Posted by: maboulette | February 25, 2011


Map of USA with Wisconsin highlighted

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We are now having a major dispute about what kind of society America should be.

Right now, the flashpoint in this controversy is Wisconsin, where tens of thousands of people are demonstrating every day in an effort to block Governor Scott Walker’s plan to all but end collective bargaining rights for public employees.

But the debate is a national one. The Wisconsin showdown is only the first in a whole series of pending state conflicts. And, over the next 10 days, a corporate-friendly Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives may decide to shut down the federal government.

Do we want government to provide vital services, or intensify inequality? Should we have strong protections for health, safety, the environment and economic stability, or should giant corporations be free to impose their rules on the rest of us? Will we protect the right of workers to join together in unions, or will we permit private and public employers to drive down wages in the interest of generating more profits or lowering taxes for corporations and the wealthy?

The people in Wisconsin who are demonstrating to stop Governor Walker’s union-busting plans are acting not just to preserve Wisconsin’s democratic traditions, but to make the case for a better America for all of us.

The people in Wisconsin need our solidarity. Even more, they need us to join with them in fighting for the America we all want.

Tomorrow, people will be gathering in state capitols to do just that. Please join them. Find a rally near you.

At this point, the debate in Wisconsin is no longer about obtaining givebacks from teachers, nurses and other public employees. The public employee unions have agreed to the governor’s economic demands.
What is now in dispute is whether public employees will maintain the right to be represented by unions.

The right of workers to join together into a union to bargain collectively with their employer is a basic First Amendment right and a fundamental right of workers everywhere. Unions enable workers to band together to offset the otherwise overwhelming bargaining power of employers, and make the economy and workplace a fairer and more just place.

We all benefit from a strong union movement, whether or not we are union members. Because they organize workers to act together, unions are — by far — the most important countervailing force to concentrated corporate power.

It’s not just a matter of unions supporting particular policies. By their very existence, unions change the political terrain, making it more possible to advance justice, fairness and equality.

The severe decline of unions over the past 40 years is a crucial contributing factor in explaining why inequality has risen so dramatically and why corporations have been able to increase their political influence.

The remaining union stronghold in the U.S. economy is the public sector. If Wisconsin, followed by other states, manages to undermine unionization in the public sector, it’s not just public sector workers who will be worse off. We all will be.

It is now incumbent on all of us to make Wisconsin just the beginning of something much bigger.

We start by demonstrating on Saturday.


  1. Unions and Planned Parenthood, along with some other public organizations, were organized to promote the welfare of the working people and started out successfully doing just that. Once they became accepted and successful they were targets of other forces like organized crime. Anyone who has ever studied Labor Relations would know that. As soon as the unions lost sight of their original goal, of supporting the members, they became corrupted. There is a lesson here if we are willing to learn.

    I, at one time, was pro union, not any more. Rank and file members welfare is no longer the main objective of the Union instead it is the promotion of the Union itself, and politics and almost completely progressive liberal. As a matter of fact it is hard to remain conservative and be a union member today. Unions are a prime example of a democracy or in other words majority (mob) rule.

    I could be pro union again if all states were to become “right to work” states. In a right to work state (like Arizona) joining the union is optional, no one is forced. Consequently, those who support the stand the union may take and have no disagreement with it politically can contribute, those who do not are not forced to take part, this approach also has a humbling effect on the union. Right to work, could force the unions to get out of politics. Seems fair to me. Wouldn’t that be great? (Special interests are another political threat to our freedoms). Make the union(s) get their nose out of politics and just do what they were organized for, support and protect the worker. Why should that not be their only goal?

    Why should anyone be forced to contribute to any political party they do not support. If dues from a conservative are used to support a progressive liberal or vice versa is that right or fair. Unions have lost their way and are no longer an asset to the people but instead a determent. An exact example of absolute power corrupts absolutely. The more power they accrue the worse they will become, consequently the Wisconsin Governor “must” win this dispute. In reality even to save the unions, maybe from themselves.

    • “Because they organize workers to act together, unions are — by far — the most important countervailing force to concentrated corporate power” quote taken from above. I guess my question would be, what does concentrated corperate power have to do with government worker unions?

  2. Very well stated, Don. We should be “pro-choice” when it comes to unions. As it stands, they’ve become predominantly another of the many arms of the Democrat party machine, and have lost focus on what is truly right, just and fair when it comes to workers and their relationships with their employers — who, after all, do employ them, and have, after all, taken the risks and made the efforts and sacrifices to start and grow a successful enterprise.

    Private business for the most part gives equal or near equal contributions to the parties, in an attempt to basically keep whoever wins off their backs. But unions give almost exclusively to Democrats. More contributions, more victories, bigger government, and the cycle repeats. It’s not sustainable, and it’s not healthy.

    But that’s mostly private sector unions. When it comes to public sector unions, what’s going on in Wisconsin, we have a giant conflict of interest, something even the foremost devotee of big government — FDR — recognized:

    “All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt

    Could it be that he self-servingly recognized public sector unions would ultimately be a threat to, and the eventual downfall of, his big government worldview?

    Or, by his statement, was he actually astute and honorable enough to recognize the glaring conflict of interest created by the public sector being unionized?

    But of course Walker isn’t trying to ban these unions, as FDR presumably would if he were to return from the grave and resume his Presidency, he’s only seeking to limit their power to hold such a strangle-hold on state and local budgets, efficiency, and flexibility.

  3. It’s because of morons like you that the country is in the shape its can’t spend more than you make. If I took every credit card offer that I recieved and then couldn’t make it go you would say it was my fault for my financial problems and I should quit spending. The goverment needs to do the same

    • Do you normally call someone you don’t know – a moron? And thanks for blaming me for the country being in the shape it in!! Actually you are the moron to write that type of comment using you real IP address. And comparing your credit cards to the government spending is just really asinine!

      • Actually, I think it’s a very good comparison. Both credit card use and the expansion of government debt have up until recently been relatively easy, painless, and socially acceptable. We really need that new washing machine and that new lawn mower NOW, and government really needs that new program.

        But we all know we can’t continue to rely on credit cards forever, and governments’ budgets can’t expand forever. The problem with public sector unions is that by their very nature they tend to guarantee and almost require that expansion, just as if suddenly you were required to use credit cards for every transaction.

      • Public service unions are nothing more than pay for play corruption ay it’s worst! politicians ‘negotiate ‘with union bosses for high wages and benefit packages in return for votes and campaign cash to get re-elected. The taxpayer gets screwed because he has no say and just pays, pays, pays.

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