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Wisconsin Uprising Paperback – March 1, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael D. Yates is Associate Editor of Monthly Review and the author of Why Unions Matter and The ABCs of the Economic Crisis (with Fred Magdoff).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Monthly Review Press (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158367280X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583672808
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,750,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Yates is a writer, editor, and labor educator. Among his books are Why Unions Matter (Monthly Review Press, 1998, second revised edition 2009), Longer Hours, Fewer Jobs (Monthly Review Press, 1994), Power on the Job (South End Press, 1994), Naming the System: Inequality and Work in the Global Economy (Monthly Review Press, 2002),More Unequal: Aspects of Class in the United States (Monthly Review Press, 2007), Cheap Motels and a Hotplate: an Economist's Travelogue (Monthly Review Press, 2007), In and Out of the Working Class (Arbeiter Ring Publishing, 2009), Wisconsin Uprising (Monthly Review Press, 2012), and A Freedom Budget for All Americans: Recapturing the Promise of the Civil Rights Movement in the Struggle for Economic Justice (Monthly Review Press, 2013).He has also published hundreds of articles and reviews in a wide variety of journals, magazines, blogs, websites, and newspapers. He is currently Associate Editor of Monthly Review magazine and Editorial Director of Monthly Review Press. He taught economics and labor relations at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown from 1969 until his retirement in 2001. He won the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1984. Since 1980, he has been a labor educator, teaching trade union members in a wide variety of formats, from one-day seminars to six-week courses to semester-long classes. He has taught union members through Penn State's Union Leadership program, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst's Labor Center, Indiana University, Cornell's Labor Centers in Manhattan and Albany, and through individual arrangements with unions, including SEIU (1199), UNITE, USWA, UFCW, and OCAW. Yates also worked in the research Office of the United Farm Workers Union and has served as a labor arbitrator with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Mediation. He and his wife Karen Korenoski have been traveling the United States for the past thirteen years. These travels are recounted in his book Cheap Motels and a Hot Plate: an Economist's Travelogue. Yates blogs at cheapmotelsandahotplate.org.

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The 2011 Wisconsin protests were about the opposition to the "Budget Repair Bill" that was proposed by Governor Scott Walker (who faces a recall election on June 5, 2012) that would reduce benefits and virtually eliminate collective bargaining for public employees---ostensibly to address a state budget shortfall. As many as 100,000 persons participated in the protests, which also led to recall elections that removed two incumbent Republican state senators from office in 2011.

The Foreword to this 2012 book notes that the counter-protests by Tea Party participants "could barely get a thousand people to show up at one of their Wisconsin demonstrations---even flying in the Koch Brothers' favorite union-hating worker, Joe the Plumber, to hype the gate." (Pg. 12) It also notes that the Democratic Party has delivered "next to nothing" for labor for decades, "except the knowledge that Democrats are not Republicans... (and) know they can serve the corporate community and Wall Street and keep labor support because labor has nowhere else to go." (Pg. 15) The book later opines that "No party is committed to a fundamental challenge to financial and corporate power." (Pg. 190)

The Introduction suggests that the mainstream media's owners (who "are more interested in making money than in telling the truth") would have us believe that immigrants, Muslims, or the Chinese are to blame for what is happening, when "It is the economic system and those who control it that bear responsibility." (Pg. 23-24) The Wisconsin rebellion is portrayed as "the result of accumulated grievances... pushed over the edge by an assault on the only remaining organized segment of the working class." (Pg.
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Format: Paperback
The chief strength of this book lies in its objective reporting from multiple writers. By this stage in the game, all of us know the Republican agenda: Balance the budget by eliminating colletive bargaining rights, continue to bash workers as ungrateful, over-paid parasites, and to conflate wealth with moral superiority and godliness; continue to blast the poor and the meek, continue to give tax breaks to wealthy businessmen and mega-rich corporations.
In a coversation with Governor Walker, a person pretending to be billionaire David Kocke, Walker, with steely-eyed determination, had stated that he intended to "crush the uprising." A tyrant's response to democracy, if there ever was one. Also, one author notes that prior to Walker taking office, the state was said to have a $121.4 million-dollar surplus, granting Walker the incentive to give $140 million dollars to special interest groups, or more accurately put, groups that sponsered his agenda. In short, he created the deficit in pursuance to his own agenda.
As Mark Twain observed so many years ago, "History may not exactly repeat itself, but it does rhyme." At the beginning of the previous century, during the early formation of unions, workers were being gunned down in the street for demanding basic humane rights. And here we are again!
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