Saturday, February 26, 2011

money and power….

As you probably know, I’ve been commenting on the goings on in Madison over the budget debate, the union issues, the tactics, all of it.

One of the things that is curious to me is how money is being described as a bad thing, that money is the root, that money is being extracted from one side to the other, that a person protecting money is a bad thing, that money being given to a person with less is a good thing. 

To me, money represents work, not things.  I don’t think about what I can buy, but how hard I worked to get it.  Am I possessive?  Maybe.  But, I work hard, really hard to earn what I earn.  Forty hours is not in my world.   

And, I use my money to buy things, sometimes for myself, often for others.  I pay bills.  I try not to cheat others.  I try to pave my way through life without being a liability to others.  I try to be a positive in the ledger of life.

So, I resent it a little when somebody on a bullhorn says I’m not paying enough, when somebody compares my thoughts as those of being with Hitler.    I resent the person whose whole focus in life is to take away those hours I worked for in wanting something positive in my life, while not making the same commitment himself in his.  I resent it when I’m told the earnings from my work should go someplace else, for someone else to determine how it should be used.

Now, I’m not saying this about public employees and teachers.  On the contrary, I honor their work.  They earn their money.

But, I don’t honor the people who represent them.  They set up structures that enrich them.  They use the public employees to create a web that ensures their power going forward.   They coerce and demand and ridicule when they don’t get their way.  And, they don’t come up for election every two or four years.  They can outlast any politician or public servant.  Now, that is power.

And, every now and then, somebody comes up to challenge them.  And, they don’t like it.  They tell half truths and print signs and fly people in and protect their status, like Khaddafy in Libya, they’re fighting for their livelihood and salvation.  This isn’t about teachers and public employees, but union funding that comes from the public pantry.

Unions, at the beginning, served their constituents well.  They were noble, well meaning vehicles to help workers gain rights and privileges that made a good life possible. 

When they turned into political power brokers, with the power of the check instead of the power of the idea, they ceased to be relevant for the worker.  They would sell their soul to the highest bidder.

Now, I’m not about to forgive the public officials in this matter.  They all stink.  The Republicans finding their chance at turning the tables have acted like the rank amateurs they are.  They’ve botched this thing with missteps too many to count.

And, the Senate Democrats, fleeing to Illinois have subverted our political process by running away, going MIA.  It doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree with their position, they have a duty to show up.  Maybe they’ll show up with some bogus doctor’s slip saying they were suffering from stress. 

It’s about time we had somebody who served us, the public, without some narrow view of how they’re going to split up the spoils of victory.  As it stands, we are the losers.

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