Public versus Private Workers in Wisconsin

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    One tactic used by Republican Governor Walker of Wisconsin and his corporate sponsors is a campaign to turn non-public and non-union workers against the unionized public workerss.  It has had some success, at least at first, not only with Wisoncsin workers but with the general public across the country. It is an obvious “divide and conquer” tactic, which plays on jealousy under the comforting banner of fairness, i.e., “since I had to suffer a paycut in this recession, why should I pay taxes to support the public workers? Let them suffer, too;” or “We all have to suffer to bring down the deficit;” or “Government spending is out of control; we have to protect our grandkids who will have to pay off our debt.”

    Listen to this interview of Frank Hammer (former President of the UAW) by Paul Jay of The Real News Network. Ask yourself: Since the recession was caused by Wall Street and the banks, it was not caused by the workers (unionized or not), why aren’t Governor Walker and the Republicans enhancing revenue through taxing the big banks, Wall Street, and the super-rich perpetrators of the crash, instead of only targeting spending, and only spending on workers and the middle class at that?

    It seems that, at least in Wisconsin, other workers are beginning to ask those questions, and there is speculation about calling a general strike—- first time in generations such a tactic has been used in the U. S.

    • Teddy Goodson

      going on, although that is far and away the obvious part of Gov. Walker’s plan. Under the radar, but included in the same legislation, is a power grab, very much as G.W. Bush buried his dictatorial seizure of powers in the Patriot Act. If the legislation, which made it through the Republican-dominated lower house, is finally pushed through the Senate, we will have what can only be described as a basically fascist regime in the state of Wisonsin. The Governor will be able to sell off state infrastructure at his sole discretion under no-bid contracts, and without any oversight*; he can appoint a health czar to make decisions on coverage under Medicaid, and so on.

      *Very much as Bremer, when sent to Iraq by President Bush, confiscated and “privatized” every state business, totally wrecking Iraqi economy; Walker will be able also to sell off roads and buildings, as I understand it. Crony capitalism triumphant. Too ad this little detail has not been investigated more thoroughly.