Today We Are All Yon Yonson

Is the Wisconsin counterrevolution building into a fire that will warm the hearts of all Americans through the sheer excitement of heading off change and shoring up the status quo?

At Truth-Out, The Nation's John Nichols says Republican state senators are going wobbly in the face of the large demonstrations that have rocked the state capital in Madison:

Republican legislators -- who had been poised to pass the governor’s plan Thursday, and might yet do so – were clearly paying attention. Two GOP senators broke with the governor, at least to some extent. Dale Schultz from rural southeastern Wisconsin and Van Wanggaard from the traditional manufacturing center of Racine, proposed an alternative bill that would allow limited bargaining rights for public employees on wages, pensions and health care for the next two years but allow them to continue to bargain on other issues.

While that’s hardly an attractive prospect to state workers – as it would also require them to make significantly higher pension and health-care contributions – the measure rejects the most draconian component’s of the governor’s plan. Other Republicans resisted the proposal, however, offering only minor amendments to the governor's plan.

If Schultz and Wanggaard actually vote "no" … just one more Republican senator would have to join them in order to block the bill.

Wanggaard, whose home in Racine has been targeted for teacher union protests, appears to have manned up subsequently, and announced his intention to support Gov. Scott Walker's plan to slow the growth of government employee entitlements and restrict some of the public sector unions' collective bargaining powers.

But the very impressive street theater in Madison is making it easier for anti-taxpayer unions to do what they're already pretty good at: bringing out large numbers of demonstrators.

In New Haven, Connecticut, a small reduction in police head count prompted a march by 200 of the city's finest.

The New Haven Independent notes that the action did not succeed in saving 16 cop jobs. Police union officials urge the public to take up arms and vow that the decision will come back "to bite [Mayor John DeStefano] in the ass.” More:

Police Union President Louis Cavaliere made that announcement around 1:15 p.m. Thursday as he emerged from a pow-wow with the 16 cops inside the police substation on City Hall’s first floor.

Before that, Cavaliere and other union brass had spent more than an hour upstairs in Mayor John DeStefano’s office. Cavaliere said the union asked the mayor to hold off on the layoffs another two months while the two sides negotiate a solution that would save the 16 jobs. Cavaliere said the mayor rejected the offer.

Meanwhile, the city started the process of laying off another 40-plus city workers Thursday, all in an effort to close a $5.5 million budget gap in the fiscal year that ends June 30. A separate round of layoffs is expected in July to close next year’s gap.

And in Ohio, between 1,800 and 3,800 government employees picketed the statehouse to protest a bill that is even stronger than the one in Wisconsin. This would ban collective bargaining by all public employees and limit binding arbitration rules for local government. One picketing government worker blames Ohio taxpayers for acting like victims:

"What I'm seeing here today is that management is trying to be seen as the victim here, but they sit across the table and negotiated these deals just like us," said Lawrence McKissic, of Twinsburg, who was at the Statehouse on Thursday. McKissic is an IT specialist for the Bureau of Workers' Compensation in Garfield Heights.

"My concern as a state worker is that we would be unilaterally taken out of collective bargaining and it is being done without any word or input from the union or the employees," he said. "They're just trying slam this through this committee."

McKissic refers to “management” as if he’s calling out a cabal of plutocrats rather than the people of Ohio, who will have to take up the slack for whatever new benefits accrue to the vital IT specialists of Garfield Heights. I think this is where the pro-union movement will find its limit. Outside of Detroit, Hollywood and what’s left of the newspaper industry, when you say “union” you almost always mean “government employee union.” In the private sector they expect results. The hard truth is that where public sector unions are concerned, there are no bazillionaires to point to on the other side of the bargaining table.

But you can always try. President Obama’s shameful interference in the Wisconsin issue shows a remarkable deafness to popular sentiment – and in fact to a large swath of liberal/progressive sentiment – on this issue. At Mother Jones, Andy Kroll reveals the inevitable connection of Charles and David Koch to Wisconsin’s governor and the broader movement to reduce public sector unions’ power. (Full disclosure: The Kochs enjoy the right of prima nocta with all Reason staffers.) But it doesn’t take the Kochtopus to turn public sentiment against unions that urge your kid’s teacher to call in sick, beggar the public for their own gain, and shout down anybody who speaks up for the taxpayers. There was a time when you could say the union movement – regardless of its excesses and (woefully underreported) penchant for violence – was legitimately fighting for the rights of the underprivileged. This is not one of those times. As Economic Collapse blogger Michael Snyder writes:

On the one hand it is good to see Americans coming together and standing up for what they believe in, but on the other hand what these teachers are freaking out about shows just how much America has changed.  These teachers are not protesting for liberty, freedom or to change the government.  Rather, they are protesting because they want things to remain the same.  They simply don’t want anyone to mess with their pay. 

At one point the smart money was still on Hosni Mubarak’s survival, so I’m not betting. But I’d be surprised if the pro-public-sector-union bench turns out to be much deeper than what we’ve seen in the field this week. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has vowed to fire any striking government employees. Wisconsin’s Walker doesn’t show any signs of backing down either, and as Josh Brokaw noted yesterday, Walker's plan still seems to have broad popular support. The New Haven rally, like many efforts to head off emergency spending cuts, came to nothing. The whole country is out of money, and in a perverse way that’s a strong negotiating position.

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  • ||

    + infinity for the headline.

  • ||

    You know what’s great about this happening in the State of Ohio – you can go on the Buckeye Institutes website to see what the protesters actually make:

    mckissic jr, lawrence c network services technician 3 bureau of workers' compensation $86,384.00

  • sevo||

    "mckissic jr, lawrence c network services technician 3 bureau of workers' compensation $86,384.00"

    Does that include benes?

  • ||

    According to the Buckeye Institute website - those were his gross wages. Benefits would have to be added on.

    My guess - six figures easily.

  • ¢||

    The Kochs enjoy the right of prima nocta with all Reason staffers.

    OH GOD IT HAS SO MANY ARMS

  • ||

    Great, all we need is some David Koch-Will Wilkinson fanfic.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Libertarian tentacle pr0n?

  • ||

    The proper word is hentai.

  • ||

    The Kochs enjoy the right of prima nocta with all Reason staffers.

    I knew it! KMW's baby is really the anti-Christ, spawned from both of the Koch brothers!

    THE END IS NEAR!

  • Walter||

    Makes me think of that scene from Caligula.

  • DNS||

    Gov. Scott Walker's plan to slow the growth of government employee entitlements and restrict some of the public sector unions' collective bargaining powers.

    Jeez folks! It's not like you are seeing reductions in benefits, just keeping them in check. The bill is really using the same accounting that allows for a raise in spending to become the new baseline, reduce it slightly, and claim a cut. This is done by both sides of the aisle all the time.

    I have no sympathy for these clowns.

  • ||

    GLOBAL WARMING!

  • ||

    Ohio Gov. John Kasich has vowed to fire any striking government employees.

    He'll face the same overwhelming public repudiation* that Reagan encountered when he fired PATCO.

    * I was tempted to pen refudiation but the lefttard trolls here would not get the joke.

  • George W. Bush||

    Ehhh, I don't get the joke either.

  • Spartacus||

    I like the sign that says "care about educators like they care for your child" with the little hearts on it.

  • PIRS||

    Me too. So apparently that person wants me to jail them for several hours five days a week for a period of at least 12 years and subject them to political indoctrination for much of that time? Is that what this person wants?

  • ||

    In other words, don't give a shit? Strange message.

  • PIRS||

    Or give a shit for all the wrong reasons.

  • ||

    I was giving a shit in all the wrong places,
    Giving a shit in too many faces.

  • ||

    Just don't shit on Superman's cape
    Or shit into the wind.

  • ||

    Shit in the wind.
    All we are is
    Shit in the wind.

    Say, do you think DC screwed up not making the Green Lantern a bad guy? Because, in theory, the Green Lantern could beat Superman.

  • Almanian||

    I hear that Sandi took a shit in Wisconsin once

  • ||

    Well, there would have to be a Superman movie made in the last 30 years that didn't suck balls first. So, in that regard, Superman is the bad guy.

  • ||

    One of the big challenges to writing Superman stories has always been his practical omnipotence and invulnerability. The Green Lanterns, who can do anything pretty much with their rings (limited by their willpower, I think), should be able to take him on.

  • Joe M||

    Oh god, not another Green Lantern fanboi. Your kind make me sick.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    So don't show up to help them out?

  • PIRS||

    Are the Americans who cheer on the demonstrators doing so, at least in part, because Hosni Mubarak did not win a fair election and he did not listen to the people of his country? If so, what these same people say about the protesters in Wisconsin who are protesting a governor who WAS elected in a fair election and who IS listening to the people (at least when it comes to curtailing the power of union thugs)?

  • PIRS||

    AHHH, I need to preview my posts much better. Bad PIRS! Bad PIRS. Begins self-flagellation. Hopefully most people know what I meant anyway.

  • ||

    I guess the republicans aren't Hitler after all.

  • Pip||

    I liked this:

    The raucous, drum-beating crowd was mostly made up of teachers, high-school kids, and University of Wisconsin students. On Thursday, school districts all over the state began canceling classes as their teachers called in sick en masse — government-employee strikes are illegal in Wisconsin — and teachers continued to bring their students to protest with them.

    Of course, what the kids don’t understand is that Walker’s plan is intended to save their teachers’ jobs. Without the modest employee contributions required in the bill, Walker estimates he will have to fire up to 6,000 public employees. The teachers are in effect choosing massive job losses over moderate concessions.

    In fact, that might be the silver lining in this whole imbroglio: If teachers and their students manage to succeed in killing Walker’s bill, the next government employee demonstration will be half as big.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....ian-schnei

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Pip,

    and teachers continued to bring their students to protest with them.


    With signed consent from the parents, I would presume.... what are you guys laughing at?

  • marlok||

    I can't help but speculate that the students showing up to those protests are only there to insure their A's for the semester.

  • What a lame bunch of students||

    Why aren't they snowmobiling or ice-fishing or something. Protesting with a bunch of overpaid government drones? yechh

  • sevo||

    Hey! I've been cutting classes all year! A nice trip and Teach Krabapple might not fail me!

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    I guess they aren't math teachers.

  • The Heresiarch||

    "Ius 'primae noctis'" not "prima nocta."

  • Droit de seigneur||

    Are there any virgins left at reason?

  • Old Mexican||

    These teachers are not protesting for liberty, freedom or to change the government. Rather, they are protesting because they want things to remain the same. They simply don't want anyone to mess with their pay.


    "It's my money and I want it NOW!"

    [No, it's not J G Wentworth, but I wish it was...]

    "Fuck the taxpayers! They OWE ME!"

  • creech||

    Scratch a Progressive, find a Reactionary.

  • Bottomless Pit||

    The unions have found out that some taxpayers still have money in savings accounts.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    Has anyone coined a term for all these posts about what's going on in Madison? If not, then I would like to propose....mad-hatting.

  • ||

    Conniption fit.

  • ||

    Given unions don't fit in modern labor structures and economics (at least in USA), and given Big Labor got its start (according to the Ed Show last night anyways) in Wisconsin...I would term it with an ancient math problem that the teachers should probably know but don't:

    "Squaring the circle"

  • robc||

    Too cliche. Mad-town is a common nickname for Madison and the minor league baseball team was called the Madison Hatters for a few years.

  • paloma||

    Buncha crybabies.

  • ||

    The whole country is out of money, and in a perverse way that’s a strong negotiating position.

    You'd be amazed at how reasonable they are when you've got the paperwork.

  • Ben Bernanke||

    Sorry, I don't understand that at all. What are those people laughing at?

  • Jeffersonian||

    It's like terrorists who hold an empty field hostage until the government builds something so they can blow it up.

  • Colin||

    A+ for Jean Racine reference!

  • ||

    Sad, but predictable, that the Repub Senators are cracking. I hope the Wisconsin Tea Party is on the phone right now, telling them that if they go wobbly now, they will get primaried next time they are up.

    If they send a watered-down bill to Walker, I hope he vetos it.

    How odd, that trillions of dollars, and to a large degree the fiscal future of the country, will come down to the images of the protestors (and one hopes, counterprotesters in Madison) and the votes of a few Wisconsin State Senators. Given that the warchest for the union goons is tens of millions of dollars, I'd have to give them the edge.

    I thought it would come to pubsec union thuggery v. the Tea Party at some point, but I didn't think it would be this soon.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I thought it would come to pubsec union thuggery v. the Tea Party at some point, but I didn't think it would be this soon.

    Thuggery?
    Would a similar protest by the Tea Party be thuggery? There is some right to this kind of thuggery covered in some moldy old document somewhere.

    Right to assemble and all. Of course, the argument against public sector unions is the fact that they can just assemble to petition their government as citizens, so...there ya go.

    This is the result of ham-fisted political theatre taking the place of measured policy reform. Put on a show that has a real impact on large numbers of people, and expect to lose control of that show.

  • sevo||

    "the argument against public sector unions is the fact that they can just assemble to petition their government as citizens, so...there ya go."
    You're a lying sack of shit.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Wait...so you are mad that I am making the anti-union argument for you?

  • sevo||

    "What I'm seeing here today is that management is trying to be seen as the victim here, but they sit across the table and negotiated these deals just like us," said Lawrence McKissic,"

    There's a term for this; it's not quite a full-blown lie, but it isn't within hailing distance of the truth.

  • ||

    New pool: When does the 'Kaine Mutiny' hit its high water mark, or has it already?
    I'm going with today at 4pm.

  • Bust out||

    Just like Greek protesters.

    Or goodfellas: Fuck You! Pay Me!

  • ||

    I keep thinking of that. I guess we let Paulie invest in our restaurant, huh?

  • Invisible Finger||

    The end of compulsory education can't come fast enough.

  • ||

    I'm thinking Walker went at this the wrong way around.

    He should have first announced that no tax increase would survive a veto.

    Then, an outreach meeting with the pubsec unions, where he comes out of it and says "The unions are unwilling to agree to any cuts, so we will keep them whole and make our cuts elsehwere."

    Then he floats a bill that keeps the pubsec unions whole, but sells off the state parks, cuts UW funding in half, guts Medicaid, etc. etc., and says "If I can't touch the unions, this is what it will look like."

    Now, he's prepared the battlespace, and introduces his unionbusting bill.

  • ||

    Maybe. Though there's something to be said for going mano-a-mano with the union.

  • ||

    There's no right way to do this. The public unions essentially control the media, and to a great extent they control law enforcement (at least enough to prevent police from enforcing trespassing laws and such against union thugs).

  • sevo||

    Tulpa|2.18.11 @ 6:42PM|#
    "There's no right way to do this."

    There may be, and I'd guess every gov of every busted state is watching what every other one does to see what works.

  • Neu Mejican||

    The public unions essentially control the media

    How do they doe this?
    Define "control."

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    The public unions essentially control the media. How do they doe this?

    Creators of destination media are by and large union members. Ditto creators of destination entertainment. Ditto teachers.

    That's three of the biggest bullhorns in the land, with the means of production almost exclusively in the hands of unionoids.

    All paid for by bankers and rentiers who are only too happy to sell the rope by which they will be hanged, thus tightening the contradictions within modern production and hastening the proletarian revolution.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Creators of destination media are by and large union members. Ditto creators of destination entertainment. Ditto teachers.

    Only one of those bullhorns has anything to do with public sector unions.

    As for the media... I would need to see some evidence that editorial level employees (those that shape the message) are dominated by union members. Could be true, but I have my doubts.

  • Janice||

    The unions had already agreed to pay and benefit cuts. What they are against is the curtailing of union negotiating and structural changes.
    Get your facts straight!

  • We need structural changes,||

    Now.

  • Jeremy||

    Neither side looks good to me here.

    The unions don't seem to be shouting as much about Rahm Emanuel wanting to do the same things Scott Walker is now implementing, but Walker is still full of crap for exempting police officers from the collective bargaining ban.

  • ||

    It's not all good, but it beats letting all of the public unions wreck the economy.

  • Paul||

    The Kochs enjoy the right of prima nocta with all Reason staffers.

    Wow, I even got this one without having to look it up. Awesome.

  • Paul||

    Police union officials urge the public to take up arms

    Oh the irony. When police tell the public to take up arms, I immediately think it's a setup.

  • ||

    While I'm being demigogued as a speech squelcher on the other thread, I may as well repeat my opinion that organizing protests at private residences (such as that of State Sen Wannggard) constitutes harassment and is not protected by the First Amendment.

  • sevo||

    "organizing protests at private residences (such as that of State Sen Wannggard) constitutes harassment and is not protected by the First Amendment."

    I'll disagree, so long as there is protection from physical violence and/or the threat of same.
    Let the thugs be seen as thugs.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Why am I seeing Clint Eastwood as Walt Kowalski with an M-1 Garand saying through gritted teeth, "Get off my lawn."

  • robc||

    As long as the protestors stay on public property, they arent at his residence.

  • Neu Mejican||

    robc is correct.

  • Yes, he is||

    And as long as they don't spit on him and his family, scream like hysterical Nazis, slit his car tires or block his way in and out of his driveway....oh fuck, only t-party queers would do things like that.

  • Paul||

    But you can always try. President Obama’s shameful interference in the Wisconsin issue shows a remarkable deafness to popular sentiment

    Politics has nothing to do with deafness or attentiveness to popular sentiment, it only pays attention to power, and Obama hears the call of power with ringing clarity.

  • ||

    You gotta love Brian Williams. He opened NBC Nightly News by saying "Egypt, Iran, Bahrain, ... and now Wisconsin.... The state capitol in Madison is now in the hands of the people."

  • ||

    The people? What about the majority of the people who elected those who are upsetting these heroes of "the people?"

    Strange how all the majority love disappears when the Democrats are turned out of office, huh? Then it's dictatorship of the proletariat time!

  • ||

    For some reason, Mr Williams didn't mention that.

    They also showed a Milwaukee parent going berserk on camera because she hasn't worked in days due to her kids being home from school, and then a Milwaukee teacher at the Capitol saying he was sorry, but the governor forced them to do this by "denying us a voice in government."

  • ||

    Lord, I'm feeling the urge to do violence to my office. These jokers have a disproportionate voice in government, as they well know, and, despite that, their party overreached so much as to lose power.

    We're rejecting you and your thieving ways. That's we, as in we the people.

  • Paul||

    So again, the teachers are effectively striking against the parents, not the elected officials. So what's the argument that the constituents can't have a direct say in Public Union labor contracts?

  • ||

    That would be unmutual.

  • JB||

    When the shit hits the fan, people should take their time with Brian Williams.

  • ||

    Naomi Klein was just on MSNBC; I wish I could tell you what she said, but I don't seem to grok lefty gibberish very well.

    Something about pushing back against the disaster capitalists in the State House, I think. It might be Mrs Thatcher's fault.

  • ||

    Unfortunately, I only get channels up to 23 these days, and MSNBC is channel 476 or something.

  • alan||

    You actually sound quite fortunate to have missed that.

  • ||

    How much does it cost to not get MSNBC?

  • Almanian||

    *presses OFF button*

    $0

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure that violates FCC rules.

  • SFC B||

    No. It affects interstate commerce... thus it is unconstitutional to not watch MSNBC.

  • Almanian||

    I holed up in my basement today. The cops will be back, I'm sure of it.

  • ||

    It's doctrinally unfair not to watch MSNBC if you watch Fox.

  • Paul||

    It might be Mrs Thatcher's fault.

    :D

  • Dave T||

    Dear public employees. You serve at the pleasure of the public and their elected representatives. Not the other way around.

  • ||

    Holy shit, i can't listen to this anymore.

    Fuck you, Ted Strickland. There is a reason you're the FORMER GOVERNOR of Ohio.

  • ||

    It's an ASSAULT on the middle class! And- and- rich peepul! LOW TAXES CAUSED THIS.

  • Paul||

    Fucking Proposition 13...

  • ||

    And deregulation. And the rich. And Bush. And Palin. And freedom. And Adam Fucking Smith.

  • ||

    They'd have YOUR kids working in a pin factory for pennies a day...PENNIES!

  • ||

    Pinnies.

  • ||

    Pinworms are a bitch.

  • Almanian||

    Fucking pantomimes...how do they work?

  • Paul||

    Mostly on topic:

    Wisconsin Democrats could stay away for weeks

    MADISON, Wis. —
    Democrats on the run in Wisconsin avoided state troopers Friday and threatened to stay in hiding for weeks, potentially paralyzing the state government in a standoff with majority Republicans over union rights for public employees.

    The party's battle against balancing the state budget by cutting the pay, benefits and collective bargaining rights of public workers is the boldest action yet by Democrats to push back against last fall's GOP wave.

    Now if Winsconsin Republicans would leave too, I might actually consider moving to the state.

  • ||

    Bold? Yeah, if you don't like representative democracy and fiscal sanity, I suppose.

  • Paul||

    Way off topic, but from the same news source:

    Washington state sells 2 ferries to Tanzania

    Fantasy subtext:

    State threw in ferry crew to sweeten the deal, Tanzania refuses shipment.
  • sevo||

    "potentially paralyzing the state government"

    Well, there's that.

  • Almanian||

    I thought this was an Onion article...pfffttt!! It's even funnier that it's not.

  • nekoxgirl||

    Politics sure are mature in Winsconsin. If you don't like what the majority wants, hide until they hopefully give up.

  • paloma||

    I really don't quite understand this. As long as the Repubs are in the majority, can't they just go ahead and pass whatever they like then WITHOUT opposition or even debate? So what if the Dems leave?

  • Apogee||

    It's called a quorum.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    It's called a quorum.


    Do not quorums, at a maximum, constitute a majority?

  • Apogee||

    No. Quorums constitute a minimum, so that an unduly small number of representatives cannot pass legislation. This prevents certain shenanigans regarding the interference of elected officials gaining access to the premises. It's also reflected in the immunity of legislators traveling to and from the capitol.

  • ||

    You know what’s great about this happening in the State of Ohio – you can go on the Buckeye Institutes website to see what the protestors actually make:

    mckissic jr, lawrence c network services technician 3 bureau of workers' compensation $86,384.00

  • ||

    Okay, now you're just pissing me off.

  • Almanian||

    ProL - You know what’s great about this happening in the State of Ohio – you can go on the Buckeye Institutes website to see what the protestors actually make:

    mckissic jr, lawrence c network services technician 3 bureau of workers' compensation $86,384.00

  • Paul||

    mckissic jr, lawrence c network services technician 3 bureau of workers' compensation $86,384.00

    *clutching chest*

    Ok, before I get called home by the big man upstairs, is this 'compensation', ie, salary and benefits? If I'm going to have a heart attack over an overpaid government job, I want to know how overpaid it is in real terms.

  • ||

    According to the Buckeye Institute website - those were his gross wages. Benefits would have to be added on.

  • Paul||

    According to the Buckeye Institute website - those were his gross wages. Benefits would have to be added on.

    By "gross wages", you mean "salary before taxes", but benefits not included?

    *clutching chest again-- both hands*

  • ||

    What? You want them to starve on argula and monkey shit soaked coffee beans? Summer in the Redneck Riviera or, good heavens, the Mexican Riviera instead of the Med? Find your place on the wheel like everyone else and stop complaining!

  • ||

    For balance, let me quote a letter to the editor in yesterday's Eau Claire Leader Telegram:

    "With Gov. Scott Walker's proposed changes in health insurance and retirement contributions, support staff could suffer up to a 23 percent wage reduction and an actual loss of income of up to approximately $4,000. Average salaries for educational support professionals in our district are $17,000 or less. Can you imagine trying to live on $17,000, then in a sweep of the pen by this governor, lose another $3,000 to $4,000?"

    A rising tide may float all boats, but a falling one will ground boats moored in shallow water.

  • ||

    Boo fucking hoo. No one making $17000 a year in the private sector is able to put shit away for retirement. If these "support professionals" don't like their lot in life they should go back to school or get into a job training program for a better career.

  • ||

    How will they eat in the meantime? You gonna donate them a scholarship?

  • sevo||

    "Average salaries for educational support professionals in our district are $17,000 or less."

    What is an "educational support professional"? And is this for working 9 months ($22K equivalent). And does this include the bloated benes?
    Sounds like cherry-picked data.

  • Ted S.||

    My mom was a teachers' aide for retarded (Newspeak term "special needs") children who were being put in the same class as the normals, and was called "educational support personnel" by the union.

    I've long felt that the renaming of the job was deliberate to try to keep the average person who doesn't follow education policy on a regular basis in the dark about what's going on.

    The other Newspeak term used was "paraprofessional", which always led me to wonder what the difference was between a paraprofessional and a para-amateur.

  • ||

    I'm sure McDonalds has some openings for grill support professionals.

  • Amakudari||

    No, they'll get another job. A lot of them are part-time, which pulls the average down, and they only work 9 months a year in an unskilled job. Here's one in Wisconsin where you supervise lunchtime. Get me hourly wage figures and then we'll talk.

  • sevo||

    "Get me hourly wage figures and then we'll talk."

    Yep, that's my suspicion; no hourly equivalent offered, since that would make the lie obvious.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Nationwide the range is from 8 to 15 dollars an hour. Probably averages about 10 per hour.

  • sevo||

    "Nationwide the range is from 8 to 15 dollars an hour. Probably averages about 10 per hour."

    For what?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sevo...can't you even keep up with your own comments. That figure is for the type of educational support job you are talking about.

  • Joe R.||

    You are operating from the beginning assumption that these people are owed a living wage at the expense of other people, which I flatly reject. You have to convince me of that proposition first before we can start to debate what the dollar figure should be.

  • Apogee||

    ^this

  • Michael Ejercito||

    You are operating from the beginning assumption that these people are owed a living wage at the expense of other people, which I flatly reject. You have to convince me of that proposition first before we can start to debate what the dollar figure should be.


    But Tony does not reject that.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    How will they eat in the meantime? You gonna donate them a scholarship?

    I would hope they take out as many student loans as possible. The more these idiot college students fuck themselves with huge amounts of undischargeable debt obligations, the happier I'll be.

    I want to see the look on their face when they realize their degree in comparative literature and wymyn's studies won't come close to providing them a job that will pay back the roughly $35K in debt they'll have after four years (yeah, right, like they'll finish that quick) at UW-Madison.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I want to see the look on their face when they realize their degree in comparative literature and wymyn's studies won't come close to providing them a job that will pay back the roughly $35K in debt they'll have after four years (yeah, right, like they'll finish that quick) at UW-Madison.


    I am glad that even at seventeen, I was wise enough to pursue a business degree.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I couldn't believe it when I saw the university's tuition costs. Only a complete fool or a dumb striver poor (same diff) goes to a school that charges over $4000 a semester, in-state, just for tuition. They could skip college, and still get drunk and get laid after high school for 1/3 the cost.

  • ||

    I would say I would have to see accounting evidence that this statement was not a bold-faced lie.

  • nekoxgirl||

    Why don't they leave the lowest paid employees alone and go after the highest paid instead? What makes the school system so expensive is teachers at top tier. All they have to do is keep their job, not necessarily be good at it mind you, and they get an automatic raise each year. Why not go after them instead.

  • Apogee||

    Because that's part of the scam.

    Run up the compensation to insane levels, and when the inevitable cuts arrive, argue that 'everyone needs to pull their fair share' - being especially certain to have your friends in the media highlight the now suffering ex-teacher who once made 30K in retirement, reduced to 20K - while the others go from 175 to 122. Sympathy and reward! That's how you misdirect anger while making a profit.

    "Those brutal Republicans! Look what they've done to that old woman!"

    If you think the plan doesn't include the union fucking their own, you don't know unions.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Here in WA the current discussion is about across the board pay cuts for public employees. The plan, so far, is to make a greater percentage cut in the upper salary ranges. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

  • Apogee||

    AFAIC, the old lady with the 30K retirement shouldn't have hers touched, and the union employees who obtained sweetheart deals over the last 10 years or so should have theirs cut back.

    But that's just my soft side coming out.

  • ||

    I'm a glutton for punishment, today; I switched over to Chris "I peed my pants!" Matthews, in time to catch him talking to one of the Wisconsin legislators-in-hiding, who is pissed- PISSED, I tells ya!- that those stupid fucking voters don't know what's good for them. Then, they cut to a guy outside the State House. As soon as the demonstrators got the word the cameras were rolling, they began chanting, in an effort to drown him out.

    He did manage to point out that teachers who had called in sick to demonstrate had done so illegally. He fucked up, though, because what he should have said was, "If you are a Wisconsin taxpayer, right now these people are stealing money from you!"

  • Neu Mejican||

    "If you are a Wisconsin taxpayer, right now these people are stealing money from you!"

    Do teachers pay taxes in Wisconsin?
    Just asking.

  • Apogee||

    Are all taxpayers paid by the state?

    Just asking.

  • sevo||

    "Do teachers pay taxes in Wisconsin?
    Just asking."

    No, you're not.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Actually, I am.
    Some states exempt public sector employees from state taxes. Others don't. I don't know how it works in Wisconsin.

  • Number 2||

    Wouldn't it be exciting if the Badger State Tea Party movement organzing counterdemonstrations in favor of the law?

  • ||

    I have a feeling most Tea Partiers have jobs where falsely calling in sick gets you fired.

  • robc||

    That is what nighttimes/saturdays and sundays are for.

    Saturday morning is a huge farmers market around the cap building in madison, no idea if it occurs in the winter though, probably not. But still, if the protests are going on today, no reason not to counterprotest today.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Yeah, all Tea Party participation is boss sanctioned.

  • sevo||

    "Yeah, all Tea Party participation is boss sanctioned."

    Pretty full of worthless shit today, aren't you?

  • ||

    They'd have YOUR kids working in a pin factory for pennies a day...PENNIES!

    And those capitalist rat bastards are so crafty, they won't let the kids know how to actually make a whole pin. They only get to perform part of the process!

    Fucking trade secrets- how do they work?

  • Ted S.||

    They'd have YOUR kids working in a pin factory for pennies a day...PENNIES!

    Well, Sally Stuthers keeps telling us that's all it takes to feed them.

    (Actually, I think she says it's the price of a cup of coffee, which makes me wonder why we just don't send the kids a cup of coffee every day and cut out the middleman.)

  • Mensan||

    "... the price of a cup of coffee..."

    $4.89?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    $4.89?


    $1.50

  • ||

    How much does it cost to not get MSNBC?

    ----

    Ravelli: Oh, for playing we getta ten dollars an hour.

    Spaulding: I see...What do you get for not playing?

    Ravelli: Twelve dollars an hour.

    Spaulding: Well, clip me off a piece of that.

    Ravelli: Now, for rehearsing we make special rate. Thatsa fifteen dollars an hour.

    Spaulding: That's for rehearsing?

    Ravelli: Thatsa for rehearsing.

    Spaulding: And what do you get for not rehearsing?

    Ravelli: You couldn't afford it...Heh...you see, if we don't rehearse, we don't play...And, if we don't play...That runs into money.
  • ||

    I made the mistake of going to the Mother Jones link in the article. I then made the additional and more egregious error of reading the comments; the stupid is strong in those ones. I always think that perhaps our red/blue trolls are not very smart, then I go to a red/blue cheerleader site and read the comments. It makes me realize that we actually get the crème de la crème
    of the red/blue universe.

    Here is some earthshattering economic analysis to burn your fucking retinas with, enjoy motherfuckers:

    Unions set the wages for private sector businesses in each area they have a union plant. If you own a small business that does manufacturing and you want to be competitive, you have to offer a competitive wage and benefits. If the unions go away, then the collective bargaining to keep a plant in the area goes away and the plant can move overseas.
    Once that happens the manufacturing industry in a town dies because most small businesses in a union town get contract work from the union. So, when a plant dies-all those small businesses die and when they die the town dies. No money to pay grocery stores, hardware stores, car dealerships, car insurance, restaurants etc. Houses are foreclosed on and left empty. The tax base dries up and it creates a ripple affect. Whatever jobs are left are low paying and offer no benefits. You get caught in the crossfire no matter what you do for a living.

    Thanks Peggy, for making Tony seem like Stephen Hawking.

  • Hobie Hanson||

    Maybe now your manners will show some improvement.

  • ||

    Oh ho, that's good stuff right there.

  • hmm ||

    I've noticed this as well. We do get some prime trollage. The other sites seem to get mouth breathing home lobotomy experts.

  • hmm ||

    That post alone could be totally dismantled with efficiency wage theory. But to argue it would require educating a bunch of chimps flinging poo.

  • ||

    In the comment section there is a guy actually trying to explain why she is wrong, but he just gets poo flung at him. Not arguments, just poo.

  • Almanian||

    Monkeys gonna be monkeys

  • ||

    Yup, it's best to duck out of there before they start masturbating.

    You thought having poo flung at you was bad, just wait.

  • Hobie Hanson||

    "to argue it would require educating a bunch of chimps flinging poo."

    Now you know how I feel when I come here.

  • hmm ||

    Like a king baby!!

    All hail the king baby!!

  • marlok||

    If this was an Army of Darkness reference, I believe the exact words are "Hail to the king, baby."

  • hmm||

    You are correct, it was butchered...

  • ||

    "This is my KA-POW! stick"

  • hmm||

    Damn you for noticing.

  • sevo||

    "Now you know how I feel when I come here."

    Bullshit, hobie. You get your hat handed to you and *then* when you continue with obvious lies, you get (and deserve) poo.

  • Terc||

    Actually reminds me of some of the comments I read at the WaPo or NYTimes.

  • Almanian||

    Holy motherFUCK that is some primo stoopid right there.

    Wow....

  • ||

    Just in case that wasn't enough for you, and because I'm a bastard here's some Krugnuts for you.

    The whole budget debate, then, is a sham. House Republicans, in particular, are literally stealing food from the mouths of babes — nutritional aid to pregnant women and very young children is one of the items on their cutting block — so they can pose, falsely, as deficit hawks.

    What would a serious approach to our fiscal problems involve? I can summarize it in seven words: health care, health care, health care, revenue.

    Wow.

  • ||

    Wait, Krugman is pro-life now?

  • ||

    Does Eugene Robinson know that Krugabe is muscling in on his mouth-breathing emoting turf?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Does Eugene Robinson know that Krugabe is muscling in on his mouth-breathing emoting turf?


    I still remember that column from Eugene Robinson claiming that Sarah Palin made the shooting in Tucson about her.

    What an intellectually dishonest piece of shit he is.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    You bastard.

    ... Hobbit

  • Almanian||

    literally stealing food from the mouths of babes

    Wow...wow.

  • marlok||

    Next time you see one of those legislators running down the street with a jar of similac, now you know it's because he was "literally" stealing food from infants.

    I can understand that Kruggalug has been waiting like a stalled bucking bronco for a fight over this, and now he's ready to unleash his absurd rhetoric, but his use of language is an embarrassment.

    This reminds me of that famous statement by someone about Nixon, that he was "literally being eaten alive".

  • sevo||

    "literally stealing food from the mouths of babes — "

    Only a 9/10 shitbag; he'll get the final tenth when he starts about the cattle trains.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I can summarize it in seven words: health care, health care, health care, revenue.

    Kurgman's gone full Biden.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    The whole budget debate, then, is a sham. House Republicans, in particular, are literally stealing food from the mouths of babes — nutritional aid to pregnant women and very young children is one of the items on their cutting block — so they can pose, falsely, as deficit hawks.


    Why can not the women pay for it themselves?

  • ||

    Actually, she gets partial credit. Her description of how a town dies is pretty spot on. It's the initial cause that she screwed the pooch on.

    A case of decent logic sliding incessantly towards left field due to a bad starting premise.

  • Cytotoxic||

    OH MY FUCKING RETINAS

  • sevo||

    "Once that happens the manufacturing industry in a town dies because most small businesses in a union town get contract work from the union. So, when a plant dies-all those small businesses die and when they die the town dies."

    So Detroit is a result of non-union businesses?
    That gal needs to cash a reality check real soon.

  • hmm ||

    As a member of "management" I'd like to say my vote is to fire them all and start over. The labor market is rife with experienced and qualified individuals.

  • Almanian||

    As a member of the Operating Committee, I ask that you implement your plan immediately. We'll ask for a status report at the startup meeting Monday.

    Thanks!

  • ||

    Good news. What's the minimum we can pay that will keep them alive long enough for them to do us some good?

  • ||

    I am reminded of a story about a farmer at prayer told to me by a Bulgarian friend.

    The man prayed: "O God, look down in your mercy. You know that I have only one cow, and she gives just barely enough milk for my family. And God, you know that my neighbor Semyon has two cows. Now I don't ask much. I don't want to be better than Semyon,just equal. O God, could you kill one of his cows?"

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Replace "God" with "Bernie Sanders" and "kill" with "confiscate".

  • sevo||

    Axman|2.18.11 @ 9:54PM|#
    "For balance, let me quote a letter to the editor in yesterday's Eau Claire Leader Telegram:
    "With Gov. Scott Walker's proposed changes in health insurance and retirement contributions, support staff could suffer up to a 23 percent wage reduction and an actual loss of income of up to approximately $4,000. Average salaries for educational support professionals in our district are $17,000 or less."

    What is an "educational support professional"? And is this for working 9 months ($22K equivalent). And does this include the bloated benes?
    Sounds like cherry-picked data.
    (bump)

  • cabbie||

    It's the guys who scrape the cum from the monkey cages so they can make the drugs.

  • Mensan||

    It's for working part-time for 9 months.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I am perhaps being impudent here, and it may have been discussed before, but where is the Tea Party here? Why aren't they counterprotesting the shit out of this?

  • ||

    They arrived today. Unlike public school teachers, most Tea Partiers have jobs during the week that don't take kindly to falsely calling in sick and then mugging for the TV cameras.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Thank you and +1. Any links?

  • paloma||

    Good.

  • Neu Mejican||

    bussed in from out of state ta boot...

  • sevo||

    "bussed in from out of state ta boot..."
    Link?
    Or lie?

  • Rock Action ||

    Probably referring to the unions...?

  • sevo||

    Maybe NM can't follow nested comments, but if s/he can, it's a comment on Tea Partiers.
    And I think it's a lie.
    Hey, NM, any evidence?

  • sevo||

    Beginning to look like Neu Mejican is just one more lefty sleazy liar, right Neu Mejican?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Well...saw that outta state (Minnesota, iirc) Tea Partier interviewed on the cable news. He talked about the bus load of people he came with...I guess he could have been telling a fib.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Of course, there were out of state union supporters there too. Not sure what you're getting bent out of shape about here. I just found Tulpa's quaint characterization of the hard working Tea Partiers kinda laughable.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Of course I could also point to Breitbart and other out of state organizers of the counter protest...I mean, isn't Joe the Plumber from Ohio? Breitbart from California? Weren't the bill supporters organized and bussed in by a Virginia based group? I am sure that the majority of people from both sides are Wisconsin citizens. And I am just as sure that there are professional protesters/activitist from out of state showing up on both sides.

  • sevo||

    So, IOWs, folks arranged their own transport and you lie, claiming they we're bussed in?

  • Neu Mejican||

    You are reading way too much into this comment. But, like I said, I am basing this on a quick segment from the TV. Quick interview with an out of state Tea Partier...he talked about the busloads of supporters the Tea Party was bringing in. Are you claiming that the national Tea Party organizations did not provide transportation? Are you claiming that everyone on those buses that were provided were from Wisconsin?

    Do you have evidence of that?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Well, that would put them on par with Bammer's collection of "Organizing for America" losers, goons, pozzes, and spergs.

  • JB||

    No surprise on Obama organizing buses of thugs.

    He got tens of millions from the unions.

    Obama: Hope and Change? Nah, Bought and Paid For

  • Mike E||

    Gee, it seems very recently we were just talking about violent, hateful, inflamed rhetoric after a congresswoman was shot, and yet a couple months later we see signs calling Walker a dictator like Mubarek or even Hitler. I am sure we will see strong comdemning by the media.

    And what is this sign about the "death of democracy... 2011"? That is funny, it would seem to me that the congress losers that fled the state would be the one's killing democracy.

  • Mensan||

    I had understood the "death of democracy" sign as one of their goals.

  • sevo||

    I notice Neu Mejican has made several claims as regards the article and various comments.
    I also notice Neu Mejican has been called for BS on several of those statements.
    Further, Neu Mejican has yet to back any of the claims.
    I'm beginning to think Neu Mejican is a sleazy liar.
    Hey, Neu Mejican, put up or shut up.
    Or, just admit you're a sleazy liar.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Hi Sevo.
    Glad to keep you entertained today.
    Your insightful comments make me think I might want to follow you on twitter.

  • sevo||

    "Hi Sevo.
    Glad to keep you entertained today.
    Your insightful comments make me think I might want to follow you on twitter."

    Hi, nue. Happy to bust you on your lies today.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Where did you do that?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Given that the topic of compensation for public employees came up on the thread...this seemed relevant.

    http://crookedtimber.org/2011/.....mpensated/

    the data indicates that state and local government employees in Wisconsin are not overpaid. Comparisons controlling for education, experience, organizational size, gender, race, ethnicity, citizenship, and disability reveal that employees of both state and local governments in Wisconsin earn less than comparable private sector employees. On an annual basis, full-time state and local government employees in Wisconsin are undercompensated by 8.2% compared with otherwise similar private sector workers. This compensation disadvantage is smaller but still significant when hours worked are factored in. Full-time public employees work fewer annual hours, particularly employees with bachelor’s, master’s, and professional degrees (because many are teachers or university professors). When comparisons are made controlling for the difference in annual hours worked, full-time state and local government employees are undercompensated by 4.8%, compared with otherwise similar private sector workers. To summarize, our study shows that Wisconsin public employees earn 4.8% less in total compensation per hour than comparable full-time employees in Wisconsin’s private sector.
  • Union-funded study, you twit||

    bullshit, and if you believe it all, you are a Neu Mundo Idiota.

  • Neu Mejican||

    UFSYT,

    Sorry. Didn't think I needed a disclosure statement regarding an EPI study. Particularly since all I was doing was sharing an article that I read this morning.

    Here are details...including funding details, on the EPI

    http://www.epi.org/pages/about.....institute/

    Feel free to provide counter evidence.

    Of course, the argument isn't about this kind of apples to apples comparison of wages. The state has to balance their budget...that will probably involve salary cuts or lay-offs at some level. Having worked in the public sector for most of my career, I think that public sector employees need to play by different rules than private sector workers. For instance, I support laws that would disallow strikes from public sector employees. I also think, however, because of those different rules, there needs to be some trade-off that provides an advantage for those public sector workers so that the public sector can attract the talent it needs to do its job effectively.

  • sevo||

    Evidence of blatant bias? Sure:

    "(epi) was created in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers. Today, with global competition expanding, wage inequality rising, and the methods and nature of work changing in fundamental ways,..."

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sevo...

    Again, I am not sure what you are harping about. EPI has a position. It is openly stated. As such numbers should be interpreted in that light. Please provide evidence that the NUMBERS are incorrect. Counter evidence would be evidence that Wisconsin State workers are paid more than their private sector peers in a apples to apples comparison. Having worked in both the public and the private sector doing the exact same job...I have never had a public sector job pay more than the equivalent position in the private sector. But anecdotal evidence like that doesn't go too far. My experience my be unusual.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    I also think, however, because of those different rules, there needs to be some trade-off that provides an advantage for those public sector workers so that the public sector can attract the talent it needs to do its job effectively.

    Then why disallow strikes? If we're presuming an adversarial relationship between labor and management, why should labor be hamstrung in this case?

    Also, sevo: To my eye Neu Mejican's arguments in this thread could not fairly be characterized as sleazy, dishonest, or less substantiated than most claims and counterclaims in an ongoing discussion. It seems to me you guys are having an interesting discussion and can stick to your gunnels without vituperation.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Then why disallow strikes? If we're presuming an adversarial relationship between labor and management, why should labor be hamstrung in this case?

    Because public sector unions have the ability to vote their bosses in our out of office. They have a mechanism not available to (most) private sector unions. Additionally, public sector strikes create a public harm that is not paralleled in most private sector strikes.

    It just seems working for the public sector should come with different rules. There are trade offs to making that career choice. I could be convinced otherwise.

  • ||

    Comparisons controlling for education, experience, organizational size, gender, race, ethnicity, citizenship, and disability reveal that employees of both state and local governments in Wisconsin earn less than comparable private sector employees.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • Union Goodfella||

    I'm here to fucking amuse you?

  • Neu Mejican||

    P Brooks...

    Counter evidence?

  • Neu Mejican||

    From the numbers I am seeing...Raw average salaries favor public employees. When you control for education, experience, etc...private sector has the advantage. For low wage, low skill workers, public workers have the advantage, in benefits packages, there is not much of an advantage for public employees, but they are more likely to have a defined benefits package. For job security, public employees have an advantage. Among public employees, unionized workers don't always come out ahead on salary compared to non-unionized counterparts in other states.

    So, are public sector employees overpaid...depends on the market for their services. The customers can decide.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    That's stupid. There is no need to "control" for education or anything else. Job to job comparisons are the most meaningful. Public employees make more for doing the same job. Period.

  • Neu Mejican||

    The problem, Fatty, is that there is not always a private counterpart for many public sector jobs.

    Who do you compare fire fighters, soldiers, police officers to? Teachers, and other educational providers do have private counterparts. My experience is that the private sector educational workers make more money.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    So, are public sector employees overpaid...depends on the market for their services. The customers can decide.

    And from all appearances, the public sector unions and the dipstick college students are doing everything in their power to prevent that from happening, considering that Walker was elected to do the EXACT thing these people are so bent out of shape over.

  • Neu Mejican||

    You expect them not to make their case with all the tools at their disposal? He was elected...but he still lives in a state with a diversity of opinions. If he had more political skills, he might have gotten through this without all the theatre...but, maybe, the theatre is what he wanted.

  • sevo||

    Evidence of blatant bias? Sure:

    "(epi) was created in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers. Today, with global competition expanding, wage inequality rising, and the methods and nature of work changing in fundamental ways,..."

  • This is the big disconnect||

    "...public sector can attract the talent it needs to do its job effectively."

    There are a lot of people who believe that Government already has way too many people that are effectively or not effectively doing unnecessary work or little work at all. Whatever work many are doing is not making the country a better place to live. Have the colleges and universities of our country become government-drone production facilities?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Unless you believe the government has no job at all, I am not sure how saying that it needs to attract talent to do its job is a disconnect. The debate about what that job is is a separate debate.

  • It doesn't say no job at all||

    Would paying double the already-inflated salaries improve the performance? If the unions produce a study that shows that to be the case, should we stuff even more feathers in the mattress? Do you see a limit -- or is the sky the limit -- whatever the union can squeeze out of the legislators -- damn the taxpayers to hell?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Why do you think the salaries are inflated?

    Where did I say you should over pay public employees?

  • sevo||

    "Why do you think the salaries are inflated?"

    From a non-biased source:
    "Federal workers earning double their private counterparts"
    http://www.usatoday.com/money/.....0_ST_N.htm

  • Neu Mejican||

    I thought we were talking about Wisconsin STATE employees.

  • What evidence??||

    Government-worker pensions and benefits are bankrupting states all over the country, haven't you noticed? At the Federal level? -- Mr Obama wanders blind through the wilderness as if nothing is happening.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Similar to the pensions at, oh, GM. It is not a problem that is unique to the public sector.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Loving the fact that you're using Government Motors as an example of the 'private' sector.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Ironic huh.
    But, of course, the government take over was the response to the problem caused by the problem. They weren't a public company when they got themselves into the mess.

  • sevo||

    "They weren't a public company when they got themselves into the mess."

    And this is supposed to *help* your point?
    They should have gone bankrupt, as should CA, WI and others, voiding the contracts.

  • Neu Mejican||

    The point being that both public and private sectors are facing the same challenge, so...yes...this helps my point.

    GM did go bankrupt.
    As for states going bankrupt...can you elaborate?

  • Good of you to notice.||

  • Apogee||

    No, but it's a problem unique to collective bargaining. GM was 'bailed out' not because it was 'too big to fail', but because the Democrats owe their allegiance to the unions who finance their campaigns - even if it means screwing over the actual investors.

    See the conflict of interest yet?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Did everyone miss the places on this thread where I say that I think public employees unions are problematic because public employees are also voters (which, yes, creates a conflict of interest).

    Private workers right to association for the purpose of negotiation with employers, however, is a different thing. Whether GM workers should now be considered public employees? That is an interesting topic for discussion.

  • Apogee||

    Actually...I specifically asked for counter evidence. No one has seen fit to provide any.

    From Here:
    People often believe that teachers don't make a lot of money. Those in the know, though, are aware that compensation in the education industry can be quite generous, especially when you factor in the great vacation schedule and the comprehensive benefits packages that usually go along with teaching. In Wisconsin, teaching salaries averaged $52,644 in 2009-10, according to the National Education Association, with most school districts offering benefits that range from health insurance to retirement plans.

    Keep trying to cherry pick. They're getting raises, averaging 2%, when the rest of the workforce is facing cuts, along with the complete decimation of any 'benefits'.

    Please keep defending these parasites who won't pay anything towards their own healthcare or retirement. From Here:

    Wisconsin describes its employees' fringe benefits as "significant."

    And quite frankly, their refusal to deal with the financial reality that everyone else deals with should be enough of a reason to rescind their collective bargaining.

    It's a political ponzi scheme to feed the Democratic party with tax money, and the taxpayers aren't paying anymore - and before you try and bring up the GOP, you should realize that GS shouldn't have been bailed out either.

    People are tired of the scams, which is what this system is.

  • Neu Mejican||

    That is not counter evidence. You would need to show me that private school teachers have a substantially worse deal. And that these "substantial benefits" are somehow out of line with comparable private sector jobs.

    Look through this thread. I have said they will probably need to eat pay cuts. I have said I think public sector unions create a conflict of interest. I have said public workers shouldn't be allowed to strike. I don't, however, think it helps any argument to use misinformation. The idea that public sector employees are making more than "real workers" in the private sector is just hogwash as far as I can tell. No one, yet, has shown me evidence to get rid of this impression.

    Keep trying to cherry pick. They're getting raises, averaging 2%, when the rest of the workforce is facing cuts, along with the complete decimation of any 'benefits'.

    The protesters are also facing pay cuts and loss of benefits. That is what the protests are about. You don't think private sector workers/unions complained about these things when they happened to them?

  • Apogee||

    Why don't you do some work and prove that, on average, private sector workers are compensated on an equal level with public sector workers?

    What you need to show is the correction gained from a government monopoly on education, rather than clamor for "apples to apples" comparisons, when the system as its set up now prevents such a comparison.

    You don't think private sector workers/unions complained about these things when they happened to them?

    Please remind me of the time the President of the US, along with his party, and the current sitting members of a state assembly conspired to support the 'complaints' of a group of striking union members.

    Why would there be so much interest from so high up?

    Could it be due to the danger of a single political party losing an incredible amount of guaranteed taxpayer funding?

    This is so far beyond 'benefits' and 'workers rights' that your demands to argue statistics is laughable.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Not sure what your complaint is here. I was discussing a narrow aspect of the issue. There is a claim floating around in this debate that public employees are soaking the system with bloated salaries and benefits. But the evidence points to that particular claim being untrue. The truth of the matter is that the economy has turned and both private and public sectors are having to make adjustments as revenues fall. There seems to be, essential, parity between private and public sector compensation and similar solutions are having to be enacted on both sides.

    It is hardly surprising that Democratic politicians line up against a threat to a large donors (labor) just as it is unsurprising that Republican politicians rally around policies that benefit their donars (see the tax cuts that WI passed).

    As for the protesters...they are out in the streets for very transparent reasons. They are resisting structural change to a system. Pretty common reaction.

  • Union Goodfella||

    Those kind of people don't count.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Also interesting.
    http://weaskamerica.com/2011/0.....wisconsin/

    As you may know, Gov. Scott Walker has proposed a plan to limit the pay of government workers and teachers, increase their share of the cost of benefits, and strip some public-employ unions of much of their power. We’d like to know if APPROVE or DISAPPROVE of Gov. Walker’s plan.

    Here are those results:
    Type of Poll: Automated
    Sample: 2,397 Wisconsin residents
    Date of Poll: 2/17/201
    Margin of Error: ±2.0%
    APPROVE DISAPPROVE UNCERTAIN (numbers are in this order - NM)
    OVERALL 43.05% 51.90% 5.05%
    BY GENDER
    Female 39.53% 54.47% 6.00%
    Male 47.72% 48.50% 3.78%
    BY UNION / NON UNION HOUSEHOLDS
    Union 33.08% 63.75% 3.17%
    Non-union 47.95% 46.08% 5.97%

    Not sure who funded the poll...
    http://weaskamerica.com/polling-101/

  • hmm||

    That has to be the most biased fucking survey question ever. The only thing they didn't do is say the governor kills kittens.

    A few minutes cruising wiki pages that post polling comparisons puts this site consistently 2 or more points above (and as much as 10+) other surveys in favor of Democrat issues and people.

    I'd like to know who's running that show because their polling seems a lil' off.

  • ||

    Counter evidence?

    Based on a lot of ephemeral made-up criteria, the study shows state workers to be "underpaid".

    I call bullshit.

    I could make up a more detailed counterargument, but I have better things to do.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Sorry, but I have to call bullshit on that. They study says they are "not overpaid" and uses the words "earn less than comparable private sector employees."

    No where does it claim they are underpaid.

  • ||

    When comparisons are made controlling for the difference
    in annual hours worked, full-time state and local
    government employees are undercompensated by 4.8%,
    compared with otherwise similar private sector workers.

    Maybe you could argue that 'undercompensated' is not analogous to 'underpaid', but then I would counter-argue that you were being pedantic and silly.

    This study also includes government mandated 'insurances' such as ss, unemployment, workers comp (paid by employers) as income for private sector workers.

  • sevo||

    Neu Mejican|2.20.11 @ 12:50PM|#
    "Sorry, but I have to call bullshit on that. They study says they are "not overpaid" and uses the words "earn less than comparable private sector employees."

    If you're posting about the epi "study" save the band width; they left out "Serve the People", so it isn't complete yet.
    "...was created in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers. Today, with global competition expanding, wage inequality rising, and the methods and nature of work changing in fundamental ways, it is as crucial as ever that people who work for a living have a voice in the economic discourse. "

    Any outfit that admits up front it is pushing an agenda isn't worth shit.

  • ||

    strip some public-employ unions of much of their power

    Haha, good one; no "leading the witness" here.

    There are also polls (cited repeatedly in the papers) which say a majority of Americans, educated by unionized public school teachers using materials selected by current and former unionized school teachers, think unions are good.

    What more do we need to know?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Not sure what your problem with this wording is here...

    It seems to favor the anti-union position by implying that they have "power" that can be stripped away...are you stuck on the word "strip"?

  • ||

    It seems to favor the anti-union position

    Favor, or emphasize?

    The wording is only slightly less inflammatory than if they used the term "bust" the union.

  • ||

    No where does it claim they are underpaid.

    O RLY?

    On an annual basis, full-time state and local government employees in Wisconsin are undercompensated by 8.2% compared with otherwise similar private sector workers.

  • ||

    Look up...same exact time, boo-yah!

  • ||

    compared with otherwise similar private sector workers

    Until somebody can provide me a comparison based on marginal value added, I will steadfastly refuse to concede any shred of credibility to these studies.

  • sevo||

    Neu Mejican|2.20.11 @ 12:34PM|#
    "Why do you think the salaries are inflated?"

    Here's a very simple way to test the matter.
    Cut all wages 25% and see who still wants to work. If the jobs are still filled, cut another 25%. Cut until the governments have to look for help, and then raise it 5%.
    The market will quickly tell you what those jobs are worth.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Seems reasonable...although I might use 10% increments to start.

  • Neu Mejican||

    P. Brooks,

    The wording is only slightly less inflammatory than if they used the term "bust" the union.

    Strangely I see it the other way. They could have said "unfair advantage" rather than "power" to make it more likely that people would support the restrictions on the union, but I don't see any way that this wording can be legitimately said to be biasing responses against the bill. What the reader brings to a text always matter, I suppose.

    Captitol L
    Maybe you could argue that 'undercompensated' is not analogous to 'underpaid', but then I would counter-argue that you were being pedantic and silly.

    I am only arguing that the claim is not that they are "underpaid" as in "should be making more" but that the study claims that they "don't make as much as their private sector peers." It is a much different claim. Pedantic, perhaps.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Any outfit that admits up front it is pushing an agenda isn't worth shit.

    So you don't believe studies by CATO or the Reason Foundation either, I assume.

  • ||

    Perhaps Most definitely, I would say.

    Here is something a little more explicit:

    The earnings equation estimates indicate that state and
    local government employees in Wisconsin are not overpaid.
    Rather, local and state public employees are undercompensated.


    bold added

    If you want to argue that the author isn't saying exactly as he is saying, then you have moved from pedantic to purposely obtuse.

  • Neu Mejican||

    bold added

    If you want to argue that the author isn't saying exactly as he is saying, then you have moved from pedantic to purposely obtuse.

    Bold added and the rest of the paragraph removed. The rest of the paragraph, again, emphasizes that "undercompensated" indicates "paid less than private sector peers." No argument is made that they should get as raise. I think I will pass along the "pedantic" prize to you.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Read it again. Yep. No claim that they are underpaid. Lots of talk about the different patterns of compensation, they trade off between benefits and salary, and some advocacy for other ways to balance the budget...but nothing claiming that state employees should get a raise.

    I can see where the confusion started, but I have clarified what I meant. The study never uses "undercompensated" to indicate a need for raises or to advocate for more money for state workers.

  • ||

    I'm really not interested in getting into a minge style debate over semantics with you Neu, it's boring.

    The original argument is whether the author claims that public sector workers were "underpaid." The author plainly states that public sector workers are undercompensated which would mean, to me, that there is a level of compensation that is correct and that public sector workers make less than that; the author could of just as well said "private sector workers are overcompensated."

    Just because the author doesn't explicitly call for public sector raises, doesn't mean that he can't claim that they are underpaid. The entire article makes the implicit argument that public sector compensation should, at least, stay at its current level.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I'm really not interested in getting into a minge style debate over semantics with you Neu, it's boring.

    Fine by me.

    The original argument is whether the author claims that public sector workers were "underpaid." The author plainly states that public sector workers are undercompensated

    Yes, compared to private sector workers, this is the claim.

    which would mean, to me, that there is a level of compensation that is correct and that public sector workers make less than that;

    You may be inferring that, but that is certainly not claimed by the author. Nowhere does the author say that private sector employees make the correct amount. In fact a lot of words are spent discussing the different choices that workers make and the trade-offs involved. No discussion of a "correct" wage is implied.

    the author could of just as well said "private sector workers are overcompensated."

    That would require much different underlying assumptions that the author seems to be using in the study.

    Just because the author doesn't explicitly call for public sector raises, doesn't mean that he can't claim that they are underpaid. The entire article makes the implicit argument that public sector compensation should, at least, stay at its current level.

    It does do that. Hence the words "not overpaid."

  • Neu Mejican||

    Dang typos...

    That would require much different underlying assumptions that than the author seems to be using in the study.

  • ||

    Neu, do you agree with the author's method of including government mandated 'insurances', paid by the employer, as part of private sector compensation?

    Anytime you read a paper and see "When we control for x..." and it gives the authors the numbers they need to support their hypothesis you turn on your bullshit detector. Especially "scientific" papers written in the style of an oped piece.

  • Neu Mejican||

    CL,
    Why wouldn't you include that source of compensation? Is it different for public sector versus private sector employees? Seems like it would end up being a wash...unless I am missing something.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Anytime you read a paper and see "When we control for x..." and it gives the authors the numbers they need to support their hypothesis you turn on your bullshit detector. Especially "scientific" papers written in the style of an oped piece.

    This is, indeed, how I approached this report. It is also important to interpret the numbers yourself rather than focusing on the interpretation of the author. That is why I have been asking for counter evidence. No one has shown me numbers indicating that in an apples to apples comparison, Wisconsin state employees are soaking the system and making more than they would doing similar work in the private sector. They may still need to have pay cut due to the lack of funds available to compensate them...but to say that is because "they are overpaid" is different than saying "we can't afford to pay you what we used to." Private companies are also using this line to get wage compensations. And this, of course, goes to the fluid concept of a "correct" wage. There is no such thing. But because the relationship between revenue and salary is different for public versus private employees, different rules need to apply.

  • ||

    The study never uses "undercompensated" to indicate a need for raises or to advocate for more money for state workers.

    Buy a dictionary.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Give it up. You were implying something the study wasn't. The meaning of the text comes from the combination of words, not single words.

  • ||

    ps- Nobody ever means "Bankers make too much money!!!!!" when they claim fatcat bankers are overcompensated, do they?

  • Neu Mejican||

    I feel like I have heard the claim "Bankers make too much money!!!" quite a bit lately, actually.

    Usually paired with words like "greedy"

    ;^)

  • ||

    You were implying something the study wasn't.

    Of course I am.

    Keep towing that lion, dude.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Funny how I am being painted as a union supporter here despite having state, on this thread no less, that public sector employees should have restricted rights compared to private sector employees. The meme that public sector employees of states are, in general, paid more than they could make in the private sector, however, doesn't jibe with my own experience or the evidence I have seen. Every time I have had a choice between private sector and public sector work, the private sector compensation was greater. This study agrees with that impression in this case. I still haven't seen any evidence that this is an incorrect impression.

  • Apogee||

    And since you haven't seen it personally, then it doesn't exist, regardless of the semantic leapfrogging done to obfuscate the additional pay and benefits of the public sector combined with their guarantee that they can't be laid off.

    Performance metrics? Ha! Those are for other people.

  • sevo||

    Careful!
    Neu will call you angry!

  • Neu Mejican||

    And since you haven't seen it personally, then it doesn't exist,

    Actually...I specifically asked for counter evidence. No one has seen fit to provide any.

    regardless of the semantic leapfrogging done to obfuscate the additional pay and benefits of the public sector combined with their guarantee that they can't be laid off.

    Not sure I am following you on this one. Public employees get laid off all the time.

    Performance metrics? Ha! Those are for other people.

    Again, my experience may be skewed, but I have had far more performance reviews in my public sector jobs than in any of my private sector jobs. Have you ever worked in the public sector?

  • Apogee||

    Yes, I've worked with PubSec employees. While some are capable, the entire system is set up as a jobs program, and has nothing to do with either efficiency or the stated purpose of each department. The waste is, (since we're using personal estimates) probably around 80%.

    Yes, you read that correctly.

    For every 10 employees, including supervisors, middle management, and liasons, eight could be dismissed and the system would probably run faster.

    The only reason for the bloated manpower? Budgets. The higher the budget, the more slush money is generated, and the more political pull that department head possesses.

    That reality diametrically opposes your opinion that PubSec workers get 'laid off all the time'.

    See Here

    With all these layoffs, can you tell me why the government employment rolls have increased, and not decreased? Surely all these layoffs add up somewhere, right?

    They're not just shifting them to other departments, right?

  • Apogee||

    Public employees get laid off all the time.

    Also, then why are the PubSec employees protesting in WI? Why doesn't someone just fire them?

    Maybe because they feel pretty protected to go out and protest against a newly elected legislature. The very people you assert can be laid off, don't seem all that concerned.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Well...all I can say is that here in Washington the last couple of years have seen lots of layoffs in the public sector. In my career in the education system I have seen substantial lay offs of teachers twice.

    As for your estimate of 80% inefficiency...it lacks credibility. While most large organizations can probably absorb a 10-20% manpower cut (private or public) the idea that 8 out of 10 workers are fluff is just silly. In schools for instance (the largest public sector category), more than 80% of employees are classroom teachers. Take a staff of 100 teachers in a district teaching 3500 students and tell me honestly you think that those children would be educated better with a staff of 20 teachers (class sizes of about 175).

    Also, then why are the PubSec employees protesting in WI? Why doesn't someone just fire them?

    You think people should be fired for assembly to petition their government?

    Maybe because they feel pretty protected to go out and protest against a newly elected legislature. The very people you assert can be laid off, don't seem all that concerned.

    They seem concerned enough to go protest...I think you've got this backwards.

  • Apogee||

    You think people should be fired for assembly to petition their government?

    If they're calling in sick fraudulently while doing so, yes.

    But have any of them been fired? It doesn't appear so.

    You are probably correct that 80% fluff is too high for school systems - the people I worked with were in Transportation and infrastructure - incredible waste. 9 supervisors for a guy who could do the work himself.

    Bureaucracy grows because it complicates processes, necessitating increased manpower and lowering efficiency while simultaneously resisting positive change.

    Take LA Schools for example:
    Although charter teachers are generally not unionized, teachers at converted charters remain in the main district union but under separate bargaining contracts that usually give the schools more flexibility in setting salaries, evaluating performance and hiring and firing.

    That was a key reason why Birmingham Community Charter High School went independent in its quest to boost student achievement, said Executive Director Marsha Coates.

    Under its separate teachers' contract, the school has more freedom from both union and district red tape surrounding hiring and firing, as well as trying different techniques, she said.

    "We're doing what we feel is best for kids," Coates said. "Things are slow to change with the district."

    And again, I ask what does it say that the DNC and White House are getting involved in a state labor argument?

    This isn't just about workers rights.

  • Neu Mejican||

    You think people should be fired for assembly to petition their government?

    If they're calling in sick fraudulently while doing so, yes.

    But have any of them been fired? It doesn't appear so.

    This actually highlights the inherent problem with public sector unions. They are petitioning their boss...but they are also participating in a work stoppage...and also exerting a basic constitutionally protected right. Makes the issue pretty murky from my perspective.

  • Apogee||

    They could have petitioned on the weekend, or even after school hours (It's not like the school day runs til 9pm)

    The real problem with this system is the lack of a true adversarial bargaining position. Without some serious changes and competition, it's just taxpayer money to be divvied up, and the state isn't going out of business.

    Yet.

    Add in the poor student performance along with the symbiotic interaction with one specific political party and the opportunity for abuse becomes a mandate for abuse.

  • Neu Mejican||

    That poor student performance is starkly absent in most WI school districts. Just saying.

  • ||

    The entire article makes the implicit argument that public sector compensation should, at least, stay at its current level.

    Exactly.

    "The LAST thing we should be doing is cutting the pay and benefits of people who already are undercompensated!"

  • Neu Mejican||

    Well, to be fair to the workers that are protesting, they have already agreed to pay cuts. The fight is over collective bargaining rights.

  • sevo||

    Neu Mejican|2.20.11 @ 2:14PM|#
    "Well, to be fair to the workers that are protesting, they have already agreed to pay cuts. The fight is over collective bargaining rights."

    No such thing as "collective bargaining rights".
    All that means is the other party is coerced to bargain with a certain party.
    Let's state it honestly: The fight is over government-provided benefits"

  • Neu Mejican||

    No such thing as "collective bargaining rights".

    So you don't believe in worker's freedom of association?

    All that means is the other party is coerced to bargain with a certain party.

    Coerced? Define your terms here.

    Let's state it honestly: The fight is over government-provided benefits"

    Let's let the people protesting decide what their agenda is...

    This is not about protecting our pay and our benefits," Wisconsin Education Association Council President Mary Bell said at a press conference on the Capitol Square. "It is about protecting our right to collectively bargain."

    Wisconsin in 1959 became the first state to grant collective bargaining to government workers.
  • sevo||

    see below

  • Apogee||

    Any tracking of the budget surpluses and deficits from before and after this momentous 1959 decision?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Would be interesting. Have you seen such?

  • Apogee||

    No, not compiled that far back AFAICT.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Awhile ago a prolific poster here noted that unless thousands of union protesters were on the streets, nothing was being fixed. I might add that unless there leftard trolls trolling the shit out of Reason articles wrt to pubsector unions, we are not fixing anything. By that criteria, Scott Walker and the Wisconsin GOP are doing a helluva job.

  • ||

    AWESOME!!

    First lady Michelle Obama is among the Presidents Day weekend crowd.

    Obama arrived Friday night for a weekend of skiing in Vail and Beaver Creek, according to local sources.

    A motorcade of about a dozen vehicles, including 15 state and local law enforcement officers, traveled from the Eagle County Regional Airport to Vail on Friday night, according to the Colorado State Patrol. Roads were temporarily blocked to make way for the motorcade in Eagle.

  • ||

    Fap fap fap

    Across the street at Luca Bruno, a high-end clothing store, owner Luca Bruno said he also knew of the first lady's visit because people around town have been talking. As of Saturday afternoon, he was hoping she might pop in and do a little shopping in his store.

    Bruno said the visit is great not only for the first lady, who he said likely needs the relaxation, but also for Vail.

    “It's very cool. I'm very happy for her, first, because she's here skiing and relaxing,” Bruno said. “And second, for us, for Vail — it's a great image.”

    For the first lady to choose Vail over all of the ski resorts in the country is very flattering and speaks to the quality of the resort, he said.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Across the street at Luca Bruno, a high-end clothing store, owner Luca Bruno

    Man, that Sasha Baron Cohen is everywhere, isn't he?

  • ||

    Weep, America

    Doing nothing delivers a blow to Florida's deepest desire to convey a can-do, 21st century image to the rest of the world. Doing nothing takes away Central Florida's once-in-a-lifetime chance to be the first and (for a while) only true high-speed rail project in the United States. Doing nothing sacrifices $2.4 billion in federal funds once committed to high-speed rail here but soon likely destined for similar projects in more-welcoming states.

    Weep for Florida.

    I do.

  • sevo||

    Neu Mejican|2.20.11 @ 1:25PM|#
    "Any outfit that admits up front it is pushing an agenda isn't worth shit.
    So you don't believe studies by CATO or the Reason Foundation either, I assume."

    I *knew* you were going to fall for it, since you're willing to grasp straws where you can find them.
    Yes, I do; and I don't bother linking them since free markets are anathema to brain-deads.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I *knew* you were going to fall for it, since you're willing to grasp straws where you can find them.

    Fall for what? Do you see a meaningful distinction between CATO and other agenda oriented thinktanks?

    Yes, I do; and I don't bother linking them since free markets are anathema to brain-deads.

    Clarify, please. You do believe what CATO tells you, even though they admit up front that they are pushing an agenda"...correct? But you don't link to them because you don't think their information will be convincing...correct? You think that only those that already find the CATO's position convincing will buy their claims...correct?

  • sevo||

    "Fall for what?"
    Your fig leaf is too small.
    You immediately compared a source you *did* cite with one no one else has.

  • Neu Mejican||

    sevo,

    Indeed I did. But, we are talking about this topic on the Reason H&R blog...which certainly has ties to CATO and Reason. And, of course, you were taking the native position here. And, of course, you also admit that you don't find these sources "shit" because they agree with your own positions. Not sure, still, what you think I fell for.

  • sevo||

    Neu Mejican|2.20.11 @ 5:49PM|#
    "sevo,
    Indeed I did. But, we are talking about this topic on the Reason H&R blog...which certainly has ties to CATO and Reason...."

    Neither of which I cited to make my argument.

  • Neu Mejican||

    You made an argument?

  • sevo||

    "You made an argument?"
    You can read?

  • ||

    This is not about protecting our pay and our benefits," Wisconsin Education Association Council President Mary Bell said at a press conference on the Capitol Square. "It is about protecting our right to collectively bargain."

    Gibberish.

    What, exactly, do they collectively bargain *for* if not pay and benefits?

    The sort of guaranteed employment completely unimagineable to private sector workers, I suppose; but I would, in my naive and simple-minded analysis, describe that as a substantial benefit.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Indeed, the collective bargaining thing is important because it can be used to help workers leverage certain benefits from their employer. One of the reasons that public sector employees should play be different rules is that they already get to vote for this kind of thing.

    That said, I do see a distinction between the benefits that collective bargaining can bring and the collective bargaining itself. The negotiations can help to shape the loss of benefits and pay without resulting in an increase of either. It may be seen as a benefit itself to have collective bargaining rights, but the fight here is over the power to have an (additional) seat at the table.

  • sevo||

    Neu Mejican|2.20.11 @ 5:56PM|#
    "Indeed, the collective bargaining thing is important because it can be used to help workers leverage certain benefits from their employer...."

    "[l]everage". Great term for pointing a gun at someone.
    I guess thugs 'leverage' certain benefits from those they mug.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Indeed, that is one acceptable use of the term.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Indeed, the collective bargaining thing is important because it can be used to help workers leverage certain benefits from their employer.

    The problem is, their employer, from a financial standpoint, is the taxpayer.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I agree.

  • Apogee||

    And the other problem is, that, partially, the eventual payee is the Democratic party.

    The Democrats are going to have to make it as a party without guaranteed taxpayer funding, and the GOP will have to fall out of love with the concept of crony capitalism.

  • Neu Mejican||

    That doesn't seem reality-based...but wishful thinking is important for keeping a sane attitude in this world.

  • Apogee||

    The only reality is the lack of funding for such bullshit.

  • ||

    If you bargain collectively for minimum staffing limits, you are bargaining for pay and benefits.

    If you bargain collectively for work rules which effectively allow you to work less, you're bargaining for pay and benefits.

    et c.

  • sevo||

    "If you bargain collectively for minimum staffing limits, you are bargaining for pay and benefits."

    As importantly, requiring the other party to bargain with a collective *is* a benefit; one they're trying to protect.

  • Neu Mejican||

    It is odd to see someone here at H&R characterizing the government as the victim, powerless to the coercion of an unarmed assemblage of individuals.

  • sevo||

    Neu Mejican|2.20.11 @ 5:58PM|#
    "It is odd to see someone here at H&R characterizing the government as the victim, powerless to the coercion of an unarmed assemblage of individuals."

    It's not so uncommon to see someone mis-state a comment out of either ignorance or guile.
    Where did anyone claim the government is a "victim" or "powerless"?
    Having trouble reading?

  • hmm||

    If it doesn't pass and they cut thousands of jobs every person with a doctors sick note or absence for the last three days should be the first to go. Of course those people will be the tenured people lowest on the list.

  • ||

    It is odd to see someone here at H&R characterizing the government as the victim, powerless to the coercion of an unarmed assemblage of individuals.

    If, by government, you mean taxpayers...

  • Neu Mejican||

    I do...that sense of the term is rarely used around here...hence my comment.

  • sevo||

    "I do...that sense of the term is rarely used around here...hence my innuendo."
    FIFY

  • Neu Mejican||

    I don't think sevo knows what fify means.

  • sevo||

    Neu Mejican|2.20.11 @ 8:37PM|#
    "I don't think sevo knows what fify means."

    I think neu has been busted to the point where ad-homs are the best neu can now find.
    Stinks of "lefty", doncha think?

  • Neu Mejican||

    I think neu has been busted to the point where ad-homs are the best neu can now find.
    Stinks of "lefty", doncha think?

    [look of smug confidence...sevo pats himself on the back and looks around to see who noticed...what...no one?]

    :^(

  • sevo||

    "look of smug confidence...sevo pats himself on the back and looks around to see who noticed...what...no one?"

    Smug ad hom from lefty who's been busted; don't break your arm patting yourself on the back. You don't deserve it.

  • ||

    He at least knows what "undercompensated" means; which would seem more germane to conversation.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I thought you didn't want to continue that semantic argument.

  • ||

    That was an argument? Funny, to me it seemed more like you slithering around trying to redefine terms.

    Besides, it sucks to debate someone being disingenuous. You' have me believe that you're smart enough to parse everyone's arguments finding minute weaknesses, but not smart enough to see the implicit premises(hidden with all of the subtlety of a Michael Bay movie, I might add)in the paper that you cited.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I am being disingenuous?

    I was very upfront about what I meant. I disagree with your reading of the study. It is, indeed, an advocacy piece. No argument there. But it is not making the argument that public employees should be paid MORE. It is trying to weaken the case against balancing state budgets by cutting worker compensation. You might, honestly, not see that as a substantially different argument, but I think you've got more ability to deal with nuance than that.

  • ||

    It may be seen as a benefit itself to have collective bargaining rights

    The ability to claim exclusive bargaining rights definitely qualifies as a "benefit".

    If school boards could negotiate with anybody (in groups or individually) as I believe they should be allowed to, we wouldn't be where we are now.

  • sevo||

    "If school boards could negotiate with anybody (in groups or individually) as I believe they should be allowed to, we wouldn't be where we are now."

    Exactly the point.
    By government action, government (supposedly our representatives) puts itself in the position of negotiating with specific organizations.
    Which organizations provide the greatest contributions to the supposed representatives who 'negotiate' with them.
    If that doesn't qualify as conflict of interest, I'm not sure what possibly could.

  • sevo||

    Neu Mejican|2.20.11 @ 3:52PM|#
    No such thing as "collective bargaining rights".
    So you don't believe in worker's freedom of association?"
    You really need a remedial reading course, or you need to come to terms with the fact that no one is buying your bullshit. Please cite where I suggested people should not be allowed to associate with whomever they please.

    "All that means is the other party is coerced to bargain with a certain party.
    Coerced? Define your terms here."
    By *LAW*; enforced by coercion. Is that difficult?

    "Let's state it honestly: The fight is over government-provided benefits"
    Let's let the people protesting decide what their agenda is..."
    This is not about protecting our pay and our benefits," Wisconsin Education Association Council President Mary Bell said at a press conference on the Capitol Square. "It is about protecting our right to collectively bargain."
    No, let's not let the rent-seekers define the terms; they're lying.

    "Wisconsin in 1959 became the first state to grant collective bargaining to government workers."
    No "right" was granted; the state granted a privilege, requiring state agencies to bargain with certain groups. Which groups are the largest contributors to the representatives who handed out the favor ad then end up 'negotiating' with those who hand them money.
    Let's watch our super-slow-mo replay: Notice the money taken from the taxpayer right there. Next, you can see it handed by the "representative" to the union members after "negotiations". Finally, keep a close eye; see it landing right back in the pocket of that representative? Great work by our camera and production crew!

  • Neu Mejican||

    sevo gets so mad. Must be a joy to have a face to face conversation with sevo.

  • sevo||

    Neu Mejican|2.20.11 @ 8:39PM|#
    "sevo gets so mad. Must be a joy to have a face to face conversation with sevo."

    Ah, yes. Sleazy innuendo.
    Pretty much standard brain-dead response when presented with facts: Let's claim the other party is 'angry'!
    Why am I not surprised? Might it be that dealing with brain-deads always ends up with the same self-righteous bullshit.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Facts?

    I must have missed those. When did you present facts?

    And, in case you missed this is school...calling names and insulting people is a good way to get people to assume you are angry.

  • sevo||

    Neu Mejican|2.20.11 @ 9:42PM|#
    "Facts?
    I must have missed those. When did you present facts?"
    Yes, you are very selective in your reading. Just from my earlier post:
    1) Please cite where I suggested people should not be allowed to associate with whomever they please.
    2) By *LAW*; enforced by coercion. Is that difficult?
    There's way more up-thread, but to be honest, dealing with what (charitably might be called) your sophistry is tiring. Look them up yourself.

    "And, in case you missed this is school...calling names and insulting people is a good way to get people to assume you are angry."
    And defaulting to ad-homs is a good way to convince people you don't know what you're posting about. I notice you didn't address one single point I offered; you posted that I was "mad".
    So, bozo, what was that again?

  • Neu Mejican||

    And defaulting to ad-homs is a good way to convince people you don't know what you're posting about. I notice you didn't address one single point I offered; you posted that I was "mad".
    So, bozo, what was that again?

    Oh irony...

  • Neu Mejican||

    Neu Mejican|2.20.11 @ 9:42PM|#
    "Facts?

    Just from my earlier post:
    1) Please cite where I suggested people should not be allowed to associate with whomever they please.

    You suggest this when you say that there is no right to collective bargaining. Collective bargaining flows from individuals freedom to form associations with others for purposes of their choosing. While I agree that there should be limits on this for public employees...you did not limit your statement to public employees.

    2) By *LAW*; enforced by coercion. Is that difficult?

    The full context here is

    SEVO:"All that means is the other party is coerced to bargain with a certain party."
    NM "Coerced? Define your terms here."

    SEVO: "By *LAW*; enforced by coercion. Is that difficult?"

    Again, you don't restrict your arguments to public employees, but make a general statement about "collective bargaining." The right of free association seems like something that should be enforced by law...do you disagree?

    There's way more up-thread, but to be honest, dealing with what (charitably might be called) your sophistry is tiring. Look them up yourself.

    You don't provide facts...you state opinions. Usually half-formed, ill conceived opinions...but facts seem to be missing from your posts. I may have missed some.

    "And, in case you missed this is school...calling names and insulting people is a good way to get people to assume you are angry."
    And defaulting to ad-homs is a good way to convince people you don't know what you're posting about. I notice you didn't address one single point I offered; you posted that I was "mad".
    So, bozo, what was that again?
    reply to this

  • sevo||

    I see you finally decided that responding to points is preferable to calling someone "mad":
    Neu Mejican|2.20.11 @ 10:09PM|#
    "You suggest this when you say that there is no right to collective bargaining. Collective bargaining flows from individuals freedom to form associations with others for purposes of their choosing."

    Bullshit.
    Freedom of association is totally separate from *requiring* others to negotiate with that association by coercion. Try again.
    ................

    "The full context here is
    SEVO:"All that means is the other party is coerced to bargain with a certain party."
    NM "Coerced? Define your terms here."
    SEVO: "By *LAW*; enforced by coercion. Is that difficult?"
    Again, you don't restrict your arguments to public employees, but make a general statement about "collective bargaining." The right of free association seems like something that should be enforced by law...do you disagree?"

    "The right of free association" is in no way restricted by any of the proposed corrections. And the right of free association in no way requires others to negotiate with that association, regardless of private or public. Coercion requires that. Are we seeing a trend here?
    ..............

    "You don't provide facts...you state opinions. Usually half-formed, ill conceived opinions...but facts seem to be missing from your posts."
    You should learn to read. Your "opinions" (above) seem notably lacking in both logic and facts.

    "I may have missed some."
    Yes, you have.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I see you finally decided that responding to points is preferable to calling someone "mad":

    Your lack of self awareness is indeed impressive.

    Bullshit.
    Freedom of association is totally separate from *requiring* others to negotiate with that association by coercion. Try again.
    ................

    You are conflating two arguments here. The right to collective bargaining is a direct exercise of the freedom of association. You seem to be arguing against the power of the state being used to force an employer to negotiate with that association of workers. I might agree (with some caveats here and there), particularly if the state and that association bar other workers from negotiating with the employer. Not sure that Wisconsin law does this currently. It certainly doesn't seem to (http://law.justia.com/wisconsin/codes/2010/111/111.70.html) But that is different than saying that the right to collective bargaining does not exist. Which is what you said...

    "The right of free association" is in no way restricted by any of the proposed corrections. And the right of free association in no way requires others to negotiate with that association, regardless of private or public. Coercion requires that. Are we seeing a trend here?

    Only a trend in that you are now making nearly fully formed arguments. You don't seem to realize that we are pretty close to the same position on this point. Strange.

  • Apogee||

    The right to collective bargaining is a direct exercise of the freedom of association.

    No, you're mistaken in that assumption WRT the actual function of unions, much less those of the Public Sector.

    The opposition to the requirement for non-auto dues, as well as the stipulation for a referendum on the union flies in the face of your assertion.

    If this really was a case of free association, what is the problem with asking the union membership to pay said dues and hold referendums?

    Because it's not only about coercing the taxpayer, it's about coercing the union members (remember them? The downtrodden?)- where is the accountability of the union to the membership if the process is fully automatic?

    There isn't any.

    Again, this is a jobs program with a political fundraising element built in, and has nothing to do with 'free association'.

  • Neu Mejican||

    You are describing challenges inherent in the ossification of leadership in any large organization. That does not, however, mean that collective bargaining is not about freedom of association. Abuses by unions of the concept are a separate issue.

  • Apogee||

    Nice try.

    You can't argue that the striking PubSec unions are fighting for 'free association' when they are also striking to limit such within their own membership.

    Sorry, but most Americans don't want their tax money going to support a political party without their consent.

    That's why the President is involved, as well as his party members. It's a funding issue that depends entirely on forcing groups of people to donate to a certain political ideology.

  • Neu Mejican||

    You can't argue that the striking PubSec unions are fighting for 'free association' when they are also striking to limit such within their own membership.

    Is that what they are doing? I am not sure that is accurate.

  • Apogee||

    Let's see - The protesters are against modifications to the collective bargaining agreement which would require that the membership be responsible for the submission of union dues (non-automatic deduction), as well as a yearly referendum on the union.

    What, exactly, is the problem with these modifications? They seem to me to hold the union more accountable to its membership. An expansion of freedom of association, because, rather than being locked into the status quo, the union membership (i.e. the workers) will have expanded rights to associate or not - because not associating is also part of 'free association'.

  • Neu Mejican||

    You would have to ask the protesters directly. That said, what I have heard on the news from protesters on these issues of structural reform is the fact that the governor is making these changes unilaterally, rather than through the set of rules.

    I will, again, point out that I don't support the union position on many of the details. But they certainly have the right to make their case as loudly as they wish.

  • sevo||

    Neu Mejican|2.20.11 @ 10:01PM|#
    "Oh irony..."

    Oh, stupidity.
    Still can't find a way to address what I posted, bozo?

  • Neu Mejican||

    I do find it hard to find enough substance to respond to in your posts...yes.

  • sevo||

    "I do find it hard to find enough substance to respond to in your posts...yes."

    Yes, you do.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Try making fully formed arguments without name calling, and see how it goes.

  • sevo||

    Try reading.
    Assshole

  • Neu Mejican||

    sevo...the gift that just keeps on giving.

  • sevo||

    Neu Mejican|2.21.11 @ 12:51PM|#
    "sevo...the gift that just keeps on giving."

    neu mejican...the ignoramus who just keeps on posting.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Like the Energizer bunny of lame insults.

  • ||

    I don't see how it matters whether teachers in Wisconsin are "undercompensated" or not. The outcome of that argument won't change the fact that the taxpayers of Wisconsin (remember them? the people who actually pay these salaries?) don't have an infinite amount of money to surrender to the tax collector. And don't forget, the feds have their budget problems too and I would be very surprised if they didn't look to increase their cut.

  • sevo||

    "You are conflating two arguments here. The right to collective bargaining is a direct exercise of the freedom of association."

    Bullshit.
    I now see where the problem is; I was presuming a certain (low) level of intelligence, and I've been corrected.
    If I form a bowling club, does that mean the owner of a bowling alley must negotiate with the club?
    Sorry, enough time wasted on someone who has a hard time with up /= down.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Bullshit.
    ...If I form a bowling club, does that mean the owner of a bowling alley must negotiate with the club?

    In a sense yes. If he wants my bowling club's business, he's gonna need to meet our demands as customers. Negotiate terms that we find favorable. But, of course, your analogy is a bit backassward here.

  • Neu Mejican||

    The point here being that the bowling club is likely to get a better deal than an individual bowler. Their collective bargaining rights are likely to give them an advantage. The same right to form this kind of association when negotiating with an employer applies. You have a problem with laws that say an employer has to negotiate with these associations of workers. The specifics matter to me. Some states clearly go too far in giving power to unions. This happens when unions can garner wages of non-members, when unions can force business not to negotiation with independent actors, etc...But laws which protect the activity of forming workers unions, laws which prevent inappropriate actions by employers to "bust" unions, may be appropriate.

  • sevo||

    "Neu Mejican|2.21.11 @ 1:03PM|#
    "The point here being that the bowling club is likely to get a better deal than an individual bowler."

    No the point is you're changing the subject.
    Answer please: Should a bowling lane owner be required by law to negotiate with a bowling club?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Ah... a specific question...that is very off topic (talk about changing the subject).

    No. The bowling lane should not be required by law to negotiate with the bowling club. He might be reasonably restricted from certain kinds of behaviors once he is negotiating with the bowling club, however.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Funny how I have addressed this particular point you are trying to make several times and yet you still keep coming back to it.

    Why is that?

  • sevo||

    Neu Mejican|2.21.11 @ 1:58PM|#
    "Funny how I have addressed this particular point you are trying to make several times and yet you still keep coming back to it."

    Yes, because you've both danced around it an lied about it.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Yes, because you've both danced around it an lied about it.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Hmmm...squirrels ate my post.

    Suffice to say... you are wrong on both counts.

  • sevo||

    "The bowling lane should not be required by law to negotiate with the bowling club."

    Therefore "freedom of association" has nothing to do with a legal requirement to bargain with any association.
    End of story.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Therefore "freedom of association" has nothing to do with a legal requirement to bargain with any association.

    You are the only one that claimed it did. You continue to conflate "collective bargaining" as a concept and a right with the legal regime that has risen around it.

  • Neu Mejican||

    So let's go back to the beginning to help clear things up.

    SEVO:No such thing as "collective bargaining rights".
    All that means is the other party is coerced to bargain with a certain party.

    When you say that there is no such thing as collective bargaining rights you are saying that, because there is no right, it would be allowable and proper for the government to restrict that activity. You are saying that there would be no barrier on the government from preventing the formation of unions.

    That is what I dispute in your position.

    Once the union is formed and enters negotiation with an employer, the employer has no right to tell an individual employee that the union they have chosen does not have standing in the negotiation. The employer should, at that point, be able to legally refuse to negotiate with the union...but there is no right of the employer to tell the employee who can represent him/her in the negotiation. The employee CAN and should be able to demand that any negotiations with the employee include the representative of their choice.

  • sevo||

    "When you say that there is no such thing as collective bargaining rights you are saying that, because there is no right, it would be allowable and proper for the government to restrict that activity. "

    "Restrict" an activity, which activity only happens when it required by law?
    WIH does that mean? Try reading what you post.
    .......

    "The employer should, at that point, be able to legally refuse to negotiate with the union...but there is no right of the employer to tell the employee who can represent him/her in the negotiation."

    And none is required. The employer says simply "I'm not negotiating with a union; if *you* want to negotiate, fine". If the employee says "I won't negotiate with you without the union", the employee has just offered to quit.
    No restriction on the employee joining a chess club, the Rotary or anything of the sort.

  • Neu Mejican||

    "Restrict" an activity, which activity only happens when it required by law?

    Where do you get the impression that collective bargaining is a creation of law? Unions are ideally a voluntary association of workers for the purpose of collective bargaining with the boss. They are not creations of law...they are an example of individuals practicing their freedom of association. This is pretty basic stuff you seem to be confused about. Laws often grow up around the interactions between unions and employers, but collective bargaining is not a legal creation forced upon the labor markets by the government.

    And none is required. The employer says simply "I'm not negotiating with a union; if *you* want to negotiate, fine". If the employee says "I won't negotiate with you without the union", the employee has just offered to quit.
    No restriction on the employee joining a chess club, the Rotary or anything of the sort.

    Indeed. Of course the other union members can then bring to bear the power of collective bargaining and say..."you don't negotiate with us for her job and you will need to find new workers for all of our jobs too." Depending upon the labor market, the employer may find it more reasonable to negotiate with the union than to face a work stoppage while he tries to fill multiple positions. This is pretty basic stuff.

  • sevo||

    "Where do you get the impression that collective bargaining is a creation of law?"

    We just went though this. Voluntary association has nothing to do with a coerced requirement that one party negotiate with a certain association on the other side.
    Are you a *really* slow learner?
    ............
    "Indeed.....This is pretty basic stuff."

    Yes it is, and yes, an employer could face replacing many workers. Strangely enough, it has hardly ever been a problem, *except* where the government sort of fails to protect those replacement workers.
    How long did it take to find new ATCs after Reagan fired the union?

  • Neu Mejican||

    We just went though this. Voluntary association has nothing to do with a coerced requirement that one party negotiate with a certain association on the other side.

    You are correct in this. The problem is that you think the term "collective bargaining" refers to "a coerced requirement that one party negotiate with a certain association on the other side."

    It doesn't.

    Yes it is, and yes, an employer could face replacing many workers. Strangely enough, it has hardly ever been a problem, *except* where the government sort of fails to protect those replacement workers.
    How long did it take to find new ATCs after Reagan fired the union?

    Cherry picked example, for sure. When there is high unemployment, the power in these negotiations goes to the employer. Certainly. Of course I could cherry pick counter examples. But you would claim them made up or something.

  • sevo||

    Neu Mejican|2.21.11 @ 4:53PM|#
    "Therefore "freedom of association" has nothing to do with a legal requirement to bargain with any association."
    "You [sevo] are the only one that claimed it did. You continue to conflate "collective bargaining" as a concept and a right with the legal regime that has risen around it.
    ......

    Lying assholes are tiring; see:
    Neu Mejican|2.20.11 @ 10:09PM|#
    "...Collective bargaining flows from individuals freedom to form associations with others for purposes of their choosing."

  • Neu Mejican||

    Where is the lie?

    With those two citations you have shown me to be consistent in my position. Collective bargaining is a right because it is just a manifestation of the freedom of association. Yet you consistently deny that it is a right because you seem to think it is a legal construct that forces people to do things. You continue to confuse the concept of collective bargaining with the legal regime that has risen around it. That regime is there, of course, because when workers formed collective bargaining associations employers resisted negotiating with them and this often led to violent conflict between the two parties (business and unions both perpetrated violence in fairly equal measure...but initially only businesses were able to leverage the state to help them out). That history led to many laws aimed at resolving the inherent conflicts that arose. Sometimes those laws tilted too far in favor of the unions...sometimes too far in favor of employers...some states, perhaps, got the balance about right.

    If you think that WI is tilted too far in favor of the unions, I might agree with you. But to deny that there is a right to exercise freedom of association for the purpose of collective bargaining indicates that you don't understand, let alone, support the very natural rights foundation of libertarianism.

    But you're sling lame insults with the skill of a carnival barker, so you got that going for ya.

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