June 16, 2008
Biddy meet Scott
Carolyn "Biddy" Martin will soon be the new Chancellor at UW Madison. Scott Walker is a Milwaukee-based privatizer and Milwaukee County Executive. Both will play significant roles in our future. Will Biddy go with the privatizers or will she defend our great state university from the attack led by Walker and Sykes?
Walker wants to be governor and he knows that the path will be cleared for him by the Charlie Sykes/Bradley Foundation folks who would sell the sidewalks if they could. But first he must, ala Grover Norquist, shrink government to the size that it could be "drowned in a bathtub."
Walker has no privatized success stories to tell, so he relies instead on balderdash in calling for more privatization of governmental services and the sale of physical assets. Like those who sold the Milwaukee Public Museum of Natural History that damned near bankrupted the 100-year-old institution, Walker tells us that privatizing Mitchell Airport will save lots of tax dollars. Like a guest on "Antiques Roadshow," Walker thinks everything has a price and his role as an elected official is to get the best price and damn the consequences. Forget the people served by government and focus on the sale! Take short-term gain and forget that the profit-maximizers will rob us in the future. (Selling the parks, closing the swimming pools, and more vouchers for schools will permit him to seek statewide office on a silly "No new taxes or increased old ones" platform. He should say, "No government--social Darwinism.")
Biddy Martin will take a pay cut to accept perhaps the best job in Wisconsin. She will be paid about half a million per year plus house, car, etc. One hopes she will not compromise the integrity of the UW by serving on corporate boards with those who think like Walker. (She shouldn't serve on union boards either for that matter.)
And, one hopes that her first priority, "higher faculty salaries," will not lead her down the path of UW privatization. It is time to lead. As Hightower's book proclaimed, "Even a dead fish can go with the flow."
Spend less on prisons, more on education, build a better Wisconsin.
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