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The Comedy of Errors

Local Issues, Politics

Will Shakespeare technically did not write a true farce, which generally involves nonsense and slapstick, but two plays, the subject line and The Taming of the Shrew are often characterized as farces. Here in Wisconsin, we are undergoing a farce fully worthy of the great Bard of Avon. The current comedy of errors called recalls are in full sway, characterized by outrageous expenditures of campaign money by both sides resulting from frantic fundraising by Walker and piles of union dues funneled to the Democrats. Then there's the $20 million or so to pay for the elections, most from local communities who did not anticipate these costs. Wait for that one to hit the fan!

As a matter of interest, over the last 100 years there have been a total of 36 recalls of public figures in the entire United States. This year, there are 17 in Wisconsin alone. Either Wisconsin knows something about democracy that the other 49 states do not, or this has nothing to do with democracy. This is in reality a frantic effort by unions--mainly the public service type--to reverse a policy, the loss of bargaining power with which they strongly disagree. There is an obvious attempt to downplay this aspect of the process, citing the $800 million in education budget cuts, inflated now to a billion which sounds more impressive, I guess. They have to hurry because those reductions in state education aid are actually working quite well for those districts who did not sign union contracts prior to Act 10 passage. Many school district administrations are actually rather enjoying their new-found power to set education policy without interference and obstruction by the teachers' unions. If the word gets around, the unions' main issue goes bye-bye.

Just a word about the job-creation issue. There is precious little politicians can do about jobs, which is solely a private enterprise decision. Walker was unwise to make the 250,000 job commitment. I think he counted on a fully compliant legislature to institue a panoply of business-friendly legislation. This has not happened so I lthink his prediction is doomed.

Wisconsin has a well-deserved reputation as being unfriendly to business. We have a widely-perceived unattractive climate, a very aggressive environmentalist movement that seems to oppose any major industrial development--witness the Gogobic mine fiasco--and high-and-growing energy costs thanks to very costly "clean energy" mandates like windmills. (As soon as the federal subsidies expire, which is pretty soon, watch the cost of these monstrosities soar.) 

I won't further belabor the point, as I have written on this subject before. But either Wisconsin has found a new  paradigm of super-democracy to replace the traditional Constitution-mandated scheduled elections that the rest of the country follows, or we are political idiots engaged in a Shakespearian farce. Take your choice.

P.S. See, I can write a short blog post!

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