Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Synopsizing My Views on the Wisconsin Labor Controversy

Substantively, folks, I actually tend to agree more with the "Left" on this. This in that a) the unions have in large measure already conceded on health-care and pensions and b) a belief on my part that the Governor should at least TRY and work out a compromise (maybe eliminating collective bargaining temporarily or eliminating it just for certain items; such as tenure and keeping it for others).......................................................................................................Where I strongly part company with the left (well, the far-left anyway) is on the way that this issue has been argued; the demonization, the hyperbole, etc.. Yes, maybe Mr. Walker is going a tad too far here, showing an unhelpful level of stubbornness, etc.. But he's a duly elected Governor who's working with a duly elected legislature. If the Democrats aren't at all happy with this, my suggestion IS, drum-roll, please, TRY HARDER. They've got an election in 2012 and another one in 2014. Convince the people of Wisconsin that their system is better. I mean, come on, that's how the system works, no?.....................................................................................................And like I've said on other sites, what's the frigging worst that can happen here? - the unions lose their collective bargaining powers. They'll still be able to bargain over wages, collect dues, and contribute to their (apparently) beloved Democratic Party. And like I've also said, who's to say that they're not going to be able to get another bite at the apple down the road? The Democrats just have to start winning some arguments (in the voters' minds, I'm saying) up there. That's all.

32 comments:

Beach Bum said...

Yeah, that brillant light of the right Walker got seriously punked with that fake Koch phone call which also exposed him for his true intentions.

No Will, part of the reason Walker is so set to break the unions is because unions are the money bedrock of the democrats. With corporations now people with the ability to flood the system with their unlimited cash broken unions will not be able to keep up.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

He may very well be a creep, double b. But creeps and Hitlers are 2 different things.

Rusty Shackleford said...

When the public employees are making (including benefits)30% more then the taxpayer who's paying their salaries maybe its time for a reality check.

w-dervish said...

Beach Bum didn't say anything about Hitlers. A few idiots make Hitler comparrisons and Will thinks everyone on "the far Left" is saying Walker is a Hitler.

The worst that can happen is that Walker takes all the union's rights away and the union members eventually vote to eliminate them. Why pay dues when you're getting virtually nothing in return?

This is part of the Republican's long term plan to drive down wages and destroy the middle class... and that isn't hyperbole.

w-dervish said...

Rusty Shackleford said... When the public employees are making (including benefits) 30% more then the taxpayer who's paying their salaries maybe its time for a reality check.

I agree. Why are private sector employee salaries lagging behind? The Obama administration and the Democrats should have pushed card check when they had control of the House. We need more unionization and higher wages in the private sector, not less unionization and lower wages in the public sector.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

You pay dues, wd, so you can throw more money into the Democratic coffers and get your own guys elected again. That's how politics works, dude.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

If the Republican "plan" is to destroy the middle-class, then that's a pretty damn stupid plan. It'll certainly get them voted out of office.

Marcus said...

We kinda have an odd situation here. When an effort was made to limit CEO salaries/bonuses, we were given the line about retaining talent within the banking/financial industry. This was perfectly OK but now teachers are being villified for making "30% more then(sic)the taxpayer who's paying their salaries"...I guess retaining talent within the teaching profession isn't as important?

Sue said...

Will I believe you are not seeing the big picture, you have to look at what the corporate puppet masters are planning and their use of republican governors to do it. This is why they poured money into the elections of these wingnut govs. Just 3 out of ten top contributers to elections are unions but they feel they must eliminate them, get them out of the game so the right has full monopoly on elections. The SCOTUS and their ruling is part of the game. I never called Walker Hitler, I used an analogy to what the right in America is trying to do. Look, just this mornings breaking news, the WI police are going to the dems homes to arrest them, Walker says chain them to their desks, etc, does this not sound like the Gestapo? Those dem senators are doing their jobs, they are listening to their constituents, Walker is not. He is listening to the Koch brothers....

Sue said...

Marcus has a great point. The outlandish bonuses and bloated salaries CEO's receive for helping bring down the economy is perfectly fine and normal practice for rightwingers, but let a teacher make 50,000 a yr and they go ballistic. How dare a teacher make that kind of money, who do they think they are! How dare they bargain for workplace safety, for benefits, for rightful overtime pay... good grief these morons are such hypocrites!!

It all boils down to liberal hate, the right HATES with a vengence any body who is not of their religious ideals. Liberals are just lazy good for nuttin' hippies, how dare they make a good living wage, that is just for our people the rich, keep your grubby unwashed hands off our precious rich mans money!

Even the disgusting Rick Santorum called the protesters hippies, what a creep!

Rusty Shackleford said...

I dont think anyone on the right begrudges slaries paid to teachers.What we do rail against is the education our children are recieving while we are paying more per child then 95% of the civilized world.Why are american children lagging behind in math, science and reading? Could part of the cause be teacher tenure? Could it be a complete lack of accountability? Could it be the unions resistance to charter schools? I'm guessing my liberal friends here would say no....its either the fault of society in general or yes,we need to dump more money down the rat hole that is our public education system.

Rusty Shackleford said...

I dont think anyone on the right begrudges slaries paid to teachers.What we do rail against is the education our children are recieving while we are paying more per child then 95% of the civilized world.Why are american children lagging behind in math, science and reading? Could part of the cause be teacher tenure? Could it be a complete lack of accountability? Could it be the unions resistance to charter schools? I'm guessing my liberal friends here would say no....its either the fault of society in general or yes,we need to dump more money down the rat hole that is our public education system.

Rusty Shackleford said...

WD,your statement we need "higher wages" in the private sector could be a case study in a lower level business school.Excessively inflated high wages and benefits is exactally what wrecked both the auto and steele industry in america.
WD,you cant make a product at a cost of $5 and sell it at a market price of $4....GM and U.S.Steele tried that business model...it did'nt work all that well.

Rusty Shackleford said...

Wow,it was so nice...I posted it twice.

w-dervish said...

Rusty, CEOs can't keep stealing from the people that are actually doing the work.

It's outrageous CEO compensation (and the refusal of the rich to pay their fair share in taxes) that is responsible for our ongoing fiscal problems, not unions or the desire of people not to work for slave wages.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

If a corporation is taking government money, then, yes, we (as taxpayers) have the right to limit their salaries. If, however, they're not taking government money, then it's none of the government's business. It's the shareholder's business. Period.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I don't think that it's the salary of teachers (and, Sue, teachers who've been in the system a lengthy period of time - many of them deadwood - make a lot more that 50K a year) that's making people angry. It's the fact that the teacher's unions a) knuckle-draggingly resist change and b) have created a system in which it is literally IMPOSSIBLE to get rid of crappy teachers. THOSE are the issues, not the salaries.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Sue, are you asking me if I think that corporations have too much influence over our government? Uh, yeah, I'd definitely go along with that. I'm just not sure if it's entirely/100% unidirectional. Did you know, for instance, that, up until a couple of years ago, the Dems were actually outdoing the Republicans in terms of Wall Street contributions. Couple that with the fact that you guys also have George Soros, Warren Buffett, Move-On.org, HOLLYWOOD, etc. and, yeah, you're going to have to forgive me if I'm not quite ready to have a yard-sale for the Democrats here.......P.S. You could also throw in the fact that a) colleges and universities are constantly indoctrinating students toward a far-left/liberal agenda and b) liberals outnumber conservatives 5-6 to 1 in the mainstream media (remember how Obama got 6 cover pieces in Newsweek back in '08 and McCain only got 1?) - a number that has been consistently replicated throughout the past 30 years.......P.S. #2 How 'bout this for a compromise? - public financing of all elections. That way we can keep all of the dirty money (union money, included) out of the equation.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

If the Democratic Senators ACTUALLY get chained to their desks, Sue, then, yeah, that would definitely be a Gestapo tactic.................As for all of these high CEO salaries, yes, they're outrageous. Yes, they're unseemly. But people have to realize something - these frigging douche-bags could basically work for ZERO and we'd still have a messed up situation. We'd still have a failing educational system (and Rusty's right - simply throwing money at it HASN'T made it better). We'd still have ridiculously high levels of illegitimacy (in my small town alone, we have girls spitting out kids as if they were grape seeds). We'd still have a global economy in which the rest of the world is finally starting to catch up with us. I mean, I hate to say it here, folks, but the days in which you could drop out of school, find a job that a chimpanzee could do, make a good living at it for 30-40 years, pump out a bunch of kids and retire with some level of sanity ARE OVER.

TRUTH 101 said...

Ah Rusty. If contracts were skewed in favor of labor then tell management to do a better job.

And my friend, it was American cars being built shitty that caused their woes. The Japanese paid well. Offered lifetime security to workers. Don't hear anyone that's building Mercedes or BMW's whining about their wages.

I sold cars for nine years. I know firsthand about the quality of Gm and Chrysler cars during the 80's and into the 90's. As well as Honda and Toyota. The Camry and Accord cost more than comparable American cars such as the Old Ciera or Plymouth Acclaim. The Honda and Toyota were miles ahead of them in quality.

All we had was patriotism and brand loyalty to sell our cars. Our manufacturers sold Americans out by cheapening up their product and then tried to blame workers for bad contracts which would have been good had the manufacturers put a premium on quality rather than cheapening the hell out of their product.

w-dervish said...

Will said... [CEOs could] work for ZERO and we'd still have a messed up situation. We'd still have a failing educational system.

I disagree. In The Spirit Level Richard Wilkinson makes the case "that for each of eleven different health and social problems: physical health, mental health, drug abuse, education, imprisonment, obesity, social mobility, trust and community life, violence, teenage pregnancies, and child well-being, outcomes are substantially worse in more unequal rich countries". Reduce inequality and our problems in these areas would be greatly diminished.

Will said... ..it's none of the government's business. It's the shareholder's business. Period.

Again, I disagree. It is our business if wealthy parasites are sucking hundreds of millions out of our economy to the detriment of our economy and our society. It is the government's RESPONSIBILITY (one they are currently failing at miserably) to recover this stolen wealth (though the tax code).

I find it morally reprehensible that a small number of people be allowed so much more than they need while others live in poverty. It's wrong. Period.

Will said... colleges and universities are constantly indoctrinating students toward a far-left/liberal agenda.

You mean they're EDUCATING them. Education more often than not leads to the (correct) conclusion that a more equal society is better for everyone.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

wd, we've been throwing money into this social engineering rat-hole for 4 and a 1/2 decades. The African-American family is much more disintegrated than ever.......Parasites!! Is Steve Jobs a parasite? Is Bill Gates a parasite? Is Donald Trump a parasite (not an ass-hole, a parasite)? Is that guy from Google a parasite? Is that dude from Facebook a parasite? Who the fuck are you talking about? I mean, sure, there are some excesses/crooks but the top 1% already pay 38% of the taxes (this, as compared to only 20% of the AGI). And I'm not even opposed to them paying a little bit more (back to the Clinton 39.6% rate). But, come on, parasites?......Oh, and those peons I was telling you about, pumpin' out all those kids - you know what they would do if you gave them more in terms money (equalizing things)? They'd buy more fucking beer with it! That's what THEY'D do.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

And where did you get this ridiculous notion that managers, directors, administrators, etc. don't work? The administrator at my facility works 60 hours a week and does a terrific job. He's a bargain at 6 figures.........And, fella', when I said that those college professors were far-left, I meant that they (a lot of them anyway) were, HELLO, Marxists! Do you consider THAT the truth?

w-dervish said...

And where did you get this ridiculous notion that managers, directors, administrators, etc. don't work?

Where did you get the ridiculous notion that I said that was the case? I was talking about people making millions a year or more an hour than most people make in a year.

NOTHING anybody can do is worth that much money. So, to answer your question, yes... if you're "earning" this kind of money you're a parasite. Nothing personal though (unless you're spending big bucks on lobbying)... it's the government's job to do something about that.

As for the peons you refer to, no doubt you'd be in favor of spending money on a eugenics program rather than throwing it in the rat hole you refer to. Perhaps Birth Control Via the Benjamins could involve paying undesirables to volunteer to be sterilized.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

The day that the Federal government starts to tell private industry what it can and cannot pay it's employees (I'm assuming that you don't like sports salaries or the fact that Charlie Sheen makes 2 million per episode, either) is the day that this country ceases to be the United States of America. I'm sorry, but as ruthless and inefficient as the market can be, I will definitely take it over a bunch of bureaucratic whirling dervishes holed up somewhere in Washington. 39.6% for the top wage earners. Take it or leave it.........As for your ridiculous eugenics comment, you're the only one reader took it that way. What a surprise.

w-dervish said...

"Tell private industry what it can and cannot pay it's employees"? I was talking about taxes, not any kind of maximum wage law.

America wasn't America during the 50 years pre-Reagan when the top tax rate was 63% to 94%?

I suppose anyone who suggests a higher rate than 39.6% is a Commie Socialist? Are you f**king serious??

BTW I can't believe Charlie Sheen's crappy show has been on the air for EIGHT SEASONS! I like Jon Cryer so I actually watched part of an episode once... and could not believe how bad (and unfunny) it was.

If Charlie has to pay a little more in taxes and has less for drugs and hookers... is that something you'll cry yourself to sleep over?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Like I said before on another thread, NOBODY PAID THE 91%. There were far more loopholes than any human being could conceivable count. And it was also during a time when American had negligible competition.......How 'bout an empirical counterpart here? A guy in New York makes $500,000 a year. Under my proposal he pays (let's round it up) 40%. In New York the top rate for state income tax is 9%. There, that's 50% of his income right there. Add to that the state sales tax, the gas tax, the fact that, if he lives in Albany county (a mill rate of 30), an additional $15,000 a year (on a $500,000 home) on property taxes, wouldn't that basically be enough? Fine, a couple more % but, dude, at some point does it not get punitive?

w-dervish said...

So, when the taxes were in that 63% to 94% range loopholes brought it down to 39.6%? I seriously doubt there were that many loopholes.

In any case at least some of the loopholes there are exist to get people to do things with their money that are beneficial to society. Like keep it in their business and "create" jobs. I'm not against the right kind of loopholes.

As for the individual you speak of who earns 500K a year... the top tax rate wouldn't apply to him. I'm talking about ultra wealthy people and you keep giving examples involving upper middle class earners.

You're advocating against a case I'm not making. I wonder why that that is... seriously, what's up with that???

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Did not the top rate apply to people making over $250,000? Was that not the threshold that the Democrats temselves were spouting?.....Alright, let's say that we have a 90% top rate. Add to that the 9% state tax in New York. WHY, pray tell, would a person invest in something/ANYTHING when the government was going to take 99% of it away?

w-dervish said...

We need more tax brackets. We used to have more tax brackets. The very least the Democrats should have done was stand firm on letting the bush tax cuts expire, otherwise I don't agree with much of what they spout.

Taxes serve multiple purposes. Raising money to fund government operations is one, influencing behavior is another. I do not believe people should be "earning" these huge salaries to begin with (so I sure as hell don't care if they won't invest their money if the government "takes" too much).

A high tax rate will cause those paying these huge salaries to reconsider how best to use their money. Give it to a CEO (or take it as salary if the company is owner operated), and the government takes a huge chunk of it, or put it to work by reinvesting it back into the company.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

There were gobs and gobs of tax shelters and loop-holes when we had those high rates (ask FDR - he used a few of them himself). It wasn't until the bipartisan, revenue-neutral Tax Reform Act of 1986 that we were able to get rid of basically everything except deductions on state/local taxes, mortgage interest, charitable contributions, and medical expenses over 7% of your income........And I agreed with you that the Bush tax-cuts on the highest brackets SHOULD have expired (I personally would have moved the threshold up to $300-500,000 but in principle, I'm saying). But to hose people who've achieved some success in society - to take 99% (combined state and federal taxes) of what they earn just because a bunch of envious progressives don't happen to understand what it takes to be successful, screw that.......You don't care that they invest their money? That's how the frigging economy grows, for Christ. Yes, some of the investments are bad. But some of them are good and create jobs. Oh, wait a minute, I forgot, you think that only the government can create jobs.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

And when you take 99% of what a person makes at a certain point, you're basically telling that person that they can never achieve anything higher in life. I mean, yeah, I know that you think that X amount of money is enough, but your opinion isn't everybody's opinion. Maybe that person wants to start the next great American hotel chain. Maybe he wants to buy a fleet of yachts (good for the yacht builders), WHATEVER! And where did you get this notion that the government de facto spends "our" money better than the people do? Look at what Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and even that lunatic from Facebook do with their money and compare it to all of that West Virginia pork, the $300 toilet seats, etc.. It's at the very least a hell of a lot murkier than you're making it out to be.