At the risk of sounding like a leftist conspiracy nut, I think the Wisconsin crisis is about much more than the state budget or unions. At its core the central theme is really about the attempted perversion of democracy.
Look at how the founding fathers put together the American system of government. There would be of course a strong chief executive. All knew that would be George Washington. But even with the fabled Washington at the head, the Constitution makers wanted legislators who would represent every state, serve different terms, have different constituencies. And finally there would be a Supreme Court which would rule on the laws that had been exacted by the Congress and signed by the President.
The makers of the Constitution created the most effective governing system known to man. That system provided for institutions with varying spheres of influence. No institution would have power over the other save in its own special sphere. No institution would have total power. All would recognize the right of the others to exist.
Through the centuries the mode of government was paralleled in the nation's civic life as businesses, labor unions, the media, religious organizations and others jockeyed for influence.
Labor unions and corporations have had the most immediate and often the most contentious
relations through the years. Businesses have often tried to do away with or greatly weaken unions. That attempt took on new life in the 1980s. Various businesses, even competitors, began lobbying together on matters of mutual interest. Outsourcing and the rise of technology weakened the bargaining position of American workers.
Labor unions constituted 20 percent plus of American workers in 1983. That number today is 11 percent and the majority of unionists for the first time in American history are in public unions.
The careful balance of institution versus institution that the founders created is under attack today. Corporate interests in conjunction with the Republican Patty are trying to destroy American unions.
It's a deal made in hell:
The death of unions would give corporations even more power than they have now. The individual worker would be at the total mercy of his employer. And the death of unions would remove the single most important source of money and manpower for the Democratic Party, giving the Republican Party massive money advantages in future elections.
A deal made in hell for democracy in America.