Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker traveled to Washington, D.C., earlier this week for America’s Small Business Summit, an annual event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.Ivey further reports on how Wisconsin has lost over 1,000 jobs in the past couple of weeks. He also cites Jack Norman who points out that Act 10 is indeed not working and plays a large part in the downfall of the state's economy.
There, Walker appeared on a special panel titled “How to Lead Enterprising States,” joining with the governors of Maine and Pennsylvania.
“I participated in a good discussion about what we’ve done, and what we can continue to do, to help small businesses grow and thrive,” Walker said in summing up the trip for his weekly radio address.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Chamber, in a report released at the event, didn’t share Walker’s enthusiasm.
Its annual scorecard on state economies ranked Wisconsin 44th for overall economic performance and 50th — as in dead last — for short-term job growth as measured between September 2010 and November 2012. It also has Wisconsin 39th in “business climate” — on par with the state’s ranking under Gov. Jim Doyle.
But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's report has much more significance than just the fact that Walker's agenda is an epic failure of Biblical proportions.
A year ago, I reported about another one of Walker's trips to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In that article, I informed the gentle reader of the Powell Memo, also know as the Powell Manifesto, which came to be the playbook of the Chamber:
In 1971, Lewis Powell, then a corporate lawyer and member of the boards of 11 corporations, wrote a memo to his friend Eugene Sydnor, Jr., the Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The memorandum was dated August 23, 1971, two months prior to Powell’s nomination by President Nixon to the U.S. Supreme Court.The Powell memo covered a lot of ground. It not only set several ambitious goals but explained how these goals could be met. Some of the goals, which we are unfortunately seeing happening in real life today, include:
The Powell Memo did not become available to the public until long after his confirmation to the Court. It was leaked to Jack Anderson, a liberal syndicated columnist, who stirred interest in the document when he cited it as reason to doubt Powell’s legal objectivity. Anderson cautioned that Powell “might use his position on the Supreme Court to put his ideas into practice…in behalf of business interests.”
Though Powell’s memo was not the sole influence, the Chamber and corporate activists took his advice to heart and began building a powerful array of institutions designed to shift public attitudes and beliefs over the course of years and decades. The memo influenced or inspired the creation of the Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Accuracy in Academe, and other powerful organizations. Their long-term focus began paying off handsomely in the 1980s, in coordination with the Reagan Administration’s “hands-off business” philosophy.
Most notable about these institutions was their focus on education, shifting values, and movement-building — a focus we share, though often with sharply contrasting goals.
- Controlling education (see voucher school push);
- Controlling the media (see Faux News, squawk radio and the Kochs looking to buy several newspapers)
- Busting the unions (see Act 10 and Right to Work laws)
- Using the legal system (see buying the State Supreme Court and attack groups like Rick Esenberg's WILL)
Per Sourcewatch, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is:
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a powerful business lobbying group in the United States that "has become a fully functional part of the partisan Republican machine" since CEO and president Thomas J. Donohue took office in 1997. Prior to Donohue's tenure, the Chamber "used to be a trade association that advocated in a bipartisan manner for narrowly tailored policies to benefit its members." The Chamber's 2010 budget is approximately $200 million, but as a trade organization, its donors can remain anonymous.To put it mildly, they are one of the big hitters in the corporate fascism world.
The Chamber claims on its website that its mission is to "advance human progress through an economic, political and social system based on individual freedom, incentive, initiative, opportunity, and responsibility." It describes itself as "the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region."
Despite these claims, the New York Times reported in October 2010 that half of the Chamber's $140 million in contributions in 2008 came from just 45 big-money donors, many of whom enlisted the Chamber's help to fight political and public opinion battles on their behalf (such as opposing financial or healthcare reforms, or other regulations). The Chamber is "dominated by oil companies, pharmaceutical giants, automakers and other polluting industries," according to James Carter, executive director of the Green Chamber of Commerce.
For Walker to get called out by them as badly as he did would be like an inept front line worker of a major company getting called on the carpet by the CEO.
It is like having the Archbishop address the wayward behaviors of an extremely wayward parishioner.
It is like a misbehaving child being called to the superintendent's office.
You get the idea.
Walker has done screwed up royally.
Oh, the Chamber or Commerce isn't really upset about the job losses. They don't really care if us little people have jobs or not.
And they're not really upset about Walker's job performance. He's been following their agenda almost to the letter.
In other words, Walker is a flop of a salesman and has set their cause backwards as much as anyone.
And Walker knows it too.
Why else do you think he blew off the NRA convention and everything else he was supposed to do this past weekend in order to work the crowd at the WISGOP convention, trying to sell things that no one is buying. Things like the voucher program or that he is "making it easier to get a job."
Walker is in a tight place.
If he keeps up with his austerity measures, he knows that his odds of being reelected, much less being elected president, will drastically decrease.
On the other hand, if he doesn't keep up with the austerity measures, and sell them better than he has been, he will lose the funding and support from the Teapublican machines like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce he needed to win the governorship and to survive the recall. And without that support, he will end up being a more laughable presidential candidate than Tommy Thompson or Michele Bachmann.