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Monday, February 21, 2011

Working for a Living

Watching the reaction to what's going on in Wisconsin, I am more convinced than ever that the right wing in America has lost their collective minds. I've been busy the last few days doing other things, but Republican leaders have been remarkably successful convincing Republican voters that public workers are a problem that must be dealt with.

They're sitting pretty in their mansions, driving their Bentleys, taking out their yachts on weekends.

Here's Doug Matconis, a libertarian blogger at Outside the Beltway, putting it succinctly:
The party is over guys, and your days of feeding off the government trough are coming to an end.
This fits nicely in the "government bad, non-government good" hole that Libertarian thinking firmly plants you in.

See, you could be working for a living --ie providing services in exchange for compensation-- but if you're doing it for the government, you are automatically a moocher or a looter or whatever buzzword extracted from Ayn Rand's fragrant ass.

I wish I could be so dumb. Incentives matter, not just for the big shot CEO but for the teacher, the cop, the dogcatcher, and the street sweeper. If I had a philosophy that blinded me to this reality, I would chuck it immediately.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

That fat fucker in NJ said it best.
Something like the days of having a nice pension great health care and a LOT of other nice benefits while everyone ELSE pays for it are coming to an end. Unions? Obsolete in my opinion. They had their place, but come on. 95% of workers in the private sector are not union jobs. A lot of public employees are in a union. Give me a break! You already earn more than your private sector counterparts, have more days off than a kindergardener, a nice pension un-matched anywhere in the private sector. What more COULD you possibly ask for? I looked into my wallet and there was nothing to spend. No matter how much I want to buy that cheeseburger, I can't have it unless I steal it. Wisconsin did the same thing. Looked at the checking account balance and there IS NO MONEY. Instead of pawning off todays expenditures on tomorrows tax payers, they decided on the responible alternative--not writing a "hot" check.
Courage is the word of the day.
Finally a suit got up and said it "We don't have the money so we can't spend the money". My 4 year old gets that concept.
Want to buy a bubblegum ball at the store? Where's your quarter? Oh, don't have one? Come back with a quarter and you can leave with your gum ball.
It seems so simple to me, but hey, I'm just an average Joe.
No blog, no elected position, no union to speak for me.

James said...

"95% of workers in the private sector are not union jobs. "

Wrong.

"A lot of public employees are in a union."

So? With the taxpayers being as stingy as they stupid, wouldn't you want protection from whatever political winds blow?

"You already earn more than your private sector counterparts, have more days off than a kindergardener, a nice pension un-matched anywhere in the private sector."



You're a cop in Arizona. A Democrat gets elected, decides to fire all the white cops and hire Mexicans. Who you gonna call? Your fucking union.

"You already earn more than your private sector counterparts, have more days off than a kindergardener, a nice pension un-matched anywhere in the private sector. What more COULD you possibly ask for?"

You really have to ask that question? What is the limit of things the little guy can ask for?

I mean....Mr. Big Shot CEO can ask for a seven-figure salary, a golden parachute, use of the company jet, and tax cuts...but a schoolteacher? Asking too much.

"Finally a suit got up and said it "We don't have the money so we can't spend the money""

Bullshit. You don't really seem to know what's going on out there in Wisconsin, dude. The union already agreed to pay cuts and benefit cuts. The governor said, "So? You seem to think this is about money. Nope. This is about me breaking your backs."

Repeat after me: THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE MONEY. This is about weakening your political opposition through legislative means. In other words, an abuse of power.

The governor can get the money. There's a tried and true method that governments have used to get money.

It's called tax revenue.

SeanH said...

""You already earn more than your private sector counterparts"

False. That meme was shown to be BS quite a while ago. You need to keep up.

What they did was take the average of ALL private sector jobs then compared it to all the public jobs. Seems fair-if you don't think much. The problem is all those private sector jobs include millions of non skilled minimum wage positions which more or less don't exist in the public work force. The real comparison would be to compare, for example, a position like a department head with a college degree. Guess what-The private sector department head earns more. When you compare similar education levels and similar job duties the private sector wins all most every time. The EPI just did a study showing that in Wisconsin public employees earn around 4% less than their private counterparts.

"In Wisconsin, which has become a focal point in this debate, public servants already take a pretty hefty pay cut just for the opportunity to serve their communities (Keefe 2010). The figure below shows that when comparing the total compensation (which includes non-wage benefits such as health care and pensions) of workers with similar education, public-sector workers consistently make less than their private–sector peers. Workers with a bachelor’s degree or more—which constitute nearly 60% of the state and local workforce in Wisconsin—are compensated between $20,000 less (if they just have a bachelor’s degree) to over $82,000 a year less (if they have a professional degree, such as in law or medicine)."

You are an average joe pedaling lies anonymously. So cool.

SeanH said...

Forgot the link to that quote: http://www.epi.org/economic_snapshots/entry/wisconsin_public_servants_already_face_a_compensation_penalty/

Anonymous said...

Sean,
I hope one day to be as cool as you!
Check the facts again, man.
"Total compensation" is higher for public employees in my state.
I don't feel sorry for anyone with a job right now, much less one that you literally CAN'T get fired from even if your a dumbass that is totally incompetent.
I think public "service" is an honorable career choice, but I'm just so sick of people not even realizing how good they have it.
I contribute to my retirement, take it up the ass on health insurance, and make a decent salary just like so many others out there.
Guess what though?
If I get fired, I have no union to cry to. Colorado is an employment at will state. Look it up, dude.
(UNLESS your a public employee)
Public employees should be held to the same standard as the rest of the country.
Oh yeah, President's Day?
I worked.
I will be here on MLK day, too!
Columbus Day?
Yep, I'm working.
Am I going to go "over the top" and make more than someone in the public sector doing a similar job?
Nope.
Just another day at the office.
Someone need to generate revenue for you fuckers to spend.

James said...

Alright, dude, lemme take you to school:

""Total compensation" is higher for public employees in my state."

That's because "public employees" are things like college professors, geologists, school principals, etc, people who are educated and can command a premium.

It doesn't include fast-food workers, theater projectionists, warehouse pickers, or other minimum-wage low-skilled labor.

The number you keep hearing on the radio doesn't account for that.

"you literally CAN'T get fired from even if your a dumbass that is totally incompetent."

That's only if you're a panicky undercover vice cop working for the city of Aurora.

I seem to remember a couple of meter maids getting fired not too long ago.

"I contribute to my retirement, take it up the ass on health insurance, and make a decent salary just like so many others out there.
Guess what though?
If I get fired, I have no union to cry to"

This is the crux of the issue. You have no union protection, so you don't want anyone else to have any union protection either.

Let me quote "Angry Black Lady" from the Balloon Juice blog (in my blogroll):

"For you assmonkeys out there whining about Johnny Schoolteacher makes this and why don’t I make what Jane Transitworker has, then fucking ORGANIZE AND FIND A WAY TO GET WHAT JOHN AND JANE HAVE. Why is “race to the bottom” the default Teabilly position? Why are they trying to make us all as stupid as they are?"

Why indeed?

"Someone need to generate revenue for you fuckers to spend."

Oh, I'm happy to spend my tax dollars educating your children. Why you bristle at doing the same is what I don't get.

And hey, I know you're a conservative who is going with the flow here, getting down on public servants because it's what's hot right now if you're a right-winger, but you know as well as I do that in our own family we have public servants --hard-workers who earn every cent they get-- and we also have lazy, unskilled moochers sucking off the government teat.

I won't name names. You know who I'm talking about.

So like Sinead O'Connor once said, Fight the real enemy!

SeanH said...

I get President's Day and MLK day off and I work in the private sector with no union. So what exactly is your point on that?

Like James said, when you do apples to apples comparisons of total compensation-

"# Public sector jobs typically require more education than private sector jobs. About 48% of public sector employees have completed college, compared to 23% of people working in the private sector.
# When comparing employees with comparable earnings determinants, such as education level and work experience, state workers earn about 11% less than their counterparts in the private sector, and local workers about 12% less.
# The pay gap has increased over the last 15 years"

http://compensation.blr.com/Compensation-news/Compensation/Administrative-Exemption/Another-Wage-Gap-Public-Sector-vs.-Private-Sector/

I am not sure how cool I am, but I have the facts on my side.