inflation, has fallen for five straight years.

        "These and other factors have helped push 43% of the nation's 37 million poor people into deep poverty — the highest rate since at least 1975. The share of poor Americans in deep poverty has climbed slowly but steadily over the last three decades,"'

        -------------------------------

        Note: This article was written during REAGAN'S and BUSH's "BOOM YEARS", prior to 2007 and the great Bush collapse of 2008.

        http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-02-25-us-poverty_x.htm

        Report: In U.S., record numbers are plunged into poverty
        Posted 2/25/2007 2:43 AM ET

        WASHINGTON (AFP) — The gulf between rich and poor in the United States is yawning wider than ever, and the number of extremely impoverished is at a three-decade high, a report out Saturday found.

        Based on the latest available U.S. census data from 2005, the McClatchy Newspapers analysis found that almost 16 million Americans live in "deep or severe poverty" defined as a family of four with two children earning less than 9,903 dollars — one half the federal poverty line figure.

        For individuals the "deep poverty" threshold was an income under 5,080 dollars a year.

        "The McClatchy analysis found that the number of severely poor Americans grew by 26% from 2000 to 2005," the U.S. newspaper chain reported.

        snip

        "That's 56% faster than the overall poverty population grew in the same period," it noted.

        The surge in poverty comes alongside an unusual economic expansion.

        "Worker productivity has increased dramatically since the brief recession of 2001, but wages and job growth have lagged behind. At the same time, the share of national income going to corporate profits has dwarfed the amount going to wages and salaries," the study found.

        "That helps explain why the median household income for working-age families, adjusted for inflation, has fallen for five straight years.

        "These and other factors have helped push 43% of the nation's 37 million poor people into deep poverty — the highest rate since at least 1975. The share of poor Americans in deep poverty has climbed slowly but steadily over the last three decades," the report said.


        more at link above


        .

    • The union has already agreed to cough up the money he's grubbing for.

      why does he want to take away collective bargaining, too ?

      is he just a lousy negotiator ?

      or just another un-american gop union buster ?

      • 2 Replies to a_pane_in_the_glass
      • Unions had a purpose during Industrial Revolution when working conditions were unsafe, excessive hours were required and youth were exposed to dangerous jobs.

        Through OSHA and Labor laws, those issues have been addressed.

        Collective Bargaining should not be used for job security, wages, health benefits, pensions, etc. An employee's worth should be determined by the market (i.e., employers) and supply of qualified candidates and demand for such employees. One's compensation is determined by free market just like most private employees.

        If one doesn't like their compensation/benefits, they can seek employment elsewhere or get the skills/knowledge to deserve better compensation.

      • Maybe instead of cutting some benefits the state should cut some jobs.

        Thing is, if the union had a choice between cutting some benefits or cutting job they would choose cutting jobs. Reason being is because the ones with seniority (the ones who are most likely the laziest) are safe when jobs are cut.

    • public-sector workers in Wisconsin and elsewhere are paid somewhat less than private-sector workers with comparable qualifications, so there’s not much room for further pay squeezes - stakeholder

      It isn't about the salaries or wages, it is about the benefits, and when those benefits are added in then the public sector workers are making as much if not mroe in most cases. Thing is, in the private sector, it is a business which is paying the bills. In the public sector, it is the taxpayers paying the bill.

      Why should taxpayers who don't work in the public sector be paying for all of the benefits of those who do?

      • 3 Replies to waltlia1025
      • That's not true. When you compare private sector with their benefits to the public sector, work experience and education, the public sector workers still fall 4.9% behind the private sector. All public employees are eligible for 403B retirement plans. Those in the private sector have 401K retirement plans. The difference is that in the private sector, many employers match part of the investments by the employees while in the public sector, the employer provides no match for the employees contribution in a 403B. Let me remind you, the union agreed to up the percentage paid for health insurance and to pay the employees share of the retirement benefit. This was to help reduce the budget deficit. Busting the Union has nothing to do with reducing the budget deficit.

      • "Thing is, in the private sector, it is a business which is paying the bills."

        ===============================

        And waltlia1025,

        In the private sector, it is the "consumer" which is paying the bills.

        Never forget that!



        .

 
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