The recent events in Wisconsin brought to mind the warnings of John Perkins in his recent book, "Hoodwinked". The second of his stories of a career as an "Economic Hitman" in the employ of Chas. Main. Mr. Perkins was employed as an economist to steer third world countries along the path of "free market capitalism". A boon to the capitalists at the expense of much of the working poor of those countries.
Search Amazon.com Books for hoodwinked
Naomi Klein, in her book, "The Shock Doctrine" also details this process of bringing Milton Freidman's free market thinking to third world countries. She and Perkins warn of these policies coming "to a third world country near you".
It looks like we, the United States of America, are now the third world country.
I highly recommend both of these authors books for a big picture look at free market capitalism and fascism in the modern world.
Below are some clippings of news items regarding the recent events in Wisconsin. The recent events in Wisconsin are eerily similar to the corporate meddling in democratic affairs worldwide in recent decades.
Facts about union representation and living standards:
"Similarly, studies show union successes enhance the lives of all workers in a state. In anti-union states, the average worker earns $5,333 less a year, the proportion of people without health insurance is 21 percent higher and the rate of workplace death is 51 percent higher. In addition, there's evidence that union workers improve quality. Currently, after receiving an education from union teachers, Wisconsin youngsters collectively score second highest in the nation on the ACT/SAT college admission tests. By contrast, the five states barring teacher unions rank at the bottom of the pack: South Carolina dead last at 50th; North Carolina, second last at 49th; Georgia third from last at 47th; Texas fourth from last at 47th, and Virginia ever so slightly better at 44th."
From a newspaper article on Gov. Walker:
Walker did unveil one initiative towards growing those 250,000 promised jobs: the reconstruction of the Zoo Interchange. He said the Department of Transportation has developed a plan that will start reconstruction of the roadway earlier than scheduled and cost $600 million less than originally projected."
Gov. Walker will take federal aid however??
And then sell revenue raising state assets to private concerns? Like the Chicago parking meters?
"One part of the budget repair bill that's raising eyebrows is a section that relates to the sale of Wisconsin power plants. The small section allows for no bid contracts, and no approval from the Public Service Commission. The paragraph can be found on page 24 of the 144 budget repair bill.
Many believe this paragraph long provision is a nod to the Koch brothers who are in the energy business. Their political action committee was the third highest contributor to Walker's campaign for the Governor.
Koch companies issued a statement saying, "We have no interest in purchasing any of the state-owned power plant in Wisconsin, and any allegations to the contrary are completely false.""
And of course this is how these public minded politicians got elected:
Charles and David Koch are conservative titans of industry who have infamously used their vast wealth to undermine President Obama and fight legislation they detest, such as the cap-and-trade climate bill, the health care reform act, and the economic stimulus package. For years, the billionaires have made extensive political donations to Republican candidates across the country and have provided millions of dollars to astroturf right-wing organizations. Koch Industries' political action committee has doled out more than $2.6 million to candidates. And one prominent beneficiary of the Koch brothers' largess is Scott Walker.