Make no mistake about it. Wisconsin’s recently elected Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s threat to call in the national guard if Union Members respond to his proposed bill that would strip collective bargaining rights away from Union Members, is not only an attack against Union members in his state, it is right now the main front on the war being waged against the middle class.
Among the many negative consequences of our extended great recession is the growing perception, nurtured by ultra right wing corporate interests, that paints the picture of Union members in this country who are over compensated and in some way need to sacrifice like the rest of us.
Ignored in this argument are two facts:
While real unemployment in this country continues to flirt with 20%, Wall Street records record profits. In fact, according to the Commerce Department, U.S. companies earned the highest profit rate in the 3rd quarter of 2010, since, well, EVER. So, for all of you worshipping at the alter of Ronald Regan, tell me, when is some of this shit gonna trickle down? Okay, let me glance at my figures- oh, yes that is right Regan was wrong. Ever since the Gipper busted the Air Traffic control Union, wealth has been getting redistributed upwards at a rate that threatens to eliminate the middle class. Are you familiar with the term serfdom? Ah … What's in a name? That which we call a slave by any other name would work for free.
Also ignored in the argument that Union members in this country are over compensated and in some way need to sacrifice like the rest of us is the following.
The sacrifices made by Union Members in this country gave all of us, no matter if we ever paid a dime in Union dues, a minimum wage, a 40 hour work week, overtime, sick days and in many other tangible ways helped create what we used to call the American Dream: The belief that if we apply our will and work hard for a living that we would secure for ourselves and our family a well earned and secure place in the middle class.
That dream, like the middle class itself, is under siege and on life support.
This public war against Unions is a major front in the very real war being waged on the middle class. The deck, financed by the Koch brothers and other individuals and corporations whose interests lie solely in increasing the profit margins for the ultra rich, is stacked against us. So much so, that messaging on this issue has infected the middle class to the extent that many blue collar workers who no longer work under the protective umbrella of a union consistently parrot the talking points of Fox News; essentially defending their would be executioners.
The Citizens United Case that opened the floodgates for increased corporate financing in elections will give us more elected officials who act as brazen warriors in the fight against the middle class. The Citizens United ruling will yield be more Governors like Scott Walker and New Jersey Union busting crusader Chris Christie.
There need to be more of us, like the tens of thousands protesting in the streets of Madison Wisconsin, whether we be in Unions or no, who are willing to stand, together, against them.