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State and local employees receive 34% higher wages on average than workers in the private sector, and the government workers' fringe benefits are 70% higher than those in private industry. This is one of the stunning revelations in a new study by New Jersey economist A. Gary Shilling. Last year, 51.4% of unionized jobs were in government. In the early 1970s, more than 80% of unionized jobs were in the private sector and less than 20% in government, says Shilling. This leads to some stark imbalances: 84% of state and local governments offer their employees defined benefit pension plans. That compares with a mere 21% in the private sector, says Shilling, noting that in California, public safety workers retire at age 50 after 30 years of service with benefits equal to 90% of their final year's pay. Result: states and municipalities are on the brink of insolvency. He mentions that San Diego is one candidate for bankruptcy.

City Councilmember Carl DeMaio tomorrow (March 3) will hold a press conference at the 13th floor press conference room in city hall at 11 a.m. Subject: the rhetoric of city employee pay cuts does not match the reality. He notes that the city awards more than 2,000 raises and pays a top pension of $299,103 in the middle of the budget crisis. Among other things, he will discuss how many city employees entered the notorious "$100,000 Club" last year.

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 March 2, 2010 @ 5:53 p.m.

If you are a cop or Firewhiner you are making 20 times more than you would in the private sector.

We have all seen San Diego's $100K pension club, it is dominated by FF's, and to a lessor extent cops.

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Don Bauder March 2, 2010 @ 10:07 p.m.

Response to post #1: The safety employees are the ones that not only get fat salaries, but can retire at 50 with fat pensions. Yet many are just desk employees. Best, Don Bauder

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johnsd March 2, 2010 @ 11:03 p.m.

Congratulations to Mr. DeMaio for bringing sunshine to this "legal" theft of the taxpayers. Virtually everyone within the political class benefits from this racket and very few will do anything until insolvency (bankruptcy) is the only option left or the voters finally wake up and vote all of these thieves out.

In case anyone thinks the City of San Diego is unique, many, if not most, public agencies throughout California are in very similar situations. Contra Costa County in the SF East Bay is virtually bankrupt. The Contra Costa Times has done a very good job of highlighting the public pension racket "corruption." Below is a link regarding a couple of fire districts in affluent and relatively conservative, by Bay Area standards, communities:

http://www.contracostatimes.com/search/ci_14473039?nclick_check=1

On a state and national level we are also going bankrupt. The level of incompetence, or malevolence, in Sacramento and Washington DC is astounding. A recent article by Mr. Victor Davis Hanson used what is occurring in Greece as indicative of what may happen in California and the country:

http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson022610.html

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johnsd March 2, 2010 @ 11:19 p.m.

Although I do not agree with SP that firemen/policemen are overpaid by a factor of 20, their total compensation (salary+benefits) is significantly higher than it would be in the private sector. It is not that they are very well compensated, but it is all the extras (vacation, overtime, sick time, and many other tricks) that are used by these retirees to increase their last year's "salary" by as much as 40%--although 10-20% is more typical. These "public servants," or should it be "public masters," have no hone, integrity or shame in padding their last year's salary basis for their pension. The boards that oversee these payments have even less honor or integrity and are derelict of their fiduciary duty to the taxpayer.

I believe it was Jerry Brown who allowed the unionization of state employees that started California on its path to the current financial disaster. The Assembly and Senate have passed laws to benefit their union masters at the expense of the taxpayers. CALPERS' overconfidence at the peak of the tech bubble and their incompetence since then have turned a reasonably well funded pension plan into a sink hole that will be virtually impossible to get out of.

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johnsd March 2, 2010 @ 11:43 p.m.

In California, public safety workers retire at age 50 after 30 years of service with benefits equal to 90% of their final year's pay.

I am lucky to be in the 21% of private sector employees who still have a DB pension. For comparison purposes, below is an approximation of my pension, which is not indexed for inflation:

50 age/28 service - 25% 55 age/33 service - 40% 65 age/43 service - 45%

If I want a better retirement, I can put my own money into the 401k, which is partially matched up to 6%. As far as Social Security is concerned, I keep contributing to it and I doubt that I will receive much from it. SS payments are already taxed above $25k/$40k. Since SS, and Medicare, are woefully underfunded, they will probably become means tested in the future.

I am not complaining. I am very fortunate. However, the public sector employees have a compensation level that far exceeds what most of the people paying their salaries receive.

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Don Bauder March 3, 2010 @ 7:04 a.m.

Response to post #3: Greece is a tiny part of the EU. It has proposed a reform package (raising taxes, cutting spending) and will endure more street demonstrations. It will probably get aid from something like the International Monetary Fund or EU countries. My guess is that it will skate through -- barely. Then there are the other ailing euro countries: Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Spain. The euro may not fall this time. The euro-sceptics, who have doubted all along that a single currency would work, are no doubt gloating. But as you say, the problems on the local, state and national levels in the U.S. are quite similar. Governments have made promises that can't be met. Something has to give. As we discussed yesterday, greed, gluttony and a sense of entitlement are now woven into the American psyche. The next several years will be quite interesting

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Don Bauder March 3, 2010 @ 7:08 a.m.

Response to post #4: In municipalities in which a public employee's retirement pay is based on his/her last year of compensation, supervisors make sure the person gets lots of overtime that last year to guarantee a fat pension. As you point out, there are multiple abuses, and technically insolvent cities aren't riding herd on them. However, taxpayers are aware of them. We are going to hit a wall. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 3, 2010 @ 7:17 a.m.

Response to post #5: Your defined benefit pension is small indeed compared to those in the public sector, particularly those bestowed on safety employees. It sounds like your defined contribution program is doing OK; in my opinion, I would be careful how much you put into equities. I do believe that the Dow could wind up this year at 12,000, but will only be worth 8,000. I say that just because I think the liquidity flood will continue, both in the U.S. and Europe, and probably Japan, which may be the worst off of all countries. But look out for problems in 2011. And they could hit this year, possibly as early as April. Financial assets continue to ride up because of the liquidity, but the economy is not coming along. Big problems lie ahead. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 March 3, 2010 @ 8:19 a.m.

Although I do not agree with SP that firemen/policemen are overpaid by a factor of 20, their total compensation (salary+benefits) is significantly higher than it would be in the private sector.

I was being a little bit sarcastic, but it is possible to get a factor of 20 in these cop/FF jobs- at leats in other CA cities.

When ALL you need to be hired for these jobs education wise is a GED/HS diploma, no prior experience necessary, then a factor of 20 is certainly possible.

The average comp package (salary + benes, including a $3 million pension) is $200K BEFORE any OT is included, and then assume the market rate (private sector) for that very same GED/HS diploma with no prior work experience is minimum wage with no benefits (very possible) is $16K, then it is a factor of 12.5, but if you were to add in $50K in OT then it would be a factor of 15.5.

So I was a little off if you did the comparison to San Diego. If you did it to a City like Richmond, CA where a cop can get a BASE salary of $160K per year, plus andother $160K in benefits before any OT is added in then the factor of 20 does indeed work.

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SurfPuppy619 March 3, 2010 @ 8:21 a.m.

BTW, if you use the San Ramon Valley Fire District chief from the CC Times/Bornstein articles you referenced, who retired at age 50 and has a PENSION of $283K, plus another $25K in healthcare benefits, plus annual pension COLA's............. then the factor of 20 is low.

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SurfPuppy619 March 3, 2010 @ 8:23 a.m.

I believe it was Jerry Brown who allowed the unionization of state employees that started California on its path to the current financial disaster.

It is time to start re-evaluating the Miller/Milias/Brown Act, the law that allowed the creation of government unions, signed by Jerry Brown in 1975. If we do not limit or disband these PUBLIC unions, they will destroy the state and everything in it.

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Don Bauder March 3, 2010 @ 10:37 a.m.

Response to post #9: One factor I have heard about, but have never seen quantified, is how many FFs hold other jobs. Instead of sitting at the firehouse, they are working somewhere else, then get alerted when the bell rings and it is time to spring into action. I know this goes on in other cities, but does it in San Diego? If true, it could make your 20 times calculation look more plausible. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 3, 2010 @ 10:40 a.m.

Response to post #10: That fellow was in the news a couple of years ago, then seems to have disappeared. Maybe nobody challenged his retirement pay and he is home free (and fat and sassy). Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 3, 2010 @ 10:41 a.m.

Response to post #11: Jerry Brown has just announced he is running for governor again. Best, Don Bauder

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SanDiegoParrothead March 3, 2010 @ 12:18 p.m.

Response to post #14:

And the idiots that they are in California will vote his liberal a$$ back in.

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SurfPuppy619 March 3, 2010 @ 12:42 p.m.

And the idiots that they are in California will vote his liberal a$$ back in.

Maybe voted back in, maybe not.

But let me ask everyone something, does anyone think Brown would go against the public unions and rein in the pay and benefit levels if he is elected (and re elction is no cake walk)?

Brown is 71 or so (??), so it is not like he will be seeking a second term or moving on to higher office. He very well may decide that something major has to be done about the pay and pensions, and he might be the one willing to do it.

I an just guessing, but it is certainly a possibility.

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TheGunny March 3, 2010 @ 2:12 p.m.

Don, I don't know what you mean by other jobs, but in our station we have an ancillary specialty that we work. In my station we conduct the Annual Pump Testing. What that entails is putting the pump through a test to ensure that it is working properly and can pump the required amount of water as set forth by the NFPA. This is completed on all Engines, Brush apparatus and specialty rigs (airport crash rigs and water tenders). I do have two jobs outside the fire dept. One is Marine Corps Reservist and EMT instructor.

I know this is going to bring some heat from the usuals I read about here, but oh well.

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Don Bauder March 3, 2010 @ 2:27 p.m.

NOTE: Today (March 3) DeMaio released his Annual Report on City Employee Compensation. Some findings: the number of city pensioners raking in $100,000 a year or more has increased 32% in one year, to 285. The highest pension allowance hit $299,103 last year. Despite the financial crisis, 2,751 raises have been given to city employes since July of 2008, with 759 raises granted in the first five months of fiscal 2010. These do not include bonuses awarded. Here are some total compensation costs (salary plus benefits) for various positions: Police Officer II $122,145 not including overtime; Firefighter II $105,423 not including overtime; electrician $81,650 and senior clerk typist $66,947. The number of current employees making $100,000 or more in salary is 44% higher than just two years ago, although it only went up by 10 employees from last year. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 March 3, 2010 @ 5:56 p.m.

I do have two jobs outside the fire dept. One is Marine Corps Reservist and EMT instructor.

Why would either of these "bring some heat"?

The reservist is a duty, the EMT is probably very limited, not like you're working a normal, regular job.

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SurfPuppy619 March 3, 2010 @ 6:01 p.m.

senior clerk typist $66,947.

That is not counting beenfits-which easily push that number over $100K. That is just flat out ridiculous. Even more so than the PD and FD compensation. $67K in cash for a typist. You could not make this stuff up. It is just so crazy it makes anyone who has a real job, in the real world, just wonder what the heck is going on. . . . The number of current employees making $100,000 or more in salary is 44% higher than just two years ago, although it only went up by 10 employees from last year. ===============

And I will bet my last dollar everyone of those 10 emloyees are in; a) FD, or b) PD, or c) Mayor or Clowncil administration.

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Don Bauder March 3, 2010 @ 6:30 p.m.

Response to post #15: There must be some non-idiots in the state. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 3, 2010 @ 6:32 p.m.

Response to post #16: Unfortunately, I think Jerry Brown is not likely to rein in public unions. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 3, 2010 @ 6:34 p.m.

Response to post #17: You may not get much heat for the jobs you described. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 3, 2010 @ 6:35 p.m.

Response to post #19: See. No heat from SP. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 3, 2010 @ 6:42 p.m.

Response to post #20: Clerk-typist type jobs are compensated excessively -- not only in San Diego, but in other cities and also states. Best, Don Bauder

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bingo March 3, 2010 @ 8:48 p.m.

Response to #20: Fact check: A Senior Clerk/Typist for the City of San Diego tops out at $3,639 per month according to the salary table currently posted on the City's website. This is $43,668. This is a bit less than your figure.

This is a supervisory position and commonly supervises a clerical staff of up to 10.

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bingo March 3, 2010 @ 8:51 p.m.

Here's a comment for many of you who have brought up overtime, the City's municipal code excludes overtime pay from pension considerations. So overtime is not included in a high one-year salary.

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bingo March 3, 2010 @ 8:57 p.m.

Correction: The fact check should have been for #18. It is possible that this person worked out of class, worked overtime, got mileage reimbursement, cashed in vacation, or any other of scenarios. A straight senior clerk is not paid that much, so there are extenuating circumstances that Carl doesn't care about. Wouldn't you like to know what that number is made up of?

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SurfPuppy619 March 3, 2010 @ 8:58 p.m.

Here's a comment for many of you who have brought up overtime, the City's municipal code excludes overtime pay from pension considerations. So overtime is not included in a high one-year salary.

By bingo

What about accrued vacation/sick/holiday pay???

What about car allowances?

What about other benefits that can be cashed out in the final year??????

There are tons of ways to spike a gov pension besides OT bingo.

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bingo March 3, 2010 @ 9:01 p.m.

Here's a question for the masses....how much do you think a police officer or a fire fighter should be paid...starting salary to maximum? I would be interested in hearing what a fair compensation is. Really. Please respond.

Thanks.

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CuddleFish March 3, 2010 @ 9:12 p.m.

Here's a suggestion: When someone states something as a fact, for example, salaries for certain civil servant positions, such as clerk-typists, it would be nice if they would post a source, or a link, where that information came from. Otherwise there are competing sets of data with no way to verify the basis for the claims. It just turns into a he said, he said.

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Don Bauder March 3, 2010 @ 9:23 p.m.

Response to post #26: DeMaio may be counting benefits in this one, although he doesn't say so in his news release. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 3, 2010 @ 9:26 p.m.

Response to post #27: In my own reference to final-year salary, I was talking about some cities, not necessarily San Diego. It's post #7. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 3, 2010 @ 9:29 p.m.

Response to post #18: DeMaio may have gotten into that at his press conference. If he didn't, it's something he should probably clarify in some way. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 3, 2010 @ 9:32 p.m.

Response to post #29: It's bingo's turn to argue with you if he disagrees. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 3, 2010 @ 9:34 p.m.

Response to post #30: If you ask the masses (taxpayers), I think you will find that they don't believe a Police Officer II should make $122,145. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 3, 2010 @ 9:37 p.m.

Response to post #31: We have been having these debates for years on this blog, and there has never been agreement. JW and JF will give one set of numbers, SP and others will give different figures, and on and on the debates will go. This is the same problem DeMaio will have. Best, Don Bauder

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CuddleFish March 3, 2010 @ 9:52 p.m.

Thank you for making my point. There are countless ways to cook the books, countless ways to bend the figures, countless loopholes, countless arguments, and every politician says they will "clean up City Hall." There is no such animal, and it can't be cleaned up. The whole thing seems to be an illusion, a game, the Cheshire cat grinning and fading, grinning and fading grinning and fading ...

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johnsd March 3, 2010 @ 11:57 p.m.

Response to #8 It sounds like your defined contribution program is doing OK; in my opinion.

I believe it is funded above the 80%(?) required by the Federal Government and may even be near 100%. A year or two ago the corporation with the biggest unfunded pension liability was Exxon; it had a $20-30 billion shortfall.

Aside from the overly generous benefits promised to public sector employees, perhaps the biggest problem has been that in typical government fashion, the rules that apply to the private sector often do not apply, or allowed to be ignored, by the public sector. It is doubtful that this level of benefits would not have been given had conservative financial assumptions and fully funding the pensions had been required at all times. The actual cost to the taxpayer could not have been hidden so easily.

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johnsd March 4, 2010 @ 12:38 a.m.

I would be careful how much you put into equities. I do believe that the Dow could wind up this year at 12,000, but will only be worth 8,000. I say that just because I think the liquidity flood will continue, both in the U.S. and Europe, and probably Japan, which may be the worst off of all countries. But look out for problems in 2011. And they could hit this year, possibly as early as April. Financial assets continue to ride up because of the liquidity, but the economy is not coming along. Big problems lie ahead.

=====

Although I do always agree with you, I appreciate and value your opinions. Unfortunately, I agree with your assessment above. I do not see how current government policies, including near-criminal deficit spending and the prospect of significantly higher taxes, can lead to long-term economic prosperity.

I have about 70% of the 401-k/IRA in equities and 30% in bonds/CDs. I wonder about the stability of many financial instruments and whether it is just a piece of paper with no real assets supporting it. I frankly do not what to do other than to not have any debt and keep fixed expenses as low as possible. You can enjoy life with variable expenses as long as the fixed expenses are well below your income.

If we do not have more financial disasters and I can stay employed another 10-15 years, I should have a comfortable retirement because I save a significant percentage (>15) of my salary. This also means that when I was contributing to the traditional 401k, my take home pay was ~55% of gross. Last year, when I started contributing to a ROTH 401k, it dropped to ~45% and this year when I am doing a "catch-up" I am down to 35% of gross. I am not sure I am cashflow positive until I finish with the "catch-up" amount.

Taxes are already ridiculously high. Not counting sales taxes and all the other hidden taxes, taxes are about 30% of my gross income, which is above average, but nowhere near the current definition of "rich" by the knaves in Washington.

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johnsd March 4, 2010 @ 12:49 a.m.

The average comp package (salary + benes, including a $3 million pension) is $200K BEFORE any OT is included.

Including the total value of compensation, including the present value of the retirement annuity, is a very good point. Virtually no one, including most public sector employees, understand this. Most people believe fringe benefits are an entitlement and are not part of their compensation. Most employers, both public and private, rarely share the total compensation cost.

When salaries between the private and public sectors are compared, the fact that private sector employees fund most of their retirement from their salaries and the public employees funds most of their retirement with money in addition to their salary is rarely made. This fact creates a bigger difference than is generally acknowledged because it is in the government's interest to understate the total cost to the taxpayer.

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johnsd March 4, 2010 @ 1:06 a.m.

Here's a question for the masses....how much do you think a police officer or a fire fighter should be paid...starting salary to maximum? I would be interested in hearing what a fair compensation is. Really. Please respond.

I especially want policemen and firemen to be well compensated to attract well-qualified individuals. It is not the easiest job and they actually provide society with many direct and indirect benefits, unlike the vast bureaucracies that are often used for political patronage. CARB is one such example and those who may want to know more about it can go to: www.killcarb.org

One of the best ways to determine whether a wage is reasonable is by seeing how many qualified individuals apply for an opening. If you have more than about 5 applying for an opening, then you are probably paying to much. Whenever firemen positions are open to general public, you have more than 100 applicants for each job. That is an indication that compensation is not competitive.

As SP said above and I referenced in the previous post, you have to include the value of all compensation and not just the basic salary. Even if you ignore the unethical spiking of the last-year's salary, when you include the value of salary and benefits, compensation in the top 5-10% of all jobs is probably too high. Top 25% would be reasonable.

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Don Bauder March 4, 2010 @ 7:36 a.m.

Response to post #38: No matter how the statistics are reported or interpreted, the pay and fringes of City of San Diego employees are excessive. Period. When a city or state can't afford the payments, they are too high. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 4, 2010 @ 7:40 a.m.

Response to post #39: Amusing. We haven't yet heard from SP. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 4, 2010 @ 7:43 a.m.

Response to post #40: Conservative financial assumptions? What are they? These commitments were made in the giggly upbeat atmosphere of better times. Those times would never end. Remember? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 4, 2010 @ 7:49 a.m.

Response to post #41: Continue saving 15%. Invest the money conservatively. I think 70% in equities is too high, although I would concentrate the equity portion in dividend-paying stocks such as utilities, some pharmaceuticals, etc. But remember, I will be 74 this year. A good rule of thumb is to have the same percentage of your portfolio in fixed income instruments as your age -- therefore, I would have 74% in fixed instruments. Actually, I have more. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 4, 2010 @ 7:52 a.m.

Response to post #42: Agreed. The government figures are misleading, if not fraudulent, on this topic. You can see why: the people responsible for putting out those stats are also getting fat retirement benefits. So are their supervisors. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 4, 2010 @ 7:54 a.m.

Response to post #43: I understand it's more than 100 applying for those jobs -- in some cases, many more. Best, Don Bauder

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Rocket_J_Squirrel March 4, 2010 @ 8:16 a.m.

You guys are talking about the high number of Police and Fire applicants and are saying that they are attracted solely because of the pay and benefits. How about this angle? Maybe they're attracted to those jobs because of the DUTIES INVOLVED - working outdoors - every day has different challenges and stresses - their LIVES depend on making the right decision in an instant - they DON'T LIKE working in a cubicle stuck behind a desk for eight hours a day, five days a week - they actually like to help people when they need help the most, etc. I think a lot of these applicant people are former military who are not willing to settle for a boring, hum-drum 8 to 5 job when they get out. In fact it's probably because of the large number of military bases here in SD that accounts for the large number of applicants.

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JustWondering March 4, 2010 @ 8:32 a.m.

Don: In response to post #7

You said, "In municipalities in which a public employee's retirement pay is based on his/her last year of compensation, supervisors make sure the person gets lots of overtime that last year to guarantee a fat pension. As you point out, there are multiple abuses, and technically insolvent cities aren't riding herd on them. However, taxpayers are aware of them. We are going to hit a wall. Best, Don Bauder"

In the City San Diego, which is the context of most of your blogging about "municipal pensions"....Overtime, no matter how much of it you work and earn DOES NOT FACTOR IN WHEN calculating an employees' pension benefit. It is specifically excluded by statues and regulation in San Diego and you know it. Your comment in Post #7 is an untrue statement in context of the City of San Diego.

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SurfPuppy619 March 4, 2010 @ 8:39 a.m.

Here's a suggestion: When someone states something as a fact, for example, salaries for certain civil servant positions, such as clerk-typists, it would be nice if they would post a source, or a link, where that information came from.

Your wish is my command;

http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/DocumentView.aspx?DID=4869

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SurfPuppy619 March 4, 2010 @ 8:41 a.m.

Here ya go, SP. Laugh your balls off at this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgaFSs...

By PistolPete

LOL!!! (dont let JW see that clip!)

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SurfPuppy619 March 4, 2010 @ 9:06 a.m.

I think a lot of these applicant people are former military who are not willing to settle for a boring, hum-drum 8 to 5 job when they get out. In fact it's probably because of the large number of military bases here in SD that accounts for the large number of applicants.

By Rocket_J_Squirrel

And why should a military vet with a GED be hired over a college grad????? Why should they get more than their 5 vet points on an application??? There are a lot of military applicants because no where outside of fanatsyland will they get a $200K per year job with a HS diploma or a GED. Not because they like working outside or any other reason. Some PD's will ONLY hire ex military-hardly an open selection process.

You're new here, and I don't know how much you know about gov employement, escpeially the FD and PD, but let me give you a clue-there are easily over 1,000 applicants, qualified applicants according to the muni's very own hiring specifications, for every one open FF job.

There are at least 100 applicants for every 1 open cop job. And this is how they are filled, in this order;

1- Family (Hi LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and 5 family members!!),

2- Friends,

3- Military workfare and

4- Civil rights lawsuit consent decree hires for engaging in 1 & 2 above. (Hi LASD, and your female hiring requirement under the Bouman v. Baca Consent Decree!!!).

EVERY major PD and FD in this state has been sued for nepotism/cronyism/sexism hiring. And the lawsuits have all been successful in those nepotism, cronyism and sexism hiring-EVERY ONE! Including San Diego. As you can see the LASD is STILL under a lawsuit consent decree that began in 1980, 30 years ago. LAPD just ended their consent decree last year that started in 1992, over 16 years. What does that tell you? It tells me there is a major problem in gov employment, as in NOT hiring the best or brightest.

If you're not in one of the above groups, your chances of being hired at a large metro PD goes from 100-1 to about 1,000 to 1. For the FD it goes from about 1,000-1 to 10,000 to 1.

The notion that a HS grad could make $200K in comp anywhere in the real world is ridiculous. Have you ever seen a hiring session for our local PD or FD??? You have a tsunami or applicants-and today is is probably 100 times more competitive because there are NO JOBS.

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JustWondering March 4, 2010 @ 9:12 a.m.

Response to post #18 once again Carl's numbers are spinning like a top... Why does he include benefits that are required by state and federal laws. For example for a Police Officer II in the City of San Diego he includes:

Risk Management Administration Unemployment Insurance Workers' Compensation Disability Insurance Medicare These are all costs mandated by state and federal laws.

Then he adds in "Other Post-Employment Benefit"... no ones knows what this is.

But the real eye opener is the "Unused sick leave" line. While it's only $45, it is an indicator on how far out of whack DeMaio's thought processes are and how far he goes ONCE AGAIN to fabricate and manipulate the dialog at any cost. In this case he added 45 more dollars to make the reader believe all cops have this benefit. The truth is less than one percent of the cops have unused sick leave left on the books.

The city stopped paying sick leave over 20 years ago. A hand full of "old timers" may have a few hours of that old sick leave left, they were hours earned 20 or 30 years ago. It also means those employees have rarely, if ever, called in sick over the years.

The point is DeMaio has well documented history of getting the facts wrong, exaggerating them or jusy plain lying. Then when caught, he blames others for the errors. Huh? DeMaio is a bomb thrower. He loves the attention it bring his way. His ethics, or lack thereof, should concern every voter. For a man who will say anything just to keep the light focus on himself is a narcissist.

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Rocket_J_Squirrel March 4, 2010 @ 9:47 a.m.

And why should a military vet with a GED be hired over a collegegrad????? By SurfPuppy619 Jeez - you think the military is full of people who didn't complete high school? What a low opinion you have of those that are right now over there in the sand and dust fixing the messes that George W Bush (College Graduate?) made. I'm sure even some of THEM probably finished college with some sort of degree before they entered the military. My point is that it doesn't matter in which city the applicant is applying for, be it San Diego or Asheville NC, there will always be a lot of applicants due to the dangerous nature of the job. Some people are adrenaline junkies, and some are happy to waste away at a desk.

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johnsd March 4, 2010 @ 10:25 a.m.

On #41 I should have said "Although I do NOT always agree with you, I appreciate and value your opinions.". That tends to be the case on non-financial matters. But civilized disagreements can be enlightening.

On most 401k plans, the choices are limited. Mine is on a 2025 target fund.

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Rocket_J_Squirrel March 4, 2010 @ 10:41 a.m.

Y'all is just funny. :) By CuddleFish

Who y'all?

Not ME.

I am, in the words of the great Rahm Emanuel:

A retard.

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johnsd March 4, 2010 @ 10:46 a.m.

The applicants for some of these jobs come from out of state and the large number of applicants is not just because of the large military presence, which in my opinion is a huge positive.

Although a college degree is positive, I believe it is often overvalued. I will take a HS graduate with common sense and a positive attitude over someone with a "social sciene" degree that did not exist before the 1960s. Technical and scientific degrees can be much more valuable as long as the graduate can communicate and have interpersonal skills. Each job requires different skill sets. Poltical/social agendas have greatly distorted the quality of employees.

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Don Bauder March 4, 2010 @ 10:51 a.m.

Response to post #50: As I am sure you know, many police and fire jobs are boring, 8-5 desk jobs. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 4, 2010 @ 10:54 a.m.

Response to post #51: I was not talking about San Diego. Go back and read the post. As your friend SP points out, however, there are other ways that the last year of employment can be inflated. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 4, 2010 @ 10:55 a.m.

Response to post #52: How long will Richmond be rich? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 4, 2010 @ 10:57 a.m.

Response to post #53: JW will certainly look at it. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 4, 2010 @ 11:01 a.m.

Response to post #54: We have been around before about those nepotism lawsuits. Either JW or JF challenged you on them. Expect more of the same. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 4, 2010 @ 11:05 a.m.

Response to post #55: Maybe DeMaio will answer your criticisms. You have said the same about SP, and he has answered. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 4, 2010 @ 11:08 a.m.

Response to post #56: The test of your thesis is whether people line up for these jobs in cities which have low salaries and fringes. It's my understanding that in such towns, there are not a lot of adrenaline junkies lined up to apply for these positions. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 4, 2010 @ 11:10 a.m.

Response to post #57: Didn't know you were a Southerner. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 4, 2010 @ 11:12 a.m.

Response to poset #58: I knew what you meant. It is impossible for anyone to agree with me all the time. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 4, 2010 @ 11:13 a.m.

Response to post #59: I'm a retard and a retread as well. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 4, 2010 @ 11:15 a.m.

Response to post #60: Good point. Is a college degree necessary for most FF jobs? Best, Don Bauder

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bingo March 4, 2010 @ 7:52 p.m.

Response to #30:

http://www.sandiego.gov/empopp/ Scroll to salary table.

If this link doesn't work, go to the City's web site (www.sandiego.gov), find the Personnel department webpage, scroll down to the "salary table."

It's got Senior Clerk Typist and a whole lot more!

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bingo March 4, 2010 @ 8:01 p.m.

Response to #36, so we still know what they shouldn't be paid. What should they be paid? What do you want to pay a police officer? What should it max out at? What are you willing to pay?

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bingo March 4, 2010 @ 8:04 p.m.

Response to #29:


What about accrued vacation/sick/holiday pay???

What about car allowances?

What about other benefits that can be cashed out in the final year??????


Do you KNOW these are included in City pensions? Or are you just guessing? What is your source for this information?

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SurfPuppy619 March 4, 2010 @ 8:30 p.m.

Do you KNOW these are included in City pensions? Or are you just guessing? What is your source for this information?

These types of pension spiking are rampant in gov pensions, rampant.

Do I know the spiking process for SD, and are these specifically in it-who knows if these specifially are, but like I said there are at least 50 ways to spike a Calpers pensions and SD has some of them, rest assured.

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SurfPuppy619 March 4, 2010 @ 8:40 p.m.

BTW bingo, one HUGE way to spike a SD safety pension is to move an employee into a supervisor position, or any position that pays more (go from a $90K job to a $125K job), for the final year of employment so when you base the 90% pension on the LAST year of work is is far out of line from the other 29 yeasr-which could boost your pension by millions over the 30 year average safety pension (to age 81).

This type of pension spiking has been WELL documented in the SDFD.

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bingo March 4, 2010 @ 9:59 p.m.

Response to #76 - That one is well documented. I would agree there.

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Don Bauder March 5, 2010 @ 7:22 a.m.

Response to post #72: Is it just salary or does it include pensions and other benefits? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 5, 2010 @ 7:24 a.m.

Response to post #73: I think you will find that with the City of San Diego broke, its citizens would prefer to pay police and fire personnel less. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 5, 2010 @ 7:27 a.m.

Response to post #74: You're up, SP. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 5, 2010 @ 7:30 a.m.

Response to post #75: So we don't know for sure which of these spiking mechanisms are used in San Diego, if any. We should try to find out. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 5, 2010 @ 7:31 a.m.

Response to post #76: There is one documentation. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 5, 2010 @ 7:33 a.m.

Response to post #77: And we have an agreement. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 March 5, 2010 @ 8:25 a.m.

Is it just salary or does it include pensions and other benefits? Best, Don Bauder

Well, since some people here wanted cites/links to the value of some of the gov jobs we have discussed here, I present the following.

This came out a couple of days ago from a newspaper editor in Redding CA.

He did some fast number crunching on the values of pensions (and JUST pensions, no other benefits) for a cop and FF in Redding (very low cost city compared to SD, LS or SF);

A starting job as a Redding police officer could be worth more than $100,000 a year. How so? Read on.

As public agencies continue to wrestle with declining budgets, the scrutiny of their employees' pension programs rises. Which begs the question -- what are those retirements actually worth? What would somebody in the private sector, with no employer retirement program (quite common nowadays), have to lay aside to have a comparable retirement?

To fund the future retirement for a 22-year-old starting out as a police officer at the city's lowest 2009 salary for that position, $55,806, a private-sector worker would have to set aside $32,140 a year. That means the full value of the rookie's first-year compensation (not even counting health benefits or anything else) is $87,946. Of course, it would be absurd for a private-sector employee to try to do this, because she or he would have to pay the entire $32,140, bringing home just $23,666 (and that's ignoring how much of it goes to Uncle Sam). City employees, however, don't pay into their own retirements because even the "employee contribution" is paid by the city.

http://blogs.redding.com/slyons/archives/2010/03/-lets-try-a-rea.html

There is an MS xcel Spreadsheet crunching the pension costs at the end of the blog.

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bingo March 5, 2010 @ 10:04 a.m.

Response to #78, this is just salary -- gross salary before deductions for medical, medicare, taxes, retirement and whatever else comes out of the check.

Pension costs would depend on when the employee was hired as it is different. Also what the employee would take home at retirement differs based on retirement age, years of service and what the version plan is they are vested in.

If a general employee is on the old plan and retires at 55 with 20 years of service, they will get 20 * 2.5 or 50% of their salary as a pension.

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CuddleFish March 5, 2010 @ 10:39 a.m.

Thanks bingo and SurfPuppy. :)

As for being Southern, my family originates from Texas, and I proudly claim it as part of my heritage. :)

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Don Bauder March 5, 2010 @ 2:39 p.m.

Response to post #84: Helpful. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 5, 2010 @ 2:42 p.m.

Response to post #85: How many having just 20 years of service take retirement at 50? Would be interesting. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 5, 2010 @ 2:51 p.m.

Response to post #86: Many Texans claim they are from the West, not the South. I say they are from the South. Best, Don Bauder

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antigeekess March 5, 2010 @ 3:15 p.m.

Re #89:

Texas is so darn big, it has elements of both. It'd be just as hard not to identify the deserts of West Texas as part of the American West as it would be to deny the colonial mansions of Houston as part of the South.

With regard to geography, Ft. Worth is often regarded as the dividing line. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Worth,_Texas

With regard to dialect, native Texans traditionally don't have the same dialect as the Deep South. Texans tend to have the Inland Southern dialect that you find extending OVER the Deep South and into places like Tennessee and Kentucky.

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CuddleFish March 5, 2010 @ 3:28 p.m.

Quite right, AG, Texas has a twang, the south has a drawl, at least to my ear. But I suppose it would be right to say Texas has elements of both the West and the South, and of course Mexico as its historical parent. My family is from all over Texas, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Houston (where my mother lived and died), but mostly in and around San Anton. Spent every summer of my childhood there. I don't remember them saying "y'all" and I've no idea where I picked that up. :)

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PistolPete March 5, 2010 @ 3:29 p.m.

Texass COULD be considered being a part of the West, the South AND the Midwest(or part of the Midwest Plains). Maybe because Texass can't really be given a geographical location in regards to the continental United States, it really should cecede...:-D

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CuddleFish March 5, 2010 @ 3:30 p.m.

I love the sounds of the different regions of the country, but am particularly drawn to the voices of the Latinos from Arizona and New Mexico, AG, I don't know if you ever noticed when you lived there. Something very appealing about the way they speak English.

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antigeekess March 5, 2010 @ 3:35 p.m.

Re #52: Richmond? You pull out RICHMOND, SP?

That would explain the salary. Richmond is right next to Oakland. I won't even go down there. Anybody who's a cop in Richmond deserves every dime s/he gets, and better hope they live long enough to spend it.

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PistolPete March 5, 2010 @ 3:58 p.m.

I was only joking, AG. Personally, Texas can do whatever the hell they want. I'd actually have ALOT more respect for Texas if it successfully did cecede from the Union. This country is going to go through growing pains if it's going to survive and this might be a huge part of it. I myself, am divided over states rights and the Feds. I think one of the biggest mistakes our Founding Fathers made was the creating of individual states. Maybe I'm wrong and you and SD are right about the Europeans getting it right on how they deal with their individual states. Only time will tell.

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SurfPuppy619 March 5, 2010 @ 4:16 p.m.

How many having just 20 years of service take retirement at 50? Would be interesting.

They would also presumedly have 12 years of social security. At age 18, 12 years private sector work + 20 years public sector work = age 50.

If they worked another 12 years in in the private sector (age 50-62) while contributing again to SS up until to age 62 (all the while receiving the gov pension at age 50) they would be on easy street, collecting a gov pension plus a pay check from age 50-62, then at age 62 collect TWO pensions (gov+SS).

So 20 years of gov employment with a retirement taken at a starting age of 50 is like winning the lottery.

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SurfPuppy619 March 5, 2010 @ 4:27 p.m.

That would explain the salary. Richmond is right next to Oakland. I won't even go down there. Anybody who's a cop in Richmond deserves every dime s/he gets, and better hope they live long enough to spend it.

By antigeekess

Oh brother, another gov employee apologist.

Do you have any idea what the MEDIAN income is in Richmond??? It is LESS THAN $20K per year-one of the LOWEST in this state. 20% of the population lives in poverty.

So tell me WHY ON EARTH a street cop who SERVES THE PEOPLE of Richmond should make $300K in compensation (yes, that is what they make if they are maxed out on the salary scale).That is 15 TIMES the MEDIAN INCOME. I am so sick and tired of people like you making stupid and ridiculous comments like a street level cop should be paid 1500% MORE than the median income for the muni. They make MORE than a doctor, lawyer, CPA, dentist, [insert any profession here that requires 7-15 years of college of which only the smartest are accepted].

I don't care where YOU would work-there are 100's (cops) and 1,000's (FF's) of applicants for those jobs-because they are over paid and over benefited.

BTW-Oakland is every bit as rough and tough as Richmond, as is East Palo Alto and a number of others areas in the Bay Area.

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Don Bauder March 5, 2010 @ 4:45 p.m.

Response to post #90: So East Texas is South and West Texas is West. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 5, 2010 @ 4:50 p.m.

Response to post #91: Southern Illinois has a drawl. So does Southern Ohio. But, it seems to me, Indiana has a twang. This is just my amateur observation. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 5, 2010 @ 4:53 p.m.

Response to post #92: I, for one, would not miss Texas if it seceded. Just think, Cheney and W could not have run in the U.S. Best, Don Bauder

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CuddleFish March 5, 2010 @ 4:57 p.m.

If Hawaii had seceded, Obama could not have run in the U.S., either! :)

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CuddleFish March 5, 2010 @ 4:59 p.m.

Depending on their parentage, of course.

SOAmericanBs. :)

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bingo March 5, 2010 @ 7:40 p.m.

Response to #88 -- Only Fire/Police can retire at 50 (safety retirement). General City employees at 55.

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bingo March 5, 2010 @ 7:46 p.m.

Response to #97 -- The social security benefit would be reduced due to receiving a City pension. Believe me, social security is happy to have people receiving pensions from other places because they get to reduce the payout to them. So they may get a benefit, but it won't be much. It certainly won't be like pulling two pensions.

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SurfPuppy619 March 6, 2010 @ 12:06 a.m.

The social security benefit would be reduced due to receiving a City pension.Believe me, social security is happy to have people receiving pensions from other places because they get to reduce the payout to them.

No it would not be reduced-who told you that?

They would get two FULL pensions. One at age 50, one at age 62.

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Don Bauder March 6, 2010 @ 6:14 a.m.

Response to post #102: I have heard nary a word about Hawaii wanting to secede, or anybody wanting it to. But, of course, the crazies who insist Obama was born in Kenya wouldn't gain any ground with Hawaii's secession. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 6, 2010 @ 6:16 a.m.

Response to post #103: Lots of people have questions about the parentage of those two. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 6, 2010 @ 6:18 a.m.

Response to post #104: Yes, only safety employees can get out at age 50. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 6, 2010 @ 6:20 a.m.

Response to post #105: SP, you're up to bat. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 6, 2010 @ 6:22 a.m.

Response to post #106: We have a controversy here. I, for one, am interested in sorting this one out. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 6, 2010 @ 10:32 a.m.

Response to post #112: SP, defend thyself. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 March 6, 2010 @ 11:11 a.m.

of all, if you elect to begin receiving SS at age 62, you only receive 70% benefits, which does not change.

I never said it would be a full SS pension at age 62, just that you would receive SS at age 62 if you elected to-the earliest age for SS.

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SurfPuppy619 March 6, 2010 @ 11:19 a.m.

Secondly, there is a little thing called a Government Pension Offset. From the SSA website: "If you worked in a job that was not covered under Social Security, e.g., some Federal, State, or local government employment, the pension you get based on that work may reduce your Social Security benefits." =========================

The Government Pension Offset appears to ONLY apply to widows/widowers, not the the person who paid into and earned the SS benefit;

"If you receive a pension from a federal, state or local government based on work where you did not pay Social Security taxes, your Social Security spouse’s or widow’s or widower’s benefits may be reduced. This fact sheet provides answers to questions you may have about the reduction."

"In enacting the Government Pension Offset provision, Congress intended to ensure that when determining the amount of spousal benefit*, government employees who do not pay Social Security taxes would be treated in a similar manner to those who work in the private sector and do pay Social Security taxes."

http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10007.html

In addition, it says the benefit MAY be reduced-it does not say it WILL be reduced.

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SurfPuppy619 March 6, 2010 @ 11:38 a.m.

There's also something called a Windfall Elimination Provision:

You will get BOTH pensions, just like I said you would.

There is a possibility, (and just that-a possiblity) that some of the SS pension would be reduced if you had a HIGH gov pension-but in the curcumstances we have stated here, 20 years of gov employment- you would most likely not take much of a hit, if any at all. The ONLY way you would take a big SS hit is if you had a BIG public employee pension, like 3%@50 on a $100K salary. That is certainly not what we were discussing, which was a 20 year public employee pension, which is at most would be 66% of a public saftey career. That is the 3%@50.

If you were to do a 2.7%@60 it would be half a full public employee pensions. Not enough to trigger much, if any, of a downgrade under this provision;

"The Windfall Elimination Provision primarily affects you if you earned a pension in any job where you did not pay Social Security taxes and you also worked in other jobs long enough to qualify for a Social Security retirement or disability benefit."

[This fits out circumstances-12 years private sector-20 years public sector- 12 more years private sector]

"Why a different formula is used"

"Social Security benefits are intended to replace only a percentage of a worker’s pre-retirement earnings. The way Social Security benefit amounts are figured, lower-paid workers get a higher return than highly paid workers. For example, lower-paid workers could get a Social Security benefit that equals about 55 percent of their pre-retirement earnings. The average replacement rate for highly paid workers is about 25 percent."

"The second table shows the percentage used depending on the number of years of substantial earnings. If you have 21 to 29 years of substantial earnings, the 90 percent factor is reduced to between 45 and 85 percent."

"...and a guarantee"

"If you get a relatively low pension, you are protected. The reduction in your Social Security benefit cannot be more than one-half of the amount of your pension that is based on earnings after 1956 on which you did not pay Social Security taxes."

http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10045.html

I stand by my statement.

You will collect TWO pensions at age 62-one from the muni and the other from SS. And even if the SS were slightly reduced (not for the early age 62 retirement, but by this provision) it is still a SS pension that is additional to the public employee pension.

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SurfPuppy619 March 6, 2010 @ 11:39 a.m.

Also, if you read carefully, you'll find that it also affects your widow/widower benefits:

That is ALL the Government Pension Offset affects- widow/widower, it does nto affect the person who earned the benefit.

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SurfPuppy619 March 6, 2010 @ 11:43 a.m.

Why don't you try reading your own post:

"No it would not be reduced-who told you that? They would get two FULL pensions. One at age 50, one at age 62." =======================

Yes, and I stand by that-you will receive two FULL pensions, one from the public muni the other from SS.

The SS will be lowered b/c of the 62 retirement age. I did not mean to infer that the employee would get the age 67 SS benefit at 62, only that the employee would be eligible to receive SS at age 62-and take that benefit at age 62. So I am now clarifying that point which may have been misinterpreted.

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SurfPuppy619 March 6, 2010 @ 11:49 a.m.

I should not have said two FULL pensions.

I should have said you could receive TWO pensions, neither of which would be "full", in the sense of being maximum or maxed out.

The public employee pension at 20 years would be partial, and the SS pension at age 62 would also be partial.

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Don Bauder March 6, 2010 @ 1:11 p.m.

Response to posts #114-123: SP should not have used the word "full." Agreed. However, I don't think anybody believes that a person taking SS benefits at age 62 would get a "full" benefit. This is a very interesting discussion. Best, Don Bauder

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johnsd March 6, 2010 @ 4:07 p.m.

I, for one, would not miss Texas if it seceded...

The same thing can be said about California, or within California. If just the SF Bay Area, and I mean the cities on the bay, and LA county were not part of California, this would be a very different and much better state.

Below is the link to an LA Times story and the original City Journal article comparing the government in California and Texas:

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-voegli1-2009nov01,0,825554.story

http://www.city-journal.org/2009/19_4_california.html

If the weather in Dallas were like California and, to a much lesser degree, the natural beauty, I would not hesitate to move there. If I were just finishing college, I probably would also go somewhere else where I could afford a house in a safe neighborhood.

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antigeekess March 6, 2010 @ 5:15 p.m.

SurfPuppy yapped:

"Do you have any idea what the MEDIAN income is in Richmond??? It is LESS THAN $20K per year-one of the LOWEST in this state. 20% of the population lives in poverty."

Wouldn't doubt it. Poverty and crime go together like bread and butter. Hence the need for cops.

"So tell me WHY ON EARTH a street cop who SERVES THE PEOPLE of Richmond should make $300K in compensation (yes, that is what they make if they are maxed out on the salary scale).That is 15 TIMES the MEDIAN INCOME. I am so sick and tired of people like you making stupid and ridiculous comments like a street level cop should be paid 1500% MORE than the median income for the muni. They make MORE than a doctor, lawyer, CPA, dentist, [insert any profession here that requires 7-15 years of college of which only the smartest are accepted]."

Doctors, lawyers, CPAs and dentists get to work indoors and not get shot at.

"I don't care where YOU would work-there are 100's (cops) and 1,000's (FF's) of applicants for those jobs-because they are over paid and over benefited."

Cite, please? How many of them qualify?

"BTW-Oakland is every bit as rough and tough as Richmond,"

Agreed. They're right next to each other, in the East Bay.

"...as is East Palo Alto"

Don't know, but doubt it.

"...and a number of others areas in the Bay Area."

Uh, no. Oakland and Richmond are by far the worst.

The charming little hamlet of Richmond:

Stopping copying links at THIS VERY MOMENT because the 5:00 pm News is doing a story on "Richmond Violence." Missed the main story, but now they're talking about a shooting at a church, and a gang rape of a high school student. These are within the last few months. Here's the gang rape story:

The church shooting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHGO1gvKOzk

A couple more murders:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I1Be3RFtho

Need some more, SP? Or are you all ready to plan your next vacation in Richmond?

Or better yet, apply to be an "overpaid" cop there.

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antigeekess March 6, 2010 @ 5:29 p.m.

Re #125:

"If the weather in Dallas were like California and, to a much lesser degree, the natural beauty, I would not hesitate to move there."

So basically, if Dallas were nothing like Dallas is (humid & hot as hell in summer, wet and cold in winter, completely flat and mostly covered in concrete) you'd move there?

Keep in mind, Texas has some of the highest property taxes in the nation, relative to home value.
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Taxes/Advice/PropertyTaxesWhereDoesYourStateRank.aspx

But it still is in the bottom 10 with regard to total tax burden.
http://www.retirementliving.com/RLtaxes.html

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SurfPuppy619 March 6, 2010 @ 6:45 p.m.

And BTW, full means full. the SSA considers benefits ate age 62 Partial benefits.

Yes, I misspoke on that point. I did not mean to infer a FULL 100% pension benefit.

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SurfPuppy619 March 6, 2010 @ 7:29 p.m.

"Doctors, lawyers, CPAs and dentists get to work indoors and not get shot at."

Cops RARELY, if ever "get shot at" (in fact very few cops even fire their guns, even once, throughout their ENTIRE careers). Cops are NOT working outdoors. They drive climate controled cars.

Lets not forget the 10-15 years of COLLEGE education needed for the doctor/dentist/lawyer/CPA, from college students generally considered the best and brightest in America. Educations costing hundreds of thousand dollars. PROFESSIONS. Compare to cops that have little/no college education requirement, and do not spend hundreds of thousands of dollars learning a PROFESSION on their own dollar.

RPD cops get to work a full time job from day ONE that pays MORE than a general practioner doctor at an age as young as 20.5. Now add in the doctor/lawyer/dentist/CPA's student loan debt payments and RPD cop pay is probably 10 times more. . "Cite, please? How many of them qualify?" ==================== To "qualify" for RPD you do NOT need any prior work experience and the educational requirement is a GED. You can apply at 18, as long as you are 20.5 for academy training, 21 at time of sworn appointment. That is all you need to apply-not a barrier to 90% of America.

Do you know how hard it is to get into medical or dental school???? 1 to 100 are accepted to professional schools.

Cop testing-need to pass a basic physical test, 100% OBJECTIVE, a 10th grade reading and writing test, 100% OBJECTIVE, an oral interview, 100% SUBBJECTIVE(80-90% of applicants are disqualified on factors that have nothing to do with their ability to do the job). If you pass the "oral interview" you go on to background and psych tests-two tests very few applicants are given the opportunity to go through. That's it.

You lose very few applicants on the physical or reading/writing tests, you lose even less on the background or psych because most applicants are are dismissed PRIOR at the (purely subjective) oral interview-this allows for the nepotism and cronyism to flourish in these jobs, and why there are so many lawsuits over the hiring process.

I have no cite because that is not a published stat. If you have ever seen testing for these jobs-then you know the routine and you know my numbers are on the money. . . "Here's the gang rape story:

Need some more, SP? Or are you all ready to plan your next vacation in Richmond?"

Your point is WHAT? That because you have a rape or shooting you need to pay cops $300K per year? Where the median city income is under $20K per year?

La Jolla has rapes too, and even murders-are you now going to try to tell me La Jolla is dangerous and SD cops should be paid $300K per year in La Jolla? Please, if these jobs were opened up to the free market the wages would drift to the free market rate where they should be compensated at. And it would be substantially less than $300K.

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Don Bauder March 6, 2010 @ 8:11 p.m.

Response to post #125: There is no question about it: real estate prices are cheaper in Texas. The cost of living is lower, too. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 6, 2010 @ 8:16 p.m.

Response to post #126: As this debate goes forward, arguments like yours will be heard much more frequently. You seem to say that police deserve outsized pay because they get shot at. Should we then raise the pay of our military forces by 1,000% or 2,000? Under your way of thinking, it would be fair. But it would break the federal government. And that's the point with safety personnel in insolvent cities: you can't think of what is fair. You have to think what the city can afford. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 6, 2010 @ 8:19 p.m.

Response to post #127: Then there is Houston in the summer. If you want hideous weather, give it a try. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 6, 2010 @ 8:20 p.m.

Response to post #128: I thought we had settled that. You misspoke. Understood. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 6, 2010 @ 8:26 p.m.

Response to post #129: Good points. I still think mine is the best: don't worry about the job description comparisons. That's a subjective argument that could go on forever. If a city can't afford to pay huge salaries and benefits to safety personnel, then forget it. Best, Don Bauder

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johnsd March 7, 2010 @ 1:32 a.m.

So basically, if Dallas were nothing like Dallas is (humid & hot as hell in summer, wet and cold in winter, completely flat and mostly covered in concrete) you'd move there?

A city is a combination of natural and human environments. The natural environment in Dallas is, as you described it, less than ideal, with the exception that it is not that humid in summer--or at least on the occasions when I have been there. Austin, Houston and San Antonio are more humid. On balance, I happen to like Texans and their common sense approach to business and government. The wealthy in Dallas appear to be civic minded and have donated several hundred million dollarss to develop a superb arts district. The people in Dallas are very friendly, though not as friendly as in the midwest.

Property taxes in Texas are about 3% of market value vs. about 1% in California because of Prop 13. Before Prop 13, taxes were 2-3% of the current market value. However, since the same house in a comparable neighborhood in Dallas is at least half the price of San Diego, property taxes are not as bad as it first appears. If you were to buy the same price house in Dallas as you sold in San Diego, then property taxes may become a financial problem, as well as cooling the huge home. The lower tax burden in Texas is because it has no income tax and sales tax rates are lower than here.

No place is perfect, and the fact that I am still living in California says that, for the time being, I think this is still the best place to live--though no where near the great place that I grew up in, or even 10-20 years ago. Californians usually say that if they have to live in Texas, they would go to Austin; to which I reply: why would I want Texas weather, Texas natural beauty and California folks.

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Don Bauder March 7, 2010 @ 7:17 a.m.

Response to post #135: That "common sense approach to business and government" is, as I understand it, a bit like Japan's: business is always right and consumers are wrong. That seems like the Texas mentality to me. Correct me if I am wrong. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 March 7, 2010 @ 9:26 a.m.

The lower tax burden in Texas is because it has no income tax and sales tax rates are lower than here.

CA has one of the highest sales taxes in the nation, that is the first tax the tsate and muni's try ot raise to fund the (Cadillac pensions).

National City and La Mesa have both raised their sales taxes within the last year or two to fund the [3%@50] gov pensions, and this is already on TOP of the Prop 172 1/2 percent sales tax increase for police and fire passed statewide in 93.

The state sales tax intitially was only 1.25%, and that was in 1967.

The sales tax was only 6.5% as recently as 20 years ago.

The pitch for raising the sales tax never changes;

"It is only a [insert % here] increase and no one will even notice it, and we need it to fund [police/fire/library/parks/airport/trails/beaches/{insert any gov function here}].

I never buy ANYTHING of value retail in CA anymore because with the local sales taxes added on increases the price by 10%, and that is substantial.

I buy as much as I can online these days.

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bingo March 7, 2010 @ 11:16 a.m.

Somewhere back there, I asked what a fair salary for a police officer should be? What I got is that it should not be $125,000 because we can't pay that. Still don't know what it should be. Anyone want to throw something out there?

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Don Bauder March 7, 2010 @ 11:21 a.m.

Response to post #137: Some day you may have to pay a fat tax for what you buy online. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard March 7, 2010 @ 12:07 p.m.

Police and firefighters need better performance and credentials to deserve the same pay as doctors and lawyers, but they have won this pay through the same means, effective lobbying and negotiating through powerful professional organizations. The scandalous disparity between public and private pay has two sources; lawless collusion between the government and union creates the high pay, lawless private employers and the resulting lack of unions create the low pay.

The working poor need the same effective lobbying that police and firefighters have. For the poor, bashing the high pay of unionized public employees is a fools errand, meant to distract from the task at hand, organizing and lobbying for better pay and conditions.

The real scandal, the one destroying our economy, is low pay.

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CuddleFish March 7, 2010 @ 12:09 p.m.

Bingo, if what SurfPuppy suggests is true, that police officers and firefighters need no more than a GED or high school diploma to apply for a position, then let's start at a base salary equivalent to that level of education, say a construction worker makes 30K a year (mid-level salary range), then add a further amount in consideration of risk factors which SurfPuppy says is very low, but say we increase it by 25% of 30K, I'd say that's on target. The reason we don't pay that low is because of the "hero" status attached to certain professions. So let's throw in an extra 10-20K for that mystique, and start at 50K. Does that sound about right? Does to me? Will anybody go for it? Heck no. People are not reasonable about these matters. If we were, we wouldn't be broke.

What is your counteroffer?

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Psycholizard March 7, 2010 @ 1:10 p.m.

They have guns, we have money.

Think about those guns.

Look South.

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CuddleFish March 7, 2010 @ 1:24 p.m.

??? We have guns, too, more guns, better guns, better equipped men to use those guns. Not a factor, IMHO.

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CuddleFish March 7, 2010 @ 1:40 p.m.

I missed your earlier post, Psycholizard, re distraction of the real issue. Clearly American Empire is on its way out, collapsed by corporate greed and neocon overreach, clearly Chinese Empire is on the rise, though it is hollow and incredibly weak and in my opinion will be short-lived. I could be wrong about that, if for instance, they collaborate with revolutionary elements from South and East, things could get pretty nasty. I've been arguing this for the longest to racists on the question of undocumented migrants, is the difference between quiet assimilation and assistance and noisy revolution is people tend not to forget who their friends and enemies were when it's payback time. What comes after that? Who knows, maybe we will all revert to European dominance and convert to their form of Socialism. And we will live happily ever after. :)

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MsGrant March 7, 2010 @ 1:41 p.m.

It's not "hero" pay. It's called hazard pay. There are very few people with a degree that are willing to put their lives on the line for a paycheck.

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Don Bauder March 7, 2010 @ 2:24 p.m.

Response to post #140: You make very good points. But how can the poor lobby? More than a century ago, the poor were able to make a difference through hell raising. And that was in the gilded age, when the spread between the rich and poor was as bad as it is today. I have been trying to figure out why today's poor and middle class just can't stir up a fuss. Best, Don Bauder

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CuddleFish March 7, 2010 @ 2:39 p.m.

MsG, as SurfPuppy has explained, and I have read statistics that support this view, there is very little hazard in a policeman's work, certainly more hazard in being a firefighter, but not so much more as deserves that level of pay. In comparison, there are many other careers that are as or more dangerous, a construction worker faces as much physical danger, I would guess, as a firefighter. As far as facing bullets, scores of young men join the military every day, knowing they will face combat, not just guns, but rockets and bombs and whole squadrons of trained fighters. These arguments just don't wash. Further, I factored in hazard and mystique and still came out with a fairly low payscale as compared to the reality.

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MsGrant March 7, 2010 @ 2:59 p.m.

"scores of young men join the military every day, knowing they will face combat"

Really?!!? They join because they WANT to!?!??? Or because they have to?

Two of my husband's best friends are fire fighters. I understand. But have you ever needed a cop? I have and even if your belief is that they are of little use, I was pretty freaking glad they were there when I needed them.

"In comparison, there are many other careers that are as or more dangerous, a construction worker faces as much physical danger,"

A civilian job. Not of any consequence in this context.

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CuddleFish March 7, 2010 @ 3:23 p.m.

Unless I'm mistaken, there is no draft, so every one who joins the military, joins voluntarily. But I take your point. Let's say half join because of lack of opportunities in the civilian world. That's still a lot who join the military because they want a military career.

I don't believe cops are of little use. I think they maintain order by their presence, and they are necessary to our society, particularly since we won't outlaw guns. And yes, I have needed them, and there have been times they have helped me, other times they haven't. I still think they are way way overpaid, and that we can't afford the cost.

If as has been implied, they don't do it for the money, then let's offer half of what they make now and see who applies for the job.

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MsGrant March 7, 2010 @ 3:28 p.m.

About ten thousand unemployed Californians.

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SurfPuppy619 March 7, 2010 @ 4:54 p.m.

Police and firefighters need better performance and credentials to deserve the same pay as doctors and lawyers, but they have won this pay through the same means, effective lobbying and negotiating through powerful professional organizations.

Pay for muni occupations as cop and FF were not "won" through the same means as professionally educated private sector jobs. Muni jobs are not subject to the free market forces as the private sector, which is the free and open market. And you can certainly not say it was deserved.

1) the "negotiations" where the PD and FD have gotten these un earned, retroactive, illegal pension and pay increases was not performed in an arms length negotiation. In the private sector you have management that negotiates hard against labor to drive a fair bargain according to the free market, with management fighting as hard as they can to keep labor down and at a free market price-b/c if they don't you go out of business.

With muni/public unions you have people doing negotiating who are also negotiating it on THEIR own behalf (in fact we have a current SDFD union leader facing felony charges over this). In addition you have what amounts to a quid pro quo legal bribery of public officials by unions funding the campaigns of the officials they are "bargaining" with. That is not an arms length transaction-and as such it could be argued that all of these contracts “negotiated” in such a manner are VIOD on their face due to fraud and undue influence. That is a long shot argument-but a valid argument nonetheless.

2) as stated prior, the notion that a cop or FF with only a GED or HS diploma with NO actual work experience could be hired from day one being compensated MORE than a profession like a doctor, dentist, CPA or other profession, which in many cases requires several years of graduate level college course work, is preposterous.

For bingo-you are new here so you have not seen some of my prior posts. Cops and FF's should be paid for their education and training-they have neither when they are hired. Only with the muni paid funding do they receive semi skilled occupational training in their respective fields. Back before the late 90's both cop and FF were paid at or around the same as other semi skilled labor-the construction trades. That is where the market WAS for cop and FF- wages on par with the union level construction trades. Add in a shift/holiday differential to compensate for shift and holiday work and you would have a good idea of the free market rate. So if a union construction trade worker was making $50K per year, then that would be a good place to start a cop and FF, while adding in a 20% premium for the shift and holiday work. You would essentially get the very same applicants with such a pay structure as you get today, there just are not a whole lot of private sector companies giving out those types of comp packages to GED/HS grads with no job experience at age 20.

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SurfPuppy619 March 7, 2010 @ 5:03 p.m.

It's not "hero" pay. It's called hazard pay. There are very few people with a degree that are willing to put their lives on the line for a paycheck.

By MsGrant

Dear Ms Grant- Police do not even make the top ten in death rates/ 100k. Please. Stop this bs. The "dangerous jobs" line for Police and Firefighters (city FF'ers, not Forest FF'ers) is a complete line of dung. Stop lying. Please.

Ms Grant, please, no more the same old, tired, and bogus “talking points” of the public unions.

There are thousands of college educated applicants who apply for cop and FF jobs-especially FF jobs-because they compensate at $200K per year. If the application process were fair and objection ALL of them would score hire than the 80% of the current HS and GED hires in the typical muni PD and FD.

Your bogus claims have been shot down so many times that it is hard to believe people like you still try to get away with them.

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SurfPuppy619 March 7, 2010 @ 5:08 p.m.

"In comparison, there are many other careers that are as or more dangerous, a construction worker faces as much physical danger,"

A civilian job. Not of any consequence in this context.

By MsGrant

The contructuion trades are 20 times MORE dangerous than that of a cop.

That these area "civilian jobs" has absoletely no bearing on the danger levels. Throwing that in there goes to show you have a bias and an obvious agenda.

Danger is danger.

As for the military forces, some join for financial reasons others join out of a sense of patriotic duty. Google Pat Tillman when you get some free time.

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CuddleFish March 7, 2010 @ 6:21 p.m.

Nothing written here will change things, russl.

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bingo March 7, 2010 @ 10:16 p.m.

Police Officer I starting pay is $4,119 per month. This seems in line with what you suggest. So it's not the starting pay that is the problem. It's where it gets to. Correct? How about a Police Detective or a Captain?

I don't remember where back in the list of comments this is otherwise I'd say the number, but I don't think the number of applicants applying for fire jobs means much unless it's determined they all meet the requirements. My understanding is once all is said and done, a good many of them don't. Don't have hard and fast facts on that but that is what I have heard. And with the PD, you gotta get past that background check, which is not something one can do. This doesn't mean it should pay more, but it does mean that not everyone that applies will meet the standard.

And this is just a personal view, you may not think that a police officer puts his/her life on the line everyday, but even routine traffic stops can take unexpected turns. I for one think that's worth a bit more.

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johnsd March 7, 2010 @ 11:49 p.m.

That "common sense approach to business and government" is, as I understand it, a bit like Japan's: business is always right and consumers are wrong. That seems like the Texas mentality to me. Correct me if I am wrong.

The City Journal article that I referred to on post #125 lays out fairly clearly the cost and effectiveness of government in both states. We have one of the highest gasoline taxes in the country yet our roads, particularly in Northern California, are atrocious. The roads in San Diego county are fairly good. We have a government of, by and for itself. I can't believe I am saying this, but I miss Willie Brown--at least he understood that you need to create wealth to keep government going.

Some regulations are important and necessary. However, passing regulations that have minimal, if any benefits, except to ensure the perpetuity of the regulatory body creating it destroys jobs. Just look at the new diesel engine law that CARB has had to put on hold because of the devastating impact it was going to have on truckers and farm equipment. Or about the MTBE fiasco that poisoned the water supply and reduced gas mileage by 10%. Of course, the Bush administration forced California to use ethanol as a payoff to the corn farm lobby. We have a unique gasoline blend that no one else uses, which is one of the reasons we pay more for gasoline and everything else. More than half of the $1 billion to build a new refinery is for regulations and studies. I am not saying we do not need regulations, but how many consultants and bureaucrats do we need to employ at more than $100k/year?

Even successful California companies often expand outside California because of the business climate here. Several years ago Intel said that they would not build another plant in California because of regulations and the uncertainty of energy supplies. Apple and Google are still expanding in Silicon Valley for programers and designers, but data centers and other jobs that go to less skilled workers are not being created here. The unemployment rate in Santa Clara county is surprisingly high.

I would say the unemployment rates in both states are indicative of the business climate in each state. The insolvency of California is a pretty good testament that something, or many things, are not right. Texas also has many problems, but at least their budget is roughly balanced and more people are employed. Always assuming that business is right is wrong, but not as wrong as always assuming that business is always wrong.

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 7:30 a.m.

Response to poste #141: That hero factor is kept going by the media. Every time a police man or woman is killed on duty, there is a mass funeral that is covered in depth by all the news media. Does each person killed serving in the armed services get the same kind of coverage? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 7:31 a.m.

Response to post #142: Consider those with both guns and money. They use the former to amass the latter. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 7:34 a.m.

Response to post #143: Remember when the discussion was about guns and butter? Now it's about guns and money. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 7:37 a.m.

Response to post #144: China is showing all the signs of a bubble that will burst at some point. But the nation will remain formidable. It's very similar to Japan. We all thought the country was a juggernaut until its bubble burst. But it's still formidable, even with its weak economy of the last two decades. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 7:39 a.m.

Response to post #145: Most military officers have degrees. Most stay behind the scenes, but many are up on the front lines. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 7:42 a.m.

Response to post #147: Good points on construction workers and military. How about those who work for highway departments? Lots of deaths there. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 8:35 a.m.

Response to post #148: Highway workers aren't civilians. Consider their risks. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 9:02 a.m.

Response to post #149: I don't think anyone on this blog has said police or firefighters are not necessary. The question is what kind of pay and benefits should they get. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 9:04 a.m.

Response to post #150: Probably double that. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 9:07 a.m.

Response to post #151: You are correct that muni unions have become powerful political forces, and politicians are afraid not to meet their demands. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 9:10 a.m.

Response to post #152: I still ask: how does a college degree help the cop on the beat? A detective, yes. A higher-up official, yes. But the gal or guy on patrol? I don't see it. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 9:13 a.m.

Response to post #153: I'm so old that I was of military age when the draft was still in force. I joined the National Guard to stay out of the draft. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 9:15 a.m.

Response to post #154: This is all voluntary. Nobody is drafted onto this blog. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 9:17 a.m.

Response to post #155: You mean President Obama doesn't read this blog? I'm hurt. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 9:22 a.m.

Response to poste #156: The police are gathering support in the colloquy. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 9:27 a.m.

Response to post #157: I don't agree that California feels business is always wrong. Best, Don Bauder

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Rocket_J_Squirrel March 8, 2010 @ 9:31 a.m.

"You are correct that muni unions have become powerful political forces, and politicians are afraid not to meet their demands. Best", Don Bauder

Don - I thought I read somewhere that employees of SD CAN'T strike. (unlike France or Greece) If that is so, what makes them so powerful? They can't exactly bring SD to it's knees by not showing up for work - won't they get fired?

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SurfPuppy619 March 8, 2010 @ 11:07 a.m.

I still ask: how does a college degree help the cop on the beat?

Well, let me state it does help. The most OBVIOUS being that the most IMPOSRTANT part of a police officers job is the documentation, the report writing. That determines if charges are filed by the DA and if done correctly ties down a guilty defendant, if done poorly allows the guilty defendant to go free. A college graduate has writing skills far superior to that of a HS graduate.

Now, this is NOT to say that there are many people without college degrees that have good writing skills, and also have good common sense. But under PD and FD hiring standards you can NEVER know who those applicants are under the hiring process, because of the "oral interview". The oral interview is a 10 minute interview allowing the hand chosen ones to go on to the more expensive parts of the hiring process-the background investigation and the psychological testing, while stopping the hiring process dead in it’s tracks of anyone the agency does not want. It is purely subjective, and this allows for the cronyism and nepotism to flourish in these jobs-and it does.

I know of no company in the private sector that would give thumbs up or thumbs down to an applicant for a $200K per year job based on a 10-minute interview. It is not a valid nor reliable way to pick or hire the best applicants. In fact most jobs that pay above $50K require multiple in depth interviews of an hour or more. Applicants for entry-level hires at Goldman Sachs go through 20 plus interviews totaling over 25 hours. To even be selected for an interview at Goldman or the other 4 major investment banks, an MBA from an Ivy League school is required and starting compensation is lower than the average PD or FD,

So don't get me wrong, there are very smart, intelligent and capable PD and FF applicants out there-but they are not the ones being hired and in fact the hiring process does not allow for picking the best applicants, done intentionally so the PD and FD can cherry pick for the 4 hiring groups;

1- Family,

2- Friends,

3- Military and

4- Civil rights lawsuit consent decree hires for engaging in 1 & 2 above.

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SurfPuppy619 March 8, 2010 @ 11:19 a.m.

I don't remember where back in the list of comments this is otherwise I'd say the number, but I don't think the number of applicants applying for fire jobs means much unless it's determined they all meet the requirements.

Are you for real??????

It is a GED job. The training is paid for BY THE MUNI, at the fire academy, while the applicant gets PAID for going through that training. Where in the real world will an employer send you to college on THEIR money AND also pay you to attend? No where, that's where. Getting paid to go to college only happens in the fantasyland of government employment.

You can train/teach ANY FF applicant everything they need to know about FFing in less than 6 months. So this notion that the people applying are not "qualified" is so ridiculous it doesn't even pass the laugh test.

FF is a semi skilled, blue collar job*, nothing more. There are EASILY over 1,000 qualified applicants for every 1 ff job opening. You could hire ANY GED applicant and train/teach them for the job. FFing is not rocket science and FF's are not mini Einsteins.

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SurfPuppy619 March 8, 2010 @ 11:28 a.m.

And with the PD, you gotta get past that background check, which is not something one can do. This doesn't mean it should pay more, but it does mean that not everyone that applies will meet the standard.

bingo

Once again bingo, very few PD applicants fail a background investigation- b/c 80%+ are knocked out at the "oral interview" before they even given a chance at it.

So the claim that the background investigation is a hurdle that disqualifies a majority (or even 10%) of applicants is totally, 100% false.

As for the starting pay of $4,119 per month-you left out the benefit package which doubles the compensation. Do this bingo, add up the costs of a pension that allows you to retire with 90% of your highest years pay (about double the average years pay over the career), and then toss in the other benefits and divide those costs over the 30 year career, see what it totals.

I'll give you a hint, those costs total several million dollars-effectively making every cop and FF a millionaire the day they are hired.

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 11:54 a.m.

Response to post #174: They are powerful because of their numbers, and because such a high percentage of them turn out to vote. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 11:57 a.m.

Response to poste #175: At Goldman Sachs, the interviewer can just look at the candidate's fingers. If they're sticky, the applicant is hired. Shouldn't take 10 seconds. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 12:01 p.m.

Response to post #176: They aren't Einsteins. Even JW and JF would agree to that. Best, Don Bauder

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Rocket_J_Squirrel March 8, 2010 @ 1:34 p.m.

Let's talk education because I'm curious: I'm a Physical Therapist - Cal State Northridge (B.S.)

How about you, Don?

Surfpuppy, where did you go to school, and what do you do?

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PistolPete March 8, 2010 @ 1:47 p.m.

Hello Rocket_J_Squirrel. I'm PistolPete. I'm an unemployed, bitter, dissenter of everything governmental. I dropped out of Warren Township High School in 1992. In 1998, I recieved my GED from Chippewa Valley Technical College at the University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire. That wasn't good enough for society so in 2001 while locked up at Oshkosh Correctional Institution in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, I recieved my HSED. I'm now a high school graduate but still unemployed, bitter and a dissenter of everything governmental.

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 1:52 p.m.

Response to post #177: But they have to wait to get it. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard March 8, 2010 @ 2:04 p.m.

to 175

First remember that the value of the essential is beyond price. After this we can discuss what we can afford, and what qualified people will accept in pay.

Horrific failures over the years prove the need for better firefighting and policing. Both professions have improved performance over the last hundred years from bribable thugs, to professionals well deserving the respect we pay to doctors and lawyers. If better pay meant better professional performance, I would say pay more. Unfortunately giving more to the untalented and unqualified may make the problem worse.

Police and Firefighters face far more complex and difficult situations than rocket scientists do, and they can't experiment. To succeed they must obey set procedure, and for this they are ridiculed in a thousand movies, for lacking that most American trait, imagination. The exploding gases of a house fire, or an angry mob, are far more complex than the controlled explosions of rocket science. Police and fire don't need the mind of a scientist, but they require obedience and discipline that a good scientist shouldn't have.

Police and fire persons vary in value from worth any price to public menace. We should use the high pay and the ensuing layoffs to hold these professionals to a high standard. They aren't trained like rocket scientists, but they should be.

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Rocket_J_Squirrel March 8, 2010 @ 2:08 p.m.

Excellent reply Pete! I figured you for an amateur OB/GYN (like most males). I'm sure Mr. Bauder has a degree in economics or something, and I'm REALLY curious about SurfPuppy, because he seems to think everyone with a job that doesn't require a desk is either an: IDIOT - Mental Capacity of a 2 Year old or less IMBECILE - M.C. of 3 to 7 years MORON - M.C. of 8 to 12 years He obviously thinks our military is nothing but cannon fodder. Too bad - I respect them far too much for putting their lives on the line for me. So, I'm curious and perhaps too nosy.

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 2:13 p.m.

Response to post #181: I got a bachelor's in business administration and a master's in journalism (with six months in the Army in between) 1959-1961, University of Wisconsin-Madison, although I was in the workforce beginning in fall of 1960 in Chicago because I had finished my thesis. So I've been working for almost 50 years. Best, Don Bauder

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Rocket_J_Squirrel March 8, 2010 @ 2:45 p.m.

Thank you for your reply Mr. Bauder! Very impressive! OK SurfPuppy - NEXT!

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 3:06 p.m.

Response to post #182: Sorry to hear about your bitterness. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 3:10 p.m.

Responses to post #184: Rocket scientists know some things that police and FFs don't know. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 3:13 p.m.

Response to post #185: I think you are being unreasonably harsh with SP. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 3:15 p.m.

Response to post #187: I don't think of my educational background as all that impressive. My wife has a PhD from UC-Davis in plant ecology. We raised two sons while she was getting it. Best, Don Bauder

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CuddleFish March 8, 2010 @ 3:23 p.m.

Mr. Bauder, your avatar is very grey and unattractive. Don't you have a better photograph to post for yourself? I still have the spiffy one you used to use at the U-T if you need it. :)

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Rocket_J_Squirrel March 8, 2010 @ 3:29 p.m.

"Response to post #185: I think you are being unreasonably harsh with SP". Best, Don Bauder

I don't think so. He obviously harbors extreme disdain for Government employees and is not shy about denigrating them. He feels that they are all (semi)functional illiterates, so I'm very curious to learn HIS level of education, and how he pays his mortgage with whatever career he's involved in (or retired out of)

LATER!

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PistolPete March 8, 2010 @ 3:56 p.m.

SP can certainly correct me if I'm wrong but I believe he's an attorney. If he is, I'm not sure what field he practices.

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SurfPuppy619 March 8, 2010 @ 4:11 p.m.

Both professions have improved performance over the last hundred years from bribable thugs, to professionals well deserving the respect we pay to doctors and lawyers.

First, FF and cop are not "professions"., thery arer semi skilled blue collar occupations. A Profession requires a 4 year degree at the minimum, and in many cases requires graduate level education of 10 years or more (using Medical Doctors and an example).

Second, I don't think there are too many people who would agree with you that semi skilled jobs should be paid the same as the professions you listed.

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SurfPuppy619 March 8, 2010 @ 4:15 p.m.

I'm REALLY curious about SurfPuppy, because he seems to think everyone with a job that doesn't require a desk is either an: IDIOT - Mental Capacity of a 2 Year old or less IMBECILE - M.C. of 3 to 7 years MORON - M.C. of 8 to 12 years He obviously thinks our military is nothing but cannon fodder. Too bad - I respect them far too much for putting their lives on the line for me. ================= Wow, you made me cry!

I have never said anything remotely close to your military comments that you attribute to me.

What I think I said was entry level gov employees with limited education and NO prior work experience should NOT be getting paid $200K per year, especially when they get hired based on factors other than merit-and that does include military hires.

0

SurfPuppy619 March 8, 2010 @ 4:16 p.m.

Sooooooo Pup - Whaddaya' do?

I shoot down the gov employee lies-it is a full time job.

0

Rocket_J_Squirrel March 8, 2010 @ 4:20 p.m.

Hey Surfy- I'm sorry. I'll restate that. Please advise as to the general type of employment you are engaged in, or retired from. We are all curious. Your educational level is also a source of curiosity. Which University? Regards.

0

SurfPuppy619 March 8, 2010 @ 4:20 p.m.

I don't think so. He obviously harbors extreme disdain for Government employees and is not shy about denigrating them.

I LOVE it, you are obviously a gov trough feeder, probably one of the local regulars we have here, posing under a sock puppet account!

Gov employees are compensated TWICE that of the private sector, in the case of GED cops and FF's it is more like 15 times.

I know you want to stay on that gravy train, so you make wild, unsubstantiated comments about me to try to silence me, but it just won't work.

Don't get "disdain" confused with stopping the gov employee fraud and scams.

0

SurfPuppy619 March 8, 2010 @ 4:23 p.m.

I'm a Physical Therapist - Cal State Northridge (B.S.)

One of my buddies did the PT BS at Cal State Long Beach-back then it was a 4 year degree.

They cancelled the 4 year PT degree and now it requries a masters degree.

0

Rocket_J_Squirrel March 8, 2010 @ 4:28 p.m.

I never said when I completed my 4 years. It was a while back. Now, what about YOU?! Stop deflecting! "Out with it Dorfman!" (That was from "Animal House - when Kent barfs all over Dean Wormer)

0

SurfPuppy619 March 8, 2010 @ 4:35 p.m.

Excellent reply Pete!

I missed it before it was deleted. What gave Pete's response that vote of excellence?

0

Rocket_J_Squirrel March 8, 2010 @ 4:43 p.m.

Dear Mr. Surfpuppy Cheeseweenie:

Always remember:

"If it's physical, it's therapy"

I hope you achieve your GED someday and get a job.

Now please stop bad mouthing our members of the military.

Good day sir!

0

SurfPuppy619 March 8, 2010 @ 5:11 p.m.

Now please stop bad mouthing our members of the military.

Once again, you're throwing around bogus lies, which only undermine your position.

I guess that should be expected from a gov employee-lie and twist the truth to try to discredit anyone who does not agree with you.

You certainly have nailed down the gov employee mantra/talking points.

I have never bad mouthed the military. What I did say was cops should be hired based on merit, not the fact they were in the military (or their Dad is a cop, or their next door neighbor is a cop).

BTW-did you hear that 78% of CA voters think gov employee pensions are a PROBLEM??? Yep, that is true. If you took out gov employees who responded to the poll that number may be over 90%. But don't take my word for it-please read the facts yourself-P.22;

http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/survey/S_110MBS.pdf

Have a good day Rocket (and as much as you lie, I still LOVE your Rocky avatar).

0

Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 5:12 p.m.

Response to post #192: Yeah, but those U-T photos were probably taken 10-12 years ago. I left there almost exactly 7 years ago. My wife took the current picture. Some thought it wasn't flattering, so we took a couple more. They were worse. We don't have much to work with -- meaning me. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 5:14 p.m.

Response to post #193: I would guess he will answer. I believe he has a law degree. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 5:15 p.m.

Response to post #195: How about the world's oldest profession? It doesn't require a college degree. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 5:17 p.m.

Response to post #196: SP is a lawyer who is now in real estate, as I understand it. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 5:19 p.m.

Response to post #197: I don't think SP said what you say he said. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 5:24 p.m.

Response to post #198: If you shoot down government lies full-time, you belong in the media or in Washington. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 5:26 p.m.

Response to post #199: I think he has given the outlines of his answer in posts long ago. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 5:28 p.m.

Response to post #200: He is an anti-government sleuth. Pistol Pete is just anti-government. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 5:34 p.m.

Response to posts #195-205: If SP doesn't want to share that information, he may be protecting his privacy. But I am sure I remember saying that he has a law degree and is now or recently was in real estate. Best, Don Bauder

0

Russ Lewis March 8, 2010 @ 5:52 p.m.

SP, your occupation, degree, and alma mater, please. It's not a difficult question.

0

CuddleFish March 8, 2010 @ 5:55 p.m.

Any partikerler reason you're asking?

0

Rocket_J_Squirrel March 8, 2010 @ 7:31 p.m.

205

"Once again, you're throwing around bogus lies, which only undermine your position. "

54

"And why should a military vet with a GED...." By SurfPuppy619 Your Honor, I ask if this doesn't show disdain for the military? I rest my case. Now, go fetch that GED....."FETCH!"

And...... don't get so.....a"PUP"lectic. (cheeseweenie!)

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Psycholizard March 8, 2010 @ 8:43 p.m.

to 195

Horrific failures over the years prove the need for better firefighting and policing. Both professions have improved performance over the last hundred years from bribable thugs, to professionals well deserving the respect we pay to doctors and lawyers.

Now Surfpuppy, my comment was a joke, but based on truth. The respect we pay to to doctors and lawyers, is to regard them as greedy opportunists we can't do without. Police and fire have earned this, as you have explained.

The problem is, unless we fix the California constitution, we can't afford the police and fire we have today. We must lay off large numbers at these prices, we should try to keep the best, and retire the rest. Unless the public keeps a close eye like you do Surfpup, we will keep the donut crunchers of San Diego Northern to placate the paranoid rich, and fire the public servants serving Southeast, leaving Pistol Pete to shoot it out with the crack dealers.

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Don Bauder March 8, 2010 @ 9:33 p.m.

Response to posts #217-220: Psycholizard's final post, #220, gets us back to the serious discussion at hand. He raises some good points that deserve more examination. Best, Don Bauder

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CuddleFish March 8, 2010 @ 9:43 p.m.

What, that PP shoot it out with crack dealers? Can that be arranged? There's always a chance they won't miss!

0

johnsd March 8, 2010 @ 11:48 p.m.

220 The problem is, unless we fix the California constitution, we can't afford the police and fire we have today. We must lay off large numbers at these prices, we should try to keep the best, and retire the rest.

======

What kind of fix to the California constitution do you think we should make?

Reducing salaries is not pleasant, but not as unpleasant as laying someone who still wants to work. I much rather have my salary frozen, as it was last year, or even have a pay cut to prevent layoffs. One problem I see with your suggestion is that we probably cannot afford their retirement.

All honest jobs, regardless of "status" or "prestige," are worthy of respect.

0

Psycholizard March 9, 2010 @ 12:20 a.m.

to 223

I believe we should return to majority rule on all issues, in all referendums, in our statehouses, our counties, and cities. The referendums restricting taxation have made our state, county, and cities ungovernable. If a tax referendum could pass, we could consider keeping our current police and fire at this cost, but obviously with dropping revenues the axe must fall. Lets try to keep the best.

Now the axe should fall first on Super Chicken. That police helicopter is just annoying. Hate to diss a fellow super hero though.

0

Don Bauder March 9, 2010 @ 6:53 a.m.

Response to post #223: Good point. Governments can't afford to pay the retirements, either. Best, Don Bauder

0

Don Bauder March 9, 2010 @ 6:56 a.m.

Response to post #224: Majority rule on referenda could lead to chaos. Not that California doesn't have chaos already. Best, Don Bauder

0

Psycholizard March 9, 2010 @ 10 a.m.

to 226

The present fiscal chaos stems from the mandate that taxes require a super majority, while spending requires only a majority. If spending required a super majority and taxes only a majority, our governments could be fiscally sound. In the present system balancing the books requires a consensus that California no longer has.

And while we are dreaming, I'd like a pony also. Why not restore the right to vote for the California citizen of our choice.

Repeal term limits and proposition 13. Defeat the republican plot to destroy California government before it's too late. Should our cities be run by republican bankruptcy judge after the republicans bankrupted the city? Want to sell Balboa Park to the judge's developer friends?

Right now we must obey the law, and the law says we must lay off workers in a recession even though it's stupid and wrong. Stupid and wrong like proposition 13.

0

SurfPuppy619 March 9, 2010 @ 11:04 a.m.

One problem I see with your suggestion is that we probably cannot afford their retirement.

When cops and FF's are "retiring" at age 50 with 6 figure pensions paid for by the taxpayers, then we certainly cannot afford it.

Those pensions were a scam that should have never been implemented-especially retroactively.

I predict the Orange County lawsuit over the retoactive portion of public pensions will be successful, and the retroactive portions struck down by the CA Supreme Court.

BTW-who caught this Jan Goldsmith opinion over at VoSD, where he says the employees could be on the hook for 50% of the pension losses;

Goldsmith: Employees Could Be on Hook for Investment Losses

0

CuddleFish March 9, 2010 @ 11:25 a.m.

SurfPuppy, thanks for posting that pic for DB!

BTW, your link in the earlier post doesn't go to VoSD, it leads back to this thread.

0

SurfPuppy619 March 9, 2010 @ 11:51 a.m.

Thanks, here is the right link;

http://voiceofsandiego.org/government/thehall/article_09b2e704-2afc-11df-9833-001cc4c002e0.html

Here is the link to the poll proving up just about everyone in this state thinks the public pension are a problem- not just me, Don and a few others (P.22);

http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/survey/S_110MBS.pdf

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Don Bauder March 9, 2010 @ 2:13 p.m.

Response to posts #s 227-231: It's a good thing the pension laws are written in inscrutable legalese. If the public knew how it is getting screwed, it would rebel. Best, Don Bauder

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CuddleFish March 9, 2010 @ 3:12 p.m.

An article for you, SurfPuppy (and anyone else who's interested):

http://www.slate.com/id/2246915/

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SurfPuppy619 March 9, 2010 @ 4:34 p.m.

"For one thing, states are said to have sovereign immunity, as protected by the 11th Amendment, which means they can't be sued. In other words, they don't need any protection from angry creditors who would take them to court for failing to pay their debts. As a result, states can simply borrow money ad infinitum."

You know the funny thing is-I have been telling this (^^^^) to ALL of my gov employee buddies for months now, in response to when they make the claim that states cannot declare BK.

I tell them states don't need to because they cannot be sued per the 11th Amendment-not in federal court and not in their own state courts.

Glad to see my comments are finally being picked up by the mainstream media.

Good find CF!

0

SurfPuppy619 March 9, 2010 @ 4:37 p.m.

I just noticed something-one of the authors of that Slate article is John Pottow, who I know and worked with on a project in the past. Good guy!

0

CuddleFish March 9, 2010 @ 5:07 p.m.

I believe I read that other municipalities are facing this same situation re pension/bankruptcy? I suppose if enough municipalities default, it's the same thing as if the state defaults, right? If I read that article right, then the Fed rides to the rescue?

0

SurfPuppy619 March 9, 2010 @ 5:54 p.m.

I believe I read that other municipalities are facing this same situation re pension/bankruptcy?

You nailed it. Here is a place that pretty much covers all the muni pension problems;

http://pensiontsunami.com/

Munis can file in the BK court under chpt 9, but chpt 9 did not apply to the states themselves. Many gov employees were under the belief that b/c the states could not file a BK, and they can't-they are on the hook and there is nothing that can change that-but as your article points out states don't need to file BK, the states can simply not pay on their debts-nothing anyone can do about it-in either state or federal court.

I do not think the feds will rescue any state. I also do not think a state will allow itself to be placed into receivership-that would have to be voluntary on behalf of the state.

0

Psycholizard March 9, 2010 @ 7:08 p.m.

to Surfpup, DB

Earlier a comparison was made between firefighter and rocket scientist, it happens that my father was both during his sixty year working career. As a teenager he worked summers for the department of forestry during the labor shortages of the second world war. After a year he commanded his own fire truck team, composed of those unfit for military service, and much older than himself. If the job required no brains, he wouldn't have got this promotion.

The problems he faced as a firefighter were just as difficult and far more dangerous than those he faced on the Apollo program. The nation might try spending as much science on the problem of exploding trees, as it does on exploding rockets. After this we need firefighters who understand this complex problem.

Should we watch our back country burn every year in the background of our elected official's news conferences, as they explain it as a natural and normal? Before there was science smallpox was natural and normal. We NEED improved scientific firefighting. We NEED scientific fire prevention and planning. We need to better organize the team of local, county, and state fire crews.

These problems are just as complex as rocket science. I think, for this nation, the fire fighting is more difficult. The rockets don't blow up every September.

0

CuddleFish March 9, 2010 @ 9:17 p.m.

We may need more firefighting science. We don't need to glorify firefighters in order to justify glorified salaries and benefits.

0

johnsd March 9, 2010 @ 11:43 p.m.

I just read Victor Hanson's latest column and, since it discusses California, it is appropriate for this discussion.

Save the State Worker? http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson030910.html

0

Psycholizard March 10, 2010 @ 12:55 a.m.

to 239

After accusing the firefighters' union of criminal collusion, calling them greedy opportunists, and harshest of all, comparing them to lawyers, I am accused of glorifying firefighters and justifying their pay. I'll cop to the glorifying, I can overlook the criminal escapades of their union and like them anyway.

I don't justify their pay however. Surfpuppy has made his case, we can easily find good people at less pay. Mr. Bauder has made his case, the town is bankrupt after bad investments and accounting trickery, and can't afford what we promised, whether the deal was crooked or not.

0

Don Bauder March 10, 2010 @ 6:45 a.m.

Response to posts #227-241: Yes, it is well documented, and oft-reported, that other municipalities and states are deep in the hole, too. San Diego is hardly alone. Of the states, New Jersey and Illinois seem to be deepest in the muck, along with California. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 March 10, 2010 @ 8:12 a.m.

http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson030910.html

By johnsd

Good find!

"Fantasyland"

"I am looking over a pile of form letters and going over emails of anguish, all decrying the cuts in state government. Indeed, I just got my regular alumnus email note from the UC system — outraged over the destruction of the university through massive budget cuts. Of course, there is very little self-reflection in all of this furor. Not one of these notices suggests, “There is no money left. It does not grow on trees. Look in the mirror.”

WHAT most people do not realize about the state is that the money is still here, but it has been shifted from causes that benefit the ENTIRE state (like higher education) to just those who WORK for the state (like prison guards).

As an example, the above passage from the link.

25 years ago the California Community Colleges, CSU and UC systems received 11% of the state general revenue funds, while prisons received 3%. Today the California Community Colleges, CSU and UC systems receives less than 4% of the general fund budget (and why there have been/are cuts to higher education every single year) while the prison budget has gone to over 11% of the budget (where pay and benefits for prison guards have gone up 400% in 20 years slightly outstriping the cost of inflation).

Instead of investing in the ENTIRE STATE'S future through education, we are investing in the small minority of gov employees-giving them Cadillac pay and benefits.

0

Rocket_J_Squirrel March 10, 2010 @ 9:38 a.m.

My Dear Surfpuppy: I want to apologize to you for getting you so itchy and steamy under the collar. I'll never do that again. I see that you're a UC grad. Are you a Bear? Did you go to UC Berkley?

0

CuddleFish March 10, 2010 @ 10:26 a.m.

Rocket: Any partikerler reason you asking SP?

0

Rocket_J_Squirrel March 10, 2010 @ 10:55 a.m.

For UCB in partikerler 'cause I know someone who's graduating from there soon, so I had that campus (of the many) on my mind. With his many references to GED this and that, I was just curious which UC campus he graduated from. Only that. Just nosy.

0

SurfPuppy619 March 10, 2010 @ 11:05 a.m.

Hey look, it seems the public is tired of GED cops and Firewhiners "retiring" at age 50 (P.22);

http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/survey/S_110MBS.pdf

0

Rocket_J_Squirrel March 10, 2010 @ 11:25 a.m.

Hell, I agree!

Make them work until age 65!

They'll probably have to buy fire trucks that "kneel down" like those city buses so they can all get off with their walkers.

Police cars will need swivel seats that raise up to push them out of their squad cars. Th e police won't need nightsticks. They'll just pummel bad guys with their canes.

0

Rocket_J_Squirrel March 10, 2010 @ 11:29 a.m.

Ambulances will carry extra oxygen bottles - for the employees of the ambulances.

0

Rocket_J_Squirrel March 10, 2010 @ 11:32 a.m.

Seeing old people carrying other old OBESE people down stairs could be fun to watch.

0

Rocket_J_Squirrel March 10, 2010 @ 11:36 a.m.

If it wasn't for the ambulance uniforms, it COULD be very difficult for the Emergency Room personnel to determine WHICH elderly person was the patient.

0

SurfPuppy619 March 10, 2010 @ 11:51 a.m.

Meg Whitman on public pensions;

“On pension reform, we need to align public employee retirement benefits to those available in the private sector. New state workers should receive a 401(k)-style defined-contribution plan. For most existing state workers, we need to increase the retirement age from 55 to 65, require longer vesting periods, and ask them to contribute more to their retirement benefits.”

http://www.signonsandiego.com/weblogs/americas-finest/2010/mar/01/meg-whitman-pension-villain-or-pension-hero/

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SurfPuppy619 March 10, 2010 @ 11:59 a.m.

"Terminate fixed-benefit programs. Freeze the promised benefits as of a certain date, and convert future accumulations into defined contribution plans where employees bear the risk. Though unpleasant for public workers, it's preferable to the unsustainable arrangement in which governments default on pension payments. While drastic, it brings decision-making into the bright light of the tough choices in an aging, slow-growth, high-risk economy."

http://www.governing.com/column/fairy-tale-pension-projections

0

Psycholizard March 11, 2010 @ 3:25 a.m.

A police officer and cab driver face roughly the same level of danger, and for the same hours on the job the police rookie might easily make 20 times what the rookie cabdriver does. The idea that Americans need to be paid for danger is an insulting joke. most I think would pay for the joy of turning on a siren and zooming the streets. I know I would. We pay police and fire not for the danger but for the political power of their effective organizations. They appear to have abused this power, trading their integrity for money.

The cabdriver is paid nothing because lacks this power. In other cities and nations drivers have organized, and they have improved pay and improved service. The lawless public sector workplace is the real scandal. We more labor organizations.

We shouldn't let the excesses of a few unions drive us into the union bashing republican party. Call me a liberal, but I don't think today's business executives have any credibility on the issue of fair compensation, and union bashing statements from million a year people nauseate me. Don't be tricked.

0

CuddleFish March 11, 2010 @ 3:55 a.m.

Lizard! Please!

I work in an industry that is unionized, and I happen to know a lot about other unions due to the nature of other things I do and am involved in. Unions may start out as a good thing but they end up being just as bad as the thing they set out to defend against. People instinctively know this. Or else why hasn't Wal-mart been unionized? Wal-Mart!

You singing Solidarity Forever in a one man parade. The baffling thing, the reason China is gonna swoop in and eat us up any minute now, is we are hollowly fighting that old battle still, and it is pointless. Take this from an old line labor organizer. The old corporate/labor paradigm is dead and gone, Lizard my friend.

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SurfPuppy619 March 11, 2010 @ 8:47 a.m.

Well, Jan Goldsmith is now giving personal replies to on VoSD to his contention that the public employee pension shortfall MAY have to be picked up 50/50 by the employees-and the public emplopyees are going ape over it!

Here, read the replies (including Goldsmith) for yourself;

City Charter section 143 states:

"The City shall contribute annually an amount substantially equal to that required of the employees for normal retirement allowances, as certified by the actuary, but shall not be required to contribute in excess of that amount, except in the case of financial liabilities accruing under any new retirement plan or revised retirement plan because of past service of the employees."

Jan Goldsmith

http://voiceofsandiego.org/government/thehall/article_09b2e704-2afc-11df-9833-001cc4c002e0.html?mode=comments

Don, get someone to post on that VoSD thread that we want Jan to give personal replies over here at the King of All Political Blogs, Don Bauder's "Scam Diego"!

0

SurfPuppy619 March 11, 2010 @ 8:56 a.m.

Well, we have a first.

A BK judge has allowed a muni to NOT PAY vested pension benefits to a group of retired employees. The vested pensions have been cut.

In this case the BK Judge is doing exactly what Don said a BK judge would do at some point in the future-when it comes to paying pensions or paying for essential muni services, the muni wins and the pension system loses.

I actually feel very sad for these retirees, because they have had their ENTIRE pension cut-they are not even receiving a portion of it. This is why pension systems should never be manipulated, they MUST be sustainable.

I would hate to see something liKE this happen in CA, to all of it's retirees because a few (the 3%@50) RETIREES BROKE THE SYSTEM FOR EVERYONE. But if the public unions do not work to fix the scam, this is what's coming down the road.

http://blog.al.com/live/2010/03/motion_to_force_prichard_to_pa.html

0

CuddleFish March 11, 2010 @ 9:04 a.m.

Wow! But surely the unions will appeal the decision?

0

Psycholizard March 11, 2010 @ 10:23 a.m.

to 259

The old paradigm is dead of course, that's why the economy is wrecked. Still more people will admit to belonging to a union, than will admit to belonging to the republican party, at least on this blog.

Wal Mart is a lawless workplace, thanks to raw political power, and the exploitation of labor law loopholes made possible by corrupt republican judges. If unions weren't powerful, they wouldn't still be bribing people to keep them away, and wouldn't keep bashing unions in the valuable ad space in the UT editorial column. And if unions weren't powerful we wouldn't be talking about excessive pay in the public sector.

If unions are a bad idea, what will help the working poor get the spending power to get us out of this recession? Do you like the trends of the last thirty union busting years? How would you reform unions? What would you replace them with?

0

Don Bauder March 11, 2010 @ 10:40 a.m.

Response to posts #242-262: There is a lot of very good material here. Congrats to all who dug up the info. Best, Don Bauder

0

CuddleFish March 11, 2010 @ 10:47 a.m.

Lizard, my friend, le big shots don't listen to people like me, they listen to K Street lobbyists billing out at 500 bucks an hour.

We know what's gone, we know what it isn't anymore. What we don't know is what it is going to be, mainly because the American people were stupid enough to get behind Obama when he kept hollering "change" without any solid notion what he meant by it (hint: what he meant was, I want to get elected). Now that that's obvious to the world, we can all see/sense there's a vacuum, a dangerous vacuum, created. What will fill that vacuum? Scary to think.

0

SurfPuppy619 March 11, 2010 @ 11:19 a.m.

Wow! But surely the unions will appeal the decision?

I would hope the retirees would appeal it.

I think cutting the pensions to zero is wrong, not on a legal level, but on a moral and ethical level.

These retirees need to get some kind cash flow coming their way, be it 30%, 50%, 75%, whatever the % is, they need some income to pay for necessities of life.

My point in this post was to rebut what Jan Goldsmith had said a few weeks back (and parroted by the public employees)-that he found no case where a BK judge stopped or cut pension payments in a muni BK-well, here it is.

These 90% pensions need to be cut to a sustainable level-and the early retirement ages need to be raised.

0

SurfPuppy619 March 11, 2010 @ 11:31 a.m.

If unions are a bad idea, what will help the working poor get the spending power to get us out of this recession? Do you like the trends of the last thirty union busting years?

I never thought unions were a bad idea until I the last 10 years, when the public unions started to extract deals that, IMO, were NOT done on a level playing field. I am all for private sector unions, who compete in a market that is not a monopoly.

The public unions do not operate in an environment that is open to competiton, and the elected officials the public unions bargain with for their compensation are not done at an arms length because of the money the public unions give to elected officials. Public employee unions have contributed over half a BILLION dollars in campaign contribution to elected officials in the last 10 years, that is so much money it is unreal-and it should be outlawed from ALL special interests (corporations as well as unions).

I also question why a non profit sector, like public employment, should be allowed to unionize in the first place. They do not face the same market hardhsips the private sector does.

0

Psycholizard March 11, 2010 @ 1:22 p.m.

To Surfpup,

This city is not truly bankrupt thanks to the twenty square miles of real estate it still owns. Republican developers salivate whenever they hear the word bankruptcy. Abuse of our public lands is platform stuff for Republicans, they want to drill for oil next to your surf.

Still we must have options short of bankruptcy. Since you study law, perhaps you can help me. Isn't the furtherance of a contract achieved through illegal means conspiracy? Isn't every citizen required to break such a contract if he reasonably suspects criminality even if he has no certain proof? I know in real estate law the suspicion of drug manufacture is enough to tear up any contract, and failure to evict could cost an owner their property.

To this citizen, the accounting shenanigans concurrent with the ballpark bonds raise a strong suspicion that criminal securities fraud was perpetrated by city officials and union representatives, whether individual guilt can be proved or not. Plainly the city shouldn't default on these bonds, that would be completion of the criminal scheme.

Plainly it would be ethical to default on the pension obligations, since this was accrued by deception, but the legalities would be heard by a judge.

We should negotiate with the public unions for give backs that could save jobs and maybe save the city from bankruptcy. Unions alone can do this, and the solvency of the city is of concern to them.

As for bankruptcy, remember that Crooky Macmillan owns judges in this town and our land could be sold at lowball prices. Or as with the Naval Training Center, simply thrown to the developer sharks.

0

SurfPuppy619 March 11, 2010 @ 3:32 p.m.

This city is not truly bankrupt thanks to the twenty square miles of real estate it still owns.

Just to let you know, real estate is not involved in a chpt 9 muni bk, there is no forced sale of real property.

A chpt 9 muni bk is strictly a cash flow bankruptcy, not an asset liability banruptcy.

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SurfPuppy619 March 11, 2010 @ 3:34 p.m.

We should negotiate with the public unions for give backs that could save jobs and maybe save the city from bankruptcy. Unions alone can do this, and the solvency of the city is of concern to them.

I agree with you 100% on this point. So did Vallejo.

In Vallejo the unions would flat out not negoitiate, they forced the BK filing due to them not giving any concessions.

Something to think about.

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Don Bauder March 11, 2010 @ 5:31 p.m.

Response to post #s 263-269: Today on TV (Bloomberg), California state treasurer Bill Lockyer, who was formerly attorney general, declared that pensions were untouchable. Best, Don Bauder

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a2zresource March 12, 2010 @ 2:48 p.m.

I've had a few government jobs. One of them actually called on me to fight a small wildfire in Virginia once.

The Army retired me before I was 21, but I got orders saying I was awarded a GCM that I never received from HQ 9th Infantry Division.

I later got so rich being a part-time accounting/algebra/DP/English tutor for the San Diego Community College District that I no longer have to hold down a regular job.

My internship with HQ FDIC/RTC during the S&L Crisis made me quit banks and credit cards cold turkey.

Instead of a pension, I've got about $50 in an AIG retirement thingy that will generate enough interest for a movie ticket with popcorn, no Pepsi in the next decade or so.

Do police officers and firefighters deserve the pensions they get? As long as they do things on a daily basis that the rest of us would screw up monumentally if we tried doing them without their help and supervision, probably so.

If you don't think so, then step up and volunteer some time with them. If we can't do that, then why are we complaining about their overtime when we won't cover for them?!?

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SurfPuppy619 March 12, 2010 @ 3:23 p.m.

"As long as they do things on a daily basis that the rest of us would screw up monumentally if we tried doing them without their help and supervision, probably so."

Please.

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a2zresource March 12, 2010 @ 3:32 p.m.

RE #274:

You're welcome.

Since you seem to be stepping up by apparently asserting that all of us could do without police and fire fighting services, you can deal with all of the 911 calls. Personally, I don't need that kind of stress.

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CuddleFish March 12, 2010 @ 5:22 p.m.

a2zresource,I haven't seen anywhere that SurfPuppy asserts such a thing. Did I miss something? As for who would do the job, apparently thousands of people want them, judging by the number of applicants. The necessity of police and firefighters isn't disputed. Not what they are worth to society, what they are paid by society. A reasonable sum has been suggested. Is there some reason this would not be acceptable?

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Don Bauder March 12, 2010 @ 5:39 p.m.

Response to posts #271-176: We keep focusing on whether cops and firefighters deserve their pay. I maintain that is an irrelevant discussion when the City clearly cannot afford to make these payments. Many people (such as on Wall Street) are paid far, far more than they are worth -- in fact, often worsen the economy, and are thus worth less than nothing. Others (such as in the military) are paid far, far less than they are worth. 'Twas ever thus, and will remain that way. The question is whether their employers can afford to pay them. Best, Don Bauder

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johnsd March 13, 2010 @ 1:28 a.m.

I completely agree that military personnel are paid significantly less than their value to society. Society takes advantage of the fact that patriotism is a strong motivator for those who serve in the military. Education benefits is a form of deferred compensation. Without the protection from a strong and effective military, what we call civilization would not exist. In Jean Kirkpatrick's final book, "Making War to Keep the Peace," she bases some of her concerns about the Iraq war on the need to have security before a democracy can flourish.

Most of those of who are "overpaid" have managed to define their competition narrowly, generally to others in their exclusive club. They often have significant influence over those who establish their salaries, who also personally benefit by being "generous."

Wall Street owns the federal government and has created all these complex investment vehicles to generate income. Some of these investment vehicles may make capital markets more efficient, but most of us do not really know and the ridiculously high compensation continues. When things go wrong, they are "too big to fail" and the federal government steps in to save these crooks.

Unfortunately for city and state employees, their gravy train appears to be ending because the total cost of their compensation (salary and benefits) is unsustainable and their employers cannot print money like the federal government. Economic reality has intruded into the cozy relationship between public sector unions and the political class. There is a limit to how many taxes they can collect before people rebel or move and revenues decrease. The monopoly that they thought they had did not really exist.

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SurfPuppy619 March 13, 2010 @ 1:40 a.m.

Since you seem to be stepping up by apparently asserting that all of us could do without police and fire fighting services, you can deal with all of the 911 calls. Personally, I don't need that kind of stress.

a2zresource, I was not asserting anyone could do without the PD or FD, we all know they are a necessity.

But the comments certain people here make about their pay and job duties are many times way, WAY over the top. When you said;

"As long as they do things on a daily basis that the rest of us would screw up monumentally if we tried doing them without their help and supervision, probably so."

I had to respond.

I don't think most people would monumentally screw up in either job, with or without help and supervision. Those statements go on to reinforce the myth that these jobs require some special skill or talent-they do not.

That the people who are lucky enough to be gifted into one of these jobs are special people-they are not-they are the same as me and you and everyone else.

That the people who have these jobs deserve extra ordinary pay and benfits-once again I disagree.

I think ALL gov emplloyees should face the reality that they are getting comped at an extra ordinary level, not because they are super smart, super motivated, super brave, super [insert whatever], but because they have been working in a monopoly employment environment where quid pro quo exchanges are the main factor in their compensation.

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Don Bauder March 13, 2010 @ 7:24 a.m.

Response to post #278: You make many excellent, excellent points. Definitely, the gravy train for state and federal employees is ending because the money simply isn't there. The cozy relationship between the bureaucrats and the political class has to end, although it will be an ugly fight as long as the government employees claim that their excessive benefits are legally embedded in concrete. Wall Street is a gang of thieves but owns Congress, also a gang of thieves for the most part. How do we end this? You got me. A lot of the people who join the military are not doing so for patriotic reasons. They can't get a job elsewhere. The Iraq war is a disaster that we never should have undertaken. I think the messages of Rove's book and other recent revelations have not yet sunk in. The idea of weapons of mass destruction was put forward -- perhaps concocted -- to propel the nation to war. We could have waited until we determined whether WMD was a myth before sending our troops. We did not. Only a few brave politicians voted against it. If we could ever prove that W and Cheney disingenuously invented WMD, they should be tried for war crimes. They won't be. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 13, 2010 @ 7:34 a.m.

Response to post #279: Good points. The labor unions representing government employees are different from those representing the auto, steel, rubber industries, etc. The government unions face very little overseas competition: there is some outsourcing of government work to foreign countries, but not much. Thus, those unions do not face the same realities that the private sector unions do. And the close relationship between bureaucrats and pols is another factor: government workers tend to vote in high percentages. Pols know it. Best, Don Bauder

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a2zresource March 13, 2010 @ 8:59 a.m.

OK, I give up.

Reduce or eliminate the police and firefighter pension, then see how many of them we have left after they move on to other municipalities that are probably better run and pay better than ours. It's been happening for decades, and reducing or eliminating the pensions will only accelerate the problem.

I still maintain that whatever skills and training they may or may not have per the discussion above will have to be yours too, or you'll be slacking off when it's your turn on volunteer fire watch.

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Don Bauder March 13, 2010 @ 1:14 p.m.

Response to post #282: I don't know that anybody is talking about those pensions being ELIMINATED. Reduced, yes. Remember, there are places where police and firefighter pay is extremely low -- down to near minimum wage. Those places manage to hire people. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 March 13, 2010 @ 1:20 p.m.

Reduce or eliminate the police and firefighter pension, then see how many of them we have left after they move on to other municipalities that are probably better run and pay better than ours.

And that is a "talking point" right out of the public unions play book. I have heard that bougus argument so many times I now laugh everytime I hear it. For the record, the LA Sheriff NEVER went to the 3%@50 pension scam, and they had no problem retaining sheriff's, None.

The fact is there are PLENTY of people who would LOVE to have these jobs, and do it for much less.

As long as the muni pays for the training of the cop/ff, that cop/ff empoloyee could not "move on to other municipalities that are probably better run and pay better", you could put the cop/ff under employment contracts, and make them repay any of the costly training expenes for at least 5-6 years- if they left within that time period. Make the pension vesting 10 years, so if anyone did leave they were not vested. You would NOT see anyone leaving under said conditions.

And even if they DID move on down the road to those other munis that "pay better", those munis will go bankrupt, liek we are now seeing with Vallejo.

Once again, don't try to say that because people are opposed to paying a FAIR comp package (that is not 20 tiems the average muni taxpayer wage) that they "hate/have disdain for/[insert bogus bias here], because that is simply another page out of the public union play book.

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Psycholizard March 13, 2010 @ 3:50 p.m.

The developers and unions that run this city rake in the dollars for the same reason, their political power. To stop their plot to bankrupt the city and sell or lease our priceless real estate portfolio, we need to form a consensus of concerned citizens. This blog for me is a start, because my liberal reflex was to defend unions and blame the developers and proposition 13, until I looked at the pension figures presented by Surfpup and others.

We need coherent policy backed by an energized voting public to stop these powerful groups. We need candidates. Anyone endorsing anyone?

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Don Bauder March 13, 2010 @ 4:45 p.m.

Response to post #284: I agree. Many people would love to have those jobs -- and at considerably lower wages and fringes. Remember, almost everybody in San Diego gets psychic income, sometimes called the sunshine tax -- that is, people sacrifice wages and fringes just to live in such a perfect climate. But the police and firefighters don't believe they have to make such a sacrifice. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 13, 2010 @ 4:48 p.m.

Response to post #285: San Diego is going to the poorhouse for two major reasons: 1. Corporate welfare -- the massive taxpayer subsidization of hotels, shopping centers, big box stores, pro sports teams, etc. 2. Excessive pay and particularly pensions for city workers who can also retire at ridiculously early ages. Best, Don Bauder

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a2zresource March 13, 2010 @ 5:51 p.m.

Forgive me if I'm wrong about this, but it appears that everyone has bought into some kind of axiomatic economic assumption that the supply of people willing, able AND qualified to be police officers or firefighters in this town is inelastic with respect to total compensation.

If "everybody" were qualified, then John Gardener could have been a truant officer instead of a paroled sex offender. I bet he'd love to be on that job right now, sunshine tax or not.

As for the idea that we can't afford those services anyways, I'll concede that point, so we can get about the business of winding up this town and selling off the assets until we can get down to a level of government that we CAN afford. If not, then we can just all sit back and let the developers, sports team owners, and union bosses have their way.

After all, we don't seem to be good for anything else here except waiting around for someone else to offer up a "coherent policy" for some other way of dislodging those interests from controlling what goes on in San Diego.

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SurfPuppy619 March 13, 2010 @ 8:13 p.m.

Forgive me if I'm wrong about this, but it appears that everyone has bought into some kind of axiomatic economic assumption that the supply of people willing, able AND qualified to be police officers or firefighters in this town is inelastic with respect to total compensation.

By a2zresource

a2zresource, I don't think anyone said "everyone" was qualified to be a cop or FF.

Basically you need a clean record and no drug history-oh, and a GED or HS Diploma.

Having said that, as I have stated in the past, there are literally HUNDREDS, THOUSANDS of people who apply for these jobs with a clean record and no drug history- and cannot get past a 10 minute "oral interview", and this is done for a reason-to cook the books and hire those in the connected classes (which I have listed here numerous times). Applicants are NOT disqualified for criminal records nor drug use reasons.

The notion that the PD or FD cannot find "qualified applicants" is pure nonsense, a talking point fabricated by their public unions.

The Harbor Patrol used to get SO MANY applications for their Police Officer jobs (1,000 or more for every 1 opening) that they STOPPED taking applications at 500. Yes, instead of raising the requireiments to apply because they received so many applications, they LIMITED the applications to the first 500. Who does that in the private sector???? So if you were a college grad with a Masters degree, and were applicant #501 your application was not even taken, but if you were the HP Captain's son with a GED, and you were applicant #51 you were good to go.

So you may be under the impression that there are just a small minority of qualified applicants for these jobs, but you would be dead wrong. Nepotism and cronyism runs RAMPANT in these gov jobs- as they do in all gov jobs, and anyone who tells you different is either lying or ignorant of gov employment. I have stated numerous times that every major PD and FD in this state has been sued for these reasons-including San Diego. The LASD has been under a lawsuit consent decree for 30 years now! The Burbank PD is so upside down over cronyism and nepotism lawsuits right now that they are bringing in outside parties to try to fix the problems. Riverside PD is in the same boat-major problems-a direct result of bad hiring policies, bad promotion policy and everything else that goes with the cronyism and nepotism culture. It goes on in every PD/FD.

As for John Gardener, a convicted felon, please show me where I said convicted felons could even apply for a PF/FD job (hint-they are barred by their felony). Even making that comparison goes to show how weak (you must know) your argument is.

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a2zresource March 13, 2010 @ 8:41 p.m.

I didn't write that everybody was so qualified. I wrote a conditional statement, which I sincerely believe is true, even if nobody else does. Besides, anyone who considers a single hypothetical premise to be an argument is, well, less than optimally educated at the community college level.

And we still don't have anyone who has put forward a "coherent" plan for taking back government from the controlling interests that have us in this whole mess in the first place. Otherwise, the only way I can see for getting out from under an impossible-to-swallow pension debt is to simply dissolve the municipality from which the pension payments are owed. Or sell Balboa Park. Whatever.

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Don Bauder March 13, 2010 @ 9:01 p.m.

Response to post #288: The real estate developers, sports team owners and labor unions have such a complete grasp on control, having so any pols in their pockets, I didn't know citizens were considering an alternative strategy. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 13, 2010 @ 9:04 p.m.

Response to post #289: Your charges that nepotism and cronyism rule in these jobs merit an investigation. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 13, 2010 @ 9:07 p.m.

Response to post #290: Watch out for the possibility of the selling of Balboa Park. That would be a travesty. It is almost certainly being discussed. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard March 14, 2010 @ 12:34 a.m.

We should demand pension give backs in exchange for job security, tax hikes, and even an orderly sale or lease of city real estate. Except for the job security it's all disgusting to someone, but that's the mess we're in. The public has been swindled of course, but all we can do is pay up for the past mistakes, and stop the bleeding now.

The first step is to inform the citizenry and galvanize opposition. The proposed downtown stadium could be the act of hubris that wakes up the public. Remember Donna Frye rode her opposition to Sea World expansion to a council seat, and to a plurality in a mayoral election that was undone by a judge's scheming. If we can form a consensus to stop this atrocity, and save our beautiful, beloved Stadium, that same consensus might go to the polls and toss these bums out. People say you can't beat city hall, but no one says you can't beat the Chargers.

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johnsd March 14, 2010 @ 1:54 a.m.

This blog for me is a start, because my liberal reflex was to defend unions and blame the developers and proposition 13, until I looked at the pension figures presented by Surfpup and others.

We need coherent policy backed by an energized voting public to stop these powerful groups. We need candidates. ++++++ My first choice in most elections is "None of the Above," which unfortunately is not on the ballot. All of us are to different degrees self interested. Our values, such as honor, integrity, sense of fair play, religion, etc. can temper our selfishness.

The assumption that government is not self-interested has been exposed as invalid by the compensation packages and privileges the political class (politicians and bureaucracy) has given itself. I am not saying that government employees are either better or worse than the rest of us, only that they are just as self-interested as individuals in the private sector, but do not face competition. The only "competition" to what government does is a free, principled and inquisitive press and a skeptic and well-informed electorate. Unfortunately this is rare today. The power of the unions comes from the effectiveness in electing the politician. If most voters viewed a public union endorsement as a reason to not vote for the candidate instead of believing the half-truths in the slick mailer. The same applies to other groups pushing an agenda, though it may not be obvious from the name of the organization. The internet can assist in finding which group is behind the organization with the attractive name. No matter how attractive something may appear, if it involves granting favors or financial benefits, someone who stands to benefit will be supporting it. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with this, they are just acting in their self interest, which may or not be in agreement with ours or the majority of society. I am just saying that transparency and information will lead to better decisions.

The political mail we receive is very targeted to the group we have been "assigned." Probably the registrations that will put you into the most partisan categories is if the female in the house is a Democrat and the male is a Republican. Assuming you even receive mail from the "other side," the contradicting information can be enlightening and informative.

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johnsd March 14, 2010 @ 3:11 a.m.

I support Prop 13. Like everything in society and politics, it is not perfect and nothing else will either. It creates a set of rules that benefits some more than others. The best aspects, in my opinion, are: - Government has to ask the voters to increase taxes. They cannot increase taxes automatically and without accountability. - Property taxes are ~1% of assessed value and "only" increase 2% per year. It is important to understand that property taxes are still increasing and are about average nationwide. - Buyers know what their property taxes will be and can budget for them. This is particularly important if you plan to stay in your house after retirement, when your income is likely to be significantly lower--unless you retired from government. It is unfair to be forced from your home because you can no longer afford property taxes that doubled or tripled in a few years, as was occurring when Prop 13 passed. - Particularly as it applies to a primary residence, the income of the homeowner may have little relationship (i.e. much lower) than the current value of the property would imply.

A couple of negatives regarding Prop 13 are: - The percentage of property taxes paid by residential property owners has increased and by commercial property owners has decreased. Commercial real estate generates income from the property and is probably in a better position to pay higher taxes. - Development fees have increased the cost of new houses and indirectly the value of existing homes. This has made homes more expensive and is an indirect benefit to property owners protected by Prop 13. - Has reduced the percentage of total taxes that property taxes represents. Since property taxes are more stable than other taxes, it has increased the variability of tax revenues. It is important to understand that, according to the Howard Jarvis Tax Association, the property tax funding of education on a per-pupil, inflation-adjusted basis has INCREASED by about 30% since Prop 13 passed.

Some people feel it is unfair that comparable homes do not pay the same amount of tax, yet receive the same level of services. But does the owner of an oceanfront home in La Jolla receive more services than the homeowner in Pacific Beach? I am not saying that the La Jolla property owner should not pay more, but that the argument of services received is not valid. I am totally opposed to changes in Prop 13 for the primary residence. Although it is the single biggest asset I own, I do not see my house as a piggy back but as security and a roof over my head. You can go to the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association, http://hjta.org/, for information. It is obviously not balanced, but there are many sources that will give you the other side.

In California, we do not have as much a revenue problem as an expenditure problem. If the Gann Amendment were still in effect, I believe (though no data) that the state would have a budget surplus and not a deficit.

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SurfPuppy619 March 14, 2010 @ 9:28 a.m.

Well, one thing we can all agree on, with the exception of JF/JW, is that the public pension system (at a minimum) needs to be changed.

292, response to the request for an investigation of cronyism and nepotism in gov employement-all you need to do is look at muni lawsuits. These types of lawsuits are very wide spread and common. As I stated in post #289 Burbank PD has several of these lawsuits now pending. Riverside PD has a few pending. LASD is currently under one. LAPD just got out from under one last year.LAFD has had numerous lawsuits-the most recent a multi million dollar settlement over feeding a black FF dog food. I am sure every metro PD/FD in the state with more than 100 cops/ff's have had them in the past, or presently.

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Don Bauder March 14, 2010 @ 10:16 a.m.

Response to post #294: I don't think there will be pension givebacks as long as the unions are convinced that their current highly excessive benefits are cemented in the law. To have any chance of getting rid of those excessive benefits, the city will have to go bankrupt -- a definite possibility, but not right away. The person to inform the citizenry and galvanize opposition to the Chargers atrocity is Donna Frye. She is termed out as councilmember and has decided not to run for a supervisorial post, but, in my judgment, she could run for mayor again. I talked with her yesterday and did not raise the point. If I had, I am sure she would not have talked about it. I am convinced in my own mind that the taking of encumbrances off the Q and off Balboa Park golf course, along with CCDC's looking into raising its debt limit, suggest that there is a move afoot to have real estate developers put housing at both the course and the Q, and apply the proceeds to the Chargers's massive subsidy. But I may be wrong on that. Watch what Donna does on these bond refunding questions. (I am not suggesting that she agrees with my interpretation.) You can be almost certain that the mainstream media will not report on this plan that I believe is being discussed behind closed doors. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 14, 2010 @ 10:23 a.m.

Response to post #295: You make excellent points, and you make them articulately. But one thing must happen: the public must become aware that these conspiracies are underway. And that awareness will only come from the Reader, in my opinion. Incidentally, I formed that opinion while I was still writing for the U-T. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 14, 2010 @ 10:27 a.m.

Response to post #296: Yours is a thorough and cogent defense of Prop. 13. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 14, 2010 @ 10:29 a.m.

Response to post #297: That is important information. Best, Don Bauder

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CuddleFish March 14, 2010 @ 12:13 p.m.

I remember when I used to serve on this committee where a distinguished Board member would talk at each meeting about making sure workers earned a "living" wage. It occurred to me then that unions were driving that talking point, at a time when automakers, basically people turning wrenches, were earning $20-22 per hour, and corporations were taking their plants to Mexico, India, China, where the term "living" wage takes on a whole new meaning. Again, I say this as an old-line labor organizer: that fight is over. The system is broken and it isn't going to get fixed back to where it was. This is the new millenium, we are creating new paradigms along with our new technologies, and we may not get a handle on what to do or where to go next before we run out of time. Strange times ahead.

Told you we shoulda voted for Hillary. ;)

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Psycholizard March 14, 2010 @ 1:30 p.m.

to 296

The consensus on this blog intends to bring the city in compliance with the law and since Proposition 13 is law, we must follow it, but aspects of this law plainly stink. Proposition 13 requires a super majority to pass taxes, but leaves in place closed door negotiations for pay increases and other outlays. This is recipe for cooked books, and the public, which loves spending and hates taxes, is all too ready to follow this plan, and the pandering leaders who endorse it, into bankruptcy. Remember how Jerry Sanders used a promise of no new taxes to defeat Donna Frye? No candidate has ever promised no new spending.

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Don Bauder March 14, 2010 @ 7:38 p.m.

Response to post #302: This is what is needed in San Diego. But San Diegans only get talk from their mayor. Best, Don Bauder

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CuddleFish March 14, 2010 @ 8:25 p.m.

San Diego is intractable, every mayor learns that. Never proactive, always reactive, at best. And badly reactive, at that.

But Sanders may have to follow that mayor's example if this city is to survive.

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SurfPuppy619 March 14, 2010 @ 9:34 p.m.

Again, I say this as an old-line labor organizer

By CuddleFish

I know exactly how you feel.

It is so funny, most people here think I am some right wing, republican who hates labor-yet I grew up a democrat my entire life and am a very strong supporter of private sector unions, they operate in a free market and go BK if they over play their cards. But I do not support public sector unions one bit.

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CuddleFish March 14, 2010 @ 10:02 p.m.

Private sector unions have taken a big hit, too, my friend. All that we've known is dying or dead, there is just a shell left hanging by a thread. Bad poetry never goes away, though! LOL ;)

I think we are in one of those huge economic shifts that we go through historically, really hard to see what the end result will be. More bad poetry, think it's time to sleep now! LOL

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johnsd March 15, 2010 @ 12:07 a.m.

the public must become aware that these conspiracies are underway. And that awareness will only come from the Reader, in my opinion. Incidentally, I formed that opinion while I was still writing for the U-T.

The Reader provides a very valuable service. It has always relished poking the establishment, which is a good thing because no one else does it, or at least in a responsible manner.

I also like the U-T. On many things I happen to agree with them. However, they are the local establishment and will not question what is being done. All decision makers need to be challenged in a responsible manner and should respond to the issues raised. It is very easy for groupthink and arrogance to dominate decision making--even if the decisions are well intentioned. If the decisions are not well intentioned, then...we are where we at today.

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johnsd March 15, 2010 @ 12:10 a.m.

I forgot to thank you for this blog. It provides good information that is often not available elsewhere. There is also well reasoned and reasonably civil discussion.

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CuddleFish March 15, 2010 @ 9:55 a.m.

To be fair, SD U-T, Reader, CityBeat and VoSD are all good at investigative reporting, though I think SD U-T had to be pushed into it by competitive forces.

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Don Bauder March 15, 2010 @ 11:48 a.m.

Response to post #307: Sanders will have to follow the example of San Jose if he wants to succeed as mayor. Keep in mind, though, he simply wants to skate through until he is termed out, and then go for another office. Big question: Sanders as former police chief stands to make a bundle himself off his city pensions. Is he capable of trying to reduce excessive pensions? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 15, 2010 @ 11:53 a.m.

Response to post #308: Interesting bit of autobiography. I was a lifelong Republican, anti-labor and pro-management (generally), until I couldn't stand it anymore and registered Democrat in 2004. To be sure, I did a lot of columns about private sector crooks while I was a Republican, but I mistakenly believed that the bandits were an aberration. I woke up. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 15, 2010 @ 11:55 a.m.

Response to post #309: After WWII, around 30% of private sector workers were unionized. That is now less than 10%. Private sector unions just don't have puissance anymore. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 15, 2010 @ 11:59 a.m.

Response to post #310: The U-T is capable of doing very good investigative reporting, but it is NOT capable of doing reporting that would lead to a tipping over of the current status quo -- that is, that paper could never do stories that would lead to the interruption of the complete control of the city by the downtown establishment, particularly real estate developers. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 15, 2010 @ 12:04 p.m.

Response to post #311: This particularly blog string (all 317 entries) has been filled with a lot of valuable information. That has been true of other blog subjects dealing with pay and fringes of San Diego's government employees. Thanks to our contributors, we have provided a service. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 15, 2010 @ 12:07 p.m.

Response to post #312: And as I said, I don't believe the U-T, even under new management, will be capable of being anything but an establishment tool. This puts a lid on how much it will be able to expand its audience. Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard March 15, 2010 @ 3:35 p.m.

to 298

We should fight when union contracts expire, at that time even the union rank and file members may realize that fat pensions awarded their retired leaders have cost them their jobs. We can ethically ask for a judge's help when contracts expire and negotiations fail. We need a more impressive parade of leaders in orange jumpsuits to renege on current contracts. if a judge ruled that contracts could be voided on the basis of negligent stupidity from elected leaders, all public contracts could be nullified, after all, one party believes that Adam played with dinosaurs, and all debts will be settled soon by the second coming. Others find evolution and liberalism equally idiotic.

First we must elect people that will fight for the city. We need to build a consensus, and the rape of our parkland inherent in the proposal to tear down our stadium is great place to start. Republicans also love to tailgate, play golf and enjoy our parks. We can do this.

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Don Bauder March 15, 2010 @ 5:11 p.m.

Response to post #319: How easy is it to get pols who fight for the city? Donna Frye is the only one on city council who cares about the city. It's the same with the supes. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 March 15, 2010 @ 5:54 p.m.

We should fight when union contracts expire, at that time even the union rank and file members may realize that fat pensions awarded their retired leaders have cost them their jobs.

Those union contractc/pensions are not going anywhere.

The 3%@50 was the very first item Sanders should have gone after whe he took office-he didn't, and he won't for the rest of his term in office. It is called kick the can down the road.

The only thing that is going to change is are the players elected, and they will do exactly what Sanders did, talk big talk and do little if anything to fix the problesm. Sanders has been a bigger failure than Arnold.

The only way the pensions will change is when the city files for BK-and the ways the mayor can kick the can down the road make that a wild guess-but it is certainly coming IMO.

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Don Bauder March 15, 2010 @ 10:31 p.m.

Response to post #321: I agree that a San Diego BK is well nigh inevitable. However, by the time it comes, so many municipalities may gave gone down that road that people will yawn. Remember, false accounting can keep the city going indefinitely. No law enforcement will do anything about it. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 March 17, 2010 @ 8:28 a.m.

Don, did you catch the “60 Minutes” interview with author Michael Lewis about his new book? Lewis wrote "Liar's Poker" back in the mid 80's about Salomon Brothers brokerage.

The reason I am asking is he has a new book coming out about the financial meltdown we had the last two years-centered around sub-prime mortgages, and he really goes into great detail about Goldman Sachs and the moral hazard they brought to AIG.

Long story short-he said the 5 major brokerage houses/investment banks almost destroyed Wall Street by their greed-and but for the taxpayer bailout it would have been destroyed.

He went on to talk about the credit default swaps Goldman got AIG to write for them on their sub prime mortgages, with AIG not even knowing what they were doing-to the tune of $20 billion. Lewis said Goldman should not have done that-even if doing so would make Goldman billions of dollars in profits. The old moral hazard story.

I bring it up because in my mind there is no difference between what the public unions are doing to muni's and what Goldman did to AIG.

If you saw the segment let me know your opinion.

BTW-the new book by Lewis is called "The Big Short".

I came across a book recently released that went on to lay out how hedge funds have destroyed American businesses over the last 30 years-but I cannot remember the guys name or the name of the book. Do you know this book?

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Don Bauder March 19, 2010 @ 1:25 p.m.

Response to post #323: I didn't watch the TV show but I have seen several positive reviews of Lewis's book. I intend to read it myself. Best, Don Bauder

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