Wednesday, March 16, 2011
~Terry Smith, DePaul University law professor
There are people in America that will tell you that this didn't happen. Or that they didn't need collective bargaining and this is a communist conspiracy. The people that will tell you this are white, powerful, wealthy and have invested interest in the white power structure. BUT reality is a strange thing it keeps rearing it's head and showing you the truth. If the truth hurts or makes you uncomfortable so be it but if we forget the past we are doomed to repeat it. We cannot let the GOP and the Tea Party drag us back to the bad old days. Make no mistake, that is what they want. They want their "nigger" slaves back, they want to preserve the white power elite. They want to preserve the banks and corporate power without any oversight. They want to grab everything with both greedy hands. They want the 50's back. That is their America and they have begun in Wisconsin.
"There was once a time in this country when Black folks would work 12-hour days for less money than their White co-workers who worked only eight. The key to leveling the playing field for Black workers was collective bargaining — and now Republicans around the country are attacking this basic right.
The right of workers to negotiate as a group for better wages, benefits and working conditions has been important for everyone, but it's been especially meaningful for Black Americans. Before we could collectively bargain, we had little control over our working conditions and no protection from racial discrimination in the workplace. That's why it's critical that we stand with the workers in Wisconsin, Ohio, New Jersey, and everywhere else collective bargaining is coming under attack.
In Memphis in 1968, Black sanitation workers worked in dangerous, inhumane conditions under abusive White supervisors for little pay. After two workers were crushed to death by a malfunctioning city garbage truck, the city's Black sanitation workers sought to unionize. They demanded better wages, safer working conditions, and the right to collectively bargain for these things. They took to the streets of Memphis bearing signs that read, "I am a man." During the strike, police attacked and jailed Black workers for peaceful protest. Months later, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said that "all labor has dignity," joined these workers on the front lines. He was assassinated while leading the effort to win collective bargaining rights for these workers.
Collective bargaining has helped Black workers vulnerable to workplace discrimination win needed on-the-job protections. “Black workers have an interest in unions as all workers do, because they give them power in the labor market to improve working conditions, and allow them due process and fairness on the job,” says labor scholar Stephen Pitts. “Any sort of institution that allows due process procedures and reduces arbitrary behavior in decision making is positive for black folks.”
More than just protection from discrimination, collective bargaining has won Black workers fairness in pay and advancement, access to health insurance and retirement savings, and basic worker safety protections. This is especially true for Black public-sector workers. Twenty-five percent of all Black college graduates work in the public sector, and government work is second only to health and education services in concentration of Black workers. As scholar Michael Honey points out, "The one toe-hold many black and minority workers (and especially women among them) still have in the economy is in unionized public employment.
Now, Republicans in state legislatures around the country are attacking public employees' collective bargaining rights. The battle began in Wisconsin, when Republican Governor Scott Walker offered a bill that would strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights. In response, thousands of regular people filled the state capitol in protest — with many camping out there for days or even weeks. To stop the bill and force Republicans to negotiate, 14 Democratic state senators left Wisconsin, (preventing Republicans from voting on the bill). Despite the overwhelming public opposition to the bill, Republicans were eventually able to pass the law using procedural tricks late last week. But the protesters in Wisconsin drew the world's attention to this fight, and exposed the attack on collective bargaining rights as hugely unpopular and politically motivated. And right now they're working to hold Republicans accountable in powerful ways.
Wisconsin is one of many states where collective bargaining is under attack. Republicans in Ohio just passed a law similar to Wisconsin's, and states from Indiana to New jersey are prepared to follow suit.
Republicans say that their effort to roll back collective bargaining rights is necessary to curb spending in times of economic hardship, but that just doesn't square with the facts. In no state are public employees' salaries or pension benefits a major cause of their current financial problems. The Republican efforts are part of a strategy to attack public employees' unions, which overwhelmingly give money to Democratic interests. Without the strength of the unions, many expect that President Obama and other Democrats will have a tougher time raising funds for the 2012 election.
DePaul University law professor Terry Smith says that, "Dismantling bargaining rights will disproportionately affect African Americans." This right has played a vitally important role in Black Americans' move into the middle class. For Republicans, the economic well-being of Black folks (and all workers) is only collateral damage in a political battle. It's shameful." Color of Change
The Republican War on Hoosiers
Hypocrisy Alert: Conservative Media Decry Unions' "Cheap Trick," Cheered Republicans'
Monday, March 14, 2011
The plan is to make Americans so poor and miserable that by 2012 the Republicans can spin it and blame it on Obama
This is who the Tea Party fought for, the rich. The plan is to make Americans so poor and miserable that by 2012 the Republicans can spin it and blame it on Obama, fucking brilliant.
Here are a few Republicans who work for the corporations and the richest 5% of Americans and how they plan on fucking the working class so that the rich can get richer.
Writer is Sandy Bogar, a health care policy intern with the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
"As a Madison native, I have experienced conflicting feelings for the last several weeks. I continue to be inspired by Wisconsinites rallying and denouncing the budget repair bill that the Republican Senators passed without the consent of their Democratic colleagues. This bill is a political attack on Wisconsin citizens’ rights and not, in fact, an attempt to ameliorate the State deficit challenges.
Yet disappointingly there has been a complete lack of action on Walker’s proposed reforms to Wisconsin’s Medicaid program. A fifth of all Wisconites — more than 1.2 million people — rely on BadgerCare. Walker and the state’s GOP are trying to put control of the program in the hands of Walker’s conserative appointees."
Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI)
"As we’ve been documenting, several conservative governors have proposed placing the brunt of deficit reduction onto the backs of their state’s public employees, students, and middle-class taxpayers, while simultaneously trying to enact corporate tax cuts and giveaways. Govs. Rick Scott (R-FL), Tom Corbett (R-PA), and Jan Brewer (R-AZ) have all gone down this road.
Following suit, Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) has proposed ending his state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, cutting a $600 per child tax credit, and reducing credits for seniors, while also cutting funding for school districts by eight to ten percent. At the same time, as the Michigan League for Human Services found, the state’s business taxes would be reduced by nearly $2 billion, or 86 percent, under Snyder’s plan:
Business taxes would be cut by 86 percent from an estimated $2.1 billion in FY 2011 to $292.7 million in FY 2013, the first full year of the proposed tax changes…Taxes on individuals from the state income tax would rise by $1.7 billion or nearly 31 percent, from an estimated $5.75 billion in FY 2011 to $7.5 billion in FY 2013, the first full year of the tax changes.
As the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found, the practical upshot of Snyder’s tax increases is to place even more of a burden on Michigan’s poorest residents, who will see a bigger hike than those at the upper end of the income scale:
Michigan already has a regressive tax system, which Snyder’s proposal will only make worse. Currently, someone in the poorest 20 percent of Michigan taxpayers pays a tax rate of 8.9 percent, while someone in the richest one percent pays 5.3 percent."
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli
"Congressional Republicans last week joined the banking industry in decrying a settlement — proposed by the nation’s attorneys general — that would involve the banks modifying about $20 billion in mortgages in order to avoid litigation over the “robo-signing” scandal and other mortgage abuses. Multiple bank CEO’s took their complaints public, while Republicans called the settlement proposal a “shakedown” by regulators.
And now, a few far-fight Republican attorneys general have broken with their counterparts in order to carry water for the banking industry. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) said that he opposes the settlement because modifying mortgages to keep troubled homeowners out of foreclosure amounts to “welfare”:
Cuccinelli said he opposes principal reductions. “That sounds like a welfare discussion, not a regulatory discussion,” he said. “That’s not the appropriate role for attorneys general.”
Cuccinelli believes that restricting a woman’s right to choose, smearing climate change science, and attempting to overturn the Affordable Care Act are all within the purview of the attorney general’s office. But policing mortgage fraud is somehow inappropriate? Also, as Paul Krugman explained today, the notion that mortgage modifications constitute welfare is simply nonsense:"
Don't you just love these fucking guys, they don't care who they hurt or how much as long as the corporations get more and the rich get richer. They cut the taxes on the rich and stick it to the working slob. Then they turn one group against the other like the non union vs the public sector unions. Leaving working Americans to fight over scraps.
Debunkery Day: Unwinding the silliest arguments yet against unions
Michigan’s GOP Gov. Slashes Corporate Tax Rate by 86 Percent, Hikes Taxes for Working Poor
Scott Walker Rewards Wisconsin Tax Cheats While Homeowners Pay More
Worker Uprising: Up to 185,000 Protest In Madison As Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Signs Union-Busting Bill