The Union movement in America is the last actual muscle that the Democratic Party has nationally. When you look at campaign spending across the board, in this country, the unions may be the only thing that stands between Democrats being completely destroyed and them having any hope of running competitive campaigns, and more importantly, winning elections in the future.
This surely is an outright attack waged not just by the Governor of Wisconsin, but by the entire Republican/Conservative establishment on the ability of Democrats to compete in elections. And this assault is not just on Wisconsin, but across the entire country going forward. There should be no doubt at this point that this is a purely political thing.
If the Republicans are able to strip Collective Bargaining from the unions in Wisconsin, they will do it in every state in this country and permanently destroy the unions not just as an economic force, but as a political force. And if they take out the unions…Game Over. That is what this is all about, and that’s why this fight is so important.
The importance of the labor union
Labor unions have been around for so long in this country that sometimes we forget or take for granted all of the amazing things they have done for the workers and the American middle class. Just a few of the things that we can thank the labor unions and collective bargaining for are:
-a 40 hour work week
And for those who like to give the argument that unions are a thing of the past, no longer used or needed in our society, perhaps you should re-think that position. Modern day teachers used collective bargaining for negotiating class sizes and modern day cops used it to get bullet-proof vests, just to name a couple.
The economic argument
Wisconsin’s Governor Walker continues to make the false claim that this is all about balancing the budget, but in light of the fact that days ago the union agreed to pay more money for their pensions and health care, this just no longer makes sense. Here’s a thought Mr. Governor, if you simply raise corporate taxes to the national average, not any higher, just to the average, you’d have $1 Billion per year in added revenue. Walker’s current plan only gets $350 Million over a 2 year period.
The bottom line here is that this is not an economic argument, it is a political fight. It is an attack on the labor movement as we know it today. This fight is coming on the heels of the now infamous Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision, which allows big corporations to freely spend unlimited amounts of money on the political candidates of their choice. The only groups who could possibly compete with those corporations are unions.
This battle is political
In the last election cycle, when you look at the top 10 groups contributing money in those elections, 7 out of 10 gave money to Republican candidates. All 7 of those groups were right wing PAC’s and big corporations. The only 3 out of that top 10 who weren’t contributing to the GOP were all unions.
If the Republicans are able to remove the unions from the political scene, especially these type of public sector unions, they will be able to easily win every election from here forward. The unions are the only real competition they have for any kind of considerable contributions, so clearly eliminating those unions would be a main objective, and the reason behind it is absolutely partisan.
The future of the labor movement and the middle class as we know them today are in jeopardy. Along with the unions, our current two party political system is in danger. And if we lose that, Democracy as we now know it will cease to exist.