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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Blame the little people



I'm so tired of seeing the little guys who do their job taking on the chin. Remember the whole Twinkie thing a while ago? How many people were left with the impression that the problem was a stubborn union? The lion's share of the blame should have gone towards the owners who strip mined the company's assets and gave themselves huge bonuses. That's just one recent example.

We had the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. The idea was sold that the cuts would stimulate the economy and create jobs. The economy would grow so fast that the lost tax revenue would more than be made up with growth. It didn't happen. It failed, definitively. So why are still having this argument? Why are we looking at cuts in Social Security and Medicare to plug the fiscal hole?

Back when I was a Firefighter I did a stint on the negotiation committee for a new contract. The city manager had this big long presentation. He went on and on about the horrible shape of the city's finances. Because the finances were so bad the Firefighters should take a cut in pay.

Finally, I couldn't stand it anymore. I asked the manager if the city was currently on fire. He looked at me a bit funny and said no. That's because I've been doing my job, I said. The fiscal health of the city was your job. Don't ask me to take a cut in pay because of your incompetence.

Negotiations went downhill from there. He really didn't like me much. That's fine. In the end, instead of a cut, we got a small increase. I think he finally settled with us so he wouldn't have to meet with me anymore.

-Sixbears

22 comments:

  1. I used to be a Republican shop steward in a steel worker's local. Neither side knew what to think of me. :-)

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  2. Good job.
    They don't gotta like you, they just gotta be reminded of priorities.

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  3. Even worse, they reward the ones who deny responsibility. The bankruptcy plan for Hostess includes bonuses to 19 Hostess executives of upwards of $1.8 million. The bonuses do not include pay for CEO Gregory Rayburn, who is being paid $125,000 a month.

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    Replies
    1. They reward people who should go to jail.

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  4. They certainly do. They should reward them by SENDING them to jail, but no, I think it is going to have to be a life-size version of those Ikea guillotines, lol.

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    Replies
    1. Well . . . that's one way to reduce head count.

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  5. It is easier to pin it on the little guy. They don't fight back as much.

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    Replies
    1. . . . but when a lot of little guys band together.

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  6. Too bad the higher ups always get the bonuses and the workers get the shaft!

    Always will be that way until the masses say "enough!"

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    Replies
    1. I think more and more people have reached that point.

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  7. The problem with the theories on both sides of the political spectrum is that they are both trying to stimulate growth, when that's just not going to happen. Of course, on the practical level, there's greed and corruption at the highest levels on both sides, too.

    Big corporations, big government, big media, they all take care of each other. Us little people have to learn to do the same.

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    Replies
    1. We can have a decent life without growth. What we can't have is all the money going to the top and none at the bottom.

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    2. What growth did was allow them to give tiny bits to the people at the bottom to keep them happy while the people at top got obscenely rich. That game is up now.

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    3. It's disturbing to hear the rich, like that Australian mine owner who though miners should work for just a few dollars a day.

      Where does it end? When the rich have all the money and the poor none, what's to keep the poor from just walking away from the whole system? Not much.

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  8. I'm sure the City Manager would have been happy to take a cut in salary if you'd asked him nicely...

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  9. My husband worked at a lumber mill. Management fought tooth and nail against every wage increase. Of course the uppers all got theirs, they did no improvements or upgrades to the facility and finally shut it. Eight hundred people lost jobs that should have remained.

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    Replies
    1. That sucks. That's a lot of jobs lost and gone forever. They get theirs, we little people suffer.

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    2. I'm a firm believer that anyone in a managerial position should get a fairly minimal base wage and then have the bulk of their wage based on how the people they manage perform. And, turnover compared to the average would be a very important part of that, too, so they don't burn through employees.

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    3. Wouldn't it be nice to all be on the same team, with the rewards and risks also spread more evenly?

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