Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Once again, govenment is not in the IPOD business

A very telling response from Gov. Dropout over the weekend, in another interview with out-of-state media. He claims his mistake was "thinking like a small business owner" and not working to gain political support for his policies. There are a number of items wrong with this statement.

1. Scotty has never been a small business owner. He's barely been a small business WORKER. He worked for all of 3 years part-to-full time in marketing and IBM sales, and that's only because Gwen Moore beat him the first time he ran for office at age 22. He was elected to the Legislature at age 26 and hasn't been off the public dole since. My college junior brother has more professional experience than governor Dropout...and is about as far along in his schooling. Any time you hear Walker talk about how things work in the business world, remember that it's all theory and things he's been fed by his contributors, because he doesn't have a damn clue about how corporations and small businesses really work.

2. Walker seems to indicate that his problem was in how it was sold, not in the content. This exchange is telling, for both its ridiculousness, and its paranoia.
"I don't think we built enough of a political case, so we let ... the national organizations come in and define the debate while we were busy just getting the job done," [Walker] said.

Walker has argued the state's agreements with public sector workers were unaffordable, and said his moves had helped prevent layoffs of middle-class workers.

Uhhh, the everyday appearances on AM 620 and co ARE you trying to build a case. That's what Sykes and Wagner and Belling are paid to do - uncritically spread your propaganda. But instead, real people got the hint, started to show up at the Capitol, and as more people read what kind of crap was in there, more realized that what you were trying to sell WAS BULLSHIT. It's why you tried to sneak this whole thing through in a week, the same way your lackeys at WisGOP are trying to slam through redistricting right now. And you're doing it because you have no legitimate case other than "greed and power". And about the "prevention of layoffs", I and others exploded that from the moment you tried to claim it (see point 3). The 30 retirements in my department alone in the last 2 weeks solidifies the absurdity of your statement, and shows that these savings could have been reached through simple attrition and concessions from the state employees union that were rejected by the State Senate after Walker demanded that they not be passed, and paid off Jeff Plale to vote against it. And now we know why that was done, don't we? When you have to lie and cover up your motives for doing something because reality is not on yur side, you always lose the people in the end.

3. As I've hit on before, government services are not the same as selling iPods or DVDs or disposable consumer products. You are dealing with things such as health care and education and natural resources and worker pay and transportation that are not optional matters in the 21st Century. These things are necessities and in any kind of non-Mad Max society, and you cannot leave them up to private markets to handle, because people will be left out, and end up destitute or dead. Selling these items off to for-profit businesses leads to exploitation, lower wages, a lower quality of life, and even more of a two-tier society that either ends with large-scale ghettos and hopelessness, or the French Revolution, with oligarchs ending up with their heads cut off.

And related to this, I couldn't help but note that Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana was bragging about a $1.18 billion surplus. Well, that's nice that Indiana made their numbers, but look at how they did. Cutting the hell out of schools and social services, and what does the average Hoosier get for it? The only state in the Midwest to have JOB LOSS for the last 12 months, and incomes and growth that are well below Wisconsin's in Mitch's time in office.

This is worth mentioning when you hear people claim Walker's done well to have allegedly removed the state's structural deficit, because even while the LFB may say the budget is balanced for the time being, (albeit with a whole lot of caveats that will only happen in Walker World and not the real one) you gotta ask, "For what result?" Lower-achieving schools? Less medical treatment for the sick, poor and elderly? The loss of any decent-paying job for people who don't have the right connections? 10% unemployment? Huge increases in poverty? If that's the case, 1. There's no way you can tell me that's remotely worth it, especially when Wisconsin was performing well above the national average economically when Walker took over and 2. You ain't going to have a balanced budget anyway because your revenues will collapse.

On Wall Street, "making your numbers" might get your stock to go up and get you a few bonuses from the board. But if it comes because of budget-cutting, lower wages and lower production, as it has the last 10 years, it is an unsustainable and immoral system. Unfortunately, that's exactly the type of system Scott Walker wants us to have in Wisconsin, where all the gains go to the top, and none to the more productive folks down below that made it happen. And the only way that trend will be stopped in Wisconsin if we make it stop these next 10 months.

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