Monday, February 28, 2011

The Wisconsin Madness

First, I would like to open with a quote.

“What you wish for is irrelevant. What you have chosen is at hand.” Spock from Star Trek.

You can whine and complain and cry and bitch and moan all you want that the State is cutting into your pension, and reducing your benefits, and hurting you in ways we cannot describe, but the facts are very plain – Wisconsin does not have the money to continue providing gold-plated benefits packages and pensions-in-perpetuity, all things that workers in private industry (read, PRODUCTIVE PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY PRODUCE SOMETHING) don’t get. The money does not exist. No amount of bitching and whining can fix that. You either take the cuts, or you expect a pink slip. Those are your options.

Skipping out of work on false pretenses, refusing to do your job, spouting vicious, violent rhetoric, subverting the democratic process by leaving the state and refusing to vote, creating signs that equate a man who was voted into office who is making tough decisions with Adolf Hitler, and actually being violent, are not helping your cause – it is just exposing you for what you really are – bloodsucking leeches attached directly to the throats of every hard-working taxpayer in the State of Wisconsin. It is far past time that government workers everywhere get knocked down a peg and actually start getting compensated for more along the lines of what they are producing for society.

A perfect example of someone getting paid far more than they are contributing is the average teacher in Wisconsin, who is costing the State $100,000 per year, getting the best health insurance money can buy, and a guaranteed pension for the remainder of their lives (instead of doing like the rest of us and getting back only what we put in) and then only working 7 hours a day and 9 months a year*. Yeah, you can go bitch about that on the streets of Madison, if you’d like. Can I trade you jobs?

Finally, I’d like to close with a quote:

"The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted to the public service“ – Franklin Delano (Hitler McUnionbuster) Roosevelt. Even he understood that public sector workers do not need collective bargaining, and that it would be ultimately detrimental to the nation, as a whole, if they got it.

*Yeah, I had a hard time writing that last part because my Mom is a teacher, but I have to post what I believe, and what I believe is that it is remarkably unfair for you to be working for people who do not get guaranteed pensions, who work at minimum 40 hours a week (but mostly more), who have health insurance that they have to help pay for that does not provide total coverage (copays, deductables, and so forth), and who work 52 weeks per year with the average being one week of paid vacation per year; all while you DO have a guaranteed pension, work less than 40 hours per week, have gold-plated health plans, and work only 9 out of 12 months (but continue receiving paychecks in the 3 months off), and on average, get paid more than the people paying your salary! Sorry Mom. I really am, but I promised myself that when I started this blog I was going to be honest, and this just ain’t right.

It isn’t that I don’t respect teachers – I do. It is just that I would expect a teacher to be paid more in line with their contribution. A typical skilled thought worker in America makes about 45,000 per year. Burdened with 401K costs and health benefits, the cost will go up north of 75 to 85 K for 2080 hours per year of work. That works out to $21.63 per hour take-home before taxes, and $40.86 burdened rate per hour.

A teacher at the same base salary (which is fair) would be north of 95,000 burdened, and over only 1,560 hours per year. That is $28.84 per hour take home and $60.89 burdened.

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