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Author Topic: Wisconsin
Daruma28
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When a legitimate third party shows up that a) takes reform seriously; and b) isn't full of crazies.

Pardon me then. I did not intend to get in the way of your next Donkey charge. Surely the results will be different THIS time...

[Exploding]

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Wayward Son
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Daruma, you are missing the point. It isn't about changing everything to the way you want it in one fell swoop. It is about moving the country in the direction that you want it, so that it is at least closer to the ideal, even if we never achieve it.

Giving up on the Republicans and the Democrats, without a viable alternative, means giving up on making any changes until such an alternative appears. And I'm sure you'd agree, we can't wait that long. We need to make changes now.

You should know by now that in a Democracy, rarely does anyone entirely get their way. But we can get closer...

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LetterRip
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Daruma,

quote:
I keep ignoring it because it's not relevant to the larger point. This misses the forest for the trees. Even if a private school tuition were not tax deductible, the money used to pay public sector workers is the money raised through private sector taxation. That is for all industries, not just teachers in education.
No it isn't irrelevant. The money used to pay the private school teacher if the tuition is tax deductible has the exact same impact - the taxes paid by the teacher are coming out of the publics tax money. So the taxes paid by the public school teacher and the private school teacher are equivalent as soon as the tuition is tax deductible.

quote:
Public sector workers are paid from the money raised by taxing the private sector. All of this talk of tax deductions does not change that basic fact.
Private sector workers can ALSO be paid from the money raised by taxing the private sector. Either directly (government hires private contractor) or indirectly (government allows tax deduction when a private contractor is hired to do a service normally provided for by public employee). I that happens all taxes paid by the private contractor are the same as the public employee in terms of tax pass through.

quote:
As soon as you have a situation in which public sector workers are making more money than the private sector generates in taxes, you get deficit spending to keep the public sector propped up. State goverments can only deficit spend for so long before the bill comes do and bankruptcy looms.
That is rather tautological. I think you are missing that the private sector is the exact same. If you are only willing to spend X, and the private sector raises prices above X, you either borrow (deficiet spend) or increase the price you are willing to pay (increase taxes). There is nothing particular unique about the public sector.

quote:
Tax revenue availability?

I'm talking total tax revenue CREATED.

So am I - our language isn't well suited for explaining this succinctly.

quote:
Your arguing that the outcome is the same because of the tax deduction.
quote:
This still ignores my main point. The person hiring the private school to educate their children deducts the cost from his or her overall taxes...but they are still paying taxes from the money they earned in the private sector.
Lets go to the extreme of communism so you can see where your logic falls down. In our toy version of communism the state owns everything. Yet the total wealth can increase. This is because all labor is still converted to goods or services. It doesn't matter at all economically who provides the good or service - whether pure government - as in communism - or pure private sector.

All you have said essentially, is that if prices rise you must either reduce service or raise the proportion of income spent on the service.

quote:
That taxes - even with the deduction - is a source of increased tax revenue.

A public sectors salary and benefits come from those taxes collected. The public sector's taxes withheld from their paycheck is NOT new tax revenue...just less taxes used to pay that public sector worker. Deductions applied to private sector tax payers does not alter this basic reality.

See above we have communism with 100% tax rate, absolutely no private sector production.

The meaning of tax is just the proportion of goods and services produced or contracted by the public sector.

Countrys differ in the amount that they contract this way. Most modern countrys contract most of their health care in this manner.

Interestingly this brings up a point that I think many miss that the only interesting economic question is not 'what is the tax rate' but how much quality discretionary goods and services are available after non discretionary goods and services (health care, needed transport, education, food, housing, etc) have been taken care of.

If one is rational one should prefer a higher tax rate if it leaves a greater proportion of discretionary goods and services that can be purchased.

JWatts,

your quote earlier,

quote:
Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that federal employees in occupations that exist in both the public and private sectors made an average salary of $67,691 in 2008, USA Today reports. Meanwhile, private sector workers in those occupations made $60,046. Government data also shows federal workers received benefits valued at $40,785, compared with benefits valued at $9,882 for private sector workers.
The salary difference might be explained by majority of federal workers being in major cities and hence higher costs of living.

Would be interested in how the value of benefits is calculated.

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Daruma28
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Oh Wayward...I understand your mistaken delusion that you think is "the point" perfectly.

You are missing my point.

$14,123,589,307,190.53.

That’s the total US national debt as of February 17, 2011.

That is just one of the results of decades upon decades of this jousting tournament between the Donkey and Elephant riders.

Is this what you call "viable?"

Armoring up the Donkey or the Elephant rider better, giving your steed better feed...all with the idea that eventually one side or the other is going to "WIN" and make it all better is a suckers game.

But don't let me stop you from continuing to play it...it's just too much fun!

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Daruma28
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LR - I can't even bother reading your rationalizations in trying to explain how this patently obviously unsustainable system is somehow sustainable.

Keep telling yourself there's no difference between public sector tax consumption and private sector tax generation.

The crash is coming...and it will prove my point for me.

BTW - I just realized the irony of my allegory of the partisan jousting tournament...as I continually mount up my own steed and try to charge the Donkey's and Elephants, hoping somehow that THIS time the results will be different.

[LOL]

Time to stop playing.

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Daruma28:
Right now, this thread has given me a vision.

A rather comical picture in my mind's eye.

Tom D and Pyrtolin on a donkey -- with a lance and saddle bought and paid for by union dues -- leveled and charging at flydye atop a charging elephant -- with his own lance and saddle bought and paid for with corporate donations.

[Big Grin]

But Daruma, riding a charging elephant with a lance is cool. [Cool] Riding a charging donkey is, well, it's riding a charging donkey.

[ February 25, 2011, 02:26 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I continually mount up my own steed and try to charge the Donkey's and Elephants, hoping somehow that THIS time the results will be different.
What results do you expect? I mean, seriously, what are you doing, having finally concluded that neither party is a viable option?
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Wayward Son
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quote:
Is this what you call "viable?"
Republicans and Democrats win elections. They pass bills. They get things to change. They make movement in our society.

What do third parties do? Heckle from the sidelines. [Smile]

OK, neither party does enough of what you want them to do. Partly it is because of the influences in our country; we agree on that. Partly it is because of the weaknesses of both parties; we agree on that.

And partly it is because a vast majority of Americans don't want things to go as far as you want.

They don't see most of our major institutions as unmitigated evils, just playing to the Powers That Be. They don't see most of the major movements and issues as being Merely Distractions. They actually believe that, all in all, our schools are good (although they need improvement), our laws are good (although they need improvement), and our government is good (although it needs improvement). That the general direction we are heading is the way they want to go.

Yes, the debt is way too high, because we can't decide how to fix it (get rid of important programs, increase taxes, or both). Many feel it should be one way, many others feel it should be another. But the general direction is pretty much agreed on by both parties.

That is why the parties are not that different. Because the American people don't want them to be that different. We want our parties, and our government, to be middle-of-the-road, and not as extreme as you'd like it. We want it that way.

You can rave and rant and call everyone sheeple, but them are the facts. Your vision is not what Americans want. And no matter how much smarter you think you are than the average American, you ain't gonna change that by insults. Only by slowly changing opinions, one at a time, inch by inch, over the long haul. Incrementally.

So you can work with the large groups and try to change things slowly and incrementally. Or you can heckle on the sidelines and be out of the game.

It's your choice. But don't blame us if we want to actually play and do something.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
But Daruma, riding a charging elephant with a lance is cool. [Cool] Riding a charging donkey is, well, it's riding a charging donkey.
It may not look cool, JWatts, but when you prick the elephant's leg and he stumbles, it is really something to watch the elephant's rider fall off the saddle. [Big Grin]
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flydye
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To be clear: I would like to see that powerplant sale to be a bit more prominant in civil discussion. Since I don't understand the positives or negatives of that, it shouldn't be hidden.
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TomDavidson
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Here's the text of that provision, fly:

quote:
16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).
Note, by the way, the amusing language designed to redefine the term "public interest". That's my favorite part.

[ February 25, 2011, 04:11 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
But Daruma, riding a charging elephant with a lance is cool. [Cool] Riding a charging donkey is, well, it's riding a charging donkey.
It may not look cool, JWatts, but when you prick the elephant's leg and he stumbles, it is really something to watch the elephant's rider fall off the saddle. [Big Grin]
What, you want to die in bed? [Wink]

quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
They don't see most of our major institutions as unmitigated evils, just playing to the Powers That Be. They don't see most of the major movements and issues as being Merely Distractions. They actually believe that, all in all, our schools are good (although they need improvement), our laws are good (although they need improvement), and our government is good (although it needs improvement). That the general direction we are heading is the way they want to go.

I would second that.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
What, you want to die in bed? [Wink]
Better than being crushed by a pachyderm (which, admittedly, is more likely for the Donkey rider). [Eek!]
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flydye
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Here's the text of that provision, fly:

quote:
16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).
Note, by the way, the amusing language designed to redefine the term "public interest". That's my favorite part.
I saw it before. There is a host of things I don't know to make a judgment. Is UW operating it in an efficient or profitable way? Why would this be in the public good? Why or why not offer it to bids? What is the motive behind this law (and if you trot out simply so the government can give goodies away to corproate interests...well, fine. But believe it or not, not everyone on the Right side of the aisle is venal and greedy...as is the knee jerk reaction by the Left)

So even seeing the provision, it tells me nothing. I have no context. But I didn't like the PPACA abortion with a host of hidden goodies rammed through Congress. I don't like this one either.

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flydye
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Here's the text of that provision, fly:

quote:
16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).
Note, by the way, the amusing language designed to redefine the term "public interest". That's my favorite part.
I saw it before. There is a host of things I don't know to make a judgment. Is UW operating it in an efficient or profitable way? Why would this be in the public good? Why or why not offer it to bids? What is the motive behind this law (and if you trot out simply so the government can give goodies away to corproate interests...well, fine. But believe it or not, not everyone on the Right side of the aisle is venal and greedy...as is the knee jerk reaction by the Left)

So even seeing the provision, it tells me nothing. I have no context. But I didn't like the PPACA abortion with a host of hidden goodies rammed through Congress. I don't like this one either.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Is UW operating it in an efficient or profitable way?
The UW plant isn't really meant to be operating in a profitable way, as it's first and foremost an educational tool. But it generates a small profit anyway. That said, that has nothing to do with whether or not it should be offered for sale via no-bid contract, nor whether a single political appointee's decision should be able to legally determine the "public interest" of a utility sale.

quote:
not everyone on the Right side of the aisle is venal and greedy
It only takes a couple. Personally, I believe the reason that there's a no-bid clause is so that the sale to Koch's subsidiary can go through without needing to expose the fact that Koch does not intend to comply with the soon-to-be-due coal scrubbing upgrades that are required by federal law (or beginning the planned upgrade to natural gas boilers, which the UW has committed to -- following Walker's decision to kill a biomass upgrade -- but which a private owner would not be legally required to complete). In a bid environment, readiness for compliance would be exposed in documentation; in a no-bid environment, Koch can simply beg the state for money to cover the upgrade a couple years down the line, having never actually been questioned about their intentions regarding the scrubbers.

[ February 25, 2011, 04:48 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Seriati
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quote:
16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).
This language alone isn't proof of nefarious intent. I base that conclusion on the fact that similar language can be found in any number of ordiances, regulations and laws designed to allow for the sale of public land. One reason you may want to have such a provision, is to allow for the negotiation of a complex deal with a single party - like a long term development deal, maintenance deal or long term leasing deal. All of which involve substantial commitments and due diligence which can increase costs and make it difficult for bidders to bid at an auction. Basically, its for the same reason most companies are sold privately or in heavily controlled auctions rather than in public auctions (not to be confused with going public transactions), which is to maximize the total return (economic and noneconomic) received.

That said, something wicked may be occurring, but that could just as easily be done through a public auction (by slipping the "preferred" bidder better details on the property than its competitors receive). In either case, vigilence is your best defense.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
One reason you may want to have such a provision, is to allow for the negotiation of a complex deal with a single party...
Walker has publicly denied that he has any party in mind; no one, he says, has expressed any interest in buying any plants.
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Seriati
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quote:
Walker has publicly denied that he has any party in mind; no one, he says, has expressed any interest in buying any plants.
Which likely means that a private sale could be advantageous. I wouldn't expect there to be sufficient knowledge in the public arena for someone to bid fair value on a power plant at a public auction. The best way to maximize value, is probably to put out limited due diligence to find several interested parties, then work excluxively with one or two that put forward the best preliminary proposals.
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flydye
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That is a good point. This deal seems to be structured so that it will be immune to 'death by lawsuit' of a deal by Greens who hate...well, anything that makes more pollution then a cow fart and are notorious for using any means fair and foul to stop things they don't like.

Not that I know this as a fact. But it is easily as credible a reason for the language shown as that of nefarious Republicans.

The fact that Walker may have lied in his public comments I put down to political noise and tactics. Look at what the mayor of Chicago did to that one airstrip.

[ February 25, 2011, 11:09 PM: Message edited by: flydye ]

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TomDavidson
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It is worth noting that phrases like "public interest" exist precisely because there is such a concept as the "public interest." Redefining the phrase "public interest" to avoid lawsuits is like redefining the word "fraud." While normally one might avoid doing this sort of thing so as to not deter buyers afraid of skullduggery, in this case the changes are being made to inconvenience a third party -- to wit, the public -- and are thus immune to market discrimination.

[ February 26, 2011, 12:28 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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flydye
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You don't know that. Or if you do, you have not displayed any of this information.
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RickyB
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"Which likely means that a private sale could be advantageous. I wouldn't expect there to be sufficient knowledge in the public arena for someone to bid fair value on a power plant at a public auction. The best way to maximize value, is probably to put out limited due diligence to find several interested parties, then work excluxively with one or two that put forward the best preliminary proposals. "

How does preventing other bids maximize value? What is this "public arena" you speak of? You and I aren't going to bid on a power plant. Anyone who is going to do so is a pretty damn wealthy businessman who has made money by learning the value of the things he buys and sells. If this his first venture into the field of power production, he has very skilled individuals to learn those facts for him. I just don't see how letting everyone who can afford the market value of the asset bid on it harms value maximization in any way.

fly - it's not that hacks with a (D) after their name are any less venal, greedy or dickwadsian (yes, I just made that word up). It is, however, a fact that this particular form of larceny of the public's money for the benefit of the few can far more easily be sold to the (R) electorate. It is simply very much at odds with the stated policies of pretty much anyone who gets elected as governor as a Democrat. There are, of course, forms of giveaways that are easier for Dems.

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flydye
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Like union kickbacks perhaps? [Wink] Which is sort of the whole point of the exercise. If the union can 'collectively bargain' (and there are not enough quote marks to put what I feel about that statement), with a guy whose reelection war chest is 25 to 73% from the unions, are you REALLY telling me that the government is getting the best deal? Really?

So, on a good year (i.e. a Democratic majority election cycle...there have been too many 'good years' of late for the county. Reference California) the union stooges sit down with a Democratic majority committee. The same guys that the teachers have been call banking for. The same guys who get union fundraising barbecues. The same guys who may have spent a great night at the Motel Six with that blond speech therapist. THOSE politicians.

The teachers ask for X money. They get told the state is broke (and have been hearing that for a long time) They dicker a bunch in front of the few Republicans (who have sat through this song and dance before) and in a private 'meeting', TUT mentions that Rodney, the Assemblyman in State Senator's district is a real political up and comer...oh...and did I introduce you to this lovely union lady? She used to be a speech therapist... So Senator Bilgewater folds like an IKEA chair under a fat woman. Unsurprisingly, the money is found, if not for raises today, for huge benefits down the road. (See state budgets, pension explosion)

It goes to the Senate. Republicans can vote for it or face whiny ads of whey faced kids crying about how Senator Uptight hates teachers and children and is 'saving money on the backs of children like a sweat shop owner'. They cave.

So instead of the teachers dumping in a few hundred thousand dollars in ads for Bilgewater to get him bought, NOW the union would have to make a much bigger ad buy telling Mr. Blank that despite the fact he's been unemployed for 6 months, the teachers REALLY need a wage increase of more then inflation.

Tom is going on and on about the collusion about this power plant. This is no different. Now on 'bad years' (i.e. Republican dominated years) the union hunkers down for a cycle or two, not out of any sense of fiscal responsibility, but because when you give 93% to this guys' enemies and run ads about how Senator Uptight eats kittens, you aren't getting any love. The union knows they just need to get the 'right' people voted in...because the gaming is institutionalized and UNLESS it's changed, everything they gave up they can get back when their flunkies get voted in.

[ February 26, 2011, 08:17 AM: Message edited by: flydye ]

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Pyrtolin
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That that's pure, unmitigated bull based on the unfounded assertion that the unions are out for active profit instead of representing their workers needs.

First and foremost is the assertion about underfunded pensions. The pensions aren't underfunded; Wisconsin's fund managers managed to stay out of the CDO market and so aren't even facing the temporary setbacks that other funds are from that crash. If completely cashed out right now, the Wisconsin pension fund could pay 99.67% on all benefit obligations for the next 30 years. With a return to normal economic health before then, even that tiny shortfall would be corrected.

Even your point about only accepting cuts in Republican years is bogus- they agreed to the cuts when there was a larger Democratic presence, but those cuts were blocked by the Republicans.

You assert bad faith negotiations on the part of the unions, but can only do that by pretending that their motives are the same as profit-driven corporate shareholders rather than considering the fact that their primary purpose is to help level an extremely unbalanced negotiating field by making it one on one instead of leaving individual workers to the mercy of administrative decisions.

That said, here I think is the compromise that should be pushed for- inflation based adjustments should be one boundary for negotiations, sure. They other boundary should be economic growth; and total compensation should be accounted for in those limits. In good times, this means that inflation adjustments are the lower bound, but the unions should, properly be able to make a case for getting a comparable share of overall economic growth rather than being forced to stagnate while others profit off of them. In bad times, this likewise would position reasonable bounds of the cuts that they should be considering to take a fair share of the burden until the situation improves. (Instead of now where "We need to make sacrifices" really means "The poor and middle classes need to suck it up, so that the wealthy folks don't risk losing anything.")

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G2
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quote:
The Wisconsin Senate voted Wednesday night to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers, approving an explosive proposal that had rocked the state and unions nationwide after Republicans discovered a way to bypass the chamber's missing Democrats.

All 14 Senate Democrats fled to Illinois nearly three weeks ago, preventing the chamber from having enough members present to consider Gov. Scott Walker's "budget-repair bill" - a proposal introduced to plug a $137 million budget shortfall.

The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spend money. But Republicans on Wednesday separated from the legislation the proposal to curtail union rights, which spends no money, and a special committee of lawmakers from both the Senate and Assembly approved the bill a short time later.

The unexpected yet surprisingly simple procedural move ended a stalemate that had threatened to drag on indefinitely.

So done and done. Heh.
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yossarian22c
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Did the Republicans just concede that stripping unions of collective bargaining rights has no fiscal impact?

Do any of our legal minds know if what they did was legal?

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Seriati
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quote:
Do any of our legal minds know if what they did was legal?
You'd need a Wisconsin Lawyer to be sure, and likely one that is familiar with the rules of their legislature. No reason to believe its not, and of course, no reason to believe it won't be litigated.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Do any of our legal minds know if what they did was legal?
The vote on collective bargaining without the rest of the budget is perfectly legal. That they held the vote in closed, unannounced session probably is not legal, but at best that means they'll just need to hold the vote again.

I actually thought of this tactic last week and had avoided posting it anywhere for fear that someone else might pick up on it. Sadly, it appears Republicans are capable of raw cunning, if not actual intelligence.

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Greg Davidson
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Kind of makes the point that stripping collective bargaining rights was never related to fiscal concerns. If it was, the vote was illegal. If it was not, the assertion was a lie.
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PSRT
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Heck, stripping unions of collective bargaining rights SHOULD be illegal. Collective bargaining is an exercise of freedom of association.
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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Kind of makes the point that stripping collective bargaining rights was never related to fiscal concerns. If it was, the vote was illegal. If it was not, the assertion was a lie.

Hey, that's what I was going to say [Smile]
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AI Wessex
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The middle class has been severely wounded by the financial mess, and in reaction they take it out on .... their own children's teachers?

The Right has been energized on this issue for a long time, and has won the early skirmishes in what may well become a protracted and even more divisive social war than we've seen so far. Let's see if this Wisconsin law will finally serve as a wakeup call to the Left.

Still no Wall Street banker has been arrested or indicted. From various sources, the average Hedge Fund salary in 2008 was $794,000. For a Jr. Trader the average was $309,000. Last year HF salaries rose by 10% and 56% of HF workers expect another increase this year. Top HF managers earned an average of $363,000,000 in 2006 and $542,000,000 in 2007, and top compensation remains over $2,000,000,000 every year.

Teachers and collective bargaining are the problem? Really?

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by yossarian22c:
Did the Republicans just concede that stripping unions of collective bargaining rights has no fiscal impact?

No.

quote:
Originally posted by yossarian22c:
Do any of our legal minds know if what they did was legal?

It is.
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TomDavidson
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(As a side note: of course the bit of the bill that allowed the governor to hand over power plants through no-bid sales was included in this vote.)
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Wayward Son
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So the most controversial aspects of the bill were passed in a hastily-called, possibly illegal, closed session after normal hours. From the party that is the "honest alternative" to those devious Democrats.

This is going to be chewing on the Republicans hindside for a while. [Smile]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
This is going to be chewing on the Republicans hindside for a while.
Well, remember that the Republicans bought the Wisconsin legislature through corporate donation last year; I'm not even slightly exaggerating, as anyone familiar with the Ron Johnson/Russ Feingold race will acknowledge. This is about getting the money to hold the state for decades, which they can theoretically do if they manage to break the unions and are able to gerrymander the state well enough. That's why Feingold's response to this thing has been Progressives United, which is all about responding to the Citizens United decision through grassroots fundraising. To be honest, though, I don't think it'll work, and I think the only viable politicians in the future will be ones backed by serious corporate money.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
To be honest, though, I don't think it'll work, and I think the only viable politicians in the future will be ones backed by serious corporate money.
It does look grim, but my experience here in California, it may not be an absolute stranglehold.

We've had a number of state propositions in the past that have been either heavily backed by corporations--sometimes spending two to three times than their opponents--that have gone down in defeat. Popular opinion can overcome corporate money.

It's just a matter of getting the people to actaully move in the same direction...

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Seriati
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quote:
Heck, stripping unions of collective bargaining rights SHOULD be illegal. Collective bargaining is an exercise of freedom of association.
It's hard to argue against this. I think the valid arguement is about what acually is a right, and what's a privledge we've granted by statute (most of which are currently pretty strongly pro union).

For instance, pretty hard to argue that the right to take wage deductions automatically should be a right. It's directly against the idea that collective bargaining was a choice to force participation (there are other reasons why it may make sense, but not that would justify it as a right).

On the other hand, its not even possible to prevent actual collective bargaining if the people involved are willing to accept the consequences.

The way you're presenting it here lumps the rights with the entitlements, and kind of side steps the legitimate debate.

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Seriati
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quote:
Still no Wall Street banker has been arrested or indicted. From various sources, the average Hedge Fund salary in 2008 was $794,000. For a Jr. Trader the average was $309,000. Last year HF salaries rose by 10% and 56% of HF workers expect another increase this year. Top HF managers earned an average of $363,000,000 in 2006 and $542,000,000 in 2007, and top compensation remains over $2,000,000,000 every year.
So what does class envy have to do with this? Since Wall Street bankers have less to do with this mess than members of Congress, who will never face charges, what exactly are you trying to gain here?

I'll throw you a bone here, I'll totally support hedge fund manager's having the same collective bargaining rights as teachers.

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