Wisconsin’s supposed ‘tough guy’ governor Scott Walker is so far refusing to back off of his demand to take away the First Amendment rights of public employees there.
Chicagoans I’ve spoken with in the past several days are expressing an interest in going to Wisconsin and marching in solidarity with public employees there. They have been hesitant, cognizant of the fact that up until now, the numbers reflected are primarily state residents directly affected by Walker’s attempted power grab.
With the advent of Walker ‘supporters’ being bussed to Madison, courtesy of the billionaire Koch brothers, these Chicagoans are changing their minds.
Union members in West Virginia plan to demonstrate Monday wearing red bandanas as a sign of solidarity with the Wisconsin workers. The red bandana has a history with labor strikes. In the 1920s, the United Mine Workers of America wore red bandanas, so they could recognize each other, when trying to unionize West Virginia mine workers in Logan County. The mining companies attacked, using mercenaries with machine guns, and even going so far as to drop explosives with a biplane. This was the origin of the term ‘redneck’, and it had an entirely different meaning than it does today. It meant ‘a good union man’.
Bear in mind that Wisconsin’s public employees are open to negotiating increases to their pensions and health insurance in order to ease the debt burden brought on by Wisconsin’s tax breaks. Two thirds of Wisconsin corporations presently pay no taxes at all.
Walker is making a naked power grab aimed squarely at putting the remaining members of the middle class ‘in their place’. The way he’s doing it is blatantly unconstitutional.
The mainstream media is pointing out that Libya may soon be undergoing a civil war. I believe they are remiss in not analyzing that possibility right here. The surrounding stump-jumper states are all aligning against Illinois. They want the money that Illinois brings them in the form of tourism and second home ownership, with the corresponding taxes, of course.
It somehow takes an amazing leap of shortsightedness to think that lowering wages and incomes in Illinois, as well as their own states, will continue to provide them with this revenue stream. It’s this kind of abstract thinking; i.e., giving tax breaks to move business offshore, while offering incentives to foreign manufacturers to locate here, that has propelled our nation into the financial quagmire that it’s in.
One of the best illustrations of pay inequity I have seen recently is currently making the rounds online.
Are you sick of highly paid teachers?
Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or10 months a year! It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do – babysit!
We can get that for less than minimum wage.
That’s right. Let’s give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan– that equals 6 1/2 hours).
Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day…maybe 30? So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day.
However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.
That’s $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).
What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.
Wait a minute — there’s something wrong here! There sure is! The average teacher’s salary (nation wide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days = $277.77/per day/30 students = $9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student–a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!) WHAT A DEAL!!!!
The above also wonderfully illustrates privatization of public services, and how privatization will cost you far more than you pay in taxes.
I think we need to start wearing red bandanas. I know I will.