Wisconsin teachers strike

Paul Ingvaldsen

Teachers filling the state capital in Wisconsin are confronting newly-elected governor Scott Walker and are crying foul as he seeks to repeal collective bargaining rights for unions and mandatory union dues.

 Unions go back hundreds of years. They were based upon guilds that protect the rights of craftsmen and promote their skills, so that the individual members might produces a product for a fair wage without unfair competition.

Advantages of unionization became obvious to people who were not producing a product, but working as a public employees. Recently, public sector employees have become unionized. Union negotiators with the skills of Harvard graduates jacked up the costs with every benefit for both public and private sector employees. The problem with public sector employees is that they are not producing a marketable product that earns revenue.

The private sector, which is doing actual work for pay, winds up supporting the public sector workers through taxes indefinitely.

In Wisconsin, the private sector is anemic because America has not protected its manufacturing base in. Japanese companies came through in the ’80s and bought up all the mom-and-pop manufacturing companies and then went belly up.

We stood by as robber nations stole our copyrights, reverse engineered our products, built them with slave labor wages in stone age working environments and then sold them back to us below our costs.

Unethical CEOs took America’s manufacturing base overseas. The result is that private sector workers, who must pay the salaries and benefits of public sector employees like teachers, do not have enough work to produce enough revenue to pay for the public sector.

The Governor was elected to fix the problem. Gov. Walker is seeking to eliminate of the power of collective bargaining of public sector employees regarding some benefits, being aware that the state will soon be in financial trouble again if collective bargaining is not removed.

Teachers are being asked to contribute to their retirement and health care funds in greater percentages, although still not at the level of the average private sector worker.

Unions have mobilized Wisconsin teachers to fill the capital building in Madison. Nightly spectacles of teachers overflowing in the Capitol filled the living rooms of Americans. The question has arisen, “How teachers, who are lying to call in sick, justify abandoning their classroom to go march at the state Capitol?”

The Republican governor has a numerical advantage among Wisconsin legislators. All he needs is for the Democratic lawmakers to show up and legislation to repeal collective bargaining for some public sector workers will pass. Without the Democratic legislators, the governor doesn’t have a quorum and can’t call for a vote. Knowing this, Wisconsin Democratic legislators have left the state and are reported to be hiding out in Illinois.

Gov. Walker is now preparing to cancel the pay of the AWOL legislators as citizens of Wisconsin prepare recall initiatives to remove those who have left the state to avoid voting on the bill that will set a milestone for other states in similar financial need.


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