Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

WISCONSIN: Oligarchs everywhere fear organized workers

Letter by K.P. Webster, Tacoma on Feb. 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm with 27 Comments »
February 28, 2011 9:44 am

It is heartening to see the spirit of freedom soaring in Madison, Wis., as well as the Middle East — and more than a little revealing to see Tea Partiers playing the role of the pro-government militia.

The billionaire Koch brothers, like oligarchs everywhere, understand that an educated, organized and reasonably prosperous middle class is a serious threat. Crushing the unions is the first step toward crushing what is left of the middle class. In their plan, we’ll work at Wal-Mart for minimum wage, and like it.

Busting the public-sector unions, it should be clear by now, has nothing to do with balancing Wisconsin’s budget. Indeed, the unions have already given in to the Republicans’ economic demands of pay cuts and greater pension contributions. What the GOP radicals want to do is destroy the economic and political power of organized working people who, in their view, have gotten uppity.

In this, they follow the lead of Mussolini, Hitler and Lenin — all of whom outlawed collective bargaining soon after taking power. No tyrant, dictator, despot or conservative politician can tolerate free men and women organizing to stand up for themselves.

Republicans have been trying to split the working class by using the politics of envy. But it may not be working. As they watch the drama in Madison, millions of working Americans may be thinking, “Hey, if unions have such a good deal, as these guys claim, shouldn’t I be in one, too?”

Tags:
,
Leave a comment Comments → 27
  1. Roncella says:

    K.P.Webster, Your letter is disgusting and full of mis-information.

    As Governor Christie, and Governor Walker and other Governors have stated, the States are going broke, the Taxpayers are going broke. Your charges are full of lies, your letter is a sad misrepresention of the facts.

  2. David1964 says:

    Roncella, please specifiy the lies that the letter writer has stated.

  3. The Nation and the States would not be broke if Big Business and the Rich paid they fair share of taxes instead of demanding and getting tax cuts and other coporate welfare give aways.

  4. Parkland says:

    Letter Writer: “The billionaire Koch brothers, like oligarchs everywhere, understand that an educated, organized and reasonably prosperous middle class is a serious threat. Crushing the unions is the first step toward crushing what is left of the middle class. In their plan, we’ll work at Wal-Mart for minimum wage, and like it.”

    Seriously, what a bunch of paranoid hyperbole. The Koch brothers are oligarchs? No, they’re businessmen, and an educated middle class is a threat to them? Please, man, and if you tell me you’re one of those guys who mocks Beck for being a conspiracy theorist, I’ll be blowing milk out of my nose! Really, man, the Dem Underground and the Kos just play you like a fiddle, don’t they? :)

  5. chris3dog says:

    Roncella, Real cases, real people… The cases are real. The people are real, K.P. Webster’s letter is real! Organized labor survives. The rulings are final

  6. Aside from the context it was given, this part of Roncella’s post is unassailable:

    “the States are going broke, the Taxpayers are going broke”

    Regardless of anyone’s position on public employee unions, or unions in general, that fact will be the ultimate deciding factor.

    While some believe the cost of fully funding all government services and all public employee salaries and benefits could be covered by removing all tax exemptions, I have doubt this would solve the problem for a couple of reasons.

    – Given the economy and the general state of business, it is highly suspect that even if these exemptions are removed that it would cover the huge government budget shortfalls many states are facing. Especially if the amount tax revenues expected to come from these exemptions are estimated on pre-recession business levels.

    – And in this economy, where many businesses that have not already folded are just hanging on, adding more of a tax burden would be akin to asking a bed-ridden patient to get out of bed and run a marathon. It might not kill the business, but I seriously doubt it will help in any meaningful growth and might even lead to even more unemployment. Creating an even more downward spiral of tax revenues.

    What is amazing is that some still have not yet read, or understand a basic fact: that tax revenues come from private enterprise. Unless this economy makes a sharp turnaround tax revenues will continue to drop. Some don’t seem to understand this basic fact. It’s as if they still believe they have 100 milk cows, when in fact they only have ten left – and demand just as much milk from those remaining 10 as they were getting from the 100.

    Fact is, either cut government services, or raise taxes. While some just ignore the need for the first option, the latter option may be even more difficult for most to accept. At least here in WA it will need to pass on a ballot.

  7. The last time the Right applauded unions was when Lech Walesa was in charge of Solidarity….

  8. twade0616 says:

    Northsc,
    Good argument but your last paragraph is the heart of the matter. It is the basic American problem, we want items/services, but we don’t want to pay for them. The whole cut taxes but spend at the same rate or more is our problem as a country. It is funny people still believe in trickle down economics. While the governors are put in horrible situations, as was the President, we are the people have to make the hard decision as well to break the drug of credit. Just as they tell you the first way to get out of debt is to cut spending, we have to do the same as a country but we also have to be willing to balance the books which means raise the necessary captial to really start paying off the debt. Just like if you are in debt, you get another job to pay it off faster. As a country, we should call in loans, stop huge foreign aid packages, and agressively look for alternative energy sources.

  9. JudasEscargot says:

    northsc says:
    February 28, 2011 at 12:01 pm
    Aside from the context it was given, this part of Roncella’s post is unassailable:

    “the States are going broke, the Taxpayers are going broke”

    According to the AP as reported on Comcast (very liberal, huh?):

    “The budget as it stands now is balanced, and Walker is under no legal obligation to make changes.”

    It looks like “northsc” is going fishing and bought a hook, line and a sinker

  10. JudasEscargot says:

    beerBoy – remember, Reagan was a “union boss”…..6 terms

  11. Webster needs to refresh her tinfoil hat. The vast right wing conspiracy probably has her address by now. They’re everywhere seeking out true patriots just like her.

    Enslavement is just around the corner.

  12. “Taxpayers are broke.”
    That does not comport with: “combined local, state and federal taxes are at their lowest level since 1950.”

  13. escargot/pubico

    Our current economy must not have bitten you hard enough to take notice of reality – and I was not commenting on any position for or against the Gov of WI.

    I see no need to rise to your bait to argue whatever you want to take issue with. But the fact remains that there are failing businesses, home foreclosures, and unemployment. None of these will recover in the short time to bail out government budget shortfalls.

    But publico, feel free to try and drum up enough signatures on a ballot initiative based upon your views.

  14. alindasue says:

    The Koch brothers themselves may not be an oligarchy, but there does seem to be a high finance class that is ruling, so to speak, this country’s economy.

    What frightens me more though is the attitude that runs through certain factions of the American public, as often demonstrated in the forums here, that union members – particularly state or city paid union members – should “work… for minimum wage, and like it.” Whether the source be from the Republicans, Tea Party members, “Big Business”, or whoever, the “politics of envy” are certainly being played. In a way, it does seem to be working with some people. Why else would people keep repeating such mistruths as “There are no minimum wage state jobs” and “Bus drivers make over $100,000″?

    However, I think in the end the anti-union movement will backfire against them. All the reasons the unions were formed in the first place will return as governors and CEOs continue to “balance” their budgets on the backs of the workers.

    It already backfired at the car rental company I worked at until recently. The new owners kept decreasing workers’ benefits, freezing wages, and reducing hours while expecting fewer people to do even more work with fewer resources. Before long, it reached the point that the car washers – followed by the mechanics, in turn – had enough and voted to join the Teamsters union. Even though the rest of us were still not in a union, we all benefitted from it. The bosses started to realize that if they didn’t want us all joining the union, they’d better start listening and treating their employees better.

  15. northsc says, “this part of Roncella’s post is unassailable:

    “the States are going broke, the Taxpayers are going broke”

    Piece of cake, northsc.

    The states are not all going broke. Many states have cash flow problems, but you’ll be the first to know when one goes broke.

    Taxpayers are not going broke, at least not because they’re taxes are too much. There are many many out there who aren’t even phased by this economy, let alone taxes. But let’s bust the unions because some people can’t properly manage their money.

    But wait, doesn’t that sound like a good enough reason to bust the public employees unions?

    If you say something over and over, it starts sounding, well…….familiar.

    It must be true, I keep hearing it.

  16. JudasEscargot says:

    “northsc says:
    February 28, 2011 at 1:32 pm
    escargot/pubico

    Our current economy must not have bitten you hard enough to take notice of reality – and I was not commenting on any position for or against the Gov of WI.

    northsc says:
    February 28, 2011 at 12:01 pm
    Aside from the context it was given, this part of Roncella’s post is unassailable:

    “the States are going broke, the Taxpayers are going broke”

    Now, unless Wisconsin is no longer a state, you were commenting on Roncella commenting on Wisconsin going broke, which IS the position of Governor Walker.

    Since, I’m convinced that Walker may face recall, you might want to take up residence in Wisconsin and do that tap dance for the voters. Heck, they voted him in, they might buy your line of BS as well.

  17. JudasEscargot says:

    Watching Walker is like watching a play of The Emperor’s New Clothes and Chicken Little combined into one story.

  18. JudasEscargot says:

    How many businesses with cash flow problems cut their revenue stream the way the cash strapped states and feds cut taxes?

  19. 60% of the business in WI already pay NO STATE taxes, got an additionla $140 million tax cut, and are set to have $1 BILLION in unpaid taxes forgiven by Walker, and the NeoCons still blame the state union workers.

  20. Rollo_Tomassi says:

    K.P.

    1) The billionaire Koch brothers, like oligarchs everywhere, understand that an educated, organized and reasonably prosperous middle class is a serious threat.

    2) Crushing the unions is the first step toward crushing what is left of the middle class.

    3) In their plan, we’ll work at Wal-Mart for minimum wage, and like it.

    4) What the GOP radicals want to do is destroy the economic and political power of organized working people who, in their view, have gotten uppity.

    5) In this, they follow the lead of Mussolini, Hitler and Lenin —

    6) Republicans have been trying to split the working class by using the politics of envy.

    Six statements that claim to know the mind and secret plans of conservatives – not what any one conservative has said, but rather your special perception of what their thoughts really are.

    How do you come to know so much?

  21. JudasEscargot says:

    I’d say KP is relying on historical similarities.

    See the early 1900s of the United States

  22. J_E, Gov Walker does have a legal obligation to bargain in good faith with ALL state employee unions.

    R_T, maybe K.P. does not listen to FOX and other right wing trash talking sources.

  23. KP, even your hero Jon Stewart thinks comparing the Wisconsin labor rally to what is happening in the middle east is “not the same in any way, shapre, or form”.

    Now maybe France…

  24. JudasEscargot says:

    Where did KP say that Jon Stewart was a hero? I don’t even see Stewart’s name mentioned in the letter.

  25. It doesn’t take a stretch…

  26. pasmacker says:

    It is a non sequitur to speculate KP’s opinions derive from him wearing a tin foil hat or has an affinity for John Stewart. The truth that he does spend an inordinate amount of time these days working in a dimly lit basement and was most probably a member of the labor union associated with journalists during his days as a print reporter is probably more telling.

  27. Lol…

*
We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0