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The Beholden State - How public-sector unions broke California

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by PatriotsReign, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey

    Super-duper great article! If the first paragraph doesn't upset you, nothing will.

    "The camera focuses on an official of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), California’s largest public-employee union, sitting in a legislative chamber and speaking into a microphone. “We helped to get you into office, and we got a good memory,” she says matter-of-factly to the elected officials outside the shot. “Come November, if you don’t back our program, we’ll get you out of office.’

    The video has become a sensation among California taxpayer groups for its vivid depiction of the audacious power that public-sector unions wield in their state. The unions’ political triumphs have molded a California in which government workers thrive at the expense of a struggling private sector. The state’s public school teachers are the highest-paid in the nation. Its prison guards can easily earn six-figure salaries. State workers routinely retire at 55 with pensions higher than their base pay for most of their working life. Meanwhile, what was once the most prosperous state now suffers from an unemployment rate far steeper than the nation’s and a flood of firms and jobs escaping high taxes and stifling regulations. This toxic combination—high public-sector employee costs and sagging economic fortunes—has produced recurring budget crises in Sacramento and in virtually every municipality in the state."


    The Beholden State by Steven Malanga, City Journal Spring 2010
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
  2. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Often overlooked is that negotiations involve two parties.. and both have to sign off on benefit..

    Prison guards are an excellent example of an good idea gone bad, or unintended consequences... see the three strikes law.. which results in prison overcrowding and limits on who they can parole..
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
  3. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey

    I think you and I can find common ground on specific issues and causals, but you have to admit, what California has given to unions has come back to haunt them politically and financially.
     
  4. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    But don't fall into the trap that it is a one sided issue, it takes two to negotiate...

    It takes laws like the three strikes rule to fill up prisons, a challenge will be for older non parole eligible prisoners.. they require a lot of supervision/protection and other medical services..

    Do not disagree that there does not seem to be much foresight, but that is part of the process... some call it planning..
     
  5. chicowalker

    chicowalker Pro Bowl Player

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    Reason had a great piece on this earlier in the year.

    Darryl's right that this has 2 sides -- and that includes both the Republicans and the Dems, though many people like to point to California as an example of libruls gone wrong and just blame the Dems.

    Many of these deals with the devil and unanimous, or near-unanimous, bi-partisan support. There are traditional labor unions involved, but there are also unions that traditionally get strong backing from the right, including various police groups -- who, not surprisingly, have seen fit to plunder the public coffers for their own gain. (For example, getting "promotions" on their last day of service because their pensions would be based on their last rank, regardless of how long it was held.)

    Some of the loopholes have been truly astounding -- not just the promotion racket that police routinely engaged in, but also examples of people being given a 2nd job for a similarly brief period, and actually being able to collect a 90% pension based on the combined annualized income, or receiving a 90% pension and then, 3 months later, going to work at a similar job in a different department, thereby technically remaining eligible for their pension while they continued working in essentially the same job despite their recent "retirement."

    Good stuff. I'll be glad to stop funding it when I leave the state in the next year or 2.
     
  6. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey

    This is in reply to both you and Chicowalker...

    I agree that this isn't a dem vs. rep issue. I've long stated that issues aren't "dem or rep", but just plain old "right vs. wrong". Just as the resolution to this issue won't be dem or rep.

    What I have a HUGE fuggn' issue with is that TAXPAYERS are left hanging out to dry. I don't support bailing out any union without exception with tax dollars. If your pension has run dry....cry me a river, I do not care.

    That's my personal opinion on it.
     
  7. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams pfadmins PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    This one tells it...
     

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  8. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Are Federal Employeess exempt from sucking the big teat of early retirement and other handouts????
     
  9. TripleOption

    TripleOption Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Of course it's public employees that are evil and killing the budgets of the states.

    It has nothing to do with the BILLIONS spent by individual states on welfare, SSDI fraud and scam home healthcare aide jobs.

    If the government squared away the obscene waste in the "public assistance" budgets, there would be no more budget problems.

    Good luck with that, though.:(

    Easier to blame unions.
     
  10. atomdomb

    atomdomb Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Good points on all but please especially in CA don't leave out the cost of all the illegals.
     
  11. chicowalker

    chicowalker Pro Bowl Player

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    California's pension issues dwarf any "public assistance" spending, including that spent on illegal immigrants. We're talking an order of magnitude here.
     
  12. TripleOption

    TripleOption Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Do you have numbers? California's Health & Human Services budget is 24 Billion dollars.

    You DO realize that public employees contribute to their pensions, just like public sector employees...right?
     
  13. chicowalker

    chicowalker Pro Bowl Player

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    Numbers at my fingertips? No. But the figures cited in Reason, I believe (this was several weeks ago that I read it), were well over $100B.

    And, yes, I am aware that public employees contribute to their pensions. They do not contribute adequately, however, when the time periods calculated on their pensions are vastly underestimated, or when their pension is based on a compensation level they never earned, or when their retirement is a sham.
     
  14. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey

    Yes, but if you actually look at how much someone puts in during their career vs. what they get after they retire it's unfathomable. One can't put in $75k and take receive $1MM+ in benefits. The input doesn't come close to matching the output.
     
  15. TripleOption

    TripleOption Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Your numbers are ridiculous. I know in this state, public employees are contributing large chunks into their retirement and still take a beating in the media.

    I'd love to see your 100 billion annual pension numbers. The welfare outlay is 24 billion annually.

    The media loves to extrapolate numbers such as "100 billion" and then the fine print is the figure is over 20 years.
     
  16. TripleOption

    TripleOption Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    And when does that happen? Billy Bulger? You are bringing up examples of the exceptionally rare circumstances that result in these abuses as if they are commonplace.
     
  17. TripleOption

    TripleOption Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    SPRINGFIELD - A former Southwick man, who once served on the town’s school committee before being convicted in the 1980s of raping two boys, for a second time faces spending the rest of his life behind bars.

    A prosecutor on Tuesday in Hampden Superior Court recommended Jeffrey D. Youens be sentenced to the life term he dodged in 1996 when he received a 15-year probationary term for raping two other children.



    At Tuesday’s hearing, Youens, who is registered with the state as a sex offender at the level deemed most likely to reoffend, admitted to having twice violated the condition he have no contact with children. One of the incidents involved having a conversation with a 7-year-old and a 9-year-old at a church dinner in West Springfield.

    ...In outlining the second violation to the judge, Tetrault said Youens met three boys while riding his bicycle in West Springfield, where he was living. He began giving the children money and cigarettes and inviting them to his home, according to the prosecutor.

    ...In July 1996 Youens, then 50, pleaded guilty to five counts of rape of a child as a second offender. He was sentenced by Judge Mary Lou Rup to a nine- to 10-year state prison term on some counts; the charges involved a child who was a frequent visitor to his home in the 1990s.

    On other charges, Rup imposed the life sentence, but suspended it with an order that Youens serve 15 years’ probation.

    The second offender charge was based on Youens’ 1982 conviction on charges for the rape of two 15-year-old boys. In that case, he was jailed for 2 1/2 years and resigned his school committee seat.
     
  18. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    More money is spent administering the programs that is given to the supposed targets. Most is spent on salaries and benefits for the state employees.
     
  19. chicowalker

    chicowalker Pro Bowl Player

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    According to Reason they aren't at all uncommon in California -- that's part of the problem they cite. I'll link the article later for you if I can manage that from my phone, or you can probably google it easily.

    I find it interesting that you seem so adamant in your defense of the government employees. Just curious, do you have any vested interest?

    and I find it particularly interesting given that you do have a problem with the countless programs that so many public employees are hired to work on
     
  20. chicowalker

    chicowalker Pro Bowl Player

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    Is there a point to this?
     

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