Over the course of time, public sector employees needed the power of collective bargaining, especially when the pay scales and benefits didn’t fairly match with those in the private sector. But the pendulum has swung too far the other way and the current economic climate has shown that the nation can’t support generous benefits, salaries and overt job protection for public employees when the private sector is going in the other direction..
On the other side of the divide, according to the Independent Center for Public Integrity, Governor Walker raised seven times more than Mayor Barrett, his challenger, to defend his recall, and, despite the difference in spending, the dollars didn’t directly translate into percentage points in polls or the vote. Wisconsin voters were not swayed by the big corporate connections, but instead recognized that the best choice was to keep Walker in place and continue to tackle the state budget woes by tempering the growth of public sector costs.
Now, the spin masters from both sides will continue to put the best face on the result from their perspective, but at the end of the day voters must put self interest aside and see through the spin to make good choices and insure realistic choices that continue to make government accountable while bringing spending under control. We all need to tune out the posturing and not allow others to frame these issues, nor take ownership of them for anything other than the advancement of our nation.
It seems clear to me that far too many of our leaders place their own self interests and political aspirations ahead of the Democracy. We get sucked into blindly following the powerful and until we demand accountability and see through the veil of divisive politics our nation will continue to be held hostage. We need to respect the differences that will naturally occur between people of good intentions but look to elect leaders who seek to resolve those differences instead of using them to create and feed anger and hatred among us. Until we find our own clear voice, I fear America will be driven to the outer edges of the political divide, where nothing but stonewalling is accomplished, while the nation suffers from its lack of resolve and identity, zigzagging between the political extremes.
Dan Alexander is publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at email@example.com