It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Not the Problem


Texans standing with Wisconsin. (click images for more detail)



Update: In case you can't make out the poster, Krugman explains.

The poster points out that Texas, a union hostile ("right to work") state, has an even bigger (yes, even per capita) budget shortfall than Wisconsin. Texas shows what we are seeing in so many states cannot have anything to do with unions.

This is among the points Krugman makes about Texas. As a new Texan and longtime Wisconsin resident, I cannot disagree with any of it.

11 comments:

Alexander Ac said...

One can not fool the real energy with fake economy forever. Now we are entering the dark age of consequences of peak oil, magnified by disrupted climate.

Pessimistic?

If I told you 10 year ago that we would soon enter Great Depression 2 with social unrest and up-rising worldwide, what would you say?

gryposaurus said...

Was this organized by Union leadership or something from grassroots? Lenin or Luxemburg?

Michael Tobis said...

There was some national organization trying to get support demos in 50 states. I imagine some of them were unimpressive but you couldn't say that for the one in Austin. From the pictures I've seen, the turnout in Chicago was substantial as well.

The lack of press coverage of this vs "Tea Party" events last year is telling.

gryposaurus said...

The explanation of media coverage likely has to do with how well the organizers did publicizing. The Tea Party has Fox News and many people at the top of media organizations who have vested interests in getting the message "out there". This was especially evident in the fake tea party express propaganda that did tours around the country. I'll never be able to take the political press seriously after being so easily fooled by that nonsense.

As far as these protests now, there is also a business-minded twist that gets spun when anything is attached to unions. The magic of the Tea Party was they were able to be funded nationally by the Chamber of Commerce (directly and indirectly) while making people thin it was mostly local grassroots. Unions have that same task ahead of them. If nothing else, it is nice to see some version of the left-wing of classic liberalism come alive here.

Michael Tobis said...

Yeah, it was old school in some ways. We sang We Shall Overcome and This Land is Your Land. But thinking this is about unions misses the point.

The unions and the WIsconsin democrats deserve a great deal of credit for kicking this off. But what this is about is whether we should have government of the people for the shortsighted billionaires by means of bullshit.

Where the billionaires who have a clue are on all this is really a mystery. There are quite a few of them. But they don't seem ready to stand up to the thugs, perhaps because they obviously have some interests in common with them. But honestly, I see very little purpose in being the richest guy on a devastated world, versus being just absurdly rich on a thriving one.

gryposaurus said...

What I am hoping will happen as a result of this is 1) the public begins understand the power of organization against the controlling business class and 2) that unions understand the need to work in unison to further their own goals. That is what the industry has done to gain control over distribution of resources.

Tho, I understand why you think this should not be about unions. Perhaps, I don't think of the unions we have as real "unions" in the labor v capital sense. But for people to slant the balance of power back to proper balance, they need a "big dog" in the fight. At this point, unions have organizational power, monetary power, and share similar goals both with the middle class and with each other.

Then again, this only lasts as long as the power struggle remains in the public eye and Republicans keep up their end of the fight.

Eräs Henkilö said...

Are you aware of this?

http://www.scribd.com/doc/49513260/OpWisconsin

It's presents itself as an "Anonymous" with capital A document announcing basically "war on Koch".

There's a pretty high possibility it's a spoof.

gryposaurus said...

They took down "Amer. for Pros." website last night for 5 hours. No, they are increasingly a political outfit and that is not a spoofed letter. They're serious, although divided. They don't want to be seen as an attacker of Tea Party-ers, but instead, attackers the big business operations that have co-opted the libertarian movement.

Oale said...

Are you thinking of evacuating Texas?

Michael Tobis said...

Evacuating?

If I had kids I would never have come here. It's madness to send children to these so-called schools.

But it's fun; the food and the music, in certain directions which greatly appeal to me at least, are unrivalled; the weather is delightful except in summer; the people, though politically baffled, have a delightful sense of humor; and the economic situation, at the price of our oncoming global doom, is lubricated with vast supplies of oil and gas as well as wind and sun, so it's about as promising as anywhere on earth.

I could be tempted to leave for a more civilized country. At present, it is not obvious that Canada, where I have citizenship, qualifies as especially civilized anymore. And though I have not really made my mark professionally, my wife is doing well.

So, most likely, no, no "evacuation".

J'y suis. J'y reste.

Oale said...

Thanks for the cogent response, so I take it in your opinion Texas is "not for children".

Written in jest,
be well