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Its Czechoslovakia. Its like going into Wisconsin…

February 21, 2011 - John Stack

Bill Murray had no idea in 1981 what it would be like going into Wisconsin today. Wisconsinites are getting a little taste of what New Jerseyans are getting from Chris Christie, and a little crazy quorum and majority lessons learned from the NYS Senate fiasco of 2009. Wisconsin has been headed down a rocky path for years. They overspent for years, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul and with the recession and illegal transfers and seemingly drunk sailors manning the Madison Valdez.When the State is on the brink of financial meltdown BEFORE the recession, bad things are going to happen. But the answer is not passing laws eliminating collective bargaining. Collective bargaining at its simplest is a group of people joining together to advocate for the employees in work contracts. For example, my union, PEF, negotiates my contract which set my working hours, wages, pension plan, job duties, benefits and the like.

Gov Walker of Wisconsin wants to eliminate any collective bargaining practices and decide himself what wages employees should get, their benefits, and all that is in a normal workers contract. Governor Walker says he MUST do this in order to save the jobs of thousands of Wisconsin state workers who he will be ‘forced’ to lay off because he has to deal with a labor contract.ind you, this is a contract that was just signed and passed. Are times really so tough in Madison that he has to do this? The State has a 65 billion dollar budget. He claims this power will allow him to fill a budget gap of 137 million. He has pledged not to raise taxes, and he has pledged to have the National Guard of Wisconsin step in if workers strike. What he has also done is refuse to negotiate with the union. So, he’s drawn a line in the sand. He has decided not to raise taxes and he needs a way to do this. He seemingly can find no other thing whatsoever to curb spending. He also doesn’t feel he can negotiate, so he needs king like powers to do whatever his small heart desires. So, obviously he has not been stubborn at all, and he has done everything he can so far to save Wisconsin and 6,000 state worker jobs. The Democrats though have obviously decided they want to lay off these 6,000 state workers. They have this crazy idea that contracts should be honored, especially when they have been bargained on in good faith. How naïve! Understandably, something has to give. So, with there needing to be a quorum of 20 to vote on any bill, and there only being 19 Republicans, the Democrats got out of town. As Senator Michael Ellis declared – ‘“It’s disgraceful that people who are paid to be here have decided to skip town,”. Of course he is right. As his Republican colleagues have done in the US Senate, they employ the filibuster every time they don’t like a bill proposed by Democrats. That’s how you shut down a government and give minority parties power!! And of course as the party of big government, the Republican now want to have a sole person decide on how state employees are paid and such. That of course is a much better plan to actually let reasoned people sit down and come up with a plan that , while not great for everyone, its better for the State.

When it comes down to it, I guess its better to have Gov Walker make all decisions. He should have the power without having to worry about trivialities like voters and taxpayers. One might suggest this reasoning - If the governor says he can do nothing else but lay off 6,000 state employees – go ahead! If the union and the state workers all feel this is in their best interest, they will go along with it. If they somehow believe this to be a bad deal, maybe they could come and negotiate and work with the governor. But that would of course be naïve. The governor doesn’t want to negotiate. He wants supreme power. He needs to rid the state of all unions, and to have him control everything, as his big government party wants him to, with the governor deciding on everything, not anyone as piddling as a taxpayer or voter. Governor Mubarak, er I mean Walker will stand tall.


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