hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 02:09 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
First question....Why does the state own heating/cooling/power plants???
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 02:12 pm
@BillRM,
I dont believe that California even owned power plants...you seem to be confused.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 02:30 pm
@georgeob1,
You don't see anything wrong with changing the law - which is what this does - to allow no-bid sales of state resources to private industries, at any price, with no review by anyone? When, coincidentally, the group who is by far most likely to benefit from this - and who has been trying for years to purchase these facilities - is one who spent a great deal of money getting you elected?

Every time you mention 'Unions buying off Democrats,' I think of stuff like this and remind myself that you don't really give a **** about corruption or cronyism.

Cycloptichorn
georgeob1
 
  0  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 03:01 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Do you believe the political contributions of the Utility industry to Republicans is even within an order of magnitude of that of the AFSCME, the AFT, NEA and other public employee unions to the Democrats?

You are comparing gnats and elephants.

I don't know the background of the exemptions to formal contracting in the draft legislation - and I doubt that you do either - and don't have an opinion on it. If there is no good reason for it, I would agree that it should be changed.

You are simply reaching for distractions in order to obscure the main issue here. The AFL CIO and the Democrats are in danger of losing their government-mandated perpetual share of the total salaries of public employees, and it scares the **** out of them.
parados
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 05:26 pm
@georgeob1,
Quote:
Perhaps you would care to enlighten us with a description of exactly what were those "opportunities to de certify " on the part of state, county and municipal workers in Wisconsin?

According to the law any union can be decertified. It only requires signatures from 30% of workers calling for an election.

Quote:
I'll agree the unionization of sdtate employees in Wisconsin was indeed done in accordance with the law. However, the legal process involved was not the one mandated for the unionization of workers in the private sector. It was imposed by the state agencies.
You have made this claim twice now without any evidence to back it up. Since it is a claim that would appear to violate law on its face, I would like to see your evidence.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  5  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 05:41 pm
@georgeob1,
Quote:
Do you believe the political contributions of the Utility industry to Republicans is even within an order of magnitude of that of the AFSCME, the AFT, NEA and other public employee unions to the Democrats?

You are comparing gnats and elephants.

Only if you are calling the unions the gnats.

Unions to Democrats
http://dailycaller.com/2011/02/19/unions-fuel-democratic-party-financially/
roughly 24 million

Electric utilities to GOP
Roughly 12 million
http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=E01++&goButt2.x=5&goButt2.y=6

Oil and Gas
Also about 12 million.
http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=E01++&goButt2.x=0&goButt2.y=8

And that doesn't include the 180 million Electric utilities spent on lobbying while Oil and Gas spent 140 million.

So,.. Unions donated 24 million
Electric and Gas donated about 24 million
almost equal...

http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/incdec.php?var1=2010q1&var2=2010q2
In the second quarter of 2010, unions spent 11 million lobbying and electric utilities spent 50 million..
I guess that makes it a factor of 5 for the utilities.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 10:31 pm
Quote:
Walker has tapped into a feeling of disgust - the always-dangerous sense that you and I have played by the rules and saved for our modest retirements, while government workers, on our dime, have run off with pensions they do not deserve. We feel we have been played for a fool.

To their credit, some union leaders have recognized that they have gone too far. They have - or will - agree to givebacks, and the teachers unions are acknowledging that they have to do something about incompetents. (Still, if there are cutbacks, it will be done by seniority - meaning some very good but young teachers will be let go.)

But to a large degree, the damage has been done. Last year, David Brooks of the New York Times - with appropriate credit to Jonathan Rauch of the National Journal - pointed out that state and local governments are so indebted to their workers in pension and other obligations that they have little money for anything else. He gave some examples: California state police often retire at age 50 with 90 percent of their salary. Corrections officers in that state earn $70,000 in base salary. New York City, the home office of featherbedding, supports 10,000 cops who retired before the age of 50.

These figures account for why the Obama White House has exhibited its usual robust indecisiveness toward the Wisconsin demonstrators. It needs labor's political muscle, but it must also recognize that it cannot appear on the wrong side of greed. It was one thing when unions went after giant corporations run by guys who played golf at restricted clubs. But when it comes to government workers, we are the boss and we pay the bill. To quote what Sam Spade told the woman he loved in the "The Maltese Falcon," "I won't play the sap for you." When it comes to public-sector unions, my sentiments exactly.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/21/AR2011022103775.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Exactly....The people have already turned against government unions, not only do we want government smaller, IE a lot of these folks not on the property at all, but they are greedy sons of bitches as well...It is the same dynamic that killed manufacturing unions, years upon years of bloat and greed, which the public rightly decided was not in our best interests.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 11:06 pm
@hawkeye10,
Good post; it's how I see the growing problem with government retirement benefits - especially for safety officers. Work for 30 years, and earn 90% of their highest pay for their pension for longer than they worked. Many of those benefits carry over to their spouse.

This is one of many reasons why I believe all governments are lousy fiscal managers, and they have no idea about fiduciary responsibility. All those retirement benefits are cutting all other services in their communities; don't they ever learn? They'll end up with all police and no school teachers.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 11:14 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
This is one of many reasons why I believe all governments are lousy fiscal managers, and they have no idea about fiduciary responsibility
This was not an OOOPSS...the government leaders and the workers conspired to work a deal that would get both what they wanted in the short term with the express purpose of not alerting the citizens to the long term consequences. The workers got the pay want they wanted but they had to agree to take a lot of it deferred. The managers kicked the fiscal crisis can down the road a few years. It was win-win. It was also malfeasance and fraud.
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 11:48 pm
@hawkeye10,
I should add that there is no way the government employees will collect all that they have been promised, as the taxpayers will not stand for it. I dont have a tear for the workers, as they should have known how this was going to turn out. I would like to find a way to make my displeasure felt by the managers and elected officials who put us on the Kamikaze course, but they are mostly long gone, which is the state of affairs that I feel confident was predicted by these same folks when they were debating with themselves whether they should do right by the citizens.....or not. We know which option they chose, if they did not take part in the scam they at the very least kept quiet about it, there where very few whistleblowers.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Feb, 2011 12:25 am
@hawkeye10,
Most of the same people who approved these atrocious pay and retirements are still working in our government; they claim they're trying to cut cost, but the boat already left the pier.

Who's going to be responsible for all those drownings?
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Tue 22 Feb, 2011 12:38 am
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
Most of the same people who approved these atrocious pay and retirements are still working in our government; they claim they're trying to cut cost, but the boat already left the pier.

Credibility is very difficult to win back after is has been squandered. The Gov of the state of Wisconsin seems to be earning himself some credibility however. And according the Rassumsen today the Gov is on the winning side...

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/february_2011/48_back_gop_governor_in_wisconsin_spat_38_side_with_unions

EDIT: I noticed one of the teacher unions today was saying that it was probably time for the teachers to go back to work....seems like a good call. Depriving little kids of their education and carrying around pictures of the gov claiming that he is a Hitler are not a great ways to bring financially stressed taxpayers who now almost certainly realize that they have been lied to to your side. Acting like a greedy spoiled brat tends to not work as a way to win your point.

I also notice where one pro union dude is amazed that the Gov has not capitulated yet...why should he considering that he has to most support and his opposition cant seem to shoot straight???
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Feb, 2011 12:46 am
@hawkeye10,
Especially today when more Americans are either losing buying power, losing their hours, losing their jobs and homes, and some people still want to bleed the turnip.

Food and gasoline prices are on the uptick, and that's going to stay that way for a very long time.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Feb, 2011 12:54 am
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
Food and gasoline prices are on the uptick, and that's going to stay that way for a very long time.
The majority have been losing for 20 years, and only just now are people beginning to realize how devastating the Great Recession was and that we will not bounce back from it. We are in for a world of hurt for the foreseeable future. The Democrats seem to continue to be incapable of discerning reality, they want to lead but they have no idea where the people whom they want to follow are.

I dont know a damn thing about this Gov except to know that he has some ability to feel where the people are and to judge timing. This is an exceptionally good time to take on the government unions, I dont think that he will succeed in busting them but he certainly might, and at the very least he will turn the screws on them a couple of full turns.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Feb, 2011 06:09 am
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
Exactly....The people have already turned against government unions, not only do we want government smaller, IE a lot of these folks not on the property at all, but they are greedy sons of bitches as well...It is the same dynamic that killed manufacturing unions, years upon years of bloat and greed, which the public rightly decided was not in our best interests.


I love the magic act here point to the evil welfare queens and the evil public workers and as the people are looking in that direction loot the public out of hundred of billions as in the Enron case or in the home mortgages bubble.

reasoning logic
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Feb, 2011 07:47 am
For those of you who do not have time to think or watch a short video, "it is all of us that lose!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc&feature=relmfu
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Feb, 2011 08:05 am
Friends,

I write to express my sincere thanks to you and the other thousands of PFAW supporters who have taken the time to show your support for us and for our state's public employees. Just one week ago, our Republican Governor Scott Walker announced that he would be using a budget adjustment bill to reverse 50 years of Wisconsin history and go after worker rights in Wisconsin. If passed, the balance in our society will again tilt to the powerful over the powerless. The ability to organize and get fair treatment are qualities that built our country. This is what the last generation fought for in the 60s and the 70s to make sure we all had a better life.

If this bill moves forward in Wisconsin, rights in all America we have grown to take for granted will no longer be so reliable. Workers will no longer be able to work as a group to negotiate anything besides wages. Republicans here have already passed a "tort reform" law that makes it much harder to seek justice in Wisconsin. But this new move by Walker is much worse. It is an unprecedented attack on workers, their communities and our tradition of working with labor to move our state forward.

If this passes here, it will pass in other states.

To be clear, Walker is seeking to scapegoat unions as the cause of the fiscal crisis in an effort to divide the middle class against itself. This, while he is opening tax loopholes for the richest in the country.

I appreciate your support and seek it for the ongoing fight ahead of us. Please speak out in any way you can. We need you to let your neighbors know that this assault on worker rights will hurt every person and every community across Wisconsin, and perhaps across the nation. It will drive down wages and decrease work place safety for all workers in our country, union and non-union alike.

Thank you for all you do for your community.

In Solidarity,
Chris Larson
Wisconsin State Senator
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Feb, 2011 08:35 am
A friend drew my attention to this:

Are you sick of highly paid teachers?

Teachers' hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or10 months a year! It's time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do - babysit!
We can get that for less than minimum wage.

That's right. Let's give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan-- that equals 6 1/2 hours).

Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day...maybe 30? So that's $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day.

However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.
LET'S SEE....
That's $585 X 180= $105,300
per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).

What about those special
education teachers and the ones with Master's degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an
hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.

Wait a minute -- there's
something wrong here! There sure is!
The average teacher's salary
(nation wide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days
= $277.77/per day/30
students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student--a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!) WHAT A DEAL!!!!
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Feb, 2011 10:28 am
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

The only state wide polling that I have found is one from a "we ask America" which is not a reputable or even largely known firm.

http://weaskamerica.com/2011/02/18/weirdness-in-wisconsin/

but which includes this interesting line



Quote:
Earlier polling showed a large margin of support for Gov. Walker’s initiative, but the national reaction since then has been truly remarkable.


It would not surprise me if there are national polls that indicate that America is in favor of busting the municipal unions and thus running government cheaper, but I have not seen them.


We Ask America is a right-wing polling outfit in WI. But, since you asked for other polling:

Quote:
WASHINGTON - New polling conducted for the AFL-CIO and shared with The Huffington Post shows Wisconsin voters siding with the state workers, unions and protestors by large majorities and expressing net disapproval of Republican Governor Scott Walker

The Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research conducted two surveys among likely voters in Wisconsin this past week, one fielded between Wednesday and Sunday last week (604 live interviews, margin of error +/- 4%) and the second fielded Saturday and Sunday (402 live interviews, margin of error +/- 5%).

Both surveys began with questions about Walker's performance as governor and more general popularity ratings of Walker, Senate Democrats and other players on both sides of the controversy. The results of the two surveys on these questions were within sampling error of each other: Walker's approval rating is now net negative, with the disapproval rating reaching or slightly exceeding 50%. Meanwhile, the favorable ratings of "Democrats in the State Legislature" are slightly better and net positive (47% favorable, 38% unfavorable on the Saturday-Sunday sample).

http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2011-02-22-Blumenthal-20110222afltable.png

The second survey proceeded next to questions focused more directly on the ongoing controversy. Respondents heard a list of people and groups involved in the controversy and were asked, for each one, if they agreed "with the positions they are taking in the current situation in the state capitol." The results presented in the following chart prepared by the pollsters show large majorities agreeing with "public employees" (67%), "protestors at the state capitol" (62%) and "unions" (59%) but far fewer agreeing with "Republicans in the Legislature" (48%) or Scott Walker (43% agree and 53% disagree).

2011-02-22-Blumenthal-20110222aflchartsmall.png

The first survey also included a "message testing" question that asked respondents to react to the following description of Walker's proposal:

http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2011-02-22-Blumenthal-20110222aflchartsmall.png

As you may know, Governor Scott Walker recently announced a plan to limit most public employees' ability to negotiate their wages and benefits. The plan cuts pension and health care benefits for current public workers, and restricts new wage increases unless approved by a voter referendum. Contracts would be limited to one year, with wages frozen until a new contract is settled. In addition, Walker's plan also changes rules to require collective bargaining units to take annual votes to maintain certification as a union, stops employers from collecting union dues, and allows members of collective bargaining units to avoid paying dues. Law enforcement, fire employees and state troopers and inspectors would be exempt from the changes.

After hearing that description, 42% said they favor Walker's plan and 52% oppose it (24% say the favor it strongly, and 41% say they oppose it strongly).

Again, both surveys were sponsored by the AFL-CIO. As with any survey with partisan sponsorship, skepticism is in order. Data may have been released selectively, with less favorable results withheld. In the context of pre-election polling, partisan polls tend to skew in favor their sponsor by an average 3 percentage points and against their opponent by roughly the same amount.

In this case, however, the ratings of Walker and his budget and collective bargaining proposal are roughly comparable to an automated survey conducted in Wisconsin last week by WeAskAmerica, a for-profit subsidiary of Illinois Manufacturer's Association (an organization that has endorsed Republican candidates for state office in Illinois).

Documents shared with The Huffington Post also show that the AFL-CIO surveys report a party identification breakdown of 47-46% Democrat or lean Democrat, 40% Republican or lean Republican. This week, Gallup reported party identification results for all 50 states based on all interviews conducted during 2010 and found a leaned party ID breakdown for adults in Wisconsin of 43.1% Democrat, 40.5% Republican.


We'll have to see more polling in WI on this, but so far it looks like the citizens are pretty much against what Walker is doing. And it's not surprising; he's over-reaching heavily. If this really was a budget issue and not an ideological one, I doubt you'd see anywhere near this level of animosity against it.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Feb, 2011 10:33 am
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

Quote:
Most of the same people who approved these atrocious pay and retirements are still working in our government; they claim they're trying to cut cost, but the boat already left the pier.

Credibility is very difficult to win back after is has been squandered. The Gov of the state of Wisconsin seems to be earning himself some credibility however. And according the Rassumsen today the Gov is on the winning side...

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/february_2011/48_back_gop_governor_in_wisconsin_spat_38_side_with_unions

EDIT: I noticed one of the teacher unions today was saying that it was probably time for the teachers to go back to work....seems like a good call. Depriving little kids of their education and carrying around pictures of the gov claiming that he is a Hitler are not a great ways to bring financially stressed taxpayers who now almost certainly realize that they have been lied to to your side. Acting like a greedy spoiled brat tends to not work as a way to win your point.

I also notice where one pro union dude is amazed that the Gov has not capitulated yet...why should he considering that he has to most support and his opposition cant seem to shoot straight???


I was wondering when someone would post that biased Rasmussen poll. You really shouldn't trust any messaging or issue polling coming from that shop:

Quote:
February 21, 2011, 5:36 pm
Rasmussen Poll on Wisconsin Dispute May Be Biased
By NATE SILVER


We’ve noted before that the automated polling firm Rasmussen Reports has had problems with bias in a statistical sense: in the election last fall, its polls overestimated the standing of Republican candidates by roughly 4 percentage points on average.

A somewhat different issue arises today in a poll the firm conducted on the dispute in Wisconsin between Gov. Scott Walker and some of the state’s public-employee unions.

The poll, which included people that Rasmussen deemed to be “likely voters” from across the country, found that 48 percent of respondents agreed more with Mr. Walker in the dispute, while 38 percent agreed more with “the union for teachers and other state employees.”

That question, though, was the fourth one Rasmussen asked in the survey — and the questions that came before it may have biased the responses.

According to the firm’s statement of question wording, these were the first four questions Rasmussen asked in the poll:

1: How closely have you followed news reports about the Wisconsin governor’s effort to limit collective bargaining rights for most state employees?

2: Does the average public employee in your state earn more than the average private sector worker in your state, less than the average private sector worker in your state, or do they earn about the same amount?

3: Should teachers, firemen and policemen be allowed to go on strike?

4: In the dispute between the governor and the union workers, do you agree more with the governor or the union for teachers and other state employees?

There is nothing wrong with the first question, which simply asks people whether they have been following events in Madison. But the second and third questions are arguably problematic.

The issue is clearest with the third question, which asked respondents whether “teachers, firemen and policemen” should be allowed to go on strike. By invoking the prospect of such strikes, which are illegal in many places (especially for the uniformed services) and which many people quite naturally object to, the poll could potentially engender a less sympathetic reaction toward the protesters in Wisconsin. It is widely recognized in the scholarship on the subject, and I have noted before, that earlier questions in a survey can bias the response to later ones by framing an issue in a particular way and by casting one side of the argument in a less favorable light.

The Rasmussen example is more blatant than most. While many teachers have been among the protesters at the State Capitol in Madison, obliging the city to close its schools for days, there have been no reports of reductions in police or fire services, and in fact, uniformed services are specifically exempted from the proposals that the teachers and other public-sector employees are protesting. So bringing in the uniformed services essentially makes No. 3 a talking point posed as a question.

As an analogy, imagine a survey that asked respondents whether they believed the Democrats’ health care overhaul included “death panels” before asking them whether they approved or disapproved of the bill over all.

The second question in the Rasmussen poll found that 36 percent of respondents believe that public-sector employees earn more than private-sector workers in their state, while 21 percent thought public sector workers earned less, and 20 percent thought they earned about the same amount.

In fact, according to an analysis by USA Today, state employees earn about 5 percent less than comparable employees in the private sector, on average, although federal employees receive significantly (20 percent) more.

A poll is not a pop quiz, and the respondents in the survey are not to blame for giving the “wrong” response. Also, the question posed by Rasmussen, which did not consider the type of work performed and asked simply about average salaries in the respondent’s home state, was not exactly the same as the one studied by USA Today, which covered the whole country and took account of the the type of work done. Still, to the extent that this misperception about pay levels is widely held and casts public employees in a less favorable light, a survey question that reminds respondents of it could bias responses to later questions.

Until we have another survey that designs its questions more carefully, there is no good way to predict how the responses to this one might have turned out differently.

Another automated poll by the survey firm We Ask America, which is a subsidiary of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and uses methodology similar to that of Rasmussen Reports, found that a majority of respondents disapprove of Mr. Walker’s budget plan — but it was a survey of Wisconsin residents, not the entire country, as Rasmussen’s was.

Because of the problems with question design, my advice would be simply to disregard the Rasmussen Reports poll, and to view their work with extreme skepticism going forward.


http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/rasmussen-poll-on-wisconsin-dispute-may-be-biased/

Cycloptichorn
 

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