By Jim Hightower
Mar 3, 2011
Thank you, Scott Walker! And you, too, Charles and David Koch! Thanks for being so ham-handed in pushing your self-serving, virulently anti-union agenda on the schoolteachers, health care workers, park rangers and other public employees of Wisconsin.
The Birchite billionaire Koch brothers and Walker, their gubernatorial hatchet man in the Badger State, have unwittingly done a tremendous favor for our country's progressive movement. Thanks to them, America's workaday majority has been awakened. With eyes wide open, middle-class working folks everywhere now have their attention riveted on Wisconsin, where a plutocratic, autocratic conspiracy between uber-wealthy corporate elites and obsequious GOP politicos has raised its ugly head for all to see.
Even before Walker was sworn in, Koch operatives were working with his transition team on a proposal that would summarily strip state and local workers of their hard-won right to bargain with their governmental bosses. Blinded by their flaming arrogance, the co-conspirators blithely assumed that Wisconsinites would just sit still for this, like sheep being fleeced. Bad miscalculation.
Collective bargaining literally is democracy at work -- not something that working families take lightly. Nor should employers, for the process works, allowing 98 percent of union-employer disputes to be resolved with no strife.
Without it, workers know that they would be reduced to "collective begging," so Wisconsinites saw the governor's no-bargaining bill for exactly what it is: a raw attempt to extend authoritarian executive rule over the workplace, stifling the voice of workers and further shrinking middle-class possibilities in America.
Thus, the Koch-Walker cabal has not only been exposed, but has exploded nationwide. In a flash of spontaneous combustion, the schemers have become the poster boys of right-wing, laissez-fairyland greed, fueling mass protest rallies from coast to coast and reinvigorating the progressive movement.