Why the Hate for Public Workers? Someone Has to Pay, and the Bankers Got Away
Voters in California Appear to Approve Pension Cuts
As Wisconsin residents voted on Tuesday not to recall Gov. Scott Walker -- who has become an enemy of labor unions nationwide -- two California cities dealt blows of their own to organized labor.
In both San Diego and San Jose, voters appeared to overwhelmingly approve ballot initiatives designed to help balance ailing municipal budgets by cutting retirement benefits for city workers.
Around 70 percent of San Jose voters favored the pension reform measure, with almost 80 percent of precincts reporting. In San Diego, 67 percent had supported a similar pension reform measure, with more than 65 percent of precincts reporting....
This endless economic downturn is exasperating for Americans. Right-wingers have absolute moral certainty about who the enemies are, but I see no evidence that the rest of America does. Most Americans, I think, just want someone to pay.
The Democratic Party sure hasn't given the public a villain.
Would we be going after unionized government workers with such fervor if, after the collapse, we'd had a series of arrests of financial fat cats? I suppose it's possible, but I wonder how much that would have satisfied the public's (fully understandable) desire to find someone to blame and to punish, and to change something about the way we do things in America.
The nature of political campaigning in America today means, of course, that politicians simply can't afford to take on Wall Street, unless they want a rapid end to their political careers. Even the press plays along, gasping in horror at any unkind words directed at financiers, as if those financiers are like the little kid with unlimited powers in the old Twilight Zone episode "It's a Good Life," and currying favor with the financiers is the only way to avoid being banished to the cornfield.
We desperately want someone to pay. We're never going to make the rich pay, so this will have to do.