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The ‘right-to-work’ fight in Wisconsin: Bentleys vs. Harleys

This past weekend, as his allies in the Wisconsin Senate passed legislation to reduce wages for average workers in his home state, Gov. Scott Walker traveled to Palm Beach, FL, to audition for a bunch of billionaires who want to buy the next presidential election.

The Feb. 28 Washington Post described the event perfectly:

“Roughly 200 wealthy Club for Growth members gathered this weekend at the Breakers, an iconic luxury resort where Bentleys fill the parking lots, to mingle with the presidential contenders and hear them field questions from the stage.”

Walker has made lowering wages the centerpiece of his presidential campaign. So dedicated is he to the cause that he told the plutocrats in Palm Beach that firing 11,000 air traffic controllers was Ronald Reagan’s greatest foreign policy decision. Absurd logic aside, it seems that Walker thinks nothing warms the hearts of billionaires more than crushing workers who are seeking a raise.

As Walker was speaking, thousands of Wisconsin citizens gathered in Madison, in the freezing cold, to protest the state GOP’s effort to jam a so-called “right to work” law through the state legislature, with virtually no hearings and no debate. Among the protestors were letter carriers, as well as steelworkers and machinists who work at Harley-Davidson—perhaps the best known Wisconsin-based company in America.

Not content to obliterate public-employee unions to slash the pay and benefits of the Wisconsin’s teachers, police officers, firefighters and snowplow operators—as they did just a couple of years ago—Walker and the state’s GOP are now seeking to bring low wages to the private sector by attacking private-sector unions.

The juxtaposition was perfect: Walker, slavishly telling the billionaires what they wanted to hear in sunny Florida while shafting ordinary families in snowy Wisconsin.

It’s obvious that Walker is siding with the Bentley minority. The question for the members of the Wisconsin State Assembly is: Who is going to side with the Harley majority?

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