Friday, October 25, 2013
A Must See. "As Goes Janesville"
Have you seen "As Goes Janesville" yet? No. Why not?
There's no excuse now. The full version in high quality video has been posted on Youtube since July.
I don't mean to sound snarky, but over the past year I've gotten several emails and have been in conversations where some folks said they won't watch it because it's depressing. Or partisan. Or boring. Or negative. Or don't have the time.
It's depressing to hear anyone say it's depressing. For one thing, if you're a regular visitor at this blog, chances are you're either involved directly or concerned greatly about local politics, our economy, the media or education. That should mean you're either one who wants to help bring about change by helping others or lead the pack. That's all good and dandy, but I submit that without viewing this film, it's like flailing away against an opponent you know is there. You hear them and can feel them, but refuse to open your eyes or acknowledge them just because of ... ________________________? You can fill in the blank.
Not to take anything away from the former GM employees appearing in the film, but "As Goes Janesville" tells alot more than just the struggles of workers trying to transform their lives or a town trying to pick up the pieces after the GM Plant shutdown.
The filmmaker, unintentionally and without political reservation, captured rare if not disturbing recordings of informal conversations between people who hold the public trust in their hands. You'll hear and see with your own eyes and ears leaders from our local economic development groups annoint Gov. Scott Walker's plan to divide and conquer the state's union worker constituency. They told the Governor, "you’re right on target, that’s what we need," and proceeded to donate over $500,000 to his cause.
You'll hear them giggle and gloat over the suggestion that the newly unemployed workers will be forced to accept lower pay because GM is gone. Because of that they said, "we're almost over the hump." You'll hear a state legislator explain how he's their "tool" and you'll hear a local city official practically complain that Wisconsin workers have had good wages and benefits for "too long," and those conditions, described as "burdens" bring unaffordable costs to government and businesses.
But most important in my view, you'll see how unelected public officials and self-appointed groups of individuals, who for no qualification other than their politics or personal wealth, have distorted the role of government and turned our public tax treasuries into a personal plaything that must compete for private enterprise. Through the act of extortion slyly masquerading as public/private partnerships and community teamwork, they've literally turned the system upside-down. This is not just a local Janesville problem - it's national. There's all that and more in "As Goes Janesville."
So, this is no time to be depressed. Quite to the contrary. This is a time to awaken, rise up, organize and bring truth to power in whatever capacity you can because every little bit helps. Never give up.
Don't just sit there.
Note: This posting is the independent and sole opinion of its author and not affiliated in any way with the production or producers of the documentary.
Democurmudgeon - Walker's WEDC Inherently Corruptible and Should Be Avoided
Posted by Lou Kaye at 12:56 AM