consultants are sandburs

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Scott Walker aphorism.

I don't think. Therefore I'm not.


Anonymous said...

Its time to stomp on all of the corrupt public sector unions! Scott Walker gets it. Its insane that the money that I pay in taxes finances the democrat party that is corrupt to the core!

eric zaetsch said...

Anon - You enjoy paying higher taxes because the wealthy, their lobbyists, and their owned Republican and Democrat politicians do not make the wealthy pay fair taxes? Are you consistent, in thinking; or are you not?

Anonymous said...

Take your fair share and shove it up your ass..The wealthy pay for all of your cradle to grave services so you can sit at home with your finger in your ear and produce nothing. You are nothing but a dumb ass rube! 100% Anoka white trash.

eric zaetsch said...

Anon - Please leave me out of your earning your Tea Party cred.

Wes Volkenant said...

I'm a public employee, and I am a member of a public employee union - AFSCME - which represents many state, county and local government workers here in Minnesota and across the nation. I have been an elected leader of my own unit of about 2000 employees and I have been elected as a representative of county workers across the State. I didn't get paid to represent statewide fellow working-class people, and my own unit chooses - by our own Constitution - to pay its leaders monthly stipends to cover costs we incur to do union work, in hours outside our own 40-hour work week. All of our members have a right to attend our meetings, vote in our elections, choose to seek opportunities to go to our conventions and conferences, and run for office in our union - and we hold elections every year. My union is very open and democratic for its members. We don't have corruption within our union.

So how might a union be corrupt in the eyes of right-wing zealots like our 'friend' Anon charges? Some call us corrupt because we take active roles in elections with our endorsements, our money and our manpower. Why do we do so? We demand a say on who gets elected in this State - we do the work, and we want elected leaders who take positions to help our state, our counties, our cities and schools, and to improve this state. We not only want good government - because we do believe in what we do, the programs we provide for our communities and all the various aspects of government, from safety to public assistance to parks and roads - but we also want good bosses who respect us and yes, provide with fair, even good in some years, contracts.

Some call us corrupt because our organization collects dues and a fair share fee from everyone the union represents. Hogwash! We won the right to represent all these employees in our 'Local' units. No one deserves a free ride - meaning no one being represented should get the benefits of the Union without any cost. Fair share fee payers are required by Court rulings to receive union assistance throughout the full grievance process - what's called the duty of fair representation. Without participating in the process, fair share fee payers receive wage increases and benefits negotiated in the contract process. Are unions wrong in expecting all those covered by that contract to pay in each month? I say NO!

Fair share fee payers DO NOT contribute against their will to political candidates they oppose. If they prefer anti-union Republicans, they will be on the wrong side in the Union. Our unions support Democrats - and some Republicans - who will support unions and most of the political principles our membership has voiced its support for through our conventions - and our delegates represent every 'Local" at the state level and every 'Council' at the national level. If more than 15% of our expenses go to things outside the regular business of the union, the next year, the amount of the fair share fee is reduced accordingly. My Local will not spend any funds on politics in 2015. Our Council and national units will spend on politics. Much of that money is raised outside of our dues - the AFSCME PEOPLE fund. I, myself, put in an additional $8 a pay period above my dues, specifically to help my Union elect good candidates who generally support what I support in the next election.

Meanwhile my dues make sure that our members are well-represented, that our contract process gives our members due process, and that later this year, we fight a good contract campaign with the managers hired to represent the peoples' elected officials in my county - the County Board.

Wes Volkenant said...

Another thing, Mr/Ms Anon - I'm tired of my money going to the damned Republicans because your employer at Target, or at WalMart is using the money I spent there, to do things I disagree with, too. Yeah, I get that you think it's different than your paying taxes, and that helps go towards my wages, and I might then choose to give to your damned Democrats. But it isn't.

Somehow, we all have an income. You do what you do, and get compensated for it. Well, like it or not, in 2015 there are many people working at many layers of government, and we get compensated, too. Some are high-level administrators who get paid well - less than similar private sector similar - but well-paid. None of them are union people, by the way.

We also employ lots of specialists and professionals, from cops to school psychologists to departmental planners to child protection social workers to architects to medical examiners, etc. They are also highly-paid and should be due to their education, experience and job expectations. And some are unionized, but not all.

And there are lots of 'regular joes' who are 40-hour a week folks, and most of us are in the union. In my 'Local' we earn a nice middle class wage after several years. Starting wages, for jobs that typically require a college degree, range from @$13/hr to $18/hr. Average wage is about $22 an hour - and we average 8 years employment. Average monthly pension of about $1100 per month is solid, but hardly self-sustaining, without a retirement income or Social Security or our additional retirement savings. Probably not a lot different than other 'regular joes' working in the private sector.

So get off your high horse about your taxes and what those of us who get paid out of tax revenue do with our hard-earned income.

eric zaetsch said...

I find it useful to also consider those earning from public funds who gain no criticism from Anon and his/her ilk - namely elected Republican office holders such as Mr. Petersen and Ms. Whelan, who, by where I live and how folks voted, end up representing me in the legislature.

I do not like that.

But I can live with it, and with public tax funds paying their salaries, as with those holding theocratic Republican views while serving on my county's board.

It is not a perfect system, but people having something of a perspective are better able to deal wth governmental activity with an understanding of how any system of management will in part be idiosyncratic.

Christsakes, I've had to put up with Michele Bachmann's grandstanding for years while she sucked out public money for her and family in the course of being a publicity hound.

Tax money. Wasted on Michele Bachmann. An utter absurdity.

Aside from Mad Michele -- the county board, the legislature, each body sets its own pay levels. As does Congress. What do you suppose Anon thinks of that? That elected officials should all serve for free? That they should depend on bags of cash handed under tables for a living; that such an arrangement would make for a better world?

Anyway, it is difficult to understand union-hating. People learned that generating a solidarity of purpose on the part of labor can counter solidarity of purpose on the part of ownership. Unions offset ALEC money/influence, and I see it a better world with them existing, rather than the sole political voices being bankers such as Bill Cooper, newspaper owners such as Glen Taylor, and conscience-challenged polluters such as the Kochs.

eric zaetsch said...

Also curious to me, public sector cheapskate drum beaters seem to vent little spleen over private sector credit card usurious rates being permitted and, hence, imposed universally; compare Minn. Stat. Sect. 334.01 with Sect. 334.16. If public sector worker unionization is "evil" or "corrupt," what, Anon., do you call the legislature's permitting such abuse of you and others, by private-sector credit extenders?

Just fine?

Fair and balanced?

ALEC is saying, "Look, unions, oh my," and saps pay heed while paying what, 18% per annum?

Makes all the sense in the world to me, private interests leading fools down a primrose path of complaining vastly over much of the wrong things. Making sense from the perspective of the beneficiaries of such public policy.

Where's any Tea Party incensed howl over usury? MIA is the answer, because ALEC declines to incense the savages over things in ALEC sponsor interests.

So, union busting is the topic of the day instead of things such as consumer credit interest rate management per normal concepts of usury. Fools do howl over what wolves tell them to howl over, and politicians such as Scott Walker are cozy with that all the way to the bank.

eric zaetsch said...

Wikipedia notes for its Tim Pawlenty entry:

"On 20 September 2012, Pawlenty's advisor Brian McClung announced to Associated Press that Pawlenty would resign as the co-chairman of Mitt Romney's electoral campaign. He was to head the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR), a financial service industry lobby group in Washington, D.C. [...] In November 2012, Pawlenty said that 'Republicans and Democrats will have to reconcile their differences on spending and taxes because the 'walls of reality are closing in on them' relative to the federal government's looming 'fiscal cliff'. Presenting himself as not from Wall Street or from Washington and, having previously criticized 'entrenched financial interests', he said he could 'bring a fresh and new voice to those debates'."

[links omitted] What pliant virtues do you suppose Pawlenty displayed while in the legislature and heading Minnesota's executive branch, to enable his attaining such a post politician perk? Excellence of mind? Or something else?

Meanwhile Pawlenty-loving Tea Partying "ordinary" folks like Anon. pay heed to union busting rhetoric and "fiscal cliffs" while paying 18% on the Visa card. On the balance owed. Barely grumbling about that to themselves - once each month.

Bless them forever. And bless Tim Pawlenty who is part of blessing them over their lifetimes.

Ain't it a great world?

eric zaetsch said...

Along the lines of shell game hucksters depending upon (and getting a buzz from) their abilities at misdirection of the mass attention span; Dan Burns, this link.