OT- CONTEST!!! Guess public sector household earnings

User Forum Topic
Submitted by sdrealtor on January 13, 2012 - 1:12pm

We are going to have a contest and the winner gets a decent bottle of wine. I just got back from a potential clients and saw their year end paystubs for last year. I did not list the property because it didnt fit what I thought I could do. Its a dual income household. Both work in the public sector. One in health care and the other in public safety. Lets see who can guess the 2011 gross earnings for the household not including any benefits paid for by their employer.

Have at it and dont be afraid of going over.

Contest runs through Monday.

Submitted by CA renter on January 18, 2012 - 11:49am.

AN wrote:
CA renter wrote:
Don't forget "the richest," who pay 15% or less.

Yes, tax rates are near historic lows. That's why some of us get so angry when hearing the weathiest Americans complain about paying taxes. They are wealthier today, and pay lower tax rates today, than they have in many, many, many decades.

As a matter of fact, the last time we saw such low tax rates and such a high wealth/income disparity was right before the Great Depression. Coincidence? I don't think so.


Did you even look at the link I posted? EVERYONE have been paying less effective tax rate except for the to 10%. The data doesn't support your assertion that the top 10% pay lower tax rates today than they have in many decades. I provided my data, where's your data to support your assertions?

"So what’s the full story? In brief, tax rates for the wealthy have fallen more than for other income groups. Tax rates for the very wealthy have fallen more than they have for the merely wealthy. Incomes at the top have also increased much more quickly than incomes have for other groups.

Add it all up, and you can see why the wealthy are paying a greater share of federal taxes even though they are paying less tax on each dollar they earn. They’re simply making many more dollars than they used to."

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/0...
------------

The following one apparently doesn't take into account the 15% rate on LT cap gains/dividends, but you can still see what's been happening.

http://ntu.org/tax-basics/history-of-fed...
--------------

"But another one of the contentions of today's Republican party is that high income tax rates are always bad for the economy, because they deprive people of an incentive to work hard, thus making us a nation of lazy good-for-nothings.

This argument has been repeated so often and for so long that it is now basically regarded as fact.

But, interestingly, the history of income tax rates in the US actually suggests that it may be b.s.

Some of the most prosperous periods in US history (1950s and 1960s) have come during periods of super-high marginal income tax rates. And some of the most disastrous periods in US history (1930s, 2010s) have come after periods of super-low income tax rates."

Read more: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011...
-------------

While it’s true that many middle-class Americans own stocks or bonds, they tend to stash them in tax-sheltered retirement accounts, where the capital gains rate does not apply. By contrast, the richest Americans reap huge benefits. Over the past 20 years, more than 80 percent of the capital gains income realized in the United States has gone to 5 percent of the people; about half of all the capital gains have gone to the wealthiest 0.1 percent.

“The way you get rich in this world is not by working hard,” said Marty Sullivan, an economist and a contributing editor to Tax Analysts. “It’s by owning large amounts of assets and having those things appreciate in value.”

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/201...
-------------------

"In the debate over tax cuts, it helps to look at the history of U.S. federal income taxes on high-income people. For the last 18 years individuals in the top income tax bracket (those making more than $250,000 to $379,150, depending on the year) have been paying 30-40% of their income in federal taxes. By itself, this figure might seem high. But unbeknownst to most Americans, today's tax rates on wealthy Americans are LOWER than they've been in almost 80 years. They are the lowest since the "roaring '20's" that led to the Great Depression, when the top rate was 25%.

Think about this: FOR ALMOST TWO DECADES -- from 1945-1963 -- the richest people -- those in the highest tax bracket, making over $200,000 -- paid 91-94% of their income in taxes! After that the top rate dropped to around 70% (if over $100,000) for the rest of the 60s and all of the 70s. Even under Reagan, the tax rate was around 50%. The idea that today's wealthy are being newly and unduly oppressed by federal tax rates seems contradicted by the facts."

[There are some useful tables and links in this article.]

http://tom-atlee.posterous.com/the-surpr...

Submitted by blahblahblah on January 18, 2012 - 12:15pm.

pri_dk wrote:
Check your numbers. If they are correct, then fire your accountant and redo your past years' taxes.

It's damn-near impossible for a married couple to pay more than 15% (in federal taxes) without earning over $100K from W2 wages.

From the 2009 1040 table, a married couple with line 43 taxable income of $90K paid $14881 for a rate of 16.5%.

Submitted by an on January 18, 2012 - 12:26pm.

CA renter wrote:

“The way you get rich in this world is not by working hard,” said Marty Sullivan, an economist and a contributing editor to Tax Analysts. “It’s by owning large amounts of assets and having those things appreciate in value.”

Funny you quoted this. I would say this is common knowledge. My grandma, who can't read and write would tell you the same thing. It has been this way for a very very long time in every nook and cranny of the world.

Some of the other arguments, I question whether it's correlation vs causation. You can easily draw similar conclusion and say that the bottom 2 quantile tax rate have never paid less taxes than now and they never actually got money back until recent past.

Here's the historical data for capital gain:
http://www.ctj.org/pdf/regcg.pdf

As you stated, the truly weathly, get their income from cap gain. Very few times in the last 90s years where cap gain was equal or more than top marginal tax.

We should go back to the tax rate of the 1913 :-)

Submitted by harvey on January 18, 2012 - 12:30pm.

Quote:
From the 2009 1040 table, a married couple with line 43 taxable income of $90K paid $14881 for a rate of 16.5%.

Understood. But taxable income is always less than total income.

If you factor in exemptions, it will go below 15% of total income.

It is possible that there are situations that go a little over 15%, but they are rare. One would have to have no dependents, no deductions, etc.

The main point is that you aren't going to go much over 15% unless you have much higher than average wages.

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 18, 2012 - 1:03pm.

FWIW I just checked the total tax rate for the subject of this thread. With an income of 254K they are paying 13.2% federal taxes on that gross income and it was all earned income not speculative profits on investments.

Submitted by an on January 18, 2012 - 2:05pm.

sdrealtor wrote:
FWIW I just checked the total tax rate for the subject of this thread. With an income of 254K they are paying 13.2% federal taxes on that gross income and it was all earned income not speculative profits on investments.

Game, set, match :-D

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 18, 2012 - 3:00pm.

In case anyone is interested. Return was done by a CPA. There is only 1 dependent and a boatload of itemized deductions that are almost all state income taxes, RE taxes and mortgage interest. Nothing funny going or unusual going on ther. I looked at another return for them and it was 15% (probably before baby was born).

Submitted by jstoesz on January 18, 2012 - 4:51pm.

Man, you guys are fired up! Keep it up. Its good entertainment.

bearishgurl wrote:
jstoesz wrote:
. . . . I just met up with an old friend who graduated with the civil engineering degree. He lost his job recently in the private sector, and just got a job in the public sector. Guess what he's making more then he did in the private sector, a lot more. He rides around a few days a week in a large 40k 4 x 4 Ford that's brand-new, thanks Katrina for your levee caused freak out And that's just salary I'm not talking pension here! Wake up CAR we're getting fleeced, at least my buddy knows that he is riding the gravy train. That's all I ask of public sector employees, a little gratitude!

jstoesz, if your "buddy" just obtained a public position (in the state of LA?) he has yet to be "vested" and there is a chasm between his potential for a "fat pension" and his actually being in a position to begin collecting it.

jstoesz, aren't YOU a "civil engineer?" The State of LA beckons and undoubtedly needs your help. Why haven't YOU applied to any of those jobs? Perhaps the living conditions there may not be to you or your spouse's liking or taste??

I'll leave it at that .... ;=]

LA is the most political state in the country, IMO, especially NOW.

No, he works in Sac.

Fun Fact: Sacramento's risk of flooding is the greatest of any major city in the country.

I graduated with a Mechanical Degree, but I could probably go into some sort of civil field. I am just not real interested in the work, nor do I plan on staying in the state much longer. My next job is more likely to be in MN.

Submitted by bearishgurl on January 18, 2012 - 4:56pm.

jstoesz wrote:
... My next job is more likely to be in MN.

Congrats on getting your OC-raised spouse to agree to move to MN, jstoesz!!

Submitted by bearishgurl on January 18, 2012 - 5:00pm.

jstoesz wrote:
. . . Fun Fact: Sacramento's risk of flooding is the greatest of any major city in the country.

Yes, 'tis a fact but it is not "fun." The Sac River Delta is well-known for most of it representing the largest "Type-A" flood plain in CA.

Hence, its lower property values (even though it's the State Capitol).

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 18, 2012 - 5:17pm.

One recurring theme I keep hearing from CAR is lets go back to the good days!

Here is what I remember of the good old days. Teachers got Summer jobs, didnt live in my upper middle class neighborhood, they commuted from more affordable neighborhoods 20 to 30 minutes away and they drove late model cars.

My Sunday school teacher was also a principal and his twin brother a teacher. They both taught religious school to supplement their income. They also had a roofing business on weekends and full time in the Summer (I worked a Summer job with them). They drove older cars.

Now roll forward to today. My daughters 3rd grade teacher recently bought a nicer house than most of the students live in. She's married to another teacher in the district. The teachers lot is full of BMW's, Range Rover, Lexus and Benz's. Most teachers dont work over the Summer. I know a few that spend it in Maui and some of the younger ones who went trekking in Nepal last Summer. Oh how they must long for the good old days!

Submitted by CA renter on January 18, 2012 - 5:41pm.

sdrealtor wrote:
One recurring theme I keep hearing from CAR is lets go back to the good days!

Here is what I remember of the good old days. Teachers got Summer jobs, didnt live in my upper middle class neighborhood, they commuted from more affordable neighborhoods 20 to 30 minutes away and they drove late model cars.

My Sunday school teacher was also a principal and his twin brother a teacher. They both taught religious school to supplement their income. They also had a roofing business on weekends and full time in the Summer (I worked a Summer job with them). They drove older cars.

Now roll forward to today. My daughters 3rd grade teacher recently bought a nicer house than most of the students live in. She's married to another teacher in the district. The teachers lot is full of BMW's, Range Rover, Lexus and Benz's. Most teachers dont work over the Summer. I know a few that spend it in Maui and some of the younger ones who went trekking in Nepal last Summer. Oh how they must long for the good old days!

FWIW, I come from a teaching family. My dad was a teacher (professor at a JC), my grandfather was a teacher, and many other relatives were or are teachers. We also have a lot of friends who were/are teachers.

Perhaps what you've talked about was how things worked on the east coast, sdr, but out here, nobody that I know of worked extra jobs to "make ends meet." If they wanted to supplement their incomes, they might work summer school or do real estate on the side (quite a few had RE licenses). Some of our teacher friends growing up -- married, "teacher" couples -- have done exceptionally well for themselves, mostly because they were frugal and made some excellent investment decisions. None were poor, and all of them lived close to work unless they choose to live in a different area.

edit: This was in L.A., too, which tends to have a higher cost of living than most areas.

Submitted by jstoesz on January 18, 2012 - 6:11pm.

CA renter wrote:
jstoesz wrote:
I have asked this before and I will ask it again, because so far I have gotten no answer from you. What is your affiliation with public-sector workers? Your answers are shallow and tiresome and they reek of self interest!

I just met up with an old friend who graduated with the civil engineering degree. He lost his job recently in the private sector, and just got a job in the public sector. Guess what he's making more then he did in the private sector, a lot more. He rides around a few days a week in a large 40k 4 x 4 Ford that's brand-new, thanks Katrina for your levee caused freak out And that's just salary I'm not talking pension here! Wake up CAR we're getting fleeced, at least my buddy knows that he is riding the gravy train. That's all I ask of public sector employees, a little gratitude!

Quite frankly, it's none of your business (and I don't mean that in an unkind way). I always make a point of addressing the topic rather than making personal attacks. You can review my posts over many years and see that I never make a personal attack unless someone else initiates it. Even then, I try to refrain from doing so until the other person has so hopelessly gone off-topic and begun to rant emotionally that I sometimes end up in the gutter with him (so far, it's never been a female poster).

Perhaps it would be more productive if you could explain why you think my points are "shallow" or "tiresome." At least then we could have a more productive discussion instead of engaging in childish emotional rants and personal attacks.

The reason I'm defending (public AND private) unions is because I believe that unions protect workers from corporate/financial interests who constantly strive to take an ever-growing share of the value created by workers. If you don't believe me, check out what happened in the private sector after the demise of the unions:

"A huge share of the nation's economic growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top one-hundredth of one percent, who now make an average of $27 million per household. The average income for the bottom 90 percent of us? $31,244."

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/...

I'll say it again (and again, and again...because once we cross the line, there is no going back), the people who are behind the attacks on public unions are the very same ones who are behind this growing wealth disparity. They are NOT looking out for Joe Sixpack's best interests, and they are NOT taxpayer advocates.

Do your research!

Although asking about a conflict of interest is considered argumentum ad hominem, it is a grey area in terms of whether is a fallacy depending on whether it is relevant. If I weren’t more lazy I would make a Venn diagram to show this. Granted I could have worded me statement much, much more cordially. For that I apologize. I try to keep my comments mostly civil, although it is fun to lob a bomb every once and a while. BTW,you know my conflict of interest (hint, my state tax bill is way too high).

Why are your posts are shallow and tiresome (I should have used kinder words)? It seems to me that your solutions deny gravity, shallow. You tend to label a problem and strong arm a solution with complete disregard for the unintended consequences, leaving the details for the central planners. I think an interaction between you, flu and pri was emblematic. They was asking you to name names of who should have their wealth taken from them directly. What gains were ill gotten and what weren’t. I think I read something to this point on another thread too about whether steve jobs came by his money honestly or through grift. To date I have not seen an answer… probably because it is unanswerable in the specifics, only in the aggregate witch hunt. I especially liked this post from pri…

pri_dk wrote:
CA renter wrote:
I'd put Alan Greenspan at the very top of the list.

You do know that Alan Greenspan was a public employee?

He almost certainly is drawing a pension.

And what is the Federal Reserve anyway? It's primary function is to determine interest rates - the price of money.

A group of knowledgeable people deciding what things are worth to society. Where have we heard that idea before?

Lets take a look up-thread:

CA renter wrote:
I am not at all an adherent of the "Efficient Market Hypothesis" [...]

Sometimes, we need rational people to monitor and regulate markets -- people with the requisite knowledge and understanding of how things work and who fully understand what the consequences of certain actions will be. Call it what you will...

So we should have "rational people monitoring and regulating markets," but if anything goes wrong, we hold them accountable and make them personally compensate for the market losses?

Are you actually suggesting that we hold public employees accountable, and have them bear the cost of financial downturns, just like everyone else?

I think we may be starting to agree after all...

Do you think the likes of Greenspan are gone. That government has wised up, or even can wise up? Do you actually think he was trying to actively harm the country (I think that is called treason)? Is Frank Dodd going to fix it for us? There were many bankers who did what they felt would maximize their returns, but do you think they were trying to bring down the banking system? They were just dancing while the music played. If you were a trader, would you ride the sinking ship down once the holes appeared for the good of the country? Or would you short that sucker and bid it adieu?

Assuming anything other than people will always act in their own interest (or the interest of their family/friends), and that we as people are really bad at telling the future (bureaucrats chief among us), will yield to some pretty suboptimum outcomes.

Nobody likes income inequality, but income equality is even more base. A world where everyone gets paid the same is not only an impossible utopian dream, it is evil. People are not born equally capable, efficient, hardworking, or crafty, to equate the outcomes of unequal abilities is a recipe for starvation (not talking metaphorically here).

Oh one more passing thought. Quoting Mother Jones and then imploring me to do my research strikes me a a bit...hmm (I guess I need to leave that alone before I really get into the ad hominem territory)

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 18, 2012 - 7:34pm.

Yes that is how it was on the east coast. Nearly all had Summer jobs. I remember seeing teachers driving buses for Summer camps, working as lifeguards, camp counselors and waiting tables etc. I would love to see some data on public sector compensation for various categories of workers 1970 (In the good old days) and 2010 (dreaded current situation). My guess is they have very significantly better today than in the good old days. I would also guess their gains have exceeeded those of typical private sector employees. Anyone have data on this?

Submitted by jstoesz on January 18, 2012 - 7:44pm.

btw. I really don't think the root of the problem here is teachers. It is all the midlevel people working in agencies that are not only expensive, but harmful to the state economy. Delta Smelt anyone? For some reason they are never threatened with pink slips...probably cause the citizens would call that bluff in a new york minute.

What does someone actually do in the public safety department, especially and 150k a year or whatever? Seriously, this is an honest question.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on January 18, 2012 - 7:47pm.

One of my teachers used to fix bicycle flats on my block in Brooklyn ny in his yard in the 70s. I think he did it for the money cause he was surly, not a pedophile and charged everyone top dollar. Pretty good service if I remember.

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 18, 2012 - 8:06pm.

I dont think its teachers either and thats why I asked for other positions also. In particular the ones with the strong unions like fireman, police, teachers have made huge leaps in income from what I have seen though as you noted it has occured in all the unionized workers. My guess is they have it alot better than in the good old days CAR waxes nostalgic over.

Public safety is basically police and fire. I've dealt with several and all had incomes between 100 and 150K depending upon whether they were staff or higher ranks. On top of that they all got very rich contributions to retirement. They do tough jobs and risky jobs. Most are worthy of respect. They are now paid at or above the levels of the most highly educated white collar professionals. They werent in the "good old days" when their jobs were just as tough if not tougher.

Submitted by jstoesz on January 18, 2012 - 8:40pm.

Oh, duh... When you said masters and public safety, my brain thinking railings and signs...

We need to shrink the railings and sign department!

Submitted by briansd1 on January 18, 2012 - 9:45pm.

sdrealtor wrote:
One recurring theme I keep hearing from CAR is lets go back to the good days!

Here is what I remember of the good old days. Teachers got Summer jobs, didnt live in my upper middle class neighborhood, they commuted from more affordable neighborhoods 20 to 30 minutes away and they drove late model cars.

My Sunday school teacher was also a principal and his twin brother a teacher. They both taught religious school to supplement their income. They also had a roofing business on weekends and full time in the Summer (I worked a Summer job with them). They drove older cars.

Now roll forward to today. My daughters 3rd grade teacher recently bought a nicer house than most of the students live in. She's married to another teacher in the district. The teachers lot is full of BMW's, Range Rover, Lexus and Benz's. Most teachers dont work over the Summer. I know a few that spend it in Maui and some of the younger ones who went trekking in Nepal last Summer. Oh how they must long for the good old days!

I heard the same stories about the good old days.

Public service is not public service anymore. It's about getting a job. That applies to all government employees including the military.

When I hear people thumping about safety, protecting freedom and such, I think: my foot - it's about the paycheck.

BTW, Republicans like to blame Democrats for the budget predicaments we're in. But Republicans are just as guilty if not more. With needless tought sentencing laws and militarism, Republicans have built up the law-enforcement and military industrial complexes that are bleeding us dry. In that respect, I support Ron Paul.

Submitted by CDMA ENG on January 18, 2012 - 11:30pm.

AN wrote:
sdrealtor wrote:
A line worker is one who works in production or at a staff level position. Not a management position responsible for a dept or with employees below them they are reponsible for. Its not a derogatory description and so nice of you to try to make it sound so. If anything its a very clinical term.

While you are here CAR instead of being noticably absent from this thread do you think a $250K household income is a normal reasonable income for a couple of young 30ish public sector employees? Additionally as you often claim public sector workers are underpaid relative to the private sector do you think they'd be making over 300K in the private sector as non-business owners or SR management? You do realize that income puts them in the top 1 or 2 % of wage earners in the country and thats without considering the generous retirement contributions made on their behalf.


I'd love to see data to back up the claim that public employees make much less than private employees for the same position. Base on my anecdotal, I don't see it. When I graduated many years ago, classmates who got into SPAWAR were getting paid just as much as those who got jobs in the private sector. AFAIK, nurses at VA hospital is making about the same as nurses at Scripps. Nurses at UCSD is making more than nurses at Scripps. Nurses at Scripps are making more than nurses at Sharp.

Hmmm...

I call shenigans on that one AN. Had an offer and turned it down cold. I have a great aunt and uncle over there (uncles retired with damn good pension) and they told me good things about the place including the 9 to 5 and nothing more but I did not find it even close to competive in terms of earnings...

I think I would have liked the job though... Back then it was called something like NAVSPAWAR or something else longer...

Submitted by CA renter on January 18, 2012 - 11:37pm.

jstoesz wrote:
CA renter wrote:
jstoesz wrote:
I have asked this before and I will ask it again, because so far I have gotten no answer from you. What is your affiliation with public-sector workers? Your answers are shallow and tiresome and they reek of self interest!

I just met up with an old friend who graduated with the civil engineering degree. He lost his job recently in the private sector, and just got a job in the public sector. Guess what he's making more then he did in the private sector, a lot more. He rides around a few days a week in a large 40k 4 x 4 Ford that's brand-new, thanks Katrina for your levee caused freak out And that's just salary I'm not talking pension here! Wake up CAR we're getting fleeced, at least my buddy knows that he is riding the gravy train. That's all I ask of public sector employees, a little gratitude!

Quite frankly, it's none of your business (and I don't mean that in an unkind way). I always make a point of addressing the topic rather than making personal attacks. You can review my posts over many years and see that I never make a personal attack unless someone else initiates it. Even then, I try to refrain from doing so until the other person has so hopelessly gone off-topic and begun to rant emotionally that I sometimes end up in the gutter with him (so far, it's never been a female poster).

Perhaps it would be more productive if you could explain why you think my points are "shallow" or "tiresome." At least then we could have a more productive discussion instead of engaging in childish emotional rants and personal attacks.

The reason I'm defending (public AND private) unions is because I believe that unions protect workers from corporate/financial interests who constantly strive to take an ever-growing share of the value created by workers. If you don't believe me, check out what happened in the private sector after the demise of the unions:

"A huge share of the nation's economic growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top one-hundredth of one percent, who now make an average of $27 million per household. The average income for the bottom 90 percent of us? $31,244."

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/...

I'll say it again (and again, and again...because once we cross the line, there is no going back), the people who are behind the attacks on public unions are the very same ones who are behind this growing wealth disparity. They are NOT looking out for Joe Sixpack's best interests, and they are NOT taxpayer advocates.

Do your research!

Although asking about a conflict of interest is considered argumentum ad hominem, it is a grey area in terms of whether is a fallacy depending on whether it is relevant. If I weren’t more lazy I would make a Venn diagram to show this. Granted I could have worded me statement much, much more cordially. For that I apologize. I try to keep my comments mostly civil, although it is fun to lob a bomb every once and a while. BTW,you know my conflict of interest (hint, my state tax bill is way too high).

Why are your posts are shallow and tiresome (I should have used kinder words)? It seems to me that your solutions deny gravity, shallow. You tend to label a problem and strong arm a solution with complete disregard for the unintended consequences, leaving the details for the central planners. I think an interaction between you, flu and pri was emblematic. They was asking you to name names of who should have their wealth taken from them directly. What gains were ill gotten and what weren’t. I think I read something to this point on another thread too about whether steve jobs came by his money honestly or through grift. To date I have not seen an answer… probably because it is unanswerable in the specifics, only in the aggregate witch hunt. I especially liked this post from pri…

pri_dk wrote:
CA renter wrote:
I'd put Alan Greenspan at the very top of the list.

You do know that Alan Greenspan was a public employee?

He almost certainly is drawing a pension.

And what is the Federal Reserve anyway? It's primary function is to determine interest rates - the price of money.

A group of knowledgeable people deciding what things are worth to society. Where have we heard that idea before?

Lets take a look up-thread:

CA renter wrote:
I am not at all an adherent of the "Efficient Market Hypothesis" [...]

Sometimes, we need rational people to monitor and regulate markets -- people with the requisite knowledge and understanding of how things work and who fully understand what the consequences of certain actions will be. Call it what you will...

So we should have "rational people monitoring and regulating markets," but if anything goes wrong, we hold them accountable and make them personally compensate for the market losses?

Are you actually suggesting that we hold public employees accountable, and have them bear the cost of financial downturns, just like everyone else?

I think we may be starting to agree after all...

Do you think the likes of Greenspan are gone. That government has wised up, or even can wise up? Do you actually think he was trying to actively harm the country (I think that is called treason)? Is Frank Dodd going to fix it for us? There were many bankers who did what they felt would maximize their returns, but do you think they were trying to bring down the banking system? They were just dancing while the music played. If you were a trader, would you ride the sinking ship down once the holes appeared for the good of the country? Or would you short that sucker and bid it adieu?

Assuming anything other than people will always act in their own interest (or the interest of their family/friends), and that we as people are really bad at telling the future (bureaucrats chief among us), will yield to some pretty suboptimum outcomes.

Nobody likes income inequality, but income equality is even more base. A world where everyone gets paid the same is not only an impossible utopian dream, it is evil. People are not born equally capable, efficient, hardworking, or crafty, to equate the outcomes of unequal abilities is a recipe for starvation (not talking metaphorically here).

Oh one more passing thought. Quoting Mother Jones and then imploring me to do my research strikes me a a bit...hmm (I guess I need to leave that alone before I really get into the ad hominem territory)

But I'm not the one trying to strong-arm a solution. Pri and others have done so, not I. They want to force all public employees into DC pension plans (which can't happen, anyway, for a number of reasons), irrespective of WHY the pension problems exist and WHO caused them. THAT is shallow and tiresome.

As for the bankers' names, I DID list some names in the other thread. Apparently, Pri didn't see it. Basically, I think everyone who was involved in originating, securing, selling, and rating of "toxic" securities needs to be investigated, especially if they mischaracterized those investments anywhere along that chain, and those at the very top (especially) need to be brought to justice. Public employees should not be taking the hit for these a$$holes.

Yes, I think they knew EXACTLY what was going to happen. This isn't about ignorantly making money while the money was good; I'm talking about INTENTIONAL FRAUD. There are plenty of examples where people (regulators, employees, etc.) were trying to warn about it long before any known "financial crisis," but they were shut down. BTW, the greatest crimes didn't happen on the short side when the market was about to tank, they happened as the market was going up.

Submitted by CA renter on January 18, 2012 - 11:39pm.

briansd1 wrote:

I heard the same stories about the good old days.

Public service is not public service anymore. It's about getting a job. That applies to all government employees including the military.

When I hear people thumping about safety, protecting freedom and such, I think: my foot - it's about the paycheck.

BTW, Republicans like to blame Democrats for the budget predicaments we're in. But Republicans are just as guilty if not more. With needless tought sentencing laws and militarism, Republicans have built up the law-enforcement and military industrial complexes that are bleeding us dry. In that respect, I support Ron Paul.

It has **always** been about the paycheck -- especially the benefits. If anyone told you any different, they were lying.

Nuns do what they do for the "service" aspect. Public employees tend to be the most qualified employees in their respective fields. Of course they expect to be compensated for it.

Submitted by an on January 18, 2012 - 11:43pm.

CDMA ENG wrote:
Hmmm...

I call shenigans on that one AN. Had an offer and turned it down cold. I have a great aunt and uncle over there (uncles retired with damn good pension) and they told me good things about the place including the 9 to 5 and nothing more but I did not find it even close to competive in terms of earnings...

I think I would have liked the job though... Back then it was called something like NAVSPAWAR or something else longer...


When was this? In 2002, I had 2 classmates accepting offers at SPAWAR for $55k/year. Us who work in the private sector were getting $50-55k. So, either they lie or it was different in 2002 compare to when you got your offer.

I know someone who works at North Island and he have MANY friends at SPAWAR. He said the pay at SPAWAR is very competitive to private sector, but they also work you much harder(relatively to North Island), so he decide to stay at North Island. Take his 2 hour lunches, take a month each year off because of "use it or lose it" rule, work his 9-5, get his overtime when getting near deadline, etc. I ask him when he'll retire and he told me he's basically semi-retired. The work is super slow and laid back. There's no point for him to retire since there's little to no pressure at work.

Submitted by an on January 18, 2012 - 11:44pm.

CA renter wrote:
Public employees tend to be the most qualified employees in their respective fields. Of course they expect to be compensated for it.

Do you have proof on this assertion?

Submitted by CDMA ENG on January 18, 2012 - 11:52pm.

And a couple of things of note CAR...

One. Linemen are very skilled labor. They are highly paid because simply, if the f up, they're dead. I have worked with many in my years of cellular and they have everybit of shitty union attitude of anyone I have ever met.

Two. I have heard the word lineman used to mean the rank and file. Just because you have not heard the term doesn't mean anyone else has.

Three. I have listened to you espouse all day long the plight of the working man, not a trival matter, but surely misguided. A lot of you believe to be the correct role of goverment in business has been tried. The results... Greece, Italy, Spain... pick another Eurozone country...

Do you really think this goverment is some how impervesus to the same policies? This really is what is being discussed and at the root cause of the EUs failures and maybe ours...

Think about it...

Take care,

CE

Submitted by CDMA ENG on January 19, 2012 - 12:00am.

AN wrote:
CDMA ENG wrote:
Hmmm...

I call shenigans on that one AN. Had an offer and turned it down cold. I have a great aunt and uncle over there (uncles retired with damn good pension) and they told me good things about the place including the 9 to 5 and nothing more but I did not find it even close to competive in terms of earnings...

I think I would have liked the job though... Back then it was called something like NAVSPAWAR or something else longer...


When was this? In 2002, I had 2 classmates accepting offers at SPAWAR for $55k/year. Us who work in the private sector were getting $50-55k. So, either they lie or it was different in 2002 compare to when you got your offer.

I know someone who works at North Island and he have MANY friends at SPAWAR. He said the pay at SPAWAR is very competitive to private sector, but they also work you much harder(relatively to North Island), so he decide to stay at North Island. Take his 2 hour lunches, take a month each year off because of "use it or lose it" rule, work his 9-5, get his overtime when getting near deadline, etc. I ask him when he'll retire and he told me he's basically semi-retired. The work is super slow and laid back. There's no point for him to retire since there's little to no pressure at work.

Hmmm...

38K is what the offered 3 of us... This is Circa 1998.

And damn near everyone I knew lied about thier offer letter... heheh...

But the three of us all had the same offer letter... pretty general letter...

My uncle was at the main building on the I5 and my aunt still resides over at the light house... Best damn office in the US...

Yeah they like it... But I needed money and 38K wasnt enough for SD...

Main building is always very busy... I am not sure how it is anywhere else...

CE

P.S. That was for BSEEs... Your friends had masters?

Submitted by an on January 19, 2012 - 12:21am.

CDMA ENG wrote:
Hmmm...

38K is what the offered 3 of us... This is Circa 1998.

And damn near everyone I knew lied about thier offer letter... heheh...

But the three of us all had the same offer letter... pretty general letter...

My uncle was at the main building on the I5 and my aunt still resides over at the light house... Best damn office in the US...

Yeah they like it... But I needed money and 38K wasnt enough for SD...

Main building is always very busy... I am not sure how it is anywhere else...

CE

P.S. That was for BSEEs... Your friends had masters?


Nope, we all have BSEE. The person I know in North Island with friends at SPAWAR told me (back then) that they have been making SPAWAR pay much more competitive. Maybe your offer was before they decided to be competitive. A lot of his friends jumped from North Island to SPAWAR because of the drastic increase in pay.

I don't doubt people would lie about their pay but two have two people lying and giving me the same number is a huge coincidence if it's not true. We were pretty open about our initial offer back then. So I didn't doubt them.

Submitted by briansd1 on January 19, 2012 - 12:37am.

CA renter wrote:
Public employees tend to be the most qualified employees in their respective fields. Of course they expect to be compensated for it.

Public employees may look qualified on paper, but are they hardworking and productive? No. Why not? Because they are protected by work rules that don't work them that hard.

I'm not necessarily saying public employees should work harder but I'll never believe they are more productive than similar private sector workers.

Let me give you two examples:

You can do most DMV paperwork at AAA instead of DMV. The AAA employees are more pleasant because they try to sell you insurance services by making appointments for their agents.

Go to DMV and you get grumpy old hags who are difficult.

AAA used to process vehicle paperwork for friends and family of members as a courtesy. But now, they will only process paperwork for members. Why? Because AAA has a contract with DMV that stipulates so; and DMV audits them. DMV audits them because if AAA processes paperwork for everybody, DMV might as well outsource all their work.

My cousin retired to South Florida. She's very well qualified and wanted to volunteer at the library. She's cheerful and upbeat and would do a great job for free.

The library claims that they need help and want volunteers, but they really don't because they want to protect their jobs. They would rather have shorter library hours than take volunteers who might "steal" their jobs. So they erect roadblocks, etc... It's not about public service.

Another thing, fire departments used to be volunteer in many parts of the country. But now, you need certification this and that for "safety". Of course, for the certifications, it takes years of work and kissing ass to the right people. It's 90% bull.

Personally, I'd rather have less safety and have a volunteer fire department nearly free of charge to the taxpayers.

Submitted by CA renter on January 19, 2012 - 1:15am.

CDMA ENG wrote:
And a couple of things of note CAR...

One. Linemen are very skilled labor. They are highly paid because simply, if the f up, they're dead. I have worked with many in my years of cellular and they have everybit of shitty union attitude of anyone I have ever met.

Two. I have heard the word lineman used to mean the rank and file. Just because you have not heard the term doesn't mean anyone else has.

Three. I have listened to you espouse all day long the plight of the working man, not a trival matter, but surely misguided. A lot of you believe to be the correct role of goverment in business has been tried. The results... Greece, Italy, Spain... pick another Eurozone country...

Do you really think this goverment is some how impervesus to the same policies? This really is what is being discussed and at the root cause of the EUs failures and maybe ours...

Think about it...

Take care,

CE

Oh, I could not agree more! Sdr was referring to public employees as "line workers," and I'm quite sure he meant it in a derrogatory way. Understand that this thing between sdr and myself goes back a ways and has it's root in discussions on and off-line. He has an elitist attitude WRT people who do acutal work.

I would NEVER put down workers...I'm a socialist. :)

As far as Greece, Italy, Spain...not only do they have "generous" benefits; they (especially Greece) have a huge black market, and tax evasion is a national pastime. One this is certain, you can have generous benefits and high taxes, or you can have no/few benefits and no/low taxes, but you cannot have both. Greece, and the other countries to a lesser extent from what I've read, have been trying to have their cake and eat it, too. That clearly will never work.

I also think this one of the problems underlying our debt/deficit problems. Our tax rates are at historic lows, but our expenditures are at/near historic highs. I believe we need to address BOTH the spending AND the incredibly low tax rates.

Submitted by CA renter on January 19, 2012 - 1:23am.

AN wrote:
CA renter wrote:
Public employees tend to be the most qualified employees in their respective fields. Of course they expect to be compensated for it.

Do you have proof on this assertion?

Yep, it's a few posts above. You can research it, too. There are a number of studies that examined the claim that public employees make more than their private sector counterparts. They found that those in the public sector were, on average, making at or below what comparably qualified employees in the private sector were making.

I've also worked in both the public and private sector -- and while my private sector job was different from my public sector job, it was a management job, whereas my public sector job was not. There is no doubt that the standards for public employment were much higher than for employment in the private sector. That's been my experience and the experience of others I know who have done both.

This is why BG and I tell people to "step up to the plate" and stop whining. Only after they have gone through the rigorous hiring process in the public sector can they have an appreciation for what we're talking about. The govt takes only the cream of the crop unless "the good times" prevents them from competing with private sector employers/jobs -- like we saw during the bubble years.

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