Sunday, October 3, 2010

Suffer Little Workers

Scott Walker is out to destroy middle class jobs...again. He wants county workers to take more wage freezes, to eliminate seniority raises, and for them to pay more for health care. Two things, he creates the false corollary that county workers must make sacrifices because their counterparts in the private sector have, and, he implies that county jobs are unnecessary and low-skill work and therefore should be done at WalMart wages. Not to mention the fact that workers take public jobs with the knowledge that they will receive less pay than their private sector counterparts, yet they will be assured health benefits, job security, and a retirement plan.

One obvious reason this is not only shortsighted politics but also bad policy is the demand issue. Public employment is a form of Keynesian pump priming. These living wage jobs allow people to spend and buy during economic downturns, helping to keep the economy out of the ditch.

And, yes, unemployment has increased, but that doesn't mean public workers have been isolated and not made sacrifices. In fact, teachers have been fired, libraries have been closed, public workers have felt the pain nationwide. Public workers are making sacrifices. Do Republicans believe there should be no floor on wages? Should there be no floor for basic services we provide in our communities? Why must workers, making a decent living, always be the ones whom are vilified, yet we can't tax millionaires more? Why are everyday workers always the problem? Are there no other options for revenue or spending cuts? Why is it that working class people, most making under $50,000 a year, are always the ones who must go without?

This is a fundamental misunderstanding of economics on the part of Republicans. Their blind faith in a magical market, led by an invisible hand, causes them to believe that doing nothing will somehow fix the economy. If we just wait, in a few decades everyone will have been allowed to save a few bucks and start spending again. So, lets not think about the lost generation that will result from such policy. Just keep a smile on your face, keep taxes low so the rich still benefit and stay fat and giggly, and wait for that great new day on the horizon.

We bailed out Wall Street and bankers. And, we supported the auto industry and state and local governments.

The government, at all times, supports public and private industry. In fact, the private sector and private individuals have benefited to a much larger extent. Public workers do the public good. They bring you clean water, roads to drive on, etc.

Private individuals amass wealth and use such to buy politicians and legislation to avoid taxes and accumulate more wealth.

We are in a new Gilded Age where inequality is at record levels. Workers are losing in the class war. To keep piling on and asking people to go without and to do with less is criminal when corporate profits are rising and the rich are paying their lowest level of taxes in history.

No comments: