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(Politico)   Politicians of both parties criticize unionized public employees for being overpaid and resistant to change. A union spokesman would respond, but he's on break   (politico.com) divider line 125
    More: Interesting, Mr Schwarzenegger, unions, Mitch Daniels, pitched battles, welfare reform, state capitals, good government, Jerry Brown  
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714 clicks; posted to Politics » on 07 Jun 2010 at 1:05 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-06-07 10:20:27 AM  
Insta-green?
 
2010-06-07 10:22:01 AM  
PurplePimpSaber: Insta-green?

It's bashing unions. Unions are like the Jews in the Third Reich of America.
 
2010-06-07 10:22:21 AM  
Time to put on the old union bashing gloves and go to work. No breaks.
 
2010-06-07 10:24:31 AM  
You know who else is overpaid?

That's right... CEOs.
 
2010-06-07 10:29:05 AM  
HansensDisease: You know who else is overpaid?

That's right... CEOs, middle managers, anyone who works in the HR department, half of marketing, and all of our elected legislators by way of soft money, loopholes, and quid pro quos once they leave office.


Not entirely fix'd, but getting there.
 
2010-06-07 10:29:28 AM  
But the Public Employee of the Year deserves the lifetime job security; guaranteed annual raises; early retirement on generous pensions; and full medical coverage with no deductibles, office visit fees, or copayments.
 
2010-06-07 10:37:13 AM  
People are starting to realize that when the union gets more, it comes out of their paycheck.

Government jobs are tier 2 welfare.
 
2010-06-07 10:38:00 AM  
HansensDisease: You know who else is overpaid?

That's right... CEOs.


Unless you're a shareholder, complaining that a CEO is overpaid is like complaining that your neighbor gives his kids too much allowance.
 
2010-06-07 10:41:06 AM  
unions should have no standing in government employment.

but then elected officials should not act like they are in private industry.
 
2010-06-07 10:41:51 AM  
Call the Pinkertons
 
2010-06-07 10:51:15 AM  
Oh goodie, a union bashing thread. We haven't had one of those for a few days, so I guess we're due. Let's sit and watch people bash unions for standing up too much for the common worker while they're at work.
 
2010-06-07 10:51:46 AM  
FTFA: Republicans around the nation have cheered New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose shouting match over budget cuts with an outraged teacher-"You don't have to" teach, he told her without sympathy

No one's ever lost an election attacking education and educators in this country.
 
2010-06-07 10:51:55 AM  
If only there were a bargaining process every few years where the politicians can negotiate with the unions to force change at work and lower their benefits.

Seriously, does anyone think that white collared government workers are really going to strike over a reduction in benefits packages that would still be better than anything they could find in the private sector? If you the employer (the state) dislike the generous benefits packages explain to the unions that times have changed and if they don't like it they are welcome to walk out as there are plenty of unemployed, competent workers who will be happy to accept the state's probably still generous offer.

FishyFred: lifetime job security; guaranteed annual raises; early retirement on generous pensions; and full medical coverage with no deductibles, office visit fees, or copayments.

My wife is a state employee and the stories of inefficiency and inflexibility that she tells are crazy. The incompetence as you move up the chain and find more people in positions due to who they know and not what they know is frightening. No way could I work in a place like that.

Even with the union she already has had furlough days, a salary freeze, pays co-pays at the doctor and has some salary taken out for insurance, though those less two are still less than it would be if we were on my employer's plan. The retirement age is already higher and I will be surprised if her pension, which she contributes to, still exists in 20 years when she can retire.

And the rumor is that the Governor will shut the state at the beginning of July for a week, which sucks since we had planned on vacation that week -- if the gov't shuts down she not only does not get paid for those days but, since she had vacation days scheduled, would also lose her paid vacation days for those days (a double whammy). But, as an example of why the union is still popular -- my wife won't accept a promotion since the next level up is out of the union and those folks have had a salary freeze for over 5 years and have zero job security.
 
2010-06-07 10:59:42 AM  
damageddude: Seriously, does anyone think that white collared government workers are really going to strike over a reduction in benefits packages that would still be better than anything they could find in the private sector?

No, but they might chose to sit out the next election and we can't have that!
 
2010-06-07 11:02:13 AM  
HansensDisease: You know who else is overpaid?

That's right... CEOs.


But then there are those taxpayer-funded unions, no CEO, nobody to complain when they want more money and more and more everything.
 
2010-06-07 11:02:32 AM  
ne2d: Unless you're a shareholder, complaining that a CEO is overpaid is like complaining that your neighbor gives his kids too much allowance.

Ah. I see. Prices for the products I buy are in no way affected by the salary of management people.

Good to know this.
 
2010-06-07 11:02:43 AM  
ne2d: HansensDisease: You know who else is overpaid?

That's right... CEOs.

Unless you're a shareholder, complaining that a CEO is overpaid is like complaining that your neighbor gives his kids too much allowance.


FTFA: "We have a new privileged class in America," said Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who rescinded state workers' collective bargaining power on his first day in office in 2006. "We used to think of government workers as underpaid public servants. Now they are better paid than the people who pay their salaries."

Or it would be ne2d except that salary comparison the other way is precisely what the pols are doing. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Only in America could you make the class warfare argument that public servants should be equally underpaid than their private counterparts. In a sane society we'd instead be asking private employers to pay their employees an equally decent wage instead.
 
2010-06-07 11:04:50 AM  
Somacandra: In a sane society we'd instead be asking private employers to pay their employees an equally decent wage instead

assuming this means a wage above the market wage for the job, where does the money for this higher wage come from? the money tree? the gold yachts the company CEOs are tooling around in? and keep in mind that most people are employed not by massive corporations but by small businesses.
 
2010-06-07 11:06:05 AM  
IronTom: HansensDisease: You know who else is overpaid?

That's right... CEOs.

But then there are those taxpayer-funded unions, no CEO, nobody to complain when they want more money and more and more everything.


It's a good thing we've never bailed out any executives, then. We wouldn't want to let a double standard prevent us from bashing the eeeevul unions and lauding all those underpaid CEOs.
 
2010-06-07 11:07:50 AM  
albo: assuming this means a wage above the market wage for the job, where does the money for this higher wage come from?

Why don't you become historically literate and ask the 1950's--before we had massive large-scale income disparity in the U.S?
 
2010-06-07 11:11:49 AM  
Somacandra: Why don't you become historically literate and ask the 1950's--before we had massive large-scale income disparity in the U.S

yes, you can easily compare the current day and age to a time when half the world wasn't competing economically because it was behind the iron curtain, a big chunk of industrialized europe and japan was still in ruins from the war, and the US was the world industrial power with no competition from globalization.

good argument. and i bet those pesky negros and women who weren't welcome at the workplace in the 1950s really appreciated that lack of an income disparity
 
2010-06-07 11:11:59 AM  
albo: assuming this means a wage above the market wage for the job

If everyone paid higher wages, that would be the market wage.

Not that I want to get all up in this class warfare bullsh*t argument.

There are people who leverage outrageous pay and benefits from businesses, and businesses who leverage outrageous work for a paltry sum of pay. Historically, it's been the latter group that has been more powerful and detestable (child labor and unsafe working conditions).
 
2010-06-07 11:15:11 AM  
hillbillypharmacist: If everyone paid higher wages, that would be the market wage.

and the cost of goods would also rise in order to provide the revenue for those wages. so it becomes a push.
 
2010-06-07 11:17:59 AM  
albo: and the cost of goods would also rise in order to provide the revenue for those wages. so it becomes a push.

Exactly.
 
2010-06-07 11:19:12 AM  
Somacandra: Only in America could you make the class warfare argument that public servants should be equally underpaid than their private counterparts. In a sane society we'd instead be asking private employers to pay their employees an equally decent wage instead.

What in the hell does that even mean and what does it have to do with what I wrote?
 
2010-06-07 11:19:21 AM  
albo: Somacandra: Why don't you become historically literate and ask the 1950's--before we had massive large-scale income disparity in the U.S

yes, you can easily compare the current day and age to a time when half the world wasn't competing economically because it was behind the iron curtain, a big chunk of industrialized europe and japan was still in ruins from the war, and the US was the world industrial power with no competition from globalization.

good argument. and i bet those pesky negros and women who weren't welcome at the workplace in the 1950s really appreciated that lack of an income disparity


So the way we know we're in a modern world is we get all pissed off that the common man might be getting paid too much, according to you? That wasn't his argument, and you know it. He was saying that back then, the CEOs weren't getting paid hundreds of times what their workers were getting paid. To biatch about worker pay when CEO pay is absurd is just stupid. But people consider the pay of the CEO to be a good check on how well a company is doing, so I guess you're just being a good corporate whore as usual, aren't you?
 
2010-06-07 11:23:52 AM  
GAT_00: To biatch about worker pay when CEO pay is absurd is just stupid. But people consider the pay of the CEO to be a good check on how well a company is doing, so I guess you're just being a good corporate whore as usual, aren't you?

it doesn't matter to me what the ceo of, say, GE is making. that's up to their shareholders, and i'm not one.

it does matter to me what teachers are making, because, as a taxpayer, i help pay their salaries and it immediately affects me, my family, and my community. thus there's more useful policy value to debating this issue than CEO pay.
 
2010-06-07 11:26:10 AM  
albo: it doesn't matter to me what the ceo of, say, GE is making. that's up to their shareholders, and i'm not one.

it does matter to me what teachers are making, because, as a taxpayer, i help pay their salaries and it immediately affects me, my family, and my community. thus there's more useful policy value to debating this issue than CEO pay.


You're smarter than that.

You pay a CEO's salary by buying a product at a particular price, just like you pay a teacher's by paying taxes. A CEO's salary doesn't come off the money tree, either.
 
2010-06-07 11:27:25 AM  
FTA: The revenue crunch coincides with a bipartisan national resistance against teachers' unions and the power they wield over classroom instruction, an effort financed - ironically -- largely by Wall Street and championed by figures ranging from Barack Obama to Newt Gingrich, Mike Bloomberg to Al Sharpton.

Did "MAGGIE HABERMAN & BEN SMITH" just shovel words in until the paragraph was full? I read to the end of the article to see what on earth they were talking about, but for such a broad claim there were remarkably few details. "Wall Street" is financing national resistance to teachers' unions? Everyone on Wall Street? Some particular Wall Street person that should henceforth remain nameless? And the public face of this Wall Street effort is Barack Obama, Newt Gingrich, Mike Bloomberg, and Al Sharpton?

And if that's the case, the immediate (and apparently unanswered) question is why? Will greedy Wall Street tycoons see their profits go up if teachers don't get a raise? Is this a more profitable way to spend time and influence than simply lobbying politicians for tax breaks and subsidies? Are they willing to throw away money just to be evil?

The only conclusion that makes any sense is the authors wanted a narrative that pitted teachers against Wall Street bigshots, without actually bothering to provide such a link.
 
2010-06-07 11:29:44 AM  
hillbillypharmacist: You pay a CEO's salary by buying a product at a particular price, just like you pay a teacher's by paying taxes.

I can think of one important difference between paying for a product sold by a company and paying taxes.
 
2010-06-07 11:29:52 AM  
hillbillypharmacist: You pay a CEO's salary by buying a product at a particular price, just like you pay a teacher's by paying taxes. A CEO's salary doesn't come off the money tree, either.

and then if the company feels a need to raise prices because it's paying its CEO too much, i respond by not buying its product. that's the policy debate and solution right there.

when it comes to government spending, i can't just stop buying government when it gets too expensive.
 
2010-06-07 11:30:47 AM  
albo: it doesn't matter to me what the ceo of, say, GE is making. that's up to their shareholders, and i'm not one.

Really? Because it affects the cost of any GE products you might buy, just as the salary of the common worker affects GE products. You biatch about one, why not the other?
 
2010-06-07 11:35:23 AM  
ne2d: I can think of one important difference between paying for a product sold by a company and paying taxes.

Yup. But that difference isn't germane to my point.

albo: and then if the company feels a need to raise prices because it's paying its CEO too much, i respond by not buying its product. that's the policy debate and solution right there.

And you can vote for someone who will lower taxes.

And that's not germane to the point. The idea that somehow CEO pay isn't connected to product price is simply wrong.
 
2010-06-07 11:42:12 AM  
hillbillypharmacist: And that's not germane to the point. The idea that somehow CEO pay isn't connected to product price is simply wrong

the point that i was making was the CEO pay doesn't have the immediate impact on me and my community that teacher pay does. it's not even close.

of course high CEO pay has negative externalities on society--everything everybody does has an impact--but you can't even compare them to the immediate, and substantial, impact that government spending has on a person. not to mention that i can opt out of buying a product but i can't opt out of paying taxes. thus, it's more useful and relevant to debate one over the other.
 
2010-06-07 11:45:20 AM  
Is this the thread in which people, most of whom are either slacking off at work or unemployed, complain that Unionized workers don't do enough work and get too many benefits?

Cool. Just checking.
 
2010-06-07 11:51:15 AM  
albo: the point that i was making was the CEO pay doesn't have the immediate impact on me and my community that teacher pay does. it's not even close.

Bullsh*t. You have a political axe to grind, and so you feel it's more important.

albo: i can't opt out of paying taxes

You can vote like everyone else. Man up.
 
2010-06-07 11:54:43 AM  
aden_nak: Is this the thread in which people, most of whom are either slacking off at work or unemployed, complain that Unionized workers don't do enough work and get too many benefits?

Cool. Just checking.


when i'm slacking off at work that means i'm not billing which directly affects my pay and my promotion prospects. this is not a factor at all for unionized public employment.
 
2010-06-07 12:04:03 PM  
Only in America can the ignorant masses be conned into ignoring ever spiraling executive salaries while crying about how middle class workers are overpaid.
 
2010-06-07 12:07:54 PM  
patrick767: Only in America can the ignorant masses be conned into ignoring ever spiraling executive salaries while crying about how middle class workers are overpaid.

wouldn't the more direct comparison be between private-sector middle class workers who have been losing their jobs in droves versus public workers who have as close to perfect job security as you can get.
 
2010-06-07 12:08:53 PM  
hillbillypharmacist: Bullsh*t. You have a political axe to grind, and so you feel it's more important.

having a political opinion in a politics thread? outrageous. this should not stand
 
2010-06-07 12:10:49 PM  
thomps: patrick767: Only in America can the ignorant masses be conned into ignoring ever spiraling executive salaries while crying about how middle class workers are overpaid.

wouldn't the more direct comparison be between private-sector middle class workers who have been losing their jobs in droves versus public workers who have as close to perfect job security as you can get.


The more apt comparison would compare the behavior of private companies in the past to those in the present. Then comparing public employment in the past to that in the present. If you're going to run a goddamn global economic and military empire you need a civil service appropriate for the job. You don't get something for nothing.
 
2010-06-07 12:15:12 PM  
Somacandra: If you're going to run a goddamn global economic and military empire you need a civil service appropriate for the job. You don't get something for nothing.

i'm not sure i understand your point. are you saying that a unionized workforce helps facilitate this empire more than an unorganized workforce?
 
2010-06-07 12:16:50 PM  
albo: hillbillypharmacist: And that's not germane to the point. The idea that somehow CEO pay isn't connected to product price is simply wrong

the point that i was making was the CEO pay doesn't have the immediate impact on me and my community that teacher pay does. it's not even close.

of course high CEO pay has negative externalities on society--everything everybody does has an impact--but you can't even compare them to the immediate, and substantial, impact that government spending has on a person. not to mention that i can opt out of buying a product but i can't opt out of paying taxes. thus, it's more useful and relevant to debate one over the other.


What, did you decide the CEO argument wasn't looking that good for you so you decided to change the argument to being all about taxes?
 
2010-06-07 12:21:11 PM  
GAT_00: albo: hillbillypharmacist: And that's not germane to the point. The idea that somehow CEO pay isn't connected to product price is simply wrong

the point that i was making was the CEO pay doesn't have the immediate impact on me and my community that teacher pay does. it's not even close.

of course high CEO pay has negative externalities on society--everything everybody does has an impact--but you can't even compare them to the immediate, and substantial, impact that government spending has on a person. not to mention that i can opt out of buying a product but i can't opt out of paying taxes. thus, it's more useful and relevant to debate one over the other.

What, did you decide the CEO argument wasn't looking that good for you so you decided to change the argument to being all about taxes?


How can you talk about the cost of public employees and not talk about taxes?
 
2010-06-07 12:30:00 PM  
albo: assuming this means a wage above the market wage for the job, where does the money for this higher wage come from? the money tree? the gold yachts the company CEOs are tooling around in? and keep in mind that most people are employed not by massive corporations but by small businesses.

Yup, if a Union organizer came to where I work, my boss/business owner would grab his arms, I'd grab his legs, and we'd throw him off the company properly. That is, if he didn't leave after being asked once.
 
2010-06-07 12:34:48 PM  
patrick767: Only in America can the ignorant masses be conned into ignoring ever spiraling executive salaries while crying about how middle class workers are overpaid.

Except these are public sector employees. Their wages are paid directly by taxes. CEOs are private sector workers. Private sector jobs are self-sustaining. Public sector jobs require the tax payer to continue funding them. Not to mention there are a few thousand CEOs at most and several million public sector workers.

In the past, public sector workers accepted lower pay in exchange for more secure employment. Nowadays they get both higher pay and more secure employment. With more and more private sector jobs facing wage cuts and job insecurity, people want to see the public sector tighten it's belt a bit.
 
2010-06-07 01:02:43 PM  
Crosshair: Private sector jobs are self-sustaining. Public sector jobs require the tax payer to continue funding them.

Now there's a lovely pair of bald assertions.
 
2010-06-07 01:10:42 PM  
hillbillypharmacist: albo: i can't opt out of paying taxes

You can vote like everyone else. Man up.


Requiring public sector wage and benefit contracts to be approved by the voters would make elections quite exciting.

State Prison Workers should receive (mark only one):
a) A 5% wage increase above inflation.
b) A 2% wage increase above inflation.
c) No wage increase, adjusted for inflation.
d) A 2% wage decrease, adjusted for inflation.
e) A 5% wage decrease, adjusted for inflation.
 
2010-06-07 01:11:01 PM  
albo: having a political opinion in a politics thread? outrageous. this should not stand

You can have an opinion, that's fine. It's just wrong, is all I'm saying.
 
2010-06-07 01:11:59 PM  
Hmm... people who are overpaid and resistant to change... sounds a lot like republicans in congress to me!
 
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