Letter: GOP ‘scheme’

August 10, 2013


To the editor:

Last week, I stopped at the Republican booth while attending the Douglas County Fair. “Why a Republican?” said the sign. It’s an intriguing question. The lady in charge handed me a pamphlet titled “Where are you in the scheme of things?”  After careful perusal, my gut feeling is that the majority of hard-working people, including women and minorities are not a part of this particular scheme.

It espouses the joy of states’ rights. Are these the rights that denied blacks the right to vote and lynched them without fear of reprisal. And how about those union-free days when employees worked under inhumane conditions? Are these the good old days the Republicans are pining for?

Currently we are in the throes of a political battle regarding a minimum wage boost. Sadly, it’s only $7.25 an hour, a wage on which the working poor cannot survive. As usual, our well-paid Kansas congressional representatives are vehemently opposed to any increase. It appears these workers are not part of the Republican “scheme of things.”

A major fast food chain, whose CEO makes over $9 million a year, has offered a budgetary solution to these “invisible working poor” — get a second job. Not much of a solution, of course, but I believe some relief is possible. Let’s send people to Congress who have a heart and will work  to include everyone in the American “scheme of things.” Please vote.


Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 3 months ago

Thank you Anna. Good letter and a good point. I have friends that are blue collar Republicans, and They are all starting to realize, Begrudgingly, that Republican policies do NOT benefit them. The Republican party is happy to get votes from this group in Society but has NO plans on helping them. They only want to help the"Job Creators". The more this is brought up and proven by looking closely at what their policies Really do and who they Really benefit, the more Republican voters will wake up and see they voted for people that Do Not have Their best interest at heart. We need policies that work for ALL Americans, not just the richest. This Next Election, Lets Vote for the American People and give Everyone at least a chance at The American Dream before it is too late.

Liberty275 4 years, 3 months ago

You want the American dream? You got it.

Wake up, 6:30, don't want to move because it hurts. Walk around mumbling and getting dressed. Buy latte. Grab a breakfast sandwich. Go to work, dreading it, not because you don't like doing it, but because it's too early to do anything. Work four hours, take an hour for lunch. Do it four more hours. Go home. Going out? No, I'm beat. Watch a movie or play XBox, go to sleep. Repeat 49 times, then have a break.

If you work, you can get by. If you put a little effort into yourself you can get better stuff. If you are disabled, we'll help you live a very modest life. If you are on the bottom end of the employment scale, we'll provide for you a life equivalent to that of the disabled.

Corey Williams 4 years, 3 months ago

Who will help the disabled? How does the market provide for them?

Liberty275 4 years, 3 months ago

The state should provide disabled people live at least a minimalist life. It is preferable that their families provide them a better life.

"How does the market provide for them?"

The market isn't responsible for providing them anything. However, my boss, who is one of those evil republicans pays for a fellow from cottonwood to work part time. We already have low-end employees that could do the work the fellow does, but my evil republican boss employs this man so he can have the dignity of working and being paid to work.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 3 months ago

Sounds familiar except I wake up at 5:45am and I only get a half hour for lunch. Yes, the shoulder surgeries and the compressed discs do hurt, but I manage. When my physical abilities deteriorate to the point I can no longer do my job, I will be terminated.I hope I make it to my retirement date before my body gives out. Welcome to the American Dream 2013.

Liberty275 4 years, 3 months ago

You should have alternate plans just in case.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 3 months ago

I do. It is just hard to come to the realization that the job you Love is Killing you. In the last 5 years ,I have watched 4 friends and coworkers buried just before they made it to retirement. I don't want to go like that.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 3 months ago

Correction. 5 friends and coworkers in 5 years. My Immediate supervisor passed away this afternoon of an apparent Heart attack. God Rest his Soul. He was a good man and a good friend.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 3 months ago

He was 3 years younger than me. Hard worker .Excellent supervisor and an outstanding Family man. I Miss him. The shop just isn't the same.

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like the sort of thing unions try to get for their members.

avarom 4 years, 3 months ago

The American Dream..............Being able to Wake up, Being Able to Feed yourself , Be able to Earn some money, (even though it's not up to your expectation) ..... Help others less fortunate who can't get up...........Complaining doesn't solve anything........Get He'r Done!

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 3 months ago

Please name your source for this info. I would love to see a breakdown of the richest people in America and Their Political Affiliation.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 3 months ago

OK. You covered the Stock Market, Entertainment, and the Computer Industry. How about Politics? How Many of the Richest People in Politics are Republican?If current events and reporting by major news companies are correct, it looks like the Republicans have that one wrapped up.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 3 months ago

Good link. Of the top 16- Dems-10, Reps-6. Interesting to note ,though, that of the Top 5, 4 were Republican and the Top 3(All Republicans) Have a combined worth greater than all of the others on the list combined.

deec 4 years, 3 months ago

Actually, it's easy to find who the top richest are. Forbes does it annually.The top 10 in order, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett,Larry Ellison, Koch and the other Koch, Walton, Walton, Walton and Walton, and Michael Bloomberg.


jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

So how do their political affiliations pan out?

Looks like a majority of R or libertarians to me.

Liberty275 4 years, 3 months ago

My guess.

Gates - left Buffet - left ellison -left koch - libertarian Walton - jesus right bloomberg - left

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

Jobs is dead, Gates has also donated to Republicans, and there are 397 other members on the Forbes 400. Where do they stand? The Kochs and Waltons are more than half of the top ten list.

eneedham 4 years, 3 months ago

Pheps is correct if you are only looking at the richest of the rich. In fact, big, international corporations tend to be "richer" and they are typically associated with things like unions and out-of-the-country affiliations. If you are searching, however, for the wealthiest "group" of "individuals" in America (one needs to eliminate the Queen of England, for example); it is Republican entrepreneurs.

Liberty275 4 years, 3 months ago

" it is Republican entrepreneurs."

Which leaves the question, are they republican by grace of being successful entrepreneurs with money they don't want taken from them, or successful entrepreneurs because they are Republican and hold conservative values? I can't say for certain. My present employer is a medium-right republican. Before that a moderate democrat. Looking back, with a few small adjustments, most could have been good libertarians.

John Hamm 4 years, 3 months ago

If I remember correctly it was the Democratic South where lynchings and denying the right to vote occurred. And I do....

rtwngr 4 years, 3 months ago

That's absolutely not true of their beliefs. That statement in and of itself is born of ignorance of the majority of people that live there.

Mike Ford 4 years, 3 months ago

nonsense. I grew up in Louisiana and went back to Mississippi for three decades from the 1970's to the 2000's and yes they are that ignorant. stop selling the mythology. Look up the healthcare meeting I saw on c-span in Moss Point, MS, in 2009, where these uninformed people acted like a lynch mob against US Representative Taylor had to be escorted in and out of his own meeting.

Peacemaker452 4 years, 3 months ago

Didn’t you say that you graduated from Manhattan High School in the early 80’s?

How is that possible if you were in Mississippi?

Liberty275 4 years, 3 months ago

The south opted out of the democrat party after the 68 democrat primary when the democrat party was splintered by radically liberal groups that wanted more socialist policies. The south has never had any use for socialist thought.

As for civil rights in the 60s, tell us the story about the riots in Lawrence that resulted martial law.

Trumbull 4 years, 3 months ago

If I remember correctly, the Democratic South basically flipped in the sixties.

All you need to look at is the issue. Civil rights and minority issues are supported by liberals. Liberal is now more allied with Democrats. Republicans ought to know. They have done there best to demonize the L word (Liberal). Pretty soon people are gonna get sick and tired of this. I am. I am sick and tired of hearing Republicans bash liberals like they are some kind of communist or socialist group or something..

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

You are correct. The Republicans also used to be staunch union supporters, too. Over time their positions have effectively flipped.

jwljpm 4 years, 3 months ago

The state of the contemporary Republican Party vis a vis its progressive, common sense past is best summed up by a letter from President Eisenhower to his brother, Ed, the relevant portion of which is quoted below:

    "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

Unfortunately, they are no longer negligible in number and now control the GOP. The president's remaining description and analysis is 100 percent accurate.

gatekeeper 4 years, 3 months ago

Eisenhower was one of the best Presidents we ever had. Too bad he was the last of the true republicans.

gatekeeper 4 years, 3 months ago

Boy, you drank the kool aid!!! Yep, I only think with my own personal greivances. Ha! Your lack of intellect is showing. Please explain what happened back in the 60's that flipped the parties.

Keep on bitching about unions. What part of the American economy is excelling? The auto industry. What do their employees belong to? Could it be the UAW??? Funny how the auto companies are making huge profits and helping to bolster the economy, but they have union workers.

Pull you head out and wake up.

Armstrong 4 years, 3 months ago

"After careful perusal, my gut feeling is that the majority of hard-working people, including women and minorities are not a part of this particular scheme"

Right Anna, because most people like high taxes and paying for others lifestyles / choices. Time for another "gut check"

rtwngr 4 years, 3 months ago

Oh, sure, lets trot out the minimum wage debate to prove that Republicans don't care about the working poor. If $10 an hour is a good idea why not $15? Or $20? Or $50? The reason becomes obvious, doesn't it. It is because at some point you reach a number that is unsustainable for a small business to pay. So why not let the free market decide?

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

That would argue against any minimum wage at all. Is that what you're suggesting?

Once established, the minimum wage should be adjusted for inflation, if we believe in it at all, and that hasn't been the case over the last 50 years or so. That's where a $10 (approximately) minimum wage comes from - it's the amount of the minimum wage in the '60's adjusted for inflation.

Meant for rtwnger - funny ljworld formatting.

Liberty275 4 years, 3 months ago

"That would argue against any minimum wage at all. Is that what you're suggesting?"

I'll argue that everyone should be paid on commission.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

How would that work for non sales jobs, non profit human services, etc.?

Liberty275 4 years, 3 months ago

You get twenty cents for every burger you make.

There are some exceptions where people are needed "on call" but those should be weekly or monthly salaries and not hourly wages.

Commission changes your mindset from "I get money for showing up" to "I get more money if I work harder and/or smarter".

I don't see why non-profits should be any different. Work is work.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

So, if the business is slow through no fault of yours, and you make fewer burgers, you make less money. Hmm.

With service industries like the one my wife works in, you don't make burgers, you provide services. And, the services you provide are based on what people need. I can't imagine that would work well with a "pay by the piece" plan. Although, in many ways, that's what the state does now - it funds organizations based on "billable hours". This means in practice that people spend a lot of time on documentation (60-80% of a case manager's time is spent on paperwork) rather than on actually helping people. Seems like a bad idea to me.

Seth Peterson 4 years, 3 months ago

If you took even the most entry and basic level economics you would understand why this wouldn't work.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

There's no rational reason to make it that high, of course.

As I've said, it was established in order to allow people working full time at low wage jobs enough to live on (at a rather basic level). If we want to make sure it's doing what it's intended to do, it would have to be adjusted for inflation. That seems rather self evident to me.

Liberty275 4 years, 3 months ago

Every time minimum wage is raised, the money earned by people that have spent years or decades developing their careers is devalued by inflation. The minimum wage is little more than poorly-hidden wealth redistribution scheme.

If we are going to raise the minimum wage, let's at least get it high enough that I can pay my house off before christmas.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

I'm not sure that's true - inflation is a complex subject with multiple causes.

Inflation is a rise in the costs of goods and services, so if you're making the same salary, but paying more for goods and services, you're getting squeezed. That's what's been happening over the last 50-60 years.

Wages are wealth redistribution, if you want to get technical, but there's nothing wrong with them, in my opinion. They're compensation for labor, which is a good thing.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

I would argue that the issue about the minimum wage really ties back to Democratic Party efforts to become predominant.

If you increase the minimum wage more then more small businesses will pursue the cash economy. This works great for the Democrats. We pay all sorts of benefits based on income which will be minimal because the individual is in the cash economy.

Benefits = votes for Democrats.

gatekeeper 4 years, 3 months ago

Here's something to ponder. Take a look at what the minimum wage was 30-40 years ago and adjust for inflation. It hasn't been raised to keep up with inflation. THAT's the problem. So many have been blinded by the right and can't do basic math. Hmmmm, if the cost of all goods and services has gone up, but the MW hasn't increased the same percent, what happens? We end up with too many living below the poverty line and needing public assistance.

Take a good look at Costco. They pay their employees a good wage that they can support their families on. They have happy employees. Costco is making tons of money and is very successful. Yep, paying employees a fair, liveable wage is bad for business, NOT!

IreneAdler84 4 years, 3 months ago

Unskilled high paying jobs moved over seas, in part because of NAFTA (yes, we can blame Bill for that one) and in part because of a tax codes that make decisions like this profitable. But, add to this union busting "right to work" legislation, and the gutting state budgets resulting in the loss of government jobs (like teachers), that pay a decent salary and have benefits like health insurance.

KS specifically has seen some of these short sighted changes. LJW reported that KS alone has laid off thousands of teachers since 2008, despite increasing enrollment. Brownie decided to consolidate social services, resulting in reduced services, and then he hired a second PR person (so you make of that what you will).

Have the Dems done enough to combat these changes. No, in part because of the GOP policy to block any policy supported by Dems (even if it was a GOP plan first). But, they are a far better choice than Republicans whose policies are based on blaming the poor for being poor and trying to convince middle America that all those people on food stamps are just a bunch of welfare cheats, and the solution to everything lower taxes, because that is the solution to everything.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Where did you get thousands of teachers laid off in Kansas??

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Well in your mind higher taxes seems to be the answer to everything even when the people you are taxing are paying close to half of their income in taxes. Yes, increase taxes on the really rich but unfortunately there are not enough of them to solve the resource problem. Of course if you make their taxes too high they will move elsewhere and we will get no taxes!

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

Please show me people who are actually paying an effective tax rate anywhere near half their income.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

The upper half of the middle class with no or one kid. Remember I posted about 33% in direct taxation and about 15% in indirect taxation. I have posted the specifics over and over again. Noo0ne has ever challenged the specifics.

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

I see - so you're making an argument for more progressive taxation that more effectively taps the top tiers while throwing your hands in the air that we somehow couldn't possibly tax rich people enough to put a dent in the problem and mixing in a bit of Laffer and mixing up federal and state tax policies. Gotcha.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

I did not address state policy. That is your doing. Your comment is of two inconsistent thoughts.

  1. Tax the rich as we did pre-Reagan

  2. That will not raise enough revenue to pay for our current deficit spending.

So we agree on 1 and you want to avoid 2 because you want to spend more and more and more.

State policy is another issue

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Now it is not clear that you really understand the Laffer Curve. it suggests that there is a theoretical maximum tax. That was not my point.

If you were able to take just about all of the resources of the really rich (unlikely for a number of reasons (some suggested by Dr. Laffer)) you would not get enough to pay for our current and projected annual deficit. That was my point and no more.

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

Oh, I think I understand what Laffer was rumored to have scribbled on a napkin to justify a tax cut Reagan wanted to make. You are aware that Laffer is generally discredited among economists, right? You're also aware that the top bracket used to be 90% at a time when our economy was growing rapidly, and people didn't quit working in droves to avoid taxes, right? You're also aware that our projected deficit is shrinking?

I'm not sure you actually understand economics at all. You seem to have a few stubborn points that you won't relinquish in spite of evidence to the contrary. You believe that we're close to the "Laffer curve," rate of taxation when we're at near historical lows for upper tax brackets. Middle income is squeezed more than it should be, but you still end up with more net money when you get paid more money. Only fools would claim they're going to avoid making income in order to avoid paying taxes on it in this economy. You also believe the Fox lie that deficit is growing, while the deficit as a percentage of the GDP is actually shrinking rapidly as the economy recovers.


chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

You replied to someone addressing state fiscal policy with a generally muddled answer about federal policy.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 3 months ago

Why Republican? Well, lets see...Theere needs to be a place for the various right wing crazies to call nome. There needs to be a place for those who like the current form of Kansas government to hide. There needs to be somewhere for those who feel that the government should be in charge of our medical decisions to have a soap box. There needs to be a place for those who feel that our government should be a theocracy and based on hoky religion. I am sure there are other needs. And mose especially, there needs to be a place for those who support our governer and his rejection of Federal funds to establish health care in Kansas.

Grégoire Guillaume 4 years, 3 months ago

This is so obvious it's crazy. The Walton family has more wealth than 40% of the American population but they rely on the taxpayers to provide food stamps,medicade an housing assistance for their workers.Not everybody is a rocket scientist. The jobs that use to pay a living wage have been shipped overseas; jobs in the service industry need to pay a living wage. A Costco employee makes an average of 45K with benefits and they are outpacing Wal-mart in growth big time. The difference between the two companies, the CEO's of Costco are multi-millionaires not billionaires.

ChuckFInster 4 years, 3 months ago

Hey Steve, one question. Since Costco isn't even close to the size of Wal Mart do you think if the company grows that large Costco CEO's WILL be billionaires.

gatekeeper 4 years, 3 months ago

If they grow that large, they just might be. BUT, they won't have the net worth that the Walton's have because Costco actually pays their employees a living wage.

You should go to a Costco, then visit Sams Club. Costco employees are happy and provide great service. Sam's Club employees are terrible and I can't blame them. I got rid of my Sam's membership and signed up at Costco.

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

Walmart used to pay their employees well. Then the heirs to Sam got greedy.

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

Costco IS growing much more rapidly than Walmart, so maybe someday we'll find out.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

So how do you propose that we access the Walton's wealth to pay Wal-Mart employees more??

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Well, one straightforward way would be to pass legislation setting a limit on the ratio of CEO pay to average worker pay.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

How do we do that?? Right now the government does not have authority to set salaries (except a minimum). If we were able to do that how would we make the money not spent on CEOs go to the employees and not the stockholders?

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

I'm not sure what the justification would be, or what the legal problems might be.

But it's worth considering, in my opinion.

That's a good question about how to ensure it goes to employees rather than profits.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 3 months ago

Let me throw out one of the problems that might be. First, if you give those monies to employees rather than to investors who get a return on profits, then no one would invest in companies, why would they? Wall Street collapses and takes the entire banking system down with it. The Great Depression could become a blip in the history books compared to what might happen.

What you're asking is that we change from the system we have to some unknown system that may or may not produce a better outcome. Remember, for all it's flaws, the system we have has produced the wealthiest country that has ever existed, where even the most poor amongst us are substantially better off than poor of other countries. Heck, they're probably better off than the middle class or upper middle class in other countries. And you want to risk our wealth for a roll of the dice that maybe, perhaps, who knows, it might turn out to be better than what we have now? Upon further consideration, you need to give more specifics.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

No thanks.

I suggest ideas for consideration - I'm not presenting a full fledged solution.

But, your first paragraph overlooks something. I didn't suggest that we take current profits away from investors. I suggested that we take some CEO salaries, and distribute them more equitably among the other employees. That would leave the profits the same for investors.

You think generally that "things are good enough here" and we shouldn't rock the boat, while I see many problems that could and should be improved. It's a fundamental difference in our worldviews, and I don't think we'll ever be on the same page about it.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 3 months ago

I'm somewhat amazed, Jafs, at some of the inconsistency of your arguments. I've said many times that our tax codes are used to coerce people to behave in certain ways. You rail against that. But here you're advocating for just such a solution. You believe CEOs make too much money relative to workers and you advocate for the government to step in with the full weight and power of the taxing system to fix what you think is broken. Why? Rather than a fundamental difference in our world views, I think there's a fundamental hostility towards business in your attitudes. An odd position to take, if you ask me, because businesses account for the overwhelming majority of jobs in America. Yet when I suggest things like creating your own job, you are generally opposed to that as well.

Sure, I think things are good enough (much of the time) because looking around the world, I know things can get a whole lot worse. You on the other hand won't be satisfied until everything is perfect. We know that has never existed nor will it ever exist.

Imagine a baseball player, Jafs, one who gets a hit in 999 at-bats in his first 1,000 times up to the plate. You want to send him to a hitting instructor to fix his swing. Me, I'm thrilled if he even gets a hit 300 times in his first 1,000 at-bats. There's a place we usually send people like that. It's called the Hall of Fame.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Nope - I'm not suggesting a tax based solution at all. I'm suggesting a simple regulation based one, like minimum wage laws.

I'm not hostile to business in general, but I am somewhat hostile to large corporations that have taken over our government, and managed to reduce the middle class by a variety of means. I think they have much too much power, considering that they're legal creations that can only exist because we let them exist.

We created them, and now we're letting them essentially run amok.

Labor is fundamentally necessary to business - one could also say that business wouldn't exist without labor. But, there's a tendency to idealize the business and devalue the labor, which makes no sense to me.

I may have higher standards than you, but I wouldn't do any such thing. On the other hand, I wouldn't be happy with a 30% success rate in other areas, and think we could do better than that. What about you? If our legal system "gets it right" 30% of the time, is that good enough? What about our social programs? Education? Etc.

You think "things could be worse" and I think "things could be better" - that's it in a nutshell.

I think that a more equitable distribution of money in a corporation wouldn't actually hurt their business at all, and it might even help it. Costco is doing better than WalMart in some ways.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 3 months ago

Corporations have how many votes on election day? The CEO has one vote. As do each member of the board. The fact is that you and I and others in this forum can out vote many large corporations. What you're upset at is that they are better at organizing. If they have taken over the government, it's because they played the game better. Every Democrat that's ever been elected did so because they played the game better. The same is true for Republicans.

Would I be happy with a 30% success rate in the judicial system? You bet I would. If by success you mean that for every crime, there was either a trail and conviction or a confession and appropriate consequences. (As an example, my cars have been broken into I'd guess about 25 times over the years. One person was convicted and placed on probation. No other arrests were made, making a 4% success rate.) I don't know how I'd define success in education, but I'm troubled at what I perceive as a lack a success. So troubled am I that I've chosen to go outside that system, so 30% might be where we're at. I really don't know how to honestly answer that question. (I've frequently said that I'm opposed to simply throwing money at a problem, hoping some of it will stick. Education being the exception to that rule, so important is education, IMO and so lacking in results is my perception.)

BTW - Would you implement a maximum wage for baseball players? Musicians? Movie stars? Would they also be eligible for a minimum wage? As in this senior citizen who has never played an instrument in his life is entitled to perform at Carnegie Hall and receive a minimum wage, despite me not being able to draw a paying audience? I recall when England imposed a 95% tax on it's very top earners. George Harrison even wrote a song about the "Taxman". In response, England's top talent flooded out of the country.

Let's look at another example, K.U.'s men's basketball team. Suppose we value the player's labor at $25,000/yr. or roughly the value of a college education. Suppose you regulated Coach Self's salary at 10x that of the players, or $250,000. That's a nice chunk of change, if you ask me. But not to him. He'd be taking a substantial pay cut. What will he do? Probably go to the NBA or overseas, where his services would command a much higher pay. K.U.'s next coach will be Joe Schmoe. Assuming Self's the most talented person for the job, and he has proven that to be the case, then a cap on his salary will drive him to be the coach of the Turkish National Team. Or China's team.

You'll have to explain the net difference between a tax on the very wealthy and a regulation that caps a person's earning potential. But the real net effect is that they will go elsewhere. It's happened before and I see no reason to think it won't happen again.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

It's because money and the corrupting influence of money has infiltrated politics. That means that regardless of who's elected, those forces will work on them and affect the process.

So, of course, those with lots of money have lots of influence, while those without...

Not how the system is supposed to work, in my opinion.

No, I meant that trials had the correct outcome 30% of the time - in other words, 7 out of 10 trials didn't result in a correct/just verdict. In education, it would mean that 7 out of 10 children aren't being adequately educated. In your business, 7 out of 10 customers aren't happy with your product/service. Etc. Seems like a failing grade to me, and nothing to be proud of.

Or, 3 out of 10 of your employees do a good job, or one employee does the job right 30% of the time.

I would love for those folks to also have maximum wages, but I'm not sure what the justification for those would be - corporations are a unique creation of our legal system, and so we have more right to regulate them than individuals.

As far as sports go, I really don't care about them, so your example doesn't sway me - but again, I'll note that a coach isn't a corporation, and so the example isn't the most relevant one.

The difference is that I think taxes should simply be collected and used, not used as behavior modification. And, that a direct regulation is more effective, since it's not an "incentive", it requires something directly. If the CEO's making multi-millions a year or more go elsewhere, it's fine with me. We have high unemployment, and I'm sure they can be replaced with people glad to make $500K/yr. The argument that we need to pay outlandish wages, etc. in order to get high quality people is unconvincing to me, given the various examples of mismanagement that are easy to find.

As one of the richest countries on the planet, there aren't that many other places to go where people can make a lot more money anyway, and some of those places aren't easy to immigrate to.

Also, a maximum ratio isn't the same thing as a maximum wage. If the company does better, and there's more money, the CEO can make more as well. They just have to share that extra with their employees.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

I ran some numbers.

Assuming a 30--50x ratio, which was what CEO's made in the '50's, when our economy was pretty darn good, CEO's still make a lot. If the average wage is $20K, the CEO salary could be $1million.

Sounds like a lot of money to me.

The Costco CEO makes about $650K/yr, pays and treats his employees well, and is doing quite well as far as succeeding in the marketplace. There's no reason other corporations can't do the same.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 3 months ago

I mentioned George Harrison earlier. It may be quaint to think of him as an individual. But make no mistake about it, the Beatles were a large corporation, that generated huge income, provided many jobs and paid huge amounts of taxes. And when England imposed a tax of 95%, all four left the country, taking all that tax money and those jobs with them.

Justin Bieber has a skill neither you nor I have. He can fill a stadium with people willing to pay $100 per ticket. That in turn provides lots of jobs and lots of taxes. I have no interest in encouraging him to flee to some tax haven so that you and I can scramble to finds jobs for those left without one, so that you and I can pay even more in taxes to make up for what will be lost. Unless you think you can fill Sprint Center with 20,000 screaming teens.

I don't presume to know if these highly paid CEOs can be replaced. I don't know what it takes to run Microsoft, Apple or Mobil/Exxon. Frankly, Jafs, neither do you. Costco seems to be able to do it, but I recall Apple suffering badly a number of years ago when Steve Jobs left the company (If memory serves, he was forced out, but eventually returned when the company again turned around and did quite well).

You don't like the corrupting influence of money in politics. Really? If a local politician you really liked asked you to come to their campaign office and make some calls to get others to vote as you will, is that corrupting? The office needs to get paid for, the phones as well. Is that corrupting? A union donates money, corrupting? A business donates, corrupting? When exactly does free speech turn into corruption? (When I see it, I'll know?).

What I do know is this, that votes trump money almost all the time (the very rare exceptions being presidential elections where the top vote getter might not be the electoral college winner). But otherwise, no matter how much money is pumped into a campaign, the person getting the most votes is the winner. When we've discussed this in the past, I've asked why is it that you and I are immune from the influence of, say, Koch dollars? Why is it that conservative PACs and liberal PACs influence so many, but not you or I? Maybe the answer is that their influence isn't as great as you give them credit for. Maybe people are simply voting for whomever they feel like, despite you believing their choices are unwise. Perhaps the voter himself is uninformed; perhaps someone out there believes the uninformed shouldn't have an equal voice.

Frankly, I can find no more justification for limiting the free speech of the Koch brothers than I can for preventing you from going to the campaign headquarters and making a few calls. I can see no more justification for limited "their" political activities than for limiting "your" political activities. Then again, maybe we can coerce politicians by giving them things like matching funds.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Since I've never advocated anything like a 95% income tax rate, your examples are irrelevant.

I read an interesting story about CEO's - there's research that shows that those who do less are actually better for a company than those who do more. How much do we have to pay CEO's to do less?

Yes, in my view, all monetary donations to political candidates and parties are corrupting influences. Of course, the higher the donations, the worse it gets, and the more sway the higher donors have over elected officials.

You seem to be missing the point about corruption and influence after elections - I'm not sure why. Isn't it clear to you that there's a huge amount of that in politics? If not, I have to believe you just don't want to see it.

Also, I don't equate spending of money with speech, and find that conflation unconvincing.

Some more fun examples of 30% success rates:

I'm a good husband 30% of the time. I keep my word and act with integrity 30% of the time. I'm happy and satisfied with my marriage 30% of the time. I'm a good parent 30% of the time. My child passes 30% of their classes in school.

By the way, when speaking with an elected official, they said frankly that those with money have more influence in politics than those without it, and agreed that's not the way it should be.

Liberty275 4 years, 3 months ago

"nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process"

If you want to deprive a person of money that other people are willing to give them for doing something, bring a warrant.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Not sure that applies, when we're talking about corporations.

Those are creations of our legal system, and so I think we can regulate them in whatever way we like, including setting rules for their compensation systems.

I know that it's in vogue to consider corporations "people", but I find that unconvincing and wrong, since they're not people.

Liberty275 4 years, 3 months ago

So you are going to force business to spend their money as you see fit.

Communism needs a dictator for a reason.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Did you read my post?

Do you understand what a corporation is, and how it is formed?

When corporations act only according to their bottom line, then people get hurt. It is a perfectly valid use of government to intervene, and prevent people from getting hurt, in my view.

Communism is a system vastly different from what I'm proposing, of course. In communism and/or socialism, you don't have private business at all. I'm simply proposing more regulation of private corporations.

Armstrong 4 years, 3 months ago

The down side to your argument jafs is when corporations don't act in the best interest of their bottom line is they don't exist long. The govt has regulated private corporations to death ( literally ). This may come as a shock but corporations do not exist to provide income for you, they exist to make money.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Jafs et al. The way we have historically attempted to address the income inequality in this country (not new remember the robber barons) is to have a progressive tax system. If you tax the wealthy enough they turn away from income to other remuneration. Unfortunately neither party seems willing to return to the tax rates on the wealth pre - Reagan.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

It's also more complicated that way - the government takes the money, and then uses it to help out the folks who need it.

If they just made more money at their jobs, the government wouldn't need to do that.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Unless, of course, they get bailed out by the government.

Then, all of those highly paid CEO's that run companies into the ground walk away happy. Of course, those at the bottom suffer.

I have no problem with businesses succeeding - I have a problem when they do that by abusing and taking advantage of their employees, without whom they wouldn't succeed in the first place.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Who bails them out JAFS??? I have never seen a "corporation" on the floor of then House or Senate!!!

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Politicians bail them out.

But, of course, they ask for it, right? It's not like they just sit in their office and the government cuts them a check. I remember when the auto companies' CEOs flew in their private jets to Congress to ask for help.

Armstrong was trying to say that businesses have to act in their own interests otherwise they go out of business - I was just pointing out that if they can get politicians to bail them out, that's not true.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

JAFS when you talk corporations you never seem to address shareholders. Many shareholders are pension funds and not scrooge McDuck. Shareholders are people!!!

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

When you use a lot of question marks and exclamation points, it makes me less interested in answering your questions.

My suggestions wouldn't take anything from shareholders - they would take it from CEO's. So what's your point exactly?

Also, I would wager that about 1/2 of the country isn't invested in the market at all, and that the people who make the most by a large margin are already rich people.

There's an interesting case right now - I believe it involves Goldman Sachs - in which an employee set up a mutual fund involving sub-prime mortgage loans with help from a hedge fund guy who was betting against them. It was virtually designed to fail, and it was sold to investors by the employee without mentioning that. The hedge fund guy was already wealthy - I imagine that a number of the people who invested in the mutual fund were not, and are even less well off now.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

AS I have said repeatedly

  1. We have no mechanism other than taxation to address CEO incomes.

  2. Redirecting those funds will hardly dent the salaries of the workers

  3. If you did cut CEO pay it would probably go to stockholders or reinvestment in the company.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Not true at all.

Since corporations are creations of our legal system, we could require them to structure their compensation as I've suggested, without any involvement of the tax system.

People seem to forget that, but it's true. We created the legal structure that allows for incorporation, and we can regulate corporations as we choose.

Since CEO salaries are now at multiples of 300-500x average salaries, I think they would make a dent. In the '50's, CEO's made about 30-50x average salaries.

ChuckFInster 4 years, 3 months ago

Well, one straightforward way would be to pass legislation setting a limit on the ratio of CEO pay to average worker pay. Great idea comrade jafs.

Liberty275 4 years, 3 months ago

"It espouses the joy of states’ rights... Are these the good old days the Republicans are pining for?"

You should ask that in Colorado. Right now they and a few other blue states have a state's rights problem.

Trumbull 4 years, 3 months ago

To me it seems like it is about exploitation whether we realize it or not. None of us are immune from exploitation because we live in a society and to some extent we rely on others and our surroundings. This is why minimums are set. Like minimum wage, 40 hour work week. After all, big corporations are supposed to only be concerned with making money. If unemployment were to rise and there was enough available labor to pay you $2 an hour, believe me, they would. If they could shift your job overseas, they will.

I just don't get it that Republicans defend the virtues of large corporations while ignoring the flaws. Big business shares many of the same flaws as big business whether we like it or not. They are essentially the same thing. Right now, I happen to trust the government way more than I do the Big Bad Corporation.

The Republicans seem to fight against all of these things.

Liberty275 4 years, 3 months ago

"I happen to trust the government way more than I do the Big Bad Corporation."

I trust the one that gives me money for my labor more than the one that takes money from me for my labor.

Trumbull 4 years, 3 months ago

Well Liberty, I am getting old and tired of the Corporate world. Now-days I would not care where my paycheck comes from. But I think I'd rather work for a public institution rather than a Corporate institution. Atleast that way I'd feel like I'm contributing more.

Or better yet, the mom and pop or small business can still provide a way to contribute positively to something I'd care more about. I have lost faith and belief in the idea of corporations. They think the only people vested are the ones who contribute capital. What about labor contribution? Spending the majority of daylight hours at work is contributing something in my book. Workers do and should be considered to have a vested interest as well.

Mike Ford 4 years, 3 months ago

Why do people continue to believe in the mythology of Reagan? destroy the way the blue collar people made a middle class living and create mcjobs in place of them. Create falsehood stereotypes about minorities that many of these uninformed people still believe 30 years later. Create the myth of going from nothing to something in this day and age. Talk falsehoods about people not getting up at 6:30 am like people don't have a work ethic. I've been at a job 16 years and I commute 37 miles daily to and from work so this laziness bit that some posters previously affirmed Is nonsense. Get blue collar people to vote against their economic interests by playing divide and conquer with the race issue creating racial animosity as a smoke screen. My ex grandfather was a racist who went from democrat to dixiecrat to republican between the 1940's and the 1980's in Mississippi. I can call nonsense on another poster trying to create a mythical south because I grew up there and many of the people are that ignorant. The smart ones leave because they can't stand the regressive attitude of this particular culture. It's time to blow up gop mythology and drag the nonsense into the light and call it nonsense.

Armstrong 4 years, 3 months ago

"Get blue collar people to vote against their economic interests by playing divide and conquer with the race issue creating racial animosity as a smoke screen".

That is a page straight out of the Obama play book.

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

The playbook people use against Obama? Yes, yes it is.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 3 months ago

The GOP is controlled by ALEC not the republican party. ALEC runs Kansas no question about it. The letters GOP is a front for the ALEC Right Wing Party.

In recent months, ALEC has come under increasing scrutiny for its role in drafting bills to: attack workers’ rights and reduce wages roll back environmental regulations privatize education deregulate major industries * passing voter ID laws.

A recent annual ALEC meeting boasted the largest attendance in five years, with nearly 2,000 guests in attendance. A look at some 800 model bills approved by companies and lawmakers at recent ALEC meetings.

--- http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/5/secretive_corporate_legislative_group_alec_holds

--- http://www.truth-out.org/publicopoly-exposed/1310660473

--- http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/5/new_expos_tracks_alec_private_prison

--- http://www.truth-out.org/publicopoly-exposed/1310660473

--- (TABOR) http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2005/0705rebne.html

Neither women, republicans nor democrats can afford ALEC. It is that simple. ALEC has no use for republicans,democrats nor women's rights or wages.

Is ALEC legitimate and why is ALEC being allowed to introduce legislation designed behind closed doors?

Richard Heckler 4 years, 3 months ago

Why do republicans continue to vote ALEC into power? ALEC is not a republican party. Sam Brownback is dedicated to ALEC not the republican party.

David Reynolds 4 years, 3 months ago

It is amazing to read that the only solution for the poor is to vote people into office that will promote more or expand welfare programs. What we need are people with job skills & talent that employers are willing to purchase in a free market.

There is an old saying "feed a person for a day & they eat for that day. Teach them how to acquire their own food and they will eat for a life time."

What we need is a change in Washington on both sides of the isle & in the presidency. We need elected officials that do not think the alpha & omega of all politics is expansion of socialism/social programs, or what ever one wants to call it. We need elected officials that will work to eliminate dependency & promote self-sufficiency. We need jobs created & our economy restructured so we do not export jobs, we import them.

We need citizens trained & educated for these future jobs. We rank 32 in the world in math & as low as 75th in other subjects. This is appalling! Our public education system, at all levels, is failing us.

Our public leadership, at all levels is failing us. We are headed down the wrong road with the vitriol foaming out of the mouths of members of, & those supporting, both parties. No wonder we can not get anything done. Ideology has displaced what it takes to be successful. We have lost focus. We argue over trivia.

On September 29, 1959 while giving a speech & banging his shoe on the podium of the United Nations, Nikita Khrushchev said: “Your children’s children will live under communism. You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept Communism outright; but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of Socialism until you will finally wake up and find that you already have Communism. We won’t have to fight you; WE’LL WEAKEN YOUR ECONOMY until you fall like overripe fruit into our hands.” "Your children's children have been born.

You should be horrified at what is happening. History is prologue. Our ancestors that founded, came and built, this country did not need dependency. They used their self sufficiency to raise themselves & this country to its heights. It is the result of their hard work that America became great.

Look around & listen to yourselves. Is this how you honor yourself & your ancestors? Is this a sustainable future where our children's children can inspire us as our ancestors do?

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Another way to better balance income is to encourage private sector unions. We use to have them and now they are minimal. Why did they go and how do we get them back??

David Reynolds 4 years, 3 months ago

Unions went away because they have out lived their useful life & their demands are unaffordable. The private sector has shown you why unions do not work. The auto industry manufacturing moved in to the south starting about 20 years ago. The industrial north east is collapsing because of the unsustainable demands of the unions. A good current example is the city of Detroit & the longterm fiscal burdens placed on the city. There are many problems in Detroit and the unions have a major role in them.

The auto industry & employees are doing just fine down south.

Your goal should be personal & fiscal independence. Not seeking the help of some entity that has control over your life.

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

Keep believing what they tell you. It's easier than realizing that the decline of unions owes a lot to states that intentionally made laws at corporate behest busting the power of those unions to negotiate on behalf of their workers. The city of Detroit owes more of their problems to corrupt politicians who underfunded the system and white flight than they do public unions who negotiated a pension that averages around $19,000 a person and would willingly negotiate a decrease in benefits as well. But keep saying it's the union.

An ironic way to finish that paragraph, too. Personal and fiscal independence is a lot easier when you get a living wage in safe working conditions and don't owe your soul to some entity like the company store. Just sayin'.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Explain these laws?? The one I am aware of is the "Right to Work" laws. That simply precludes a union from forcing someone to join it. I would submit that if unions were affordable to their members and confined their activities to the workplace they might attract more members and have more ability to negotiate.

I remember teacher union dues for the wife. They were expensive. People did not join. The costs of negotiation were miniscule with respect to the dues. They went to over paid leadership that spent their time lobbying the state and federal legislatures mostly supporting democratic initiatives only remotely related to teacher benefits and work environment.

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

Wrong. Nobody is forced to join a union. It is illegal in all states.

In non right to work states, a non union member can be compelled to pay an agency fee for only that portion of the union membership that goes towards negotiated compensation/representation/etc. Not for political activity. The union has to provide negotiated benefits to that non member just the same as if they were a member. In right to work states, the same worker gets to freeload off the negotiated benefits without paying for them. The whole point of right to work is to encourage freeloading and dilute membership to the point that the union loses all negotiating ability.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Wrong. A union shop requires membership - period!!!

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

You are misinformed. It's a common Fox lie, like "death panels." In non RTW states, a union shop can force you to pay an agency fee for being represented under the collective bargaining agreement, but they cannot force you to join the union.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

I draw no distinction between being forced to join the union or to pay for it.

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

"Wrong. A union shop requires membership - period!!!" <--- you, drawing a distinction.

"I draw no distinction between being forced to join the union or to pay for it." <--- you moving the goalpost.

You don't like that a union can force an agency fee. We get it. So don't work for a union shop. Nobody's stopping you, especially not in this state, where you've got the right to work.... for less money.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

We might differentiate between private sector and public sector unions. The unholy alliance between public sector unions and the government lead to Detroit.

The auto industry unions demise came about because the corporations gave in to union demands and passed the costs on to the consumers when there was no competition. When competition evolved that model failed. Democrats bought Toyotas

I believe unions will work if their is comparable power and the government does not tip the balance in order to get money or votes. IO our electorate were better informed as to consequences of their many unrealistic demands we might just get back to a workable economy!

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

No. The public sector unions didn't lead to Detroit. A lot of things lead to Detroit, but putting it at the feet of some old people getting an average of 19k per year in pensions is not really fair. (Especially when the intent is really to give them zero dollars per year in pensions) A big part of Detroit is white flight. Then there were corrupt politicians who said they'd fund the pensions and fix the financial problems but didn't. There was also the economic downturn and mortgage crisis leading to a mass exodus from an already economically depressed area. The suburbs around Detroit are just fine.

Personally, I want the money taken out of politics from all ends, and that includes the corporate money which has swung that pendulum far more against unions and workers in general and gotten suckers to believe that somehow the unions and workers were the ones being greedy.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Where do I start. White and Black flight happened when the cost of living as driven by taxes became excessive and people voted with their feet. When will the far left liberals learn that unless you control the entire environment people will decline your utopia and move when they are appointed to pay for that utopia. As you note the suburbs are just fine!

Unions would do fine if they focus on their constituency and not on Democratic party politics. The former can be done cheaply, dues will be reasonable and people will pay. People will not pay for overblown bureaucratic unions that forget that it is their members that have to pay the taxes they advocate for when supporting the Democratic agenda.

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

Wow. That's such a basic misunderstanding of white flight that I really just don't know what to say. You even threw in a "far left liberals" dig with some strawman arguments. Precious. Also completely wrong. White flight began in the 1960s in Detroit following terrible race riots and was made worse by political leaders. Look it up. It was not about fleeing taxes. It was about white people moving to the suburbs to avoid all the black people.

The taxes in Detroit were raised in reaction to the declining population and property values, not as a cause. It created a vicious cycle, since it wasn't a matter of moving to another state but rather moving a few miles down the road - where the taxes were lower and the services were higher, since the suburb only had to pave the roads and supply the teachers and cops for its own smaller area. The only people who stayed were the ones who couldn't afford to move. Unions didn't do any of that. Well, they represented the suburban teachers, too, so I guess there is that.

I'm not sure exactly why unions are supposed to stay out of politics but the business owners are not? That's an amazing double standard you've got there.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Or maybe the riots. If all the white flight was racial why was there black flight?

We are now parsing things a bit too fine. The cycle you describe is the cycle I support. Your raise taxes and people leave. Perhaps if those benefits were proportional to the tax (as perceived by the taxpayer) flight might not have happened. It is mostly when there is an increasing income transfer component that people feel they have no stake and leave.

That goes back to unions and politics. If the union is going to decide to throw its support behind someone you do not support why should you have to be a member and pay to support someone you do not. That is the conundrum.

Yes businesses now can pay to play. And of course unions can do the same. It is the forcing support I object to and suggest that less politics might mean more members.

If you are negotiating with a small to medium size firm exactly what political help do you need other than a balanced negotiation. A union composed of the workers at that firm should be adequate to protect their interests

Your yelping addresses very large corporations where if the very large union is going to resort to political push to win the day then I see no reason the corporation can not do likewise on behalf of the stockholders. The dues go up to pay for for the PACs and the lobbyist and people who are primarily interested in their wok environment depart the union. Perhaps using political mussel is not the best way!??

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

Black people also left, but later and in smaller numbers. You'll find the same is true of most white flight areas, but this sounds like the sort of thing you've had the privilege of never really having to think about. When white flight happens, the property values decline rapidly. Some people even walked away from their houses back then. It wasn't just in 2008. The higher tax rate was a reaction to rapidly decreasing revenue. They had to raise the property taxes - all the property was worth less and less, and it wasn't as if they no longer needed roads or a police force. That's not parsing things finely. That's stating it as it is. The population decline started first, and then the taxes went up, and as services decreased and crime and poverty went up, everyone who could afford to move did. That left the black poor and elderly in the city center, and now they get to lose everything they worked for.

If you don't like the politics of a particular union, don't join it. As has been repeatedly, patiently pointed out to you, no one is forcing you to join. If unions want your advice on how to increase membership, I'm sure they'll phone you up. Meanwhile, they'll continue to do the things that their members vote for them to do.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

You are a victim of too much MSNBC. Of course any massive exit of the middle class destroys property values - that is a no brainer!! The other course open to the city was to reduce benefits, public employees and public employee remuneration so they could reduce taxes. Coupled with reducing taxes you become business friendly so that business comes back and jobs are again available.

There is a pattern in many of our larger cities of using government jobs to produce a larger middle class. After a while even the people drawing their income from the city move unless the city precludes it. In that case as you raise taxes they demand more income and the cycle of "doom" becomes unavoidable.

In any city there is an underclass. It can be supported with public funds only to the extent that support does not become a driver in the tax structure. When it does the results are very clear as in Detroit.

I never said that people should not join unions. I argued for smaller more cost effective unions that are closer to their membership. I argued that if the price is right people will want to join and not have to be coerced.

I pointed out with data that the bigger unions tend to spend a great deal on politics that is at best marginal to the needs of the employees/members. That drives up costs and reduces membership - particularly by people who are not of the party the unions support. As I pointed out in union shop states the unions have tended to abuse their right to charge non-members for the cost of representation by including all sorts of things not related to actual representation. When that privilege is abused you get more effort to create "right to work states". Of course my small union small dues model would likely work even in right to work states.

Why do liberals insist on using coercion to drive people the way they want rather than honey to attract them??

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

I don't watch MSNBC, but thanks for playing.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

By the by my model was Washington DC which we had the privilege to watch from twenty miles away for a couple of decades as it followed the pattern of Detroit. Of course it got more federal bail out money and actually took steps to reduce its bloated bureaucracy and over generous benefits. It is healthier now although faced with a large unfunded pension liability!

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

DC is half the size and located around an industry unlikely to go out of business and move somewhere else. It's not the same situation as Detroit. PS - the tax burden in Wichita is lower than that of DC, and the population there is declining, not increasing. Clearly taxes aren't the only reason someone moves into our out of an area.

DC is being gentrified mostly because federal contractors don't want the commute times and are wiling to invest in transitional neighborhoods. Median property value is $400,000 right now. Certainly not true in Detroit! If they can't fund their pensions in DC, it's because they don't want to fund them. That thought right there should give all of us a little pause. It's usually not because people make promises they can't keep. It's because politicians dip their hands in the cookie jar instead of keeping the pensions funded. Kick the can down the road and pretend it's all the fault of the icky union for negotiating a pension in good faith when the city was doing well.

Also interesting factoid? Those "overly generous pensions" for firefighters and cops in Detroit are bigger than what you'd see here because the people receiving them aren't eligible for social security. That's right. if they have their pensions dismissed in bankruptcy, they won't even be able to afford cardboard boxes and cat food. Blame the union. It's clearly all their fault.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Look, I am sorry that there will be losers in Detroit. I have my version of how they got there and I do not buy the narrative they had to go the way they have.

On the other hand the decision to not pay into SS is part of their contract with whoever the contract was with (city probably). Now they have a problem. It has been a long time in coming and IMHO it could have been avoided with a bit of discipline and an acceptance that as circumstances change so must you.

Wichita is losing people because it is losing jobs. It was inevitable that the heavily unionized aerospace industry would find ways to shake the high costs of unions. when locked into global competition.

You know we live in a real world and whatever product is sold the cost of making it must be less than (or at least equal) to competitors or the producer goes out of business. Unions have at times lost sight of that fact. I did not determine that they would be competed with low cost foreign labor - our elected leaders (both parties) did that.

The narrative that the CEOs are overpaid causing the workers to be treated poorly is not supported by the facts. There are just not enough CEOs to materially drive the amount left for the troops. Yes, they should be paid less but I keep looking for a solution to that problem. In my mind unions are part of the solution but they must be lean and mean to be effective.

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

The decision not to buy into SS was not unusual. It was the law. State and local governments had their own funded pensions, and thus were not eligible for SS. They had to make special arrangements to get SS coverage. The law changed later on, but that's not going to help current retirees who made plans and financial decisions around this money. If you're 85 years old and living off a pension you EARNED, a little discipline and understanding that things change isn't going to pay for food or medical supplies.

The pensions should have been pre-funded to a level that would have avoided this crisis. You don't back-negotiate the payouts after someone put in 35 years of work. They negotiated in good faith for their pensions when the city was doing just fine.

You know, the cost of an item doesn't have to be equal or less than the price of the competition. Just ask Apple.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Wrong. The law allowed the municipal governments to opt out of ss it did not require it!!!

Tough! Your entire approach is one where the people seem to have no responsibility for what happens to them. The people of Detroit continued to elect people who continued to promise that which it was clear they could not deliver (for decades). That is stupid and stupid people deserve what they get.

Congress stepped in with the district and forced wise decisions. Because of that the upscale redevelopment began. Nobody would be there (except federal government entities exempt from taxes) without tax reform that made the decision to live there financially manageable.

Detroit could have done that too and should have started decades ago. It didn't and now the "piper" is at the gate. You have to get the money from somewhere and you have just about tapped out the taxpaying portion of the middle class. There are a few coins in the rich but they are way to fluid for local entities to attach.

What killed Detroit is basic greed. I want more and if you promise me more I will elect you. Your will then tax somebody else to pay for what I want. It is a ponzei scheme that ultimately fails when there is noone left to fund it!!

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

Not quite. It allowed the state and municipality to OPT IN under a 218 agreement, but they'd also have to start paying SS taxes on top of their existing taxes. Many states still have this arrangement. I doubt too many of them were examining the ledger books and deciding that one day a Republican governor would slip through a piece of highly unpopular legislation that was already once defeated in a public referendum and allowed the state to appoint an unelected city manager to come in and declare bankruptcy on the place.

I don't think it's right when private sector employees lose their pensions, either, but at least there's some insurance protection. When the state offers you a pension, it's natural to assume the state isn't going to go bankrupt. Especially when they offered it to you 40 or 50 years ago. I guess that's not true today. Good job, people who don't believe in government that were stupidly elected to prove to us that government can't help.

The state of Kansas elects stupid people like Brownback, but I don't think kids deserve to have their education funding cut, the disabled deserve to go without services, people deserve to be disenfranchised, or that teachers deserve to have someone deliberately underfunding their pensions in an effort to force a financial crisis and wiggle out from under their obligations. All of this is happening. None of this was promised during the campaign. Not the fault of the victims. Unions represent the best interest of their members- the workers. More than one union has agreed to cuts in both when it's made clear that the finances don't support it.

What killed Detroit was a combination of factors. Racial tensions. Sprawl. Slimy politicians making bad decisions, financial crisis, and finally an unelected bankruptcy expert the governor brought in to declare the place dead for his own political purposes. You want to oversimplify and assign a blame that aligns better with your ideology. I saw what you did there with the repeated dancing around the ugly truth of white flight.

DC gentrification would have happened with or without tax changes. There's only so long that people will drive two hours to work, and the total cost of living - with our without taxes - is still much lower in the transitional neighborhoods. You can still buy a lot more house for $400,000 in DC than you can in Arlington, and it would still be true if you raised DC property tax rates. Speaking of greed, you don't think Congress stepped in out of personal interest in shortening their commute times and getting a great deal on some investment property? Nah, they'd never engage in insider trading or act out of greed. Not Congress! Speaking of which, which way did the DC representative vote? Oh, that's right. She can't.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

OK we are getting to far to the right (hee hee) but I thank you for your summary.

I have already posted mine and it is far less complex. You have to pay for what you want and the citizens of Detroit tried to move that cost to the middle class who opted out. The rest is peripheral.

Given that in your mind the residual population of the city is blameless how do you propose we pay for them (and all the other cities in this fix??

Bet the answer is through the federal government where of course we will have to raise taxes to meet that humungous obligation. Why should people who had absolutely nothing to do with the mess have to pay and pay and pay???

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

Your summary is simpler in many ways, but that isn't necessarily a complement. People are messy and their motivations are complex. The tax situation complicated population decline that had already started because of white flight, no matter how uncomfortable the thought seems to make you.

Right now the people of Michigan are shifting the costs of a broken promise onto the elderly. How do they pay for it? The state should pay for it, or at the very least the citizens of the surrounding suburbs. They're full of upper middle class citizens who grew up on the other side of 8 Mile Road and were protected by city police and taught by city teachers and managed to move out before they paid the city back for that investment.

In exchange, the city should take over abandoned properties and begin aggressive urban renewal programs with funding from the state. It is in the state's best interest to do this. The current pit of despair benefits no one. They may even be able to make back some revenue by doing so.

Nobody should get away with breaking pension promises. You don't get to rip off old people just because you find the idea of paying your bills to be unpleasant. If they find that the promise was too generous, perhaps they'll be disinclined to make such optimistic promises in the future.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Amen to your last paragraph - I'm amazed that it's not that crystal clear to everybody.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

So those rich white people that in your narrative caused all of the problem should get to tax themselves a rather significant sum to pay for the largess of the inner city population that voted things that could never be delivered.

Sometimes we make things complicated in order to avoid confronting the real issue. Your are doing that in spades. Yes,all of the things you note happened but the driver was politicians and people in a self destroying cycle.
Case closed.

What about the politicians that created at least half the mess??

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

Those rich white people mostly used to be residents and voters in the city back before they moved away, so don't even try to imply that it was somehow a bunch of poor black voters signing themselves blank checks with money they didn't have. The current pensioners started working 40 years ago.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

If the retirements had been funded this problem would not exist. We have problems like this all over all of the governments. If we fund Detroit out of the public pot that sets a precedent to do them all that way.

Adding that burden to all the other unfunded great ideas will bankrupt the country. You liberals just want to too much too fast without any consideration for paying for what you want. Yes we have the notion of taxing the rich.. That is a liberal canard as there is just not enough resource there to meet the obligation .

The only way you can fund all of your desires is to tax the middle about two to three times what you currently do. Good luck with that.

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

So you don't dodge out from under them by just refusing to pay. First off, municipal pensions need to be insured. Secondly, they need to be funded, no exceptions. If you want to stop funding your pension, you do so by cutting benefits to new hires, not by retroactively taking away the money people have planned their lives around. If Detroit gets away with making promises and then not delivering, so will other cities. This sets a worse precedent than making optimistic promises in the first place.

Your second and third paragraphs reflect an ideological bias and misunderstanding of how things work. Stop trying to pretend you even know what "all my desires" are. You don't. You're making total strawman arguments. I'm arguing precisely the opposite of what you're saying I am. I'm arguing that you pay for those promises as you make them, and yes, there are enough resources. They're currently unevenly distributed.

I'm talking about one city's pension deficit. Paying for it while repairing the city is possible, so long as there's the political will to do so (which there probably isn't, so the point is somewhat moot.) Detroit's unelected city manager would rather pay 11 people $288,671 for two weeks of consulting work than pay some retired firefighter a pension. Priorities.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Woa, did I misunderstand you that much!!! I agree that these pension should have been funded as they were earned. That said, as noted above when the people paying become a minority they have a right to vote with their feet. Then it becomes necessary to make adjustments that if made in a timely manner avoid much pain later and just may avoid middle class flight.

If the city had reduced payroll and created a two track pension system some 20 to 30 years ago when things started to deteriorate than we would not be making these comments.

By the by that applies to all pensions at all levels. If they are funded upfront the costs become abundantly clear and decisions about avoiding consequences can be made.

The time to fix this problem was when middle class flight began not 20 to 30 years later when it is too late.

Elected officials love to make promises to just about everybody. The best promise in their mind is one with little present cost. Future costs are ignored as the elected officials will be long gone and unaccountable. It is up to the citizens to avoid this. Unfortunately my comment above applies and most ignore the reality. Those with brains then depart the scene as they can not stop the train!

I just can not agree with your notion that the taxpayers when they lack the numbers to stop something have to remain responsible for the consequences even if they vote with their feet.

If I can not change something I do not like than I will move on. JAFS (and your) quaint notion that the majority gets to destroy the minority and the latter has to like it will never wash in my world. Did not work in Greece or the other southern European countries, in the Soviet Union, in China ad nauseous. Have to admit though it has been painful for all concerned except those able to move to Elysium.

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

The argument cities made for not having their pensions insured is that they could set the tax rates and therefore guarantee that they had an income stream. This is clearly not the case for cities that collapse, therefore all of them should have solid rules about funding levels, and all of them need a federal insurance system to fund them. We are in agreement that the time to reconsider pension levels was decades ago.

Now that they've made this mess, I just don't see a reason why they can get away with not cleaning it up. If they can get a federal or state bailout, great, but they don't get to write off that obligation if they can't. Fund the obligations and then work on a national solution that prevents bad leadership from inadvertently or intentionally stealing future pensions.

It's not just people who over promise. In Kansas and other areas, there are people who try to intentionally underfund to sabotage the program. They shouldn't get away with it either.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Well if a portion of that obligation is not written off then exactly who do you see paying other than people who had little or nothing to do with the mess. Detroit had its own leadership and chose to go its own way.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Nice to bury a little dig at me in your lengthy conversation with chootspa.

Of course you misrepresent what I've said. I never said anything about the majority "destroying" the minority or the minority "liking" it.

All I pointed out is that in many ways, in our system, decisions are made by a majority, and that leaves a frustrated minority. For example, a majority of those who chose to vote voted for Obama (twice) and that leaves those who didn't frustrated.

What's your suggestion for improvement exactly?

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Follow the Constitution. Most state are required by their constitutions to balance their budgets. That forces them to deal with benefits/taxes and then face the reality that you can not continue to tax until their are no taxpayer left - they moved to the suburbs. Think California. When I lived there the local tax problem got addressed through Prop -13 so the state started to raise taxes to provide services previously provided by the localities. Now their taxes are among the highest in the nation and they have an unfunded debt burden that without draconian actions (taxes or cuts) will eventually bankrupt them. As a result there is business and middle class flight.

At the federal level the framers IMHO limited the scope of federal activity which would limit the tax burden at that level - pushing it down to where the taxpayer have more say (states). By ignoring that and growing the federal responsibilities we have had to increase taxes at that level to where they greatly exceed taxes at other levels (that has not historically been the reality).

Now by adroit manipulation we have a minority paying those taxes. The high end is protected by political manipulation (donations to both parties). The bottom is protected primarily by tax preferences for children. We are at the cusp I fear where the majority can and will continue to raise taxes to pay for more and more services to preferred groups. IMHO it is almost too late. We are going to go the way of Greece!!

or a while the Chinese will fund us but eventually we will face the situation that faced Great Britain before Mrs Thatcher. People with skills and initiative came here - we benefited and they lost. Eventually they voted in Mrs Thatcher who put a stop to the "brain drain"

Don't think it will not happen here. Already a majority of our intellectual and entrepreneurial capital is foreign. We now have a world environment where moving elsewhere is much less limiting and frightening. We are busily demonizing those in our society that have done well. If you are not wanted and the cost to stay becomes increasingly high then why not become a citizen of the world. That happened to the Greeks and and it will likely happen to us?.

Avoidance is simple. Cut back on what the federal government is spending and reduce the number of citizens that are significantly dependent on federal largess. That may hurt some people. It will definitely force some people to work. It might slow down the growth of taxes and just maybe return us to where the majority is paying the bill and is cognizant of their costs and have an ability to constrain them.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Nothing in your post addresses the issue of majority/minority that you brought up, and I commented on.

In order to cut back on federal spending, for example, you need a majority in Congress to do that (which would mean a majority of the population who wanted it), and might leave a substantial minority who doesn't like that idea.

Without changing our system in some fundamental way, there's just no way around the majority influence, which you seem to find problematic.

Personally, I find your solution one-sided - we have an excess of spending, but also a revenue problem. The last time we had a balanced budget at the federal level, spending was lower, but revenue was higher (as percentages of GDP).

Also, although I like the idea of people being able to support themselves, without ensuring that there are decent jobs, simply taking people off of public assistance isn't sufficient. And, these days, decent jobs are few and far between.

Finally, although your screen name is moderate, your ideas here seem pretty far to the right to me.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Well, I thought I explained it very well above. So much for that notion

At the federal level the majority can tax the minority (federal income tax payers) whatever they want as there is no limit on the tax that can be levied and the minority cannot stop it. Today the taxpayers are a minority as explained above.

To fix it you return to the limited government we had before Mr. Roosevelt or we pass a constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget and a tax payer’s bill of rights that limits the maximum amount the government can take.

We already have many laws and legal provisions that limit the scope of what the majority can do so this is nothing new.

I count regulatory actions that cost the citizen money as tax increases. So while this administration has not actually increased income taxes on the middle they have increased taxes on the middle and propose to do so a lot more through fees and requirements under the ACA (yes the war on women) and regulations from the EPA.

When you are running a trillion dollar annual deficit and demand tax increases rather than spending cuts to feed it I should thing the taxpayers should be taking a tight hold on their wallets. I might also observe that hardly a day goes by when the denizens of this blog space are not calling for additional tax increases (unstated) to address some want they demand be fulfilled. The assault is never ending.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

In order to "return to a limited government" you have to elect people who will do that, which means that their election is an expression of the majority of voters who voted, leaving a (perhaps substantial) minority dissatisfied with the outcome.

Passing a constitutional amendment is also an expression of the majority, although in that case it has to be 3/4 of the states. But that can leave 1/4 unhappy. In a country with about 300 million people, that could mean that 75 million are unhappy with the decision (assuming an even split of population among the dissenting states - it could be more or less).

I mentioned both spending and revenue, not just revenue. And, as I said, historically the only time in the last 40 years or so that we had balanced budgets at the federal level, spending was lower than now, but revenue was higher.

The fact is that many things in our system work on "majority wins", and unless you change it in some way, there will often be a minority (sometimes substantial) that is dissatisfied.

How would you change it?

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Why bother? The framers deliberately limited the scope of government to limit the power of the majority. Otherwise there is no way to stop the majority from voting its self more and more to be paid by the minority.

Then people vote with their feet as there is not other way to protect themselves from the voracious appetites of the "mob" (ie: majority)

As I wrote it m ay already be too late. There is another way to amend the constitution - convention but even then I feel it is too late.

So you will continue to take from the taxpayers as that group continues to shrink until the ponzi scheme reaches the point where there are not enough "payers" left and we have a "Greece".

All hail the "mob"!!!

David Reynolds 4 years, 3 months ago

I also failed to mention that more & more states are passing & implementing so called "Right-To-Work" laws so that unions can not force themselves on individuals & companies.

Unions can have a place in the economy, but only if they are reasonable & act responsibly for the betterment of both the employees & companies they are involved with.

Beyond the financial issues, the scenes of the federal employee workers behaving poorly in their public demonstrations over the past few years helps solidify why private enterprise has & will continue to turn away from unions.

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

Unions couldn't force themselves on unions or companies even in non right to work states. A company only became unionized after a majority vote from the workers, and non union employees were not required to join the union. They did have to pay a fee for the union to negotiate their contract, but they got higher wages in exchange for that negotiation.

In right to work states, you have a higher level of freeloaders who get the union benefits without paying, and they end up diluting the strength of the union to the point that it no lost any real negotiating power.

Armstrong 4 years, 3 months ago

Unions couldn't force themselves on unions or companies even in non right to work states.

Obviously you have never had the joy of dealing with a construction union and their "negotiating" tactics. You live in a fantasy world.

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

I live in the world where the Taft-Hartley Act is the law and unsourced big scary anecdotes do not negate it.

Armstrong 4 years, 3 months ago

Good for you. Unfortunately baseball bats, crow bars and union thugs don't.

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

They live mainly in history books and your imagination.

Armstrong 4 years, 3 months ago

First hand experience says you're wrong

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

I've got firsthand experience of being double charged by a grocery store clerk, so I've decided all grocery stores are nothing but organized crime syndicates. I also got misdiagnosed by a doctor once, so I've decided that none of them know what they're talking about when it comes to medicine. This drawing wild conclusions based a single (illegal) incident or a single bad egg is fun!

PS - I have decades of experience working with union members and have never once seen one with a crowbar. I've also never been a member nor have I ever been compelled to be a member of a union. To be fair, I'm a manager and ineligible, anyway, but I've never seen anyone else compelled to join.

I'm not claiming that all unions are saints (nor are all churches, all companies, or all... you get the point.) But they're certainly not all thugs. Or even mostly thugs. Collective bargaining is a good thing. I have no desire to return to the bad old days of company stores. The baseball bats and crowbars were used against the union members in those cases, btw.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Only if enforced. How come the Obama administration is not enforcing the law allowing members to withhold the portion of their dues that pay for PACs.

Until unions focus on the work enviuronment and not on politics "right to work" laws will continue to expand.

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

Links please. The law I cited pertained to non union members in union shops. And no, right to work laws will continue to expand as long as corporations can use them to bust unions. It's actually by focusing on politics that workers might end up being able to regain some of their lost rights.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Thank you. You made my point. We force Republicans who happen to be union members to pay for political action committee that favor Democrats.

You also acknowledge that in unions shops the non union workers must pay the union for the representation that they have no say in. My data shows that those payments are a significant portion of the union dues so that the distinction between member and non member is for all practical purposes lost. That includes PACs and I will come back with a reference shortly.

In fact it is the unions that are trying to make the election on representation open - no private ballots. If the only way unions can increase representation is to move away fro our traditional voting processes one has to wonder!

chootspa 4 years, 3 months ago

You don't force Republicans to join the union, and the union is made up of other union members and capable of voting in different political actions if they so choose. Police and firefighting unions typically back the Republican candidate, btw. Don't assume that they're all Democrats.

Provide a link to the idea that "unions" are trying to make elections open and not private ballot while you're at it. I think what you'll actually find is that unions support the ability to waive a secret ballot election in cases where they've got over half the employees signatures stating their intent to form a union. Employers typically ask for the election as a delaying tactic in those cases. The signature thing was already happening, so that's not a matter of changing one style of election into another. That's a matter of eliminating a delaying tactic.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Union financial records are not public while corporation’s records are. The Supreme Court has examined union financial records in two cases. In the original Beck case, the Court found, 12 years after Beck filed his original suit, that 79 percent of his dues were not chargeable, nearly the reverse of what unions typically claim. In a follow-up case, Lehnert v. Ferris Faculty Association, the Supreme Court found that the defendant union, an affiliate of the MEA, spent only 10 percent of its dues revenue on employee representation. There is more but I think this makes the point.

Now these figures also reflect that non-members are assessed as much as 90% of the amount of membership dues as the unions routinely claim that most of their activities are representational but the courts found otherwise. In examining the union argument you find all sorts of titles such as public relations, voter education, and the like accounted for as representational. Therein lays the difference between the courts and the unions.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

I looked up your case citations.

Lehnert was in 1991 (that's over twenty years ago), and the court upheld the right of unions to compel fees for negotiating purposes (I'm not saying I agree with that). Also, since then, unions have had to provide an accounting of the monies spent on those purposes.

That suggests that those sorts of problems no longer exist today, and haven't for a rather long time.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Wnader the web. Apparently there are problems associated with obtaining accurate accounting for costs of representation in union shop states.

See my response to Choot for the rest of the issue. I am advocating for unions that are attractive to their members because they hold down their costs. I really do not see a need for large dues supporting national representation when the workforce is of several hundred people in a small plant in Kansas.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

No thanks.

If you have other citations, I'll be glad to look at them.

But, according to your first one, there have been laws in place requiring unions to account for that money, and how it's spent. If unions aren't in compliance, they'd be breaking the law, and given the vast anti-union sentiment, I'm sure that somebody would prosecute them for that.

What you or I think unions should do is pretty irrelevant, since neither one of us is a union member, or likely to be one.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Well, I do care as they effect me and their demand for union shops offend me. Coercion always offends me!

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Well, I might agree that I don't like required dues of any sort. But only if non union employees agreed to forgo all the benefits that union employees get because of negotiations, etc.

Otherwise they're "free loaders", getting benefits without contributing to what it takes to get them.

I was really referring to your comments about dues and the scope of representation. Since neither of us is or will be a union member, it seems to me that those questions are better left to those who are members - it's up to them, not us.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Wander the web. It is not clear that some e unions do not continue to overstate the portion of the dues spent on representation!

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

The only record by an independent entity (courts) reflected that the unions were padding the bill. Exactly what proof do you have that they mended their ways. Under this administration we want to make the elections for certification "open" so we can pressure people to vote to unionize. How can we trust it to enforce laws they do not like?? Note they just got nailed for that yesterday re the Nevada Nuclear storage facility.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

If that's for me, I suggest you prove your contention, rather than asking me to disprove it.

My research showed that for the last twenty years, unions have been required to provide an accounting of the money they spend on representation.

That includes about 14 years of previous administrations as well as about 6 of this one.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

And they got caught lying well inside your twenty year argument. Why do you presume they are not now lying in the absence of any proof either way.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Somebody who makes a contention has the burden of proof.

Your only evidence so far is a more than twenty year old case, and I've researched it, and shown that after that case, unions were required to provide an accounting.

If you think that they haven't been doing that, then you can find evidence and present it - I'll be glad to consider it.

George Lippencott 4 years, 3 months ago

Yes, God.

They were caught after the law was changed. So they were cheating. Why do you give cheaters the benefit of the doubt?

Your right though, we need to revisit to see what is ground truth now.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

I looked into it more closely, and find that your presentation of "cheating" seems incorrect to me.

After Beck, there was a lot of confusion about what was permitted and what wasn't, and the SC revisited the issue numerous times after that to clarify, as in Lehnert. So things that happened between Beck and Lehnert may simply reflect that confusion.

After Lehnert and other clarifications, and the requirement to provide an accounting, if you have evidence that unions haven't complied, that would be very interesting and relevant to me - do you have any such evidence?

Mike Ford 4 years, 3 months ago

it's telling that you use a post from the 1950's. That's where your concept of time is stuck like the GOP Party in "The Leave It To Beaver Era". Back in the Good Ole Days where one group of people were heard and everyone else was ignored. Gotta love all of the Nissan, Toyota, Hyundai, Mercedes Benz, and BMW plants down south. BMW only started getting lots of recalls on their small SUVs when they were made here in South Carolina. Alabama state and federal politicians threw hundreds of millions of bribery dollars to get car plants there and then pulled over and checked the German auto executives for their papers. How embarrassing. Those poor guys must've thought they were in 1930's Germany. They don't pay them anywhere near what auto workers used to make. They pay them plantation wages because anymore it's not really about color. It's about exploiting working class people down there and create a landed class and a sharecropper class like they always have. I've driven by the Nissan plant off of I 55 north of Jackson, MS, many times. Just think if these workers are getting $17-18 an hour and they previously would've gotten closer to $28-32 an hour whose getting the difference? the bribing politicians. How southern of them. Get that kickback.

Mike Ford 4 years, 3 months ago

not if the job paid more before the greedies that you support made the hamster wheel a little harder to escape from economically. loyalty to destruction is no vice.

David Reynolds 4 years, 3 months ago

The above points just make my original point. Everyone is looking for someone else to improve their personal lot in life. Good luck with that. If that is the way you want to live your life you will always be at the mercy of someone else. This approach always means you are expendable. The unions are just another way to become trapped in the dependency syndrome.

A person needs to become indispensable to their employer, or their own personal business. If you have real marketable skills you can work anywhere, command a very good living, and be in charge of your own destiny. You won't have to wait for the next union contract, or worse yet some elected official deciding if he needs your vote in the next election and thus decides to throw you a bone.

Having been an employer in both my "corporate days...working for the man" & as an entrepreneur I employed people that made a positive contributions such that we gained new business, increased profitability or came up with innovative ways to improve our business model to make us more competitive. You don't need anyone else to help you succeed if your able to do that.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 3 months ago

Good points. But what to do with the many, I would say majority, of working stiffs who are incapable of behaving as you explain, even if they tried.

Not everyone is a genius innovator. Most working class people are not. What about them?

This is one of the many problems with libertarianism and Ayn Rand thinking. What to do with he majority of people who are not geniuses. Let them rot on the street or work as virtual slaves? We've been there in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It usually causes problems.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Also, of course, who would work for the geniuses, who can't bring their ideas to fruition without help?

Trumbull 4 years, 3 months ago

I agree too. But what about life? Do we live to work, or work to live?

I am not cut out to be an entrepreneur myself. I think I am pretty good at what I do, but I am replaceable. I like to do my best so that I remain secure, but also like to think my contribution helps my employer. Unfortunately there is not much loyalty these days between employees and employers. Three years at one job is considered a long tenure today.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago


Virtually everyone is replaceable now - it's the modern business culture.

Trumbull 4 years, 3 months ago

And one I don't like necessarily. I once had a professor who told me that the best way to go is employee owned businesses and corporations. This creates loyalty through 1) work and 2) ownership. I think at the time Avis was the example in our business management course.

I think of what he said more often. He was on to something.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

I agree completely.

Southwest Airlines was structured that way for a while, and offered excellent quality and value for money. Then they sold it and the quality declined.

David Reynolds 4 years, 3 months ago

Been away with friends.

Everyone can be replaced but one is less likely to be replaced with self improvement, thru continuing education & skills development. The key point is if one has been building their skills & value to their employers than they are certainly in the front of the line for employment elsewhere. That is called job mobility & marketability.

With regard to loyalty that is a two way street. Corporations cut jobs to survive. The last folks to be cut are the most valuable & flexible employees. People develop skills so they are capable of moving on when the worst happens.

Yes not everyone is a genius. But everyone can develop skills and improve their employment prospects. You do not have to be a genius, just valuable to your employer.

With regard to the comment: "But what about life? Do we live to work, or work to live?" The answer is both. You work & develop yourself so you can have a good job so you can have a quality life.

Trumbull 4 years, 3 months ago

What you say is true citizen1. One's chances are better when you continually improve your mobility and marketability.

But it is not often easy. A large segment of IT professional jobs are being outsourced overseas. And many of these jobs are not coming back. I can only imagine the schooling and planning to learn this craft, only to have it be replaced. Do you tell a college kid to study computers, pay the tuition, but be prepared to dump that and learn a new trade with every new decade? Most people can handle maybe one or two of those curveballs in a lifetime. Sadly, the days of practicing a trade and being the best at it are gone. Technology and job markets are just changing too much.

shotgun 4 years, 3 months ago

"Whats the matter with Kansas"

Glad I just retired, even MO is about to go "Right to Work"

David Reynolds 4 years, 3 months ago

Nothing is the matter with Kansas. The only thing that can hurt Kansas, or any other state, is the pessimism expressed by individuals.

Missouri is going "Right to Work" to be competitive.

Mike Ford 4 years, 3 months ago

More comments from the bubble. I warned an out of state friend of mine about this as they moved to Ponca City, Oklahoma.

hedshrinker 4 years, 3 months ago

I talk w individuals everyday in both my professional and personal life who are highly educated/trained but probably will be forever out of the competitive workplace b/c they are over 50, are recent graduates w minimal professional work experience, have been unemployed for more than 6 mo and /or are even refused positions below their educational training or previous wage b/c prospective employers assume they will leave when a more suitable position presents itself...a classic double-bind strategy which serves employers well in an age of over-abundant labor supply when they can pick from a variety of well qualified candidates but is a devastating situation for workers and their struggling families. And yet our government is all about propping up the so-called "job creators" ( a misnomer if I ever heard one) with tax incentives, Citizens United which gives them unlimited political power thru the power of the purse while they sit on their masses of $$$ refusing to take any real entrepeneurial risks at least in the US....risks in the "developing" world don't cost so much $$$ even tho they would benefit their fellow countrymen and women. But people w that kind of $$$ have no genuine patriotism like creating jobs for fellow citizens that would pay a living wage...Where are the incentives for those who don't off-shore their plants?

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