Liberals don’t Win Elections in the Arena of Ideas

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 20th, 2013

Politics 101

Public Schools teach Kids that Republicans are Racist Homophobes who hate Children, Poor People and Immigrants

Americans are historically conservative.  Gallup shows that approximately 40% +/- of the people call themselves conservative.  While only approximately 20% +/- call themselves liberal.  Most of the rest call themselves moderates.  Gallup shows this as a general trend from 1992 through 2011 (see Conservatives Remain the Largest Ideological Group in U.S. by Lydia Saad posted 1/12/2012 on Gallup).  Yet President Obama is a liberal pushing liberal policies.  So how did a conservative nation vote in such a liberal president?

Well, there are the usual suspects.  The public schools are teaching our children to be liberal.  Thanks to teacher unions.  Who contribute generously via their union dues to the Democrat Party in return for favorable policies from the Department of Education.  So our public schools work to ‘free’ our children’s minds from the influence of their parents.  The push for public-funded childcare is just a way to get our children away from their parents sooner.  For the younger they start the longer their education/indoctrination will last.

While our kids are in our public schools they learn the ‘important’ things.  Global warming is a reason to tax and regulate business.  Capitalism is unfair and evil.  Government is good.  While glossing over the Founding Fathers and their creation of a government based on the assumption that government is bad.  And the less of it the better the people were.  No.  Our kids don’t learn that.  Instead they learn worthless things and come out of our schools knowing very little about their country.  Or their government.  Just watch Watters’ World on The Factor.  And listen to how little our young people know when Jesse Watters asks some basic questions.  You’ll get the ‘deer in the headlights’ look when asked a question school children could have answered a generation or two earlier.  But despite their lack of knowledge on anything that isn’t trending in social media they will tell you that Fox News is biased.  And that Republicans are racist homophobes who hate children, poor people and immigrants.  Which is why they vote Democrat.

Democrats expand the Welfare State to get People Dependent on Government Benefits

So there’s public education.  And for those who go on to college our public universities will pull these kids even further left.  Then there’s the mainstream media.  Which is liberal.  Reinforcing everything our kids heard in school.  And all the people they look up to in the entertainment world tend to be liberal.  Further reinforcing what these young people heard in school.  Even though only 20% call themselves liberal that 20% is a young person’s world.  So a liberal view does not seem like the minority view it is to them.  Which is why they vote Democrat.

Then there are public sector unions.  And labor unions.  Who have a vested interest in keeping Democrats in office.  These unions collect dues from their members.  And spend a large portion of those dues to help Democrats win elections.  In return these Democrats implement union-favorable policies.  Also, these union members will act as foot soldiers during elections.  Helping to get out the vote.  Making phone calls.  Going door to door.  And helping to get people to the polls to vote Democrat.

Democrats also try to expand the welfare state.  To get people dependent on the government.  So these people look to government as their sole provider.  And after awhile being dependent on the government these people become completely dependent on the government.  And fear losing their government benefits.  For after being out of work for so long the thought of reentering the workforce is frightening.  Which Democrats tell them Republicans want to do.  They want to take away their benefits.  And force them into hamburger-flipper jobs.  Which Democrats point out are beneath them.  Even if they have no education or jobs skills beyond entry level employment.  So they vote Democrat.  To protect their benefits.

Liberals win Elections by Indoctrination, Quid Pro Quo, Dependency, Fear, Patronage and Abuse of Power

But it doesn’t end with simply getting people dependent on government benefits.  They implement policies that attack and destroy conservative institutions that encourage people to stand on their own two feet.  So they just don’t have to rely on people’s desires and wants.  But can tap into their fears.  Which is why FDR passed Social Security into Law.  And why LBJ expanded Medicare.  For these two great liberals knew they could make the elderly permanent Democrat voters by putting the fear of God in them that Republicans will cut their Social Security and Medicare benefits.  So a large percentage of seniors vote Democrat.  As they won’t be able to pay their bills or see a doctor if they lose their Social Security and Medicare benefits.  Because they trusted the government to provide for them in retirement.

And then there’s Obamacare.  Which will do to all non-seniors what Social Security and Medicare did to seniors.  Put the fear of God into them that Republicans will kill them by cutting their Obamacare benefits.  But it’s more than just the fear.  Obamacare will require a massive bureaucracy.  Layers of new government jobs.  Public sector union jobs.  Which will do what public sector unions and labor unions do on a grand scale.  But the big way Obamacare can help Democrats win elections is having the IRS enforce it.  Having the IRS determining who is eligible for a subsidy.  Determining how much someone can afford to pay for their Obamacare.  And determining how much to fine someone.  Allowing the IRS to ‘Tea Party’ the political opposition.

This is how liberals win elections.  Not by winning in the arena of ideas.  But by indoctrination, quid pro quo, dependency, fear, patronage and using the power of the executive branch for political ends.  They’ve become everything the Founding Fathers feared.  Who wrote the Constitution specifically to prevent things like this from happening.  Who didn’t believe the Constitution was a living document for future generations to interpret and adjust for the times.  Because they didn’t write it to give people stuff.  They wrote it to restrict the powers of the federal government as much as possible.  Because it is government’s nature to oppress and abuse her people.  So you don’t want them to have a lot of power.  For Lord Acton’s words are just as true today.  Power corrupts.  And absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Something at least 40% of the American people understand.

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FT169: “College is more about making Democrat voters than giving students marketable skills.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 10th, 2013

Fundamental Truth

Another Big Reason why College Tuition has been Soaring is because of Public Sector Unions

College tuition is rising.  With increases greater than the rate of inflation.  With some tuition costs growing greater than costs in health care.  There are many reasons for this.  Unlike private sector business colleges cannot produce more with less.  That is, they cannot use productivity gains to educate more students with fewer professors.  Auto manufacturers can use robots to replace people on the assembly line.  Reducing wage, pension and health care costs.  The biggest costs that go into a car.

Universities are big campuses with lots of buildings that basically do one thing.  Sit students down in front of a professor.  This hasn’t change since the first days of higher education.  The only things that have changed are the buildings are a lot nicer.  And university employees all have better pay, pensions and health care than they used to have.  Which is why tuition costs keep rising.  For universities, unlike auto manufacturers, can’t speed up their assembly lines by using robots instead of people.  But it’s not only the auto manufacturers and the universities that have high labor, pension and health care costs.

Another big reason why university tuition has been soaring is because of public sector unions.  Who have negotiated some extremely generous union contracts.  Cities and states everywhere are drowning under the costs of their labor, pension and health care costs.  Forcing them to cut back spending elsewhere to pay for those generous public sector union contracts.  So they’re cutting back on their subsidies for higher education.  And what the state cuts the universities just tack on to the student’s tuition bill.

Universities lure High School Kids into College with Promises of a Big Paycheck for an Easy Degree

Today’s tuition costs will saddle a student with the kind of debt that can pay for a house.  A very big house.  One of those McMansions.  Depending on where you go to college.  Which is all well and fine if a student gets a high-paying job after graduating.  Sadly, though, a lot aren’t.  A lot are taking jobs that they could have gotten out of high school.  Without that massive student loan debt.  Debt they will be paying for a long, long time.  Making it very difficult for them to buy a house and start a family.  And the reason for this is too many students are taking degrees with no market value in a high-tech economy.

Today’s businesses are looking for people with a strong science and math background.  For this is what businesses in a high-tech economy need.  Not people with degrees in anthropology.  Philosophy.  Women’s studies.  Art history.  Comparative literature.  Communication.  Or a myriad of other degrees that a business just can’t use.  Yet our universities are selling these degrees.  Telling their prospective students who don’t want the heavy math load a science and engineering degree requires that these other degrees are just as good.  And that they, too, can have that big paycheck.  Just like engineers and chemists and doctors and physicists.  All they need is a student loan.  And the world can be their oyster.

So these kids starting their adult lives start that life by making one of the worst decisions of their lives.  Because they really want to go to college.  For the fun.  Universities lure these high school kids into higher education.  Appealing to them as adults.  Who can live away from home out from under the judgmental eyes of their parents.  For on a college campus there is a lot of fun to be had.  Sex.  Drugs.  Alcohol.  And health services.  Such as birth control and access to abortion services.  For all the consequence-free fun a high school graduate could ever ask for.  This is the bait.  And all they have to do to have all of that grownup fun is to borrow enormous sums of money that they will probably never be able to pay back.

Liberals say You should Never Rush to Judgment, Especially if we can’t Blame Conservatives

For the universities, though, it’s not just the money.  For their curriculum is the product of those Sixties’ radicals.  Who tried to overthrow capitalism.  And replace it with communism.  As they were never able to incite the workers’ revolt in the United States they changed tack.  And continued their revolution from the inside.  By becoming college professors.  Who eventually got tenure.  And went on to write the curriculum.  Basically an anti-capitalist, America is responsible for all the world’s problems and an anti-religious/anti-tradition curriculum.  Hence the socially liberal campus where anything goes.  And those college degrees that have no market value.  That advanced a relentless attack on capitalism and business.  And made their students eschew American greatness.

This curriculum has helped President Obama win reelection despite a horrific economic record.  And a brutal attack on the American mission in Benghazi.  The result of a failed foreign policy that tried to make nice with America’s enemies.  Who have been trying—and at times succeeding—to kill Americans.  The Fort Hood shooting by a radical Islamist.  The underwear bomber (failed Islamist plot).  The Times Square bomber (failed Islamist plot).  As well as other smaller and lesser known incidents.  Both successful and failed Islamist plots.  Then Benghazi.  And the death of 4 Americans.  Despite earlier witnessing an increase of anti-Western violence in the city.  A resurgent al Qaeda.  And an anniversary date holy to radical Islam.  9/11.  The U.S. mission in Benghazi requested additional security.  The Obama administration denied it as it would not fit the 2012 campaign meme.  ‘Osama bin Laden is dead.  And General Motors is alive.’  President Obama had won the War on Terror with the killing of bin Laden.  Therefore, they couldn’t have a terrorist attack in Benghazi before the 2012 election.  So the Obama administration made up the story about an anti-Islamic YouTube video that led to a spontaneous protest in front of the U.S. mission.  A protest that naturally got out of hand when the people pulled RPGs and mortars out of their pockets and started a military assault on the American compound.

The Obama administration then started to disseminate the lie.  They sent Secretary Rice to the Sunday morning television shows with severely edited talking points to downplay any role of radical Islam.  Then President Obama and Secretary Clinton made numerous public statements denouncing that YouTube video.  Even made a video to air in Pakistan.  And the mainstream media, the product of that anti-capitalist, America is responsible for all the world’s problems and anti-religious/anti-tradition curriculum never questioned anything.  They just dutifully carried the administration’s water.  And now that signs of a cover-up are coming out the administration is saying the only reason why they made any edits to those talking points was to prevent anyone from rushing to judgment.  Something they say we should never do.  Especially if we can’t blame conservatives.  Or Christians.  Like they did with the YouTube video that proved to be a red herring.  And as they—and their friends in the mainstream media—have rushed to judgment in the past.  By quickly blaming radical conservatives for every other massacre.  Only to see it turn out to be someone who wasn’t a conservative.  But a radical Islamist(s) instead.  Or someone suffering from mental illness.

Of course this wouldn’t be possible without higher education.  Where college is more about making Democrat voters than giving students marketable skills.  One could even blame those deaths in Benghazi on that anti-capitalist, America is responsible for all the world’s problems and anti-religious/anti-tradition curriculum.  (As well as being the reason why these kids can’t find any high-paying jobs; the vote for anti-business Democrat candidates whose policies discourage economic growth.)  Because protecting Americans in Benghazi would have been bad for the Democrats in 2012.  So perhaps we should be addressing the high cost of higher education.  And follow the example of the automotive industry.  By producing more graduates with fewer professors.  And put an end to the liberal Shangri la of the college campus.  By replacing the bulk of higher education with online studies.  For if a 15-year old girl can make medical decisions about the morning after pill by reading the contents of the packaging without consulting a doctor or parent then she can get her higher education online.  Without all the fun.  Or student loan debt.

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FT136: “Unions only represent those who pay union dues.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 21st, 2012

Fundamental Truth

The Cost of Teachers’ Salaries, Health Care and Pensions are so Costly that there is Little Left to Spend on the Children

The Chicago public school teachers’ strike is over.  And the teachers got enough of what they wanted to go back to the classroom.  Or else they wouldn’t be going back to the classroom.  Which proves the benefit of belonging to a union.  In exchange for those union dues they get a lot of political muscle.  Which they greatly leverage by having children out of the classrooms.  Suffering.  For the kids are losing out on their education.  Worse, parents are stuck with their kids longer.  And must wait longer before they get their break from having their kids home all day long.

And speaking of the children one thing you didn’t hear in the list of demands was more supplies for the classroom.  Despite good teachers everywhere dipping into their own pockets to pay for classroom supplies.  Why?  Because the cost of teachers’ salaries, health care and pensions are so costly that there is little left to spend on the children.  And that pay and those benefits are pretty generous.  Especially considering with all the time off teachers get they’re technically working part-time jobs (30 hours a week or less).  With about two and half months off during the summer and the breaks during the school year teachers work about 9 months out of the year.  Which comes to about 1,548 hours a year.  Compared to the 1,560 hours (30 hours X 52 weeks) a year a part-time worker can work.  With far fewer benefits.

But yet it’s always about the children.  Higher pay and benefits for teachers benefit the children.  At least that’s what they tell us.  The ability to retire with nearly their full salary.  And free health care until Medicare kicks in.  All paid by the taxpayers.  That’s what’s important to maintain.  So the children get a quality education.  By having their teachers live a higher quality life and retirement than these children’s parents.  Who are paying for both their own quality of life and retirement.  As well as their kids’ teachers.

Big Cities set up Generous Public Sector Pay and Benefits based on an ever Expanding Population Growth Rate

Whenever a city is having trouble paying their bills they always threaten to lay off police officers and firefighters.  As if that is the only expense a city has.  They never talk about cutting back on their health care plans or their pension plans for all city workers.  Like everyone working in the private sector has gone through.  How many times have you been told by your employer that they cannot make a contribution to your 401(k) retirement plan this year because business was down?  It happens a lot.  And that’s the retirement plan most people have today.  It’s mostly what you put away for your retirement.  Pensions in the private sector are long gone.  Only those unionized sectors with enough political clout still enjoy generous pension plans.

Recessions reduce tax dollars flowing into city coffers.  But that’s only part of the problem.  The bigger problem they have is a flat population growth rate.  All these big cities set up generous public sector pay and benefits based on an ever expanding population growth rate.  But that growth rate flattened out in the Sixties and Seventies.  Thanks to widespread use of birth control and, to a lesser extent, abortion.  Women stopped having a lot of babies.  Which means there are a larger number of people retiring than there are entering the workforce to replace them.  So you have a higher growth rate of those consuming taxes.  While you have a lower growth rate of those paying taxes.  Which means cities will pay more out than they collect unless they raise tax rates.  Which they often try to do.  While threatening to lay off police officers and firefighters if voters don’t approve a new millage.

Things can be especially hard for some city workers because of that flat population growth rate.  Not to pick on the firefighters but look at a typical firehouse.  Say a firehouse with one engine/ladder truck and one rescue squad.  That’s about 6 firefighters.  If a city has 30 firehouses that’s 180 firefighters.  If they are 24 hours on duty and 24 hours off that brings it up to 360 firefighters.  If a firefighter academy graduates 100 new firefighters a year that’s about a third of all firefighters.  Now unless each firefighter only works 3 years there will always be more firefighters than open positions.  New building technologies and fire alarm/suppression systems have greatly reduced the number of building fires.  All of this on top of a flat population growth rate makes it very difficult for anyone wanting to be a firefighter these days.  Making matters worse a lot of the old cities are actually seeing population decreases.  Which cities respond to by closing firehouses.  Which reduces the number of firefighters.  Making it even harder for aspiring firefighters.

A Union Represents those who pay Union Dues—not Children, Taxpayers or Patients

Cities collect property taxes to pay for the services they provide.  As well as other taxes and fees.  From that pot of money they collect they divide it between the various departments they have.  Such as for education.  From that money educators have to pay all their bills.  From classroom supplies.  To teachers’ salaries, health care and pensions.  They can only spend this money once.  So if they give more to the teachers there is less for the classroom.  So when teachers strike and say it’s for the children it is probably not for the children.  For the children pay no union dues.  As unions don’t represent the children anymore than they represent the taxpayers.  They represent the teachers.  Because they pay the union dues.  And it is their job to get as much of that money spent on education to the teachers as possible.

There are some moves to unionize nurses and other health care workers.  In fact, that will happen under Obamacare as health care workers will all become government workers.  And eligible to join public sector unions.  Which is why all the unions were so adamantly for Obamacare even though many of them have gotten waivers to opt out.  Because it will swell the ranks of the public sector unions.  While greatly increasing the cost of health care.  And hurt the quality of our health care system.  For if we pay nurses like government bureaucrats we will shift more health care money to these new public sector workers while leaving less to spend on patients.

It is remarkable how selfless all public sector workers are.  For they never want more taxpayer money for their own selfish needs.  It’s always for the children.  The safety of our citizens.  And when Obamacare fully kicks in, the quality of health care our patients receive.  It’s just a coincidence that while protecting the children, the taxpayers and our patients that they benefit, too.  Funny how that works.  Which is what happens when you belong to a union and pay dues.  For a union represents those who pay union dues.  Not children, taxpayers or patients.

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The Most Expensive City will be Getting More Expensive as New York City raises Taxi and Limo Fares

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 15th, 2012

Week in Review

One of the most expensive cities to live in just got more expensive.  Or will get more expensive this September (see Cost of riding New York City taxi to jump 17 percent by Joseph O’Leary posted 7/12/2012 on Reuters).

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a 17 percent fare hike on Thursday, said Alan Fromberg, a spokesman for the commission. The change will take effect in September.

Gas prices are falling.  Because the economy is so bad.  Unemployment is stuck at 8.2%.  No one is spending money.  Few are packing the families into their cars for a long vacation.  As the rising food costs are taking a larger portion of family budgets.  One of the few areas improvements in productivity isn’t keeping inflation at bay.  Still, inflation is in the low single digits.  So with the horrible economic picture, the fall in gasoline prices and the relatively low inflation rate why are they raising fares by 17%?  For all of the above.

New York City is one of the highest tax locales in the country.  And when economic activity falls so does tax revenue.  The city is hemorrhaging money.  Because it’s a city dominated by public sector workers.  And public sector unions.  Who consume enormous amounts of tax revenue.  Raising taxi and limo fares raises taxi and limo company profits.  Which increases income tax revenue.  And it increases drivers’ incomes.  Which increases income tax revenue.  That is, as long as ridership doesn’t fall.  Which it may.  For this is yet one more reason not to go to New York City.  It’s just so costly to visit.  For once there you will be visiting the ATM early.  And often.  Especially if you travel by taxi.

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The Energy Sector in the Canadian Economy masks the High Cost of their Public Sector

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 7th, 2012

Week in Review

The economic numbers in Canada are pretty good.  Even better than America.  And there is one reason for that.  Canada embraces the energy sector.  And they are bringing to market what all modern economies need.  Fuel.  And the economic growth in this one sector makes up for a lot of bad policy elsewhere (see Unions out of sync with economy by DANIEL FONTAINE posted 7/7/2012 on Vancouver 24 Hours).

If it were not for the extraction of natural resources such as oil, coal and natural gas, would Canada really be an economic powerhouse? Many leading economists remain skeptical.

Strip out raw material exports and Canada suddenly becomes just a middle-of-the-pack nation struggling with a serious productivity problem. That’s why this is not the time for any level of government to open up the wallet book and undertake a massive spending spree.

Unfortunately, the need to keep costs in check appears to be lost on a growing number of public sector unions in the Western world. That includes right here at home in British Columbia.

For example, unionized liquor store employees belonging to the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union are on strike this week demanding even higher wages and better benefits. This is despite the fact union officials openly admit unskilled employees in government liquor stores make starting wages and benefits well above similar jobs in the private sector.

The BCGEU argues that liquor stores are making Victoria lots of money; hence they deserve a bigger slice of the pie. But what they fail to acknowledge is that government makes profits off the taxes they charge on alcohol, not on who actually sells the product. Having public versus private sector employees sell liquor actually cuts into government’s bottom line.

FDR, liberal icon and America’s 32nd president, opposed government workers unionizing.  He was a fan of unions in the private sector.  But not the public sector.  Because there was a lot of political capital in attacking industrial fat-cats oppressing their workers to make a buck.  But the government pays their workers with taxes.  Meaning the greedy fat-cats oppressing these workers are the taxpayers.  And when you’re trying to grow the size of government it doesn’t help to attack the people paying those taxes.  Especially when you’re trying to raise their tax rates to pay those higher wages and better benefits.  For it just doesn’t sound right calling someone greedy when they refuse to enjoy their lives less so others can enjoy their lives more.

And it just can’t continue.  Forever granting higher wage and benefit packages.  Paid for with ever higher tax rates.  Because to generate tax revenue you need two things.  You need a tax rate.  And economic activity.  Higher taxes, though, reduce economic activity.  Which reduces tax revenue.  Keep doing this and you end up like the social democracies in Europe in the throes of a sovereign debt crisis.  Unless you are blessed with vast energy resources for export.  And your government embraces the energy sector to bring those resources to market.  Like they have in Canada.  The one truly bright spot in their economic picture.

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FT121: “As liberals gain knowledge and experience they become conservatives.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 8th, 2012

Fundamental Truth

Carnegie and Rockefeller were able to make the World Better because of Capitalism and Free Markets

Liberals campaign hard to get the youth vote.  Before the young grow up and become responsible adults.  Lose their youthful idealism.  And their ignorance of rudimentary economics.  Kids graduating from high school don’t know much about economics.  They don’t know that JFK was a tax cutter just like Ronal Reagan.  And that those tax cuts stimulated real economic growth.  They don’t know any of this.  But they know who Al Gore is.  And will read you the riot act whenever you do anything that will increase your carbon footprint on this planet. 

Those who go on to college build on their liberal high school education.  Where they don’t learn about how Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller created the modern nation we know today.  Carnegie made steel plentiful and inexpensive.  Allowing us to build the skyscrapers in our cities.  Rockefeller made kerosene so plentiful and inexpensive that he put the whale oil industry out of business.  Saving the whales.  And gave us plentiful and inexpensive gasoline for our automobiles.  Providing fuel for our trains and planes.  Giving us the freedom to travel anywhere.  Visiting big cities like New York.  Where many of the great skyscrapers built with Carnegie steel are still standing today.

Carnegie and Rockefeller are just two entrepreneurs who changed the world.  And greatly increased our standard of living.  Who were free to make the world a better place because of capitalism and free markets.  Instead of working for a paycheck like most people do they took risks and created things.  Better steel.  And better fuel.  As well as jobs.  Lots and lots of jobs.  So people could work for a paycheck.  Why did they take these great risks?  Because the possibility of getting rich is a great incentive.  Which is why aspiring actors go to Los Angeles and starve.  Hoping to get a break.  Get discovered.  So they can become rich.   Which is why people buy lotto tickets.  To become rich.  For it appears everyone wants to get rich.  But there is a difference when people like Carnegie and Rockefeller get rich.  Everyone lives a better life when they do.  Not just the movie star or the lotto winner.

Students live College Life to the Fullest and Pursue Degrees that won’t take up too much of their Time

So what do they learn in college?  That capitalism isn’t fair.  Corporations are evil.  But communism and socialism are good.  Government intervention into the free markets is good.  And, of course, those who do learn economics only learn Keynesian economics.  The school of economics that favors government interventionism into private markets.  And that great industrialists like Carnegie and Rockefeller were greedy and exploited their workers.  While communism and socialism protected their workers.  Which is another failing of our educational system.  Students don’t learn what an abject failure communism was.  Both as an economic system.  And on human rights.  They don’t learn that.  Or that a lot of rich industrialists like Carnegie and Rockefeller spent the last years of their lives giving away the wealth they amassed.  Like some of America’s rich continue to do today.  As exemplified by Bill Gates.

No.  Their education is a poor one.  Which explains why the Indians and Chinese are passing American students by.  The goal of American public education is not to produce high test scores.  But to indoctrinate students into being good Democrat voters.  So those in the public sector unions can continue to earn more in pay and benefits than their counterparts in the private sector.  Another fact they don’t teach these young students.  They keep these students young and dumb as long as possible.  And the government helps.  By focusing on the things important to these students.  Lenient drug laws.  Birth control.  And abortion.  To make sure their first time living away from their parents is a good time.  A fun time.  And to make sure that they understand that Democrat political candidates aren’t like their parents.  Those buzz kills.  Whose favorite word in their vocabulary is ‘no’.  Not the Democrats.  They like the word ‘yes’.  As in “yes we can.”  And yes you can.  Do whatever young people with raging sex drives like to do.  And they do. 

They live college life to the fullest.  Many pursuing degrees that won’t take up too much of their time.  Taking less science and math like the Indians and the Chinese.  Because those are hard and require a lot of homework.  Instead they pursue degrees in women’s studies.  Minority studies.  Family studies.  American studies.  Communications.  Film.  Psychology.  Philosophy.  Things that are fun and have no math.  Allowing a lot of fun when outside of the classroom.  But are absolutely worthless in the high-tech economy.  The only employment opportunities for these degrees is to become a professor and teach other students these worthless degrees.

It turns out Liberalism is a Lie used to maintain a Privileged Class

So when these college graduates can’t get a job that’ll make them rich overnight they get angry.  And struggle to pay down the mountain of debt that paid for those worthless degrees.  Of course it’s not their fault.  Or the universities who sold them those worthless degrees.  It’s Wall Street’s fault.  Those evil rich people who don’t pay their fair share in taxes.  That somehow if they only paid more in taxes they could find gainful employment.

And when the young start working for a living they discover taxes.  From property taxes to payroll taxes to income taxes.  Which are a lot of taxes.  And when they start raising a family they start paying attention to what’s on television.  Which was fine when they were partying in their youth.  But somehow isn’t right now that they are parents.  They start thinking about the things they did in their youth.  And how to hide it from their kids.

And when there are ballot initiates to raise taxes to pay for budget deficits at the city and state level they pay attention to what caused these deficits.  And they don’t like what they learn.  Public sector pensions and health care benefits that are far greater than theirs.  Worse, they are not only paying for theirs (through a payroll deduction and/or lower pay) they’re paying for these generous public sector benefits via ever increasing taxes.  And they will be paying these taxes for a long time as few will be able to retire until they’re well into their sixties.  Working some 40-50 years.  While public sector retirees can enjoy their more generous benefits after only working some 20-30 years.

Which is why as liberals gain knowledge and experience they become conservatives.  Because young and dumb was fun in their youth.  But everyone has to grow up.  And learn that their parents were right.  Which is why a lot of people grow up to become conservative like their parents.  But few conservatives become liberals.  Because as it turns out liberalism is a lie.  It is just a means to maintain a privileged class.  Where life is great within the privileged class.  Where you can retire after 20-30 years and receive generous pensions and health care benefits.  But it sucks for those outside that privileged class who have to pay for it.  Which is why public education is not about test scores.  But producing good Democrat voters.  To maintain that privileged class.  Because education is in that privileged class.

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President Obama uses Class Warfare to Increase Spending and Reward Political Cronies

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 19th, 2011

They have Learned in the UK that Government can’t Pay for Everything

China may be subsidizing high-speed rail.  But in the UK, the government is moving the other way.  Because it is just too costly (see Arriva Trains: Fare rise in Wales 2% lower than England posted 9/19/2011 on the BBC News Wales).

The Welsh Government has told Arriva Trains Wales it can increase prices by 1% above the inflation rate.

Last month the UK government announced an average increase in England of 3% over inflation…

Tony Miles, from Modern Railways magazine, said the decision was good news for Welsh commuters but it would impact on the Welsh Government’s budget.

He said: “This is a policy decision by the Welsh Government, which is very much in line with their outlook that the burden of financing public transport should fall more on taxpayers centrally than on the individual passengers…

“The UK Government wants to shift the cost of the railways more away from taxpayers and towards users.

The UK went farther down the socialist road than the Americans.  They nationalized a lot of their industries.  Nationalized their health care.  And, of course, their transportation.  Now there are efforts to reverse this.  Continuing on the work of the great Margaret Thatcher.

There are some in the UK that have a novel idea.  To let people pay for a train ticket.  If they want a train ticket.  Imagine that.  Paying your own way.  How fair.  And rational.  But not all are keen on the idea.  For in Wales they want everyone to pitch in and pay for train tickets.  Even those who don’t ride on the train.

They have learned in the UK that government can’t pay for everything.  And some are now trying to undo years of government growth.  In transportation.  And elsewhere.  To unleash more free market capitalism.  That they were so kind to introduce to the Western World all those years ago.

Was the Great Depression the Worst Economy Ever before Obama Took Office?

In America, though, government continues to grow.  Even with election losses.  And economic malaise (see End of Recession Doesn’t Mean Good Times Return Right Away by David Johnson posted 9/19/2011 on Random Samplings).

Numbers just released by the Census Bureau, however, illustrate that while the recession may technically be over, household economic conditions did not improve…

During the 2010 calendar year, median household income was $49,445, 2.3 percent lower than in 2009 after adjusting for inflation.

The Obama administration’s Recovery Summer ended the Bush recession in 2010.  Or so they say.  The unemployment rate is still above 9%.  If you factor in the underemployed and those who’ve given up looking for a job it’s closer to 16%.  And real household income is down 2.3%.

But just imagine how bad things would have been if Obama didn’t end the Bush Recession with his Recovery Summer.  People would be saying that the Great Depression was the worst economy ever.  Until Obama took office.

To end the Bush recession Obama spent $800 billion in ‘stimulus’ spending.  Which failed.  Because he’s asking for another $450 billion stimulus package.  Despite the first one failing.  Well, it may have failed to stimulate the economy.  But it did stimulate government.

Only Union Jobs are Good Jobs in the Obama Admin because only Union Jobs Fill Democrat Coffers

So we know that their stimulus spending fails to stimulate the economy.  But why?  Is it because they don’t understand things economic?  Or is it because their stimulus has more political goals than economic?  Perhaps it’s both (see Illinois among worst states to do business: Survey by Ameet Sachdev posted 9/19/2011 on the Chicago Tribune).

Illinois ranked among the three worst states for business, according to a survey of U.S. corporate executives released Monday…

Taxes and high costs were among the factors that contributed to the state’s poor showing in the survey. California was deemed to have the worst business climate, followed by New York and Illinois.

So California, Illinois and New York have the worst business climates.  Because of taxes and high costs.  No surprise, really.  For these are big blue Democrat states.  With big blue Democrat cities.  And big public sector unions.  At both the state and municipal levels.  Which is why they have such high taxes and costs.  Those public sector pension and health care benefits are absolutely killing their economies with the high taxes required to fund them.

The Democrats can say what they want.  But they are not business-friendly.  They are only friendly to political allies.  Unions.  Teachers.  And public sector employees.  Which is why businesses want to leave these Democrat areas.  Not to exploit cheap labor.  But to stop their own exploitation by these Democrat strongholds.

Illinois recently increased its income tax rate, which has prompted several companies, including Chicago-based CME Group, to consider leaving the state.

Texas, North Carolina and South Carolina were viewed as having the best business climates, according to the survey.

Boeing built their new 787 Dreamliner plant in South Carolina.  But the Obama administration is trying to shut that plant down.  Why?  Because they don’t like South Carolina.  Or its people.

You see, all jobs are not good jobs.  As the Obama administration sees it.  And these new South Carolinian jobs are not good jobs.  Because they are nonunion jobs.  No union means no union dues.  And no money to flow into Democrat coffers.  So the Obama administration has nothing to gain politically.  And that’s why they are using the power of the National Labor Relations Board to shut that plant down.  And make Boeing expand production in Seattle.  Where the jobs will be union jobs.  And union money will flow into Democrat coffers.  Via union dues.

President Obama and the Democrats Prefer Crony Capitalism over Free Market Capitalism

We call this crony capitalism.  Some may even say extortion.

Crony capitalism is the opposite of free market capitalism.  Where merit wins the day.  In crony capitalism, though, it’s who you know.  And what kind of political power you have (see Obama administration ‘pressured Air Force general to change testimony’ by Toby Harnden posted 9/16/2011 on The Telegraph).

According to Republicans on Capitol Hill, General William Shelton, head of Air Force Space Command, told them in a closed session the White House urged him to alter his testimony about the Pentagon’s concerns about a new wireless project by a satellite broadband company…

LightSquared, based in Virginia, is funded by the multi-millionaire Philip Falcone, a frequent donor to Democrats. The satellite and broadband communications company plans to build a nationwide, 4G phone network that many generals believe would seriously hinder the effectiveness of high-precision GPS receiver systems used by the military…

The row over the allegedly improper intervention came as a Republican-controlled House of Representatives Committee investigated a federal loan guarantee to Solyndra, a solar firm also tied to a major Democratic contributor, which failed after receiving a half-billion US government loan guarantee.

A spokesman for Gen Shelton said that his testimony was “his own, supported by and focused purely on documented tested results”.

LightSquared insisted it had not sought to interfere with the properly regulatory process. The White House said reviewing congressional testimony was routine.

Interesting.  The White House says this is just routine.  Which it apparently is.  Whether you’re funneling tax dollars to a green energy company.  Connected to a rich Democrat donor.  Or trying to throw a contract to a communications company.  Also connected to a rich Democrat donor.  Even if it compromises national security.

It’s just business.  And our politicians are just business people.  In the business of rewarding political friends.  In return for generous campaign contributions.

So much for hope, change and transparency.

If You Confiscated all the Rich’s Income it would Wipe out Obama’s Deficit…for One Year

Crony capitalism.  A little extortion.  Mixed in with a generous helping of class warfare.  In other words, Obama politics (see Obama calls for broad tax increases by Stephen Dinan posted 9/18/2011 on The Washington Times).

President Obama on Monday proposed a deficit reduction plan that calls for about $3 in new tax increases for every dollar in additional spending cuts as he seeks to put his imprint on the ongoing talks with Congress over reducing the government’s staggering debt…

“This is not class warfare, it’s math,” Mr. Obama said in the White House’s Rose Garden as he laid out the outlines. “The money’s got to come from some place.”

Real incomes are down.  Unemployment is still above 9%.  If you count the underemployed and those who have given up looking for work the actual number is closer to 16%.  So how best to create more jobs to help people go back to work?  And boost those real incomes?  Well, if you’re a member of the Obama administration, you raise taxes.

But this won’t help the employment numbers.  So why do it?  Because it is class warfare.  Despite the president’s denial that it is.  For there is no other reason to do this.  It won’t help the economy.  And it won’t help reduce the debt.

If you took all income from those earning $200,000 or more you’ll be lucky to get $2 trillion.  At least this is all they had in 2008.

(Source:  SOI Tax Stats – Individual Income Tax Rates and Tax Shares)

See?  You can raise tax rates to 100% on the rich but it won’t help.  If you confiscated all their income you’d raise a lot of money, yes.  Enough to wipe out the Obama’s $1.6 trillion deficit.  For one year.  But it will be $1.6 trillion the following year.  Unless you cut spending.  Because you can take this money only once.  Unless these people agree to keep producing all this wealth as indentured servants.  Which I don’t see happening.

So Broke that We Must Raise Taxes but not too Broke that We can’t Throw $7 Billion to the USPS

So it is class warfare.  And cronyism.  Helping those who help them.  With taxpayer dollars.  Which is why they need to raise taxes.  Not to retire the debt.  But to help their political supporters (see President Obama deficit plans back ending Saturday mail by Ed O’Keefe posted 9/19/2011 on The Washington Post).

The White House is also calling on Congress to return $7 billion that USPS paid into a federal retirement fund to the delivery service to help pay for other retirement and health-care costs. Obama’s plans also would allow the Postal Service to raise stamp prices beyond the rate of inflation to better match the cost of delivery…

Though the Postal Service is a self-funding entity that doesn’t accept taxpayer dollars, it is a significant piece of the unified federal budget because its workers and retirees draw benefits from federal workers’ compensation, retirement and health-care accounts.

The country is so broke that it must raise taxes.  But it is not too broke that it can’t throw $7 billion to Obama’s friends in the USPS.

We are Regressing back to the Totalitarian Regimes of the Old World

All this talk about balance approach to deficit reduction?  And getting the rich to pay their fair share?  It’s all class warfare. To increase taxes.  To keep funding important political constituencies.  It has nothing to do with deficit reduction.  The numbers are just too large to be able to reduce the deficit with taxes alone.  You have to cut spending.

And this just isn’t going to happen with Democrats in power.  Because government spending is their lifeblood.  Their economic policies don’t work.  And they’re not designed to work.  They have but one purpose.  Politics.  Rewarding political favors.  With taxpayer dollars.

And they will sacrifice anything to keep spending.  The economy.  Our real incomes.  Our national security.  Even the American Dream.  Our liberty.  For we are regressing back to the totalitarian regimes of the Old World.  Where, if you’re not politically connected, you are fast becoming a second class citizen.

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Wisconsin Takes a Step Forward, the UK Takes a Step Back

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 9th, 2011

 A Foul Stench Wafts across the Rheine

Empires come and go.  But one truly transformed the world.  And still is today.  The British Empire.  Their representative government, property rights and economic policies unleashed unimaginable growth and prosperity.  They gave us the Industrial Revolution.  And we’ve never looked back.  Great nations started as British seedlings.  Canada.  Australia.  India.  New Zealand.  To name a few.  And, of course, the United States.

Sadly, the UK strayed in the 20th century.  As many nations did.  Including the US.  Thanks to a foul stench that wafted across the Rheine.  Karl MarxFriedrich Engels.  They wrote a book.  The Communist Manifesto.  And their goal was to replace capitalism with socialism.  And then replace socialism with communism.  The ultimate welfare state.

The British government exploded in the 20th century.  They nationalized industries.  Raised taxes.  And empowered unions to the point that the nation was at their mercy.  If they didn’t get the pay raise they wanted you didn’t have any electricity.  Their strikes were notorious.  People called them the British Disease in the Seventies.  But help was on its way.

Thatcher and Reagan cut Taxes to Economic Prosperity

Margaret Thatcher was prime minister during the Eighties.  And she started turning the UK around.  Like her counterpart did in the US.  Ronald Reagan.  Both cut taxes.  And nearly doubled their tax receipts (see High income tax will cost the country dear by Telegraph View posted 3/9/2011 on the UK’s Telegraph).

Between 1979 and 2009, UK corporation tax rates fell by half, even as the revenue from the tax rose by half – hard evidence that lower taxes encourage economic activity and boost Treasury receipts.

People deride ‘trickle-down’ Reaganomics in the US but it worked.  And it worked in the UK, too.  Because jobs are everything.  If you don’t have jobs your economy goes into the toilet.  If you have jobs your economy soars.  It just doesn’t get simpler than that.  And how do you create jobs?  You give people a reason to be brilliant.  Give entrepreneurs an incentive to create something.  Let businesses be profitable and they will take every opportunity to grow their businesses.  To be even more profitable.  All the while creating jobs.  Every step of the way.  The more they grow the more jobs they create.  And the better life gets for everyone.

Of course, remove that incentive and it’s the opposite.  If you raise taxes you reduce profits.  And that removes incentive.  Well, they are raising taxes again in the UK.  And what will the genius entrepreneurs do?  Well, what would you do?

Behavioural changes prompted by the higher rate – with entrepreneurs departing for more benign tax regimes or devising ways of avoiding the new tax – are set to flatten economic growth and lead to a collapse in tax revenues. The think tank estimates that the cost to the Treasury over a decade could be as much as £350 billion… Why should wealth-creators stay here when almost two thirds of their income is taken from them? The answer is that they won’t.

History has shown that higher tax rates rarely bring in the money the government expects.  While lower tax rates bring in more money than any of the naysayers ever dreamed.  So why, then, do they keep raising taxes?  Politics.

The Deed is Done in Wisconsin

Big Government needs supporters.  With the wane of private sector unionization, it’s getting harder and harder to get people to support Big Government.  Because people who work and enjoy life have no need for government help.  So they need to find people who do.  Or create them.

Enter the public sector unions.  These people beg for high taxes.  Because they are paid with tax dollars.  So the more people in the public sector, the more people there are to support big government spending.  It’s a little of the old you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.  And to sweeten the deal, public sector workers not only get pretty decent pay, they get outrageous benefits.  All paid for courtesy of the taxpayer.

And this is what is at issue in Wisconsin.  The union was ready to cave on everything but the collective bargaining.  Because that’s how they pass the full cost of their benefits onto the taxpayer.  Without the taxpayer having any say in the matter.  Until now, that is (see G.O.P. Tactic Ends Stalemate in Wisconsin Union Fight by Monica Davey posted 3/9/2011 on The New York Times).

The bill makes significant changes to most public sector unions, limiting collective bargaining to matters of wages only and limiting raises to the Consumer Price Index unless the public approves higher raises in a referendum. It requires most unions to hold votes annually to determine whether most workers still wish to be members. And it ends the state’s collection of union dues from paychecks.

So now if they want a raise larger than the Consumer Price Index (as a lot of raises are determined in the private sector for COLA raises), they have to ask the taxpayer to approve the raise.  And you can see why they are against this.  They want to keep getting big raises without the people paying them having any say in the manner.

And the whole choice thing about staying in the union?  And making people write checks for their union dues?  Why, if people do that, some are not going to stay in the union.  Not all union members vote Democrat.  But nearly all union dues go to Democrat candidates.  So, of course, the unions don’t want any of these changes to come to pass.  Or government.  Because the little arrangement they had was a nice way to dump bushels of taxpayers’ money into Democrat pockets.  Often against their will.  Or without their knowledge.

Public Sector Union – A Vehicle to Steal Money from the Private Sector

Everyone knows what we need for economic prosperity.  Thatcher and Reagan showed how to do it in the Eighties.  And they turned around nations that were in a pretty sorry state.  Tax cuts spurred that economic activity.  And filled government coffers.  However, Thatcher cured the British Disease.  And Reagan fired the air traffic controllers.  They stood up to the unions.  And that choked off a lot of money funneled (i.e., laundered) to the opposition parties.

And this is what the Left fears in Wisconsin.  That responsible government beholden to the taxpayer may waft out from Wisconsin and infect other states.  Thus turning off the great spigot of coerced political contributions.

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The Struggle in Wisconsin is Similar to the French Revolution

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 5th, 2011

 Technology Kills Jobs and Unions

Here’s something that probably won’t bother a lot of people.  We may have fewer lawyers in the not so distant future.  Why?  Because technology is replacing them (see Technology Eats Lawyers by Douglas French posted 3/5/2011 on Ludwig von Mises Institute).

In 1900 America only had 100,000 lawyers, now there are somewhere around 1.2 million. However, lawyers are now the ones in the cross-hairs of technology’s death ray. Artificial intelligence has advanced to the point where “e-discovery” software can analyze documents faster and cheaper than humans.

“From a legal staffing viewpoint, it means that a lot of people who used to be allocated to conduct document review are no longer able to be billed out,” said Bill Herr, who as a lawyer at a major chemical company used to muster auditoriums of lawyers to read documents for weeks on end. “People get bored, people get headaches. Computers don’t.”

This new legal software is clever, allowing lawyers to determine the internal goings on within companies upon analyzing emails and other internal documents.

A computer replaces a lawyer?  Is that even possible?  A computer reads and interprets human language?  Nuance and slang?  Well, yeah.  Just ask Brad Rutter.  Or Ken Jennings.  Two of the biggest Jeopardy champions of all time.  Who lost to Watson.  A computer.

Technology marches on.  Always.  And it changes things.  Changes the world.

Back in 1900 over 40 percent of the America’s workforce was employed in agriculture. One hundred years later the percentage had fallen to less than two percent. What happened was technology. Tractors, balers and fertilizer meant that yours truly despite growing up in farm country didn’t get stuck down on the farm.

It’s happened to industry after industry and progress marches on. Any job that is mindless and repetitive, over time it’s likely going away. Some machine or technology will do it better and faster. And this is a great thing. Imagine what America would be like if almost half of us had to work on the farm producing food. Most of what we take for granted each day wouldn’t have even been thought of if half of us were slopping hogs and mending fences.

A century earlier most of us were farmers.  That’s why unions weren’t a significant political force around 1800.  Most were farming land they owned.  As the Industrial Revolution transformed America, cities grew.  People left farms to work in factories.  Following World War II, when Europe’s industries were in shambles, American industry exploded.  As did the power of unions.  It was the sweet-spot of the labor movement.  We rebuilt war-torn economies around the world.  Our factories were humming.  And they were organized.  The sky was the limit.  Because there was nowhere else to go.  So wage and benefit packages were very generous.  Then something happened.  The world’s economies recovered sometime in the 1960s.  All of a sudden, you could go somewhere else.  Not pay those high American prices.  And people did.

The unions grew strong when they could.  When there was no competition.  But when competition returned, the unions lost their power.  Because there was a limit to what they could demand.  You see, unlike before, businesses could not pass on higher and higher union costs to the consumer.  Companies that tried saw losses in market share.  So they had a choice.  Go out of business.  Replace people with robots.  Or outsource.  And they did all three.

Union membership in the private sector has declined since the ‘sweet-spot’ of organized labor.   From approximately 35% to less than 10%.  Interesting, though, this is not the case with public sector unions.  During the seventies, public sector workers belonging to a union jumped above 35%.  And has stayed there ever since.

Public Sector Unions:  Stealing from the Poor to Give to the Rich

So what’s the difference between the private sector and public sector that accounts for this divergence in union membership?  In a word, competition.  Where there is competition, union membership has declined.  Where there isn’t competition, union membership has grown and held steady.  Why?  Because of taxes.  States and municipalities have the power to tax.  And when they need more money for those generous salaries, health care and pension benefits, they go to the taxpayer. 

But there’s a problem.  You can’t keep raising taxes.  Especially when the people paying for the benefits have to sacrifice their own retirement and health care in the process.  And when we’re all living longer now (see How to fix the public sector pension system by Michael Johnson posted 3/5/2011 on the UK’s Telegraph).

There are two aspects to consider; affordability and fairness. A DB [defined benefit] pension provides the retiree with certainty of income until they die but, as the private sector has discovered, the cost of providing such certainty is now prohibitive, primarily because people are living longer in retirement. Indeed, the Government expects more than ten million people in the UK today to live to see their 100th birthday.

Private sector occupational pension provision has almost become a DB desert, replaced by defined contribution (DC) schemes, in which pensioners assume their own longevity risk. At retirement, unless a lifetime annuity is purchased (increasingly expensive), pensioners’ subsequent income is uncertain because they do not know how long they will live, nor how their assets will perform.

Conversely, public sector workers have access to valuable, state-provided longevity protection, care of their DB schemes (as well as no investment risk concerns). Their income is assured, irrespective of how long they live, but even after the introduction of higher employee contributions, tax-paying private sector workers would still be funding the bulk of the cost. It is unreasonable to expect them to assume, and pay for, the longevity risk of others, whilst not being able to enjoy a similar facility themselves. Furthermore, because our population is ageing, the number of workers supporting each pensioner is declining. Consequently, the tax burden is likely to rise, leaving our private sector workers with less to save for their own retirement…

Were such a DC framework for the public sector not to materialise, the Government would be tacitly signalling its acceptance that the quality of pension provision in the (wealth-creating) private sector is to remain second class.

And this is what the debate in Wisconsin is really about.  The ‘right’ for public sector unions to collective bargain isn’t about their salaries.  They are more than willing to give up some of that money.  It’s the benefits they’re worried about.  And what their ‘right’ of collective bargaining has given them.  That bargaining power has passed all those benefit costs onto the taxpayer.  Without the taxpayer’s consent.

This is indeed a class war.  Like there was in circa 1790 France.  Only the sans-culottes are the taxpayers.  And the ‘knee-breeches wearing’ aristocracy oppressing them are the public sector workers.  This development reminds me of a Monty Python’s Flying Circus sketch.  When Dennis Moore steals from the rich to give to the poor.  First stealing lupines.  Then valuables.  After awhile, though, the rich become poor.  And the poor become rich.  This verse near the end of the sketch says it best in song.

Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
Riding through the land
Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
Without a merry band
He steals from the poor
And gives to the rich
Stupid bitch

After this verse a confused Moore is struck with the realization of what he’s done and says, “Blimey this redistribution of wealth is trickier than I thought.”

Yes it is.  Indeed.  And the taxpayers get poorer while the public sector gets richer.  Thanks to collective bargaining against the taxpayers.  Public sector unions.  Just like Dennis Moore.  That stupid bitch.

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Wisconsin, FDR, Public Sector Workers and Stimulus

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 23rd, 2011

FDR Opposed Collective Bargaining Rights for Public Sector Workers

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt wrote a letter to Luther Steward, the president of the National Federation of Public Employees.  The subject was collective bargaining rights for public sector workers.  He was opposed to the idea (see FDR vs. Wisconsin Teachers by Quin Hillyer posted 2/18/2011 on The Washington Times).

All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service…

Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of government employees… a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable.

FDR, the patron saint of Big Government liberalism, was against the notion of public sector unions.  Funny.  You’d think a guy like FDR would have been in favor of public unions.  He supported other unions.  But not public sector unions.  I wonder why.

Taxpayers don’t make good Bad Guys

Well, FDR was a master of class warfare.  His enemy were the royalists.  That’s what he called the rich fat cats in those days.  Those barons of industry that exploited the working class.  And it was an effective strategy.  Especially during the Great Depression.  People standing in breadlines while the rich were living well as if there was no Great Depression?  That’s polarizing.  So attacking them worked.  Everyone got on board, eager to attack anyone who was living better than they were. 

And here is why FDR was against public sector unions.  The bad guy in the equation.  You see, public sector unions wouldn’t be fighting rich fat cats of industry.  They’d be fighting the taxpayer (see F.D.R. Warned Us by James Sherk posted 2/19/2011 on Heritage’s The Foundry).

The founders of the labor movement viewed unions as a vehicle to get workers more of the profits they help create. Government workers, however, don’t generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money. When government unions strike, they strike against taxpayers. FDR considered this “unthinkable and intolerable.”

You see, it’s hard to get sympathy when you attack John Q. Public as being greedy.  Especially when those public sector union members are living better lives than those paying them.

Then there is the whole philosophy thing.  Shareholders meet union leaders to collective bargain.  The shareholders have a say in the use of their money.  In the public sector this is not the case.  It’s the taxpayer’s money that the government and unions meet to divvy up.  Without the consent of the taxpayer.  That’s a lot like taxation without representation.  Something that I’m pretty sure this country was against at one time.

Government collective bargaining means voters do not have the final say on public policy. Instead their elected representatives must negotiate spending and policy decisions with unions. That is not exactly democratic – a fact that unions once recognized.

So FDR opposed collective bargaining rights for public sector workers.  And the public sector workers didn’t have these rights for a long time.

Up through the 1950s, unions widely agreed that collective bargaining had no place in government. But starting with Wisconsin in 1959, states began to allow collective bargaining in government. The influx of dues and members quickly changed the union movement’s tune, and collective bargaining in government is now widespread. As a result unions can now insist on laws that serve their interests – at the expense of the common good.

And that’s how things changed.  Money.  Big money.  By creating an aristocracy (public sector workers), the ruling elite has a steadfast constituency.  And the bigger the unions get the more dues they collect.  That dues money than can be used to support political candidates that support this aristocracy.  In exchange for this support the government protects this aristocracy.  Much like unions claim Republicans do with Big Business.  Only worse.  Because Big Business at least creates jobs.  Public sector workers don’t produce anything but deficits.

The Public Sector Exploits the Taxpayer

There’s a good piece in the Wall Street Journal that quotes some Big Government liberals. Two of them, Paul Krugman and Kevin Drum, support the unions in Wisconsin as if they are on the last line of defense.  Before Big Business tramples all of our rights (see The Means of Coercion by James Taranto posted 2/22/2011 The Wall Street Journal).

In any case, it seems to have escaped Krugman’s and Drum’s notice that the Wisconsin dispute has nothing to do with corporations. The unions’ antagonist is the state government. “Industrial unions are organized against the might and greed of ownership,” writes Time’s Joe Klein, a liberal who understands the crucial distinction. “Public employees unions are organized against the might and greed . . . of the public?”

The “labor movement” in America has increasingly come to consist of people who work for government, not private companies. As the BLS notes, the union-participation rate for public-sector workers in 2010 was 36.2%, vs. just 6.9% for private-sector workers.

That’s quite a differential between the public and private sector.  And do you know why?  Because that’s all the private sector can support.  Because there is competition in the private sector.  Just look at the automotive industry.  The cost of union labor sent a lot of new auto plants to the right-to-work states in the south.  It ain’t the Seventies anymore in the automotive world.  There’s choice.  But in the public sector it’s still the seventies.  There is no choice.  No competition.  Pay and benefits come from tax dollars.  And they just keep raising our taxes.  By exploiting the taxpayer.

Here is the contradiction of progressivism. Progressives tell us they want the government to do more. But they can’t win elections without public-sector unions. Because they are beholden to those unions, their main priority when in power is to increase the cost, not the scope, of government. Because resources are finite, the result is the worst of both worlds: a government that taxes more without doing more. This is unsustainable economically. Fortunately, as Wisconsin voters showed last November, it’s unsustainable politically as well.

So taxes go up and what do we get?  Only higher paid public sector workers.

Obama’s Stimulus for Public Sector Workers

Let’s go back in time.  To the big stimulus bill to keep unemployment under 8%.  For all of those shovel-ready infrastructure jobs.  Well, the money went out.  And here we are a couple of years later and the economic news is actually worse.  So what happened to that money (see State public-sector jobs benefit most from stimulus by Dave Umhoefer and Patrick Marley posted on 10/13/2009 on Journal Sentinel)?

Three-fourths of 8,284 stimulus-related jobs accounted for so far were public-sector posts protected by the federal infusion into state and local government coffers, Gov. Jim Doyle’s office reported.

That included teachers, police officers and other government workers.

Shovel-ready jobs my Aunt Fanny.  That money went to take care of the aristocracy.  For it was, after all, their union dues and activism that got Obama elected.  So the stimulus was nothing more than back scratching.  As in you scratch mine and I’ll scratch yours.

The main effect of the stimulus money that went to state and local governments was to prop up health care and education spending so the state could balance its budget without huge tax increases, [John] Koskinen [of the state Department of Revenue] said.

Health care and education.  Translation?  Generous health care benefits for public sector workers.  And generous pay and benefits for public school teachers.

The state used $632 million of the federal funds to help fill a giant budget hole. Supporters said that helped the overall economy by keeping people employed and saving essential government services; critics said it allowed the state to avoid making tough spending decisions.

States and cities everywhere are facing huge financial shortfalls.  Their budgets are breaking them.  Specifically, their public sector contracts are breaking them.  Generous health care benefits.  And generous pensions.  So it’s no surprise that the so called stimulus wasn’t stimulus.  It simply subsidized highly paid public sector workers during bad economic times.  

The public would not have supported a bill to reward the generosity of public sector workers for their help in the 2008 election.  So they called it a stimulus bill.  And lied to John Q. Public. 

The Greed of the Public Sector

The crisis in Wisconsin threatens the aristocracy.  There a privileged elite wants to continue to live better than those who pay their salary and benefits.  It’s not about evil corporations.  Or the kids.  It’s about the greed of the public sector.  And a government who needs them (and our tax dollars that are laundered through them) to win elections. 

If they lose their right to collective bargain what happens?  Do they become oppressed workers exploited by the taxpayer?  Or do they become what FDR said they should be?  Good public servants.  Who work for the people.  And not the other way around. 

Let’s hope it turns out the way FDR would have wanted it to in Wisconsin.

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