It’s not complicated. It’s actually pretty straight forward. It’s not about the money concessions being demanded from state workers. It is about a power-grab by major corporations to weaken unions, weaken the middle class, and so weaken any holds that the people of our country have on unchecked corporate power.
CEOs spent about $1 billion in the last election cycle and they want a payback on that investment. Those CEOs and the elected politicians they’ve groomed and financed, like Governor Walker, know that unions are the primary check to unrestricted corporate power. Their solution is to either eliminate or weaken unions so that corporate abuse isn’t challenged.
Scott Walker, at the beck and call of his corporate master, David Koch, provided two business tax breaks that added significantly to Wisconsin’s budget shortfall about two weeks before announcing his intent to make Wisconsin’s middle class pay for the tax cuts. To make sure that he and the others that passed the tax cuts for the wealthy couldn’t be held accountable or that economic balance be restored in the future, he demanded that collective bargaining be destroyed for most public workers in the state.
He must have been surprised when the unions that had endorsed him for governor publically challenged what he is doing, or maybe by the recent poll that shows he would lose his election by a wide margin if it were held today. But then again he probably doesn’t care about any of that because what he is doing is nothing more than making a naked grab for power. It’s partisan politics at its worst.
It’s time for irresponsible politicians like Walker to stop attacking their opponents and start working to create jobs and help the middle class, not try to destroy it. Putting the families of workers like nurses, teachers, and firefighters at risk doesn’t fix any of the problems Walker is making noise about. That kind of action simply puts all of us at risk because the services those workers provide are essential to the well-being and safety of our families and communities.
We should be solving the problems of the middle class instead of giving even more power to the corporate CEOs and the politicians they got elected. Without unions we cannot restore balance to our economy and those attacks will go unanswered.
The middle class is shrinking rapidly. The partisan power struggle by irresponsible politicians has to stop. We all need to work together. We need balance that brings our leaders together to create quality jobs here at home and solves the problems hurting middle class families across the country. Working Americans need to use the strength of our numbers to fight for better wages and benefits, job security, and safer workplaces.
It’s time for everyone to pay their fair share, to close corporate tax loopholes, and to accept that we all have a responsibility to each other to make the economy work for all of us instead of creating an even heavier financial burden on the middle class while protecting the wealthy elite.
— Doug Williams is a member of IUE-CWA. One of the original founders of TakeAction Minnesota, Mr. Williams was a member of TakeAction Minnesota’s Board of Directors from 2005 – 2010, serving on its Executive Committee and PAC. He lives in the lower St. Croix River Valley.