I find myself becoming increasing alarmed by the rioting in Wisconsin this week. These people in Madison do not represent most of the people of the state regardless of what polls may say. The hearts of the people of Wisconsin are with the Tea Partiers on the bus from Virginia to come counter protest.
It bothers me that it has become so confrontational when this is really a simple economics issue. Everybody was thrilled when Scott Walker cut corporate taxes, but now comes the time to pay for those cuts and unfortunately it calls for shared sacrifice. Nobody likes to have their salary cut or their union crushed, but it's that spirit of all for one and one for all that has made our country great.
Word is that the rioters have agreed to make all the pay concessions the Governor is asking as long as he leaves their collective bargaining rights alone, but the problem is that collective bargaining inevitably costs employers money. When child labor was outlawed, businesses lost a valuable commodity as small children could fit their hands into machinery to unclog it in tight places where an adult hand could never reach. What has the 40 hour work week done except to give the American worker more time off from work, which requires him to spend more money. It becomes a vicious cycle as employees are forced to foot the bell for giant televisions, air conditioning, and indoor plumbing.
As you may know, I am on the executive board of Last Stand For Children First (www.laststand4children.org). I see that many of these protesters are teachers who are complaining that they will need to take second jobs. I can't think of anything more valuable that they could bring to their students than the life experience of outside work. Also, if you are frying your students' burgers, welcoming them to Wal-Mart, or taking their tickets at the movie theatre, it would give students a great chance to get to know their teachers in another setting.
Everybody wants something for nothing and we all were thrilled to see corporate tax rates drop around the country. When I heard that the income of the upper class exploded in the past decade, nobody was more thrilled than I was, but now comes the time to pay the piper. We all need to sacrifice and even union members must do their fair share. I hope that Governor Walker (or as I like to call him Moobarak), will continue to stand tall for the people of Wisconsin and the people from Virginia coming to protest.
NOTE: Some have pointed to the presence of Arabic writing in the photo. It is well known that Wisconsin has a very strong Arab influence so this is not uncommon. The Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA played in the MECCA Arena for 20 years.