MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The nearly month-long standoff in the Wisconsin Legislature over explosive union rights legislation rocketed toward a dramatic finish Thursday after Senate Republicans outmaneuvered their missing Democratic counterparts and pushed through the bill.
The dramatic turn of events late Wednesday set up a perfunctory vote Thursday morning in the Assembly on the measure that would strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from most public workers. Once the bill passes the Assembly, it heads to Republican Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.
Within hours after the Senate passed the bill, a crowd of hundreds of protesters grew to about 7,000 in the Capitol, a crowd as large as any seen inside the building over three weeks of demonstrations.
"The whole world is watching!" protesters shouted as they pressed up against the heavily guarded entrance to the Senate chamber.SOURCE
The battle lines are slowly being drawn. After the massive Wall Street bailouts of 2008, and the resumption of Wall Street record bonuses, many government workers have now found a moral basis for arguing in their interests. If Wall Street fatcats can have free money and undue government influence, why can't government unions have the same? That is a tough argument to beat.
Personally, I have always been a private sector employee, and I have had my own businesses in the past. I have skin in the game. I take losses and profits - something that Wall Street Bankers and Government Union workers don't know anything about. I pay my own health insurance, save for my own retirement. Government has given me nothing. I pay government. Government costs me, and in return, I get no bailouts, no health insurance, no guaranteed pension.
I'm the average guy that has received nothing. But you know what? At this point - I really don't care anymore. It's a clusterfuck. Everyone is fighting for the last few crumbs of a broken system that is ready to implode. There will be societal, political, and economic ramifications to this crisis. I am in Greece right now and I have been to Athens and have seen what demonstrations can look like.
The conflict is brewing.