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I'm no fan of the crime- industrial complex either. A starting salary for cop of $80,0000 is nuts.
Its $45k in my jurisdiction. In 1990 it was $28k. Private sector grunt work (if you can even get it) has been stagnant for 20 yrs, while public sector at least had COLA increases. The private sector has so badly failed low-end workers, it makes public sector jobs now look good in comparison.
Given the choice, would you want private sector incomes to keep pace or would you rather cut public in a race to the bottom?
The post that started this isnt typical of your commentary in general is all I was saying.
The part about maybe America should fall was a low blow, as was the hit on 9/11 responders.
You guys really think we have an economic problem based on soldier, cop and teacher compensation? Seriously?
You know, this dark stuff going around, picking targets, pointing fingers, it might not hit you, it might not hit your kids, but by the time it plays out its going to hit your family somewhere down the line.
Do you think about your grand kids when you contemplate or anticipate a fallen America?
"You guys really think we have an economic problem based on soldier, cop and teacher compensation? Seriously?"
I think that government people should be paid less than non-government simply because of the security of their jobs. That used to be the case. They used to get 30% less, and now they get 30% more [with benefits included]. Jean worked for the San Francisco school district for a year, and they have up to 100 days per year of sick leave if necessary. In California, state workers are both civil service and union. The result has been wages and benefits that are just too high. There are bus drivers in San Francisco that make over $100,000 with a little over-time that seems pretty common. I'm sorry, but the government is doing too many things, and paying too much for them.
I also don't believe that professional stock traders should pay low cap gains rates instead of regular income taxes. If you traded real estate professionally, you would pay income taxes on the profits not cap gains. I don't know why casual traders like us can't pay cap gains rates, while the hedge fund managers, etc. pay regular income taxes ... like real estate. The gap between rich and poor has been expanding for 30 years, and it is not good.
Ray !!! Most compensation to a principle of a Hedge Fund is considered a "return of capital" or Carried Interest. They pay no Employment or SE tax and only pay a Capital Gains rate on the income. Why? Because Senator Chuck Schumer thinks they are really nice guys and deserve the tax break. The Hedge Funds also think Senator Schumer is "peachy".
In California they tried to break the cycle between legislators promising to support government union demands in return for votes and the unions amassed an gigantic campaign to kill it. The unions hired marketing professionals to create commercials that made it look like the little guy is getting screwed when we all know it's the other way around. They are screwing us and they have little remorse about doing it. Their power is enormous now. And I'm not sure if they can be defeated with a vote as they seem quite adept at manipulating the public.
The law they tried to pass would have forbid any organization, including companies, from forcing employees to contribute money that would later be used for campaign contributions. For every commercial that was for the law there were 100 that were against it. At least that is how it felt. They didn't stand a chance.
Also in California we now have a large population of Hispanics, over half, most of which don't have the level of sophistication to weed through all the news to get both sides of the story. And since the majority only speaks Spanish the sources of their information is rather one sided as most Spanish speaking publications are quite liberal for other reasons besides this. The exception to this would be Florida where Hispanics are more conservative however I am talking about California where the free handout rules the Hispanic vote. Of course high government salaries mean less money left for handouts but no is going to explain this to them.
This pretty much guarantees that most elections from now on will be dominated by the Democrats and toward any issue they ally on. And most Democratic organizations do not wanted to alienate the unions as this has been one of their traditional allies. Even if the government unions are raiding the government coffers, which they are, they will still stand by their side so they can get the same support in return when they have an issue that is important to them.
The result is that we have crossed the threshold where there is no effective push back and everything that the Democrats want will pass. You can watch California to see where the rest of the nation will be headed in the future if something is not done to reduce the influence of these large power brokers before a situation like ours exist. California is lost. Only a complete Greek like collapse will turn things around now.
California voted to increase state taxes on high income earners and as you can imagine there are now a lot of million dollar plus homes on the market as these people make plans to leave the state for more tax friendly states. But to many of the poor people getting the hand outs, even $100k a year seems like a high income earner so I can only imagine that they will eventually get what they want as they adjust the tax brackets so more people qualify for the higher taxes. Since the last election there is no one left to hold back the dam. They are in control now and have unfettered access to the state coffers. It will be interesting to see where this all leads. I too may be forced to leave however I hope that this is not the case.
Raybans you think that retired public employees should be stripped of their pensions, and you are happy to pay more taxes yourself so that hedgefund managers wont have to.
I think your views and values represent the potential unraveling of society.
If we survey the many ways history records societies that destroyed themselves, I believe the views shared by typical right wing people today most resemble those that unraveled Argentina.
Ray, ever stop and wonder why thousands of words and thoughts are focused on public employees but not hedge fund manager taxes? (yes we know you are against the hedge fund manager tax break, but its invisible, under the radar, not on anyone's agenda, not going to be change)
Why all the talk about public employees and not headge fund managers or docs that scam medicare for billions? Its because no one wants to take anything from hedge fund managers or docs.
On the other hand, there are interests who want to get at the public finds used to pay public employees as well as interests who want to replace public employees with their own private sector for-profit schools, prisons and down the road, rentacops.
They need you to really worry about the "public employee problem"
Yes, we know you want to stop what you think is wasting money on public employees, and you think hedge fund managers should pay their taxes.
But when all is said and done hedge fund managers will still get their tax breaks, public employees will go extinct, and your taxes will not go down, they will simply be diverted to private sector for profit companies who paid millions to get you to focus on public emloyees so they could get that action for themselves.
Maybe you might say hey, its private sector, its more efficient, but what is going to happen when those companies need to increase revenue? Where will the revenue they need come from? Your pockets.
Once these for-profit companies start running jails and schools and police departments, no one will listen to you when you complain about the mess that results because the public employee unions will be extinct and there will be no one interested in fixing the for-profit public services fiasco or hedge fund manager taxes, or scamming docs.
Its not just the firms that are looking to steal teachers, jailers and cops jobs...
For profit colleges are selling hundreds of millions of marginal students on high tuition and student loans that you are on the hook for. They are graduating with alarmingly lower salaries and employment levels and they are defaulting on the student loans at alarmingly higher rates than non-profit colleges. Sure, you dont like that either, but like hedge fund manager taxes, its not being discussed and Scott Walker isnt going to do anything about it.
The only person looking after your interest is yourself, and you can be convinced to think you are doing a good job of looking after your interests when in fact without even being aware ofit, you are carrying water for some corporation you dont own stock in.
Wake up old man.
[You guys really think we have an economic problem based on soldier, cop and teacher compensation? Seriously?]
I am not a guy. Seriously, yes there is an ever growing problem with benefit compensation in some states. That cannot be denied because it is defined by economic numbers. At one time many employees received defined benefit pension plans. That number has shrunk to only represent a moderate group. Most younger employees can only envy the historical reference.
Even if those younger employees could earn that benefit; it still is not sustainable. The average corporate retiree went out at 40 to 44% of ending compensation. The public employees are averaging 80 to 90% of ending compensation. We have a smaller and smaller base of people needing to support a growing compensation base that is dependent on that smaller base.
People can argue forever about promises made by local boards to these public employees. It does not change the economics!
Katy85, I'd tend to agree with your assessment of the topic, butthe fact that the poster state for high public sector employment levels and salaries is projected to see a siginificant budget surplus in the coming fiscal year gives me pause.
One thing you may be overlooking: in recessions, state revenues decline, and there is usually an impact on public employees - furloughs, etc. As budgets are repaired, the pressure on public workers subsides.
Is it possible that during the recession of 08/09 and its aftermath, people have drawn the wrong conclusions - such as thinking there is somekind of runaway problem and then being surprised by a budget surplus?