Monday, February 28, 2011

More on Unions, no really, you better watch out!

This joke is making it's way around Facebook, and it really nails it (which I think 'the kids' are saying again, right?)
So, a unionized public employee, a member of the Tea Party, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies. He looks at the tea partier and says, "Watch out for that union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie."
Here is a very informative clip from The Rachel Maddow Show about the underlying motives and dynamics of the Wisconsin fight over public sector workers collective bargaining rights...

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The unions in Wisconsin have already said that they are willing to make concessions, but the Governor's goal is not really to solve the "budget crisis" (which, per the clip above, might not have been so much a 'crisis' if he had not proactively passed a bunch of business tax cuts as his first act upon taking office). What he wants to do is to remove unions' voice, to neuter their ability to represent a large group of workers on their salary, benefits and working conditions. And in so doing to tilt the balance of power in the Republicans favor for ever more.

Wisconsin is not the easiest place for this piece of the GOP agenda to get across, it may be the toughest. And that's why they are doing it--they wanted to act quickly, sneak it in on a general positive wave of just-elected-governor vibe, and thus get it straight in as a mainstream national policy issue. But it's not. It's an attempt to radically retrench how employees are treated in this country, especially blue collar employees, and it aims directly (if much less intuitively) for the source of funding for the Democratic party. Which in a post Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission world is very dangerous for all of us.

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