The nightmare for far too many is Cyborgs. The public fears HAL, the 2001 Space Odyssey computer that killed astronauts rather than forfeit its objective.
So terrified of the sentient machine, citizens overlook the allegory. The soft-spoken, reasonable-sounding HAL behaves exactly like a greed-driven, multi-national corporation. The corporate mission is profit. With 29 workers massacred in a Massey mine explosion and 11 slain in the BP oil rig explosion in just one month last year, greedy corporations have shown they’re willing to kill rather than forfeit their profit objective.
In America, the UK and Europe, the entities that should be feared — greedy corporations — are pulling politicians’ strings. Reckless speculation by multi-national financial corporations took down the world economy, creating the worst recession since the Great Depression. Governments – in the UK, Europe and America – used worker tax dollars to bail out the banks. Now those big banks are granting outsized bonuses and pay packages to their executives while demanding that governments balance recession-ruined budgets with cuts to social services, education, pay and pensions for government workers and worker’s rights to collectively bargaining for better lives.
Workers, students and pensioners in the UK and Europe have protested these measures for a year, from general strikes in Greece to national strikes in France. In the U.K. students, in the largest numbers since the 1960s, protested education fee increases. Last weekend, the U.K.’s Trades Union Congress (TUC) organized the March for the Alternative in which a quarter million demonstrators walked for five hours in London to protest austerity imposed on workers while corporations get breaks.
The diamond-crusted rich on both sides of the Atlantic have determined that workers and the vulnerable will pay the consequences of the bankster-caused recession. And they’re exploiting the financial crisis to strip workers of collective bargaining rights, preventing them from ever regaining what they’ve lost.
That is what’s going on in Wisconsin — and in a half dozen other American states where right-wing legislatures and governors are passing or pressing for legislation decimating workers’ rights to collectively bargain, even after workers accepted pay cuts to help balance budgets.
The disingenuousness of these right-wing governors in blaming public employees is clear. First of all, many of the state leaders granted huge tax breaks to corporations, lowering the states’ anticipated revenues, then demanded state workers bear the brunt of filling budget deficits.
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