The Wisconsin Magazine; 1323
Why. Going. To medical marketing part through the company presented. It was bizarre. Get us out on strike. That's the name of the game the name of the constant fear of the federal government.
America Hears very much about family and family in a very particular way. The Wisconsin magazine is a presentation of Wisconsin Public Television. Good evening. Also tonight an update on Indian hunting and fishing rights and later in the hour a conversation on the Constitution since just after new years workers have been on strike at the Patrick cutting hay meat packing plants near Milwaukee. This week an official with the National Labor Relations Board said the company would be charged with bad faith bargaining unless negotiations resumed with the union. The meat packing industry has always known its share of hard times just re read Upton Sinclair's turn of the century novel The Jungle sometime. And today the industry is struggling and so are the workers who must sometimes choose between lower wages or going out on strike.
Our first report tonight strike produced and reported by Steve gent a stack. Of time at the. They plan to shift time in the town named after the pork slaughter house. Tensions are high. Scabs or replacement workers across lines are striking workers who have been out on strike for months. This report pointed out of the economy from the walking suburb of cutting hay for 99 years. Now after about 850 workers went on strike January 3rd. Economic conditions may be at the heart of a long bitter struggle between company officials and union workers. Members of Local 40 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union U.S. CW voted to strike after the company demanded significant changes in the union contract specifically the company wants to cut hourly wages one to three dollars below the current wage of $9 an hour. Eliminate life and medical insurance for future retirees
hire part time workers at 575 an hour with no benefits and subcontract work previously done by unionized workers. And our position is we have no intentions of going backwards. Mark Rosenbaum is president of local PD 40 of us. He says the union made wage concessions in 1982 in 1940 and it's time to draw the line and the people simply can't live on those kind of wages and do that type of work in there. The type of work that goes on inside the hog slaughter house is not for beginners at peak capacity the plant can slaughter a thousand hogs in eight hours. It is fast paced and dangerous work. You're talking about. Killing 16 17 yards a minute which comes to about four or five seconds you're slaughtering a hive it is the life's work of people like doing a Patrick cutting hay employee for 40 years I think it's near what they've been most of my life. You're known as the third cut they want
to get retirement benefits away plus they want another $3 an hour. That's just what you just can't make a living. Those are the sentiments you hear echoed back and forth across the picket line. Robert Blakey has worked for cutting hay for 13 years. They want me to work for the same wage I was making when I first started working I mean now 13 years you go back to you know square one. This doesn't seem right to me. President Roger capella declined to be interviewed for our report told WTMJ TV in Milwaukee in January that union concessions are necessary if the company is to stay alive. We have to be competitive with like Packers and those like Packers are considerably lower than our wage scale. New competition in the hog industry that is undercutting union wages. The company has made its final offer and refuses to negotiate with the union president Rosenbaum says the company is
out to break the union. We believe that the whole bargaining posture that the company presented was designed to get us out on strike OK that we had no we had no choice but to go out. We believe they bargain in bad faith. The union has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board citing among other things the fact that the company put in an order for permanent replacements with jobs. Service even before strikes was taken and if that stuff is not bad bargaining I don't know what is. The company hired a replacement workers including 35 returning workers the company has rejected two union wage proposal and no new talks are scheduled. In other words this strike could go on for some time. We're going down to the union wanted wages similar to those workers that Oscar Meyer in Madison and Hormel in Minnesota around $10 an hour. The
company offered a day's wage of six and a quarter. The reason that Hormel and I can pay wages near the top end of the range is because of returns. Charles Levitt is a senior livestock analyst with yours and Lehman Brothers in Chicago. Hormel organization last on the processing of the plant type operation according to Leavitt's figures a processing plant. Featuring bacon sausage in cold cuts 10 times higher than a plant like Patrick featuring fresh meat. The value added dollars you're kind of talking about apples and oranges here. Not only has trouble competing with processing plants but with other slaughterhouse type operations like beefy formally I would be for.
BP has modernized its plants and pays the lowest wages for five years ago was hardly a factor as far as the hog market is concerned. Now there are about the third or fourth largest border in the U.S. so you can see what kind of ID when it comes to dealing with the union is a hard player. They're very very difficult for the for the union to get along with many of these plants are non-unionized and obviously. 1084 the Patrick plant was bought by Smithfield Foods incorporated in Arlington Virginia Smithfield had a fiscal 1986 profit of 4.7 million dollars. The plant brought a modest profit of seven hundred fifty thousand dollars. Local Union President Mark Rosenberg that's where the skilled workforce and they're crying that
they can't compete we're killing seven between seven and eight thousand odd today. Where is your justification that you're going to be able to make this a successful operation. Training a new workforce. In training a new workforce is precisely what he is doing. The company has hired 600 replacement workers unskilled in the meat packing business as a result production has slowed down and accidents are occurring right in and around ones that we don't know what happened. Is it because people don't know what you're doing. The point is going to operate at the level that somebody is willing to work for or take the job to do. It
depends on how desperate the labor force is in the area around the plant. According to industry analyst Levitt cutting labor costs is the only way an actor like Patrick can change their bottom line. Labor is the expense and if somebody can pay their workers a couple of dollars less per hour than they really have to deal with that that operator and that competition not the processing plant. Just as companies worry about survival in the marketplace. Workers worry about the survival of their way of life in 1081 Dennis winter made thirty thousand dollars working at Patrick. His income has decreased with two previous wage concessions. Now he and his wife Deborah are both on strike stopped. You can't live in a part time job. You have to have two part time jobs Don't be able to live. With savings and a little help from their family the widder's say they can hold out for about a year.
But from a real sense as low wages are better than no wages. OK because I to pilots are the high profile of illegal Elizondo is interpretating for Maria Sanchez who does not speak English. Sanchez has worked to cut hay for one year. She returned to work because she needs the money. We called her on the phone for. The Patrick strike has been relatively free of violence except for one incident February 13th that night six gunshots were fired into Sanchez's home while she was alone with her children. Their family thought to striking workers were
charged with reckless use of a weapon and faced a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a $10000 fine. A pulmonary hearing is scheduled for April 2nd before the shooting stands just as he received threatening phone calls. That was because he had no enemies. The union doesn't condone any kind of violence like that. You're going to expect some kind of operating on the line a line where tensions are high. Stay Sanchez MySpace frustrated strikers as he crosses the picket line to go to work. She says the threats continue. They're going to right now either because they're waiting.
The kind of strike is different from the bitter and more violent Hormel strike had divided the Minnesota and required National Guard troops to keep the peace. The lesson was learned from the Hormel strike the union has to remain united as long as we're getting support from other unions like we have been. That's getting money for donations and you know something about hard times and striking work strikers have received strong support from the community and other unions in the state. The Walky Archbishop Rembert Weakland criticized the company for hiring replacement workers and former actor and president of the Screen Actors Guild Ed Asner spoke at a union rally. I commend you and I said. I say shame on you shame on you. The union has
started a boycott of products to pressure the company into a settlement. The company officials say it's either union concessions or they'll have to close the plant. This plan's going to be here long after you and I are dead. It being the only hard slaughtering operation in the state of Wisconsin. You have a lot of potential factors here that warrant this operation being open and I don't buy for a minute that they intend on closing the plant. They want us to put on this planet we're going to go to federal mediation efforts have failed to settle the dispute. And the company refuses binding arbitration president Roger capella are finally exactly what the word implies it's what we need to operate this facility to make it competitive. That is our final offer and we're going to use the power of the office and. The power of the governorship to bring the sides together if I can be of any assistance
to both sides in an effort to bring about a settlement. Governor Tommy Thompson met with company management and union officials but came up short. The impasse is still there. Union agreed to have a counterproposal and the company stood fast on its last offer and there isn't much give there. By all accounts it looks as if this strike will be a prolonged one. Strikers claim they will stay out until they win contract demands. But some observers think the union has already lost work. We had two meetings in the company several times they don't want to talk to us. It looks like they want to write you know write a hardliner and just you know I mean every day I was in there and just asked if you thought about the possibility of accepting that. It's hard for
me to work in a decade when labor unions have lost much of their clout. Rosenbaum remains positive by remaining United generating community support and pressuring the company with a boycott he hopes to have his union members back at work. What it takes to go back to work is a fair and just settlement. And we believe that's a two way operation that you have to give and take on both sides. But it's obvious that this company wants nothing to do with take. The American Dream was captured by photographers over the past 40 years in propaganda posters and Hollywood still coming up in the second half of the magazine. And now here is our regular summary of the events that shaped our state during the week of March
27. UW president kind of saw announced how the university system will handle coming in and cuts across space is the biggest cut with an 11 percent decrease phased in over the next four years at UW Madison will be reduced by 5 percent nearly 3000 students over the next two years. That decrease will mean the Madison campus will guarantee admittance to only those who finish in the Top 40 percent of their class. The cuts are designed to bring in romance in line with anticipated university budgets. In the fall of 1905 Judge Daniel P. MacDonald was convicted of murdering Darlington attorney James Klein six months later MacDonald committed suicide. This week the story of Judge McDonald finally concluded the appeals court refused a request from McDonald's attorneys. Dismissed MacDonald's conviction. His attorneys had argued that MacDonald was denied full judicial review since he died before his appeal had been heard. Comparable worth the state's pay
equity plan was back in the news this week with an ironic twist. The plan was intended to improve the pay of those in lower paying jobs traditionally held by women. The more women receive raises than men when the plan went into effect that view where we first overall men actually received a slightly higher percentage salary increase than women. And on Friday morning news of a plane crash concluded the week's events that military aircraft called the A-10 crash near Fort McCoy killing the plane's pilot. The only person on board. The way it wasn't back in the news this past week the topic of Indian hunting and fishing rights will be in the news again soon. This weekend in Wasaga protest conferences planned by the group protect American rights and resources. The group is unhappy in part about recent federal court rulings. Last month federal judge James Doyle reaffirmed special Indian hunting and fishing rights granted to Chippewas in several 19th century treaties. Judge Boyle's ruling once again established that a deal is a deal and that Indians can have
expanded hunting and. Seasons can use the controversial spearing method of fishing and can sell what they catch in order to make a modest living. Earlier this week we asked Milt Rosenberg who represents the Redcliffe Chippewa and George Meyer of the DNR to comment on the comprehensiveness of the latest rulings. But all the bases he tried as hard as he could to answer all the knotty questions that were posed at the trial it was was in your view one of the more significant things the question of trade that people would be able to to sell what they harvested is not what's especially new or significant about this latest ruling. Well I think it was a lurking question certainly in the minds of the state I don't think it was thought by the plaintiffs to be seriously in dispute. But I think the state did dispute it and made an effort to dispute it and so the resolution of that question is a significant ingredient in the current situation from the States.
George why were you surprised by the ruling did it did it. There was everyone at the DNI the next day taken aback by all this and how did you respond. We were anticipating a broad ruling in many of the issues in Judge Sauls decision or not controverted by the state. The issue of course was Asian. There was some concern concern about because obviously the concern the concern there is. And instead of to increase the harvest and coupled with the higher percentage of allocation that can place some stress on lakes the less reasonable regulations can be put in place. Now when we say allocation how her high percentage of allocation What does that mean what does it mean first of all from the tribe's perspective Mr. Rosenberg. Well I guess it's just a question of where the borderline of the rights they reserved in their treaty leave off and where the ordinary citizens privileges begin and where do they leave off what the judge ruling said believe at the point that the Indians have extracted a modest living
from the resources then at that point that's where their Treaty Rights leave off. Now how do you how does one or how do we go about defining what that means a phrase like the ability to make a modest living is that something that will be adjudicated further is that up now to the state to figure out where do we go next with it. Well I think it's been used in other contexts Judge Boyle did not believe come up with the term out of whole cloth. It's been used I think by the. United States Supreme Court in fact. And so it is a term that's become a term of art in these in these treating matters and it would be if issues arise about it I think we're a long way away from trying to to exhaust the scope of the treaty right. But should that day come I suppose it would be addressed by some sort of fact finding process in the court.
It is true that it's some quite well need to go to the Supreme Court has given some definition to it but when it comes to an individual and in their income and various various source of income needs to be further defined so some point to be additionally and you were saying to me earlier Mr. Rosenberg before we began that part of what's also significant about all this is that it's sort of. Shift the focus that things now have to go that the state really the ball's in the state's court no longer in the tribes. Explain what you mean by that. Further if you would. Well what the court has to find is this is the rights that the way reserved in 1040 to an eight hundred thirty seven. Now the state can come in on its own and try and prove separate grounds for placing restrictions on these rights based soley on
necessity for conservation. I think the phrase is reasonable and necessary for conservation. The burden is on them at this point but the burden is on the tribes have been played it's up to this point. And as far as I'm concerned their case more or less concludes with Judge Boyle's present judgment. Now the burden shifts to the state and the timing and everything else is in there. But logistics and all those things are worked out at that level but what you're really saying is that once and for all these are in fact good for all time that's what they were meant to say that's what the courts have finally said once again unless that subset on appeal. That's right. Now now is there a danger in your view from the tribe's perspective that these treaties can be abrogated in some way. Can that happen. Is there real pressure upon the Congress or at that level for that to occur. Well I think there has been some talk in the press and perhaps by some of Wisconsin's. Representative about what the Congress may or may not do and if it wouldn't impinge too much on the discussion I think there are a few
paragraphs in a letter to Senator Proxmire that are worth reading about one paragraph. This is a letter from Senator a joint letter from Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii and Representative Morris Udall chairman of the respective committees on Indian Affairs in the Senate and the house and they write a contract was entered into and the United States gave its word to abide by the terms. In the words of Justice Hugo Black in the Supreme Court decision it's a. Great nations like great men should keep their word. It now appears the terms of the treaty are inconvenient and burdensome to the state of Wisconsin and its citizens. The beneficiaries of the treaty without a negotiated agreement between the state and the tribes which is actively endorsed by the executive branch our committees would not be receptive
to legislation which would unilaterally abrogate the Indian rights and go back on the word of the United States. Any such legislation would also be subject to a presidential veto. And that's from Senator in a way and Senator Graham in your dollars and I'll send you a great nation to keep its word. How about a great state I mean what what what what. Is there a desire on the part of the state to the two to do what I guess at this point how are you going to live with all of this starts with. The question of abrogation has never been an issue that has been raised by the state of Wisconsin. I think there's been some people in the public that raise that issue. We surely understood that Congress was not going to abrogate the treaty. That is not in the history of Congress for the last 50 years. There has to be other solutions to this. And what is being explored at the state level activators is whether or not there can be certain settlement made which would fully recognize the existence of the rights which are very important to the
tribes as these federal rulings have been going forth you in the meantime each year have been negotiating these interim agreements figuring out how many walleyes can be harvested How long can you spear fish those kinds of things. Lots of worry lots of concern among among sportsmen across the state about how that would affect the resources. Are you confident that these kinds of agreements will not significantly diminish the state's resources of fish in northern Wisconsin. We've had 22 agreements previous to this year and they had only two years. Does that mean that's been going on for 20 to various seasons. There has not been any significant adverse effect. What about what happened which was so controversial last year when more was taken on the last night it started like and people were upset about that. Does that cause. If you cause for concern for the future or have you satisfied that in this year's negotiations you're saying no the harvest was excluded there which was the agreed upon number. We negotiated agreement to within the last two weeks
with the tribes which has put in place a control system to assure that the limits that have been negotiated will not be over harvest in terms of walleye this year and that problem be prevented and in and you have and that has been received with the cooperation of the tribes involved because in fact given what Mr. Rosenberg has said they could indeed ask for more. Could they not. Yes and I think it's very important for the public to understand the judge's ruling is very broad but the tribes stand down with the state of Wisconsin and negotiated a very reasonable and moderate agreement and avoided some of the things that I think would give them greater concern to us as a department into the people's state of Wisconsin. They should be given credit for the. Comments from George Meyer the DNR in Milt Rosenberg an attorney who represents the Redcliffe Triple-A. Last year the great license plate to build a new design but not a new slogan. Tonight columnist Joel McNally has some ideas about how motorists could
possibly benefit from America's. All eyes in Wisconsin should be riveted on Idaho and the landmark famous potato's case it seems a little more minor in Idaho filed a lawsuit against the state of Iowa whose license plates carry the snappy slogan. Famous Potatoes you thought America's dairy land was bad. This guy wants 23 million dollars in compensation for Idaho residents. He's driving around with a potato ad on his car is forcing him into involuntary servitude for potato farmers. Well we can tell him a thing or two about involuntary servitude. We're forced to
advertise on America's dairy like him as if it were a thinking part for camels. Until recently our plates or even the color of cheese whiz. Now we get paid royalties. That's very different. There's no reason Jim Palmer Larry Bird and a bunch of washed up beer drinkers should pull down all the big bucks for endorsements instead of pay. For our license plates. We should be offered that contract. We should get a percentage of all dairy sales for putting those ads on our cars. Do you realize how much that is in cottage cheese. Large curd and small we'd really be sitting pretty if we changed our slogan to eat cheese or and I just think what we get for that drive in movie rights to that baby. This court case could be bigger than Doran's got. We're not talking small potatoes here or even famous ones. If the Supreme Court rule our way we're going to milk this thing until the
cows come home. You know what the Journal columnist John McNally a Wisconsin Democratic congressman Les Aspin called. Himself a pragmatist willing to change as times change when asked when change from outspoken Pentagon critic to supporter of the M-x missile he angered liberal Democrats and almost lost his job as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Congressman Aspen has also changed his views on bringing defense contracts home to the home districts a practice he once criticized. But times and the economy change and so has chairman aspens ability to give hometown and industries a helping hand. But do defense contracts actually help the economy. Here's a background report called The Business of bombs reported by our tax. Code. This is normal. This device goes on a satellite and this sensor looks at the worm to calibrate its now. Then it looks down.
If you've never seen the Military-Industrial Complex up close and personal look now this is it. This particular part happens before the new vehicle of the old TV is producing We have called the Hummer and it's a real. Placement for the Jeep. Paul Schuler owns a machine shop in Racine. He was one of over 200 Wisconsin business people Congressman Les Aspin brought together at Lake Geneva last year to meet with major defense contractors. People ask the question what can we expect out of this and I don't even know what a reasonable goal is we're going to get all the money we can ask but who is there to take credit for bringing over one hundred twenty seven million dollars in defense related contracts to the state creating over 3000 new jobs. Aspen's efforts are aimed at smaller firms like Scott forge and Clinton. Basic heavy industries like forging have been hard hit by changes in the economy. Scott forge found it could put its people and their skills to work making parts for the M-1 tank.
And these drive shafts for an Army helicopter that's the name of the game the name of the game is to increase Wisconsin's share of business done with the federal government cares about House Armed Services Committee usually wind up getting memorialized in their districts one way or another. Sometimes it's a veteran's hospital maybe even an Air Force Base. But not Wisconsin's last Aspen Aspen hopes to be remembered in the years to come because of his procurement. Call it brass brass. The Aspen procurement Institute put on its first program this month. The Institute brought Rear Admiral James Whitaker to introduce the folks from the foundries to a Navy purchasing agent. He spends about three quarters of a billion dollars or more. The goal is not just to rebuild the fleet. It is to rebuild the economy because I'm going through some very very hard times it wasn't
67 and I think that the boundaries employed about 32000 people in the state of Wisconsin that is now. But according to the empty pork barrel a study on military spending done in 1975 the Pentagon may be the cause of the unemployment Aspen is hoping the Pentagon will cure. The key point in the first edition of the empty pork barrel was that high military spending is not good for the economy. Marian Anderson wrote to study while working for a Public Interest Research Group in Lansing Michigan will lose jobs. There are just here were jobs generated when the money goes to the Pentagon. Then when it stays with the average consumer. According to that 1975 study money diverted from Wisconsin through the Pentagon budget cost Wisconsin seventy two thousand jobs. It was big news and the name in the headlines was Les Aspen's Les Aspin at that time was considered a very important critic of the Pentagon.
And I asked him if he would be interested in releasing our report. And he said yes he would be very interested releasing our report didn't release it with some very strong language as to how bad military spending was to be economy and the study for once and all smashed the mess that military spending was good for the economy. He got a lot of press out of it. It was very very widely reprinted it was in the congressional record. He liked it all young. You were quoted as saying something like this measure's the myth that defense spending is good for the economy. True or false I think false. Aspen has changed his mind since then. Today defense dollar is the same as any other government dollar. It is neither more inflationary than other more or less inflationary than other government spending. It neither creates more jobs nor less jobs than other government spending.
The empty pork barrel it turns out is back in the news again. A new edition is out. Looking at the economic affects of the defense buildup during the first four years of the Reagan administration for the current edition of the report Anderson used the State of the art computer model of the national economy like this one developed by the same company and used by the Wisconsin Department of development. The model takes the money years out where it goes how it is spent and what other jobs that spending creates. But the study also counts what are called Jobs foregone. This is based on the theory that defense industries are not as labor intensive as our industries that serve the civilian economy. Wisconsin suffered a net loss of just about 90000 jobs during those years. In other words when people were not able to buy as many cars to use machine tools made in Wisconsin to buy the farm products produced in Wisconsin and so forth. And instead the money was going going to the Pentagon. It was
caused a net loss of about 90000 jobs during those years to the state. Their numbers are not correct. I chaired a series of hearings when I was on the Budget Committee. I had charge of the defense part of the Budget Committee when I was on the budget. We held a series of hearings on the issue and invited Marian Anderson and others to come and testify. And their numbers are not right. What's wrong with their numbers. Because well I mean it's a very technical subject but basically they don't include all of the of the effects of tests to mean that they're not using the correct statistics. After that interview was taped Congressman aspens on as this four page letter. In it he acknowledges that the new version of the empty pork barrel is a vast improvement over the first one but he still has problems with it. In short Aspen contends the study looked only at the Reagan build up which involved a mostly hardware that makes Pentagon spending look worse than it really is since bending on personnel and related items does create jobs.
ASMAN also questions whether we civilians would have gone out and borrowed the 190 billion dollars of the government did to finance the build up and that we would have spent that borrowed money the way Anderson predicts. The conflict is over the effects of Wisconsin's tax dollars going to another state to build defense goods like airplanes instead of staying in the taxpayer's pocket to eventually be spent on a Chevy built in Janesville. What the study reveals is some states. Wisconsin have a lots more going out than they have coming in Wisconsin in 1985. Suffered a net loss of three billion five hundred thirty six million dollars to the Pentagon. No Aspen Institute's are going to make up three and a half billion dollars. There is no way we pointed out to Aspen that Anderson was saying the problem wasn't just that Wisconsin wasn't getting defense jobs offense but it's the matter of the money that's diverted through taxes or through right now you know lost by the death that's where that's
where we get hurt. Yeah. True it's not true. Aspen contends that if federal spending in Wisconsin could be brought up to just the average level it would bring in 4.9 billion additional dollars. That would cut the state's unemployment rate by more than half. But even if that were the case there might be a price political dependence on the Defense Department. Politics is very straightforward. It's to get more people around the country in more diverse places tied into the whole Pentagon system. So there are fewer people in Congress who say hey this thing is gonna get cut. It is too big. It's hurting. Let's cut it. Aspen can towns. There is no dependence pointing to the state of Massachusetts. They have the most important state in terms of spending money really controversial weapons systems and they've the delegation doesn't vote for the controversial weapons.
So what's the correlation there is not the only economic danger of defense spending has been Anderson agree on is the effect of a defense oriented economy on the way business does business. What tends to happen is that even when the firms do not think they're going to end up as you know only military contractors the Pentagon will put more and more demands upon these firms who want this kind of battery we want that kind of guy we can make this change then change. And I have talked to manufacturers and after they're finished making all those changes. For one thing they've invested an awful lot of money. Secondly they're not making the kind of batteries or whatever that the civilian market wants anymore and fairly frequently they end up being forced out for one reason or another of the civilian market. When defense absorbs so many engineers and technical people it draws them away from commercial products and therefore our commercial products suffer in comparison with Japanese.
Products or other other industries other countries but Aspen no longer contends as he did in 1975 that high defense spending has contributed to our economic woes. What you said in 1975 is no longer operative. No I thank you. I think that we've learned a lot more since then about the impact of these things. And it's it's not it's not what we thought it was. You expect this of Mendel rivers and Senators Bennett or strong women. But when a congressman has taken a leadership in the other direction and then changes his course 180 degrees you're a lot more angry. As Bill has changed his outlook on defense spending. In 1975 Aspen was calling for a ceiling on defense spending with major cuts and new weapon systems and military research and development. Today he says the Pentagon needs to average 3 percent real gross every year. Perhaps Aspen has realized the inevitability of what it is he has to deal with
when it was revealed recently that the B-1 bomber had major flaws in its fuel system and electronics equipment a force that would be very expensive to repair. Aspen noted that he had opposed to be one but he wasn't going to fight that battle again. The time for that had passed. So what do you do. The Defense Department's question is Where do they spend it. There's a Defense Department no matter what and there's going to be a certain amount of money spent on defense no matter what no matter who's president no matter what's going to happen. You've got a pretty good chunk of our money is going to go to defense and the Defense Department buys products that we make we don't have to make anything different than what we're making now. Just tell the Defense Department whether it's a floor wax whether it's pens whether band instruments whatever it is that we make the Pentagon by. If you would like to comment on this week's program. Right. The Wisconsin
21 University Avenue Madison Wisconsin 3 7 0 6. You can't quite call it constitution fever but the bicentennial of the Constitution does seem to have generated a new interest in historic documents. Witness the crowds of people that stood in line for hours this past week to view the Magna Carta. The exhibit is part of a traveling display which toured the state this past week called The Road to liberty. Joining me now to talk about the historic document the Constitution is Dr. John Kaminski who is director of the Center for the Study of the American Constitution. Dr. committee what did you make of all that people standing in line for hour after hour to watch the Magna Carta which after all is even further back than in the Constitution itself why so much interest do you think. Well it seems to me with the bicentennial the Constitution upon us people do have an interest in you know our heritage things that protect our liberty. And there is an awakening in important historical
documents. What's important about that awakening to you is just as a as a scholar what what would you like the citizenry I guess of this state to be awaken to during this bicentennial. Well primarily I would say I believe we should appreciate the constant. It has given to us over these two hundred years. We have a great deal to be thankful for. We have a country of laws not a government of individuals. And so we look at television every day and we see the problems in the world. Will those problems. We have our problems but we don't have problems with our own government oppressing our citizens. And that's something we should be thankful for. Are there things about the Constitution that we still have to learn I guess that have contemporary applications. It seems to me we often think that something that far in the past is is locked in cement and doesn't really have an ongoing living changing kind of quality to it. What do you still want to learn about the Constitution and how can that affect contemporary events.
Well I think it is an evolving document. When the Constitution was ratified that was what I would like to characterize as a revolution in favor of government. Since that revolution that second American Revolution we have had an evolving government. And things change all the time the Supreme Court uses the Constitution to settle matters that are difficult difficult cases that come before they use the contemporary 18th century material to help them interpret the Constitution. But they also have to use the experience over the last 200 years and the experiences of today interpret that. Writes as to how cases should be solved. And finally what other I guess activities are you going to try to to encourage during this bicentennial year what kinds of things can considerations around the state do to become more informed about the roots of the Constitution and its current applications.
We are right now in the planning stages of having a reading discussion program that will occur here in Madison a pilot pilot program and then at 10 different regional libraries throughout the state. We will select about 25 people at each location and they will read five different books on the Constitution each one of those books will be discussed in a in a session once every two weeks will have a local moderator in Madison will even bring the authors of those books here to participate in the discussion. All right and thank you for participating in this discussion Dr. John Kaminski. Thank you for coming. The Constitution and the road to liberty are of course an integral part of the American experience so too is the American dream the American dream has now been captured in a collection of photographs on loan to the Milwaukee museum so we thought we would close tonight with some images and reflections on the American dream as produced and reported by Joanne Garrett.
You mean the American dream captured in a poolside portrait of Jane Wyman and Ronald Reagan many many years ago. The American dream. To me that chunk of collective unconsciousness that promise is the chicken in every pot and a chance for all to be president. What you heard was. Consider the American dream. That is exactly what Milwaukee artist and writer Tom Bamberger has done with this collection of photographs known to the Milwaukee Art Museum. Some of my old anonymous to talk some of my current thing is for truckers such as Tina Barney and family dory as guest curator Bamberger has attempted a tough task to capture within a frame this dream within the hearts of the American people.
Most of them asked me about that and to the extent to which we want to figure out who we are and if the extent to which always things are readily available as they keep being replayed back to us. We believe in photos we believe in what we see and this is the sort of thing that we see a lot of commercial art. House beautiful covers Hollywood steals propaganda posters. I calculated that consumers may not be the kind of art that one thinks to hang on the wall but Bamberger believes that these commercial images the sort that are continually washed over the media waves into our national unconscious become part of the raw material of the dream we've been getting increasingly more difficult
to hold our gaze because there's so much that's already there in our field of vision that only this information is so widely disseminated. There's so much of it around so much of it being stored. Think about it before the 1940s which was not that long time ago. There was no color photography they had in the TV. Not only do you have color images color narratives but they travel at the speed of light. Film and a slice of life. Supposedly this retrospective of recycled images offers a chance to look back through a lens thoughtfully. Just stop the rest of us put a frame around the ideal of America to catch a glimpse of the dream as some people start a want to dream is expressed in this is very much about family and family in a very particular way.
Family has kind of an invention or a contrivance to further industrial production. Experts say it's family life or in you know in work or in play and it's all related to making America strong and what that really is all about is what that's really all about is you know making more money these 1940s posters about work and money were found getting Lee enough in the basement of the National Cash Register Company. These are him colored photographs that were made into posters like facial tones have a tremendous amount of red meat you know in the side of well what should a Caucasian face look like. The American world seen through rose colored glasses a view that fascinates these German visitors.
I am part of the appeal of these photos comes from their little faults cheeks that are a bit too rosy lawns that are missing a little something. I don't know why I didn't put any grass in here. These defects dent the reality of the dream. We can see the actors standing on her mark the fireplace seems to be erupting out of the mouth of Betty Hutton's husband Efrem Zimbalist Jr. seems to be chewing on Jane Fonda's ear. These little mistakes call into question the myth we swallow Bamberger believes that we are fed a steady diet of these manufactured images. The belief that we can buy happiness certainly one source for that
steady diet of manufactured images is Nollywood place they used to call the dream factory. Take this photo and the light moving into her new home and it seems like she's in some way just entered appliance heaven. You know everything's sort of immaculate and she has this like huge smile with red lipstick. I do it just to make things perfect. That's my job. OK. And and many of these photographs were made perfect in order to encourage consumption was taken by the work of long forgotten now found commercial photographer Outerbridge. He died in the in the in the around 1954 and was both a very successful commercial photographer and a fine af hire for his work was collected in the 30s by
the Museum of Modern Art and the metropolitan New York. But he's more or less forgotten. He moved to California and when he died his second wife look at the beach through his negatives into the ocean and he died as sort of a cynical unappreciated man. About 10 or so years ago his some of this work was unceremoniously displayed on pegboard at a local art fair. And since then he's become probably the most collectible American photographer is worth it will go for in excess of 50000 dollars. Out of reduced work deals with the small domestic dramas been live ranging from well stuffed Robins well-decorated prized hamburgers exhibit also includes work by contemporaries such as Tina Verney and artist. Have a snapshot type quality an artist whose photos also have a tie to the American dream.
In her work deals with the domesticity her family in the sense this is the realization of the American dream there's lots of old money lingering here around the people where. There is of course a monetary component to the American dream connection which can clearly be seen in the words of contemporary life the majority's over here exaggerating or even parodies of protest. Times of lecturing us trading magazines and we want to believe can be transported away from our own lives away from the contradictions. Part of growing up is is I think we all realize that you can't translate you know all of your fantasies into eternal life. And I think there is always a tension there between fantasy and reality.
Bamberger once described images such as these just kind of mile markers for our culture you know a particular time and place a certain way of looking at the world. Bamberger believes that it is to look at what the camera has when considering the American dream. FRANKEL photographed and edited our report. And that's our Wisconsin magazine for this week. I'm Dave Iverson Thanks for joining us. Good night. Next time the Wisconsin magazine gets one child or 10 or if it's a hundred we feel that we can make a difference in the time we travel to soar South Korea to meet some special children with some special friends from Wisconsin.
- The Wisconsin Magazine
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- This episode of Wisconsin Magazine includes three features: "Strike!", "Les Aspin's Crusade: The Business of Bombs" and "Found in Photos: The American Dream." The program also covers Native American hunting and fishing rights. The first segment details a strike at the Patrick Cudahy meatpacking plant in Milwaukee, and is followed by a roundtable conversation over court rulings granting expanded hunting seasons to Chippewa communities. Milwaukee Journal columnist Joel McNally satirizes state license plates. The second feature examines the role defense contracts play in supporting the state's economy: Art Hackett reports on a 1986 convention organized by Democratic Congressman Les Aspin to attract defense contracts to the state. Dr. John Kamisky speaks with Dave Iverson about a recent traveling exhibition of the Magna Carta and its relationship to the Constitution. The final segment looks at a collection of photographs on loan at the Milwaukee Art Museum.
- The Wisconsin Magazine is a weekly magazine featuring segments on local Wisconsin news and current events.
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Wisconsin Public Television (WHA-TV)
Identifier: WPT1.5.1987.1323 MA (Wisconsin Public Television)
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- MLA: “The Wisconsin Magazine; 1323.” 1987-00-00. Wisconsin Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 22, 2019. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_29-79h44svk>.
- APA: The Wisconsin Magazine; 1323. Boston, MA: Wisconsin Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_29-79h44svk