Home > Workers Rights > Democracy Unlimited calls community meeting in response to corporate attacks on workers

Democracy Unlimited calls community meeting in response to corporate attacks on workers

[Press release.]

Eureka – Local community group Democracy Unlimited is calling for an “emergency community meeting” to determine a local response to what the group calls, “attacks on democracy and workers’ rights” on the part of corporate-financed, far-right politicians in states across the nation.”

The meeting is scheduled for Saturday, March 19 from 2-6pm at the Labor Temple at 840 E Street in Eureka.

The meeting is in part a response to legislation passed in Wisconsin last week that will strip public employee unions of collective bargaining rights. Similar legislation has been proposed in several other states, including California. In Wisconsin the bill is opposed by 74 percent of Wisconsin citizens and has inspired protests throughout the nation.

“Governor Scott Walker and Republicans in Wisconsin have delivered their wealthy corporate backers exactly what they asked for, at the expense of working people in their state,” said Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Executive Director of Democracy Unlimited. “They ignored the will of the people, and ignored the law to pass their bill. Right-wing politicians across the country are now trying to follow Walker’s example and make working Americans pay for massive giveaways to large corporations and the wealthy. We can’t let them prevail.”

The meeting will provide a forum for residents to strategize and determine a local response and to educate people about the situation.  For more information or to RSVP to the meeting go to www.duhc.org.

  1. Ben
    March 18, 2011 at 7:12 am

    So lets just write another unconstitutional measure and waste our local money!

  2. March 18, 2011 at 7:27 am

    This is the funniest thing of all. you’re not fighting corporations here. You’re fighting people – in favor of big government, bigger and bigger government. That’s so Green! I thought the Green Party was for LESS government!

    You want other people to pay more so a select group doesn’t have to pay more – if you REALLY think this is a big deal you should be protesting the way the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT pays it’s employees.

    If you’re honest you will admit how stupid this is.

  3. March 18, 2011 at 7:39 am

    That’s right, we should just set back and let corporations and the bought and paid for politicians decide what rights we’re “allowed” to have. Too bad that you’ve bought into the lie that public employees are responsible for our economic woes while Wall Street was busy cashing in their record bonus checks and walking away with America’s future.

  4. Toohey
    March 18, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Most of the people that show up will be unemployed. Is Kim Starr the spokes person?

  5. Open Shop
    March 18, 2011 at 8:04 am
  6. March 18, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Leave it to Rose to conflate the Green Party and teabaggers.

  7. Anonymous
    March 18, 2011 at 8:13 am

    What Rose doesn’t get is that “people” who do not receive the benefits (health care, pension) that government employees receive should not be outraged that govt employees are treated ethically and are being given a “just” standard of living (access to health care, lack of poverty in old age). Rather they should be outraged and protesting against the private sector fat cats that don’t provide these essential element to their workers.
    It’s a brilliant divide and conquer strategy by our country’s elite and folks like Rose and the tea party buy into it exactly as planned.
    And, please don’t get into the cliche comments about the lavish overtime/benefits of govt workers. I’ve worked too long in that sector and know it is the rare exception. I’ve also put in my years in the private sector. Both groups work very hard and are proud of their jobs. Neither group, for the most part, retires early (even if they can) and there are limitations for both in retirement – for example, no social security for many government workers even if they paid into that system earlier in their career.

  8. TeaBagger
    March 18, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Ya those greedy government workers!

    Sure, we hired them at an advertised salary and benefits level. Then we required that they pay several hundred dollars into a retirement fund each month as part of this agreement.
    Now they want retirement benefits! How dare they! And, they are not eligible for social security? Well they should have figured that out when they were paying into the state pension fund and raised an objection.
    Let’s throw these old people into the street. I never liked my teachers or those road repair people anyway.

  9. Plain Jane
    March 18, 2011 at 8:30 am

    The corporations who have cut jobs, wages and benefits for greater profit are using their increased economic / political power to cut the wages and benefits of public employees to pay for the tax cuts they bought with their increased profits from cutting jobs, wages and benefits. It’s a downward spiral into 3rd world status where a few control the economy and government and the multitude are their virtual slaves without any political or economic power – work for what we want to pay or starve. Missouri already has legislation in the pipeline to gut child labor laws which implies children need to work at a younger age, longer hours and in more hazardous environments so the family can survive. Is that what we want?

  10. March 18, 2011 at 8:30 am

    A voice from our past:

    “A few more years of more of this misrule of the weak minded and where will be the superiority of the condition of our people over the condition of the people of the monarchical governments of Europe? Our lands are held in quantities larger than German principalities; not by aristocracies of birth, but by aristocracies of wealth, by corporations who have no souls, who never die, who control the weak minded men, who fill our legislative halls, both National and State, while thousands and thousands are suffering for food, shelter, and the commonest necessaries of life.”

    ~W.J. Sweasey speaking in Eureka in 1873. Looks like we’re still fighting the same battles over 100 years later.

  11. Anonymous
    March 18, 2011 at 8:30 am

    I am still in shock and awe mode from 8:13am who is essentially admitting that government knows and allows private sector abuses by enough employers who bilk their employees; yet, to substantiate that claim, 8:13 am has to make the gubbamint minion worker (not all public employees are minions, but many are because of the “killer deal” they receive) subsidized by others’ earnings and wealth that they(private sector employee) don’t have because gubbamint strips that away too. SO, it is the private sector businesses and the gubbamint battling over price and cost controls to see who is gonna win.

    Yup, this is about using the majority of taxpayers’ wealth to make a better lifestyle for the army of troops called public employees who vote for their job retentions each and every time. SO, Class Warfare is perpetuated by the public sector upon a larger group or class of people in favor of fewer people. Yup, DEFINING WHICH WORKERS’ RIGHTS is an important observation to make – and, I think the observation is clear…….unions, mobsters and privileged types get burned due to individual greeds gone wild.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  12. Plain Jane
    March 18, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Jeezus Jeff. Please use your standard sign-in as a warning to the people not interested in reading your gibberish.

  13. Anonymous
    March 18, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Interesting analysis JL: “government knows and allows private sector abuses by enough employers who bilk their employees” This is “essentially admitting” that the government is all powerful and could stop private sector exploitation, but simply chooses not to do so.

    It’s not like govt worker salaries and benefits have changed much in the last 50 years. In the case of health benefits, they’ve actually decreased. We seem to be overlooking that fact that the private sector has gotten greedy to the point where private sector workers don’t even expect livable compensation.
    How do you think stock holders and CEO receive such large rewards? It’s not because some teacher with 15 years experience and an advanced degree receives 50K and benefits per year. As a society we might ask why their are not many jobs any more that provide a decent salary and pension (think of the old railroad jobs for example). Is it really the fault of government workers? I think not.

  14. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 18, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Also, it appears that the above posts depict one thing is for sure – gubbamint and corporations are VERY SIMILAR.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  15. Mitch
    March 18, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Randy,

    Perhaps you’ve forgotten that the New Deal and modern government, a response to the last Gilded Age and the depression it caused, led to the creation of a middle class and unprecedented wealth. Your quote from the late 19th century is an echo of today’s complaints only because the last 30-40 years have represented a reversal of the New Deal’s progress.

    You are right, though, that it’s the same battle all over again. Just a new crop of plutocrats.

  16. March 18, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Two quick points:

    “…we’re still fighting the same battles over 100 years later.” Absolutely, on every front. Health, quality of life, unfair advantage..etc.
    And:
    Am I the only one who finds the use of the colloquialism: “Gubbamint” to be one of the most moronic phrases ever used? I suppose it’s a dig at southern whites, or is it blacks? Or maybe it’s designed to denigrate people from Kentucky?

  17. Plain Jane
    March 18, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I vote for moronic and borderline bigotry.

  18. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 18, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Geez Plain Jane,

    early am meltdown again???

    Anonymous says:
    March 18, 2011 at 8:42 am

    We seem to be overlooking that fact that the private sector has gotten greedy to the point where private sector workers don’t even expect livable compensation.

    Response: Oh really, so only gubbamint protestors dispute their living wages? Or, is it their job retention paid for by others’ taxed wealth that is in dispute?

    ONE THING IS FOR SURE THOUGH – SELF-EMPLOYED. Ya see, the self employed are not covered by STATISTICS and thus are usually never considered an employee even though the economic results for many self-employed CAN BE below that of a private sector employee. So, let’s discuss which workers’ rights because merely limiting the working class to just either gubbamint workers or corporate workers is short-sighted. Unions increase societal costs upon those who gain no union benefits. It would only be fair and practical that when costs go up, everyone is affected equally. Union members don’t want to be treated equally, they want to be treated more than equally. Yep, a difference in concepts exists.

    If ya want more pay, find a job elsewhere. If jobs can’t coincide with liveable wages, then don’t fill the job position. The battle is this – take it or leave it; and, it comes down to how many people will take the job or not at that individually negotiated moment. If I were a GREEDY, backstabbing union mobster boss making a killer lifestyle off the employee union dues and fees, I would moan and groan too about losing such subsidy, but only AFTER deceiving and bilking the union members – top down gravitation. Then, Union Members are engaged in a campaign of false ideals thinking that they deserve more than non-union members – this battle began at inception and thus has been a historical conspiracy played upon society from years ago and continually counter-balanced to digress back and forth upon any various political issues of the moment in order to maintain the staus quo…….. then costs never came down and society began to falter!

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  19. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 18, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Moviedad,

    Lately, I must be affecting your happiness.

    JL

  20. High Finance
    March 18, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Power to the People ! March on the corporate elites ! Down with capitalism ! One for all and all for me ! Storm the citadel !

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………

  21. Mitch
    March 18, 2011 at 9:18 am

    High Finance may be our last, best hope.

    Even when we disagree about solutions, people like Hi Fi have the power to motivate us.

    As we’ve seen in Wisconsin, even when you’d think a normal human being would just declare victory and keep their 99% of the pie, they keep wanting more — it’s their entire nature — and so overplay their hand until they end up losing.

  22. Truth in information
    March 18, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Not much humor there, hifi. You really don’t like the democratic process much, do you? You would be happy to not have any power in the hands of the little guy. One of the few ways that an individual has any say of what happens in work place is through unions, or a benevolent corporation. Not many of them around. Concentrated power in a few elite breeds what is currently happening in Libya. Is that what you want? Let us hope people like hifi don’t get into office. If so, out goes democratic government by and for the people.

  23. Plain Jane
    March 18, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Isn’t there an Aesops Fable about that, Mitch? I seem to recall one about a dog with a bone that sees himself reflected in water and thinks its another dog, tries to take the reflected bone and drops the one he had into the water, losing it.

  24. Mitch
    March 18, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Jane,

    I recall a Monty Python skit involving someone who couldn’t eat one more pea “or they’d explode.” You can fill in the rest.

  25. Plain Jane
    March 18, 2011 at 9:36 am

    HiFi has explained his political thinking previously. You see, rich people are rich because they are smarter than other people so should be running government and government shouldn’t do anything but defense – primarily of private wealth, here and abroad.

  26. Mitch
    March 18, 2011 at 9:40 am

    For those who think things are just fine with the current people in charge, here’s a paragraph from one of today’s NY Times news stories. Remember that the people now in charge are the ones who know that alternative energy is impractical, conservation is for weenies, and regulation interferes with business titans’ ability to bring efficiency to our lives. (Or should that be “to bring good things to life.”)

    “Tokyo Electric Power Company, which operates the plant, said earlier this week that there was a possibility of “recriticality,” in which fission would resume if fuel rods melted and the uranium pellets slumped into a jumble together on the floor of a storage pool or reactor core. Spraying pure water on the uranium under these conditions can actually accelerate fission, said Robert Albrecht, a longtime nuclear engineer.”

  27. Plain Jane
    March 18, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Oh, and taxes should be paid out to private contractors rather than in-house government employees because, you know, privatization is more efficient and cost effective than government doing it. Did you see the news today about the oilman with the highest bid to deliver oil to the Iraq war who was chosen because of his personal friendship with the King of Jordan? TWO HUNDRED MILLION more than his competitors’ bids. Who knew friendships were so valuable?

  28. Anonymous
    March 18, 2011 at 9:58 am

    JL
    “If ya want more pay, find a job elsewhere. If jobs can’t coincide with liveable wages, then don’t fill the job position.”

    That’s the point JL. Government workers “filled out the job position” and in some cases chose “service” over a higher paying private sector job. But now we need a scape goat and we’re telling the worker that the “job position”, as it was originally described, is no longer valid. We now tell them that the working conditions can be changed, to the disservice of who they help and to the detriment of the worker who agreed to a specific set of conditions. The reason: because others are out of work or undercompensated as a result of greedy and poorly conceived “investment products” like bundled worthless mortgages.
    But as long as the peons – whether self employed, underemployed in the private sector, or working as union employees are fighting each other – the fat cats can lean back, light another cigar and ask for a refill on their brandy.

  29. Plain Jane
    March 18, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Chickens voting for Col. Sanders, 9:58.

  30. Plain Jane
    March 18, 2011 at 10:07 am

    “MADISON, Wis. – A Wisconsin judge issued a temporary restraining order Friday blocking the state’s new and contentious collective bargaining law from taking effect, a measure that drew tens of thousands of protesters to the state Capitol and sent some Democrats fleeing to Illinois in an attempt to block a vote on it.
    The judge’s order is a major setback for new Republican Gov. Scott Walker and puts the future of the law in question.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110318/ap_on_re_us/us_wisconsin_budget_unions_lawsuit

  31. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 18, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Friendships exist right here at home too, politically. Hmmmm, let me know when the next grant funded project is dicussed behind closed doors, well work something out since it is “Tax dollars” being thrown and wasted at projects to increase the costs and create department fees maliciously in order to prop-up societal valuations FALSELY so as to collect taxes based against fraudulant valuations. So, how many paid high, sold lower and then asked questions later ABOUT WHY NO HOME, NO JOB, NO WIFE OR HUSBAND, CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS, GOVERNMENT PROCESSES AND FEES, ETC.. Yep, valuations going up on non-productivities is more normal “these days” in America when less people cave into the demands of those who commit economic frauds.

    The sad part is all the “skilled labor” that does not want to work because they know they will lose wealth in an economic system that rewards laziness and irresponsibility, aside from rewarding the disrespectful types that the machine wants rewarded in an effort to continue the pyramid schemes for upper wealth accumulations. It takes mass numbers of “GRUNT” people to make the scheme work, and work well it does! Take out all the eye candy, and what is left for most IS PERSONAL ECONOMIC/FINANCIAL NET LOSS, suffice to say.

    JL

  32. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 18, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Anonymous says:
    March 18, 2011 at 9:58 am
    JL
    “If ya want more pay, find a job elsewhere. If jobs can’t coincide with liveable wages, then don’t fill the job position.”

    That’s the point JL. Government workers “filled out the job position” and in some cases chose “service” over a higher paying private sector job. But now we need a scape goat and we’re telling the worker that the “job position”, as it was originally described, is no longer valid. We now tell them that the working conditions can be changed, to the disservice of who they help and to the detriment of the worker who agreed to a specific set of conditions. The reason: because others are out of work or undercompensated as a result of greedy and poorly conceived “investment products” like bundled worthless mortgages.
    But as long as the peons – whether self employed, underemployed in the private sector, or working as union employees are fighting each other – the fat cats can lean back, light another cigar and ask for a refill on their brandy.

    Response: Thank You for admitting government perpetuates private sector poverties. Afterall, it is much easier to collect taxes, use taxes to invent some job position (over-popualtion juxtaposed issue) with limitless Federal Reserve fundings – tell me how many private sector businesses or self-employed can pull that scheme off? Hey, I have a business plan that will hire many people……give me tax dollars so I can pay 100% of all start-up and operation costs. Then, I can just not use my own money and just bilk the taxpayers for profit!

    I like this economic game if I get to play this economic game. So, which local businesses play that game? Make a list and then think about it for awhile.

    JL

  33. Anonymous
    March 18, 2011 at 10:39 am

    JL
    I’m not the first to tell you that some of your posts are incomprehensible, so I don’t really know what “scheme” you are describing and how that does or does not relate to local businesses.

    Maybe this analogy will help you understand my point of view:
    You have a small community of private businesses and employees that one day decides they’d like to pool their resources (through a tax) and hire a teacher to teach their children. So, they offer a position with defined compensation and the teacher agrees to specific hours and duties. Then one day the private businesses lose money because of poor business decisions.
    They then reduce their employees wages and benefits, and tell their employees the reason they don’t have as much take home pay is because of the tax they pay to support the teacher. The employees don’t question the business decisions or how much the business owners are making in spite of bad decisions. Instead the employees rant about the high teacher salary and how the teacher really doesn’t work as hard as they do. So, the teacher quits and now their kids are taught by an unqualified part-time worker. The poorly educated kids now have a hard time finding work.
    The employees are then surprised that their wages have not improved and the small reduction in their taxes hasn’t really improved their take home pay or lack of benefits.
    Sound familiar

  34. walt
    March 18, 2011 at 10:52 am

    “I recall a Monty Python skit involving someone who couldn’t eat one more pea “or they’d explode.” You can fill in the rest.”

    Mitch, get your facts straight: Mr Creosote was tempted by “one leetle mint”. Are you suggesting that HiFi is actually Mr. Creosote?

  35. Plain Jane
    March 18, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Excellent analogy, 10:39. Of course, once you have dumbed down a generation, it’s a lot easier to keep them that way.

  36. Mitch
    March 18, 2011 at 11:10 am

    walt,

    Thanks for the correction. As to HiFi = Mr. Creosote, you might think that, but I couldn’t possibly say.

  37. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 18, 2011 at 11:12 am

    10:39 am,

    Incomprehensible or low reader IQ? Wow, all this time and the attacks get worse. Good thing for thick skin.

    Anyhow, your analogy has flaws, like your explanation of the silent sophisticated boob doing a poor job by over-valuing the business model, including the human machines that worked for the business model. So, it is ok to be told your better than you really are or deserve more than you really deserve, give it to ya, knowing that the “GIFT of LABOR/BENEFITS” will increase societal costs and tax collections, while also knowing that those “propped-up” societal values will fall (why could not the tax valuated assessments for collection waited??? – scheme), thus rendering any business model dependent upon a certain cash flow range to falter (chart – parabolic inversion of revenues/costs).

    Note: Compare Public versus Private Project bids for a bit of evaluative comparison with regard to societal costs and liveable paying jobs from years ago to now – one drives the other more and more higher, guess which one.

    Further, the “Teacher”, during the time of employment prior to the quitting, must have done a not so good job in your example if all that we get for de-educated student bases are future owners/employees who can’t be a part of a successful business model where incidents within your analogy can occur.

    Wage Increases – Compare the cost increases of society and tell us all where that extra money is gonna come from to increase wages incrementally over time? You can’t unless there is a scheme involved that uses tax dollars OR where market share is not solely turned into top executive greeds (FOR WHICH IRS LOOPHOLES AND EXCEPTIONS ARE MANIPULATED).

    Lastly, no familiar surprises if you understand how the societal money train rides the rails. Funny how people make out their public employment as “service”, but moan and groan when the very wages and benefits they receive, need to be funded by people who don’t have jobs to earn wages to be able to fund this so-called “its about service and not the money attitude”. Then again, there is the FED RESERVE printing press option that ALSO increases societal costs pon those who require its subsidization scheme.

    JL

  38. Mitch
    March 18, 2011 at 11:13 am

    I’ve gone directly to the source document, Walt.

  39. walt
    March 18, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Mr. Creosote is on Wikipedia. Are you? Am I? GOTTA be him.

  40. Plain Jane
    March 18, 2011 at 11:22 am

    He looked like the Monopoly game banker just before he blew up.

  41. Anonymous
    March 18, 2011 at 11:35 am

    I wish you a non union job in a coal mine in your next life Lytle. One you had to take because you’re so poor that if you don’t work your family will starve. Your hatred for unions is beyond the pale, and shows a truly ignorant side of you. Not everybody can be your utopic small businessman or would even want to. Why I even respond to your libertarian gibberish is beyond me. GFYS.

  42. Dave
    March 18, 2011 at 11:36 am

    10:39 made his point so clearly I don’t think there’s much else for JL to say.

    Reading this thread has been interesting and enlightning. Especially because many of the same commentators can be found on other local blogs.

    After nearly three years of blogging I’m finally getting a clear picture of most of the commentators.

    Kinda like watching a soap opera. Fun.

  43. High Finance
    March 18, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Three years ?

    It took me only three hours to get a very clear picture of the posters like PJ, “Fact” Check, Reinventing the Lie and Mouse (and Mouse’s many alter-egos now that he is hiding).

  44. Bar Bar
    March 18, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    They have the right message, but supporting DUHC serves only one purpose, and that is to pay the mortgage on Kaitlin and (and her ex-) Dave Cobb’s house (The Duck House) in Eureka. They’re nice folks and if people want to subside them that’s fine, but don’t be fooled into thinking that DUHC will ever accomplish anything. Kaitlin writes a Monday morning editorial after each election extolling the Eureka community that if only they would “organize” they would win elections, but somehow showing up and actually doing any of the hard work is beneath her. She’s best at lecturing others about what they are doing wrong and how they should lead their lives. I’d rather join up with the new MoveOn Redwood Chapter and/or attend Linda Atkins’ Progressive Democrat meeting then to be lectured by Kaitlin and David at yet another DUHC meeting!

  45. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 18, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    11:35 am,

    Cursing through acronyms is quite popular these days as a lot is at stake for EVERYONE. Why union members can’t individually negotiate separately for employment is because of the groupon discount benefitting the few over the masses. Good thing you recognize my discontent for unions, as I would have been a bit shocked if you meant human beings since more human beings are non-union.

    To use the coal mine example to justify unions during a time when government oversight and labor laws were lacking is not justifiably arguing the benefit of unions today when unions today don’t really organize for worker’s “on the job Health Rights” when labor law is so strict, but I can understand the lack of labor law enforcements and how it is tied to greed. Further, anyone can work in whatever capacity they want until such time government says no; and even then, the black market still exists. Anyhow, give non-union workers union benefits too since their tax dollars are already paying for those benefits.

    JL

  46. Anonymous
    March 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Plain Jane hope you are unemployed or self employed because with all of your posts here and on SoHum and looking at the time you post you sure aren’t earning your wages.

    Mitch and tra too.

  47. tra
    March 18, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Anon, 4:58,

    Yes, I’m self-employed, and therefore it’s my choice how to spend my time at any given moment. This week there have been a couple of topics that I’m very interested in so I’ve probably spent an average of about two hours a day checking out the blogs and making comments, which I’ll admit is a lot! But trust me, it comes out of my free time and doesn’t have any real effect on my work. Thanks for your concern, though.

    By the way, I note with some amusement that you have plenty of time to monitor all the comments by several commenters on several blogs.

  48. Mitch
    March 18, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    4:58,

    I was doing open heart surgery for most of the day, but I have able assistants who fill in whenever I’m checking the blogs. Thank you for your concern.

  49. tra
    March 18, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    “I’m sorry, Mrs. Petersen, but I’m afraid he didn’t make it. I want to assure you that we did everything we could, but in the end there was an unexpected bloggage…er, I mean a blockage …during the open heart surgery.”

  50. Plain Jane
    March 18, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    4:48, my “boss” appreciates your concern over my work habits; but don’t worry, I take enough breaks from blog posting to get my work done. Can you remind me again why my business is your business? Oh, that’s right. It isn’t. Just another busybody with nothing intelligent to add.

  51. Plain Jane
    March 18, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    HAHA Tra!

  52. Oldphart
    March 18, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    The issue with public employee pensions is the inability of CalPers and the teachers retirement system to be able to pay for all the benefits for the current employees and past employees. It is underfunded. The taxpayers get to make up the difference. The public employees do not pay squat into their own pension plans, nor for their health insurance, which includes full dental and vision for them and the family. Private employees pay for their pension plans either from payroll deductions or from employer contributions. None of that is at taxpayer expense. I do not begrudge anyone their pension, public or private. But I do not want to pay for public employee pensions and health insurance to the degree that is in the union contracts. The public employees do not care about my health plan nor my retirement plan. But just bring up the issue about their plan and there will be a protest, drums banging, people yelling. WTF

  53. tra
    March 18, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Employers using the WalMart model just keep a large portion of their workforce in a part-time, no-benefits working-poor situation, and then the taxpayers have to pick up the slack through Medicaid/Medical, WIC, food stamps, etc.

    Does that bother you, too, or are you only annoyed by the benefits that public employees get? After all, at least with the public employees, we taxpayers are paying for benefits for those who are providing public services, whereas in the case of WalMart we’re paying our tax dollars for public benefits to prop up WalMart’s private profits. Just sayin’.

  54. Plain Jane
    March 18, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Let’s get one thing straight. Everyone pays for everyone else’s wages, retirement and benefits when we consume their products. You pay even higher wages, retirement and benefits for “public utility” employees than for real public employees, but no one is complaining about how much that adds to their power and phone bills every month. The fact that private employers have been able to squeeze their employee costs to make record profits due to the supply of workers exceeding the demand doesn’t make it equitable and certainly will only hurt the economy and job creation even more. The elephant in the room is that taxes on the rich are too low. Blaming public employees because rich people used their political power to defund government, crash the economy and hoard money is scapegoating to incite intra-class envy. Despicable.

  55. Anonymous
    March 18, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    I am a public employee and I pay hundreds of dollars into my pension each month. I will not receive the social security that I paid into as a private sector employee because that is considered double dipping. But, I don’t get that money back either. That goes to support your social security payments Oldphart. Don’t tell me you don’t plan on accepting these. What about Medicare? Will you turn that down too in order to help others who don’t have health care?

    Also, my public employee benefits have decreased over the years; I have a much higher deductible than I did when I began.

    So, Oldphat, it’s not quite as rosy as you think.

    By the way, I worked in the private sector as a consultant and saw a large corporation waste all kinds of money and write off their expenses as part of doing business. You pay for that when you buy their product (when you pay your utility bill and when you fill up with gas), but I don’t see you banging your drum about these companies.

    By the way, I do care about your health plan. That’s why I support universal health care and support union shops that provide their workers a retirement plan.
    You have a right to be mad, but it’s not the public employees that are screwing you. Of course you won’t see that until you take away public employee benefits and pensions and then realize you still do not have adequate health care or a retirement plan.

  56. hazey
    March 18, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    I’ve been teaching in California for 39 years. I pay $200 per month per family member for Blue Cross coverage that is mediocre. The day I turn 65 that ends. In California teachers do not pay in to Social Security so the CalSTRS pension is all I have. Try teaching your own children.

  57. hazey
    March 18, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Both CalPers and CalSTRS lost big time in the stock market crash of 2008. And that’s our fault? Too bad we trusted our investments with AIG.

  58. Oldphart
    March 18, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Like I said, I do not begrudge you your pension or other benefits. What happens when the pension fund, which CalPers basis a 7% return year in and year out which has been proven to be unrealistic, is toast? And while you are checking all the numbers, look at what those wonderful folks who are on the CalPers board and making those assumptions are paying themselves. Is it $100,000. no $200,000, no all make more than $300,000 a year to make those unrealistic calculations. All of us should be pissed at that. The pigs are not only in the private sector, but in the public sector also.

  59. Plain Jane
    March 18, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    “The public employees do not pay squat into their own pension plans, nor for their health insurance, which includes full dental and vision for them and the family.”

    Changing the victim of your grudge from public employees to the CalPers Board, as well as your false claims to incite others to envy public employees rather than the people who caused our financial problems and exacerbated them with their tax cuts and money hoarding, doesn’t change the impression that you begrudge public employees making a decent living.

  60. March 18, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/03/16/MN361IBT07.DTL

    Health Service Board blamed for SF’s rising costs

    There’s no disputing the city’s health care debt is alarming. City Controller Ben Rosenfield recently pegged the long-term amount owed by the city to every current employee and retiree at $4.36 billion. By 2033, the tab is expected to hit $9.7 billion.

    The city has hardly saved anything for it, prompting Rosenfield to suggest the city prefund health care like it does its pensions, paying into a trust fund to accumulate interest. But to solve the problem, he said, the city would have to pay 15.4 percent of its salary costs – or $370 million a year – toward health care.

    That doesn’t include the city’s pay-as-you-go health care costs, which will total $615 million for medical and dental benefits next year. Members will contribute $78.7 million.

    The costs of retirees’ health care is spiking faster than it is for regular employees, largely because of the charter-mandated City Plan, which costs $36,000 a year per participating family, most of which is picked up by the city….

    …Elsbernd said a “classic example” of the Health Service Board at work came in 2007. The city was eliminating the Health Net medical plan, and the board had to decide what to do with participants who failed to choose another plan. He said those who didn’t pay attention to their enrollments were likely to be young and healthy – and that the four elected board members wanted them automatically enrolled in the City Plan to keep the costs down for its mostly older, sicker participants. Elsbernd said that would be more costly for the healthy participants and the city’s bottom line. He lost on a 4-3 vote.

    Mitch Katz, the former director of San Francisco’s Department of Public Health, was appointed to the Health Service Board by the mayor and often voted along with Elsbernd and lost.

    He remembered plenty of votes in which employees and retirees were prioritized over costs. They voted against higher co-pays for pricey medications even though that would have encouraged plan participants to use generic medications, which would have reduced overall costs, he said.

    The board also has supported including all possible hospitals in the city’s medical network, though that gives the city no leverage in negotiating rates.

    “I don’t know that you can directly blame them for representing the interests of the group selecting them,” Katz said, though he added the board’s makeup is one factor in the city’s skyrocketing health care costs….

  61. tra
    March 18, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    9:31,

    You seem to be assuming that PJ is paid by the hour, and you also seem to be assuming that she’s charging her employer for the time she spends blogging.

    One or both of those assumptions may be inaccurate.

  62. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 18, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Plain Jane says:
    March 18, 2011 at 7:17 pm
    4:48, my “boss” appreciates your concern over my work habits; but don’t worry, I take enough breaks from blog posting to get my work done. Can you remind me again why my business is your business? Oh, that’s right. It isn’t. Just another busybody with nothing intelligent to add.

    Response: Hmmm, is your business funded by others not you and who don’t want to fund you, but are forced to? Ya, I think that makes your business others’ business in that situation.

    JL

  63. Anonymous
    March 18, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Rose, your post is a perfect example of the screwed up health care system we have in this country.

    Neither public nor private sector employees (with the exception of private sector health care investors and executives) are responsible for these costs. Its greed and the notion that making a buck off of someone else’s misfortune is OK.

    You make a good case for universal health care. Not only is it ethical, it’s good for the economy.

  64. Plain Jane
    March 18, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Funny that Rose didn’t include THIS section from her link in her cut and paste.

    “But Elsbernd and Katz said they think the board has recently demonstrated more willingness to consider the city’s bottom line in their votes. They finally did vote last year to raise prescription drug co-payments to favor cheaper generic drugs, they increased emergency room co-payments last year, and they increased hospital co-payments this year.

    They also recently announced the creation of an Accountable Care Organization in which doctors, hospitals and insurance groups that participate in the city’s medical plans collaborate to keep coverage costs down.”

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/03/15/MN361IBT07.DTL&ao=2#ixzz1H17qjv4W

  65. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 18, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    tra says:
    March 18, 2011 at 8:49 pm
    Employers using the WalMart model just keep a large portion of their workforce in a part-time, no-benefits working-poor situation, and then the taxpayers have to pick up the slack through Medicaid/Medical, WIC, food stamps, etc.

    Does that bother you, too, or are you only annoyed by the benefits that public employees get? After all, at least with the public employees, we taxpayers are paying for benefits for those who are providing public services, whereas in the case of WalMart we’re paying our tax dollars for public benefits to prop up WalMart’s private profits. Just sayin’.

    Response: Yet, was the public service needed. If so, was it “full service” or “piece mealed service”. Was it a 10 man joke, 9 leaning on shovels while one is in a ditch digging? Was it falsely filling out maintenance records and reports to back-fill information provided at a later date to make it appear that a public employee did do something or that they did it better than what is claimed? What is the political atmosphere at the time, etc… Public service needs is a good discussion with regard to justifiable services and the on-ground results.

    JL

  66. Plain Jane
    March 18, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Close, Tra. I am self-employed, am paid for the work I do not the length of time it takes to accomplish it and have frequent periods when uploading or downloading when I can’t work but have to be at my computer. I could play solitaire or poker, but find politics much more interesting. Whining about how much other people post because you can’t refute their argument is pathetic.

  67. tra
    March 18, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Jeffrey,

    Waste, graft and corruption and the like are all worthy of being investigated and rooted out wherever they are found. But just trying to reduce the benefits of all public employees, whether they are among the hard-working majority, the wasteful minority or the even smaller number who are involved in actual graft or corruption, well, that will do nothing to reduce the waste, graft and corruption that you are expressing concern about.

  68. tra
    March 18, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Whining about how much other people post because you can’t refute their argument is pathetic.

    You won’t get any argument from me there. I’ve heard a bit of that kind of whining this week, apparently prompted by the many comments/quotes/links that I posted on the nuke issue. But for the most part all that whining was from coming from one person, a person who seems to be in a constant state of anger and resentment about just about everything.

  69. March 18, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    “Moviedad,

    Lately, I must be affecting your happiness”

    Don’t flatter yourself Henchman. You don’t have that much impact.

  70. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 18, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    tra @ 9:54 pm,

    I disagree partly because there is no option I am aware of that allows separation of union members through individual sets of rules that apply specificly to one union member but not another. Also, a reduction in the size of government will allow for less waste, grafting and corruption imo – less people pie chasing for that which was not really earned. Then priorities comes in to play – teachers have priority as pubic employees when compared with other public employees, imo; yet, when the discussion of tax dollar fundings shows how unionized public employees generally gain more subsidized benefits as compared to non-union employees, then the majority of the workforce which is non-union would be crazy to not recognize the disparity between the subsidized and the non-subsidized. It is true too that when it comes to subsidies, it ain’t just the public sector at fault as enough private sector tycoons have their inside subsidizing connections as well.

    Again though, where is all the funding gonna come from which assures non-union workers that they are not responsible for funding union workers. If the funding is through sales only transactions, then fine, the consumer can deal with the over-valuation scheme on their dime. Yet, to demand by force that those who don’t even consume the over-valued product, but still have to fund the union jobs and benefits that created that product, well, that is not fair either.

    Greed, pure and simple.

    JL

  71. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 18, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    moviedad says:
    March 18, 2011 at 10:14 pm
    “Moviedad,

    Lately, I must be affecting your happiness”

    Don’t flatter yourself Henchman. You don’t have that much impact.

    Response: Not something to be flattered over, really. Your last few postings directed toward myself have been completely opposite of your historical style. So, just a concern that your happiness has been affected recently in a manner that which emits negative, attacking behavioral changes.

    JL

  72. March 19, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Perhaps you should look at your own posts.

  73. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    March 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Moviedad,

    point out where I got nasty with you or attacking you rather than disagreeing with you. In fact, right after a post where I wrote that I respect you (obviously historical through the blog postings and appropriate disagreements without attacks) IS WHEN it appears your responses to anything I post became attacking on a more personal level.

    Anyhow, if you could blockquote an attack from me toward you personally and it is legitimate, I will surely apologize. I am amiss as to what you are referencing specifically date and time and thread.

    Anyhow, Cheers:-)

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  74. skippy
    March 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Liberally stolen from Monty Python and the Holy Grail…

    “King Arthur: I am your king.

    Dennis: Well I didn’t vote for you.

    King Arthur: You don’t vote for kings.

    Dennis: Well how’d you become king then?

    [Angelic music plays… ]
    King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king.

    Dennis: [interrupting] Listen, strange women lyin’ in ponds distributin’ swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony. Oh, but you can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you? Oh but if I went ’round sayin’ I was Emperor, just because some moistened bint lobbed a scimitar at me, they’d put me away. Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! Help! I’m being repressed!

    King Arthur: Bloody peasant!

    Dennis: Oh, what a giveaway! Did you hear that? Did you hear that, eh? That’s what I’m on about! Did you see him repressing me? You saw him, Didn’t you? You’re foolin’ yourself! We’re living in a dictatorship. A self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working class…

    King Arthur: Please, please, good people, I am in haste. Who lives in that castle? Who is your lord?

    Dennis: We don’t have a lord. I told you, we’re an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to be a sort of executive officer for the week…

    King Arthur: Yes…

    Dennis: …but all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting…

    King Arthur: Yes I see…

    Dennis: …by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs…

    King Arthur: Be quiet!

    Dennis: …but by a two thirds majority in the case of…

    King Arthur: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!

    Dennis: Order, eh? Who does he think he is?

    Sir Robin: Would it help to confuse it if we run away more?

    King Arthur: Oh shut up and go and change your armour.”

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