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Author Topic: Wisconsin
Daruma28
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Just to clarify one other point - I by no means support Walker either.

While I oppose public sector unionization, Walker is just another tool in the two-party dialectic and is doubtless a corporate-whore.

If he were truly standing on principle here, he would be going after ALL public sector unions...but since he had the electoral support of the Police & Firefighters, he's not going after there unions one bit.

For the most part, this is just another dog-and-pony show, it will not change the status quo in the long run. [Exploding]

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OpsanusTau
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Here is the actual Buffalo Beast bit about the call with Governor Walker:

http://www.buffalobeast.com/?p=5045

Speaking of corporate whores.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
The Public Sector union is one of the primary culprits in weakening the foundation of the middle class.
I'm not sure this analogy necessarily works. But let's run with it.

The purpose of social organization is to maximize good, and government is one means by which social organizations operate. It is widely recognized that a society with a large, healthy, stable middle class is more likely to be one in which good is maximized than a society with a large number of individuals at either extreme; in fact, collections of wealth or population at either extreme appear in and of themselves to be destabilizing and harmful.

In the same way, the purpose of a skyscraper is to maximize usable space within a small horizontal footprint. It is generally recognized that the best way to do this is to build upward.

Of course, building upward -- like maintaining a large middle class -- takes a certain amount of planning, management, and maintenance. You can't just stack floors onto floors and expect the foundations to hold. By the same token, you can't just give more and more money to the middle class without returning equivalent perceived benefit to the source of those funds and expect those sources to continue to participate in your society.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't build skyscrapers, if your goal is to maximize space in a horizontal footprint. And it doesn't mean you shouldn't direct resources to swell the middle class, if your goal is a stable society that maximizes good. It means you should do these things intelligently.

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Daruma28
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The purpose of social organization is to maximize good, and government is one means by which social organizations operate.

That's one hell of a premise to accept without question. Because while that sounds all good, the truth is that the way it really plays out is this: the purpose of social organization is to maximize the power and wealth of those who control the government. We offer high-minded rationalizations like the one Tom just wrote so that we can continue to play this racket.


It is widely recognized that a society with a large, healthy, stable middle class is more likely to be one in which good is maximized than a society with a large number of individuals at either extreme;

Agreed...in a roundabout way. You miss the reason why this is so - a stable middle class means socio-economic class mobility. If the game is not rigged (like it is right now), most people over their lifetime will usually rise the more they work and save. Of course, given the entire debt based economy, most people instead of building real wealth, build debt. But that's another story...the point remains, a real, private sector middle class is an indicator of a healthy economy.

in fact, collections of wealth or population at either extreme appear in and of themselves to be destabilizing and harmful.

Cause and effect. When you see a society like this, it's an indicator of officially sanctioned corruption allowing entities at the top to take all the wealth for themselves.

That is what we are seeing today in America. Most of the "middle class" nowadays is largely the ILLUSION of material wealth, paid for by debt financing...aka modern day serfdom.

Of course, building upward -- like maintaining a large middle class -- takes a certain amount of planning, management, and maintenance. You can't just stack floors onto floors and expect the foundations to hold. By the same token, you can't just give more and more money to the middle class without returning equivalent perceived benefit to the source of those funds and expect those sources to continue to participate in your society.


This analogy is meaningless. Building a structure requires concrete plans and rigid execution.

Human economies are dynamic and fluid.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't build skyscrapers, if your goal is to maximize space in a horizontal footprint. And it doesn't mean you shouldn't direct resources to swell the middle class, if your goal is a stable society that maximizes good. It means you should do these things intelligently.

Is that what you call taxing private sector producers of wealth and giving it to by-and-large wealth consuming public sector jobs? LMAO

Such convoluted rationalizations.

Look, we can argue about whether or not any particular public sector job is good or necessary...but the public sector job, by and large, does not produce wealth.

Prison guards.
Teachers.
Janitors.

They provide public services, for sure...but they do not produce more tax stream revenues. They consume them in exchange for their service.

When the private sector cannot produce enough tax revenues to pay the collectively bargained salaries and benefits for the wealth consuming public sector jobs, the Government goes into debt to fund it's obligations.

This is why the public sector middle class is far different from their private sector counterparts. Private sector middle class must produce wealth to attain that middle class status.

As soon as there are more public sector jobs consuming wealth than there are private sector workers paying enough in tax revenue to fund that consumption, the State heads towards bankruptcy.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
the purpose of social organization is to maximize the power and wealth of those who control the government
I would argue that, if we're working from first principles, this would be an example of a corrupted social organization.

quote:
Is that what you call taxing private sector producers of wealth and giving it to by-and-large wealth consuming public sector jobs? LMAO
If the services provided by those public jobs increase net value, absolutely. The argument that the market will price these jobs efficiently if privatized is one that, based on pretty much all of human history, I find extremely uncompelling.
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Daruma28
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I would argue that, if we're working from first principles, this would be an example of a corrupted social organization.

Why yes...and if understand the entire point of that last article I cited, you understand how the public sector unions are complicit in that corruption.

To reiterate:

quote:
For a case study in how public-sector unions manipulate both supply and demand, consider the example of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. Throughout the 1980s and '90s, the CCPOA lobbied the state government to increase California's prison facilities — since more prisons would obviously mean more jobs for corrections officers. And between 1980 and 2000, the Golden State constructed 22 new prisons for adults (before 1980, California had only 12 such facilities). The CCPOA also pushed for the 1994 "three strikes" sentencing law, which imposed stiff penalties on repeat offenders. The prison population exploded — and, as intended, the new prisoners required more guards. The CCPOA has been no less successful in increasing members' compensation: In 2006, the average union member made $70,000 a year, and more than $100,000 with overtime. Corrections officers can also retire with 90% of their salaries as early as age 50. Today, an amazing 11% of the state budget — more than what is spent on higher education — goes to the penal system.[Correction appended] Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger now proposes privatizing portions of the prison system to escape the unions' grip — though his proposal has so far met with predictable (union supported) political opposition.

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LetterRip
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Daruma,

quote:
This is why the public sector middle class is far different from their private sector counterparts. Private sector middle class must produce wealth to attain that middle class status.
A fair amount of financial services and military goods and services generally are parasitic to wealth. So are many 'middle man' jobs.

Many personal services and entertainment don't really create wealth either (how does a massage or pedicure create wealth?).

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Daruma28
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Many personal services and entertainment don't really create wealth either (how does a massage or pedicure create wealth?).

The masseuse or pedicurist charges a fee for their service. They than pay taxes from the profits generated for that service.

The prison guard - or public school teacher, janitor, etc. - is paid entirely with salary and benefits from tax money taken from the likes of the masseuse or pedicurist. (and government debt to pay for budget shortfalls is really nothing more than the government spending FUTURE labor of the taxpayer..i.e. future tax revenue).

Is it really that hard to understand? The private sector pays the taxes. The public sector consumes it.

And that is simply an economic observation, not a value judgment on whether any particular public sector job is "right" or "wrong".

When you have more consumers than producers, what eventually happens?

[ February 23, 2011, 11:13 PM: Message edited by: Daruma28 ]

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JWatts
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quote:
The CCPOA has been no less successful in increasing members' compensation: In 2006, the average union member made $70,000 a year, and more than $100,000 with overtime. Corrections officers can also retire with 90% of their salaries as early as age 50.
The idea of paying prison guards $70K per year for 40 hour per week jobs is way out of proportion to their contribution to society. And then allowing them to retire at age 50 on 90% of their salary? [DOH]

California is so screwed.

For comparison:
quote:
The median expected salary for a typical Professor - Liberal Arts in the United States is $79,972.
Link

[ February 23, 2011, 11:14 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]

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Daruma28
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A fair amount of financial services and military goods and services generally are parasitic to wealth.

Indeed, that's what the "wars" in the ME are about. Using taxpayer money to give to the military industrial complex corporations.

You could say War is the ultimate consumer and destroyer of wealth.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Is that what you call taxing private sector producers of wealth and giving it to by-and-large wealth consuming public sector jobs?
No tax that we assess is payable by any form of wealth. Only money can be used to pay taxes.

quote:
They provide public services, for sure...but they do not produce more tax stream revenues. They consume them in exchange for their service.
They pay taxes like everyone else, but more importantly they buy things for themselves from the private sector, creating demand for employment and potential for profits. And teachers absolutely produce wealth- education is one of the most fundamental and essential forms of wealth there is.

quote:
When the private sector cannot produce enough tax revenues to pay the collectively bargained salaries and benefits for the wealth consuming public sector jobs, the Government goes into debt to fund it's obligations.
quote:
When the private sector cannot produce enough tax revenues to pay the collectively bargained salaries and benefits for the wealth consuming public sector jobs, the Government goes into debt to fund it's obligations.
Wealth is non-consumable. An object bought by a public employee does not suddenly cease to exist any more than it does if a private sector employee buys it (and heck, if it did, then that would drive the need to produce even more things not, somehow, less)

But, what's more, you're pushing a false notion that collective bargaining does not include finding ways to fairly lower compensation when it is necessary, never mind completely ignoring the fact that the shortfalls are due not to and actual compensation agreements, but to the current depressed state of the economy. The budget problems are a temporary issue so long as we focus on creating demand for jobs and ensuring that those jobs will pay middle class incomes so that they can enable wealth accumulation and further positive feedback.

quote:
As soon as there are more public sector jobs consuming wealth than there are private sector workers paying enough in tax revenue to fund that consumption, the State heads towards bankruptcy.
Wealth purchased by people who work for the public sector has to be produced by someone. Every penny they spend in the private sector drives public sector employment and wealth creation just as much as private sector earnings spend in the same way. Cutting public sector pay not only does not somehow create more potential for private sector production, it in fact it creates a disincentive for production because there are not fewer customers willing to pay for goods, so the private sector is free to lay off more workers to reduce production to match the lower demand levels.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
The idea of paying prison guards $70K per year for 40 hour per week jobs is way out of proportion to their contribution to society. And then allowing them to retire at age 50 on 90% of their salary?
As compared to the cost of living in CA? Are you suggesting that $70 is well above a middle class income?

And, as for retirement, would you rather them be looking for other sources of revenue to cover their retirements? There are plenty of people out there that would love to help provide prison guards with enough extra revenue to make up the gap, after all, they represent a clear potential monopoly on some very desirable services to people that have a lot of money to toss around.

That's not to say that there aren't fundamental problems represented by lobbying to inflate the prison population (which are even worse in states that farm prison services out to private profiteers, who not only do similar things, but under-pay their workers to maximize profits and buy off judges to help ensure higher conviction rates) It's a problem with the entire US penal system; unionization in CA just means that the workers actually get decent pay instead of being additional victims of the system.

[ February 24, 2011, 01:57 AM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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Pyrtolin
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http://host.madison.com/article_5a7bb674-3f0b-11e0-bf1e-001cc4c002e0.html

quote:
At a press conference Tuesday in the Capitol, firefighters and police officers — who are exempt the union proposals in Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill — said they'd be willing to take cuts along with other state workers.
"Firefighters and police officers around the state, we've all said, in order to help with the budget, that we don't mind taking concessions as well," said Mahlon Mitchell, state president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin Inc. "If you want to capture more money, you can do that by putting us with those others. And get rid of all the collective bargaining stuff that has nothing to do with the budget."

That's what collective bargaining looks like. It's not just about seeing how high compensation can be pushed, but about reaching agreements that take all factors into account. The false assertions against unions originate from, at the best, people who can't comprehend that most people are entirely capable of putting long term common benefit over short term personal gains.

That's the point that keeps getting glossed over in the attacks on worker's rights here. The unions have agreed to the pay cuts; in fact they'd already agreed to the cuts last year- the entire assertion that they never do that is an outright lie. What they're standing up for now is the right to have an equal voice in the process rather than simply being subject to dictates from above.

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
The idea of paying prison guards $70K per year for 40 hour per week jobs is way out of proportion to their contribution to society. And then allowing them to retire at age 50 on 90% of their salary?
As compared to the cost of living in CA? Are you suggesting that $70 is well above a middle class income?

Frak Yes!

You'll note that the $70K figure is NOT the average prison guard salary, but the average base income not counting overtime.

quote:
In 2006, the average union member made $70,000 a year, and more than $100,000 with overtime.
Median Household income for State of CA in 2004-2006: $53,770

Wiki

It's absurd to be paying prison guards twice the average household income.

If the state governments keeps getting bent over by the unions it will go bankrupt. There is no economic justification for such large discrepancies in pay for such work.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
It's absurd to be paying prison guards twice the average household income.
On what basis? That's a complete personal value judgement on your part. Do you have any basis for your assertion other than it's less than you feel like you would pay a prison guard? At what pay level do you think compensation is sufficient to mostly inure guards to corruption, since there's a lot of value to be had to organized crime in getting guards on their payroll?

quote:
quote:
Are you suggesting that $70 is well above a middle class income?
Frak Yes!
So then, I take it, you'd see any policies that affect people making over $100K as targeting the wealthy and not the middle class? From other discussions I have the impression that you set the upper limit on middle class incomes much higher than the $70-$100K range.

Personally, I like the rule of thumb of 10*Median for setting the upper limit where you go from middle class to wealthy.

And even if we accept twice median is more than a prison guard is worth, why is the answer to cut wages for the guard and not to work on increasing the median to a more appropriate level?

We're talking about a starting salary that's less than twice what the State (not federal) poverty level would be for a family of four with a mortgage.

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
It's absurd to be paying prison guards twice the average household income.
On what basis? That's a complete personal value judgement on your part. Do you have any basis for your assertion other than it's less than you feel like you would pay a prison guard?
On the basis of the skill level required to be a prison guard and on the basis of the states ability to pay bloated civil salaries. So why don't you justify why a prison guards value to society is higher than a university professors?

To be honest, I don't really care if California bankrupts itself. Indeed, Nissan moved it's corporate headquarters from LA to middle Tennessee in the last few years. My state is benefiting from their economically suicidal behavior.

So, on second thought you've convinced me. I recommend that California double the salaries of all of its state employees immediately! After all, how is a prison guard supposed to support a family on $100,000+ a year in California. It's just inhumane to expect them to get by on that kind of pittance.

Of course, the state will need to pay for this. So, in order to raise the funds in the most progressive way possible, I think California should also implement a 100% income tax on all income greater than $250,000. I'm sure that will quickly lead to a western utopia within a few weeks. A month at most. [Smile]

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OpsanusTau
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Wait, why are we talking about what prison guards get paid in California?
[Confused]

(Nonetheless indulging a little bit in the tangent about prison guards - are you trying to tell me that you really want the people who guard prisons to be the people who will take the job for the lowest possible salary and least benefits? That is crazy talk, my friend. You know, I could hire you some prison guards right now who will work for $7/hour with no benefits. But I bet you won't be very happy with me when those guards realize they can make more money fencing stolen goods or selling illegal drugs, or even just (depending on location) tending bar downtown, and they up and quit without giving notice.
You see my point?)

But anyways, the amount of public employees' salary (especially in other states) is not at all relevant to the conversation.

If you think that public servants are getting paid too much, take it up with the union. As has been mentioned, the union is entirely willing to negotiate salary reductions, furloughs, etc. They're just not willing to have their right to collective bargaining removed.

And if you really don't like unions, feel free to renounce all your union-negotiated job perks, enumerated previously. Or would you rather be fired for taking a five-minute break to pee in the middle of the workday? Would you rather have to choose between going to work sick and losing your job? Et cetera.

Moreover, there is all the other really questionable stuff in that bill. Let's talk about that too - like the fire sale of public assets without bid to whatever private corporation feels like buying them.
And what a sleazebag the Governor is; did anyone actually listen to the conversation where he thought he was talking to David Koch?

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
As has been mentioned, the union is entirely willing to negotiate salary reductions, furloughs, etc. They're just not willing to have their right to collective bargaining removed.

quote:
FACT: He’s taking away the right to collectively bargain on pensions and benefits, but not on wages — though wage increases will be capped at the rate of inflation. This is a very modest and sensible reform. Without it, governors and legislatures can be pressured into making unsustainable commitments that — because these expenditures do not show up immediately in yearly deficits and will balloon only in the future — they will not be held responsible for. Under Walker’s proposals, public-sector unions will maintain their ability to collectively bargain for their members’ quality of life — just not to bargain away their grandchildren’s. Further, limits on collective bargaining in the public sector are not rare in the U.S.: Right now, only 26 states operate on Wisconsin’s current model, with collective-bargaining rights for all public employees.

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OpsanusTau
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Um...yes.

I talked about this before. This is not new information. It was, in fact, my point.

The unions are willing to negotiate about salary, and probably about other things too. They don't want to lose their right to collective bargaining for things other than salary. (The pension fund is, I've read more-or-less solvent and self-supporting anyways - so what is being suggested here is actually using an increase in state employees' payment into the pension to fund other parts of government, which seems a little off.)
So if the concern is about paying public employees "too much", and the public employees are totally willing to negotiate about that - why are some of you saying that the important thing is to take away their right to collectively bargain about things like working hours, conditions, vacation and sick time, etc? That doesn't have anything to do with the budget.

G2, I don't know where you got your "FACT", but it implies a lot of things that aren't actually fact, including the implication that extra-salary compensation is totally bankrupting the state. I expect you to support that implication or withdraw it...actually, maybe I don't really expect that, but I do announce my intention to disregard your opinion about this unless one of those things happens.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
but not on wages — though wage increases will be capped at the rate of inflation.
So they can nominally negotiate on wages, but the best they can get is cost of living increases, which is pretty much the minimum acceptable standard anyway. Seriously- what value is there in even trying if the best result you can get is to not fall behind?
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Daruma28
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Pyrtolin, I've never seen anyone use so many words to say such little common sense.

You completely miss the point.

They pay taxes like everyone else

Their salaries and benefits are paid from tax moneys collected from the private sector. Even if they pay taxes from their own wages, they are not generating more tax revenue.

If prison guard makes 70k in CBA salary, and he pays 10k in taxes out of that salary...than he's consumed 60k of tax revenue. He didn't generate that 10k above and beyond the tax monies collected to pay his salary.

Again...most public sector jobs do not generate new tax revenues, they consume it. That's not an ideological pro or con statement. It's a statement of economic fact.


but more importantly they buy things for themselves from the private sector, creating demand for employment and potential for profits.

Which means they are essentially re-distributing tax revenues already collected.

And teachers absolutely produce wealth- education is one of the most fundamental and essential forms of wealth there is.

You really are hopeless. Either you are completely ignorant of the basic economic picture of taxation...or you're deliberately obfuscating.

How does a public skool teaher "create wealth?"

A public skool teacher's salary is a consumption of tax revenue.

We can debate the merits of whether or not that consumption is worth it, but that is not germane to the basic point.

Finally, it's rather hilarious how some of you completely miss the point or are deliberately ignoring how the Union uses the same sort of political pressure Corporations use for their own benefit and to the detriment of society as a whole...like the Prison Guards union lobbying for more prisons and harsher prison sentencing laws to guarantee more jobs for the union members.

That is every bit as incestuous and economically fascist as Halliburton supporting the start of the Iraq war to get those highly lucrative, non-bid contracts. That is of course, unless you like being the most highly incarcerated first world country on the planet.

But I get it - in the lefty partisan viewpoint, "UNIONS GOOD, CORPORATIONS BAD."

[DOH]

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
G2, I don't know where you got your "FACT", but it implies a lot of things that aren't actually fact, including the implication that extra-salary compensation is totally bankrupting the state. I expect you to support that implication or withdraw it...actually, maybe I don't really expect that, but I do announce my intention to disregard your opinion about this unless one of those things happens.

I think you infer that more than it implies it.
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
but not on wages — though wage increases will be capped at the rate of inflation.
So they can nominally negotiate on wages, but the best they can get is cost of living increases, which is pretty much the minimum acceptable standard anyway. Seriously- what value is there in even trying if the best result you can get is to not fall behind?
To not fall behind?
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Daruma28:
Pyrtolin, I've never seen anyone use so many words to say such little common sense.

You completely miss the point.

They pay taxes like everyone else

Their salaries and benefits are paid from tax moneys collected from the private sector. Even if they pay taxes from their own wages, they are not generating more tax revenue.


That's a good point that I think a lot of people miss. Public employees do not pay taxes. Oh sure, they participate in a shell game that gives the illusion of paying taxes but the end result is they consume taxes and nothing more.
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LetterRip
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G2,

that doesn't really make any sense.

Suppose we replace government services with the exact same services provided by private contractors.

Then the private contractor has the same management, personnel, and overhead costs. However they also have to make a profit for the owners.

The employees would pay the same taxes. If the corporation was break even it would pay the same taxes as the government.

If it is a profitable company then the public has the additional cost of the profit.

Since we would consider the employees of the private company doing the exact same service to be paying taxes, then the government employees are also paying taxes.

Note that this applys for all services.

So the only differences between private and public is

corruption costs+inefficiency costs+profit costs

and how the payment for service is designed.

Economically they are fairly equivalent. All else being equal we should prefer a government provided service to a privately provided service since government doesn't require profit, nor does it have a motivation to cheat you out of service to increase its proit margin.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
Since we would consider the employees of the private company doing the exact same service to be paying taxes, then the government employees are also paying taxes.

No, not at all. If anyone is paid fully with tax dollars then they are not paying taxes. Even if you funnel those tax dollars through a private company first. If your entire income is public funds, you cannot pay any of it back and somehow increase the government's funds.

quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
If it is a profitable company then the public has the additional cost of the profit.

All companies are profitable or they cease to be, unlike a government agency. Consequently, private companies at least have a motive to drive to efficiency in an effort to increase profits. This "additional cost of the profit" does not really exist.
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Daruma28
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LR - your entire premise rests on the false assumption that the Government is benevolent because it doesn't have the profit motive and the private contractor has a motive to cheat because of that profit motive.

That is a false dichotomy. A "private contractor" is not a "public sector" worker per say, but a private contractor is still a tax revenue consumer, not tax revenue producer.

Both examples will typically involve some form of quid pro quo between the unions/contracting corporation and the politician. Both services are still paid for with tax payer funds. Both are not creating new tax revenues, both are consuming them. As I pointed out earlier, that kind of influence is essentially the same sort of action - prison guard unions buying influence to expand their unions industry is the equivalent to Halliburton supporting the Iraq war so they can get those lucrative non-bid contracts to supply the war effort. The effect of tax consumption is still the same.

No, a better comparison would be thus: a private school teacher is paid by his/her school, who gets money from it's tuition. The private school teachers salary is taxed, like any other private sector worker. That is a new source of tax revenue.

The public school teacher, on the other hand, is paid by the taxes collected from the private sector. Even if that teachers income is taxed, it still does not generate additional revenue.

If a public skool highers a private contractor to teach a class...they are still using tax revenue to pay that private contractor's fee...that private contractor is really just a non-unionized consumer of tax revenues.

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LetterRip
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Daruma,

quote:
LR - your entire premise rests on the false assumption that the Government is benevolent because it doesn't have the profit motive and the private contractor has a motive to cheat because of that profit motive.
No I wasn't saying that. Just that if neither is corrupt then all else being equal the government could be more efficient. However that really doesn't matter to my point - which was about the tax claim - a service by a government entity and a service being provided by a private entity are no different. You have to pay for both, people get paid for doing both. One is paid for indirectly, the other paid for directly.

quote:
That is a false dichotomy. A "private contractor" is not a "public sector" worker per say, but a private contractor is still a tax revenue consumer, not tax revenue producer.
Any service provided to you consumes part of your income. It really doesn't matter if is paid for with a tax or as a direct payment.

quote:
Both examples will typically involve some form of quid pro quo between the unions/contracting corporation and the politician. Both services are still paid for with tax payer funds. Both are not creating new tax revenues, both are consuming them.
Any service consumes part of your income. Any individual paying taxes contributes to providing for the cost of that service.

quote:
No, a better comparison would be thus: a private school teacher is paid by his/her school, who gets money from it's tuition. The private school teachers salary is taxed, like any other private sector worker. That is a new source of tax revenue.
This is only true if the private school tuition is not tax deductible. If it is tax deductible it is just substituting a private service provider for a public service provider.

quote:
The public school teacher, on the other hand, is paid by the taxes collected from the private sector. Even if that teachers income is taxed, it still does not generate additional revenue.
See above. Additional tax revenue can only be generated if the private sector service is in addition to the public sector service and the private sector service is not tax deductible. Otherwise it is just a substitution and the tax revenue is neutral.

quote:
If a public skool highers a private contractor to teach a class...they are still using tax revenue to pay that private contractor's fee...that private contractor is really just a non-unionized consumer of tax revenues.
Again see above.
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LetterRip
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G2,

quote:
No, not at all. If anyone is paid fully with tax dollars then they are not paying taxes. Even if you funnel those tax dollars through a private company first. If your entire income is public funds, you cannot pay any of it back and somehow increase the government's funds.
Yes they are paying taxes.

We have 10A making 10k and pays 1k in taxes, 1B makes 10k and pays 1k in taxes.

Total taxes paid 11k. Total private sector paid 10k, total public sector taxes paid 1k.

Eliminate the taxes paid by B.

Total taxes paid 10k.

Now you actually probably meant to say is we can eliminate the taxes paid by B and he could be kept income neutral by lowering the taxes paid by A that he received as income. However those are not the same thing.

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Ben
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Daruma, I believe I read something about the firefighters and police unions for the most part endorsing Walker's opponent in the previous election, so I do not think that election support of the Governor is why these unions were exempted by the proposed law. Of course it might be otherwise for the legislators but I would suggest checking that out first.
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TheRallanator
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quote:
Originally posted by Daruma28:

If he were truly standing on principle here, he would be going after ALL public sector unions...but since he had the electoral support of the Police & Firefighters, he's not going after there unions one bit.

Actually that was a perfectly understandable bit of realpolitik. By courting those unions he did a little bit to take the edge off the impact unions had on the election and avoided the election disaster of looking like you're hostile to cops and emergency services. And he hoped (wrongly as it turned out) that giving those unions special treatment would be a clever bit of divide-and-conquer politicking which would ensure the police and fire unions wouldn't throw their support in with all the other public sector unions when the poop hit the fan.

But while he's obviously playing to win instead of fighting a fair and principled fight, I think it's misleading to say that he isn't acting on principle. He wouldn't be doing any of this at all if he didn't sincerely believe that trade unions are a bad thing and didn't genuinely want to cripple union influence in his state.

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TheRallanator
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quote:
Originally posted by Daruma28:
Many personal services and entertainment don't really create wealth either (how does a massage or pedicure create wealth?).

The masseuse or pedicurist charges a fee for their service. They than pay taxes from the profits generated for that service.

The prison guard - or public school teacher, janitor, etc. - is paid entirely with salary and benefits from tax money taken from the likes of the masseuse or pedicurist. (and government debt to pay for budget shortfalls is really nothing more than the government spending FUTURE labor of the taxpayer..i.e. future tax revenue).

Is it really that hard to understand? The private sector pays the taxes. The public sector consumes it.

And that is simply an economic observation, not a value judgment on whether any particular public sector job is "right" or "wrong".

When you have more consumers than producers, what eventually happens?

The public sector also provides services. The prison guard is part of a system which maintains the law and order required for commerce to function. The schoolteacher is turning your kids into educated young men and women who'll be able to participate in the job market as more than menial labourers. And the janitor is providing a clean work environment so that everyone doesn't have to waste their time cleaning up instead of doing their jobs.

Your argument breaks down because of the elephant in the room that you refused to acknowledge: the labour of government does not exist in a vacuum and the fruits of that labour doesn't mysteriously disappear without having a chance to interact with the general public. And they're often providing services which, historically, the private sector has not been very good at providing in a fair and egalitarian manner that's accessible to all.

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LetterRip
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TheRallanator,

quote:
He wouldn't be doing any of this at all if he didn't sincerely believe that trade unions are a bad thing and didn't genuinely want to cripple union influence in his state.
Hmm while we definitely don't know his motivations - I guess I don't see why he has to have a sincere belief to take this action. There are numerous possible personal financial gain motivations that are possible either short term or long term. There are also all sorts of pure political gain motivations that are possible. Numerous personal vendetta motivations are possible. None of which require presupposing a sincere belief about the value or lack thereof of unions.
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Daruma28
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The clueless inability to grasp the simple observation of the difference between private plus public sector taxes boggles the mind. [DOH]

The public sector also provides services.

I never said they didn't. I'm talking about NEW TAX REVENUE. It is generated by private sector earning wealth, which is than taxed. Public sector workers are paid from the taxes collected from the private sector.

Are public school teachers paid by the parents of his or her student? No. They are paid by the state from the tax money they collected from the private sector.

Those taxes are used to pay public sector workers their salaries and benefits for the services they provide. Whatever service that is, it usually is not a wealth generating activity, producing new tax revenues. As I've stated twice now THIS IS NOT A VALUE JUDGMENT ON THE SERVICE PAID FOR BY TAXES.

A firefighter doesn't generate wealth. He's paid from taxes collected from the private sector. I got no qualms about my taxes being consumed in this way for his service as a sentinel for the neighborhood in the case of fire. But his work doesn't generate new tax revenue. It's consuming the revenue just the same. Taking taxes from his paycheck is essentially just paying him less of the tax revenue collected from the private sector.

Look, if we have 10 private school teachers making 10k, and we tax them 1k each, we will have collected 10k total tax revenues from the 10 private school teachers.

Now if we than pay a public school teacher 10k, but "tax" him or her 1k like the private school teachers, than all we really did was consume 9k of the private sectors taxes collected...with an additional 1k left over to be consumed elsewhere by some other Government employee or project.

That 1k "taxed" from the public sector teacher is not an additional 1k in tax revenue. To argue that 10k collected from the private sector, and 1k collected from the public sector teacher represents a total of 11k taxes collected is ludicrous.

What is that...this so-called new math?

What it is, is 10k in taxes collected, with 9k of it spent on the salary of the public school teacher.

Does that really sound so complicated?

Some of you, in your zeal to disagree with one of the the most disagreeable members here, myself [Cool] , are failing to grasp such a simple concept because you're too busy trying to prove me wrong.

LR - man, I've never seen you fail to grasp the simple logic of such a basic economic principle before.

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LetterRip
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Daruma,

you keep ignoring the point of whether or not the private school is TAX DEDUCTABLE. If it is, then you consume 'tax dollars' when you purchase the private school services.

Ie assume a toy government - It spends 995$ on public schools, 5$ on tax related overhead.

Assume private schools are 100% deductible up to the amount spent on public schools (ie max of 995$), and that private school and public school teachers are taxed the same.

There is zero difference from a tax revenue availability perspective if the student attends the public school (the government collects 1000$ in taxes, and spends 995$ on the school and 5$ on overhead) or private school (the government collects 5$ in taxes).

So what really happens is the individual either spends 995 tax dollars through distribution by the government, or spends 995 tax dollars directly by purchasing the private school service and deducting it from their taxes.

If the private school is not tax deductible - then, and only then, is there a difference in tax revenue, since instead of substituting for the public service/goods with the private service/goods and substituting public spending with private spending, you end up 'doubling' spending - the individual pays for both taxes to support the public good, and private spending.

Only 'new tax revenue' is generated when a discretionary service or good is purchased or when a higher price is paid for the non discretionary service or good.

[ February 25, 2011, 06:05 AM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Look, if we have 10 private school teachers making 10k, and we tax them 1k each, we will have collected 10k total tax revenues from the 10 private school teachers.
Now imagine a voucher situation, in which taxes are used to employ 10 private school teachers. How do we feel about that?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
I believe I read something about the firefighters and police unions for the most part endorsing Walker's opponent in the previous election, so I do not think that election support of the Governor is why these unions were exempted by the proposed law.
Ben, Walker was endorsed by both the police and the firefighters' unions, in exchange for various promises. Both unions have since apologized for the endorsement.
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flydye
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
quote:
Here is some current national polling data:
I suppose it's a start, but since this is a state issue and I was originally referring to the people of Wisconsin, I can't find it particularly relevant.

And I will just point out that finding data that show that less than half of nationally-polled people support each "side" of the dispute when asked about it on the phone is especially not relevant - I was particularly talking about how many people are upset enough about the proposal to be actually protesting outside the Capitol in Wisconsin. And it's lots! Seventy thousand is a pretty substantial number for a state protest.

So anyways, I'm still waiting for some data supporting the insinuation that the only people who really care about the protest are union workers.
Are there even 70K state employees in Wisconsin?

Don't know. Since you are all about the data points, why don't you find out? Or ask how many union supporters from other states are being bused in to plump up the crowds. Somehow, that seems to have missed the major news networks.

Also, that EPI report you cited? Bought and paid for by the SEIU among others. By that logic, I assume you also accept the tobacco studies of the 60's, and the Oil corporation studies on the invalidity of global warming. Or are you going to be skeptical about the one and not the other purely according to ideological devotion?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Or ask how many union supporters from other states are being bused in to plump up the crowds.
Do you believe that these union supporters are being bussed in, as if they had no say in the matter? That they're being dispatched from some Central Union Control to a random hotspot? Because the "union supporters" that I know who've come in from out of state, including one of my uncles and several of my friends, two of whom actually arrived on buses chartered by non-profits, wanted to come to join the protest and see the spectacle and help ensure that the people here got their voices heard.

When the Tea Party showed up for a day to do its token little demonstration, by the way, I don't recall seeing you expressing dismay about the out-of-staters who were not only flown into the Capitol to make an appearance but, in the case of the speakers, were actually paid to appear.

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flydye
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
I believe I read something about the firefighters and police unions for the most part endorsing Walker's opponent in the previous election, so I do not think that election support of the Governor is why these unions were exempted by the proposed law.
Ben, Walker was endorsed by both the police and the firefighters' unions, in exchange for various promises. Both unions have since apologized for the endorsement.
From what I've heard, he was endorsed by a FEW of the police and fire fighter unions...the majority supported his opponent.

Which brings us to an ugly fact danced around by everyone here. The Democratic party is bought and paid by the unions. This is not a 'stand for worker rights' (well, it certainly isn't JUST that). This is the Democrats knowing that if they don't do exactly what the unions say, they can expect no union money (a HUGE contributor), no union call banks, no unions protestors to launch attack ads against 'horrible' Republican ideas like asking if government workers are, you know, actually giving value for the money.

quote:
If the unions are communicating, the senators are likely listening attentively: Those union donations constitute a significant chunk of their campaign funds, according to the data compiled by Wisconsin Democracy Campaign..

The outlier here is Sen. Tim Cullen (15th district), who has taken less than a dollar from PACs or political committees of any kind. But with him excluded, labor unions are responsible for a large percentage of these senators’ contributions from political-action committees (PACs) and political committees (which together constitute 25 percent of the donations to these senators tracked by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign). Aside from Cullen, Sen. Jim Holperin (12th district) had the lowest proportion of union-funded contributions from PACs or political committees: 24 percent.

Sen. Spencer Coggs (6th district) topped the list with 73 percent. And of the 13 Democrats in the state senate who accepted labor-union funds, ten received a third or more of their PAC or political-committee donations from unions. Five have collected over half of such donations from unions.

And that’s only looking at money directly given to the candidates. Unions also spent heavily on independent initiatives, for example television ads. The Wisconsin Education Association Council’s PAC spent nearly $1.6 million supporting state-level Democratic candidates during the 2010 election cycle. Other unions also spent in support of Democratic candidates, although in smaller amounts: $45,000 ($65,000 total, with the remainder supporting a Republican candidate) from the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, $13,000 from the International Union of Operating Engineers, and a little over $9,000 from Madison Teachers Inc.

Other organizations, while not directly affiliated with unions, have made it clear that they strenuously oppose the proposed limits on collective bargaining for some public employees. Advancing Wisconsin, a progressive interest group that spent nearly $560,000 in support of Democratic candidates in the past election, asked its Facebook fans earlier this month to sign up “to volunteer against Walker’s attempt to take away public employee rights!”

Building a Stronger Wisconsin, whose PAC spent $42,000 in the 2010 cycle, all in opposition to GOP candidates, commissioned and released a poll this month that showed two-thirds of Wisconsin voters opposed Governor Walker’s proposal to eliminate some collective-bargaining rights. And the group made it clear that they opposed Walker’s initiative in the press release accompanying the poll: “Building a Stronger Wisconsin is releasing the poll results today so that legislators and the governor are clear about how Wisconsinites across the state feel about this proposal as they debate and still have a chance to change it to reflect the will of the people,” the group’s executive director, Randy Nash, was quoted as saying.

Sharing those sentiments is another organization, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, which spent $27,000 during the 2010 elections in support of Democratic candidates. Citizen Action callsWalker’s collective-bargaining proposal a “radical attack on the middle class.”

The absent Democratic senators are preventing Wisconsin from launching initiatives that will help close a budget shortfall. But they are ensuring that their own campaign coffers will be well stocked during the next election.


web page

And, SIGH, yes Pyrtolin. It IS a Conservative website...because the Main Stream Media like our own beloved Milo Bloom here doesn't seem to want to mar the purity of those brave heroic gentlemen going out getting their labor sainthood. CONTEXT is only there for when it supports Democrat causes, not opposes it.

I'm sure Building a Stronger Wisconsin was in touch with Research 2000 for their poll so OT can reference it with the EPI 'study'.

And with all this money going in to Democratic coffers, who are people suddenly agnostic on the pro quo for the quid. I see. That is only available from CORPORATE money. These...donations are strictly due to philosophical similarity, not, you know, gaming the system.

And for your viewing pleasure

[ February 25, 2011, 09:32 AM: Message edited by: flydye ]

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