Bad Medicine

The snake oil salesmen have had a revival.

The Republicans (in particular Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin) have concocted a new potion that he sells now on a daily basis. It’s called fiscal responsibility and they claim it will cure what ails us.

And you will see in the coming months other salesmen popping up in other states around the country, all with the same message: that the economy is sick and the only cure is the drastic measure of forcing the working men and women to take their “medicine” and accept less wages, less benefits, and most of all less power at the negotiating table.

Yet in trying to repair a broken leg their solution is amputation and their diagnosis must stand no matter the cost to the “body,” American unions who have for over 100 years fought for livable wages, safety in the work place, and retirement security.

Remember these are working people, nurses, teachers, firefighters, and police who take on some of the most difficult jobs in society, caring for the ill, educating our children, and protecting all of us. They are providing a service that is vital to our society and is open to anyone who wishes to be employed by the government.

For many people these are duties that they prefer others do for they simply do not have the compassion and fortitude to perform them on a daily basis.

These are also men and women who wake up every day working for all of us so we can do our jobs without worrying how our cities and states will continue to function.

We are more productive and more progressive as a nation when our infrastructure is sound and the people who operate it our shown genuine appreciation.

We lose when dogmatic politicians “force feed” a political agenda that “chokes” the very workforce we depend on in good times and bad.

The Republicans will continue like all snake oil salesman to overstate their message of financial Armageddon; to scare the public into believing that the only solution to federal and state budget crises is forcing the public worker to accept more authoritarian control and less organizing freedom.

But like many salesmen they have no answers when confronted by facts, and once we sip from that jar the taste of hypocrisy, they will have all of us singing there is “Whiskey in the Jar.”


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