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(The Daily Beast)   Public employee unions are killing the budgets of New York and California. Labor advocates would dispute that, but they're all on break   (thedailybeast.com) divider line 85
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1042 clicks; posted to Politics » on 25 Dec 2008 at 10:19 PM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-12-25 09:34:13 PM
According to E.J. McMahon, my colleague at the Manhattan Institute, between 1980 and 2007 the securities industry's share of wages in the state rocketed from 3 percent to 18 percent, with the average Wall Street salary and bonus rising to $379,000.

Police captains were entitled to receive $306,000 annually in pay and benefits, while 21 firefighters earned more than $200,000 a year, including overtime.

I'm guessing young Mr. Avlon sees no problem here and would dismiss even the suggestion of irony being present in these two sentences.

(got the right thread this time)
 
2008-12-25 10:17:49 PM
Thanks, Jerry Brown, for ruining California.
 
2008-12-25 10:27:35 PM
Unions are fine when your business is still profitable for your shareholders. If it farks up your business OH WELL.
 
2008-12-25 10:37:08 PM
godofusa.com: Unions are fine when your business is still profitable for your shareholders. If it farks up your business OH WELL.

The economy tanking is farking up your business, not the union.
 
2008-12-25 10:41:07 PM
Unions cut too much into the profits of those who deserve it, such as CEOs and other executives.
 
2008-12-25 10:44:56 PM
So taxes are bad but lowering wages is good? Right? Just trying to figure out the republican mindset.
 
2008-12-25 10:46:10 PM
Now is not the time for government to be firing people and reducing union salaries. Every dollar that goes into the pockets of a union employee then gets spent in-state by that person. We need to raise their wages and get more people on the government dole. There are plenty of people without jobs this year who could use the money.

The Democrats in California have the solution: massive increases in taxes and no decreases in spending. If we want those people to help get us out of this problem, we need to give them the money they need to do it.
 
2008-12-25 10:46:23 PM
This is why the bailouts were a bad idea and must stop immediately.

The market, and the ballot box, will sort this out.
 
2008-12-25 10:47:06 PM
on an unrelated note - why did the gay eHarmony thread disappear from non-total fark?
 
2008-12-25 10:51:07 PM
After a staggering defeat, the Republican party has gone back to its roots - Union busting.

/sigh
 
2008-12-25 10:51:08 PM
www.tdbimg.com

I sense he likes all the union busting musk in the air.
 
2008-12-25 10:55:51 PM
After eight years of unprecedented legal concessions to Big Business, global corporations, the wealthy, America's economy is in tatters.

Clearly, it's because labor got way more powerful under George W. Bush...?


Lol, this is u, republicans:

i20.tinypic.com

/Then again, if I considered myself "strong on terror" after not catching the greatest murderer in American history...
//I'd probably think I was smart about the economy as well.
 
2008-12-25 10:56:24 PM
TheOther: godofusa.com: Unions are fine when your business is still profitable for your shareholders. If it farks up your business OH WELL.

The economy tanking is farking up your business, not the union.


Greed (union and otherwise) have killed our biatch of a nation.
 
2008-12-25 10:58:32 PM
log_jammin: So taxes are bad but lowering wages is good? Right? Just trying to figure out the republican mindset.


People who work for salaries earn wages. Lowering wages will only take money away from people who work.


The top 1/10th of 1% of the country, the top 400 families, mostly haven't worked for actual wages for three or four generations.... so they could give a fark about lowered wages.

Hell... at least 1/8th of those top 400 families haven't worked for actual wages for closer to 10 generations.

Now TAXES, on the other hand... they are very concerned about.

Especially capital gains taxes, and estate/inheritance taxes.

It is the mindset of the Republicans to be most concerned about the financial situation of the top 400 families in the nation, and to have open disdain and hatred for almost everyone else.
 
2008-12-25 11:09:50 PM
Businesses tend to push for as low of wages as possible, and unions push for as high of wages as possible. This fight ends in a usually somewhat fair wage scale - workers get around what their labor is worth, and enough to live a comfortable life on.

The state doesn't really give a shiat if they win or lose a negotiation, as they can just raise taxes. Ergo, unions tend to beat up on the state and push wages far, far above market levels.

It's just not that hard to be a police captain - for sure, you could attract qualified and talented applicants for less than 306,000.
 
2008-12-25 11:10:57 PM
Robo73: TheOther: godofusa.com:

The article is about public servants, not for-profit private enterprises.

/COLA's are a Ponzi-type scheme.
 
2008-12-25 11:11:45 PM
From what little I know about the public employee unions in California, many of these agreements on retirement were finalized back in the 80's when things looked so rosy. Now those employees are retiring under those agreements and those benefits (most notably healthcare) now cost way more than was thought thirty years ago.
 
2008-12-25 11:13:37 PM
TheMightyTimmah: It's just not that hard to be a police captain - for sure, you could attract qualified and talented applicants for less than 306,000.

Really? It seems like it would be a pretty tough job.
 
2008-12-25 11:14:24 PM
- I'm a teacher...obviously a union member.
- I receive NO bonus.
- I am not rich.
- I barely make enough per year to afford a crappy little condo in the 'Hood (because I live in San Diego).
- Wages for people like me DO NOT need to be cut.
- Wages for people that make six figures and bleed the government SHOULD be cut.

Just about sums it all up. Thanks.
 
2008-12-25 11:17:37 PM
SubBass49: - Wages for people that make six figures and bleed the government SHOULD be cut.

In California, that's already been done. The Democrats have shown us, there is nothing more to cut. Government is at its most efficient level ever. It's time for everyone to join together and make sure that the rich pay their fair share.
 
2008-12-25 11:20:34 PM
LOL, the righty trolls are taking this seriously. It is the Daily Beast! Hint: The writers think you are idiots.
 
2008-12-25 11:21:55 PM
yousmellysmellycack: Robo73: Greed (union and otherwise) have killed our biatch of a nation.

Greed (a.k.a. self-interest) is actually the engine that keeps private markets working; people want stuff. Look elsewhere* for the killer.

*hint: notice that corporatism is almost completely antithetical to every tenet of free market efficiency... way too much concentrated power on the supply side


Greed is only good when it is supply driven.
 
2008-12-25 11:22:11 PM
attackingpencil: Really? It seems like it would be a pretty tough job.

It's not. It's essentially a political office. Police captains/chiefs don't have any *real* duties, or real power of any kind.
 
2008-12-25 11:22:14 PM
Can't be changed? As if. We just voted for change in a big way, and that is just the first rise of the wave.
 
2008-12-25 11:24:52 PM
realmolo: attackingpencil: Really? It seems like it would be a pretty tough job.

It's not. It's essentially a political office. Police captains/chiefs don't have any *real* duties, or real power of any kind.


I refuse to believe that The Shield was anything but 100% accurate. So I'm going to call you a liar.
 
2008-12-25 11:25:13 PM
yousmellysmellycack: (1) Efficient free market economic theory is based on, among a bunch of other things, equal bargaining power. Unions level the playing field. Simple as that.

(2) Nowhere does it say in economic theory that market equilibrium price/quantity is where you want it to be, e.g. just because you "think" workers are paid too much?.. totally farking irrelevant... as long as bargaining power is equal? So it is. Deal with it.

(3)Please, argue how unions have somehow become more powerful than employers, as union membership has declined precipitously over the past 40 years.. while at the same time businesses have become more and more powerful, concentrated and integrated (both vertically and horizontally). Seriously. Go for it. Don't forget to incorporate* facts into your analysis.

(4)You're a farking dimwitted pawn who carries the proverbial water for people that hate you. You're like... one who ties your own shoelaces together, falls on your face and blames your laces... yeah crappy analogy i know but i've been grinking so pppplt

* pun intended


I disagree with your analysis. Unions do not simply level the playing field. To wit:

Imagine worker A, in a Ford plant, making a base wage of $26/hr. Now, imagine worker B in a non-union plant, doing the same work for $22/hr.

Now, imagine that worker B actually wants to work for Ford, and will do so for $24/hr. That would be great for the worker, and great for Ford, but guess what? You can't do that, because the UAW exists.

Unions are anti-competitive. End of story. They don't level a damn thing.
 
2008-12-25 11:26:45 PM
See, the problem is that when an anti-union article comes out, everyone starts blaming the people that are union members, but near the bottom of the wage pile (such as teachers). Sorry, but if it weren't for unions in education, you'd have a hard time finding anyone willing to put up with being a teacher. The pay isn't great, but without the pay and benefit packages, it really wouldn't be worth it.
 
2008-12-25 11:29:05 PM
Why is it when someone is super greedy, they want a dozen mansions and a private jet and then some, enough for a hundred people to be more than happy, people will say that's just fine and dandy yet a group of people wanting enough so they can live comfortably in retirement is the most horrible thing and it's dragging down our nation?

It's not that the unions are getting too much, it's that you're getting too little. Everyone should have a good deal (not the same deal but even the lowest should have enough to be safe and secure), but if everyone did get a good deal there wouldn't be enough left for the super rich to have a million times more than they need.
 
2008-12-25 11:29:05 PM
DKinMN: yousmellysmellycack: (1) Efficient free market economic theory is based on, among a bunch of other things, equal bargaining power. Unions level the playing field. Simple as that.

(2) Nowhere does it say in economic theory that market equilibrium price/quantity is where you want it to be, e.g. just because you "think" workers are paid too much?.. totally farking irrelevant... as long as bargaining power is equal? So it is. Deal with it.

(3)Please, argue how unions have somehow become more powerful than employers, as union membership has declined precipitously over the past 40 years.. while at the same time businesses have become more and more powerful, concentrated and integrated (both vertically and horizontally). Seriously. Go for it. Don't forget to incorporate* facts into your analysis.

(4)You're a farking dimwitted pawn who carries the proverbial water for people that hate you. You're like... one who ties your own shoelaces together, falls on your face and blames your laces... yeah crappy analogy i know but i've been grinking so pppplt

* pun intended

I disagree with your analysis. Unions do not simply level the playing field. To wit:

Imagine worker A, in a Ford plant, making a base wage of $26/hr. Now, imagine worker B in a non-union plant, doing the same work for $22/hr.

Now, imagine that worker B actually wants to work for Ford, and will do so for $24/hr. That would be great for the worker, and great for Ford, but guess what? You can't do that, because the UAW exists.

Unions are anti-competitive. End of story. They don't level a damn thing.


Actually, if it weren't for worker A making $26 an hour it is very unlikely worker B actually makes $22 an hour. $10? Maybe.
 
2008-12-25 11:30:04 PM
attackingpencil: realmolo: attackingpencil: Really? It seems like it would be a pretty tough job.

It's not. It's essentially a political office. Police captains/chiefs don't have any *real* duties, or real power of any kind.

I refuse to believe that The Shield was anything but 100% accurate. So I'm going to call you a liar.


Well, it's harder if you have lupus and an ex-partner that strangles cats.
 
2008-12-25 11:36:52 PM
If you look at Sand Diego, they finally changed future hires to retire at age 65 with 89% of their pay, which is still a large retirement amount and includes OT pay as what retirement is based on. But that's better than the old contract, current employees will still be able to retire at 119% of salary at age 65, so this will be on the books for the next 30 years until the new employees start retiring at 89% of pay.
 
2008-12-25 11:41:27 PM
atlanta_ufo: If you look at Sand Diego, they finally changed future hires to retire at age 65 with 89% of their pay, which is still a large retirement amount and includes OT pay as what retirement is based on. But that's better than the old contract, current employees will still be able to retire at 119% of salary at age 65, so this will be on the books for the next 30 years until the new employees start retiring at 89% of pay.

And?
 
2008-12-25 11:42:23 PM
Pocket Ninja: I'm guessing young Mr. Avlon sees no problem here and would dismiss even the suggestion of irony being present in these two sentences.


Normally I find what you have to say funny or interesting... maybe it's because it's late, but I can't quite figure out what your point is with this one.

Particularly, it's not clear what connection you're trying to make between the relative salaries of private individuals (securities brokers) and public servants (Police, Firefighters).

=Smidge=
/Going to bed now...
 
2008-12-25 11:43:05 PM
Sabyen91: atlanta_ufo: If you look at Sand Diego, they finally changed future hires to retire at age 65 with 89% of their pay, which is still a large retirement amount and includes OT pay as what retirement is based on. But that's better than the old contract, current employees will still be able to retire at 119% of salary at age 65, so this will be on the books for the next 30 years until the new employees start retiring at 89% of pay.

And?


San Diego will be having a budget crisis for a long time to come.
 
2008-12-25 11:46:24 PM
I am not arguing for/against unions for government employees. From my own personal anecdote, my ex-girlfriend works for the County of Orange (CA), and while the pay seems to be lower for her work than the private sector, the pension plan and benefits for 20-30 years of work is nice. So, it is kind of a mixed bag.

The problem is that many people take early retirement, collect their pension while they are still quite young, and continue to draw full time employment in the private sector.

I am well aware of the stories about jail matrons earning six figure salaries, and that is indeed a fairly common problem due to hefty overtime pay for a number of employment classes.

I think there is room for improvement. Some people take advantage of the rules and due make out like bandits.
 
2008-12-25 11:46:58 PM
atlanta_ufo: Sabyen91: atlanta_ufo: If you look at Sand Diego, they finally changed future hires to retire at age 65 with 89% of their pay, which is still a large retirement amount and includes OT pay as what retirement is based on. But that's better than the old contract, current employees will still be able to retire at 119% of salary at age 65, so this will be on the books for the next 30 years until the new employees start retiring at 89% of pay.

And?

San Diego will be having a budget crisis for a long time to come.


And it is all the unions' fault. The free market and competition are bad...
 
2008-12-25 11:47:46 PM
robbiedo: I am not arguing for/against unions for government employees. From my own personal anecdote, my ex-girlfriend works for the County of Orange (CA), and while the pay seems to be lower for her work than the private sector, the pension plan and benefits for 20-30 years of work is nice. So, it is kind of a mixed bag.

The problem is that many people take early retirement, collect their pension while they are still quite young, and continue to draw full time employment in the private sector.

I am well aware of the stories about jail matrons earning six figure salaries, and that is indeed a fairly common problem due to hefty overtime pay for a number of employment classes.

I think there is room for improvement. Some people take advantage of the rules and due make out like bandits.


Whose fault would that be?
 
2008-12-25 11:52:33 PM
robbiedo:

The problem is that many people take early retirement, collect their pension while they are still quite young, and continue to draw full time employment in the private sector.

I think there is room for improvement. Some people take advantage of the rules and due make out like bandits.


In most places, if you take early retirement then your monthly check is decreased by a certain amount. Even social security works that way. So how is that "taking advantage of the rules"?
 
2008-12-25 11:56:17 PM
nicedream: So how is that "taking advantage of the rules"?


You're not raping the system, you're just taking advantage.


/since it is not rape everything is cool right?
 
2008-12-25 11:56:52 PM
yousmellysmellycack:
Please, argue how unions have somehow become more powerful than employers, as union membership has declined precipitously over the past 40 years.. while at the same time businesses have become more and more powerful, concentrated and integrated (both vertically and horizontally). Seriously. Go for it. Don't forget to incorporate* facts into your analysis.


Yes overall union membership has declined but in many sectors like domestic automakers and government work unions have an unbreakable lock. While the UAW has been willing to make some concessions in the last few years, the government employees unions sure as hell aren't gonna agree to trimming $50,000 off of a cop making $250,000/year. They've bought into the democratic parties notion that there is infinite money in the world and there is no financial obligation that you can't tax your way out of... that's why california and new york are in this mess.

/note yes it is a "democratic notion" because they invented it but the republicans have also lived by this for the last 15 years
/This is why America is damned to another great depression
/also why voting for either party is a wasted vote if you care about your children's future
 
2008-12-25 11:57:55 PM
Sabyen91: atlanta_ufo: Sabyen91: atlanta_ufo: If you look at Sand Diego, they finally changed future hires to retire at age 65 with 89% of their pay, which is still a large retirement amount and includes OT pay as what retirement is based on. But that's better than the old contract, current employees will still be able to retire at 119% of salary at age 65, so this will be on the books for the next 30 years until the new employees start retiring at 89% of pay.

And?

San Diego will be having a budget crisis for a long time to come.

And it is all the unions' fault. The free market and competition are bad...


Its the city's fault. Paying people 19% more when they retire was bad management by the city. Especially, since the pension is awarded based upon one year best pay including overtime pay. Atlanta has the same problem. City awarded pensions that have hit the city hard. These are a fixed cost, but tax revenue amounts are never come in at a fixed rate. Pensions at 60% seem more reasonably, especially if you want to be able to keep funding libraries and parks.
 
2008-12-25 11:58:00 PM
Sabyen91: Actually, if it weren't for worker A making $26 an hour it is very unlikely worker B actually makes $22 an hour. $10? Maybe.

Then so be it.

I think you're wrong, though. It's highly unlikely that the wages would fall to a natural stasis at $10/hr. If industrial labor is really as demanding as we hear, then $10/hr would not attract the talent necessary to get the job done.

I think you're assuming that businesses only care about minimizing cost, when they actually are concerned with maximizing productivity. This does not happen by simply driving the cost of labor down, because you will not attract intelligent, capable workers.
 
2008-12-26 12:00:17 AM
atlanta_ufo: Sabyen91: atlanta_ufo: Sabyen91: atlanta_ufo: If you look at Sand Diego, they finally changed future hires to retire at age 65 with 89% of their pay, which is still a large retirement amount and includes OT pay as what retirement is based on. But that's better than the old contract, current employees will still be able to retire at 119% of salary at age 65, so this will be on the books for the next 30 years until the new employees start retiring at 89% of pay.

And?

San Diego will be having a budget crisis for a long time to come.

And it is all the unions' fault. The free market and competition are bad...

Its the city's fault. Paying people 19% more when they retire was bad management by the city. Especially, since the pension is awarded based upon one year best pay including overtime pay. Atlanta has the same problem. City awarded pensions that have hit the city hard. These are a fixed cost, but tax revenue amounts are never come in at a fixed rate. Pensions at 60% seem more reasonably, especially if you want to be able to keep funding libraries and parks.


And it is the independent company's fault when they negotiate bad deals with unions? Right?
 
2008-12-26 12:02:20 AM
DKinMN: Sabyen91: Actually, if it weren't for worker A making $26 an hour it is very unlikely worker B actually makes $22 an hour. $10? Maybe.

Then so be it.

I think you're wrong, though. It's highly unlikely that the wages would fall to a natural stasis at $10/hr. If industrial labor is really as demanding as we hear, then $10/hr would not attract the talent necessary to get the job done.

I think you're assuming that businesses only care about minimizing cost, when they actually are concerned with maximizing productivity. This does not happen by simply driving the cost of labor down, because you will not attract intelligent, capable workers.


I am making the same assumption capitalistic corporations make. We need to pay our people close to the same wage as our competitors or they are going to steal all the best workers. So they pay similar wages (see: the farking auto industry).
 
2008-12-26 12:06:57 AM
Sabyen91: atlanta_ufo: Sabyen91: atlanta_ufo: Sabyen91: atlanta_ufo: If you look at Sand Diego, they finally changed future hires to retire at age 65 with 89% of their pay, which is still a large retirement amount and includes OT pay as what retirement is based on. But that's better than the old contract, current employees will still be able to retire at 119% of salary at age 65, so this will be on the books for the next 30 years until the new employees start retiring at 89% of pay.

And?

San Diego will be having a budget crisis for a long time to come.

And it is all the unions' fault. The free market and competition are bad...

Its the city's fault. Paying people 19% more when they retire was bad management by the city. Especially, since the pension is awarded based upon one year best pay including overtime pay. Atlanta has the same problem. City awarded pensions that have hit the city hard. These are a fixed cost, but tax revenue amounts are never come in at a fixed rate. Pensions at 60% seem more reasonably, especially if you want to be able to keep funding libraries and parks.

And it is the independent company's fault when they negotiate bad deals with unions? Right?


Of course, it was a business decision a company felt they could live with. Whether its the union's fault, who can say, the union doesn't design a company's products. If a union work rules stop a company from using technology or change the way things are done, for example, allow the company to make its process more effective, efficient or adaptable, then yes, the union would be part of the problem.
 
2008-12-26 12:08:07 AM
From TFA "California, the world's eighth largest economy, will run out of money in March if the deadlocked legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger can't come to an agreement on tax-hikes and spending cuts. Its bonds have been reduced to near-junk status after decades of borrowing and spending. State Treasurer Bill Lockyer summed up the situation in terms unhelpful to the tourist industry: "California's fiscal house is burning down."

From Remove all Republicans
In California, that's already been done. The Democrats have shown us, there is nothing more to cut. Government is at its most efficient level ever. It's time for everyone to join together and make sure that the rich pay their fair share.

If that is government at its most efficient ever, running out of money by March of 09 then your are living in Wonderland. How about we put you in charge and you can take all working americans money and you decide how best to spend it. because you seem to have an answer for everything
 
2008-12-26 12:11:16 AM
yousmellysmellycack: The most horrifying/amusing part is that they have over 50 million ignorant, self-destructive voters waiting to cradle their fancy balls at every polling opportunity.

Those are the marks who THINK they are in on the con, and sneering at the rubes. They still haven't figured out that it's actually THEIR money that the real grifters are counting up among themselves.

See also, the Outer Party.
 
2008-12-26 12:11:45 AM
Seems like most posters here are missing the big picture. As a nation, we've been financing our consumption too long. Now, the flow of easy credit is gone and most of our phantom wealth with it.

As a result, the fortunes of most state and local governments are experiencing a long-term decline in revenue and will no longer be able to afford to deliver the same level of services as they had in the past. Pensions, wages and benefits to civil service employees are only part of the over-all spending that will inevitably decline in both the public and private sector.

Some posters have argued for greater public spending to stimulate and overcome want they view as just a hiccup in the nation's economic engine. But, as most folks that have ever fallen behind on their credit card payments learned, you can't finance consumption with credit. The same rules apply to governments as well. The path to economic recovery is paved in budget cuts.
 
2008-12-26 12:18:56 AM
atlanta_ufo: Sabyen91: atlanta_ufo: Sabyen91: atlanta_ufo: Sabyen91: atlanta_ufo: If you look at Sand Diego, they finally changed future hires to retire at age 65 with 89% of their pay, which is still a large retirement amount and includes OT pay as what retirement is based on. But that's better than the old contract, current employees will still be able to retire at 119% of salary at age 65, so this will be on the books for the next 30 years until the new employees start retiring at 89% of pay.

And?

San Diego will be having a budget crisis for a long time to come.

And it is all the unions' fault. The free market and competition are bad...

Its the city's fault. Paying people 19% more when they retire was bad management by the city. Especially, since the pension is awarded based upon one year best pay including overtime pay. Atlanta has the same problem. City awarded pensions that have hit the city hard. These are a fixed cost, but tax revenue amounts are never come in at a fixed rate. Pensions at 60% seem more reasonably, especially if you want to be able to keep funding libraries and parks.

And it is the independent company's fault when they negotiate bad deals with unions? Right?

Of course, it was a business decision a company felt they could live with. Whether its the union's fault, who can say, the union doesn't design a company's products. If a union work rules stop a company from using technology or change the way things are done, for example, allow the company to make its process more effective, efficient or adaptable, then yes, the union would be part of the problem.


Ahh, but I don't ever see you being anti-corporation...just anti-union. Why?
 
2008-12-26 12:20:07 AM
theigorway: Seems like most posters here are missing the big picture. As a nation, we've been financing our consumption too long. Now, the flow of easy credit is gone and most of our phantom wealth with it.

As a result, the fortunes of most state and local governments are experiencing a long-term decline in revenue and will no longer be able to afford to deliver the same level of services as they had in the past. Pensions, wages and benefits to civil service employees are only part of the over-all spending that will inevitably decline in both the public and private sector.

Some posters have argued for greater public spending to stimulate and overcome want they view as just a hiccup in the nation's economic engine. But, as most folks that have ever fallen behind on their credit card payments learned, you can't finance consumption with credit. The same rules apply to governments as well. The path to economic recovery is paved in budget cuts.


That post shows an absolute lack of knowledge of Economics.
 
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