On January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to repeal spending limits on campaign donations by corporations. The ruling essentially granted corporations citizen status, with all the first amendment free-speech rights pertaining thereto. Thus 1 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc (2 million employees, 170 billion total assets) = 1 Nate (0 employees, $170.00 total assets). Sound crazy? It is!
One year later, we're seeing some of the fallout. Public employees in several states face having their collective bargaining rights sharply curtailed.
Conservative oil magnates David and Charles Koch (also of Dixie Cup fame) threw heaps of cash at union-busting Republican Wisconsinite Scott Walker in his successful campaign for governor. Yes, the Koch Brothers, worth tens of billions each, for whom taxes are an affront to their perceived right to hoard as much wealth as possible, for whom a union is a seen as a direct threat to their accumulation of power, want nothing more than to squeeze away the bargaining rights of Wisconsinites toiling away in the state's public sector. Is this surprising? Not when you consider that David Koch was the running mate on the Libertarian ticket for the 1980 presidential election. Among the reforms sought in his party's campaign: the abolition of public schools. Thirty years later, Scott Walker, fresh off a victory fueled by Koch cash, is happy to do the brothers' bidding in what appears to be a highly organized, multi-state crusade against organized public labor.
Union leaders have declared their willingness to negotiate with Walker. Walker won't budge. We are certain that his overlords will have a nice cozy position waiting for him when his tenure as governor is up.
Understand that McBone is not anti-business. We love business, as a matter of fact. What we condemn are decisions, like the one made by the Supreme Court last year, that are turning this country into an oligarchy and give undue legislative influence to the likes of the Koch Brothers. We believe that management must be kept in check by labor. That's fair. That's democratic. In 2011, one percent of the population commands nearly a quarter of American wealth, the largest imbalance since the 1920s. This is not McBone pulling numbers out of its McButthole. That's a very real and alarming statistic. The demise of the labor union is certain to further tip the scales.
For what it's worth, this small blog stands with you, workers of Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania.