I’ve been watching what’s going on in Wisconsin, and trying to figure it all out. I know there are some crazy people there: you know, the ones that wear the cheese head hats and root for the Green Bay Packers. And my brother-in-law has a couple of ex-wives from Wisconsin, they’re pretty much nuts too! But from what I can tell the several times I have visited there (mostly in Milwaukee), Wisconsin folks seem almost as normal as the rest of us, unless you count eating tons of bratwurst and drinking all that beer.
So why are they all worked up over the new Governor Scott Walker’s move to ask the teachers unions and the other public workers unions to help pay for some of the costs of their pension plans, and some of the costs of their health care plans, AND to give up their collective bargaining rights? I’m not really sure, but they seem pretty agitated about it.
I did come across this earlier this morning, and thought it was rather shocking –“From 2001 to 2010, Wisconsin taxpayers paid more than $8 billion for state employee health care coverage, while state employees contributed only $398 million, less than 5% of the total costs. From 2000 to 2009, taxpayers paid $12.6 billion for public employee pensions, while the employees only contributed $55.4 million, less than 0.5% of the total cost”.
The teachers seem to have pretty much moved in to the State House at the Capitol in Madison, and don’t seem too interested in leaving any time soon. I guess they felt that since the Democrats went to Chicago on extended vacation, there would be plenty of room for them to hang out there.
I saw a guy on TV at lunch today. He was the head of the Wisconsin Teachers Union (didn’t catch his name), and he was explaining why the teachers were so stirred up. Seems that they are all upset that their students may somehow get a raw deal out of the whole affair being rammed through by Governor Walker. You see, that’s what it’s all about to them: the well being of their students – especially the part about having to give up their collective bargaining rights. Without that, they won’t be able to properly fight for those things that their students need to give them the best education in America. Things like big fat paychecks (for the teachers, not the students), lots of sick days and personal days off, stuff like that. Oh, and don’t forget the opportunity to pay the Union almost $700 a year in union dues, so the union can buy all those political ads supporting Democratic candidates (who then support the unions in their collective bargaining agenda).
Well, hold on a minute… what about making sure the students are in class, learning all kinds of good stuff. Aren’t they concerned about the time that the kids have to stay home, with no classes available, while they are down at the State House, munching on brats and beer, and waving all those cute signs around (probably paid for with union money???) I guess it’s okay for the teachers to stay down there as long as they want, since the union has already managed to bring in the Mobile Medical Unit of Doctors without Borders or Ethics, to set up assembly lines writing “get out of school free because I was low sick, or really stressed out” excuse slips (to teachers who aren’t their actual patients). That should make the kids feel better, knowing that their teachers had a good excuse to just walk off the job, and that some day real soon, they can get back to class and at least 3 out of 10 of them can start learning how to find Wisconsin on a map, and the other 7 that can’t find Wisconsin, can maybe find the US on the US map.
Hopefully when this is all over, the teachers can all sit down and have a good laugh, and then start working on their lesson plans again, and seeing that their students get the care they deserve. Maybe one of those lesson plans could include a suggested reading list for the high school kids. I’ll bet way up close to the top of that list will be Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”. That should help the kids understand why their dedicated (and highly qualified) teachers sacrifice so much for their sake. Maybe they could their legislative pals at the State House to pass a Wisconsin State Law to have Dr. Rand’s book renamed “Collective Bargaining for Dummies”.
I sincerely hope Governor Walker will stand up to these idiots. If he fails, I can’t think of a worse horror story for the children of this country.
I have always felt that in any organization, whether it be a business, a pro football team, the military, a university community, almost any organization you can think of, that approximately 20% of the staff do approximately 80% of the work, and the other 80% of the staff (what I call the moochers and freeloaders) do the remaining 20%. This is almost a perfect picture of what labor unions have achieved in America. Perhaps 20% of the people working for a company could qualify to work there if there were no collective bargaining unit in place, and the remaining 80% are only there because the union has, through coercion and extortion, forced the company to hire the remainder, who are not only not qualified for the job, but are paid several times more than the job is actually worth in a true free market economy, especially when you consider the perks and benefits that come with the $45/hour for turning a screwdriver.
Of course there are many good workers caught in the middle who are forced to join the union just to get the job, and then forced to pay exorbitant union dues to support the power hungry union bosses and their shameful corruption. Many of these folks are decent hardworking Americans who are simply at the mercy of these collectivists – “either join the union and pay up, or go work somewhere else… this is OUR shop”! And the union bosses are in bed with the Democratic Party. Fancy that, what a cozy arrangement. I wonder how many Republican candidates get union support.
Well, it’s a sad situation for America; it is literally killing the productivity of this country. Look around you and see what is going on. Why do you think the auto companies needed bailing out in the first place? Ever heard of the UAW? Oh, wait, that must have been that pesky George Bush’s fault.
Collectivism, Communism, makes no difference what you call it, it’s the same disease. Dr. Rand had a unique perspective growing up in Crimea; she didn’t simply just make all this stuff up. She grew up surrounded by it, and saw the brutal cruelty of it all, and fortunately was able to escape to America with her life.
If you live outside of Wisconsin, it may not be too late to read it, and see what could be in store for our once great country. But the clock is ticking, very fast now.
– – JOE SEAWRIGHT