- Politics and Social Issues
Wisconsin Budget Crisis or is there a Scent of Limburger in the Air
The recent crisis in Wisconsin between the Republicans/Conservatives and Democrats/Progressives is coming to a head. While I try to look at the issue objectively, I instinctively distrust the political right. Be that as it may, I worked hard to try to see the issue from both sides.
Both sides agree to the concept of requiring public service employees in the state to pay a larger share of health insurance and pension related expenses. Both sides acknowledge the need to bring all the red ink under control. The area of contention appears to be surrounding the issue of the public employee unions. One side wants to annihilate the rights of the other and that will not be tolerated. A balance of power is necessary. It is the trickiest and dirtiest game of all, but the only one that preserves both sides. That is not an original quote, but it certainly is applicable as either side protects its group from exploitation by the other. The reasons labor unions were created in the first place over a century ago is not, all of the sudden, irrelevant. Progressives want the bargaining rights of unions preserved as part of a fair negotiation process. The Conservatives say that negotiating with unions for public employees is both time consuming, expensive and unnecessary. The unions are to become a mere rubber stamp in the face of the whims of management
But here is the rub, where the Limburger comes in. While this question has been downplayed in the media, it needs to be brought to the forefront. This Governor Walker says that working with public employee unions are an administrative nightmare. If that is so why did he exempt law enforcement, firefighters and the Wisconsin State Patrol? It seems to me that these professionals being safety and security essential personnel should be the last group of people you want to haggle with when it comes to their unions’ negotiation processes. The stench of limburger reeks from this Governor. If there is one thing that I cannot abide it is intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy. Is it true what I hear from the Progressive side that the Governor is engaged in political hackery and exempted these specific groups merely because they supported his candidacy? I have neither heard nor seen any better explanation for the exemption. What Conservatives always talk about as principle is neither if what is good for the goose is never good for the gander.
I feel a great deal better now that I have gotten this “off of my chest”.