Thursday, February 17, 2011

"When Does the Greed Stop?"

It's not a matter of Democrats vs. Republicans. It's not a matter of conservatives vs. liberals. Those distinctions are becoming less meaningful all the time. What's really happening is a great battle between corporate interests and the interests of ordinary people. There's nothing conservative about today's Republicans. And there's absolutely nothing radical about today's Democrats. What is radical is the current all-out attack on the middle class and the blatant contempt for working families.

The mainstream media are owned by those corporate interests. We're not going to get a straight story from them any more than we are getting a straight story from Scott Walker about Wisconsin's supposed budget crisis. If the rich were to actually pay taxes instead of getting an abundance of tax breaks and loopholes, there would be no budget problem. But Walker's actions have nothing to do with economics or the state budget.

The purpose of this manufactured "crisis" is to create an opportunity to strip workers' of their collective bargaining rights. Those workers are teachers, librarians, and nurses--ordinary people who deserve not only reasonable compensation for the important work they do, but also the right to bargain collectively with their employer.

Do the math. The middle class is shrinking at an alarming rate. The extremely rich are getting much, much richer. The poor are getting poorer. In Wisconsin, the last remaining vestiges of workers' rights are under an all-out onslaught.

When choosing sides, it's crucial to accurately assess what sides are really in opposition. The very powerful are diverting attention away from themselves and creating false oppositions and false divisions in order to distract the unwary and take advantage of people's fears and loyalties.

When you find yourself in a battle, you can't fight effectively unless you know exactly who it is who has identified you as their enemy.

"What is the price? we ask the other side. What is the price that you want from these working men and women? What cost? How much more do we have to give to the private sector and to business? How many billion dollars more are you requiring? When does the greed stop?"

These questions were posed by the Lion of the Senate, Edward Kennedy, some years ago on the Senate floor. Here are the answers I'm hearing:

"What price?" There is no limit.

"When does the greed stop?" When ordinary women and men stand up and say, with one voice, "It stops now."


  1. Thumbs up, Mary. The people of Wisconsin ROCK. Love you all, and good luck! My heart is with you all! I'm sure you didn't expect to be the first state to suffer from the abuse of the Republicans, but you are now, and your hearts will inspire other states. We just have to get the media out on it.

  2. Oh, Joy! Thank you so very, very much for your support. I'm not expecting good coverage from the mainstream media, but thank God for Ed Schultz. Ed rocks big time!

    I did expect great trouble to come from Walker and the state legislature. But I never expected to see soo many people turn out in opposition to their draconian measures. I'm so proud of the people of Wisconsin, and I'm thrilled that I get to live here.

  3. Very astute, logical, and fair-minded observations, Mary. I feel like while the Middle East is going up in flames, the U.S. is going down in flames . . . but I never dreamed a state proud of Robert LaFollette and Bill Proxmire would become such a cesspool of cronyism, corporate tyranny and just plain idiocy.

  4. Thank you, Susan! Fortunately, there are clearly still people in Wisconsin who honor the legacy of LaFollette and Proxmire. I have been so proud of the good people of Wisconsin this week!