How Wisconsin's cut taxes

@bobmnu (8160)
United States
February 26, 2013 6:49pm CST
In Wisconsin we heard all the doom and gloom about the effects the Governors "Attack on Unions". Things are moving along smoothly with a reduction in our property taxes. What happened well talking to some state employees such things as now working 37.5 hours with no pay increase, before they worked 35 hours but got credit and pay for 37.5 hr (number of hours needed to qualify for full benefits). It seems that their contract called for pay for hours not worked. Another group of workers had in their contract that they could call in sick in the morning for their shift and then work the next shift but get paid time and a half for that shift. School districts across the state could now bid insurance and some saved about $5,000 a teacher a year, with no real cut in benefits. As public school contracts are being negotiated they now have the power to remove such benefits as a paid weeks vacation for teacher to take when school is in session. Districts now have the flexibility to move people based on what is best for the children and not only on seniority. School children seem to be learning and not much has changed. The city streets are being plowed as before and not much has changed. What has changed is that public employees now pay part of their retirement and health insurance (most contracts stated how much the district would pay and with insurance being placed on bids most costs are still being paid by the district).
1 person likes this
2 responses
@crossbones27 (37849)
• Redlands, California
27 Feb 13
That's good that things seem to be working so well for you now. I do not mean to be a buzz kill but these things take years before we know if they actually work or not. Some of the stuff sounds like it will save your state some money because I do know how people like to abuse their sick days and stuff like that. That's why the last company I worked for never paid for sick days. I think its good your state is cutting abuses taken by public employee's that cost us all money and run all of our states in debt. My only thing is I know you guys hate unions and I know unions have major flaws but they do pay their employees more fairly. Yes they have to give some compensation to the union itself to make sure everyone is being treated fairly. I know also there is some people who should be fired but don't get fired because of their union rights or whatever. There are things you can do to fix those problems. Instead we just say get rid of them. Its the divide in conquer strategy. That way we can start paying people like crap again and all the top people can make all the profits again. People now have no leverage to ask to be paid a fair wage so they just have to suck it up and take it or get fired. Mean while prices continue to go up on everything. People are lucky if they have enough money to pay their bills, let alone go out and eat once a week, take in a movie, buy that new lawn mower. If no one has money to do these things then not only does it kill businesses but then each state suffers. The state is loosing money in sales tax by people not buying as much. Businesses like toy stores, restaurants, and basically any store that does not sell necessity items is going to struggle. Many of them are going to have to close shop, laying off many more people. Which all results in lost revenue for the state. Which puts you guys right back where you started or even further in debt. Hopefully that does not happen but if employers in the private sector that are making record profits do not start paying their employees a fair wage. This is going to happen. Then these employers are not going to be making record profits no more. Then they are going to start to loose money. Then they aren't going to be able to pay people a fair wage if they wanted to. Many of us know that the path the private sector is on is just not stable. Not until they start paying people their true worth.
• Redlands, California
27 Feb 13
Actually Sierra I can agree with your point about Unions except I can understand their point of view. No one is going after CEO's, hell we keep giving the bonuses they do not deserve. People are literally trying to destroy unions. So they may have lost their way but anyone with common sense knows why. That is probably why people are not getting what they used to get out of unions. Because all the union leaders are putting in the employees money into fighting off people who want to destroy them. At least they have a reason. Maybe there methods are wrong but that's easy to say when you are not having to fight for your life. Whats these huge corporations like Walmart's reasoning? Good I am happy about Weight Watchers but that only works if you can get enough people to do it. Besides my point is not to defend unions it is just to point out how the pay scale has drastically shifted since people started to lay war on unions. So apparently many people do not know how to get together like Weight Watchers and protest. If they do, then they are probably to scared . Even if it does work out for the employees at Weight Watchers. Are they going to have to do the same method in 10 years to make sure they can be paid enough to keep up with the cost of living? Why can't these companies sit down with their employees every 10 years and hash the next 10 years out, or 5 years, what ever makes the most sense. Why do people have to start a war to get treated with some respect? This is a perfect example how we make each others lives harder than it needs to be.
• United States
27 Feb 13
Walmart employees have voted several times on the issue and elected not to have a Union. I am not sure what your point was on that score. Yes, there were some that did but that wasn't true in many cases. Big companies have many employees. Add in the social pressure of the internet and there is power without the Union. The problem is that no one sticks with a company for ten years. You will find years in the much older workforce. But when you look at the younger/middle aged crowd, you won't find as many people sticking with the same company any longer than a couple of years at a time. The longevity just isn't there. Wage increases often depend on a person putting time into the company. The time into the company just isn't there anymore. It is another factor to consider with wage depression.
• Redlands, California
27 Feb 13
No one sticks ten years with a company no more because the company does nothing for them to keep them their. I get what you are saying about putting time with a company but I put 10 years in a company and trust me they were not paying me what I was worth. I was making 3 to 4 dollars an hour less than what other people were making in similar positions around the country. Of course that was according to the internet. Its not like I did not ask to be paid more. I did everything I could with out getting the company all riled up. Finally it was just time for me to split. I like to check on the company to see what potions they need. Since I left they needed 2 new supervisors and many people for my position. They were having such a hard time finding someone that the last salary they offered someone was $3 dollars more than when I left. That was about 3 years after I left. It took them 3 years to finally start offering people the right amount of money for that position. I know there is some companies that pay fair but many don't and these are probably why people switch jobs so much. Of course now with the economy this is not happening no more.
@laglen (19778)
• United States
27 Feb 13
You mean that the whole state isnt on welfare yet? That houses arent burning to the ground all around you? Of course it is working, these were common sense moves. As Wisconsin shows its strength from here, more states will follow. Great job
• Redlands, California
27 Feb 13
I just want to know do people end up on welfare because they are lazy or maybe they end up on welfare because there is no jobs? Do people end up on food stamps because their jobs don't pay enough or do they end up on food stamps because they are just looking for a free hand out? I am so tired of this argument. Maybe your rich buddies who have corporate welfare should take 99.9 percent of the responsibility. When are people going to learn this is the mentality that is starting all the problems.
1 person likes this
@laglen (19778)
• United States
28 Feb 13
I actually do not have any rich buddies. And My only issue with raising the taxes on corporation is simple. Who creates jobs? and yes it is that simple. Here is a question for you. Do second and third generation welfare families still look for a job? When you have collected welfare for ten years, how am I to believe that you are even trying to support yourself?
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
28 Feb 13
To answer your question Yes to all parts. There are some people who are lazy and are gaming the system and there are those who need the help and there are those who nee a little help but the system is an all or nothing. I know people who are able to work but choose not to work because the benefits are so good. Several reports by the government and private studies have all come up with the the average welfare recipient is receiving the equivalent of a $45,000 to $60,000 a year job. While the average working American is earning $57,000. We have spent Billions since President Johnson declaired his War on Poverty and we now have the same or more people living in poverty, which most developed countries would call our poverty as middle class in terms of the stuff they get. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/07/what-is-poverty The problem with the welfare is you have a a large group of people very dependent on keeping the system as it is and those are all the people employed by the government to run the system. We have talked about the welfare benefits but what about all the other government programs that are means tested. A friend (80 years old and retired on his own funded pension) of mine has cancer and is being treated daily with radiation for it. For him to get a ride in a medical transport it will cost him $125 a day but if he were poor it would cost $5.00 a day. When my children were going to college I was working for a salary of $65,000 a year and they got no state or federal financial aid and the cost to me way about $8,000 to $10,000 a year to send each of my four have received almost a totally free ride and what loans they took out would be government subsidized loans. They could have gotten work study money and would still count toward my food stamp allocation. I have spent my life working and investing in my career and when I look at what people on welfare who are living almost as good as I am and they could be working I get a little upset. When I do my taxes and see that in all taxes I am paying about 1/3 of my income in taxes and get to live a similar life style as a welfare recipient I get a little upset. We have become a society where close to a majority of the people feel that it is the right thing to take from those who have and give it to those who want I have to ask myself if we are headed in the wrong direction. Living in poverty is becoming very comfortable and many people enjoy it and their kids look forward to getting their piece of the welfare benefits when they turn 18. So maybe I am becoming a little upset when I hear them talk about taxing the rich because soon that will taxing those working to support those who don't work so they can live like me. I have no problem with providing a safety net but not when it includes giving them all they need and want. The best way to end poverty is to make it uncomfortable. They should receive what a minimum wage job would pay not the same lifestyle of the middle class with out having to work for it