March 1, 2011- As Abraham Lincoln famously said, "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time." When you put enough dots in front of people sooner or later they will connect the dots. And Americans are connecting the dots.
Dots: Trade deals close factories, outsource jobs and pit workers against each other, then wages decline and unemployment is really high, while all the money goes to a few at the top. Then calls to cut the wages and benefits of the rest.
Dots: Unions squashed, then pensions disappear, then calls to get rid of public-employee unions because they have pensions.
Dots: Tax cuts for the rich, then panic over resulting deficits, then calls for cuts in the things government does for We, the People.
People are connecting the dots: Unions mean better wages, benefits and working conditions.
There is a joke circulating that goes like this:
A unionized public employee, a member of the Tea Party and a Big Corp CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table there is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, looks at the tea partier and says, "Look out for that union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie."
Americans are waking up to the value of unions and government of, by and for We, the People.
The situation in Wisconsin is waking America up to the value of unions. At a time when so many of us are hurting, seeing this naked attempt to strip from Wisconsin's public employees the ability to bargain for a better life is resonating. A CBS/NY Times poll finds that "a majority of Americans say they oppose efforts to weaken the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions and are also against cutting the pay or benefits of public workers to reduce state budget deficits."
Further down in the story, "Americans oppose weakening the bargaining rights of public employee unions by a margin of nearly two to one: 60 percent to 33 percent."
On how to fix budget deficits, "those polled preferred tax increases over benefit cuts for state workers by nearly two to one."