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Divide And Conquer: The Union Protests In Wisconsin And Ohio Are Increasing The Hate Between The Left And The Right

What is the perfect way to get the eyes of the American people off of the real economic problems that this country is facing?  Get them fighting with each other of course.  And what is one issue that is sure to get the left and the right screaming at each other like cats and dogs?  Unions.  The battle over collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin has been making headlines around the world for weeks and there are no signs that it is going to end any time soon.  In fact, Mordecai Lee, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, says that it is “a battle to the death“.  The Democrats that have gone AWOL appear to be absolutely determined to stay away.  The protesters seem equally determined to keep on fighting.  Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker does not look like he plans to back down either.  Meanwhile, both sides are calling each other the most horrible names.  “Hitler”, “Stalin”, “Nazi” and “fascist” are just a few of the terms that are being thrown around by both sides.  What has been going on in Wisconsin has captured the imagination of the entire nation and it is creating even more hate between the left and the right in this country.  Unfortunately, as the economic pie in this nation continues to shrink, economic battles such as the one in Wisconsin are going to become quite common.

In fact, the war over public unions seems to be spreading.  The Ohio Senate has just passed a law that bans public employees from ever going on strike and that forbids them from negotiating on issues such as health care, sick time and pension benefits with the state government.

Needless to say, public employees and union workers in Ohio are not amused.

Several other states are now looking at legislation that would restrict the collective bargaining rights of public employees.  Battle lines are being drawn all over the nation.

If you only read conservative websites about all of this, you would be tempted to believe that all union activists are Satanic communists that hate everything that is true and good about America.

If you only read liberal websites about these protests, you would be tempted to believe that all conservatives are heartless Nazi-loving bastards that want to give all the money in America to the rich.

But this is what the establishment loves to do – they love to “divide and conquer” and have us fighting with each other like cats and dogs.

In a recent column, Pat Buchanan described some of the vitriol that has been directed towards Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker recently….

Picketers have carried placards with the face of Gov. Scott Walker in the cross hairs of a gun sight. He has been compared to Hitler, Mussolini, Mubarak. Democrats have fled the state to deny the elected Wisconsin Senate a quorum to vote.

If you even bring up the name “Scott Walker” with some people they will look at you as if you just mentioned the devil.

Not that our public officials are doing much to help tone down the debate.  U.S. Representative Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) certainly took the rhetoric up a notch when he recently told a group of union workers in Boston the following….

“Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary.”

Sadly, this is what politics is turning into in America.  You identify the “enemy” and then you hate them with everything that you have inside of you.

Meanwhile, the real sources of our economic problems are never addressed.

Whether the unions win this current battle or the conservatives win this current battle it isn’t really going to do much at all to solve the underlying problems that our economy is facing.

For example, most of the people up in Wisconsin probably cannot adequately describe what the Federal Reserve actually is or how it is systematically destroying our national wealth.

The Federal Reserve was designed to get the U.S. government enslaved to a perpetually expanding national debt.  This national debt is a massive drain on the wealth of this country and it is literally strangling our economy to death.

In addition, the Federal Reserve is continually destroying the value of our national currency.  The U.S. dollar has lost well over 95 percent of its value since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913 and the pace of dollar devaluation is rapidly accelerating.

But do high profile Democrats or high profile Republicans ever talk about doing something about the Federal Reserve?

Of course not.

Another reason why America’s “economic pie” is shrinking is because of the deindustrialization of this nation that is being caused by globalism.

Back in 1980, manufacturing represented 21 percent of U.S. GDP.  By 2008, that number had dropped to 13 percent.

Back in 1980, 31 percent of all of the manufacturing in the world was done in the United States.  By 2008, that number had dropped to 24 percent.

Between December 2000 and December 2010, the U.S. ran a total trade deficit of 6.1 trillion dollars.  In order to fund that shortfall we had to borrow massive amounts of money from the rest of the world.

The truth is that the U.S. is running a trade deficit in almost every major industry that you can think of.

For example, do you remember when the United States was the dominant manufacturer of automobiles and trucks on the globe?  Well, in 2010 the U.S. ran a trade deficit in automobiles, trucks and parts of $110 billion.

Ouch.

Well, what about high technology?  Aren’t we supposed to be the innovators of the globe?

Well, in 2002, the United States had a trade deficit in “advanced technology products” of $16 billion with the rest of the world.  In 2010, that number skyrocketed to $82 billion.

The truth is that both Democrats and Republicans have been shipping our factories and our jobs overseas for decades.

Neither major party has been standing up for the American worker.

Instead, both the Democrats and the Republicans have been doing the dirty work of the globalists.

But instead of demanding change, American workers keep voting for the exact same politicians over and over and over.

As the federal budget deficit continues to grow and as the U.S. trade deficit continues to grow, America’s “economic pie” is going to continue to get smaller.

For even more reasons why America’s “economic pie” is shrinking, please see this article.

Sadly, even though the overall economic pie is shrinking, Wall Street and the gigantic corporations that dominate our economy have managed to carve out even bigger pieces of the pie for themselves.

That leaves the rest of us with fewer scraps to fight over than ever.

According to CNN, in 2009 the wealthiest 10% of all Americans controlled half of all the wealth in America.

Not only that, the average CEO now makes approximately 185 times more money than the average American worker.

Remember, the wealthy are thriving even as the overall economic pie is getting smaller.

So what we have today is a very small group that is doing very well while most of America is suffering.  As 2007 began, only about 26 million Americans were on food stamps, but today over 43 million Americans are on food stamps.

Frustration and anger are growing from coast to coast as millions upon millions of Americans find themselves unable to pay their mortgages and feed their families.

But instead of the American people coming together and standing up to Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, NAFTA, the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank, we are endlessly fighting with ourselves.

The establishment loves that most Americans are caught in the false left/right paradigm.

The establishment loves that hatred between liberal and conservatives is rising.

The establishment loves that we are fighting with each other over the scraps instead of asking why the pie is shrinking and why most of the pie is being taken by the elite.

The left and the right are fighting tooth and nail to win minor battles against each other even as our national economy slowly swirls down towards the bottom of the toilet bowl.

Hopefully the American people will wake up.  Our economic system is being looted and gutted at an astounding pace and most of our politicians appear to be totally indifferent to what is going on.

But instead of getting educated about real issues, most Americans that are interested in politics seem obsessed with finding someone to hate.  The mainstream media tells us that if we are Republicans that we are supposed to hate the Democrats and that if we are Democrats that we are supposed to hate the Republicans.

Meanwhile, the real criminals are having a field day and they are getting away with just about whatever they want to do.

  • Guido

    The unions have done nothing to make their case seem compelling. Whenever they’re challenged, they immediately get nasty. They threaten violence, commit violence, use propaganda and generate rent-a-mob crowds to swell their numbers. Since when does a state government dispute require mobs of other union thugs to bus in from other states?

    How can these thugs have jobs they don’t need to show up to? I have to work for a living. I earn my pay, invest in my benefits, and earn my pay raises by being responsible and demonstarting competence at my job. Why shouldn’t they?

    The governor should fire every one of these freeloaders. If they can afford to play hookie and not to work for a few weeks, they’re doing better than I am. It’s even worse when you realize tax payers are paying these thugs to protest.

    The only good part of this is the public at large is seeing just what kind of crooked operation unions are. The unions have effectively shot their reputation this time.

  • Doug Diggler

    Gosh, I guess we should all just submit now to our corporate overlords and give up on things organized labor has given us, like the 40 hour workweek and weekends, huh?
    Yeah, it would be more civilized if we went back to a 6.5 day workweek and 12 hour shifts. Why don’t I just brand myself “Property of Charlie Koch.” I guess you guys are happy that all progress that happened in the last century is being rolled back. Well not me.
    Also, there is no discussion about the massive tax breaks given to the wealthy and the fact that corporations (which now have the same rights as citizens) pay very little in taxes anymore. I guess it’s just fine that Americans who are out of work will have to starve to death on the streets.
    This is BS in its most unadulterated form.

  • Tao Jones

    ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ are an illusion.

    We do not have two parties in this country; we have one. They are the Rulers. They pretend to be at odds with one another, but whichever ‘party’ is in power the same agenda marches forward: less freedom, more laws, less representation, more dictating.

    It’s a puppet show.

  • PatriotRider

    …and that’s the truth.

  • Mr Carpenter

    These demoncrat politicians should be recalled by their constituents, and new people elected in their place.

    If they are out of the state, they cannot run for their old offices, can they? If they are in the state, then the State Police are under orders to take them back to their jobs (where they are being fined on a daily basis for not showing up, at this time).

    Apparently, they can be held in contempt of the Senate, chained and taken back to the senate once they set foot in the state of Wisconsin, and it appears that the Governor will order this action – which means they’ll obviously stay away.

    Recall (impeach) all of them. Then send lay-off notices to every single teacher in Wisconsin, and hire back only the ones who didn’t “call in sick”.

    Trust me, there are plenty of other certified teachers in this country out of work who would be willing to take what they’re obviously willing to toss away.

  • A Dodgy Bloke

    I’m getting so sick and freaking tired of hearing how Unions gave us the 8-hour workweek, paid vacations and how and wonderful they are. In case no one is paying attention this is not 1890. The on going and coming battle with Public Employee Unions is one of the reasons I am convinced the whole thing is doomed. No one can see beyond their own selfish interests, if we cannot get control of the debt of the feds and the states it’s over period. Checks stop coming direct deposit ends, you louse your government job and no retirement, no unemployment. I don’t understand why this concept is so hard for people to get, and the Union leadership to understand there is no money. You saw this in Greece, and Ireland, you will se it in Spain, Japan, Italy and many other places and here.

    We are living in a house built by our parents and grandparents and we think we built it.

  • http://docericfl@aol.com Hannibal Lecter

    The DEM & REP parties masquerading as patriotic are nothing more than corrupt,destructive forces within our own country. They are the worse kind of virus known to man, the negativity virus.

    The anger and rage that is present in America today(thanks to the 2 party system negativity virus)has me locked and loaded for the big show down. Only those that know the true destructive force of the 2 party system can truly understand what is unfolding in America today and are at the ready. The majority of our fellow Americans unfortunately, don’t get it because they are brainwashed, under the influence of some illicit or prescribed substance, out of shape, emotionally unstable, obsessed with reality tv and sports or just complacent to truly grasp what is happening today in the U.S.

    We are Americans, without the hyphenation, first and foremost. Not some spin doctoring, marketing ploy of “I am a Republican or I am a Democrat” that has been perpetrated on the American populace creating division and and destruction within our own borders. As a former Reserve O-4 in US Army Medical Corps, I have come to realize the international terrorist is the least of Americas’ worries.

    Nonetheless, let the party begin so we can dismantle the lie that has been perpetrated against us AMERICANS.

  • http://www.1913intel.com Matt

    You seem surprised that the left and right are fighting. Why can’t we just get along? If you understood the thinking behind the left and the right, then you wouldn’t wonder why we can’t get along. We shouldn’t get along at all. Here is why:

    How to think like a liberal:

    [Applies to individuals, groups and countries.]

    1. All outcome should be no better or worse than any other.
    2. If your outcome is better than average, then you must have cheated.
    3. If your outcome is worse than average, then you must have been victimized.
    4. The amount a victim lashes out is directly proportional to the amount of victimization.
    5. The victimizer is the group with the better than average outcome – the cheaters.

    How to think like a conservative:

    1. Better behavior leads to a better outcome.
    2. Worse behavior leads to a worse outcome.

    Notice how the thinking of the left and right are exactly opposite.

    The issue is not that the left and right are fighting. The issue is why they don’t fight all the time?

    The goal of the left is to drag down the better outcome group, and lift up the worse outcome group. Everybody should meet in the middle where no outcome is better or worse than any other.

  • Pogue

    Doug-I won’t deny that unions once served a purpose, however they long ago outlived their usefulness. Their legacy you speak of is very much overshadowed by corruption, violence, coercion, laziness, and their generally piss-poor performance. Lazy, lackluster union workmanship helped make import cars #1 decades ago. Lazy, corrupt union members trying to get revenge on the NYC government refused to plow the streets during the blizzard a couple months ago. Union thugs in WVA used to snipe at people driving down the highway during their periodic strikes. And let’s not forget their violence at SEIU demonstrations when outsiders disagreed with them just 24 months ago.

    Unions are evil. How else can you explain an organization that uses coercion and threats to get what it wants? And why shouldn’t other people have to earn their pay, invest in their own retirement and healthcare, and gain raises by working hard and being competent like I have to? Like the 93% of the rest of us who actually work for a living have to? And why shouldn’t the governments of the states currently dealing with protests fire the strikers? Who can seriously justify having to take tax payers’ dollars to pay people to not work?

    And isn’t it interesting the these state union workers are paid more money than privately employed individuals doing the same work? The average teacher in WI makes roughly 75K+ in pay and benefits, including a pension and healthcare they previously haven’t been required to invest a dollar in. That’s ridiculous! That’s more than I make in the private sector. I have to invest in my retirement and pay for my health insurance every pay period. I even have an HSA to help cover medical costs. 75K+ is nearly twice what the national average is and free health and retirement is pretty darn cushy. Is it really unfair to ask them to invest 5 and 12 percent, respectively? That’s STILL better than the national average. And if you look at the #s, it saves WI a great deal of money without firing a single employee. You can look up their budget online and see this for yourself. Anyone who thinks this plan is unfair is INSANE. We should all beg for benefit plans half as good!

    I don’t know if you’re a union worker or just a lefty with an inadequate knowledge of the facts, but I’ve seen the unions at work and I’m not impressed. I witnessed a UNITE (teamsters) protest back in the late 90s where they convinced students from the local college to join in their protest against K-Mart, claiming K-Mart was racist. K-Mart is hardly racist. Apparently, they wanted a raise, but K-Mart pays a sliding scale, based on the local economy. Nothing wrong with that. What works in Little Rock wouldn’t work in LA. UNITE had ignorant college kids protesting for them, who were then arrested and charged $500 in court fines for their trouble. It was pretty amusing to me, since I took the trouble to read about the issue. (K-Mart didn’t seem quite so racist when you saw the black manager driving by in his Lexus.) After all, if it’s involved with the teamsters, it’s probably bad news. You don’t have to take my word for it, just ask Jimmy Hoffa, if you can find him…

    Then again, ever talk to an old timer about cars? They might tell you how Americans gave up on US cars after seeing how shoddy the union labor was. The Japanese were working hard while US union labor was asleep on the assembly line. Perhaps you’ve never heard about how union workers would seal a coke bottle up in the door panel so some sucker would buy a car with an annoying rattle they could never solve. Again, look at the NY union workers who refused to plow in a pre-planned work stoppage that ended up killing people when ambulances couldn’t reach them?

    Unions should all be crushed and folks who want to work should get their jobs the old-fashioned way-merit, ability, competence, and hard work. What kind of injustice is it to require others to meet the same standards I do to get a job? What progress are you rolling back when you ask freeloading state employees to please contribute a small amount of their paycheck to their own benefits? These pro-union arguments are insane.

  • Todd

    It’s all a charade. I think George Carlin said it best in his stand up take on the ‘American Dream’…

    George Carlin quote:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acLW1vFO-2Q

    “Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice . . . you don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying . . . lobbying, to get what they want . . . Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I’ll tell you what they don’t want . . . they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that . . . that doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fuckin’ years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers . . . Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your fuckin’ retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it . . . they’ll get it all from you sooner or later cause they own this fuckin’ place. It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in The big club. By the way, it’s the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head with their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table has tilted folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-working people . . . white collar, blue collar it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard-working people continue, these are people of modest means . . . continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t give a fuck about you . . . they don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t care about you at all . . . at all . . . at all, and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. That’s what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that’s being jammed up their assholes everyday, because the owners of this country know the truth. It’s called the American Dream cause you have to be asleep to believe it . . .” ~ GEORGE CARLIN

  • Colin

    Our country is fracturing along many fault lines. The line that separates public and private sector workers into two segments is an example. Eventually, the Owners will permit one segment to destroy the other segment and what will remain will be too weak to fight the owners.

    As an example, when I play video games, in some situations, I come across two adversaries battling each other until there is a clear ‘winner’. This is when I strike for I know the winner has suffered causalities and is vulnerable. Very often, I win the battle. I foresee the owners playing the same strategy and,like me, winning the battle.

    I don’t see unions surviving this century, and I think we or our descendants will witness the erosion of our worker privileges. I don’t say rights for what we have can be taken back from us. From George Carlin,

    “Now if you think you do have rights, one last assignment for you. Next time you’re at the computer, get on the Internet, go to Wikipedia. When you get to Wikipedia, in the search field for Wikipedia, I want you to type in “Japanese Americans 1942″ and you’ll find out all about your precious fucking rights, Okay? All right. You know about it. In 1942, there were 110,000 Japanese American citizens in good standing, law-abiding people who were thrown into internment camps simply because their parents were born in the wrong country. That’s all they did wrong. They had no right to a lawyer, no right to a fair trial, no right to a jury of their peers no right to due process of any kind. The only right they had: “Right this way” into the internment camps! Just when these American citizens needed their rights the most, their government took them away! And rights aren’t rights if someone can take them away. They’re privileges. That’s all we’ve ever had in this country, is a bill of temporary privileges. And if you read the news even badly, you know that every year the list gets shorter and shorter. You see all, sooner or later. Sooner or later, the people in this country are gonna realize the government does not give a fuck about them! The government doesn’t care about you, or your children, or your rights, or your welfare or your safety. It simply does not give a fuck about you! It’s interested in its own power. That’s the only thing. Keeping it and expanding it wherever possible.” (George Carlin, It’s Bad for You, 2008)

  • Laura

    I think calling people names and having signs with crosshairs over faces are wrong no matter who is saying the words or holding the signs. As far as unions, I was born in the North of the US and grew up with a positve outlook on unions, We moved to the South when I was 8 and I learned the negatives. Agreeing for the moment that the right/left fight is keeping us from not looking at the real issues, why isn the abstract are conservatives not worried also about the workers losing the right to collective bargaining? Yes, unions have done lots of good for this country. Yes unions have sometimes been very corrupt and that was wrong. But why is anyone for giving up more of our rights as citizens because sometimes unions were evil? Don’t temporaily give up your rights over a single issue. Think of the long term, what if 20 years from now you have given up this and your right to 20 other things and you find yourself in a gutter somewhere?

  • http://www.pathtoasia.com rhea

    Like the teachers in the Midwest, what are all these people who are completely dependent on the government going to do when Medicare, Medicare, SS, etc go bankrupt?
    I’d ask that to any lefty talking about the “necessity” of these programs. If you create a government-controlled program that crowds out charity….and then the government program ends for whatever reason, those people will be screwed. I can’t think anything the free market does that is so cruel.

    We help Americans find jobs and prosperity in Asia. For details, visit http://www.pathtoasia.com/jobs/

  • Ben Steinke

    People like Thom Hartmann are instrumental in making labor protests an issue of the angelic, perfect, flawless, wonderful Democrats versus the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad Republicans. Hartmann has absolutely nothing bad to say about ANY Democrats and absolutely nothing good to say about ANY Republicans or Constitutional moderates/libertarians. It’s a joke watching his show anymore, as he’s basically just the liberal equivalent of Bill O’Reilly in the way he incessantly interrupts and poo-poos guests who are even a smidgen to the right of left. People like Hartmann feed the false left-right paradigm by saying that the labor fight is only about fighting a mean ol’ Republican governer by brave and inspired Democrats and liberals. Establishment tools like Hartmann and David Pakman are feeding the fires of division by trying to convince people that the Democrats are “the party of the people” when they are often hand-in-hand with their Republican counterparts in almost everything. But try convincing Democrats and liberals that Obama and Pelosi are any different from Bush and Rice, and you’ll get booed out of the room. Spot on with the article!