The predictable and predicted negative impact to the state happened with the passage of Act 10. Tens of thousands of people lost their jobs. Many more saw a reduction in their take home pay. Businesses struggled to stay open and many didn't survive. The state's economy sank so low that Wisconsin was last in the Midwest and in the bottom tier nationwide in most economic indicators.
Last year, when Walker and his Republican cohorts gained an even stronger stranglehold on the state government, many of the Teahadist legislators wanted to quickly finish off the unions and the economy with full implementation of their plantation economics.
Walker, already kicking off his presidential campaign, said that he did not want the legislature to pursue this, calling it "a distraction."
Sadly, the only distraction was Walker calling their economic agenda a distraction.
In the past few days, Walker and his allies have introduced the very same plantation economics agenda. However, instead of introducing it one fell swoop, they are planning on implementing it in piecemeal fashion. Walker's hope is that this new version of divide and conquer will leave different groups of people focused on the attacks to their own areas of interest and not seeing the big picture.
Walker himself has announced the higher education version of Act 10, as he seeks to cripple the University of Wisconsin system.
A few days ago, State Representative Rob Hutton introduced the part of their plantation economics designed to go after the building trades unions:
Today, State Representative Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield) unveiled Repeal Prevailing Wage legislation to eliminate the state’s prevailing wage law, allowing for broader participation in the governmental bidding process at wage levels that more accurately reflect market conditions. Prevailing wage is an artificial rate set by government that contractors are required to pay their workers, often times at inflated wage rates. These elevated costs are then passed along in the form of higher taxes to Wisconsin citizens.
“With tight municipal budgets, the elimination of prevailing wage will provide local governments with a critical tool to reduce costs associated with capital budgets,” stated Rep. Hutton.
“It is my hope that the Legislature takes a serious look at this issue, especially at a time when we are trying to make the best use of taxpayer dollars. Any discussion about additional investments in Wisconsin’s infrastructure must include prevailing wage reform. As good stewards of our state budget, we owe this to Wisconsin taxpayers,” said Rep. Hutton.
Not done there, two more of the most rabid and most racist of the Teahadists, State Senator Alberta Darling and State Representative Dale Kooyenga, have introduced the most offensive and most racist piece of plantation economic legislation that this state has ever seen. The bill would include the following:
The economic development proposals would:This is pure plantation economics where they are giving every advantage to corporations and the wealthy while exploiting the workers.
■ Eliminate the corporate income tax for companies locating in needy urban zones. The tax cut would apply only if the business is from an industry not already represented in Wisconsin by existing companies, such as auto manufacturing.
■ Establish zones in which labor unions and private employers would not be able to reach agreements that require workers to pay union dues. Some Republicans are already pushing to make this so-called "right-to-work" approach the law statewide.
Opponents of the proposal question whether the state would have the authority under federal law to implement right-to-work in some parts of Wisconsin but not others.
■Eliminate in those zones the so-called "minimum markup" law, which prevents retailers from selling their products at a loss. The markup requirement would still apply to fuel sales.
■ Allow the formation of for-profit limited liability companies that could operate more like nonprofits. The companies would not be tax-exempt, but they would not be obliged to pursue only profits for their shareholders, leaving them more legal flexibility to work on behalf of their communities.
Other education proposals from Darling and Kooyenga include:
■ Streamlining the process for allowing high-performing charter schools to open additional schools.
Allowing high-performing charter schools run by MPS or non-MPS entities to automatically add new schools without official approval, if their students' average reading and math test score results beat the district average for two years in a row.
■ Convert the approximately $40 million MPS receives each year for school integration efforts within the system to a block grant with no state mandates.
Keep in mind that states with a plantation economy have average wages less than $5000 less than union states, they have higher levels of poverty, poorer education systems and higher numbers of work-related deaths and injuries. This is what Walker and the other Teapublicans want to do to all of us.
Make no mistakes about it, the so-called "Right to Work" agenda is coming to Wisconsin even as you read this. Are you ready to fight it?