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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Unleashing the Beast in Wisconsin

Apparently,  many Wisconsinites are living too close to Illinois, and have absorbed a tendency to support a corrupt Governor.  Maybe they will get to realize their fondest dream if Scott Walker is indicted for crimes against the state.  We can only hope….

But, let’s be serious folks.  A sizeable majority of Wisconsin voters has just voted to maintain in office a Governor who supports subsidies for the richest 1% while he destroys collective bargaining, and union membership,; while he diminishes the public schools and fires the teachers who teach Wisconsin’s children.  The electoral majority evidently prefer austerity to investment, loss of a middle class while a small minority benefit from the burden placed upon that middle class by higher taxes, higher fees, and higher prices. Just wait until the citizenry finds out that destruction of public employee unions equates to diminution of state services and the loss of skilled, effective workers.  Apparently, they also prefer outside influences taking over their state, by which they are held hostage to a monied elite whom they don’t even know.

That is the real tragedy here.  Obscene Money has won; middle class values and influence have lost. .  This is a first major test of the ruling by the Supreme Court that equates money with free speech; that sacrifices democracy for influence; that enables a few to control the many.  The corrupt Supreme Court - containing Justices unabashedly affiliated with Right-wing groups - has enabled a plutocratic few rich people to control and deliver elections to their own advantage.  The corporate robber barons contribute as much as they want with no one being able to call them out or even to identify them.  The secretiveness by which they operate is almost as bad as their ability to spend obscene amounts to have their way.  Karl Rove, the Koch brothers, and who knows who else, have won the Wisconsin election, and have possibly turned Wisconsin into a swing state for the 2012 presidential election. 

That is their real goal; they don’t care about Scott Walker.  They aim much higher where the stakes are so much larger, because their quest is for permanent control of the Presidency and the Houses of Congress.  They want a perpetual majority of conservatives running both state and federal governments so they never have to worry again about: adverse regulations, restrictions on profits, being held accountable for abuses of the environment or for disobeying consumer protections; or facing the loss of lucrative tax loopholes and tax incentives.  They want “free enterprise”, meaning unfettered ability to apply their “business practices” in whatever way they see fit, no matter who gets hurt in the process. 

Unfortunately, the majority of voters in this recall election have failed to recognize the larger implications of their vote.  Not only have they unleashed the Beast of Plutocracy by giving over control of their elections to a few monied people, they have also brought upon themselves the destruction of cherished public institutions, because they have swallowed the line that “big government” is their enemy.  Now they must learn to live with the austerity measures that are sure to come upon them.  Wisconsin used to cherish their educational system which they have now turned over to the budget-cutters who will gut it.  Wisconsin used to cherish its schools of higher education; no more.  Now their universities and colleges will be the wasteland of the monied class as costs continue to rise and subsidies from the state continue to diminish. Wisconsinites have placed their hospitals, their health care, and their insurance coverage in the hands of people who oppose any government influence or control in such matters.   Wisconsin used to cherish their farmers, and their small businesses;and, their manufacturing plants such as the auto and auto-related industries.  Now they have turned them over to those who favor the operating principle that it is desirable, in the name of global free enterprise, to move industries out-of-country to where they can be more profitable.  What is the latest job creation statistic under Governor Walker?  Oh yes, Wisconsin is dead last! According to a June 2nd article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “For months now, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics have unambiguously shown that under Walker's leadership, employment "growth" in Wisconsin has ranked among the worst of any state in the country. The most recent monthly "year-over-year" data, for example, from the BLS' Current Employment Statistics, show that employment shrank by 21,400 in Wisconsin between April 2011 and April 2012 - a period that nicely coincides with the first full year after passage of Walker legislation (i.e. the budget-repair bill and June 2011 budget).  This "job creation" performance, a decline of 0.8%, places Wisconsin dead last among the 50 states in job growth during this period.”

Wisconsinites used to cherish a Progressive approach to questions of a political nature.  That has all but disappeared, as a majority have given in to a regressive approach on all matters of governing. 

People of Wisconsin:  “you ain’t seen nothing’ yet!”  You have set a course that can only hurt your citizenry in both the short and long term.  Good luck with austerity, and good luck with your newly revived state administration, run by outside influences that seek the destruction of public institutions, of government programs that help and protect the middle class, of “liberal” institutions of higher learning; but that simply adore anything that tends to free them up to swallow up more money, more profit, more control.

When you unleash a Beast, you must be prepared to be destroyed.