Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

A few random thoughts – Open Thread

Why aren’t Dems pushing the line that the economic downturn is a financial disaster every bit as harmful as a natural disaster and therefore financial aid to the states is a form of disaster relief?

If right-to-work is such a great economic benefit and job creator, why do 9 of the 22 right-to-work states have higher than median unemployment than the national average? Or the flip-side, why do all four of the states with unionization rates over 20% have lower unemployment rates than the national average?

High CEO pay is justified by saying that companies have to offer high pay to attract talent. Yet the same people that make that argument also argue that public sector workers are overpaid. If you put those two arguments together then you have to accept that people who claim  public sector workers are overpaid really want to attract less qualified people for those jobs.

One last oddity. If teachers unions adversely affect student performance then the states that don’t have teachers unions should have better performance. In reality, the opposite is true. That would seem to indicate that unions actually improve performance. Why isn’t this argument being made?

What do you have to say?


  1. anna shane

    on class warfare:

    I’ve not been a fan of Nadar, because of Gore vs. Bush, but I’m also guilty of seeing him as a crank. It seems, however, that Rich agrees with him on the futility of politics making any difference.  Our fat cats aren’t hiring because they don’t make anything anymore, only money from money, it’s the new industry and they pay themselves well by robbing the rest of us, and they do that well too.  We can be rightly distracted by politics, but in fact they’ve got us by the balls, in that they can threaten even worse outcomes if our politicians try to stop them, and they are a new breed of tyrant, the kind of heartless ones that can’t see suffering and feel quite innocent.  

    None of those things said about salaries are true but truth isn’t necessary, given the state of truth, or should I say so-called facts.  Teachers are just chumps, like the rest of us.  It’s voluntary servitude, fueled by our desire to be fooled, but it’s not like we have an actual choice.  

    When we run out of any capacity to fuel their greed with our collective pennies, maybe then they’ll create jobs, and when they do it’ll be up for grabs if they can create industries that make things worthy of being made.  

  2. They rage against collectivism, but support corporations, which are a type of collectives. America has one of the highest corporate employment levels in the world. It’s becoming more so all the time as companies merge or buy up others.

  3. The 1%/99% inequality meme, that is.

    Just this morning I caught a feature on the local cable news (NECN) about playhouses of the very rich — children’s playhouses custom-designed and built, starting in the five figures and running up well into the six.  Featuring finishes that are a damn sight finer than my home’s, and complete with a blonde-ringleted little girl modelling them.  Obscenely opulent amusements in a country reeling from job loss and foreclosures.

    When the segment was over, one anchor quipped to the other something like “Well, now we know what the one percent are spending their money on.”  The two, looking rather as if they wished they could just go ahead and roll their eyes, then went on to the next segment.

  4. alyssa chaos

    civil (in)justice, chamber of commerce, the buying of the judicial system:

    Hot Coffee

    gets it name from the infamous lawsuit in the 1990s of the lady suing McDonalds over spilling hot coffee on herself.

    Definitely a good doc to watch.

  5. Jjc2008

    already know how I feel about the right to collectively bargain, the “fake” right to work laws (which are not right to work but the right to go backwards in time and give rebirth to sweat shops, etc).  

    And you all know how I feel about the demonization of public employees and in particular teachers.  Blaming teachers for society’s failures has, for a long time, been a game played by the right, but sadly it had seeped into the public consciousness.  I have heard more than enough and sadly I have seen much of the teacher bashing on so called “liberal” blogs.

    It is as if history has been erased in the minds of so many.   Of course little labor history is taught in most schools.  And it has gotten less and less and less over the years.  Often younger teachers come into the profession ignorant of the history of teaching, ignorant of much of what happened in labor over the years.

    My nephew, having lost his job in corporate America, has returned to the classroom.  He had his tasted of corporate greed, and while in the beginning the mega salary and being treated “special” was tasty, it had soured.  But upon returning to the class room, the memory of how hard it really is to teach effectively returned for him.  We spent an hour on the phone last night talking about these things.  He was raised by my sister who was basically republican (not a crazy but she did have some libertarian tendences).  He was in the army for ten years but seeing how some of his formed brother soldiers have been treated after serving two and three turns in war, has pushed him farther and farther left.  I would say he is now center left and often turns to me to talk about political issues now.

    He never understood unions before because by the time he came of age, most unions had disappeared and the urban myths of how bad unions are had started taking hold.  He sounded back then (in his 20s) more like some in the right or even some on progressive blogs, who are socially liberal, are still anti union.

    In the end, as a teacher for over 40 years, who is still working often and lately almost full time as I try selling my house (pouring more and more money into it to compete in a lousy market), I cannot help but wonder how we got here?  How did we get to a place where a decent and fair wage, a decent retirement is considered being over paid and over compensated.  Back in 1967, when I started, I was happy to put a portion of my salary into a pension. I never had aspirations of wealth.  But I did want security.  I remember how at some point in my career, teachers were being targeted by financial institutions to open 403(b) accounts because somehow our pensions would not be enough. I never bought into it and I was in a district where there was no real choice.  You could open a 403(b) but you could not opt out of our state pension.   THANK goodness.  Most of my friends and I realize our pensions is solid while the few who took out the lump sum upon early retirement to invest have lost a lot of money.  

    Again, this myth of Americans that being rich is the only goal has distorted reality.  THAT was the Ponzi scheme.  

    I go back to Brandeis:

    We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.

    Louis D. Brandeis

  6. been awhile… i was in the can we talk? thread and tried to reply but i got a message ‘We’re sorry, but you are unauthorized to access this page.’ very weird. anyway – i am pretty sure we have a new troll who i saw in that thread – a good one (hint: also in this thread too), and i’ll leave it at that ; )

    anyway – won’t be long now. hope everyone is well.

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