What up Focho nation, I apologize for my lack of bloggage in recent days, I'll try and get it moven. For now I need to vent a bit about about this Wisconsin situation, since all I do at work is listen to the radio all day and get pissed off about our shitty world..
In case you haven't been paying attention, republicans in Wisconsin today gained a major victory in their war against the middle class. Through a procedural maneuver they eliminated the bargaining rights of public employees. This came after public employee unions had agreed to all the demands of the government to help balance the state budget by taking an eight percent pay cut. Instead of accepting the unions concessions and balancing the budget the republicans decided to effectively bust the public unions in Wisconsin. Not surprising, these restrictions don't apply to the sheriff, police, or fire departments who every one knows make twice as much money as other public employees and who happen to be the only unions who supported this asshole governor in Wisconsin.
The discussion around the country regarding this situation has largely focused on the idea that some how public unions have too good of a situation and that there great benefits and pensions are crippling state budgets. And that their relationship with the democratic party is some how bad for democracy. The fact that many middle and working class people in our country agree with this analysis I think shows exactly how confused the declining middle class of this country is. The fact is that the middle class that developed in this country and which is now in decline was the direct outcome of a large labor movement over decades that was able to little by little fight for better wages, job security, retirement plans and better workplace conditions. Since the 1980'showever the elite of this country who do not want to pay taxes at all, and in who's interest it is to drive down wages, have been able to hijack the government agencies who were supposed to defend workers (i.e. NLRB) and have been largely successful in substantially reducing private sector unions, which has led to the continued decline in real wages for workers in this country.
Basically, private sector workers have been force to accept shittier wages, less job security and crappier retirements plans while public employees have been able to to, until now, maintain many of the benefits and wages they had fought for. Unlike private corporations and businesses the government until now, was not allowed to blatantly bust unions because unlike private employers, government officials cared about public opinion and attacking middle class jobs, until now, was not very popular.
Some how now days lower middle class people seeing their jobs/ benefits/ wages cut, have been tricked by the rich into supporting rich people's fight to destroy the last remaining good middle class jobs, instead of fighting for better conditions and pay at their own jobs. Since when has it been logical for middle class people to point to other middle class workers who have better benefits and pensions, and say "those people have it way to good and we need bring them down to our shitty level? this shows that in America there is now class consciousness or class loyalty.
I mean there is a reason why everyone wants to have a government job, because they are paid well and have good benefits...duh.. The reason why that is the case, is because they're the only ones left with strong unions! Not vary hard to understand.
The facts are that the global economic crisis which was completely caused by stupid ass rich people on wall street along with the states unwillingness to fairly tax the rich people and corporations, coupled with the states willingness to subsidies rich people and spend hella money on stupid shit like more prisons are what is the root cause of these current massive budget deficit's, Not the middle class wages or benefits of public employees!
Along with the ongoing major attack on public education and anything public for that matter in this country, this sets up a pretty depressing situation for the next (our) generation. The future look pretty shitty for us 20 somethings, It seems to me that if people in this country want be able to live middle class lives again sometime in the future the workers of this country are gonna have to start basically all over again, fighting for things like retirements, living wages, public education , transportation, housing ect..
The response by workers in Wisconsin I think is really interesting to watch and will show if people are fed up and ready to fight yet or not. I think now is when the labor movement really needs to start fighting. Workers fought for decades to gain bargaining rights before and hopefully in the coming weeks the protests will be able to maintain and grow. In the past things such as general strikes were used to force governments and employers to listen to workers, I think that is what is needed again. Since private sector Unions have already been diminished this is basically almost the last stand of the labor moment along with the hope of any future middle class. If their was ever a time for a general strike to be called by all public employees in Wisconsin, it is now.