Real workers don’t want more free stuff

A Labor Day message

from one of the few a Democrats who actually get it

John Deere 120Former Madison WI mayor Dave Cieslewicz, a registered Democrat, riffs on how his increasingly elitist party denigrates the working man:

[Thomas Frank, author of What’s the Matter with Kansas?] didn’t just miss the point on values; he missed the point on the value of work, the value of earning things. Rightly or wrongly, the Democratic brand is about giving stuff away. Democrats are always talking about what the federal government is going to do for you, and they’ll pay for all that by taxing rich people or corporations. It’ll be free. Left out of the conversation is the idea that

people should earn what they get.
American workers do not want to be given things;
they want to earn things. …

Prominent Democrats would forgive up to $50,000 in college loans, no questions asked. No questions like, why did you take out the loan if you knew you couldn’t pay it back? Or questions like, why should the two-thirds of Americans without a four year degree, who earn half of what a college graduate earns, pay back their loans for them?

Not everybody hates the rich. There’s still a strong aspirational streak in working class Americans. They don’t want to bring down the “one percent” because they hope that they, or their children, will be the one percent some day.

Blska’s Bottom Line: Dave C. could add that Democrats should quit the victim mongering. But that would make them Republicans.

What month will Dave Cieslewicz be drummed out of the Dane County Democrat(ic) party?

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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40 Responses to Real workers don’t want more free stuff

  1. Madtownguy says:

    Free stuff is the opiate of the masses; but it is also a means of control. Has your social credit score dropped? No more chocolate for you!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wm. Tyroler says:

    And yet, Mayor Dave remains a yellow-dog Democrat. The “brand” may be poisonous (“giving stuff away”), but he’ll support and vote for that brand nonetheless. I’ll be more impressed when he says they’ve gone too far and he’s walking away.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ian says:

      Well said. Once a demoncrat always a democratic. Tigers can’t change their stripes.
      I wonder if he still wants Madison to model itself after Portland like he did when he was mayor?

      Methinks he’s going for clicks.


      • Good Dog, Happy Man says:

        “Once a demoncrat always a democratic. Tigers can’t change their stripes.”


        • Good Dog, Happy Man says:

          Or, as the clean and articulate, historic, but butt-nekkid Emperor “Let Them Eat Hope” Urkel, the First once said, “Tigers can’t change their spots.”

          Voofda. Whadda maroon.


      • AdamC says:

        Some of us have been red-pilled, big time, in the past 5+ years.

        Although deep down I think I have always been moderate if not moderate/conservative. And in these parts, “moderate” will get you tagged as a racist, white supremacist who is a threat to others and who needs to be canceled, maybe jailed.

        I *hate* unearned benefits and one of the most satisfying things is to pay off loans timely.

        I know people who have worked same hours with at least the same earnings as pre-pandemic who stockpile free food from pantries and shirked housing payments “because COVID”.


        • Liberty says:

          “Although deep down I think I have always been moderate if not moderate/conservative. And in these parts, “moderate” will get you tagged as a racist, white supremacist who is a threat to others and who needs to be canceled, maybe jailed.”

          Same here. Moderates definitely do not fare well in Madison. The goal post of what a moderate is keeps changing too. Yesterday’s moderate Democrat is today’s flaming Republican.


        • RMX says:

          Perhaps you only hate unearned benefits that you understand? Are you ready to repay your share of the U.S. debt? Do you have $90k ready. That’s right, $90k due from each man, woman and child in the United States. Family of three? $270,000 is past due.

          I recently spoke to a man who said he did not care about the money being spent in Afghanistan, but only for the KIA. I wondered if he was aware the money was being printed and added to the debt. Of course Americans don’t care about federal spending, it’s a free ride for each of them.


    • Liberty says:


      This is someone who pushed for tax hikes and affordable housing ordinances. Giving occasional life preservers is fine, but it was done in a way where the burden was on the taxpayers with no questions asked from the recipients. Reminiscent of socialism.

      He also prioritized street cars over police officers, which resulted in that famous St. Maria Goretti’s meeting. I heard that he wasn’t thrilled.

      So until he admits his own shortcomings and disavows irresponsible government handouts (free money with no questions asked), he hasn’t changed.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Liberty says:

      “And yet, Mayor Dave remains a yellow-dog Democrat”

      Tens of thousands of us left the party because we saw what it was becoming. If he continues to vote for Democrats, most of who are either Progressive or corporatorists, he’s merely paying lip service.


  3. One eye says:

    No Dave C. is far from “getting it”. He only has a problem with the liberal messaging, not the policies. I doubt he has matured much since his Edgewater tantrum after a group of regular citizens had the audacity to follow guidance as best they could.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Good Dog, Happy Man says:

    This ain’t your father’s Democrat party anymore. Today’s Democrat has listed so far left, they’re about to capsize to the proglobotic portside. Lefties have bastardized the last good Democrat, JFK, “Ask NOT what you can do for your country, ask what can your country do for you.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. David Gerard says:

    Real companies don’t want free stuff. Foxconn picks your pocket, Amazon extorts, Exxon gets billions in protection money from the military, Boeing flies away with your money and the list is too long to continue.

    I have to go back to work. Someone has to pay for your social security and Medicare.


    • Liberty says:

      Indeed. One report (can’t remember which) showed that Big Tech multi-national companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Netflix, etc. managed to avoid paying $100 BILLION in taxes over something like 10 years.

      This isn’t capitalism. It’s corporatorism, not much different than social welfare in my mind.

      Liked by 2 people

      • georgessson says:

        As a sad adjunct, corporate greed seems to be top down these days, all the way down to service companies, car/furniture dealers, retail shops -the whole gamut. Worse yet : Service, further repairs or replacement beyond the sale is YOUR problem, not theirs. We used to be a nation of honest biz folks who depended on repeat biz via customer satisfaction.


        • Liberty says:


          Though there are a few companies that do it right, the lack of service is generally moderate to appalling in my experience.

          The airline industry is a prime example. Changing & canceling flights without notice, stranding people, etc, with minimal apology. If you have to cancel even though it’s THEIR mistake, you have to pay a fee. And try getting someone on the phone!

          Their attitude is: If you don’t like it, too bad.

          They couple their bad service and cheaply made goods with in your face wokeness. It’s EVERYWHERE now. You can’t go anywhere or buy something without being preached to by a class of wealthy elitists who should instead be spending their time cleaning out the skeletons in their own closets (forced labor overseas, etc.) and servicing their customers.

          Capitalism is an imperfect, but beautiful system that allows for personal freedom and human ingenuity. It shouldn’t be confused with the blood-sucking power that corporations have now with help from the political class.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Good Dog, Happy Man says:

    The kind of free stuff the government gives you is the stuff we tax-payers have already paid for.
    It’s just “redistribution” at it’s best. It’s socialism at it’s worst. Free gubmint cheese always catches the DemonRats, they never notice the trap. Government is like your friendly neighborhood drug dealer, “Here, … the first one’s free.”

    In order to help to provide for those who will not work, I’m going to be thrifty and self-diagnos my own Conservative condition. Here’s how to do it: “Go up to a tree and take a leak. If your pee attracts ants, you’ve got diabetes. If it dries fast, your sodium level is too high. If it smells like meat, your cholesterol level is too high. If you forget to zip up, it’s Alzheimer’s. If you missed the tree, it’s Parkinson’s. If you peed on your shoes, enlarged prostate. If you can’t smell it, … Covid-19.”

    I’m not sure this is right 100% of the time, but neither are doctors.
    And this way, at least you don’t have to worry about the co-pay.
    (H/T: Burt Pretlusky)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. pANTIFArts says:

    You may disagree with almost everything that Mayor Dave believes. (His insistence of repeatedly genuflecting at the altar of the “systemic racism myth” is a little disgusting) –however—

    His criticisms of Progressive dogmas will be seen as heresy. Every column like this that he writes is another “thesis” nailed to the door of the “Church of the Woke”. If the Democratic Party doesn’t change course soon, his excommunication is inevitable.

    The scientific term for this is “Common Ground”

    Liked by 2 people

  8. jimydandy says:

    Not sure of the love Blaska has for Cheesewhiz


  9. richard lesiak says:

    Arizona Senator Wendy Rogers (R) : “Labor Day is a communist holiday.”


    • Liberty says:

      She’d be correct,

      We all value good, honest labor. What we don’t value is how labor is weaponized to fulfill social utopian goals.

      “In 1889 an international federation of socialist groups and trade unions designated May 1 as a day in support of workers, in commemoration of the Haymarket Riot in Chicago (1886). Five years later, U.S. Pres. Grover Cleveland, uneasy with the socialist origins of Workers’ Day, signed legislation to make Labor Day—already held in some states on the first Monday of September—the official U.S. holiday in honour of workers. Canada followed suit not long afterward.”


  10. Rollie says:

    Hoping for conversation and not slogans, we’ll see.

    Interesting to see this comment thread highlight somewhat the direction I was going in the other blog – pointing out that the US corporate structure isn’t doing well at reinforcing the “honest day’s work for honest day’s pay”concept. I often see people talk about the “leeches” in the laboring class but not so much the “leeches” in the capitalist class. I wonder which side sucks up more of workers’ money?

    I’m not advocating that anyone is bad or not a worthy member of our society, but I am having a hard time getting my head around what makes an hour of one person’s labor SO much more valuable than another’s or why it is morally ok to only make your living off investments instead of work. Sure, free market blah blah blah but that’s not really a why, it’s more a circular argument. I’ve met lots of rich people – they really aren’t much more talented or hard working than non-rich people I’ve met, if any. If they got rich by actually making more goods with their own hands or harvesting more crops with their own hands I could understand it and celebrate it. I don’t think everyone should be the same, we’re not – some people really can produce more. I just don’t see it in the ultra-rich – what are they doing that’s so valuable? It just seems like schemes, not work. This is an honest question, I’m not trolling. And I recognize that I’m not framing it well, as the ultra-rich are made up of individuals who each have unique lives and circumstances. Maybe it would be better if I found a specific example, I’d have to think more about it.

    Flame away if that’s fun for you, but I’m really trying to have conversations with diverse thinkers. I want to know where my logic is wrong.


    • David Blaska says:

      Rollie asks: “What makes an hour of one person’s labor SO much more valuable than another’s?” Answer: the marketplace. You think Giannis makes too much money, don’t patronize the Bucks or the products he endorses.

      Rollie asks: “Why is it morally permissible to make your living off investments instead of work?” In my case, I forewent buying things in order to save. Those investments now provide my living in retirement. What I don’t spend I will bequeath to Number One Son. He may not have earned it but that money, I assure you, was earned. If WI has a problem, it is not enough investment capital to form job-creating businesses.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rollie says:

        Thank you. I get the Giannis example, and I definitely have an easier time understanding when it’s athletes, artists, etc., the market forces are very clear in those cases. But for executives at companies I don’t know if the market is really working efficiently or not – I guess I’d just have to have faith. It seems like a self-fulfilling circle where those that get paid the most keep deciding that those around them should get bigger slices of the pie. And I can understand SOME more money with more responsibility and skills, but the disparity just seems so outsized nowadays.

        And saving is something that I get and support, but investments I don’t as much. If I had a huge chunk of money and put it in an index fund I could live off that and never work. That doesn’t seem to me like it’s doing any productive use – it’s financing the market, but I don’t think I believe the valuations – it seems like a scheme and not rooted in facts, and just speculating. The whole market seems like it just creates money out of thin air and it seems fake to me. But obviously I’m not an expert in these things, that’s why I’m posting on blogs 🙂

        I basically deep down have a belief that everyone should work for their food and shelter, I’m a believer in work – and I’m still trying to figure out how to join investments and capitalism into that idea.

        I think my main stumbling block is a belief that people shouldn’t profit from another person’s labor. Note this is a belief, not a fact. I think if they need to work together on a project, I think they should split the profit. If someone’s contribution is going to be so low that they don’t deserve a fair cut, they shouldn’t be brought on to the project – the others should just do that task. So yeah, that’s communist I guess? But I just see it as right and wrong – I don’t care about what it’s called.


  11. Liberty says:

    “I don’t understand what you mean by we all profit from each other’s labor;”

    When someone works, provided they are doing at the minimum a mediocre job, they are usually adding some type of value to society.

    Basic example: An employee who puts in an honest day’s work is helping a business owner enjoy bigger profits, and ideally that business owner will reciprocate with a raise, better benefits, promotion, etc. In turn that employee can contribute to the economy via spending and investing. The cycle continues.

    This is NOT possible under a Communist system, where everyone, regardless of what they contribute to society, receives “equitable” pay and experiences. Why should someone who does nothing but collect government checks receive the same outcomes as someone who works hard and tries to better themselves, and thus society?

    So you know, while I strongly believe in capitals, I think CORPORATISM is destroying the country.


  12. Rollie says:

    Thank you, I’ll keep trying to better understand. I see the value-addition from work, as in the material + work = something worth more. But in the example we all don’t profit – only the owner profits because the something that was made more valuable is owned not by all of us but by one. One person benefits from the labor and it’s not the laborer – excepting partially the optional situation described where the owner decided to reward a productive laborer. And by definition this money that goes to the laborer to cycle back into the economy is less than the value produced – after all who would pay more for something than it’s worth? It’s a cycle where productive value keeps getting skimmed away from those that create the wealth to people that don’t. Not to say many owners don’t work themselves as well – I obviously want them to enjoy the fruits of their labor, just not the fruits of other people’s.

    I’m still not convinced that we all currently profit from each other’s labor.

    Now I’m not a communism expert, just a person. I don’t think the situation should be as your last paragraph. I think people should get out what they put in and profit from their own labor. This means that people who work better, longer, etc. would indeed get more. It also means that just owning wouldn’t get you anything – you’d have to add value with your own body and mind. So it’s definitely anti-corporate but not a situation where everyone just gets checks for nothing. Maybe employee-owned companies achieve something like this, I’d have to learn more.


    • Liberty says:

      “I think people should get out what they put in and profit from their own labor. This means that people who work better, longer, etc. would indeed get more.”

      That’s ideally how it should work. It’s the market though, that determines if a product or service is considered valuable. You can put in hours of labor, but if nobody is buying what you’re selling, all of that is for naught.

      Capitalism is not always fair or equitable. The beauty of the system is that if you’re not profiting in one area, you have the freedom to move to another area, or to use your ingenuity to create better solutions. Communism doesn’t allow for this. In that system, you get what you get.

      I will admit that while the American Dream is still very much achievable, corporatism (the merger of business & politics to consolidate power) has made it more difficult. True Republicans reject corporatism.


      • Rollie says:

        Liberty, I think you and I have much more common ground than we might have thought. We both agree that we should get out what we put in and that the current rules don’t incentivize that. I’m not a communist nor a capitalist nor an any-thing-ist. Maybe what is the best hasn’t been figured out yet and we need to take moral and logical ideas from wherever we can find them, and not be dogmatic like one theory has all the answers. Thanks for talking with me.


  13. Batman says:

    Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
    John Adams

    Regardless of the governing paradigm; all will ultimately implode while spiritually immature humans are in charge.


    • Liberty says:

      “Regardless of the governing paradigm; all will ultimately implode while spiritually immature humans are in charge.”



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