I think busting the unions of public workers will have dire consequences. The economic impact on states will be enormous as teachers, firemen, and police officers’ salaries diminish. Their buying power will shrink, as will their ability to pay their rent or mortgages. 403,000 teachers in Ohio will be affected and that will affect everyone. Trained professionals could conceivably be asked to work for minimum wage. No one with a brain will choose public service anymore. Teaching, firefighting, and being a police officer is much too difficult and skilled a job to do for subsistence pay. The end result will be unskilled, untrained workers forming the fabric of our society.
One wonders where the vitriol for unions has come. If it weren’t for unions, we’d be back in the 1800s with child labor, 12 hour shifts, and six day weeks. If it weren’t for unions, we’d all be slaves to the corporations, even more than we are right now (i.e. oil, Wall Street, and banks.) America wouldn’t have a standard of living that is still the envy of most of the planet. We fought a Civil War for union. Union is strength. Collective bargaining is the only way to keep a chance of power in the hands of the people. Some entity in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and New Jersey and soon the rest of America, wants unions gone and they’re using the economy as an excuse, trying to make the have-nots get mad at the other have-nots who are lucky enough to have a union. Unions aren’t perfect, but the alternative is disaster.
In the case of Ohio, former Lehman Brothers’ John Kasich, the new governor, is hell bent on ridding the state of unions. It doesn’t make sense if it’s about money, because getting rid of collective bargaining for communities won’t save the state a penny. Even if a particular community saves money by laying off teachers, police, and firemen, it will suffer from lack of services and lack of buying power in that community. So everyone loses and no one gains. Dumping necessary public services is not a way to balance anyone’s budget, but getting rid of unions is a way to prevent ordinary people from supporting political candidates through their union lobbies. Sure, unions don’t have the clout of contributions from Lehman Brothers, billionaires Charles and David Koch, oil companies, or defense contractors, but once in awhile they help support a politician who cares about the middle-class instead of the top 400 people in this country who collectively have the wealth of 49 nations and own their bought-and-paid-for government toadies.
The idea that this is all a political strategy for the take-over of every statehouse by a single political party is sinister enough and we could stop there, but I’m convinced it is even bigger. It is an effort to privatize all public services so the super rich can control everything. Just a few years back, they wanted social security privatized so they could get their money-grubbing mitts on it and then not give it to us. And they’re going at it again too, just like they want to rescind the meager health program benefits recently passed. It’s the aristocracy wanting to overlord the rest of us, turning us into 21st century serfs. You know they’d love that, the greedy, egotistical bastards. Corporations would own the police forces, make us pay exorbitant rates to have a fire put out, and put in the dregs to teach our children only just so much that they will be future consumers who toe the line. The rich will have their children in private schools and universities while the masses get just enough education to follow directions. It’s been in the works since No Child Left Behind took away creativity in favor of trivial pursuit, for public school children only.
And why is all this happening in February? Look outside. The same thing happened when they rammed through the Iraq war. And I know from experience, it is really cold when you protest in the winter.
I only wish this was science fiction. I am a private school and private university graduate, with a public school elementary education and Master‘s from a public university. I have taught at both public and private schools, in the city and the suburbs. I’ve seen it from both sides and I know what I’m talking about. This is frighteningly real. And like people are doing all over the world, all we can do is take to the streets. An Ohio rally at the Columbus Statehouse takes place on Wednesday, March 2. We have to be our own Gandhi, King, and Mandela, except in long johns. We’re all going to be affected, and peaceful protest by masses of people is our only weapon. Let’s just hope we get there before the private police.