Top Of My Head

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Tag: workers rights

Recall Governor Scott Walker

Today kicks off the effort to remove Scott Walker from the Governor’s office.  We could’ve saved ourselves a lot of trouble and never voted him to be Governor in the first place, but that’s another story.

So, why remove Governor Walker?

He’s done almost exactly what he said he would do.  We are now all able to carry concealed weapons in this state.  He’s limited the power of those nasty unions.  Wisconsin is now open for business.  He’s created more jobs.

Um, wait, no he hasn’t.

Now, pay attention:  Governors and Presidents do not create jobs.  Small businesses and corporations create jobs.  People purchase items, which creates demand, which creates the need for more employees, which creates jobs.  Companies are not going to hire merely because they’re sitting on millions of dollars.  Most of the large corporations and companies (I am not discussing small businesses, because I don’t have the facts about them) that had trouble are now back in the black.  A lot of corporations are showing record profits on the books.  Thanks to tax cuts, subsidies and other benefits, they aren’t paying all that much in taxes.

They’re not hiring.  Why?  Because there’s no demand there.

Now, that said, I would like to point out that unemployment rate in the state of Wisconsin was 7.4% in January, 2011 – when Scott Walker took office.  With the exception of a brief moment (April, 2011 7.3%), the unemployment rate has steadily grown to a high of 7.9% to 7.8% (September, 2011).

Walker’s campaign was about how we were going to balance the budget and create jobs.  He pounded his Wisconsin’s open for Business slogan until you wanted to choke him with it.  He hasn’t created jobs.  Unemployment has gone up and not down.

Is it fair to judge him on something I really don’t think he could do anyway?  Yes.  Yes, because job creation was his own standard.  He was opening Wisconsin for business.  He was going to create jobs.  Then, he turned away the millions for the high speed rail system and cost the state 4,000 jobs.

And, the lack of jobs isn’t my only beef with him.  He’s made our state unsafe with the concealed carry law.  Sorry, no – I don’t believe that every single person who legally obtains a weapon is sane, rational and knows how to use it.  No, I don’t think being able to carry a weapon into bars and office buildings make us all safe.  Just one example:  Charles Julius Guiteau legally obtained his weapon and he used it to shoot a president.  (That’s one example, from 130 years ago, but this discussion isn’t about concealed carry.)

Anyway, there’s only been 2 successful recalls of governors in US history – let’s make it 3.

RECALL WALKER!!!

And, while I am not affiliated with this group in any manner, here is a link to United Wisconsin’s website.  You’ll learn even more information on the recall effort and why you should support the recall.

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373 – 1

373 – 1 => that’s the difference between your salary and the salary of the guy on top.  For every dollar you earn, a CEO is earning 373 dollars.  And, what do you get for that huge difference?

You get a boss who thinks you’re paid too much.

You get a boss who wants to raise profit margins and he does this by laying off your co-workers or even you.

You get a boss who is more than willing to move a factory overseas to save money, so he can make even more.

You get bad health insurance – if you have any health insurance at all.

You get to save for your own retirement out of the little bit of money that you have – and you get politicians that want to take away your safety net.

You get the feeling that you are expendable.

We could blame the government for our nation’s economic woes.  However; it isn’t entirely the government’s fault.  Greed is good, so the saying goes.  Except, greed is only good for those on top and it harms those of us on the bottom rung (and, even those of us a couple of rungs higher).

Perhaps, the government should take some, but not all, the blame.  It was the government that removed the financial regulations that had prevented a financial collapse for sixty years.  The free market system would work if only greed and the ever desire for higher and higher profit margins wasn’t part of the deal.  When men (and women) only concern themselves with profit and not sound business decisions, economic collapse ensues.

I’m not entirely sure what can completely fix our economy, but I can tell you what won’t and what hasn’t.  Lowering taxes even farther and ending financial (and other business) regulations are not going to put this great nation back on solid financial footing.  We need to put the Glass-Seagull act back into place to protect our financial markets.  And, we need to raise taxes on the upper classes.  The top limit needs to be moved back to 39%.

Ronald Reagan was correct to lower taxes in the eighties.  It was a good thing and it started economy recovery.  However; too much of a good thing can do us harm.  Our current economic status is proving just that.

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Walker’s Budget – Bad for Wisconsin

Even if Walker’s budget didn’t include the restricting of rights for our fellow citizens, it would still be bad for Wisconsin.  I applaud our Democratic lawmakers who have stood firm in their joint refusal to return home.  They are true PATROITS, who do not want our state sold to the lowest bidder, as Walker and the rest of the Republicans want.

Let’s look at the Senate bill, shall we?

Right there on Page 6 is this paragraph:

“Currently, this state owns and operates numerous heating, cooling, and power plants that were constructed by the state to provide heating, cooling, and power to
state facilities. The Department of Administration (DOA) determines the method of operation of these plants and may delegate this authority to any other state agency that has managing authority for a plant. This bill permits DOA to sell or contract for the operation of any such plant. The bill exempts such sales and contracts from the requirement for approval of the Public Service Commission (PSC) that may otherwise apply under current law. The bill provides that the net proceeds
of any sale, after retirement of any outstanding state debt and any necessary repayment of federal financial assistance, is deposited in the budget stabilization fund. The bill also allows DOA, at any time, to petition the PSC to regulate as a public utility any person who purchases or contracts for the operation of any plant under the bill. Under current law, the PSC has regulatory authority over public utilities, including the authority to set rates for utility service.”

Now, take a look at this section (Page 26).

16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).(emphasis mine)

Right there, Walker is giving away our state. It doesn’t mention how much money our “numerous heating, cooling, and power plants” might bring into the state. It doesn’t say how much money the state will make off the sale. And, if we sell off the plants, won’t that mean the state will then have to pay for the privilege of using plants we paid to build and maintain?

And, let’s think who is going to benefit from this no-bid, no approval sale?  Could it be Koch Industries – Walker’s second highest campaign contributor?  You watch – bill passes, Koch moves in – state loses.

What’s next?  Oh, yes,  he wants to take away state employees’ rights to protest the state government.  Take a look, it is on page 5.

“Under current law, the governor may declare a state of emergency if he or she determines that an emergency exists resulting from a disaster or the imminent threat of a disaster. This bill authorizes a state agency to discharge any state employee who fails to report to work as scheduled for any three unexcused working days during a state of emergency or who participates in a strike, work stoppage, sit−down, stay−in, slowdown, or other concerted activities to interrupt the of operations or services of state government, including specifically purported mass resignations or sick calls. Under the bill, engaging in any of these actions constitutes just cause for discharge.” (emphasis mine)

I don’t have a problem with demanding employees to show up for work during a state emergency, but saying that they will be fired if they strike? That’s going too far. We don’t allow private companies to fire striking employees and public employees deserve the same rights as the rest of us.

I want to digress from going over the bill for a moment and point something out.  Someone I know keeps harping on Wisconsin teachers and how they need more competition, etc.  I would like to point out that indeed Wisconsin teachers’ salaries are in the top 50% of the nation.  I would, also, like to point out that so are our children’s test scores.  We pay our teachers more than 50% of the nation and in return we have students who test in the upper 50%.  For what more could you ask?

Then there is the Assembly bill, which has all ready passed.  That’s where Walker takes away the funding for family planning.  In other words, even if you’re poor, you don’t get birth control pills.

Under current law, DHS provides funding for family planning services, including maintaining a state plan for community−based family planning programs and specific annual grants. This bill eliminates this family planning services funding.

(emphasis mine)

According to the Huffington Post, this will save the state a whole 1.9 million dollars a year.  Has Walker thought about how much having unwanted babies will cost the state per year?  They’ll need childcare, food (more money from WIC) and educations.  According to BabyCenter‘s calculator, the total cost of raising a child in the Midwest from 0 to 18 is $243,068. I don’t know how much of that will be paid by Wisconsin taxpayers, but I’m sure some of it will. How about we don’t have the mother become pregnant in the first place? I’m sure we can find other ways of saving 1.9 million. We could always make Walker pay for his own residence and not maintain the governor’s mansion for him. According to State Sen. Bob Wirch (quoted on PolitiFact), it costs one million dollars over a four year term. If Walker paid his own way, we could save $250,000 per year. It would at least be a start.

If this isn’t enough to convince you that Walker and his budget is bad for Wisconsin, well, I just don’t know what else to say.  There are more items, but I’m not done reading the thousand plus pages of the budget.

So, as I’ve said before and I’ll say again, Let’s RECALL Walker!

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Saving Unions in Wisconsin

Walker won’t negotiate and remove the ban on collective bargaining. This is not only wrong, but it is making a mockery of our great state. I saw an article on Huffington Post and now I know why he isn’t backing down.
His largest campaign contributor – Koch Industries – is anti-union. They, also, have the most to gain by the passage of this bill. The bill will “allow the state to sell or contract out any state-owned energy asset in no-bid deals with private corporations.”
Walker is going to sellout our state much like Scott McCallum did when he sold our tobacco settlement for pennies on the dollar.
I’m pushing for a recall of Walker and his bad ideas.
Who’s with me?

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