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Jim

Problems in Cheeseland

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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.

i'd be willign to sit through an hour long powerpoint on the nuts and bolts of that idea at least :)

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More of the same lies by the usual suspects.

 

Let's remember that private sector compensations are on average higher than that of the public sector when comparing workers with equivalent qualifications, seniority, etc:

 

"observers generally agree that wages of similarly situated workers are lower in the state local sector than in the private sector. The disagreement hinges on the extent to which benefits offset the wage penalty. Our re-estimation of the much-used wage equation plus adjustments for proper valuation of pensions and retiree health insurance indicates that the two roughly balance out. The estimated difference nationwide is about 4 percent in favor of private sector workers."

http://crr.bc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/slp_20-508.pdf

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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?

 

The public interest is in having the state provide adequate services, not cut rate services provided by unqualified people not making a decent wage. Now, if we could get people like you to quit your anti-taxation demagoguery, we'd get others to see nobody is talking about increasing taxes on the middle class.

 

"set your country free, pay your taxes"

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"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."

 

Appealing to the reptilian part of the brain isn't the same as giving a voice to the middle and working class. Walkers' tactics are called 'divide and conquer' (he acknowledged so himself). They are the same tactics used by regressives all over the nation to pit the young against the old (lie: "SS won't be around when you get to retire"), the public employee against the private employee (lie: "public workers earn too much and we can get them to do the same job for less"), nationals against immigrants (lie: "illegals steal your jobs and bleed the safety net dry"), union workers against non-union workers (lie: "union thugs are paid too much"), etc.

 

"First, they came for _____, and I did not speak out, then they came for ____, and I did not speak out, etc .."

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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

 

 

1. Since that's the name of the game today - let's take your proposition that in the past, opposition to unions has come exclusively from conservatives acting in bad faith, at face value. We'll have to ignore the public reservations/opposition that the likes of Fiorello Lagaurdia, George Meany, and FDR expressed about public employees unionizing to do so - but let's go ahead with that.

 

If I believed that to be true - I'd be extremely alarmed by the likes of Chuck Reed, Jeff Adachi, bona fide Seattle Progressives like Jim, 70% of voters in San Jose, 40% of union households in Wisconsin, etc, etc, etc, etc suddenly finding common cause with the right wing hatemongers when it comes to reforming public sector compensation.

 

How do you understand/explain that?

 

2. It's not necessarily true that if the spigot of money being funneled into the pentagon or prohibition were cut off, it would automatically flow into the pensions and benefits of state and local employees. Given the percentage of Federal spending that's financed by borrowing - it might simply never be appropriated, it might go into covering the costs of SS, Medicare, etc, etc.

 

 

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More of the same lies by the usual suspects.

 

Let's remember that private sector compensations are on average higher than that of the public sector when comparing workers with equivalent qualifications, seniority, etc:

 

"observers generally agree that wages of similarly situated workers are lower in the state local sector than in the private sector. The disagreement hinges on the extent to which benefits offset the wage penalty. Our re-estimation of the much-used wage equation plus adjustments for proper valuation of pensions and retiree health insurance indicates that the two roughly balance out. The estimated difference nationwide is about 4 percent in favor of private sector workers."

http://crr.bc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/slp_20-508.pdf

 

We've parsed all of these studies before, but since today is "Take everyone's arguments at face value" day. Lets take this claim at face value for the sake of argument. Let's go a step further and propose that all public sector employees are criminally underpaid and only sticking around for benevolent reasons.

 

Lots of cities and states still can't cover the cost of employing the current number of public sector employees under their existing tax regimes, and the odds that the public will universally approve the tax increases necessary to allow them to do so is quite low.

 

In cities and states that can't get the votes necessary to raise taxes, that leaves us with....wait for it....layoffs and service cuts or cutting compensation/benefits.

 

 

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Lots of cities and states still can't cover the cost of employing the current number of public sector employees under their existing tax regimes, and the odds that the public will universally approve the tax increases necessary to allow them to do so is quite low.

 

In cities and states that can't get the votes necessary to raise taxes, that leaves us with....wait for it....layoffs and service cuts or cutting compensation/benefits.

 

It ain't rocket surgery. It's math.

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Well JayB, if it comes down to cutting services (whatever form it takes, be it layoff, hiring unqualified workers for less money, or whatever) you'll have to bear that responsibility like you have to bear squandering trillions on wars of choice, giving tax cuts to the robber barons who don't create jobs, deregulating the financial sector responsible for cratering the economy, refusing to raise taxes on the wealthy who pretty much pay as little as they ever have since the advent of the nation state, and on and on with the up is down reality you revel in.

 

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If I believed that to be true - I'd be extremely alarmed by the likes of Chuck Reed, Jeff Adachi, bona fide Seattle Progressives like Jim, 70% of voters in San Jose, 40% of union households in Wisconsin, etc, etc, etc, etc suddenly finding common cause with the right wing hatemongers when it comes to reforming public sector compensation.

 

How do you understand/explain that?

 

how do we explain your pulling numbers and progressive credentials out of your ass?

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It ain't rocket surgery. It's math.

 

it's depression math alright

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if we could get rid of the damn unions, hiring cops and firemen could be as cheap and easy as hiring someone to flip burgers.

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1.

 

How do you understand/explain that?

 

2. It's not necessarily true that if the spigot of money being funneled into the pentagon or prohibition were cut off, it would automatically flow into the pensions and benefits of state and local employees.

1. i understand my union's needs will vie against the many other interests that make up the american state, large and small, and that, as american general political philosophy holds, the majority is not necessarily right, and, as a minority perhaps, i must continue to contend for my own. that many people who work in the private sector, particularly in its lower echelons, where it's currently being squeezed the most, should begrudge public employees is hardly a suprise. as always in a republic, my union must continue to agitate, organize, expand, educate and act in the interests of its members. it may well be that many who feel an attraction to public work are in fact more socialist in their political philosophies. ours is a mixed system, and capitalism will always be a pole striving to some extent against us evil, evil left-of-center types. whatever. in the end i'm more moderate than anything, and w/ a limited life-span, i'll suffer the slings-and-arrows of the next 50 years as best i can, hopefully keeping my pennant flying until my own ship founders and i cease giving a fuck. :) the death of my union is likewise not inevitable, but organized labor itself i can't ever imagine dying off until the race that created it likewise is gone...

 

2. no shit! therein lies the unending battle. :P

Edited by ivan

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if we could get rid of the damn unions, hiring cops and firemen could be as cheap and easy as hiring someone to flip burgers.

i think this movie pretty much covered it all :)

Idiocracy_movie_poster.jpg

1210375690116-1.jpg

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if we could get rid of the damn unions, hiring cops and firemen could be as cheap and easy as hiring someone to flip burgers.

 

Yes. Because the ~93% of the private sector workforce and the ~65% of the public sector workforce that aren't represented by unions all make minimum wage, irrespective of their qualifications.

 

 

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i've had the pleasure of working in 3 school systems where the union was mostly unnecessary, but that hardly means that public unions should just fuck off - some bosses can be koch-smokers, and some systems ready to throw their employees on the fire before cutting other unnecessary costs - the union needs to be there for when shit is fucked up.

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1.

 

How do you understand/explain that?

 

2. It's not necessarily true that if the spigot of money being funneled into the pentagon or prohibition were cut off, it would automatically flow into the pensions and benefits of state and local employees.

1. i understand my union's needs will vie against the many other interests that make up the american state, large and small, and that, as american general political philosophy holds, the majority is not necessarily right, and, as a minority perhaps, i must continue to contend for my own. that many people who work in the private sector, particularly in its lower echelons, where it's currently being squeezed the most, should begrudge public employees is hardly a suprise. as always in a republic, my union must continue to agitate, organize, expand, educate and act in the interests of its members. it may well be that many who feel an attraction to public work are in fact more socialist in their political philosophies. ours is a mixed system, and capitalism will always be a pole striving to some extent against us evil, evil left-of-center types. whatever. in the end i'm more moderate than anything, and w/ a limited life-span, i'll suffer the slings-and-arrows of the next 50 years as best i can, hopefully keeping my pennant flying until my own ship founders and i cease giving a fuck. :) the death of my union is likewise not inevitable, but organized labor itself i can't ever imagine dying off until the race that created it likewise is gone...

 

2. no shit! therein lies the unending battle. :P

 

Well - kudos to you for giving an honest answer, even if it sounds like someone tossed Albert Shanker, Ambrose Bierce, and Colonel Kurtz into a blender, distilled out the essence, and plugged it into a computer terminal...

 

 

“When school children start paying union dues, that 's when I'll start representing the interests of school children.”

~Albert Shanker

 

"Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles."

-Ambrose Bierce, 'The Devil's Dictionary"

 

http://www.pagebypagebooks.com/Joseph_Conrad/Heart_of_Darkness/Chapter_II_p13.html

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i wish i were a pair of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas :)

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this is how it is:

 

conservatards like their money, libtards like conservatards money too :)

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if we could get rid of the damn unions, hiring cops and firemen could be as cheap and easy as hiring someone to flip burgers.

 

I've heard this adage a few times

 

You get what you pay for

 

Sorry I don't make enough money here to compose an elaborate response to this hot button topic. :cry:

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