Thursday, March 10, 2011

Joe Worker And The Neverending Story Of Labor!


In support of what appears at this time to be a losing battle (for now) for the public workers of Wisconsin, I offer up this comic and this link which features several Joe Worker comic strips.

If you don't like political rants you might want to stop right here.

The Wisconsin Senate voted to strip collective bargaining from select state workers, most notably school teachers. The politicians were forced to show their hand though, that busting the union was the main goal, as they used some highly suspect tactics to bring the measure to a vote. There will be a ton of spin on both sides of this, but it's all too clear that the middle class in the United States as it has traditionally been viewed since World War II is under some significant threat. As a public school teacher I very much feel the that threat, both for myself, my wife and daughters who teach, and on behalf of many of the students in classes now and over the years.

This seems clearly to be the latest in a series of steps intended to ultimately to break down public education in the U.S. replacing it with a variety of privately funded and sexy experiments which will scavenge across the field plucking the best and brightest. But after a few seasons I predict these "charters" will be revealed to be rife with scandal and will be abandoned, leaving the fragmented public school system to pick up the pieces. It's another bubble being created which will leave us all poorer after it bursts, just as we've suffered over the last decade time and again.


I accept that public schools have to some extent brought this upon themselves by not dealing with clear issues which confront them, but unions aren't the problem here as much as conservative pundits like to jump up and down on that hobby horse. It is, as always funding. The only variable which always trues out when I do the research is that there is a direct link between the performance of a school and the per capita income of the community that surrounds it. It's an ugly truth in America that rich kids get better services than poor kids, but the evidence is just too plain.

Now it seems that the drive to starve government and consequently government services will continue until the breaking point when it becomes obvious to even the most ardent Tea Party member that "unleashed capitalism" has once again failed to live up to the extravagant promises made for it. The quality of life will diminish and the whole of a society which bleats for lower taxes at the cost of all else will suddenly find that the police and firemen will no longer be coming when called. Hell, folks already get miffed when they can't send kids to school for the publicly-funded daycare they've become accustomed to over the generations.

But when the real breakdown comes, don't expect those who have starved and demolished the system to accept their blame. They'll be too busy in their enclaves working out new ways to keep their undocumented staff out of the system. No, the blame will be heaped on those who are being victimized by the current predations.

The class war is well underway, as we slouch towards New Orleans.

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2 comments:

  1. Sadly it looks like Thatcherism and Reaganomics are making a comeback. Far to any people who are more than old enough have forgotten how bad this was last time around and are willing to sit back and let it all happen again. Then we have the youngsters who missed the union breaking, public service crushing, small business destroying, soul destroying greed of the 80's and have been fooled into thinking 80's conservative/republican politics was a good thing. Will there be anything left to salvage this time round? I wish the workers of Wisconsin well. We're standing on picket lines and fighting these fights here in the UK too.

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  2. It's a pity that we have to relearn these lessons all over again, but it clearly appears that we will need to do it, and hard lesson it might well be too.

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