Sunday, July 17, 2011

Deaf or Just Stupid?

Why is it that even though numerous studies and analyses have found public workers total compensation is LESS than comparable educated and experienced private sector workers, we still hear and read, on an almost daily basis, about public workers lavish pay and their extravagant benefits?

Compound this with the facts that public workers actually provide services to taxpayers and those services have been found, a majority of the time, to be cheaper than the privatization of such services. Whomever [Republicans and Wall Street] decided our economic ills were the fault of government and public employees has led us astray and distracted us from the real causes and culprits.

1 comment:

Annie K. said...

.....because people of NOT comparable education and employment in the private sector perceive themselves (correctly unless they do not pay taxes) as contributing to those salaries. Public sector professional's pay does not come only from those college-educated reportedly better-paid people in the private sector, it also comes from the families struggling to make it with less.
And that will mean less respect, less opportunity for moving ahead, less chance of getting out from under, more chances of more downward mobility.

You can also throw in the feelings even among the similarly educated among the privates that the Publics are more secure. I have several relatives who focused quite specifically on getting public sector jobs because once you're in, the common belief is (was) you can't be gotten out with a crowbar. Teachers - the first probationary year is a nail-biter, then you can almost dance naked in front of your class and (I know this is true I can Name Names) the union will (would have) stood behind you. As I have heard from more than one really nice teacher who is backing up a weird bastard - "if they can get him out then the administration will be more likely to target other teacher for less cause. We're standing behind Miller. (Okay his name is really Miller) even though we hate him, it's about a consistently united front". etc.
IN smaller towns especially this kind of situation "gets out". Teachers etc talk to friends. No one is stupid. Unions are important but they have not been brilliant very minute.

We speak of "Class War" and yet in simplistic and party=approved terms that are HIGHLY limited, and lack nuance.

There ARE inter-class tensions and resentments. Areas where behaviors could be tweaked and improved. Resentments could fade if listened to and addressed.
The resentment of those who "pay the public sector checks" but are of lower "class" could easily be assuaged by better pay for them, instead of decades of erosion, while the public sector has remained comparatively stable.
Yes, the Pubs may have "made concessions" but NOT LIKE the degradation of the lower classes or the privates.

Current political discourse is not going to even touch these real and simmering/boiling issues.
It has now become so black and white it is impossible
Are you pro Union or not? A Good Witch or a Bad Witch?

Some people with varying belief systems and sources of resentment will easily be dragged into the rhetoric that most nearly matches their experience.
Who has not seen Public Works guys leaning against their shovels, with too many guys on the job? Who has not known a horrible teacher, one that damaged their own kid and yet was in like cement?
Facile political rhetoric does not erase these personal experiences and many others like them. Add in relentless infrastructure collapse and wage/benefit/hope degradation and you have a sea of angry people, ripe for recruitment.

This is a massive cultural failure, a failure to actually mange and deal with what is actually there.
Democrats and Unions are in it up to their eyeballs. They have been active parts of the problem, we are here now because of ALL of them.
The number of issues that have NO hope of being solved by the current framing of what passes for "discourse" are as numerous as the zeros in the national debt.

So in a lot of cases - Neither Deaf, Nor Stupid, But Really Really Fucked.