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Author Topic: Will Walker Stay or Go
AI Wessex
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edgmatt, it isn't a moral victory, but it is a significant political win. If you think otherwise, be ready to grant that same status of moral victory to each Democratic success at the polls. Greg's point about money is a good one, but money doesn't care who it is spent on. If Obama can learn from this how to do the same, the impact will be mitigated or matched in November. Self-interest is what elections are all about, and the people of Wisconsin on balance think Walker has earned the right to finish his term because he has satisfied theirs.
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TomDavidson
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Man. There is a student weeping in the hallway outside my office.
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msquared
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Are the Democrats now going to complain about all the money spent by the other side? Do they think the people are such sheep? From what I can tell Ryan promised to do certain things if he got elected. The people of the state elected him. He did what he said he would do. Some people, those most directly affected by his actions, got a recall election and he won that handily (15 point margin is a pretty good margin). Maybe it is time to accept that the rest of the people in the state see your position differently.

msquared

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Are the Democrats now going to complain about all the money spent by the other side? Do they think the people are such sheep? From what I can tell Ryan promised to do certain things if he got elected.
Yes, people are definitely such sheep.
For example, you apparently believe that we're talking about Paul Ryan. And you believe that Scott Walker promised to undermine public sector unions and eliminate environmental protections when he was campaigning for office.

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msquared
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You got me Tom. In my hurry I wrote the wrong guys name down. That invalidates my points. You win. Walker should leave the country.

msquared

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TomDavidson
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More importantly, your entire claim is based on the idea that Walker is doing what he promised to do. That's blatantly false; it requires that you buy into exactly the sort of propaganda that you're saying people have to be "sheep" to buy into.

The propaganda worked on you, Mark.

I also think your selection of Ryan is more significant than just a typo; it's a Freudian slip. There are certain Republican politicians in Wisconsin who are not actually campaigning for Wisconsin; they're campaigning to big national donors who are funding their elections, which just happen to be in Wisconsin. They're arms of a national movement, and have successfully and deliberately cast their state-wide elections as national bellwethers. What you know about this, Mark, is what it serves their interest to tell you.

[ June 06, 2012, 09:37 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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JWatts
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Congratulations to Governor Walker on his win last night. A 7+ point margin at the end. It's clear that the majority decided that his actions as Governor did not warrant a recall.

On another note, the poll results were definitely odd. So odd that on CNN last night John King repeatedly made the point that something was very flawed. Perhaps it was a flawed methodology or perhaps pro-recall voters were actively seeking out pollsters and skewing the count. But in either case, the polling firms need to examine the issue and work on obtaining more accurate results.

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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Is it material that the Walker campaign had about ten times as much campaign funds (something like $34M vs. $3.6M)? Maybe that's what we can expect in the Citizen's United era.

This has become the talking point. The problem with the Walker spending talking point being essentially a half truth. How much did unions spend to take Walker down? Estimates put it around $18-21 million.

I don't seem to recall you or anyone on the left getting upset about the spending advantage Barry held in 2008:

quote:
In capturing the presidency, Obama, 47, became the first major-party nominee to reject federal funding for the general election. He spent $740.6 million ...

<snip>

McCain spent $227.7 million ...

It was okay then, bad now. Hmm, what changed?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
How much did unions spend to take Walker down?
I spent a few hundred. *shrug* And I'm not even in a union.
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AI Wessex
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"It was okay then, bad now. Hmm, what changed?"

It wasn't bad either time, but it clearly is the single most important factor in an election, especially when it is used for negative campaigning and skullduggery. I'd love to engage you in a discussion of which side does that more and which is better at it. In any case, the bottom line is that money talks, nobody walks (I know I've used that line before, but it's a good one).

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edgmatt
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I think the state of Wisconsin would have benefited more if the $63 million plus that both sides spent on campaigning went towards ANYTHING ELSE for the people of the state.
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starLisa
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If the recall had succeeded, it would have been called a victory for democracy. It failed, and it's being called a failure of democracy. I smell sour grapes.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by edgmatt:
I think the state of Wisconsin would have benefited more if the $63 million plus that both sides spent on campaigning went towards ANYTHING ELSE for the people of the state.

Did most of the $63 million that was spend get spent out of state? If not, most of it is still there getting spent on other things right now.
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Wayward Son
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And quite a lot of that $63 million came from out of state, so in a way it was actually an economic boon. [Smile]
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edgmatt
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It's not that the money was completely wasted, it's that those resources (money, time, and politicians) could have been BETTER spent doing other things.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by edgmatt:
It's not that the money was completely wasted, it's that those resources (money, time, and politicians) could have been BETTER spent doing other things.

As long as the money wasn't coerced from people, then I don't have any problem with it at all. People spend money on the things they want. Some people would rather spend it on girls and vino, others on games and food and still others on politics and charity. It's the nature of free will and democratic capitalism that we strive for a minimal interference on where people decide to spend their money.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by edgmatt:
It's not that the money was completely wasted, it's that those resources (money, time, and politicians) could have been BETTER spent doing other things.

If we can unequivocally identify such investments, and idle resources, then we can and should create the money to make them. Once the money is circulating then it's generally best to let people decide how they'd like to allocate it, except were we can see clear harm or are facing critical shortages.
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AI Wessex
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"If the recall had succeeded, it would have been called a victory for democracy. It failed, and it's being called a failure of democracy. I smell sour grapes."

The winner always calls it a victory for democracy and the loser always calls it a failure. If the recall had succeeded would you have called it a failure of democracy?

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DonaldD
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meh. Sometimes, the majority agrees with you, sometimes it disagrees. It's neither a victory nor a loss for democracy. It just is democracy.
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LetterRip
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DonaldD,

a thought I had is regardless of outcome - is it really democracy? I think that to have true democracy you need a well informed populace with full participation.

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Greg Davidson
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quote:
As long as the money wasn't coerced from people, then I don't have any problem with it at all. People spend money on the things they want. Some people would rather spend it on girls and vino, others on games and food and still others on politics and charity. It's the nature of free will and democratic capitalism that we strive for a minimal interference on where people decide to spend their money.
This is an entirely a legitimate point of view - that everyone has a right to spend unregulated amounts on elections.

I disagree with that point of view because I believe that the adverse effects outweigh the benefits. It allows billionaires to influence our elections in a way that is grossly disproportionate to their presence among US citizens, and it allows foreign companies and countries to similarly spend to influence American political outcomes. With such a policy in place, any time any government action might affect a billion or more dollars of potential profit for a company or an industry, it will be in the interests of the affected parties to invest a fraction of that billion dollars to elect politicians who will protect their future gains.

I believe that the outcome will be closer to a kleptocracy than a democracy, but it is entirely legitimate to argue that you favor an increase in keptocratic rule in America.

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Gaoics79
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Interesting that everyone is concerned about campaign spending and its influence on election results. A very similar issue is at the heart of the drive to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public sector employees.

It's the ultimate conflict of interest. Unions promise management (a.k.a. the politicians) votes in exchange for money. Except it's not the politicians' money that is being squandered.

On top of that, because taxpayers are a practically bottomless well of money to draw on, there is no deterrent to the unions making unreasonable demands.

What you have is a toxic mix of moral hazard with naked conflict of interest yielding massive corruption.

Never mind collective bargaining, the public sector unions need to be broken and abolished.

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TomDavidson
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I'm often amused by the number of people who harp about public sector unions and their "massive corruption."
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AI Wessex
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"On top of that, because taxpayers are a practically bottomless well of money to draw on, there is no deterrent to the unions making unreasonable demands."

How do unions' "unreasonable" demands compare with the unreasonable benefits corporations receive from intensive lobbying and well-placed massive campaign donations?

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edgmatt
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quote:
As long as the money wasn't coerced from people, then I don't have any problem with it at all. People spend money on the things they want. Some people would rather spend it on girls and vino, others on games and food and still others on politics and charity. It's the nature of free will and democratic capitalism that we strive for a minimal interference on where people decide to spend their money.
I don't have a problem with it (money used for campaigns and elections) for regular campaigns and elections. This campaign was unnecessary. It was an unnecessary use of:

1) Our elected officials. I always hate election years, particularly the closer it gets to the election. Our politicians are elected to do a number of things that are supposed to help us. I accept that campaigning is a necessary part of having elected officials, except when the campaign is unnecesary. What positive solutions to the many problems facing Wisconsin could have been discovered since (was it January this recall started?) Complete waste of the talents of both Walker and Barett.

2) Money of the citizens. Sure the money was spread around to various areas; tv and radio stations, poster makers, whathaveyou. But, we are in an economic downturn. That money could have been better spent elsewhere; food, clothing, housing, etc. Again, I'm not telling people who donated their money that they shouldn't have, I am saying that the money they donated didn't have to be donated on an unnecessary campaign in the first place. How many people were hurt financially because that money didn't go to them, but instead to a campaign?

3) Time. In my opinion, the worst of all. Like I said in number 1, how many problems could have been solved during this entire recall process? What about the time of the citizens? I would hate to waste even 5 minutes of my day to have to go vote for something like this. How many people took off work? How many other stories in Wisconsin were buried because of this story? I consider time EXTREMELY valuable because we can't go buy anymore, and we are limited to a certain amount.

This was a complete waste of everyone's time.

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Gaoics79
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quote:
I'm often amused by the number of people who harp about public sector unions and their "massive corruption."
That's because public sector union corruption is one of the biggest fiscal challenges facing debt-ridden western governments rights now.

In Ontario for example, public sector compensation accounts for about half of the Province's budget. Public sector unions, not corporations or billionaires, are literally bankrupting the Province. Labour costs are the 800 lbs gorilla. It's why even union shills like our Premier Dalton McGuinty, men who spent their entire careers placating and molycoddling public sector unions, have been basically forced to attack public sector compensation.

Anectdotally, I remember deposing an employee of the Ontario Ministry of Labour. The lady was a middling bureaucrat of about 25 years experience making a pretty respectable near six figure wage. It wasn't the salary that was astonishing. The lady had been injured in a non work related accident and testified that she was working 50% of her pre-accident hours for the last two years. Yet her tax summaries showed no drop in her income.

How did she manage this magic trick? Simple. She started using up her banked sick days. We're talking only sick days. She was not even cutting into her 5 weeks of annual vacation. She was NOT tapping into disability. This was purely using sick days. I think even her own lawyer was slack-jawed.

Corporations, for all their corruption (and I am in favour of capping corporate campaign contributions) are still a net positive to the economy considering the taxation wealth and jobs they generate.

The public sector unions are a blight. They are literally destroying major economes like Toronto and Ontario. They are single-handedly bankrupting us with their insane demands, aided and abetted for too long by politicians eager to cash in on their political clout.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
That's because public sector union corruption is one of the biggest fiscal challenges facing debt-ridden western governments rights now.
You are defining "corruption" as "negotiated benefits," here?
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Gaoics79
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quote:
How do unions' "unreasonable" demands compare with the unreasonable benefits corporations receive from intensive lobbying and well-placed massive campaign donations?
Well first off, corporations are job creators and wealth creators. The richer they get the more tax revenue is generated. Unions generate no wealth. Moreover, they are, by any objective measure, the single largest drain on government coffers by far. Labour costs are literally bankrupting municipal and provincial governments here in Canada.

Corporate welfare and corporate corruption, as odious as it is, is not going to result in Greek style economic implosion as we're starting to see here in Ontario. Sorry, it's not even close.

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Gaoics79
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quote:
You are defining "corruption" as "negotiated benefits," here?
When one side of the "negotiation" has a massive conflict of interest, then yes it's corruption.
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AI Wessex
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"This was a complete waste of everyone's time."

Would you have felt it was unnecessary and a waste of time if Walker had lost? You're assuming the status quo needs no confirmation, but in a democracy the population get to exercise their right to reject an elected official and the citizens of Wisconsin decided to do that. Why would you deny them that right other than because the candidate you like won?

"Well first off, corporations are job creators and wealth creators. The richer they get the more tax revenue is generated. Unions generate no wealth."

Unions don't generate wealth for their members for whom they negotiate wage and benefits? You think a billionaire in any way has any interest whatsoever in your ability to acquire wealth? The less you are paid the more the wealthy corporations keep in profits.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
When one side of the "negotiation" has a massive conflict of interest, then yes it's corruption.
I'm vague on this concept. For what reason do you think a public sector employer has a conflict of interest when negotiating with public sector employees?

-------

quote:
Well first off, corporations are job creators and wealth creators. The richer they get the more tax revenue is generated. Unions generate no wealth.
I think your premises here are actually pretty odious, I have to admit.
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edgmatt
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Al - because the recall wasn't warranted. It was based on political stance instead of something criminal, or as if Walker was running the state into the ground as Gov Grey Davis did. Walker was in office for less than a year, and was recalled mainly for the one piece of legislation that he proposed.

If Republicans wanted to "recall" President Obama for any or all of the pieces of legislation he has proposed, would you be in favor of letting that happen? I wouldn't.

It's a violation of forum rules to speculate on the motives behind my opinions. Stop doing that.

To answer your question: yes it would have been a waste of all the items I mentioned even if Walker had lost.

[ June 07, 2012, 12:05 AM: Message edited by: edgmatt ]

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Greg Davidson
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(1)
quote:
Well first off, corporations are job creators and wealth creators.
The phrase "job creators" has been popularized as part of a campaign to obscure the fact that the greatest job killing in 80 years (4 million US jobs in ~6 months) was committed by private sector investment banking firms who have now been re-named "job creators".

(2)
quote:
corporations are job creators and wealth creators. The richer they get the more tax revenue is generated. Unions generate no wealth.
So wealth is not created when union workers take raw materials and machine them into parts, assemble the parts into units, assemble the units into subsystems, and then integrate the subsystems together to make automobiles or aircraft? There's no income taxes on the wages that union employees earn; there's no sales taxes on the automobiles once sold? Is it truly your view of the world that a man or woman who assembles automobiles generates no wealth, but a trust-fund baby who never worked a day in his life but has 100,00 shares of stock he inherited is generating wealth?

(3)
quote:
That's because public sector union corruption is one of the biggest fiscal challenges facing debt-ridden western governments rights now.
As said earlier, your allegations about the extent of public sector union corruption (and any relative comparison to corporate or private sector union corruption) is unsubstantiated. And if your concern were proportional to the money involved, then any discussion of the US federal government would have very little to do with employee unions, as total compensation to those workers is less than 10% of federal expenditures (Defense Department contractors alone take in more tax money than all federal civil servants combined).
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AI Wessex
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edgmatt, I think you fail to see the irony in your post. Walker was recalled for exactly the same reasons that Davis was, because the voters were deeply concerned about the actions he had taken in office. In Davis' case the charge was general incompetence, though under his successor the state ended up in a far worse shape. In Walker's case, he veered so far to the right unexpectedly after taking office that the voters were horrified by the apparently hidden agenda he had in mind when he was running for the office.

If you don't like my "speculation" report me to the Mod instead of complaining that you could if you wanted to. I don't think I have overstepped the bounds in any way. You hurt my feelings by suggesting that I have, which is probably something I could report you for doing these days, so watch yourself! [Wink]

[ June 07, 2012, 07:23 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Greg Davidson
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quote:
In Davis' case the charge was general incompetence...
More specifically, Enron engaged in abusive and manipulative tactics to profit from an artificial energy crisis in California, and the Governor was unable to stop them. Providing an assist to Enron was the Bush Administration, because the federal government refused to intervene (for no real reason - and later evidence made it quite clear that Enron was guilty of abusive practices to increase profits). And wealthy outside interests subsidized paid signature collectors to get the recall election on the ballot.

[ June 07, 2012, 09:58 AM: Message edited by: Greg Davidson ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Well first off, corporations are job creators and wealth creators.
No- consumers are job creators. Workers are wealth creators. Corporations are just legal constructs designed to help coordinate production efforts on a larger scale any an individual worker can manage- their explicit objective is to reduce the number of jobs that it takes to meet a certain level of consumer demand, not to increase it.
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Greg Davidson
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quote:
their explicit objective is to reduce the number of jobs that it takes to meet a certain level of consumer demand
To be fair, the explicit objective of corporations is to maximize return to shareholders. If they can do that by firing employees, they will, and if they can do that by hiring more employees, they will. Job creation or destruction is an irrelevant byproduct that does not influence their objectives (Bain is a good example of this).
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
I believe that the outcome will be closer to a kleptocracy than a democracy, but it is entirely legitimate to argue that you favor an increase in keptocratic rule in America.

[Roll Eyes] That's a blatant attempt to demonize the other side.

kleptocracy - a government or state in which those in power exploit national resources and steal; rule by a thief or thieves.

Allowing people and groups of people free speech and the right to spend their own money for political speech is not going to lead to kleptocracy. No national resources were exploited or stolen by those opposed to recalling Governor Walker.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
It's the ultimate conflict of interest. Unions promise management (a.k.a. the politicians) votes in exchange for money. Except it's not the politicians' money that is being squandered.

The people the unions are negotiating with are not the elected officials. And the elected officials that are in charge of hiring the management (executive) are generally not the ones that have the power to set the departmental budgets (legislative).

Also, the ability of unions to affect votes depends directly on the level of public sympathy they have; specifically from their ability to show that they're working on behalf of the average worker, regardless of whether that worker is unionized since, as the negotiating block with the best ability to negotiate fairly, they set the baseline for all other private sector compensation around them, since other employers have to offer compensation or other benefits that are competitive with the union baseline.

quote:
On top of that, because taxpayers are a practically bottomless well of money to draw on, there is no deterrent to the unions making unreasonable demands.
The unions can only negotiate with the various departmental budgets, not directly with the taxpayers. And the union members are, themselves taxpayers. And, again, they set the baseline for all wages across the board, so when they hold out for reasonable compensation, they're implicitly doing the same for all non-union workers as well, and any cuts they accept implicitly translate to cuts across the board in income and consumer spending, which has a net negative affect on economic health and revenues across the board.
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Grant
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I hate to distract from the overall case being constructed that Mitt Romney is ready for induction as a Sith apprentice, but I wanted to explore some things. Pardon the sidebar:

Pyr, you said:

quote:
No- consumers are job creators. Workers are wealth creators. Corporations are just legal constructs designed to help coordinate production efforts on a larger scale any an individual worker can manage
It appears to me that consumers are not really job creators. They simply create job opportunites. When a demand exists, you first must have the necessary capital to create the product. It appears to me that CAPITAL creates jobs, while consumers just complete it.

For instance, I would love to buy an Imperial II class Star Destroyer. I'm the consumer, and I have created the demand. But in order to actually meet the demand, for someone to build me a Star Destroyer, they would need the money and the personnel and the plans to build one for me.

On the other hand, without the demand, the product will not sell, but it will still exist, just at a progessively lower value.

It seems to me that capital is just as important, if not more, then demand when it comes to job creation. The people who have the majority of the capital are the banks, and the talent.

I think it is more of a symbiotic relationship then it is sometimes portrayed.

[ June 07, 2012, 10:33 AM: Message edited by: Grant ]

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