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Mort Zuckerman Is Back, Blasting American Socialism; Or How America’s Public Servants Are Now Its Masters

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The man who has rapidly emerged as the most vocal Obama critic, Mort Zuckerman, has just penned his most recent scathing anti-administration missive, this time focusing on the schism in US society between "preferred-status" public and shunned private-sector employees, concluding that "Americans cannot maintain their essential faith in government if there are two Americas, in which the private sector subsidises the disproportionate benefits of this new public sector elite." Is this most recent split in US society being cultivated to take the place of the Wall Street - Main Street dialectic, which even Obama is now forced to realize is a fight he is set to lose (just imagine how anti-Obama Cramer would get if stocks drop by 0.001% during the teleprompter's next media appearance)? Certainly, in a society that exists simply on the basis of a simple ongoing "us versus them" distraction, while the true crimes continue unabated behind the scenes, this is not an impossible assumption. Here's a suggestion to Mort and whoever else wishes to peddle more such diversions: how about framing the next conflict where it rightfully belongs: as that between America's people and its criminal ruling elite?

Full Op-Ed below:

America’s public servants are now its masters, first published in the Financial Times

by Mort Zuckerman

There really are two Americas, but they are not captured by the
standard class warfare speeches that dramatise the gulf between the rich
and the poor. Of the new divisions, one is the gap between employed and
unemployed that President Barack Obama seeks to close with yet another $50bn stimulus programme.
Another is between workers in the private and public sectors. No
guesses which are the more protected. A recent study by the Mayo
Research Institute found that “private-sector workers were nearly three
times more likely to be jobless than public-sector workers”.

Political
tension is bound to grow when jobs disappear faster in the private than
the public sector, just as compensation in the former is squeezed more.
There was a time when government work offered lower salaries than
comparable jobs in the private sector, a difference for which the public
sector compensated by providing more security and better benefits. No
longer. These days, government employees are better off in almost every
area: pay, benefits, time off and security, on top of working fewer
hours. Public workers have become a privileged class – an elite who live
better than their private-sector counterparts. Public servants have
become the public’s masters.

Take federal employees. For nine
years in a row, they have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit
increases than private-sector workers. In 2008, the average wage for
1.9m federal civilian workers was more than $79,000, against an average
of about $50,000 for the nation’s 108m private-sector workers, measured
in full-time equivalents. Ninety per cent of government employees
receive lifetime pension benefits versus 18 per cent of private
employees. Public service employees continue to gain annual salary
increases; they retire earlier with instant, guaranteed benefits paid
for with the taxes of those very same private-sector workers.

More
troubling still is the inherent political corruption. Elected officials
tend to be accommodating when confronted by powerful constituencies
such as the public service unions that agitate for plush benefits and
often provide (or deny) a steady flow of cash to election campaign
funds. Their successors will have to cope with the inherited debt burden
– and ultimately the nation’s taxpayers are stuck with the bill.

As
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has pointed out, spending on retirement
benefits for California’s state employees is growing at three times the
rate of state revenues, now exceeding $6bn annually and growing at the
rate of 15 per cent a year. In other states, however, the politics of public pensions
appear to be changing. In Michigan, Governor Jennifer Granholm, a
Democrat, recently enacted a teacher pension reform that should save
about $3bn over 10 years by increasing the amount workers must
contribute. Illinois raised its retirement age for newly hired public
workers from as low as 55 to 67. Chris Christie, the Republican governor
of New Jersey, decided that even if it took bruising clashes with
public worker unions, public service compensation reform was essential
for the fiscal health of the state. His stance surprised many, but it
made him a national figure.

There is no quick fix to deal with the
billions in unfunded liabilities. Public service employees are almost
impossible to fire, except after a long process and only for the most
grievous offences. What is more, the courts have ruled in many states
that pension increases granted by elected bodies are vested benefits
that must be paid no matter what, precluding politicians from going back
and changing past agreements.

The only fair solution is to take
the politicians out of the equation and have fully independent
commissions in charge, fixing the scale of salaries and benefits for
public-service workers and establishing an affordable second retirement
tier for new employees. More reasonable retirement ages should be in
order, such as 65 for general employees and 55 for public safety
employees. This would take nothing away from the existing benefits of
current employees.

A fundamental rethinking of the public
workforce is necessary. Americans cannot maintain their essential faith
in government if there are two Americas, in which the private sector
subsidises the disproportionate benefits of this new public sector
elite.

 


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Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:19 | Link to Comment VK
VK's picture

Socialism bitchez!

EDIT: American socialism = farcism. 

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:35 | Link to Comment SAJ
SAJ's picture

"In a mature society, 'civil servant' is semantically equivalent to 'civil master'."

 

-- Robert A. Heinlein

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:53 | Link to Comment pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

You speak like there is something wrong with that assessment?  The "state" is greater than you.  Deal with it.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:58 | Link to Comment PeterSchump
PeterSchump's picture

Fuck You.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:07 | Link to Comment spekulatn
spekulatn's picture

+1

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:08 | Link to Comment candyman
candyman's picture

strongly agree

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:49 | Link to Comment Votewithabullet
Votewithabullet's picture

...with the statist or the potty mouth? Pick a side nigga. I got a friend in humboldt and its getting close to harvest time.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 16:20 | Link to Comment spekulatn
spekulatn's picture

I'm with the potty mouth.

Fuck tha statist.

 

Harvest time in Humboldt is heavenly man.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 19:08 | Link to Comment Votewithabullet
Votewithabullet's picture

I think the statist was being a little too subtle for 24 little bitchez. Whoa man u typed in @ 4:20 brother.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 19:46 | Link to Comment Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

15:20 is 3:20. No whoa.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 20:58 | Link to Comment Votewithabullet
Votewithabullet's picture

Who squeezed your head? I was speaking to the speculator who posted at 16:20 das idiot.You gotta suck the fun outta everything?

Wed, 09/22/2010 - 06:32 | Link to Comment Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Nobody posted at 16:20 you dumb fucking pot head. I'm not sucking the fun out of everything just pointing how you stupid pot heads are always so woa and that's deep and that's major and you're FUCKING WRONG about all the shit that is woa and deep and major.

So ya that sucks the fun out of using drugs that make you think your in the deep end of the pool when you are really standing in you own piss.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 21:31 | Link to Comment Kayman
Kayman's picture

So called public servants are free riders one and all.  They pay no taxes whatsoever; they only recycle the taxes paid by the private sector.

Does anyone have a number about how many private sector employees have to work to pay the total cost of one government employee (on average) ??

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 16:16 | Link to Comment SamuelMaverick
SamuelMaverick's picture

+2

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 14:23 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

The State does not exist without the consent of the governed.

Deal with that.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 14:38 | Link to Comment sunny
sunny's picture

Bullshit.  70% of the citizens did not want TARP, we got TARP.  Approximately the same number did not want big 3 car bailouts, we got those bailouts.  How many of the crooks responsible for the collapse of the financial system are in jail?

The State seems to be doing a pretty good job of ignoring the wishes of the governed and getting away with it.

Deal with it.

sunny

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:13 | Link to Comment spekulatn
spekulatn's picture

Deal with it.

 

"...I got a friend in Mendocino 

And it’s gettin’ close to harvest time..."

http://www.tompetty.com/discography/lyrics/lyric/song/8

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:24 | Link to Comment SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Until the people say no and revolt, then youll have to deal with that, which I doubt you can.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:26 | Link to Comment Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

+10

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:38 | Link to Comment Henry Chinaski
Henry Chinaski's picture

70% of the citizens did not want TARP, we got TARP.  Approximately the same number did not want big 3 car bailouts, we got those bailouts.

And the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Bailout Bill) ...and healthcare reform. Immgration reform.  Cap and trade.

It's minority rule.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 18:15 | Link to Comment AugmentedFourth
AugmentedFourth's picture

That's besides the point!

Minority rule, majority rule...tyranny and fascism are NOT qualified by how many people support it.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:51 | Link to Comment Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture
Can America Recover When The Majority Of Americans See A Double Dip, And Think The Country Is Fundamentally Broken?

http://www.businessinsider.com/strategyone-survey-2010-9

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/strategyone-survey-2010-9#ixzz0z9rU4fLs

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 20:43 | Link to Comment pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

I'm with all of you who say it all is fundamentally broken.  We need firemen and the police and other civil servants.  There are many others we can do without.

We also need a police force that can actually battle white collar crime.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 16:53 | Link to Comment hbjork1
hbjork1's picture

Enemies In the long run - yes, the state does not exist without the consent of the governed.  But historians Will and Ariel Durant said in "Lessons of History" (Loose quotation) that governments have tended to oscillate between the conservative and the liberal.  The most conservative would be the individual dictator, strongman or warlord.  Liberal would be true democracy. 

IMO, the reason probably that when the people have true democracy, the people start wanting more than the existing technology/environmental/population density combination will support.  

Thus far, we listen and respond to the media we want, we vote for the people who represent us, thus far, we are free to make decisions about how we live our lives.

And lament the loss of things as they were is somewhat misplaced.  WWII required rigid personal disciplines and sometimes draconian sacrifices to survive against foreign enemies.  The so called "Baby Boomer" generation rebelled against disciplines that they considered artificial.  That was natural because we all assume early in life that the world we come into is simply what is, not aware of the giants upon whose shoulders we stand.  

The best (and only viable?) way we can improve the situation is through our influence on the proceedings in DC.

I know my representatives in Congress and my Representative knows me personally.  I communicated on the Dodd-Frank bill and learned that, in the house at least, work on additional legislatiion to close some of the loopholes is proceeding.  Nobody likes it. 

  

 

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 22:50 | Link to Comment RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Well, if nobody likes it why the hell do we have it?  That's the root of the problem.

Stuff gets done like that whether we (people) want it or not.  Fixing it after the fact is not a solution.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:45 | Link to Comment SpykerSpeed
SpykerSpeed's picture

The State is just a concept, it doesn't exist in reality.  We feel the effects of the popular belief, however.  We go along with it, pay our taxes, etc. because to acknowledge that we are regularly being robbed and threatened is far too depressing for our minds to handle.  We are just livestock for the elite, so we've created this myth that they exist to protect us.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 13:00 | Link to Comment Bob Sponge
Bob Sponge's picture

Agree. It is probably too scary for Joe Six-Pack to accept that TPTB do not care about him. I think TD has it right that the only us vs. them is the American people vs. the corrupt elite. I think that Americans in the private sector have been RAPED more than in the public sector so far and that does not make the public sector vastly overpaid. I think the private sector is underpaid, not the public sector overpaid.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:50 | Link to Comment Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

Pan, blow yourself

Sun, 09/12/2010 - 01:00 | Link to Comment RichyRoo
RichyRoo's picture

Is that like how if someone dies from a bacterial infection bacteria are greater than human?

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 14:02 | Link to Comment maddy10
maddy10's picture

Propaganda for collective selective amnesia!

I don't think all the bankers makng an avg 300,000 complained when top 20 PRIVATE banks were donated a trillion dollars; to make millions in bonuses for the depression?

 Banks still get money for 0% and levering it at 20 times in Srilanka,Indonesia and what not!!!!!!!

To make money you give money or get votes,huh?

Ahhhh I am through this stuff 

 

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 19:13 | Link to Comment masterinchancery
masterinchancery's picture

Good quote--what's the reference?

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 20:58 | Link to Comment Lazarus Long
Lazarus Long's picture

thanks

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:38 | Link to Comment Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

subtle, and worthy of recognition.

+1000.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 22:16 | Link to Comment THE 4th Quadrant
THE 4th Quadrant's picture

Exactly, I wish some of the people here would wake up.

Too, the "most vocal Obama critic, Mort Zuckerman".

Another major American media mogul who is an outspoken vocal critic of Obama? Hummmmmmm. Who owns banking and media in the USofA? Wake up Americans...

Atlantic Monthly? He should have bought The Observer, he would have been so proud that he would "plead guilty" to anything.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 23:20 | Link to Comment TreadwCare
TreadwCare's picture

Sounds to these simpleton ears he is talking his book . . .

Fri, 09/24/2010 - 21:31 | Link to Comment CrackSmokeRepublican
CrackSmokeRepublican's picture

Mortimer Zuckerman is an idiot Zionist Talmudic Jewtard that deserves to be kicked out of America for being a traitor.

Like most Jews at Z.H. that follow the Protocols of the Elders of Zion...  there is a Leather Jack Boot coming for your lying asses...

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:15 | Link to Comment SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

If only Zuckerman had his brain in gear back when he was putting Obongo the fraud into office!

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:55 | Link to Comment NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

+100

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 14:39 | Link to Comment Henry Chinaski
Henry Chinaski's picture

Billy Ray Valentine goes to the White House.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:15 | Link to Comment midtowng
midtowng's picture

"new public sector elite"? What a crock.

This is just the real elite trying to divide the working class against one another. It used to be blacks against whites, and citizens against immigrants. Now its public against private.

Anything but rich against poor, because that might interfere with their theft of the public wealth.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:18 | Link to Comment SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Zuckerman is a Zionist, one of the chiefs of the tribe, all this rambling is just more divide and conquer and divert attention from the controlling elite, no doubt about it. 

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 14:51 | Link to Comment tmosley
tmosley's picture

You two work in the public sector, don't you?

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:25 | Link to Comment SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Yea we have real jobs.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:43 | Link to Comment spekulatn
spekulatn's picture

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/09/AR201009...

 


Capitol Hill employees owed $9.3 million in back taxes last year, data show

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:23 | Link to Comment Hunch Trader
Hunch Trader's picture

Consider the civil servants an appointed buffer zone.

 

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 14:02 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Most of them come from industry or higher ed, so they know the score; after a stint in public service, they retire with full pension+benefits and go back to their real job destroying the planet or corrupting minds.

What a racket. It is all for fail.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 14:06 | Link to Comment hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

Maybe Mort wants to be appointed the public-employee-benefit czar?

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 14:12 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Maybe? He's sent them his resume only 4 times in the last month. He calls twice a day.

His main qualification is that he really really really likes fondling public money. Really.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:36 | Link to Comment docj
docj's picture

Wish it were that simple - but as a local official with oversight of the town budget in my little corner of the People's Republic of MA I can tell you from first-hand knowledge just how unaffordable are the salary, benefit and (especially!) retirement packages of today's "public servants".

Zuckerman is probably the worst possible messenger for this message, so by all means feel free to shoot him (metaphorically, of course).  But in this case his message is pretty well supported by the facts on the ground.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:43 | Link to Comment Vergeltung
Vergeltung's picture

I see it the same as you. he's not the best messenger, you're right. but the point really can't be argued.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:55 | Link to Comment midtowng
midtowng's picture

It can be argued.

I find it incomprehensible that the problem with America are the schoolteachers, firefighters and cops, instead of the TBTF banks, the Fed, our oversized military and endless wars, our trade policy which encourages offshoring jobs, our f*cked up tax system and health care system, all of which benefit the wealthy elite at the expense of the working class.

  Sure. The problem is the schoolteacher who makes $60K a year, instead of the TBTF bank which sold the city interest rate derivative products that cost the city $60 million. Yea, that makes a lot of sense.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 14:55 | Link to Comment tmosley
tmosley's picture

They are the same.  Both are sucking at the teat of the government, which is devouring the private sector.  Why is it that public schools suck so very much ass when private schools pay their teachers less?  Accountability.  

Union shills don't understand this.  They just want everyone to throw money at them.  THey are then surprised when the world crumbles under the weight of their fat asses.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:30 | Link to Comment Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Unions only represent 7% of all private sector workers in the US

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 21:37 | Link to Comment Kayman
Kayman's picture

CE

But what % of public sector employees belong to unions ? 100%

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 21:54 | Link to Comment midtowng
midtowng's picture

Not true.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 16:25 | Link to Comment midtowng
midtowng's picture

They are the same? The people who teach your kids, put out your fires, and arrest the petty criminals for middle class wages are the same as the ones those who write the laws, get the bailouts, and bankrupt the nation while collecting billionaire salaries?

 Is that what you really believe?

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 19:59 | Link to Comment StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

What's the difference between a tick and a leech?  They both suck blood from their host, one is simply bigger than the other!

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 21:55 | Link to Comment midtowng
midtowng's picture

I wouldn't call putting out fires and teaching our children "sucking blood from a host".

I also wouldn't equate it with writing the laws that are destroying the country.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 00:37 | Link to Comment tmosley
tmosley's picture

Sorry to call your world view into question, but if you receive any money from the government, you are guilty of receiving stolen goods, and you are a parasite living off of the blood of the productive members of society.  A parasite is a parasite is a parasite.  I don't care if you're an amoeba or a remora.  That said, that doesn't mean that the parasite is at fault.  No, you can't blame them any more than you can blame a lion for killing its prey.  Ten thousand leeches will kill you just as dead as one lion would, though.  Thus, so long as one is afflicted with legions of social parasites, there is no material difference. 

Teachers don't have to take government funding.  Ever hear of a private school?  Get rid of the government porkfest that is our public school system, and the cost of private education will fall precipitously, and the quality will shoot through the roof.  Firemen (and in a perfect world, police and military forces) should be employed by insurance agencies.  If you must have a government, the ideal size is about 2% of GDP.  This was the size of the entire US government including state and local spending from the founding right up through about 1900. 

 

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 09:27 | Link to Comment fiftybagger
fiftybagger's picture

Fire and police services are what these parasites use to beat you about the head and neck anytime you bring up this issue.  I'm sick of it.  Fire 'em all I say.....

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 22:56 | Link to Comment Maniac Researcher
Maniac Researcher's picture

Yes...and I'm sure that up-or-down, black-or-white, absolutist thinking is totally the most appropriate strategy to apply in a crisis. You should be as inflexible as possible and utterly rooted in your ideology whether it represents reality or not. <SARCASM OFF>

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 00:40 | Link to Comment tmosley
tmosley's picture

I see, so you would rather be touchy-feely, and let the world go bankrupt under the wieght of an unpayable pension burden.

This IS black and white.  Government has no business educating our children.  The Feds have no business operating fire departments.  In a strict sense, neither should local governments, but that is an argument for another day.  Get the feds out, and things will get a lot better right away.

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 12:39 | Link to Comment Maniac Researcher
Maniac Researcher's picture

Learning that most of life's situations are not bifurcated in this way is the first step toward a solution.

While you may feel like you don't need any public structures to function in this world -- many others do. If you feel the need to propose that other people suffer for the sake of your own individualist (read: selfish) ideology - so be it...but don't hide behind a simplistic anti-government platitude. It just makes you look like you haven't thought through your own belief system. Denying the existence of the disadvantaged won't make them go away. Doing so just reeks of privilege.

You want to privatize the fire department? I hope no one poor moves in next to you..

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 16:05 | Link to Comment you enjoy myself
you enjoy myself's picture

No one is arguing that TBTF is not a problem.  Its just that public employees are a bigger one, and they threaten to bring down every single state and municipality with their ongoing (and growing) liabilities.  Teachers do not make $60K a year - they make more than double that when you account for 0% deductible lifetime health insurance for their entire family and lifetime defined benefit pensions at ballpark 70% of their final salary. 

And that's taking your $60K number at face value, which is not the case when you're dealing with a metropolitan area and its suburbs (at least not when you're referring to the last three years of service, which is only what matters for pensions).  Not to mention that in a lot of states, public pensions aren't taxed -- that extra money in the pockets of union employees should rightfully be counted as compensation too.

There is barely a teacher, cop, or firefighter in this nation that, should they work til 55, is not a taxpayer guaranteed millionaire (if you use a life expentancy of just 75, and assume the pensions are inflation adjusted).  That is simply not a sustainable liability.

I hate to use anecdotes to argue a point, but this one serves to illustrate the problem well.  I have a good friend who's a Phys Ed teacher, late 30's, in NJ.  Makes $110K a year right now and gets automatic raises.  Which means by the time he can retire at a cushy 55 he'll likely be drawing down a guaranteed tax-free?, inflation-adjusted pension of nearly $100K for the rest of his life, plus full health for him and his family (lets guesstimate that at $20K a year).  So if you pad the 25 years of retirement compensation (~$120K/yr) onto the 30 years of working compensation (also ~$120K by using $20K for health and avg $100K salary) you're looking at the state of NJ paying him approximately $220K a year for the years that he actually worked.

So yeah, its kind of a big problem.

 

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 16:29 | Link to Comment midtowng
midtowng's picture

Your friend sounds like he's making out good.

I have a friend in her 30's who works as a school teacher in a major city, rents a 1 BR apartment and couldn't afford to take a vacation this year.

I have a relative in his 40's who works for the state as a graphic designer. He's barely able to pay his rent because of the furloughs.

"guaranteed millionaire" huh? Sounds like you've been listening to too much propaganda.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 16:51 | Link to Comment you enjoy myself
you enjoy myself's picture

"guaranteed millionaire huh? Sounds like you've been listening to too much propaganda."

Well, yeah.  If you assume 25 years of benefits after you retire, that means you need just $40K a year in combined health care and pension benifits in order to be guaranteed at least $1M in annuity payments.  Are you arguing there are teachers that work til at least 55 that don't get that amount per year after they retire?  Health care (for the whole family) alone is worth at least $20K annually.

 

 

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 16:59 | Link to Comment MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

There is a list online of the actual salaries of public school teachers in Illinois. (Probably others, too, but this is the one I looked at a couple years ago.) The numbers are astounding. First, the list is thousands of pages long, so, no, I didn't look at every name, just a few here and there. They're all making much more than any equivalent salary in the private sector and, if you can believe this, I saw names of high school teachers who were being paid A QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR. For a part-time job. Forget about the benefits.

The online part of the San Francisco Chronicle published a list of (some - about 40% - it excluded the universities and some other things) California state workers making over $100,000 per year. It was 1200 pages long. Each page contained 30 or 40 names or so. Most of them made well over $100,000. Then add local city, county, etc. And pensions and health care.

Yeah. Sure. You're right. And actually, you are: It is not the teacher making $60k or the policeman making $120k+ (Vallejo and everywhere else). IT IS THE TWENTY FUCKING MILLION OF THEM THAT'S THE PROBLEM.

Together, they represent a bigger problem than the TBTFs and all the other bs going on.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 01:38 | Link to Comment SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

This may be the site you are referring to.  Have fun kids!

http://www.illinoisloop.org/salary.html

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 20:04 | Link to Comment Dburn
Dburn's picture

+100

Wow, did I ever screw up 30 years ago? Damn. HAHAHAHA

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 19:59 | Link to Comment Dburn
Dburn's picture

Name: Bouman, Timothy
Salary: $632,000
Position: High School Teacher
Full/Part Time: Fulltime
Percent Time Employed: 100%
Assignment: English (Grades 9-12 Only)
Years Teaching: 12
Degree: Master's
School Name: Noble Street Charter High School
District Name: City of Chicago SD 299

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 20:12 | Link to Comment Dburn
Dburn's picture

I guess with all the graphic designers out of work who were freelancing and entitled to no social benefits at all who haven't seen work in months and can't get a job, one has to ask why the state felt the need to bring it in-house in the first place?

 

Barely able to pay his rent  is significantly better than sleeping in one's car., The state's are going to pay for this Banker Bailout pension abuse  first, at least those who aren't teachers and aren't in public safety for the time being, but any other position that isn't deemed essential in any of the states that are close to or are insolvent, is walking on very thin ice. I'd say if his checks are clearing and he has health insurance, he's doing pretty damn good. Maybe a room-mate may be in order or a cheaper place. Just a suggestion. I'd say he needs to save every penny he can right now.

Sun, 09/12/2010 - 05:41 | Link to Comment MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

About 15 years ago or so, an independent reporter for some crappy paper in Orange County, California, wrote to the City of Huntington Beach and asked for a list of city employees who were making in excess of $100k. The city attorney wrote back telling him to f*** off. But, as it happened, the crappy paper was owned by the Los Angeles Times and, for whatever reason, they picked up the gauntlet, filed suit, and ultimately prevailed.

The result? At that time (15 years ago), there were 140 city employees making in excess of $100k per box 4 of their w-2s (4s?).

Huntington Beach was not and is not a large community. Nor atypical. These slime are, collectively, eating us alive (THERE ARE TWENTY FUCKING MILLION OF THEM).

There's a high school teacher in Illinois making $650k (see below). Average pay of a cop in Vallejo? $120k.

When there's twenty million of them, it adds up and it's a problem.

I remember a line by Mr. Spock in one the Star Trek movies: "It is illogical for a parasite to kill its host."

I think about that line a lot.

Fri, 09/24/2010 - 21:35 | Link to Comment CrackSmokeRepublican
CrackSmokeRepublican's picture

The Scamming Jews on Wallstreet, and offshore in Hedge Funds doing typical Jews Scams, is a much bigger problem.  These idiot Jew -wannabees are just copying the typical behavior of Jew CEOs. Typically overpaid and runious. 

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 19:18 | Link to Comment Dburn
Dburn's picture

Put aside public safety and teaching  for a second. It has it's problems no doubt, but if people are focused on the Bankers, then read on..

Think of the real people who make policy in the country, which is not the elected officials. They sign off on and vote on bills but under recommendations of staff both permanent and temporary plus the lobbyists who reach the legislators directly or through staff. Then once money is allocated from a budget that is not sustainable, there are a series of agencies with high ranking permanent employees who make decisions daily about which private companies prosper and which don't if the companies have a business that is dependent on govt revenues.

Then add to that the numerous and voluminous articles we have read about the revolving door in government. This also works at the lower levels to where legislature actually gets enacted. There is abuse in the public safety arena with pensions no question. But the TBTFs could not exist without the cooperation of their enablers which go far inside the govt which most people don't see.

The fact that Govt salaries are higher or the same if applying educational standards is not as much of an issue as the pensions and the health benefits. Strangley enough, those benefits seem to be excluded from the arguments that public employees make the same or even a little less or a little more when Health Care has now reached the 20% of a private sector salary. Vacations? Sick Days? Bonuses? All other perks? Those don't seem to get counted either.

That just about doubles some of those salaries because most of those benefits are rarely seen in the private sector unless it's in the upper 10%.  The insanely wealthy who have bled us dry recognize that taxpayer bequests like that have to come from all kinds of motivated govt officials and employees.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:50 | Link to Comment chrisd
chrisd's picture

Compare those in public sector with a college degree against those in private sector with a college degree and the huge disparity between the two pretty much disappears. Besides the gap isn't caused by public sector overpaying their employees, it is caused by the private sector cramming wages down for everyone not at the top.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:57 | Link to Comment docj
docj's picture

You're assuming I haven't done that comparison.  I have.  In at least my little corner of the world that's simply not the case and you're completely ignoring the principal component that is bankrupting cities and towns across the country - pension costs.

And yes, the gap is almost entirely caused by the public sector overpaying their employees (read this carefully now) relative to equivalent positions in the private sector.  And it's not just salary - that's really a minority part of the problem.  It's benefits and retirement that are killing us.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:41 | Link to Comment Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Point well taken, nobody can argue.

What it all means, sadly, is that the future does not look bright enough to support today's promised pension benefits. What we're going through in municipalities and states across the country is relinquishing on the promise of enough future growth to support the promises made over the last years. That's another aspect of a post-bubble world: present asset values deflate and so do future asset values (promised retirement benefits). The Federal GOv is going through the same process hacking away at social security and medicare. 

As pensions and retirement assets et hacked, individual net worth deflates and that feeds the cycle.

Nobody who's wealthy should be screaming for working people's net worth to be cut. It will work itself out any way, and it just demonstrates class warfare (rich on poor crimes) 

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:54 | Link to Comment chrisina
chrisina's picture

.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:53 | Link to Comment chrisina
chrisina's picture

Here's a report that says that if you correct for age and level of education, public sector employees make on average 4% less than private sector employees :

http://www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/reports/wage-penalty-state-local-gov-employees/

Which statistics to believe, I don't know, but please consider that just quoting average pay of public vs private employees as Zuckerman does is not very honest.

 

This is just fueling another one of these useless and dangerously distracting false paradigms, right/left, conservative/progressive, libertarian/socialist, and now public/private.

Meanwhile the real culprits, the financial oligarchs who made insane profits from stuffing American households and businesses with $52 trillion of CREDIT are laughing their head off.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:54 | Link to Comment Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Here's another one, showing that there is a slight advantage at lower educational levels for federal (only) vs. private sector.

Seems like a big, fat, bug-eyed red herring to me.

http://facultysenate.unlv.edu/budget_memos/Public_Sector.pdf

 

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 16:45 | Link to Comment chrisina
chrisina's picture

Yep, just one more red-herring that will polarize Americans into one more series of endless arguments.

How many such hed-herrings are there? It's just unbelievable... Whatever comes out of the mainstream media (check Financial Times) is just one more red-herring after another.

Huxley was right : those who are always on the alert to oppose tyranny fail to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distraction.

 

Can't Americans wake up for crissake? What is happening to this once great nation?

Can't the 310 million of us end this useless bickering and UNITE. Let's focus on liberating ourselves from the stronghold of this tiny clique of a few thousand  financial parasites who is bankrupting  this country and draining all its resources.

 

Otherwise we are going to end up killing each other while those parasites will have fled to their ranches in Argentina and their islands in the carribean.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 16:46 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Can't the 310 million of us end this useless bickering and UNITE.

Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. Can't the 310 million of us end this useless bickering and SECEDE?

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 17:21 | Link to Comment chrisina
chrisina's picture

What difference will it make? The tapeworm who is sucking us dry will simply continue draining the host. business as usual.

 

Get. rid. of. the. tapeworm.

That's all that matters... for now

 

Or do you mean SECEDE from the tapeworm? Then I agree. 

 

But the tapeworm is not the federal government.

 

The federal government is just another one of the tapeworm's slave, like the rest of the 310 million people who inhabit this nation. 

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 17:41 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

How can a group of holier-than-thou people who extract wealth from others at the point of a gun not be a problem?

Please explain how the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the TARP and stimulus packages and the healthcare law could have been shoved down our throats without government.

Government steals. Goverment kills. Government is the problem.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 00:53 | Link to Comment chrisina
chrisina's picture

Absent a federal govt, there wouldn't have been a USA. What would history have looked like, I have no idea, neither do you.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 01:00 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture
Society without a State

Mises Daily: Thursday, December 28, 2006 by

The anarchist is always at a disadvantage in attempting to forecast the shape of the future anarchist society. For it is impossible for observers to predict voluntary social arrangements, including the provision of goods and services, on the free market. Suppose, for example, that this were the year 1874 and that someone predicted that eventually there would be a radio-manufacturing industry. To be able to make such a forecast successfully, does he have to be challenged to state immediately how many radio manufacturers there would be a century hence, how big they would be, where they would be located, what technology and marketing techniques they would use, and so on? Obviously, such a challenge would make no sense, and in a profound sense the same is true of those who demand a precise portrayal of the pattern of protection activities on the market. Anarchism advocates the dissolution of the state into social and market arrangements, and these arrangements are far more flexible and less predictable than political institutions. The most that we can do, then, is to offer broad guidelines and perspectives on the shape of a projected anarchist society.

http://mises.org/daily/2429

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 01:29 | Link to Comment chrisina
chrisina's picture

Anarchism might work, but that means abolishing property and moving to a completely different system where people don't own capital but have a right to use. Any bastardized version such as capitalist anarchism or socialist anarchism will lead to the same collapse as what we are going to see in the decades to come.

 

If you're interested to read about anarchism Rothbard isn't the source, Proudhon is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_Is_Property%3F

 

Anarchism and Libertarianism are two VERY different system of ideas.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 01:30 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

For someone who is so free with recommendations, you don't seem to be particulary well read. Rothbard is exactly the right guy to read if one wants to learn about anarcho-capitalism (capitalist anarchy) in which the individual is sovereign and property rights hold equal stage with civil liberty.

"At the top of any reading list on anarcho-capitalism must be the name Murray N. Rothbard. There would be no anarcho-capitalist movement to speak of without Rothbard"-- Anarcho-Capitalism: An Annotated Bibliography by Hans-Hermann Hoppe

http://www.lewrockwell.com/hoppe/hoppe5.html

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 04:10 | Link to Comment chrisina
chrisina's picture

Please re-read what I wrote.

Rothbard is not a good source for anarchism.

 

Anarchism is VERY different from anarcho-capitalism (Libertarianism).

Rothbard is a good source for anarcho-capitalism, but such a system would collapse even faster than what we have now.

Any system that is based on property and money (which can easily be accumulated from one generation to the other) will eventually collapse, whatever the monetary system or the degree of intervention from government (from zero to 100%).

The consequence is then that either we abolish property, or we have to deal with a system that is inherently unstable and find ways to postpone the collapse as long as possible through the enforcement of strict rules that prevent speculation and ponzi borrowing.

I would love, as much as you do, to see one day a system that works independent from the need to enforce rules from a police state and on a pure volontary basis. But such a system is definitely NOT anarcho-capitalism.

 

Try to read Proudhon, who was neither a collectivist, nor a capitalist, but the first true anarchist. "Property is theft."

 

PS: I'm not advocating for anarchism, as this is not realistically implementable in today's world, nor is there any transition path. But from the rubbles of what might be left after the collapse of crony capitalism, maybe a truely anarchist society will prevail.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 12:09 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Your focus on anarchism versus libertarianism is a straw man argument as I have advocated above for anarcho-capitalism.The anarcho-capitalist school details methods by which civil and property rights can not only exist without government oversight but can only come into full fruition in the absence of government. Your apparent belief that property can not exist without government is simply wrong.

The movement that I'm in favor of is a movement of libertarians who do not substitute whim for reason. Now some of them do, obviously, and I'm against that. I'm in favor of reason over whim. As far as I'm concerned, and I think the rest of the movement, too, we are anarcho-capitalists. In other words, we believe that capitalism is the fullest expression of anarchism, and anarchism is the fullest expression of capitalism. Not only are they compatible, but you can't really have one without the other. True anarchism will be capitalism, and true capitalism will be anarchism. -- Murray Rothbard, 1972

 

 

http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard103.html

Mon, 09/13/2010 - 18:35 | Link to Comment Maniac Researcher
Maniac Researcher's picture

I've already tried to explain this to Crockett. He has decided that he is quite comfortable with appropriating the word anarchism for his own uses - just as his pet academic Rothbard has.

It's quite easy to subsume the struggles of the perpetual underdog (read: leftist anarchism) in order to legitimate a solidly privileged ideology (read: rightist libertarianism) so that you can fit in with the "cool" motif of the Fight Club-ish aesthetic. Too bad the irony is lost on Crockett and his ilk.

It's nice to see Proudhon mentioned here - especially outside the context of anti-Semitism, which to me is just as much if not more of a real problem on ZH than people with theoretical tunnel-vision.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 20:21 | Link to Comment RingToneDeaf
RingToneDeaf's picture

But the tapeworm is not the federal government.

 

How wrong you are, you cannot believe how much federal employees receive in pay and benefits plus the time off, sick time, bereavement leave, health check, weather time off, cook out days off, work at home days, etc....even  VLTP, when you run out of time off you can ask your whole agency to donate time off so you can care for the newborn, up to 400-500 hours @$40-60 per hour.

 

Wake up kid, you are being eaten alive by Bureaucrats.

More like a frog in the cooker and the temperature is rising fast.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 00:50 | Link to Comment chrisina
chrisina's picture

How do you know that federal employees receive so much?

Please just show the evidence.

All the reports I've seen show that it's not true.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 01:08 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Federal pay ahead of private industry

Overall, federal workers earned an average salary of $67,691 in 2008 for occupations that exist both in government and the private sector, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The average pay for the same mix of jobs in the private sector was $60,046 in 2008, the most recent data available.

CHART: Federal salaries compared to private-sector

These salary figures do not include the value of health, pension and other benefits, which averaged $40,785 per federal employee in 2008 vs. $9,882 per private worker, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

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

 

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 04:22 | Link to Comment chrisina
chrisina's picture

You need to compare apples with apples, ie federal employees and private employees of same age and same degree of education.

Federal employees are on average older and with higher qualifications than private sector employees.

 

PS: never worked for Govt, worked 15 years for a large multinational then started my own small business. I'm as disatisfied with Govt inefficiency as anybody else, but I won't fall into the trap of concluding that getting rid of government will solve all our problems.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 12:16 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

I'm as disatisfied with Govt inefficiency as anybody else, but I won't fall into the trap of concluding that getting rid of government will solve all our problems.

You've set up yet another straw man. Your writing would be more enjoyable if you limited yourself to one straw man, a tin woodsman and a fat guy in a lion costume.

Of course abolition of government won't solve all our problems. But it will remove the millstone from our necks and allow us to swim rather than to sink.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 13:02 | Link to Comment Hulk
Hulk's picture

Here is a real world UCRS retirement calculator. Note that UC manages several national labs and therefore federal employees

http://www.ucop.edu/atyourservice/applications/ucrpcalc/estimator.html

Fool with the numbers. 1950 for birthdate, 30 year employment, 135k ending salary, which isn't uncommon. Your health benes are paid for life, 100% .

If your answer is different than $8407/month for life or  a cash out of $1.2 Million, you need to rework the equation...

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 18:56 | Link to Comment Dburn
Dburn's picture

Hulk.

Is Safety ; Public Safety and/or law enforcement? The benefits there are 90% of salary.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 18:57 | Link to Comment Dburn
Dburn's picture

n/a

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 22:16 | Link to Comment BrosMacManus
BrosMacManus's picture

There, fixed that for you.

"This is just fueling another one of these useless and dangerously distracting false paradigms, right/left, conservative/progressive, libertarian/socialist, Wall St/Main St, and now public/private.

Meanwhile the real culprits, the financial oligarchs who made insane profits from stuffing American households and businesses with $52 trillion of CREDIT are laughing their head off."

No offense, I'm being snarky, but your us versus them false paradigm being useless, to conclude with....it's an us versus them problem (just a different us/them).

F'em all.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 00:45 | Link to Comment chrisina
chrisina's picture

When I see that by 2007, at the top of the credit bubble, the financial services businesses had managed to grow their share of all corporate profits to 46%, I know which us vs them paradigm is not a red-herring.

 

The real class conflict is not between rich vs mddle class vs poor, nor between public vs private, but between financial capitalists and the rest.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 01:18 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

The real class conflict is not between rich vs mddle class vs poor, nor between public vs private, but between financial capitalists and the rest.

Financial capitalists do not have the ability to coerce others into compromising or injurious situations except where these financial capitalists have access to the power of the state through legislation and regulation. Therefore, it is obvious that the real conflict is between the hard working folks in the private sector (both rich and poor) versus the schemers in the public sector and their allies (both rich and poor) who redistribute earnings at gunpoint in the name of generosity and fair play.

Mon, 09/13/2010 - 18:54 | Link to Comment Maniac Researcher
Maniac Researcher's picture

Financial capitalists do not have the ability to coerce others into compromising or injurious situations except where these financial capitalists have access to the power of the state through legislation and regulation.

Yes - and there are more numerous instances of this happening throughout modern history than you can ever read about.

Sorry to burst your bubble about what should appear "obvious" to everyone else, but last time I checked, financial capitalists held the upper hand over states in a majority of power arrangements. Try reading Eric Hobsbawm's the Age of Capital for an overview..or Paul Kennedy's The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers or Jeffrey Frieden's Global Capitalism etc etc

 

..or you can keep reading Rothbard and nothing else. I'm sure plenty of other things will only seem "obvious" to you when you've shut yourself off to all other viewpoints.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 11:33 | Link to Comment Barbarossa
Barbarossa's picture

Yeah, because the Federal Reserve government-granted cartel system and its monopoly power over money and interest rates has NOTHING to do with our current economic situation, right? lol. I'm sure you'd classify the Fed as a "free market capitalist" institution. lol again. I get so tired of hearing you spew your idiocy. And as to your previous quote about "property is theft": How can one steal what isn't already someone else's property? Scarecrow, let me give you directions to the wizard so you can go get your brain already. 

Mon, 09/13/2010 - 20:20 | Link to Comment Maniac Researcher
Maniac Researcher's picture

..."propert is theft" was a quote from Proudhon, as Chrisina duly noted above. If you want to contest this particular strand of ideology - I suggest you actually read about it.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 20:48 | Link to Comment Dburn
Dburn's picture

The report you reference mentions wages only and is careful to say that public sector wages are higher without controlling for education levels and age. How the researcher "controlled" for that is debatable, but that really isn't the issue. The issue is the benefits and the pension promises which in some cases double the lowest wage workers at the state and local levels. They usually don't have to worry about health care expenses but their counter parties, even in the higher wage area do.

No one in the lower wage percentile in the private sector gets a defined benefit pension. It would be difficult to find people in the employ of state and local govt who don't. Between the two , that is the primary wedge.

It can also be a matter of life and death where a low wage worker in the private sector can't afford to see a Dr and someone who has no worries about health care bills can see a Dr as often as they choose at the state and local level.

So that little lump or that shortness of breath that turns into inoperable stage 4 cancer for a low wage worker may be caught in time for a state or local worker as well as the 90% clogged arrtery that  produces deadly heart attacks unecessarily because of lack of access to health care for a private sector worker, will probably be caught in time when a Dr is available at tax payer expense. 

Even though the taxes paid at low to middle wage levels don't amount to a great deal of money as a percentage of  wages it could be the difference between seeing a Doctor and not seeing one. It has to be very galling that those taxes , especially property taxes for those who manage to hold onto a house, go to pay for the those "benefits"  for the state and local level employees who, I might add, don't really appreciate it that much.

The fact that people are literally dying as a result of these inequities should be argument enough without comparing benefits and wages against each other which the author of that study didn't even try to do because that's where the  true disparities would invalidate the study.

Finally if the author had looked at what a private sector worker would have to save to match a defined pension plan in a ZIRP environment , they would never get a grant again if they tried to maintain the line of reasoning that state and local employees get paid less because regular comparisons don't "control" for age and education.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 16:04 | Link to Comment chrisd
chrisd's picture

-

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 16:01 | Link to Comment chrisd
chrisd's picture

Pension costs could have been funded ten times over if current politicians had not engaged in reckless spending in past years. To lay the problems for bankrupt cities and towns completely at the feet of pension receiving individuals is disingenuous.

You are looking at a budget of future obligations and getting scared and not realizing that you would have been bankrupt years ago if salaries in the public sector had kept pace with those in the private sector. Many police, fire, emergency workers made less money on the expectation that future benefit obligations would be available to them on the back end. Had the money saved been set aside, benefits would not be a concern. Do a quick comparison in your little corner of the world as to how many of your police officers work as security guards at night, or how many firefighters bar tend on the weekends.

Public sector pay has never kept pace with private sector, it couldn't since it doesn't generate any income besides that which it taxes.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 19:50 | Link to Comment docj
docj's picture

Do you have any experience, any personal experience at all, with public finances at the local level?

Because every single comment you've made in this thread runs perfectly counter to what I've seen with my own lying eyes over the last 9-years.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 15:10 | Link to Comment chrisd
chrisd's picture

Governor's office in Tennessee for 8 years. Perhaps this says more about your ability to act as a budget director than anything else.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:58 | Link to Comment midtowng
midtowng's picture

More jobs in the public sector require advanced college degrees than do jobs in the private sector. I've seen studies that compare jobs by catagory and the disparity does vanish.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:51 | Link to Comment DarkAgeAhead
DarkAgeAhead's picture

Or it could be that talent rises more naturally in the private sector, while the proxy of formal instituationalized higher education creates an illusion (farce) of competence that the nature of public sector hiring seems to favor.

Translation - the public sector seems to hire more highly educated but incompetent or lazy workers, while the private sector chooses as business strategy either 1) ingratiating themselves to public sector decision makers and politicians through donations and preserving a ruling elite class (from towns to this nation, the feedback loop is no different) or 2) providing a better product or service, working harder, etc...

The result - you end up with more highly paid public employees who are incompetent relative to the industries to which they regulate or relate.

This is a sure path and sign of a Dark Age.

 

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 22:39 | Link to Comment BrosMacManus
BrosMacManus's picture

Word. I work in a "regulated" industry and interact with the regulators often. 2/3 of the time is spent:

Me: "Ok, I already told you this...if you're looking for this, I can get it for you the way you've asked for it, but if this is really what you want, why don't I get it for you this way instead?"

Them: "No. I want it the way I asked (sic) for it."

Me: "Ok. (delay = wasted effort producing what they asked for)...Here you go."

Them: "What's this?"

Me: "What you asked for."

Them: "How do I understand this? What does it mean? This isn't what I want."

Me: "I told you that already."

Them: "How can I get what I'm looking for?"

Me: "I told you that already. (delay, but this time useful, getting what they want/need)...Ok, here you go."

Them: "Oh, ok, this is what I need. What about this new thing I want? I want this. Now."

Me: "Are you sure? What are you looking for?"

Them: "Everything. Just give it all to me."

Me: "Are you sure? What are you looking for, specifically, so I can make sure you get what you want?"

Them: "What I asked for."

Me: "Ok....(delay)...here you go."

Them: "What's this?"....

Over, and over, and over....They have no idea what they're looking for, what they're looking at, nor understand what we do. BUT, they can't leave without a "this is what we found you've done wrong" notice. Just remember, they're there to protect us all.

/sarc

 

 

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 00:11 | Link to Comment DarkAgeAhead
DarkAgeAhead's picture

That's a fantastic post my friend.  That does make my head hurt, reading that, from the same sort of experience in the areas in which I work and interact with governmental, quasi-govermental, and university (many might as well be governmental extensions)...

Just a positive feedback loop that's crushing any hope at real innovation.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 07:29 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Over, and over, and over....They have no idea what they're looking for, what they're looking at, nor understand what we do. BUT, they can't leave without a "this is what we found you've done wrong" notice. Just remember, they're there to protect us all.

/sarc"

It's not sarcasm...it's the absolute truth.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 19:15 | Link to Comment ArmchairRevolut...
ArmchairRevolutionary's picture

I have seen the same inside private corporations.  That is just organization incompetence and it occurs in both private and public sectors.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:41 | Link to Comment Dollar Bill Hiccup
Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

Sorting postal codes requires advanced mathematics skills ...

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 14:42 | Link to Comment Ricky Bobby
Ricky Bobby's picture

Total BS. Public sector compensation way out of line. How many defined pensions in the private sector these days. Federal worker retiring on %70 of a bloated salary because he or she received the same communications degree from a state university. I can say this that if you are defending the public sector wage structure then you and me are divided.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 16:10 | Link to Comment chrisd
chrisd's picture

All public sector workers get 70% pensions and all welfare recipients are welfare queens with 20 babies and no baby dads.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 16:32 | Link to Comment midtowng
midtowng's picture

+100

LOL

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 20:30 | Link to Comment PhotonJohn
PhotonJohn's picture

After 30 years I will get a 33% pension so I am not sure where you get your stats?

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 22:11 | Link to Comment Ragnar D
Ragnar D's picture

From NY, NJ, IL, CA, MI, MA, MD, the entire Federal Government, and the other failed bankrupt states where it's 70-90% of their highest year which of course is a big spike to sweeten the payout.

But even using 33%, after 30 years I will get the amount I've saved for myself out of what remains in my paycheck after I've paid for everyone else's pension.  Real jobs in the real world don't have an infinite money supply forever.

Government unions can spend 100% of their paycheck every year, and when they retire at an obscenely young age they get another paycheck forever.

While public employees make zero retirement contributions, private workers have 2 retirements' worth of payments pulled from their earnings.  How is that not a case of pigs being More Equal than other animals?

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 07:47 | Link to Comment THE 4th Quadrant
THE 4th Quadrant's picture

It's going to be fun to see the pension paradigm collapse. What will the little piggies do? They certainly didn't plan for that....

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 13:08 | Link to Comment Hulk
Hulk's picture

UC pension calc, UC manages federal emps


 

http://www.ucop.edu/atyourservice/applications/ucrpcalc/estimator.html

Plugin 1950 for birthdate, 30 year employment, 135k ending salary. Your health benes are paid for life, 100% .

If your answer is different than $8407/month for life or  a cash out of $1.2 Million, you need to rework the equation...

 

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:34 | Link to Comment Sancho Ponzi
Sancho Ponzi's picture

It's not whether public sector employees are overpaid, but rather are they compensated correctly for the work performed. Los Alamos, New Mexico has one of the most highly educated workforces in the world, but the Lab is totally mismanaged, with employees surfing porn, sending each other nude pictures, running private businesses while on the clock, and stealing secrets vital to our national security. Don't take my word for it - look it up.

Are they educated? Hell yes. Are most of the LANL employees deserving of their lofty salaries? Not in my opinion.

 

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 21:46 | Link to Comment Kayman
Kayman's picture

My experience was those that didn't have the savvy to do well in their courses, went on to teach.

My former sister-in-law got through college solely because my brother wrote all her papers.  She is now a principal in a school making $130,000 a year. Nuff to make ya puke.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:56 | Link to Comment pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

You should move to a different location where the government suit you better.  You're responsible for your decision to live in MA.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:58 | Link to Comment docj
docj's picture

You're assuming, of course, it's really all that different anywhere else.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 23:55 | Link to Comment hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

It is different in Texas.  Legislatures only meet every other year, and for just a few months.  It is a start.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 14:50 | Link to Comment Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

I am also in charge of overseeing public dollars in a small town.  The contracted services for safety and fire are what breaks the bank, everything else is far behind.  Lawyers, Planners, Engineering are all static for the last two years and have proposed flat structures three years into the future.  Public employees, not quite.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 17:24 | Link to Comment Ride30B430
Ride30B430's picture

Just look at Vallejo, CA.......Fire Chief 300K, Police Captian 250K, City Manager 350K.  No kidding they are broke.  These are not the exact figures but are very close.  When discussions came along to roll back salaries they threatened with as strike. 

The average houses in the City only cost 300-400K .  But none of their workers want to live there just rape the City budget. 

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:22 | Link to Comment spekulatn
spekulatn's picture

Pardon me but are your initials GG?

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 19:46 | Link to Comment docj
docj's picture

Hard to tell to whom you're replying - but if it's me, nope.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 08:47 | Link to Comment Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

No

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 18:44 | Link to Comment Dburn
Dburn's picture

+100

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:39 | Link to Comment Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

It should be Corporate/Banking/Government Terrorists vs The People.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 15:14 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture
I AM THE PEOPLE, THE MOB by Carl Sandburg

 

 

I AM the people--the mob--the crowd--the mass.
Do you know that all the great work of the world is
     done through me?
I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the
     world's food and clothes.
I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons
     come from me and the Lincolns. They die. And
     then I send forth more Napoleons and Lincolns.
I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand
     for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me.
     I forget. The best of me is sucked out and wasted.
     I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and
     makes me work and give up what I have. And I
     forget.
Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red
     drops for history to remember. Then--I forget.
When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the
     People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer
     forget who robbed me last year, who played me for
     a fool--then there will be no speaker in all the world
     say the name: "The People," with any fleck of a
     sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision.
The mob--the crowd--the mass--will arrive then.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 16:26 | Link to Comment Usotsuki
Usotsuki's picture

If you really think the major battle in American is the rich against the poor then you really don't get it. It's about those in power vs. those that aren't. This is why both parties battle each other constantly, but almost never, ever, ever challenge the Constitutionality of the others favored laws. They know that if they do their next law giving taxpayer dollars to their own moneyed interests once they get back in power will also get challenged and they don't want that.

Instead, they squabble and fight like children, trying to convince the public it's rich against poor, or Main Street vs. Wall Street. They bide their time until they get their majority power back and jam their own bills down our throats. 

Wake up and forget the class warfare!  There are only two classes - those with power and those without. Right now you can buy yourself into power because bribery is legal as long as you only give a little bit of money directly to your guy, then funnel the rest through PACs. Nothing will change in this country until we pull down the money and power structure and gut the system. This country needs an enema - BIG TIME.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 16:35 | Link to Comment midtowng
midtowng's picture

By no small coincidence, the people with power just happen to be rich. While the people without power just happen to be poor.

That's not to say that there aren't factions within the wealthy elite that are battling it out. It's just that both of them tend to screw over the same people - the working class.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 00:49 | Link to Comment tmosley
tmosley's picture

Fofoa had a good post on this a while ago, he defined the battle very well as being between savers and debtors.  We are currently ruled by debtors.  There are rich and poor debtors, and there are rich and poor savers.  Debtors ALWAYS try to screw over savers, as the petite parasites that have shown themselves in this thread have demonstrated. 

Any time a nation is ruled by debtors, it will eventually collapse, and savers pick up the peices.  When nations ruled by savers collapse, it is generally through violent revolution by the debtors, who don't want to pay back their debts.  The former is what is about to play out.

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 18:41 | Link to Comment DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

tmosley, I read the same fofoa piece.  I agree, although there are many battles going on, on the largest scale, I would agree that the biggest battle is indeed Savers vs. Debtors.

fofoa.blogspot.com

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 20:32 | Link to Comment Magat Guru
Magat Guru's picture

ENVY = "I want a pony just like yours."

GREED = "I want YOUR pony."

As a struggling businessman who wage-slaves by night for the med. benefits, I look at the public-sector and see what might have been for the private sector, "If Only" their wages and benefits had kept up with inflation.

IOW, it's not that the public sector is making out like bandits, it's more that joe6pak has some catchin' up to do. As a faithful supporter of the system for most of my working life, I patiently wait for the opportunity to carve my next raise out of some fat cat's ass. Greed? Envy? Or just submitting the bill for services rendered?

 

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 12:27 | Link to Comment CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

As a faithful supporter of the system for most of my working life, I patiently wait for the opportunity to carve my next raise out of some fat cat's ass. Greed? Envy? Or just submitting the bill for services rendered?

Sounds like envy, greed, grand larceny and aggravated assault to me.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:16 | Link to Comment tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

well, mort, whatever slivers of truth you wish to throw at the cake eating crowd are burned by the resistance of false dichotomies....the political elite are hand puppets of the bankster plutocratic oligarchical ruling class....

of course the egg headed government assholes are enemies, but behind those enemies are the real enemas....

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 14:00 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

heh heh ... he said "enemas" ... heh heh.

I know, probably a typo, but I likes it muchly.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:18 | Link to Comment B9K9
B9K9's picture

Expert game players were afoot before the ink was even dry on the Constitution. (Hamilton for one had it all figured out long before hand.) Once taxation authority was invested in an entity deemed legitimate via ratification by democratic "represenatives", all bets were off.

In hindsight, the usurpation was pathetically easy to predict & pull off.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:52 | Link to Comment crosey
crosey's picture

de Tocqueville was right....let the masses demand largess from the "representatives".

We have "demanded" our own ruin within a system that makes it possible, even disguiseable.  Who is the greater fool?  The fool, or the ones who follow?

Our choices + poor leaders = our consequences.

Change is coming, but we'll only remember for about 20 years.

Fri, 09/10/2010 - 13:58 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Failure was woven into the cloth.

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