Why Wisconsin Matters
This picture may seem a bit over the top at first, but think about it — the protesters in Egypt are making pretty much the exact same demands that their counterparts in Wisconsin are making. It’s just two countries headed in opposite directions. In Egypt they currently have an autocratic system that will hopefully be replaced by some type of democracy, whereas in the U.S. we still have at least some semblance of a democratic system, but which is becoming more and more autocratic as the Republican Party wages it’s own war on democracy. What is now playing out in Wisconsin will soon be happening all over this country. The Republican Governor there has ripped a page right out of the Bush-Cheney playbook — create a financial crisis by handing out huge tax breaks to the rich and big corporations, and then turn around and solve the problem by taking rights and money from the middle class. Class warfare, pure and simple. It’s been going on for 30 years and it’s just going to get uglier and uglier.
There are two key issues here. First, you have the obvious attempt to do away with labor unions. As I’ve noted before, the union movement is one of the main reasons why we had such a strong middle class 30+ years ago, and it’s that prosperous middle class that made the U.S. such a great country. The rich and the corporatistas recognized this, and knew that the way to plutocracy had to start with union busting. But the second key issue is more subtle — in the process of going after teacher’s unions, along with cutting budgets for public schools, what they are doing is essentially killing off public education. Which in turn will pretty much kill off upward mobility all together. Make sure that only the children of the wealthy can afford a decent education, and that will be the end of the middle class. The Banana Republic of the United States will be a reality.