The same, stale attack against teacher unions and performance of L,A. schools. That’s about all I could decipher from his mummbling delivery. A bit of rebuttal, from Truthout, I think: The Facts Make It Clear: Public Workers and Unions Are Not Overpaid
Submitted by BuzzFlash on Tue, 06/26/2012 – 8:58am.
PAUL BUCHHEIT FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
The wealthiest Americans have a long-held delusion, passed along through their media outlets to the rest of us, that they pick up the bill for most of our country’s needs, and that middle-class public workers and unions benefit from their generosity. But facts, not emotions, are needed to provide the truth. And there are plenty of eye-opening facts that refute the far-right claims.
Fact #1: Government employees make up 16.7% of U.S. employees and receive 17.6% of the pay.
The public vs. private “who gets higher pay?” battle has convincing arguments on both sides. Yet a careful analysis of Census Department data confirms that government employees earn less than 1% more than private sector employees. Recent (2009) compensation figures reveal that:
- 107 million private sector workers earned $4,829 billion, an average of $45,000
- 2.8 million federal government workers earned $192 billion, an average of $68,000
- 4.6 million state government workers earned $226 billion, an average of $48,700
- 14 million local government workers earned $612 billion, an average of $43,000
With all benefits included, the 21.4 million government employees make up 16.7% of U.S. employees and receive 20% of the total compensation. The higher benefits exist mainly at the federal level. For the states, government employees make up 3.6% of the U.S. workforce and receive 3.9% of the total compensation.
The federal pay advantage is largely due to higher education levels and more advanced professional skills. The Economic Policy Institute, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and Congressional Budget Office all acknowledge this. 44% of federal jobs are professional positions (lawyers, economists, engineers), compared with 32% in the private sector. Close to 50% of full-time federal and state and local government employees have college degrees, compared to 35% for private employees.
Fact #2: Union members make up about 12% of the workforce, but their total pay amounts to just 9.5% of adjusted gross income as reported to the IRS.
There are 14.8 million union employees, with a $50,000 median salary. The IRS reported total adjusted gross income of $7.8 trillion in 2009.
Fact #3: CEOs and financial employees, with 11.3% of adjusted gross income, made more than ALL 15 million unionized workers in the United States, and twice as much as ALL 7.4 million federal and state government workers.
This fact highlights the extreme income inequality in the nation and within the private sector. As noted above, the AVERAGE private sector worker makes about the same salary as a state or local government worker. But the MEDIAN U.S. worker salary is almost $14,000 less, at $26,363. While corporate executives and financial workers (about one-half of 1% of the workforce) make multi-million dollar salaries, millions of private company workers toil as food servers, clerks, medical workers, and domestic help at below-average pay. In government, on the other hand, a lower turnover rate and a higher incidence of union membership contribute to wage stability.
Fact #4: The total annual pension contribution of the 50 states is about the same as the total state taxes avoided by corporations.
According to the Pew Center, the latest available annual pension contribution by the 50 states amounted to just under $60 billion.
According to a Citizens for Tax Justice report on the state tax avoidance of 265 large companies, only 3% of the required 6.2% was paid. At that rate, the nonpayment on $1.8 trillion in 2010 corporate profits would amount to just under $60 billion.
Federal tax avoidance is much worse. While corporate profits have doubled to $1.8 trillion in less than ten years, the corporate income tax rate, which for thirty years hovered around the 20-25% level, suddenly dropped to 10% after the recession. It has remained there for three years. That’s a $270 billion nonpayment. Makes the pension payment look puny.
Public sector and union workers make modest salaries with hard-earned benefits. Rather than trying to reduce public sector pay, industry leaders should be addressing wage inequality in the private sector by bringing employee compensation closer to the level warranted by 30 years of productivity growth.
Not that there is anything wrong with ‘petiod’ parties. I just find it humorous that Republican period parties tend to be the Gilded Age, Roaring 20′s, and 1950′s, and Democratic period parties tend to be Rent parties, the 60′s and the 90′s. One group celebrates expanding rights while the other celebrates expanding personal wealth.
I wish there were photos!
“This theme was the 1950s, with many of those attending dressed for the times, poodle skirts, T-shirts with cigarettes pack rolled up in the sleeve, leather jackets and Elvis wigs.”
No surprise the ’50s were chosen; how nostalgia photoshops blemishes of ugly realities from some peoples memories. Blacks knew their place and didn’t cause trouble, Emmett Till, 14, like Trayvon Martin, was established teaching methodology; it seemed everyone liked Ike; Levittown was booming; dinner was on the table when dad came home from work; TVs turned living rooms into eclectic entertainment venues with everyone loving Lucy and tolerating Desi, but united in devotion to Ozzie and Harriet and the Nelson boys; DiMaggio made his greatest catch, snagging Marilyn Monroe as his wife before Hef shelled out $500 for a photo of the beauty causing a nation of men to get a seven year itch; and a dumpy, proletarian dressed Time editor named Whittaker Chambers, had his memoir, Witness, published, ratting out his old commie buddy, Alger Hiss, already jailed in ’51. Of Witness, one reviewer, aTea Partier for sure, wrote, “Chambers recklessly lumps Socialists, progressives, liberals, and men of good will together with the Communists”.
Everybody was having a great time and salivating over the even better times they knew were coming. Oops! Everybody that was White, I mean.
Ignored or unnoticed, lurking in the shadows of societal indifferance, darkening as time progressed, as Nixon’s beard turned a sinister hue by the time Father Knows Best was telecast, a cast of thousands were changing the rhythm and beat, in the homes and coffee houses and out on the street. Along came Ginsburg, Synder, Cassady and On The Road with Jack Kerouac, producing a living anthology dancing to a different drummer of the Levittown American dream.
And Martin Luther King had a dream; not until the ’60s did he share it with me as I sat in front of our TV screen. But the doors to enter this dream had to be battered open–in Selma, Birmingham, Chicago and at a million dinner tables across the land–and people of different hues, snatched, some forcefully, some with peaceful patience, for a piece of the American Pie. But like days of old when knights were bold, the lords and ladies who had the gold, sent archers to the towers, raised the drawbridge, prepared to Stand Their Ground and defend the wealth accumulated through the oceans of sweat that poured forth from the multitude of serfs endlessly toiling in their Liege lord’s fields.
Yes Indeed. The fifties, a Golden, revered time for the Grand Old Party.
PS quotes came from David Halberstam’s, The Fifties–an excellent read if you’ve missed it.
What’s up with the cowboy hat and rancher attire? I’ve seen Photos of him wearing similar outfits earlier this year.
Mark and I have/had mutual friends. We’ve had dinner together a couple of times. Mark’s wife is/was very active in Mom’s on the Mountain fundraiser for Nevada City Schools. She worked with my wife with MOM’s. I’ve never seen him dress like that.
I don’t recall him dressing like that when he owned Cafe Mekka!
Thanks for calling that out. You have nailed the “phony baloney” element. I’m sure Mark is a nice person, but if you look at his resume, he’s jumped from one venture to another. Remember our report here about Mark’s “send money please” plea.
Meckles and the Teabaguettes live in a winger bubble. He says Cantor is a “surrender monkey” for saying two weeks prior to taking the country hostage that the House Republicans would not ever shut down the Federal government. In fact Cantor had to say that so he could avoid tipping off the American people to what the Republics were about to do. Had he not said it, as I recall, they would have been pilloried before they got the chance to betray their country. Meckler and the TP faithful are fool enough to not even know how out of touch with real Americans they really are.