Wisconson - sign of more to come?

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Wisconson - sign of more to come?

Do you think that unrest from working class people will settle down after whatever outcome happens in the Dairy State? Or will other states try and follow suit....with potentially more serious protests? Is this the beginning of a new movement........? I am interested to hear other perspectives.

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Re: Wisconsin - sign of more to come?

I apologize to WI for misspelling the state's name. I haven't slept all night.

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

I don't consider those teachers part of the working class.

Their wages are way more than average, the vacations are unbelievable, and benefits on par, or better than, billionaires.

Great topic by the way.

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

Petra -

I don't know what to think from one minute to the next.  I was struck by footage the other day about the Wisconsin demonstrations - they asked one of the kids in the crowd if he knew what they were protesting about.......his answer? "No, but I got out of school."

I think what the protests may do is shed light on the scope of the problems we are facing.  Once more people see how bad and almost irreparably broken things are they are going to slowly realize that the steps needed to address the issues will necessarily be painful.  Then what? 

How frantic do they get when they realize that even if we don't do anything, the system is going to reset itself?  How much more painful will that be?

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

Cuts have been happening for years. with Republican and Dem guvs, see below for Dem states  IMO,  There has been and will be, no critical mass union movement because the facts are on the side of smaller government and liberty.

States with Democratic Governors:
IL: 24 furlough days & raised taxes
CA: 10% pay cut for all employees & raised taxes
NY: 10% cut to university system & 7.3% cut in public school aid
FL: 5% pay in to pensions
NV: 5% pay cut for all employees & lays off 361 employees
Asking the employee to pay $ 164/mo for health care & $318/mo for retirement benefits

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

patrickhenry wrote:

Cuts have been happening for years. with Republican and Dem guvs, see below for Dem states IMO, There has been and will be, no critical mass union movement because the facts are on the side of smaller government and liberty.

I added emphasis to your post......

And from mine preceding yours,

"No, but I got out of school." is what we are really up against before anything good can gain traction.

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

It is not about teachers.  There are nurses, probation and parole officers, correctional officers, nursing assistants, dnr people, labratory people, crime lab people, services for handicapped and mentally ill....and NO their salaries are NOT high.  That is untrue.  Teachers are the first to walk because they are actually a bit less vital than nurses and a few other professions....you can catch up on education, you can't catch up on missed medical care.  Nurses don't walk until there is desperation because people's lives depend on them.  Nurses already are forced to work double shifts....what is next, chain us to the patients' beds?

This law strives to do away with unions.  Life will not be better for any one if they can not organize.

I suspect this will grow to be a nationwide movement.  People are sick of bloated corporate profits. Russ Feingold has started a new PAC, Progressives United.

The middle class has to stop harping on each other, and go after the rich as in more than $250,000 per year.

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

Whatever one may think of State workers or of Governors like Christie's (New Jersey) and Walker's (Wisconsin) attempts to break the unions back, watch for the unintended consequences if they are successful.  If these Governors are successful State workers will likely remain doing there jobs because there are few other options, but these people are not washing our cars or making our lattes, they are the Police enforcing the rule of law, the Correction Officers guarding the prisons, the DOT crews plowing the roads and the people teaching the children.  They will feel betrayed, angry and vengeful. How this plays out in these respective State agencies and how it will effect those of use who rely upon these services remains to be seen but rarely do politicians anticipate the unintended consequence.

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

inga wrote:
Nurses already are forced to work double shifts....what is next, chain us to the patients' beds?

Forced?  I don't see anyone hold a gun to their heads.  If you don't like the job, don't do it.

inga wrote:
and NO their salaries are NOT high.  That is untrue.

Salaries should be set by the market.  If they go up then you are correct, if they go down because the employees are willing to accept less money for a job, then the salaries are too high.  Same as it is for every other good, price is determine by need and availability (supply and demand).

inga wrote:
The middle class has to stop harping on each other, and go after the rich as in more than $250,000 per year.

More political rhetoric.  News Flash - not enough rich to tax.  If you took all the money from all those you consider rich, you would kick the can down the road a couple of years (maybe), then what?  It's not sustainable.  So time to wake up, this is part of the reduction in the standard of living that is so often a topic of conversation on this site.

nacci wrote:
They will feel betrayed, angry and vengeful.

No doubt, they have been lied to for a very very long time.  Unfortunately a lot of anger will be misdirected as this plays out at the "correction" that is occuring rather than at the unsustainable promises made.

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

inga wrote:

People are sick of bloated corporate profits.

No, people are sick of bloated government.

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

inga wrote:

The middle class has to stop harping on each other, and go after the rich as in more than $250,000 per year.

Most of the income tax revenue in my state comes from the wealthy. The poor and a good chunk of the lower middle class don't even pay income taxes.

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

sevenmmm wrote:

I don't consider those teachers part of the working class.

Their wages are way more than average, the vacations are unbelievable, and benefits on par, or better than, billionaires.

Great topic by the way.

sevenmmm,

I don't know about your area but in our area, I can think of a highly intelligent science and math teacher who is an engineering school graduate who gets paid less than 40K a year.  That's not a very good income for someone of that education and that calibre.  They do have good benefits, for sure.  Vacations are nice but don't forget, they spend many weekends and evenings preparing lesson plans, grading tests and papers, etc.  In fact, I know many teachers in our area who use their own personal funds to buy school supplies for their students.  Most of the teachers that my children have had, have been very dedicated, hard working individuals who, in my mind, earn and are worth the money they are paid.

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

Union or anti-union it must be acknowledged that all of the workers rights that we, public sector or private, enjoy today have been hard fought and won by organized labor; the abolition of child labor, the eight hour work day, the forty hour work week, safety standards, sick time, vacation time, collective bargaining and on.  

The President has made it clear that his goal is to double U.S. exports in five years.  This will be accomplished several ways, two of which are to depreciate the Federal Reserve Note and recreate a work force that will produce more for less.  The first step in increasing U.S. worker productivity is to destroy the unions, collective bargaining and overhanging pension obligations.  

What is equal concern to both the Public and private sector is this; if the unions are broken who will stand to stop the repeal of the rights stated above?  

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

Hello Inga, we make over 250k, drive a 12 year old car, save for vacations and struggle to make payroll taxes for our employees.  I think it's funny that you consider us rich and that we could possibly afford any more money to help pay down this mess.  No one forces me to work 10 hour days six days a week, I do it so that I can keep the doors of my business open, so that we don't have to fire our employees whom I love like family and so I can afford to pay our kids private school tuition so they don't have to sit BORED out of their mind in a public school that offers them nothing.  No one in this country is forced to work.  It's time for everyone to contribute, or tax payers like us will disappear forever.

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

earthwise wrote:

inga wrote:

People are sick of bloated corporate profits.

No, people are sick of bloated government.

Are we not talking about one and the same here, as has been pointed out ad infinitum. The government has become the handmaiden of corporations via the neoliberal agenda. Mass revolts by labor are the trend for the future, no question about it. We are seeing it in the Middle East and with time it will be all over the globe. 

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

inga wrote:

I suspect this will grow to be a nationwide movement.  People are sick of bloated corporate profits. Russ Feingold has started a new PAC, Progressives United.

The middle class has to stop harping on each other, and go after the rich as in more than $250,000 per year.

inga -

Haven't read many of your other posts so I'm not sure if this one is just a 5 CEP outlier, but "go after the rich as in more than $250,000 per year" strikes me as symptomatic of the entitlement mentality so pervasive in this country - a mentality which exacerbates the problems we are facing.

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:

inga wrote:

I suspect this will grow to be a nationwide movement.  People are sick of bloated corporate profits. Russ Feingold has started a new PAC, Progressives United.

The middle class has to stop harping on each other, and go after the rich as in more than $250,000 per year.

inga -

Haven't read many of your other posts so I'm not sure if this one is just a 5 CEP outlier, but "go after the rich as in more than $250,000 per year" strikes me as symptomatic of the entitlement mentality so pervasive in this country - a mentality which exacerbates the problems we are facing.

No. People are sick and tired of all the wealth funneling up to the top 0.1% of the population. Pretty simple. If you study history, you'd know this started with the dismantling of workers rights in the Reagan era from the 1980's onward, the push for privatization of all aspects of services once considered to be for the public good, and the financialization of the entire economy. 

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

rhare wrote:

Salaries should be set by the market.  If they go up then you are correct, if they go down because the employees are willing to accept less money for a job, then the salaries are too high.  Same as it is for every other good, price is determine by need and availability (supply and demand).

It would be helpful if you define "the market" for wages.  Is it a global market?  Do you expand or rework trade agreements?  Obviously that greatly influences where jobs are created.  If you mean "the market" as in free-as-can-be-no-barriers for corporations, then wages will be driven down due to competition from low wage countries.  If we keep disrespecting the US work force (or whatever part of the work force that is convenient to belittle this week), then we'll soon have a low wage work force at home to rival the developing world.  Maybe that's how we finally fix the export part of the equation... cheap enough labor at home so there's little need for non-US work.

rhare wrote:

inga wrote:
The middle class has to stop harping on each other, and go after the rich as in more than $250,000 per year.

More political rhetoric.  News Flash - not enough rich to tax.  If you took all the money from all those you consider rich, you would kick the can down the road a couple of years (maybe), then what?  It's not sustainable.  So time to wake up, this is part of the reduction in the standard of living that is so often a topic of conversation on this site.

This is an unsubstantiated or emotionally driven conclusion.  When you say "not enough rich to tax" you certainly have some numbers in mind.  Maybe they weren't available, but data would be helpful.  A ratio of national earnings by income demographic would suffice.  Top of mind, make the cut-offs < $50k, $50k - $120k, $120k - $250k, $250k - $1m, > $1m.  That would be five income groups and the "rich" group would be easy enough to identify, and even adjust for cost of living.  But without something like that, your statement is as much political rhetoric as that which you are trying to refute.

rhare wrote:

nacci wrote:
They will feel betrayed, angry and vengeful.

No doubt, they have been lied to for a very very long time.  Unfortunately a lot of anger will be misdirected as this plays out at the "correction" that is occuring rather than at the unsustainable promises made.

That is the problem when neither party brokers in honesty.  Union busting is not going to fix the unsustainable issues.  Union busting has been a top priority of the Rep party for 40 years.  Listed below are years and the percent of workforce in a union.  Obviously any historical economic growth has to be taken with a grain of salt since it contributed to the unsustainable path we're on.  But, declining per capita union membership tells me this is not a primary problem, but one of political ideology.  One oddity of the data series is that public union membership began trending up in 2000.  So a conservative president expands government so the party can later make expanding government the boogeyman.  Not blaming or making political points, other than the lack of honesty and clarity of purpose is mutual.  One group hides the truth to protect big corporations while the other tries to protect workers while appeasing corporations.  Same country club, just a different color locker.

1955, 32-percent

1970, 30-percent

1980, 23-percent

1985, 18-percent

1990, 16-percent

2000, 14-percent

2010, 12--percent

Above data taken from links below.

Keep in mind, the protests are about THE RIGHT to collective bargain, not whether you agree with the results of previous bargains.  Different topics.

http://www.mrswing.com/articles/Union_Membership_Good_News_Bad_News.html

http://www.bls.gov/cps/labor2005/chart3-11.pdf

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

Nacci wrote:
Union or anti-union it must be acknowledged that all of the workers rights that we, public sector or private, enjoy today have been hard fought and won by organized labor; the abolition of child labor, the eight hour work day, the forty hour work week, safety standards, sick time, vacation time, collective bargaining and on.

No it doesn't have to be acknowledged.  Some of these, including the "forty hour work week" occured or would have occured as a result of competition for workers.  

I should note, I have nothing against people forming unions as I think that is their right.  What I have a problem with is state sponsored unions.  Any worker should have the right to join or not join a union, and an employer should have the right to hire or not hire anyone they please.  Government should IMNSHO not be inolved in any way and should never be a party to collective bargining agreements.

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

earthwise wrote:

inga wrote:

People are sick of bloated corporate profits.

No, people are sick of bloated government.

How do either one of you know what "people" are sick and tired of? I'm people, and I'm sick and tired of both of those things.

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

Rihter wrote:

earthwise wrote:

inga wrote:

People are sick of bloated corporate profits.

No, people are sick of bloated government.

How do either one of you know what "people" are sick and tired of? I'm people, and I'm sick and tired of both of those things.

Hear hear!

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

Nacci,

Union membership has been declining for the past 70 years, with the biggest drop last year   http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/22/business/22union.html   and that period covers both democrat and republican administrations.     Is membership voluntary? 

Why those rich   $%^&**($!!

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

I understand the argument there are teacher's salaries that can hardly be considered high. This is only the case when one compares the salary with past private sector averages. Things have changed, including tax revenue that pays the way.

That typed, if one takes the whole package paid to government workers, including accumulated pension benefits paid, and compare this amount with "world averages", these people are stinking filthy rich. In an environment of competition with 4-dollar-a-day-workers, the petite bourgeoisie can no longer afford to pay both the proletariat AND the overseer class (government workers).

However there is hope, legalize the lumpens and fix a 50% tax on THEM.

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

sjdavis wrote:
If you mean "the market" as in free-as-can-be-no-barriers for corporations, then wages will be driven down due to competition from low wage countries.  If we keep disrespecting the US work force (or whatever part of the work force that is convenient to belittle this week), then we'll soon have a low wage work force at home to rival the developing world.  Maybe that's how we finally fix the export part of the equation... cheap enough labor at home so there's little need for non-US work.

Going to be difficult for doctors, nurses, teachers to do their job from a foreign country.  Any non-manufacturing job certainly doesn't fall into the outsourcing scenario.  As energy costs for transportation rises, local goods certainly become a lot more attractive as well.  Besides, we have all this unions, government protection and look where we are today: Broke!  While all these interferences into the market have done is delayed the consequences while make them much worse.  It's just another form of kicking the can down the road.

sjdavis wrote:
This is an unsubstantiated or emotionally driven conclusion.  When you say "not enough rich to tax" you certainly have some numbers in mind.  Maybe they weren't available, but data would be helpful.  A ratio of national earnings by income demographic would suffice.  Top of mind, make the cut-offs < $50k, $50k - $120k, $120k - $250k, $250k - $1m, > $1m.  That would be five income groups and the "rich" group would be easy enough to identify, and even adjust for cost of living.  But without something like that, your statement is as much political rhetoric as that which you are trying to refute.

No, I've actually done the calculations you are looking for, and posted them before (I yearn for better search or a way to look at just one users posts), but here is one on SS issue that kind of goes there, I'll keep looking:

http://www.peakprosperity.com/comment/96957#comment-96957

But we can do it as even easier way:

Chris Martenson, Crash Course, Chapter 13 wrote:
But that’s not even a fifth of it. Once we add in Social Security and Medicare, the shortfall suddenly balloons to $53 trillion by the Treasury Department’s own calculations.

So we have 43.6T representing 87% of all wealth in the US owned by those evil rich people, but we have $53T in Net Present Value liabilities all ready (and I question that that number is not really low), then we clearly you can not tax the rich to solve the problem.  Even complete confiscation of all wealth of those EVIL EVIL rich people won't solve the problem.

sjdavis wrote:
the protests are about THE RIGHT to collective bargain,

No, it's whether governments are forced to agree to collective bargaining.  As far as I'm concerned any private business that wants to enter into collective bargaining agreements is free to do so (I think it's stupid, but their choice).  However, governments should not because it is then a taxpayer subsidy for the worst workers.   After all collective bargaining is essentially saying, the best workers will give up some of their potential gain to subsidize those that would not do as well in a competitive market. 

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

Carl Veritas wrote:
 Nacci, Union membership has been declining for the past 70 years, with the biggest drop last year and that period covers both democrat and republican administrations.  Is membership voluntary?

Carl, there is no doubt that union membership is down over the last 70 years under administrations that were controlled by both parties.  The largest drop did occurred last year due to the massive layoffs suffered in both the public and private sector.  If you do not have a job you can not be in a Union.  As far a union membership being voluntary; when you take a job whose workers are already unionized, you join the Union, others struggle long and hard to form a Union to varying degrees of failure and success.  Other that this, what is your point?  

Carl Veritas wrote:
 Why those rich   $%^&**($!!

I also need clarification on this comment.

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

xraymike79 wrote:

earthwise wrote:

inga wrote:

People are sick of bloated corporate profits.

No, people are sick of bloated government.

Are we not talking about one and the same here, as has been pointed out ad infinitum. The government has become the handmaiden of corporations via the neoliberal agenda. Mass revolts by labor are the trend for the future, no question about it. We are seeing it in the Middle East and with time it will be all over the globe. 

No, you've got it backwards. The government has become the enabler of bloated corporate profits. It does so by subsidies, cronyism, corruption, heavy regulation and the tax code. By interfering with free market competiton, some corporations prosper and others don't. In a free market, more companies and corporations provide competition, with profits providing the positive feedback signal, instead of political favoritism. Government distorts this process. Return to the limited government envisioned by the Founders and defined by the Constitution, and the bloated corporate profits will shrivel to an equitable level. And the income disparity also.

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

Nacci,

The average workweek was 61 hours in 1870, compared to 34 hours today.   Child labor has all but disappeared and the American workplace has indeed become safer.   Not to forget  investments in technology to improve productivity.    

All of the above was caused by capitalistic competition,  not unions.  

https://mises.org/daily/1590/Markets-Not-Unions-Gave-us-Leisure

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

Rihter wrote:

earthwise wrote:

inga wrote:

People are sick of bloated corporate profits.

No, people are sick of bloated government.

How do either one of you know what "people" are sick and tired of? I'm people, and I'm sick and tired of both of those things.

Public opinion polls, although easily manipulated, do provide a coarse indication and every single one that I've seen where they have been matched in the same poll, cites government far behind corporations in public approval ratings .

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

sevenmmm wrote:

Rihter wrote:

earthwise wrote:

inga wrote:

People are sick of bloated corporate profits.

No, people are sick of bloated government.

How do either one of you know what "people" are sick and tired of? I'm people, and I'm sick and tired of both of those things.

Hear hear!

Second that.  

But fear not.  There will soon be a lot less bloat everywhere

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

earthwise wrote:

xraymike79 wrote:

earthwise wrote:

inga wrote:

People are sick of bloated corporate profits.

No, people are sick of bloated government.

Are we not talking about one and the same here, as has been pointed out ad infinitum. The government has become the handmaiden of corporations via the neoliberal agenda. Mass revolts by labor are the trend for the future, no question about it. We are seeing it in the Middle East and with time it will be all over the globe. 

No, you've got it backwards. The government has become the enabler of bloated corporate profits. It does so by subsidies, cronyism, corruption, heavy regulation and the tax code. By interfering with free market competiton, some corporations prosper and others don't. In a free market, more companies and corporations provide competition, with profits providing the positive feedback signal, instead of political favoritism. Government distorts this process. Return to the limited government envisioned by the Founders and defined by the Constitution, and the bloated corporate profits will shrivel to an equitable level. And the income disparity also.

Nope. I don't have it backwards. You just repeated what I said: "government has become the handmaiden for corporations." What that means is that a regulatory-captured government promotes monopolies and distorts "free market." Whether there ever could be a 'free market' is debatable because the predatory capitalism we have practiced for the past 4 decades has been to promote and carry out the breakdown of regulation in the false assumption that the 'market' could take care of all problems. This idea of an unregulated 'free market' is something you espouse in the latter part of your comment. This is a false assumption that Greenspan, the bankers, and all neoliberal thinkers push.

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Re: Wisconson - sign of more to come?

"By interfering with free market competition, some corporations prosper and others don't. In a free market, more companies and corporations provide competition, with profits providing the positive feedback signal, instead of political favoritism. Government distorts this process."

Earthwise, X-Ray Mike...chick or the egg time as to the problem, but you are worlds apart on the solutions.

Me? I look at Wisconsin and say we are all feeling the pain, and unions will get to fell it right along with everyone else, one way or another. Personally, I'd like to see "Dog the Bounty Hunter" go after the missing WI state reps so they can call a vote and get it over with.

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