The Wisconsin Magazine; 1323
[bars and tone] [Wisconsin Magazine theme music] We believe the whole bargaining posture that the company presented was designed to get us out on strike. That's the name of the game the name of the game is to increase Wisconsin's share
of the federal government. The America dream you know as expressed in this show is very much about family but 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 Cudahy meat packing plant 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 Jandacek [background shouting]. It's shift time at the Patrick Cudahy plant. Shift time in the town named after the pork slaughter house. Tensions are high. Scabs or replacement workers cross lines of striking workers who have been out on strike for four months. This pork plant has been the heart of the economy for Milwaukee suburb of Cudahy 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 P40 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union UFCW 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 5.75 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 P40 of UFCW. He says the union made wage concessions in 1982 and 1984 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 8,000 hogs in 8 hours. It is fast paced and dangerous work. You're talking about killing 16 - 17 hogs a minute, which comes to about 4 or 5 seconds you're slaughtering a hog. It has been the life's work of people like Dewey (unclear), a Patrick Cudahy employee for 40 years. Well, I think it's a rotten deal, what they gave us. I mean, I spent most of my life here.
You're earning (unclear) now this is the the third cut they want. They've taken our retirement benefits away, part of our holidays, plus they want another $3 an hour cut in pay. I say I think it's just too much to ask for. Well, you just can't make a living off it. Those are the sentiments you hear echoed back and forth across the picket line. Robert (unclear) has worked for Cudahy for 13 years. They want me to work for the same wage that I was making when I first started working there. I mean, uh, 13 years and you go back to, you know, square one? (mirthless laugh) It just doesn't seem right to me. Patrick Cudahy president, Roger Kapella, declined to be interviewed for our report, but 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 light packers, and those light packers are considerably below us in our wage scale. Kapella cites new competition in the hog industry that is undercutting union wages. The company has made its
final offer and refuses to negotiate. 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, okay, that we had no, we had no choice but to go out. We believe they bargained 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 job service even before a strike vote was taken. And if that stuff is not bad-faith bargaining, I don't know what is. (shouting) The company has cut hourly wages and hired some 600 replacement workers, including 35 returning workers who struck on January 3. The company has rejected two union wage proposals and no new talks are scheduled. In other words, this strike could go on for some time. Oscar Mayer and Hormel is getting raises and getting better contracts and we're going down the tubes. The union wanted wages similar to those being paid workers at
Oscar Mayer in Madison and Hormel in Minnesota, around $10 an hour. The company offered a base wage of $6.25. The reason that Hormel and Oscar Mayer can pay wages near the top end of the range, so to speak, is because of, of their returns. Charles Levitt is a senior livestock analyst with Shearson Lehman Brothers in Chicago. Hormel organization is more or less on the processing end of the pork business. This Patrick Cudahy plant is more or less a slaughter- type operation. According to Levitt's figures, a processing plant featuring bacon, sausage, and cold cuts has earnings 10 times higher than a plant like Patrick Cudahy'satrick featuring fresh meats. The slaughterers cannot pay the top end of the wage scale because they don't get those value-added dollars from the sale of their product. So, you're kind of talking about apples and oranges here. Patrick Cudahy not only has trouble competing with processing plants, but with other slaughterhouse-type operations like
IBP, formally Iowa Beef Producers. IBP has modernized its plants and pays the lowest wages. Four or five years ago IBP was hardly a factor as far as the hog market is concerned. Now they're about the third or fourth largest slaughterer in the U.S. in hogs, so you can see what kind of strides they're making. IBP, when it comes to dealing with the union, is a hardball player. They're very, very difficult for the, uh, for the union to get along with, and many of IBP's plants are non-unionized, um and obviously on the low end of the wage scale. In 1984 the Patrick Cudahy plant was bought by Smithfield Foods, Incorporated in Arlington, Virginia. Smithfield had a fiscal 1986 profit of $4.7 million. The Cudahy plant brought a modest profit of $750,000 thousand.
Local union President Mark Rosenbaum: that's with a skilled workforce and they're crying that they can't compete when we're killing between 7- and 8,000 hogs a day. Where's your justification that you're going to be able to make this a successful operation training a new workforce. And training a new workforce is precisely what Patrick Cudahy is doing. The company has hired 600 replacement workers, unskilled in the meat-packing business. As a result production has slowed down at the plant and accidents are occurring. Someone must have got hurt again in there and they brought him in our ambulance. That's the second one today. Got hurt how? What do you mean? We don't know what happened, if they got cut or caught in the machine, or ... Could have been anything. Is it because uh ...? Inexperienced help. That they're just ... probably putting people on jobs where they don't know what they're doing. The plant is going to operate at the lowest level that it can, okay?, 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 a meat packer like Patrick Cudahy can change their bottom line. Labor is the lion's share of their expense, and if they're competing with somebody who can pay their workers a couple of dollars less per hour, then they really have to face and deal with that that operator and that competition, not the processing plant at Oscar Mayer or Hormel. Just as companies worry about survival in the marketplace, workers worry about the survival of their way of life. In 1981 Dennis Widder made $30,000 working at Patrick Cudahy. His income has decreased with two previous wage concessions. Now he and his wife, Deborah are both on strike. It has to be stopped. You can't live on a part-time job. You'd have to have two part-time jobs and you still wouldn't be able to live on it. (Shouting: ... scabs! ...Your day will come.)
With savings and a little help from their family, the Widders say they can hold out for about a year. But for Maria Sanchez low wages are better than no wages. OK, she says that right now times are hard because it's hard to find a job and it's hard to find a good-paying job, so better than nothing. Alida Elizondo is interpretating for Maria Sanchez who does not speak English. Sanchez has worked Cudahy for one year. She returned to work because she needs the money. She decided to return when she saw there was no hope of everybody returning to work. When they start hiring replacements, workers should return to work. (Shouting) The Patrick Cudahy strike has been relatively free of violence except for one incident February 13. That night six gunshots were fired into Sanchez's home while she was alone with their children. (Some Spanish words) She was looking out the window and
they apparently saw her and they shot through the window. Two striking workers were charged with reckless use of a weapon and face a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a $10,000 fine. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 2. Before the shooting Sanchez says she received threatening phone calls. That was a result of her returning to work because he had no enemies until then. The union doesn't condone any kind of violence like that. You're going to expect some kind of berating on the line. (Shouting) On the line where tensions are high. Each day Sanchez must face frustrated strikers as she crosses the picket line to go to work. She says the threats continue. Okay, she says like when she crosses the picket line in the morning, sometimes they threaten her right there on the line. People who used to be her friend they threaten her telling her that they're going to do something to her, but right now they don't do much because of the court and everything, with the shooting and everything, they're waiting 'til that ... That's what they tell her.
They're waiting 'til that settles down. (Shouting: Hey, Scabs! ...) The Cudahy strike is different from the bitter and more violent Hormel strike had divided Austin, Minnesota, and required National Guard troops to keep the peace. The Patrick Cudahy strikers say one 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 the big thing. We're getting money donations and food donations, and, you know, if you can pick up a part-time job like some people are doing, pick up a part-time job and still striking, it'll work. The strikers have received strong support from the community and other unions in the state. Milwaukee 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 say to Cudahy
I say to Cudahy: Shame on you. Shame on you. The union has started a boycott of Patrick Cudahy 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 plant's going to be here long after you and I are dead, It being the only hog-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. (unclear) They more or less depend on us and this little plant here. If we're go under there's gonna be a lot of people we're gonna take with us. Federal mediation efforts have failed to settle the dispute, and the company refuses binding arbitration. Patrick Cudahy president Roger Kapella: Our final is exactly what the word implies. It's what we need to operate this facility to make it competitive. That is our final offer. I'm willing 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. The union agreed to have a counter-proposal 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. (Shouting) They've got people inside working, taking our jobs. You know, being worked out ... We had two meetings and the company both times they don't want to talk to us. So It looks like they want to ride, you know, ride the hardline and just (unclear) there and just start fresh. Have you thought about the possibility of accepting the company's proposal and just going back to work so you could have a job? No. No, I haven't. I won't go back to work with the proposal they offer right now. I'd never go back to that. You won't? No. I stay with my union as long as it takes (unclear) You have a family? A family of four, so it's kind of rough, not just for me, all of (unclear). Most of them have families.
It's hard, you know, but what are you going to do? You try and find whatever you can for right now. I mean, before I was just making ends meet. If I would've settled for the price they wanted me to work for, I'd be in a bad shape, a real bad shape. 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 ... there's give and take on both sides. But it's obvious that this company wants nothing to do but take. (music) Still to come on the Magazine: come visit the American Dream as captured by photographers over the past 40 years in magazines, propaganda posters, and Hollywood stills. Coming up in the second half of the Magazine. (Music)
And now here's our regular summary of the events that shaped our state during the week of March 27. This week UW president Kenneth Shaw announced how the university system will handle upcoming ienrollment cuts. UW-La Crosse faces the biggest cut with an 11% decrease phased in over the next four years. Enrollment at UW Madison will be reduced by 5%, 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% of their class. The cuts are designed to bringenrollments in line with anticipated university budgets. In the fall of 1985 Judge Daniel P. McDonald was convicted of murdering Darlington attorney James Klein. Six months later McDonald committed suicide. This week the story of Judge McDonald finally concluded. The appeals court refused a request from McDonald's attorneys to dismiss McDonald's conviction. His attorneys had argued that McDonald 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. Though more women receive raises than men when the plan went into effect February 1, 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. The 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 Wausau a protest conference is 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
Doyle's ruling once again established that a deal is a deal, and that Indians can have expanded hunting and fishing 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 Red Cliff Chippewa, and George Meyer of the DNR to comment on the comprehensiveness of the latest rulings. (unclear) all the bases. He tried as hard as he could to answer all the knotty questions that were posed at the trial. It 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 that 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 state's side, George Meyer, were you surprised by the ruling? Did it ... did it ... was everyone at the DNR the next day taken aback by all this? And how did you respond? We were anticipating a broad ruling and many of the issues in Judge (unclear) decision were not controverted by the state. The issue of commercialization. There was some concern concern about because obviously ... What's the concern? The concern the concern there is added incentive to increase the harvest, and coupled with the higher percentage of allocation, that can place some stress on lakes unless 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 did Judge Doyle's ruling
say? I 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 that? Well, I think it's been used in other contexts. Judge Doyle did not, I believe, come up with that 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 treaty matters. And it would be ... if issues arise about it, I think we're a long way away from trying to exhaust the scope of the treaty rights. But should that day come I suppose it would be addressed
by some sort of fact-finding process in the court. It is a term that at some point will need to be defined. The Supreme Court has given some definition to it, but when it gets to an individual tribe and their income and various sources of income, uh it needs to be further defined. So at some point in time, I agree with Milt, it will have to be additionally defined. You were saying to me earlier, Mr. Rosenberg, before we began, that part of what's also significant about all this is that it sort of shifts the focus, that things now have to go, that the state, really, the ball's in the state's court, no longer in the tribe's. Explain what you mean by that further, if you would. Well, what the court has defined is this is the rights that the Ojibway reserved in 1842 and 1837. Now the state can come in on its own and try and prove up 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. The tribes have been plaintiffs up to this point. And as far as I'm concerned their case more or less concludes with Judge Doyle'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 it seems to me 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 it's upset 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. How 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,etc. '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 Inouye and Senator ... Congressman Udall as well. A great nation ought to keep its word. How about a great state? I mean, what ... what ... Is there a desire on the part of the state to, to do what. I guess at this point? How are you going to live with all of this, Geroge Meyer? 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 raised that issue. We surely understood that Congress was not going to abrogate the treaty. That has not been the history of Congress for the last 150 years. There has to be other solutions to this. And what is being explored at the state level on an active basis 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 ... For 22 years does that mean that's been going and they had only two years. Does that mean that's been going on? Twenty-two various seasons. And 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 at Star Lake, and people were upset about that? Does that cause ... give you cause for concern for the future? Or have you satisfied that in this year's negotiations? (inaudible) 10% of the overall harvest was exceeded there, which was the agreed upon number. We negotiated an 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 will be prevented. And ... 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 that's something very important for the public to understand. The judge's ruling is very broad but the tribes sat down with the state of Wisconsin and negotiated a very reasonable and moderate agreement, and avoided some of the things that I think would have given a lot greater concern to us as a department and to the people of state of Wisconsin. They should be given credit for that. They did a very good job. Comments from George Meyer of the DNR and Milt Rosenberg, an attorney who represents the Red Cliff Chippewa. Last year the great license plate debate yielded a new design but not a new slogan. Tonight columnist Joel McNally has some ideas about how motorists could possibly benefit from "America's Dairyland." (Music)
All eyes in Wisconsin should be riveted on Idaho and the landmark famous potatoes case. It seems a silver miner in Idaho filed a lawsuit against the state. Idaho's license plates carry the snappy slogan "Famous Potatoes." You thought "America's "Dairyland" was bad. This guy wants $23 million in compensation for Idaho residents. He says 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 "America's Dairyland" - as if it were a theme park for cows. Until recently, our plates were even the color of Cheez Whiz. Now if we get paid royalties that's very different. There's no reason Jim Palmer, Larry Bird, and a bunch of washed up lite beer drinkers should pull down all the big bucks for endorsements. Instead of paying for our license plates,
we should be offered fat contracts. 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 Die." Just think what we'd get for the drive-in movie rights to that baby. This court case could be bigger than Dred Scott. 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. Milwaukee Journal columnist, John McNally. Wisconsin Democratic Congressman Les Aspin calls himself a pragmatist, willing to change as times change. When Aspin changed 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 aspin's ability to give hometown industries a helping hand. But do defense contracts actually help the econom? Here's a background report called "The Business of Bombs", reported by Art Hackett. (multiple voices in background) This is a core warm load.This device goes on a satellite, and this sensor looks at the warm load and the cold load to calibrate itself. 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 to be for the new vehicle that LTB is producing called the Hummer, and it's a replacement 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. (laughter) Aspin was there to take credit for bringing over $127 million in defense-related contracts to the state, creating over 3,000 new jobs. Aspin's efforts are aimed at smaller firms like Scot Forge in Clinton. Basic heavy industries like forging have been hard hit by changes in the economy. Scot 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 the business done with the federal government. Chairs of the House Armed Services Committee usually wind up getting memorialized in their districts one way or another. Sometimes it's a veterans' hospital, maybe even an Air Force Base, but not Wisconsin's Les Aspin. Aspin hopes to be remembered in the years to come
because of his Procurement Institute. Call it brass meets brass. The Aspin 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 of your tax money a year. That's why he's more important than I am. I'm just an admiral. The goal is not just to rebuild the fleet, it is to rebuild the economy. Wisconsin foundries have gone through some very, very hard times. It wasn't, uh, but in 1967 that, I think, that the foundries employed about 32,000 people in the state of Wisconsin. It is now 18,000. But according to "The Empty Pork Barrel", a study on military spending done in 1975, the Pentagon may be the cause of the unemployment Aspin 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 the Public Interest Research Group in Lansing, Michigan. You lose jobs. There are just fewer jobs generated when the money goes to the Pentagon than when it stays with the average consumer. According to that 1975 study, money diverted from Wisconsin through the Pentagon budget cost Wisconsin 72,000 jobs. It was big news and the name in the headlines was Les Aspin's. Les Aspin at that time was considered a very important critic of the Pentagon, and, um, I asked him if he would be interested in releasing our report. And he said yes, he would be very interested releasing our report. Did release it with some very strong language as to how bad military spending was to the economy, and this study for once and all smashed the myth 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. Oh, yeah! You were quoted as saying something like "this smashes the myth that defense spending is good for the economy." True or false? I think false. Aspin has changed his mind since then. Today defense dollar is the same as any other government dollar. It is neither more inflationary 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 effects 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 a 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 90,000 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 to the Pentagon, it was cost a net loss of about 90,000 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 Committee. We held a series of hearings on the issue and invited Marion 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 the tests. I mean that they're not using the correct statistics. After that interview was taped, Congressman Aspin sent us 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, Aspin 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 spending on personnel and related items does create jobs. Aspin also questions whether we civilians would have gone out and borrowed the $190 billion 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 taxpayers' pocket to eventually be spent on a Chevy built in Janesville. What the study reveals
is some states, like Wisconsin, have lots more going out than they have coming in. Wisconsin in 1985 suffered a net loss of 3 billion, 536 million dollars to the Pentagon. No Aspin Institutes are going to make up 3 and 1/2 billion dollars. There is no way. We pointed out to Aspin that Anderson was saying the problem wasn't just that Wisconsin wasn't getting defense jobs. (unclear) the matter of the money that's diverted through taxes or through inflation caused by the debt, that's where ... that's where we get hurt. Yeah. Not true. It's not true. Aspin 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 has gotta get cut. It is too big. It's hurting. Let's cut it." Aspin contends there is no dependence, pointing to the state of Massachusetts. They have the sixth most important state in terms of spending money on really controversial weapons systems, and they've ... the delegation doesn't vote for the controversial weapons systems. So, what's the correlation? There is none. The only economic danger of defense spending Aspin and 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. We want this kind of battery, we want that kind of battery. Make this change, that 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 our commercial products, and therefore our commercial products suffer in comparison with Japanese products or other countries'. But Aspin 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 think, I think that we've learned a lot more since then about the impact of these things. And it's not, it's not what we thought it was. You expect this of Mendel Rivers and Senator Stennis or Strom Thurmond. But when a congressman has taken
leadership in the other direction and then changes his course 180 degrees, you're a lot more angry. Aspin has changed his outlook on defense spending. In 1975 Aspin 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% real gross every year. Perhaps Aspin 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, flaws that would be very expensive to repair, Aspin noted that he had opposed the B-1, but he wasn't going to fight that battle again. The time for that had passed. So it is with what the Defense Department spends. The key question is, where do they spend it? Look, 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 to sell to the Defense Department. Whether it's a floor wax, whether it's pens, whether it's band instruments, uh, whatever it is that we make the Pentagon buys. (music) If you would like to comment on this week's program, write: The Wisconsin Magazine, 821 University Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53706. (music) 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 Roads to Liberty." Joining me now to talk about the historic document, the Constitution, is Dr. John Kamisky who is director of
the Center for the Study of the American Constitution. Dr. Kamisky, 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 the Constitution itself? Why so much interest, do you think? Well, it seems to me with the bicentennial of the Constitution upon us, people do have an interest in our heritage, things that protect our liberty. And there is an awakening in important historical documents. What's important about that awakening to you as, as a scholar? What what would you like the citizenry, I guess, of this state to be awakened to during this bicentennial? Well, primarily I would say I believe we should appreciate what the Constitution has given to us over these 200 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. Well 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 it. 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 Bill of Rights, as to how cases should be solved. And finally, what other, I guess, activities are you going to try to encourage during this bicentennial year? What kinds of things can citizens 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 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 session once every two weeks. We'll 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 Kamisky. Thank you for coming.
The Constitution and the "Roads 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. (birdsong and car traffic) (music: Everly Brothers' "Dream")) (music) The American Dream, captured in a poolside portrait of Jane Wyman and Ronald Reagan many, many years ago. The American Dream. (music: Everly Brothers' "Dream") That chunk of collective unconsciousness that promises a chicken in every pot and a chance for all to be president. Westward, ho! (trumpet playing "America") Consider the American Dream. That is exactly what Milwaukee artist and writer Tom
Bamberger has done with this collection of photographs loaned to the Milwaukee Art Museum. Some are by old anonymous photographers; some are by current famous photographers, such as Tina Barney and Paul Majore. As guest curator, Bamberger has attempted a tough task to capture within a frame this dream within the hearts of the American people. (music: hip arrangement of US national anthem) Most of who we know, most of what we know comes from pictures of some kind. We tend to believe in photographs. What's interesting to me is to the extent to which we want to figure out who we are and to the extent to which all these things are readily available us, 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, old "House Beautiful" covers, Hollywood stills, propaganda posters. Art calculated to drum up that old consumer spirit.
It 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, (explosions) gradually sink into our national unconsciousness (explosions) and become part of the raw material of the American Dream. (music and explosions) We're being bombarded with images. (explosions) It's increasingly more difficult to seduce us, to hold our gaze because there's so much that's already there in our field of vision. Not only is information is so widely disseminated, there's so much of it around, so much of it being stored. I mean if you think about it, before the 1940s, which wasn't all that long time ago, there was no color photography. The advent of TV, not only do you have color images, color narratives, but they travel at the speed of light. (music: "America")
(unclear) and a slice of life is captured, supposedly. This retrospective of recycled images offers a chance to look back through a lens thoughtfully, to stop the rush of visuals, to put a frame around the old ideal of America, to catch a glimpse of the Dream as some people saw it, or wanted us to see it. The American Dream, realized as expressed in this show, is very much about family. But family in a very particular way. Family as kind of an invention or a contrivance to further industrial production. (music) there's a kind of almost an ecstasy -- in 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, um, what that's really all about is, you know, making more
money. (cash register sounds) These 1940s posters about work and money were found, fittingly enough, in the basement of the National Cash Register Company. These are hand-colored photographs that were made into posters. The facial tones have a tremendous amount of red, you know. And they decided well, what should a Caucasian face look like? The American world seen through rose-colored glasses, a view that fascinates these German visitors. (foreign language) (noise) 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 actress 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 myths we swallow. Bamberger believes that we are fed a steady diet of these manufactured images, the belief that we can buy happiness. (music: "Heaven') Certainly one source for that steady diet of manufactured images is Hollywood, place they used to call the dream factory. Take this photo of Ann Blyth moving into her new home. It just seems like she's in some way just entered appliance heaven. (music: "Heaven") Everything's sort of immaculate, and she has this, like, huge smile with red lipstick. Actors and actresses make things perfect. That's their job. (music)
And many of these photographs were made perfect in order to encourage consumption. Take a bite of the work of long forgotten, now found, commercial photographer Paul Outerbridge. He died in the, around 1954 and was both a very successful commercial photographer and a fine art photographer. His work was collected in the '30s by the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan in New York. But he's more or less forgotten. He moved to California and when he died his second wife (unclear) the beach, threw his negatives into the ocean. He died as sort of a cynical unappreciated man. About 10 or so years ago, 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. His work will go for in excess of $50,000 (liquid being poured)
Outerbridge's work deals with the small domestic dramas in life, ranging from well-stuffed robins to well-decorated pies. Bamburger's exhibit also includes work by contemporaries such as Tina Barney, an artist whose huge photos have a snapshot-type quality, an artist whose photos also have a tie to the American Dream. And her work deals with the domesticity of her family in Rhode Island. In a sense this is the realization of the American Dream, there's lots of old money lingering here around the people who are lounging around. (music) There is, of course, a monetary component to the American Dream, a connection which can clearly be seen in the work of contemporary photographer Paul Majore. The Majores over here are, it seems to me, exaggerated or even parodies of (unclear), of luscious kinds of, kinds of luxury that's portrayed in magazines. We want to believe and be transported
away from our own lives, away from the contradictions. Part of growing up is, um, is ... I think we all realize that you can't translate, you know, all of your fantasies into material life. And I think there is always a tension there between fantasy and reality. (music: USnational anthem) Bamberger once described images such as these as kind of mile markers for our culture. They signal a particular time and place, a certain way of looking at the world. Bamberger believes that it is useful to look at what the camera has seen when considering the American Dream. (music) Frank (unclear) photographed and edited our report. And that's our "Wisconsin Magazine" for this week. I'm Dave Iverson. Thanks for joining us.
- The Wisconsin Magazine
- Episode Number
- Contributing Organization
- PBS Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin)
- AAPB ID
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/29-79h44svk).
- 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.
- Asset type
- Content provided from the media collection of Wisconsin Public Broadcasting, a service of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System and the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board. All rights reserved by the particular owner of content provided. For more information, please contact 1-800-422-9707
- Media type
- Moving Image
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Wisconsin Public Television (WHA-TV)
Identifier: WPT1.5.1987.1323 MA (Wisconsin Public Television)
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
- Chicago: “The Wisconsin Magazine; 1323,” 1987-00-00, PBS Wisconsin, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 20, 2020, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-29-79h44svk.
- MLA: “The Wisconsin Magazine; 1323.” 1987-00-00. PBS Wisconsin, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 20, 2020. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-29-79h44svk>.
- APA: The Wisconsin Magazine; 1323. Boston, MA: PBS Wisconsin, 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