Tuesday, June 13, 2023

More WisGOP idiocy and threats on the UW System. What is this even accomplishing?

It's not surprising, but still ridiculous.

Pretty telling that the Republicans can't even meet in the light of day on this, and that it is 8:00 pm (as I write this) and the Joint Finance Committee has yet to start its scheduled meeting on the UW budget and related topics.

Not that I'm overly worrieed about the UW cuts and attacks on DEI initiatives actually becoming law, because any cuts in funding and positions at the UW can be removed by Governor Tony Evers' veto pen, but that doesn't stop me from having a massive eye roll about it. Especially in a time period when 10 of the 13 UW campuses are projected to run a deficit this year.

This GOP "concern" about DEI and other "wokeness" is even more BS than you may already think it is. We knew this was coming 4 months ago, courtesy of a couple of Dem state reps who were given the heads-up when they went behind enemy lines to an ALEC conference.

In a session at the ALEC summit we attended everyone was talking about ESG, what one speaker referred to as “the greatest threat to American democracy since the Civil War.” Almost everyone in the room took out their phones to google it.

ESG stands for environmental, social and governance. ESG investing refers to a set of standards that take into consideration the impact a company has on its employees, customers and the communities where it does business to screen potential investments. For example, how does a company address the climate emergency, or how does it embrace diversity in its leadership?

ESG investing strategies are used to help identify companies that may be operating unethically or in a risky manner that could lead to a public controversy where companies are held accountable for their actions and, as a result, stock prices drop. Just as with CRT, the right is using a complex and niche topic to concoct new threats out of thin air in order to divide us so we cannot all fight together for economic security for everyone.

At the conference, conservative speakers framed ESG as a threat to everyday working people. And reactionary, right-wing organizations are doubling down on the messaging. The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank based in D.C., sends out weekly fundraising emails with ESG as the leading issue. In an email from just last month, Heritage whined that “the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) movement is a dangerous attempt to undermine our market and force a woke agenda on all of us.”

At the ALEC summit, the world’s worst drinking game could have been organized around their use of the word “woke.” Banking is woke. Women’s equality is woke. Public education is woke.
Sound familiar? Astroturf all the way, being pushed by oligarchs trying to put up another misdirection play to sneak through tax cuts and other regressive garbage that Real Americans reject in large numbers.

But in the Real America, being knowledgeable, accepting and sensitive to other cultures is good for business. Know what else is good for business, increasing the supply of engineers and similar tech-based professionals, in order to have a strong labor pool for Wisconsin businesses to choose from.

You know, something that Robbin' Vos said he wanted out of the UW last decade.

And yet GOPs on the Joint Finance Committee refused to give the go-ahead to an already-designed, new Engineering building that would include large aounts of research that businesses could take advantage of. This is despite UW-Madison donors pledging to pay $150 million of the project $347 million cost.

Napoleon Vos couldn't get in to UW-Madison when he graduated high school in the '80s, and has been trying to get even ever since. But here's the thing, outside of the conscious lack of capital investments, it's not UW-Madison that's going to be the ones suffering the major damage from defunding the UW.

How is continuing to play this resentment BS helping anyone with an ounce of game in this state? And is it doing anything to encourage anyone outside of the state to come here vs places whose policies and everyday lives aren't controlled by Big Fish, Small Ponders, and other mediocrities?

The new maps can't come soon enough.

1 comment:

  1. And JFC didn’t start until 9:30 tonight and apparently won’t take up the UW budget at all. Did Robbin’s big mouth give some attention to WisGOP BS that the leggies didn’t want?