Pay Day in Green Bay . . .
. . . and it is all happening in Wisconsin. Governor Scott Walker (R) is trying to trim the state budget. Madison, the state capital, is the place to be but Democrat state senators have fled the state in order to delay the vote on budget cuts. The American labour movement is under threat, and, if Gov. Scott Walker can make it here, any Republican Gov can make it anywhere.
The 14 Democrat state senators are holed up in undisclosed locations which we all know to be somewhere in Illinois, but, as one stated in a recent interview, he can see Wisconsin from where he sits. Prairie fire is spreading and protestors are rallying in Indiana and Ohio where today Barack Obama visited. With no mention made of the situation in Wisconsin. He is letting Scott Walker do it for himself as indeed Gadaffi is doing for himself in Tripoli, albeit with help from sub-Saharan mercenaries but that is another story.
I need to do some serious research. I thought the problem with the economy here, there and everywhere, was that manufacturing was so last century. The three little words with the biggest impact on the global economy, Made in China, the epitaph of industries across the western world rendered the labour movement mute. Not a bit of it. Mercury Marine, Kohler and Harley -Davidson continue to churn it out, just, in Wisconsin. All have sought concessions from their workers.
Public workers – police, firefighters, teachers, nurses, sanitation workers, have agreed to cuts but are digging in on the right to negotiate collective bargaining rights. Future terms. When it gets rosier than it is now. Or perhaps, worse. Minimum wage, equal pay and child labour laws are not mere historical references.
Health care and pensions are the expensive ticket items driving the budget cuts. Health care reform, the driving platform of the Obama campaign continues, to be stonewalled. Health care insurance companies continue to make healthy profits. Who contributes to public sector health and pensions benefits? The government, via the taxpayer. Major contributors to Scott Walker and his mid-term election campaign? The Koch brothers, who back the group Americans for Prosperity, run Koch Industries. This company has 3,000 employees in Wisconsin. They work in gas supply companies and a toilet paper factory. Look ’em up.
Wisconsin, the state which gave government unions the go ahead back in the 1950’s, has an even split between the Democrats and the Republicans. This makes it fertile ground for presidential battlegrounds with margins of victory sitting in the few tenths of 1 percent.
What goes around, comes around and the cycle continues. In less than two years the USA will have gone to the polls to elect the 45th President. Who will be running against the 44th? They are lining up. The hopefuls – Gov Scott Walker and from New Jersey, Chris Christie who is another story, another time but he is hovering big time in spite of declarations of self-deprecation. There are others, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, Scott Brown, but they are keeping it quiet. For now.
Another good ride to come. Bring it on and good luck Wisconsin!