A friend of mine the other day said, of the West Bend Republican state senator, "Glenn Grothman is a knob."
There's an argument to made against saying something like that on the grounds of politeness. I mean, that's not the sort of thing you necessarily want to say in mixed company. But she had a point. Grothman's latest inanity, which prompted the comment, is the return of the seven-day work week.
You've probably heard this. If you're on the internet at all – and it seems that you are! – you likely had some friend of yours link to the Huffington Post story last week that laid out Grothman's proposal. When I read it, I had to double-check that it wasn't one of those Daily Currant stories that is satire, but not good enough satire to be funny or anywhere near in the same league as The Onion. Because I could totally imagine someone thinking they're funny writing this story.
But it is true! Grothman has not denied it, and the story's been confirmed by real Wisconsin news outlets.
(But it sounds like satire: HuffPo says the proposal is sponsored in the Assembly by a Republican named Mark Born, whose bio says he lives in Beaver Dam with his wife Liberty and their daughter Reagan. You can't make this stuff up, people.)
I will admit, I think the Wisconsin law requiring at least one day off in a calendar week (unless you're a janitor or a cheesemaker!) is weird, and if it disappeared, I doubt the world would end.
But what gets me about this story – and I think what gets me about Grothman in general, and why people think he's a knob – is the reason Grothman gives for wanting to repeal the law.
"All sorts of people want to work seven days a week," Grothman told HuffPo. "A lot of times, you may have a factory that wants to run more shifts or want to work overtime and is short of people – and the employee wants to work, and the employer wants them to work, why shouldn't they be able to work?"
In other words, Grothman is apparently besieged by sad-faced employees of his district who just want so bad to work a straight fortnight that he is moved by utter compassion to offer this fix to help The Working Man.
Grothman says this about "freedom." For, you know, the worker. Who wants to do all that work.
This is Grothman's schtick: His proposals – curtailing access to voting, saying women don't think money is important so they don't need equal pay, his "production tax credit" that can cut corporate taxes to basically zero – are clearly designed to benefit The Man, not The Working Man. More money and bennies to the wealthy, the white, the male, the powerful. But he sells them as being about "freedom" for the average person.
Here's the thing: If The Working Man in Grothman's district needs to take on extra shifts and whole extra days of work to make ends meet, then the problem is decidedly not Wisconsin's funny law barring seven days of work in a calendar week (unless you're a baker or a fire-stoker!). The problem is that wages are too low.
And if The Man really wants to add whole shifts and whole extra days of work at his widget factories, there's a pretty easy answer that employers have been using since forever – hire more people. I mean, haven't we been told incessantly by Grothman and his brethren that these people are "job creators"? Create some jobs, people!
(One could, if one wanted, insert some additional snarky comments about how this would help fellow Republican Scott Walker with his "250,000 jobs in four years" pledge, but I am not that one, today.)
Both of these solutions – raising wages and broadening employment – would be great for most of the people Grothman represents (not to mention around the state), doing something that would actually increase freedom by putting more money in more people's pockets without requiring a return to 19th century workhouse conditions.
But neither of these solutions is appealing to the real constituency of politicians like Grothman, who would rather squeeze the workers they have than pay a penny more or actually create a job.
Is that enough to deserve being called a knob? I don't know about all that. But it's pretty clear Grothman, who as a state senator worked about 40 days last year, doesn't have a clue about what real workers in this state need.
Grothman is definitely confused. Anyone out there working knows employers want their employees to "flex" their hours instead of working overtime. And the whole "do more with less people" scenario is very popular with employers and is now at its peak.
I'm guessing that not what ol' Glenn has in mind. He is NOT on the side of blue collars workers.
you can write an article like this, one that is well worded and makes sense, and filled with honest truths. but the problem is too many people are brainwashed into kissing the ass of the wealthy "job creators" who want nothing to do with actual job creating. The truth is, the business owners are in it for money, nothing more nothing less, the customer doesn't matter and the employee doesn't matter. Money. That's all they want. And they'll screw each one of us over in order to make one penny more. Congrats, this is what capitalism is all about.
4 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jay Bullock
Published Nov. 30, 2016
Last week, the internet served up a notification that WILL had responded to my complaints. I started reading their post wondering if I might need to lay down a new gauntlet; as it turns out, my old gauntlet is still down, untouched.
Published Nov. 24, 2016
A number of election postmortems from The Professional Left have one thing in common: complaints that Democrats lost because we did not adequately kowtow to white men. But that view is part of the problem, not anything to do with the solution.
Published Nov. 14, 2016
In two short months, Donald Trump will be taking the oath of office, his tiny left hand resting (I assume) atop a copy of "The Art of the Deal." Here are three final takeaways from what happened last Tuesday.
Published Nov. 9, 2016
Last week, MPS unveiled a multifaceted reform plan that, if implemented, would upend two decades of anti-public school sentiment among Wisconsin legislators - and it shows that Dr. Darienne Driver is not just any old MPS superintendent.
Published Nov. 2, 2016
The false equivocation, that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are somehow equally bad in a number of ways, baffles me this election season - and nowhere is it more obvious and baffling than in the reignited Clinton email outrage.
Published Oct. 18, 2016
The change in designation for MPS suggests two things. One, we now have better evidence that the disdain toward MPS is clearly undeserved. Two, lawmakers would better serve our children by working with MPS on its internal reforms rather than against it.
Published Oct. 12, 2016
The GOP may try to claim Trump is no true Republican. But their problem is that he, and all the men who have been elected to or nominated for the presidency under the GOP banner in living memory, are the Republican Party - and the party is Trump.
Published Oct. 10, 2016
When it comes to conspiracy theorists, I'm not going to try to change your mind with so-called "facts" but rather with reasons why your beliefs actually make Hillary Clinton the better choice - or at least a plausible choice - for your vote.
Published Sept. 27, 2016
Gary Johnson may have said some mock-worthy things this past week about space colonization. As it turns out, though, Gary Johnson is pretty serious - maybe not about the science fiction, but in terms of consequences for this election.
Published Sept. 20, 2016
The fallout for Gov. Walker and those tangled in the John Doe web may well continue because all of the prosecution's documents in the case are now available for all to see. They provide a remarkable picture of what a true political pay-to-play scheme looks like.