Union-busting Republican Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin, survived his recall election yesterday. While the Democrats handled the campaign badly, a big part of his success must be seen as the antipathy towards unions, especially those affecting state employees. Wisconsin isn't alone, as this has become a rallying cry of Republican governors nationwide.
In San Diego, a different union-busting measure passed, despite the likelihood of negative effects on the city. Cutting off the nose to spite the face?
Proposition A, a measure that would ban San Diego from using labor-friendly development contracts on city-funded projects, passed by a wide margin Tuesday, which could put San Diego at risk of losing hundreds of millions of dollars in state funds....
Project-labor agreements outline standards for wages, local hiring and health care coverage for workers on a project, which critics say give an unfair advantage to union companies and workers. ...
On April 27, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that will likely lead to legal battles if the measure receives voter approval. The law denies state construction funds to cities that have a blanket ban on the agreements.In this recent must-read piece in the New Yorker, Nicholas Lehmann reviews several recent books on the subject of our economy and politics.
Public-employee pensions and employment contracts, which Tony Judt thinks of as a socially binding force, are now—from Athens to Madison, Wisconsin—the object of hostility by people who don’t have them and of fierce, to-the-barricades protectiveness by people who do. None of this bodes well for a politics aimed at alleviating inequality.But WHY this antipathy to unions? Unions are what give us 40 hour workweeks, job benefits, and decent wages. Why do so many voters distrust them? Why have attacks on the working class (which is predominantly whom unions represent) become so entrenched? Is it just resentment that some people have unions, while others have to fend for themselves?
As commented at America blog:
But the real winning argument for the voters...is "the politics of envy." Watch for it, even in the CNN-type coverage.Divide and conquer. Fellow blogger David posted this quote on his facebook:
But it's not envy of the rich — that's not what "good peasants" do (to borrow from Matt Taibbi).
It's envy of the poor slob next to you, the one you closely resemble, who has the extra nickel you don't. His pension (on your dime, mind you) is that extra nickel.
QotD: "I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half." --- Jay Gould (19th cent. railroad magnate and archetypal robber baron)
It appears the Koch brothers have taken it to heart.