Friday, February 18, 2011

war in wisconsin: why i care

I know I should be focusing all my time and energy packing right now since I'm able to flee the state and not seek political asylum, but I can't help but be caught up in following one of the most amazing civil rights demonstrations I've witnessed in my life time.

I posted yesterday about why I'm upset about Walker's actions (although I was corrected that the National Guard thing was sensationalized). 

I thought I'd just post real briefly why I am standing with the teachers and the unions:
  • My mother has been a hard-working public school employee for the bulk of my lifetime.
  • Several of my friends have left their previous careers to go back to school for education degrees, almost with the same devotion that people used to do this to join the clergy -- it truly is a VOCATION. No offense to my corporate friends out there (heck, I'm one of them again, very soon),  but I've never heard anyone utter words "I have this strong calling to go be a corporate actuary/marketing/HR person to fulfill my dreams AND make the world a better place." I admire and support those who give their lives to others and are SO UNDERAPPRECIATED FOR IT.
  • The democratic process is NOT a sneaky bill introduced to pass in four days and things like teacher walkouts are a valuable lesson. A couple of days off school are not going to damage our children for life. And if I had children I'd personally LIKE them to learn about civil disobedience and peaceful protests. In fact, as a student at a Jesuit High School (yes, I split my education between public and private schools), I was required to take a whole semester on Peace & Justice.
  • For those using terms like "Union Overlords," do you really not take advantage of any rights that unions have fought for that now apply to everyone? 8 hour workdays, weekends, child labor laws, health and safety laws. Really, I'd, REALLY like to know. 
I understand the frustration of folks that are in private jobs that don't have "Cadillac" benefits, and to close I offer two discussion points:
  • If we all stood behind universal healthcare, wouldn't some of the issues at stake here, simply be NON-ISSUES
  • I do agree that Unions do need to make SOME concessions. If you are strongly pro-Union or a Union member, I'd like to hear your thoughts on that. What ARE you willing to give up?

1 comment:

  1. Concessions may well be in order, but I think it would be nice if the government went first to wealthier citizens and asked them to kick in a little more before attempting to fix all our financial issues on the backs of middle class working people. Last time I checked, taxes for the rich have been lowered quite a bit over my lifetime while their incomes have soared; incomes for the rest of us haven't changed since I was born.


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