Mitch Berg, Shot in the Dark
"...I like they way they present their view even when I don't agree."
Lewis Medlock, Deliverance
"...fortuitously discovered in my recent wanderings - good stuff."
Zee, Road Sassy
"...entertaining and provocative. Just how I like it."
"...whew, wow, yowsa and yikes!" Jan Karlsbjerg
"Malignant." Tim Dailey
Fleetwood Mac snob." Mitch Berg, Shot in the Dark
THE AUTUMN OF OUR YEARS: Wow. It has been a long time, hasn't it.
It's been a tough summer of health crises in my family, a major change in employment, and the decline and eventual death of my beloved dog. Add to that the fact that (as usual in the summer) I was on the road much of the time, and this blog suffered.
OTOH, I guess it did give me the opportunity to ponder a few things.
As just about everyone knows, we have an election coming up in November. But for those of us in Wisconsin, a lot more is at stake than for people fortunate enough to have lived in other states for the past four years.
Joseph de Maistre famously said, "People get the government they deserve"--and that seems to apply especially well in Wisconsin. Even though neighboring states, especially Minnesota, have seen their economies boom in the past four years, Wisconsin continues to rank dead last or near last in every significant economic indicator. Governor Scott Walker, under whose charge our economy has imploded, is laughably short of his oft-repeated pledge of "250,000 jobs in my first term." Public schools are falling apart (Walker prefers to give tax dollars to private "voucher" schools), businesses are either closing their doors or moving out in droves, and a state where a college graduate once had a bright future now promises only drearily endless listings of minimum-wage jobs.
None of this appears to bother Walker one iota--the general consensus is that he promised his puppet masters, Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries, to drive down wages in Wisconsin as his first order of business.
What is really disturbing is that it doesn't appear to bother roughly half the people of Wisconsin either.
Walker swore to ABC Building Supply magnate Diane Hendricks, prior to his election, that he would "divide and conquer" Wisconsin. This plan appears to have succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. And the essentials of Walker's plan were unadulterated evil: To a state still reeling from the effects of the global economic meltdown, Walker simply pointed a finger at government employees (he called them "fat cats") and said: "They've got stuff that you don't. And they got it with your money."
The repercussions of that first shot over the bow are still reverberating in Wisconsin. All Walker needs to do to whip his legions of admirers into a frenzy is to point at a government worker and say, "Union fat cat." (Even though public employee unions were eviscerated by Walker's Act 10 to the point where they have no power at all... and Walker so severely slashed public-employee wages and benefits that civil service jobs can't remotely compete with their private-industry counterparts... I should know, I lived the dream (and you'll hear more about that in another post).
So we're stuck in a strange situation. What can you say about people so willing to follow a demagogue ("that little weasel in your statehouse" and "sleazy thug" are typical characterizations of Walker by people who live in bordering states, including some Republicans) even when by every reasonable indicator, he has failed utterly as a governor? Can it be that fulfulling to hate on government employees when they are hurting worse than you are? Are we really no better here in Wisconsin than Hitler's "good Germans"?
And if that's true (the election in November will pretty well seal the deal), we are truly in the autumn of our years in Wisconsin.
Posted by Alois on