|As William Bendix in the early fifties sitcom used to frequently lament:
"WHAT A REVOLTIN' DEVELOPMENT!
I think that's an accurate description of the events taking place in Wisconsin.
|Note: this post is a "work in progress." I will post it on my editorial page, because what's going on in
Wisconsin is a timely issue, and of great significance to all citizens of the U.S.. However, it will need
additions, modifications, polishing, etc. I'm a busy person with a lot to do, but this is one issue I felt
compelled to get involved with and "share my thoughts" on.
I'm not actually TAKING SIDES HERE... just wanted to "get some more substance" out for "both
sides" in this dispute, to incorporate in their respective stances.
I briefly watched some "news segments" about the situation in Wisconsin. I listened to some of the
arguments of both sides (the state government vs. the union protesters), each side, favoring their
respective stances. One thing I did notice: THERE WASN'T A GREAT DEAL OF FOCUS ON: "HOW
WE GOT IN THIS MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE!" In other words: What "did we do in the past," that
resulted in this "Revoltin' Development," as William Bendix so oft lamented in the "Life of Riley."
To be fair, one of the Union Supporters did make mention of "too many good jobs going overseas"
as being partially responsible for this mess. I agree with that statement wholeheartedly, however... I
think WHAT'S BEHIND ALL THIS is a "bit more complicated" than can be understood from that brief
So, here's my TAKE on "how we got in this mess," and "how we might remedy it, at least, for some."
Personally, I agree with some of the arguments that each side makes in their favor. So, I kind of,
have mixed feelings about this whole issue. But, being an "outsider" from another state, I think I
might be able to SHED SOME LIGHT on this situation, clarify some of the issues involved, and make
some points about "what can be done to address this situation." That would include "what the
outcome would be," if certain changes were made. (this, instead of "just listening" to both sides
endlessly chanting the same repetitive sound-bites at each other.")
First, let me cover "how I think we got in this mess" in the first place.
Back in the early nineties President Bill Clinton (surprisingly a Democrat) was a staunch promoter of
NAFTA, and the WTO. (North American Free Trade Association and World Trade Organization)
The theory was: that we were entering a New Age of "Globalization." And, to advance and continue
to grow as a nation: WE HAD TO PARTICIPATE.
So, was ushered in a New Age of World Trade (agreements, mainly with Mexico under NAFTA, and
the rest of the World-at-large, as a participant in the WTO.
Now, initially we were promised (by politicians - both Republican and Democrat) that this would BE
GREAT FOR AMERICA AND AMERICAN WORKERS.
The THEORY we were sold, was that "only low-level-income" jobs would be exported; that "new
higher-paying tech jobs" would rapidly take the place of lost "lesser jobs" (mostly, in the lower-tier
type manufacturing sector). THIS THEORY "WAS FALSE," AND YOU WERE SUCKERED... "as
USUAL" BY THE "POWER-PEOPLE AT THE TOP!"
For example: what actually "took place" and "still IS TAKING PLACE" is: THAT, HUNDREDS OF
THOUSANDS OF THOSE HIGH-PAYING JOBS (that were promised to American workers) ARE NOW
ALREADY OVERSEAS, and, more to follow. This is the STRATEGY OF MANY of our LARGE U.S.
BASED MULTINATIONAL companies, so that they can compete effectively IN THE NEW GLOBAL
ECONOMIC MODEL of WORLD TRADE. One major U.S.-based corporation, I know of, alone,
already has about 100,000 - mostly high-tech - employees in INDIA. ...Getting the picture here.
Now, my intent here: is to inform you ABOUT THE MAJOR ELEMENTS of the "NEW WORLD
ECONOMIC ORDER" that VASTLY OVERSHADOW what is taking place in Wisconsin, and are
LARGELY RESPONSIBLE for your situation there. This, also, applies to ALMOST EVERY STATE IN
AMERICA. (most state governments have "budget deficit calamities" similar to yours in Wisconsin,
and many of them are in "far worse" shape than Wisconsin... like in California and Illinois, to name a
So, now let's take a look at "WHO WINS" AND "WHO LOSES" in this New World Order of Global
1. U.S.-based multinationals.
How they win: Reduce costs because of cheap labor (labor overseas is mostly cheaper due to
factors like: lower standard of living, cheaper local economy, less government regulation of
business - things like working conditions and safety, for example: no OSHA regs., AND LASTLY:
"NO UNIONS," for the most part. Now, these are some, but not all of the labor issue benefits for
companies who have foreign divisions. I could come up with more, but I think you get the point.
2. Our Politicians (both Republican and Democrat)
Now, why are their LOBBIES??? Well, I think we all know how that works. Hefty political
contributions, etc., to supporters in Congress, etc.
3. LOCAL FOREIGN WORKERS
NOW HERE'S ONE YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE THOUGHT OF: This, by the way, is to me, ONE
REASON I HAVE MIXED FEELING ABOUT ON ALL THIS.
One "good thing" I see as a result of the "Globalization concept" is that it has RESULTED IN:
A GREAT INCREASE IN THE STANDARD OF LIVING FOR MANY PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD,
who previously "had little chance" of "getting a slice" of the "global economic pie," that was largely
produced, and shared-out, almost exclusively in the Western Style Economies - like Europe, the
U.S., Japan, etc.
(They NOW have jobs - maybe some are still at the "sweatshop" level, but, at least it's a start in
"upward mobility" for them. This, as I see it: IS THE ONE GREAT POINT "IN FAVOR" of
Globalization, even though: some of those jobs "could have been yours.")
4. Local Foreign Economies - especially in 2nd and 3rd World countries... New cities and towns
develop as a result of largely Western Investors, along with Multinationals from around the world,
pouring BIG MONEY into new business endeavors in foreign locations.
5. THE STOCK MARKET and it's INVESTORS
Why do you think the DOW (Dow Jones Industrial average of stocks) has been DOING SO WELL, for
some time now - well over a year.
Well, it's NOT BECAUSE U.S. companies are DOING SO WELL IN THE UNITED STATES. But, THEY
ARE DOING WELL IN THEIR OVERSEAS DIVISIONS. (like China, India, etc.) These foreign
divisions are "greatly responsible" for many of these large type multinational companies HAVING A
PROFITABLE YEAR. And that's WHY...THE STOCK MARKET IS DOING SO WELL, despite the
"global recession." This not only applies to U.S.-based multinationals, but those based in foreign
countries, like Germany, for instance. So, don't wonder why the Stock Market is doing so
great...WHEN MANY OF YOU AREN'T!
6. SOME OF US (those who have good stable employment) who can TAKE ADVANTAGE of the
"vast supply of INEXPENSIVE foreign goods" that are available in places like Walmart, instead of
patronizing the "small biz" in small towns and strip-malls. Many people can only now afford to shop
in the BIG DISCOUNT SUPER-STORES because of "personal financial setbacks" that are
attributable, in many ways...TO GLOBALIZATION.
1. GOVERNMENT ...Local, state, and federal - brief general statements: rev declines, because of:
a. Less taxpayers with a job (no recovery here for the foreseeable future)
b. Domestic business sales down (less tax revs for govs)...Less people with jobs to make purchases.
c. Housing prices falling...maybe accessed taxes going down, and many delinquent properties.
and continue to slide - less buyers with a job, also, banks requiring huge "cash downpayments."
d. Unemployment benefits, and other gov subsidies, plus extensions of same.
2. MANY OF YOU
a. Loss of job, reduced hours, reduced or no overtime, expenses incurred while seeking work,
loss of job Health Benefits.
3. Most Small Biz (those without an International Division)
a. Sales Down
b. Great Increase in Borrowing Costs...to keep biz going (banks charging much higher interests
rates to borrow... It's the recession - so they say.)
c. Have to do "more of your own work" ...You had to "lay-off" some of your staff.
d. Many Have Already Gone "Out of Biz!" ...Especially, notice all those "boarded up storefronts"
in "small towns" and "strip-malls!" Many people now just go to "Discount Super-stores!"
THE BOTTOM LINE: We are now in this situation (like in Wisconsin) largely due to the ADOPTION
OF POLICIES favorable to Globalization - Nafta, the WTO.
...AND, ALL OF THIS WAS LARGELY, AND "POSITIVELY ENDORSED" BY "MANY POLITICIANS" IN
BOTH THE "REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC PARTIES," particularly at the Federal Level.
So, guys: WHO IS TO BLAME FOR THIS MESS? WHO IS TO BLAME FOR YOUR PLIGHT IN
Wisconsin (and in just about EVERY STATE in America)...IS IT ANY SURPRISE...IT'S THOSE F'N
POLITICIANS AGAIN. When are you going to learn!!! Many of BOTH SIDES...REPUBLICAN OR
DEMOCRAT ARE APPARENTLY MORE BEHOLDEN TO THE LOBBYISTS (who DEAL IN BUCKS OR
FAVORS a promise of a job in the private sector in the future, paid speech engagements....
LOBBYISTS who put THEIR MONEY WHERE THEIR MOUTH IS... like in political contributions, etc.,).
Now, what are YOU PUTTING UP... your great and powerful VOTE... what a crock!
Well, GOOD LUCK IN WISCONSIN... and my suggestion IS TO CALL THEM AND THEIR PARTY
AFFILIATES IN WASHINGTON TO ACCOUNT/TASK... for supporting and promoting FREE-TRADE!
HAMMER 'EM WITH "THAT SINGLE ISSUE!" That's WHY THE WHOLE COUNTRY MIGHT BE LIKE
ARGENTINA SOON...due to their "lack of wisdom," ...throw in some "self-interest," too, INSTEAD OF
"interest in you and your future." WELL, LIKE I KIND OF HINTED AT: MONEY TALKS AND
BULLSH_T WALKS (like in the value of your vote).
SO, WHO YA GONNA VOTE FOR NEXT... maybe you should get a "list of lobbyists" they are
"working up" ... be they Republican or Democrat!
ISN'T IT ABOUT TIME WE GET ON THESE "POLS" ABOUT "POLITICAL CAMPAIGN REFORM!"
(oh, sorry, I forgot: IS THERE A "LOBBY" IN FAVOR OF THAT???)