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  #1  
Old 02-18-2011, 11:59 AM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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  #2  
Old 02-18-2011, 02:10 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Walker on by

In the glib defense of Wisconsin's Republican governor Scott Walker's frenzy to strip collective bargaining rights from some public employees, I note that neither Kristin nor any of the rightbloggers she cites mentioned this: the key word is some. Note that while Walker and his cheering section are delighted to demonize teachers, and more nebulously, "government employees," Walker's attack on public employees' unions does not include, most prominently, the state trooper and police unions. (He needs the cops to frog-march the Democrats in the state legislature, apparently.)

I also did not hear any admission from Kristin (and I wish Bill had pointed this out) that this supposed budget crisis was manufactured by Walker himself as soon as he took office. Amazingly, his tax cuts did not solve all of the state problems. In fact, they caused this one.
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  #3  
Old 02-18-2011, 02:27 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default A note of appreciation (and a note of hilarity)

Thanks for saying this, Kristin. Let us hope you can persuade some of your comrades of this reality.

However, this made me laugh. Have you not been reading the WaPo for the past decade? Fred Hiatt's editorial board is far more often in alignment with the rightosphere than it is the left.
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  #4  
Old 02-18-2011, 04:07 PM
harkin harkin is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

Best line so far from Matt Welch:

"We are witnessing the logical conclusion of the Democratic Party's philosophy, and it is this: Your tax dollars exist to make public sector unions happy. When we run out of other people's money to pay for those contracts and promises (most of which are negotiated outside of public view, often between union officials and the politicians that union officials helped elect), then we just need to raise taxes to cover a shortfall that is obviously Wall Street's fault. Anyone who doesn't agree is a bully, and might just bear an uncanny resemblance to Hitler."

So fun to see the democrats back to normal regarding hate speech and eliminationist rhetoric now that their false meme regarding Tucson was rejected by the American public.

The reason that the Governor excluded police and fire personnel from the bill for now is because if the cops and firefighters had shown the same blatant disregard for their jobs as the teachers did, chaos (on the order called for by Frances Fox Piven) may have ensued.

Looks like the citizens of Wisconsin aren't falling for the Mussolini/Hitler comparisons and agree with the governor. Imagine (I guess you don't have to, Bjk has already provided a source) teachers being asked to shoulder a portion of their share of the fiscal mismanagement of their state being characterized as 'demonizing' them - lol
Imagine asking public servants to pay a portion of their pay for retirement and medical that brings them in a bit closer to what private sector workers already recognize as reality and then being compared to Hitler....I guess it's not history teachers that are walking out on the kids.

Let's see.....dem representatives hiding in IL, union stooges and thugs being bussed in to protest, teachers walking off the job and protesting with accrued sick pay instead of waiting for a weekend, protesters trashing the capital by leaving behind all their union-supplied protest signage, the president's campaign group doing PR for the hate-mongers....and the president himself being a complete hypocrite on his civil discourse facade and taking the sides of his union benefactors.....

Change You Can Believe In!
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  #5  
Old 02-18-2011, 04:13 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

Quote:
Originally Posted by harkin View Post
Best line so far from Matt Welch:

"We are witnessing the logical conclusion of the Democratic Party's philosophy, and it is this: Your tax dollars exist to make public sector unions happy. When we run out of other people's money to pay for those contracts and promises (most of which are negotiated outside of public view, often between union officials and the politicians that union officials helped elect), then we just need to raise taxes to cover a shortfall that is obviously Wall Street's fault. Anyone who doesn't agree is a bully, and might just bear an uncanny resemblance to Hitler."

So fun to see the democrats back to normal regarding hate speech and eliminationist rhetoric now that their false meme regarding Tucson was rejected by the American public.

The reason that the Governor excluded police and fire personnel from the bill for now is because if the cops and firefighters had shown the same blatant disregard for their jobs as the teachers did, chaos (on the order called for by Frances Fox Piven) may have ensued.

Looks like the citizens of Wisconsin aren't falling for the Mussolini/Hitler comparisons and agree with the governor. Imagine (I guess you don't have to, Bjk has already provided a source) teachers being asked to shoulder a portion of their share of the fiscal mismanagement of their state being characterized as 'demonizing' them - lol
Imagine asking public servants to pay a portion of their pay for retirement and medical that brings them in a bit closer to what private sector workers already recognize as reality and then being compared to Hitler....I guess it's not history teachers that are walking out on the kids.

Let's see.....dem representatives hiding in IL, union stooges and thugs being bussed in to protest, teachers walking off the job and protesting with accrued sick pay instead of waiting for a weekend, protesters trashing the capital by leaving behind all their union-supplied protest signage, the president's campaign group doing PR for the hate-mongers....and the president himself being a complete hypocrite on his civil discourse facade and taking the sides of his union benefactors.....

Change You Can Believe In!
Shorter Harkin: peaceful democratic protest in a pluralistic system sucks. How dare interest groups exist that oppose my political beliefs?
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  #6  
Old 02-18-2011, 04:21 PM
Not4Navigation
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
Shorter Harkin: peaceful democratic protest in a pluralistic system sucks. How dare interest groups exist that oppose my political beliefs?
I seem to remember some here having a problem with TP protests. Were you one?
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  #7  
Old 02-18-2011, 04:29 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Originally Posted by Not4Navigation View Post
I seem to remember some here having a problem with TP protests. Were you one?
Not with the legitimacy of their protests. I happen to think that they were wrong on practically everything, operationalize their political beliefs in ways that are violently at odds with their professed values, and were remarkably poorly informed about the issues they have opinions on, but that's not quite enough to hang a hypocrisy charge upon, now is it?
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  #8  
Old 02-18-2011, 09:52 PM
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
Not with the legitimacy of their protests. I happen to think that they were wrong on practically everything, operationalize their political beliefs in ways that are violently at odds with their professed values, and were remarkably poorly informed about the issues they have opinions on, but that's not quite enough to hang a hypocrisy charge upon, now is it?
Why would I hang that on someone so eager to hang themself?
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  #9  
Old 02-18-2011, 09:57 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Originally Posted by Not4Navigation View Post
Why would I hang that on someone so eager to hang themself?
If you can't tell the difference between expressing disagreements with a group of protesters and denying the legitimacy of their protest, then I'm not going to explain it to you.
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  #10  
Old 02-18-2011, 11:24 PM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
If you can't tell the difference between expressing disagreements with a group of protesters and denying the legitimacy of their protest, then I'm not going to explain it to you.
I don't think questions of legitimacy are completely unfounded. I haven't read much about the legal side of this yet, but there's a significant difference between taking your own time to protest and intentionally blowing off your job to protest. There are other people in this equation, like the kids who now don't get to have school (although I'm sure they're thrilled) because their teachers are at a water park in Rockford. (and by the way, anyone from Illinois is going Rockford? really? that's not a place you want to spend time) I'm not saying this makes the protests illegitimate, but it seems like a significant difference either way.
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  #11  
Old 02-19-2011, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
... there's a significant difference between taking your own time to protest and intentionally blowing off your job to protest ...
It's as if you've never heard of a labor action? Maybe the teachers could have waited till summer vacation? Sure, it would have no effect on preventing the setbacks, but hey, that's when they have that cushy free time. No teachers that I know need to work summer jobs. They're Rockefellers' in waiting.

Quote:
There are other people in this equation, like the kids who now don't get to have school
Yes, think of the children!

Here's some like minded peeps you can harumph

with.
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  #12  
Old 02-18-2011, 04:24 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

You forgot the "Shorter Harkin: The sanctity of contractual obligations only applies when dealing with million dollar bonuses for investment bankers" part.
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  #13  
Old 02-18-2011, 04:32 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 View Post
You forgot the "Shorter Harkin: The sanctity of contractual obligations only applies when dealing with million dollar bonuses for investment bankers" part.
Very good point. Just in case anyone is unaware, can I re-iterate that governor Walker created Wisconsin's budget shortfall, that collective bargaining rights in the future have nothing to do with the deficit now, and that Walker is exempting employee unions that are sympathetic to Republican politicians from this union-busting bill. He's got balls, I'll give him that.
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  #14  
Old 02-18-2011, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
He's got balls, I'll give him that.
I tend to think it's mostly face, not so much balls.
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  #15  
Old 02-19-2011, 12:07 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
Very good point. Just in case anyone is unaware, can I re-iterate that governor Walker created Wisconsin's budget shortfall, that collective bargaining rights in the future have nothing to do with the deficit now, and that Walker is exempting employee unions that are sympathetic to Republican politicians from this union-busting bill. He's got balls, I'll give him that.
I think I'm beginning to figure out this www thingy. Here's how it works. Ezra Klein creates a narrative which is pleasing to people like you. Headline... Governor Walker Created Wisconsin's Budget Shortfall and everything falls into place for you in your liberal echochamber brain. Oh there go those nasty Tea Party Republicans again... financed by the Koch Brothers, trying to wring the necks of the middle class union workers of the world.And everyone will spread Ezra's mesaage far and wide. Just google governor Walker created Wisconsin's budget shortfall and you'll find a zillion articles all quoting... wait for it... Ezra Klein! What power!

But what do you say to this article published in April 2010 before Walker was elected which outlines a $10.9 billion pension funding shortfall. OOOPS!

Never mind, I realize the trauma it would cause you to admit you've been duped and manipulated by your idol, Ezra. Hopefully the people in Wisconsin aren't as gullible as you are.

Glib my ass.
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  #16  
Old 02-19-2011, 12:15 AM
graz graz is offline
 
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Default Don't allow the facts to impede the narrative

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
I think I'm beginning to figure out this www thingy.
You have yet to show any evidence.
Quote:
Glib my ass.
Still? Have you no shame? You have had your hat handed to you repeatedly.
That assertiveness training might need reconsideration.
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  #17  
Old 02-19-2011, 12:47 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Don't allow the facts to impede the narrative

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Originally Posted by graz View Post
You have yet to show any evidence.

Still? Have you no shame? You have had your hat handed to you repeatedly.
That assertiveness training might need reconsideration.
Well -- inadvertently, of course -- she did get one thing right:

Quote:
Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
Oh there go those nasty Tea Party Republicans again... financed by the Koch Brothers, trying to wring the necks of the middle class union workers of the world.
Sadly, yes!

(Confidential to glibhat: No Ezra Klein resources were used in constructing the above link or the post to which it connects.)
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  #18  
Old 02-19-2011, 12:47 AM
Unit Unit is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
I think I'm beginning to figure out this www thingy. Here's how it works. Ezra Klein creates a narrative which is pleasing to people like you. Headline... Governor Walker Created Wisconsin's Budget Shortfall and everything falls into place for you in your liberal echochamber brain. Oh there go those nasty Tea Party Republicans again... financed by the Koch Brothers, trying to wring the necks of the middle class union workers of the world.And everyone will spread Ezra's mesaage far and wide. Just google governor Walker created Wisconsin's budget shortfall and you'll find a zillion articles all quoting... wait for it... Ezra Klein! What power!

But what do you say to this article published in April 2010 before Walker was elected which outlines a $10.9 billion pension funding shortfall. OOOPS!

Never mind, I realize the trauma it would cause you to admit you've been duped and manipulated by your idol, Ezra. Hopefully the people in Wisconsin aren't as gullible as you are.

Glib my ass.
Well in the meantime Ezra "Updated" his post.
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  #19  
Old 02-19-2011, 01:58 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Well in the meantime Ezra "Updated" his post.
And in another thread on this topic, I recognized my error and retracted part of what I said before. Of course it's still the case that Governor Walker is doing this after cutting taxes on business, and that he's exempting other unions that happen to be his political allies, and that stripping collective bargaining rights from teachers unions will do absolutely nothing about the current budget shortfall.
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  #20  
Old 02-19-2011, 08:20 AM
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
And in another thread on this topic, I recognized my error and retracted part of what I said before. Of course it's still the case that Governor Walker is doing this after cutting taxes on business, and that he's exempting other unions that happen to be his political allies, and that stripping collective bargaining rights from teachers unions will do absolutely nothing about the current budget shortfall.
Another retraction forthcoming? There are 314 police and fire unions in Wisc. and 4 endorsed Walker while 300 endorsed his Democratic opponent.

You might want to stop working on that hole and instead dig deeper into the talking points handed you by your puppetmasters.
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  #21  
Old 02-19-2011, 10:42 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Originally Posted by Not4Navigation View Post
Another retraction forthcoming?
Not for someone who can't be bothered to post a link before blathering on about my puppetmasters. Really, I can't figure out why you're still in this thread. Wouldn't it be more fun to go to the local high school and tell the teachers there that they are overpaid and lazy because they bend to government to their will with union thugs in person?
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  #22  
Old 02-19-2011, 11:36 AM
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
Not for someone who can't be bothered to post a link before blathering on about my puppetmasters. Really, I can't figure out why you're still in this thread. Wouldn't it be more fun to go to the local high school and tell the teachers there that they are overpaid and lazy because they bend to government to their will with union thugs in person?
If I provide a link, will admit your error, retract your errant statement, and apologize for twice attempting to put words in my mouth? Do you consider that argument tactic acceptable? I see you are not alone in that regard. The pack mentality here is very interesting. All you need are a few signs.
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  #23  
Old 02-19-2011, 11:18 AM
Unit Unit is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
And in another thread on this topic, I recognized my error and retracted part of what I said before. Of course it's still the case that Governor Walker is doing this after cutting taxes on business, and that he's exempting other unions that happen to be his political allies, and that stripping collective bargaining rights from teachers unions will do absolutely nothing about the current budget shortfall.
Ok sorry, I didn't see the other thread. My feeling is that there is less support for teachers now after what happened with the stimulus. Most of that money went to the states who used it to keep their employees (teachers, administrators etc....) at the same pay level (or avoid furloughs, lay offs etc..). But these are exactly the people with the highest job security in the country. So a stimulus bill that was touted as needed to stop the wave of unemployment actually went to reinforce already strong positions.
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  #24  
Old 02-19-2011, 02:26 PM
bkjazfan bkjazfan is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Ok sorry, I didn't see the other thread. My feeling is that there is less support for teachers now after what happened with the stimulus. Most of that money went to the states who used it to keep their employees (teachers, administrators etc....) at the same pay level (or avoid furloughs, lay offs etc..). But these are exactly the people with the highest job security in the country. So a stimulus bill that was touted as needed to stop the wave of unemployment actually went to reinforce already strong positions.
Throwing a ton of money into the economy and expect measureable results in the way of lower unemployment looks to be a nonstarter these days - especially as it concerns small businesses. I wasn't alive during the 30's and early 40's but it appears the situation is different now.

As far as helping public empolyees keeping their jobs I don't fault the Obama administration since he did save those jobs which are important to public safety like firemen & police and public school teachers who aren't paid enough as it is. As an aside, it's a headscratcher how bus drivers and the like start off with comparable pay with teachers who attend school for as long time in order to get their jobs. Also, there is some self interest there since they tend to vote for democrats.

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  #25  
Old 02-19-2011, 03:06 PM
Unit Unit is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Originally Posted by bkjazfan View Post
Throwing a ton of money into the economy and expect measureable results in the way of lower unemployment looks to be a nonstarter these days - especially as it concerns small businesses. I wasn't alive during the 30's and early 40's but it appears the situation is different now.

As far as helping public empolyees keeping their jobs I don't fault the Obama administration since he did save those jobs which are important to public safety like firemen & police and public school teachers who aren't paid enough as it is. As an aside, it's a headscratcher how bus drivers and the like start off with comparable pay with teachers who attend school for as long time in order to get their jobs. Also, there is some self interest there since they tend to vote for democrats.
They aren't paid enough because they prefer the job-security, the union guarantees, the nice pension plans etc....
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  #26  
Old 02-18-2011, 05:43 PM
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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You forgot the "Shorter Harkin: The sanctity of contractual obligations only applies when dealing with million dollar bonuses for investment bankers" part.
Is there a contract involved here?
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  #27  
Old 02-18-2011, 10:13 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

I do not know, but I suspect the non wage portion of their compensation was more firmly rooted then a gentlemen's agreement.
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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I do not know, but I suspect the non wage portion of their compensation was more firmly rooted then a gentlemen's agreement.
Shorter Starwatcher: "I do not know"
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  #29  
Old 02-18-2011, 10:41 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Originally Posted by Not4Navigation View Post
Shorter Starwatcher: "I do not know"
So, it's your position that the benefits part of their compensation package was based on nothing more than a gentlemen's agreement?

Or don't you know?
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:24 AM
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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So, it's your position that the benefits part of their compensation package was based on nothing more than a gentlemen's agreement?

Or don't you know?
Is this the same kind of deductive reasoning that had your SAT scores sending you to a school to learn how to cut hair?
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  #31  
Old 02-19-2011, 09:29 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Originally Posted by Not4Navigation View Post
Another retraction forthcoming? There are 314 police and fire unions in Wisc. and 4 endorsed Walker while 300 endorsed his Democratic opponent.

You might want to stop working on that hole and instead dig deeper into the talking points handed you by your puppetmasters.
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Is this the same kind of deductive reasoning that had your SAT scores sending you to a school to learn how to cut hair?
Oh, hello, 'fur! Been a while.
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  #32  
Old 02-19-2011, 10:23 AM
graz graz is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Oh, hello, 'fur! Been a while.
He's like a video game character that is repeatedly vanquished, only to return to life upon reboot. His avatar may change but his true colors shine.
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  #33  
Old 02-19-2011, 10:51 AM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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He's like a video game character that is repeatedly vanquished, only to return to life upon reboot. His avatar may change but his true colors shine.
Do you think it's like a software virus? It may have infected other commenters here.
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  #34  
Old 02-18-2011, 07:33 PM
carkrueger carkrueger is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

I could not agree with you more. Thank you for the thoughtful post, it saves me the trouble.

Down with Public Sector Unions!
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  #35  
Old 02-19-2011, 12:11 PM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Originally Posted by harkin View Post
Best line so far from Matt Welch:

"We are witnessing the logical conclusion of the Democratic Party's philosophy, and it is this: Your tax dollars exist to make public sector unions happy. When we run out of other people's money to pay for those contracts and promises (most of which are negotiated outside of public view, often between union officials and the politicians that union officials helped elect), then we just need to raise taxes to cover a shortfall that is obviously Wall Street's fault. Anyone who doesn't agree is a bully, and might just bear an uncanny resemblance to Hitler."

So fun to see the democrats back to normal regarding hate speech and eliminationist rhetoric now that their false meme regarding Tucson was rejected by the American public.

The reason that the Governor excluded police and fire personnel from the bill for now is because if the cops and firefighters had shown the same blatant disregard for their jobs as the teachers did, chaos (on the order called for by Frances Fox Piven) may have ensued.

Looks like the citizens of Wisconsin aren't falling for the Mussolini/Hitler comparisons and agree with the governor. Imagine (I guess you don't have to, Bjk has already provided a source) teachers being asked to shoulder a portion of their share of the fiscal mismanagement of their state being characterized as 'demonizing' them - lol
Imagine asking public servants to pay a portion of their pay for retirement and medical that brings them in a bit closer to what private sector workers already recognize as reality and then being compared to Hitler....I guess it's not history teachers that are walking out on the kids.

Let's see.....dem representatives hiding in IL, union stooges and thugs being bussed in to protest, teachers walking off the job and protesting with accrued sick pay instead of waiting for a weekend, protesters trashing the capital by leaving behind all their union-supplied protest signage, the president's campaign group doing PR for the hate-mongers....and the president himself being a complete hypocrite on his civil discourse facade and taking the sides of his union benefactors.....

Change You Can Believe In!
That was a terrible sign. But is there much evidence of that type of rhetoric elsewhere?

But there seems a couple of assumptions implicit in Welch's and your response.
1 - Because few private pensions exist, public pensions shouldn't either.
2 - Public workers shouldn't be allowed to unionize, because they'll end up capturing politicians and getting paid too much.

1 - Should private pensions not exist? It would seem that pensions are a form of compensation set up in an environment of job stability. For a number of reasons, they couldn't be maintained. But does that necessarily apply in public sector work, which is almost by definition a very stable industry (we'll always need cops, teachers, firefighters, etc.)?

2 - Public workers have the same needs as private workers. Aside from basic questions of labor rights, unions can be an invaluable way for an organization to get objective input from its "members on the ground" - middle managers are just as interested in preserving a status quo that makes themselves look good at the expense of larger truths. (Our teachers union is greatly interested in best-practices and is often the only bottom-up link politicians and administrators have with what is really going on in the classroom. To the extent that they are receiving information they otherwise could not that affects students, it is a structure that ultimately benefits student learning).

The argument against political capture is valid as far as it goes. But if you accept the argument that all workers ought to have organized advocacy, not only to benefit themselves, but to benefit the larger organization, this weighs against it. And if you look at union-backed public compensation in general, it isn't terrible out-of-control at all. Obviously there will be debate, but if you think public workers are living high on the hog you're sorely mistaken. The compensation I see seems perfectly reasonable.

Welch is making a slippery slope argument when he says worries that the democratic position on public unions will lead to a political capture that will spiral out of control. The problem with slippery slopes is that they aren't logically predictive. Just because something could, in some perfect scenario, happen, it doesn't mean it will. This is why we don't have speed limits of 150mph - or 10 mph for that matter. Other pressures come to bear. With public sector unions, that pressure has kept compensation pretty reasonable, and is certainly coming to bear now.

Yet what to make of Welch's claim that the current situation is proof that public workers will always require an increase in taxes - if tax rates were sufficient to cover compensation before, why are they inadequate now? A picture is painted in which closed-door negotiations conspire to grab ever-more of public coffers. Yet the public consistently supports services they are unwilling to pay for. This schizophrenia pits public confusion (manipulated in no small part by ideologues and politicians) against sound fiscal policy. What's more, the electoral reality is that this also reflects a bitter split between competing visions of what public services should exist to being with.

Furthermore, while the recession has hit all states, each fiscal situation is different. It is simply not the case that state deficits can all be pinned on compensation negotiated by public unions. Frequently, pension coffers are drawn from to finance other areas government. To blame pensioners now is not only an unfair breach of contract, but it is a dishonest manipulation of fact.
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:38 AM
Not4Navigation
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

Although the concept of: "Because few private pensions exist, public pensions shouldn't either." has been bandied about, you will have to show me where either Welch or Harkin made this argument...even implicitly. A bit disingenuous to source them with it just because it was an point you wished to expand upon. Regardless, your argument is rather flimsy. Public sector employees deserve free, forever pensions because they work in a "stable" environment??? That is not only simply fatuous but sputters next to exactly what we are running into over the last decade. You also have it backwards, stability itself is the perk. In days gone by, people took public sector jobs with lower monetary compensation because OF the stability it offered. Now with public sector jobs on average paying more and having better benefits, you wish us to believe it a natural offshoot of this stability!?!. How convenient for them and, I guess, you.

Also exhumed and then lost in your assertion is the fact that private sector jobs and the benefits that come with them are buffered and/or enhanced by markets while public sector jobs more and more exist in monopolistic circumstances.

There is just as much (more) benightedness coupled with impuissant metaphors put forth in the second issue you attempt to expand upon. However, because you seemingly do not even see a problem housing foxes with chickens I am not going to bother going there with you and will just hope that the 90% are not bullied into submission by the 10 who are currently screaming hysterically for the cameras and fraudulently calling in sick. Stability indeed.
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:14 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

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Originally Posted by Not4Navigation View Post
There is just as much (more) benightedness coupled with impuissant metaphors ...
Whoa. Check out the New Whatfur Word Power!

I don't think the online thesaurus thing is going to mask the underlying tone forever, though.
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:31 AM
graz graz is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

Shorter whatfur: I will leave no metaphor untortured in attempting to discredit an opposing view. While I will offer nothing more than conjecture, I will lard-up the prose with insult and homespun witticisms.

Shorter shorter: I'm still silly.

P.S. Welcome back!

Last edited by graz; 02-20-2011 at 09:51 AM.. Reason: To convey sincerity and warmth.
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:23 PM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

Before I begin, let me start by thanking you for your civil and respectful tone. It is so refreshing.

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Originally Posted by Not4Navigation View Post
Although the concept of: "Because few private pensions exist, public pensions shouldn't either." has been bandied about, you will have to show me where either Welch or Harkin made this argument...even implicitly. A bit disingenuous to source them with it just because it was an point you wished to expand upon.
You're entirely right. Re-reading the post, I didn't see them make that argument anywhere! It has been bandied about, and I think I unconsciously "assumed" it into my response.

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Originally Posted by Not4Navigation View Post
Regardless, your argument is rather flimsy. Public sector employees deserve free, forever pensions because they work in a "stable" environment??? That is not only simply fatuous but sputters next to exactly what we are running into over the last decade.
First, pensions aren't free. They are deferred compensation, regardless of how much an employee is expected to"pay in". It is a contract. Employees "deserve" them to the extent that they deserve any wage.

Second, my point on stability is that in an industry in which workers have long-term prospects of employment with a single organization, a pension system makes sense. Pensions have always been primarily found in the civil service sector.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Not4Navigation View Post
You also have it backwards, stability itself is the perk. In days gone by, people took public sector jobs with lower monetary compensation because OF the stability it offered. Now with public sector jobs on average paying more and having better benefits, you wish us to believe it a natural offshoot of this stability!?!. How convenient for them and, I guess, you.
You make two claims here: 1)public sector jobs used to pay less and 2)current public sector jobs on average pay more.

Public sector jobs have had pensions for decades. There's been no change here. What has changed, is that corporations have sold out the American worker in a global race to the bottom, with savings from production efficiencies generally funneling to the top. One of the "efficiencies" gained was cuts in pensions. You can't outsource teachers, cops and firefighters. The irony is that by cutting pensions, the loss in compensation for public workers will mean state budget savings, which will primarily benefit the wealthy, again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Not4Navigation View Post
Also exhumed and then lost in your assertion is the fact that private sector jobs and the benefits that come with them are buffered and/or enhanced by markets while public sector jobs more and more exist in monopolistic circumstances.
More and more? If anything, due to privatization, there is less and less monopolization than there used to be. (Private police forces here we come!) But the essential category error you are making here is that public services are paid for by one entity - the state. You can call that a monopoly if you want. Whatever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Not4Navigation View Post
There is just as much (more) benightedness coupled with impuissant metaphors put forth in the second issue you attempt to expand upon. However, because you seemingly do not even see a problem housing foxes with chickens I am not going to bother going there with you and will just hope that the 90% are not bullied into submission by the 10 who are currently screaming hysterically for the cameras and fraudulently calling in sick. Stability indeed.
Let me just stop here and thank you. I've never had the honor of being called benighted or impuissant. Well done, sir!

Politicians are going to be influenced by whomever has the power to do so. Just because the state, by definition, pays its own employees, they should not be forced to surrender bargaining rights. This is a democracy, so there will always be competing interests, and hopefully what is right shall win the day. What you are asking, simply, is to reduce speech by not allowing workers to organize.

Wouldn't the logic of your argument extend to any special interest group that might derive financial gain from government action. Would not that be the fox watching the henhouse as well?

I'm actually sympathetic to this argument, as I support limits on political speech. The main problem I have with corporate speech is that it assumes that $ = speech. Yet when a corporation or union spends $300 million dollars campaigning, there is not necessarily any representation behind those dollars (although at least unions are run democratically). An individual who spends a million dollars lobbying is getting unfair representation compared with an individual that can only afford $100.
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Old 02-18-2011, 06:49 PM
bkjazfan bkjazfan is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Selling Pain (Bill Scher & Kristen Soltis)

In 1987 Lawrence Malkin wrote in his book "National Debt" of the deleteriousness of running large deficits and at that time the N.D. was 2,000,000,000 dollars. Now, it's 7 times that amount. Where to cut? For starters, bring home the 34,000 troops in Japan and the 57,000 troops in Germany.

Last edited by bkjazfan; 02-18-2011 at 08:13 PM..
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