Personal family stories. My great grandfather was an industrialist. My grandfather inherited enough money to retire at 42. Here's the view from Wm. A. Draves I and William A. Draves II.
Industrialist My company testified before Congress, opposing in 1902 the 40 hour work week and the 8 hour work day. We said we could not compete globally with these government imposed laws. Yes, my company became a Fortune 500 company, but I would oppose unions, 40 hour work week, weekends and the 8 hour work day today if I could. I earned my money. In America anyone can be rich. My workers were lucky to have a job. We did not have income taxes while I was alive, thank goodness.
KINDA RICH I opposed the income tax in 1916. Said it destroyed a whole way of life. Worst thing that could happen. My father got stock. He gave it me. That's how business works. My wife gave food to people who came to the back door during the Depression. I take care of my family. You do the same for yours.
Photo: Me in my father's tuxedo. My father, William A. Draves III, wore it in college, but fought World War II for the middle class and believed in the middle class. He was brought up kinda rich, but never wanted to be rich and intentionally got a middle class job as a newspaper reporter. His brother also fought in the war and got a middle class job as a professor.
"Keep the government from messing with my Medicare." (actual quote)
View: For those of us over 40, over 50, over 60, we do not care about the future or our kids or our grandchildren. We care about our retirement. I have a government pension. My husband worked for a big company and retired and two years later they bankrupted his pension. My neighbor is a teacher, and she just decided to retire right now, this week, so the government doesn't take away any more of her benefits.
We need Medicaid but we don't want the government messing with it. We want our health coverage, but we don't want you to have health insurance. That's socialism. We don't care about the environment. We won't be there. We want to be able to shoot wolves. We need low gas prices. We need big pick up trucks to drive so we don't get killed and can get out of a snow bank.
We will never ride a train again. It's us against - - against - - everybody. Photo: Draves at county fair.
"I am 56. I have a high school degree. You see this truck? I get $10 to load it. Not $10 an hour, $10 period. It's over." (actual conversation)
The view: 80% of us in Wisconsin have only a high school degree. I don't want to pay taxes to support state and government and school and college people who have college degrees and make more than I do.
I used to belong to a union, my father was a union member, but now union pay scale dropped from $28 an hour to $13 an hour at Harley and Mercury Marine and every other factory job, and you cannot make a living on that.
Yes I want to cut government budgets, and school budgets, and college budgets. I will never take a continuing education course. I did once and it led nowhere. I don't want you to cost me one penny. I've lost all my benefits, my future, and I sure don't want to pay to support you. Photo: Actual guy's actual truck in northern Wisconsin.
If you have ever walked into an office building, then you have been positively affected by protests.
This is the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company tragedy in which 146 young women were killed by a fire in New York City. The company, opposed to unions (or building codes) locked the doors every day, supposedly to inhibit theft, so the women could not get out. Here's more on it.
The tragedy helped lead to building codes and the creation of a huge big LERN member, the National Fire Protection Association. Cheryl Green Pozner of NPFA was chair of our Board last year. Here's an interesting story on the NFPA web site recognizing the tragedy. Photo: Relatives try to identify the bodies of the victims.
Enjoying your weekend? Thank a union. Even cab drivers will be hurt by the Tea Party agenda here.
One of the most fun things we watched was a long string of yellow cabs circling the Capitol. They honked their horns to the cadence of the most popular chant.
The chant goes like this. Leader: "Tell me what democracy looks like." Crowd:"This is what democracy looks like." So one cab driver would honk to the cadence of the first line, and another cab would honk to the cadence of the response. Here's a great YouTube video. Just watch and listen to the first 20 seconds, up til the videographer says "Unbelievable."
Training budgets are down, reports the American Society for Training and Development. Registrations for continuing education and lifelong learning in colleges, schools, recreation departments have been flat-to-down for ten years.
Here's the solution: Business has to invest, including an investment in professional development and training. Business is sitting on $1.7 trillion in cash. Some banks are even still sitting on the money from the taxpayer bailout of two years ago.
If business invests, everyone wins. If business does not invest, 90% of us lose. Photo: Susan Sarandon, photo by LERN's Julie Coates.
Grand sight- - 60 tractors going around the Capitol, surrounded by 100,000 cheering people.
Here's why family farmers support the Wisconsin Protests: it's about them too. A number, a number too large to ignore, of farmers need Badgercare, our state health care. The Tea Party would eliminate our state health care plan for farmers.
Did you know that cows in Wisconsin produce better tasting cheese because the cows roam the pasture, not locked up in stalls like cows in other states? Like your pizza? Thank a Wisconsin farmer.