NY Times columnist Paul Krugman almost gets it right this morning.
He shows how the Battle in Mad Town is not really about state budgets, but about power.
For what’s happening in Wisconsin isn’t about the state budget, despite Mr. Walker’s pretense that he’s just trying to be fiscally responsible. It is, instead, about power. What Mr. Walker and his backers are trying to do is to make Wisconsin — and eventually, America — less of a functioning democracy and more of a third-world-style oligarchy. And that’s why anyone who believes that we need some counterweight to the political power of big money should be on the demonstrators’ side.
Yet, with all due respect to the Nobel Prize winning economist, I’m afraid that even Dr. Krugman seems to buy into the myth of “shared sacrifice.”
In this situation, it makes sense to call for shared sacrifice, including monetary concessions from state workers. And union leaders have signaled that they are, in fact, willing to make such concessions.
Indeed they are. And that is a problem.
When the economy was booming, did those doing public service jobs share in the spoils? ‘Fraid not.
Are those doing public service jobs responsible for the current crisis? Did we fail to meet our obligations?
A thief breaks into your home and steals all you own. The police catch the thief and find all your belongings in the thief’s garage. The police split the items between you and the thief.
“Shared sacrifice,” they explain.