What is really going on in Wisconsin and the others states where conservative governors and legislatures want to exact concessions from unionized teachers, office workers, nurses, and other state employees? Maybe Buckaroo Banzai, the fictional Renaissance man from the eponymous cult classic movie, had it right: “Nothing is ever what it seems to be, but everything is exactly what it is.”
Republicans claim their goal is simply to pare budget deficits. Democrats say what their opponents really want is to end the collective bargaining rights of public unions. And liberal filmmaker and author Michael Moore says Wisconsin is really a battleground in class warfare. Moore traveled to Wisconsin over the weekend, and delivered a 30-minute speech in Madison.
“America is not broke,” Moore began. “Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you’ll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich. Today just 400 Americans have the same wealth as half of all Americans combined.”
What’s your opinion:
Just prudent budget cutting?
A secret wish to bust the unions?
Or something as grave as class warfare?
Do you live in Wisconsin—or another state where similar measures are under consideration? We especially want to hear from you!
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(Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an online experiment in civil dialogue on American values.)