Scott Walker’s Southern economic strategy

right-to-work-2Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin is pushing through a right-to-work law, which gives workers protected by union contracts the right not to pay union dues.

It is part of an economic strategy copied from Southern states such as Alabama—to attract branch plants of industries headquartered elsewhere by means of low taxes, low wages and no labor unions.

The price of the strategy is low educational levels, low public services and deteriorating infrastructure—all the things that make a state attractive to entrepreneurial, high-tech and high-wage enteprise.

I think the Walker strategy is a bad one because Wisconsin can’t out-impoverish states like Mississippi, and the USA as a whole can’t out-impoverish nations like Bangladesh.  Even if we could, would we want to?

What we Americans as a nation need to think about is how to add value, and how to distribute the benefits among the working people who create value.

Scott Walker has been a highly successful politician, and looks to be a strong presidential candidate, by distracting attention away from these questions.   Instead he encourages people who are floundering economically to focus their resentment on their neighbors who still have union jobs and good wages, and away from the tiny economic elite who benefit from the low wage, high unemployment economy.


The New Heartland: ‘We’re Like the India of the U.S.’ by Maria Bustillos for Capital and Main.

This Billionaire Governor Taxed the Rich and Increased the Minimum Wage – Now His State’s Economy Is One of the Best in the Country by Carl Gibson for Huffington Post (hat tip to naked capitalism).  Minnesota outperforms Wisconsin.  [added 2/26/2015]

Scott Walker has failed Wisconsin and Minnesota is the proof by Jimmy Anderson for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Scott Walker Doesn’t Care by Charles Pierce for Esquire.

Scott Walker’s economic mess: How worker wages were gutted in Wisconsin by David Dayen for Salon (hat tip to Mike the Mad Biologist)  [added 2/26/2015]

Wisconsin Workers Fight Back Against Right to Work by Alice Ollstein for ThinkProgress.

‘It’s Heartbreaking’: Already Down, Wisconsin Unions Reckon With Right-to-Work by Dave Jamieson for Huffington Post.

Scott Walker’s Southern Strategy by Charles Pierce for Esquire (2013)

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One Response to “Scott Walker’s Southern economic strategy”

  1. JoAnn Chateau Says:

    Yes. Walker is using the divide and conquer ploy.

    When people are in an emotional state, such as fear (over job situation or finances), it’s harder to think objectively. Fear is the worst enemy, and it is the foundation for anger, which seeks an easy target to blame (rather than the correct target.)

    Some people may resent their neighbor who has a better union job. But here’s the reality: We can’t all have exactly the same thing, at the same time… unless… we all have nothing.

    For those at the bottom of the heap, or approaching it, solidarity is the only answer. It’s going to take a massive collective action to regain equality of opportunity, to restore the American Dream.


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