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Old 02-20-2011, 09:34 AM   #41
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if there is a tax increase i would rather it be increased income tax on the high income earners. i think they could bear it better than the lower income people. and like i said above we need to cut back on the size of our government.
Sorry, but I disagree. While high earners can tolerate a tax increase better, that doesn't mean that they should.
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:35 AM   #42
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Now that the Tea Party has become involved in the Wisconsin public employee demonstrations, there is reason for worry. The "Reload don't Retreat" philosophy of some of its leaders and members could easily turn peaceful picketing into violent confrontations.
Any evidence of this? I haven't seen any evidence or convincing argument that those wanting to limit the scope and size of government are more violent than other factions, but I frequently see unsupported comments like the one you make. I think it's a desperate tactic.

Here's an article about yesterday's arrest of a violent union activist who destroyed audio equipment and allegedly assaulted an individual at a Tea Party rally. I'm not saying unions have a history of violence, but ... well, they do. I guess I did say it.
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:39 AM   #43
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However, the majority of the military are in logistics and never see combat.
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:49 AM   #44
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Now that the Tea Party has become involved in the Wisconsin public employee demonstrations, there is reason for worry. The "Reload don't Retreat" philosophy of some of its leaders and members could easily turn peaceful picketing into violent confrontations.
Too late, the Wisconsin public employees beat them to it (including using 'Reload don't Retreat' @ 0:18)



Police Hand-Cuff Protester in Madison

What makes you think these public employee protesters would not resort to violence? They are already attempting to disrupt the democratic legal process. Why not allow a vote? Isn't that our process?

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Old 02-20-2011, 09:53 AM   #45
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Exactly. And I repeat that teachers and other female dominated professions were singled out and police and firefighters are exempted - divide and conquer strategy.
Another observation which has been largely ignored is that the public professions that are not having their collective bargaining rights assaulted just happen to be the ones that supported the current governor.

Again, the teachers union has stated they agree to the budget cuts, what they are protesting is the destruction of their collective bargaining rights.
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:55 AM   #46
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+1. It's inspiring to see the pictures of the WI state house full of people
standing up for their ability to negotiate their pay and benefits. Adam Smith and Marx would both be proud of them.
-1.

Lying by calling in sick, shutting down classes as a result. Taxpayers should be in control of how their money is spent, not unions. Merit, performance based pay is preferable, to me at least, than pay solely for keeping a seat warm year after year. Merit pay is incentive to perform whereas seat warming pay is disincentive. I have a hard time seeing Marxism to be held as an aspiration.
+1 to your -1

Why can't these people negotiate their salaries the way most of us do? We ask for raises, and if we don't get them we look for someone else who will provide them. If we can't get them anywhere else, our 'worth' has been defined.

The calling in sick while they keep claiming they are 'doing this for the children' makes me sick.

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Old 02-20-2011, 09:56 AM   #47
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Again, the teachers union has stated they agree to the budget cuts, what they are protesting is the destruction of their collective bargaining rights.
Do you have a source for that? I haven't seen any background on it, but maybe I missed it. I suspect that they are suddenly interested in agreement, now that other options seem strained.

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Old 02-20-2011, 10:02 AM   #48
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Another observation which has been largely ignored is that the public professions that are not having their collective bargaining rights assaulted just happen to be the ones that supported the current governor.
It's largely ignored because it's not based in fact. According to Governor Walker,there are 314 fire and police unions in Wisconsin. Exactly 4 of them supported his election campaign.
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:12 AM   #49
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Do you have a source for that? I haven't seen any background on it, but maybe I missed it. I suspect that they are suddenly interested in agreement, now that other options seem strained.

-ERD50
This was published on the Wall Street Journal today:

Christina Brey, a spokeswoman with the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state's biggest public-sector union with 98,000 members, confirmed that unions are willing to accept the increased contributions to pensions and healthcare but won't give up their bargaining rights without a fight.
Protests Fail to Sway Wisconsin Governor - WSJ.com
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:13 AM   #50
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The calling in sick while they keep claiming they are 'doing this for the children' makes me sick.

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+1

Anytime a person, politician or group claims they are "doing it for the children" my red flag goes up and my internal compass says "they are doing it for themselves". This includes both parties with equal disdain for this tactic.
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:14 AM   #51
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Not entirely. From what I can tell the unions are willing to accept the wage and benefit concessions. It's the other stuff that will all but bust the union that they are really fighting here.
I don't think that's correct in this case. They are, apparently - my only source is watching the media which is frequently wrong, willing to pay a portion of their medical and retirement benefits but are not willing to make concessions on current wage levels.

Again, I haven't seen a position paper issued by the union(s). Only the usual crapola on tv, radio and the internet.
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:20 AM   #52
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I don't think that's correct in this case. They are, apparently - my only source is watching the media which is frequently wrong, willing to pay a portion of their medical and retirement benefits but are not willing to make concessions on current wage levels.

Again, I haven't seen a postion paper issued by the union(s). Only the usual crapola on tv, radio and the internet.
My sources are amongst the media as well, but early on I noticed that union officials were frequently speaking about losing collective bargaining while the quotes from teachers/demonstrators were all about how they couldn't afford to lose any of their pay.

My impression on the collective bargaining issue is that the governor claimed it screwed up the state's ability to budget in a timely manner because negotiations took 15 months on average. It seems to me that the involved parties just need a schedule, and some incentive, to get that problem fixed. Unless this is really all about the employer making a power grab from its employees.
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:51 AM   #53
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This was published on the Wall Street Journal today:

Christina Brey, a spokeswoman with the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state's biggest public-sector union with 98,000 members, confirmed that unions are willing to accept the increased contributions to pensions and healthcare but won't give up their bargaining rights without a fight.

OK, I've seen that, but I keep hearing that the unions were "willing to compromise" before this bill came up for a vote. But I can't find anything on that. It appears to me that they are back-peddling, saying that they would have been willing to compromise, but only now that they see themselves cornered.

Anyone have anything on just what the unions were willing to offer up before this bill was submitted?


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Old 02-20-2011, 11:16 AM   #54
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Anyone have anything on just what the unions were willing to offer up before this bill was submitted?
I doubt we'll ever know. Unless there were some official negotiations being covered by reliable media (sorry for the oxymoron), anything we hear is just speculation or posturing.

What makes this so interesting for me is that the Wis public employee pension system is based on such sound principals and is working very well. Instead of COLA's, they have market performance based adjustments up and down (yes, people take cuts!) calculated with five year moving averages. It reminds me of the variable withdrawal plans frequently discussed on this forum. You have a choice of aggressive and conservative investments. The state gov't hasn't been busy borrowing (stealing) or tampering with the money. Compared to my home state of Illinois, it looks like a wonderful thing. Plus Wis educators pay into SS, so they get that on top of their pensions.

Other than the fact that the employees pay zero into the system, it looked like something Illinois should aspire to. And, BTW, Illinois teachers already pay significantly more into their pension system than the Wis teachers are being asked to pay. The Illinois teachers are being rewarded for this by having a massively underfunded system destined to go out of business in about a decade without some sort of huge, and unlikely, intervention.
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:35 AM   #55
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Sadly, this whole episode and the discussions/actions surrounding it, are starting to become reminiscent of "The Lord of the Flies".
My gosh, I must be ready for retirement. I can't even keep my high school reading assignments straight. What I meant to refer to was "Animal Farm", as that is what many current developments remind me of.
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:36 AM   #56
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Are those two statements contradictory? Frugality discourages waste, at least it does in my household! If I have an extra $2000 I could spend on upgrading a computer, when the current equipment does the job, its a waste!
Exactly, we had to justify the purchases by showing how they added to our efficiency or capability. Just getting a faster computer when the old one was doing the job would not have been allowed. My point is that if we managed to save money during the year we could not roll that over to next year as we would be seen to have over budgeted in the year before. It's impossible to come out exactly on budget and my organization was naive enough to frown heavily on going over budget.....so we worked hard to come in under budget, and planned to have useful capital spending at the end of the year so that the numbers would come out just right for the bean counters.
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:51 AM   #57
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-1.

Lying by calling in sick, shutting down classes as a result. Taxpayers should be in control of how their money is spent, not unions. Merit, performance based pay is preferable, to me at least, than pay solely for keeping a seat warm year after year. Merit pay is incentive to perform whereas seat warming pay is disincentive. I have a hard time seeing Marxism to be held as an aspiration.
I once went on a school trip to the Manchester Public Library to see where Marx and Engles discussed political theory and have a far more objective opinion of Karl than many. I don't aspire to Marxism, just as I don't aspire to the economic theories of Adam Smith. They both had important observations on economics. I am a libertarian socialist and believe that state ownership and involvement in certain areas of society is vital, just as the freedom of the individual to express themselves in all ways is essential for a functioning economy and democracy.
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:59 AM   #58
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I am a libertarian socialist and believe that state ownership and involvement in certain areas of society is vital
I think most everyone believes that some "state ownership and involvement in certain areas of society is vital." The fight begins in determing how much and in which areas.
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:13 PM   #59
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So here is a typical news excerpt on the protests in Madison:

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The overwhelming majority of protesters were teachers, students and other public-service workers who spent the better part of a week demonstrating against Walker's bill.
So where are the average taxpayers who are against this bill? Seems to me, if the average taxpayer thought that the union workers would do a better job for the citizens if they had collective bargaining, and contributed less to their healthcare and pension, then the average taxpayer would be protesting with the unions.

For example, if my municipality decided to cut spending for Firefighters to the point we couldn't hire qualified people, I bet there would be people protesting in our municipality - we want/need a good fire department. We need certain functions, we just don't want to overpay (more than supply/demand dictates) for them.

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Old 02-20-2011, 12:21 PM   #60
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So here is a typical news excerpt on the protests in Madison:



So where are the average taxpayers who are against this bill? Seems to me, if the average taxpayer thought that the union workers would do a better job for the citizens if they had collective bargaining, and contributed less to their healthcare and pension, then the average taxpayer would be protesting with the unions.

For example, if my municipality decided to cut spending for Firefighters to the point we couldn't hire qualified people, I bet there would be people protesting in our municipality - we want/need a good fire department. We need certain functions, we just don't want to overpay (more than supply/demand dictates) for them.

-ERD50
It may be that there is a lag in time between when the pain is felt in different populations. At present, the average taxpayer has not yet seen the implications of losing public employees. Right now, the proposed pain is at the employees. Down the road, if it occurs, it may be the average taxpayers. Then they might protest in various ways.
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