Slobfest

Republican State Senator Glenn Grothman claims that protesters (or “slobs” as he derisively calls them) now camping in Wisconsin’s capitol building are mostly “college TAs, college students, or hangers-on… or unemployed people just looking for somewhere to hang out.”

I guess that statement (which I’m sure the senator will soon come to regret) speaks volumes for the attitude of some lawmakers who much prefer the gentile façade of “democracy” to witnessing a real expression of the concept actually manifesting itself in their hallowed, stink-free place of corporate ballwashing governance.

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18 Comments

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18 responses to “Slobfest

  1. billg

    I thought the Republicans were democratically elected on a platform to get spending back in order which everyone knew meant taking on the PS Unions? Strike, walkout, protest..fine, but, I’m not sure how Democracy is served by people attempting to stop a party from doing what it was elected to do. The Teapartyers protested and got a message out and helped defeat Dems in the House..thats Democracy. This group in Wisconsin may have a message to get out, but, its going about it the wrong way.

  2. Ronald Williams

    What I think the governor is concerned about is that the public sector doesn’t get the fat pensions the public worker gets all the while pumping in the tax dollars to pay those pensions.

    If the taxpayers don’t have any input into this matter, we might as well call it “Canadian-Style” politics.

    Canadians couldn’t change the direction of government no matter how hard we tried.

    At least in America, the people are involved in their future, while in Canada we sit back and let 400 Mp’s work it out for us.

    What a big difference in political systems.

    Now I completely understand why the USA fought a Revolutionary War to rid themselves of the same system that makes me fell like a piece of cattle.

  3. Ronald Williams

    I meant to say the private sector doesn’t get the fat pensions the public sector gets.

    I’m sure since you’re all university educated in political science, you would already know this.

  4. Dave Taylor

    Actually, what the governor wants to end is the scandalous practice of powerful unions raising millions and running phone banks and get-out-the-vote operations for politicians who thank them with wages, benefits and job security no private employer can match.

    I say we should do the exact same here in Communist Canada.

  5. Yeah! We should be more like the Americans!!!
    http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/02/19/opinion/19blowcht.html?ref=opinion
    Stupid communist Canadians (and Germans, and Norwegians, and Swedes, and Danes, and Dutch, and Australians, and Belgians, and Finns, and…) being more successful than freedom loving Americans on every empirical measure available, the nerve.

  6. TofKW

    Yes lets scrap all those pesky unions, as the wealthy class and the transnational corporations are our saviors. Let’s turn back the clock to the 19th century, when the working class was so much better off than now.

  7. TofKW

    Incidentally, you people do realist that Wisconsin was projecting a surplus for fiscal 2011, then the Governor went and cut taxes for the corporations and the wealthy. Now he’s created a deficit, on purpose, to make the working-class pay for the cuts.

    I’m just curious how much more stupid Americans can be until they realize they are being convinced to vote against their own better interests by the rich.

  8. jkg

    In the hierarchy of the private world, the top managers and executives get paid handsomely and are entitled to very generous severance packages, which more than dwarf the measly ‘pensions’ into which workers pay. The accusation of a class cuts both ways. On top of what TofKW noted, the unions gave many concessions.

    This is just a case of projection really and wanting to drag other people to the race to the bottom. If people are going to bay about ‘personal responsibility,’ then they should show some agency, organize, and participate like some of these people have done. It is strange world in which supposedly freedom is embraced unequivocally in one breath, yet the freedom of assembly and to organize are considered banes to that concept. I doubt the union busters and their vanguard of early 20th century were the ones actually improving working conditions. Here is good modern example: Take Boeing. Boeing’s worker unions collectively bargain and set the wage for the workers. What this did to the labour market in their area is make Boeing actually competitive, since workers were incentivized to work there. Furthuremore, that set the benchmark for wages at other businesses, which meant other businesses had to compete for labour even more. The end result? It provided a buffer for the recession in places around Seattle where Boeing is based. As it stands, that metropolitan area has an 8.9 unemployment rate, lower than the state 9.1 unemployment rate.

    In addition, I fail to see how it is perfectly kosher for the Canadian Council of Chief Executives to have a former cabinet minister and extremely close ties to Ottawa, but it is beyond that pale or ‘scandalous’ for other people to have the freedom to organize and lobby. After all, those people who do voting campaigns actually have to participate through those pesky democratic channels rather than phoning it in!

  9. Ryan Moore

    Yeah! We should be more like the Americans!!!
    http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/02/19/opinion/19blowcht.html?ref=opinion
    Stupid communist Canadians (and Germans, and Norwegians, and Swedes, and Danes, and Dutch, and Australians, and Belgians, and Finns, and…) being more successful than freedom loving Americans on every empirical measure available, the nerve.

    Well of course bud. How could the USA with 30 million illegals and millions of poor living in Democrat controlled counties and states?

    Half the jails in the USA are full of illegals and as I write this hundreds more are sneaking over.

    how could the USA not be polluted with filth if the borders are open and the rule of law gets shoved down the toilet.

    Mexico has a southern border wall. I say its time the USA cleaned up the country from the filth that gives it a bad name.

    Namely every one of the democrat controlled states that not only are going broke, but also going morally broke as well.

    if Canada was in South America, you would not have the life you have today.

    Thank the USA for the life every single one of you Canadians enjoy and for the new IPad that Warren Kinsella is thanking Steve Jobs for.

    After all, what would us lousy Canadians have if it wasn’t for the USA.

    I wonder if the 3.1 million Canadians who ventured out to Florida this year thinks Americans are as ignorant as the clowns here on the now defunct liblogs.

  10. Just a thought.

    Would these unions, and those supporting them in these comments, be supportive of outsourcing labor on a scale sufficient to actually improve the living conditions of places like Mexico so that they wouldn’t feel the need to jump the border?

    Pretty clearly not.

    So.. then.. implicitly the message is, “We want the wealthy to share their income with others.. as long as they don’t do it outside of our borders. To create jobs and income outside of North America, well, that’s just going too far.”

  11. What a load Rob. A race to the bottom benefits no one. You wouldn’t have a point even if liberalization of Latin America hadn’t ripped the fabric of society apart in so many countries. Or for that matter, if it was possible to outsource Wisconsin’s teachers’ jobs to Mexico. Pull the other one.

  12. jkg, no need to stop at Boeing. Entire countries, the most successful countries in the world, are organised on the basis of some higher-level form of bargaining. In the Nordic countries firms actually prefer industry-wide wage and benefits bargaining because it improves stability and results in better skilled workers.

  13. “outsource Wisconsin’s teachers’ jobs to Mexico.”

    tastey! i wonder how 911 calls would work in rob’s world….

    KEvron

  14. When did it become a crime to make what used to be regarded as a “middle-class” wage?

    Really, the arguments over this speak more to me of how degraded our standards and expectations have become over the last 30 years… when earning an income sufficient to support a family and put your kids through university, have healthcare coverage and perhaps even ending up after a lifetime of hard work with enough of a pension to live on and keep a roof over your head without resorting to eating dog food for dinner are all now considered heinous LUXURIES and anyone thinking those things are not actually too much to expect is frequently regarded as some kind of atrocious, selfish parasite.

    Quite remarkable what can be achieved by 30 years of neo-liberal brainwashing.

  15. moreover, rt (and i know i’m waxing cliche here), the conventions of employment, which all of us, organized or not, take for granted today, all came at the insistance of organized labor, the selfish thugs….

    KEvron

  16. Indeed.

    Of course, the usual counter-argument to that by those who despise unions is that while they may have done a lot of good things in the past, those fights are long since settled matters and therefore the unions have now outlived their need to exist.

    This, of course, comes from the same people who are quick to remind us that corporations are legally bound to be “amoral” entities bent solely on turning a profit for their investors…

    Unfortunately, the cognitive dissonance that should occur given those two conflicting notions is completely lost on them.

  17. jkg

    Oh god, it is times like this where I wish the great Sir Francis would join the fray.

    ..millions of poor living in Democrat controlled counties and states?

    Really? Oh my, since when did Mississippi, the poorest state in which the median income is just barely touching 36 thousand become democrat? Better yet, Georgia, with that strong, manly Republican Governour who implemented such draconian austerity measures to balance the budget had its median income erode a whopping 13.1%, the largest reduction in all the union. Thankfully, that wealth destruction of the middle class was so worth it. Now, he can hold his head up high knowing that the median income of his state is 2 thousand dollars away from the 10th spot for the poorest states in the union. But hey, what does the U.S. Census Bureau know?

    if Canada was in South America, you would not have the life you have today.

    You are right. Ask a Nicaraguan how much their country benefitted from the benevolence of the U.S.A.

    After all, what would us lousy Canadians have if it wasn’t for the USA.

    A constant connection with our historical legacy by seriously respecting the institutions that were formed due to our British heritage, perhaps. It worked pretty well for Sir John A. MacDonald, who looked to London when he was doing the thankless job of founding this nation and expanding it to prevent American annexation. But why care about that when you can indulge in the neo-colonial mentality and sip from used chalices of your neo-liberal betters? Our leaders in post-Confederation understood the importance of dealing with the Americans, but not at the expense of the cultural legacy that makes us distinguishable. I suppose Diefenbaker was just another ‘lousy’ Canadian. While you are at it, you might want to thank Britain for the life we have today here. Otherwise there would be no Canada much less the internet and computer programming, upon which Steve Jobs was able to hark his wares onto his hip, luxurious consumers. Call me old fashioned, if I think Sir Alan Turing and Sir Timothy Berners-Lee should be exalted a little higher than Jobs. Of course, a lot of those electronics would require the petroleum products and minerals that American desperately needs from us. Moreover, Nevada has been begging us to increase the pipeline of free-flowing fresh water right down to their desert state, since their water tables are running out. Must keep all those strippers, hookers, and shady casino dealers hydrated you know. Mustn’t slow the juggernaut pace at which to realize the American Neo-Liberal Dream.

    I wonder if the 3.1 million Canadians who ventured out to Florida this year thinks Americans are as ignorant as the clowns here on the now defunct liblogs.

    I don’t know, but you seem to be doing a very good job demonstrating yours, dear Ryan. I would think they are just vacationing, but I suppose the mere vacationing in that country is a tacit endorsement of the political constituencies and their actors. After all, when I visited Ecuador, I immediately lent my support to the military and police junta, who just tried yet again to takeover the government last fall. That facile appeal to popularity was a nice touch to your faulty generalizations, false dichotomies, and eliminationist rhetoric. Criticizing a political faction and their actors is tantamount to an indictment on the American people as a whole—What a spectacular strawman.

    But nothing compares to your seething ambition to browbeat us. It would take a man of immense adroitness to abandon all manners of meta-cognition to accomplish what you did here. I have not seen anyone attempt both to castigate and make a case for uncritically and reflexively genuflecting to everything and anything that emerges from the American political and cultural sphere via a pious and sycophantic self-loathing. Well done, I am sure by 2020, through the continental populism, the prototypical form you showed here, Sir John A. MacDonald will be rewritten as a stubborn, pig-headed leader who just didn’t realize how grand the American Experiment was and really should not have bothered with expanding out to the West when American investment and control would have been so much better for our then tiny nation.

  18. Mississippi is not only the poorest nation in the USA, but also the most “conservative” according to a recent polling study. Hmmm… do you think there could possibly be a correlation between those two factors?

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