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Author Topic: Wisconsin
Pyrtolin
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Also, along that line, 2009 was not last year.The budget had been balanced (which would have included debt service) until measures passed earlier this year created the problem to provide an excuse to try to stick it to state workers.
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Daruma28
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I realize that many of you are "pro-union."

Consider the following point though - there is a difference between a private union collectively bargaining with a private employer...versus the situation in Wisconsin.

Much as Wisconsin governor Scott Walker currently does, Franklin Roosevelt opposed unions for government employees. Before the 1960s – before they smelled the benjamins - trade union leaders did too. Until recently, it was widely recognized that unions that collectively bargain for private workers against their private employers (i.e. steel workers unions) are an entirely different animal than unions that collectively bargain on behalf of public employees whose employers are taxpaying citizens.

In Wisconsin, the sticking point is the collective bargaining question; finances and increased insurance premium payments are a scapegoat and skirt around the main issue.

Public sector union members who are protesting against the government are essentially protesting against the taxpayers of their state. The people. This context is key. Public sector unions can use their power to dig deeper into tax payer coffers and hijack the government into capitulating to their unionized demands. To pay for other programs, state governments must sell bonds and go into debt to finance their fiscal shortfalls.

Whereas a private organization would go bankrupt if they mismanaged their funds to this extent, governments are able to run unprofitable operations and raise funds from taxpayers to finance their schemes. The cycle perpetuates itself all while government workers are forced to pay dues to unions which in turn donate money to politicians who will maintain the edifice.

Now I don't know about Wisconsin, but I surely know about Hawaii, and in our situation, the State Government is the number one employer in the State...and all State workers belong to a union.

I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but FDR was right about something.

Unionizing the public sector is a disaster...and it shows EXACTLY what "democracy" is all about.

As soon as you have a critical mass of public sector union workers, they will hold the Government hostage to meet their collectively bargained benefits, even if those are unrealistic and eventually lead to state bankruptcy.

Government unions are the parasite that will eat until the host dies.

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TomDavidson
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That's an interesting observation, Daruma, and not one I completely disagree with. But the question arises: should underpaid bus drivers, then, be taking their concerns to the electorate?
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Daruma28
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But the question arises: should underpaid bus drivers, then, be taking their concerns to the electorate?

That's focusing on a symptom, rather than the root of the problem.

Besides, who defines what is "underpaid?"

I'm sure everyone thinks they are underpaid in some way or another...who doesn't want more pay?

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RickyB
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So you're saying someone who feels unfairly underpaid has to get some mythical "independent corroboration?

Or is there no such thing unfairly underpaid?

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Daruma28
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So you're saying someone who feels unfairly underpaid has to get some mythical "independent corroboration?

Feelings got nothing to do with it. If you think the job of a bus driver doesn't pay you what you think you're worth, than you shouldn't be a bus driver.

Or is there no such thing unfairly underpaid?

Of course there is. It's called slavery or indentured servitude.

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RickyB
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Look, when you want to take away someone's right to unionize just because they work for the public, you have to give them something in return. Take the NFL - socialist in many ways, but wildly successful. In the NFL, a team can prevent a player whose contract it up from exploring the market by designating him a franchise player. In return, it must pay him no less than the fifth highest player in the league. If you want to take away someone's right to unionize just because he works as a janitor for the school system (i.e. the county, i.e. the government) rather than a private cleaning service, you better pay them more than the vast majority of private sector equivalents.
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RickyB
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"Feelings got nothing to do with it. If you think the job of a bus driver doesn't pay you what you think you're worth, than you shouldn't be a bus driver."

That's not the point. See above. It's about comparison within your market.

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Daruma28
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You are simply missing or ignoring the reasoning against public sector unions pointed by the likes of FDR.

I understand it's difficult for you to find some angle to dispute a particular point since I was able to quote a liberal icon and hall of fame member of Team Donkey to make my argument (and since it was myself that made this point, you MUST dispute it in some way...lol)/

The NFL is a private employer. Their collective bargaining problems cannot hold the taxpayers hostage. Right now, the NFL is in a position where both sides can kill their goose that lays there golden egg...but they will have no one to blame but each other if that happens.

Unlike the public sector unions, who are essentially extorting their benefits from the tax payers who have no choice but to pay taxes...or go to jail.

The founders of the labor movement viewed unions as a vehicle to get workers more of the profits they help create.

In the case of the NFL (and I am as big a fan of the NFL as you are), I have no problem with the players forming a union. They are the ones who put their bodies and livelihoods on the line to play a dangerous game for we the spectators entertainment. They deserve to get more of the profits they help create.

Government workers, however, don’t generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money. When government unions strike, they strike against taxpayers. FDR considered this “unthinkable and intolerable.”

Of course, this is coming from the President who hired more public sector employees than any administration before him in history.

Government collective bargaining means voters do not have the final say on public policy. Instead their elected representatives must negotiate spending and policy decisions with unions. That is not exactly democratic – a fact that unions once recognized.

So which ideal is more important to you? The sanctity of Unions (public and private) or voters having the "final say on public policy?"

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Daruma28
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If you want to take away someone's right to unionize just because he works as a janitor for the school system (i.e. the county, i.e. the government) rather than a private cleaning service, you better pay them more than the vast majority of private sector equivalents.

I don't disagree with this, really. If a school system needed to hire janitors, and the janitors are not unionized, the school would have to offer pay and benefits competitive with the private sector...

...or the janitors would just work for the private sector.

It is through public sector unionization that the typical public employee now makes more money (in pay and benefits) than their private sector counterparts...and they have the benefit of collective action to make sure it stays that way - even if it continues to drive the State towards bankruptcy.

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Daruma28
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quote:
Frank Zeidler, Milwaukee's mayor in the 1950s and the last card-carrying Socialist to head a major U.S. city, supported labor. But in 1969, the progressive icon wrote that rise of unions in government work put a competing power in charge of public business next to elected officials. Government unions "can mean considerable loss of control over the budget, and hence over tax rates," he warned.

There was "a revolutionary principle rather quietly at work in American government," he wrote.

Damnit, I'm quoting even more socialist progressives to make this point...

[FootInMouth]

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Pyrtolin
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Let's put the statement into its full context:

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=15445

quote:
The desire of Government employees for fair and adequate pay, reasonable hours of work, safe and suitable working conditions, development of opportunities for advancement, facilities for fair and impartial consideration and review of grievances, and other objectives of a proper employee relations policy, is basically no different from that of employees in private industry. Organization on their part to present their views on such matters is both natural and logical, but meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government.

All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.

Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable. It is, therefore, with a feeling of gratification that I have noted in the constitution of the National Federation of Federal Employees the provision that "under no circumstances shall this Federation engage in or support strikes against the United States Government."

I congratulate the National Federation of Federal Employees the twentieth anniversary of its founding and trust that the convention will, in every way, be successful.

FDR did not oppose public unions. He opposed public strikes- specifically contract negotiation strikes, because those contracts are set by law, not administrative assertion as they are in private companies. And moreover public strikes don't just hurt a private company, but the public as a whole, and thus are generally a bad idea all around.

On the other hand,he praised the general idea of collective bargaining as a way to ensure equal negotiating positions so that proper and reasonable agreement for compensation and working conditions could be reached.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Daruma28:
quote:
Frank Zeidler, Milwaukee's mayor in the 1950s and the last card-carrying Socialist to head a major U.S. city, supported labor. But in 1969, the progressive icon wrote that rise of unions in government work put a competing power in charge of public business next to elected officials. Government unions "can mean considerable loss of control over the budget, and hence over tax rates," he warned.

There was "a revolutionary principle rather quietly at work in American government," he wrote.

Damnit, I'm quoting even more socialist progressives to make this point...
No, you're quoting conservative websites that claim to be quoting socialists. Source the quote directly if you wan't to actually quoting the person who said it.
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TomDavidson
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Again, Daruma, let's say you're a park ranger. You are upset that your boss -- a state appointee -- has for the third year in a row not given any raise to the actual rangers, but has increased administrative pay by 22%.

How would you address this situation?

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OpsanusTau
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Interestingly, for all the conservative upset about the idea of public employees being able to "demand" more tax money, it turns out that they don't.

In Wisconsin at least, public employees' total compensation is clearly less than the private sector.

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TomDavidson
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I think you're missing the point of that complaint, OpT. Public employees "demand" tax money; private employees "demand" voluntarily-spend private dollars. It can be argued that there is an important distinction here, in that public employers are not capable of declaring bankruptcy and can always write laws to collect more tax money, thus allowing their employees to essentially extort the electorate. I don't agree, but I think it's a non-nonsensical argument.
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DonaldD
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It's also true that the government, although it can write such laws, is clearly not at risk of going bankrupt by not bowing to the employees' demands - whereas a private company is at least theoretically faced with loss of profits and eventually failure if it doesn't bend.

As well, I have far more often seen governments cave to unions when faced with an angry electorate than as a result of some cozy relationship with unions heads, but that might just be here.

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TheRallanator
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quote:
Originally posted by Daruma28:
If you want to take away someone's right to unionize just because he works as a janitor for the school system (i.e. the county, i.e. the government) rather than a private cleaning service, you better pay them more than the vast majority of private sector equivalents.

I don't disagree with this, really. If a school system needed to hire janitors, and the janitors are not unionized, the school would have to offer pay and benefits competitive with the private sector...

...or the janitors would just work for the private sector.

It is through public sector unionization that the typical public employee now makes more money (in pay and benefits) than their private sector counterparts...and they have the benefit of collective action to make sure it stays that way - even if it continues to drive the State towards bankruptcy.

I love watching people from the country that has some of the worst pay and conditions for low income earners in the western world loudly insisting that market forces will make everything work just fine, and that making it illegal for large chunks of low income earners to enjoy the benefits of collective bargaining will improve their lot in life.

I'm assuming of course that Daruma actually gives a damn about the plight of school janitors here and isn't just arguing in favour of scrapping public sector unions because governments won't have to take quite as many tax dollars if they can employ wage slaves.

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TheRallanator
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Again, Daruma, let's say you're a park ranger. You are upset that your boss -- a state appointee -- has for the third year in a row not given any raise to the actual rangers, but has increased administrative pay by 22%.

How would you address this situation?

At the risk of lowering the tone with internet memes and AOLspeak...

in b4 "you quit and get a private sector job" [Smile]

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Serotonin'sGone
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From OPT's source:
quote:
Controlling for a larger range of earnings predictors—including not just education but also age, experience, gender, race, etc., Wisconsin public-sector workers face an annual compensation penalty of 11%.
I propose that based on that measure, Wisconsin's employee's are not penalized nearly enough, hence they are over-compensated. Public employees should make at least 25% less than their private counterparts. That is the price of security.

I would also say, that having worked in both the private and public sectors, private employees are probably at least 50% more productive than public employees. Though this is probably hard to substantiate, I suspect that an employee's productivity is inversely proportional to the size of their company. Ergo, small businesses have the most productive employees, then mid-size, large, and finally the great behemoth of them all, the federal government. This relationship exists because an individual's ability to influence their company, in short, make a difference, is also inversely proportional to its size. It's also perhaps why local government tends to work a bit harder (though not much) than federal gov.

Large companies attempt to fight this law by creating autonomous units that act like small companies -- and reap the benefit in increased productivity. Unfortunately, the government seem particularly poor at doing this.

As a caveat, I'll admit that some public sector employees do buck the trend -- typically because they believe passionately in what they do. But they're incredibly rare.

And as a final remark -- the real problem here is that municipalities, state governments etc. are able to make insane arrangements regarding pensions and benefits based on completely unrealistic budget forecasts. No private company would ever be allowed to get away with this (hence the auto companies all going bankrupt), and that's also the reason that defined benefit pensions are a thing of the past. Even if you disagreed with everything I wrote previously, is this not at least true?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Public employees should make at least 25% less than their private counterparts. That is the price of security.
Who says?

quote:
I would also say, that having worked in both the private and public sectors, private employees are probably at least 50% more productive than public employees.
This has not been my anecdotal experience, and I too have worked in both environments. I am curious, in fact, what metric you might possibly be using to measure productivity in this case.

quote:
Even if you disagreed with everything I wrote previously, is this not at least true?
It may be. Of course, it seems rather ridiculous to fight over the complete elimination of collective bargaining if the conversation you really want to have is about the solvency of public pension funds. (As a side note, many states -- including Wisconsin -- do not pay into Social Security, so the only governmental retirement fund these public employees have access to is the one the state provides them.)

[ February 20, 2011, 11:31 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by Serotonin'sGone:
From OPT's source:
quote:
Controlling for a larger range of earnings predictors—including not just education but also age, experience, gender, race, etc., Wisconsin public-sector workers face an annual compensation penalty of 11%.
I propose that based on that measure, Wisconsin's employee's are not penalized nearly enough, hence they are over-compensated. Public employees should make at least 25% less than their private counterparts. That is the price of security.
Why is 11% not enough, but 25% is?

quote:
I would also say, that having worked in both the private and public sectors, private employees are probably at least 50% more productive than public employees. Though this is probably hard to substantiate, I suspect that an employee's productivity is inversely proportional to the size of their company. Ergo, small businesses have the most productive employees, then mid-size, large, and finally the great behemoth of them all, the federal government. This relationship exists because an individual's ability to influence their company, in short, make a difference, is also inversely proportional to its size. It's also perhaps why local government tends to work a bit harder (though not much) than federal gov.
Going from public to private got me a 50% pay raise, and a 75% drop in the amount of work I needed to do. This may not be typical, but it does make it hard for me to believe the people who say that public sector employees make more and do less work.

quote:
And as a final remark -- the real problem here is that municipalities, state governments etc. are able to make insane arrangements regarding pensions and benefits based on completely unrealistic budget forecasts. No private company would ever be allowed to get away with this (hence the auto companies all going bankrupt), and that's also the reason that defined benefit pensions are a thing of the past. Even if you disagreed with everything I wrote previously, is this not at least true?
The auto companies made it work for fifty-plus years.
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TheRallanator
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quote:
Originally posted by Serotonin'sGone:
From OPT's source:
quote:
Controlling for a larger range of earnings predictors—including not just education but also age, experience, gender, race, etc., Wisconsin public-sector workers face an annual compensation penalty of 11%.
I propose that based on that measure, Wisconsin's employee's are not penalized nearly enough, hence they are over-compensated. Public employees should make at least 25% less than their private counterparts. That is the price of security.

I would also say, that having worked in both the private and public sectors, private employees are probably at least 50% more productive than public employees. Though this is probably hard to substantiate, I suspect that an employee's productivity is inversely proportional to the size of their company. Ergo, small businesses have the most productive employees, then mid-size, large, and finally the great behemoth of them all, the federal government. This relationship exists because an individual's ability to influence their company, in short, make a difference, is also inversely proportional to its size. It's also perhaps why local government tends to work a bit harder (though not much) than federal gov.

Large companies attempt to fight this law by creating autonomous units that act like small companies -- and reap the benefit in increased productivity. Unfortunately, the government seem particularly poor at doing this.

As a caveat, I'll admit that some public sector employees do buck the trend -- typically because they believe passionately in what they do. But they're incredibly rare.

And as a final remark -- the real problem here is that municipalities, state governments etc. are able to make insane arrangements regarding pensions and benefits based on completely unrealistic budget forecasts. No private company would ever be allowed to get away with this (hence the auto companies all going bankrupt), and that's also the reason that defined benefit pensions are a thing of the past. Even if you disagreed with everything I wrote previously, is this not at least true?

So basically you claim (without any substantiation at all) that civil servants are less efficient than their private sector counterparts and then you propose to slash public sector salaries by 10-15%, which will achieve very little except provide an incentive for the most talented and qualified civil servants to drop out and seek private employment.

Why do you want to actively make the public sector even more unproductive than you claim it already is?

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Public employees should make at least 25% less than their private counterparts.
So that we can be sure that they're forced to rely on corruption to bridge the gap?

I would say that the opposite is true. A public sector employee should make 25% more than their private sector counterpart and be offered better overall security, even in the wake of changes in administration that would otherwise put them at greater risk of being replaced. This would be both to reduce the temptations of corruption and to account for the fact that their work has greater direct societal value than that which is done purely for the profit of private owners.

The price that should be paid is strict limitations on their options for employment, investments, and sources of revenue from the private sector both during and for a significant duration after employment for them and their families to better ensure that they're less able to be bought.

quote:
I would also say, that having worked in both the private and public sectors, private employees are probably at least 50% more productive than public employees.
If this is true, then it actively points to part of the problem, as it means that those private sector employees are not only essentially being forced to short sell their labor in terms of dollars/unit of productivity, but they are actively promoting economic rot through consumerism and unemployment at the same time.

Take a that produces widgets at about the market peak point ((price per unit * units that will be sold at that price) is at its maximum) and it employs a certain number of people to produces them. Now, a technology is invented that doubles the number of units produced per person.

Obviously, the company doesn't produce twice as many units; it's already at the market optimum, which is independent of production costs, so long as it's greater than them. So, what happens? Does the company pay its workers about the same amount but cut their hours in half? Does it lay off half its workers and roughly double their pay? (Allowing some slack for the company to profit on the margins)

No. It lays off half its workers only retaining just enough of the workers who are wiling to take a pay cut to deflect the axe. This productivity gain, instead of benefiting everyone, the workers are paid less for twice their previous production. And eventually, as this pattern repeats itself, the number of consumers of widgets begins to dwindle, bringing more layoffs and pay cuts as the need for output declines.

That's the story of the last 30 years or so in particular, as the power of unions to fight this trend has been eroded, and one of the key factors in the overall gutting of the middle class as it's been forced to produce more and more for less and less relative compensation.

(And then, the profits from that productivity, lacking any need for further capital growth was instead invested in making loans to those people so that they could maintain and increase their consumption levels on promises of future compensation increases that were always too small to even maintain the gap, never mind narrow it, which created the illusion of growth until the scam collapsed.)

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RickyB
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"...or the janitors would just work for the private sector."

But the private companies ain't hiring right now. It's the county that has an ad out right now.

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RickyB
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And by the way - I accept that FDR was against it. So? The point remains: You want to categorically take away a fundamental right, you categorically assure them a commensurate benefit.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I accept that FDR was against it.
Don't accept it; it's an outright lie conjured up by the Heritage Foundation.
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OpsanusTau
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Oh. Well, I guess maybe I did miss the point.

I can't accept without data that public employees are in general half as productive as private sector workers. I certainly haven't had that experience. I'm also not convinced that if it were true, it would necessarily be a good argument for cutting their pay and/or eliminating jobs. They could be less productive because they are accountable to the public rather than to a boss or shareholders. Regardless, if the job needs to be done and there is a reason it can't be adequately done by a private company, then it needs to be done by a public employee, and that employee needs to be paid a fair wage.

I don't like the idea of an employee of mine doing work for less money than is fair.

Interestingly, in Washington State they're going through some budget stuff too. There is, of course, a vocal group of people in favor of "smaller government", paying public employees less, blah blah blah.
When you break the numbers down, it turns out that it's only in the counties that receive more public money directly than they pay in taxes that this sentiment is prominent. And those people are not actually agitating to refuse to receive that money; oh no. They want to cut services and wages in the urban Puget Sound counties while continuing to receive their own services. Interestingly, in those urban counties, two things are true:
1) The counties pay more in taxes to the state than they receive in benefits; which is to say they are directly funding the other counties as well as themselves; and
2) People strongly support maintaining the services they have and the wages public employees are paid.

One wonders if this pattern is repeated elsewhere, such as in Wisconsin; and I would hypothesize that it is.

I already put the "we the spiteful" essay up here, right?

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TomDavidson
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That pattern is absolutely repeated. It is the urban sectors of Wisconsin that keep the rest of the state afloat, and Republicans have primed the rest of the state to resent that.
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OpsanusTau
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The more I think about it, the more astonishing it is.

If people from less-affluent counties who receive more than they pay wanted "smaller government" and expressed that desire by wanting to receive fewer services themselves - with the hope that if they cut their own services enough, they could lower taxes - that would make sense to me. Maybe they feel like they aren't getting good value for their money.

Even if they wanted to cut services across the board on principle, so that everyone would pay lower taxes and receive fewer services (whether everyone else wants that or not); it seems kind of bossy and spiteful, but at least consistent and not baldly disingenuous.

What I don't understand is how people who pay less in taxes than they receive in tax money can maintain the opinion that they don't want their services cut; they want other people's services cut to "save money", with the desired end result that they themselves pay even less in taxes while receiving the same value in services. And can still get away with claiming that this is "fiscal responsibility" and "small government". Obviously they value the services they're getting from the government, because they don't want to lose them. They just want to get them for even closer to free.

(Meanwhile, the affluent and productive areas generally have a large majority that doesn't mind at all a taxation and spending imbalance that is essentially giving charity to the very same people who are trying their hardest to screw everyone. Sigh.)

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OpsanusTau
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Somewhere I was reading an essay describing what's happening in Wisconsin as the Governor's attempt to default on a debt to the public employees.

The argument being that these employees chose to work for the state instead of in private industry, and part of that choice was lower salaries but solid benefits and a good pension. In other words, they gave up more money now in exchange for some money later.

And now the governor is trying to renege on the deal.

It's lame.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by TheRallanator:
So basically you claim (without any substantiation at all) that civil servants are less efficient than their private sector counterparts ...

They are. I work with local, state and federal employees as well as private and have for years. Public employees are very well aware that they are damn near immune from any real job discipline. They can just slouch along and get promotions and raises because those occur on a schedule instead of on merit. There is no incentive to perform with any level of efficiency. In fact, the incentive is the opposite.

Here's an example from Rhode Island:
quote:
CNN: So in this town where the average income is $22,000 the average teacher is now making $76,000. What are the community members paying for?

James Parisi: The highest paid teachers are making about $76,000, which frankly I don’t think is enough for the committed professionals that are in that school district.

CNN: You had a 93% fail rate. That’s undeniable.

JP: And you think that’s caused by teacher’s actions?

CNN: Absolutely.

JP: I don’t think the teachers are responsible.

Civil servants (teachers in this case) are paid 3 times the average for the area and 93% of their students are essentially illiterate. The solution? A $3,000 stipend per teacher. So why should a teacher give a rat's ass what she produces. There is no penalty for it.

[ February 21, 2011, 09:57 AM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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TomDavidson
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Ooo! You found anecdotal evidence. [Smile]
Now try that in Wisconsin, which is the state we're talking about.

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Pyrtolin
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First, let's get the whole context:

quote:
Almost one year ago, all of the teachers at a struggling Rhode Island high school were fired. It was a radical move to reform one of the worst schools in the state: just seven percent of juniors were proficient in Math in 2009. Not even half the students were graduating.

A year later, many of the teachers are back on the job with a new mandate. In tonight's "Perry's Principles," education contributor and principal, Steve Perry has this update.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE PERRY, CNN EDUCATION CONTRIBUTOR: Before the start of the school year, all 88 teachers at Central Falls High School got their jobs back.

DEBORAH GIST, RHODE ISLAND EDUCATION COMMISSIONER: A lot of people misperceived that the termination of the teachers at the school was reflective of a belief that all of the teachers were poor performing. And that's actually not the case. We needed the teachers to commit to the reform plan.

PERRY: And they did. The teachers union and the school district agreed to a longer school day, more after school tutoring, eating lunch with students and tougher teacher evaluations.

So did you end up paying them more?

FRANCES GALLO, CENTRAL FALLS SUPERINTENDENT: Yes.

PERRY: Central Falls is a poor community. Where did you get extra money?

GALLO: Through the school improvement grant dollars, we had promised that if we secure those dollars, then there will be a $3,000 stipend per teacher.

PERRY: Each teacher got an additional $1,800 for professional development.

So what did you get? Has the school improved?

GALLO: I didn't get the piece I expected to get, because then human beings took a long time to heal and I'm still not sure they've healed their wounds from last February.

PERRY: So in a town which the average income is $22,000 and the average teacher now is making approximately $76,000 what are the community members paying for?

JAMES PARISI, R.I. FED. OF TEACHERS AND HEALTH PROFESSIONALS: The highest paid teachers are making about $76,000, which quite honestly I don't think is enough for the committed professionals that are in that school district.

PERRY: But they're not successful. You have a 93 percent fail rate. That is undeniable.

PARISI: And you think that's caused by teachers not performing?

PERRY: Absolutely.

PARISI: I don't think the teachers are responsible. I think there's a lot of things. I think the failure of the district to have a math curriculum that gives kids what they need, the failure of the district to get kids to attend school on a regular basis.

PERRY: You're one high school in town. What do you hope is going to happen?

GALLO: Well, we've done a number of things. We're offering p.m. schools for those students who prefer to come at a different time in a smaller setting. We've reached out to students who had previously dropped out and are trying to pull them back in. We have outside evaluators evaluating teacher performance and are working very hard to help those who are either basic in their skills or unsatisfactory to say this is your year, this is your opportunity, and you must improve. And if not, we're back to where we were.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: So Central Fall High Schools is one of the lowest performing schools in Rhode Island. How do you boost a school like that?

PERRY: I don't know that you can necessarily boost a school. I think schools like that are sinking ships and the best thing you can do is get all the passengers off. One of the ways that you can do that when it comes to education is give children access to schools outside of the district whether they be public or private.

Also you have to start from scratch: new leadership team, new teachers, all the way down to the lunch ladies and security officers. You have to start from scratch. You can't expect a failing school to be fixed. Can it be better? Yes. But will it no longer be failing? Not so.

COOPER: Interesting. Principal Perry thanks.


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Pyrtolin
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So, now, first of all:
quote:
So in a town which the average income is $22,000 and the average teacher now is making approximately $76,000 what are the community members paying for?
Is an apples to oranges comparison, as well as a flat out lie. The average private school teacher salary would useful for comparison, or even the average salary for people with a comparable degree and experience.

But comparing the _maximum_ teacher salary to the overall town average (which would include part time, unskilled labor positions) is meaningless.

Also, they _requested_ $3000/teacher for additional training, they only got $1800. They added about half an hour to the school day in the process as well as
quote:
Well, we've done a number of things. We're offering p.m. schools for those students who prefer to come at a different time in a smaller setting. We've reached out to students who had previously dropped out and are trying to pull them back in. We have outside evaluators evaluating teacher performance and are working very hard to help those who are either basic in their skills or unsatisfactory to say this is your year, this is your opportunity, and you must improve. And if not, we're back to where we were.
So tying to pretend that the only change was a small increase in their training allotment is deceptive as well. The increases in compensation were an active exchange for more work hours, less secure positions, new programs and training requirements and more actively enforced standards.

[ February 21, 2011, 11:14 AM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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flydye
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
It seems like it would be "so bad" because many of the union workers of Wisconsin seem to really, really not want it to happen.

Fixed that for you.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
It seems like it would be "so bad" because many of the union workers of Wisconsin seem to really, really not want it to happen.
The polls I've seen indicate that fully 75% of the population of Wisconsin thinks Walker's bill is a mistake, and another 8% have no opinion.
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flydye
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quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
Look, when you want to take away someone's right to unionize just because they work for the public, you have to give them something in return. Take the NFL - socialist in many ways, but wildly successful. In the NFL, a team can prevent a player whose contract it up from exploring the market by designating him a franchise player. In return, it must pay him no less than the fifth highest player in the league. If you want to take away someone's right to unionize just because he works as a janitor for the school system (i.e. the county, i.e. the government) rather than a private cleaning service, you better pay them more than the vast majority of private sector equivalents.

Incorrect. Because it is most likely that the private janitors aren't unionized at all. So the public guys are actually being forced into a comperable situation as their private bretheren.

But even this is disingenuous. I am a janitor making X dollars. This legislation states that I can get inflation tacked onto my wages with the stroke of the legislator's pen. So the union worker is NOT LOSING A DIME.

Now...if there is a systemic underpayment, yes. They need to bring the 'unfair' situation to the taxpayers attention. You know...the people who are totally unemployed. Those without any of these union protections. Others who do the exact same job privately...maybe for less. Or not. If they have a legitimate case, make it.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
If they have a legitimate case, make it.
And, again, you believe that this case should be made to the taxpayers?
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TomDavidson
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Gee, I wonder what sort of powerful political lobby you would need to put together to, every handful of years, produce an expensive statewide campaign to address fairness issues for, say, public jobs as different as road maintenance and park security. It's hard to imagine that any organization like that would be able to survive without collecting dues from people who actually perform those jobs -- and, heck, once you've got an organization like that, it really should help its members more effectively protest grossly unfair treatment by subsidizing work stoppages and the like, to draw attention to their plight. And, heck, perhaps that organization could elect leaders who are well-equipped to direct its message and resources, and lawyers trained to most effectively represent its members in work-related legal challenges.

But that's crazy talk.

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