Dear Commons Community,
Nobel Laureate and columnist, Paul Krugman, has a fine piece in today’s NY Times on “the power play” going on in Wisconsin between the governor and the public unions. His basic premise is that the situation is not about the state’s fiscal issues but a power play on the part of the Republican governor to reduce significantly and permanently the power of the Democratic-leaning unions. Krugman goes on to equate Governor Scott Walker as a representative of the political oligarchy that has come to dominate American politics while portraying unionism as one of the balances that common people have to balance the oligarchy. The best comments in the column are:
“So it’s not about the budget; it’s about the power. In principle, every American citizen has an equal say in our political process. In practice, of course, some of us are more equal than others. Billionaires can field armies of lobbyists; they can finance think tanks that put the desired spin on policy issues; they can funnel cash to politicians with sympathetic views (as the Koch brothers did in the case of Mr. Walker). On paper, we’re a one-person-one-vote nation; in reality, we’re more than a bit of an oligarchy, in which a handful of wealthy people dominate. “
Krugman has it right!