Monday, 21 February 2011

Is Wisconsin Our Future? Krugman on the Struggle to Remove Power from the People

Watching what is going on south of the border is sometimes amusing, frequently frightening, and always a heads up about what may be coming for us. The current struggle of public workers in Wisconsin to block a supposed "fiscal responsibility" budget proposed by the Republican governor is a case in point.

As Paul Krugman writes today:

" On paper, we’re a one-person-one-vote nation; in reality, we’re more than a bit of an oligarchy, in which a handful of wealthy people dominate.

"Given this reality, it’s important to have institutions that can act as counterweights to the power of big money. And unions are among the most important of these institutions.

"You don’t have to love unions, you don’t have to believe that their policy positions are always right, to recognize that they’re among the few influential players in our political system representing the interests of middle- and working-class Americans, as opposed to the wealthy. Indeed, if America has become more oligarchic and less democratic over the last 30 years — which it has — that’s to an important extent due to the decline of private-sector unions."

Note to self: keep track of what is happening in Quebec where anti-strikebreaker laws are up for review.

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