Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Caveat Lectores on Public Pension Reform

Waaa, Waaa, Waaa! That is what I expect to hear soon from multitudes of firefighters, police officers, teachers and even more general public sector employees AND retirees who are about to be F*CKED out of all or part of their pensions. Never mind lack of pay raises or pay cuts. All that you have worked for is at risk. Wake the fuck up! Numbnutz!

I told you so will mean nothing to me in the way of a warm fuzzy feeling. I hate being right. Check these websites out for more doses of what I have been announcing to a deaf audience.

States Test Whether Public Pension Benefits Given Can Be Taken Away
Caveat Lectores on Strange Days in Oz
Caveat Lectores on Glenn Beck and Pensions for Public Employees
Caveat Lectores on S. 3194: Lies and Deception
Caveat Lectores on Underfunded Pensions

What this is all about is that state and local governments are looking for ways to save money. Public employee’s wallets are a convenient source of savings. Pensions, chronically underfunded in the past, are even more expensive today and only reward deeds of the past. Existing pensioners and future pension benefits cost money, and those receiving them provide no benefit to the employer. The mantra is…”So what have you done for me lately?”

Private sector pensions that were once part of the American dream have been destroyed along with much of the organized labor movement that negotiated them into the terms and conditions of employment we call a collective bargaining agreement. “Right to work” and “employment at will” are not your buddy.

The public sector worker is now being demonized and made a scapegoat by the right wingnut conservative politicians and media mavens. Is it just a matter of taking the punishment or can public sector workers do something about it? You had better hope you can do something about it, or accept that your financial future will be raped into oblivion.

What can YOU do to help stop the right wingnuts from raping you? Stop supporting them dumbass! That would do for a start. All the labor lawyers in the world cannot undo what you do when you vote for or support the people who will vote to end your dream if given the chance.

God, Guns and Gays seem to be the important topics of the far right wingnuts and tea baggers. Add reproductive rights to the mix and they have enough single issue hot button topics to fulfill the complete rePuPlican distraction. With the 3-Gs, rePuPs can stir up the concerns of the religious zealots, xenophobes, hyper-paranoids, racists, homophobes and pseudo-patriots all at once and get them so riled up they will support a faction that will target their careers and life styles for destruction. Real rePuPlican values only concern maintaining wealth in the hands of the few who deserve it, the wealthy. They do not give a crap about the 3-Gs.

By making fun of the tea baggers, right wingnut rePuPlicans and the 3-Gs, I recognize I am stepping on some working class toes here, but I would stomp on them if I could. I want to make some public employees so angry they will stop drinking the right wingnut Kool-aid long enough to really look at what real American values are.

Real American values are about more than 3-G topics and wealth for the wealthy. The right wing conservative leaders of the rePuPlican Party have co-opted the term so that it means little except an attack on anyone who does not claim to be a right wing conservative. This has become a spectacle of “you are with us or you are not a true American.” That is Bullshit!


• If you belong to a union, get involved in a hurry to try to make up for lost ground. Demand the leadership give you a job to help in the fight. The IAFF, PBA, FOP, IUPA, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, ATU and the other large unions know what is happening. Some are failing less than others in the war to save your future. They need your help. The dirty war has just begun. It is not too late.
• You and your union may have to decide whether to fight an all or nothing battle or to try and mitigate the damage by negotiating away some of the hard fought benefits you now have. This will not be easy and there is not a one size fits all answer.
• If you do not belong to a union, you are pretty much out of luck unless there is some sort of organization that can mobilize to build public support for public employees and lobby the politicos to try to curtail the slaughter. You may have to just stand by and hope a union brother or sister saves your ass. Some of you do not have collective bargaining rights, but you can organize in other ways for political purposes.
• Get off your lazy butt and fat wallet and support candidates who have not dedicated their political careers to destroying government and those who serve in it. Many but not all are Democrats.
• Understand that there are real funding problems in state and local government. This is not just something made up to screw with you, but the right wingnuts are trying to use it as an excuse to destroy government.

Public employees can make a difference if they choose to get involved. If the choice is to watch from the sidelines as the players in the game destroy their futures, they will deserve what they get.

And oh yes, have a nice Day?


Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
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