Sunday, February 16, 2014

Question of the Day: Who Has The Best View?

Last week, at the urging of Milwaukee County Emperor Chris Abele, the ALEC controlled state legislature started ramming through a bill to kill the living wage ordinance that had just been passed by the Milwaukee County Board with a veto proof majority.  But the Teapublicans took it even further so that the bill would kill all the living wage laws passed by any local government.

This means that thousands of people working under contracts with the City of Milwaukee, the City of Madison or Dane County could suddenly see their pay drop by thousands of dollars.  The Teapublicans tried to say they were doing this because it would ruin the local economies and drive businesses away, while ignoring the fact that these laws have been in effect for over fifteen years.  They also had to ignore the fact that the Madison area has the lowest level of unemployment in the state and has the best local economy.

During the testimony regarding the bill, one of the sponsors, State Representative Chris Kapenga (T-Delafield), gave this unbelievable statement in regard to the urban poverty plaguing Milwaukee:

"I'm a little unique because, yes, I represent Delafield but I am very familiar with Milwaukee because I employ Milwaukee residents and I drive through Milwaukee every single day."

That is a very peculiar statement to make.  Not only is it rather ignorant and offensive, it also just doesn't make any sense.

A quick check of Google maps shows that he would have to go way out of his way to drive through Milwaukee on his way from Delafield to Madison:

Further investigation shows that he is also the primary stock holder for his company, Integrated Time Systems, which is based in Brookfield.  Well, that's closer to Milwaukee, but still doesn't explain why he would drive through Milwaukee every day.

Digging deeper, we start seeing things that starts to make sense of this.

Kapenga's LinkedIn account shows that he is a member of the the Metro Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce.

That must be it. He goes into Milwaukee to pick up his graft from them as well as his "gifts" from Abele and the other members of the plutocracy that will benefit from his hard work to keep so many people under the level of poverty.  As we all know, less money in the pockets of the workers, even if it is just to the level of poverty, means more money in the pockets of the plutocrats.

Oh, and Abele who denied lobbying for the killing of the living wage laws, even though the proof shows he was indeed lobbying for it, has now said that he is going to veto the Milwaukee County resolution:
The measure called for an $11.32 county minimum wage that would apply to county workers and employees of some county vendors. Most of those affected would be the 2,400 low-wage personal care attendants indirectly paid through the county's Family Care program.

"What I'm vetoing is a $5 million extra expense to Family Care," Abele said. County Comptroller Scott Manske has estimated the measure would eat up nearly $5 million of a Family Care reserve fund this year and further increase county costs in the future.

Backers of the plan say workers deserve the higher wage as a means to be self-supporting. The $11.32 figure is the federal poverty line for a family of four.
Translated into English, this means that Abele is more concerned about the bottom line than he is about the person taking care of your grandmother or your disabled son making a wage even with the poverty line. He would rather have all these people make sub-poverty wages.  Also keep in mind that this would include the caretakers of the chronically mentally ill people he is evicting from the mental health complex.

That shows just how much disdain he has for the working poor as well as the people that are dependent on these services.  He is more worried about the profits of the profiteers than he is about the caretakers or the people they are taking care of.

All of this leads to the question of the day: Who's got the better view of the urban poverty in Milwaukee- Chris Kapenga from his drive throughs of Milwaukee or Chris Abele from atop his ivory tower?


  1. I have a question, if this living wage ordinance is so good for the working poor, why do unionized employers get a pass on the wage requirement. Why is the SEIU using this bill to pressure contractors into joining the union?
    These board members are nothing more than tools for the unions to pass ordinances to boost their membership. This has nothing do do with poor people. How is this any different than ALEC writing bills
    Just in case your readers don't get their news from anywhere else:!page=1&pageSize=10&sort=newestfirst

    1. LOLOLOLOL! Calling a corporate shill like A-Rod a news source is hilarious! Do you believe all the commercials you see on TV or all the ads you read? Does Tide really get your clothes cleaner? Does your douche really make you feel spring time fresh?

      Second of all, A-Rod was already proven wrong on his tale telling that SEIU wrote this bill. But since you're citing him as a news source, you obviously don't have a clue on what's going on.

      Thirdly, the union clause is pretty much standard language for these laws. And as I pointed out, they've been around for more than 15 years and you've never, ever had an issue once with them.

    2. But attacking the writer doesn't answer the question, How does it help the little guy when union contractors aren't required to meet the new minimum wage and has to pay union dues on top of that.
      Oh wait, because that's the way it has always been and we shouldn't question why?
      It must be hard to push an agenda when the truth gets in the way.

    3. Oh, my, but you're being particularly obtuse this morning.

      It's a thing called collective bargaining. They are offering the employers a choice. Pay the minimum wage or allow their employees to unionize and work out pay and benefits that way.

      The employees might choose to take a lower pay for an increase in benefits, like actually getting healthcare instead of being forced on the public insurance plan.

      But you have yet to answer why it's an issue now when it's been shown to work for more than fifteen years. And not only work, but raise the economy as well.

    4. I understand they can bargain for higher wages. Why would they need better healthcare? They will soon have obamacare. And the unions own that one as they all endorsed it. I'm assuming the fastest way to get it repealed is to force as many people to use it as possible. I think your president agrees, that is why he continues to push off the mandates.
      And to answer your last question, I'll start with the pension scandal and end with the fiscal situation in Detroit, Chicago, and pretty much all of southern CA.
      Interesting how dire the states finances were just 4-5 years ago, with the governor stealing from the medical funds and not paying his bill to Minnesota, a suggested 3 billion dollar shortfall. As opposed to now, we are arguing how to allocate the excess revenue. Its gonna take a lot of spin to change public opinion on that one.

    5. And now we have a two billion dollar deficit built into the current budget, not to mention the other growing bills that aren't being paid because it's an election year and there is an ongoing legal defense fund to pay for.

      And considering that the state is last in the region in job creation and in average wages, you're argument is pretty weak tea. (See what I did there?)

      But hang on to your bitter. After a black president, you'll have a woman president, so you'll have another eight years of bile to spew.

    6. I know, things are looking pretty bleak fiscally, aren't they?
      I would add the whole country is looking pretty weak in terms of job creation. But that doesn't seem to be the federal administrations top goal, other than stating it in speeches. Seems to me environmentalism, income re-distribution, and your soon to be healthcare via government trumps the goal to employ America every time.
      Yeah, Billary, that's a scary thought on a sunday morning. I'd have to change my moniker from racist to misogynist. On an uplifting note, with a large enough donation you could buy yourself the opportunity to be the next ambassador to Libya. Don't worry though, she would keep a close eye on any threats to you!

    7. Even as the rest of the country isn't doing as well as one might hope, you try to gloss over the fact that Wisconsin is paling in comparison to the recovery you besmirch.

      Sort of like getting knocked to the ground by your opponent, and while lying there spitting out teeth, looking at your opponent and threatening to hit them in the fist with your face again.

      By the way, you still have to answer why living wage is a problem only now.

    8. I'll have to take your word on what its like to threaten after being knocked down.
      I didn't say I had a problem with living wage, its the union exemption I questioned. You say give union members an option for lower wages, I say it's a ploy to increase membership and receipts of dues by strong arming companies to join the union. I say put the facts on the front page of the paper and let the people decide.
      I contend that the minimum wage increase is only an attempt to keep pace with the inflation the feds say we don't have due to stimulus and insane federal policies. Stop printing money and we wont need an increase in minimum wage. But that doesn't serve the union agenda, does it.

    9. You didn't have a problem with it for over 15 years, so your complaint now seems rather vapid.

      And yes, it has nothing to do with the abundance of poverty or the exploitation of workers or the people they serve or the tax payers. Right.

    10. 7:38 AM commenter and onward must have confused your site with Breitbart, Capper. An easy thing to do if you're a moron. What's so interesting is that we are talking about $23,545/year gross. Wow. What a princely sum. Clearly these people caring for the elderly, disabled and mentally ill would be getting a sweetheart deal.

      Get real. Abele, Kapenga, Smith, Sheehy likely spend that sum each month on themselves. The county should take a good hard look at its tax deals and what the ROI is instead of continuing a system that mires so many of it's workers in poverty. And if Abele simply can't stomach what must be done to balance the budget with a living wage, then he perhaps had better just resign and let someone with experience, education and energy try. He's focused on divisive small ball instead of engineering a new vision for Milwaukee County. I emphasize "new" not recycled, tired tax payer funded handouts to businesses and the promise of bottom of the barrel wages.

  2. white supremacist at 7:38AM,

    Capitalism runs on sales. The real "job creators" are consumers with money to SPEND.

    GRAPH: As Union Membership Has Declined, Income Inequality Has Skyrocketed In The United States

    When the 1% have all the money from doing nothing productive, the whole system collapses.

    Unions are a pain-in-the-neck, but without them, all the money flows to the 1%.

    1. That may be true, but when it is a public union doesn't the extra money given to the few come straight from the many? Your union argument falls short because public union members are taking their salaries from the 99% not the 1%. Left unchecked you will have Detroit, and soon, Chicago.
      I'm not saying unions don't have their place, but to say they haven't overused their power is ridiculous. The county board as a whole works for the unions and not the taxpayer.
      Its the clause that unions wont have to meet the minimum wage requirements that seals their fate in public opinion.

    2. Unions may be all the things you wingers say and yet so are corporations. Both act to expand and consolidate their power. Both benefit by tax payer generosity - corporations of course receiving the larger percentage of handouts and government sanctioned oligopolies. One delivers wage protection and the other has sought to muffle wage growth since the dawn of the industrial age. ALEC and Heritage and Fox News all feed you the anti-union blather. And you parrot it to your friends, co-workers, congregants, and neighbors flushed with pleasure with your perceived position in the favor of the 1 percent (they just see you as rubes to be manipulated) and filled with your own self-righteousness. You never see that as wage protection wanes, you lose. You lose because your real wages aren't growing. Your purchasing power is in decline. And you pay a much higher portion for services our grandparents and great-grandparents demanded post WW2 - affordable, high quality healthcare, nearly free, high quality education, stable and comfortable retirement. Put down the remote, beer, gun and pizza, get off the sofa, get educated, travel abroad, move about your community, and start thinking for yourself.

    3. Sorry to disappoint, but I agree corporate interests do involve self interests. And they need to be balanced by unions or legislation to protect workers rights.
      Answer this, if it is a living wage your so concerned about why allow a concession in the ordinance for union employers? That's not union looking out for workers, that's unions trying to increase their size and power. And for what? so they can continue to be the single most influential force in funding election candidates?
      There's a balance to be achieved, we just disagree where that balance point is. Oh, and one of us seems to think they are more intellectual than the other.
      It would seem your smarter than all the VW employees also. So pat yourself on the back some more.

    4. Well, I'm not from the state ranked 42nd in education so yeah, I'm likely smarter than the average Tennessee worker at VW and certainly smarter than the group manipulated by GOP blackmail (which VW refuted) and voted against their own wage protection. How amusing you use the word "balance" when union membership has plummeted to 11.3%! Isn't that really like the MSM using the phrase "find a middleground" when one side is so far to the right, the forefathers of their party wouldn't recognize them? The only issue here is you're fighting $24,545/year for county-employed caregivers. Capper rightly points out the clause was there from the beginning and you're using it as smoke and mirrors to hold working people down. Tell us why county workers shouldn't be paid a living wage. Come on. Do it. Own your wingery.

    5. Interesting that you are smarter than all of the auto workers at VW.
      I'll bet your smarter than all the care givers for the county too. In fact, with all that knowledge, maybe you can tell me what capper wont, My contention is not that the wage is to high but rather why union employers get a pass on paying the living wage? Since wage is the only thing the union can bargain for anymore why would they voluntarily start out at a lesser wage than a non union employee working for the county? Come on, own all that knowledge for once.

    6. Sorry, IMBAR, but I did indeed answer your question. Several times, in fact. But you're so smart, you refuse to recognize it.

    7. Not hard to be smart in Wisconsin right now (I can't necessarily say the same for future generations, unfortunately). Maybe you just need to try harder, IMBAR. Or perhaps you were born without gifts. Regardless you seem unable to articulate an argument against a living wage for County employees and contractor employees. Nighty, night.

    8. Ok, Nice try you two, let me spell it out for you, since you seem to not even be able to be honest with yourselves. The union worded the legislation in order to be able to coerce more business owners into unionizing their work force. The carrot they are dangling is that they wont have to meet the living wage requirement. Now they cant come right out and tell the public that because that would draw even more disdain from the taxpayer. So instead we hear all about the poverty and the working poor. But in the end, only the union makes out as the workers don't get a raise, per the exemption in the ordinance, Their new union cannot bargain for anything but wages, so eventually it will be obamacare for them, and they get to pay dues now.
      Yea, I'm the stupid one here right?

    9. The unions didn't write it. And you call me dishonest? You can't even start out honest.

      But this is all you're way of trying to distract that you don't think people should earn a lousy $24K/year. You are a sad little man.

    10. I'm sure you spent nearly as much time researching that statement as you do trying to come up with fantasy world hypothesis' about any news out of the john doe investigaton.
      And how many times do I need to say, go ahead, raise the minimum wage. Just don't let the unions use it as a tool to get fat off the working class people. Which if you cant see that is what is happening you shouldn't say "sad little man" unless your in front of a mirror.

    11. Um, you do realize that Alexander spends next to no time in the courthouse, right? She is not a reliable source of information, much like the "news source" which is already under investigation. Again, your point is moot by your use of questionable facts.

      But then again, the facts don't fit your fantasy that the big, bad unions are to blame for everything, so your use what you got.

    12. Well, questionable news source? That's a whole different discussion altogether, but that aside any thinking person can look at the facts and determine that this is solely meant to boost union membership. Conveniently sidestepping the need for a vote to join the union. It instead finds a way to strong arm the business owner to create a union shop. In fact it is smart, but it needs to be hidden under the guise of helping the working poor. Which I say is not the intention at all, so all this faux outrage here strikes me as comical, and sad.
      Now if you deny that statement I really have to question your ability to tell the truth.

    13. A) Just because it fits your anti-union paranoia doesn't mean it's reality.

      B) You still haven't answered why it's only bothering you now and not for fifteen plus years.

      C) Um, unions are proven to help the poor and strengthen the middle class, Lack of unions have shown to hurtful to the poor and diminishing to the middle class. Now, why are you so against unions?

    14. I'm not as anti-union as you like to suggest, And not as pro corporate as you want to think. I am sure unions will see a comeback some day, but they to have gotten greedy and to powerful just as you suggest corporations are. Now I could go find a bunch of articles backing that up but if you just step back and look you would see, well...maybe not you, but an impartial person. Look at the membership statistics, look at the UAWs struggles down south. Theres no regulation that forced people to leave a union, only laws that gave them the choice.
      I think that you are right in saying the unions have helped the American workers, but I contend that this whole public union thing has some serious ethics problems. They spend far to much money influencing elections only to have their interests represented on both sides of the negotiating table. You complain about the Koch brothers, but they are small players compared to the AFL-CIO in election contributions.
      And as far as your "questionable news source" comment, luckily for all of us the days where one party can control the news are over. Fifteen years ago this whole scheme that the union and the county board cooked up here would have gone unreported, and likely would have worked to increase membership.
      I urge you to read this article and notice how union "priorities" have changed since 1959, and the interesting opinions of public union leaders prior to then. Its no wonder we are seeing fiscal crisis in city after city these days.

  3. Fundamentalist Christian Republicans from the suburbs are known to make frequent and regular trips to the city for things they can't find in their suburban closets.Maybe he needs it every day.

  4. I've got a better view of poverty in Milwaukee from my computer in Downstate Illinois.

  5. So everyday he sees his employees in Milwaukee. Where would those be?

  6. Good catch on the Delafield Dumbass being a member of the MMAC. Those are Abele's and Walker's best buddies, and the real puppetmasters behind this absurd bill. And need we remind you that JournalComm's CEO Steven Smith is on the MMAC Board? The web is pretty clear to me.

    By the way, the Dane County Dems passed a resolution condemning this bill, and the overriding of local control. I'd highly recommend the Milwaukee County Dems do the same, and tell Abele to get out if he doesn't like it.

  7. So who are his employees in Milwaukee?

  8. I have to confess to working with 1%-ers in my lifetime. It's not pretty, and, I can tell you that they despise people like @imustbearacist. They actually *use* people like that on a daily basis with no care in the world what happens to them or to their families. And, yet, people like @imustbearacist genuflect to the wealthy, whatever their wishes might be. The wealthy actually laugh at people like @imustbearacist behind their back. @imustbearacist will never, ever be a member of that club.

    1. The 1 percent dangle two bright shiny toys in front of IMBAR and his fellow wingers - racism and theocracy. And the IMBARs of this country and Wisconsin are so mesmerized by the two shiny toys that they scamper and beg and trade away their own security and the future of their children and grandchildren to play ceaselessly with their toys.

    2. But hey, IMABR knows that the Powerball is at. $300 million and Mega Millions is around $150 mil. Maybe, just maybe, this is the week it hits, right kiddo?

      Oh, and don't apply at American TV for that second job you need since your real wages keep dwindling. Just a tip from OL' Jake here

    3. You know, when you cant argue on the topic and win the first thing to do is smear the opponent. Way to go. I'm not the one who is angry here.

    4. Nah, you don't smear people. You just make things up and use information you know to be false to accuse people of things they didn't do because you love them sooooo much.