D-Day For Public Employees

wisconsin protestWhat we need is a party that vigorously defends the role of government in society and the working people government serves. Most importantly, this new Democratic/Labor Party would be willing to fight rather than compromise on core principles.

Every time a Democratic politician (including Barack Obama) embraces the false premises of Reaganomics, it undermines the hard work progressives across the country are engaged in every day to push back against the assault on working people and their livelihoods.

Wall Street showed us in 2008 that the white collar crooks that run the “securities” racket are willing to take our society over the cliff if it allows them to pocket a piece of the proceeds as it goes down. Now these same moneyed interests are fighting tooth and nail against the mild regulations of the Dodd-Frank bill. Their puppets in the Congress, like Representative Spencer Bachus (R-Alabama), who chairs the most powerful financial committee in the House, wants to defund the regulators and bank examiners that are part of the desperately needed re-regulation of Wall Street.

joseph palermoSo there you have it. There won’t be enough government regulators to provide adequate oversight to head off the next meltdown and bailout. Wall Street wins, and public employees, who had nothing to do with creating the catastrophe, are paying the price.

Joseph Palermo

Joseph A Palermo

Published by the LA Progressive on February 19, 2011
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About Joseph Palermo

Joseph Palermo is Professor of History, California State University, Sacramento. Professor Palermo's most recent book is The Eighties (Pearson 2012). He has also written two other books: In His Own Right: The Political Odyssey of Senator Robert F. Kennedy (Columbia, 2001); and Robert F. Kennedy and the Death of American Idealism (Pearson, 2008). Before earning a Master's degree and Doctorate in History from Cornell University, Professor Palermo completed Bachelor's degrees in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master's degree in History from San Jose State University. His expertise includes the 1980s; political history; presidential politics and war powers; social movements of the 20th century; the 1960s; and the history of American foreign policy. Professor Palermo has also written articles for anthologies on the life of Father Daniel Berrigan, S.J. in The Human Tradition in America Since 1945 (Scholarly Resources Press, 2003); and on the Watergate scandal in Watergate and the Resignation of Richard Nixon (CQ Press, 2004).


  1. Frankly I am a little confused. Big corporations pay low taxes. They have no reason to hate public educators. Why? Because the public schools are funded through property taxes. Essentially paid by the taxpayers (homeowners). And who gets any produced benefits. Big corporations. Why. Because capitalists need three feed stocks these being raw materials, labor (educated hopefully) and capital. So they are getting the labor educated for free (this being paid by the taxpayer). The taxpayer pays to raise there children and pays for the schools. And the capitalists reap the harvest.
    So why would capitalists want to break labor unions in the education sector. Sorry I do not get it. Perhaps the Repubicans are crappy representatives of the capitalists and do not have a clue what they are doing.
    If anyone can explain it from a rational standpoint please go ahead.

  2. George A. Crackuh says:

    Unions were necessary at first, and then useful for a while, but their time is in the past. The teachers in Wisconsin are overpaid, overfed, underworked, self-centered freeloaders.

    A much better solution, instead of the old adversary system, where fat-cat union bosses do battle with fat-cat executives, is to share the wealth, and the risk, liberally and cooperatively.

    Have every worker in a public company receive 1/3 of their pay in dividend-paying common stock, with full voting rights attached. Pretty soon those all workers will have strong board representation, and they’ll be voting on executive pay levels, among other things. And, they’ll be working together toward making the company more profitable, because that will show up in their dividend payments and in their stock price appreciation. They’ll be saving strongly for their retirements, and they’ll have a real measure of control in how well they do.

    In other words, structure the system so that the workers are not dispossessed, but so that they are owners, too.

    This idea would work well with charter schools and the voucher system, too.

    The U.S. public school system is a failure; like our health-care system, it has been corrupted by heavy-handed, small-minded government involvement. Like the DMV, like the Post Office, like everything the government tries to run, it’s too expensive, it’s oppressive, unresponsive and choice-restricting, and it offers a truly crummy product to its’ captive consumers.

    The handwriting is on the wall. The public-sector unions are going down; and the sooner, the better for the whole country. It’s time for the workers to unite in cooperation, rather than to sick-out like stupid adversaries.

  3. It’s about time someone stood up and said this… allowing the republicans to go on union busting & de regulating will make America like Poland or Russia in jig time , then they won’t have Obama to blame

    Hoover did this too and look what happened .

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