March 10, 2011 at 4:35 am #164313
I am watching live stream of the protests in WI after their Governor split up the bill and forced through a bill just stripping public union collective bargaining. Looks like a general strike could be well on its way.March 10, 2011 at 4:41 am #164350March 10, 2011 at 5:45 am #164349
Good. Let them strike. Then hire non-union employees to fill their positions. Problem solved. Well played Governor…March 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm #164348Ben YahrParticipant
As a Madison resident, my main comment is that it is absolutely mind boggling how poorly this situation has been reported. Not that I ever had much faith in main stream media, but if the events of the last three weeks are any indication of quality of journalism these days, perhaps 5% of every soundbite and “investigative report” you experience is actually accurate.
I can only assume Thomas is being sarcastic, because this is not a union issue; this is a full scale ideological attack on the middle class.March 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm #164347
Also part of a concerted orchestrated attempt to gut the democratic party and to disenfranchise anyone who votes for liberal causes..Ah..A one-party state..Lets see how we like that ..Human history is almost entirely composed of one-party states that have a religious basis..Thanks, Republicans, for gutting the incredible human progress that the founding of America represented..March 11, 2011 at 4:13 pm #164346
The governor cannot prohibit collective bargaining rights of the citizens, only unions… citizens still maintain their rights that falls under free speech, peaceful assembly, pursuit of happiness and all that good stuff… Unions are not citizens and do not have the same rights.
The fact is, out of the top 10 contributors to political campaigns 7 are companies that contribute to the republicans the other 3 are unions that contribute to democrats. The only reason the democrats are still around is because of Unions. Unions looking after public employee rights is a redundancy. If it is the governments job to look after the best interest of the people, why do we need an extremely expensive, seedy, organization to do the same thing?
Unions themselves are “a full scale ideological attack on the middle class”. Who do you think pays public employees wages? The middle class do. The middle class is tired of paying public employees 30% more than equivalent private sector jobs. They are tired of paying for their free healthcare and unsustainable pension plans, all of which are brought to you by strong-arm union negotiations and their contributions to the democratic party. Why should I have to pay for my healthcare and save for my retirement, making 30% less than my government employed equivalent, while my taxes pay for his/her extravagant benefits? It makes no sense and it is mathematically impossible to maintain.
As a public employee, if you work for 20 years you can retire at 90% pension. You could also get another government job, work another 20 years and get a second pension. All without ever saving a dime. Where else can you do that!? It’s not reality and it needs to stop.
Unions and democrats thrive on expanding government and increasing taxes. That is not going to solve our budget problems. We need to shrink government and decrease spending while encouraging the growth of American businesses. Of course nobody likes having their free hand-outs taken away but we are going to have to make unpopular decisions if we are going to dig ourselves out of this financial mess. That’s the problem with democrats, they are great at complaining but I have yet to hear a single solution offered by any of them. How do they propose solving our budget issues? They don’t…more taxes will not solve the problem, especially when you continue to spend beyond your means…
*As a side note, I’m not either a Democrat or Republican. I think they are both crooks and criminals. The republicans are just as much, if not more to blame for the financial meltdown, than the Democrats. We need 3rd, 4th and 5th parties to look at the books and figure out what’s really going on. We’ll never solve this problem between the D’s and R’s… it just keeps bouncing back and fourth and won’t be resolved until it is pushed in another direction by another party…March 11, 2011 at 4:42 pm #164345
Many misconceptions, TJ..Unionized worker do NOT make more than non-union..And in describing what you have for benefits, why do you want everyone down at your level? Wouldn’t it make more sense to bring the whole society up to the modest benefits unions afford their workers? You cannot tell me that a teacher job is cushy..that is ridiculous..and 51,000 for the work they do is PITIFUL – and actually a lot more than half of the teachers m ake..
Do you have any idea what work used to be like before workers had any power at all..Even now it is gutted by the same set of misconceptions you so ritually laid out – talking points for libertarians, with no knowledge of history and a lot of false information..
Free speech of an individual does not balance the power of an industry or a state to crush the individual – so individuals need to band into groups of worker to be equal to the power of the employers…Duh!
What is gutting the middle class is people continuously mistaking voting for the ‘rights of the indivisual’ when they are actually aiding and abetting the oligarchic classes – check out salaries for the top .1 percent, vs. the middle classes over the last ten years..Our salaries have been level since the seventies..Oligarchs are increading their profits, by leaps and bounds..
I agree, there are some dems who are as bad as the repubs..But I have to say ALL repubs are bad, and only half the dems are..
It is just so wrong..So unbelievably wrong..March 11, 2011 at 6:07 pm #164344
OK, so following your logic, if unionized workers do not make more than non-unionized workers, why do we need unions…?March 11, 2011 at 6:11 pm #164343
job security, social stability – we don’t make more, but we last longer..it’s good for everyone..March 11, 2011 at 6:21 pm #164342Jordan LockmanParticipant
I am not touching this one other than by saying both sides have handled this thing terribly and I really hope that everyone can come together for what is the best for our society.March 11, 2011 at 8:31 pm #164341Jonathan Smith, RLAParticipant
Not to mention working conditions…remember the Tiangle Shirtwaste Factory Fire? Have you ever read Upton Sinclair? The Jungle? Dickens?
Looking back at relatively recent history, we have so many reasons to unite. I’m a fan of capitalism, but unchecked, corporations only have one thing at heart…to make money. Not to ensure life, liberty and the pursiuit of happiness. The good stuff.
Don’t even get me started on the myth of trickle down economics…March 11, 2011 at 8:44 pm #164340
Wow, I think I hit the hornets nest!
In all serious though…Thomas J. you hit on it when you said this:
If it is the governments job to look after the best interest of the people, why do we need an extremely expensive, seedy, organization to do the same thing?
Now the question I would ask you is this. Do you feel that the government is working in the best interest of the people of the United States? I do not believe this. I believe that there are politicians…yes republicans and democrats that would like to wrest power from the control of corporations. But in a capitalistic society the only thing worth anything is money. There is no value given to anything unless it can be measured in its ability to produce money for shareholders. We see this debate played out in Wisconsin and I would agree with Ben that this anger in the WI capital is much more then about the unions losing their voice…to many of us…this represents a loss of OUR voice…the loss that has been culminating for years. Where you have a generation of young people that can’t even pursue their own happiness because some crooks stole billions of dollars and now hard working people like nurses, teachers, fire fighters, police officers, sanitation workers, etc. are expected to fix that. To fix two unfunded wars. To pay back debt that we NEVER wanted. So now we see the slashing of things that don’t make money. Teaching kids is about the future. It isn’t about now…and it certainly doesn’t make money. What this looks like in Idaho is the school superintendent slashing funding for schools, then saying the solution is to fire teachers, buy all ninth graders laptops and force them to take on-line classes through private educators based in VA. Guess what? These companies contributed to his reelection. Our teachers are also losing their collective bargaining rights. His gift to them? Starting salaries of $30,000. Oh wait…that was what it was 4 years ago before budget cuts and only after up to 700 teachers lose their jobs. Sending public money out of state to private corporations rather then pay teachers in your own community.
This is just a small, local example of this travesty in my own backyard. If I were there I would protest with them. Not for the union. But for people like us and yes, for people like you who have not been heard.
One thing I have noticed is the lack of coverage. Anyone remember a few summers when a couple hundred elderly, white folks could gather at a town meeting and yell about “death panels”? They were the voice of America. 80,000 protesters in Madison are union thugs.March 11, 2011 at 8:52 pm #164339Ben YahrParticipant
So I take it you support this scenario?March 11, 2011 at 8:54 pm #164338
Well and aside from wages…they collective bargaining deals with a wide array of things. I have children in public school…collective bargaining allows the teachers to have a say in class size and other classroom conditions that are very important to my children’s education. In Idaho our superintendent has an on-line degree from Thomas Jefferson University or something like that in weights and measures. He has no educational experience whatsover…I would prefer teachers have more of a say in my children’s education then him.
Another example would be something I heard from a firefighter that said they bargain for safety standards including how many firefighters leave the firehouse to respond to an emergency. Clearly when politicians change every few years you are going to have a swing back and forth on what a politician thinks is worth funding. Note GOP efforts to cut tsunami warning systems…do we really want to cut that just because they think everything should be privatized?March 11, 2011 at 9:18 pm #164337
So why should those who serve the citizens have it better than the citizens they serve? Why should they have better job security? Why shouldn’t they have to contribute to their health care and retirement like everyone else? Why should they be sheltered from the kind of job competition that people in the private sector face every day?
And to say you don’t make more is a flat out lie. If you work 20 years and retire with a 90% pension for the next 30-40 years, who won, you or the tax payers? You worked 20 and got 30 for free. Where do you think that money comes from? That’s right, people who have to work 40+ years, while saving for retirement, in order to fund your early retirement. You didn’t have to save while you were working and you’re getting paid essentially the same thing for the rest of your life. It’s insane!
Of course you’re not ever going to see it that way… I’d blind myself to the reality too if I was in your shoes. I’d love a cushy government job with great benefits but until that day comes I’ll keep being critical of a system built to fail.
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