Scott Walker just spoke in response to the uprising in Madison, WI. He chose a bad turn of phrase to describe his plan to strip workers of collective bargaining and cripple unions- “a modest proposal.” It’s actually not a bad metaphor for this idea. In Jonathon Swift’s satirical work, it was proposed that weak members of society be further weakened (i.e. killed and eaten) so the rest of society can flourish. That’s pretty much Walker’s argument- let’s weaken labor, so that Wisconsin can remain “open for business.” Let’s ignore that new tax cuts created a state budget deficit, and instead brazenly transfer wealth from labor to capital with a euphemism of belt-tightening.
Walker’s proposal is not modest- it’s a brazen transfer of power. In the long term, it will weaken the state government, which is exactly what the Republicans want. State democrats, union members, and concerned activists have called Walker’s bluff, and now he is doubling down. However, because this proposal is not modest, these protests will only get bigger before they get smaller. It simply won’t stand, I hope, that the Wisconsin budget is balanced on the backs of workers.