Friday Morning Open Mic for February 18, 2011

I thank all who offered me “get well” wishes over the last few days. I have to tell you, on Wednesday I felt like a bus had run over me and backed up to do it again. I was a little better Thursday. Now thursday night, I am still stuffy and congested in the head and chest, but I feel like the worst is behind me. At least I sure hope so. While I am better, I am still not well. My head is still a little fuzzy and I will be trying to get to bed earlier again tonight in the hopes that I can work in my office tomorrow instead of another day of working from the house. But I do want to throw out an article or two for open mic. The first is an economics article. A friend sent it to me with the note saying, “as it turns out, hyperinflation isn’t just around the corner.” So I share the article to get the opinion on it from some of our more economic minded folks. I will try to add another article or two throughout the morning on Friday.

USWeapon Topic #1

Money and reserves

I wanted to offer some clarification on stories about all the money that the Federal Reserve is supposedly printing. It depends, I guess, on your definition of “money.” And your definition of “printing.”

When people talk about “printing money,” your first thought might be that they’re referring to green pieces of paper with pictures of dead presidents on them. The graph below plots the growth rate for currency in circulation over the last decade. I’ve calculated the growth rate over 2-year rather than 1-year intervals to smooth a little the impact of the abrupt downturn in money growth in 2008. Another reason to use 2-year rates is that when we’re thinking about money growth rates as a potential inflation indicator, both economic theory and the empirical evidence suggest that it’s better to average growth rates over longer intervals.

Currency in circulation has increased by 5.2% per year over the last two years, a bit below the average for the last decade. If you took a very simple-minded monetarist view of inflation (inflation = money growth minus real output growth), and expected (as many observers do) better than 3% real GDP growth for the next two years, you’d conclude that recent money growth rates are consistent with extremely low rates of inflation.

But if the Fed didn’t print any money as part of QE2 and earlier asset purchases, how did it pay for the stuff it bought? The answer is that the Fed simply credited the accounts that banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System hold with the Fed. These electronic credits, or reserve balances, are what has exploded since 2008. The blue area in the graph below is the total currency in circulation, whose growth we have just seen has been pretty modest. The maroon area represents reserves.

Read the rest of the article here:  Econbrowser: Money and reserves

OK, the premise of the article above is that the common thought that is circling around out there that the federal reserve has printed tons of new money is false. Whether or not the federal reserve has actually printed tons of new money is something I am no longer willing to bet on. I recall writing about this last year at some point and I remember someone linking to an article saying that the fed has basically doubled the amount of money in circulation over the last decade. This article seems to refute that as reality. But I don’t know whether it is correct.

The article instead discusses how the Fed has basically credited the accounts that big banks have with the federal reserve. My first inclination, with my limited economic knowledge, would be that this is every bit as dangerous or harmful as printing money. The end result is the same. The Fed has basically done a “magic transaction” that is not rooted in the creation of security to back new currency in the system.

So I am looking for what the economically minded folks think of the premise presented in the article as well as what your responses would be to the statement that my friend made about hyperinflation.

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Comments

  1. Bottom Line says:

    USW – ” My first inclination, with my limited economic knowledge, would be that this is every bit as dangerous or harmful as printing money. The end result is the same. ”

    BL – My first inclination, with my limited economic knowledge, is that you’re correct.

    I don’t think it’s all that complicated.

    Whether it’s paper, electronic credit, sea shells, etc…, If it’s based on nothing but debt, it’s still fiat.

    Fiat is fiat is fiat.

  2. The article is a good primer on the monetary base, which is comprised of Federal Reserve notes (i.e., cash) and commercial bank deposits at the 12 Federal Reserve district banks.

    As Milton Friedman taught, “inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” That is, if the growth rate in the total money supply exceeds real economic output, inflation will result. Mitigating the inflation effect is the public’s desire to hold cash balances.

    The key to understanding inflation is focusing on the total money supply instead of the monetary base. Although the Fed’s liabilities (notes and deposits) have grown from $800 billion to $2 trillion from Jan ’07 to Jan ’11, the broader M2 money supply which includes commercial bank liabilities (i.e., checking and savings accounts, small CDs, and money market funds) has only grown 5.7% over the same time period.

    Offsetting the inflationary effect of a larger money supply, we have higher real output and higher liquidity/cash preferences, so the compounded annual CPI rate has only been 2.06% over the past four years (admittedly, you can dispute how objectively the CPI is computed).

    As far as the recent rise in commodity prices is concerned, commodity prices are highly volatile and are largely a function of world GDP growth. Prices have spiked due to the 1) the rebound from the drop in global output two years ago, 2) increased biofuel demand, and 3) adverse weather conditions. So although we might face a one-time spike in the prices of many necessities, we’re not so likely to see a continuing wage-price spiral like the U.S. faced in the 1970s.

    One could argue, though, that Fed policy (i.e., low short-term interest rates) has exacerbated inflation in precious metals markets because low rates reduce their cost of carry/storage, making the asset class look more favorable than cash.

  3. gmanfortruth says:

    Good Morning All 🙂

    WeaP’S friend: “as it turns out, hyperinflation isn’t just around the corner.” Let’s hope he is right. I’ve watched a few documentaries about Argentina. From what I’ve gathered, hyperinflation didn’t just happen overnight there. Argentina had a mountain of government debt, high unemployment and a corrupt government. It was their debt that caused their currency to devalue, forcing prices to skyrocket. Not one documentary said that the over printing of their fiat as the cause of hyperinflation, as it turned out, it was the result.

    Now I’ve tried to take what i’ve learned about Argentina, prior to hyperinflation, and here’s the list.

    Huge government debt
    Huge export deficit (they imported more than they exported)
    Steadily rises food and gas prices
    Government schemes to prop up the economy

    So, in a nutshell, USW’s friend is right. We have nothing in common with the factors that led to Argentina’s problems. So it’s safe to say that we can rest easy. Don’t Worry, Be Happy! 🙂

  4. Obama is the best President ever!

    8)

  5. Jeffrey on Socialism’s Trajectory: Obama’s HHS Is Bigger Than LBJ’s Government
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011
    By Terence P. Jeffrey

    Anyone who doubts that the trend toward socialism is pushing America toward ruin should examine the historical tables President Obama published Monday along with his $3.7 trillion budget.

    In fiscal 2011, according to these tables, the Department of Health and Human Services will spend $909.7 billion. In fiscal 1965, the entire federal government spent $118.228 billion.

    What about inflation? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator, $118.228 billion in 1965 dollars equals $822.6 billion in 2010 dollars. In real terms, the $909.7 billion HHS is spending this year is about $87.1 billion more than the entire federal government spent in 1965.

    1965 was a key year in the advancement of socialism in the United States.

    From 1776 until 1965, Americans generally did not rely on the federal government for health care unless they served in the military or worked in some other capacity for the federal government.

    But in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson and a Democratic Congress enacted two massive federal entitlement programs — Medicare and Medicaid — that fundamentally altered the relationship between Americans and the federal government by making tens of millions dependent on the government for health care.

    Prior to 1937, the Supreme Court correctly understood the Constitution to deny the federal government any power to create and operate social-welfare programs. The Constitution held no such enumerated power, and the 10th Amendment left powers not enumerated to the states and the people.

    From George Washington’s administration to Franklin Roosevelt’s, Americans took care of themselves and their own communities without resorting to federal handouts.

    FDR sought to change what he believed was an unrealistic reliance on families in American life.

    He used the crisis of the Great Depression to pass the Social Security Act of 1935, compelling Americans to pay a payroll tax in return for the promise of a federal old-age pension. This was blatantly unconstitutional. That same year, in Railroad Retirement Board v. Alton, the Supreme Court had justly slapped down a law mandating what amounted to a Social Security program for the railroad industry alone.

    FDR attempted to defend the railroad pension law as a legitimate regulation of interstate commerce, justifiable under the Commerce Clause — the same argument the Obama administration has used to defend the individual mandate in Obamacare.

    The Court scoffed, suggesting that if the federal government could mandate a federal pension for railroad workers, the next thing it would do would be to mandate health care.

    “The question at once presents itself whether the fostering of a contented mind on the part of an employee by legislation of this type is, in any just sense, a regulation of interstate transportation,” the Court said answering FDR’s argument. “If that question be answered in the affirmative, obviously there is no limit to the field of so-called regulation. The catalogue of means and actions which might be imposed upon an employer in any business, tending to the satisfaction and comfort of his employees, seems endless. Provision for free medical attention and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry.”

    When Social Security went to the Court in 1937, FDR used a different strategy. He argued that Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1 of the Constitution, which gave Congress the power to levy taxes to “provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States,” meant the federal government could do virtually anything it deemed in the “general welfare” of Americans even if it was otherwise outside the scope of the Constitution’s other enumerated powers.

    FDR’s interpretation of the General Welfare Clause effectively rendered the rest of the Constitution meaningless.

    To persuade the same court that ruled against him in the railroad case to rule for him in the Social Security case, FDR proposed the Judicial Reorganization Act. This would allow him to pack the court by appointing an additional justice for each sitting justice who had reached age 70 and six months and not retired.

    Faced with a potential Democratic takeover of the court, and thus a federal government controlled entirely by FDR’s allies, Republican Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes and Associate Justice Owen J. Roberts flip-flopped from their position in the railroad case. They quietly voted in favor of Social Security and took the steam off FDR’s court-packing plan.

    That year, federal spending was 8.6 percent of gross domestic product, according to President Obama’s historical tables.

    When LBJ enacted Medicare and Medicaid — and began fulfilling the court’s prophecy in the 1935 railroad-pension case — federal spending was 17.2 percent of GDP.

    When George W. Bush expanded Medicare with a prescription drug benefit in 2003, federal spending was 19.7 percent of GDP. This year, federal spending will be 25.3 percent of GDP.

    In 2014, when Obamacare is scheduled to be fully implemented, HHS will become the first $1-trillion-per year federal agency. That year, Medicare and Medicaid will cost $557 billion and $352.1 billion respectively, or a combined $909.1 billion — about what all of HHS costs this year.

    In other words, when Obamacare is just getting started, Medicare and Medicaid will cost more than the $822.6 billion in 2010 dollars than the entire federal government cost in 1965 when LBJ signed Medicare and Medicaid into law.

    http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/article/jeffrey-socialisms-trajectory-obamas-hhs

    • The ObamaCare Real Estate Boom
      Peter Wilson, American Thinker

      Investor’s Business Daily reports that due to ObamaCare, Health and Human Services is on track to become “the first $1 trillion federal agency.” This expansion of government leads to new hiring (e.g., 650 new employees to work in the Medicare/Medicaid Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight), and these new federal employees need desks and cubicles. Thus it’s not surprising to read in the Montgomery County Gazette:

      The federal government proved the savior for commercial real estate in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., last year and 2011 is shaping up the same way. That was the good news at a conference Wednesday on General Services Administration leasing…The GSA [is looking] for about 1.5 million square feet just for Health and Human Services agencies.

      For comparison, the tallest building in Boston, the 60-story John Hancock tower, has 1.7 million square feet of office space. It’s no wonder that Montgomery County and the other suburbs that ring the Leviathan of federal government are the wealthiest in the country.

  6. Yea, “printing” electronic money has the same effect as printing paper currency, except that it is easier to do.

  7. gmanfortruth says:

    Union leadership at it’s best:

    “Plans are being put into place to silence workers, lower their wages, cut their benefits and increase the likelihood that they will suffer injuries and fatalities at work,” said Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

    So lack orf bargaining rights is now going to kill people! WTF!

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/02/18/republicans-challenging-unions-state-capitols/

    • without the union, people working in the government won’t know what to do when they get a paper cut and bleed out obviously. OSHA will not exist either, its in the fine print. /sarcasm

    • Sweet Jesus on that vespa again … that is EXACTLY what brought unions into existence in the first place … a lack of bargaining power that did IN FACT kill people.

      Oy vey … could you guys be any more delusional about this?

      Fact: There WAS NOT a budget crisis in Wisconsin; the small one they have now was CREATED BY THE GOVERNOR seeking to bust the unions WHO DIDN’T SUPPORT HIM. Can yous at least acknolwedge he didn’t go after the ones who did support him?

      FACT = the union membership is willing to pay into their health plans and pensions (as they should).

      FACT = this is union busting at its most obvious.

      Okay, take your shots but please try and deal in reality this time …

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Charlie, They are dealing with government employees that aren’t in dangerous jobs. Those in dangerous jobs were exempt (probably a politcal thank you for support)

        It is union busting! The government wants control. What’s new. It’s been happening at the national level as well (control, that is).

        Question, if the Union busting was because they didn’t support him, would that apply to all the other states doing the same thing? Is that going to be the liberal excuse in state after state, so as to quiet the real reasons from coming to the forefront?

        • Interesting. I guess you’ve never heard of teachers killed in the line of duty … or nurses …. or CORRECTION OFFICERS!!!!

          come on, Gman, you know better than that. The point is, they are willing to negotiate (and they should pay their fair share–even lefties aren’t arguing that much) but … and it’s a big BUT … why aren’t the three unions who supported the Governor asked to drop their collective bargaining? I know you know it’s union busting, but how is this not big business using public unions to further erradicate private unions. Now the little people are at each others throats (all of them obviously forgetful of the BAILOUTS the 2%’s laughed into existence) instead of supporting one another.

          Liberal excuse? Buddy, if were up to me, I’d execute those responsible for A) the Wall Street fiasco that bankrupted the economy and then B) the pieces of garbage they own in the gov’t (both parties) who approved the bailout. Why shouldn’t public workers have the right to bargain. They didn’t steal those prior contracts; other corrupt politicians paying back for their support did that but don’t try and equate those deals to the bailout. Not quite close …

          • gmanfortruth says:

            I guess you’ve never heard of teachers killed in the line of duty … or nurses …. or CORRECTION OFFICERS!!!!

            Holy Crap! Have you fallenoff the cliff and hit your head? How in the hell does unionization suddenly save lives? Because prison guards are unionized, suddenly the cons won’t kill them?

            BAHHHaaahHhaa!

            • Gman … do yourself a favor … Read “The Jungle”; nothing to do with prison guards but you’ll get the picture after a few chapters. As for prison guards and unionization … give that Baha bullshit to the kids of the female guard who was strangled a few weeks ago because she was on patrol on her own (instead of with another guard–cutbacks). Even the union couldn’t save her but you better believe there are a lot fewer instances of same where unions demand guards aren’t left alone.

          • gmanfortruth says:

            I’m holding a neutral stance on the union breaking. I can see both sides of the issue, and really haven’t come to a conclusion one way or the other. I agree with your 2% analogy and your last paragraph.

          • Charlie: “why aren’t the three unions who supported the Governor asked to drop their collective bargaining…”

            PS: It’s pure political payback for their support of his candidacy. No different than when Democrats payback union support, or when Republicans payback corporate support. Pure politics. Doesn’t change a thing in the overall debate of the issues.

            • I guess it doesn’t change anything so long as you continue that bullshit mantra of “live free”. Like I said, it depends on what your definition of freedom is. You, apparently, prefer to be a slave to the 2%’s. Good luck with that.

              • I don;t prefer to slave for anyone. Do you prefer to slave to/for the unions?

                You continually wish to make it personal. You have on a bit of and idea of what I believe or think is right in this issue (if you have read all of my comments).

                In the end you minimize your credibility by continually personalizing your comments towards others even when someone agrees with you (as I have saying it’s pure political payback that 3 union groups are exempt).

      • Charlie

        Re the start of unions in the USA: That is pure, unadulterated B.S. and you know it.

        Talk about delusional.

        As for the rest, you continue to show your propensity to follow party line talking points without applying anything resembling rational thought or at least some type of objective analysis.

        Who are the people throwing a fit Charlie?????

        Why are so many of them from groups OUTSIDE the state????

        This is a “public employee” issue and has noting to do with UNIONS outside the State Govt of Wisconsin.

        If it were me I would have proposed TRUE Union busting legislation. Namely that ALL public unions be made ILLEGAL.

        They are IMMORAL and should rightfully be abolished.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Why do you consider unions immoral?

          • BECAUSE YOU ARE FREE TO WORK ELSEWHERE !

            Tell me why if I open a business you should be able to come in and force me to pay you X amount?

            Entreprenuers (sp) go into business to make money for themselves not to spread the wealth.

            • Anita, darling … (promise you won’t get mad) … but if you open a business and pay people what you want (to maximize profit) what’s to stop you from being totally unfair about it? That actually was part of the problem for workers in this country for a long time. Unfair wages, working conditions, etc. That doesn’t mean that every business was guilty of it, but you don’t see unions looking to force every business to deal with them … it means where workers are getting the shaft, they need to organize, that’s all. Otherwise they’re serfs.

              • There’s nothing to stop me from being unfair about it. That’s why you can go elsewhere. It just does not compute in my brain how you can tell me how to run MY business. Why do you want to work for someone who is giving you the shaft? RUN from that business. Work for the guy with the good reputation, give him and honest days work and he’ll pay you an honest wage. It works in thousand of non union shops.

                You have to work no matter what. We need to worry more about being serfs to the government than to our employers.

          • Abuse of power is immoral.
            When unions are groups with collective bargaining power, they are not immoral. Generally, they are a response to an immoral act (abuse of power) by one or more employers.
            When unions are thugs that threaten or harm others who are willing to work, they are acting immorally.
            When unions use governmental power to get what they want, they are consolidating power, and it ALWAYS gets abused.
            When government uses the political group power of unions for its own gain, it is abuse of power.
            When unions damage business by costing too much, they are not immoral, merely stupid.

          • Buck

            I have been very specific that my claim is tied to “Public Employee Unions”.

            And the reason is because the person who must pay for their benefits is NOT at the table and is in fact prohibited from participating in the negotiations.

            The Govt is a monopoly on the use of force, the Unions are part of Govt as are the people who approve their contracts. Thus Govt is negotiating with itself.

            Those who have the power to approve the benefits are usually the beneficiary of Public Employee Union lobbying and campaign contributions.

            The Public Unions use the govt to steal from me and then stand against me when I try to VOTE to change the situation.

            Look at what is happening in Wisconsin. The people vote. The Union throws a fit. The legislators run for the hills to avoid offending their “lobbyist constituents”.

            I have to give FDR credit for one thing positive. He was opposed to labor unions among Govt workers.

            • I would take it even further. Most of not all public unions are just as contemptable. A right to work is just that, and should not be influenced by whether you are a member of a union.

              Once upon a time…long ago, I was a union member. I had no choice whatsoever…simply told to sign the union card. Then a miracle occurred and a right to work law was implemented in Louisiana. I immediately withdrew from the union. IMO the unions had a time and place, but that time and place has passed. It could come full circle and the unions would again be able to serve a useful purpose, but I do not believe it has as of yet.

              • Oops insert an “if” between of and not!

              • Terry

                I would refine your comment with my view that the Unions are not immoral in and of themselves. They are certainly not needed in most cases any longer.

                What makes the modern “private” labor union immoral is the protection it seeks and gets from Govt. It is that protection that has allowed unions to extract more than their fair “pound of flesh” from businesses.

                If they were subject to the business saying hell no, then the union would have to stop demanding at that point where the vast majority of employees or “potential” employees would support the demands.

              • Having at one time been a member and seeing first hand how that one operated I can accept that. The one I was associated with (a rather large one) tended to defend the worst of the employees very staunchly…perhaps that is because those folks “needed” it the most.

              • I hear you, but … do we just let the 2%’s run (not only the Gov’t) which you all seem to claim is owned by big business (bailouts) and why you’re all so against it (gov’t) everything? the 2%’s get to run the gov’t, dictate what we earn and how we earn it and …. how is that freedom again?

                Yous righties have your wires seriously crossed, me thinks.

              • Charlie,

                Are you in support of the mandate to purchase health care that is a part of the PPACA?

                If you are then:

                the 2%’s get to run the gov’t, dictate what we earn and how we earn it and …. how is that freedom again?

                Seems the left may seriously have their wires crossed, yes?

          • The network morning shows on Thursday failed to find any controversy in union protests from Wisconsin, ignoring the signs comparing Scott Walker, the state’s Republican governor, to the Taliban, the Nazis and Hitler. Fox News, on the other hand, highlighted the attacks on “Mullah Walker.”

            Wisconsin radio talk show host Vicki McKenna appeared on Your World With Neil Cavuto to discuss the battle over whether state employees will have to pay more for their pension and health care. Citing the attacks by liberals, she informed, “I have been called the Taliban, Hitler…I mean, anything that involves dictator, tyrants or genocide, historical references to slavery.”

            In comparison, Good Morning News anchor Juju Chang spun the story: “Well, a bill seen as the most aggressive anti-union proposal in the country goes up for a vote in Wisconsin today.” She simply claimed that state workers are “swarming the capitol in protest.”

            Early Show news anchor Jeff Glor defined the protest as “a dramatic showdown between state workers and the Governor.” Yet, CBS didn’t inform viewers that many of the marchers were holding signs with targets over the Governor or comparing him to Egypt’s dictator Hosni Mubarak.

            On the Today show, Ann Curry blandly explained, “Wisconsin lawmakers could vote today on a bill that drew thousands of protesters at their state house last night. The measure would strip government workers, except police and firefighters, of nearly all union bargaining rights and make them pay more for pensions and health coverage.”

            On Your World, McKenna told guest host Chris Cotter, “There is a different side out there you are not hearing because, you know, those folks are paid for, bought and paid for protesters.”

            As Fox News played clips of some of the more offensive signs, McKenna asserted that signs including swastikas have been “absolutely typical” during the ongoing debate.

            Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2011/02/17/fox-news-highlights-nazi-hitler-signs-wisconsin-pension-debate-netwo#ixzz1EKtsg8YO

            • and Morning Joe (Scarborough over on MSNBC) did nothing but attack the teachers for not showing up to work while ignoring the fact the union was willing to negotiate. He was on cue his Republican/Conservative anti-worker self throughout the show … like usual, ignoring the facts.

        • Just a citizen … you need to do some heavy FACT checking. Immoral? Jesus just jumped from the vespa to a Harley.

      • Charlie…you say “FACT = the union membership is willing to pay into their health plans and pensions (as they should).”
        Then why all the demonstrations when they are asked to do exactly that? They have been treated with kid gloves for far too long. Not only that, but what about the leadership rather than the membership?

        • Terry, the demonstration are because of the loss of collective bargaining written into the law about to pass. It has EVERYTHING to do with that, not the fact they’ve already stated they are willing to pay. They should probably pay more than they are willing (perhaps what everyone in the private sector has to pay for the same benefits) but to take away collective bargaining … well, what’s up with Freedom in that instance? You’re way too quick to define freedom as whatever the power$ that be say it is (dollar sign on purpo$e).

          • I have only heard that they are basically passing a right to work type of legislation. I suppose I have missed the collective bargaining part of it. To me a right to work legislation affects collective bargaining, but does not eliminate it.

      • I posted this on the thread for yesterday on the discussions of WI – and it seems appropriate to repost it here:

        plainlyspoken Says:
        February 18, 2011 at 12:48 pm

        I will reiterate that one of the problems in this whole debate – IMHO – is that unions believe that collective bargaining is a “right” when it is not – it is a privilege agreed to by employee groups and employers.

        A privilege that can be rescinded by either side and the employee unions are pissed the Governor is going to try to limit their “rights.”

        • I most heartily agree. However, I do not see how having a right to work, which is basically what is going on, limits the unions rights. To me, it provides the individuals with the rights they should have already.

        • And the reason private unions are upset is because why? It will next be extended to the abolishment of unions across the board. Then we can lower the minimum wage and hand out containers of milk instead of paychecks.

          You guys kill me …

          • Which “private” unions would you be speaking of?

            Your chicken little crying about it abolishing unions across the board is, to be polite, far-fetched.

            Why doesn’t the state have the right to legislate – if they can get it passed into law – restrictions on unions and employees/employee groups in their employment with government?

            No different than I have to put up with the government regulating my health care insurance decisions (to have, or not to have – that is the question).

          • Charlie, there has been a right to work law in Louisiana for at least 30 years. There are still unions. I personally find it offensible to make someone pay dues as a requirement of employment. Especially when those dues are used for things that some of the ones paying do not agree with.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              “I personally find it offensible to make someone pay dues as a requirement of unemployment”

              Even when those non-union members reap the benefits of bargaining negotiations through increased wages and benefits?

              • Have you ever worked in a union shop? Perhaps you have, I can only say that I have. That shop no longer exists…with a great degree because of the wages and benefits that had been negotiated for over the years. So to answer your question, no. I had no problem whatsoever resigning from the union when it was allowed.

                I understand fully an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. I have seen first hand how folks got an honest day’s pay for a dishonest day of goofing off…consistently, and the union turn right around and do everything in their power to retain this employee. Right is right and wrong is wrong…what I saw from the union I was associated with was mostly wrong.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Nope, never worked in a union shop.

                And as I’ve said all along – there are clearly examples where unions have grown too powerful or gone too far or shot themselves in the foot or etc. etc. etc.. I’m not debating that. However, lets not swing wildly in the other direction either. Unions have been and continue to be good for this country, its workers and the economy as a whole.

            • Colorado is also a right to work state – with lots of unions too.

            • In my old union in CA those who wished to stay out of the union were free to donate a sum equal to union dues to a qualifying non-profit group or religious organization in lieu of paying dues to the union.

              While they profited from the union contract, they did not get any rights to vote on that contract (unless the union members voted in a majority to extend that “privilege” to them) and generally could be closed out of any meetings pertaining to union contracts if we so chose – though we did not normally do this, we granted them a privilege to come and speak and participate on the issues facing us as a union shop.

              So, the dues issue can be worked out in constructive ways. Now as to using any dues money for political purposes……………..

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Fair point – I could agree to segregate the dues into a portion going towards negotiating (which non-members reap benefits from) and a portion going towards political contributions.

      • Good indicators of the outward migration are the prices of U-Haul vehicles. To rent a 26-foot truck one-way from San Francisco to Austin costs $3236, and yet the one-way charge for that same truck from Austin to San Francisco is just $399. Even so, U-Haul has to pay its employees to drive the empty trucks back from Texas.

        According to CEI, California is a state where public employees have three times the pension benefits of private employees and 20% higher pay, in addition to secure jobs. This becomes quite evident when one looks at the salaries paid to California’s university administrators, where deans can make over $300,000 per year, according to the LA Times. Keep in mind also that the California education system is super-heavy with deans, provosts, and other administrators. Having served as a dean, I can vouch for the fact that deans are mostly paper-shufflers who have abandoned teaching and research.

        It is not surprising that the politics of the UC faculty is heavily skewed. According to the LA Times, the ratio of political donations in 2008 to Democratic vs. Republican candidates was 800 to 1 for UC Berkeley — and even higher for some of the smaller campuses.

        Wrote Jack Pitney, a professor at Claremont McKenna College, on the National Review’s blog. “California voters approved of President Obama’s performance by a 10-point margin, whereas the national electorate disapproved by nine points.” “It’s a different kind of state,” he said. That may be the understatement of 2010.

        A large part of the state’s Democratic tilt comes from its massive Latino population, who voted for Democrats two to one. The Los Angeles Times noted that it made up 22% of the voting pool, “a record tally that mortally wounded many Republicans.”

        How bad has it gotten in the erstwhile Golden State? According to Investor’s Business Daily:

        * Some 2.3 million Californians are without jobs, for a 12.4 percent unemployment rate — one of the highest in the country.
        * From 2001 to 2010, factory jobs plummeted from 1.87 million to 1.23 million — a loss of 34 percent of the state’s industrial base.
        * With just 12 percent of the U.S. population, California has almost a third of the nation’s welfare recipients; meanwhile, 15.3 percent of all Californians live in poverty.
        * The state budget gap for 2009-2010 was $45.5 billion, or 53 percent of total state spending — the largest in any state’s history.
        * Unfunded pension liabilities for California’s state and public employees may be as much as $500 billion — roughly 17 percent of the nation’s total $3 trillion at the state and local level.

        http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/02/the_sad_state_of_the_state_of.html

      • Charlie Stella: “that is EXACTLY what brought unions into existence in the first place … a lack of bargaining power that did IN FACT kill people.”

        PS: So all the health and safety laws that have been enacted, OSHA, labor and wage laws, etc., are because of those wonderful unions and their saving worker’s lives?

        Charlie Stella: “FACT = the union membership is willing to pay into their health plans and pensions (as they should).”

        PS: Sure they want to – as absolutely small amount as possible. What they don’t want is the rates they pay set in law. Why is that wrong? Social Security and Medicare rates are set in law by the feds – shouldn’t that be open to collective bargaining under your thinking?

        Charlie Stella: “FACT = this is union busting at its most obvious.”

        PS: So? It’s not illegal. It’s also not a real union busting move or the Governor would be working to ban and outlaw unions. It’s more of limiting union contract privileges.

        • Plainly: FACT, you need to read some American labor history and fast.

          FACT: they are willing to bargain; you apparently want the terms dictated (like a good soldier of corporate America).

          FACT: Why isn’t that imbecile of a Governer (and a puppet of Big Business) doing the same to union that contributed to his campaign? Please …

          • FACT: Don’t presume what history I need to read up on.

            FACT: States regulate labor “rights” as they see fit. For instance in California (and maybe other states – I’m not sure) prohibit strikes by union groups if it impacts public safety (which means cops, fire, nurses in some cases, etc can NOT strike). By your stance it appears those employee groups should be able to negotiate about that.

            FACT: Don’t presume to think I agree or disagree with what Governor Walker is trying to do through the legislative process. No one’s asked me.

            FACT: Your use of the word “FACT” all the time doesn’t make it a fact.

  8. USW, et al.

    Disclaimer up front. I am not a certified, as in pedigreed, “Economist”. However, I did take micro and macro economics in college and various economic analysis classes in grad school. I have also done considerable reading on the subject.

    So where do we begin? Lets start with the most basic.

    Inflation is the increase in the price of goods that is due to the decline in the value of money, which is due to the increase in the supply of money. As for this argument of cash vs. electronic credits it is irrelevant. The question is whether the market views money as easier to acquire and thus they can raise prices without normal market resistance.

    Real price increases are the increased price of goods due to normal supply demand relationships, absent the effect of money supply.

    Seems simple doesn’t it? But how do we know what the actual “inflation” rate vs. “real price increase” is at any point in time. How do we measure it?

    Bottom line, there have been many ways proposed but none that I have seen that are “precise”. And this notion that you simply subtract the “percentage change” in money from the “percentage change in GDP” is quite, well lets just say GROSSLY OVERSIMPLIFIED.

    For instance, how do you calculate the “effect of money supply” on price when you use a measure that includes Government Spending as your measure of “total price increase”.

    Hint: The GROWTH of GDP represents the growth in TOTAL ECONOMIC SPENDING. It DOES NOT measure the increase in PRICES of particular products, good, or services.

    So how do we measure or determine the effect of inflation? I submit that the only way is to determine what the price changes would be absent ANY change in the supply of money.

    Now here is where Pirate Friend comes into the discussion. Remember back when BF pointed out that given a fixed supply of money then over time the price of goods will rise and then fall due to normal supply/demand relationships. Furthermore, prices can not rise indefinitely as the money supply itself will force prices down, due to increased value of money as the economy grows.

    So what does this mean and why do I bring it up? I am proposing to you that the ENTIRE increase in “inflation” is in fact due to TRUE INFLATION over a long period of time. That because over such a long period the REAL PRICE INCREASE for a given set of goods and services should be ZERO.

    Next, the GDP. I think it is ridiculous to use this very any measure other than what it is. TOTAL MONEY SPENT in the economy. Most importantly, it INCLUDES Government spending. See a little problem with this???????

    GDP includes money spent by the Federal Govt, REGARDLESS of the source of that money. Taxes, printing, computer digits, or borrowing. All of it is money spent.

    So you see, “inflation” is included within the GDP itself. So how can you use GDP to measure real price increases?

    Let alone the fact that GDP reflects two very different things in the total number. It includes the increased money spent due to PRICE INCREASES as well as the amount spent on NEW ECONOMIC activity.

    So GDP can not measure inflation and it is not a measure of economic growth. It is a measure of BOTH.

    Now the experts try to claim REAL GDP GROWTH is known. This is what the article author uses. But to determine REAL you have to adjust for INFLATION. But the way they measure INFLATION is flawed itself. It does not measure the actual change in prices over time of fixed goods and services. It measures the change in price of a “basket of goods” and reflects changes in consumer purchase preference.

    In other words, while the price of steak has increased 100% over the past 10 years the price of “meat” in the basket has only increased by about 15%. Why? Because the meat in the basket is no longer steak. It went to hamburger and is now SPAM. 🙂 🙂

    This is why we see New Age web sites posting REAL Inflation numbers that are around 10% TODAY.

    They use the same methodology to calculate inflation that was used thirty years ago, before the Govt changed to the current method.

    I’ll let you digest that before going further. Also allow time for REAL economists to come on and point out the flaws in my points so far.

    Happy Friday Everyone.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Top O the Mornin to Ya! 🙂

      When I started coming to SUFA about 2 years ago, I never even heard of hyperinflation. Black Flag was the first person to bring it up, two years ago! Now, it’s all over the web. Lat night I watched a live webcast that was held by API (Asset Protection Institute). It lasted about 90 minutes and listeners were able to ask questions. My father and I watched together and I asked the question: Can the US expect Marshal Law before the end of 2012? The answer: Due to the impending high inflation, or even hyperinflation, we can expect the probability of Marshal Law to occur from six months to three yaers from now. Now, one of the speakers piped up and said that Marshal Law is completely unconstitutional and if it is ever called for by the government, it is, in effect, a declaration of war against the US citizens. Throught the show they brought up many good points and supported them, that the government is preparing for something really bad.

  9. Bottom Line says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/17/patrick-rodgers-forecloses-on-wells-fargo_n_824765.html

    Philadelphia Man Forecloses On Wells Fargo

    A Philadelphia homeowner started foreclosure proceedings on a Wells Fargo mortgage office after winning a rather strange legal judgement against the bank.

    After Patrick Rodgers got no reply to three letters asking why he was being forced to pay a home insurance premium for a $1 million house when he bought his 3-story Victorian home for $180,000, he decided to force his mortgage company to pay attention, ABC News reported.

    According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Rodgers discovered the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, which requires mortgage companies to acknowledge written requests within 20 business days or face penalties. He took Wells Fargo to court, winning a default judgement because the bank didn’t show up in court.

    Passed in 1974 to protect borrowers, RESPA stipulates a standard complain letter that can be sent to lenders. (For more information on RESPA, check out the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website here.)

    Rodgers won a $1,173 judgment against the bank, and when they still failed to reply to his letters, he started foreclosure proceedings.

    The contents of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage’s offices at 1341 North Delaware Avenue are reportedly still scheduled for a March 4 sherif’s sale.

    The homeowner placed a sheriffs levy against Well’s Fargo’s local mortgage office, to cover the $1,173 judgment, plus tax. The bank paid up in January, but still had not responded to his letters, so he started a foreclosure sale on the Wells Fargo office.

  10. OK, here is perhaps a more articulate and intelligent version of what I tried to say about inflation vs. real price increases.

    From the Atlanta Fed. Reserve newsletter:

    “February 08, 2011
    Inflation confusion

    As opinion about rising food prices and the consequences thereof divides between “the Fed did it” and “the fundamentals did it” camps, I am reminded of the tricky nature of the semantics of any discussion about “inflation.”

    In case you need convincing of that yourself, take a look at the results of the most recent Pew News IQ Quiz. Of 13 multiple-choice questions on the quiz, the question that received the fewest correct answers was whether the national inflation rate reported by the government (as of November 2010, when the poll was taken) was closer to 1 percent, 5 percent, 10 percent, or 20 percent. Only 14 percent of the 1001 adults surveyed knew that the answer was 1 percent; more people knew David Cameron is the prime minister of the United Kingdom.

    That response does not indicate a general lack of knowledge about economic issues. Seventy-seven percent of respondents knew the deficit is larger now than in 1990s, 64 percent know that the United States runs a trade deficit, and 53 percent are aware that the current unemployment rate is closer to 10 percent than 5 percent or 15 percent. What I think the failure to identify the reported inflation rate probably represents is slippage between the definition of inflation that the average person has in mind and the definition that economists and central bankers are so intently focused upon.

    That distinction was the topic of a speech given by Atlanta Fed president Dennis Lockhart earlier today, in which he said:

    “In the most recent FOMC statement, following the January meeting, the committee acknowledged the rise of commodity prices, but stated that ‘measures of underlying inflation have been trending downward.’

    “Yet inflation anxiety is rising. There seems to be a disconnect between what the Fed is saying and what people are experiencing when they fill up their gas tanks or read about rising food prices around the world.… Are the Fed and the public on different planets?

    “Certainly not. But I do think in the swirl of official statements and public discourse we may be talking about different things. To my way of thinking, the term ‘inflation’ is misused in describing rising prices in narrow expenditure categories (for example, food inflation). Nonetheless, recent price news has encroached on the public consciousness with the effect that any price rise of an important consumption item is often taken as signaling inflation.”

    The key distinction is the one between the ideas of “the purchasing power of money” and “the cost of living.” Again, quoting President Lockhart:

    “Let’s review what inflation is and is not. Inflation affects all prices. Inflation is not the rise of individual prices or the rise of categories of prices.

    “I want to contrast inflation to the cost of living. In casual language, we often interpret a rise in the cost of living as inflation. They are not the same thing. Cost-of-living increases are a result of increases in individual prices relative to other prices and especially relative to income. These relative price movements reflect supply and demand conditions and idiosyncratic influences in the various markets for goods and services. If some component of a household’s cost-of-living basket goes up in price, the higher cost of living is not ipso facto inflation.”

    When food prices rise or oil prices rise, people are right to feel in some sense worse off, because they are. And if you are tempted to call that “inflation,” I understand. But for policy purposes, the distinction between cost of living increases and inflation as a deterioration in the generalized purchasing power of money is critical. President Lockhart explains:

    “In principle, the central bank could respond to the impact of rising costs in particular markets, but only by exerting downward pressure on the dollar price of all goods and services. Monetary policy is a blunt instrument without the capacity to systematically influence prices in targeted markets. Because monetary policy affects the value of the dollar across the board, the targeted item would still be expensive relative to income and relative to everything else.

    “…The Fed, like every other central bank, is powerless to prevent fluctuations in the cost of living and increases of individual prices. We do not produce oil. Nor do we grow food. Or provide healthcare. We cannot prevent the next oil shock, or drought, or a strike somewhere—events that cause prices of certain goods to rise and change your cost of living.

    “So monetary policy is not about preventing relative price adjustments dictated by market forces. It is about controlling the broad direction and pace of change of all prices across the economy.

    “If monetary policy cannot reliably control the cost of living, what is the point? The point is bringing some certainty to planning and long term decision making of individuals and institutions. This is my third basic point. The benefit of price stability—low and stable long-term inflation—is that it reduces the risk associated with longer-term decision-making and avoids the drag on the economy that uncertainty creates.”

    There are those, of course, who argue that current policy is, in fact, a source of long-term uncertainty. I will save my commentary on that assertion for a follow-up post.

    By Dave Altig Senior vice president and research director at the Atlanta Fed”

    Hope this helps.

  11. This is interesting…the Obama administration appears to believe they are above the law.

    Judge to Salazar: Speed up deepwater permits
    Judge Martin Feldman, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, today ordered the administration to move quickly on permits for new deepwater oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico. He said that the Interior Department was required to act on drilling applications “within a reasonable time.” and called the delays “increasingly inexcusable.”

    Ruling in favor of Ensco, Judge Feldman ordered the Interior Department to decide within 30 days whether to approve five drilling permits sought by the company over the last year and report its compliance to the court.

    “As the first anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster draws near, any reason that would have justified delays has, under a rule of reason, expired,” Judge Feldman wrote. “Beginning to process permit applications will restore normalcy to the Gulf region and repair the public’s faith in the administrative process.”

    The Offshore Marine Service Association praised the ruling, which came just two weeks after Judge Feldman held the Interior Department in contempt of court and ordered it to pay legal costs incurred by Hornbeck Offshore Services in another case relating to the moratorium.

    “It’s deja vu all over again: A federal judge has ordered the Obama administration to follow the rule of law, do its job and start acting on applications for drilling permits in the Gulf,” said Jim Adams, president and CEO of the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA).

    “For nearly a year, the Obama administration has not approved a single deepwater drilling permit in the Gulf,” Mr. Adams said. “This de facto moratorium on oil exploration is unreasonable, unwarranted, unfair and unlawful. It’s a self-inflicted energy crisis for America–killing jobs, raising gas prices, and making us more dependent on foreign oil.”

    OMSA today announced a national campaign to demand President Obama stop destroying jobs and allow deepwater oil drilling to resume in the Gulf of Mexico.

    The campaign kicked off with an open letter to President Obama, denouncing his illegal suspension of deepwater drilling in the Gulf. In addition to the open letter, the OMSA campaign will include advertisements, videos, public outreach, and an interactive website with the latest information on the de facto moratorium. The website can be found at http://moratorium.offshoremarine.org/omsa/.

  12. And this from the congressman from my district:

    By ROBIN BRAVENDER | 2/17/11 7:20 PM EST Updated: 2/18/11 9:13 AM EST
    The House voted Thursday to dethrone nine White House “czars.”

    Republicans successfully added an amendment to the continuing resolution that would leave President Barack Obama’s senior advisers on policy issues including health care, energy and others out of a job.

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    The vote was 249-179.

    Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) offered the amendment that blocks funding for various policy advisers to combat what he called “a very disturbing proliferation of czars” under Obama.

    “These unappointed, unaccountable people who are literally running a shadow government, heading up these little fiefdoms that nobody can really seem to identify where they are or what they’re doing,” Scalise said Thursday. “But we do know that they’re wielding vast amounts of power.”

    The jobs on the chopping block: White House-appointed advisers on health care, energy and climate, green jobs, urban affairs, the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention center, oversight of TARP executive compensation, diversity at the Federal Communications Commission and the auto industry manufacturing policy.

    These so-called “czars” have been favorite targets of Republicans and conservative talk radio hosts, especially energy and climate adviser Carol Browner, who is leaving the administration.

    “This is a person who’s continued to do things behind closed doors,” Scalise said of Browner.

    GOP lawmakers assailed Browner’s office after a recent report showed that the White House rewrote crucial sections of an Interior Department report to suggest an independent group of scientists and engineers supported a six-month ban on offshore oil drilling.

    “It was found out that it was the climate czar that actually doctored the president’s own scientific study to try to say that scientists that the president appointed recommended a moratorium on drilling,” Scalise said. “It turned out the scientists didn’t say that at all.”

    A federal investigation found no wrongdoing by Browner.

    But Scalise had harsh words to go around for the other “czars,” too. “There’s actually a czar out there trying to still impose a cap-and-trade regime,” he said of the special envoy for climate change, Todd Stern, who works at the State Department.

    The amendment would defund the White House “green jobs czar” slot that has been vacant since Van Jones resigned in 2009 after reports surfaced that he signed a petition seeking an investigation into whether the U.S. government was behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

    “The last green jobs czar we had left in disgrace because he expressed comments embracing communism and actually tried to blame the government, the American government, for September 11th attacks,” Scalise said.

    Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) welcomed Republicans’ use of what he called “gender neutral” language to describe the administration’s appointees.

    “A large number of the czars would have been called czarinas in the old days,” Frank said. “So I appreciate the fact that we’ve gotten past sex stereotyping of people.”

    And Frank blasted his colleagues for trying to fire Kenneth Feinberg, who was appointed to oversee payments and compensation plans for recipients of federal cash under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

    “This amendment would say to AIG and General Motors, and Chrysler and Ally – the financial company – no one will now be supervising what you do, and even though you haven’t yet paid back the federal government, there will be no enforcement of restrictions on your bonuses, no enforcement of restrictions on your compensation,” he said.

    Scalise got 13 Democrats to vote for his amendment and it wasn’t just the usual Blue Dogs: Dan Boren (Okla.), Ben Chandler (Ky.), Jerry Costello (Ill.), Henry Cuellar and Gene Green of Texas, Peter DeFazio (Ore.), Jim Matheson (Utah), Ed Pastor (Ariz.), Nick Rahall (W.Va.), Mike Ross (Ark.), and North Carolina’s Heath Shuler, Mike McIntyre and Larry Kissell.

    One Republican – Wisconsin’s Reid Ribble – voted no.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/49781.html#ixzz1EKaaCZMX

  13. Thought many might get a kick out of this letter to USDA employees.

    UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
    OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY
    WASHINGTON, D.C. 20250

    Dear Fellow Employees,

    As you may have heard, there is a serious discussion taking place in our government about the need to address the federal deficit and rein in spending. These are tough times – but we can’t leave the burden of an enormous deficit on our kids and grandkids. American families have been forced to tighten their belts during the recent recession, and government needs to do the same.

    The discussion has led many to speculate about budget cuts that would affect USDA and the people we serve. And while I agree that we need to make cuts – and President Obama have proposed substantial cuts in our proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2012 – we must do so responsibly.

    We owe it to the taxpayers to be as careful spending their money as we are our own. And already, over the last two years, many of you have been involved in eliminating unneeded or wasteful spending at USDA – more than $4 billion. President Obama and I thank you for that. But we need to do more.

    At times like this, terms like lay-off, furlough, and program termination are tossed around without enough consideration for their true consequences. I want to assure you that I am closely monitoring the national discussion and am working closely with USDA’s agencies to make the right and responsible choices for the Department and for the American people. It is my goal to respond to the President and Congress’ request to make cuts, but in a manner that allows us to continue serving the American people adequately, and creating as little disruption in USDA’s employees lives as possible.

    I have and will always believe that our greatest asset at USDA, and the most valuable resource to the taxpayer, is our employees. I will keep you posted as things move forward.

    Secretary Tom Vilsack

    JAC interpretation:

    Option 1: Everything will be OK, be happy!

    Option 2: The shit is about to hit the fan and I can’t do a damn thing to stop it. So don’t blame me!

  14. Five or six years ago, Rick Santorum came to my college to give a speech. He was widely protested by the liberals, but seats in the chapel/auditorium completely booked within an hour of the announcement. The LBGT groups were going nuts at the time and were trying like hell to get his appearance canceled.

    But now I find this… well, I won’t tell you what.. but go to Google and search for “Santorum.” (not for the faint of heart).

    How in the world did I miss this one?! Looks like Rick pissed off the wrong person.

    • Mathius

      We discussed this months ago, during the last election cycle. Following is another link that discusses this “problem” and how Mr. Obama solved it. Paying for top billing.

      Seems to me that GOOGLE could solve this by eliminating the formula that allows it to reach number one position. Especially since the whole thing is a contrived attack. But notice that even after several years, GOOGLE has done nothing to prevent this kind of cyber attack on a person.

      Could it be because they see a great potential future revenue stream?

      http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/08/rick-santorum-google-problem-dan-savage

      • I’m just surprised I missed it.

        That said, I don’t think google has any obligation to block it, though they have screened other GoogleBombs in the past. I’m not sure why they haven’t, but it may be that they, like me, find Santorum to be an obnoxious homophobic assclown, and they don’t feel inclined to help him out.

        No one really knows what secret sauce goes into calculating search rankings, but we do know that cross-linking plays a roll. It seems that Savage worked very hard and very successfully to generate thousands of cross-links which support his position at the top of the list. This is not a basic old-fashioned GoogleBomb such as “Bush” + “Miserable Failure”.

        As for the financial payoff on the link, I think that’s probably just tongue in cheek humor – he can’t pay that much ransom, especially to a foundation diametrically opposed to his platform. It’s politically impossible, it would destroy him. So Savage was basically just being obnoxious.

        • Mathius

          I don’t think Google is obligated either. But if it were mine I would do everything to prevent this type of stuff. I would rather keep my “brand” clean.

          I find this effort by Savage as vile. Just as I do those who have ruined the reputation of Wikipedia for their own political purposes.

          It is unfortunate but what else should we expect in a society where ethical standards are considered “gray” areas and subject to “interpretation” depending on our political view points.

          I do not think Santorum is homophobic and I think it would be nice if the LEFT stop tagging that label on anyone who has a “religioius” or other supposed “moral” reason for opposing gay marriage.

          Besides, the LEFT loves using Govt to control our lives so why get your panties in a bunch when the other groups take the stick away and beat you with it???

          • You know, when I typed homophobic, I thought it was an inaccurate term, but I didn’t have a better one so I left it. He isn’t homophobic. To be -phobic suggests you’re afraid of them. I have seen nothing to suggest this is the case. He is, however, disdainful of them, disrespectful to them, condescending to them, and repressive toward them. This, to me, sounds like it should be some other term than homophobic.

            That said, he made a choice to score political points at their expense when he compared homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia. This is not a question of religion, but rather of respect for human beings who are different from yourself. If I need to explain the flaws in that comparison to you, then I am wasting my time here – though I think you are well aware of the fact that this was a deliberate slandering of an entire segment of society.

            The reaction was to create a rather disturbing neologism in his honor. For better or worse, I think it was a taste of Santorums own medicine. You bad mouth me, I’ll bad mouth you. Juvenile, but certainly well deserved in light of the way he had spoken of homosexuals and LGBT community at large.

            As for Google, yes, they may want to keep their brand “clean,” but they also want to avoid becoming the arbiter of what is and is not appropriate on the internet. If people believe that Google is deciding what they can and cannot see, then they will go elsewhere for impartial results. It’s not black and white for the Goog – they’re walking a line.

            • I’ll start out by saying that the gay thing is not something I either understand or can relate to. I will also say that whatever they do, as long as nobody else is harmed, is none of my damn business. I don’t particularly care to see public displays of homosexuality, but again, I am free to look in a different direction or go elsewhere. In that same vien, Rick Santorum is free to say whatever the hell he wants to say, and everyone else is free to either listen, or not…

              • Buck the Wala says:

                …and everyone else is likewise free to say whatever the hell they want to say (eg, Savage)

              • Buck the Wala

                My problem with SAVAGE is this.

                He is not just saying what he wants. He is organizing an effort to deliberately INTERFERE with my ability to find information and/or communicate with Rick Santorum if I choose.

                The effort by Savage is vile, pure and simple. It does, however, reflect the mind set and state of political discourse these days. Quite appropriate as an example of how far the left is willing to go in their “the ends justify any means” view of the world.

              • Absolutely not. They aren’t stopping you from finding information on him. They have the #1 and #2 spots, Santorum has the #3.

                Nothing stops you from skipping to the information you want.

                And if you search for “rick santorum,” you’ll see the wiki page for the politician first, and the neologism second.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                This effort by Savage may be vile, but so are the statements made by Santorum. In a way it is only fitting that Santorum be forever associated with this neologism.

                Its seems a bit strange to me that you will attack Savage for his comments, yet don’t seem to go after Santorum for his remarks.

              • Buck the Wala

                Typical. Change the topics then criticize or infer something about someone for not addressing the topic that wasn’t on the table.

                The topic is the effort by Savage as it relates to GOOGLE.

                It is not about Santorum’s views or statements.

                As for Santorum, I see him as just another Progressive Facist as opposed to the Fascist Progressives like yourself.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                I just find it somewhat fitting given Santorum’s vile statements. Nothing more, nothing less.

                As I said: This effort by Savage may be vile, but so are the statements made by Santorum.

                It goes both ways – both are vile statements. Both should be called out as such. But you seem to be saying (and correct me if I’m wrong) that Savage’s statements are much worse; that while Santorum is free to say what he wants no matter how vile, Savage can’t use technology to make his vile statements to a wider audience. Here is where I disagree – Savage is just as free as Santorum to say whatever the hell he wants to say. You don’t like it, skip those posts on Google and click on the 3d link.

              • Buck the Wala

                You are now 0 for 2.

                I am not going to repeat myself a third time.

                Read what I said carefully.

                In other words, you are wrong in your conclusions.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                You are really going out of your way to avoid criticizing Santorum, aren’t you?

          • I think it would be nice if the LEFT stop tagging that label on anyone who has a “religioius” [sic] or other supposed “moral” reason for opposing gay marriage.

            He roots his beliefs in Christianity. “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22 KJV). Fine. I wonder if he also agrees with Mark 12:18-19, where Jesus tacitly confirms that a man is obligated to marry his deceased brother’s wife and have an heir with her. He’s picking and choosing, then using his absolute conviction of his certainty to disparage and oppress a group of people.

            Option 1: The bible is the word of God and must be accepted in its entirety as written. Period.
            Option 2: The bible is the word of God, but it open to interpretation.
            Option 3: The bible is made by man and has no special authority.

            Option 1: He should also be trying to get a law passed to mandate forced marriage of siblings of deceased males. If he is not, why not?

            Option 2: What special authority gives him the right to be the arbiter of truth with regards to which passages should be taken as (no pun intended) gospel, and which should be interpreted?

            Option 3: Who cares what the bible says? He’s just spewing groundless hate.

            But let’s move on past that, shall we?

            The million dollar question is this: Based on his personal beliefs, Santorum viciously disparages and degrades homosexuals, and attempts to use the power of government to repress them. Do you give him a pass on this because his beliefs are religious, or is he out of line?

            • Buck the Wala says:

            • Mathius

              Are you having trouble reading as well???

              Where did I give Santorum a pass on anything????

              Santorum was not the topic was he.

              Nice try of the old bait and switch.

              • No bait and switch. Tangent. I am curious if you hold Santorum in the same contempt with which you hold Savage.

              • Mathius

                I do not hold Savage in contempt. I simply said that this particular act of his was vile. I have also now called it obscene, which is my view of the Google posting.

                I do not hold them in the SAME contempt. I rarely “judge” two separate people in the exact same manner.

                I think I clearly stated above that I view Santorum as just another Progressive Fascist. Is that not enough for you?

                If not then consider this. Savage is someone who has used his cleverness to impose his will upon those who use Google to search for Santorum’s name. Santorum is a politician seeking high office where he can impose his will upon others by using the Federal Govt’s monopoly on the use of force.

                Which of the two do you think I hold is less regard?????

  15. INFLATION

    Back on the topic. For those, especially on the LEFT, who think that 2.5% inflation is OK let me give you some numbers to think about.

    The rule of 72: Divide 72 by the interest rate you expect to get and it will tell you how long it takes for your investment to double.

    The same rule applies in reverse for inflation. Divide 72 by the “reported” inflation rate and it tells you how many years it takes for your “cost of living” to double due to just the erosion of your money’s value.

    So……….2.5%………………………28.8 years.

    So your costs double every 28.8 years. No big deal you say. Well the doubled cost doubles again in the next 28.8 years. Which means that in 57.6 years your costs will increase by 400%, just due to inflation.

    But the MODERN economists tell us that 2.5% inflation is good. Why?????

    Inflation causes an automatic TAX INCREASE without having to deal with the politics of actually approving such an increase.

    And even more egregious is the fact that if the tax brackets are not indexed to the same inflation rate, your taxes will increase while your standard of living is stagnant or declines.

    Ain’t inflation just grand????????????????

    You see, you don’t need hyperinflation to destroy an economy in the long run. Simple inflation is good enough for that purpose.

  16. Canine Weapon says:

    How do you turn a fox into an elephant?
    Marry It!

    What is the difference between a battery and a woman?
    A battery has a positive side.

    What are the three fastest means of communication?
    1) Television
    2) Telephone
    3) Telawoman

    What should you give a woman who has everything?
    A man to show her how to work it.

    Why is the space between a woman’s breasts and her hips called a waist?
    Because you could easily fit another pair of tits in there..

    How do you make 5 pounds of fat look good?
    Put a nipple on it.

    Why do women rub their eyes when they wake up?
    Because they don’t have balls to scratch.

    Why do women fake orgasms ?
    Because they think men care.

    What do you say to a woman with 2 black eyes?
    Nothing, she’s been told twice already.

    If your wife keeps coming out of the kitchen to nag at you, what have you done wrong?
    Made her chain too long

    How many men does it take to open a beer?
    None. It should be opened when she brings it.

    Why is a Laundromat a really bad place to pick up a woman?
    Because a woman who can’t even afford a washing machine will probably never be able to support you.

    Why do women have smaller feet than men?
    It’s one of those ‘evolutionary things’ that allows them to stand closer to the kitchen sink.

    How do you know when a woman is about to say something smart?
    When she starts a sentence with ‘A man once told me…’

    How do you fix a woman’s watch?
    You don’t. There is a clock on the oven.

    Why do men pass gas more than women?
    Because women can’t shut up long enough to build up the required pressure.

    If your dog is barking at the back door and your wife is yelling at the front door, who do you let in first ?
    The dog, of course. He’ll shut up once you let him in.

    What’s worse than a Male Chauvinist Pig?
    A woman who won’t do what she’s told

    I married a Miss Right.
    I just didn’t know her first name was Always..

    Scientists have discovered a food that diminishes a woman’s sex drive by 90%..
    It’s called a Wedding Cake.

    Why do men die before their wives?
    They want to.

    Women will never be equal to men..
    until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

    • Just a tap on the shoulder…

      A passenger in a taxi leaned over to ask the driver a question and gently tapped him of the shoulder to get his attention.

      The driver screamed, lost control of the cab, nearly hit a bus, drove up over the curb and stopped just inches from a large plate window.

      For a few moments everything was silent in the cab.

      Then, the shaking driver said “are you OK? I’m so sorry, but you scared the daylights out of me…”

      The badly shaken passenger apologized to the driver and said “I didn’t realize that a mere tap on the shoulder would Startle someone so badly.”

      The driver replied, “No, no, I’m the one who is sorry, it’s entirely my fault, today is my very first day driving a cab. I’ve been driving a hearse for 25 years…”

      • Old age sucks!
        “Sixty is the worst age to be,” said the 60-year-old man. “You always feel like you have to pee and most of the time you stand there and nothing comes out.” “Ah, that’s nothin,” said the 70-year-old. “When you’re seventy, you don’t have a bowel movement any more. You take laxatives, eat bran, sit on the toilet all day and nothin’ comes out!” “Actually,” said the 80-year -old, “Eighty is the worst age of all.” “Do you have trouble peeing, too?” asked the 60-year old. “No, I pee every morning at 6:00. I pee like a racehorse on a flat rock; no problem at all.” “So, do you have a problem with your bowel movement?” “No, I have one every morning at 6:30.” Exasperated, the 60-year-old said, “You pee every morning at 6:00 and crap every morning at 6:30. So, what’s so bad about being 80?” “I don’t wake up until 7:00.”

  17. Ultra liberal Joe Klein seems to get it. Whats up with that? In these sentences he notes the difference between public and private unions, ala our own JAC.

    Public employees unions are an interesting hybrid. Industrial unions are organized against the might and greed of ownership. Public employees unions are organized against the might and greed…of the public?

    Read more: http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2011/02/18/wisconsin-the-hemlock-revolution/#ixzz1EL1Fo2rQ

    • I like these particular comments of Kleins:

      “Isn’t it ironic that the Democratic Senators have fled the democratic process? Isn’t it interesting that some of those who–rightly–protest the assorted Republican efforts to stymie majority rule in the U.S. Senate are celebrating the Democratic efforts to stymie the same in the Wisconsin Senate?”

      and:

      “There are no guarantees that labor contracts, including contracts governing the most basic rights of unions, can’t be renegotiated, or terminated for that matter. We hold elections to decide those basic parameters.”

      Liberals may be getting the metaphorical knives out now to suddenly plung into the back of Klein. 🙂

    • February 18, 2011
      The Madison insurrection: follow the money
      Steve McCann
      The primary reason the White House and the Democrats are fighting the movement to end collective bargaining is that dues will no longer be mandatory for teachers in the unions once they can no longer bargain. Therefore there will no massive slush fund for the Democrats. In 2010 the following for the two major teachers unions in the U.S. were massive moneybags for the left.

      The National Education Association

      Gross receipts: $337 Million (88% Dues)

      Political Contributions and Lobbying $50.4 Million (99% to Democrats)

      Contributions, gifts and grants $89.0 Million (100% Liberal Organization)

      American Federation of Teachers

      Gross receipts $225 Million (90% Dues)

      Political Contributions and Lobbying $18.8 Million (99% to Democrats)

      Contributions, gifts and grants $3.6 Million (100% Liberal Organizations)

      Total political contributions and Lobbying: $ 69.2 Million

      Contribution to Liberal causes $92.6 Million

      Source: http://www.teachersunionsexposed.com/unions.cfm

      What is not tabulated is the value of the organizing, get out the vote and polling activity of the so-called voluntary union members which in terms of value may well exceed another $150 million.
      This is just the Teachers Unions, AFSCME, the largest public sector union, in the 2010 election cycle spent $88 million on political contributions and untold millions in the value of it’s members political activities.

      The Democrats cannot afford to lose this base and this will be an all out war.
      http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/02/the_madison_insurrection_follo.html

      • Unions are a subset of the progressive liberal agenda. They force employers to join them and pay into their coffers and distribute propaganda to let these union sheeple know how they are taken care of; they give massive monies to the liberal progressive candidates to get elected; these elected liberal progressive candidates cut deals and give breaks to the unions.

        Rinse and repeat.

        • Does this ring any bells?
          “he should force his friends to pay more.”

          And the numbers:” requires educators to contribute 5.8 percent to their pensions and 12.6 percent to their health care.
          Currently, educators pay 0.2 percent for their pensions and 4 to 6 percent of their health care costs.”

          http://www.foxnews.mobi/quickPage.html?page=22995&external=741211.proteus.fma&pageNum=-1

          Wis. Gov Chides Dems in Anti-Union Budget Standoff
          Feb 18, 2011 12:34 AM EST

          Teachers protesting at Wisconsin’s Capitol Building in Madison shut down schools for a second day Thursday so they could demand collective bargaining rights that they say are essential to keeping kids in school.

          Dozens of schools closed as a result of high absences as thousands of protesters, including students and teachers, marched on the Capitol building to demand state lawmakers strike down a bill that would require union concessions worth $30 million by July 1 and $300 million over the next two years.

          The bill, which also bans collective bargaining rights for teachers, requires educators to contribute 5.8 percent to their pensions and 12.6 percent to their health care. Currently, educators pay 0.2 percent for their pensions and 4 to 6 percent of their health care costs.

          “Our goal is not to close schools, but to instead to remain vigilant in our efforts to be heard,” said Mary Bell, president of the 98,000-strong Wisconsin Education Association Council.

          State lawmakers proposed the legislation as part of an effort to close a $3.6 billion budget gap, and say they expect it to pass and eventually reach the desk of newly elected Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

          “This bill isn’t about an assault on public employees. We have great public employees throughout the state, I have them in my district, hard-working folks,” said Republican state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald. “What this is is about the budget. We’re $3.6 billion in the hole. We’re not going to raise taxes to solve it. We all ran, you know, this last election cycle on saying that we are going to cut government spending. … Everybody is going to have to do their part.”

          But Michael Langyel, head of the Milwaukee Teachers Education Association, said Walker and Republican lawmakers are asking public employees to give up more than everyone else.

          “If people say the only way to solve this budget crisis is to take away from people who are working hard, they are wrong. We believe that we have a right to have a fair wage for our hard work. More importantly, the collective bargaining process allows us to positively impact school policy issues. We are the advocates for our students, and we will maintain our voice in defending our students,” he told Fox News.

          Langyel added that if Walker wants to balance the budget, he should force his friends to pay more.

  18. USWep,

    This is a common misunderstanding of a number of concepts:

    – inflation
    – money supply
    – monetary base
    – bank reserves

    …and how all of this affects a person’s spending power.

    I will discuss these is separate posts.

    Let’s start with Inflation
    As USWep pointed out, the monetarists definition of inflation is wrong – because their monetary philosophy is centralized on manipulation of the currency they “hide” their inflation within economic growth.

    Think of it this way – you bought a new computer, and a year later, the price of that computer has not changed – newer models have come out, but their price is higher than your 1-year old model.

    The monetarists call this “monetary stability” – but is it?

    Do we not expect older stuff to get cheaper when newer stuff enters the market? Should I still be paying $120,000 for the first microprocessor computer I bought back in 1981? Or should its price be approaching $0.00 today ??!! (As in nearly worthless)!! Should I pay $120 billion for my new computer?

    No, what happens is Say’s Law (“Products buy products”) – since no one wants the older machines, they do not trade for them.

    Thus, the price of the older machine must go down due to the Economic Law of Supply and Demand – lower demand causes the price to fall.

    This is a critical concept to understand – a growing economy is naturally deflationary.

    A growing economy means it is producing more goods.
    More goods entering an economy increases the supply of goods. There is “more stuff” – new stuff+yesterday’s old stuff
    More “stuff for sale” lowers the price of the goods.

    If money supply was static, that is, it did not change its quantity, the price of all other goods in the economy would naturally go down in a growing economy.

    Money is just another economic good and reacts to the Laws of Economics precisely the same as any other economic good in an economy.
    Money is merely the most desired economic good in an economy. Thus, everything else in the economy is referenced to it.

    If it was “beer”, then all other goods would be priced in terms of quantity of beer. A car dealer would sell his vehicle “That’ll be 4,800 liters of beer”, for example. A Big Mac, “that’ll be ¾ of liter of beer, please”

    But money being desired means it is in high demand and the law of supply and demand says that something in high demand will naturally increase in its price. Because money is used to price all the other goods in an economy, an increasing value of money has the effect of lowering the prices of all other goods in the economy

    It takes two units of money to buy Good A. The value of money goes up, so it will take more of Good A to trade for money – thus, instead of one of Good A to buy two units, it takes two of Good A. The price of Good A was “2 units of money”, and now it is “1 unit of money”…. the price of Good A has gone down – it is getting cheaper.

    People would naturally want to place their savings into something that holds (or gains) value. Thus, people want to save money, instead of –say- save “cars”.

    So, to sum up, deflation is a sign of a highly valued money and a growing, productive economy.

    Therefore, Inflation is a sign of a a dropping of value of money and/or a shrinking, unproductive economy.

    A shrinking economy means goods are being withdrawn or not produced in quantity.

    There was 100 cars for sale, now there is only 50.
    The Law of Supply and Demand says a lowering of supply will increase the price. Thus, the price of the 50 cars will be higher than when there was 100.

    The value of money is going down. Thus, people require more money in trade for another good today then yesterday. Because the economy is priced in that money, the visible result is that the price of the goods goes up. Yesterday, it took 2 units of money to buy Good A – but now the seller of Good A requires more in trade – and demands 3 units of money. The price of Good A has gone up to 3 units of money.

    Under no circumstances is inflation a sign of a healthy money or a healthy economy.

    Now review the monetarist definition inflation = money growth minus real output growth.

    They require the growth of money – which lowers its value – which is not a sign of healthy money.

    They hide the destruction of money within the growth of an economy. This destroys savings.

    Savings is where all investment capital comes from
    By destroying savings, the monetarists destroy capital.
    Without investment capital, economic growth is becomes essentially stagnant.
    Without economic growth, the monetarists see their definition of inflation become real!

    Yes, a lengthy post to explain a fatal concept in monetarist theory rooted in a gross misunderstanding of inflation.

    If one follows the monetarist theory, the consequence is the eventual stagnation of an economy and the destruction of money.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Great, now the right can argue that we don’t need any environmental regulation since pollution doesn’t matter because we can just adapt to it…great find Mathius…jeez

      • “How did Hiroshima and Nagasaki work out? We destroyed that, but here we are, 60 years later and they are tremendously effective and livable cities. Yes, it was pretty horrible. But, can we recover?” Beard asked. “Of course we can.”

        See, it doesn’t matter what we do, so we might as well just do whatever we want!

      • The key is SENSABLE environmental regulation and effecitve oversight of that regulation….IMHO of course.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          I am always for sensible environmental regulation and effective oversight. Its pretty much been my mantra from the start — EFFECTIVE REGULATION

          This is not limited to the environment, but also to everything else — food safety, labor, business, financial, etc. etc. etc.

          • The key to me is sensible…we are close to agreement, but I fear you would like to see much more regulation than what is actually required. If the sensible regulation was effectively overseen, it would satisfy me.

          • I like nonsensical regulation, personally.

            In Chico, California, there is a $500 fine for detonating a nuclear devise.

            In Nebraska, it is illegal to go whale fishing. (I was unaware there were any whales in Nebraska…)

            In Montana, seven or more Indians are considered a raiding or war party and it is legal to shoot them.

            In New York, citizens may not greet each other by “putting one’s thumb to the nose and wiggling the fingers”.

            In Texas (I love this one), an anti-crime law requires criminals to give their victims 24 hours notice, either orally or in writing, and to explain the nature of the crime to be committed.

            In Alabama, you may not have an ice cream cone in your back pocket at any time.

            In Alaska, while it is legal to shoot bears, waking a sleeping bear for the purpose of taking a photograph is prohibited.

            In Blythe, California, you are not permitted to wear cowboy boots unless you already own at least two cows.

            And I’ll do one more:

            In Ada, Oklahoma, if you wear New York Jets clothing, you may be put in jail.

            • In Rhode Island, it’s a misdemeanor to keep more than 11 inoperable vehicles in front of a house.

              Boy, that one sure sounds like it belongs in Alabama..

              And, because I wouldn’t want them to feel left out: in South Carolina, when approaching a four way or blind intersection in a non-horse driven vehicle you must stop 100 ft from the intersection and discharge a firearm into the air to warn horse traffic.

              • Last one, I swear*

                In Memphis, it is illegal for a woman to drive a car unless there is a man either running or walking in front of it, waving a red flag to warn approaching motorists and pedestrians.

                *last one for now, anyway..

              • Buck the Wala says:

                That last one is just good advice in general…

            • “In Blythe, California, you are not permitted to wear cowboy boots unless you already own at least two cows.”

              Having been to Blythe more than once I, umm…., ah, seem to have been in violation of the law……

              And I’m with you, the Texas one is really good. lol

              Thanks for posting these. I like reading about whacky laws. 🙂

            • My kinda protest!

              FL woman exposes breasts to protest cleavage
              By The Bradenton Herald | Published: 10:16 AM 02/18/2011

              MANATEE — A 42-year-old Bradenton Beach woman was arrested at Bayshore High School this week after she exposed her breasts to protest another woman’s exposed cleavage, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

              Laura Campanello, a parent of a child at the school, caused a disturbance at about 11:20 a.m. Monday when she started to yell that another woman who was enrolling her child at the school, was showing “too much breast,” according to a deputy’s report.

              The deputy told Campanello that the woman was an adult, and “I cannot tell her what to wear as long as she is not exposing herself.”

              Campanello responded, “Oh, then I can,” while reaching into her blouse and pulling out her breasts. “And then I can just do this,” while squeezing them together, the report states.

              Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/02/18/fl-woman-exposes-breasts-to-protest-cleavage/#ixzz1ELYYtdZc

  19. gmanfortruth says:

    Question for everyone, but mostly Charlie, Buck and Matt. Have any of you actually worked in a union shop?

    I have, it’s not what it’s cracked up to be.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      No, I haven’t.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        As a note, Unions can’t use actual union dues to fund political contributions, it must come from seperate donations. Using dues for political contributions or other political reasons violates Federal labor laws.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Good to know – that would change my comments above regarding segregating the dues then.

        • Ummm, gman – I’m going to have to disagree.

          It’s more of a “maybe they can, maybe they can’t depending….” answer I believe.

          It would take a while to hunt down the relative laws, but there are defining court cases on the topic.

          Let me also say that my personal knowledge is years out of date. I left my union job back in ’97.

        • from above,

          The National Education Association

          Gross receipts: $337 Million (88% Dues)

          Political Contributions and Lobbying $50.4 Million (99% to Democrats)

          Contributions, gifts and grants $89.0 Million (100% Liberal Organization)

          American Federation of Teachers

          Gross receipts $225 Million (90% Dues)

          Political Contributions and Lobbying $18.8 Million (99% to Democrats)

          Contributions, gifts and grants $3.6 Million (100% Liberal Organizations)

          Total political contributions and Lobbying: $ 69.2 Million

          Contribution to Liberal causes $92.6 Million

        • gmanfortruth says:

          Political Action Committees (PACs) contribute money to political candidates for their election campaigns. Some PACs contribute to candidates for state and local offices ” governors, mayors, state representatives, state senators, etc. Other PAC’s contribute to candidates for federal office ” President, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

          It is unlawful for a labor union to take money from your paycheck for contributions to a federal PAC or for the federal PAC to accept such contributions without your written authorization. Recently, the Federal Election Commission has audited some well-known national union PACs to see if they had written authorizations from employees for the contributions the PACs were receiving. The results were astonishing. One national union PAC, according to the FEC audit, could not produce written authorizations for 93% of PAC contributions the FEC examined. Another national union PAC was unable to show authorizations for at least 67% of the contributions the FEC examined. This suggests a widespread problem: union PACs are making political contributions to federal candidates with employees’ money taken without their written authorizations.

          http://www.nrtw.org/d/illegalpac.htm

          I knew there was something illegal, but it is based on each members written permission.

          • That was my thinking – that it hinged on members individual authorization where any dues money was concerned.

            We had a PAC but all monies used in it were separate donations or could be shown to be non-dues funding.

            Of course now-a-days I’d say outlaw all PACs, union and corporate political donations for candidates (though I guess letting them be used for general political issues would be okay),

    • Yes, I did. I was also an elected officer of the bargaining unit and a member of the contract negotiation team.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Ditto! At one six month period of time, I was the only rep for 800 people at work. It didn’t get much actual work done then. I spent most of my trying to defend fu@$ups. As a note on the dues law, I investigated whether the teamsters were using due to support Obama. That’s how I found out about the Federal Law. The Teamsters acted within the law, which pleased me, for obvious reasons.

        • “As a note on the dues law, I investigated whether the teamsters were using due to support Obama.”

          Could you, if you have them around, email me a link or two? I have a friend (a cop – union of course 🙂 ) who could use the information, he’s arguing over it with colleagues atm.

          Oh, and for the record – I did not find my union time to be all that great an experience – but it was very educational.

          • gmanfortruth says:

            I’ll look for it. but it may take some time. All my old union stuff is in boxes in storage.

            • No, don’t trouble yourself sir – but thanks for offering to.

              I thought it you had links or something readily to hand. My pal can continue his hunting on his own (though I’ll give him a heads up on the Teamsters/Obama angle).

    • I have as well. I agree, not what it is cracked up to be.

    • Nope, sorry. I’ve worked for three hedge funds – not very union friendly.

  20. gmanfortruth says:

    Next question. Do you support the Wisconsin Governors actions concerning the unions?

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Not in the least. I thought I made that pretty clear by now.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Yes you have. You need not repeat anything, I read everything. With that said, I find it strange that those who have worked in a union shop support this action, and those who have never worked in a union shop are against it. I’m trying to figure the logic here. I believe that people can willingly unite and organize, it’s part of being free. I don’t agree with how this freedom has been perverted by people in high union positions making six figure salaries. So something has to change.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Lets not get carried away here – there are thousands of people who belong to unions who are clearly protesting this move right at this very moment.

          • gmanfortruth says:

            Yes, the convoluted numbers are a DNC action. Their bringing in protestors by bus, from out of state no less.

            There are also tens of thousands who are supporting this change. The people spoke last November! They already protested at the ballot box.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Be interesting to find out the percentage of support for and against this change based on union membership…

    • I support that the Governor is using the legal process of legislation to make changes he believes are necessary and proper (much like – dare I say it? – the Democrats did with the PPACA).

      As to his proposals – some I would support, others I see as a bit vindictive and they could be let as they are now.

  21. Buck the Wala says:
    • HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!

      Now if only the Senate would get on board.

    • About time!

      http://blog.eyeblast.tv/2011/02/live-actions-latest-planned-parenthood-sting/

      Live Action’s Latest Planned Parenthood Sting

      This time the sting takes place in New York. Life News has the details but, as with all these videos, you really must see them to get a true idea of exactly what’s going on here. It’s simply and horrifyingly breathtaking:

      A new video in a series of undercover investigations reveal staff at a New York City Planned Parenthood abortion business going further than centers in New Jersey and Virginia in helping alleged sexual traffickers.

      While staff at the Planned Parenthood centers in other states offered to arrange abortions or STD testing for the sex traffickers and guided them in how to keep the actions from authorities, staff in New York tell the Undercover “pimp” he can pose as a guardian to get discounts for his underage sex workers. The abortion center staff assure him they will see underage girls as young as 13 who have been victimized by the sex traffickers.

      Of course, just like with acorn, the left is already out there claiming the videos are somehow improperly edited or distorted or something. Obviously any halfwit knows that’s not the case but for due diligence sake here is the full unedited raw video of this encounter. This is all vomit inducing but important.

      That is why we will continue to store back up files of these videos, in case Youtube pulls any tricks, and promote them as much as possible. People need to see this.

      UPDATE: Let me just break down what we are seeing in this video for the exceptionally oblivious or the purposely misinformed. Two adults enter this Planned Parenthood “clinic”. These adults then ask not one but two Planned Parenthood employees for advice on how to procure abortions or STD treatments for what they openly identify as “14 or 15 year old” “sex workers” from other countries under their control. Both, not just one, of the Planned Parenthood employees then openly, and rather enthusiastically, offer them advice on how to confidentially obtain both for their underage sex slaves.

      If that isn’t deplorable to you then you’re an empty shell of a person.

      And, no, sorry liberals but Planned Parenthood didn’t contact the FBI because they were legitimately worried about sex trafficking. If you actually read the reports from when the left was celebrating how wonderfully ethical Planned Parenthood is you can clearly see that they only contacted the FBI after they realized these were stings and not real. They were worried about the crimes Live Action, which they knew were responsible for the stings at the time, may have committed in conducting this undercover investigation:

      According to Schear, Planned Parenthood’s findings have revealed that the man has ties to Live Action, an anti-abortion group that has conducted previous undercover projects aimed at discrediting Planned Parenthood, which has become a constant target for protesters because of its role in providing abortions.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Why am I not surprised by your reaction to this?

        • Because you’re a smart person? How exactly did you EXPECT us to react to this glorious news? Most of us are AGAINST abortion, not for it.

        • “Why am I not surprised by your reaction to this?” I don’t know Buck, maybe you think I react like a typical right-winger. You might be correct, but remember I have stated I am pro-choice. And they are not attempting to ban abortions, just stop federal tax dollars from paying for them.

          I think the Hollywood liberals could do some fundraising and pay this themselves. Springsteen and Bon Jovi could do a concert, “Live Death Aid”?

          I also wonder how much you have researched this subject, or is most of your info from network news?

          ABC’s Outrageous 1991 Undercover Investigation of Crisis Pregnancy Centers
          By: Stephen Gutowski | February 18, 2011 | 14:32

          Given the reactions of the left to both the Acorn and Planned Parenthood stings you might be surprised to learn that Eyeblast.tv has uncovered a nearly identical sting, at least in terms of tactics, against crisis pregnancy centers that ABC News did back in 1991. Apparently back then the Left had zero problems with undercover video investigations aimed at proving a political point. They were also perfectly fine with showing just how much contempt they had for the “bad guys” they recorded. [Video follows page break]

          In fact, Chris Wallace’s entire ABC report is drenched in condemnation and outrage. What exactly did these crisis pregnancy centers do that was so worthy of ABC’s attacks? Well, as far as I can tell, the overarching criticism is that they don’t want women to have abortions for various different reasons that ABC doesn’t agree with.

          Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/#ixzz1ELsJYOeQ

    • Buck

      I thought the health care reform bill includes required coverage for abortion and other Title X items.

      Next up, defund the entire DHHS.

  22. gmanfortruth says:

    Subject: Fwd: how to impress a client

    I was in the airport VIP lounge en route to Seattle a couple of weeks ago.
    While in there, I noticed Bill Gates sitting comfortably in the corner, enjoying a drink. I was meeting a very important client who was also flying to Seattle, but she was running a little bit late.

    Well, being a straightforward kind of guy, I approached the Microsoft chairman, introduced myself, and said, “Mr. Gates, I wonder if you would do me a favor.”

    “Yes, What can I do?”

    “I’m sitting right over there,” pointing to my seat at the bar, and I’m waiting on a very important client. Would you be so kind when she arrives as to walk by and just say, ‘Hi, Mike,’?”

    “Sure. Be glad to”

    I shook his hand and thanked him and went back to my seat. About ten minutes later, my client showed up. We ordered a drink and started to talk business.

    A couple of minutes later, I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was Bill Gates.

    “Hi, Mike,” he said.

    I replied, “Fuck off, Gates, I’m in a meeting.”

  23. gmanfortruth says:

    FOX News poll, up to date.

    Thank you for voting!
    No — The work these people do is essential to our well-being. They’re not exactly making Wall Street money. 7.08% (4,535 votes)

    Not sure — Public workers are essential to our community, but there sure does seem to be a lot of abuses in the system. 2.21% (1,415 votes)

    Yes — Public employees and their unions should not be exempted from doing their fair share to fix our economy. We’re all in this together. 90.24% (57,789 votes)

    Other (post a comment) 0.47% (300 votes)

    • gmanfortruth says:

      From CNN

      What is your general view of labor unions?
      Read Related Articles
      This is not a scientific poll
      Negative54%105555
      Positive27%53199
      Neutral19%38238
      Total votes: 196992
      This is not a scientific poll

  24. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved an amendment late Friday afternoon that will eliminate (some) funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The measure, known as the Poe-Carter Amendment after its sponsors, Reps. Ted Poe and John Carter of Texas, is part of the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution.

    The amendment will specifically cut funding for EPA efforts to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from stationary sources.

    “I am pleased that my colleagues in the House have chosen to put a stop to the back-door attempts by the administration to bypass Congress and circumvent the will of the American people,” said Poe in a statement after the amendment’s passage. “The era of EPA overstepping its authority by imposing over-burdensome and unnecessary regulations at the expense of American businesses is over.”

    The EPA has come under fire lately from Republican lawmakers for new regulations that target carbon emissions. A number of bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to repeal the regulations

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/02/18/republican-house-votes-to-defund-environmental-protection-agency/#ixzz1ELzVsKTq

  25. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m off to Mexico!

    If you haven’t heard from me in a week, Colonel, I may be in need of an extraction. I trust you can handle that.

  26. “The world has been watching the upheavals and protests shaking the Middle East these days, but it’s just possible that the disturbances in Madison, Wisconsin mark what will ultimately prove to be a bigger turning point in world history.”

    http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2011/02/18/the-madison-blues/

    I offer this without – at this time – comment. I am interested in what SUFA readers think.

    WARNING: It is a very long piece, but interesting IMO.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Before I read your link, I would like to say, based on just what you have put up, is likely correct. Went shopping for bulk non-perishables today, excluding veggies. Dropped $300. Shelves are full, freezer is full, ammo case is full, and I bought some popcorn just in case!

    • Something about his advancement of the technological makes me nervous. Perhaps I don’t understand his meaning completely, but it makes me think of privacy going out the window. So I really need more information about exactly what he means.

      Although I do see the inevitable lessoning of union power because of economics. I also see a long and possibly violent reaction.

  27. gmanfortruth says:

    Happy Saturday!

    Seems that Madison is going to get intereting today! The Tea Party folks are showing up in huge numbers to counter the protest.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/02/19/saturdays-protests-wisconsin-expected-biggest/

    I would also like to address this fantasy that collective bargaining is a “right”. Collective bargaining is a legislative privalege, that is authorized and regulated by government. It is not, nor has it ever been a “right”. The government giveth, and the government can taketh away! In Wisconsin, Ohio and other states, they are taking away.

  28. Charlie, ye old master of contradiction!

    You argue that a group shouldn’t dictate to another – then you go right about arguing that your group is the one that should be doing the dictating to others!

  29. BF … I’m still trying to comprehend your one time statement regarding the bailout of auto companies. You’ll never get to walk that one back with me, brother … so no need to attempt an argument here.

    But because you provoked: They aren’t dictating anything … they’re seeking collective bargaining with a stated willingness to negotiate. Your side (the gov’t in this case–how hypotcritical of you … again) is attempting to dictate to the workers (outlawing collective bargaining). Some freedom. You can keep it. Now I have to get to the gym, boys and girls … more inane arguing later.

    • Charlie,

      Re: Bailout

      You have trouble comprehending my statements regarding the car companies is because you are only interested hearing your own words in your own head and believing they are what I said

      You enjoy arguing with yourself.

      Re: Unions
      Of course they are dictating! They are demanding that the tax payers keep forking over money without end.

      You do not believe that others have the right to say “No”. To you, negotiation is “You must agree to my terms all the time”

      You demand the right to force others to “negotiate”. You hate the ability of others to say “No, I am taking my money and going home”

      • You have trouble comprehending my statements regarding the car companies is because you are only interested hearing your own words in your own head and believing they are what I said.

        Let’s straighten this out (one more time). YOU were busy being sarcastic about my sarcasm aimed at the “geniuses” who brought down the economy; the geniuses on Wall Street you claimed “can’t fail” because (paraphrasing) “they went to the best schools and are America’s brightest”. I insist they are one of two things; thieves or idiots, but both led to the same thing, the bankrupting of the economy (through good old capitalistic greed).

        The argument then went to you saying what would the “geniuse Charlie” do about the auto workers vs. the car companies regarding unions (you claim that the unions bankrupted the car companies and not management) and I said (paraphrasing again) “I’d put my offer on the table and if they didn’t take it, I’d file for bankruptcy.” You then said (paraphrasing) “Great, one tenth of the labor force is wiped out with one “genius” move.” And I concluded: Ah, so you were for the bailouts after all! Great, another shill for the Republican Party exposes himself.

        Of course they are dictating! They are demanding that the tax payers keep forking over money without end.

        Obviously, you enjoy ignoring the fact that all those prior contracts were achieved through collective bargaining with the gov’t itself (the gov’t you still seem to be so in favor of–how is that BF?). Those benefits weren’t stolen. Now they are willing to provide givebacks, except now they’re told shut up and go back to work and don’t open your mouths; take it or leave it.

        You do not believe that others have the right to say “No”. To you, negotiation is “You must agree to my terms all the time”

        What are you smoking, Joey? Reread, my friend … REREAD … they are willing to pay into their own pension and health benefits … how is that “You must agree to my terms all the time?”

        Once again, BF, you’re lost … out there in the universe talking out of both sides of your mouth … is it the government side you’re on this time? Or the government acting as the arm of the people who elected them? I mean, aren’t you against all forms of government … or just the working man?

        Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!
        It’s alright, BF … I still love you, brother.

        • Both sides in the argument are the Government.

          You can’t have your cake and eat it to.

          Govt is the monopolization of those services that special interest groups decide must be govt provided instead of private.

          Then the Govt hires people to provide those services. These people then organize to hold their bosses hostage to wage/benefit demands. They threaten to stop the monopoly services, that many of them supported, if they don’t get their way.

          So their bosses agree. But the decision does not cost their bosses a dime. Not promotions, not benefits, not profits, not salary. The entire cost is put off on those who had no say in the “coerced negotiation”. The TAXPAYER.

          So when the TAXPAYER says enough and no more, the Govt employees gather with all their fellow extortionists and scream and threaten some more. But who do they threaten? Not the TAXPAYER, but the politicians. Why?

          Because that is the vulnerability. That is where the coercion is best applied. Threaten the politician with his/her job. The politician knows that over the long run the special interest with money stays engaged. The TAXPAYER comes and goes.

          So a deal will be struck once again. And the use of coercive force will prevail.

          The irony of all this is that a Republican Governor and legislature is proposing just what the Progressives have been screaming for, for years. A more “democratic” approach to government. The TAXPAYER will be given the direct authority to approve/disapprove of future pay raises.

          But now we see the true color of the “democracy” wanted by the LEFT.

  30. WhooooHoooo I got a feeling…….

    Was at the front line of the battle field today! It is always comforting to go to these rallies because when you live near ultra-uber-liberal-birthplace of progressive-ism Madison, where there is no local media that dares gives balance to a story and (practically) every car has the sign of The One on it, you find there are people that think the same way! Refreshing!

    It was relatively peaceful – a few shouters/haters amongst the pro-union, make the rich pay more group. But hey, they are entitled to their ignorance! (They love to feel entitled so I’ll give them that one)

    Lots of Walker=Dictator signs. Huh? Don’t they realize they’ve been under the dictatorship of their union bosses all along?Apparently some of the unions are now willing to negotiate….surprise! That time has come and gone.

    Was right next to Griff Jenkins of Fox one time – my celeb sighting of the day. Rumors are that BO may come swooping into town on Monday. They must be afraid, very afraid of their potential loss of power to be bringing in these guys. Gov Walker has said that perhaps Obama should try to balance his own budget instead of worrying about Wisconsin’s. Ya think????

    My sign was a MIA with “my” missing Senator’s picture on it. Don’t think I got on any news but keep your eyes open. All in all – a very good day!

    • One more observation…

      There was a stand there where fake doctors were handing out fake slips for the fake sick teachers to take to work so they could get paid.

      Morally bankrupt and they are teaching our kids!

    • Good for you. Way to go girl!

    • Kudos for walking the walk! I’ll be looking for you AGAIN!.

      You can tell the diff between those truly affected and the OFA thugs. Too bad the thugs make the others look bad (worse).

      Can’t wait to see the D’s doing a perp walk into the capitol!

  31. Ignore that man behind that curtain … workers of the world unite!

    Oy vey … Let’s go Mets (but wait, they get taxpayer funding too!) … how about the Skankies? Nope, them too.

    Let’s see … who doesn’t benefit from taxpayer dollars? hmmmm oooops, nobody! Even Ayn Rand opted for taxpayer healthcare … the world must be upside down!

    Obama is way too late to this dance … he should’ve been front and center Thursday morning. He was pulling an Egypt-like move … hopefully the United States communist party is there to help with the fight against facism.

    A year (or two) from now, Walker will be the McCarthy of our time … and then you can thank him for Obama winning a second term. This guy is gonna out Palin Palin …

    • Charlie,

      ‘hopefully the United States communist party is there to help with the fight against fascism.’

      Doesn’t make much sense. Communism is state ownership and control of everything. Fascism is state control of private industry. Brothers, not distant cousins.

      “Obama is way too late to this dance … he should’ve been front and center Thursday morning. He was pulling an Egypt-like move … ”

      Doing what? States react strongly when a president meddles with their affairs. He has already put his foot in his mouth with the “assault on unions” comment. If they riot, Obama will get the blame.

      I hope Walker is right with his approach. My first reaction when they surround his & the senators house would be to order them to dis-band. If they refuse, teargas and mass arrests. Everyone from out of state would be charged for inciting riot, possibly terror threats.

      USA vs Egypt, peaceful protests.

      Walker needs to tell the teachers,
      “buy your own damn Viagra”.

  32. gmanfortruth says:

    As all of you know by now, I have started my own blog. My blog is more geared to non-partisan articles to get my fellow Americans to think deeper, and on some occasions, simply learn and help others learn. While I continue to contribute to SUFA, which is coming soon, it’s fun to work together with fellow posters here at SUFA on articles that would fit into one or the other blogs subject content.

    Today, I have been blessed with the knowledge of PlainlySpoken on an educational article that is worth a read, especially if you have kids! Thanks to PS on his hard work!

    http://gmanfortruth.wordpress.com/

  33. CS,

    I think you are stressing too much about all this. Chill out. Within our federal system, WI is a sovereign state; hence the President should stay out of it as should all outsiders. He has enough problems to solve. You rant about the bailouts and fat cats on Walls Street. Yes many are overpaid and it is not right when a CEO fails but still gets a big bonus. But that CEO hired a lawyer and negotiated his contract just like the unions and athletes. But unlike many union members, esp. tenured teachers, the CEOs are at will employees and can be terminated at any time for any reason. For the CEOs and the ball players, I blame the boards of directors and the club owners. As for tax relief for pro times, I blame the politicians who should know better than to subsidize millionaires.

    I do feel that existing contracts should be honored. Unfortunately, the President abrogated many contracts when he bailed out GM and Chrysler in favor of the unions. In the WI case, they are honoring the existing contracts but are redefining by law on what is negotiable. What a legislature giveth, they can taketh away. I see it as the pendulum swinging back towards center. The unions, especially the public employee unions, have gone too far and have too much strength. They run my state of CA and many others even though they are a fraction of the population. Listen to what others and I are trying to tell you. There comes a breaking point were the common citizen has had enough. That point appears to have come. Instead of fighting the movement, try to find constructive solutions to the problems.

    We had a police chief in San Jose retire recently. She was making about $187K/yr base salary. She cashed in her sick, vacation and other leave for about $300K during the last year, raising her income to over $500K for the year. She is drawing >$225K/yr pension as a result. No doubt she has medical coverage too. I do not know her age, but if she is young enough to find a private sector job for a few years, she will draw SS as well. No one can stop this because it is written into law. This kind of abuse needs to stop. We can no longer afford it.

    Over the years, unions have done some good things. However, many of the major benefits have been codified such as OSHA, child labor, 8 hr work week, overtime pay etc. At the same time, they also do some harm. They protect bad workers, encourage inefficient work practices and feather bedding, bargain for and get excessive wages and benefits, etc. The UAW contributed significantly to the failure of GM and Chrysler. Bad management also contributed but the pay for no work rules were killing the companies.

    There is blame enough for everyone, citizen have been quiet too long, unions have asked for too much knowing that they were doing harm to the organization on the other side of the table, boards of directors and politicians have given in too easily.

    • T-Ray … there’s no doubt Unions have over stretched the boundaries of fair … but here’s a union willing to negotiate down … and why aren’t you as upset at clowns earning $2.4 million an hour managing a hedge fund as you are at some poor SOB making a simple living?

      If you think this is nothing to concern yourself over, more power to you (what is it you’re smoking anyway) … this is the start of the end to collective bargaining … or not (and I sure hope it’s not) … although a revolution here won’t take place until the 2%’s get to piss on us to the point we’re begging them for work at the 1970 minimum wage.

      • The problem here Charlie is that the “clown earning $2.4 million an hour” is in a private enterprise business. If they’re dumb enough to agree to pay him that much – well I guess his negotiating skills were really good. He’s not earning the taxpayers cash.

        The unions in this battle is Wisconsin are made up of public employees. You can’t fairly compare the two.

      • There is nothing wrong with someone making $2.4M/yr if they are truly worth it. However, I strongly, as stated, disagree with paying those large salaries and bonuses when the companies are failing. The fault lies with the board of directors who agree to pay bonuses and large salaries when performance is poor.
        I don’t think and hope that this is not the end of collective bargaining. There is a need to have that option available. However, I also do not believe in the closed shop and unions confiscating dues from worker’s pay checks. I grudgingly give government the right to take money out of my paycheck (they have the force) but I would refuse to let anyone else take money without my permission. I strongly disagree with card check law that Obama would like to instititute. It is a violation of fundamental democratic principles.

        As for the WI unions being willing to negotiate, it is a little late. Their on their way up the gallows steps. Anyone is willing to negotiate at that point. They should have seen this coming and started reforming themselves.

        • What is wrong with someone making $2.4 million an hour (or a lifetime) is simple (talk about immoral) … NOBODY needs that much money to survive. Nobody.

          It’s too late to negotiate? You do realize this lemonheaded governor didn’t require 3 other public unions to lose collective bargaining, right? Oh, right, those are the ones that supported him … interesting. You do also realize, I hope, that Wisconsin’s small deficit was CREATED by this genius when he gave tax breaks to business after inheriting a surplus budget. Also interesting …

          What those professionals should do is move to another state and leave Wisconsin to handle it’s own mess should they pass that legislation. What it will probably do is collapse that union and maybe another 2 or 3 … and the 2%’s will continue laughing to the bank.

          • Obviously Charlie, you and I are going to disagree about a lot of things. So Bill Gates should only earn $100K/yr from creating MS and sheparding it into the new AT&T. Under those conditions why would anyone even try to create a new business. There would be no incentive. I do not know if you work for a private company or not. I work for a small one in which I am one of the investors. In order to be profitable, we need to bring in at least $200K per employee. New hires are permitted if we think we can grow the business by that amount minimum. If we found someone that could grow the business by $1M, I certainly would agree to pay that person more than anyone else including me. They would be worth it. The same goes for CEOs, ball players and others. If they can create the business, then they deserve the pay. Most CEOs have deferred compensation plans (bonuses), i.e. some of their salary is withheld pending good performance. Unfortunately, the definition of “good performance” has been significantly watered down. This is where I disagree with the bonus system. Failure should earn no bonus.
            As for WI, I thought the govenor and legislature switched from D to R at the last election. If so how is the current govenor responsible for the budget imbalance?
            If what you want to do is disproportionately tax the wealthy in WI, it will not work. They have the resources and the freedom to move out of the state. Just look at NY and CA. Wealth is leaving those states and going to TX and FL.
            Read a little bit of history. Alexander Hamilton reduced taxes, increased revenues and paid off the war debt. Look at your own pay check. How much better off would you be if half the taxes were removed? Could you afford to save more for retirement or in an HSA for future medical bills? Until the CW, this country was funded by customs duties and land sales.

  34. KATHY

    I hate to do this on a Saturday night but just thought you would like to see what the “Progressives” think of the Tea Party rally in Madison today. From one such person:

    “The Tea partiers weren’t the center of attention today and it made them so sad that they just exited stage right. It wasn’t a grand entrance or exit, therefore not living up to their expectatio­ns. They didn’t capture the spotlight and are allready an afterthoug­ht. Hardly the spectacle they may have envisioned­. they came face to face with their own small place in the Read More… political continuum. They saw first hand, in real terms, that they represent a minority. They came face to face with their own reflection­s and saw that they represent a declining group of folks who live in the past and yearn for times when they were young and intoleranc­e was cool. They want to march backwards into the future to the time of their youth, but Father Time is busily ushering them into history, as he does for all.”

    I am finding comments on media sites claiming up to 60,000 people of which maybe 6,000 were Pro Walker, aka Tea Party, etc.

    HINT: Supporters need to launch a MAJOR letter writing campaign to the Legislators and the Governor.

    Stand tall and stand firm Wisconsin.

    • We knew we would not compete and never intended to compete. While there were about 10 busses of supporters from around the state, as far as I’m aware, there were no outsiders here. There were many, many outsiders bussed in for the unions. I’ve read where the SEIU had contacted temp agencies and said they would hire as many people as they could to rally on behalf of the union interests. We weren’t there to protest, but to show support for our Governor and the legislature who have showed up to do their job. That is all. These people need to remember, Walker was elected pretty handily in November and both houses flipped (and Feingold was booted). That’s a lot more WI voices than what is showing up at the capitol.

    • Are these “reporters” on the same planet?

  35. More on why Govt Employee Unions are Immoral (my term)

    From American Thinker:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/02/end_public_sector_unionsperiod.html

    • Great article and good find, JAC.

      • Kathy

        I must confess that it is very nice to find “published” authors using the same arguments and reasoning as I do.

        A little stroking of the ego never hurt anyone. 🙂

        Now go organize that letter writing and editorial writing campaign.

  36. Interesting article on the loss of civility in a culture. Namely Egypt’s culture. It applies to not only the sexual assault in Egypt but many discussions we have had here about whether NO Govt would result in erosion of accepted norms of decency.

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/02/16/rogers.egypt.sexual.harrassment/index.html

    • Civility? You mean like this?

      http://www.therightscoop.com/sergeant-schultz-gets-called-out-on-hypocrisy

      Michelle Malksin’s site has been watching WI closely and has postings of some of the very distasteful messages, posters, etc. Remember all the desperate attempts to find fault with the tea party rallies? Where is the outrage over the what we are seeing here? You would also not believe how the capitol grounds, building were trashed. I mean bad. Grafetti included. Disgusting. Such total disrespect.

      • Schultz answered that question-he doesn’t have to listen to anyone he deems stupid. Others don’t have to listen to racists, others don’t have to listen to conspiracy theorist or militant right wing crazies, or crazy right wing Christians. Bottom line they don’t actually believe in freedom, equality, or democracy. In their minds they are merely telling the truth when they are uncivil-we on the other hand are stupid, crazy lying racists. Wow I feel much better!

      • Kathy

        I was looking closely at all the photos of the event I could find yesterday.

        I see “professional agitators” in several photos. By this I mean those who want to create chaos. The nihilistic anarchists we see at the G20 events, etc. , for example.

        The TEACHERS of Wisconsin had better wake up or they will find they have tied themselves to all kinds of riff raff and won’t be able to cut the strings when they need to.

    • Not sure where you are going with this JAC-obviously the more a society promotes respect for the rights and freedoms of all it’s citizens through their laws, the more respectful their social norms are going to be. I’m not sure that fact, establishes that no govt. at all wouldn’t have the adverse effect. It does in my mind prove that government and laws have the power to encourage change in social norms -in good and negative ways.

      • V.H.

        Not going anywhere in particular. Just found it interesting with respect to the many discussions we have had about what would happen if we didn’t have any laws regarding what we consider “moral” or at least “civil” behavior.

        I think your observation is excellent. The effect of govt laws can cut both ways. So if there is a point I would say it is that laws passed by unethical and/or immoral govts result in further destruction of civilized society.

        And this is why I am always harping on the need for establishing sound principles BEFORE trying to reform Govt. We need a moral REAWAKENING if you will, before we start reconstructing our govt systems.

        OK, maybe we should tackle both at the same time. I could the pressure building in your head. No need to blow a gasket on a great Sunday afternoon. 🙂 🙂

        • I feel pretty confident in stating that the bigger and more powerful a government grows-the more immoral and unethical it becomes. So working on limiting that power and reducing it’s size-is the step needed to start changing the mind set that supports lack of principals. But you must also convince enough people just with words to support taking those first steps so the two have to go together. But showing the truth in our words by starting to take away the restraints our government have been putting on us-will lead to a wider acceptance of the principals. Which should lead to more and more freedom. Whether that process would take us all the way to No Government-I personally doubt it-but I would really like to start on that process.

  37. Catching up on some info this morning and have heard of a plan that just might get the MIA Dem Senators out of hiding. Seems like it is from a knowledgeable source but I have not checked into it further. Just want SUFA to be in on the scoop! 🙂

    Apparently, quorum’s are only required for fiscal matters, but a majority vote is all that is required for other bills. There are a few bills that the R’s are going to pull out Tuesday morning (Monday is a government furlough day here – our previous governor’s attempt to cut spending). One of these is Voter ID – a concept that the D’s are adamantly opposed to. However, if you are not there, you are not available for debate, amendments, vote and wallah! passed!

    Also, names, ID’s and workplaces of several of the doctors that were involved in the fake excuse writing are being exposed. Several work for University of Wisconsin (UW)-Health clinics. Coincidence? The AG has been notified and medical fraud charges are already in the works. How utterly stupid – all in the name of solidarity??????

    • And don’t forget the RECALL petition efforts growing against some of the Dems who ran.

      I think this one has great promise in those districts where the votes were close.

    • I’m so glad to hear this-I was really bothered by the Doctors standing out there in plain sight-just in your face -telling lies. No shame-nothing. Does professional integrity mean nothing.

      • Kind of fits the other discussion we were having, don’t you think.

        We need to ridicule this type of behavior, by all sides, whenever we see it.

        • Yes we should-I mean it really says something-People have always done stuff that they knew society would frown on-so they did it in hiding. Now they are trying to make it an accepted practice to lie, run away from your responsibilities, break your oaths. If something is going on that you don’t agree with-all guiding principals just go out the window.

    • Kathy

      I found a potential source of new teachers to replace all those still calling in sick.

      Seems this group might provide a better “role model” for those kids in Wisconsin.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/20/jobs/20pre.html?ref=business

      • I think it’s great that these people are following their hearts desire and are willing to sacrifice to do so. But I couldn’t help but notice this line in the article-“Why did I take this career turn? I felt an urgency about my project, and knew that as a full-time faculty member I wouldn’t have time to focus on it until I was eligible for tenure in the distant future. So what does this mean-that once she reached tenure she could follow her dreams instead of working for her salary? Or maybe the subject matter is making me too harsh-I certainly don’t think using your time to try and help society is a waste of money if that is what you are being paid to do. But if you are just using your right to not be fired to do what you want to do…..

  38. Hey Charlie, down here sir. You said to read up on the history of labor unions, so since I had some time today I did some reading. Now admittedly this is Wikipedia – but one can always use it as a starting point if nothing else. Here are some – as you might type – FACTS stated there:

    The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions began in 1881….

    Its original goals were to encourage the formation of trade unions and to obtain legislation, such as prohibition of child labor, a national eight hour day, and exclusion of foreign contract workers

    The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions merged with the new organization, known as the American Federation of Labor or AFL, formed at that convention.

    The unions of the AFL were composed primarily of skilled workers; unskilled workers, African-Americans, and women were generally excluded. The AFL saw women as threatening the jobs of men, since they often worked for lower wages. The AFL provided little to no support for women’s attempts to unionize and affiliate themselves with the parent union.

    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_history_of_the_United_States

    You said – early on in this labor discussion “that is EXACTLY what brought unions into existence in the first place … a lack of bargaining power that did IN FACT kill people.”

    Funny I’m not getting that sense from this reading to this point. Could you provide some specific links to information supporting your statement?

    Thanks.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      In addition to PS’s post, I’ve done extensive research on the early beginnings of Unions in the US. At no time have the “deaths” of workers been mentioned in any history literature. What is interesting is that strikes by unions that turned violent did result in deaths, but as a result of the unions actions.

      I’m thinking that your ideals of the beginnings of unions might be more tied to Hollywood rather than historical facts.

      Peace Brother!

    • Read more, my friend … Widipedia? please.

  39. Now how would you guys know what FACTS are?

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Charlie, I’m pretty good at history, love reading about and have done so since my High School days (Oh so long ago! ) As a Teamster, I studied the history of unions long before I started posting here. Unions, as of late, are fighting for their existence. That’s easy to see. I know the inner workings of the Teamsters, they are not fighting for their members, their fighting for their bloated paychecks, they are dinosuars, they know this. They have become to big, with too much political power. I would rather see one hundred small unions than the monsters that exist today. They are corrupt and they are not honest with their members. Time for the big ones to go, let’s replace them with smaller ones.

  40. SUCH as such as prohibition of child labor, a national eight hour day, and exclusion of foreign contract workers … you think maybe some kids died at the workplace? Or maybe such as should’ve included unsafe working conditions (mines come to mind?) … or maybe 14-18 hour days that were commonplace … oy vey … do you guys reach.

    • Supposition sir, you offer no factual data of ANY kind (even Wikipedia) at this point.

      So, in all fairness, you’re the one reaching.

      I’ll wait patiently for you to provide links to those death facts though. Take your time – I’m not going anywhere. 🙂

      • Start here: http://www.scuttlebuttsmallchow.com/laborbks.html

        Seriously, you guys are nuts. I don’t mind discourse with opposing viewpoints but unions formed so they could take jobs from kids at higher wages? Hopefully that was a joke (because it’s frankly too stupid not to be). But, who knows …

        • Charlie, are you proving your point with book excerpts?

          Lets get real, the whole book would have to be read to determine the balance and point of view of the author – and I won’t be able to work one of these books into my buying list with any priority of purchase for a looooong time.

          Next, lets be realistic. Are you providing evidence of of injuries and deaths due to actual working conditions or as the result of union organizing, strikes, strike-breaker activities, criminal anti-union or anti-employers acts, etc.?

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Yep, stopped them foreign workers!

      FY 2011 H-1B Cap Count

      Cap Type
      Cap Amount
      Cap Eligible Petitions
      Petition Target

      Date of Last Count

      H-1B Regular Cap
      65,000
      65,000

      1/26/2011

      H-1B Master’s Exemption
      20,000
      20,000

      1/26/2011

      http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=4b7cdd1d5fd37210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=73566811264a3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Some credit is due:

      prohibition of child labor : Yes, how else would union workers take them jobs for themselves, at higher wages of course.

      a national eight hour day: Yes, and as our nation continues to become deindustrialized, due to high labor costs, high corporate taxes and lack of production, the results are now being seen. How many are really unemployed? How many autoplant jobs are left? How many companies have closed in the US and moved their operations out of country (over 40K since 2000).

      exclusion of foreign contract workers : That’s horse crap. As I posted above, which don’t account for the illegals.

      unsafe working conditions : Unions have helped in this area, but are not solely responsible.

      14-18 hour days that were commonplace: When and where? You claim knowledge but back nothing up.

  41. gmanfortruth says:

    Reagan fires 11,000 striking air traffic controllers Aug. 5, 1981

    On this day in 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired more than 11,000 air traffic controllers who ignored his order to return to work. The sweeping mass firing of federal employees slowed commercial air travel, but it did not cripple the system as the strikers had forecast.

    Two days earlier, nearly 13,000 controllers walked out after talks with the Federal Aviation Administration collapsed. As a result, some 7,000 flights across the country were canceled on that day at the peak of the summer travel season.

    Robert Poli, president of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, sought an across-the-board annual wage increase of $10,000 for the controllers, whose pay ranged from $20,462 to $49,229 per year. He also sought a reduction of their five-day, 40-hour workweek to a four-day, 32-hour workweek. The FAA made a $40 million counteroffer, far short of the $770 million package that the union sought.

    Reagan branded the strike illegal. He threatened to fire any controller who failed to return to work within 48 hours. Federal judges levied fines of $1 million per day against the union.

    In 1955, Congress made such strikes punishable by fines or a one-year jail term — a law the Supreme Court upheld in 1971.

    To the chagrin of the strikers, the FAA’s contingency plans worked. Some 3,000 supervisors joined 2,000 nonstriking controllers and 900 military controllers in manning airport towers. Before long, about 80 percent of flights were operating normally. Air freight remained virtually unaffected.

    In carrying out his threat, Reagan also imposed a lifetime ban on rehiring the strikers. In October 1981, the Federal Labor Relations Authority decertified PATCO.

    Source: http://www.stfrancis.edu/ba/ghkickul/stuwebs/btopics/works/atcstrike.htm

    Maybe Wisconsin, Ohio and the rest should handle things the same way!

  42. Mr. Obama and his VOODOO Economics, Part II

    This is a great primer on how the Ass-Clowns in Washington view the world of Federal Budgets and taxpayer stupidity.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/02/the_wrong_budget_debate.html

  43. Good interview with Gov Walker:

    Morning Bell: Gov. Scott Walker Sits Down With Heritage and Answers the Tough Questions

    http://blog.heritage.org/2011/02/21/morning-bell-gov-scott-walker-answers-the-tough-questions-in-exclusive-interview/

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