I am not a researcher. Unlike some of the great detailed diaries here, this will be short, albeit not all that sweet.
Public employees of all stripes and persuasions are being targeted across this country. They are the face of labor and their unions are arguably the “last standing strong.” Teachers’ Unions are in particular under attack. Public education itself is under attack. Much of these attacks are based on lies and spin.
It is no secret here that I am a diehard union supporter, having grown up at a time when immigrant women were the last of the ones exploited in this country when it comes to labor. Immigrant women, women of color, had the hardest time breaking into the union movement. All ethnic minorities struggled in the union movement. I get that. But what I have seen happen is the old “throw out the baby with the bath water.” Yes, there were some unions infiltrated by the mafia. But the union concept, with hard work from the miners, the steel workers, the textile workers fought long and hard for things we all take for granted: child labor laws, weekends, paid vacation time, fair salaries, health care.
So now teachers, fire fighters, police, state workers of all kinds under attack from the right. Break these unions and the right has a free path to building their oligarchy.
I do not understand the lack of passion from many of our democratic leaders in this fight.
Of course, I do not understand the leadership that is basically turning over public education to the “charter movement.” Investors see dollars signs on the head of children. They are not the answer. And the stats on public education our spun and spun so that many progressives have bought in.
In the end, I believe this is a make or break moment for labor in this country. I am discouraged that none of our leaders, from the president to Congress are speaking out on this. In WI, the tea party governor is blaming WI’s deficit on public employees. Yet the real story of WI’s problems is about corporations who pay NO TAXES at all.
Also I constantly hear, even from progressives, how public employees make more than private employees…but the fact is that the comparisons being used are often misleading.
From the Economic Policy Institute(http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/PM173/)..on the comparisons. I have an MA +100 (credits above the MA). Compared to private sector workers with the same education, I never made the same. Not even close.
But when we compare apples to apples, we find that Wisconsin public employees earn 4.8% less in total compensation than comparable private sector workers.
As for public vs charter schools. UNFAIR playing field. I don’t care how one spins it, until and unless public schools can pick and choose their students, demand parents participate, it is a not going to convince me. We don’t have an education problem, we have a POVERTY problem. Test scores by Zip code tell the story.
I just needed to speak about this. Don’t know how people feel here about the issue of labor. I believe it is critical to support labor and labor unions. Citizens United, the Koch brothers, and the right wing are hell bent on an oligarchy.
Either we the people unite together, or we have no power.
I know it would be best if I had more links, more research, but the truth is this: for me the research is in the reality of what people like this governor of WI is trying to do (he is trying to take away the right of public employees to have collective bargaining). Along with Rick Scott of FL, Chris Christie of NJ, and all the other nut cases on the right as seen at CPAC this weekend. Labor, the middle class is under attack. I do not get the lack of passion on this.
(links collected from Jjc2008’s comment in thread)
NBC Nightly News: Let them know your thoughts.
CBS News: Click on email and demand in-depth coverage on the happenings in Wisconsin.
ABC News: Leave your comments on the deplorable bill in Wisconsin.
How about everyone taking some action?