Home > Uncategorized > Public sector salary list released

Public sector salary list released

[Guest post by Skunk at the Picnic.]

The Times-Standard reports that the state controller’s office has “rolled out its latest numbers from government payroll reports.” Donna Tam points out not all our local agencies have provided information, but she didn’t really present much of the information that was presented.

Now, personally, I have no problem with paying government employees well for a job well done. I see no reason that people should suffer lower compensation just because they work for the public, as opposed to a profit-making business. So I’m opposed to efforts to reduce public employee salaries or pensions.

But I sometimes wonder whether some public employees aren’t gaming the system, perhaps taking advantage of the rules so as to boost their pensions well above what someone might expect they would be. I think the rules for some employees may include the last year’s overtime pay as part of your pension calculation, so getting heavy overtime during your last year can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra pension payments over the following thirty years of retirement. It means you’d better suck up to your boss if you want to get that final year overtime bonus.

So it seemed worthwhile to check out the numbers. It’s easy to do, just go to the address the Times-Standard gives at the end, or click one of the following links. Click here for Humboldt, and here for Eureka. The lists are sortable, so click on the heading labeled Total 2009 Wages Subject to Medicare.

I guarantee you, it will be illuminating. Why not discover how much a police sergeant in Eureka makes, or how much a guard at the Humboldt jail takes home? Or, for that matter, what’s the take-home for a Eureka Police Senior Communications Dispatcher? The starting salary of $38,000 is certainly reasonable, but there seems to have been a wee bit of overtime.

  1. High Finanze
    March 7, 2011 at 12:07 am

    As long as this isn’t about 400 of the richest Americans having more wealth than 150 million citizens combined, IT’S FRONT PAGE news!!!

    You may proceed.

  2. Anonymous
    March 7, 2011 at 1:31 am

    This is off-topic, but it bugs me. Bill Wennerholm has been outed at the Humboldt Mirror as “connect the dots.” He accidentally outed himself by replying to a comment direct at “connect the dots” under his old moniker, “humred.” He’s pretty much disappeared since from the blogs since his eff-up.

    Bill Wennerholm is a chiropractor – owner of Wennerholm Chiropractic in McKinleville and owner of all or part of Wennerholm Chiropractic in Eureka.

    Aren’t chiropractors supposed to be healers? As “humred,” Wennerholm was nasty enough. But, believing he was totally anonymous as “connect the dots,” Wennerholm has been over the top vile and filthy, launching brutal, perverted attacks against people he doesn’t like. This is the behavior of someone who professes to be a healer?

    His behavior goes beyond ensuring I will never seek his services as a chiropractor, it makes not want to visit a chiropractor ever. I wonder if the California Chiropractors Association would aprove of Wennerholm’s behavior. I am thinking about filing a complaint with the CCA to at least make them aware of Wennerholm’s disgrace.

  3. Ponder z
    March 7, 2011 at 5:40 am

    Anon, look up ht e 1st amendment. Dipshit!

  4. Walt
    March 7, 2011 at 6:14 am

    And I guess this ‘splains why there are so many Anonymi.

  5. Anonymous
    March 7, 2011 at 6:24 am

    No point being coy. Some sergeants are above $100,000 and that dispatcher is at $80,000. Fair?

  6. Anonymous
    March 7, 2011 at 6:39 am

    That dispatcher will respond carefully and accurately when you call 911, whether you are under attack or calling in on the tweaker down the street. The sergeant will either respond his/herself, or will be in charge of the officers who do respond to your call. The will not know what they face because of your call, or if their kids will see them again.

    Are they paid too much? Well, it’s your call…

  7. Skunk at the Picnic
    March 7, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Dear High Finanze,

    Thieves come in supersize, big, medium and small. The Tea Party was astroturfed to help the media ignore the supersize but that’s no justification for ignoring the medium and small. Especially when they are in “law enforcement.”

    If a police sergeant making $100,000 retires at 50 after serving 30 years, and lives to see 80, they’re going to get $2.7 million in pension before you add in any cost of living adjustment. And that’s just fine as long as the public knows and it’s what the public wants.

    I think normal public employee pensions are fine, but I think some people are ripping off the system.

    And yes, true, 400 families own the same wealth as the bottom half of Americans. But Eureka’s minimum wage workers will still be paying $2.7 million for that retired police sergeant over the next thirty years. And dollars to donuts the prick is in the Tea Party, complaining about public employee pensions.

  8. Plain Jane
    March 7, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Does anyone know why there is such a huge difference in the amounts paid for health, dental and vision? There seems to be no correlation between positions or even salary with costs varying between zero and over $11,000.

  9. Skunk at the Picnic
    March 7, 2011 at 6:58 am

    “That dispatcher will respond carefully and accurately when you call 911, whether you are under attack or calling in on the tweaker down the street.”

    And at $48,000 instead of $80,000, they’d just ignore the call?

  10. Goldie
    March 7, 2011 at 7:05 am

    The overtime for the police department could be caused by the cut backs in hiring. They are understaffed.
    Requesting the council to allow them to fill the open positions they have would cut back on the overtime.

  11. Plain Jane
    March 7, 2011 at 7:06 am

    I didn’t see a dispatcher job listed at $80,000 and not even the sheriff makes $100,000 base pay. Do you expect them to work overtime for no pay?

  12. Outsider
    March 7, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Just so everyone knows, overtime is DEFINITELY not applied to your PERS retirement rate.
    A person might make a bunch of overtime which shows up in that list, but again, is not PERS’able.
    PERS is based on years of service and an average of your last 3 years of employment, or just your single highest year (usually your last), depending on what was negotiated through collective bargaining.
    The person making minimum wage in private sector does not pay anything directly towards a PERS retirement. Social Security is not available to most with a PERS retiment. The PERS contributions are paid for by the employee and the employer, at a rate determined through negotiations.

    And lastly, do you want to risk getting shot or run into buildings everyone else is trying to flee?

  13. Decline to State
    March 7, 2011 at 7:22 am

    After a quick scan a came away with a couple of impressions. First off, it appears that working for the county is much more lucrative than working for the City of Eureka. Secondly, I had no idea that Eureka Public Works/Recreation employed so many people at such low wages.

    Other than that things were pretty much as I expected them to be. The actual people doing the work are just getting by and those supervising appear to be quite comfortable.

  14. Anonymous
    March 7, 2011 at 7:23 am

    The NCRA Executive Director gets $130,000 a year.

  15. Skunk at the Picnic
    March 7, 2011 at 7:31 am

    If Outsider is correct about overtime wages not being included in pension calculations, I stand corrected and relieved.

    The fact remains, an awful lot of people at the Eureka Police collected more than $90,000 in 2009, while the public is told (in today’s Times-Standard) that the average police and firefighter salary is a lower than reasonable $52,500.

    Yes, Plain Jane, I think people should be paid for working overtime. But if several employees in a department are getting paid 20% or more of their salary in overtime, something is wrong with the way the department is managed.

    A competent organization should be employing enough people that it doesn’t need to pay any employee twice their normal salary. If the problem is a hiring freeze, any competent manager should be able to bring the overtime to the attention of a competent group of overseers, point out that hiring an additional employee would lower the cost to the public, and get an exception through.

    I feel strange to be on High Finance’s side on this one, but I am.

  16. Outsider
    March 7, 2011 at 7:38 am

    The reason for all the OT is because it has been well established that it is cheaper to pay OT than to hire another worker. The reason for this is there is no “roll ups” (benefits package)on 2 employees. The problem with it is it leads to worker burnout, among other things. The bottom line is that it is and always will be cheaper to be understaffed and pay OT.

  17. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Problem is this folk:

    Tax dollars are used to pay government employees MORE money than the comparable laborers inb the private sector. Once you separate upper management/ownership classes, the public employee still makes much more than the comparable private sector labor.

    Why?

    Tax dollars – ya see, it is easy for those to make a better life when subsidized by tax dollars – no different than wall street, main street, GRANT STREET, BOND STREET, etc….Further, the benefits (aside from wages) are paid for by tax dolars to give public employees a better life than the very private sector taxpayers for whom many don’t have a single benefit.

    So, the reality is that public employment has for decades been viewed as the easy earnings life where a disparity does exist between private and public wages, earnings and lifestyles.

    Remember, the government uses tax dollars to recruit military servicemen and servicewomen, just as it does to recruit for containment of political power through the public employee’s casted ballot – obviously due to the better lifestyle compared to the private sector worker.

    Lastly – take the bull mularkey about caring and being a “special person” to the chopping block next to the Rhode Island Red’s severed head with regard to why public employees are public employees.

    By the way, ya’ll think with the overpays and over-benfits, government employees would care sooooo much, nary a complaint could ever exist. So, taxpayers are paying for their own futilities to be borne against them and carried out in a never ending saga of manipulative political battles using the citizens of a country to break-away from social togethernesses in order to create confusions that help to “cover-over” the more serious parts of this problem. In the end though, Big bad gubbamint would have to hire more people just to get to the 50%-50% range of public employee versus private employee. As we see in other middle eastern countries currently, public employees are probably not too vocal right about now.

    So, where will Americas Public Employees hide when the bell rings louder and louder for the school children to come back inside for tutorial lessons?

    JL

  18. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Cheaper is not good.

    JL

  19. Particulate
    March 7, 2011 at 7:56 am

    humred, connect the dots were outed here last July:

    https://humboldtherald.wordpress.com/2010/07/03/snails-pace/#comment-109377

    thank you

  20. March 7, 2011 at 8:19 am

    If a person is afraid to put his name to his posts; his point of view is without force. How much does a person really believe in what they’re talking about if they can’t risk anyone knowing who is doing the talking.
    C’mon, how many of you would really, actually suffer persecution for saying what you think?
    It’s just easier to be anonymous. You can pretend to be an activist for your cause, without any of the uncomfortable side effects of being exposed to weirdos. Whether they be on the Right, or the Left.

  21. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Anonymous says:
    March 7, 2011 at 6:39 am
    That dispatcher will respond carefully and accurately when you call 911, whether you are under attack or calling in on the tweaker down the street. The sergeant will either respond his/herself, or will be in charge of the officers who do respond to your call. The will not know what they face because of your call, or if their kids will see them again.

    Are they paid too much? Well, it’s your call…

    Response: 1) assuming you are calling
    2) assuming no other person(s) calls
    3) assuming nobody calls

    I guarantee people would take these public employment jobs EVEN IF THEY WERE ONLY HALF of what they pay-out today – WORD! Ya still gotta be departmentally trained “in-house”.

    The high costs leveraged upon non-public employees to uncomparably over-pay public employees subsidized by tax dollars is a ruse to raise tax collections directly and indirectly – 2nd WORD!

    3rd Word – it is about other societal valuation increases that benefit the uber wealthy besides their minions (gubbamint). Those who play along or ask no questions get rewarded. Those who are concerned and are assertive in their concerns get plowed under the dirt since again, tax collectors (through forced valuations) want tax collection types who like bending over, not the types who understand RAPE IS WRONG. Fudge thy tax collection values higher against those citizens who speak-out with concerns – treat the minionated minds and bend-over types with subsidies and willful blindness for equal protections.

    Tax collection discrepencies are also why there is outright discrimination by gubbamint toward single people – single people do not represent “subsidized family units” (those units where CHILDREN can be economically framed to subsidize government moreso than today). All this HUGE DEBT and who is gonna pay it down? People will pay it down. How do you get people? You have sex and create people. What about broken families? No problem, gubbamint will act as a vice to separate that family more, but at a monetary and financial cost of course where processes, forms and paperwork become included and more costs are created. Such the political game. So many public employee jobs created by the reality of broken families too; and, judicial inclusions of punishments after-the-fact that dictates to such a degree that non-broken families and single people must subsidize the public employment careers of those who benefit from many problems actually created by big, bad gubbamint that break-down family units. Another political game that destroys a more peaceful society in favor of creating tax colections (including fees, fines, etc…)

    If government employees cared so much about there public job, then they could become their own boss and compete in the “private sector”. I know, some people don’t want to be their own boss when being paid like a boss without actually being a boss.

    JL

  22. Skunk at the Picnic
    March 7, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Still… $80,000 for sitting at the telephone and handling 911? moviedad, you go criticize Eureka Police Department salaries using your real name if you think nobody would suffer persecution.

  23. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 8:28 am

    What kind of name, Moviedad?

    Personnaly imo, monikers and pseudonyms are not names.

    They are “nick-names”!

    JL

  24. Anonyi
    March 7, 2011 at 8:31 am

    County supervisors can retire at age 55 with 2.7% of pay for each year of service.

    That means Bonnie Neeley will get $58,000 per year. She was in office for 24 years and last earned about $90,000.

    A private sector employee would not even get $24,000 per year and they would have to wait another 11 years to get that. Bonnie is about 62 and if she lives another 25 years her retirement will cost you and me almost
    1 1/2 million dollars!

  25. anonymous
    March 7, 2011 at 8:33 am

    it makes sense to ask the Eureka PD and the Humboldt county sheriff why there’s so much overtime in the first place. It also makes sense to ask which specific funding sources are used to cover that time: federal or state law enforcement grants; or is that time paid for from the general fund?

  26. Anonymous
    March 7, 2011 at 8:34 am

    The list is somewhat deceiving. All police officers/dispatchers in Eureka contribute close to 9% of their salary to CalPERS. FYI

  27. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Outsider says:
    March 7, 2011 at 7:38 am
    The reason for all the OT is because it has been well established that it is cheaper to pay OT than to hire another worker. The reason for this is there is no “roll ups” (benefits package)on 2 employees. The problem with it is it leads to worker burnout, among other things. The bottom line is that it is and always will be cheaper to be understaffed and pay OT.

    :

    Response: Hmmm, not filling a position (but paying OT) also means less worries to “terminate the employment” of a public employee who deserves being fired, but can’t get fired when they can’t be the “filler of the job position” because they don’t exist as an employee. So, the reality is that public unions and government code sections have had THEIR WAY to “set-up” those citizens in society who are non-public employees.

    Unions are gonna eat dirt.

    JL

  28. Government Freeloader
    March 7, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Eliminate 1/2 of these jobs and the majority of humboldtians would barely see the difference.

    Like the rest of us, government needs to live within it’s means. If they don’t have the money then they should not be allowed to spend it. That’s fair isn’t it?

    If any ordinary person wants more money (benefits, retirement, extra wealth for time off, etc.) I can’t just go and steal it from someone else without being a criminal, unless I belong to a union. The same should apply to government.

  29. $tash
    March 7, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Thank God VB will not have to wait on tables anymore or sell drugs to make a living. She has a job now fit for a Republican. u go grrl

  30. Anonymous
    March 7, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Why all the talk about the salaries of Eureka Police personnel? From the “average” salaries reported in the Sacremento Bee to the actual salaries, nobody is saying anything about firefighters or them making more than police? Now that is something to consider.

    I guarantee it would be “illuminating” if you learned what a firefighter actually does in a days work. Yes I know the stuff about firefighters going into burning buildings and all that jazz but, when can anyone recall a Humboldt County firefighter actually going inside a burning building? A highrise building? They respond to fires occaisionally and squirt water on the fire period.

    Do you ever wonder why fire engines respond to ambulance calls? And how much that costs? Firefighters respond to ambulance calls to make them look busy, to give them someting to do. They have blood drives and toy drives because they don’t have anything else to do, and for PR.

    Firefighters work 24 hours on, 24 hours off, 24 hours on, 24 hours off, 24 hours on, and 72 hours off. Think about that for while. During their 24 hours shift they do what? From 8:00 a.m. to about 3:30p.m. they have coffee, lounge around the firehouse, watch the TV, and maybe do a little training or respond to an ambulance call. They get time to exericse then they are off, as in they stay at the firehouse but don’t have to do anything. They sleep, play on the computer, call their friends or family, or read. If their work day falls on a weekend or holiday they have all day to hang out at the firehouse. It’s a great scam.

    Check out the firefighters before you bellyache too much about the police. And of course firefighters perform a needed service but just compare what a firefighter does to what a police officer does day to day. Also check how many firefighters have second jobs vs. how many police officers have secod jobs.

  31. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 9:02 am

    I dunno,

    but I bet there exists more tainted “police reports” as compared to “fire reports”. Further, why do police harrass victims?

    JL

  32. Ross Rowley
    March 7, 2011 at 9:02 am

    “It’s just easier to be anonymous. You can pretend to be an activist for your cause, without any of the uncomfortable side effects of being exposed to weirdos. Whether they be on the Right, or the Left.”

    That’s actually a very good point, MovieDad…unless of course, the ever-present, non-relenting anonymous doing the posting IS the weirdo…whether it be on the left or the right.

    On the subject concerning the salaries of government workers or private industry employees. Is it so much of an issue to get our pantaloons in a bunch? Bitch, bitch, bitch. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The private sector and the public sector is all one community. YOU decide where you want to live and work (or not)in this society. Whether we suffer on the backs of the taxpayers to pay the wages of a sheriff’s deputy or suffer from being gouged at the gas pumps, we’re all in this together. Play the hand that was dealt to you rather than worrying about the cards in someone else’s hand. But, if people get more joy out of ragging on someone else or perceiving that someone over there is getting more than their fair share, whether public or private, well then that’s the society you shall have.

    There are more things to worry about than other people’s wages. Like that locust attack looming on the horizon. Do I call the public or private sector to help me out? BOTH!

  33. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Ross made a good point – “You can pretend “.

    JL

  34. Plain Jane
    March 7, 2011 at 9:04 am

    For all the people bashing public sector unions, they have to negotiate with the people YOU elect, not you directly. That’s how it works in a representative democracy. Calling them thieves and crying that they are making more than retail clerks who lack the education and training required is ridiculous. Many years they went without COLA’s to gain future benefits and now you want to take those gains away. Cutting the amount of money circulating in the economy is not the way to repair it. Higher taxes is the only solution. Bring back the Clinton tax rates and THEN figure out where we need to cut spending.

  35. Anon
    March 7, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Bonnie worked for the County before becoming a Supervisor so her retirement is actually higher as she has put in more years than 24.

  36. Gump
    March 7, 2011 at 9:06 am

    H.O.J.
    Moviedad may be his nickname but if you notice that it is in red and you click on in it, it takes you to his site that has his real name right there.

    I believe he is the only one besides you that actually admits who they are.

  37. Gump
    March 7, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Oops, I mean his name is blue.

  38. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 9:08 am

    anonymous says:
    March 7, 2011 at 8:33 am
    it makes sense to ask the Eureka PD and the Humboldt county sheriff why there’s so much overtime in the first place. It also makes sense to ask which specific funding sources are used to cover that time: federal or state law enforcement grants; or is that time paid for from the general fund?

    Response: Money all comes from the same facility (Federal Reserve); and, it always works from the top level down…..FEDS, STATE, LOCAL……

    So, it is common sensibly pointless to differentiate where tax dollars come from when considering the net worth of the oney spent and what private sector citizens get in return!

    JL

  39. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Gump,

    Yes, and I respect Moviedad too; yet, I am pointing out that “Moviedad” is still a “nick-name” before any cross-site references or indexings – it is not point blank in your face known at that time prior to further research protocols being advanced for fact finding missions that render straightforward answers to establish actual true identification of a source’s “real name”.

    JL

  40. Anonymous
    March 7, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Seems like the folks who make more than $150,000 were more likely to have substantial overtime. The most substantial being DHHS Director with annual salary maximum of 161,000. Yet reported 215,000. The pension formula on this = living pretty. Perhaps this is a fluke, but seems like the bonus 54,000/year could pay a decent salary to a new employee to take on the work.

    Too bad we can’t see information like this for private companies. I’m sure it’d be far more egregious.

  41. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Plain Jane says:
    March 7, 2011 at 9:04 am
    For all the people bashing public sector unions, they have to negotiate with the people YOU elect, not you directly. That’s how it works in a representative democracy. Calling them thieves and crying that they are making more than retail clerks who lack the education and training required is ridiculous. Many years they went without COLA’s to gain future benefits and now you want to take those gains away. Cutting the amount of money circulating in the economy is not the way to repair it. Higher taxes is the only solution. Bring back the Clinton tax rates and THEN figure out where we need to cut spending.

    Response: Spoken like a true gubbamint minion. Anyhow, “stopping the bleeding now, in today’s socio-political environment” is different than retroactively negating past liabilities and responsibilities.

    It is true that stupid majority voters have voted time and time again for stupid elected officials who are stupid at negotiating.
    Yet, it is also true that non-stupid public employees voted for stupid elected officials because the unions have an easier time getting what they want.

    WHY?

    Too big to fail.

    JL

  42. tra
    March 7, 2011 at 9:21 am

    “Henchman of Justice” is still a “nickname” too. Probably a lot of us regulars know what the initials JL refer to, but others surely don’t. Unlike Moviedad, you don’t have a link to click on where folks could learn your actual full name if they wanted to.

    So the way you’re posting, Henchy, is really no different than the rest of us who are using pseudonyms.

  43. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Except that,

    I sign my name and lately have used intials as well. So, really not the same thing. It is not about Moviedad per se; rather, his comment merely better explains “nick-names”, not real names.

    How about this – forget moviedad and think of ALMOST everyone NOT MOVIEDAD?

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  44. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 9:40 am

    TRA,

    also, if you blog on the Herald as much as you do (and you do do), then surely you can’t deny the evolution of this host site in blogosphere that ALSO OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES by way of gravitar. So, click on that nice red HOJ gravitar snapshot and see how links “REALLY WORK” with technological advances that distinguish personal informations. It may not be FACEBOOK, but who really cares?

    JL

  45. Plain Jane
    March 7, 2011 at 9:43 am

    As I have stated repeatedly, I am not now nor have I ever been a public employee or member of a union. I am, however, someone who believes in keeping promises, especially those made to employees by the city/county/state/federal governments. Clawing back wages and benefits because greedy rich people crashed the economy makes no sense. Take it from those who got it as a political gift, not those who worked for it.

  46. tra
    March 7, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Henchy,

    I see that you signed your actual name to your 9:34, so I guess you see my point that “Henchman of Justice / JL” is basically the same level of pseudonymity as almost everyone else here.

    I’m just saying you ought to either sign your real name to your comments every time, or else get down off your high horse.

  47. Mitch
    March 7, 2011 at 9:52 am

    PJ,

    I agree with you that clawbacks are wrong. But 3% at 50 seems pretty unaffordable to me for new hires.

    I also thought overtime was being used to game the pension system — if it’s really not, that’s good.

    I think public employees deserve good salaries and good benefits. $80,000 in one year to a 911 operator, “senior” or not, OT or no OT, seems awfully high to me when a lot of people are struggling to find jobs, and when a lot of public employees are not paid very well at all.

  48. Plain Jane
    March 7, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Changing the rules for new hires is done all the time, Mitch. I didn’t see any dispatcher making $80,000; but with a base salary of $38,000, that’s a LOT of overtime and I would venture to guess was related to the Wilson / Hansen mess with multiple people being out on stress and administrative leave.

  49. Random Guy
    March 7, 2011 at 10:09 am

    “But I sometimes wonder whether some public employees aren’t gaming the system, perhaps taking advantage of the rules so as to boost their pensions well above what someone might expect they would be….”

    Don’t let this kind of thinking infect you. “Class-envy” is bullshit, and isn’t the source of anybody’s frustration. Nobody’s jealous of eachother…rather, independent labor has every right to wonder why they’re not getting the same dues the government gives itself for the exact same work.

  50. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Class envy CAN BE B-S, but ya have to admit, not ALL class envy is B-S…….kinda depends on each individual circumstance when weighed against the overall fish bowl and what types of food the different fishies are allowed to have.

    JL

  51. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Tra,

    spoken like a true manipulator. Anyhow, I have trojans for ya if ya need them.

    JL

  52. Plain Jane
    March 7, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Random Guy, The reason is the tax cuts that enabled the owners of businesses to keep more while paying less in taxes so they did. They let wages stagnate and even cut them and benefits as their profits soared. Now that the tax cuts crashed the economy, the same people want the working classes to pay for the disaster regardless of our decline in income for decades. Working class people who support this scam are like chickens voting for Col. Sanders.

  53. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Plain Jane says:
    March 7, 2011 at 9:43 am
    As I have stated repeatedly, I am not now nor have I ever been a public employee or member of a union. I am, however, someone who believes in keeping promises, especially those made to employees by the city/county/state/federal governments. Clawing back wages and benefits because greedy rich people crashed the economy makes no sense. Take it from those who got it as a political gift, not those who worked for it.

    Response: As if government distinguishes between the rich and poor when entering agreements with public employee unions that create greedy rich people too.

    National Sales Tax only – think harder PJ, think.

    JL

  54. Random Guy
    March 7, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I know what you’re saying, Henchman. What I’m saying is, if I work just as hard, I won’t achieve the same spending power as somebody on the inside. I can’t in good conscience look my neighbors in the eye and tell them they’re being overcompensated for their work, when they’re just punching in and punching out every day like me.

  55. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Overtime – calculate it folks. If OT is based upon already too high wages, then what?

    JL

  56. tra
    March 7, 2011 at 10:26 am

    While some public sector employees do, in my opinion, receive overly-generous compensation and benefit packages, the ones who do are mostly middle and upper management types. When rank-and-file employees work overtime, they deserve overtime pay for their work.

    If we don’t want to pay overtime to public employees we have to hire more, and as has been pointed out above, this can actually cost more than paying for the overtime in such cases. Getting mad at employees who earn more because they worked overtime is just plaiin silly, given that it’s not up to those employees whether or not the agency they are working for decides it’s easier/cheaper to operate with overtime rather than hiring, training, and paying wages and benefits for additional employees.

    If the basic pay of, for example, a dispatcher, is fair, and then they earn time-and-a-half for overtime and they work many hours of overtime, yes, they can get quite a handsome paycheck…but so what? They’ve done the work to earn it. Aside from the stress of working long hours, they’re also forgoing time with their family and friends, time for recreation, the pursuit of hobbies, time for things like home improvement, the ability to take on other work in their spare time, etc.

    It sounds like, from the comments here, OT is not used to calculate pensions, but I agree that if that does happen in any contracts, then there is the potential problem of someone who didn’t really work a lot of overtime for most of their career but suddenly piles it on in the last few years (the period used to calculate the pension). If that system actually exists in any public employee contracts, it should not be included in future contracts.

    That being said, I would have no problem with crediting workers in some way in their pensions for their career-long average of OT worked, because after all, a pension is supposed to reward in a way that is proportional to services rendered, and if someone works a lot of OT over the course of their career, well, that’s more services rendered. Also, if employee contributions to the pension plan are taken as a % of the employee’s pay each week, including a % of the OT pay, then it only makes sense that the employee’s pension pay-out amount should reflect that increased contribution.

    In any event, it seems to me that all the effort that some folks put into trying to focus on the wages and benefits of middle-class, rank-and-file public sector workers is just aimed at stoking the coals of “intra-class envy” and shifting attention from those at the top who are getting a larger share of income and wealth than any time in modern history, while also working overtime to ensure that they pay less in taxes to support the very system that has allowed them to get rich, and protects their wealth in innumerable ways. It’s the classic divide-and-conquer approach.

    Apparetnly the idea is that “class envy” is wrong and misplaced, and “ugly,” but “intra-class envy” is to be exploited at every turn.

  57. Bolithio
    March 7, 2011 at 10:27 am

    While I understand why there are administrators and managers of agencies and programs, I have never understood why they command such high pay rates. At least not at a time when you are facing cutting entire positions. Or while inefficiency from things like too much overtime – when it would be cheaper to not have cut the position in the first place – ruin your budgets. Extrapolate to our state of the state. Thats our problem.

    150K for the DA? Why? Why not 75? Pretty damm good living. 150K for coroner? Or supervisor? Why?

  58. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Random Guy says:
    March 7, 2011 at 10:09 am
    “But I sometimes wonder whether some public employees aren’t gaming the system, perhaps taking advantage of the rules so as to boost their pensions well above what someone might expect they would be….”

    Don’t let this kind of thinking infect you. “Class-envy” is bullshit, and isn’t the source of anybody’s frustration. Nobody’s jealous of eachother…rather, independent labor has every right to wonder why they’re not getting the same dues the government gives itself for the exact same work.

    Response: Government is not giving itself anything; rather, government is taking for itself from non-public employees to subsidize better lifestyles for government employees. Darned it, if CARE was really practiced by public employees, costs would be lower across the board for government, wages or not. So ya, it kinda depends on the stink of the public employee b-s (err mistakes) in a negligient mannerism.

    JL

  59. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 10:37 am

    TRA,

    The citizens don’t need to hire more employees to cover the overpayments toward OT IF big bad gubbamint would stop making b-s regulatory frauds……kinda like affordable housing (where are you dumbies at arguing this issue?)…… Ya, the state ain’t “propping up fraudulantly” the SFR housing sector values for tax collection purposes as a way to levy fees in order to pay down the stupid electorate debts created by decisions like THIS……requiring fire suppression systems in SFR’s.

    More and more Californians are dumb, dumber and dumbest by the second. As the mess gets worse, so too will the re-actions.

    JL

  60. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Part of any wage earning job is the difference between,

    understanding: Salary versus an hourly wage versus an estimate or bidded project. 2 of the 3 are scam jobs that over-value society to benefit a few. Hello Black Market Economy – we love ya!

    JL

  61. Random Guy
    March 7, 2011 at 10:48 am

    “While some public sector employees do, in my opinion, receive overly-generous compensation and benefit packages, the ones who do are mostly middle and upper management types. When rank-and-file employees work overtime, they deserve overtime pay for their work.”

    If I had time I’d rewrite what I said based on this, because I agree with what henchman is saying but can’t overlook the overall structure of individuals in placement. We’re all still slaves to the same pyramid scheme.

  62. Plain Jane
    March 7, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Keep in mind that management isn’t union. They negotiate their own wages and benefits.

    If, as I suspect, the dispatcher overtime was due to stress and administrative leaves of other employees, they can’t just be replaced by new hires. Considering the amount of overtime it would take to reach $80,000 from $38,000 base pay, few would want to work that many hours. Those who do are free to get a 2nd job to increase their incomes.

  63. pile on
    March 7, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I agree with Plain Jane: “Clawing back wages and benefits because greedy rich people crashed the economy makes no sense.”

    However, there are so many public employees who don’t actually do the work we pay them to do. I’m referring to the ones in our state resource agencies. The Departments of Fish and Game and Water Resources are good examples.

    Anyone who’s observed the dysfunction, incompetence and outright dishonesty of the people we pay to protect our public resources can’t help but feel disgust.

    Anyone who has spent their own time for no pay trying to make these agency flacks do their job and enforce our laws, anyone who has attempted to protect the resources on their own, often with money from their own pockets – well you can understand how that generates resentment.

    We need report cards for public agencies, like we have for schools. Agencies should have to meet standards and those standards should be measured in the health of our wildlife, rivers, groundwater and watersheds. If the state of those commonly held resources is not good – if they score low – the state employees responsible should be fired. With no pension.

  64. Mitch
    March 7, 2011 at 11:03 am

    tra,

    You’ve earned your acronym with your 10:26 comment, reasonable.

    Even so, I think public agencies should make sure there are no egregious W2s, because they WILL be jumped on as an argument for cutting all public employee salaries. Groups like the Board of Supervisors or the City Council should hold managers accountable for overtime rates. I don’t understand how any employee can make as much in overtime as others make in base pay. If it came out of their manager’s paycheck instead of the public’s, it wouldn’t happen.

    I find it very hard to believe that it is impossible to staff a position like “communications dispatcher” such that the public doesn’t have to pay a lot of time and a half, and the employee doesn’t have to work 80 hours a week. Not impossible to believe, but very hard.

    If it’s due to a hiring freeze, whoever is unwilling to make an exception to the freeze ought to be coming before the BoS or CC every quarter until either the OT stops or an exception is made to the freeze; and the BoS or CC ought to see to it that situations like that remain on the radar. It sure would in private business.

  65. Plain Jane
    March 7, 2011 at 11:08 am

    People out on temporary leave aren’t replaced, Mitch. Not in the private sector and certainly not in the public sector where they have civil service protection. Temporary workers might be able to fill in, but their effectiveness is limited due to lack of relevant experience.

  66. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Wages/earnings – it really has been certain people versus certain people when considering socio-economic and sociopolitical issues, but now its changed – it is country versus country. Instead of a few upper teir uber wealthy fatcats and gubbamint stop trying to bang out a buck on and against it’s own country members so as to focus on world competitions to bang out a buck, then economic slaves we are and will continue to be. I can’t understand he selfishnesses by government at all levels and its individual employees who ruse the good people of this country and those GOOD PUBLIC EMPLOYEES that do a darned GOOD JOB – I have experienced both. Yet, Public employment wages (Sports wages/salaries/benefits/stadiums/infrastructure, private sector profit mark-ups, etc… ) are still too high and must come down to save this country from the abyss it is headed toward for those not positioned financially to wade and survive the Tsunami that is building. TOO much GREED attained through non free-market conditions or applications thereof.

    JL

  67. Mitch
    March 7, 2011 at 11:23 am

    PJ,

    So what happens if the employee filling in for the person on temporary leave isn’t willing to work 80 hours a week?

    There will be exceptions to every rule, but if the reason for excessive overtime is someone out on temporary leave, it needn’t take more than 30 seconds of the BoS or CC’s time, once per quarter. At least they’d be reminded that a position is costing 50% more than it needs to.

    And it’s not just the one 911 operator, PJ. Look at the lists, and tell me it doesn’t make you wonder how well overtime is being handled in some parts of government.

  68. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 11:29 am

    To be fair and honest and right,

    it needs o be pointed out time and time again that there are good public employees, some reall fine one’s; but, that things like professional sports and its appurtenant societal costs that subsidize a few at the expense of the many, profits inb the private sector based upon consumer product frauds, baits and switches, faulty products, etc… (We all have seen those restaraunt commercials showing huge proportions of food in advertisements when reality is a bait and switch in most instances). Gasoline too – that hurts the ability to lower government costs so that budget battles can, to a lesser extent, not focus on “people costs” (So $3.79 per gallon in Fort Bragg). In essence, everyone will feel the pain for the levels of greed society is experiencing in a non free-market set-up manifested by the very elected officials that the majority of the “class of victims” continue to elect.

    Color me stupid and call me blind, but deafness can be by will.

    JL

  69. Plain Jane
    March 7, 2011 at 11:35 am

    I believe refusing to work overtime can be a firing offense, Mitch. It’s likely that some people want it and some don’t and, in that respect, it is somewhat voluntary. Most union contracts require that overtime is offered on the basis of seniority. Does it really matter if all the overtime went to one employee or was shared between some or all? Were there other dispatchers who made a lot more than their base? $40,000 in overtime would pay the wages, but not the benefits of another employee.

  70. pete
    March 7, 2011 at 11:37 am

    What about all those salaries for RECREATION.

  71. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Overtime – is only another calculator tool to increase valuations by either public/private contract or direct legislation. If people don’t want to work more than so many hours in a day (people should know their bodies better than most), then they should not be forced to. If an employer requires from any employee a certain number of hours per shift, then that is their right….just as much as it is for any individual employee (public or private) to make that decision as to where that potential employee will seek future employment. Overtime is a scam job too because if ya want the extra work (without force), and an employer has hours to give to any employee who wants those hours (or, who is ALLOWED AS A SPECIAL PREFERENCE TREATMENT KICKBACK OVERTIME HOURS), then that employee accepts such workload only because of OT or need? Overtime is a payment schedule based upon propping-up valuations to increase societal costs that help to again prop up values, indirect or direct. It is the preferential treatments by way of who is allowed/issued or receives the OT hours by considering whether the employee wanted it or not (this is huge – forced or pressured “base” labor instead of “filler” labor mixed in with union contract conditions that additionally force higher societal values too).

    JL

  72. Anonymous
    March 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Henchman of Justice you are an idiot and a clown.

  73. Anonymous
    March 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Less than an hour ago a Redding Police Officer was shot making a car stop. When is last time you heard of a fireman getting anything other than a mild case of carpal tunnell?

  74. tra
    March 7, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Many years ago I worked in a (state-funded, non-profit agency) job that required mandatory staffing levels to comply with law. Sometimes due to illness or snowstorms, we would have to stay and work another shift whether we wanted to or not (the only other option being to quit, and leaving the agency’s vulnerable clients in the lurch). Now all of us employees knew this when we took the job, in fact it was in our contract (we were unionized) and we accepted it as one of the terms of employment.

    But nobody was crazy about getting “mandatoried” at the end of their regular shift, which would only happen when no per-diem staff could make it in for that shift, and none of the other full-time staff wanted to work the extra shift. At that point, if you were next up on the list (because eveyone else had been made to work mandatory overtime more recently than you), you’d be “mandatoried” and have to stay for another full shift, or at least until a per diem person, or staffmember willing to do the overtime voluntarily, showed up to replace you. This seemed to happen to me at least once a month, and at times when the agency was particularly understaffed, it would happen as frequently as once a week.

    I actually had a regular 16 hour “double-shift” one day every week, and when “mandatoried” at the end of that double-shift, I would be there for another 8 hour shift, the triple-shift, also known as the “hat trick.” Not ideal for the employee, not ideal for the clients, not ideal for the agency, but occassionally unavoidable.

    Believe me, after you’ve finished a 24 straight hours working with a challenging population, and with not so much as a nap, you’re earned your overtime pay, and then some.

  75. tra
    March 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    12:40,

    Despite your stereotype of firemen as pampered and their jobs as cushy and overpaid, I think there might be a few 9/11 widows and widowers and surviving family and friends who might take issue with your portrayl of firefighting as practically risk-free.

    Beyond that obvious example, there are firefighters out there risking their lives every day as they deal with regular structure fires, wildlands fires, etc. I believe that despite advancements in breathing apparatus and other protective technologies, “Firefighter” still makes it onto the list of most dangerous jobs. Look it up.

  76. The Government
    March 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    We’ve heard your cries!

    We’re cutting all public salaries in half…

    So that we can initiate more tax cuts, bailouts and subsidies for our sponsors, WOW, we can have another war, and your cities can close more schools while building selling and financing those high-profit big homes and big cars for another decade or two!

    National security demands that we not dismount this Tiger.

    ******end communique********

  77. The Right Wing
    March 7, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Our team is still looting the U.S. Treasury, enjoying the lowest tax rates in decades, Intel just spent their bailout billions on massive high-skill factories training Vietnamese children, offshore tax shelters are still legal, our own powerful development community is successfully fighting for YOUR infrastructure to build THEIR third housing bubble to be bailed out!

    And the little people are at each others throats squabbling ferociously over the crumbs!!

    Mission Accomplished!

    We fought every social policy that built this nation’s middle class since the beginning, we welcome your efforts and can now include you in our little secret:

    It was never about “envy”.

    It was always about schadenfreude and American’s consumption-generated, psychotic inability to enjoy and appreciate what they have unless others have less. And the less others have, the more grateful we can be.

    “Eat all your peas, there’s someone starving in India”.

    (Signed: Mom).

  78. Anonymous
    March 7, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Heraldo,
    I’m VERY disappointed that you’ve strayed into this middle-class warfare crap. This is a republican fat cat’s wet dream: get the lower classes to fight with each other over the crumbs while they negotiate lower tax rates, ignore explanations of their bailouts, and spend their money investing overseas and in areas that don’t lead to good paying jobs. So, now cops, nurses, and teachers are the “welfare queens” – lazy, ungrateful schemers.

    This thread feels like a bunch of dogs fighting over scraps (whos worse police, fire, or dispatchers), while their owners lean back and enjoy their cigars and brandy.

  79. March 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Please note that the above post is a guest post, and this is my first comment on this thread. Nowhere have I called cops, nurses and teachers “welfare queens.”

    This is a republican fat cat’s wet dream: get the lower classes to fight with each other over the crumbs while they negotiate lower tax rates, ignore explanations of their bailouts, and spend their money investing overseas and in areas that don’t lead to good paying jobs.

    Well stated.

  80. Skunk at the Picnic
    March 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Sometimes Heraldo’s guest posters aren’t toeing the party line. Sometime’s Heraldo’s guest posters are wrong. And sometimes Heraldo’s guest posters just like stirring shit… which maybe is a mistake.

    But this guest poster thanks Heraldo for the platform. I’m sure regularly scheduled programming will return soon for those who are uncomfortable hearing other points of view.

  81. High Finance
    March 7, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Only a liberal would consider allowing people to keep more of their own money “raiding the US Treasury” !

    Has Michael Moore started posting here ?

  82. High Finesse
    March 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Exactly!

    Corporations are people too! Our team’s Supreme Court ordered it!

    If “the (other) people” want to benefit from the U.S. Treasury, they should have to work for it!

    The less “the others” have, the more grateful I can be…

    I’m sure of it.

  83. Plain Jane
    March 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Only a conservative considers tax cuts for the rich funded by wage cuts for the poor, “keeping their own money.” Can you imagine working for someone who believes every dime they pay you is theft?

  84. Random Guy
    March 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    plain jane, if you’re looking for examples, you won’t have to spend a lot of time by getting to know franchise restaurant owners. They hate the people that work for them, and they even hate the people they feed. As a stereotype, of course.

  85. 69er
    March 7, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Thanks Tra 12:51

  86. Anonymous
    March 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Skunk at the Picnic says:
    March 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    “And sometimes Heraldo’s guest posters just like stirring shit… which maybe is a mistake”.

    *********************************************************

    “Maybe”?

    Your “stirring shit” is nothing more than mainstream corporate spin.

    Many viewers, like me, are here seeking alternatives to America’s corporate megaphone they still call a “free-press”. As Michael Moore aptly pointed out, “where’s the media coverage of the 400 individuals who own as much as 150 million others”? Does the concentration of ownership that the Founding Fathers frequently warned about become a problem ONLY when its a monarchy or communist society?

    Thousands of Americans are foreclosed every day since early 2009, and it’s already off the front section…like AIDS; the 6th largest extinction event in life’s history; the highest unemployment since the Great Depression; the largest income disparity since the Gilded Age: “stale news”, who says?? Where’s the coverage?? Where the “labor section” that used to grace America’s daily newspapers?

    Americans think Tunisians, Libyans and Egyptians are having a revolution against their dictators…because the mainstream press says so!! But its actually because the people are jobless and hungry…exactly what U.S. corporations have been accomplishing in America for a generation!!

    No No No! Such obvious comparisons must remain censored!!

    And I turn here to find a bunch of right-wing quacks pleading for more of the same?

    Social programs that built this nation’s middle class have been systematically dismantled, by all means, lets begin eliminating middle class public employees too!

    Why not give HiFi a guest column, he’s also a mere provocateur that weasel’s his way around obvious hypocrisies.

    Once again, “Skunk”, what will happen to all those “savings” when you succeed in dropping public salaries to “reasonable” levels?

    What is the impact on your local economy?

    At a time when the biggest cheats on EARTH just crashed the WORLD ECONOMY, you want to change the focus to excessive public salaries?

    You’re another provocateur, nothing more.

  87. Oldphart
    March 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    The problem with CalPers is they expect to make a 7% yield year in and year out. That worked for awhile, but not today. And by the way, check out the salaries for those CalPers investment board members. You can find all of that online. The question is what happens when they go bust? Well, the state of California had a change in the constitution so that the taxpayers will make up the difference. You can fund your health insurance and pension and the public employees too. How nice.

  88. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    CalPERS also had a team of sophisticated boobs with college degrees/diplomas/fancy worded pieces of paper who invested like fools in the real estate market and did not make crud, but lost a whole lot of pension monies. Just sayin, individuals for whom trust others with their money are just playing with fire.

    JL

  89. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Tra says,

    “Believe me, after you’ve finished a 24 straight hours working with a challenging population, and with not so much as a nap, you’re earned your overtime pay, and then some.”

    Response: So, should the rate of pay go down as lack of both quality of care and efficiency increase? Yup, no sense in paying an over-worked worker the same rate when they just become less productive while endangering others. There should not exist forced working hours, period. A potential employee accepts the HUMANE terms or not, period. You don’t have to like it and you don’t have to work either. You can become your own boss though. You can also become unemployed. You can also just break the law to go to jail and live for free. You can do a lot of things; yet, if over-worked by force, then all bets are off for the abuser whomever that be.

    JL

  90. tra
    March 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    “You can fund your health insurance and pension and the public employees too. How nice.”

    Well they are public employees. Who else is going to fund their health insurance and pensions? Sure, you can make the individual employees contribute more from out of their take-home pay, but that take-home pay is publicly funded as well, and as you take more out of it to go to health insurance, pensions, and other benefits, the employees’ actual take-home pay drops. Given the nature of the labor market, that either means you lose your best employees to the private sector (and prevent other well-qualified folks from ever applying for public sector jobs in the first place) or eventually you have to increase their pay to make up for the larger portion being deducted for benefits.

    Either way, it’s taxpayers’ money. Basically, there’s no such thing as “free lunch.” Normally conservatives are the first to recognize that fact, but they seem to have a blind spot a mile wide when it comes to how the labor market works, and particularly when it comes to public employees like teachers, nurses, firefighters and the like.

    For some reason, when dealing with these sorts of hardworking, rank-and-file public employees, many conservatives like to pretend that they can somehow wave a magic wand (or magic budget axe) and say “abracadabra” and somehow, magically, the same quantity and quality of work will get done by the same quality of employees, just for a lot less money. Unfortunately, the labor market just doesn’t work that way: Slash the wages and benefits of a whole group of employees, and you’ll soon see your best and brightest leave, replaced by those with less experience, weaker qualifications, questionable work histories and poorer prospects for private sector employment.

    Of course for some conservatives, that’s just fine, as it will degrade the quality of public services, a perfect self-fulfilling prophecy. But for those of us that actually do want top-quality teachers, nurses, firefighters and so on, we know full well that if you want quality, you have to be willing to pay for it.

    The real question is whether we’re getting our money’s worth. In my opinion, when it comes to rank-and-file public employees, like teachers, nurses, firefighters, etc., the answer is usually “yes.” Middle management, and upper-level management? Maybe not so much.

    Meanwhile, plenty of private employers fail to pay decent wages, or provide health insurance and other benefits. Many (like WalMart) deliberately keep many of their workers below the threshold for “full-time” work, in order to avoid paying towards those sorts of benefits. In so doing, employers like WalMart externalize the costs onto the rest of us, as their low-paid, uninsured, no-benefits workers are forced to turn to Food Stamps, Medical/Medicaid, subsidized housing, etc., to try to make ends meet.

    So, it would be accurate to say “You can pay for your purchases at the cash register at WalMart, and also pay a second time, as your taxes subsidize WalMart’s underpaid, uninsured workforce. How nice.”

  91. High Finance
    March 7, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Mouse, time for you to grow up old man.

    PJ, what tax cuts and what poor people ? I think you just mimic the Dem party line & don’t even think about what you say anymore.

  92. tra
    March 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Henchy said: “There should not exist forced working hours, period.”

    In theory, I would agree with that. It’s never a desirable thing. But for certain types of facilities (hospitals, nursing homes, mental health facitilities, jails/prisons, residential schools, facilities for developmentally disabled people, etc.) they MUST mainting a certain staffing ratio to comply with the law and maintain at least a basic level of safety for both clients/patients/inmates and for the other staff. And even under the best management regime, sometimes they come up short on staff (due to a blizzard, flu outbreak, etc.) and need to have a fall-back plan.

    Of course, if the employer is resorting to the “mandatory overtime” option too frequently, that’s a sign that they are understaffed and probably poorly managed. Usually it’s self-correcting, because with too many “mandatories” you start to lose staff, which necessitates the expensive process of hiring and training their replacements.

  93. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Well they are public employees. Who else is going to fund their health insurance and pensions? Sure, you can make the individual employees contribute more from out of their take-home pay, but that take-home pay is publicly funded as well, and as you take more out of it to go to health insurance, pensions, and other benefits, the employees’ actual take-home pay drops. Given the nature of the labor market, that either means you lose your best employees to the private sector (and prevent other well-qualified folks from ever applying for public sector jobs in the first place) or eventually you have to increase their pay to make up for the larger portion being deducted for benefits.

    Response: The best employees being lost really could not find a better job in the private sector – point one. The public employees who must pay more for their benefits and coverages are only being brought back down to reality considering others (private sector) with less wages or wealth who fund the few with more – point two.

    Again, I guarantee there exists workers who would take the public employment jobs at a considerably less wage with less benefits – the problem is the politicians in control that understand by over-paying the public employee voter class, they have effectually created an army of supporters who vote too, most likely for the very same people that treat them better than the average worker from the private sector – ya know, God and country!

    JL

  94. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    tra says:
    March 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm
    Henchy said: “There should not exist forced working hours, period.”

    In theory, I would agree with that. It’s never a desirable thing. But for certain types of facilities (hospitals, nursing homes, mental health facitilities, jails/prisons, residential schools, facilities for developmentally disabled people, etc.) they MUST mainting a certain staffing ratio to comply with the law and maintain at least a basic level of safety for both clients/patients/inmates and for the other staff. And even under the best management regime, sometimes they come up short on staff (due to a blizzard, flu outbreak, etc.) and need to have a fall-back plan.

    Of course, if the employer is resorting to the “mandatory overtime” option too frequently, that’s a sign that they are understaffed and probably poorly managed. Usually it’s self-correcting, because with too many “mandatories” you start to lose staff, which necessitates the expensive process of hiring and training their replacements.

    Response: It is a problem though that a mandate to comply with staffing ratios ALSO reduces efficiencies, quality of care/work, poor employee health, etc… that becomes deflected upon the customer in an expansive, abusive way that one can only honestly question whether the pay for damaging labor is justified.

    JL

  95. tra
    March 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Henchy,

    There are always workers who will take jobs at lower wages and with fewer benefits — but on average these will be poorer-quality workers. So we can go ahead and engage in a “race to the bottom” by slashing wages and benefits for those who have decent compensation packages now, or we can try to raise the standards for those workers who don’t. The first strategy results in a downward spiral, economically, for everyone, the second contributes to a “rising tide that lifts all boats.” It’s our choice.

  96. tra
    March 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    I agree that mandatory overtime results in tired, pooer-performing workers, and that this work is “not worth as much.” But it makes no sense to penalize the workers, who have no control over the staffing decisions. If one were to propose a system where upper management was penalized, financially, every time mandatory overtime was used, I’d have no problem with that.

    The workers themselves deserve every penny they get (and probably more) when they are forced to work overtime that they don’t want to work. I know that when I was in that position and was forced to do the extra shift I always did my utmost to make sure the service I was providing to the agency’s clients was up to par, as did most of my co-workers.

  97. Anonymous
    March 7, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    I’m just jumping in but I have something urgent that needs attention from the local media (are you listening Heraldo). The Eureka city school system is in complete disarray. I work in the schools, and I see and hear what is going. Look at what the administrators and superintendents are making and how their numbers continue to increase despite drastically decreases enrollments. There is massive amounts of wasted money in our local school’s budgets. Why are superintendents making 150k? One principal recently postponed retirement so they could create a new job for him, superitendent of janitorial services, where he was paid of 100k. Meanwhile, the student to teacher ratio has skyrocketed. There are countless stories of administrators and superintendents behaving in neglegently, sexually impropriately, and incompetently. I am sorry I can’t give my name for obvious reasons but simply ask a teacher who works for Eureka city schools and see what they have to say. It is disgusting and sad at the same time.

  98. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Tra, the rising of standards is disallowed or not fundamentally achievable when public employee issues help to lessen the ability of raising private sector others’ standards – nah, no one is complaining about public employees on this level, can’t be…..propagandas.

    The word “try” carries as much weight as the word “willful negligience”. We know the top tier Public employees also crud on the lower tier public employees too (school administrators versus teachers underpaid); so, there is internal animosities as well (another byproduct of subsidized union labor that is not individually negotiated). No TWO workers put out the same, period (not even robots or machines – when dealing in milliseconds with regard to productions).

    JL

  99. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Tra, the rising of standards is disallowed or not fundamentally achievable when public employee issues help to lessen the ability of raising private sector others’ standards – nah, no one is complaining about public employees on this level, can’t be…..propagandas.

    The word “try” carries as much weight as the word “willful negligience”. We know the top tier Public employees also crud on the lower tier public employees too (school administrators versus teachers underpaid); so, there is internal animosities as well (another byproduct of subsidized union labor that is not individually negotiated). No TWO workers put out the same, period (not even robots or machines – when dealing in milliseconds with regard to productions).

    Tra says too, “The workers themselves deserve every penny they get (and probably more) when they are forced to work overtime that they don’t want to work.”

    Response: and the customer deserves a price reduction as well for services rendered differently and less effectively when countered and weighed against the fact that diminishing returns of service follow due to over-worked employees and their loss of energies. Those who create this abuse should end up paying – problem is WHEN IDIOTIC POLITICIANS are the abusers forcing unhealthy labor practices and labor shortages due to health abuses. I wonder what the business and professions codes say about this quandary?

    JL

  100. Another Take
    March 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    I have family member who works for the county. There are 6 managers and 15 worker in their department. No joke. And these managers ¨manage¨ this small group of college educated folks until they retire on the largest saleries in the office. In general, the departments work adds value to the community. But come on, have you ever seen this manager to worker ratio in the private sector?

  101. Prophet of The End
    March 7, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    “The time is fast coming when the controlling power of the labor unions will be very oppressive.” Letter 5, 1904

    “The trades unions will be one of the agencies that will bring upon this earth a time of trouble such as has not been since the world began.”–Letter 200, 1903.

    “The work of the people of God is to prepare for the events of the future, which will soon come upon them with blinding force. In the world gigantic monopolies will be formed. Men will bind themselves together in unions that will wrap them in the folds of the enemy. A few men will combine to grasp all the means to be obtained in certain lines of business. Trades unions will be formed, and those who refuse to join these unions will be marked men.”–Letter 26, 1903.

    “These unions are one of the signs of the last days. Men are binding up in bundles ready to be burned. They may be church members, but while they belong to these unions, they cannot possibly keep the commandments of God; for to belong to these unions means to disregard the entire Decalogue. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” These words sum up the whole duty of man. They mean the consecration of the whole being, body, soul, and spirit, to God’s service. How can men obey these words, and at the same time pledge themselves to support that which deprives their neighbors of freedom of action? And how can men obey these words, and form combinations that rob the poorer classes of the advantages which justly belong to them, preventing them from buying or selling, except under certain conditions?” Letter 26, 1903

  102. anonymous
    March 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    All this wailing and railing about public employee salaries is almost laughable, and certainly aimed at the wrong segment. The fact is that the deck is stacked against you all. For your consideration:

    * The gap between the wealthiest Americans & the poorest is bigger than at any time since the 1920s. The top 20% of wealthy individuals own about 85% of the wealth, while the bottom 40% own very near 0%.

    * Wages have stagnated since the Bush years, but corporate profits have more than doubled. A huge share of the nation’s economic growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top 1/100th of 1% percent, who now make an average of $27 million per household. The average income for the bottom 90% of us? About $32,000.

    * The gap between salaries of the nation’s CEOs & average workers is now 10 times greater than it was a generation ago. The Bush tax cuts, extended by the Obama administration, shaved only a few hundred dollars off the tax bills of most Americans, but they saved the richest 1% more than $44,000 on average. Those who make more than than $200,000 a year (the richest 5% of the population) pocket almost 1/2 of the money. Those who make less than $75,000 a year — (80% of us) receive barely 1/4 of the cuts.

    That the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is more true now than ever. So direct your anger at Wall Street, big business, banks and politicians, not the guys in uniform who answer your calls for help.

  103. Plain Jane
    March 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Too funny, Prophet.

  104. High Finance
    March 7, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    This entire topic is the victim of misdirection. The subject is public employees salaries & benefit costs and its affect of local, state & federal government deficits.

    You guys have hijacked this to be (yawn) another class envy attack against the evil rich.

    I don’t give a flying frack on whether Bill Gates has $40 billion or $60 billion dollars. Its none of my business as he did not get rich by stealing from me or the taxpayers. His success did not limit mine. Mouse & PJ and the rest of you would be better off if you stopped concentrating on him & instead concentrated on your own lives. This envy by the left is sick.

    The fact is, public employees are as well paid (and sometimes better) as their counterparts in the private sector. But the benefits (health insur, retirement, vacation & sick days) are a hundred times better.

    The difference between that issue & the one you guys keep bringing up is that those public wages & benefits are costing the taxpayers and has to be curtailed to something more reasonable.

  105. tra
    March 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I have family member who works for the county. There are 6 managers and 15 worker in their department. No joke. And these managers ¨manage¨ this small group of college educated folks until they retire on the largest saleries in the office. In general, the departments work adds value to the community. But come on, have you ever seen this manager to worker ratio in the private sector?

    The scenario you describe is consistent with what I’ve heard from many other folks who work in county or state agencies, or know someone who does.

    Sadly, many people lump all public employees together, and (erroneously) assume that the often overstaffed, (and sometimes overpaid) management types are part of the public employee unions. In most cases they aren’t. Yet the taxpayer ire seems to get directed mostly at the often overworked (and rarely overpaid) rank-and-file workers who actually provide the services that the public values.

  106. Anonymous
    March 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    another take, i agree completely. 6:31 wants to focus on national problems that we can do nothiing about. we can have a direct influence on the problems that face us locally. if we are not spending our local money wisely, we should address that. 6:31 pointing out the same old figures as a way of saying, “see, local waste doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things” is not constructive. i don’t care about corporate profit margin. i want to know why a retiring principal had a position created for him at 100k a year. local government waste is real and should be addressed by our local community.

  107. Steak n Eggs
    March 7, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    The list is surprising to me in two ways: Salaries, not including benefita, are lower than I would have suspected, and there are a lot of county workers on the payroll.

  108. tra
    March 7, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Yeah, HiFi, we’ve got it:

    “Class envy” is bad, but “intra-class envy” is to be exploited at every turn.

    Oh, and cutting taxes on millionaires and billionaires has nothing to do with the availability of revenues to pay for public services. Not a thing.

    Riiiiiiight.

  109. Plain Jane
    March 7, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    No wonder HiFi and his ilk keep demanding more tax cuts. They can’t remember the ones they already got. Let’s make a deal. Put the tax rates back where they were on 1/1/2000 and then if there isn’t enough money to pay our public employees, fund WICC, Pell grants, daycare for the working poor, Headstart, etc, get back to me.

  110. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    High Finance says:
    March 7, 2011 at 6:45 pm
    This entire topic is the victim of misdirection. The subject is public employees salaries & benefit costs and its affect of local, state & federal government deficits.

    You guys have hijacked this to be (yawn) another class envy attack against the evil rich.

    I don’t give a flying frack on whether Bill Gates has $40 billion or $60 billion dollars. Its none of my business as he did not get rich by stealing from me or the taxpayers. His success did not limit mine. Mouse & PJ and the rest of you would be better off if you stopped concentrating on him & instead concentrated on your own lives. This envy by the left is sick.

    The fact is, public employees are as well paid (and sometimes better) as their counterparts in the private sector. But the benefits (health insur, retirement, vacation & sick days) are a hundred times better.

    The difference between that issue & the one you guys keep bringing up is that those public wages & benefits are costing the taxpayers and has to be curtailed to something more reasonable.

    Response: Darned truths about jobs and wages and societal valuations and product frauds, etc… are upsetting the few who benefit too when their clan is also part of the schemes…left, right, front, back, up, down, skip to my Lou, etc…..

    example – “I don’t give a flying frack on whether Bill Gates has $40 billion or $60 billion dollars. Its none of my business as he did not get rich by stealing from me or the taxpayers.”

    Response: I have concerns about products that are faulty and render more unjustifiable profits to an elitist who has been accused of piracy years ago; monopoly + settlement..years ago; software updates that render a computer useless unless the consumer buys more technology (fascism is also forced economics upon any consumer where the government has its hand in the decision making process with regard to BUSINESS – THAT IS THEFT AND STEALING AND LAUNDERING AND MORE).

    example – “His success did not limit mine.”

    Response: When he (Bill MasterGater) sold me the faulty microsoft products, he did limit my success by his success at selling faulty products and taking all my money I had intended to ONLY SPEND on a NON_FAULTY PRODUCT. Alas though, duped by Big Corporate Conglomerate PersonHood again.

    JL

    JL

  111. A-Nony-Mouse
    March 7, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    HiFi is fizzing. This is my first post on this topic.

    Note that Dave Tyson did not get a raise for his contract extension. Instead the city will pay him directly the amount that formerly bought his health insurance. He’ll pay more out-of-pocket for that insurance but that will increase his “take home pay” for CalPers and SS pension calculations. And the Clown Council thought this was a jolly good idea.
    Sure am glad that ol’ Clowncil is watching out for our interests. Yep Yep yep

  112. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Laptop keyboard lay-outs SUCK compared to the PC.

    So, I’ll give Bill MasterGATESer kudos for his inputs with the PC keyboard design layout department he surely confided with.

    JL

  113. tra
    March 7, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Does anyone really believe that wealth-hoarding and tax-dodging by the rich has no effect on the economic prospects of the rest of the population?

    Consider this:

    Six banks – Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley together paid income tax at an approximate rate of 11% of their pre-tax US earnings in 2009 and 2010. Had they paid at 35%, what they are legally mandated to pay, the federal government would have received an additional $13 billion in tax revenue. This would cover more than two years of salaries for the 132,000 teacher jobs lost since the economic crisis began in 2008.

    As the Wonk Room’s Pat Garofalo writes, “Though the U.S. has a high statutory corporate tax rate, the effective tax rate that corporations actually pay is far lower, due to the myriad loopholes and credits in the corporate tax code, as well as the widespread sheltering of income in tax havens. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found, ‘corporate tax revenues are now at historical lows as a share of the economy.’”

    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/03/07/if-banks-paid-taxes/

  114. Plain Jane
    March 7, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Not me, Tra.

    Over the 10-year period from 2005 through 2014, the direct costs of the enacted and proposed tax cuts would total $2.8 trillion. The cost would equal 2.1 percent of the economy in 2014.
    From 2005 through 2014, the increased interest payments on the debt that result from the tax cuts would amount to $1.1 trillion. The interest payments would grow steadily with each passing year and in 2014 would equal $218 billion — or 1.2 percent of the economy. This amount alone is as large a share of the economy as the government now spends on all programs and activities under the Departments of Education, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, and State combined.
    Considering both the direct costs of the tax cuts and the associated increase in interest payments, the tax cuts would increase deficits by nearly $4 trillion between 2005 and 2014.
    Over the next 75 years, the cost of these tax cuts — assuming they are made permanent — would be more than the combined shortfall in the Social Security and Medicare Hospital Insurance trust funds.

  115. Plain Jane
    March 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    In 2004

    Middle 20% received 8.9% of the tax cuts, an average of $647, a 2.3% increase in after tax income.

    Top 1% received 24.2% of the tax cuts, an average of $34,992, a 5.3% increase in after tax income.

    Over 1M received 15.3% of the tax cuts, an average of $123,592, a 6.4% increase in after tax income.

    Now can someone explain why the rich are getting richer and the poor getting poorer?

  116. Plain Jane
    March 7, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Since 1979 64% of all income growth has gone to the top 1% AND they got the biggest share of the tax cuts.

  117. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    PJ,

    Top 1% received 24.2% of the tax cuts, an average of $34,992, a 5.3% increase in after tax income.

    Over 1M received 15.3% of the tax cuts, an average of $123,592, a 6.4% increase in after tax income.

    Response: How do these two stats compare? Is the over 1M a certain percentage or ratio of the overal 1% group statistic/figure cited?

    JL

  118. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    tra says:
    March 7, 2011 at 8:19 pm
    Does anyone really believe that wealth-hoarding and tax-dodging by the rich has no effect on the economic prospects of the rest of the population?

    Consider this:

    Six banks – Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley together paid income tax at an approximate rate of 11% of their pre-tax US earnings in 2009 and 2010. Had they paid at 35%, what they are legally mandated to pay, the federal government would have received an additional $13 billion in tax revenue. This would cover more than two years of salaries for the 132,000 teacher jobs lost since the economic crisis began in 2008.

    As the Wonk Room’s Pat Garofalo writes, “Though the U.S. has a high statutory corporate tax rate, the effective tax rate that corporations actually pay is far lower, due to the myriad loopholes and credits in the corporate tax code, as well as the widespread sheltering of income in tax havens. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found, ‘corporate tax revenues are now at historical lows as a share of the economy.’”

    Response: 13 billion is a pittance to 1 trillion…like 1.3%……

    War, social programs, debt interest, public wages and benefits, etc….. what else can we add to the equation of where tax dollars are going?

    JL

  119. Plain Jane
    March 7, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Those over 1M, including the top 1%, got 39.5% of the tax cuts.

  120. 69er
    March 7, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    “HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE” says:
    March 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    “Again, I guarantee there exists workers who would take the public employment jobs at a considerably less wage with less benefits – the problem is the politicians in control that understand by over-paying the public employee voter class, they have effectually created an army of supporters who vote too, most likely for the very same people that treat them better than the average worker from the private sector – ya know, God and country!”
    —————————————————-

    When wages, bene’s and working conditions fall below par and the workers leavenew replacements that come in are using the employer as a stepping stone to get the training and move on to a more progressive, better paying and better benefitting employer. After some time the employer wakes up to the fact that a big error has been made by the poor thinking authority and spends excess and unnecessary funds to bring the organization back up to standards. Then the poor tax payer starts to complain and the vicious circle starts all over again.
    Been there and seen it happen all too often.

  121. High Finance
    March 7, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Who should get the tax cuts ?

    Shouldn’t it be the people who pay the taxes ?

  122. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    PJ – so the 1% does not include the over 1M at what level of income? Is it at 10M, 20M, 30M, 100M, 1Billion…

    JL

  123. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Good Thread everyone :-)!!!

    JL

  124. Plain Jane
    March 7, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Pay attention HiFi – NO ONE SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN THE TAX CUTS They wrecked our economy.

  125. anonymous
    March 7, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    It’s sad to hear that some don’t give a “flying frack” about how much the ultra rich have because they think it doesn’t affect them. It shows great ignorance for one thing. There has been a tremendous transfer of wealth in the U.S. in the last few decades, from the poor to the rich, and I challenge anyone to find any chart or article that contradicts that. If you truly feel that the deck isn’t stacked against the average joe, then you must be one of the bankers, Wall Street players, corporate CEO’S etc. who profitted mightily from things like tax cuts and de-regulation. Either that or you’re stupid.

  126. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 7, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Greed public and private ruined the economy….. right along with……government bailouts not even discussed mainstream…..poor spending habits by consumers and gubbamint officials…… increasing populated debts (right back to the symptoms of over-population), etc…. . Way past time to demand that users and abusers pay the tax bases necessary to offest the costs created by the users and abusers.

    JL

  127. Plain Jane
    March 7, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    The top 1% have incomes over $5.5 million.

  128. Anonymous
    March 7, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    So maybe you’ve heard this joke…, A CEO, citizen and an union rep are sitting around a table: there is a dish of 12 cookies, the CEO takes 11 of the cookies, he tells the citizen that union rep is trying to take part of your cookie.

    I think it means keep pointing the finger, away from me.

  129. Plain Jane
    March 7, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    How important is it that someone who makes 5.5 million a year get a tax break? Is it more important than public employees making a decent living, more important than poor women and babies getting supplemental food, than public education, etc? Really? The tax cuts were deliberately designed to trash the economy so they could “shrink government” and drown it, cut wages and social programs and help the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The numbers don’t lie.

  130. anonymous
    March 7, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    I urge you all to see the Oscar-winning film “Inside Job.” It lays out the facts regarding the economic catastrophe from massive Wall Street fraud, derivatives and de-regulation and the like, and how the fallout has crippled small businesses, the housing market and yes, even union benefits.
    but not a single executive has spent time in jail. In fact, most of them got multi-million dollar bonuses. And the (very expensive) beat goes on. Disgusting.

  131. March 7, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I’m willing to give 30% of every dollar I earn to my country, But I have a few stipulations:
    No funny stuff!
    I want my government to live up to our ideals about who we are.
    I don’t want to see poor people who need help starving and dying on the streets.
    I don’t want to hear about Humboldt County police pepper spraying a juvenile overdosed on mushrooms, who should have been in an ambulance. Yeah? I don’t give a damn about the car window. In fact I’m sick of these Mussolini-wannabeez acting like it’s ok to shoot someone because they broke a window.
    You can take 30% from me if you give me back Public Education, health care, government-sponsored No-Fault insurance coverage.
    Import tariffs, End the free-ride for the corporations who only exist to co-opt the national resources for themselves alone.
    I want publicly financed elections. 30% across the board.
    No body is dying in Afghanistan so some freaked-out juvenile can be assaulted by the people his mom called for help. Or a 9yr old girl shot to death by some Tea-Party vigilante who thinks “White makes right.”
    Is it critical mass yet? Are we pissed off yet? Or are you going to attack our public employees who are the only ones left who still have an almost civilized employment contract? Yeah, I can be pissed off at goons who pretend to be public guardians and still support the police for the dangerous work they do. It’s called the “Complexity” of life. Regardless of what Koch’s-Tea-Baggers say, you can’t discuss indepth problems and their solutions on a bumper-sticker.

  132. March 7, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    60 Minutes segment on the explosive rise in homeless children.

  133. Anonymous
    March 7, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    You know when you’ve asked the right question (3:38PM) when “Skunk and HiFi” ignore it.

    Once again, “Skunk”, what will happen to all those “savings” when you succeed in dropping public salaries to “reasonable” levels?

    What additional public costs are associated with less-qualified replacements?

    What is the impact on your local economy?

    Funny how we don’t hear “love it or leave it” as much since corporations looted and left.

  134. Anonymous
    March 8, 2011 at 6:29 am

    Jane,
    what percentage of the taxes to those groups pay?

  135. Skunk at the Picnic
    March 8, 2011 at 7:07 am

    At 3:38, an Anonymous asks this:

    “Once again, “Skunk”, what will happen to all those “savings” when you succeed in dropping public salaries to “reasonable” levels?”

    Anonymous also concludes that I am changing the subject from where it belongs — evil corporations.

    By 11:04, Anonymous knows that I am ignoring the question.

    It would be impossible to change Anonymous’ mind, so I won’t try. Instead, I’ll point out that it is possible for there to be more than one problem at the same time, and it is sometimes useful to try to hold two or even more things in one’s head simultaneously.

    Yes, Anonymous, I know that public employees are not, in general, overpaid. In fact, if you read my post, you’ll notice that’s exactly what I said. But, in my evil right-wing provocateur moments, I ALSO wonder whether some public employees, most especially the police, might not be ripping the system off. That’s why I thought it would be useful to highlight the actual numbers of the State Controller’s report, rather than the “average salaries” the Times-Standard reporters chose to focus upon.

    But, as has ALWAYS been the case with the left, if one is not 100% with the program, one is a plant, a provocateur, a misdirector probably being paid by the other side for his efforts.

    As long as this paranoia and inability to hear shades of gray remains dominant in the left, the left has no chance whatsoever in this country.

    I’m off now to the Ingomar Club to join HiFi and light some cigars with $20 bills.

  136. Plain Jane
    March 8, 2011 at 7:11 am

    6:29, a lower percentage than their share of the total income and wealth in this country. When you take all taxes into consideration, the poorer you are, the higher percentage you pay in taxes.

  137. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 8, 2011 at 7:25 am

    When it comes to tax brackets, one only needs to SCROLL the income level/taxes owed to understand the scam. Rich people overpay in taxes too; yet, the richest have been dealt better tax breaks and incentives and bailouts, etc….

    Gubbamint overspending manifested through all kinds of political wastes and frauds only to come back and ask for more, more, more…… from people who have less, less and less.

    JL

  138. Plain Jane
  139. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 8, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Plain Jane says:
    March 7, 2011 at 10:03 pm
    The top 1% have incomes over $5.5 million.

    Response: Thank You, that finally answers a thought on your original statistic regarding income levels and at what point that 1% begins. It is good to know. The range above 5.5M ought to be an interesting one.

    JL

  140. Plain Jane
    March 8, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Since most of the income for the top 1% is taxed at the lower capital gains rate, they pay a lower rate than the middle class.

  141. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 8, 2011 at 7:48 am

    If the production side of business is manipulated by politicians or businesses AND if the consumption side of business is manipulated by politicians and businesses…….rebates, prebates, certificates of credits, bids, estimates, etc…….too force a sales price higher on the speculation that the customer base will not apply 100% for those rebates, prebates certificates of credits, etc…. or understand the hidden mark-ups within bids/estimates that are overcharges to compensate for the “F-ups” of the employee who is not properly trained by a business who skimps training because of the loss of profit, THEN obviously product over-valuation was intended to create higher upfront sales and profit through price marking manipulations that are used to fudge tax return figures to make an annual report look better due to fascist fraud for profit schemes. So, effectually, customers/consumers who don’t understand mathematics, monetary values, multiplier effects based on crunching financial figures, greed, community backstabbings, etc… are over-paying for the lack of quality work they were promised by legal mandates with respect to consumer protection standards that are being usurped by businesses who “under-train” the workers because it costs too much outta the businesses pocket prior to doing any customer project that which creates cash flows and profit. Construction is really, really bad for “skimped work” (especially that which the customer can’t see or is known not to look at…like crawl spaces) – and to think all theses home buyers still are buying over-valuated homes and such, crazy trust…..crazy trust.

    JL

  142. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 8, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Plain Jane says:
    March 8, 2011 at 7:36 am
    Since most of the income for the top 1% is taxed at the lower capital gains rate, they pay a lower rate than the middle class.

    Response: Yep, it is soooooooo true about tax percentage manipulatiions. When the dollar versus dollar ratio of income earned and taxes paid is skewed to favor the uber rich over those that manufacture that wealth, then yes, the fascist scam job is in play BECAUSE think about all the breaks and kickbacks many of those in the 1% got that allowed an easier or less financially costly process to profit all that which was profited….. kinda the same idea in construction with grant monies getting kicked down to local Developers for public or public/private projects funded with tax dollars that are just thrown at the project to increase profit for the preferred private sector minions of big gubbamint business schemes that render propping upwards higher values (that is not free market economics my friends).

    JL

  143. High Finance
    March 8, 2011 at 8:48 am

    I googled and found an interesting 2007 article by Stephen Moore.

    The top 1% earns 19% of all income & pays 37% of all income taxes.

    The top 5% earns 33% of all income and pays 57% of all income taxes.

    The top 10% earns 44% of all income and pays 68% of all income taxes.

    The top 25% earns 66% of all income and pays 85% of all income taxes.

    And the bottom 50% earns 13% of all income and pays 3% of all income taxes.

    He also says the percentage of income earned by the top 1% doubled in the last 25 years but so too has the percentage of all income taxes it pays.

    He says the top 10% used to earn 32% of all income now it earns 44%. But it used to pay 44% of all income taxes and now it pays 68%.

    He also pointed out that class envy is pointless. He said what if Bill Gates moved to Australia and took all his billions of dollars. The income strata would look temporarily much more even but the lower income people would be no better off.

  144. Plain Jane
    March 8, 2011 at 8:56 am

    You are only counting federal income tax, HiFi, and you still haven’t provided a single piece of evidence that the current tax rates are not concentrating wealth at the top from the wages and benefits of the middle working classes. Do you really believe a country can remain a democracy when its political and economic system are geared to benefit the few rich at the expense of the many middle and lower classes?

  145. Skunk at the Picnic
    March 8, 2011 at 9:27 am

    I’ve solved the energy crisis.

    Put High Finance and Plain Jane on treadmills, where the only way either can turn off the other’s voice on their headphones is to keep running. Then harvest the generated electricity. If you grab some of High Finance’s hot air, you’d have cogeneration!

    Mr. Henchman, you’d be the perfect moderator.

  146. neomoderate
    March 8, 2011 at 9:32 am

    All this ruminating over public employee wages is pointless unless you compare apples to apples. So, what does a public sector engineer make when compared to a private sector engineer? DA compared to an ambulance chaser? Public defender compared to private sector lawyer? You’ll find that the public sector makes 15-25% (sometimes much less than this) less, but has better security and benefits, and often more consistent hours so it’s easier to have a family, or at least be part of a family. WHen you get to jobs like janitors, secretaries and such, public sector makes more, and there are benefits where there are none in private sector. How someone can defend the lack of benefits in private sector is beyond me anyhow, but the point remains that public sector employees make a lot less than private sector employees when compared to others of similar education level.

  147. Plain Jane
    March 8, 2011 at 9:36 am

    The top 5 percent own more than half of all wealth.

    In 1998, they owned 59 percent of all wealth. Or to put it another way, the top 5 percent had more wealth than the remaining 95 percent of the population, collectively.

    The top 20 percent owns over 80 percent of all wealth. In 1998, it owned 83 percent of all wealth.

    Things are even more concentrated if you exclude owner-occupied housing. It is nice to own a house and it provides all kinds of benefits, but it is not very liquid. You can’t really dispose of it, because you need some place to live.

    The top 1 percent of families hold half of all non-home wealth.

    The middle class’s major assets are their home, liquid assets like checking and savings accounts, CDs and money market funds, and pension accounts. For the average family, these assets make up 84 percent of their total wealth.

    The richest 10 percent of families own about 85 percent of all outstanding stocks. They own about 85 percent of all financial securities, 90 percent of all business assets. These financial assets and business equity are even more concentrated than total wealth.
    http://multinationalmonitor.org/mm2003/03may/may03interviewswolff.html

  148. High Finance
    March 8, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    PJ, 8.56am. You could NOT be further from the truth. Our progressive income tax system does NOT “concentrate the wealth at the top”, it does the exact OPPOSITE.

    It is a massive wealth distribution system taking wealth AWAY from the rich and giving it to the poor & lower middle class.

    Your side can argue that more should be taken away, but to argue that it isn’t currently taking away wealth from the wealthy demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the current system.

  149. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 8, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Do you really believe a country can remain a democracy when its political and economic system are geared to benefit the few rich at the expense of the many middle and lower classes?

    Response: For HiFi———> Replace “democracy” WITH “democratic republic” and then I don’t know how someone could argue the question as YES. For me, the wealthy over-pay too. I could care less how much mullah a person makes as long as they make it honestly in a truly “free market”. Direct taxation is to be appropriated and income tax is a direct tax on one’s labor (even though tax collector manipulators/many elected officials reference it as indirect).

    Regardless, If I make say 1 billion dollars @ “x” tax rate…..say 22%(example); and, the IRS fascist schemers made the tax rate cut-off change for $999,999,999.99 @ “x(20%)+4%=24%”…….that 4% difference on 1 penny pushes another tax payer to pay higher taxes than the 1 billion dollar income I earned. Now, as my figure shows, as the $999,999,999.99 goes down, there will be a crossover at some point again (reversal) where another’s taxes will finally be lower than mine @ 1 billion (but at a severely lower income take home total). So, by not at least having a flat income tax, the wealthiest above the cut-off (rate change) always pay less per dollar on their taxes, especially compared to those “anothers” just under, below or near the tax rate threshhold that is a delineating line for tax based wealth building strategies. Obviously the gubbamint does this because of the threat of the lack of jobs and segregating the tax base of payers. No need to argue this rational of reality.

    JL

  150. TimH
    March 8, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    How does this factor into the equation?

    http://givingpledge.org/

  151. Pepe
    March 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    TimH,

    I’ve alerted the Arcata Police, sweety. Panhandling’s illegal in Arcata.

  152. Even Higher Finance
    March 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    ¨Our progressive income tax system does NOT “concentrate the wealth at the top”, it does the exact OPPOSITE.¨

    Hi-Fi is absolutly correct. Our system concentrates the wealth at the bottom. (rolling on the floor laughing my ass off)

  153. Plain Jane
    March 8, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    HiFi apparently doesn’t read any sources that are posted, he just keeps repeating the same tired lies. Just a waste of time.

  154. High Shylark
    March 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Come on Heraldo, admit it. Hi-Finance is not real. None of ¨his¨ arguments are rational nor logical. He´s not you but he´s a provacatour, right?

  155. Pepe
    March 8, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Mais non! Monsieur Finance is just, what, how you say, he is not a moron, he is a good friend of mine.

    Monsieur Finance wishes for you, too, to be wealthy. You need only decorate yourself avec l’attitude positif.

  156. High Finance
    March 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    The sad thing about it is you fools are allowed to vote.

    Forget about restricting college students voting, how about an IQ test to weed people like you three out ?

  157. Anonymous
    March 8, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    PJ,
    if the top 25% of wage earners paying 85% of the taxes isn’t enough, what is reasonable?

  158. Plain Jane
    March 8, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Whatever it takes to to pay the bills and stop the accumulation of wealth at the top, 6:36. They can reduce their tax bills by paying their employees a bit more and maybe even put them in a higher tax bracket to help with those taxes. They could also give more to charity which also took a huge hit from the Bush tax cuts. Isn’t it funny how when you lower taxes and the rich have even more disposable income, they stop giving raises to their employees and decrease their charitable donations.

  159. Plain Jane
    March 8, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    And let me ADD, the Bush administration knew the tax cuts were going to hurt charities. I can’t recall the name of the guy in charge, but ran the White House Office of Charity (or something like that) He wrote a book about how upset the churches were that Bush didn’t keep his promises to replace the donations they knew would be lost because of the tax cuts.

  160. Plain Jane
    March 8, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    His name was David Kuo and he was 2nd man in the Office of Faith Based Initiatives (which was blatantly unconstitutional as run). His book was called, “Tempting Faith.”

  161. March 8, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    That whole list about how much tax the wealthy pay is a fantasy. It has no relation to real life. Those numbers represent a bunch of nonsense written into the tax code. In a perfect world those numbers would be real. In reality they are meaningless.
    Only the working class gets stuck paying the full rate. And even the puny deduction one gets for his children needs to be eliminated according to the “Jews4Hitler” who spend their time supporting the rich minority. Fighting their battles for them. Attacking their neighbor on behalf of corporate executives. Good job trusted slave.

  162. Anonymous
    March 9, 2011 at 6:34 am

    so PJ, in your ideal world if the top 25% of wage earners paid 100% of all the taxes and the bottom 75% paid nothing, that would be equitable. i have a hard time with the fact that a quarter of the people are paying most of the taxes. do they benefit more from national defense or social security that the other people?

    if you look at that giving pledge or whatever it is up above, it appears that a number of the super-wealthy are giving most of their wealth to charity. that doesn’t quite square with the demonizing of the rich on this thread. go read some of the letters.

  163. Plain Jane
    March 9, 2011 at 7:10 am

    What a shoddily constructed straw man, 6:34. Can’t you do a better job than that or are your comprehension skills so limited that you didn’t understand what I wrote?

  164. March 9, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Ms Jane, don’t you ever get tired of dancing with these fools. Facts of life don’t matter. “Get the lie into the conversation!” is their strategy.
    I know you’re not twenty-two with limitless energy.
    So take care of yourself.
    I do wish you weren’t anonymous, but I’m sure you have your reasons. I feel that if every intelligent poster on this site was “Out” there would be more power on the side of truthfulness and fairness.
    We are in a redux of 1930’s Germany with a propaganda machine gone wild. Forget the “Bastille” we need to storm the FCC.
    Hang in….
    Signed: ‘Progressive-Scum’

  165. High Finance
    March 9, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Nobody voluntarily pays more tax than the amount they are forced to. Not PJ, not Moviedad not Shylark, NOBODY.

    Everybody thinks they should tax the “guy over there”.

  166. Not A Native
    March 9, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    The US Treasury reports that in the last 10 years, people have voluntarily gifted $20.5M to reduce the public debt. Now that’s not a lot of money, but it ain’t chump change either. I’ll bet it came from a very large number of people.

    Hi Fi is wrong in his view that essential human nature is self serving, greedy, jealous, and concerned only with personal material comfort. But Hi Fi justifies his own cynical and selfish nature by projecting it onto others, at the cost to him of being irrational, unable to see or believe evidence that shows others aren’t like he is.

  167. Anonymous
    March 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    PJ, you must be stumped when you resort to calling my intellect into question. you stated “whatever it takes” to pay the bills and i am saying that one quarter of the people are paying over three quarters of the taxes. they aren’t that far away – 15% – from paying all of the taxes. i do not think that is a reasonable way of doing things, it seems to me that everybody should pay something. i notice you ignored the fact that numerous billionaires have pledged to donate the bulk of their wealth to charity. does this not decentralize the wealth? do you ignore this because they do so of their own free will or because it interferes with your worldview that very wealthy people are evil?

    moviedad, i don’t know what happened to you to become so cynical but i do not have an agenda to “get it into the conversation”. i am a normal person who works for a living. it does bother me that the global recession seems to have missed the public sector to a large degree. this state is headed off a cliff. does anybody posting on this site really believe the current public employee system is sustainable? how can the state pay for 80% of people’s wages while they are on retirement and at the same time pay for their current workforce? CALPERS uses phony numbers to trump their actuarial tables up to a level that would get a private sector CEO thrown in jail if they tried the same thing. this does not make sense to me. moviedad, i wish you the best of luck and hope you work through whatever negative circumstances that have colored your vision this way.

  168. Plain Jane
    March 9, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    If you want the working class to pay more in taxes, you have to pay them enough so that they have something left over after the basic necessities, 1:06. I don’t care what percentage of taxes different groups pay. They don’t pay taxes as a group but as individuals who are in control of how much they earn and how much they pay their employees so can control how much they pay in taxes. Considering how much wealth has concentrated at the top since 1980 and how much our debt has increased, it’s not hard to figure out that the current tax rates aren’t working out for the country or most of the citizens.

  169. Mitch
    March 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Anonymous 6:34,

    I’m curious how you would feel about a tax system that worked as follows:

    (1) no tax, or a token 1% tax, on up to the amount needed for a family of four to remain above the poverty line;

    (2) a tax paid at one rate on up to ten times the amount needed for a family of four to remain above the poverty line, and at twice that rate for any income more than ten times the amount needed for a family of four to remain above the poverty line. The rate would be calculated each year based on what it costs to run the government.

  170. Plain Jane
    March 9, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I just can’t conceive how anyone doesn’t understand that when you outsource millions of jobs and let wages stagnate for more profit as the cost of living increases, your taxes have to go up to pay for the social programs your outsourcing made necessary, your country goes broke, or people starve. Does anyone really believe the working poor who require foodstamps, Medicaid and housing subsidies to survive have any money to pay higher taxes? Our tax policies should be based on what is best for the general welfare of the country, not what is best for the largest campaign contributors. The idea that you can cut the wages of public employees without doing more damage to the economy than by raising taxes on the rich would is absolutely ridiculous. How are they supposed to make the payments they committed to at their higher salaries? Do we really want millions more in foreclosure? Maybe those with piles of cash are waiting for the rest of the “wealth” to be offered at bankruptcy auctions?

    As an added note, the public employees in Wisconsin are being asked to take an 8% (?) cut in pay and benefits but the richest people in this country are screaming about being asked to pay 3% more in taxes when they have the lowest tax rate in modern history for any first world country and the greatest concentration of wealth.

  171. Mitch
    March 9, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Jane,

    “Our tax policies should be based on what is best for the general welfare of the country, not what is best for the largest campaign contributors.”

    As you know, that would require either a change in campaign finance law or an electorate with sufficient education that the typical voter was capable of determining for his or herself when a candidate is lying. The numbers are clear, but most people don’t want to believe them.

    So, unless you think the people elected under the current system are going to become enthusiastic for losing reelection, you’d better start looking for Plan B. (No, I don’t have one.)

  172. ROTFLMAO
    March 9, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    High Finance says:
    March 8, 2011 at 12:06 pm
    …You could NOT be further from the truth. Our progressive income tax system does NOT “concentrate the wealth at the top”, it does the exact OPPOSITE.¨

    Or, better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to barf on the Humboldt Herlad and remove all doubt.

  173. Plain Jane
    March 9, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Do you think Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans are smarter than Americans, Mitch? Or maybe we haven’t suffered enough yet.

    Here is a list of countries by income equality. If you click on the little box above the columns it will put them in least to greatest order. The US is not in good company.

    link

  174. Not A Native
    March 9, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    I think this WSJ article explains it in a way that even Hi Fi can understand.

    Yes, most tax revenues come from wealthy people and corporations. But those taxes amount to little more than chump change when compared to the proportion of new wealth being given to the already wealthy.

    In summary, workers have recently been receiving only 6% of the wealth generated by their increased productivity, a historic low. Even considering the effect of taxes, the ‘economic recovery’, still leaves workers lagging futher relative to the wealthy.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011/03/05/number-of-the-week-workers-not-benefiting-from-productivity-gains/

  175. Sam Spade
    March 9, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    “Our tax policies should be based on what i¨¨s best for the general welfare of the country, not what is best for the largest campaign contributors.” -PJ

    ¨The numbers are clear, but most people don’t want to believe them.¨ -Mitch

    Jane, well said and spot on. Mitch, have you had a chance to read ¨What’s the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (2004) by Thomas Frank? He, in part, explores this excellent observation of yours. Consistantly in polls, politicians fair badly on ethics, honesty, corruption but their local ¨guy¨ gets better ratings. Its the ol ¨Washington is a cess pool except our man¨ syndrome. You are correct, the numbers (of convictions, etc.) are clear but most people don´t want to believe them. (sigh)

  176. Anonymous
    March 10, 2011 at 7:48 am

    PJ, i never said the workers should pay more, i said everybody should pay something. i see you ignore ideas that don’t fit your views.

    Mitch, i think the way it is now, people below the poverty line probably don’t pay anything so i wouldn’t be for adding to their burden. i think they need to work on making the government stay relative to the size of the population they serve. the state budget in 2000 was half of what it is now. same with the feds. why have we doubled the budgets in 10 years, the population certainly hasn’t doubled in CA or the US.

    just because somebody gets laid off from a government position doesn’t mean they have to stop working PJ. they could get a job in the private sector and pay taxes instead of using them.

  177. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 10, 2011 at 8:19 am

    moviedad says:
    March 8, 2011 at 9:56 pm
    That whole list about how much tax the wealthy pay is a fantasy. It has no relation to real life. Those numbers represent a bunch of nonsense written into the tax code. In a perfect world those numbers would be real. In reality they are meaningless.
    Only the working class gets stuck paying the full rate. And even the puny deduction one gets for his children needs to be eliminated according to the “Jews4Hitler” who spend their time supporting the rich minority. Fighting their battles for them. Attacking their neighbor on behalf of corporate executives. Good job trusted slave.

    Response: People WITHOUT CHILDREN should not be discriminated against because of kids either. In fact, when it comes to tax deductions, as much as people bitch about the rich over the poor and how less taxes are paid per dollar earned on a ratio of a per dollar earned versus taxes paid IS the same concept with government using Parents (like Union Members) as a group that is subsidized by those who are unlike them.

    DISCRIMINATION THROUGH TAXATION THROUGH ECONOMICS!

    JL

  178. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 10, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Plain Jane says:
    March 9, 2011 at 1:24 pm
    If you want the working class to pay more in taxes, you have to pay them enough so that they have something left over after the basic necessities, 1:06. I don’t care what percentage of taxes different groups pay. They don’t pay taxes as a group but as individuals who are in control of how much they earn and how much they pay their employees so can control how much they pay in taxes. Considering how much wealth has concentrated at the top since 1980 and how much our debt has increased, it’s not hard to figure out that the current tax rates aren’t working out for the country or most of the citizens.

    Response: I believe YOU DO CARE about the percentage of taxes groups pay otherwise YOU would not be tax chart busting or looking for statistics, etc….

    The working class IS ALREADY OVER-WORKED. To pay them more wages in order to pay higher tax collections based on trumped-up valuations is a scam that only increases the size of government that can only function off of tax dollars. So, the functions are too much and outdated in enough ways. Those in government are just mostly liars – liars to others and liars to themself IF they want to willfully turn a blind eye to the public sectors abuse of tax dollars, power and control.

    JL

  179. Plain Jane
    March 10, 2011 at 8:41 am

    7:48, you ignore the fact that government workers DO pay taxes, and the working classes are the fuel of the economy. It is their labor which produces the goods and their consumption that fuels the economy. Paying for tax cuts for the rich from wage cuts on the middle class is insanity, but the right has proven they are insane. The crashed the economy with tax cuts and deregulation and they think they can fix it with the same tactics. Not everyone is blinded to their agenda which is to create a third world economy where the rich own it all and the majority live in abject servitude and fear of offending the big boss man. Look at the list of countries with large income equality gaps. The US is already way down the list with dictatorships and third world countries as their only company while all the other first world countries, who are doing much better weathering this economic crisis, have much smaller income inequalities.

  180. March 10, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Henchman you really are something. If you’re so worried about the nickel and dime benefit us parents get for our kids, why don’t you go and do something about the billions and billions of dollars the people in power steal from you every day. Man you are unbelievable, you come on here and attack parents, students, workers, everyone except the rich thieves who are stolen our country. You are the trusted slave the ruling class needs to survive.

  181. Migh Finances
    March 10, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    I got mine in the late 60’s:

    A good public education, including free public university, fed. and state job training and placement, free health care, good public transportation, a sound infrastructure, I even had subsidized housing as a teen when I really needed it. My first home loan was subsidized by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture!

    It culminated in my early retirement from my successful local business, I employed about 80 people.

    My portfolio enables me to travel the world and I cannot afford to risk returning to the 90% tax rates that I benefited from.

    That’s ancient history comrades…I gotta “brain” now!

    Just check my figures again from 8:48 above:

    “The top 1% earns 19% of all income & pays 37% of all income taxes”.

    As high income individual and corporate tax revenues are cut further, that 37% will grow, but, the Dow Jones will continue rising and I can take another trip.

    I pity you people for lacking my brilliance!

  182. High Finance
    March 11, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Mouse, I thought you were going to try harder.

  183. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 8:12 am

    PJ, you ignore the fact that budgets have doubled in the last 10 years. you ignore the fact that all government wages are paid for by taxes on the private sector.
    you ignore the fact that calpers is cooking the books with their expected returns. you ignore the fact that numerous billionaires have pledged their wealth to charity, instead stating there is some agenda by these wealthy people to turn the U.S. into a third world country.

    and you call the republicans crazy. ok. right.

  184. March 11, 2011 at 8:41 am

    As for me I don’t think they’re crazy; I say they’re domestic enemies. Every bad thing that happens to the United States is of benefit to them. Evey time the American people lose wages or services; they profit. Every time we are attacked by their extremist allies that they created and funded; they benefit financially. They sure sound like enemies to me. The people suffer and they get richer.
    Making laws to allow them to send our jobs to their dictatorships in the Asia are the acts of traitors. They’ve done nothing but weaken our country, attack its infrastructure and corrupt our government. It’s always the Traitor who wraps himself up in the flag, while ignoring what it’s ‘supposed’ to stand for.
    No, not “crazy” at all, just the opposite.

  185. High Finance
    March 11, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Silly Moviedad.

    Reality is the opposite of your cliches’. Rich people get richer when the economy is good and more people have money to spend. They want wages in general to rise.

    The bigger the middle class is, the better that they do, the better off the rich get.

  186. Been There
    March 11, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    And that’s why the republican party pushed “trickle-down economics” for a generation??

  187. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Hi Fi believes his own bullshit, I thought he was a little more….educated.

  188. High Finance
    March 12, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Your ignorance makes me want to cry.

  189. Support your private sector unions
    March 12, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    This is 3.45 minutes but it is informative.

  190. Skunk at the Picnic
    March 12, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Having started this thread with an ill-considered guest post I feel obliged to respond to the more cartoonish comments.

    Public sector employees do not make more than private sector employees with similar education levels and credentials. More of their negotiated compensation packages may go to pension benefits.

    Some public sector employees are lazy and cheat.

    Some private sector employees are lazy and cheat.

    Those who have pointed out that the United States has been robbed by the wealthy and that the wealthy are now attacking the middle class are correct.

    Those who have pointed out that most public employees are hard-working are correct. Those who have pointed out that management in the public sector is more of a problem than workers are correct.

    The attack on public employee unions by the governor and legislature in Wisconsin is wrong. That’s where the focus should be. The legislators that passed the governors bill did so illegally by pretending it was no longer a fiscal bill. That is a transparent lie, and they should all be recalled.

  191. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    <blockquotemoviedad says:
    March 10, 2011 at 7:33 pm
    Henchman you really are something. If you’re so worried about the nickel and dime benefit us parents get for our kids, why don’t you go and do something about the billions and billions of dollars the people in power steal from you every day. Man you are unbelievable, you come on here and attack parents, students, workers, everyone except the rich thieves who are stolen our country. You are the trusted slave the ruling class needs to survive.

    Response: Hmmm, willfully turning a blind eye to direct involvements with the failure of society is not a human reaction only subjected for those who are blamed by others. Often, the biggest squawkers are the most damaging, both literally and figuratively. In other words, is it not more “across the boards” rather than a group versus a group, ideology versus an ideology, religion versus a religion, social class versus another social class, etc…..

    Each entity has its time and place to be ridiculed for its flaws just as much as it does for its known accomplishments, imo.

    Now, back to those whining, pesky union bosses and their power trips and the manipulated union workers (how’s this – same pay, a few less benefits, individual yes/no to employment, no union dues, non-union employee based pay scale – seems fair to many folks)……

    JL

  192. Been There
    March 14, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Skunk, we’d do better to think globally and act locally.

    Public compensation excesses didn’t cause the global financial collapse, the highest unemployment since the Great Depression, the highest income disparity since the Gilded Age, the 6th largest extinction event in Earth’s history.

    We have much to learn from recent and past revolutions that kept ONE THOUGHT ahead of all others.

    TYRANNY.

    Anyone serious about protecting public wealth for the public, must retain focus of the looting of the U.S. Treasury that the “free-press” renamed a “bailout” before it largely disappeared off the face of national media.

    You’re “concerns” are a further distraction…your job at the Times-Standard awaits you.

  193. February 3, 2014 at 8:06 pm

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