And now, they're coming for your Social Security money - they want your fucking retirement money - they want it back - so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this fucking place. It's a Big Club: and you're not in it.
"…we’re hearing an awful lot about those spoiled government employees with their flush pay packages and their godawful unions. The worst, of course, are the teachers’ unions. They are responsible for everything that’s gone wrong in America today. […]
Dallas’s incoming superintendent of schools—a government leader, right?— will enjoy a base salary of $300,000. His chief of staff will make $225,000. His chief of communications (i.e., press agent) will make $185,000. And his “chief of talent and innovation,” whatever that is (it’s a new position), will make $182,000.
All of these people make more money than the Dallas police chief, who makes do with about $175,000. Meanwhile, those greedy Dallas teachers, who are represented by the American Federation of Teachers, bump along with an average salary of about $56,000. That’s nearly 20 percent below the average household income in the U.S. ($67,530).
Being a teacher is back-breakingly difficult work. It is also extremely important work. Being the press agent or innovation chief for the school superintendent is, by comparison, fairly easy, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the hours are much shorter. It’s also fairly trivial. Being superintendent or the superintendent’s chief of staff is important work, but there’s no chance it’s as difficult as being a teacher, and I hesitate to say that it’s as important. The boss always makes more, and I guess we can’t begrudge him that. But for the boss to make more than six times more than the average teacher is freaking outrageous."
— Timothy Noahmaking a point that is as cogent as it is (apparently) unutterable on the national stage. You want to energize the great unwashed? This is your platform. It combines the necessary economic narrative with the need for better education in this country, and the universal desire for one’s children to “do better” than Mom and Dad ever did. Use it within these next several months in which teachers are still considered people of consequence. The GOP is doing everything it can to reverse that notion. Wonder why.
Supposedly this is a compelling cartoon that shows how ‘crazy’ those public sector unions are.
Indeed, but the failure here is in getting the message into the head of Joe Private Sector that he’s the one getting the raw deal and the answer to that is most definitely not making sure that everyone has all benefits stripped from their job too.
The GOP and their media enablers have spent over two decades convincing him that, in fact, he shouldn’t be getting any benefits and neither should anybody else, regardless of whatever contracts those parties have entered into. Unless and until Unions and The Democrat figure out that it will require a similarly sustained, unyielding, and focused message to undo any of that, nothing will change. And, assuming the staus quo prevails or worsens, sooner or later, everyone will end up losing pensions, health care, weekends, limited hours, paid vacations, and anything else they can pry from a working populace all too eager to hand over anything and everything for a simulacrum of a chance at actual advancement. You know, lotteries and such.
But, man, think of the efficiencies our Galtian overlords will have achieved. That will be something to see.
In total, the economy has lost close to $1.3tn in annual demand as a result of the collapse of the housing bubble. This explains the economy’s weak growth and high unemployment. There is no simple way to replace this demand.
We can gather together a coven of market-worshipping Republicans and sacrifice all the workers and retirees we want, it still will not replace the demand gap. We can love the private sector as much as we want and it still will not make firms go out and invest and hire when they don’t see demand for their products.
one section buried deep within [H.R. 1135] adds a startling new requirement. The bill, if passed, would actually cut off all food stamp benefits to any family where one adult member is engaging in a strike against an employer
No need to talk about this kind of stuff at the national level. Shrill. Just let all those troublemakers and their families starve to death already. Christ, it’s their fault we’re in this mess to begin with. GOP to striking workers and their families: Go die in the streets.
I am addicted to making money. I have lost any and all perspective. I don’t care if I lose my readers in the short term; they will come back. I don’t care if I lose my staff; I can always find new people. I don’t care about the health of my employees; as far as I’m concerned, they knew the risks. I don’t care if my website is gravitating toward quantity over quality, or that we chase page views with shorter, Google-friendly stories instead of posting the same top-notch content that got people reading us in the first place; I want only to generate more revenue than the previous year.
Technically speaking, it’s all about the NFL ownership and their ongoing labor talks; whatever it’s specifically about it is definitely required reading.
Or: Why most of Congress could give a shit about unions, jobs, and generally thinks Social Security needs to be discontinued as soon as possible because who even needs that kind of small-potatoes stuff unless they totally screwed up or chose a bad accountant?
From the supplemental graphs section (seriously) of Kevin Drum’s excellent piece on Our Plutocracy and ever growing inequality.
The state’s entire budget shortfall for this year — the reason that Walker has said he must push through immediate cuts — would be covered by the governor’s relatively uncontroversial proposal to restructure the state’s debt.
By contrast, the proposals that have kicked up a firestorm, especially his call to curtail the collective-bargaining rights of the state’s public-employees, wouldn’t save any money this year.
“What we’re asking for is modest, at least to those of us outside of government,” Walker said in a televised address Tuesday night.
In January, the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported that the state would face a $137 million shortfall before the end of the fiscal year on June 30. The governor’s budget repair bill proposes a debt restructuring that would save the state $165 million in the near term, more than covering the shortfall.
The legislation would also borrow money from a federal welfare program to cover further state shortfalls, and it includes a provision that would allow the sale of the state’s public utilities without a bidding process or public oversight.
So, restructure, borrow from dread federal guvmint, and a massive under the table handout to favored GOP allies, in this case the Koch Brothers who stand to create a pretty fantastic (for them, anyway) vertical monopoly there in WI. And, oh, may as well fuck the Unions while we’re at it. This last part excites the Tea Klanners so that they don’t even notice they’re taking up the side of their supposed enemy.
Who says this isn’t the new gilded era? Legal and even expected child labor, here we come.
But when you see what Unions have done to America…it’s hard to feel for the folks in Wisconsin. Have you been to Detroit? Have you really dug into the US Public School system? Utter disasters.
Detroit will come back. The school will be saved. But unions need to go in order for this to happen.
Agreed… neither side in this current Wisconsin battle is blameless, imho. I just think our new Governor could have taken a more productive path through this process. Yes, the negotiations in years past have put us in a massive financial hole… so maybe there should be some better negotiations by someone on the side of the taxpayers and our representative government who can get people to understand the differences, the problems, and the potential solutions. Instead we get a highly politicized My Cock Is Bigger Than Yours schoolyard bout. Frustrating.
And Jesse Jackson ain’t helpin’ nothin’. In fact, his arrival this morning is a pretty good indicator that things are beyond the practical and deep into the symbolic. So here we sit, Wisconsinites, held hostage by two diametrically opposed political cults more interested in digging in their heels than solving the actual problem.
Anyone who is surprised at this turn of events simply didn’t have their eyes open during the elections this past fall. This is precisely what Scott Walker said he would do if in power. In fact, I’m rather impressed he followed through, even if I disagree with some or most of his proposals.
Wisconsin aside- let us discuss the “what Unions have done to America” and how singularly AWFUL they are:
safety at work
health care for workers
child labor laws
am I missing anything?
I’d only add the dreaded 40-hour work week. Nothing has done more to reduce America to a barren hellscape than that.
The best way to understand Walker’s proposal is as a multi-part attack on the state’s labor unions. In part one, their ability to bargain benefits for their members is reduced. In part two, their ability to collect dues, and thus spend money organizing members or lobbying the legislature, is undercut. And in part three, workers have to vote the union back into existence every single year. Put it all together and it looks like this: Wisconsin’s unions can’t deliver value to their members, they’re deprived of the resources to change the rules so they can start delivering value to their members again, and because of that, their members eventually give in to employer pressure and shut the union down in one of the annual certification elections.
What is it with this glut of cogent explanations in the media today? More, please. After all, something has to offset the emerging right-wing and MSM meme that this is primarily about budget cuts and that’s why Democrats have gone missing…
The size of that fix [required to keep Social Security fully funded] is significant, but not astonishing. Over the next 75 years, the shortfall will be equal to about 0.7 percent of gross domestic product. How much is 0.7 percent of GDP? To put that in perspective, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities calculates that it’s about as much as George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the rich will cost over the same period. Saying we can afford those cuts — which is the consensus Republican position — but not Social Security’s outlay is nonsensical. Coming up with 0.7 percent of GDP isn’t a crisis. It’s a question of priorities.
And this is precisely how it should be talked about every single time a microphone is turned on. Clear, simple terms that highlight the basic stability of the program, the relative ease of fixing it (as opposed to, say, Medicare), and its critical position as the only thing between catfood and dying in the streets for millions of elderly individuals who have by and large paid into it, fair and square. Oh, but now your deal has to change and you have to keep working at your labors until you’re 70. Just makes perfect sense.
The parallels to Wisconsin are striking: A group and the government enter into a deal. Now the government wants to change the deal ex post facto, and uses a bludgeon of “dread Unions” to paper over the fact that they the government are the one dealing in underhanded fashion. And, of course, the media blissfully reports it from the government perspective. This is why we fail.
But, if a few million folks show up on the doorstep of said government, well, things can change.