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My Thoughts on Wisconsin

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 4, 2011 6:36 AM |

Feb. 27: Student Labor Action Coalition members demonstrate at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., on the 13th day f protests over the governor's proposed budget. What is really going on in Wisconsin?

Are Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his Republican colleagues trying to ‘break the unions’?

Are the ‘Wisconsin 14’ senatorial contingent true patriots standing up for the rights of the working man?

Given the level of heated protest on the streets of Madison and on the airwaves throughout the nation, clearly people have strong opinions on both sides of this topic. What does it all mean?

While most politicos would like to debate the finer points of collective bargaining rights versus insufficient funding, my ‘sense on cents’ view of the current gridlock in Wisconsin compels me to believe strongly that this state is nothing more than a reflection of a system that is fundamentally broken — both literally and figuratively.

I ask you:

Do elections matter? If one party can merely boycott the legislative process, then why have elections in the first place?

Do we need further reason for term limits? Politicians beholden to special interests which line their pockets will go to great lengths to defend those interests, including boycotts.

Is there any doubt that Ponzi-style financing of state and federal budgets does NOT work? I am firmly convinced that a significant majority of people in our nation have little appreciation for how onerous and dangerous our fiscal deficits and budgetary gaps are to our nation’s future. Let the next generation pay, right? What a pathetic way to think that you are governing.

What is really missing in Madison and in so many other state capitols and Washington as well? Accountability.

Regrettably, we have received the government that we deserve because we ourselves do not hold the political cronies on both sides of the aisle accountable.

Now we pay.

Larry Doyle

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own and not those of Greenwich Investment Management. As President of Greenwich Investment Management, an SEC regulated privately held registered investment adviser, I am merely a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

  • Tea Party

    Stop the madness. Pols from both parties have bankrupted our states and our nation. Break the contracts and renegotiate otherwise, “see you in court.”

  • Hawk


    the Unions are an excuse for the socialist agenda worming its way into the political process

    I have no problem with collective bargaining. I do have a BIG problem with the mandatory deduction of annual dues from worker paychecks without the annual ability to decide to not participate in the union process. The confiscation of dues by unionistas to feather the beds of the democratic socialists is reprehensible.

    Let each man vote and let them decide annually if they want to be a union member. If they disagree with union politics, provide them with the ability to vote with their feet.

    Like they say on Wall Street……You want loyalty… a dog.


  • Diana


    The union conceded to all the demands but one. The Governor gave away his surplus tax breaks that created the deficit. We have a class war growing in this country – have and have not. More for the rich, crumbs or nothing for the middle and lower class. Bonuses and excesses for executives and cuts for the workers. We have GREED!! Lastly, we have Wall Street that created the economic disaster and nobody did any jail time. Finally, the protesters in the street are still taxpayers.

    No response needed. I am off to help in the shelter for “reviled” homeless, of which I am seeing more women and children.


    • fred


      In the good times nobody cares, in the bad times it’s already to late.

      Our most recent recession was accompanied by crimes committed by every socio-economic class; from individuals that lied about income on mortgage apps, to those that chose not to pay their mortgages when they had the means to do so, to financial and gov’t leaders who lined their own pockets and promoted their own careers at the expense of our collective future.

      Unions are good in that they allow upward mobility into the middle class. A robust middle class is vital to a world class economy and the avoidance of class warfare. But the “pros” of unionization have been exceeded by the “cons”.

      You can debate the definition of what constitutes a “fair profit” when it comes to unionization in the private sector but “fair profit” becomes talk of waste, abuse and unaffordable social programs in the public sector. When public union members, on average, are paid (salary & benifits) considerably more than their employer, (the taxpayer), clearly something is wrong and obviously unsustainible.

      In my experience unions promote the status quo, seniority, and built in cost of living adjustments. They stiffle empowerment, pay for performance, progressive improvement and political freedom.

      We need to create a country that doesn’t require unionization to swell the ranks of the middle class. Upward mobility and middle class status needs to be based on hard work and individual ability and financial savy not collective bargaining.

      In the larger economy, the U.S. consumer is, by and large, “tapped out”. Post QE2, our collective future will become dependant on the global economy and our becoming globally competative. Currently, unionization doesn’t support global competativeness.

  • MR

    Short and to the point while absolutely correct!

    Mark of Oconomowoc WI

    Thanks Larry

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