Saturday, February 19, 2011

"...On Wisconsin..."

On a news website recently, amid the furor over the Wisconsin Governor's push to eliminate the bargaining rights of most of the state and local civil service unions, one comment thread had an entry where one "Fred" was complaining about the fact that *he* didn't have any pension anymore, and that jobs had been outsourced, and that *he* had seen his health insurance costs rise precipitously, and that he thought that the civil service unions should accept the "painful cuts," I was struck and wondering just why "Fred" was railing against the *unions,* and not the people who had stripped his pensions, and cut his wages, and sent his jobs overseas.

I put the following into the comment thread, in response to "Fred's" missive:

Fred --

You sound like you *enjoy* what the corporate culture in the USA has done to our economy:.

  • -- jobs lost because the companies decided to move everything overseas and ignored the people who had built the companies in the first place by their hard work
  • -- Pensions -- that you and your fellow-workers had contributed to -- stripped away, and the promises made when you and your fellow workers were employed, and you made your commitments of loyalty and hard work, were broken when the quarterly stock analysts decided that the short-term gain wasn't big enough
  • -- Insurance costs being outrageous because the insurance companies are allowed to spend huge amounts of the premiums paid on bloated executive salaries, lobbying and advertising
  • -- State workers are protected by civil service rules because they (those state workers) were being subjected to arbitrary firings and unsafe work conditions whenever the current politician population changed, and those new office-holders had friends and family to give largess to, rather than having people working who just wanted to do their jobs to the best of their abilities
  • -- The civil service workers aren't the ones who cut your pensions -- those pensions were cut by the corporations that are given huge give-aways in tax breaks that ordinary citizens cannot even think of getting
  • -- as for "painful cuts," -- the governor in WI caused this budget shortfall himself when he gave away huge tax breaks to business.

Don't blame the unions and the workers for the mess the GOP and Wall Street have caused. If you want to see who is really behind the mess in the economy, follow the money. Right to the corporate board rooms and the financial firms on Wall Street.

Don't rail at the union workers who have managed to hold onto *their* benefits.
Rail at the corporate monied interests who stole *your* benefits.