"There is no means of avoiding a final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved."
- Ludwig von Mises

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Michael Moore: This Is War!

From AP:
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The nearly month-long standoff in the Wisconsin Legislature over explosive union rights legislation rocketed toward a dramatic finish Thursday after Senate Republicans outmaneuvered their missing Democratic counterparts and pushed through the bill. 
The dramatic turn of events late Wednesday set up a perfunctory vote Thursday morning in the Assembly on the measure that would strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from most public workers. Once the bill passes the Assembly, it heads to Republican Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.  
Within hours after the Senate passed the bill, a crowd of hundreds of protesters grew to about 7,000 in the Capitol, a crowd as large as any seen inside the building over three weeks of demonstrations.  
"The whole world is watching!" protesters shouted as they pressed up against the heavily guarded entrance to the Senate chamber.
SOURCE

The battle lines are slowly being drawn.  After the massive Wall Street bailouts of 2008, and the resumption of Wall Street record bonuses, many government workers have now found a moral basis for arguing in their interests.  If Wall Street fatcats can have free money and undue government influence, why can't government unions have the same?  That is a tough argument to beat.

Personally, I have always been a private sector employee, and I have had my own businesses in the past.  I have skin in the game.  I take losses and profits - something that Wall Street Bankers and Government Union workers don't know anything about.  I pay my own health insurance, save for my own retirement.  Government has given me nothing.  I pay government.  Government costs me, and in return, I get no bailouts, no health insurance, no guaranteed pension.

I'm the average guy that has received nothing.  But you know what?  At this point - I really don't care anymore.  It's a clusterfuck.  Everyone is fighting for the last few crumbs of a broken system that is ready to implode.  There will be societal, political, and economic ramifications to this crisis.  I am in Greece right now and I have been to Athens and have seen what demonstrations can look like.  

The conflict is brewing.


6 comments:

Dave Narby said...

I hope I don't have to explain to anyone my feelings on the large multinational corporations and how our corrupt government has been co-opted by them. This is at the heart of our financial crisis.

But here is the problem with public unions: There's no competition.

In the private sector, an employer usually has the option of going with union labor or non-union labor, each of which has it's advantages and disadvantages (Generally, non-union is cheaper but less reliable, union is more expensive but higher-quality).

In the public sector, there is *no* alternative.

If you work for government you are a public *servant*, and in exchange for having JOB SECURITY compared to the private sector, you should expect to be paid LESS.

Public union employees these days act as if they are somehow superior to private employees, and therefore deserving of more. This will stop, either voluntarily, or via market forces (and delivered by the voters).

Mike Shedlock has also written quite a bit on this - and he is right.

Misthos said...

Dave, I agree 100% with you.

I lived most of my life in New Jersey. I watched my property taxes skyrocket as teachers were making six figure salaries, working 3/4 of the year, getting FREE HEALTH INSURANCE. I saw cops in sleepy Suburban towns making $85K minimum!

Once on Facebook, I visited my old Elementary School page. I noticed that kids referred to the same gym teacher I knew (since retired), as "Dr" as in phD doctor.

Now why is a gym teacher at an elementary school a doctor? Why does he have kids calling him doctor? He handles gym equipment all day for 9 year olds!!!

Here's why. Every time he attained a degree, he received a bump in his salary. I looked up a website that shows what public school teachers make - and his last years he was making $99K a year! So he gets a large percentage of that, with health insurance, FOR LIFE!!!

And you know what? I went to law school - so technically, I too am a "doctor." But I don't have the gumption or the arrogance to ask little kids to call me "Dr."

It's out of control.

I will not be getting what this teacher will be getting when I retire. He milked the system, and now my parents, who live in the same town and are retirement age, are paying $8,000 a year in property taxes for a house they bought in 1972 for $31K.

It's bullshit. Plain and simple.

Most of us are in the private sector. We have bankers on one side, and public employees on the other.

The real productive members of society are getting screwed.

Without the growth of the private sector especially small businesses, America is FINISHED. Yet the private sector and most small businesses pay the most and get the least in return.

Dave Narby said...

The Daily Bell just published an article on this very subject

http://www.thedailybell.com/1844/Tibor-Machan-Revisiting-Public-Service-Labor-Unions.html

boatman said...

they cap homesteaded house tax increases at 3% a yr. here in fl....[of course they reassess when u move(buy/sell).....but they have portability of tax base to move within the state.]

if not i'd be toast.

retiring teachers union pres. brags about how they have FORCED their issues thru power:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-piPkgAUo0w

Misthos said...

boatman,

Here is that post from Jesse's Cafe on MMT and Cullen's view:

http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2011/02/modern-monetary-theory-sophistry-of-us.html

boatman said...

thanks.....i needed that.