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View Diary: Starving America's Public Schools - financially - an important new report (77 comments)

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  •  Re (0+ / 0-)
    You can see it writ large on the national scale:  you have a public employee pension and I don't, so you shouldn't have it.  I don't have health care, so neither should you.  I don't have summers off, so neither should you.

    Public and private sector compensation and benefits must be kept the same. To do otherwise creates an unhealthy system of haves and have nots where public workers get benefits denied to private workers doing the same job. That means that market declines in private compensation must be met with equal declines in public compensation. After all, the private sector pays public salaries.

    If there is a battle to be fought, it must be fought on the side of the private sector. Increases in private wages and benefits will naturally force up public compensation as well.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Sun Oct 16, 2011 at 08:40:40 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  So many problems (0+ / 0-)
      Public and private sector compensation and benefits must be kept the same.

      I think paying people fairly is far more important than whether these averages are the same.

      To do otherwise creates an unhealthy system of haves and have nots where public workers get benefits denied to private workers doing the same job.

      What a perfect description of the private employment system.

      That means that market declines in private compensation must be met with equal declines in public compensation.

      You are very selective in your concern for equality.

      If there is a battle to be fought, it must be fought on the side of the private sector. Increases in private wages and benefits will naturally force up public compensation as well.

      Strong public unions (indeed strong unions in general) are what increases wages in the private sector.  There is no need to choose which battle to fight - we need to fight them both. Solidarity, not resentment, in the solution.

      Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

      by David Kaib on Sun Oct 16, 2011 at 09:03:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sparhawk always comes at it from the private (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        David Kaib

        sector.

        I would submit the opposite of your premise, Sparkawk:

        Increases in public wages and benefits will naturally force up private compensation as well.

        History has proven it time and again.  And history proves just the opposite under your philosophy.

        "They are the best among us." -- Hedges on #occupywallst

        by livjack on Sun Oct 16, 2011 at 09:31:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Increasing public wages beyond what is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk, soros

          available in the private sector does not drive up wages unless there is a shortage of labor. Otherwise, the government jobs are more akin to lottery prizes and/or very susceptible to patronage issues.

          •  yep. The lottery! Scratch off for $25 kind of (0+ / 0-)

            "lottery."  Right wing really knows how to work your kind of envy.

            "They are the best among us." -- Hedges on #occupywallst

            by livjack on Sun Oct 16, 2011 at 10:16:31 AM PDT

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            •  Not my envy (0+ / 0-)

              i am blessed not to have to work for a government agency.

              A few years ago over a thousand folks showed up to test for and apply for a single City of Tacoma (WA)  utility meter reader job. The joke was on them because the job went to a guy who had been temping the position for a couple of years.

              •  that's because it has to be posted, in the event (0+ / 0-)

                there is someone out there better qualified.  As opposed to the private sector, which offers no such opportunity to all.

                "They are the best among us." -- Hedges on #occupywallst

                by livjack on Sun Oct 16, 2011 at 10:50:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The private sector would not have (0+ / 0-)

                  wasted everyones time.

                  Though we digress.

                  My point is that increasing compensation to government jobs does not increase wages in the private sector unless there is a labor shortage.

        •  Re (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          soros
          Increases in public wages and benefits will naturally force up private compensation as well.

          No, it won't. Compensation is always driven by the market. As another poster noted, high paying government jobs will simply become patronage or 'lottery ticket' jobs. Additionally, paying workers more when you could get them for less essentially is a fraud upon the taxpayer, who expects his/her tax money to be spent efficiently, not wasted.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Sun Oct 16, 2011 at 10:16:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Paying people fairly (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jeff bryant

            is not inefficient. Paying people well reduces turnover and increases morale. Paying people poorly is only good at extracting wealth - it accomplishes nothing more. And a strong middle class creates a strong and stable economy. Taxpayers derive obvious benefits from that.

            Please explain how private employers competing for workers with public employers would not, as a result of market mechanisms, have to pay more. Either markets drive employment or they don't. You can't deploy the idea of a market to make one point and ignore the consequences elsewhere.  

            Logic doesn't dictate your call for paying teachers and fireman and other public employees poorly.  Defend that if you like. Me, I support good jobs for public and private workers.  

            Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

            by David Kaib on Sun Oct 16, 2011 at 10:56:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What's 'fair' (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              soros

              To me, 'fair' is whatever they could get in the private sector. If you think private sector compensation is too low, the proper thing to do is increase private sector compensation (somehow).

              And I don't want to pay them poorly, I want to pay them what they are worth, which is whatever they would earn in the private sector.

              The government is not capable of driving private pay rates because private rates are driven by what companies can afford to pay. Government pay rates are merely limited by the government's ability to tax.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Sun Oct 16, 2011 at 01:25:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Most people understand what fair is (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jeff bryant

                and they don't think it means 'as low as an employer is able to push it.'  That you think otherwise is fine but that 1) isn't an argument and 2) is not what most people think.  

                You really think that minimum wage laws, living wage laws, labor laws, whether we have a single payer / non-profit / for profit health care system, macroeconomic policy, trade policy, tax policy, monetary policy, etc. have no impact on wages?  Seriously? The number of government policies that affect wages is vast.

                Given that the amount of profits that companies make is variable, and not approaching zero, this statement:

                private rates are driven by what companies can afford to pay
                 

                is simply false.

                Of course, I do think private sector compensation is too low and I support various policies that address that.  But there is no difficulty in doing that while simultaneously opposing austerity via public sector wage cuts, in no small part because such wage cuts will reduce demand and lead to more unemployment and lower wages in the private sector.

                I also support a strong public school system, and as Jeff points out, that requires paying people well.  That is true no matter what else is true.  

                Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

                by David Kaib on Sun Oct 16, 2011 at 01:44:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Wages should be in balance but not driven down (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            David Kaib, fhcec

            by artificial market forces.   The private market is what is out of balance, wages are being determined by wages overseas in developing countries, which is an unfair comparison.  Our wages need to be determined by a standard of living that we as a developed country should have in place.  If we move below that then the government needs to step in and either force private wages up or step in and make it impossible for private business to profit by their ability to manipulate the wage market by their overseas enterprises(raise corporate taxes or impose tariff's on their products).

            •  Lol (0+ / 0-)

              So, it should be impossible under your theory for the US's net standard of living ever to fall. Good work if you can get it.

              In reality, our standard of living can only be maintained by how competitive we can be. If we are competitive, we'll be rich. If we fail to compete, we will be poor. No one else cares at all.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Sun Oct 16, 2011 at 01:30:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Been brainwashed much....compete with what, (0+ / 0-)

                we are one of the large consumer engines in the world, other people's standard's depend on us.  The thing that makes us unable to maintain a decent standard of living for our population is our absolute obsession with empire building and building an oligarchy where the top 1% gets a disproportional amount of wealth(which is a complete waste of our resources).  How many times does that need to be proven, we did this before the Great Depression and we have done it again.  Too much loose money in the hands of a few morons is a recipe for economic and social disaster.

                •  No one cares (0+ / 0-)

                  "Grow food? No I don't grow food, I contribute by eating food, that's how I contribute!" It's laughable, other countries are increasingly realizing how little they need our consumer 'economy'. What you produce is all that matters, production is what enables you to consume.

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Sun Oct 16, 2011 at 04:20:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Of course they care, where would they sell the (0+ / 0-)

                    cheap shit they produce and the multinational corporations wouldn't be able to make trillions of dollars that never trickle down into wages or jobs.

                    •  Dollars... (0+ / 0-)

                      ...are only valuable to the extent that they can be translated into useful goods and services. It is almost meaningless to 'sell' a good to a country that produces nothing of value in return (or produces it at unaffordably high prices). That's the whole point of trade.

                      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                      by Sparhawk on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:21:06 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  When they start paying teachers what they pay (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mostel26

      bond manipulators, I'll start agreeing with you.

      Computer technicians come out of school and start earning $70-80k.

      Teachers? $50k.  

      Which has more value?

      "Don't dream it, be it" - Brad, Janet and Frank

      by captainlaser on Sun Oct 16, 2011 at 07:40:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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