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Politics - Wisconsin Protests - Your thoughts?
74636 cr points
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31 / M / WI
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Posted 3/1/11
If the republicans in office were serious about spreading around the burden of the budget deficit, they'd increase their own contributions to pension and health costs to the same as what other state workers have to pay, and wouldn't make exception for any state worker, be it fire, police, or anyone. Everyone suffers the same equally, and regardless if there were collective bargaining or not, if everyone paid into it equally (corps too), then there's a much stronger stance for the money side of the bill. That'll never happen, and the facts to support it aren't there, but the sense of shared burden would definitely fit. It'll never happen, however.

About teachers 'out sick' to protest... You can teach students without having to be in class. It's arguable that the protest is a good chance to inform students about civic rights, responsibilities, and government. It's not like the protesting thing has to be without an educational component. Also, the people who are protesting (teachers included) are doing so at risk. Unions don't make it easier or harder to fire teachers, it puts in place that when teachers are fired, they're fired fairly, and not at whim. As for running states into the ground fiscally, I can see points that can be argued on either side, but in the long run, if resources weren't being rerouted to the people on the upper tiers, their presence wouldn't be too much of an impact.

Also, if they're using sick time to go protest, that's their prerogative. It just means that there's less time to use when they truly are sick. I'm not a teacher, and don't know the details of the variety of contracts teachers in and outside Wisconsin have, but there is misinformation being thrown around by both sides to urge people to support their cause. That's only natural in the political climate we have.

Unfortunately, I can also agree with varnlestoff and floydsolo about the signs of growing corporate interests in a global market. It may have been a US-based thing at one point, but the private corporate suppression of working people in general has moved to the global scale for some time. Critical thinkers are a threat to them, and in one way or another, people are silenced if they make ground (bribery, false accusations and consequent penalties from corrupted or misinformed judicial processes, kidnapping, murder, familial threats, financial ruin, etc)...

Meanwhile, people are supposed to be content with the jobs they have while their rights, wages, and benefits are slowly but surely sapped to feed the growing appetite for power and greed of the upper echelon. They're forced to work more often and longer shifts so their routines become more monotonous and regular. People become too tired with their schedule that activity to question their life, their family, and plan goals are cut shorter and shorter. Job expectations have already exceeded the hours paid on the job. Teachers alone spend on average (in Wisconsin, dunno about other places) 20 hours of their own free time grading and planning for their jobs in addition to their normal working hours just to remain competitive (source - National Public Radio).

Anyways, we're straying a little from the Wisconsin protests and more toward corporate influence into politics in general. To get it more on-topic, how about the Koch brother's influence in the WI politics? Any views there?

Some biased resources:

Pro-Walker:
www.standingwithscott.com (actually redirects to a MN gov. website)
http://video.foxnews.com/v/4562371/public-unions-vs-private-sector/?playlist_id=86858 (and related articles)

Anti-Walker:
www.notmywisconsin.com
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41850414 (and related articles)

Media mashup (quite humorous):
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/25/on-wisconsin-the-mediagasm_n_828351.html
95158 cr points
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43 / M / Canada
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Posted 3/5/11
So how goes the fight?

I read your governor had started sending out layoff notices and basically saying people won't loose their jobs if the Democrats come back so he can pass his bill. I know he is justifying it by saying he has to come up with other solutions if his bill won't pass, but frankly that sounds to me like he is holding the livelihoods of ordinary people hostage to push his agenda through.

Also saw your guys had Micheal Moore show up and tell the demonstrators to keep it up.

Sounds like things are still pretty rough for you guys and no compromise in sight
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43 / M / Canada
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Posted 3/9/11 , edited 3/9/11
well crap.

Just saw this article on my news tickers

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110310/ap_on_re_us/us_wisconsin_budget_unions


Is it true that he found a way to bypass your whole system?
if so you have my sympathies cause it looks like your democracy just got shot in the leg.
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36 / M
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Posted 3/13/11
Protest is ongoing. Current protest is estimated as over 100,000, maybe as many as 150,000 or more. Larger than the Wisconsin protests of the Vietnam War.

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36 / M
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Posted 3/29/11 , edited 3/29/11
A man, Matt Schauenburg, is on day 24 of a hunger strike to oppose Governor Walker's assault on workers. He has said he is prepared to die.

http://www.politiscoop.com/component/content/article/35-last-24h-news/155-give-me-my-rights-or-give-me-death-day-24-schauenburg-hunger-strike-interview.html

http://hungryguymadison.blogspot.com/
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29 / F / Sunshine, lollypo...
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Posted 3/30/11 , edited 3/30/11
I don't know how the unions in other states work but the unions here in California are corrupt and power hungry in my opinion. There are friends I have who are getting way to much money for jobs that do not equal that much. For example, one friend gets payed 21.00 dollars on hour to drive his company truck and sit and watch equipment yards and another yet gets19.00 an hour for working a cash register! I understand we are a country that was built on unions but the unions have stopped being about protecting the common worker and more about money. My Grandpa and his brother were both in unions as plumbers and I remember them always talking about the corruption and misuse of power the union did.

Here in California I don't believe its the teachers that are most likely getting to much money its all the unnecessary upper management we have in schools now a days. Plus, what in the World are they doing with all the lotto money that was supposedly suppose to take care of all their bills? This is tough times, I know a lot of America doesn't want to see it as such but we are not a rich country anymore. We are a slowly failing country and it won't be repaired by ignoring the problem and without cuts that are going to hurt. So while I don't support the Governor here in his attitude, and as I'm unaware how corrupt or otherwise the union is back there I can't have a major opinion in this issue, I'm swinging towards supporting . I really wish the police and fireman unions weren't apart of this bill, being as my parents were both in law enforcement which is why I'm mostly still standing on the fence with this issue.

And you know what, a true teacher that is for the students would never abandon his/her post no matter what the issue. At that point you are making the children pay the price, with all that learning time lost. How dare you allow an issue take away from a child's future? In this economy you don't want to work? Fine, get out and there are plenty of others to fill your spot. Teachers wouldn't be getting such horrible pay, in my opinion, if there wasn't all this leeway they have. If more were able to be fired for offenses such as abandoning your job, not doing it properly than maybe they would do a better job. But so many have it made without having to worry about getting fired cause they have a union that will support their lazy and irresponsible attitude. I don't think its entirely the teachers or the schools fault for our lack of educated children, parents and their lack of caring are responsible here too, but you know if they thought "Well, if I don't do a good job, if I don't make sure my test scores and learning academics are up I might lose my job." maybe the teachers would earn more respect and I would totally be for them on this bill.

This is all, however my opinion, and you are free to disagree with it. I will state that I am on neither side of the party that I pretty much stand in the middle of party lines. I know there are two sides to every issue and one party isn't going to be entirely right on either side.
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