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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:14 am 
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I always find it slightly bizarre when US citizens demand that US workers should be paid less in order to compete.
It basically accords to Reagan's trickledown theory (as SB as pointed out), that if the boss paid his workers almost nothing, the company would make a profit and he would somehow redistribute the profit, rather than buying a condo in Malibu for himself, financing his kids' education and buying lots of coke.
But perhaps that's just me...

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:23 am 
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BRAVO SIERRA wrote:


YOU ALSO SOUND LIKE A DICTATER WANTING ONLY ONE POLITICAL PARTY. Get real



Your idea of what a dictatorship is exactly the opposite of what it really is. The best thing to do for your own benefit would be to turn off FOXNEWS, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and read American history books, and not the revisionist history books that the Christain Right are trying to force into our school systems either. These supersitious kooks are going to turn America into the 700 Club.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:24 am 
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Talk about rewriting history, world war one president was? world war two? also FDR was dead against public sector unions, they started in 1959, in Wisconsin. Lets see who sent the advisers into Vietnam oh yea Kennedy, who escalated the war, Johnson, who got us out, Nixon, my Subaru was made in Indiana best car I've had, I work in the public sector take home 36k a month pay 6% of my gross for pension, 500 bucks a month for health family of four, what do the spoiled pricks in wis. pay? and who pays for it? I think you are misinformed, by the way how are all those unions doing in mich.?
What do you consider a living wage?

I was in Nam and I aint bitchin, how bout you.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:15 pm 
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So you obviously now hate the country you once defended, because you support the loss of jobs, loss of benefits and support poverty wages. What happened to you man? Why did you turn your back on your brothers and sisters in own country? What caused you to deny the oath you once took to protect America from the same kind of terrorists that now want to destroy the middle class forced so many into a life of poverty all in the name of high profit corporate greed?

Incidently, you should be bitching. The people now killing our jobs, wages and benefits are the ones responsible for taking away benefits from veterans. As a 'Nam veteran, you likely get some Socialised benefits. It sounds like you are biting the hand that feeds you.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:56 pm 
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You are quite a piece of work , answer my question, am I making a living wage, by the way kosovo war, Clinton.

I love my country, and disagree with your analysis, that is my point. Again I ask WHO PAYS FOR PUBLIC SECTOR BENEFITS?

Unions as you can see are causing,economic problems, not all by a long shot never the less as i said in my original point, imho public sector unions must stop. I get NO socialised bennies from Nam, i'm lucky. The biggest immediate threat to our economy is the health care bill, must be revamped.
As for bitching, no, I took a non union public sector job, in hopes of making a true contribution to my community, how bout you. 8)

Shit I almost forgot that inaccurate statement, that the price of gas has gone up over a dollar @ gallon in the past three months, where?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:31 pm 
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The single biggest threat to our econmomy are Republican's. They dug this hole and now are trying to dig it deeper, all the way to China. Literally.

Because the local unions took such a beating over the last 30 years, my last non-self-employed private sector, non-union job is now being done is a sweat shop in China. It disappeared while G W Bush was the president and the entire gov't was controlled by Republicans in 2006, a full year before the Democrats retook the house and senate, tw years before Obama was elected and six years after Clinton was president. The late 90's into 2000 saw my former employer at their peak. Plenty of hours, they had more work than workers, I got plenty of overtime, had excellent benefits, made a decent salary, but then the deregulation started shortly after 9/11.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:37 pm 
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Bravo! Congratulations and thank you on your service to The State! Hope for your sake it was deemed honorable and you weren't conscripted into it. Most adults move on from that period of their lives, though, if they can, especially if they serve twenty years. How long were you in for? What did you do, what was your spec and rank when you got out? Why don't you show us how patriotic you really are and show us some of that famous pride? You're not ashamed to are you?
You know, talk like yours shuts down discussions rather than increase them or get people to learn. That's why I say to you, "Try to learn instead of burn." If you did learn you wouldn't tear down people by attacking their dignity.
The 'question' WHO PAYS FOR PUBLIC SECTOR BENEFITS? is, as I'm sure you know an impossible question to answer.
State, Federal, Union and other contributors all go into 'public' sector union bennies and they are different from business to business, local union to local union, sometimes even county to county let alone among states and in different industries and even person to person. So it's no surprise you keep asking the same question you know before you ask it that can't be accurately answered. Which by the way is another diverting tactic that the liars on FOX use all the time to confuse their excited fans. Most of what I see you post are the delusionary, paranoid ramblings of a Beck fan. If you're a real patriot with real service under your belt, you can do a lot better than what some talking head youngster on the teevee spews. You may think you're happy with what you got but yet you (like a frightened child would) still try to tear down anybody who doesn't bow and scrape before your scatter-shot. That's un-American.

I haven't wanted to have a go at you out of respect to you and your past - whatever that is - but enough is enough. By attacking anyone you respond to here nearly every time shows you don't know how to respect others, but just want to tear others down - oftentimes with bogus or confused info. This is a mark of an unhappy person. Maybe by showing your patriotism you can show us your healthy side. I'm not holding my breath. Be patriotic. Get some help. It'll be good for the country. :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:43 pm 
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Also in regards to BRAVOs gas question......

I realise to people of a certain ilk that "Facts are stupid things" but reality is what it is.......

http://www.gasbuddy.com/gb_retail_price ... px?time=24

FOXNEWS and the Koch brothers are laughing all the way to the Chinese bank.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:24 pm 
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punknaynowned wrote:
Bravo! Congratulations and thank you on your service to The State! Hope for your sake it was deemed honorable and you weren't conscripted into it. Most adults move on from that period of their lives, though, if they can, especially if they serve twenty years. How long were you in for? What did you do, what was your spec and rank when you got out? Why don't you show us how patriotic you really are and show us some of that famous pride? You're not ashamed to are you?
You know, talk like yours shuts down discussions rather than increase them or get people to learn. That's why I say to you, "Try to learn instead of burn." If you did learn you wouldn't tear down people by attacking their dignity.
The 'question' WHO PAYS FOR PUBLIC SECTOR BENEFITS? is, as I'm sure you know an impossible question to answer.
State, Federal, Union and other contributors all go into 'public' sector union bennies and they are different from business to business, local union to local union, sometimes even county to county let alone among states and in different industries and even person to person. So it's no surprise you keep asking the same question you know before you ask it that can't be accurately answered. Which by the way is another diverting tactic that the liars on FOX use all the time to confuse their excited fans. Most of what I see you post are the delusionary, paranoid ramblings of a Beck fan. If you're a real patriot with real service under your belt, you can do a lot better than what some talking head youngster on the teevee spews. You may think you're happy with what you got but yet you (like a frightened child would) still try to tear down anybody who doesn't bow and scrape before your scatter-shot. That's un-American.

I haven't wanted to have a go at you out of respect to you and your past - whatever that is - but enough is enough. By attacking anyone you respond to here nearly every time shows you don't know how to respect others, but just want to tear others down - oftentimes with bogus or confused info. This is a mark of an unhappy person. Maybe by showing your patriotism you can show us your healthy side. I'm not holding my breath. Be patriotic. Get some help. It'll be good for the country. :mrgreen:

Wow do you live in the USA, public sector jobs are paid for by tax payers in the private sector. period. Union dues go to?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:01 pm 
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Punk, I just read your post again and I must say you are very thin skinned, it is hard to take you seriously as you danced around the benefits question, and it was not a trick question, here is another one where does the federal government get their money? taxes. As for unions as you listed paying some of the benefits , well that is exactly the point in Wisconsin, the employee pays 80 bucks a year for pension, 1000 bucks a year for health, so not much, it is so lop sided that the private sector pays the majority, and to add insult to injury the private sector pays more for theirs and gets less.
I work for county government, not state, and I was mmpo3 in the brown water navy, got out in 71, did 6 years. so get your facts straight and answer questions instead of trying to psychoanalyze.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:28 pm 
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Man, what you say to me doesn't bug me. It's that you say it to everybody here. Everybody but you is wrong apparently.

As far as I can see, police and teachers and firefighters and public employees and the benefits that keep them able to do what they do are what taxes are for.

If you don't want to live in a civil society that includes these things, go live somewhere where they don't like those things.

But I thought you were happy with america, the one we all grew up in. The other contributors of public side bennies that I didn't mention or supposedly danced around were insurance companies. Who pays out benefits? Insurance companies or some county, city, state, federal government agency or a charity. Those are our current market-survivable entities that pay out benefits. And it's different for every person's contract, every union, every industry, every state and so on. Not one answer. The devil is in the details which you conveniently ignore.

Have a nice cry for your buddy Roger Aisles and General 'linchpin'.
Does the county pay you $420,000/yr before taxes? and if so,then tax payers pay YOUR salary. You must create a lot of jobs up there if the county pays you that much...

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:25 pm 
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It's just a matter of time before police, firefighters, teachers and public employee jobs are outsourced to India and China because the unions have been busted. The next time you may have to dial 9-1-1, it will be diverted to India, thanks to people like BRAVO. Nice to know everybody in his state is independantly wealthy and doesn't need public service.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:03 am 
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Facism rears it's ugly head in Wisconsin......

Wis. Assembly passes bill taking away union rights

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Assembly early Friday passed a bill that would strip most public workers of their collective bargaining rights — the first significant action on the new Republican governor's plan.

The vote put an end to three straight days of punishing debate, but the political standoff over the bill is far from over.

The Assembly vote sends the bill on to the state Senate, where minority Democrats have been missing for a week. No one knows when — or if — they'll return from their hideout in Illinois. Republicans who control the Senate sent state troopers out looking for them at their homes on Thursday, but they turned up nothing.

Gov. Scott Walker's proposal contains a number of provisions he says are designed to fill the state's $137 million deficit and lay the groundwork for fixing a projected $3.6 billion shortfall in the upcoming 2011-13 budget. The flashpoint is language that would strip almost all public sector workers of their right to collectively bargain benefits and work conditions.

Democrats and unions see the measure as an attack on workers' rights and an attempt to cripple union support for Democrats. Unions have said they would be willing to accept a provision that would increase workers' contributions to their pensions and health care, provided they could still bargain collectively. But Walker has refused to compromise.

Tens of thousands of people have jammed the state Capitol since last week to protest, pounding on drums and chanting so loudly that police who are providing security have resorted to ear plugs. Hundreds have taken to sleeping in the building overnight, dragging in air mattresses and blankets.


Solution......
IMPEACH THE FACIST REPUBLICAN PARTY AND GO TELL THE NAZI TEA PARTY DOUCHEBAGS TO GO SUCK A BIG ONE


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:50 am 
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BRAVO SIERRA wrote:
... I work in the public sector take home 36k a month ...

I think in this particular conversation that anyone who earns $36,000 a month should shut the fuck up. Are you sure you didn't mean a year?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:01 am 
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have just heard a super comment on W-Germany radio; only that, Gadhafi has 4o Ali Billions on Switserländer number accounts. Can probably not repeat those 25 gags in three minutes. Nobody's listening anyway. ... if there was a link though one'd maybe.... See ya in Trip-olis, whahhh


a-ahhh: http://www.wdr2.de/common/audioplayer.j ... c4adc22c17 Chucku Norris Roundhousekickin, ..the Liberals, our MfF eg says a few month ago that Gadhafi is wise and futuristic sort of, then all clever persons recite him now..., ah, our Chancellor thought he was the man from the pizza taxi service, but Guido must know him because they surely have met at the bank. The Swiss have frozen the money already, yeah. Is there summing left?

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Last edited by Robert Browski on Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:19 am 
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polydigm wrote:
BRAVO SIERRA wrote:
... I work in the public sector take home 36k a month ...

I think in this particular conversation that anyone who earns $36,000 a month should shut the fuck up. Are you sure you didn't mean a year?



Yea I meant a year on that, and yes tax payers pay my salary, but I pay a large share of the bennies, again that is the argument, in Wisconsin the burden is on the private sector tax payer causing the huge deficit, the governor ran on this in his campaign, and ran on the numbers he is using now, got voted in by a huge margin, like Obama said elections have consequences

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:46 am 
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Union mentality from a friend :


I worked at the GE Evendale plant in the '80's and I can tell you my experience with the Union there. When I hired on it was the BEST job I had ever had. Best pay, best benefits, etc... I LOVED my job. I joined the union because I thought I HAD to. I didn't realize there was a choice. My first "machine operator" type job was running a machine I had never operated before. I was told by my supervisor to wait for a "methods engineer" to come out and show me how to operate the machine, set the parameters etc. (it was an EDM machine). I waited for HOURS for this person to "teach" me how to run the machine. Mind you, I was a machinist for 10 years prior to this job so I was not a novice. Just not familiar with this type of machine. He showed up just before lunch and I got the "gist" of everything I needed to know to make finished parts and inspect them and catalog them etc.. I returned from lunch, got my shift "quota" of parts to do and got going. I finished the parts I had been "allotted" and started a fresh batch and got half way through these before quitting time. All this, mind you just starting AFTER LUNCH, half the shift was over. Well, when I came back into work the next day my "company issued" tool box and work station area bench was missing. I looked everywhere and even asked my supervisor where my tools were so I could get started. I was told to find my "union shop steward". HE located ME and pulled me into his office for a "chat". He told me I worked too fast, finished too many parts for one shift and was making everyone else look bad. He said to slow it down or else they would ALL have to make that many parts in a shift. Now, I NEVER broke a sweat and was NOT working at a frantic pace. I was just working at the pace I was accustomed to being in a job-shop, which is where I came from. He gave me back my tools and told me to "get lost" for a couple hours if I got all my parts done before shifts end.

When I took a machinist job (upgrade from operator) I was running a lathe when the coolant pump went out. I informed my supervisor and I again was told to wait for a millwright to show up to make the repair. I waited HOURS before someone showed up to "lock-out" the machine so it would be safe to work on. I asked my supervisor to be placed on another job or machine and was told to "sit tight". After lunch an electrician showed up to disconnect the power to the pump. An hour later a pipe fitter disconnected the pump and removed it. With my shift almost over now and having done virtually NOTHING all night I again asked to be placed on another machine. I was told to just wait until the next day and start "fresh". The next day my machine was STILL not repaired and I waited AGAIN till lunch before FINALLY getting moved to another machine. What this meant though, was the SECOND shift guy who was supposed to finish the part in my machine SAT ON HIS ASS all night too! Then I had to call a "support" person to move the part I was working on ACROSS THE AISLE to another lathe so I could finish working on it. This took another hour or so. Another non-productive day!

There were MANY MANY people at GE that had little "side businesses" selling coffee and snacks out of company owned cabinets and lockers. This was almost a full-time operation for some of these people and they did virtually no PRODUCTIVE work while attending these "enterprises"

I remember being in a union meeting once where the stewards and other employees were complaining about how bad the "company" was fucking them over and how much money the CEO was making and blah, blah, blah. These were the same people that sat on there asses or played cards hidden away from site most of their shift. I couldn't stand it anymore and I said to them, "I don't know about any of you guys but, I was NOT sitting at home watching TV when some guy from GE busted into my house and dragged me kicking and screaming to this plant and FORCED me to work here. I APPLIED for this job"! "As far as the CEO making a TON of money, you'd better HOPE he does or else that means the company isn't making any money and they DON'T NEED YOU!" "Everyone here has the same opportunity to get the education and experience needed to be a CEO, whats STOPPING YOU?" The complaining continued and I was accused of being a traitor!

These are just a few examples, there were many, many more incidences in my years there and I am glad I am no longer there. My point is: I feel the Unions had a place at one time and I am thankful for the wages and benefits secured by them but, they have outgrown their usefulness and become corrupt and don't POLICE THEMSELVES. They need to be more accountable for their membership and instead of defending the "deadbeats" they need to get them FIRED or at least reprimanded. They defend the worthless more than the usefull employees! This needs to stop. I don't blame unions entirely for the climate we have today. The corporations and management have let it get this bad as well. I do feel the unions should be self-funded and OPTIONAL for anyone working in a union environment. Or at least, the political portion of the union dues optional to the employee.

This might explain, in part why Evendale went from 18K + employees to whatever the current count is (5-6K I think).


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:20 am 
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Very well put, most of us that have had union jobs will agree that your case is still happening in union shops.
My other gripe is the department of education, you can buy all the best books you want but you can't make the student read them, there comes a point when you have to help yourself

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:25 am 
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good books? a one-Euro-worker would need five weeks a month

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:28 pm 
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"A working person that votes for Republicans is like a chicken that votes for Colonel Sanders."

sign I saw in Madison this week

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:38 pm 
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from David Cay Johnston: via tax.com

"When it comes to improving public understanding of tax policy, nothing has been more troubling than the deeply flawed coverage of the Wisconsin state employees' fight over collective bargaining.

Economic nonsense is being reported as fact in most of the news reports on the Wisconsin dispute, the product of a breakdown of skepticism among journalists multiplied by their lack of understanding of basic economic principles.

Gov. Scott Walker says he wants state workers covered by collective bargaining agreements to "contribute more" to their pension and health insurance plans.

Accepting Gov. Walker' s assertions as fact, and failing to check, created the impression that somehow the workers are getting something extra, a gift from taxpayers. They are not.

Out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin' s pension and health insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state workers.

How can that be? Because the "contributions" consist of money that employees chose to take as deferred wages – as pensions when they retire – rather than take immediately in cash. The same is true with the health care plan. If this were not so a serious crime would be taking place, the gift of public funds rather than payment for services.

Thus, state workers are not being asked to simply "contribute more" to Wisconsin' s retirement system (or as the argument goes, "pay their fair share" of retirement costs as do employees in Wisconsin' s private sector who still have pensions and health insurance). They are being asked to accept a cut in their salaries so that the state of Wisconsin can use the money to fill the hole left by tax cuts and reduced audits of corporations in Wisconsin.

The labor agreements show that the pension plan money is part of the total negotiated compensation. The key phrase, in those agreements I read (emphasis added), is: "The Employer shall contribute on behalf of the employee." This shows that this is just divvying up the total compensation package, so much for cash wages, so much for paid vacations, so much for retirement, etc.

The collective bargaining agreements for prosecutors, cops and scientists are all on-line.

Reporters should sit down, get a cup of coffee and read them. And then they could take what they learn, and what the state website says about fringe benefits, to Gov. Walker and challenge his assumptions.

And they should point out the very first words the state has posted at a web page on careers as a state employee (emphasis added):

The fringe benefits offered to State of Wisconsin employees are significant, and are a valuable part of an individual's compensation package.
Coverage of the controversy in Wisconsin over unions collective bargaining, and in particular pension plan contributions, contains repeated references to the phrase "contribute more."

The key problem is that journalists are assuming that statements by Gov. Scott Walker have basis in fact. Journalists should never accept the premise of a political statement, but often they do, which explains why so much of our public policy is at odds with well-established principles.

The question journalists should be asking is "who contributes" to the state of Wisconsin' s pension and health care plans.

The fact is that all of the money going into these plans belongs to the workers because it is part of the compensation of the state workers. The fact is that the state workers negotiate their total compensation, which they then divvy up between cash wages, paid vacations, health insurance and, yes, pensions. Since the Wisconsin government workers collectively bargained for their compensation, all of the compensation they have bargained for is part of their pay and thus only the workers contribute to the pension plan. This is an indisputable fact.

Not every news report gets it wrong, but the narrative of the journalistic herd has now been set and is slowly hardening into a concrete falsehood that will distort public understanding of the issue for years to come unless journalists en masse correct their mistakes. From the Associated Press and The New York Times to Wisconsin's biggest newspaper, and every broadcast report I have heard, reporters again and again and again have written as fact what is nonsense.

Compared to tax, this economic issue that reporters have been mishandling is simple. But if journalists cannot grasp the economics of this issue, then how can we hope to have an intelligent debate about tax policy?

Dedicated tax journalists like my colleagues Lee Sheppard and Martin Sullivan at Tax Analysts have exposed, and explained in laymen terms, the arcane rules underlying the important tax debates and controversies that affect corporate and individual taxpayers. But the mainstream press is not even getting basic labor economics right, a much simpler matter.

Among the reports that failed to scrutinize Gov. Walker' s assertions about state workers' contributions and thus got it wrong is one by A.G. Sulzberger, the presumed future publisher of The New York Times, who is now a national correspondent. He wrote that the Governor "would raise the amount government workers pay into their pension to 5.8 percent of their pay, from less than 1 percent now."

Wrong. The workers currently pay 100 percent from their compensation package, but a portion of it is deducted from their paychecks and a portion of it goes directly to the pension plan.

One correct way to describe this is that the governor "wants to further reduce the cash wages that state workers currently take home in their paychecks." Most state workers already divert 5 percent of their cash wages to the pension plan, an official state website shows.

Gov. Walker says that he wants them to "contribute more" via deductions from their paychecks. But since the workers already contribute 100 percent of the money going to the pension plan the real issue is changing the accounting for this to reduce cash wages.

Once the state has settled on the compensation package for its workers then how the cash flows is merely accounting for how the costs are divvied up. If the workers got higher cash pay and diverted all of the pension contributions from their pay it would be the same amount compared to having the state pay directly into the pension funds.

By falsely describing the situation the governor has sought to create the issue as one of the workers getting a favor. The Club for Growth, in broadcast ads, blatantly lies by saying "state workers haven't had to sacrifice. They pay next to nothing for their pensions."

We expect ideological marketing organizations to shade the truth and even outright lie, as the Club for Growth has done. But journalists are supposed to check the facts, not adopt lies as truths.

Having had the good fortune long ago to train the presumed future publisher of the Los Angeles Times I focused on making sure he understood why careful checking of facts and questioning assumptions was a commercial, as well as journalistic value, for which reporters should be properly compensated because it made the paper reliable and thus more valuable to its owners. (Sadly my trainee later died and the paper was sold.)

Having worked at The New York Times I can tell you how editors might try to excuse this error. They call it "shorthand." But shorthand that is wrong is, in short, still wrong. So, Mr. Sulzberger, take the initiative and correct your error. Doing so, you would set an example that will become newsroom lore long after you retire.

Here are some other examples of inaccurate reporting of the issue, followed by a critique and a simple solution.
Todd Richmond of the Associated Press reported on Feb. 20 that the governor wants state workers "to contribute more to health care and pension costs." Richmond has repeatedly used variations of that phrase.
On Feb. 18, Michael Cooper and Katherine Q. Seelye of The New York Times reported that the legislation sponsored by Gov. Walker would "require workers to contribute more to their pension and health care plans."
Jane Ford-Stewart of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel' s on-line community news service reported Feb. 22 on "an effort by Gov. Scott Walker to get state employees to contribute more toward their health insurance and pensions so that the costs are more in line with contributions by workers in the private sector."
Politifact.com has a Wisconsin operation and it was also among those that got it wrong – 100 percent dead wrong -- because it assumed the facts as stated by Gov. Walker and failed to question the underlying premise. Further, contrived assumptions make it is easy for the perpetrators of the misrepresentation to point to data that support a false claim, something Politifact missed entirely, on at least two occasions, in proclaiming false statements to be true.


Given how many journalists rely on Politifact to check political assertions, instead of doing their own research, this is, by far, the inaccuracy likely to have the greatest (or most damaging effect) on subsequent reporting. (Examples of Politifact' s inaccurate assessments can be found here and also here.)

Again, the money the state "contributes" is actually part of the compensation that has been negotiated with state workers in advance so it is their money that they choose to take as pension payments in the future rather than cash wages or other benefits today.

Next, journalists should ask how elected officials are treated by the pension system. The pay of elected leaders is set by the legislature without collective bargaining. Here it is also true that any money withheld from paychecks to fund the pension plans comes from the employee (the elected leaders) but this is not the result of a negotiated compensation package so there is a colorable argument that pension benefits that are received by elected leaders beyond the wages deducted from those employees' compensation package are a gift from taxpayers.

The payroll deduction –- again, a mere accounting measure - - was 5 percent last year for "general participants," official state documents show, a rate that is 56 percent higher than the 3.2 percent rate for "elected leaders."

The rates were adjusted for 2011 and now the elected leaders pay 3.9 percent, still well below what the "general participants" collectively bargained to divert from their cash wages through this accounting device.

The rest of the money going into the plan is also wages the workers diverted, it just does not show up in paychecks as a line item, the same way that half of Social Security and Medicare taxes do not show up on paychecks, but are still part of total compensation to each worker in those plans.

I am being repetitive on purpose – experience supervising others has taught me you usually have to teach something three to seven times before it sinks in. Some management texts also make this point.

That is not to say that the state workers make too much or too little. It is to say that journalists as a class are fundamentally getting the facts wrong by not understanding compensation.

Simplistic coverage has also resulted in numerous reports that Wisconsin state workers make more than workers in Wisconsin' s private business sector. This is true only if you compare walnuts to tuna fish.

State governments (indeed almost all governments) tend to hire people with college educations, including advanced degrees. Overall, private employers in all states tend to hire people with less education. More education means more pay because there is more skill required.

America has roughly the same number of food preparers, who can be high school dropouts, as registered nurses, who require a college education. But the nurses make on average $66,500, compared to just $18,100 for the food service workers. The food service workers collectively made less than $50 billion, while the registered nurses made almost $172 billion in 2009, my analysis of the official data shows.

Business and government hire both food service workers and registered nurses, but you are much more likely to work for the government as a registered nurse than as a food preparation worker.

When you control for the education required to be a prosecutor or nurse, government workers get total compensation that is less than those in the corporate sector. This may reflect the fact that fewer and fewer private sector workers are in unions, about 7 percent at last count. As economic theory predicts, as fewer workers can bargain collectively the overall wage level falls. Effectively wiping out public employee unions would only add to downward pressure on wages, standard economic theory shows.

On the other hand, unionized state workers run a much smaller risk of going through bouts of joblessness, an economic benefit. Numerous studies indicate that public workers, including those in Wisconsin, make about 5 percent less than private sector workers when you control for education. But what is the lifetime cost, and risk, of episodic joblessness among comparable private sector workers? Is that cost equal to 5 percent or so of lifetime earnings, which would even out the differential? I have yet to read an analysis of that issue by an academic economist, much less a journalist, so I do not know the truth of that question.

What Gov. Walker has achieved in selling a false assumption as fact occurs because journalists failed to follow what I call the first and second rules of journalism. This problem is pervasive in coverage of tax and budget issues, where so much nonsense gets reported as fact by the Washington Press corps that I have stopped filing away all but the most egregious errors – and still I copy a story or three every day to use in lectures on getting it right and not writing nonsense.

And what are these two rules for journalists?
Rule One: Check it out. Be so skeptical that if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Rule Two: Cross check again and again until you not only know the facts, but can put them in proper context and understand all sides so well that their perspective gets proper weight and lecture, or as I like to say, everyone recognizes their oar in the water.

Deadlines may make Rule Two difficult, and often impossible, in writing the first rough draft of history. We are now in the umpteenth draft and the initial mistake keeps getting repeated, as so often happens when a big story brings a herd, until it becomes accepted as unassailable truth.

The reason that falsehoods are transformed into the public' s common knowledge via inaccurate reporting is simple. When editors or producers back home get an account that differs from what the news herd says they raise questions and often delete unique and accurate insights. But if a reporter just repeats what everyone else is saying it usually sails unchallenged to print or airtime even when it is untrue.

Then there is this: How the compensation packages of state workers get divided up is not a matter of tax burdens. Only how much the state workers get paid is a matter of tax burdens.

There are two other important aspects to this, which go to the heart of tax policy and why our country is in for a long stay in the economic doldrums.

Traditional or defined benefit pension plans, properly administered, increase economic efficiency, while the newer defined contribution plans have high costs whether done one at a time through Individual Retirement Accounts or in group plans like 401(k)s.

Efficiency means that more of the money workers contribute to their pensions - - money that could have been taken as cash wages today - - ends up in the pockets of retirees, not securities dealers, trustees and others who administer and invest the money. Compared to defined benefit pension plans, 401(k) plans are vastly more expensive in investing, administration and other costs.

Individually managed accounts like 401(k)s violate a basic tenet of economics – specialization increases economic gains. That is why the average investor makes much less than the market return, studies by Morningstar show.

This goes to Adam Smith's famous insight in 1776 about specialization increasing wealth: when pins were made in full by each worker each could make only a few each day, but when one person draws the wire, another cuts, another fashions the point, etc., the output rises to tens of thousands of pins and their price falls from dear to cheap.

Expecting individuals to be experts at investing their retirement money in defined contribution plans -- instead of pooling the money so professional investors can manage the money as is done in defined benefit plans -- is not sound economics.

The concept, at its most basic, is buying wholesale instead of retail. Wholesale is cheaper for the buyers. That is, it saves taxpayers money.

The Wisconsin State Investment Board manages about $74.5 billion for an all-in cost of $224 million.

That is a cost of about 30-cents per $100, which is good but not great. However it is far less than many defined contribution plans, where costs are often $1 or more per $100.

So, I hope that Mr. Sulzberger in particular will take the initiative to correct the inaccurate reporting and show the way to other reporters, for the betterment of both America and his family' s investment And I hope that all reporters will start questioning the assumption in the governor' s position instead of assuming his statements are infallible.

My larger hope is that reporters, editors and producers will apply this thinking when covering taxes and taxation, the system by which we distribute the burdens of living in and sustaining this, the Second American Republic."

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:07 pm 
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If birds could read they had been all long on a rampage. Now, catch me compare them with man :smurf:

Hey, Punkya, is it all yourself what's writing this here stoeuff? why, it's exceptionally strong wording. Particularly do i appreciate those blasts at Newts one cannot find on the internet eh, what you better create for yerself or what is it? pardon, gimme a few week. Apropos, not many think and feel so profoundly like we do, in effect do I know not another. Tell you a fresh idea later then.

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Last edited by Robert Browski on Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:10 pm 
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punknaynowned wrote:
"A working person that votes for Republicans is like a chicken that votes for Colonel Sanders."

sign I saw in Madison this week


Good One!

Really, what the hell are these people thinking? All the Republicans and Tea Baggers have to do is start talking about guns and religious fundamentalism and some of these working people seem to go into a trance while Pig Business... uh, I mean Big Business picks their pockets.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:44 pm 
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WOW im dizzy, lets see dollar for dollar, not.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:54 pm 
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pedro2 wrote:
Union mentality from a friend :


I worked at the GE Evendale plant in the '80's and I can tell you my experience with the Union there. When I hired on it was the BEST job I had ever had. Best pay, best benefits, etc... I LOVED my job. I joined the union because I thought I HAD to. I didn't realize there was a choice. My first "machine operator" type job was running a machine I had never operated before. I was told by my supervisor to wait for a "methods engineer" to come out and show me how to operate the machine, set the parameters etc. (it was an EDM machine). I waited for HOURS for this person to "teach" me how to run the machine. Mind you, I was a machinist for 10 years prior to this job so I was not a novice. Just not familiar with this type of machine. He showed up just before lunch and I got the "gist" of everything I needed to know to make finished parts and inspect them and catalog them etc.. I returned from lunch, got my shift "quota" of parts to do and got going. I finished the parts I had been "allotted" and started a fresh batch and got half way through these before quitting time. All this, mind you just starting AFTER LUNCH, half the shift was over. Well, when I came back into work the next day my "company issued" tool box and work station area bench was missing. I looked everywhere and even asked my supervisor where my tools were so I could get started. I was told to find my "union shop steward". HE located ME and pulled me into his office for a "chat". He told me I worked too fast, finished too many parts for one shift and was making everyone else look bad. He said to slow it down or else they would ALL have to make that many parts in a shift. Now, I NEVER broke a sweat and was NOT working at a frantic pace. I was just working at the pace I was accustomed to being in a job-shop, which is where I came from. He gave me back my tools and told me to "get lost" for a couple hours if I got all my parts done before shifts end.

When I took a machinist job (upgrade from operator) I was running a lathe when the coolant pump went out. I informed my supervisor and I again was told to wait for a millwright to show up to make the repair. I waited HOURS before someone showed up to "lock-out" the machine so it would be safe to work on. I asked my supervisor to be placed on another job or machine and was told to "sit tight". After lunch an electrician showed up to disconnect the power to the pump. An hour later a pipe fitter disconnected the pump and removed it. With my shift almost over now and having done virtually NOTHING all night I again asked to be placed on another machine. I was told to just wait until the next day and start "fresh". The next day my machine was STILL not repaired and I waited AGAIN till lunch before FINALLY getting moved to another machine. What this meant though, was the SECOND shift guy who was supposed to finish the part in my machine SAT ON HIS ASS all night too! Then I had to call a "support" person to move the part I was working on ACROSS THE AISLE to another lathe so I could finish working on it. This took another hour or so. Another non-productive day!

There were MANY MANY people at GE that had little "side businesses" selling coffee and snacks out of company owned cabinets and lockers. This was almost a full-time operation for some of these people and they did virtually no PRODUCTIVE work while attending these "enterprises"

I remember being in a union meeting once where the stewards and other employees were complaining about how bad the "company" was fucking them over and how much money the CEO was making and blah, blah, blah. These were the same people that sat on there asses or played cards hidden away from site most of their shift. I couldn't stand it anymore and I said to them, "I don't know about any of you guys but, I was NOT sitting at home watching TV when some guy from GE busted into my house and dragged me kicking and screaming to this plant and FORCED me to work here. I APPLIED for this job"! "As far as the CEO making a TON of money, you'd better HOPE he does or else that means the company isn't making any money and they DON'T NEED YOU!" "Everyone here has the same opportunity to get the education and experience needed to be a CEO, whats STOPPING YOU?" The complaining continued and I was accused of being a traitor!

These are just a few examples, there were many, many more incidences in my years there and I am glad I am no longer there. My point is: I feel the Unions had a place at one time and I am thankful for the wages and benefits secured by them but, they have outgrown their usefulness and become corrupt and don't POLICE THEMSELVES. They need to be more accountable for their membership and instead of defending the "deadbeats" they need to get them FIRED or at least reprimanded. They defend the worthless more than the usefull employees! This needs to stop. I don't blame unions entirely for the climate we have today. The corporations and management have let it get this bad as well. I do feel the unions should be self-funded and OPTIONAL for anyone working in a union environment. Or at least, the political portion of the union dues optional to the employee.

This might explain, in part why Evendale went from 18K + employees to whatever the current count is (5-6K I think).



Great post, I have had similar experiences and I was a shop steward for the Teamsters.

In a nut shell you have me in the middle, a drunk on my right and a mental retard on my left. All 3 of us made the same $$$ but I did all the work. Of course.

Unions are about becoming a professional jerkoff. As soon as Jan 1 rolled around I was plotting my sick days and personal days. Playing *SPAM* at lunch was more important than cutting some fucking college dormitory lawn.

Then when I formed my own business/band, I proudly set out out to pay my guys more than they had ever made before, treated them better than they had ever been treated before and guess what? They became Jerkoffs. Ungrateful jerkoffs. and, eventually Unemployed jerkoffs.

So I have been on both sides of the employment fence - a shop steward and company owner.

The way I see it is like this: I offer you a job for X amount of dollars. You work for me for X amount of hours. For that time I OWN YOU and this is why you get a pay check. Thats why its called "work". If you can't handle the agreement then don't sign up for the job.

If you have talent and ability, you don't need a union to back you up. If you are a jerkoff, then you do.


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