We were discussing what was happening in Wisconsin over a pint after Saturday’s show. We noted that Woody Guthrie needed to come along & stir things up. It was quickly decided that, since Woody is long gone, we’d dust off & update the classic “Union Maid.”
The next day Joe wrote some updated verses & we recorded a quick sloppy heartfelt tune. Hope you like it. Pass it on.
Also keep in mind that not everyone in our band is currently in a union, nor do we fully agree with some unions that have been unwilling to budge at all on certain issues like 100% paid health care and unsustainable defined benefit pension plans. However we recognize that this issue is bigger than a just one state trying to balance their budget, and this is why:
1) Public workers unions did not CAUSE the budget crises in Wisconsin or any other state.
2) Like all states, Wisconsin’s tax revenues are down due in part to the colossal fraud caused by Wall Street millionaires who not only devised crappy investment portfolios and sold them as legitimate instruments, but ALSO purchased insurance which in effect was a bet that those investments would fail – because they KNEW they would fail. Not one these insiders has been prosecuted.
3) It has also been reported that Wisconsin actually had a healthy SURPLUS before Governor Walker pushed thru big corporate tax breaks. That put the budget in the red and gave Walker “justification” to go after the unions.
4) The union DID in fact give in to all demands for concessions that Walker asked for, so why take away their ability to bargain in the future and change the rules on how the union collects dues? This is an obvious power grab in these vulnerable economic times.
5) Remember also the fact that the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations can no longer be banned from directly making contributions to political campaigns!
6) Now picture this country with more power than ever in the hands of corporations and even less in the hands of everyday workers.
THAT is why is the most important economic and political issue in the news today and why people need to realize what this could mean in the future. “That really scares me, so I’m sticking to the union!”