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Alan Kreuger.....good or bad?

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Balladeer
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25 posted 09-04-2011 03:45 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Americans who...

have houses on fire...  want to be left alone?

(No, they want the fire departments they pay for to do what they are paid by them to do.)

have hurricanes flooding thier streets.... want to be left alone

(No, they want the towns in which they pay taxes to do what they are supposed to do)

are retired and need 24/7 nursing care...want to be left alone

(No, they want to government to pay the bills they should be  paying from their savings or family members. They didn't save? Is that the government's fault? Is it yours or mine?)

are unemployed and have nothing to eat.... want to be left alone

(No, they want a handout)

have had a debilitating accident and are no longer able to work ......want to be left alone

(No, they should want their disability insurance to kick in.  They don't have it? Is that the government's fault? Yours? Mine?)

were born into poverty and want to go to school....want to be left alone

(Wouls you like a list of people born into poverty who managed to go through school and make successes of themselves?)

want to drive their car on a nice highway with bridges that dont fall down....want to be left alone

(No, they want the highway taxes and tolls they pay to maintain them. Maintaining roads and bridges is not a gift from the government. They are what people pay for.

want to drink clean water....want to be left alone

(No taxes go toward that?)

want to make investments with thier earnings without being defrauded....want to be left alone

(Should the government pass laws making illegal activities illegal? There are always going to be frauds....Madoff may ring a bell....caveat emptor)

want to borrow money to buy a house without paying usery level interest rates....want to be left alone...

(No, they want reasonable rates. If the rates are deemed unreasonable and people revolt and stop taking out loans, the rates will come down.

You may not believe this but there was a time in our history when there were no food stamps. There was no umemployment compensation, unless one was fired unreasonably. There were no school lunches. Parents gave their children to buck or so to eat in the cafeteria or made their lunches to take in lunch boxes. Remember linch boxes, LR? This TIME was barely half a century ago. Take a look at the natural disasters that have hit the country, from Galveston tothe Chicago fire to San Francisco to the  dust bowl. Did the people sit around screaming for FEMA to arrive? No, there was no FEMA. One can almost wonder how the U.S. was able to survive. I;ll give you a hint. They did it themselves, people working together, people helping people. They didn't sit around screaming to the government to do something, which is unfortunately the norm today. When something bad happens, the first thing one hears is voices yelling at the government What are YOU going to do???

This country was not built by those kinds of people and it will not survive with those kinds of people, which is what we are finding out now.

Kennedy had it only half-right. What he should shave said was, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you  can do for yourselves."
Local Rebel
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26 posted 09-04-2011 09:36 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

http://www.economist.com/node/21525851
Bob K
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27 posted 09-05-2011 01:10 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



quote:

Americans who...

have houses on fire...  want to be left alone?

(No, they want the fire departments they pay for to do what they are paid by them to do.)




     Having had the experience of drowning once, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that abstract thought is not something that you indulge in:  Maybe later, when survival is assured.  If your house is burning, I extrapolate, you want your family and house safe, and you negotiate civil contracts later.

     I don’t want to be in a position to speak for Mike here.

     I do want to address the assumption behind Mike’s comment, however, which is that fire fighters will not do what they are paid to do by their employers; and by extention, neither will other civil and governmental employees, such as VA workers, policemen, soldiers and teachers; and that these workers are not worthy of their hire.

     And as a result, we need to hire less qualified workers at a lower pay with fewer benefits and with lesser tools and supports to to a job that we believe will somehow magically be better.  Those of us who are a bit further out on the right flank of things may believe that by introducing private enterprise into the mixture and thus taking out a significant portion of the available funds for distribution as profits, that the money will somehow be even better spent.

     I see the assertions, I hear trhe rhetoric, but in the face of declining funding, I fail to see the improvement in services or the improvement in morale in the public at large or in the public employees in question.  I wait with bated breath for Mike to offer poof that Fire departments or police departments or schools are doing less than their mandated jobs with the available funds except in those cases where loss of funding has necessitated layoffs and loss of positions.

     The possibility is there, but I need to see the case laid out in solid terms, not simply in fast and feel-good rhetoric.

quote:


have hurricanes flooding thier streets.... want to be left alone

(No, they want the towns in which they pay taxes to do what they are supposed to do)



     And after the towns have done what they can do with the taxes that they have set aside for such things, is Mike suggesting that they wish to be left alone then?  Perhaps it’s possible that there are larger units of responsibility than the Town, or even The City or a County?  Perhaps it’s possible that people are even citizens of such larger groups, and that loyalty extends upwards, even as it does in the Military.  Even before there were Democracies, you know, emergencies happened, and rulers would sometimes ask for help for folks further up in the feudal structure.

     It may even be possibile that with the coming of elections and modern nation states that the notion of mutual help and loyalty within a country might be thought of as a natural thing.

quote:


are retired and need 24/7 nursing care...want to be left alone

(No, they want to government to pay the bills they should be  paying from their savings or family members. They didn't save? Is that the government's fault? Is it yours or mine?)



     How possible do you think it is for most people to be able to afford such things on their own, even when they have saved and been prudent?

     Why look around for somebody to blame, when you can plan for dealing with the issue fairly straightforwardly?  I don’t find the notion of finding somebody to blame particularly comforting or useful.  What does that empower you to do, shoot the malingerers, turn them into sausage products?  Perhaps you would allow them to starve.  You could even devise a system for which folks were more responsible for needing 24 hour care, and punish the ones who were more responsible more painfully.  Where would you put parents whose kids were born with birth defects that required long term care?

     Unless you want to give up on your humanity, at some point you have to step up to the plate.  Unless you think you can do everything for everybody and  substitute your decisions for those that many people believe are up to God, you have to admit powerlessness at some point.  Dodging the issue by suggesting you shouldn’t do anything seems to me to be setting a poor bottom line by pretending that you’re only in this living business for yourself.  That position gets very ugly very quickly in my opinion.


quote:

are unemployed and have nothing to eat.... want to be left alone

(No, they want a handout)



     Were I in that position, I’d want a handout.  You’d better believe it.  I’d also want a job and some self-respect.  I probably wouldn’t want to be demeaned for starving; that would be adding insult to injury; and if you’re worried about class warfare, that, my friend, would make just about perfect conditions for it.  It would be asking for a fight.

     Do you want to bet that the people who aren’t eating or working think that they’re as worthless as the way a statement like “No, they want a handout” portrays them?

     What we have here is a failure of empathy.

    
quote:


have had a debilitating accident and are no longer able to work ......want to be left alone

(No, they should want their disability insurance to kick in.  They don't have it? Is that the government's fault? Yours? Mine?)



     That depends on who’s writing the laws about disability, doesn’t it?

     I had a patient who was suffering from a case of OCD so severe he couldn’t leave the house.  He was compelled to go back and check the door to make sure it was locked over and over.  When that appeared to become clear, the was obsessed by the notion that the pilot light on the stove was still on and needed to go back into the house to check that out.

     The Reagan folks dropped him from social security disability and it was a race to get him back on.  Certainly, I was never paid for the amount of time I put in, and he wasn’t able to work.

     Yes, it was the government’s fault.  Mine to some extent.  Yours too, for being smug about the nature of the savings you were getting from people being bumped off of SSDI at the time, and for not being informed and saying “Enough!”

     If you don’t want my opinion, don’t ask phony rhetorical questions.  You asked, I gave you my best and most honest answer.

quote:


were born into poverty and want to go to school....want to be left alone

(Wouls you like a list of people born into poverty who managed to go through school and make successes of themselves?)



     Sure I would.

     But that wasn’t the question, was it?  You’re answering the question you’d like to answer, instead of the one that was asked, which was would you want to go to school, be born into poverty, and be left to do that alone as opposed to having some help to do that that would make a successful outcome more likely?

     What kind of an idiot decides to compete in a hundred yard dash by pouring thumbtacks in his shoes and picking up a couple of weightbelts to make things more interesting?


quote:

want to drive their car on a nice highway with bridges that dont fall down....want to be left alone

(No, they want the highway taxes and tolls they pay to maintain them. Maintaining roads and bridges is not a gift from the government. They are what people pay for.



     They simply don’t seem to be getting the money to the right places in the right quantities, do they?  

     And I’ve noticed that not all the roads that need repair are toll roads, and that lots of states don’t seem to want to appropriate enough money actually to do the job.  There isn’t enough money, but there are lots of folks who seem to want to cut things still further in the fond expectations that things pay for themselves and people are happy to work for free.


quote:

want to drink clean water....want to be left alone

(No taxes go toward that?)



     What’s happened to the funding for the EPA over the last 10 years or so, Mike?

quote:

want to make investments with thier earnings without being defrauded....want to be left alone

(Should the government pass laws making illegal activities illegal? There are always going to be frauds....Madoff may ring a bell....caveat emptor)



     Illegal activities don’t start out that way, for the most part, now do they?  In fact, Glass-Steagall was illegal from the mid-thirties until Mr. Bush’s Presidency, when all of a sudden brokerage and banking were legal to do by the same companies again.  That did not turn out well.  The country knew better for almost seventy years, and then, thank you Republican party, we did not.

     Yes, there are always going to be frauds.

     It would be nice if we could make a point of not repeating the one’s we already know about.  The regulating system that protected us from this sort of thing was dismantled, and should not have been.  

quote:

want to borrow money to buy a house without paying usery level interest rates....want to be left alone...

(No, they want reasonable rates. If the rates are deemed unreasonable and people revolt and stop taking out loans, the rates will come down.



     Can you say, “Speculative Bubble?”  Can you say, “Boom and Bust?”

     The idea is to even out the boom and bust cycle and to try to keep the economy from going into periodic Depressions.  
Balladeer
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28 posted 09-05-2011 09:04 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

So much to say and so little time (on a day I have a Labor Day golf tournament!) I will address one issue, though..

I wait with bated breath for Mike to offer poof that Fire departments or police departments or schools are doing less than their mandated jobs with the available funds except in those cases where loss of funding has necessitated layoffs and loss of positions.

As is not the first time, Bob has taken comments of mine to claim the exact opposite of what they say. Bob, with all due respect, can you point out anywhere at all where I said those agencies are doing less than their mandated jobs? LR made the statement that people with their house burning do not want to be left alone and I responded that they expected the fire department, paid by their taxes, fire tags, etc, to respond. I certainly didn't say that they don't respond, or respond poorly...simply that it's their duty to respond and people pay for that service....it is not some free benefit or gift the government bestows on us. I haven't gone through the rest of your comments, Bob, but I expect more of the same misrepresentation. That baited breath won't catch fish today.

Have a wonderful Labor Day!
Balladeer
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29 posted 09-05-2011 05:33 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

And after the towns have done what they can do with the taxes that they have set aside for such things, is Mike suggesting that they wish to be left alone then?  Perhaps it’s possible that there are larger units of responsibility than the Town, or even The City or a County?

Yes, Bob, there are larger units. They are called people. If you would like to see them in action, review how Mississippi worked after the hurricane, how Nashville worked after the flood and how Joplin worked after the tornadoes. They didn't sit around whining for the government to do something...they did it themselves. What a novel idea!!!
Balladeer
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30 posted 09-05-2011 05:45 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Unless you think you can do everything for everybody and  substitute your decisions for those that many people believe are up to God, you have to admit powerlessness at some point.  Dodging the issue by suggesting you shouldn’t do anything seems to me to be setting a poor bottom line by pretending that you’re only in this living business for yourself.  That position gets very ugly very quickly in my opinion.

Another misrepresentation. I said nothing about not doing anything. Americans are the most giving people in the world. Our charities, homeless shelters and soup kitchens are second to  none. People do not do it because they are forced to do it. They do it because they want to. When they are given the choice they do the right thing. When they are not given the choice they resent it and the amount given normally results in being less.
Balladeer
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31 posted 09-05-2011 05:55 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Were I in that position, I’d want a handout.  You’d better believe it.  I’d also want a job and some self-respect.

I'm confused. How does one want self-respect? That's something you can only give yourself. You either respect yourself or you don't. You may want 'respect' from others, if that's what you mean. I you're being unemployed causes someone to not respect you, what does that say about them, not you?
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32 posted 09-05-2011 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

Yes, it was the government�s fault.  Mine to some extent.  Yours too, for being smug about the nature of the savings you were getting from people being bumped off of SSDI at the time, and for not being informed and saying �Enough!�

     If you don�t want my opinion, don�t ask phony rhetorical questions.


Just can't help yourself, can you, Bob? Let's see now...I'm smug about the savings I get from people being bumped off SSDI. My proper response to that insult would get me banned from the Alley, at least. Better to just say......nothing. That respect you crave? Fageddaboutit.
Bob K
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33 posted 09-05-2011 06:29 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




http://www.examiner.com/political-transcripts-in-national/irene-where-will-fema-find-hurricane-relief-funds

http://mdah.state.ms.us/admin/news/grants.html


     The above list of grants and funds for hurricane relief reports a lot of state administered grants.  Almost all of them were of funds from the federal government, though.  Looking at the lists of where funds came from for hurricane repair, I found that much or almost all of the funding seemed to be federal, though it was administered by the State of Mississippi.  That would seem to me to be a good way to go about it.

     While Mississippi means well and has lots of community spirit, it doesn’t have the necessary resources to fund its own recovery from this sort of thing, and it, especially, would need financial help from outside.  There is nothing wrong with the community itself; it is simply a poor state.

     That is why programs like FEMA are such a good idea.  Individual disaster areas can’t always bounce back on their own.

     In Mike’s posting yesterday, he mentioned some cases where local efforts seemed to work out well, including Chicago’s recovery from the 1870 fire.  I don’t know very much about that fire, and am willing to learn more, but it appears to me that Mike may be right about that example.

     It appears to me that he was wrong about the example of Galviston, Texas, which has never recovered from the flooding that ravaged that island at the turn of the last century.  The death toll has never been accurately established, but is estimated to have been in the neighborhood of about 12,000 people.  Before that time, Galviston was perhaps the largest port on the eastern seaboard, the gateway to the west and extraordinarily active.  It has never again come even close to the primacy it had that time, when the island was essentially expunged from the face of the planet.

     The economics and population of the area could not and did not support the rebuilding of what was there beforehand.

     The scale of the personal losses staggered the country.  Attempts to dispose of the dead were ineffective at first, and those gathered from the beaches and dumped out at sea, had to be regathered again a few days later until the bodies were ultimately burned.  There are reasons for federal programs and massive public works that were evident as far back as ancient Rome, when the aquaducts were built to bring in melt water from the mountains so the city didn’t die of thirst and disease.  We forget these lessons at our peril.
Huan Yi
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34 posted 09-05-2011 08:36 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


Isn’t it just a little humorous
that when you talk about curbing government
the response is in terms of taking heaters
out of school buses and homes burning down

Someone once noted decades ago
that if you took all the money intended
through government to help the poor
and simply wrote a check to each poor household
there wouldn’t be any poor any more


.
Bob K
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35 posted 09-05-2011 09:20 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


Dear John,

        Some of these articles make more sense to me than others; some I agree with more than others.  I think that they seem to be fair responses to your comments, however, and I include them for that reason.

http://www.ourdime.us/102/budgetinfo/how-much-do-we-spend-on-welfare/

http://www.americamagazine.org/content/signs.cfm?signID=703


http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1258
Bob K
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36 posted 09-05-2011 09:53 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     Mike, my amour propre comes from myself, as you point out.

     Suggesting that unemployment is the fault of the President, as you've done frequently, and then blaming those who are unemployed for their own plight is not the sort of gymnastics I can manage, personally.  Unemployment payments are useful for the country, Mike, as we've discussed before; and it is in the interest of the country to provide them.  They help start the economy going.  I've discussed the whys and wherefores with you before.

     If you disagree with the detailing, take it up with The Economist; I don't pretend to be an expert in conservative economics.  You stimulate the economy where the stimulation works, not where it's wasted.  In this case, they aren't even an issue until unemployment insurance runs out.

     The unemployment payments began as insurance payments for those who were put out of work for faults not their own.  That's how most of the people in this economy lost their jobs, Mike, and how they got on unemploymernt in the first place.  They were getting money back that they paid into the system.

     Taking money I paid into a system as insurance against being laid off through no fault of my own is only "a handout" to somebody whose never had to put money aside for an emergency like that.  The company who also pays money into the same system for the same insurace policy, you know, can block my access to that money simply by saying that my firing was my fault.  Most of them knew better than to try that during this economic downturn.

Bob K
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37 posted 09-06-2011 06:47 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




quote:



As is not the first time, Bob has taken comments of mine to claim the exact opposite of what they say. Bob, with all due respect, can you point out anywhere at all where I said those agencies are doing less than their mandated jobs? LR made the statement that people with their house burning do not want to be left alone and I responded that they expected the fire department, paid by their taxes, fire tags, etc, to respond. I certainly didn't say that they don't respond, or respond poorly...simply that it's their duty to respond and people pay for that service....it is not some free benefit or gift the government bestows on us. I haven't gone through the rest of your comments, Bob, but I expect more of the same misrepresentation. That baited [sic] breath won't catch fish today.




     I think I can:  I would say just about every time you criticized the stimulus packages that the Federal government sent to the states, Mike.

     What percentage of that money went to funding state and municipal workers that would otherwise would had had to be laid off?

     Not everybody pays equal taxes and can afford anything close to equal services.  A large part of the difference is made up by federal funds and grants given to the states to hire firefighters and teachers and police.  It was when the stimulus package money began to run out for these state services that the states began really to feel the crunch of the recessions, or hadn't you noticed.  I believe this was one of the reasons that Dr. Krugman felt that the stimulus packages should have been larger.  And this is one of the reasons, I believe, that the Republicans did not want any more stimulus money spent, to create gaps in exactly these services.

     Being Federal money, by the way, much of the dough that goes to pay for such services in Republican States tends to come from the more populous and more highly taxed Democratic States.  Your notion of local taxation and local use of local monies may well be a Republican fiction.  The country may well be funded by the wealthier Democratic States, and the Republicans may be functioning by and large on Democratic handouts — if you want to put it in Republican terms.  

     I'd rather think of it as the country being a single unit and people dealing with each other's local opinions with a certain amount of love and toleration.  That's not a bad way to think about it in my opinion.

     In short, you want them to do their mandated jobs; you simply don't want to pay them to do their mandated jobs, because that would mean taxing locals more than they could afford to pay in this economy or accepting money from the Feds.  

     If I don't understand this correctly, I hope you'll straighten me out.  I feel reasonably sure I can count on you here.
Bob K
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38 posted 09-06-2011 06:50 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




quote:
  Bob:

     If you don�t want my opinion, don�t ask phony rhetorical questions.

Mike:
Just can't help yourself, can you, Bob?




     Sometimes I have to wonder how much better life can get?
Huan Yi
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39 posted 09-06-2011 08:00 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


“In his 2008 convention speech, Barack Obama promised to create five million green economy jobs”


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/opinion/brooks-where-the-jobs-arent.html?_r=2&ref =opinion


Anybody remember that?   Anyone recall the company he
pointed to as the future last year, (you’ll find it in the article)?


.


Balladeer
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40 posted 09-06-2011 11:06 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I do want to address the assumption behind Mike’s comment, however, which is that fire fighters will not do what they are paid to do by their employers; and by extention, neither will other civil and governmental employees, such as VA workers, policemen, soldiers and teachers; and that these workers are not worthy of their hire......BobK


Bob, with all due respect, can you point out anywhere at all where I said those agencies are doing less than their mandated jobs?......me


Bob, if you can point what I asked out, please do so or else apologize for your remark and our conversation can continue.
Bob K
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41 posted 09-07-2011 11:51 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I spent some time in post # 37 doing so, Mike.

     Or perhaps you simply don't understand what happens when you cut funding to programs that are marginally funded in the first place?
Ron
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42 posted 09-07-2011 12:47 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Or perhaps you simply don't understand what happens when you cut funding to programs that are marginally funded in the first place?

Perhaps I don't either, Bob? Cutting funding does not encourage fire fighters, or any other civil employee, to stop doing "what they are paid to do by their employers." It simply means there are less of them. Their duties don't change.

Indeed, you entire chain of logic is . . . questionable. Mike assumes government employees aren't "worthy of their hire" because he "criticized the stimulus packages that the Federal government sent to the states?" How, precisely, does one lead to the other again?


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43 posted 09-07-2011 02:12 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Must be one of those "most obvious to me"s that no one else can see.
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44 posted 09-07-2011 05:59 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     But it appears to be fairly obvious to the troops and cops and firefighters, doesn't it?

     You may be comfortable having a single officer doing the patrol job designated for two, but the officer safety is compromised.  The trooper that confronted the secretary of defense, Rumsfeld, about having to go to junkyards to up-armor a portion of their vehicles to make them somewhat less inadequate for combat patrol duties knew he was not being treated as worthy of his hire, and it appeared he was speaking for a significant portion of his fellows.  

     If I recall spokespeople for the Republican Right essentially called the man a coward.  Was it Rush Limbaugh?  Cutting back on money for firefighters makes the job more dangerous for the firefighters who remain on the job, who no longer have the support and sometimes the equipment to do the job they were trained to do.  Apparently, neither of you seem to believe that this will affect the safety of those fire-fighters, however, or seem to believe that it's okay to take advantage of them and their willingness to risk their lives for others by progressively asking the question,

     "Will you still be willing to put your life on the line if I make your job this much more dangerous for you, and make it this much less rewarding?"

     "How about now, when I go still lower?"

     "And now?"

     "What about this?"

     Yeah, the job description does change because the amount or risk changes, and the amount of support the public is willing to offer for that risk declines, while the complications of the job at the least continue at the same level.  For many, the increased work load makes the jobs more difficult.

     To suggest that the only difference is that there are fewer workers appears disingenuous at best.

     To suggest that I am the only one who can understand this is to suggest that the fire-fighters and cops who've taken to the streets in protest over some of the attacks on their collective bargaining rights have missed the point as well.  These are some of the very things that collective bargaining in these areas revolves around, in case the point has evaded you.  Police and fire services, education and city services in particular.  Armed forces issues are somewhat different, and are much more in the hands of veterans groups to be given voice, since the armed forces have limited civil rights to begin with, and the right to organize is not one of them.

     What about this posting is so difficult to understand?

     Agreement is something that either comes or it doesn't, and I understand that both of you have well formed points of view different from my own.  But I would like to know what about the things I'm saying here is unclear or doesn't make sense to you?  I wouldn't force agreement if I could, though the notion of actually convincing folks is always seductive.  But I can't control that.  I can control being as clear as possible in any given situation, as long as the discussion seems serious, and I'm troubled at the notion that either of you would feel I'm being unclear here.
Balladeer
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45 posted 09-07-2011 06:13 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, with all due respect, can you point out anywhere at all where I said those agencies are doing less than their mandated jobs?.

No one has greater respect for our policemen, firefighters and VA than I do. You insulted me with your comment and assertion. You can either prove where I did such a thing, apologize or simply don't address any further comment to me.
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46 posted 09-07-2011 07:03 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I have already explained exactly how that assumption lies behind your point of view.

     You have not apparently digested my above comment, which addresses that issue.
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47 posted 09-08-2011 01:35 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

So it appears, Mike, that when I criticize the politics that have led to unnecessary American wars, I am in truth belittling all the men who have fought for this country . . . including, I guess, you and I. And here I thought my complaints were directed toward the politicians? Of course, that also means that every time Bob criticizes a Republican he, too, is raking every person who voted for that Republican over the coals of denigration.

I guess in Bob's world any complaint against the system "rolls downhill."

quote:
You may be comfortable having a single officer doing the patrol job designated for two, but the officer safety is compromised.

You're taking us way off topic (again), Bob, and this might be better addressed in a different thread, but weak fool that I am, I still have to point out you're still making assumptions and then asking us to accept them without question. Who said that putting less men on a job necessarily compromises their safety? Like Goldilocks, you seem to be assuming, without any support offered, that they've always had "just the right number" of men on the job for optimum safety.

If it takes one woman nine months to have a baby, Bob, how long would it take two women? There are a LOT of jobs in this world where adding more manpower doesn't have the effect you seem to be assuming it always does.

However, in any event, whether you're right or wrong about safety issues, neither cutting back on personnel nor even putting them in greater danger, implies that Mike think they will do less than the job for which they were hired. It appears you think so, though?


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48 posted 09-08-2011 02:56 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Hmmm?

     If I'm hired to do half the patrol duties for a sector, including the paperwork and keeping in touch with the individuals on my route and I have to do all of those duties now in the same amount of time and if I am a conscientious officer and pursued my duties full time before, then something is going to get shorted the way I'm forced to do that work now, Ron.

     Some of the difference may be made up through increased efficiencies.  I'm neither a total fool nor am I unbearably rigid in my thinking.  I know that some of the work is probably make-work.  I also know that a substantial portion of it is not, and that one person can't make the kinds of relationships in a neighborhood that two people can because a pair is a different dynamic that a singleton in any sort of group work.  Same as in parenting, a mom and a pop can do a more complex job than either of them alone.

     And when you start having to close fire stations, then the time between alarms and responses goes up.  Perhaps you believe that doesn't make a difference in the amount of property damage sustained or the numbers of lives lost, and that the difference can be made up by a different distribution of resources.  I would like to believe that argument, too, but the difference between what a fire can do in five minutes and seven minutes or five minutes and ten minutes before call in and the start of an intervention can be significant by almost any measure.  The ability of any fire-fighter or officer in these situations falls below what's necessary to do the job.

     Do I blame the personnel?  No.

     I blame the people who don't have the courage to raise the taxes in the appropriate ways, and who are trying to gain political capital out of the danger to these folks.

     But in all these cases, the people are doing less than the job they were hired to do.  They may want to do what they were hired to do, but they can't.

     Take social services.  The maximum that a social worker should be carrying in terms of a patient load for child services, last I checked, was about 15 cases a week.  If you have that many cases, you can usually get out to see them every week, which means travel time, you can check out the site, which means being able to eyeball what the local conditions are and if the kid is generally safe, and write up reports about the situation and have supervision and  god to meetings to co-ordinate what changes need to be made in new cases and in old cases as well as following through with therapy for the kids in question.  That's a nice full week.

     Last I checked, the case load tended to be about 35 cases per worker, and in some cases far more.

     Hey there, what do you think the results of that situation tend to be?  What would you predict?

     Do you think that the various departments of social services throughout the country are able to do the jobs they were hired to do?  

     Do you want the kids to get appropriate services, or do you simply want to pretend they're getting good services and look for somebody to blame when reality becomes evident to the public.  My prediction is that you would probably say you want good social work services and that you're paying for them now.

     I'd say that you're deluding yourselves if you think that in the same way that you're deluding yourself if you think you're paying for decent mental health services.  Exactly why you'd imagine that it's possible I may be right when I'm talking about these things and that I'm off my rocker when I talk about police or fire services is beyond me.  Are you telling me that you think the same folks who are trying to fool you into thinking you have decent social services and mental health systems are suddenly being absolutely honest and forthright with you about your police and fire services?

     I am supportive of police and fire folks.  I've treated them on occasion and I've had some as friends and co-workers.  I don't know as much about armed services folks, but I respect them as well, and I've treated a fair number of them as well during an internship at one of the Massachusetts VA Hospitals.  I worked in social services and in mental health.  Do you think I'm just making this stuff up?

     Adding more manpower to many situation, depending on how the planning is done, may or may not have a major effect.

     Near as I understand things, we're not talking about adding manpower, we're talking about stripping further manpower from already stressed and overtaxed organizations.

     In case you haven't realize it, this is the reverse of the situation you describe, which seems to be a way of restating the Right Wing cliche, "You can't solve a problem just by throwing money at it."  Perhaps there are people someplace who are talking about that sort of thing, but I haven't done anything of the sort.  I sort of compare the situation to the old game of pick-up sticks, where players take turns pulling pieces away from a semi-stable structure.  The one who loses is the guy who pulls the piece away that makes the whole system collapse.

     Yoo-hoo!
Bob K
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49 posted 09-08-2011 03:07 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     We have been off the topic of Alan Kreuger for quite a while now, Ron.  You're right.

     Yet, despite what Mike thinks, as a whole, the country seems to have to shut down fire houses, lay off fire fighters and police and have fewer do the work of more.

     If you're going to be cold about it and follow your analysis about the fewer being able to do the job of the greater number — and I don't agree with that analysis — then you would have to say that these folks were slacking off before.  I don't believe that.  I think the amount of risk involved in these jobs at that time made many officers much more prone to stress related illnesses, divorce and suicide than folks in regular jobs, and that lay-offs can only make these stresses greater.

     If we actually value these folks as highly as we say we do, this should not be permitted to happen.
 
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