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Old 03-09-2011, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Spring Hill Florida
12,135 posts, read 13,219,488 times
Reputation: 6009

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The truth hurts, but you said it B.

I was raised to understand that the "great depression" could never happen again. I think they were wrong. More is certain to follow.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bbronston View Post
I know we have pretty much beat this to death but I just want to mention a couple more things to consider. Last year's budget for education included money from the stimulus plan that is no longer available to the state. You can't spend money you don't have. Part of the proposed cuts include cuts to pensions (this affects my wife) but let's be honest here. Only government employees (mostly union employees by the way) receive retirement benefits that are not in some way partially funded from their incomes. All of us taxpayers, working men and women, pay for their retirement plans and many of these people double-dip. I'm sorry for all of those people who were told they could expect these benefits but times and situations change. We have never, ever, been in the situation we are in now and pretending that we are able to carry on as usual is an absurd approach to the problem. It's not like anyone wants to hurt workers or students or whomever.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:32 PM
 
10,575 posts, read 10,812,410 times
Reputation: 5224
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaughanwilliams View Post
Government employees are taxpayers, too. I know because I am one-I pay almost 9% of my pay towards my retirement, insurance costs over $300 a month for me alone, I make substantially less than I would in the private sector, I won't collect Social Security, I work in conditions that would make your head spin. Not only do I do it for a paycheck, I do it because I'm making a difference.

I get real tired of this nouveau chant of the neo-cons that we're all parasites and leeches. Just because someone is in a work situation that's less than desirable doesn't mean they have to bring everyone else down to their level. Don't try to make low pay and no benefits the new normal. People will take only so much and it WILL backfire.

As far as "not wanting to hurt workers or students or whomever"-that's EXACTLY what this new breed of neo-cons want.
what does being a neo-con have to do with wanting a leaner government workforce? Any fiscal conservative would want that.

Btw...

Federal pay ahead of private industry - USATODAY.com (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-03-04-federal-pay_N.htm - broken link)

Benefits widen public, private workers' pay gap - USATODAY.com

Federal workers earning double their private counterparts - USATODAY.com
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
5,312 posts, read 8,141,927 times
Reputation: 6377
vaughanwilliams, you and I have vastly different views on some things but I just want to be clear on this. First, I don't know if I am one of your "neocons" but my only interest in this subject is in balancing the budget and cutting the debt. I have no agenda to hurt workers or students and I seriously doubt that the people who share my opinion that balanced budgets and less debt are no-brainers have that agenda either. Now, is it possible that there are diehard party types that want to kill unions in the mix? Yeah, probably, just like there are some union people/leaders who hate what America is and want to transform us into a socialist society. Both of these views, thankfully, are not the norm and I have no doubt that more reasonable minds on both sides will work it all out. The fact that you are a government employee who does pay into his retirement and benefits points out the need for us all (myself included) to avoid broad generalizations. So, can we agree that:
1. Government spending that exceeds government revenue, at this time in our history, must not be allowed to continue?
2. Public spending cuts must necessarily affect public employees and public programs?
3. Those government workers who are receiving pay and benefits that are higher than their counterparts in the private sector (probably because of collective bargaining but whatever) should at least begin to contribute to their benefits in an effort to help local, state, and federal governments balance the budget?

There's no "gotcha" here...just interested to see if we can agree on anything. :-)
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Old 03-10-2011, 02:02 PM
 
9,715 posts, read 13,298,503 times
Reputation: 3318
Quote:
Originally Posted by chopchop0 View Post
what does being a neo-con have to do with wanting a leaner government workforce? Any fiscal conservative would want that.
One of the biggest problems with "leaner government" is that the government never gets rid of the people at the top, the ones who cost the most money. They eliminate the ones down at the bottom. The ones you actually interact with.

One of the local TV stations did a piece lately about fighting a traffic ticket in Los Angeles. They showed a department full of empty cubicles. Who used to sit in those cubicles? Well, that would be the people who provided "customer service," the ones who answered the phones when you called with a question. They were all laid off so no one can answer a question phoned in anymore.

Next they showed the line of people waiting to get inside the courthouse to protest their traffic ticket (not waiting for court, but waiting to begin the process). There were easily 500 people in line. It could have been 1000 from what I could tell. The line stretched on forever and ever. Would waiting in this line allow you to protest your ticket? No. It simply allowed you to get a court date. They were giving out dates in October. Because the dates were so far away, so you still needed to pay your traffic ticket -- but if you win when you come to court, they will refund the money you paid for the ticket.

Leaner government would be a good thing if it meant getting rid of some of the top wage earners, but it doesn't. It means eliminating people down at the bottom.

Here's a link to the news story: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/on-air/...116751984.html

I was wrong about the 500 to 1000 people in line. According to the story, it's 7000 to 9000 people in line. Yikes!

Last edited by UB50; 03-10-2011 at 03:15 PM.. Reason: hadn't finished writing when this posted!
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Lincoln County Road or Armageddon
4,226 posts, read 5,681,699 times
Reputation: 5776
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbronston View Post
vaughanwilliams, you and I have vastly different views on some things but I just want to be clear on this. First, I don't know if I am one of your "neocons" but my only interest in this subject is in balancing the budget and cutting the debt. I have no agenda to hurt workers or students and I seriously doubt that the people who share my opinion that balanced budgets and less debt are no-brainers have that agenda either. Now, is it possible that there are diehard party types that want to kill unions in the mix? Yeah, probably, just like there are some union people/leaders who hate what America is and want to transform us into a socialist society. Both of these views, thankfully, are not the norm and I have no doubt that more reasonable minds on both sides will work it all out. The fact that you are a government employee who does pay into his retirement and benefits points out the need for us all (myself included) to avoid broad generalizations. So, can we agree that:
1. Government spending that exceeds government revenue, at this time in our history, must not be allowed to continue?
2. Public spending cuts must necessarily affect public employees and public programs?
3. Those government workers who are receiving pay and benefits that are higher than their counterparts in the private sector (probably because of collective bargaining but whatever) should at least begin to contribute to their benefits in an effort to help local, state, and federal governments balance the budget?

There's no "gotcha" here...just interested to see if we can agree on anything. :-)
1. I'll agree to a point-why is it always the most vulnerable and least able to influence the politicians that have to sacrifice? Let's start cutting at the top-judges, Cabinet members, life long perks for elected officials, etc. I know it wouldn't amount to much, but the symbolism of shared sacrifice would go a long way. This state is so racked with corruption, waste and influence peddling (the Taj Mahal courthouse comes to mind), it's absolutely felonious, yet no one goes to jail. 99.9% of it can be blamed on bureaucrats, lobbyists and politicians, not 9 to 5 workers.
2. See above.
3.Government workers making more than their private counterparts. Not true. You can't look at the "average" pay, especially Federal. There are some pretty specialized and highly paid jobs with the Feds that don't even exist outside government-CIA Director, security experts, etc. Those in the trenches though, are usually paid somewhat less than their private counterparts. 2.9%. That's the average percent of their budget cities and states spend on employee benefits and retirements. I read the state of Kentucky spends the most at 3.6% of their budget. I would imagine (and hope) any decent company would spend a higher percentage.

I agree public employees (or any employee) should contribute towards their pension but my reasons are different from yours. If I PAY into my pension and am vested, the ability of my employer being able to renege on promises made is almost impossible. If I DON'T pay and the employer contributes everything, the employer makes the rules and can break promises at his leisure. State employees should have seen this coming.

If you're interested, here's a link to an article about public/private pay.

Public sector workers are a ‘privileged new class,’ says billionaire | Need to Know
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
5,312 posts, read 8,141,927 times
Reputation: 6377
This is one of the problems we have with generalizations and why I specified only those workers whose salary and benefits exceed the average of their private counterparts. IOW, I agree with you on your number one response. But, there are a number of states where, in general, there is an odd disparity between public and private employee compensation-- look at this article:
Wisconsin one of 41 states where public workers earn more - USATODAY.com
It seems to counter the info provided in the article you cited. I don't know which is right but I do tend to believe that, in the case of unions, the reasons for their creation are no longer at issue and they have evolved into a bullying juggernaut that now fights for mediocre performance, lower productivity, and unsustainable pay and benefits that, one way or another, cost all of us more. For private business, the market can decide if those higher costs are worthwhile and businesses can decide if it's better to move offshore because of those costs. But, for public employees who are paid a compensation package that is completely out of whack, I think it makes sense for people to say 'hold on a minute...we can't afford this'. After all, we do not have the option of using another government as we have in business situations. There's also the corrupt union-political component, too, but that's another story.
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Lincoln County Road or Armageddon
4,226 posts, read 5,681,699 times
Reputation: 5776
I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess your only knowledge about Unions comes from second or third hand sources. "Mediocre performance, low productivity"? Most of the successful and profitable manufacturing corporations in America are Union and have been for decades.

This getting off topic and you just have chip on your shoulder about Unions and Public servants, so this is pointless.

BTW-I mentioned you can't look at an entire government entity's (or any business') AVERAGE wage just like I couldn't average your salary and Donald Trump's (you both work in real estate).
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
5,312 posts, read 8,141,927 times
Reputation: 6377
My first job out of school was as an employment manager for a large chain of retail stores and they were unionized but the union was weak. Other than that, no...I have no first hand experience with unions as an employee. But, I have a TV, a radio, I read and I talk with people so, yeah, I do have some knowledge of unions and you are very dismissive everytime someone brings up a point that you don't happen to agree with.
I guess I generalized again and I apologize for that but if you are going to tell me that, at least, some unions have not contributed to jobs being lossed to overseas labor forces or to crazy regulations that contribute to decreased productivity and higher costs to consumers, I guess we are truly polar opposites in our perceptions. BTW, I don't have a chip on my shoulder about unions or public servants and I don't understand why you have to go negative everytime.
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Spring Hill Florida
12,135 posts, read 13,219,488 times
Reputation: 6009
As to unions causing American jobs to be outsourced overseas, yes, of course. The unions forced employers to do it as they just cant keep up with the demands put on them by the union. Answer: Don't use American/Union labor. That way you get your product manufactured cheaper and are hopefully able to compete in the market place against other products also manufactured out of this U.S.




Quote:
Originally Posted by bbronston View Post
My first job out of school was as an employment manager for a large chain of retail stores and they were unionized but the union was weak. Other than that, no...I have no first hand experience with unions as an employee. But, I have a TV, a radio, I read and I talk with people so, yeah, I do have some knowledge of unions and you are very dismissive everytime someone brings up a point that you don't happen to agree with.
I guess I generalized again and I apologize for that but if you are going to tell me that, at least, some unions have not contributed to jobs being lossed to overseas labor forces or to crazy regulations that contribute to decreased productivity and higher costs to consumers, I guess we are truly polar opposites in our perceptions. BTW, I don't have a chip on my shoulder about unions or public servants and I don't understand why you have to go negative everytime.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Orlando Metro Area
3,582 posts, read 5,825,987 times
Reputation: 2335
Quote:
Originally Posted by chopchop0 View Post
what does being a neo-con have to do with wanting a leaner government workforce? Any fiscal conservative would want that.

Btw...

Federal pay ahead of private industry - USATODAY.com (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-03-04-federal-pay_N.htm - broken link)

Benefits widen public, private workers' pay gap - USATODAY.com

Federal workers earning double their private counterparts - USATODAY.com
I don't understand the logic here. Since companies and bosses are greedy and need to make 25X what their employees make, public sectors workers should be stripped of a decent wage and benefits. To me, you'd think folks like you would say to corporate America, look over there, now that's the way to go. Also, if private sector employees were paid more, they'd pay more in taxes and we might have more money around for vital services like education, police, and fire. Instead, people hoping to climb the ladder are okay with their bosses robbing from them and demand that nobody in the government should have it better. The public and private sector WORKERS should stand together and demand more from government, business, and each other.
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