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Old 02-19-2011, 06:46 PM
 
7,150 posts, read 8,772,061 times
Reputation: 3806

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With all the repetitive chanting against the public sector workers and their compensations and benefits, I offer the following:
California public employee compensation and benefits have gotten out of hand and need reassessment and reconstruction -- BUT that reality is just part of the normal cycle of society and government. Our public employees did NOT trash our economy and create the destruction of the tax base to pay for services, causing budget shortfalls and deficits: Wall Street did; an elite class of oligarchy did. Vilifying the common worker-bees for "colony collapse disorder" is like punching a stumbling drunk -- go straight to the source, as discussed in the great article linked below from Rolling Stone (rated "R" for language at points ). While the reality discussed in the article is true for the entire nation, California is often held up as one of the most egregious examples of an out-of-control public sector ... and statistic after statistic says otherwise with regard to the state's public employee to population ratio and many social service program commitment ratios. When the national economy is healthy -- California booms, leading the way.

Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail? | Rolling Stone Politics

a quote from the article:
"But a veritable mountain of evidence indicates that when it comes to Wall Street, the justice system not only sucks at punishing financial criminals, it has actually evolved into a highly effective mechanism for protecting financial criminals. This institutional reality has absolutely nothing to do with politics or ideology — it takes place no matter who's in office or which party's in power. To understand how the machinery functions, you have to start back at least a decade ago, as case after case of financial malfeasance was pursued too slowly or not at all, fumbled by a government bureaucracy that too often is on a first-name basis with its targets. Indeed, the shocking pattern of non-enforcement with regard to Wall Street is so deeply ingrained in Washington that it raises a profound and difficult question about the very nature of our society: whether we have created a class of people whose misdeeds are no longer perceived as crimes, almost no matter what those misdeeds are. The SEC and the Justice Department have evolved into a bizarre species of social surgeon serving this nonjailable class, expert not at administering punishment and justice, but at finding and removing criminal responsibility from the bodies of the accused."
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:53 PM
 
Location: San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties
6,390 posts, read 7,630,911 times
Reputation: 2622
10-4
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,781 posts, read 23,755,254 times
Reputation: 6174
Partially true, but the reality is that many problems caused our current situation. If you view the problem in terms of revenue decline, then it certainly makes sense to state that the bankers were a key part of the problem.

However, taking a look at employee compensation isn't totally off the wall in today's economy. It doesn't mean we have to "gut" compensation, as some on the Tea Party side of the fence would like to see, but it does mean that we need to determine how benefits could be reset to make them more reasonable and sustainable.

I have nothing against public pensions at all, and believe that they should actually be wider spread in the private sector too. However, that doesn't mean we don't have some unsupportable pension formulas today (meaning they require chronic General Fund supplemental support).

In general, I find neither the "right" nor the "left" very credible on this topic. Reasonable solutions may exist, but it seems neither side is really interested in finding paths to a "brighter tomorrow".

Pity...
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:42 PM
 
7,150 posts, read 8,772,061 times
Reputation: 3806
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewToCA View Post
Partially true, but the reality is that many problems caused our current situation. If you view the problem in terms of revenue decline, then it certainly makes sense to state that the bankers were a key part of the problem.

However, taking a look at employee compensation isn't totally off the wall in today's economy. It doesn't mean we have to "gut" compensation, as some on the Tea Party side of the fence would like to see, but it does mean that we need to determine how benefits could be reset to make them more reasonable and sustainable.

I have nothing against public pensions at all, and believe that they should actually be wider spread in the private sector too. However, that doesn't mean we don't have some unsupportable pension formulas today (meaning they require chronic General Fund supplemental support).

In general, I find neither the "right" nor the "left" very credible on this topic. Reasonable solutions may exist, but it seems neither side is really interested in finding paths to a "brighter tomorrow".

Pity...
I agree ... and said some of the same in my statement prefacing the article ... and, as you know, I find neither "right" nor "left" credible on most any issue. The linked article is long, but so fascinating I was sucked in totally ... an absolutely outrageous expose' ... anyone who gets into "60 Minutes" or true crime type of journalism will find it hard to break even for a donut run to the kitchen ... (which is a good thing to save your computer from the crumbs and powdered sugar build-up in the keyboard anyway).

The money scammed by these thieves makes the tithes of the pharaohs, the Church, and all the kings and queens of history a joke ... there is enough money in the pockets of this oligarchy class to fix the entire world economy several times over -- much of which was just snatched in the past decade.

Great closing paragraphs to the article reinforce my point that blaming the worker-bees is misplaced. We do need to re-set our compensations and benefits -- seriously. But what we need to do more is pay attention to the real, deliberate, psychopathic thieves who have raided our labors, and those of our children, and their children.

"So there you have it. Illegal immigrants: 393,000 [prosecuted]. Lying moms: one. Bankers: zero. The math makes sense only because the politics are so obvious. You want to win elections, you bang on the jailable class. You build prisons and fill them with people for selling dime bags and stealing CD players. But for stealing a billion dollars? For fraud that puts a million people into foreclosure? Pass. It's not a crime. Prison is too harsh. Get them to say they're sorry, and move on. Oh, wait — let's not even make them say they're sorry. That's too mean; let's just give them a piece of paper with a government stamp on it, officially clearing them of the need to apologize, and make them pay a fine instead. But don't make them pay it out of their own pockets, and don't ask them to give back the money they stole. In fact, let them profit from their collective crimes, to the tune of a record $135 billion in pay and benefits last year. What's next? Taxpayer-funded massages for every Wall Street executive guilty of fraud?

"The mental stumbling block, for most Americans, is that financial crimes don't feel real; you don't see the culprits waving guns in liquor stores or dragging coeds into bushes. But these frauds are worse than common robberies. They're crimes of intellectual choice, made by people who are already rich and who have every conceivable social advantage, acting on a simple, cynical calculation: Let's steal whatever we can, then dare the victims to find the juice to reclaim their money through a captive bureaucracy. They're attacking the very definition of property — which, after all, depends in part on a legal system that defends everyone's claims of ownership equally. When that definition becomes tenuous or conditional — when the state simply gives up on the notion of justice — this whole American Dream thing recedes even further from reality."
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:29 PM
 
Location: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río Porciúncula
14,518 posts, read 15,203,158 times
Reputation: 10360
Face it. America got raped by Wall Street in the last few years, and Wall Street has enough power to escape prosecution. And they continue to collect million dollar bonuses.

If you doubt my comment, tell me who okayed the honor system for verifying income in qualifying buyers for mortgages. That was like throwing gasoline on a fire. It was a sure recipe for disaster. And surely enough, disaster is what we have.

It was bad enough that they ruined the housing market but they ruined the whole economy too, not only the US economy but the world economy (since the US is the 1,000 lb. gorilla in the cage). They are laughing from their Italian villas and their Malibu estates.
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,781 posts, read 23,755,254 times
Reputation: 6174
Quote:
Originally Posted by nullgeo View Post
I agree ... and said some of the same in my statement prefacing the article ... and, as you know, I find neither "right" nor "left" credible on most any issue. The linked article is long, but so fascinating I was sucked in totally ... an absolutely outrageous expose' ... anyone who gets into "60 Minutes" or true crime type of journalism will find it hard to break even for a donut run to the kitchen ... (which is a good thing to save your computer from the crumbs and powdered sugar build-up in the keyboard anyway).

The money scammed by these thieves makes the tithes of the pharaohs, the Church, and all the kings and queens of history a joke ... there is enough money in the pockets of this oligarchy class to fix the entire world economy several times over -- much of which was just snatched in the past decade.

Great closing paragraphs to the article reinforce my point that blaming the worker-bees is misplaced. We do need to re-set our compensations and benefits -- seriously. But what we need to do more is pay attention to the real, deliberate, psychopathic thieves who have raided our labors, and those of our children, and their children.

"So there you have it. Illegal immigrants: 393,000 [prosecuted][i]. Lying moms: one. Bankers: zero. The math makes sense only because the politics are so obvious. You want to win elections, you bang on the jailable class. You build prisons and fill them with people for selling dime bags and stealing CD players. But for stealing a billion dollars? For fraud that puts a million people into foreclosure? Pass.
Though not arguing with your sentiments or the article, if you really want to look at this in a more comprehensive way I'd also suggest you read this article published some time ago by the very liberal Village Voice. It goes into a lot of the specific core issues, and when you take the stuff highlighted by your initial posting article and juxtaposition it with this article from the Village Voice, you really get a more thorough picture of the problem now cascading down towards the state and local employees:

HUD's Andrew Cuomo made a series of decisions between 1997 and 2001...that helped plunge Fannie and Freddie into the subprime markets without putting in place the means to monitor their increasingly risky investments. He turned the Federal Housing Administration mortgage program into a sweetheart lender with sky-high loan ceilings and no money down, and he legalized what a federal judge has branded "kickbacks" to brokers that have fueled the sale of overpriced and unsupportable loans.

Andrew Cuomo and Fannie and Freddie - Page 1 - News - New York - Village Voice
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Yucaipa, California
9,715 posts, read 18,360,102 times
Reputation: 6416
WAllstreet has been corrupt for yrs & will continue to be for yrs to come.
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:15 PM
 
2,653 posts, read 4,711,896 times
Reputation: 1903
A couple go out and buy a big house. Then lease a pair of BMW's. Take a few european vacations, putting them on the credit cards. But its ok,they can make all the payments.

Then the wife loses her job. The mcmansion is foreclosed on. The cars are repo'ed. They have to declare ch. 11.

Whose fault is it? The couples or the employer that laid her off? By your logic we should blame the employer who cut the income. I would blame the couple for overspending.
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
32,260 posts, read 54,969,343 times
Reputation: 15287
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC Investor2 View Post
A couple go out and buy a big house. Then lease a pair of BMW's. Take a few european vacations, putting them on the credit cards. But its ok,they can make all the payments.

Then the wife loses her job. The mcmansion is foreclosed on. The cars are repo'ed. They have to declare ch. 11.

Whose fault is it? The couples or the employer that laid her off? By your logic we should blame the employer who cut the income. I would blame the couple for overspending.
Generally speaking, people who have good enough credit to buy a big house and 2 BMWs probably arent going to be so irresponsible that they havent saved away a substantial rainy day fund.

What I think occurred here is banks went after people with substandard credit and gave them reckless home and refi loans that they were not prepared to have in the first place. They doled out ARMs like there was no tomorrow...and then what happened? Payments went up 50, 60, 70, 80% and the housing market crashed cause foreclosed homes flooded the market.

Sure I blame people for their poor decisions, but banks totally knew what they were doing.
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:31 PM
 
Location: Police State
1,472 posts, read 2,022,848 times
Reputation: 1227
No one solely blames public sector collective-bargaining for the CA mess, but the financial collapse merely sped up the damage caused by years of poor fiscal management. Wall St. didn't cause CA to run a $500 million deficit in pensions.

Wall Street owns both political parties and was bailed out by two administrations, why would anyone believe that they would be held accountable?

Last edited by ZhugeLiang; 02-19-2011 at 11:56 PM..
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