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  • Unknown Member

    Deleted User
    December 20, 2010 at 4:00 am

    It’s pretty interesting that in the past few weeks, this issue has suddenly gained momentum, even though it has been out there for years.

    As one of the interviewees said, we don’t pay attention to a problem until we can’t possibly ignore it (paraphrased)>

    • kayla.meyer_144

      Member
      December 20, 2010 at 6:37 am

      This in Times 12/4:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/05/us/politics/05states.html

      The State of Illinois is still paying off billions in bills that it got from schools and social service providers last year. Arizona recently stopped paying for certain organ transplants for people in its Medicaid program. States are releasing prisoners early, more to cut expenses than to reward good behavior. And in Newark, the city laid off 13 percent of its police officers last week.

      Some of the same people who warned of the looming subprime crisis two years ago are ringing alarm bells again. Their message: Not just small towns or dying Rust Belt cities, but also large states like Illinois and California are increasingly at risk.

      Municipal bankruptcies or defaults have been extremely rare no state has defaulted since the Great Depression, and only a handful of cities have declared bankruptcy or are considering doing so.

      But the finances of some state and local governments are so distressed that some analysts say they are reminded of the run-up to the subprime mortgage meltdown or of the debt crisis hitting nations in Europe.

      So some states are essentially borrowing to pay their operating costs, adding new debts that are not always clearly disclosed.

      Arizona, hobbled by the bursting housing bubble, turned to a real estate deal for relief, essentially selling off several state buildings including the tower where the governor has her office for a $735 million upfront payment. But leasing back the buildings over the next 20 years will ultimately cost taxpayers an extra $400 million in interest.

      Many governments are delaying payments to their pension funds, which will eventually need to be made, along with the high interest usually around 8 percent that the funds are expected to earn each year.

      New York balanced its budget this year by shortchanging its pension fund. And in New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie deferred paying the $3.1 billion that was due to the pension funds this year.

      Some of you applaud this is the comeuppance of the “liberal” states but the fallout won’t spare the red states. Not to mention the red states tend to be much poorer anyway than the red states and take in more public money than they pay out in the 1st place, so if State Welfare dries up they will too.

      • jquinones8812_854

        Member
        December 20, 2010 at 6:46 am

        It will not spare red states…it will only spare those states that were relatively good at maintaining their budgets.

        I don’t want a federal bailout of this, unless absolutely necessary…because a bailout will not force these states to make the long term structural changes they need to be fiscally competent for the next century.

        • Unknown Member

          Deleted User
          December 20, 2010 at 7:31 am

          There are only 4 states that don’t have a budget deficit. Arkansas,Montana,ND, and Alaska. People here having been touting TX yet they have an 18 billion dollar deficit. The 60 Min. report said that part of the reason this hasn’t hit bigger is that the stimulus bailed out the states for 1-2 years, but it is ending. They also said that it is likely that there will be numerous defaults on municipal bonds. Of course those bastions of reliability (bond raters -the same that rate subprime bonds AAA) say there is no problem. New Jersey has nearly 80 billion in unfunded health and pension plans alone. The total debt could be close to 1 trillion.

          • jquinones8812_854

            Member
            December 20, 2010 at 7:41 am

            Exactly my point. The stimulus money should have been used to cut spending, trip their budgets, and get budget neutral. Instead, most states, including mine, used the money like they always have. We simply cannot afford the services we have today. We need states to cut back, and the longer we take to do that, the more the pain will be.

            • eyoab2011_711

              Member
              December 20, 2010 at 7:42 am

              Nothing another tax cut won’t solve

              • jquinones8812_854

                Member
                December 20, 2010 at 7:47 am

                Or do what Christie is doing…actually tackling spending, something Democrats refuse to do.

                • Unknown Member

                  Deleted User
                  December 20, 2010 at 8:15 am

                  The voters and special interests enable these crooks.  But the day of reckoning is approaching.  Cannot kick the can forever.  But the crooks will then be out of office and some new schmuck will have to deal with the mess.

                  Look at San Francisco. 

                  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/17/us/17bcbenefits.html?_r=3

                • kayla.meyer_144

                  Member
                  December 20, 2010 at 8:37 am

                  ORIGINAL: MISTRAD

                  Or do what Christie is doing…actually tackling spending, something Democrats refuse to do.

                  Maybe, but it’s never quite so black & white as some say. NJ already has debts from borrowing against the pension plans for 15 years up to its eyeballs. As for cutting, NJ taxpayers themselves have opposed spending cuts for 15 years believing the usual myth, “if you just cut waste there’ll be more than enough left over.” 30 years of Magical Thinking, or in NJ, 15. Anyone running for Gov giving any detail what would have to be cut would promptly find themselves in 5th place in a 2 man Governor’s race. That’s why Christie never provided any details. Too many States are not unlike NJ believing in free lunches & red states are even worse since most of their revenue is Federal in the 1st place.

                  • jquinones8812_854

                    Member
                    December 20, 2010 at 8:48 am

                    Never said it was black and white.

                    Actually, in states which cannot borrow usually, cutting spending can and would cut their deficits. It is a different dynamic than in the federal deficit.

                    Christie never provided details, but he is now…and his popularity is MUCH higher today than when he was elected. Politicians with a backbone that do what they will say will usually get credit for it.

                    Until we have more like Christie, who don’t care about getting re-elected, states will continue to stay in the doldrums. This is not a right or left issue. It is common sense. We cannot afford what we are spending, and we will have to cut…and with cuts come pain. But that is the reality we live in, no matter how much everyone wants to deny it.

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      December 20, 2010 at 9:51 am
                    • eyoab2011_711

                      Member
                      December 20, 2010 at 12:37 pm

                      Yes the benefits are to blame not the poor planning or the desire to have it all and kick the can down the road. These pensions represent good faith bargaining (of course if it were stockholders with agreements reneged on-Cons would be up in arms). They were often in lieu of pay raises etc. Now if you want to cut these in the future fine but also remember that every retirement provides a new job opportunity for a 20 something. If you want to force employment fine but that means these jobs don’t open for others and you exacerbate employment. Of course what the GOP really wants to do is force these folks out of jobs, give them no benefits and replace them with cheaper labor (if they can off shore it even better). Better to protect corporate entities than those who have served as police officers, fire fighters and teachers

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      December 20, 2010 at 1:51 pm

                      It’s not kicking a can down the road…it is kicking a snowball down the road. It just gets bigger and bigger.

                      Municipal bonds are junk. Debt from local through sovereign/national levels cannot be repaid. Defaults are on the way…and then watch all he!! break loose…

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      December 20, 2010 at 2:00 pm

                      Enjoy the flames, bring your marshmallows. The world will end in a sticky hot marshmallow mess. When it’s all burned out China will come to occupy the former USA as the New China provinces. The joke will be on them since there’ll be marshmallow mess everywhere they have to clean up. Or eat.

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      December 20, 2010 at 1:57 pm

                      ORIGINAL: Thor

                      Yes the benefits are to blame not the poor planning or the desire to have it all and kick the can down the road. These pensions represent good faith bargaining (of course if it were stockholders with agreements reneged on-Cons would be up in arms). They were often in lieu of pay raises etc. Now if you want to cut these in the future fine but also remember that every retirement provides a new job opportunity for a 20 something. If you want to force employment fine but that means these jobs don’t open for others and you exacerbate employment. Of course what the GOP really wants to do is force these folks out of jobs, give them no benefits and replace them with cheaper labor (if they can off shore it even better). Better to protect corporate entities than those who have served as police officers, fire fighters and teachers

                      This is not a fight between corporate interests and the little guy.

                      It is fight mainly between individuals vs. huge taxes and looming deficits.

                      This is about public sector employees getting benefits that private sector employees never get. It is about spending too much, when we don’t have enough.

                      And it about reality. You can talk about the ‘unfairness of it all’…but nothing the GOP or Dems do will prevent that.

                      I guess Dems simply want to close their eyes, and hope for the best. Dem leadership at its best.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      December 20, 2010 at 9:52 pm

                      ORIGINAL: Thor

                      Yes the benefits are to blame not the poor planning or the desire to have it all and kick the can down the road. These pensions represent good faith bargaining (of course if it were stockholders with agreements reneged on-Cons would be up in arms). They were often in lieu of pay raises etc. Now if you want to cut these in the future fine but also remember that every retirement provides a new job opportunity for a 20 something. If you want to force employment fine but that means these jobs don’t open for others and you exacerbate employment. Of course what the GOP really wants to do is force these folks out of jobs, give them no benefits and replace them with cheaper labor (if they can off shore it even better). Better to protect corporate entities than those who have served as police officers, fire fighters and teachers

                      Funny how quickly you blame the GOP.

                      Is it possible for you to even use your brain?  Put away your party affiliations for a bit.  Look at the wages/salaries of public employees.  They’re typically higher than the private sector.  Pensions and benefits are outrageous.

                      It’s because of people like you that this problem will never get solved.  I’ve given up any hope for a meaningful solution and am just waiting for these states to implode, the sooner the better.  Once people recognize the errors of their way, maybe we’ll have a chance to rebuild.

                    • raallen

                      Member
                      December 21, 2010 at 9:01 pm

                      ORIGINAL: Thor

                      These pensions represent good faith bargaining (of course if it were stockholders with agreements reneged on-Cons would be up in arms). They were often in lieu of pay raises etc.

                      Oh yeah…brilliant idea.  Lets give all of the estimated [b][u]11 trillion[/u][/b] in bloated obligations to them. All of it -by your logic. Great governance. And while you are at it, make sure the state that agrees with you wont tax the U-Haul rentals as it’s citizens leave to a better managed state. Wait…this is already happening, as the census is showing.

                      Sorry. Like everybody else who negotiated contracts, sometimes the business fails. Stand in line with everybody else in the Federal Pension Guarantee Corporation. Why the exceptionalism in this case? Are toll collectors worthy of stepping in front of the line-lets say in front of a pilot or a nurse? Or for that matter teachers with American significantly declining education outcomes worthy of trillions of dollars of tax payer’s subsidies because they deserve exceptionalism? The question is obviously rhetorical. No matter what happens, teachers will wind up getting a retirement benefit which exceeds most private workers. However, nobody deserves and it is financially ruinous to get 60-80% of their last year’s salary guaranteed for life while retiring in their mid-50s. That is the way many of the worst states work and dont think twice about it.

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      December 22, 2010 at 2:45 am

                      Which States have the highest SATs or turn out the best educated? States which have traditionally spent less on education, is their education higher or lower than higher spending States? What factors are involved in testing that skews results and conclusions?

                      ww.usatoday.com/news/education/2007-08-28-sat-table_N.htm
                      But this list is flawed since many States have low participation in SATs.

                      http://education.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/articles/education/high-schools/2009/12/09/americas-best-high-schools-gold-medal-list.html
                      Top 100 High Schools seem limited to a handful of States.

                      Here’s a list showing State rankings. Most low tax or Southern states are at low end of scale. NJ (RVU) appears to come in #4. Texas is in the middle of the pack.
                      http://www.statemaster.com/red/graph/edu_bes_edu_ind-education-best-educated-index&b_map=1

                      Speaking of Texas:
                      http://www.window.state.tx.us/comptrol/wwstand/wws0512ed/

                      How about internationally?
                      http://www.pisa.oecd.org/pages/0,2987,en_32252351_32235731_1_1_1_1_1,00.html

                      Internationally what is the comparative spending on education? The argument about higher spending does NOT equal better education is suspicious since often the conclusion is based on schools already in low income neighborhoods or comparison of States’ SAT like comparing Utah with Maine where maine is way below Utah but you’re not told that Maine has 100% SAT testing while Utah is testing much less than 10% so the results are already filtered to a select few.

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      December 22, 2010 at 5:47 am

                      That is absolutely true, Frumi. In general, high tax states have spent more on education.

                      But your remark about those schools necessarily being better is false. New Jersey and Michigan are perfect examples, actually. Both have excellent school systems overall, but have ‘failed states’ in Detroit, Newark, etc…school systems that have failed to educate multiple generations.

                      On the other hand, some states like Texas have started to reform their systems, and provide more school choice, and some studies have shown significant gains among populations that have failed miserably in the past.

                      As for Texas…they have some of the best schools in the country, especially in Dallas, FYI.

                      The argument for higher education spending providing any significant gain in results is pretty much defunct. You need money, to be sure. But for example, the city of Detroit for the past two decades was one of the highest per student expenditures in Michigan. Tht has not worked out well.

                      Again, I am ready to spend more money…but not into this failed system.

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      December 22, 2010 at 9:20 am

                      So if a State is recognized as ranking high nationally but has a district or 2 that is below par compared to the State’s other schools, that constitutes failure? 100% or nothing? So compared to Mississippi, NJ still fails because of Newark. But Texas however passes your test because Dallas has good schools but the rest of the State does not have to be looked at for comparison. Can you bias your standard any more without blushing?

                      And you speak as if money were the only solution being requested. However, dollar for dollar, on a national basis, city for city, state for state, the states and cities that pay the highest in school taxes generally have the highest results. Yes, you can nit pick & find Newarks galore but you will find many more high test results than Detroit & Newark. New York City has a mix of very excellent schools and very poor schools.

                      http://www.nysun.com/new-york/top-scoring-school-thrives-on-challenges/65916/

                      You can take that to the bank.

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      December 22, 2010 at 10:33 am

                      First, your initial statement is a red herring. NJ has more than 1 or 2 failing districts. There are dozens, as just one example.

                      I could turn your argument around too, you know: if 1 or 2 districts are high performers, then all is well and good, right?

                      So, please, don’t talk about bias when you are playing the exact same game.

                      Now, as for highest paying schools…that is simply false, when you take other factors into account. For example, if you take only districts where the majority live in the poverty level, extra money MAKES NO DIFFERENCE. Now, of course, when rich districts spend tons of money and succeed…big deal. I would argue the money has less to do with success in those districts than socioeconomic status, two parent families, etc.

                      Another example is NYC. It is a great example. Magnet schools in Manhattan and elsewhere may be among the best in the world. But if you don’t get in to those schools, then you might as well be in a third world nation, in some places. Heck, some of the magnet schools are better than some of the most expensive private schools in NYC…and that is saying something.

                      Time and again, in examples across the country, you can show that if you pour money into failing districts…it makes no difference in test scores, graduation rates, etc. Yes, it is great that districts with money and that are already succeeding are doing well. But the real battle is to rescue those districts THAT ARE FAILING…and there, you can give me virtually no example where money alone has made much of a difference.

                      Only full force reform will make a difference in those places…and it is largely liberals that are opposing those changes. And it is those districts that continue to fail the most vulnerable children in our society. And as long as liberals as yourself are unwilling to face that reality, we lose generation after generation of children, while you whine about your moral superiority.

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      December 22, 2010 at 10:52 am

                      I was speaking average, you brought in Newark = NJ is failing but Dallas = Texas wins. Re-read your own post.

                      So your position is that money plays no factor whatever in successful schools, in general I mean, because you will provide the example of the poor school sending out motivated students and the school paying a lot per student with a very high dropout rate. Except outside of these exceptions most schools show better results as more money is available.

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      December 22, 2010 at 2:23 pm

                      On average, our schools are doing a dismal job, by any measure. Or are you actually arguing that we are hunky dorry, and this is all chicken littles about education?

                      Money does play a factor…an important factor. But liberals seem to believe it is the only factor. I would argue it iessential to have enough money, but it is not the key factor by any means. I can show you hundreds of charter schools, for example, that spend less per pupil than their neigboring public school, and get much better results.

                      And there are plenty charter schools that take equal populations. My sister helps run a charter school in the southwest in a poor hispanic area. They use a simple drawing to determine who gets in, so no cherry picking. 90% of their students, most of whom are children of illegal aliens, go on to college. The local public school? The rate is not even half that. I can give you numerous others, the most famous being the Harlem school.

                      So yes, money matters…but time and again, it is not the only reason our schools are failing. And that is why liberals keep failing on education.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      December 22, 2010 at 9:23 pm

                      Actually Texas schools as a state rate near the bottom. There are good districts(mainly Plano, Houston, and San Antonio suburbs) all where the wealthy live. There is no doubt that those students would do well in nearly any school district.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      December 22, 2010 at 10:40 pm

                      ORIGINAL: Raddocmed

                      Actually Texas schools as a state rate near the bottom. There are good districts(mainly Plano, Houston, and San Antonio suburbs) all where the wealthy live. There is no doubt that those students would do well in nearly any school district.

                      There is a reason for this – public schools in Texas are funded by property taxes. Wealthy districts have expensive property and more money. The Robin Hood legislation was meant to equalize this but it doesn’t do much. The whole system is kind of screwed at the moment and is lesson in why states that avoid income taxes shouldn’t tie themselves to alternative revenue sources that may not match state needs.

                      But no, lets all blame teacher’s unions. Because EVERYONE knows teachers are leeches and a drain on tax revenues. Or so say the radiologists with a complete monopoly on their profession, are often paid with Medicare monies, and who’s training is almost completely paid for by taxes.

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      December 23, 2010 at 4:14 am

                      Mistrad,

                      Money the only solution? You mean more like anything but money as a solution from the right’s list of solution. This is why teacher’s, unions, government workers are all on the right’s list of public enemies #1 because their salary & retirement depends on money. You cannot deny that affluent neighborhoods almost always have much better schools than poor ones, maybe always. That would show that money is anything but a small factor. There are others but money is a if not the major one.

                      Yes, public expense & the Santa Claus factor has to be controlled but many benefits are given in good times but also true that many governments saw the pension accounts as a cash cow to dip into whenever they liked. And we have been living through 3 decades of starving governments of revenue, state & federal to the golden god of tax cuts forever.

                      Here’s a place that is not California or NJ or other place conservatives are eating their popcorn waiting, hoping for bankruptcy declaration. It’s Alabama, center of Republican country. It’s forcing its retirees into destitution. You can look at as government workers, teachers & all others, putting an unsustainable drain on taxpayers or you can look at as taxpayers not wanting to pay for the government they want. “Starve the Beast” as a policy has far higher ramifications than destroying the federal government, it also kills state & local governments. This is the way to abolish government since paying for one isn’t in the cards.

                      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/23/business/23prichard.html

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      December 23, 2010 at 6:22 am

                      I agree the right has not been open enough with their pocketbook. Tell you what…you give me vouchers and full freedom of education, I will find a way to give you the boost in funds you need.

                      Deal? Doubt it. Liberals will fight that with every ounce of strength in their body. Again, Republicans are more likely to back down on funding than liberals would be on vouchers.

                      Affluent and well educated cities have better results…because parents are well educated. You can’t remove one without the other. You see this result worldwide, no matter how much is spent. When parents are educated, they want their kids educated…and those students do well.

                      Good for them. But I am worried about everyone else.

                      As for your example…you found one town, population 28,633 as of the 2000 census, as your example? That is just brilliant…and nonsensical.

                      Again, I think there are many, many moderate Republicans that would be willing for taxes to go up for education if you got real reform, with full school choice. I know I would. But Democrats will always fight the option of any real reform, and that is the real roadblock to better schools. You agree to that, and I bet we could find compromise. I am sure that you won’t agree to anything of the sort.

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      December 23, 2010 at 9:16 am

                      Except that Obama has on a couple of occasions bucked the teacher’s union & stated his support of doing something different for schools & education. He has bucked liberals on more than 1 occasion about many of their positions.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      December 27, 2010 at 10:59 am

                      I will give you vouchers if you can show that they will benefit the underclass that need them the most. Nobody is pushing for vouchers high enough to completely pay for private school. The vast majority of the poor couldn’t afford to make up the difference. It has been shown that over 90% of vouchers would go to parents that already have their kids in private schools. That would help nobody except the those that can already afford it. If you wish to make vouchers means tested so that only those that can’t afford private school could get them then I would go for them.  I think that much more viable is charter schools, but they are very hit or miss as to being better. Some are very good and some actually have worse scores than regular public schools.

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      December 27, 2010 at 12:29 pm

                      And I will give you funding if you can show me that money alone can make any significant improvements.

                      Both of us are at a standstill…and that is the problem.

                      Additionally, you could make vouchers income based…so the rich get less in return. I would be willing to accept something like that.

                      As for charter schools, I agree 100%. But places like New York, they are trying to abolish most charter schools. Albany Democrats have been pushing for the closure of virtually all charter schools. They were stopped, but that shows you where many Democrats are on this issue. We need more regulations with charter schools, but not so much as to stop innovation.

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      December 27, 2010 at 12:44 pm

                      Show us consistent improvements in student scoring when “money alone” is withheld or reduced in any state and district.

                      And charter schools is magic dust to blind you to facts that charter schools have a mixed result. Outside of a few standouts, most charter schools are no better than the public schools they replace and in a few standout cases, are worse. And last time I looked, charter schools are more expensive that public schools completely demolishing your argument about “money alone.”

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      December 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm

                      Now that is ridiculous logic, and you know it…you are smarter than that.

                      Just because REDUCING funding does not produce better scores does not mean INCREASING funding will improve scores.

                      Why don’t you show me statistics that show that when you remove other critieria (poverty, ethnic background, etc) that increasing funding improves scores. That should be pretty easy to prove…except for the fact that it isn’t true.

                      And speaking of Obama and Arne Duncan…they are both on the record agreeing with me that simply increasing funding does not improve anything.

                      Charter schools have their positives and negatives. But liberals in many places are BLINDLY against them. Some charter schools are crushing their public school competitors, with LESS money. Other charter schools are failing their students. Just like with teachers, if the students are not succeeding, the teacher/charter school must be gotten rid of.

                      And you need to look again Frumi…in most states, charter schools are LESS expensive then their public analogues. There are states that are exceptions, but nationwide that holds true…including New York State, FYI.

                    • cindyanne_522

                      Member
                      December 27, 2010 at 2:33 pm

                      [link=http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2010/12/power-unions-average-stagehand-lincoln-center-nyc-makes-290k-year]http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2010/12/power-unions-average-stagehand-lincoln-center-nyc-makes-290k-year[/link]
                       
                      Dont read this article if you dont want to get truly pissed off at this time of the year. And the corruption that gives a union stagehand this type of salary, is the same mechanism that gives toll collectors and service union employees in this area over 100K per annum for years into retirement. It lets bus drivers and train operators retire in their early 50s with these lifetime benefits. Nobody can offer any legitimatcy for this lunacy to continue.
                       
                      We are not talking about a couple of CEOs, which class warfare agents like to quibble about. But 100,000s just like this. This pinpoints the problem with municipal workers and their excessive indentured collections. This will be stopped or states will run dry.

                    • eyoab2011_711

                      Member
                      December 27, 2010 at 4:17 pm

                      Pssst..check out the state salaries of mens football and basketball coaches…hint…their really high too (Oh and pro athletes they are high too)….of course lets also ignor the fact that labor is less than 1/3 of the cost of a performance;  you think there aren’t other markups in the pricing at the Met?  How do you think they were able to negotiate those salaries???
                       
                       

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      December 27, 2010 at 4:26 pm

                      ORIGINAL: Thor

                      Pssst..check out the state salaries of mens football and basketball coaches…hint…their really high too (Oh and pro athletes they are high too)….of course lets also ignor the fact that labor is less than 1/3 of the cost of a performance;  you think there aren’t other markups in the pricing at the Met?  How do you think they were able to negotiate those salaries???

                      Bus drivers in San Francisco make well over $100K a year.  And they get to retire in their 50s with a big chunk of that and big benefits packages for the rest of their lives.

                    • eyoab2011_711

                      Member
                      December 27, 2010 at 5:07 pm

                      And if it is such a great gig maybe you should go out and get one of those jobs….how much should they be paid and would you want someone driving your bus that would settle for even lower pay?  Why does the free market apply only those who run business and not those who work for them?

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      December 28, 2010 at 3:29 am

                      ORIGINAL: BarelyPassed

                      Bus drivers in San Francisco make well over $100K a year.  And they get to retire in their 50s with a big chunk of that and big benefits packages for the rest of their lives.

                      Hey, hey, Ralphie boy was living in the lap of luxury on “The Honeymooners” with Ed Lillywhite Norton the sewerman & didn’t know it. It shows from the furnishings in their walkup tenement apartment.

                      Do you have a contract showing entry-level & average earnings + wage grades? I’d really like to see that $100k+ level. If words get out 1/2 of America will be applying since that almost doubles the average household income.

                    • raallen

                      Member
                      December 28, 2010 at 6:45 pm

                      ORIGINAL: Thor

                      Pssst..check out the state salaries of mens football and basketball coaches…hint…their really high too

                      At least there is a won-loss to go by. And most of them, get fired because of it. Teacher and civil service unions actively avoid judgment of performance because they are about self-sustaining mediocrity. We seem to be all agreeing about that on this thread.

                    • alyaa.rifaie_129

                      Member
                      December 27, 2010 at 6:02 pm

                      [b][i] Some charter schools are crushing their public school competitors, with LESS money. [/i] [/b]

                      Absolutely agree – Also do not forget the parochial schools as well. They are giving kids better education w better results and a lot less than what it costs the public schools. Number of kids from parochial schools that graduate and pursue higher education is way above the public schools.

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      December 28, 2010 at 3:52 am

                      Yes Mistrad, poverty and language & culture & helping the disabled are a large factor and one of the reasons spending is necessary. But you are the one who insists on using “only money” so I merely showed how “only money” is not an honest argument. As for charter schools, the data is all over the place and many public schools are better than the best charter schools. Do private schools enter the picture because many are also ahead of many public & charter schools. What is a primary factor? It can’t be money and available resources and new not out-of-date books or facilities in dire need of repair. How is “only money” not a factor in schools with old books & decrepit facilities? It’s always easier to distill everything down to “only money” and teachers’ salaries & unions. How much does a private school teacher earn compared to public schools?

                      “Only money” is a dishonest argument. “Only money” will not cure all the problems of the education system, there is still the curriculum (science is OUT but “Creation Science” is IN) for example. But a generality that is a truism is that schools with more money generally have better results.

                      BTW, how would charter schools consistently cost less than public schools but still produce better results? What costs less? Teacher salaries? You mean charter schools pay less than an average salary of $55K? Maybe no benefits like paid time off, health care & retirement? They get discount books? The facilities are cheaper to build & run? What is it? What is the magic bullet?

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      December 28, 2010 at 6:30 am

                      Actually, it is YOU that only asks for money.

                      Please, tell me…other than more money, what other solution have you asked for? None that I can see.

                      Show me the data on public schools better than charter. None of those takes into account all charter schools, only small samples…which are useless, as you yourself have said. Actually, the only large scale study, done by the Dept of Ed Mathematica study:

                      http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/newsroom/releases/2010/Charterschool_6_10.asp

                      This study showed there was questionable gains overall between Charter and public schools. Howerver, LOWER INCOME STUDENTS did better than in charters than public schools. It also showed inner city children significantly outperformed their peers in public schools in math and science by a large margin.

                      The study did not totally study costs, but overall it implied that costs were much less in charter schools overall. And there is no magic bullet. The difference is simple: public schools in large part have become bloated bureaucracies. That is the difference. My sister helps run a charter school. They have one administrator, one finance person, 1 counselor, about 40 some teachers and approximately 500 students. Go to any public school in the country, and try to find that ratio. I dare you.

                      Now, that is peer vs. peer…That discounts special needs children, etc. If your argument is that special needs children need charter schools and choices as well…I agree wholeheartedly. But govt incentives can produce that. I am all for that.

                      Instead, you have used faulty data, as usual, to back up a losing argument. YOURS IS THE DISHONEST ARGUMENT. Show me as Dept of Education study that shows public schools are doing better, and then we can talk. Instead, you use fake studies that use small samples, and show the results you wish. And as usual, you prove my point: Liberals are NOT INTERESTED in improving results first. That is not their priority. And it is not yours either.

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      December 28, 2010 at 6:33 am

                      Here is Brookings suggestions on charter schools which I feel is reasonable:

                      http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2010/1216_charter_schools.aspx

                      Also you posted a link earlier that showed the best public schools, and where they were. Interesting point…many of the top schools on that list are magnet schools…which are basically a subset of charter schools. Ironic.

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      December 28, 2010 at 8:59 am

                      Well Mistrad, with your, “Liberals only want money; Only Money; Liberals are against any proposal to improve the school system; …because they want to protect the unions; etc, etc, etc” positions, it’s very difficult to take you seriously. Your arguments are a variation on Alda’s back in the Iraq War that, “Liberals only want the terrorists to win; Liberals want Americans killed by terrorists; etc.” All you conservatives/republicans want to do is complain about liberals & democrats by making false accusations instead of finding real solutions.

                      There, that felt better.

                      So what’s your argument? That some charter schools are excellent? That some charter schools have lower administrative costs? That Magnet Schools, while public have some of the structure of Charter Schools and do turn out high achieving students? That a (very) few poor district schools have turned out high achieving students? That most schools paying high school taxes have much better than average schools but money has no part in the scoring? That most poor districts have lousy schools, but money is not a factor? That poor areas with Charter schools have many parents living in those areas clamoring for their child’s admittance? That vouchers are being used but that the available seats in charter schools are few & competitive? That parents can use vouchers now to have their child attend a better performing school in another district but that transportation is usually the problem? That teachers are overpaid & we should have less? You don’t like unions of any kind, especially teacher unions? That public education sucks & should be abandoned? That education should be paid for only with personal income or if public funds are absolutely necessary only for the poorest & only with tax credits?

                      What?

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      December 28, 2010 at 10:04 am

                      My argument is simple:

                      Our current education system is failing, miserably.

                      And thus, we need wholesale reform.

                      We need re re-evaluate EVERYTHING. Are we spending enough money? Do we pay teachers enough? Should we go to school year around, like virtually every developed country in the world?

                      Should we give children more choice, especially in failing schools? Should we expand choice to everyone, including special needs children?

                      If we have vouchers, how do we solve the problems you stated, like transportation? In my state, the home district still has to pay for transportation, regardless.

                      How can teachers unions, parents, school districts, and private industry create a better environment for all above, especially children? I think unions have a significant role to play, but they, like the rest of us, must learn to adapt. It will cost all of us something. We likely will have to pay more taxes. Teachers likely will have to be evaluated more closely, and possibly get promoted and fired based on those evaluations.

                      Most of these topics above are taboo in most old education circles. You can’t discuss summer school…it is off the table. You can’t discuss choice or vouchers. you can’t discuss anything.

                      Until we make child education success the goal, instead of all the other nonsense, we will continue to fail.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      December 28, 2010 at 10:36 am

                      I believe that we do need to look at all phases of education. I agree that we need to look at teachers, but if we want better teachers we will have to pay them better. I can guarantee you that SF doesn’t pay teachers 100K or DC 290K. If we pay bus drivers and stage hands more you willnever get the best going into education. If we paid teachers much better, but demanded results and had no tenure we would be better off. It has been estimated that if we got rid of just the bottom 10% of teachers are outcomes would be the same as other countries. I also think that we need to have year around schools based on studies that show the underclass keeping up during the school year, but falling far behind each summer. I fully support chater schools as long as they show results. What can’t be done though is comparing private/parochial schools to public schools. They don’t have to keep students with behaviour problems and have almost no spending on special ed. Special ed is a huge portion of each school’s budget. Also these classes of students (behaviour and spec ed) tend to lower results. If you want to use the “market place” to drive better results then you have to equalize the playing field.

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      December 28, 2010 at 10:40 am

                      I agree with everything you said.

                      I think we spend too much time talking about the politics of it (such as raising taxes) and not simply about what will work. Everyone in this system is going to have to change. Maybe we need wholesale changes to funding in general. But until you face the fact that we are failing more than half of our kids, truly failing them, and this is a crisis not just a talking point, many people will be unwilling to change.

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      December 28, 2010 at 10:53 am

                      There is more than just that. The fact the local districts & states control the curriculum can be a problem as in “Creation Science” rather than a “socialist” central curriculum or standards – and yes it will be called socialist & “government takeover of education” if that happens. Right now we have schools in many states that generally have high education vs some states that support public schools very poorly. Traditionally for example southern states’ schools have very little funding & support, especially in some areas. Rural schools generally do less well than affluent suburban schools & many urban schools. There needs to be a standard minimum for teaching curriculum & funding & resources as in books & facilities & teachers. Pay for teachers has to be raised to professional levels if we are to hold them to professional results. That is money regardless of how many teachers there are in a state. That means more state taxes and school taxes unless the cost is “hidden” & more equally distributed so that poorer property areas don’t suffer. That will also be decried as socialist “redistributionist” policies.

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      December 28, 2010 at 1:11 pm

                      I agree. But Federal funding could block creation science, if they want. Or at least, force them to teach evolution as the primary scientific theory.

                      These are very minor issues. One state, Kansas, thought of doing it and I believe stopped. I bet the number of children being taught creationism in schools is less than 1/10 of 1%…It is easy to solve a problem that small.

                      However, almost 50% of children in this country are not able to do basic math and science.

                      As for states…you are right, it is very heterogenous. But even in states that are ‘doing well’, there are problems. New Jersey, for example, is considered to be one of the best in the nation…and neither one of us would send our kids to schools in their 2 largest school districts, Camden and Newark. On the other hand, I know of some excellent school districts in states like Louisiana and Mississippi, often thought of as the bottom of the barrel. All these places need reform. You may be right, some need it more than others…but reform is a must everywhere.

                      As for standard curriculum, I agree…which is funny, because that is one of the things Bush got attacked on for ‘setting standards’. I am glad you now agree with Bush on that.

                      As for more taxes…again, totally supportive. But what I am not supportive of is raising taxes and getting reform, which means we are simply throwing good money after bad.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      December 28, 2010 at 1:56 pm

                      Kansas fill flopped at least twice. What happens is state board is elected that has majority “creationist” and puts in that. Before it can even be implemented though elections give majority to others that throw out the creationist standards. I do feel that we could benefit from more national standards, but as has been stated any move to take education out of local control will be called socialist. It seems to me that the majority of Americans would rather have poor schools under local control than good schools under more Federal control. I am sure that the ideal would be excellant schools under local control, but that doesn’t seem to be what we have now. To show how this can play out. There are rural school districts in Kansas that don’t have enough students for one good high school, but they refuse to be combined with another district because of “loss of local control”. It could save the state millions and provide better education, but can’t get through legislature.
                       
                      Over all what I see is a country that sees it’s glory days dwindling, but refusing to do anything to change the way we do things. I once had a head of hospital in Army that said “The system is driven by blood. Until somebody dies or bleeds nothing will be done to correct obvious problems.” I feel that way about most things now. Until things get so bad that there is no choice we refuse to do anything especially if it means spending any money. People are more concerned about making the most today rather than doing what will be best over the long haul. Doctors have abused self referral to line their pockets at the exspence of having draconian cuts being put in place. How many are willing to spend more now to help our children 20 years from now?

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      December 28, 2010 at 2:02 pm

                      [b]As for standard curriculum, I agree…which is funny, because that is one of the things Bush got attacked on for ‘setting standards’. I am glad you now agree with Bush on that. [/b]

                      “now agree with Bush” is your slant based on no truth. And I will point out that No Child was co-written by none other than Ted Kennedy that arch-villian Liberal along with John Boehner.

                      If you are going to make teaching professional then you will have to raise wages dramatically and how will you do that without raising taxes? You can change the funding from property taxes to income taxes or other general tax but it means a higher cost to attract skilled teachers who would otherwise go into other private sector jobs that pay much better wages & benefits. Why else would any intelligent person go into teaching?

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      December 28, 2010 at 5:17 pm

                      Yes, cowritten…with Bush and Kennedy. And it was Bush predominantly that pushed national standards. He did as governor in 1994, and did for President in 2000…and ever since it passed, you will hear liberals complain about it.

                      Wages will have to be increased. But it depends what you mean by dramatically. A nurse starts at 60k, and makes upwards of 100k+. In some states, teachers make 40k to start and 80k for experience. I don’t mind paying teachers more…but I think the argument amount salaries is not as significant as many argue. Yes, we will need more money…but again, I think that is the easy part.

                      Additionally, are you arguing that there is a significant lack of competence among teachers today? It seems that is what you are implying. And if so, why can’t we fire more of them?

                      Raddoc hit the nail on the head. We are fat and lazy. We don’t want to change anything because we are lazy. And those willing to do more to excel, like those in China and India, are going to wipe the floors with us if we don’t adapt.

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      December 29, 2010 at 3:53 am

                      Your arguments are living more and more in the past, Mistrad. Are you more interested in accomplishing good or repaying criticisms and imagined slights by liberals?

                      There are many conservatives who also want to get rid of “No Child” as an expensive government over-reach, who also dislike it because they see it as Bush compromising with liberals like Kennedy. There are many conservatives who support those de-populated schools staying open instead of consolidating or outright closing. After all, what’s a school without students? This is happening in Red States so how are liberals at fault?

                      Finally remember that many liberals are also criticizing Obama for those same reasons, continuing Bush policies like No Child with his own Race to the Top. Shall I start bitching that conservatives – like you – criticize Obama for supporting policies some conservatives say they support? Is it only lip service support?

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      December 29, 2010 at 5:44 am

                      ORIGINAL: MISTRAD

                      We are fat and lazy. We don’t want to change anything because we are lazy. And those willing to do more to excel, like those in China and India, are going to wipe the floors with us if we don’t adapt.

                      Some are. Many want changes just like me aren’t joining in the bandwagon blaming teachers or that we’re already spending too much on education. As you noted, many Asian families have much higher scores on standard testing. This is a matter of culture & ours definitely needs adjustment. But ask those Asians who live in poor areas & do well in spite of poor schools (& local property/school taxes definitely have an effect on school quality) if they’d rather live & have their children attend better schools in affluent suburban areas, what do you think they’d prefer? How much better might their children do if they had more & better resources?

                      As for a blanket condemnation of public schools & teachers? No, I won’t condemn the system anymore than I condemn the whole health care system as bad because there are a lot of bad physicians out there. They don’t have tenure & yet they still practice. Yes, let’s get rid of work rules that protect the incompetent.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      December 29, 2010 at 6:03 am

                      And once again, Chris Christie is the role model willing to say it like it is.

                      Mistrad, paying teachers more does not do anything but throw good money after good, bad, or mediocre money. It is a crapshoot.

                      Step one is fixing this problem is to pay only for quality, and throw out the bad apples.

                      Christie wants a complete overhaul, including testing of the teachers. IMHO, this is step #1 !!

                      http://209.157.64.200/focus/news/2598781/posts

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      December 29, 2010 at 6:49 am

                      ORIGINAL: Frumious

                      ORIGINAL: MISTRAD

                      We are fat and lazy. We don’t want to change anything because we are lazy. And those willing to do more to excel, like those in China and India, are going to wipe the floors with us if we don’t adapt.

                      Some are. Many want changes just like me aren’t joining in the bandwagon blaming teachers or that we’re already spending too much on education. As you noted, many Asian families have much higher scores on standard testing. This is a matter of culture & ours definitely needs adjustment. But ask those Asians who live in poor areas & do well in spite of poor schools (& local property/school taxes definitely have an effect on school quality) if they’d rather live & have their children attend better schools in affluent suburban areas, what do you think they’d prefer? How much better might their children do if they had more & better resources?

                      As for a blanket condemnation of public schools & teachers? No, I won’t condemn the system anymore than I condemn the whole health care system as bad because there are a lot of bad physicians out there. They don’t have tenure & yet they still practice. Yes, let’s get rid of work rules that protect the incompetent.

                      No WE ARE FAT AND LAZY. Including you and me. Our culture has gotten lazy. Sorry, but that is the reality. Just compare us to other countries around the world that are succeeding. When you look at Europe and the US, we simply are not wiling to do what we need to adapt to the environment around us.

                      I will and do condemn a system that fails half of its participants. If you had a medical school that graduated 50% incompetent doctors for decades, what would your response be? Probably to close it down.

                      Much of the blame is not the fault of teachers. But they are still failing. Whether it is their fault or not, the system has to succeed. It is essential. And my foremost goal is not to promote teachers, but to make sure the next generation of kids are prepared for the world.

                      As for resources, again, would you simply dump money into that failing medical school, and hope its administrators straigthen things out? Is that really your logic?

                      I will give you one example. In the 1990s, Michigan restructured how it funded schools, basically taking large blocks of money from rich districts to poor ones. Once this was done, the first year the City of Detroit was the fourth highest funded school district in the state. The three above them were ultra filthy rich districts. So what happened to test scores in Detroit over the next decade? They dropped. There are examples like this around the country. Simply funding these districts is not the answer, not by itself.

                      This is not a short term problem: we have seen these results from before I was born. And the system is unable to make the changes internally that are needed for more success. And that is why I think you need wholesale reform. This is not about blaming anyone…it is about getting the job done.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      December 29, 2010 at 8:53 am

                      Throwing money at problem almost never solves it in and of itself. You have to make the money work better. I don’t believe that spending more with no changes to system will make a difference, but I also feel that those that argue to cut budgets or freeze them also have no chance to improve schools. We need to change the education system. It will probably take some more money, but if we get better educated kids it will benefit all in the long run.

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      December 29, 2010 at 12:36 pm

                      Except as Xpert notes, money is not only NOT being thrown, it is being withdrawn, with a vengeance.

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      December 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm

                      Let me stipulate that money should NOT be withdrawn at this time, unless you want to guarantee the long term failure of America.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      December 29, 2010 at 3:20 pm

                      Not following the thread, but I saw a couple interesting articles this am:
                      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/26/opinion/26friedman.html?ref=columnists

                      One of the best of this new breed of leaders is Atlantas inspiring mayor, 41-year-old Kasim Reed. A former Georgia state senator, Reed won Atlantas mayoral race in December 2009 by 714 votes. The day he took office, Atlanta had $7.4 million in reserves, an out-of-control budget and was laying off so many firefighters there were only three personnel on a truck, below national standards. A year later, it has $58 million in reserves, and Reed has a 70 percent approval rating which he earned the hard way.

                      Then Reed tackled the citys biggest problem: runaway pensions, which were eating up 20 percent of tax revenues and are rising. In the early 2000s, the police, fire and municipal workers unions persuaded the city to raise all their pensions and make it retroactive. So, between 2001 and 2009, Atlantas unfunded pension obligations grew from $321 million to $1.484 billion. Yikes.

                      Reed couldnt cut existing pensions without lawsuits, but he cut back pensions for all new employees to pre-2000 levels and raised the vesting period to 15 years from 10. When union picketers swarmed city hall to protest, Reed invited them all into his office in shifts where he patiently explained, with charts, that without pension reform everyones pensions would go bust.

                      and

                      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/23/AR2010122304421.html

                      Corporate pension funds are heavily regulated, including pre-funding requirements. A federal agency, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., copes with insolvent ones. By requiring transparency, the government gave the private sector an incentive to move to defined contributions from defined-benefit plans, which are now primarily luxuries enjoyed by public employees.

                      Less candor, realism and pre-funding are required of state and municipal governments regarding their pension plans. Nunes’s bill would require them to disclose the size of their pension liabilities – and the often-dreamy assumptions behind the calculations. Noncompliant governments would be ineligible for issuing bonds exempt from federal taxation. Furthermore, the bill would stipulate that state and local governments are entirely responsible for their pension obligations and the federal government will provide no bailouts.

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      December 30, 2010 at 8:07 am

                      Those are valuable articles.

                      About state and local pensions..most of them could not survive an IRS audit, and even in retrospect many don’t have a clue where their money is going. It is a disaster.

                      Reed is just an example of many young Republican and Democrat mayors and Governors around the country simply doing what is necessary to survive.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      December 30, 2010 at 10:10 am

                      Personally I am not opposed to having the public sector (including Congress) do what the private sector has done and migrate to 401k,403b, etc retirement plans with employee contributions and matching funds. This is by definiton a pay as you go system because the matching funds have to be paid at same time and not funded years later if at all. Just as defined benefit plans are practically nonexistent in the private sector they should die in the public sector. This would mean completely revamping civil service, union plans, etc. Even military should have retirement go to this sort of plan. It really makes no sense to have military retirement a 20 years or nothing plan.

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      December 30, 2010 at 2:29 pm

                      It is not that I like the idea of killing off pensions, but the reality is simply that we can’t afford them at the prices it costs today.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      December 30, 2010 at 3:17 pm

                      I favor killing them. Business hasn’t been able to afford them for years. The alternative is to significantly lengthen years of work required to retire or increase retirement age to 65. Most start much lower after 20-30 years of work. Let’s assume you statr after college then you could retire at 52 or 53 even with 30 years of work. Maybe the thing to do is say you are fully vested at 20 years, but can’t start withdrawing till 65.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      December 30, 2010 at 3:44 pm

                      Just out of curiosity, how to you expect the mainstream population to provide for themselves after they retire?

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      December 30, 2010 at 10:15 pm

                      I think the answer is that they don’t.

                      Some rules need to be tightened, like a new pension eligibility for every temporary or consulting or whatever job you ever have in the state, county or municipality. More importantly though is that it is not used as a cash cow to “{borrow” against to keep taxes down or to cut taxes & then default when it’s time to pay back. This is precisely what Bethleham Steel & other corporations did leaving pensioners holding the bag when they declared bankruptcy with shareholders getting their shares first before the pensioners when the pensioners did nothing to destroy the company. Market investments should be extremely conservative, no hedge funds, no CDOs & such so that if the markets crash the pensions crash. Pensions typically go or have gone to the lower 50% income group. How are they supposed to fund their own retirement when every cent counts in that income group. There would have to be some extensive changes to give them a reasonably valuable retirement that doesn’t get eaten up by fees especially churning funds by sharks taking advantage of the financially uneducated or just plain bad markets. As for vesting, it should only be a short time. The pension value is based on the last couple years you worked & had monies contributed in your name. The question though is why can’t pensions be afforded yet 401k with millions of investors in Fidelity via contributions is OK? The issue returns to Fidelity not screwing with your money since that is their business while politicians & taxpayers are will ing to sacrifice government workers on the alter of lower taxes for them. If they just left the investments like Fidelity does, where is the shortfall? Any other explanation?

                      One more thing, if pensions are abolished, what happens to those already on pensions? Most are not exactly living rich on a pension. And the value of the job if pension contributions are gone & the employee must remove money from their own relatively small income? Meaning if the employer paid into the pension ~10% of my $55k income but now I have to, I just took a 10% pay cut to fund a retirement account. More “punish the non-affluent” policies? Raising taxes on the affluent is not good policy but cutting wages on the lower 50% income groups is?

                    • cindyanne_522

                      Member
                      December 30, 2010 at 10:28 pm

                      Pension defaults happen in every industry and to millions. I dont know why there should be exceptionalism for public employees who to this time were permitted to retire in their mid 50s with 60-80 % pay for life, pay which exceeds their private industry counterparts, and often zero medical deductibles. That is simply not sustainable. Their union bosses who guaranteed such unprecedented largess where the same irresponsible and corrupt bosses who invested in every single risky hedge fund imaginable chasing alpha. http://justpiper.com/2010/12/federal-probe-sec-grand-jury-risky-bets-cost-detroit-pension-funds-480-million/. To paraphase Barney Frank, you cant expect to have to win on big bets without the chance of loosing. It’s no different for public unions.

                      I am sure that anybody in their right mind to be taken seriously couldnt be suggesting that the citizens of each state should responsible for 10 trillion dollars of pension and legacy obligations, far more generous than what 99% of American workers get, when states default? That would be odd and disturbing. 

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      December 31, 2010 at 6:12 am

                      It must be simply nice and EZ to distill everything, every problem into being caused by “union bosses,” etc. As I recall the unions had zero, nada, nil, nothing to do with the economy collapsing, it was all done by the fat cats in finance and corporations. can you name a single teacher and whose pension helped destroy the economy? I can’t. As far as the numbers show most of the pension problems came by politicians using pension funds as a cash cow to freely borrow against and the fact that revenues dried up due to the recession. Then the politicians & taxpayers who borrowed so heavily found their credit balance ran off the page and it was time to pay the piper. Suddenly default is “fiscally responsible” & the fault is “union bosses.” Any “union bosses” involved in that? Can you name a one? And then your solution is to penalize the lower wage earners including those already retired. 80% to 90% retirement income sounds awesomely irresponsible. How much does that work out & who gets 80 to 90% on a majority regular basis? I have heard some individuals who worked the system but not across the board. Reform is necessary to prevent abuses by these workers many of whom had been politicians. So let’s see, an average teacher’s salary is approx $55K while working so retirement is $40K to $50K if your 80% to 90% numbers work out? would you give up your present salary for that? Sounds like teachers & their “union bosses” are ripping off the taxpayers, “Hell Yes!”

                      Not!

                      So replace pensions with a 401K or such but don’t create a 10-15% pay cut for workers while doing it just to save you a $10 tax increase. And make retirement donations mandatory. But that might be unconstitutional?

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      December 31, 2010 at 8:04 am

                      Frumi, my understanding is that old pensions have to be adhered to, unless the entity goes into bankruptcy. Then, everything goes out the window. So even if you abolish pensions going forward, that decision alone would not effect old pensions.

                      That said, if just one state goes into bankruptcy (Illinois, perhaps?), then all hell will break loose.

                    • cindyanne_522

                      Member
                      December 31, 2010 at 10:51 pm

                      ORIGINAL: Frumious
                      Suddenly default is “fiscally responsible” & the fault is “union bosses.” Any “union bosses” involved in that? Can you name a one?

                      Are you not reading what I write? I provided you to a link on how the Detroit pension system was sunken by scandal of the unions own creation. There are multiple failures of unions chasing unregulated hedge fund and other very high risk investment, knowing that government will bail them out. Remember the Barney Frank rule, no more “Heads I win, tails I don’t loose” financial bets. I know you have the want to go off on tangents to defend minority held views, but you dont build consensus by doing such. Here is more about well know civil service pension problems/frauds.

                      [link=http://seekingalpha.com/article/185326-perilous-practices-of-public-pension-funds]http://seekingalpha.com/article/185326-perilous-practices-of-public-pension-funds[/link]

                      [link=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704905604575027601300360196.html]http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704905604575027601300360196.html[/link]

                      [link=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703766704576009350303578410.html]http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703766704576009350303578410.html[/link]

                      [link=http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/the-trouble-with-public-sector-unions]http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/the-trouble-with-public-sector-unions[/link]

                      [link=http://www.bankruptingamerica.org/tag/state-pensions/]http://www.bankruptingamerica.org/tag/state-pensions/[/link]

                      So let’s see, an average teacher’s salary is approx $55K while working so retirement is $40K to $50K if your 80% to 90% numbers work out?

                      Many times you do not address the issues when presented to you which always leaves an insincere, part trollish, impression of your ideas on people who interact with you. You haven’t addressed the problem of the sustainability of these obligations which is not possible, even at a fraction of their full obligation.You also avoid the chronic and debilitating problems of civil service/state government employees such as the exorbitant salaries of 100K+ for mundane jobs such as toll or trash collectors, documented excessive and fraudulent disability claims, double-dipping/early retirement/rehire at the same job cycles, the omnipresent pay-to play scandals of union officials/government officers/organized crime. There is little surprise that the states most plagued by these problems including Illinois and California are in the worst economic condition and in need of the most bailout. Change will come when one isolates the problem.

                      However, you have pegged a number that could lead a potential solution to discharge the enormous debt facing the states. I agree with you-an aggregate income of 40-50K a year (between defined benefit and social security) is a reasonable target to provide a benefit or guarantee to its state employees. There should also be a cap of what a retired person could expect as far as person income from the government trough, perhaps at 65K. The thousands of toll collectors or bus drivers who collect from government over 100K per year for life starting at 55 is a policy that needs to be eliminated, and I dont think there would be much debate about that. And, like just about everybody else, medicare should suffice for individual’s healthcare starting at 65. No cost or ten dollar deductibles are an abberration in that only civil service employees and UAW workers have them, and should be seen appropriately as what is, an anachronism.

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      January 1, 2011 at 7:28 am

                      ORIGINAL: MRImadman

                      ORIGINAL: Frumious
                      Suddenly default is “fiscally responsible” & the fault is “union bosses.” Any “union bosses” involved in that? Can you name a one?

                      Are you not reading what I write? I provided you to a link on how the Detroit pension system was sunken by scandal of the unions own creation. There are multiple failures of unions chasing unregulated hedge fund and other very high risk investment, knowing that government will bail them out. Remember the Barney Frank rule, no more “Heads I win, tails I don’t loose” financial bets. I know you have the want to go off on tangents to defend minority held views, but you dont build consensus by doing such. Here is more about well know civil service pension problems/frauds.

                      I don’t disagree with the articles. In fact if you read my earlier statements I said investing employee’s funds whether pension or 401k replacement in hedge funds or CDAs should be illegal. However the question I am asking you in light of your several statements about “union bosses” is who exactly runs the pension funds? Who is leveraging the investments? Who is “borrowing” funds from the pension funds? Who exactly are the investment boards? The union? It is the union bosses doing this?

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      January 1, 2011 at 7:37 am

                      ORIGINAL: MRImadman

                      Many times you do not address the issues when presented to you which always leaves an insincere, part trollish, impression of your ideas on people who interact with you. You haven’t addressed the problem of the sustainability of these obligations which is not possible, even at a fraction of their full obligation.You also avoid the chronic and debilitating problems of civil service/state government employees such as the exorbitant salaries of 100K+ for mundane jobs such as toll or trash collectors, documented excessive and fraudulent disability claims, double-dipping/early retirement/rehire at the same job cycles, the omnipresent pay-to play scandals of union officials/government officers/organized crime. There is little surprise that the states most plagued by these problems including Illinois and California are in the worst economic condition and in need of the most bailout. Change will come when one isolates the problem.

                      However, you have pegged a number that could lead a potential solution to discharge the enormous debt facing the states. I agree with you-an aggregate income of 40-50K a year (between defined benefit and social security) is a reasonable target to provide a benefit or guarantee to its state employees. There should also be a cap of what a retired person could expect as far as person income from the government trough, perhaps at 65K. The thousands of toll collectors or bus drivers who collect from government over 100K per year for life starting at 55 is a policy that needs to be eliminated, and I dont think there would be much debate about that. And, like just about everybody else, medicare should suffice for individual’s healthcare starting at 65. No cost or ten dollar deductibles are an abberration in that only civil service employees and UAW workers have them, and should be seen appropriately as what is, an anachronism.

                      And if you bothered to read my statements you’d see that I consider the employees who pile on OT & such (where is management in this since they have to approve the OT etc?) in order to get a pension that ends up higher than their original salary or politicians who get a pension for each and every job & committee they sit on, etc as abuse & should be stopped. These are too common abuses but I don’t know if they are the reasons the pensions are suffering. Do you? But going after these abusers should not penalize the pensioners who don’t abuse the system, who don’t make multiples of their original salary, who in fact earn a very modest pension.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      January 1, 2011 at 10:42 pm

                      ORIGINAL: Frumious

                      It must be simply nice and EZ to distill everything, every problem into being caused by “union bosses,” etc. As I recall the unions had zero, nada, nil, nothing to do with the economy collapsing, it was all done by the fat cats in finance and corporations. can you name a single teacher and whose pension helped destroy the economy? I can’t.

                      Your logic stinks.  Greedy unions may not have anything to do with destroying the economy but they sure as hell are responsible for destroying state and municipal budgets. 

                      So yeah, union bosses are greedy, corrupt bastards.  They deserve to be hanged just as the dirty banksters.

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      January 2, 2011 at 5:42 am

                      ORIGINAL: BarelyPassed

                      ORIGINAL: Frumious

                      It must be simply nice and EZ to distill everything, every problem into being caused by “union bosses,” etc. As I recall the unions had zero, nada, nil, nothing to do with the economy collapsing, it was all done by the fat cats in finance and corporations. can you name a single teacher and whose pension helped destroy the economy? I can’t.

                      Your logic stinks.  Greedy unions may not have anything to do with destroying the economy but they sure as hell are responsible for destroying state and municipal budgets. 

                      So yeah, union bosses are greedy, corrupt bastards.  They deserve to be hanged just as the dirty banksters.

                      Your math skills suck. Simply show how teachers & state workers earning average salaries around $70K are destroying budgets. What clauses in the contracts are at fault & what should pension & health care benefits should be? How exactly is the greed of “union bosses” demonstrated?

                      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/02/business/02showdown.html

                      Even if that is so, this battle comes woven with complications. Across the nation in the last two years, public workers have experienced furloughs and pay cuts. Local governments shed 212,000 jobs last year.

                      [b]A raft of recent studies found that public salaries, even with benefits included, are equivalent to or lag slightly behind those of private sector workers. The Manhattan Institute, which is not terribly sympathetic to unions, studied New Jersey and concluded that teachers earned wages roughly comparable to people in the private sector with a similar education.[/b]

                      Benefits tend to be the sorest point. [b]From Illinois to New Jersey, politicians have refused to pay into pension funds, creating deeper and deeper shortfalls.[/b]

                      Assemblyman Paul D. Moriarty, a liberal Democrat, served four years as mayor of Washington Township. As the bill for pension and health benefits for town employees soared, he struggled to explain this to constituents.

                      All of which sounds logical, except that, as Mr. Moriarty also acknowledges, such thinking also leads to a race to the bottom. That is, as businesses cut private sector benefits, pressure grows on government to cut pay and benefits for its employees.

                      The subtext of Christies message to a lot of people is that youre paying for benefits youll never have, he says. Our challenge is how to defend middle-class health and retirement security, not just for our members but for all working families, when over the past 30 years retirement and health care in the private sector have been essentially demolished.

                      [b]Those labor leaders, however, proved less successful in persuading their legislative allies to pay for such benefits. [u]For much of the last two decades, New Jersey has shortchanged its pension contribution.

                      Governor Christie talked about tough choices this past year then skipped the states required $3.1 billion payment. Now New Jersey has a $53.9 billion unfunded pension liability.[/u] [/b]

                      A recent Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey poll found a narrow plurality of respondents in the state in favor of ditching the pensions for a 401(k)-type program. Public pensions, however, run the gamut, from modest (the average local government pensioner makes less than $20,000 a year while teachers draw about $46,000) to the gilded variety for police and firefighters, some of whom collect six figures. And then theres the political class, which has made an art form of pension collection.

                      [b]Christie has all the good intentions in the world but has he hit the right people? he says. I understand pulling in belts, but you talking about janitors and cops, or the free-loading freeholder?[/b]

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      January 2, 2011 at 1:23 pm

                      ORIGINAL: Frumious

                      ORIGINAL: BarelyPassed

                      ORIGINAL: Frumious

                      It must be simply nice and EZ to distill everything, every problem into being caused by “union bosses,” etc. As I recall the unions had zero, nada, nil, nothing to do with the economy collapsing, it was all done by the fat cats in finance and corporations. can you name a single teacher and whose pension helped destroy the economy? I can’t.

                      Your logic stinks.  Greedy unions may not have anything to do with destroying the economy but they sure as hell are responsible for destroying state and municipal budgets. 

                      So yeah, union bosses are greedy, corrupt bastards.  They deserve to be hanged just as the dirty banksters.

                      Your math skills suck. Simply show how teachers & state workers earning average salaries around $70K are destroying budgets. What clauses in the contracts are at fault & what should pension & health care benefits should be? How exactly is the greed of “union bosses” demonstrated?

                      Ha.  You must be using the creative accounting established by the Wall Street banksters and government employees.  Using those standards, 1+1 = 5, right?

                      How many people get to retire in their early 50s with 70-90% of their salary for the rest of their lives and completely free medical benefits for themselves and their families?  I suppose those dollars don’t mean anything if you use mythical accounting. 

                      So government employees make similar salaries to the private sector (many studies show that they make more than the private sector — look up what bus drivers, firefighters or police make in San Francisco for example).  Then they get to collect golden pension plans for the rest of their lives, pension plans that most of us can only fantasize.

                      If you need any evidence, just look to the states of CA, IL, NY, NJ.  These CINN pigs are going to implode in the next decade.

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      January 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm

                      Can we all agree that we need nationwide pension reform? The system is a mess…and that is no good for anyone, especially beneficiaries. But we need unions to agree…and that is a hard sell. That is where the political fight is. I understand the unions argument…for so long, they gave up salary for benefits. But now, there is no way out…and reform has to come…or bankruptcy. That is the ugly choice.

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      January 3, 2011 at 3:19 am

                      Pension reform, yes, Mistrad. But pensions necessarily bankrupting States because of greedy “union bosses,” no. As for “making” unions to agree? It’s their job to make sure their members don’t lose without good reason & sometimes their members have to feel some pain before the union can agree. Why don’t you argue that the public & politicians need to see the necessity of tax increases if they want their programs preserved and infrastructure rebuilt. Not too dissimilar.

                      As for Barely, he provides no back up to his arguments except for the “bus drivers in San Francisco” empty statement. Show me the links showing that all SF bus drivers are public employees making 3 figure salaries please. Or making that in NY, NJ or any other State. Put up or shut up.

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      January 3, 2011 at 6:43 am

                      For a second, forget the blame Frumi. I agree, there are a lot of politicians to blame too.

                      As for making the unions agree…look, this will be ultimately in everyone’s best interest. No one benefits when someone declares bankruptcy. This is the analog to the GM saga last year, when Obama fought to keep them going bankrupt. That was largely to save the pensions. This is the same thing.

                      You can increase taxes, and ultimately, I think you probably have to. But in states such as California, personal tax rates are already in double digits. How high can you go before you stagnate the economy to pay for these things? Not too much more. They simply are spending way too much money.

                      You are going to see liberal democrats like Jerry Brown and Andrew Cuomo having to deal with these issues. And they are going to confront it largely the same way as Christie in NJ. This is not a matter of politics, but common sense, and common sense Democrats will ultimatelycome to the same conclusion. I know it sucks, I understand that…but there really aren’t too many good solutions.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      January 7, 2011 at 7:40 am

                      Mistrad—someone has to pay for the excesses…..I agree we need to cut spending….no slash spending with a machete….BUT when the poor bear the brunt of those cuts we on the upside who stand ultimately to gain the most by fixing the problem……must pay our share as well. 

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      January 7, 2011 at 8:10 am

                      OK. Fine.

                      Tax the rich 100%.

                      You still would not have the money to pay for those excesses.

                      It is unfortunate, but everyone will have to bear the brunt of this. The rich will pay more than their share, and that is the way it should be. But arguing anything other than shared sacrifice will fail.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      January 7, 2011 at 8:13 am

                      Mistrad—come on……I am not advocating taxing the rich 100%.  But don’t you think a tax on estates over 3 mill would be as reasonable as 7 mill…..how about an across the board increase in income tax of 1% for everyone and 2.5% above 250K?  How about closing loopholes on corporations???  You know my views….I am reasonable…..we are only going to tax aldadoc and pointman 100%.

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      January 7, 2011 at 8:33 am

                      Never mind.

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      January 7, 2011 at 8:59 am

                      ORIGINAL: oupatientradiologyKAS

                      Mistrad—come on……I am not advocating taxing the rich 100%.  But don’t you think a tax on estates over 3 mill would be as reasonable as 7 mill…..how about an across the board increase in income tax of 1% for everyone and 2.5% above 250K?  How about closing loopholes on corporations???  You know my views….I am reasonable…..we are only going to tax aldadoc and pointman 100%.

                      Yes. Absolutely. I think that if you, say, increase taxes on incomes of 1 mil by 2%, 10 mil by 4%, etc…not many people are going to argue. I agree with that totally.

                      The problem is that is not what anyone was arguing for. Dems in Congress are still demanding that those making over 250k have those higher rates. Doesn’t make much sense in a down economy. I frankly don’t even agree with the 1% on 100k either. During a recession, you don’t decrease people expendable income…both conservative and Keynesian economic agree on that little tidbit. I don’t know of any economic theory that argues you should increase taxes across the board during a recession.

                      I totally agree with the budget commission recommendations, FYI. That would close loopholes, would lower tax rates, ultimately causing the rich to pay more. But at least that would be a fair system.

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      January 7, 2011 at 10:19 am

                      Is Krug correct? Texas having budget problems? Do Republicans know? Was it on Fox?

                      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/07/opinion/07krugman.html

                      Wasnt Texas supposed to be thriving even as the rest of America suffered? Didnt its governor declare, during his re-election campaign, that we have billions in surplus? Yes, it was, and yes, he did. But reality has now intruded, in the form of a deficit expected to run as high as $25 billion over the next two years.

                      And that reality has implications for the nation as a whole. For Texas is where the modern conservative theory of budgeting the belief that you should never raise taxes under any circumstances, that you can always balance the budget by cutting wasteful spending has been implemented most completely. If the theory cant make it there, it cant make it anywhere.

                      How bad is the Texas deficit? Comparing budget crises among states is tricky, for technical reasons. Still, data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities suggest that the Texas budget gap is worse than New Yorks, about as bad as Californias, but not quite up to New Jersey levels.

                      Does Texas have pensions like NJ & California? I thought it was the public employees’ salaries & pensions killing States’ budgets. This would mean that public employees, teachers & pensions causing State budget havoc might be a lie? Or at least mistaken???

                      YOW! Maybe Gov Perry is really Zippy!

                      [image]local://15813/7EFC473932E948E8BF68CADD36050E80.jpg[/image]

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      January 7, 2011 at 10:30 am

                      OK, let us look at Texas, shall we?

                      Unlike many states, Texas does their budgets in 2 year increments…so the shortfall you talk about is for the budget years 2012-2013. Which gives them an ENTIRE YEAR to fix it…versus, say, California or New York, which both have huge budget shortfalls for 2011 that have yet to be fixed.

                      Texas also has a rainy day fund, unlike many states. It would take a 2/3 majority to use those funds, but they could fill more than half their budget shortfall simply from savings alone…something none of the other states talked about can do.

                      In 2003, Texas closed a $10 billion gap with cuts and increased fees…they could easily do the same this time.

                      Worst case, they can actually raise their income tax…from ZERO.

                      And that does not even consider that some taxes, like those on gas production, likely will produce more going forward

                      I guarantee you, Texas will close their deficit within this year. Can you say the same of those other states? I doubt it.

                      As usual, Krugman is an idiot…the dumbest Nobel prize winner ever.

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      January 7, 2011 at 10:50 am

                      I find Krug annoying at best but the issue of Texas is still true. A “rainy day fund”? Really? Think over the past 10 years or so, how the positions by Republicans was that “rainy day funds”, aka surpluses should be “returned” to the taxpayers who “best know” what to do with the money. That was the position by Bush in 2001 & has been the position of several Republican State Governors. It was the “In” thing to do not so very long ago. A rainy day fund? A waste, an extravagance, a temptation since it proves overtaxation & should be returned.

                      As for creating an income tax or raising a tax, that’s beside the point. The argument has been that pensions & public employees are overpaid, over-compensated, too many & generally unaffordable. There were no caveats in that story, no grays, no shades, only black and white. Read the many posts about public employees & pensions in AM & generally the right-media.

                      As for Texas, let’s wait what the solution is.

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      January 7, 2011 at 3:01 pm

                      You want to place a bet who will balance their budget first, California, New York, or Texas? Tell you what, I will give you 2:1…if either CA or NY does it first, you win.

                      Takers?

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      January 7, 2011 at 3:16 pm

                      The question isn’t whether, it’s never been, even NJ has “balanced” its budget, after all it’s required by State Constitution as are most States. It’s always been about how the balance is done. The other question is about bang for the buck, such as what is provided by the money, what kind of schools does the state have, infrastructure, what does the state provide for its citizens, etc. Southern states for example have always been cheaper in taxes but their school systems & infrastructure & general citizen welfare generally shows the results of the lower spending.

                    • eyoab2011_711

                      Member
                      January 7, 2011 at 5:19 pm

                      Or you can take SC plan for budget balancing…increase costs and hurt families
                       
                      [link=http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2011/jan/07/costs-vs-care/]http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2011/jan/07/costs-vs-care/[/link]
                       
                      “We recognize a danger of driving up long-term costs, but we don’t have the luxury of being able to think long-term in that regard,”
                       
                      Even Arizona learned the hard way that this will make the deficit worse
                       
                      Of course the state could simply refuse to pay physicians for their medicaid patients… Perhaps a preview of Republican HCR????

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      January 3, 2011 at 10:18 am

                      ORIGINAL: Frumious

                      As for Barely, he provides no back up to his arguments except for the “bus drivers in San Francisco” empty statement. Show me the links showing that all SF bus drivers are public employees making 3 figure salaries please. Or making that in NY, NJ or any other State. Put up or shut up.

                      No back up?  I’ve been posting these links consistently but you twist the data and ignore the evidence at your convenience.

                      Here.

                      http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-04-26/news/20868777_1_city-workers-city-controller-ben-rosenfield-overtime

                      http://www.insidebayarea.com/data/ci_15153053

                      http://www.sfgate.com/webdb/sfpay/index.shtml

                      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/26/us/26sfsafety.html

                      http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-03-04-federal-pay_N.htm

                      http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/income/2010-08-10-1Afedpay10_ST_N.htm

                      http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/21/private-vs-public-sector-pay/

                      http://articles.cnn.com/2006-10-11/us/cb.government_1_government-salaries-government-workers-government-employees?_s=PM:US

                      http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/08/10/eveningnews/main6761340.shtml

                      http://www.lvrj.com/news/public-employees–pay-keeps-rising-97757899.html

                      http://reason.org/news/show/public-sector-private-sector-salary

                      Now that I’ve posted the links, you can choke on it.  I wouldn’t be surprised at all if your family are full of public employee or union members.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      January 4, 2011 at 10:35 am

                      Well, the contention was your statement about [i]bus drivers[/i], and in fact [i]none[/i] of those links mention [i]bus drivers[/i] at all, let alone bus drivers that make over 100 large.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      January 4, 2011 at 10:44 am

                      OK, here you go Frumious. The average pay for a San Fran “Muni operator” (includes bus, cable car, and light-rail vehicle operators) is about $60k. But of the “2,350” operators in San Fran, 82 of them (1/3 of a percent) grossed over $100k when you take overtime into account:

                      http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/driver-salaries-fueling-deficit

                      It’s not clear how many of these “operators” actually drive a bus.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      January 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm

                      ORIGINAL: Splectus

                      OK, here you go Frumious. The average pay for a San Fran “Muni operator” (includes bus, cable car, and light-rail vehicle operators) is about $60k. But of the “2,350” operators in San Fran, 82 of them (1/3 of a percent) grossed over $100k when you take overtime into account:

                      [link=http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/driver-salaries-fueling-deficit]http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/driver-salaries-fueling-deficit[/link]

                      It’s not clear how many of these “operators” actually drive a bus.

                       
                      That’s the pay for a muni driver (bus, cable and light rail within the muni system) in SF.
                       
                      $60K is the average base pay.  They’re guaranteed to have the 2nd highest salary in the country by contract.  This is written into their charter and is not subject to collective bargaining.
                       
                      The drivers are almost guaranteed to get overtime.  And 82 of 2350 is not 1/3 of a percent but ~3.5%.  25% makes over $80K.  Then they get big pension plans and great medical benefits for themselves and their families for life.
                       
                       
                      “In calendar year 2009, 622 Muni operators raked in more than $80,000 in total pay, including 82 who brought home more than $100,000.
                       
                      One operator earned as much as $78,722 in overtime and brought home a total of $146,498 in pay last year. Seventeen operators earned more than $51,000 in overtime, contributing to more than $100,000 in take-home pay for the year, according to data obtained from the city controller.
                       
                      [b]Operators are allowed to accrue overtime despite not clocking a 40-hour workweek.[/b] Last week, the union rejected a concession that would have changed that rule.”

                       
                      [link=http://www.sfweekly.com/2010-04-14/news/the-muni-death-spiral/]http://www.sfweekly.com/2010-04-14/news/the-muni-death-spiral/[/link]#
                       
                      “Work rules place strict limits on the number of part-time drivers which means more full-time operators end up working overtime. That’d be at a cost of roughly $45 an hour.”
                       
                      “With no warning, operators can simply not show up for their shifts. And, yes, they still get paid.”
                       
                      “According to a recent in-house report, operators’ rate of “unexplained absenteeism” has reached an all-time high of 15 percent. ”
                       
                      “According to the city controller, over the last six months of 2009, 45 cents of every overtime dollar the city spent went to a Muni worker.”

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      January 4, 2011 at 7:42 pm

                      Frankly Barely, Maybe I’ve missed them all but I have NOT seen a lot of link posting by you till here.

                      But there’s a bit more to this story than you are saying.

                      http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2010/05/muni_drivers_union_agrees_to_g.php

                      The Transit Workers Union Local 250 — [b]truly the pinata of both progressives, moderates, and everyone else[/b] — has reached a tentative agreement for givebacks, reports the office of Mayor Gavin Newsom.

                      Sounds like they are not exactly loved by anyone.

                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/45570

                      Published Thursday, June 24, 2010, by the San Francisco Chronicle

                      Mayor backs plan to curb Muni pay

                      Transport Workers Union Local 250-A is the only city union that has not agreed
                      to cost-cutting labor concessions. The givebacks, Newsom said, could provide
                      Muni with enough money to start rolling back deep service cuts.

                      The only union not agreeing to paybacks. So how many have agreed to paybacks but you see the single holdout as representative of them all.

                      http://transportworkers.org/node/1681

                      San Francisco voters overwhelmingly approved a Charter amendment in November to abolish the automatic compensation calculation and force Muni operators to bargain for pay and benefits during contract negotiations. The idea behind the ballot initiative was to give management more leverage at the bargaining table to cut labor costs by getting rid of inefficient work rules.

                      The ballot abolished the city amendment?

                      I agree that putting guarantees in the city charter is idiotic – to be nice – but this is 1 city’s idiocy, not the country’s. What’s the history behind this stupid agreement? Isn’t Management responsible for anything?

                      As for the other articles, what is a public worker entitled to earn anyway? Most pension troubles happen because states have refused to pay into pensions for years accumulating billions in owed debt to pension funds. Most public employees earn much less than the amounts you’ve been posting as if they are the norm. And talk about unfunded obligations, think about health care benefits. Why not use your same arguments about the reason health care benefits are so expensive? Aren’t they even more expensive than pension funds?

                      What is a cop or fireman or teacher worth or other public employee worth? Less than $80k average? Add benefits and the costs go up, yes. So what is your cost when you include your benefits? Or the average AM poster?

                      You can’t honestly take the worst case scenario and apply it as if it’s the across the board lowest common denominator. Let’s get rid of abuses & jail abusers if necessary but where’s the reality in your presentation?

                      And your bet, “[i]Now that I’ve posted the links, you can choke on it. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if your family are full of public employee or union members[/i],” I’m not choking and if you bet money you’d have lost your shirt.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      January 4, 2011 at 11:09 pm

                      Why do you think the politicians haven’t put much money into the public employee pension funds? 

                      Maybe the pension benefits are too outrageous and there’s no money?  Ever thought about that?

                      I have friends and relatives in the SF Bay area who are accountants, financial analysts and engineers.  And they make less than or barely the same as cops and firefighters.  But they sure as hell don’t get to retire at 55 with 70-90% of their pay and great benefits.

                      I’m not using the worst case scenario either.  This is a fairly typical scenario for most states.

                      You can continue to fester in denial.  But I look forward to the day when municipalities and states start filing bankruptcy and declaring these pension plans worthless.

                    • kayla.meyer_144

                      Member
                      January 5, 2011 at 3:32 am

                      There are a number of issues and questions here one of which is how to reform the system & disallow abuses. But public employees have not been at the top of the food chain then or now.

                      Accountants, analysts & engineers and doctors and lawyers have traditionally prided themselves on their independence & portable skills viewing the need for collective bargaining as unnecessary or only for the trades, not the professional crowd. But it is the “trade groups” who have collective bargaining who have kept many of their historical gains while the others have lost ground in many cases, especially at the lower income groups. Independence has its price. The solution is not a drive down to beggar thy neighbor.

                      States’ finances have come into crisis largely because of the recession, precisely the same reason the federal government has lost revenue & engaged in massive deficit spending. But then again saving for a rainy day has been anathema to one of the parties, witness the dispersal of budget surpluses in the federal government & some states. So when the rainy day came they were all unprepared. Some states bragging of fiscal health are doing fancy budget maneuvers secretly using the federal injection of stimulus & support monies while taking full claim of fiscal responsibility & claiming to oppose the federal stimulus. Many of these same states have very poor support of their school systems and do not exactly rank high nationally in education skills. But we can further reduce the schools & teachers.

                      And remember that much of the public drain is for health care coverage, not just retirement incomes. Cherry-pick abusers, go after the police & firemen, fire them, lay them off, remove or drastically reduce their pensions & eligibility. Go after any and all public and government employees regardless of position.

                      Reform is necessary in many things from contracts to social support. Middle class jobs would be the tide that raises all boats instead of sinking the dinghies as the solution.

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      January 5, 2011 at 6:45 am

                      Well, look, I think some of these pensions are crazy.

                      But to blame the unions for states not paying into the pensions? That is crazy.

                      This is years of politicians lying to the American people coming back to haunt us. Dems and Repubs alike have allowed this travesty to continue. And it goes on in the Federal govt as well, with Medicare and Social Security, which are also going broke…it is just that the Feds have more power to tax than the states.

                      And of course this arose because of the recession…but was NOT caused by it. It was hidden when the economy was growing, because increasing tax receipts covered up the lies. This recession uncovered the long standing problem.

                      Here is another lie: that pensions were ever commonplace through out the economy. I saw this on CNBC yesterday, and have been looking for a link ever since, but apparently at the zenith of pensions, in the early 70’s, only about 25% of people were ever eligible for a pension program, and of that group, the vast majority were not vested because it often took 10-20 years to be allowed to get benefits. So pensions were never a huge or successful way to achieve retirement security in this country, unlike Social Security.

                    • eyoab2011_711

                      Member
                      January 6, 2011 at 9:12 am

                      Well considering that 46 of 50 states now have budget shortfalls including those that are right to work and those without public service unions, it would seem that the blaming of unions for poor state decisions and planning is silly.
                       
                      [link=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/05/AR2011010505798_2.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2011010505911]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/05/AR2011010505798_2.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2011010505911[/link]
                       
                      While it is fun to bash California, it is also interesting that many states have a higher % budget shortfall including those “fiscally disciplined” red states
                       
                      [link=http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=711]http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=711[/link]
                       
                      Just think how bad it would be without federal stimulus funding….oh that’s right, it didn’t help…..

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      January 6, 2011 at 10:29 am

                      Without stimulus spending, states would have already begun to try to balance their budgets…all we did was delay the inevitable. And there may have been a reason to do that…but don’t deny what it is.

                    • eyoab2011_711

                      Member
                      January 6, 2011 at 11:08 am

                      No because they all exceed the shortfalls covered by stimulus money and if they really wanted to balance their budgets without it they could have simply refused the money.  These shortfalls would have existed at the same levels with federal help the states would simply be in worse shape now.  If your argument is we are delaying the inevitable fine ,but tell that to someone who kept their job for two years because of the spending.  If states had simply cut spending by the amount of federal stimulus dollars, what would unemployment have been?  Better???? I don’t think so.  The whole idea was to temporize until private job creation ramped up to fill the coffers of the states.  If you are saying this represents the inability of private markets to actually stimulate economic growth in a recession I am fine with that, but if private industry can’t and won’t and govt can’t deficit spend then we have a lovely gordian knot leading to collapse.
                       
                      Do you really think draconian austerity imposed by the states is going to boost the economy?  Forgive me if I don’t share your optimism.

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      January 6, 2011 at 11:34 am

                      If I offered you money, would you refuse it? Give me a break.

                      Let us hear from another person who clearly hates unions and the little people on state austerity measures:

                      The state … spends too much money. Its that blunt and its that simple. [The State] has no future as the tax capital of the nation

                      “The property taxes are killing our citizens … Put simply, the people of [our state] cannot afford to pay any more taxes, period,”

                      Regarding schools: “Competition works.”

                      Who is this? New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

                      This is the reality. Dems and Repubs understand this. Liberals…appparently not.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      January 8, 2011 at 1:47 am

                      ORIGINAL: BarelyPassed
                      …And 82 of 2350 is not 1/3 of a percent but ~3.5%…

                      Thanks. Sorry about that.

                    • Unknown Member

                      Deleted User
                      January 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm

                      You forget that in a few circumstances this has ocurred in the past….witness Washington DC–bailed out and then under federal guidance got its budget under control……what we need if a bailout ocurred is a similar construct administering the bail out and federally mandating a blanced budget!

                    • raallen

                      Member
                      December 28, 2010 at 7:19 pm

                      ORIGINAL: MISTRAD
                      Instead, you have used faulty data, as usual, to back up a losing argument. YOURS IS THE DISHONEST ARGUMENT. Show me as Dept of Education study that shows public schools are doing better, and then we can talk. Instead, you use fake studies that use small samples, and show the results you wish. And as usual, you prove my point: Liberals are NOT INTERESTED in improving results first. That is not their priority. And it is not yours either.

                      I think you smoked Frumi out time and time again in this thread. Every time you win a decisive point, her m.o., if you havent noticed, is to change the debate, like somehow bringing in creationism-the big liberal bogymen non-sequitor to employ against conservatives when debating education. Its laughable. There are three points here that are crystal clear and need to be reinforced at all times so the left cannot wiggle out of the choke hold of their losing and multi-faceted impoverishing arguments on education.

                      1). The more money spent on education is not coupled with better education results.

                      (In particular money directed to preserving the legacy costs of teachers in retirement as the last two Obama’s stimuli were intended to do.)

                      2). The inner city schools spend on average two to three times per pupil what their suburban rich counterpart spend, with results that would be considered an utter failure-even in a third world country.

                      3). Teachers and their union representatives will at all cost enjoin and collectively refuse be judged on by performance outcomes and test results to establish such.

                      These three points need to be repeated and reinforced whenever liberals ask for increased spending on education. Change to the system needs to happen first, before something new can be built. Instead what education has evolved to in several of our failing school districts is a very expensive and bankrupting self-sustaining civil service job creator for inner city baby sitters labeled as teachers and principals.

                      ORIGINAL: Frumious

                      Which States have the highest SATs or turn out the best educated? States which have traditionally spent less on education, is their education higher or lower than higher spending States? What factors are involved in testing that skews results and conclusions?

                      WHOAAA. WAIT A MINUTE HERE. When did the left, teachers, and their supporters started using standardized test a measure of success? Is this a first? Okay lets go with it to start ranking good/bad schools based on standardized tests scores. Since you are making judgments on geographic divisions, I can assume we can make this further divisible into different school districts, and their success or lack of it. It would get at the root of some of bigger problem-isolating the problem schools-quick and more efficiently. But we both know that the teachers unions dont want to isolate the problems. That is why they fought so hard to prevent the state of NJ from taking control of Newark, NJ. Even now they are demanding that Mark Zuckerberg, who recently pledged 100 million to Newark, give it to local control and not just state. (I must add that Gov. Christie, the republican, appointed Mayor Corey Booker, the democrat, to oversee the spending of the Zuckerberg gift which is substantial).

                      Also, if you are going to take the results of good neighborhoods schools, how about working class Asian children in Boston and San Francisco who far exceed the results of DC, Newark or NYC boroughs? Are they better parents? Maybe that is what we are both saying. And if it is, parenting and their human investment in education cant be bought and wont be cured through higher taxes or more money, although some communities have been known to attempt to bribe parents to keep kids in school. Thoroughly tragic.
                       
                      Most liberals in government will never accept choice because it would mean the end of the teachers monopoly on controlling the protection of their jobs and the union doesnt want that to happen. The idea of any number of teachers being fired because they arent up to the job is fundamentally against their union gets supported to do. And that is not to be the best educators, but to protect and expand civil service job slots.

  • Unknown Member

    Deleted User
    December 20, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    As I’ve said many times, it’s far from over. The damage has only just begun.
    It appears that municipal bonds are about to turn into toilet paper all across the USA. And I assume Europe isn’t far behind.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/dec/20/debt-crisis-threatens-us-cities

    I get a kick out of Christie’s perspective in Jersey:

    [i]”We spent too much on everything. We spent money we didn’t have. We borrowed money just crazily. The credit card’s maxed out, and it’s over. We now have to get to the business of climbing out of the hole. We’ve been digging it for a decade or more. We’ve got to climb now, and a climb is harder.”[/i]

    • raallen

      Member
      December 20, 2010 at 5:56 pm

      The ‘day of reckoning’ is approaching, where individuals states are going to have to ask the holders of the federal purse-strings, the US House of Representatives, for something close to a bailout.  It should not be considered on an “emergent” basis and be a frequent request. Instead there has to be a full recognition of the trouble and failure of these states and a concrete plan of action. The plan for each state seeking a bailout or avoidance of bankruptcy should have a quasi-receivership set up to be managed by an independent judicial master with instructions to discharge the debt projections by opening up all state contracts. All contracts with the state will then need to be vacated to be re-evaluated and adjusted for the economic realities of any particular state asking for a bailout. Otherwise, the states will have to declare bankruptcy the traditional way and start defaulting on their creditors-then find out what happens. It wont be pretty.

      This is what the new republican congress should demand and ought to get if there is going to be a serious or lasting solution. Obama set the right agenda by freezing all federal government employee salaries for 2 years. This should be instituted in all states immediately. Also, there needs to be a reality check about the ultra-expensive and unreasonable state union employee pensions. Outside of state employees, there are no industries where employees have such pension guarantees for life. A simple approach would be to devise a formula taking an average or even slightly above avg.of the 401 K value of similar paid private workers and that is what benefit state employees would get. That’s it and its legally binding. If teachers, police etc strike and get fired/replaced, they potentially could loose their entire benefit. There are many returning vets who could get these type of civilian jobs if something emergent occurred (as a cops and teachers) with their training. A weaker plan could be to directly replace future employee payouts with a benefit derived by a strictly adhered to sustainable growth formula that is tied with the financial well being for a state. No matter what, as a good majority of sensible politicians agree across the political spectrum, cuts in states obligations must happen and happen as soon as possible.

      We all hope that the states can grow their way out of their financial wrecks. However, by looking at states such as Illinois and Calironia which do nothing to cut expenses, that likely will not happen. I have a feeling that CA and IL in particular under the control of powerful vested interests will avoid declaring bankruptcy even though they would be in grave danger. At the very last minute they are going to ask this or next Congress for continuing small and sustaining bailouts by using traps such as “teacher crisis”, when they wont address the fundamental problems. This is where politicians on the House budget committee like Jeff Flake (R-Az) has to remain firm. There has to be, as Gov. Christie rightly states, ‘a day of reckoning” where a near bankruptcy/receivership is organized to take care of the decisions politicians in these states cant handle.

      • kayla.meyer_144

        Member
        December 20, 2010 at 8:00 pm

        Teachers still make a lot less than many health care worker jobs, especially physicians & administrators.

        Mistrad, how large should classrooms be for a teacher making an average of $56k? should we double the size to 40-60 kids per class to save 1/2? What is the ROI for teachers anyway?

        OK RVU, renegotiate future benefits into 401K’s, that’s fine. But the States have for years borrowed from the pension funds & still owe that. They are hundreds of billions of $ in debt from borrowing in order to keep taxes low. Unless you think teachers should get screwed & their retirement should be stolen to keep your taxes lower? Redistribute from the poor?

        Mistrad, school taxes, why must they come from local property taxes? So poorer communities can’t afford better schools but affluent schools can provide better education? And all on the cheap for teachers making $60k or less on average? So what that health care is paid differently. That means it’s hidden from view but it’s still a drag on the economy while it is also ~17% of the economy. Is education anywhere close? Something tells me no.

        The argument that health care costs are federal is incorrect as well as irrelevant. Insurance costs are a drag on businesses otherwise businesses would not be dropping health care insurance for their employees.

        • raallen

          Member
          December 20, 2010 at 8:12 pm

          ORIGINAL: Frumious

          school taxes, why must they come from local property taxes? So poorer communities can’t afford better schools but affluent schools can provide better education? And all on the cheap for teachers making $60k or less on average? So what that health care is paid differently.

          Your conclusion and logic totally run out by the knowledge that inner city schools routinely spend upwards of 2 to 3 times per student more than their suburban counterparts. This is true, even in the [i]same county[/i] (such as Essex county NJ-with extremes of rich and poor). The harrowing mistake you and other liberals assume is that more, more more money and taxes will translate into better results. The failures of inner city schools, with much more spending per pupil, belie any argument you can make in this direction. Again, go Goggle Geoffrey Canada and report back. Better result can be done with LESS MONEY and MORE ACCOUNTABILITY. Teachers in many districts have become well-paid babysitters and that is it. There is no accountability for the individual teacher and his/her success or failures and their unions have made that so-there is no denying this. Cancerous failures in any organization aren’t protected in just about any other disciplines as teachers are. This is why teachers and their reflexive liberal defenders are loosing the battle to convince the lay-folk of their concerns.

          • raallen

            Member
            December 20, 2010 at 8:14 pm

            double post

          • Unknown Member

            Deleted User
            December 20, 2010 at 8:54 pm

            ORIGINAL: RVU

            ORIGINAL: Frumious

            school taxes, why must they come from local property taxes? So poorer communities can’t afford better schools but affluent schools can provide better education? And all on the cheap for teachers making $60k or less on average? So what that health care is paid differently.

            Your conclusion and logic totally run out by the knowledge that inner city schools routinely spend upwards of 2 to 3 times per student more than their suburban counterparts. This is true, even in the [i]same county[/i] (such as Essex county NJ-with extremes of rich and poor). The harrowing mistake you and other liberals assume is that more, more more money and taxes will translate into better results. The failures of inner city schools, with much more spending per pupil, belie any argument you can make in this direction. Again, go Goggle Geoffrey Canada and report back. Better result can be done with LESS MONEY and MORE ACCOUNTABILITY. Teachers in many districts have become well-paid babysitters and that is it. There is no accountability for the individual teacher and his/her success or failures and their unions have made that so-there is no denying this. Cancerous failures in any organization aren’t protected in just about any other disciplines as teachers are. This is why teachers and their reflexive liberal defenders are loosing the battle to convince the lay-folk of their concerns.

            I must be out of the loop here. If you are presenting the “conservative” contention, then why did we not see stellar improvements in the public school system after two Bush terms?

        • Unknown Member

          Deleted User
          December 20, 2010 at 10:00 pm

          ORIGINAL: Frumious

          OK RVU, renegotiate future benefits into 401K’s, that’s fine. But the States have for years borrowed from the pension funds & still owe that. They are hundreds of billions of $ in debt from borrowing in order to keep taxes low.

          That’s false.  The politicians have borrow billions to spend on special interest and buy votes.

          California has one of the highest income and sales tax rates in the country.  Yet, it’ll be one of the first to go belly up.

          • kayla.meyer_144

            Member
            December 21, 2010 at 3:28 am

            What part is false? Pension funds have been a bank for “balancing” budgets for years. The politicians put an IOU into the pensions & now owe billions upon billions into the funds they borrowed from. Much of the noise about teachers, etc is the fact that the States’ politicians need a reason not to repay the funds for the borrowed money & teachers are a relatively powerless scapegoat along with the Teacher’s Unions. Contracts & pension donations very well needs adjustments with work rules & tenure & perhaps 401K conversion but the problem goes back to the “borrowing” that needs to be refunded. If the States can stiff the teachers & pensions, they can continue the myth of a free lunch, screw the teachers & Union & pretend they are “fiscally responsible.”

            • jquinones8812_854

              Member
              December 21, 2010 at 5:38 am

              There is no free lunch. But that includes pensions as well. In the private sector, when your employer goes belly up…so does your pension, as it goes into control of the federal pension fund.

              Maybe that is what has to happen here. I don’t really understand why public employees are given special treatment that the rest of us don’t have.

              If states are bankrupt, then let everything be handled the same way a corporations bankruptcy is handled.

            • Unknown Member

              Deleted User
              December 21, 2010 at 9:58 am

              ORIGINAL: Frumious

              What part is false?

              The part where you said state govts are borrowing from pensions to keep taxes low.  Their objective isn’t to keep taxes low.  They borrowed from pensions to fund massive spending and buy votes.

              CA taxes are high.  State income tax for most people is over 9%.  Sales tax over 9% in most places.

              The problem with many of these states is that they have a defined-BENEFIT pension plan, rather than a defined-CONTRIBUTION retirement plan like the private sector.  Many cops would load up their pre-retirement salary with overtime and accrued vacation time.  Then they collect $100-150K per YEAR pension when they retire in the early 50s.  Add on free medical coverage for entire family.

              Similar issues with the firefighters.  Teachers don’t get paid as much but the pension and benefits also tend to be higher than the private sector.

              City and county employees all have similar pensions.

              Yep, the states and local municipalities are going bankrupt.  Can’t argue with the numbers.

              • jquinones8812_854

                Member
                December 21, 2010 at 12:07 pm

                Again, liberals can deny this all they want, but most of the states with the biggest problems are NOT low tax states, but high tax ones. There are exceptions, to be sure, but generally that is the case.

                Look at the states in the worst positions, and their top marginal tax rates: :http://www.nowpublic.com/tech-biz/which-states-are-facing-worst-budget-deficits-2010

                California 10.55%

                Oklahoma 5.5%

                Arizona 4..5%

                Illinois 3%

                Hawaii 11%

                New Jersey 8.97%

                New York 7.85%

                Nevada None

                Colorado 4.63%

                Michigan 4.35%

                Other than Nevada, these are not really low tax rate states. Nevada and Arizone are slightly unique, because the housing collapse hit them especially hard. Oklahoma will recover, because their tax receipts dropped because of dropping oil prices. And the lower tax rates above are mostly balanced by very high property taxes. So Frumi’s argument that they used the money to lower tax rates is simply false. Simply put…they spend too much money.

                • Unknown Member

                  Deleted User
                  December 21, 2010 at 3:14 pm

                  What about TX which has no income tax. It to is 18billion in debt. Nobody in the past 20 years could accuse TX of being liberal.

                  • raallen

                    Member
                    December 21, 2010 at 6:39 pm

                    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/20/americas-fastestgrowing-s_n_786367.html
                     
                    Interestin­g article from the liberal newsource of record-The Huffington Post. It brings up the flip side to Mistrad’s points about the states in the most trouble, by looking at the states with the best economic growth.  It brings up an exceptiona­lly valid point about taxes and growth we are facing at all levels of government right now.

                    What do 4 of the 6 top growing states have in common? They are 4 of the approximately 8 states with [u]no state income tax[/u].  This doesnt even count Texas , also without a state income tax, which added 110K+ private industry jobs last year while California (of the highest marginal tax rates) lost the more jobs than that. The top growing GDP states have the lowest unionized work force.
                     
                    Heres another article from the Huffington Post and the Liberal think-tank The Brookings Institute about the worst cities for unemployment.
                     
                    [link=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/04/the-us-cities-hit-hardest_n_792020.html#s196083]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/04/the-us-cities-hit-hardest_n_792020.html#s196083[/link]
                     
                    [link=http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2009/0628_economy_berube.aspx]http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2009/0628_economy_berube.aspx[/link]
                     
                    The top 15 cities in this list, except for Las Vegas. Jacksonvil­le and Pittsburgh­, have something in common. They are in states or have combinatio­n state/muni­cipal taxes which far exceed the average. Higher local taxes to feed public service union employees is a certain way to atrophy job creation. Businesses just choose to leave or start elsewhere in friendlier climates.
                     
                    Key quotes from the Brookings pieces which is sub- titled California Metros hit hard by recession”:
                     
                    [i]Are we experiencing the worst economic downturn since the Depression? In most California cities, it looks that way. In most Texas cities, probably not.[/i]
                    [i] [/i]
                    [i]The Los Angeles and Oxnard metro areas rank among the bottom 20 in a broad index of recent economic performance.

                    By comparison, the economy in San Antonio is humming. Jobs are down less than half a percent from their peak, and home prices have risen over the last year. Austin, Dallas, Houston and even the border cities of McAllen and El Paso have seen only small effects from the downturn.[/i]
                     
                     
                    Liberals have to think about the modern economy really hard and shed their own ancient perceptions of endless working for higher taxes and bigger handier government.. The most purposeful steps to reinvigorate metro/states economies to put the country back on the road to sustainable long-run growth would be one shown to work at a time of economic peril like what we are going through. And like the examples above states with  low taxes, pro-business atmosphere, and a willingness to avoid or excise bloated state government and unreasonable municipal employee legacy benefits.  

                    • jquinones8812_854

                      Member
                      December 21, 2010 at 7:05 pm

                      The census also has something to add. I know, some of it is just because of nice weather. But the shift is definitely away from traditional established manufacturing and high cost states to lower cost states. As for weather…California did not add any congressional seats for the first time in a century.

  • btomba_77

    Member
    June 28, 2022 at 4:03 am

    [link=https://www.wsj.com/articles/main-street-pensions-take-wall-street-gamble-by-investing-borrowed-money-11630774800?mod=article_inline]Wall Street Journal[/link]:

    [h1]Main Street Pensions Take Wall Street Gamble by Investing Borrowed Money[/h1] [h2]Municipalities have assumed about $10 billion in debt this year to shore up retirement obligations[/h2]
    U.S. public pension funds dont have nearly enough money to pay for all their obligations to future retirees. A growing number are adopting a risky solution: investing borrowed money. As both stock and bond markets struggle, its a precarious gamble.
     

    • kaldridgewv2211

      Member
      June 28, 2022 at 11:06 am

      local government, and government pensions are absurd.  Retire early and double dip.

      • ruszja

        Member
        June 28, 2022 at 11:12 am

        Quote from DICOM_Dan

        local government, and government pensions are absurd.  Retire early and double dip.

        Yep, get vested, start collecting, start second government career for a second pension. Good work if you can get it.