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[Wisconsin Protests] 45% of the way to recalling 8 GOP state senators

DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
edited March 2011 in Debate and/or Discourse
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Observe the native palm trees of Madison, Wisconsin. See the insane violence of the protesters, as reported by Bill O'Reilly of FOX News.

The [Unions] thread got itself locked for being well over 100 pages, so I thought I'd make a thread specifically about the Wisconsin protests; perhaps we can focus on the historic event unfolding here and not dwell so much on how much unions do (not?) deserve to exist. Faint hope, I know.

EDIT: I'm okay with wider picture stuff, because it does set the stage for what's going on in Madison right now, but I'm not really interested in broad generalizations over whether unions are all corrupt and all deserve to be destroyed. There are benefits and drawbacks of most systems, including unions. Now can we talk about what applies (even indirectly) to Wisconsin?

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The protests are going into their third full week.
It was Angela Aldous, a 30-year-old nurse from Madison, who drew the loudest cheers. She sought to cast doubt on Walker's suggestion, made last week, that many people from out of state were joining the large protest crowds in Madison.

"Governor Walker, I'm not faking this Wisconsin accent," Aldous said. "I was born in Wisconsin. I live in Wisconsin. And I came back early from my ice-fishing trip to tell you, 'You are not going to crush Wisconsin.' "

She then led the crowd in a chant: "We are Wisconsin."

Not since the anti-war protests of the Vietnam era has Madison been the scene of such sustained and large demonstrations. Wisconsin is at the center of an epic clash between a Republican governor eager to take on entrenched union power and public-sector workers battling to hold onto rights they have held for more than a half century.

Well, they don't seem to be going away.

On the legislative front:
Miller, speaking by telephone from an undisclosed location in Illinois, said he and other Democratic senators had reached out to Fitzgerald and other Republican senators on a daily basis.

"We continue to seek a resolution to this impasse," he said. "We have been communicating on a daily basis with our Republican colleagues."

Asked if he had reached out to Walker, Miller would only say the "governor is the key to solving this."

Walker and Republican legislative leaders say the measure must pass the Senate by Tuesday to avoid the layoffs of thousands of employees as early as April 1.

The crazy thing is, this guy who has a Pulitzer says that Wisconsin public employees already pay for all of their supposedly expensive pensions.
Gov. Scott Walker says he wants state workers covered by collective bargaining agreements to “contribute more” to their pension and health insurance plans. Accepting Gov. Walker’ s assertions as fact, and failing to check, creates the impression that somehow the workers are getting something extra, a gift from taxpayers. They are not. Out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin’ s pension and health insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state workers.

So what Walker really means by "contribute more" is: "Take a pay cut." That is, in addition to giving up collective bargaining rights and almost any hope of ever getting a raise above inflation.

Still confused? Let's let state assemblyman Gordon Hintz explain what happened:

Apparently this video keeps disappearing under mysterious circumstances.

EDIT: I suppose I should also mention the infamous prank call that Buffalo Beast editor Murphy made to Walker (after he found out that Walker was not taking any calls). Turns out he does take calls from Kansas billionares that donated the maximum amount to his campaign and whose PAC was running ads for the bill before it was even revealed to the state Democrats.
"Koch": We’ll back you any way we can. What we were thinking about the crowd was, uh, was planting some troublemakers.

Walker: You know, well, the only problem with that —because we thought about that. The problem—the, my only gut reaction to that is right now the lawmakers I’ve talked to have just completely had it with them, the public is not really fond of this…[snip] My only fear would be if there’s a ruckus caused is that maybe the governor has to settle to solve all these problems…[snip]…Let ‘em protest all they want…Sooner or later the media stops finding it interesting.

Dracomicron on
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Posts

  • KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    is this historic because someone is actually willing to challenge the public unions?

    personally i applaud his courage, even if i dont fully agree with his position.

    unions are really great, until they are total shit. at the moment, the teachers unions are total shit and should be totally obliterated. there's a reason why the u.s. education system is garbage and the teachers unions are one of the big reasons.

    im not too sure about about other public sector unions, but i cant say that the quality of public services has ever been good. or even consistent. on the other hand, private companies that offer the same or similar services are always much better.

    i dont think we can or should ever return to upton sinclair's jungle, but i dont want us to be like greece either. i wish there was someway we could find some practical middle ground. but compromise is for the weak i guess.

  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Ketherial wrote: »
    is this historic because someone is actually willing to challenge the public unions?

    personally i applaud his courage, even if i dont fully agree with his position.

    unions are really great, until they are total shit. at the moment, the teachers unions are total shit and should be totally obliterated. there's a reason why the u.s. education system is garbage and the teachers unions are one of the big reasons.

    im not too sure about about other public sector unions, but i cant say that the quality of public services has ever been good. or even consistent. on the other hand, private companies that offer the same or similar services are always much better.

    i dont think we can or should ever return to upton sinclair's jungle, but i dont want us to be like greece either. i wish there was someway we could find some practical middle ground. but compromise is for the weak i guess.

    Sigh. Didn't I just say that I didn't want to debate whether unions should be destroyed or not? Fuck it.

    Ketherial, is it your opinion that Wisconsin unions are total shit? Do you have any specific evidence or experience with them being total shit? I have a ton of personal experience saying that the Wisconsin unions are actually pretty reasonable and, while I understand that anecdotal evidence doesn't carry the same weight as hard facts, if you'll look at the hard facts in this case, it's pretty clear who the asshole in all of this is.

    If you think that Walker should be lauded for going up against those mean ol' unions, do you support the fact that he rode into power in Wisconsin from a wave of money from Kansas billionares? Do you support him declining $850,000,000 from the Federal government for responsible high-speed rail? Putting millions more at risk if this collective bargaining thing goes through? Overblowing the budget crisis solely to hobble unions with measures that don't even affect the budget? Going back further, do you support him hiring British mercinaries to run security in Milwaukee's government buildings, at a net loss to the taxpayers?

    Everything this guy does is way suspicious. Tell me you support him anyway, and give me an actual reason besides, "Unions must die."

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • rockrngerrockrnger Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Ketherial wrote: »
    is this historic because someone is actually willing to challenge the public unions?

    personally i applaud his courage, even if i dont fully agree with his position.

    unions are really great, until they are total shit. at the moment, the teachers unions are total shit and should be totally obliterated. there's a reason why the u.s. education system is garbage and the teachers unions are one of the big reasons.

    im not too sure about about other public sector unions, but i cant say that the quality of public services has ever been good. or even consistent. on the other hand, private companies that offer the same or similar services are always much better.

    i dont think we can or should ever return to upton sinclair's jungle, but i dont want us to be like greece either. i wish there was someway we could find some practical middle ground. but compromise is for the weak i guess.
    Tell me you support him anyway, and give me an actual reason besides, "Unions must die."

    Allow me.

    One time my uncle had a bad experience with a union.
    We have labor laws for that now.
    union bosses are leaches.
    Public employees are moochers.
    Free market yadda yadda yadda.
    Unions can vote their own Raises!

    All it comes down to is that unions give money to the democrats and democrats are bad.
    So Unions are bad.

  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    rockrnger wrote: »
    Allow me.

    One time my uncle had a bad experience with a union.
    We have labor laws for that now.
    union bosses are leaches.
    Public employees are moochers.
    Free market yadda yadda yadda.

    All it comes down to is that unions give money to the democrats and democrats are bad.
    So Unions are bad.

    Oh. I see. It is all so clear to me now.

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    The earlier thread got locked due to the 100 page limit, not for content, which was apparently okay.

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I'm not entirely sure that it is possible to say interesting things about Wisconsin without dragging in the wider picture. This much is clear: Wisconsin's public-sector unions are not obviously excessively paid, their performance is not obviously dodgy, and Wisconsin's state finances are not obviously terrible. But we can't claim the reverse, either.

    So if there is an fiscal case to be made here, in either direction, it needs to be in the wider context of unionization in general, and what unions might do.

    e: interesting in the what-policy-is-at-hand sense, of course

  • KageraKagera Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    You know what this protest thread needs? Nerdiness!

    http://gammasquad.uproxx.com/2011/02/24-geeky-wisconsin-protest-signs#page/1

    “This is America. We’re entitled to our opinions.”
    “Wrong. This is Texas. And my opinion is the only one that counts."
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Kagera wrote: »
    You know what this protest thread needs? Nerdiness!

    http://gammasquad.uproxx.com/2011/02/24-geeky-wisconsin-protest-signs#page/1

    Those are great.

    I especially like the Imperial Walkers and I can haz unionz!?

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited February 2011
    rockrnger wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    is this historic because someone is actually willing to challenge the public unions?

    personally i applaud his courage, even if i dont fully agree with his position.

    unions are really great, until they are total shit. at the moment, the teachers unions are total shit and should be totally obliterated. there's a reason why the u.s. education system is garbage and the teachers unions are one of the big reasons.

    im not too sure about about other public sector unions, but i cant say that the quality of public services has ever been good. or even consistent. on the other hand, private companies that offer the same or similar services are always much better.

    i dont think we can or should ever return to upton sinclair's jungle, but i dont want us to be like greece either. i wish there was someway we could find some practical middle ground. but compromise is for the weak i guess.
    Tell me you support him anyway, and give me an actual reason besides, "Unions must die."

    Allow me.

    One time my uncle had a bad experience with a union.
    We have labor laws for that now.
    union bosses are leaches.
    Public employees are moochers.
    Free market yadda yadda yadda.
    Unions can vote their own Raises!

    All it comes down to is that unions give money to the democrats and democrats are bad.
    So Unions are bad.

    There are reasons to think unions are terrible. I mean, they are.

    Sort of like the way democracy is terrible. Bloated, inefficient, subject to corruption, and on and on.

    But democracy being terrible doesn't mean we should scrap it and try on dictatorships for a lark. And unions being awful doesn't mean we should toss them out.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    ronya wrote: »
    I'm not entirely sure that it is possible to say interesting things about Wisconsin without dragging in the wider picture. This much is clear: Wisconsin's public-sector unions are not obviously excessively paid, their performance is not obviously dodgy, and Wisconsin's state finances are not obviously terrible. But we can't claim the reverse, either.

    So if there is an fiscal case to be made here, in either direction, it needs to be in the wider context of unionization in general, and what unions might do.

    e: interesting in the what-policy-is-at-hand sense, of course

    I'm okay with the wider picture as long as it immediately pertains to the situation in Wisconsin. Talking about the several states starting to undergo similar situations is fine because Wisconsin was the first play in the Republican governors' strategy. National labor history data is fine because it sets the stage for what's happening in Wisconsin.

    What I am not really interested in debating is whether Walker should win or lose because all unions are bad or good. You really can't generalize a whole nation's worth of unions, because some are corrupt and some are not. Some are large and powerful, and some just manage to scrape by.

    The [Unions] thread descended a little too often into that kind of generalization for my taste.

    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Kagera wrote: »
    You know what this protest thread needs? Nerdiness!

    http://gammasquad.uproxx.com/2011/02/24-geeky-wisconsin-protest-signs#page/1

    Those are great.

    I especially like the Imperial Walkers and I can haz unionz!?

    I liked Boba Fett's "Bounty Hunters for Collective Bargaining."

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    There are reasons to think unions are terrible. I mean, they are.

    Sort of like the way democracy is terrible. Bloated, inefficient, subject to corruption, and on and on.

    But democracy being terrible doesn't mean we should scrap and try on dictatorships for a lark. And unions being awful doesn't mean we should toss them out.

    Yeah, pretty much that, Jeffe.
    It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.

    It has yet to be determined what a better option for protecting workers' rights might be, because corporations are pretty much obligated by their bottom line to not do it, and, as we can see from Wisconsin, we can't really rely solely on laws to do it, because laws can change the minute one party gathers a majority.

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Public-sector union, not private-sector union, so alluding to corporations requires a stretch to unionization in general. Ahem :P

  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2011
    Unions are bad when they are overreaching. Unions, at least back in the 50's, tended to be belligerent and undemocratic.

    Now... not so much.

    Tenure, on the other hand, is something that should probably be revised.

    Wisconsin's public-sector unions are not obviously excessively paid, their performance is not obviously dodgy, and Wisconsin's state finances are not obviously terrible. But we can't claim the reverse, either.


    Public sector workers tend to enjoy a similar pay scale as that of the private sector. For example, Wisconsin teachers tend to start out at 25K a year. The mean pay is around 45K. Half of the workers make that or below, with half making that or above. And above doesn't necessarily mean astronomical pay, even though some teachers probably do earn around 100K.


    Walker is more or less out to give his big business buddies a large present of cash and taking down the public union workers is the only way he can make do.

    QlBGc.jpg
  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    ronya wrote: »
    I'm not entirely sure that it is possible to say interesting things about Wisconsin without dragging in the wider picture. This much is clear: Wisconsin's public-sector unions are not obviously excessively paid, their performance is not obviously dodgy, and Wisconsin's state finances are not obviously terrible. But we can't claim the reverse, either.
    It seems like you can claim the reverse here pretty easily.

    They're obviously not excessively overpaid, because they make roughly the same as what their private-sector counterparts make. Slightly more or less, depending on how you value benefits and qualifications vs. raw salary, but roughly the same.

    Their performance is obviously not dodgy. Wisconsin's test scores are the 2nd highest in the nation, so the teachers there at least are during a good job. I don't know any statistics for the other unions involved, but I'd be really surprised if any of them are particularly bad.

    Wisconsin's finances are obviously not terrible, because most other states are doing much worse, and breaking the public unions won't have any immediate effect on the budget. If finances are really that terrible, they shouldn't have cut taxes.

  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I'm suprised how little coverage this seems to be getting over here in the UK, though we'll probably we waiting for the next set of proposed changes to the NHS or wave of privitisations for that.

    It is heartwarming to see the effects that the web and social media are having on these things, how long until Mark Zuckerberg and the inventors of Twitter get a Noble Peace Prize? Obviously we've got a fairly biased view here but the internet seems incredible at broadcasting the small acts of humanity (the origanisation of protesters in the middle east, the crowds rescuing and protecting riot police during the last Iranian protests following the rigged election, the pizzas in Wisconsin, the support banners between Cairo and Wisconsin).

  • PataPata Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Tastyfish wrote: »
    I'm suprised how little coverage this seems to be getting over here in the UK, though we'll probably we waiting for the next set of proposed changes to the NHS or wave of privitisations for that.

    Not really that surprising. This is pretty much a US issue. It's not like every political event in the UK is covered here. Just the really big stuff.

    Spoiler:
  • psyck0psyck0 Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Some aspects of things unions have negotiated in the past are not great. Teachers' unions make it extremely difficult to fire incompetent teachers, for instance. On the other hand, in BC, the teachers' union is the only group standing up for quality of education. The government has done its best to cut costs (because they refuse to raise ridiculously low taxes) and it has come at the expense of education, AKA at the expense of future tax revenue. The teachers were the only group to stand up to them and without a union, organised opposition would have been impossible.

    Big Man in training.
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  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Pata wrote: »
    Tastyfish wrote: »
    I'm suprised how little coverage this seems to be getting over here in the UK, though we'll probably we waiting for the next set of proposed changes to the NHS or wave of privitisations for that.

    Not really that surprising. This is pretty much a US issue. It's not like every political event in the UK is covered here. Just the really big stuff.

    More that this seems to be fitting alongside the theme of protests throughout the world, we've had a lot of protests here recently with the raise of tuition fees and sell off of forests and it's related to the issues that may well come up over here with the governments stated desire of handing over as many public services to private companies as possible.

    I'm not expecting it to be big news, just haven't seen anything at all. Probably just seems a bigger story because I'm reading about it.

  • ForarForar #432 Already prepping for Toronto Fan Expo!Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I spent two years working in a union environment, and nearly 8 years working as management alongside those same people. Yes, unionization makes it difficult to get rid of 'bad' employees, which (where legislation supports it) puts the onus on the entire group to try to weed the bad apples out in advance. In Ontario you can be fired without reason within the first 3 months of employment, as I understand it. After that they need a good reason, and even with a good reason getting rid of someone can be tricky.

    I say this without pride, but my crew ended up being responsible for weeding out a number of people while I was on the floor. We were short staffed, so new personnel often ended up with us, and as that 3 month period came up our opinions were asked and compiled with what our managers saw, and if they didn't measure up, those staff members were removed.

    Yes, there are people who work in the department to this day that have become lazier over the years, or who are troublesome or who just don't give a shit, but the protections granted by the union against employee misuse or abuse, and the advantages conveyed by their organization to ensure that each collective agreement (negotiated every 3 years) becomes a compromise between equals, rather than individuals fighting for themselves to varying degrees of success.

    Every time the "unions let bad _____'s stick around" argument comes out, I can't help but think that this is an acceptable price to pay in order to protect the 95% (pulled from ass) of staff who are just in it for the job or to support a family or because they enjoy yelling at people in a mall (or whatever they get to do).

    Perhaps I'm about to commit a crime against analogies, but I see it like setting 10 guilty men free to prevent one innocent man being wrongfully convicted. No system is perfect, so yes, I will accept that some asshole [Teacher/whatever] will occasionally slip through the cracks into a cushy spot of nigh-untouchability if it prevents dozens or hundreds of quality staff from being mistreated.

  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    ronya wrote: »
    This much is clear: Wisconsin's public-sector unions are not obviously excessively paid, their performance is not obviously dodgy, and Wisconsin's state finances are not obviously terrible. But we can't claim the reverse, either.

    But the state workers aren't overpaid. Anecdotal I know, but my mother is in management for the state medicaid fraud detection to stop medicaid fraud. Her department recently recovered/shut down $60,000,000 dollars of fraud across the whole state, and she has a salary of $30k. I think that's very fair, or maybe even a little low for office management in such a department. Added to that is a pension and great health insurance, something the private sector used to offer.

    Edit: She has also been there the least, and started at the lowest entry level position. She is good at her job and could make more in the private sector, but she is there because she wants the benefits. She wants to be able to easily retire after 25 years on the job, something I believe every American should have the ability to do, and she wants the better health insurance. If these benefits are needed to keep good workers in the state system making less than private sector workers, then they are a good thing.

    steam_sig.png
  • SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Ketherial wrote: »
    im not too sure about about other public sector unions, but i cant say that the quality of public services has ever been good. or even consistent. on the other hand, private companies that offer the same or similar services are always much better.

    I work for the public defender's office here in NH Keth.

    We are much better than private attorneys who contract with the courts to represent the indigent accused.

    Much.

    Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
    Walkers with the sun and morning, we are not afraid of night,
    Nor days of gloom, nor darkness -
    Being walkers with the sun and morning.
  • EchoEcho staring is caring Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited February 2011
    Forar wrote: »
    Every time the "unions let bad _____'s stick around" argument comes out, I can't help but think that this is an acceptable price to pay in order to protect the 95% (pulled from ass) of staff who are just in it for the job or to support a family or because they enjoy yelling at people in a mall (or whatever they get to do).

    Is it just me or does this seem to be a deep-rooted conservative mindset? "Some people are cheating on welfare/bad at their job but impossible to get rid of/etc etc, so let's scrap the entire thing."

    The conservatives around these parts got sick of perceived welfare cheating and wanted to get rid of it. So far they've caught cheaters for a total of 0.17% of the cost of the anti-cheating initiative.

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Well, it's the other way around. We want to scrap the entire thing, therefore people cheating with it are the worst thing ever.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Echo wrote: »
    Forar wrote: »
    Every time the "unions let bad _____'s stick around" argument comes out, I can't help but think that this is an acceptable price to pay in order to protect the 95% (pulled from ass) of staff who are just in it for the job or to support a family or because they enjoy yelling at people in a mall (or whatever they get to do).

    Is it just me or does this seem to be a deep-rooted conservative mindset? "Some people are cheating on welfare/bad at their job but impossible to get rid of/etc etc, so let's scrap the entire thing."

    The conservatives around these parts got sick of perceived welfare cheating and wanted to get rid of it. So far they've caught cheaters for a total of 0.17% of the cost of the anti-cheating initiative.

    Pretty much. It's easy to point at literally any law and say "This law isn't perfect, therefore it is entirely terrible and should be destroyed," laws being both under- and over-inclusive of their intended targets and all that. Just look at all the manufactured rage over illegal immigrants getting healthcare benefits.

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Good Lord, Walker is a crazy person. This did get killed.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • EgoEgo Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Good Lord, Walker is a crazy person. This did get killed.

    Haha.

    That reminds me of some crazy legislation Montana has been introducing. Though in their case they only wanted to end incentives for wind power.

    And legalize hunting with silencers.

    And take Obama off the 2012 ballot.

    And declare global warming 'good for business.'

    Erik
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Well, it's the other way around. We want to scrap the entire thing, therefore people cheating with it are the worst thing ever.
    Yeah, let's not confuse stated order of operations with the actual order.

    Anti-public sector rhetoric almost always follows causally from the presented endpoint, not from the stated problem.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

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  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Ego wrote: »

    And declare global warming 'good for business.'

    Won't somebody think of the air conditioner industry?

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Good Lord, Walker is a crazy person. This did get killed.

    On the scale from stupid to evil, I think Walker is much closer to stupid than he is to evil. If the republicans wanted to make this a key issue for them, they should have picked someone more evil and less stupid. Romney or Daniels maybe.

  • KeptinKeptin Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Veevee wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    This much is clear: Wisconsin's public-sector unions are not obviously excessively paid, their performance is not obviously dodgy, and Wisconsin's state finances are not obviously terrible. But we can't claim the reverse, either.

    But the state workers aren't overpaid. Anecdotal I know, but my mother is in management for the state medicaid fraud detection to stop medicaid fraud. Her department recently recovered/shut down $60,000,000 dollars of fraud across the whole state, and she has a salary of $30k. I think that's very fair, or maybe even a little low for office management in such a department. Added to that is a pension and great health insurance, something the private sector used to offer.

    Edit: She has also been there the least, and started at the lowest entry level position. She is good at her job and could make more in the private sector, but she is there because she wants the benefits. She wants to be able to easily retire after 25 years on the job, something I believe every American should have the ability to do, and she wants the better health insurance. If these benefits are needed to keep good workers in the state system making less than private sector workers, then they are a good thing.

    I don't think state workers are "overpaid". A lot of conservative folk keep walking out the idea that making $60,000 a year is extravagant and wrong. I don't think paying a teacher or a $60,000 a year is wrong. I wish they could make $100,000 a year. We just don't have the money to be able to pay people that much. The taxpayers also end up footing the bill for their pension plans which are actually pretty generous.

    The issue we're having is that we have to role back a lot of the extravagant plans that depend on massive growth and production to more realistic figures. This is the battle that is going on right now. Taxpayers want the benefits and want people to fairly compensated but don't want to pay more taxes.

    Somewhere there has to be some give. We have one of the highest corporate taxes in the world. There isn't much more to tax out of them without driving even more jobs overseas. In fact, we probably need to reel that back in because as the rest of the world closes the education gap we're going to lose companies that stay here for easy access to educated individuals.

    We could raise taxes on the rich, everyone across the board... I don't think either of those will work as is because the tax code is so damn complicated that the people with enough money can find loopholes. So, really it is the middle class (historically, small business owners and property owners) that takes the majority of the hit as the poor get public programs and the rich avoid paying too much more.

    Another issue is that a lot of areas around the world they are fighting over the retirement age. It has to go up. There is no way that people can only be productive members of society for less than half their lives and still expect to end up all right.

    The military, for example, offers people the prospective of 'retiring' after 20 years in and getting a pension. This is an extremely physical job with long term negative health effects from staying in their field. Even so, no one in the military should have the illusion that they will be able to legitimately retire after 20 years anymore. Often, it is suggested they start a second career at that point.

    As healthcare technology and life expectancy improves (over the next few decades) that age has got to be pushed further and further back. That is going to be a huge fight for people who were promised something at the start of their careers that is just not possible for them to have. They may be mentally exhausted from their jobs - but their bodies are still quite able to take on the jobs.

    Collective bargaining is going to make these fights incredibly nasty for the public sector. I think Wisconsin is looking at short time growing pains for long term flexibility.

  • PwnanObrienPwnanObrien Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I remember my years in Chicago...

    ...working as hired muscle for wind sheiks.

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  • devCharlesdevCharles Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Is there any kind of good polling regarding how people in Wisconsin feel about the public employees in their state? Also, was this plan for dealing with public employees made at all known during his campaign? I'm not that knowledgeable about Wisconsin politics being from Florida and all.

    Regarding the issue, I'm not a huge union fan, but I think Walker is making a poor decision by not compromising on the deal the Unions offered by taking the cuts, not collectively bargaining against the cuts for (I think) a couple of years. It just makes him look a bit petulant at this point.

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    There's a bunch of polls near the end of the old thread. Long story short: Wisconsinites like unions, but want their benefits cut for fiscal reasons, but do not want collective bargaining removed. The margin is 55%-45% even if you rig the poll for the conservative view.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2011
    Teachers don't even make 60K a year in WI.

    Another excuse they trot out is that "they really make 100K + when you count benefits". Like that matters to folks like me who think those benefits should go to everyone regardless.

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  • BarcardiBarcardi All the Wizards Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    So how long until a recall vote? Or will that ever happen?

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic I've Done Worse Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    He has to serve a year or some such before that is even possible.

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  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Keptin wrote: »
    The taxpayers also end up footing the bill for their pension plans which are actually pretty generous.

    This was disproven. State workers pay for their own pension plans by putting money aside. The only way that taxpayers end up paying for them is insofar as taxpayers pay for public salaries. Asking the public workers to pay "more" of their own pension is redundant. They pay it all already. What Walker really wants is for them to take a pay cut, and never be able to negotiate it back.

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  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    This is interesting.

    "Anonymous" has apparently targeted the Koch brothers, claiming they are attempting to usurp American Democracy.

    Also can anyone verify this claim, made in the article?
    "Governor Walker's union-busting budget plan contains a clause that went nearly un-noticed. This clause would allow the sale of publicly owned utility plants in Wisconsin to private parties (specifically, Koch Industries) at any price, no matter how low, without a public bidding process," they explained. "The Koch's have helped to fuel the unrest in Wisconsin and the drive behind the bill to eliminate the collective bargaining power of unions in a bid to gain a monopoly over the state's power supplies.

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    It's not really gone unnoticed.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    So the claim that they were basically trying to create a fire-sale of their public utilities is true?

    This whole thing is so many levels of fucked up.

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