True then, far truer now… well, actually, it’s far worse now:
Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself. — Mark Twain
Have I said recently it’s Germany 1932 all over again? Is Wisconsin a death blow for America?
Wisconsin: Even worse than you think. First California, then Arizona, now Wisconsin and Florida, not to mention the states with cratered home values — time to rename us the United S***holes of America…:
So the right question — the only question — is whether government workers are getting an overall good deal compared with private-sector workers. Why, then, are we hearing so much about the meaningless contribution comparison?
The answer is simple: it’s because doing the comparison right doesn’t yield the desired answer. The new report by the Times gets the same answer as other studies: low-paid government workers do a bit better than their private-sector counterparts, but others if anything do worse.
Luo and Cooper report this as a “mixed answer” — but in terms of the political debate, it’s a body blow to the union-bashers, whose whole position is that public-sector workers are welfare queens in Cadillacs. They need to show outrageous overpayment, not rough equivalence at best.
And so they turn to a meaningless comparison that, to the unwary, sounds as if it supports their case.
Yes, some public-sector workers are overpaid. So are some private-sector workers. Doesn’t anyone read Dilbert? But the whole idea that union excesses are at the core of state and local fiscal problems is false, and only deliberate obfuscation keeps that from being obvious. (Link.)
For the 1,000,000,000th time: “Pro-life” isn’t.
The destroyers of America:
Clearly, this putz didn’t get the memo or email or tweet or whatever: There isn’t going to be any implementation of any Keynesian policies, just exacerbation of the problems. He’s also wrong when he says blaming civil service workers’ salaries for anything is wrong because that lie just won a regressive victory in Wisconsin. So who cares about “wrong”? (Cf. this.)
Law and order: Actually, the Republicans want lawlessness. Prof. K.:
What’s happening in Wisconsin is, instead, a power grab — an attempt to exploit the fiscal crisis to destroy the last major counterweight to the political power of corporations and the wealthy. And the power grab goes beyond union-busting. The bill in question is 144 pages long, and there are some extraordinary things hidden deep inside.
For example, the bill includes language that would allow officials appointed by the governor to make sweeping cuts in health coverage for low-income families without having to go through the normal legislative process.
And then there’s this: “Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state-owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).”
What’s that about? The state of Wisconsin owns a number of plants supplying heating, cooling, and electricity to state-run facilities (like the University of Wisconsin). The language in the budget bill would, in effect, let the governor privatize any or all of these facilities at whim. Not only that, he could sell them, without taking bids, to anyone he chooses. And note that any such sale would, by definition, be “considered to be in the public interest.”
If this sounds to you like a perfect setup for cronyism and profiteering — remember those missing billions in Iraq? — you’re not alone. Indeed, there are enough suspicious minds out there that Koch Industries, owned by the billionaire brothers who are playing such a large role in Mr. Walker’s anti-union push, felt compelled to issue a denial that it’s interested in purchasing any of those power plants. Are you reassured?
So much for Freedom of the Press. Kidding; we never had a right to competent journalism; it was just a right to publish.
A futile gesture:
JAL is not doing so well; still, this couldn’t happen here:
The imbecility of the modern Timesman: Sharon Wax apparently doesn’t know the difference between reporting and plagiarizing.
It’s not just Fox News. Murdoch’s HarperCollins also wants to keep people stupid and ignorant by limiting the spread of knowledge. (If knowledge isn’t power, ignorance is nonetheless impotence, as least for any progressive change for the better.)