After Jeb Bush and that dangerous clown Donald Trump, the Republican nomination race's circus ring grew larger with the candidacy of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who will officially kick off his campaign on Monday. Anti-union to the bone and a close ally of the tea party, Walker embodies the most dangerous elements of the American right.
Scott Walker was elected governor of Wisconsin three times: first with the support of workers' unions, and then by dividing them without really losing his electoral majority. He has just made Wisconsin into the 25th "right-to-work" state, meaning unions there can no longer require business employees to pay union dues. The law's name is illusory: Although supporters cite the freedom to choose, its goal is clearly to demolish labor unions’ collective bargaining power.
The 24 other states that have adopted "right-to-work" (RTW) laws are generally Republican and most are in the South, where trade unions have generally been weak. At first, in fact, RTW laws were promoted during the 1940s by a white supremacist who believed that unionization had the horrible effect of encouraging racial integration. RTW expanded during the 1950s and 1960s amidst the reigning anti-communism of the era. Wisconsin, despite being the cradle of American trade unionism and a hub of social resistance (the 2011 demonstrations in Madison paved the way for the Occupy Wall Street movement), is one of three states to have recently convinced people that a blatantly anti-union law is actually an improvement of workers' rights, a job-creation strategy, and an increase in democracy.
It's like squaring a circle. Walker will be able to continue the swindle that allows politicians on all sides to present themselves as "defenders of the working class."
The demonization of trade unions by political and economic elites really took its toll over the past few years: Trade unions have suffered a downward spiral that further contributed to tarnishing their reputations. As a result, unionization rates in the United States have plummeted by a third over the past 50 years to only 11 percent. According to a recent Gallup poll, 53 percent of Americans continue to approve of the role of unions, while — here's where the circle gets squared — over 70 percent support RTW laws. Which explains how Walker was re-elected every time thanks to significant support from unionized voters...
Including Walker, there will be 15 candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. He is only 48 years old; his career is unfortunately far from over. He is supported by brothers Charles and David Koch, multibillionaire ultraconservatives and ultra-capitalists, climate change skeptics, and "Obamacare" opponents. They also founded the right-wing Cato Institute and Americans for Prosperity, the latter closely linked to the Republican, libertarian tea party. Walker and many others will perpetrate the hoax that globalization and free trade agreements are, at heart, beneficial to all workers.
Unions are above all a counterweight and a hindrance to growing profits for the Machiavellian right. An abundance of studies demonstrate that "right-to-work" laws do not create any significant economic gains; they create downward pressure on the wages of all workers, unionized or not. As if we needed studies to know that. Recent work by two International Monetary Fund economists showed that decreasing unionization rates in developed economies enriched a minority and deepened social inequality. Meanwhile in the United States, since 2014, the gross domestic product grew by 150 percent and productivity grew by 75 percent! The left-leaning Economic Policy Institute found that wage stagnation over the past 20 years was mainly due to weakening collective bargaining power.
Could the lie be any clearer? You cannot argue with those right-wingers.