LABOR – A River Runs Through It

There can be no doubt that the Labor Movement in Wisconsin and the Nation has been singled out as a major enemy. Organized Labor has been vilified as the central force in degrading public education while contributing countless obstacles that prevent economic growth.

The photo at the right might be used as a graph to demonstrate the shifting attitudes of people toward organized Labor with the horizontal axis depicting the passage of years and the vertical axis demonstrating the the increasingly hostile view of most people to Labor. The graph would show how the attitudes of people toward Labor have dipped and climbed over the years with a sudden free fall since the election of GOP controlled legislature and Walker as Governor.

Flipping Wisconsin

Even though the graph closely matches scientific analysis of prevailing attitudes toward organized Labor, it is not scientific at all. The points of graph were formed by the Wisconsin River. Just take a map of the State of Wisconsin, flip it on it’s side (as demonstrated in the picture on the right) and transpose it over a spread sheet.

Once the State is “flipped” and an illusion is created, the Wisconsin River becomes the line on the graph. This may not be the least bit scientific, but it serves as a watershed to demonstrate how manipulation of a graph or editing the message creates the believable depiction of a lie. There it is clearly. The Wisconsin River depicts the attitudinal shift in perception of the Labor movement. A more recent example just played out on the national scene when the need for drastic cuts was played out on the floor of the Congress and even though there were warnings of the dangers of toying with manipulation of debt ceiling, the issue was turned on its side and made fact. The immediate result? A huge drop in the stock market.

A River Runs Through It

It is Labor Day. The Wisconsin River has been called “The hardest working river in the world”. Labor is a river that runs through Wisconsin touching people, villages, and cities with all the subtleties of a watershed. This Labor River has been turned on its side and misrepresented like the dots on a mad man’s graph.

I found these words of a friend on face book full of the simple truth like choosing the perfect fly on a river bank and casting out to catch the light.

Walter Perring
Labor day
Why has the nation turned its back on the common laborer? Have we lost the perspective of what these workers have done for this country?

The men and woman who toiled countless hours under the hot sun and in the freezing winters to build America are its backbone. The workers who risk their lives deep underground in the coal mines or spend their days and nights clearing the roads of snow so when morning comes you can travel safely to work……the drivers who deliver food to your store, or take you to an appointment on days when no sane person would venture out, should be hailed as heroes. Instead, we tend to look down on them. Is that because that they may not hold a degree or wear a suit and tie to work?

These are the men and women that built the very foundation of the country we enjoy today. They tunneled though mountains, created roads where there were none, cleared land for our homes and crops, and probably built the town you live in, with their blood, sweat, and tears.

Today they are called the middle class – the workers, the road crews, the garbage collectors and others. Whether they are working in the public or the private sector they are all cut from the same fabric. They all deserve the respect of every man, woman, and child.

They shouldn’t be put down because they were able, with the aid of a union, to advance themselves above their peers. Can the resentment towards union workers be that those not in unions are jealous? Give that some thought as we celebrate Labor Day this year.


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