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Old 02-25-2011, 01:34 PM   #121
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The ironic part of all of this, is that these issues should have been aurgued about 2 years ago instead of now. The states mostly just plugged the gaps in their budgets the past 2 years with the federal stimulus money sticking their heads in the sand delaying the inevitable.
+1 Could not agree more. So, did the stimulus actually "stimulate" any economic activity? Not really..........

There was another story in the news. 150 teachers are going to be laid off regardless of the dealing in Madison, because they were hired with stimulus dollars, and those dollars are gone..........
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:57 PM   #122
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VP Biden was very clear in stating that the stimuls was targeted to provide union jobs.

Here's a story from a construction trade magazine.
In part:
Quote:
"We're going to make sure that in every policy, every decision, we don't lose sight of the folks that brought us to the dance," he [Biden] said -- a reference to organized labor's support of the Obama-Biden ticket. "And toward that end, we have to make sure that the jobs we're creating come with fair wages and decent benefits."

Biden focused on the stimulus package, noting it will send taxpayer money through the pipeline to union jobs and specifically those in the building trades unions. "The focus of this administration the first month has been to rebuild American roads, bridges, waterways -- jobs for the building trades union," he said.

He said he and President Barack Obama will uphold the National Labor Relations Act designed to "encourage collective bargaining, encourage unions." He said it's not enough for corporations and government to "tolerate" workers forming unions -- "after using every trick in the book" to block them.

In addition to championing construction jobs, Biden described teachers, police officers, firefighters, hospital workers and factory workers as the "nation's heart and soul."

"Investing and getting more people access to broadband -- communication workers. Creating clean energy economy -- jobs that require electrical workers to modernize the grid, steel workers to go out and build the wind turbines, laborers to install the solar panels. Making our communities safer, jobs that require getting cops on the beat and keeping firefighters in firehouses. That's what we're trying to do," he said.
Maybe it's part of the whole "Green Jobs" thing--taking my green tax dollars and recycling them into union dues and donations to elect politicians favored by "the machine."

It stinks. Like Chicago ward politics, but expanded to a national scale.
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:14 PM   #123
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+1 Could not agree more. So, did the stimulus actually "stimulate" any economic activity? Not really..........

There was another story in the news. 150 teachers are going to be laid off regardless of the dealing in Madison, because they were hired with stimulus dollars, and those dollars are gone..........
Since they were essentially fired when they were hired, probably should have used the money instead to work on the infrastructure. At least there would be something from it!
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:32 PM   #124
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+1 Could not agree more. So, did the stimulus actually "stimulate" any economic activity? Not really..........
Agree. It was just another political ploy (regardless of party) to show that they were concerned with "the people"...
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:44 PM   #125
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The ironic part of all of this, is that these issues should have been aurgued about 2 years ago instead of now. The states mostly just plugged the gaps in their budgets the past 2 years with the federal stimulus money sticking their heads in the sand delaying the inevitable.

I will actually disagree with this statement only because of history...

Most of the time when a recession has hit... and there was money from the Feds to keep state and local gvmts going... the economy turned around in time for their tax income to increase and allow them to kick the can down the road more...

This time the recession was very deep... and the recovery slow... so revenue has not yet come back and we are not willing to support another trillion dollars to kick the can down the road....

So, looking at history, they did what most all politicians have been taught... wait until the last minute and hope to get bailed out... the white knight just did not come...



To me, one of the things a good politician or manager should do is get rid of something that is not needed in good times or bad... don't wait only for the bad times to do what is necessay... that means cutting dated or no longer needed programs even if you are running a surplus...
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:24 PM   #126
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True in the sense of salary and retirement, although they can negotiate about some fairly petty rules such as compressed work schedules.

As a point of reference all new fed employees since the mid 1980's get 1% per year of service (high 3, partially indexed for inflation) in a defined benefit for which they pay 1% of their salary and up to 5% match on their 401K. Social security is also paid.

At the time it was considered a cheap retirement plan, now it appears to the the benchmark for state employees.
The federal system is affordable and when combined with a best in class 401(K) i.e. the TSP, a model for public and private retirement system.

My only quibble is I'd like to see Federal workers pay something along the lines of 5-6% for their pension since the true cost of 1%*year DB plan is in the neighborhood of 10-12%

Conceptually, I think employees and employers should split the cost of retirement. If we have a system where you work for roughly 2 years for every year you are retired, i.e work for ~40 years retire for ~20, I think that combined contributions need be 20% for an adequate retirement and 30% for a comfortable one.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:45 PM   #127
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It stinks. Like Chicago ward politics, but expanded to a national scale.
"Poor Wisconsin, so far from God, so close to Chicago."

Or was that quote about Mexico? I can't remember...
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Here Is A Good Article On Public Employee Unions
Old 03-11-2011, 02:42 PM   #128
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Here Is A Good Article On Public Employee Unions

..and, represents one side of the argument

The Political Economy of Government Employee Unions - Thomas J. DiLorenzo - Mises Daily
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:32 AM   #129
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Every government-employee union is a political machine that lobbies relentlessly for higher taxes, increased government spending, more featherbedding, and more pension promises while demonizing hesitant taxpayers as uncaring enemies of children, the elderly, and the poor (who are purportedly "served" by the government bureaucrats the unions represent).


Very interesting, quick read.
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Old 03-12-2011, 03:53 AM   #130
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In a society that was built on the notion that self reliance and personal freedom are the keys to prosperity i am surprised that unions are tolerated at all. Unions are nothing more than communist microcosms that uphold the belief that we are all exactly the same and deserving of an equal piece of the pie regardless of how talented or motivated we are. Oddly, in an economy, this only works in "communist" states were the government makes the rules (i.e. Sets the pay scales) and are not beholding to a voting public. In a democratic society politicians are expected to supply the broader voting public with the services that the "communist"unions withold at their whim. At least unions that represent workers in private companies have to consider the economic viability of their employer when they withold services and set demands. Public unions have no such constraints and for this reason should be illegal, period.
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:25 AM   #131
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As a resident of Wisconsin----and for those of you who aren't familiar with the Midwest, "Sconie" is a nickname for someone from Wisconsin----all I can say is that I am VERY pleased with how things have turned out here and our Governor Walker!!!
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:09 AM   #132
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In a society that was built on the notion that self reliance and personal freedom are the keys to prosperity i am surprised that unions are tolerated at all. Unions are nothing more than communist microcosms that uphold the belief that we are all exactly the same and deserving of an equal piece of the pie regardless of how talented or motivated we are. Oddly, in an economy, this only works in "communist" states were the government makes the rules (i.e. Sets the pay scales) and are not beholding to a voting public. In a democratic society politicians are expected to supply the broader voting public with the services that the "communist"unions withold at their whim. At least unions that represent workers in private companies have to consider the economic viability of their employer when they withold services and set demands. Public unions have no such constraints and for this reason should be illegal, period.
Perhaps we should also bad political parties.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:16 AM   #133
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An interesting read, thanks.

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In a society that was built on the notion that self reliance and personal freedom are the keys to prosperity i am surprised that unions are tolerated at all. Unions are nothing more than ...
I prefer to look at this in a more 'big picture' view. I have problems when any entity gains some monopoly-like powers. IMO, in the past that was the big industrialists, and today it is sometimes the unions. And cell phone carriers, and a few others. In either case, I'd prefer to see the cause of the power be acted on, rather than trying to regulate the symptoms.

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Old 03-12-2011, 10:57 AM   #134
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It certainly is interesting. My lack of knowledge in the area precludes any opinions in the matter. The following is my only experience in this matter.

My BIL and sister are school teachers and talk the tea party talk in a big way while reaping the fruits of their teacher union. They are about to lose tenure and have their health care rates raised and the retirement contribution raised due to a bill that is going through our state now and will be signed as republicans are in control including the governor. I cannot wait to hear what they have to say after that. I have always worked in private industry and never had a union job so I really do not have an opinion either way. I did always find them to be amusing as they seemed to want it both ways so this will be interesting.
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:25 AM   #135
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An interesting read, thanks.



I In either case, I'd prefer to see the cause of the power be acted on, rather than trying to regulate the symptoms.

-ERD50
So the cause would be the unions?
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:36 AM   #136
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So the cause would be the unions?
Not in my book. The Constitution gives people the right to freely associate without government interference, and if they want to freely associate to form a union, that is fine.

The problem comes when the government gets in the game of providing a guaranteed monopoly for unions (closed shop laws--"to work here, you must join the union") or restricts the ability of individuals to bargain individually rather than solely as part of a group (so called "collective bargaining").

Another problem unique to public-sector unions is the whole revolving-door money game. Any system without effective feedback mechanisms is going to cause trouble, and the unions + politicians-as-employers (using taxpayer money) system is a good example. We're watching the too-long delayed feedback now.
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:11 PM   #137
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My BIL and sister are school teachers and talk the tea party talk in a big way while reaping the fruits of their teacher union.
. . . I did always find them to be amusing as they seemed to want it both ways so this will be interesting.
I don't see any contradiction between "talking the tea party talk" while being employed as teachers and taking what is offered by way of salary and benefits (the same as any other employee in that position). What limited government-types oppose is the fact that these policies and giveaways exist. BIL and sister may be actively fighting to have them eliminated. Still, if the money and benefits are being given to someone, they should be as eligible as anyone else to get them.

Now, if they are arguing to cut every other part of government except the part that benefits them, that's a different story.
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:41 PM   #138
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It's like really, really scary if you say "communism" over and over again...
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:50 PM   #139
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So the cause would be the unions?
As samclem said, maybe certain aspects of union power have become too great, that doesn't mean that everything about unions is a problem.


What I was trying to say in my 'big picture' view, is that I'm not anti-union, I'm not anti-big-bigness. I'm anti- "anything that has too much power". I'm an equal opportunity anti-ist.

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Old 03-12-2011, 02:05 PM   #140
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Now, if they are arguing to cut every other part of government except the part that benefits them, that's a different story.
You described them to a tee here. Its the I have got mine and the H*ll with everyone else attitude.
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