So, Wisconsin has stripped workers rights in their state down to the bone. Tore off the flesh and muscle of their public unions, torched their skin, in an ironic twist that mirrored what happened a hundred years ago today. A century ago, people realized that the rights of workers needed to be protected in order to make the American Dream viable for everyone. Even the least of our people.
But its the people with the most that are having their say now, and they're loud, and they're pissed. They pay the majority of the taxes in this country, and their tired of supporting all those people on welfare who get food stamps and pull up to the supermarket in Cadillac Escalades. Except the thing is, when they're asked when was the last time they saw this, they can't remember. But they're pissed.
All those government workers who make cushy salaries and get "security" in their jobs are also a favorite target of these economic bigots. You know, that cushy salary of $45,000 a year, which is approximately the average civil servants pay, is simply too much for their wallets to handle. And they're pissed.
Those lazy teachers, who get to take their summers off, and get off all the holidays and weekends during the year. They're another group of Americans who are fleecing this country for all we've got. Their industry spends the most of our tax dollars out of any other (aside from defense of course). And they're pissed.
And then there was Bettina and Frances Miale. They were 18 and 21 respectively 100 years ago today when they woke up, and went to work. They never made it home to see their father and mother again. They never made it back to tell Leonardo Don Diego, my great grandfather, and his new wife Carmela, how their day was at the stoop of the apartment house they all lived in.
They made shirtwaists for Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, the good guys, who were trying to save consumers money by cheating their workers of basic rights like bathroom breaks. Those noble entrepreneurs made tough business decisions and so what if two poor immigrant girls, residing in a small apartment at 135 Sullivan Street, would suffer because of it? Bettina and Frances should have been grateful to be able to earn their $12 weekly wage in this great country.
Work was what they came here for anyway, wasn't it? Their desolate and ever disappearing Southern Italian village couldn't supply them with it, so they came here, to live off of our dime. All the money being spent to better their lower Manhattan neighborhood was coming back out of the pockets of the Max Blanck's and Isaac Harris' of the world. And they were paying their salaries as well. So what if they locked them in their workrooms, they were being paid to work.
And on top of things, these girls, if you could call them that, were trying to organize a union in their shop. They were using their numbers to bully poor Max and Isaac into giving them the rights they didn't deserve. These unions did nothing but accomplish corruption among the ranks of the assembly, among the elected officials who were there to serve the people. How dare they?
If they did their job well, they'd have all the security they'd need. Why did they need to unionize? Why did they need to fleece poor old Max and Isaac, who were struggling to get by in their Uptown Mansions. For Christ's sake, they were thinking about letting go of their servants because of this talk of union.
But it took the rush of a fire, and the death of these two brave girls, to show the public that Max and Isaac weren't the good guys they've claimed to be. They weren't the good guys the papers were demanding they were. They weren't the good guys whose police bribes enabled them to intimidate and beat their workers who dared talk "strike". They were the cu$ that we all thought they were. They were the snakes in the grass who slithered their way uptown to their mansions while their workers trudged through the grime of lower Manhattan to get to their factory, and die. They were the f&@*$ who ordered their workers locked in, so they wouldn't sneak off with the odd shirtwaist.
They were Scott Walker. They were Marty Golden. I piss on their graves and on their descendants whoever they may be. And I piss on Scott Walker and Marty Golden. And so do the Miale girls. I only hope it doesn't take a tragedy like that of the one that happened a hundred years ago for the rest of America to relieve themselves of this Conservative government of the few. While it may not be life threatening in the same way as it was a hundred years ago, due to the cost of living in this country, the "cushy" salaries public employees earn are the equivalent of an unlocked door, and a working fire escape, and I'm starting to smell smoke.