Struggle in Wisconsin

Paul Krugman has an opinion piece in which he uses Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine” to look at Gov. Walker’s attempts to rid the state of labor unions (public, but privatize labor unions have long been disappearing) while at the same time trying to implement privatization of the state’s resources.

It is worth quoting Krugman at length:

“Instead of focusing on the urgent problems of a shattered economy and society, which would soon descend into a murderous civil war, those Bush appointees were obsessed with imposing a conservative ideological vision. Indeed, with looters still prowling the streets of Baghdad, L. Paul Bremer, the American viceroy, told a Washington Post reporter that one of his top priorities was to “corporatize and privatize state-owned enterprises” — Mr. Bremer’s words, not the reporter’s — and to “wean people from the idea the state supports everything.”

The story of the privatization-obsessed Coalition Provisional Authority was the centerpiece of Naomi Klein’s best-selling book “The Shock Doctrine,” which argued that it was part of a broader pattern. From Chile in the 1970s onward, she suggested, right-wing ideologues have exploited crises to push through an agenda that has nothing to do with resolving those crises, and everything to do with imposing their vision of a harsher, more unequal, less democratic society.”

Could just as well have quoted Krugman’s piece in full or sent the reader to the piece itself but a summary would include a close look at the Governor’s bill which not only attempts to take away the right to collective bargaining from Wisconsin’s public employees (in the name of cutting the deficit but the unions have already agreed to cost cutting moves) but also allows for the sale of Wisconsin state power plants to private entitities and that that sale does not need to be encumbered by a bidding prsocess. Which LSW understands to mean that Gov. Walker’s political supporters can be allowed to buy these power plants without the need to engage in a bidding process.

The Bush administration destroyed Iraq not just be using its own weapons of mass destruction but also by trying to implement the same right wing ideological vision privatization which Gov. W. is trying to impose on Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is not the only place so-called deficit crises will be used to try to force this right wing wingnut ideology on the people of the U.S. Krugman writes:

But don’t expect either Mr. Walker or the rest of his party to change those goals. Union-busting and privatization remain G.O.P. priorities, and the party will continue its efforts to smuggle those priorities through in the name of balanced budgets. “”

Krugman draws the parallel to W./Cheney’s incompetent ideological dance in Iraq. One is also reminded of the uncontrolled selling off of the state resources of the USSR after the fall of the Soviet Union, which resulted in criminal group of oligarchs. (LSW is obviously no expert on this part of Russian history and is happy to be corrected on this point)

It should also be noted that Gov. W’s bill contains other points calculated to titillate right wing whackadoodles. The bill contains for example language that will allow officials appointed by the Gov. to make sweeping cuts in health insurance to low income families without getting a legislative stamp of approval.

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