Monday, 7 March 2011

"America is not Broke." - Michael Moore

The appearance of Michael Moore at the Wisconsin protests is certainly energising for the workers as Scott Walker has declared a class war on them in the name of "fairness", so that public-sector workers are paying as much as everyone else. And we know that everyone is paying a "fair share" except those damn unions in the public-sector! We can tell when look at the Wisconsin ultra-rich, the net worth of John Menard only increased from $5 billion to $5.2 billion in 2010. Not to mention the "suffering" of Herbert Kohler who just made $2 billion in 2010, as opposed to $3 billion in 2009, and has had to freeze the wages of his employees for the next 5 years. Then there is Diane Hendricks, the net worth of whom grew from $2 billion to £2.1 billion in 2010. Note that all of these people have fallen on the Forbes 400 list, while there is a "gaping budget hole" of $137 million and the concessions of public-sector unions would only amount to $30 million.

The right-wing media have jumped to attack the protests as selfish and elitist, for trying to hold onto basic workers' rights and freedoms which have been stripped away from the private-sector. No one is calling for the billionaires of Wisconsin to pay such a "fair share" and if anyone does they will be slapped down with some good old-fashioned American red-baiting. Even though Wisconsin's "gaping budget hole" could easily be filled easily through higher taxes on the local super-rich. No estate tax has been collected for deaths since January 2008 in Wisconsin, which picked up $158 million before January 2008. This was after the rate had been chiselled down from 55% to 45% and exemption raised to $3.5 million. A federal estate tax of 55% and exemption lowered to $675,000 could help tackle the deficit whilst preventing anyway for the billionaires to hold state-governments to ransom and threaten to leave if they demand a "fair share" of them.

The free-market is for poor people, not the filthy rich, there is always plenty of subsidy and tax-relief for the American bourgeoisie but it is just unreasonable that the working-class should be paid a decent wage and have the rights taken for granted in many European countries. The renewed Bush tax-cuts will cost the Treasury $4 trillion, which only 1% of the American people will benefit from it, as federal workers have been hit with a tax hike. This has been a consistent pattern over the last 30 years in the US, the rich are protected and subsidised by the state at the expense of the American tax-payer and the majority of American people. Even though at a closer look there is no budget crisis in Wisconsin and the thuggish Governor is looking for an excuse to trample workers' rights. But it's never too much to ask the average worker to cough up the rest in the name of "fairness".

Here are some relevant links to articles on the Wisconsin protests and the turbulence the American working-class face in the midst of such austerity:
The Class Struggle in America

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