Thursday, June 7, 2012

Privatize America: Destroy Unions

Huffiington Post: The Daily Szepz, Buying America
The Wisconsin recall has been touted on social media as a clear win for the Supreme Court's Citizen's United decision. It turns out that corporations are people after all and boatloads of money is free speech.

Forty years ago, the above notions would have been deemed ridiculous if spoken aloud. Now, it is accepted as part of our daily political discourse.

Money, greed, envy, divide and conquer are some of the topics of the day and lessons that need to be learned by all if we are going to consider our form of governance, a democracy.

If we don't, a lesson to our children as they mature into their teenage years would go something like this: "In this country, money talks and the more you have, the more things you can buy. These include local, state and federal offices."

The overlords have an endless supply of cash and they are able to purchase messaging on media and billboards spewing lies and misinformation. They did this in Wisconsin and that was the testing ground for the November election.

Free-speech does not have to be truthful, it just has to be effective in order to achieve its intended purpose.

The pie charts of the amount of money that went into Wisconsin's recall election are simple enough for a child to understand, but mind-boggling on closer inspection. For instance, who in their right mind would spend millions of dollars to keep a job that pays $137,092? - It seems illogical because it is.

The fact is that no one spends that kind of money to continue receiving such a small paycheck. The paycheck needs to be viewed as petty cash. The real money is displayed on that chart and Scott Walker governor's office is just a place to work from on behalf of the overlords who have some sweet deals behind the scenes.

Most Americans don't look into the financial assets, off-shore accounts and business partnerships of the people they elect.  They are under the assumption that, like them, their elected officials live off their pay check and their sole reason for existing is to serve the community.

That's what government should look like in a democracy, but it is not the way it is. Corruption has been legalized and to make things even more unbalanced, only a selected few get to play their twisted game with our lives.

It is this narrow-view, this lack of thought that makes communities vulnerable to the ongoing manipulation.

Perhaps the most troubling manipulation of all is the influx of envy, so close to our reflections.  The  lack of understanding about our next door neighbors will be our undoing.  For those who thought Wisconsin was a local issue, they need to take a look at the laws being passed in their states and see if there is any resemblance to what has been taking place in Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Indiana and Ohio.

For those who see a pattern of Union busting and privatization, congratulations! that is exactly the role these governors and congressmen are getting paid to do. So far, they have earned every Koch penny. They are good minions.

As we discussed the Wisconsin recall, the news showed footage of Scott Walker making the  statement that the strategy was to  "Divide and Conquer." - This has always been the foundation upon which GOP tactics have been built. A clear distinction with democrats whose policies can only be reached through consensus and unity.

The tactics of division are as old as dirt and not invented by the GOP, but well used in creating dissent among the royals and their kin. A perfect example is the HBO series, Game of Thrones. Except for the magical creatures, Ancient history books have the exact elements of greed and division.

Spain was divided and through royal marriages, united. Warfare in Britain. Ireland. Scotland. Chinese dynasties, Japanese Feudalism... American division. Same elements, same successes.

Wars have been successfully planned and won on the basic principle of dividing loyalties. Why mess with something that works?

Greed is divisive. Self-interest is divisive. Fear is divisive. Envy is divisive.

There are some among us, unemployed or underemployed who look at union workers with envy. Specially those in the public sector. They are under the impression that their tax dollars are exclusively used to fund their salaries and benefits, but completely ignore the services these workers provide and the general public expects.  They also ignore that private sector union workers are heavily subsidized by the tax payers through benefits and loopholes that allow their employers to pay zero taxes.

Pension plans are largely funded by the employee's contributions and part of a benefit package that included less in salary up front but a promise, a contract, to be made up at the end of a person's working life. It is called, a pension plan.

Private and public sector unions have made tremendous concessions over the years in pay and benefits that have benefited the bottom line of corporations. Not the workers. These workers have earned every single penny in their paycheck and the promise of retirement benefits that the corporations are fighting hard to reduce or eliminate.

In the business world, this is called a breach of contract.

Companies go to court against each other to settle breaches of contract. What recourse do people have? People take to the streets and demand a government that works for them, or in Wisconsin's case, they initiate a recall because the blinders are off and everyone can see that the emperor, has no clothes.

Collective bargaining is not a dirty concept. It is an honest concept. It simply means that you agree to do a certain job for a certain amount of money and you have a right to live your life and not be an indentured servant.

It is a contract. A business contract between employers and employees.

Wisconsin voters seem to be under the impression that their neighbors with a Union job are somehow doing something wrong by being gainfully employed with pensions and living wages. They are under the impression that they are supporting these firefighters, police officers and teachers all on their own.

They are not. They signed a contract.

These civil servants have earned their paychecks and benefits all on their own. They pay taxes out of their paychecks, the same as everyone else. It is not their fault that the private sector is not as lucrative as it once was, nor is it their fault that their neighbor's private sector jobs have been exported overseas. Private sector employees need to look no further than their own employers to assign blame.

Jealousy. Envy. Divide and Conquer - It works. Why mess with it?

Wearing blinders to the outside interests with designs in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Florida and other states is a good way of preventing voters from seeing how the corporations are spreading its reach. Perpetuating poverty and stagnation while forcing people into a mindset of gratitude for having a job is a a very powerful form of control.

We always expect to get what we pay for and the Koch Brothers are going to get every last dime worth out of Scott Walker.

The voters? - they will get what they voted for and when their public sector neighbors lose their income and benefits, they will finally smile and be satisfied because misery loves company.

Or maybe not. After all, empty neighborhoods and reduced services will have them complaining about public sector workers even more. If that fails, they'll blame the government.

By the time they realize what the 1% has done to our democracy, it will be too late.

Blinders and division. An effective winning strategy.

Related Reading:

Sunshine Review: Wisconsin State Government Salary

Support Our Communities: Create Jobs


The Power of Unions

Economics: Government Workers Cost Taxpayers Less

Minimum Wage, Health Care and Education

The People - The States


Anonymous said...

I like your blog. Please continue to get the word out.

Olivia Emisar said...

Thank you for your kind words. I'll keep writing even if people don't read it. It is important to have it in writing.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I also appreciate your blog. You are disseminating very important information. I always tweet your articles. Just a tiny point - it is Koch and not "Kock" and there are a couple of typos or oversights. The only reason I call this to your attention is that your articles have the potential to be read by countless people. Thank you again for what you do.

Olivia Emisar said...


Thank you for pointing that out. I corrected the one spelling error and will look for extra typos tomorrow.

As far as people reading my blog, the loyal readers are few but very much appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time and reading.