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Passions in Poetry

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Huan Yi
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50 posted 02-21-2011 11:04 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

"They aren't looking at the possible 3.6 billion dollar deficit for 2011\13 Huan, that budget doesn't actually exist yet and neither does any possible deficit."


And the train hasn't yet hit that bus on the tracks.

.
Uncas
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51 posted 02-21-2011 03:13 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

quote:
And the train hasn't yet hit that bus on the tracks.


Only at this point that particular train doesn't actually exist, nor does the bus, and they won't until the 2011/13 proposed budget is presented next Tuesday and discussed, amended and then voted on, prior to its implementation in July of this year.

The current issue is the projected 137 million shortfall in the 2009/11 budget. If you want to extend your analogy that's the train that has already hit the bus and is lying on its side adjacent to platform five and threatening to set the station on fire.

I don't mind talking about the current train wreck or the train wreck that may possibly happen at some point in the future, just as long as we don't get the two confused.

.
Huan Yi
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Waukegan


52 posted 02-21-2011 03:29 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"at some point in the future"


As you indicate starting "next Tuesday".

And you're wrong; the train and bus do exist.
Anyone who has ever been involved in a budgeting
process knows that.


.
Uncas
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53 posted 02-21-2011 04:01 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


quote:
And you're wrong; the train and bus do exist.


No they don't.

Anyone who understands budgets, who deals with them on a daily basis, will understand why.

.
Huan Yi
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Waukegan


54 posted 02-22-2011 08:02 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


35 years


.
Uncas
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55 posted 02-22-2011 01:34 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

Then you should know better than to claim that there's a 3.6 billion dollar deficit in a budget that doesn't yet exist .

Huan Yi
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56 posted 02-22-2011 05:28 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


If you're intelligent, you don't sit
and wait to get hit.

The whole idea of the budget process
is to see the train(s) and then plan
to do whatever not to be on the tracks
on arrival.  That is so basic . . .
.
Bob K
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57 posted 02-22-2011 09:16 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Am I incorrect in my understanding that the unions in Wisconson in question have offered to cave on the financial part of the bargaining, as reported on Rachel Maddow last night?  And that the Republicans and the governor there have refused the offer?

     That would seem to make the issue one of the Governor's political determination to make an attack on collective bargaining, and not an issue of any sort of financial emergency at all, wouldn't it?

     Why then, would the police and fire unions, the unions that supported governor walker's run, be specifically exempt from the law under consideration?

     Clearly, it has little or nothing to do with money and everything to do with attempting to destroy any sort of democratic power base.  This also seems to make sense considering the legislation that the Rerpublicans have threatened to bring up in today's meeting without presence of the democrats is one that attempts to restrict voting rights, also according to Ms. Maddow.

     You might not like what Ms. Maddow says, or the way she says it, but her facts are generally pretty straight.  
Balladeer
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58 posted 02-23-2011 12:58 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, considering how she was buffaloed lately by reporting a fake story on a trick website as truth, you may want to reconsider that comment, Bob

I'm glad the republicans are going ahead. If the democrats don't want to take part in the government and would rather hide in an out-of-state hotel, may they pass every bill they want. The dems will have no one to blame but themselves.
Denise
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59 posted 02-23-2011 03:48 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

It's a shame that the House & Senate Republicans didn't commit dereliction of duty and flee the Congress during the Healthcare debates and votes. Can you imagine the uproar that would have ensued? A different tune would have been sung, from the top down, than the one they are singing now. Different strokes I guess.
Uncas
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60 posted 02-23-2011 02:13 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


quote:
It's a shame that the House & Senate Republicans didn't commit dereliction of duty and flee the Congress during the Healthcare debates and votes.


They could have done that Denise, but as you are no doubt aware, Article I, Section 5, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution defines a quorum in both houses as a simple majority, so it wouldn't have made a blind bit of difference to the vote.

There would have been less amendments though.


.
Bob K
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61 posted 02-23-2011 04:38 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     But the Republican agenda here is to destroy collective bargaining for folks not willing to bow to government policy and, for Governor Walker, I think to destroy collective bargaining in general.  The police and fire unions may have a temporary reprieve, but historically, they do not always bow down to the pressure of the administration de jour.  In which case, they, too, would be open to attack.

     Republicans have a history of attacking expanded voter pools, as Mike and I have discussed in these pages from time to time.This is indeed the root of their quarrel with Acorn.  Acorn was successful in voter registration drives and hence almost intolerable to the RNC

     How is this the fault of the Democratic Party?  It's a good idea for them to take a stand someplace, and this is certainly a worthy place to do so.  While many folks are not thrilled with what they see as corrupt unions — I disagree with the characterization; I believe it's at least as unaccurate as "Thoughtless greedy capitalists" — there are a large proportion of the public that is strongly in favor of collective bargaining, and the Republicans may be doing themselves considerable political damage by attacking it.

     Opinion doesn't mean a moral imperative, of course.  I don't like it when Republicans say that public opinion is on their side, and I don't think that a Democrat saying the same makes the Democratic case more morally suasive.  In terms of the political calculus, howerver, it is relevent.

      Making the franchise more difficult to exercise seems anti-democratic, whether you capitalize the D or not.  

     Blaming the Democrats is certainly one thing you could do.  The other might be to ask yourself why such restrictions would come up in the form of a bill at all, who proposed the laws, and what purposes such laws might serve.  The Democrats are fighting for their political lives here, and losing.
Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
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Waukegan


62 posted 02-23-2011 04:41 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


“Wisconsin labor officials fairly note that they’ve acceded to many of their governor’s specific demands — that workers contribute to their pensions and health-care costs, for example. But they don’t want to lose the right to collective bargaining.

But that is exactly what they need to lose.

Private-sector unions fight with management over an equitable distribution of profits. Government unions negotiate with friendly politicians over taxpayer money, putting the public interest at odds with union interests, and, as we’ve seen in states such as California and Wisconsin, exploding the cost of government.”

“The labor-politician negotiations can’t be fair when the unions can put so much money into campaign spending. Victor Gotbaum, a leader in the New York City chapter of AFSCME, summed up the problem in 1975 when he boasted, “We have the ability, in a sense, to elect our own boss.””

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/260359/public-unions-must-go-jonah-goldberg?pa ge=1


.

Balladeer
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63 posted 02-23-2011 06:00 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Republicans have a history of attacking expanded voter pools, as Mike and I have discussed in these pages from time to time

You may have discussed that, Bob. I don't recall that I ever have - and I've certainly never agreed to it..

  I don't like it when Republicans say that public opinion is on their side,

Then you must not like the polls that verify those claims.

Blaming the Democrats is certainly one thing you could do.

Yep, I know it's become policially incorrect to actually lay claim where it belongs but it's refreshing to actually point out that the emporer is naked once in a while.

.

Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
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64 posted 02-23-2011 08:57 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


quote:

“Wisconsin labor officials fairly note that they’ve acceded to many of their governor’s specific demands — that workers contribute to their pensions and health-care costs, for example. But they don’t want to lose the right to collective bargaining.



     The Maddow people said all of the demands except for that of giving up the right of collective bargaining.  How accurate that is as opposed to the National Review, I don't know.  It seems that there is substantial agreement between the two, however, which is nice to see.

quote:

But that is exactly what they need to lose.

Private-sector unions fight with management over an equitable distribution of profits. Government unions negotiate with friendly politicians over taxpayer money, putting the public interest at odds with union interests, and, as we’ve seen in states such as California and Wisconsin, exploding the cost of government.”




     I don't think this is quite true.  

     Yes, Equitable distribution of profits are indeed matters of negotiation in private sector negotiations with Unions.  But they are not in the public sector.  Pay raises, benefits and salaries are always important points of negotiations, public or private, and sometimes even more important in the public sector, because laws that often apply to private employers do not always apply to public sector employers, and there must be some method available to work out disagreements between the two parties to the contract.

     In fact, it appears that it is only the use of Unions that allows bargaining to be governed by contract, and the behavior on the part of the employer to be governed by anything other than political experiency.  Indeed, there is enough political expediency already in the behavior of the government towards its employees.  Civil Service regulations were a result of the early quarrels in this sort of matter, protecting workers from at least some degree of political exploitation, and protecting the country from a complete turnover in government jobs each time administration or party might change.

     Unions have gone some distance in providing at least some protections beyond those granted by the civil service.

     Salaries and benefits are not the only things unions and workers have gained through collective bargaining.

     Working conditions are a major point of contention between government agencies and workers.  Where possible, government employers have sought to increase the difficulty of working conditions and to create more dangerous working conditions for workers in government jobs as a means of instituting savings.  Fire fighters and police will frequently be able to tell stories about the difficulties created by not putting sufficient personnel on the job, with consequent increased risk for these folks.  Some schools are fully as dangerous as some police jobs, and the protections are much less serious for employees.

     Some folks on the right wing believe that an increase in class size to up to sixty students is not unreasonable, in the same way that some police jurisdictions have felt it appropriate to reduce the officers in a squad car from two to one.  I suggest that such things are dangerous for the workers involved and give a false impression of how dangerous some neighborhoods might be if sufficient policing were supplied.

     I can also suggest that the number of cases that some social workers are forced to take responsibility for is more than it is possible to actually process and deal with in a safe and protective fashion.  Children's services are very hard hit in this regard, and they have been for years.  The working conditions are woeful.

     I would further suggest that the government is fully capable of holding its own against union pressure, since all of these problems have been of reasonably long standing, through administrations of both parties.  The Unions could be criticized for not being more hard-nosed in looking out for their members, but you need to remember that we are talking about public sector unions here, and most of them have, by now, reached some sort of accomidation with the governments with which they negotiate.  

     Blaming the fiscal plight of the states on the unions is pretty much straight rhetoric, near as I can tell.

     We've been creating and going through the single largest economic downturn since The Great Depression over the past ten years or so.  Any number of imprudent financial institutions have bit the dust, and a major housing bubble has burst.  A record number of people have been out of work and continue to be out of work.  Our manufacturing base is down.  We refuse to pass sufficient protective tarrifs to make sure that the rest of our manufacturing base has some sort of a fighting chance.  We have borrowed a huge amount of money to pay for a tax break to the very very very very wealthiest folks in this country, and even now struggle to pay that money back, while the congress has recently held up all business unless we agreed to continue that policy.

     Oddly enough, the fact that tax revenues are down is now greeted with terrible shock and rage by the Republican Right and the Ultra Right.  Clearly, the people to blame, they suggest to us, are the people who spend their time doing our scutt labor and putting their lives on the line for us; and the place where we need to make the correction is by attacking the slim margin that allows these folk, by and large, some margin of dignity and safety.  By making the lives of these folks more marginal and more dangerous, the net effect will; be to make government less useful, and we will be attacking some of the more useful functions the government serves.

     These has been done in the past by cutting police down, by cutting back fire-fighters, by not paying for infrasystem repairs, by not caring so well for our underprivilaged, for the endangered and at risk kids.  Already we have pretty much dismantled our public mental health system.  

quote:


“The labor-politician negotiations can’t be fair when the unions can put so much money into campaign spending. Victor Gotbaum, a leader in the New York City chapter of AFSCME, summed up the problem in 1975 when he boasted, “We have the ability, in a sense, to elect our own boss.””
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/260359/public-unions-must-go-jonah-goldberg?pa ge=1




     That may in fact have been true in 1975.  I don't know.  Unions were certainly in much better shape at the time, and covered a much larger portion of the working public than they do today, didn't they?

     You'd have a way to go to convince me that such a thing might possibly be true today; just as you'd have to go quite a way to convince me that Ford was still president, both statements that might be made about 1970.

     How much money Unions can put into elections today is not what I see The National Review arguing, is it? Nor do they mention the amount of money, legitimate money, under current law, as is the union money, contributed to right wing causes by the Right Wing.  Is there something wrong with labor advocating in their interest, just as the Right Wing advocates in theirs?

     It sounds as though The National Review believes there is.  
Denise
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65 posted 02-23-2011 09:53 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I didn't know that Uncas, thanks for the civics lesson.

Bob, Civil Service Regulations are in place to protect public service employees, if someone believes they were wrongfully disciplined, demoted or terminated. That's a level or protection not available to the private sector. More often than not, a terminated employee is reinstated by Civil Service Order, with perhaps just a suspension upheld. I've seen this numerous times in my past seven or eight years in the Personnel Department. Very rarely have I seen a dismissal upheld, even for what one would consider a more than valid reason.

Collective bargaining will remain in place for wage issues, safety and working condition issues, just not for benefits, to my understanding of the WI & OH situations. According to both governors this is critical in order for the local governments more freedom to make benefits decisions to balance their budgets without being held hostage by the unions over that issue because the states can no longer afford to bail out the local governments.
Bob K
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66 posted 02-24-2011 01:42 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     As far as I know, Denise, Collective bargaining for government Unions in Wisconsin has been provided for in only two specific cases, according to Maddow; these are for the Two Unions that supported the governor's election bid, The Police and the Firefighter's Unions only.  All others are supposed to have collective bargaining rights terminated, despite their willingness to roll back salaries and benefits because of the currect economic difficulties.

     I can understand why this particular arrangement would have been attempted by the Governor and his party.  I believe they are trying to cut off sources of support for the Democratic Party, and this is surely an excellent way of going about it, at least pragmatically speaking.  Some of my objection is also on those purely political grounds.  I am, after all, a Democrat.

     But beyond that, I am also a guy who's seen what Unions can do to be helpful on occasion to working folk.  Not as much as I'd like, but enough to mitigate some of the more autocratic tendencies of Management in some of the more difficult companies and in some of the more oppressive bureauocracies.  The Unions do this very imperfectly, but even such clumsy interference seems to arouse remarkable rage in companies and in managements who do not wish to be held to account.

     And of course, there are some companies who see treating employees fairly and well as being in their own self interest, and who actively do so,  whose need for Unions may be non-existent.  For them a Union would simply be another layer of unnecessary management.  The older I get, though, the fewer of these I seem to see.
Bob K
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67 posted 02-24-2011 01:54 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     States can no longer afford to balance their own budgets because we are in a fairly major recession, the largest economic downturn since the depression.  You can blame a lot of things for that downturn, including a housing bubble, and an enormous tax cut for the most wealthy of the very very rich which we have had to borrow money to pay for.  Unions, which have been shrinking in size and influence since the '60s, and which have been continuing to shrink during much of this downturn, are hardly the people to blame for it.  I'd say the repeal of some of the protections against banks making particular sorts of investments — law put in place to protect the public during the depression — would have considerably more effect.  Interest rates on credit of 25% and higher have certainly played a large part as well.  

     You in particular may not use credit cards, but the American public in general has been drunk with them.

     Fees, fines and charges add to the profits of that rapacious industry.  And so on.
Denise
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68 posted 02-24-2011 02:20 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

But why do public sector employees even need union representation for protection against being treated unfairly by their government bosses when they already have Civil Service Protections for that purpose, a layer of protection that the private sector doesn't have?
Balladeer
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69 posted 02-24-2011 05:49 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, reports today said that the protesters are all chanting, "It's not about the money. It's about our rights."

As Ron pointed out, which happens to be true, collective bargaining is not a right. It's an entitlement. Even their chants are wrong..
Bob K
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70 posted 02-24-2011 09:31 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Our handy dandy dictionary says:

en·ti·tle·ment   
[en-tahy-tl-muhnt]  Show IPA
–noun
1.
the act of entitling.
2.
the state of being entitled.
3.
the right to guaranteed benefits under a government program, as Social Security or unemployment compensation.

en·ti·tle·ment   
[en-tahy-tl-muhnt]  Show IPA
–noun
1.
the act of entitling.
2.
the state of being entitled.
3.
the right to guaranteed benefits under a government program, as Social Security or unemployment compensation.;

Wikipedia says

Or

An entitlement is a guarantee of access to benefits based on established rights or by legislation. A "right" is itself an entitlement associated with a moral or social principle, such that an "entitlement" is a provision made in accordance with legal framework of a society. Typically, entitlements are laws based on concepts of principle ("rights") which are themselves based in concepts of social equality or enfranchisement.
In a casual sense, the term "entitlement" refers to a notion or belief that one (or oneself) is deserving of some particular reward or benefit[1]—if given without deeper legal or principled cause, the term is often given with pejorative connotation (e.g. a "sense of entitlement").

[edit]Legal term

As a legal term, entitlement carries no value judgment: it simply denotes a right granted.


     I emphasize:
quote:

"A "right" is itself an entitlement associated with a moral or social principle, such that an "entitlement" is a provision made in accordance with legal framework of a society."



     How strictly do you want to apply the distinction?

     In this case, I believe that the right was granted by the State as part of various contracts freely entered into by the State, and cannot be taken away except by due process.  The quarrel here is not about money, remember, but about the right for Unions to bargain collectively for their members.  Wasn't that's that sort of high-handedness that was part of our quarrel with the Brits in 1776?  
Bob K
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71 posted 02-24-2011 09:47 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Because not all government employees are civil service employees, would be one good reason, and those folks deserve some protection as well.  And because not all factors are covered by civil service regulations.  Civil Service protects job holders from politically motivated dismissal.  What other things do its regulations govern?  Sexual harrassment, workplace safety, misuse of services, arbitrary ruling and decisions?  I don't believe civil service does bargaining for wages, either; it merely trusts the government to provide a decent level of compensation.  What about medical care?

     If the workers as a whole have issues develop with the elected officials not covered in the standard civil service regulations, who speaks for them?

     There is not always a good relationship between the government workers and the government in power because the government doesn't always function in the interests of its employees.  The employees have a right to have their own collective interests represented against those in power and against whatever political stunts they may try to pull.  Many officials have an eye to reelection more than toward the smooth functioning of the government.  Government workers are frequently portrayed in an unflattering light.  Surely this must be deserved sometimes, but it can't be as deserved as the reputation of government workers suggests.

     Those are some quick and dirty reasons whyt I think that government workers need more protection than civil service supplies.  You, for example, if I understand your situation correctly, are underserved by both your union and by civil service, who should be pushing for better health care, pension rights and wages, especially when the state is in condition to afford them.  Perhaps I don't understand correctly, however.
Denise
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72 posted 02-25-2011 06:08 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I beleive that Civil Service protects all workers, with the exception of the Civil Service Exempt employees such as upper level management and elected officials.

I don't, in general, have a problem with the idea of what unions are intended to be. Ihave a problem with the reality of what they are.

Who should pay for a wage & benefits increase for me, if my union did actually push the issue with the city? The taxpayers have been hit hard enough in this economy and with those in charge constantly increasing taxes as it is.

Until the economy improves I don't think increases for public sector employees should be on the table.
Ron
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73 posted 02-25-2011 12:04 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
As Ron pointed out, which happens to be true, collective bargaining is not a right. It's an entitlement. Even their chants are wrong..

You're misquoting me, Mike. Badly. That is, in fact, the exact opposite of what I said.

quote:
"A "right" is itself an entitlement associated with a moral or social principle, such that an "entitlement" is a provision made in accordance with legal framework of a society."

That would not be my definition of a right, Bob.

An entitlement is something (you think) you deserve. A right is something you have, whether you deserve it or not. Most, in fact, don't.

FWIW, I also don't qualify "right" with any modifiers, specifically I don't care if the right has been legally recognized or not. The U.S. Constitution doesn't grant you the right to Free Speech, for example. It simply guarantees the right will be cost-free so far as government interference is concerned. Short of killing or maiming you, no one can take away your right to Free Speech. That's what makes it a right, not a privilege and not an entitlement.

quote:
Who should pay for a wage & benefits increase for me, if my union did actually push the issue with the city? The taxpayers have been hit hard enough in this economy and with those in charge constantly increasing taxes as it is. Until the economy improves I don't think increases for public sector employees should be on the table.

I don't know, Denise; the economy is in pretty bad shape. Maybe we shouldn't pay public employees at all? That would certainly save the tax payers a bundle, don't you think?


Denise
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74 posted 02-25-2011 12:24 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Then whom do you suggest do the work of running a municipality, Ron? It's not easy work and no one is going to do it for free...not even me!

I don't see anything wrong with everyone in a society biting the bullet, wage and benefit-wise until the economy improves, public and private.
 
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