Wis. unrest exposed GOP strategy to split lower classes, liberal author says

By Nathan Diebenow
Sunday, February 20, 2011 18:16 EDT
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The labor unrest in Wisconsin exposed the Republican Party’s plan to essentially divide-and-conquer the lower classes in America, a liberal author recently wrote.

“The Republican strategy is to split the vast middle and working class – pitting unionized workers against non-unionized, public-sector workers against non-public, older workers within sight of Medicare and Social Security against younger workers who don’t believe these programs will be there for them, and the poor against the working middle class,” Robert Reich wrote on his blog Thursday.

He continued, “Wisconsin’s Republican governor Scott Walker and his GOP legislature are seeking to end almost all union rights for teachers.”

Reich, the author of “Supercapitalism,” who served as President Bill Clinton’s secretary of labor, explained that blaming of public workers for budgetary matters at state levels is part of the GOP’s overall goal: to hide the economic excesses of the wealthiest Americans.

“Republicans would rather no one notice their campaign to shrink the pie even further with additional tax cuts for the rich – making the Bush tax cuts permanent, further reducing the estate tax, and allowing the wealthy to shift ever more of their income into capital gains taxed at 15 percent,” Reich wrote.

Specifically, the two other parts of the GOP’s three-pronged strategy included debate on the federal budget in Washington and the polarization of the US Supreme Court along ideological lines, he said.

Reich explained that the recent attacks on US labor unions in the public sector is predicated on the lie that workers in the private sector make less money than public employees.

“They don’t, when you take account of their education,” he said. “In fact over the last fifteen years the pay of public-sector workers, including teachers, has dropped relative to private-sector employees with the same level of education – even including health and retirement benefits.”

The heart of the protests in Wisconsin lies with the governor’s assertion that the public workers’ right to collectively bargain for better treatment has mushroomed state deficits. States where employees have no bargaining rights, like Nevada, North Carolina, and Arizona, have huge budget deficits, some totaling 30 percent over spending, he said.

Reich pointed out that the managers of Wall Street who caused the current unemployment crisis would have lost their jobs had it not been for their taxpayer-supported bailout two years ago. He noted that taxes on the earnings of some 13 hedge-fund managers could pay for 300,000 teachers.

“Who is more valuable: One hedge fund manager or one teacher?” he asked.

Wis. Gov. Walker indicated Sunday that he is not willing to compromise his position on eliminating collective bargaining rights for state employees.

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  • ProgressiveInNewYork

    Well Duh!

    Divide and conquer, nothing new.

    When they came for the Jews I did nothing, because I wasn’t a jew.
    When they came for the Gypsies, I did ….

    same ol’ right wing tactic that’s been around forever.

  • Anonymous

    Been screaming this from the roof tops for months. It’s a class war; and they will freeze you, sickened you to death, starve you, use bed bugs, bad water, bad laws, jails, unemployment, high food prices, high gas prices, etc. On the “pursuit of happiness meter”, we may jump over Charles Dickens era and go straight to the Roman Empire. Get the “Employee Free Choice Act” passed in every state. That will pack sand up their ass.

  • Anonymous

    Democrats and republicans serve the same master. The banks have all the money. There is nothing left but toxic derivatives

  • ghostof911

    Right out of the box, the newly elected Wisconsin enacted three busines-friendly tax cuts. This was done intentionally to drive up the deficit to justify his attack on the state labor unions.

    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signs bill granting business tax cuts

    It only took two months for Scott Walker to do what it took President Obama two years to do — extend the Bush tax cuts for the uber-rich to justify his plan to ravage Social Security.

  • Anonymous

    My goodness! What a terrible thing to say about our Republican overlords who seek only to save us from the depredations of unions which seek to exploit the poor, monied classes by forcing them to provide decent pay and benefits and the opportunity to raise families with adequate homes, schools, and access to the services one would expect from a country which is frequently described as the “wealthiest” or the “best” country in the world. EVERYONE knows that the rich can hardly handle the burden of their top potential tax liability of roughly 35%, let alone that awful burden they carried during the Clinton years of roughly 38% top tax liability. Why, the crippling effect of that top tax liability was the whole reason they needed a 3% tax cut so they could generate all those new businesses and jobs they … uh … generated(?) … no, wait … uh … oh, that they WOULD have generated if they hadn’t faced such a hostile business climate during Bush’s 8 years in office. Thankfully, those tax cuts have been extended, thus enabling them to FINALLY be able to start all those new businesses and hire all those people so the beneficence of the wealthy may trickle down to the lowly proletarians who understand not how great the sacrifices these our wealthy benefactors have made for us. I’ll list them some day, if I can ever find any.

  • Anonymous

    “Reich pointed out that the managers of Wall Street who caused the current unemployment crisis would have lost their jobs had it not been for their taxpayer-supported bailout two years ago. He noted that taxes on the earnings of some 13 hedge-fund managers could pay for 300,000 teachers.

    “Who is more valuable: One hedge fund manager or one teacher?” he asked.”

    Yeah it’s a very difficult question. Bacterial life is less parasitic beings than hedge fund managers.
    These people, I can’t even compare to any entities on this planet, but most likely in the entire universe, they are unique. They are a stinking life leeching force from another dimension.

  • ghostof911

    “Who is more valuable: One hedge fund manager or one teacher?”

    That’s a trick question, since hedge fund managers have zero value. In truth, they have negative value. They are leeches, sucking resources from those who do produce valuable goods and services for a living.

    Hedge fund managers = cannibals who hate Americans.

  • Anonymous

    Great summary.

  • Anonymous

    reich is an opportunistic piece of shit who obviously had no qualms against overseeing the implementation of workfare, the imposition of causalized and flexible labor, wage reductions and nafta while labor secretary

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ONMKHYWYFBRFKGY4TTSOEJG6CM Judy

    Nonsense! Republicans would never do anything this sinister—they’re True Christians™!

  • Jaimie11

    The real solution is to boot the banksters out and replace their criminal money system with a legal, people owned system.

    All the energy being expended over whether taxpayers should pay for the thefts of the banksters without acknowledging that that is what is at the heart of the issue, is a huge diversion. Everyone is fighting over retirement money and/or sticking it to the taxpayers, when the real fight should be about demanding our money back from the banksters, and refusing to pay the debts created by their thievery.

    We should take our lessons from Iceland – but the GOP playing the bad guy and the Dems playing the good guy keep attention away from the criminals and keep both sides of the electorate lobbing missiles at the other side, while the vast majority of politicians from both parties are stooges for the banksters, who hate all human people they steal from, not just Americans.

    The left/right divide at its finest. As Alan Simpson pointed out in a rare bit of truth on NPR regarding how law is made in this country,

    “That’s how you pass or kill something in this country, you use emotion, fear, guilt or racism, and I’ve been in them all – I did immigration, nuclear, Social Security, ageing – I learned where the long knives are.

    And as long as people are buffaloed by that, and fogged by that on the basis of protecting their hide from any peril, as H.L. Mencken once said, we’re in deep trouble.”


  • Anonymous

    “Reich, the author of “Supercapitalism,” who served as President Bill Clinton’s secretary of labor, explained that blaming of public workers for budgetary matters at state levels is part of the GOP’s overall goal: to hide the economic excesses of the wealthiest Americans.”

    I guess all of obama’s comments regarding belt tightening are because he has been following michele’s fitness plan

  • Anonymous

    Class warfare – new MI Gov Rick Snyder plans to cut the business tax in half – to pay for that, tax pensions and cut funding for higher ed 15% – http://is.gd/rL2zTH

  • http://twitter.com/cryptographrix cryptographrix

    /”Who is more valuable: One hedge fund manager or 23,000 teachers?” he asked/

    Fixed it for you.

  • kiboshki

    He noted that taxes on the earnings of some 13 hedge-fund managers could pay for 300,000 teachers.

    Keerist almighty! What kind of nincompoop voter could see a fact like that and not instantly call for the immediate removal of the reichwingers and corporatists from government?

    Of course, there wouldn’t be much left in the government… :-(

  • Anonymous

    This isn’t news, but I’m glad somebody’s saying out loud…after it being true for 75 or 80 years, at least.

  • Anonymous

    One teagagger is more important than anyone. They’ll swallow anything.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y7IBX6ZTRGICGTL54SHOGFZB4Y Reaper

    And just think about it: DAS (dumb as Sh*t) people eclected these people into office to continue raping America and it’s citizenz. This should be an omen should people decide to vote for another Republician president—Cut your noses off to spite your face and this is waht happens….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OPVQJIZRU3ENNGDUF2LZGIXCSI Che_G.

    Ronald Reagan, the original ‘union-busting American patriot’ started the trend now making headlines in Wisconsin. Walker the Reaganomic cult follower has unleashed version 4.0 the domestic fear for the middle class as envisioned by the Goldwater 60′s conservative movement to ensure GOP survival past the 1976 Presidential elections. It’s just a bit out of control.


  • Dolmance

    You Americans need a revolution. Unfortunately, you’re the most policed population on the planet except for maybe North Korea and you’re ass deep in propaganda drunk neo Confederates with one tooth and one brain cell between them. And you appear to have an extremely docile working class. Maybe it’s all those PCB’s making your hormone levels plunge. It’s much more noticeable now than it was in the past.

    Oh, well. Might as well swill some corn syrup and watch some TV. This fall is going to take awhile. It’s a long, long way to the bottom. Haiti wasn’t made in a day. But keep staying home during midterm elections and it’ll go much, much faster.

  • Guest

    And thank you, Denny Crane, and everyone else who’s been saying it over and over.

    If only we could get even a few of the dizzy, supposed “left”-leaning, TV and corporate media gasbags to repeat these TRUTHS, the way the reich-wing multimillionaire gasbags repeat the reich-wing talking points and disinformation, we’d be a lot better off.

    I sat in a cafe this afternoon and listened to a young woman spew all kinds of confused political crap, a good deal of it apparently informed by the lies and obfuscations of Faux/Pox News, to the person sitting across the table from her. I didn’t interrupt because I shouldn’t have been eavesdropping in the first place, but I thought, there are a lot of people out there who just don’t have a clue, and what clues they do have are crazy ones, drawn from the Becks and Hannitys and Limbaughs and Bachmanns and all the other liars and plutocrat-whores who pollute our public discourse.

    We know what’s going on, we say it over and over on here, but there’s NO ONE at the top, among the supposed opposition, beyond Bernie Sanders, Dennis Kucinich, and a few others, who makes any attempt to counter this nonsense with both facts and passion. Obambi floats above the fray. Chris Matthews is a total dingbat. Chris O’Donnell finds minutiae to focus on. Etc. Ed Schultz brays like a giant ass but he didn’t even mention Scott Walker’s brazen goal of destroying unions for three straight days! What is the frigging point if you have a platform like Schultz’s and you cannot even connect the most basic dots?

    It’s quite simple, really:

    Support the people, not the plutocrats.
    Support the people, not the billionaires.
    Support the people, not the international corporations.
    Support the people, not the vampire bankers.

  • Guest

    Exactly. He knew what he was doing. He’s a puppet of the Koch billionaires. Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts. But note that the money transfers always go to the rich, because the middle, working and poorest people will always end up PAYING MORE AND MORE AND MORE.

    Now I ask you, why do you think the French peasants and workers finally got fed up and began riots in 1789? Because they found themselves transferring more and more and more of their hard-earned money, their sweat, their lives, into the hands of the aristocrats. And why do you think that conservatives everywhere have a particular dread of the French Revolution? Because they know that that’s the result of what happens when you try to suck blood from a stone.

    Scott Walker and the GOP Wisconsin legislature have cast the die. As those many thousands of protesters there and the millions who support them are making clear, you cannot destroy us. We will not sit by and take it!

  • Anonymous

    For the wealthy in this country the only thing standing in the way of absolute control is the middle class and if they can make us the poor then they will have complete control of the country. The bastards have already taken control of our politicians while we were asleep. I guess we can take some responsibility because while we were busy feeding our families and busting our asses to make our monthly mortgage payments and car payments while they were buying our politicians. Unfortunately we have expressed a lot rage toward the Rethuglicans who are our most visible opponents in this war but we have a lot of Democrats that are working just as hard against us. In the last election the Democrats that lost were the so called Blue Dogs so we need to get behind progressives to get them elected in the next election. We also need to start immediately to educate the low information tea-baggers that their best interest are not served by the Koch Brothers, Dick Army et. al.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=785895716 Colin Gregory Bowers

    “Who is more valuable: One hedge fund manager or one teacher?” he asked.

    Oh come on, the Hedge Fund manager, CLEARLY. Ask a stupid question….

    “Wis. Gov. Walker indicated Sunday that he is not willing to compromise his position on eliminating collective bargaining rights for state employees”

    So that’s how long the Tea Party listened to the people? For 3 months? Looks like the Midwest will be going even more Democratic than usual next election.

  • ghostof911

    If the Koch billionaires think the proles are too stupid to fend for themselves, the need to get their heads out of their assess. The proles just overthrew despots in Tunisia and Egypt, and now they are threatening the despots in Libya, Yemen, Djibouti, Bahrain, Morocco, and even Saudi Arabia.

    The elections of 2010 were a complete fraud, as proven by the events in Wisconsin. THERE IS NO POSSIBLE WAY IN HELL Scott Walker won in a fair election. THE WISCONSIN VOTE WAS RIGGED, as were elections at the state and federal level nationwide.

    The elections of 2010 should be declared null and void, and a new round of elections must be scheduled using paper ballots that can be manually counted and verified to guarantee that every voter’s vote is counted as intended.

  • Anonymous

    this has been talked about before WHAT DO I MEAN check out a book written by JACK LONDON

    name of book THE IRON HEEL you can download it audio or text from archive.org

    its mainly about the communist but the way the ones in charge of the government react is what has been happening today it goes even further on using unions agaist the people, then unions agaist unions.

    then it goes so far as to us the us armed forces against the state national guard after using one staes guard against another states populace.

  • Anonymous

    sorry this book was written in 1913

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=785895716 Colin Gregory Bowers

    Bob, most of the people who have been deceived into supporting the Tea Party evisceration of publics and community are near your age and gender. Keep up your work, especially among your peers, because they’re the ones that need to fully comprehend what’s going on. If they *did* really understand the situation, Wisconsin would not have gone right in the last election, guaranteed. You should run for whatever public office is upcoming in your district next time around… we really need people like yourself to show that their are progressives, and many of them, over the age of 40 in this country. It’s not only about youth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=785895716 Colin Gregory Bowers

    (And if you’re actually only 39, my apologies for making you out to be older than you are…we’ll just blame it on the small-sized photo).

  • Guest

    Your last sentences of “Supports” are the ideals of the Democratic Socialist Party. Maybe soon, just over the horizon, many people will start waking up to it and leaving the One-party” system now in place that favors ONLY the wealthy and the unjust.


  • Anonymous

    divide and conquer. yes, it is an old strategy that continues to work.

  • Anonymous

    Robert Reich is a has=been looking for a microphone – you dare not get between him and a television camera. He is suitably left-wing, even Marxist, and correspondingly an egomaniac. I can’t quite figure why Raw bothers with him, he hasn’t had an original idea in … decades, anyway.

    D’s and R’s in the trough are both trying their best to make this country into a permanent class structure, and class struggle. Reich fits that bill, but so do the banksters and the neocons, who are bipartisan (check their political donations please). We who love freedom advocate the **mobility** from one class (poor peasant college freshman accumulating debt with no assets) to another (IT specialist, successful salesman, small business owner). The elites want to remain elites, which means that they want us to remain non-elites. Reich is (laughable, admittedly) a self-defined elite member, his ego has promoted him to a class whose members would recognize in him no enduring qualification. He is a schmuck.

    Go find real leftists with balls, please, and not egomaniacs who long for faded glory.

  • Anonymous

    Republikkklan tactics sound like straight from Satan himself.

  • Anonymous

    THIS is what patriotism looks like. And this is just the beginning. It has finally started- the American people have been pushed one step too far and have found their voice. If the fascists think this is going to all blow over, they’ve got another thing coming.

  • Anonymous

    The Republicans wasted tax payers money reading the Constitution, did they miss the part where it says, “We the People”? What is it about “We the People” that the Republicans don’t understand?

    The People had better wake up because the Republicans are now Koch heads and not a single Republican can say no to Koch.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RT3XX4DFKZ2AD7JHO3D3PZ7G4M ChrisK

    Pull Bush’s dick out of your ass!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KLF5SUA5RDYXG54WWF5SHMVRAI X

    Don’t blame Republicans, blame Obama. We had everything we needed for change, but got stuck with Obama.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RT3XX4DFKZ2AD7JHO3D3PZ7G4M ChrisK

    you are clueless, Reich is one of the few that has been right more often than not.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, indeed when you have been fed a line of bullshit and you ate it up, it is extremely hard to hear someone say you have been fed a line of bullshit and you ate it up. Your post and your response to Reioh is evidence that Reich is right on the money. There is less upward mobility in America today than most European countries, including Britain, France, and Germany which all have more.

    You’ve been sold a bill of goods but it’s no better than all that Chinese junk now available at Wal-Mart and nearly every other American retailer. With 80 percent of all IBM workers now based in India, and with the Micro-Soft campus in Hyderabad, India scheduled to eventually be larger than their Redmond, Washington facility, there is a good chance that most IT work will no longer be done in America in a few years. Let’s face it, Amit (at the India facility website) is willing to work for a lot less than you are and that means you are going to be competing with more Americans for the IT jobs that haven’t been outsourced to India. Indicating that you have as good a chance as being employed in a foreign country for an American company as you do working in America.

    It’s too bad you are so dismissive of Reich, he had authored 13 books, other than abstract blanket denunciations have you read any of them? Can you articulate where you disagree with him? How many books have you written on economic and labor or other issues? I’m betting none. The article is excellent I suggest you read the whole thing, Reich has identified exactly what is happening in this country. And the Republicans and their business buddies are behind all of it and it is designed to split those in the bottom 80 percent in as many fragments as possible in order to increase the power of their relatively small voting block.

    Taking lower income people who would not accept Republican ideology and turning them into the teaparty was a stroke of genius. Convincing all those teaparty types that they were a grassroots organization after taking hundreds of millions of dollars from Republican big business and Dick Army Republican political types was one of the most astounding confidence jobs in recent history.

    It fractured the working classes more than any single Republican dirty trick has ever done and more effectively than anything since the Southern aristocracy convinced the poor whites all across the South that they were better than black people because their skin was white even though both groups were being equally exploited. I have to say this scam reminds me a lot of that scam. An evidently you are falling for it. And calling out Reich for pointing that out to you. He’s only the messenger.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GAUV7TPPPCUHIMLE3FLW6GUBEU movie time

    The question to ask is this. Did we get rid of the electronic voting machines that were able to be hacked? Just forgot about the republican programer who was killed in Ohio right before the investigation. Did they win the last election I doubt it. Search scientific magazines like New Scientist. They can force the vote to be whatever they wish.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GAUV7TPPPCUHIMLE3FLW6GUBEU movie time

    Of course divide and conquer the poor, working and minorities is old hat to the republicans. It was Reagan’s forte.
    The people have been duped into believing this is God’s will and he wants them to be in charge. I almost want to vote straight tea party next time, let them finsh up the hachet job, there will be noone else to blame.

  • Anonymous

    I’m Glad Mr. Reich gives the gop intentions some credibility. I have long thought the republicans were against America. They care only about their party succeeding and winning at all costs. They hate Americans in general and more specifically all who are not rich………the working class. We are here only as a means to an end. They don’t know how to govern and have no solutions to any problems. Just look at boner. What has that idiot accomplished since he has been speaker? Vacation, golf, and failing to get their wedge issues passed [as if they really wanted or thought they would pass]. They don’t care who is hurt by their games as long as they and their corporate masters win.

  • Anonymous

    Again, in case you missed it…

    Taxes on the earnings of some 13 hedge-fund managers could pay for 300,000 teachers. Who is more valuable? One hedge fund manager or one teacher?

    Slap the Teapublicans across the face with that one. Maybe it’ll knock one or two of them back into reality.

  • Anonymous

    Hahaaa Bedbugs, trouble is you’re telling the truth.

  • Anonymous

    The man speaks the truth.

    But alas it won’t make much diff.

  • Anonymous

    THANK YOU for your compliment. I am a little older than 39, but for the rest of your response to my post I believe we are on the same page. Unfortunately our post here are just preaching to the choir. In this District of SW Washington our Congressman chose not to run again so with an open seat we had 2 choices, a right winger and a good solid Democrat, needless to say because of all the Tea-bagger activity we wound up with the right winger. Maybe you are right maybe instead of sitting on the sideline and bitching I should get out there and get more involved. “THANK YOU”

  • Anonymous

    “Reich explained that the recent attacks on US labor unions in the public sector is predicated on the lie that workers in the private sector make less money than public employees.”

    I don’t think Reich is being honest about the facts. I think he’s setting up a straw man by claiming that the argument from those on the right is solely made by comparing public vs. private wages. By drawing conclusions from comparisons between such oversimplified categories as “public sector employees” and “private sector employees” then, of course, private sector employees earn more on average due to the lawyers, doctors, professional athletes, etc. that often earn extraordinary salaries and skew the results. However, one should tailor the public/private comparisons by looking at workers of comparable skill and their union status among other variables. It does make me wonder why public servants in Wisconsin remain in the public sector if better opportunities potentially await them in the private sector.

    Just on a general level, unionized employees earn more than non-unionized employees, which should come as no surprise to anyone. Data from the BLS National Compensation Survey shows that in July 2002, average hourly earnings among all union workers were $20.65, compared with $16.42 for nonunion workers. In 2002, full-time wage and salary workers who were union members had median usual weekly earnings of $740, compared with a median of $587 for wage and salary workers who were not represented by unions. Unionized workers in blue-collar occupations averaged $18.88 per hour, compared with $12.95 for nonunion blue-collar workers. (http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/jobsemployment/a/unionwages.htm).

    The academic literature also often paints a divergent picture from Reich’s simple portrayals. According to Jay P. Greene and Marcus Winters, public school teachers earn 61% more per hour than private school teachers, on average nationwide(http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_50.htm). Their data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Compensation Survey and contains data from 66 metropolitan areas. In 1984, economists Jeffrey Perloff and Michael Wachter found that unionized postal employees in 1978 enjoyed a 21% wage advantage to comparably skilled non-unionized workers. According to a 1999 publication by Barry Hirsch and Michael Wachter, bargaining unit postal employees received wages 28% higher than comparable private sector employees. They also found that the inclusion of fringe benefits only widened the disparity. Peter Linneman and Michael Wachter published a paper entitled “The Economics of Federal Compensation” back in 1990 in which they found that the federal employee(non-postal) wage premium was 11.8% greater than what is found in the private sector(which is smaller due to the smaller union presence than what is found in the USPS). In In a GAO report from 1982, the GAO found that cleaning costs(due to wages and benefits) incurred by postal custodians were two times higher than contracted custodians. It cost $1.88 per square foot for postal custodians versus $0.77 for the contractors. (http://archive.gao.gov/f0102/120219.pdf).

  • Guest

    It’s not about Right vs Left; It’s about Rich vs Poor.

    Politicians are having themselves a good ol’ game of Good Cop vs. Bad Cop.

  • Ron

    It’s not just the rich in this country, either. This is a global campaign by the haves to further reduce the have-nots to subsistence, or below while ascending new heights of hedonism. Historically, this has resulted in a bloody revolt of the have-nots, who have nothing left to lose. They only need a leader.

  • http://bigdanblogger.blogspot.com/ Big Dan

    You can bet Karl Rove is behind it.

  • Nickelthrower


    I do not see this as a divide and conquer issue what-so-ever. I think that this is really about throwing low level public employees under the bus so as to make sure that no example exists to show that Unions work. If Unions are so terrible then why do teachers, policemen, firemen and garbage men get to have unions – strong ones that work hard for their members? Looks good from where I’m standing. I’d like some of that too.

    No one could possibly argue that the Police need someone to speak on their behalf or lobby for their “rights” as policemen or other silly ideas because, after all, THEY ARE THE POLICE. They can damn near do anything they want with total impunity yet I guess they are a bunch of mama’s boys because they need some union to wave some signs around and demand things. Those guns they wear work much better than signs.

    So, if the big bad police need a union then doesn’t the near helpless Walmart worker? doesn’t the convenience store clerk? how about the waitress?

    This isn’t about budget – it about letting everyone know where their new place in America is and, guess what, it isn’t up on the hill with them.

  • LeftCoastLeftie

    So why don’t the Democrats (Wisconsin and the other 49) start referring to this as “the Union-Killing Bill”, like the Repukes called healthcare reform “the Jobs-Killing Bill”? only difference is, the Dems would be telling the truth. The Teatard/Repukes don’t really know how to do that. They lack the Truthiness Gene (and the Empathy Gene, the Faithfulness Gene, and the Decency Gene) but they do have an extra Mean Jean (she’s gotta go in the next cycle.

  • http://www.rawstory.com/ Stumptownhero

    The POINT of the article shows that by focusing massive amounts of false information on the low information voters on the RIGHT the power elite have successfully DIVIDED the poor into two or maybe even three groups.

    Many of the Baggers are under an illusion that they are acting out of principle without the faintest CLUE to what the endgame is of their libertarian policies. The majority of the politicians are not even aware of the Plutocrats “grand plan” and have been “played” too.

    First liberals and progressives have to fight back with ACCURATE information then we have to overturn Citizens United.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IU3WYEYZGSU6EUKR35RNYHUX3E eileen schaper

    I’ve been saying for YEARS that it’s the goal of the Right to bring back and make work a Fascist Government in this country. Why else would they legislate for the Corporations over the PEOPLE in this country? If you’ve never paid attention to this…..pay attention NOW. It’s textbook.


    What part of this is NOT Right Wing?

  • http://twitter.com/btmfdrsheaven rebecca meritt

    I can’t believe the repuggs don’t control the voting machines. We haven’t had homeschooling long enough for their idiot offspring to vote,have we? The evangelical propaganda indoctrination has been on the air with their right wing message for 37 yrs and everyone of these repuggs belong to that cult.

  • Anonymous

    You sir are comparing apples to oranges. Robert Reich was comparing UNIONIZED private sector jobs to UNIONIZED public sector jobs with the SAME LEVEL of EDUCATION. One should read the data in the article to be able to make an intelligent assessment of a former Secretary of Labor’s writings.
    You are right to point out that unionized jobs are more likely provide a living wage with benefits that one could raise their family squarely in the middle class.

  • oldswede

    In case anyone is wondering why the MSM isn’t exposing the Koch Brothers machinations, you can look up the Koch Industries, Inc. products. Advertising revenue is the sweet honey of broadcasting and Koch has some major consumer brands:
    Georgia Pacific:
    Quilted Northern, Angel Soft, Brawny, Sparkle, Soft’n Gentle, Mardi Gras, Vanity Fair & Dixe.
    Lycra & Coolmax fiber, Stainmaster carpets, Cordura fabric & Comforel fiberfill.
    And more you can find on their website: Koch Industries, Inc.
    You probably know most of these brands from the huge volume of advertising on TV for them. Would the corporate media owners risk this revenue for something as idealistic as democracy? Not likely.

  • http://www.rawstory.com/ Stumptownhero

    I’m not sure if you are a TROLL, a Repugnant, can’t read or just misinformed.

    All credible studies of public union employee wages shows that for COMPARABLE education and skill requirements public employees are NOT paid more than their private sector counter parts.

    You went postal so I’ll go school on you. In my state all new teachers HAVE to have a Masters degree. The HIGHEST starting wage for a teacher in the entire state is a ……wait for it ….wait for it …..$32,500.
    And….and the Repugnants gutted the retirement package a few years ago so even adjusted for benefits the total compensation is under $40K.

    So yas spend 5 years of your life and $100,000 minimum on college just so you can work 70 hour weeks for 50% of what freshly minted MBA’s earn on wall street. Don’t forget to factor in that on average teachers spend $1,500 AFTER tax on supplies for their class room.

    Comparing private to public school teachers only PROVES the benefit of unions to teachers. Why should private school teachers earn any less????? Because they don’t have BARGINING rights that’s why. They teach “at the pleasure of the principle or Board of trustees” regardless of qualifications or effectiveness….hell of a way to run an education system.

    Racing to the bottom only gets everybody to the BOTTOM.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s face it the super wealthy own the American Government.
    They own Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court.
    They own most of the candidates.
    They own the Governor of Wisconsin and he does their bidding.
    The American middle class is screwed.

  • Anonymous

    I would have to say, WTF, have you been blind for the last thirty years. This has been the plan all along and via corporate controlled mass media the plan was implemented and successfully managed for thirty years.
    Whether pseudo left or pseudo right, pretend progressive or pretend conservative, it was the exploiters winning election after election and setting out with a myopic focus on bleed the treasury and the middle class dry.
    The exploiters party has controlled politics and media for thirty years, has attacked unionism for thirty years and has attacked a government of the people, by the people and, for the people for thirty years (the definition of socialism).
    You have been shorn, bent over and screwed, led around by your noses, pursued the carrot in fear of the stick, for thirty years and, it has been done so successfully that many of you think it is only just starting to happen.
    Worship of celebrities and the rich and greedy, empty consumerism and junk food, junk products, junk news, junk science, have been your mantra, you sold out future generations in the vain attempt to sate insatiable lusts sold to you by corporate controlled mass media, the internet generation will remember you as the ‘sell out generation’ (the worst generation in the past 200 years).

  • Anonymous

    What’s funny is that private school teachers possess fewer advanced degrees than their public school counterparts, and yet deliver superior academic results. Never mind the fact that the average amount that is spent per pupil in the public education system far exceeds the median private school tuition. To make matters worse, most school districts dramatically underreport their costs(http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=11432). In some school districts, it costs taxpayers upwards of $20,000 to only achieve mediocre results. For instance, in Detroit spent about $11,100 per pupil in 2008 and yet the graduation rate there was about 25%. You see, unions use coercion to manipulate politicians into granting them what they want, and that often means higher wages for unionized employees. Just because public school teachers belong to a coercive union and are often given higher wages compared to their private counterparts doesn’t necessarily mean that they deserve the higher pay. It’s sorta like when a schoolyard bully threatens a nerd into forking over his lunch money. Just because he acquired it, doesn’t mean he earned it.

    “You went postal so I’ll go school on you.”

    “Because they don’t have BARGINING rights that’s why.”

    Judging from your mangled English, I’m betting that you were a victim of our beloved public education system.

  • Anonymous

    What I still can’t grasp is why. Most of the ultra rich who benefit from this don’t want or need the help. They’d much rather see a healthier safer society where they can enjoy their wealth. They’re way too content to need the solace of schadenfreude. It’s not good economic policy either, for a host of obvious reasons. It’s opposite to traditional republican ideology.

    The only motive I can see is merely the wish to win elections, whatever the cost, whatever the damage, whatever the complete lack of competence to govern once they do. Just winning, because they aren’t in it out of compassion, they are doing it for sport. Look at the twinkle in Karl Rove’s eye and try to to see anything more there. They are moral infants, toying with our lives.

  • yvonneo

    Judging from your mangled logic, I’m betting you’re a teabagger.

  • Anonymous

    I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you aren’t just throwing around heady terms like “logic” in order to sound wiser than you actually are. So, humor me and tell me what logical fallacies I’ve committed.

  • ThatBostonMan

    Thats what all that racism is about. Divide and conquer. Divide and rule. Divide and win.

  • Anonymous

    The Right has given us an almost unbroken thirty years of deregulation, tax-cuts-for-the-rich trickle down economics, a belligerent foreign policy and bloated defense spending, starting with Reagan. These policies reached their apogee under Bush, and have lead this country to disaster–about 70 to 80% of our national debt was run up under Reagan, Bush I and Bush II, income concentration in the top 1% has reached levels not seen since the 20s, our politicians dance to the tune of the financial elite and their armies of lobbyists, and the main stream media parrots the talking points of the right.

    The propaganda is so effective, the populace re-elects these bums, and their control of media is such that working class folks are persuaded to hate unions, and a Democratic party that won them social security, medicare, the 40 hour week and so much more.

    The growing disparity of income, the distortion of our politics by a financial elite, all the pathologies of right wing reactionary economic policies are right in front of us, but the unrelenting propaganda campaign seems to have succeeded blinding huge swaths of the citizenry to this reality.

  • parrots_abound

    Reich hits on a valid point. That those in charge are now going to go after the common Middle Class or lower classes to foot the bill for THEIR excesses.

    But why is there no mention it is being done through Fascist policy itself? And as the Koch Bothers may be but ONE example of this, there are many others that span all political allegiances.

    For instance, Democrats gave us the Bailouts…172 Democrats and 91 Republicans. So is this attempt to socialize losses on the backs of citizens only a “Right Wing Conspiracy”?

    What about Trade Agreements which leave Americans in the cold? What about Dem support for Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan types? What about the lobbies that have moved them to make policy?

    Republicans and Democrats…guilty of treasonous Fascism…and in bed with the Banks and Corps against you and me.

    But never mind that, we should continue babbling about the Tea Party and the Koch Brothers.

  • parrots_abound
  • parrots_abound

    H.R. 1424: Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Bailout Bill)

    Sponsor: Rep Patrick Kennedy (D)…check

    Cosponsors : 274…all Democrats Signed into law by George Bush….both sides got it covered… CHECK

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-1424 ….check


    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2008-101 ….check

    “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy!!!!!!!!!”….record skips and random old guy falls off his bar stool.

    I’ll take “Two Party Looting” for $700 BILLION ALEX!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3QIJ4LGZX6PZOJSD57QIC3NRAA Straw

    You know Reich wasn’t bitching about capital gains taxes when his boss cut them, and the move produced the roaring 90s.

  • parrots_abound

    Let’s also check out a recent Bill by Harry Reid to further propagate the “War on Terror” booga booga booga.

    S. 8: A bill to strengthen America’s national security. Harry also calls it the ‘Tough and Smart National Security Act’ (teeeheeee)

    Sponsor: Harry Reid. (D) of Nevada.
    Cosponsors: 9 (All Democrats)

    Introduced Jan 25th, 2011.


    Text of Bill: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s112-8


    “(1)ensure that members of the Armed Forces, particularly those serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, and veterans get the support they need and deserve”… What support Harry? Support in theater, or after?

    “(2)work with the President to attack al Qaeda and other terrorist groups with a comprehensive military, intelligence, homeland security, law enforcement, and diplomatic strategy”…. Al Qaeda Harry? Really?

    “(3) confront the nuclear threat from Iran and North Korea”…Nuclear Iran Harry? (And Cosponsors)?

    “(4) enhance the tools of the United States Government for pursuing key national security interests, including fighting terrorism, preventing failed states, thwarting global pandemics, promoting democracy and development, securing nuclear materials and preventing nuclear proliferation, and combating narco-trafficking and drug-related violence around the world, including along our border with Mexico” ..Terrorism, “Preventing failed states”, “Promoting Democracy” (See Bush), ahhh, more Drug Wars Harry? (And Cosponsors) Really?


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FONW6K3ZWV4BU4ZTCDCSZHHH6E Mick Jagger

    The War On Terror is a War On All The American People.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ODHDTSN5TFE24TZS22LJWXHO6I Rash Lameballs

    The secret to freedom lies in educating people,whereas the secret to tryanny is keeping them ignorant.
    Maximilien Roperspierre

    This is why their propaganda works so good.The first things they want to cut have to do with education.If we keep them ignorant,they will believe anything the R’s tell them.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ODHDTSN5TFE24TZS22LJWXHO6I Rash Lameballs


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ODHDTSN5TFE24TZS22LJWXHO6I Rash Lameballs

    The secret to freedom lies in educating people,whereas the secret in tryanny is keeping them ignorant.
    Maximilien Ropespierre

    I cannot post this enough! This is the biggest reason the R’s want to do away with education.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s also not overlook the fact that teachers have a much more difficult job in the public schools because they cannot exclude the problem children as the private schools can.

  • Anonymous

    New GOP slogan: Treating those who have too little badly for the sake of those who have too much.

  • Anonymous

    What you have just read in this post is a “lone voice” in the wilderness.Facts & the truth were writhen. But it will be ignored in the MSM,talk radio,& cable news.
    The writer will be past off as just some “liberal of the far left who still lives in the 1950′s or 60′s”.

  • Anonymous

    Well said

  • Anonymous

    Gov.Scott Walker is trying to pull off the same thing “conservative” have been doing since Reagen started it in the 1980;s.
    By speeding up the process in less than 3 months,he exposed their whole agenda.Lets hope American’s workers realize this & counters it to the betterment of all.

  • Anonymous

    This has been happening of years with enormous effort provided by right wing think tanks funded by the likes of Trump, Kock brothers and the Banksters. They’ve managed to finally hit bone and the American people are finally waking up to the War on the Middle Class. It may be too late, however.

  • Anonymous

    Here is a question…where are all the marches that used to happen during Bush protesting the wars, the patriot act and the bad acts of our elected officials. They are gone!!! There have been none since Obama – why because it is bad to protest the Democrats….we are being silenced by what we believe is the party that cares about the people. Please don’t be silenced by the pretenders – yes I said it the pretenders who supposedly represent us…yes those that give us crumbs – like some small medical care reform while lower taxes for the rich, cutting social security taxes for the middle class to undermine the program and get people “liking” that extra 40 a week they get so they will begin to dislike Social Security. Yes, they gave us “financial reform” but it drove up the interest rates on credit cards and with the same hand they extended the Patriot Act…so my friends look around, see what is to be seen – where are the protests!!!!

  • Rob

    Anyone else remember the phrase “Eat the Rich”? 500 bumper stickers, coming up…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-W-Roads/629696293 Chris W Roads

    What?? Yeah hes close, but how about the two parties divide the poor keeping them fighting with themselves while the richest one% rob them blind. So hes pretty much doing exactly what hes pointing out other are doing.

  • Anonymous

    I hope that Ron Paul is included in your “few others” along with Sanders and Kucinich. Removing the power of the FED and the MIC are the 2 biggest steps towards bringing wealth back to the people’s hands. Those that may not agree with Paul on his economic philosophies, need to acknowledge how utterly crucial Ron’s 2 main objectives are. As well as the fact that among the 3rd Party candidates he probably will have the best luck in a presidential bid..

  • Guest

    Convincing oppressed people to fight among themselves rather than against their oppressors has a long and rich history. I believe in Howard Zinn’s book “The Peoples’ History he has reprinted discussions of the Georgia State House concerning poor Whites, Blacks and Native Americans (legislators used different names). The rich White legislators and wealthy land owners openly discussed how the poor Whites, Blacks and Native Americans must be kept at each others throats. The rich Whites feared that if these groups ever figured out that they were not each others enemies they would turn on the rich Whites resulting in their demise. The rich Whites went so far as to hire mercenaries to dress up like different groups (Blacks & Native Americans) and attack(murder) the other groups to keep hostilities alive. Unfortunately the wealthy have used this trick over and over with much success. Any one who watched NorthWest Airlines get taken apart saw this recently. Once upper management got the unions to stop supporting each other it was only a matter of time before the unions would lose any power they had.

  • BrooklynRider

    As the GOP and Democrats continue to flirt with shutting down the government as a threat against the population of this country, it would be more appropriate for Americans to go on a general strike and hit at the heart of Washington. They are squabbling over OUR money. They are fighting over how THEY spend OUR money. It is time for someone to demonstrate to them that WE have the ultimate power over the government’s revenue and budget, and that WE will exercise our ultimate veto of a corrupt government by defunding it outright. If you do not believe we are engaged in a class war, then you are a willfully ignorant contributor to the destruction of this country by capitalism.

  • Anonymous

    careful they will call you racist. I got a lot of hate responses when I suggested Obama may not be the leader we had hoped he would be.

    the dividing and conquering the have-nots is working very well…..

  • Anonymous

    no matter, he is bitching now….(and how do you know he didn’t)

  • Anonymous

    I have been called worse….and I know the truth. The divide and conquer would not be working so well were it not that very fact. We can NOT protest as it makes us seem a racist or allows people to call us Faux Supportors. The sad part, really sad part is that I voted for him…yes I believed he would bring the Hope and Change I wished for, dreamed of. That is the worst part of this evil….as many will stop participating now because they will feel they can not trust what they believe anymore.

    Yes I know the WH supporters will say he has done so much…he had only been there two years and I counter by saying yes he has done so much…Patriot Act EXTENDED (thankfully not as long as Obama wanted it to be); Wars, getting bigger, costing more and STILL killing our children; Unemployment – higher and we are being lied to about how bad it is because we don’t count anyone who has been unemployed longer than 99 weeks; Tax Breaks for the Rich!!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6FSQPG5G2N5SYVOMSZ7SRXG57I Angry Liberal

    Exactly! No one is talking about this since the ’08 election. Fact is, they let the dems in because they needed someone to blame for the catastrophic mess they created. We will not change things at the ballot box, it needs to be done Wisconsin style.

  • Anonymous

    I am so with you. The list is even longer, as we both know.
    The extension of the tax cuts for the rich was the last straw as far as I am concerned.
    and now, we see the cutting on the backs of the rest of us.

    Truly evil.

  • ghostof911

    The 2010 elections were rigged. Period.

    The Wisconsin Senate Democrats need to vow to stay outside the state until the elections of 2010 are declared NULL AND VOID. The election must be reheld using PAPER BALLOTS that can be VERIFIED.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_J4R2P2BMMM5JTCYWGEU4YW6UWQ Dago T

    Run, Robert, run!
    Challenge O’Bama.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_J4R2P2BMMM5JTCYWGEU4YW6UWQ Dago T

    That’s the Rep’s plan, to make this country stupider, if that’s even possible at this point.

    R: “Who needs teachers, or even schools? Let’s just open factories and trade camps and put all our poor kids in them.”

    As my baby sis said in 2000, 2 kinds of people vote R: rich people and stupid people.

    Get your “Stupid is winning” T-shirts now … if you can afford ‘em.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6FSQPG5G2N5SYVOMSZ7SRXG57I Angry Liberal

    It will not end until the whole system crashes under its own weight. The capitalistic economic model demands infinite growth in a finite system. The economy will never recover due to soaring food & energy costs caused by oil and other resource depletion. This is the beginning of the “long emergency” that has been forecast for decades by the peak oil crowd.

    What we are seeing now is the rich squeezing every last bit of wealth out of the rest of us before they run off to their luxury liners, personal islands, and giant estates with their own private armies. They have no intention of being on the receiving end of a “French Revolution”.

    We will be left in a world of scarcity, fending for ourselves.

  • Anonymous

    Does the Wisconsin Constitution allow for a recall election?

  • Anonymous

    This is not news. Non union and union workers have always argued and bickered. The bottom line has always been divide and conquer. It will all end when the country fails. All of the working class will be completely under the corporate thumb. We will be slaves shopping at WalMart and be thankful for slave wages. The time for compromise is passing us by, civil war is on the way.

  • Anonymous

    Another case of human nature, if it doesn’t effect me I don’t care.

    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    So keep on thinking this in Wisconsin won’t effect you, their coming for you soon.

  • Anonymous

    I found this post in a Paul Krugman article.RDV is the poster.

    Only 5 states do not have collective bargaining for educators and have deemed it illegal. Their ranking on ACT/SAT scores:

    South Carolina – 50th
    North Carolina – 49th
    Georgia – 48th
    Texas – 47th
    Virginia – 44th

    Wisconsin is currently ranked 2nd. Welcome to the race to the bottom.

  • Anonymous

    Both the 2000 & 2004 elections were rigged.
    In 2000,Bush was appointed
    in 2004.Bush plus Ohio plus Diebolt stiled the election


  • Buford2k11

    I want to add more likes to your statement, ’cause I believe as you do. We have been lulled to sleep by our own prosperity of the past. I don’t want confrontation, I don’t like violence, but war it is.

  • Buford2k11

    My question is………when should the 2nd amendment be applied to the problem? Or are the right wingers going use it against us, the poor, the divided middle class etc.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RT3XX4DFKZ2AD7JHO3D3PZ7G4M ChrisK


  • Hologram5

    There is no left/right, there is only money and power and whatever path they take to get there. In these people’s tiny little minds, the ends justify the means. They don’t care about the people, either side. They only care about power.

  • Anonymous

    One of the first great failings of the Obama Presidency was not naming Bob Reich as treasury secretary.

  • Anonymous

    I will agree with you on everything except for the time frame of corporate control of the media. The Jekyll Island Conference of 1910 is significant concerning the media and the FED in that in order for the Federal Reserve to come into being the public needed to be sold on the idea. The media was taken under the control of elite banker family’s so that the skids could be greased allowing the FED to be slipped into being.
    In reality… Yes we have been blind. I recall listening to NPR in the fall of 1980. A report concerning the European’s take on the presidential election in the US was that they were concerned that we would vote against our own economic interests… Apparently they could see something that we could not.

  • ladygeek

    Bob Reich was the Secretary of Labor under Clinton not Treasury. Treasury was held by the neocon Robert Rubin – he was a repuke openly.

  • ladygeek

    I’ve been complaining about the quality of education since I worked in HR in Berkley CA in 1979. I used to get the dropouts and recent graduates out of the Berkley Public School system in my employment lobby daily. Half of them couldn’t even fill out an employment application. The University of California in Berkeley is one of the top universities in the world and keeps bumping first place to Stanford so they take turns being #1. It’s next to impossible to get into UC Berkeley unless you are a foreign graduate student or someone with a straight A average in high school and jr. college. High school students used to be able to go directly to UC Berkley from high school but that is no longer the case because of class sizes so they have to go to jr college first.

  • https://twitter.com/DrMatthew Dr. Matt

    The republican party would not exist if Americans were united and working as one. The only way GOPigs can exist is through division, racism, lies, and anti-Americanism.

  • ladygeek

    I believe that Karl Marx predicted this way back using the Hegeianl dialectic and the Malthusian theory of population growth vs. food.

    We are seeing the shortage of food in other countries which is triggeriing some of these riots in the ME lately. People there aren’t getting enough grain or fuel to make meals and is being manipulated by the powers they are demonstrating against. Food prices are going up quickly even here in the US.

    The jobs that provided a good middle class income have either been automated or sent abroad for cheap labor. The best example is the off-shoring of manufacturing (how do you feel about the US’ defensive weapons being manufactured in Indonesia? how about that stealth plane that the Chinese just revealed based on the US technology) and the off-shoring of the technology that automates other things so that slaves or serfs aren’t needed anymore.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been saying this for years when it became obvious that the ultimate goal of the powerful is to divide us economically and by constantly goading the racial divide.

    It’s troubled me that the powerful can use the media to create so much emotional turmoil that we become blind to the FACT that we all have more in common than not.

    We are divided for no good reason and they laugh all the way to the bank, as it were. In the meantime our jobs evaporate and our environment gets raped. We, the divided common folk, are the ones who lose out, but the fear mongering effectively keeps us divided.

  • Anonymous

    We tried that once but the MSM ran that clip of hm yelling Woo Hoo 24/7 for weeks to marginalize him. Sarah Palin should be so lucky.

  • Anonymous

    Robert has a great mind, but he’s too short to fill the roll of the President. People would make fun of him and we can’t have that. We have to have someone who “looks” Presidential, no matter how stupid they are.

  • ladygeek

    Unfortunately, a general strike could never happen in the US for one reason: Unions are limited by law to only have the right to collective bargaining for negotiating wages, hours & working conditions. Unions in the US are not socialistic organizations. They are only bargaining agents and are limited to those things only. That was the only way that labor unions back in the 30′s could get bargaining rights. Most union members are averse to general strikes because of the consequences that management could use: lockouts and relocating plants/offices, etc. Moving plants from the jurisdiction of one labor union to a new location not covered by that labor union, are free to build in right-to-work states. I know because I was involved in that stuff long ago. We used to relocate plants from existing locations to states with right-to-work laws which means that you can have a union but you can’t force people to pay union dues but employees under the right-to-work laws who choose not to join the union still get the same wages, hours & working conditions that the union workers get.

  • theoldhippy

    You’ve hit on some truths, but the problem isn’t Peak Oil and Food Shortages, the problem is in the commodities markets. The “haves” have plenty of money to invest and are using it to drive up the prices on the futures markets.

    The last time the markets were hit was when 50 billion dollars were injected into the petroleum futures market that the previous year had 5 billion dollars invested. Those speculators drove the prices of gasoline and resulted in $4 a gallon gas. The rise in prices was caused by the traders overpaying each other for the commodities that they the speculators controlled.

    Much like the S&L scandal where one person bought a property for a million dollars and sold it a month later to a pal for 2 million. This person then sold it to another for 3 million. Each person borrowed from their local S&L who were happy to loan the money since the property was appraised by brokers to be worth what was being asked for by the owners. Eventually the market collapsed and the S&L’s ended up owning a piece of property worth only a fraction of what was owed on it.

    Today we have billions being spent by speculators to control commodities whose actual worth is millions. But since the speculators spent billions they expect the public to buy the products represented by the commodities at a price that will still give the speculators a profit. This is Capitalism at it’s worst.

    And every time we pay the inflated prices it just drives the market higher and higher, resulting in more Capital for the speculators to use to drive the prices still higher. This will continue until a loaf of bread costs $50 dollars and a gallon of gas costs $10. And when the bubble bursts, the government will bail out the speculators with OUR tax money.

    And the elite will still be crying that socialism is a failed system. And you know, they are right, at least from their viewpoint, which is the ONLY view the politicians in DC seem to listen to these days.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I remember. Nothing says that Obama couldn’t appoint him to Treasury.

  • tehamawhiteneck

    I am at a loss as to why Robert thinks this is a new revelation. The reptilican party has been trying this since the Great Depression. They are hell bent to bring a “French Revolution” to this country. I first joined a union when I was 14. Bartenders and Resturant Workers Local 3 out of San Francisco. Since then I have worked for maybe 5 years non-union and 41 years union. I so much prefer “Union”. Gave me a piece of the pie that the reptilican party so wants to keep to themselves and their leash-holder owners.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3NVQSZZC5IM66JEOCSFJUV7FCE Jacques G

    Reagan started it. He’s supposedly the “Best” president, yeah, right. The Republican Legacy lives on in cardboard boxes and homeless shelters across America and in yachts and mansions. American Middle class has the power, in its pocket. Use it. Boycott. Stop using goods and services of every corporation you can find that is harmful. It means ‘sacrifice”. Drive less, use products not harmful to “the people” avoid Koch made goods, like Angel Soft toilet paper, boycott BP gas, Target and WalMart, drop phone companies that support the right wing like Verizon, ATT and switch to Credo etc., close B of A, CITI etc. accounts. Every way possible. Vote in 2012. At least vote progressive. Early Man built better stone tools before they made iron hammers. To regain ground, we have to build on what we have.

  • ladygeek

    He’s a professor at Berkeley in Labor Law now. I don’t think he’d have enough power in Treasury to do what needs to be done in the Department of Labor where he made many changes which were overthrown when W changed the Secretary of Labor. I can’t remember who that was though. That tells you how much that secretary did. All these labor laws that are being violated are not being enforced under the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) which is where complaints are to be filled but no one has filed any.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KJJ4KEVT2Z5RDHTIRGJOUWL2EA Paul M

    Damn well said Colin. Bobmoon said, “The bastards have already taken control of our politicians while we were asleep”, priceless statement.i gather that bobmoon knows the ones behind the curtain, at lease he is aware. Past on to the others who the “bastards” are tell them how deep the rabbit hole goes.

  • Anonymous

    I say one teacher is worth 30 hedge fund managers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mejsmith Michael Smith

    I agree and have been saying that for years, as well. A lot of people need to know who their real enemy is. Most of them are CEOs.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    Securing personal liberties and fixing the broken monetary system (some) is not going to stop corporations from abusing the general public. That requires regulations, and your boys Ron and Rand are against regulations.. that means they are against protecting the commons. Sure, they want to give you more freedoms (great), but at the cost of being more easily abused by the ruling elite (bad).

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    “We who love freedom advocate the **mobility** from one class”

    Actually, I would argue that those of us that truly love freedom advocate there to be no NEED to “move”; there is no good reason to have “separate classes” in the first place. We’re all human beings, and we all have the same rights… and that should include access to the resources we need to live. Everything you do after that should be directed toward enjoying your life, not acquiring more resources (baubles, in a consumerist society). Enjoying your life requires access to resources and technology, but “ownership” is not required. “Ownership” is an artificial contrivance designed to propagate consumerism, to propagate a system that allows the few to own the planet and enslave the rest of us and convince us that “if we just own a little more, we’ll be cool too!”… that is what “class mobility” is, isn’t it? Having bigger and more “junk” in your own basket of “ownership”?

    Freedom means the ability to move about the planet at will. Freedom means the ability to learn what you want and as much as you want without having to be stuffed into some cubical to make money for other people so you can earn some scraps to pay back “resources you borrowed” to learn in the first place. Real Freedom only comes from real equality in society. Don’t confuse “having more baubles” with “freedom”, that only feeds into the system running under those that already own the planet who only own it because they were lucky enough to be born into families that were here when the planet wasn’t already owned. .. and they enslave us by eeking out tiny bits of those resources for us to exist on.

    http://www.zeitgeistmovingforward.com and http://www.thevenusproject.com

  • Anonymous

    The experts, when it comes to most issues today – this one included – are the economists. So I’m most grateful when any well-credentialed economist steps up and lays it out straight. Thank you, Dr. Reich.

    Think how different the would would be if those anointed experts – those who make up the economic profession – stood up en masse with the message delivered by this one economist. It wouldn’t convert the crazies, but it would give heart – and ammunition – to the rest of us. Thank you indeed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    Actually, many teatards have no respect for education at all. In fact, they staged a “counter protest in support of the bill”, that is, teatards showed up to support the Gov. for breaking the budget, then beating up on Unions as a solution. .. and to most teatards (that I’ve met), the few (or one) making more money always trumps everything else..

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    “then, of course, private sector employees earn more on average due to the lawyers, doctors, professional athletes, etc. that often earn extraordinary salaries and skew the results.”

    “Data from the BLS National Compensation Survey shows that in July 2002, average hourly earnings among all union workers were $20.65, compared with $16.42 for nonunion workers.”

    but.. but.. you said we can’t use those number, then use those numbers, and they disprove your assertion that “of course private sector shows more” because of “sports guys and doctors”.

    smells like distraction, distortion, manipulation, obfuscation, and generally an attempt to make nonsense out of the entire discussion.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    I think he might be the guy that suggested that Singapore is a great example of a Free Market that we should follow.. until I showed that Singapore (for all the stability and growth in that economy) had Single Payer health care and 60% of the GDP came from Government Owned businesses (i.e. generally Socialistic in it’s model).

    Just like taking “superior academic results.” from “private schools” at face value, and ignoring the fact that private schools don’t have many (if any, in most areas) students stuck in Poverty.

    You’re wasting your time talking to any right-winger. Every time you roll them back to valid logic and full disclosure, you’ll hear one of two things. “Logic doesn’t matter, you just have to feel what is right”, or “Well, I don’t care. I want to do it my way anyway.”.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    +1 gazillion

  • Anonymous

    There is a difference between coercion and negotiation. Coercion is ‘my way or the highway ‘ and if you don’t like it you don’t have to do this job. You cannot negotiate when you do not have a leg to stand on or even a right to exist, which is what Walker seeks. Things like paid holidays, vacation pay, sick days, minimum wage laws, child labor laws, 8 hour work days, employer-paid health care did not come about from the uncoerced generousity of big business. Somebody had to gain these ‘concessions’ through negotiation, and a lot of those folk involved back then got their heads busted, or worse, for doing it.

  • theoldhippy

    I’ve often said that the so called “liberal anti-gun view” is merely an straw image created by the right to preach to the fear of society as a whole. The scared urban dwellers who hear shots in the night and fear for their lives against the 50% or higher who own guns and are afraid the “government” is going to take their gun.

    I have been a liberal all of my life and I have owned guns all of my life. I have advised my gun hating friends to buy a gun themselves, who knows when we’ll need a well ordered militia.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    There are two issues.. 1 is the bailout that did two things. Yes, it enriched the same people that caused the problems, but it also prevented millions of people from suffering serious financial pain (and it can be argued that not enough people were protected, and the bailouts could have been spent differently and in a way that protected more people while enriching the perps much less).

    the second issue is conflating Dem/Rep with Left/Right. There are a lot of right-leaning Dems, the letter behind your name means nothing in reality, it just makes an implication. Your policies define your position, not the letter.

    and when it came time to try and “fix the problem”, to regulate the banksters, virtually every R (all right-wing) and many Ds (the right-winger type Ds) voted to block/prevent meaningful regulations on the banks.

    So, yes.. you’re right.. the D/R lie is being used to prop up Fascism. But that lie is being used by people adhering to “right-wing ideologies”, regardless of the letter behind their name. Being Anti-Regulation is not a Liberal stance, it is a Conservative stance, and party affiliation is a ruse to obscure that. More lies fed to the public by “right-wing minded people”, and it’s working.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    You mean, roaring to the .com bubble and burst?

  • Anonymous

    Sorry if I wasn’t clear. What I was trying to say was that there are those in the private sector that make salaries way beyond the median per capita income, so it would be fallacious to make such general comparisons between “public sector employees” and “private sector employees”. When one compares the earnings of those with comparable skill sets and job descriptions with one being a unionized job and the other non-unionized, there is often a wage premium earned by the unionized employees. I also provided some evidence that public school teachers earn more than private school teachers, on average. I also provided some evidence that postal employees earn a wage premium over those with comparable skill sets and job descriptions that are nonfederal, non-unionized employees. Personally, I think that educational attainment, though important in some areas, is largely irrelevant in others. Though I don’t have any data on the matter, I would imagine that very few members of the Teamsters Union have Masters degrees or Phds. So, when comparing unionized truck drivers to non-unionized truck drivers, I’d imagine that educational attainment wouldn’t be much of a factor.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    Which is why Liberals and Progressives either need to take their party back from the corporatist DNC, or start their own party while shedding light on the currently corrupted/co-opted DNC.

  • Anonymous

    So, unions have never used violence, threats of violence, or threats to take their voting block “elsewhere” if they politicians don’t heed their demands? Come on…Those are all coercive measures. When you resort to twisting someone’s arm to vote a certain way, then coercion has obviously been used to vote out of fear of some kind of reprisal. That’s not just “negotiation”.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    If the media let the Dems (the public, not the politicians) know that Dems are protesting Dem Leadership, the two party scam would break down. The ruling elite does not want a grass roots Dem/Left movement to spark up in this country.. it wouldn’t be easily co-opted like the Tea Baggers were, and then you’d have even MORE opposition to the creeping Fascism.

    No, keeping it seeming like Ds keep yelling at Rs and Rs keep yelling at Ds is the only way to keep the lie working. … just read Raw, you’ll find a lot of Progressive, Liberals, Democratic Socialists, etc. all bitching about Obama’s failures, the Dem party failures.. It’s just not in the Media.. on purpose.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    The war on (some) drugs is a mechanism of institutionalizing targeted attacks along this line. Pit minorities against each other for drug turf, and sic the police on mostly minorities and the poor in the name of the drug war, and you keep brutalizing the poor/minorities and keep the unrest stirred up. … just look at Refer Madness, it was about “those terrible blacks!”, even having the nerve to “step on white people’s shadows!”.

    Long used strategy, indeed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    Some of the most coercive measures were business owners stringing Union leaders from light poles, and having the government bring in troops to murder families of Union workers who were striking.

    And I find it amusing that you equate human beings “coercing” a livable wage, adequate compensation for the only real means of generating wealth (labor), demanding to be treated like human beings and not slaves with blackmail, extortion, and murder as terrorist acts to “put the proles in their place”.

    Yeah.. threatening to back a different politician is on par with swinging a worker from a light pole.

    By the way, have some examples from the past, say, 30 years of “unions engaging in violence”? I’d like to see some proof of your assertion, if you don’t mind.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    It’s not that you weren’t clear, it’s that you contradicted yourself to try and make a point. And you’re asserting the same thing Reich did (comparable variables) after suggesting something that wasn’t bore out (bringing in sport player’s salaries) to try and discredit the original argument in the first place.

    And of COURSE union workers make more than non-union workers, that’s the POINT of the union.. to make sure the generators of real wealth aren’t kept out of the trough by the owners. Of COURSE non-union people get abused more, payed less, which is WHY people formed unions in the first place.

    This is about “public” versus “private”.. and generally, public is paid less than private for doing the same job with the same educational level. How is this being dragged off to “union v non-union”? wow. dissemble, much?

  • Anonymous

    I’m glad I left such a profound impact on you, Mr. Somebody. At the very best, you can’t deny that having very low tax rates and and engaging in the freest of trade hasn’t been a tremendous boon for the Singaporeans despite having such a large bureaucracy. I’m pretty sure that if they isolated themselves and engaged in limited trade and taxed people to the hilt then Singapore wouldn’t be as prosperous, but we can’t exactly test that hypothesis, can we? So, it’s time you let go of Singapore and move forward with your life.

    Parochial schools are not exactly wealthy when you compare them to the more elite, college prep schools, and yet Catholic schools still blow public schools out of the water in terms of performance. The fact that 27 cents of every dollar collected at the state or local level goes to public K-12 education is embarrassing considering the results(http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=11432). Real public school funding is about 75% higher than the estimated median private school spending of about $7,000. The Los Angeles County School District claimed to have spent $10,053 per pupil in 2009, but the real cost per pupil was actually $19,000. Also in 2009, Houston, TX claimed that it spent only $8,418 per pupil but that only covered the General Fund. When you factor in the Special Revenue Fund, Athletics Fund, Food Service Fund, Capital Renovation Fund, etc. the real cost per pupil was $12,534. Washington D.C. claims to have spent $17,542 but, in actuality, this total ignored all capital expenditures, so the real cost per pupil was $28,170! That could send pay for tuition at an elite boarding school, but D.C. students are getting an elite education by any stretch of the imagination.

  • Anonymous

    Threats to take their voting bloc elsewhere? Without a right to strike, exactly what else would a public school teachers union have for leverage? Here’s a sample of a negotiation using your non-coercion prescription:
    Wisconsin teachers: We want to keep our health care and pensions contributions the same as they are now.
    Walker: No.
    Wisconsin teachers: Oh, ok. We’ll go on back to work now.

  • Anonymous

    We disagree. Mobility means being able to leave poverty, whether from a project or debt-ridden from a university, and begin productive work (= work that someone is willing to pay for). The freedom you describe is totally self-indulgent. Your “Real equality” does not exist, thank goodness. Read Harrison Bergeron – it’ll take ten minutes (it’s available through any search engine or here: http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/harrison.html).

    Some folks are always going to work harder and longer than others. The desire for equality leads to envy, and then to violence. The desire for excellence leads to productive accomplishment and respect for that of others. Not only monetarily – many people pass up promotions so they don’t have to move, or so they can keep playing classical piano in their spare time. That’s freedom. Not wage slavery, but productively earning one’s keep in a free society.

  • Anonymous

    You do remember that I’m a libertarian, right? So, I think the power of government is far too great and that preferential treatment given to corporations and labor unions by bureaucrats, are both reprehensible and manipulative. No one has a right to demand their employer offer health care considering that before FDR such a “right” never existed. Maybe I should petition for my right to a house, or my right to be given a dog since the literature shows that dog owners are generally happier as a result. One can claim anything as a “right”, but that doesn’t necessarily make it so.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Divide and you will conquer. It’s the oldest trick in the book.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe, I’m a bit dense, but I don’t see a contradiction in stating that median private sector incomes are higher than median public sector incomes. I understand that is what Reich believes and that he sees it as dishonest for Republicans to tout the opposite when that much is certainly true. I’m arguing that when one compares certain like job descriptions with like skill sets, public sector, unionized employees make more money than nonfederal, non-unionized private employees. Maybe I need to back read the article again, but I’m really not aware of a contradiction.

    “This is about “public” versus “private”.. and generally, public is paid less than private for doing the same job with the same educational level.”

    I’ve provided academic literature to substantiate my point and your claim generally does not hold up. Also, you do realize that women and minorities are granted a large wage premium when working in the public sector. It depends on who and what you are comparing. So, again, I point to disparities between public school teachers and private school teachers. Also, mail delivery men typically make more money than privately employed couriers. I again doubt that advanced degrees are really a factor for package/mail delivery men. I’m sure there is practically no financial benefit for a Fedex driver to have a phD in microbiology(like that is even likely in the first place). I’d imagine that if he isn’t as timely, courteous, and/or physically capable as a coworker with only a batchelor’s degree then his advanced degree is rendered worthless.

  • Anonymous

    NAFTA? Remember NAFTA?

    Reich’s comments here are pretty good, but the man is no progressive (whatever that means….i’m closest to a dem socialist myself) – not in action, at least.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IOO5JIYNYXAHBUJRQR6ZV33RVY gail

    I agree but nonetheless America would be a better place if we were debating just that and not all this other nonsense – like whether to torture people or not. Removing the Fed would solve some deficit issues as well.

  • Anonymous

    Wisconsin does use paper ballots.

  • ghostof911

    Wisconsin uses electronic systems purportedly backed up by paper.


    Has there ever been any verification that the machine count matches the paper count?

  • Guest

    I’d like a little more than just Citizens United gone. How about Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, as well?

  • Anonymous

    Tea partyers are not low income people though. A lot of people assume that but there was a study last year that showed that most of them have middle class incomes and have always been more conservative and more republican than the rest of us. The real fault line is between those who are unionised as well as those who are not but respect what the unions have done, and those who are not.

  • Anonymous

    If capitalism hadn’t turned all of those things into a racket maybe people wouldn’t have to bargain for them.

  • Anonymous

    This expression should be seen everywhere.

  • Anonymous

    Since you specifically mentioned health care, may I ask if you as a libertarian would agree that an employee benefit which actually benefits both labor and management would be permissible under your limited government concepts? Employee HC is an obvious benefit for the employee but also a great benefit for the employer. First, in the context of the times when this benefit came into being, consider that there were horrible outbreaks of infectious dieases such as the 1918 flu pandemic which killed 100 million people world-wide. It was to the employers’ advantage to have some protection from the very real possibility of his entire workforce taking ill and/or dying. Some large employers such as U.S. Steel went so far as to have their own medical staffs onsite and/or built local hospitals. Further, it is a form of pay not subject to the Social Security tax and is an expense to be deducted on the corporate tax return. Sometimes negotiations can be no more than showing the other side their own interests.

  • Anonymous

    Today you can organise “flash” strikes through the internet. No body calls a strike, they just call in sick.Make sure you act the part because the company is watching.

  • Anonymous

    And just plain jealousy.

  • Anonymous

    Employers should provide health care options if it is fiscally appropriate. Health care should not be offered if it would prove too costly.

    To use an extreme and statistically rare event, like the 1918 flu pandemic, as a basis for permanently providing health care options in more mundane times strikes me as incongruous. Again, I think the idea of health care is wonderful and that employers should work to offer such alluring perks, but what good is a health care if it puts the employer out of business, thus leaving the workers unemployed?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    Simple fact for you. Within 20 years we’ll have 75% or more global unemployment, driven by automation in virtually every sphere of our lives.

    So, how can you work harder to get out of poverty when there are no jobs?

    Of course, if there is no poverty and no class division, there is nothing to be “jealous” of, right? and nothing to “work to get out of”, right?

    And that link is kind of absurd since you’re talking about a different kind of equality.. you’re talking about driving all humans to the same physical denominator, which is not what “equality” in terms of access to resources, or rights, means.

    I’m guessing you didn’t bother to watch the Zeitgeist Moving Forward movie, so you have no reference to what I’m talking about. Harrison Bergeron might as well be you saying “the sky is blue” to my statement.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    LMAO.. by your logic, women have no rights because before we gave them rights (say, to vote or something) they were property.

    you’re not a Libertarian, you’re an ignorantarian.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    I suspect they have low tax rates because they are a Socialistic nation in that the public is funding their programs (like single payer) from profits from the companies that the government (vis a vis, the public) operates.

    “So, it’s time you let go of Singapore and move forward with your life. ”

    Funny how you hold them up when it suits you, then suggest people might want to stop throwing existing evidence contrary to your position into your face.

    See, the reason I don’t bother trying to sift through the lies and distortions and manipulations of right-wingers (including teatard type libertarians) is because every time I do I find that they are lying and manipulating. Nothing is ever straight forward, no evidence is ever accurate or complete, it’s always a manipulation to try and prop up failed policies.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    “public sector, unionized employees make more money than nonfederal, non-unionized private employees. ”

    For 1, you’re comparing apples to oranges. How about compare private union pay to like public union pay jobs. Or, how about private non-union to public non-union for the same jobs.. That’s what I thought Reich was comparing, and that would be a 1:1 direct variable controlled (read: valid) comparison.

    “Also, you do realize that women and minorities are granted a large wage premium when working in the public sector.”

    Odd, I don’t know of any women making more than men in the public sector for the exact same job. I didn’t know they got a bonus on their check for simply being women..

    Anyway, since you like to spin and distort and conflate points, I’ll stop responding now.

  • Anonymous

    You “suspect”, but you don’t know for sure. You aren’t God, so I know that you don’t know. Again, we can’t test my hypothesis in some alternate reality, so who knows what the result would be if taxes were astronomical and trade was heavily restricted. I’m glad to still concede that I’m not sure why Singapore does as well as it does. You can’t just simply claim that it’s due only to the Socialistic practices, because not all Socialistic countries have thriving economies like Singapore. So, to me Singapore is still a mystery to a certain degree as it should be to you, but I doubt you’ll concede as much.

  • Anonymous

    Joe, you’re an optimist. The dollar is diving in value, this country’s immense worldwide presence might crash along with the economy, and we all might have to be subsistence farmers merely to survive. Getting food to the urban centers from the fields will require automation that will no longer be there.

  • Anonymous

    First of all, you are using an arbitrary cut off point by ignoring the 70 some odd years of violence that labor unions engaged in before your preferred period. No matter, here’s something from 1993:
    “As head of the United Mine Workers, Trumka ordered a nationwide strike against Peabody Coal in 1993. On July 22, a non-union worker, Eddie York, was shot in the back of the head and killed as he attempted to pass striking coal workers. Picketers continued to throw rocks after York was shot, preventing his would be rescuers from assisting him.[14]. Trumka and other United Mine Workers officials settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Mr. York’s widow out of court in 1997.”(http://cases.justia.com/us-court-of-appeals/F3/65/1137/529527)

    2004 AFL-CIO push their way into a Republican field office in Orlando FL, breaking the wrist of one staffer. AFL-CIO member Van Church is unrepentant: “If his wrist was fractured, it’s a result of his own actions in jerking the door the way he did.”
    1999 – During protests by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1547 against a non-unionized workforce getting a contract, picketers threatened and assaulted workers, spat at them, sabotaged equipment, and shot guns near workers. The Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the union had engaged in “ongoing acts of intimidation, violence, destruction of property”.
    1999 – During protests by Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 310, picketers punched a worker, and threw coffee cups at workers.
    1999 – Members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 120 were convicted of striking a worker, and imprisoning another one in a truck trailer.
    1998 – Teamsters Orestes Espinosa, Angel Mielgo, Werner Haechler, Benigno Rojas, and Adrian Paez beat, kicked, and stabbed a UPS worker (Rod Carter) who refused to strike, after Carter received a threatening phone call from the home of Anthony Cannestro, Sr., president of Teamsters Local 769.
    1998 – During the Communications Workers of America U.S. West strike a worker was threatened with a gun, and a manager was hit in the head with a rock.
    1990 – on the first day of The New York Daily News strike, trucks were attacked with stones and sticks. One union member was immediately arrested for transporting Molotov cocktails. Strikers followed replacement laborers and threatened them with baseball bats. Strikers then started threatening newsstands with arson, or stole all copies of the Daily News and burned them in front of the newsstands. Independent sources estimated over a thousand reports of threats. The newspaper recorded over two thousand legal violations. The Police Department, recorded more than 500 incidents. 50 strikers were arrested. Bombings of delivery trucks became common, with 11 strikers arrested on one day in October.
    1984 – Taxi driver David Wilkie was killed by NUM strikers while driving a non-striking worker during the UK mining strike

    I could use labor unions across the globe to further illustrate my point(i.e. Greek protests of austerity measures).

    I predict that you’ll probably use the No True Scotsman fallacy to claim that these don’t meet your personal requirements for “real” acts of violence. Oh well…

  • Anonymous

    Straw man. If you had asked me what I believed about women’s rights, I would have told you that Austro-libertarians believe that women have natural rights in the Lockean sense(the right to self-possession, in other words, no one else has the inherent right to possess you). No where did I claim that women were given rights by the State, in fact that’s antithetical to my position entirely. The State only serves to limit people’s civil rights.

  • Anonymous

    this guy has nailed it. What many people do not realize is when the workers of this country lose their right to negotiate working conditions and other issues, everyone will lose. If a factory decides that it’s not going to give you healthcare anymore or it’s going to make you pay 75% of the cost, every factory around is going to do it. Every company around is going to do it because you don’t have the right to say anything about it.

    The GOP wants an end to your freedoms. You are much easier to control that way

  • Anonymous

    You’re right that I made an apples to oranges comparison, but I feel like this whole kerfuffle lacks a target when you suggest I look at private and public non-union wages. I thought looking at the effects of labor unions on wages was critical to this discussion. So, why should I look at non-union wages when Gov. Walker is being accused of breaking the unions? What is important to assess is if unions deserve the wage premium they get compared to their non-unionized counterparts. I would argue that they don’t since the premium has been arranged via coercion. It’s a political gift and not something that has been subjected to the laws of supply and demand. Furthermore, Reich does mention how the GOP is looking to divide union and non-union employees. So, this really is bigger than just looking at educational attainment and comparing public union employees to private union employees.

    As for women, public sector jobs can’t discriminate in terms of pay, but women generally earn less due to lifestyle preferences(I’m sure you’ll disagree, but my wife is writing her dissertation on such lifestyle preferences) in the private sector. A woman is cannot be seen as a “liability” in the public sector for wanting to have children. The truth is that such choices often result in women falling behind, especially in the rapidly advancing, technical fields. Which is why successful women in fields like physics are extremely rare and often have no children.

  • ThatBostonMan

    This is coming from an elitist establishment type like Robert Reich. The elite have the most to gain by dividing the classes. It’s not rich vs poor, it’s a matter of individuals.

  • ThatBostonMan

    Only he’s dividing the rich and poor while he’s talking about divide and conquer, and he’s an elite establishment type himself. So I don’t think we should listen to him. Rather than divide the rich from the poor, let’s divide at those who care and those who don’t give a shit.

  • Anonymous

    I used the 1918 flu epidemic as example because it is the most easily recalled instance in memory. However, it certainly was not the only major flu outbreak, and we also had Cholera, Leprosy, Diptheria, Whooping cough, Polio, Small Pox, Tuberculosis, Yellow Fever and probably more I’ve left out. (Rabies was a major concern although not transmitted through human contact.) Medical science was quite primitive. There were no antibiotics, and few vaccines, and unperfected or experimental ‘cures’ often had horrible and sometimes lethal side effects because there was no FDA back then to test the medications. (Oh darn, there’s that pesky government again.) Prudently, it seems, a lot of people would not take the drugs that could have saved them, and thus you had diseases proliferate a whole lot more easily than they do today. Therefore, it would seem to be obviously advantageous for businesses like U.S. Steel to have had their own health care initiative. (BTW, I was born in one of their hospitals.) Whether it is still advantageous for them or anyone else is still up to them to decide in 2011, but we do, and should, have a collective bargaining obligation, using real numbers and facts, not cooked books. If you notice, when the WI story first broke, their deficit was said to be $140 million. Now, it is said to be $3.6 billion. Your point about the employer going out of business is well taken, but look, if you hire me and tell me up front in writing that you are going to compensate me at a certain rate or in a certain way, and then after I come on board and get settled and doing a good job you tell me you know you said all that, but you don’t have the money and its just going to have to be less than you said, wouldn’t it be fair to sit down and have a negotiation? Most people are reasonable when confronted with facts but on the another hand most Americans do not care to be strong armed and subjected to bait and switch.

  • Anonymous

    People seem to forget that no country has EVER cut taxes during time of war and been successfull. This we did under republicans with the help of some “blue dogs”; cutting the taxes of the very entities profiting from the war! Where are the war bond drives and traditional “Victory” sacrifices to support the troops in the field? (I would suggest that if you don’t think you should be inconvenienced by the war or contribute your fair share then please do remove that “Support the Troops” sticker from your car) Icing on the cake? Borrow all the money from China! These Bastards then wrap themselves in the flag, claiming to be fervently patriotic while doing everything in their power to transfer not only all our nation’s jobs but our entire industrial base to the Communist Chinese! Of course, bankrupting the country and using the resulting economic chaos as pretext to divide the country and “take back The New Deal” as they’ve tried to do since the laws were passed; this has been the right’s strategic objective for some time. Now, completely ignoring that most of the trouble where it exists had it’s roots in the banking melt-down ( in which a lot of pension plans got hit, having invested in Wallstreet’s “creative” financial snake oil) and those irresponsible tax breaks that “created jobs”, but for the most part in China and India, they would dismantle unions, worker’s rights, public safety, infrastructure-the hit list goes-on! We need the fight back and NO, the government is not the problem; like a weapon government is only as good or bad as the person/people using it. We have corporate shills at all levels and growing worse all the time! This ultimately is treason plain and bold as Hell; the republicans having been happy & willing traitors in this and democrats have been fawning collaborators!

  • Anonymous

    I believe in recounts they hand count the ballots, I don’t remember a case where there was a significant difference.

  • ghostof911

    So you’re confirming that the voting is done electronically statewide, but hand counts are only done in districts where a recount is ordered, which may represent only tiny fraction of the total statewide vote. The paper and the electronic tallies could be drastically different and no one would know it, since exit polls were abandoned after the 2000 election when the exit poll called for Al Gore as the winner in Florida.

    If you want to start a real revolution and see the Americans for Prosperity reaching for their guns, call for all electronic voting systems to be outlated, with paper ballots as the primary method of voting. The Republicans never could and never will win in fair elections. They’ll call for all out war to prevent paper ballots from being used nationwide.

  • Sandi

    It’s the final stage in Darwinism. Survival of the “fittest”, you know. Those with the mostest think they are the bestest and they have no problem screwing the rest of us even if it takes lying, cheating, starvation, and war.

  • soverytired

    The bigger message here is the divide and conquer attempt and as a federal worker I have a dog in this arena. Fact is I am with the Wisconsin workers and hope they topel Gov Walker. I have seen the lies for example when they proclaim that someone like me makes $80,000 grand a year when in fact they are including paid holidays, vacation, sick leave insurance, SS contirbutions etc. The real number is about $50K. So they spit out the $80K figure and the guys working at Walmart or cutting your grass get upset. I think though that in some parts of the country that cops, firefighters and the like might be getting paid a bit high. I have a friend who was a railroad cop in New York and he would call me every April to tell me that he had already made more money than I would for the whole year. Some friend indeed but making $140K or $150K (I don’t remember the exact amount) seems like a pretty high number. These are the kind of numbers that the Governor Walker Koch brother types are going to throw at us. I don’t know if I am right about my feelings in this?? I don’t like when some folks act like I am overpaid either but there comes a point when things are overboard and perhaps in NY NJ CA type places, this is the case. If I recall correctly, New York State troopers started to make so much money some years ago that they had to thin the numbers. There might be one trooper in a whole county. Just my thoughts

  • Anonymous

    Overall sanitation and scientific advancements were the reason for improved health, not the FDA. The FDA was once so grossly understaffed that it was unable to do part of what it claimed to do, that is, to thoroughly test new drugs before public consumption. However, with the passage of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act in 1992, drug companies agreed to pay the FDA a $300,000 fee in order speed up the drug approval process for their drugs. According to a 2002 GAO report, a little more than half of the cost of reviewing new drug applications was financed by Big Pharma. What about the repeated debacles surrounding Vioxx and Celebrex, Hormone replacement therapy, and statins? So, the FDA knows who their keeper is and it ain’t the lowly “consumer”. I know you are probably dying to claim that BIg Pharma is the fault of the “free market”, but their power was only given to them by the the State by way of patents. The State enforces these monopolistic rights to intangible ideas which Austro-libertarians claim are not the same as true property rights.

    As for your theory that contagious diseases have disappeared due to the presence of the FDA and/or vaccines, it’s completely ludicrous. Let’s start with Diphtheria. Between 1900 and 1930, diphtheria death rates in the U.S. plummeted 85% and that was before the advent of the vaccine. In fact, mortality from the disease decreased from 7.2 deaths in 10,000 in 1911 to 0.9 deaths in 10,000 by 1935–an 88% decline(according to Michael Alderson’s 1981 “International Mortality Statistics”).

    Between the years 1900 and 1935, the death rate from whooping cough declined by 79% in the U.S and 82% in the U.K. That was, of course, before the pertussis vaccine had come about.

    Finally, polio was also a disease in retreat even before the advent of Salk’s vaccine. Between 1923 and 1953, the death rate had declined by 47% in the U.S. and 55% in the U.K. Never mind the fact that 95% of people exposed to polio won’t exhibit a single symptom, even under epidemic conditions. Muscular paralysis only occurs in about 1 in 1000 cases. Several studies have shown that injections actually increase one’s susceptibility to polio.

    The same could be said for small pox as well. Most doctors attribute it’s demise to the WHO’s mass inoculation campaign in 1967, but it was already waning well before that.

    The truth is that it was private ingenuity that has given us things like the flush toilet and the first water treatment plant(Robert Thom). Sure, the government’s patent rights were awarded to those gifted inventors but patents have actually hindered innovation according to economists Boldrin and Levine. In fact, according to Boldrin and Levine, the renowned James Watt spent most of his time and monopolistic rents fending off rival inventors once he received his patents for his steam engine. However, they found that during the period of Watt’s numerous patents, the UK only added 750 additional horsepower of steam engines per year. In the thirty years following the expiration of his patents, additional horsepower was added at a rate of 4,000 horsepower per year due to the high level of competition. There were similar improvements in efficiency too that were not seen under Watt’s intellectual monopoly.

    So, vaccines and the FDA haven’t been the main forces behind our improved health, it’s been private ingenuity and the competitive nature of those participating in the marketplace. If anything, the government weakens the peoples’ competitive drive to innovate.

  • Anonymous

    Fascism (pronounced /ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is an authoritarian nationalist political ideology.[1][2][3][4] Fascists seek to organize a nation according to corporatist perspectives, values, and systems, including the political system and the economy

  • Anonymous

    The Koch Brothers and the John Birch Society are not Democrats. Sorry.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

    Robert Reich is as always right on target. Hang these traitors in the criminal Republican party.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

    And the CEOs own the criminal Republican party, which exists to serve their interests.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_L3CO7EDEIVXRO47OAWUBUUBJXA Textynn Textynn

    Big problem for the GOP. A lot of middle class kids grew up to be working poor. A lot of educated middle class people grew up to be working poor. It’s been nothing but a dog eat dog world with opportunity and wages dwindling decade after decade. So trying to pit these groups won’t work very easily. The elite are out of touch and this is the Beginning of their end. IT will happen.

  • soverytired

    I’ve wondered myself where the flash point is on all this. There is a bizzare tendency for the GOP poor/middle to go against their own interests. Should their eyes ever open to see the error of their self inflicted politics then that will surely be a turning point. Will that day come? Dunno. Can the rest of us do it without them? Dunno

    My own middle class job is being automated out of existance. This same automation has caused my wife to be transferred to the other side of the state. Living apart is not the situation we envisioned for ourselves at this stage of our life as nearly empty nestors.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry Robert. I agree with much of your premise, but I just don’t buy that it is about the Ds vs. Rs, or L v R. It is about dividing America for the benefit of the elite class, but both Parties are involved.

    If this was a D v R issue the Wall Street thieves would have been prosecuted under Obama, and instead they were rewarded and nothing has happened. Obama has even decided to drop charges against Angelo Mozilo of Country Wide.

    The Ds are in bed with the financier rich just as the Rs are in bed with the CEO class. The class divide in the USA is about the “Powers That Be” versus the people, and that issue is being manipulated above both of the political Parties. Carlin has it pretty well figured out. Now they are coming for your Social Security.


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FONW6K3ZWV4BU4ZTCDCSZHHH6E Mick Jagger


  • Anonymous

    Bush’s labor sec’y was Elaine L Chao, Mitch McConnel’s wife, and was the longest serving person in his cabinet.

    She did NOTHING for working people. As a labor sec’y, you continually put through policies to weaken unions.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TF72KWIG5DGSPE3ZXDK6FX4KTQ Robert Burned

    Death to the legacy of Ronald Reagan!

  • BrainRagYell

    This is what people who don’t pay attention say.

    Yes, the Democrats have their problems, and yes, it is Clinton who (in good faith while assuming corporations/banks would act responsibly) was culpable for pulling back the regulations on the financial sector, but to say that both parties are the same is lazy and completely forgives the proven-to-fail Republican economic theory.

  • Anonymous

    We can tax those evil wealthy people 100% and our country is still broke. Public sector union benefits for people at the DMV are unbelievable, compared to private sector jobs, as I know quite well. States are bankrupt…stop the corruption between greedy politicians and power hungry unions at the expense of the working fool.

  • Anonymous

    Neither is the US Chamber of Commerce.

  • Anonymous

    So what are you going to do about it? Sit around and whine?

  • Anonymous

    You need to go back to Bush/GOP 8 yrs of garbage. I got my 2% cut, and never asked for it. The GOP did it on their terms. Their are many Millionaires who would do the same, we didn’t ask for the cut. After all what is 2% to us, nothing, since we can’t spend all the millions we have anyways. The GOP and Congress are all millionaires and they some how never bring up, they get free health care. Start the cuts on TOP in the Government. Each Congress member really doesn’t need a pay check, including the White House. Give up your $170,000 yr and more, show us you greedy bastards. Start paying for your own health-care. Start with Congress, let them show the way. Tks for the 2% cut again, I never asked for it.

  • http://ray032.com/ Ray Joseph Cormier

    You will never see the Pope, or any of those Bible thumping Christian TV Evangelicals talk about this in the Bible written by James, the brother of Jesus. This talks about “regime change” which could possibly bring them into conflict with the status quo the regime wants to maintain and they could be hounded like the early Christians were in Rome.

    Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
    Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten.
    Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. You have heaped treasure together for the last days.
    Behold, the HIRE OF THE LABOURERS who have reaped down your fields, which is of you KEPT BACK BY FRAUD, cries: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.
    You have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; you have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
    You have condemned and killed the just; and he does not resist you.
    Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
    Be patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draws nigh.
    Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest you be condemned: behold, the judge stands before the door.
    Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
    Behold, we count them happy which endure. You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
    But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest you fall into condemnation. James 5


    Increased U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan killing few high-value militants

    RayJosephCormier wrote: in The Washington Post

    No denying some American Businesses and individuals are making loads of money in all this death and destruction.

    It’s tragic the “little people” in America can’t relate to the “little people” in Afghanistan/Pakistan.

    The bottom line is they are people like the “little people” all over this earth, no matter what Country, colour, language or Religion, and it is becoming perfectly clear all the “little people” are demanding “regime change.”

    Most Christian America is the most apostate of them all as to understanding Christ died for all humanity, so that humanity would be lifted up from it’s downward spiral, rushing headlong on the Road to Destruction.

    On September 13, 1976, page 3A, with the header, ´Prophet Chooses Park For Vigil´ The Kansas City Times recorded and reported on my visit to the City and the Republican National Convention.

    They report, in addition to other specifics, I was serving notice The Writing is on the Wall.

    “He came to town for the Republican National Convention and will stay until the election in November to do God’s bidding: To tell the world, from Kansas City, that this Country has been found wanting and it’s days are numbered”…………………………He gestured toward a gleaming church dome. “The gold dome is the symbol of Babylon,” he said.

    Who could relate to such a Vision in 1976 when America was at the peak of it’s power?

    This Public record and marker of Time from 1976, besides reporting specific times related events before the Time line of History confirmed the letter, also records, “and explained his own mission as “waging war against the beast” – the beast defined as government of man and tyrants.” The new Presidential limousine named “the beast” is an aptly named confirming “symbol.”

    It’s taken all these years, but the whole world and America can now see it’s days are numbered if radical reformation is not started soon.

    Obviously, as regards the mission, I was not talking of my own personal action other than being a messenger in the right place at the right time, but since this report is from the Revolutionary Spirit of ’76, it is only now the Revolutionary Spirit of ’11 is beginning to overturn the tyrants and government of man in the Middle East. This we can see. It will soon spread world wide.


  • http://ray032.com/ Ray Joseph Cormier

    Does everyone see the ad that covers some of the script in my comment? No matter what I click on the ad, it stays there, blocking some of the message.

  • http://ray032.com/ Ray Joseph Cormier

    Please disregard this. I found the link that removes the ad.

  • Anonymous

    I guess “elite establishment types” is a code word for somebody smarter than you who actually knows facts. Which means you are ignorant and don’t give a shit. The rest of us do.

  • Anonymous

    On Thom Hartmann sunday.
    The last time Republicans hid/ran from the others(Whigs?) to stop legislation was in 1840 when Abe Lincoln jumped out the 2nd story to stop the NY bankers from ending the Illinois state bank. He eventually voted against it but it passed and now the only state bank is North Dakotas. The Dems are serving the people by getting out of state denying a quorum.
    If only Obama was as unwilling to compromise as Mr. Walker(Kochsucker), the last two years and the next 2.

  • Anonymous

    On Thom Hartmann sunday.
    The last time dems hid/ran from the others(Whigs?) to stop legislation was in 1840 when Abe Lincoln jumped out the 2nd story to stop the NY bankers from ending the Illinois state bank. He eventually voted against it but it passed and now the only state bank is North Dakotas

  • Anonymous

    Hey Mick, Glad you’re waking up, but the they (the right-wing) actually declared war on the people a long time ago. Unfortunately many are still asleep. I hope they wake up before it’s too late. –John

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TVQG7E5PPM6RZRNPSGD4NZLBKY Jesse Massonet

    Too bad the tax cuts are all part of the 2011-13 biennial budget, not the fiscal 2010 budget deficit. Check your facts before you spew your liberal garbage.

  • ThatBostonMan

    No, it means people who have no knowledge of what it’s like to not be elite, established, connected, speaking for people who they have no business speaking for.

    We don’t need any experts to speak for us.

  • Anonymous

    Sadly, Ghost, I think you are wrong. I live in Florida where the average salary is Just a hair less than 12.50/hr. and the average one bedroom apartment rents for $700/mo.. As take home on that wage is a little above $10.20/hr. after all deductions, you can see that it takes over forty percent of the average workers wages to just pay rent. Since there is very little mass transit, you have to have a car. You are pretty well aware of how much it costs to maintain one properly.

    To make a long story short, average wages will not support a solitary life.

    Since Florida has always been a right to starve state, Unions have had little power here. Despite that, voters here still support the people who systematically victimize them. Even the people who move here from out of state cling to their victimizers.

    The reason has always been fear. They are so afraid of losing what little they have, they just won’t rock the boat.

    They continue to worsen there dismal situation by buying too much and doing so at WalMart.

    Nobody can understand why things are gradually collapsing in the face of the end of the recession. Nobody grasps that the only work that has ever paid a living wage has been manufacturing, but they will not buy only U.S. made products. Nor does anyone running business grasp Ford’s wisdom: “Unless your workers can easily afford your product, you won’t be in business long.

    They don’t need to rig the vote. The majority is so busy whistling past the graveyard to show up and exercise their rights.

  • Anonymous

    Good point. It’s very difficult to make the case that this is purely a Republican problem when, under a Democratic President, Wall Street thievery goes unpunished, Bush tax cuts get extended and Democrats willingly accept Republican framing on the Social Security debate.

  • Anonymous

    Not just for the GOP. We have a Democratic president who has extended tax cuts for the wealthy, who has allowed Wall Street thievery to go unpunished, and we have elected Democrats accepting, without argument, Republican framing on Social Security and the deficit.

    And where have elected Democrats (besides those in Wisconsin) been with regard to the events in Wisconsin? Cowering quietly in their corner. As they say, “With friends like these . . .”

  • ghostof911

    Huh? Walker’s “deficit” is due to including the full amounts of the line items requested, when in fact only percentages of the requested amounts become part of the actual budget.

    Walker’s inflated budget estimate has little to do with the real issue at play, which is to fullfill the John Birch Society’s decades old mission to eliminate unions, decimate the working class, and create a slave labor class. With their dedicated army of brainwashed tools, some of whom you may be familiar with, they will not rest until they have destroyed democracy to implement their depraved system of feudalism.

  • Anonymous

    How about their enablers in the Democratic Party as well?

  • ghostof911

    Beautifully written, Glenn. At ground level you describe the facts perfectly so that no one can argue with you. It is a mystery why Mr. Moneybags won’t heed Mr. Ford’s advice. Perhaps unbridled greed makes Mr. Moneybags blind to reality.

    You are led to believe that the majority is not exercising its right to vote, but that’s part of the fraud. That’s the story that has to be told to make the rigged republican victories plausible. The Republicans clearly expressed their intention to cut peoples’ throats and yet they still won.

    They do need to rig the vote, otherwise Republicans could never be elected. Electronic black box voting makes vote rigging trivial, inexpensive, and bullet proof because it leaves no evidence behind.

    There is no hope unless Americans wake up and demand paper ballots that can be verified for all elections.

  • Anonymous

    What would you suggest?
    They know the average person is too busy trying to make a living and raise a family to even keep up with what they’re up to, never mind get actively involved.
    Meanwhile they have hundreds of millions of dollars to hire think tanks, PACs, consultants and lobbyists to do their dirty work for them while they play golf.

    Voicing an opinion is a first step. Many people are still asleep in this country.
    I’ve voted, I’ve donated money on occasion, once or twice even stopped by a demonstration, but it seems sometimes like the outcome is already rigged (meaning the rules, regulations and laws will continued to be altered or not enforced to favor the super wealthy) and the political ‘contests’ are just a charade.
    Are the people of Chicago really calling out for Rahm Emmanuel to be their mayor?
    No, but that is who they’re going to get. It’s a very limited choice.
    We probably need to think beyond the two party system. That system is being gamed and it’s no longer functioning efficiently.
    If it’s going to happen, it’s probably going to have to come from the younger generation to begin to organize valid alternative political parties that can actually get candidates elected.

    One person can not have any effect whatsoever, but when people join together, it’s possible to counter the power of billions of dollars.
    Communication is the first step. I believe it was communication using new technology that broke down the walls in the Middle East.
    As long as we are isolated from one another they will win.
    That’s why the ‘culture wars’ were promoted by politicians and the corporate media.
    They have the money, unimaginable hundreds of billions of dollars,
    We have the numbers, 98% or so of the population.
    They are well aware of that.

    The people in the Middle East finally became so desperate that they for the most part, put aside, religious, political, ethnic and tribal differences to come together to try to make ECONOMIC change happen, until they did that, it was business as usual nothing was ever going to change.
    It might not work out perfectly , but they had decided that to continue on with business as usual was unacceptable to them.
    We might be able to learn a thing or two from that.

  • Anonymous

    We use paper ballots here in Florida, Ghost, but, based on the preposterously self-victimizing comments that I hear voiced unembarrassed in public, and by the fact that I can’t seem to go anywhere here to do business where the Fox “News” channel is not running, I have little doubt that the elections are not rigged.

    We are in the midst of a mayoral race in an open primary in Jacksonville now. There are eight candidates running for the job. Six are Republicans and two are Democrats. I heard the leading Democrat on a local public radio talk show, this morning. One Democratic voter called in to say that he wanted to vote for him, but he had listened for twenty minutes as the candidate had failed to say anything that differentiated him from a Republican competitor that had been on yesterday. The state Democratic party is under investigation for only supporting him and not providing any support to the other Democratic candidate. It was no big deal, though, they had only given him fifteen thousand dollars.

    The Governor is a Republican. The state legislature has been more than 80% Republican for twelve years. The city council is 80% Republican.

    In a recent legislative election most of the current local Republican legislators ran unopposed.

    These people really DO believe that they don’t deserve to make a living wage or have any retirement benefits. They don’t wonder at all if they should buy Chinese goods if they are cheaper. They don’t care if doing this caused them to lose their good-paying job.

    They did not hesitate to elect a governor who had made millions as a corporate raider. They even knew that he had been the CEO of a hospital group that had had to pay the largest penalty in the history of the federal government for Medicare fraud.

    They just don’t care. They don’t see anyone they believe will fight for them. They refuse to fight for themselves. They have given up.

    They listen to death-metal music and get addicted to pain meds. They have no hope.

    They are ready for their virtual slavery now, Mr. DeMille.

  • Anonymous

    Automation costs manufacturers too much, Joe. That is why we have globalization. You have to have humans involved in manufacturing. You just have to be sure and put the manufacturing in a place where you can be sure that you won’t be compelled to pay living wages or be bound by the onerous forces of environmental, health, or safety regulation. Fortunately, there are a lot of nations where you can find such conditions. Unfortunately, nobody there has enough money to buy your products.

    For that, you have to ship them back to the U.S. which, despite having been beaten up by globalization for more than fifty years, we still have the biggest consumer market in the world.

    The consumer can circumvent this trend. They can avoid the use of the political process to do it. It is a simple solution. Do not buy anything that is not manufactured in the United States. Make sure when you buy U.S. products, they were made in union shops. Make sure that it has better than 70% domestic content.

    Manufacturers will catch on. They will have to rebuild U.S. factories. They will have to hire U.S. workers (remember: they are too cheap to automate). Competition for workers will ensue. Wages will rise. (although economists will label that as an “inflationary trend”) People will have enough money to buy MORE U.S. goods. The economy will recover. Capitalists will all be so busy counting their new found gains that they will not have time to regret the demise of globalism. People in third world countries will have to move to ecotourism as the U.S. stops sending them work. The rain forests will grow back. All will once again be right with the world.

    Where can I buy U.S. products?

    On the internet.

    Stay out of the box stores until they stack at least 70% domestic stock.

    Inconvenient, yes. More costly, definitely. Do-able, though.

    What price do you put on our way of life? Your children’s way of life?

  • Anonymous

    Everything, X, but enough truly progressive Democrats! The Democrats in the House that Obama inherited were as difficult to lead as cats are to herd. At the midterm, discouraged progressives stayed home in droves instead of coming out to elect progressive replacements for the Blue Dogs.

    Only when you have a solidly Progressive congress will you get Progressive results.

    The President is good but he can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

    If he wasn’t that good, the Koch brothers would not hate him so badly. Remember, they have invested hundreds of millions to get rid of him.

    So when you bash Obama, remember that you are doing the Koch brothers bidding. They have spent more than the combined value of the major TV networks to get you to hate him.

    Don’t give them their money’s worth.

  • Anonymous

    No, Angry, it has to be done at the cash register.

    You can stop the motivation for all of this, improve your economic condition, rebuild the U.S. economy, put U.S. citizens back to work in REAL jobs, nearly eliminate entitlements, shrink the credit economy, and force the rich to re-earn their money by doing one simple thing:


    Demand U.S.-produced union-made products. Stop buying foreign oil or at least cut back as much as possible. Demand of multinationals that “If you want to sell it here, you have to make it here”.

    Almost all of the current woes we face are because we have shipped more than fifteen million jobs abroad turning the remaining labor situation into a buyer’s market. It is unsustainable. The symptoms are everywhere.

    Fight the rich where you can do damage that they will feel: at the register! Hit them where hurt you, in the wallet!

    Buying U.S. made goods will force the rich back into single-digit profits and force CEO’s into real performance.

  • Anonymous

    Well researched, LG. So your point is that union workers made more nearly livable salaries?

    Just as you can’t afford to rent a one bedroom apartment on $16.42 an hour, you still can’t at $20.65, but you can come closer.

    Average wages for both union and non-union are inadequate. They cause us to make up for their inadequacy with VAST amounts of entitlements. They create conditions ripe for crime. They crush the spirit of working people while they grind us all into the ground.

    As well researched and written as your note is, I would suspect that you have, at least, a bachelors degree and are earning closer to the fifty-five thousand dollars that is average for workers with your qualifications. Interestingly, that comes much closer to the net wages required to rent that one bedroom apartment by oneself. In fact, a gross wage of nearly fifty thousand dollars a year is needed to rent that one bedroom apartment by one’s self.

    Seventy-three precent of all workers do not and probably will not make that adequate wage. They have survived to this point supplemented by the credit trap and entitlements. They need to recognize this fact and band together in mutual action to remedy this unacceptable fact. In the past, we did this as unions. As unionized workers, we ended child labor, and instituted the forty-hour work week. As union workers, we won hospitalization, worker safety, multi week vacations, and the very real chance of a livable retirement. Then we de-unionized and de-regulated. We have seen a steady drop in wages, an increase in the number of work-hours needed to make a livable wage, steadily less employer contribution toward our health care, decreased job security, and continually increasing ages of retirement. De-regulation has won us nothing but a rapidly declining quality of life. If unions are dying, as I suspect they are, how will we band together to improve the quality of our work-life?

    It is obvious to me that the real way forward is not to factionalize ourselves as union versus non-union workers, but to work together as consumers to boycott businesses that refuse to pay their workers an adequate wage and to provide their workers with strong benefits packages. Financial motivations seem to be more effective than legal ones, these days.

    By the way, I can’t speak of teacher’s wages on a national basis, but I think you will discover that teachers wages in the private sector have improved quite a lot since the Manhattan Institute surveyed. They had to, competition for good teachers is stiffening.

  • Anonymous

    LG, families that value education enough to pay for it, work with their students to achieve those results. They are able to provide superior home learning environments. They are able to feed their children adequately. They are, themselves, better educated and can read to and discuss things with their children. They have more time available for their children. They can afford to provide better learning opportunities. They have more time to spend with their children. That is why students in private schools frequently out-achieve their public school counterparts.

    I attended both private and public schools. I know from personal experience that private school teachers are frequently not as good as public school teachers. Great private schools spend at par or better than public schools, and certainly better than most segregation mills.

  • ghostof911

    Very depressing state of affairs in Florida. Electing a Medicare embezzler as governor takes the cake. Fox “News” showing in places of business sounds like 24/7 brainwashing. It is a more subtle form of vote rigging than with a programming fix. The programming in Florida’s case is with the mind. The propaganda is programming people to be slaves.

  • ghostof911

    They do indeed own the Governor of Wisconsin, and that was in full display today in the crank call. The guy simpy groveled talking to the fake Mr. Koch.

    The middle class is on the ropes, but it still has a lot of fight left. I wouldn’t count it out yet.

  • Guest

    Hang. Them. All.

  • Anonymous

    I understand that variables like parental involvement and parental educational attainment are important for determining the educational success of the child. However, the fact that Washington D.C residents are paying over $28,000 for each child and only getting a 48% graduation rate is startling(http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/08/AR2009060803996.html). It’s one thing for a private school to spend tremendous amounts of money, much of which is donated by wealthy alumni voluntarily, but it’s another thing when it must be paid by the general citizenry regardless of whether your children attend public schools or not. Also, the median private school tuition is roughly $7,000, which is certainly less than even the average “stated” cost per pupil. What’s ironic and interesting is that most wealthy kids seem to attend public school, not private school. According to the 2005 census report, there were 8,000,000 children enrolled in K-12 that came from families with yearly incomes of $100,000 or more. Of that 8,000,000, 6,400,000 attended public schools! That’s 80%! Even Connecticut firm, Prince and Associates, found that nearly 66% of the 296 affluent parents that responded to their survey sent their children to public school. For the “mega rich” in the survey(those worth more than $10 million) that number lowers to a more modest 55%(http://www.forbes.com/2007/10/24/millionaires-education-children-biz-cx_lm_1024richkids.html). Your point about private school teachers being sub-par in comparison to their public counterparts strikes me as arbitrary. Certainly, your personal story, accurate as it may be, can’t be generalized to the larger populations. I would argue though that a school with a more gifted student body would help drive the competition for better academic performance, even in the absence of stellar teaching.

    On another note, I wrote an essay about the costly mediocrity of our education system. I was all too familiar with certain shibboleths concerning the sundry reasons as to why public schools consistently underperform. Many of those points may be relevant and true, but I thought maybe the ultimate test was to see whether the brightest and most confident public school students performed comparably to the brightest private school students. So, I compared various NAEP test scores between those in the public school system that either “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that they were good at a certain subject and then compared their scores to similarly grouped private student scores. I then also compared public school students that “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that they liked a certain subject to similarly grouped private school students. I found that public/private performance disparities remain despite such self-professed skill and enjoyment of the material. On the 2000 Math exam, which I believe was administered to 12th graders, private school students averaged a test score of 336 with a 1.6 standard error whereas the public school students in the same category averaged a 323 with a 1.8 standard error. For those who merely “agreed” they were good at math: 323 for private with 1.2 standard error, 308 for public with a 1.3 standard error. A similar disparity persisted with those that strongly agreed that they “liked” math: 332 for private with 1.6 standard error and 315 for public with a 1.8 standard error. Just for comparison’s sake, the national public school average was a 299 with a standard error of 1.1 while the private school average was 315, also with a standard error of 1.1. There were similar margins on the NAEP’s Science exam(private students scored 12 points more, on average, in both the “liking the subject” group and the “being good at the subject” group). I know that this doesn’t count as incontrovertible evidence of our public school system’s mediocrity, but I think it is interesting and thought-provoking nonetheless.

  • ladygeek

    I couldn’t remember but it makes sense since the repukes are out to bust ALL unions not just public worker unions. W didn’t do anything for working people. I lost my last permanent job in 2001 because I supported worker unions. Turns out that the telco repair people in that company tried to get organized but they made a move to make it look like they were acquiring another CLEC which was non-union and then closed down all their on-site service so they didn’t need any of the current repair people. That’s a common trick. I used to work in labor relations and participated in union busting way back when. I was a young professional and didn’t realize what was going on and I became disgusted and found a new job in high tech medical which was not vulnerable to unionization. There were attempts at that company to organize but they didn’t have enough people willing to join a union. I’m really happy that finally people are speaking up about how they are exploited by management which damages the person’s wages, hours and working conditions. If companies want to remain union-free, they need to provide the same benefits that union workers make. Companies used to do that – especially in high tech. They don’t do it anymore because they just move the high tech jobs off-shore, And, I am a victim of the off-shoring activity.

  • Anonymous

    Hitler got rid of labor unions in 1933. Even Reagan spoke in FAVOR of labor unions. These are dark times, people.