Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The Ringwraith Rule in Wisconsin

It would be fun to watch it from another planet:
While Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) law dismantling collective bargaining rights has harmed teachers, nurses, and other civil servants, it’s helping a different group in Wisconsinites — inmates. Prisoners are now taking up jobs that used to be held by unionized workers in some parts of the state.
As the Madison Capital Times reports, “Besides losing their right to negotiate over the percentage of their paycheck that will go toward health care and retirement, unions also lost the ability to claim work as a ‘union-only’ job, opening the door for private workers and evidently even inmates to step in and take their place.” Inmates are not paid for their work, but may receive time off of their sentences.
Unpaid labor is such a great idea! Why not expand that to teaching, nursing and so on? Taxpayers would save loads of money.

Of course there is that shadow side: Increasing unemployment for all those workers who are displaced by the no-wage inmates, and then the decreasing tax revenues because the unemployed can't afford to pay taxes. On the other hand, they could choose the avenue of crime and that way get their jobs back, though with just room and board.

Well, the Wisconsinites elected a Ringwraith administration, so I guess this is what they want. But I can't help noticing that suddenly people who work for the public sector have become the enemies of all. Teachers are pure evil! Nurses are greedy and lazy! This is an example of how American political slogans work on the hindbrain, and how divide et impera works for the Republicans.

It's always some other group of peasants who is at fault, never the feudal overlords and ladies.