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Jim

Problems in Cheeseland

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I've loved Scott since the '60's. It's almost like he is singing to J_B in this wonderful song:

 

[video:youtube]T71KKbQS_D8

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Well that was quick. 55 - 45% Walker. Not even as close as predicted. Guess voters are ok with trimming state work pay/pensions.

 

Divide and conquer works with low information voters, especially when you outspend the opposition 8:1 for a 6 point spread.

 

Those low information content voters presumably include the tens of thousands of former public employee union members who voted with their pocketbooks and stopped sending in their dues once it no longer became compulsory.

 

"Wisconsin Unions See Ranks Drop Ahead of Recall Vote"

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304821304577436462413999718.html

 

 

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Gee, what a surprise! Take away collective bargaining and people don't see the purpose of unions! that's really a head scratcher and not at all what the hooverites intended.

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"Much ink has been spilt and punditry hot air vented in explaining the failure to recall Scott Walker in this week’s election. Yet nearly all of it fails to address the appeal of Scott Walker and his policies for much of Wisconsin’s working and middle class."

 

Jeffrey Sommers: How Walker Really Won Wisconsin

 

"In short, Walker has given voice to the working and middle classes so much hurt by the Reagan Revolution. The people have found their voice in Walker who skillfully and honestly, to his mind, articulates a narrative that resonates with Midwestern sensibilities of hard work and fairness. These concepts may have been distorted beyond all recognition to many observers, but to Wisconsin’s suburban and rural working class they have found their voice in Scott Walker. A ride through their neighborhoods reveals a veritable sea of blue yard signs declaring “I Stand With Walker!” Walker is a formidable candidate and better communicator than Reagan ever was. Analysts and pundits that dismiss his victory as one of simply money over the people do so at their and our peril."

 

Jeffrey Sommers lives in Wisconsin.

 

 

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Ah, I see. So it's the classic Republican tale of the conservative who attracts the very middle class citizens he is harming with his policies. That's the strangest part of conservatism, I'll never understand it.

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That's the strangest part of conservatism, I'll never understand it.

"it's a fool who looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart" :)

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Ah, I see. So it's the classic Republican tale of the conservative who attracts the very middle class citizens he is harming with his policies. That's the strangest part of conservatism, I'll never understand it.

 

Are these the middle class citizens that benefit from paying more taxes for fewer services as the cost of employing unionized public sector workers grows faster than the underlying economy and cannibalizes funding for parks, libraries, social services, etc?

 

How does the referendum in San Jose, championed by the Democratic Mayor Chuck Reed fit into this narrative? How about the Jeff Adachi in San Francisco ("Proud Progressive" campaigning for pension reform). Etc, etc, etc.

 

 

 

"It’s late afternoon when I meet Mayor Chuck Reed in his office at the top of the city-hall tower. The crowd below has just begun to chant. The public employees, as usual, are protesting him. Reed is so used to it that he hardly notices. He’s a former air-force officer and Vietnam-era veteran with an intellectual bent and the clipped manner of a midwestern farmer. He has a master’s degree from Princeton, a law degree from Stanford, and a lifelong interest in public policy. Still, he presents less as the mayor of a big city in California than as a hard-bitten, upstanding sheriff of a small town who doesn’t want any trouble. Elected to the city council in 2000, he became mayor six years later; in 2010 he was re-elected with 77 percent of the vote. He’s a Democrat, but at this point it doesn’t much matter which party he belongs to, or what his ideological leanings are, or for that matter how popular he is with the people of San Jose. He’s got a problem so big that it overwhelms ordinary politics: the city owes so much more money to its employees than it can afford to pay that it could cut its debts in half and still wind up broke."

 

1.

http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2011/11/michael-lewis-201111

 

2. http://www.mercurynews.com/elections/ci_20790991/early-returns-san-jose-voters-approving-pension-reform

 

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red-herring.jpg

 

its all easily paid for with a little redistribution from the top, Comrade JayB.

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if only one CEO paid their fair share of the tax burden, it would easily pay for all this my good Comrade. now join me in the line for shoe leather. We must have nourishment if we are to do the states good works.

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in the final judgement, across the broad sweep of history, have unions been more friend or foe of the american working man? doesn't seem that difficult an answer, and jesus christ, when have the ownership class NOT bitched about them?

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in the final judgement, across the broad sweep of history, have unions been more friend or foe of the american working man? doesn't seem that difficult an answer, and jesus christ, when have the ownership class NOT bitched about them?

 

Even if one were to concede the broad claims about unions and the broad sweep of history (*solely*) for the sake of argument - it's not clear how that would translates into an argument against reforming pensions and benefits for unionized public sector workers in a manner that makes them more fiscally sustainable and preserves existing levels of service delivery.

 

The money isn't there. Folks like Chuck Reed can only work with the amount of tax revenues that the public is willing to fork over. He - and many others - can leave pay, pensions, and benefits untouched and layoff public employees by the hundreds with all of the cuts in public services that come along with that - or reform compensation. How, exactly, is it in the public's interest to do the former rather than the latter?

 

 

 

 

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The money isn't there. Folks like Chuck Reed can only work with the amount of tax revenues that the public is willing to fork over. He - and many others - can leave pay, pensions, and benefits untouched and layoff public employees by the hundreds with all of the cuts in public services that come along with that - or reform compensation. How, exactly, is it in the public's interest to do the former rather than the latter?

 

And this is the kicker. Providing pensions and retirement health benefits way above and beyond those that are, or ever could reasonably be, supported by tax-generated capital is a simple math exercise. Nothing more. Would I rather pay for basic services and social and environmental programs - or have those drascially cut in favor of the status quo unsustainable retirement programs. I would favor the former.

 

FYI - WA state's retirement system ranks pretty high up there and only needs minor tweaking. Other states and the feds are in a nosedive.

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The money isn't there.

 

Pakistan supply route costs U.S. $100 million per month

 

Oh, the money is there. We just choose to spend it on other things.

 

Now if San Jose or CA would just pull back their efforts and apply it to their pensions we would be set. :rolleyes:

 

The point, or at least my point, is that if benefits can't be sustained through a reasonable return on investment, why should middle-class taxpayers be forced to supplement these with higher taxes. So you mean the federal govenment should spend federal tax dollars on providing benefits to works beyound than those that can be expected on conservative market expectatations? I think, as a nation, we can put those fed dollars to much better use than dropping them over the -stans, but wouldn't choose public pensions as the first alternative.

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The money isn't there.

 

Pakistan supply route costs U.S. $100 million per month

 

Oh, the money is there. We just choose to spend it on other things.

 

Now if San Jose or CA would just pull back their efforts and apply it to their pensions we would be set. :rolleyes:

 

If the federal government didn't burn through cash as quickly as it does on retarded things like our current defense budget then they could afford to leave more money in the hands of CA residents, who would then have more money available to be restructured into their local government.

 

The citizen's tax burden would be the same, but the money would be going towards schools and pensions and healthcare in their local State, instead of Afghanistan.

 

Like I said, the money is there, it's just being spent on other things.

 

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The money isn't there.

 

Pakistan supply route costs U.S. $100 million per month

 

Oh, the money is there. We just choose to spend it on other things.

 

I'll ignore the many layers of legislation, taxing authority, and reality that stand between Chuck Reed's budget and the Federal funds that have been appropriated for the Pentagon and go along with this claim for the sake of argument.

 

The voting public has chosen to spend funds that could be used to finance unreformed pay and benefits for public sector employees on "other things," or vote down tax increases on themselves because they have other priorities for their money that they value more. It's not there. It's reform compensation or layoff hundreds and slash services.

 

How does the "Layoff, slash, and don't reform" plan benefit the public?

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the problem is when the simpletons and "average work-a-day joes" read propoganda like this:

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/here-are-the-four-charts-that-explain-what-the-protesters-are-angry-about-2011-10

 

then they think there is actually money somewhere in the system that could be paying for middle class (and union) benefits. and that someone is actually getting rich in this economy? impossible.

 

how do we sell this to them so that they think it is in their best interest?

On one side you had the rich folk who gambled and lost (tanking the economy), and on the other you have unions that don't see the rich people taking a bath so they don't want to either. until someone gives bankruptcy is certain. the owners in this system just needs to do a better job of packaging and selling it to their servants.

 

 

at least thats how a caveman mind sees the situation.

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The money isn't there.

 

Pakistan supply route costs U.S. $100 million per month

 

Oh, the money is there. We just choose to spend it on other things.

 

Now if San Jose or CA would just pull back their efforts and apply it to their pensions we would be set. :rolleyes:

 

The point, or at least my point, is that if benefits can't be sustained through a reasonable return on investment, why should middle-class taxpayers be forced to supplement these with higher taxes. So you mean the federal govenment should spend federal tax dollars on providing benefits to works beyound than those that can be expected on conservative market expectatations? I think, as a nation, we can put those fed dollars to much better use than dropping them over the -stans, but wouldn't choose public pensions as the first alternative.

 

Ever feel like you're in a time capsule having a conversation with Greeks in ~ 2002?

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in the final judgement, across the broad sweep of history, have unions been more friend or foe of the american working man? doesn't seem that difficult an answer, and jesus christ, when have the ownership class NOT bitched about them?

 

Even if one were to concede the broad claims about unions and the broad sweep of history (*solely*) for the sake of argument - it's not clear how that would translates into an argument against reforming pensions and benefits for unionized public sector workers in a manner that makes them more fiscally sustainable and preserves existing levels of service delivery.

 

The money isn't there. Folks like Chuck Reed can only work with the amount of tax revenues that the public is willing to fork over. He - and many others - can leave pay, pensions, and benefits untouched and layoff public employees by the hundreds with all of the cuts in public services that come along with that - or reform compensation. How, exactly, is it in the public's interest to do the former rather than the latter?

 

though a union member and active in my union, i don't pretend to think that we're always right and always entitled to expanded benefits - my union has accepted quite a # of rollbacks and cuts over the past half-decade - my main point is that unions have always been the boogie-man to conservative americans, and therefore it would be stupid to accept all their shrill shrieks and hand-waving today, given that history. rob makes a valid point - setting aside the vagaries of federalism, the bottom line is a giant chunk of american tax money is spent on weapons-grade retarded bullshit (4% of discretionary federal spending on education in 2011 vs 58% on the military in it's quixotic quest to Keep Afghanistan British! plus something like $23 billion on an equally clueless War on Drugs - i'm sure you could add a few more examples of waste?)

 

unions, like the media, are a "4th branch" of government, and as such are as important in maintaining a balance of power in the usa as they are, like government, capable of corruption and folly

 

 

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cut the military budget in half, spend the available funds on education and infrastructure. AND convert all public employee pensions to 401ks. That combined would make a big difference.

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