START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

Defunding the Democratic Party


Business  (tags: abuse, americans, business, corporate, corruption, dishonesty, ethics, finance, funding, government, labor, law, lies, money, news, politics, society, Unions )

Kit
- 1251 days ago - motherjones.com
Protesters filled the rotunda of Wisconsin's capitol building in Madison this week to register their opposition to Gov. Scott Walker's plan to strip public employees of union bargaining rights.



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

Comments

Kit B. (277)
Friday February 18, 2011, 4:39 am
Wisconsin, the birthplace of public sector unions, is now ground zero for the Republican jihad to destroy them, with a GOP-sponsored bill to strip Wisconsin's public unions of their collective bargaining rights now seemingly certain to pass. The cynicism of the bill might not be entirely clear until you hear the details:

[The bill] would require most public workers to pay half their pension costs — typically 5.8% of pay for state workers — and at least 12% of their health care costs. It applies to most state and local employees but does not apply to police, firefighters and state troopers, who would continue to bargain for their benefits.

Except for police, firefighters and troopers, raises would be limited to inflation unless a bigger increase was approved in a referendum. The non-law enforcement unions would lose their rights to bargain over anything but wages, would have to hold annual elections to keep their organizations intact and would lose the ability to have union dues deducted from state paychecks.

Now why would this be? Is it because collective bargaining is somehow less of a problem for public safety employees than for teachers? Because strikes by cops are less hazardous than strikes by teachers? Because public safety employees tend not to be hard bargainers anyway? Because public safety employees are poorly paid?

Or is it because teachers tend to vote pretty reliably for Democrats and public safety employees don't? Bingo.

The irony here is that when you hear those cherry-picked horror stories of vastly overpaid civil servants (usually the result of overtime abuse of some kind), nine times out of ten it involves a public safety employee. It's not teachers who get to retire at age 50 and it's not teachers who end up padding their hours in their last year of work and retiring on 120% of their usual income. Most of the time, it's police, firefighters, and state troopers.

But they're the ones exempt from the Wisconsin GOP's union bashing drive. Go figure.

By Kevin Drum for Mother Jones
 

Kit B. (277)
Friday February 18, 2011, 4:54 am

What I do know from my own years in the classroom, and I grant you that Texas has a growing, albeit irrational republican party. Teachers in Texas make up no more then then about 30% of total democrats. Those who are union members, that is members of actual unions and not just "protective insurance" that pretends to be a union 20-25%, union membership cuts across party lines. Teachers tend to be very quiet about their union affiliations, rarely participate in open demonstrations, unless direct threats against them or their students infringe on their ability to teach. I can also say that with few exceptions that is the very much the same attitude I found in union members from each state. Some states do have a higher number of teachers that are democrats, in few can one assume that being a democrat means a union membership or the reverse. The more activists teachers do tend to be democrats.

That said, do I think there is a concerted effort to defund the democrats? It sure does not take a genius to figure that one.
 

Hans Mueller (591)
Friday February 18, 2011, 7:24 am
"[The bill] would require most public workers to pay half their pension costs — typically 5.8% of pay for state workers — and at least 12% of their health care costs."

This article must have been written by someone out of academia or the like. Gee Whiz, this is so common in the business world, if people are lucky enough to have a pension or health care plan. Welcome to the real world. Exorbatent and imadequately funded public employeee pensions are a major problem in this country.

I'm not opposed to public employee unions with some having stipulations for striking. But the Teacher's Union has ruined our educational system.
 

Kit B. (277)
Friday February 18, 2011, 7:34 am

No, the union has done no such thing. Political interference in education - forcing policies into the classrooms has caused the damage. That and parents that can not or do not have the time to teach or follow up on the most basic discipline.

Teachers do get a some retirement benefits others do not - it's long been the salve to being paid a crap salary.

Of course if the answer to not having the benefit package will be to triple the basic yearly salary, many teachers will go along with that. We are better educated then most of your "executives" who make millions, we do the job because we believe it is an important contribution to well being of society. Trample on my union - trample on me!
 

Hans Mueller (591)
Friday February 18, 2011, 10:45 am
I have the highest regard for our country's teachers! Our Teacher's Unions are another matter. Why is their so much, fairly universal, condemnation of our Teacher's Unions?

"America’s education system is in crisis. Test scores show us that students across America are performing at levels far below their peers overseas. In addition to test scores that aren’t up to par, graduation rates are shamefully low. There is no doubt that America’s students deserve better.

In a rapidly changing world, our students are not being taught the basic knowledge and skills they need to succeed. It’s time to get to the root of the problem.

America’s teachers unions — particularly the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers — are the most organized and powerful voices in education politics. These unions continue to block reforms needed to improve our nation’s schools by putting their focus on teachers rather than on the students they teach.

Our education system is in desperate need of reform and it’s time we stop letting teachers unions stand in the way."

teachersunionexposed.com

 

Kit B. (277)
Friday February 18, 2011, 6:49 pm

I'm an educator, it's my chosen profession. I'm a member of NEA, by choice. You are coping and pasting Bull Sh!t opinions from and article. The easiest thing to do is blame the teachers. We expect it.
 

Billie C. (2)
Friday February 18, 2011, 7:14 pm
in most companies employees pay 40% of their insurance premium costs. most do not have a retirement like the unions get. they get some amount put into a 401k but the employee pays almost all that goes in. i do not feel sorry for union workers having to take a greater share in their benefit costs. teachers and all government workers in our state have been having to take 10 furlough days each year for the last few years. when times are tough all should pitch in.
 

Good H. (3827)
Friday February 18, 2011, 7:19 pm
I guess the answer to failing schools is to close them all, defund them??? Republican agenda is to close anything to do with opposition parties, social anything or public anything, including environment protections... I guess they figure everyone will go to church and/or watch more Faux News, if everything else is defunded and closed.

On the other hand, both parties are increasing military budget and corporate welfare... not a peep about serious cuts to either one...

Bottom line, what is good for corporations is good for America. You might as well give your tax money to the military and the corporations who rob you blind and fleece your pockets, any way they can, coming, going, upside down, right side up... inside out.
 

Kit B. (277)
Friday February 18, 2011, 7:21 pm

Ya got that right, Green Road.
 

Hans Mueller (591)
Friday February 18, 2011, 7:29 pm
Kit B. - It's not the teachers! Teaching is a wonderful profession and this country has many fine teachers. It's the Teachers Union and the medeocre teachers that are shielded by them.
 

Sue D. (156)
Friday February 18, 2011, 8:45 pm
I couldn't have said it better, Green Road! Those who become teachers don't do it for the love of money or abuse often dished by students but because they want to give OUR children the best education possible. There are also some teachers who don't give a damn, but they are not the majority. If we want our children and future children to excel, then we need to provide those educators with a salary and benefits that reflect the job they are entrusted with. Get rid of teachers that don't care, and give the schools sufficient funding to give our children the BEST education. It is unbelievable how many of the 'upper class' have such disregard for public education. THEY can afford to send their children to Private Schools, and have no concern about the rights of all to an education, but damn sure want the tax breaks when they are expected to do their share.
 

Kit B. (277)
Friday February 18, 2011, 9:01 pm

Without the unions we would still be paid less then a unskilled worker, you really don't know what the hell your talking about - spouting republican rhetoric about something that you have a clue. Teachers are wonderful - it's the unions - Yeah, right. I get so damn sick of this BS, people talking about the evil unions - the same ones who defend the corporations as persons and mock regulations. As usual they have no first hand knowledge just talk, talk, talk.
 

Mary Donnelly (47)
Friday February 18, 2011, 10:23 pm
Thanks for post Kit. I agree with you about unions. I am amazed that wages in the USA are so low for all sorts of jobs.
 

Michelle S. (456)
Saturday February 19, 2011, 12:09 am
TO HANS MUELLER: DON'T TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW. YOU NEED TO EDUCATE YOURSELF ON THE ROLE OF UNIONS IN GENERAL, AND EDUCATION SPECIFICALLY. ARE YOU AN EDUCATOR? ARE YOU IN THE FIELD OF EDUCATION? OR ARE YOU JUST SPOUTING OFF VITRIOLIC RHETORIC WITHOUT ANY BASIS? SEEMS LIKE THE LATTER TO ME. UNIONS HELP SET A MINIMUM WAGE IN THIS COUNTRY. UNIONS HELP PROVIDE BENEFITS AND FIGHT AGAINST EMPLOYEE DISCRIMINATION IN THIS COUNTRY. UNIONS ARE THE LAST BASTION OF DEMOCRATIC, NON-POLITICAL BARGAINING IN THIS COUNTRY. IT'S FASCINATING THAT THE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO CHANGE EDUCATION THE MOST ARE THOSE WHO ARE ALSO POLITICIZING IT THE MOST. THE MAJORITY OF EDUCATORS BECAME EDUCATORS BECAUSE THEY HAVE A VESTED INTEREST IN THE COUNTRY AND COMMUNITY. NOW EDUCATORS ARE MORE RELEGATED TO SECOND CLASS CITIZENSHIP THAN AT ANY OTHER TIME IN OUR COUNTRY. IN THE MEAN TIME, ACCOUNTABILITY ON BEHALF OF STUDENTS AND PARENTS IS ANATHEMA....A DIRTY WORD. EXCEPT WHEN IT COMES TO TEACHERS, WHO, DESPITE UNION SUPPORT AND PROTECTION, STILL MAKE A "WOMEN'S WAGE" FOR A "WOMEN'S DAY OF LABOR." IT'S REPREHENSIBLE. EDUCATION IS GROSSLY UNDERFUNDED, AND THE FIRST PLACE TO RECEIVE BUDGET CUTS IN THE MAJORITY OF STATES. IN THE MEAN TIME, WALLSTREET IS LINING IT'S POCKETS AT THE PUBLIC'S EXPENSE, AND NO ONE RALLIES OR FIGHTS BACK. LET'S DEMONIZE TEACHERS AND THE UNIONS INSTEAD OF ADDRESSING THE WEALTHIEST ONE HALF OF ONE PER CENT OF THE CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY WHO ARE REAPING ALL OF THE BENEFITS OF A SOCIETY ON STEROIDS WHEN IT COMES TO LACK OF SOUND PRIORITIES AND VALUES. YOU, SIR, HAVE NO REGARD FOR TEACHERS. IF YOU TRULY UNDERSTOOD THE SYSTEM AND THE PEOPLE THAT TOIL WITHIN IT, YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND THE ROLE OF UNIONS AND THEIR NECESSITY IN MAINTAINING EQUITY
AND BALANCE AGAINST VOICES OF EXTREMISM AND FANATICISM LIKE YOURS.
 

Jae A. (323)
Saturday February 19, 2011, 2:52 am
Ditto and thank you for saying it as you did Green Road.
 

Marco C. (32)
Saturday February 19, 2011, 7:09 am
It seems to me the roles of schools has been perverted over the years and been sabotaged by a deterioration of values.

Parents are parenting differently, they have changed their involvement by a wholesale transferral to the schools and it's teachers to do not only the teaching but also to take the lead in baby sitting, counciling, emotional support, socialization and instillation of values and in some cases the health and nutritional well being of our children as well.

I had a stay at home mother as a child that was there to guide, interpret, understand and take an interest in my growth and development, not so apparent in todays world, without that kind of support, children cannot put the world and learning about it into the proper context. Wonder about it the next time you are in the supermarket when an adult asks a child what it wants for dinner, really?

I contend that it is the contemporary parenting which has failed our school age children and less so the teachers and the schools. It is unreasonable to expect schools or teachers to do the parenting. Suburban lifestyles with nuclear families and absentee parents have hurt us more than helped us. Add to that an overall culture which favores the intellect of a George Bush to that of a Barack Obama and where is the surprise?

We are doing ourselves a disservice by focusing all the blame on our teachers and the schools (which should be looked at) without a broader examination of issues and influences.
 

Marco C. (32)
Saturday February 19, 2011, 7:10 am
Sorry, that was off topic, my apologies.
 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday February 19, 2011, 7:44 am

Actually I don't think it was off-topic. There are many under lying problems in education, we can and should look at each.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Saturday February 19, 2011, 8:14 am
To me, the whole union thing is just more of blaming the little guy. Yes, some unions have gotten carried away. Any large organization is subject to those power struggles that end up with a few in charge making out like bandits. And it is a bit different when the jobs are in the public sector.

I can't say much about Wisconsin but here we are also attacking the federal workers and there benefits WITHOUT even saying a word abotu those in Congres.

And back to the private sector, what about all those millions the CEOS are making. It seems they really could afford to pay a bit more.
 

. (0)
Saturday February 19, 2011, 10:22 am
We all agree everyone needs to give and take, but when you decide on your own accord to snatch something without negotiating that is wrong. No matter what political side you are on. And why are the firefighters, cops and state patrol exzempt?.

Those that are not in unions would be the first to bitch if it happened to them or just sit on the side lines and complain. I am proud to be from WI fighting the fight against Walker. He is not just against ALL unions (public, private), but his first election slogan was creating jobs. OOPS, we lost jobs and our fees are going up.
 

Michelle S. (456)
Saturday February 19, 2011, 10:33 am
MARCO, YOUR COMMENT WAS NOT OFF TOPIC. FRANKLY, IT GETS RIGHT TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER. NOT TO BEAT A CLICHE INTO THE GROUND, BUT "IT TAKES A VILLAGE." YOU ARE SPEAKING THE TRUTH. THE TALKING HEADS AND TRENDY MOVIE MAKERS OUT THERE, AS WELL AS POLITICIANS AND GOP MEMBERS WANT EVERYONE TO BELIEVE THAT ALL OF A SUDDEN, THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF COLLEGE EDUCATED, CREDENTIALED EDUCATORS WHO DEDICATED THEMSELVES TO YEARS OF DISCIPLINED EDUCATION TO GET THEIR DEGREES AND TEACHING CERTIFICATES, WOKE UP ONE MORNING INEPT, UNEDUCATED, INEXPERIENCED "BAD" TEACHERS. THE WHOLE CONSTRUCT IS FAULTY AND ILLOGICAL. IF THAT'S THE CASE, THEN BY LOGICAL EXTENSION, WE NEED TO FIRE MOST OF THE DOCTORS IN THE UNITED STATES, BECAUSE SO MANY PEOPLE ARE AILING AND DIEING. WE NEED TO FIRE ALL OF THE LAWYERS IN THE UNITED STATES, BECAUSE THERE ARE TOO MANY PRISONERS BEING LOCKED UP. LET'S ALSO FIRE ALL OF THOSE SCHOOL CAFETERIA LADIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY WHO ARE SINGLE-HANDEDLY CAUSING CHILD OBESITY IN THIS COUNTRY. HECK, WE MIGHT AS WELL FIRE CATS AND DOGS IN THE UNITED STATES, BECAUSE THEY'RE RECKLESSLY AND HEEDLESSLY REPRODUCING, ROAMING THE STREETS AND OVERCROWDING POUNDS AND SHELTERS. LET'S DO WHAT GREEN ROAD A. SAID ABOVE: FIRE EVERYONE IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR AND LET THE COUNTRY GO UP IN ONE GIANT CONFLAGRATION. ROME IS BURNING. CAN YOU SMELL THE SMOKE AND SEE THE ASHES? AND THERE AIN'T NO FIRE HOSE BIG ENOUGH TO PUT IT OUT, CAUSE WE ALL JUST FIRED THE MEMBERS OF OUR LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENTS.
 

Hans Mueller (591)
Saturday February 19, 2011, 10:40 am
Has anyone spoken to you about your yelling Michelle or is your Caps keyboard key stuck?
 

. (0)
Saturday February 19, 2011, 10:50 am
Haaaa. I didn't know typing in CAPS meant yelling. See amoungst friends for or against I learned something new today.
 

Hans Mueller (591)
Saturday February 19, 2011, 10:54 am
Send a Green Star to Ellen G.
Sending a Green Star is a simple way to say "Thank you"
You cannot currently send a star to Ellen because you have done so within the last week.
 

Paul Elder (3)
Saturday February 19, 2011, 12:41 pm
Damn republicans
 

Hans Mueller (591)
Saturday February 19, 2011, 1:04 pm
I think that the saying is Damn Yankees.
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday February 19, 2011, 1:24 pm
I have to say, I think it is a reasonable agreement.
The reason it does not apply to police and fire and safety workers yet is because they have too much power and it would not pass.
Many people with an education who have worked hard have had there pay and benefits cut and now don't have a job.
I am one of them.
It is unfair that government workers do not have to share the pain.
And the rest of us can not afford them any more.
Some local city governments are going to all temp workers.
I don't think the bill goes far enough, but it is a start.
I think we need to go all the way to the top.
Cut pay and benefits and pensions for all government workers.
including politicians especially congress and the president.
 

Marilyn K. (51)
Saturday February 19, 2011, 3:56 pm
For some inexplicable reason Governor Walker thought he was elected GOP Dictator. I'm sure the people will set him straight on his obligations and vow never to vote for a Republican again as they are the ones that put us in the greatest debt ever.
 

Ralph F. (64)
Saturday February 19, 2011, 5:28 pm
IMHO, the USA needs a multi-party political process, not just a Corporate Duopoly where we constantly choose the almost nearly lesser of 2 evils. Check out info on the Green Party, Libertarian Party, Constitution Party and, especially the web page of the Transpartisan Alliance.

http://network.transpartisan.net/
 

William Y. (54)
Saturday February 19, 2011, 9:31 pm
From the article "[The bill] would require most public workers to pay half their pension costs — typically 5.8% of pay for state workers — and at least 12% of their health care costs. It applies to most state and local employees but does not apply to police, firefighters and state troopers, who would continue to bargain for their benefits."

This is the point what some not others? They should all be bargaining period.
 

Geynell Eskite (68)
Sunday February 20, 2011, 12:14 am
The police, fire fighters and State Troopers were exempt from being vilified by The Republican War on Public Employee Unions, because those three Unions supported The Republican Party. They want to create the illusion that teachers and other Union employees are unfairly living lives of luxury compared to the rest of us (are they kidding?) because these Unions support The Democratic Party. Sadly, the propaganda seems to be working. I've been hearing some pretty snarky comments about public Union employees. Don't these idiots realize that without the power of collective bargaining we would not have sick leave, medical insurance, over time pay, or the 5 day work week. We wold have lost the minimum wage long ago. The Republican's cynical attempt at Union busting will not just destroy Unions, it will dismantle The Democratic Party, and open up the door for ALL workers to be exploited without recourse. Many of the benefits that we take for granted as an assumed right, were fought for by Unions. This Republican "blame the little guy" for the mess we're in is getting pretty old. Reagan spent us into the poor house. Bush turned a surplus into a deficit by handing out unpaid for tax breaks. Now The Republicans want to prop up the Corporations and The Rich people by destroying Social Security and Medicare and trying to foster hate for Welfare recipients, sick people and the homeless. Enough is enough. Have the Republicans been lying for so long, that when they hand us a steaming pile of shit we no longer smell the stink?
 

William Y. (54)
Sunday February 20, 2011, 12:26 am
Unfortunately, many of the people the Republicans are screwing are the brainwashed ones voting for them. No-one who belongs to a Union should ever vote for Republicans, No-one who has young Children, no-one who has children in college, no-one in the military, no military veterans, no handicapped, no elderly, and no one who is not a lily-white, heterosexual, fundamentalist christian, male who makes more than $250,000 a year and is under 50.
 

Sue D. (156)
Sunday February 20, 2011, 2:01 am
Amen, William Y!! Absolutely, positively, 100% truth. You deserve the STAR!
 

Brian Drake (11)
Sunday February 20, 2011, 6:28 am
Both parties are on the dole of big business!
 

Hans Mueller (591)
Sunday February 20, 2011, 6:53 am
William ... Any idea why the approximately 55 million Republicans succumb to brainwashing?
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday February 20, 2011, 7:41 am

Perhaps it's a matter of people grouping together because of shared thinking. Republicans, since Reagan are defenders of the faith, so the Christians are more likely to be republican. Upper upper middle class, who have gained their wealth from business related associations are more likely to be republicans. The wealthy are also most likely to be republicans - now to sift through this and find the common denominator. Their is a great deal of evidence this has nothing to do with being a financial conservative, so let's eliminate that one. Keep thinking.

The term "brainwashing" may suggest those who watch only Fox and gain all of their "insight" about the world only from this one outlet.
 

William Y. (54)
Sunday February 20, 2011, 10:14 am
To Hans most likely a lack of common sense.
 

William Y. (54)
Sunday February 20, 2011, 10:17 am
To further my last comment. Anyone who listens when a politician, from any party, say he/she will do....., and believes it, that is why I say lack of common sense.
 

William Y. (54)
Sunday February 20, 2011, 10:33 am
Tkanks Hans.
 

Charlene Rush (2)
Monday February 21, 2011, 7:20 pm
If someone chooses to live in denial, that is one thing.

However, is anyone is not intelligent enough to understand, when someone is trying to UNION BUST, I have some swamp land in Florida to sell you.
 

Mike and Janis B. (7)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 9:18 am
What century is the US in? It is like the defunding that has happened here in Canada so we're no better, which means virtually no opposition party has any money to fight an election. Harper is emulating the worst republicans in his sneaky scheming. People here are in denial of unions and their benefits. Oh dear......
 

Ellie & Ira L. (0)
Saturday February 26, 2011, 4:52 am
Stand strong Wisconsin protesters. Don't ever give up. Most intelligent, caring people in America are standing with you.
 
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story


Loading Noted By...Please Wait

 

 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.