Monday, February 28, 2011

100,000 Protesters Sticking Up for Workers. And Virtually Alone

If I had to choose between unions and corporate heads or their management lackeys, I'd choose unions most of the time. But, the truth of the matter is, if I had to choose between labor and management, I'd choose labor 90% of the time.

That includes management of labor unions.

Seriously, is this the only force we can rely on to counter the effects of the corporatocracy? They're willing to sell out workers left and right in order to maintain what little power they have? Will they be content when they wake up and find they have no power anymore at the bargaining table since they've whittled it all away trying to keep their own jobs? More often than not, they care more for their swivel chairs than those they're supposed to represent.

But then, who is getting a fair shake by the media? Certainly not the workers? Who, after all, represented them on Sunday mornings' roundabouts with Republican leaders on the press shows? Meet the Press had Governor Walker. Was anybody around to counter his lies and misstatements? Did anybody ask him about these truths? Really Bad Reporting in Wisconsin: Who 'Contributes' to Public Workers' Pensions?:
Gov. Scott Walker says he wants state workers covered by collective bargaining agreements to "contribute more" to their pension and health insurance plans.

Accepting Gov. Walker' s assertions as fact, and failing to check, created the impression that somehow the workers are getting something extra, a gift from taxpayers. They are not.

Out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin's pension and health insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state workers.

How can that be? Because the "contributions" consist of money that employees chose to take as deferred wages – as pensions when they retire – rather than take immediately in cash. The same is true with the health care plan. If this were not so a serious crime would be taking place, the gift of public funds rather than payment for services...

The key problem is that journalists are assuming that statements by Gov. Scott Walker have basis in fact. Journalists should never accept the premise of a political statement, but often they do, which explains why so much of our public policy is at odds with well-established principles.

The question journalists should be asking is "who contributes" to the state of Wisconsin' s pension and health care plans...

The fact is that all of the money going into these plans belongs to the workers because it is part of the compensation of the state workers. The fact is that the state workers negotiate their total compensation, which they then divvy up between cash wages, paid vacations, health insurance and, yes, pensions. Since the Wisconsin government workers collectively bargained for their compensation, all of the compensation they have bargained for is part of their pay and thus only the workers contribute to the pension plan. This is an indisputable fact.

The workers currently pay 100 percent from their compensation package, but a portion of it is deducted from their paychecks and a portion of it goes directly to the pension plan...

Gov. Walker says that he wants them to 'contribute more' via deductions from their paychecks. But since the workers already contribute 100 percent of the money going to the pension plan the real issue is changing the accounting for this to reduce cash wages.

The mainstream media isn't liberal. Or conservative. They're paid to do what they're paid to do: pretend that everything is all right in the US, and that our corporate overlords have everything under control.

I'm beyond disgusted right now...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be kind. Rewind.