One of the most illusionary comparisons to be supported by many in the media in recent times has been the comparing the protesters in Wisconsin and the walking off the job of Democrat Congresspeople to the protests in the Middle East.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Even Jon Stewart, who is a strong Democrat supporter, agrees with this. He accurately stated that there are major differences between the two groups.
For one thing he noted that in Libya, and Egypt they protested tyrannical dictators whereas the Wisconsin governor is not a dictator but was democratically elected by 52% of the people. Then he cracked a joke that real tyrants always get over 90% of the vote – referring to the fact that if you don’t support them you may disappear and not be seen again.
Then he made fun of the comparison of the Wisconsin protesters to those in the Middle East:
“They’re not the same in any fu***** way, shape, or form. Not at all. Is it the same as people in the Middle East overthrowing years of dictatorship? Or is that just the last story you saw on the news?
“The Egyptian protesters risk being shot, the Wisconsin protesters risk being caught in a drum circle.”
The basic difference is this. In the Middle East they are protesting dictatorship in the hope of creating democracy. In Wisconsin the opposite is true. They already have a democracy and the protesters are supporting not participating in it because they do not like the results of the last election. The Democratic legislators do not like the fact that they cannot get their way so they frustrate democratic vote by walking out. Teachers are walking off their jobs and falsely claiming sick leave by getting doctors to falsify claims they are ill. Then they say they are abandoning the kids for “the sake of the kids.”
The Republicans were faced with a similar dilemma. They loathed the Obama stimulus that took us much further in debt and created mostly government jobs – averaging hundreds of thousands of dollars per job per year.
They hated the Obama health care plan also but they took these both on the chin and to their credit participated in Democracy rather than running away from it or thwarting it. Then they worked hard to win the next election so they could further their own agenda.
This is what the Democrats in Wisconsin should do. Instead of running away, not doing their job while still drawing a paycheck they should do their job and then work to win their next election and legitimately work to further their agenda.
The media doesn’t help the democratic process as many side with those who have illegally walked off their jobs. They cite that teachers in Wisconsin only average about $50,000 a year, but they leave off the costs of their benefits.
Here’s a news story from Milwaukee:
[Milwaukee, Wisconsin] MacIver News Service – For the first time in history, the average annual compensation for a teacher in the Milwaukee Public School system will exceed $100,000.
That staggering figure was revealed last night at a meeting of the MPS School Board.
The average salary for an MPS teacher is $56,500. When fringe benefits are factored in, the annual compensation will be $100,005 in 2011.
The average private sector employee only makes $61.051 and that includes benefits – and they do not get a three month summer paid vacation.
The average public sector employee makes $123,049 per year – over double that of the private sector.
The problem is this. The public sector jobs rarely create any wealth. Wealth has to be created by the private sector and these producers have to pay the servants twice the wage that they themselves receive. This cannot continue forever.
This situation of lopsided benefits for the public sector is one of the reasons unions were not allowed for public servants during most of our history. It was felt they were not needed because as private wages increased the government would have to automatically raise the wages of public servants in order to keep them on the job. Under that system the wages of the public servants slightly trailed the private. This had the advantage of keeping our government trim and reasonable in size.
Even Democratic hero FDR realized the danger. He said:
“… Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the government. All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations … The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for … officials … to bind the employer … The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives …
“Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of government employees. Upon employees in the federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people … This obligation is paramount … A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent … to prevent or obstruct … Government … Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government … is unthinkable and intolerable.”
Then after the public unions were made legal in the Sixties the size and cost of government skyrocketed adding to the perilous debt we now face.
Obama called for more civility after the Arizona shootings but the protesters in Wisconsin seemed to have not heard the message. Take a look.
Let us hope the protesters wake up and realize they are living in the USA and not Libya. We already have a Democratic Republic. Let us not lay it aside but make the most of it.
A reader writes:
My wife just came across some truth in the national media, albeit does contain a hint of commentary, it is the closest to non-polarized information available to the masses that we have found to date.
He gives this link
I checked these out and Rachel makes a major misrepresentation here. She talks about the business sector as if it is as solidly Republican as the unions are Democratic and such is far from the case. The unions gave over 98% of their donations to Democrats. The Republicans are often deceptively portrayed as being in bed with business as much as Democrats are unions. Let’s look at the facts.
During the 2008 Campaign Real Estate interests gave $8,871,369 to McCain but $10,422,031 to Obama
Securities and investments gave $8,698,635 to McCain but $14,891,735 to Obama
Financial business gave $5,210,724 to McCain but $6,906,664 to Obama
Commercial Banks gave $2,293,748 to McCain but $3,316.351 to Obama
Business Services gave $5,921,718 to McCain but $16,500,999 to Obama
The big business of TV, Music and movies gave almost zilch to McCain but $9,004,072 to Obama.
Each election varies but the Democrats always get substantial donations from business whereas Republicans get almost nothing from the unions. If unions disappeared tomorrow there would still be a fairly even divide of business donations. It is interesting that in the 2010 elections even Walmart, which is thought to be in the Republican’s pocket gave 49% of their political donations to Democrats.
Figures came from: http://www.opensecrets.org