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« On occasion, Frank Luntz can be useful | Main | Beyond snark »

August 26, 2015



Walker believes in his own ambition. On policy, I think he does sincerely believe that union-busting is the answer to any and all questions. Beyond that? His beliefs are for sale. Most of them are leased to the Kochs at present.

I never really saw how a guy with the pleasantness of a used car salesman, but the charisma of a burned-out accountant, could get elected president. But then, I am amazed he's won three gubernatorial elections in what I thought was a fairly liberal state, so what do I know.

Anne J

The only explanation I can come up with is that he was elected in the Great Tea Party Fever Epidemic of 2010. This is the same state that in that same election ousted Russ Feingold and replaced him with the detestable Ron Johnson. Hopefully his seat will be in jeopardy next year. And Scott Walker isn't going anywhere near the presidency. I think what the Donald has done more successfully than anyone before him is exposing the mealy mouth poltroons for what they always were. Puppets who dance to the tune of their wealthy donors.


Jeb has added some incoherent to his boring. Speaking to a group in Colorado yesterday his stammering, halting, disconnected speech sounded like it could have been given by Dubya. So much for being the smart one. He's also decided saying "anchor baby" didn't alienate enough people and added that Planned Parenthood shouldn't get federal funding because "they’re not actually doing women's health issues." Take that, ladies. Dr. Jeb is on to you. He might keep DT on the road well into next year all by himself. Somewhere John Kasich is smiling.

Peter G

I hope you will pardon me for beating a dead horse but this was entirely predictable. And I know because I've been predicting it for about a decade. And not just in the US but here in hypothetically socialist Canada. What you are seeing is the natural evolution of a globalized economy.

Long before Scott walker was elected the decline of Wisconsins private sector unions was evident. Where it once boasted among the highest levels of unionization in the US it very quickly became uncompetitive in a whole range of light manufacturing. And not just due to foreign competition but also to lower cost jurisdictions elsewhere in the US. The ratio of unionized workers to unionized public sector unions fell like a rock. Until we now see that what remains is essentially just a fifty fifty split between public and private sector unions. Scott walker didn't cause it and he couldn't have stopped it if he wanted to. Of course he didn't want to but he was able to take good political advantage of it.

There are now essentially two classes of workers in the US and Canada. Those in the private sector whose demands for wages and benefits are constrained by the market place (workers whose jobs may be outsourced at the drop of a hat) and those in the public sector whose jobs generally cannot be outsourced to another jurisdiction. That's everybody from school teachers to fire fighters to police and includes all state and municipal workers and those in publicly financed higher educational institutions. And you can guess who now has the best wages and benefits and pensions, that would be the public sector workers.

Scott Walker took excellent advantage of this situation. If you aren't part of the club getting nice wages and benefits and pensions courtesy of all taxpayers but you are just a regular taxpayer who isn't getting squat then you are getting screwed. And when I saw so many commenters telling the people who voted for Walker they are idiots voting against their own self interest I would point this out. That's exactly what they did, vote for their own self interest. They voted for the guy who was going to lower their taxes so they and their children could maybe afford dental care or drugs or medical insurance. Heck maybe even save for retirement if they had a nickel to spare.

I was often told that this was merely short term thinking but that is not true. Neither high wages nor comprehensive benefits nor pensions trickle down from the people who get them to the people that don't. And unions only do the one job they get paid to do which is negotiate only on behalf of their members.

So. When Ed Shultz extensively covered the recall effort to rid Wisconsin of the scourge of Walker an astute observer would have noted the crowds assembled represented all the people whose iron rice bowl was the government. You didn't really see any farmers or small business people or non-unionized workers who are now the majority.

As much as this analysis may make me sound like a right wing nut that is not true. I fail to see why the children of public employees merit a range of benefits and care that ordinary children do not. We should not be providing to anyone what we do not provide for all. The next public service union that demands that all citizens receive health or dental or drug plan insurance before they will accept such will have my full endorsement.


There's more to it, including a lot of lying about what he would do as governor.

There's also more to the worker bashing:

The people of Wisconsin have caught on, and it's not likely Walker will make it through the next election:

"The latest job approval numbers on Walker out of his state had him at a pitiful 41 percent in a pair of April polls. His disapproval number in one poll by St. Norbert College, Wisconsin Public Radio, and Wisconsin Public Television was 58 percent, and in the same poll 59 percent of Wisconsin adults didn’t even want him to run for president."

David & Son of Duff

With a trembling hand I type these hesitant words - well said, Peter! Er, well, not everything but most of it. (I'm now going to go and lie down!)

Peter G

Of course he did take political advantage of an economic situation. I didn't say otherwise. But changing political leaders will do nothing to change the underlying economic situation. Nor would getting rid of Christie change anything in New Jersey. They'd still be a high tax business unfriendly state with little borrowing capacity and huge unfunded pension liabilities. You could put the most progressive governor imaginable in either place and nothing would change. You can't borrow, you can't tax businesses without forcing them to leave which leaves only taxes on individuals in the form of sales or income tax. And then you have to convince a majority of taxpayers that it is in their best interest to pay taxes to provide other people with goodies they can't have themselves. That's one hell of a tough sell.

Peter G

Clarification, by they I mean NJ and not Wisconsin. In fact Wisconsin has the best funded public employee pension fund in the US.

Peter G

I wouldn't get too happy David. I am a socialist. I believe that all children and their parents deserve the same benefits from government that anyone gets.

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