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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5818

PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh my God, maybe I'm misinterpreting isobars' statements above, but is he unexpectedly supporting government employees and their benefits?

Holy crap, this is unbelievable! Hard to believe that he's aligning with folks leveraging and benefiting "liberally" from the public trough.

Could it be that he's now advocating a world of government jobs, labor unions and all that entails? Surely this must coming from his long heritage on the government payroll.

Is there a whiff of hypocrisy coming out of the Great Northwest?
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3554
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ISO is correct. I have a buddy who is a big whig at the GAO, and I bust him all the time on the claim that GOVT employees make more than private sector workers. He sent me a piece of data that totally refutes the claim, its total BS . And if it were true, why wouldnt one of the complainers go work for the GOVT. Job stability, good benefits, no corporate bullcrap, my buddy loves it.
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jpbassking



Joined: 19 May 1998
Posts: 2369
Location: Leo

PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

swchandler wrote:

Is there a whiff of hypocrisy coming out of the Great Northwest?


Ya think??? Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5222

PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, but...The story from the City of Bell is indicative of the other side of the story. As a retiree with a nice pension, the part that comes from the State is small, and the part from municipal government is quite generous. This does need some reform, and some understanding of history. In California, both State and municipal employees participate in CALPERS, the pension arm. About 15 years ago, when the stock market was very hot, the State legislature allowed cities to establish more generous ratios between the years of service, the final compensation, and a ratio of payout per year. Under those rules, for my state service, I got 1.9 times the number of years of service times my best salary, for municipal service, 2.7 times. Now that CALPERS portfolio is not doing so well, local governments are being tapped to pay more for their retirees. Local governments increased compensation, and incentives to early retirement, to keep the unions happy, encourage turnover at the top levels, and in some cases, to benefit the local elected officials. It is clearly not sustainable, and needs to be reformed. As you can see, it is nearly 50% higher than State workers, who generally get a little less pay and retirement benefits than their Federal counterparts.

So there is a problem, but mostly at the local government level. By the way, nearly all of the public employees I worked with, and virtually all of the teachers I now work with, are dedicated and put in hours far beyond what they are paid for.
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2654

PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ExxonMobil employees receive 1.6% of final average salary (see 2010 proxy statement)..............California municipal workers, therefore, receive 70% more. XOM constantly ensures that it is competitive with other private sector businesses.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5222

PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

compared to what base salary? cmon gybster, make a fair comparison. I could have gone a consulting gig for about twice what I made in public service, but no pension. The total salary package is the basis for comparison.

Whistle for unsportsmanlike conduct.
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yeeeeha



Joined: 19 Jun 2000
Posts: 28
Location: Deep in the woods

PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://reason.org/news/show/public-sector-private-sector-salary
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14173

PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Yeeeeeha ... that was interesting and informative, and appeared to be free of political bias. Its bottom lines, to me at one reading, were:

• This comparison is way over the heads of us peons, the media, and most pundits. It's just too complex, has too many variables, and depends too much on what the meaning of "is" is, to justify the blanket statements we see from the media or any administration.

• It's no surprise to me that state and local government compensation is often off the charts. The federal picture is much more stringently controlled, but still has many aberrations. Salaries in the DOE, for example, are tens of thousands of dollars above those of far more competent DoD personnel for the same job at the same location.

• Comparisons overlook some of the regulations and laws federal employees must obey. Examples:
o Access porn on a gum’mint computer and you’re history.
o Express any political opinions in any way in public and your job is in jeopardy.
o Accept anything worth more than $25 - - lunch, snacks at a meeting, a ticket -- from a contractor and you’re likely to become unemployed.
o Frequent flyer benefits go to the government, not the flyer.
o Tell a subordinate manager whom to hire and you’re outta there.
o Any hourly-paid employee who works overtime without authorization, even without pay, is likely to be fired.
o Cannot run for public office.
o Feds must disclose all personal finances.
o No smoking in the building.
o Before you are approved for an advanced security clearance, the government will know which hand you wipe with, so to speak.
o Many federal retirees are expressly denied Social Security benefits they paid cash for.
o I have seen dozens of federal civil servants ordered to work as long as they can stay awake, get a few hours’ sleep, then repeat, 24/7, for 400 straight days/nights including weekends, without one extra cent of pay.
o Many federal employees are subject to immediate dismissal without cause.
o I’ve seen managers forbid employees from setting office air conditioning thermostats below 100 degrees in the desert SW (during the Carter administration’s energy conservation fiasco).
o Violation of any of those is a federal offense, not just a mark on the boss’s $#!+ list.
o And, of course, some government employees’ job descriptions include getting shot at.

I don’t think everybody is going to get in line for those cushy, overpaid gum’mint jobs all at once.

Mike
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5222

PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a scream. Isobars and Yeehaa think that the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank, is free of bias. To their credit, they are generally factually accurate. I did a little checking on salaries, following mrgybe's posting. The number that comes up on simply hired for Exxon average wage is $65,000. The State of Cal. Public Administration site shows the average for California State worker is $65,484. and the reported average for Federal worker is $67,691. On its face, these numbers indicate that Federal and State of California employees have comparable wages to Exxon, and better retirement benefits. Some local governments have much higher salary and benefits, not just Bell. The drivers on these have been public safety--Police and Fire services--which also allow retirement at age 50 and very generous overtime policies. In Oakland, those are the primary drivers on the budget. While firemen have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, their salaries are very high, and there's definitely enough smoke here to know that something is at least smoldering.

There are a few confounding factors. It is more expensive to live in urban areas in California than almost anywhere else in the country. And a bit of checking shows that executives at Exxon and other big companies make much more in relation to the average than State and Federal workers. And economic history of the Great Depression showed clearly that during inflationary times, public workers wages deflate little and their standard of living goes up. Salary trends upward since 2002 in California state and local government. Finally, any comparison is not really accurate unless it reflects the underlying skill and education level of the employees. But it means that I look for socially progressive, fiscally conservative candidates. Kind of the opposite of recent era Republicans, especially Sara Palin!
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stevenbard



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 4121

PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Record Cold Grips South America
Merco Press – August 5, 2010

Light snow storms in Brazil were concentrated in areas of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. O Globo network aired snow flakes falling in early morning, cars covered with a thin white coating and some roads dangerously slippery because of ice.

In Argentina the phenomenon extended to Northern provinces, geographically sub-tropical while in the Patagonia and along the Andes snow reached over a metre deep, isolating villages and causing yet undisclosed losses to crops and livestock.

The extreme cold weather is expected to peak Thursday dawn with below zero temperatures and even lower with the wind chill factor.

After a harsh weekend, Argentina’s National Weather Forecast Service announced the cold weather is expected to stay until Thursday although it could again reach a freezing peak over the coming week-end.

On Wednesday a northbound cold front hit the Patagonia and central Argentine regions. In Patagonia, minimum temperatures went as low as minus 10 Celsius with even lower numbers in snowy regions, while maximum temps were in the range of zero to 7 Celsius.

Because of the freezing temperatures power consumption set new records both in Argentina and Uruguay. According to Argentina’s Planning ministry, electricity demand reached 20.669 MW at 20:15 hours when most Argentine families are home back from work. Although residential demand was satisfied, hundreds of industries suffered an anticipated blackout.

In Uruguay the power record consumption was reached on Wednesday at 20:45. The lowest temperatures were registered in the north and west of the country: minus 7 Celsius.

In related news, reports from landlocked Bolivia indicate that to the east of the country in tropical areas temperatures plummeted to zero causing “millions of dead fish” in rivers that normally flow in an environment of 20 Celsius.

Santa Cruz governor Ruben Costas said the province was suffering a “major environmental catastrophe” and warned the population not to make use of water from rivers (because of the dead fauna and flora) promising to send drinking water in municipal trucks.

“The last time something of this magnitude happened was 47 years ago”, said governor Costas.
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