About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Neighbor Against Neighbor In Wisconsin & Beyond

As neighbor stands against neighbor in Wisconsin separated in Madison this past weekend only by a police line I'm sure the 146,000 people in Wisconsin who lost their private sector jobs in the past two years have no pity for the public sector union protesters who are balking @ paying any more of their salaries toward their pensions (currently $1 out of every $58 put into the pension funds) & 12.6% of their healthcare insurance premiums (currently 6%). To put this in perspective the premiums paid by senior citizens on a declining income (not fixed income) amount to 25% of the cost of Medicare B & D (also obviously not sustainable). The millions of people across America who are underemployed & worse yet those who have given up looking for work also cannot be empathetic toward the public sector union protesters - especially when they realize the working members in their families are paying taxes supporting the union generated salaries & benefits of these public sector protesters.

Now just how sympathetic can any of us be with these public sector union members who, whether they were aware of it or not, took a chance that their salaries, pensions, & healthcare benefits that are out of line with the rest of the economy would continue forever. In essence public sector union members tried to get away with something that was too good to last - namely having private sector workers who make far less in wages & who work decades longer support public sector union workers' salaries, pensions, & healthcare benefits - the money is just not there & this is the imbalance.

The above pay gap graph is the most conservative estimate I could find depicting the difference in compensation between the private sector & state & local government workers - it appears to be right for federal public workers. The DOL reports that employees of state & local public sector unions make 33% more in hourly wages on average than private industry workers.

The solution to this impasse must follow one of these alternatives - 1) either raise the taxes of the general population to meet the salary & pension demands of the current & retired public sector employees respectively plus the healthcare & other benefit costs of both of these groups or 2) cut the salaries & benefits of the public sector employees so that affordable taxes can be paid without protest or 3) ask the public sector employees to pay more of their own benefit costs & control their own wage increases. The latter two, as they relate to public employee union collective bargaining, are unacceptable to the protesters & is what the demonstrations are all about.

If you are still working in the private sector in your 60s or 70s let alone people I personally know in their 80s who are still working & paying taxes that support the near full final salary inflation adjusted pensions plus lifetime free healthcare benefits of their much younger public sector employee neighbors' - people employed by public sector unions who retired in their early 50s years ago - it is no wonder you feel the part of a fool - which of course you are. All of this should make people feel resentment unless they do an honest evaluation of their own culpability.

Just like so many things in our lives that go wrong we can only blame ourselves for letting this public sector union problem happen. This union problem is the sort of thing that happens when the people living in the greatest country on Earth let the country deteriorate to an "apathy to dependence stage" of existence. High energy opportunistic union leaders took full advantage of American's apathy & indifference & stretched the perceived opportunity to economic absurdity so that even the least discerning among us has noticed the problem. It is demeaning to hear that public sector salaries & benefits must be cut only because they are so much higher & better than those in the private sector - who should care about the difference between the compensations of the two sectors or what anyone else makes for that matter. If you think the public sector compensation packages can be maintained you would be a fool to seek employment in the private sector & vice versa - you would be as great a fool to sign on to a public sector union package if you visualized your employment compensation abruptly ending or being significantly curtailed with losing protests in the streets of Madison Wisconsin & soon many other towns such as Trenton NJ.

BO has it wrong that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is assaulting the unions - it is the union members who have assaulted their neighbors for years & these neighbors have finally realized they have been squeezed dry.


  1. I remember in the past the school budget would be voted down twice - the third time it was voted down it made no difference it was passed by law. So where do we stand against the machine when the only end is their end. Hence most people stop voting on it and it passes again. Maybe now the citizens will come out and vote to change the rule.

  2. Doug - The battle in Wisconsin and the battles to be raging in NJ and all over the US are a display to Socialism at work. This is what happens when you run out of other peoples' money. And as George Bernard Shaw said, "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul will always have the support of Paul."

  3. Doug: If you want good teachers you have to pay, after all, it's for the children. What I find ironic, the people who are belly-aching are the same people who voted year after after to increase the school budgets. They wanted the best for their little Johnny. Now, they do not want to pay the bill. When I was kid we called these people "Indian givers".

    (I so enjoy playing devil's advocate.)