Godspeed, You Magnificent Cheese-Eating Bastards
Of course, our rightwing brethren are all alather over this, because any time a group of ordinary people gather to express their grievances/assert their rights, it’s “thuggery.” (Glenn Beck has uncovered the link between WI teachers and the Muslim Brotherhood. Seriously.) Unless of course those protesting are confused teabaggers in drag – then it’s all about the brave patriots bravely staring down the looming danger of death panels from the comfort of their Medicare-funded Hoverounds. Very bravely. Also. Too.
I’d love to see this spread to other state capitols, and to see lots of people employed in the private sector join in. Call me commie, but it seems to me that when we had a 20% increase in productivity from 2000 – 2008, and wages remained stagnant or declined, it’s an indication that people weren’t – and still aren’t – being fairly compensated for their work. The problem isn’t that public employees are “overpaid” – it’s that the serfs toiling in the private sector salt mines are being underpaid. Bringing public employees’ wages down to that level (in reality, public employees in most states earn less – often a lot less – than private sector workers) won’t fix things – it will just make sure there’s more company for the misery.
I’ve already ranted elsewhere about how the GOP has gone from bitching about “welfare queens” in the 80s to ranting about how pretty much everyone (except people more affluent than themselves) is overpaid. 40, 50 years ago, any politician who questioned the work ethic or value of ordinary working people would have been crucified. These days, the people they refer to as “the producers” are people who have made a lot of money from the labor of others. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a company or individual making something from the labor of an employee, but these folks are so out-of-touch with reality these days that they seem to think money is asexually reproduced – the workers who make the things of value are “parasites” who are overpaid.
Thus the need to suppress organized labor. Because if John Galt’s employees go out on strike, and stop making the widgets that Galt sells to add to his mountain of cash, that mountain stops growing and starts shrinking. Conservative theory would have it that once Galt is free of his parasitic employees, that mountain should grow into a veritable Everest of green. Oddly, this doesn’t happen in the real world. And it’s so starkly obvious that even a stupid teabagger would be able to figure it out if he saw enough real-world examples of it, which is why unions are evil and must be destroyed. Otherwise, the conservative fairytale about how things work in the real world is unsustainable.