The question of public employees' pensions in Wisconsin, secondary to the goal of union-busting, keeps being framed as whether those pensions should be taken away so that public employees may share the insecurity inflicted on workers in the private sector. Here's one example, but there are plenty more.
There was a time, when our government was more humane and unions were stronger, that the question would have been why private workers should be exposed to such uncertainty and how that security might be extended to them. It was, in fact, in the days of defined-benefit pensions. But that was not capitalistically competitive enough, and the poor workers were not free to invest in the stock market and make billions with their money. Many of those workers bought this fantasy and encouraged their elected representatives to make it easier for companies to slip out from under their obligations to the workers. This was in the spirit of rich and poor alike being free to sleep under bridges, but the workers didn't seem to notice.
Back in the last days of the Soviet Union, when something like free elections was taking place there, a story circulated in the United States to show that the Russians weren't quite "getting it," and bolstering our national self-esteem. I suspect, however, that the story predates the Soviet Union.
One of the candidates is campaigning in a village. "If you elect me, I will help to improve your situation. We will build roads so that you can more easily take your produce to market." And all the other good things that politicians promise.
A villager comes up after the speech and takes the politician aside. "You know Peter, down the street? He has a pig."
"Oh yes. I will work to see that everyone has a pig."
"No, no, you don't understand." The villager is now whispering urgently. "I will vote for you if you promise to kill Peter's pig."
That seems to be where our national politics have taken us here in America.