Tag Archives: Wisconsin

Check out Blueprint for Victory: Republican Strategy for Breaking Unions

Check out Blueprint for Victory After Checking this out and view their web page, throw the trash out!!!!

What the Republican National Committee has authorized is Union busting and do what you will in the name of people.  And I do mean anything.

Consider this:  In Ohio The House passes tax break for oil, in spite of the pleadings of other industry groups. So you have to ask, How much do House GOP members love the petroleum industry?  So much so that they ignored the pleadings of several other industry groups opposed to a new tax break included in the transportation budget, which was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives today.  An amendment to remove the tax benefit and earmark the proceeds of the tax to public transit was defeated along party lines.

The letter signed by the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, the Ohio Society of  CPA’s, the Ohio State Medical Association, and the Chemistry  Technology Council pleaded with House Speaker Batchelder to resist any attempts by special interests trying to get their product or service exempted from the Commercial Activity Tax [CAT].

They wrote:  As original proponents of the tax reform package in 2005, we have worked tirelessly to reiterate to lawmakers the importance of maintaining a broad-based tax code, with the lowest possible tax rate.

I can only say congratulations to the petroleum dealers.  There money was well spent. Their campaign donations paid off.

Consider this:  Foundry.org in an article this morning, the headline of which reads:  Government Unions Actually Campaign for Higher Taxes.  You must remember this is The RNC’s best friend.  Neoconservatives and the religious right.  Another article that the Foundry recommended:  Taxpayers Win in Wisconsin. This is the Wall Street Journal, owned by Rupert Murdock, the great unbiased newspaper and corporation in the entire world.  If I watched FOXnews, I would now be in intensive care.  Anyway, the article begins as follows:

Congratulations to Wisconsin Republicans, who held together this week to pass their government union reforms despite unprecedented acting out by Democrats and their union allies. Three weeks ago we described this battle as a foretaste of Greece come to America, but maybe there’s hope for taxpayers after all.

The good news is that Governor Scott Walkers’ reforms have been worth the fight on the policy merits.  The conventional media wisdom is that Mr Walker “overreached” by proposing limits on the ability of government unions to bargain collectively for benefits.

That neoconservatives and the religious right would compare the State of Wisconsin to a sovereign country Greece is ludicrous.  Backward Bachman tried to make the same analogy a few weeks ago and was laughed out of the room.  What the taxpayers won in Wisconsin is lower wages, higher cost for health benefits and disrespect.  But they voted for him and now they discovered that they along with other states that elected Republicans, were all lied to.  Just read the article at http://www.wjs.com.  Then throw out the trash.

Consider this:  Michigan bills to rein in Local Government.  What it really means is that they can dissolve local governments.  They can just fire anyone at will.  All for the greater good  The law expands state power over fiscally stressed local governments and gives emergency managers broader authority, including the ability to terminate labor contracts.  Under the law whole cities or school districts could be eliminated without any public participation or oversight and amendments designed to provide minimal safeguards and public involvement were voted down. According to the law, the governor will be able to declare “financial emergency” in towns or school districts and appoint someone to fire local elected officials, break contracts, seize and sell assets, and eliminate services.  Do we see a pattern here?  Eliminate unions.  Limit Democrats. They are manipulating concerns about budget difficulties to consolidate power by undermining unions.  It amounts to a takeover by the right-wing and it is an assault on democracy. What values, or the lack thereof, will guide these persons or firms as they work to balance budgets? How will a manager decide whether to sell off an ice rink or a library?  There is no real training, but you don’t really need education or training when all you want to do is fire everyone.

Their blueprint looks terrific, graphics are wonderful, they even talk a good game.  Still as you visit their website one of the most obvious, blatant signs is the donate now, help stop Obama and his union bosses.  The Blueprint for Victory is just a good Powerpoint presentation while their real purpose is union busting and convincing you to help them.

What Wisconsin has done is being copied in Ohio, Indiana and other states.  They may have won the battle in Wisconsin, but they will lose the war  They want to make you believe that the monopoly power of government unions can be broken.  They call it a rare victory for TAXPAYERS.

 

 

 

 

 

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Democracy Uprising? Collective Bargaining and Public Sector Unions

Wisconsin state employees protests spread to Ohio and Indiana.  Americans believe in shared sacrifice.  When finances are tight, public employees should be asked for concessions – and so should those who are doing well. But these latest assaults aren’t about necessary sacrifice, they are about asserting power and these employees know it.  They are as mad as hell and they aren’t going to take it any more.

“It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”  George Meany, former President of the AFL-CIO in 1955. Government unions are unremarkable today, but the labor movement once thought the idea absurd.

Founders of the labor movement saw unions as vehicle to get workers more of profits they help create.  Government workers, however, don’t generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money.  When government unions strike, they strike against taxpayers.  That is you and me.  FDR considered this “unthinkable and intolerable.”

Through the 1950s unions widely agreed that collective bargaining had no place in government. But starting with Wisconsin in 1959, state began to allow collective bargaining  in government. The influx of dues and members quickly changed the union movement’s tune, and collective bargaining in government is now widespread.  The result now is that unions can now insist on laws that serve their interest – at the expense of the common good.

Government collective bargaining means voters do not have the final say on public policy.  We pay the bill, but have nothing to say.  Instead their elected representatives must negotiate spending and policy decisions with unions.  That is not democratic, a fact that unions once recognized.

I might be crazy, and there has been at times questions about my state of mind, but there really is something wrong with this picture.  Union contracts make it impossible to reward excellent teachers or fire failing ones. Union contracts give government employees gold-plated benefits – at the cost of higher taxes and less spending on other priorities.   Voters should have control over government policy.  We elected representatives and they should decide how the government spends our taxes.

A decade sago, candidates for governor in highly unionized states sought the endorsement of government workers’ unions, knowing that this could lead to an easy election victory.  They learned their lesson. They discovered that confronting the unions rather than courting them pays off.  Unions it seems have outlived their usefulness.  Public employees, state or federal, have no right to strike.  If they do they can be fired.  Remember Reagan and the flight controllers?  Now, given it would be hard, then again maybe not, to replace teachers, but in this economy it could be done.  Truth is, teachers and state employees are going to lose benefits or pay more for them.  Teachers who can retire should retire before the new changes take effect.  Keep the benefits you have now, don’t take a loss.

The other side is this.  The unions are being made scapegoats for all that is going bad economically.Blame the public workers’ unions, especially the teachers, clerical and transportation workers union.  There is this wave of propaganda over the last few months, and it is impressive to watch, trying to deflect attention away from those who actually created the economic crisis, like Goldman Sacks, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, their partners in the government – Federal Reserve and others – let all this go on and helped it. Now they have switched attention away from the real people responsible for the crisis and switched blame for the crisis to teachers, police, firefighters, sanitation workers, their huge pensions, their incredible health benefits. Cadillac healthcare benefits, and their unions, who are the real villains, the ones who are robbing the taxpayer by making sure that policemen do not starve when they retire.

In Wisconsin, now the state employees say they are willing to accept givebacks in the budget, except for collective bargaining.  Since collective bargaining right have no near term budget impact, it is clear that Governor Walker’s goal, effort is not budgetary, but an effort to bust the public unions.  This same scenario will play out in Ohio and Indiana and many other states.

Unions must fight for the hearts and the minds of the voters. It is not enough for them simple to demand that what has been given to them in the past must be continued, or argue that they are really not better paid than private sector workers and that cuts are not justified. The unions can only repel attacks with concessions in bargaining reasonableness that seems adequate and fair.  If they are to survive to represent workers forcefully in better times, they must now demonstrate that they are willing to shoulder a share of these hard times.

They must win the hearts of the voters.