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« We're Losing a Great Congressman: Alan Grayson | Main | M&I Bank Responds to Boycott Threat, Irony Abounds »

March 11, 2011




daniel noe

Interesting tactic.

Steve B.

Dear Deb,

I find it somewhat odd that once again you've chosen to get into a mudslinging match about money without actually talking about waaiit for it, THE MONEY! I'm not gonna bother getting into the deficit talk because I've done it before and this site ignores facts, I've made comments purely based on fact and been called a Fox New Puppet (I hate FOX) but on this issue u really need to look at the numbers before freaking out.

I'll keep this short, even though it's not popular, the stand your so called "anti-middle-class governor" is making is exactly the stand firms like GM never made and consequently got bled dry by the unions. FYI pretty sure everyone's tax dollars went to bailing them out. In Wisconsin the numbers look bad, are you aware that the average public school teacher in Madison would be receive $100,005 in total compensation??? Check the facts


Steve, I have NEVER called you anything derogatory. I don't insult commenters and don't mind being disagreed with. :)

Actually, I've talked a LOT about money on this blog.

About the auto industry, remember that the average autoworker in Detroit made about $28 per hour back in 2008 (i.e., $56,000 a year). Every million dollars that an auto exec or manager took as compensation (including benefits covering huge golden parachutes and other perks) COULD have covered almost 20 of those ordinary autoworkers.

It's all about opportunity cost.

Here's an issue that is big in Wisconsin now: giving sweetheart deals to private contractors (who tend to cost more than public employees). The Wis. governor admitted to being all about that.

One of my ex-governors (Florida) claimed he would reduce the "size" of state government (i.e., # of employees) by 25%. He did, by firing a bunch of employees.

Then, he turned around and let private contractors fill those spots with their own employees (sometimes with the very SAME people who'd lost their jobs). In most cases, it ended up costing us taxpayers more, because we paid not only for the contractors' employees' salaries/benefits, but also for the contractors' profits (and for the contractors' managers' salaries/benefits/perks).

Basically, my ex-gov added a very expensive and very unnecessary middle-man into the equation. He did this statewide.

As an example: one of our Water Management Districts fired three of its GIS workers (data folks) that were earning about $35,000 + 1/3 in benefits (not quite $50,000 total). The WMD turned around and got a private contractor to supply three GIS workers for $90,000 apiece.

In short, we taxpayers paid an extra $40,000 for each of those GIS workers. In addition, the WMD allowed the contractors' GIS workers to come into the building and use the WMD's equipment.

I suspect that you agree that such a practice is inefficient and makes no financial sense, yet it went on throughout my state.

Most politicians talk about how "efficient" privatization is--and it CAN be when one privatizes NON-recurring services.

Those same politicians talk about how efficient the private sector is, as though it's natural law.

Some businesses are efficient, but some most certainly are not. Think about what has happened to our auto industry, banking industry, securities industry, medical industry....

In a lot (though not all) cases, insiders with control over the purse strings end up looting the companies (and their shareholders) for personal gain.

This is especially bad for folks whose retirement (and children's college funds) hinge on the value of their stock portfolios. I sincerely hope you're not one of them.

About bailouts: think about the banks. Who, mostly, benefited from those? Mostly, it was higher level execs and managers. In 2008-09, most of our nation's huge banks each laid off thousands of mid-level employees; meanwhile, the execs enjoyed 7 and 8 digit compensation packages--all this despite the fact that most of those banks were borrowing tax dollars.

I have a bunch of posts on the bank bailouts, and most of them include dollar figures.

I'll quit going on for now. Back to your note.

No, I'm not aware that the average Wis. public-school teacher gets $100,000+ in compensation. I just looked at your link. I'd like to know what the median is and what the range is. I'd also like to know what the benefits packages include and who qualified as a "teacher" (people who did only teaching or also people who had administrative duties/compensation).

Steve Bandoh

"About bailouts: think about the banks. Who, mostly, benefited from those?" Uhh last I checked which party's congressmen hastily pushed the bill through while the other tired to slam the breaks....yea that would be the same party that fled Wisconsin instead of doing their job. But that's neither here nor there the big winner of the bailout were the big banks. Not only did congress dump a ton of money they didn't need in their piggy bank, they also passed tighter regulations among other measures which essentially eliminated a bunch of smaller banks from the picture allowing the big boys to consolidate....but that's a rant for another day

Unfortunately I couldn't find specifics on the benefit packages however the links i have below should help along with the video in the link I put in my last post. What I have been able to find is they get full health and a pension that far exceeds comparably paid workers in the private sector. Not to discount the value teachers have in society, but considering the number of days they actually work (around 195 days) and the fact that it's not a hazardous industry I find it a bit ridiculous that they demand collective bargaining rights especially in poorly performing districts like it's their entitlement simply for showing up. In a perfect world yea teachers would make more but in reality we are on the precipice of a pension fund crisis that nobody talks about and will get VERY ugly very fast. Wisc just had the balls to be the 1st to make a stand in public.

daniel noe

If we're going to prune gov, we should start at the top. It sounds like your ex-governor in FL might have left in some redundancies in management. In curiousity, why didn't he (she?) hire more efficient private contractors?

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