American Elephants

About that “Private Sector Just Fine” Remark: by The Elephant's Child

Just in Case You’ve Forgotten Julia… by The Elephant's Child
June 11, 2012, 5:05 pm
Filed under: Politics

(click to enlarge)
The marvelous Michael Ramirez emphasized Julia’s return home from her first year in sociology class in college, and the strange experience of many parents.  He is so good!
See his other work

The Substantial Rewards of Self-Reliance: by The Elephant's Child

You met the Obama Campaign’s Julia, the pathetic moocher who can’t manage to get through life without relying on government. The perfect example of how dependence can ruin a life. So meet Emily O’Neill, with an accurate economic warning for future victims of the Big Government Project.

Some Elections Matter More Than Others: The Reasons. by The Elephant's Child

Some elections matter more than others. The recall election of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker matters a lot.  But we may misunderstand why it matters so much. The media tried desperately to portray the election as a dead-heat, and too close to call, but the polls had shown Governor Walker leading for some time.

The question was whether taxpayers have any hope of controlling the entitlement state. Can a politician take on powerful government unions and survive?  For months, the American Federation of State, County,County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) had been busing in their members, and other unions had been adding theirs, to demonstrate in Madison, occupy to Capitol building and show their support for recall. They carried rude signs, issued threats, called vicious names, and screamed and shouted.

Public unions don’t operate quite like private sector unions which negotiate terms with a single company or a single workplace. Public unions, flush with member dues, can often buy the politicians with campaign contributions and get-out-the-vote efforts. The politicians, who are supposed to represent taxpayers, are often more concerned with their own reelection. So when the time comes to vote for raising union retirement benefits or improving health care the politicians’ choice is reelection or keeping taxes low? Public unions sit on both sides of the bargaining table.

Over time, public unions have been able to extort excessive wages, benefits and pensions. They have even been able to arrange contracts that allow monopoly provision of health insurance.

It is hardly surprising that state and local governments — required to balance their budgets —have been shocked to discover that the generous benefits they have given with the best of intentions to their union workers — are unaffordable. Governor Scott Walker’s principled stand may give them courage. So that is indeed important for the whole country.

But Governor Walker’s reforms ended Wisconsin’s practice of automatically collecting union dues. Now dues are voluntary. And it turns out that many government workers don’t want to belong to a union after all.

Since Governor Walker’s reforms took effect, membership in government unions has dropped significantly. Membership in the AFSCME has dropped from 62,818 in March of 2011 to just 28,745 in February of this year, according to the Wall Street Journal. 34,072 workers decided that they are better off keeping their own dues if they are not forced to pay them. The union can no longer guarantee monopoly wages and benefits. That is the very big deal for the left, and a significant crack in the Big Government Project.

The Big Government Project is all about special interests, and special rules that aid the special interests.  Everybody has good intentions, and they like to do nice things for their friends. And when the web of special interests becomes too wide and too thick, they inevitably vote themselves more benefits that society can support.

Big Government — the entitlement state — is in crisis. A recession, with thousands of people unemployed, businesses closed and less economic activity means governments at all levels are getting less revenue. The federal government with huge borrowing power and no requirement to balance the budget that can’t be put off, is somewhat immune, if irresponsible. Efforts to pass a balanced budget law have met congressional resistance. All states, except Vermont, have a balanced budget requirement.

When there is less revenue for a state, the excessive wages and ballooning benefits stand out like a sore thumb. And sweetheart retirement benefits, promised but unfunded, have many states in dire straits. And the people, who are designated to pay for all this excess, may just fire the public officials who have got them into such a mess.

The Leftist Project for Growing Government. by The Elephant's Child

It was a very bad week for the administration. The Left sunk everything they had into an effort to recall Governor Scott Walker, and it didn’t work. The governor did exactly what he promised when elected, did battle with the unions over pension and healthcare benefits that the state could not afford, yet still left union workers with better benefits and lower cost for them than the average. Many pundits noted that the vastly public service union employees were still vastly overpaid.

The previous week was also a very bad, horrible, no good week. The monthly job report was a disaster, and the economy was close to a second phase of recession. And the president between demanding that the rich pay their “fair share” spent his time in campaign events with the very rich celebrities that he was disparaging.  Well, they know he didn’t really mean it, and their accountants will cope with any tax increase.

So what did the President do? He held a press conference to say that the private sector was just fine, and we needed more stimulus to help states and local governments to hire more cops and teachers and firefighters. We thought it was a bad move, but he was just being honest.

Later the same day, of course, he tried to take the remark back  and said the private sector wasn’t really fine, people were out of work. But the funny thing is, Harry Reid said exactly the same thing last October. And they both meant exactly what they said.

“The massive layoffs we’ve had in America today—of course they’re rooted in the last administration—and it’s very clear that private sector jobs are doing just fine. It’s the public sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers, and that’s what this legislation’s all about. And it’s unfortunate my friend the Republican Leader is complaining about that.”

We need to listen more carefully to the second part of Obama’s statement about the private sector.  He said:

If Republicans want to be helpful, if they really want to move forward, and put people back to work, what they should be thinking about is, ‘How do we help state and local governments and how do we help the construction industry?’” Obama said. “Because the recipes that they’re promoting are basically the kinds of policies that would add weakness to the economy, would result in further layoffs, would not provide relief in the housing market, and would result – I think most economists would estimate – in lower growth.

See, his heart is in the right place. He wants to put people back to work in government jobs, where the pay is high and the benefits large. And for ordinary working people, nice union construction jobs with lots of rules to protect their “rights.”

Well, we know that Democrats favor big government and Republicans believe in small government that is lean and does not do what is better done by state or local government, or by the people themselves. But this is ridiculous. They consider public sector jobs as high-paying middle class jobs, and more desirable jobs than anything in the private sector. Obama has continually referred to private sector jobs as “service jobs” and as admirable — because they are doing important things for other people.

I admire cops and firemen as much as anyone, and I admire teachers who do a good job., but the idea that all public sector jobs are something special and better than private sector jobs is baffling. Obama meant what he said the first time. Public sector jobs are the important ones, and you reward your friends in the public sector.

I don’t think that Obama grasps the idea that the rest of us are scandalized by his crony capitalism. That’s just how things are done in his mind in the public sector. At least that’s how things are done in Chicago. His entire career is based on people doing favors for him and knowing that he will return the favor when the opportunity presents. Bill Ayers got him the job running the Annenberg Challenge, the big failed Chicago school reform effort. That became his big resume enhancement. He got help in his elections when the sealed divorce records of his opponents magically were opened for the press. The Speaker of the Illinois legislature decided, reportedly, that he was going to “make himself a Senator,” and Obama won a magically almost uncontested race for the U.S. Senate.

He has had a lot of payback to do. That’s just the way things are done in the Chicago tradition. My next-door neighbors grew up in Illinois and had many tales about the longstanding political corruption there. Read again how Mayor Richard Daley enhanced his pension, all quite legally, of course.

Obama’s redistribution of wealth is meant to redistribute more wealth from the private sector to the public. The entire pursuit of climate change and energy legislation is meant to redistribute wealth. Has nothing to do with global warming, it is and always has been a power grab. The energy sector must become a publicly owned and controlled piggy bank. ObamaCare is in actuality another redistribution of wealth scheme. When the government owns the entire medical establishment, they have all of us suckers locked in.

The proper form of government is that with a special class of wise people in public service, advising, regulating, controlling and making life better for all us little people. They need large cadres of worker bees to fill the bureaucracy required to do all the good works that they will do. And if they enrich themselves and their friends in the process— well that’s just what they deserve, isn’t it?

Think how they enrich the private sector portions of the economy who support and depend on them, like their sycophants in the mainstream media. They support the left, the left supports them — with special information not accessible to others. We call them “leaks” but it’s just another kind of crony capitalism. Or ask yourself how it is that Katie Couric deserves a $4 million salary.  I rest my case.

ADDENDUM: According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, the employment rate for government workers last month was just 4.2 percent, up slightlyl from 3.9 percent a year ago.  Compare to the construction industry( 14.2 percent unemployment), Leisure and hospitality services( 9.2 percent), agriculture (9,5 percent), professional and business services (8.5 percent) and wholesale and retail trade (8.1 percent)

Obama Pissed Off The Wrong People by The Elephant's Child

There are about 40-thousand Catholic priests in the US and about 220,000 parishes serving about 70+ million Catholics, over 20% of the US population. — If not religious, skip to about 1:25 minutes.

Fr. Andrew was invited to lead the opening prayer at the 2012 Colorado Republican State Assembly and Convention in the Magness Arena at the University of Denver. The moral challenges facing our country are not caused by political affiliation, but rather by attacks on religious freedom. He invites all people of conscience to uphold religious freedom.

This post is borrowed shamelessly from Bruce Kessler at Maggie’s Farm.

This one is from the Catholic Church.

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