This past few weeks have been a bit rough here in Wisconsin. Usually we are saying that around here due to the weather and it’s freakish desire to torture us. This year it is more about the political climate than the frigid one – even if one could argue the political climate is more frigid than our weather.
I want to set the scene here for my liberal friends, my conservative friends and those that consider themselves neither end of that fence. I am an independent. I fully support the best person for the job. Normally this involves me voting Democrat.
I am also in a union. I pay my union dues, but I am not an active member. I don’t vote. As an effect of these issues in Wisconsin, I am looking at becoming an active member of my union. There are a few of my friends that are very anti-union, but I have the belief that the unions have given us so much. Even when I didn’t want to be active in it, I wanted to be in it. My feelings on it can be expressed with a quote from Stephen King…
If you like a weekend, thank a union guy. If you like a 40 hour work week, thank a union guy. If you like a day’s honest pay for a day’s honest work, thank a union guy.
So now you know where I am coming from. Where my beliefs are – at least on these issues. Hopefully this will give you an idea of where I am coming from. And why in the upcoming days I may include an open letter to Governor Walker and the Wisconsin GOP.
With the middle of March upon us and this bill signed and simply waiting for publishing for it to become law, there are some things that I would urge anyone against this law to do. First and foremost though would be to educate yourself on it. That means if you are on the liberal side of things checking out something other than MSNBC. If you are in the conservative side of things, check out something other than Fox News.
If you come to the conclusion that the cuts in the educational budget, the cuts to health care and the non-bid sale of public utilities to private companies with no oversight is too much for you, stand with the public unions in their protests.
If you are anti-union, ask yourself why and look at the numbers. As a union member I make significantly less than I would in a similar private sector job. This is while the GOP is telling you that we are swimming in pools of taxpayer money like Scrooge McDuck. I don’t see regular pay raises, and with the introduction of furlough I have seen a drop in pay. This is not greedy unions trying to steal taxpayer money.
Consider the above part and then ask why we are giving huge tax breaks to the rich. Read the article that gives the opinions of millionaires that a million dollars (it may have even said four million) is not considered rich. Consider Fox News reporting that teachers are rolling in it at 50k a year with benefits a year after they reported that $250k a year for the people liberals wanted to tax being “just above poverty level.”
Still, unions are large supporters of Democratic politicians. Of course special interests and businesses are even larger supporters of Republican politicians. So what happens when you cut the purse strings of the unions while awarding huge tax cuts and extremely lucrative resource sales to big business like the Koch brothers?
If after this you come about to a decision to appose this bill (now signed into law), then here are some steps you can take.
- Talk about it in your community. Do you have kids in school? Ask their teachers what they think. Better yet, see if there are any town meetings on it.
- Go to demonstrations in your local community. What better way to lend support than getting involved in your government?
- Go to the state capital and let your voice be heard. Even if you are just walking around if you stand with them, your numbers will be counted. Your local community may even have a bus heading there. Many do.
- If you are concerned enough about the direction this majority party is taking our state, sign a recall petition. I hate the idea of recall, but a message needs to be sent.
- Boycott supporters of this administration. Here is where you need to be careful. As far as I have seen, the large corporations funding campaigns are the Koch Brothers (a huge list of paper products from paper towels to toilet paper) and Walmart. Others such as Johnsonville Meats (the brats, I know) and Sargento supported them through the owners, not the businesses themselves. Stop purchasing according to your comfort level.
- Write letters. Write to the companies with your intent to boycott them due to their support of Walker and therefore this bill. Write your Senator. Write your Congressperson. Write your local officials.
I have been walking the walk as well. Most of my writing time this past month has been taken up reading political articles in the various papers, watching shows on both sides of the issues and writing to my Senator as well as the minority leader. I even went down to the protest this past weekend. I wanted to be there to show we aren’t giving up. And I am still in pain because of it. (If I go this weekend I am bringing my cane – even if I do hate using it.)
For the rest of the week, I will try and post links to some of the stuff I have been following with my opinions on it. Comments/Discussion is welcome as long as things remain civil. I do reserve the right to bring out the virtual “ass-whoopin’ boots” and remove comments that are inappropriate or delve simply into name-calling.