On Wisconsin

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Yo. See what's happening in the Badger State?

BE: People are getting badgered?

JB: Union people are. And the new Republican governor there, Scott Walker, sounds serious. He wants to change the way the state deals with public-employee unions. Check out this story from the Wisconsin State Journal. Looks like change is coming.

BE: Change we can believe in?

JB: If you're not a union member, maybe.

BE: What's he saying?

JB: He's saying there won't be any contract negotiations because there's no money. He saying expired bargaining agreements will be canceled in a month. He's saying union workers' pension costs and health insurance will go up. He's saying the only thing they can negotiate is salary.

BE: Well received?

JB: Well, he's receiving new titles: "dictator," "union-buster."

BE: Sounds like lawsuits and strikes are on the way.

JB: Maybe so. But he's also saying he'll call out the National Guard to, for example, man prisons if corrections employees attempted work stoppages.

BE: Wow, just like the 1930s! Must be tough times in Wisconsin.

JB: The deficit there is $3.6 billion. The deficit here in PA is estimated at $4 billion or more.

BE: Uh-oh.

JB: Exactly. Keep your eye on this one. Could be the start of a trend.

BE: Could be a line in the sand.

JB: Could be one side singing "On Wisconsin" and the other side singing "Which Side Are You On?"

BE: Harlan County, USA? Don't scab for the bosses. Don't listen to their lies. Poor folks ain't got a chance unless they organize. Which side are you on, boys? Which side are you on?

JB: That's the one.

BE: I hope Gov. Corbett doesn't bring in the Pinkertons.

JB: Grrrr.

Continue Reading