Saturday, June 25, 2011

Asinine Adjudicator

Prosser grabbed fellow court justice's neck

Public Versus Private? Or, Workers Versus Plutocrats

Corporate Profits are at historic levels. Yet, many corporations pay an effective tax rate of zero.

Although profits are up, workers are not sharing in the bounty of their productivity. Unemployment still remains near double digits.

Executives are pulling in ludicrous pay, especially when compared to everyday workers.

Public sector workers total compensation as a share of state expenditures has declined over time. Workers, whether public or private, have been sacrificing. As their stagnating compensation clearly shows.

Public workers are highly educated. Nearly 60%, versus 30% for the private sector.

And, when actually compared for education and experience, public workers earn less. By bashing public workers, we are allowing the private sector to push down wages for all workers.

Productivity - output per unit of input - has climbed steadily. Workers are doing more. But they are not being rewarded. Compensation in the private and public sector has stagnated.
In every educational-attainment category, Wisconsin public workers earn less than their private sector counterparts.
The "it's the government and public workers fault" diversion we've witnessed over the past few years has been an elaborate mirage perpetrated by the creditors and financiers who've absconded so much of our nation's wealth over the past few decades.

This is a classic from the conservative playbook - keeping Democrats fighting amongst themselves (public v private worker), while also delivering blows to the foundation of democratic policies and politics (unions). What do you know, everyone forgets that the uber rich are robbing us all blind. And now we're getting policies that are destroying our government and its institutions that help the majority of citizens. Instead, we're giving corporate tax breaks, downsizing regulatory agencies, privatizing our public educational system, and selling off public goods and services.

For those who still haven't heard, supply-side economics is a failure. Tax breaks do not pay for themselves. Raising taxes on the rich by 2% will not trigger Armageddon. The tax-cutting frenzy (specifically for the wealthy) over the past 40 years is the reason for our deficits and crumbling infrastructure. We don't have a spending problem, we have a revenue problem.

If we're looking for ways to fund the programs we all appreciate and the infrastructure we all depend on regularly, maybe we should be going where the money is - the CEOs and their corporations.

The Walker Chronicles

Walker Eyes Raid on Employee Insurance Fund

The Judicial Branch...

Brought to you by Walmart.

Weekend Reading

We'll Only Have Giant Deficits If Congress Wants Giant Deficits

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Milwaukee Architecture

The National Trust For Historic Preservation has listed Milwaukee's Soldiers Home on the 2011 list of most endangered historic places. The campus hosts two renowned Milwaukee architects' designs. H.C. Koch and Edward Townsend Mix.

The V.A Hospital was designed by H.C. Koch & Co. in Italianate style in 1879.

H.C. Koch and Edward Townsend Mix, together, designed the Ward Memorial Hall in the Gothic Revival style in 1881.

The main building built in 1869 was designed by Edward Townsend Mix in the Second Empire style.

For Further Reading:

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Plutocrats March On

The financial industries profits are back at record levels.

Workers' share of national income at "its lowest level since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began keeping track of it in 1947."

Our decades-long trend of increasing inequality resumes it march.

But our problems are the fault of the government, it's entitlement programs, and those high-rolling public workers. Give me a break!

Skills Shortage Sham

Structural unemployment - a location mismatch between market demand and skilled workers - is a favorite talking-point of the capitalist, business, conservative cabal. As some direly refer to it, the skills crisis.

With 1 job opening for every 4 unemployed, laborers are hardly in a bargaining position. Most workers, especially is this economy, will take any job they can get. And, if one has a highly-demanded skill during an economic downturn, it stands to reason that he/she would command an appropriate wage in the marketplace. The idea of structural unemployment fails rudimentary logic (as an explanation for the majority of our unemployment).

Enter Scott Walker.

This structural unemployment myth allows corporations to keep taxes and regulations at bay. It allows them to avoid paying living wages. As always, unemployment is the governments fault. Or, at least, the government is supposed to provide subsidies, tax breaks, and job training to help "correct" this market disequilibrium.

This has nothing to do with the fact that these same companies, that can't find skilled workers, want to pay inadequate wages for such skilled work.

Conservatives blather on endlessly about the magic of the market, its efficiency, and the iron-clad law of supply and demand. So, keeping supply and demand in mind, what should happen when there is a high demand for a specific skill, yet only a small supply? The price (wage) of the persons possessing such skill should increase. If local companies have the audacity to claim the skilled workers they need are not available, the first question which should be asked is, "What are you paying?"

We don't have a skills crisis.

We have an unemployment crisis. We have a jobs crisis. We have a wage crisis. We have a progressive taxation crisis.

For Further Reading:

Compensation Conundrum

Rene Booker received a payout of $52,000 "for a mere 4 1/2 weeks of work," squawks the Journal Sentinel. As usual, devoid of any context or perspective. Because a 26-year veteran of public service took advantage of a negotiated perk (which should be considered deferred compensation), the Journal feels all public employee compensation elements (sick leave, vacation, etc.) should be restricted.

Booker's payment amounts to an $1,558 average bonus, per year, for 26 years of service. A paltry sum compared to private sector golden parachutes and their ludicrously lavish retirement packages. And, many of these same private sector companies, guilty of such profligate spending on compensation, are companies on the public dole in one fashion or another - receiving tax credits, subsidies, loan-interest loans, and other gifts and giveaways from taxpayers.

The Journal claims these proposals (further cuts to public worker compensation) would bring public worker policies "into line with what is common practice on the private sector."

Which private sector workers do they want the public sector workers' compensation packages to be more like? The CEOs? Upper management? Or should college educated public workers (60% have a college degree; only 30% of private sector workers have a college degree) compensation packages be more like burger-flippers? Roughly half of Wisconsin teachers have a masters degree or better? Should they be compensated along the lines of a window washer? Do those whom call for the public sector to be more like the private sector realize part of the private sector is still unionized? (Sadly, only approximately 7 percent.)

When compared for education and experience, public sector workers already earn less than their private sector counterparts. The overcompensated public employee is a MYTH! Let me repeat that - the overcompensated public employee is a MYTH!

What we are witnessing is a willing-accomplice media rewrite history on behalf of financiers and creditors, at the expense of the American middle class and in opposition to the American Dream.

Blackmail Pays

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes, Kohl's searching broadly for a new headquarters.

As Phil Mattera states, Job Blackmail Pays.

Weekend Reading

10 Questions For The GOP

Lest We Forget

Republican Sex Scandals

American Labor Law Devolution

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The Business End