Today we saw video of thousands of state workers in Wisconsin protesting their fabulous new governor's fabulous idea to ban collective bargaining for state employees. What's the big deal? One commenter explains.
In response to another commenter who said "Public servants should not be allowed to unionize," commenter Trai_Dep wrote:
Politicians told working people in government, We can't pay you as much as the private sector, but we can give you some job stability, slightly better benefits and ensure you aren't a hobo once you retire.
Many working people took them at their word and spent decades ensuring the government functions, streets are cleaned, regulations are met, children are taught, fires are put out, roads are built & maintained and rapists are caught then incarcerated.
Since the government is public, these employers were also barred from using the union-busting tactics that Wal-Mart and their ilk use (thus the prevalence of union workers in gov't versus McJobs you're so much in favor of).
Then, after decades of this arrangement, and of decades of these people working for less than they could make in the private sector, greedy asshats who want taxes slashed so they can buy a second boat buy a lot of commercials to convince people like you that firefighters, policemen and teachers are a cabal ripping you off, "leeching" off of Real 'Mericans™. And some of your more slow compatriots bought the lie as well.
Meanwhile, these same public servants who have been underpaid are now told by pols, "Since WE didn't budget for obligations that WE agreed to, YOU get the double-shaft."
What's quite sad is I'm fairly sure that your livelihood would be severely impacted were it not for these workers that you call leeches. Certainly your quality of life would be ravaged if your Libertarian paradise (a.k.a., Somalia) happened.
But the bottom line is that politicians made promises they now want to change after the fact, simply because they were too incompetent to ensure their obligations were met. If that involves – gasp – raising taxes to fund them, so be it. Paying for The Shiny you've bought is part of being a grown up.
You should consider joining the big table, and realize this.
[Photo via AP]