Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Doyle Fiddling at Masters'; Wisconsin Burns to the Ground

Let's face it. We are all influenced by the people in our social circles.

So when Three Card Monte Doyle goes to the Masters' in Augusta, he might go with his pals the Trial Attorneys, a couple of officers of WEAC, a couple of officers of the State AFSCME, a few roadbuilder contractors, and assorted Cabinet and sub-Cabinet folks (not to mention his bodyguards and hangers-on).

All of them are doing just fine, thanks. WEAC and AFSCME are not having layoffs; trial attorneys manage to find "just" causes and 33% fees; the roadbuilders have been very busy, and his Cabinet members are buying cocktails at the Augusta National bar.

"Whassamatta with YOU people out there?", says Jimbo, hiccuping after a round of fresh shrimp and a couple of double bourbon-and-waters.

Here's whassamatta, Doylet:

The Wisconsin manufacturing sector decline started well before the current recession but has accelerated to the point where we now have the fewest number of people employed in manufacturing since the government started keeping records.

Manufacturing has historically been the backbone of the Wisconsin economy, providing the highest wages and best benefits of any sector

--WMC news release (HT Sykes)

Now, of course, the AFSCME and WEAC are the high-wage/ultra-high benefit folks. Public employees earned benefits worth an average of $13.38 an hour in December 2008, the latest available data, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says. Private-sector workers got $7.98 an hour. Overall, total compensation for state and local workers was $39.25 an hour — $11.90 more than in private business. In 2007, the gap in wages and benefits was $11.31.

The PI lawyers (AKA ambulance-chasers) are well-benefitted, too, as are the roadbuilders.

Other people?

Not so much, and sinking fast. After all, WE pay for those public employee union wages and benefits.

Beyond that, there are hundreds of people who depended on Thomas Industries (and Briggs and Stratton, Milwaukee Electric Tool, GM/Janesville, etc., etc.,) for THEIR wages and benefits. No more. The auto-seating and interior shops in Janesville have closed up. The tool and die shops, machinery sales organizations, and MRO suppliers have geared down--or out. Subcontractor finishing- and components-manufacturers will either move to the new location or shut down. Legal and accounting services will move to the new HQ. Janitorial services will lay off dozens, and the bankers will cut back.

I'm waiting to hear the tune Three-Card-Monte fiddles.

It should sound like a dirge.

1 comment:

Random 10 said...

Don’t Worry, Be Happy! The academics have a plan. Green jobs will keep the green dollars flowing. The link, elaborates the details. Step 1 – establish the income level for employees. Step 2 – find them something to do that improves the environment. Step 3 – have politicians define the words “improve” and “environment”. Controlling tax dollars is only first gear. Controlling language is overdrive. Glad you enjoyed the Tea Party. R10