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Wisconson – sign of more to come?

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  • Sat, Mar 19, 2011 - 12:08am

    #252

    Wendy S. Delmater

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    meanwhile, in Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Troopers forcibly carried out seven union supporters from the Tennessee’s legislative office complex on Tuesday after their protest disrupted a Senate committee hearing.

(Image: WTVF)

The disruption occurred after hundreds of labor supporters gathered for a midday protest near the Capitol to denounce a bill to strip teachers of their collective bargaining rights. The seven arrested were among those who stood up during the hearing and began chants about “union busting” by the Legislature.   Read More

  • Sat, Mar 19, 2011 - 12:18am

    #251

    Wendy S. Delmater

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    an update: the courts in WI intervened

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin judge issued a temporary restraining order Friday blocking the state’s new and contentious collective bargaining law from taking effect, raising the possibility that the Legislature may have to vote again to pass the bill. Read  more.

The voters have spoken. The courts could care less. Business as usual. And please don’t tell me that the union members were promised their salaries, benefits, etc. I was promised my social security and I’m not going to get it, either. Life stinks for everyone at the moment. Union members are not immune.

As to the recent actions of governor of Michigan? I visited Michigan for a week a year ago. I started at the Detroit Airport  and drove to Ann Arbor to see a friend of mine (freelance science writer making $43K a year) . Her husband is a computer guy, making $45K a year. They both work hard and are not in a union. There are plenty of “working class” people who are not union members who need those services the MI governor is trying to save. Breadwinners and their dependents who are not in unions are still “working families.” The level of nearly slanderous rhetoric in this debate is sometimes breath taking. I wish they’d stop the “protect working families” line, simply because it implies those in unions do not work.

My friend and I drove to a writing retreat in the lower middle of the state. On the way back we drive through the suburbs of Detroit, and the former vactionland for local families. Ghost towns. If they have two bankrupted adjacent communities that can combine serivices and still maintain some semblance of services, then that is all to the good. Drastic times call for drastic measures.

It kils me that the WI unions would rather see their fellow workers laid off than keep thier jobs and take cuts to their standard of living like everyone else.

  • Sat, Mar 19, 2011 - 12:35am

    #253

    dshields

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    Financial Martial Law ???

What are these people talking about ?

All this means is that the public employees that serve the people and are paid by the people are going to get the same deal as the people.

Why would it be any other way ?  I have a job.  I work at the whim of senior management.  I could be fired any second for any reason or no reason.  i pay 600 a month for my family’s medical insurance.  I have 401k but all monies that go in it I have to put in it – period.  I have to sign a paper every year that says I agree that if a girl goes to HR and makes basically any accusation against me that i will be fired instantly – period.  No questions asked. No investigation is promised, no nothing.  If I do not sign the paper I will be fired on the spot and we are clearly told so by legal and HR people standing there watching us sign the papers.  Typical American job.  I work like 50 to 60 hours a week with no overtime pay.

So what are these people talking about.  It is not financial martial law, it is called welcome to America.

 

  • Sat, Mar 19, 2011 - 08:09am

    #254

    Poet

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    Ohh…

[quote=dshields]

What are these people talking about ?

All this means is that the public employees that serve the people and are paid by the people are going to get the same deal as the people.

Why would it be any other way ?  I have a job.  I work at the whim of senior management.  I could be fired any second for any reason or no reason.  i pay 600 a month for my family’s medical insurance.  I have 401k but all monies that go in it I have to put in it – period.  I have to sign a paper every year that says I agree that if a girl goes to HR and makes basically any accusation against me that i will be fired instantly – period.  No questions asked. No investigation is promised, no nothing.  If I do not sign the paper I will be fired on the spot and we are clearly told so by legal and HR people standing there watching us sign the papers.  Typical American job.  I work like 50 to 60 hours a week with no overtime pay.

So what are these people talking about.  It is not financial martial law, it is called welcome to America.

[/quote]

Dshields

Well, if you don’t like these “typical American job” conditions which don’t sound fair at all, maybe you should consider organizing a union… Wink

Poet

  • Sat, Mar 19, 2011 - 12:49pm

    #255
    Rihter

    Rihter

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    RE:Poet

I was going to post something similar to this last night, but thought to myself, “There is no way it sinks in or does anything at all beneficial”

My job sucks, so yours should too. Is that the argument? Really?!

  • Sat, Mar 19, 2011 - 01:10pm

    #256

    goes211

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    You are close

[quote=Rihter]

My job sucks, so yours should too. Is that the argument? Really?!

[/quote]

Not quite but close. 

Who are the public service unions employers?  Why should employers (taxpayers) support unions getting a better deal than they have themselves?  I would love to see everyone be able to support a family on one income, but as a taxpayer I don’t support a privileged few getting above market wages, at my expense. 

Once again I can see why union workers should support unions.  It is in their own best interest.  I just don’t see why they think non-union workers should support them.  What is their upside?

  • Sat, Mar 19, 2011 - 02:13pm

    #257

    dshields

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    nope

[quote=Rihter]

I was going to post something similar to this last night, but thought to myself, “There is no way it sinks in or does anything at all beneficial”

My job sucks, so yours should too. Is that the argument? Really?!

[/quote]

That is not the argument.  The argument is that public employees are not a privileged elite.  They should and will get the same deal the rest of America gets.  The government(s) uses force to extract part of our incomes from us to support a privileged elite ?  I don’t think so.  If I have 10 dollars I can only pay 10 dollars.  Trying to extract 15 dollars out of me to support a privileged elite will simply not work.  And, it is not going to happen.  America is experiencing a forced reduction in the standard of living.  It hit the private sector first.  Now it is hitting the public sector.  Apparently there is nothing that can be done about it – it is just the way it is.  If someone used to make 40 dollars an hour and that job was outsourced to some 3rd world place and now they make 10 dollars an hour at Home Depot they take a real beating and end up with a greatly reduced standard of living.  Now we are going to use the taxing authority of the government to forcibly extract part of their 10 dollars an hour and give it to a privileged elite with free medial and paid for pensions ?  I don’t think so.

Keep watching.  It is very easy to predict what is going to happen.  Politicians run the government.  The people vote for the politicians.  The pubic sector exists to serve the people.  It is not a statist tyranny.  The public sector can not pay what they do not have.  Inbound revenue in to the public sector is being reduced as the standard of living goes down.  The people who work for the public sector will also experience a reduction in the standard of living.  2 + 2 = 4 no matter how bad we wished it did not.

  • Sat, Mar 19, 2011 - 02:16pm

    #258
    Useyerloaf

    Useyerloaf

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    So the jobs suck and you wonder why?

[quote=goes211]

[quote=Rihter]

My job sucks, so yours should too. Is that the argument? Really?!

[/quote]

Not quite but close. 

Who are the public service unions employers?  Why should employers (taxpayers) support unions getting a better deal than they have themselves?  I would love to see everyone be able to support a family on one income, but as a taxpayer I don’t support a privileged few getting above market wages, at my expense. 

Once again I can see why union workers should support unions.  It is in their own best interest.  I just don’t see why they think non-union workers should support them.  What is their upside?

[/quote]

 

I don’t get why you can’t seem to connect the dots, the reason these non union jobs suck now more than ever is related to the drop in union membership. It’s been the plan for years, make the unions the scapegoat for every issue, because unions were the only unified force against exploitation of workers. How people cannot make this connection is beyond me. When the last union is crushed a new scapegoat such as minimum wage will be created. After that you’ll all then be set against one another for whatever scraps you are offered.

  • Sat, Mar 19, 2011 - 02:45pm

    #259
    Rihter

    Rihter

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    Astonished

I really have a hard time understanding the logic behind Public vs. Private workers argument. Positioning two sectors of the same financial class (the middle) against one another is horrible for our social fabric.

I’ll submit public workers make, on average, more than the private for the same job. Although, they also have to have higher qualifications to get that same level job. http://tax.com/taxcom/taxblog.nsf/Permalink/UBEN-8EQP7F?OpenDocument

[quote]

” The study shows that public sector workers who are lawyers, executives, managers, software engineers — that is to say, occupations requiring a lot of education and training — tend to make less than private sector workers. For example, state and local government lawyers on average earn 49 percent less than lawyers working for private business, data from the 2000 Census publicly available microdata sample files shows.

On the other hand, low-skill jobs where government workers tend to be in unions make more. For example, janitors in 2000 made $21,000 if public employees, $16,250 if private. Library clerks averaged $11,500 as public employees to $8,300 in the private sector. However, childcare workers made more in the private sector ($10,200) than in government jobs ($9,800).”

[/quote]

As far as Private taxpayers being the employer of private workers, that is weak argument at best. They pay taxes as well, so does that make them their own employers?! The public sector delivers a fair value for dollars spent. If you feel they don’t, then help vote, design, or structure systems into existence that deliver more value for dollars spent, rather than stripping away dollars for services that the whole of the community is built on.

If there’s fluff, unnecessary redundancy, or waste in the various budgets across the country than cut it out. I would argue that a teachers compensation package does not fit in any of those categories. If the value isn’t there than rework the education system, not the ability of the educators to survive economically.

On another note. The whole debate is most likely to prove pointless in the long run. I don’t see any of the existing public or private institutions being able to sustain their current economic structures in light of the 3 E’s bearing down on them. The reason I argue for the workers, regardless of their sector, is the principle behind it. I firmly feel that the larger the middle class in a society, the better. Inequality will tear apart any social structure. Whether it’s the extreme Elite, or the extreme Poor, severe stratification of the economic classes will tear apart our collective ability to traverse the crisis that we are faced with.

The elite don’t really need an advocate. They can hire one, and do in the form of lobbyists. The poor on the other hand, or as we call them today “the middle class”, do need an advocate no matter what form it comes in. Unions, community organizers, philanthropists, Non-Profits, or any other entity that supports the common person is always going to appeal to me. It also cuts the other way. Anyone who opposes the common person, or the organizations that support them, is going to provoke me.

  • Sat, Mar 19, 2011 - 05:17pm

    #260

    goes211

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    Unions

[quote=Useyerloaf]

I don’t get why you can’t seem to connect the dots, the reason these non union jobs suck now more than ever is related to the drop in union membership. It’s been the plan for years, make the unions the scapegoat for every issue, because unions were the only unified force against exploitation of workers. How people cannot make this connection is beyond me. When the last union is crushed a new scapegoat such as minimum wage will be created. After that you’ll all then be set against one another for whatever scraps you are offered.

[/quote]

Correlation does not equal causality.  There are many factors that have lead to the decline in unions and the decline of the American worker.  Some of them might be shared but many are not.  Some of the largest unions priced themselves out of existence like the UAW.  Most others have been hurt by globalization, but that has also affected many non-union workers.  Just like most of the rest of our problems, there are many causes, and few obvious solutions.

Unions are certainly not “scapegoats for every issue” nor will they be our salvation.  They are just another issue that will serve to divide the masses, much like religion, abortion, race, …

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