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Wisconsin in Context

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Once state employees in Wisconsin announced their willingness to accept benefit cuts, but not the revocation of their collective bargaining rights, the nature of the debate changed. It looked as if Gov. Scott Walker ® was advancing a punitive, unnecessary union-busting agenda, but once his budget demands had been met, and he still refused to work with Democrats and his own state employees, appearances no longer mattered -- this is a punitive, unnecessary union-busting agenda. The next question is why Walker and other Republican leaders consider this such a high priority. The obvious answer is that the GOP has always been hostile to labor; it's part of the party's raison d'etre. But it's worth taking the next step and appreciating what drives the antagonism.

Paul Krugman's column today makes the case well.

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.

There's a bitter irony here. The fiscal crisis in Wisconsin, as in other states, was largely caused by the increasing power of America's oligarchy. After all, it was superwealthy players, not the general public, who pushed for financial deregulation and thereby set the stage for the economic crisis of 2008-9, a crisis whose aftermath is the main reason for the current budget crunch. And now the political right is trying to exploit that very crisis, using it to remove one of the few remaining checks on oligarchic influence.

I'm reminded, from time to time, of something John Boehner said in July, when he accused Democrats of "snuffing out the America that I grew up in." This occurred to me in the wake of the GOP's anti-union efforts because the America Boehner grew up in featured large union memberships throughout society, and the "right to form a union was broadly accepted."

If Boehner wants to protect the norms of that bygone era, and prevent the "snuffing out" of the America he grew up in, the House Speaker is fighting for the wrong side.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/

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Once state employees in Wisconsin announced their willingness to accept benefit cuts, but not the revocation of their collective bargaining rights, the nature of the debate changed. It looked as if Gov. Scott Walker ® was advancing a punitive, unnecessary union-busting agenda, but once his budget demands had been met, and he still refused to work with Democrats and his own state employees, appearances no longer mattered -- this is a punitive, unnecessary union-busting agenda. The next question is why Walker and other Republican leaders consider this such a high priority. The obvious answer is that the GOP has always been hostile to labor; it's part of the party's raison d'etre. But it's worth taking the next step and appreciating what drives the antagonism.

you mean they found a democrat lawmaker, one stuck his head out of his hole long enough for an interview?

does that mean we'll have 6 more weeks of winter too?


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Where is the voice of the taxpayers?

Oh WAIT STEVEN - The voice was they elected Walker and the GOP to stop the union thugs!

You see, Unions are no different than "billionaire lobbyists" in the sense that they are all people who get more of a voice than the taxpayers. The taxpayers spoke and the union thugs didn't like it and the dirty teachers on the streets of Madison didn't like it either. So now they want to beat and batter the taxpayers even more while costing them millions of dollars with their protests to steal money from average hard-working citizens.

Screw em. Public Unions need to be outlawed, made 100% illegal.


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2/26/2010 - VSC Cashed Filing Fee

3/04/2010 - NOA1 Received!

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02/07/2011 - Medical!

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The context is clear: if its a budget thing, make it a budget thing. If not, then don't lie about the budget just to advance a political cause.

If your problem is with collective bargaining, you should target those parts that you think are corrupt and not benefit the continued dumbing down of the nation. We need an education system and staff that is more valued than the entertainment venues we invest orders of magnitude more. If we don't like to fund education as a modern endeavor, then we should move to where funding levels are more appropriate to our level of tolerance/ignorance.

That still leaves the unionization issue in the open to see, and I really don't think this Governor Walker will survive politically as the governor of Wisconsin.

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The context is clear: if its a budget thing, make it a budget thing. If not, then don't lie about the budget just to advance a political cause.

If your problem is with collective bargaining, you should target those parts that you think are corrupt and not benefit the continued dumbing down of the nation. We need an education system and staff that is more valued than the entertainment venues we invest orders of magnitude more. If we don't like to fund education as a modern endeavor, then we should move to where funding levels are more appropriate to our level of tolerance/ignorance.

That still leaves the unionization issue in the open to see, and I really don't think this Governor Walker will survive politically as the governor of Wisconsin.

Why not? He's doing exactly what he was elected to do. Which is a lot more than can be said for many politicians.

I agree with need a valued education system, but we have gone far beyond that over the years. It's not easy to get fired when you're a union member and it's not right that everyone be paid based on how long they've had their job vs. job performance. --- I also don't think it's fair to judge on performance alone, BUT if year after year after year every class this teacher has is not producing, then the problem isn't just random occurances of poor students.


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The Great Canadian to Texas Transfer Timeline:

2/22/2010 - I-129F Packet Mailed

2/24/2010 - Packet Delivered to VSC

2/26/2010 - VSC Cashed Filing Fee

3/04/2010 - NOA1 Received!

8/14/2010 - Touched!

10/04/2010 - NOA2 Received!

10/25/2010 - Packet 3 Received!

02/07/2011 - Medical!

03/15/2011 - Interview in Montreal! - Approved!!!

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Why not? He's doing exactly what he was elected to do. Which is a lot more than can be said for many politicians.

I agree with need a valued education system, but we have gone far beyond that over the years. It's not easy to get fired when you're a union member and it's not right that everyone be paid based on how long they've had their job vs. job performance. --- I also don't think it's fair to judge on performance alone, BUT if year after year after year every class this teacher has is not producing, then the problem isn't just random occurances of poor students.

Indeed, so was Obama. Elected to do a certain thing, and that same thing was violently and irrationally opposed from a legislative perspective.

If the campaign by Walker was centered on stripping collective bargaining, then that should be a stand alone piece of legislation in that state. Its far from being a budgetary issue and anyone willing to mix the two 'problems' is being severely biased and irrational.

Educators will never be valued in a society where funding is easier for crooked CEOs than it is to teach critical thinking skills in high school.

Agreed on holding people accountable on all fronts. Its ridiculous to expect that only one issue can be causally linked to complex outcomes.

I may also remind you that unionized teachers can and do get fired, and dismissible causes for termination are usually fairly easy to spot. Adding causes due to a consistent student performance issue, year after year, is an indication that modifications in staff, staff development, and curricular facilities, including community improvements, need to be put on the table. Unfortunately, many people do not want to fund these initiatives but they will choose to fund CEO salaries (including school district officials, public as they are) that far outweigh the compensation/work performed ratio for competitive compensation scales.

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Once state employees in Wisconsin announced their willingness to accept benefit cuts, but not the revocation of their collective bargaining rights, the nature of the debate changed. It looked as if Gov. Scott Walker ® was advancing a punitive, unnecessary union-busting agenda, but once his budget demands had been met, and he still refused to work with Democrats and his own state employees, appearances no longer mattered -- this is a punitive, unnecessary union-busting agenda. The next question is why Walker and other Republican leaders consider this such a high priority. The obvious answer is that the GOP has always been hostile to labor; it's part of the party's raison d'etre. But it's worth taking the next step and appreciating what drives the antagonism.

Paul Krugman's column today makes the case well.

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.

There's a bitter irony here. The fiscal crisis in Wisconsin, as in other states, was largely caused by the increasing power of America's oligarchy. After all, it was superwealthy players, not the general public, who pushed for financial deregulation and thereby set the stage for the economic crisis of 2008-9, a crisis whose aftermath is the main reason for the current budget crunch. And now the political right is trying to exploit that very crisis, using it to remove one of the few remaining checks on oligarchic influence.

I'm reminded, from time to time, of something John Boehner said in July, when he accused Democrats of "snuffing out the America that I grew up in." This occurred to me in the wake of the GOP's anti-union efforts because the America Boehner grew up in featured large union memberships throughout society, and the "right to form a union was broadly accepted."

If Boehner wants to protect the norms of that bygone era, and prevent the "snuffing out" of the America he grew up in, the House Speaker is fighting for the wrong side.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/

This article makes a lot of good points. The American system is much more an oligarchy than a democracy and it's getting worse. But why does the author assume that Unions are somehow protecting the interests of individual workers. Unions are also oligarchies run by powerful people with lots of lobbyists at their disposal.

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I agree with SMR in principle. Many Unions hierarchies are exactly doing that. The degree to which they are doing this, in my opinion, is where the hyperbole and misinformation are rife. A discussion could arise from an evaluation of what unions, what oligarchies, and what parallels can be drawn against private entities that work in the same way with far greater damage on our finances. We need to pick our priorities as to what kinds of spending impacts our economy worse- public spending that is intended to benefit most, with obvious efficiency and human corruption issues (that can be addressed) vs private spending and tax breaks/perks that are clearly intended to benefit limited sectors of society with no guarantees of benefit to the rest.

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This article makes a lot of good points. The American system is much more an oligarchy than a democracy and it's getting worse. But why does the author assume that Unions are somehow protecting the interests of individual workers. Unions are also oligarchies run by powerful people with lots of lobbyists at their disposal.

Having lobbying power doesn't make unions oligarchic. Right now, they are the only counter to the lobbying power of corporations, who are no longer limited by how much money they spend to influence politics. Unions can never match dollar for dollar, corporate lobbying.

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Having lobbying power doesn't make unions oligarchic. Right now, they are the only counter to the lobbying power of corporations, who are no longer limited by how much money they spend to influence politics. Unions can never match dollar for dollar, corporate lobbying.

Public Unions are leeches who steal from taxpayers. Corporations are not. Corporations produce. Unions do not. Public Unions take money out of the economy. Corporations do not.


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The Great Canadian to Texas Transfer Timeline:

2/22/2010 - I-129F Packet Mailed

2/24/2010 - Packet Delivered to VSC

2/26/2010 - VSC Cashed Filing Fee

3/04/2010 - NOA1 Received!

8/14/2010 - Touched!

10/04/2010 - NOA2 Received!

10/25/2010 - Packet 3 Received!

02/07/2011 - Medical!

03/15/2011 - Interview in Montreal! - Approved!!!

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Public Unions are leeches who steal from taxpayers. Corporations are not. Corporations produce. Unions do not. Public Unions take money out of the economy. Corporations do not.

Man you are ignorant.

More statements of fact?

He's got nothing but conjecture. He's an expert with conjecture.

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Man you are ignorant.

He's got nothing but conjecture. He's an expert with conjecture.

Ignorant? :lol:

Prove me wrong Steven. Go ahead, I dare you.

Of course that would require you to do more than drive-by news article postings, now wouldn't it?

Some would argue "corporations have a duty to investors.. bla bla" - Wrong. They have a duty if they want to KEEP investors. After all, those investors make a choice.

Taxpayers don't have much of a choice in the funds that are stolen from them and redistributed accordingly. Public Unions like most unions are nothing more than weak groups of individuals who cannot fight for themselves and expect a handout without producing results. The problem here as stated is they are holding taxpayers hostage. If you don't like your salary, find a different career path! All these teachers have done in the past week is prove they don't give a damn about the children.


nfrsig.jpg

The Great Canadian to Texas Transfer Timeline:

2/22/2010 - I-129F Packet Mailed

2/24/2010 - Packet Delivered to VSC

2/26/2010 - VSC Cashed Filing Fee

3/04/2010 - NOA1 Received!

8/14/2010 - Touched!

10/04/2010 - NOA2 Received!

10/25/2010 - Packet 3 Received!

02/07/2011 - Medical!

03/15/2011 - Interview in Montreal! - Approved!!!

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Some people, when having taxes assessed, really ought to understand what the purpose of that taxation is for. In purpose, that is. Is there inherent inefficiency in the process? Of course there is. Is the entire process evil and parallel to medieval serfdom? Of course not. The fact of the matter is that one that is sickened by "high" taxes in one location can choose their freedom to move to any other low-tax haven- be it due to affluent alternatives driving public coffers, or be it driving poor services. But they'll have what they want: low taxes. No unions? No problem!

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